Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

CHAPTER IV.

IN THE REIGN OF JAMES I.-A.D. 1603 to A.D. 1625. The largest English prose work published in the The foundation of the Free School was completed in first year of the reign of James the First, was a 1566, and Roger Manwood himself drew up its folio of more than 1,300 pages, Richard Knolles's rules. The books to be used were “the Dialogs of “General Historie of the Turkes." Appended to it Castilio, the Exercises of Apthomius, Virgill's was “A briefe discourse of the greatnesse of the Eglog's, or some chaste poet, Tully, Cæsar, and Turkish Empire.” Richard Knolles's great book Livie." To the head-mastership of this school, was in high repute in James's reign, and has in after Richard Knolles was invited. He was the third years been saved from neglect by the praises of more who occupied that office, and the first who abided in than one man of genius.' Its author, who was of it long. He spent the rest of his life among his boys the family of his name living at Cold Ashby, in and his books, with the hearty friendship and enNorthamptonshire, graduated at Oxford in 1564, couragement of Sir Roger Manwood, whose chief and then obtained a Fellowship at Lincoln College. house was at St. Stephen’s, near Canterbury, and to At Oxford he was aspiring to serve God and his whose munificence it is probable that the greatest country with some large work of the pen, when he of our dramatists before Shakespeare, Christopher was invited to Sandwich by Sir Roger Manwood. | Marlowe, son of a Canterbury shoemaker, owed his Sandwich, in ancient days the most famous English Cambridge education. After Sir Roger's death in port, though now the sea is two miles distant from 1592, his son Peter, who was knighted at the it, had ceased to be a port, and then decayed so coronation of James I., remained Knolles's friend, rapidly that in Edward the Sixth's time there were and encouraged him to work at his great History. but two hundred houses where there had been nine Richard Knolles was in repute as a schoolmaster who hundred. But in Elizabeth's reign four hundred sent many well-trained youths to the University; he Protestant Walloons, driven from their own country wrote a Compendium of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew by religious persecution, settled in Sandwich, bring- Grammar, in which attention was paid to the roots ing with them their industries as workers in serge of words, and died in 1610, the year of the issue of baize and flannel, and turning waste ground into the second edition of his “General Historie of the market gardens, that became famous especially for Turkes," first published in 1603. celery. In this reviving town Roger Manwood was When Knolles chose the subject for the main work born in 1525, a draper's son who made law his pro of his life outside the schoolroom, there was danger fession. He was a Serjeant in 1567, a Justice of Com to Christendom from the power of the Turk; the mon Pleas in 1672, a knight and Chief Baron of the danger now is from his weakness, and the day has Exchequer in 1578. He grew rich, and was liberal. come to which Knolles looked forward for reading He began to raise in his native town, as early as 1563, | again, at least, his “ Brief Discourse of the greatness a high gabled building to be used as a school for the of the Turkish Empire” written, as he said, for this education of the children of townspeople, who were among other reasons," that they which come hereto be “ freely taught without anything taken but of after, may, by comparing of that which is here benevolence, at the end of every quarter, towards written with the state that then shall be, see how buying books for the common use of the scholars.” much this great Empire in the meantime increaseth

or diminisheth.” I will leave here the old spelling.

1 Samuel Johnson in a paper of his Rambler (No. 122) on the writing of History, gave the first place among English men as an historian to Richard Knolles. “None of our writers," he said, “can, in my opinion, justly contest the superiority of Knolles, who in his History of the Turks has displayed all the excellencies that narrative can admit. His style, though somewhat obscured by time, and sometimes vitiated by false wit, is pure, nervous, elevated and clear, &c., &c. ... Nothing could have sunk this author in obscurity but the remoteness and barbarity of the people whose story he relates. It seldom happens that all circumstances concur to happiness or fame. The nation which produced this great historian, has the grief of seeing his genius employed upon a foreign and un. interesting subject; and that writer, who might have secured perpetuity to his name by a history of his own country, has exposed himself to the danger of oblivion, by recounting enterprizes and revolutions of which none desire to be informed." Lord Byron had read Knolles, when he wrote“ The Giaour," and a few weeks before his death, he said at Missolonghi, “Old Knolles was one of the first books that gave me pleasure when a child; and I believe it had much influence on my future wishes to visit the Levant, and gave, perhaps, the Oriental colouring which is observed in my poetry." He gave his old friend a corner in the fifth canto of “Don Juan," where it is said of a Sultan :

