Natus 6/16 novembris, 1643.


LONDON Printed for Moses Pitt in Duke street Westminster. 1686.

THE TRAVELS OF Sir John Chardin INTO Persia and the East-Indies.

The First Volume, Containing the Author's Voyage from Paris to Ispahan.

To which is added, The Coronation of this Present KING of Persia, SOLYMAN the Third.


LONDON: Printed for Moses Pitt in Duke-Street Westminster. 1686.

Let this BOOK be Printed.




To the KING.


I Presume to Present to Your Royal View the First Volume of my Second Voyage into Asia; not so much to give it Credit by so Ambi­tious a Dedication, as to acquit my Self of an In­dispensable Obligation upon me to Offer to Your Majesty the First-Fruits of a Work, whereof the Publication is a Debt solely due to Your Majesty from me.

[Page] I can sincerely affirm to Your Majesty, That it is the Product of Your Royal Grace and Goodness to me; and that the chief Motive I had to under­take it, was, Because I perceived it to be a Subject well-pleasing to Your Majesty, being Composed under the Shadow of that August Throne which Your Majesty does so Gloriously replenish: Nor had I taken so much time from the Necessary Oc­cupations of my Life, to propose it for the Press, but out of an earnest desire to publish to the World the Resentments of my Heart, for the many Fa­vours I have received from Your Majesty, and my Admiration of Your Majesties Heroick and Tran­scendent Virtue.

From the time that the Bounty of Heaven had blessed me in the happy Choice I made of establish­ing my self in this Land of Promise, quietly to en­joy in it the desirable Fruits of my long Travels, I was alway Graciously received by the late King of ever blessed Memory who as a Mark of His Esteem was pleased to Honour me with a Character of Dig­nity. And the Nobility, who of themselves are so Affable and Generous, were not wanting in their Civilities to me, to imitate so admirable a Pattern of all Illustrious Virtues.

The most Celebrated Societies in Your Majesties Kingdom, have done me the Honour to admit me into their Bodies; and I was by Soveraign Autho­rity imploy'd in a most Important Negotiation with the Neighbor-State: But though I received so many great Effects of His Majesties Bounty to me, I am in Duty bound for many Reasons to apply the Ac­knowledgment thereof to Your Sacred Majesty, which may be comprehended in that perfect Union which Your Majesty had with that Great and Good [Page] King, in participating with him not only in the most Important Affairs of his happy Reign, but even in the least and meanest of his Cares, whereby Your Majesty hath a just Title to share in all the Gracious Acts of his Royal Beneficence.

The particular and immediate Testimonies of Favour which Your Majesty (of Your own Perso­nal Goodness) hath extended to me, are too nume­rous to be related; and I am defective in words to describe the Gratitude wherewith my Heart is pos­sessed in the sense of them: Wherefore in this my Incapacity to express my Resentments of Your Ma­jesties Benefits to me, I am less able to Delineate those Heroick Qualities which all Europe admire in Your Majesties Sacred Person, and which enable Your Majesty with so much Renown to sustain that Glorious Crown which is deriv'd to Your Ma­jesty from Your Mighty Ancestors.

I have had the Honour to approach Kings, which pass abroad for the Mightiest Monarchs in the World; but none of those Magnificent Images of Divinity, are equal to Your Majesty in the Divine Resem­blances of Affability, Courtesie, Vigilance, Know­ledge and Constancy. None of them ever brought such Consummate Experience to the Government of a great and mighty Empire, or was ever pos­sess'd with so much Justice and Fortitude to uphold or augment it: None of them have ever joyn'd to the Science of Commanding on Land, such vast and exquisite Knowledge in Maritime Affairs as well for War, as the Art and Improvement of Navigation.

I might advance farther in this Parallel, where Your Majesty has so much the advantage, if I did not find my Eyes dazled, when I attempt to fix them upon Your Majesty.

[Page] I have indeed taken the Liberty in the Volumes which are to succeed this, (and perhaps not been altogether unhappy therein) to give the Chara­cters of the most famous Monarchs of the East: But though my Zeal for Your Majesties Glory is very great, I find my Force at present too weak to ex­press that of Your Majesties, in so illustrious a man­ner as the Merit of the Subject requires. However, I may endeavour hereafter to attempt it; and in the mean time I shall continue my Prayers to Al­mighty GOD, That Your Majesties Reign may be Long and Prosperous; and that Your Throne may be always an Inviolable Refuge and Sanctuary to the Op­pressed, and Your Scepter as Immoveable in the Hearts of Your Subjects, as in Your Triumphant Hands; and that in the End for an Accumulation of Glory, Your Majesty may secure and preserve an Accumulation of Felicity to Your People.

These are the Addresses which shall be Assidu­ously made at the Throne of Grace for Your Sacred Majesty, by,

May it please Your Majesty,
Your Majesties most Humble, most Obedient, and most Faithful Subject and Servant, JOHN CHARDIN.



THis is the First Part of my Relations of Persia, which I have divided into Four Vo­lumes, whereof the First (which is this I now Publish) contains that part of the Journal of my Voyage from Paris to Ispahan, which ends in the Month of June in the Year 1673. I think it Needless in this place to Anticipate the Readers Expectation with Reciting any of the Particulars of it, because the whole is Delivered at large in the en­suing Treatise.

[Page] The Second Part (which is the rest of my Journal of the Year 1673) contains a General Description of the Empire of Persia and its Force, together with the Laws, Governments, Manners and Customes of the Persians, of their Arts and Sciences, and their Civil and Mechanical Industry, with a particular Description of Ispahan, (which is at this time the Capital City of that vast Empire) and Five and Thirty or Forty Cuts Engraven in Copper, of the fairest and most Remarka­ble Buildings therein, or other Eminent Particularities thereof.

The Third Part (which is my Journal of the Year 1674) contains (amongst other things) the Ruines of Persepolis, represented in Twenty Two Copper-Plates, as also an Exact, and Ample Description of them, with Observations Interwoven of the less Intelligible Parts of those Ruines, (which are the most Glorious Monu­ments and Noblest Remains of Antiquity Extant) together with a Relation of the Religion of the Persians, collected as well from their Publick Worship, as their Writings, whereof there are many Copious Traductions.

The Fourth and last Part (which consists of my Journal of the Year 1675. and the two succeeding Years) concludes with a Piece wholly new and unknown to Ʋs in Europe, which is an Abridgement of the Hi­story of Persia, Extracted from their own Writings.

And thus having informed the Reader of the Subject of my Memorials, I shall mention something of the time, and means which I imployed to collect them.

I Travel'd by Land to the East-Indies, in the Year 1665, and arrived in Persia at the beginning of the Year 1666. where I stayed all that Year, and a good part of the next.

[Page] I came back to Persia from India in the Year 1669. where I remain'd Six Months before my return to Eu­rope. This was my first Voyage. And though I then provided my self of Observations, and all sorts of Ma­terials for a Relation of it, in as great a Degree or perhaps greater than those that have visited those Coun­tries before me (having Learn'd many things from the Turkish and Persian Languages, which have not been observ'd by any that have hitherto Writ of Persia,) yet I did not then think my self sufficiently instructed for the Publication of so compleat a Work, as I intended. But in the mean time I entertain'd the World with a little Treatise of the Coronation of Soliman, which consisted of some few Curious matters of Fact, whereof I was an Eye-Witness. And the earnest desire I had to improve my knowledge in that vast Empire of Persia, to be enabled to produce to the World useful and Ample Relations of it, induced me to undertake a Second Voyage thither, which I did in the Year 1671. (as the same will appear in this Journal,) I stay'd there until the Year 1677, chiefly following the Court in its Removals, but likewise I made some particular Journeys, as well of Curiosity as Business, to prosecute my intentions, studying the Language, and assiduously frequenting the most eminent and most knowing Men of the Nation, the better to inform my self in all things that were Curious and New to us in Europe, concerning a Country that may well be called, Another World, both in respect of the Distance of place it has from us; and the different Manners and Maximes of it. In a Word I was so solicitous to know Persia, that I knew Ispahan better than Paris (though I was Bred and Born there.)

The Persian Language was as easie to me as French, and I could currently Read and Write it, I had often [Page] Travell'd, through the whole Country in the Length and Breadth thereof, and seen its Seas (both the Caspian and the Ocean) from one end to the other; I have visited its Frontiers in Armenia, Iberia and Media, and Arabia also, as far as the River Indus, and have been so exactly inform'd of those few Places where I have not been, that I am confident I could know them (if I may so say) upon any sudden Transporta­tion thither; which I say only to let the Reader see what Ground he may have to rely upon the Truth of the following Relations.

As for this Translation, I shall not say much of the Expressions and Phrase used in it, being no competent Judge thereof, but I can aver that it was done under my Inspection, and I have review'd it with Attention, and Knowledge enough to affirm, that it is exactly my Sense, but I must not omit to mention, that in my Revision of it, there was scarce a Leaf where I did not disco­ver some considerable Fault, as a Parenthesis, Line or Word omitted, and sometimes my Thoughts imper­fectly rendered, (though the substituted Sense was nei­ther Incongruous nor Perplexed.) In brief, I have Cor­rected many Mistakes of this sort, which could not be Perceptible to any but an Author, who carries the Sense of his Work, Word by Word in his Head.

As for Example, in describing the Cultivation of the Vineyards of Colchide, I said, * That they cut their Vines there, once in every four Years; and my Translator had expressed it, That they cut their Vines four times every Year. One cannot say that this proceeded from a defect of Sense, or want of Ʋnderstanding the French Tongue, for he knows it [Page] well, and is otherways a Man of Letters, and has quickness of Thought, and is very able for such Works; but Mistakes are inevitable in long Translations: And as I believe that this of my Book is nearer the Original than any Version that I have seen of other Voyages, so I am convinc'd that there are no Translations wherein many Errours may not be found against the Sense of the Authors.

The Copper Plates are done by different Gravers, which will not happen in the others of my Volumes, where all of them will be Engraven by that Hand which has done the Draught of Tauris, and Nine or Ten other Figures.

I have Written nothing of the Indies, because I li­ved but five Years there, and understood only the Vul­gar Languages, which are the Indian and Persian, without the Knowledge of that of the Brachmans, which is the proper and necessary Organ to arrive at the Knowledge of the Wisdom and Antiquity of the Indians: but nevertheless I did not altogether waste my Time there in Idleness: On the contrary, as the Winters in that Country will not permit One to Travel, I imploy'd that time in a Work which I had long in my Thoughts, and which I may call, My Favourite Design, by the Pleasure wherewith I laboured in it, and the Profit which I hope the Publique will receive thereby; which is certain Notes upon very many Pas­sages of the Holy Scriptures, whereof the Explication depends on the Knowledge of the Customs of the Eastern Countries, for the East is the Scene of all the Hi­storical Facts mentioned in the Bible. The Language of that Divine Book, (especially of the Old Testa­ment) being Oriental, and very often Figurative, and Hyperbolical, those Parts of the Scripture which [Page] are Written in Verse, and in the Prophecies, are full of Figures and Hyperboles, which, as it is manifest, can­not be well understood without a Knowledge of the Things from whence such Figures are taken, which are Natural Proprieties, and Particular Manners of the Countries to which they refer; I discern'd this in my first Voyage to the Indies: For I gradually found a greater Sense and Beauty in divers Passages of the Scriptures than I had before, by having in my view the Things either Natural or Moral, which explain'd them to me, and in perusing the different Translations, which the greatest part of the Translators of the Bible had made, I observ'd that every one of them (to render their Expositions (as they thought) more intelligible) used such Expressions as would accommodate the Phrase to the Places where they Writ; which did not only ma­ny times pervert the Text, but often render'd the Sense obscure, and sometimes absurd also. In fine, consulting the Commentators upon such kind of Passages, I found very strange Mistakes in them, and that they all along guess'd at the Sense, and did but grope (as in the Dark) in the search of it. And from these Refle­ctions, I took a Resolution to make my Remarks upon many Passages of the Scripture; perswading my self that they would be equally Agreeable and Profitable for use. And the Learned, to whom I Communicated my Design, Incouraged me very much (by their Commen­dations) to proceed in it: And more especially when I inform'd them, That it is not in Asia as in our Europe, where there are frequent Changes more or less, in the Forms of Things, as the Habits, Buildings, Garden­ings, and the like. In the East they are constant in all Things; The Habits are at this Day in the same Manner, as in the Precedent Ages; So that one may reasonably believe, That in that part of the World, the [Page] Exteriour Forms of Things (as their Manners and Customs) are the same now, as they were Two Thou­sand Years since, except in such Changes as may have been Introduced by Religion, which are nevertheless very Inconsiderable.

These Notes upon the Bible will be the last Things which I shall expose to the Publick, unless I shall un­derstand that they are desired sooner: In which case I may Publish by Advance, those I have made upon the Book of Genesis for a Taste of the rest. And the same desire which I have to Gratifie the World, and particularly the English Nation, to which I have so many Obligations, will induce me to Publish the Third or Fourth Part of my Relations before the Second, if I shall find that they are desired and expected before it.

The Bookseller was desirous to add to this Volume the Piece which is to be seen at the End of it, which contains, A Relation of the Solemn Coronation of the Present King of Persia; whereof I was an Eye-Witness my self about Twenty Years ago, and which I caused to be Printed at Paris Five Years after, at my First Return from my Travels. And though I can­not but say that the Narrative is Faithful and Exact, yet I must confess that it is too Diffuse, and often In­terwoven with such small Incidents, as I would have omitted, could the Bookseller have been prevailed with to wait the Publishing of it till after That of my Second Journey.



THE TRAVELS OF Sir John Chardin INTO PERSIA, Through the Black-Sea, and the Country of Colchis.


I Departed from Paris, with an Inten­tion to return to the East-Indies, the Seventeenth of August 1671, just Fifteen Months after I came from thence. I undertook this tedious Journey a second time, as well to perfect my self in the Knowledge of the Languages, the Customs, the Religions, the Trades and Sciences, the Commerce and History of the Oriental People as to en­deavour the Advancement of my Fortunes and Estate.

[Page 2] I found at my Return into France, that the Religion wherein I had been Educated made me incapable of all sorts of Imploy­ment; and that it was requisite for me either to change it, or altogether to renounce whatever is call'd Honour and Prefer­ment. Both the one and the other seem'd to me to be some­what severe: for we are not at liberty to believe what we please. Thereupon I presently bethought my self of return­ing to the Indies, where, without altering my Religion, or abandoning the Condition of a Merchant, I could not fail to gratifie a moderate Ambition: for Trade is there an Imployment so considerable, that even Soveraign Princes pub­lickly follow it.

The deceased King of Persia made me his own Merchant, by his Letters Patents in the year 1666. and gave me in charge to order the making of several Jewels of a great value, of which his Majesty design'd the Models with his own Hands. Madam Lescot, a Lady much more famous for her Wit, and her adventurous Boldness in Undertaking, then for her Wealthy Gettings, joyn'd with my deceased Father to encourage me to go on with my Commission, and both promis'd to go Halves with me. Monsieur Raisin of Lyons, a Person of very good Repute, and my Companion in my former Travels, embarkt himself once more in this sort of Trade; and though we differ'd in our Religion, yet for all that we liv'd Peace­ably and in Unity together. For Christians learn in the East, to be at Peace, and keep a good Correspondence one with ano­ther, notwithstanding their disagreement in Opinions. There are a thousand Sects, but there are only these two Beliefs, the Christian, and the Mahumetan. For Fourteen Months toge­ther we made it our Business to search in the Richest Coun­tries of Europe for the biggest colour'd Stones, the largest Pearls, and the fairest wrought Coral that could be found, We or­der'd the making of several Rich Pieces of Goldsmiths Work, Watches and Clocks extraordinary for Curiosity of Work­manship; and because our Stock was not as yet all spent, we return'd into Italy Twelve Thousand Ducats of Gold. My Companion arriv'd at Legorn in less then a Month, by the way of Genoa; and I my self got thither toward the end of October, by the way of Milan, Venice and Florence.

The 10th of November we Embark'd in a Vessel under a Holland Convoy, bound for Smyrna. This Fleet was com­pos'd of six Merchant Men, and two Men of War. The whole Cargo amounted to three Millions of Livers, besides [Page 3] what the Passengers, Mariners, and Captains themselves kept close and undiscover'd, to prevent the Payment of Freight, Custom, and the Consuls Dues. We touch'd at Messina, Zant, and several other Islands of the Archipelago. Near the Island of Micona we had a considerable Dispute with a Corsair of Legorn, about one of his Men who had made his escape aboard us, by swimming a Mile. Upon demand of him, the Corsair sent us word, He would Fight us, if we did not restore him his Seaman; and for our parts we did not think it worth our while to protect him.

There are usually about Forty Christian Corsairs Cruising up and down in the Archipelago, belonging some to Majorca, some to Villa Franca, others to Legorn and Malta. These Vessels are for the most part but of small Burthen, and very ill Vi­ctuall'd; but Mann'd with People whom Misery and a long habit of doing Mischief have renderd resolute and cruel. There are not any Villanies or Violences imaginable which they do not commit upon the Islanders of these Seas, where-ever they can but set foot a-shoar; though the Inhabitants are all Chri­stians, and most part acknowledge the Popes Jurisdiction.

I cannot forget the Answer which a Corsair, call'd the Che­valier de Temericourt, gave upon a time to the Marquiss of Pruilly, who commanded one of the French Kings Ships, call'd the Diamond. These two meeting together in the Island of Millo, the Marquiss gave the other an Invitation a-board, at what time among other things falling into discourse about Pi­racy, Sir, said the Marquiss to the Knight, as I was inform'd not long after, by some Gentlemen that were present, The Robberies, the Murders, the Sacriledges, which you dayly commit, your Blasphemies, and in a word, so many impious and barbarous Crimes, do they not strike a Terrour to your Soul? Can you ever hope for Paradise? Or do you believe there is any Hell? Who I! reply'd the Knight, Not at all. I am a Lutheran, I believe not a tittle of any such thing. Thus you may see the Natural Disposition of Pyrates. Concerning whom I will add this one Particular more.

While we staid for a Wind in the Port of Micona, there ar­riv'd in that Haven two First-Rate Venetian Men of War. They enter'd in the Night-time. The Admiral coming to an An­chor, fir'd several Squibs from his Main-Top-Mast. This is call'd Giving the Rocquet, from the Italian word Rocquetta, which signifies a Squib: And this is done to give Notice to the Christian Corsairs or Rovers, if any should happ'n to be in [Page 4] Port, to weigh and be gone before Day. Two were there at that present time. They set Sail early the next Morning, and came to an Anchor behind a Promontory, not above a League from the Port. The Admiral was a Nobleman of Venice, to whom I gave a Visit, and desiring to know the reason of his firing the Rocquets, he told me he had Or­ders so to do; for that the Republick being engag'd to the Grand Signior by the Treaty at Candy, to clear the Archi­pelago of all the Christian Rovers, and to take as many of 'em, as they could, yet in regard of the several good Services which the Rovers had done the Republick in the last War, he took that course to satisfie the Port, without acting to the pre­judice of the Rovers. And this was the reason that the Ships of the Republick were oblig'd always to make themselves known in the Archipelago to the end the Christian Pyrates might keep at a distance from 'em, and not approach within ken; that so they might be said not to have had any sight of 'em. In the Day-time, added he, we are known by our Co­lours; but in the Night, when we enter any Port, we let off these Rocquets; and sometimes also we send certain Officers ashore, to discover whether there be any Christian Rovers in Port, and so give 'em Notice to be gone.

I arriv'd at Smyrna the seventh of March 1672, after being four Months at Sea. In which tedious Voyage we endur'd much Cold, and many a boystrous Storm. We were in want of Victuals; nor could we have made this Voyage with more Danger or more Hardship

I shall not trouble my self to make any Description of Smyrna, where I found nothing worthy Remark, or in any other part of the Archipelago, more than what is to be found in the Relations of Spon, and other Travellers, Men of Learning and Exactness, who have been there since my time. I shall therefore content my self with recounting some Particulars re­lating to Commerce and History, of which they have not spoken.

The English drive a great Trade at Smyrna, and over all the Levant. This Trade is driv'n by a Royal Company set­led at London; which is Govern'd after a most prudent man­ner, and therefore cannot fail of success. It has stood almost these hundred Years, being first Confirm'd towards the middle of Queen Elizabeth's Raign. A Raign famous for having, among other Things, giv'n Life to several Trading Compa­nies, particularly those of Hamborough, Russia, Greenland, the [Page 5] East-Indies and Turkie, all which remain to this Day. Trade was then in its Infancy; and there is no greater Mark of the Ignorance of those Times, in reference to Countries, though but a little remote, then the Association which those Mer­chants made: for they joyn'd several together in one Body, for mutual Conduct and Assistance. That Company which relates to the Turkish Trade, is of a particular sort: For it is not a Society, where every one puts in a Sum for one General and United Stock: It is a Body which has nothing in Com­mon, but a peculiar Grant and Priviledge to Trade into the Levant. It assumes to it self the Name of The Regulated Com­pany. None are admitted into it, but Sons of Merchants, or such as have serv'd an Apprenticeship to the Trade, which in England is for Seven Years. They give to be admitted into the Society about an Hundred and Twenty Crowns, if under the Age of Twenty Five Years; and double if above that Age. The Company never commits to any one single Person their Power, nor the sole Management of their Affairs, but manage their Business among themselves by the Plurality of Voices. So that who has sufficient to drive a Trade that will bear an Im­position of Eight Crowns, has as good a Vote as he that Trades for an Hundred Thousand. This Assembly, thus Democratical, sends out Ships, Levies Taxes upon all their Commodities, presents the Ambassador whom the King sends to the Port, Elects two Consuls, the one for Smyrna, the other for Aleppo, and prevents the sending of Goods which are not thought proper for the Levant. It consists at present of about Three Hundred Merchants, besides that they bring up in Turkie a great number of young Persons well descended, who learn the Trade upon the Place it self. This Trade amounts to about Five or Six Hundred Thousand Pounds yearly, and consists in Cloaths made in England, and Silver which they carry as well out of England, as out of Spain, France and Italy: In exchange of which they bring back Wool, Cotton-Yarn, Galls, Raw Silk and Wov'n, together with some other Commodities of less value. Now the Company, finding that Malice which In­terest begets among Persons of the same Profession, would in time be the Ruine of their Society, by Enhancing or Loring the price of Goods on purpose to under-sell one another; and that the same Malice causes the Merchants to be at variance with the Consuls, the Consuls with the Ambassador; (which is the reason that many times where Expences are requisite, an unseasonable Stinginess in the Ambassador causes great Imposi­tions [Page 6] and Fines, and other severe Vexations to the Nation) The Company, I say, foreseeing these Mischiefs, have pru­dently provided a Remedy to prevent 'em. For the English Cloth, of which they send into Turkie about Twenty Thou­sand Pieces yearly, and the chiefest part of the rest of their Merchandize is sent to the Factors with a Bill or Invoice of the Price at what they are bound to sell; together with ano­ther Bill of the Price certain for those Goods which they give order to be bought; and by that means it never happens that the Merchants receive any Damage in the Prospect or Design of their Profit.

For the prevention of these and other disorders, the Company gives a Pension to the English Ambassador, who resides at the Port; to the Consuls, and all their Principal Officers, as the Mini­ster, the Chancellor, the Secretary, the Interpreters, the Janisaries and others. Which Officers have no Power to Levy any Taxes or Sums of Money upon the Merchandize, whether under the pretence of Duties, or Presents, or any other extraordi­nary Expences. But when any thing of that Nature is to be done, they give Notice to the Deputies of the Nation, who are Two Persons appointed to Act in the Name of the rest. These Deputies examine and debate with the Ambassador, or the Consul, What is fit to be given, What Journeys are ne­cessary to be made to the Port, and what is there to be trans­acted: Not but that the Ambassador or Consul may not Act of themselves, but they observe that method to acquit and justifie themselves; and sometimes upon Emergent and Ex­traordinary Affairs they assemble the whole Body of the Na­tion. So soon as they are come to a Result, the Deputies give Notice to the Treasurer to provide what is necessary, whe­ther it be Money, Toys or Curiosities. This Treasurer also is setl'd by the Company, and provides Money for every thing, discharges punctually all manner of Charges and Ex­pences, and pays exactly the Wages of every Officer. Thus the Ambassador and Consuls have no more to do but only to mind the Security of the English Nation, and the good of Trade without being incumber'd and diverted by their own Interests. There are also many other excellent Regulations and Orders for the support of their Trade in the Levant; by which means they carry it on with Honour and Profit beyond any of their Neighbors.

[Page 7] The Hollanders also drive a great Trade at Smyrna, and more then any other Nation of Europe, but they have lit­tle to do elsewhere; all their Dealing in all the rest of the Cities in the Levant amounting to little or nothing. Their principal Profit consists in carrying the Armenians and their Goods into Europe, and carrying 'em back again. They al­so make great Advantage of their Money, of which Turkie is very full. This Money of theirs is made of base Mettle, and notoriously intermix'd with Counterfeit pieces. It chief­ly consists of Crowns, Half-Crowns, Testons, or Eighteen­penny pieces, and pieces of Fifteen Sous. The Crowns and Half-Crowns for the most part carry the Dutch Stamp. Which the Turks therefore call Aslani, that is to say Lyons; in regard of their being mark'd on both sides with the Figure of a Lyon. The Arabians, either out of Ignorance or otherwise, mistak­ing the Lyon for a Dog, give em the Name of Abou-Kelb, or Dogs. The Quarter-Pieces are almost all Counterfeit; or at Best, but Half Silver. However the Turks are so void of Judgment and Understanding, that they esteem this Mony beyond that of Spain, which they call Marsillies, by reason that the Merchants of Marseilles first brought it in great Quan­tities into Turkie.

The States maintain a Resident at the Port, with an Allow­ance of Four Thousand Crowns a Year. Which Resident has besides the one Moyety of the Revenue of the Dutch Con­sulships in the Levant, which sometimes amounts to a consi­derable Sum; there being one Dutch Consul at Smyrna, who got Fifty Thousand Crowns by Duties. When I arriv'd there, it happend that there was a great Quarrel between the Consul and the Merchants: For he accus'd them for Cheats; Appeal­ing to their own Books for the truth of his Affirmation; and desir'd they might be view'd; to which the Merchants would by no means give their consent. The Resident not daring to determine this Difference, both Parties referr'd themselves to the States. But at last, for fear the coming of the Convoy, should occasion farther disturbances, the Merchants and the Consul agreed the Duties of the Consulship, at Ten Thou­sand Five Hundred Crowns, for all that the Convoy brought in, and Shipt off.

The French are very numerous in Smyrna, and over all the Levant, there not being a Port of Turkie upon the Mediterra­nean Sea, wherein there are not several. They are for the most part all Provençalls. But the Trade which they drive is [Page 8] so inconsiderable, that one Merchant in each Place might dis­patch all the Business. At Smyrna, for example, there are a­bove a Hundred Merchants; and yet the Truth is, that in some Years the Effects that came out of France consign'd to all those Merchants did not amount to above Four Hundred Thousand Livres; and there are many that have not above Five Hun­dred Crowns Stock: Besides that they agree but very badly together, as being a sort of people that Love to harbour Divi­sion and Contention one among another. So that it is no wonder if their Trade decrease, and turn to loss rather then profit. For they who better understand the Nature and Maxims of Trade, affirm, That that same Dis-union is the Thing which ruins'em in the Levant; so that if we should compare the pre­sent with the former Trade which they drove, we should find it more miserable and pitiful then ever. They add moreover that the Provençalls have formerly had in Turkie those fortu­nate Chances and Luckie Opportunities, that it is highly to be wonder'd, that they did not fill their Country with Wealth in that happy Conjuncture. One of those Lucky Seasons be­gan about the Year 1656, and lasted Thirteen Years, during which time they drove a Trade, by which they gain'd Four­score and Ninety per. Cent.

This Trade which was really and truly a great piece of Kna­very consisted in these Five-Sous-Pieces that have made such a Noise. For the Turks took the first that were brought at Ten Sous apiece: At which rate they held up for some time; tho afterwards they fell to Seven Sous and a half. There was no other Mony Stirring: All Turkie was full of it; nei­ther was there any other Mony to be had; for that the French carri'd all the other Money away. This good Fortune so intoxicated their Senses, that not content with such great Gains, they still thirsted after more; and to that purpose they set themselves to alter their own pieces of Five Sons, and made others of the same sort, but of base Mettle, which they Coin'd first at Dombes, then at Orange, and afterwards at Avignon. More then this, they Stampt far worse at Monaco and Florence: And lastly they made more of the same Stamp in the remote Castles belonging to the State of Genoa, and other private places, which were only Copper plated over. The Merchants of Marseilles, to utter this Money, brought down the price themselves, and put off their Pieces in payment, and to the Mony-Changers at a lower Rate then the Current Value. The Turks were a long time before they perceiv'd the [Page 9] Cheat that was put upon 'em, though so palpable and of so great a Consequence; but so soon as they found it out, they were so incens'd, that they laid most heavy Impositions upon the French, using 'em no better then Counterfeiters of Money, though the Dutch and Genoeses had a hand in it as well as they. Thereupon they forbid 'em to utter any of those Pieces which they call'd Timmins, but such as were stamp'd with the real Arms of France, which they also brought down and put at Five Sous apiece. So that all the European Merchants, ex­cept the English, were loaded at that time with great Quan­tities of those Timmins. Their Warehouses were full, whole Ships Loadings of 'em arriv'd daily, and they began to Coin 'em in all parts. But soon after, this Money being cry'd down, several of those Money-Merchants lost all their Gains, and many much more then ever they got.

The English were the Procurers of this Decry. For had that Money continu'd Currant, their Trade had been ruin'd, which consisted chiefly in the purchase of Silks. And the reason was, because the Timmin-Merchants caus'd an advance to be made upon the price of Silks, not caring what they gave, provided the Sellers would take their Pieces of Five Sous in payment. I have seen above Fifty several sorts of Coins of this sort of Money. But the most common sort carri'd on the one side a Womans Head with this Motto, Vera Virtutis Imago: On the other, the Arms of France, with this Imprese, Currens per totam Asiam.

There are no People in the World that have been more fre­quently cheated, or that are more easily gull'd then the Turks; as being naturally very dull, and thick-skull'd, and apt to believe any fair Story: Which is the reason that the Christians have impos'd a Thousand Cony-catching-Tricks, and Cheats upon 'em. But though you may deceive 'em once or twice, yet when their Eyes are op'n, they strike home, and pay ye once for all. And those sort of Impositions which they lay upon Offenders in that Nature, are call'd Avanies; which are not always unjust Impositions neither; they being like the Confiscations so frequent in Custom-Houses: Where for the most part the Chief Ministers and their Officers devour the People, while the Port winks at all the first time, and only exhorts to Amendment. If the Complaints cease, the Offence is stifl'd; but if the Clamour grow too loud, the Port sends to take off the Head of the Party accus'd, and Confiscates his Estate. By which means the People are satisfi'd, the Trea­sury [Page 10] is fill'd, Justice is done, and the Example remains to ter­rifie others.

The Merchants of Marseilles affirm, That the Imposition of these Fines was the main thing that spoil'd the Trade of the French in the Levant, as having cost 'em such prodigious Sums. But of all the Impositions that ever I heard of, there is one which I shall never forget, that was laid upon the French Mer­chants, at the time that M. de Sésy was the Ambassador of France at the Port, which happen'd thus.

His Excellency had a great desire to turn one of the Grand Signior's Farmers, and to Farm the Customs of Constantinople and Smyrna. But at the end of Six Months, M. de Sésy find­ing himself a Hundred Thousand Franks in Arrear requested to be discharg'd: which was a favour granted him on con­dition he would pay what he ow'd. But in regard he wanted Money, the Turks oblig'd the French Nation to pay for him. Thereupon he told the Merchants, That he had not tak'n upon him to Farm the Customs, but in hopes to advance the Trade of the French, and to prevent the Squabbles and Diffe­rences which daily arose between the Turks and Them about the payment of their Duties. To which the Merchants fail'd not to make a fair Apology, and to justifie themselves by so­lid Reason: but all to no purpose: there was no more to be done, but they must pay down the Hunderd Thousand Franks; so that for want of Money of their own, they were reduc'd to that Exigency, as to borrow the Sum of the Jews at Five and Twenty per Cent. for Six Months. And I am certainly assur'd by persons that were well acquainted with all the passa­ges, that it was so long before the Hunderd Thousand Franks were paid, that the Interest amounted to three times as much as the Principal; so that this Avanie, or Imposition cost the French Nation near an Hunderd and Fifty Thousand Crowns.

Two other Impositions they paid, during the Embassie of M. de la Haye, the Son, which amounted to Two Hundred Thousand Franks. I have also heard that one of his Prede­cessors for Fifteen Years together took of every French Mer­chant-Man that came to Constantinople Five Hunderd Crowns, to re-imburse himself of a pretended Expence of Six Hundred Crowns for the Advancement of the Trade of the Nation; and when they made it out, that he had repaid himself that Sum a hunderd times over, he made answer, I will shew ye my Accompts, I take no more then is my due.

[Page 11] The Venetians maintain a Consul at Smyrna, as also the Ge­noeses; yet there are few Merchants, Natives in either of those two Republicks, that live there; especially of the Genoeses, who have little or nothing to do in the Levant. They were only setl'd there at first by reason of the great Trade which they drove in Five-Sous-Pieces, in regard of the great profit which they gain'd. So that as soon as that Trade was prohi­bited, their principal Merchants retir'd: Only two or three remain'd at Smyrna, and one at Constantinople. Thereupon, their Levant Company began to dissolve it self, and there is no question but the whole Establishment of the Genoeses had ut­terly gone to ruine, by the recalling their Resident from the Port, and their Consul from Smyrna, had they not been better advis'd then to make that Revocation, upon two Considera­tions. First, Because the Turks never suffer Nations that are setl'd among 'em to retire for good and all. Secondly, be­cause such an entire abandoning the Country, would have too manifestly discover'd the beggerly Reason that sway'd the Republick in an Enterprise that had cost 'em so dear, and which had given France an Occasion to shew how highly she was displeas'd at their Conduct. For the better under­standing of which Transaction, the Reader perhaps may not think his time ill spent in viewing three or four Pages.

In the first place therefore give me leave to observe, That the Genoeses were formerly very powerful in the Levant, as being the Lords and Masters of several Islands in the Archi­pelago, of several Places upon the Coast of the Grecian, and several Cities upon the Black-Sea. Pera also, now the Su­burbs of Constantinople, was under their Jurisdiction. Upon which there is no need for me to dilate, in regard the Stories of past Ages have giv'n a sufficient Account, how and at what time they lost all this fair Extent of Dominion. But the War in Candy, which happen'd in the Year 1645. encou­rag'd 'em to revive their Commerce in the Territories of the Grand Signior; imagining they should make themselves Ma­sters of that Trade which the Venetians drove there before the War. And to the end they might bring about this Design with more speed and security, they apply'd themselves to the King of France for his Recommendation, as being the most Antient, and most Considerable Allie of the Ottoman Empire. Which was easily condescended to by the King's Council, who had Affairs in their Heads of greater Importance then Trade. [Page 12] In so much that they did not foresee the great Dammages which it would bring upon the French Nation; of which the most considerable was the prejudice done to the Articles of the Treaty between the Crown of France and the Port, being a kind of Annihilation of one of the Principal Capitulations, wherein it was concluded, That all European Nations, that should desire to settle in the Levant, should not be permitted to Trade, but under the Banners and Protection of France. How­ever the Genoeses being thus recommended by the King, M. de la Haye, the Father, then the French Embassador in Turkie, us'd the utmost of his endeavours to assist 'em. Nevertheless it came to nothing, because, as they say, it was not prosecu­ted with that vigor as it ought to have been.

In the Year 1664. they were very fierce upon it again, en­courag'd by the great Profit which was got by Pieces of Five-Sous. But they could not then expect that the French should sollicite in their behalf as they had done before, because the Face of Affairs was alter'd, as well in respect of Traffick in General, as of the Levant Trade in particular; rather they saw that their Enterprize would be displeasing to France: How­ever they believ'd, that the King of France had so embroil'd himself with the Turk, by the Assistance which he had giv'n the Venetians and the Emperor, that they did not think his Op­position or his Recommendation would stand 'em in any stead. Thereupon they sought the Assistance of England and the Em­pire, and as for France, they satisfi'd themselves with giving the King a bare Information of their design. Their Resident inform'd the King that there was a Levant Company setting up at Genoa, and that the Republick had a design to send an Am­bassador to the Port, in hopes that his Majesty would favour their Negotiation. But the King said no more, then only that he wish'd the Republick all good success.

Which Answer increasing the Suspicions that the Genoeses had already conceiv'd, and putting 'em into a deep doubt what Re­ception they should meet with at Constantinople, they sent Incog­nito the Marquiss of Durazzo, as a Person that had the chiefest Interest in the Company, to sift out the Truth, and to treat privately with the Vizier; to which purpose he went with Count Lesley, the Emperors Extraordinary Ambassador, as one of his Train. In short, he saw the Vizier, and treated with him, and by the Mediation of the said Ambassador, and the Ambassador of England, who were very active in forward­ing the Negotiation, obtain'd that the Genoeses should have the [Page 13] same Articles with the English and Hollanders. Upon which, the Envoy, having the Grand Vizier's word in the Name of his Highness, return'd to Genoa, and gave an Account of his Ne­gotiation with the Divan. Presently thereupon the Genoeses fitted out two Ships, and sent the same Marquiss of Durazzo again in Quality of an Ambassador.

However the first Conferences which the Marquiss had with the Vizier were not so secretly carried, but that the French in the Levant had private Intelligence of the Marquiss's Proceed­ings. Immediately they were much troubl'd at this Design of the Genoeses, fearing it would be a great prejudice to their Trade; which was the reason that they wrote into France, that their Trade would be much impair'd, if the Genoeses came to be setl'd in Turkie; and therefore that all means were to be us'd to prevent 'em. Which Address procur'd a Resolution to hinder 'em, and Instructions to that purpose were sent to the French Ambassador at the Port, who was then M. de la Haye, the Son.

No sooner therefore was he come back from Adrianople, where he had been about other Affairs, but he receiv'd Orders to op­pose the Establishment of the Genoeses. Which made him send back immediately for leave to return. For in Turkie no Ambassador must appear at Court without Permission. But it happen'd that the Grand Vizier was not then in Town, be­ing gone toward Thessaly, to hasten the Siege of Candy. And as for the Caimacan, who is as it were his Deputy, He, having private Intelligence of the new Instructions which the Am­bassador had receiv'd from France, made answer, That he could not grant the Ambassador leave, without the Grand Vi­zier's consent.

This the Ambassador look'd upon as a flat Refusal; and therefore sent a Gentleman to Adrianople with Instructions, to represent to the Chief Ministers, That by the Capitulations be­tween the Emperor of France and the Grand Signior, the Port was oblig'd not to entertain any European Nation, new Comers, but under the Colours of France; and so it was contrary to the Capitulations to Treat with the Genoeses; for which rea­son if they did proceed to a Conclusion of the Treaty, He would be gone. Which Message, together with so much of his Instructions as he thought requisite, were sent to the Grand Vizier, and debated in the place where he lay. But the An­swer which the Vizier return'd, was very harsh and unci­vil. Which was not to be wonder'd at in regard the Vizier [Page 14] was at that time highly incens'd for the Affairsfront which he had receiv'd in Hungary, by means of the French. His Reply therefore was, ‘That the Port was open for him as well to go, as to come: That the Emperor of France had nothing to do to hinder the Grand Signior from making a Peace with his Antient Enemies, or to grant 'em their Capitulations when they came to demand 'em: and that it might suffice his Ma­jesty to be acknowledg'd at the Port under the Titles of Em­peror and Chief Monarch of Christ'ndom, without taking up­on him to prescribe to others what they were to do.’

The Ambassador of Genoa arriv'd at Constantinople at the same time that these Endeavours were us'd to prevent his Recepti­on. Which was to him however no surprize, in regard he had already had Intelligence while he was at Sea, that some such thing was in Agitation. Besides, he had Advice, that the Resident of Genoa in France, having made known to the King, that his Masters had sent the Marquiss of Durazzo in the Quality of an Ambassador to Constantinople, the King should return this Answer; I wish the Ambassador of the Republick a good Voyage, but I know not what our Own has done at the Port upon this Occasion. I have seen several People who were of Opinion, that if the Grand Vizier had not had a particular Peek against the French, and some kind of aversion to the Ambassador's Per­son, that the Genoeses had not been receiv'd into the Levant. For that the Port had no such high value for an Interest of Trade, to grant a favour to the prejudice of France, from which their Hands were so speciously ty'd with a fair pretence.

After I had staid twelve days at Smyrna, I embark'd for Constantinople, where I arriv'd the Ninth of March, and Landed without any trouble, any danger, or any expence a very great Quantity of Rich Goods, which I brought along with me, be­ing more then two Horses could carry. For M. de Nointel did me that favour as to give me leave to put his Name and the Flowre de Lices upon my Chests, and then sent for 'em as be­longing to himself. Which was done with the greatest ease in the World. For he presently sent his Interpreter to the Officer of the Custom-House, to let him know that he had two Chests aboard a Flemish Vessel that arriv'd the day before, which belong'd to him; and therefore desir'd they might be deliver'd Custom-free. Accordingly the Officer gave such Order, that the Interpreter went aboard the Dutch Vessel, un­laded the two Chests, and sent 'em to the Ambassador's House, [Page 15] who did me Kindnesses to send 'em to my Lodging the next day.

For all Ambassadors, Residents, and Envoys that reside at the Port, have the Priviledge to Import and Export whatever they please; provided they undertake to own the Goods as belonging to themselves; nor does the Officer of the Customs dare to take any Cognisance of it. Which is a Civility and Generosity of the Turks not to be parallell'd in Europe.

When I arriv'd at Constantinople, M. de Nointel was prepa­ring to attend the Grand Signior at Adrianople, in order to the Renovation of the Articles. It was an Affair of great Impor­tance, and which had made a great Noise in the World, as having hung in suspence for Seven Years together, and for that the Turks still stood upon their Terms and haughtily slighted the Ambassador notwithstanding that they were then entring into a doubtfull War against Poland. And now I shall give ye an accompt of the Original of the Differences that were at that time grown to a great Height between France and Turkie.

At the beginning of the Raign of Mahomet the IV. the pre­sent Emperor of the Turks, who ascended the Imperial Throne at Seven Years of Age, in the Year 1648. the Government was solely in the Hands of Women and Eunuchs, who fill'd all the Chief Places of Honour and Trust with such Persons as they pleas'd themselves. And the Turks acknowledge, that the Ottoman Court was never so corrupt, nor in such a strange Confusion as at that Time. You should see almost every Month a new Grand Vizier, who after he had been some few days in his Office, was not only discharg'd from his High Im­ployment, but many times depriv'd of his Life. Now it is the Custom in Turkie, that upon the Advancement of any Grand Vizier, all Persons of Quality go to kiss his Hands, and carry him some considerable Present. More particularly all Ambas­sadors are oblig'd to that Ceremony. But M. de la Haye the Father, then Ambassador of France at the Port, observing the frequent Changes of Grand Viziers at that time concluded that there would be no Reformation of this evil Management during the Emperor's Minority, and that all his Visits and Presents to the New Vizier, were but so many Visits and Pre­sents lost. So that he resolv'd to sit still Quietly, and to spare his Compliments and the charge of his Presents.

It happen'd in a short while after, that Cuperly Mahomet Pacha, receiv'd the Seals of the Empire, that is to say, was [Page 16] advanc'd to the High Dignity of Prime Vizier. But the Am­bassador still believ'd that his Fortune would be no better then that of his Predecessors, and that he had but a very short Raign; but he was deciev'd; for it so fell out, that this Grand Vizier upheld himself in his Office, till his Death, which hap­pen'd in the Year 1662.

So soon as he was advanc'd, every one pay'd him their Visits, and made him their accustom'd Presents, and among the Rest all the Forraign Ministers, except the French Ambassador. To which as they say, he was adviz'd and several times most earnestly press'd; but his good Husbandry for the Nation was such, that he would not be over-rul'd. However at length percieving that Cuperly fix'd himself at Court upon the Ruine of several of the Grandees, and that according to all outward Appearances he was like to continue Grand Vizier, at length he made him both his Visit and his Presents.

But then the Vizier, hainously offended at his Remissness, and the little value he had testifi'd for his Person before, had laid a design to be reveng'd not only upon him, but upon all the French Nation. And this in truth was the Source and Ori­ginal of that Misunderstanding between France and Turkie, as well during that whole time the Grand Vizier liv'd, which was Twelve Years, as also during the Prime Ministry of his Son that succeeded him. So that the severity of the Port toward the Three last Ambassadors of France, M. de la Haye, the Fa­ther, M. de la Haye, the Son, and Monsieur Nointel, and the several Impositions that were laid upon the French, for Twen­ty Years together, are to be Originally attributed to a particular and Personal Enmity, notwithstanding all the Reasons after­wards pretended, of which the Principal and justest were the Enterprize of Gigery, and the Succors giv'n to the Emperor and the Venetians.

Nor was the Vizier long before he found an Opportunity to Thunder forth his Resentments. Such a one, as he could not have wish'd for a better to advance his mischievous Design. For then was the War very hot in Candy, and France had se­cretly assisted the Venetians at the beginning of the War. Nay more, it is said, that M. de la Haye had Instructions to hold a private Correspondence with the Venetians, and to give 'em In­telligence of the Turkish Designs. Now it happen'd in the Year 1659. that a French-Man, who went by the Name of Verta­mont, and who had a very considerable Imployment in the Ve­netian Army, desir'd leave of the Captain General, to go and [Page 17] see Constantinople. Presently the General gave him a Pass, and charg'd him with a great Packet of Letters for the French Am­bassador. But the French Man, who had no other design then to turn Turk, apply'd himself to the Caimacan of Con­stantinople, and told him, That he had quitted the Camp of the Christians, as being resolv'd to adjure their Religion, and embrace Mahumatism; and more, that he had a Packet of great Importance to deliver into the Hands of the Grand Vizier. Upon which the Caimacan order'd him forthwith to be con­vey'd to Adrianople, where the Court then lay. Nor was this perfidious Renegade, contented only to renounce his Faith, but discover'd to the Grand Vizier the secret Correspondence be­tween the Ambassador of France and the Venetians; and far­ther told him, That the Packet of Letters which he had deli­ver'd into his Hands would convince him clearly of the Truth of what he said.

The Grand Vizier had a jealousie of this secret Correspon­dence before, but being now in a manner assur'd in his suspi­tions through the Discoveries of the Renegade, it may be rea­dily conjectur'd to what a degree his passion transported him against the Ambassador of France, incens'd as he was already, and boyling with revenge, especially being naturally inhuman and bloody. However at this time he put a curb upon him­self, and shew'd more reserv'dness and moderation then could be expected from him.

M. de la Haye, who well understood Vertamont's Design, and what his Errand was to the Court, and besides was well acquainted with the Grand Vizier's Disposition, his Implaca­bility, and the Importance of the Affair, made no question but the Intercepted Packet would put him to a great deal of trouble; and therefore he consulted with his Interpreters and his Secretaries. Immediately the Secretary for his Ciphers took such a fright at the Unfortunate Accident, that he re­solv'd to march off, well knowing that the Grand Vizier, up­on the like occasion of a Letter in Ciphers Intercepted, had caus'd an Interpreter to the Venetians to be Drubb'd to Death. Thereupon, addressing himself to M. de la Haye, Sir, said he, I am naturally so very timorous, that so soon as I feel the Drub­bing-Stick, there is no secret which I shall not reveal; and there­fore secure me, or let me make my escape. Upon which the Am­bassador order'd him to be conveigh'd into a private Conceal­ment, and prepar'd to abide the Shock, whatever happen'd. He then kept his Bed, very ill of the Stone, so that he could [Page 18] not go to Adrianople, though he had receiv'd Orders to appear there. However he sent a Message to the Caimacan who sent him the Order, to tell him, That he was sick a Bed, so that it was impossible for him to Travel; nevertheless he would send his Son in his stead.

But so it happen'd, that all the Letters which the Grand Vi­zier met with in the Venetian General's Packet, were writ in Ciphers; so that all the Renegado's and Interpreters in the Ottoman Court were sent for in vain; for there was not one that had a Key to the Lock: which enrag'd the Vizier so much the more. And as for M. de la Haye the Son, he found him in such an ill Humour, at his coming to Adrianople, that up­on his returning him an Answer, somewhat more boldly perhaps then the Circumstance would bear, Cuperly transsport­ed with passion, not only caus'd him to be abus'd in his Person, but sent him Prisoner to a Tower adjoyning to the Wall of the City; saying withal, That he was not to endure that from an Ambassador's Deputy, though his Son, which he might bear with in the Ambassador himself. However, the Vizier did no harm either to the Merchants or the Interpreters, that went along with M. de la Haye: nor to the Secretary or Chancellor; be­ing all discharg'd at the expence of that fear, into which he had put 'em at first, by Threats and cruel Menaces of Tor­ment and Death if they did not Decipher the General's Let­ters. Only one of the Interpreters fell into such a Distemper upon it, that he has continu'd sick every since, and 'tis thought he will never recover.

The Ottoman Court was then at Adrianople, as I have said, making great Preparations for the Transylvanian War. So that M. de la Haye the Father, understanding the Grand Vizier was ready to march, and fearing his departure before he had en­larg'd his Son, as it really fell out, strove with his Distemper, and took a Journey to Adrianople; to which his Daughter-in-Law perswaded him, urging him continually, That if he did not speedily labour the Discharge of his Son, he might be in danger of his Life; and that the Vizier was cruel and incens'd; and therefore he ought to use his utmost Endeavours to pacific his Fury.

A Month after the Vizier's departure, the Ambassador ven­tur'd upon a bold Exploit, that deserves to be remember'd.

A little before Vertamont's coming to Constantinople, there arriv'd in the same place a certain French Man, whose Name was Quiclet, together with his Wife, and another French Man [Page 19] whose Name was Poulet, so enamour'd of Quiclet's Wife, that he never forsook her in all her Rambles. This Quiclet was a great Interpreter of Ciphers, a Man of Learning, but of lit­tle Judgment. He had also been employ'd to Decipher Cha­racters by several Ministers of State, and divers Ambassadors. But he was so much a Beggar, that he could not well be poorer then he was; nor do I know what unlucky Star brought him to Constantinople. It is reported however, that he having heard of the great Rewards which the Grand Vizier promis'd to any one that could Uncipher the Captain General's Letters, the Wife of this wretched Fellow addressing her self to some Gentlemen that belong'd to Monsieur de la Haye, gave it out, That though his Excellency refus'd to lend her Husband Money, yet if he would himself, he could have what he pleas'd of the Grand Vizier. I am not certain whether it were really so, as the Thing was related to me: but however it were, Monsieur de la Haye, who well knew the great desire which Cuperly had to understand what was contain'd in the Intercepted Letters, and fearing lest they should reveal some Things as well to his own, as to the Ruine of all the French in the Levant, he sent for the Fellow, carry'd him up to the Terrace of his Palace that lookt into the Garden; and after he had walk'd two or three Turns, holding him in a discourse, which what it was, no body knows, he gave a sign to some persons plac'd there for the purpose, who threw him headlong over the Battlements, at what time another Gang, posted near the place where he fell, perceiving he was not dead with the Fall, finish'd the Work, and buri'd him privately.

After this, the French Ambassador having Audience of the Grand Vizier, he sent for the Intercepted Letters, and desir'd the Ambassador to explain 'em. To which Monsieur le Haye made Answer, That it was well known to all the World, that the Ambassadors and Ministers of the Christian Princes, never wrote one to another unless it were in Characters, whatever the Subject were; nevertheless they did not understand the Characters themselves; as having their Secretaries who com­pos'd and writ the Ciphers, and then explain'd them when they had done: That as for the Person by him employ'd for that purpose, he had sent him back into France, about six Months ago. Yet if the Grand Vizier would permit him to carry the Letters home, he would try to Uncipher 'em, and if it could be done, he would be sure to let him know the Contents. But the Grand Vizier having heard this Answer, only smil'd [Page 20] upon the Ambassador, and so presently rose from his Seat, without speaking so much as one word. Some few days after the Chief Minister departed for Transylvania, leaving Monsieur de la Haye, the Son, in Prison, but not so closely restrain'd as before, and Monsieur de la Haye, the Father, without any manner of Answer.

The Grand Signior did not go in Person to the Transylvanian War, but remain'd at Adrianople, where the Ambassador also tarry'd, in hopes to obtain of his Highness his Son's Enlarge­ment; but no body durst open their Mouths to the Emperor without the Grand Vizier's order. Who having put a quick end to the Transylvanian Disorder return'd Victorious to Con­stantinople. Where so soon as he arriv'd, he was put in mind of both the Monsieurs de la Haye. At which the Vizier, faigning a kind of surprise, And what, said he, Are those Gentlemen still here? Which was as much as to say, They might go where they Pleas'd; as it appear'd by the discharge of the Son, which was order'd forthwith: And so both the one and the other re­turn'd to Constantinople without so much as seeing the Vizier's Face.

When it was known in France how unkindly the Grand Vi­zier has us'd Monsieur de la Haye, the Cardinal dispatch'd a Gentleman to the Prime Minister, to prevent the ill Conse­quences of such Proceedings. Cuperly, whose Malice augmen­ted through desire of revenge, as one that mortally hated the two Monsieurs de la Haye, would fain have sent them back, and oblig'd the Gentleman to have tak'n upon him the Title of Ambassador in their Room, engaging to interpose so effectually, that the Alteration should be approv'd in France. But the Gentleman would not hear of that Proposition by any means, excusing himself fairly and genteelly. And it is moreover re­ported that he highly pleas'd the Grand Vizier's Humor in all their Transacting together. I am sorry I know not his Name, which would have been an Honour to this Relation.

The Accompt which the Gentleman gave of his Negotia­tion, caus'd Monsieur de la Haye to be recall'd. However there was not any one sent to succeed him; only he had orders to leave in his Place, as Resident, a French Merchant, that had liv'd for several Years in Constantinople, whose Name was Mon­sieur Rokely. Nor had France any other Minister in those parts till the end of the Year 1665.

The King, who had then tak'n the Government into his own Hands, and Rul'd with no less Renown then Success, [Page 21] had already sufficiently reveng'd himself for the Affronts offer'd to the Family of his Ambassador, and for the heavy Fines and Impositions laid upon his Subjects in Turkie, by lending pow­erful Succours to the Enemies of the Ottoman Empire. All which did but heighten the bad Understanding which was be­tween the Two Empires, and Things were arriv'd to that Point, that there must either be an absolute Breach, or a New Alliance. The Importance of the Levant Trade advis'd the latter; so that the King resolv'd to send an Ambassador to Constantinople to renew the Articles of Peace. Monsieur de la Haye was then at Paris, solliciting for Imployment, and seve­ral Arrears due to him as Heir to his Father, who had been dead in that City some years before. Now in regard he understood better then any other Person, the Gains and Advantages of a Constantinopolitan Embassie, together with the Splendor and Authority that belongs to it, he made great Friends for the Place; and to remove all Opposition and Obstructions in his way, he offer'd to quit all his Arrears to the Chief Mi­nister.

Thereupon, his Friends at Court alledg'd His great Expe­rience in the Affairs of Turkie; and that his Courage and Re­solution was such as was requisite for an Embassie to the Otto­man Port. On the other side, that it was for the King's Ho­nour to send him thither, were it only to humble the Grand Vizier, who must now be constrain'd to honour that very Per­son, whom his Father had abus'd and hated; Meaning Cuperly Mahamed Pacha, who dy'd in the Year 1662. after he had setl'd his Son in his Room. Nor can I tell how this Counsel, as bad as it was, came to be embrac'd, unless it were in prose­cution of that Design which the Court always had to bring the Turks to a Compliance by force. The Event of Affairs will shew that there was something of that Nature in the Ma­nagement of this Business.

Monsieur de la Haye arriv'd at Constantinople in the Month of November 1665. He also made a Magnificent Entry, and behav'd himself for five Years together that he continu'd Am­bassador, with as much State as could be expected from a Re­solute Minister, and one that bore the Character of an Am­bassador from a Potent and Formidable Prince. He discours'd of nothing in the Visits that he made to the Ministers of the Divan but of the Grandeur of the King his Master, and the Invincible Strength of his Armies. This offended the Vizier extreamly, who lookt upon it as an Affront done to him, and [Page 22] the Grand Signior, even in his own Court; and this Forestall­ment of his Honour, caus'd him to treat the Ambassador with disdain and contempt. So that when he gave him Audience, he receiv'd him with that pride and scorn which was unsuffe­rable, not vouchsafing so much as to look upon him, or to rise from his Seat according to the ancient Custom, and the usual practice at the Reception of Ambassadors either from the Em­peror or any other Crowned Heads. And not content with that, he upbraided him in bitter Language, with the Succours which France had sent into Hungary and Candy, and the Enter­prise of Gigery. Monsieur de la Haye dissembl'd his Resentment, believing that when he took his leave, the Vizier would shew him more Civility: but he was deceiv'd; for the Vizier dis­miss'd him with the same Indifferency, wherewith he had re­ceiv'd him.

The Ambassador reflecting upon the Affront, which the Vi­zier had done him at that Audience, sent to him to demand another, upon Condition that he should receive him standing, and forbear any farther Reproaches. The Raisquitab, who is the High-Chancellor of the Empire, and the Vizier's Kiaia, or Chief Controller of his Houshold, answer'd the Interpreter, That he might assure his Master, the Vizier would receive him, as became him. Thereupon, the Ambassador relying upon a promise, that indeed carry'd with it a manifest Equivo­cation, went to his Audience, but his Reception was nothing different from what it was before. Which disgusted Monsieur de la Haye to that degree, that he told the Vizier, That the Emperor of France having sent him to the Port, to Confirm the League of Amity between the two Princes, he would not take the Audience which he had giv'n him for an Audience, because he had not paid him those Honours which were due to the Ambassador of the Greatest and most Potent Monarch in Christendom. Moreover he declar'd, That he had Order to give him up the Articles of Peace, and return into France in the same Vessel that had brought him, if he did not treat him an­swerably to the Grandeur of his Master. Which so incens'd the Vizier, that he fell into a passion, and vented his Choler in reviling and reproachful terms. On the other side, the Ambassador was so highly provok'd, that snatching the Arti­cles of Peace out of the Interpreters Hands, he threw 'em at the Knees of the Haughty Minister, and rising from his Seat, flung out of the Room without speaking a word, or vouch­safing to tarry for an Answer. But he was stopp'd at the Door [Page 23] of the Anti-Chamber; at what time the Vizier sent for the Mufti, Vani Effendi the Grand Signior's Tutor, and the Cap­tain Basha, to deliberate what was to be done in an Accident of such Importance as this. The Result was, That they should inform the Grand Signior, who was then gone a Hunt­ing Twenty Leagues from Constantinople; which was the Rea­son that the Answer was delay'd for three days, during all which time, Monsieur de la Haye lay under Confinement in an Apartment of the Grand Signior's Palace.

In the mean while the Captain Basha brought a Message in the Vizier's Name, That if the Ambassador would Kiss his Gar­ment, he would receive him as he had receiv'd Count Lesley, Ambassador from his Imperial Majesty; that he would also re­ceive him standing, and pay him all those Honours which he had paid to that Count. To which the Ambassador answer'd, That he was not to be govern'd by Presidents of any Person, when they were prejudicial to the Honour of the Emperor of France. The Captain Basha demanded what he could object against the Example of Count Lesley, whose Master was the Emperor of Seven Kings? a Title which the Emperor assumes among the Turks, as being Elected by Seven Electors. At length, after many Disputes on both sides, and that the Grand Signior had given his Answer, it was concluded between the Vizier and the Ambassador, That he might return to his Lodg­ing when he pleas'd, that the two Audiences which he had receiv'd should stand for nothing, and that he would grant him another with all the Customary Civilities and Cere­monies.

This Audience was giv'n him in the Month of January 1666. At what time, the Grand Vizier, because he would not be oblig'd to rise when the Ambassador was introduc'd, order'd him to be brought into a particular Room of State, whither he came to meet him. At his first Entrance he demean'd him­self with an extraordinary Civility, approaching the Ambas­sador with a smiling Countenance, and reaching forth his Hand. On the other side, Monsieur de la Haye, who was glad to see such a Compliance, answer'd his Civilities and Com­pliments with all suitable Decency, as if he had never seen him before; and the Audience ended with all the Courtesie and Decorum that could be expected on both sides: The Am­bassador and his Retinue being Treated with Perfumes, Coffee, Sorbet, and Four and Twenty Turkish Vests. The next Month he had Audience of his Highness, where every thing was ma­nag'd [Page 24] according to the usual Custom, with all Civility; it not being proper to discourse of Business to the Grand Sig­nior.

Monsieur de la Haye had Orders to demand the renewing the former Articles of Peace, and Liberty of Trading to the East-Indies through the Red-Sea. But the Grand Vizier would not consent either to the one or the other, upon the Conditi­ons that were propounded: and in March he left Constantinople, and attended the Grand Signior to Adrianople, from whence he departed for Candy. At the same time also Monsieur de la Haye follow'd the Court to Adrianople, where he had several Conferences with the Caimacan in reference to his Negotiation; but in regard that Minister durst not conclude any thing with­out consulting the Vizier, Monsieur de la Haye return'd to Constantinople, having made no farther progress in his Bu­siness.

Soon after happen'd the Treaty of Genoa, already spok'n of, which put the whole Affair into an absolute Confusion, and exasperated both Parties. For on the one side, the Genoeses were entertain'd notwithstanding the Protestations and Threats of the Ambassador, and on the other side, the Ambassador, in his Complaints and Protests, made use of Expressions that offended the Turkish Ministers. They had written to him, as I have already related, That it was not for the King his Master to oppose the Reception of any whoever they were, whom the Grand Signior was pleas'd to favour with his Friendship; and that it was sufficient for his Master to be acknowledg'd at the Ottoman Court, for the first Prince in Christendom. To which Monsieur de la Haye made Answer, That as for what concern'd his High Titles, the Emperor of France was only be­holding to God and his Victorious Arms. Which was tak'n very ill, as being the same Titles which the Grand Signior assumes to himself, and which the Turks believe to be only due to his Highness. And therefore the Ministers signifi'd to Monsieur de la Haye, That never any Ambassador had made use of those Titles before; neither was it a Thing which had been ever al­low'd by the Divan, to any other Person whatsoever. In the mean time the French sent very considerable Succours to Can­dy, which much retarded the Conquest of the Island, while the Turks on the other side oppress'd the French Merchants with new Impositions and Extortions. In so much that their Complaints, which grew louder and louder every day, oblig'd the King to send express Order to Monsieur de la Haye, to re­turn [Page 25] to France, and lay aside all thoughts of renewing the League, at least if it were not a Thing first sought and desir'd by the Ministers of the Port. Which Orders were deliver'd to him toward the end of the Year 1668. not a little to his dis­satisfaction. However he did not forbear to Visit the Caima­can at Constantinople, telling him that he had receiv'd Orders from the King his Master to return home; to which purpose he expected the Arrival of the Vessels which his Majesty had sent, and his leave of the Port, in order to his Departure; re­questing him withal to write to the Court, that he might be sent for withal Expedition.

The Court was then at Larissa in Thessaly, whither his High­ness was gone, to the end that being somewhat the nearer to Candy, he might be a means to hasten the Conquest. And therefore, before the Caimacan, who is as it were the Grand Vizier's Lieutenant, would write, he demanded of Monsieur de la Haye, Whether any other Ambassador came in his Room? To which he answer'd, Not any; but that the Emperor his Master had commanded him to leave a Secretary or a French Merchant for his Resident, like the Representatives of the Hol­landers and Genoeses. The Caimacan ask'd him, Wherefore no Ambassador was sent? To which the other reply'd, That it was not a Thing which he could declare in publick. By which Answer the Caimacan apprehending that he had something of secresie to impart to him, gave him a private Audience. And then it was that the Ambassador discover'd to him, the reasons which oblig'd the Emperor of France to recal him, with a Re­solution never to send any more Ambassadors to the Ottoman Port. First, for that the Dignity of the Ambassador of France had not been regarded nor respected as it ought to be. That no heed had been given neither to the Complaints nor Requests which his Majesty had made for three Years together. That they refus'd to renew the Capitulations of Peace, which was an unsufferable Damage to the French Merchants, who were constrain'd to pay Five i'the Hundred Customs, whereas the English, Hollanders and Genoeses paid not above Three per Cent. That they had entertain'd the latter in Turkie, contrary to all his Remonstrances and Protests, and had forc'd the French to pay within less then three Years, above Two Hun­dred Thousand Livres, for unjust and oppressive Impositions. To which Monsieur de la Haye farther added, That if these Grievances might be taken into Consideration, so that the Emperor his Master might be assur'd of Redress, he did not [Page 26] question but that his Majesty would rest satisfi'd and not recal him. Upon this the Caimacan made answer, That he would write to the Caimacan of the Port, who is also another of the Vizier's Lieutenants, and one who never stirs from the Person of the Grand Signior; and also that his Excellency would do well to write himself, which would add the greater weight, and give the quicker dispatch to the Affair. Nevertheless all the Answer which the Caimacan of the Port sent to Monsieur de la Haye, was only this, That he would give an Accompt to the Grand Vizier of what he had writ, and that he should know his Answer with the first Opportunity.

While the Ambassador tarry'd for this Answer, Four of the Kings Men of War arriv'd in the Haven of Constantinople, being sent to bring back the Ambassador. And this Squadron struck no small fear into the Turks at first; but finding that Monsieur d'Almeras, who was the Commander, had sent to the City, so soon as he came to an Anchor, for Fifteen Hundred Weight of Bisket, and that with no small Importunity too, they began to slight him under the want of Provision, and reduc'd to such a Condition that he could not subsist, if they should refuse to supply him.

In March 1669. Monsieur de la Haye receiv'd the Grand Vizier's Answer, containing a Permission to come to the Court; where he arriv'd in the Month of April. And here I shall pass over the Motives and Design of this Journey, not but that I sufficiently know what was discours'd at Constantinople; but because those Discourses were different from what Mon­sieur de la Haye sets down in the Relation which he gave the King at his Return to Paris; from whence I took the chiefest part of this Recital: and where he declares that he had no other end but to take his leave. Nor shall I say any thing for the same Reason, of what he did at the Ottoman Court, from whence he wrote to Admiral d'Almeras, who then lay at Con­stantinople with his Four Men of War to come and take aboard him at Vola, in the Golph of Salonica, a Turkish Ambassador, which the Grand Signior was sending into France.

This Turk was nam'd Soliman, being then Muttifar Aga, or the Grand Signior's Porter. And when he was sent to the French King, he was a Fellow that serv'd for Fifteen Aspers, or about Six-pence a day. He arriv'd in France toward the end of the Year 1669. and departed thence the next Year in the Month of August. All Paris had a sight of him, and they that were acquainted with him, knew him to be as haughty, [Page 27] as brutish, and as crafty a Turk as ever was in the World. The Provençalls that were in the Levant call'd him Monsieur de la Haye's Ambassador, and took the Liberty to affirm that Mon­sieur de la Haye furnish'd him with Money for his Equipage. And they grounded their Assertion upon this, That Soliman's Equipage was far short of the Magnificence of the Turkish Ambassadors. And Monsieur de la Haye, when he was jeer'd for Soliman's Rigging, had no other way to justifie himself, but by saying, That Soliman had not time to make better Provision for himself. Others would put it closer upon him, That the Title of AMBASSADOR was not to be found in Soliman's Credentials. But for that he had another shift, That while Soliman lay at Cale Saint Nicolas near Ce­rigo, expecting the Admiral's arrival to take him aboard, the Grand Vizier, secure of taking Candy, and finding no farther necessity to keep fair with France, or dread their As­sistance, alter'd all Soliman's Titles, Instructions and Dis­patches; recalling the first, and sending him others: But that it was most certain, that the Name and Title of Soli­man Aga were bestow'd upon him in the Quality of an Ambassa­dor; of which there needed no farther proof then this, That the Great Turk gave him the Scimitar and Vestment which he gives to his Ambassadors, and that the Fortress of Napoli in Romania saluted him with several Guns at his entrance into the Haven.

However it were, Monsieur de la Haye return'd to Constan­tinople in July, and three Months after he receiv'd Order to embark, if he could, aboard the Fleet under the Command of Monsieur d'Almeras; but if the Caimacan prevented him, that at the same Instant he should lay down the Title of Ambassador, to the end the Turks might not have the Op­portunity to Glory that they had in their Power an Ambassa­dor of France to abuse at their pleasure. But as I said be­fore, the Men of War were gone before this Order arriv'd: so that Monsieur de la Haye could not obey the first part of the Order; and as to the second, he excus'd himself, by wri­ting into France, That the Turks had a great Veneration and Respect for him.

But this excuse not being so throughly acceptable at Court, was the Occasion that Monsieur de la Haye was peremptorily recall'd. Besides the Provençals, were so incens'd against him, that they sent continually into France, clamouring that so long as he should be continu'd Ambassador at the Port, the [Page 28] League would never be renew'd, neither would the Passage to the Indies through the Red-Sea be obtain'd; in regard the Vi­zier had an old Grudge against his Person. Which Complaints being believ'd, it was resolv'd that Monsieur de la Haye should be recall'd, and that M. de Nointel should be sent in his stead. Who was a Counsellor of the Parliament of Paris, a Person of great Integrity, and so curious that his Curiosity had carry'd him to Constantinople before that Time; but he was of too mild a Disposition to negociate in Turkie. Neither were they re­solv'd at first to have giv'n him any higher Title then that of Resident; till the Importunity of his Friends and of the Le­vant Company, procur'd him that of Ambassador. For the Company judging of what begat Esteem and Reverence among the Turks, by the Humours of the Europeans, represented to the Chief Ministers of State, that in the transacting matters of such High-Importance, as the renewing of an Advantageous Peace and the obtaining a Free Trade to the Indies through the Red-Sea, the Grand Signior would sooner condescend to the Dignity of an Ambassador, then the more obscure Quality of a Resident.

Monsieur Nointel therefore departed out of France in the Month of August 1670. together with the Turkish Ambassa­dor, Soliman Aga, and arriv'd at Constantinople in October follow­ing; the King allowing him four Men of War for the securi­ty of his Passage under the Conduct of M. D'Aplemont. By the way I have heard several Persons of great Sagacity and Judgment affirm, that M. de la Haye had wrong done him, and that they were deceiv'd who vainly imagin'd that it was either out of disrespect to his Person, or for want of Good Management, that the Turks refus'd to renew the League at his Sollicitations. Which the Sequel of Affairs has justifi'd for Truth, plainly demonstrating that the Blame was to be laid upon the Ill timing the Embassy, and the Potent Succors which the King of France sent to Candy at the very Instant when he had sent his Ambassador to desire considerable Fa­vours and particular Advantages of the Grand Signior.

M. Nointel made a Magnificent Entry into Constantinople; but the Turks were nothing pleas'd with so much Pomp, al­together unseasonable, and no way agreeable to the Circum­stances of Time and Business. The Ottoman Court was then at Adrianople, where Monsieur de la Haye with little difficulty obtain'd leave to depart, and to that purpose embark'd himself in the Admiral of the Squadron, Commanded by M d'Aplemont. [Page 29] But soon after both the Admiral and the rest of the Squadron were Imbargo'd before the Castles, by reason of two Slaves that had made their escapes, as was suppos'd, into the French Ships. There were it seems about an Hunderd in all, who had broke their Chains, of all sorts of Nations; of which Number was the Chevalier de Beaujeu, who had been a Pri­soner in the Seven Towers. The Caimacan sent to demand the Slaves of M. Nointel, and M. Nointel went to demand 'em of the Captains of the Men of War, who answer'd, That there were none such in any of their Vessels: and M. de la Haye was forc'd to write from the Dardanels to the Vizier to attest the same under his own Hand; who seeming to be satisfi'd with his answer, sent an Order to let the Vessels go.

Sometime after the departure of M. de la Haye, M. Nointel went to Adrianople. Where he had all the usual Honours duly paid him; but demanded Audience before he had made known the Subject of his Negotiation at the Ottoman Port, which he should have declar'd before-hand. For it is the Law in Tur­kie, That all Ambassadors before they see the Face of the Prime Minister, or of the Grand Signior, should signifie the Occasion of their Coming, what their Demands are, and what it is that they have in Commission to Treat about. And the same Law is observ'd over all the East. Of which M. Nointel was not ignorant. But he found it in his Instructions, That he should Negotiate his Affairs in Person with the Grand Vi­zier, and that he should not disclose the Kings Orders but in a full Divan, when he might also speak to the Grand Signior himself. Which was therefore so resolv'd upon in the Kings Council, because it was said in France, That his Highness knew nothing of the Severities of the Grand Vizier toward the French Nation; no more then did the Divan. That the Haughty Minister refus'd to renew the Treaty of Alliance up­on the Kings Conditions, out of a particular hatred which he bore the French, and therefore it behov'd him to get himself out of his Clutches, and free himself from any Dependance upon his Absolute Authority. But it is a Failing predominant in all the Courts of Europe, that they take false Measures as to the Affairs of Turkey: a certain sign that the Genius and Politicks of the Turks are not as yet rightly understood. How­ever most assuredly these Counsels were ill given, and worse follow'd. For M. Nointel did all he could to observe his Or­ders, sometimes he would disclose nothing at all; then again he was for discovering part of his Commission: but finding [Page 30] he could not obtain Audience, he was forc'd to unbosom him­self, and to send a Memorial of all the Demands which he had to make at the Ottoman Port.

This Memorial he gave to the Vizier's Interpreter, whose Name was Panaioti; a Grecian, and a Man of a piercing Wit, who understood several of the European Languages; and among the rest Latin and Italian, which he writ as well as spoke with great Judgment and Dexterity. He was a Person untaintedly faithful to the Grand Vizier, and it appear'd that he was intire­ly devoted to the Interests of the Port, to the prejudice of the Christians. Which firmness of his, whether it proceeded from a dread of the Turkish Severity in the punishment of Treason and Treachery, or the Obligations of his Birth, or the Influ­ences of Turkish Slavery, I will not here dispute; however it be, he bears the Title of Chief Interpreter, and Secretary of the Ottoman Empire. The Commonwealth of Genoa also made him a Noble-Man of that City for the good Offices he did their Ambassador the Marquiss of Durazzo. He was Inter­preter to the Emperor of Germany, before he serv'd the Vizier; who allow'd him a Pension of a Thousand Crowns, which as some say is still privately paid him. And moreover he had the chief Management of the Treaty of Peace between the two Empires, which was not so honourable for Germany. He also carry'd on the Treaty of Candy, wherein he acted so much to the Satisfaction of the Grand Vizier, that at the time of the Ratification he gave him the Revenue of the Island of Micone in the Archipelago, worth Four Thousand Crowns a Year. I have been the longer in giving an Accompt of this Panaioti, because he is a Person so well known to all that have Business at the Port: as being the only Man that Treats in the Vizier's behalf with all Christians that make their Addresses to him, of what Quality soever, and whatsoever their Business may be.

The Ambassadors Demands were comprehended under Thir­ty Articles, of which these were the chief.

First, That the Grand Signior should not entertain within his Dominions any European Nation, except what were already setl'd there, but under the French Banners; and that particularly the Italians, except the Venetians and Genoeses, that should come into Turkey, should be oblig'd to put themselves under the Ban­ner of France, and the Protection of that King's Ambassador.

[Page 31] This Priviledge was granted by the Turks to the French in the Capitulations made in the Reign of Francis the First, and the French enjoy'd 'em till the beginning of this Age; at what time by reason of certain Pyrates that Cruis'd upon the Coast of Egypt under French Colours, the Port struck out that Article in a new Agreement then concluded. Afterwards the Article was restor'd, and the same Priviledge granted a second time in these words.

All Nations of Europe, that do not maintain Publick Agents at the Port, nor are in Alliance and Confederacy with the Grand Signior, which shall come into the Levant under French Colours, shall be there receiv'd and entertain'd, and enjoy the same Ad­vantages which the French do. But the Turks refuse to acknow­ledge these latter Capitulations; and therefore making use of the former, they alledge moreover, That the words [shall come] are not exclusive; and therefore though the Port be oblig'd to receive all Strangers that shall come under French Colours, yet they do not debar the Grand Signior to entertain Strangers, if it be his Pleasure, that come under other Co­lours.

Secondly, That the French shall not pay above Three in the Hunderd Customs, which is no more then the English, Hollan­ders, and Genoeses do.

Thirdly, That the Grand Signior shall grant Free Liberty to the French to Traffick to the Indies, through his Dominions and Territories, more especially through the Channel of the Red-Sea, without paying any other Duties then those of Entrage.

Fourthly, That the Grand Signior shall restore to the Reli­gious Orders of the Roman Catholicks the Holy Land, and the Holy Places from whence they were expell'd by the Greeks in the Year 1638.

Fifthly, That the King of France shall be acknowledg'd at the Port, the Sole Protector of the Christians.

Sixthly, That all the Roman Catholick Christians that live within the Dominions of the Ottoman Empire, shall be lookt up­on and consider'd as under the Protection of his Majesty.

[Page 32] Seventhly, That the French Capuchins, that live at Con­stantinople, may have Liberty to Rebuild their Church at Ga­lata, which was burnt down about Fifteen Years ago.

Eighthly, That all the Churches of the Roman Christians with­in the Ottoman Empire, may for the future be Repair'd or Re­built, as often as need shall require, without being put to the Trouble of asking Leave.

Ninthly, That all the French Slaves shall be set at Liberty.

The other Proposals were of less Importance in particular, only their Number render'd 'em considerable. But the Port look'd upon these Demands to be so extravagant, nay so ridi­culous, that the Prime Ministers believ'd, or else pretended to believe, that the King sought only an Occasion to break with his Highness. Thereupon the Vizier sent to know of the Ambassador, Whether he had any Letter from the Emperor of France directed to the Grand Signior or Him, which con­tain'd those Proposals, set down in the Memorial which he had deliver'd in his Majesties Name. For that he could ne­ver think the Emperor of France would ever give Order to make such Proposals to the Port, so exorbitant, and so remote from Reason and Justice in his own Name, unless he saw 'em expresly written in any Letter under his Majesties Hand. M. de Nointel taking no farther notice of the Vizier's Demand, return'd only for answer, That he had Letters of Credence from his Master for the Grand Signior, and the Grand Vizier, which was sufficient, for that his Majesty did not use to write about Business himself. And therefore that the Port was un­der a mistake to question the Mind and Intentions of the Em­peror of France, because it was not shown in Writing under his Majesties Hand. True it is, that the Ambassador spoke Reason, and the Impediment pretended by the Vizier was only a Litigious Nicety. However, notwithstanding all that M. de Nointel could say or alledge to the contrary, he would not grant him Audience, till he promis'd and engag'd to send for a Letter from the King that should contain precisely the same things that were set down in his Memorial, and that the Letter should come in six Months.

It was toward the end of February 1671. that M. de Nointel made this promise: and the next day the Grand Vizier sent to [Page 33] him, to let him know that on the Morrow he should have Au­dience of himself, and that two days after he should have Au­dience of the Grand Signior likewise, upon condition that he would not discourse of any Business True it is, the Vizier gave him but a cold Reception. For the Ambassador entring into discourse upon several Subjects, which were all too long and tedious for the Turkish Humour, they went in at one Ear and out at the t'other: The Vizier for the most part giving him no other Answer but only a short Yes, or as brief a No. Particularly Monsieur Nointel enlarg'd upon the Grandeur of the King, and his vast Forces: which the Vizier taking to be a kind of secret Threatning, Yes, said he, the Emperor of France is a Great Monarch, but his Sword is but a new Weapon yet. In­timating that the King had done no Exploits that deserv'd such loud Elogies; but therein he was not well inform'd of what had pass'd among the Christian Princes. Neither did Monsieur Nointel escape some other Quips of the same Nature. For the Ambassador talking of the Antiquity of the Alliance between France and Turkey, was saying, That the French were the Turks true Friends. To which the Vizier smiling, Ay, said he, the French are our Friends indeed, but we always find 'em among our Enemies. But the next was more home and sharp.

The Ambassador being ready to take his leave, order'd the Interpreter to tell the Vizier, That he had Orders from the Em­peror his Master, earnestly to recommend to him the Business of the Red-Sea. That it was a Thing which his Majesty had set his Heart upon, and desir'd the Port would give him Satisfaction in that Particular with all Expedition. To whom the Vizier drily, Can it be, said He, That your Emperor, so great a Monarch as you say he is, should set his Heart so affectionately upon the profit of his Merchants?

Nor was the Ambassador better satisfy'd with the Audi­ence which he had of the Grand Signior. For after he had made his Reverence, they led him up to the end of the Room of State, Face to Face to his Highness, to whom he made his Harangue, which lasted about a quarter of an Hour. But it signify'd little. For the Interpreter explain'd no more then the Sense of it to the Vizier, which the Vizier abbrevia­ted in two words to the Grand Signior. Which done, M. de Nointel began to discourse of Business to his Highness; con­trary to Custom, to the Vizier's Request, and his own Pro­mise. The Grand Signior listen'd attentively to what the In­terpreter said, and for answer, looking upon the Vizier, who [Page 34] upon such Occasions is always near the Grand Signior's Person, This Ambassador, said he, addresses himself to our Lala. Which word Lala signifies both a Tutor, and a Father. The Turks made use of the word, to denote a Person who has a particular Care and paternal affection for another.

Then again, it is the Custom, after the Ambassador has had his Audience of the Grand Signior, for him to Dine in the Divan, where the Ambassador sits with the Grand Vizier; and the Gentlemen of his Retinue Eat with the Viziers of the Bench; who are the Greatest Lords of the Empire. There would M. de Nointel be talking also of business. Which put the Vizier so out of Patience, that being forc'd to be somewhat rude with him, after he had desir'd him to be silent, Good Mr. Ambassador, said He, Keep to your promise, in Six Months we shall understand whither you are Friends or Enemies.

This was the first Disappointment of M. de Nointel, and the success of his Journy to Adrianople. He return'd to Con­stantinople in March 1671. from whence he wrote to France, what he had done at the Port, and upon what Terms he stood with the Vizier. By which it was apparent to the Court, that the Vizier did but make sport with the Ambassador and the French. Upon which it was debated whether they should break with the Port, or whether they should dissemble such an Affrontive Entertainment. And therefore that they might not proceed with too much Precipitancy in an Affair of that Importance, the Chief President of Aix, M. d'Oppede, was order'd to assem­ble at Marseilles all the Levant Merchants, and others that were verst in the Affairs of Turkey, and to take their Opinions up­on what several People had offer'd to the Council. That France might refrain from Trading into the Levant, at least for several Years, and that it was easie to do so much Dammage to the Turks by Sea, that the Grand Signior should be constrain'd to grant his Majesty his own Demands. Upon which the Result of the Assembly, by the Plurality of Voices was, That the Pro­posalls were certainly true; that Provence was so sufficiently stock'd with Turkey Commodities, that there was enough to furnish France for Ten Years: And that if the King would send but Ten Vessels into the Grecian Seas, and particularly to the Dardanels, there would soon be such a Famine in Constanti­nople, that the People would certainly make an Insurrection to the Advantage of the French.

[Page 35] Upon this the Provençalls made no question but that there would suddainly be a War with the Grand Signior. They wrote over all the Levant, what had pass'd at Marseilles, and assur'd their Friends that the King was setting forth a Fleet of Fifty Ships to send against the Turks. And M. de Nointel reciev'd Letters from Marseilles, which ascertain'd him the same thing. In so much that the News was spread in an Instant through Constantinople, Adrianople, and over all the Ports of the Levant. Besides, I have been credibly inform'd, that the Grand Vizier, and all the Prime Ministers of the Port, were very much startl'd at it. Insomuch that he sent to the other Ambassadors and Residents of Christendom, to know whi­ther the King of France intended a War, and were making preparations for it. To which they all sent him answer, that it was true that the French were setting forth a very great Fleet. But whither it were design'd against Turkey or no, they could not tell: but the general Report, and that which they believ'd to be the truest was, that they were intended against the Hollan­ders. Which Answers abated the Fears of the Turks; and soon after a French Bark arriving in two Months at Constanti­nople rid 'em of all their Jealousies. For tho they thought at first, that it had been a Boat which had brought fresh Orders to the Ambassador and for all the French Nation; yet were they no less glad, when the Master being ask'd, where the French Fleet lay, that was design'd against the Turks, made an­swer, that he did not understand what they meant; that he had heard no talk of a Fleet, and that he was sure there was no such thing, as any Preparations at Toulon.

The first of September, the Grand Vizier wrote to M. de Nointel, That the Six Months were expir'd, which was the time he had tak'n to send for a Letter from his Master; desiring far­ther to know whether it were come, what it contain'd, and what Instructions he had receiv'd from his Majesty. To which the Ambassador reply'd by word of Mouth to the Messenger who brought the Letter, That the Emperor of France'sAnswer was not yet come, which was all he could say to the Grand Vizier, be­ing resolv'd not to give any other Answer to a Letter, that did not give his Master all the Titles that belong'd to his Imperial Majesty. Which M. de Nointel did on purpose, for that the Vizier had not given the King either in his Letter, or in the Superscripti­on, any other Title then that of Craul, which among the Turks is not so high as that of Padcha, though they both signifie a Soveraign Prince. But Padcha is the Title which they always [Page 36] give the Grand Signior, and which they were always wont to allow the King of France. Padcha being a Persian word; Craul a Sclavonian, and the very Title which the Polonians give their King: and in France the word Padcha is tak'n for Emperor.

All this while the Resolutions and Results of the Council of France in reference to the Affairs of the Levant, after the Assembly held at Marseilles, did not answer publick Expecta­tion in the Prosecution of that Assemblies Advice. For the King designing a War with Holland, would not engage in another with Turkey at the same time, which requir'd the best part of his Navy to maintain. Therefore he resolv'd to spin out time, and to endeavour an Accommodation; that so he might not be oblig'd to break with the Turks. To which purpose Monsieur de Lyone wrote to the Vizier, That the Em­peror of France admir'd he should refuse to give Credit to his Am­bassador, since the Port had never till then question'd the Truth and Reality of the Proposals of the French Ambassadors. That his Imperial Majesty would not trouble himself to explain his mean­ing any otherwise then by his Ambassador M. de Nointel: so that if the Grand Signior or his Ministers refus'd to give him Cre­dence, they would do well to let him return in the Vessel that brought the Letter.

With this Letter M. d'Hervieu, Interpreter to the Dolphin, and at present Consul at Aleppo, was sent, having Orders to deliver it himself to the Grand Vizier, and withal to carry the King's last Instructions to the Ambassador. He fet Sail from Marseilles in September, in one of the King's Men of War call'd the Diamond, commanded by the Marquiss de Prully, but did not arrive at Constantinople till February following, bad Weather having detain'd him Four Months between Malta and Constantinople.

So soon as the Vessel arriv'd, and that M. de Nointel had seen the King's Instructions, he wrote to the Vizier, That his Ma­jesties Answer was at length come, after it had been Five Months upon the Seas, and that he only tarry'd for Leave to appear at Court, that he might impart it to him. To which the Vizier return'd answer, That he might come when he pleas'd, and be Welcom. More then that, he had superscrib'd his Letter ac­cording to the Ancient Custom, To the Ambassador of the Em­peror of France; whereas he had only writ upon his former, To the Ambassador of the King of France. The same day also that the Ambassador receiv'd this Letter, the Caimacan sent a [Page 37] Messenger to him, to let him know, That he had Order from the Vizier to furnish his Excellency with Thirty Wagons, Twelve Horses, and a Thousand Crowns toward the Expence of his Jour­ney; which should be sent him with all speed. In short, the Money was brought the next day, and the Wagons and Hor­ses were punctually ready according to the time which the Am­bassador had prefix'd.

And this was the State of Affairs and Condition of the Al­liance between France and Turkey when I arriv'd at Constanti­nople in March 1672.

