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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 99

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DIEDO. 33 for besides the four thousand under fiosomeno many of the islanders hnd taken refuge within the city; but amis weit* fatally wanting, so that many soldiers took their turn of dnty on the ramparts armed with s pontoons and halberts for lack of pikes and muskets. The generals had little authority, the subaltern officers wavered in their obedience, and a force which had been "sufficient for a vigorous resistance, had it been composed of disciplined and tried soldiers under proper commanders, was really weak and ineffective. And suit was that everyone felt that human means were weak indeed to resist so fierce an assault, and with general prayers and solemn processions they implored the favour of heaven. Warm impulse was given to the common devotion by the example and exhortations of Francesco Contarmi, Bishop of Baffo, who in the absence of Filippo Mocenigo, Archbishop of Nicosia, held the first place among the ecclesiastics of the kingdom. This prelate preached at length, to the nobles and a large concourse of people assembled in the church of S. Sophia, pointing ont the greatness of their danger, but ahjo the confidence, which each one should repose in the omnipotent hand of God, of being able to resist the fury of the barbarians, who sought in the conquest of their strongholds to profane their altars, trample down their religion, and turn their churches into foni dens of a false faith. He assured them of the earnest resolve of the Senate to give the island efficient help: he pictured to them the preparations which the princes of Christendom were making for the common cause, and finally exhorting all to be constant, he offered himself as the companion of their dangers, and joined his prayers to theirs, that God might bless their arms with victory, and spread weakness and confusion among their enemies. All were moved by the bishop's discourse, and there was not a man who did not promise to fight to the death. They crowded eagerly to the defence of the walls, but many fell pierced by the dense hail of the Turkish musketry. In a short time the besiegers had occnpied as raitch ground in front as was covered by two curtains and two bastions. The scanty numbers of the besieged deterred them from sallying out to destroy the enemy's works, but they harassed them with their guns, trusting to the skill of Antonio Berettino, a man well versed in the use of artillery, to batter and raze the newly constructed forts. A shot carried hiin off, and no small number of brave soldiers fell beside hiin. And as the besieged grew ever more and more afraid that their resistance could not be long maintained, so ever fresh confidence pushed on the Turks. They reached the counterscarp, occupied the fosse, and working away at the foot of the bastions, made a kind of stairway to pave the road for an assault. To try the pluck of the besieged they made a rash at the Costanzo bastion, took its defenders by surprise, and dashed these back with such violence that they were able to get over the parapet; but being surrounded by the band of Paolo dal Vasto and Andrea di Aspelle the Turks were repulsed with great slaughter. Vet they spread such terror around them that it was firmly believed that, had they redoubled their attacks, on that very day the city would have easily fallen into their hands. The imminence of the danger was a lesson to the besieged, and after long debate they determined to arrest the progress of the enemy's works, and to destroy the forts, by a sally in force: a resolution hailed with delight by the soldiers, both horse and foot, who feared only a useless death on the ramparts. Cesare Piovene, of Vicenza, lieutenant of the Count di Rocas, put himself at their head. At first the sally had its hoped-for effect, for the Turks were surprised as they were taking their mid-day rest, overcome by the excessive heat, and the Cypriote captured two forte, and slew every man who defended them. The end might have been as fortunate. It would have been easy to cut down the cavalry, spike the guns, set fire to the ammunition, had not the soldiers thrown themselves recklessly on the spoil, and given the Turks time to

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