“He was as good a sovereign of the sort

As any mentioned in the histories
Of Cantemir or Knolles, where few shine

Save Solyman, the glory of their line."

A BRIEFE DISCOURSE OF THE GREATNESSE OF THE

TURKISH EMPIRE :
As also wherein the greatest strength thereof consisteth, and of
what power the bordering Princes, as well Mahometanes as
Christians, are in comparison of it.

The Historie of the Turks (being indeed nothing else but the true record of the wofull ruines of the greater part of the Christian commonweale) thus as before passed through, and at length brought to an end; and their empire (of all otherg now vpon earth farre the greatest) as a proud champion still standing vp as it were in defiance of the whole world: I thought it good for the conclusion of this my labour, to propose vnto the view of the zealous Christian, the greatnesse thereof; and so neere as I could to set down the bounds and limits within the which it is (by the goodnesse of God) as yet contained, together with the strength and power thereof, as also in what regard it hath the neighbor princes bordering or confining vpon it, with some other particularities tending vnto the same purpose. All or most part whereof, although it be by the considerat well to be gathered out of the whole course of the Historie before going, yet shall it more plainely

here together in the full thereof appeare, than by the long TREMISENA in BARBARIE, are accounted little lesse than four and particular consideration of the rising and encrease thereof thousand miles. He hath also in the sea, the most noble be perceiued: not much vnlike the ouergrowne tree, at the islands of Cyprys, Evba, Rhodvs, Samos, Chios, LESBOS, greatnesse whereof euerie man wondereth, no man in the and others of the ARCHIPELAGO. In this so large and spacious meane time either perceiuing or marking how by little and | an empire are contained many great and large countries, little in tract of time it grew up to that bignesse, as now to sometime most famous kingdomes, abounding with all manouertop all the rest of the wood. The imperiall seat of this ner of worldly blessings and natures store : for what kingdome so great and dreadfull an empire, is the most famous citie of or countrey is more fruitfull than ÆGYPT, Syria, and a great CONSTANTINOPLE, sometime the glorie of the Greek empire, part of Asia ? What countrey more wealthie or more plentibut now the place where Achmat the first of that name, and full of all good things than was sometime HVNGARIE, GRÆCIA, fourteenth of the Othoman emperours, acknowledging no man and THRACIA? In which countries he hath also many rich like ynto himselfe, triumpheth ouer many nations : a citie and famous cities, but especially foure, which be of greatest fatally founded to commaund, and by the great conquerour wealth and trade: namely CoNSTANTINOPLE, CAIRE, ALEPPO, Tamerlan of all others thought to be the best geated for the and TAVRIS. CONSTANTINOPLE for multitude of people empire of the world. In which citie (taken from the Christians exceedeth all the cities of EVROPE; wherein are deemed to be by Mahomet the second, by the Turkes surnamed the Great, aboue seuen hundred thousand men : which if it be so, is and the Greeke empire by him subuerted) as the Othoman almost equall to two such cities as Paris in FRANCE. ALEPPO emperours haue euer since seated themselues, so haue they is the greatest citie of SYRIA, and as it were the centre wherewonderfully euen to the astonishment of the world, out of the unto all the merchandise of Asia repaire. TAVRis of late the ruines of that so glorious a State encreased both their strength roiall seat of the Persian kings, and one of the greatest cities and empire, almost altogether fixed euen in the selfesame of that kingdome, from whom it was in this our age taken by kingdomes, countries, and regions, as was sometimes that; Amurath the third, hath in it aboue two hundred thousand though not as yet (God be thanked) able to attaine to the men. CAIRE amongst all the cities of Africa is the chiefe, vttermost bounds that that empire sometimes had, especially leauing all others farre behind it (although that some make in EVROPE; albeit that it haue oftentimes in pride thereof the citie Cano equall vnto it in greatnesse) being