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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 194

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I was delivered out of their hands, having within the period of the 42 days of my slavery paid the ransom of 500 sequins with the aid of the consul of the French merchants who came from Tripoli to the camp. My master was unwilling to give me up, saying that he wanted to take me to his Sanjaq on the Euphrates, and then let me go. I, knowing his bad heart, decided to escape, and being allowed sometimes to go into the city I hired a boat from a Greek sailor, and in one night, with two oars and something of a sail made out of two shirts, we got over to Tripoli in Syria, at no small risk of drowning ; and there I lay hid in the house of some Christians, until on September 25 I left the place in a small French vessel, called St Victor, which traded on those coasts. We touched in the west of Cyprus at Cape delle Gatte, where I landed and talked to some peasants who were hawking. I asked them how they were treated by the Turks, and how the island was tilled and sown. They replied that they could not be worse treated, for they were always brutally handled and beaten ; they recognised now the gentle rule of the Christians, and prayed they might return. That all that was cultivated of the island was the mountainous region towards the west, because they were little molested there by the Turks, but in the open country and towards the east there was little tillage, and the land was like a desert, for there were few inhabitants and small store of cattle. Thence we reached Candia. I was clothed in sackcloth, but there by the kindness of the illustrious Signor Latino Orsino I was dressed and graciously tended. From Candia in a Cypriot vessel I arrived, by God's mercy, in safety in this city, and at your Highness' feet. [Assuring your Highness that not the toils and watches of so long a siege, not the wounds received on those walls, not the heavy cost incurred in all that time, in my ransom, and in the loss of all my goods, nor yet my cruel servitude with the Turks, have chilled one whit my spirit : nay, it is more than ever inflamed to expose this life of mine again a thousand times to every kind The Siege of Famagusta 191

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