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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 97

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Ü1ED0. 91 and two thousand with Martinengo, and these from various illnesses contracted through a change of climate were daily reduced in number, so that all hope of defending the towns rested on the loyalty and courage of the islanders, always ready for feats of arms and ventures. The Stradiot horse hardly amounted to five hundred, because the feudal nobles who enjoyed revenues from the royal treasury with the condition of keeping three or four horses each no longer made use of such, but employed mules, which are bred in the island of remarkable size, so that they could furnish scarcely one hundred horses, and these more adapted for show than for use in war. The news of the Turkish lauding spread throughout the island, and the inhabitants of the cities were filled with confusion and alarm at the thought that their whole hope of defence rested in the two fortresses of Nicosia and Famagosta. The first was strong and well supplied with artillery, but there were not enough troops to man the vast extent of its walls. Famagosta was small and weak, and needed men of valour, whose strength and high spirit should make up for the defects of its fortifications. Men of authority too were lacking. Martinengo was deed, and there remained only Astorre Baglione in command of the troops. The office of Governor-General was vacant by the death of Lorenzo Bembo, and though Sebastiano Yeniero had been appointed by the Senate in his stead he had not time to reach his post before the kingdom was overrun by the enemy. It became absolutely necessary to give the chief military commands to Cypriots of noble family. The Count di Kocas was made lieutenant to Baglione : Giacomo Mores, Count of Tripoli, took charge of the artillery, Giovanni Singlitico of the cavalry, Giovanni Soromeno of the pioneers. Scipione Caraffa and Pietro Paolo Singlitico were entrusted with the duty of collecting villagers to occupy the mountain passes. These however had more loyalty and smartness than experience in military matters, und there ensued some hesitation as to the way in which they should prevent the Turks from concentrating their attack on the fortresses. It seemed natural to take to the open country, to block the roads, and show a bold front ; but their spirit was greater than their means ; they had but few cavalry, and not infantry enough to defend the walls, and if these men were scattered about in outposts there would be no one to bring supplies to the cities. They resolved however to meet the enemy in the field, and the Count di Kocas, who had with great difficulty collected three hundred horsemen, with one hundred Italian musketeers on ponies, commanded by Antonio da Berettino and Lazare Coccapani, started from Nicosia, while Baglione left Famagosta with three hundred mounted musketeers and one hundred and fifty Stradiote, and the Cavalier Pietro Roncadi came from Baffo with the few remaining horsemen. When they had met they began to reflect seriously on the risk to which* they were exposing this handful of men with whom rested the very existence of the kingdom, and that too without a chance of any signal success, their numbers bearing no proportion to those of the enemy. They determined accordingly to return to defend the fortresses, and so the Turks were left free to advance safely into the island, harrying and wasting the country at their will, and killing or making captive its inhabitants. The Turkish Commanders, encouraged by this lucky beginning, debated where first to turn their arms. Piale maintained that the army should be led to the siege of Famagosta. It was easier to take, and the soldiers, cheered by the spoil, would be in better heart for the attack of Nicosia, a city situated in a vast plain, rar from the sea, and containing an nnwarlike population, which would be terror-struck at the fall of Famagosta, and offer terms of capitulation withont bloodshed. Mustafa differed, and thought that before attacking Famagosta they should make 12—2

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