as it were most mightily swolne, and in some few places thereof some the storehouse not of ÆGYPT onely, and of a great part of what also exceeded the same. Amongst the rest of the AFRICA, but of INDIA also; the riches whereof being brought Othoman emperours, this great Monarch of whom we speake by the red sea to Sves, and from thence vpon cammels to (namely Achmat the first, which now raigneth in that most CAIRE, and so down the riuer Nilvs to ALEXANDRIA, are stately and imperiall citie) hath at this present vnder his thence dispersed into all these Westerne parts: albeit that commaund and empire, the chiefe and most fruitfull parts of this rich trade hath of late time been much impaired, and so the three first knowne parts of the world: onely AMERICA like more to be, the Christians (especially the Portugals) semaining free from him, not more happie with the rich trafficking into the East Indies, and by the vast Ocean mines thereof, than in that it is so farre from out of his reach. transporting the rich commodities of those Easterne countries For in EVROPE he hath all the sea coast from the confines of into the West, to the great hindrance of the Grand Seignior EPIDAVRVS (the vttermost bound of his empire in EVROPE his customes in CAIRE. Westward) vnto the mouth of the riuer TANAIS, now called The Othoman gouernment in this his so great an empire, is Don, with whatsoeuer lieth betwixt Byda in HVNGARIE, and altogether like the gouernment of the master ouer his slaue, the imperial citie of CONSTANTINOPLE: in which space is com and indeed meere tyrannical: for the great Sultan is so prehended the better part of HVNGARIE, all Bosna, SERVIA, absolute a lord of all things within the compasse of his BVLGARIA, with a great part of DALMATIA, EPIRVS, MACE empire, that all his subjects and people, be they neuer so DONIA, GRÆCIA, PELOPONESVS, THRACIA, the ARCHIPELAGO, great, do call themselues his slaues, and not his subjects: with the rich islands contained therein. In AFRICA he neither hath any man power ouer himselfe, much lesse is he possesseth all the sea coast from VELEZ (or as some call it lord of the house wherein he dwelleth, or of the land which BELIS) DE GOMERA, or more truely to say, from the riuer he tilleth, except some few families in CONSTANTINOPLE, vnto MvLvia (the bounder of the kingdome of Fez) euen vnto the whom some few such things were by way of reward and vpon ARABIAN gulfe or red sea Eastward, except some few places speciall fauour giuen by Mahomet the second, at such time as vpon the riuage of the sea, holden by the king of SPAINE, he woon the same. Neither is any man in that empire so viz. MERSALCABIR, MELILLA, ORAN, and PENNON : and from great or yet so far in favour with the great Sultan, as that he ALEXANDRIA Northward vnto the citie of Asna, called of old can assure himselfe of his life, much lesse of his present fortune SIENE, Southward : in which space are contained the famous or state, longer than it pleaseth the grand seignior. In which kingdomes of TREMIZEN, ALGIERS, TVNES, and Ægypt, with | so absolute a soueraignty (by any free born people not to be diuers other great cities and prouinces. In Asia all is his endured) the tyrant preserueth himselfe by two most especial from the straits of HELLESPONTV8 Westward, vnto the great means: first, by taking of all armes from his naturall subjects; citie of TAVRIS Eastward : and from DERBENT neere vnto the and then by putting the same and all things else concerning Caspian sea Northward, ynto ADENA ypon the Gulfe of the state and the gouernment therof into the hands of the ARABIA Southward. The greatnesse of this his empire may Apostata or renegate Christians, whom for most part euery the better be conceiued by the greatnesse of some parts third, fourth, or fift yere (or oftener if his need so require) thereof: the meere of MEOTIS, which is all at the Turkish he taketh in their childhood from their miserable parents, as emperours commaund, being in compasse a thousand miles; his tenthes or tribute children. Whereby he gaineth two and the Euxine or Blacke sea in circuit two thousand and great commodities : first, for that in so doing he spoyleth the seuen hundred ; and the Mediterranean coast which is subject prouinces he most feareth, of the