A description of the grand signour's seraglio or Turkish emperours court [edited] by John Greaves.
Bon, Ottaviano, 1552-1623., Withers, Robert., Greaves, John, 1602-1652.
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By JOHN GREAVES, late Professor of Astronomie in the University of Oxford.

LONDON, Printed for Jo. Ridley, at the Castle in Fleet street by Ram-Alley, 1653.

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To his Honoured, and truly Noble Friend, George Took, Esquire, of Popes in the County of Hartford.


J D•…t not have pre∣sumed to a Friend of so much honor, & worth, to present this description of the Turkish Emperours Court; but that finding it to be a piece of that exactnesse, as the like is not extant in any other language, & the argument to be so noble (treating of the greatest Monar∣chy upon earth; whose Magni∣ficence Page  [unnumbered] hath much resemblance with that of the Persians, in the Scriptures) I thought it would not be unacceptable, if under your name it were communica∣ted to the world. In which I assume nothing to my self, as Authour of the discourse, nor much as Polisher of it; but only an humble desire of publikely expressing my obligations to You. It was freely presented to me at Constantinople, and with the same freeness I recommend it to the Reader, having not al∣tered anything in the substance, and but a little in the dress, and Page  [unnumbered] elocution. The name of the Au∣thor being then unknown, up∣on inquiry I find it since to be the work of Mr. Robert Withers; who, by the assistance of the English Embassador, procuring admittance into the Seraglio (a favour unusual) and by conti∣nuance many years in those parts, had time, and opportuni∣ty, to persect his observations. To him therefore are solely due the thanks of the labour, & from his virtuous example all gene∣rous, and noble spirits will pro∣pose, in their travels abroad, a solid inquisition of truth, and Page  [unnumbered] knowledge; not vain garbes, & modes, and disguised fashions, the onely objects, and idols, of phantastick Travellers. To me it is sufficient that I have faith∣fully discharged my trust, in publishing since the Authors death, the fruits of his observa∣tions; and in communicating to the Reader the pleasure, and satisfaction, of perusing a rela∣tion full of truth, and exact∣ness: which, in many particu∣lars, upon experience he is a∣ble to attest, who is, Sir,

Your most obliged friend, and humble servant,

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The Contents of the Chapters.

Chap. 1.
The description of the Place, partitions, and manifold conveniences of the Seraglio. pag. 1.
Chap. 2.
Of the Divan dayes, judges, sessions, ju∣dicature, diet, and giving an account to the King of whatsoever hath passed. pag. 17.
Chap. 3.
Of the audience, and entertainment given to Ambassadors. pag. 28.
Chap. 4.
Of the persons that live in the Seraglio, and chiefly of the women and virgins. p. 34.
Chap. 5.
Of the Ajamoglans, how taken, distri∣buted, and imployed. p. 56.
Chap. 6.
Of the Kings Itchoglans, their severe dis∣eipline, and education in the four subordinate schools, and of their after advancements. p. 67.
Chap. 7.
Of inferiour persons, and Buffons, Mutes, Musicians, &c. of White Eunuchs, and of the Grand Officers of the Seraglio. p. 87.
Chap. 8.
Of the Black Eunuchs, and Black-moor girles, and women, of the Physicians, andof the Kings children. p. 100.
Page  [unnumbered]Chap. 9.
Of the Cooks, kitchins, diet of the King, and Queen, and of their other manner of service, of the scullery, and provision of the Sera∣glio. p. 108.
Chap. 10.
Of Apparel, bedding, sicknesse, hospitals, inheritance, Kings expences, recreations, re∣ceiving of petitions, of the Kings Stables, and Byram solemnities. p. 128.
Chap. 11.
Of the old Seraglio, and womens lives therein, of their marriages and children, slave∣selling, and witnesses. p. 147.
Chap. 12.
Of their religion, opinions, Clergy-men, times, places, and rites sacred, and of the wo∣mens small devotion. p. 158.
Page  1



A Description of the place, par∣titions, and manifold conve∣niences of the Seraglio.

THe *Seraglio, wherein the Grand Signor resideth with his Court, is in that place where Byzantium stood, upon a point of the Conti∣nent, which looketh towards the * mouth of the Black Sea: and is in form triangu∣lar, two sides whereof are compassed with the Thracian Bosphorus, and the third joyneth to the rest of the City Constantinople. It is enclosed with a ve∣ry Page  2 high, and strong wall, upon which there are divers watch-towers, and is by computation about three Italian miles in * compasse.

It hath many gates, some of which o∣pen towards the sea-side, and the rest into * the City; but the chiefest gate (which indeed is a very stately one) is one of those towards the City; and by it they go in and out daily; the others being kept shut, till such times as the king, or some of the principall officers of the Seraglio cause any of them to be open∣ed, either for their pleasure to sit by the sea side (where they have a fair pro∣spect, and may behold the ships sailing to and fro) or for any other occasion. If any of the other land-gates be open∣ed, it is either when the king sendeth privately to put some great man to death, or for the execution of some such secret action; but they are all lockt fast in the night again.

The aforesaid chief, and common Gate, is in the day time guarded by a * Company of *Capoochees, which change their watch by turns, and in the night likewise by others of the same rank; all Page  3 which Capoochees are under the Com∣mand of a *Capoochee Bashaw, which Capoochee Bashaws (being six in number) are bound every week one of them to lie within the Seraglio, for the security, and safeguard of the same. And without the Gate, about ten or twelve paces off, there stands a litle house made of boards upon wheels, in which every night a * Company of Janizaries do watch, who upon any occasion are ready to awake those within, and to give them notice of whatsoever sudden accident may happen without.

In the night also, it is well guarded by the sea side; for in the watch-towers which are upon the wall, there be divers *Agiam-oglan's, which are to watch, and see that none come neer: and lest any shipping should dare to attempt some mischief, they have Ordinance ready charged, and the Gunners lying close by them.

In this Seraglio there are many stately rooms suted to the seasons of the year; the greatest part whereof are built upon plain ground; some upon the hills which are there: and some also upon the sea Page  4 side, which are called Kiosks, that is rooms of fair prospect, or (as we term * them) banqueting houses, into which the king sometimes goes alone, but most commonly with his Concubines for his recreation.

Amongst the aforesaid rooms, is the Chamber into which the Grand Signor* repaireth, when he is to give Audience to Ambassadors, or to the Bashawes, on the dayes of Publick Divan: or to those who being to depart upon any weighty service, or employment, are to take their leaves of him; as also to such who (after the limited time of their go∣vernment abroad is expired) do return to Constantinople, to give account to his Majestie of their carriage in their several places. This room standeth in a litle Court curiously adorned with many ve∣ry delicate fountains; and hath within it a *Sofa spread with very sumptuous Carpets of gold, and of Crimson velvet embriodered with costly pearls; upon which the Grand Signor sitteth: and a∣bout the Chamber instead of Hangings, the walls are covered with very fine white stones, which having divers sorts Page  5 of leaves and flowers artificially wrought, and bak't upon them, do make a glorious shew. There is also a little room adjoyn∣ing unto it, the whole inside whereof is covered with silver plate hatch'd with gold, and the floor is spread with very rich Persian carpets of silk and gold.

There are belonging to the said rooms and lodgings of the King, very fair gar∣dens of all sorts of flowers, and fruits that * are to be found in those parts; with ma∣ny very pleasant walks, enclosed with high Cypresse-trees on each side; and * marble fountains in such abundance, that almost every walk hath two or three of them; such great delight doth the Grand-Signor, and all Turks in general take in them. Nor indeed doth a Turk at any * time shew himself to be so truly plea∣sed, and satisfied in his senses, as he doth in the summer time, when he is in a pleasant garden. For, he is no sooner come into it (if it be his own, or where he thinks he may be bold) but he puts off his uppermost Coat, and layes it aside, and upon that his Turbant, then turns up his sleeves, and unbuttoneth himself, turn∣ing his breast to the winde if there be Page  6 any; if not, he fans himself, or his ser∣vant doth it for him. Again, sometimes standing upon an high bank, to take the fresh air, holding his arms abroad (as a Cormorant sitting upon a rock doth his wings in sun-shine after a storm) court∣ing the weather, and sweet air, calling it his soul, his life, and his delight; ever and anon shewing some notable signes of contentment: nor shall the garden (du∣ring his pleasant distraction) be termed other then Paradise: with whose flow∣ers he stuffs his bosom, and decks his Turbant, shaking his head at their sweet savors; and sometimes singing a song to some pretty flower, by whose name per∣adventure his Mistress is called; and ut∣tering words of as great joy, as if at that instant she her self were there present. And one bit of meat in a garden shall do him more good (in his opinion) then the best fare that may be else where.

Besides the aforesaid rooms (which are very many, and serve only for the kings * own person) there is the womens lodging, (which is in a manner like a Nunnery) wherin the Queen, the other *Sultana's, and all the kings women and Page  7 slaves do dwell. And it hath within it all the commodity that may be, of beds, chambers, Dining rooms, *Bagno's, and all other kindes of building necessary for the use, and service of the women, which dwell therein.

There are likewise divers rooms, and lodgings built apart from all those afore∣said, * which serve both for the principal officers, and those of mean degree, and al∣so for the basest sort; and are so well fur∣nished, that not any want can be discern∣ed of ought that may be thought requi∣site, and convenient for them.

Amongst which there are two large * buildings, the one the Hazineh, or pri∣vate Treasury, and the other the kings Wardrope. These are two very handsome buildings, and secure by reason of the thicknesse of their walls, and strength of their iron windows: they have each of them an iron door, kept shut continually, and that of the Hazineh sealed with the * kings seal.

In the said Seraglio there are rooms for Prayer, Baths, Schools, Butteries * Kitchins, Distilling rooms, places to swim in, places to run horses in, places Page  8 for wrestling, butts to shoot at: and to conclude, all the commodity that may be had in a princes Palace, for things of that nature.

At the first entrance into the Seraglio,* there is a very large and stately Gate, in the Porch whereof, there is alwayes a * guard of about fifty men with their wea∣pons by them, as pieces, bowes, and swords. Having passed this gate (through which the Bashawes, and other great men may passe on horseback) there is a very spacious Court almost a quarter of an I∣talian* mile in length, and very nigh as much in breadth; and on the left hand in the Court near unto the Gate, there is a place to shelter the people and horses in rainie weather: on the right hand there is an Hospitall for such as fall sick * in the Seraglio, in which there are all things necessary. It is kept by an Eu∣nuch, who hath many servants under him to attend upon the diseased. Again, on the left hand there is a very large place in which they keep their Timber, * and Carts, and such like things, to have them near at hand for the use, and ser∣vice of the Seraglio; over the which Page  9 there is a great Hall, where are hanged up many weapons of Antiquity, as Ci∣mitars, Javelins, Bowes, Head-pieces, Gauntlets, &c. which they keep to lend the Souldiers, and others, for to accom∣pany the Grand Signor, or the * Chief Vizir, when they make any solemn entry into the City of Constantinople.

Having passed through the aforesaid Court, there is a second Gate (at which * the Bashawes alight) somewhat lesse then the former, but more neat, and costlie; under which there is also a state∣ly Porch, where there is likewise a * Guard of Capoochees provided with wea∣pons, as they at the first Gate are; thence there is another Court lesser * then the former, but far more beauti∣full and pleasant, by reason of the deli∣cate fountains, and rowes of Cypresse trees, and the green grasse-plots in which the *Gazels do feed, and bring forth young: but in this Court (the Grand Signor only excepted) every one must go on foot. On both sides of the said Gate there is an open Gallery un∣derset with pillars, without which the Chiaushes, the Janizaries, and the Page  10*Spahees, do use to stand in their seve∣rall ranks, very well apparelled, at such times as there is a great Divan held, for the coming of any Ambassador to kisse the Grand Signors hand.

In the said Court on the right hand are all the Kitchins, being in number nine; all which have their several of∣fices, and Larders belonging unto them.

The first and greatest is the Kings.
The second the Queens.
The third the Sultana's.
The fourth the Capee Agha's.
The fifth for the Divan.

The sixth for the *Agha's, the Kings Gentlemen.

The seventh for the meaner sort of Servants.

The eighth for the Women.

The ninth for the under Officers of the Divan, and such as attend there to do what belongeth unto them, in their several places.

On the left side of the Court is the Kings stable, of about thirty, or thirty * five very gallant horses, which his Ma∣jestie keepeth for his exercise, when he pleaseth to run, or sport with his Gentle∣men Page  11 the Agha's in the Seraglio. Over which stable there is a rowe of rooms, wherein is kept all the furniture of the horses, the which (I having seen both there, and abroad, at such times as they have been used) I can affirm to be of extraordinary value. For the Bridles, * Pectorals, Cruppers, Saddle-clothes, the pommels of the Saddles, and Stirrups, are set so thick with jewels of divers sorts, that the beholders are amazed, they do so far exceed all imagination.

Neer adjoyning to the said stable, are certain buildings for the service of the Officers of the Divan, and having passed two thirds of this Court on the same side, there is the room wherein the Di∣van* is kept: unto this joyneth upon one side the Hazineh, called the outward *Hazineh, which (the Divan being ended) is sealed with the Chief Vizirs Seal. Even with the room where the Divan is kept (but somewhat behinde it, towards the left hand) is the Gate * which leadeth into the womens lodgings, called the Queens Gate, kept and guard∣ed by a Companie of Black Eunuchs.

The aforesaid second Court endeth at Page  12 a third Gate, termed the Kings Gate, which leadeth into the rooms or lodg∣ings * kept apart for himself, and such Gentlemen, as are to attend upon him continually: neither may any one enter therein, but by absolute leave from the king (speaking of men of great quali∣ty): * but such as are belonging to the Buttry, or Kitchin, and Physitians, Ca∣ters, and Sewers, may go in and out with leave only from the *Capee Agha: who is the chief Chamberlain of the Seraglio, and to him is committed the keeping of this Gate, and he is alwayes at hand (by reason his lodging is near) with a Company of white Eunuchs about him * like himself; so that, what is reported of things within this Gate, is for the most part by relation. For either one may not see them, or if he do see them, it must be when the king is absent; and he must be brought in by some man of quality, and Command, by one of the gates at the Sea side; the which also cannot be obtained but with great diffi∣culty, and some charge too, for a gra∣tification to the guide; they having not onely great regard and respect to their Page  13 kings person, but also to his rooms in his absence.

Having passed the third Gate (the * which hath also a very fair porch) im∣mediately is seen the aforesaid room ap∣pointed for publick Audience. And there * within that Gate also is another fair Court, paved with very fine marble, wrought with Mosaical work: wherein are many delicate Fountains, and sum∣ptuous buildings on all sides, in which commonly the king useth to eat, and passe the time in some recreation.

There is also a row of Summer rooms * built upon the top of a little hill, which looks towards the Sea side, so well con∣trived with Halls and Chambers, and so pleasantly seated, and richly furnished, that it may well be the habitation of so great a Prince. Amongst which there is * a Hall opening towards the East, under∣set with very fair pillars; which Hall looks into an artificial four-square Lake * (which they call Hawoz) proceeding from about thirty Fountains which are built upon a kinde of Tarrase, of very fine Marble, incompassing the said Lake, the water running from the Foun∣tains Page  14 above, down into the Lake: and from the Lake through divers gutters in∣to Gardens. Two men may walk a breast upon the Tarrase; where they hear the continual, and sweet harmony which the fountains make with leaden pipes, in so much that it is a most delight∣full place. And in the Lake there is a lit∣tle boat, the which (as I was enformed) the Grand Signor doth oftentimes go * into with his *Mutes, and Buffones, to make them row up and down, and to sport with them, making them leap into the water; and many times, as he walks along with them above upon the sides of the Lake, he throwes them down into it, and plunges them over head and ears.

Near unto the said Hall, is his Maje∣sties Bed-Chamber, the walls whereof * are covered with stones of the finest China mettal, spotted with flowers of divers colours, which make an excellent shew. The *Anteporta's are Cloth of gold of Bursia, and their Borders of Crimson Velvet embroydered with gold and pearls. The posts of the Bedstead are of silver, hollow, and in stead of Page  15 knobs on the tops of them, there are set Lions made of Chrystal: The Canopie * over it is of Cloth of Gold, and so are the bolsters, and the mattresses. The floor of this Chamber (as of the other rooms) and the Sofaes, are spread with very costly Persian Carpets of silk and gold: and the Pallets to sit on, with the cushens to lean upon, are of very rich cloth of gold.

There is hanging in the midst of the aforesaid Hall a very great Lantern, the * form whereof is round, and the bars of silver guilt, and set very thick with Ru∣bies, Emraulds, and Turkesses: the panes are of fine Chrystal. There is likewise a Basen and Ewer of massive gold, set * with Rubies and Turkesses, which beau∣tifie the room.

Behinde the Hall there is a place to * shoot in, where there are laid up many Bowes and arrows; and there are to be seen such strange passages made with ar∣rows, by the Kings predecessors, and by the king himself, through Brasse and Iron, that it seemeth almost impossible to be done by the arm of man.

The Room which is called the Publick*Page  16Divan hath been built of late years. It is four-square, and about eight or nine paces every way from side to side. It hath behinde it another room for the service thereof, and one also at the co∣ming in to the Divan at the right hand, divided onely by a woodden rail: with many other rooms somewhat distant from it, which serve for the expedition of sundry businesses. This Divan I call publick, because any kinde of person whatsoever (aswell stranger, as native) publickly, and indifferently may have free accesse unto it, to require Justice, to pro∣cure Grants, and to end their Causes, and Controversies: of what nature, conditi∣on, or import soever they be, without let, or contradiction.

Thus have I made a brief description of some of the rooms, and buildings, of this Seraglio, according to the notice I took of them. But hitherto I have omit∣ted to shew, how that a great part of the best of them, have been built from time to time at the cost and charges of the Subjects. For there have been divers Ba∣shawes, who, being in favour with th•…*Grand Signor, obtained leave at severa•…Page  17 times to adde unto the Seraglio a room or two, for a memorial of some notable good service, which they had done their Prince. In the building of which, they have spared no cost, although for the most part the rooms are very litle: but this their often patching of new rooms with old, hath caused a great confused∣nesse in the whole fabrick, they having not observed any uniformity at all in their manner of building.


Of the Divan dayes, Judges, Session, Ju∣dicature, Diet, and giving an account to the King of what hath passed.

THe Divan dayes are four every * week: viz. Saturday, Sunday, Mun∣day, and Tuesday: Upon which dayes the *Vizir azem, with all the rest of the Vizirs, the two *Cadileschers, of Graecia and Natolia (which are the chief over all the Cadees of those two Pro∣vinces); Page  18 the three *Defterdars (whose charge is to gather in the Kings reve∣nues, and likewise to pay all his Souldi∣ers, and others which have any pension due unto them); the Reiskitawb (which is the Chancellor); the Ni∣shawngee (that is he which signeth com∣mandments, and letters, with the Grand Signors mark); the Secretaries of all the Bashawes, and of other great men; a great number of Clerks, which are al∣wayes attending at the door of the Di∣van; the Chiaush Bashaw (who all that * while that he is in the Seraglio carrieth a silver staff in his hand;) and many Chi∣aushes, who at the Vizirs command are * ready to be dispatched, with such orders as shall be given them, by him, to what place, or to whomsoever he pleaseth (For, they are those which are imployed in Ambassies, or in ordinary messages; to summon men to appear before the Bench; to keep close Prisoners; and in fine, to perform all businesses of that nature:) Upon those dayes, I say, all the aforesaid Magistrates and Officers, from the high∣est to the lowest, are to be at the Diva•… by break of day.

Page  19 The Vizirs being come into the Di∣van,* they sit down within at the further end thereof, with their faces towards the door, upon a low bench which joyneth to the wall, every one in his place as he is in degree; sitting all at the right hand of the Chief Vizir, (for with the Laity the left is counted the upper hand, but with * the Clergie the right:) and on his left hand upon the same bench do sit the two Cadiles•…hers. First, he of Graecia, as be∣ing of the more noble and famous Pro∣vince; and then he of Natolia. And on the right side, at the coming in at the door, do sit the three Defterdars, who have be∣hinde * them (in the aforesaid room, which is divided with a wooden rail) all the said Clerks, who sit upon the ground on mats, with paper and pens in their hand, being * ready to write whatsoever is commanded them. And on the other side, over against the Defterdars, sits the Nishawngee with a pen in his hand, having his assistants round about him. The Reiskitawb for the most part stands close by the Vizir,* for he takes his advise in many occur∣rents. In the midst of the room do stand all such as require Audience of the Bench.

Page  20 Now they being all come together, and every man set in his own place; the Pe∣titioners forthwith begin their suits, one after another, (who have no need of At∣tourneyes, though oftentimes they pro∣cure * the help of a Chiaush: for every one may speak for himself) referring themselves to the judgement, and sen∣tence of the Vizir Azem, who (if he * please) may end all. For the other Ba∣shawes do not speak, but onely hearken, and attend till such time as he shall refer any thing to their abitrement, as com∣monly he doth. For he having once un∣derstood the substance onely of a busi∣nesse (to free himself from too much trouble) remits the deciding of it to o∣thers: as for example, if it be appertain∣ing to the civil Law, he then remits it to * the Cadileschers: if it be of accounts, to the Defterdars; if of falshood, (as coun∣terfeiting the kings mark, or such like) to the Nishawngee; if concerning Merchants or merchandise (wherin there may be any great difficulty) to some one of the other Bashawes which sit by him. So that after this manner he doth exceedingly ease himself of so great a toil and burden, Page  21 which otherwise he alone should be en∣forced to undergo; reserving only to himself what he thinketh to be of great∣est import, and consequence; and the like course doth the *Caimekam take in his absence.