The Ambassador departed from Constantinople the 29th of March, carrying along with him the Abbot of Nointel his Bro­ther, a Gentleman, a Confessor, a Steward, a Secretary, three Interpreters, two Janisaries, and of meaner Officers a com­petent Retinue. Besides all these, he had also in his Train, M. d'Hervieu, who brought the Letter from M. de Lyonne to the Vizier; one of the Directors of the Levant Company, whose Business it was to Treat about the Conditions of the Red-Sea-Trade; Two Spanish Fryers, Commissaries of the Holy Land, who were to sollicite the Restitution of the Sacred Places, from whence they had been expell'd by the Greeks by Authority from the Port, about Thirty Years before; a Mer­chant of Marseilles, who had Business at the Part, together with Four French and Italian Gentlemen, who, as I my self, made that Journey meerly out of Curiosity. The Caimacan also sent a Chiaus to attend the Ambassador, to provide him Convenient Lodging, and to preserve that Respect to his Per­son, and his Retinue, which the Turks are subject to violate upon the slightest Occasions, if not overaw'd by the dread of Punishment. We were Six Days upon the Road; it being reck'nd Fifty Leagues between Constantinople and Adrianople. A Road no way to be found fault with, as being very broad and level, over Plains, and a lovely Champain Country: be­sides that we pass'd through a great many very neat Villages, accommodated with fair and handsom Inns.

We lodg'd half a League from Adrianople, in a most plea­sant Situation, upon the River Hebrus, call'd Bosna-Koy, that is, the Village of the Bosneans. Ten days after our Arrival, Panaioti, the Vizier's Interpreter, of whom we have already spok'n, came to visit the Ambassador in his Masters Name, and to know the King's Resolutions touching the renewing of the Alliance. After which Preamble to M. de Nointel, he told him, That it was the Grand Vizier's Opinion, that it was not [Page 38] convenient for him and the Ambassador to have any Personal Interviews and Discourse together, till all Affairs were con­cluded and fully agreed, for fear lest any Exceptions or Diffe­rences should happ'n between 'em, which though but upon slight and impertinent Punctilio's, might break or put a stop to the Negotiation, and hinder its good success. To which Pa­naioti added, as it were in Confirmation of the Vizier's Judg­ment, That Affairs in Turkey were never well manag'd, un­less it were by a Third Person, in regard the Vizier and the Ambassador being equally concern'd to preserve the Honour and Interests of two great Empires, neither of the two would be the first that should forego the smallest Tittle of their Pre­tensions; but that a Treaty carry'd on by their Interpreters could not easily produce those unlucky Accidents either in the One or the Other. In short therefore, the Vizier desir'd that favour of him, that he might not give him Audience, but only to deliver into his Hands the new Articles of Peace and Agree­ment. M. de Nointel could have wish'd with all his Heart, it might have been otherwise: but there was a Necessity of con­descending to the Grand Vizier's Pleasure, which was to Treat by the Intercourse of Interpreters. Thereupon Panaioti took the Letter which M. de Lyonne had written to the Vizier, and the Memorial of the Conditions upon which his Majesty was resolv'd to renew the Alliance, and no otherwise, as the Am­bassador alledg'd; and so took his Leave, after he had made a Thousand Vows and Protestations to the Ambassador of the Services he would do in that Negotiation. Particularly he told him, That he took it for so great an Honour to have the Management of this New League between the Grand Signior and the Emperor of France, that there was no way or means which he would leave unstudy'd that he might bring it to a Conclusion, to the Satisfaction of his most Christian Majesty. But Time discover'd, that his Protestations were altogether deceitful and fallacious, and that Panaioti had not the same In­clinations for the Interests of France as for those of the Grand Vizier.

First then, the Vizier read over the Ambassador's Memo­rial, and then gave it to be examin'd in the Divan. It was not so long by half as that which he had presented the time before, as not containing above Eleven Heads. Nevertheless he found it to be very Extravagant. So that when the most Considerable Articles were read, he would still cry, The Port will never grant 'em. Upon others he would pass Sentence, [Page 39] saying, This may be granted; and we shall endeavour to pass over such an Obstacle and to remove such and such Difficul­ties. So that he absolutely refus'd one part of the Demands, and gave his Opinion of the rest but very doubtfully. Which was a piece of Policy in the Grand Vizier, to discover by the Ambassador's Answers whether it were true that his Instru­ctions were not to recede in the least from his Memoires. And it fell out according to his desire, for by that means he found that the Ambassador had private Orders.

At the end of April, the two Fryers, Commissaries for the Holy Land, were very much troubl'd at a Report that ran among our selves, That they needed not to tarry, as they did, in expectation of being restor'd to the Sacred Places, from which the Greeks had expell'd 'em, for that the Vizier having declar'd, That he would agree to the Abatement of the Cu­stoms, and the Red-Sea-Trade, on Condition the Ambassador would not insist upon the Holy-Land, he had answer'd, That that was a Point to be reserv'd till the last. Which because it is an Affair of much Curiosity, I shall here set down the principal Passages relating to it; withal in some measure to divert the Reader, weary'd perhaps with a long Story of the French Negotiations at the Ottoman Port, for the Renewing of an Al­liance.

The Kingdom of Jerusalem was Conquer'd by the Christians in the Year 1099. and lost in the Year 1177. At what time a certain King of Syria whose Name was Nezer-Salah-el-din-Joseph reconquer'd it, and expell'd all the Western Christians, especially the Knights; leaving only behind the Oriental Chri­stians, Syrians, Armenians, Georgians and Greeks. In a short time after one of the Kings of Naples, of the House of Anjou, purchas'd of the King of Syria the Sacred Places of Palestine. However the Bargain was kept secret, the King of Syria being afraid lest the Mahumetan Princes his Neighbours, should re­proach him for what he had done, and quarrel with him about the Sale. Thereupon the Franciscan Monks were sent to take possession of the Sacred Places according to the Compact, who continu'd there, and were confirm'd by the Soldans of Egypt, and the Turkish Emperors who afterwards Conquer'd Pale­stine.

All this while the Fryers had the Keys and Possession of whatever Christian Devotion had Consecrated at Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and in all other Sacred Places of the Holy Land. Moreover, the Eastern Christians, who were very [Page 40] numerous, had also their Chappels in several of those Holy Places, as well in the Church built upon the Sepulchre of Christ, as in those that were rear'd in the Places where he was Born and Crucifi'd. The Popes likewise who make it their Business to bring over to their Communion all the Greeks, commanded the Franciscans that they should have all manner of Liberty in the Holy Places, and withal to permit 'em to build Chappels, to keep Lamps and Tapers burning, and to erect Images and Altars.

This Allurement of so much Freedom, which the Greeks en­joy'd in their Churches, say the Franciscans, was that which entic'd 'em into a design to make themselves the sole Masters of those Places; though the Greeks most stiffly deny any such thing. However it were, in the Year 1634. the Greeks repair'd to the Port, and there produc'd several Ancient Records, setting forth their Title to the possession of Mount Calvary, the Grotto of Bethlehem, and other Places. Thereupon the Franciscans were cited to the Divan; who appear'd with the Ambassadors of the Christian Princes that were then resident at the Port: and the Cause was several times argu'd before the Prime Vizier. All the Christians also who were in Alliance with the Port, as well Protestants as Roman Catholicks, interested themselves in the Suit; and both sides were at extraordinary Expences. But at length the Greeks gain'd the Cause, and were put into pos­session of the Holy Places, according to their own desires.

The Grand Vizier, who gave Judgment in favour of the Greeks, being dead at the end of two Years, the Europeans demanded a Rehearing of the Cause. Which was granted, and it went clearly for the Franciscans, who were thereupon restor'd to the possession of what the Greeks got from 'em, but they did not keep it above two Years more. For after that, another Grand Vizier, more favourable to the Greeks, resetl'd 'em again in all the Places which had been recover'd by the Franciscans four Years before. After that, the Latins us'd great Endeavours to regain the Possession, but all to no pur­pose, the Divan being still deaf to all their Sollicitations, Pro­mises and Offers; and constantly alledging, That it was not just, that the Greeks, who were the Grand Signior's Subjects, and who paid him the yearly Tribute of Eight Hunderd Thou­sand Crowns, should be depriv'd their share of the Custody of the Sacred Places in Palestine, which was part of the Demeasns of the Ottoman Empire. Yet for all that, the Franciscans have [Page 41] not forborn to renew their Importunities, their Petitions, and their Offers of Money, as often as they found any seasonable Opportunities to do it. In the Year 1665. Count Lesley in the Name of the Emperor took all the care and pains imaginable for the Restoration of the Franciscans to their Rights, pray'd, pay'd and promis'd Mountains, but all was labour lost. Four Years after, the Procurator Molino in the Name of the Republic of Venice undertook their Cause with the same Vigour; so that the Franciscans had now no other hopes but in the King of France. To which purpose they deputed two of their Order to his Majesty, who presented him with Letters of Recom­mendation from Rome, Spain, and the most part of the Ro­man Catholick Princes, to make use of his Credit and Reputa­tion in the Ottoman Court, for the Restoration of the Latins into the Sacred Places, from whence they had been expell'd by the Greeks. But there was no need of a Recommendation to excite the King in the prosecution of such a Pious Act, to which his own Zeal was a sufficient Incentive. Immediately therefore he wrote to M. de la Haye to insert the Demands of those Religious Persons among the Conditions for the renew­ing the Alliance. And after that, both M. de la Haye, and M. de Nointel protested to 'em several times, That they had ex­press Orders not to Treat with the Port, nor to renew the Ar­ticles of Alliance, unless they would restore the Franciscans to the Places they had lost. Nevertheless it appear'd at the end of April, that an Affair of that Nature might be dispenc'd with­al, rather then to put a stop to such an Important Treaty for the Custody of three or four silly Chappels.

These two Fryers told me, how that upon their Arrival at Constantinople, M. de la Haye bid 'em rest satisfi'd; for that he understood so well the Resolutions of the Prime Ministers of the Port, that they would never renew the Treaty, upon the Conditions which the King demanded, in regard the Restora­tion of the Sacred Places, upon which the King so firmly in­sisted, was an Article the Port would never grant. To which, as they inform'd me, they return'd this Answer, which inclu­ded good Advice indeed for the success of their own Interest. If your Excellency, said they, have positive Instructions in Re­ference to the Restoration, and that you know the Port will never consent to it, make no other Demand to the Grand Vizier till that be concerted; and declare withal to the Prime Minister, That you will not Treat, till he has promis'd to restore us what the Greeks have tak'n from us. If your Excellency observe this Method, either [Page 42] the Vizier will grant or deny. If he grant, the greatest Impe­diment to the renewing of the Treaty will be remov'd: If he re­fuse, the Rupture will redound to the King of France's Honour. He will appear not to have sought his own Interest: All Europe will admire his Majesties Piety and Zeal; and there is no Person but must be forc'd to acknowledge that his High Respect to Re­ligion was the only cause that incited him to break with the Turks.

The well-meaning Fathers told me this Story with an extra­ordinary Vehemence, which is usual among Spanish Monks. For they believ'd it to be one of the most Noble Actions in the World to enter into a War with the Ottoman Empire, to force the Great Turk to take from the Christians of Jerusalem, his own proper Subjects, the Custody of five or six petty Chur­ches, and bestow it upon Foreign Monks, who not content to make use of 'em when they pleas'd, would have the Keys hung at their Girdles.

About Mid-May M. de Nointel finding that the Grand Signior and Vizier were ready to depart for Poland, and that there was but little Progress made in his Negotiation, went to visit the Reisquitab, or Lord Chancellor: With whom he had three Conferences, before they could conclude the Treaty. But at the third Conference, which was upon the 26th of May, all things were agreed and setl'd, and the Alliance was renew'd upon the following Conditions.

That the French for the future should pay no more then Three per Cent. Customs.

That they should have the Red-Sea open for a Trade into the Indies, paying Five per Cent. Customs, which should be paid at their Entrance into the Grand Signior's Dominions, without any farther Payments either for their Passage, or at their Departure.

That the French Capuchins should rebuild their Church of St. George at Galata, burnt down by Fire: And that the same Church, together with the Jesuits in the same Place, and all other Appurtenances belonging to the French within the Ottoman Em­pire, should be under the Protection of the King.

That the Ambassador should be acknowledg'd Protector of the Hospital of the European Christians in Galata, and that they should have Liberty to say Mass in the said Hospital.

[Page 43] That all the French Captives that were in Turkey, or should happen to be taken for the future, should be set at Liberty, pro­vided they were not taken in any Fleets or Armies, or before any Places in Hostility with the Port.

And this was all that was to be chang'd or added in the New Capitulations; for the Article concerning Foreign Nati­ons was to continue as it was before in the former Treaty.

When all things were accepted and mutually agreed, the Ambassador of France's eldest Interpreter spoke to Monsieur de Nointel, that he should not stir till the Chancellor had made out a Draught of the New Capitulations. Which advice was well giv'n, but the Ambassador gave more Credit to Panaioti the Grand Vizier's Interpreter, who told him, it would be an Affront to the Chancellor, to distrust what he deliver'd by word of Mouth, by asking him for a Draught in Writing; and that he would engage his Word, and be Security for the performance of what the Chancellor had declar'd. Upon which the Ambassador suffer'd himself to be over-rul'd; and return'd to his Lodging extreamly joyful and well satisfi'd, and with all the Chearfulness and Gaiety in his Countenance which generally displays it self upon the good success of Business. Insomuch that sitting down at Table, Come, Gentlemen, said he, the Capitulations are renew'd; let us now be merry, and drink to this Renovation of the League.

Now the Chancellor had promis'd to send a Copy of the Draught in the Evening, to the end it might be examin'd, and afterward writt'n out fair: but he fail'd in his promise, nor was the Ambassador troubl'd in the least. The next Morn­ing however he sent for it: but he was strangely surpriz'd, to find that the Article about Foreign Nations did not oblige, as it should have done, all those that were under no settlement already at the Port, to put themselves under the Banners and Colours of France. Then Monsieur de Nointel began to mi­strust that he had been deluded. At last he fell into a Passion, and presently call'd for his second Interpreter, to go and tell the Chancellor, That if that Article were not put down as he understood it, he would not accept the New Capitulations. Which his chief Interpreter observing, stepp'd in, and adviz'd him to be wary how he enhanc'd the price as he was going to do; that it was not safe to put the Market into the Turks Hands, [Page 44] as he did; and therefore desir'd him to take care how he en­gag'd himself in a heat to break with the Port, for a single Ar­ticle of little Importance. But such was M de Nointels Impa­tience, that he bid the Messenger go forthwith, and carry his Message to the Chancellor; who answer'd, That he would report it to the Vizier.

The 29th the Ambassador went to the Chancellor's House; who told him, ‘That it became not France to demand of the Port a thing which was not in their Power to grant: For that the Grand Signior had engag'd to the English, the Venetians, the Hollanders and Genoeses, That all Strangers that should come into Turkey, under their Colours, should be welcom, whoever they were; should enjoy the same Priviledges, and in a word be entertain'd as their Friends were. That having also granted the same Priviledges to the Emperor, particularly for the Imperial Hans-Towns, for the Subjects of the House of Austria and the Italians, his Highness could not without vio­lating his Faith, grant to the French what they demanded; that is to say, That he should admit no Foreigners but what came under the French Colours, unless they were such as had their Establishments already confirm'd at the Port. To which the Chancellor added, That what he had represented to his Excellency was notoriously publick, and a most convincing Argument, and therefore besought him not to insist any fur­ther upon that Article.’ To which M. de Nointel reply'd with a Protest not to renew, unless that Article were granted in the same form as he demanded. The Chancellor return'd, That he would report his Protest to the Vizier, and then he should know his Answer. The Ambassador told him, He should think himself highly oblig'd, so that his Conveniency would permit him, if he would be pleas'd but to go immediately and speak to the Vizier, while he staid for his coming back. The Chancellor consented; went, spoke to the Vizier, and re­turn'd with this Answer.

‘The Grand Vizier has order'd me to tell your Excellency, That you made him promise ye about a Month since, That provided the Port should grant the Emperor of France an Abatement of the Customs, and a Free Trade through the Red-Sea, he would be contented, as to what remain'd, with what was reasonable and just. That upon that word he had granted in the Grand Signior's Name those two Articles, and other Favours which you know; but now seeing you have [Page 45] not kept your word with him, he declares expresly, That he recalls his own, and will grant you nothing at all.’

This Answer was like a Thunderclap. M. de Nointel and those that were with him stood like Men in a Trance. They begg'd to resume, and ratifie the Treaty, but it was impossi­ble, though they proffer'd upon the place to quit and re­nounce the Article contested. To which the Chancellor an­swer'd, That he had no other Orders from the Vizier, then to deliver his Message, and that he had no Power to Treat any farther. The Ambassador reply'd; That he had a Letter from the Prime Minister of France, which he desir'd only to deliver into his Hands, and so to take his leave. The Chan­cellor made Answer, That for his Audience it might be easily obtain'd, but as for the Letter from the Prime Minister of France, the Grand Vizier car'd not a Straw to look upon it.

Monsieur de Nointel returning to his Lodging with that vexa­tion and perplexity of Mind which may be conceiv'd with­out any great difficulty, propounded to his Council, which were the Abbot his Brother, the Director of the Levant Com­pany, and his two chief Interpreters, That since the English and Hollanders had lately given Ten Thousand Pounds Ster­ling apiece, for renewing their last Capitulations, it would be convenient for the French to give the same Money for the renewing of Theirs. Upon which the two Interpreters had order to propose the Sum to the Chief Ministers: but it no­thing avail'd. For there are some Favours obtain'd at the Port by the Force of Money; others which no Money will pro­cure. And such for Example was the Business sollicited by the two Commissaries of the Holy Land, who offer'd an Hun­derd Thousand Crowns to the Grand Vizier to put 'em in pos­session of the Sacred Places, and to expend as much in Presents to the Grand Signior, and Ministers of the Port. But their Money was Dross, the Divan not being to be brib'd in that case.

By the way, I shall say this farther, in reference to those Religious Fathers, that their making such large Offers was not a thing to be wonder'd at. For they have assur'd me, that the Devotion which Spaniards have toward those Sanctifi'd Places is so great, that they themselves would expend whole Treasures for Liberty to enjoy 'em again. They affirm'd to me moreover, That the Money expended in the Holy Land amounts to Eight Thousand Pounds Sterling a Year, of which a third part goes in Presents to the Turks; and that the Guar­dian [Page 46] who is Triennial, expends in Presents at his Arrival no less then Two Thousand Five Hunderd Pounds.

The Third of June, which was the Day appointed for the Grand Signior's departure for Poland, the Ambassador went be­times in the Morning to the Camp, to the Quarters of the Grand Vizier, with a design to oblige the Haughty Minister to grant him that Audience which he had refus'd him ever since his Arrival, and to receive the Letter from Monsieur de Lyonne. He carry'd with him also M. d'Hervieu, to the end that as he was the Person that brought it, he should deliver it into his Hands. But the Vizier was not then in the Camp, being gone to Convoy the Sultaness, Mother to the Grand Signior, to her first Lodging. Which constrain'd the Ambassador to go to the Chancellor's Quarters, where he waited seven compleat Hours, sometimes in one Tent, sometimes in another, because the Camp was then just upon Dislodging. At length a little after High Noon, the News came that the Grand Vizier was come to the City. Whither the Chancellor went to him, and told him, That the Ambassador of France staid in the Camp to Kiss his Hands, and to know his last Commands. The Vi­zier order'd him to tell his Excellency, That he needed not to give himself the trouble of waiting, for that he was then ta­king leave of his Wife, his Mother, and his Family, and should not return to the Camp till Night: and therefore that it would be sufficient for him to leave only one of his Interpreters, to whom he would give his Answer. Which was, That he would impart the Ambassador's Demands to the Grand Signior and the Divan; but that he could not do it so soon as he might expect, by reason that the Army was upon its March. That in the mean time, his Excellency might return to Constantinople, and there await the Grand Signior's Resolution. That he would in the mean time write to the Caimacan to grant a Pass for the King's Ship in the Harbour; and for what remain'd, had it not been but that he confided in the Faith and Honour of the Ambassador, he would have stopp'd him at Adrianople, to have prevented his departure without leave.

At the same time the Interpreter had also Orders to know the Grand Vizier's Commands touching certain particular Af­fairs relating to Trade in several places of the Levant. Which he order'd to be dispatch'd the next Morning in manner and form, as the Interpreter desir'd.

[Page 47] And this was the Success of M de Nointel's second Journey to the Port; upon which both Parties made different Reflecti­ons. For the Turks with great assurance lay the blame of this Rupture upon the French: Affirming that the Abatement of the Customs was not a thing to which the French could justly pretend. For that if other Nations paid not so much, as the English, Hollanders, and Genoeses, yet there were some Nati­ons that paid more, as the Germans and Venetians: Or if the first who paid but Three per Cent. had formerly paid Five, then the French had had some reason to have demanded an Abate­ment. Nevertheless, that the Port, who is Free to bestow his Favours where he pleas'd, having Treated upon their Arrival with the last Comers upon Terms more advantageous then those which he granted to his first Allies; he was not oblig'd to alter the Conditions of Commerce that had been for so long time concluded. Then for the rest of the Kings Demands, they said, That they were Favours which could not be in Con­science demanded; as being such which the French were so far from having deserv'd from the Port, that they had always oppos'd him in all his Enterprises. To which they added, That the French had made their Demands, as if they had had the Market in their own Hands, threatning, and acting like Lords and Masters, while the French that were in the Levant, did nothing but talk of Burning Constantinople, making War upon the Grand Signior, and Sacking his Islands, and his Sea-Ports. That the Men of War that brought M. de Nointel to Constantinople, openly protected the escape of a great number of Slaves of several sorts of Nations, that put themselves aboard. And that the French Ambassadors in all the Visits which they made to the Great Personages, discours'd of no­thing but his Majesties Conquests, and the Puissance of his Arms. This Defence the Turks made for themselves. With whom other Nations also sided, alledging, That the Turks were not too blame, as having shew'd themselves upon this Occasion less Barbarous then they were said to be: not having manifested any thing of violent Resentment either against the French in the Levant, or his Majesties Ambassador, of the nu­merous and powerful Succours which they had many times giv'n their Enemies; of the War which they carry'd on, even in Countries under the Turks Protection; or of their Affronts and Menaces not forborn ev'n in the Court it self. Nor could these things be otherwise spok'n then out of an Ardent Desire to see some Unlucky Accident happ'n, which might engage [Page 48] France to imploy against the Turks those mighty Preparations of War which the greatest part of her Neighbors dreaded.

And now having thus giv'n an Accompt of the whole Pro­gress of M. Nointel's Negotiation at the Port, I shall add something in short in reference to the Negotiations of M. Wit­zosky, the Polish Agent, and Signor Quirini, Procurator of Venice, of which two the one happen'd to depart as soon as I arriv'd there; but the other remain'd at the Court all the while I staid.

The Grand Vizier order'd 1700 Crowns to be giv'n to the Polish Agent at his departure, for the discharge of his Debts, and his Expences upon the Way; allowing him besides seven Wagons and a Chiaus. The Basha of Silistria also had Or­ders to cause him to be Conducted through the Frontiers of Tartary; and to Command the Tartars to detain him, till they understood that the Turkish Envoy who was in Poland, had pass'd the Frontiers, and was enter'd into Turkey. The Divan did all they could to compose all Differences with this Agent, and to prevent a War with his Master. For the Port had some Designs upon Persia and the Red-Sea, so that it was only by constraint if they turn'd their Arms against Poland. On the other side the Polander could not brook the Protection which the Grand Signior had given to the Cossacks. For which rea­son the King demanded that his Highness would publickly re­nounce the Protection which he had publickly allow'd. To the end that the Cossacks being terrifi'd by such a Desertion, might be compell'd to submit the sooner to the Polish Prince without Fighting, and he by that means regain the Possession of the Ukraine, which is his particular Demeasns, and the Pa­trimony of his Ancestors.

During the Raign of King Casimir, M. Ratzieuskie was sent to demand the Ratification of the Treaty of Coctchin, which was observ'd between Poland and Turkey; and some other Things. To which the Port made answer, That they would Ratifie the Treaty purely and barely without mentioning the Cossacks. But M. Ratzieuskie dy'd at Adrianople before he could conclude his Negotiation. Whose Imployment of Agent his Secretary, M. Witzosky by the Order of the King that suc­ceeded Casimir, was appointed to supply, and receiv'd Instru­ctions to represent to the Port, That seeing the Ukraine was the particular Estate of the Prince who then Raign'd, he had a double Reason to claim the Repossession of it. To which the Port return'd for answer, That they would not hinder his [Page 49] Majesty of Poland from regaining the Possession, and that he might do what he pleas'd with the Cossacks; but in regard the Grand Signior's Honour was concern'd, he could not op'nly disavow the Protection which he had openly granted. But M. Witzoski, being a Person of a violent hasty Humour, would not accept of that Expedient, nor of any other which the Turks propos'd. But loudly protested in a full Divan, ‘That though the King, the Senat and the Republick should agree to accept a single Ratification, he would prevent 'em from doing it, by the Power which he had, as a Gentleman of Poland.

But when the King and the Senat understood that the Grand Signior was turning his Preparations against them; and that most assuredly the next Spring they should have him at their Gates, they were both surpriz'd and confounded. Nor did the Agent himself know what to do, being deceiv'd by the Rumours that were spread abroad of the Revolt of the Ara­bians, and Sacking of Mecca; as also for that through the Assurances which M. de Nointel had giv'n him that his Most Christian Majesty would send a Fleet of Fifty Ships into the Archipelago, he had always writt'n to the Republick to hold fast their own, and not to relinquish the least Tittle of their Demands, in regard that infallibly the Grand Signior would suddainly have his Hands full on every side.

And indeed Poland was very desirous at that time not to have diverted his Highness from his Asiatick Designs. For which reason, they sent an Interpreter to the Port. Who arriv'd the 23 of May with a Train of eight Men, six weeks after the departure of the Agent; and had a Lodging assign'd him, and Twenty Shillings a day for his Expences. The Letters which he brought were from the Great Chancellor, superscrib'd to the Grand Vizier, purporting, ‘That Poland was very much surpriz'd to understand, that the Grand Sig­nior was preparing for a War against them; that they knew not the Reason, nor had they giv'n him any Occasion. That if the Port would Ratifie the Treaty of Coctchin, the King was ready to do it, and would send an Ambassador Ex­traordinary for that purpose. But that if the Grand Signior persisted in his Design of making War, his Majesty was rea­dy to defend himself; protesting withal that the Polanders were not the Violators of the Peace.’ The Interpreter was dispatch'd and sent back again in eight days, with Letters to this effect, That Poland might send an Ambassador Extraor­dinary, [Page 50] and that he should be welcom. But in the mean time the Grand Signior's Army and the Grand Vizier at the Head of it, continu'd their March toward Silistria.

In the Negotiation of the Signor Quirini there was no­thing particularly observable. Only he had peculiar Instructi­ons to press the release of such Pris'ners as had been tak'n in the War of Candy: but after great Pains and vast Expences he could obtain no more then an Exchange of Eight and Twenty of the Principal for as many of the Turks. Which Exchange was made at Castello Tornese in the Morea. As for the rest of the Pris'ners to the Number of a Thousand or thereabouts, the Grand Vizier told the Procurator of Venice, That the Otto­man Galleys were destitute of Slaves, and therefore to release a Thousand at one Clap, would weak'n 'em too much; espe­cially at a time when they had so much need of Rowers to carry Men and Ammunition through the Black-Sea for supply of their Army in Poland. However he promis'd that when the Campaigne was at an end, he would order Two Hunderd and Fifty to be releas'd; and so the like Number every year till they were all at Liberty.

The Venetians are at that vast Expence at the Port, that it may be truly said they buy whatever they obtain, and that at a dear rate too There is no Person of Credit either in the Court or the Divan, to whom they do not make conside­rable Presents every year. For the Republick, that has no Neighbor to be afraid of, but the Turk, spares for no Cost to be at peace with him. They pay him Tribute, out of se­veral Islands in the Archipelago, as Zant, and Cerigo. They connive at his Humours, his Affronts, his Tyranny; and all to prevent Quarrels and Wars that arise every day between Po­tent Neighbors, as much as may be done by the Prudence of their Conduct: and the same Republick sends for her Am­bassadors to Constantinople, the Ancientest, and most Experi­enc'd of her Senators. The Procurators also of Venice are usu­ally such as have been Ambassadors in all the Courts of Chri­stendom, and which have been employ'd in Treaties of Peace and War, and all other Negotiations. Persons in a word that understand all the Politicks of all the Princes of the World, and the Slights of the most Crafty Ministers of State, in the Art of concealing their own, and discovering the Thoughts of others. These Procurators are fully Commission'd to expend and give whatever they deem requisite. Generally they re­side three years at Constantinople, during which time they pick [Page 51] up above an Hunderd Thousand Crowns; or at least it is in their power so to do; for the Republick never calls 'em to Accompt. And this they do for two Reasons; the first is, to balance by their Gains the Trouble and Hardship of an Em­bassie to Constantinople, which arise from the Danger and Toil of Travailing; and from the ill Humour and Contempt of the Turks. And secondly, to recompence those Procurators, who have wasted their Estates in European Ambassies.

I have heard M. Quirini affirm, at several times that I have had the Honour to visit him, That the Turkish Policy did ve­ry much surpass that of the Europeans: That it was not con­fin'd within Maxims and Rules; but consisted altogether in Sense and Judgment, as being grounded altogether upon Rea­son, and never acting but according to Reason. Which sort of Policy, having neither Art nor Principles, was as it were unapproachable; insomuch that he seriously acknowledg'd, That the Conduct of a Vizier, was to him an Abyss, of which he could not Fadom the Judgment, the Foresight, the Per­spicacy, the Secrecy, the Cunning, with all its Windings and Labyrinths. He assur'd me, That if had a Son, he would send him to no other School then to the Ottoman Court; where he could not too highly admire the Vizier, who without speak­ing, writing, or so much as moving himself, Govern'd one of the most Potent Empires of the World, and had extended the Limits of it in several places.

During my stay at Adrianople, I had the Honour several times to converse with this Venetian Ambassador; and because that then our most general discourse was concerning the War of Candy, I learnt from him and several other Eminent Per­sonages of the Court, divers Particulars worthy Observa­tion; of which I shall here set down the most Memo­rable.

One of the Principal Performances which the Law of Ma­homet enjoyns, is the Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. There is nothing that can legally dispence with it but an extream Po­verty: and it further lays a strict Injunction upon those whom either Sickness, or Imployment, or other Occasions will not permit to go in Person, to make their Pilgrimage by Proxy; that is, to send to those Places of Devotion, a Person on pur­pose, to perform all those Duties which he himself ought to have done, could he have gone thither himself.

[Page 52] The Ottoman Emperors are very punctual in the Discharge of this Duty, as well for themselves, as for their whole Fa­milies. They send every year Considerable Presents to those Cities, of which they esteem it a High Honour to call them­selves the Lords and Protectors: and these Presents are sent sometimes by Land, and sometimes by Sea. In the year 1644. they were put aboard a great Gallion, which was to carry 'em to Cairo. Several Eunuchs and Women of the Serraglio were embark'd in the same Vessel, together with the Grand Signior's Delegates, and a great Number of Passengers and Souldiers. This Vessel putting to Sea from Constantinople, with several other Vessels under her Convoy, was set upon not far from Rhodes by the Galleys of Malta, and after a fierce Engagement taken. Nevertheless the Galleys could not carry her off to Malta, by reason that she leak'd in several places, as having receiv'd several Shot in the Fight; so that they were forc'd to carry her into a Port of the Island of Candy. Where they stopp'd her Leaks the best they could, and took all the care imaginable to have carry'd her Home, but all to no pur­pose; for she sunk by the way. However the Cargo which they unladed into their Galleys was valu'd at a Million of Money.

The News of the taking this Gallion put the Grand Signior into a Rage: insomuch that he threaten'd to exterminate all the Christians that were in Constantinople, as well Ambassa­dors and Foreign Ministers, as others. And he thus menac'd all sorts of Nations, because, said he, the Galleys of Malta were Mann'd with Christians and Souldiers from all parts of Christendom.

M. Soranzo, the Venetian Ambassador at the Ottoman Court, presently address'd himself to the Ministers of the Divan. For he was in great hopes to divert the Storm from falling upon his Head, and to appease the Grand Signior by giving him to un­derstand, that there was not any one Subject of the Republick who was a Knight of Malta. The Ambassadors of England and Holland made the same Remonstrances. So that in all probability the Tempest was like to fall upon M. de la Haye the Father, then Ambassador of France. And questionless he had severely felt the Barbarousness of the Turks, and the Fury of the Grand Signior, if Givan Capigi Bachi the Grand Vizier had not Warded off the Blow. Who being a Person of great Wit, of singular Worth, and Illustrious for his Descent in Turkey, as being descended from a Family famous for Six Grand [Page 53] Viziers, took upon him to secure the Ambassador of France, the French and all the Christians that were at Constantinople, except the Venetians. He gave his Highness to understand that the Venetians were the most guilty, for having permitted the Galleys of Malta to bring in the Gallion into their Har­bours, and not securing it. By which means he turn'd all the Grand Signior's Wrath upon Candy, who thereupon determin'd to make that the Seat of his War. But this Resolution of his was privately carry'd, and the better to conceal his Design, he display'd his intended Revenge only against Malta. To which purpose he proclaim'd open War against that little Island, and order'd all his Forces to be in a readiness by the end of March 1645.

The Ambassador of Venice spar'd neither Industry nor Pre­sents to penetrate the Truth of this Design, whether it were real, or only a Trick to cover some Enterprize against the Republick. On the other side, the Ambassador of France as­sur'd him, that it was only a dissembl'd Pretence, and that the true Design was upon Candy. But he gave no heed to his Intelligence, suffering himself to be deluded by the Assu­rances which the Grand Vizier gave him from time to time to the contrary.

But toward the end of April the Ottoman Fleet consisting of Fourscore Ships and as many Galleys, under the Command of Issouf Captain Basha, putting to Sea from Constantinople, Landed in Candy, and in Ten Days took Canea. They who were acquainted with that same General, affirm'd him to be a great Commander, and that he would have Conquer'd the Island in a small time, had he not been depriv'd of his Life and the Conduct of the War. For the Grand Signior being put i' th' Head that Issouf had Vast Treasures; and that he could Conquer the rest of Candy without his Assistance, caus'd him to be strangl'd at Constantinople some few days after his return. However his Highness had not only a great loss by his Death, but miss'd of the Treasures which he expected. In the following Years he sent other Armies into Candy under different Generals: and for the Success which they had, it is too well known, to speak more of it in this place.

For it was neither to the Strength of the Island, nor the Weakness of the Turks, that we are to ascribe the length of that War, which lasted Four and Twenty Years; but to the strange Revolutions that happen'd in the Ottoman Court almost at the beginning of that Enterprize; and to the Wars of [Page 54] Transylvania and Hungary that lasted till the Year 1665. But the Prince who undertook the Conquest of Candy was Ibrahim, then about Two and Thirty Years of Age, who was advanc'd to the Empire Four Years before, contrary to his own and the Expectation of all the World. For he had been kept in a close Imprisonment during the Raign of Osman, and Murat his Brothers; the latter of which, after he had caus'd his two younger Brothers to be strangl'd, when he saw himself near his End, commanded also that Ibrahim should be strangl'd, who was the only Brother that remain'd. However this Ri­gorous Command was not put in Execution, for that Amureth not having any Children, Ibrahim that was the only Remainder of the Ottoman Family, was also Heir of the Empire. By the way we are to observe, that the reason which induc'd Amu­rat to let Ibrahim alone, and put his two other Brothers to death, though much younger, was his want of Wit, which rendring him unfit for Government, secur'd him from any fear of a Rebellion for his sake. So soon as he came to the Throne, he plung'd himself into all manner of Vice and Wick­edness. His Debaucheries, his Extortions, and his Cruelties renderd him Odious and insupportable to all his Subjects. He seiz'd upon the Revenues of the Mosquees, and private Mens Estates, without any distinction of Sacred or Prophane, and frequently put to death such as he thought to be Rich, to the end he might with more ease make himself Master of their Estates, and all this to supply the inordinate Expences of his Pleasures, and the excessive Luxury of his Court. The Soul­diers were ill paid; which caus'd 'em to mutiny, with a Re­solution to depose Ibrahim in the Month of August 1648 and to set upon the Throne Mahamed his Eldest Son, about seven Years of Age; so that twelve Days after they strangl'd Ibra­him.

I have already related, how that in the Minority of Ma­hamed, the Empire was Govern'd by VVomen and Eunuchs, who fill'd all the chief Places of Trust, as they thought good themselves, and particularly that of the Prime Minister, till they gave it to Cuperly Mahomet who undertook the VVar of Transylvania. His Successor, who was his Son, began that of Hungary, which being ended by the Peace in the Year 1665. as already has been said, for the next two Years he closely pursu'd the War of Candy, where he found a longer and more vigorous Resistance then he expected.

[Page 55] Had Candy held out another Winter against the Turks, 'tis not to be question'd, but that the Grand Vizier must have been forc'd to raise his Siege, and then strange Commotions would have happen'd in the Empire. The Veterane Janizaries were all either slain or dead in the Siege: The rest would not budge a foot. The Turks murmur'd at the War; and cry'd out that the Ottoman Forces were commanded to dash out their Brains against a Rock: The People of Constantinople were for advancing the Grand Signior's Brother to the Throne. His Highness was sollicited to put the Grand Vizier to death by means of such a Sacrifice to appease the Fury of the People and Souldiery. Both the one and the other of these Changes had been sufficient to have rais'd the Siege.

The Grand Vizier knew all this. So that he despair'd of putting an end to the War: dismally afraid at once to lose both his Honour and his Life. It is reported that he tore his very Hair from his Chin. However it is most certain that it brought upon him a most Incurable Distemper, difficult to be nam'd. It was an odd kind of seizure of the Heart, or faint­ing of the Spirits, caus'd by Fear, Affliction and Pannick Ter­rour. For which the Physitians prescrib'd him to drink pure Wine without any Mixture; which he did every day; nor could any thing but that do him any good.

When the News of the Surrender of Candy was brought to the Grand Signior, his Highness could not believe it; but when the Tydings were confirm'd, it transported him to such an Excess of Joy, that rather seem'd to be a sort of Frenzy for the time. And both He and the whole Court frequently re­peated these words, The Franks have had pity upon Ʋs.

The Turks boasted upon the taking of Candy, That they had Conquer'd all Christendom. Because the Town had been defended by Soldiers and Volunteers from all parts of Christen­dom; and they said moreover, That the Siege had lasted three Years, for that all Christendom had been there, and done the utmost of their Endeavours.

The most useful and provident Preparation which the Grand Vizier made for the Siege, was to make his Kiaia, or Steward of his Houshold, High Treasurer of the Empire. For he knew the Love and Friendship which that Lord had for him, and that for a need he would not spare his Life to do him Service. And this same Foresight of his was the gaining of the Place, and the safeguard of his own Life. For the High Treasurer would not suffer any want to be in the Camp. Sheep were [Page 56] there in great plenty at a Crown apiece. The Markets were stor'd with all Things necessary for Food and Raiment. And Men car'd not what they gave, or what Risco's they ventur'd, to carry Ammunition to a Place where Money abounded.

By the Accompts which the Treasurer brought into the Di­van of the Extraordinary Expences at Candy the three last Years of the Siege, it appear'd that Seven Hunderd Thousand Crowns had been spent in Gifts to Renegado's that turn'd Turks, or left the Island, to recompence such Souldiers as had behav'd themselves more bravely then others; and to pay the Prizes set upon the Christians Heads; which was half a Guinea for every Head. By that Accompt it appear'd that the Turks had made an Hunderd Thousand Shot with their great Guns against the Place; and that there had been slain before the Place Se­ven Basha's, Fourscore Captains and Colonels, 10400 Jani­saries, besides other Souldiers and Troops of the Provinces, whose Pay is not charg'd to the State.

The Day that the Grand Vizier enter'd Candy, Signor Molino, who was sent by the Republick to make a Peace with the Port, Riding a' one side of him, the Grand Vi­zier told him, That the Grand Signior had paid dear for the Island of Candy. To whom Molino reply'd, That it had cost the Republick as much; no less then the Lives of a Hunderd Thousand Men, without reck'ning the French. The Grand Vizier ask'd him, VVhy the Place was not surrender'd sooner, in regard they had been but in a bad Condition a long time to hold it out. To whom the Ambassador made answer, That the King of France had hinder'd the Surrender, by his Pro­mises of Powerful Assistance, and to declare a VVar against the Turks.

The Procurator Molino arriv'd in Candy in the Spring of the Year 1669. and lay at a place call'd Gozi, not far from the Island. From whence he sent to offer the Grabusi, Spina Longa, Suda, and Tine Islands of the Archipelago; Clissa and other Places upon the Continent, the whole Expences of the VVar, and an Annual Tribute of Fifty Thousand Crowns a Year for the City of Candy, so that the Republick might keep the possession of it. To which the Grand Vizier return'd for answer, That the Grand Vizier valu'd his Honour at a Higher Rate, then all the VVorld beside; and therefore he would only have that Bit of a Rock, which his Highness had been la­bouring for above these Four and Twenty Years.

[Page 57] But it was Captain General Morosini who made the Truce with the Vizier; which he did without Molino's knowledge, or imparting to him the least Tittle concerning it. Which Transaction of his had like to have cost Morosini his Life at Venice, but the large Sums of Money which he paid in one Night, deliver'd him from his Fears: For this General minded no other Interest in Treating but the Publick Welfare. He nei­ther troubl'd himself about Religion or Trade: But wholly apply'd himself to what concern'd the Island of Candy, and the War, and agreed with the Vizier, that all other Things should remain in the same Condition as before the Rupture. Which was the reason that Signor Molino found it so difficult to rebuild at Galata, part of the Suburbs of Constantinople, the Venetian Church, that had been burnt down; and labour'd so sedulously to remove the Obstacles which he met with on every side, that he dy'd in the midst of all his Toyl: but by Good-Luck the Work was almost finish'd. He requir'd seve­ral other Things of the Grand Signior; as the Abatement of the Customs, which the Venetians paid; but could not obtain it. For, said the Grand Vizier, Signor Molino, The Alliance be­tween the Port and the Republick is an Ancient Alliance, and the Port values it for its Antiquity. If you change some of the Articles, the Alliance will be a new one, for which the Turks will never have that high esteem. Besides, if you require Favours of the Grand Signior, he will demand some­thing more of you.’ Signor Molino understood well enough what he meant, which was the Reason he spake not a word more of the Abatement of the Customs, nor of changing the Ancient Capitulations.

And thus I have giv'n a fair Idea of the Grand Vizier's Con­duct, not to say any more in particular concerning his Person. But in regard it was to his Father, who was also Grand Vizier, that he was beholding to for his Fortune and his Honour, I shall in the first place, and in few words, give an Accompt of the most Remarkable Atchievements of that Renowned Vizier.

He was call'd Cuperly Mahamed Basha, rais'd to that High Dignity by the Fantastick Humour of the Women and Eu­nuchs, who Govern'd during the Minority of Mahamed the Fourth. Before his Advancement, it was that which he least dreamt of; but when he was Invested in his Imployment, [Page 58] he began to consider the frequent Changes of the Grand Vi­ziers his Predecessors almost every three Months, and there­fore for the Preservation of his Life and Dignity, he thought it his best way to put to Death his Envyers and Competitors, and to set new Wars afoot, on purpose to remove the Grand Signior from Constantinople, and to keep himself still at the Head of an Army

He began with the Serraglio, where he caus'd several Eu­nuchs to be strangl'd; and having in a little time made him­self Master of the Credulity and Affections of the Young Prince, he perswaded him, that to make himself Absolute Soveraign of the Empire, to free himself from the Fears of Tumult and Sedition, and prevent the Souldiery from making the same Attempts upon him as they had done upon his Fa­ther, the best way would be for his Highness to remove from the Capital City, where the People were Mutinous, and the Janizaries were Masters, and that he should rid himself of all those Persons that had depos'd his Father, and dipp'd their Parricide Hands in his Blood. In pursuance of this Project, Cuperly caus'd Dely Ussein Pasha to be strangl'd, who had been General at Candy, and was accompted the most Famous and Valiant Captain of the Empire. Then he remov'd the Court to Adrianople, and began the Transylvanian War, in re­gard the War in Candy would have call'd him too far from the Grand Signior's Person, not being as yet of Age to March at the Head of his own Armies.

This Transylvanian War was short, and honourable for the Grand Vizier by the defeat of Prince Ragotsky, and by the taking of Waradin, though it cost him the Blood of the choicest Ottoman Troops, and the bravest of their Officers. He return'd Victorious to Adrianople, and though he had made a Peace with the Emperour, yet he set himself to make preparation for a new War against him in Hungary. But be­ing ready to take the Field in the Year 1662. he dy'd; yet so prevalent at Court as to obtain his only Son Achmet Pasha to be admitted into his Place, though at that time he had scarcely attain'd to Thirty Years of Age, which was a Thing altogether extraordinary, and not to be parallell'd in the History of the Ottoman Monarchy.

[Page 59] 'Tis a question whether ever there were a Grand Vizier more capable to Govern the Ottoman Empire, then Achmet Pacha. He was very tall, and somewhat full and plump of Body. His Eyes large and wide: His Face well shap'd; his Complexion Fair and Smooth: The Air of his Face Modest, Grave, Affable, and Obliging. He was no Tyrant, mor­tally hating Oppression, Justice and Equity appear'd in all his Actions, nor did he suffer himself to be sway'd by his own In­terest. For whether it were that he did not give his Mind to thirst after Riches, or whether it were that his own Estate which was very Great, satisfi'd his desires, he was never known to be Covetous like the rest of the Turks: And this is particularly said of him, very much to his Honor, that of all the Persons, that address'd themselves to him with Presents, to accomplish their Ends, not any obtain'd 'em by that means. His Wit was of a large extent, penetrating and reserv'd: His Me­mory happy and prompt: His Judgment sound, and always well apply'd: For he still fell directly upon the Point. He spoke little and Modestly, but with that Solidity and Knowledge which it is not easie to describe. The First Years of his Mi­nistry were very Honourable and Advantageous to the Otto­man Empire, and his following Atchievements much more.

This Great Personage therefore having observ'd the Happy success of his Father in the Government of Turkey, labour'd to follow his example and tread his Steps as near as he could. He began the War against the Emperor which his Father had projected, and was about to have undertak'n. To which purpose he march'd to Buda, with an Army of Threescore Thousand Men, and besieg'd Neuhausel, which he took in the Year 1663. He rais'd the Siege of Canisia, and carry'd the Fort Serini toward the beginning of the next Year. And de­signing a farther Progress of the Turkish Armies even to the Walls of Vienna, he caus'd a Bridge to be lay'd over the Ri­ver Raab: Over which Twelve Thousands Turks had already pass'd; and all the rest of the Army was about to have follow'd, had they not been prevented by the Emperor's Forces, who be­ing reinforc'd with the Succors of the Allies of the Empire, and particularly the French, cut to pieces the greatest part of the Twelve Thousand Turks, put the rest to flight, and gain'd that Famous Battel, call'd the Battel of St. Godard, from the Name of the Village where it was fought.

The Grand Vizier repair'd the loss of that Battel by a Trea­ty of Peace as Honourable and as Advantageous as if he had [Page 60] gain'd the Victory; and perceiving the Grand Signior's earnest desire to return to Constantinople, carry'd him thither so well guarded, that there was no Commotion to be fear'd; where be stay'd till the beginning of the Year 1666. At what time he undertook the War of Candy, in which he spent Three Years, as has been already said. Two Years after he began the War of Poland; observing always his Fathers Great Maxim, That it behov'd a Prime Vizier still to keep himself at the Head of an Army.

We departed from Andrianople the 9th of June, and return'd to Constantinople the 15th. The 17th by Break of Day M. de Nointel went incognito to visit the Caimacan and to demand a Passport for the Kings Ship. The Caimacan return'd for answer, that he had receiv'd no Orders from the Grand Vizier to give him one, and therefore could not do it. At which the Ambas­sador was very much surpriz'd, and as highly concern'd; and thereupon complain'd to the Caimacan of the Grand Vizier's un­kindness toward him. Upon which the Caimacan made a shew of taking his Part, and being concern'd for the Unjustice done the Ambassador; and then concluded with his Excellency, that they would send a particular Messenger and Letter's to the Prime Vizier. As for the Caimacan, he fail'd not to send, on his part, to the Vizier an accompt of all that the Ambassa­dor had told him, and represented to him by way of Com­plaint. On the other side M. de Nointel in his Letters tax'd the Vizier of Breach of his Word. He conjur'd him not to injure his Patience, which he had now contain'd as long as he could; to let him know the Final Resolution of the Port, and particularly to send him Order for a Pass for the Kings Ship.

The Expresses that carry'd these Letters set forth at several times. The Caimacan's Messenger departed the 18th of June, and the M. de Nointel's the next Day. The Caimacan's Mes­senger found the Court not far from Silistria from whence he return'd to Constantinople the Ninth of July. So soon as he ar­riv'd, his Master sent for the Ambassadors Chief Interpreter and told him, that the Vizier had given no answer to his Express; only had sent him word that he would let him un­derstand the Grand Signior's Pleasure by another way. The Ambassadors Courrier was not return'd the 20th of July, when I left the City; and therefore I know not what answer he brought.

[Page 61] At the end of June the Ambassador sent for a Pass for the Director of the Levant Company, and for my self; a License to bring in a Parcel of Wine, and another to be admitted into the Santa Sophia. To which the Caimacan return'd for Answer, That he could not grant any one of the Ambassa­dor's Demands, until he first knew the Grand Vizier's Mind: That it very much troubl'd him to refuse him such Trifles; but considering how Things stood between the Grand Vizier and the Ambassador, he should make himself a Publick Of­fender to grant Passes to his Excellency: but that so soon as he had leave, his Excellency should find the great Affection which he had for the French Nation.

This Refusal troubl'd me extreamly; for that it seem'd to confirm the Report, which ran about, That the Grand Vizier intended to Arrest the Ambassador and all the French Nation. I found I had a large Stock of Goods; as much as two Horses could carry, as I have said before. My Comrades Baggage and my own was as much as would load four Horses more. So that it was to no purpose to think of escaping by Flight, much less of concealing our selves. Besides this, three other Considerations very much augmented my cares and my per­plexity. The first was, That whatsoever way I took to get into Persia, I could not get out of Turkey in three Months▪ during which time the Port would have time enough to send their Orders to the utmost Limits of the Empire to stop the French, if they design'd any such violent proceedings against 'em. The second was, That nothing of all that I carry'd of great­est Value, had paid at the Custom-House, so that if I happen'd to be search'd either at Constantinople, or any other Cities of Turkey, I could not expect any Assistance from the Ambassa­dor. The third was, That because of the Heat of the Wea­ther, there was no Caravan that travell'd into Persia till Octo­ber.

In the midst of this Intricate Perplexity, GOD, whose In­finite Favour I have always experienc'd in my most pressing Necessities, shew'd me a ready way to make my escape from Constantinople. The Grand Signior has a Fortress about Twen­ty Miles from the River Tanais, over against that part where the great River discharges it self into the Lake Maeotis; which Fort is call'd Azac. The Port sends thither every Year a New Commander with Souldiers and Money: and they send by Sea, because it is not above 1300 Miles by Water; and to avoid the Hazards by Land for fear of the Tartars, Cossaques [Page 62] and Muscovites. Moreover, the Saique which is a sort of Turkish Vessel that takes the Commander aboard, is not ex­pos'd to the search of the Customers, as are the rest of the Ships that Sail into the Black-Sea. That which is aboard may be said to be free, there being none but the Turkish Com­mander that has any Authority to take Cognizance of it. This Saique touches at Caffa, which is a City and famous Port in the Crimoean Tartary. Whence all the Vessels that are bound for Mingrelia or Colchis put to Sea in the Months of September and October, from whence it is not above seven or eight days Journey before ye enter into the Persian Dominions. There is no shorter way from Constantinople to Persia, nor less trou­blesom. For the whole Voyage may be made in three Weeks, all by Sea till within about Sixty Leagues, yet is there no pas­sage less us'd, nor more unknown, by reason of the Dangers of the Sea; nor could I find any one Person at Constantinople that ever had undertaken it. I met with a great many that confirm'd my Report, and that had been at the Havens of Mingrelia, where there are great Numbers of Armenians and Georgians, the Subjects of the Persian King, who told me that it was not above six or seven Days Journey from thence into their Territories.

The Dangers of this Passage which discourage People from attempting it, are twofold: First, For that the Black Sea is very Tempestuous, to the loss of the most part of the Vessels for want of skill and good Havens. Besides that the People that inhabit between the Sea and the Persian Territories are naturally barbarous and wicked, without any Religion, and under no Government: So that I should never have so much as dreamt of the Way of Colchis, whatever might have been the Allurements of Curiosity, or Easiness of Passage, had not the Road through Turkey presented it self much more Formi­dable, considering the Mischievous Circumstances already men­tion'd. But that which most inclin'd me to the Voyage by Sea, was the Conveniency of the Saic bound for Azac, which to me seem'd a most infallible way to get out of Constantinople, without much Trouble, and without any Danger, unless it were that of the Black-Sea. But that Sea so nam'd and so fam'd from terrible and frequent Shipwracks that happ'n in it for want of Skilful Pilots among the Turks, made me tremble to think of it. Nevertheless I saw the Hazards to which I expos'd my self, and the Dangers of the Voyage; however they did not terrifie me so much as the Dangers and Perils [Page 63] which I have mention'd either in staying any longer at Con­stantinople, or in travelling quite through Turkey.

The Danger indeed of the Black-Sea was the greatest, be­cause it threaten'd the loss of all; but it was more uncertain. The Hazards of Turkey were less; for there was no fear of Life's being lost; or of losing entirely the whole Cargo. But it was more difficult to be avoided, so that at length I resolv'd for the Black-Sea, and prepar'd to embark.

One of my Friends to whom I imparted my Design, en­gag'd a Greek Merchant to assist me, who was bound for Col­chis, and went in the Saic prepar'd for Azac. He was a very honest Man, besides that my Friend had some hank as well over his Estate as Person. So that he oblig'd him to serve me to the uttermost of his Power, under the forfeiture of his Friendship if he fail'd. Thereupon the Greek Merchant un­dertook to help me, and did it so cordially and sedulously that the Success answer'd both his Diligence and Fidelity. He took upon him to hire Cabbins for me in the Saic, never discover­ing for whom it was; he put my Goods aboard, some and some, as he saw his Opportunity. He gave me advice, and necessary Instructions how to make my self respected in the Vessel, and to get good Entertainment at Caffa, whither I was first bound. Among the rest of my Directions, he or­der'd me to get good Recommendations to the Officer that was to Command at Azac, and to take along with me the Grand Signior's Pass. As for the Recommendation, I did not much fear to get it, but the Pass drove me to despair, because I had already been refus'd it.

Thereupon I discover'd my perplexity to M. de Nointel, beseeching his Excellency to give me leave to make use of the Letters of Recommendation which I had from the English Am­bassador, who was at Paris, when I departed thence, for the English Ambassador at Constantinople, that I might by his means obtain a Pass as an English-Man Which although M. de Nointel scrupl'd at first, yet he consented at length, when I told him the Urgency of my Occasions. So that he caus'd his Secretary both to write and carry his Letter to the English Ambassador, who was very glad to serve his Excellency in my behalf. And indeed the Ambassador pursu'd his Kindness with the greatest Grace in the World, and with a real Affection, but without success. For as the Caimacan was ready to sign the Pass, Some-body gave him private Intimation to take a care what he did; for that the Pass requir'd of him was for [Page 64] a French-Man under pretence of being English. Which spoil'd all; and made a Difference between the English Ambassador and the Caimacan, who complain'd of the Surprize; and be­tween the English Ambassador and M. de Nointel, whom he tax'd for having giv'n the Caimacan his private Intelli­gence.

The 19th of July the Greek Merchant who was to Con­duct me to Mingrelia, came to give me notice that the Saic lay at an Anchor near the Mouth of the Black-Sea, and only expected a fair Wind. So that I would presently have gone aboard, but my Friends did not think it convenient, till the Vessel was ready to Sail, for fear I should be discover'd for a French-Man. Thereupon I staid three days with Signor Sini­baldi Fieschi, Resident of Genoa, at a Country-House which he had upon the Bosphorus, and four days more at a fair Monastery of the Greeks, at the end of the Channel upon Europe side, over against the Harbour where the Saic lay at Anchor.

The Thracian Bosphorus is certainly one of the Loveliest parts of the World. The Greeks call Bosphori, those Streights or Arms of the Sea which an Ox may be able to swim over. This Channel is about Fifteen Miles in length, and about Two in breadth, in most parts, but in others less. The Shores consist of Rising Grounds cover'd over with Houses of Plea­sure, Wood, Gardens, Parks, Delightful Prospects, Lovely Wildernesses Water'd with Thousands of Springs and Foun­tains.

The Prospect of Constantinople, when ye behold it from the top of the Channel, at the distance of two Miles, is beyond compare, as being to my Eyes, as to all that ever saw it, the most Charming Prospect that can be seen. The Passage through the Bosphorus is the most lovely and fullest of Diver­tisement that can be made by Water: And the number of Barks that Sail to and fro in fair Weather is very great. The Resident of Genoa told me, He made it his Pastime to tell the Boats that Sail'd to and fro before his House from Noon to Sun-set, in what time he told no less then Thirteen Hun­derd.

There are Four Castles that stand upon the Bosphorus well Fortifi'd with great Guns: Two, Eight Miles from the Black-Sea, and Two more near the Mouth of the Channel. The Two latter were built not above Forty Years ago, to prevent the Cossacks, Muscovite and Polanders from entring into the [Page 65] Mouth of the Channel; who before made frequent Inroads into it with their Barks, almost within sight of Constanti­nople.

The 17th by break of day I embark'd, our Vessel being then under Sail. Above Fourscore Vessels of different Bur­thens put to Sea at the same time. In ours there were about Two Hunderd Men; the Commander of Azac with his Train, to the Number of Twenty; a Hunderd Janisaries, Thirty Ma­riners, and Fifty Passengers. I had three Cabbins, two for my Comrade and my self, and the third for our Goods. Our Servants lay upon the Deck. Their Cabbins are very narrow and incommodious; ours being at the Prow. There were in all Thirty two in the Saic, with a great Cabbin for the Cap­tain very spacious and handsomely furnish'd; wherein Ten Persons might lodge very conveniently. But that which is very inconvenient in the Turkish Vessels is this, That they make no Provision of any thing for Subsistance, not so much as of Wood and Water; for the rest might well be endur'd. Every one has his Liberty to dress his Vittles three of four times a day. The Fire Place is upon the Deck near the Poop: where they who have any thing to dress carry their Kettle, their Wood and their Water. So that I have seen about Eigh­teen Pots together upon the Fire. Their Places of Easement are with outside of the Ship near the Poop; like Cages, which they take off and hang on as they please themselves.

The Saics have no more then one Deck. Nor but two Masts with a Boltsprit; that is, a Main Mast and Mizen. These Masts carry but two Sails, and for the most part but one. They have no Shrouds but one that is very small, which is fix'd to the Main Mast, and hangs down upon the Deck. They have no Skuttles at the top of their Masts. So that the Turkish Seamen never run up to the Yards Arms to furl or loosen their Sails, which is needless, because the Yards Arm is always below upon the Deck; so that when they would take the Wind, they only draw up the Yards Arm, to which the Sail is fix'd. The Top-Sail is ty'd to the Yards Arm, and when they would make use of it, they pull up the Yards Arm with a Pully fasten'd to the Top-Mast-Head. Thus it may be easily seen that they neither understand the Use of the Yard-Arms nor Masts of a Ship.

Neither have they in these Vessels either Pumps to pump out the Water, nor Capstalls to weigh their Anchors; but they empty out their Water with Pales: and then when they weigh [Page 66] Anchor, there are Twenty or Thirty Men that take hold of the Anchor-Cables that run through two small Pulleys fasten'd to the Prow of the Ship, and draw up the Anchor with all their Might, till it be high enough. When a Vessel enters la­den into any Port, they fix four Anchors, two to her Poop, and two to her Prow, and so let her lie. And this is all I have observ'd in reference to the Building and Rigging of these sort of Vessels among the Turks.

As for their Navigation there is nothing of Art, nor Security in it: The best of the Turkish or Greek Pilots depend only upon a bare Experience, without any Foundation of Rules. They never make any use of Sea-Carts, nor ever make those exact Observations, like our Seamen, of the Ships way every day set down in Journals, by which Observations they know how far they are from the place whither they intend. They understand very little of the Compass; only they know that the Flowre de Luce always tends toward the North. When they are to make any Voyage they stay for a good Wind and fair Weather. Nor do they, when that is come, presently put to Sea till they have staid eight or ten Hours to see whether the Weather will hold or no: and generally they Sail along by the Shore, having the Land always in sight. But when they are forc'd to take the Main Sea, then they make use of the Compass: To which purpose they know either by report or experience upon which hand they ought to have the North, that they may gain such a Harbour; which is all they have to guide 'em; for more then this they know not. Were they to make long Voyages in the open Sea, hardly one Ship would escape a Tempest, which they happily avoid, keeping as much as they can within sight of Land, or near some Harbour. When the Wind is very high, they furl their Sails, and let the Vessel drive with the VVaves. If the VVind be contrary, they never strive against it, but vere about, and rather return from whence they came, then endure the Violence of a contrary Sea. That which ruines 'em, is when the VVind blows 'em upon the Shore; for then they are so out of heart, that they split immediately not knowing what it is to lie by.

I have heard several old Turkish Captains affirm, That there are Fifteen Hunder'd Vessels upon the Black-Sea, of which they lose a Hunderd every Year. The most dangerous place where Shipwracks are most to be fear'd being at the En­trance of Bosphorus.

[Page 67] The Entrance into it is very Narrow, where generally the VVinds encounter one another; of which there is one that still keeps back the Vessels, which if it be violent dings 'em upon the Coast which is full of sharp Rocks; to the loss of so many Galleys and Ships that their Number is hardly to be numberd. 'Tis but a little while since that no less then seventeen Galleys were cast away in one day. And there is no question but that the frequent Storms that arise at all seasons in the Black-Sea, the Surges short, and cutting one upon another, its streight and narrow Channel, and the dangerous Coasts that in part surround it, are the chief cause of the several Ship­wracks that happ'n there. On the other side there is no doubt also but that skilful Pilots and good Seamen would save above half the Vessels which are there lost.

The Third of August in the Morning we arriv'd at Caffa, after a Voyage of eight days, all which time we had very fair Weather and little Wind. Upon the Fifth we spy'd the Point of the Tauric Chersonnese. For the Greeks call that a Chersonnese, which the Latins call a Peninsula, and they gave that Name to this almost Tauric Island, because it was first inhabited by the Scythians of Mount Taurus. It lies toward the East and West, being about 250 Leagues in Circuit; that is, 35 Leagues in length, which I take from the North to the South, and 55 Leagues in the broadest part. But the Isthmus that joyns it to the Continent is not above a League in breadth. The Mo­dern Geographers call it Crim Tartary and Precopensian Tar­tary. As much as to say Tartary full of Towns; to distinguish the Tartars of this Peninsula that live for the most part in Cities, especially all the Winter long, from those other Euro­pean Tartars, which inhabit without the Peninsula, call'd No­gays, as also Hordes or Hordou, a word which signifies an Assembly, and of which the Turks and Persians generally make use to signifie the Camp of an Army, or the Numerous Train of a Court. The Country belonging to these two sorts of Tartars, Precops and Nogays, is that which we call the Lesser Tartary to distinguish it from the Asiatick Tartars that inhabit beyond the Lake Maeotis, to the East of the Caspian Sea, and thence as far as China.

The Sea-Coast of this Precopens Peninsula, to speak of that part which shoots farthest into the Sea as far as Caffa, consists of very high Shoars, and Mountains cover'd with Woods and Villages. And by the Accompt of the Seamen, it is from Con­stantinople to Caffa through the Black-Sea, 750 Miles. Tho I [Page 68] know not how they reck'n, nor how it can agree, with what frequently happens, for the Saics to make the Voyage in two Days and two Nights just. And therefore by my Accompt it is no more then Two Hunderd Leagues. Upon our coming to an Anchor; our Vessel fir'd two Guns, and the Commander design'd for Azac made all his Musketeers give the Castle a Volley. Which done, he went ashoar with the Officers that were come to receive him in the Basha's Name. Both the Ci­ty and Port are very free; for you have Liberty to go in and out, never asking any leave: Nor do they come aboard to search the Vessels. But when a Ship drops her Anchor, seve­ral Boats make from the Haven to carry those ashoar that are desirous to go.

Caffa is a great Town built at the bottom of a little Hill upon the Sea-shoar. It extends it self more in length then breadth, lying in length very directly from the South to the North; encompass'd with very strong Walls, that advance a little into the Sea, which is the reason that when we take a Prospect of the City from the upper part of the Deck, it seems to be built like a Half-Moon. The Castle upon the South side stands upon a Rising Ground that commands all the parts thereabout, being very large, and the Residence of the Basha. The other is not so big, but well stor'd and defended with great Guns; the Sea washing that side which is next to it. They reck'n about 4000 Houses to be in Caffa; of which 3200 are inha­bited by Mahumetans, Turks and Tartars, and 800 by Christi­ans, Greeks and Armenians; though the Armenians are more numerous then the Greeks. The Houses are but small, and all built of Earth, as are also their Bazars or Market-places, their Publick Structures, Mosquees, and Baths. There is not one Building of Stone in all the City, except eight Churches some­what gone to decay, formerly built by the Genoeses. This Caffa was once call'd Theodosia, which the Greeks built in the fifth Age. Afterwards it fell under the Dominion of the Ge­noeses, with several other Sea-Port Towns in several parts of that Sea, in the Thirteenth Age, in the time of the Holy War and during the weak and low Condition of the Eastern Emperors. But Mahomet the Second won all those Places from the Genoeses toward the end of the Sixteenth Age; Caffa being taken in the Year 1574.

The Soyl about Caffa is Dry and Sandy; nor is the Water good; but the Air is very pure and wholsom. There are very few Gardens about it, nor is there but little Fruit. How­ever [Page 69] they bring great Quantities from the Neighbouring Vil­lages, though it cannot be said to be very delicious. How­ever I do not know whether there be any other City in the World where other Provisions are cheaper and better. Their Mutton is exceeding well-tasted, and not above one Farthing a Pound. Their other Provisions of Bread, Fruit, Wild Fowl, and Butter, is sold proportionably at a cheaper Rate. Salt is as good as giv'n ye; and in a word, whatever is necessary for Human Sustenance costs little or nothing. Nevertheless by the way take notice, that Fresh Fish is a very great Rarity, and very small whatever that they catch in the parts round about the Harbour, and that only at certain times, as in Antumn and the Spring. Almost all the Turks and Tartars that live in the Town wear little Bonnets of Cloath fac'd with Sheepskins. But in regard that over all Asia Bonnets are most usually worn among the Christians, those of Caffa are oblig'd to fasten to theirs a little piece of Cloath, such as the Jews in Germany wear upon their Cloaks, to distinguish 'em from the Maho­metans.

The Road of Caffa is shelter'd from the Winds, except it be to the North and South-East: and the Ships lie at Anchor near the Shoar in Ten and Twelve Fathom Water, Ouzie at the bottom and very safe. There is also a great Trade driven there, more then in any other Port belonging to the Black-Sea. During the Forty Days that I staid there, I saw come in and go out above Four Hunderd Sail of Ships, not count­ing little Vessels that keep close to the Shoar. The most usual and most considerable Trade which they drive consists in Salt Fish, and Caveare, which comes from the Lake Maeotis, and is thence transported into Europe, and as far as the Indies. 'Tis incredible what a World of Fish is caught in that Lake, consi­dering its extent. And the reason which the Country People give for the Infinite Multitude of Fish there bred and taken, is this, For that the Water of that Lake being muddy, thick, and not very salt, because of the Tanais that empties it self in­to it, it invites not only the Fish out of Tanais and the Black-Sea, but also out of the Hellespont and the Archipelago; where they breed and grow fat in a small time. Several Persons have assur'd me, That they usually catch Fish in that Lake, which weigh every one Eight and Nine Hunderd Pounds, and of which they make between three and four Hunderd weight of Caveare. 'Tis true, I never saw any such large Fish alive at Caffa; however I am apt to believe it, by the pieces of [Page 70] Fish which I have seen, and the vast Quantities which they export into a Thousand Places. Their Fishing lasts from Octo­ber till April. And perhaps it is the Mudd of that Water of Maeotis which makes 'em call it a Mersh; for other­wise it would be more properly call'd a Lake, in regard it bears Vessels of Burden, nor do the Waters rise or fall, and besides that it continually partakes of a great River and the Sea.

Next the Exportation of Caveare and Fish, the most con­siderable Trade is driv'n in Corn, Butter and Salt, with which this City furnishes Constantinople, and several other places. The Caffa Butter is the best in all Turkey. The Venetians have several times desir'd leave to Trade to this Town; but it would never be granted. In the Year 1672. Signor Quirini was at great Expences to obtain it, and he had obtain'd it indeed, but the Customer of Constantinople caus'd the Licence to be revok'd upon this Occasion.

All the Europeans have it agreed in their Capitulations, That they shall pay no Customs, but in such places where they un­lade their Goods. By Virtue of which Article the Venetians would pay no Customs at Constantinople for Goods that came in a small Vessel bound for Caffa, which the Farmer of the Customs claim'd. And Signor Quirini obtain'd an Or­der from the Defterdar to the Farmer, not to take any Cog­nizance of what was in the said Venetian Vessel: (Which Defterdar is the High Treasurer of the Empire; and has all the Customs under his Inspection.) But the Customer seeing this Order, wrote to the Vizier, That the Trade of the Venetians into the Black-Sea, would be very prejudicial to the Grand Signior and the Port, and that the particular Damage to his Highness was most visible, in regard the Merchandize which is proper for the Black-Sea and brought from Venice pays Customs twice, at their coming into the Port of Constantinople, and going out. That it was the same thing as to the Com­modities that were brought out of that Sea, and which the Ve­netians Export, all which the Grand Signior would lose if the Venetians had Liberty to Trade thither, in regard that by Vir­tue of their Capitulations, they ought to pay no Customs but where they discharge their Merchandises. Besides, that to permit the Venetians an Entrance into the Black-Sea, was to open a new way for the Christian Princes to Correspond and Confederate with the Princes whose Dominions border upon those Seas who are all Enemies to the Port. And lastly, [Page 71] That it behov'd him to consider that such a Permission would ruine a great Number of Seamen, of the Grand Signior's Sub­jects, as well Turks as Christians, for that in regard there is more Security in the European Navigation then in the Turkish, the Venetians would have all the Carriage of Goods through the Black Sea, and every one would Ship his Goods in their Vessels. The Grand Vizier was sensible of this; and there­fore gave Orders to the Governor of Constantinople not to let any Venetian Ship pass into the Black-Sea.

The 30th my Grecian Guide unladed my Goods, Baggage, and whatever belong'd to me out of the Ship that brought me to Caffa, and Ship'd it aboard another Vessel bound for Colchis. Which done, he went to the Customer of Caffa, and told him, That there were two French Papa's aboard the Vessel of Azac, who were desirous to Embark themselves in another Vessel, being bound for Mingrelia. That those Papa's carry'd several Trifles along with 'em, as Books, and other Things of no va­lue, for the Use of a Monastery; and that if the Custom-House thought fit, that he should send some of their Offi­cers to search the Ship. For the Oriental Christians as well as the Turks, call Papa's all manner of Ecclesiastical Persons that Officiate in Holy Orders, whether Single or Married; and therefore my Guide thought fit that my Companion and my self should both take upon us the Title of Papa's.

To that purpose our Greek made 'em believe, that we were going to the Italian Missionaries in Colchis, and that we were of their Fraternity. However the Customer sent his Officers aboard to search our Packs; and our Greek came along with him. Presently I open'd two Chests before the Searcher; who put his Hand into one that was full of only Books, Pa­pers, and Mathematical Instruments, and finding nothing more at the Bottom, then what he saw at the Top, fell a laughing, and ask'd the Man that brought him, If such Rub­bish as that were worth carrying out of Europe into Mingrelia? With that I fumbl'd out one of those Pieces that are worth Three Shillings, like a Man that had not much to spare, but look'd upon five or six of those Pieces to be a great Treasure, and presented the Searcher with it; who refus'd it at first, but took it at last, when I told him 'twas only to pay for his Boat, which he could not deny; and so went away without more ado. My Guide went along with him, and heard the Re­port which he made to the Customer, That we had nothing [Page 72] but a few Books and Papers, with some few Toys of Brass and Wood that were of little or no Value.

At the end of two Hours my faithful Guide return'd, and told me, That to protect us absolutely from any further danger of the Customers, it behov'd us to give the Clerk of the Vessel as much as we had giv'n the Searcher; in regard the Clerk took an exact Note of all that was embark'd, and gives it every Even­ing to the Customer, who keeps it for a Control: to which I answer'd, That he might do what he thought fit. Thereup­on presently calling to the Clerk, Thou seest, said he, that the Searcher has found nothing in the Frank Papa's Chests. They have one more full of Papers, and five or six Boxes of Pictures for their Church. That they did not op'n 'em be­cause the Air spoils the Colour of the Painting, and because the Pictures were carefully ty'd up in Bundles; and therefore I desire thee to accept of this Three Shillings which they give thee, and to put down in thy Note no more then the two Chests which the Searcher has seen, without taking Cogni­zance of the rest. Upon which he let us carry away all that we had, and bid us, Farewel in the Name of God. So that we carry'd off all our Goods in two Boats, and put 'em aboard the Ship that was bound for Mingrelia. Nor did any Body demand any thing of us. For the Customers, and the Seamen of the Ship which we left as well as of the other Vessel where­in we embark'd again, really believ'd us to be Papa's, and that all we carry'd with us was of little worth: that the Sacks wherein I told 'em were our Provisions were full of no­thing else beside. For there are certain Slights and Shifts which we cannot so well set down, that are absolutely necessary for those that travel Turkey, that they who can make a right use of may pass securely and without trouble. For thereby we avoid Forfeitures and ill usage, and we free our selves dex­trously from the Custom-Houses, which take 'em all together, are none of the severest. But after all, it requires Good Luck, that is to say, a prudent Conduct and a Contrivance proper to the Genius of the Turks; and a Man must also be sure to watch his Opportunities.

The 25th of August, the Vessel that brought us to Caffa, fet Sail for the Fortress of Azac, with three Saics of the same Burden in her Company. The New Commander would not have had her set Sail till the return of the Courrier which he had sent to the Fortress, to know whether they were at Peace with the Muscovites, and whether there were any Pirates or [Page 73] not Cruising upon the Lake Maeotis. The People of Caffa reck'n it 450 Miles from thence to Azac: though it be not so much by Land, in regard they travel it easily in Twelve or Thirteen Days. As for the Streight of the Lake Maeotis, or rather the Channel between the Lake and the Black-Sea, it is about five Leagues in length. Which Channel was by the Ancients call'd the Cimmerian Bosphorus; but now the Moderns call it the Steight of Caffa, and also the Mouth of St. John. The great Vessels that go to Azac put in at Palestra, which is For­ty Miles from the Fortress, and Twenty from the River Ta­nais; for that there is not Water deep enough for 'em to Sail any farther. The Fortress of Azac is Fifteen Miles from the River: And it is very dangerous and hazardous to send either Men or Money to that Place; for they are attack'd by strong Parties of the Muscovites as well by Sea as by Land. The Commanders of this Fortress make always Leagues with the Neighborhood, though they seldom last long: for that either of one side or t'other there arise every day new Occasions to break 'em. The Turks have two little Fortresses where they keep Garison at the Mouth of the Tanais upon the Banks of that great River which the Ancients call'd Orxentes, and which the People of the Country call Don, being about Fourscore Leagues in length. They Fortifie the Mouth of this River with a vast Chain, to prevent the Muscovites and Circassians from Roving with their great Barks upon the Lake and the Black-Sea. For before those two Fortresses were built, and this Chain fasten'd athwart the River, those People came down with their Boats and Gruis'd about all over those Seas. But there is a stop now put to their great Vessels. However in the Night-time, and by the power of Number, they some­times force their smaller Barks over the Chain; but 'tis very rarely that they will venture, for fear of being sunk by the Shot from the two Forts. There was also formerly another Fort three Leagues off from the Mersh call'd Tana, belonging to the River Tanais; but it is now ruin'd; nor is it Azac, as some would have it to be, which is fifteen Leagues distant from it.

The 30th our Vessel put to Sea, and Sail'd to a place call'd Donslow, or the Salt-Pits; which are great Mershes of Salt up­on the Shoar fifty Miles from Caffa. We arriv'd there the 31st in the Morning: Immediately all the People went to Lade Salt; for there was no Guard kept upon it; and they assur'd us that Two Hunderd Vessels were Laden there every Year [Page 74] with Salt, and that there was enough for twice as many if there were occasion. These Salt-Pits are supply'd without any Charges: For they only let in the Water into the Mersh; which is a fat and hard Earth at the bottom. There it con­geals and becomes a white Salt, which has all the good Qua­lities of Salt, and among the rest that it preserves the Moi­sture of Salted Meats. They only pay Three Shillings a Day to those that they employ to lade the Salt, without any fur­ther Examination how much they carry away.

About a Mile from the Shoar there is a Habitation of the Tartars; whither I went with some of my Servants to buy Provisions, but I did not see in all that place above Ten or Twelve Houses with a little Mosquee. Only round about it there was a great Number of Tents, Round and Square very well clos'd, together with several Wagons close and cover'd, which serve 'em in stead of Houses. The fairest of their Tents were very handsome, being made of Round Poles lay'd a cross one upon another, and cover'd without with large Furs very light and well stretch'd. The Door is made after the same Manner, with an opening at the Top, for the Light to come in, and the Smoak to go out. The Door is shut with a piece of Felt. The inside is Hung with Tapestry, and the Floor cover'd also with the same. Every Family has one Tent of the same Fashion and two others. The other is cover'd with a great Sarpler of Wooll, for their Cattel and Horses. The other cover'd with the same, but not so handsome, and much larger; in the midst of which is a round Pit five Foot deep and two Foot wide, and there it is that they dress their Vittles. Here their Slaves lie, and here they keep their Pro­visions for the Family. The Tartars store up their Corn and their Forrage, as do all the Country People in the East, in deep Pits under Ground which they call Amber, or Maga­zines. Which they cover so exactly, that you cannot discern where they have remov'd the Earth, so that only they that made the Pits can tell where to find 'em. The Tartars dig these Pits either in their Tents or in the Field; and as I have said they cover these Pits so like the rest of the surface of the Earth round about it, that you cannot perceive where they broak the Ground. When they remove their Quarters, they do it presently and without any Trouble; their Tents being pull'd down and lad'n in less then Half an Hour. Their most usual Carriage is by Oxen and Horses of which they breed a Great Number. The People profess the Mahumetan Religion [Page 75] but intermix'd with strange Superstitions and Ridiculous Opi­nions of Fortune Telling and Divination.

The 2d of September the Wind blew hard and contrary, so that we were constrain'd to return for Caffa, in regard the Coast where we lay was very dangerous.

The Seventh at Midnight we put again to Sea with fair Weather, which did not long continue. For in the Morning rose a most furious Tempest, insomuch that we were afraid of be­ing cast away; and that which encreas'd our fears was this, that our Vessel was very deep Loaden, not only the Hold be­ing full, but Twelve Foot High above Deck. But the Storm, thanks be to God, was soon over, and that which sav'd us was this, that the Wind was with us.

Our Ships Lading consisted in Salt, Fish, Caveare, Oyl, Biscuite, Wooll, Iron, Tin, Copper, Copper and Farthen Ware, in all sorts of Harness, Arms, Utensils of Husbandry, Cloth, Linnen of all Colours, Habits for Men and Women, Coverlets, Carpets, Leather, Boots and Shooes, and in a word in all things most necessary for Mans Use. There were all sorts of Grocery and Pothecary's Ware, Spices, Perfumes, Drugs and all manner of Oyntments. So that the Vessel seem'd to be a little Town, where every thing was to be had; besides the People that were aboard, to the Number of a Hunderd.

The 8th in the Morning we discover'd the Coasts that bound the Lake Maeotis, which were very High Lands about 30 Miles distant from us. In the Evening we found our selves near Cape Cuodos which Ptolomy calls Cirocondoma, shouting out far into the Sea; the shoar being all very High Land, and seen a great way off. From Caffa to this Point, we sail'd all along in the Channel, from whence to Mingrelia we always kept along by the shoar.

It is Six and Twenty Mile from Caffa to the Channel of the Lake Maeotis. The Country on each side is all in Subjecti­on to, and inhabited by the Tartars, but so very thinly that all the Coast is like a desert. From the Channel of the Palus Maeotis to Mingrelia they reck'n it Six Hunderd Miles along the Coast, which consists of pleasant Mountains cover'd with Woods, inhabited by the Circassians whom the Turks call Cherks. By the Ancients they were generally call'd Za­geans, as also Mountaineers. Pomponious Mela calls 'em Sar­gacians. They are neither the Subjects of the Port, nor Tri­butary to it; their Climate being very bad, cold and moist; [Page 76] it produces no Wheat, nor indeed does it afford any thing that is rare and valuable; which is the reason that the Turks leave all this vast Country to the Natives, not worth the Toyl of Conquering, nor the Charge of Keeping. The Vessels that are bound from Constantinople and Caffa for Mingrelia, cast An­chors in several places along these Coasts, and stay at every place a Day or two: During which time they Trade with the Cherks with their Arms i' their Hands. For when any of them desire to come aboard, they give Hostages, and so they likewise do when any of the Seamen or Persons in the Ship desire to go ashoar, which is very seldom; for they are a very perfidious People: and therefore they give three Hostages for one. The Seamen carry thither all the very same Commodi­ties which they carry into Mingrelia, for which they take in Exchange Slaves of all Sexes and Ages; Honey, Wax, Lea­ther, and Chacal-Skins; which Chacal is a Beast like a Fox, but much bigger. Zerdava's, which is a Furr that resembles a Martin; with the Furrs of other Beasts that breed in the Mountains of Circassia. Which is all to be had among these People. They Exchange their Commodities after this man­ner: The Ship-Boat Rows close to the Shoar, and they that are in it are well arm'd. Nor will they suffer a greater Num­ber of Cherks to come nearer the place where the Boat lies then they themselves are: For if they see a greater Number approach, they presently put out to Sea. When they are come so near as to talk one to another, they shew their Commodities, agree up­on the Barter to be made, and presently make the Exchange: however it behoves 'em to stand upon their Guard all the while: For the Cherks are Infidelity and Perfidy it self; and it is an Impossibility for 'em to find an Opportunity to steal, but they take their Advantage.

They are a People altogether Savage: formerly Christians; but now of no Religion, not having so much as the Light of Nature among 'em. For I look upon their Superstitious Cu­stoms as nothing; which seem to be a Mixture borrow'd from the Christians and Mahumetans their Neighbors. They live in Woodden Huts, and go almost Naked. Every Person is a sworn Enemy to those that live in the Provinces round about 'em. The Inhabitants make Slaves one of another, and sell one another to the Turks and Tartars. And for their Ground the VVomen Till and Manure it. The Cherks and their Neigh­bors live upon a kind of Paste made of a very small Grain like to Millet: and they who have Traffick along these Coasts [Page 77] will tell ye a Thousand Stories of the Barbarous Customs of these People. However there is no safety in believing the Reports which are spread abroad either of those that live upon the Sea-Coasts, or of those that inhabit farther up in the Coun­try; in regard that no body travels thither, and all that we know is by means of the Slaves that are brought from thence, who are all meer Savages, from whom there is nothing to be learnt of Certainty. This is the reason why I have made no more Descriptions of Places in my Map of the Black-Sea, which is at the beginning of this Book, chusing rather to leave a space for the Circassians and Abca's void, then to fill it up upon the Credit of People so illiterate, who for the most part can hardly tell the North from the South.

The Abca's border upon the Cherks, possessing about a Hun­derd Miles of the Sea-Coast between Mingrelia and Circassia. However they are not altogether so much Savages as the Cherks, but they are equally inclin'd with Them to Thieving and Robbery. The Seamen also Trade with 'em, with the same Precautions as with their Neighbors already mention'd. They stand in need of the same Commodities as their Neigh­bors, and make their Exchanges in Slaves, Furrs, Does and Tigres Skins, Linnen, Thread, Box, Wax and Honey.

The 10th of September we arriv'd at Isgaour: Which is a Road belonging to Mingrelia, pretty safe in the Summer: and there the Vessels that Trade into Colchis lie; so that we saw seven great Ships there, when we arriv'd in the Road. Pre­sently our Captain fasten'd his own Vessel to four Anchors, two at the Prow and two at the Poop, and carry'd his Masts and his Yards ashoar. As for Isgaour it is a desert place without any Habitations: only according to the Number of Traders that come thither, they build up Huts and Booths of Boughs, as they find themselves secure from the Abca's, which does not often happen. But besides those Huts, there is not one House to be seen.

Now before I enter into the Relation of the Hardships which I suffer'd, and the Dangers I underwent in Mingrelia, I shall give ye a Description of the Country and Parts that border about it, without intermixing any thing Dubious, or what I have not learnt by exact Information.

Colchis is situated at the end of the Black-Sea. To the East it is enclos'd with a little Kingdom, which makes a part of Georgia, which by the People of the Country is call'd Imiretta, [Page 78] by the Turks, Pacha tchcouk or Pacha Koutchouk, as much as to say, the Little Prince: to the South, by the Black-Sea; to the West, by the Abca's; and to the North, by Mount Cauca­sus. In length it lies between the Sea and the Mountains; in breadth, it extends from the Abca's to the Kingdom of Imiret­ta. The Corax and Phasis, famous Rivers in Ancient History, at present call'd Coclours and Rione, serve for its Bounds; while the first parts it from the Abca's; the second from Imiretta. The length of Colchis is a Hunderd and Ten Miles at most, the breadth Sixty. Which I know to be true, not only by the concurring Report of the People of the Country, but also as having cross'd it my self from one end to the other. It was formerly Fortifi'd against the Abca's by a Wall Sixty Miles in length, which has been laid in Ruines these many Years: So that now the Thick Forests are its chiefest Defence, and its greatest Security. The Inhabitants of Caucasus, that border upon Colchis, are the Alane's, whose Country was formerly the Northern Frontier of Armenia; the Suane's, the Gigue's, the Caracioles or Cara-cherks; a sort of People more Barbarous then their Names. These Cara-cherks, as they are call'd by the Turks, that is to say, the Black Circassiens, are the Northern Circassi­ans. The Turks so call 'em, though they are the fairest Peo­ple in the World, by reason of the Foggs and Clouds that continually dark'n their Skie. Formerly they were Christians; and some Relicks of their Customs they retain, and some cer­tain Ceremonies also they observe, yet at present they pro­fess no Religion, but live by Robbery and Rapine, utterly ig­norant of all Arts and Sciences, and having nothing that may entitle 'em to Humanity, but their Speech. They are much taller and more portly then other People; fo furious in their Looks, and speaking with such a terrible Tone, that you may easily thence discern their Dispositions and their Courage to be no less savage. Their very Countenances are frightful to look upon; more especially when you come to experience their Civility, and understand 'em to be the most resolute As­sassins, and most daring Robbers in the World.

The Ancient Kingdom of Colchis was not so small a Kingdom as now; for it extended on the one side to the Palus Maeotis, and the other way as far as Iberia. The Capital City was also call'd Colchis, seated at the Mouth of Phasis upon the Western side of the River, and that was the Reason that Mingrelia was formerly call'd Colchis; for that Mingrelia is bounded by this River, to the East. Our Modern Geographers have seated ano­ther [Page 79] City which they call Fasso, in the place where Colchis stood; but this I know my self to be a grand Mistake.

All the Oriental People call Colchis Odische, and the Colchi­ans Mingrelians; though I could never understand the Ety­mology of either of those Words. The Country it self is unequal; full of Hills and Mountains, Valleys and Plains; which causes great variety of Prospect, and it rises insensibly from the Sea-shoar. It is almost all over cover'd with Woods, except the Fields that are Manur'd, which are not very many: and besides, the Woods are so thick and tall, and the Trees grow so fast, that if they did not grub up the Roots that spread themselves into the Till'd Land, and the High-ways, the whole Country in a short time would be nothing but a Thick Forest altogether Impassable. The Air is temperate as well in re­spect of the Heat as Cold, but very moist and very unwhol­som in regard of the extream wet Weather; for it rains there almost perpetually. In Summer the Moisture of the Earth, being heated by the Sun, infects the Air, and causes not only frequent Pestilences, but several other Distempers and Dis­eases. Therefore insupportable to Strangers. For it reduces 'em to a Ghastly Leanness, and renders 'em in a Years time yellow, juiceless and faint. The Natives of the Country, more us'd to the Climate, are not so much incommoded by it, for the time that they live, which is seldom above Threescore Years.