flower, sinewes, and strength vnto him, containing in compasse about eight thousand miles. of the people, choice being still made of the strongest youthes, But to speake of his whole territorie together, he goeth in his and fittest for warre: then, for that with these as with his owne dominion from Tarris to Bvda, about three thousand own creatures he armeth himselfe, and by them assureth his two hundred miles. The like distance is from DERBENT state: for they in their childhood taken from their parents vnto ADENA. From BALSERA vpon the Persian gulfe vnto laps, and deliuered in charge to one or other appointed to that purpose, quickly and before they be aware become Maho. | no greater than is aforesaid, yet are his extraordinarie escheats metans; and so, no more acknowledging father or mother, 1 to be greatly accounted of, especially his confiscations, fordepend wbolly of the great Sultan, who to make vse of them, feitures, fines, amerciaments (which are right many) his both feeds them and fosters them, at whose hands onely they tributes, customes, tithes and tenthes of all preyes taken by looke for all things, and whom alone they thanke for all. sea or land, with diuers other such like, far exceeding his Of which frie so taken from their Christian parents (the onely standing and certaine reuenew : his Bassaes and other his seminarie of his warres) some become horsemen, some foot great officers, like rauening Harpies as it were sucking out men, and so in time the greatest commaunders of his state the bloud of his poore subjects, & heaping vp inestimable and empire next vnto himselfe, the naturall Turkes in the treasures, which for the most part fall againe into the grand meane time giuing themselues wholly vnto the trade of Seignior his coffers. Ibrahim the Visier Bassa (who liued merchandise and other their mechanicall occupations: or else not long since) is supposed to haue brought with him from vnto the feeding of cattell, their most auntient and naturall CAIRE to the value of six millions : & Mahomet another of the vocation, not intermedling at all with matters of gouernment Visiers was thought to haue had a far greater summe. His or state. So that if vnto these his souldiours, all of the presents also amount vnto a great matter: for no embassadour Christian race, you joyne also his fleet and money, you haue can come before him without gifts, no man is to hope for any as it were the whole strength of his empire: for in these commodious office or preferment without money, no man may foure, his horsemen, footmen, his fleet, and money, especially with emptie hands come vnto the presence of him so great consisteth his great force and power: whereof to speake more a prince, either from the prouence he had the charge of, or particularly, and first concerning his money, it is commonly from any great expedition he was sent vpon; neither vnto so thought, that his ordinarie reuenew exceedeth not eight great and mighty a prince are trifles presented. The Vaymillions of gold. And albeit that it might seeme, that he uods of MULDAVIA, Valachia, and TRANSYLVANIA (before might of so large an empire receiue a far greater reuenew, their late reuolt) by gifts preserved themselues in their prinyet doth he not, for that both he and his men of warre (in cipalities, being almost daily changed, especially in VALACHIA whose power all things are) haue their greatest and almost and MOLDAVIA: for those honours were by the grand Seigniour onely care vpon arms, fitter by nature to wast and destroy still giuen to them that would giuo most; who to performne countries, than to preserue and enrich them: insomuch, that what they had offered, miserably oppressed the people, and for the preseruation of their armies, and furtherance of their brought their prouinces into great pouertie. In briefe, an expeditions (euerie yeare to doe) they most greuiously spoyle easie thing it is for the great tyrant to find occasion for him euen their owne people and prouinces whereby they passe, at his pleasure to take away any mans life, together with his scarce leauing them necessaries wherewith to liue; so that wealth, be it neuer so great: so that he cannot well be said to the subjects despairing to enjoy the fruits of the earth, much lacke money, so long