Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, by Richard Hakluyt

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

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

Your louing Nephew Richard Wrag.

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

We set saile in the Ascension of London, a new shippe very well appointed, of two hundred and three score tunnes (whereof was master one William Broadbanke, a prouident and skilfull man in his facultie) from Grauesend the one and twentie of March 1593. And vpon the eight of Aprill folowing wee passed the streights of Gibraltar, and with a small Westerne gale, the 24. of the same, we arriued at Zante an Iland vnder the Venetians. The fourth of May wee departed, and the one and twentie wee arriued at Alexandretta in Cilicia in the very bottome of the Mediterrane sea, a roade some 25. miles distance from Antioch, where our marchants land their goods to bee sent for Aleppo. From thence wee set saile the fift of Iune, and by contrary windes were driuen vpon the coast of Caramania into a road neere a litle Iland where a castle standeth, called Castle Rosso, some thirtie leagues to the Eastwards of the Rhodes, where after long search for fresh water, we could finde none, vntil certaine poore Greekes of the Iland brought vs to a well where we had 5 or 6 tuns. That part of the country next the sea is very barren and full of mountains, yet found we there an olde tombe of marble, with an epitaph of an ancient Greeke caracter, by antiquity neere worne out and past reading; which to the beholders seemed a monument of the greatnesse of the Grecian monarchy. [Candie.] From thence we went to the Rhodes, and by contrary windes were driuen into a port of Candy, called Sittia: this Iland is vnder the Venetians, who haue there 600 souldiers, besides certaine Greeks, continually in pay. Here with contrary winds we stayed six weeks, and in the end, hauing the winde prosperous, we sailed by Nicaria, Pharos, Delos, and Andros, with sight of many other Ilands in the Archipelago, and arriued at the two castles in Hellespont the 24 of August. Within few dayes after we came to Galipoli some thirty miles from this place, where foure of vs tooke a Parma or boat of that place, with two watermen, which rowed us along the Thracian shore to Constantinople, which sometime sailing and sometime rowing, in foure dayes they performed. The first of September we arriued at the famous port of the Grand Signior, where we were not a little welcome to M. Edward Barton vntil then her Maiesties Agent, who (with many other great persons) had for many dayes expected the present. [The Ascension arriued at the 7 towers.] Fiue or sixe dayes after the shippe arriued neere the Seuen towers, which is a very strong hold, and so called of so many turrets, which it hath, standing neere the sea side, being the first part of the city that we came vnto. [The ship saluteth the grand Signior.] Heere the Agent appointed the master of the Ascension to stay with the shippe vntill a fitte winde and opportunity serued to bring her about the Seraglio to Salute the Grand Signior in his moskyta or church: for you shall vnderstand that he hath built one neere the wall of his Seraglio or pallace adioyning to the Sea side; whereunto twise or thrise a weeke he resorteth to performe such religious rites as their law requireth: where hee being within few dayes after, our shippe set out in their best maner with flagges, streamers and pendants of diuers coloured silke, with all the mariners, together with most of the Ambassadours men, hauing the winde faire, and came within two cables length of this his moskita, where (hee to his great content beholding the shippe in such brauery) they discharged first two volies of small shot, and then all the great ordinance twise ouer, there being seuen and twentie or eight and twentie pieces in the ship. Which performed, he appointed the Bustangi–Bassa or captaine of the great and spacious garden or parke, to giue our men thankes, with request that some other day they would shew him the like sporte when hee would have the Sultana or Empresse a beholder thereof, which few dayes after at the shippes going to the Custome-house they performed.