Thus do they spend the time until it be almost noon; at which hour (one of the Sewers being appointed to be there pre∣sent) the chief Vizir commands that dinner be brought in; and immediately all the Common people depart. So, the room being free, the tables are made * ready after this manner; there is set up∣on a stool before the Vizir Azem, a thin, * round, copper plate, tinn'd over, about the bignesse of the bottom of a beer-bar∣rel; at which himself, with one (or two at the most) of the other Bashawes do eat; the like is prepared for the rest of the Vizirs, which do eat together: and another for the Cadileschers: one for the Defterdars; and one likewise for the Ni∣shawngee. Having every one a * Napkin spread upon his knees to keep his gar∣ments clean, and a great quantity of bread being laid ready round about the said copper plates, immediately the meat Page  22 is brought in, and set before them upon the plates in great dishes made after a strange fashion; and still as they have eaten of one dish the Sewer takes off that, and sets on another. Their diet is ordinarily, Mutton, Hens, Pigeons, * Geese, Lamb, Chickens, Broth of Rise and pulse, dressed after divers fashions; and some Tarts, or such like at the last; for in a very short space they make an end of their diner; that which remaineth of the said tables, the Officers of the Di∣van do eat, but they have an addition al∣lowed, * and brought them from their Kitchin. The Bashaws, & other great men•… have drink brought unto them, (which is *Sherbet) in great Porcelain dishes: but the others do either not drink at all, or if they do drink, it is fair water brought them from the next fountains. At the same time when the Vizirs of the Bench, and others of the Divan are at dinner; the under Officers, Waiters, and keep∣ers, * do dine also; (for they must loose no time,) the which are not lesse ordi∣narily then four or five hundred persons (including also such poor sharking fel∣lows, as slip into the company for a din∣ner) Page  23 but their food is nothing but bread, and pottage, which they call Churva, serving to fill their bellies, though it be but of small nourishment.

Dinner being ended, the Chief Vizir spendeth some small time about general Affairs; and taking Counsell together (if he pleaseth, and thinks it fit) with the other Bashawes; at last he determi∣neth and resolveth of all within him∣self, and prepareth to go in unto the King (it being the ordinary custom so to do, in two of the four Divan dayes, viz. upon Sunday, and upon Tuesday;) to render an account briefly unto his Majestie of all such businesses as he hath dispatched. And to this end * the Grand Signor (after he hath dined al∣so) repaireth unto his Chamber of Audi∣ence, and being set down upon a Sofa, sendeth the Capee Agha (who hath in his hand a silver staff) to call first the Cadileschers, who immediatly rise up out * of their places, and having bowed them∣selves to the Vizir Azem, they depart, being accompanied with the said Capee Agha, and Chiush Bashaw, who go be∣fore them with their silver staves in their Page  24 hands; and so they go in unto the King to give account, and make him acquain∣ted, with what hath passed concerning their charge; which being done they are dismissed (for that day) and go directly home to their own houses. Next after them are called the Defterdars: who in * the same manner are brought unto the king, but the Chief Defterdar only is permitted to speak; and having di∣spatched, they take leave and give place to the Vizirs; who are called last of all, & go together in rank one after another, * the Chief Vizir being foremost, ushered along by the two aforesaid silver staves: and being come before the presence of the Grand Signor, they stand all on one side of the room with their hands before * them a crosse, holding down their heads in token of reverence and humility; and here none but the Chief Vizir speaketh, and gives an account of what he thinketh fit: delivering his Memorials, or Petiti∣ons, one by one, the which the king ha∣ving read, the Vizir takes them, and ha∣ving put them into a little crimson Sat∣ten bag, he most humbly layeth them down again before his Majestie (who af∣terwards Page  25 causeth his *Hattee-humawyoon to be drawn for the performance of what the Arses, that is petitions, did require;) if the Grand Signor demand no further of him (the other Bashawes not having spoken one word all this while) they all depart, and take horse at the second * Gate; and being accompanied by divers men of quality (who to insinuate into their favours do wait upon them) besides a great company of their own people, e∣very one goes to his own house. The Chief Vizir for his greater grace and ho∣nour, hath commonly about an hundred Chiaushes on hors-back, who bring him to his home. And so the Divan is ended for that day, it being about three hours afternoon; but upon such dayes as they have no Audience of the King, they di∣spatch sooner. And what hath been said of the Vizir Azem, the same also is to be understood of the Caimekam in his absence.

It is to be noted that sometimes also the *Agha of the Janizaries, and the * Captain Bashawe, come to the Divan, when they are at home in Constantinople, and have businesse to do there. But the Page  26 Captain Bashawe only, doth go in unto the King (which also may not be but in Companie of the other Bashawes) and his businesse is to acquaint his Majestie with the estate, and affairs of the Arse∣nal, and Armada. His place in the Di∣van* is upon the same Bench, but yet he sitteth last, and lowest of all the Ba∣shawes; unlesse he be a Vizir (as it is of∣ten seen) and then he takes his place either second, or third, or fourth, as he is in degree by election. But the Agha of the Janizaries doth not sit in Divan,* but sitteth under the open Gallery on the right hand within the second Gate. And if at any time it shall so fall out, up∣on some extraordinary businesse, (as it hath sometimes been seen) that he be to go in unto the king; then he is called first of all, and goeth before either Def∣terdars, or Cadeeleschers: and being come out from his Majestie, he sit∣teth down again in his place untill the Divan be ended: he is the last that departeth of all the great men, and is attended on by a great many *Churbe∣gees, and Janizaries unto his Seraglio, where he, and many of them do live to∣gether

Page  27 The Grand Signors Predecessors were alwayes wont to come, and this man sometimes cometh privately by an upper way to a certain little window, which looketh into the Divan, right over the head of the Chief Vizir: and there sit∣teth (with a Lattise before him, that he * may not be seen) to hear and see what is done in the Divan: and especially at such times, when he is to give Audience to any Embassador from a great Prince, to see him eat, and hear him discourse with the Bashawes: and by this his coming to that window, the Chief Vizir (who alwayes standeth in jeopardy of lo∣sing his head upon the Grand Signors displeasure) is enforced to carry himself very uprightly, and circumspectly, in the mannaging of affairs, whilst he sits in Divan: though at other times his hands are open to bribery, and carry busines∣ses as he pleaseth.

Page  28


Of the Audience, and entertainment given to Ambassadors.

WHen it falleth out that an Am∣bassador from any great Prince is to kisse the Grand Signors hand: it must be either upon a Sunday, or upon a Tuesday: (for those are the dayes ap∣pointed * for his Highnesse to give Audi∣ence) to the end he may not be troubled at other times. And then the Vizir com∣mandeth that there be a great Divan, which is done by calling together all the Grandees of the Port; all the Chiaushes, all the *Mutaferrakas, and a great number of Spahees and Janizaries; who are every one of them commanded by their Captains to apparel themselves in the best manner that they are able, and to go every one to his place in the second Court, and there to stand in orderly ranks: making indeed a very goodly shew, for they are very well clothed, and are most of them of comely personage.

Thus the Divan being all in order, (and few, or no common businesses han∣dled for that day) the Vizir, sendeth Page  29 the Chiaush Bashaw with many of his Chiaushes on horse-back to accompany the Ambassador: who being come to the Divan is set face to face close before the chief Vizir, upon a stool covered * with Cloth of Gold. Having for a while complemented, and used some friendly discourse together, the Bashaw command∣eth that dinner be brought: the which is done after the same manner as upon o∣ther Divan dayes (only the round plate on which the meat is set is of silver; and the victuals are more delicate, and in greater abundance.) And so the Ambas∣sador, and the Vizir Azem, with one or two of the other Bashawes do eat toge∣ther. And for every such banquet at such times the Grand Signor alloweth (besides the ordinary Divan diet) a thousand * Crowns to be spent: howbeit I dare say the Steward makes the one half to serve the turn, and reserves the rest to himself.

They having dined, the Vizir enter∣taineth the Ambassador with some dis∣course, until such time as the Ambassa∣dors followers have dined also, (who I can upon experience affirm are served af∣ter a very mean fashion) and then the Page  30 Ambassador, together with his own at∣tendants retire themselves into a certain place near the kings gate: where he must stay till such time as all the orders of the Divan have had audience of the king, who being dismissed do all depart, (the Bashawes excepted, who for the Grand Signors honour are to stay, and attend in the room upon his Majestie.) But by the way I must not omit to relate, how that the present, which the Ambassador brings along with him, is carried (whilst he sitteth in the said retiring place) once a∣bout the second Court in open sight of the people, (be it what it will be) and so in unto the King.

Then the Ambassador is called by the * master of the ceremonies, by whom he is brought to the gate where the Cape•… Agha standeth with a company of Eu∣nuchs: thence the Capee Agha leadeth him to the door of the room, where there do stand two Capoochee Bashawes, who take the Ambassador, the one by * one arm, and the other by the other arm, and so lead him to kisse his highnesse hand (which in truth is but his hanging sleeve; which he having done, they lead Page  31 him back after the same manner to the lower end of the room, where he stand∣eth till such time as the said two Capoo∣chee Bashawes have lead such of the Am∣bassadors gentlemen, as are appointed to kisse the Kings hand also. This done the *Druggaman declareth the Ambas∣sadors commission, to which the Grand Signor makes no answer at all (disdaining to speak to a Christian) but only speak∣eth a word or two to the chief Vizir to license him; referring all proceedings to his discretion. And so the Ambassa∣dor departeth, doing obeisance to the * King, with bowing down his head, but pulleth not off his hat, or cap at all.

There is one particular, belonging to this ceremonie, worth the observation, which is this; that there is not any time, any person whatsoever, aswell Ambassa∣dor, as other, which is to kisse the Grand Signors hand, but he is vested with a vest given him by the Grand Signor: and * to this end, before the Ambassador go∣eth in unto the king, the Uizir Azem sendeth him so many vests, as are ap∣pointed by Canon, for himself and his gentlemen; who put them on in the Page  32 place where the Ambassador stayeth till the King send for him to give him Au∣dience. These vests are of divers sorts; of which there is one or two for the Am∣bassadors own person of cloth of gold of Bursia; the other being of a low price, worth little or nothing.

But on the contrary, in lieu of those vests, there is not any Ambassador (which is to go to the King for his first audience) or Bashawe (who at his return from some imployment abroad, is to kisse his hand) but they present to him the full value of what the Canon requireth: in * so much that the Grand Signor receiveth more then he giveth, twentie fold. More∣over the Bashawes (over and above the ordinary duty) do give him exceeding rich presents: and oftentimes great sums of money too; that by all means they may continue in his grace and favour.

Other Ambassadors, which come from petty Princes, or States, howbeit they are vested also with vests given them by the Grand Signor: yet they come not to the Divan in that pomp, neither are they feasted as the others are; but go privately, carrying their present with Page  33 them: howsoever they are also led in unto the King after the aforesaid man∣ner. It is to be noted, that all Am∣bassadors from absolute Princes; aswell ordinary, as extraordinary, (excepting * those from the State of Venice, to whom, from their first introduction it was denied:) all, I say, lie at the charges of the Grand Signor. For from his own store, they have allowed them, wheat, barley, pulse, wood, coals, hay, the custom of their wine; and many other necessaries for their houshold ex∣pense, and from the Defterdar so many * aspars per diem as the Vizir shall think fit. Which provision, though now of late it be very hard to be gotten; yet by great importunity and gifts, (without which there is no good to be done) in the end they receive a great part of it; but the officers will share with them do they what they can: such is their base∣nesse and slender account, of either ho∣nour, or honesty.

Page  34


Of the persons which live in the Seraglio; and chiefly of the Women, and Uirgins.

HAving thus far made a description of the Seraglio it self, and the buildings which are therein; with some particulars belonging unto it, according to that which I have both seen, and heard from others, which are daily con∣versant there: it followeth that I now speak somewhat touching those which dwell in it, and of their several qualities, and employments.

First then I say, that all they which are in the Seraglio, both men and women, are the Grand Signors slaves (for so they stile themselves) and so are all they which * are subject to his Empire. For, besides that he is their Soveraign, they do all acknowledge that whatsoever they do possesse, or enjoy, proceedeth meerly from his good will, and favour: and not onely their estates, but their lives also are at his dispose, not having respect either to the cause, or manner. So that Page  35 in my opinion, the attributes they give unto him are proper, and fitly suting with the condition of such a Prince. For he is stiled sometimes *Paudishawh, and sometimes *Hoonkeawr. In regard of soveraignty and justice, they may truly call him Paudishawh; but in regard of his tyranny, Hoonkeawr: both which words they use in the same sense as we do the word, king.

This Seraglio may rightly be termed the seminary or nursery of the best sub∣jects. For in it all they have their edu∣cation, who afterward become the prin∣cipal officers, and subordinate rulers of the state, and affairs of the whole Em∣pire: as hereafter I shall shew at large.

They which are within the third gate, * called the Kings gate, are about two thousand persons, men and women; whereof the women (old and young one with another; what with the Kings concubines, old women, and women-ser∣vants) may be about eleven or twelve *Page  36 hundred. Now, those which are shut up for their beauties, are all young virgins * taken and stollen from forraign Nations: who after they have been instructed in good behaviour, and can play upon in∣struments, sing, dance, and few curiously; they are given to the Grand Signor as presents of great value: and the number of these encreaseth daily, as they are sent, and presented by the Tartars, by the Bashawes, and other great men, to the King, and Queen. They do likewise sometimes decrease, according as the Grand Signor shall think fit. For upon divers occasions, and accidents, he cau∣seth many of them to be turned out of this Seraglio, and to be sent into the old Seraglio: which is also a very goodly, and spacious place, of which hereafter I shall take occasion to make mention. These Virgins immediately after their * coming into the Seraglio are made Turks; which is done by using this cere∣mony only; to hold up their forefinger, and say these words; law illawheh illaw Allaw, Muhammed resoul Allawh; that is, there is no God but God alone, and Mahomet is the messenger of God. And Page  37 according as they are in age and dispo∣sition (being proved, and examined by an old woman called Kahiyah Cadun, that is, as we say, the mother of the maids)* so they are placed in a room with the o∣thers of the same age, spirit, and inclina∣tion, to live together.

Now in the Womens lodgings, they * live as Nuns do in great Nunneries: for these virgins, have very large rooms to live in, and their bed-chambers will * hold almost a hundred of them a piece. They sleep upon Sofaes, which are built long-wise on both sides of the room, and a large space left in the midst to go to and fro about their businesse.

Their beds are very course, and hard * (for the Turks neither use featherbeds, nor corded bedsteads) made of flocks of wooll: and by every ten virgins there lies an old woman: and all the night long there are many lamps burning, so that one may see plainly throughout the whole room: which doth both keep the young women from wantonnesse, and serve upon any occasion which may hap∣pen in the night. Near unto the said bed∣chambers they have baths for their use *Page  38 at all times, with many fountains, out of which they are served with water: and above their chambers there are divers rooms, where they sit and sew: and there * they keep their boxes, and chests, in which they lay up their apparel.

They feed by whole Camarada's, and are served, and waited upon by other wo∣men: nor do they want any thing what∣soever that is necessary for them.

There are other places likewise for them, where they go to school, to learn * to speak, and read (if they will) the Turkish tongue, to sew also, and to play on divers instruments: and thus they spend the day with their mistresses, who are all ancient women: some hours not∣withstanding being allowed them for their recreation, to walk in their gardens, * and use such sports as they familiarly ex∣ercise themselves withall.

The king doth not at all frequent, or see these Virgins, unlesse it be at that in∣stant, when they are first presented unto him; or else in case that he desire one of them for his bed-fellow, or to make him some pastime with musick, and other sports: wherefore, when he is prepared Page  39 for a fresh mate, he gives notice to the said Kahiya Cadun of his purpose; who immediately bestirs her self, like a crafty baud, and chooseth out such as she judgeth to be the most amiable, and fair∣est of all; and having placed them in good order in a room, in two ranks, like so many pictures, half on the one side, and half on the other; she forthwith brings in the King, who walking four or * five times in the midst of them, and ha∣ving viewed them well, taketh good no∣tice within himself of her that he best liketh, but sayes nothing; only as he goeth out again, he throweth a handker∣chief into that virgins hand; by which * token she knoweth that she is to lie with him that night: so she being (questionless) exceeding joyful to become the object of so great a fortune, in being chosen out from among so many to enjoy the society of an Emperour, hath all the art, that possibly may be, shown upon her by the Cadun, in attiring, •…ainting, and per∣fuming her; and at night she is brought * to sleep with the Grand Signor in the womens lodgings, where there are cham∣bers set apart for that businesse onely. Page  40 And being in Bed together, they have * two great wax lights burning by them all night; one at the beds feet, and the other by the door: besides there are ap∣pointed (by the Cadun) divers old Black moor women, to watch by turns that night in the chamber, by two at a time; one of them to sit by the light at the beds feet, and the other by the door; and when they will they change, and other two supply their rooms, without making the least noise imaginable, so that the King is not any whit disturbed. Now in the morning when his Highness riseth (for he riseth first) he changeth all * his apparell from top to toe, leaving those which he wore to her that he lay withall, and all the money that was in his pockets, were it never so much; and so departeth to his own lodgings; from whence also he sendeth her immediately a present of jewels, money, and vests, of great value, agreeable to the satis∣faction, and content, which he received from her that night. In the same man∣ner he deals with all such as he maketh use of in that kinde; but with some he continueth longer then with other some, Page  41 and enlargeth his bounty far more to∣wards some then others; according as his humor, and affection to them encreaseth, by their fulfilling his lustful desires.

And if it so fall out, that any one of them doth conceive by him, and bring forth his first begotten child; then she is called by the name of Sultana Queen: and * if it be a son, she is confirmed, and esta∣blished Queen by great feasts, and so∣lemnities; and forthwith hath a dwelling assigned unto her apart, of many stately rooms well furnished; and many servants to attend upon her.

The King likewise alloweth her a large * revenue, that she may give away, and spend at her pleasure, in whatsoever she may have occasion; and all they of the Seraglio must, and do acknowledge her for Queen, shewing all the duty, and re∣spect that may be, both to her self, and to them that belong unto her.

The other women (howsoever they bring forth issue) are not called Queens; yet they are called Sultana's, because * they have had carnal commerce with the King: and she onely is called Queen, which is the mother of the first begotten Page  42 son, heir to the Empire; the which Sul∣tana's, being frequented by the King at his pleasure, have also this prerogative; to be immediately removed from the common sort, and to live in rooms apart, exceeding well served, and attended; and have no want, either of money, or apparrell, in conformity to their de∣gree.

All these Sultana's do resort together very familiarly, when they please; but not without great dissimulation, and inward malice; fearing lest the one should be better beloved of the Grand Signor then the other; yet notwithstanding this their jealousie, they (in outward shew) use all kind of courtesie one towards an∣other.

Now if it happen that the first begot∣ten Son of the Queen, heir to the Em∣pire, should die, and another of the Sul∣tana's should have a second son, then, her son being to succeed the deceased heir, she is immediately made Queen: and the former shall remain a Sultana only, and be deprived of the aforesaid * revenue, and royalty: thus the title of Queen runneth from one Sultana to an∣other Page  43 by vertue of the sons succession.

In times past the Queen was wont to be wedded to the King; but now she passeth without the Kebin, that is, with∣out an assignment of any joynture, or celebrating the nuptial rites: which is nothing else, but in the presence of the *Muftee, to give each of them their assent to matrimonie, of which there is Hogett made (that is, an authenticall writing or testification) not only of the consent of the two parties to be contra∣cted; but also of the joynture which the King is to make over unto her.

The reason why the Queens are not now (nor have been of late yeers) espou∣sed, is, not to dismember the Kings patrimony of five hundred thousand chicquins a year. For Sultan Selim ha∣ving allowed so much to the Empresse, * his wife (to the end she might spend freely, and build Churches, and Hospitals, so that by all means she might be ho∣noured, and esteemed) made a decree, that all his Successors should do the like, if so be they purposed to be married to their Queens. But now the said revenue being otherwise employed, the BashawesPage  44 do endeavour, as much as in them lies, to keep the Grand Signor from marrying. And so much the rather, because they would have none to rule but the King alone; howsoever (married, or not mar∣ried) the mother of the heir is by every one called, and acknowledged for Queen; and presented with many rich presents from all great personages: and hath con∣tinually at her gate, a guard of thirty, or fourty Black Eunuchs, together with * the *Kuzlar Agha their master; whom she commandeth and employeth in all her occasions: and so do all the other Sultana's, which never stir out of the Seraglio but in company of the King himself; who oftentimes carrieth either all, or most of them abroad by water, to his other Seraglios of pleasure: and in those wayes, through which they passe to go to and fro from their *Kaiks, there is Canvas pitched up on both sides, and none may come near them but black Eunuchs, till they be setled, and covered close in the room at the stern of the Barge; and then go in the Barge-men; so that in fine, they are never seen by any men, but by Page  45 the Grand Signor onely, and the Eu∣nuchs.

The Kings daughters, sisters, and aunts, * have their lodgings also in the same Se∣raglio; being royally served, and very sumptuously apparelled, and live toge∣ther by themselves, in continuall plea∣sures; until such time as, at their request, the King shall be pleased to give them in marriage: and then they come forth of that Seraglio, and carry each along with * them a chest, which the Grand Signor gives them, full of rich apparrel, jew∣els, and money; to the value of (at the least) thirty thôusand pounds sterling a chest; and that is (as we call it their portion. They carry likewise along with them all that they have hid from time to time, unknown to any but to themselves; amounting sometimes to a great matter, and stands them in good stead all their whole life time. And if so be that they be in the Grand Signors favour, and that he be disposed to deal royally with them; then they are suffered to carry with them out of the Seraglio, such women slaves as they please, (provided they do not exceed the number of twenty a piece) *Page  46 and such Eunuchs as they like best for their service.

