THE Seventh Volume OF LETTERS Writ by a Turkish Spy, Who lived Five and Forty Years Undiscover'd at PARIS: Giving an Impartial Account to the Divan at Constantinople, of the most Re­markable Transactions of Europe; And dis­covering several Intrigues and Secrets of the Christian Courts (especially of that of France continued from the Year 1667, to the Year 1682.

Written Originally in Arabick, Translated into Italian, and from thence into English, by the Translator of the First Volume.

LONDON, Printed for Henry Rhodes, at the Star, the corner of Bride-lane, in Fleet-street, 1694.

Mahmut The Turkish spy Aetais suoe 72


'TIS not to be expected, that the World will take it for an Excuse of the Tedious Delay has been made in publishing the 7th. Volume of the Turkish Spy, to say. That our Arabian now grows Old and Decrepid; is forc'd to walk with a Staff or Crutch, as he him­self confesses in one of the following Letters; and is besides worn out with Sickness and Care; so that he cannot be so expeditious in Busi­ness as he was in his Youth. It may be said, This Apology wou'd be more proper for the English Translator to make, were he in the [Page]same Condition. But he is in his Prime, in the Flower of his Age, Vigorous and Active; and there­fore might have made more Hast, they'll say, to oblige the World, and Gratifie the Expectations of those Gentlemen who perpetually dun the Bookseller for the Rest of this Mahometan's Letters.

It were easie to answer this, by only putting you in mind, That he who undertakes to lead a slow-foot­ed, short-winded, and weak Per­son by the Hand, and conduct him to his Journey's End; must of Necessity keep the same Pace with his Charge, tho' he himself were swift as a Stag when alone, and at Liberty, Besides, that a Man is apt to attract a Contagion from the Company he keeps, and turn their Ill Qualities into Habits of his own.

[Page]But all this is Trifling, and our English Translator is under none of these Circumstances. To come to the Purpose therefore, Gentle­men, you will commend our Tran­slator's Wisdom, for not being in such Post-Hast, at this Juncture, when you reflect, That like a Wise Racer, tho' he gave a start in the Beginning, at first setting out; yet he soon slacken'd his Pace, that he might make sure of the Goal, re­membring the Old English Proverb, The more Hast the worse Speed. Thus he suffer'd Three Years to slide by him, before he reach'd the Second Stage. 2d. Vol. And tho' he began to take up his Heels more nimbly afterwards, so as to recover by Degrees, his lost Time and Ground, yet still he did but moderately jogg on; now springing, then halting as Occasi­on offer'd, and as he found his [Page]Strength could hold. At length having but Two Stages more, won­der not, that he is a little more tedi­ous than Ordinary in this: For, he does it to refresh himself, and keep his Breath for the last Strain of all, which brings the Prize: Observing herein the Old Adage, Finis coronat Opus.

As to the Letters contain'd in this 7th. Volume, there is little to be said more particular than of those that have gone before. They in General contain a Miscellany of Historical Transactions, Moral and Philosophical Thoughts, interspers'd here and there with Mahometan Po­liticks and Divinity.

Only. You will find our Arabian engaged with a certain Jew at Vi­enna, in fomenting the Discords of the German Empire; encoura­ging the Rebels of Hungary, Cro­atia, [Page]and Mutinous Provinces. You will hear of the Deaths of Count Serini, Frangipani, and Na­dasti, who were all beheaded for being Ring-leaders in this Rebel­lion.

The next and last Volume has this of singular in it, That it will present you with the Rise and Pre­ferment of Count Teckeli, who has made so much a Noise in the World. It relates many of his Publick Acti­ons, and not a few of his Secret Intrigues. In fine, it discovers the Train that was laid to blow up all Europe into the Flame of Open War, and Universal Hostility, which to this Day consumes the Lives and Estates of so many Thou­sand Christians, impoverishes and lays wast whole Nations, and 'tis to be feared will end in letting in the Turks once more upon us, to our final Ruine and Confusion; since [Page]those Infidels never take greater Ad­vantage to Invade and Conquer the Dominions of Christians, than when they find us involv'd in Domestick Wars one with another.

A TABLE OF THE LETTERS and Matters contained in this Volume.

  • LETTER I. MAhmut the Arabian at Paris, to Mirma­dolin, Holy Santone of the Vale of Sidon. 1

    He complains of the Miseries and Sadnesses of his Life, and wishes himself e'en fair­ly out of the World.

  • II. To the Kaimacham. 6

    Of a Peace between the English and Dutch. Of the Birth of the Young Princess of France. Of the Frollicks and Humours us'd in this time of Ʋniversal Rejoycings.

  • III. To Dgnet Oglou. 10 [Page]

    He discourses of the Birth, Life and Death of Jesus the Son of Mary.

  • IV. To Asis Bassa. 19

    He takes Courage at the News of the Grand Signior's besieging of Candia.

  • V. To Hasnadar Bassa, Chief Treasurer to the Sultan. 22

    He complains of the Slackness of the Mini­sters of the Port, in answering his Dis­patches; and Relates some of the Mis­fortunes that at this Time befel him.

  • VI. To Nathan Saddi, a Jew at Vienna. 27

    He continues to lament the Disasters that the Malice of Men loaded him with. His Confinement in the Bastile. His Resolu­lution of Baffling the Efforts of Spite and Envy.

  • VII. To the Venerable Mufti. 30

    He craves his Advice, how to behaue him­self in case of being discover'd. He re­flects upon the Sad and Ʋnaccountable Degeneracy of Mankind: Gives little Hints of some that design'd to Ruin his Credit at the Port.

  • VIII. To Cara Hali, Physician in the Grand Signior. 36

    He diverts him with the Relation of a Mon­strous Child born in the Low Countries.

  • IX. To Nathan Ben Haddi, a Jew at Vien­na. 41 [Page]

    He persuades him to foment the Discontents of Hungary.

  • X. To the most Sublime, and Magnificent of the Mussulman Bassa's, Achmat, the Visir Azem. 46

    He discourses of the Advantages may be ta­ken from the Distractions in Hungary.

  • XI. To the Selictar Aga, or Sword-Bearer to the Sultan. 49

    Of the Deaths of the Queen of Poland, and Pope Alexander VII. Of the French Successes in Flanders.

  • XII. To Dgnet Oglou. 51

    Of an Encounter he had with Daria, his former Mistress.

  • XIII. To Pesteli Hali, his Brother, Master of the Customs▪ and Superintendant of the Royal Arsenal▪ at Constantino­ple. 57

    Several Remarks on Women, out of the He­brew Rabbi's and others.

  • XIV. To the same. 65

    Of Solyman's Treachery, and the base Trick he put upon Fatima, Daughter to Ufeph, Mahmut's Ʋnele.

  • XV. To the Mufti's Vicar. 71

    He acquaints him that the Cardinal's have Elected Clement IX. to be Pope in the Room of Alexander VII. deceased. Com­parisons between the Popes and the An­cient [Page]Roman Pontiffs. Of the Pope's Great Power, Strength and Authority.

  • XVI. To Nathan Ben Saddi, a Jew at Vien­na. 76

    Of the Conversion of Sabbati Sevi to the Mahometan Faith.

  • XVII. To Dgnet Oglou. 85

    He informs him that Daria is deceitful, and how by mere Accident he found out 'twas her Husband, who would have Stabb'd him in the Streets one Night, whom there­fore he kill'd.

  • XVIII. To the Kaimacham. 89

    Of the Arrival of the Cardinal Duke of Vendome at the French Court, in Quality of Legat de Latere from the Pope. Of the Alterations in Portugal.

  • XIX. To Abdel Melec Muli Omar, President of the College of Sciences at Fez. 92

    He thanks him for his New System of the Heavens; extols its Accuracy; and in­cites him to make some Corrections of Geography.

  • XX. To Osman Adraoeneth Astrologer to the Sultan at Adrianople. 98

    He discourses of Ptolomy's and Coperni­cus's System.

  • XXI. To the Venerable Mufti, Principal Support of Learning, and True Science. 104 [Page]

    He humbly Recommends, That a Complets History of the World should be collected out of the most Ancient and Sincere Wri­ters, and digested into Annals from the Beginning of Time, down to the Reign of the present Emperour.

  • LETTER I. TO Mehemet, an exil'd Eunuch at Alcair in Egypt. 113

    He Sympathizes with his Sufferings, and advises him not to si [...]k under the frightful Idea's of Melancholly.

  • II. To Mohammed, the Illustrious Eremit of Mount Ʋriel in Arabia the Happy. 121

    He opposes Aristotle, and the Peripateticks, who asserts, That Virtue consists in Medi­ocrity: Expresses his Aspirations after a solitary and abstinent Life.

  • III. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secre­tary of the Ottoman Empire. 129

    Of the present State of the German Em­pire, with Characters of the People. The strange Epitaph of Frederick, Brother-in Law to the Emperour Sigismund, written with his own Hand, on his Death-bed.

  • [Page] IV. To Nathan Ben Saddi, a Jew at Vien­na. 134

    He reproves the Methods of the Malecon­tents in attempting to poyson the Empe­rour, and set the Palace on Fire. Ex­horts him to be moderate and Neutral. Of the Counts Serini, Frangipani and Ta­tembach.

  • V. To Pesteli Hali, his Brother, Master of the Grand Signior's Customs at Constan­tinople. 138

    He acquaints him with the Marriage of Oucoumiche his Mother; and Eliachim the Jew; as also with her sudden Death.

  • VI. To Hamer, Reis▪ Effendi, Principal Se­cretary of the Ottoman Empire. 141

    Of the German Wealth, and Plenty, both Natural and acquir'd by foreign Traf­fick.

  • VII. To Hebatolla, Mir Argun, Superior of the Convent of Derviches at Cogni, in Natolia. 145

    He presents him with a full Relation of the Life of St. John Baptist, and explains the Meaning of the World Locust.

  • VIII. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire. 155

    He gives an Account of the great Prepara­tions the Christians were making for the Relief of Candy. Of a Triple League: And of the Birth of the Infanta of Por­tugal. [Page]With a farther Description of Italy.

  • IX. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Se­cretary of the Ottoman Empire. 159

    Of Don John of Austria's being made Go­vernour of the Low-Countries. The Grounds of Nitard's juggling with him. His Character.

  • X. To Hebatolla, Mir Argun, Superior of the Convent of Derviches at Cogni in Natolia. 162

    He acquaints him with the King of Poland's Religious Retreat from the World; and of his being made Abbot of the Abbey of St. Germains, near Paris.

  • XII. To Ʋseph, Bassa. 169

    Of the Deaths of the Cardinal Duke of Vendome, a Dutchess of the same Title, and Henrietra Maria, late Queen of Great Britain, and Dowager of Charles I. Of the Arrival of the King of Poland, and Prince of Toscany, at the French Court.

  • XIII. To the Kaimacham. 173

    Of the Arrival of Solyman Ismael Muta­faraca, with Expresses from the Grand Signior to the King of France. Soly­man's Character, and Praise. Of a Plague at Soissons, and an Earthquake in Sicily.

  • [Page]LETTER I. TO Mehemet, an Exil'd Eunuch, at Al­caire in Egypt. pag. 181

    He perswades him not to be Melancholly. Advises him to travel.

  • II. To the Same. 186

    He pursues the same Discourse, earnestly pressing him to leave Egypt, and survey the Rest of Africa.

  • III. To the Mufti, Venerable Patron of Learning and Knowledge. 190

    He presents him with an Historical Epitome of the Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Monarchies.

  • IV. To Mirmadolin, Santone of the Vale of Sidon. 201

    He discourses of the Vanity and Insufficiency of exteriour Religion. Of Spiritual Ab­dication from the World.

  • V. To the Selictar Aga, or Sword-bearer to the Sultan. 204 [Page]

    He entertains him with the Description of an Excellent Play acted before the King and Queen of France, during the Carna­val. Of a Peace concluded between France and Algiers. Of the Conquest of Lorrain.