Colchis abounds with Water-Streams, which fall from the Mountains of Caucasus, and discharge themselves into the Black-Sea. The Principal Rivers are Codours, which is that Corax I have already mention'd; the Socom, which I take to be the Terscen of Arrian, and the Thasseris of Ptolomy; the Langur, call'd by the Ancients Astolphus; the Cobi, by Arrian call'd Cobo, which before it enters into the Sea, meets with another River call'd Cianiscari, which was the Ancient Cianeus. The Tacheur which Arrian calls Sigamus; The Scheniscari, that is to say, The River Horse, so call'd from the Rapidness of its course, and which the Greeks for the same Reason call Hippus, and the Abascia to which Strabo gives the Name of Glaucus, Arrian that of Caries, and Ptolomy that of Caritus. These two Rivers intermix with Phasis, about Twenty Miles from the place where it discharges it self into the Sea. I have set down as well the Ancient as Modern Names of the Mingrelian Rivers, in regard that all the Historical Geographers, especially Arrian, and several of the Moderns place 'em ill. But besides these Rivers there are are some others of lesser note; of which [Page 80] I say no more, for that before they fall into the Sea, they lose themselves in those larger Torrents already mention'd.

The Soyl of Colchis is very bad, and produces little Corn or Pulse. The Fruits are almost all wild, without any taste, and very unwholsom; and yet there grow in Colchis almost as many sorts as we have in France. They have also very large Melons, but they are worth very little or nothing. The only Fruit that thrives best in this Country are their Grapes; of which there is great Plenty. The Vines grow about the Trees, and run up to the very Top of the Boughs. I have seen some Stocks of these Vines that have been so large, that I could hardly compass 'em with both my Arms. They prune their Vines every four Years, and as for the Wine of Mingrelia I must needs say it is most excellent. It is strong, and has a very good Body; pleasing to the Taste, and comfortable to the Stomach. Nor do I know where there is better in any part of Asia. So that if the Country People knew how to make Wine so well as we do, theirs would be the best in the World. But they never take any pains at all with it. They only hollow the larger Trunks of great Trees, which they make use of in stead of Tubs. In those they bruise and squeeze the Grapes, and then pour out the Juyce into great Earthen Jarrs, which they bury in their Houses, or else hard by. These Vessels contain about two or three Hunderd Quarters. And when the Vessel is full, they close it up with a Woodden Co­ver, and then lay the Earth upon it. For indeed they cover these Urns just after the same manner as I have told ye that the Eastern People cover the Pits where they store up their Corn.

The Earth is so moist in Mingrelia in Seed-time, that for fear of softning too much the Land where they sow their Wheat and Barley, they never Plough it at all. They only cast their Grain upon the Top of the Earth, and that is suffi­cient: for it comes up without any farther trouble, taking root a foot deep in the Mould. The Mingrelians moreover affirm, That should they Plough their Ground where they sow their Barley and Wheat, it would be so soft that the least Wind would lodge the Stalks, so that they would never be able to rise again. Their other Lands they plough, and sow their other Grain with Ploughs and Ploughshares of Wood, which make however as deep Furrows as if they were of Iron, by reason of the softness and moisture of the Earth, as I have already said.

[Page 81] Their usual Grain is Gom: which is a sort of Grain as small as Coriander Seed, and very much resembles Millet. Which they sow in the Spring-time after the same manner as they do Rice: for they make a Hole in the Ground with their Finger, then put in the Grain and cover it. This Grain produces a Stalk about the bigness of a Mans Thumb, and grows up as high as most Men are tall; at the end of which there is an Ear that contains above Three Hunderd Grains: And indeed the Gom-Stalk is very like to the Sugar-Cane. They gather this Grain in October, and presently lay it upon high Hurdles expos'd to the Sun; which they do to dry it. After it has been Twenty Days upon the Hurdles, they bind it up in Sheaves; but they thrash it only as they have occasion to boyl it, and they never boyl it, but just before they go to eat it. It is insipid and heavy. Yet is it presently boyl'd, and in less then half an hour after it is put into the Water, they stir it softly with a Stick; and after it has stood never so little upon the Fire, it turns into Past. When the Grain is all dissolv'd, and the Past well wrought together, they lessen the Fire, let the Water boyl away, and the Past harden and dry in the Skellet where it was boyl'd.

This Past is very white; and some there is, which they make as white as Snow. They serve it upon little Woodden Peels made on purpose. And this sort of Bread the Turks call Pasta, the Mingrelians, Gom, being easily brok'n between the Fingers: but it is of a very cold and laxative Quality; nor is it worth any thing, after it is once cold, or when it is heated a second time. However the Circassians, Mingrelians, and Georgians, who are Tributary to the Turks, the Abca's, the Mountaineers of Caucasus, and all that inhabit the Coasts of the Black-Sea from the Lake Maeotis to Trebisond, live all upon this Past. 'Tis all the Bread they have, nor have they any other; and indeed they are so accustom'd to it, that they prefer it be­fore Bread made of Wheat, as I have observ'd in most parts of those Countries which I have seen. Nor do I wonder at it; for when Necessity constrain'd me to make it my Food, I found it so acceptable to my Palate, that I could hardly leave it, when I came where I met with our usual Bread. Besides, I found my self very well, and my Body in a better Condition of Health then before. In Armenia and Georgia I saw a great many of the Turkish and Georgian Lords, and among the rest the Prince of Tiftles and the Basha of Akalzike, who sent for this Grain and eat it for a Delicacy: but it requires good store [Page 82] of Wine to wash it down, to correct and temper its cold and laxative Quality.

Besides this Gom, they have in Mingrelia great plenty of Millet, some Rice, with Wheat and Barley, but very scarce. The People of Quality many times eat Wheaten Bread for a Dainty; but the meaner sort never so much as taste of it.

The ordinary Food of the Country is Beef and Pig; of which latter they have an extraordinary plenty, and that so good, that the World does not afford better. There is also Goats Flesh, but very lean, neither is it well tasted. Their Wild-Fowl is very good, but very scarce. While I was there, there was hardly any to be got, by reason that the Wars had harass'd all the Country. For Fish, there is none but Salt-Fish, which is brought from Turkey; Tunny Fish, and some few small Quantities of other Fish at certain seasons of the Year. Their Venizon in Mingrelia is the Wild Boar, the Hart, the Stag, the Fallow Deer and Hare: which is so excellent that there can­not be better Food. Partridge they have also, Pheasants and Quails in abundance, some River-Fowl, and Wild Pigeons, which are very good Meat, and as big as our Cramm'd Chicken. The Mingrelians catch these Pigeons with Nets, and take great Numbers of 'em in Autumn; for in the Winter they return to the Mountains of Caucasus.

The Nobility of Mingrelia spend their whole time in the Field: and their chiefest delight is in Birds of Prey, which they tame and afterwards make use of for their sport. And indeed it may be truly said that these Birds of Prey are no where in the World in greater Numbers then in Mingrelia, as Lanner-Hawks, Gos-Hawks, Hobbies and others, which build and breed in Mount Caucasus. The young Ones, as soon as they are fledge, resort to the Forests round about, where they take great Numbers, and reclaim 'em in five or six days.

But of all their Flights, that which yields the most delight­ful Pastime, is that of the Faulcon at the Heron. For River-Fowl and Pheasants they only make use of their Sparrow-Hawks. To which purpose, as they do in Persia and Turkey, they carry a little Drum at the Pummel of their Saddles to put up the Wild-Fowl with the Noise, and then let fly their Hawks at the Game. When they take any Herons, they only cut off the Feathers upon their Heads to make Heron Tufts for Bonnets, and then let 'em go again: for the People of the Country af­firm, that the Feathers grow again as fair and as beautiful as they were at first. Besides the Fowl already nam'd, and which [Page 83] are to be found in Mingrelia, there are other strange Fowl as well for their Shape as Feathers, altogether unknown in our parts; and not only those, but a great Number of Eagles and Pelicans. All which Caucasus produces, besides a great Num­ber of Wild Beasts, as Tigres, Leopards, Lyons, VVolves, and Chacalls; which are Creatures much resembling Foxes, only that they are much bigger, and their Hair is much more thick and shaggy: and some will have this Chacal to be the Hyaena of the Ancients. For it digs up dead Bodies, and devours both living Creatures and Carrion. They bury their Dead in the Eastern Country without Coffins, only in their VVinding-Sheets. And therefore I have seen 'em in some parts rowl great Stones over the Graves of the Deceas'd, only for fear of these Beasts to prevent 'em from digging up the Graves, and devouring the dead Bodies. For Mingrelia is full of these Cha­calls and VVolves; insomuch that they beset the very Houses themselves, where they make a most dreadful howling Noise. The worst is, they make most terrible Havock among their Cattel and Horses. The Superiour of the Theatins assur'd me, that in one VVeek the VVolves eat him up three Horses and a Colt, close by the House.

There are a great Number of Horses, and very good ones too, in Mingrelia, of which every Man has a great many, in regard they cost 'em little or nothing to keep. For as soon as they alight, they take off their Bridles and Saddles, and turn 'em a Field: Nor do they ever Shooe 'em, or give 'em any other Food or Provender, then what they graze of them­selves.

In Mingrelia are neither Cities nor Towns, only two Vil­lages by the Sea-side: But all the Houses are scatter'd so thick up and down in the Country; that you shall hardly travel a Mile, but you shall meet with Three or Four together. There are also Nine or Ten Castles, of which the chiefest is call'd Rucs, where the Prince of Mingrelia keeps his Court. This Castle is surrounded with a Stone-Wall, but so ill built, and so thin, that the least Field-Piece will make its way through it: however there are some few Cannon within it; but the rest of the Castles have none at all: being all built after this manner.

In some level and open place in a Wood, they erect a Stone-Tower about Thirty or Forty Foot High, sufficient to contain Fifty or Sixty Persons. This is the strongest part of the Tower, where they secure all the Treasure of the Lord, and of those [Page 84] that desire his Protection. Close by this, stand Five or Six other Towers built of Wood, much lower then the middle­most, which are the Store-Houses for their Provision; and where they put their Wives and Children, when they happen at any time to be assaulted. Beside which there are within the compass of the open place, several Hutts made of Carpen­ters Work; others, with Boughs of Trees, others of Canes and Reeds. The space is enclos'd with a very thick Hedge and with the Wood it self, which is so thick that it is impossi­ble to come near those retirements but by the way which is cut open on purpose. Which passage, when they are afraid of an Enemy, they dig up and cover with Trees, that 'tis impossible to be forc'd. Nor do the Colchians ever retire to these Castles, but when they are in fear of an Enemy; for when the dan­ger is past they return to their Houses.

The Houses in Mingrelia are all of Carpenters Work; and Building is very cheap, by reason of the great Plenty of Wood. Of these Houses, the Poorer sort contain but one Story: nor have those of the Gentry and Nobility themselves above two. The lower Rooms are always furnish'd with Beds and Cou­ches to lie down and sit upon, by reason of the great Moisture of the Earth. The Persons of Quality sit upon Carpets, the meaner sort upon Forms. But their Houses are very inconve­nient and Nasty; as having neither Chimneys nor Windows. The Fire place is in the middle, and the light comes in at the Door. Their Houses are built upon no Foundations, which is the reason that they are easily Rob'd. For the Thieves dig a hole under the first Beam that lyes upon the Ground, and supports all the rest of the Fabrick, and so creep into the House. And as soon as the People begin to stir, they get out again with the same ease. Which Inconvenience constrains the Country Peo­ple to have no more then one Room for every Family. Where they keep all that they have about 'em, except their Corn, and sometimes their Wine. So that they lie all together, and House their Cattel in the Night.

Mingrelia breeds very good Blood; So that the Men are very well shap'd, and the VVomen very handsome. Those that are of any Quality carry always in their Countenances some certain Features and Graces that are very Charming. I have seen some wonderfully well shap'd, that have had a very Majestick Air, with an Aspect and Proportion much to be admir'd. Besides, they have those Obliging Glances, that win the Affections of all that behold 'em, and seem as it were [Page 85] to command their Love. They that are not so handsome, or in years, paint abominably, Colouring their Eyebrows, their Cheeks, Foreheads, Noses and Chins; but the rest only paint their Eyebrows. They dress themselves with all the curiosity they can. Their Habit is like that of the Persians: but their Head-Attire is much like that of the European Women, ev'n to the curling of their Locks. They wear a Vail that covers on­ly the Top and Hinder part of the Head. They are naturally very subtle and of clear and quick Apprehensions. Extream­ly Civil, full of Ceremonies and Complements; but other­wise the wickedest Women in the World, Haughty, Furious, Perfidious, Deceitful, Cruel, and Impudent. So that there is no sort of VVickedness which they will not put in Execu­tion, to procure Lovers, preserve their Affection, or else to destroy 'em.

The Men are endu'd with all these Mischievous Qualities with some Addition. There is no VVickedness, to which their Inclinations do not naturally carry 'em. But all addicted to Thievery. That, they make their study; that they make their whole Imployment, their Pastime and their Glory. Assassi­nation, Murder and Lying are among them esteem'd to be no­ble and brave Actions. But for Concubinage, Adultery, Bigamy, Incest, and all Vices of that Nature, they are Vertues in Mingrelia. They make nothing to take away one anothers Wives by force: and they Marry their Aunts, their Nieces, and their Wives Sisters without any Scruple. He that has a mind to two VVives at a time, marries 'em without any more ado: and many there are that will have Three. Every Man keeps as many Concubines as they please; the VVives never grudging their Husbands that convenience: for there is seldome any such thing as Jealousie among 'em. If a Man take his VVife in the act with her Gallant, he has a Priviledge to compel him to pay him a Pig by way of satisfaction; which they eat all Three together: and generally that is all the revenge the Per­son injur'd takes. But this is the greatest VVonder, that this VVicked Nation should maintain, that to have several VVives and Concubines is justifiable: for say they, they bring us many Children, which we sell for ready Money or Exchange for necessary Conveniences. VVhich is nothing to another most Inhuman Tenent of theirs, that it is a piece of Charity to Murder Infants newly Born, when they have not sufficient wherewith to maintain 'em; or such as are Sick and past hopes of recovery. And the reason they give is this, that by so [Page 86] doing, they put those Childern out of a great deal of Misery which they would undergo in a languishing Distemper, which in the end must of necessity carry 'em off. Such are the Ar­guments of these Barbarous People that have neither shame, nor Humanity. I am afraid to tell the Truth, lest History should want belief in this particular, or that the Truths which I recount should be look'd upon as the Exorbitances of Rela­tion. But I aver 'em to be really true, as some actions which I shall recite, will sufficiently justifie.

The Gentlemen of the Country have full Power over the Lives and Estates of their Tenants, with whom they do what they please. They seize upon 'em, whether VVife or Chil­dren; they sell 'em, or dispose of 'em otherwise as they think fit. Every Country-Man furnishes his Lord with so much Corn, Cattel, VVine, and other Provisions, as he is able. So that their Wealth consists in the Number of their Vassals. Be­sides, every one is oblig'd to entertain his Lord Two or Three days in a Year at their own Expences. VVhich is the reason that the Nobility, so long as the Year lasts, go from one place to another devouring their Tenants, and sometimes the Tenants of other Men.

The Prince himself leads the same Life, so that 'tis a hard matter every day to know where to find him. VVhen the Vassals of several Lords are at difference, their Masters decide the dispute: but when the Lords are at variance among them­selves, force and main strength determine the Quarrel, and the stoutest Arm gets the better. There is not a Gentleman in Min­grelia but has some quarrel or other. And therefore it is, that they always go arm'd, and as numerously attended as they can. VVhen they ride, they are arm'd at all Points, and their fol­lowers also; nor do they ever sleep without their Swords by their sides; and when they go to Bed, they sleep upon their Belleys, laying their Swords under 'em.

Their Arms are a Lance, Bow and Arrows, a streight Sword, a Mace and a Buckler; but there are very few that carry Fire Arms. They are very good Souldiers, sit a Horse very well, and handle their Lances with an Extraordinary Dexterity.

Their Habit is peculiar; and unless they be the Ecclesiastical Persons, they wear but very little Beard. They Shave all the Top of their Heads in a Circle, suffering the rest of their Hair to grow down to their Eyes, and then clip it round of an even length. They cover their Heads with a light Cap of Felt [Page 87] very thin par'd, and cut into several Half-Moons about the Edges. In the VVinter they wear a furr'd Bonnet: They are moreover so beggarly and so wretched, that for fear of spoiling their Caps or their Bonnets in the Rain, they will put 'em in their Pouches, and go Bare-Headed. Over their Bodies they wear little Shirts, that fall down to their Knees, and tuck into a streight Pantaloon. Nor indeed is there any habit in the VVorld more deformed then theirs. They carry a Rope seve­ral Fadoms long at their Girdles, to tye together such People or Cattel which they Rob from their Neighbours, or take in War. The Nobles wear Leathern Girdles Four Fingers broad, full of Silver Studs, at which they hang a Knife, a Whet­stone, and a Steel to strike Fire: together with Three Lea­thern Purses, the one full of Salt, the other of Pepper, and the other with Pack-Needles, Lesser-Needles, and Thread. The Poor People go almost naked; such is their Misery not to be parallell'd; as not having any thing to cover their Nakedness but a pityful sorry Felt like to the Chlamys of the Ancients; into which they thrust their Heads, and turn which way they please as the Wind sits; for it covers but one side of their Bo­dies, and falls down no lower than their Knees. There are some, that are par'd very thin to keep out the Water, which are not so heavy as the common sort; that are ready to weigh a Man down, especially when thorough wet. He that has a Shirt and a pair of pitiful Drawers, thinks himself Rich; for almost all of 'em go Bare-Foot; and such of the Colchians as pretend to Shooes, have nothing but a piece of a Bufalo's Hide, and that untann'd too; which piece of raw Hide is lac'd about their Feet with a Thong of the same: so that for all these sort of Sandals, their Feet are as durty, as if they went Bare-Foot.

Almost all the Mingrelians, both Men and Women, even the most noble and wealthy, never have but one Shirt, and one pair of Breeches at a time; which last 'em at least a Year: In all which time they never wash 'em above Three times: only Once or Twice a VVeek they shake 'em over the Fire, for the Vermin to drop off, with which they are mightily haunted; and indeed, I cannot say I ever saw any thing so Nasty and Loathsome. VVhich is the reason that the Mingrelian Ladies carry a very bad scent about 'em. I always accoasted 'em, extreamly taken with their Beauty; but I had not been a Mi­nute in their Company, but the Rank VVhiffs from their Skins quite stifl'd all my Amorous Thoughts.

[Page 88] The Grandees Eat, sitting upon Carpets, after the manner of the Eastern People Their Napkin is only a piece of painted Cloath, or Leather, and sometimes they only wipe upon the Boards. The Ordinary sort sit upon a Form, with another Form before 'em of the same height, which serves for a Table. All their Dishes are of Wood to their very Drinking Cups: only among the People of Quality you shall see a little Silver Plate.

Moreover it is the custome in this Savage Country, that the whole Family without distinction, Males and Females, Eat all together. The King with all his Train to his very Grooms. The Queen, her Women, Maids, Servants and all, to the very Lacqueys that attend her. When it does not rain, they Dine in the open Courts, where they rank them­selves, either in a Circle, or side by side, one below ano­ther, according to their Quality. If it be cold weather they make great rowsing Fires in the Court where they eat; for Wood-Firing costs nothing in that Country, as I have said al­ready. When they are sate down, Four Men, if the Family be great, bring upon their Shoulders a large Kettle full of Gom, or Grain boyl'd as I have already related; of which, most usu­ally a Poor beggarly half-Naked Rascal serves upon a VVooden Plate, to every one his proportion, which weighs full Three Pound. Afterwards two other Servants, somewhat but not much better equipp'd, bring in another Kettle full of Grain more white than the other; which is only for the better sort. Upon Worky-Days they never give but only Gom to the Ser­vants, the Masters being serv'd with Pulse, or dry'd Fish roa­sted, or else Flesh. On Holy-Days or when they make enter­tainments, they kill either a Hog, or an Ox, or a Cow, espe­cially if they have no Venson. As soon as they have cut the Throat of the Beast, they dress it, and set it upon the Fire, without Salt, or Sauce, in the great Kettle where they boil their Past. VVhen it has boyl'd a while, they take it from the Fire, throw away the Broth, and serve it in half-raw, without any seasoning. The Master of the House has always standing be­fore him a large Portion of this Vittles: They set before him likewise all the Pulse, all the Bread, and all the Tame and VVild-Fowl. VVho presently Carves for his Guests and his Friends their share They feed themselves with their Fingers, and that so nastily, that nothing but extremity of hunger could provoke the meanest of our Europeans to Eat at the Tables of those Barbarians. VVhen they have begun to Eat, [Page 89] there are two Persons, that serve the Drink round the Table: Among the common sort, this Office is perform'd by Women or Maids. 'Tis the same Incivility among them, to call for Wine, as to refuse it. For they must stay till it is presented, and take it, when 'tis giv'n 'em. They never give less then a Pint at a Draught; which at their Ordinary Meals is thrice done; but at Feasts and Banquets, the Guests, and the Gentry Drink on till they are Drunk.

The Mingrelians and their Neighbours are very Great Drinkers; far exceeding the Germans, and all the Northern People They never mix their Wine, but Drink it pure, both Men and Women. But when they are once Heated, they think their Pints too little, and therefore Drink out of their Dishes, and out of the Pitcher it self. While I lay near Cotatis, I lodg'd at a Gentleman's House, who was one of the stoutest Drinkers in all the Country: and while I stay'd at his House, he made a Feast for Three of his Friends; at what time they were all Four so set upon Carowsing, that from Ten in the Morning till Ten in the Evening, they Drank out a whole Charge of Wine, that weigh'd Three Hunderd Pound Weight. It is also a custom among these People, practiz'd by all the World, to rise from the Table, and empty as often as they have occasion, and when they return, they sit down without ever Washing their Hands. They provoke their Guests and their Friends, as much as they can, to Drink; it being chiefly at the Table that they observe Civility, and are free of their Complements. Their discourses between Man and Man, are only Stories of their Robberies, their Wars, Duels, Mur­ders, and Selling of Slaves. Neither is their discourse any bet­ter among the VVomen: for they are pleas'd with all sorts of Love-Tales, let 'em be never so Obscene, or never so Lasci­vious: and their Children learn their filthy VVords and Phra­ses, assoon as they can speak; insomuch that by that time they come to be Ten Years of Age, all their discourse with the VVomen, is the most beastly that a Brothel-House can utter. And certainly the Education of their Children in Mingrelia, is the most Vicious and Lewd in the VVorld. Their Fa­ther's bring 'em up to Thievery, and their Mothers to Ob­scenity.

Mingrelia is at present very much dispeopl'd; there not be­ing in it above Twenty Thousand Inhabitants. Though it is not above Thirty Years ago, that there was no less then Four­score Thousand. The cause of which Decrease proceeds from [Page 90] their VVars with their Neighbours, and the vast number of People of both Sexes, which the Nobility have sold of late Years. For a long time there has been drain'd out of Mingrelia every Year, either by Purchase or Barter, above Twelve Thou­sand Persons; all which are sold to the Mahometans, Persians and Turks, there being none but they, that deal in that sort of Traffic in those parts. They carry Three Thousand every Year directly to Constantinople, which they have in Exchange for Cloth, Arms, and other things which they carry, as I have said, into Mingrelia. To which purpose there came every Year Twelve Sail of Ships from Constantinople and Caffa, and above Sixty Feluques from Gorica, Trissa and Trebisond. The Com­modities which they export from Mingrelia, besides Slaves, are Silk, Linnen Thread, and Wov'n, Linseed, Hides, Martins, Bea­vers, Box, VVax and Honey. The Honey of Mingrelia is very Good; and there are two sorts of it, the one Red, the other White; the White is not so plentiful as the other, but it is much better and more Sweet; Sweeter indeed then refin'd Sugar, very delicious to the Tast, and Crumples between the Teeth. Besides their Garden Honey, there is another sort is found in the Trunks and Clefts of Hollow-Trees in great abun­dance; which the Vessels from Caffa carry into Tartary, where they make a very strong Liquor of it, mix'd with Barley. The Turks make great profit of their Mingrelion Trade, selling for Four, what they buy for one Crown; but their greatest advantage is by their Slaves.

Certainly the Inhumanity of these Mingrelians, their unna­tural Cruelty toward their own Country Men, and particu­larly of some of 'em toward their own Flesh and Blood, are things hardly to be Credited. They Study Opportunities to fall out with their own Vassals, meerly to find a Pretence to Sell 'em, with their Wives and Children. They force away their Neighbours Children from the Embraces of their Parents, to the same end, and sometimes they will sell their own Chil­dren, Wives and Mothers: And I have been shew'd several Gentlemen who have been so Prodigiously Unnatural. One of those Gentlemen sold Twelve Priests in one Day. In which Piece of Impiety there is one particular passage so strange, that it deserves to be related as an Example not to be Parallell'd.

This Gentleman fell in Love with a Lady, whom he resol­v'd to Marry, tho he had a Wife already. To which pur­pose he Courted the Lady, and obtain'd her Good VVill. Now it is the Custom in Mingrelia, to purchase their Wives, [Page 91] and they Buy 'em, according to their Quality, their Age, and their Beauty. Thereupon the Gentleman not knowing where to raise the Sum which he had promis'd for the Enjoyment of his Mistress, nor to defray the Expences of his Wedding, but by selling of Slaves, and for that reason reduc'd to Despair, bethought himself of a Piece of Treachery, the most Infa­mous and VVicked that could be. To that purpose he invited Twelve Priests to his House, to hear a Solemn Mass and offer a kind of Sacrifice, upon which the Priests went very Chear­fully, never Dreaming that he intended to have sold 'em to the Turks, the like Practice having never been heard of before in Mingrelia. The Gentleman on the other side receiv'd 'em very Courteously, caus'd 'em to say Mass, and to offer an Ox, and afterwards gave 'em an Entertainment. But after he had made 'em to take a Hearty Cup, he caus'd his Servants to seize 'em, Bind 'em, Shave their Heads and their Beards, and the Night following carry'd 'em to a Turkish Vessel, where he sold 'em for Houshold Goods, and other Necessaries, but finding he had not yet enough to pay for his Mistress, and his Nuptials, this Tyger went and fetch'd his own VVife, and sold her to the same Vessel.

All the Trade in Mingrelia is driv'n by way of Barter: for there is no set price of Money among the People: the currant Money are the Piasters, Dutch Crowns, and Abasse's, which are Pieces made in Georgia, and Stamp'd with the Persian Stamp, to the value of Eighteen Pence every Piece. 'Tis true that the Prince of Mingrelia, who died about Twenty Years ago, be­gan to Coyn Money of his own. But the Mint did not work long, in regard there was but little Silver brought into the Country, and for that the Country produces none at all, no more then it does Gold, or any other Metal. I know not what is become of that Gold-Gravel, and Golden-Sand which the People spong'd out of the VVater with their Sheep-Skins, according to the Ancient Stories, and which gave occasion to the Fable of the Golden Fleece. There is no such thing in Colchis, nor in the Mountains or Rivers adjoyning. So that which way soever ye go, there is no possibility of Reconciling Antiquity with the present Times.

Mingrelia of it self is not able to raise above Four Thousand Men, fit to bear Arms; which are also all Cavalry for the most part; there not being above Three Hundred Foot to joyn with these Horsemen. Nor are the Souldiers Marshall'd into Regiments and Companies. But every Lord, and every [Page 92] Gentleman, leads his own People to the Fight, without Or­der, without Ranks, without Officers; and they follow their Leader, whether it be in Flight, or to the Charge.

The VVars of the Mingrelians, and their Neighbours, are indeed but meer Incursions, and Boots-Halings; and when they make their Inroads into the Enemies Country, they fall on with an Extraordinary Fury; for they want neither Cou­rage nor Resolution. VVhen they have put the Enemy to Flight, they vigorously follow the pursuit, and over-run all the Country, Burn and Plunder all before 'em, carry away Prisoners of all Sexes and Degrees, and then retreat with the same Impetuosity. They take as many Prisoners as they can; so that when they have Dismounted any one, presently they leap from their Horses, bind the Person Vanquish'd, with the Cords which they carry at their Girdles, as I have said, and deliver 'em to the Custody of their Servants. He that has taken a Prisoner, has Power over him of Life and Death, he may dispose of him as he pleases; but generally they make 'em their Slaves, and sell 'em to the Turks. On the other side, when these People are invaded, they shew themselves at the Ford of some River, where they lay their Musketeers in Ambuscado, endeavouring to prevent the Enemies Passage. At what time, if the Enemy forces his way, they fly to the VVoods, leaving the Country to their Mercy: So that the VVars with these People never last long. In less then Fifteen Days the VVar is at an end, and the Enemy retreats, after he has ravag'd, and ransackt all the Country.

The Revenues of the Prince of Mingrelia, amount at most, to no more then Twenty Thousand Crowns a Year. VVhich arises from the Customs of what is Imported and Exported out of the Country, the Slaves which he sells, and his Impo­sitions and Fines. All this he lays up; for he is not at a Far­thing Expence, for his Slaves serve him for nothing, and his Crown Lands furnish him with more Provision for his Court then he can spend. He often Presents the King of Persia with Falcons, and all sorts of Birds of Prey. For which the King of Persia sends him Rich Tissues, Carpets, Tapestries, Arms, all sorts of Cups and Dishes, and such other Necessaries, of which such a beggarly Prince as the Prince of Mingrelia, may be thought to stand in need. He also keeps the same Corre­spondence with the Cam of Georgia. His Court upon Solemn Festivals consists of Two Hunderd Gentlemen, upon other Days, not above Six Score. His Train consists of Three [Page 93] Hunderd Persons besides Gentlemen. And as for the Princess, she is attended by a Hunderd of hoth Sexes: but upon Festi­val Days, she shews a Court of about Sixty Ladies, all hand­som and well dress'd.

The Religion of the Colchians, has formerly as I believe, been the same with that of the Greeks. The Ecclesiastical Hi­storians say, That a Slave Converted to the Christian Faith, the King, the Queen, and all the Nobility of Colchis, in the time of Constantine the Great, who sent both Priests and Do­ctors to Baptize the new-Converted, and to instruct 'em in the Mysteries of Christianity. Others assert, That they owe for their knowledge of Christianity, to one Cyril, whom the Sclavonians in their Language call Chiusil, who liv'd about the Year 860. The Mingrelians also shew ye, by the Sea side, at a Place call'd Pigivitas near the River Corax, a Church with three Bodies, which is a very large one; assuring ye withal, that St. Andrew Preach'd in the Place where that Church was built. I have seen it at a distance; and it seem'd to be a very great Pile of Building so far as a Man may guess a Mile off. The Catholicos once in his Life goes thither to make the Holy Oyl, which the Greeks call Mirone. I never discours'd of Re­ligion with any Mingrelian, having never found any one, that either knew what Religion, Law, Sin, the Sacraments, or Divine Service were. All I could learn was only this, That the Women sometimes light up small round Candles, which they fix to the Doors of their Houses, or of some Church, where they burn at the same time a Grain of Incense and turning toward the Sun, bow their Bodies very low several times, and cross themselves all over from Head to Foot.

The Priests and Bishops perform the Ecclesiastical Ceremo­nies, say Mass, and Baptize. I have seen 'em at the perfor­mance of their Functions, when no Body has been present for want of Devotion. But in regard I did not understand the Language which they spoke, I had rather in stead of relating what I only saw and heard by report, recite what I met with out of an Italian Manuscript concerning the Religion of the Mingrelians and Georgians, written by Father Joseph Maria Zampi a Mantuan, Superiour of the Theatins in Mingrelia. For that Fryer who made me a Present of the Manuscript, had liv'd there Twenty Three Years, and could not be ignorant either of their Ceremonies or their Belief: which made him write at large his own knowledge of the Mingrelian Piety. And this is that which he speaks more particularly, and as it lies in the Manuscript.

[Page 94] The Mingrelians, says he, are fall'n into the profoundest Abyss of Ignorance and Darkness, that the Understanding of Man was ever plung'd in: in regard the people have not the least Idea of Faith or Religion; while the most part look upon Life Eternal, the Day of Judgment, and the Resurrection of the Dead, to be meer Fables, and Humane Invention. Nor do the Clergy perform any Ecclesiastical Duties, there being hard­ly one of the whole Heard, that can either Write or Read. They have utterly lost the Knowledge of the true service of God: only the Priests make a publick profession of foretelling things to come, and make the people believe that their Books do shew 'em the success of future Events. With which Im­posture the Mingrelians are so obstinately bewitch'd that when any one falls sick, they call the Priests, not to make Confes­sion of their Sins, or to Recommend their Souls to their Pray­ers, which is the least thing that troubles the Patient, but to bid 'em look in their Books, and see whether he shall die of that Distemper or no; to tell 'em the event and success of it, and what was the reason that he was visited with that Sick­ness. Presently the Priest falls to turning over the Leaves of his Book which he carries along with him, and after he has turn'd 'em over and over, and over and over again, he pro­nounces with the Voice of an Oracle, That such a Cati (for so the Mingrelians call their Images) is angry with him, and has therefore struck'n him with that Disease; nor will he be appeas'd without a good Present, which if he do not send forthwith, the Image will certainly ruine him. Which Pre­sent is to be either a Pig, or a Goat, or an Ox, or else Ready Money. The poor sick person upon this, being dreadfully afraid of death, fails not immediately to give the Priests what they appoint for an Offering to the Idol, who divide the spoil among themselves; and in that manner couzen the poor sick person.

The Catholicos of Mingrelia is the Head of all the Clergy of that Country, of the Abca's, of Guriel, of Mount Caucasus, and Imiretta. Whom the Prince of Mingrelia appoints and deposes as he pleases himself. His Revenue is very great, as having Four Hunderd Vassals under him, who furnish his House with all Things necessary for Human Life, and many other Super­fluities. He sells their Childern to the Turks besides, and as it is his Imployment to visit the Diocesses under his Jurisdiction, he visits em indeed, but it is not for the good of his Flock, to instruct the people, or to examine the Miscarriages of the In­feriour [Page 95] Clergy: Those Cares never trouble his Brains nor his Thoughts; but his main business is, to rake Money together, to suck the Blood of the poor people, and dispoil 'em of what they have. And as to the Train that attends this Catholicos when he makes his Visitations, it consists of no less then Two Hunderd persons.

The outward Sanctity of this Pontiff consists in a continual abstinence from Flesh, and Wine only during Lent; and in long Prayers Day and Night. He is so ignorant that he can hardly read his Breviary and Missal. And there is so much to be said concerning his Simony, that it would be a difficult task to make a true recital of it. I shall therefore say no more then this, That he never Consecrates a Bishop for less then Six Hun­derd Crowns; that he never says Mass for the Dead, under Eight Hunderd; nor any other Masses under a Hunderd Crowns a Piece. Not long since the Prince of Mingrelia's Vi­zier, being sick, made his Confession to him, and gave him Fifty Crowns. Which the Catholicos took for so small a Re­muneration, that upon the Vizier's falling sick again, and sending for him to make a new Confession, he sent him word, that he should pay for his first Confession, and then he would come and hear what he had to say.

There are Six Bishops in Mingrelia, but those Prelates take no care of the Souls of their Flocks, nor do they ever visit their Churches, or their Diocesses. They suffer the Priests to live in all manner of Errours, and the People to prostitute themselves to all manner of Vices; they understand not the Form of Baptism: they let Polygamy Raign, and permit the Mothers to Bury their new Born Childern alive. And tho they have been often reprov'd for so much Cruelty more then Barbarous; Remonstrances operate nothing upon 'em; this Inhumanity being become a Custom. The Clergy tolerates it, and the Prince near Prohibits any one that pleases, from putting it in practise. The chief Imployments of the Bishops, is continual Feasting and Banqueting, where they are Drunk almost every Day: they are Rich and go Sumptuousl-y Habi­ted; their Principal Revenue arising from what they Spunge from their Vassals, and the price of the Women and Children, which they sell to the Turks.

They abstain from Flesh, after the manner of the Greek Bishops, and include the whole Christian Religion, within the practise of Fasting. They do not believe themselves oblig'd to any other Duty; but believe themselves acquitted of all the [Page 96] Precepts of Christianity, by Fasting. Their Cathedral Church is indifferent neatly kept, and well adorn'd with Images, after the Grecian manner, dress'd up and finifi'd with Gold and Jewels. They believe that in Beautifying their Images they satisfie the Justice of God, and that the offering of a Jewel, to an Image wipes away all their Sins. And this is the way which they take, when they have offended themselves.

Their Apparel is very Magnificent, considering the Country, being of Scarlet and Velvet. It differs little from the secular Habit. That which makes the peculiar distinction between 'em, is the long Beard which they wear, with a black Bonnet, Round and High, made after the Fashion of the Greek Monks. They wear Chains of Gold about their Necks, go a Hunting, and many times to the Warrs, where they Fight no less Cou­ragiously at the Head of their Slaves, then the Gentry and Noble-Men. There are some of 'em that are never Conse­crated, which nevertheless does not hinder 'em from bestowing Orders, as if they were Consecrated.

There are in Mingrelia, certain Monks of the Order of St. Basil, which they call Berres, who wear the same Habit as the Greek Monks, and observe the same manner of living. And a Child may be made one of these Monks by his Father and Mother only. They Consecrate him in his Infancy, by put­ting a black Bonnet upon his Head, suffering his Hair to grow, hindering him from eating Flesh, and telling him upon all oc­casions that he is a Berre. All this while the Infant under­stands nothing more what belongs to his Condition, and all his Life long never minds any thing else but to observe his Fasts as others that bear the same Title with himself.

There are also Nuns of the same Order, who observe Fast­ing Days, and wear a black Vail; but they have neither Nun­neries, neither are they under any Vows or Subordination. They that have taken upon 'em to wear the Vail of Sanctity, and to observe Fasting, when they are weary of well-doing, quit their Habit and their Temperance, when they please themselves: For that same manner of living is wholly at their own discre­tions, whether they be Maids, Wives or VVidows; whether Divorc'd, whether Free or Slaves; no Condition is exempted from that Liberty.

The Priests of Mingrelia are very numerous; and a sort of miserable Creatures that live upon whatever they can get, and marry again as often as they please themselves. There needs no more then to be able to read and say a Mass by Heart, to [Page 97] be admitted into the Priesthood For the Bishop never exa­mines those that he admits into Orders, being many times more ignorant then they: especially if the Priest that desires to be admitted gives him the Value of a Horse for his Ordina­tion. God alone knows the lamentable Condition of those Miserable Priests, and the Validity of their Priesthood; for many times it is a great Question, whether they are Baptiz'd, and whether the Bishops that Ordain 'em, were ever Baptiz'd or Consecrated themselves.

Nor is it to be imagin'd how these Priests are contemn'd and scorn'd. They Till their own, and the Lands of their Lords, being no less Slaves then the Seculars; they follow 'em to the Wars, and carry their Baggage. Now that which causes this Contempt is their Ignorance, their Gluttony and their Poverty. Their Poverty is so great, that they go Barefoot, and all in Tattars that hardly cover their Tails. So that there is no respect giv'n 'em but when they are sate down at Table; for then they are the first to whom they offer Drink; and they desire 'em to bless the Wine and the Food when they say Mass; and at another time when they are sent for to visit the Sick, and turn over their Books to know what Image the sick Party has offended, and what Present will appease him. They are only distinguish'd from the Seculars by their Beards, which they let grow very long: for the Seculars wear hardly any at all.

There are but few of their Churches which have any Bells, but they call the people together by knocking with a good big Stick upon a Board. The Images in the Cathedrals are very well dress'd; being encircl'd by the Offerings of the people, such as are Harts Horns, Boars Jaws and Tusks, Phea­sants Wings, and Weapons, to the end the Image should prosper 'em in their Hunting and Wars

The Parish-Churches are more Nasty then Stables; the Images mangl'd and brok'n, and cover'd over with Dust and Spiders. Their Sanctum Sanctorum is so Nasty that I am asham'd to speak it. The Ornaments of the Altar are nothing but a few Nasty Tatter'd Clouts, torn and stain'd with Wine. Their Cup or Chalice is a Goblet of Wood as Nasty as may well be imagin'd; and the Cover of the Chalice is a Woodden Plate, as Nasty and as Greasie as the Chalice. When they have occasion they wipe it with the Curtain of the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is yet more Nasty then all that has been said; and I say the less, because I would not offend the Rea­der. But the Cathedrals are very clean and well adorn'd. [Page 98] And I could wish, that every Bishop had as much care of the Education and Instruction of his Flock, as he has of the Clean­sing and Adorning his Church.

The Worship which they pay to their Images, is an Ido­latrous Worship. For they adore 'em not with a Relative Adoration, but pay their Devotion to the Material Substance and Figure before their Eyes. The Images which are the fair­est, are the best serv'd, and most devoutly ador'd: especi­ally those that are adorn'd with any thing that is costly, as Gold; those that have most Jewels and Pretious Stones; but above all those that are reputed to be Cruel, easily Provok'd, and apt to Kill those against whom they are Incens'd. Which latter are serv'd with an incredible respect: For the People throw themselves to the Ground, as far off as they can see the Church that contains those Images; thump their Brests, and beseech 'em to Kill their Enemies, and such as have Robb'd 'em of any thing. They are Horribly afraid to swear by those re­ver'd Images, and when they do, there is no gainsaying such an Oath. For they believe whatever is sworn by those Ima­ges. Some there are that will not call these Images to Wit­ness the most certain Truths, for fear of being Kill'd by 'em; and they that do Swear, Swear only by those that have a plea­sing, mild, smiling Countenance, and are reputed neither Murderers nor Bloody-Minded.

Nor do they Worship these Images in hopes of any Spiri­tual Advantages, or to obtain any Assistance in order to a fu­ture Life: For the Mingrelians acknowledge no other Life but their Present Being. And all that they do is meerly out of a Terrible and Servile fear, lest the Images shouid deprive 'em of their Lives, or Vex 'em with Diseases, deliver 'em over with their Goods, into the Hands of Thieves and Robbers, or the Fury of their Masters, or suffer 'em to be made Slaves to the Turks. When they have been Robb'd at any time, they go to the Church where stands the Image in which they have most Confidence, make it a present of two Loaves, and a Bottle of Wine, bow several times to it; and having driven a Stake in­to the Earth before it, they Pray to it in this manner. Thou know'st, O Image, that I have been Robb'd of such and such Goods, and that I cannot discover the Thief, which has prov'd so great a Grief to me, that I come here to make my Prayers to thee, and I offer thee this Present, to the end thou mayst take away their Lives, exterminate 'em from the Earth, and fasten 'em down in the Abyss, as I have driv'n this Stake into the Earth before [Page 99] thee. The Priest being present at all this Ceremony, takes the Offering, and having hung it about the Head of the Suppliant, they go and Eat it together. But of all the Images of whose Cruel Usage these blind People are most afraid, there is not any so formidable as that of S. Giobas. They relate how this Image being one day carry'd a Journey, and passing by a Lake or Marsh full of Frogs, the noise of the Frogs so amaz'd it, and put it into such a Fury, that it flew away to a Church that stood upon a Mountain. They report moreover, that it Kills all that approach too near it. So that when any Person has oc­casion to Pray to it, he goes no nearer then just within sight. Where he throws his Present down at a distance, and keeps himself at the same distance all the while he makes his Prayer. The Mingrelians are also every one very Zealous for the Ho­nour and Bravery of his Parish-Idol; every one vaunting the Exploits of the Idol he Worships, and how Couragiously it has reveng'd him upon his Enemies: or how speedily they die that fall under its disfavour! But to the Images of the Roman Catholicks, the Mingrelians pay not the least Venerati­on, nor have they any value for 'em. Only for St. George, they accompt him their chiefest Saint, as do all the Georgians, Muscovites and Greeks.

They have several Reliques among 'em, of which the chiefest were brought 'em as they say, by the Prelates that fled for Shelter into those parts, when Constantinople was taken by the Turks; fearing lest they should fall into the Hands of the Infidels. Our Theatin Monks have seen a piece of the True Cross, about a handful long, and one of the Holy Virgins Shifts. The colour of it was something enclining to Yellow, Powder'd with Flowers, and Embroider'd with Needle-Work. The length of it was Eight Spans, the Breadth Four, the Sleeves short but a Span in Breadth, and streight at the Neck. This Shift is lockt up in a little Ebony-Box garnish'd with Sil­ver: They have also a dry'd Hand of St. Marina, enchas'd in Gold, adorn'd with several little pretious Stones. Another Hand of St. Quiric; with several Bones set in Gold and Silver. The Holy Swadling Cloaths, wherein the Happy Virgin Swath'd Jesus Christ. A little Square Box, where lie the Hairs of his Beard, and the Twisted Cord wherewith he was Whipp'd. All which Reliques the Prince of Mingrelia has in his keeping; and when he shew'd 'em to our Fryers, he spread 'em upon a Carpet, where any one that would, handl'd 'em without any Veneration or Respect. For the Mingrelians have a greater [Page 100] Esteem for the Enchasements, then for the Reliques them­selves. But as for the Reliques they have little or no Value for 'em, but handle 'em very contemptibly.

Their Mass is after the Greek manner, which the Priests Celebrate, without any other Sacerdotal Habit, then only in their Surplices. And if they have no Shooes, they lay a Piece of a Wooden Plank before the Altar to stand upon. If the Priest comes to the House of any one that desires a Mass, the good natur'd Priest never troubles himself to go to the Church to say it; but presently repairs to the place where the Wine lies, and takes the first Plank that he meets with, tho never so Durty or Dusty, to serve him in stead of an Altar; then he Borrows an Old Shirt, or some other piece of Linnen, to put about his Shoulders, and orders a little Dough to be giv'n, of which he makes a little Cake, and Bakes it in the Cinders. After that he takes a Wooden Cup, and a Dish for a Chalice and Cover, tho never so Greasy and Nasty; which he wipes with his Hands in stead of a Towel; and then says Mass with­out Book. For the Missal of the Mingrelians is a little Book Written in the Georgian Language: and several Priests carry about 'em these Missals, all torn or Dog's-Ear'd, and some­times here a Leaf and there a Leaf torn out, and altogether imperfect. But this never troubles 'em. They say Mass all the while they are Looking for it in the Missal, and many times they have done before they can find it: for as I said be­fore, they have it by Heart. Nor is the Office perform'd with any Decency i' the World. For many times, they talk all the while of other matters. During Lent, they never say Mass, but Saturdays and Sundays, for that all the other Days it be­hoves 'em to Fast; and it is an Opinion among 'em that the Communion spoils their Fasting.

They Consecrate Unleaven'd as well as Leaven'd Bread, without any difference; nor do they ever mix any Water in the Chalice, unless the Wine be very strong. For they hold that the Communion may be giv'n in Vinegar, as well as in Wine. I enquir'd of several Priests (I still recite the words of the Manuscript) concerning the Form of their Consecration; but I never could meet with above one that could tell me. Him I ask'd, Whether after Consecration, the Bread and VVine were Substantially the Body and Blood of Christ? Upon which the Mingrelian Priest fell a Laughing, as if I had spoken to him in Raillery. VVhat, said he, is there any one that can put Christ in a Loaf? VVhich way could he get into it? How is it possible [Page 101] he should be contain'd in such a little piece of Bread? What reason should move him to leave Heav'n and descend to Earth? I never heard the like of the Question that you ask. Then I ask'd him, Whether the Mass were effectual without the words of Consecration? To which he answer'd, That the Mass was certainly effectual without 'em, yet that the Priest who did not pronounce the words of Consecration, did very ill. But as for the Intention of Consecration requisite in him that Consecrates, that's a thing of which the Mingrelian Priests know nothing at all.

They make their Viaticum Bread once a Year; that is to say, upon Holy Thursday. Which they keep in a Purse of Lea­ther or Linnen that hangs fasten'd to their Girdles. But they have no more Veneration for this Viaticum, then for a Morsel of any other Vittles. As for example, when they go to Bed, they lay it under the Bolster with the rest of their Furniture, and when a sick Person sends for any of this Viaticum, they open the Purse, and take out a piece, and give it the Messen­ger for the use of the Person that wants it, whether Man, Woman or Child. And because this Viaticum is usually very dry, they break it with their Hands upon a Stone, or in a Plat­ter, never minding to gather up the Bits or Crums that fall to the Ground; which afterwards they put into a Draught of Wine, and give it the sick. At the Years end the Priest emp­ties out of his Purse upon the Altar the remainder of the Via­ticum, if there be any left; where generally the Mice come and eat it. By which you may conjecture what is the Opi­nion and Belief which the Mingrelians have of the Holy Sacra­ments.

They anoint the Foreheads of their Children so soon as they are born, and the Oyl which they make use of for this pur­pose is call'd Myrone. But they are not Baptiz'd till a long time after: nor does any one Baptize his Child, until he be in a Capacity to make a Feast after the Ceremony is over; which is the reason that many Childern die, without being ever Baptiz'd. And when they do perform the Ceremony, they never carry the Child to the Church, but into a Cellar or Vault, where the Priest sits down without minding to put on his Sacerdotal Habit, and reads a good while in a Book; which being ended, the Godfather strips the Child, washes him all over with Water, and then rubs him from Head to Foot; which done, he dresses the Child again, and gives it to eat. And then the Priest, the Father, the Godfather, and the Guests invited, [Page 102] sit down at the Table. There is not one Priest among 'em all that understands the Form of Baptism, so that 'tis a Que­stion whether their Baptism be to any purpose or no. Which is the reason that our Theatin Monks Baptize as many Chil­dern as they can: which they generally do under the pretence of some Physical Application: by that means concealing the Office of the Priesthood under the disguise of Physical Ope­ration.

There are very few People in Mingrelia, whether Ecclesi­astical or Seculars, that make any Confessions: and I think I might well say there are none at all. For they believe it to be a sufficient Satisfaction for their Sins to offer a Present to their Idols, which is the utmost address of their Worship, and limit of their Religion. They never make use of Extream Unction, which is a thing of which they are utterly ignorant. They do not believe that Ordination imprints a Character not to be defac'd. And therefore they Ordain anew those who have been degraded, as if they had never been in Or­ders.

They do not allow Marriage to be in the Number of the Sacraments. 'Tis a Contract by way of Bargain and Sale; for the Parents of the Maid agree upon the price which the person that demands her in Marriage is to give for her. The price of a Woman repudiated is less, then that of a VVi­dow; and the price of a VVidow less then that of a Maid. VVhen the Match is concluded, the Party concern'd makes it his Business to raise the Sum agreed upon for the purchase of his Mistress: which he raises by the Sale of his Subjects if he have any, or their Childern to the Turks, either for Ready Money or Commodities. However, while he is raising the Sum, he has Liberty to go privately and see his Mistress; nor is it any scandal if her Belly swell before she is married. At length when the Young Man has rais'd the Sum agreed upon by the Parents, he carries it to 'em: and that Day they make a great Feast together, and that is the first Day of the Nuptials. The next Day the Parents Conduct the Bride to the Bride­groom's House: and usually give him either in Slaves, Cattle or Houshold-Goods the value they have receiv'd from him: and upon the fourth or fifth of these Feasting Days the Cere­mony is concluded, according to the Custom of the Greek Church, only in this, that the Ceremony is perform'd not in the Church, but over the Door. But if any one have mar­ry'd a Barren VVoman, or of an ill Disposition and ugly Hu­mour, [Page 103] they hold it not only lawful, but requisite to Divorce her; in regard it was no Match of Gods making, for that God does always that which is good, and never makes Matches between people that are Barren, or whose Humours are in­compatible one with another.

There is not a Man among 'em that understands the Bible, or that reads it; there being very few among 'em that can read or understand the Georgian; which is the only Language wherein they have the Holy Scripture written. But as for the VVomen, they are not altogether so ignorant as the Men; so that you shall have some of them who will rehearse several Stories of the Gospel, which they have read and got by Heart.

Their Fasts are almost the same which the Greeks observe. For they observe the four great Lents; The first before Easter, being 48 Days; That before Christmas, which lasts 40 Days; That which is call'd St. Peter's Fast, which holds very near a Month; and the last which the Oriental Christians observe in Honour of the Virgin Mary, which continues for 15 Days.

They make the Sign of the Cross upon certain Occasions, but they do not believe the Sign of the Cross to be any Mark of Christianity. Only they make this Sign when they drink VVine and eat Pork. Their Prayers are all address'd to their Idols, relating only to Temporal Benefits, their own Prospe­rity, and the Ruine of their Enemies.

They offer Sacrifices like the Jews and Gentiles. The Priest prays over the Victim, and then cuts the Throat of it: And when it is Boyl'd, they set it upon the Table. At what time all the people of the Family stand about it with Candles in their Hands, except the person who makes the Offering, who is Kneeling all the while. He first perfumes the Victim with Incense; which when the rest have likewise done, they fall too, and eat it altogether. They also cut the Throats of Beasts and Birds over the Graves of their Relations and Friends, and pour VVine and Oyl upon 'em. And these Libations they observe every day. No Body drinks, till as he holds the Cup in his Hand, he has first said a sentence of a Prayer, with his Eyes lifted up to Heav'n, and pouring out at the same time upon the Ground a small quantity of the VVine in the Cup.

[Page 104] They never make Holy-Day upon Sundays, or abstain from Work, but upon the Festivals of Christmas and Easter. However the celebration of their great Festivals consists only in Eating and Drinking to excess in their Houses. Their greatest Festivals which they observe is, when any Idol is to be carry'd through their Country. Then they put on all the best Cloaths they have. They make a great Feast, and get ready a Pre­sent for the Idol which is to pass by.

And this, I believe, may suffice to shew that there is not the least shadow of Religion among the Mingrelians. The Ma­nuscript, from whence I took these observations, relates their several sorts of Divination practiz'd among 'em; their Super­stitions and Sundry Customes, which are a Medley of Judaism, and Paganism. All which I left behind me, not finding therein the least Grain of Wit or common Sence. But quite the Contra­ry, nothing but Extravagance. I shall only add, that all that I observ'd in the Religious Ceremonies and Belief or Faith of the Mingrelians, is no other then what I have truly re­ported.

I shall only speak a word concerning their Mourning, which is the Mourning of people in despair. When a Woman loses her Husband, or a near Relation, she rends her Cloaths, strips her self naked to the Waste, tears her Hair, and with her Nails claws off the Flesh and Skin from her Body and Face, she beats her Breast, she crys, yells, gnashes her Teeth, foams at Mouth, like a Woman mad or possess'd, and acts her passion to that degree, that it seems terrible to the sight. The Men also ex­press their Grief after a manner altogether as Barbarous: They tear their Cloaths, thump their Breasts, and shave their Heads and their Beards. This Mourning continues 40 Days, with the same Fury as I have describ'd for the first Ten Days, but afterwards relaxing by degrees. During the first Ten Days, the Relations of the deceas'd, and a great Number of Men and Women come to bewail the Dead, which they do in this manner. The people range themselves in order about the dead Corps, and in their torn Habits, thump their Breasts with both Hands; crying out Vah, Vah; and so keeping time with their Thumps and their Cries, they make a dismal Noise; which altogether yields a frightful Spectacle of de­spair, not to be beheld without a kind of Horrour. Of a sudden you hear nothing, all's quiet, the Mourning stops, and all observe a profound Silence; By and by they all begin again with a loud Cry, and fall into their first Transportments. [Page 105] The last Day, which is the Fortieth, they Bury the Dead. Then they make a Feast for all their Relations, all their Friends, all their Neighbours, and all those that came to bewail the Party deceas'd; the Women eating by themselves, apart from the Men. The Bishop says Mass, and then seizes as his Right, upon all that the Deceas'd Person made use of in his Life, his Horse, his Cloaths, his Weapons, his Plate if he have any, and all the rest of that sort. So that these Mournings ruine whole Families in Mingrelia. Nevertheless they are ob­lig'd to this Solemn Performance. The Bishop says a Mass for the Dead, for the great profit he receives; and the Mourners come to waile the Deceas'd, as sure to live Forty Days upon what he has left behind. When a Bishop dies the Prince him­self causes Mass to be said upon the Forti'th Day, and seizes upon all his Goods that are Moveable.

This is all that I could learn in Colchis, concerning the Na­ture of the Country, and the Customs and Religion of the In­habitants. Their Neighbours Live and act after the same Fa­shion, almost in every respect: only they who Live nearer to Persia and Turkey, are more Civil in their Manners, and more Honest and Just in their Inclinations Whereas they who lie nearer the Tartars and Scythians, are more Barbarous in their Customs, living without any Idea or outward Form of Reli­gion, or observance of any Laws. I have spoken also of the Abca's and other People that Live at the Foot of Mount Cau­casus; concerning whom I have related as much as I could learn. But now I shall give an accompt of what I have seen and heard, most remarkable, concerning those other Countries that bor­der upon Mingrelia. VVhich are the Principality of Guriel, and the Kingdom of Imiretta.

The Country of Guriel is very small; it Borders to the North upon Imiretta; Eastward upon a part of Mount Cauca­sus that belongs to the Turks. To the VVest upon Mingrelia, and to the South upon the Black-Sea. It lies all along upon that Sea in length from the River Phasis, that runs a Mile from the Castle of Gonie, held by the Turks, distant only Forty Miles from Phasis. The Country of Guriel resembles Min­grelia in every thing as to its Nature and the Manners of the Inhabitants. For they have the same Religion, the same Customs; and the same Inclinations to Leudness, Robbery and Murder.

[Page 106] The Kingdom of Imiretta is somewhat bigger then the Country of Guriel; and is the Hiberia of the Ancients. It is Enclos'd and Surrounded by Mount Caucasus, Colchis, the Black-Sea, the Principality of Guriel, and Georgia: being about Six and Twenty Miles in Length, and Sixty Miles broad. The People of Mount Caucasus that lie next to it, are the Georgians and Turks, and to the North the Ossi and Caracioles, or Caracherks or Black-Circassians, so call'd by the Turks, for the reasons already mention'd. These are those Caracioles or Black-Circassians, which the Europeans call Huns, who ran­sackt Italy and Gaul, and whose devastations in those Countries, are so frequently mention'd by the Ancient Historians, and par­ticularly by Cedrenus. The Language which they speak is al­most half Turkish.

Imiretta is a Country full of Woods and Mountains like Mingrelia; but the Vallies are more Lovely, and the Plains more Delicious; where you may meet much more easily with Bread, Meat, Pulse and Herbs of all sorts. There are also in it some Iron-Mines. Money goes among the People of this Country, and is Coyn'd in the Kingdom; and here ye also meet with several Towns. But as for their Manners and Cu­stomes, they are the same as in Mingrelia. The King has Three good Castles; one call'd Scander, seated upon the side of a Valley, and two in Mount Caucasus, call'd Regia and Scorgia, both almost inaccessible; as being built in places that Nature her self has ingeniously fortifi'd; the River Phasis run­ning before 'em. The Prince had also not long since another For­tress call'd Cotatis, bearing the same Name as the Country round about it, which perhaps may be the same place that Ptolomy calls the Region of Cotatene. But the Turks are at present Masters of it.

The Kingdom of Imiretta, has had under its Jurisdiction the Abca's, the Mingrelians, and the People of Guriel, after they had all Four shaken off the Yoke of the Emperors of Con­stantinople first of all, and then of the Emperors of Trebi­sond. But then in the last Age, setting up for themselves, and revolting one from another, they have been ever since at continual Wars one with the other. They who lay next the Turks implor'd their assistance, who readily took 'em into their Protection, and then made 'em all Tributaries one after ano­ther. The Tribute of the King of Imiretta is Fourscore Boys and Girls, from Ten to Twenty Years of Age. The Prince of Guriel pays Six and Forty Children of both Sexes; and the [Page 107] Prince of Mingrelia Sixty Thousand Ells of Linnen Cloath, made in the Country. The Abca's also were made Tributary, but they seldom pay'd any thing; and now they pay nothing. The King of Imiretta, and the Prince of Guriel, send their Tribute to the Basha of Akalzike: but a Chiaux gathers it in Mingrelia.' When I came to Akalzike, the report went, that the Turks would take possession of these Countries, under the Government of a Basha, not knowing any other way to prevent the perpetual Wars, that apparently ruine and de­populate the Countries. However it be now, the Turks formerly forbore to take possession of it, in regard that the Precepts of Mahumatism, could not conveniently be there ob­serv'd, because the best nourishment in those Countries is their Wine and their Hogs Flesh, which are both prohibited by the Mahometan Law: besides that they have no Bread; and the People live scatter'd upon and down the Country, so that where­ever the Turks should build their Fortresses, they would not be able to Command, within their reach, above Seven or Eight Houses. Upon which Considerations they left those Pro­vinces in their Ancient Condition, and are satisfi'd only to keep 'em under Subjection for a Nursery of Slaves; which yeilds 'em every Year no less then Seven or Eight Thousand. And the same Reasons and Obstacles most apparently discourage the Turks from Incorporating into the Body of their Empire, those Vast Plains of Tartary and Scythia, and the wide Regions of Mount Caucasus. For if the People that inhabit those parts, were united into Cities and strong Places, there might be a way found to reduce 'em, and keep 'em in Subjection. But which way is it possible to subdue a People that change their Habitations every Month, and all their Life-time wander up and down the Country?

The present Prince of Mingrelia is the Eighth, since that Country first revolted from the Dominion of Imiretta. These Princes of Mingrelia, all give themselves the Title of Dadian: as much as to say, the Head of Justice; from Dad a Persian Word, that signifies Justice: from whence the first Race of the Kings of Persia was call'd Pich-Dadian, that is to say, the first Justice. To denote, that they were the first Men, whom the People of that vast Country, establish'd over 'em for the Administration of Justice among 'em; and to maintain every one in the enjoyment of his own Property. The King of Imiretta gives himself the Title of Meppe, which signisies a King in the Georgian Language. Both which Meppe and Dadian boast them­selves [Page 108] to be descended from the King and Prophet David. The Ancient Kings of Georgia also assum'd the same descent; and the Kan of Georgia, among the rest of his Titles, calls himself, the Issue of that Great King by Solomon his Son. The King of Imiretta, also in his Letters assumes a more Haugh­ty and Pompous Title then the other, calling himself King of Kings.

Now so soon as our Vessel was come to an Anchor, in the Road of Isgaour, as I have already said, I went a Shoar with the Greek Merchant, who was my Guide. For I expected to have met with Houses, where I might have found Provisions and some other Relief. Nor were these hopes without any Ground, to one that saw no less then Seven Vessels together at an Anchor in the Road: but I was utterly deceiv'd; for I found nothing at all. The Coast of Isgaour, is all cover'd with Wood. Only they have levell'd and lay'd open, about a Hun­derd Paces from the Sea side, a certain spot of Ground, about Two Hunderd and Fifty Paces long, and Fifty broad; which is the Grand Market of Mingrelia. In this there is one Street, containing on both sides of the VVay, about a Hunderd small Hutts, made up of the Boughs of Trees, fasten'd one to ano­ther: of which every Merchant takes one. There he lies, and keeps Shop, tho with such VVares only as he thinks he shall sell in Two or Three Days. But as for those which he has bought, and such for which he does not see any Probabili­ty of a quick Vent, he keeps 'em in the Vessel, there being no kind of Security a Shoar, There was nothing else to be had at this Market, nor a Country-Man's House to be heard of in all the parts there about. Thereupon my Guide spoke to some of those that came to the Market, to bring us some Gom, which is that sort of Grain, by them made use of in stead of Bread, some VVine and other Provisions; which the Coun­try-Men promis'd to do, but fail'd in their VVords. So that I was surpriz'd, and very much troubl'd to meet with nothing, for our own Provisions began to grow short, nor to see any thing at such a Market, but a Company of Slaves Chain'd together, and about a Dozen of Tatter'd Fellows, with Bows and Arrows i' their Hands, who it seems were the Officers of the Customs, and look'd more ready to Rob, then relieve us. But I was much more surpriz'd and perplex'd, when I heard, that the Turks, and the Prince of Guriel, were coming into Mingrelia, that the People took Arms, and had begun the VVar, Pillaging and Ransacking their Neighbours, and clear­ing [Page 109] the Country both of Cattel and Inhabitants. I must con­fess I depended very much upon the Theatin Missionaries in Mingrelia, when I first resolv'd to make choice of that way. I was assur'd they had a House where I might be secure, and that they could much facilitate my passage into Persia. But their House was Forty Miles from Isagour by Land, and Fifty Five by Sea. However I sent an Express to the Superior of the Missionaries, with a Letter wherein I gave him an account, That I was come into Mingrelia, and that I was going into Persia about business of great Importance. That I had Let­ters of Recommendation to him from the Ambassador of France, the Resident of Genoa, the Warden of the Capuchins of Greece, and the Sollicitor for the Theatins at Constantinople, and there­fore I earnestly desir'd him to send me some Person that might give me necessary Informations how to proceed in my Voy­age. I would have made my Bargain with the Express for Ready Money, but he rather chose to have Cloth. There­upon my Guide agreed with him for two pieces of blew Lin­nen, upon Condition that he return'd in two days and a half. Which two pieces cost Six Shillings at Caffa. This done, I return'd to the Vessel, very pensive, and sorely troubl'd to find my self in a Country where there was no Provision to be bought, where Money would not go, nor any Lodging was to be had. And besides the sight of so many Slaves of all Ages and both Sexes, some in Chains, some ty'd two and two, and of the Officers of the Customers that look'd like meer Rob­bers and Ruffians, had fill'd my Head with a Thousand Fears. However I kept a good Heart still, and did my utmost endea­vour to dissipate those Disturbances of my Mind.

All this while I said nothing to my Comrade or to my Ser­vants, only that I had been promis'd Provisions; neverthe­less 'twas but prudence to be as good Husbands as we could of that little we had. Not did the Rumours of the War hin­der the Merchants in our Vessel from going a Shoar; where they took every one a Hutt, and carry'd their Commodities along with 'em.

The 18th at Noon, my Guide came aboard, and brought me an Answer from the Superiour of the Theatins. It was very short: For he only sent me word, That within two or three Days he would come to the Vessel with a Bark, and would serve me to the utmost of his Power.

[Page 110] The 19th toward the Evening, a great Number of Country People that had made their escapes, pass'd by Isgaour, and gave us a hot Alarum, That the Abca's whom the Prince of Mingrelia had call'd in to assist him against the Turks, pillag'd and burnt all before 'em, carrying away the Inhabitants, and driving away the Cattel, where-ever they came. Thereupon the Merchants endeavour'd to carry off what they could in their Long-Boats. But it was late, and the Vessels rid about a Mile from the Shoar; nor could they make above two Re­turns. Thereupon every Captain caus'd two great Guns to be carry'd ashoar, which they planted at the Avenues of the Market, and stood to their Arms all Night. For my own part I cannot express the sorrow I was in at such an unfortu­nate and unexpected Accident. I had hardly Constancy enough to hold out. And that which drove me almost to despair was this, That the Captain discours'd of going to Trade among the Abca's and Cherks, and then to return back to Caffa. Which was to be three Months at Sea, and not to be laid up till the end of the Year. The Recoyl of my Fortune, which such a Resolution set before my Eyes, the danger of pe­rishing at Sea, want of Vittles, the impossibility to get any; all these things which I foresaw distinctly, were not the great­est Trouble that perplex'd me. My greatest Vexation was to see my Friends Concerns, which I thought had escap'd the Dangers of the Black-Sea and Turkey, expos'd to new Hazards, and my self likely to undergo the Reproaches and Scorn of People, that would be apt to lay to my Charge unexpected Accidents for Miscarriages, and attribute unfortunate Con­junctures to my Imprudence. To this I may add the Grum­bling and Imprecations of my Servants, that continually rang i' my Ears: Some cursing Destiny, others the Country, others the People that had adviz'd me to the Black-Sea. In a word, I was in such a profound Agony, as I thought would have ut­terly swallow'd me up. But GOD in his Mercy deliver'd me; He strengthen'd me with Courage, and I hearten'd up my People; but their patience was soon tyr'd, ready to break forth every foot with the same extravagance; for the Hunger which we endur'd heighten'd their Transports even to Brutish Outrage.

The 20th all the People that belong'd to our Vessel, and the rest that lay in the Road, return'd aboard. Chusing ra­ther to leave their Wooll, their Salt, their Earthen Ware, and such like Commodities, then to hazard their being tak'n [Page 111] by the Abca's, who as they were assur'd were very near at hand. And indeed their Intelligence was too true. For about Ten a Clock at Night we saw all the Market-place a Fire; and the next Morning such as ventur'd to see what was the matter, found nothing but the Ashes, and Remainders of the Conflagration.

So soon as our People were all come aboard, I endeavour'd to buy of them Bisket, Rice, Butter, Onions, and dry'd Herbs: but no Body would part with their Goods, fearing lest they should not return to Caffa; till at length by the power of Money I got of several Merchants Sixty Pounds of Bisket, a few Herbs, Eight Pounds of Butter, and Twelve Pounds of Rice. This was but a small Stock for six People. But good Husbandry made it last longer then I expected. For there was in our Vessel dry'd Fish in abundance, and we scarcely fed upon any thing else. But I was wonderfully pleas'd when I had prevail'd with my Men to make a Meal without Bread, and lookt upon that Abstinence of theirs as the Lucky Chance of a Fortunate Day.

The 27th, seeing the Superiour of the Theatins did not come, and not knowing what I might hope for from him, I propos'd to my People the Necessity there was that one of them should go and find him out; in regard there was none but he that could preserve us from the Miseries that threaten'd us, and which came thick upon us every day more then other. But 'twas the want of Vittles and their own despair that pre­vail'd beyond all my Arguments. So that one among the rest proffer'd me to go seek out the Theatins. And it so happen'd that there was a Bark of Anarguie that lay by our Vessel. Which Anarguie is a Village upon the Sea-Shoar, not above Twenty Miles from Sippias, where those Fryers have their Residence. This Bark being come to take in a Lading of Salt, my Servant went aboard, after I had given him four Duckets in Gold, Money, Mercery Ware, and all the Letters I had for the Su­periour of the Theatins. Which I did, to the end that the Recommendation of so many Persons, some of Quality, the rest his Friends; might hast'n him to assist us in our Extremi­ty: besides that I had written to him my self at large, de­siring him to aid us if it were in his Power. I wrote to him also, That the Messenger whom I had sent, had Money, which I desir'd him to make use of, for that I begg'd no more of him then his Trouble; for which I should not also fall to be farther Grateful.

[Page 112] The Fourth of October in the Morning my Servant return'd, bringing along with him the Superiour of the Theatins, whose Name, as I have already said, was Don Maria Joseph Zampi, of Mantua: to whom I presently ran and embrac'd him. But observe how he accosted me: Sir, said he, God forgive those People that advis'd ye to come this way, the Mischief they have done ye. You are come into the most Wicked and Barbarous Country i' the World; and the best Course you can take is to return back to Constantinople with the first Opportunity. At which words the Joy which I felt for the Arrival of the good Fryer, was soon at an end. However, I carry'd him into my Cabin, and there, together with my Comrade, we debated what was best to be done. We return'd him Thanks in the first place for the pains he had taken in coming so far. To which he answer'd, That he had come according to his promise, but that the War and the Incursion of the Abca's, had made the Roads so dangerous, that he durst not venture himself. Af­ter that, I told him, That his first Complement to me at our first Greeting, put me at my Wits end: and therefore I be­sought him to tell me, Whether he were not come to take us along with him, and carry us to his own Residence? Who answer'd, That he was come to serve me to the utmost of his Power, and that he would carry us Home to his own House if we desir'd: however he would gladly let us know the Na­ture of the Country through which we were to pass. That it was a Place where there was no Bread to be had; and hard­ly any other Food to be got at that present time: That the Air was very unwholsom, and the People so wicked that it was scarce to be imagin'd. I told him, That we had a Letter of Recommendation to the Prince of Mingrelia. To which he answer'd, That this Prince was as great a Cut-throat, and as profess'd a Robber as any of his Subjects. He told us more­over, That about three Years before, returning from Italy, he brought along with him several Presents for the Prince, for the Princess his Wife, for the Visier, and the Principal Lords of the Court, which he distributed among 'em till he had almost left himself nothing; with which the Prince was so far from being satisfi'd, that he sent and took away that little that he had reserv'd; and although he were at that time Physitian to the Prince and all the Grandees, the Visier clapt him up soon after in a Dungeon, with a Chain about his Neck, and Fetters upon his Feet, to get more Money from him, and that he could not be releas'd out of the Clutches of that Tygre, till [Page 113] he had paid him Forty Crowns. Not that I tell ye this, Gen­tlemen, said he, to send ye back again, but only to inform ye of the danger ye have thrown your selves into, by setting foot in Mingrelia. Yet after all this, if you will needs go for­ward, I will do my best to preserve your Persons and your Goods, and to pass ye securely into Persia.

Upon this, I consider'd what the Father had represented to us: and I came to this result with my self, That the Mis­chiefs that threaten'd me in Mingrelia were Mischiefs to come, and which I was in hopes, though I knew not which way, to escape. Those which I endur'd were present, and my Head and my Heart were both full of 'em I represented therefore to Father Zampi, That whatever Misfortunes should happen to us in Mingrelia, would be less then those would befal us in returning to Caffa, which would infallibly be our ruine. I desir'd him to consider, that we had neither Provision nor Vit­tles, that the Vessel where we were was old, and daily took aboard great Numbers of Slaves of all Ages and Sexes, so that we could hardly stir one by another in the Ship. That a great Number of Abca's and Mingrelian's went and came from Morning till Night, that fill'd it with Vermin that would endanger a general Infection, and end in a Pestilence. That the Vessel would be two Months before she return'd for Caffa, at what time the Weather would begin to be unseasonable and tempestuous; as being that part of the Year when the Black-Sea, so dreadful stormy, was most furiously exasperated by the Violence of continual Tempests; so that suppose they should get safe to Caffa, and thence to Constantinople, 'twould be four Months at least before they could perform their Voyage, and then we should be forc'd to begin again, and put to find out a new Project which way to pass through Turkey. Besides running the Risco of extravagant Impositions, or exorbitant Customs; and yet after all these Adventures we should be still expos'd to ruine, which was the same thing or worse then to run the hazard in Mingrelia, where the Danger could not be greater, but where the Peril could never last so long, since it was but four Days Journey before we should be in a Country where we should be secure.

Father Zampi could not gainsay any of my Reasons: Be­sides that our passage could not but be advantageous to him­self in particular, or to his Mission. So that he talk'd of no­thing else but of taking us along with him, and of our leaving [Page 114] the Ship for good and all. Now the Bark wherein I had sent my Servant was a long Vessel like a small Lighter, and was hir'd to go and come with Goods: and into this Vessel it therefore was that we put our Baggage aboard, and about a hunderd Crowns worth of Goods which we bought out of the Vessel. Which Purchase was made at my Intreaty by Father Zampy, because he knew what would best go off in Mingrelia, for that Money, as I have said already, was no otherwise Current or Valuable there then as it was a sort of Merchandize. Our Baggage being Embark'd before Noon, we set Sail at the same time. And then it was that I was over-joy'd to find my self quit of the Ship; for I could not endure the Stench of it. Besides that the Nastiness and Infamous Behaviour of the Peo­ple aboard made me loath the very sight of 'em. The Vessel was a meer Sink and Dungeon of Slaves, who as soon as Night came, were Chain'd two and two, as well the Boys as the Men. In the Morning they took off their Chains agen, so that I could hardly rest for the ratling of the Irons, and then the very Object it self griev'd me to the very Heart. Every Morning we were sure to see a Fire ashoar, which was a signal that there were people come to sell either Slaves or other Mer­chandize. Upon which they sent away their Long-Boat, in­to which they who had a desire to come to the Vessel put themselves and their Wares, and being brought aboard, drove the Bargains as they could agree. And indeed the War in Mingrelia was very favourable to our Merchants; for the Abca's brought 'em all their Plunder and Booty to sell: Among the rest there came one day to our Vessel an Abca of Quality, having a Train of seven or eight Men at his Heels, who seem'd to be the arrantest Rakehels in the World. He brought three Slaves, and his Men were loaden with Booty; and among other Things they had got a Frame of an Idol all of Silver; I caus'd 'em to be ask'd, Where the Idol it self was? To which they answer'd, That they had left it in the Church, not daring to carry it away, for fear it should have kill'd 'em.

Our Vessel had Forty Slaves when I left it, which the Tur­kish and Christian Merchants had bought for Arms, Houshold­stuff, and other Commodities. They gave 'em what they pleas'd themselves, and reck'nd twice as much as the Goods cost 'em. They gave no more then Fifteen Crowns for Men from Twenty Five to Forty Years of Age; and Eight or Ten, for those that were older. Handsom Maids from Thirteen to [Page 115] Eighteen were sold for Twenty Crowns, others for less. Wo­men for Twelve, and Childern for Three or Four. A Greek Merchant that lay in a Cabin next to mine, bought a Woman and a Child at her Breast. She had incomparable Features in her Face, and a truly Lilly-white Complexion; and indeed I never saw more lovely Nipples, and a rounder Neck, nor a smoother Skin; which created at the same time both Envy and Compassion. So that I could not chuse but cast a mournful Look upon her, saying this to my self, Unfortunate Beauty! neither would I envy or compassionate thee, were I in ano­ther Condition, and that I did not find my self just upon the Brink of Danger, threaten'd with the greatest Miseries imagi­nable, if there can be a greater Misery then that of Slavery. But that which surpriz'd me was this, That these miserable Creatures were no way cast down, nor did they seem sensible of the misery of their Condition. At length when they had bought 'em, their Masters took from them the Rags that co­ver'd 'em, clad 'em with Linnen and new Habits, and set 'em to work; the Men and the Boys to moyl in the Ship, and the Women to sow. Nor did they seem to be much dissatisfi'd with their Habit, or the Food which was giv'n, only they did not like Working, so that the Cudgel was forc'd to walk now and then to quick'n their Laziness.

We had a good Wind, and we made use of Oars as well as Sails in our Bark. And for my own part, all my discourse was with Father Zampi, what course I should take to prevent my falling into the Enemies Hand, and my being plunder'd and assassinated by the Mingrelians. Which discourse at length brought us to talk of those Persons, whose Letters I had sent him. He told me the French Ambassador's Letter was a Du­plicate of one which he had sent the last Year for Attestations of the Religion of Colchis: but when he gave it into my Hands, and that I had read it, I was surpriz'd to find, that having been giv'n me for a Letter of Recommendation, there should not be the least mention of my Name. Which made me afraid lest Father Zampi should think, that the Ambas­sador had not that Value and Kindness for me, which I pre­tended to make him believe. And therefore I thought my self oblig'd to shew him the Letter which the Ambassador had done me the Honour to write to the Prince of Mingrelia, of which this was a Copy.

Thrice Illustrious Prince,

THE Emperor of France my Master, having Commanded me to make use of his Protection to support your Interests in the Ottoman Court upon all Occasions that should offer: I am glad of this Opportunity not only to Confirm it by this Letter, but for that these two Gentlemen also, the Sieur Chardin, and the Sieur Raisin will give you farther Assurances of the same Thing in my behalf. You will oblige me to believe 'em, and in Consideration of that Value which I have for their Persons, to support and defend 'em with all your Authority so long as they shall sojourn in your Court; and when they depart from your Court in order to their going forward into Persia, I hope you will freely grant 'em that Favour, and add to the rest that one more of be­lieving me to be,

Thrice Illustrious Prince,
Your most Humble and Obedient Servant, De NOINTEL, Ambassador for his Most Christian Majesty, the Em­peror of France at the Ottoman Port.

About Midnight we arriv'd at the Mouth of the River Astolphus, call'd by the Mingrelians, Langur; and which is one of the biggest Rivers in Mingrelia. There we stopp'd and sent to Anarghie two of our Seamen, to know what News of the Enemy, and to see whether the People were not fled, and in what condition they stood. This Anarghia is a Village two Miles from the Sea, the most considerable in all Mingrelia, consisting of a Hunderd Houses, but so far distant one from the other, that it is two Miles from the first to the last.

There are always Turks in this Village that come to buy Slaves, and have Barks ready to carry 'em away. And it is said, that this Village is built in the same place where formerly stood a fair and large City, call'd by the Name of Heraclea.

[Page 117] The fifth before day, the two Seamen return'd, and brought us word that the Abca's had made no Inroads within Fifteen Miles of Anarghia, but that things were quiet without any Disturbance or Alteration. Thereupon Father Zampi desir'd 'em to Row hard, to the end we might come early to the Vil­lage, and Land our Goods before we should come to be seen by any Person. All things fell out to our Wish, and we took a Lodging at a Country-Mans House, which was one of the best Accommodations in the Town. For we had a great many Chests, the biggest of which was full of Books. Thereupon Father Zampi advis'd me to open it, and take out the Goods in the sight of the People of the House, to the end they might have no suspicion that we carry'd any Treasure in our Chests; but might be ready to give it out that we were only Persons in Holy Orders, for which reason we loaded our selves with a great Number of Books for our particular use. I follow'd his Advice, and found it to be very good. For the People of the House were amaz'd to see nothing in such a large Chest but only Books; and I am apt to believe they conceited there was nothing else in all the rest.

The ninth a Lay-Theatin came to see us: He was the Phy­sitian and Surgeon that serv'd all Mingrelia. And the Access which his Art had procur'd him to the Prince and all the Gran­dees, had puft him up to that degree of Pride, that he valu'd neither Fathers nor Superiour, and in all his Actions and Dis­course manifested a most insupportable Superbity. However, I receiv'd and entertain'd him as his Vain-glory seem'd to re­quire. Who thereupon gave me a Thousand Assurances of Protection and Assistance, and promis'd to bring us Tidings of the Retreat of the Abca's, so soon as he found his Information to be such as he could confide in. Nor did he fail in his Un­dertaking; so that he return'd to us the 13th, and brought us the Good News we expected. He told us that he had been with the Prince the Day before, at what time the Intelligence came to him. He recounted also to us, that the Abca's had carry'd away with 'em Twelve Hunderd Persons, and a great Number of Cattel, with other Booty; that they had plunder'd the House of a Tenant to the Theatins, and taken away three of their Slaves: That the Prince had sent three Gentlemen to the Prince of the Abca's to make his Complaints, and to threaten 'em for their Perfidiousness; for that having enterd Mingre­lia, under an Engagement and upon Oath to defend it against the Turks, they had made use of their Forces to Sack and Pillage [Page 118] the Country, and was return'd, and had retreated without doing him the least Kindness. And thus after he had given us a full Accompt of the News that was stirring, he told Fa­ther Zampi farther, That we might all go together to their Residence at Sippias, and that the Prince and the Catholicos had order'd him to assure me and my Comrade, That we were Welcom, and that he would provide us Men and Horses to Convoy us into Georgia. Upon which we resolv'd to depart the next day.

While we staid at Anarghia we suffer'd for no want of any thing; we had Fowl, Wild Pigeons, Porkers, and Goats in abundance. All which my People had in exchange for Lin­nen, Needles, Incense, Combs and Knives: and they had their Provisions very Cheap too: Wine was also very plentiful, for it was then the very time of their Vintage. There was also at Anar­ghia a Lady of Quality, who had made choice of that Place to retire to for security but a little before. She vvas a Widow, and her Husband had been Chief Minister or Vizier to the Prince. Father Zampi carry'd me to her House, where I pre­sented her vvith some inconsiderable Trifles, and she in Ac­knowledgment of vvhat she had receiv'd, and in hopes of more, sent me every Day a Loaf of half a Pound, vvith some other of her choicest Viands. One Day she sent me a piece of Wild Boars Flesh, another Day a Ball of Wax, another Day a small Quantity of Honey, another time a Pheasant, and by the Mes­senger still she requested some Trifle or other, as Knives, Scis­sars, Ribband, Paper, or the like, and so she paid her self double for her Presents. One Day she came to give me a Vi­sit, and shew'd her self very Complaisant, and signifi'd her Fancy for several other things. But though I did not like this Trade, I kept fair vvith her however, because I vvould not vvant Bread, vvhich was not otherwhere to be had.

Father Zampi advis'd me to pretend my self a Capuchin; and gave out himself that I vvas going to the Capuchins in Georgia: That I had disguis'd my self because I vvould not be known in Turkey, and to the end I might travel vvith more freedom. And the better to counterfeit my Disguise, he per­swaded me to go very meanly, and to pretend Poverty upon all Occasions. And for my own part, I acted my part very vvell, but the ill Management of my Servants prevented my Plot from taking Effect. They brake my Measures by the Good House vvhich they kept. For they bought the best Vittles they could find, let it cost vvhat it vvould. In a [Page 119] vvord, they repaid themselves for the scarcity vvhich they had endur'd. Which Expences of theirs caus'd People to think I vvas not so poor as I pretended to be.

The 14th, two Hours before Day, vve departed from Anar­ghia, and Row'd up the River Astolphus two Leagues, after vvhich vve landed our Baggage, and loaded our Goods into six little Carts: and fill'd two more vvith the Provisions vvhich Father Zampi had bought. These Eight little Wagons made a great Noise; for it vvas an unusual sight in Mingrelia to see so many together. So that in less then two days the News flew about the Country of the Arrival of certain Europeans, vvith Eight Wagons loaden vvith Baggage. Which News vvas spread vvith so many Circumstances, as vvere the occa­sion of several Misfortunes that befel us, as I shall relate in the pursuit of my Story. Thus vve travell'd four Leagues and a half by Land, and by Sun-set arriv'd at Sapias.

Sapias is the Name of two little Churches, of vvhich the one is a Parish-Church of Mingrelia, the other belongs to the Theatins. It vvas bestow'd upon 'em, together vvith the Church­yard vvherein the two Churches are enclos'd. Which En­closure is very large: and vvhere they have also built several Apartiments and Lodgings after the Fashion of the Country: every one of the Fryers having his Apartiment to himself, according as they are one separated from another. The lesser Lodgings are for their Slaves, and two Families of Country-People vvho are their Tenants.

The Theatins came first into Mingrelia in the Year 1627. vvhere they vvere admitted as Physitians. The Prince vvho then Raign'd vvas very Potent, and it vvas represented to him as a Thing greatly to the Advantage and Benefit of his Coun­try, that Persons vvho understood an Art so profitable for the Advantage of his Health, should be suffer'd to settle in his Country. Thereupon he made 'em Welcom, gave 'em the Residence vvhich they enjoy, vvith Lands, and a certain Number of Country-People to Manure the Ground, and fur­nish their Society vvith Corn and Wine. One and Twenty Years before, the Jesuites of Constantinople sent Two of their Fraternity into this Country, but they dy'd there so soon, that the rest vvere afraid to venture any more. The Theatins however for some Years last past, had Houses in Tartary, Geor­gia, Circassia and Imiretta. Which are all forsak'n and de­stroy'd, seeing the People no vvay enclin'd to embrace the Roman Religion; and besides they, were over-imploy'd in their [Page 120] Practice of Physick. Moreover, they assur'd me that they had long since abandon'd Colchis likewise upon the same Con­siderations; only that they staid there for the Honour of the Roman Church, vvhich glory'd to have her Missionaries in all parts of the Earth; but more particularly for the Honour of their own Order, out of vvhich there being no other Mission into any part of the World, it vvould turn to their discredit should they not be able to uphold it.

There were only four Theatins at Sapias when I arriv'd there, three Priests and one Laic. The Priests practis'd only Physick, the Lay-Brother both Physick and Surgery. For he had been up and down in the World, a Chirurgeon by Profes­sion. The Theatins affirm, That all the Spiritual Benefit which the Country reaps from their being among 'em, is only Bapti­zing of Infants, there being none which are there Baptiz'd, or but after a very odd Fashion. Unless it be in that, they con­fess, they make no other progress among the Mingrelians, vvho are so far, say they, from embracing the Roman Ceremonies, that they do not believe the Europeans to be Christians, be­cause they do not see 'em observe so many Fasts, nor with so strict and severe an Abstinence, besides that they do not Wor­ship Images. The Theatin's very immediate Slaves, will not Communicate with their Masters in their Religious Exercises; and they have assur'd me, they could never Educate any one to serve at the Mass. I have seen these Fryers sometimes Bap­tize Childern; for they Baptize all that they meet with, in Houses vvhere they have not either been of a long time, or vvhere they do not remember that ever they Administer'd that Sacrament before. I have tarry'd several Days in several Places of Mingrelia with the Superiour of the Theatins, and have frequently seen his vvay of Baptizing. For vvhen they brought him any one that vvas ill, he call'd for a Bason of Water, pretending to vvash his Hands, and vvhen he had wash'd 'em, before he dry'd 'em again, vvith the end of his Finger he touch'd the Forehead of the Child, making the Parents believe, it vvas only to understand the Distemper.