as any of his subjects hath it. Neuerlesse the riches which by their industrie and labour they might thelesse, the late Persian warre so emptied the most couetous get vnto themselues, doe now no further endeauour them Sultan Amurath his coffers, and exhausted his treasures, that selues either to husbandrie or traffique than they must needs, all ouer his empire the value of his gold was beyond all credit yea than verie necessitie it selfe enforceth them: For to what enhaunsed, insomuch, that a Checcine was twice so much end auaileth it to sow that another man must reap? or to worth as before: beside that, the mettall whereof his gold and reape that which another man is readie to deuour? Where siluer was made, was so embased, that it gaue occasion vato upon it commeth that in the territories of the Othoman the Ianizaries to set fire vpon the citie of ConSTANTINOPLE, to empire, yea euen in the most fruitfull countries of MACEDONIA the great terrour not of the vulgar sort onely, but of the and GREECE are seene great forests, all euerie where wast, grand Seignior himselfe also. And in the citie of ALEPPO few cities well peopled, and the greatest part of those coun onely were in the name of the great Sultan 60000 Checcines tries lying desolate and desart; so that husbandrie (in all taken vp in prest of the merchants there, which how well well ordered commonweales the princes greatest store) de they were repaied, we leaue for them to report. caying, the earth neither yeeldeth her encrease vnto the Now albeit that the Turks reuenews be not so great as painfull husbandman, neither he matter vnto the artificer, the largenesse of his empire and the fruitfulnesse of his neither the artificer wares to furnish the merchant with, all countries might seeme to affoord, all the soile being his owne; together with the plough running into ruine & decay. As yet hath he in his dominion a commoditie of greater value for the trade of merchandise, it is almost all in the hands of and vse than are the reuenewes themselues: which is the the Iews, or the Christians of Evrope, viz. the Ragusians, multitude of the Timariots, or pentioners, which are all Venetians, Genowaies, French, or English; the naturall horsemen, so called of Timaro, that is a stipend which they Turkes hauing therein the least to doe, holding in that their haue of the great Sultan, viz. the possession of certain villages so large an empire no other famous cities for trade, more than and townes, which they hold during their life, and for which the foure aboue named, viz. CONSTANTINOPLE, TAVRIS, they stand bound for euery threescore duckats they haue of ALEPPO, and CAIRE: whereunto may be added CAFFA and yearely reuenew to maintain one horseman, either with bow THESSALONICA in EVROPE, DAMASCVS, TRIPOLIS, and ADEN, and arrowes, or els with targuet and launce; and that as well in Asia: ALEXANDRIA and ALGIERS in AFRICKE. In our in time of peace as warre: for the Othoman emperours take countries here in this West part of EVROPE, of the abundance vnto themselues all such lands as they by the sword win from of people oftentimes ariseth dearth ; but in many parts of the their enemies, as well Mahometanes as Christians, all which Turks dominions, for want of men to manure the ground: they diuide into Timars, or as we may call them Commenmost part of the poore countrey people drawne from their dams, which they giue vnto their souldiors of good desert for owne dwellings, being enforced with victuals and other tearme of life, vpon condition, that they shall (as is aforesaid) necessaries to follow their great armies in their long expedi. according to the proportion thereof keepe certaine men and tions, of whom scarcely one of ten euer returne home to their horses fit for seruice alwaies readie whensoeuer they shall be dwellings againe, there by the way perishing, if not by the called vpon. Wherein consisteth the greatest policie of the enemies sword, yet by the wants, the intemperatenesse of the Turks, and the surest meane for the preseruation of their aire, or immoderat paines taking. But to come neerer vnto empire. For if by this meanes the care of manuring the our purpose, although the great Turks ordinary reuenewes be ground were not committed vnto the souldiors, for the profit