  • VI. To Isouf, his Kinsman, a Merchant at Astracan. 208

    He disswades him from his Melancholly Reso­lution of turning Eremit, Faquir, or Dervich. Of Ilch Read Hu, the In­dian Philosopher, and his Mysterious Habitation.

  • VII. To the Chiaux Bassa. 216

    Of the Arrival of an Embassador at the French Court from the King of Arder in Africk.

  • VIII. To Mohammed, the Illustrious Solitary of Mount Ʋriel, in Arabia. 220

    He asserts and endeavours to prove; That the Brutes are endu'd with a Species of Reason and Knowledge.

  • IX. To Zeidi Alamanzi, a Merchant at Venice. 225

    Being inform'd that Zeidi is commanded to travel through Italy, he gives him good Counsel in Order thereto.

  • X. To Dgnet Oglou. 231 [Page]

    Of a Strange and Ʋnaccountable Accident which happen'd to Mahmut on his Sick-Bed.

  • XI. To Sephat Abercromil, Vanni Effendi, Preacher to the Sultan. 236

    Of the Quietists, and the General Enter­tainment their Doctrine finds in Eu­rope. Mahmut seems highly to favour it; and affirm [...] [...]as recommended by all Religions in the World.

  • XII. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior. 242

    He asserts the Immortality of the Soul: from which Discourse he makes a Digres­sion, and treats Allegorically of Natural Things.

  • XIII. To the Mufti. 249

    He presents him with a Continuation of Remarkable Passages during the Persian Monarchy. A Memorable Saying of Darius on his Death-Bed.

  • [Page]LETTER I. TO Pesteli Hali, his Brother, Master of the Customs, and Superintendent of the Arsenal at Constantinople. pag. 261

    He advises him not to be discourag'd by Rea­son of his Son's Amorous Temper, his keeping Company with foreign Merchants, and Travellers. And tells him a Story of a Father's Extraordinary Contrivance to reclaim a Prodigal Son.

  • II. To Codarafrad Cheick, a Man of the Law. 268

    Of a Huguenot that assasinated a Priest as he was saying Mass in the Church of Nostre Dame at Paris; and of his Pu­nishment.

  • III. To Dgnet Oglou. 272

    Of the Roman Casuists. Of Mahometan Hypocrites. Of Interiour Devotion and Piety.

  • IV. To the Kaimacham. 281

    Of a League between the Kings of England and France, who both proclaim Open War against the Dutch. The Story of John de Wit. The Description of a Royal Entertainment at Chantilly by Night.

  • [Page]V. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior. 286

    Of Magick, Physick, and Theology. A plea­sant Story of a Peruvian Slave. Of Famous Mathematicians. Of the Su­perstition of the Female Sex.

  • VI. To Orchan Cabet, Student in the Scien­ces, and Pensioner to the Grand Sig­nior. 292

    He endeavours by Rational Arguments to convince him, that the Alcoran is of Di­vine Original.

  • VII. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire. 296

    Of the King of France's Conquests in the Low-Countries. Of the Death of the Duke of Longueville.

  • VIII. To William Vospel, a Recluse of Au­stria. 301

    Of the Difference and Contrariety between the Practice of the Primitive Christians, and those of the present Age.

  • IX. To Codarafrad Cheick, a Man of the Law. 308

    Of the Wandring Jew at Astracan. His Sermons and Prophecies. How the Turks shall over-run and conquer the greatest Part of Europe in the Year 1700. That England shall become the Sanctuary of distress'd Christians. Of a certain Holy English Man, who shall be made [Page]Chief Patriarch of all the Christians. and shall have his Seat in Jerusalem, &c,

  • XIII. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire. 315

    Several Memoirs of Cardinal Richlieu.

  • XIV. To Musu Abu'l Yahyan, Professor of Philosophy at Fez. 323

    A Panegyrick on Africk.

  • XV. To the Same. 326

    He describes Constantinople, with an Ac­count of its Name and Original; and the Conquest of it by Mahomet II.

  • XVI. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire. 336

    Of the German Strength and Policies.

  • XVII. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior. 343

    Of his Grief and Melancholly; and the Pleasure he takes in writing to his Friend.

  • XVIII. To Musu Abu'l Yahyan, Professor of Philosophy, at Fez. 348

    He gives him a farther Description of Constantinople.

LETTERS Writ by A Spy at PARIS.

LETTER I. Mahmut the Arabian at Paris, to Mirmadolin, Holy Santone of the Vale of Sidon.

WHY was I made a Man, to en­dure these Cruel Agonies, of which no other Species of known Beings can possibly be Capable? Or why, at least, was I particu­larly Form'd of such a Constitution, as to [Page 2]attract the Evils which are scatter'd up and down the World, and Piece-Meal drop'd on the Nativities of other Mortal Men; whilst I alone am made the Common Sink of Hu­mane Misery? Surely my partial Horoscope Monopoliz'd the most envenom'd Aspects of the Stars, without partaking of the least Benigne and Favourable Glance. The Pla­nets had laid up an Ancient deep Reserve of Fatal Influences, which they pour'd out at large upon the very Moment of my Birth. Nor cou'd the Careful Midwife with all her Skill and Charms, defend my tender, ductile, reeking Body, from the Invisible Cataracts which flow'd upon me from all the Envi­ous Signs and Constellations in Heaven.

My whole Life has been but One conti­nu'd Tragedy, wherein the Various Change of Scenes has not reliev'd me from the Least Real Evil hid behind, but only a­muz'd my Sense with some New Pageantry, some Fair Idea of Honour, Pleasure or Pro­fit; When before the ACT was done, I found my self cajol'd, and over-whelm'd in Fresh Calamities; Misfortunes which I never dream't of.

Oh! that th' Omnipotent, when from E­ternal silent Thought, he drew th' Idea's of every Species, and every Individual Being, which he design'd for Actual Existence in the World, had Form'd me for a Tree, an Herb, a Blade of Grass, a Stone, a Mush­room, or any Insensible Thing, Incapable of Pleasure or Pain, of Grief or Joy or other [Page 3]Passions, which hourly thus torment our Humane Race; I had been then a Happy Neuter to all false Shews of Happiness, and Real Sense of Misery. Oh! that I'd been an Oak, a Beech, a Palm, or Cypress of the Forest: For then, if Vegetables have any Feeling of their own State, I shou'd be only touch'd with secret Pleasure, when the Gentle Winds shou'd play among my Amorous Branches, and teach my wanton Leaves, to dance the Measures of Young Harmless Love; Or when I felt the seasonable Rain distilling on my wither'd Bark, and from thence sliding to my thirsty Roots; Or when Great Phoebus prints warm vigorous Kisses on my Cheeks and Neck. But if this be too proud a Thought, I wish I'd only been some Hum­ble Shrub, some Pigmy Plant, some Vege­table Dwarf, a Page unto the Mighty Trees, subsisting on the Drops and Fragments of their larger Banquets, meekly cringing at their Feet; whilst I stood safe and free from Storms, under the Shade of their extended Boughs, in Happy low Obscurity.

When I pass through the Fields, and see the Harmless Sheep browzing upon the ten­der Grass, and hear them bleating to their wanton Lambs, I cannot chuse but envy them a Life so void of Care and Pain. They range and sport at large in Flow'ry Meadows, near some Crystal Stream, or take the Pa­stures of the Mountains: Whilst Chearful Shepherds tune their Pipes, and sing in Praise of Amaryllis, Daphne, Sylvia, or some other [Page 4] Nymph; and watchful Dogs lie scouting on the Plain, to give th' Alarm, and chase a­way sly Wolves, and other Ravenous Beasts.

After I've let my Envy fix it self a while on these, a warbling Melody from neighbou­ring Groves diverts my Melancholy Thoughts, and turns 'em to new Objects. Then I la­ment my Fate, in that I was not made a Nightingale, a Thrush, a Lark, or any of the Feather'd Quire, who with sweet chear­ful Notes salute Aurora and the Rising Sun, and chirp all Day the Praises of that Source of Warmth and Life, who vests the Earth in Green Attire, who decks the Trees with Verdant Leaves, and fills the World with Light. They chirp and fly from Tree to Tree, from Bough to Bough, rejoicing in the Beams that dart and glide among the moving Shades of Branches rock'd by Winds. Their Thoughts are taken up in building Nests, wherein to hatch their Young and shelter 'em from Injuries. They have no Plots nor Politick Tricks, to undermine each other; but pass away their Time in Inno­cent Security, and Harmless Pleasures.

Methinks, the Worms and little Reptiles of the Earth, are happier far than I. They crawl and creep about in Hollow Trees, in Clefts of Rocks and Crannies of the Ground, to hunt for Food and for Diver­tisement. They live at Ease, without be­ing rack'd by supernumerary Cares and Fears. And if some Ruder Foot of Man or Beast, shall trample them by Chance to Death, or [Page 5]more malicious Hand with Stone or other Weapon shall wilfully bereave them of their Life, 'tis done so suddainly that they've no Sense of Pain: Whereas my Life's a constant Martyrdom; a long continued Series of Tor­ments.

I do not complain of the Distempers and Maladies which afflict my Body; though those are sometimes so violent as to make me wish for Death, that so I might be at Ease: But 'tis the fretting Anguish of my Mind, that forces all these Sighs and Exola­mations from me. I am embarass'd in the World: Snares compass me round about: My own Good Nature has betray'd me: Those of my Blood conspire against me; they hunt me up and down like a Partridge in the Wood; they closely pursue my Life. The Kindnesses that I have sown, spring up in Blades of bitter Ingratitude and Perfidy. My Seminaries bring forth Aconite and stink­ing Weeds, instead of pleasant Flowers and wholesome Fruits. Tagot has set his Foot in all my Works. That sly interloping Spi­rit, hates to see any good Thing prosper, or come to Perfection: He steals behind us in all our Ways; and as fast as we weave any Web of Vertue, he secretly unravels it, or deforms the Work with intermixing some Threads of Vice. I am weary of striving a­gainst the Current of my Fate. Oh! that I were as though I had never been! That my Soul were drench'd in Lethe's Forgetful Waters, where all Past Things are buried [Page 6]in Eternal Oblivion! Then wou'd my An­guish be at an End; Whereas I am now rowl'd about upon a Wheel of Miseries.

Holy Santone, when thou shalt read this, pity me; and amidst thy Divine Ejacula­tions, dart up Mahmut's Soul to Paradise, on the Point of a strong Thought, that so at least I may have a Moments Respite from my Constant Sadness.

LETTER II. To the Kaimacham.

THere is now some Probability of a Peace between the English and the Dutch: Which will also reconcile this Crown to that of Great Britain; Since the King of France engag'd in this War, only on the Account of the Dutch, his Allies. The Advances to­ward this Accommodation, took their Rise from the Alliance lately concluded between the States of the Ʋnited Provinces, the King of Denmark, the Duke of Brandenburgh, and the Princes of Brunswick. The King of England protests against the Dutch, as the First Aggressors, in that they had taken a­bove Two Hundred of his Merchant-ships, [Page 7]before he offer'd the least Act of Hostility. Which the States seeming to acknowledge, desire the King to appoint some Neutral Place of Treaty with them and their Allies, in Order to a Peace, the Security of Navi­gation, and the Establishment of Com­merce for the future.

Here is great Joy for the Birth of a young Princess, of whom the Queen was de­liver'd on the 2d. of the Moon of Jannary. She is call'd God's New-Years Gift to France: In regard, the First Day of that Moon begins the Year with the Christians. And 'tis com­mon among them to send mutual Gifts and Presents to one another at that Time, which they call, New-Years Gifts. And so it seems, God Almighty has appear'd very Modisn and Complaisant, in thus timing the Nativity of the Royal Babe: For which they express their Thanks in Revelling, Dancing, Ballads, and a Thousand other Vanities. And these Divertisements continue to this Time, it be­ing the Nazarenes Carnaval; a Season con­secrated to Sport and Mirth, to Liberty, Buffoonry, and all Manner of Comical and Ridiculous Apishness.