These also being called Sultana's, re∣serve still, so long as they live, their al∣lowance of money, which they had whilst they lived in the Kings Seraglio, some a thousand, and some a thousand five hundred afpars a day: the slaves also and the Eunuchs do likewise enjoy their former pensions.

Their houses are furnished, both with houshold stuff, and other necessary pro∣vision, from the Kings *Hazineh, and *Begleek, that they may live in state like Sultana's; so that indeed they live far better in every respect without the Seraglio, then they did within it.

And if so be that a Bashawe, having married one of them, be not provided of a house fit for her, then the King giveth her one of his, (for he hath ma∣ny which fall to him by the death of great persons) that her house may be sutable with her greatnesse and quality.

Now, for the husbands part, he is on the contrary to make her a bill of dow∣rie, * ordinarily of at least a hundred thou∣sand chicquins in money, besides vests, Page  47 jewels, brooches, and other ornaments, amounting to a great sum. For although the fashion of the Sultana's habit be common, and nothing different from that of the other women; yet the substance is far more rich, and costly; the which re∣dounds to the great charge, and losse of their husbands.

They being thus married, do not at all * converse with men, more then they did when they lived in the Kings Seraglio (except with their own husbands) but with women only; and that is common∣ly * when they go upon visits to see their old acquaintance in the Seraglio: but be∣cause they themselves came forth from thence (as I said before) they may not at their pleasure come in again, without leave from the Grand Signor.

These Sultana's the Bashaws wifes, are * for the most part their husbands masters, insulting over them, and commanding them as they please: they alwayes wear at their girdle a *Hanjar, set with rich stones, in token of priviledge and do∣mination: and esteem of their husbands, as of slaves, doing good or evil for them, as they receive content, and satisfaction Page  48 from them, or as they finde them to be in favour, and powerfull with the King. And sometimes they put their husbands away, and take others, but not without * the Grand Signors leave; which divorce proveth commonly to be the death, and ruin of the poor rejected husbands, the King being apt to give way to the will, and perswasion of the Sultana's: so it behoves them in any case to be very ob∣sequious to their wives.

Now, the other women which are not so fortunate as to be beloved of the king, * must still live together, and diet with the rest of the young virgins; wasting their youthful dayes amongst themselves in e∣vil thoughts (for they are too strictly lookt unto, to offend in act) and when they are grown old, they serve for mi∣stresses, and overseers of the young ones, wch are daily brought into the Seraglio: but they hold it their best fortune (their former hopes of being bed-fellows to an Emperour being now wholly frustrated) through some accident to be sent forth from thence into the old Seraglio. For from the old Seraglio they may be mar∣ried (if the mistresse of that place give Page  49 her consent thereto) and may take with them such money, as they through their frugality have saved, and spared, of their former allowance in the Kings Seraglio, and such things as have been given them from time to time, which may amount to a reasonable value. For whilst they are in the Seraglio they get many things from the Sultana's, who having formerly been companions with them, cannot but in some measure let them be partakers of their good fortune; besides their currant pay out of the Kings Treasury of * fif∣teen or twenty aspars a day for the mid∣dle sort, and four or five for the bafer sort; the which is paid at every three moneths end, without any deferring or contradiction: in this manner also are the Sultana's paid, viz. quarterly; ha∣ving for their shares from * a thousand to a thousand five hundred aspers a piece daily, besides as much clothing as they will; and jewels in great abundance, gi∣ven to them with the Kings own hands.

The souldiers likewise, and all such (of what quality soever they be) as are to receive pay from the Grand Signor are paid quarterly: and they call the first Page  50 quarters pay, Masar; the second Rejedg, the third, Reshen; and the fourth and last, Lezez.

The women servants have, besides their * pay, two gowns of cloth a piece yearly, and a piece of fine linnen for smocks of twenty *Pikes long, and a piece more fine for handkerchiefs of ten Pikes: and at the *Byram one silk gown a piece, and somewhat else, according to the liberality of the Grand Signor, who at that time above the rest hath commonly a bountiful hand toward the women; giving to the Sultana's, gowns with very rich furs, ear-rings, brooches, bodkins, bracelets for their arms and legs, and such like, set with stones of great worth; of all which the King hath continually great store, by reason of the unspeakable number of presents, which are given un∣to him.

The Sultana's are likewise presented at such times by the Bashawes, and by * the Bashaws wives (that by their means they may continue in grace and favour with the Grand Signor) with most stately, and rich gifts, and with money also: which indeed is more acceptable to Page  51 them, then any other kinde of present whatsoever. For they being very cove∣tous do hoord up, and spend but sparing∣ly, * abandoning all manner of prodigality (in what may concern their own private purses) but warily, and wittily provide against disasterous times, which may come upon them unawares; and especi∣ally against the Kings death: for then (excepting the Sultana Queen, who re∣maineth still in the Seraglio, as being mo∣ther to the succeeding King) all the o∣ther poor desolate Ladies loose the title of Sultana's, and are immediately sent to the old Seraglio: leaving behinde them their sons and daughters (if they have any living) in the Kings Seraglio, there to be kept, and brought up, under the government, and care of other women, appointed for that service. And in this case, finding themselves to be wealthy, they may marry with men of reasonable good quality, according to the measure of their portion, or estate, which they possesse: and the good will, and good report of the mistresse of the old Sera∣glio on their behalf, is none of the least furtherances, and helps in that businesse; Page  52 but the Grand Signors consent must be had thereto, notwithstanding: who will (for the most part) not only be made fully acquainted with the condition of their husbands, but also will know what joynture they will be content to make them, if in case they should put them away, without their own consents, or o∣therwise leave them widows. Thus by reason of their being turned out of the Kings Seraglio, it is often seen, that though the daughter of the King be mar∣ried to a Bashawe; yet the mother of * that daughter (after the Kings decease) must be content with a second husband of small account, far unequal, and much inferiour, both in title, wealth, and repu∣tation to her Son in Law.

The Sultan's have leave of the Grand Signor, that certain Jew-women may at any time come into the Seraglio unto * them; who being extraordinary subtill, and coming in under colour of teaching them some fine, and curious needle∣works, or to shew them the art of making * waters, oils, and painting for their faces, (having once made way with the better sort of the Eunuchs, which keep the gate, Page  53 by often feeing them for their egresse, and regresse) do make themselves by their crafty insinuations so familiar, and so welcome to the Kings women, that (in a manner) they prevail with them, in whatsoever they shall attempt for their own ends. For these are they whom the Sultana's do imploy in their private oc∣casions; carrying out whatsoever they would have sold, and bringing in unto them any thing that they have a desire to buy. And hence it is that all such Jew-women, as frequent the Seraglio do be∣come very rich. For what they bring in, * they buy it cheap, and sell it dear to them: but on the contrary, when they have jewels, or the like commodities to sell for the Sultana's, (which are to be conveyed out by stealth) they receive a reasonable price for them of strangers, and then tell the simple Ladies, who know not their worth (and are afraid to be di∣scovered) that they sold them peradven∣ture for the half of that which they had for them. And by this means there come things of great worth out of the Sera∣glio, to be sold abroad at easie rates: yet in the end the husbands of those Jew-women Page  54 have but a bad market of it. For being discovered to be rich, and their wealth to be gotten by deceit, they oftentimes loose both goods and life too; the Bashawes and Defterdars alto∣gether * aiming at such as they are, think∣ing by that means to restore to the Grand Signor that which hath from time to time been stollen from him; and the rather for that they themselves under pretence of so good a work) may ea∣sily get shares in the estates of such de∣linquents.

But (notwithstanding they are gene∣rally known, and accounted for fraudu∣lent, * and false-hearted people) yet there is scarly a man of authority, or esteem among the Turks (and especially the Defterdars) but hath a Jew for his coun∣cellor, and assistant in the managing of his affairs; such a good opinion they have of their sufficiency; and so ready are the Jews to entertain any manner of employment; so that their wives are not so great, and powerful with the Sultana's, but they themselves are as intimate with the Bashawes, and other great ones of that rank.

Page  55 The women of the Seraglio are pu∣nished * for their faults very severely, and extreamly beaten by their overseers; and if they prove disobedient, incorrigible, and insolent, they are by the Kings or∣der, and expresse command, turned out and sent into the old Seraglio, as being utterly rejected, and cast off, and the best * part of what they have is taken from them: but if they shall be found culpable of witchcraft, or any such like abomina∣tion, then they are bound hand and foot, and put into a sack, and in the night cast * into the sea. So that by all means it be∣hoveth them to be very careful, and obe∣dient, and to contain themselves within the bounds of honesty, chastity, and good behaviour, if they mean to prosper, and come to a good end.

Now it is not lawful for any one to bring ought in unto them, with which they may commit the deeds of beastly * and unnatural uncleannesse; so that if they have a will to eat radishes, cucum∣bers, gourds, or such like meats, they are sent in unto them sliced, to deprive them of the means of playing the wantons. For they being all young, lusty, and lasci∣vious, Page  56 and wanting the society of men (which would better instruct them, and questionlesse far better employ them) are doubtlesse of themselves inclined to that which is nought, and will often be possest with unchast thoughts.


Of the Agiam oglans, how taken, distri∣buted, and employed.

HAving already spoken of the wo∣men, I must in the next place say somewhat of the *Agiam oglans which are in the Seraglio, and of their imploy∣ments.

There are ordinarily about six or seven * hundred of them, from twelve, to twen∣ty five, or thirty yeers of age, at the most, being all of them Christians chil∣dren (as almost all Agiam oglans are) ga∣thered every three years in Morea, and thorowout all the parts of Albania: the * which Renegado children are disposed of, as hereafter you shall hear.

The number of them which are to be Page  57 taken is uncertain. For there are gather∣ed sometimes more, and sometimes lesse, according as the Capoochees, and officers * appointed for that service, in their own discretion shall think fit; but the great∣est collection seldom or never comes to above two thousand.

They are taken from such families, as are supposed to be of the best spirit, and most warlike disposition; nor may they, when they are gathered, exceed twelve, or fourteen yeers of age at the most, lest they should be unfit for a new course of life, and too well setled in Christi∣anity to become good Turks. The Ga∣poochees, having finished their circuit, and gathered their whole complement, bring them forthwith to Constantinople, to be distributed as followeth. So soon as they are arrived at the port, they are all clothed in course Salonichi cloth, it makes no matter of what colour; and * their caps are of felt, of the form of a sugar-loaf, of the colour of Camels hair; and so they are all brought to the Vizir Azem, who at that time is accompanied with the other Bashawes, and officers of the Seragl•…o, that he may make choice of *Page  58 the most well favoured, and such as he judgeth likely to prove the best spirits: this choice being made, the said youths chosen by the Uizir, are carried by the Bustangee Bashawe into the Kings own Seraglio, and there distributed to such companies, as want some to make up their compleat numbers. Then are they circum∣cised, and made Turks, and set to learn * the Turkish tongue; and according as their several inclinations are discovered, and discerned by their overseers, so are they encouraged in the same, and suffer∣ed to proceed: and such as have a desire to learn, are taught to read, and write; * but generally all of them are taught to wrestle, to leap, to run, to throw the iron weight, to shoot the bowe, to discharge a piece, and (to conclude) all such ex∣ercises as are befitting a Turkish Soul∣dier.

Now, part of the residue of them, are distributed by the chief Uizir into all * the Grand Signors gardens, and houses of pleasure: and into such ships as sail for the Kings account, and which go to lade wood, and such like provision for the Seraglio: confining them to the ma∣sters Page  59 of the said vessels, with condition to restore them again, when he shall re∣quire them: and so he doth with the chief arts-men of the city, of all sorts of occupations, to the end that the youths may learn some trade, to keep them from idlenesse, when they are become Janiza∣ries, and are at home: or if they will they may practise the said arts abroad, when they are at the wars, and reap great benefit for their pains, He lendeth like∣wise to all the Bashawes, and Grandees of the Court, many of them to serve them; but they are all delivered by name, and written down in a book, that he may have them returned again, when there shall be occasion to make them Janiza∣ries. But these which are given to the Bashawes, are the scum, and refuse, of all the rest, and are employed only in the service of stables, kitchins, and such base offices of drudgery: and the better sort of the residue are put into divers nur∣series, committed to the custodie, and discipline of certain white Eunuchs, who are appointed to be their overseers, and to take care that they be brought up, and trained in military exercises, until Page  60 such time as they shall become fit to be entertained in the number of the Jani∣zaries in the rooms of the dead, or of old ones which are no longer fit for the wars, but are made *Otooracks and have leave to stay at home; so that these of the latter sort kept in Seminaries, are con∣tinually in labour: the King, Queen, and Uizir Azem, imploying them also many times in their buildings, and other very laborious offices without exception.

These Agiam oglans being thus distri∣buted; the chief Uizir presents a book, wherein all their names are set down, to * the King, who having seen it, appointeth every one his pension, according to the Canon which is of two, or three, or at the most of five aspars a day; and under∣writes it with his own hand: the which book is forthwith consigned into the custody of the chief Defterdar: that so, he seeing by the said book what their se∣veral names, and pensions are, they may duely receive their pay from him. Now this Defterdar is bound so often as their pay is due (that is once in three moneths) to visit them all if he can; enquiring who is dead, and taking good notice Page  61 how the others live, and spend their time; whether they profit, or not, by their tu∣tors, and overseers; that if so be things be not as they should be, he may acquaint the Grand Signor therewith, and have them amended.

I will now return to speak of the Agi∣am oglans of the Seraglio; having not thought it superfluous to have digressed a litle, and to have spoken somewhat of the other Agiam oglans also. For it may peradventure prove delightful to those, who have not as yet heard of these passages so distinctly.

The Agiam oglans of the Seraglio, al∣beit * they are chosen for the best uses, out of the rest, by the chief Uizir; yet are their first imployments but very base, and slavish. For they serve in the stables, kitchens, gardens, for digging, for clea∣ving of wood; and are made to row in *Kaiks, and to lead the grey-hounds a coursing, and whatsoever else they are commanded to do, by their *Oda Ba∣shawes: the which Oda Bashawes are also Agiam oglans as they are, but of the highest rank, and longest standing, and have about fifteen aspars a day, two vests *Page  62 of cloth yearly, two pieces of linnen cloth for shirts and handkerchiefs, and so much sattin, or fine cloth, as will make each of them a pair of Chackshirs, or breeches, after their fashion down to the heels, and ruffled in the small of the leg, as our boots are: neverthelesse these Oda Ba∣shawes are all under command of the Ka∣hiyah,* who is the Bustangee Bashawes steward; now the Bustangee Bashawe himself hath daily about three hundred aspars pay; for he is their patron, judge, and protector. And as any Turk what∣soever may be known of what degree he is, by the bignesse, and making up of the Turbant, which he wears, or by some o∣ther tokens which they observe in their habit; so to the end that the Oda Ba∣shawes, and *Bulook Bashawes may be known from the common sort of Agiam oglans, they wear broad silken girdles, of divers colours, about their middles, and are allowed a larger stipend: who (by authority given them from the *Ka∣hiyah) do bring the underlings to such an extraordinary subjection, and suffer∣ance, by their often beating them upon the least misdemeanour: that they do Page  63 not onely not refuse all manner of pains taking, but patiently undergo whatso∣ever is done unto them.

They have their terms, and preroga∣tives amongst themselves, preceding or succeeding one another according to the length of time which they have spent in the Seraglio; so that in processe of time (if they still continue there, and are not sent out upon other occasions) they may aspire to the degree of chief steward to the Bustangee Bashawe, or of Bustangee Bashawe himself, which is a very emi∣nent * place; for he hath the keeping of all the Grand Signors garden houses, and steers the Kings *Kaik, and weareth a Turbant upon his head in the Seraglio, although he were but lately an Agiam oglan as the rest are, and did wear one of the aforesaid felt caps: who also (if he be in grace with the King, as com∣monly every Bustangee Bashawe is) may rise to greater dignities, as to be captain Bashawe, Bashawe of Cairo, Damascus, Aleppo, &c. Nay sometimes to be Vizir Azem.

These Agiam-oglans are not altogether debarred from liberty, and going abroad, Page  64 but may upon good occasion be licensed to go whither they please, although at the first they are strictly lookt unto: and the Bustangee Bashawe alwayes takes with him good store of them, when by his Majesties order he is sent to put some great man to death: the which is com∣monly done by the hands of four or five of the chiefest, and strongest of the said Agiam oglans.

There are sometimes naturall born Turks brought in amongst them (but in∣deed * very seldom) by means made to the Bustangee Bashawe, who therein doth greatly pleasure such poor folks as are willing to be rid of their children: but it must be first made known to the Grand Signor, and done with his consent. For the natural born Turks are not held to be of so brave spirits, and fit for ser∣vice as the other: and for divers other respects best known to themselves, (as the encreasing the number of *Mussul∣men, and the like) they do not willingly admit of any but Christians children.

Their rooms, bagnoes, and kitchins, are joyned to the walls of the Seraglio with∣out; * divided severally, and equally for Page  65 each company of them, and built for the more commodity of such offices, and services, as the said Agiam oglans are ap∣pointed for.

And as for their diet, they order it as * they please, having flesh, and pulse for their pottage; their bread also, and eve∣ry thing for their food, is delivered unto them daily from the *Keeler, and the dressing of it left to themselves. Now for that many of them lie near the sea side, they take good store of fish, part of which they sell, and reserve the rest for their own eating.

They sleep alwayes in their clothes (putting off onely their uppermost coa•…, * and their shoes) according to the ordi∣nary custom of the poorer sort of Turks; between a couple of rugs in the winter, and thin blankets in the summer.

They never see the King, unlesse it be when he passeth through the gardens, or when he taketh boat, or else when he goeth a hunting (for he makes them serve instead of hounds to finde out his game:) but when his Majestie will be in the gardens to take his pleasure, and make pastime with his concubines, then Page  66 all the Agiam oglans being warned by an Eunuch, who crieth aloud *Helvet, do presently get out with all speed at the gates by the sea side, where they may w•…lk upon the banks and causeys, but must not dare to go in again, until the King, and his women be departed. For * there may none come neer, nor be in sight of them, but himself and his black Eunuchs: nay, if any other should but attempt (by some trick in creeping into some private corner to see the women, and should be discoveted, he should be put to death immediately. Every one therefore so soon as they hear Helvet cried) runs out of sight as far as they can, to be free from all fear, and suspition.

Now of this rank of Agiam oglans, which are in the Kings Seraglio; they * never make Janizaries, as they do of those which are brought up in the other Seraglios, and Seminaries; and of such as are lent to divers of the Kings sub∣jects, as trades-men, masters of ships, and the like, and to the Bashawes: but his Majesties turn being served of these, he bestowes them upon his gentlemen *Aghas, when he employes them abroad Page  67 in some principal government, that they may be faithful assistants unto them in their businesses, and that in time they themselves may become men of worth; as often they do, if by their diligence, and fidelity, they prove to be men of good desert.

The Grand Signor likewise maketh great use of them, when he intendeth a journey to any place; as when he goeth to the wars, or any whither else, far from Constantinople; for the pitching of his tents, for removing and carrying of chests and baskets, and many other such like services, as must be done at those times: for which imployments the King never takes with him lesse then three or four hundred of them.


Of the Kings* Itchoglans, their severe discipline, and education in four subor∣dinate Schools, and of their after ad∣vancements.

IT now remaineth that I say some∣what of the Grand Signors Itchoglans:Page  68 which are youths kept also in the Sera∣glio, but in far better fashion then the Agiam oglans: and are (for the King, and countreys service brought up in lear∣ning, in the knowledge of the laws, and in military exercises: that they may in time be made able to perform those things, which belong to the government of the whole Empire. And albeit for the most part these are Christian captives, and Renegado's, yet there are some na∣tural born Turks amongst them (which must be youths of very comely aspect, and their outsides must promise a great * deal of worth, and goodnesse) brought in by the Capee Aghas means (who is chief Chamberlain) with the Kings con∣sent: but this happeneth but very sel∣dom, and is effected with great difficul∣ty. For the ancient institution was, that the Itchoglans should alwayes be made of Christian Renegado's, and captives onely, of the most civil, and noblest that could be found.

Wherefore, when in the wars, either by sea or land, it happens, that any youth * is taken, who is discovered to be of no∣ble parents, and comely personage; or if Page  69 any such voluntarily come, and offer him∣self to become Turk (as divers have done in hope of advancement) he is pre∣sently markt, and set apart for the Grand Signor; and is (so soon as he is thought capable and apprehensive) instructed in matters of government (being as it were ordained for great employments.) Now such are of very great esteem: for the Turks themselves affirm, that noblenesse of birth cannot but produce the most vertuous, and generous spirits; especially when it is seconded, and accompanied with good education, which is professed in the Seraglio: where there is great se∣verity used in all the orders of discipline, the government of them being in the hands of masters, who are white Eunuchs for the most part, and very severe, and * cruel in all their actions; insomuch that their proverb is; that when one cometh out of that Seraglio and hath run through all the orders of it, he is without all question, the most mortified, and pati∣ent man in the world. For the blowes which they suffer, and the fastings which are commanded them for every small fault are to be admired: nay, some of *Page  70 them are so cruelly handled, that al∣though their time of being in the Sera∣glio be almost expired: and that they should in few years come forth to be made great men, yet not being able to endure such cruelty any longer, they pro∣cure to be turned out, contenting them∣selves with the title, and small pay of a Spahee, or a Mutaferraka, rather then be so often punished, and made weary of their lives, in evpectation of great pre∣ferments.

The number of these Itchoglans is un∣certain. For there are sometimes more, * and sometimes lesse of them; but as I have heard they are commonly about a hundred, the Grand Signor being very willing to entertain all such as are given him of the aforesaid quality, be they ne∣ver so many; provided they be young, when they are first brought unto him.