[ocr errors]

they hope thereof, but left in the hand of the plaine painefull begs, and Bassaes, the chief rulers of that so mightie a husbandman, all would in that so warlike an empire lie wast | Monarchie. Hee hath also still in his armies a great muland desolate; the Turks themselues commonly saying, That titude of other horsemen called Acanzij, being indeed but wheresoeuer the Grand Seignior his horse setteth his foot, rurall clownes, yet for certaine priuiledges which they have the grasse will there no more grow: meaning, the destruction are bound to goe vnto the wars, being euen of the Turks that their great armies bring in all places wbere they come. themselues accounted of small worth or value in comparison The institution of these T'imariots, and the taking vp of the of the Timariots. Hee receiueth great aid also from the Azamoglans (for so they call those children which are taken | Tartars in his warres, as also from the Valachians and Mol. vp from their Christian parents to be brought vp for Iani dauians (vntill that now of late by the example of the Tran. zaries) are the two chiefe pillars of the Turks empire, and the syluanians, they haue, to the great benefit of the rest of the strength of their warres : both which seeme to be deuised Christian commonweale, reuolted from him :) all which are ynto the imitation of the Romanes, as are diuers things moe to be accounted as the Romanes Auxiliarij, that is to say, in the Turkish gouernment; for the Romane emperours vsed such as come to aid and assist him. And thus much for his their owne subjects in their warres, and of them consisted horsemen. the Pretorian armie, which neuer departed from the emperours side, but were still to guard his person, as doe the Ianizaries the great Turke. And in the Romane empire lands were giuen vnto souldiors of good desert for them to take the profit of during their lives, in reward of their good seruice and valour, which were called Beneficia, and they which had them, Beneficiary, or as we tearme them, Benefices, and Beneficed men. Alexander Seuerus graunted unto such souldiors heires that they might enjoy those lands and commendams, vpon condition also, that they themselues should serue as had their fathers, otherwise not. Constantine also the great gaue vnto his captaines that had well deserued of him, certaine lands for them to live vpon during the tearme of their life. The like fees in France, which they called Feuda, were of temporaries made perpetuities by these their late kings.