During this Time, you shall see an Infi­nite Variety of odd Humours, and mimical Actions in the open Streets, according to every Man's particular Phancy. Here you shall meet with one dress'd half i'th' French and half i'th' Spanish Fashion. On the left side of his Head hangs dangling down a long thick curled Peruke, which reaches to his [Page 8]Breast; whilst on the Right you see nothing but his own Hair, crop'd close to his Ears. A long Mustach as black as Jet, graces the Right Side of his upper Lip; whilst on the Left, he is Beardless as a Boy of Seven Years Old. And so from head to Foot, he wears two contrary Garbs. One walks about with Gloves upon his Feet, and Shooes upon his Hands: Another wears his Breeches like a Mantle on his Shoulders. Here comes a Stately Coach, jogging along with grave slow Pace, and drawn by Six fair Horses, as if some Prince or Cardinal were in it; when behold there's nothing but a silly Ass puts forth his giddy Head, with flapping Ears, half drunk with the jolting, unaccustom'd Motion. Sometimes he brays aloud, and then the Rabble fall alaughing. A Thousand other Fopperies there are, not worth thy Knowledge: For, both the Noble and the Vulgar are all upon the Frolick at this Time, and indulge their wanton Phancies to the Height. But 'tis a fatal Season for the poor Cats; few of which escape the Multitude, whose peculiar Pastime 'tis to toss these Crea­tures in a Blanket till they are dead; or else to tie them Two and Two together by the Tails, and then they'll bite and scratch one another to Death. The Cocks also are gene­rally great Martyrs during the Carnaval; the Rabble have a Hundred Cruel Ways to mur­der them in Sport. All their Devices are Inhumane and Bloody. They did not learn these prophane Courses from Jesus, or any [Page 9]of the Prophets or Apostles of God: But they are the Reliques of Gentile Vanity, in the Beginning conniv'd at by the Priests, the easier to retain their Proselytes in Obedience; who wou'd rather have parted with their New Religion, than with their Old Barbarous Customs. And thus the Pagan Fooleries were handed down to the Posterity of the Primitive Christians, and were adopted into the Family of Church Traditions: And Men are not more zealous for the Gospel it self, than for these Ridiculous Prophanations of it: So dangerous a Thing it is for Governours, by a Criminal Indulgence, to permit their Subjects any Liberty which interferes with the Fundamental Principles of the Law: For, such a Dispensation once granted, passes into a Precedent, which in Process of Time, be­comes of equal Force with the Law it self. And by such preposterous Methods of winning and retaining Converts, Christianity arriv'd to the height of corruption it's now infected with.

Sage Minister, twas for this Reason God rais'd up our Holy Prophet, and gave him a new Law, with Power to reform and cha­stise the Infidels. He planted the Ʋnde­filed Faith with Scymeter in Hand; not pal­liating or encouraging the smallest Vicious Practice; but subduing all Things by the Dint of Reason or the keen Edge of the Sword. God hasten his Return; for the Prevarications of this Age require it.

LETTER III. To Dgnet Oglou.

I Believe thou hast not forgot the Observa­tions we us'd to make, on the Religion of the Christians, when we were Slaves toge­ther in Sicily. How Ridiculous some of their Practices appear'd to us, and yet what a Sanctity was manifest in others? How much we approved the Majesty of their Publick Worship, the Solemnity of their High-Mass, the Gravity of their Processions? And yet how great was our Disgust, when we con­sider'd that all these Honours were perform'd to Figures and Statues of Stone, Wood, Sil­ver, Gold, or other Materials, the Creatures of the Painter or Carver?

We scann'd their Doctrines also, which we learn'd from their Priests and Books, and descanted variously on them, as they were more or less conform to the Truth, and to the Volume brought down from Heaven. In a Word, we prais'd the Good, and censur'd what was Evil in their Faith and Manners, or at least, what we thought to be so; for herein we follow'd the Dictates of our E­ducation.

But now in our Riper Years, if we shou'd call over our former Thoughts, perhaps we shou'd be of a different Judgment, and find Matter to condemn even in our own past Cen­sures: [Page 11]For whatever we might then think of the Nazarenes; upon a maturer search, I cannot find them to be altogether such gross Idolaters and Infidels, as we and all Mussul­mans are apt to believe.

That which gives me the greatest Scandal is, That their Doctors entertain some Unwar­rantable Speculations about Three Subsistences in One Essence, and are too venturous in their Thoughts concerning the Eternal Generation of the WORD, and Emanation of the BREATH, by which they say, All Things were Created, and are conserv'd in their Be­ings. They teach a Doctrine Repugnant to the Alcoran, when they say, That God has a Companion Equal to Himself.

As to the Incarnation of Jesus the Son of Mary, the Nazarenes assert nothing but what is suitable to the Alcoran, which tea­ches us, That he is the WORD of God. In the History of his Life, they indeed come short of the Mussulmans: There being not the least mention made, in the whole Book of the Gospel, of many Passages in his In­fancy and tender Years, wherewith the Al­coran, with other Holy Books and Traditions of the Ancients, acquaints the True Belie­vers. The Messenger of God tells us, That Jesus spoke in his Cradle, resolv'd Doubts, clear'd up Mistakes, and preach'd the Ʋnity of the Divine Essence. Other Writings also inform us, That while he was Young, he formed the Figures of divers Birds and Beasts, of Clay and his own Spittle, and ha­ving [Page 12]breath'd on them, they became Living Creatures, and prostrated themselves at his Feet. They relate also, That he made a Pigeon, which flew up and down through divers Regions, and brought him News of whatever was done in the Courts of Foreign Princes; and that from the Day of his Birth, to that of his Translation, Twelve Angels waited on him, and brought him down Food from Paradise. Of these Things the Christians are ignorant, and of many other Passages. So that in the whole, it is Evi­dent, that the Mussulmans have a more Par­ticular Relation of the Life of Jesus, than the Christians themselves have, since we recount those Miracles and other Actions of his, whereof the Gospel is silent.

But then, on the other Side, they believe Things concerning his Death, whereof nei­ther the Alcoran, nor any other of our Wri­tings or Traditions make any Mention, un­less it be to confute the Error of the Naza­renes in that Point. I have heard the Argu­ments of their Learned Doctors, and com­paring them with our Objections, I know not well what to conclude.

They insist much on the Publick Signs and Wonders, that fell out at the Time of the suppos'd Crucifixion of the Messiah; The Rending of Rocks, opening of Graves, Resurrection of many Dead, and the Pre­ternatural Eclipse of the Sua, when the Moon was in Sight in the other Part of the Horizon at the same Moment: Which made [Page 13]a great Philosopher then in Egypt, cry out, Either the Frame of the World is dissolv'd, or the God of Nature suffers.

They tell a Story also of a certain Ship, that was on that very Day sailing in the Archipelago; and that as they pass'd by cer­tain Rocks, the Mariners heard a Voice cal­ling, Thamus, Thamus, very often and loud. Now there being one of that Name on Board the Vessel, he answer'd to his Name: Upon which the Voice said, When thou comest to the Island of the Palodes, proclaim it aloud, That the Great Pan is Dead Which he did accor­dingly, and there follow'd a horrible how­ling and roaring from the Shore of that I­sland. This Passage was afterwards made known to the Senate of Rome, who there­upon, at the Instance of some Noble Romans, sent to enquire in the Provinces, Whether any Remarkable Person had died on that Day; and they were inform'd, That the Jews had on the same Day put to Death Jesus the Son of Mary. And Tiberius the Emperour, on the Credit of this Passage, being also in­form'd of the Miracles which Jesus wrought among the Jews, conceiving an immediate Veneration for so Divine a Person, caus'd his Statue to be set up in the Capitol, and wou'd have had him number'd among the Gods; but in this he was oppos'd by the Senate, be­cause they had before decreed, That no new Deities shou'd be added to the Kalendar.

In these Things I rely on the Account which the Christians give of the Death of [Page 14] Jesus, though they bring Authorities also and Testimonies of their very Enemies, and inveterate Persecutors, the Gentiles; who therefore one wou'd think, cannot be suspe­cted of Partiality. In a word, I know not what to think of these Things. For, if it be true, that Jesus died on the Cross for the Sins of the World, as the Christians believe, and that there is no other Way to be saved, but by believing this; then in what a sad Condition are all the Jews and Mussulmans, the one glorying in having murder'd the Sa­viour of the World, and the Other not belie­ving that he was murder'd? The First seem to merit most of Men; since, though the Act was Cruel in it self, yet according to this Doctrine, it brought Salvation to all our Race: And therefore there were a sort of Christians, in Former Times, who worshipp'd the Serpent that tempted Eve, because according to their Faith, that Temptation was the first Step to Mankind's Happiness, after Adam's Fall; And they plac'd Judas (who betray'd Jesus to the Jews) among the Saints, for having been so particular an Instrument in the World's Re­demption.

If Jesus be the Saviour of Men, it is ab­solutely necessary to believe in him. But whether he be, or be not, the Faith of the Christians in that Point cannot hurt them, since our Holy Prophet himself has taught us, That Christians shall be sav'd, as well as the Mussulmans: Whereas the Christians say, it is impossible for any to be saved, who follow [Page 15]the Law of Mahomet. So that they have our own Grant for their Salvation, which they deny to us. This is a great Advantage on their Side, in the Controversy betwixt us.

For my Part, I tell thee ingenuously, were I convinc'd that Jesus was the Son of God, and that he suffer'd Death for the Sake of Men I cou'd readily embrace most of the other Te­nets of Christianity without Scruple. I shou'd not be frighted at their Invocation of Saints, since 'tis the same as we our selves practise; nor wou'd their Images and Pictures startle my Faith; I shou'd look upon these and a Thousand more, as things indifferent in themselves, and onely made Lawful or Un­lawful, by the Sanction of Divine Autho­rity.

I shou'd be most puzzl'd to know what Church to fix in, among so many, all pre­tending to the Right Way. I have examin'd their Different Opinions, and find Reason or something very like it, on all Sides. I ad­mire the Abstinence of the Greeks, Armeni­ans, and generally of all the Eastern Christians; yet their Ignorance distastes me. I honour the Learning and Politeness of the Roman Church, and cou'd almost vail to their Pre­tensions of Antiquity, Ʋniversality, and In­corrupt Doctrine; but I am highly scanda­lized at their Licentiousness, Pride, and Cru­etly. There is much to be argu'd for the Cophti's, Abyssines, Melchites, the Christians of St. John, and other Churches; but more [Page 16]to be said against them. In fine, if I were to turn Christian, I shou'd be in a Wilder­ness, not knowing which Path to take, for Fear of missing the Right.

In the State therefore wherein I am, I will think Honourably of Jesus, as also of Mary his Mother, who at her daily Return from the Temple, found a Thousand Sorts of Flowers in her Oratory. I will not speak Evil of any Person that has the Character of a Saint; but in general will desire the Inter­cession of all that are near to God: 'Tis ten to one, if some of them do not vouchsafe to pray for me. But whether they do, or not, God hears me, and observes my Devotion; and if he please, my Petitions shall be granted. As for the Rest, I will endeavour, in all Things, to do as I would be done to, keeping my Conscience free from Stain, that so I may die in Peace; and what becomes of me afterwards, 'tis in vain to be sollicitous, since the Decrees of Fate are Irreversi­ble.

Tell me now, my Friend, whether these Thoughts and Resolves be not more agreea­ble to Humanity, than to be a Furious Bi­got for I know not what? Is that a com­mendable Zeal for Religion, which under Pretence of defending the Truth, sticks not to assert a Thousand Lyes? Or that a lauda­ble Charity for Souls, which in Order to their Salvation, takes infinite Pains to set the World together by the Ears, and embroil Mankind in perpetual Wars? What else do [Page 17]those Disturbers of Humane Race, who not content with the Limits which the Fortune of their Birth has set them, invade the Peaceable Possessions of their Neighbours, commit all Sorts of Violences, Rapines, and Outrages; and all this under Pretext of Re­forming the Manners of Men, introducing Purity of Religion, and fulfilling the Will of Heaven? As if it were a Mark of a Di­vine Commission, to be barbarously Unjust, Perfidious and Salvage; and that the Height of Piety, consisted in shedding Humane Blood!