The course that is taken with them, so soon as they come into the Seraglio, is admirable, and nothing resembling the barbarisme of Turks, but beseeming men of singular vertue, and discipline. For they are exceeding well tutored, and dai∣ly taught, aswel good fashion and come∣ly Page  71 behaviour, as they are instructed in the * rites and ceremonies of the M•…ometan law, or whatsoever else may tend to the enriching of their mindes.

And for this purpose they have rooms•… which the Turks call *Odas, but we may more properly (in regard of the use they are put unto) call them Schools: of which there are four, the one taking degrees from the other. Now into the first, they * all come when they are but children, where the primary precept they learn is silence; then their personall post•…res, * (against such time as they shall be about the king) which is that they hold down * their heads, and look downwards with their hands before them joyned a crosse; all which betokeneth singular reverence.

Then (by a w•…e Eunuch, who is chief over all the other masters, and ushers) they are set to learn to write, and read: * to practise the Turkish tongue; and are taught their prayers in the Arabian tongue by heart. And in this Od•…, they are both morning and evening so dili∣gently followed, and carefully lookt •…∣to, that by report it is a thing of admi∣ration: now in this first school they us•…∣ally Page  72 stay about five, or six years; and such as are dull and hard of apprehension stay longer.

But by the way, before I come to the next Oda, I may not omit to tell you, that so soon as they are given to the King, before they are of the first Oda, they are registred by their Turkish names in a book, and the names of their native * countreyes set down with them; the Grand Signor allowing them a small pen∣sion of four, or five aspars a day; the copy of which book is also sent to the great Defterdar, that every one of them may in due time (that is quarterly) have the aforesaid pension sent unto them.

From the first Oda they are removed to the second, where (by more learned, * and sufficient Tutors then the former) they are taught the Persian, Arabian, and Tartarian tongues; and take great pains in reading divers Authors, that they may be the better able to speak the Turkish elegantly; which cannot be done without some knowledge, and good insight in those three tongues, upon which the Turkish chiefly doth depend; and in∣deed their is found a great difference be∣tween Page  73 their speech, and that of the vul∣gar sort.

Here also they begin to learn to wre∣stle, to shoot in the bowe, to throw the * iron mace, to tosse the pike, to run, and to handle their weapons, &c. And in these exercises, in their severall orders, and several places, they spend their hours; being severely punished if they shall in any wise grow negligent.

They spend likewise other five, or six yeers in this Oda; whence (being become men, strong, and fit for any thing) they are removed to the third Oda; where, * (forgetting nothing of what they learn∣ed before, but greatly encreasing their * knowledge) they also learn to ride, and how to behave themselves in the wars.

Moreover, every one of them (accord∣ing as he is thought fit for it) here learns a trade, necessary for the service of the Kings person, viz. to shave, to make up a Turbant, to fold up apparel handsome∣ly, * to pair nails, to attend at the Bagno, to keep hawks, and land-spaniels, to be Sewers, Quiries of the stable, target∣bearers, to wait at table, and the like: as hereafter I shall shew; so that having Page  74 been in these offices a few yeers they be∣come men able to teach others.

But whilst they are in these three * schools, they are but meanly apparelled, having yearly their two vests of Cloth somewhat fine, but their linnen is such as the Agiam oglans wear.

The punishments also which they suf∣fer in this Oda are extream, for their ma∣sters often give them an hundred blowes * with a cudgel upon the soles of their feet, and butto•…ks, insomuch that they leave them of•…entimes for dead.

Neicher are they permitted (so long as they continue in these three Odas) to be familiar with any but themselves, and that with great modesty too: so that it is a matter of great difficulty for any str•…nger to speak with them, or see them; * which if it be obtained, it must be by expresse leave from the Capee Aga, who causeth an Eunuch to be present, so long as any stranger shall be in the company of the said youths. Nay when they have occasion to go to the Bagno, or the like businesses, the Eunuchs are alwayes at hand, that so by all means they may be kept from lewdnesse. And in their Bed∣chambers, Page  75 which are long rooms, and * hold about thirty or fourty in each of them, (for they sleep near one another upon Sofas) there are every night lamps burning, and Eunuchs lying by them to keep them in awe, and from lewd, and wanton behaviour.

In the third Oda, some of them do also learn ordinary mechanick arts, as sewing in lether (which is in great use and esteem amongst the Turks) to mend guns, to * make bowes and arrows, and quivers, and the like; from which trades they often have both their sirname, and their repu∣tation too. For they are much made of, who will be diligent, and flie idlenesse: holding it rather an honour, then an ig∣nominy, to have a trade. For therein they imitate the Grand Signors themselvs, who (for good example sake) in their youth are taught some trade, or other; which although they never practise when they are Kings, yet they are willing their subjects should know, that they are able to do it, if they please. And divers great men, nay Bashawes themselves, * both have been, and are to this day called by the names of such arts, as they Page  76 practised, when they were in this Oda.

Here also the Eunuchs (their tutors) make tryal of their constancy in Religi∣on, searching (as far as in them lies) their hearts to see how they stand affected to * Turcism. For the time growing near, wherein they are to passe to the fourth Oda (which is the chiefest, and last, and from which they are called to businesse of great importance) they would not then have them at all remember, that they were formerly Christians, or to have the least desire imaginable to turn to their first belief; lest that they should in time, by some stratagems, and politick courses, peradventure prove disadvantageous to the Turkish Empire. So then all possible proof, & tryal being made, & they found to be perswaded of the truth of that reli∣gion; they then are preferred to the fourth *Oda, where they are once more registred▪ yet all they which are of the third Oda, are not translated to the fourth at one, and the same time; but only such as have gone through all the degrees of discipline in the three former, and are become fit for service. And there is a note kept apart of them which come into this fourth Page  77Oda. For they are immediately ordain∣ed for the Grand Signors own service, * and have their pay encreased, some more, and some lesse, unto eight aspars a day, and their habit chang'd from cloth to silk, and cloth of gold of great price.

Now here their punishments cease: but * they continue still with their heads, and beards shaven; onely they suffer some locks to grow on each side, from their Temples, which hang down below their ears, for a signe that they are the next, which are capable of the preferment of coming into the Kings chamber.

They must be very cleanly and neat in their apparel before they come about the *Grand Signors person; many of them ever accompanying his Majesty, when he goes abroad upon pleasure (provided, none of his women be with him.) And they may now freely converse with all the great men of the Seraglio, and with the Bashaws also: and are often present∣ed with gifts by men of the best quali∣ty, to insinuate into their favour; hoping that they one day may become men of great command, and so be able to stand them instead in their occasions.

Page  78 Now out of these young men of the fourth Oda (after they have finished the appointed term of yeers, and have been made perfect in all things, as aforesaid) the King chooseth his Aghas, which are his Gentlemen, that attend only upon him: whose names and places, are as followeth.

  • 1. The Silihter Aga; the Kings sword∣bearer.
  • 2. The Chiohadar Aga; he which car∣rieth his Yagmoorlick.
  • 3. The Raechiubtar Aga; yeoman of the stirrup.
  • 4. The Mataragee Aga; he which brings him water to wash his hands, and face.
  • 5. The Telbentar Aga; he which brings him his Turbant,
  • 6. The Kemhasir Aga; he which looketh to his apparel, and the washing of his linnen.
  • 7. The Cheshneghir Bashawe; the chief sewer.
  • 8. The Dogangee Bashawe; the chief falconer.
  • 9. The Zagargee Bashawe; the chief huntsman.
  • Page  79 10. The Turnackgee Bashawe; he which paireth the Kings nails.
  • 11. The Berber Bashawe; the chief barber.
  • 12. The Hamawmgee Bashawe; he which washeth the King in the Bath.
  • 13. The Muhasabegee Bashawe, the chief accountant.
  • 14. The Teskeregee Bashawe; his Ma∣jesties secretary.

All which are made of the eldest sort of the Itchoglans of the fourth Oda; and these are alwayes in his Majesties presence, holding down their heads; (for they may not be so bold as to look him in * the face) and standing with their hands a crosse before him in token of reverence, and humility. Nor may they presume at all to speak to the Grand Signor, nor in his presence to one another: but if the King shall command, or call for ought, they are wonderful speedy, and ready to obey. They all do execute their offices distinct∣ly, as aforesaid, and attend in places ap∣pointed for them, that they may be the * better able to perform their several duties, and the more ready to obey at every beek. At the hours of dinner and supper, they Page  80 wait in the room, taking the meat from the hands of the under Sewer at the door, and so his Majesties table being made ready (which is of a Bulgar hide) upon * a Sofa, they bring in meat, which is set thereon orderly, dish by dish, by the chief Sewer, before the King; and is taken off again as his Majestie shall appoint.

The Grand Signor is very well pleased with these Agas, and takes great delight in their service, and company, (for that they are as I may say of his own plant∣ing) making them ride on horseback, and playing with them at several sports (espe∣cially * at the *Ieeret) at such times as he is well disposed: ever gracing them with bestowing gifts on them, of vests, swords, bowes, and the like, and oftentimes rea∣dy money: all which came before to the Kings hands by way of gift. Now be∣sides those favours, his Majestie at con∣venient times useth to bestow upon them the dispatching of Embasses for forraign * parts; which is a merchandise held by them to be of a great price, and bringeth no small prosit into their purses. For one of them having his commission from the Grand Signor, for such, or such Page  81 a prince (howbeit it is not intended that he should go) presently informs himself what that Prince usually doth present the Embassador withall; and so accordingly agreeth with a Chiaush, or with one of such like quality, to undertake the Em∣bassage; who must give for the same, as they two can agree between themselves; either in ready money before his de∣parture, or otherwise at his return; as the Aga shall think best for his profit, and so forthwith he dispatches the party chosen.

This kinde of employment proves won∣derfully beneficial. For in the establish∣ing of the Princes of Walachia,*Bug∣dania,*Transilvania, and of the King of Tartarie (to all which Princes the Grand Signor sendeth Embassadors for confirm∣ing their possession of the said Domini∣ons) they which are sent receive great benefit; it being specified in their Ca∣non, how much every one is to disburse for being honoured with that solemnity; though peradventure they be *Maazold again before they be scarce warm in their places.

And this the King doth of Policie, to Page  82 the end his gentlemen may become rich; laying up money to serve for their neces∣sary expences, and furnishing them by that means with divers things, against such time as they shall go forth of the Seraglio; which is as often as his Ma∣jesty * thinks fit, and that most common∣ly on a sudden; either to be generall at Sea, Bashaw of *Messur,*Halep,*Shawm, Babylon, or of some other such great cities, which have whole Provinces un∣der them. The Grand Signor gives also to each of them, when he sends them forth upon any the aforesaid imploy∣ments; a *Musahib, that is in effect, a helping companion; such an one as shall have liberty freely to talk with him, and go out and in unto him when he plea∣seth: the which title, and favour of being made Musahib to any of the Agas, proves * to be of so great reputation, that it is e∣steemed above any other sort of imploy∣ment. For as it is hard to be obtained, so it is only bestowed upon such subjects as have deserved well at the Kings hands.

And this hath been a course used of * old, by the Grand Signors Progenitors, that they may have some trusty subjects Page  83 abroad to give notice to the Court of the carriage of the Bashawes in their se∣veral regiments, or of any other; if so be they should attempt any thing, that might be prejudicial to the crown; that so the King by cutting off their provi∣sion, and the like, may easily anticipate their plots and designes.

But if his Majestie be not pleased, or the occasion do not require so highly to exalt some one of the aforesaid Agas, as to be of the degrees already named; he then makes him *Beglerbeg of Graecia,* or of Natolia; Aga of the Janizaries; Spaheelor Agajee, which is head over all the Spahees; Imrohor Bashawe, which is master of the horse: or at the least a Capoochee Bashawe, which is head over the Capoogees.

The Grand Signor having bestowed any of the said places upon them, they forthwith leave the Seraglio, and carry with them all their estates both money and goods: and oftentimes take with them other young men of the other O∣das, who are permitted to go through their own hastinesse and great importu∣nity, not being willing to stay out their Page  84 time: but losing the Kings favour, are content with small pay, and lesser repu∣tation, to go along with the said Agas.

Such as are to go out upon the great∣est imployments, are accompanied forth of the Kings Seraglio by the VizirAzem; who also presenteth them, and giveth them entertainment for three, or four dayes in his house: until such time as they can be provided of houses of their own, whither afterwards they repair, and set their families in order; taking also unto them such as are come out of the Seraglio with them for assistants, and ministers, in the charge assigned unto them. They also accept of the service of strangers, who come in by gifts; which likewise redounds to the benefit, and ad∣vantage of the great ones.

They which succeed in preferment * those that are gone out of the Seraglio upon the aforesaid employments, are (as the custom commandeth) such as are next in years unto them, and of the longest residence. Nor can this course be altered, unlesse by some sinister acci∣dent, or evil behaviour they fail thereof: so that it is alwayes known amongst Page  85 themselves, who is next capable of pub∣lick imployment; nay the businesse is so orderly carried, and their course so regu∣lar, that even they of the third Oda do know what their future fortunes will be, if they live to enjoy them. And indeed all of them live in continual hope, and desire, that the Grand Signor would of∣ten be pleased to send them abroad; that so they may the sooner be out of their hard service in the Seraglio, and enter in∣to the state of ample government. It is no marvail then the Turkish officers are so often changed, seeing that every Grand Signor hath so many servants of his own that seek for advancement.

They are most commonly of five and thirty, or fourty yeers of age, before they are sent abroad: and because they come out of the Seraglio with their beards shaven, they are fain to stay within doors, for some dayes to let them grow, that they may be fit to come amongst other great men: with which staying at home, they are very well contented. For in that time they receive the pre∣sents, * which are sent them from all the Sultana's, of vests, shirts, linnen breeches, Page  86 and handkerchiefs, of all sorts, richly wrought, and of great worth; and from the Bashawes, and other great men, horses, carpets, vests, slaves, and other things, fit for the erecting, and furnish∣ing of an house, and family: the which presents are made the greater, and richer, by so much the more as the party, to whom they are given, is known to be fa∣voured, and beloved of the King.

Now so soon as their beards are grown, they go abroad, and begin their visits; * first, to the chief Vizir, and then in or∣der to the other great ones, till they have been with them all; and last of all they offer their service to the Capee Aga in all humble manner, acknowledging that * their best fortunes, and honours, have been conferred upon them by his means, and promising for ever all dutiful respect unto him for the same.

But this complement with the Capee Aga, is performed without the gate on the Kings side, which is kept by the white Eunuchs: for they may not come any more within that gate, unlesse they be called for by the King, for to treat of things belonging to their imployments, before their departure.

Page  87 They all strive to gain the love, and good will of the Capee Aga, that he may be as a protector, and patron unto them, and that, when they are absent, he may possesse the Grand Signor with a good o∣pinion * of them: for they know he is very powerful with him, being the chief∣est in the Seraglio, and alwayes nearest to the King.


Of inferior persons, as Buffons, Mutes, Musitians: of the White Eunuchs, and of the Grand officers of the Sera∣glio.

BEsides the women, and the Agiam oglans of this Seraglio, and the a∣•…oresaid youths, the Itchoglans last spoken of: there are many other ministers for all manner of necessary services. There are also *Buffons, and such as shew tricks, Musitians, wrestlers, and many *Mutes both old and young, who have liberty to go in and out at the Kings gate, with leave only of the Capee Aga. It is wor∣thy Page  88 the observation, that in the Seraglio both the Grand Signor, and divers that are about him, can reason, and discourse with the Mutes of any thing: as well * and as distinctly, alla Mutescha, by nods and signes, as they can with words; a thing well befitting and suting with the gravity of the better sort of Turks, who cannot endure much babling. Nay, the Sultana's also, and many other of the Kings women do practise it, who have many dumb women and girls about them for that purpose.

This hath been an ancient custome in the Seraglio, to get as many Mutes, as they can possibly finde; but chiefly for this one reason, which is, that they hold it a thing unbefitting the Grand Signor, and not to sute with his greatnesse, to speak to any about him familiarly; wherefore he takes this course, that he may the more tractably, and domestical∣ly jest, and talk with the Mutes, and with others that are about him, to make him pleasant with diversity of pastime.

The King, besides this, makes another use of them; and that is, when his Ma∣jestie * resolves with himself to put a VizirPage  89 to death, or some one of that rank, and that he be willing to see it done with his own eyes in the Seraglio; he then having called him into one of his rooms, and holding him in discourse, whilst his Mutes are in readinesse, (the poor man perad∣venture * suspecting nothing) he makes but a signe unto them, and they presently fall upon him, and strangle him, and so draw him by the heels out of the gates.

But that which in my opinion is admi∣rable in these Mutes (who being born * deaf, and so of necessity must remain dumb) is, that many of them can write, and that very sensibly and well: now how they should learn without the sense of hearing, I leave to others judge∣ments: but I am sure I have seen it, and have my self made answer unto them in writing.

It followeth now that I speak of the white Eunuchs, who as the black ones * are for the service and attendance of the Sultana's, and for keeping of their gate: so are the white Eunuchs appointed for the King, and his gate. Amongst these * there are four ancient, and principal men, Page  90 which attend only the most trusty, and important employments, both about the Kings person and his houshold. Of * which, the first is the Capee Aga, for he is the principal of all the white Eunuchs, and is chamberlain: the second is the Hazinehdar Bashawe, the treasurer of the house: the third is the Keelerg•…e Bashawe, the chief butler, and master of the wardrope: the fourth is the Serai Agasee, the keeper of the Seraglio.

Of these four old Eunuchs, the Capee*Aga (as I said) is chief in authority, and in greatest esteem with the Grand Signor. For none but he can of himself speak with his Majestie, neither can any messa∣ges, writings, or petitions be sent in (or∣dinarily) but by his hand, and means; he likewise doth alwayes accompany the Kings person, whithersoever he goeth, both without, and within the Seraglio. And when he goeth to his women also, he waiteth upon him to the very door, which leadeth in unto them: but there he stoppeth, and so returns to his own lodgings again; ever leaving some body to wait at the said door, that when the King is ready to come away from them, Page  91 they may call him. The Capee Agas Or∣dinary * pension, is * eight Sultana's a day, besides vests, and other necessaries, as many, as he will. He also gets great store of money, (and indeed more then befits a man, that hath so small occasion of expence, as he hath) by vertue of his place. For that, both they of the Sera∣glio, and those abroad, of what condi∣tion or degree soever they be to obtain his favour and furtherance in any busi∣nesse, present him with all that they can imagine may give him content, whatso∣ever it cost.

The second is, the Hazinehdar Ba∣shawe, and he hath the charge and keep∣ing * of the treasury, which is within the Seraglio; he having one key of it, and the Grand Signor another; the door be∣ing likewise sealed with the Kings seal, which is never taken off, but when the King himself gives order for the opening of the same. In this Hazin•…h are all the treasures which have been laid up by the * deceased Emperours: and into this co∣meth no other revenue of the crown, then that from Egypt, and the adjacent * provinces, of six hundred thousand chic∣quins Page  92 yearly, all the other revenues going into the outward Hazineh, out of which all expences are borne, both ordinary, * and extraordinary: but there is not ought taken out of the aforesaid inward Hazi∣neh, unlesse it be upon extream necessity, when the Grand Signor is not otherwise provided to appease the outcries, and threatnings of the Souldiers for their pay, or for some other the like occasion; and this ought to be done with this pro∣viso, that the Grand Defterdar be bound to make it good again to the uttermost aspar; but I suppose they have not of late been able to perform it.

This Aga must keep an exact account of all the treasure that is brought in, or * taken out of the same; nor may any go into the said Hazineh, but only he him∣self, and such as he shall take in with him, when occasion shall require. And when there is any gold, or silver taken out, it is all put into lether bags, and so brought unto the King, who disposeth thereof as he thinketh fit.

He hath also the custody of all the Kings jewels, of which he keepeth a book by himself, that he may know what Page  93 jewels the King gives away, what jewels are given to the King, and what are like∣wise for his Majesties own wearing, and the Capee Aga dying he succeeds him in his place.

The third, which is the Keelergee Ba∣shawe,* keeps the Kings wardrobe; into which are brought all the presents which are given to the Grand Signor, as cloth of gold, plate, silks, woollen clothes, furs of all sorts, swords, brooches, raw silk, carpets, and whatsoever else may serve for his Majesties use, either to keep, or give away. Of all which things he keeps particular notes, and inventories, to the end he may also at any time, see what is given to the King, and what the King gives away to others: the which is a very painful employment, inasmuch as his Ma∣jestie doth every day, aswell take, as give, * a great number of vests and other such like things: but the businesse is so well ordered, and carefully lookt unto, that there doth not follow any confusion at all. This Eunuch hath many servants under him, and stayes (for the most part) within the Seraglio: his pension is a ** thousand aspars a day, besides vests, and Page  94 other such gifts, which are given him in abundance from time to time: he also is much favoured, and graced by the King, for that he is to succeed the Hazine•…dar Bashawe, in case the said Hazinehdar should die, or change his place: and is well esteemed of, and reverenced by all, as well without, as within the Seraglio.

The fourth and last, which is the Sarai*Agasee, hath charge to look unto the Se∣raglio: nor doth he ever go out of it, especially in the Grand Signors absence; but is very vigilant, not only in seeing all things prepared for the daily service of the same, but also to look over all the rooms, and see that they be well kept; and to eye the officers, and servants of the house, marking whether they exer∣cise themselves or no, in t•…ir several functions. Now because he is ancient, and his businesses great, he hath liberty to ride within the Seraglio, about the courts and gardens, and by the sea-side; * as the three former Agas are also permit∣ted to do: for which purpose they have a stable of horses in a garden, for their use alone.

His pension is * eight hundred aspars *Page  95 a day, besides an allowance of vests, and furs, as many as he can well have occa∣sion to wear, and his succeeding the Kee∣lergee Bashawe; and so by course the Ca∣pee Aga, if he out-live the rest.

