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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 369

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leading men among the rayahs pi'omised to be responsible for the imperial taxes to the last para, the parts of the Serai which had been bnrnt wei*e restored, and excommunications were hurled by the Greek clergy against those who had stolen things from the palace, if they did not restore them to their bishop, or parish priest, or to their church, or to certain mosques specially named, which they might do without fear: bnt very few people appeared, and very few things, and those of little value, were surrendered. The Molla and his party threatened the'robbers with the vengeance of Mohammad, but all in vain. But the thieves who had taken the treasure guarded it well : the Christians devoted their souls to the fellowship of •Judas, the Turks to the wrath of their Prophet: they would provide first for their bodies, ajnd then take thought for their souls, though hereafter they should suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. We succeeded, thank God, in satisfyin^Jthc murela and the qapiji, and the Molla, who was our advocate: we escorted them out of the city, and despatched them to sing onr praises to the Porte. Hafuz efendi remained, and now let us see what he did, whom 1 call the second cause of the real rebellion. In honest truth-we cannot accuse him of being a bad man : their circumstances very often expose men in authority to popular dislike. He had to pay for his investiture and other things in Constantinople. Arriving in Cyprus he found things topsy-turvy. The expenses inenrred on behalf of the murela and qapiji, payment for the property of the murdered men, the rebuilding of the palaee, restitution of the stolen treasure, and innumerable other payments mounted up it was said to a thousand purses of aspers. The whole community, Turks and rayahs, gave leave and authority to Hafnz efendi as Governor to meet all the claims, and arrange matters as he thought best. The accounts were completed and examined, and the aghas and bishops decreed that the sum total should be divided between the Greeks and Turks. The former were to pay two shares, and the Turkish villagers one. In short, the Christians had to pay fourteen piastres a head, the Turks seven. Clerks and collectors were appointed, and the Christians began to pay. The Alay Bey, Mustafa Qubat-oghln, who was charged with the collection of the Turkish quota, sent out men to the villages to get the cash. AVhispers were rife that Hafuz efendi had in Iiis greed made large additions to the sum of expenditure. The Turks began to be uneasy and to grumble that the aghas were in league with the muliassil to fleece them! "They were Turks, and they wouldn't pay," and in short raised such an opposition that in the Mesaoria they drove away the collectors, and put them in fear for their lives. Those strong measures alarmed some of the leading country Turks- they began to plot, and, to make a long story short, on Holy Tuesday of 1765, three hundred Turks of the Mesaoria and Ammochostos assembled at Kythraia, and seized the water-mills which ground flour for Nicosia, so as to cut off the supply from the capital, and to put the aghas and Governor into such a strait that they would desist from demanding the seven piastres. This daring act greatly alarmed the city-folk; they determined to meet the assailants with force, and sipahi and yenicheri advanced fully armed to the outskirts of Kythraia. Finally matters were arranged between them, on the understanding that the Turks should not be tronbled to pay their share, and so each party departed to their homes. Here the musellim and aghas were clearly wrong, in not determining to put down by force this petty rising, and in not taking such order as to check the insurgents, and prevent them from attempting, as they did later, a far greater and more desperate outbreak. It was necessary however to eolleet the taxes, because those who had lent money demanded the repayment of their loans, and Hafuz was eager to send money to the Porte to show that the island and himself were loyal aud ready: hence arose great talk and nneaeiness CYPRIANOS.

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