For my Part, I cannot approve of these Practices, and therefore think it safer to stand aloof from all Religions thus Cruelly esta­blish'd, than by entring into their Inhumane Secrets, and swearing to their Sanguine Ar­ticles, incorporate my self with profess'd Murderers, under the Notion of being a Good Man.

Happy are those Innocent Nations in the East, who from their First Progenitors, have kept Inviolate the Law of Nature: Who never have defiled themselves with the Blood of Men or Beasts; but every one content­ing himself with his Native Home-stall, and the Fruits of his own Land, makes no En­croachments on those that dwell near him, nor butchers the Harmless Animals, to gra­tify his Ill-nurtur'd Appetite. These sit un­der the Shade of their own Trees, and bathe themselves in the adjoining Streams: They go in Peace to the Houses of their Rural-Gods, [Page 18]and present 'em with Flowers, Rice, Fruits and such as the Ground brings forth: They never dream of Foreign Conquests, nor are troubled with Domestick Broils, but lead their Lives in a perpetual Tranquility, and Innocence. All that they desire of Heaven, is the Continuance of those harmless Delights they at present enjoy. As for the tumultu­ary Pleasures of other Mortals, they have 'em in Contempt. This is an Umbrage of the Felicity we are promis'd in Paradise, where the Sound of the Drum and the Trumpet shall not be heard, and the Instruments of War shall be of no Use.

If thou chargest me with Inconstancy in my Opinions, I neither deny it nor am a­sham'd: It being better to change ones Thoughts every Day, than to be fix'd in Er­ror all ones Life. This to a Friend.

LETTER IV. To Afis, Bassa.

THE Warriours and Mechanicks, States­men and Fidlers, Courtiers and Hus­bandmen, Students and Chimney-Sweepers, are all taken up in discoursing of the mighty Preparations, the Grand Signior is making to besiege Candia. They talk of Fifteen Thou­sand Pioneers, who are at work in Order to this grand Undertaking; and that the City is block'd up by an Army of Sixty Thousand Men; That they have been raising Batteries round about it ever since the Moon of December; and that the Sultan is resolv'd to win this Important Place, though he hazard half the Ottoman Empire.

This is refreshing News to Mahmut, who has heard Nothing but Improsperous Stories of the Mussulman Arms these many Years. Now I begin to lift up my Head, and take Courage, when the Empire of True Belie­vers makes some Noise and Figure in the World: Whereas, my heart perpetually droop'd before. I was like one among the Dead.

It was but last Year, when the Nazarenes cou'd boast, that notwithstanding all the Menaces and Preparations of the Grand Sig­nior, yet the Venetians were the First in Field by Land, and appear'd Earliest with their [Page 20]Fleet at Sea, doing wonderful Things in Dalmatia, and blocking up Canea in the Isle of Candy: Now, 'tis to be hop'd, they'll change their Note, and begin to consider what a Formidable Force they have pro­vok'd against them, even the Puissance of all Asia, Men of War from their Nativities, an Army of select and chosen Souldiers, Un­daunted Hero's, Sons of Thunder, Magna­nimous, Invincible, and destin'd to vanquish the Ʋncircumcised Nations.

My Heart is reviv'd within me, at the Contemplation of sure and certain Victories, attending this glorious Expedition. My Spi­rits are dilated with Joy; I celebrate a Du­nalma in my Breast. I am like an Arabian Horse, that foams, curvetts, and paws the Ground in Fierceness, when he hears the Sound of the Trumpet warning to Battel. His Eyes sparkle with Martial Fury, a Smoak goes out of his Nostrils, he lifts up the Voice of his Courage, his Rider can hardly restrain him. So am I all in Transport at these good Tidings: I can hardly contain my self within the Compass of Moderation. As Old as I am, I feel a Youthful Vigour stirring in my Veins. Methinks, I long to be in the Heat of the Sacred Combat, in the thickest Clouds of Gunpowder-Smoak, to stand the Shock of Showers of Bullets, or with my Scymeter in hand to hew my Way to Immortal Honour and Felicity: For, those who die in this Cause, go streight to Paradise. But, I must be contented with [Page 21]this tame, humble Post, and serve the Grand Signior in the Manner prescrib'd by my Supe­riours. I tell thee, 'tis no small Mortifica­tion for an Active Spirit, to be thus confin'd. But, Resignation becomes every good Mus­sulman; and I willingly Sacrifice my Passi­ons, to the Pleasure of the Grandees of the Port, and the Interest of the Ottoman Em­pire.

Here I sit, like a Fox in his Den, watch­ing the Motions of the Infidels: If any thing occurrs worthy of Notice, out I bolt upon it, and make it my Prey, and send it as a Pre­sent to the August Ministers. I write to all by Turns, and therefore none has Reason to take Exceptions.

If thou wou'dst know what they are doing here in the Court of France; They are mu­stering the King 's Troops; they are revelling and feasting at Versailles, the King's new Palace, where the Princes excercise them­selves with the Noble Discipline, which they call, Running in Squadrons. Whilst Thou­sands of People flock daily to Versailles, from Paris and all the Adjacent Countries round about, partly to be Spectators of these Royal Paftimes, and partly to behold that Gorgeous Fabrick, which is esteem'd the Fairest and most Magnificent in the World.

Serene Bassa, this Monarch has a vast Ge­nius: Whatsoever he undertakes, he accom­plishes; and all his Performances are surpri­zingly Great. He has a deep Forecast, and [Page 22]seldom fails in his Judgment of what will probably come to pass. He is happily made, born, and brought up. A Prince, one wou'd think, design'd by Fate for the Em­pire of the West.

Renowned Afis, I kiss the Hem of thy Illustrious Robe, and with a profound Obei­sance bid thee Adieu.

LETTER V. To Hasnadar Bassi, Chief Treasurer to the Sultan.

I AM convinc'd, 'tis now Time for me to be resolute, bold and assur'd in my own Conduct: For 'tis in vain to ask Counsel of the Sublime Ministers. I have address'd my self at certain Seasons to them on that Ac­count, ever since I came first to Paris: But not one of them has vouchsaf'd me an An­swer, or given me any particular Instructi­ons how to deport my self in an Emergent Peril of Discovery: Whether I shou'd own my self an Agent for the Grand Signior, or deny it: Whether I should boldly stand the Brunt of all Events, or fly to Artifices and [Page 23]Evasions: Whether I shou'd persist in act­ing the Moldavian, and continue to perso­nate a Christian Student, an Ecclesiastick Candidate under the feign'd Name of Titus; or frankly tell them, I'm a Mussulman, an Arab, and secret Slave of the Sultan.

I ought to have been certify'd in these Cases; and not left at Random to guess, at this vast Distance, the Pleasure of my Supe­riours. But since it is their Will thus to make Tryal of my Fidelity, Prudence and Skill, in warding off the Assaults of Com­mon Chance, Misfortune, and the Attempts of sly designing Men; I'll be as cunning as I can, without embarassing my Peace with constant Panick Fears and Apprehensions of I know not what. No vain Endeavours to avoid the fix'd Decrees of Fate, shall make me change my Lodging, or fly from every menacing Contingency. I'll rather trust to Providence and present Courage, the Justice of my Cause and Native Innocence, leaving the Event to Destiny.

By what I have said, thou wilt perceive I am in some Trouble; and I can assure thee, thou art not mistaken. I'm hatter'd, hun­ted up and down, and persecuted worse than the Foxes, Hares and Hinds near Adrianople. I'm an Old Man, and yet they envy me the Happiness of a Natural Death; they would not have me go down to the Grave in Peace. I have been imprison'd, threatned, dogg'd up and down the Streets, assassinated in the Dark, had my Chamber search'd, my Let­ters [Page 24]in Danger of being seiz'd, with those of the Supreme Ministers. I have run the Risque of a Discovery, by meeting causu­ally an Infidel, whose Slave I once was at Palermo in Sicily. I have been undermin'd by Mussulmans as well as Nazarenes; by Strangers, and by Solyman my Cousin. Yet in all these Perils I have acquitted my self Faithfully, come off with Success, and saved the Honour of my Sovereign; which is the only Thing for which I am sollicitous. But for ought I know, my Care may prove in Vain, and the Evils which I have so long for­tunately escap'd, may now surprize and ruine me. As to my self I care not what becomes of me; and if the Secrets of my Commission be reveal'd, let the Ministers of the Port answer for that, who wou'd never give me the least Direction.

About Two or Three Years ago, I was forc'd to remove from my Old Lodgings, where I had resided ever since my First co­ming to Paris. The Dangers that then as­saulted me, drove me to this House where I still am, in a very obscure Place, by the Wall of the City. Yet even hither am I pursu'd by watchful Enemies: New Hazards threaten me on all Hands. But I'm resolv'd to fly no more, unless it be into the City-Ditch, where I can find Admittance through my Landlord's Cellar. There is a private Pas­sage, dug perhaps in Elder Times, during some Siege, to serve the streight Necessities of those who then posses'd this House. It [Page 25]is so cunningly contriv'd, that Human Wit can ne'er discover it, unless by Chance, or by Direction of those that know it. The Ditch is dry, the Door of the House always lock'd; and my Trusty Host swears, no body shall come in by Day or Night, till I have made a safe Retreat. So that if all the Officers in Pa­ris shou'd come to search, I shou'd have Time to pack up my Papers, and slink away into my lurking Hole. And if they shou'd by monstrous Accident find the conceal'd Ave­nue, I cou'd soon slip into the Fields, through the Last Postern in the Wall, and lock them in beyond the possibility of Pursuit: Whilst I took Care to hide my self afresh, or leave the Country.

This is my Final Resolution, if e'er I'm put to an Extremity again. In the mean Time, I desire thee to make it part of thy Care, that Mahmut shall not want for Mo­ney to carry on the Sultan's Private Affairs without a Baulk. I do not demand Unreasona­ble Things: Let me but live, and have enough to defray the Necessary Expences of my Service, and that's all I crave. But let my Supplies be well tim'd and proportion'd, that I may husband my Pension to the best Ad­vantage: Or else I must always press, and that's a Thing I hate. I have writ to all the Treasurers that went before thee on the same Account, and with Equal Boldness. There­fore take not in ill Part what comes from Blunt Sincerity, and Constant, Full Desires to serve effectually the Grand Signior. It will [Page 26]be very easie for thee to anticipate Mahmut's Expectations, without exceeding the Orders thou hast receiv'd. Money be damn'd, if we cou'd breathe and serve our Friends, and carry on the Affairs of Human Life without it. I am an Arab, and cou'd as freely pass away my Time in harmless Rambles o'er the Pro­vinces of Asia; as thus to be confin'd to Nar­row Fretting Circumstances, the only Effects of too Unshaken, Unregarded and Incorrup­tible Loyalty.

Wealthy Dispenser of the Ottoman Gold, I ask no Alms, but my appointed Salary. In sending of which, I desire thee to remember the Old Roman Proverb, which says, That he gives Twice, who gives in Season.

LETTER VI. To Nathan Ben Saddi, a Jew at Vienna.

I Know not whether I shall live to hear from thee again, or to send thee another Letter. Age, Sickness, Misfortune, toge­ther with the Malice of Men, have laid a Thousand Snares for my Life; I am, as it were, hunted by Nature, Providence, De­stiny, and Chance, into the very Toils of Death; From whence it will be very diffi­cult for me to escape. Not to amuse thee, I am in danger of being discover'd, seiz'd, imprison'd; and then thou know'st, I can expect no less than to be put to the Torture, and rack'd with a Thousand Inventions of Cruelty, That so they may force me to con­fess, what I am, and what my Business is in this Kingdom and City, where I have resided so many Years.

