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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 183

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they catch on the day and night of S. Nicolas' feast, or they would not take a single fish all the year through. But now that the abbey is abandoned the fanners pay this due to the church of the Greeks. I must not forget to say that in August the villagers round Cape delle Gatte catch a great number of falcons. They have to do this at their own cost, and as soon as they catch one, under pain of death they are obliged to take it to the Pasha, and the Pasha must send it to the Grand Signor. They rear a number of pigeons to lure the falcons, which get entangled in the nets. It is true that the Pasha pays thein for each falcon one or two ducats, and besides this they are exempt from all dues and taxes, and live unmolested in their houses' and lands. It may not be altogether out of place to say something of the order taken by the Turks for a newly-conquered province. The first thing done is to write in a book the number of the inhabitants, with the name and surname of each individual. This book is taken to Constantinople, where the Sultan fixes what tribute he chooses, generally two dneats a head, without counting other dues and taxes which he may impose. Children only under the age of fifteen are exempt, and a rule is observed throughout the Empire that though half his subjects be dead his revenue in no wise diminishes, for the living must pay for the dead : but after the first numbering, though the people grew to be half as many again, the revenue increases not. Commissaries appointed by hiin for each province make a note every two years of persons deceased, so as to strike oat their names from the register, and to put in those of their children or others in their stead, and each district has its .sub-commissary for the Turks, while the parish priest represents the Christians; all these are obliged to make their returns to the chief commissary whenever he may call for them. Thus the Grand Signer's revenue never fails him, and he knows the names and number of all his subjects. Only a little while since the reigning Sidtan wished to overburden his subjects with dues and -subsidies, so that the very Janissaries at his gate were ready to murder him. I learned this from our Consul at Liniisso, who had heard it from persons arrived from Constantinople that same day, Saturday morning, May 13. And this Sidtan, whom no man dared look in the race, the Janissaries dared to threaten with death; dared, yea, and had nearly killed him, if the prince had not humbled himself to ask their pardon, and to enquire their motive. They told hiin savagely that it was his wickedness and tyranny, aud he was afraid at their words, and swore on his faith that he was innocent and knew nought of the things whereof they accused him ; and as a pledge of his good faith he promised to execute justice at their will upon those who were guilty of defrauding and oppressing his people in his name. And they trusting their prince seized forthwith the greatest Pashas and the minions about his throne, one of whom they massacred in his presence, hacking him to pieces. Nor did he dare restrain them. And this rising and revolt of the Janissaries was by no means extinguished, according to the report of the officers whom the Sultan had sent to the Provinces to attest his innocence. But to return to my subject. Leaving Cape delle Gatte we journeyed on towards a mountain which produces the best Arine» in Cyprus, and here we found a very large village, where the Turks have never set foot, for it lies in a little valley covered with trees of divers kinds, olives, cypresses, carobs and others. And all along the mountain are many vineyards. The wine will keep, the common people tell you, for thirty years, and if you drink only two pegs of this in the morning you can easily pass the rest of the day without meat or drink, so remarkable is the strength and goodness of the wine. But taken in excess it burns you up at last. And coming down from the mountain we saw a very beautiful garden belonging to a Greek Christian. A wide stream passes through it bordered with palms, oranges, date- VILLAMONT. 173

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