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

The plaintifes expect the grand Signiors going abroad from his pallace, either to Santa Sophia or to his church by the sea side, whither, with a Perma (that is one of their vsuall whirries) they approch within some two or three score yards, where the plaintife standeth vp, and holdeth his petition ouer his forehead in sight of the grand Signior (for his church is open to the Sea side) the rest sitting still in the boat, who appointeth one of his Dwarfes to receiue them, and to bring them to him. A Dwarfe, one of the Ambassadors fauorites, so soone as he was discerned, beckned him to the shore side, tooke his Arz, and with speed caried it to the grand Signior. Now the effect of it was this; that except his highnesse would redresse this so great an indignitie, which the Vizir his slaue had offered him and her maiestie in his person, he was purposed to detaine the Present vntill such time as he might by letters ouer-land from her maiestie bee certified, whither she would put vp so great an iniurie as it was. [The great hall of Iustice.] Whereupon he presently returned answere, requesting the ambassador within an houre after to goe to the Douan of the Vizir, vnto whom himselfe of his charge would send a gowne of cloth of gold, and commaund him publikely to put it vpon him, and with kind entertainment to imbrace him in signe of reconciliation. [Reconceliation with the Vizir made.] Whereupon our ambassador returning home, tooke his horse, accompanied with his men, and came to the Vizirs court, where, according to the grand Signiors command, he with all shew of kindnesse embraced the ambassador, and with curteous speeches reconciled himselfe, and with his own hands put the gowne of cloth of gold vpon his backe. Which done, hee with his attendants returned home, to the no small admiration of all Christians, that heard of it, especially of the French and Venetian ambassadors, who neuer in the like case against the second person of the Turkish Empire durst haue attempted so bold an enterprise with hope of so friendly audience, and with so speedie redresse. This reconciliation with the great Vizir thus made, the ambassador prepared himselfe for the deliuerie of the Present, which vpon the 7 of October 1593. in this maner he performed.