I was suspected by Cardinal Richlieu, for a Moselman, as I have Reason to believe from several convincing Circumstances of that Mi­nister's Carriage to me, ever since his first Acquaintance with me at Paris. And the same jealousie caus'd his Successor, Cardinal Mazarini, to put me into the Bastile, where I was closely confin'd, for the Space of Six Moons. And I might have lain there till [Page 28]this Time, for ought I know, had it not been for the good Conduct and honest Fi­delity of Eliachim. In fine, though I have hitherto escap'd Discovery, yet I cannot flat­ter my self, that I shall always do so. If they once lay Hold on me again, they will certainly search me for the Scar of Circumci­sion; and then, all the Arguments the Wit of Man can find, will not be of Force, to blind them any longer, or save me from the Vengeance of the State. They will certain­ly put me to a Cruel Death.

However, I'll baffle 'em if I can, and if I once escape, I'll bid Adieu to Paris, if not to the whole Kingdom: Being resolv'd not to trust any more to the deceitful Security of new Lodgings in this City, and a vain Re­moval from one Precinct and House to ano­ther: For, the very Air of Paris, is fatal to me. I am never free from Terror, whilst within these Melancholy Walls. The Genius of the Place, is at Enmity with Mine. Every Thing I cast my Eyes on, seems to low'r and frown upon me; I start at the Voices of Men, going along the Streets, and discour­sing about their own Affairs: And if any one knocks at the Door, I'm presently upon my Guard, my anxious Soul still labouring with sad Presages of some Calamity at Hand, rea­dy to rush upon me unawares.

Perhaps, I may go to Lyons, where a Stranger may live an Age conceal'd, and void of Peril, as in this City. Or, I may take a farther Journey to Marseilles, Toulon, or any [Page 29]other Sea-Port Town. Where I will expect new Orders from my Superiors.

In the mean Time, thou mayst continue to address thy Letters as before: For that Course can never fail, let me be where it pleases Heaven. Eliachim will take Care of all Things. I writ to the Hasnadar-Bassi on the same Account, desiring fresh Supplies of Money: Which I suppose will come by the Way of Vienna. If so, I trust to thy Pru­dence, in ordering my Bills with Speed, and the usual Cautiousness.

Nathan, Adieu: And whate'er becomes of me, live thou long and happily to serve the Grand Signior.

LETTER VII. To the Venerable Mufti.

AS the poor injur'd Labourer, or Slave oppress'd by Cruel and Obdurate Ma­sters; as the Despairing Client, who can find no Justice from the Cheicks, Cadi's, or Cadi­lesquers; fly immediately to the Seraill', to make their last Appeal, and seek Redress from the Great Arbiter of Humane Feuds: So falls poor Mahmut prostrate at thy Feet, O Sacred Oracle of Mussulmans; begging from thy Authority, whom no Believer dares to disobey, what I cou'd never yet obtain from any Minister of State, or Bassa of the Bench: That is, how I must act in Case I am discovered, or barely suspected, examin'd, and put to my Oath, concerning my Busi­ness at Paris? Lay thy speedy Commands on those whose Care it ought to be, that no Intelligence, Advice or Counsel be wanting to me, the Faithful Agent of the Port, resi­ding here Incognito, a Spy upon the Infidels. Or, at least, vouchsafe to send me thy In­structions, Rules infallible, Orders of per­fect Wisdom, and Divine Sagacity.

I cannot for the future stand the Brunt of long suspected Casualties; Events which glimmer from afar, like distant Ignes Fatui, or other Vagrant Meteors of the Night: For, so Contingencies appear, which are to come, [Page 31]uncertain, and remote; tho' sometimes near at Hand; yet with deceitful shew, they still mislead bewilder'd Mortals in the Dark. So, the tyr'd Traveller in Libyan Wastes, is tan­taliz'd by mocking Rays of Sands, in drifted Heaps, or flying Bodies, loosely wafted by the Winds; on which the Moon and Stars casting their Beams, create Refractions like Domestick Lamps or Tapers; and encourage the disconsolate Man to hope for neighbour­ing Villages or Towns, where he may rest his weary Limbs, and find an Hospitable Entertainment; secure from Dragons, Lyons, Tygers, or the more Fierce and Cruel Race of Men, who lurk in secret Places of the affrighting Desart, to rob unwary Strangers, as they pass.

'Tis sad, most Holy Patriarch of the Faith­ful, That Men are thus degenerate, and transcend the Horrid Nature of the Wildest Beasts! But, sadder still, That Cities, first design'd for Sanctuaries of the Distress'd, shou'd become worse than Desarts, and more Inhospitable than the Purlieu of Dragons, or the dreadful Haunts of Lynxes, Crocodiles, and other Animals of Prey: That Men pre­tending to be Civiliz'd, to live in Commu­nity, and Reciprocal Participation of all Good Offices; Incorporated by the same Laws, for no other End, but to help, assist and defend one another, against all foreign Enemies; shou'd, instead of this, prove more Barbarous than Salvages, and more Voracious than Cannibals, whilst every Citizen preys [Page 32]on his Neighbour, and devours him, whom he has sworn to protect. They all live by Robbery and Spoil. The Rich and Potent, fleece those whose Wealth is not sufficient to defend them from Oppression. Thus are Towns and Cities, from celebrated Refuges of Men, become the Dens of Thieves, and Cru­el Murderers. The whole Earth is stain'd with the Blood of the Poor: The Cries of Widows and Orphans pierce the Heavens: The Generations of Men are corrupted with Fraud, Avarice, Persidy, Ambition, Envy, and a Thousand other Vices. Brother can­not trust the Son of his own Mother. Fa­thers are Unnatural to their Genuine Off­spring. Children think the Days tedious which prolong their Parents Lives. Self-Love teaches a Man to betray his beloved Friend, for whom he rather ought to lose his Life. An Universal Defection from Justice, and sound Morality, reigns every where.

But, what is most surprizing, is, That even among those who bear the Glorious Title and Character of the True Faithful Mussul­mans, there shou'd be found a Crew of Mis­creants, Villains, and Traytors to God, his Prophet and their Sovereign. I speak not of such, whose Genial Inclinations tempt them to commit vulgar Sins, which injure no Man but themselves. I tax not Drunkards, Game­sters, and those Amorous Persons, who waste their Bodies, Time, Estates, and sa­crifice their Reputation to Voluptuousness. These are but Venial Sins, and soon wash'd [Page 33]off, by the appointed Purifications, and Pe­nances. A little Water, Dust, or Sand, with Fasting and devout Invocation of the Eter­nal Allah, cancels these Peccadillo's; they are all put to the Account of Human Frailty: Such is the Pleasure of Eternal Goodness. But I accuse the blacker Crimes of those, whom fretting Envy stimulates to persecute their harmless Neighbour; or base Ingrati­tude prompts to betray their Friends; or Na­tive Malice teaches to seek out all Occasions of doing Mischief in the World. A Busy, Restless sort of Men, buzzing about like Wasps or Hornets, stinging every one they fasten on. Or, like the Pune's of Paris, a troublesome Kind of Insects, which interrupt the sweet Repose of Men, creeping upon them in their Beds and slumbers, and slyly biting them, to suck their Blood.

Such are the Men of whom I now com­plain; who hatter me from Stratagem to Stratagem, from one Retrenchment to ano­ther: Whose Crime is double, in that they are Persons of my own Religion; Professors of the Genuine Faith, brought down from Hea­ven; Followers of the Prophet, who cou'd neither write nor read; and Subjects to the Grand Signior.

'Tis a long Time, since I had first Occa­sion to accuse some at the Seraglio, of private, sly Attempts, to undermine and ruine me, that they might gain my Post. 'Twill seem Invidious, even in my own Defence, after so many Addresses to the Ministers of the Port, [Page 34]now to repeat their Names; and discompose thy Sacred Thoughts with Black Memoirs of Human Malice. 'Tis not Revenge I seek, but for the future, how to escape, if not pre­vent, the like Conspiracies. Nor, is it for my self alone, I cherish this Unusual Zeal and Care; but for my Master's Interest and Honour.

I've serv'd near Thirty Years in this Pre­carious Station, and never made the least false Step; or, if I have, 'twas not discern'd; which is the same Thing in Effect. And, I'm very unwilling to miscarry at last, through the Treachery of my pretended Friends at Constantinople, or for want of full Instructi­ons from the Imperial Divan.

'Tis for this Reason, I presume to address to the Dust of thy Feet, Supreme Judge of the Faithful, begging the Interposition of thy Paternal Authority, on my Behalf.

There is one Thing more, which in all Hu­mility I recommend to thy Wisdom and Sanctity. I have often writ to thy Prede­cessor on the same Account, beseeching him to promote the Translation of Histories and other Learned Books out of Foreign Langua­ges into Turkish or Arabick: That so Know­ledge might flourish among the Mussulmans, and the Infidels might have no more Ground to call us Barbarous. Let Men skillful in Languages and Sciences be sought for. There are not wanting such at Constantinople, and in other Parts of the Empire. Let them be employ'd in compiling an Ʋniversal History [Page 35]of the World, in Turkish; more ample, true, and correct than any that has gone before it in Greek, Latin, or any other Language. This will bring Eternal Honour to the Otto­man Empire; and prove no hard Task to them that shall undertake it; since it will be onely a Choice Collection out of other Au­thors; a Garland of Flowers cull'd from the various Fields of History, and compos'd toge­ther with an Order full of Lustre and Beau­ty, the whole Work being interwoven with a Chain of Chronological Years; which will not onely give it a Singular Grace, but also be of great Advantage to the Mussulman Readers.

Successor of the Apostles, remember, That tho' our Holy Lawgiver cou'd neither write nor read, yet the succeeding Caliphs encou­raged Learning. Benediction on the Souls of them and their Posterity. So will future Ages bless thy Memory, if thou vouchsafest to encourage this Glorious Work. And Ithu­riel, the Angel of Science, will make thee his Associate in Paradise.

With profound Submissions I retire from thy Sacred Presence, begging thy Absolution, and Blessing.

LETTER VIII. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior.

AMongst other Dispatches, I cou'd not forget what I owe to the long continued Friendship which has been between us. Ha­ving Leisure therefore before the Post goes, I will inform thee of a Birth, which has occa­sion'd little Joy to the Parents, but much Ad­miration among all that hear of it, and rais'd learned Disputes between the Professors of Physick and Surgery.

In the Town of Weerted near Ardenburgh in the Low Countries, a Woman was lately de­liver'd of a Monstrous Child with Two Heads, Two Necks, Four Arms, and proportionably all Parts both outward and inward double to the Navil, which seem'd to be the Center of Union between the Two Bodies: For from thence downwards, there appeared only the Proportion and Shape of One Body, with Two Thighs, Legs and Feet. The Faces were different; One Squalid and Irregular, without a Nose or Mouth, except a Kind of Orifice under the Chin; For the Eyes pos­sess'd the Place of the Mouth, and a perfect Masculine Genital took up the Room of the Nose: The other was fair and made with Symetry, having nothing extraordinary, sa­ving [Page 37]Two Teeth grown out of the Gums.

This Irregular Production has been curi­ously dissected by a Famous Anatomist, who found Two Hearts, Two Stomachs, and the other Vitals all single. What I have said is attested by Five profess'd Physicians, who o­pen'd this Wonderful Creature.

There have been many Examples of ex­traordinary Births, especially in these Parts of the World. And I have read in a French Author, a Man of Credit, That in the Year 1592 of the Christians Hegira, a Woman of Alsatia, brought forth at once an Hundred and Fifty Children, each but Three Inches long.

But what I now shall tell thee, though it be not Remarkable for the Number of Chil­dren, yet has something singular in the Cir­cumstances that attended it.

Irmentrude, the Countess of Altorfe, ac­cus'd one of her Neighbour's of Adultery, because she had Three Children at a Birth, saying, She deserved to be tied up in a Sack, and thrown into the Sea. Next Year the Coun­tess her self was deliver'd of Twelve Sons all at a Birth. And touch'd with Remorse for the Sentence which she had pronounc'd against the other Woman; concluding it now a Just Pu­nishment for her self, sent a Maid with Ele­ven of these New-born Infants, commanding her to drown them in the next River, reser­ving only one to be the Heir of his Father's Estate.