He Baptiz'd Childern that vvere in Health by flirting a lit­tle Water in their Faces, vvhile he vvas vvashing his Hands, as if he had done it in sport. I ask'd him, What it vvas he did? I have Baptiz'd these Childern, said he; happy is it for them that vve came into the House. I ask'd him a second time, What Name he had giv'n 'em? I give 'em no Name, answer'd he; for oft-times I know not whether I Baptize a [Page 121] Male or a Female; there is no Necessity for the Name, it be­ing sufficient to cast a drop of Water upon the Infant, and mentally to recite the Form of Baptism. In a word, the Theatins are very miserable in Mingrelia, they pillage 'em, they abuse 'em; nor have they any value or respect for 'em, unless it be when any Sickness or Wound constrains 'em to require their Assistance.

The 18th the Princess of Mingrelia came to visit the Thea­tins; and presently the Superiour of the Theatins made haste to attend her. These Princesses of Mingrelia and those of the Neighbouring Countries they call Dedopalè, which in the Geor­gian Language signifies Queen. She was a Horseback, attend­ed by about Eight Women and Ten Men, and some Lacqueys that ran by her Horse. But this Train of hers was very ill clad, and very badly mounted. She told the Prefect or Superiour, That she understood that the Provision which was usually sent 'em from Constantinople was come, and that there were Euro­peans in the House, who had brought a long with 'em a con­siderable Quantity of Goods: that she was very glad of it, and desir'd to see 'em that she might bid 'em Welcom. Pre­sently I was call'd for to pay my Respects to her: at what time Father Zampi told me that I must make her a Present, the way according to the Custom of that Country, to ac­knowledge the favourable Visits of the Prince and Princess. Upon that I besought her to tarry till I could bring her one to her Palace; to which she readily consented. Now she had been told, that I spake Turkish and Persian; upon which she sent for a Slave that understood Turkish, whom she order'd to ask me a Thousand Questions concerning my Quality, and the design of my Travels. I made him answer, That I was a Capuchin, and spoke and acted always as a Religious Per­son: but it was plain her Majesty did not believe me; for all her Discourse was about Love: and she caus'd the Question to be put, Whether I were sensible of that Passion, and whe­ther I had ever been in Love? How it could be that a Man could never be in Love, or live without a Woman? And with this Discourse she went on so pleasingly, that all her Train were strangely delighted to hear her. Though for my part I could have wish'd the Princess and her Train farther off from me: For I was afraid she would have caus'd the House to be plunder'd, having three times demanded to see what I had brought, together with the Theatins Provision. Which Provision is yearly sent 'em from Constantinople, as I have al­ready [Page 122] said, and consists of Goods and Commodities of several sorts; of which they are oblig'd to send a good share to the Prince, the Princess, to the Vizier, and the Principal Gentle­men of the Country. Father Zampi therefore promis'd to bring her the accustom'd Present the next day, and that I my self should bring her one likewise; and so satisfi'd, God be thanked, she went away.

The 19th in the Morning she sent to invite me to Dinner, whither I went with Father Zampi and another Theatin. She was then at a House about two Miles from ours. For she did not live with the Prince, who could not endure her, but hated her to death, in regard he had been forc'd to marry her. I found her in a Dress somewhat richer then the day before; she was likewise painted; and had us'd all her Skill to set her self out to the best Advantage. Her Habit was of Cloth of Gold, the Attire of her Head Glister'd with Precious Stones: but for her Vail it was altogether Curious and Gay, and of a particular Fashion. She sate upon a Carpet, having on each side Nine or Ten Women that belong'd to her Chamber; for her Maids of Honour were, as they said, retir'd for safety to a Fortress by reason of the Wars. The Hall was full of Rake­shames half Naked, which compos'd her Court. Before I was admitted, I was ask'd for the Present I had brought. Which was carry'd by a Lacquey, who gave it to some of her Ser­vants; consisting of Pastes of Genoa, Ribbands, Paper, Needles, Twizers, Knives and Scissars, all Neat and Curious The whole cost about Forty Shillings; but worth above a Five Pounds in Mingrelia. The Princess was extreamly pleas'd; and when she had feen 'em, sent for me into her Presence. Where the Slave that spake Turkish order'd me to sit down upon a Bench that was close by. Presently the first thing she said to me was, That she would marry me to one of her Friends, and that she would not have me to leave the Country, for that she would give me Houses, Lands, Slaves and Tenants. After that she fell into the same Discourse as the Day before; but it lasted not long, because the People gave her Notice that Dinner was ready.

The House where she liv'd was in the midst of five or six others, every one a hunderd Paces distant from it, without any Fence either of Hedge or Wall. Before it stood a large Estrade or Ascent of about eighteen Inches high, cover'd with a kind of a Duomo. This they spread with Carpets; where also sate the Princess, and her Women about four Paces [Page 123] from her upon other Carpets: The Rakeshames that compos'd her Court sate in a Circle upon the Grass, to the Number of Fifty. As for the Theatins and my self there were two Ben­ches placed near the Ascent, the one to sit upon, the other to serve us in stead of a Table. So soon as the Princess was sate down, her Butler spread before her a long painted Linnen Cloth, at the end of which he drest up his Court-Cupboard, which consisted of two great Flagons and two small ones, four Plates and eight Cups, some bigger some lesser, a Bason and Eure, and a Skimmer, all of Silver; and at the same time other Servants set before all those that were seated in the same place, VVooden Planks to serve in stead of Tables; and one also was plac'd before the VVomen. And thus when every thing was order'd in this manner, they brought into the Mid­dle of the place two Kettles, one very large, carry'd by four Men, which was full of Common Gom; and the t'other much less, which was carry'd by two Men, full of white Gom. And I have already observ'd, that this Gom is a Paste of which the Mingrelians make the same use in their Dyet, as we do of our Bread. Two other Men brought in upon a kind of Bier a whole Porker boyl'd, and four other Men, every one a large Pitcher of Wine. Of all which they cary'd first to the Prin­cess, then to the Women, next to us, and last of all to the Train. After this they serv'd in to the Princess a Woodden Platter with Bread and strong Herbs to create an Appetite, to­gether with a large Silver Plate containing two Fowls, the one Boyl'd, the other Roasted; both ill drest, and with such Sawce that my Stomach would not bear. The Princess sent me a part of her Bread and Herbs, and bid the Messenger tell me withal that I should stay and Sup with her, and that she would cause an Ox to be kill'd; but that was only a Com­plement. A short while after, she sent me two Pieces of her Fowl, and bid the Messenger ask me, Wherefore none of the European Workmen, being such Excellent Goldsmiths, and Wea­vers both of Silk and Woollen came into Mingrelia, but only Monks, of which they had no need, and whose Company they so little desir'd? Which was a Question that did not a little startle me; for the Princess spake aloud in Mingrelian, and her Slave return'd the Interpretation of his Answer as loud. So that I leave the Reader to judge whether or no the poor Theatins were not strangely abash'd to hear the Princess pro­pound such a Question. To say truth, I took the scoff to be pretty well aim'd at my self, and therefore I answer'd as well [Page 124] for my self as for them, since she had address'd her self alike to all, That the European Artists work for Money, and that they had Imployment enough at Home to keep 'em from any thoughts of Gadding abroad, but that they who were in Orders sought only the Glory of God, and the Sal­vation of Souls, and that only those two predominant Motives could over-rule the Europeans to quit their Country to travel so far.

The Feast lasted two Hours; and when it was half over, the Princess sent me a Cup of Wine, and bid the Messenger tell me it was Wine which she preserv'd for her own Drinking, and the Cup out of which she drank her self: and this Honour she did me three times. But she wonder'd very much when she saw me mix Water with my Wine, saying withal that she had never seen the like done: For she and her Women drank it Neat, and that to a good pitch. When Dinner was ended, she sent to know whether or no I had brought along with me any Spices or Porcelane Dishes; and six or seven of these Mes­sages I had from her all to the same purpose, by which I guest that the beggerly Princess did not Caress me with so much Ci­vility but only for her own Interest. But all my Answers were positive Denials; which put her at length into such an ill hu­mour, that she told me she would send to search my Chests; to which I only reply'd, That she might do it when she pleas'd: which I did, as well fearing lest a refusal and unwillingness might incense her Covetous Humour, as to conceal the dread into which her threatning Language had put me. She an­swer'd me, That she had only spoke it in Drollery; and I made as if I had really believ'd what she said: but so soon as we were risen from the Table, I desir'd one of the Theatins to make haste home, and give my Comrade Notice of the Prin­cesses words, to the end he might be prepar'd, whatever should happen. After Dinner she fell again into her Discourse of Mar­riage, and told me that within a few days she would shew me the Lady she had a mind to bestow upon me. To which I answer'd as before, That Persons in Orders were never al­low'd to Marry. And having so said, she was about to have dismiss'd me. But as ill Luck would have it, as I was making my Obeisance, the Princess espy'd under my poor and mean Habit, that I wore Linnen much whiter and finer then any was made in Mingrelia. Thereupon she came close up to me, took me by the Hand, thrust up my Sleeve to my Elbow, and hold­ing me by the Arm, talk'd to one of her Women with a low [Page 125] Voice. I was then, I must needs confess, at a cruel Nonplus; for the Ladies Caressing Actions no way pleas'd me; and though she smil'd very pleasantly in my Face, yet my Fears were ne'er the less. And that which troubl'd me most was, that I could not understand what she said, and yet by her Gesture I could perceive she spoke of me with a more then ordinary Earnestness and Affection. Nor did I know how to behave my self before so many People toward a Woman, in whom I consider'd at the same time the Quality of a Sove­raign Princess, and the Impudence of a Curtezan. However, till then I felt no more then only a little Disturbance in my Mind. But that which put me into a very great Consterna­tion was this, that the Princess, addressing her self to Father Zampi, gave him this Rebuke: You have both deceiv'd me, said she, but 'tis my Pleasure that you both come hither to me again upon Sunday-Morning, and that the New comer say Mass before me. The Father would have made her an Answer, but the Princess turning her back, bid us depart.

Upon this I return'd to my Lodging very pensive and sad: for her Discourse had fill'd me with a Thousand Fears, appre­hensive lest her Avarice and some other Motives might spur her on to do me a Mischief. And Father Zampi admonish'd me to take it for good warning, and to expect it as a thing that would infallibly happen; which made me resolve to pre­pare for it, insomuch that the Night following we buried all our Goods that were of greatest Value. To which purpose I caus'd a Pit to be made in the Chamber of the Theatin Fryers five Foot deep, where I hid a Chest of Clock-work, and ano­ther of Coral: which were so well cover'd, that there was not the least Appearance that the Earth had been stirr'd. Af­terwards I went into the Church with the same design. Where Father Zampi advis'd me to open the Grave of a Theatin, who had been buried six Years before, and to commit the Care of a little Caskanet to his Ashes. But GOD, who knew what would soon after happen to that Grave, prevented me from following that Advice; so that I rather chose to dig a Hole in a corner of the Church behind the Door, where I caus'd as deep a Pit to be made as in the Chamber, and there buried a little Box that contained Twelve Thousand Duckets in Gold. Afterwards I hid in the Roof of the Chamber where I lodg'd a Scimiter and a Dagger set with Precious Stones, and some other Jewels; which Roof was cover'd with Straw. And as for such other Things as were of great Value, and light, my [Page 126] Comrade and I carry'd those about us; and as for such Things as were of less Worth, we recommended them to the care of the Theatins.

The 23d I understood the Kindness which the Princess had done me, when she threaten'd to Visit my Baggage. It was upon a Sunday, part of which I had spent in Prayer, and in bewailing my self, out of a deep sense of the Misfortunes that overwhelm'd me, and the Dangers that environ'd me, not finding any Door open for me to make my escape. I ex­pected so certainly to be made a Slave, that I durst not pray to GOD for my Liberty. Only I thought it all I could do to beg that I might fall into the Hands of a kind Ma­ster; for that if I might have my choice, I should ra­ther chuse the Chains of a Turk then the Fetters of a Colchian Lady.

When we had Din'd, word was brought to the Superiour, That two Gentlemen desir'd to speak with him at the Door; which two Gentlemen were their Neighbours, both a Horse­back, in Coats of Mail, and very well arm'd: Nor did the Superiour wonder to see 'em in that Equipage with such a Train, in regard it was in time of War. When he came to 'em, the two Gentlemen told the Superiour, That they came to discourse with him, and the Europeans that were newly ar­riv'd. And so saying, they alighted. Thereupon the Supe­riour call'd both me and my Comrade forth, who as readily went to wait upon 'em, never stopping to consider whether they had any ill design or no. But they quickly let me under­stand their Errand; for so soon as we accosted 'em, they caus'd us to be laid hold on by their Followers: and at the same time they commanded the Superiour and the other Theatins who were come to salute 'em, that they should retire; telling 'em withal, that if they stirr'd, they would cut their Throats. Upon which the Superiour in a Panick fear ran away; but the rest would not forsake us, and the Lay-Brother stood briskly to us. He sacrific'd himself in our behalf; Nor could the Naked Sword which they set to his Throat affright him from our sides. Presently our Servants were seiz'd; and one of them who was resolv'd to have made some resistance, and to that end drew his Cutlace that hung at his Girdle, was knockt down with a Lance, and then Bound and Ty'd to a Tree.

[Page 127] Afterwards these Assassinates declar'd they would see what we had; to whom I answer'd, That they were our Masters, and we only poor Capuchins, all whose Riches consisted in Books, Papers, and such pitiful Lumber, that they needed not have us'd so much Violence to constrain us to shew it. For I had no other Game to play, being seiz'd and bound, and these Cut-throats become Masters both of the House, and all the People that were in it. And indeed through GOD's Mercy it took effect; for immediately they unbound me, and bid me open our Chamber-Door; which was in the first Story; and where there was nothing but what we did not much value whether it were seen or no. For as I have said already we carry'd our most Costly Jewels about us; and my Comrade had sow'd his share in the Collar of a large Furr'd Just-au-Corps which he wore. And for my own share I had made 'em up in two little Bundles, and hid 'em in the Chest where my Books were. For I durst not carry 'em about me for fear of being Murder'd or Robb'd, or sold for a Slave. I was there­fore fain to desire the Lay-Brother and my Comrade to take the Gentlemen aside, and hold 'em in a Discourse of Com­position, and to offer 'em a little Money, thereby to gain time to take those two Costly Bundles out of my Chest, to the end I might hide 'em the best I could. Which they did, and I went into the Chamber, and Lockt the Door up­on me. The Souldiers apprehensive of my Design, gave the Gentlemen Notice, who presently came to the Door, which was strongly Lockt within-side. At what time my Comrade cry'd out from below, and bid me have a care, for that the Enemy peep'd and watch'd me through the Chinks. Which made me presently take away my two little Bundles from the Roof where I had thrust 'em, for fear they had seen where I laid 'em, and put 'em in my Pocket: but then perceiving they were about to break open the Door, I flung my self out at the Window into the Garden, taking such a Leap, that had not Necessity constrain'd me, I should not have taken at ano­ther time for never so much: for it had been enough to have broke a Mans Neck; but a Man that is seiz'd with a Panick Dread fears nothing but the Object of his first Fears. How­ever, being once down, I ran to the end of the Garden, and threw the two little Bundles among the thickest of the Bushes: though the Distraction of my Mind would not suffer me to take a true Notice of the Place where I threw 'em. After this, I return'd to my Chamber, which I found full of Rob­bers, [Page 128] some of whom were abusing my Comrade, others knock­ing with their Maces upon my Chests with a design to break 'em; but then I took Courage, knowing there was nothing in 'em that was very considerable, and bid 'em have a care what they did, for that I was the King of Persia's Envoy; and that the Prince of Georgia would severely chastise the Violence they had offer'd me; and so saying I shew'd 'em the King of Per­sia's Passport, which one of the Gentlemen took and would have torn, saying he fear'd no Body, nor valu'd no Man li­ving upon the Face of the Earth; but the other prevented him, as having a greater Reverence for the Gold Letters and Gilt Seal. After that he bid me open my Chests, and he would do me no Injury; but if I made any longer delay, he would take my Neck from my Shoulders. To which I was about to have reply'd, in stead of yielding Obedience, which had like to have cost me my Life, for one of the Souldiers had drawn his Sword, and was lifting up his Arm to have split my Brains. But the Lay-Brother stopt his Arm. Upon this I open'd my Chests; but then, Heav'ns bless me, what work they made! Whatever they had a mind to, 'twas all free Plunder.

While they were thus busie at their Pillage, I was leaning at a Window, and turning my Eyes another way, as unwil­ling to encrease my Sorrows, I look'd into the Garden, where I perceiv'd two Souldiers among the Bushes, where I thought I had thrown my little Bundles. Presently I ran like mad to the Place, follow'd by a Theatin Fryer; but whatever the Matter was, the two Souldiers withdrew when they saw us enter: Nevertheless I was willing to satisfie my self whether they were there or no, and sought for 'em, but having mista­ken the place, through the trouble I was in, I could not then find 'em, so that I thought they had been found and carry'd away. And you may judge by the Value of these two little Bundles, that amounted to Six Thousand Pounds, what a desperate condition I was in: enough to have broke a Mans Heart: but God sustain'd me through his Mercy, and so sup­ported me that I had still a presence of mind and thought that seldom fail'd me in extremity. But the loud Cries of my Com­rade and the Lay-Brother, call'd me out of the Garden, into the Chamber: where when I came, I was seiz'd by two Soul­diers, who drew me to a Corner of the Chamber, and took what I had in my Pockets, which was no great Matter. Which done, they took me by the Hands, and wou'd ha'bound [Page 129] me. Upon that I made a Noise, and us'd all the Strength I had, and made signs that they should carry me to their Ma­sters; and then I told the Chief of these Cut-throats, that there was no Necessity to bind or kill me, for that I was rea­dy to suffer whatever they were dispos'd to do to me. Who answer'd, That they would carry us to the Prince since we were Ambassadors. To which I reply'd, That we were rea­dy to go without binding, and that we hop'd he would do us Justice: for that we had Letters for him, for which no doubt but he would have a very great respect. By this time it grew late, and Night drew on; besides, it was above fif­teen Miles to the Princes Castle: so that they releas'd us, and carry'd no Body along with 'em but only the Servant, who offer'd to make Resistance at first, whom I redeem'd fifteen Days after for Ten Crowns.

When I was rid of these Freebooters, I went to the Gar­den, for the Fryer that follow'd me before, when I went to look for the two Bundles I had hid in the Bushes, had been telling the Misfortune which he believ'd had befall'n me, and no Body question'd but that the Souldiers had observ'd and fol­low'd me, and found the Treasure I had so endeavour'd to con­ceal. Now I had an Armenian Servant at that time, whose Name was Allaverdy; (and I therefore name him, because several of my Friends have seen him at Paris after my return from my first Travels, and for that his Fidelity to me at that time was so remarkable that I cannot forbear to mention it.) This poor honest Man follow'd me into the Garden; but I could not but wonder to see him throw his Arms about my Neck, with Tears in his Eyes: Sir, said he, we are ruin'd: Fear and our common Misfortune made us forget what we were. I was a little scar'd at first, for I took him for some Rakehel Mingre­lian that would have cut my Throat: but knowing him, I was mightily taken with the Mans Affection for me, and bid him forbear weeping. But, Sir, said he, have you lookt well? I have lookt so well, said I, that I am too well assur'd of my ill Luck. However, the Fellow would not be so satisfi'd, but desir'd me to shew him the place as near as I could guess, and what course I had taken both to hide 'em before, and since to search for 'em again. Which I did to satisfie a Ser­vant, who shew'd himself so much concern'd for me, but for my own part, I lookt upon it to be so much Labour lost, and therefore never thought it worth my time to help him. More­over, it was by this time almost Night, and I was so possess'd [Page 130] with Grief, and my Sorrows did so perplex me, that I was not sensible either what I did, whither I went, or what I felt. But I was amaz'd to find the Fellow come and hang about my Neck a second time, who at the same time overjoy'd thrust the two little Bundles into my Bosom. Nor is it to be imagin'd what a Change this Comfortable Return of my Ser­vant wrought in my Mind. Though my Consolation did not so much proceed from the Recovery of Six Thousand Pounds, which I thought I had lost, as to see the Care that Providence took of me, the Goodness of GOD, his Presence, and his As­sistance. This Consideration restor'd me again to my self in a moment; my present Condition neither troubl'd me, nor did the prospect of future Mischief disturb me, but manifestly ac­knowledging that only GOD could have thus preserv'd me, I conceiv'd such an Assurance of his Preservation, that has still supported me in all my Distresses.

Thus having sav'd the two High-Priz'd Packets, I made lit­tle accompt of what they might have taken out of my Chests; so that returning to my Chamber, I gave an accompt of my good success to my Comrade, whom I found restoring to order the confusion which those Robbers had made; by which it ap­pear'd that they had carry'd away only some few Cloaths, some Arms, Copper Vessels, and other Trifles. There we agreed together, not to let any Body know that we had found the two little Bundles, to the end they might think we had nothing more of Value to lose. Which prov'd to be very good Counsel. For the Theatin's Servants, thought we had been utterly Rob'd. Tho thanks be to God, the whole that we lost did not amount to above One Hunderd Pound.

The 24th in the Morning the Superiour of the Theatins, and the Lay Brother, carry'd me to the Catholicos, and the Prince to demand Justice, and would have had me carry'd to each a Present. I alleadg'd in vain, that it would look strange­ly for us to complain of being Robb'd and Plunderd of all, and yet to bring Presents. But Custom prevail'd, and I pre­sented to the Catholicos, a Knife, Spoon and Fork of Silver in one Case, with a Hat which he had sent to request of me. Which done, I shew'd him the Pass and Command of the Persian King, as also to the Prince: but I did not deliver to the Prince the Letter from the French Ambassador, in regard the Theatins did not think it proper. But neither the one nor the other gave me any satisfaction. The Prince told me, that in time of War (as now it happen'd to be) he was not Master of the No­bility. [Page 131] That at another time he would have done me Justice speedily, and to the full: However he would endeavour the Restitution of what had been taken from me. The Catholicos told me the same Story, and in stead of assisting me, began to preach me a Lecture of Consolation. However, they made choice of two Gentlemen to go in their Names and demand what had been tak'n from us.

But the most considerable Thing that I got by this Days Work, was the Discovery which I made, that the Dadian or Prince had a share in the foregoing Days Robbery, and that he had a third part of the Goods for himself. Which Disco­very serv'd to make me understand the Nature of the Country where I was, and that the Dangers were the more inevitable that threaten'd us. After our departure, the two Gentlemen appointed to serve us, went along with us, and lay at our House, where it was necessary to present 'em with something at their Arrival. And they for their parts made a great shew as if they had rid about all the next Day, and the Day fol­lowing to serve us; but all their Riding produc'd nothing: for the 26th in the Evening they return'd to tell us they could do us no good; nor could they look any farther, for that the Turks were enter'd Mingrelia, burnt and sackt all before, and therefore they were oblig'd to return speedily to their Ma­sters.

I was so accustom'd to suffer, that these same dreadful Ty­dings hardly mov'd me. But the Theatins were at their Wits end; foreseeing that this Incursion of the Turks would utter­ly ruine 'em: therefore both they and we prepar'd for flight. At the same Instant we heard two great Guns go off, which was a Signal from the Fortress of Rucks of the Enemies ap­proach. Upon which Signal all the People betake themselves to flight, carrying away with 'em into the Woods and Strong-Places whatever they are able.

The 27th by break of Day we began our Flight with the rest: but I resolv'd not to meddle with any thing that I had bury'd, or that I had hid in the Roof of the House, which I held to be more secure then if I should carry 'em along with me. The Theatins had only one Wagon drawn by two Oxen, and two Horses to carry the whole Baggage belonging to the House and two Childern: and as for the Horses, the Lay-Brother rode upon one, and my Comrade on the other; who was then sick, which very much retarded our Journey. Two Theatin Fryers and my self follow'd the Wagon afoot; and [Page 132] the Slaves and the rest of the Servants belonging to the House follow'd us. So that there remain'd but one Fryer to look after it, and a Thousand Things more which we could not carry away, for want of Conveniency. I my self left all my Books, my Papers, and Mathematical Instruments behind me, believing that neither the Turks nor Mingrelians would trouble themselves with 'em. The Father, who staid behind, fled into the Woods in the Day-time, when he heard any Rumour of the Enemies coming, and return'd to the House at Night. Now I have already observ'd, that the Wars of the Mingrelians and their Neighbours seldom last long, being no more then Inroads for Spoil and Plunder, the heat of which being over, the Enemy retreats back again: and therefore the Inhabitants always leave one or two Persons in their Houses, to prevent the Neighbours from pillaging the Corn, Wine, and other Provisions which they cannot carry away. Which Persons are sometimes surpriz'd by the Enemy, but very rare­ly; for that they are always upon the Watch; and for that the Woods are so near and so thick, that they can easily run for't, and hide themselves when any danger appears.

'Twas one of the most lamentable Things in the World to behold these poor People in their flight: Women lugging their Children and their Bundles: Men stooping under the Burden of their Baggage: Here one driving his Cattel; ano­ther halling a Cart after him full of Housholdstuff. The High­ways were strew'd with People quite weary'd off their Legs, and so faint, that they were ready to die. Of Aged and De­crepit People and Children not able to go, a great Number were to be seen crying out, and making lamentable Moans for Assistance. It was such a spectacle of Lamentation, Mi­sery and Desolation, that would have melted the Hearts of any but of those Barbarians. Yet I must confess I was not much concern'd at it, not out of hard-heartedness, but because my Compassion was all spent, my own Miseries had so drain'd me, that I had none left for any Body else. Now the Place whither we made our Retreat was a Fortress in the Woods, like those which I have already describ'd; of which the Lord was call'd Sabatar a Georgian, who turn'd Mahumetan, and afterwards became a Christian. He was also lookt upon to be less a Thief and less a Rascal then the rest: and we ar­riv'd at this Fortress after a tedious Journey of five I eagues in deep Mud and Dirt, out of which I could not think the Cart could ever have been drawn; which was the reason we [Page 133] were forc'd to load and unload twenty times by the way: nor would it be any News to tell ye, That I was twice very near being pillag'd and losing my Life; in regard I ran that hazard every Day. When we came to the Fortress, he that own'd it let us in, and receiv'd us kindly enough. For the Theatins had told him, That I was a Person that never receiv'd a Cour­tesie but I made a return for it. He lodg'd us in the place where the Oven stood, in a little scurvy Hutt, where we were no more shelter'd from the Weather then those that lay i' the open Air; for it rain'd in on every side. However, it was a great Favour that we had it, and were not crowded as were an infinite Number of poor Wretches one upon another. For the Fortress was full of People when we arriv'd: there being in it no less then Eight Hundred Persons, Women and Children for the most part.

But here, before I continue the farther Recital of my Mis­fortunes, give me leave to say something of the Occasion of this Incursion of the Turks, and what I have learnt concerning the late Mingrelian Wars, and of the People of Imiretta and Gu­riel, in which their Formidable Neighbours the Turk and Per­sian were engag'd. Therein you will find some Passages per­haps not unworthy the Remembrance of History; and cer­tainly 'tis a thing equally to be observ'd and wonder'd at, That such small and inconsiderable Kingdoms should continu­ally produce such Tragick Revolutions. Nor shall I be accus'd to have injur'd the People of these Countries, while I tell ye how wicked they are, when you have read this part of my Story; since the bare Relation which I shall make in repre­presenting 'em such, will justifie me perhaps in the Judgment of my Readers.

The most Famous Prince that ever Mingrelia had, since it revolted from the King of Imiretta, was Levan Dadian, Un­cle to him that Reigns at this present. He was Valiant, Gene­rous, a Person of great Wit, indifferently just and more happy in his Undertakings. He made War upon his Neighbours and vanquish'd 'em all: and no question but he would have made an excellent Prince, had he been born in a better Country. But the Custom in his Country of Marrying several Wives, and those near Relations, was that which transported him to such Excesses as render'd him unworthy of all Encomiums.

He remain'd an Orphan almost as soon as he had out-liv'd his Infant Years: at what time his Father dying, left him to the Tuition of his Brother, who was Uncle by the Fathers side [Page 134] to the Young Pupil, and call'd by the Name of George; the Soveraign Prince of Libardian, a Country that extends it self a great way into Mount Caucasus. This George faithfully dis­charg'd his Trust in the Tuition of his Nephew. He bred him well, and prudently Govern'd Mingrelia during his Mino­rity.

Levan being Twenty Four Years of Age, Espous'd the Daughter of the Prince of the Abca's, by whom he had two Sons; she being a Lovely Princess, and a Woman of a great Wit. 'Tis true, she was tax'd of being none of the most Faithful Wives, which perhaps might be in revenge of the Foul-play which her Husband openly play'd her every Day. Now among the rest of the Women with whom he fell in Love, one was the VVife of George his Uncle, who had been his Tutor, and to whom he had been so highly oblig'd. This Lady went by the Name of Darejan, of a Considerable Fa­mily, which was call'd Chilakè. And as she was extreamly beautiful, but wicked and ambitious beyond Imagination, she was not only content to violate her Conjugal Fidelity, and for two Years together to live in an Incestuous League with the Prince her Nephew, but over-perswaded him at the end of that season to take her away by Force, repudiate his own VVife, and Marry her. Levan was over-rul'd by her: He took the Adulteress by Force from her Husbands House; He Marry'd her, and eight days after sent home his first Wife ig­nominiously, without any Train, back to her Father, King of the Abca's, after he had caus'd her Nose, her Ears and her Hands to be cut off. And the pretence which he took to ex­cuse so horrid a piece of Cruelty was, That she had committed Adultery with the Vizier, whose Name was Papona. And the better to make People believe the truth of it, he caus'd this Vizier to be stopp'd into the Mouth of a Cannon at the same time that he maim'd his own VVife. However, all Men agreed, that there was nothing of Incontinence that had been committed between her and the Vizier; only that he sacrific'd his VVife and his Prime Minister to the Hatred and Jealousie of the Chilakite.

The Love of this wicked VVoman caus'd him to Sacrifice these Important Victims: but her Ambition forc'd him to offer up two more pretious Oblations. For Levan himself poyson'd his two Sons which he had had by the Princess his VVife. The Chilakite perswading him to this incredible Inhumanity, to [Page 135] the end the Children which she should have by him might Reign more securely.

Prince George had a great kindness for his Wife, as much an Adulteress, and as wicked as she was. So that her being tak'n from him by force threw him into a most furious despair. He perform'd the Ceremony of Mourning for her Forty Days, according to the Custom of the Country, as if she had been Dead; after which he betook himself to Arms, and fell into the Territories of the Prince his Nephew. But Levan was Va­liant, and had good Souldiers about him, so that George was constrain'd to retire into his Mountains, where he died soon after for Grief and Vexation.

The Prince of the Abca's also went about to revenge the Affront and Injury done him, in the Person of the Princess his Daughter, but with as ill success. He rais'd Forces, began a War against the Prince of Mingrelia, and tho the consequen­ces of the War did not at all fall out to his Advantage, yet would he never make Peace or Truce with him, nor would he put an end to the War, till he understood the Death of his Barbarous Son-in-Law.

There was also a Third Enemy, more formidable but as un­successful that would not suffer Levan to be at rest. This was his own Brother call'd Joseph, who engag'd himself so far in the just Resentments of his Uncle George and the Prince of the Abca's, that he resolv'd to revenge their Quarrel, by causing the Criminal to be Murder'd. To that purpose he corrupted one of his Guards an Abca by Birth to Assassinate him; the Prince's Cup-Bearer being also Privy to the Conspiracy. The Plot was so lay'd that Joseph should go and Dine at the Palace: that the Abca Guard should stand behind him with a Lance in his Hand, and that when the Prince lifted to his Mouth one of those great Beakers of Wine which the Mingrelians Drink at the end of the Meal, the Cup-Bearer should make a sign to the Abca, who was then to strike him through the Body with his Lance. This Plot was within a little of being put in Exe­cution, but fail'd when the stroak was ready to have been gi­ven, Divine Justice resolving that Levan's Crimes should be his own Murderers and Executioners, which spar'd him a long time before they accomplish'd it. For the Prince perceiv'd the sign which the Cup-Bearer gave the Guard, and as it were in­spir'd, threw himself down from the place where he stood, so that the Lance never touch'd him at all. However the Abca escap'd, but the Cup-Bearer was seiz'd, put to the Rack, and [Page 136] dismember'd after he had confess'd what he knew of the Plot. Prince Joseph had his Eyes pull'd out, and dy'd soon after, lea­ving a Son, who is now Prince of Mingrelia.

Levan had by his Incestuous Conjunction two Sons, and one Daughter, who suffer'd every one for the Iniquity of their Father, being all Three Paralytick. No means were unsought for their Cure, but all in vain: their Distemper Non-pluss'd all the Physitians in the Country, the Theatins and an Emi­nent Greek Physitian who was sent for from Constantinople. The Youngest Son and the Daughter dy'd by that time they arriv'd at the Age of Twenty Years or there-about: but Alex­ander the Eldest Son liv'd longer, was Marry'd and had a Child; his Wife being the Daughter of the Prince of Guriel. Which one Son he had a Year after he was Marry'd, and then dy'd, while his Father was yet living.

Levan dy'd in the Year 1657. after whose Death the Shi­lakite was in such high Credit, as to set up in his place a Son, which she had by her first Husband, but which most People were assur'd was begot by Levan. But this Young Prince whose Name was Vomeki, did not Reign long. For the Vice-Roy of that part of Georgia which is under the Dominion of Persia, dispoil'd him of his Principality, and reinvested in it Levan's Lawful Heir, after he had invaded Mingrelia, and the Territories of Imiretta. Which Invasion being an Acci­dent that happens to be genuinely apposite to this Recital, I shall only give a short accompt of the occasion.

The Deceas'd King of Imiretta, who was call'd Alexander, and who dy'd in the Year 1658. had Two Wives, the First was the Daughter of the Prince of Guriel call'd Tamar, whom he divorc'd for her Adulteries, after he had had a Son and a Daughter by her. The Son, who was call'd Bacrat Mirza Reigns at this present King of Imiretta. The Daughter is Princess of Mingrelia, the same that I have giv'n ye such an accompt of, that would have both Robb'd and Marry'd me to her Friend. The Second Wife which Alexander Marry'd was call'd Darejan, a Young Princess and Daughter of the Great and Famous Taymur Razkan, last Soveraign King of Georgia. He had no Children by her, and left her a Widow after he had been Marry'd to her four Years. They talk Wonders of her Beauty and her alluring Graces. So soon as his Son-in-Law Bacrat came to the Throne, she wou'd have had him to Mar­ry her. Bacrat was not then above Fifteen Years of Age; so [Page 137] that the Charms of her Beauty could not make those deep Impressions upon his Heart, as being so young that the Evil Customs of his Country had not yet corrupted him. VVhich was the Reason that he abhorr'd the Proposal, and return'd disdainful Answers to her Courtship. Darejan therefore find­ing she could not support her self upon the Throne, imme­diately advanc'd to his Bed a young Person of Twelve Years of Age, her Kinswoman, call'd Sistan Darejan, the Daughter of Daitona, the Brother of Taymur Razkan, whom Bacrat Marry'd at Fifteen Years of Age, as has been already said. So that Darejan assur'd her self of the Soveraign Power, and of keeping the King and Queen continually under her Guardian­ship. But Bacrat, as young as he was, perceiv'd his Mother-in-Laws Design, and one Day gave her apparent Testimonies of his Disgust. Upon which Darejan, to satisfie Bacrat, as­sur'd him that she would forbear to take any Authority upon her. Who being a good-natur'd well-meaning Prince, easily believ'd Darejan, and restor'd her to his former Confidence, not dreaming of the Treason that she was meditating against him. To that purpose she feign'd her self sick, and sent for the King to come to her; who went accordingly with a great deal of Frankness and VVillingness; at what time certain People that she had posted in her Chamber, seiz'd and bound him. Presently she order'd him to be conveigh'd to the For­tress of Cotatis, the Principal City of the Country, the Gover­nour of which place was her own Creature. Soon after she came thither her self; sent for all the Grandees whom she had gain'd to her Party, and of whom she was assur'd, and with them consulted for five Days together what to do with the King. Some advis'd her to put him to Death; others to pull out his Eyes: which latter advice she follow'd, and so the Prince was depriv'd of his sight. VVhich happen'd Eight Months after the Marriage of that poor Prince, which they said moreover he had not fully then consummated.

Among the rest of the Lords that were of Darejan's Party, there was one with whom she was passionately in love, whose Name was Vactangle: Him she Marry'd, and caus'd him to be Crown'd King in the Fortress. Which highly incens'd the rest of the Lords, who thought themselves all affronted by his Advancement. Thereupon they fell oft from siding with Darejan, joyn'd themselves with the contrary Party, took Arms, and call'd to their Assistance the Princes of Guriel and Mingrelia, offering the Kingdom to which of the two should [Page 138] first come to their Aid. Vomeki Dadian was the first that ap­pear'd in the Field with all the Forces of his Country; and soon reduc'd under his Subjection all that part which held for Darejan, except the Fort of Cotatis. However, he laid Siege to that also, but for want of Artillery, he could do little good against the Besieged, only that he kept 'em from stirring forth out of their Walls; and it would have cost him a long time before he could have brought 'em to a surrender, had it not been for the Politick Contrivance of a Lord of the Country, whose Name was Ottia Chekaizè, who brought that to pass by his Wit, which they could not do with all their Force. He went to the Fortress full of a feign'd Despair, occasion'd by the Prince of Mingrelia; he made Darejan believe that he was reduc'd to that extremity, that he knew not where to find a more secure Sanctuary: that he came to throw himself at her Feet, to beg her Pardon, and desire her Protection against that Prince. Darejan fell into the Snare. She believ'd what­ever Ottia said, and that his extraordinary Zeal for her In­terests was true. She admitted him into her Council, soon after encreas'd by the Bishop of Tifflis and the Catholicos of Georgia, whom the Viceroy of that Country had sent her, fearing lest they in whom she most confided should betray her. But this same Runagate deceiv'd 'em both, as quick-sighted as they were. He told Darejan in their hearing, That consi­dering the Condition of her Affairs, there was no other way to expel the Prince of Mingrelia, to regain what he had won, and to Reign securely, but to have recourse to the Turk. That her best way was to send her Husband to Constantinople for As­sistance, and the Confirmation of his Coronation: That the Kingdom of Imiretta was Tributary to the Port, and that the Grand Signior had both Right and Power sufficient to restore the Country to Peace, and fix him in the Throne. Darejan was Charm'd by this Advice, and while he that gave it, offer'd to assist in the Management of it, and to Conduct Vactangle to Constantinople, she threw her self at his Feet, not having Words enough to express that Acknowledgment which she had in her Heart. Vactangle took only two Men along with him, to the end he might Travel with the more Security and Privacy. Thus being soon ready, the cunning Ottia Chikaizè his Guide, caus'd him to set forth out of the Fortress about Twilight, and carrying him through By-ways to bring him the more insen­sibly to the Besiegers, brought him in less then an Hour into their Camp. The Prince of Mingrelia caus'd his Eyes forth­with [Page 139] to be pull'd out, and sent that Night to Darejan to let her know that he had her Husband Pris'ner, and that he had put out his Eyes. This News surpriz'd her so, that her Cou­rage and Resolution quite fail'd her, and in a short time after she surrender'd the Fortress, which was plunder'd from Top to Bottom. Insomuch that it was certainly reported that the Prince of Mingrelia carry'd thence a very rich Booty, and among the rest Twelve Wagons of Silver, Plate and Move­ables. For, as it was said, the Kings of Imiretta had heap'd together such a vast Quantity of Plate, that every thing with­in the Palace was of Massie Silver, even to the Steps and Foot­stools. Which is no difficult thing to believe in a plentiful Country, and where there is a good Trade, and adjoyning to Countries which were formerly very Wealthy, and where it appears that Money was not then in use, there being very little that is stirring at present. The Prince of Mingrelia also carry'd away along with him the King and Queen of Imiretta, the wicked Darejan, and the unfortunate Vactangle her Hus­band; but to the Viceroy of Georgia he generously return'd the two Prelates which he had sent to the Princess to be her Privy Counsellors.

The Viceroy of Georgia is call'd Shanavas Can; being des­cended also from the last Soveraign Princess of that Country: but he turn'd Mahumetan to make himself capable of enjoying the Viceroyship under the Persian. He has only two Lawful Wives, who are both Christians, of which the one is call'd Mary the Sister of Levan Prince of Mingrelia, who gave the first occasion to this Relation: This Lady when she understood how the detestable Shilakite had excluded the lawful Heir in favour of a Son which she had before she was Marry'd to Levan, daily importun'd the Prince her Husband to undertake her Ne­phews Cause, and to settle him in the possession of his Principa­lity, to which he was the true and lawful Heir. But the Viceroy would not act Hand over Head by force in this Affair. For Min­grelia being Tributary to the Turk, he durst not declare open Hostility against that Country, without the knowledge and con­sent of the King of Persia. But at length a favourable opportunity offer'd it self. For so soon as the Prince of Mingrelia was en­ter'd into the Kingdom of Imiretta, as has been already said, Darejan who was near Kins-woman to the Georgian Viceroy, and had been bred up in his House, and Vactangle her Husband, sent and offer'd the Kingdom to Archylas his Eldest Son, if he would come and drive out the Mingrelian. The Viceroy made [Page 140] this offer known to the King of Persia, and assur'd him withal that he would add that Kingdom and Mingrelia to his Empire, if he would but give him leave to Conquer 'em. To which when his Majesty had sent him his consent, he muster'd all his Forces and march'd toward Imiretta. But he was no sooner enter'd the Kingdom, when news was brought him that a great Georgian Lord, taking the advantage of his absence, was up in Arms, and preparing to ransack all the Country. Upon which he march'd back again with all his Forces against the Rebel, defeated and put him to Death, and then return'd to­ward Imiretta.

The Grandees of the Kingdom that invited him in, had rais'd Four Thousand Men, which was a great Army for a Country so bounded as that, and this number too Augmented every Day, some flocking out of fear of His Power, others allur'd by the charming Fame of his Valour. So that he found little or no Resistance either in Imiretta or Mingrelia. Prince Vomeki retir'd amongst the Souanes into the Fortresses of Mount Caucasus, inaccessible to the Cavalry. So that the Georgian Prince had nothing to do but to Ransack; and he carry'd away a very Rich Booty out of both Countries. They report that it was there that he plunder'd the greatest part of the Gold and Silver Plate, of which his House is full. He settl'd in Mingrelia his Nephew, Levan's Grand-Child, to whom the Principality belong'd of Right, and affianc'd him to one of his Nieces whom he promis'd to send him. Which done, he caus'd his Son Archylus to be Crown'd King of Imiretta; but he knew not how to be rid of Vomeki. For he was unwilling to leave him a Fugitive in the Mountains where he was retir'd, fearing lest when he was gone, he should come down from the Mountains, and disturb the unsettled affairs of Princes hardly warm in their Thrones. But a Grandee of Imiretta whose Name was Kotzia, put him out of that pain. For he wrore to the Souanes, that the Viceroy of Georgia desir'd to rid himself absolutely of Vomeki: that he would give 'em great Rewards and Immunities if they brought him his Head: but if they deny'd to gratifie him in so small a Matter, he threaten'd their Country with Fire and Sword. The Souanes therefore readily condescended, and having slain Vomeki, sent his Head to the Georgian Prince. Which done he retreated, and carry'd along with him the two Blind Princes Bacrat, and Vactangle; to the end no Friend of theirs in his absence might be embolden'd to undertake any new disturbances in their Favour; and left the [Page 141] Princesses their Wives at Cotatis. Which Inhuman separations he made for the sake of his Son the King of Imiretta; who became so desperately in Love with Bacrat's Wife, that he resolv'd to take her from her Husband and Marry her.

After the departure of the Viceroy of Georgia, several Grandees of Imiretta conspir'd against their new Soveraign. For some had been ill us'd; others could not brook the Power and high advancement of Kotzia, whom Archylus's Father had appoin­ted to be his Sons Prime Minister, nor his Domineering Haugh­tiness and severity towards 'em. Thereupon they wrote to the Basha of Akalzike, that they wonderd to see him sit still with so much indifferency, while the Viceroy of Georgia ravag'd a Kingdom and Principality Tributary to the Turks; nay, re­duc'd 'em under his Subjection, and carry'd away their Lawful Princes Pris'ners, and set up in their Places his own Friends and Kindred. That therefore they besought him to let 'em know, whether it were the Port that abandon'd 'em to the Capricious Humours of the Persians; or whether it were the Dread of their Forces, that ty'd his Hands at a time when the Honour and Interest of the Grand Signior lay at Stake. To which the Basha return'd for answer, That he had sent Intel­ligence to the Port of the Invasion made by the Georgian Vice­roy, and expected Orders every Hour; which when he should receive, he would let 'em know what was necessary to be done. Soon after he wrote word that his Orders were come; and that as soon as the Forces which the Basha's of Erzerom and Carrs (both Provinces of Armenia) had Instructions to send him, should be joyn'd with his, he would deliver 'em from the Georgian Yoke. That in the mean time they should get ready to joyn with him with all the Forces they could raise, and that they should cause Kotzia to be murder'd, for fear his Forces, his Prudence and his Reputation should put a stop to the Enterprize, and that by his Death the new King of Imiretta might be without any Counsellor to assist him.

The Chief Conspirators were the Grand Steward of the Houshold, and Bishop Janatelle; who also admitted into their Plot one of Kotzia's Gentlemen: promising him withal the Grand Master's Daughter in Marriage, and to prevail with the Turkish Basha, that he should have all his Master Kotzia's Land, if he would but undertake to kill him, and perform it effectually: Which Conditions the perfidious Villain accepted, and one Night Assassinated his Master, at what time a certain Purge that he had tak'n wrought upon his Body.

[Page 142] This bold Stroak discover'd the Conspiracy, caus'd all the Grandees of Imiretta to stand to their Arms, hasten'd the Ba­sha of Akalzikè's March, and put the King into an extraordi­nary Trouble and Consternation. Presently he gave advice of what had happen'd to his Father the Viceroy of Georgia. Who sent him Instructions and Counsellors, and assur'd him, he would come in a little time with an Army to his Assistance. But the Basha of Akalzikè would not stay for his coming; for he fell into Imiretta with that swiftness, that the young Prince had much ado to escape his Avant-Couriers, and to save him­self. He went to his Father, where in a few days Intelligence was brought him, that the Basha of Akalzikè had put a Gari­son into the Fortress of Cotatis, the Capital City of Imiretta, and that he was Master of the whole Country. Upon which the Viceroy of Georgia turn'd back, not daring to act any thing against the Turks without the King of Persia's Orders.

As for the Orders which the Basha had receiv'd from the Grand Signior, the purport of 'em was, That since the Peo­ple of Imiretta and Mingrelia made use of their Liberty only to destroy one another, he should take from 'em all the Strong Places he could. The Basha had kept his Instructions very secret; and having by a Stratagem got admittance into the Ca­stle of Cotatis, he made himself Master of it, and furnish'd it with a good Garison. Afterwards he sent for all the Nobility and Gentry of the Country, and made 'em swear Fealty to the new King which he gave 'em, who was the Son of the Prince of Guriel, at that time a Berre, or Monk of the Order of St. Basil; but he quitted his Monastical Habit, and was Crown'd King.

While the Basha was thus disposing of the Petty Kingdom of Imiretta, the Prince of Mingrelia came to waite upon him, with the offer of his Head, and Tender of his Subjection to the Grand Signior's Commands. That he was and would still continue a Tributary to the Court; and that the Prince of Georgia in establishing him, had done no more then restor'd him the Patrimony of his Ancestors, which appertain'd to him of Right. The Basha was appeas'd by his Submission, and by the great Presents which he brought along with him. So that he confirm'd him in his Principality, and then return'd to Akalzike, carrying along with him the Wretched Darejan, and the Queen of Imiretta, whom the Unfortunate Archilus had not time to get into his possession.

[Page 143] This happen'd in the Year 1659. at what time the Turkish Basha had no sooner turned his Back, but the Grandees of Imi­retta, out of their natural Treachery and Inconstancy, refus'd to obey their new King. Thereupon they sent Commissioners to the Viceroy of Georgia, with their Complaints against him; and conjur'd him, to send 'em back Bacrat, as Blind as he was. The Georgian Prince was afraid that this demand was no more then only an Artifice of their Treachery, and therefore to as­certain himself of the Truth, he made Answer, That if the Grandees of Imiretta were really, as they said they were, in­cens'd against their new Master, and resolv'd to dethrone him, that they should pull out his Eyes, and that then when he was assur'd they had done it, he would send away Bacrat: Which Conditions were accepted and punctually perform'd both on one side and t' other. The Grandees of Imiretta pull'd out their Kings Eyes, and sent him back to the Prince of Gu­riel his Brother; and the Viceroy of Georgia sent 'em Ba­crat, after he had affianc'd him to one of his Nieces, Sister to her, whom he had given to the Prince of Mingrelia.

This latter was very Young, and Bacrat was Blind: so that their principal Officers Govern'd; and thence it came to pass that the Prime Ministers of Mingrelia and Imiretta had continual Quarrels one with another, wherein they engag'd their Ma­sters, and oblig'd 'em to make War one upon another. In which Contest the Mingrelian was Vanquish'd and taken Priso­ner with his Wife, whom the Viceroy of Georgia had sent him not above two Months before, and a report was afterwards spread abroad, that he had not consummated the Marriage. She is very fair and very well shap'd, and tho I have seen many handsome Women in her Country, I never beheld a more charming Creature. She is most surely guilty of all the Pas­sions that a Lovers Breast can feel. For such are the Glances of her passionately Tender and Languishing Eyes, that she never looks but to command Love, and inspire hope. In a word, the Air of her Countenance and all her discourses are ir­resistable Allurements. So that Bishop Janatelle, who is one of the greatest Lords in all Imiretta, was taken with her at first sight. Who being very Rich, ply'd her with Presents, and gain'd her so entirely, that now she sticks close to him, and that so publickly, as if they were Man and Wife. And indeed the cunning which this Priest made use of to retain this lovely Pris'ner still in Imiretta, was more then usual, and a very pleasant Contrivance. For he made the King his Master, the [Page 144] poor Blind Bacrat, in Love with her, by means of the dayly Encomiums of her Beauty which he continually peal'd in his Ears, and when he had kindl'd his Flame, he lay'd before him a kind of necessity of Marrying her. Your Majesty, said he, has lost your Wife, as being carry'd away by the Basha of Akal­zike, so that GOD knows what is become of her. The Viceroy of Georgia's Niece, to whom you are affianc'd, is an Infant, so that it will be a long time before you can be Marry'd to her. And therefore your Majesty will do well to espouse the Princess of Min­grelia, nor can you any where Marry another, that has more Beauty, or more Wit. And thus the King being over-rul'd, follow'd his Counsel, never considering that he acted more for the Interest of his Advizer then his own. And as for the Princess she was glad of the Bargain.

'Tis well known that the Prince of Mingrelia lov'd her en­tirely, and that he would never consent to surrender her to the King of Imiretta. And therefore an Expedient was found out to take her away under the pretence of Justice, which was this. The King of Imiretta had her Sister with him; being at that time a Widow; and it was propos'd to her to make her Princess of Mingrelia, in stead of her that was so already, provided she could but allure the Prince, and so order it, as that he should be surpriz'd in her Bed. She being the Sister of a King, Young, Cunning, and Handsom, with little or no trouble easily debauch'd a Young, Simple and Captive Prince. So that being both taken in Bed together, the Prince was forc'd to Marry her immediately, and at the same time the King of Imiretta espous'd the Princess of Mingrelia. These two Mar­riages thus accomplish'd, the Mingrelian had his Liberty, and was restor'd to his Country, after he had sworn upon all the Images, never to repudiate his new Spouse, nor to Marry any other, so long as she liv'd.

But so soon as he was return'd into his Country, desire of Revenge transporting him, he Challeng'd alike both the Turk and the Persian. He sent his Ambassadors to the Viceroy of Georgia, and the Basha of Akalzikè, Complaining of the In­vasion which the King of Imiretta had made into his Country, and of his taking from him his Wife. The Basha was at that time highly provok'd against the People of Imiretta, for their Treachery, Rebellion and Cruelty to the King which he had appointed for their Soveraign. The Prince of Guriel also, Bro­ther to that Unfortunate Prince, loudly demanded Justice. And the Cruel Darejan inflam'd his Revenge with all her [Page 145] might; and urg'd him to extend it to the utmost Rigour that such detestable Inhumanities deserv'd. Now she was lovely, as I have already said, and her Beauty strangely reinforc'd her Arguments. Insomuch that the Basha promis'd to restore her to the Throne of Imiretta, together with her Husband, if she could get him out of Georgia where he was a Pris'ner, in the Custody of the Archbishop of Gori; from whence the wily Darejan found a way to have him stoll'n and brought to Akalzikè. So soon as he was arriv'd, the Basha took 'em both along with him in his March to Imiretta; where he sackt and ruin'd after a most terrible manner all before him. Where­upon the King and Queen fled to a Fortress call'd Ratchia, seated in an inaccessible part of the Mountains. After that, the Basha restor'd Darejan and her Husband to the Throne, and caus'd all the Grandees, and all the People to swear Feal­ty to him; and so taking Hostages, he return'd with a great Number of Slaves; but little other Booty, in regard it had been no less then the third time in five Years that that poor Country had been pillag'd, plunder'd and ransack'd by the Persians, and their other Neighbours.

As for the wicked Darejan, she was destin'd to be ruin'd by her excess of Confidence. One of her great Lords having lull'd her into a besotted Credulity, had plung'd her, as I have already related, into one of the most miserable Conditi­ons that could befal a Woman of her Quality; and now ano­ther by the same means brought her to the most Tragick end in the World. This was the most perfidious Traytor and Mur­derer of the Prime Minister Cotzia, who was also call'd by the same Name. For the Murder he had committed had rais'd him to great Preferment. Now this Person never came near the Basha to pay him his Homage, because he had been of the Faction contrary to Darejan; and was therefore afraid of be­ing sacrific'd. However, he wrote to the Princess, as soon as the Turks were retreated, and sent her word, that Bacrat, and they by whom the Prince still suffer'd himself to be Govern'd, had put upon him so many ingrateful Slights and Affronts, that he would be their vow'd Enemy as long as he liv'd: That if she would engage to restore him to the Basha's Favour, and to all his Lands that had been Confiscated, and to invest him in the Estate of the High Steward of Bacrat's Houshold, he would deliver into her Hands both Bacrat and his Wife. All which she promis'd to perform; and then the Traytor came and submitted himself to her. At what time the Princess was [Page 146] so over-hasty, that nothing would serve her but she would presently bestow upon him all the Marks of Favour and Re­conciliation, Friendship and Confidence, which are most usual in that Country between Men and Women. She adopt­ed him therefore, and gave him the end of her Nipple to suck. Which is a Custom not only in Mingrelia, Georgia and Imiretta, but also in other the Neighbouring Countries, to adopt in that manner such Persons as they cannot unite to themselves by Alliance. The Traytor having this Pledge of Darejan's Faith, wrote to Bacrat to come with all his Party, and he would de­liver both her and her Husband into their Hands, either alive or dead. Now the same Day that Bacrat was to appear, the perfidious Cotzia kept his Bed, pretended himself sick, and sent to Darejan to vouchsafe him the Honour of a Visit, for that he had secret Intelligence to impart of that Importance, that he would not communicate to any but her self. Thus wheedl'd, away she went, attended only by some of her Wo­men: but as she was sitting by the Traytor's Bed, certain Fel­lows hid in the Room, fell upon her, and seiz'd her Person, her Women in vain endeavouring to protect her. Yet there was one who took the Princess in her Arms, and run her up into a Corner of the Room, where she stuck by her, till the Murderers stabb'd 'em both. With that Cotzia rose, and went with his Gang, where Darejan's Husband lodg'd; a poor blind Man, uncapable of making any Resistance. Him there­fore they seiz'd, and Cotzia order'd him to be bound and kept till Bacrat came. Who was no sooner arriv'd, but he demanded the Pris'ner, and hearing him approach, Traytor, said he, thou wert the Occasion of putting out my Eyes, and I will tear out thy Heart. And so saying, he order'd himself to be carry'd near the Pris'ner, and then groping for his Breast, he gave him se­veral Stabs with his Dagger. His Followers compleated the Murther by ripping open his Breast, and gave the poor Cap­tive's Heart into the Hands of the bloody sightless Prince, who for above an Hour held it in his Clutches, grasping and tear­ing it with an unheard-of Transport of Fury.

These Barbarous Tragedies happen'd in the Year 1667. from which time till the Year 1672, there fell out a Hunderd more in the same Countries, altogether as Infamous and Inhu­mane: and therefore I pass 'em over in silence, as being Stories rather frightful then pleasing to the Ear. I shall only add thus much, that the Traytor Cotzia was himself also Treache­rously slain; and in a short time after the Assassins themselves [Page 147] were also kill'd at the Battel of Chicaris, which is a great Vil­lage within sight of Scander, a Fortress of Imiretta, where the Forces of that Country, and the Prince of Mingrelia met. By which we may find there is a Visible Providence in the Mo­dern Histories of these Impious People; upon whom Heav'n still inflicted such severe and speedy Justice: while the Mur­derers are always Assassinated, and with those Circumstances which plainly demonstrate that God had a Hand in it, and made the one his Instruments to punish the other.

In the Year 1672, the Basha of Akalzike, perceiving there was no end of Warring between those two Petty Soveraigns of Mingrelia and Imeretta, neither by Accommodations nor Re­monstrances, nor by Commands or Threats, resolv'd to exter­minate 'em, and give their Country to others that better de­serv'd it. He had then in his Possession the true and Law­ful Heir of Mingrelia. For when Vomeki Dadian was ad­vanc'd to the Throne of that Kingdom, the Wife of Alexander the Son of Levan, fearing lest the Ambitious Chilakite, the Mother of Vomeki should Murder Alexander's Son, she fled and carry'd the Infant with her. This Princess was Sister to the Prince of Guriel, who apprehensive also lest the Chilakites fury should bring a War upon him, if he should shelter the little Infant, adviz'd her to carry him to the Basha of Akalzike. Which she did; so that the young Prince was brought up in the City of Akalzike, under the Eye of the Basha himself. Who never desir'd him to change his Religion; believing it sufficient to give him such an Education as should infuse into him a deep Tincture of the Customs and Manners of the Turks. Upon these considerations therefore the Basha of A­kalzike resolv'd to settle this young Prince in Mingrelia; as well in regard the Principality belong'd to him as his Right, as for that he had some reason to hope that he would Govern it well, and root out those abominable Customs that had over run it: and this was the reason of the coming of the Turks into Min­grelia. The Prince of Guriel also joyn'd with the Basha, as being overjoy'd at the advancement of his Nephew, to the Soveraignty: for he was in hopes of a Thousand Advantages from the success of this Enterprize. Presently the Basha Thun­der's into Imiretta, and makes himself Master of the Country; and of the Person of the King But the Queen his Spouse was not seiz'd. For her Bishop Janatel, gave Fifteen Thousand Crowns to the Basha that he might have Liberty to carry her [Page 148] where he pleas'd; and that he might have the favour to pre­serve his own Lands and Tenements, from spoil and Ransack.

When the Basha came to Cotatis, he sent to the Dadian, which is the Title given to the Prince of Mingrelia, to come and pay him Homage. But the Dadian, understanding the Alte­ration of Government which he intended to make in Mingrelia, refus'd to obey him, and shut himself up in his Fortress of Rucks. His Vizier Carzia fled into Lexicom, which is a Prin­cipality in the Mountains inhabited by the Souanes, and from thence sent to the Abca's to succour Dadian. Tis true, they march'd into Mingrelia, but instead of assisting the Prince, they pillag'd all the Country in their March, and then retreat­ed back again. As for the Basha, after he had stay'd a Month in vain, expecting the Dadians coming to pay him Homage, and receive his Orders, he sent his Army into Mingrelia. And the noise of the march of this Army it was, that oblig'd me to betake my self to flight.

The 27th before Day, the Superiour of the Theatins left us, and return'd home to his House to see if he could remove any thing of that Houshold Stuff and Provisions which remain'd behind. I would have been glad to have accompany'd him upon the same design; but he was gone two Hours before Day. But when he came to his House, he found it full of the Basha's, and the Prince of Guriel's avant-Couriers, who entertain'd him but very rudely with their Cudgels and Iron Maces. These Free-Booters would have had him open'd the Church, pretending he had hid his Goods in it. But the Superiour had warily thrown the Key among the Bushes when he first per­ciev'd the Souldiers, so that notwithstanding all the Violence they could offer him, he deny'd he had it, and would never discover where it was. At length the Turks having some Consideration for his Character, took from him a part of his Habits, and carry'd away only some slight things of the great­est Value they found in the House, not so much as medling either with my Books or my Papers.

But the 29th at Night came a Gentleman of Mingrelia with a Party of Thirty Followers, and cut all to pieces. He un­cover'd almost all my Chamber, believing I had hidd'n many Things in it. He carry'd away the Remainder of the Copper Ware, my Chests, and large Moveables; and in a word, whatever the Turks and I had left, as being of no great Va­lue, and heavy for Carriage beside. This Tygre, as I said, [Page 149] came by Night, and therefore for want of a Candle he set Fire on my Papers and Books, and tore off the Covers, because they were Gilt, and mark'd with Coats of Arms. For I had caused my Books to be very curiously Bound at my departure from Paris. But they left me not so much as a Sheet of Paper.

The 30th in the Morning I had notice of my being Plun­der'd, to my unspeakable sorrow. And in the Evening came a Turkish Chiaux to the Fortress where I was, to let us know that he came from the Basha. Sabatar (for so was the Gentle­man call'd to whom it belong'd, as I have already declar'd) went forth to receive the Message. Which imported, that the Basha's Lieutenant who lay before the Fortress of Rucks ad­mir'd, that he did not come and submit himself to him, and pay him his Homage, since that Mingrelia belong'd to the Grand Signior; that the Basha had order'd that they should be civilly us'd, who joyn'd themselves with the Turks; but that they should be dealt with as Enemies, who refus'd to submit: that if he intended to save his Estate, his Life, his Castle, and all that was in it, he should make haste to receive the Basha's Orders. To which Sabatar made Answer, that he acknow­ledg'd the Basha for his Lord, and that in his Heart he was a Turk and not a Mingrelian; that he had resolv'd to attend the Basha, so soon as he understood that it was proper for him to attend his Lordship; and now that he understood that his Lieu­tenant lay before Rucks, he would go the next Morning to receive his Orders.

The 31st the Gentleman went with Thirty Men well Arm'd to wait upon the Basha's Lieutenant, carrying along with him a Present of Four Slaves, a Silver Cup, together with a Quantity of Silk, Wax and Vittles for Refreshment. That Evening he arriv'd at the Camp, where he found seve­ral Lords of Mingrelia, who were come, as he was, to submit themselves, for fear of being Besieg'd, and of having their Ca­stles and Lands plunder'd and demolish'd. The Lieutenant told him that the Orders which his Master had receiv'd from the Grand Signior his Master, were to destroy all the strong places in Mingrelia, however that he would preserve the Castles of such Lords as preserv'd themselves in their Loyalty and Obe­dience. That the Grand Signior had taken away the Princi­pality from Levan, who was at Rucks, and had conferr'd it upon a Young Prince, who was bred up at Akalzikè, and that he must swear Allegiance to him, and give one of his Childern in Hostage for his Fidelity; and make a Present to the Basha. [Page 150] Now the Present which Sabatar agreed to make, was Ten Young Slaves of both Sexes, and Three Hundred Crowns either in Silver or in Silk.

The First of October, Sabatar return'd, and brought along with him a Protection from the Turk, for his Castle and for all his Lands. All that night he bestirr'd himself to get ready the Present which he was to carry. To which purpose he sig­nifi'd to all that were fled for Refuge to his Castle or Fortress, that the Turks had given him a Protection, for Twenty Five Slaves, and Eight Hundred Crowns, which he must Levy up­on those that were retir'd under his security. So that from every Family that had Four Children he took one: which was the most lamentable spectacle in the World, to see little Childern torn from the Arms of their Mothers, ty'd two and two together, and carry'd away to the Turks: For my own part I was tax'd at Twenty Crowns.

However, Sabatar did not carry any more to the Basha's Lieutenant, then what they two had agreed between them­selves: the rest he appropriated to himself. Nor could his Wives, his Childern and all the Castle forbear loud Cries of sorrow when they saw his Young Son carry'd away among the rest. For those Childern which are given in Hostage to the Turk, are no less his Slaves: He never parts with 'em; as be­ing usually sent to Constantinople, to encrease the Multitude of those handsome young Childern that are bred up in the Se­raglio. The Basha's Lieutenant receiv'd the Present and the Hostage, and still detain'd Sabatar with him nevertheless. He also summon'd the Dadian Three times to surrender, but the Prince refus'd. For his Fortress was well guarded by the Sou­anes, which his Vizier had sent him, and who were more the Masters of it then himself: besides that the Vizier sent him word every Day that he should hold out, and that he would be ready in a short time to pour down upon the Enemy. At last the Turks after they had stay'd about Four Days before Rucks, and got above Two Thousand Slaves and much Booty, rais'd their Siege: for they had no great Guns, which was the reason they did not attack the Castle. They also carry'd along with 'em all the Mingrelian Lords that came to surrender them­selves, and had sworn Allegiance to the new Prince. The Catholicos was among the number of those that had tak'n the Oath. Whom the Basha order'd to be made Vizier to the new Prince, and that they should send in his Name to the Prince of the Abca's, to demand the Princess his Daughter in Mar­riage.

[Page 151] It was thought that the coming of the Turk into Mingrelia, would have resettl'd all things in order, and restor'd Peace and Tranquillity, by causing all Parties to lay down their Arms. But it did not so fall out: they only came and plunder'd the Country; but put it into more confusion then it was be­fore. For they divided it into two Parties; of which the one was engag'd by Oath and Hostages to the new Prince, the other stuck fast to their depos'd Soveraign: Which Division made every one betake themselves to their Arms. Seeing therefore the Affairs of the Country in this miserable condition so far from any Accommodation, I took a resolution to get into Georgia by any manner of way, or whatever the hazard might be. For I ran those Risco's every Day in Mingrelia, that I expected nothing at length but to be utterly ruin'd. Levan threatn'd Ruine and Destruction to the Castles, Goods and Lands of the Lords who had surrender'd to the Turks: Sabatar was still in Custody: and his Sons that commanded in the Castle, were the grearest Cut-throats and accomplish'd Rogues in the World. I languish'd every Day with sorrow and want. It was a Man's whole business to buy a handful of Grain, and a Pound of Vittles; and I suffer'd in my Oven all the Injuries of Weather, as if I had been in the open Field: the despair of my Ser­vants went to my Heart; in a word, I was at the brink of Death. Which was that which induc'd me to venture all hazards to get my self rid of Mingrelia, while I had strength and Ability to do it. To that purpose I sought every where for Guides; promis'd, entreated, lay'd down my Money, but nothing would do; there was no body that would be my Conductor. The Armies they said, lay so thick upon the Roads of Imiretta, the Country between Mingrelia and Georgia, through which I was of necessity to pass, that it was a meer folly to venture, where a man was assur'd he could not escape being made a Slave. And these were all the Answers they made me. I propos'd the fetching a Compass either over Mount Caucasus or along the Sea Coast, but no body would undertake the Journey.

'Tis an incredible thing to think how fearful the Mingrelians are of Death, or of being undone; there is no Reward can prevail with 'em to run the Risco of a known Danger, how inconsiderable soever it be. At length I was constrain'd to take the way by Sea, and through Turkey, that is to say, to fetch a Compass of Seventy Leagues. To that purpose I went to Anarghia, a Village and small Sea-Port, of which I have [Page 152] already spok'n. There I found a Felouque of the Turks, which I hir'd for Gonia: so that when I had giv'n Earnest, I return'd to the Theatins House, and to Sabatar's Castle, to prepare for my Voyage.

The Tenth of November early in the Morning I departed from the Castle, having agreed with my Comrade what ways I would take to recover him out of Mingrelia, if it pleas'd GOD to grant me a happy Voyage. I carry'd along with me Eight Thousand Pounds in Jewels, and Eight Hunderd Pi­stols in Gold, with the few small Packs that were left me. The Jewels were hid in a Saddle contriv'd for that purpose, and in a Pillow: and I took a Servant along with me, the same whom I had redeem'd out of Slavery. This was a con­ceal'd Rogue; a Traytor whose Villany was not well disco­ver'd by me. I was advis'd not to take him along with me for fear of some Imposition, or some wicked Trick that his very Countenance told 'em he would play me; nor was I well resolv'd with my self to be troubl'd with him; but my Fortune would have it so, and I could not prevent it. But the Reasons that prevail'd with me more then any other to take him, was, that he brook'd his bad Condition like one that was mad or in despair; and I was afraid lest in one of his mad or drunk'n Fits (to which he was subject) he should discover us in Mingrelia. Fryer Zampi, the Superiour of the Theatins, bore me Company as he had done all along. And the Lay-Brother undertook to Conduct me to Anarghia. The Superiour and I went afoot, because we could not meet with more then one Horse to be hir'd for Money, upon which I loaded my Goods, and let my Servant ride to look after 'em. The Lay-Brother was also a Horseback, and it rain'd as hard as it could pour after two days; insomuch that the Fryer had like to have been drown'd about a League from the Castle in a deep Ditch that overflow'd its Banks, into which his Horse fell, and out of which with much ado we recover'd him half dead. I shall not relate the Hardships I endur'd both that and the fol­lowing days: as being constrain'd to march afoot in a rainy season through the Woods, full of Water and Mud, where I went for the most part up to the Knees: only in a word, that 'twas impossible for any Person to endure more then we did. For my own part I was quite spent: All that I had left was a remainder of Courage and Resolution to do and suffer what­ever befel me, to save those Goods that were entrusted to my Care. In the Evening we arriv'd at Anarghia wet to the [Page 153] very Skin; Anarghia being six Leagues from the Castle of Sa­batar.

The 12th I was to have Embark'd, but was prevented by the News that was spread about of several Barks of the Mingre­lians and Abca's that were Cruising upon the Coasts of Min­grelia. Which was very true; for they had taken several Barks of the Country, and one among the rest wherein I was concern'd. Yet the unspeakable trouble which this delay gave me, did not proceed so much from its keeping me in conti­nual Fears and Dangers, as that it seem'd to threaten me that I should never get rid of 'em.

The 19th Father Zampi had Intelligence that the Day be­fore, they had forc'd open the Church-Doors, taken away all that was in the Church, had open'd the Sepulcher, and carry'd all that one of the Theatins, who was left to look af­ter the House, had hid in the Tomb, and that there was no­thing left standing but the Wall. This News put me into a terrible fright, considering I had left above Seven Thousand Pistols buri'd in the Church. Upon which I dispatch'd away a Messenger to my Comrade, thinking to have found him at the Castle; but he was already gone to the Theatins Resi­dence, to know what course we should take to repair so great a Misfortune, of which he had Notice as soon as my self. But he wrote me word, That Thanks be to GOD they had not so much as touch'd our Money, having found it in the same place where we had buri'd it. VVhich good News wonderfully re­viv'd my Spirits, looking upon so great a Favour of the Al­mighty as a sign of his Attonement; so that I went to encou­rage the Turks, whose Feluke I had hir'd to set Sail with all speed.

The 27th I departed from Anarghia, my Feluke being a Vessel of good Burthen, wherein there were near Twenty Persons, the one half Slaves, the rest Turks, which I the ra­ther permitted the Master to take in, that we might be the bet­ter able to defend our selves against the Rovers that infested the Coasts. After an Hours Sailing, we got into the Main Sea: For the Langur which we left is very rapid, and runs with a furious Stream; and besides, he must be a skilful Pilot that carries a laden Vessel down that River, by reason of the many Flats, where they stick upon the Sands. I staid all Day­long near the Shoar at the request of the Master of the Shal­lop, who expected two Slaves to be brought him that Even­ing.

[Page 154] While I tarry'd at Anarghia, I was invited to two Christ­nings; whither I went to observe the manner of the Mingre­lian Baptism; and found that Father Zampi had been very exact in his Relation. For the Ceremony was no otherwise then thus, perform'd in a Neighbours House adjoyning to the Lodging where I lay. He sent for the Priest about Ten a Clock in the Morning; who was no sooner come, but he went into the Buttry where they kept the Wine, and sate him­self down upon a Bench without any other then his ordinary Habit, and then fell a reading in a Book that was half torn, about the bigness of a New Testament in Octavo. Not that the Child was brought to him when he began to read, for the Father and Godfather did not bring him till a quarter of an Hour after; and then appear'd a little Boy of about five Years of Age, at what time the Godfather brought also a little Sear­ring Candle, and three Grains of Incense. The Candle the Godfather likewise lighted, and fix'd it to the Door of the Cellar, where though it was burnt out before the Child was Baptiz'd, they did not light up another; and as for the three Grains of Incense, they were strew'd upon a few Embers, and smoak'd away. All this while the Priest read on, very fast, and with a low Voice, and in such a careless manner as if he never minded what he did. The Father and Godfather went to and agen all the time, and so did the Child, that did nothing but eat. At length after an Hours reading, there was a Bucket of warm Water got ready; into which after the Priest had pour'd about a Spoonful of Oyl of Walnuts, he bid the Godfather undress the Child: which was done, and the Child put naked into the Bucket; where, as he stood up­on his Feet, the Godfather wash'd his Body all over, and when he had well wash'd him, the Priest took out of a Lea­ther Pouch that hung at his Girdle as much Myrone, or Oyl of Unction, as came to the weight of a Pea, and gave it to the Godfather, who Anointed with it almost all the parts of the Childs Body; as the top of the Head, the Ears, Forehead, Nose, Cheeks, Chin, Shoulders, Elbows, Back, Belly, Knees and Feet: All which time the Priest read on still; nor did he give over till the Godfather had again drest the Child. Which being done, the Father brought in Wine, Bread, and a piece of boyl'd Pork, and first gave the Child to eat, then presented the Priest, the Godfather, the Guests, and all the House: and then they all sate down to the Table; nor was there hardly one that was not drunk before he went.

[Page 155] I have also seen Mass perform'd in the same place: which is done with the same Carelessness and Irreverence, and alto­gether as has been related in a Treatise of the Mingrelian Reli­gion. And once it was my hap to see one very pleasantly in­terrupted. For as I was flying with one of the Theatins, we pass'd along before a Church where they were saying Mass. At what time the Priest that said it, understanding that we enquir'd the way of the People that stood at the Door, Stay a little, cry'd he from the Altar, I'll come and tell ye. Imme­diately after he came to the Door, muttering his Mass between his Teeth, and after he had ask'd us whence we came and whi­ther we went, he shew'd us the way, and so return'd to the Altar again.

The 29th betimes i' the Morning we put to Sea, the wea­ther being clear and fair: and then we could discover the high Lands of Trebisond, on the one side, and of the Abca's on the other, and that very easily because the Black Sea beginning to wind toward the Abca's Coasts, Anarghia stands far out in the circular circumference of those Coasts answering to Trebisond.

The Black-Sea is 200 Leagues in length wanting Twelve or Fifteen, lying just East and West. The broadest part, North and South, from the Bosphorus with Boristhenes, is three degrees; which part is the Western end of the Sea; the Oppo­site part not being above half so broad. The Water of this Sea seem'd to me less Clear, less Green, and less Salt, then the Water of the Ocean. Which proceeds as I am apt to be­lieve from the great Rivers that empty themselves into it; and for that it is shut up in its self as it were in the bottom of a Sack, so that it ought to be more properly called a Lake then a Sea, like the Caspian Sea; With which it agrees in this, that is common to both, that in neither of the two Seas there are any Islands. And therefore 'tis in vain to seek for the reason of its Denomination from the colour of the Water. The Greeks gave it its Name from the Dangerous Navigation dayly experienc'd by those that ventur'd into it; by reason of the Tempests there more frequent and boistrous then in other Seas: Axenos signifying inhospitable, and that will not suffer any Person to come near it. The Turks therefore for the same rea­son call it Cara Denguis, or the Furious Sea. Cara which in the Turkish Language properly signifies Black, denoting also furi­ous, dangerous, terrible, and serving usually in that Idiom, for an Epithite given to thick Forrests, rapid Rivers, and steep and rugged Mountains. Now the reason why the Storms are more [Page 156] Violent and Dangerous in that, then in other Seas, is first be­cause the Waters are contracted within a narrow Channel and have no Outlet: the Bosphorus not being to be accompted an Outlet by reason it is so very streight. And therefore the Waters being Violently agitated by a Storm, and not know­ing where to have Room, and being strongly repell'd by the shoar, they Mount and rowle aloft, and beat against the Ship on every side with an Invincible swiftness and force. Second­ly, because there are few or no Roads in that Sea which are shelter'd from the Wind, but where there is more danger then in the open Sea.

All the Black-Sea is under the Dominion of the Grand Sig­nior; there is no Sailing there without his leave; so that there is no great fear of Pyrates, which in my Opinion are a greater danger then the Sea it self.

All that Day we sayl'd with a Contrary Wind, which was the reason we did not make above Six Leagues, however in the Evening we bore into a River call'd Kelmhel, deeper and almost as broad as the Langur, but not so rapid.

The 30th Two Hours before Day we set sail by the light of the Moon, and by Noon we made the River Phasis, and bore up into it about a Mile to certain Houses, where the Master of the Feluke was desirous to unlade some of his Goods.

The River Phasis takes its rise out of Mount Caucasus, call'd by the Turks Fachs; though as I observ'd, the People of the Country call it Rione. I saw it first at Cotatis, where it runs in a narrow Channel very swiftly, yet sometimes so low, that it is easily fordable. But where it discharges it self into the Sea, which is about Fourscore and Ten Miles from Cotatis, there the Channel is about a Mile and Half Broad and Sixty Fadome deep: being swell'd before that, by several lesser streams that pour themselves into it. The Water is very good to Drink, though somewhat Muddy, thick, and of a Leaden colour; of which Arrian asserts the cause to be the Earth that is intermix'd with it. He farther adds, and other Authors al­so affirm the same, that all the Ships took in Water at Phasis, out of an Opinion that the River was sacred, or believing it to be the best Water in the World. There are several small Islands at the Mouth of the River, which appear very delight­ful, as being shaded with thick Woods. Upon the biggest of which to the West, are to be seen the Ruins of a Fortress which Sultan Murat caus'd to be built in the Year 1578. For [Page 157] he had made an Attempt to Conquer all the Northern and Ea­stern Coasts of the Black-Sea. But this Enterprize did not succeed according to his Design. For to that purpose he sent his Galleys up the River Phasis; but the King of Imiretta ha­ving laid considerable Embuscado's, where the River was nar­rowest, Murat's Galleys were defeated, one sunk, and the rest forc'd to fly. The Fortress of Phasis was tak'n by the Army of the King of Imiretta, reinforc'd by the Prince's of Mingrelia and Guriel. The Castle was presently demolish'd, wherein there were 25 Pieces of Cannon, which the King caus'd to be carry'd to his Castle of Cotatis, where they are now again in the Hands of the Turks by the late surrender of the Castle be­longing to that place.

I fetch'd a Compass about the Island of Phasis, to try whe­ther I could discover any Remainders of the Temple of Rhea, which Arrian says was to be seen in his time: but I could not find the least Footstep of any such thing. Yet Historians affirm, that it was standing entire in the time of the Grecian Empire: and that it was Consecrated to the Worship of Christ in the Reign of the Emperour Zeno. I sought likewise for the great City call'd Sebasta, which Geographers have plac'd at the Mouth of Phasis; but not a Brick to be seen, no more then of the Ruines of Colchis. All that I observ'd conformable to what the Ancients have wrote concerning that part of the Black-Sea, is only this, That it abounds in Pheasants. Of which there are some Authors, and among the rest Martial, who say, That the Argonauts first brought those Birds into Greece, where they had never been seen before, and that they gave 'em the Name of Pheasants, or Phasiani, as being taken upon the Banks of Phasis. This River separates Mingrelia from the Principality of Guriel, and the petty Kingdom of Imiretta. Anarghia is distant from it 36 Miles. All the Coast is a low Sandy Soyl, cover'd with Woods so thick, that a Man can hardly see six Paces among the Trees.

In the Evening I caus'd the Master to put to Sea, with a fair Gale; and at Midnight we Sail'd before a Haven call'd Copoletta, belonging to the Prince of Guriel.

The 30th after Noon, we arriv'd at Goniè, distant from Phasis about 40 Miles; the Sea-Coast being all exceeding High-land, and Rocks, some cover'd with Wood, and others naked. It belongs to the Prince of Guriel, whose Territories extend to a River about half a Mile from Goniè.

[Page 158] Goniè is a large Castle, four-square, built of hard and rough Stones of an extraordinary bulk: seated upon the Sea-side up­on a Sandy Foundation. It has neither Trenches nor Fortifi­cations; but only four Walls and two Gates, one that opens Eastward upon the Sea, and another to the North: Nor did I see any more then only two great Guns for its defence. With­in there are about Thirty pitiful, low, small, inconvenient Houses, built only of Boards: And without, close by it, stands a Village consisting of as many more Habitations. Almost all the Inhabitants Marriners: which is the reason that the Coun­try is call'd Lazi; Laz in the Turkish Language properly sig­nifying a Seaman: and Figuratively, a Clownish, Boarish, Sa­vage Fellow: These Lazi are all Mahumetans.

There is a Custom-House at Goniè, which has the Reputation of being very Rude and Imperious; yet was not quite so cruel as they made me believe it was: and yet as it is severe enough to the People of the Country, so is it really a place that cuts the very Throats of the Europeans. They have no regard to the Quality of the Persons, nor the Passports of the Grand Sig­nior, nor for any Recommendations from the Port. 'Tis in vain therefore to expect any Relief from thence; They who Command in those extream parts of the Empire believing them­selves at a distance remote enough from the reach of the Grand Signior.

So soon as the Felouke came to be Moor'd to the Key, my Servant leap'd ashoar with a most extravagant Transport of Joy: he cast up his Eyes to Heav'n, kiss'd the Earth; he be­stow'd a Thousand Curses upon Mingrelia; but to the Country of the Turks he wish'd all the Happiness imaginable. Pre­sently after, leaving me, he went into the Castle, at a time that I had more need of him then ever. And indeed I had a great Jealousie that he was gone to discover as much as he thought he knew concerning me. For when the Officer of the Custom-House and the Deputy-Governor came to take No­tice what was unladed out of the Felouke, and to demand the Customs, they presently gave me to understand, that they knew I was an European, told me the Misfortunes which had befall'n me in Mingrelia, and the Design which I had to go to Akalzikè. Which surpriz'd me extreamly, perceiving so well that I was betray'd. Nevertheless I was not at all troubl'd at it; for GOD through his Mercy still inspir'd me with Resolution. Besides, I was sure of one thing, that my Servant did not know particularly who I was. I had entertain'd him into my [Page 159] service 'tis true, at Constantinople, and he had seen me frequent­ly Visit the European Ambassadors and Ministers, and that I was honourably receiv'd, and that all the rest of my time I spent in Writing and Reading; so that all he could guess from thence, was only that I might be some Person that Travell'd out of Curiosity. I had given him Instructions also to tell the Turks if they enquir'd, that I was a Merchant, and that be­ing come into Mingrelia to buy Hawks, to carry into Europe, the People of the Country had Robb'd me of all I had, and that I was going to demand Justice from the Basha of Akal­zikè. And I kept constant to this Story, not knowing any better way to conceal my self; besides that I would not by any alteration of my Instructions, seem to take any notice to my Servant, that I was Jealous of his Infidelity. The Officer of the Custom-House ask'd me several Questions; to which I gave him satisfactory Answers: however he sent to search my Packs, but met with nothing: my Saddle indeed weigh'd some­what heavy, which caus'd it to be suspected; in regard that the Turkish Saddles are very light. Whereupon the Officers Poys'd it and felt every where; but not feeling any thing but Flocks and Hair, they suffer'd it to pass.

As for my Eight Hunderd Pistols, I carry'd the one half about me, the other was in a Portmantle lockt with a Padlock with some other Trifles that were of no Value; but which I knew well enough, the Turks would be fingring, had they once but fix'd their Eyes upon 'em. True it is, that when I parted from Mingrelia, I had resolv'd to have given that Cloak Bag to one of the Seamen, so soon as we should land at Copoletta, a Neighbouring Port of which I have already spoken. For they never meddle with the Seamen's Packs, and very rarely search the Feloukes themselves. But the Wind being fair, we never put in to that Port; which was the reason I did not do as I intended: for it would have been a piece of Imprudence to have done it publickly in the Felouk where there were so many Passengers.

The Officers of the Custom-House therefore being inform'd of what I had, went into the Felouk and there finding the Cloak Bag, demanded whose it was, to which I presently an­swer'd, that 'twas mine, but that there was nothing in it that pay'd Custom. However, the Customer commanded me to open it: to which I reply'd, That I would willingly do it at his House, but not a shoar before so many People. There­upon the Officers carry'd me home, and the Deputy Gover­nor [Page 160] went along with him: where the Deputy took one per Cent. and the Officers of the Customs Five i' the Hundred. So that they took from me Twenty Two Pistols in Gold, and what they thought fit besides of the Trifles that were in the Cloak Bag, and among the rest a small pair of Pistols, which were all the Arms I had: for which he pay'd me, 'tis true; but not above half the Value. Afterwards he invited me to lye at his House, to which I answer'd, That sure he did but laugh at me to offer me his House, after he had unjustly made me pay Cu­stoms for the Gold and Silver which I had, that never pay'd any Duty's. To which he reply'd, That I was mis-inform'd, and that he had done me no unjustice, for that at Goniè there was nothing exempted from paying the Custom; and therefore as for offering me his House it was out of kindness and favour that he did it. I return'd him Thanks, and told him, That since he was so forward as to offer me a kindness, there was one for which I should for ever be oblig'd to thank him; that he would so far assist me with a Convenience, that I might get safe to Akalzikè; for it being known over all Goniè that I had a Bag of Gold, I had reason to fear being Murder'd in the Moun­tains, over which my Road lay, for the remainder of what I carry'd about me. That I was a Stranger, and without Wea­pons to defend my self, he himself having tak'n from me all the Arms I had left me; and therefore that he would be pleas'd to lend me some Assistance. To which he answer'd, That I needed not to be in such a Panick Fear, for that, Thanks be to GOD, I was now in the Country of the Faithful (the Epi­thet which the Turks assume to themselves) where I had no reason to be afraid either of being Robb'd or Murder'd. That he would Warrant me my Life and my Goods; that I might carry my Bag of Gold upon my Head, and Travel without any danger. But as to what remain'd, because the way to Akalzikè was very bad, the two first Days Journey being to be Travell'd a Foot, through the narrow and Craggy Passages of the Mountains, where no Horse was able to pass, he would appoint me the next Morning, such as should carry my Bag­gage, and conduct me for the first Days Journey; where like­wise the first Guides should be reliev'd by others, till I came to Akalzikè.

Having so said, He offer'd me a Third time to come and spend the Night at his House, and was very importunate with me; and I found afterwards that he did it sincerely and for my Good. I wish to GOD I had perceiv'd his kindness, but [Page 161] I foresaw not the Danger that my Ill Fortune was preparing for me. I was fearful that the Customers Design in inviting me to his House, was only that he might have an Opportunity to search my Packs the more exactly; besides, that I was de­sperately afraid, lest it should come into his Head to search my self, having a large Bag of Gold and Pearls in several parts of my Cloaths.