[The ambassador goeth to the court with the present.] The Ascension with her flags and streamers, as aforesaid, repaired nigh vnto the place where the ambassador should land to go vp to the Seraglio: for you must vnderstand that all Christian ambassadors haue their dwelling in Pera where most Christians abide, from which place, except you would go 4 or 5 miles about, you cannot go by land to Constantinople, whereas by Sea it is litle broder then the Thames. Our Ambassador likewise apparelled in a sute of cloth of siluer, with an vpper gowne of cloth of gold, accompanied with 7 gentlemen in costly sutes of Sattin, with 40 other of his men very well apparelled, and all in one liuerie of sad French russet cloth gownes, at his house tooke boate: at whose landing the ship discharged all her ordinance, where likewise attended 2 Bassas, with 40 or 50 Chauses to accompany the ambassador to the court, and also horses for the ambassador and his gentlemen, very richly furnished, with Turkish seruants attendant to take the horses when they should light. [The Ambass. came to the Seraglio.] The ambassador thus honorably accompanied, the Chauses foremost, next his men on foote all going by two and two, himselfe last with his Chause and Drugaman or Interpreter, and 4 Ianissaries, which he doeth vsually entertaine in his house to accompany him continually abroad, came to the Seraglio about an Engush mile from the water side, where first hee passed a great gate into a large court (much like the space before Whitehall gate) where he with his gentlemen alighted and left their horses. From hence they passed into an other stately court, being about 6 score in bredth, and some 10 score yards long, with many trees in it: where all the court was with great pompe set in order to entertaine our ambassador. [All these are captaines of hundreds and of fifties.] Vpon the right hand all the length of the court was a gallerie arched ouer, and borne vp with stone pillars, much like the Roiall Exchange, where stood most of his guard in rankes from the one end to the other in costly aray, with round head pieces on their heads of mettall and gilt ouer, with a great plume of fethers somewhat like a long brush standing vp before. On the left hand stood the Cappagies or porters, and the Chauses. All these courtiers being about the number of 2000. (as I might well gesse) most of them apparelled in cloth of gold, siluer, veluet, sattin and scarlet, did together with bowing their bodies, laying their hands vpon their brests in curteous maner of salutation, entertain the Ambassador: who likewise passing between them, and turning himself sometime to the right hand and sometime to the left, answered them with the like. [The ambassador receiued by the Vizir with all kindnesse.] As he thus passed along, certaine Chauses conducted him to the Douan, which is the seat of Iustice, where certaine dayes of the weeke the grand Vizir, with the other Vizirs, the Cadi-lesker or lord chiefe Iustice, and the Mufti or high priest do sit to determine vpon such causes as be brought before them, which place is vpon the left side of this great court, whither the ambassador with his gentlemen came, where hee found the Vizir thus accompanied as aforesayd, who with great shew of kindnes receiued him: and after receit of her maiesties letters, and conference had of the Present, of her maiesties health, of the state of England, and such other matters as concerned our peaceable traffique in those parts: [Diner brought in.] dinner being prepared was by many of the Courtiers brought into another inner roome next adioining, which consisted of an hundred dishes or therabouts, most boiled and rosted, where the ambassador accompanied with the Vizirs went to dinner, his gentlemen likewise with the rest of his men hauing a dinner with the like varietie prepared vpon the same side of the court, by themselues sate downe to their meat, 40 or 50 Chauses standing at the vpper end attending vpon the gentlemen to see them serued in good order; their drinke was water mingled with rose water and sugar brought in a Luthro (that is a goates skinne) which a man carieth at his backe, and vnder his arme letteth it run out at a spout into cups as men will call for it. [Diner taken away] The dinner thus with good order brought in, and for halfe an houre with great sobrietie and silence performed, was not so orderly taken vp; for certaine Moglans officers of the kitchin (like her maiesties black guard) came in disordered maner and tooke away the dishes, and he whose hungry eie one dish could not satisfie, turned two or three one into the other, and thus of a sudden was a cleane riddance made of all. The ambassador after dinner with his gentlemen, by certaine officers were placed at the vpper ende vpon the left side of the court, nere vnto a great gate which gaue entrance to a third court being but litle, paued with stone. [Gownes of cloth of gold for the ambassador and his gentlemen.] In the midst whereof was a litle house built of marble, as I take it, within which sate the grand Signor, according to whose commandement giuen there were gownes of cloth of gold brought out of the wardrope, and put vpon the ambassador and 7 of his gentlemen, the ambassador himselfe hauing 2, one of gold and the other of crimosin veluet, all the rest one a piece. [The Present.] Then certaine Cappagies had the Present, which was in trunks there ready, deliuered them by the ambassadors men, it being 12 goodly pieces of gilt plate, 36 garments of fine English cloth of al colors, 20 garments of cloth of gold, 10 garments of sattin, 6 pieces of fine Holland, and certaine other things of good value; al which were caried round about the court, each man taking a piece, being in number very neere 100 parcels, and so 2 and 2 going round that all might see it, to the greater glory of the present, and of him to whom it was giuen: [The Present viewed.] they went into the innermost court passing by the window of that roome, where the grand Signior sate, who, as it went by to be laid vp in certaine roomes adioining, tooke view of all. Presently after the present followed the ambassador with his gentlemen; at the gate of which court stoode 20 or 30 Agaus which be eunuchs. Within the court yard were the Turkes Dwarfes and Dumbe men, being most of them youths. At the doore of his roome stood the Bustangi-bassa, with another Bassa to lead the ambassador and his folowers to the grand Signior who sate in a chaire of estate, apparelled in a gowne of cloth of siluer. The floore vnder his feete, which part was a foote higher then the rest, was couered with a carpet of green sattin embrodered most richly with siluer, orient perles and great Turkesses; the other part of the house was couered with a carpet of Cornation sattin