[Page 38] Fate had so determin'd, that her Husband the Earl met the Maid as she was going to commit this Execrable Villainy: And ask­ing her what she had got in her Lap, she an­swer'd, I am going to drown a few Young Whelps. The Earl being a great Hunter, and consequently a Lover of Dogs, had a Mind to see whether any of these Whelps were of a promising Aspect: When to his Astonish­ment he found Eleven of Humane Shape, all Living and Perfect, but very small. He press'd the Maid so far, that she confess'd the whole Truth. Whereupon enjoining her Silence, and Assurance of a good Reward, he caus'd her to carry them to one of his Tenants; where being all cherish'd and laid warm, he dispos'd of them afterwards in convenient Places, to be nurs'd and brought up till they came of Age. Then he sent for them private­ly to his House, having first apparelled them in the same Fashion as their Brother was in who dwelt at Home.

As soon as the Countess cast her Eye on them, and observ'd their Number and Faces, so exactly resembling him who had been al­ways with her, she wept in a Passion betwixt Shame and Joy, confessing her former Cruel Intention; and falling at the Feet of her Lord, he pardon'd her. From these Eleven descend the Family of the Welphs or Guelphs, so Renowned in Germany, and bearing this Name from the Maid's Answer to the Earl, when she had them in her Lap.

[Page 39]Such strange Productions as these, occasion various Enquiries among the Philosophers here in the West: Whether Human Souls be Generated like the Bodies to which they are united, or whether they are Created by the Immediate Power of God. Assuredly these Infidels are much in the Dark, and shut their Eyes against the Light of the Oriental Sa­ges. If the Prophets should rise from the Dead, they would not be able to convince these Ʋncircumcis'd, That all Things Vi­sible and Invisible are from Eternity, and that there is Nothing New in the Sy­stem of the Universe, except the Various Outward Forms, which change indeed, according to the Laws of Endless Trans­migration, and sometimes according to the Frolicks of Nature, who loves to mix her Interludes and Antiques, with the esta­blish'd Senses of every Age.

What I have writ, is to divert thee; But when shall I have an Answer as from an Old Friend? Let not the Ho­nours of the Serail', make thee forget those with whom thou hast once been fa­miliar. My Dear Hali, be not too much a Courtier. Thy long Silence and Re­servedness forces this Language from me. Shall Constantinople blot out thy Remembrance of Arabia? Or, the Blast of a Monarch's Favour, be more Valu­able than the Durable Integrity of a Country-man, a Friend? If the Saltan trusts his Life in thy Hands, dost thou not [Page 40]know that a Fit of Gripes, the Stone, Gout, or any Violent Distemper, will turn all his Confidence into Jealousy? I tell thee, he will suspect Poyson in thy very Looks.

Therefore, continue to be the same Man as thou wert formerly; and let not thy Improvements in Physick, make thee go backward in Morality.

LETTER IX. To Nathan Ben Saddi, a Jew at Vienna.

NOW I see thou art a Man of Business: Thy Mind is cur'd of its Religious Itch, and restor'd to a sound Complexion. Per­severe, and be Happy.

Let no vain Scruples of Conscience molest thy Soul, concerning the Peace that was late­ly made between the Grand Signior and the Germans. Cares of this Nature belong to those who sit at the Helm, and direct the Steerage of the State. As for thee and me, our Part is onely to Obey, without enqui­ring, whether it be Right or Wrong that we are commanded. Every Thing is Law­ful to us, that is enjoin'd by our Superiours; And the Publick Reason ought to supersede our Private narrow Sentiments. Whatever Praemunire's we incurr by our Obedience, the Conscience of the State will be our Bail, our Advocate, and our Ransom. Therefore, once more, Go on and prosper.

Thou cou'dst not have done the Grand Signior a greater Piece of Service, than by thus happily insinuating thy self with the Hungarian Faction at Vienna: For, by that Means, thou becomest Master of the Secrets on both Sides; the Janus that over-looks [Page 42]Two opposite Cabals at once: And so mayst not only form thy own Intrigues the better, but also give a clearer Light to the Mini­sters of the Sublime Port.

I am displeas'd to hear of the frequent Con­spiracies that have been made against the Em­perour's Person. Not for any Love that I bear to him or the House of Austria: For, I wish there was not a Branch of that Incestu­ous Stem left alive on Earth: But, I never knew such Kind of Plots, if once discovered and prevented, to take Effect again. Besides, they many Times spoil the main Design: For, what signifies it, if this Emperour were seiz'd and put to Death, so long as there is any one of that Tyrannical Race surviving. They are all of the same Blood and Interest; Educated also in the same Principles and Maxims. In a Word, they have all but one Game to play; which is, to aggrandize them­selves, and their Posterity for ever. And therefore these Clandestine Methods of Poy­son or Assassine, will but make them more watchful, to prevent all Designs of the like Nature, for the Future.

Remember Nathan, that the Mark which thou art to aim at, is to cherish the Discon­tents of Hungary, by all the Arts of a cun­ning Statesman. Count Peter de Serini, is a fit Subject to work upon. The Death of his Brother, and his own Disgrace at the Impe­rial Court, with the rising Fortune of Mon­tecuculi, have fill'd him with Sentiments of Revenge and Envy. He cannot behold [Page 43]Count d' Aversperg in Possession of Carle­stadt, without much Resentment, having with so great Passion, begg'd that Govern­ment for himself.

If this Prince can but be induc'd to revolt, many Thousands of the Croats, Dalmatians, and Sclavonians, will take up Arms under him, which will at once weaken both the German Empire, and the State of Venice. Besides, the Marriage of his Daughter with Prince Ragotski, may engage the Transylva­nians in his Party. Count Nadasti also, they say, is not well pleased with the Court, aim­ing to be Palatine of Hungary; which has been refus'd him. This News comes to me but by Report. If it be true, thou art in the fair­er Way to succeed. Such great Male-con­tents as these, will puzzle the Ministers of State, and exercise the Policy of Prince Lob­kovitz.

Besides, if Things shou'd not proceed to an open Rupture; yet, thou know'st, the Hungarians are offended at the late Peace, which will not fail to put them upon com­mitting perpetual Acts of Hostility. They stomach it extremely, That the Town of Newhausel is in the Grand Signior's Hands. And they will be always on their Guard in the Neighbouring Parts, Patrôling about, and skirmishing with our Foragers: Which will afford a good Occasion at any Time for our Sovereign to break the Peace, when­ever it is for his Interest. There are Abun­dance of Consequences in such a Case, [Page 44]more than we can think of, or foresee, yet all to our Advantage. As long as we go the right way to Work, all Things will succeed well. Make no false Steps, and there's no Danger of stumbling.

Remember still, That thy particular Charge, is to foment a Civil War between the Court of Vienna, and the Hungarians. 'Tis no Matter, who gets the better on't. Let 'em quarrel to Eternity, and destroy one another in God's Name. Then shall the Mussulman Empire thrive.

Before God, you have a fine Opportunity, ye Factious Comrades: But, beware of sly Interlopers. Damn the Easiness, and good Nature (falsly so call'd) of those, who will admit any Man into their Cabal, pro­vided he puts on a fair Guise, of one of the Party. Ye can't be too reserv'd and close. D'ye think, the Emperour has not his Spies about in every Corner? A Pox of your Stupidity, if you suffer this brave De­sign to miscarry for want of looking sharp. Damn ye for a parcel of Old Thread-bare Fools, if after so many Experiences, you don't furbish up your Wits, and look to your selves. There's Gottendorf, Railliwits, Skus, the Knight, Baron Leipsem, Eluard the Hereditary Pretender to the Marqui­sate of Thanu, with many others, whom I will not name in this Letter. By Moses and Mahomet, they're all Rogues, and if you trust 'em too far, they surely betray you.

[Page 45] Nathan, believe me, I wou'd not write so passionately, were my Life at all precious. But, I have no other End in protracting the Minute of my Transmigration, than to exalt, as much as in me lies, the Majesty of the Otto­man Lineage, and to guard it from Dangers. I am plac'd here on Purpose, by Fate: And I'll do my Duty, though the whole World shou'd sputter their Venom against me.

O Israelite, both thou and I, must shortly leave this Earth; or at least, we must change the Form of our Earth. We shall never cease to be something; God knows what.

In the mean Time, be what thou seemest to be.

LETTER X. To the Most Sublime, and Magni­ficent of the Mussulman Bassa's, Achmet, the Vizir Azem.

MAY Chaplets of Immortal Flowers crown thy Noble Head, Illustrious Cuperli, strong Prop of the House of Ertogriel; Main Buttress of the Tower of the Selzuccian Tribe, the Lineage of Ottoman, Heir of the Heirs to Ismael, the Eldest Son of our Fa­ther Abrahim, the Glory of Men and the Be­loved of God.

Not the Unmatch'd Perfumes of Arabia, nor the surprizing Odours of the Persian In­cense, which they offer'd to the Sun; not all the most skilful Compositions of Eastern A­romaticks put together, are half so sweet, as is thy Glorious Name, among the Mussulmans.

I receiv'd thy Orders with a Reverence se­cond onely to that which is due to the Grand Signior; And will perform them, with a Loyal Alacrity. I perfectly comprehend thy Design, and the Drift of the Sublime Port. For thou hast stated the Case like an Oracle. 'Twill not be difficult, I believe, to suggest underhand to the French Court, the Advan­tage they may make of the present Distra­ctions in Hungary: For, they are already be­come the Subject of common Discourse. [Page 47] Lewis XIV. by encouraging those Male-con­tents, and supporting their Cause with pri­vate Disbursements of Money, will doubtless facilitate his own designed Conquests on the Neighbourhoods of the Rhine. For, if the Hungarian Lords proceed to an open Revolt, and throw themselves under the Sultan's Pro­tection; the Emperour of Germany will be oblig'd to turn all his Forces that Way: Which yet will not be able to withstand the United Armies of the Hungarians, Croatians, Heyducks, Tartars, and the most Invincible Osmans. So that by this Means, the Empire will be weakned on both Sides, and in Fatal Danger of its final Dissolution: Whilst the Strength and Power of the Grand Signior, and the King of France, his Noble Allie, will daily encrease.

Besides, this will put all Europe into Divi­sions and Parties, according as their Interests and Affections incline them; some siding with the Emperour, others with the French King; whilst the Generality will stand Neu­ters, and contemplate the Issue of these Wars, without assisting one Side or t'other. Than which, nothing can fall out more Happy or Propitious for the Sacred Monarchy of the Osmans.

In Obedience to thy Commands, I have written to Nathan Ben Saddi on this Ac­count: Altogether as from my self, not gi­ving him the least Ground to conjecture, that I had receiv'd an Order from the Port. I frequently take the Liberty to counsel that [Page 48]honest Jew in many Cases; inviting him to Projects in General Terms, and to do some Extraordinary Service for the Grand Signior. So that he will imagine my writing now is onely of Course, without suspecting any Thing else.

I beseech thee to send me all the Instructi­ons that are Needful for me, not onely to carry on this Affair prosperously, but all o­thers relating to the Port. I will be careful to transmit thy Commands to Nathan Ben Saddi, in such a Disguise, as he shall not dream they are any other than my own Pro­posals: Since thou dost not think it fit that the Majesty of the Port, should appear to be concern'd in a Business of this Nature; espe­cially, so soon after the late Peace, concluded with the Emperour.

'Tis an invaluable Honour thou hast done me; in trusting to my Conduct an Intrigue, whose Effects, for ought I know, may reach all the Nations of Europe, and last till the Day of Doom. Question not my Fidelity, for 'tis of Proof: Besides, it many Times tempts a Man to be false, when he knows he is suspected to be so.

I am Slave of the Slaves of those who stand near the Sultan's Person, and confess Moham­med to be the Apostle of God. More particu­larly, I am devoted to those who have the Honour to serve thee, the Grand Pillar of the Osman Empire. God perpetuate thy Felicity.

LETTER XI. To the Selictar Aga, or Sword-Bear­er to the Sultan.