It was almost Night when I took my leave of the Custom-House-Officer at his own House; and my Servant had carry'd all my Baggage to the place where the People were gone to lodge that came along with me in the Vessel; which was a pi­tiful Straw-loft, full of Holes in the Walls on every side, and no less nasty and stinking withal. There I receiv'd their Com­plements of Condolement, if I may so call 'em; and to say truth, unless it were my Servant, who had his share of the Twenty Two Pistols, all the rest were sorry for my loss; and every one blam'd me for not giving my Bag to some-body that might have secur'd it for me. So that I was forc'd to act the part of one that was troubl'd and griev'd for what had hap­pen'd, though in my Heart I was not a little glad I had scap'd so, and all I desir'd was only to see the return of Day-light, that I might get rid of that Cut-throat place.

But while I was eating a Morsel of Bisket, in came a Jani­sary to tell my Servant, that the Deputy-Governor would speak with him: for the Commander of the Castle being ab­sent, the Deputy supply'd his place. Away went my Servant, and about an Hour after, the same Janisary came for me like­wise. I found the Deputy-Governor sitting at the Table with my Servant, both very Drunk: and first of all he forc'd me to Eat and Drink whether I would or no: then he told me, That all the Christians that belong'd to the Church who pass'd through Goniè, were oblig'd to give his Master Two Hundred Ducats, which makes about a Hundred Pound; that I was one of those Ecclesiasticks, and therefore must pay so much Money. To which I answer'd, That I was a Merchant, and that he was mis-inform'd, and that seeing the Officer of the Custom-House had let me go, he had nothing to do to take Cognizance who I was. However, if there were any thing due to the Governor, that I would pay it the next Morning: and that the Night was no time to discourse the Business: and having so said, I was about to rise and be gone. But I was stopp'd by two Janisaries; at what time the Deputy-Governor caus'd me to sit down again, and forc'd me to Drink very [Page 162] hard; teizing me for two Hours together with a Thousand Impertinencies: and among other things telling me, That all the Goods of the Christians belong'd of Right to the Turks, that the Maltese's had tak'n two of his Brothers, and that for a Person of my Circumstances Twenty Pistols was sufficient. I confess I found my self but in a scurvy Condition, having to do with People that were Fuddl'd, and my Servant in stead of assisting me, sitting at the Table with my Judge, a Thou­sand times more my Master, then I was his, as of right I ought to have been: yet though I perceiv'd his Treachery, I durst not speak a word, for fear of worse that might befal me. I took him therefore aside, and advis'd him not to lose the Op­portunity of making me more sensible then ever of that Fide­lity wherewith he had serv'd me: that only he could recon­cile the Business, and that therefore I gave him Power to of­fer Twenty Ducats for an Accommodation. My design by that counterfeit Confidence, which could do me no harm, was to bridle the Villany of the Traytor, and to prevent him from using Extremity. After that, I address'd my self to the De­puty-Governor with Intreaties, menacing Hints, and Remon­strances that no body for the future would come near Goniè, when they should understand that Passengers were us'd with so much Violence and Injustice. To which the Deputy-Go­vernor answer'd laughing, That Goniè was none of his Lively­hood, that he had but a Year to tarry there, that he car'd not whether any body came thither or no after he was gone; then, let the Castle sink if it would; and that he was all for the pre­sent Opportunities, without any regard of the future; and at length it came to that heighth, that the Deputy-Governor find­ing he could not oblige me to satisfie his Demands, sent for my Baggage; which the Traytor of a Servant, my Man, was very officious to fetch. Presently the Governor commanded me to take out the Gold; but I refus'd to obey him, and told him withal, That I would not give him a Farthing, let him do his worst; for that I ow'd him nothing: that I could not with­stand his Violence, so that he might take what he pleas'd, but that I knew the way to have Satisfaction. Thereupon the Robber sent for Chains and an Iron Collar, which did not a little daunt me, considering I had to do with Souldiers, whom the sight of Gold and the Wine which they had drank to ex­cess, render'd unlimited in their Actions. At the same time also, one of the Souldiers came to me, and whisper'd me in the Ear, The more ye peel Garlick, the stronger it smells. As [Page 163] much as to say, The longer you delay to accommodate a wrangling Business, the more you intreague it. My Servant likewise pronounc'd Sentence against me for a Hunderd Ducats. To be short, I gave 'em the Summ, and four more to the Ja­nisaries, who had perform'd the Office of Bayliffs. The Goods that I had about me, and at my Lodging, the place where I was, and a Hunderd other good Considerations made me then give way: whereas in another Condition, I should never have submitted to their Threats, nor fear'd their Chains, but have wrested my self out of their Clutches Scotfree, or else with very little loss. For to shew that it was more then they could answer, the Deputy Governor, as I was about to tell out the Money, constrain'd me to swear upon the Gospel, that I gave it him freely, and that I would not speak a word of it to any person. Whereupon arose a fresh dispute, and as hot as the former: for I was unwilling to swear, as being re­solv'd to have made a loud complaint, and desirous withal to secure my self for the future by the obstinacy of my present Resistance. But this same Highway-Man of a Governor ab­solutely refus'd to take the Hunderd Ducats, but upon that Condition. And therefore there was no other way, but I must swear what he would have me in his presence, and desire him to accept the Money.

The next Day, betimes i' the Morning the under Officers of the Custom-House came to my miserable Lodging, and watch'd me all along till I was ready to depart. They had order, it seems, to make a new Inquisition into my Saddle, and to search my Clothes. To that purpose they call'd my Man, and told him their Errand in the most Civil and Courteous Terms they could: and so they fell to searching the Saddle a second time, I my self trembling for Fear, all the while it was in their Hands. However they felt nothing that augmen­ted their mistrust, only the weight amus'd 'em. Which when I perceiv'd to be the only thing that gravell'd 'em, I told 'em, I had made it so heavy, that it might serve me for a Pack Sad­dle upon occasion; which was the reason it was so unweildy: and that evasion it was that sav'd me, and satisfi'd their Curio­sity. After that, I found they had a mind to be searching my Cloathes; for they took me aside one after another, and told me if I had any thing about me, which the Customer had not seen, that I should make 'em a present, and they for their parts would never discover me. Friends, answer'd I, never seek for a far-fetch'd excuse to search me, but if you have a mind, [Page 164] do it without any more ado. And with that I open'd my breast, and shew'd 'em my Pockets: by which Bravado I escap'd: for the Officers thought I would never have been so bold, had I been afraid of their groaping. Thereupon they forbore to search me; but carry'd me to the Customer, to whom with feigned Tears in my Eyes, and Counterfeiting a profound trouble of mind, I acknowledg'd how that because I did not lodge at his House, I had been despoil'd of part of my Gold. I gave ye good advice, answer'd he, for I was afraid what would hap­pen; and then he importun'd me to tell him how much they had tak'n, and who had done it, assuring me that I should have Justice certainly done me: to which I reply'd, that they had threaten'd to kill me if I told. Which was very true, besides that I had such an Impatient desire to be out of Goniè, that I had no mind to be commencing of Suits. Only I de­sir'd the Customer to be as good as his word. Which he was, and appointed me two Men to carry my Baggage, and a Turk to accompany me to Akalzikè. He also order'd the two Men to bring a note back under my hand to assure him that I was safely arriv'd at my first Journeys end; and gave the Turk a Passport, in the form of an order, to make use of upon the Road. Which I thus Translated from the Original.

Guards of the Highway, Provosts, Judges, Bayliffs, con­duct from Journeys end to Journeys end, to the Happy Gate of Aslan-Pasha, John his Banker. Allow hint for his Money Horses and Men as many as he shall desire. His Person and his Goods are a Trust, which is given in Charge to the Inhabitants of all the places through which he shall pass; for which they are to be answerable upon their Lives.

The Customer, when he gave the Note to the Turk that was to be my Guide, told me, that he had made me to pass for the Basha's Banker, and that I should get a white Turbant for my self and my Servant, that I might be the more respected. Which I did, and set forward about eight of the Clock in the Morning, transported with Joy to see my self at Liberty out of such a wicked and Dangerous Place in a Country of Free­dom, where I had little or nothing to fear. I began then to breath a little, and to recollect and recompose my Spirits, ha­ving been for five Months in continual Tribulations, Anxieties and Agitations of Mind. Taxations, Shipwrack, Slavery, Wedlock, loss of Goods, of Liberty and Life, where the [Page 165] frightful Idea's that daily hover'd before my Eyes, besides a thou­sand other real Calamities that kept me all that time continually depress'd under the weight of my Misfortunes. But that Day I recover'd my self, and with a pleasure unexpressible, I felt my Heart to expatiate it self, and reassume its peaceable Motions. I ascended Mount Caucasus with such a nimbleness of Heels, that my Porters stood in Admiration: so nimble is the Man that has no burthen upon his Heart. And I may truly say without any Hyperbole's or Metaphors, that I was like one, from whose Shoulders they had remov'd a Mountain, so that me thought I could have flown i' the Air. We Travell'd four Leagues among Rocks; after which I ferry'd over, in a Boat, the River already mention'd that parts the Country of Guriel from the Turks.

The 3d I Travell'd five Leagues a Foot, three Men carrying my Luggage: and frequently we pass'd by the Brinks of such dreadful Precipices, that scar'd me to look down. We did nothing but Ascend; so that in Five Leagues we made no more then two Miles of Level way.

The 4th I tarry'd in a Village inhabited by Turks and Chri­stians; where I arriv'd the Day before, in regard the Rain, Snow and Wind would not permit us to set forward any further.

I Travell'd the Fifth and Sixth, Eleven Leagues. 'Tis true, I had Horses, but I dare be bold to say, I did not ride above Three Leagues of all that way; for I was forc'd to alight every foot: the way being so rugged and steep, that the Horses could hard­ly keep their Feet.

The Seventh and Eighth, I travell'd 16 Leagues; up Hill and down Hill for the Four first I eagues; the next Eight were all a Smooth Road, but full of Turnings and Windings: and then we got to the Top of Mount Caucasus: after which we Travell'd Four Leagues continually upon the Descent. Half way down the Hill were to be seen the Spires and Tops of the Ruins of several Castles and Churches; of which as the People said, there had been a considerable number, till destroy'd by the Turks. The bottom of the Hill leads ye into a fair Valley Three Miles broad, Rich and Fertile, and full of Villages: being water'd by the River Kur, that runs through the middle of it.

'Tis known that Asia is divided by a Chain of Mountains that run along from one end to the other, of which the highest parts were call'd Taurus, Imaus and Caucasus. The first is that part which advances it self to the farthest part of Asia; and this Chain or Ridg is generally call'd Taurus. I say generally, because that every part derives a particular Name from the Nation, to [Page 166] which it adjoyns. The last part, which is the nearest to Europe, lies between the Black-Sea, and the Caspian Sea, between Mus­covy and Turkey. But these three Names are confusedly made use of by many Authors, among the rest, Pliny and Q. Curtius, who place Caucasus in India. However Strabo, who reports this in his Geography, affirms that Q. Curtius did it to magnifie the wonders of Alexander's History, in regard that Caucasus being the highest part of all Mount Taurus, and that which the Fables of the Poets have render'd most Famous, the Renown of his Hero became the greater, whom he makes to force his way over it with his Victorious Sword. And indeed I should have thought it had been a fault in Geography, which Q. Curtius committed igno­rantly, as when he brings Ganges from the South, and takes Jaxartes for the River Tanais. I say I should take it for an Error, if I did not find him in his Sixth Book, putting the Mountain Caucasus between Hircania and the River Phasis.

But to return to the Description of Mount Caucasus, it is the highest Mountain, and most difficult to pass over that ever I be­held. For it is full of Rocks and dismal Precipices, through which there have been great endeavours us'd to make a hollow way. At the time when I pass'd it, it was all cover'd with Snow, in many places above Ten Foot deep: so that my Guides oft-times were forc'd to make way with their shovels: for they had upon their Feet a sort of Sandals proper to walk upon the Snow, which I never saw but in that Country, the bottom of it being made in the shape, and about the length of a Racket without a handle, but not so broad, the Network is also not so tight, and the Wood is altogether circular. Which prevents their sinking in­to the Snow, for that it bears up the weight of the body, and keeps the Foot from sinking above a Fingers Depth. They will also run with these sort of Sandals very fast, hardly leaving any print of their Feet, or any sign which way they have gone, for that the Sandal has neither Toes nor Heels. The Top of Mount Caucasus is perpetually cover'd with Snow, and for eight Leagues in the Road we travell'd in crossing it, altogether uninhabi­ted. So that I was forc'd to spend the whole Night in the Snow. Only I caus'd the Fellows to cut me down some Firr-Trees upon which I lay, after I had order'd 'em to make a good Fire. When I came to the Top of the Mountain, the People that were my Guides, made long Prayers to their Images, for their favor to keep the Wind from Rising. For had the Wind been high, we had without doubt been all Buried in the Snow; for being loose and small as dust, the Wind easily carries it away, and [Page 167] fills the Air with it; but GOD be thanked there was no Wind. However, the Horses would sink so deep in many places, that I thought they would never get out: for my part I travell'd for the most part afoot, and secure enough: nor do I believe I rode above eight Leagues in crossing over this hideous Mountain, which is six and thirty Leagues. I thought for the two last days, that I had been in the Clouds, not being able to see twenty Paces before me: besides that the Firr-Trees that grow very thick all over the Mountain prevent any prospect at a distance: only as I went down Hill, the Clouds roll'd under my Feet, as far as I could see, so that I could not but think my self i' the Air, though I felt at the same time that I trod upon the Ground.

Mount Caucasus till ye come to the very top is extreamly fertil in Honey, Wheat, and Gom, (of which I have spok'n in the Descri­ption of Mingrelia) in Wine, in Fruits, in Pigs, and large Cattel. The Vines grow there about the Trees, and run up so high, that many times they are not able to climb up to gather the Grapes. Besides, it was Vintage-time when I cross'd the Mountain; and I found the Grape, the new and the old Wine, to be extreamly good, and so cheap withal in some parts, that you might buy 300 weight for a Crown: for the Country People not having Vent for it, left the Grapes to hang & rot upon the Branches, as not worth the gathering.

The Country People dwell in Wooden Huts: of which every Family has four or five; in the biggest of which they make a Fire, and sit round about it. The Women grind the Corn, as they have occasion for Bread; which they bake in round Stones a Foot or there­abouts in Diameter, and some two or three Fingers in depth. These Stones they make very hot, put in the Dough, and then cover it with hot Ashes, and live Coals over that: and in some places they bake it in the Embers only. To which purpose they sweep the Hearth very clean, lay the Dough upon it, and then cover it with Ashes and live Coals as before. Nevertheless the Crust is very white, and the Bread very good. They keep their Wine as they do in Mingrelia. I lodg'd every Night at some Countryman's House or other, of whom I hir'd either Horses or Porters. The Turk also, who was recommend­ed to me, serv'd me very dextrously, and as well as the place would afford. They gave us Hens, Eggs, Pulse, Wine, Bread, and overcloy'd us with Fruit. For every Neighbouring House brought us a great Pitcher of Wine, a Pannier of Fruit, and a Basket of Bread for their share of what we wanted. For which we never ask'd them what was to pay, nor would my Guide permit me to give 'em any Gratuity.

I fell on like a Wolf, not being able to satisfie my Hunger in less then two or three hours. For it is not to be imagin'd what an empty [Page 168] Stomach I had all the while that I was in Mingrelia for three months together, during all which time I could get no Bread, besides that I was all the while under the scourge of Hunger, and in continual dread of some Mischief or other. But now, thanks be to GOD, I liv'd in security and plenty, and from a detestable Country where I could not get Vittles for Money, I was got into another Region where they gave me Meat and Drink for nothing: Nor is it pos­sible for any Man, that has not undergone those Extremities, to conceive the pleasure of so happy a Change.

The Inhabitants of these Mountains are for the most part Chri­stians after the Georgian Ceremonies. They are very fresh Com­plexion'd, and I have seen very handsom Women among 'em. Be­sides, they are infinitely better disposition'd then the Mingrelians, and the other People of Mount Caucasus, that are not under the Dominion of the Turks.

The ninth I travell'd five Leagues through a Plain, of which I have already spok'n; the Soyl of which is very proper for Tillage: and upon the Hills that surround it great Numbers of Cattel graze. In the Evening I arriv'd at Akalzikè.

Akalzikè is a Fortress built upon Mount Caucasus, seated in a hollow place, among twenty Hillocks or thereabouts, from whence the Castle might be easily batter'd on every side, though fortifi'd with double Walls, and flanqu'd with Towers, both built with Battlements after the Ancient Manner. Adjoyning to this Fortress, which is defended with only a few great Guns, stand upon the Neighbouring Hillocks aforemention'd a large Town, consisting of about 400 Houses all new, and which seem to have been but lately built: so that there is nothing of Antiquity to be seen, but two Armenian Churches. The Town is Peopl'd with Turks, Armenians, Georgians, Greeks and Jews; the Christians having their Churches, and the Jews a Synagogue. There is also in it an Inn newly built of Wood, as are all the rest of the Houses in that place. The Ri­ver Kur runs along by it, which derives it Head from the Moun­tain Caucasus, and was call'd anciently Cyrus, and by some Corus. Strabo places the Head of it in Armenia, Ptolomy in Colchis; Pliny will have it spring from the Mountains of Tartary, which are be­yond Colchis, which he calls Coraxicie, because of the River Corax that springs from thence, and discharges it self into the Black-Sea. Which Opinions seeming so various may nevertheless be true, and come all to one and the same thing. For that Armenia has formerly included Colchis; and because Colchis formerly was a great King­dom, as I have already observ'd. The Basha of Akalzikè lodges in the Fortress, and the Principal Officers and Souldiers quarter in the adjacent Villages.

[Page 169] This Fortress was built by the Georgians, from whom the Turks took it toward the end of the last Age.

The 13th about Two a Clock in the Morning I parted from Akalzikè, travailing directly Eastward. At the end of three Leagues the Plain of Akalzikè streightens, to the breadth of half a League, having the Mountains on both sides. In that part stands a Castle built by the Turks upon a Rock, on the right side of the River Kur. This Rock below is encom­pass'd with a double Wall; and round about it lies a little Village like Akalzikè, which takes up all the Ground between the Fortress and the opposite Mountain; and is call'd Usker; having a Garison and a Custom-House under the Command of a Sanziac. I was in great fear of being there stopp'd and ex­amin'd, but Thanks be to GOD, they let me pass, without saying a word to me. For my Guide was born at Gory a City of Georgia. So that upon his Answer, to the Captain of the Guard, who ask'd him, What Countryman he was? That he was a Georgian of Gory, the Captain let him pass with all his Train without any farther Examination. The reason is, for that the Kaan of Georgia and the Basha of Akalzikè hold a very good Correspondence together, which makes the Turks so kind to the Georgians. Two Leagues beyond Ʋsker we cross'd a Mountain, which parts on this side Persia from Turkey. We travell'd along the Brow of this Mountain af­ter we had cross'd it. There are several Villages seated on the top of it: the River Kur running below through the Vale, where in several parts are to be seen the Ruines of Castles, Fortresses and Churches; the Footsteps of the Grandeur of the Georgians, and of the Turkish and Persian Conquests. After we had travell'd ten Leagues, till it was Night, we stopp'd at a little Village.

The 14th we travell'd not above four Leagues, the way being very rugged in those Mountains, where you meet with several narrow Paths and close Passages, where you cannot force your way; together with the Ruines of many Fortresses. We stopp'd in the Plain of Surham, at a great Town near the Fortress, which is call'd by the same Name. It is a very love­ly Plain, full of Copses, Villages, Hillocks, Houses of Plea­sure, and little Castles belonging to the Georgian Lords. The Country is all over well Till'd; and in a word, it is a very delightful Spot of Ground.

The 15th I travell'd ten Leagues, nine through the Plain, and the other at the passage of a Mountain somewhat high, [Page 170] which parts it from Gory. I saw nothing on every side but fair Villages, lovely Fields well Manur'd, and every where the Ground very fertile We left upon the right Hand before we ascended the Mountain, a great City lying almost all in Ruines, as not containing above Five Hunderd Houses inha­bited, whereas formerly, by report it contain'd above Twelve Thousand. However, there belongs to it a Bishop and a great Church, built before the Georgians were reduc'd under Subjection. Night overtook me upon the Descent of the Mountain, before I arriv'd at Gory. I went directly to the Residence of the Italian Capuchins, Missionaries of the Con­gregation de Propaganda Fide; to whom I had Letters of Re­commendation. Not above three Years ago they had a Dwel­ling at Cotatis, and then they thought also to have spread them­selves into Mingrelia, and to have settl'd there. But the Con­tinual Wars in that Country, and the Robberies perpetually there committed, the King either not being able, or not ca­ring to prevent 'em, constrain'd 'em to retire back into Geor­gia. So that the Opportunity of meeting with 'em was very acceptable to me; in regard they were able to give me what Advice and Assistance I stood in need of. For that reason I presently made my self known to 'em; and told 'em, That the King of Persia had sent me into France to do him parti­cular Services; that I had his Orders, and a Command di­rected to all the Governors of the Empire to give me Respect, and to serve me upon all Occasions, and with all Convenien­cies I should stand in need of. Afterwards I acquainted 'em, That having chosen to return into Persia by the Black-Sea, and so through Mingrelia, I had been surpriz'd by the Wars in that Country, and had undergone a Thousand Hardships so that not finding any way securely to bring along with me those things which I had brought for the King, I had left 'em in the Custody of my Comrade, and was come into Georgia to desire Assistance; and therefore I most affectionately besought 'em to give me the best Advice they could, and to take that Compassion of my Hardships and Troubles, to which Charity and other Considerations oblig'd 'em.

Upon which the Good Fathers were concern'd for my Mis­fortunes, the hazards I had run, and for the Person I had left in Mingrelia. And they assur'd me to do for me what ever lay in their Power so soon as they should have permission from their General; for that they had no Power to act without first consulting him, and without his Approbation. That he was [Page 171] at Trifflis, the capital City of Georgia, two small days journey distant, and that my best way would be to go and waite upon him. And indeed they gave me so many reasons to constrain me to go; that I resolv'd it without any more to do, and to that purpose hir'd Horses forthwith. The Superiour also or­der'd a Lay-Brother, whose Name was Angelo of Viterbo, to get himself ready to bear me Company.

This Lay-Brother was a Person of Honesty and Integrity, and both an able Physitian and Surgeon. His Dexterity and the good luck he had in Georgia and Imiretta, to cure several Diseases and Wounds which were thought to be incurable, had rais'd him to a high Value and Esteem over all the Coun­try. He understood the Language very well of all those parts, as having travell'd 'em from one end to the other; be­sides that he was a Person of Courage, Patience, Humility and sound Judgment. He was the most pleasant and facetious Company in the World, and after I had testifi'd to him, that his Society would be of great advantage to me, and a great comfort to me in my return to Mingrelia, he told me, that I had no more to do then to request the Superiors leave, and he would willingly go along with me.

The 16th we departed from Gory with this honest Father, and rode Seven Leagues for the most part upon the Banks of the River Kurr. The road was very delightful, through fer­tile Plains, where there was a great number of Villages. Among the rest there is one City call'd Cali-Cala about Four Leagues from Gory; that lies almost in Ruins, through the midst of which we are oblig'd to pass.

The 17th I travell'd somewhat more then Six Leagues in a level Road, but somewhat Stony in some parts. By that time we got half way, we came right against the Metropolitan Church of Georgia. seated upon the Banks of Kur. One half of which lies in Ruines, the other seems to be entire, and a very fair structure. They tell us, that there is within it one part of the Crown of Thorns, a piece of the Tunick, and a piece of the Prophet Elia's Garment. I did not see the Re­liques my self, but the Capuchins assur'd me, they had seen 'em several times. Toward the Evening I arriv'd at Trifflis, for the Snow that fell very thick all the Day, hinderd me from getting thither sooner: at what time the Lay-Brother who ac­company'd me, conducted me to the House where the Capu­chins lay. I had not time to lose, so that as soon as I came, I acquainted the Superiour with the reason of my coming; [Page 172] which my Letters of Recommendation gave him likewise to understand. And indeed my main business was to let 'em know the danger in which my goods were, that I had left in Mingrelia, and of what importance it was for me to run all ha­zards to get 'em safe from thence. I told the Superiour that there were in my opinion two several ways to accomplish my design, both safe in some respects, but hazardous in others. The first was to make my Addresses to the Prince of Georgia, to shew him the Orders of the King his Master, and to desire his Assistance to fetch from Mingrelia what I had got for his Majesties Use. The Second was to go privately into the Country, without discovering my self, or telling any person what I went about. Nor would I discover to the Superiour my Approbation of the Second way for fear of preventing his Judgment. He desir'd some time to consider before he gave me his advice, and requested me withal to acquaint the rest of the Fryers with what I had imparted to him, for that they most part of them having been in Mingrelia and Imiretta, might give farther light as to the management of my Affairs, and pro­mis'd me he would enjoyn 'em Secrecy under forfeiture of the Holy Obedience. Thereupon I satisfi'd the Superiour, and gave the same Relation to the rest of the Monks as I had done to him, conjuring 'em to give me their best advice, and all the Assistance they could in the Misfortune that was befall'n me.

The 18th in the afternoon the Superiour carry'd me into his Chamber, together with the rest of the Monks, where he lay'd before me all the Reflections that he had made upon my business, and all the thoughts that had come into his Head con­cerning it: and the Monks also did the same thing. They al­most all agreed to try the private way, without making my self known, which was, in a word, to go secretly into Mingre­lia. They told me that if I imparted my Business to the Prince of Georgia, he would certainly give me all necessary Assistance, that he would send People along with me that would bring away all my goods, in regard he was very much fear'd and respected both in that Country and Imiretta. But this would be to make a great Noise, which perhaps might prove my Ruin, if they should wait for me to Murder me in my return and rob me of all I had; for that the Country through which I was to pass, was all a Country of Murderers and Robbers the most resolute in the World. Besides that the Georgians were very perfidious and wicked: and therefore I had great reason to look well to my self; in regard it was not many years since [Page 173] that a Patriarch of Moscovy, travelling through Georgia, had been strip'd of all; in which Fact it was thought the Prince of Georgia had a Hand, to make himself Master of the Wealth which he carry'd along with him. Besides that, I was also to consider, that though the Prince of Georgia should absolutely obey the Kings Commands, and supposing he should be real and sincere, yet he would expect large Presents; and that it would be impossible to satisfie him and his Retinue, who were wonderful hungry and sharp for Persons of their Condition.

I was overjoy'd to find that the Capuchins concurr'd so ex­actly with my Judgment, and thought the very same Thoughts which I did: so that it was at last concluded that I should de­part privately with my Companion Fryer Angelo. That I should pretend to be a Theatin, who had been sent by those of Colchis, who were by War reduc'd to utmost Misery, to beg relief from the Capuchins; who had order'd along with me one of their Society to find 'em out, and bring 'em away. Which being thus determin'd, I provided for my Journey; and to that purpose I took out all the Jewels, which I had hid in my Saddle, and my Pillow, and having put 'em into a little Trunk that I carry'd about me, I deliver'd 'em to the Custody of the Superiour. And now we were at a great loss for Hor­ses, for that no body would venture their Goods into Mingre­lia; but at length by the power of Money we obtain'd two Guides and their Horses; giving security both for the Horses and the Furniture.

The 20th I set forward with Fryer Angelo and a Georgian, who was a Servant of the Capuchins, a Native of Cotatis, and who had a Thousand times travell'd Colchis and the parts there­about, and whom the Superiour sent along with me, to serve me upon all Occasions where I should have need of a Trusty Person. And thus we were five Men, with four Horses. Upon two of which rode Fryer Angelo and my self; the other two carry'd our Provisions: and all along we gave it out that we were sent to the Theatins of Mingrelia. As for my Lacquey, I had dismiss'd him, before I went to Tefflis. This Rascal had plaid me a Thousand Roguish Tricks, and had once endea­vour'd to have ruin'd me; and I have already related how he serv'd me at Gonia. The Capuchins advis'd me to have him sent to Prison till my return, and then to prosecute him: But the deep sense I had of GOD's Favour towards me, enclin'd me to pardon him altogether. I fear'd to provoke the Wrath of Heaven, should I at a time that Heaven was so merciful to [Page 174] me, have presum'd to seek the Extremities of Justice and Ri­gour. And therefore I paid the wicked Rascal for all the time that he had serv'd me, and let him go, after I had fully discover'd all the Rogueries and Mischievous Qualities that I knew of him, and had given him good Advice to mend his Manners. But my Kindness wrought nothing upon him: the Fellow was mad that I had dismiss'd him, and gave me those Testimonies of his Discontent, that were enough to forewarn me of some fatal Consequence of his Revenge. So that I could have found i' my Heart to have laid him in Irons: and had I said the least word, the Capuchins would have done it in the Twinkling of an Eye, as being in great Credit at Tefflis. But I forbore, prevented by that Fate which Governs all Things. I was wholly inclin'd to pity; for I expected and desir'd it too much my self, not to shew it to another: and it was no more then what seem'd acceptable to GOD. And we shall see hereafter how he shew'd himself pleas'd with what I had done; by delivering me from a Dangerous Snare which the Traytor had laid for me.

I return'd to Gory the 21st.

The 22d we parted thence, and lay six Leagues from Gory, at a Village upon the Road to Akalzikè, which I had Rid in my first Travels in those parts.

The 23d we departed by break of Day, and presently left the Road of Akalzikè upon the Left-hand. At Noon we ar­riv'd at a small Village call'd Aly; lying nine Leagues from Gory, and seated among the Mountains. Two Leagues be­yond that, we pass'd a Streight, which is fenc'd with a great Gate of Carpenters Work, and separates Georgia from the Kingdom of Imiretta; from whence we rode one League far­ther, and stopp'd at a little Village.

The 24th we travell'd seven Leagues in the Mountains; which were full of Snow that fell in great Flakes: the Moun­tains themselves, which are a part of Mount Caucasus, being cover'd with very high Trees. There we thought we should have lost our selves: for the Snow being very deep, cover'd all the Paths and Tracks, that we could not see our way: but at length we came to a Village call'd Colbaure, where we lay. This Village consists of about Two Hunderd Houses, all in a direct line, and so far distant one from another, that it is above three Miles from the first to the last.

The 25th we travell'd not above nine Miles, the bad Wea­ther, the Snow, Cold, and Obscurity of the Air in those high [Page 175] Mountains hindring us from going any farther: however, at last we lodg'd at a Village containing about thirty Houses.

The 26th, the Air clear'd up, it had done Snowing, nor was it so bitter Cold: so that we travell'd Eighteen Miles among the Mountains cover'd with thick Woods. Yet the Road was indifferent, in regard the Ascents and Descents were not very steep. And we lay at a small Village by the side of a great River.

The 27th we Ferry'd over the River, and travell'd Three Leagues in a Country like that which we had pass'd the Days before. And descending the Mountain we came into a large and fair plain extending as far as we could see; and lodg'd at a Village call'd Sesano. This Valley is almost a League broad from one end to the other; and it is very fertile and very plea­sant, as being water'd with several Streams; extending it self as far as Mingrelia; and being the most pleasant part of all Imi­retta. The Mountains with which it is surrounded are cover'd with Wood and Villages: for the greatest part of the Moun­tains are till'd; and full of Vineyards. In this Valley we found the Air to be as warm as if it had been Spring, and very little Snow.

Sesano lay near to a Castle belonging to an Ancient Lady, who was Aunt to the King of Imiretta, who lay sick at the time that we arriv'd there. Who hearing that there was a Capuchin come to the Village, sent for him, to discourse with him. For in that Country, they look upon all the Missiona­ries to be Physicians. Nor was the Fryer unwilling to visit her, hoping to procure some assistance from her in our design. But two Hours after he had left me, I was surpriz'd to be overtaken by another Capuchin with a Horse and a Guide. The cause of whose following me so close was to give me Intelligence, that the Lacquey which I had dismiss'd was come from Tefflis to Gory, where he had discover'd all that he knew of my busi­ness, swearing to ruin me, and that he was gone, no body knew which way: Which surpriz'd me very much. For I mistrusted some such thing. I desir'd the Capuchin therefore to tarry with me, gave him a Thousand Thanks, and highly ap­plauded the great Zeal and Affection of the Society toward me, which they had testifi'd by such an evident and Gene­rous Demonstration: and indeed they could not have given me more apparent tok'ns of their kindness.

The 20th we travell'd Five Leagues in the Plain already mention'd; which is very full of Villages and Woods, and [Page 176] the soyl so extreamly fat, that our Horses had much a do to poach along. After we had travell'd Six Miles, we left the Fortress of Scander upon the right Hand. The People of the Country call it Scanda, and affirm that Alexander the Great built it. For the Eastern People call that Victorious Prince by the Name of Scander. They tell ye farther that he built Se­venteen Places more which he call'd by the same Name. And perhaps this might be one of the Seventeen, and the same which is mention'd by Q. Curtius in his Seventh Book. Which I am inclin'd to believe by its Situation, for it is seated at the foot of a Mountain. It is now of no force; consisting only of two square Towers, without any Wall, with some Lodgings round about; nor does it's Antiquity seem to exceed about 300 Years.

About a League from Scander we pass'd through Chicaris, a Village consisting of about Fifty Houses. It goes for a City in Imiretta, though it have neither Walls, nor any thing more remarkable then any other Villages: we put in, and lay at a place, a League from thence.

The 29th and 30th we stay'd there. For our Guides would go no farther. The news of the Wars of which all the Tra­vellers upon the Road gave us Intelligence, melted their Hearts i' their Bellies. They cry'd out we should carry 'em to certain Death or Slavery, and indeed they gave us a great deal of trouble. Which I endur'd with as much Patience, and exhorted my two Capuchins to the same. I lay'd before 'em, that I had let 'em understand at my departure from Tefflis, that it was impossible to accomplish what I had undertaken without a great deal of Courage and Patience, to vanquish all the obstacles which we should infallibly meet with. That we were to manage our People gently and mildly, and to win 'em by fair means and large promises. That when we had once got 'em into Mingrelia and that they could not go back, the care of their own safety would make 'em do what we pleas'd. Thereupon we call'd the two Guides, and the Georgian which the Superiour had recommended to me, and told 'em that there was no danger, that we had good Intelligence and Instructions, that we had Lives and Goods to preserve as well as they; and that we had given 'em security as well for their Lives as their Persons. To which one in behalf of the rest made answer, that we should give 'em a Writing, wherein we should en­gage to redeem 'em, if they were tak'n Slaves in that Journy, or else to give Sixscore Crowns to their Wives, if they should [Page 177] die. To which I willingly agreed, and made 'em large promises besides. Which put 'em into a good humour to go on.

The 31st we set forward; though it were bad Weather, and very bad Way. Nevertheless we cross'd three very broad and rapid Rivers, and at length arriv'd at Cotatis. Where we lay at the House of Bishop Janarell; who was not at home, however we were well entertain'd. For his Officers were ac­quainted with Fryer Angelo, and knew that their Master had a great kindness for him.

Cotatis is a Town built at the Foot of a Hill, by the side of the River Phasis, consisting of about 200 Houses. Those of the Grandees, and the King's Palace stand at a distance round about. The Town has neither Fortifications nor Walls, saving where it is enclos'd by the River and the Mountain. On the other side of the River over against the Town, upon the top of a Hill higher then that under which the Town is built, stands the Fortress of Cotatis, of which I have spok'n in my Relations of the last Revolutions in Imiretta. I did not go into it, but I saw it plainly from the opposite Hill. It has several Towers, a Dungeon, and a double Wall that appears very high and strong.

When I came to Cotatis, I enquir'd what News. And the truest that I met with, and which every one assur'd us, was, That the new Prince of Mingrelia, and the Prince of Guriel were retir'd, finding that the Turks would keep the Field no longer; that the greatest part of the Gentry, who had giv'n their Oaths, had forsak'n 'em, and that the Vizier of Dadian was preparing to fall down from the Mountains with an Army. That as soon as the Vizier had intelligence of the Retreat of the two Princes and the Turks, he had sent 800 Men to Da­dian, had writ to him to quit the Fortress, and to raise what Men he could, that he had proclaim'd a free Pardon to all those that would come and joyn with him; lastly, that he was come to Cotatis, where the King of Imiretta had joyn'd him, with the Nobility of his Country; and that they were march'd to­gether in a Body, with a resolution to fall into the Territories of the Prince of Guriel. Which was that, they all most ear­nestly desir'd, for that he had been the Occasion of the Incur­sion of the Turks, and of all the spoil that had been commit­ted during the War. For this reason the Armies had cross'd the Phasis Three Days before, so that the opportunity fa­vour'd [Page 178] me, in regard there was no fear of meeting with any Soldiers.

The 1st of Jan. 1673. I stay'd at Cotatis to perform the Duties of Devotion. But as we were at dinner, my two Ca­puchins and I, with my two Guides and my Armenian, at the same table, according to the custom of the Country, where Masters and Servants eat all together, I saw that Rascal of a Lacquey, of whom I have already made mention, enter the Room, together with an Armenian of Akalzikè and a Priest of Cotatis, who came along to shew 'em the House However I was not very much surpriz'd to see him. For it was a thing which I daily had in my thoughts, considering the reason I had to be jealous of the Rogue; nevertheless I made no shew of my fears: yet I could not but believe he was turn'd Turk, seeing a white Turbant upon his Head. The Rogue enter'd the Room with a wild and furious Aspect, and sate him down among my Servants, without so much as saying, By your leave. Which affront provok'd me to that degree, that I ask'd him, Wherefore he came in such a fury? He answer'd, That he came from Akalzikè, and that he had perform'd the Journey in two Days. 'Tis the worst way in the World, said I; besides that the Mountains are all cover'd with Snow, like those that we past, when we came from Gonia. You'll find it true, reply'd the Fellow, for you must go along with me to Akalzikè: I have Orders to carry you thither. That may be, reply'd I, if thou hast a greater Power to force me, then I have to hinder thee. For I have nothing to do at Akalzikè, neither will I go thither. Boy, said I, thou art ill advis'd; forbear to give thy self the trouble to do me a Mischief; for GOD will ne­ver suffer thy Designs to prosper to my harm. I paid thee at Tefflis all thou couldst demand: if thou art not satisfi'd, say what 'tis thou requir'st more.

I thus discours'd him, to try whether I could reduce him to Reason. To which he answer'd, That Tefflis was a Place where there is no Justice to be had, but that at Akalzikè he should have Right done him. I reply'd, That without going so far, for so slight a Matter, he might find People enough at Cotatis able to decide the difference. All which I spoke in the mildest Terms imaginable: which nothing mov'd this Vaga­bond, who turning to his Companion, bid him go and fetch the Turks. The Fellow ran out presently, but this was only a Trick to scare me; for I found afterwards, there were no Turks that tarry'd till they were sent for. However, I was [Page 179] extreamly terrifi'd, and gave my self over for lost. All this while the Priest of Cotatis was ignorant of what past, for I spake Turkish, which he did not understand; and therefore he ask'd Fryer Angelo what was the Occasion of the Contest; who as soon as he knew, which was soon after, inform'd the Priest. I order'd Fryer Angelo to tell him what I had offer'd the Scoundrel to release me of his Pretensions, that Persons of Quality might judge of it, and of the Malice of the Rogue that would force me to Akalzikè.

The Priest and several Georgians running in upon the noise that we made, took my part as to the Offer I had made, and desir'd the miserable fellow to take it; but the more they press'd him, the more Insolent he grew, and the more audacious in his Threats. Which inflam'd me to that degree, that I was almost besides my self. Traytor, said I, Then 'tis only thy own Wickedness puts thee upon this: I tell thee again, that by the help of God, no Man shall carry me to Akalzike, and so saying, I flew upon him with my Sword in my Hand; but my Arms were held, while the Perfidious Rogue, to whom I intended the mischief, betook himself to flight, trembling and in great Disorder. After which I did not think my self safe, but was willing to have made my escape. But Janarell's Steward stay'd me, giving me full assurance, that I should receive no Injury in his Masters House, and that no Turks would come to meddle with me. Thereupon I advis'd with my two Capu­chins what course to take, the Result of which was, that Fryer Angelo the next Morning should continue his Journey for Mingrelia, and that Father Justin of Legorn, for that was the Name of the Capuchin who was sent after me, as I have said, and I, should tarry together. But the Principal Reason was, because we could neither buy nor hire Horses: and we knew we should meet with none in Mingrelia; which oblig'd us to tarry and send away the Horses empty, for my Compa­nion to make use of.

The 2d. Fryer Angelo set forward with the Horses and the Men which we had hir'd at Tefflis. And I return'd to Chicaris, Eight Leagues distant from Cotatis, together with Father Ju­stin. We made choice of this place to stay and expect the suc­cess of Fryer Angelo's Journey, because it was just opposite to Janarell's Country-House, where he was with the Queen; from whom we might have assistance if occasion requir'd.

[Page 180] The 5th the Bishop and the Princess sent for us to come to his House. Thither we therefore went, and din'd with 'em that Day, as we did several other times, that we made our Visits. The Queen was a very beautiful Person, as I have said, but her Demeanor spoil'd all, free even to Impudence. Her Actions and Discourse were all obscene, without any re­straint upon her self. Leudness appear'd in every thing she said; which is no Vice, nor any Scandal in her Country, where Dissoluteness is an Evil so common. Her Bishop Janarell devour'd her with his Eyes. Never was unchaste Love, more open and less reserv'd. There was no need of more then look­ing upon the two Lovers, to give an easie guess at their Fami­liarity together. The Queen of Imiretta is serv'd like the Princess of Mingrelia; only her Table is not so well furnish'd with Plate, but her Train is not so mean by much.

The 8th a Gentleman whom the King of Imiretta had sent to Tefflis, arriv'd at Janarell's House; and gave the Queen an account of his Negotiation. He was sent to borrow 800 Crowns, upon the Royal Crown which they offer'd to pawn: the Crown being set with Pretious Stones, and might be worth Four Thousand Pistols. Yet no body would lend any Money upon it. But the Prince of Georgia understanding the need which the King and Queen of Imiretta had of the Money, sent 'em a Present; to the King, three Horses, a quantity of Arms, and a Thousand Crowns in Silver; to the Queen several Pieces of Tissue, Sattins and Taffata's, and Five Hunderd Crowns. And the reason why the Georgian Prince was so kind, was to keep their Majesties stedfast in their Resolutions to adopt one of his Sons.

The 12th I went to wait upon the King: who was brought back from the Army by reason he was fallen Sick. He did us a great deal of Honour, shew'd us Extraordinary Kindness, made us sit down by him, and discours'd us with much Fami­liarity. He complain'd to Father Justin, for that he and his Companions had quitted Cotatis. Which the Father excus'd by alleadging the occasion of their Removal to have been the continual Wars, by which they had suffer'd very much. I am sorry for it, reply'd the King, but I cannot help it; for I am a poor Blind Man, and they make me do what they please themselves. I dare not discover my self to any one whatever, I mistrust all the World; and yet I surrender my self to all, not daring to offend any Body, for fear of being Assassinated by every Body. This poor Prince is young, and well shap'd; [Page 181] and well shap'd; and he always wears a Handkercher over the upper part of his Face, to wipe up the Rhume that distils from the holes of his Eyes, and to hide such a hideous sight from those that come to visit him. He is of a mild Dispositi­on, and a great Lover of Jests and Drollery. He told Father Justin, He should do well to Marry in his Country. To which Father Justin made answer, That he could not Marry, as being under the same Vow with the Bishops and Monks of Imiretta. How! said he, interrupting Father Justin, and burst­ing out into a great laughter, our Bishops and Monks have every one nine apiece, besides those of their Neighbours.

The 16th by break of Day I was to my great satisfaction wak'nd by my Comrade that came along with me to Mingre­lia, Who told me, That Fryer Angelo, together with the Men and Horses which I had sent, were arriv'd the ninth at Sippias; where they were extraordinarily troubl'd and almost at their Wits end, because they had heard no News of me since my departure and for that they could not either for Love or Money get any Horses to carry 'em into Georgia. That understanding my happy arrival at Tefflis, and that I staid near Cotatis in expectation of him, he was overjoy'd, and that he forthwith prepar'd himself for his Journey, having taken out of the Earth, the Woods, and from between the Tiles of the House the one half of what they had had there. That he had staid till the 'leventh day, to the end he might rest his Horses; leaving one of the most faithful of our Servants to take care of the rest, which they durst not remove, for fear of endangering all at one venture. And after he had told me thus far, Ne'er trouble your self, said he at length, at what I have told ye; GOD be thanked all's safe and well And then proceeding,

Saturday the 14th, said he, we came safe and well to Cota­tis about eight in the Evening: at what time Fryer Angelo car­ry'd me to Janatelle's. By the way, I never heard, said he, till yesterday, how your Servant that you dismiss'd, came to threaten ye the first day of the Year as he did, for had I known it, I should ne're have stopp'd at Cotatis. But then, neither Fryer Angelo nor any of our People thinking more of it, de­sir'd me upon Sunday Morning, that they might stay till Noon, and refresh themselves a little. To which I consented, and bid'em get a good Dinner. But as I sate at Table, I saw the Rogue of a Lacquey come into the Room with Twenty Armed Janizaries. Where's my Master? Cry'd the Young [Page 182] Ragamuffin, he would have Murder'd me, but I'll do his Bu­siness for him now. And so saying, he lookt about the Room for yee, and not finding yee there, he went into your Chamber, thinking you had hid up your self. I follow'd him, and throw­ing my self at his Feet, What have I done to yee, that you should go about to ruine me? If my Comrade have mis-us'd yee, or not pay'd yee to your content, that's no fault of mine; make your demands, and you shall have it without more ado, only send away these Turks that you have brought along with yee. It shall be done, reply'd the Young Traytor, I'll go and dismiss the Turks, and come again presently.

And so saying, he went back into the Hall, pointing to Fryer Angelo, There, said he to the Janisaries, take that Man, and carry him to the Commander of the Fortress; and so at the same time the poor Fryer was seiz'd and carry'd away. The Janisaries look'd up and down to see what Booty they could find; and presently they snatch'd up our Felts that serv'd us for Cloaks: they did not so much as meet with any of my Arms, and which was a more signal mark of GOD's Providence, they mist the Bags which I brought along with me, where were above Fifty Thousand Crowns in Gold and Jewels. As soon as the Janisaries had left the House, I sent a Man after Fryer Angelo, and conjur'd the Carriers to let us make our eseape with all speed. So that we Saddl'd and Loaded our Horses forthwith, and be­took our selves to flight with all the haste we could. Thus GOD assisted me, and by his Grace and Favour I am at length got hither, with all that I was entrusted with in Mingrelia. For what the Janisaries took was hardly worth two Pistols.

I might here endeavour to express the Joy and Satisfaction which I receiv'd upon the rehearsal of these happy Tydings, but they are only to be imagin'd, nor is it that which the Rea­der desires to know. Father Justin went presently to the Queen and Janatelle, to make his complaints of what the Turks had done in his House, and to desire him to labour for the Li­berty of Fryer Angelo: and about Noon the Father return'd and assur'd us, that they had sent two Gentlemen to that purpose, to the Commander of the Fortress. For my part I would have been gone presently, such was my dread of the Turks, though without any ground: but there was a necessity for us to let our Horses rest. In the mean time, in the Afternoon my Comrade hir'd other Horses to return into Mingrelia, and fetch what was left behind; while I prepar'd to set forward for Tefflis, with that which he had already brought.

[Page 183] The 17th my Comrade and I parted, taking each our several Roads: he for Mingrelia, with Five Men and Four Horses; I for Tefflis, with Father Justin, Three Men and Three Horses.

The 22th at Night, I arriv'd at Gori; where I stay'd two Days to change Gold, as well to assist Father Justin to make preparations for his return to Cotatis, whither he was to carry my Comrade Money, and to accompany him from thence to Tefflis, as to get Fryer Angelo set at Liberty, if he should be detain'd a Prisoner.

To which purpose, Father Justin departed the 25th in the Morning for Cotatis, and I at the same time set forward for Tefflis. Where I arriv'd thanks be to GOD the 26th in the Afternoon, with the Capuchin Fryer which the Superiour of Gori had lent me, as not being willing to leave me without Company.

The 6th of February in the Evening, my Comrade arriv'd at Tefflis, with the Servants which I had left in Colchis, a The­atin Fryer and Father Angelo. After I had embrac'd 'em all, Fryer Angelo took me aside, to give me an accompt of the Se­ries of the whole Adventure. You know, said he, after what manner your perfidious Lacquey caus'd me to be apprehended by the Janisaries, who were sent by the Commander of the Fortress to seize me. For the Rascal had told the Commander how that you ow'd him Three Hunderd Crowns; that you were an Ambassador; that you had been in Mingrelia to fetch away a vast Treasure, which you had left there; and that by the seizure of your Person, he would meet with a pur­chase that would enrich him for ever. This Traytor press'd the Janisaries, who carry'd me to the Fortress to bind me, and use me severely; but they had a greater respect and veneration for my habit: and beside there was among 'em an Italian Re­negado who caus'd 'em to be very civil. I march'd along as slowly as possibly I could, and kept the Rascals in discourse, to the end I might give your Comrade the more leisure to make his escape; for I made no question but he would take that course. When they brought me before the Commander, he ask'd the Varlet who had caus'd me to be apprehended, whe­ther I was his Master, who answer'd, No; for that he could not find his Master; but that assuredly I knew where he was. I reply'd, I knew not where you were, only that when I left yee, you had a design to go for Tefflis. The Commander ask'd me afterwards, several Questions concerning your Quali­ty; [Page 184] and told me that I must pay the Three Hunderd Crowns, which it was said you ow'd the fellow. To which I answer'd, That you were no more then a poor Person in Holy Orders, who had undertaken to give me Intelligence of the Miserable Con­dition of those in Mingrelia. Which when I understood, I went to give 'em a Visit; that I was no farther acquainted with your concerns; and that as for Money I had none. And that the People in Cotatis, from the Prince to the meanest of his Subjects, well knew, that I was a Person that made a profes­sion of Poverty.

Upon this, the Commander order'd me to be search'd, and they found the Girdle which you had sent me to wear, where there was no more then only Six Pound, for by a wonderful Providence of God, your Comrade had not given me any Je­wels to quilt into it, according to your appointment. There­upon the Commander finding no more then that inconsiderable Sum, said he to the Lacquey, Where is all the Treasure, ye Rogue, with which thou hast fill'd my Head? bring'st thou me hither this poor Fellow to jeer me? Thou art a cheating Rascal, and I'll have thee Drubb'd to Death. Sir, answer'd the Varlet, trembling for fear, The Wealth is in the Custody of my Master's Comrade, that lies at Janatelle's. Dog, as thou art, reply'd the Commander, Why didst not bring him hither? And so saying, He sent him back with the same Janisaries that had guarded me to the Fortress, and commanded 'em expresly to bring away your Comrade: and indeed I was afraid they would have met with him; but I was overjoy'd, when the Janisaries return'd and told the Commander, that the Person had made his escape. Which made him vent his Rage upon the La quey, who was in a strange Agony, between Fear and Madness: at what time he began to open his Eyes, and to perceive that GOD had confounded his Malice, by his missing your Comrade with all that he carry'd under his care. There­upon I gave an accompt to the Commander of all the Villa­nies, and wicked Tricks which the Rascal had committed in your Service, and how liberal and kind you had been to him nevertheless, in paying him his Wages.

That Evening the Commander invited me to sup with him at his own Table: for he understood I was a Physitian, and presently fanci'd himself to be ill. So that I made him up some Medecins, as well for himself, as for some of the Souldiers that were in the Fortress. He order'd an Italian Renegado to be my Guards, at what time your Lacquey would have had him [Page 185] laid me in Irons for fear I should make my escape. For the Rascal study'd a Thousand Tricks to do me a Mischief. But the next Day the Queen and Janatelle sent two Gentlemen to the Commander to demand my Freedom, as being their Phy­sitian, and the King's also: and about Noon there came two Gentlemen more from a great Lord of the Country, whose Wife lay sick; and he had been inform'd, that I was a Pris­ner in the Fortress for Debt. Thereupon he sent to the Com­mander of the Fortress, to release me, and he would pay my Debt: but alas, there was nothing more clear then that I ow'd nothing. However, I must give Twenty Five Crowns to the Commander; which being paid, I was set at Liberty, notwithstanding the Noise and Clamour of the Lacquey, who press'd that I might not be releas'd, and told the Commander, That there would be a Thousand Crowns giv'n to purchase my Liberty, rather then let me lie. So soon as I was free, they carry'd me to the Lords House, to whom I was beholding for my Liberty; from whence I sent to Chicaris to know what News: by the return of which Message, I understood that you were gone to Tefflis, and your Comrade was return'd to Mingrelia. Some few Days after Father Justin arriv'd at Chi­caris, and understanding there where I was, he came to me; and then having repaid the Twenty Five Crowns which the Lord had disburs'd for my Deliverance out of Prison, we re­turn'd to Chicaris. Where in two Days your Comrade arriv'd with all that was left behind of yours in Mingrelia: who told us what Road he had tak'n to miss Cotatis. To which pur­pose he had Ferry'd over the Phasis six Leagues from that City; at what time the Ferryman told him, That the Rogue who had laid so many Snares for us, had giv'n two Crowns to give him Intelligence of your Comrade's Passage: and that the Villain was under the Guard of four Janisaries, who had order not to let him escape: for that the Commander was resolv'd to make him perform what he had promis'd him. And thus you see, said he, that hitherto all things have luckily succeeded, and that GOD has confounded that Villain in his Wickedness, whose Justice questionless will not permit him to escape the Clutches of the Turkish Commander, without receiving some Punishment.

It was now late; nevertheless my Comrade and I could not go to Supper, till we had discours'd of the happy Issue of our Labour, and of all our Misfortunes, of which, what I have recounted, is but a part of the Truth; nor till we had breath'd [Page 186] out to GOD our Ardent Thanksgivings for his Infinite Good­ness, his Omnipotent, and his Miraculous Deliverance: For we expected no such thing, when we were in Tribulation. And indeed, who could have hop'd to have sav'd all, when we were in such imminent danger of losing all? The next Day following we cast up the Accompts of our Losses in this Dis­astrous Journey, and found that it did not amount to more then above one per Cent. of all that we had sav'd, and fortu­nately brought to Tefflis, without any thing being either bro­ken or spoil'd.

GEORGIA, I mean all the Country so call'd which is under the Persian Jurisdiction, borders at this day to the East upon Circassia and Moscovy; to the West upon Armenia the Less; to the South upon Armenia the Greater; to the North upon the Black-Sea, and that part of Colchis which is call'd Imiretta, which in my Opinion is all that Country which the Ancients nam'd Iberia. Georgia extended formerly from Tauris and Erzerum to the River Tanais, and was call'd Albania, being bounded, as I have describ'd it. It is a Country very full of Wood, and ve­ry Mountainous, that enclose a greater Number of pleasant Plains that run out in length, but are not proportionable in breadth: only the middle of Georgia is more even and level then the rest: And the River Kur, which most Geographers call Cyrus, runs through the midst of it. It takes its rise in the Mountain Caucasus, a Day and a half's Journey from Akal­zikè, as has been said; and empties it self into the Caspian Sea.

I have seen some old Persian Geographies, that place Georgia in the Greater Armenia. The Moderns make a particular Pro­vince of it, which they call Gorgistan, and divide into four parts; Imiretta, of which we have spoken; the Country of Guriel, wherein is comprehended all that is under the Govern­ment of Akalzikè; the Kingdom of Caket, which extends it self very far into Mount Caucasus, and is properly the Ancient Iberia; and Carthuel, which is the Eastern Georgia, and which the Ancient Geographers call the Asiatick Albania. The King­doms of Caket and Carthuel are under the Persian Dominion: and this is that which the Persians call Gurgistan: but the Geor­gians give it no other Name then that of Carthueli. Which is no new Name, as being to be found in the Writings of seve­ral Ancient Authors, although somewhat corrupted; especially St Epiphanias, who speaking of these People, calls 'em Cardi­ans. It's reported that the Grecians were the first who gave [Page 187] 'em the Name of Georgians from the word Georgoi, which sig­nifies Husbandmen. Though others will have this Name to derive it self from that of St. George, the Patron Saint of all the Christians of the Greek Church.

There are very few Cities in all Georgia, as has been ob­serv'd: though there has been many more formerly in the Kingdom of Caket. But now they lie all in Ruines unless one which is also call'd Kaket. And I heard say, while I stay'd at Tefflis, that these Cities were very large and sumptuously Built, as may be well enough conjectur'd, as well by that which is not as yet altogether destroy'd, as by the ruines them­selves. Now these Northern Inhabitants of Mount Caucasus, those Alans, Suans, Huns and other Nations so greatly fam'd for their strength and Courage, and by the Report of many People, another Nation of the Amazons, were they that con­tinually harrass'd and ransackt this little Kingdom of Kaket. The Amazons lay bordering upon it above, to the North. Wherein as well the Ancient as Modern Geographers agree. Ptolomy fixes their Country in the Asiatic Sarmatia, which is now call'd Tartary, to the West of Volga, between the River and the Hippic Mountains: and there it is that the Northern part of the Kingdom of Kaket exactly lies. Quintus Curtius says also to the same effect, that the Kingdom of Thalestris was near to the River Phasis. And Strabo is of the same opi­nion, speaking of the Expeditions of Pompey and Canidius. I confess, I never saw any Person in Georgia who had been in the Country of the Amazons; but I have heard many of 'em tell Stories of those People. And they shew'd me in the Prince's Palace, a large Female habit of a course Woollen Stuff, and peculiar for its Fashion and Shape, which they said was the Garment of an Amazon, that was slain near Caket in the last Wars. Shortly we may hear farther news of these Famous Warriours; for the Capuchins of Tefflis told me, they would send two Missionaries into their Country: the Congregation having order'd that they should be dispatch'd thither. I had once a long discourse with the Prince of Georgia's Son upon this Sub­ject; at what time, among other things he told me, that Five Days Journey beyond Caket toward the North, there liv'd a Numerous People, of whom they had no knowledge at all; who were continually at War with the Tartars, which they call Calmac, and the same with those which we call Calmou­qus: that the several People that inhabit Mount Caucasus are continually at Wars one with another; and that it signifies no­thing [Page 188] to make any Peace or Truce with 'em, as being a sort of Savages, that have neither Religion, Government nor Laws. Therefore they that lie next to Caket make frequent Inroads into the Country: which obliges the Viceroy, who is the Eldest Son of the Prince of Georgia, to be always ready in Arms to repel those Barbarians.

Upon the Information which I gave the Young Prince, of what the Greek and Roman Historians related concerning the Amazons, after I had discours'd for some time upon that occa­sion, his opinion was, that they were some particular People among the wandring Scythians, as the Turcomans, and Arabs, who submitted themselves to the Soveraignty of Women, like the Achineses: that those Queens made use of Persons of their own Sex to serve 'em, and to follow 'em where-ever they went. And as for their riding a Horseback like Men, it is ea­sily apprehended and as easie to be credited, and that they also were Arm'd. For in the Eastern Countries, all Women be­stride their Horses like Men: and some of 'em mount their Horses and ride 'em as well, besides that the Princesses also wear Daggers at their sides. But as for the Mutilation of their Breasts, and other particulars reported of the Amazons, we re­ject 'em, and rank 'em among the Fables, with which the lea­sing Greeks had the Impudence to fill their Histories, according to the Sarcasm of the Latin Poet.

The Province of Carthuel contains no more then Four Ci­ties, Gory, Suram, Aly and Tefflis. Gory is a small City, seated in a Plain between two Mountains upon the Bank of the River Curr, at the Foot of a Hillock, upon which there is a Fortress Built which is Garison'd by Native Persians. It was Built in the last Gurgistan Wars, about Forty Years since by Rustan Can, General of the Persian Army: and an Austin Monk, who was then at Gory drew the draught of it. How­ever the Fortress is a place that is not able to make any great defence; its principal strength consisting in its Situation, ha­ving a Hunderd Men within it: Nor is the City that lies under it but very small, the Houses and Market Places being all Built of Earth. The Inhabitants however, are all very Rich and Wealthy. And it is very well stor'd with all things necessary for Human support at a cheap rate.

Suram is indeed no more then a Town not above half as big as the City of Gory; but the Fortress adjoyning is large and well Built, having within it a Hunderd Men in Garison. Near to Suram is the Country call'd Semashè. Which in the [Page 189] Georgian Language signifies Three Castles. The People of this Country boast, That Noah dwelt in this Country after he came out of the Ark, and that his three Sons built 'em every one a Castle. I say nothing here of Aly, because I have spok'n of it in another place.

The Temper of the Air is very kindly in Georgia; being ve­ry dry, cold in the Winter, and hot in the Summer. Their fair Weather does not begin till May, but it lasts till the end of November. The Soyl must be well water'd, or else it proves very barren; but that care tak'n, it produces all sorts of Grain, Herbs and Fruits in abundance. Georgia is therefore as fertile a Country as any can be imagin'd, where a Man may live both deliciously and very cheap. Their Bread is as good as any in the World: their Fruit is delicious and of all sorts. Neither is there any part of Europe that produces fairer Pears and Ap­ples, or better tasted, nor does any part of Asia bring forth more delicious Pomegranates. Cattel are very plentiful and ve­ry good, as well the larger sort as the lesser. Their Fowl of all sorts is incomparable, especially their Wild-Fowl: Their Boars-Flesh is as plentiful and as good as any in Colchis. The Common People live upon nothing else but young Porkers; of which there are abundance in all parts of the Country: and indeed there is no better Food in the World, then this Meat: beside that the People of the Country assure us, that it never offends the Stomach, let 'em eat never so much. Which I believe to be true; for though I eat of it almost every Meal, yet it never did me harm. The Caspian Sea, which is next to Georgia, and the Kurr, that runs quite through it, supplies it with all sorts of salt and fresh Fish; so that we may truly say That there is no Country where a Man may have an Oppor­tunity to fare better then in this.

And with the same boldness we may assert, That there is no Country where they drink more or better Wine. The Vines grow about the Trees as in Colchis: and they daily transport great Quantities of Wine into Media, Armenia, and to Ispahan for the Kings Table. As much as a Horse can carry, which is 300 weight, costs no more then Twelve Shillings: I speak of their best Wine; for the common sort is cheaper by half: and all other Provisions are at a proportionable rate. The Coun­try of Georgia also produces a great Quantity of Silk; tho not so much by half as most Travellers report: But the People of the Country know not how to weave it, and therefore they [Page 190] carry it into Turkey, to Erzerum, and the parts adjoyning, where they drive a great Trade.

The Complexion of the Georgians is the most beautiful in all the East; and I can safely say, That I never saw an ill-fa­vour'd Countenance in all that Country, either of the one or other Sex: but I have seen those that have had Angels Faces; Nature having bestow'd upon the Women of that Country Graces and Features, which are not other where to be seen: So that 'tis impossible to behold 'em without falling in Love. More Charming Countenances, nor more Lovely Statures and Proportions cannot be Pencill'd forth by all the Art of Man, then those of the Georgian Women. They are Tall, clear Limb'd, Plump and Full, but not over Fat, and extreamly Slender in the Waste: Let 'em have never so few Cloaths on, you shall not see their Hips. That which spoils all is this, that they all Paint, as well the Lovely as less Beautiful. For they make use of Paint in stead of other Ornaments: Never­theless when they Dress themselves, they Deck themselves in Sumptuous Habits and Jewels as our Women do.

The Georgians also are Naturally very Witty. Nor would there be more Learned Men, or more Ingenious Masters in the World, were they but improv'd by the Knowledge of Arts and Sciences: but their Education is so mean and paltry, that ha­ving nothing but bad Examples before their Eyes, those Parts of theirs are altogether drown'd in Vice and Ignorance. VVhich is the reason that they are generally Cheats and Knaves, per­fidious, treacherous, ingrateful and proud. Impudent beyond Imagination to deny their own VVords, and their very Deeds; to set afoot and maintain Falshood; to demand more then is their Due; to counterfeit Deeds and forge Lyes. They are irreconcileable in their Enmities, and never forgive. True it is, they are not easily provok'd; nor do they readily admit those Hatreds which they preserve inviolably when once con­ceiv'd. And besides these Vices of the Mind, no Men are more addicted to their sensual Pleasures and Bestial Voluptu­ousness; that is to say, to Drunkenness and Luxury. In which filthy Divertisements, they plunge themselves with so much the more freedom, because they are so common, and not lookt upon as scandalous in Georgia. The Church-men will be as drunk as others, and keep Female Slaves in their Houses, to make use of in stead of Concubines: at which no body is of­fended, as being no more then what is generally practis'd, and as it were authoriz'd by Custom. In so much that the Superiour [Page 191] of the Capuchins assur'd me, That he had heard the Catholicos, or Patriarch of Georgia say, That he who was not absolutely drunk at great Festivals, such as Easter and Christmas, could not be a good Christian, and deserv'd to be Excommuni­cated. Besides this, the Georgians are likewise very great Usurers: They never lend any Money without a Pawn, and the lowest Interest which they take is Two in the Hunderd for a Month.

Neither are the Women less Vicious and Wicked then the Men. They have an Extraordinary Addiction to the Male Sex; and certainly contribute more then they, to that Torrent of Uncleanness which overflows all the Country. On the other side, the Georgians are Civil and Courteous, and more then that, they are Grave and Moderate. Their Manners and Cu­stoms are a Mixture of the several Customs of the Nations that lie round about 'em. Which proceeds, as I believe from their Commerce and Dealings with Variety of People, and the Liberty allow'd in Georgia, to observe their own Religion and Customs, and to defend 'em in their discourse. You shall meet here in this Country with Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Turks, Persians, Indians, Tartars, Muscovites and Europeans; and the Armenians are so numerous, that they exceed the Geor­gians. They are also more Wealthy, and for the most part supply all the small Offices and mean Employments. But the Georgians are stouter, more Haughty, more Vain, and more Pompous. Which difference between their Inclinations, their Manners and their Belief, has caus'd a very great Enmity be­tween 'em. They mutually hate one another, and never Marry into one anothers Families. Particularly the Georgians contemn the Armenians with a more then ordinary Scorn; and look up­on 'em much about the same Rate as we do the Jews in Europe. The Georgian Habit resembles very much the Polonian Garb, their Bonnets being like to theirs. Their Vests are open be­fore all down the Breast, and fasten'd with Buttons and Loops. Their Hose and Shooes are like those of the Persians. And for the Womens habit it is altogether Persian.

The Houses of the Grandees, and all their Public Edifices, are Built according to the Persian Models: nor is Building at all expensive, as having Wood, Stone, Lime and Plaister in great Abundance; they also imitate the Persians in sitting at their Tables, in their Beds, and manner of Dyet.

The Nobility exercise a more then Tyrannical Power over their Subjects; far worse then in Colchis. They will make their [Page 192] Peasants labour whole. Months together, and as much as they please without allowing 'em either Food or Wages. They chal­lenge a Right over the Estates Liberty and Lives of their Vas­sals: they take their Childern and sell 'em, or else make Slaves of 'em themselves. But they very seldom sell any of the Rabble above Twenty Years of Age, especially Women.

The Belief of the Georgians is like that of the Mingrelians; as having been converted to the Faith both at the same time, in the Fourth Age, and by the same means of an Iberian Woman, who was converted her self to Christianity at Constantinople. But since that, both the one and the other have lost all sence of Christianity; so that as I have said of the Mingrelians; they have nothing remaining of Christianity but the Name. So is it as true that the Georgians neither observe or know the least precept of the Law of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless the Geor­gians more strictly observe their Fasts, and make longer Prayers. VVhile I was at Tefflis, the Missionaries sent to Rome a Relation of the State of their Mission, which they shew'd me; wherein I found one very pleasant passage, which I shall set down among the rest as not being either un­seasonable or impertinent. There was a VVoman at Gory, who having led a very ill Life, at length fell dangerously ill, insomuch that she thought she should die. VVhereupon she sent for a Priest, and made her Confession, discover'd to him all her Leud Pranks, and made him great Protestations, that if she recover'd, she would never admit of any other Man but her Husband. To whom, the Priest, Madam, said he, I know yee too well, to believe yee: it will be impossible for yee to leave off the Company of your Gallants. My request therefore is, that you will entertain no more then Two or Three, which I will allow yee to do upon that Condition, which I shall impose upon yee. But the VVoman disdaining the Proposal of her Confessor, put him out of her House and sending for a Capuchin, told him the whole Story, and afterwards made her Confession to him. The same Relation adds, that the Priests enjoyn their Peni­tents that confefs the taking of another Bodies Goods, to bring the Goods to Them, and not to restore 'em to the Right Ow­ners; so that Restitution is never made.

There are several Bishops in Georgia, an Archbishop and a Patriarch, whom they call Catholicos. Whose preferments when Vacant are supply'd by the Prince though a Mahometan, who generally prefers his kindred and Relations: so that the Present Patriarch is his Brother. As for the Churches in [Page 193] Georgia, they are something more cleanly kept then those in Mingrelia. And in the Cities you shall see some that are very decent, though they are altogether as nasty in the Country. The Georgians, as all the other Christians that surround 'em to the North and West, have a strange humour to build all their Churches upon high Mountains, in remote and almost in­accessible Places. Where they view 'em, and bow to 'em at the distance of three or four Leagues: but seldom or never go into 'em; and we may boldly assert, that the most part of 'em are hardly open'd once in Ten Years. They erect 'em, and then leave 'em to the Injuries of the Weather and for the Birds and Fowls of the Air to build their Nests in. I could never find out the Reason of this Extravagance, the Answers of all Persons of whom I enquir'd, being altogether as extravagant: 'Tis the Custom. The Georgians however are fully perswaded, that whatever Sins they have committed, they shall obtain Pardon by building a little Church. Though for my part I am apt to believe they build 'em in such remote and inacces­sible Places, to avoid the Charges of Adorning and Repairing of 'em.

And now I come to the Relations and Histories of the Con­quest of Georgia by the Persians, which are so numerous, that I should have been silent in this particular, if those Authors had agreed among themselves, or if I had found they had been rightly inform'd. Briefly therefore, here is that which I have met with in the Stories of Persia themselves.

Ishmael the Great, (whom our Historians have Sirnam'd the Sophy) after he had subdu'd the Countries that lie to the West of the Caspian Sea, of Media and part of Armenia, and that he had expell'd the Turks out of all these Places, made War also upon the Georgians, though they had sent him numerous Succors at the beginning of his Reign. The event of which War was successful to him, as having reduc'd 'em to pay him Tri­bute, and give him Hostages. Now Georgia, as well as the Kingdoms of Kaket and Carthuel, had several Petty Kings, call'd Eristares Feudataries, and always at Wars one with another. Which was the Reason, or at least the Means that most contributed to the Ruine of the Georgians. They pay'd their Tribute during all the Reign of Ishmael, and his Successor Tahmas, who was a Prince of great Courage, and fortunate in War. During his Reign Lnarzab rul'd in that part of Ge­orgia which is call'd Carthuel, and is as I have said the Eastern Georgia, and borders upon Persia Eastward. This [Page 194] King lest two Sons behind him, between whom he divided his Kingdom; Simon the Eldest, and David the Younger. But being both ill satisfi'd with their Division, they made War one upon another, and in those Wars both desir'd Tahmas to assist 'em. The Younger Brother was beforehand with Simon. To whom Tahmas return'd for answer, That he would put him in possession of all his Fathers Dominions, if he would turn Mahometan. David accepted the Condition, embrac'd the Mahometan Religion, and went and surrender'd himself to the Persian Army, which was already enter'd his Dominions, to the Number of Thirty Thousand Horse; upon which he was presently sent to Tahmas, who lay then at Casbin. So soon as he had got the Georgian Prince in his Clutches, he wrote to Simon to the same effect as he had written to his Bro­ther, that is to say, That he should quit his Religion, and come to him, if he intended to enjoy the Kingdom of his An­cestors.

Simon, finding the Persian Army pressing too severely upon him, surrender'd his Person, but would not abjure his Religi­on. But Tahmas, being now Master of both the Princes, and of the Country of Georgia, sent the Eldest Brother Pris'­ner to the Castle of Genghè near the Caspian Sea; and made the other Governour of Georgia, changing his Name from Da­vid to Daoud-Can, which denoted him to be of the Mahometan Profession. Which done, he took an Oath of Fidelity from all the chief Georgian Lords, and carry'd away their Childern and David's also as Hostages into Persia.

After the Death of Tahmas, the Georgians shook off the Persian Yoak, as did also the most part of the Provinces of Persia, and they were at Liberty during the Reign of Ishmael the Se­cond, which did not last above two Years; and during the first four Years of Mahomet Kodabendè, that is, The Servant of GOD: who sent an Army into Georgia to reduce 'em to Obe­dience. Daoud Can fled upon the Approach of the Army. At what time his Brother Simon, a Pris'ner as I have already de­clar'd, near the Caspian Sea, laying hold of the Opportunity to re-enter into his Dominions, became a Mahometan, and was made Can of Tefflis, under the Name of Simon-Can.

During the Reign of Mahomet Kodabendè, dy'd Alexander King of Kaket, leaving Three Sons and Two Daughters. Of which David was the Eldest; a Prince whose Courage and Misfortunes have render'd him renown'd over all the World, under the Name of Taimuras Can, which the Persians gave him. [Page 195] At the time of his Fathers Death he remain'd in Hostage at the Court of Persia, whither he was carry'd by King Tahmas as has been said. He was bred up with Abas the Great, being almost of the same Age, with great Magnificence and exact Care, where he had inbib'd the Customs and Manners of the Persians, certainly much better then those of the Georgians. So soon as his Father was Dead, his Mother, a Beautiful and Prudent Princess, by the Georgians call'd Ketavana, but Ma­riana in the Histories of Persia, wrote a Letter to Kodabendè to this effect, Sir, My Husband is Dead, I beseech yee to send me my Son Taimuras to Reign in his stead; and withal I send you his Brother for Hostage in his Room. Thereupon Taimuras was sent back, after he had tak'n the Oath of a Tributary and a Vassal.

At the beginning of the Reign of Abas the Great, Simon, King of Carthuel already mention'd ended this Life; leaving the Kingdom to Luarzab his Son, then a Child, under the Tuition of his Prime Minister, a Person of great parts, but of a mean Extraction, call'd by the Georgians Mehrou, and by the Persians, Morad, who was also Governor of Tefflis, and Go­vern'd the Kingdom almost with an absolute Authority. This Mehrou had a handsome Daughter, with whom Luarzab was passionately in Love, and by whom he was as passionately be­lov'd. Nor could the Father, by any means that he could use, prevent the two Lovers from seeing one another. But one Day having surpriz'd the Prince and her lock'd up in a Room toge­ther, Sir, said he, I beseech yee, do not Dishonour neither my Daughter, nor my House. If your Majesty pleases to Marry her, she is at your service: but if not, forbear Privacy with her. Upon which Luarzab swore he would have no other Wife; which Oath when the Prince had sworn, he suffer'd her to Live with him as with her Husband. However the Marriage was not celebrated, through the opposition of the Queen and the Ladies of the Country, who protested they would never sub­mit themselves as Subjects to a Person of her mean Birth. Lu­arzab, no less glad of this opposition, told Mehrou, that he could not Marry his Daughter. Now the Georgians are very Prone to Revenge; as I have already observ'd. Thereupon the King was adviz'd to be before hand with Mehrou, and to put him to Death to prevent his Revenge. To which the King consented; and to that purpose had contriv'd it so as to make Mehrou Drunk, and to kill him at the first Banquet the King should make. Of which contrivance Mehrou was advertiz'd, [Page 196] at the very Moment it should have been put in Execution. For he was already half Tipsy, when one of the Kings Pages, who was one of his Creatures, as he presented him the Cup, and seem'd to Bow to him out of respect, whisper'd to him: Sir, You will be Murder'd. At which he made no semblance of being daunted; but rising up, as soon as he had giv'n back the Glass, and pretending to go out to make VVater (which is no Indecorum in that Country, where the Feasts last for half a Day together) he ran directly to his Stable, takes a Bonnet and a Coat from one of his Grooms that he first met; Bridles one of the best Horses in the Stable, Mounts him and away he Rides. And he so order'd his Flight, that not being discover'd it prov'd successful to his VVish. Presently he got to Ispahan, where he threw himself at the Feet of Abas the Great, who was newly return'd a Victor, from Shirvan and Shamaki, Countries Bordering upon Georgia and the Caspian Sea. He declar'd to the King how he had serv'd Luarzab, and the De­ceas'd King his Father, and what a recompence he had prepar'd him for his Service; by seeking to deprive him of his Life, after he had deflowr'd his Daughter under the pretence of Mar­riage. And concluding, he told the King, that he was the true Monarch of Georgia, and therefore he demanded of his Majesty Justice, and the Restitution of his Estate.

But Mehrou had contriv'd a securer way then this, to revenge himself upon Luarzab, which was to kindle in the Heart of Abas an Affection for Luarzab's Sister; one of the most lovely Persons in all Georgia; whose Beauty has been celebrated by all the Persian Poets. Insomuch that in Persia they sing to this Day the Songs that render'd her Beauty renown'd above all the Charming Beauties of her time, containing a pleasant Ro­mance of the Amours between Her and Abas. Her Name of Baptism was Darejan. But the Persian Fictions give her the Name of Pebry. Mehrou therefore took all opportunities to talk of her to Abas with all the Artificial Language he could in­vent, to inflame his desires. Thereupon Abas sent to demand her of Luarzab first by one Ambassador, and then by another. The first was sent back with fair promises; the second receiv'd for Answer, that the Princess had affianc'd her self to Taimuras King of Kaket, who was then a VVidower. But Abas the more enflam'd by these refusals, sent a third Ambassador to Luarzab, charging him to demand his Sister with all manner of fair promises and foul Threats: and he wrote at the same time to Taimuras, not to Marry Luarzab's Sister, but to come [Page 197] and meet him. Luarzab on the other side incens'd at these repeated and Haughty Importunities, instead of returning an answer to the Ambassador, affronted and abus'd him; to the end no more Ambassadors might be sent to trouble him any more upon that Errand. Abas however was not then in a con­dition to execute his intended designs upon Georgia, as being at War with the Turks. He dissembl'd therefore his Indigna­tion, and order'd a Carmelite Missionary, whom he sent into Europe to animate the Christian Princes to a War against the Turk, to take Georgia in his way, and to admonish Taimuras by no means to joyn with the Turks, nor to give 'em any man­ner of assistance against the Persians. To which Taimuras either out of too much Fear or too much Credulity readily condescended: but he soon repented his forbearance: for in the Year 1613 Abas set forward from Ispahan with a design to make War upon Georgia. However as he was a Prince, who among his other Extraordinary Endowments was ex­treamly cunning and reserv'd, he manag'd that War like an Amorous Intreague. He gave out that Luarzab's Sister lov'd him and desir'd the Match: that she had sent him Letters by a confident of her own; moreover that she had been pro­mis'd him, and therefore that Luarzab was both Perfidious and Unjust. In the mean time he made his preparations for some­thing else then to fight a Rival: for all Men plainly perceiv'd that he was resolv'd to reduce Georgia under his Subjection. He had a great number of Georgians in his Army. He gave Pensions to several great Georgian Lords; and Mehrou corrup­ted the Loyalty of several others every day, who engag'd to take his part: He had two of Taimuras's Sons in Hostage, and a Brother and Sister of Luarzabs. In a word he wrought with some of the Princes of the Blood Royal of Georgia to turn Mahometans, for the possession of great Employments and Governments. For he thought he should easily compass his designs against the Georgians, by sowing Divisions among 'em; an easie thing to do, especially among People that are given to revenge. He wrote to Taimuras that Luarzab was ungrateful, a Rebel, a Mad-Man, not fit to Reign, and that he was resolv'd to deprive him of his Crown. To Luarzab he wrote the same thing concerning Taimuras; and at the same time order'd Lolla Beg, General of his Army, who lay toward Media, to enter Georgia with Thirty Thousand Horse, and to put all to Fire and Sword.

[Page 198] Upon this, Luarzab and Taimuras were counsell'd to unite. They met, and communicated to each other Abas's Letters: wherein finding the ruin of both resolv'd upon, they swore one to another either to Perish, or rescue each other from the danger; and the more to confirm and strengthen their Union, Luarzab gave his Sister, the Incomparable Darejan to Tai­muras. Abas was like to run Mad when they brought him the News; he was ready to have Cut the Throats of Taimu­ras's Two Sons with his own Hands, and of the other Geor­gian Hostages: nothing would serve him but he swore the Death of all together. But at length he kept himself within bounds, and minded only to hasten his march rather to punish the Kings that had offended him.

Taimuras, sensible of the approach of the Persian Army, would have prepar'd for his defence. But he discover'd that a part of the Grandees of his Kingdom were inclin'd to Sur­render. Thereupon he sent his Mother to Abas. She was a Princess that had betak'n her self to a Religious Life, so soon as her Misfortune had made her a Widow. Not that they make any Vows, or quit their usual Habitations, but only put on the Religious Habit, who in those Countries make profes­sion of a Religious Life, as I have already observ'd in my Re­lation of the Mingrelian Religion, which is the same with that of the Georgians. Mariana or Ketavana therefore (for she was call'd by both these Names) wore the Habit of a Religious Person, to the end she might have an excuse to Live more re­tir'd, and uninterrupted in her Devotions. She set forward with a Numerous Train and Magnificent Presents; and made so much hast that she found Abas still at Ispahan. VVhere be­ing arriv'd she threw her self at the Kings Feet, and be­sought Pardon for her Son, which she did with all the Sub­mission that she thought might avail to appease the Kings wrath.

This Princess was at that time well advanc'd in Years, yet was she still a Lovely Lady, so that Abas became enamour'd of her, or at least feign'd to be so, the first day he saw her: thereupon he courted her to turn Mahumetan, that he might be in a Condition to Marry her. But the Princess more Wed­ded to her Chastity and Religion, and perhaps not enduring the strict Confinement of the Persian Queens, refus'd the Kings Offers with a Vertue and Constancy unmoveable, which was to be admir'd in a Georgian. Abas incens'd at her Denial, or at least laying hold of it for a pretence, (for it was thought [Page 199] he never intended to Marry Ketavana, but out of design to revenge himself upon Taimuras) sent the Princess Pris'ner to a certain House at a remote distance, and caus'd her two Chil­dern which Taimuras sent in Hostage, to be made Eunuchs, and to turn Mahumetans; and then set forward for Georgia. Ketavana remain'd in Prison several Years, and was afterwards remanded to Shiras, where she suffer'd a most cruel Martyr­dom, in the Year 1624. a good while after Abas had Con­quer'd Georgia. For then it was that he wrote to Iman-Kooli-Kan, Governour of that City, to force Ketavana to turn Ma­humetan, whatever it cost him; and to make use of Torments, if Promises, Threats, and Blows would not prevail. Iman-Kooli-Kan shew'd his Orders to the Princess, in hopes that that would take effect: but it signifi'd nothing. Nor were all their Torments more prevalent upon a Soul so truly Heroick and Devour. She underwent the Pain of Drubbing, suffer'd the Torments of Shackles and Fire, and dy'd at length upon the Burning Coals; after she had endur'd for the sake of JESUS CHRIST, a Martyrdom of Eight Years, so much the more cruel because it was chang'd and renew'd every day. Her Bo­dy was thrown upon the Common Lay-Stall of the City. From whence the Austin Fryers took it away by Night, embalm'd it, put it in a Coffin, and sent it privately to Taimuras by one of their own Society.

But to return to the Georgian War, Abas being enter'd into the Country of Georgia with his Army, guided by Mehrou, and reinforc'd with a great Number of Georgians every day; Hopes and Promises inveagling some, and fear or desire of Revenge attracting others, Luarzab resolv'd however to fight it out, hoping so to shut up the Persians in the Woods, that he might easily there defeat 'em. And indeed Abas at one time gave himself over for lost, and thought he had been betray'd. For being advanc'd with his Army Five and Twenty Leagues into the Country, Luarzab divided his Forces into two parts, and shut up the Passages by felling an infinite Number of Wood, so that the Persian Army could neither advance nor retreat. Abas was in a strange Consternation, so that Mehrou fearing the loss of his Head, as a Traytor, Ʋpon my Life, Sir, said he, I will bring ye out of these Streights in three Days. And he was as good as his word. For he open'd a Cross-way through the Wood by means of his Infantry, and leaving the Camp which was block'd up by the Georgians, took only the Cavalry along with him. Nevertheless Abas would lead 'em himself, [Page 200] and having pass'd the Wood, fell into the Kingdom of Kaket, committing great Cruelty and Spoil; insomuch that he com­manded all the Trees that breed the Silkworms to be de­stroy'd; on purpose to ruine past recovery a Country that chiefly subsists by making of Silk. When these Mournful Tidings were brought to Luarzab, he gave himself over for lost, and fled into Mingrelia. On the other side, Abas who knew his Conquests were not secure, so long as the Georgian Kings were at Liberty, wrote to Luarzab in these Terms: What Reason urges you to flie? Tis Taimuras that I seek, that In­grateful and Perfidious Rebel. Come and surrender your self to me, and I will confirm you in the Possession of the Georgian Kingdom; but if you fail to yield your self, I will entirely ruine it, and lay it desert.

Thereupon Luarzab in tender pity of his People, surren­der'd himself to Abas. The King receiv'd him in most friendly manner, and with a Thousand Caresses, replac'd him upon the Throne with all the Pomp and Solemnity imaginable; which was done the better to deceive the Georgians, and to make himself Master of the Country without striking a Stroak. He also made him several costly Presents, and among the rest, he gave him a Heron-Tuft of Precious Stones, which he com­manded him always to wear, especially when he came into his Presence. This is an Ensign of Royalty said he and it is my pleasure you should always wear it upon your Head, that People may know yee to be King. Now the same Day that Abas was to set forward for Tefflis, said he to Luarzab, I shall make a halt six Leagues from this place, and send away the rest of the Army; will not you bear me Company thither? This was a Snare with fair words to draw the poor Georgian King from his Capital City: and he was as easily deluded to go along with him, in regard he mistrusted not the least fowl play. In the mean while Abas commanded one of his Guards, a noted Pick-Pocket, and one of the most dextrous i' the World at his Pro­fession, to steal Luarzab's Heron-Tuft from him. Which was done; and then Luarzab coming into the King's Presence, Luarzab, said the King, what's become of your Heron-Tuft? Did not I recommend it to yee to wear always as an Ensign of Royalty? Sir, said Luarzab, I am robb'd of it, which has al­most put me besides my Wits; I have caus'd it to be hunted for every where that I could imagine, but can hear no Tidings of it. How! said the King in a great Fury, the King of Georgia robb'd in my Camp! Bid 'em bid the Provost-Marshal, the [Page 201] Captain of the Watch, and the President of the Council of Justice, come to me. And this was the second Artifice made use of to seize the Unfortunate Luarzab without striking a Stroak. Pre­sently therefore he was laid hold on; but Abas durst not put him to death for fear of a Revolt in Georgia. He sent him therefore into Masanderan, or Hyrcania, hoping that the bad Air of the Country would kill him: but seeing that would not do, he remov'd him to Shiras; and at length took the following occasion to put him to death.

The Grand Duke of Moscovy had been a long time sollici­ted by the Georgian Princes to intercede in his behalf to Abas. Who was therefore at the Charge of a Costly Embassie meer­ly for that purpose. Thereupon Abas, who was a Person of a quick Wit, and never idle, gave order to the Governour of Shamaki, a City upon the Caspian Sea, where the Ambassa­dors of Moscovy first enter into Persia, to try what he could do to discover whether the Ambassador came only upon Luarzab's account or no: and whether the Moscovite did take his part to that degree that there was any likelyhood of a Rupture. To which the Governour sent word, That the Ambassador came only to serve Luarzab; that he was a very great Lord, and that his Instructions were very positive for a punctual An­swer. Upon which Abas, who was resolv'd not to release the Georgian Prince, nor yet could refuse him his Liberty at the request of the Duke of Muscovy, wrote to the Governour of Shiras to rid Luarzab out of the World, so that his Death might seem only to have happen'd by accident. Which was accomplish'd to his desire, and the News was brought to Abas, two Days before the Arrival of the Moscovite Ambassador. Abas made the Courier tell his Tale in publick, at what time he seem'd to be strangely troubl'd and surpriz'd: Good GOD, said he, this is Ʋnfortunate News indeed; How came he by his Death? Sir, answer'd the Courier, he went a Fishing, and as he was casting his Net, fell into the Pond, and there stifl'd himself. I'll make an Example of his Guards, reply'd the King, for taking no more care of him.

