Sivut kuvina

that constant Opposition, and the Provocations they meet with from the Lutherans and Calvinifts among them, and in their Neighbourhood. In Prussia, and in Courland, particularly, the Majority of the Inhabitants are Lutherans ; but the reft of Poland being an Overmatch for Prussia, they have been frequently tempted to encroach upon the poor LutheTans.

Customs.) At an Entertainment the Poles lay neither Knives, Forks nor Spoons, but every person brings them with him; and they are no sooner set down to Table, but all the Gates are shut up, and not open'd till the Company go away, and the Plate is taken Account of ; for their Footmen are exceeding light-finger'd. Tis said to be no uncommon Thing to see a Gentleman, at one of these Feasts, give his Servant part of his Meat, which he eats as he stands behind him, and to let him drink out of the same Cup with him. And tho' there is usually great Plenty of Provisions serv'd up, and much left after the Entertainment is ended, yet very little is return'd to the Family, but the Gentlemens Servants seize what is left; and they have a Napkin on Purpose, to carry off the Sweet-meats for their Ladies. After Dinner Bumpers are freely taken off, as in Moscowy; nor will they easily excuse any person from pledging them. The usual Way of Travelling is on Horseback; a Polish Gentleman will scarce walk a Stone's Throw in a Town, without his Horse and Equipage. There are very few Inns upon the Roads ; but, in case of Neceflity, or where there are but poor Accommodations, the Poles are so extremely hospitable, that, upon applying to the Lord of any Village, he will supply the Traveller with Refreshment gratis. Their Exercises are Hunting, and Feats of Horsemanship, on which they value themselves much. Leaping, Vaulting, and Jumping, are also much used here ; and Dancing is a favourite Diversion. ·

Of TURK Y in Europe.

GOVERNMENT.] THE Turkish Emperors are restrain'd

T by no Laws or Compacts, their Power is unlimited, and they look upon the Country, as well as the People to be their Property, and every Man's Life and · Fortune in the Empire to be at their Disposal. If any Viceroy, or Bafla, is charged, or but suspected, of Disloyalty or Misconduct, there seldom needs any further Conviction, it is so much the Interest of the Sovereign to ruin him, all his ForVol. I,


[ocr errors]

'tune devolving on the Crown: He is seldom acquainted with the Nature of the Offence, or the Names of his Accusers; but, without giving him the least Opportunity of making a Defence, a Capigi is dispatched, with an Imperial Decree, to take off the unhappy Balla's Head. The Bassa receives it with the highest Respect, putting it to his Head, and, after he has read it, says, The Will of God and the Emperor be done, or some fúch 'Expression, testifying his entire Resignation to the Divine Will, and that of their Prince. Then he takes the Silken Cord, which the Capigi has ready in his Bosom ; and having tied it about his own Neck, and said a short Prayer, the Capigi's Servants throw him on the Floor, and, drawing the Cord strait, soon dispatch him ; after which his Head is cut off, and carried to Court, and shewn the Sultan. In general their Laws are equitable enough, if they were duly executed; but there is no Place in the World, where Justice is more frequently bought or fold; and tho’ Bribery be so often practised, there is no place where it is more severely punished, if the Sultan happens to be an active Prince, and concerns himself to inquire into the Conduct of his Officers.

The Grand Seignior's Seraglio, at Conftantinople, Seragtio. is rather a Collection of Palaces and Apartments,

added tơ one another, than one single Palace. The Number that inhabit this Palace must be very large ; for, 'tis faid, that annually there are spent here no less than 30,000 Oxen, 20,000 Calves, 60,000 Sheep, 16,000 Lambs, 10,000 Kids, 100,000 Turkeys and Geese, 100,000 Pigeons, and 200,000 Fowls and Chickens; besides Wild-fowl and Fish, of the last of which they spend at least 130,000 Turbats. This Monarch never marries, or contracts himself to any Woman ; nor are his Concubines ever the Daughters of his Mahometan Subjects. There Ladies are scarce ever suffer'd to go Abroad, except when the Grand Seignior removes from one Place to another. When they travel by Water, they are convey'd to the Boats, which are inclos'd on all Sides with narrow Lattices, by a Troop of black Eunuchs; and when they go by Land, they are put into close Chariots, and Signals are made at certain Distances to give Notice that none approach the Road they march. 'Tis faid, there are no less than 10,000 Gardeners about the Gardens of the Seraglio. The great Officers of State, who are generally of the Number of these Royal Slaves, and receive their Education in the Seraglio, make up another Part of the Grand Seignior's Court: At the Head of these is the Grand Vizier, on whom the Emperor in a manner devolves his Authority, leaving the

addether a Collonior's Seconduct of

Administration of Affairs intirely in his Hands. This Statesman is look'd upon to be much more secure in Time of War than in Peace, especially if he meets with but tolerable Success; for the Troops seldom lie idle long but they mutiny, and perhaps demand the Heads of those whom they imagine their Enemies : And we find these Sultans ready to give up any Minister, and even every Favourite they have, rather than run any Hazard on their Account. Adultery, on the Wife's Part, is a Capital Crime, if the Husband will proceed against her with the Rigor the Law allows; and the Man who is taken in this Crime with another's Wife may, on the Spots be killed by the injur'd Husband.

TRADE.] England sends to Turky, Cloth, Stüffs, Perpetuanas, Haberdashers Wares, Coney-skins, Clock-work, Tin, Lead, and some Iron ; and the English Merchants frequently buy up French and Lisbon Sugars, and transport thither, as well as Bullion from Cadiz; all carried in our own Bottoms.