And although all these four Eunuchs may wear Turbants in the Seraglio, and ride (being the chief next the King him∣self in authority within the Seraglio) and * are reverenced, and respected of all men; yet the three last, viz. Hazinehdar Ba∣shawe, Keelergee Bashawe, and Sarai A∣gasee, may not of themselves when they list speak to the Grand Signor, but only answer when any thing is asked of them: howbeit they alwayes attend (with the Capee Aga) the person, and service of the King, with all the Eunuchs under them: and the aforesaid Agas, and Itch∣oglans, already spoken of: but these four onely govern and mannage the Kings houshold affairs, giving order for all things needful and necessary, aswel for the dayes, as for the nights provision.

All the Eunuchs in the Seraglio may be in number about two hundred, what * with old ones, middle aged, and young ones; they are all of them not onely Page  96 gelt, but have their yards also clean cut * off: and are chosen of those Renegado youths, which are presented from time to time to the Grand Signor, as afore∣said. Few or none of them are gelt, and cut against their will. For then (as the master workmen in that businesse af∣firm) they would be in great danger of death. Wherefore, to get their consent, they promise them fair, and shew unto them the assurance they may have (in time) to become great men. All which must be done when they are very young, at their first coming into the Seraglio. For it is a work not to be wrought upon men of years.

They are brought up with the Itch∣oglans, and are instructed in many things * aswel as they; being removed also from one Oda to another; and are last of all taken out by turns from the fourth Oda, for to serve the Grand Signor, aswell as those which are not Eunuchs.

His Majesty likewise employes some of these his white Eunuchs, in the govern∣ment * of all the other Seraglios, and Se∣minaries of of youth, aswel in Constan∣tinople, as in Adrianople, Bursia, and in Page  97 divers other places: (in each of which there are commonly two or three hun∣dred youths) that so by their diligence, and care over them (together with the help of other Ministers) they may be brought to an excellent discipline; by which they may afterwards prove to be men of good manners, and learning.

And it so falleth out many times that the Grand Signor, to give way to the other inferiour, and younger Eunuchs (who expect that they succeed in order the aforesaid offices, sendeth forth some of the ancientest, richest, and of the highest rank in great employments; as to be Bashawes of Cairo, Aleppo, or of some other cities, and provinces in Asia, and * sometimes Uizirs of the bench. For the Eunuchs generally prove subjects, though not of great courage, yet of the greatest judgement, and fidelity: their mindes being set on businesse, rather then on * pleasure.

And for that the Eunuchs are more trusty, then any other servants of the Seraglio: the Capee Agha their patron doth commonly commit such things, as the Grand Signor would have kept for Page  98 curiosity, unto their custody: who for that end have closets made of purpose to lay up such rarities, as are presented to the King; as great pieces of Amber Greese sent from the Bashawes of the Morea, Musk, Treacle, Mithridate of Cairo, Terra sigillata, Balsame, and o∣ther such things of great value; cups also of Agat, Christal, and Jasper, Tur∣kesses, and other precious stones: all which are so curiously kept, that it seem∣eth to be admirable. They likewise lay up his Indian presents of Zeva and Ci∣vett; of all which things his Majesty, and his Sultana's make daily use.

Hard by the Eunuchs lodgings in the Seraglio, there is a very large place, in which are kept all such goods as fall to the King, aswell by them which are put * to death, as by those which die of natu∣ral diseases; of which the King is Ma∣ster. Now the goods being brought into the said place by the chief Defterdar (who receives them from the *Be it il mawlgee, and is to bring them thither) the Grand S•…gnor in presence of his chief servants, having seen, and well viewed all, maketh choice of what he thinks fit Page  99 to reserve, and to give away: the rest is cryed in the Seraglio, to the end, that if any one there, have a will to buy, he may have a good penny worth, and the re∣mainder of that is at last carried into the publick * Bezisten, where each par∣cel is cried up and down, the cryer still * naming the most that hath been already offered, and is at length sold to him that bids most; nor may any that offers a price go from his word, at least if he be able to perform and stand to it. The money made of the said things is delivered to the Hazinehdar Bashawe, and is put into the outward Hazineh or treasury.

And although the goods did come out of the houses of such, as died but the day before of the Pestilence, the Turks neverthelesse do willingly buy them, and use them, as if the disease were not in∣fectious at all: affirming that their end * is written in their forehead, and that it is a vain thing to seek to prevent it by any humane rule, or policie; as either a∣voiding the company of infected per∣sons, or the not wearing of the clothes of them that died.

Page  100


Of the Black Eunuchs, and Black-moor girles, and women; of the Physitians, and of the Kings children.

NOw as concerning the Black Eu∣nuchs, and Black-moor wenches, which serve the Sultana's, and the rest of the Kings women: it is to be noted, that the black Eunuchs, whilst they are boyes, are for the most part kept, and * taught among the other youths of the Seraglio, as the white ones are, untill * they come to age, and are made fit for service. Being taken from thence, they are appointed for the women, and set to serve, and wait with others at the Sulta∣na's gate (and are all under command of the Kuzlar Aga, who is their Patron, as the Capee Aga is Master of the white ones) being allowed a pension of fifty, * or sixty aspars a day, and two vests of * silk yearly, with linnen and other neces∣saries, sufficient for their use, besides divers gifts, and gratuities, which they receive from women strangers, at such times as they let them in to the Kings wo∣men, Page  101 and especially from the Jews wo∣men, who are daily conversant with them. The reason why their pension is so great (in comparison of others) is, that they can never be sent abroad in any im∣ployment, thereby to enrich themselves as the other can; but must for ever stay, and serve in the Seraglio.

They are named by the names of flow∣ers, as Hiacynth, Narcissus, Rose, Gilly-flower,* and the like. For that, serving the women, and being alwayes near about them, their names may be answerable to their virginity, sweet and undefiled.

The Black-moor girles, are no sooner brought into the Seraglio, after their ar∣rival at Constantinople (for they come by * ship from Cairo, and thereabouts) but * they are carried to the womens lodgings; where they are brought up, and made fit for all services: and by how much the * more ugly, and deformed they are, by so much the more they are valued, and e∣steemed of by the Sultana's. Wherefore the Bashawe of Cairo (who for the most part sends them all) is diligent to get the most ill favoured, coal-black, * blabber∣lipped, and flat nosed girles that may be Page  102 had through all Egypt, or the countreys bordering on it, to send them for pre∣sents to the Grand Signor, who bestowes them upon his women.

Now after their coming, if they shall be disliked by reason of some infirmity, then are they sent into the old Seraglio, as the white women are, when they are unfit for service, or mis-behave them∣selves; all which is done by the Kings order, and consent.

The aforesaid black Eunuchs, by occa∣sion of being sent with messages to the *Grand Signor from the Sultana's, may passe through the mens lodgings to carry little notes to the Capee Aga, that he may deliver them unto the King: or for to fetch any thing from any of the offi∣cers * of the Seraglio, or to speak with any of their friends at the gate: but other∣wise they may not dare to go forth of the Seraglio from the Kuzlar Aga, with∣out expresse license from the Sultana Queen.

They likewise are to go to and fro, * and to do all other businesses for the Sultana's in the womens lodgings, which the white Eunuchs cannot perform. For Page  103 they are not permitted to come there; nor any man that is white (but the King * only) may see, and come amongst the women. Insomuch as when some one of them being fallen sick, it is required that the Hakim Bashawe (who is the Kings Physitian) should come thither; they must necessarily first have leave of the King for his entrance, and being admit∣ted to enter by the Sultana's door, he seeth none but the black Eunuchs (all the other women being retired into some withdrawing rooms) who bring him in∣to the sick womans chamber; and she being closely covered from head to foot with quilts, and blankets, holdeth out her arm only, so as the Doctor may touch her pulse; who when he hath given or∣der what shall be done, both for her diet, and medicines, goes away immediatly, by the same way that he came.

But if she, which is sick, be the Queen, or one of the Sultana's, (with whom the Grand Signor hath layen) then her arm and hand, which she holdeth out of the bed for the Physician to feel her pulse, is covered with a fine piece of white silk, or Taffata sarcenet. For her *Page  104 flesh may not be seen, nor touched bare; neither may the Doctor say any thing in her hearing, but being gone out of her chamber, prescribeth what medicine he thinks fit: which for the most part (ac∣cording to the knowledge, and common custome of the Turks) is but only some kinde of loosning, and refreshing *Sher∣bett. For they seldom use any other phy∣sick; nor do I hold their skill sufficient to prepare medicines for every malady.

But in case the party diseased should have need of a Chirurgion, she then must do as she may, and suffer without any scruple. For, there is no remedy to con∣ceal her skin and flesh from him. And as for the other women, which are not Sultana's, or at least which are not well beloved of the Grand Signor, either for their person, or for some p•…culiar, and extraordinary vertues: they needing a Chirurgion, are sent into the old Seraglio to be cured, where they shall not want * whatsoever may be thought convenient, and useful, for restoring them to their former estate.

The Kings sons which are born un∣to him by his Queen, are nursed, and *Page  105 brought up together by themselves by choice nurses, which are found abroad without the Seraglio. But if his Ma∣jesty have sons also by other Sultana's, (as commonly every Grand Signor hath) then those are brought up apart, and not with the Queens; so that every mother careth for her own children, and that * with great envy, and jealousie: yet they may play together, till they come to be of six or seven years of age; being much made of, sumptuously maintained, and apparelled all alike at the Kings charge.

They live among the women till they come to be of nine, or ten years of age, and about fourteen, they are circumcised with great pomp, and solemnities tho∣rowout * the whole city, especially the el∣dest son. For the circumcisions of the Turks children are like to the Christian weddings; there being used at them great feasting, banquetting, musick, and bringing of presents.

From five years of age until ten (du∣ring which time they live amongst the women) they have their Hojah (that is, * their School-master) appointed them by the King to teach them to write, and Page  106 read, and to instruct them in good man∣ners, that they may behave themselves decently before the King their father; which Hojah comes once a day into the womens Seraglio, and is brought into a chamber by the black Eunuchs (without ever seeing the Kings women at all) whi∣ther the children come accompanied with two or three old Black-moor women slaves; and there they are taught for so many hours together, as their tutor is permitted to stay, and then he departeth.

As for the daughters, they are but sleightly looked after; nor is the King so tender, and careful over them. For as * they are not suspected at all, for any thing that may concern the state in fu∣ture times; so likewise are they not much respected: yet they are well provi∣ded for by the Grand Signor their father, in case they live to be fit for husbands.

After the *Shawhzawdeh (the next heir to the crown) is circumcised; if his father think it unfit to keep him any longer with him at home in the Seraglio, he provides all things fitting for to send him abroad: that he may see the world, & learn experience, the better to enable him for Page  107 to govern the Empire after his Fathers decease: sending along with him one of his principal, & trusty Eunuchs, for to be his guide, and overseer in all his actions; * besides many servants to attend upon him; all which he chooseth out of his own Seraglio. He allowes him likewise sufficient means to maintain him like a Prince (as he doth also the rest of his sons, if he have a purpose to send any of them abroad.) And so all things being well ordered, and prepared for him; having taken leave of his father, and mo∣ther (who present him with many gifts, as also the Sultana's, and all the Bashaws, and great men of the Court do) he de∣parts for Magnesia, a city in Asia, there to reside in the government of that pro∣vince; * in which he hath not the supream authority, but governs only as his fathers deputy. And should he passe the limits * of his commission, he would quickly fall into disgrace, and suspition of re∣bellion; as heretofore it hath happened unto divers of his predecessors, sent out in the same manner. Wherefore the Eu∣nuch who is appointed to be his helper and overseer, is bound to give continual Page  108 advise to the Grand Signor of his deport∣ment, and to the Vizirs of all occur∣rences whatsoever, according to the charge given him: and likewise to re∣ceive from Constantinople such orders, and commandments, as are to be obeyed in those parts where the Prince resideth. So that all things (in a manner) are swayed by the discretion of the Eunuch.


Of the cooks, kitchins; diet of the King, Queen, and others; of the manner of service; of the skullery, and provision of the Seraglio.

THe victuals in the Seraglio (for the * most part are dressed by Agiamog∣lans brought up to cookery, (which are called *Aschees, and are known from other Agiamoglans by their white caps; yet in the form of a sugar loaf aswell as the others are) howbeit there are belong∣ing to the kitchins that are therein, more then two hundred under cooks, and skul∣lions; besides their principal officers, as Page  109 sewers, caterers, and such like: all which are carefully to look to their severall kitchins, and not any one to trust another with his businesse.

The Kings kitchin begins to work or∣dinarily * before break of day. For his highnesse rising betimes, there must be al∣wayes somewhat ready for him; because commonly he eateth three or four times a day. He dines usually at ten of the clock in the forenoon, and sups about six at night, aswell in the summer, as in the winter.

When he hath a will to eat, he tells the Capee Aga of it, who forthwith sends an Eunuch to give notice of the same to the chief Sewer, and he having caused the meat to be dished up, brings it in dish by dish to the Kings table: and so his Ma∣jestie sits down, after the common Turk∣ish fashion, with his legs a crosse, having * a very rich towel cast before him upon his knees to save his clothes: and another hanging upon his left arm, which he useth for his napkin to wipe his mouth, and fin∣gers. He is not carved unto as other Princes are, but helps himself; having be∣fore * him upon a piece of Bulgar leather Page  110 (which is in stead of a table cloth) fine white bread, of three or four sorts, well relished, and alwayes very new: as indeed * all Turks love their bread best when it is warm, newly come forth of the oven. He neither useth knife, nor fork, but only * a wooden spoon, of which there are two alwayes laid before him: the one serving him to eat his pottage, and the other to sup up certain delicate sirrups, made of * divers fruits compounded with the juice of lemmons, and sugar, to quench his thirst. He tasteth of his dishes one by one, and as he hath done with them they are taken off. His meat is so tender, and so delicately dressed, that (as I said be∣fore) he needs no knife, but pulls the flesh from the bones very easily with his fin∣gers. He useth no salt at his Table, nei∣ther * hath he any Antepast; but imme∣diately falls aboard the flesh, and having well fed, closeth up his stomack with a *Bocklava, or some such like thing. And so his dinner or supper being ended, he * washeth his hands in a bason of gold, with the Ewer all set with precious stones.

His Majesties ordinary diet (as I have *Page  111 been told by some of the Aschees) is, half a score rosted pigeons in a dish, two or three geese in a dish, lamb, hens, chickins, mutton, and sometimes wilde fowl, but very seldom: and look what he hath rosted for him, so he hath the same quan∣tity boiled, almost of every thing, there being very good sauce for every dish, and other ingredients very pleasing to the palat. He hath likewise brothes of all sorts, and divers purcelain dishes full of preserves, and sirrups; and some Tarts, and *B•…recks after their fashion made of flesh covered with paste. Having made an end of eating, he drinks one draught of *Sherbet (seldom or never drinking above once at a meal) which is brought unto him by one of his Agas in a deep Purcelain dish covered, standing upon a flat under-dish of the same mettal.

All the while that he is at Table, he * very seldom, or never, speaks to any man; albeit there stand before him ma∣ny Mutes, and Buffons to make him merry, playing tricks, and sporting one with another, alla Mutescha, which the King understands very well. For by their signes their meaning is easily conceived, Page  112 and if peradventure he should vouchsafe to speak a word or two, it is to grace some one of his Agas standing by him, whom he highly favoureth; throwing unto him a loaf of bread from his own * Table: and this is held for a singular grace, and especial favour; and he di∣stributing part of it amongst his com∣panions, they likewise accept of it at the second hand, and account it as a great honour done unto them, in regard it came from their Lord, and King.

The dishes for his highnesse Table, are all of gold, and so likewise are their co∣vers. * They are in the custody of the Keelergee Bashawe, who attends at the kitchin, at dinner and supper time: and so are all the yellow purcelane dishes (which are very costly, and scarcely to be had for money) in which the Grand Signor eats in the Ramazan time, which * is their lent, and lasteth a whole moon, and the moneth it self is so called. Now at that time, the Turks never eat in the day, but only in the night; not making any difference at all, in meats (excepting swines flesh, and things strangled) of which they are forbidden by their law to eat at any time.

Page  113 The King seldom eats fish, unlesse it be when he is abroad, at some garden house by the sea side, with his women; where he may sit, and see it taken him∣self.

The meat which remains of that which * was at the Grand Ssgnors table, is im∣mediately carried to the *Aghas table, who wait upon him: so that they (what with that, and their own diet together) are exceeding well provided. Whilst the Aghas are eating, the King passeth away * the time with his Mutes, and Buffons, not speaking (as I said) at all with his tongue, but only by signes. And now and then he kicks, and buffeteth them in sport: but forthwith makes them a∣mends, by giving them money. For which purpose, his pockets are alwayes fur∣nished, so that they are well contented with that pastime.

In the mean time also, the Capee Agha eats in a room apart such meat as is pre∣pared * for him in his kitchin, being far in∣ferior to the Kings diet. And with him do eat, the Hazi•…ehdar Bashawe, the Sa∣raj Agasee, and sometimes, some of the Kings Physitians, whom he calls in for to Page  114 bear him company; and such other Eu∣nuchs which are keepers of the Seraglio's abroad, as do come to visit him. And the remainder of his diet with a fresh supply from the kitchins, serves *diman in mano, all the other white Eunuchs.

In this interim likewise, is meat sent to all the other Odas for the youths there; which is two loaves apiece, a day, and a little boiled mutton, with pottage of rice, mingled with butter, and honey; which indeed consists more of broth then sub∣stance; it being but thin of rice, and so little flesh in it, that it is well, if it give but a taste thereof, when they sop their bread in the dish.

On the other side, is meat carried in by black Eunuchs to the Queen, to the Sultana's, and to all the other women; * wherein is observed the same order, as is aforesaid with the King: insomuch as in the space of an hour and half, or two hours at the most, all is dispatched.

The Queens service is in copper dishes, tinned over: but kept very bright, and * clean, and some also of white Purselain: however it is to be understood, that she her self may be served as she pleaseth; Page  115 and so questionless may all the Sultana's, (although their ordinary allowance be no other then Copper.) For oftentimes the King is amongst them a whole day * together, eating, sporting, and sleeping, of which there is no notice taken, nor may any look into his actions: where, a∣mongst themselves, they make him deli∣cate, and sumptuous banquets, (over, and above the ordinary meals of dinner, and supper) of sweet meats, and fruits of all sorts, having daily an abundance pre∣sented unto them.

They drink their sherbet in the sum∣mer time, mingled with snow, of which * there is a great quantity preserved year∣ly, for to serve the Seraglio; but at a very dear rate. For the snow doth stand the Port in more then twenty thousand chic∣quins a year, in gifts, and ceremonies, * and other expences at the fetching it in from the hils, and in putting it under ground in houses made of purpose for that use.

They do not ordinarily use Comfets, * nor Cheese. For the Turks do hardly know how to make them, especially cheese, which if they make, yet it never Page  116 proves good. So that the Sultana's, all the Bashawes, and other great person∣ages, eat none but Parmezan, of which the *Bailo of Venice, doth alwayes fur∣nish them, and that very plentifully: for they love it well, and eat heartily of it, when they go abroad upon pleasure, to take the air.

For the sundry provisions of the said Seraglio, all things are prepared in great * abundance: and every particular provi∣sion is assigned to particular persons, to take care thereof; so that there is never any want at all of things necessary. For the Officers are sure upon the least com∣plaint made against them to lose their places. Wherefore (as it behoves them) they are very careful to see, not onely that there be a sufficiency, but also that it be very good.

The first, and best sort of bread (which indeed is very white, and savoury) is * for the Grand Signor, the Sultana's, the Bashawes, and other great ones; The second sort for them of middle rank. And the third and last sort (which is very black and course) is for the Agiam∣oglans, and others of base quality.

Page  117 The meal whereof the best sort of bread is made, for the Grand Signor, and the Sultana's, is brought from Bursia,* made of the wheat of that Province of Bithynia, and growing in the Kings own ground. The yearly provision thereof is, about seven or eight thousand Keloes, which makes almost so many bushels of * our measure in London: the which wheat makes the best flour that comes to Con∣stantinople; for that it is also ground at Bursia, and those mills are far better then any, that are neer *Stanboll.

Now for the other wheat which they spend, it comes (for the most part) from Volo in Graecia by shipping, where there * is a great portion of land belonging to the crown. And a great part of the corn there growing is spent yearly in the kings Armada, made into bisket at Negroponte: some also is sold to the Raguseans, and others, who come with their shipping to lade it thence: but they must bring their authority with them from Constantino∣ple, underwritten with the chief Uizirs own hand. And there is likewise brought yearly to Stanboll, of the aforesaid wheat of Volo, thirty five, or fourty thou∣sand Page  118Kelo's: the which is laid up in * Maga∣zines, and is afterwards ground, and most * of it spent in the Seraglio: that which remains, they sell away into the city.

Nor is it any wonder, that the Seraglio, consumes so much bread corn. For, be∣sides the ordinary servants, as aforesaid, all the Sultana's, and great personages, with divers others, have their daily, and due allowance of bread, from the Kee∣ler, that is, the Pantry, or from his Ma∣jesties Bakehouse; viz. every Sultana twenty loaves; every Bashawe ten; to * the Muftee eight; and so to divers o∣thers a several proportion, even to one loaf a man: all which is ordered, and done by the commandment, and discre∣tion of the chief Uizir; their several allowances being set down in the chief Pantlers Books, or else in his, who is the Overseer of the Bake-houses: every loaf being as big as three of our penny loaves in London, but very light, and spungie, and easy of digestion.

The rice, and lentiles, and all other sorts of pulse (of which there is a great * quantity spent, is brought yearly from Alexandria in the Galeons, which make Page  119 yearly two voiages, and bring out of Egypt, not only the said pulse, but also all sorts of spice, and sugar, and a great quantity of preserves, and pickled meats, * which the Turks much delight in. And as for sugar, there is spent an unspeak∣able deal of it, in the making of Sherbets, and *Boclavas, which not only the Se∣raglio useth: but are also ordinary pre∣sents from one Bashawe to another, and from one friend to another: insomuch that it is a thing to be admired, that so great a quantity should so suddenly be consumed.

True it is, that there is but little spice * spent in the Seraglio, nor indeed any great store among the Turks (pepper only excepted.) For seeing wine is not an ordinary drink amongst them, they therefore avoid the eating of such things, as do provoke a desire thereunto. Howsoever, in the storehouses of the Port, there is provision of all sorts of spices, and drugs, whatsoever occasion should happen, that might require the use of them.

There likewise comes from Egypt great store of dates, prunes, and other dried *Page  120 plums of divers sorts, which the Cooks use in their dressing of meat; as well for rost as boyled in broths: and in∣deed they make very delicate dishes of them.

The honey (of which the Port spends a great quantity, both in their broths, * boiled meats, * Pancakes, * Frittars, and course Sherbets for the common sort of people) is brought in great earthen jars, from Walachia, from Transylvania, and Moldavia, as well that which is present∣ed by the Princes of those Provinces, to the Grand Signor, as that which comes for particular mens accounts. Yet that honey which is used in the Kings own kitchen, comes from *Cio, and is far bet∣ter, and purer then the other.

The oil (of which there is an unspeak∣able * quantity spent, by reason of the ma∣ny uses they put it unto; as well in their meats, as for their lamps, and the like) is brought from Modon, and Coron in Graecia: the *Sanjack Beg of that Pro∣vince being bound to see the Port suf∣ficiently furnished therewith from time to time; howbeit that which is spent in the Kings own kitchen is brought from Page  121Candie, and Zant: it being sweeter, cleerer, and in every respect better, then that of the Morea.

The butter (of which also there is spent a very great quantitie, in that it is used * almost in all their meats, especially in that ordinary dish which they call *Pil∣law) comes by shipping out of the Black sea from Bogdania, and from Caffa, be∣ing put into great Ox hides, and Buffalo hides, with the hairy sides inward; and so is laid up in * Magazines, for the year∣ly provision of the Kings court: but commonly they have so much of it, that they are fain to sell part into the city; * as they likewise do by the oil, honey, &c. which are Begleek, (that is, for the Grand Signors own account) when they have more then they think they shall have occasion to spend, and make a won∣derful great benefit of it: oftentimes enforcing the shop-keepers to take it at what price they please to rate it at, although it be ill conditioned, and ready to stink.

The Turks are no whit acquainted * with fresh butter, there being little, or none at all, made about Constanti∣nople:Page  122 neither do th•… eat much milk, * except it be made •…re, which they call Yoghurd. For •…eing so turned * sowre, it doth quen•… the thirst: and of that both they, and the Christians do eat a great quantity in the summer time. They eat also some store of Kay∣mack (that is, clouted, or clodded cream) * but that is a dish for the better sort only, it being a meat of too high a price for the vulgar.

Now as for the flesh: every year in the Autumn, winter drawing nigh, the *Bashawe causeth the provision of *Ba∣sturma to be made for the Kings kitch∣ins; which must be of cowes great with calf. For then (say they) the flesh is most tender and savoury. They use it in the same manner, as Christians use swines flesh. For they make puddings, and sausages of it, and the rest they boil, and dresse after other fashions.

This sort of dried flesh, (after that it is sufficiently dried, and hardened, with * hanging a moneth, or better, in some upper room, and little, or no salt used about it, but pressed very flat) will last the whole year following, and eat very Page  123 savourly. And it is in such great use a∣mongst the Turks, & so well liked of, that there is scarce any Master of a family, if he be of ability, but doth yearly against winter make his provision of it; and it is held a very thrifty and sparing course. For that then fresh meat would be very dear. But they do not all make their Basturma of cowes great with calf, (that is for the Seraglio) for there are many which love the other better, which i made of Oxen and Bullocks; and they can buy it far cheaper.

The Bashawe (as I said) hath the care, * and oversight of what is prepared for the Kings kitchens, and there are com∣monly spent four hundred cowes every year for the said provision of Basturma; there is also fresh beef spent in the Sera∣glio: but the quantity is uncertain.

The other flesh, which is daily provi∣ded, and spent in the kitchens of the Se∣raglio* (as I was told by one of the *As∣chees) is as followeth; sheep two hun∣dred, lambs, or kids, when they are in season, one hundred, calves ten, geese fifty, hens two hundred, chickens one hundred, pigeons an hundred pair.

Page  124 There is very little store of fish spent in the Seraglio, either shell-fish, or other: * yet sometimes the Agas for dainties will eat some. The seas thereabout do ex∣ceedingly abound with divers kindes, and they may easily take as many as they please: by reason of which the Christi∣ans are plentifully served with fish in the markets, and at reasonable prices, and the common and poorer sort of Turks do bear them company in that diet.

The Grand Signor (nor any of his wo∣men, or servants in the Seraglio) cannot * want for fruit: there being at time of year so many presents, of all sorts of fruits, brought thither, besides what comes from the Kings own gardens (which are many, and near the city) e∣very morning in great abundance, and excellent good; especially, figs, grapes, peaches, and *Caoons; the Gardiners selling the remainder at a place in Con∣stantinople,* where only the Kings fruit is sold, and bring the money weekly to the Bustangee Bashawe, who afterwards gives it to his Majestie; and it is called jebbe ackchesee, that is, the Kings pocket-money. * For he gives it away by hand∣fulls, Page  125 as he sees occasion, to his Mutes and Buffones, at such times as they make him sport. Now this fruit being sold, the buyers of it do commonly send it to some great personages: for it is extra∣ordinary good, and so artificially piled up in baskets, by the *Bustangees, that for the beauty of it, it oftentimes proves more acceptable then a gift of greater price.

The furniture of the kitchens in the *Seraglio, as kettles, caldrons, pots, and skillets, &c. are almost all of brasse and they are so neatly kept, and of such a largenesse, that there cannot be a braver sight of that nature; insomuch that one would rather think, that they stood there to be sold, then that they should be so often used as they are. And as for the dishes, they are all of copper tinned o∣ver: but so often new furbished, scowr∣ed, and trimmed, that (they being daily used) it is wonderful to behold their con∣tinual * brightnesse. And of these dishes they have a great number: but the Grand Signor sustains great losse by * them. For their being such a multitude of people served daily from the kitchens, Page  126 both within, and without (especially up∣on the four Divan dayes) there are so many of them stollen, that the Defter∣dars (weighing the losse, and charge of the said dishes) have oftentimes been almost resolved, to make them all of sil∣ver, and so consign them to the custo∣die of the Sewers, and Butlers, who should from time to time give account of them, and look the better to them, and not to suffer every ordinary fellow to carry away his meat in them, as they do in the other copper ones: but finding it a thing so costly, not any Defterdar (as yet hath) performed it, nor adven∣tured to begin, onely have discoursed of it, and approved of that course, as a re∣medy to prevent their usuall pilfer∣ing.

The wood which is spent in the afore∣said kitchens, and in all the Seraglio, is * an infinite number of weights (for at Constantino•…e the wood is all bought, and sold by weight, and so is almost e∣very thing else) there being for the ac∣count of the Seraglio (which they call Begleek) about thirty great *Caramu∣sals, which do nothing else at one sea∣son Page  127 of the year, but sail into the Black sea, there to lade at the Kings woods. It is a businesse which costeth the Grand Signor but little, or nothing (in respect of the worth of it.) For they have it for the cutting down, and as for the bring∣ing, and unloading of it, it requires lit∣tle or no charge at all. For the said Cara∣musals are bound to make so many re∣turns in a year for the king, and to receive no fraught; and the Masters are to see it unladen at the appointed wharfe, at their own costs, and charges; receiving only a discharge in the end from the *Stanbol Aga for that years service, but no re∣compence at all. Afterwards they may work for themselves, and go whither they please, till their turns come again for the year following.

Page  128


Of apparrel, bedding, sicknesse, hospitals, inheritance, Kings expences, recreati∣ous, his going abroad, receiving of peti∣tions, of the Kings stables, and Byram solemnities.

THe Grand Signors apparel, is nothing different in fashion from other * mens, saving in the length of his vests, and the richnesse thereof, nor are his shoes plated with iron at the heels, as o∣ther Turks wear them: but are raced, and painted like childrens shoes, with knots and flowers, or else they are all white. The fashion of his Turbant is all one with that of the Bashawes: but he wears plumes, and brooches in his, and so doth not any Bashawe in the Port, except the Uizir Azem, and that is up∣on the day when he makes a solemn shew at his departure for the wars.

As for his lodging; he sleeps upon matteresses of velvet, and cloth of * gold: in the summer in sheets of Page  129*Shash embrodered with silk, sown to * the quilts, and in the winter betwixt co∣verlets of Lusernes, or of Sables, wear∣ing all night a *Gheje-lick, or little shash on his head.

And when he lies alone in his own lodgings, he is alwayes watched by the Pages of his chamber, by two and two at a time, changing their watch every three hours; one of them standing at the chamber door; and the other by the bed side to cover him, in case the clothes should slide off, and to be near hand if his Majesty should want any thing, or be ill at ease. In the same chamber also where he lies, there are alwayes two old * women, that wait with burning torches in their hands, which they may not put out, till such time as the king is risen out of his bed: now the use of these lights is, for his Majestie to say over his Beads, and for to pray by, in case his devotion be stirred up thereto, at midnight, or at Page  130Temcheet namaz, which is the time of prayer, about two hours before day.

The habit of his women, is much like to that of the men. For they wear **Chackshirs, and Buskins too, and the meaner sort of them, have their shoes shod with iron at the heels.

They likewise sleep as the men do, in their linnen breeches, and quilted waste-coats; having thin, and light ones for the summer, and more thick, and warm ones for the winter.

The Turks never have any close-stools, * or such like utensils in their chambers; but having necessity they rise, and go to the privies, made in places apart, where there do alwayes stand pots full of wa∣ter ready, that they may wash when they have done. For they use no paper in that service, as others do; holding it not only undecent, but an extraordina∣ry absurdity for a Mussulman to put pa∣per to so base a use: seeing that both the name of God, and the Mahometan Law, are written upon it. They all put off their Turbants when they go about that businesse; and a Janizarie may by no means pisse with his *Uskuf upon his Page  131 head, but having done, he must kisse it, and so put it on again. For they hold the covering of their heads to be as ho∣nourable, in a manner, as the head it self.

The several stipends, which the Grand*Signor alloweth to those of the Seraglio (of what degree or condition soever the persons be) are payed out of the outmost Hazineh; and the chief Defterdar (who hath a book aswel of the names of the stipendiaries, as of their stipends) is bound to send once in three moneths, to * all the Odas, in several bags so much money as their pay comes to, and there they share it amongst them: the like he doth also by the women, and the Agiam∣•…glans, paying them in good money. And against the Byram, which is their Carneval, he must send them their vests, their linnen, and such like necessaries; of all which he never fails them. For if he should disappoint them (especially at that time) they would so complain a∣gainst the said Defterdar, that it would be his utter overthrow, or at the least he should be sure to lose his place: such is the Grand Signors care for his ser∣vants, Page  132 that they may not want whatso∣ever is befitting each particular person, in his several degree.

When any one dies in the Seraglio, whether it be Itchoglan, or Agiamoglan,* his chamber fellowes are made his heirs, and that which he leaves behinde him is equally divided amongst them; and so is it with the young women which never lay with the King: but if any great Eu∣nuch die, all comes to the Grand Signor.* For they are alwayes very rich, by rea∣son of the manifold gifts, and gratuities, which daily come to their hands: and if any Eunuch of the Seraglio's abroad, or in other places of government, should die, then two thirds only of his estate falls to the King by Canon, the other third part being to be disposed of, accor∣ding to the Testators will: this also is on∣ly by permission, when the King gives way unto it, and will not out of his su∣pream authority, and power, take all to himself, as he useth to do by all great rich ones: the Kings person being held the principal, and most lawful heir of all, they esteeming themselves as slaves, which have received their livelihood, goods, Page  133 estates, and all that they have enjoyed, meerly from his greatnesse, and bounty; so that they may not grudge to render back again at their deaths (or whensoever he shall require it) all that they do pos∣sesse. And to this end there is an officer called the Beyt el Mawlgee; who so soon * as any one dies, or is put to death, makes inquisition after their estates, and so cer∣tifies the Defterdar thereof, leaving the performance to him, if it be of great im∣port: but the Beyt el Mawlgee for his own private gain, doth oftentimes con∣ceal (after search made) a great part of the estate of the deceased; dividing the * same, privately betwixt the kindred, and himself.

When any ordinary person falls sick in the Seraglio, he is immediately carried from his chamber in a Cart, covered with cloth, and drawn with hands, and is put into the aforesaid Hospital, or Laza∣retta,* belonging to the house onely; where he is lookt unto after the Turkish fashion, and kept so closely, that none may come to the speech of him (except the Physician, or Apothecary) but with great difficulty; and growing well again, Page  134 he must be carried back, in the same manner, to his own chamber where he was at the first.

The expenses of the Seraglio are very great, as one may gather by what hath been already said: but there are more∣over divers other charges of great con∣sideration which the King is at, by rea∣son * of the Sultana Queen, and then of the Chief Vizirs, the *Serdars of his se∣veral forces both by sea, and land, and the great Defterdars, and others: to all which he gives gratuities, accarding as he seeth fit upon sundry occosions, aswel at the times of their going forth, as at their returns from their employments abroad, and upon good services done at home: the which gifts, are vests, some unlined, and some lined with very costly furs, swords, bowes, *Hanjars, plumes, and brooches, girdles, all set with rich stones, and many other things of great value: and again some but of low price, according to the quality, and desert of the parties, to whom his majestie is plea∣sed to shew his liberality. Nay the Ha∣zinehdar Bashawe, who hath the keeping of the cloth of gold, and silver of Bur∣sia,Page  135 doth affirm that, in that one com∣modity to make vests of, there is spent yearly two hundred thousand Sultanas:* besides what he disburseth for the buy∣ing of Venetian silks, and woollen clothes, of which the Seraglio consumes a great quantity, they not wearing (for the most part) any other.

Neither doth this alone serve the turn. For besides all this the Grand Signor gives away all that which is given him by strangers; and a great part also of that which comes to him of the spoil of the dead, of which he is Master, as hath been shewed before.

And surely, should his Majesty want these helps, he could not long continue his liberality, giving 〈◊〉 he doth to his women, to his Bashawes, and to all such as are at any time to kisse his hand. Ne∣verthelesse, true it is, that the greatest part of things of value, 〈◊〉 he gives away, in time comes again 〈◊〉 his hands. For his Sultana's, Bashawes, Eunuchs, or other rich men, dying, he immediate∣ly becomes Master of all again, or (at least) of the greatest part of their estate: and so of such things there is a continu∣al Page  136 ebbing, and flowing in the Seraglio.

The Queen likewise gives much away. For as she is presented by many; so is it * fit that she should in part make some compensation: and to that end, she hath an allowance of vests, and other things in great abundance: besides she hath li∣berty to dispose of many of those which have been worn by the King.

The Uizir Azem is also a giver at the * Kings charge; aswel whilst he is in Con∣stantinople, as when he is upon depar∣ture, as General of the Grand Signors army, to the wars: and to that end be∣fore he departeth, he hath brought un∣to him from the Hazinehdar Bashawe a great number of vests, and other things that he may be provided, when he is in the field, with presents according to the Turkish custom: which (in all busines∣ses, and upon every occasion) is, to give, and take.

The King (if he please) may at any time go abroad out of the Seraglio, ei∣ther by water, or by land: when he goes by water he hath his Kaik, or barge of sixteen, or eighteen banks, with a very sumptuous, and stately Poop, covered Page  137 over with crimson velvet richly embroy∣dered, under which he himself sits, and none but he upon cushons of velvet, and cloth of gold; his Agas standing all on their feet, holding with one hand by the side of the Kaik, and only the Bustan∣gee Bashawe, who steers the barge, may now and then sit down, that he may han∣dle the helm the better. Now the Bustan∣gee Bashawe, by reason the King talks much with him in the Kaik (at which * time, lest any one should hear what they say, the Mutes fall a howling like little dogs) may benefit, or prejudice whom he pleaseth: the Grand Signor being al∣together ignorant of divers passages, and apt to beleeve any information, either with, or against any subject whatsoever. His barge is rowed by Agiamoglans, which are brought up in that exercise, and indeed they mannage the businesse very well and nimbly; not sitting at all when they row, but as they fetch their stroak, they step up upon the next bank before them, and so with the stroak fall * backward flat on their backs upon the next bank behinde them: much resem∣bling the manner of rowing in the gallies.

Page  138 When he goes forth by land, he al∣wayes * rides on hors-back, and goes out (commonly) at the greatest gate, especi∣ally at such times as he is to go to the Moschea, or Church, which is upon the Friday (it being their Sabbath) and is ac∣companied into the city by all the Ba∣shawes, and other Grandes of the Port, besides many of his own houshold ser∣vants which go by his stirrup, and his Agas riding after him; having divers So∣lacks also with their bowes, and arrowes, * which go before him for his guard. And as he rides along the streets, he salutes the people with nodding his head to∣wards them, who again salute him with loud shouts, and prayers of prosperity, and happinesse; and for recompence, * the King oftentimes puts his hand into his pocket, and throwes whole handfuls of money amongst them. Now they of the Seraglio, which go along by his stir∣rup, have charge to take all such Peti∣tions, as are preferred to his Majesty as he rides along either to, or from the *Moschea: and many poor men, who dare not presume, by reason of their rag∣ged apparel, to approach neer unto so Page  139 majestick a prefence, stand afar off with fire upon their heads, holding up their petitions in their hands, the which the Grand Signor seeing (who never despi∣seth, but rather encourageth the poor) sends immediately to take the Arzes, or petitions, and being returned home in∣to his Seraglio, reads them all, and then gives order for redresse as he thinks fit. By reason of which complaints, the King oftentimes takes occasion to execute the fury of his wrath, and displeasure, even upon the most eminent in place, before they are aware, without taking any course in law against them (onely acquainting the Muftee with his design, who seldom or never doth oppose him) but causing a sudden execution of what punishments he pleaseth upon them; either putting them to death, or at the least, turning them out of their places. For as he stiles himself *Awlem penawh, so he would have the world to take notice, that such as lament unto him, shall be sure to have redresse, and succour from him; although his ministers fail them, or abuse them through their injustice. Which makes the Bashawes, and other great officers, Page  140 that they care not how seldom the Grand Signor stirs abroad in publick, for fear lest in that manner their unjust proceed∣ings, and bad justice should come to his ear. And indeed they alwayes live in great fear, through the multiplicity of businesse that passeth through their hands, and in danger of loosing their lives at a short warning (as it hath been ever observed, that few Uizirs die in their beds) which makes them use this Proverb: that he that is even the greatest in office, is but a statue of glasse: but notwithstanding their brittle estate, bri∣bery * hath so bewitcht them, that hap, what will hap, he that will give most shall be sure to speed at their hands.

The Grand Signor, for the use of his houshold, hath in Constantinople at a place called *Ahur Capsee, near unto the Seraglio; an exceeding large stable of a thousand horses and upward: and the *Imrohor Bashawe, which is Master of the horse, hath the charge of them, as of all his other horses, mules, camels, and all his cattle whatsoever, and of all the kings hay, and provender: having an un∣der Imrohor for his assistant, besides ma∣ny Page  141 ordinary grooms which are to look to them, and see that the *Seises keep them in good case. Now the said Imro∣hor Bashawe, and his Deputy, are to see the Grand Signors servants provided of horses, at such times as they accompany his Majesty abroad, either solemnly at showes in the city, or abroad at hunting, or otherwise as the King pleaseth.

Besides this stable, he hath divers o∣thers in other places, both for his own * service, and for the use of his Gentle∣men, at such times as he, or they shall come thither: namely, at his Gardens, and houses of pleasure abroad in the countrey, to which his Majesty useth to go very often; but these stables have not above eight, or ten horses a piece in them. For to those houses he carrieth but few followers with him, and those few are the chiefest Agas of all.

He hath also stables of stallions for race in Bursia, Adrianople, and in divers * other places; from which are brought to Constantinople very stately colts; be∣sides such as are continually sent him for presents from Cairo, Damascus, Bagdat, and other places by the Bashawes, he Page  142 hath also many which fall to his share by the death of great persons: all which are horses of great price, and kept for his own use.

But because there must be a great num∣ber of horses, for ordinary services of the baser sort of servants, the King is therefore furnished with low prized nags * out of Walachia.

Besides the aforesaid stables of horses; the Grand Signor is provided of five thousand mules, kept near to Constantino∣ple,* which serve to carry Pavillions, chests, water, and all other necessaries for travel: but because the Vizir Azem (at his going out General) makes use of a great part of them, there is seldom that number com∣pleat at home. And should the King him∣self go out to the wars in person, his very houshold would use a thousand of them, besides their riding horses. For the Ot∣toman Emperors are almost aswel accom∣modated in their voyages abroad, as they are at home in the city; and indeed the generality of the Turks are so well fitted, against such times as they are to go forth, especially for long journeyes, as I think no people in the world can go be∣yond them.