Soon after the Russian Ambassador had his Audience; at what time, after the Banquet was over, and that they had drank pretty hard, the King sending for him near to his own Person Well, said he, Mr. Ambassador, and what is't the King of the Russes my Brother desires of me? Thereupon the Am­bassador began to unfold his Commission, and declare the Purport of his Embassie; but when he had once let slip Luar­zab's [Page 202] Name, I believe, reply'd the King, you have heard of the Misfortune that has befallen that Young Prince: I am ex­treamly griev'd for him: I wish to GOD he had not been dead; for I should have done with all my Heart whatever your Master could desire in his behalf.

Thereupon the Brother of Luarzab was made Governour of Georgia in his Room, being turn'd Mahumetan before that: and call'd by a Persian Title joyn'd to his Georgian, Bacrat-Mirzah, or the Royal Prince. Abas also left an Army in Georgia to op­pose Taimuras. Who at first continu'd the War with such Succours as he obtain'd from the Turks and Christian Princes joyning upon the Caspian Sea, into whose Territories he was retir'd for Sanctuary: But seeing those Petty Assistances did him no good, he went to the Turk and implor'd Aid of the Turk. Which he obtain'd: and a great Army of Turks was sent into Georgia, who defeated the Persian Forces, and re­established Taimuras in the Kingdom of Caket. But he en­joy'd it not long; for so soon as the Turks were retreated, Abas return'd into Georgia, and chang'd the whole Face of Af­fairs. He built Fortresses which he fill'd with Natural Persians; He carry'd away above Four and Twenty Thousand Families, of which he plac'd the greatest part in Masander, or Hyrcania, Media, Armenia, and the Province of Persia, removing into their Rooms both Persians and Armenians. He also intermix'd Mildness with his Severities, to try how far that would avail to keep the People in order. He likewise made an Agreement with the Georgians, which he confirm'd by Oath for himself and his Successors, ‘That their Country should be free from Taxes, that there should be no Alteration of their Religion. That he would not pull down their Churches, neither would he erect any Moschees: That their Viceroy should be al­ways a Georgian, of the Race of their Kings, but a Mahome­tan: Of whose Sons he that would change his Religion, should be Governour and great Provost of Ispahan, till he succeeded his Father.’

Abas dy'd in the Year 1628. And so soon as Taimuras had Intelligence of his Death, he re-enter'd Georgia, and caus'd the Georgians to Rebel, who slew their Viceroy and all the Persians that oppos'd 'em; he made himself Master of all the strong Forts except Tefflis; but could not keep 'em. For Sefy, succeeding his Grand-Father Abas, sent in the Year 1631. a powerful Army against him, under the Command of Rustan Can, a Georgian, the Son of Simon Can, that same Viceroy [Page 203] whom the Georgians had slain. He was Grand Provost of Is­pahan, at Abas's decease, and call'd Cosrou Mirza. King Sefy, therefore, who knew him to be a Person of great Va­lour, and deem'd him highly provok'd, made him General of his Army and Viceroy of Georgia in his Fathers Room He de­feated the Georgians in several Encounters, won back all Car­thuel, and part of the Kingdom of Caket, and pursu'd Taimuras who was forc'd to betake himself into two strong places in Mount Caucasus. In which inaccessible Fastnesses, this Prince no less Valiant then Unfortunate, held out for some Years; though rather like a Fugitive that fought for his Life; than a Prince that defended his Crown. But receiving no assistance neither from the Turks nor Christians; he went to sollicit the Moscovite, but failing there likewise; he retir'd into Imiretta, of which his Sister was Queen, with a Resolution there to end his Life, not finding any hopes of recovering the Inheritance of his Ancestors. There Shanavas-Can took him Prisoner, when he Conquer'd that Petty Kingdom of Imiretta, and set­le'd his Son therein. For Taimuras had always such a passion to Dye in his own Country, that he would not make his escape into Turkey, which he might easily have done: and besides he consider'd that being Old, the Turks would not have that res­pect for him, as he might expect from the Persians. Shanavas-Can carry'd him to Tefflis, and wrote Word to the King that the Famous Taimuras-Can was in his Hands. The King sent for him to his Court. Where being very aged, his Travels and Troubles of mind, threw him into a desperate sickness. The King lodg'd him in one of his Palaces with a great deal of mag­nificence, and order'd his Physitians to look to him with great care. Notwithstanding all which he dy'd in the Year 1659. His Body was carry'd into Georgia, and Bury'd with all the Pomp and State which is usual in that Country.

Rustan-Can having reconquer'd Georgia, built the Fortress of Gery as is reported. He restor'd Peace and good order to the Country, and Govern'd with an exemplary mildness and Justice. He Marry'd the Sister of Levan Dadian Prince of Mingrelia, though she were a Christian and Marry'd already. Her Husband being Prince of Guriel; whom Levan had de­priv'd both of his Principality and his Eyes, for being in a Conspiracy against him, and taking his Wife away from him, Marry'd her to Rustan-Can neither the Ecclesiasticks of Mingre­lia nor Georgia opposing that Monstrous Conjunction, if I may presume to call it so. The Name of this Princess was Mary, [Page 204] of whom we have already spoken in our Recital of the last Revolutions of Imiretta. She is now the Wife of Shanavas-Can, Governor of Georgia.

Rustan-Can Dy'd in the Year 1640. and his Body was car­ry'd to Com, where it was enterr'd. At what time Shanavas-Can, Taimuras's Kinsman, was Governor and Grand Provost of Ispahan. Him Rustan-Can, having no Children, adopted, and sent him to the Court, beseeching the King to look upon him as his Son, and to ratifie the Adoption. His Majesty ap­prov'd his Choice, caus'd the Young Prince to be Circumciz'd, and bestow'd upon him the Government of the City; and this is he who is at Present Viceroy of Georgia; being Fourscore Years of Age, yet very Strong and Lusty.

So soon as Rustan-Can was Dead, the Princess Mary his Wife, had private Intelligence, that upon the advantageous reports of her Beauty, that had been made to the King of Persia, he had commanded her to be sent to Court. Thereupon she was adviz'd to fly into Mingrelia, or to hide her self. But she took a quite contrary course; for being well assur'd that there was no place within the Empire of Persia, where the King would not discover her, she went and lockt her self up for Three Days together in the Fortress of Tefflis, which was in­deed to deliver her self up to the Mercy of him that sought her. All which time she shew'd her self every Day to the Comman­der's Wives; and then sending for him to her Apartiment, she told him that upon the credit of his Wives, that had seen her, he might write to the King, that she was no such Amia­ble Beauty to be so ardently desir'd, that she was far gone in Years, and besides that she was a little misshapen; and there­fore that she conjur'd his Majesty to let her end her Days in her own Country. At the same time she sent the King a Magni­ficent Present of Gold and Silver, and Four Young Damsels of an Extraordinary Beauty. And so soon as she had sent her present, she retir'd from the World, not suffering her self to be seen by any Body, she betook her self wholly to her Devoti­ons, giving great Alms to the Poor, to the end they might Pray to GOD for her Souls Health. But at the end of Three Months there came an order from the King, for Shanavas-Can to Marry her. Who was over joy'd at the receipt of the Or­der, for Mary was Rich, so that he Marry'd her, though he had then another Wife of his own; and he has a very great Value for her by reason of her great Estate. Her first Husband the Prince of Guriel is still alive, residing in Georgia, but very [Page 205] Old, and very Decrepit. Nevertheless the Princess was so kind to send him one of her Damsels, to comfort him for his loss of her; and she allows him wherewithal to maintain himself, but at a very sorry rate: However she seems still to have some kind of Affection for him; insomuch that being upon the Frontiers of Imiretta, some Years since she sent for him, and kept him with her eight Days. At which when Shanavas-Can seem'd to be Jealous, the Princess fell a laughing at him; and ask'd Whether he were not asham'd to be Jealous of a poor, old, blind, miserable Creature, and altogether as impotent as him­self.

The greatest part of the Georgian Lords are outwardly Ma­hometans; some professing that Religion to obtain Preferment at Court, and Pensions of State. Others, that they may have the Honour to Marry their Daughters to the King, and some­times meerly to get 'em in to wait upon the Kings Wives. For which the usual Recompence is a Pension, or an Imployment. As a forerunner to which the Mahometan Religion is always first of all embrac'd. The Pension is according to the Quality of the Persons; but most commonly not above Two Thousand Crowns Upon which account there fell out a very lament­able Accident while I staid at Tefflis.

A Georgian Lord had giv'n the King to understand, that he had a Niece of an extraordinary Beauty. His Majesty com­manded her to be brought to his Palace: And who should be so wicked and base as to carry the Order and serve it, but the Lord himself! Thereupon he came to his Sister, who was a Widow, and told her, That the King of Persia had a desire to Marry her Daughter, and that therefore she must per­swade her to give her consent. Thereupon the Mother ha­ving made known to the Young Virgin, the force that was upon her, she was almost at her Wits end. For she had ra­ther have had a Young Lord that was her Neighbor, by a Per­son whom she was extreamly belov'd. Thereupon they took a Resolution to make him a Sharer in their Misfortune, and to that purpose sent him the News by one of their Domestick Ser­vants. Away comes the Lord Post, and arriving at Midnight, found the Mother and the Daughter with mutual Tears and a condolling Grief bewailing their hard Fortune. Presently the Lord threw himself at their Feet, and told 'em, That for his part he fear'd nothing so much as the loss of his Mistress, and that all the Anger of the King of Persia was nothing to him in respect of such a fatal Calamity. That there was but one way [Page 206] for him to disingage himself out of this Noose, which was to be Marry'd immediately, and the next Day to tell her Perfi­dious Uncle, That the Lady by him demanded was no Virgin. This was agreed upon; and the Mother being retir'd, the Marriage was Consummated in a Trice. But the Uncle dis­covering the Plot, gave notice of it to the King. At which the King was so enrag'd, that he gave Order to send for the Mother, the Daughter, and the Husband; who thereupon hid themselves, and skulk'd up and down for some Months. But at length finding themselves too hotly pursu'd, beyond all likelyhood of escaping, they fled to Akalzikè, the Basha of which place has tak'n 'em into his Protection.

The fear which they have in Georgia of Accidents of the like Nature, obliges those that have handsom Daughters to Marry 'em as soon as they can, and sometimes in their Infan­cy. The poor People Marry theirs betimes, and sometimes in the very Cradle. To the end the Lords whose Vassals they are, should not take 'em away by force, either to sell 'em, or make 'em their Concubines. For certain it is, they have a very great respect for Marry'd Persons; and though they are but Children, they are not easily induc'd to tear 'em out of their Houses.

The Kingdom of Caket is at present in Subjection to the King of Persia; Shanavas-Can having compleated the Conquest of it; and now Archilus his Son is Viceroy, who turn'd Maho­metan to obtain the Imployment. We have already made mention of him, and of the Love which he had for Sistan-Darejan the King of Imiretta's Wife, when we gave an Ac­count of the Revolutions of that Petty Kingdom. Sistan-Darejan remain'd a Pris'ner at Akalzikè, where the Basha's shew'd her an extraordinary Civility. Archilus had also a longing Affection for her, from the time that he had lost sight of her. Thereupon his Father so wrought by his Presents and Contrivances with the Basha, that he releas'd her in the Year 1660. She was carry'd in Triumph to Tefflis, where Archilus Marry'd her immediately, and by that Match entitl'd himself to the Kingdom of Caket, of which he was actual Viceroy al­ready. For the Princess his Wife was Daughter to Taimuras-Can, and Sister of Heraclius, the only Son whom that Unfor­tunate Prince left behind him capable of Succession, in regard all the rest had had their Eyes put out. But he and his Mother were fled into Moscovy; where they say, the Great Duke al­lows 'em a Train suitable to their Quality. And here give me [Page 207] leave to tell yee one Passage concerning this Archilus Viceroy of Caket, very much worthy to entertain your Curiosity.

He was affianc'd in his Youth, to a Daughter of one of the most Noble Families in Georgia. And the Lady fully expected to be his Wife, in regard that Breach of Contract is a thing never heard of in that Country. But when she heard that he had Marry'd Sistan-Darejan, she sent to him to demand satis­faction, for the Murder he had committed upon her Honour. For so in Georgia they call the affront done to a Contract, when a Man leaves the party affianc'd to Marry another. At first she resolv'd to Sue him at Law for the Injustice he had done her; but that way not seeming feasable, by reason of the great Authority and Sway which Archilus had in the Country, she put her self at the Head of Four Hunderd Men, and of­fer'd fairly to fight her Faithless Lover. But Archilus refus'd her, sending her word he did not use to fight with Young Maids: withal he bid her not make such a noise, lest he disclos'd the Favours which Sizi a Young Lord at Court had boasted to have receiv'd from her. The Young Lady enrag'd to hear her self reproach'd as well as scorn'd, turn'd all her fury against Sizi. She challeng'd him, and because he would not meet her; she lay'd her self in Ambush for him, put him to flight, pursu'd him and kill'd him above Twenty Men. She had also a Brother; and he also undertook to quarrel Sizi. The Prince and the the whole Court did all they could to reconcile 'em: but see­ing they did but labour in Vain, the two Adversaries were permitted to determine the difference by their Swords. Now it is the custom in Georgia, that when the Law cannot decide or reconcile a Quarrel among Gentlemen, they are permitted to try it out in a place Rayl'd in for the purpose. And before the two Combatants enter the Lists, they Confess themselves, receive the Communion, and prepare for Death. This is call'd, Appealing to the Tribunal of GOD, for the Georgians maintain that this way of referring directly to GOD the Pu­nishment of a Crime, is both Honest and Lawful; where human Justice is not able to distinguish whether the party ac­cus'd be Guilty, or whether the accuser charge him falsely. At length Sizi and his Adversary being arriv'd at the place ap­pointed, they were parted by a Company of Souldiers, just as they had drawn their Swords. And the Young Lady Dying soon after with shame and Grief; the Prince by his Authority oblig'd her Brother to be Friends with Archilus and Sizi.

[Page 208] And now before I relate what befell me at Tefflis, it behoves me to make a Description of the Place; though the Plate before the Leaf, might suffice to give a distinct Idea of it.

This City is one of the fairest in all Persia, though it be not so very big. It is seated at the bottom of a Mountain, at the Foot of which upon the Eastern side, runs the River Cur: Which River, being the Ancient Cyrus, or an Arm of that Cyrus, has its source in the Mountains of Georgia, and joyns to Araxes. The most part of the Houses built by the River side stand upon a hard Stony Rock. The City is encompass'd with very Strong and Beautiful Walls, only on that side next the River. It lyes all in length from the North to the South, defended by a large Fortress on the South side seated upon the brow of a Mountain, wherein there are none but Native Persians, whether Inhabitants or Souldiers. The Parading Place that is before it, serves also for a publick meeting Place and Market. This Fortress is likewise a Sanctuary of Refuge: All manner of Criminals and People in Debt are there safe. The Prince of Georgia is oblig'd to pass through the midst of it, when he goes according to custom to receive without the Gates of the City, the Kings Presents and Letters; for that when you come from Persia to Tefflis, there's no entring into the City but through the Fortress. Yet most certain it is, that the Prince never goes through the Castle, but he is afraid of being arrested, and least the Governor should have some secret order to seize upon his Person. And indeed the Persian Kings have very prudently establish'd a custom among the Viceroys of Georgia, and the rest of the Governors of the Provinces of the Empire, that they are oblig'd to go and receive whatever the King sends 'em without the Gates of the City; by which means he may without any trouble or hazard seize upon their Persons. Tefflis contains several Churches; to the Number as they say of Fourteen; which is much in a Country where there is so little Devotion. Six are maintain'd and appropriated to the Geor­gian Service: The other belong to the Armenians. The Ca­thedral, which is call'd Sion, is seated upon the Bank of the River, built all of fair hewn Stone. 'Tis an Ancient Building well in repair, like all the Ancient Churches in the East; which are compos'd of Four Bodies, the middle of which is a great Duomo, sustain'd by Four Great Pilasters, and cover'd with a Steeple. The Great Altar is in the Middle of the Body that lyes to the East. The Inside of the Church is full of flat [Page]


[Page] [Page]

  • A. The Fortress.
  • B. THe Bpps church calld Sion.
  • C. The Bastias Monasterie.
  • D. The Holy Cross.
  • E. The Church & Place of ye Catholicos.
  • F. The White Work or ye Queen's Church.
  • G. The New York.
  • H. Mognay Church.
  • I. Bethen Church.
  • K. The Church of ye Rupture.
  • L. THe Mosquee.
  • M. The Capuchins.
  • N. The Princes Palace.
  • O. The Great Bazar.
  • P. The public Magazines.
  • Q. The Viceroy of Caket's Palace.
  • R. The Prince's Gardens.
  • S. The Prince's Piatza.
  • T. The Place for Military Exercises.

[Page] [Page 209] Paintings after the Greek manner, painted but a while ago, and by such leud Artists, that it is the greatest trouble in the World to know what they mean. The Bishop's See adjoyns to the Church, where the Tibilele resides: For by that Name they alway call the Bishops of Tefflis. Next to the Cathedral the Principal Churches of Georgia are Tetrachen, or the White-Work, which was built by the Princess Mary: and Anguescat, or the Image of Abagare. The Georgians call Abagare Angues, and hold that the Miraculous Portraicture which they assure us he receiv'd from Jesus Christ, has been a long time in that Church. They also call it the Catholicos's Church, because that Prelate's Palace joyns to it: and that he seldom goes other where to say his Prayers, or Officiate. This Church is seated upon the Bank of the River, directly parallel with the Bishop's See. The Georgians also had one more very fair Church at the end of the City upon the South-side: but the Prince made use of it some years for a Storehouse for his Powder. And indeed it was fit for nothing else, for long before that, the Thunder had thrown down a good part of it. Thereupon the Prince caus'd it to be repair'd; and this Magazin still carries the Name of the Church of Melete, that is to say, The Rupture. Which Name was given to it, by reason that it was founded by one of the Kings of Georgia, to shew his Repentance, for that he had without any occasion giv'n him, broken a Peace with one of his Neighbour Princes.

The Principal Monasteries that belong to the Armenians, are Pacha-Vane, that is, the Monastery of Pacha: in which Mo­nastery, the Armenian Bishop of Tefflis resides. They so call it by the Report of the Armenians, for that a Fugitive Basha of Turkey turning Christian, caus'd it to be erected in this City. Sourph-Nishon, that is, to speak properly, the Red Sign; and thence generally tak'n for the Holy Cross. Bethem, or Bethlehem, Norachen, or the New Work and Mognay. Now Mognay is the Name of a Village of the Armenians near Irivan, where they have for a long time kept a certain Skull, which they assure yee to be St. George's: hence because that part of the Skull is remov'd to this Church, therefore they gave it the Name of the Place from whence they took the Relick.

There is not any Mosque at Tefflis, though the City belongs to a Mahometan Empire: and is Govern'd together with the whole Province by a Mahometan Prince. The Persians have endeavour'd all they could to rebuild one there, but never could accomplish their design; for the People still Mutiny'd, [Page] [Page 210] and by force of Arms beat down the Work, and abus'd the Workmen. And indeed the Georgian Princes were glad of these Seditions of the People, though they would not counte­nance 'em openly: For in regard they had not renounced the Christian Religion but only with their Lips, and to obtain Pre­ferment, they could not heartily consent to the Establishment of Mahometism. Now the Georgians are Mutinous, Inconstant and Valiant, as has been said: They also retain a smack and sense of Liberty. Then they lie near the Turks. And this is that which hinders the Persian from making use of Extremi­ties, and preserves to the City of Tefflis and all Georgia a hap­py Liberty to retain almost all the Exteriour Marks of their Religion. Upon all the Steeples of their Churches at the Top stands a Cross; and they are furnish'd with several Bells which they ring. Every day they sell Pork openly, and in publick with the same freedom as other Vittles, and Wine at the Cor­ners of the Streets. All which though the Persians are mad to see, yet they know not how to help it.

Some few Years since they built a small Mosque in the Fortress, close to the Wall that separates it from the Grand Piazza of Tefflis. They built it in the Castle to accustom the People to the sight of Mosques, and of the Priests, that call the Ma­hometans to Prayer from the Top of the Building. Nor could the Georgians hinder the Building of this Mosque, because they durst not enter Arm'd into the Fortress, where there was al­ways a good Guard: But so soon as the Priest was mounted to the Top to make Confession of his Faith, the People ga­ther'd together into the Piazza, and ply'd the Top of the Mosque with such Volleys of Stones, that the Priest was con­strain'd to come down again in more haste then he went up: after which Mutiny, the Persians would never suffer any of their Priests to appear at the Top of the Mosque any more.

The publick Buildings at Tefflis are very graceful: Their Bazars, or Market-places are very large, built of Stone, and in very good repair. The Inns, or Caravansera's for the Re­ceipt and Entertainment of Strangers, are no less beautiful. There are few Baths indeed in the City, by reason that every Body goes to the Hot-Baths that are in the Castle. The Water of which Baths springs from a Sulphur-Mine, and is very hot. So that the People which make use of 'em for Diseases and Di­stempers are no less numerous then those that go for Clean­liness and Curiosity. The Magazins also are well built, and [Page 211] kept in Order, being seated in an open place near the Grand Piazza.

The Prince's Palace is without contradiction one of the most beautiful Ornaments in Tefflis; being adorn'd with spacious Halls and Rooms of State that look out upon the River, and the Gardens which are very large. It also contains several Aviaries, full of Birds of several sorts, a spacious Dog-kennel, and the most lovely place to keep Hawks in that Eyes ever beheld. Before the Palace lies a spacious Court sufficient to hold a Thousand Horse; which is surrounded with Shops, and joyns to a long Bazar right against the Palace-Gate. So that it is a lovely Prospect which the Piazza and the Front of the Palace makes from the Top of the Bazar. Moreover, the Viceroy of Caket has a Palace at the end of the City; which deserves to be well view'd and consider'd.

The Out-parts of Tefflis are adorn'd with several Houses of Pleasure, and several beautiful Gardens. The biggest of which is the Prince's; where indeed there are but few Fruit-Trees; but it is full of those that serve for the Ornament of Gardens, and for Shade and Coolness.

There is also a Habitation of Missionary Capuchins at Tef­flis, where the Superiour of the Missions which that Order has, and hopes to have in Georgia, resides; it being about Thirteen Years ago since they were sent from Rome. The Title of Phy­sicians which they give themselves, and which every Body there gives 'em, is the reason that they are well receiv'd where­ever they desire to settle. For Physick, and especially Chymistry, which is very much esteem'd, is little known in the Eastern Counties. They settl'd first at Tefflis, and afterwards at Gory. Shanavas-Can gave 'em a House in each of those Cities with free Liberty to exercise their Religion. They brought him Letters from the Pope, and the Congregation de Propaganda Fide, and in their own Names made Noble Presents to him­self, the Princess, the Catholicos, and the principal Grandees of the Court, which they continue to do at the end of every two Years. Whoever among 'em understands Physick best, never stirs from the Person of the Prince to preserve his Protection, which is their only Safeguard from the Persecutions of the Georgian and Armenian Clergy. They have endeavour'd to expel these Missionaries from time to time, as they saw their Endeavours to draw People to their Religion; but in regard there are neither Physicians nor Surgeons in Georgia, they make themselves necessary by the practise of Physick and Surgery, [Page 212] which some of 'em understand very well, and practise with very good success. They have permission from the Pope to take Money for their Cures, and they make good advantage of it, Physick being their chiefest Subsistence: They are gene­rally paid in Wine, Meal, Cattel, and young Slaves; and some there are that give 'em Horses: of all which they sell whatever they have no need of, or whatever they have to spare. Were it not for this support of Physick, they could never sub­sist upon the Annual Pension which the Congregation allows 'em of 18 Roman Crowns for every Missionary, which make but Five Pounds Ten Shillings. Besides the Dispensation al­ready mention'd, these Missionaries have several others both in Spirituals and Temporals; as, to say Mass, without any Body to assist at it, to say it in several sorts of places, and in all sorts of Habits, to give Absolution of all manner of Sins, to disguise themselves, to keep Horses and Servants, to have Slaves, to buy and sell, to pay and take Interest. In a word, they have Dispensations so ample, and of that extent, that they pretend a power to do, and do in effect, whatever is permit­ted to the most priviledg'd Ecclesiasticks. Nevertheless these Missionaries, with all their Artifices, and notwithstanding all this Liberty, make very little progress among the Georgians. For besides that the people are very ignorant, and take little care to instruct themselves, it is so rivetted into their Heads, that Fasting as they observe it, is the Essential part of Christi­an Religion: That they do not believe the Capuchins to be Christians, because they are inform'd that in Europe they do not fast as they do. This incredible Obstinacy obliges the Ca­puchins to fast as they do, and to abstain from Creatures which the Georgians abhor, as the Hare, the Tortoise, and others. They fast Wednesdays and Frydays, regulating themselves ac­cording to the Ancient Calendar, that they may be said to be outwardly no more then Georgian Christians. Many People at first repair'd to their Church at Tefflis, drawn thither by the Novelty of their Service, and a little Musick of four or five Voices, accompany'd with a Lute, and a Spinet. But at present there go no more then only five or six poor People, who get something by the Missionaries. They have also set up a School, but they have not above seven or eight Scholars, the Children of poor Parents, who go thither more for Vittles then Learning, as the Fathers confess'd themselves. They told me often that they did not keep up their Missions for any pro­fit they got by 'em, but only for the Honour of the Roman [Page 213] Church; which, said they, would not be the Catholick Church; had it not Ministers in all parts of the inhabited World In a word, these Missionaries have no more in all Georgia then the two Houses already mention'd. The Wars of Imiretta and Guriel, and the Calamities of those Countries, have forc'd 'em to quit several Settlements which they had made in those parts. And their design was, when I parted from Tefflis, to visit Kaket in June, and several other places upon Mount Caucasus. Their Mission consisted of twelve Persons, nine Priests, and three Lay-Brothers.

The City of Tefflis is very well peopl'd; and there are as many Strangers resort thither as to any place in the World. For it drives a great Trade, and the Court is very Numerous and Magnificent, beseeming the Capital of a Province, being never without several Grandees of Note.

As to the Name of the City, I could never learn the Ety­mology of the word. They say, the Persians gave it that Name. Certain it is however, that the Georgians do not call it Tefflis, but Cala, that is to say, the City or the Fortress; which is indeed a Name that they give to all Spacious Habita­tions encompass'd with Walls. Which makes me think, that because they have no other Wall'd City in all the Country, they would give it no other Name but Cala. Some Geogra­phers call it Tebele-Cala, or the Hot City, by reason of the Baths of Hot Waters within it, or else because the Air is not so cold nor so boystrous as in the other parts of Georgia. Nei­ther could I learn the Time when the City was founded, nor the most remarkable Revolutions that have befallen it. For my part I do not believe its Antiquity surpasses Eight Hun­derd Years. It has been twice under the Power of the Turks. Once in the Reign of Ishmael the Second King of Persia; and the second time, in the Reign of his Successor, Solyman be­coming Master of it, at the same time almost that he took Tauris. The Persian Tables place it in 83 Degrees of Longi­tude, and 43 Deg. 5. min. of Latitude. It is also call'd Dar el Melec, or the Royal City, as being the Metropolis of the Kingdom.

The 10th the Superiour of the Capuchins gave the Viceroy Notice of my Arrival. I desir'd him so to do, considering with my self, that having Servants and Luggage, and being lodg'd at the Capuchins House, my Arrival could not be con­ceal'd from a Prince who had Intelligence even of the most [Page 214] trivial Things that pass'd in Tefflis, much more of my Adven­tures in Mingrelia, of which many People had spread a report. Besides, I was glad to see him, and shew him the King of Per­sia's Passports, directed to all the Governours of Provinces, wherein I was effectually recommended. For I made no Que­stion but the Prince upon the sight of those Orders would make me Welcom, and grant me a Convoy, if I should have occasion, for the rest of my Journey. Shanavas-Can under­standing who I was, and that the deceas'd King had employ'd me into Europe upon his own Service and Affairs, order'd the Superiour to tell me in his Name, That I was Welcom, that he was glad of my Arrival, and that I would do him a Kind­ness to come and see him as soon as I could; which I was neither in a Condition, neither was I resolv'd to do so soon: being resolv'd to stay till I was ready to depart, because I would not be oblig'd to go every Day to Court. Therefore I desir'd Father Raphael, who was his Physician, to tell him, That I was overjoy'd at the Honour which he had done me, and that I would not fail to pay my Duty to him, so soon as I had put my self into a handsom Equipage; but that I was so out of order, that I could not stir abroad these Ten Days. I know not whether Father Raphael made a true Report to the Prince, or whether the Prince believ'd him; for so it hap­pen'd, that about Twelve a Clock in the Forenoon, he sent a Gentleman to tell me, That since I was come to Town in a Week of Mirth and Jollity, while he Feasted every Day at Court, he desir'd that I would come and see him. I was sur­priz'd and troubl'd at the Message; and therefore I desir'd the Superiour and Father Raphael to let the Prince know, That I could not yet stir abroad, and that he would be pleas'd to con­descend that I might stay till the Sunday following before I receiv'd the Honour which he was pleas'd to do me. Which Message the Capuchins promis'd to deliver, but fail'd. They went to the Court 'tis true, but return'd the next moment, to tell me, That the Prince was impatient to hear what News from Europe. But the truth of it was, that they had an extra­ordinary desire to produce me. They were desirous to shew the King of Persia's Agent, whom they asserted to be one of their own Nation, to the end themselves might be the more respected; and they desir'd my Comrade and my self to put on our most Sumptuous Habit, and to enlarge for their sakes the Present which we intended for the Prince. In which par­ticular I was willing to gratifie 'em, and in whatever else I [Page 215] might conveniently do, as being glad of an Opportunity to acknowledge the signal Kindnesses they had done me.

It was almost Noon when we went to the Palace, accom­pany'd by the Superiour and Father Raphael, who attended to be assistant to us. The Prince was in a Room of State, a Hun­derd and Ten Foot long, and above Forty broad, built upon the side of the River, and all open on that side. The Ceel­ing, which was all of Mosaic Work, was plac'd upon a great Number of Pillars, Painted and Gilt between 35 and 40 Foot high. The whole Room was spread with very fair Carpets. The Prince and principal Nobility were sitting near three little Chimneys, which with several Brasiers warm'd the Room to that degree, that the Cold was not felt. Shanavas-Can, when people approach'd near him, caus'd himself to be Reverenc'd the first time, like the King of Persia Himself. They fell upon their Knees Two or Three Paces distant from his Per­son, and bow their Heads to the Ground, Three Times one after another. Which manner of Saluting the Eastern Prin­ces, the Europeans have always scrupl'd to observe. And in­deed it being impossible that a Man should prostrate him­self in a more humble posture, such a Prostration should on­ly be us'd before GOD himself. So that sometimes they excuse themselves from using this manner of Salutation, by saying they are of another World, and understand not the Complements of the Country. For my part I made my Obeysance with three Bows, without Kneeling. Afterward two Gentlemen led me to take my place: but I would not sit above the Capuchins, though the Gentlemen press'd me so to do, and the Steward of the Houshold who stood upon his Feet in the middle of the Room. For I was willing to do 'em that Honour, that they might have Honour done 'em by others. Which the Superiour was so glad to see, that he would needs have me take place of his Companion.

While I was paying my Obeysance, a Gentleman who had receiv'd from me at the Hall Door the King of Persia's Letters Patents which I held in my Hand, and the Present which I had brought for the Prince, and lay'd 'em in order in a large Silver Voider, set down the Voider at the Prince's Feet. Pre­sently he took the Patent, open'd it, and rising up from his Seat put it to his Lips, and lay'd it upon his Forehead, then gave it to his Chief Minister to tell him the Contents. After­wards he view'd the Present with a great deal of Curiosity [Page 216] and Satisfaction; which consisted of several pieces; that is to say,

A large Watch, with a Lunary Motion, in a Silver Case, Engrav'd and Gilt.

A Looking-Glass of Christal of the Rock, in a Silver Frame.

A Gold Enamel'd Box to put Opium Pills in. For the most part of the Persians take those Pills several times a day.

A Surgeons Case, furnish'd with all sorts of Instruments; being a very Delicate and Curious Piece of VVorkmanship.

Knives with Handles, Neat and Delicately wrought.

The first Minister after he had receiv'd the Patent, with a low Voice gave the Prince an Account of the Contents. And I understood afterwards that the Prince should say, they had never read a Patent more Effectual nor more Honourable, and that they had very seriously consider'd it. All the Grandees admir'd the Golden Character, and the Moresco-Flourishes in the Margent which were very large. The Prince caus'd it to be Copy'd; and I thought it not amiss to give ye the Transla­tion of it as follows.


1 HE WHO IS, HE IS GOD to whom belongs praise and glorie.
2 God, is elevated above all things.
[Regalitie is the gift of] God
3 [Prophetic]
4 In the name of God, element and mercifull
[O Mahamed, O Ali]
[Iudgment belongs to] God
[Assistance coms from] God.

God is my sufficiency Who ever he be that loues not Ali tho t'were my self I loue not him.

Who ever he be that doe not at his door bow his head to ye Earth tho he were an Angell let earth be upon his head.

The Slaue of the King of ye Countrie Abas ye Second. 1059Abas ye Second Victorious:
King Lord of ye World.
Thrice Valliant Prince.
descended from Shaik.
Sephi from Moussa:
from Hassein.


Absolutely Commands
The 5 Lords of Lords who haue ye Presence of a Lyon, ye Aspect of 6 Deston, The Princes who haue ye Stature of Tahem-ten-ten, who seem to be in ye Time of Ardevon, The Regents who carry ye Majestie of Feribours▪ The Conquerours of Kingdoms, Sup-Intendants that 8 unloose all manner of Knotts, and who are under ye 9 Ascendant of Mercurie The Farmers of ye Ports of ye Empire of 10 Caagon, ye Collectors of Tolls, ye Provosts of Highways, & Passages of ye Goverment are to understand, that at this present time wee haue orderd by an Express Command ye Agâs Chardin & Raisin, French Merchants, the 11 Flower of Merchants to discharge themselues of an Employmt. wch. they haue undertaken, & to exe­cute such Orders as haue bin given to 'em There is therefore an absolute necessity that in­what ever part of these Kingdomes of Spacious extent they▪ shall befound, & that through what ever part of our Vast Empire they shall pass, whither going or coming, neither by way of 12 request or demand any dutys or Tolls be exacted from 'em, of what nature soever, or what, ever Authority such p'sons may haue to demand 'em, that they giue no Obstacle to their desig­nes, nor disturb 'em any manner of Molestation, but that they pay 'em every where all manner of Hon▪ & Respect, & giue 'em such assistance as they shall desire at all times that they shall require it. And so soon as this patent shall be adornd, enlightend, ennobl'd, & 13 enliven'd, wth ye Seale wth resembles the Sun in 14 dignity & Vertue, wth makes manifest ye 15 Decree of ye Lord of ye World. & being aboue All things in Length & Breadth serues for a Law to ye Universe, & that ye Subscription Adorable, Holy [Sublime] most high & out compare shall be affix▪d thereto, That they giue entire Credit to it, & render all Obedience to what it containes, as Being A Decree from on Hie Elevated aboue all Things, & that it serue to Perpetuity to ye Persons to whom it is given. 16 Given in ye Month of Shaval ye Honourable, in ye yeare 1077 of ye Holy flight.

Peace & Happiness remain 17 Eternally wth ye followers of ye Holy flight.

19 Mehdy Son of Aabib Alla of ye race of Hasein.

[Page] [Page 217] The Patent is writ upon a Sheet of Paper two Foot and a half long; it is also beautifi'd with Letters of Gold, Blew, Red and Black. And therefore I have mark'd in great Letters, what is written in Letters of Gold, and what is written in the Original in Coloured Letters, I have inclosed between two little Hooks.

1. It is in the Original, Hou Alla sub han Hou. Which is an Arabian Sentence taken out of the Alcoran. Hou in this Language is the Essential Name of GOD, and not Alla, which signifies Most High. This Hou is the Jehova of the Hebrews, and signifies He, or He there. It signifies also is, or He that is; by which is to be understood a Being of Himself, and Uncreated. This Name is to be met with in the Alcoran in a number of places; and it seems that the Impostor who Com­pos'd that Book alludes to that Passage in the Third of Exo­dus, He who is, has sent me. The Mahometans place this word Hou over all their Decrees, Statutes, Petitions, and al­most over all their VVritings. And sometimes they add, Alla ta a Alla, that is to say, He who is, is GOD Most High.

2. These words ought to refer to the bottom of the Patent after these, Being a Decree from above, Elevated on High above all things, as much as to say, That GOD is still above. The Persians have this Custom in any Act or Decree, never to put the Name of GOD at the bottom of the Leaf; but they place it at the top upon the side, and leave a Blank in that part to which it ought to refer. And this same Circumspection they observe with great Superstition, believing that they who fail therein, fail of their Respect to GOD. They have the same Respect for the King and the rest of his Ministers, in their Juridical Writings, their Petitions, and their Publick Acts: for they never insert 'em into the Body of the Writing, but always at the top of the Page upon the Right-Hand.

3. This word Prophetick set at the top, for the reason al­ready observ'd, is relative to that at the bottom of the Patent: The Holy Flight, to signifie that the Computation of Time, which begins from the Flight of Mahomet from Mecca to Medina, is an Epoche of Sacred Institution, and that it took its Original and it's Beginning from the time that the Person whom they call by way of Excellency, The Prophet, began his Mission.

4. They that understand little of the Religion and Customs of the Mahometans, cannot be ignorant of this Invocation, in regard they pronounce it at the beginning of all their Actions, and all their Prayers. The most famous Professors of the Ori­ental Languages, say, That it ought to be thus Translated, In the Name of GOD Soveraignly-Merciful. And indeed, the Ara­bian word Rahmen, which signifies Merciful, is an Incommu­nicable Attribute of GOD, and which they never make use of but in speaking of the Divine Clemency. All the Mahome­tans believe that this Invocation conceals great Mysteries, and encloses an infinite number of Vertues. For they have it al­ways in their Mouths, rising, sitting, taking a Book or an In­strument in their Hands, or a Pen. In a word, they believe they shall not prosper in any thing which they undertake, if they do not begin with this Invocation. They assure them­selves that Adam and Eve spoke it before they went about any Business. It is set at the beginning of every Chapter in the Alcoran. And it is evident that it is in Imitation of the usual Sayings of the Jews and Christians, the one always beginning thus, Our Aid be in the Name of GOD, who Created Heaven and Earth: and the other with these words, In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

I shall speak in another place of the Seal which is fix'd to this Patent, and of what is grav'd within. The Figure under it is call'd Nishan, that is, the Signal, and also the Flourish beneath the Subscription. It is here drawn with a Ruler, but in the Original it is made of the Tails of Letters. The Se­cretary who is us'd to write this Subscription draws those Tails so streight and so equal, that you would take 'em for Lines drawn by Rule and Compass. The whole Subscription is in Colour'd Letters, except the word which signifies Lord of the World, and those which I have Translated Absolutely Commands, which are in Letters of Gold. The words Zels Ziouzoumis, are ancient Turkish still in use in the Lesser Tartary. They signifie properly My Words, or I speak. And Tamberlain be­ing the first that made use of those words in his Patents, the Kings of Persia have still retain'd the Custom. The twelve Names which are in the middle of the Flourish beneath the Subscription, are the Names of the twelve Pontiffs, real and lawful Successors of Mahomet, according to the Persian Be­lief.

5. The Governours in Persia are distinguish'd into Great and Petty. Media and Georgia for Example are great Govern­ments; Caramania and Gedrosia petty Governments: There­fore they call Beglerbeg, which signifies Lord of Lords, the Governour of a Great Government; and the Viceroy of a Petty Government they call a Kan.

6. Deston, Tahem-ten-ten, and Feribours, are the Names of the ancient Persian Heroes, or if you please of the Old Giants, which deriv'd their Being from the ancient Fables. These are the Alcides's and the Theseus's of the Persians; and as the Grecian Alcides had several Names, so likewise has the Persian: but the most common Name which they have alway in their Mouths is that of Rustem.

7. Ardevon is the Name of an Ancient Giant or Hero, who as the Persians say, conquer'd all Asia, and setl'd the Seat of his Empire in Persia. Their Histories have not preserv'd the Memory of any of his Atchievements: but their Romances feign an infinite Number which are altogether fabulous.

8. In the Original it is, Who unloose all sorts of Knots.

9. There is no People in the World more sottishly devoted to Judicial Astrology then the Persians. Of which being to speak in another place, I shall say no more here, but that the Persians rank all Penmen, Books and Writings under Mercury, whom they call Attared, and hold all People born under that Planet to be endu'd with a refin'd, penetrating, clear-sighted, and fubtil Wit.

10. Caagon is the Name of an Ancient King of China: Nor is there any one over the whole East whose Memory is more Venerable. It seems, by what they report, that he was more particularly Illustrious in his Country for his Go­vernment in Peace and Administration of Justice, then for his Feats of Arms. Therefore the Eastern Monarchs assume his Name to themselves, as the Roman Emperors call'd themselves Caesars. Moreover, it has the same signification in Persia, as August in English; so that when the Persians would express any thing that is Great and Royal, they say, Caagoniè. Thus I have explain'd the truth of this little Figure; and I believe [Page 220] we shall be as little troubl'd to understand the whole Lan­guage of this Patent, though Metaphor and Hyperbole are therein most furiously injur'd.

11. The Term which I have Translated Flowre of Merchants, signifies Exquisite, Choice, Elected, or most Excellent. The Persians use it commonly as an Epithet for all sorts and Condi­tions of Men; Great Lords, Foreign Ministers, Merchants; and bring it down even to Tradesmen.

12. It is in the Persian, Nor by Importunate Flatteries, nor by Hanghty Demands.

13. The word which I have Translated To Incourage, sig­nifies properly To Water.

14. These words In Dignity and Virtue, are not in the Pa­tent, only I have put 'em in the place of those that are, which signifies the Seal of great Quality resembling the Sun.

15. These words are to be referr'd to the words Absolutely Commands, which are under the Flourish beneath the Subscri­ption. They are call'd here The Decree of the Lord of the World. Tamberlain was the first that made use of these lofty Expressions. Now the Grand Signior and the Indian Monarch make use of 'em as well as the King of Persia; while every one maintains that it belongs to him only, and assumes it as his most Glorious Title. In the Persian Language it is, Saheb-Cerani. It may be also interpreted Master of the Age, but the other Translation is more clear and intelligible, and discovers more plainly the sottish pride that is contein'd in it.

16. We shall speak more particularly in another place of the Marks by which the Persians distinguish Times and Sea­sons. Here therefore I shall say no more then for the under­standing of the Date, that the Month Shavel is the tenth, and that the Arabians have given Epithets to all the Months; as for Example, to the First, the Epithet of Sacred; to the Se­venth, that of Praise-worthy; to the Ninth, that of Blessed; and to this here mention'd the Stile of Honourable. The word Hegyra, which is Translated Flight, proceeds from a Verb, which signifies to fly, as also to retire. So that the He­gyra of the Mahometans is the same thing with the Exodus of [Page 221] the Hebrews. And without doubt Omar had that same Exo­dus in his Mind, when he setl'd the Mahometan Epact, from the time of Mahomet's departure from Mecca, which was the place in Arabia where Idols and Idolatry were most in Esteem.

17. In the Original it is Hamhager, that is, Flying together

18. As the Arabians, as we have said, gave Epithets to the Months, the Persians also have given Epithets to the Principal Cities of their Empire Ispahan and Casbin are call'd The Seat of Monarchy. Canhadar, A Secure Retreat. Asherif was call'd The Ennobl'd, because Abas the Great built a Spacious and Sumptuous Palace, and usually kept his Court there when he was in the Province of Mazenderan. Which Province is call'd Tabar Estaan in all the Publick Acts, in the Exchequer, and Chan­cery; but in common Discourse they call it Mazanderoon. Tabar Estaan signifies a place of Wedges, to denote that the Coun­try is full of Wood; for that where there is great plenty of VVood, great store of VVedges are requir'd to cleave it.

19. The Impression of the Seal, which is at the bottom of the Date in the Translation, is not only upon the back of the Pa­tent, but at the bottom likewise. This is the Seal of the Prime Minister, who is call'd Mahomet Mehdy. The Persians never put their Qualities in their Seals, nor any Title by which they may be known. There is only their own Name; their Fa­thers Name, which serves in stead of a Sirname, according to the fashion of the Hebrews; and the Name of their Family when it has the Honour to be descended from Mahomet by his Daughter Fatima. For the Mahometans acknowledge no other Nobility then to be the Original Branches of that Progeny.

I had also joyn'd to the King of Persia's Patent a Note of Recommendation from the High Steward of his Houshold; which I was desirous the Viceroy should see, as being assur'd that it would work more effectually then the Patent it self. VVhich prov'd to be true; insomuch that I understood after­wards, that it was to that Note, to which I was beholding for all the good Offices and Honours which I receiv'd at Tefflis: which was as follows.

[Page 222]

THe Commissioners of Governments, the Farmers Royal, Officers of Cities, Receivers of Toll, and Provosts of the High-Way, will have the (1) Honour to know, That M. Chardin and M. Raisin, French Merchants, the Flowre of Merchants, having brought to the most High and Sublime Court Rarities and Cu­riosities set with Precious Stones, worthy the (2) Ward­robe of the (3) Slaves of the (4) Distributer of Temporal Goods, they are Commanded to fetch others; and have express Order to cause to be made in their Country several Pieces of Workmanship for the Service of his Slaves; to that purpose they are Honour'd with a Patent under the (5) Sacred Seal; and that is the Reason they are forc'd to Travel. Where-ever they come therefore, it is absolutely requisite that they have Respect shewn 'em, and that all Reasonable Assistance that shall be necessary, be afforded 'em. Care also must be taken that they be not molested or put to Trouble, nor must any Persons whatever signifie in any manner whatso­ever, that they expect or desire any Duties from 'em. For if it comes to the Ears of the Slaves of the Lord of Human Kind, that they have claim'd any thing of 'em, bad will be the Fruit of such an Information. Written in the Month of Shaval the Ennobl'd; 1076. of the Holy Flight; To which be Honour and Glory.

In the Margent there was,
The Intention of this is to give all those whom it may concern to understand, That the Bearers hereof are to be Treated and Respected according to the Tenour of the Patent, to which all the World pays Homage. The words of the Seal signifie Maxud the Son of Caleb, the Delight of the Creatures.’

[Page 223] 1. It is in the Persian, They are Honour'd by that which they give 'em to understand. For so the Grandees of Persia write to the Inferiour Officers: especially when those Officers have their dependance upon 'em. This they do to maintain the difference which their Authority and Imployment, puts between 'em: and that there may not be any confusion by their manner of Communication one with another.

2 The Word which I have Translated Wardrobe is Sercar, Which signifies properly Chief of the Workmanship, and also a Magazine. For the King and the Grandees of Persia keep in their Houses Manufactures of all sorts of Trades and Arts. They call those places Carconè, or Work-Houses. They are like the Gallery of the Grand Duke of Florence, or the Gal­leries in the Louvre in France. They maintain therein a great number of excellent Masters, who have there a Pension and their Dyet as long as they Live: and they find 'em Materials for their Work. And they make 'em Presents, or advance their pay upon every Curious Piece which they finish.

3. 'Tis out of Pride and Vainglory that they express them­selves in these Terms. Worthy the Wardrobe of the Slaves of the King. As much as to say, that the Kings Wardrobe is so full of rare and pretious Jewels, that no body can bring any thing that is fit to be put therein. And therefore Persian Elo­quence makes very much use of this Circumlocution of Lan­guage upon all occasions. So speaking of an Ambassador that has pay'd his Obeysance to the King, they say, That he has kiss'd the Feet of the Slaves of the King. In like manner, when they would say, that the King has perform'd any great Action, they say, The Slaves of the Prince have perform'd such a great Action. Forms of Speech that sufficiently discover the Vanity of the Eastern People. I take 'em to be drawn from the Alcoran, which the Mahometans affirm to be the source of true Eloquence. There you shall meet with many such like Expressions. As for Example, speaking of the Works of GOD, they call 'em, The Works of the Angels. The Angels Created the Heavens and the Earth. VVhich, say the Mahome­tans, more clearly expresses the Power of GOD. For if the Angels have so much Power as to Create VVorlds, how great must be his Power whose only Servants and Ministers they are? In short, all the Orientals are perfect Slaves; their Soveraigns [Page 224] having a right to command their Lives, and Fortunes, their VVives and Childern. But they are so far from being terrifi'd with their condition, that they Glory in it. The Grandees themselves count it an Honour to be call'd Slaves: and Sha-Couli, or Coolom-Sha, which signifies the Kings Slaves, is as Honourable a Title in Persia, as that of Marquess in France.

4. Valineamet, which I have Translated Distributer of Tem­poral Goods, is a compound Word. Vali signifies a Soveraign, and absolute Lieutenant, who has the same Power in the place where he is settl'd as he that Rules the Empire. The Persians also frequently call their King Vali-Iron, to let yee understand that he is in Persia, which they call Iron, the true Successor, Vicar, and Lieutenant of Ali, to whom GOD gave the Do­minion of the VVorld, after the Death of Mahomet. Neamet is deriv'd from Inara, which signifies a Present, Favour, Tem­poral Grace, or Bountiful conferring of a Benefit. So that by the VVord Vali-Neamet, which is the most usual Title which the Persians give their King, speaking to his Majesty, they mean, That he is GODS Lieutenant in the World, to distribute in his be­half all the Benefits and Blessings of Fortune to Men, and as it were the Conduit-Pipe, through which Heaven Conveys it's Blessings to the Earth.

5. It is in the Persian Moubarec-Nishan. It has been said that the Subscription, wherein are VVritten the Twelve Names of the Successors of Mahomet, is call'd Nishan, though Moubarec signifies Blessed.

I said nothing to the Viceroy when I pay'd my Obeysance, nor did he speak a word to me, or make the least sign. VVith­in a Moment after Dinner was serv'd in, he sent me upon a Plate of Gold the half of a large Loaf that was before him, and order'd his Carver that brought it me, to tell me, that I was welcome. A little after that, he sent to ask me how the War went forward between the Turks and the Polanders. During the Second course he caus'd us to be serv'd with his own Wine in the Cup that he Drank out of himself. The Wine stood in a great Flagon of Gold Enamell'd; and the Cup was set in the lower part with Rubies and Turquoises. The Gentleman that fill'd us out the Wine, bid us in the Prince's Name, Be Merry, and Eat Heartily. When the Third Course was upon the Table, the Prince did us yet farther Ho­nour, and sent us part of the Roastmeat which was set before [Page 225] his own Person; that is to say, a Pheasant, two Partridges, and a Quarter of a Hind; and order'd our Attendant to tell us, That the Wine would make the Wild-Powl go down the better; though he had commanded that we should not be press'd to Drink. All which Honours I receiv'd with low bows, but without making any Answer. And the Capuchins did the same. For it is the Custom among the Persians never to return any other kind of Answer to those kind of Favours.

I shall say nothing of the Order and Magnificence of the Feast, but only this, That there was hard Drinking, that there was a most prodigious Quantity of Meat, and that they brought it up some Fish, and some Flesh, in respect to the Patriarch and the Bishop who were there, and profess Absti­nence from Flesh all their Life-time. We rose from the Ta­ble after we had sate three Hours; at what time others of the Guests were already withdrawn: though as yet they had not tak'n away the Roast-Meat. Retiring, we made a low Re­verence to the Prince, who then sent me word once more, That I was Welcom; and caus'd us to be conducted Home to our Lodging.

The 14th, the Prince sent me two large Flagons of Wine, two Pheasants, and two Brace of Partridges. The Gentle­man that brought the Present told me, That the Prince had given him Order to enquire, Whether I wanted any thing and whether the Capuchins took care to let me not want Company; and to tell me moreover, That if I likd the Wine, I might send every day to his Buttery. In answer to which, I desir'd the Gentleman to assure the Prince, That my Landlords did not let me want any thing and that we would all together drink his Health in the Wine which he had sent. Nor indeed could better Wine be tasted: So that we were very Merry with a Polish Surgeon, and two Syrians, that serv'd the Prince, whom we sent for to Sup with us.

The 16th, the Prince sent to invite me to his Niece's Wed­ding, who was Marry'd in his Palace. I went about Five a Clock with the Superiour and Father Raphael; but the Cere­mony of the Marriage was almost over, before we came. It was perform'd in the Great Room of State, where we had Din'd the Sunday before. I had a great desire to have seen her, but because the Room was full of Ladies, there was no Admittance for any but the Prince and his near Relations, the Catholicos and the Bishops.

[Page 226] This same Custom of forbidding Women the Company of Men, has been only in Georgia, since the Country became subject to the Persians; nor is this Prohibition but only in the Cities. For in the Country, and in such places where there are no Mahometans, they go without Vails, and make no scru­ple both to come into Company, and discourse with Men at their pleasure. But in regard the Customs of the Mahometans prevail more and more in Georgia with their Religion, we find the Women to be more and more restrain'd of their Liberty: and that lovely Sex are forc'd out of Confor­mity to good Manners to keep apart by themselves. The Nuptial Feast was kept upon a Terrass of the Palace, sur­rounded with Beds of State, or Estrades rais'd about two Foot, and six Foot in depth. The Terrass was cover'd with a large Pavillion fix'd upon five Pillars, two and twenty Foot high, and about five Inches in Diameter. The Lining was of Cloth of Gold and Silver, Velvet and painted Cloath so neatly and artificially intermix'd, that by the Light of the Tapers it look'd like a Wainscot of Flowers and Moresco Work. In the midst of this sort of Room of State, if I may so call it, stood a large Fountain spouting out Water. However, we did not feel the Coldness of the Weather: For the Crowd of People, and the large moving Hearths that were in the Room, almost stew'd us before we got out. The Floor was cover'd with fair Carpets, and about Forty Branches gave Light to the whole Room. Of which the Four that hung next the Prince were of Gold, the rest of Silver; which Branches usually weigh Forty Pounds apiece, the Foot being a matter of Fifteen Inches in Diame­ter. The Branch about a Foot and a half high, carries a Bowl full of pure Tallow, which feeds two lighted Matches. And these sort of Lamps give a very great Light.

The Figure, or rather Picture inserted, gives yee a distinct Idea of the Order of this Festival. The Guests were rank'd upon Beds of State, or Estrades. The Prince had his Place upon an Estrade somewhat higher rais'd then the rest, cover'd with a Canopy in the likeness of a Duomo. His Sons and his Brothers were upon his Right Hand; the Bishops upon his Left: The Bridegroom's Place was betwixt both. As for my self and the Capuchins, the Prince order'd us to sit immedi­ately next below the Bishops. For you must understand there were at this Feast above a Hunder'd Persons. The Musick stood at the lower end. And now in a short time after we were all plac'd, the Bridegroom enter'd lead by the Catholicos.

[Page] [Page]

The Nuptiall Feast at Tifflis

[Page] [Page 227] Who having taken his place, the Princes Relations, went every one to Complement and Present him. Which was also done by the greatest part of the Guests, insomuch that it look't like a kind of Procession, which was the reason it lasted above half an Hour. The Presents consisted in Money, some Gold, some Silver, as also in little Silver Cups. I confess I was desi­rous to know how much the Presents amounted to; but as far as I could find, 'twas no such great Sum, as not exceeding above Two Hundred Crowns.

However, let it be what it will, in the height of this Cere­mony, Supper was serv'd up in this manner. In the first place Table Cloaths were spread before all the Guests, and in three parts of the Court before the Tent. Which Table Cloaths were as large as the Estrades. After which done, the Bread was serv'd in. Of which there were three sorts, the one as thin as Paper, the next about a Finger thick, and the third sweeten'd with Sugar. The Meat was brought in cover'd in large Silver Dishes, but far larger then are made in Europe. The Plate and the Cover usually weighing about Four Hundred and Five Hundred Ounces. They that brought up the Dishes first into the Room, set 'em down in order upon a Table Cloath at the Entrance; from whence other Officers carry'd 'em before the Squire-Carvers, who cut off several hollow Plates full, and order'd 'em to be sent to the Guests: the Prin­ces being first serv'd, and afterwards the rest according to their Degrees: and the custom is to Carve one Dish to all the Com­pany; then of another, and so of all the rest. The whole Feast consisted of three Courses every one containing Sixty of those large slat Dishes a piece. The First was of all sorts of Pilo, or Rice boyl'd with Meat, of which they make se­veral sorts of distinct Colours and Tasts. The Yellow is boyl'd with Sugar, Cinamon and Saffron. The Red, with Juice of Pomegranates, but the White is most natural and the best. This Pilo is a very good sort of Diet, pleasing to the Tast and very wholesome

The Second Course was of Meats Bak'd, Stew'd, and Fri­cassy'd; and other Ragoo's of the same Nature. The Third of Roasted. Not but that in all the three Courses there was an Intermixture of Fish, Eggs, and Salades for the sake of the Ecclesiasticks. For our parts they serv'd us both the Flesh and Fish. In a Word, every thing was set upon the Table, and taken away with that order and silence that was to be admir'd. Every one did his Duty without speaking a word. So that you [Page] [Page 228] shall hear three French-Men at one Table make more noise then a Hunderd and Fifty Persons, that were in the Room at that Feast.

But that which was most to be wonder'd at after all this ex­cellent order, was the Court Cupboard which contain'd about a Hunderd and Twenty Vessels, that appertain'd to Drinking; Bowls, Cups, Horns, Sixty Flagons and Twelve Jugs. The Jugs were for the most part Silver. The Bowls and Cups were some of Polish'd Gold, others Gold Enamell'd, some set with pretious Stones, others only Silver; the Horns were Em­bellish'd after the same manner as the Richer sort of Cups; and of several proportions. The ordinary ones were about Eight Inches High, Broad at the Top about Two, very black and Polish'd. Some were of Rhinoceros's Snouts, others of Dears Horns, whereas the Common sort were made of the Horns of Oxen and Sheep. However the Custom of making use of 'em for Drinking Cups, and Embellishing 'em has been all along observ'd among the Eastern People. I cannot tell how long the Feast lasted: for I did not stay it out. Only this I know, that though it was Midnight before we went away, the Roast­meat was not then taken off the Table. Nor did they begin to Drink at first, till the Third Course came, that they began to be Warm, and then they Drank their Healths after this man­ner. They sent to Eight Persons, who were the Prince's nea­rest Relations, four upon the Right, and four upon the Left, Eight Bowls of the same Bigness and Equally full of Wine. At what time they rose and stood up till they had Drank; they that were upon the Right Hand Drinking first: they on the left hand Pledg'd 'em; and then the same Eight Bowls were fill'd again, and carry'd to the next in the same order till the Health was gone Round. Which done, they began again Eight Bigger Bowls. For the Custom of the Country is to Drink the Grandees Health last in the biggest Cups. Which is done on purpose to Fuddle their Guests the more Effectu­ally; by that means engaging 'em out of Respect and Esteem for the Persons to Drink the more Liberally till they are quite Drunk. In this manner they Drank all the two last Hours that I stay'd at the Feast, and as afterwards I understood, from that time till next Morning. The first Bowls held no more then an Ordinary Glass: and for the last which I saw Drank off, they held about a Pint and a half. Nevertheless they were only those that were accounted Moderate Draughts. The Capuchins and my self were exempted from Drinking, and in [Page 229] truth, had I Drank as much as my Neighbours, I had dy'd upon the Spot: but the Prince had so much kindness for us as to give order not to carry us any Healths; nevertheless we had both Wine and Water, and a Gold Tumbler standing before us all the while. But they never fill'd us, but when we call'd for it. When the Healths were began, the Musick began to Play: being a confus'd mixture of Vocal and Instrumental, which so pleas'd the Company, that they seem'd Ravish'd with it. But for my part I could hear nothing that was Musical, but rather only what was harsh and full of discord. The Prince also being in a pleasant Humour, as upon whom the Liquor began to work, sent to the Superiour to bid him send for his Spinette. Who with his Comrade were no less mad at the Extravagant Fancy of the Prince, though the Chief cause of their disgust was my being there, fearing I should make some Relation of the Pas­sage to their Disadvantage, and aggravate their fawning Compli­ance upon such an occasion; that a Superiour of a Mission, should condescend to prostitute himself like a Fidler before a Mahometan Prince, in and Assembly of Infidels and Hereticks, Clergy and Laity, that in the Condition they were in, might well be term'd an Assembly of Drunkards. However when the Spinette came they set it upon the Table in the midst of the Room, and the Superiour was orderd to Play; at what time the Prince having order'd him to Sing and Play together, he first Sung the Magnificat, the Te Denni, and Tantum Ergo, and after that several Court-Aires in Italian and Spanish, for the Church Musick was then too Grave for the Prince Besides the Spinette was out of Tune, and the Superiour play'd out a Tune a purpose, and being very Old beside, and brok'n with Age and Labour, you may well Judge what fort of Divertisement his Consort could be. However it was Pastime for the Prince for Two Hours together. During which time, the Steward of the Houshould came to me, and ask'd me whither the use of Instruments were permitted in our Religion? To which when I answer'd It was; he reply'd that the Mahometan Religion forbid it expressly; and though it were generally us'd in Persia, yet yet that custom did not make it Lawful. He told me moreover that Instruments were particularly forbid in the exercise of Re­ligion, in regard that GOD requir'd only the Praises of Hu­man Voice. During which dispute, a Georgian Bishop fell in­to discourse with Father Raphael upon the same Subject. I cannot tell all that was then said, in regard I did not well un­derstand the Language, nor would the Father be my Inter­preter. [Page 230] Only he told me thus much, that he was offended to see the Superiour Divertise the Company at a Festival with the same Hymns, which he pretended were appointed for the Ser­vice of GOD in the Church. Father Raphael also added, That he took it very ill, that the Viceroy had us'd his Autho­rity so far, to oblige the Superiour to play upon the Lute, and sing at every turn to please his Humour; only that their Se­curity depended so much upon his Favour, that they durst not deny him any thing. About Midnight therefore, as I told yee, we left 'em; after we had tak'n leave of the Prince with all due Reverence. Nevertheless before he would let me go, he ask'd me how his Kinsman the King of Spain did, and drank his Health in a Bowl set with Pretious Stones: and would needs have both the Capuchins and my self pledge the Health in the same Cup. Though I know not whether he did it out of Vain-glory, or to honour the Superiour, whom he knew to be a Subject of his most Catholick Majesty.

The 17th, reflecting upon the Title of King of Spain, which the Prince had assum'd to himself, and finding that it was not incoherent with what several Authors alledge, that the Spa­niard Originally came out of Iberia, I ask'd the Capuchins, How the Prince claim'd Affinity with the King of Spain? They answer'd, That Clement the VIII. having written to Taymuras, and in his Letters call'd him Kinsman to Philip the Second, and the Iberians and Spaniards Brothers, his Successors ever since retain'd that Imaginary Kindred. And upon that occasion they told me several Stories of the Pride and Vain-glory of the Georgians, and of the Viceroy in particular, and shew'd me the Copy of a Letter which he wrote about two Years since to the King of Poland. Of which I have inserted the Transla­tion in this Journal, as being an Authentick Piece, and proper to shew that the pride of the Georgians is not a little Extrava­gant, and because the Crowd of Vain-glorious Titles with which it is stuff'd, discovers plainly, that the Fastern Nati­ons beyond all compare surpass all others in the World in Va­nity.

PRaise, Glory and Adoration are to be given to GOD most Omnipotent, who has Created and Preserves all Things; who was neither Produc'd nor Engender'd; Exempt from all Evils; Ineffable, Merciful to all, as well the Dead as the Living; who Commands, with absolute Power both Great and Mean, and Governs 'em with Clemency. The most High, the most Puissant [Page 231] Prince, the King of the Georgians, Lictimenians, Litians, Me­siulctians, Shevians, Sheviultians, Suans, Ossi, Bualtians, Cir­cassians Tuscians, Psianetians, Tidisiceans, Jalibusians, the People both on this side, and beyond the High Mountains, and of all the places there inhabited; Lord of the three Grand Tribes (the Georgian term is Eristava, Eris signifiing People, and Ta­va Chieftain, or Prince) and of the Holy Seat of Schette, Capital City of all the Provinces which God through his favour has given us in Heritage: King of Iberia and Mucrania, Sabatian, Tria­let, Taschire, Sometta, Chianchia, and Schianvanda, and of several other Kingdoms which he possesses with settl'd and abso­lute Authority, and over which he has full Power; who is descen­ded from Jesse, David, Solomon, and who by the Grace and Power of GOD is loaden with Prosperity; the Vanquisher of Vanquishers, the Invincible King of Kings, the most High Lord, Shanavas-Can. To you John Casimir, who are laden with Honour, and can replenish Men with it; who are Famous in Peace, and well edifi'd in Virtue; who by the Mercy and Power of GOD are August, Happy, Born under a favourable Constellation, most great in Magnificence, who are always a doer of Good. Who for your rare merit are most worthy of a Throne and a Crown, most Potent Soveraign, Victor over Victors, Victorious over Enemies, Celebra­ted Exterminator of Rebels, Prince born a Christian and bred up in the Christian Religion; Renown'd for feats of Arms; Here­ditary King of Poland, Gothia, Vandalia, Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Livonia, Mazovia, Samotia, Chiovia, Ciarnacovia and several other Kingdoms and Provinces; most Serene Lord whose renown is expanded over all, and Reaches to the Sun. To you, I say, Great King of Poland, without Compare, profound in Wisdom and all manner of Knowledge, and Most Illustrious through all those just Elogies which are given you, for having un­derstood all the most noble Languages. We salute yee withal our Affection, and with as much ardour as the Obligation of our Hear­ty good will desires it, we wish you perfect Content, long Peace, and multipli'd Prosperities. We render infinite Thanks to God for having learnt the Estate of your Health, by Letters brought us from the most Illustrious and most Excellent Lord John Lesezun­shi, Count of Lersno, Great Chancellor in your Kingdom, and Lieutenant General in upper Poland. We humbly beseech his Di­vine Goodness that we may understand from time to time the con­tinuance of your Health in its perfection, that you tast without Molestation the Fruits of a Happy Peace, and that you enjoy a perfect Felicity. Your good Servant Burgibug-Danbec, Officer [Page 232] of your Kingdom, a Gentleman no less Illustrious for his Fidelity then Nobility, is come hither in Quality of an Envoy from your Royal Majesty to renew the Peace, and Ratifie the Friendship and good Correspondence between the happy King Sultan Soliman, whose Grandeur is advanc'd to the Heavens, and Establish'd over all the Earth, a Prince most High, Supream, Incomparable, Infinite in Power, accustom'd to make himself by force ador'd by his most for­midable Enemies, who enriches the Universe no less then the Sea, and who is worthy more Praises then it is possible for Men to give him. Monarch of Persia, Media, Parthia, Hircania, the Per­sian Golph, and the Islands therein contain'd, Caramania, Ara­cosia, Margiana and other Innumerable Principalities and Lordships. Your Agent has pass'd through our Territories, with­out having suffer'd the least Inconvenience, or receiv'd the least Mole­station. He has now taken his leave to depart by the Assistance of God toward your Royal Majesty. I beseech you through the hearty good will and Friendship which we mutually bear one to the other, that this good Subject and my Domestick may be as welcom to your self, as he had been to your Predecessor.

The Twentieth, I desir'd the Prefect or Superiour of the Theatins, and Father Raphael to return Thanks to the Prince for the Favours and Honours he had done me, and to pray him that I might have an Officer to conduct me to Irivan the chief City of Armenia the Greater. To which the Prince sa­tisfi'd with the Complement, and no less ready to grant me my request, Commanded the Capuchins to tell me, That he had a great Kindness for the Europeans, and would have wish'd I could have stay'd longer at Tefflis, to the end he might have made it more clear to me what he profess'd; but that he would not presume, nei­ther had he any desire to stop me, because I was going upon the Kings business, and therefore that I was at Liberty to go when I pleas'd; that there was all manner of security within his Territo­ries, and that therefore I needed no Convoy; nevertheless that he would send one of his Officers along with me if I desir'd it.

The Fathers told me afterwards that he had held 'em in a long discourse concerning his earnest desire that the Europeans would come and settle in Georgia, to which purpose they had orders to tell me, that if they would come thither for Trade, he would Grant 'em all the Priviledges and Advantages they [Page 233] could desire. That his Territories extended to the Black-Sea, and that bearing a great sway in Persia, and being highly esteem'd in Turkey, such Europeans as design'd to the Indies, could not chuse a better Road then through his Territories; and that he was assur'd that when they had once travell'd it, they would always make choice of it for the future.

I desir'd the Fathers to return my most humble Thanks to the Prince, for the Kindness which he had for our Nation; and to let him know, That I would not fail to give to the French East-India Company Notice of his good Intentions, which if he would be pleas'd to signifie in a Letter, I would certainly take care to have it sent. Lastly, That he would do me a great Honour to grant me one of his Domestick Servants, to Conduct me to the next Government, of which I should not fail to give an Account to the King and his Ministers, when I should be arriv'd at Ispahan.

The 24th, the Tibilelle (for so is the Bishop of Tefflis call'd, as I have said already) came to see me. He told me, That the Prince had commanded him to acquaint me, That having con­sider'd upon what I had sent to him about Writing to the French Company for setling a Trade, and a Passage through Georgia, He was about to have done it, to inform 'em of the Advantage they might make of a Trade into that Country: but in regard he was no more then a Vassal to the King of Per­sia, he was afraid his Majesty would look upon it as a Crime to have Written without his Order to Strangers about Bu­siness. However, I might assure 'em this, That if they would send Factors into his Country, they should find many sorts of Merchandizes that were proper for Europe very cheap; besides that they should be receiv'd with all the Civility ima­ginable. In answer to which I desir'd the Tibilelle to assure the Prince that I would faithfully discharge my Trust. The Prelate staid with me about a quarter of an Hour in my Cham­ber; and at his departure I presented him a very fair Rosary of Coral: according to the Custom of Repaying the Visits of a Person of Quality. Nor were the Capuchins less glad of the Visit I had receiv'd, then of the manner of my Acknowledg­ment, in regard the Bishop of Tefflis had never been at their House before.

The 25th, the Prince sent me a Present of Wine, and order'd the Messenger to tell me, That he had appointed a Persian of his own Family for my Guide; that he had commanded a Let­ter of Orders to be dispatch'd that I might set forward as soon as I pleas'd.

[Page 234] The 26th, Father Raphael made me spend two Hours with an old Woman that practis'd Physick by the help of an infi­nite Number of Receipts: Of which he caus'd me to write down some that he had heard People make the greatest Brags of, in my Table-Book.

For the Dropsie, ☞ half a Dram of the Juice of the Roots of Garden-Chiches, and repeat the Remedy every other Day.

To stop a Flux of Urine, Eat for three days together the inner Skins of the Gysern of a Capon rosted, five every day.

Against the Biting of a Scorpion, Take a Live-Hen, pull the Feathers off the Rump, and lay it upon the Wound. For then the Hen sucks the Poyson into her Body, and dies. When the Convulsion begins to seize the Hen, take another, and apply her in the same manner, and so another till all the Poyson be suck'd out.

For the Yellow Jaundise, Make a Bed of Boyl'd Rice, and lay the Patient well cover'd upon it; or else put him into a Bath of Milk, and it works the same effect.

For External Pains of the Joynts, Take either the Deco­ction or the Perfume of three Drams of Hellebore.

For Inward Pains of what sort soever, Take Potions of Mummy.

For all sorts of Falls, Bruises and Hurts, Take Mummy in Drink, wrap up the Patient in a Cows Hide, and let him Blood. The Wound must be heal'd with the Powder of the Herb Mullein.

For Defluxions and Rheumes to the Head and Throat, Take Perfume of Yellow Amber.

For the Dysentery, Give the Infusion of the Leaves and Berries of Myrtle; or else the Blood of a Rosted Hare infus'd in Wine.

For the Haemorrhoids, Powder the Leaves of Plantain, and strew upon the part affected.

[Page 235] For Pains in the Reins, take the Decoction of the Leaves and Seed of Marsh-Mallows.

For Ulcers in the Reins, use Milk.

Against a Pleuresy, take two little thin Cakes of ordinary Meal, and boil 'em in Water with Roch-Allum and Madder, and apply 'em as hot as may be endur'd upon the side, the one behind and the other before: this Remedy must be dayly re­peated till the Cure be perfected.

Against a Cough, make use of the Root of the Herb call'd Hounds-Tongue or Dogs-Tongue.

The most usual Cure for Agues in this Country, is to make Plaisters of the Fat of a Sheeps Rump, Cinamon, Cloves and Cardamomes, and all the time of the cold fit to lay these Plai­sters upon the Forehead, Stomach and Feet. When the hot fit is over, take off those Plaisters and lay on others, made of the Leaves of Cichory, Plantain, and the Herb call'd Solanum or Nightshade, afterwards they take a Sucking-Pig, cut it in two and clap it to the Feet. All which time the Patient is fed with Bread and Cream of Almonds, eating nothing that is boyl'd.

Father Raphael assur'd me that he had seen 'em in that Coun­try cure Agues, by carrying the Patient in the height of his Cold fit and plunging him over Head and Ears in the Water. It is a thing hard to be beleiv'd; and in Truth, to me it appear'd a thing altogether Extravagant, in regard it seem'd to be so Dangerous. However it is observ'd that the difference of Climates and Temperaments of Countrys produces far diffe­rent effects in Remedies, so that the Remedy, if I may so say, that Kills in one Country, does but only stir a Man in another.

In the Evening the Princes Chancellors Secretary, brought me the Officer who was to conduct me to Erivan; and in my presence gave him the Letter of Orders for his so doing. Of which the Translation follows.

[Page 236]

UNder severe Penalties the Noble Lord (1) Emin-Aga, is Commanded exactly to cause to be Executed the Tenor of the Patent, which the Deceas'd King, who was here below the Master of (2) For­tune, and is now in (3) Heaven, gave to Mr. Chardin, and Mr. Raisin, (4) French Europeans, by Vertue of which the (5) Judges of Places, Pro­vosts of Highways, Receivers of Tolls, and all sorts of Officers of the Empire are oblig'd to Honour 'em, and to take care that no Duty be exacted from 'em.

The said Emin-Aga shall make it his Business to conduct 'em safe to the Blessed City of Erivan, without receiving any Damage or Molestation by the way: that nothing may hinder 'em from arriving well satisfi'd at the Palace, of the (6) Support of Human kind. And all Persons to whom this Letter shall be shewn, shall take care not to Contradict or Transgress it in any manner.

1. Emin has the same Signification as Mir, and is all one. They signifie Lord, Noble, Valiant, Chief of a Family, or Tribe. We find Deut. 2. v. 10. That the Word Emim is very Ancient in some of these Significations. Though pro­perly in Hebrew, Aim signifies Terrible, and thence Haemim, Gyants or Men of great Valour.

2. To render it Word for Word, it signifies Master of the Conjunction. For the Persians doating as they do upon Judicial Astrology, believe that Victory and all good Fortune proceed from the Conjunction of two Stars, and therefore it is that they say, a Man is Master of the Conjunctions, when nothing but Prosperity and Happiness attends him.

[Page 237] 3. It is in the Persian, Whose Nest is in Heaven: For the Followers of Ali hold the Kings of Persia for Saints, in the Quality of Mahomet's Successors and Lieutenants of GOD. And it is an Article of their Faith, That their Kings go to Heaven, by a Destiny as Uncontroulable and as Natural as the Birds fly to their Nests.

4. The word which I Translated Europeans, is Frangui; for the Orientals call by that Name all that are born in the Chri­stian Dominions of Europe, except those of Moscovy. Fran­gui is most certainly deriv'd from François; the Turks having assuredly given that Name to all the Europeans, because the French were the first among 'em with whom they had Com­merce and Alliance.

5. Homal, which I have Translated Judges, is as much as Petty Regents, or Inferiour Officers. Under which Names are comprehended the Daroga, or Judge of Criminal Causes, the Mustauf, or Controller of the Exchequer. The Sheic-el-Islam, or Lieutenant Civil. The Vasier, or Receiver-General, and the Kelonter, or Provost of the Merchants.

6. One of the most Ordinary Titles which the Persians give their King, is Alempenha, or the Support and Basis of the World.

7. This is the Eleventh Month of the Year.

I gave the Chancellor's Secretary a Guinea, as his Fee for Dispatches of this Nature. Though there be no certain Rule for such Fees; but only every one gives according to the Ad­vantage which he receives by his Dispatch, and according to his Quality and Condition. Presently my Guide gave me to understand, That he wanted a Horse, which was as much as to say that he wanted four Guinea's to buy one. Which I immediately knew to be a Trick to get Advance-Money out of me, fearing lest when I came to Erivan, that I should be so dishonest as to recompence him only with a Trifle, or per­haps give him nothing at all. For the Persians are not very prone to make Acknowledgments, and for the Georgians they are ingrateful above measure. The greatest Kindnesses make no Impression upon their Minds: for they forget 'em, and [Page 238] repay with shrewd Turns those to whom they owe their Ad­vancement with as little Check of Conscience, as if they were altogether Strangers. For which reason it is, that they desire payment before-hand, standing very little upon the Nicety of a little Impudence, but demanding a Reward for the smallest Service which they do.

The 28th I set forth from Tefflis about Eleven a Clock in the Forenoon; the Polish Surgeon, and some Georgians with whom I had made an Acquaintance, accompanying me some part of my way. My Guide rode before to prevent the Toll-gatherers or Receivers of certain small Duties which are taken upon all Horses that go loaden out of the City, from demanding any thing of my Servants. Which sort of Guides are call'd Mehemander, (a word which fignifies He who has care of a Guest:) and are granted to all Envoys, Ambassa­dors and Strangers of Quality. Their Duty is to provide Lodging, Vittles, and Carriage-Horses for the Persons whom they Conduct; and in a word, to discharge 'em from all the care of a Traveller. They are like Stewards or Purveyors for those Persons to whom they are appointed for Guides. For they make use of their Service in every thing, send 'em upon Errands, and to carry Messages to those Persons, to whom a Man would not be troubl'd to go himself. These Guides are well paid for their Service; so that it is a Kindness to be re­commended to such an Imployment. The Villages where they pass make 'em Presents, to be the more sparing in what Money they raise, to defray the Expences of Travellers which they have in charge, and to prevent their being too wastful and lavish. They take into their protection such Merchants as are desirous to Travel along with 'em; and besides that, they secure 'em from Robbing, and exempt 'em from paying se­veral Tolls and Duties. Which is worth 'em something more. But their greatest Gain is the Present which must be made 'em when they are sent back.

I was very glad to see my self got safe out of Tefflis. For I was afraid I should there be put to some kind of trouble for two Reasons. The first was, For that the Prince having sent to me two or three times to tell me that he had a great desire to see what I carry'd to the King, I constantly refus'd to shew him, alledging for my excuse, that I had Orders from his Majesty not to expose 'em to any but himself. Moreover, I observ'd that this Prince is not altogether so much a Subject to the King of Persia, nor so submissive to his Orders, as the [Page 239] other Viceroys and Governours of his Empire, besides that the Georgians are very perfidious and covetous of other Mens Goods. I was therefore fearful lest, if I should shew the high-priz'd Jewels which I had, their Beauty and their Value might tempt him to take 'em from me, or that other people might Murder me for the Lucre of such a Booty. And this was one Consideration that prevented me from shewing 'em.

The Second Cause of my Distruct was this, That the Ca­puchins, to do me the more Honour, out of a design to bring a greater Reputation to themselves, had set me out for a Per­son that was very Rich and Powerful, so that there ran a Re­port over all the City, that I had immense Sums. Which made the Customer look about me; so that he demanded great Duties from me. But those Duties were not the thing that di­sturb'd me, for by the Kings Patent I was fully discharg'd. But I was afraid lest the Prince would make use of that pretence to view my Goods whether I would or no. And this was that which encreas'd my Fears, and made me insist upon having an Officer to conduct me. For my reason told me, that such a Pro­vision would render the Viceroy more responsible for any Acci­dent that should befall me, and that my Guide would secure both my Person and my Goods. And indeed the greatest part of my Fears were dissipated when I saw my self quite free of Tefflis; for then I began to conceive good hopes of all the rest of my Journey. That Day I travell'd two Leagues through a Passage of the little Mountain that lies to the South of the City; and lay at a Great Village call'd Sogan-Lou, or the Place of Onions, built upon the River Cur.

The 1st of March, I travell'd Eight Leagues in a fair Plain, where the Road was indifferently streight, leading to the North-East. Within three Hours I came to a Village consisting of about a Hunderd and Fifty Houses, call'd Cupri-Kent, or the Village of the Bridge. Because there is a very fair Bridge that stands not far from it, built upon a River call'd Tabadi. This Bridge is plac'd between two Mountains, seperated only by the River, and supported by Four Arches, unequal both in their Heighth and Breadth. They are built after an Irregular form, in regard of two great Heaps of a Rock that stand in the River, upon which they have laid so many Arches. Those at the two ends are hollow'd on both sides, and serve to lodge Passengers; wherein they have made to that purpose little Chambers and Por­tico's with every one a Chimney. The Arch in the middle of the River is hollow'd quite through from one part to the other, [Page 240] with two Chambers at the Ends, and two large Balconies co­ver'd, where they take the cool Air in the Summer with great delight, and to which there is a Descent of two pair of Stairs hewn out of the Rock. Adjoyning to this fair Bridge there stands an Inn now ready to go to decay. However the Structure is Magnificent, having several Chambers with every one a Balcony that looks out upon the Water. Neither is there a fairer Bridge, nor a more beautiful Inn in all Geor­gia.

The Second, we Travell'd Nine Leagues among Mountains very rugged and difficult to cross. So that we were twelve Hours ere we got to our Journeys end, though we Travell'd at a good rate. About Sun-set we arriv'd at a great Village call'd Melik-Kent, or the Royal Village, built upon a point of one of those High Mountains.

The Third, we Travell'd eight Leagues i' the Mountains where we were much perplex'd, and where we did nothing but ascend and descend. At length we lay at a Village as big as Melik-Kent.

The Fourth, we Travell'd only three Leagues: and before Noon we came to a Town that consisted of about Three Hun­derd Houses, call'd Dily-jan. It is seated upon a River call'd Acalstapha, at the Foot of a High and Dreadful Mountain, which together with the rest that we pass'd the preceding days, was a part of Mount Taurus. There was every where great plenty of Water, and here and there some Plains that were but small, but very fertile. The Goodness of the Soyl thereabout is not to be imagin'd; nor the Number of Villages that are to be seen on every side. There are several that stand so high-rais'd upon the points of the Rocks, that you can hard­ly have a sight of 'em. The most part are inhabited by Geor­gian and Armenian Christians, but not intermix'd. Those Peo­ple having such an inveterate Antipathy one against the other, that they cannot live together, nor in the same Villages. In all these Mountains are neither Inns nor publick Houses: how­ever, Travellers are lodg'd in the Countrymens Houses very conveniently, where there is plenty both of Meat and Drink. For my part I wanted nothing, for my Guide rode still be­fore when we were got about half way; so that when I came to the Village, I still found a large Chamber, empty Stables, a good Fire, and Supper ready. The first days Journey I would have paid my Landlord, but my Guide would not per­mit me, telling me, 'Twas not the Custom, and that I should [Page 241] rather give Him what I intended the Man of the House. Which was the reason, that the next Days, I only caus'd something to be given in private to the People where I Lodg'd. And indeed 'tis very good Travelling with these Guides: for they cause yee to be diligently attended. All Night long my Cham­ber was guarded by the People of the Village who kept Watch, as well in Obedience to the Commands which were laid up­on 'em, as for my Security, though there was no danger to be fear'd.

The most part of the Houses of these Villages are in truth no more then Caverns: For they are hollow places made in the Earth. The rest are built of great Beams of Timber up to the Roof, which is made like a Terrass, and cover'd with Turf. Only they leave a hole open in the middle, to let in the Light, and let out the Smoak: which hole they stop up as they please themselves. Which sort of Caverns have this Con­venience, that they are very warm in the Winter, and cool in the Summer: nor is it an easie thing for Thieves to break in­to 'em.

The Borough of Dily-jan, and all the Country round about for six Leagues distance to the North and South, and very far to the East and West, belongs to Kamshi-Can; and is call'd the Country of Casac. It holds of Persia, and depends upon that Kingdom after the same manner as Georgia, that is to say, it is always Govern'd by its own Natural Princes from Father to Son. Abas the Great subdu'd it, at the same time that he Con­quer'd Georgia. The Inhabitants of Casac are Mountaineers, stout and fierce: Originally descended from those Cosaques that inhabit the Mountains to the North-East of the Caspian Sea.

The Fifth, we Travell'd five Leagues over that dreadful Mountain, already spok'n of. There are two Leagues from the Town of Dily-jan, which stands at the very Foot of the Hill to the Top, another of even Ground to the Top of all, and two Leagues of Descent again. A tedious Days Journey, which I thought would have kill'd me. For I was troubl'd with a terrible Dysentery, which forc'd me to alight altoge­ther; and then two Men held me up as I went, and a third lead my Horse. The Mountain is most dreadfully laden with Snow, there being nothing else to be seen at the Top, nei­ther Tree nor Plant. The Road also lay through a narrow Path of Snow, hard'nd by the Feet of Horses and Travellers: so that if they did but slip their Feet out of the Path, they [Page 242] sunk up to the Belly in the looser Snow. Nor is there any passing over this Mountain when the Snow-falls or when the Wind blows, for then the print of the Feet is lost and it is impossible to find the way. Which is the loss of many People and Beasts every Year. Nor does this Snow ever melt, the Mountain being continually cover'd with it.

It separates Georgia from Armenia: and I was no sooner over it, but I found a Country quite of another Form and Fashion. For whereas on the other side there was nothing to be seen but very high Mountains, and some few small Plains between 'em, and a Woody Country very well Peopl'd, here on this side we saw spacious Plains, with little Hillocks cover'd alike with Snow, bare of all sort of VVood, but what was planted about the Villages. VVe lodg'd at Kara Pheshish, a great Bo­rough seated at the Foot of the Mountain which we cross'd over, and upon the Banks of the River Zengui. VVhich Ri­ver waters one part of Armenia the Greater.

In making the Geographical Description of the Country as I pass'd along, I never mind any Author whether Ancient or Modern, finding 'em all so opposite one to another, and al­together dark and confus'd. VVhich was the same thing that Strabo said of the Authors that preceded him; and whoever will take the pains to compare those that have follow'd him, either with the Ancients or among themselves, will be of the same Opinion. As for example in Caldea or Assyria, which at present they extend almost to the Mediterranean Sea, though Herodotus, Pliny, Strabo, Ptolomy, and the other most Cele­brated Ancient Geographers enclose it between the Desert of Arabia and Mesopotamia.

I have also observ'd one thing in the Government of Persia, which has made me since believe, that although Authors have set different Bounds and Limits to the Countries, yet that they might have all written very true and justly, and as Things stood in their Times, when the Governments were enlarg'd, or confin'd within narrower Bounds, as the Supreme Gover­nor pleases, or as necessity requires; for then the Province that gives the Name to the Government, has not the same Limits, nor observes the same Situation as before. And therefore I will mark out the Extent and Situation of the Country where I pass'd, as I found 'em; and if I must follow the Ancient Authors, it shall be only those of the Persian Geography.