REVENUES.] To calculate exactly what Sums come into the Sultan's Treasure annually, is scarce practicable. As the Government is arbitrary, the Court can, in Cases of Neceflity, command the Purses of every Subject; and it is not uncommon, when the Treasure is low, to borrow of the great Officers, who are known to abound in Wealth ; but it is scarce ever return'd again, in which they acquiesce without murmuring, left their Master should proceed to demand the Whole, and perhaps their Heads with it:

FORCES.] The Militia of the Turkin Empire is of two Sorts; the first have certain Lands appointed for their Maintenance, and the other are paid out of the Treasury. Those that have certain Lands amount to about 268,451 Troopers, effective Men. Besides these, there are also certain auxiliary Forces raised by the tributary Countries of this Empire; as the Tartars, Walachians, Moldavians, &c. who are commanded by their respective Princes. The Kan of the Crim Tartars is obliged to furnith 100,000 Men, and to serve in Person, when the Grand Seignior takes the Field; and the Princes of Moldavia and Walachia attend with about 6000 or 7000 Men each. In every War, befides the above Forces, there are great Numbers of Voluntiers, who live at their own Charge, in Expectation of fucceeding the Zaims and Timariots. These Adventurers do not only promise themselves an Eftate if they survive, but are taught, that if they die in a War against the Christians, they shall go immediately to Paradise. Those Forces which receive their Pay from the Treasury are called the Syrhis and Janizaries. The Spahis



are in Number about 12,000. The Janizaries are esteer', the best Soldiers in the Turkish Armies, and on them they principally depend in an Engagement; these amount to about 25,000 Men, who are quarter'd in and about Conftantinople : They frequently grow mutinous, and have proceeded so far sometimes as to depose the Sultan. “Besides the Janizaries of Conftantinople, every Province of the Empire is fill'd with Foot Soldiers, who bear that Name, but these are not inrollid with the others.

Religion.] The establish'd Religion of Turky in Europe is that of the Mahometan, so called from Mahomet the Author of it. They hold the Doctrine of Fate, yet allow of future Rewards and Punifhments; and that God Almighty will personally make every Man render an Account of his Actions; and that they shall be weighed in a pair of Scales ; and all those, whose good Actions outweigh their evil ones, fhall go instantly into Paradise ; but on the contrary, those whose evil Actions outweigh their good ones, shall go into Hell. Their Paradise is a Place of all manner of sensual Pleasure, which true Mussulmans, or Believers, are to partake of. But those who are doomed to the Punishments of Hell, Mahomet assures us, will be tormented with unquenchable Fire, and boiling Water; and, being burnt and reduced to Ashes, God Almighty will create them anew, that their Torments may endure to Eternity. They admit of Circumcision, which they reckon necesláry to Salvation. They faft, pray, and give Alms; and in these, perhaps, do not come far short of Christians in general.

Customs.] The usual Salutation among the Turks is, a little Inclination of the Head, and clapping the Right-hand to the Breast : But when they falute a Person of Distinction, they stoop so low, as to take up the Hem of his Veft, and kiss it. They usually fit in an open Hall upon a Sopha, which is a Bench about five Foot broad, and a Foot and an half high, covered with Carpets and Cushions to lean on. Here they spread a piece of Leather when they eat, and set little wooden Tables about half a Foot high, sometimes, upon which they place their Provisions. They have no Beds, but the Floor, or the Sopha, which serves them to lie upon, as well as to eat on. Their manly Exercises are shooting at a Mark with Fire-arms, or Bows and Arrows, on Horseback, in every Posture almost ; and they are taught to dart a little Staff, with which they attack and pursue one another on Horseback, and sometimes give and receive dangerous Bruises. The Roads and Caravanseras for Entertainment of Travel


lers are kept in Repair in Turky, by the Contributions and Labours of private People, who look upon it to be a Work of Charity, and highly acceptable to Heaven, to provide for the Necessities of the weary'd Traveller : Even those who live by their Labour, and have nothing else to contribute, will spend Part of their Time gratis in these Employments. Marriage in Turky is of two kinds, the one for Life, if there be no juft Cause of Divorce, and the other temporary, and upon such Conditions as the Parties can agree on. As to Concubinage, or their Commerce with their Female Slaves, that they breed up or purchase, and with whom no Contracts are made, these are not reckon'd among the Number of Wives. Of the first Sort of Wives, the Turks seldom take more than one, though they are allow'd four, unless upon the Account of advancing themselves by such Matches ; for, as these Wives are all equal, it seems almost impossible to avoid a perpetual Contention, where there are several of them in one Houfe. But a Turk usually takes one of these to be Mistress of the Family; and, if their Fancy for Variety induces them to také more Females to their Bed, they purchase some beautiful Slaves in the Market, if there be none they like among their own. These Concubines are far from attempting to rival their Mistress, though they share with her in their Master's Bed; but pay her the greatest Respect, and wait upon her with uncommon Diligence. By a Sign, or a Nod, imperceptible to Strangers, every thing is transacted in a Family without Noise and Contradiction. But if insuperable Aversions, and intolerable Jars, sometimes happen, the Turks apply the common Remedy of a Divorce. As to the second Sort of Wives, those they contract with for a Time : This is usually done, where a Merchant or Traveller has Occasion to reside in some Place at a great Distance from home : In this Case, the Terms are agreed on before a Magistrate, and the Woman is taken to his Bed with very little Ceremony, and dismissed with less.

Of ENGLA N D. To give a satisfactory Account of Britain and Ireland,

I would take up too much Room for the Brevity of our Design. We have therefore chosen to be entirely silent on this Head, rather than present our Readers with an Account, which must have been very imperfect. We have however given a Lift of the several Counties of England and Wales, with their chief Towns, Square Miles, Distance and Bearing from London, and their Distance also from London in measur'd Miles,

R 3


« EdellinenJatka »