ÆTATIS SVÆ

XXI * These Timariot horsemen in the Turkish empire, serue to two great and most notable purposes : whereof the first is, that by them the Grand Seigniour, as with a bridle, keepeth the rest of his subjects in euerie part of his great empire in awe, so that they cannot so soone moue, but that they shall haue these his Timariots as faulcons in their neckes; for to that purpose they are dispersed all ouer his dominions and empire: The other vse of them (and no lesse profitable than the former) is, for that out of them he is alwaies able at his pleasure to draw into the field an hundred and fiftie thousand horsemen well furnished, readie to go whither soeuer he shall command them ; with all whom he is not at one farthing charge. Which so great a power of horsemen cannot be continually maintained for lesse than 14 millions of duckats yearely. Wherefore it is to be maruelled, that some comparing the Turks reuenewes with the Christians, make no mention

ACAMAT, EMPEROR OF THE TURKS. of this so great a part of the Othoman emperours wealth and

From Knolles' “ General Historie of the Turkes." strength, seruing him first for the suppressing of all such tumults as might arise in his empire, and then as a most Another great part of his strength consisteth in his footprincipall strength of his continual wars, alwaies readie to men, and especially in his Ianizaries: in whom two things serue him in his greatest expeditions. The number of these are to be considered, their Nation, and Dexteritie in armes. Timariot horsemen is now growne verie great, taking encrease Concerning their Nation, such of the Azamoglans as are together with the Turks empire. It is reported, that Amurath borne in Asia, are not ordinarily enrolled in the number of the third, grandfather to Achmat that now raigneth, in his the Ianizaries, but such as are borne in EVROPE: for they of late warres against the Persian, subdued vnto himselfe so Asia are accounted more effeminate, as they haue beene much territorie, as serued him to erect therein fortie thousand alwayes more readie to Alie than to fight : wheras the people of Timariots : and appointed at Tavris a new receit, which was EVROPE haue enen in the East beene accounted for better yearely worth vnto him a million of gold. These Timariots and more valiant souldiours, having there, to their immortall are in all accounted to be seuen hundred and nineteen thon glorie, set vp the notable trophies of their most glorious sand fighting men: of whom 257000 haue their abode and victories. The souldiours of Asia be called Turkes, after the dwelling in Evrope ; and 462000 in Asia and AFRICKE. name of their nation, and not of their countrey (no countrey Beside these Timariots, the Grand Seignior hath a great being indeed so properly called) and they of Evrope Rumi, number of other horsemen also, vnto whom he giueth pay, that is to say, Romani, or Romans, as the country, especially which are his Spahi, Vlufagi, and Carapici of his Court, being about CONSTANTINOPLE, is called by the name of Rym-Ili, indeed the nurseries and seminaries of the great officers and that is to say, the Romane country, as it was in antient time, gouernours of his empire: for from among them are ordinarily || of the notable Romane Colonies therein, knowne by the name chosen the Sanzacks, which afterwards through their good of ROMANIA. Now as concerning their Dexteritie, such nale deserts, or the Sultans great fauour, become Visiers, Begler. children are culled out from the Christians. as in whoni

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

appeareth the greatest signes of strength, actiuitie and courage: for these three qualities are in a souldiour especially required. This choice is made euerie third yeare, except necessitie enforce it to be made sooner, as it happened in the late Persian warre : wherein not only oftner choice was made, but they were glad to vse the Azamoglans also, a thing neuer before by them done. For those youths, the children of Christian parents, being by them that haue taken them vp brought to CONSTANTINOPLE, are taken view of by the Aga of the Ianizaries, who causeth to be registred the name of the youth, with the name of his father and countrey wherein he was borne : which done, part of them are sent into the lesser Asia (now called NATOLIA) and other prouinces, where learning the Turkish language and law, they are also infected with the vices and manners of them with whom they live, and so in short time become right Mahometanes. Another part of them, and those of the most towardliest, is diuided into cloisters which the Grand Seigniour hath at ConstanTINOPLE and Pera, of whom the fairest and most handsome are appointed for the Seraglio of the great Sultan himselfe. All the time that these youths, thus sent abroad, liue in the lesser Asia, or other the Turkes prouinces, they are not appointed to any certaine exercises, but still kept busied, some at husbandrie, some in gardening, some in building, some in other domesticall seruices, neuer suffered to be idle, but alwayes occupied in painfull labour; where after certaine yeares they haue beene thus enured to labour and paines taking, they are called thence into the cloisters of the Azamoglans (for so they are called all the time vntil they be enrolled into the number of the Ianizaries) and are there deliuered into certaine speciall gouernours appointed to take charge of them: who keepe them still exercised in painefull worke and labour, entreating them euill ynough, as well in their diet, as in their apparell and lodging: they sleepe together in large roomes, like vnto the religious Dormitories, wherein are lampes still burning, and tutors attending, without whose leaue they may not stirre out of their places. There they learne to shoot both in the Bow and Peece,' the use of the Scimitar, with many feats of actiuitie: and being well trained in those exercises, are enrolled amongst the Ianizaries or Spahi: of whom the Ianizaries receiue not lesse than fiue aspers, nor more than eight for their daily pay, and the Spahi ten. Being recorded among the Ianizaries, they are either sent away into the warres, or into some garrison, or else attend at the Court. These last haue for their dwelling three great places like ynto three monasteries in the citie of CONSTANTINOPLE: there they live vndre their gouernours, to whom they are deputed, the younger with great obedience and silence seruing the elder in buying of things for them, in dressing of their meat, and such like services. They that be of one seat or calling live together at one table, and sleepe in long walkes. If any of them vpon occasion chance to lye all night abroad without leane, the next euening hee is notably beaten, with such nurture and discipline, that after his beating he like an Ape kisseth his Gouernours hands that so corrected him. These Ianizaries haue many large priuiledges, are honoured, although they be most insolent, and are feared of all men, yea even of the great Sultan himselfe, who is still glad to make faire weather with them. In their expeditions or trauell they rob the poore Christians cottages and houses, who must not say one word to the contrarie. When they buy any thing, they giue for it but what they list themselues. They can bee judged by none but by their Aga: neither can they be executed without danger of an insurrection, and therfore such execution is seldome done, and that verie secretly. They

