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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 290

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convinced it has been of great strength, and very probable the foundation of tho Avails of that city: for we read of none of any consequence in that neighbourhood: and it is at a very little distance from that point of land which now bears the name of Chitty. The revenue of the archbishop, communibus anuis, may amount to 10,000 piastres, which are levied from the towns and villages, in wheat, barley, cotton, and other fruits of the earth; though not by the manner of tythas, but by a certain rate fixed to certain lands; and the other bishops draw their revenues from their own sees. That of Baffo is worth from 1500 to 2000 p., amounting to £250. Lamica, or Chitty, from 3000 to 4000, equal to ±,500; aud Cerigna is equal to Baffo. Their value fluctuates in this manner, because nothing is paid for the lands which are uncultivated ; and this is frequently the case, owing to the rapine of a governo]*, or the extortion of a man in power : for when an unhappy peasant is plundered of his all, how can he labour his ground ? Nay, those savages often reap what he hath sown with the sweat of his brew. These stipends are very considerable in a country whoro living is so cheap, and so many fasts observed ; yet all the bishops have other expediente for making sums of money: they move from place to place as traders, without bestowing the least attention upon their charge; and frequently the archbishop raises general contributions, under the deceitful veil of employing them in pious uses, or paying some extraordinary ararne, or special assessment of the Turks. For example, in the year 1743, the archbishop for the time being with the countenance of the Jlusellim, who shared in the robbery, levied from the poor people no less than 40,000 piastres: but they complained so effectually to the Porte, corroborating their complaints with bribery, that he was stripped of his arehiepiscopal robes, dignity and emoluments. Indeed, there is no difficulty in obtaining this kind of satisfaction, for nothing is more agreeable to those corrupt ministers than complaints, because both plaintiffs and defendants enforce their arguments with presents, which must be renewed every hearing: and if the plaintiff gains his point so far as to make an empty saddle, the whole profit accrues to those ministers, who not only sell the vacant place to the best bidder, but afterwards share in the plunder of the new purchaser. The benefices are in the gift of the bishops, who severally receive from each incumbent 100 piastres, when he is invested with his charge: the bishop likewise raises from every chnrch in the towns within his own diocese, 100 p. annually. He exacts from 10 to 15 p. from every priest he ordains, and 1| p. for every marriage: but the poor priests subsist almost entirely upon the charity of the parishes to which they belong; this, even in Lamica, never amounts to more than 40 or 50 p. so that they are obliged to follow the meanest occupations for bread; yet great numbers are brought up at the altar, that they may be exempted from the weight of Turkish taxes; which, as lay men, they would not be able to beai-. This being the case, the ignorance of the clergy is not to be wondered at: the very bishops are so ignorant as to believe that religion consists only in forms, ceremonies, observation of holidays, abstinence from flesh and fasting: in all which they are exceeded by the Armenian church. The bishops are elected by the general suffrages of the people of the particular dioceses; and as for the archbishop, he is chosen by a majority of the suffrages taken by the bishop of each diocese; bathe must be approved and sanctioned by the patent of the Grand Signor, who likewise reserves the power of deposition to himself; neither the archbishop, bishops or caloyers of the order of S. Basil are allowed to marry or eat meat; though behind the curtain, they indulge all their appetites like trne volnptuaries: the other priests may marry, but should they become widowers they must never again receive the matrimonial yoke. 280 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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