imbrodered with gold, none were in the roome with him, but a Bassa who stood next the wall ouer against him banging down his head, and looking submissely vpon the ground as all his subjects doe in his presence. [The ambassador kisseth the grand Signiors hand.] The ambassador thus betwixt two which stood at the doore being led in, either of them taking an arme, kissed his hand, and so backward with his face to the Turke they brought him nigh the dore againe, where he stood vntill they had likewise done so with all the rest of his gentlemen. [The ambassadors demands granted.] Which ended, the ambassador, according as it is the custome when any present is deliuered, made his three demaunds, such as he thought most expedient for her maiesties honor, and the peaceable traffique of our nation into his dominions: whereunto he answered in one word, Nolo, which is in Turkish as much as, it shal be done: for it is not the maner of the Turkish emperor familiarly to confer with any Christian ambassador, but he appointeth his Vizir in his person to graunt their demaunds if they be to his liking: as to our ambassador he granted all his demands, and gaue order that his daily allowance for his house of mony, flesh, wood, and haie, should be augmented with halfe as much more as it had bene before. Hereupon the ambassador taking his leaue, departed with his gentlemen the same way he came, the whole court saluting him as they did at his comming in: and comming to the second court to take our horses, after we were mounted, we staied halfe an houre, vntil the captain of the guard with 2000 horsemen at the least passed before, after whom folowed 40 or 50 Chauses next before the ambassador to accompany him to his house. And as before at his landing, so now at his taking boat, the ship discharged all her great ordinance, where arriuing, he likewise had a great banquet prepared to entertaine those which came to bring him home. [The Sultanas present.] The pompe and solemnitie of the Present, with the day thus ended, he shortly after presented the Sultana or empresse who (by reason that she is mother to him which was heire to the crown Imperial) is had in far greater reuerence then any of his other Queens or concubines. The Present sent her in her maiesties name was a iewel of her maiesties picture, set with some rubies and diamants, 3 great pieces of gilt plate, 10 garments of cloth of gold, a very fine case, of glass bottles siluer and gift, with 2 pieces of fine Holland, which so gratefully she accepted, as that she sent to know of the ambassador what present he thought she might return that would most delight her maiestie: who sent word that a sute of princely attire being after the Turkish fashion would for the rarenesse thereof be acceptable in England. [The Sultanas present to the Queene. Letters sent for England.] Whereopon she sent an vpper gowne of cloth of gold very rich, an vnder gowne of cloth of siluer, and a girdle of Turkie worke, rich and faire, with a letter of gratification, which for the rarenesse of the stile, because you may be acquainted with it, I haue at the ende of this discourse hereunto annexed, which letter and present, with one from the grand Signor, was sent by M. Edward Bushell, and M. William Aldridge ouer-land the 20 of March, who passed through Valachia and Moldauia, and so through Poland, where Michael prince of Valachia, and Aron Voiuoda prince of Moldauia receiuing letters from the ambassador, entertained them with al curtesie, through whose meanes by the great fauour which his lordship had with the grand Signior, they had not long before both of them bene aduanced to their princely dignities. [The other Vizirs presented.] Hee likewise presented Sigala the Admirall of the Seas, with Abrim Bassa, who maried the great Turkes daughter, and all the other Vizirs with diuers pieces of plate, fine English cloth and other costly things: the particulars whereof, to auoid tediousnesse, I omit. [The Ascension departeth.] All the presents thus ended, the ship shooting ten pieces of ordinance at the Seraglio point, as a last farewell, departed on her iourney for England the first of Nouember, my selfe continuing in Constantinople vntill the last of Iuly after. This yere in the spring there was great preparation for the Hungarian wars: and the great Turke threatned to goe himselfe in person: but like Heliogabalus, his affections being more seruiceable to Venus then to Mars, he stayed at home. Yet a great army was dispatched this yere; who, as they came out of Asia to goe for Hungary, did so pester the streets of Constantinople for the space of two moneths in the spring time, as scarse either Christian or Iew could without danger of losing his money passe vp and downe the city. What insolencies, murders and robberies were committed not onely vpon Christians but also vpon Turks I omit to write, and I pray God in England the like may neuer be seene: and yet I could wish, that such amongst vs as haue inioyed the Gospel with such great and admirable peace and prosperity vnder her Maiesties gouerment this forty yeeres, and haue not all this time brought forth better fruits of obedience to God, and thankfulnesse to her Maiesty, were there but a short time to beholde the miserable condition both of Christians and others liuing vnder such an infidell prince, who not onely are wrapped in most palpable and grosse ignorance of minde, but are cleane without the meanes of the true knowledge of God: I doubt not but the sight hereof (if they be not cleane void of grace) would stirre them vp to more thankefulnesse to God, that euer they were borne in so happy a time, and vnder so wise and godly a prince professing the true religion of Christ.

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

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

Sinan Bassa generall, with the Saniacke masould, that is, out of office, with the other Saniacks in office or of degree, 40000. Achmigi, that is, Aduenturers, 50000. The Agha or Captaine with his Ianisaries, and his Giebegies, 20000. The Beglerbeg of Græcia, with all his Saniacks, 40000. The company of Spaheis or horsemen, 10000. The company of Silitari, 6000. The company of Sagbulue and of Solbulue both together, 8000. The Bassa of Belgrad. } The Bassa of Temiswar. } The Bassa of Bosna. } 80000. The Bassa of Buda. } The Siniack of Gersech. }

Out of Asia.

The Bassa of Caramania. } The Bassa of Laras. } The Bassa of Damasco. } The Bassa of Suas. } 120000 The Bassa of Van or Nan. } The Bassa of Vsdrum. } Of Tartars there be about 100000. }

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

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

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

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:52