haue a thousand royalties : some of them are appointed to the keeping of embassadours sent from forrein princes : othersome of them are assigned to accompanie strangers, travellers, especially them that be men of the better sort, to the intent they may safely passe in the Turkes dominions, for which seruice they are commonly well rewarded. They haue made choice of their prince, namely of Selymus the first, his father Baiazet yet liuing; neither can any the Turkes Sultans account themselues fully inuested in their imperiall dignitie, or assured of their estate, vntil they be by thein approoued and proclaimed. Euerie one of their Sultans at his first comming to the empire, doth giue them some great largesse; and sometime the better to please them, encreaseth also their pay. In euerie great expedition some of them goeth forth with their Aga, or his lieutenant, and are the last of all that fight. There is no office among the Turkes, that moe enuie at, than at the office of the Aga of the Ianizaries, for the greatnesse of his authoritie and commaund: onely he and the Beglerbeg of GRÆCIA chuse not their owne lieutenant, but haue them nominated vnto them by the Grand Seignior. Vnto this great man the Aga of the Ianizaries, nothing can portend a more certaine destruction, than to be of them beloued, for then is he of the great Sultan straightway feared or mistrusted, and so occasion sought for to take him out of the way. The number of the Ianizaries of the Court is betwixt ten and foureteene thousand. This warlike order of souldiours is in these our dayes much embased : for now naturall Turks are taken in for Ianizaries, as are also the people of ASIA; whereas in former times none were admitted into that order, but the Christians of Evrope only ; beside that, they marrie wiues also contrarie to their antient custome, which is not now forbidden them. And because of their long lying still at CoxstANTINOPLE (a citie abounding with all manner of pleasure) they are become much more effeminate and slothful, but withall most insolent, or more truly to say intollerable. It is commonly reported the strength of the Turkish empire to consist in this order of the Ianizaries, which is not altogether so, for albeit that they be indeed the Turkes best footinen and surest gard of the great Sultans person, yet vndoubtedly the greatest strength of his state and empire resteth nothing so much in them, as in the great multitude of his horsemen, especially his Timariots. Beside these Ianizaries, the Turkish emperour hath a wonderful number of base footmen, whom the Turks call Asapi, better acquainted with the spade than with the sword, seruing rather to the wearying of their enemies with their multitude, than the vanquishing of them with their valour: with whose dead bodies the Ianizaries vse to fill vp the ditches of townes besieged, or to serue them for ladders to clime ouer the enemies wals vpon. But as the Romans had both their old Legionarie, and other vntrained souldiors, which they called Tirones; of whom the first were the chiefe strength of their warres, and the other but as it were an aid or supplie; euen so the Turke accounteth his Timariot horsemen the strength of his armie, and the Acanzij (which is another sort of base and common horsemen) but as an accessorie: and so amongst his footmen he esteemeth of his Ianizaries, as did the Romans of their Pretorian legions, but of his Asapi as of shadowes. The Ianizaries are by none to be commanded, more than by the great Sultan himselfe, and their Aga; as for the Bassaes, they much regard them not, but in their rage oftentimes foule entreat euen the greatest of them. The Asapi as they are but base and common souldiours, so haue they also their ordinarie captaines and commaunders, men of no great place or marke.

The whole state of the great empire of the Turkes is commaunded by the great Sultan, by the graue advice and counsell of his Visier Bassaes, which were not wont to be in

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »