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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 142

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haughty commands and threats addressed to our gunners and their chief about wasting powder, which was doled out with the utmost niggardliness, as though to avoid injuring men who with such furious and incessant firing were trying to take our lives. Even what they had the Lieutenant wanted to hoard, so that very many people began to think he was a traitor. More than once Signor Pisani asked the Vice-Proveditor why he did not let our men do what was necessary for the defence, and they almost came to blows when he was told, "Illustrious Sir, we ought to clear the ditch, and drive out the enemy, so that they may not with spades and picks undermine our ramparts, and lay them low." Signor Dandolo answered that our bastions were so many mountains. Soldiers climbed dowu by night through the loop-holes to reconnoitre the enemy's works: sometimes the Turks were forced to run, sometimes our men. In a few days the Turks had made great tunnels, blowing np the earth to fill in our ditch, and making shelters in them with scaffolding. Onr soldiers and the citizens learned this, and fearing the damage they would do us begged earnestly that they might be allowed to make one grand sally in force to prevent the enemy from mining, and to destroy his traverses. But their request was refused, because the whole number of Italians was very small, and many of these had died already of a malady then prevalent, and from bad management, and the natives were un-trained. Colonel Palazzo was trying to make a cavalier qf great beams and stakes to command the enemy's forts: it was hollow below, so that we could use the embrasures of the bastion, and earth was heaped np above, on which he meant to plant cannon. But I think it was never used, aud a gentleman who was one of the first to mount on it was struck by a ball fired from S. Marina. Onr men sought some means of using their arquebuses, and one of them took two long stout beams, and bored holes in them : these they set on the crest of the parapet, but the enemy noticed them at once, and, to the disappointment of the contrivers, destroyed them with cannon shots. An attempt was made to make a mine at the angle of the bastion, but the earth was loose, because the enemy was working under it, and this too failed. At the beginning of August, seeing what confusion reigned, it was resolved to send for help to Famagosta, to get Signor Estor Buglione and some gunnel's. Letters in cypher were given to messengers, who were captured by the Turks and paraded before ns, that we might abandon all hope of assistance. That brave officer Captain Gioan Battista San Coluban was instantly despatched on the same errand : the enemy gave him chase, and secured his hat and dagger, which they exhibited to us under the walls; they also wrote a letter to the Count Giacomo de Nores, general of the artillery, and one to the citizens, exhorting them to surrender. Captain San Coluban arrived at Famagosta, the Council assembled, and the letter was read. It contained three requests: the first asked for Signor Estor Baglione, the next for a reinforcement of Italian soldiers, the third for gunners. Signor Estor Baglione announced his readiness to go, and in this and the next meeting of the Council it was resolved that he should be allowed to do so : secondly, that they would not send soldiers, and so weaken the garrison ; thirdly, that any gunner who chose might go. But when Signor Estor pressed for a sufficient escori they would grant him no more than the hundred soldiers of his own guard. He was so anxious to help the city of Nicosia that, thinking a hundred men insufficient to force the enemy's outposts, he determined to go accompanied only by Captain San Coluban and a guide. The captain, however, insisting on the dangers which he himself had seen and proved persuaded him to stay. San Coluban then left Famagosta with Lonardo di Verona, a gunner, and one other man, and after great perils, and whole days passed without food or drink, while they tried to escape capture by the three bands who guarded 134 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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