Page  143 The Grand Signor is bound by Canon of the Empire, upon the first day of the Byram, which is their Carneval, the Ramazan being ended, which is their day-lent, to shew himself publickly, and * to let all the great men, and the better sort of his own servants kisse his vest; wherefore upon that day early in the morning, being richly clad, and decked with his best jewels; he cometh forth of his lodgings, at that gate which is kept by white Eunuchs in the second court, and sets himself down in a certain place called the *Taht, upon a Persian carpet of silk and gold, close by the aforesaid gate; and doth not stir thence until such time as all that are appointed have kissed his vest, in token of their reverence, and duty towards him: the chief Uizir standing close by him, and telling him the names of such as he thinks fit, and their places, to the end the Grand Signor may take the better notice of them. Now to some of the Doctors of the Law, * which are of high degree, the King rai∣seth himself up a little to honour, and re∣ceive them; and to some he shews more grace, and affection, then to other some, Page  144 and indeed to all more then ordinary: especially to the Muftee, and the two Cadeleeschers.

Now this ceremony being ended, he goeth to the Moschea of Sancta Sophia,* accompanied by them all; where having finished the *Namaz for that day, he hears a sermon; and at his return, taking his leave of them, he retires himself to his own lodgings, where he dines alone, as he doth upon other dayes: notwith∣standing upon that day he maketk a very sumptuous banquet in the Divan for the Bashawes, and other Grandes, and a very great dinner in the Court yard for all such as did accompany him, and are there present. Then after dinner his Ma∣jestie observing the ordinary custome, sends the Uizir Azem, for his Byram∣lick,* a very rich vest furred with a cost∣ly fur; and doing the like by the other great ones of the Port, (though with * vests of far lower price) he also extends his bounty to all his Agas, bestowing upon them swords, *Hanjars, and such like things; and upon the Sultana's cost∣ly jewels, *Filjan take as, and *Coshacks all set with stones: besides many gifts to Page  145 others of the Seraglio, giving Byram∣licks, (or as we say) new-years gifts to all.

Every night during the three dayes of * the Byram (for it is but for three dayes, and so it ends) he causeth shews to be * made of fire-works, and such like, by the water side, which continue until morn∣ing, and a great drum is beaten all the while; and that the Sultana's may see them, the King comes of purpose into their company to be merry with them, and is more free, and familiar then at other times; he also gives free liberty for mirth, and sports, both by day and night, thorowout the whole city, during those three dayes.

There are also invited •…o these great * festivals all the Sultana's which live out of the Seraglio, who both give presents to the King, and take Byramlicks of him: moreover in this Byram the Grand Sig∣nor* is presented by the Bashawes, and great personages, with gifts of very great price. For every one strives to exceed another, thinking thereby to win favour. The Sultanas also are not behinde hand; for they present him with shirts, hand∣kerchiefs, * linnen breeches, towels, and Page  146 such like things of good value, being all very curiously wrought, the which the Grand Signor afterwards makes use of, for his own wearing.

The same *Byram of three dayes, is kept in all his dominions, and through∣out the city of Constantinople, even in every Turks house; the streets being (al∣most at every corner) set out, and deck∣ed with pretty devises, and *Salunjacks of divers sorts, very artificially made, where old and young are solaced; and giving two or three aspars to the keepers of the swings, have sufficient recreation. But during this feast, it is somewhat troublesome, and dangerous for the poor Christians, and Jews, to walk along the streets. For the Turks being then some∣what * insolent, and full of wine, putting off the sobriety * of the Ramazan, do scare them exceedingly; often threatning to mischief them, if they deny them money, when they in that fury demand it of them. And so they do likewise at an∣other Byram, which is called the Coochook*Byram, and comes about three moneths after the other; in which likewise the Turks are wonderful merry both day, and night.

Page  147


Of the Old Seraglio, and womens lives therein: of the Turks marriages, and children: slave-selling, and witnesses.

HAving oftentimes (by the way) made mention of the * Fs•…ee S raj, or old Old Seraglio, which is (as it were a * dependent of the Kings Seraglio, in re∣gard of the use of it) it will not be amisse, briefly to speak somewhat touching the same.

This is a very large place, immured with a very high wall, surpassing that of the Kings Seraglio; the buildings are fair, it hath many inhabitants, all women, and Eunuchs, and is about three quarters * of a mile in compasse, being feated in the noblest part of the city. And this was the first Seraglio, which Mahomet the * second built for to dwell in, with all his court, when he took Constantinople:•…t hath but one gate belonging unto it, and that is of iron; the which gate is kept, and guarded by a company of white Eunuchs, and no man may come in thereat, unlesse Page  148 it be to b•…ing in s•…ch necessaries as they want in the house, at which times they may not see any of the women.

Now the women which are therein, are those which are put out of the Kings *Seraglio, viz. such Sultana's as have be∣longed to the deceased Grand Signors; those women likewise, which through their evil behaviour, and conditions, are fallen into disgrace with the King; and such as are infirm, or defective in what should belong to women fit for the com∣panie, and bed of a King, and none else are there, but for some of these causes. All which are governed, and lookt un∣to by an old woman (called also Kahiya Cadun) which is made their Over-seer, * and taketh care to see them used ac∣cording to the custom of the house, e∣very one in their degree: and that they have their diet, and clothing, with their several stipends in due time: all which is far short of what they had, when they were in the Kings •…eraglio; how∣beit, such as have been Sultana's, live out of the common rank, in their lodg∣ings apart; and although they are out of the Kings sight, and (as it were) out Page  149 of favour, yet they are reasonably well served.

The greatest part of the said Sultan•…'s, if they be any thing rich, may (with the Grand Signors leave, by the old womans * sollicitation) go forth from thence, and marry, and carry with them all that which they have kept, and stollen. For if they do not carry the businesse cun∣ingly, at their coming forth of the Kings Seraglio, if they have ought of any great worth, or value that is known, the *Ca∣dun takes it from them, and rest•…res it again to the Grand Signor: so that I say, if they have any thing, to bestow them∣selves withall, they warily make it known abroad, to the end, that some men of quality may become Sutors to them, and make them a good joynter.

In the said Seraglio, they have all the * commodity of necessaries, that may be, as gardens, fountains, and fair Baths. And the King himself hath some rooms also therein ready furnished. For some∣times he goes thither to visit his female kinred, as his Grandmother, Sisters, Aunts, &c. who for some of the aforesaid occasions, have been put out of his Sera∣glio.

Page  150 The other women of this Old Sera∣glio have but mean allowance; and had they not somewhat of their own to help sometimes, they would pass but coursly; so that they are fain to betake themselves * to their needles, by which they in part sustain themselves, and reap a reasonable benefit. And as in the Kings Seraglio, the Sultana's are permitted to employ divers Jewes-women about their ordinary oc∣casions: * so these women likewise of this Seraglio, have other Jews-women, who daily frequent their companies, and sell their labours for them.

Any Turk, be he of the Clergie, or of the Laity, may, if he please, take seven * wives at Kebi•…, (but few, or none will have more then one, or two at the most, to save charges) besides he may keep as many *Haylayks, as he will, and the chil∣dren begotten of them, are held as legiti∣mate, as those of the wives, and have as much right to the inheritance of what the father leaves behinde him. But be∣tween the children of the great ones there is great difference. For a Bashawe having married a sister, or daughter of the King, and having sons by them, those sons may Page  151 not rise above the degree of a Sanjack Beg, or a Capoogee Bashawe, to the end they may be kept under, being allied to the crown; that so being but in mean places, they may not be apt to rebel. But their brothers which their father begat of slaves, may come to be Bashawes; for * they are free from suspicion, in regard they are not of the blood Royal. And hence it is, that those children, which had a Sultana to their mother, are so often seen to be in lower degree then the others. For, for the aforesaid reason, he which is born of the slave, is above him that is born of the Sultana. Yet with the children of the other subjects it is other∣wise; for they are all equals.

The parties married, may upon divers occasions specified in their law, leave one * another: especially when they cannot agree, and live peaceably together. And if the man puts away the woman, then he is bound to allow her the joynter, which he promised her, when they were con∣tracted before the Cadee, and witnesses: but if the woman forsake the man, then she can recover nothing; but departs onely with a small portion, such as she Page  152 brought with her into her husbands house. And if they have any children, then he must keep the males, and she must take the females along with her. *•…he same order is also observed, and held with married Christians. For, if the husband turns Turk, he may take his sons with him, & make them of that professi∣on; but his wife will retain the daughters: and if she turn Turk, she doth the like by her daughters, and leaves the sons to him.

Now in case a Turk takes slaves for his * use, he may not sell them again; but they become members of his family, in which they are to remain till they die. But if they prove barren, then they may be sold from hand to hand, as often as it * is their fortune.

The Turks may buy of all sorts of slaves, of every religion, and nation; and may use them as they please (killing only excepted) which the Christians, and Jews there may not do; for they have liberty only to buy Christians and Jews.

There is for this purpose a place in Constantinople, neer the Bezisten, where every Wednesday (in the open street) * there are bought, and sold slaves of all Page  153 sorts, and every one may freely come to buy for their several uses; some for nurses, some for servants, and some for their lust∣ful appetites. For they which make use of slaves for their sensuality, cannot be pu∣nished by the Justice, as they should be, if they were taken with free women, and with Turkish women especially.

These slaves are bought, and sold, as beasts, and cattle are, they being viewed, * and reviewed, and felt all about their limbs, and bodies, and their mouths lookt into, as if they were so many horses in Smithfield; then they are examined of what countrey they are, and what they are good for; either for sewing, spin∣ning, weaving, or the like; buying some∣times the mother with the children, and sometimes the children without the mo∣ther, sometimes two or three brothers together, and again, sometimes taking the one, and leaving the rest, using no terms of humanity, love, or honesty, but even as the buyer, or the seller shall think will best turn them to profit.

Now when there is a virgin that is beautiful, and fair, she is held at a high rate, and is sold for far more then any o∣ther; Page  154 and for security of her virginity, the seller is not only bound to the re∣stitution * of the money (if she prove otherwise) to him that bought her; but is for his fraud fined at a great sum of money. And in this B•…zisten there sit∣teth an Emeen, that is, a Customer, who receives custom of the buyers, and sel∣lers * of slaves, which amounteth to a rea∣sonable sum in a year, for the toll is very great.

The Bashaws, and other great subjects, though by marriage they become uncles, * sons in law, or cozens to the Grand Sig∣nor, may not by vertue of their affinity, challenge any more familiarity, or free∣dom with his Majesty, then if there were no such matter of kinred between them: but only presume so far, as may well be∣fit their place and dignity; they remain∣ing still slaves, as the others do: Nay their servitude is thereby increased, and they lose a great part of their former li∣berty. For they must be very obsequi∣ous * to the Sultana's, whom they have married, and turn away the greatest part of their other women, and slaves if they have any) and must with patience sup∣port Page  155 all their wives imperfections. So that for this reason, few Bashawes of worth and judgement, seek after such marriages; for they are both chargeable, and bring discontent. But when the King commands, they (as his slaves) must sub∣mit, and obey, though their vexation, and charge increase never so much thereby: and must confess themselves to be highly honoured, and obliged unto his Majesty for so great a favour.

The ceremonies of Turkish marrying are nothing else, but in the presence of the Cadee (who is the Justice) to make *Hoget, that is, a writing expressing the vow, and good liking of the parties to be married; with a specification of the joynter, which the husband is to make to the wife. All which is done in the presence also of witnesses, which are true, and honest, without exception. For a∣mong the Turks it is not permitted that every oue that will, should bear witnesse: but only such men as are free, of a good * age, that can say the *Namaz, and have some knowledge in the law, known to be men of civil life, and conversation; and (above all) which drink no wine. For Page  156 the witnesse of a •…urk, which drinks wine, is nothing worth (yet they may drink *Moosellesse,*R•…kee,* and Boza, which are stronger then wine) and thus their law commandeth. But for all this, corruption is so crept in amongst them, that now in Turkie, (especially in Con∣stantinople) there are (to the outward appearance grave and honest men) more false witnesses, then in any other part of the world besides: and who are they? (at least the chief of them) but a certain com∣pany of beggerly Emeers, that is, such as pretend to come of the race and stock of *Mahomet, alwayes wearing green Tur∣bants, by which they are known, and re∣verenced: but they are generally the most ill favoured men that ever I saw: and with them I may fitly joyn a great num∣ber of poor Cadees, and Naits out of of∣fice who aswel as the Emeers, for money do use that detestable trade, which our knights of the Post do practise here with us. And hence it is, that Avanias are so * commonly framed; for they can stoutly (and that with ease) outface the poor Christians, and Jews. Nay for a bribe they will not spare their own sect, in bearing Page  157 false witnesse, or raising an *Eftera, that is, a false accusation against them. For these Turks being naturally given to co∣vetousnesse (though they pretend to be lovers of honesty) and altogether in∣clined to rapine (yet without question, there are some very honest men amongst them) when they meet with a fit oppor∣tunity, they will play fast, and loose with any man, be he of what condition soever, for their own benefit. Wherefore it proves dangerous to have any dealing with them; for that they with that trick will easily free themselves from any ob∣ligation, or agreement before made. Judgement there consisting chiesly in the proof by witnesses; so that a man had * need to be wondrous circumspect, and wary in his proceedings with Turks, espe∣cially in matters of contract.

Page  158


Of their religion, opinions, Clergie-men, times, places, and rites sacred; and of the womens small devotion.

THe Turks believe in Almighty God, and give him familiarly these Attri∣butes. *1Hoo.2Alloh.3Tangree.4Hack.5Hackteawlaw.6Alloh teawlaw.7Jehawnee awfeereen.8Hodoy, &c. And that he is the Creator of the whole Uni∣verse, and will be a gracious pardoner of all good men in the day of Judgement. That he is in the highest Heaven, served with especial angels, having from the be∣ginning cast out the disobedient ones, for whom, as also for wicked men, he made Hell. And as they affirm everlasting life to be in these two places, viz. Heaven, and Hell; so they confesse, and wait for the resurrection of the body to be reuni∣ted * with the soul, at such time as the fearful trumpet (which they call Soor)* shall be sounded by Mahomet at the commandment of the great God of the judgement.

Page  159 They believe also, the life everlasting in Paradise to be such a happinesse, as * consists onely in delighting, and plea∣sing of the senses, and that they shall have there the use of natural things in all perfection, without making any diffe∣rence; enjoying perfect health, and free from all manner of trouble, and vexati∣on. And on the contrary, that in Hell the * use of the foresaid things shall be in un∣quenchable fire, and shall have a most bitter and loathsom taste, and they which come there shall continually be torment∣ed with inumerable vexations, and fear∣ful sights: and this is all that they con∣ceive of Heaven or Hell; either for the reward of the righteous, or the punish∣ment of the reprobate.

They say moreover, that the power of God is such, that having at the cre∣ation of man prefixed, and appointed a set time for his end, it is impossible that the wit or device of mortal man, should * be able to divert, or prevent it; where∣fore in the wars, and in all other occasi∣ons, they are so much the more bold, re∣solute, and couragious; being persuaded that their end is written in their fore∣heads, Page  160 and that it is not for them to go about to avoid it, so that if they die, Emmer Allohung, it was Gods will it * should be so. Now this their opinion makes them to laugh at, and scorn the Greeks, who burn waxen candles at holy * wells hang rags upon trees, which they rend from the clothing of the sick, and use divers other charms for to drive a∣way diseases.

They also affirm Gods power to be such, that after mens bodies are risen a∣gain, he will give them such an agility, * that they shall be able in a moment to passe from one Heaven to another, even to the farthest part of them, to visit, and embrace their wives, mothers, brothers, and others of their kinred; the heavens being all transparent, of Diamonds, Ru∣bies, * and Christal.

As concerning Gods throne, or seat of Majesty, they affirm, that every one can∣not * behold it, by reason of the bright∣nesse of the beams, which come from his eyes; and by reason of the unspeakable splendor proceeding from his glorious face; so that the Angels, and Prophets only have the grace to enjoy that sight. Page  161 And of the Angels they report thus, that they are continually serving, and praising * God, and ready to obey his will: but I have read in a book which they call Ah∣vawlee keeyawmet, that is, the state of the day of judgement; written by a fa∣mous Sheyk amongst them, a most ri∣diculous discourse of the Angel Gabriel.* For he writes, that Gabriel hath a thou∣sand six hundred wings, and that he is hairy from head to foot, of a saffron co∣lour, having in his forehead a sun, and up∣on every hair a star; and that he dives three hundred and sixty times a day into *Noor dengiz, and ever as he riseth out of the water he shakes himself, and of e∣very drop that falls from him there is an angel made, after the likenesse of Gabriel himself; who until the end of the world do pray unto God, and praise him, upon their beads; and these young angels are called Roohawneyoon. Many such di∣courses there are in that book: but be∣cause they are vain I leave them to the Turks that believe them, especially the common sort, who think that whatsoe∣ver is written in their tongue must of ne∣cessity be true, and that they are bound to believe it.

Page  162 They hold that in Paradise there is a tree which they call Toobaw, upon whose * leaves are written the names of every living man; so when Gods will is that such, or such a one should die, God shakes off his leaf into *Israels lap, who looks upon it, and reads it, and having seen what Gods pleasure is, he (after the party hath been dead forty dayes) sends an angel to carry his soul, according as the leaf shall direct him, either into hea∣ven or hell, for upon his leaf, not only his hour of death is written, but also what shall become of him after he is dead.

They say, that Almighty God sent four Pegambers, that is Prophets, into the world, to instruct, govern, and save * mankinde, each of them being holy, pure, and undefiled, viz.1Moosaw:2Da∣wood:3Isaw:4Muhammed: and that God sent to every one of them by his angel Gabriel, a book that they them∣selves being first perfected, might the better know how to instruct the people: to Moses he sent the Tevrat, that is, the Old Law; to David the Zebur, that is, * the Psalms; to Jesus the Injeel, that is, * the Gospel; and to Mahomet the Ku∣raw•…,*Page  163 that is, the Alcoran. And that the three first Prophets with their people did * fail somewhat in the Laws given them by God: but Mahomet coming last, brought a Law, more true, plain, clear, and sincere, in which all such as believe should obtain the love of God: but they say that all other nations continue still in their er∣rors, and having sucked of their mothers milk, do not embrace the truth. For which obstinacy, and blindnesse, being (by right) deprived of all hope of coming to heaven; they have no other means to re∣cover the same, and to come thither at the day of judgement, but by Mahomets protection, who is the onely intercessor, and mediator unto Almighty God: and standing in the dreadful day of Judge∣ment at the gate of Paradise, he shall be sought unto, and intreated by the other three Prophets to save their people also, and his goodnesse, and clemency shall be such, as to make intercession for them; so that the good Christians, and the good Jewes, shall by his means obtain ever∣lasting life, with perpetual fruition of sensual delights as aforesaid; but in a place apart, and inferiour to the Turks, Page  164 they being beloved of God, and more dear unto him then others; the women also shall come into heaven, but shall be * in a place far inferiour to men, and be lesse glorified.

All the Prophets are held in great ho∣nor amongst them, and they never name any Prophet, but they say, Aleyhoo se∣lawm, that is health, or salvation be up∣on him.

They call Moses, Musahib Alloh, that is, a Talker with God; and David Hazret∣tee Dawood, that is, venerable David, and Jesus Meseeh, Roohullah, and Hazrettee Isaw, that is, Messias, the spirit of God, and Venerable Jesus; and Mahomet, Resul Alloh, that is, the Messenger of God.

When they talk of Christ Jesus, they speak very reverently of him, and con∣fesse * that the Jews through envy appre∣hended him, and falsly, and malitiously condemned him, and led him along to put him to death: but the angels being sent from God, took him away from them in a cloud, and carried him up into Heaven; at which the Jews being asto∣nished, and extreamly vexed, took one Page  165 that was there present, and crucified him in his stead; being unwilling to have it known that Jesus was the Messias, he be∣ing in heaven in company of his brethren the Prophets, beloved of God, and ser∣ving him, as the other Prophets do.

These are the main, and principal foun∣dations of their Religion, upon which they build, and frame the course of this their present temporal life; and by which they hope to obtain a life everlasting, and happy; affirmed by their Prophet to be full of the delights, and pleasures of this world, but enjoyed in all per∣fection, and excellency, in a supernatu∣ral, and incorruptible manner.

The ministry of their Religion (or rather their confused Sect) is as follow∣eth.

First they have a *Muftee, that is to say, an expounder, or declarer of Law cases; who is also amongst them as an Archbishop with us: for he is the Pri∣mat over the Church, and must be a man very expert in the Law, and accustomed to do justice, chosen by the Grand Sig∣nor himself: the which Muftees charge is, to oversee, and hear all such matters *Page  166 of weight, as are belonging to the Law, or to the Church, in case his inferiours, as *Moola's, Cadees, &c. should fail in the due performance of what belongs to their •…everal places. And to this end, every Tuesday he must assemble all the chiefest of them which are in town, or * at least the greatest part of them, to his own house; where he disputeth with them for the space of three, or four hours, putting divers cases to them, and taking their answers from them in wri∣ting: but by this means he oftentimes entraps many of the Cadees which are in * office, especially such as are given to bri∣bery. For when any Plaintiff, or Defen∣dant is assured that the Cadee (which had the cause before him) hath wronged any of them; then the party offended makes his grievance known to the Muftee, who against the next Tuesday frames a case as like unto it as possibly he can, but of another subject, and in other mens names; so when they are come together he wittily puts forth that amongst the rest, and that being resolved with the rest, he looks upon it; then he calls that Cadee, which committed the fault, Page  167 and privately rebukes him for it.

The like course is taken by many, which come to the Muftee himself to be resolved of some point in Law; lest that the Muftee should know either par∣ty by naming them, and so lean to what side he pleaseth: but after this manner he cannot easily deceive them.

The Muftees chief employment is, to answer all such propositions as are made unto him, upon cases of conscience, and the rites of the Turkish Law. The which answers are in few words, very brief, and they are called Fetfa's; that is, declarations, or judgements of the Muftee; with which he may compel, not only the Cadees, and Bashawes to the performance of the contents thereof; * but the Kings own person is also bound to see them executed, and to stand to his decree. For they seek altogether to am∣plifie this sect of lawyers, in honour of their prophet the Lawmaker; and the Muftees Authority is so much the more regarded, for that he is upheld very stout∣ly by the whole order of the Cadees.