Some there are among 'em who divide Armenia into Three parts. The first which they call properly by that Name, the [Page 243] second which they call Turcomannia, and the third to which they give the Name of Georgia. But the greater Number di­vide it only into two parts, the Upper and the Lower. The Lower which is sometimes call'd the Lesser, sometimes the We­stern, but generally the Lesser, is under the Dominion of the Turks. The Upper, which they sometimes call the Eastern, sometimes the Great, but usually the Greater, is a Province of Persia To the small or Lesser Armenia they assign for Bounds, the Great Armenia to the East, Syria to the South, the Black-Sea to the West, Cappadocia to the North, and they place the Great Armenia between Mesopotamia, Georgia, Media and Ar­menia the Less. Which Situation agrees in part with that of the Ancient Geographers, who enclose Armenia the Less, be­tween Cappadocia and Euphrates, and Armenia the Greater, be­tween Euphrates and Tygris. But it no way corresponds with that of some Authors, as is to be seen, who put Syria, the Shoars of the Mediterranean Sea, and the Banks of the Caspian in Armenia, of which they make Edessa to be the Capital City. Neither do Authors differ less about the Denomination of this Country; while some derive the Name of Armenia from Ar­menius a Rhodian, or Thessalian. Others with far more Rea­son from Aram, which might have some Relation to the He­brew word Ram which signifies High or Elevated, either be­cause the Country lyes High, and for that several of the Ea­stern Mountains make a part of it, or else because it fell as his share to Aram the Grand-Child of Noah; who therefore call'd it by his own Name. And therefore Hayton who was King of the Country derives this Name of Armenia from Aram-Noah. But how uncertain soever this Etymology may be, I had rather give credit to it, then to another Story which he reports of Armenia, that is to say, that it was the Province where Salma­nassar planted the Greatest part of the Jews which he took Prisoners in the Conquest of Palestine The Holy Scripture, where ere it has occasion to mention it calls Armenia, Ararat. Certainly it is one of the most lovely and most Fertile Countries of Asia. It is water'd by Seaven large Rivers, which is the reason in my opinion that obliges the most part of the Inter­preters of the Old Testament to place the Terrestrial Paradise in this Province. However it were, Armenia is renown'd for se­veral other Famous Accidents and Events. There is not any other Country wherein were fought so many Bloody Battels nor with greater Numbers on both sides. It has had particular Kings of its own at several times; though they could not pre­serve [Page 244] their Dominion, while as Histories assure us, all the most Eminent Captains that ever invaded Asia, subdu'd it under their Subjection in their several turns. It was the Theatre of the last Wars between the Turks and Persians; while the Turks fought to have had it all entire; though at length they were content to share it with the Persians, yet not so but that they have had the greatest part.

The 6th, I continu'd my Journey, half dead as I was with Cold and a Dysentery. But the hopes I was in to meet at E­rivan with all necessary Accommodations for my Cure, made me hasten thither, notwithstanding all the Pains that I felt. So that we Travell'd Four Leagues and arriv'd at Bichni a conside­rable Village seated at the Foot of a Mountain upon the River Zengui. We lodg'd at a fair Armenian Monastery built be­tween the Village and the Mountain. This Monastery is an Ancient Foundation between Eight and Nine Hunderd Years standing. The Cloister is built after the Fashion of the Coun­try, encompass'd with High and Thick Walls of Free Stone. Near to the Monastery are to be seen the Ruines of Towers, Castles, and Ramparts in so great a Number, that it renders very probable what the People of the Country report, that Bichni has been one of the strong Places of Armenia. I lodg'd in the Convent, where the Monks receiv'd me with great Ci­vility, and put me into the fairest Apartiment they had, only I could by no means prevaile with 'em to let me have a Fowl to make a little Broth, because it was their time of Lent. So that my Guide was forc'd to use his Authority, even to the holding up his Cane to procure me a few Eggs. Toward the Evening I had a desire to Drink some Coffee, which my Guide brought me boyl'd with a little Sugar; and of that I Drank Four small Glasses as hot as I could; which done, I lay'd me down well cover'd before a good Fire. To which feeble Re­medy it pleas'd GOD to give so great a Blessing, that I slept without Interruption all that Night, and the next Morning found my self wholly cur'd of this Distemper.

The 7th, I set forward by break of Day, after I had made a small Present to the Monastery. All that day we travell'd over Plains all cover'd with Snow as the day before. And indeed it is not only troublesome but very dangerous to travel through those deep Snows. The Mischief is that the Beams of the Sun which lye all the day long upon it, molest the Eyes and Face with such a scorching Heat, as very much weak'ns the Sight, whatever Remedy a Man can apply; by [Page] [Page]

  • A. The FOrtres.
  • B. The small Fort calld Guetshi-cala.
  • C. Deuf Sultan's Mosquee
  • D. The Great Piatza.
  • E. An Old Tower.
  • F. The Bpps Church calld Two Fronts.
  • G. The Church calld Catovike.
  • H. The New Inn.
  • I. The River Zengui.
  • K. The River calld Forty Fountaines.
  • L. The Mountain where Noah's Ark rested.

[Page] [Page]


[Page] [Page 245] wearing as the People of the Country do, a thin Handkerchief of Green or Black Silk, which no way abates the Annoyance. Then another Danger there is, that when Travellers meet, there arises a Dispute, who shall be forc'd into the Snow. For the Road is so narrow that two Horses cannot go abreast: so that if equal Parties meet, they fall to blows for the way, and the weakest side is forc'd to yield. Then they unlade their Horses, and drive 'em into the Snow, where they sink up to the Bel­lies to give passage to the others. But my Guide constrain'd all that we met to unlade, which was to me a very great Ease. Thus we pass'd through many Villages and Towns, and Night coming on we arriv'd at Erivan.

'Tis a hard matter to describe the true Road from Tefflis to this City, in regard of the many Turnings and Windings, and the frequent Occasions to ascend and descend the greatest part of the way. Only I observ'd that we still kept on to the South-West. From Tefflis to Erivan it is reck'ned to be about Eight and Forty Leagues.

Erivan is a great City, but ill-favour'd and dirty; and of which the Vineyards and Gardens make the greatest part, there being no Ornamental Buildings within it. It is seated in a Plain encompass'd with Mountains on every side. Two Rivers run by it, Zengui to the North-West, and Queurk-bou­lak to the South-West. Which Queurk-boulak signifies Forty Fountains; the River being said to rise from so many Springs; nor does it run a long course. But we shall say no more of the City, nor of its Figure, the Draught being sufficient to give an Idea of it.

The Fortress it self may pass for a small City. It is of an Oval Form, being about Four Thousand Paces in Compass, and containing Eight Hunderd Houses, inhabited only by Na­tural Persians. 'Tis true, the Armenians have Shops therein, where they Work and Trade all the Day long; but in the Evening they shut up their Shops, and return Home to their Houses. This Fortress is surrounded with three Walls of Earth, or Bricks made of Clay with Battlements, flank'd with Towers, and strengthen'd with very narrow Ramparts, according to the Ancient Manner, and therefore without any Regularity, after the Eastern Fashion. And indeed it had been a hard matter to have made a Regular Fortification in a place that would not admit of it, in regard the Fortress extends it self to the North-East upon the side of a dreadful Precipice, broad and steep, above a Hunderd Fathom to the bottom, where the River [Page] [Page 246] runs. And therefore this side being impregnable and inacces­sible, has no other Fortifications then Terrasses furnish'd with Artillery. However, a Garison of no less then Two Thou­sand Men is always kept in pay for the Guard of this Fortress; which has as many Gates as Walls, all plated with Iron, and strengthen'd with Port-Cullices and Courts of Guard fortify'd. The Governor of the Provinces Palace being within the Ca­stle, stands upon the Brink of the Precipice already men­tion'd; and is very fair, very spacious, and very delightful in Summer.

Near to the Fortress, about a Thousand Paces distant up­on the North-side, stands a Hillock which Commands it, the upper part being fortify'd with a double Wall, and planted with great Guns, and capable to lodge Two Hunderd Men. This little Fort is call'd Queutshy-cala.

The City stands about Cannon-Shot distance from the For­tress; but the space between is fill'd up with Houses and Mar­ket-Places; but such pitiful thin Structures, that they may be all remov'd away in one day.

There are several Churches in this City; of which the prin­cipal are the Episcopal See, call'd Ircou-ye-rize, or Two Faces and Catovike. Which two Churches have stood ever since the Raign of the two last Kings of Armenia. The others were Erected since; and are small, sunk deep in the Earth, and not unlike so many Cata-Combs, or Burying-places.

Near the Episcopal See stands an old Tower built of Free-Stone, of which you see the Draught in the Sculpture. I ne­ver could learn when it was Erected, nor by whom, nor for what use. Yet there are Inscriptions on the outside, of which the Character resembles the Armenian, but the Armenians could not read it. The Workmanship of this Tower is all of An­tique-Work, and singular for its Architecture, as may appear by the Figure. The inside is all empty and naked: but on the outside and round about it several Ruines so dispos'd, as if formerly there had been some Cloyster there, and that this Tower had stood in the midst of it.

Before it appears a great Market-Place, and not far from it an old Mosque built of Brick, but very much decay'd. They call it Deuf-Sultans Mosque, from the Name of the Founder. Three Hunderd Paces distant is to be seen the Grand Maydan, which is the Name in Asia for all the Grand Market-Places. This in Erivan is four-square, Four Hunderd Paces in Dia­meter, and planted round with Trees: being the place ap­pointed [Page]

An ancient Tower at Irivan.

[Page] [Page 247] for all manner of Exercises both for Horse and Foot, as Carousels, Racing, VVrestling, and Managing of Horses for VVar.

There are many Baths in the City and in the Fortress, and many Inns: of which the fairest stands about Five Hunderd Paces from the Castle, built by the Governor of Armenia some few Years ago. The Portal is Eighty Paces in depth, and forms a fair Gallery, full of Shops, where are sold all manner of Stuffs. The Body of the Structure is square, containing three great Lodgings, and Sixty small ones, with fair Stables, and very large Warehouses. Before it lies a Market-Place sur­rounded with Shops, where are to be sold all sorts of Provi­sion for the Belly; and upon one side a fair Mosque and two Coffee-Houses.

The Elevation of Erivan is in 40 Deg. 15 Min. The Lon­gitude in 78 Deg. 20 Min. The Air is good, but a little thick and cold: and the Winter lasts long; so that sometimes it will Snow in April. Which constrains the Country-People to bury their Vines in the Winter, and never to dig 'em up again till the Spring. The Country is delightful and very fertil. The Earth produces her Fruits in great Plenty, especi­ally Wine, which is very good and cheap. The Armenians also have a Tradition, That Noah planted a Vineyard near to Erivan, and some there are who pretend to know the Place, and shew it about a small League from the City. The Soyl produces all sorts of Provision, which is therefore sold at a ve­ry low rate. The two Rivers that run by the side of it, and the Lake of which we shall take an occasion to speak, furnish the City with Excellent Fish, and among the rest with Trouts and Carps that are wonderfully good, and famous all over the East; of which I have seen some that have been three Foot long: And then for Fowl, no place in the World where Par­tridges are more plentiful.

The Lake of Erivan lies three small days Journeys off to the North-West; by the Persians call'd Deria-Shirin, or the Sweet-Lake; by the Armenians, Kiagar-couni-sou, which signifies the same thing: and the reason why it is so call'd is from the ex­traordinary sweetness of the Water. It is Five and Twenty Leagues in Circuit, and very deep; affording nine sorts of Fish which are there tak'n; the fairest Trouts and Carps which are eaten at Erivan, being caught in this Lake. There is a small Island in the middle of it; where stands a Monastery built about 600 Years ago, of which the Prior is an Arch­bishop, [Page 248] who takes upon him the Title of Patriarch, refusing to acknowledge the Grand Patriarch. Our Maps take no Cog­nizance of this Lake; a wonderful thing to me, that among all our Travellers into Persia, not one should make any men­tion of it. By which defect it may be judg'd that those Au­thors were little curious after the Rarities of the Countries through which they pass'd. The River Zengui takes its source from this Lake, and crossing one part of Armenia, meets with the River Araxes near the Caspian Sea, into which at length they both discharge themselves.

Erivan, by the report of the Armenians, is the most Anci­ent inhabited place in the World. For they affirm that Noah and all his Family dwelt there, both before the Deluge, and after he descended from the Mountain where the Ark rested; and that here was also the Terrestrial Paradise. But all this is a Story without Foundation, and reported by Persons equally ignorant and vain-glorious. Some Authors there are who af­firm Erivan to be the City which Ptolomy calls Terva, and makes to be the Capital City of Armenia. Others hold it to be the Royal Artaxate. The History of the Turks calls it Eritze: but that of Armenia, which is to be seen in the famous Monastery of the Three Churches, asserts, That this City was formerly call'd Vagar-Shapat, which signifies (word for word) Vagar's City. But that which renders these Pieces of Anti­quity very much suspected, is, That the same History, speak­ing of the Etymology of Erivan, derives it from an Armenian word which signifies To see; and says farther, that that same Name was giv'n to this City, because the Territory belonging to it was the first Place that Noah discover'd when he descend­ed from the Mountain of Ararat. And yet it is well known that the Armenian is a Modern Language, that has not been in use above these Seven Hunderd Years. Nor do we find any thing in the Persian History concerning the Original of Erivan. Neither do I believe it to have been built before the Conquests of the Arabs in Armenia; and that which makes me believe it is this, for that neither in the City, nor in any parts adjoyning round about it, there are any Footsteps of great Antiquity to be seen. The Turks became Masters of it in the Year 1582. and built the Fortress still to be seen. The Persians retook it in the Year 1604. and fortify'd it against the Violence of Can­non-Shot. In the Year 1615. it held out a Siege of four Months; at what time the Rampart withstood the Batteries of the Turk with that Impregnable Resistance, though but of [Page] [Page]

ECS-MIAZIN commonly calld the THREE CHURCHE

[Page] [Page]

ECS-MIAZIN commonly calld the THREE CHURCHE

[Page] [Page]

A Platform of ye Church of Echsmiazin.
A Prospect of ye Church of Echsmiazin.

[Page 249] Earth, that the Besiegers were forc'd to raise their Siege. Af­ter the Death of Abas the Great, they return'd and carry'd the Place, but were not long Masters of it. For Sophy retook it in the Year 1635; since which time it has never been be­sieg'd.

Two Leagues from Erivan stands that famous Monastery of the Three Churches; the Sanctuary of the Armenian Christians, if I may presume so to call it, and the place to which they pay their greatest Devotion. I have caus'd a Draught to be made of it at large, and have added a Geometrical Ground-Plot, and a small Sketch of the outside of the Principal Church, to give a more distinct Description of the Monastery, and more easie for Apprehension. The Armenians call it Ecs-Miazin, or the Descent of the only begotten Son, or the Only be­gotten Son is descended. Which Name, say they, was given to this Place, because Jesus Christ shew'd himself visibly in this place to St Gregory, who was the first Patriarch of it. The Mahometans call it Ʋtsh-Clissie, or the Three Churches; for that besides the Church belonging to the Convent, there are two others adjoyning to it. The first and the principal, call'd Ecs-Miazin, is a very substantial and dark Structure, all built of large Free-Stone. The Pilasters, which are Seventy two Foot high, are mishapen Piles of Stone; as are also the Duomo, and the Roofs. On the inner side are to be seen no Ornaments either of Sculpture or Painting. The Chappels stand upon the East-side; besides three at the lower end of the Church. Of which the middlemost is very spacious, with an Altar of Stone after the manner of the Eastern Christians very well adorn'd. But there is not any Altar in those upon the Sides, only one serves for a Vestry, and the other for a Treasury. In the Ve­stry the Monks that belong to the Place shew yee several Pieces of Church-Furniture, very beautiful and rich, as Crosses, Gold Chalices, Lamps and Candlesticks of Silver of an extra­ordinary bigness. The chiefest part of which Wealth was the Munificence of Papal Liberality; and Testimonies of Rome's Credulity, as well as of Armenian Dissimulation. There are also to be seen in the Treasury, several Shrines of Silver and Vermillion Gilt. The principal Relicks belonging to the Place, by the report of the Monks that have 'em in keeping, are the upper part of the Body of St. Repsima, an Arm and a Thigh of St. Caiana; an Arm of St. Gregory, Sirnam'd the Illuminator, because he Converted Armenia; a Rib of St. James Bishop of Jerusalem; a Finger of St. Peter, and two Fingers of St. John [Page 250] the Baptist. Whose Body, as the Monks of this Monastery affirm, lies in a Church belonging to a Convent of their Order near to Erzerum: That Leontius, Bishop of Caesarea, gave it to their first Patriarch, and that after it had lain Three Hun­derd and Fifty Years at Echs-Miazin, it was Translated to the place where they say it now lies. But the Monks of Echs-Miazin, who are the great Doctors of the Armenians, are so ignorant by their own Confession in my hearing, that they never heard of those Histories which relate how that the Body of St. John the Baptist was burnt to Ashes by the Command of Julian the Apostate. I omit to say any thing of those other Relicks which they pretend to have in their Treasury, as be­ing the Relicks of Saints very little known to this part of the World. I shall only therefore add this farther, That the Monks belonging to the Convent affirm for a great Truth, That once they had the two Nails that fasten'd the Sacred Hands of JESUS CHRIST to the Cross, which are still preserv'd, the one at Diar-Bekre, the other in Georgia; and that Abas the Great took out of their Treasury the true Lance, and the Seamless Garment, to enrich the Treasury of the Kings of Persia at Ispahan.

In the middle of the Church stands a large square Free-Stone, being three Foot in Diameter, and five Foot thick. The Armenians assure us, as an Article of their Faith, That this was the place where St Gregory their Apostle saw JESUS CHRIST one Sunday in the Evening, while he was at his Prayers, and where he spake to him. They farther ascertain us, That JE­SUS CHRIST drew round about this Saint with a Beam of Light the Design of the Church of Echs-Miazin, and order'd him to build it according to the Model which he had there drawn. They add, That at the same time the Earth open'd in that part where the Stone lies, and that CHRIST cast down to Hell through that Hole, all the Devils that were in the Temples of Armenia, and utter'd false Oracles, and that Saint Gregory caus'd the Hole to be cover'd with Marble. They add, That Abas the Great carry'd away the Marble, and put it into the Royal Treasury of Persia, and caus'd this Stone to be set up in the Room of it. Concerning which I made a dili­gent Inquiry at Ispahan, nay I ask'd the Superintendents of the Treasury themselves; but I could not find that They under­stood any thing of it. Armenian Tradition tells yee also of another particular in reference to the Center of this Church, which I shall set down, though as fabulous as the rest, That [Page 251] this was the true place, where Noah built that Altar, and of­fer'd that Sacrifice, which is mention'd in the Eighth Chapter of Genesis.

The Great Steeple has been newly rebuilt, containing Six Bells, the biggest of which weighs 1200 Weight. One of the smaller Bells fell down about Forty Years since, and was never hung up again, for want of Money, as the Armenians say: and indeed it is certain that they are very Poor. The first Monastery of this Church was built by Nierses the Twen­ty Ninth Patriarch of Armenia. This the Tartars ruin'd; and if we may believe the Chronology of the Place, it has been Five times levell'd with the Ground. It is at present built of Brick; the Patriarchs Apartiment lying to the East. There are besides in the Convent Lodgings for all strangers that come to Visit it, and for 80 Monks beside; but usually there are not above Twelve or Fifteen. And here it is that the Patriarchs of Armenia are oblig'd to reside. But to say Truth, the Ava­rice, Envy and Ambition with which they are possess'd in this Age, finds 'em so much business, that they spend all their time in Rambling over Persia and Turkey. This Patriarch has Twenty Bishopricks under him.

The two other Churches that stand near Echs-Miazin, are call'd one St. Caiana, and the other St. Repsima, from the Names of two Roman Virgins, who, as they say, fled into Ar­menia, in the time of the Ninth Persecution, and suffer'd Mar­tyrdom in the same place where the Churches stand. St. Cai­ana stands upon the Right Hand, 700 Paces distant from the Monastery. St. Repsima upon the Left, about 2000 Paces off. These two Churches are half-ruin'd, there having been no Service perform'd in either for a long time.

Within the Territory of Erivan which extends above Twen­ty Leagues every way, there are Three and Twenty Con­vents for Men, and Five for Women: but all pitifully Poor and badly kept; the most part not having above Five or Six Persons a piece, whose Penury continually employs 'em in getting a Livelyhood, so that they never perform Holy Duties but upon Holy-days. One of the most considerable is Cour-Virah, which in the Armenian Language signifies Literally the Church upon the Wells: and therefore this Name is given to this Convent, as being built over a Well, into which, as the Armenian Hi­story relates, St. Gregory was thrown, and yet preserv'd alive, being fed in the same manner as Daniel was fed in the Lyons Den. This Monastery stands upon the confines of the Ter­ritory [Page 252] of Erivan to the South of Echs-Miazin: where the People of the Country report, that the Ruines of Artaxarte are also to be seen. Which City they call Ardashat, from Ar­taxerxes, whom the Easterns call Ardeshir. Among the Ruines of which, as they say, are also to be seen the Ruines of the Palace of Tyridates, built about 1300 Years ago. They say moreover, that there is the Front of a Palace which is not above half Ruin'd, where there still remain four Rows of Columns of Black Marble, every one of Nine Columns, that these Columns encompass a great Heap of wrought Pieces of Marble, and that the Columns are of that bigness, that Three Men can hardly enfold 'em in their Arms. They call the whole place, where this heap of Ruines lies, Tact-Terdat, or the Throne of Tyridates. I shall forbear to speak of the other Monasteries, or of the particular Stories which the Armenians recount concerning 'em, or of the Relicks that are there pre­serv'd; among which they number up the Veronique, or the Napkin which a Woman of that Name brought to wipe the Sweat from Christ's Face: the Bodies of St. Thomas, and St. Simon, which is all meer Idle and ridiculous Fable: for in truth the Armenian Tradition has nothing of common Sence. Nor shall I speak any thing of the Armenian Belief or Worship; for it is well known what they are, as having been for several Ages wrapt up in the Opinions of the Monophysites, who in the East are call'd Jacobites, of which at this day they understand nothing at all, being altogether drown'd in Ig­norance.

Twelve Leagues from Erivan to the East, is to be seen the Famous Mountain, where almost all Men agree that the Ark of Noah rested; though no Body can bring any Solid Proof to make out what they affirm. VVhen the Air is Serene, this Mountain is not to be seen at more then the distance of two Leagues, as High and as Great as it is; and therefore I am apt to believe I have seen far higher; and if I am not deceiv'd, that part of Caucasus which I cross'd over, as I Travell'd from the Black-Sea to Akalzikè, is higher then this Mountain. The Turks call it Agridag, the High or Massie Mountain; but the Armenians and Persians call it both by the same Name Masis. VVhich word the Armenians derive from Mas or Mesech the Son of Aram, who, as they say, gave to their Nation both its Original and Denomination. The Persians derive it from Azis, a VVord which in their Language signifies Dear, or Dearly-Beloved; and they will have this Mountain to be so [Page 253] call'd, by reason of the choice that GOD made of it to bear the happy Ark that inclos'd all Mankind. These are forc'd Etymologies as much as any can be, and such as we may well compare to the meer Tinkling of Bells. This Mountain is call'd by two other Names in the Persian Books: that is to say, Cou-nough, or the Mountain of Noah, and Sahat-toppous, or the Happy Hillock. But the Holy Scripture gives it no particular Name, only it says, That the Ark rested upon the Mountain of Ararat, which is Armenia. These are those Moun­tains so famous in the Greek and Latin Authors, which they assert to be part of Mount Taurus, and call by the Names of Gordian, Cordean, Corduenian, Cardian, Curdi, and Carduchi, every Author altering the word according to the Pronunciati­on of his own Language.

The Armenians have a Tradition, That the Ark is still upon the Point, or highest Top of this Mount Macis. They add moreover, That never any Body could ascend to the Place where it rested; and this they firmly believe upon the Faith of a Miracle, which they say, happen'd to a certain Monk of Echs-Miazin, whose Name was James, afterwards Bishop of Nisibis. They report, That this Monk, possess'd with the common Opinion that this was the Mountain where the Ark rested after the Deluge, resolv'd to ascend to the Top, or die in the Attempt; that he got up half way, but could never go any farther; for that after he had clamber'd all the Day long, he was in his Sleep miraculously carry'd back to the place from whence he set forward in the Morning. This continu'd a long time; but that at length GOD giving Ear to the Monk's Prayers, was willing to satisfie his Desires in some measure: to which purpose he sent an Angel to him with a piece of the Ark, with Orders to bid him not toyl himself any more in vain, for that he had debarr'd from Mortals access to the Top of that Mountain. And this is the Tale which they tell; up­on which I shall observe two things. First, That it has no Coherence with the Relations of Ancient Authors, as Josephus, Berosus, or Nicholas of Damascus, who assure us that the Re­mainders of the Ark were to be seen, and that the People took the Pitch with which it was besmear'd as an Antidote against several Distempers. The second, That whereas it is tak'n for a Miracle, That no Body can get up to the Top, I should rather take it for a greater Miracle, that any Man should climb up so high. For the Mountain is altogether uninhabited, and from the Half-way to the Top of all, perpetually cover'd with [Page 254] Snow that never melts, so that all the Seasons of the Year it appears like a Prodigious Heap of nothing but Snow. What I have reported concerning this Mountain, will doubtless cause no small wonder in those who have read the Travels of Father Philip, a Barefoot Carmelite, that he should undertake to say that the Terrestrial Paradise lies there in some Plain which GOD preserves from Heat and Cold; for those are the words of his Translator. The thought it self seems to me to be ve­ry pleasant; and I should have thought he had spoke it jocu­larly, did he not relate with an extraordinary seriousness se­veral things in the same Book which are altogether as impro­bable.

At the Foot of the Mountains, in a Village inhabited by Christians, stands a Monastery, call'd Arakil-Vanc, or the Monastery of the Apostles; to which place the Armenians pay a very solemn Devotion. For they report that the Bodies of St. Andrew and St. Matthew were found there, and that the Scull of the Evangelist is still preserv'd in the Church belong­ing to the Monastery.

When I came to Erivan, I alighted at the House of an Ar­menian of my Acquaintance, whose Name was Azarias. He was a Person extreamly persecuted by those of his own Nati­on, because he had been at Rome to turn Roman Catholick, and Disciple to the Colledge for the Propagation of the Faith, and for endeavouring to settle the Capuchins at Erivan. I found him indispos'd and in Bed. However he rose to give Notice of my Arrival; fearing to come into trouble if he de­ferr'd it till the next Morning. To which purpose he went to Court, but could not see the Governor who was retir'd in­to the Apartment of the Princess his Wife: Nevertheless an Eunuch did his Message.

The Eighth, the Governor sent a Person to give me a Visit, and to tell me I was Welcom. Whereupon Mr. Azarias un­dertook to go in my behalf and return him my humble Thanks, and withal to let him know who I was. Upon which the Governor shew'd an earnest desire to see me as soon as I could, and some part of the Jewels I had brought along with me. Afterwards he ask'd how many Servants I had, and order'd Mr. Azarias to inform him whether I had rather Lodge in the Fortress, or in the Inn which he had built, and to bring him word speedily. For my part I made choice of the Inn, as well for the Security of the Place, as for that a Man shall ne­ver there want Company, because of the great resort of Mer­chants [Page 255] thither, besides that Travellers alighted there every day. Thereupon the Governor order'd me one of the best Apartments.

The Ninth, I went thither betimes in the Morning, and spent all that day in setling my self in my Lodging. About Noon one of the Governors Officers brought me an Order from the Steward to send for from the Office Bread, Wine, Meat, Trouts, Fruit, Rice, Butter, Wood, and other Necessary Pro­visions as much as would suffice six Persons. The Quantity of every thing is regulated, never augmented nor abated: but the Proportion allow'd for one Person is so large, that two may well be satisfy'd with it.

The 10th, the Governor sent so earnestly for me to come to him, and bring him part of my Jewels, that I could no lon­ger defer it. I found him in a very large Cabinet or Study, very Decent and very Light. There was also with him the Head Surveyor of all the Mints of Persia, who at that time was come to Erivan, and four other Lords. He receiv'd me with an Extraordinary Civility, three times told me, I was welcome, and set before me Sweet Meats, and Aqua Vitae of Moscovy. Presently I presented him with the Kings Patent, and that of the Grand Master, already mention'd. Of both which he made great accompt, and spent an Hour in Enquiries after European News, as well concerning the late Wars, and the present Estate of Christendom, as about Arts and Sciences, and what new Discoveries had been made therein. Another Hour he spent in considering and viewing the Pretious Stones and Jewels which I shew'd him. He gave me to understand, that among the Persian Poets, Emraulds of the old Rock were call'd Emraulds of Egypt, of which they believ'd there had been a Mine in Egypt which was now lost: and at length, af­ter he had lay'd by what he lik'd himself, and what he thought would please the Princess his Wife, he stay'd me to dine with him. Dinner being ended, he honour'd me the other half Hour with his Company and then dismiss'd me, commanding an Officer in my hearing to go to the Caravanserai and charge the Inn-Keeper to be careful as well for my security, as to give me all Content. And he was moreover so kind as to tell the Officer farther, that he made him my Memander, who is as it were a Gentleman-Waiter, and such as are appointed to attend upon all Persons of Quality to take care of their Persons: and the same Evening he sent me besides a Present of Moscovy Aqua Vitae.

[Page 256] This Governor bears the Title of Becler-Beg, or Lord of Lords. For so they call the Deputy Lieutenants of large Go­vernments; to distinguish 'em from those meaner Governours whom they call Can's. He has also the Title of Serdar or Ge­neral of the Army. So that he is one of the Principal Lords of Persia, and one of the most Judicious and most refin'd Po­liticians in the Kingdom. He is call'd by the Name of Sephi-Couli-Can; or the Duke, the Slave of Sephi. He enjoy'd one of the most Noble Governments of the Empire in the Reign of the Deceas'd King, but through some Intreague among the Women, he fell into disgrace, three Years before the Death of that Prince. The Wife which he has Marry'd is of the Blood Royal by the Mothers side. And this Princess it was, who at the beginning of the present Kings Reign, restor'd her Husband to his Majesties Favour, from whom in a little time he obtain'd the Government of Erivan, the most considerable in the Kingdom, and which yields him the fairest Revenue, no less then Two and Thirty Thousand Tomans a Year, which are above a Hundred and Twelve Thousand Pounds Sterling. The Fines, Presents, and indirect ways to enrich himself, are worth him Fifty Thousand Pounds more. And doubtless this Lord is the most wealthy and most Fortunate of all the King­dom. The King loves him, the Court has a Veneration for him, and his two Sons are the Kings only Favourites: the Peo­ple under his Government Love and respect him, because of his Popularity, his doing Justice, and for that he is not so op­pressive and given to extortion as others. So that he deserves the good Fortune he enjoys; for besides these good Qualities, he is Learned, and a great Lover of Arts and Sciences.

The 11th, this Lord sent to invite me to the Nuptials of his Stewards Brother where he was. I found him pleasant and in a very good Humour. For he had receiv'd at the opening of the Gate, an order from the King by a Coolom-Sha, who came from Ispahan in Thirteen Days. This Order related to an affair of great Importance. For several Sultans who are Lords of Coun­trys and Governours of strong Holds, having refus'd to obey his Orders, and having made great complaints against him to the King and his Ministers; He on the other side had justifi'd his own Rights and Prerogatives; upon which his Majesty had given Sentence in his behalf, and had sent him an or­der to Command Obedience. Which Order the Coolom-Sha was to see Executed, and to cause Satisfaction to be giv'n to the Governour.

[Page 257] Coolom-Sha signifies the Kings Slave. Not but that they who bear this Title are as free, as other the Kings Natural Subjects; but they take it as a Mark of their perfect Devo­tion to their Soveraign, as being that to which they were bred up altogether in their Infancy. For the Imployment of these Kings Slaves in the Court of Persia, is almost the same with that of Gentlemen-Ushers; who are Childern of good Quali­ty, employ'd very young in Duty, as well for the Profit which they get by it, as to give 'em a fair Opportunity to make their way to Preferment at Court. There are some Persons who send their Sons to these Imployments at the Age of Five Years. To whom the King assigns Exhibitions according to the Quali­ty of their Family, or the Service which it does the King; for that serves in stead of other Recompence to the Parents. The usual Exhibition is Twenty Tomans a Year, and their Diet; which Twenty Tomans make about Seventy Pounds Sterling: And the Diet taken in Money amounts to about Forty Pounds. But these Exhibitions are frequently enlarg'd proportionably either to the Service which they do the King, or to the Kind­ness which the King has for their Persons. For which reason they are very diligent at Court, and are employ'd in the Exe­cution of all Orders of Importance. They are sent with the Kings Presents to the Governors; and out of their Number are taken several to supply the Vacancies of Officers.

Orders that require Expedition are carry'd Post. Which Couriers are call'd Tshapars; a word that comes from a Turkish word that signifies Galloping, whence that other word Tsapgon, which signifies a Courier. These Tshapars make great haste, though they do not always meet with Horses when they have occasion for 'em: For there are no setl'd Stages in all the East. In Persia the Kings and Governors Couriers take Horses where­ever they find 'em; nay, they have Authority to dismount Travellers upon the High-way: besides, the Magistrates of the Places through which they pass, are oblig'd to furnish 'em. However, this is a very mischievous Custom; for such as have neither the Strength nor the Courage to resist, are constrain'd to give Money to these Couriers, or to alight and suffer their Horses to be rid away with, and then to run after 'em if they intend to have 'em again. Nevertheless they dare not meddle with Persons of Quality, nor the Kings Officers, nor Strangers that are going to the Court, for fear of being call'd to Que­stion. Usually therefore they take up Horses in the Villa­ges through which they pass; which they must not make [Page 258] use of however above one Days Journey; for which reason they generally send a Runner along with 'em to bring the Horses back.

These Couriers are easily known by their Habit: For they wear a Cloak ty'd behind 'em; and a little Cloak-bag, which runs through the Pommel, and is fasten'd to the Saddle-Bow. They carry a Poniard, a Sword, and a Quiver by their Sides, and a Cudgel in their Hands. Their Bows hang about their Shoulders; besides all which they have a Scarf that comes twice about their Necks, which is brought down Cross-wise upon their Backs and Breasts, and ty'd to their Girdle. When they are descry'd at a distance, they who are afraid of being dismounted, flee out of the way and hide themselves, or com­pound for Money, or else offer 'em their Horses. These Cou­riers ride generally two and two, and if they be Persons of Quality, 'tis the more difficult to get rid of 'em: for they will take no Composition; and upon the least Resistance, they ei­ther up with their Battoons, or out with their Swords, well knowing they shall be upheld in what they do; which is a Vio­lence that other Couriers dare not offer.

One of the Principal Extraordinary Expences which the Grandees are constrained to be at, is when the King sends 'em his Orders or Presents by a Coolom-Sha, or by any other Person of Quality; for he must Cloath him upon his Arrival, and at his Departure he must make him a Present answerable to his Imployment, and the Reputation that he bears; besides that he must be well Feasted and Entertained all the time of his stay. This Coolom-Sha that I speak of, cost the Governor of Erivan, as I was inform'd, Four Hunderd Tomans, which amount to Fourteen Hunderd Pounds besides Lodging and Diet. Many times the King himself Taxes the Present which is to be giv'n to the Person whom he sends, but then the Per­son is oblig'd to pay it presently down as a Debt, and to be­stow in Gifts and Largesses many times double the Present: in short, they treat their Messengers according to their Birth, their Merit, and their Credit at Court. This they diligently observe, so that when they understand that a Messenger or his Relations have free Access to the King, then they are more free in their Entertainment, to the end he may make an Ad­vantageous Report of his Usage, and the Civility shewn him. I remember to this purpose, in the Year 1669 when the King conferr'd upon the Son of the Prime Minister, the Com­mand of Colonel of the Musketeers, his Majesty sent the Dis­patches [Page 259] and Habit by his Goldsmiths, to reward 'em for some Jewels which they had made to his liking; and that he Tax'd the Present which the Colonel was to give 'em at Three Hun­derd Tomans. Thereupon four of the chief Goldsmiths car­ry'd the Dispatches and the Habit, who instead of Three Hun­derd, receiv'd 400 Tomans, which make Fourteen Hundred Pounds, and a Present besides in Stuffs.

I stay'd three Hours at the Wedding, and took my leave after Dinner. The Feast was kept in a low Dining-Room, rais'd about two Foot, opening into a Court which was Rail'd about like a Tilt-Yard, where several Wrestlers and Gladiators divertis'd the Company, while the Governor spent his time in looking on, and discoursing sometimes with the Kings Messen­gers, sometimes with the Company, and sometimes talking with my self about the news of Europe. There were but nine Persons at the Feast, among whom the Bridegroom and his God-father were sumptuously habited, their Turbants being garnish'd with Heron-Tuffs, set with precious Stones. The Master of the Houshold, his other Brothers and his Sons standing upon their Feet at the lower end of the Room, with several of the Governours Officers. Every one of the Guests were serv'd at their first coming, with a Voider of Sweat-Meats Dry and Wet, upon small Porcelaine Plates; the Voiders themselves being of Wood Painted and Gilt; so that nothing could be seen more Neat.

Matrimony in Persia is very expensive, frequently to the Ruin of those that engage in it: So that only Persons of Estates will venture upon it: as for the meaner sort, they are conten­ted with a Concubine or a Slave.

The Mahometans that follow the Tenents of Ali, take their Wives after three manners, either by way of Purchase, by way of Hire, or by Marriage. All which three ways they hold to be Lawful. Their Religion allows and teaches 'em this Liber­ty; and the Civil Law acknowledges the Childern Born in any of these three sorts of Wedlock, to be equally Legitimate. So that if a Man have a Son by his Slave, before his Marry'd Wife brings him one, the Son of the Slave is acknowledg'd for the Eldest, and enjoys all the Priviledges of Eldership to the Exclusion of the Son of the Lawful Wife, be she a Prin­cess and of the Blood Royal. And therefore in Persia Quality and Nobility descends only from the Father.

[Page 260] The Wives, who are Slaves, are call'd Canizè: of whom the Law allows a Man to have as many as he can maintain. Nor does the Government either Ecclesiastical or Civil take any Cognizance how they are us'd. They that have put 'em to all manner of Drudgery, as they please themselves, being not only Masters of their Chastity, but of their Lives. Nor is it a dishonour in the East for a Slave to serve her Master as a Wife; but rather a great Honour and the best Fortune she can arrive at: for when tkey are advanc'd to their Masters Bed, they have an Apartiment seperate from the Rest of the Slaves. They are well Clad, allow'd Servants, and a Pension; and if they bring Childern, their Allowances are enlarg'd. For then they are no more lookt upon as Slaves, but as the Mothers of the Lawful Heir of the Family.

The hir'd Wives are call'd Moutaa, from Amovad, which signifies a Concubine and also a Servant: of which they may take as many as they please, and as long as they please for the price they agree upon. At Ispahan, which is the Metropolis of Persia, those that are handsome and Young may be hir'd for Five and Thirty Pound a Year, besides Cloaths, Diet and Lodging. Which sort of Marriage is a contract purely Civil. At the end of the Term, if both parties are agreed they may renew the Bargain; and they are at Liberty to break off be­fore the end of the Term, and to put away the hir'd Wife, but then they must give the whole Sum contain'd in the Con­tract. Yet cannot the Woman so dismiss'd let out her self again, nor give her self to another till Forty Days after her Dismission. Which interval is call'd the Days of Purification. They who understand the Ceremonial Law of Moses, may easily perceive that the Mahometans borrow'd this custom from the Jews, though new modell'd and alter'd after their own humour. And indeed the Law both of the one and the other agrees in the point of Marriage, and the Behaviour of Men toward Women.

The Espous'd Wives are call'd Nekaa: of which the Maho­metan Religion allows a Man to Marry Four. Nevertheless they never Marry above one, to avoid the Expence; and be­cause of the disorders that Multiplicity of Lawful Wives creates in a House. For every one will Command, and their mutual Jealousie keeps the House in perpetual Confusion. Therefore People of Quality Marry generally into Families equal in De­gree, if they cannot content themselves with one Woman, which is a Misfortune that never fails to befall 'em, they make [Page 261] use of their Slaves. By that means the Peace of the Family is never disquieted; for the Marry'd Wife is always Lady and Mistress. As to other things, whether contented or no, her Relations never take any notice. As for hir'd Wives, seldom any Body takes 'em, but People of mean Condition, or Stran­gers, which they do that they may be rid of 'em when they please. The lowest sort of all never make use of that Cu­stom, as not being able to pay 'em their Wages. Neither do Persons of Quality; in regard they scorn the Leavings of ano­ther, or that another should make use of a Woman who has belong'd to them. But if by chance a Person of Quality falls in love with a Woman either publick, or not fit to be his Wife, he hires her for Ninety-Nine Years; and by that means he is sure to enjoy her as long as he lives, without Marriage. And they take this course, especially if They are Marry'd to Women of Quality or Nobly descended, because their Relati­ons would take Themselves to be highly affronted should They bring into their Houses Women of mean Birth to be their Com­panions.

In Persia they usually-Marry by Proxy: because the Women are never seen by the Men. Which Ceremony is perform'd after this manner. The Kindred of both Parties meet at the House of the Party intended to be the Husband or Bridegroom. Thither they send for a Churchman to make the Contract. Or if the Parties are Persons of high Quality, then the Cedre, who is the chief Pontiff, or the Sheikelislam, who is the chief Civil Judge, and is invited for that purpose. If they are Per­sons of mean Degree, they endeavour to get the Kazy, who is the Lieutenant Civil: and if they be very poor People, they send for a Molla, or Priest of the Law. Presently the Party Affianc'd in the Company of several Women repairs to a Cham­ber not far from the place where the People are met, where the Door stands half open, but the Tapestry is let down that there is no Body to be seen. Then the Proxies of both Parties rise, and the Proxy for the Party Affianc'd setting himself against the Door of the Chamber, and stretching out his Hand, cries out aloud,

I N. Authoriz'd Proxy for you N. Marry yee to N. here present. You shall be his perpetual Wife with such a prefix'd Dowry accor­ding as you have agreed.

Then the other Proxy thus answers:

[Page 262]

I N. Authoriz'd Proxy for N. take thee N. in his Name for my perpetual Wife, who hast been given him for such by N. his Proxy here present, upon Condition of the Dowry prefix'd and agreed on by both Parties.

After this the Minister, or whoever he be that is present to make the Contract, rises, and laying his Head to the Tapestry which divides the Room, cries out to the Affianc'd,

Do you Ratifie the Promise which N. your Proxy has made in your behalf? Who answers, Yes.

Then he puts the same Question to the other Proxy, makes the Contract, fixes the Seal, and causes the rest that are met to Seal it likewise; and gives the Contract to the Proxy of the Affianc'd Virgin. Which Contract is kept by the Woman for the Security of her Dowry.

There is no difference between this, and the Ceremony of Marriages for time, when they hire VVives, only that the Proxies make their Promises on other Terms. As thus:

I N. by Virtue of an Authentick Procuration receiv'd from N. give her to N. to the end he may have the use of her for such a Term, and at such a Price. Or thus:

I N. by Virtue of an Authentick Procuration from N. take in his Name N. to Wife. I take her upon the Conditions agreed upon, I take her upon my Soul.

The poor People make less stir, without any Proxy: For the VVoman enters Veil'd with her Parents, who are also in the Room where the Men are, and then says the Party him­self,

I N. Proxy for my self, take you N. for my perpetual Wife, at such a certain Dowry; I take ye for such upon my Soul.

Now the VVomen are the Match makers; and as soon as the Articles are agreed upon, the Husband settles the Dow­ry upon the clearest part of his Estate, and then sends the VVedding-Ring and the Presents to his Bride: VVhich con­sist in Cloaths, Jewels, and Ready Money. For which the Bride returns him several Knick-Knacks, as Embroider'd Hand­kerchers, Toylets, Needlework Night-Caps, and such kind of Trifles, usually all made with her own Hands.

[Page 263] The Wedding is kept at the Mans House, and lasts Ten Days: upon the Tenth Day, by broad Daylight, they send him home that which is call'd the Bride's Bundle, which consists in Furniture, Jewels, Moveables, Slaves and Eunuchs, accor­ding to the Quality of the Bride, and all this upon Camels or other Beasts of Carriage, the Musick playing before 'em. The Slaves and Eunuchs ride either upon the Packs or else on Horse-back: and sometimes it happens that they borrow Houshold-Stuff and a Train, and send empty Chests; and all to make a shew and dazle the World. At Night the Bride is conducted home; and if she be a Person of Quality she is carry'd in a Cagiavat, being a kind of Cradle of which a Camel will carry two. If she be a Person of mean Condition, she is set upon a Horse, or else goes a Foot: and then the Musick marches first; then the Servants with every one a Wax-Taper in their Hands; follow'd by the Women with lighted Candles in their Hands after the same manner. The Bride her self is veil'd from Head to Foot; with another Veil over that, plaited like a Cassock; made of Silk and Silver, or Cloth of Gold, or plain Silk, which reaches down to her waste. So that a very Lynx could never be able to discover her shape or Stature. If she be afoot, two Women lead her by each Arm; if on Horseback, an Eunuch leads the Horse by the Bridle. About an Hour after she has been at her Husbands House, the Nuptial Feast being over, the Matrons carry her into the Bridal Chamber, uncloath her to a little Waste-Coat, and a thin pair of Drawers next to it, and put her to Bed. Soon after the Bridegroom is conducted to the same place either by Eunuchs or Old Women, the Lights being all taken away when he enters the Room.

Thus the Man never sees his Wife till after he has Consum­mated the Marriage; and many times he never does that, till several Days after his Wife has been at home, the nice Lady flying his Embraces and hiding her self among the Women, or else unwilling to let her Husband meddle with her. Which Coyness frequently happens among Persons of Quality, who look upon it as a piece of Immodesty to bestow their last Fa­vours so soon. The Virgins of the Blood Royal more parti­cularly put their Husbands to this trouble, so that it requires whole Months to reclaim 'em, and to perswade 'em that their Husbands are worthy their Embraces.

To this purpose they tell a Story of a Daughter of Abas the Great, who was Marry'd to one of his Great Generals, that she was a long time before she would condescend so much as to [Page 264] look upon her Husband. Thereupon the Lord complain'd to the King, That his Majesty had given him a Tygress instead of a Wife; that he durst not come near her; for that she had Twice run at him with a Dagger in her Hand. At which Abas could not forbear Laughing, and ask'd him how many white Slaves he had in his Seraglio? The General answer'd, about Five and Forty. Then said the King, Lie with 'em all one after another, I am sure that will be a means to reclaim your Wife. The Ge­neral took the Kings advice. The Princess enrag'd at this his manner of proceeding, ask'd him, if that were his Conjugal Faith that he had plighted to her, and seeing he continu'd his Course, notwithstanding all her fury, made her complaints to the King, telling him, That she came to demand Justice of him against her Husband, who Ravish'd all his Maids and Slaves. To whom the King with an incens'd Countenance answer'd, That he had done it by his Order: and at the same time sent her away, with an express Command to invite her Husband to come and lie with her. Which the Princess did accordingly, and was well satisfi'd.

To the same purpose they relate another very pleasant Story of one of the Concubines of Sephi, the last King of that Name. She was a lovely Person, and for that reason infinitely belov'd of the Prince, which had made her extreamly Proud, and to take upon her many times to talk over boldly to the King. One Day therefore Sephi, who was naturally Cruel, was so incens'd against her that he would have put her to Death; but his Anger not believing Death to be a sufficient Punishment, he took from her all her Women, and her Eunuchs, caus'd all her Cloaths to be Burnt, and her Jewels to be Pounded in a Mortar, and the bitts of Stones to be flung into a Pond before her Face; and to add to her Ignominy, caus'd her to be Mar­ry'd to a Paltry Negro, that was one of his Cooks: and so the Unfortunate Lady was sent home to the Cooks House with only one Chamber-Maid left her. But when her frightful Husband thought to have approach'd her, the Chamber-Maid as Lovely and Majestick as her Mistress, drawing a naked Dagger out of her Pocket, and throwing her self before her Mistress, Dog of a Negro, said she, Do but touch her so much as with thy Finger, and I will make a Thousand Holes i' thy Heart. Upon which the poor Cook flew for his Life; and the Story being told to the King, he was so pleas'd with the action, that he recollected himself, asswag'd his Passion, Marry'd her to a Colonel, and sent her Cloaths and Furniture suitable to her Condition.

[Page 331] There happens in the Marriages of the meaner sort of Peo­ple, something that seems to be quite the Contrary. For if the Man have oblig'd himself to make his Wife a Dowry, that exceeds his Estate, to obtain the consent of his Wife's Parents; he shuts his House door when they bring her home, and cries that he will not give so great a Price for her. Then the Pa­rents of both Parties dispute the Matter between themselves; and the Friends of the Bride are oblig'd to abate something, for fear the Bridegroom should refuse her; for it would be the greatest Dishonour in the World, as well for them, as for the Maid, to be carried back again.

Now one would think this way of Marrying, without e­ver seeing the Parties face, should produce very unfortunate Matches; but it does not. Nay we may say in General, that the Matches are more happy in a Country, where the Men and Women never see one another, then where the Women are so frequently seen and courted. And the Reason is plain: For they that see not another Mans wife, lose less sud­denly the Affection which they have, or ought to have, for their own. And yet we cannot say the Persians marry with­out altogether knowing whom neither. For the Mother or Kindred or other Persons, upon whom they rely for the choice of a Wife, make such a frequent and lively Description of the Virgin, that they may sufficiently judge by their Re­port, whether the Original will please, or whether she be a fit Match or no. Besides when they are Girls, tho the Greatest Lords Daughters, they are not so close lockt up, till they come to be above Seven or Eight Years of Age. Till which time they appear up and down the House, to the end they may be publickly seen and taken notice of; so that sometimes it happens, that a Man may have seen the Maid, pro­pos'd him for a Wife, especially when she was little.

The Mahometan Religion holds Divorce to be Lawful, however it be done, or whatever the Occasion may be. 'Tis sufficient that one of the Parties dislikes the other, and that they resolve to unmarry themselves; for then, tho otherwise the most prudent and civil People in the World, they present­ly divorce. Which Act of Separation is pass'd, either before a Judge or before a Church-man. This Act is called Talaac, or a Bill of Divorce; which being granted, the Parties are at Liberty to marry again where they please themselves. Upon the dissolution of the Marriage, the Man is oblig'd to return the Woman her Dowry; if it be he that sues out the Divorce; [Page 332] but if it be the Woman that seeks the Separation, then she loses her Portion. The Mahometans also hold for law­ful, the Renewing of Marriages dissolv'd, and that they may dissolve and renew and dissolve Three times; but if it hap­pen that after a Divorce the third time, the Man and the Wo­man desire to come together a fourth time, they cannot do it; but upon this strange Condition, that before the Woman marry another Husband, she shall dwell with him forty days, and then be divorc'd from him.

The Persians, to speak in general, rarely make use of this excessive License to unmarry one another. The Citizens and Tradesmen sometimes make their Advantages of it: But Persons of Quality will rather choose to dye, then repudiate their Wives, and you may as soon take away their Lives, as force 'em to consent to a Divorce. The poorer sort never use it, for they are too silly and clott-pated to unmarry one another; besides that it would cost 'em too dear, in regard they must re­turn the Portion they had, upon the Repudiation. Which however occasions a more crying piece of Injustice to be com­mitted among the viler sort. For they, when they would be rid of their Wives without returning their Portions, misuse the woman in that terrible and inhumane manner, that she is forc'd to sue for a Divorce, and sacrifice all to her Liberty. Besides, the Courts of Judicature, rarely know the Differences that hap­pen between Man and Wife, the mischeivous Tricks that they play one another, and the Reasons that move 'em to separate. The Place where the Women are shut up is sacred; especi­ally among Persons of Condition: And it is a Crime for any Person whatever, to be enquiring what passes within those Walls. The Husband has there an absolute Authority, with­out being oblig'd to give any accompt of his Actions. And 'tis said, that there are most bloody doings in those places sometimes, and that Poyson dispatches a World of People, which are thought to dye a natural Death.

The 12. I dismiss'd the Officer of the Can of Georgia, who conducted me to Irrivan. I made him a present of a­bout Six Guines; and gave him a Letter for Father Raphael of Parma, wherein I let him know how diligently the Offi­cers had serv'd me, and desir'd him to give the Prince an Account of it, and to return him my humble Thanks. For it is the custome to give such Letters of Commendation to those sort of Officers. Without which should they return to their Masters, it would be a fault, for which they would not fail to be punish'd.

[Page 333] The 13. I stay'd at the Palace some part of the day, and din'd with the Governor. The 14 and 15. I din'd there likewise. He was extreamly civil to me, to the end I should let him have what he had a mind to at a cheap Rate. For 'tis not to be imagin'd, how these Persian Lords will debase themselves, when they are dealing for their own Interest with People over whom they have no Authority. They are not asham'd to beg for what they have a desire to. They flatter, they praise, they promise, there is nothing so mean, which they will not make use of to attain their Ends; and when they have once attain'd 'em, they have done with those People. Which Inequality of Temper, they that have business in Per­sia shall have every day occasion to make Tryal of.

The 16. I went to visit the Patriarch of Armenia, whose name was James, an Ancient Man, all over hairy, and venera­ble for his Presence and Aspect, but of a fickle and inconstant Disposition, and whose Behaviour justify'd the Accusations which his Nation laid upon him, which were, that he wanted Judgment, but was very Ambitious. He lodg'd at the Episco­pal Mansion; and was confin'd within the Walls of the Ci­ty. A misfortune that for some Pranks which he had play'd he had drawn upon himself. And as for that he then lay under, the occasion was this, of which he made me a long Rehearsal himself.

The Armenian Clergy is very much addicted to Symony, as well as that of the Eastern Sects. But that which they sell most dear is the holy Oyl, which they call Myrone. The most part of the Eastern Christians believe it to be a Balsom, and a Remedy that physically Cures all the Distempers of the Soul. Nay there are whole Societies of Christians who be­lieve, that the Grace of Regeneration, and Remission of Sins, is imparted by the use of this Oyl: Saying, that in Baptism for Example, 'tis the Oyl and not the Water, which is the Matter prescrib'd. And the Clergy keep the People in this pernicious Error, because of the Advantages which they get by it, selling at a dear rate the Unction of this Oyl. Which the Patriarch has the only right to Consecrate, and he sells it to the Bishops and Priests. Now about twelve Years since the Persian Patriarch began to project, how he might prevent the Armenian Ecclesiasticks over all the East from furnishing themselves with this Holy Oyl, from any other Person but himself. Those of Turky bought it of the Armeni­an Patriarch residing at Jerusalem, and who is the Chief [Page 334] over all the Armenian Christians within the Empire. James pretended, that it was not lawful for the Armenians of Turky, to go for Holy Oyl to Jerusalem, but at a time when the War between the Turk and the Persian, hinder'd 'em from coming to his See; and he was of opinion for a sum of Money, well expended at the Ottoman Court, he might obtain an Order from the Port, by vertue of which the Ecclesiastical Armenians of that Empire should be oblig'd to fetch their Holy Oyl from Persia, as formerly. But first he must have the consent of the Persian King to undertake an Affair of that Importance, which James easily obtain'd, and afterwards went to the Port; where after he had spent a great deal of Money and Time, at length he obtain'd his Hearts desire.

All this while the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, a more Politic Prelate, and one better skill'd in the Affairs of Turky, never stirr'd from his Seat, while the other was negotiating at the Grand Signior's Court. He let him expend and exhaust himself, and onely watch't for James's Return into Persia. But then it was no hard matter for him, to demonstrate to the Divan the Grand Signiors Interest in that Affair, and the Damage which his Highness did himself, in obliging the Arme­nians under his Subjection to fetch their Holy Oyl from Persia, because of the great Revenue which it produc'd. Where­upon the Divan cancell'd the Order which they had given the Persian Patriarch; and left the whole Business as it was be­fore.

However James to his own and the misfortune of his Nation, went on obstinately against his own Interest, he got a Re-hearing, believing that his large Presents and his Importu­nity would at length gain him his Cause. I cannot tell cer­tainly, how much the Money was that he spent in this idle Concern; but they say it amounted to no less than threescore thousand Guines.

All that I know is this, that he owes fourty thousand pound which he took up at Constantinople, and spent upon this same in­comparable Project. He borrow'd first of the Armenians, as long as his Credit would last, and when they would lend him no more, then he borrow'd of the Turks. At length he became an absolute Bankrupt, and at the same time he was forc'd to quit his design and retire out of Turky, where there is nothing to be done by men that have no money in their Pockets. The Patriarch however thought he could oblige the Armeniaus of Persia, that go and come to Constantinople, to [Page 335] pay what he ow'd the Turks. Which as he importun'd 'em to do, so he obtain'd in part. For they paid several conside­rable Sums, in hopes to free their Patriarch out of his Trou­bles; whom they thought not to be so deeply engag'd as they found him to be. But finding still that after they had paid one Debt, larger Sums discover'd themselves, and call'd for Satisfaction, they refus'd to disburse any more Money, not­withstanding all the fair and foul Means he could use. James therefore sooth'd up his Turkish Creditors, and told 'em that if they would send along with him two Trustees to re­ceive their Money in Armenia, he would pay 'em there: and so they let him go upon his Word. But when he came home, he found both the Persians and the Armenians equally offended with him for his extravagant Expences, and the Fol­ly of his Design; So that not a man would part with any Money, nor would they suffer him to touch the Patriarchal Treasure: Insomuch that the two Turkish Trustees for the Customer of Constantinople, that came to receive the payment of Six Thousand Guineys, which he ow'd their Master, were forc'd to return, finding the Patriarch to be utterly insol­vent.

The Customer perceiving his Debt to be so desperate, ob­tain'd an Order from the Grand Signior to the Governor of Er­zerum, to give his People, that return'd into Persia, all the Assi­stance he could, to enable 'em to recover the Debt. To that end the Governor gave 'em Letters of Recommendation for the Can of Erivan. But those Letters prov'd of little or no ef­fect; and because the Length of Journeys is very tedious in Asia, and for that the distance of one Place to another hap­pens to be a great delay of Business, the Turkish Trustees stay'd a year at Erivan without doing any good. At length they receiv'd new Letters of Recommendation from the Grand Vizir, the Kaimacan of Constantinople and the Basha of Erzerum for the Governor of Erivan, which were so full and so importunate, that the Governor was forc'd to bestir him­self. He sent for the Patriarch, and told him he must pay the six thousand Guinneys. The Patriarch, who was really insolvent, demonstrated his Inability to the Governor as clear­ly as could be done i' th' world, and besought him very earnestly to obtain leave of him from the Court, that he might raise the Summ upon the Churches of Media and Geor­gia; and to oblige the Governor to intercede for it, gave him several considerable Presents. So that the Governor at length [Page 336] consenting, he not only petition'd for Leave, buthad it granted; and when it came, James sent about his Deputies to put it in Execution. But both the Clergy and Seculars of those Provin­ces, who are really very Poor, and continually vex'd with Impo­sitions, Levies of Money, Taxes and Imposts, refus'd to pay the Patriarch. Besides, when the Governors of Media and Georgia were inform'd of what the Patriarch had done, they forbid the Christians under their subjection to part with a Farthing; saying withal, that the if Governor of Armenia were so liberal to the Patriarch, he might make his Levies upon the Churches that belong to his own Government. Thereupon there was a necessity for him, to write back to the Court. But the Governor of Armenia, fearing least the Patriarch should absent himself, or that he would not go to the Court, order'd him to keep at Erivan, and not to stir thence without leave. And this was that Prelate's Condition, when I went to visit him. At what time he seem'd to be very impatient in Expectation of the Resolutions of the Court.

The 21. Forty seven Minutes after Sun-rise and the first day of the Month Zilbage, which is the Twelfth Month of the Year among the Mahumetans, the Great Guns of the Fortress were thrice Discharg'd, and the Garrison gave three Vollies to give Notice that it was New-Years Day. And this they always do at the very Moment that the Sun enters in Aries, whether it be Day or Night. The Astrologers, who make their Observations very exactly with their Astrolobes, give the Signal, and then it is that all the Guns go off, as I have already said. This Festival lasts three days; and is the most Solemn one that is celebrated in Persia: We shall tell yee in a­nother place, after what manner it is Solemniz'd.

The 21. in the Afternoon I went to the Governor to wish him a happy New-Year; and presented him at the same time with a Hafted Dagger, and a Sheath of Ivory inlay'd with Gold. Which the Governor very much admir'd, and was very well pleas'd. For it is the Custom in Persia, now become a Law, never to come into the Presence of a Great Person empty­handed during this Festival. The Governor on the other side made me sit down by him, and gave me a Collation of dry'd and green Fruits, and Excellent Wines of Georgie and Shiras. The General of the Mint, and the King's Envoy, of whom we have already spoken, were both with him at the same time. So that I staid two hours discoursing of Sundry things.

The 25. he sent for me, and after several Discourses at [Page 337] Rovers, he told me, He was very much troubl'd for me, that I was come in Persia at such an unlucky Season, when there was so little Trade for Jewels, for that the King had little or no esteem for 'em, and therefore bought very few. That I was not now to look upon my Condition, as if King Abas were alive, for those days were gone; and that I should find it a hard matter at Court to put off the worth of Three Thousand Pound. Then going on, he told me farther, That he did not speak this to discourage me, but that I might betimes consider what I had to do, and lose no opportunity of selling what I had brought: That he had a design to lay out to the value of Two Thousand Five Hundred Pounds, if I would let him have good Bargains. Presently I found what the Governor aim'd at by his Discourse, and that his Advice tho very good and true, proceeded rather from Interest, then that he was really con­cern'd for my Benefit. However I return'd him Thanks, and told him, I heard of the Great Change of Humor at Court, but yet for all that I did not question but to sell, expecting from his Majesty's Justice that he would consider, that I had not made such a tedious Voyage, nor brought so many Jew­els, but by the Orders of the Deceased King his Father. Ne­vertheless, that I was resolv'd to sell as much as I could without Loss, and that I was so much beholding to him for his Favors and his particular Care of me, that I would sell Cheaper to him then to another Person.

Thereupon the Governor promis'd me, that I should have the favour of his Sons, and be assisted by all the Credit which they had at Court; to which purpose he would give me most Effectual and Earnest Recommendations, and at length or­der'd me to bring all that he had set apart. He told me he would make his first Purchases of little Jewels and of small value, to the end he might see, whether I would be as good as my word. Which Method of his did no way please me, and therefore I propounded to him to take all at a Lump, and ne­ver to make two Bargains, assuring him that he would find it his cheapest way. After that I desir'd him to begin with the Great Pieces; but he refus'd to accept either of my Propo­sals; he knew how to manage me so dextrously, that he per­swaded me that his Intentions were real, and that he would try by those things wherein he had most Judgment, whether I sold him dear or no. So then we agreed upon a Price for Forty Watches of several Fashions: All which I sold him at a low rate, to purchase his good Opinion, and to the end I might [Page 338] sell him more of my Commodities. Presently he sent me to his Cashier to receive my Money; which while we were telling, in he came with a great Chrystal Looking glass set in Gold, which he had set aside from among those other that I had shewn him, and telling me, the hour was now lucky, ask'd me the Price of the Glass; and I let him have it for Five Hundred Crowns, which he paid me with the rest of my Mo­ney. For the Persians are strangly infatuated with Judicial Astrology, and attribute to the Influences of the Stars all their good and bad Success. And when two Stars which they call Benign, are in Conjunction, that they call the lucky hour.

The 27. The Governor did me the Honour to give me a visit. Tho I had rather he had let his visit alone; for it cost me a Gold-Box of Eight Guineys. Which I presented to him to gratifie the Custom of the Country; which is, to re­pay the visits of great Personages with a Present. The Go­vernor staid a quarter of an hour in my Chamber; after which he went and made a stop where the People that be­long'd to the Customer of Constantinople lay, which was very near to my Apartment. Then he went and visited a Turkish Merchant, and an Armenian Merchant, that lodg'd in the same Inn, who made him every one a Present, but of things of little value. The People that belong'd to the Customer of Constantinople gave him two Ducats, the Turkish Merchant a little bag of Coffee, worth an Angel, and the Armenian pre­sented him with two Ells of Damask. For the Governor comes forth out of the Castle into the City constantly twice a Week, that is, Frydays and Saturdays; Fryday he goes publickly to the Mosqueé to say his Prayers; Saturday he visits every Quarter of the City, and gives such Orders as he finds to be requisite. So that there can be nothing better contriv'd then his Method of Government. If he stop before any House they never make him any Present, unless they please themselves. But if he go into the House, Custom obliges 'em to present him. And there is an Officer, call'd the Re­ceiver of Presents, who keeps an account of all that is present­ed him, let it be of never so mean a value.

The 29. and 30. I din'd with the Governor, and sold him as many ordinary Jewels as came to about Five Hundred Pounds. We drove our Bargains every price by it self, and when we were come to a Price he paid me in ready Money. And most assuredly he got by that way of dealing; [Page 339] for by that means I sold him at a much cheaper rate. The same day a little after I was return'd to my Lodging, the Princess his Wife sent for me, to make her a price of some cer­tain Jewels which she had made choice of. But just as I was ready to take Horse, the General of the Mint, and the Kings Slave came to give me a visit, so that I could not go to the Castle that day: neither would I go the three next days, as being the three last of the Passion Week; but the Fourth of April I went. So soon as I came, the Princesse's Steward, who was an old Eunuch, told me, That the Princess was extreamly angry that I had stay'd so long, and that if one of the Coun­try should have serv'd her so, she would have made him feel two hundred Drubs upon the Soles of his Feet. At which I laught, and ask'd the Eunuch, if his Lady were wont to pronounce Sentences. Sir, said he, she is one of the Haugh­tiest Ladies in the World; and for the least fault exacts a most severe punishment. If it be a man that has offended her, she sends her Eunuchs to seize him, who bind him hand and foot, and put him in a Sack, carry him into the Seraglio into her presence, and punish him according to her Com­mands, without letting him out of the Sack, or suffering him to know where he is. But I never yet knew that the Persian Ladies ever inflicted such sort of punishments. And there­fore I desir'd the Eunuch, to let the Princess know the Reason that had kept me at home, and that I was always ready to obey her Commands. I tarry'd above four hours at the en­trance into the Seraglio, while the Eunuch went and came back. At length a Bargain was made between us for so ma­ny Jewels as amounted to Four Hundred Pounds, for which I received my Money the next Morning.

The 3. I went to the Governor, and desir'd him to give me leave to depart; for that I was in hast to be at Court. He pro­mis'd to dispatch me after Dinner: and I waited on him again at his time appointed. At what time, he ask'd me with a smiling Countenance what was the value of the Gold Box I had given him, when he came to visit me. I knew not what his design was, and therefore in my answer I valued it at Ten Pounds. Pray then Sir, said he, oblige me to take it again and give me the value of it in Keys, in Springs and Strings for Wat­ches. I was not a little surpriz'd at his Proposal, which did not seem to be very civil for a Person of his Quality. However I an­swer'd him, that I was ready to do what he pleas'd & added that I had several Watchmakers Tools, that I had brought for the [Page 340] Kings Artificers, which I would send him, if it were his Plea­sure. He took me at my word, assuring me that I should do him a very great kindness. For this same Grandee is a great Lover of Mechanicks, and knows how to mend a Watch that does not go true. Afterwards he caus'd all that remain'd in his hands of mine to be delivered me back: and I thought certainly that he would have made an entire Bargain; but to my great Astonishment he restor'd me all. Then I per­ceiv'd I had been his Cully, and that he had only drill'd me on in hopes of selling him a great Purchase, to let him have what he chiefly desir'd at a cheaper tate. However I con­ceal'd my disgust, and my dissatisfaction to be so serv'd; and return'd him a thousand Thanks, with a Countenance as gay, as if I had had my hearts desire. Afterwards I besought him to give me his Letters of Recommendation to his Son: which he promis'd me to do, and invited me to go along with him into the Country, whither he went the next morning. But I excus'd my self, returning him Thanks in the best Lan­guage I could. I also requested him to give me the Agree­ment with Mr. Azarias, who was to accompany me to Tau­ris. I will so, answer'd his Lordship, and I will enjoyn him to be your Mehemandar, or Guide, meaning that honest Armenian already mention'd. This done, I again return'd him my humble Thanks for all his Favors; and after I had told him that I would not fail to extol his Kindnesses at Court, I took my leave. I thought it not proper to put him in mind of several other Promises that he had made me; as being assur'd they would produce little, for that according to the Custom of the Country he had made 'em, not with an intention to be as good as his word, but onely to make me the more ready to do what he desir'd.

The 5. the Governor went to the Camp, which he had caus'd to be set up about a League from the City, in a spaci­ous and lovely Meadow, all cover'd with flowers during the fair Season. The two Rivers that encompass Erivan, and run along with a winding Course and gentle Stream, make several little Islands in that Place. So that the Governors Quarter, that of the Princess his Wife, and those of the most considerable Persons that accompani'd him, were all separated; while every one had their particular Island; which were joyn'd together by certain little Bridges, that were laid on or tak'n away, as occasion requir'd. The Governor's Tents were very Magnificent; and indeed there were in a little Ground [Page 341] all the Conveniencies of a Palace even to the very Bathes and Stoves. His Family consisted of about Five Hundred Men, without reckoning the Women and Eunuchs. And it is the Custom of the Grandees of this Kingdom to solace them­selves in this manner in the Country in the Spring Time. There they divertize themselves in Hunting, Fishing, Walk­ing and employ themselves in several other Exercises, both a Foot and on Horse-back: There they suck in the fresh Air, and enjoy that Coolness which they so much delight in. This is the Refreshment and Recreation of their Lives; so that if they have no business in the City which requires their Presence there, they continue thus taking their pleasure all the Summer long, in the most delicious parts of the Neigbouring Moun­taines. This they call Yelac: or a Country Excursion.

The 6. The Prince's Treasurer gave me a Dinner, and the Kings Lieutenant of the Fortress was at it. He is a Native of Dag-Estaan. Which is a Mountainous Country to the North-East of the Caspian Sea, and bordering upon Muscovie. So that I took great delight to hear him repeat several parti­culars of the Customes and Manners of his Country. The King of Persia is acknowledg'd there as Soveraign Lord; but he is not absolute Master of it: nor are the People that inha­bit it always subject to his Commands. And the Court winks at their Disobediences; it being a difficult thing to re­duce 'em, by reason of the Roughness and Height of the Mountaines. They are a Savage sort of People, and the most barbarous of all the East: and I take 'em to be some Remainders of the Parthians. The same Evening that Gen­tleman sent me a Present of Fruit, Wine, and Mutton.

The 7. The Treasurer sent me much such another Present, as the Governor had sent me the day before: and I repay'd 'em in small Returnes for the Favors I had receiv'd from Both. They had been very civil to me at Erivan, not so much as offering to take those fees, which men are oblig'd to pay in Persia to the Officers of Governors, for all the Money receiv'd out of their Treasuries; for that their Master had forbid 'em to de­mand any thing of me. And therefore they did me those Kindnesses to oblige me to be the more free of my own ac­cord; well knowing I was not so ignorant of the Customes of the Country, but that I knew that it was not any motion of Generosity, that made 'em so courteous to Strangers.

In the Afternoon I went to the Camp, to take leave of the Governor; who shew'd me a thousand Civilities; and at my [Page 342] departure gave me two Letters of Recommendation to his two Eldest Sons, who are the Kings onely Favourites. They were both much to the same Effect. And this is the Transla­tion of that which was written to the Eldest.


I beseech the Soveraign Author of all good Things to preserve in Life and Health the High and Potent Lord Nesr-ali-bec, my most Honour'd and most Happy Son, the Favorite and Confident of his Royal Majesty.

We make most perfect vows to Heaven for your Happy Grandeur. The motive that induc'd us to write ye this Letter, is upon the Account of our being so much concern'd as we are on the behalf of Mr. Char­din, who arriv'd some time since at this City, and is now going in all hast to the Palace, which is the (a) Refuge of the Universe. You must of necessity fully and exactly (b) inform your self of his designs, and what Petitions he has to make to the most High Court; and when you rightly understand' em, see that you use your best Endeavour that they may be favourably answer'd. We shall be very desirous to know, what Effect and Success our Recommendation shall have, and after what Manner this Hlustrious Friend shall be receiv'd and entertain'd. We also desire you to send us the good Tydings of his Health. We pray to God, that he may have the favour and the happiness to be well re­ceiv'd of our Great King. To whom I wish that (c) all the World may pay Homage, and that he may prosper in all his Undertakings. The Eternal God grant ye long life.

(a) The Persian word which I have translated, the Refuge of the World, is Alempenha. Alem signifies the whole entire World, or Universal Nature. Penha, a Retreat, a Haven, a Place of Securi­ty, and to which a Man may have recourse.

(b) In the Original it is, that they inform themselves. For the Eastern People addressing themselves to Persons of Quality; to denote the Person, make use of the Third Person Plural, and when they mean themselves speak in the Third Person Singular. Which is also the Proper Idiom of the Holy Lan­guage.

(c) In the Persian it is, That all Souls may serve his Name, his Name. Repetition is a Figure very frequent in the Oriental Languages, and questionless borrow'd from the Sacred Lan­guage. Of which there are a Thousand Examples in the Ori­ginal Bibles, as in the 68. Psalm. v. 13. They are fled, they are [Page 343] fled. That is, They are absolutely fled. And Psalm. 8. 7. v5. The man, the man, That is, the Perfect Man.

Afterwards I went and took leave of the Principal Lords of the Court, and among the Rest of the General of the Mint. This Lord, who was call'd Mahamed Shefi, perswaded me to go to Ispahan by the way of Ardevil, assuring me that I should not fail to sell in that City. Thereupon I promis'd him so to do, and took along with me a Letter of Recommendation to the Governor of that City; who was his near Kinsman: Which I thus Translated into French.


Thrice High and Potent Lord, Glorious Majesty, worthy to be call'd Celestial, Elect of the Governors, Deputy Lieutenants and Hap­py Men; Fountain of Grace, Honour and Civility; Exemplar of Purity, Model of Generosity and Manificence; Heart Sincere, Real and Faithful. Protector of his Intimate Friends and Kindred, My most Excellent Lord and Master, I beseech the most High God to pre­serve your Health and prolong your Life.

Having paid you my due Respects and Homage, These are to let you understand, Great Sir, whose Wit is Clear and Glistering like the Sun, That Mr. Chardin the Flower of European Merchants, in­tending to go through Casbin to the Magnificent Palace, which is the Refuge of the Universe, I who am your Real Friend, perswaded him out of a desire to serve you, to go through the Sacred Ardevil. He carries with him certain Commodities of an Extraordinary value, which he will shew in the presence of your thrice a Noble Person. I am certain you will buy, if you meet with any thing that is worth your having: and I am assur'd your Highness will command your People to take care of this Noble Stranger. I am preparing to go for Tifflis, with God's Assistance, toward the end of the next Month Zil­hage. If I can serve your Excellency in that Country, you will do me a great Honour to let me know it. I beseech ye to believe that a richer Present cannot be made me, then to bring me Tydings of your good Health. God, through his favour, preserve your Illustrious Person till the Day of Judgement.

I am the true Friend of the Thrice High, and Thrice Illustrious Lords, Geonbec, Hiaiabec, and Mahamed-bec: I am apt to be­lieve for my own Repose the Continuation of their Health.

The Seal contain'd a Verse, or Sentence, of which this was the Meaning. I have wholly left my Destiny to God, I Mahamed Shefi his Creature.

[Page 344] Upon the outside of the Letter, at one Corner was written in a small Character. God preserve the happy Condition of my Friend.

While I stay'd at the Camp, there arriv'd a Courier from the King, who brought his Majesties Answer touching the Patriarch's Business. And I understood at the Governours, that the Contents were, That the Chief Ministers were of Opi­nion, that the Treasure at Ecsmiazin should be sold with all the Ornaments, and all the Wealth belonging to the Church and Convent: and that the Money that was made of it should go to the payment of the Patriarch's Debts. And that this Resolution had been taken, except Opposition had been made by the Armenians, by representing that all that Mo­ney would nothing near satisfie the Patriarch's Concerns; and that if they took away from Ecsmiazin its Treasure and its Or­naments, they would ruine a place that drew a world of Com­pany into Persia, and which yearly paid a very great Rent, occasion'd by the Devotion and Concourse of the Eastern Christians: That upon that the King had decreed, That the Money should be levy'd in Armenia upon all the Christian Vil­lages to satisfie the Customer of Constantinople, whom there was a necessity to see paid. The Patriarch was over-joy'd at the News, and made a Present to him that brought it; but it displeas'd all the honest People in the City, who were vex'd to the Souls, to see the Prelate so insensible of the Violence they were going to offer to thousands of Poor Christians, to pay for the Expences of his irregular Ambition.

The 8. an hour before day, I parted from Erivan, and tra­vell'd four Leagues over the little Hills, and through Valleys, the Country which I cross'd being full of Villages. In one of which that was a very fair and large one I lodg'd, call'd by the name of Daivin.

The 9. we travell'd five Leagues through a Country that was very level and fertile. That which they call the Moun­tain of Noah, lying upon the Right Hand. We directed our Course South-West, and lay at a Village call'd Kainer.

The 10. we continu'd the same Road, and travell'd eight Leagues. Upon the left hand, after we got half the way, we left a great Town call'd Sederec. Which is as it were the Ca­pital of the Province of Armenia, call'd Charour. The Sultan of which Province resides in that Town. That Night we had but a very bad Lodging in an old ruin'd Inn, near to a Village call'd Nouratchin.

[Page 345] The 11. We travell'd four Leagues upon the same Road, and through a very fair Country; but not so level, nor smooth, as being stony, and full of little Hills. We also ferry'd over a River call'd Harpasony, that waters all the Neighbouring Lands. It separates the Government of that part of Armenia, of which Erivan is the Capital, from that other part of which Nacchivan is the Metropolis.

The 12. we arriv'd at Nacchivan, after we had travell'd five Leagues over Plaines very level and Fertile.

Nacchivan is a great City, or rather a vast heap of Ruins, which are repair'd and repeopl'd by degrees. The heart of the City is at present rebuilt and inhahited; having very large Bazars, which are a sort of long Galleries, or Streets that are cover'd, full of Shops on both sides; where they sell all Sorts of Merchandizes and Provisions. There are in it five Inns or Caravanserays, Baths, Market Places, large Publick Houses, where they sell Tobacco and Coffee; and two Thousand Houses or thereabouts. The Persian Histories assure us, that formerly it contain'd above Forty Thousand. They also tell us, that before the Arabians conquer'd this Country, there were in it five Cities which had been built by Behron-Tchoubin King of Persia. Without the City are to be seen the Ruins of a great Castle, and several Forts which Abas caus'd to be destroy'd, toward the end of the last Age, not finding him­self strong enough to keep 'em: All which he caus'd to be ruin'd, after he had taken Nacchiavan from the Turks; and after he had ruin'd and dispeopl'd the City. Which he did to prevent the Turks from Fortifying themselves in that Place, and furnishing themselves with Provisions. Most certain­ly the City is an Object of Pity, considering in what a Condi­tion it now lies.

The Histories of Persia would have us believe, that it was one of the Greatest and Fairest Cities of all Armenia, as has been already said. But that History, now kept in the Mona­stery of the Three Churches, and which is chiefly spok'n of, do­clares, that this City was the ancient Ardashhad, call'd Artaxate, or Artaxasate by the Greek Historians. Other Armenian Au­thors make Nacchivan to be much more Ancient, and assert that Noah began to build it, and made it his Abode after the Deluge. And they make the Etymology of the Name to agree with the Antiquity of the Original: Affirming, that in the old Armenian Language Nacchivan signifies the first Habi­tation. Ptolomy makes mention of a City in these Parts, [Page 346] which he calls Naxuane, which might have been the same with Nacchivan. I believe that Artaxate, or Artaxasate, was seated very near it. For Tacitus observes, that Araxes ran very near that City; and we find it not to be above seven Leagues from Nacchivan. The height of the Pole over it's Horizon is mark'd upon the Persian Astrolobes, to be 38. deg. 40. min. and the Longitude 81. deg. 34. min. It is go­vern'd by a Kan, and is the Capital of one part of Armenia.

Five Leagues from Nacchivan, to the North, lies a great vil­lage, call'd Abrener; which signifies the Fertil Field. The in­habitants of that Village, and of seven others near it, are all Roman Catholicks. Their Bishops and Curates, are Domini­cans; and they perform their Church and Service, in the Ar­menian language.

He was an Italian Dominican of Bologna, that brought all this Country under Subjection to the Pope, about 350. years ago. And about twenty villages more that lay round ac­knowledg'd the same Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. But at length they return'd to their obedience under the Armenian Pa­triarch, and to their first Religion: and as for those that persist in the Romish Ceremonies, their Number daily decreases, by reason of the Persecution of the Patriarch, and the Gover­nors of Nacchivan. Those poor people, having drawn up­on their own heads, the Indignation and violent Usage of those Governors, for having endeavour'd to withdraw themselves from their Jurisdiction & Dependence. To which purpose there arriv'd in Persia in the year 1664. an Italian Dominican, in the Quality of an Embassador, from the Pope. From whom, and from several other Potentates of Europe, he brought Letters to the King. He made great Presents to his Majesty, and obtain'd effectually, That those Roman Catholick Villages, should every year send their Tribute to the Royal Treasure, and whatever they were oblig'd to pay yearly, according to the Rates set down in Writing in the Registers of the Superinten­dant and Receiver-General of Media. Which being done, that Orders should be sent to the Super-intendant and Governor of Nacchivan, and all other, the Kings Officers, to acknowledge the Roman Catholicks to be absolutely indepen­dant from their Jurisdiction, and that they should not pre­sume to make any Levies within their Territories. Which Regulation, that did very little good to those villages, was the occasion of many Mischiefs that afterwards befell em; and will one day be the cause of their Ruin. For the Go­vernors [Page 347] of Nacchivan provok'd at these proceedings, and the complaints that were made of 'em to Abas, have lay'd a thousand heavy Impositions, upon those poor People, since the death of that good King; and have made 'em pay three or four times the money which they sent to the Treasure Roy­al. For which the oppressed people can have no remedy; whether through the Remissness of the Government, or for that their own Party is low and out of Credit. The Treasurer of Media has done worse, for he has sent to Court false extracts of the Registers of that Province, by which it appears that those villages were to pay fourteen hundred pounds yearly, which is just as much again as what they pre­tend to have always paid. Every time they carry their Im­position of Seven Hundred Pounds into the Treasury, the Officers give 'em a Receipt, wherein they put that it is upon Account of what they ought to pay, by which they keep a Door open for Arbitrary Impositions, and Branglings to ruin 'em when they please themselves.

The Governor of Nacchivan was not in Town when I arriv'd there. But this Son that was Deputy, had soon notice of my arrival. So that he invited me to Dinner, and desir'd me to shew him some Watches and some Jewels. But I was no way satisfi'd with his manner of dealing with me. For after he had been civil to me, and had giv'n me a dinner, he left me with his officers who forc'd me in a manner, to let him have that for fourty pounds, for which I refus'd fifty at Erivan. And without question they had us'd me more unci­villy, but for the King's Pattent and Pass port which I had a­bout me. And indeed those Thorow-fairs are a sort of Places for the skinning of strangers, who are reputed to be rich. They must alway there pay Passage-money.

The 13. We departed from Nacchivan, and travell'd seven Leagues: At the end of the first League passing a River over a very broad Bridge, to which the People of the Country give no other name then that of the River of Nacchivan. The Coun­try which we pass'd is dry and Stony, where was nothing to be seen but little Hills of Stones. We lay upon the Banks of the River Araxes, which the Orientals call Aras and Ares. We pass it at Esqui-julfa, or Julfa the old, a ruin'd City, which some Authors beleive to be that City which the Ancients call'd Ariammene. They call'd it Old to distinguish it from Julfa, that is built over against Ispahan. Nor is it without reason so call'd, as being totally ruin'd and demolished. There is no­thing [Page 348] farther to be known of it, except the Grandeur, which it once enjoy'd. It was seated upon the descent of a Moun­tain, by the side of a River, that ran close by it. The Ave­nues to it, which are naturally very difficult of Access, were de­fended by several Forts. It contain'd four thousand Houses, as the Armenians report; but if we judge by its Ruines, it ne­ver could contain half the number. At present there are no­thing but Holes and Caverns, made in the Mountains, fitter for Beasts then Men. I do not believe there is in the world a more barren or hideous Place, then that of Old Julfa, where there is neither Tree nor Grass to be seen. True it is, that in the Neighbourhood there are some Places more happy and fer­tile; yet on the other side it is as true, that never was any City seated in a Situation more dry and stony. But the Fi­gure of it somewhat recompens'd the Situation, resembling a long Amphitheater. At present there are not above thirty Families in it, which are all Armenians.

Abas the Great was the Prince that ruin'd Julfa, and all that Art had contributed to its Fortification. Which he did for the same reason that he ruin'd Nacchivan and other Places, of Armenia, to hinder the Turkish Armies from Provisions. For he being a prudent and Politick Captain, finding his Forces inferior to those of his Enemies; and studious how to prevent their return every year into Persia, their winning and pre­serving their Conquests, resolv'd to make a Desart of all the Country between Erzerum &Tauris, upon the line of Erivan and Nacchivan; which was the road which the Turks usually observ'd, and where they fortifi'd themselves, because they found provisions sufficient for the support of their Armies. To that purpose therefore he transplanted all the Inhabitants and Cattel, ruin'd all the Houses and Buildings; fird all the Country, burnt up all the Turf and the Trees, poyson'd the very Springs, as the History relates; and they who have read the Story well know, that it had an effect answerable to his wishes.

But to return to our lists; Araxes is that famous River that separates Armenia from Media. It takes its Rise from the Mountain, where they affirm that Noah's Ark rested, and per­haps it may derive its name from that Mountain. From thence it empties its self into the Caspian Sea. This River is very Large and very Rapid. In it's Course it is augmented by several lesser streams that have no name, as also by several Torrents. Bridges have been built over it several times above [Page 349] Julfa; but though they made 'em never so strong and massie, as appears by the Arches which are yet intire, they were not able to withstand the force of the River; It becomes so furious when swell'd by the Thaws of the Snow that falls down melted from the neighbouring Mountains, that no Damms or other Fortifications can withstand it. And in truth the very Noise of the Waters, and the Rapidness of it's Course, astonish both the Ears and Eyes of all that come near it. We ferri'd over it in a large Boat; made to carry twenty Horse and thirty Persons at a time. But I would not suffer any to go along with me at the same time, but my own People and my own Baggage. It had four men to manage it. They row'd up about three hundred paces along the shoar a this side, then let the Barque drive us back with the stream; and so by the help of a long and strong Rudder guided the Boat to the other side. The current carry'd it with an unspeakable Impetuosity, so that we ran five hundred Paces in an instant. And thus it is that the Ferrymen cross the River Araxes. They allow them­selves two hours to go and come; by reason of the time they must spend in pulling up against the stream. But in the Winter when the Waters are low, you may pass it upon the Camels Backs: the Ford being half a mile from Julfa, in a part where the Channel being very broad, the current is much more gentle.

We have said that Araxes separates Armenia from Media. This Country that formerly rul'd all Asia, with Imperial Do­minion, at present makes but one part of a Province of Persia which the Persians call Azerbeyan, or Asupaican. However it is one of the largest in the Persian Empire. It borders to the East upon the Caspian Sea, and Hyrcania; to the South upon the Province of the Parthians. To the West upon the Ri­ver Araxes, and the upper Armenia; to the North upon Dagestan, which is that Mountainous Country, that consines upon the Co­saque Muscovites, and makes a part of Mount Taurus. It encloses all the Eastern Media, call'd by the ancient Authors Azarca, and the Western or lesser Media, which they likewise call Atro­patia, or Atropatene. Assyria is a part of the upper Armenia. The Persians assirm, that this Place was call'd Azer-beyan, that is, the Country of Fire; by reason of the famous Temple of Fire which was there erected, where was kept their Fire, which the Fire-worshippers, held to be a God; and because the chief Pontiff of that Religion resided there. The Guebres, who are all that are left of the Fire-worshippers, shew this place [Page 350] about two days journey distant from Shamaki. They assure us for a certain truth, that the sacred Fire is still there; that it resembles a Mineral and subterraneall Fire; and that they who repair thither out of Devotion see it in the form of a Flame. Nay they add one particular more, which is a sort of pleasant story, that if you make a hole in the ground, and set a pot over it, that same fire will cause it to seeth, and boyles all that is in the Pot.

