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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 363

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and bonud them on tho spot, and hurried them off as prisonors to their khan, threatening that they would slaughter them as the chief causes of the evils; their aim being in securing the aghas to draw into their net many others, and finally to proceed to capture the muhassil himself. But their villainous craft was soon exposed, for some who pretended to be their friends, staggered by their extraordinary daring or perhaps won over by the aghas who were in custody, outwitted these knavish sailors, and learned that their whole story was false, and that they had no other aim but to snatch large sums of money, and to be off. When the aghas learned the game they made every kind of promise that if they would release them, and let them go quietly to their houses before their capture was known in the city, they bound themselves by oath to pay them all the money they wanted. Their promises deceived the rascals, and they were released, aud in concert with the muhassil laid their plans for the arrest and destruction of these high-handled impostors. Accordingly on the morrow the muhassil and aghas sent to invite the chief of the sailors to come aud take the sums premised by the aghas; adding that he would be received with fitting respect, nnd that the muhassil wonld arrange with him in what way he and his friends might mediate with the Porte, and secure the forgiveness of the local officials, as though it was hoped that their intercession and testimony would convince the Porto that the island was quite well governed. The wretches .wore deceived, aud sent their leader with two others of the band to the Serai. The Governor straightway put them under arrest, and sent to the others to come and assist at their council. These remained in the khan, and the delay in their companions' return exciting their suspicions, they began to fly, but they were at once caught by the 'Janissaries, and paid the penalty of their wicked dating. Some of them the courts sentenced to be hungod, some the Governor impaled, and those who were already in his hands he strangled, and thns himself, the aghas, many other notables, aud the city generally were delivered from the wiles of this band of miscreants. .Many years passed after the conquest, and the first-appointed bishops of Cyprus— concerning whom we have but dim aud vague information—and their successors up to 1600, do not appear to have mixed themselves in the civil affairs of the rayahs, that is to say, in the matter of their taxes, kharaj, and other imperial imposts; probably because the Porte had no such great need of recognising them as the real leaders and representatives of the rayah in matters of finance, because the collection of taxes was separated from the general government of the island, which last was in the hands of the Pasha or Governor. It is however quite clear that the local bishops were recognised by the Porte, because they could not assume jurisdiction over their flocks and churches without an imperial berat, as we saw above, and as chiefs of the Christian community they had some simple public duties. Accordingly they never failed to meet the imperial officers on their arrival from Constantinople, with the clergy and people, to offer the usual bakhshish or gifts, whether customary or prescribed, to these Pashas, Governors or Mollas, and occasionally to pay them visits of ceremony: and all this to make their interference in the affairs of the rayahs acceptable and effective. But somewhat later, when plague and dearth had thinned the population, and many had emigrated to escape their debts, and the island was growing deserted, the Porte, wishing to curb in some degree the rapacity of the authorities, to save the rayah from perishing nnder their exactions and tyranny, and to inspire some little hope into the poor creatures still left, probably thought it politic to recognise the Archbishop of Cyprus for the time being, with his three suffragans, as guardians, in a way, and representatives of the rayah; so that the rayah might gain corn-age from the hope that the bishops would be heard when they appealed to the Porte on his behalf, and those still in the island would remain, and those who had fled wonld CYPItlANOS. 353

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