THese Parts abound in Action at this Time. Couriers run up and down from Court to Court, with secret Dispatches, and Matters of deep Import. The Death of the Queen of Poland, and of Pope Alexander VII. occasion this new stirring and bustling in Eu­rope. She died on the 10th. of the 5th. Moon; He on the 22d. Every Kingdom and State in the West, have some Interest to make or pre­serve; some Design to form, or to carry on; the Success of which many Times depends on the well managing the Consequences of these great and Fatal Breaches which Death makes in the Families of Mighty Potentates, Houses of Royal Descent.

The French Court were all dissolv'd in Joy, for the Marriage of the Duke of Guize with Madamoiselle d' Alençon; They were in the midst of the Nuptial Triumphs, and Fe­stival Solemnities, when the Black Expresses came, which soon turn'd all their Mirth to Mourning, at least in outward Appearance. For it was not decent for the Sons to conti­nue longer revelling, when the Great Father lay Embalm'd in Order to his Sepulture. Therefore, to prevent Idleness, the King [Page 50]thought fit to change the Pastimes of the Court, for more Necessary Business; and the soft Entertainments of Hymen, for the Rugged Toils of War. He caus'd his Armies to march into Flanders, to give his Queen Possession of certain Estates fallen to her in those Parts. This surpriz'd the Low-Countries, who began to demolish several Places of Strength, that had not sufficient Garrisons to defend them.

The King was himself in Person at the Head of his Army, which gave immense Courage to his Soldiers. So that Tournay quick­ly surrender'd to him, on the 24th. of the 6th. Moon; and Doway not many Days af­ter. In the mean while, the Mareschal d' Aumont with another Army, takes Bergue and Furnes near Dunkirk. Then he besieges Lisle, which was taken also after Seventeen Days; but not without the King's Presence, who appear'd indefatigable, always on Horse­back or in his Coach, going the Rounds, and surveying all the Works. He slept in his Coach, that Night the Town was taken, on a Bridge not far from Gaunt. They have also taken Courtray, Oudenarde and Alost. They have defeated the Prince de Ligne, and the Count de Marcin. In a Word, they have done so many Great Things this Campaigne, That all Flanders is stupified, as at a Mi­racle.

Illustrious Aga, I have in a Sort of Minia­ture presented thee with the true Effigies of Western Affairs at this Juncture. Let not my Abruptness displease thee; since this Epitome [Page 51]describes the Truth as lively, as if I'd fill'd an Ell of Parchment up with Words.

LETTER XII. To Dgnet Oglou.

I Know not whether I have Reason to rejoice or be sad, in my present Circum­stances; so Ambiguous are the Events of Human Life. Even the most blandishing Gifts of Fortune, and such as we are extreme­ly taken with, many Times prove like the Trojan Horse, onely fair and Gay in outward Appearance; whilst like that deceitful Engine of the Grecian Craft, they carry an Army of Hidden Calamities within, which in the midst of our secure Repose, when we least dream of any Evil, rush upon us from their conceal'd and unsuspected Ambuscades, put­ting us all in Terrour and Confusion.

However, since I have had a sufficient share of Trouble, Grief, and Melancholy; now let other sprightly, chearful Passions take their Turn, be the Event how it will. I cannot always bear the Burden of a loaded Spleen, cramm'd and puff'd up with Melan­choly Winds, the Embryo's or Vehicles at [Page 52]least, of horrid Thoughts, perplexing Cares, and black Despair. Besides, methinks, I have a fit Occasion to be merry; being by a very pleasant Accident, at once rid of a great many vain Doubts and Anxieties, (which have disturb'd my Peace for these Three or Four Years) and restor'd to the charming Conversation of Daria, whom thou may'st remember, I so passionately lov'd, in the Days of my Youth.

Know then, that one Day as I was walk­ing in the Streets, I met that lovely Greek in Mourning. Surpriz'd above Measure at the Sight of a Person, for whom I had formerly cherish'd so great an Esteem; I stood still at First, like one Thunderstruck. I cou'd not forbear questioning my own Senses, and gi­ving the Lye to my Eyes, which assur'd me 'twas she. Neither Age, nor Absence had effac'd her lov'd Idea from my Memory, or so much chang'd her Face, but that I easily call'd to mind the Object of my Amorous Desires. Yet, my Astonishment was such at this unthought of Interview, that I had not Resolution enough to believe my self. And her Amazement seem'd no less than mine: Whilst neither of us had Power to speak, but stood like Fools: Till I asham'd longer to lose my self in such an effeminate Confusion of Spirit, first broke Silence, not without some Rapture and Emotion, crying out, ‘"Is it Daria, or her Ghost, I see? Has For­tune bless'd, or mock'd me at this Fatal Hour? Or do deluding Nymphs and Fai­ries, [Page 53]haunt the Streets of Populous Cities, walking about in borrow'd Forms, and mixing with the Throng of Mortals, to tantalize our softest Hopes, with a false S [...]ew of some dear Lover, Friend or Per­son highly wish'd for, ne'er to be enjoy'd? It may be true, That Cytherea left her Heaven, (as Virgil does relate) and in a Tyrian Dress, met the Heroick Off­spring of Anchyses in the Fields, amu­sing him with a disguized Semblance of Mortality and Human Race, untill her Heavenly Voice discover'd that she was a Goddess. So us'd Diana to descend in dead of Night, and mix the Slumbers of Endy­mion with Immortal Dreams; stealing soft Kisses from the lovely Youth, and whispe­ring Coelestial Words into his Ears, more forcible than the Songs of Orpheus, when he mov'd the Trees and Rocks to Passions of Platonick Love. At other Times they wou'd come down and take the Air of cool Mount Haemus, or the lofty Ida. Thus Melpomene, Clio, and the Rest o'th' Sacred Nine, wou'd often visit the Refreshing Heights of their belov'd Par­nassus, from whence descending to the Shady Banks of Helicon, with more than Mortal Voices, wou'd awake and tempt the wanton Eccho's to strike up, like Ʋni­sons, and join in Consort with 'em, whilst they chant the Praises of some Demi-God or Hero whom they love. But that a Goddess, Nymph, or Muse did e'er frequent the [Page 54]Common Crowd of Mortals in a City, is not to be credited. Therefore, unless I dream, it is Daria I behold."’

My Dgnet, I was running on in higher Ec­stafies, at mentioning of her Name, but that she smil'd, and interrupted me with an obli­ging Reservedness, and said; ‘"Mahmut, if you are the Man I take you for, and wou'd have my Esteem, be less passionate, and leave off this wild way of Raillery. We both are past the Vanities of Youth. Our Years shou'd now retain no Remnant Froths of early boiling Blood, and Young, Green, Foolish Passions."’

I took this onely for a Female Banter, an Essay of Woman's Craft, to try the Sense and Humour of a Man. For, thou knowest, the greatest Princess loves a truly passionate Address; though not a puling, whining one. Besides, 'tis the Fashion here in France, to use Romantick Forms of Speech, when they make Love. However, in Regard it was Inconvenient to lose more Time, in the open Street, by this Sort of Discourse, I invited her to a House, where we might converse with more Freedom. She accepted the Mo­tion, and I conducted her to the House of Eliachim the Jew. 'Tis pleasantly seated on the Banks of the River Seine, and has a fair Garden belonging to it. Eliachim happen'd to be abroad, which gave us a better Oppor­tunity of improving our Time, without the necessary Interruption of Salutes, Compli­ments, &c. usual in such a Case. And I [Page 55]had the command of his House, as though he had been there himself.

It being in the heat of Summer, I led Daria into a little Shady Green Retreat, in the midst of the Garden, out of the Reach of curious Ears, where, under the cool re­freshing Shelter of a wide-spread Beech, we sate down and call'd to Mind our former Acquaintance and Friendship. Daria still retain'd her Native Modesty and Prudence. Neither had the external Beauty of her Face suffer'd any greater Detriment, than what befalls the fairest Roses, Violets, or other Flowers, which even in their most decayed Estate, merit the Character of Amiable Sweetness. However, the Lustre of her Wit, and Goodness of her Humour, supply'd all other Defects.

I protest, my Dgnet, it was Impossible for me to see, and not to love again, a Person, whose Idea once was so Domestick and Fa­miliar to my Soul. And I was the more animated to make my Court, when she told me, that she was a Widow. 'Twas easy to forget, or banish from my Thoughts, her former Faithful Treachery, in acquainting her Husband with my Amour. Love soon removes all puny Obstacles; 'tis ready, prompt, and dextrous to find Excuses for the greatest Faults a Friend can e'er com­mit: Much more ingenious to palliate the Peccadillo's of a Mistress. This Generous Passion by a peculiar Force extirpates all Re­venge, and blots out the Memoirs of past [Page 56]Unkindnesses. It ever springs and blooms with fresh Desires, young vigorous Inclina­tions. Like to the Palm oppress'd with Weights, it higher grows. 'Twou'd fain en­crease, dilate, and stretch it self to Immor­tality. There's no Consideration, but that of Honour, can pretend to match, or stand in Competition with the Divine Regards of Love. And yet, the most exalted Human Glory often vails to this soft Passion. The Conquerours of the World, suffer themselves to be o'ercome by Women.

Wonder not therefore, That I who am Flesh and Blood as well as other Men, cou'd not now defend my self from fair Daria's Charms.

Excuse me in that I cannot now give thee any farther Account of this Adventure; be­ing interrupted by a Messenger from Elia­chim the Jew, who brings me Word, my Mother is very Sick, and wants my Company Expect another Dispatch speedily.

LETTER XIII. To Pesteli Hali, his Brother, Master of the Customs and Superinten­dent of the Royal Arsenal at Con­stantinople.

'TIS written in the Fates, That Man shou'd Once, at least, be vanquish'd by a Woman in his Life. But, 'tis my Chance to be Twice subdu'd by one of that Fair Sex. I know not whether I acquainted thee with the Love I formerly bore to Daria a Beauti­ful Greek Lady sojourning in Paris. Neither have I at this Instant an Opportunity to look over the File of my Letters, they being in my Lodgings, and I at Eliachim's House, where I write this Letter, for the Sake of a Convenience, which offers it self, of sending thee a small Present of Watches and Oriental Stones, by a Jew, a Merchant who is just departing for Constantinople.

However, if thou art curious to know the Circumstances of this Amour I speak of; Our Friend Oglou can inform thee of it. In the mean Time, suffer me to vent some of my Thoughts concerning Women, and the Love of them, rooted so deeply in our Hearts by Nature. None of our Sex cou'd e'er e­scape this gentle Passion, it being mix'd and blended in our very Original Embryo's, and [Page 58]after cherish'd with our Mothers Milk. It was the peculiar Mystery of our Nurses, by a Thousand Female Tricks and Arts of neces­sary Tenderness, to blow and kindle up the little Sparks of this Immortal Fire within our Infant Souls; whilst from their Breasts we suck'd and guzzl'd down inebriating Phil­ters and Love-Potions, more forcible and dura­ble than those the Grecian Maids compound by Magick Rules, when they wou'd captivate some Lovely Youth within their Snares. Our Blood thus fed with early Sympathetick Draughts, becomes the Seminary of a Thou­sand Amorous Inclinations; General, un­form'd, and volatile Affections, to that Sex: Till Time and Opportunity fix our loose Desires, on some particular Maid, whom Fate or Chance has brought into our View. At the First Glance, she darts from her en­chanting Eyes the perfect Image of her Soul, which penetrates, like Lightning, our most Interiour Faculties. The swift Idea soon transforms us into its own Similitude; like melted Wax we take the Momentary Impression of a Figure, which may last as long as we. Or, if we melt again, 'tis but to receive some other Stamp of Love. Thus our whole Life passes away in an Enchanted Circle of Amours.

However, 'tis the Part of a Wife Man to regulate this Passion, and not suffer it to de­generate into Dotage. There is much to be said in Praise of Women, and not a little in their Disparagement. As we are Riddles [Page 59]to our selves, so that Sex is in a higher De­gree, Mysterious, and a Paradox.