To return to the Name of Azer-beyan, the Etymologie is true: for Az is the Article of the Genitive. Er or Ur, in old Persian, as in most part of the Ancient Oriental Idioms, signifies Fire, and Bey­an signifies a Place or Country. I am not ignorant that some people read and pronounce it Asur-paican, and affirm that this geat Pro­vince wasso call'd, because it contains Assyria; which in the opi­nion of all Authors, deriv'd its Name from Assur; which is the same thing in my Opinion; for I am apt to think that the Name of Assur, comes from Az, Ur, that is of Fire. Moses speaking of Nimrod, that Idolatrous Prince, who introduced the Worship of Fire, and invaded Chaldea, the share and Patrimo­ny of Sem, tells us, that the Sons of that Patriarch retir'd thither, and that Ashur was one. Now 'tis very probable, that this Ashur was so call'd from his retiring thither, or from the wor­ship of Fire; or from Chaldea, which was then call'd the Coun­try of Fire; as appears C. 11. of Genesis, and in all the ancient Authors; who unanimously agree that Chaldea was call'd the Country of Ur, or the Country of Fire. And Ptolomy makes men­tion of a City in that Country which is call'd Urcoa, that is to say the place of Fire: ga, with a long or a double a, being a Persian word, that signifies a Place, or Part of a Country. But the Ancient Names have been so corrupted by the negligence or ignorance of Transcribers, or by the differences of Language and Pronuntiation of Authors and Translators, that when we come to compare the Ancients with the modern Name, we must not reject every thing that has not an entire Resemblance. Now what we have already said shews us the Errors of those who have written, that Azer-beyan is the Northern Part of Syria, and that the word of Azer-beyan is deriv'd from Ardoebigara, which was the Capital City of the Country. The Persians divide it into three parts Azer-beyan, Shirvan, and Shamalei. Strabo divides it only into two parts, the greater and the lesser: but as for Ptolomie and other modern Geogrophers, they make no division of it at all.

The 14. we travell'd five leagues, through a Country full [Page 351] of little Hills, following the same course as the days before, that it is to the North-West, leaving that spacious Plain upon the left hand, which has been the Stage of so many Bloody Battels, fought in the last ages; and in the beginning of this between the Persians and Turks. The people of the Coun­try shew you a great heap of Stones, & affirm it to be the Place where that Battel began, between Selim the Son of So­lymon the Great, and Ismahel the Great. Our days Journey ended at Alacou. The Persians assert that this place was so call'd Alacou, by that famous Tartar Prince who conquer'd a great Part of Asia, and there founded a City, ruin'd during the Wars between the Turks and Persians.

The 15. our Journey was not so long as the day before, but the way through which we travell'd was more smooth and easie. We lodg'd at Marant; which is a good fair Town, consisting of about two thousand five hundred houses, and which has so many Gardens, that they take up as much ground as the Houses. It is seated at the bottom of a little Hill, at the end of a Plain, which is a league broad and five long: and which is one of the most lovely and fairest that may be seen; a little River call'd Zelou-lou running through the middle of it: from which the people of the Country cut several Trenches to water their Grounds and their Gardens. Marant is better peopl'd than Nacchivan, and a much fairer Town. There grows about it great plenty of Fruits, and the best in all Media. But that which is most peculiar to these Parts is this, that they gather Cocheneel in the Places adjoyning; though not in any great quantity, nor for any longer time then only eight days in the Summer, when the Sun is in Leo. Before that time the People of the Country assure us, that it does not come to Maturity; and after that time the Worm from whence they draw the Cocheneel, makes a hole in the lease upon which it grows, and is lost. The Persians call Cocheneel Quermis from Querm, which signifies a Worme, because it is extracted out of Worms.

Marant is seated 37. deg. 50. min. of Lat. and 81. deg. 15. min. of Longit. according to the observation of the Persians. Some take it for the City which Ptolemy calls Mandagarana. I made no Platform of it no more then I did of Nacchivan; because neither their Fame nor their Beauty seem'd to me to be worth any such Pains. The Armenians have a Tradition, that Noah lies buried there; and that the Name of the City is deriv'd from an Armenian word which signifies to bury. You may [Page 352] descry from Marant, when the Air is clear, the Place where the Ark rested, which sav'd the Patriarch from the Deluge: You may also see the same Mountain from Tauris, in a serene Sky, as the People of the Country assure us.

The 16. we travelled four Leagues, turning always among the Mountains, that come very close one to another in several parts, but never joyn. By ten of the Clock in the morning we arriv'd at Sophian: a little Village seated in a Plain, full of Rivulets and Gardens; the Soyl of which is fertile to a won­der. Some Authors believe it to be the Ancient Sophia of Me­dia. Others hold, that it was call'd Sophian from the Sophi's, who settled there, when Ismael the First left Ardevil, and re­mov'd his Court to Tauris.

That Evening, Mr. Azarias, the honest Armenian, alrea­dy mention'd, went before with my Pasports and Letters of Recommendation from the Governors of Georgia and Armenia. I ordered him to find out the Toll-gatherer of Tauris, and to desire him in my Name, to give order that I might pass with my Retinue: and the next day I found he had discharg'd his Trust, and that care had been taken to leave such orders at the Gates as I desir'd.

That day being the Seventeenth, we arriv'd at Tauris, after we had travell'd six Leagues upon the same Road, as the pre­ceding days, through fair and fertile Plains, where all the Lands were till'd, and where we had a Prospect of a great number of Villages. It is fifty three Persian Leagues, every one of which makes five thousand Paces, between Irivan and Tauris, which may be easily rid on Horseback in Six days, but the Caravans take double the Time. The Camels seldom travel above four Leagues aday, and carry six or seven Hundred weight: the Horses and Mules seldom carry above two Hundred and Twenty weight with a Man, and travel five or six Leagues a day.

The Figure in the Plate annex'd gives ye a very exact De­scription of Tauris. It is really and truly a very large and Potent City: as being the second in Persia, both in Dignity, in Grandeur, in Riches, in Trade, and in number of Inhabi­tants. It is seated at the end of a Plain, at the bottom of a Mountain, which our Modern Authors will have to be the Mountain Orontes or Barontes, according to Polybius, Diodorus, and Ptolomey. The Figure of it is irregular and difficult to be nam'd, as is apparent by the Plate; neither is it wall'd or for­tifi'd; only a little River call'd Spingtcha run across it. Which [Page] [Page]


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[Page] [Page 353] sometimes makes dreadful havock, and carry's away the Houses that are built by the side of it. There is another that runs by the Nort-hside of the City; Which from the Spring till Autumn is not much larger then the Seine is at Paris in the Winter time. It is call'd Agi, or the Salt River, by reason of the Torrents that having run through several Salt Marshes empty themselves into it; which is the Reason it breeds no Fish. The City is distinguish'd into Nine Wards or Quarters, and divided, as are almost all the other Cities of Persia, into Haydar, and Neamet-Olahi, which are the names of two Factions, which divided all Persia in the Fifteenth Age, like the Guelphes and the Guibellines in Italy. It contains fifteen thousand Houses, and fifteen Thousand Shops. For the Houses in Persia are not in the same place with their Shops; which stand for the most part in long and large arched Streets forty or fifty Foot high. Which Streets are call'd Basar, or the Market, and make the heart of the City; the Houses being in the out Parts; and have almost all Gardens belonging to 'em. I did not see ma­ny Palaces or Magnificent Houses at Tauris. But there are the fairest Basars that are in any place of Asia. And it is a lovely sight to see their vast Extent, their Largeness, their beau­tiful Duomo's, and the Arches over 'em; the number of Peo­ple that are there all the day long, and the vast quantities of Merchandize with which they are fill'd. The fairest of all, and where they sell their Jewels and Wares of greatest value, is octangular, and very spacious; being call'd the Kaiserié, or Royal Market Place. It was built about the Year 850 of the Hegira by King Hassen, who kept his Court at Tauris. Their other Publick Buildings are no less Sumptuous, nor less full of People. There are reck'n'd to be in the City three hundred Caravanserais; of which some are spacious enough to lodge three hundred People. Their Cabarets for Coffee, Tobacco and strong Liquors, the Baths and Mosques are answerable to the beauty of the other Buildings.

There are in Tauris two hundred and fifty Mosques: of which the Principal are mark'd in the Copper Plate. I shall not say any thing of any one in particular; because they are no otherwise built then the fair Mosquees in the Ca­pital City of the Kingdom, of which you will find in the fol­lowing Volume both Descriptions and Platforms. The Mosquee of Ali-sha, is almost totally ruin'd. Only they have repair'd the lower part where the People go to Prayers, and the Tower which is very high, and is the first that discovers its [Page] [Page 354] self to the Eye, coming from Erivan. This Mosque was built about 400 years ago, by Coja Ali-sha, Grand Visir to Sul­tan Kazan, King of Persia, who kept his Court at Tauris; and was there buried. His sepulchre is still to be seen in a great ruin'd Tower, which they call by his name Monar can Kazan. The Mosque which they call the Master Apprentise, which lyes half in Ruins at present, was built three hundred and twenty years ago by Emir-sheic-Hassen. That which is mark'd with the Letter (O) in the Plate, is the fairest in all Tauris; all the inside, and some part of the outside, being guilt with Gold. It was built in the year 878 of the Hegyra, by a Persian King call'd Geoncha, or King of the World. That with two Towers is a very small one, but both the Towers are of a Peculiar sort of Workmanship; and shew the curiosity of the Artist. For they are built one over the other; and the uppermost is much higher and larger in the Diameter then that below, which serves for a Basis to the other. There are also three Hospitals in the City, very neat and well in repair; however there is no body lodg'd within 'em, only they give Victuals to those that come twice a day. These Hospitals at Tauris are call'd Ach-tucon, that is, Places where they spend a great deal of Victuals. At the end of the City to the West, upon a little mountain stands a Hermitage, a very neat piece of Work­manship, which they call Ayn Hali, or the Eyes of Haly. This Califf, whom their Prophet made his Son-in-Law, was as the Persians report, the most lovely man that was ever seen; so that when they would signifie any thing that is extreamly handsom they say tis Haly's Eyes. This Hermitage serves the Taurisians for a place of Devotion, and the way to it for a walk of Pleasure.

Without the City of Tauris to the East, appears a great Castle almost gon to decay, which they call Cala-Rashidé. It was built above 400 years ago by Cojé Reshid, Grand Visier to King Kazan. The Story reports, that their King had five Grand Visirs, because he did not believe that one could suf­fice to dispatch all the affairs of so great a Kingdom. Abas the Great seeing that Castle ruin'd, and judging it advantage­ously seated as well to defend the City, as to command it, caus'd it to be repair'd about fifty years since, but his Successors not being of his opinion, let it go to Ruin.

There are also to be seen the Ruins of the Principal Edifices and Fortifications, which the Turks built there, during the se­veral times that they were Masters of it. So that there are [Page 355] very few Rocks or Poynts, of Mountains joyning to the City where nothing but the Ruins of Forts and Heaps of Rubbish are to be seen. Of which I carefully survey'd a great Part; but I could not discover any thing of Antiquity. There is nothing to be digg'd up but Bricks and Flint Stones. The onely Edi­fice that remains most entire among the Turkish Buildings is a large Mosquee, the inside of which is inlay'd or rather par­getted with transparent Marble; and all the Outside variega­ted in Mosaic work. But the Persians account the Place de­fil'd, because it was built by the Turks, whose Faith they abo­minate. Among the heaps of Rubbish, of which I have spoken, without the City to the South, appear the Ruines of the Palace of the late Kings of Persia. And to the East, those of the Castle where they say Cosroes lodg'd; and where he laid up the Holy Cros for Security, and all those other sacred Spoyles which he brought away from Jerusalem.

The Piazza of Tauris, is the most spacious Piazza that ever I saw in any City of the World, and far surpasses that of Ispa­han. The Turks have several times drawn up within it Thirty Thousand Men in Battel. Toward the Evening this Piazza is fill'd with all the meaner sort of People, that repair thither for Sport and Pastime. Where some are for Gaming, some for Tricks of Activity, some for seeing Jack-Puddings and Mountebanks act their Drolleries, some for Wrestling, others for Bull and Ram-fighting, others for repeating Verses, some reciting Stories in Prose; and some to see Wolves dance. The People of Tauris take great delight to see that sort of Sport; insomuch that they bring those Dancing Wolves a hundred Leagues an end, after they are well taught: And such as are best instructed are sold for five hunder'd Crowns a piece: & many times also great Quarrels arise about these Wolves, which are not easily appeas'd. Nor is this Piazza empty in the day time; as being a Market for all sorts of Provisions, and things of small Price. There is also another Piazza at Tauris, which appears in the Plate before the de­molish'd Castle, call'd the Castle of Jafer-Pacha. This was a Place for the Rendezvous, and exercise of the Souldiers be­longing to the Garrison; now it serves for the Shambles; where they kill and dress all sorts of large Meat, which is sold in all parts of the City.

I have with great diligence endeavour'd to understand the number of the Inhabitants in Tauris, but could never have a just account; but I think I may truly reck'n it to amount to [Page 356] 550 Thousand Persons, yet several Persons in the City would make me believe there could not be less than Eleven hundred Thousand.

The number of Strangers also which are there at all times is very great: for that they resort thither from all parts of Asia. Nor do I know of any sort of Merchandize, of which there is not there a Magazine to be found. The City is full of Artists in Cotton, in Silk, and in Gold. The fairest Turbans in Persia are there made. And I have heard several of the Principal Merchants of the City affirm, that there are above six thousand Bayles of Silk wrought out in Manufacture every year. The Trade of the City extends all over Persia and Turky; into Muscovy, Tartary, to the In­dies, and over the Black-Sea.

The Air of Tauris is cold and dry; very good and healthy: nor can any man complain that it contributes to any bad dis­position of Humors. The Cold continues there a long time, in regard the City is expos'd to the North, for the Snow lies nine months in the year upon the tops of the Moun­tains that surround it. The Wind blows almost every day, Morning and Evening. It also rains very often, unless it be in the Summer: nor is the Sky but seldom without Clouds any season of the Year. It is seated in 38. deg. of Latitude, and 82 of Longit. It abounds with all things necessary for hu­man Support; so that a Man may fare there deliciously and very cheap. The Caspian Sea, which is not above forty Leagues distant, affords 'em Fish. And some they also take in the River of Agi before mention'd; but that is only when the water is low. The usual price of Bread is three pound for a penny, and of a pound of Flesh Three half pence. In the Summer there is great plenty of Venison and water Fowl. But they kill very little Venison or other wild Beasts. There are also Eagles in the Mountains; one which I have seen sold by the Country people for a groat.

Persons of Quality let fly the Sparrow-Hawk at the Eagle, which is a Flight full of Curiosity and much to be admir'd. For the Sparrow-Hawk soaring above the Eagle, stoops of a sudden with that swiftness, strikes her Pounces into his sides, and with her wings continually beating upon his head sends him in a short time to the ground: Yet sometimes it happens that both the Eagle and the Sparrow-Hawk come both to the Earth together. In the same manner the Sparrow-Hawks will many times stop the flight of hunted Stags, and render the Chace [Page 357] much more easie to the Pursuers. But if this were so ob­servable, that which I am going to say is no less remarkable: which is, That they assur'd me, that in the parts adjoyn­ing to Tauris, there grow no less then threescore sorts of Grapes.

Not far from the City in the neighbouring Parts, are to be seen great Quarries of white Marble, of which there is a sort that is transparent. The People of the Country af­firm it to be the water of a Mineral Fountain, congeal'd and hardne'd by degrees: and indeed, there are not far from it two considerable Mines, the one of Gold, and the other of Salt. But there has been no working in the Gold Mine for this long time, because they always found, that the Profit ne­ver defray'd the Expences of the Labour. There are also several mineral Waters: Of which the most frequented are those of Baringe, half a League from Tauris; and those of Seid-Kent, another Village, which is six Leagues from the City. These Waters are sulphureous, but there are others that are cold; others boyling hot.

I do not know whether there be any City in the World, concerning the Original and first Name of which, there is a greater Dispute among Modern Authors. We shall produce the Opinion of the most celebrated: only it will not be amiss in the first place to take notice that the Persians call the City Tebris, and that when we call it Tauris, as the People of Eu­rope generally do, it is only in compliance with the common Custom; and to the end, I may be the better understood. Teixera, Olearius, and some other Authors maintain, that Tauris is that City which Ptolomy, in the fifth Table of Asia, calls Gabris, the G. being put in the stead of T. an Alteration frequent in the Greek Language, as they assert. Leonclavi­us, Jovius, and Aython, will have it to be that City which the same Ancient Geographer calls Terva, instead of Tevra, by a transposition of the Letters of the word. But Terva being plac'd in Armenia, and it being certain that Tauris is seated in Media, those two Names can never be appropriated to the same City. So that without doubt, the Resemblance of the word deceiv'd those Authors. Tebris is a Persian word; and was given to the City in the year 165. of the Hegyra, as we shall declare more at large. And therefore, in regard it was sever­al years ago since Ptolomy wrote, we must believe that Terva and Gabris are both very different from Tauris. Niger asserts it to be Tigranoama; other Authors take it to be Tigranocerta. [Page 358] Some there are of Opinion that it is the Susa of Media, so fa­mous in Scripture: tho others believe it to be the City, which in the Book of Esdras is call'd Acmatha, or Amatha. Some place it in Assyria, as Ptolomy and his Interpreter. Others in Ar­menia, as Niger Cedrenus, Aython, and Jovius. Marcus Paulus Venetus places it in the Country of the Parthians. Calchondylas removes it a little farther, that is to say, into the Province, of which Persepolis was formerly the Metropolis. In short, there is a strange Confusion in the Variety of Opinions upon this Subject. But the most rational in my Opinion, is that of Molets, who has translated and commented upon Ptolomy; of Ananias, Ortelius, Golnits, Teixera, de la Vall, Atlas, and al­most all the modern Geographers, that Tauris is the Ancient and Celebrated Ecbatana, so frequently mention'd in Holy Writ, and in the Ancient Sories of Asia. Minadoi, an Italian Author, if I am not deceiv'd, has set forth a Treatise to prove it. However, give me leave to add this, that there are no Remainders to be seen at Tauris, either of the Magnificent Palace of Ecbatana, where the Monarchs of Asia kept their Courts in Summer, nor of that of Daniel; which was after­wards the Mausoleum for the Kings of Media, of which Jose­phus speaks in his tenth Book; and which he assures us stood entire in his time. If then these stately and magnificent Pa­laces were standing not above sixteen Ages ago, in the Place where Tauris now stands, the very Ruins themselves are now not to found. For among all those that are to be seen with­in the Circuit of that City, there are none but what are of Earth, Brick, or Flint, which were not Materials anciently made use of in Media for the building of sumptuous Pala­ces.

The Persian Historians unanimously agree the Time when the Foundations of Tauris were laid to be in the year 165. of the Hegyra: but they do not concur in other particulars. Some ascribe the Foundation of it to the Wife of Haron-Reshid, Califf of Bagdad, call'd Zebd-el-Caton, which signifies the Flower of Ladies. They report, that she being desperately sick, a Median Physitian cur'd her in a short time. For which the Princess not knowing what Reward to give him, bid him make choice of his Recompence; where upon the Physitian desir'd that she would build a City in his Country to the Ho­nor of his Memory. Which after she had perform'd with great Care and Diligence, he call'd the City Tebris; as a Memorial that it ow'd its Original to Physick. For that Teb [Page 359] signifies Physic, and Ris is the Participle of Ricten, to power forth, scatter abroad, or give a Largess. This is what some re­late; to which there are others that tell a Story not much unlike. For they say, that Halacoucan, General to Haron Re­shid, having been two years sick of a Tertian Ague, of which he never expected to be cur'd, was strangely deliver'd from his Distemper by an Herb, which he found in the same place where Tauris now stands. And that to perpetuate the Me­mory of such a fortunate Cure, he built this City, and call'd it Tebrift; the Ague is gone. For Teb signifies also an A­gue, and rift comes from the Verb Reften, to go away. But that afterwards, either by Corruption, or because it runs smooth­er upon the Tongue, it was call'd Tebris instead of Tebrift.

Mirzathaer, one of the most Learned Persons of Quality that are in Persia, the Son of Mirza Ibrahim, Treasurer of the Province, gave me another Reason of the Etymology: that is to say, that at the Time when this City was built, the Air was extremely wholesom and preservative against Agues: Which extraordinary Quality drew a world of Peo­ple to it; and that therefore it was call'd Tebris, as if man should say, the Expeller of Agues. The same Lord also fur­ther assur'd me, that there are in the Kings Treasury at Ispa­han, certain Medals with the Inscription of that Zebd-el-Ca­ton, which were found at Marant, a city near to Tauris, with a great number of others both of Gold and Silver, being the Coyns of the Ancient Kings of Media. And that he had ob­serv'd others, with Greek Figures and Inscriptions, wherein he remembred the word Dakianous. And then he ask'd me if I knew who that Dakianous was! To which I answer'd, that I did not understand the name, but that it might be very pro­bably the Name of Darius.

In the 69. year after the Foundation of Tauris, the City was almost ruin'd by an Earth-quake. But Montevekel, Ca­liff of Bagdad, of the Race of the Abas's who then Reigned, not only repair'd but enlarg'd it. A hundred fourscore and ten years after that, the 14 of the Month Sefer, another Earth­quake, more violent than the former, utterly ruin'd it in one night. The Persian Geography relates, how that at the same time there resided in the City, a Learned Astrologer of Shi­ras, call'd Aboutaher, or Just Father, who foretold that the said Earth-quake should happen upon the Sun's entrance in­to Scorpio, in the year 235. of the Hegyra; which answers to the year 849. of the Christian Epoche; and should over­throw [Page 360] the whole City: To which, when he found the Peo­ple would give no Credit, he went and was importunat with the Governor, to force the People out of the City. The Governor, who was also the Califfs Lieutenant, over all the Province, being always a great Admirer of judicial Astrology, gave way to his Importunity, and did all the could to send a­way the People into the Country: But finding that they still lookt upon the Prediction of the Earth-quake to be a meer Chi­mera, and suspected some mischievous Design in the Governor, he could not perswade above one half of the People to stir; which fell out to their Destruction. For the Earth-quake hap­p'ned exactly at the Hour mention'd in the Prediction, to the overwhelming of forty thousand Persons. The next year Emir Diueveron the Son of Mahamed-Rondain-Aredi, Vice-Roy of Persia, receiv'd Orders from the Calif, to rebuild it larger and fairer than it was before, and to know of that famous Astrologer Aboutaker, under what Ascendant he should begin to work: Who bid 'em begin when the Sun was in Scorpio, and assur'd 'em the new City should never be troubled more with any Earth-quakes: but that it was threatned with great Inunda­tions of Water. To which the History adds, that the Event has in all respects verifi'd the Truth of the Prediction. Af­ter this new Restoration, Tauris came to be wonderfully en­larg'd, famous and flourishing. They assure us, that in the Reign of Sultan Cazan, which is about 400 years ago, it ex­tended in breadth, North and South, from the little Moun­tain of Ain Ali, to the opposite Mountain, call'd Tchurandog, and in length from the River Agi to the Village Baninge, which is two Leagues beyond the City. The same History also ob­serves, for a Proof of the multitude of the Inhabitants where-with that City was peopl'd, that the Pestilence happening among 'em, there dy'd 40 thousand in one quarter, before they were miss'd.

In the year 896. of the Hegira, and 1490. of Christ, the Princes of the Race of Sheith-Sephi having invaded Persia, re­mov'd the Seat of the Empire from Ardevil, which was their own Country, to this City. In the year 1514. Selim took it upon Composition, two years after the King of Persia, who thought himself not safe there, retir'd from thence, and seated himself at Casbin. Selim stay'd not long at Tauris, but he carry'd away with him a wealthy Booty, and three thou­sand Families of Artificers, the most part Armenians, whom he settled in Constantinople. Soon after his Departure, the In­habitants [Page 361] of Tauris rebell'd, and falling unexpectedly upon the Turks, made a most famous havock of the Enemy, and be­came Masters of the City. But Ibraim Basha, General to So­liman the Magnificent, severely reveng'd this Rebellion in the Year 955. of the Hegyra, and Year of our Lord 1548. For he took the City by Assault, and gave the Plunder of it to his Army; who committed therein all manner of Inhumanity, even to an Excess unheard of before. In a word, all that could be call'd Cruelty, Fire and Sword was there put in Execution. The Palace of King Tahmas, and all the most considerable Stru­ctures were destroy'd, and levell'd with the Earth. Yet not­withstanding all these Calamities, the City lifted up her head again at the beginning of Amuraths Reign, and with the As­sistance of some few Persian Troops, put to the Sword all the Turkish Garrison, consisting of Ten thousand men. A­murath dismay'd at the Courage of the Taurisians, sent a power­ful Army under the leading of Osman, his Grand Visir, utterly to destroy, and wholly to subdue the Inhabitants. This Ar­my enter'd the City and pillag'd it, in the Year 994. by the Mahometan Accompt, and the Year of our Lord 1585. at what time the Visir caus'd all the Fortifications which the Turks had raised before to be repair'd. But eighteen years after this Expedition, in the Year 1603. Abas the Great re­took Tauris from the Turks with a small Force, but with that Policy, Diligence and Bravery, which is hardly to be credited. He divided the stoutest of his Soldiers into several small Bo­dies, who surpriz'd the Corps du Guard, and cut their Throats in such a moment of time, that they had no notice of it in the Town. These Troops were follow'd by a Body of five hundred Men, disguiz'd like Merchants, who enter'd the Ci­ty with a plausible Story, that they had left the Caravan a days journey behind. Which the Turks readily believ'd, be­cause it is the Custom of the Caravans, that upon their Ap­proach near to Great Cities, the Merchants go before; besides that, the Turks never dreamt but that they had been examin'd by the Corps du Guard. Abas follow'd close, and seeing his men were enter'd, flew into the City at the head of six thou­sand Men; while two of his Generals did the same on two other sides of the Town. So that the Turks, finding them­selves surpris'd, surrender'd only upon condition of sparing their Lives. And the History farther observes, that in this Expedition it was, that that same Potent Prince first order'd one Brigade of his Army to carry Musquets, and finding the [Page 362] good Effect of 'em, order'd a mixture of fire-Arms among all his Forces. Whereas before the Persians never made use of Guns in any of their Wars.

Now that we may not omit any thing in the History of Tauris, that is worthy Observation, it behoves us also to let ye know, what the Armenian Authors have wrote concerning it. They report that this City is one of the most Ancient in all Asia, and that it was formerly call'd Sha-Hasten, or the Royal Place, for that the Persian Monarchs there kept their Court: and that afterwards a King of Armenia, who was call'd Cos­roes, chang'd the Name of it from Sha-Hasten into Tauris, which in the Armenian Language signifies a Place of Revenge, for that he there defeated the King of Persia; who had murder'd his Brother. The Government of the Province of Tauris, is the Chiefest in all the Empire, and annext to the Dignity of the Captain General-ship. It brings him in thirty thousand To­mans Yearly, which amount to much above a Million sterling, besides Casualties, which are very considerable in the Asiatic Governments. The Governor bears the Title of Becler­bec. He maintains three thousand Horse; and has under him the Governors or Kan's of Cars, Oroumi, Maraga, Ardevil, and Twenty Sultans, who altogether maintain eleven Thousand Horse more.

I lodg'd at the Capuchins Inn, who were arriv'd before me. They were no more then two, whom I desir'd to keep my Ar­rival private, for about fifteen days. Which I did to put my self into an Equipage, and my Things in the same Order, as they were before my misfortunes in Mingrelia; as also to me­thodize those things which I had brought for the King, to the end I might shew 'em to the best advantage at Court. But my arrival could not be concealed. For Mirzathaer, Son of the Treasurer, and Receiver-General of the Province, and admit­ted by way of Survivor-ship, understood that there were Strang­ers at the Capuchins Inn. And therefore he sent the 22d to tell the Superior, that he wonder'd at his neglect in not coming to give him notice of the Arrival and Quality of the Europe­ans, which he entertain'd in his House. To whom the Father excus'd himself, and farther told the Messenger, that for my part, I had not fail'd to wait upon him; had I not been ill dispo­sed; but in a few days I would attend and pay him my Respects.

The 23. the same Lord, whom I had the honour to know in my first Travels, made me a Visit, together with the Son of the Can of Guenjé, and shew'd me great Civilities. He sate [Page 363] two hours in my Chamber, while I gave him an account of the affairs of Europe, particularly concerning Arts and Sci­ences. After which he was so kind as to tell me the good fortune that had befall'n his Family, and his Brothers Em­ployments. He was the eldest of three young Lords, all in good Credit, and advanc'd to Places both of Honour and Profit. His Father is Treasurer, as I said before, and Recei­ver-General of all the Kings Demeans, over all the Province of Azerbeyan. This is that Mirza Ibrahim of whom so many Accidents are related in the Story of Soleiman's Coronation. He was not then at Tauris, in regard his Employments kept him at Shirvan, a City near the Caspian Sea: whose place this Mirzathaer suppli'd in his absence. He is very well read in the Arabick, Persian and Turkish Languages: and besides a Capuchin taught him for several years the Philosophy of the Schools, and all our Sciences. He is a very Learned Personage, a Man of ripe Wit, and extreamly civil. After two hours discourse he press'd me to shew him some Jewels and Watches. To which I had no desire, as not being then in a Condition for the Reasons already mention'd. But he importun'd me so earnestly, and with an assability so becoming, that I could not refuse him. So that I shew'd him several Jewels which I had of a low value, of which he carry'd away several along with him.

In the Evening Tahmas-Bec, who supplyes the place of Go­vernor of Azerbeyan in the stead of Mansour Can his Father, who is always at Court, sent his Goldsmith to me, to tell me, I should oblige him, by coming to him the next Morning, and bringing along with me some Jewels and Rarities of small value: To which I answer'd that I would not fail him, and accordingly I went the same day, and to Mirzathaer also.

The 25. we heard while we stay'd with those Lords, the Confirmation, and full Relation of a Robbery reported a month before, and committed the December preceding upon the Great Caravan that goes from Ispahan to the Indies by land. This Caravan sets out once a Year in August, and goes through Candabar which is in Bactriana. The Robbery was very con­siderable, as well for the Number of Persons, for the vast wealth that was in the Caravan, as also for the Consequences that ensu'd. It was committed three days journey from the Frontiers of India, by the Agvan, a sort of People much like the Tartars, but tributary to the Persian. They had intelligence which way the Caravan march'd, and surpriz'd it in a very ad­vantageous [Page 364] place for such a design. They were in all five hundred Men, all well Mounted and well Resolv'd. The Caravan had a Convoy of about two hunderd, and consisted of about two thousand Persons, for the most part Indians. The Convoy made no Resistance, but betook themselves to Flight: and the most part of the Caravan, following the Exam­ple of those that should have defended 'em, shifted every one for themselves. So that there were but eleven kill'd, so small was the Resistence made. Nor was it a thing to be wonder'd at. For the Caravan's, and particularly those of the Indians, are compos'd of Armenians and Indians, people that for the most part will be Scar'd with a stick. And they that had any Cou­rage were left alone and abandon'd by those that should have assisted 'em; So that every Man strove to save one, and hap­py he that could shift for himself. The Robbery was valu'd at several hundred thousands of Pounds: but the true and just account could never be known, the Merchants upon such occasions usually disguising the Truth, some because they are afraid of loosing their Credit, others for fear it should be dis­cover'd, that they conceal a part of what they send to save Customs and Toll. The Inventory which was given into the King, sign'd by above sixty Persons concern'd, amounted to no less then three hundred thousand Toman's, or a million four hundred thousand Pound sterling; yet we were assur'd it was but the half of the Loss. The Governor of Candabar was accus'd to have been accessory to the Robbery. The King therefore sent for to have him apprehended and brought to Is­pahan upon a Camel chain'd about the Neck, with one Servant which he had the Liberty to make choice of. It was affirm'd that they who comitted the Robbery themselves, were a sort of People so ignorant, that they understood not what belong'd either to Gold or Precious Stones. They divided the Coyn'd Money one among another, Gold and Silver intermix'd toge­ther by weight, without any distinction of Mettal, and jum­bled the true Pearls with the false ones, without making any Difference. I must confess I could hardly believe this, nor had I reported it, if it had not been universally and constantly a­vow'd by all the People I discours'd with upon this occasion.

The first of May the Deputy-Governor sent to the Superi­or of the Capuchins, to know if he had no news of the Arrival of the Patriarch of Armenia, and where he had conceal'd him­self. 'Tis true we all knew well enough, but we had no mind to tell, knowing wherefore they sought for him; which [Page 365] was for no other reason then to apprehend him; and carry him Prisoner to Erivan. He had made his escape six days before, vex'd to the very Soul to find, that while the Go­vernor pretended to take so much care to pay his debts, he minded nothing more then how to squeeze a good Sum of Money for himself. For the Governor according to the foremention'd Order from the Court, had sent to seve­ral Persons about Irivan, to Levy the money for payment of the Patriarch's debts upon the Armenian Villages. But the Officers entrusted to raise the Money had so far out-stretch'd their Commission, in the outrages and violences which they committed, as to demand and levy double the sum which was impos'd. All which the Patriarch well knew: but conniv'd at it, for the advantage he was to receive thereby. And he would fain have been handling the first Money that was brought to Erivan; but the Governor was so far from suffering him to meddle, that he would not pay above half to the Customer of Constantinople's Trustees. So that of three thousand five hundred pounds which were rais'd for his Satis­faction, he would not part with above two thousand for the payment of the debts. The Patriarch complain'd of this Injustice, but could have no Remedy. All the Governor said to him was this, that if the Customer of Constantinople were pai'd in time 'twas as much as he could require, and that it did not belong to him to take Cognizance what was levy'd for that purpose. But perhaps he could not chuse but be disturb'd with the Cryes and Curses of his own Nation: for they were bitterly enrag'd against him, and his Proceedings. And therefore he resolv'd to appease 'em & withdraw himself from the oppression of the Governor of Armenia, which made him make his escape, with a design to make his Complaints to the Court. The Governor on the other side, having notice of his flight, sent away to the neighbouring Governors to stop him; and he happen'd to be at Tauris, when the Express arriv'd there. But the Armenian Inhabitants of the City pre­serv'd him, not so much by concealing him in any private absconding Place, as by their Presents to the Grandees, and for that the Injustice that was done him in his private affairs, was so publickly notorious, that it was no more then what was reasonable for them, to let him have his Liberty to go to Ispa­han for Redress.

The 6. Rustan-Bec Muster-Master General of the Army sent to give me notice of his being come to Town. For he [Page 366] understood at the Governors house where he lodg'd, that I was arriv'd at Tauris. So that I went to visit him the same day, and to renew the friendship which I had contracted with him in my first Travels. He is a Personage the most eminent for his Witt and Valour of any other in the whole Kingdom. He is Brother to the Governor of Candabar, who was accus'd for being Accessory to the Robbing of the Indian Caravan. His Father was Governor of Armenia; and Abas had a great affection for this Rustan-Bec, for the sake of his Learning, his Courage, and his Gracefull Aspect. Nor was it a­bove a year before, that the King had given him a Commissi­on to go into the Province of Azer-beyan, to take a review of the Forces and Ammunitions there; and now his Commissi­on was out, by which as I understood, he had gotten above ten thousand pounds. His Company and Discourse ex­treamly pleas'd me; for he shew'd me several Mapps of the Province which he had newly made of which he promis'd me copies; and reaching down a Plain-Sphere, which had been lately printed in Europe, he shew'd me several Faults in it: I also supp'd with him, nor would he let me go til mid­night.

The 7. he did me the Honnor to give me a Visit, and to spend all the Afternoon in my Chamber.

The 8, and the three days following, I made it my busi­ness to fetch away such parcels of Goods from Tahmas-Bec, and Mirza-thaer, which they refus'd to buy, after I had bar­gain'd with 'em for what they made choice of; tho all that I sold to both came but to a thousand Crowns, and that with­out Profit. So that I had much ado to agree with 'em; however I was paid when we all concluded. The one pre­tended in abatement of my price, his Fathers being a Favourite at Court; the other the great Credit which his Brothers and his Unckle Mirza-Sadec, being Lord High Chancellor, had with the King; and forc'd me to take Letters of Recommen­dation, which they freely offer'd to compensate the Profit which I should have got by my goods. For a man would hard­ly believe the Caresses, the Flattery, the engaging and familiar Behaviour, which the Persians Grandees will condescend to, for their own Interests, how slight soever. And they be­have themselves with such an Appearance of Sincerity, that a Traveller must very well understand the Genius of the Country and the Court, to avoid being cully'd by their kind­nesses.

[Page 367] The 13. I went to take my leave of Rustan-bec, whose oc­casions call'd him to Ardevil two days after. He did me the favour to permit me a long discourse upon the best way to manage my affairs at Ispahan; and how to come off with most advantage and success. To which purpose he gave me very good advice, and Letters of Recommendation to his Kindred and for Cosrou-Can, Collonell of the Musketeers who was one of the most powerful and considerable Lords at Court. Of which the Translation follows word for word.


We send to the most illustrious Lord of the Earth, and we give his most noble and generous heart to understand, that Mr. Chardin a French Merchant the Flower of the Christians, who had been sent into Europe by the deceased King, who has now his (a) Habitation in Heaven, to fetch from thence several costly Pieces of Jewellers work, is now re­turn'd, and lately arriv'd at this Royal City of Tauris. The Friend­ship and Confidence which we had formerly contracted together induc'd him to impart his business to me: and he requested of me, since the great King who sent him into Europe, was flown away to the Kingdom of Spirits, and become a Citizen of Paradice, that I who am his Intimate Friend, would (b) recommend him to a Person con­siderable for the Prudence of his Conduct, and the Grandeur of his Dig­nity, and who perfectly knew how to doe kind offices; to the end he might make use of him as a Conveyance to bring him into the pre­sence of the noble, most high, and most Holy King. He has been al­so particularly inform'd by me, who am your Intimate Friend, of the Great and Royal Qualities which you possess, and being charm'd by the Recitals which I made of 'em, he discover'd to me his extream desire to have the (c) Honour to be recommended to the Favour of the (d) Slaves of your Highness. I therefore who am his Real Friend, recommend him to your Glorious Cares, and whatever shall concern his Affairs and Interests. He relyes very much upon your Royal Favour, and assures himself, that your Highness understanding his Business by this Let­ter from my self your Servant, will use your endeavour that the Costly Jewels that he has brought shall come to the Blessed hands of the most noble King. A Favour so generous will fill this Illustrious Christian with large hopes, and all other Merchants of his Nation, whom Trade and Commerce draws to this Kingdom.

(a) The word which I have translated Habitation, signifies properly an Eagles Airy. And the Persians speaking of their [Page 368] deceased Kings usually make use of the words Krel-coldachion, that is to say, whose nest is in Heaven.

(b) It is in the Persian, that I would send to the Service. Which is a Phrase in the Persian Language to send a Man to the service of a great Personage, signifying to recommend him so earnestly, that the other should take that care of his Business as if he were his Domestic servant.

(c) The Persians instead of saying to have the Honour, use the word to be ennobl'd.

(d) We have already spok'n of this Rhetorical Figure, whereby the Persians mean the Lord himself, when they say, the Slaves of the Lord.

The 18. I took my leave of the Deputy Governor and Mirzathaer; being at that time both together; and both the one and the other offer'd me the savour of a Guide; for which I return'd 'em my humble thanks, and told 'em withall, that if they thought it requisite for my security, that I desir'd they would be so kind as to let me have a Guide. They answer­ed that the King's Passports which I had were a sufficient Convoy, in regard that upon shewing 'em I might command as many men as I pleas'd when or where ever I should have occasion: that I was in a Country where there was no danger; and that the offer which they made me was only to shew, how ready they were to assist me in my Journey: So that being also inform'd by several Persons of Quality at the same time, that I had no need of any company, I only requested Mirzathaer to grant me a Passport to the Officers of the Toll from Himself, that I might not be always troubled to pull out the King's. Which he caus'd to be forth with dispatch'd in the most civil terms that could be, as may appear by the following translation.


This Day being the second day of the Month Sefer the victorious, in the year 1084 Monsieur Chardin Merchant, the Flower of Merchants and of Europeans sets forward for the Court. He carrys along with him a wonderful quantity of Costly Jewels and other Rareties worthy the Lord of the World, which he had Order to buy in his own Country and to bring to the feet of the Throne, which is the true Seat of (a) Gods Vicar. We therefore give notice to all Inferior Officers, Regents, Kings, Lieutenants, Judges both Civil and Criminal, Provosts of Cities and High wayes, Receivers of Duties and Tools, to the end [Page 369] they may know, that this Person, is a Person of High Quality, and that in pursuance of an Order which he has in his Hand, that they are to furnish him where ever he goes with all things requisite, and give him all reasonable succour and assistance which he shall de­mand, and take care that he arrive not only without any misfortune or disgust, but also with all satisfastion and Honour at the Palace of the most High. They are likewise to take care they give him no occasion to perceive in any manner whatever, that they have any pre­tence to exact any Duties or Tolls from him; and they shall be certain to give an account, and be answerable as well for his Person, and for what he carrys, as for the least disgusts, and provocations they shall offer him.

The Seal was fix'd to the Margin, the Inscription of which was a Passage out of the Alcoran, signifying, My confes­sion of Faith is in the name of God, who is my Refuge, and of Mahu­med the Apostle of God.

(a) The word which I have translated Vicar, is Calife, and properly signifies a Successor. Nor had the first successors of Mahomet any other Title; and now because the People that follow'd his Laws always believ'd, that God had establish'd him Universal King and Prophet, had created him his Vicar and Lieutenant, and had giv'n him a Right to govern all the World both in Spirituals and Temporals, his Successors have constantly retain'd these pompous Titles; and made people believe that they belong to 'em by right of Succession. Now in regard the Race of the Kings of Persia, that have reign'd for these 250. years, pretend to derive their descent from Ali, Ma­homets successor and Son in Law, they attribute to themselves all his vain both Qualities and Prerogatives: which is the reason the Persians give to their Kings, that Epithet of God's Vicar.

The 20 Mirzathaer sent me one of his Domestics to know of me, whether I intended to set forward the next day with my own Servants; and withal to advise me to stay for more Company; that there was danger in going alone, especially being a stranger and having such a great Charge about me; because now the Season was come, that the Curds, Sara-neshin and Turcomans, and other Shepherds that live in the Fields in Tents, and who are most part great Thieves, quit the Plains by reason of the great Heat of the Sun; and with their Herds and their Houses retire to the Mountains for Shade and Pa­sture. True it is, that I resolv'd to have set forward the next day, but reflecting upon this good Advice, I thought it not [Page 370] worth my while to run so great a hazard for the gaining of eight or ten days time. I had also a kind of Surmise the Lord was unwilling to run himself into any premunire, and thereby seem'd to intimate that since he had caution'd me, he would not be answerable for any misfortune that should befall me. And besides some other fears possess'd my mind, which ma deme put off my Journey.

The 26. he sent me word, that the Brother of the Provost of Merchants would set out in two days; that he was a very honest Gentleman, and that if I pleas'd to have his Company, he would cordially recommend me to his Acquaintance. I returned him a thousand Thanks for his Care and Affection, and told him withal; that he could not do me a greater Kind­ness then to put me into such safe hands. And in the Even­ing I understood, that he had bin to the full as good as his word. And I was the more glad of his diligent care, because it rid me of the trouble of those Reflections I had made upon what he sent me but two days before.

The 28. I set forward from Tauris with the Provost of Mer­chants Brother. He was one of the Kings Slaves, of whom we have spoken already: attended by ten Servants with fourteen Horses. We travel'd through a lovely and even Country be­tween Mountains, directing our Course Southward. We lodg'd at Vaspinge, a great Borough, consisting of Six hundred Hou­ses; water'd with a great number of pleasant Rivulet's, that with their winding Streams enfertiliz'd the neighbouring parts on every side. It is surrounded with Gardens, and groves of Poplers and Tylets, which they plant to serve 'em for build­ing their Houses.

The 29. we travell'd five leagues; crossing over a little Hill at first; but afterwards over Plains that were wonderful pleasant, fertil and cover'd with Villages; that where we lodg'd being call'd Agi-agach. These Plains are the best Pasture-Grounds in Media, if I may not presume to say in the world. The Choicest Horses in the whole Province are there put to Grass, to the number of about three thousand. For it is the custom in Persia to put their Horses to grass for thirty five or forty days together, from April to June. Which both purges, and refreshes, fattens, and strengthens 'em: And they feed 'em thus with Grass, as well in the Stable as in the Field; but all the rest of the Summer they mingle Straw cut ve­ry small with the Grass. When I beheld those lovely Pasturages I ask'd the young Lord, with whom I travel'd, whether there [Page 371] were any better in Media or whither any other Plains so large and so delightful. Who answered me, that he had seen as rich plains as those towards Derbent (which is Media Atropatiena) but none so large and spacious. So that we may with good grounds believe; that those Plains are the Hypopothon of which the Ancient Authors write, and of which they say that the Kings of Media kept there in a Breed of fifty thousand Horses; and here it is that we must search for the Plains of Nysa, so famous for the Nysain Horses. And Stephen the Geographer asserts that Nysa was in Media. By the way I told the Gentleman my fellow Traveller, what Histories related concerning these Horses and particularly what Favorinus reports, that all the Nysain Horses were Isabella colour'd; who answer'd that it was more then he ever read or heard of. I made the same En­quiry all along as I travell'd of severall persons, both of Lear­ning and Quality, but never could learn that there was any part in Media, nor in all Persia, where all the Horses were foal'd of an Isabella colour.

The 30. we travell'd a Road that was even enough, but winding among Hills. After two hours travel we pass'd by the Ruins of a great City, which they said had flourish'd there in former times; but being almost ruin'd was utterly destroy'd by Abas. Upon the left hand of the Road are to be seen large Circles of Hew'n Stone; which the Persians affirm to be a great sign, that the Caous making war in Media, held a Counsel in that place: it being the Custom of those People, that every Officer that came to the Council brought with him a Stone to serve him instead of a Chair. And these Caous were a sort of Gyants. Herodotus also reports somthing like to this, of a Persian Army that went against the Scythians; for he tells you that the Army being in Thrace, Darius shew'd 'em a place, and commanded that every one should lay a Stone therein as he pass'd along. But that which is most to be ad­mir'd, after observation of these Stones, is this, that they are so big that eight Men can hardly move one, and yet there is no place from whence they can be imagin'd to have been fetch'd, but from the next Mountains, that are six Leagues off. We met upon the Road, with three large and fair Inns, and lodg'd at a Village call'd Caratchiman, seated at the Foot of a little Hill: it was not so big as Vaspinge, but altogether as pleasant.

The 31. we travel'd four Leagues over Hills and Dales, all fertil and delightful to admiration. In the mid-way we [Page 372] pass'd through a Village full of Popler Groves and Gard­ens, and well water'd. It was call'd Turcman, because that in the Fields that environ it, there are a great number of Shep­herds with their Flocks that are call'd by that Name. We stopp'd at Pervaré, another Village, as handsome and as large as Turcman, seated also in a bottom at the foot of a Hill, all a­long by the Banks of a little River.

The 1. of June We travell'd two Leagues in a level Coun­try, as even as that we had cross'd the day before; and four Leagues among the Mountains where the way was rugged and very uneasie. A little River but very rapid passes through the Midst of it; and by reason of it's winding course oblig'd us to pass it several times, to shorten our way. We alighted at Miana. This is a Town seated in the middle of a fair and large Plain encompassed with Mountains, which upon that Road separates Media from the Countrey of the Parthians. Which is the reason that the Village car­rys that Name, for that Miane properly signifies, the par­ting of several Countries. To this Town there belongs a kind of Custom-House, where the Officers are said to be very tyrannical in their exactions upon the meaner sort of People that travel that way. But they understood who the Gentle­man was who travel'd with me, and who I was; So that they durst not so much as shew themselves; for there is that good order tak'n in Persia, and almost all over the East; that the Receivers of all Sorts of Tolls and Duties, have no per­mission or Authority to demand any thing of any eminent Person, of any Officer of the Kings, how inconsiderable soever his office may be, nor of any Stranger of Quality. For should they be so bold, as to examin what they carry'd, the offence would be punish'd with Bastinados.

The 2. we spent so much time in fording the River of Miana, and found the Mountain beyond it, that we were to cross, to be so rugged, that we could not travel above three Leagues. We were two hours before we could find the Ford, and get our Sumpters over, which at length we got over safe without any Damage, thanks be to God; and five hours crossing the Mountain which was very high, and very steep, being the Bounds between Media and Parthia. These two spacious Provinces are parted by a Ridge of Moun­tains, which are a Branch of Mount Taurus, that extends it self from Europe to China, crossing, as has been said, Circassia, Mingrelia, Georgia, the Country of the Parthians, Bactriana, [Page 373] the Province of Candabar, and the Indies. At the top of the Mountain upon the point of a Rock, we spy'd a large ruin'd Ca­stle, which the Persians call the Virgins Castle, alledging that Ar­taxerxes caus'd it to be built to imprison therein a Princess of the Blood. But Abas the Great caus'd it to be utterly demoli­shed, as serving only for a Retreat to a number of Robbers that made themselves as it were soveraign Lords of the Moun­tain. On both sides of the Mountain are large Causeys, which that great Prince caus'd to be made, for the ease of Travellers in the Winter. Towards the end of our journey we pass'd a large River, call'd Kesil-beusè over a fair Bridge, and lay at Semelé. Which is an Inn or Caravanseray built near the Bridge to lodge Travellers that can reach no farther.

The River Kesil-beuzé is much larger and more rapid than that of Miana, and serves to bound Media from the Country of the Parthians. And now no sooner have you pass'd this River, but you may easily perceive the change of the Air. For whereas the Temperature of Media is somewhat moyst and cloudy, which is the reason of high Winds and much Rain, and that the Soil is fruitful of it self, whatever anci­ent Authors have wrote to the contrary, the Parthian Air is dry to the extremest degree; insomuch that for six Months to­gether you shall neither see any Rain or any Clouds: but the Soil is sandy, and Nature produces nothing without good Hus­bandry and Pains.

The Country of the Parthians, which was so long the Seat of the Empire of Asia, is the largest and principal Province of the Persian Monarchy. It is all the proper demeans of the King, nor has it any Governor, as the most part of the rest of the Provinces. The Persians bound it to the East, by the Pro­vince of Corasson, or Coromitrena; to the South, by that of Fars; which is properly Persia; to the West, by Azerbeyan or Media; to the North, by Guilan, and Maganderaan, which compose the Province of Hyrcania. This Province extends it self at least two hundred Leagues in length, and an hun­dred and fifty Leagues in breadth. The Air is very dry, and and the most healthy for the most part of any in the world. It is more mountainous then level. The Mountains are also very bare, and to speak in general terms, produce nothing but Thistles and Briers: but the Plains are very fertile and pleasant, where there is any Water: otherwise the Soyl is ve­ry barren. This large Province contains above forty Cities, which is very much in Persia, as not being an Empire peopl'd proportionably to its Extent.

[Page 374] The Orientals call the Country of Parthia Arac-agem; that is to say, Persian Arack. They call it likewise Balad-el-Gebel, or the Country of the Mountains, for the reason's already recited. My Opinion is, that the Scythians, from whom, as ancient Au­thors hold, the Parthians deriv'd their Original, were the les­ser Tartars, that inhabit to the North of Persia, now call'd Yuzbecs, and formerly Bactrians; and that that same Arsaces, who founded the Empire of the Parthians, was a Native of the same Country with Tamerlan, Halacou and those other Tartar Princes, that made such great and famous Conquests in the Ages last past.

The 3d. we travell'd four Leagues keeping on to the South, as when we first set out of Tauris: the Road was very good, only we had Mountains very near us upon the right and left hand. We lay at Sirsham; which is a large Inn, adjoyning to three or four small Villages, but seated in a sandy and dry Soyl; and there the Officers that gather the Duties upon Goods transported out of the Kingdom keep their Post.

The 4th. we travell'd seven Leagues, through bushy Plains and Sands; and we were forc'd to make several windings and turnings, by reason of several Mole-Hills and little Sand-Hills in our way. Nevertheless both on one the side and t'other, at a distance we could see a Champian Country, very delight­ful and fertile, and Villages here and there which yielded a very delightful Prospect; the River Zenjan wat'ring those Vil­lages. We lay at a large Caravanseray call'd Nichè, built be­tween five spacious Villages.

The 5th. we travell'd six Leagues through a Road more pleasant and less crooked, and observing the same Course as the day before; and lodg'd at Zerigan, a little City, that con­tains not above two thousand Houses. It is seated in a very narrow Plain between two Mountains that enclose it, not above half a League one from the other. The Soyl of Zerigan is fertile and pleasant, and the Air wholsome and cool in the Summer. The City without is surrounded with Gardens, that yield both Pleasure and Profit, but within the Town there is nothing remarkable but the great Ruins.

The History of Persia records this City to have been founded in the Reign of Ardechir-babezon, several Ages be­fore Christ; and farther adds, that it consisted of twenty thou­sand Houses, which is very probable, for that heaps of Rub­bish, and Ruins are to be seen for a mile together round about [Page] [Page]


[Page] [Page] [Page 375] it. Tamerlan the first time he passed through it, utterly demo­lish'd it: but the second time, that is to say, in his Return out of Turkey, he order'd a part of it to be rebuilt, understanding that it had been for a time a flourishing Nursery of Arts and Sciences; and had produced several learned and famous Men. For which reason it is much celebrated among the Eastern Au­thors. The Turks and Tartars thatravag'd Persia, since Tama sack'd and destroy'd it several times, and it is no longer ago then since the beginning of this last Age, that they began to rebuild it.

The 6th. Our road lay through a Country, the most lovely delightful that every Eye beheld, through a fair Plain where the road was level and very straight. Several pleasant Streams glide through it, that render the Soyl very fertil. The whole Plain is so strow'd with Villages, that they are hardly to be number'd, with so many Groves and Gardens, that for me the most pleasant Land-skips, and charming Prospects in the World. We alighted after a journey of five Leagues at a Cara­vanserai call'd Queurk-boulag, over against and within a good Ca­nons shot of Sultanie.

This City is seated at the foot of a Mountain, as you may see by the Draught which I have made of it. It seems a far off very neat and well built, and inflames a Man with a Cu­rosity to see it: but when you approach near it, it ceases to be the same thing, and appears less beautiful then when ye are within it. Yet there are some publick Buildings very remarka­ble, as well for the Structure as the Architecture, together with about three thousand Habitations. The people of the Coun­try affirm, that this City took up formerly half a League of Ground more to the West then it does, and that the ruin'd Churches, Mosques and Towers, which are to be seen at that distance on that side, stood in the heart of the City. Which probably may be true, seeing that Histories assure us that it was once the Metropolis and biggest City of the Kingdom: nor are there many Cities in the world, where there are vaster Ru­ins to be seen. Provision also is there very plentiful and ve­ry cheap. The Air is likewise very wholesome, but subject to change. For in all the Seasons it changes almost every hour. The Evenings, Nights and Mornings being cold, but all the day long very hot; from one Extreme to another. Sul­tany lies in 36. deg. 18. min. of Latitude. and 48. deg. 5. min. of Longitude, and is govern'd by a Sultan.

Some Histories of Persia relate, that this City is one of the most ancient in all the Country of the Parthians; but that it [Page 376] is not known who was the Founder. Others on the other side affirm, that the foundations of it were laid when the Sun was in Leo, by the order, and in the Reign of Ergon-Can, the Son of Abkei-Can, and Grand-child of Halacou-Can; and that because it could not be finish'd in his days, his Son Jangou-Sultan compleated the work and call'd it Sultania, or the Royal City. For Sultan properly signifies a King: from whence comes Seltenet, the usual Persian word for a Kingdom or Monarchy. And the Monarchs of Asia, who reign'd since the seventh Age, assum'd to themselves the Titles of Souldans, from whence came the Ti­tle of Soldan given to the last King's of Egypt; and that of the Emperors of Turkey, who call themselves Sultans. Neverthe­less I have heard some learned Men say, that this City was never call'd Sultanié or Royal, till the time that the last Kings of Persia, who also assum'd the title of Sultans, came to keep their Courts in this Place. On the other side, if this City were built out of the Ruins of Tigranocerta, as several Modern European Authors maintain, it may be said that the name which now it bears, was form'd out of that Ancient Name. For Certa in old Prsian, signifies a City, so that Tigranoterta signifies no more then the City of Tigranes, who was King of Armenia, as is well known to every ordinary Reader. However I cannot tell, how it is pos­sible for us to take Sultanié for Tigranocerta; since Tacitus tells us that Tigranocerta was but thirty seven Miles from Ni­sibis, a City which every one knows to be seated in Mesopota­mia, upon the River Tigris, 25 Leagues from Nineve. And therefore I must say, as I said before, the Geography of the Ancients is the most confused thing in the world; the Wri­ters were misinform'd, and it is impossible to bring 'em to a­gree together. I should not assert this so confidently, did I not see, that other Modern Relators commit also very great Errors in what they publish, either upon the observations or report of others: so that there is not not any one from whom I might not produce examples sufficient to confirm this Truth.

This City has been several times laid in heaps: First, Cotza Reshid King of Persia whom other Historians call Giausan; for that it had rebell'd, and tak'n up Arms against him. After that, by Tamerlan: and after him by several other both Turkish and Tartarian Princes. The Predecessors of Ishmael Sophi kept their Court there for some time; and it is said that some Ages be­fore, the last Kings of Armenia resided there; at which time it contain'd above four hundred Churches. And it is very [Page 377] true, that there are a great number in it which are ruin'd, but not one that is entire, nor doe there inhabit in it any Christians.

The 7th we travell'd six Leagues in a Country more lovely then that already describ'd, where we came to a Village at the end of every thousand paces: and we could see at a distance an infinite number of others, surrounded with Groves of Wil­lows and Poplers: and environ'd which delightful Meadows. We lay at Hibié, a very fair and fair and large Village; and seated near to a Town that is wall'd and well peopl'd, which is call'd San-cala: which word being abbreviated signi­fies the Castle of Hasan.

The 8th. Our Horses were so tir'd that we could get no farther then Ebher, which is no more then two leagues from Hibié; though we travell'd all the way over most of those de­lightful and pleasant Plains already mention'd, directing our Course still to the South. Now that which makes those places so delightful is the great Number of Rivulets, with which they are water'd, and the good Husbandry of the Inha­bitants. For as I have already said, the soyl of the Parthians is dry and barren of it self; nevertheless wherever it can be water'd, it produces whatever the Manurer pleases to have it, fair and good in its Kind.

Ebher is but a small City, counting only the buildings; for it contains not above two thousand five hundred Houses; but to those Houses belong so many Gardens, and those so large, that it is good riding for a Horse-man to cross it in half an hour. A small River, that bears the name of the City, runs through the middle of it, from one end to the other. It is said to be the same City which the Ancients call'd Baron­tha. The situation of it is jolly and delightful, the Air very wholsom, and the Soyl produces plenty of Fruit and other Provisions. The buildings are tolerably handsom; and the Inns, the Taverns and other publick Structures very well, considering the Place. It contains three spacious Mosquees; and in the middle of the City are to be seen the Ruins of a Castle built of Earth. It lies distant from the Equator 36 deg. 45. min. and from the fortunate Islands, 48. deg. 30. min. Which Longitude, and all others that I observe, are tak'n from the new Persian Tables. It is govern'd by a Darogué, or Mayor; and the Mirtshecar-bashi, or Chief Huntsman, has his Assigna­tions of Money charg'd upon the Revenue of this City. Which assignation is call'd Tahvil. Of the signification of which word we shall speak more at large in another Place.

[Page 378] The Persian Geographers assert that Ebher was built by Kei-Cosrou the Son of Sia-bouch, that Darab-Keihoni, or Darius, began to build the Castle, that Skender-roumy, that is Alexander the Great, finish'd it, and that the City has been ruin'd and sack'd as of­ten as the rest which are near it. However she has so well recover'd her self, that, at present, there is but little appear­ance of those former havocks. The same Geographers ob­serve, that it is one of the most Ancient Cities of that Province; and perhaps it may be either Vologoo-certa, or Messabetha, or Ar­tacana, of which there is so frequent mention made in the Ancient Stories of Persia.

At Ebher they begin to speak Persian, both in the Cities and Country: whereas all the way before the Vulgar Language is Turkish, not altogether as they speak it in Turkey, but with some little difference. From Ebher to the Indies they speak Persian, more or less neat, as the people are more or less at a di­stance from Shiras, where the purity of the Persian Language is spoken: So that at Ebher, and in the parts thereabouts, 'tis but a rude and clownish sort of Dialect which the people make use of.

The 9th we travell'd nine Leagues over Plains delightful ev'n unto Admiration: and indeed more lovely Vales are no where to be seen. After we had rode three Leagues, we pass'd through a large Town, almost as big as Ebher, call'd Parsac; and a little farther we left Casbin upon the left hand, five Leagues distant from us: of which I made the follow­ing description in the year 1674. during a residence of four Months that I stay'd at Court.

Casbin is a great City seated in a delightful Plain, three Leagues from Mount Alou-vent: which is one of the highest and most famous Mountains in all Persia, and a Branch of Mount Taurus, that crosses the Northern Parts of Parthia, as has bin already said, and separates it from Hyrcania. The length of this City is from North to South. In former times it was surrounded with Walls, of which the Ruins are still to be seen, but at present it lies open on every side. It is 6 miles in cir­cumference, containing twelve thousand Houses, and a hundred thousand Inhabitants; among which there are forty families of Christians, and a hunder'd of Jews, all very poor. One of the fairest places that is to be seen in this City, is the Hippo­drome, which they call Maydan-sha, or the Royal Piazza, 700 paces in length, and 250 in breadth, and made after the Mo­del of Ispahan. To the Royal Palace belong seven Gates, of [Page 379] which the chief is call'd Ali-capi, or the High-Gate; on which there is an Inscription in Letters of Gold, to this effect. May this Gate always be open to good Fortune: by that confession which we make, that there is no God but God. The Gardens belonging to the Palace are very beautiful, kept in good order, and plant­ed Checquer-wise. King Tahmas, built this Palace, at first a small thing, according to a draught given him by a Turkish Architect. Abas the Great quite alter'd and enlarg'd it. There are but few Mosques at Casbin; The chiefest of which by them call'd Metshid-guima, or the Mosque of the Congregation, was founded by Haron-Reshid, Califf of Bagdat, in the year of the Hegyra 170. The Royal Mosque call'd Metshid-sha is one of the largest and fairest in all Persia, being seated at the end of a spacious Street, planted with fair Trees, which begins from one of the Gates of the Palace Royal. This Mosque was almost all built at the expences of Tahmas, and in his Life time: his Father Ishmael having laid the Foundations, but dying before they came to be even with the street. There are also several handsome buildings among the Caravanserai's or Publick Inns. That which they call the Royal Inn, con­tains 250 Channels, has a large Fountaine planted with Trees, in the middle of the Court, and two Gates, which the lead in the Court from two streets full of shops where the most costly sort of Merchandises are sold. But chiefest Grace, and Ornament of Casbin consists neither in Inns, nor Baths, nor in Bazars, nor in Markets, Tobacco, Coffee, or strong-water Houses, where the Persians debauch them­selves; but in the great number of Palaces of the Persian Gran­dees, which they keep in their possession from Father to Son, by reason of the long residence of the Court at Casbin from time to time. But there are not so many Gardens in Casbin, as in most part of the other City of that Province, because the soyl is Sandy and dry for want of water, there being only a little River which is no more then an Arm of the River Charoud, not suffici­ent to to supply the Grounds about it. So that they are forc'd to bring their water from the Mountain in Subterraneal Channels, which they call Kerises, that empty themselves into Vaults thirty foot deep; which though it be cool, is nevertheless heavy and insipid. Which want of water is also the reason that the Air of Casbin is heavy, thick and not very healthful, especially in Summer; by reason that the City not having a running stream, has neither any sinks to carry away the filth of the Town. Yet notwithstanding this same scarcity of [Page 380] water, the City abounds in Meat and all manner of Provisions, for that the Plains that lie round about it are so well water'd, that they feed a world of Cattel, and produce a prodigious plenty of Corn and Fruits. Among the rest the fairest Grape in Persia, which they call Shahoni, or the Royal Grape, being of a Gold Colour, transparent and as big as a small Olive. These Grapes are dry'd and transported all over the King­dom. They also make the strongest Wine in the World, and the most luscious, but very thick, as all strong and sweet wines usually are. This incomparable Grape grows only upon the young Branches, which they never water. So that for five months together they grow in the Heat of Summer, and under a scorching Sun, without receiving a drop of water ei­ther from the skie or otherwise. When the Vintage is over, they let in their Cattel to browze in the Vineyards; afterwards they cut off all the great Wood, and leave only the young stocks about three foot high, which need no propping up with Poles, as in other places, and therefore they never make use of any such supporters. There is also great Plenty of Pistachio's in those parts, where the Air is very hot in the Summer all the day long, by reason of the high Mountain that lies to the North. But on the other side the Nights are so cold, that if a Man expose himself never so little to the air, after he is undrest, he is sure to fall sick. Casbin lies in 85. deg. and 5. min. of Long. and in 36. deg. and 35. min. of Latitude.

The most part of our European Chorographers who have dis­cours'd of the Cities of Persia, affirm Casbin to be the ancient Ar­sacia, and that before it was call'd Europa till the Parthians gave it that name from Arsaces, the first of their Emperors; that is it the same with that City, which the Greeks call'd Ragea, and the ho­ly Scripture Rages of Media. Some are of opinion, that it was that same Casbira of which Strabo makes mention, but the Persian Histories will not allow it to be so ancient. The History entitl'd Elbeijon, or the Explication, relates, That this was founded by Shapour the Son of Ardeshir-babecon, and that he gave it the name of Shaepour, as much as to say, the City of the Kings Son. For Shae, signifies a King; and Pour in the ancient Persian, a Son. Whence the name of Sha-pour, which the ancient Greeks call Sapores. The History entitl'd Teduine, affirms, that the City which was call'd Shaepour was not Casbin, and that it was not built on the same place where Casbin now stands; but at least three Leagues above, toward the West, at the Concourse [Page 381] of two Rivers, the one named Haroud, already mention'd, which springs from the Mountain Alou-vent, and the other call'd Ebher-roud, or the River of Ebher.

I have heard several Persons of Quality affirm, that there are in that place vast heaps of Ruins to be seen; and all Au­thors agree that the two Towns, call'd Sartshé, not far from thence, were built in the Reign of Ardeshir-babecon. Another Persian History, compos'd by an Author call'd by the name of Ambdalla, relates that Casbin had its first Rise from a Castle which the King last mention'd caus'd to be built, to stop the Inroads of the Deilemites, that came down from Mount Alouvent, and ravag'd all the Territory. That this Castle was seated in the middle of the City, where is now the Royal Pi­azza of Casbin, and that it was ruin'd by the Arabians in the time of Osman, one of Mahomets first successors. And indeed al­most all their Histories make mention of this Castle, and say, that after it was demolish'd it was rebuilt again much larger then before, and a great Town rais'd round about it. Mou­sael-hadibilla, the Son of Mahomet-mehdy, Califf of Bagdat, caus'd it to be surrounded with walls in the 170. year of the Hegyra, and about a thousand paces from it built a little City, which he call'd by his own name Medina-Moussi, which name one large Ward or Quarter of Casbin carrys to this day. Moubarec-suzbee one of the Califfs free'd Servants, who had the Government of the Province, and to whom the work was recommended, built another City, at an equal distance, and call'd it Moubarekié, for the preservation of his name, which the Persians some time after call'd Moubarec-abad. Moubarec signifying blessed, abada habitation.

Haron-Reshid Brother and Successor to Mousa-elhadi, joyn'd these three little Cities into one, by filling up the void space with a great number of buildings; and then order'd the whole to be encompass'd with Walls and Fortifications. Which work was begun in the 190 year of the Hegyra. Haron also had a design to have made it a Bull-wark against the Incursions of the Hircanians and Deilamites, and a Magazine for the warr which he was intending against Iberia, and withal a place of Trade: but dying not long after, the work remain'd imper­fect. In the year 245, in the Reign of Muktadis-billa-Mousi, Nufa's son, who had shaken off the Yoak of that Pontiff, and usurp'd the Royal Authority in Persia, finish'd the Walls and Fortifications, and gave to the City, the name of Casbin, or Casvin, for the word is sometimes pronounc'd with a b, and sometimes with a v, from a word that signifies Punishment [Page 382] or pain, because he imprison'd in that Gastle all his Grandees which he design'd to punish. There is also another reason giv'n for the Denomination, that is to say, because this City was once a place of Exilement. Tho Acemberg, an Armenian Author, is of a different opinion; for he believes that the Ci­ty of Casbin was so call'd by King Casbin, after his own name.

In the year 364. a part of the Wall being fall'n down, Sa­heb Califf Ishmael, chief minister of state to Alié-fecre-deulet, King of Persia, caus'd the Ruins to be repair'd, and being al­most utterly destroy'd in the Civil Wars, Emir sherif-abouali Ja­fer, took care of its Restauration, and in the year, 411. caus'd the work to be follow'd so close, that within two Years, there was no signe of any Ruins. The History of Casbin makes mention of two other fatal disasters that be­fell it, occasion'd by Earth-quakes. The first in the year 460. that overturn'd all the walls and a third part of the Build­ings: And the second which did not so much mischief as the first, in the year 562. at what time Mahomet, the Son of Abdalla-elmegare, who reign'd in the Country of the Parthians, remov'd his Court near Casbin, to view the Ruins, and take care of the Reparations. And because that the walls which were then only of Earth did not seem sufficiently beautiful nor strong enough for so great a City, he caus'd that which the Earth-quake had left standing, to be pull'd down, and rais'd up other Walls of red Brick. The Walls were a hundred thousand and three hun­dred paces in compass, and at the end of every five hundred paces fortifi'd with Towers. The Tartars and Turks utterly ruin'd these Towers and Walls at several Times, and those that were rebuilt in their Room, after the destructions of eve­ry new invasion. The Ruins of which are still to be seen, as I have said already.

After all Casbin was restor'd and rebuilt as you see, it has en­joy'd forabove these three hundred years both peace and plenty, by the Advantage of its situation, which renders it so convenient for the Trade of Iberia, Hyrcania, and Media, with the Southern Provinces of the Kingdom. In the 955. year of the Hegyra, King Tahmas, despairing to defend Tauris against Solyman, retir'd to Casbin, and made that City the Metropolis of his Kingdom: finding it convenient for all Seasons in the Year. There he spent the Winter; in the Summer he retir'd three or four Leagues into the Country, and liv'd in Tents, at the foot of Mount Alouvent, in a place abounding with cool Springs [Page 383] and pleasant Shades. His Successors liv'd after the same Rate, till Abas the Great, who the first year of his Reign remov'd his Court to Ispahan. And there are several Reasons alledg'd for this Change. Some attributed it to the Air of Casbin, which the King did not find so healthful: Others affirm that he was frighted by the Astrologers, who told him, that the Stars threat'ned him with several Misfortunes if he staid at Casbin. But others assert, it was only the better to accom­plish the design of building a new City, as being over per­swaded, that it was the surer way to Eternize his Memory then all his great Actions. But the most probable Reason was one which I heard from a great Lord, who was high­ly esteem'd by that Potent Prince, That when he had laid the design of those Conquests which he made with so much Renown, as well to the East as to the South, he forsook Cas­bin and remov'd to Ispahan, that he might be nearer the Coun­try which he intended to Conquer.

However it were, the City is much decay'd, since the Re­moval of the Royal Residence, and that it has lost all those Perquisites that set forth the Pomp and Grandeur os a sump­tuous Court. The Successors of Abas have resided there for one or two years together, and the deceas'd King was upon his way thither when he dy'd. For the City had earnestly im­portun'd him by Presents and Requests, and were so over­joy'd to understand his Majesty was coming, that they presen­ted the Messenger that brought the news with a Present of three hundred Tomans, which amounts to about one thousand Guines.

Now the chief advantage which accrews to the City from the Court's residing there, is the consumption of a vast quan­tity of Provision which the Country produces, and which they cannot export, in regard the Countries round about have no need of supplies.

Now besides all that has been said, that renders Casbin a famous City, we must not forget rhat it has been a place ce­lebrated for the Birth of several great men: among the rest Locman, highly esteem'd for the Fables which he so well com­pos'd in imitation of Esop, that some learned Men uphold it to be the same Book.

The City is govern'd by a Darogué, or Mayor, who is cho­sen every Year, and in that Year makes his office worth him six hundred Tomans; or two thousand pounds. In their Judicial Acts and Records, they give to this City the additi­onal [Page 384] name of Daral-Seltenet, or the Seat of Royalty; because the Kings of Persia who reign'd in the 15. and 16. Ages there kept their Court as has been said.

We ended our days Journey at Kiaré, a large Village con­sisting of five hundred Houses; in the midst of which upon a rising Ground stands a Castle of Earth half ruin'd. The Remainder of several strong Places in this Country demo­lish'd in the 13. Age: Before which time Invasions were so frequent, and so sudden, and the Civill Warrs so tedious and so furiously carry'd on, that they were forc'd to fortify them­selves every where, and defend themselves from all sorts of Persons: for such like Castles are to be seen in all the Vil­lages, and great Towns, that are under the Jurisdiction of Casbin.

The 10. we travell'd four Leagues in a plain and plea­sant Country, as in the preceding days; still directing Course to the South. And our manner of travelling all the way, par­ticularly from Miané, which is upon the Confines in the Even­ing an hour or two before Sun set, rode a Journey, of five or six Leagues by Midnight, or thereabours. Longer Journeys of eight or nine Leagues held us almost all night long which is the general way of travelling over all the East in Summertime, to avoi'd the heat of the Sun, which would melt both Man and Beast in the day time. In the night we travell'd a greater pace and more at ease: the Servants walk a foot with less trouble; and the Masters themselves are glad to walk sometimes, when they find themselves sleepy, and to shake off those little shiverings caus'd by the Coolness of the Air; besides that it is a great ease to the Horses. When you get to your Inn, you go to Bed, and fetch up that sleep in the day, which you lost in the night. Another advantage of tra­velling by night is this, that the Beasts of Carriage, rest all the time that the Heat and the Flies molest 'em, and are bet­ter lookt after, while the Servants dress 'em by day-light; besides that in the day time Provisions both for Horse and Man are more ready to be had. And then again the Hosts of the Caravanseray, having slept almost all the day for want of Employment, are then up and ready at all Commands.

The first thing which the Grooms do, at the first coming into the Inn, is to walk the Horses, then they cloath them and loosen their Girts. About an hour or two after, they give 'em to eat, and then the Grooms go to sleep: about nine or ten a Clock every body rises, and eats a light Breakfast; [Page 385] after that the Grooms dress their Horses, and the Cooks get ready their Victuals. In the mean time the Master betakes himself again to his Rest, or else otherwise employs himself. About four a Clock they meat their Horses with Barley (for they never give 'em Oats in the East) and then put on the Sad­dle: at which time Supper is serv'd in. While the Master Sups, the Cook cleanses the Kitchin Furniture, and the Valet de Chambre puts up the Masra's, which is a kind of Portmantle where the Bed and Bed-cloaths are put up, with as much Con­venience as in a Chest, of which one Horse will carry two. Then the Servants go to Supper, while the Master gets him­self ready and puts on his Boots. When the Servants have supp'd, which is soon done among the Asiatics: the Cook puts up his Utensils, and the Groom bridles and girts up the Hor­ses, and the rest fold up the Carpets, or do what else belong to their Duties: lastly, they load and so depart. They that have not seen the Fashions of the East, will hardly believe with what Conveniency Men travel in those Parts. Howe­ver it is very great, though a man may be said to carry a whole House a long with him: and the reason is, because e­very Servant knowing what he has to do, every thing is dis­patch'd in an Instant.

We lodg'd at Segs-abad, which signifies the Habitation of Dogs; being a Town as large as Kiare; seated in a fair Plain, where there are a great number of Villages. There are no Inns at either of those two places, but in each fifteen or twenty great Houses, which the Owners keep open for the Entertainment of Travellers, and which are kept much more cleanly than the Caravanserais. There is also much better Accommodati­on, but at a dearer rate: For the Host not daring to demand either for his Lodging or his Trouble, which is not the Cu­stom, he pays himself by the Provender and Provisions which he sells his Guests at his own price, whereas in the Caravanserais every thing is tax'd.

The 11. we travell'd eight Leagues: the first two over Mole-hills and little hills, where the way was somwhat rugged; the rest over a fair champaign Ground full of Villages, and for the most part well manur'd. It is said to be the place where the Battel was fought between Lucullus and Mithridates, and which the defeat of Crassus render'd yet more famous in the Roman History.

We alighted at an Inn call'd Koskeirou, one of the fairest and largest that ever was built in Persia. There are belong­ing [Page 386] to it two Gardens, two Cisterns, a Bath, and a small Canal: being altogether the Gifts of the Chief Wife of Abas the Great. She founded this place, and settled a Revenue of Fourscore Pounds to pay four Servants that were to lodge in the Inn, meerly to keep it clean, and to wait upon Travellers. But the fourscore Pounds have bin since converted to other uses, through the Covetousness of the Trustees. Which is the reason that the Caravanserai lies very nasty every where, and runs to ruin for want of good keeping. It cost four Thousand Tomans the Building, which comes to eighteen thousand Pounds. There are also in Persia other Inns, besides Bridges, Causeys, and Hospitals, remaining Monuments of the Charity of that Princess; which have render'd her Name famous, and if we may believe public Report, she expended in Pious Works, no less than a hundred thousand Tomans, which make about four hundred thousand Pounds Sterling.

The 12. we travell'd eight Leagues, three over the plea­sant Plains where stands Koskeirou; and five in a deep Coun­try, where the Road is somewhat crooked and rough. Two hours before day we arriv'd at Sava, and lodg'd in the Sub­urbs that lie upon the high Road.

Sava is a great City seated in a sandy and barren Plain, within sight of Mount Alouvent. It is two miles in Circuit, and girt with walls, but thinly peopl'd: for unless it be the Heart of the City, the rest runs to ruin for want of Inhabi­tants. The Walls are also in a bad condition, nor is there any thing remarkable round about it; tho formerly it has been a fair City, as the ruins of several great Structures de­monstrate. There runs a small River through, and a good number of Canals. The Soyl is dry and sandy; producing nothing without Art and Industry; yet it is beautify'd with a great number of Gardens. The Air is there very hot, and unhealthy. It lies 35. deg. 50. min. of Lat. 85. deg. of Longitude; and is govern'd by a Derogué or Mayor

The Histories of Persia unanimously consent, that the whole Plain of Sava, was formerly a Salt Marsh or Lake, like to that Lake which is call'd the Salt-Sea, not above twenty Leagues from this City to the East, and which is cross'd over a Crusey thirty Eeagues in length, as ye travel from Ispahan into Hyrcania; but those Histories do not agree upon the time that this Marsh was dry'd up. Some fabulously report that it was the same night that Mahomet was born. Others that it was Haly, his Son-in-Law, who drain'd away the waters [Page 387] by a Miracle. And the same Histories report, that he wrought that Miracle, onely by the pronuntiation of one word; and that he did it in favour to the Inhabitants of Com, who took his part against the Father-in-Law of Mahomet. They also add, that those People, to preserve the Memory of so great an Accident, built a City in the midst of that same drain'd Fenn, and laid the first Stone upon the Sun's entring into Ge­mini. The northern People ruin'd it in the fourth Age of Mahumetism. But Coja-Sehid-el-din the Son of Melec-Sheref-el-din-Savegi rebuilt it forty years after that, much more stately than it was before its Destruction, wall'd it, and pav'd it with red Bricks. Sometime after that Coja-Séhid-el-din enlarg'd it to the North, and brought the water to it through ten Chan­nels, and built a spacious Mosque in the Eastern part of it, upon the same Foundation where Suyed-Eshac, the Son of I­mam-Mousa-Cazem had built one several Ages before. Close adjoyning to that Mosque stands the sumptuous Tomb of Bercordar-bec Grand Master of the Ordnance of Persia, who dy'd of a Dropsie in that City about ten years ago.

Just over against Sava, to the East, at the distance of four Leagues, stands a place of Pilgrimage, the most famous for the Devotion of the Persians. They call it Ech-mouil, that is to say, Samuel; for they believe that Prophet was there interr'd; o­ver his Tomb there is built a most sumptuous Mausoleum in the midst of a magnificent Mosque. Opposite to this, that is Westward, nine miles from the City, under the same Pa­rallel, are to be seen some footsteps here and there of that famous City of Rey, the biggest City in Asia. The Won­ders that are recounted of it are incredible, nevertheless they are generally ascertain'd by all Historians; and by some as if they had been Eye-witnesses. The Persian Histories re­port, that in the Time of Calife Medybilla-abou-Mahamed-Dar­vanich, who liv'd in the ninth Age of Christianism, the City of Rey was divided into 96 Quarters, of which every one con­tain'd 46 Streets, and every Street 400 Houses and ten Mosques. That there were moreover in the City 6400 Colleges, 16600 Baths, 15000 Towers of Mosques; 12000 Mills, 1700 Chan­nels, and 13000 Inns. I dare not insert the number of Houses, because I cannot believe there were half so many people: Ne­vertheless our Geography is in that particular asserted, and justifi'd by all the Oriental Authors. The Arabian Writers affirm in like manner, that in the third Age of Mahu­metism, which is exactly at the same time, that Rey was [Page 388] the best peopl'd City in Asia; and next to Babylon there never was any City so considerable, either for the Number, Wealth, or Trade of her Inhabitants. And hence it was, that those pompous Titles were given her in Histories, The first of Cities, the Spouse of the World, the Gate of the Gates of the Earth, and the Market of the Universe. Nor is the Original of Rey less remarkable. The Chronicle of the Magi makes Chus, the Grand-Child of Noah, to be the Founder of it, and adds that he laid the first Stone when the Sun was in Scorpio. But the Vulgar Opinion is, that it was founded by Housheing-Pish­dadi, or Chief Justiciary. The Orientals give this Title to all the Kings of Persia of the first Race, as being the first Gover­nors and Legislators that came to their Knowledge. Hou­sheing was the second King of that Race. Manou [...]sher, the first King after Housheing, greatly enlarg'd it: and it continu'd in its Splendor till the Conquest of the first Mahumetans that destroy'd it. Mehdi-billa, surnam'd Mansour, or the Victorious, the third Califfe of Babylon, rais'd it to be greater and more po­pulous then before; and under his Successors it was, that it arriv'd to that degree of Grandeur which we have related. The last destruction that befel it happen'd in the Time of the Civil Wars, at what time the Tartars extended their Incursi­ons into the Country of the Parthians. The Religion of the Mahumetans was then divided into Sects, as at this day: so that the Sect of Shia, which was that which the Persians stuck to, and that of the Sunnis which the Turks follow'd, divided the whole Country. These two Factions were at War for sixty years together, and the Sect of Shia being born down, by the the Assistance of the petty Tartars, who are Sunnis, the victo­rious Sect sub-divided themselves into two other Opinions, which they call from the Name of their first Broachers, Shafai and Hanifei, which flourish to this day among the Mahumetan Sunnis. These Wars, together with the Incursions of the Tar­tars, destroy'd the Potent Rey, and reduc'd it to nothing be­fore the end of the sixth Age of the Mahumetan Epoche. Threescore years after that Facre-Eddin Prince of Parthia, ha­ving made a Peace with Gazen-Can King of Persia, of the Race of the Tartars, endeavour'd to rebuild this unfortunate City, but could: not accomplish his Design. Ptolomy calls this City Raquaja, and the rest of the greek Authors call it by such Names, as seem to be form'd from the word Rey. It lies in 35. deg. and 35. min. of Latitude, and 76. deg. 20. min. of Longitude. The Soyl is fertil and pleasant; and produces [Page 389] plenty of good Fruits. The Air is unhealthy, makes the Skin look yellow, and breeds Agues; nevertheless it is said the People liv'd there as long as in other places, which is a wonder, and occasion'd that Persian Distick.

Dreaming I saw, and naked in his Shirt The Angel of the Dead;
Who of the City Rey, by break of day Th' unwholsome Vapors fled.

This City has produc'd a great many Learned Men, and hoarded within its own bosom for several Ages, the chiefest part of the Riches of the East. It is reported that during its Splendor, the smaller Mosques had no less then a hundred Branches of all sorts of Metal, furnish'd with burning Tapers, and the larger Mosques five hundred, that were kept lighted all night long.

The 13. we travell'd six Leagues through a plain and le­vel Country: but the Road was full of turnings and wind­dings, by reason of the turning and winding of the River, and the several Canals in several parts of the Plain that water the Grounds. We pass'd over one large Bridge, and several small ones, and lodg'd at a great Inn built upon a flat piece of Ground, near to four others which are not so big. It is call'd Jafer-abad; or the Habitation of Jafer, from the name of a great Persian Lord, who caus'd the first Inns to be built that ever were built in this place.

The 14. we travell'd five Leagues over the same Plain. When we came about half way, we rode along by the side of a little Hill call'd Couh-Telisme; Couh signifying a Mountain, and Telisme that which we call Talisman, or Hyeroglyphic. This Mountain has one thing remarkably peculiar to it, which I never could believe till now; Which is this, That still as you approach nearer and nearer to it, it shews a different form, and varies both in its bigness and figure. The Top or Point of it is always in sight, and you would think, that it turn'd that side which way soever you stood to look upon it: which I have experienc'd to be true, as having beheld this Mountain from all the points of the Compass. Which natural Inchant­ment may proceed in my Opinion, from the variety of the Op­tick Mediums through which that little Mountain is beheld, Nature having there sported something that resembles those Ingenuous Pictures, that vary the Object by turning the Po­sture [Page 390] of the Picture this or that way to the Eye. It consists of a black Earth, that crumbles like the burnt Mould at the foot of Mountains that vomit fire: and it is full of Caves and blind Corners, that seem to have been made of purpose. This made me enquire of the People of the Country, whether that Moun­tain was wont to cast forth fire; but I could, meet with no body that ever saw or heard of any such thing. But this is a publick Caution to all men: For they tell ye, that they who desire to ascend that Mountain never come back; and it is reported that Abas the Great one day sent a Foot-Boy up with a Cresset Light upon his Shoulders, but that the Light presently went out and the Fellow never appear'd more. This Mountain lies upon the left hand as you go to Com.

To which City as we drew near, we saw on every side the little Mausoleums and Mosques, where the Grand-Children and Descendants of Aly lie interr'd. The Persians call the first Descendants from this Califfe, Yman Zade, or Sons of the A­postles; and these are the Persian Saints, of which there are an infinite number buried in this Kingdom; for they reckon four hundred Sepulchers about Com. We made this City the end of our Journey at ten a Clock at night: and I was afraid I should have ended my Life there too by an Accident altoge­ther unexpected. For I alighted at the Door of the Caravan­seray, and held my Horse by the Bridle, expecting my Groom to come and take him, and what time another led Horse perceiving me at his Tail, up with his hind Legs, and with all his force yerk'd with his Heels at my Breast; so that had I been never so little farther from him, he had broken my Bones. I confess I did not fall; for I was supported by my Horses head, but for a quarter of an hour I was almost stifl'd, not being able to fetch my Breath. God in his Mercy took Comparsion of me, so that I escap'd the fury of the Blow; tho I felt it six weeks afterwards; yet not so, but that I could go about my Business as I was wont.

Com is a large City seated in a Plain by a River side, half a League from a very high Mountain. The Figure of it re­sembles a long Square, taking its length from East to West, as may be seen in the Draught. It contains fifteen thousand Houses, as the People say: It is surrounded with a Moat and Wall flanqu'd with Towers half ruin'd; and encompass'd with Gardens; of which there are some very large on that side of the water. In one of the fairest of which Grounds the Mau­soleum of Rustan-Can, a Prince of the Race of the last Kings of [Page] [Page]


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The Tombs of ye two last KINGS OF PERSIA.

[Page 391] Georgia, who embrac'd the Mahometan Religion, to obtain the Government of that Kingdom: and in this Garden it is that the common people of Com most usually take their Re­creation. There are also two fair Keys all along the River, the whole length of the City, and at the East end a fair Bridge. It contains also very large and beautiful Bazars, where the Markets are kept both for Whole-Sale and Retail. Nevertheless Com is no place of great Trade: they export from thence vast Quantities of Fruit dry'd and raw, especially Pomegranates, great store of Sope, Sword Blades, and Earthen Ware both white and varnish'd. And this is peculiar to the white Ware, which is thence transported, that in the Summer it cools the water wonderfully and very suddenly, by reason of continual Transpiration. So that they who desire to drink cool and deliciously, never drink in the same Pot above five or six days at most. They wash it with Rose-Water the first time,, to take away the ill smell of the Earth; and they hang it in the Air full of water, wrapt up in a moist linnen Cloth. A fourth part of the water transpires in six hours the first time, after that still less from day to day, till at last the Pores are clos'd up, by the thick matter contein'd in the water, which stops in the Pores. But so soon as the Pores are stopp'd, the water stinks in the Pots, and you must take new ones