The Muftee hath his revenue a part in land of about six thousand Sultana's*Page  168 the year; but being put out of his place, leaving the revenue to his successor, he hath then but a thousand aspars a day, as the Cadeeleschers have when they are in office; howbeit their uncertainties a∣mount alwayes to a far greater matter.

And although this Muftee hath not an absolute rule, and command over the Muftees of other parts of the Kings do∣minions; yet by his policie he ever pre∣vails with the Grand Signor, and effect∣eth whatsoever he undertakes, especially when he hath the Uizir Azem to his friend, who in degree, dignity, and au∣thority is his superiour.

Next to the Muftee, there are two Cadeeleschers, that is to say, Judges of the Armies, one of Graecia, and the other of *Natolia; who also being men of the law, and they which alwayes succeed the Muftee, have the oversight of all the other Cadees, and the placing, or the displacing of them is in their power; which Cadees are justices, and there is one in every city, and town, to do justice, and end controversies between man, and man; and to punish offenders; but they are changed every three years, and o∣thers Page  169 put into their places, by the Cadee∣leschers, with order from the Grand Sig∣nor: which selling of *Cadeelicks is an unspeakable benefit to the said two Ca∣deeleschers.

Amongst these Cadees, they have also their orders; viz. those of the first rank, * and they are called *Moola's, which are alwayes employed in the chiefest cities; the other are but Cadees, and they get employments as they can, by their good, and upright carriage in their places; a third sort there is also of this kinde, which are called Naibs, and they serve in * small towns, and villages, as Deputies to the former, but in time come to be as high as they. Now the Cadeeleschers keep each of them a Book, wherein are exactly set down the revenues of * every particular *Cadeelick both in Grae∣cia, and in Natolia; so that by their books they know the better how to fur∣nish any place that is void, and at what rates to sell them: none of them being worth, or yielding above five hundred aspars the day; gratuities, and bribes excepted.

This order of Turks only, amongst the Page  170 rest, hath this large priviledge, which is, that they may not be put to death as o∣ther * Turks are: so that, if any of them by committing some notorious villany, or offence against the Law, should de∣serve death, it must then be done, by an expresse and absolute command from the Grand Signor, and that very warily, and secretly; but this hapneth very sel∣dom, or never.

The Muftee, and Cadeeleschers are * changed at the Kings pleasure, (for there is no office among the Turks during life) howbeit their ordinary continuance is three yeers; their chief fortune depend∣ing wholly in obtaining the grace, and favour of the chief Vizir.

All the aforesaid men of the law, viz. the Muftee, the Cadeeleschers, Moola's, and Cadees, wear their Turbants far big∣ger * then any other Turks, and are made up after another fashion, in token that they ought to be reverenced above o∣thers: & although their habit be in fashi∣on very like other mens, yet in this there is great difference, which is, that their wearing is commonly Chamblet, and the * finest cloth, but no silk, or cloth of gold at all.

Page  171 Then nex to these orders, they have a governour of the Moscheas, or Churches, called the *Mootevelee; whose chief em∣ployment * is to look after the revenues of the Church, and after the repairing of the great Moscheas: then Sheichs which are high Priests, and Eemawms, which are Parish Priests, and next to them Muyezins, which are as our Church∣clerks, all which are employed in the service of the Church, both in praying, preaching, calling the people to prayer, burying the dead, reading upon the * graves of the dead; and to conclude, all such offices as are any way belonging to the Church, for the edifying of the people.

And in every Jawm, or Cathedral Church, there are *Mudereefes which are Readers, that teach Schollers the * Common prayers, and instruct them in the service, and duties belonging to the Church, being paid for their pains out of the revenues of the Moscheas.

They pray five times a day ordinarily * (aswel in the Moscheas, as in their pri∣vate houses, or wheresoever they are) viz. about four of the clock in the morn∣ing, Page  172 which they call Sabaw Namaz, or Temcheet Namaz: at Noon, and that they call Oileh Namaz: between three and four a clock afternoon, which they call Ekinde Namaz: between seven and eight at night, and that they call Ack∣sham Namaz: and at midnight, which they call Ghejeh Namaz: and upon the Fryday (which is their Sabbath) six times. For they pray then at nine of the clock * in the forenoon also, and that is called Selaw: now upon that day there are more *Muyezins which cry in the Mee∣nares, or steeples, then upon other dayes; * (for at all those hours instead of bells, the people are called to prayer by the voice of one or two of them standing in the steeples, or turrets, which are of a reasonable height, and joyn to the Mos∣cheas) by whose voices, and repetition of the *Aazawn, they are stirred up to the praise of God, and Mahomet, and so they prepare themselves for prayer.

The condition of them which are to pray, is onely to be corporally clean; it * being altogether unlawful for any Turk to enter into the Moscheas, with an in∣tent to pray, if he finde that he hath any Page  173 natural pollution, or carnal uncleannesse about him, be it of what condition soe∣ver, or of never so small moment; where∣fore, for their cleansing, every one is bound either to wash himself in the Bag∣no or bath, if it be for carnal commerce, (until which time he remains *Jenoob) or for other sorts of uncleanness, or small offences, with cold water: every place, and citie abounding with Baths, both publick, and private; and every Church∣yard with very fair fountains, for the use of the common sort of people; so that every one must do his *Awb dest before he pray.

Now, immediately after every one is * cleansed, and come into the Church, the Eemawm begins with a loud voice to pray, sitting before all the company with his face towards the * south east: and the people being placed in orderly ranks with their faces the same way, do alto∣gether imitate him in gesture. For of themselves a great part of them would not else know how to perform that busi∣nesse, scarcely one in twenty understand∣ing what the Eemawm sayes. For they pray in an unknown tongue aswel as the Page  174 Papists do: and their prayers consist * chiefly in rising up, falling down, kissing the ground, and sometime sitting still; one while touching their eyes, sometimes their faces, then stroaking their beards, and anon their heads; again sometimes looking over the left shoulder, and some∣times over the right; saying some few words in the praise of God, and Maho∣met: the Churches being all the while matted under foot, and in some places there are carpets spread for the better sort of people.

The said prayers, according to the hours of prayer are divers, some longer, and some shorter; none of them being above an hower long, only the Prayer in * the evening of the Ramazan, is longer then the other prayers.

They pray, as I said, after the Eemawm, who is is their guide, and is much estee∣med of, if he have a good voice, as we esteem of our singing men.

They also use preaching upon every *Jumaa ghun in the Ramazan: and * when they will pray for any good suc∣cesse in their wars, or curse any *Jelaw∣lee, they then have a custom to go a Page  175 Procession along the streets by two, and two, but without any lights, or any such * things in their hands: and as they go a∣long, they praise the name of God, and read very long prayers which they have for those purposes, the people still crying Amen at the end of every prayer: and then they hold that rebel, or enemie, whosoever he be, to be without all doubt accursed, and themselves prosperous in their enterprizes.

In the times of trouble, and affliction, they publish in the most eminent places * a convocation of all the chief men, and Ecclesiastical persons in the city (and of the common people also such as will come, may) to pray in the fields which are for that use; (therein imitating the Jews) and being all come together; di∣vers of their *Santons, (esteemed for their shew of holinesse) make sermons of exhortation to fortitude, patience, and to the love and fear of God: but if those troubles continue still, they then use the prayers of fourty hours, and of fourty dayes (for they are so called) in the chief∣est Moscheas built by the Emperors: which prayers are said by a company of Page  176 Church-men, who are belonging to the said Moscheas, and if all fail, then they fall to sacrificing; for that is held to be of * greatest force to put away evil, and the best thanksgiving for benefits received.

All the ceremonies, which they use in the Ramazan, or moneth of fasting, are no other, but to abstain from eating and * drinking in the day time. For they have leave to eat all the night long, if they will (that is, from the Acksham Namaz, which is about seven or eight a clock at night, until the Sabaw Namaz, which is about four a clock in the morning) and what they please, without any difference of meats. And at twilight they light lamps round about the steeples, which * burn till morning; the Eemawm of eve∣ry parish taking special notice who is of∣ten * wanting from Church, (especially in the evening) and who drinks wine, or eats in the day time. For besides that they should be held despisers of the law, they should be most severely punished, if they were found in any such fault.

I remember, that Nasooh Bashawe be∣ing Vizir Azem, and riding through the * streets in the moneth Ramazan, espied a Page  177 Turk that was drunk with wine; forth∣with he caused him to be brought unto him, and without giving him any respite, for the recovery of his lost wits, caused a ladlefull of boyling lead to be poured down his throat, wherewith the wretch perished immediately.

The Grand Signor useth in the Rama∣zan, aswel as in the times of troubles, and afflictions; (and so do the Bashawes, and other great men) to sacrifice divers sorts of beasts, both at the sepulchers of such as have been held for holy and va∣liant men, and at the Moscheas too, now some do it privately, but the Kings have still command, that their sacrifices be done publickly, and in the open streets, and at the gates of the city; dividing the flesh of the beasts among the people, yet some part of it is sent to the Bashawes themselves, and to the other grandees of the Port. These sacrifices are used ve∣ry often. For by that means they think to appease Gods wrath, and regain his love and favour.

Those Turks which seem to be pro∣fessours of Religion, and devotion, and would be accounted * Sofees, do com∣monly *Page  178 read, as they walk along the streets, and have their beads longer then * other men, carrying them in their hands into the Moscheas, and are ever busie with them as they walk up and down the streets, that the world may take notice of their fained zeal: but they passe (or rather poste (them over very quickly; for whereas the Papists say the Pater noster, or an Ave Marie; they say only two words; as for example, 1Subhawn Allah, or 2Istigfir allah, and some∣times. 3 3. Alloho okber,

Many of them go to Mecca, and to *Jerusalem on pilgrimage. To Mecca, to visit the temple which they say was built by Abraham, in which Mahomet in the time of idolatry did hide himself; of whom they affirm, that when he was almost forty years of age, he received the Alcoran from God, by the hand of the angel Gabriel, and that from that time the Mussulmanlick began, that is, the true belief, and shortly after he died, and his sepulcher is visited by all such, as go the said pilgrimage. And when they go to Jerusalem they go not to visit Christs * sepulcher. For they say, he did not Page  179 die: but they go to see the places, which he most frequented, as being a miracu∣lous prophet, who raised the dead to life, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and wrought many such wonders, which never any prophet could do but he. They go likewise to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for they say, that in that place shall be * the resurrection at the day of Judgment. Now all such as have gone the said pil∣grimage, and return home again to their * houses, are ever after called Hagees, that is, pilgrims, and are very much reveren∣ced, and esteemed of all men. There are also divers Turks, who forsaking the world, leave all that they have and go to live, neer to the foresaid vally, for devo∣tion; and to be nearer to the place of resurrection, supposing thereby to get a great advantage to themselves, above the rest at that day.

Many there be likewise, which professe a kinde of living out of the common course, and custome of the world, being clothed wonderfull poorly, and raggedly, with white felt caps on their heads, that beg for their living, and lie in the courts of the Moscheas, and in such like places; Page  180 and these are accounted very holy men. For they pray much in the view of the world, and live alwayes (in outward appearance) in the love of honesty: preaching this doctrine to the standers by, that it is impossible perfectly to arrive unto, and gain the love of God, but by the ladder of humane love, and innocency; and for this cause they betake themselves to that course of life, that they may be in charity with al the world, and be accepted of God, and rewarded for it in Heaven; under which colour of holiness they live at ease, and deceive the world, every one being bountifull unto them. For the poore, simple, and igno∣rant people do dayly throng about them, receiving their benedictions, for which they give them money. They go many times up and downe the city, from house to house, singing certain prayers for the prosperity of the family; and seldome, or never go away empty.

Besides them, there are also some, who (like Hermits) live in rocks, and on the sides of mountaines, and in other solita∣ry places, neglecting the world, concei∣ving that course of life to excell all o∣ther Page  181 for innocency, and holiness; to whom also many men, and women do resort, and give money for their prayers, and benedictions.

The greatest ceremony (for pomp, and solemnity) which is used amongst the * T•…rks, is that of circumcising their chil∣dren; wherin they greatly differ from the Jews in this one particular. For the Turks never circumcise them, till they be past ten years of age, following the ex∣ample of Ishmael, whom they imitate; alledging that Abraham loved him, and not Isaac, and that it was Ishmael whom Abraham would have sacrificed.

Until the very day of circumcision, * they let a lock of hair grow on the crowne of the head, as long as may be, but afterwards they cut it shorter: and the reason why they must let it grow is, only to shew that they are not as yet cir∣cumcised: until which time they are not accounted perfect *Mussulmen, nor may till then pray in the congregation; they wear the lock broided, and plaited, and hanging downe the middle of their back, over their uppermost coat, that every one may see it. This circumcision is done Page  182 without the Church, because of the shedding of blood; all the kindred, and friends being invited unto it, in token of joy, and gladnesse. They use the like ceremony with those, which turne from any other religion, and become Turks; who, in token that they embrace the re∣ligion of Mahomet, do (before they are circumcised) hold up their forefinger and say these words, Law illawho illaw Allhah ve Muhammed resul Alla, that is, There is no God, but God alone, and Mahomet is the messenger of God.

There are in the cities, and by the high wayes also, in most places of the Grand Signors dominions, for the benefit both of the inhabitants, and travailers, divers * Hawns (commonly called *Canes) in which wayfaring men do lodge, and refresh themselves, and their horses: there are also Hospitals in Cities, * and Colledges for the bringing up of youth, where they may learn to read, and write; every Moschea built by the Emperors, and all other great Moscheas having large revenues, out of which (by the will of the founders) the said Col∣ledges, and Hospitals are maintained. Page  183 For the Emperours by Canon, should not build any Churches, but in memory of some notable conquest, or memorable * enterprise, by which the Church may be provided for: nor Sultana's neither may build, unlesse it be the Queen mo∣ther to that Emperor who reigns at that time when she goes about it. For the building of which, they are at infinite charge, dedicating them with great so∣lemnities for the said victory, be it what it will be. When an Emperor builds a Moschea, and that it is almost finished, * and the main Cupola, or round roof is to be laid on, to cap, or crown as it were the whole fabrick; then are invited all the Bashawes, and other great men to come to the solemnity, but every one of them doth send the day before, his pre∣sent of vests of cloth of gold, velvet, sattin, &c. all which being that day hanged upon cords, on the out-side of the top of the Church, the Grand Sig∣nor himself comes thither, and being set under his pavillion in the Church-yard, all the chiefest of them (to whom he also giveth vests) kiss his hand one after ano∣ther: this being ended the MusteePage  184 makes a Prayer, and then the Cupola is put on, and this is their consecration; the said vests, which were hanged up, being afterwards shared amongst the master workmen.

The same ceremony is also used among the Turks in building of their houses, at the closing up the roof. For they invite their friends, who either send them vests, or handkerchiefs, and hang them up af∣ter the said manner, which also fall to the workmens share; the guests are feast∣ed for their pains, & that is the warming of the house, as we call it in England.

In these Moscheas there are some very costly pieces of work, and exceeding * well set forth, and proportioned; aswel for the largeness, and neatness of those places where the people pray; as also for the beautifull porches, galleries, and * large paved Courts which compasse the said Moscheas, being adorned with very stately pillars, & fountains built all of cu∣rious Marble, besides their colledges, and hospitals near unto them, to which (as I said) belong very large revenues: insomuch that some of those Moscheas may be com∣pared with the richest Churches in the world. They are built all of wonderful fair Page  185 stone, with Cupola's covered all over with lead; the pillars within the churches being either of Porphiry, or some such costly stones, and the basis thereof all whited. Now the pillars in time of prayer shine * most gloriously, by reason of the abun∣dance of lamps that are burning: the which lamps are curiously fastned into round iron hoops, in compass as big as the hoop of a butt; upon which there are divers rounds of lamps one above ano∣ther, and are let downe by copper chains from the roof of the church: in every Moschea there are three, or four such circles of lamps, or more, accor∣ding * to the bigness of the Church.

There are no benches in the Moscheas, nor any thing to sit upon; only a little place raised from the ground for the priests, and another right over against it (but somewhat lower) for the Grand Signor, at such times as he comes to prayer; all the rest sitting upon the ground, as ordinarily they use to sit in other places: wherefore the pavements (although they are of very bright, and clean stone) are covered with very fine mats of Cairo, which are kept wondrous * neatly. For besides the Grand SignorPage  186 no man may come into the Church with his shoes on; but must leave them at the door, or else give them to their servants to keep. *

When any one is dangerously sick, and in their iudgements past hope of recove∣ry; then they send for the *Imawm, who comes, and useth comfortable speeches unto him, and prayeth by him, and the party dying, they wash him all over with water, then having wound him up in his *Kefin, or winding sheet, and layed him in a coffin with his face downward, they carry him to his grave with his head for∣most. Now if the party that is dead be a man, or a manchild, then they set a Tu∣bant upon the coffin; and if it be a wo∣man, or a girle, then they set a Filian Takya upon the coffin, for distinctions sake; that is such a cap as the women wear, with a brooch, and feather in it. Again, if the party be a virgin, they of∣tentimes (provided they be people of * quality) set garlands, and boughes of Oranges upon the coffin. They are ac∣companied to the grave by the Church-men, and their own kindred, and many strangers also, which pass by, willingly go along with them (for they hold it a Page  187 very meritorious work to see the dead well buried) but no women at all; (yet women may afterwards both weep, and * pray upon their graves) nor do they car∣ry any lights in their hands, or censers, or howle, and cry after them as the Greeks do; but the *Muyezins sing all along as they go, calling upon the name of God, and their Prophet Mahomet; and praying for the health of the soul departed: and at their returne there is some kind of course banquet made to the company for their pains.

The Tombs of the Emperors most commonly are built upon the ground, * close by their graues, and on each grave there stands an empty coffin, covered either with extraordinary fine cloth, or else with velvet; having Turbants set upon them of the fashion of those which the Emperors themselves did wear, with brooches, and sprigs of feathers in them: and there stand great candlesticks both at the head, and at the feet of the said graves, and two lamps burning con∣tinually day and, night. Now these tombs are for the most part built in little chappels close by (but not adloyning) to the Moscheas of the said Emperors, there Page  188 is no great store of workmanship about any of their tombs. For they are of the fashion of a chest, about seven foot long, and about two foot and half broad: either side is cut out with flowers, guil∣ded over, and at each end an Epitaph. Now in these chappels there are Muye∣zins, and Derveeshes, who by turns con∣tinually read in the Alcoran, and pray with their beads, for the glory of the Emperors deceased. The Uizirs, Ba∣shawes, and other great men also (imita∣ting the Emperors) do the like, but with less pomp, and charge: and they which have no burying places neare the Mos∣cheas, may make them neare their dwel∣ling houses, and be buried there, or if they please in any other part of the city, provided that the ground whereon they build their tombs be their owne. The common sort are carried out of the city, * and buried in the fields, which serve only for that purpose; having one stone set upright at the one end of their grave, and another at the other end, for a to∣ken that one hath been buried there (for by the law, howsoever it is not strictly observed, they ought not to bury where Page  189 one hath been buried before) upon which is graven the name, degree, and countrey, or any thing else that they please of the parties deceased. Besides, if it be the Tomb of a man of quality, they usually set a Turbant cut out in marble upon the head of it: or if a wo∣men then a cap of marble, such as the wo∣man, wear.

Amongst the Turks there are no Religi∣ous houses, or monasteries, unless the *Teckebs of the Meulevees, which are an order of *Derveeshes, that turne round with musick in their Divine Ser∣vice. The Turks generally are bred up to Arms, and very few can write, or read; Nay it hath been sometimes seen that a Bashawe, Vizir of the port (which had not his education in the kings Se∣raglio) hath sate to do Justice in the Di∣van, and hath not known either to write, or read; but hath beene enforced of ne∣cessity to learn to write a few words of course, for the signing of command∣ments, bills, warrants, and the like. And among the Turks, he that can but read, and write, is held a very learned man, and esteemed of far above others, by the Page  190 common ignorant people: insomuch that when a crafty fellow hath got a book, which he knows will please their humors (they altogether delighting in books like P•…lmerind' Oliva, the Knight of the sun, Amadis de Gaule, and the like) he forth∣with gets him with his book to some *Cahve house, or other, where there is alwayes great resort, and there being set down in the middle of them, he falls to reading (the people evermore giving credit to whatsoever he sayes) and so having spent an hour, or two, he takes their benevolences, which is usually more then the price of the book comes to; such is their delight in hearing a man read fables.

As for the women, there is no heed ta∣ken, or reckoning made of their religion at all; therefore I speak of it last, but * for modesty sake, I must conceale what the Turkes are not ashamed sometimes to Judge of them. For they never go to Church, so that if they happily have a * will to pray at the hours of prayer, they do it in their own houses, using the same preparations as the men do. Neverthe∣less their honesty, and good carriage is Page  191 much looked after; the *Imawms of e∣very parish being bound to harken dili∣gently after their deportment: who if they discover anything that is amiss, must reveal it to their husbands, that they may put them away if they will; or else to their fathers, or kindred (if they be unmarried) that they may take some course for to reform them.

And although the women may not be conversant with any other men, then with their husbands, fathers, or brothers, and although they live in lodgings apart, by themselves, out of the sight of men, and go alwayes abroad with their faces covered; yet many of them being extra∣ordinarily wanton, are very dishonest, & lascivious, who taking the opportunity of their husbands absence, at the wars, or in some long Journey, under colour of going to the Baths, and being cove∣red withall, go whither, and to whom they lust, knowing that the worst of it is to be put away, if so be it should at any time be discovered.