'Twou'd be a Kind of Sacrilegious Envy to conceal their Excellencies, and the Advan­tages they have of us, in many Regards, whilst our partial Pen shall onely publish their Defects and Infirmities. Some Hebrew Doctors from the Different Names of Adam and Eve, draw Arguments to prove the Dignity and Perfection of the Female Sex, in that Adam signifies [Earth] but Eve ex­presses [Life.] For, they affirm, that every Name which God impos'd on any Thing, de­scribes its Nature and Qualities, as a Picture represents the Original. Therefore, by how much, Life is more to be esteem'd than Earth, by so much more Excellent, in the Opinion of these Rabbi's, is Woman than Man.

They go farther also, and from the Affini­ty between Eve's Name and the Sacred Name of God, the Ineffable Tetragrammaton, the Cabbalists borrow Proofs in Confirmation of their Doctrine.

I know not, whether such Critical Obser­vations be of any Moment, or no, in this Case; Yet, thou know'st, that all the Ea­stern Languages are full of hidden Mysteries; each Word and Letter being impregnated with some Divine or Natural Secret, beside the common obvious Sence. Thus Al Zerbi, the Holy Mussulman Doctor says, There's Magick in the Sacred Name of Jesus, and that whene'er it shall be once pronounc'd through the Great Tube or Trump of Michael, it [Page 60]shall cause all the Powers in Heaven, in Earth, and Hell, to bow the Knee. This Globe, whereon we tread, shall tremble, and all the Elements melt away; the Firmament shall be snatch'd up, like to the Motion of an Eastern Antiport, Veil, or Curtain. The wide-stretch'd Orbs Above, shall warp and rowl together, as a scorched Skin, or Piece of Parchment does before a Fire. So forci­ble will be the Energy of that Tremendous WORD by which the Ʋniverse was made; when God designs to rend this Visible World of ours in Pieces, that he may reveal his Nobler Works, the Worlds Invisible and E­ternal. This mighty Frame, on every Side will bow, and yield, and vanish; not able to support the crowding Train and Lustre of Immortal Glories, Radiant, Bright Essences, descending in a Body from the High Palaces of God, the Infinite Solitudes and Recesses of the Omnipotent.

Thou hast no Reason to be scandaliz'd at what I write, as if I were a Christian. Thou seest I have a Doctor of the Arabs, for my Author: A True Believer, and reputed Saint. Besides, if I am worthy to advise thee, let not the Common Practice of Mus­sulman Professors in the Imperial City, tempt thee to despise the Blessed Son of Mary, of whom our Holy Prophet speaks so honoura­bly. How many Chapters in the Alcoran do celebrate his Praise? I rather counsel thee to imitate the honest Turcomans, who are e­steem'd the best of True Believers. These [Page 61]honour both Jesus and his matchless Virgin-Mother. So do the Chupmessiasi, and all good Mussulmans. As for the Rest, they're either Superstitious and Morose Fanaticks, Profligate Renegades, or Loose, Wild Liber­tines, who fear neither God or Man.

And now I've mention'd that Incompara­ble Mary, Mother of the Messias, of whom the Mighty Alcoran speaks such Venerable Things; it is a fit Occasion to return from my Digression, and proceed in relating what the Jewish Rabbi's say farther in Commenda­tion of the Female Sex.

They consider the Order which God, accor­ding to the Writing of Moyses, observed in the Creation: viz. That among his Works some are Incorruptible, and Immortal; o­thers subject to Corruption and Change, and that as he began in the Noblest Species of the Former, to wit, pure separate Spirits, so he ended in the Most Illustrious of the latter that is, Woman; the last of all his Works, and the most Perfect of Compound Beings; for in her are center'd and consummated the Nature of the Heavens, the Earth, Air, Fire and Water, with Minerals, Plants, and Ani­mals, and whatsoever else was made before her. This is the Opinion of some Hebrew Writers, who believe, that God having made Eve, and then survey'd the System of his Works, found nothing more Excellent or Divinely fram'd than Woman. Therefore in her he rested and commenc'd the Sabbath, as if his Power and Wisdom now were tir'd and [Page 62]foil'd, and that he cou'd not start the Idea of another Creature, more perfect than her. Or, as if he did not esteem the Ʋniverse it self compleat without the last and most ac­complish'd of his Works. For, they hold, it is absurd to believe, that God wou'd finish such a prodigious and admirable Task, in any mean or abject Thing. They also illustrate this by a Similitude, asserting, That the World being as it were an Intire Circle, it follows by a Necessary Consequence, that it was finish'd in that Part, which by the most Intimate Union, couples the First Atome to the Last.

They endeavour to strengthen this by the Common Principle of Philosophy, which tea­ches, That the End is always First in the In­tention, and Last in Execution. Woman therefore being the Last Work of the Crea­tion, it is evident, say they, that she was the Chief Design and Aim, the Almighty had in building this Immense Fabrick, which he first furnished and adorned with infinite Riches and Delights, and then introduc'd her, as into her Own Native, Proper Palace, there to reign as Absolute Queen over all his Works.

Besides, they take Advantage from the particular Place of her Creation, to exalt her, in that she was form'd in Paradise, among the Angels, whereas Man was made in the Common Waste among the Brutes. And therefore they say, Women have this peculiar Privilege, That when they look down from [Page 63]any Eminent Height or Precipice, they feel no Dizziness or giddy Symptoms in their Head, no Mist or Dimness in their Eyes, being, as it were, nearer their proper Element, or lofty Birth-Place. Whereas it is common for Men to be troubled with these Accidents in such a Case.

But the most prevailing Argument they use, is taken from the Stupendous Beauty of that Sex, which, like the finer Sort of Clouds in Summer, seems to engross the Splendors of Immortal Light, and so reflect them on the World. How matchless is a Woman's Form? What dazz'ling Majesty environs her, from Head to Foot? Gaze on her lovely Countenance without Astonishment; or fix your Eyes on her's without an Ecstasie; Those Lights which do mislead the Morning Stars, and cause the Gods to ramble from their Heaven, if what the Ancient Poets say, be true. So did Apollo for his Daphne, and Jupiter for others of that charming Sex. Nei­ther need we wonder at this, since the Writ­ten Law it self records, that Angels fell in Love with Admirable Maids of Human Race, and took 'em for their Wives, or Concubines, from whom the Progeny of Giants came. Thus more Modern Writers testify, that In­corporeal Spirits and Daemons of all Ranks and Qualities, both Good and Bad, have been enflam'd with Ardent Passions for some Mor­tal Virgin. Which is no false or vain Opi­nion, as the Incredulous Part of Men wou'd fain insinuate, but a known Truth, confirm'd by many Experiences.

[Page 64]Indeed, so admirable is the Figure, Voice, and Mien, of a Fair Woman, that he is will­fully blind, who does not see, whatsoever Beauties the whole World is capable of, con­center'd in that Sex. And for this Reason 'tis, that not onely Man, with Angels, Dae­mons, Genii, Satyrs, and the whole Series of Rational Beings, admire a Fair Woman; But also the very Brutes are struck with a pro­found Amazement at her Sight: With Sighs, and silent Vows, the Animal Generations pay Homage to her, and adore the stately Idol. Every Thing in Nature is enamour'd, and lies prostrate at her Feet. She alone commands the Ʋniverse.

Yet, after all, my Brother, they have their dark side too, like the Rest of Mixed Beings. They are the Frontier-Passes of the World Above, and that Below: The Gates of Life and Death; the very Avenues to Heaven, or Hell according as they're us'd. Like Fire they'll warm and refresh a Man, if he keep at a due Distance; but, if he approach too near, they'll scorch and blister him, if not consume him quite. Or, like that other E­lement of Water, they're very good and ser­viceable, whilst kept within their Bounds, but let 'em once break down the Banks of Modesty, they'll threaten all with Ruine. In a Word, 'tis neither safe to vex 'em in the least, or humour 'em too much. The Excess of Foudness, as well as the Defect of Natural Love, may equally undoe us. Pru­dent Generosity is the onely Method of ma­king [Page 65]our selves happy in the Enjoyment of this Sex.

Dear Pesteli, let us Reverence our selves, and then we cannot fail of due Respect from our Wives and Concubines. For, they love a Man that's truely Masculine and Brave.

LETTER XIV. To the Same.

JUst as I'd finish'd t'other Letter, I was alarm'd afresh with new Disoveries of So­lyman's Treachery. That Barbarous Dog, is certainly an Imp of Hell, a Devil in Human Flesh; an Adventitious Plant, pluck'd from the Drery Banks of Phlegeton, or Cocytus, and engrafted in our Noble Stock, on Purpose to ruine and destroy us. The whole Tribe is bound to curse him with immortal Execra­tions. He industriously seeks and studies all Occasions to do Mischief. His Veins sure stream with fiercest Venoms, rather than with Human Blood. The Poyson of Dra­gons and Asps is under his Tongue, and the Gall of Crocodiles within his Lips. His Lungs breath nothing but Infernal Smokes; the Spirit Negidher times the Systole and Di­astole [Page 66]of his Heart; and his whole Body is a Den of Fiends, as Foul and Black, as those which guard the Throne of the Great Prince of Darkness.

I cou'd have easily forgiven his sly malicious Attempts upon my Life, and Honour; his Interloping Tricks and Plots, his Calumnies and Slanders, with all the Train of his Per­fidious Actions: But, that he shou'd abuse the Vertuous Fatima, Daughter to our Un­cle Ʋseph, is an Injury I cann't put up, or pardon. That Innocent Lady ne'er deserv'd such Cruel Unmanly Usage at his Hands. The Dregs of a Thousand bitter Curses be his Portion to drink in Hell, unless he repent of this prodigious Baseness, and make Ho­nourable Satisfaction.

Thou wilt wonder perhaps, what is Soly­man's Crime, that fills me with such Impla­cable Resentments. Know then, that Fati­ma's Husband, being call'd to the Grand Signior's Service in the Wars of Dalmatia, and for that Reason, forc'd to tarry from her above these Fourteen Moons; she entrusted Solyman with an Affair of grand Importance, a Matter which concern'd her Life, Honour, and Welfare in the World. It seems she had a Quarrel with an old Grecian Hag, who sought to prostitute her to the Great Cadi of Smyrna, where she lives. This Grandee had by a strange Accident, seen Fatima in a Bath, frequented onely by Women of Quality. However through some neglect of the Servants, he was not spy'd himself, but went away [Page 67]deeply in Love. That Passion, thou know'st, makes every Body restless, that is tormented with it. He knew not how to ease himself, but by communicating his thoughts to the fore-mention'd Grecian Widow, whom he had often made the Confident of his Amours. The thorow-pac'd Bawd soon promis'd him Relief, and that she wou'd accomplish his Desires. However she fail'd and found her self mistaken, when she came to tempt the Inviolate Chastity of Fatima. For, all her glittering Promises, her softest Rhetorick, cou'd ne'er corrupt a Heart establish'd firm in Vertue.

Mad at her Repulse, she studies how to be reveng'd, conceiving it not impossible to bring her Designs about by Violence, since Fair Perswasions wou'd not do. She frames a Formal Accusation against Fatima before the Cadi, taxing her with Witchcraft and other Crimes, upon Oath. The Cadi having learn'd his Lesson, wou'd not hear the Cause in open Divan; but pretending Indisposition of Body, caus'd her to be brought before him in his private Bed chamber. The Greek had ready by her, several suborn'd Witnesses, to depose most horrid Things against the In­nocent Woman. When the Cadi professing an intire Respect to Fatima's Husband, seem'd to take Pity on her Circumstances, and wav'd the farther Prosecution of the Cause till another Time, keeping Fatima Prisoner in the mean while in his own Pa­lace.

[Page 68]All this was manag'd so privately, that no Body in the Town took Notice of it, save an Acquaintance or Two of the Grecian Widow, and Solyman our worthy Cousin, who happen'd to be at Smyrna in this very Juncture, among his other Rambles.

Persons in Trouble, are willing to fly for Refuge to any Friend, desiring their Assi­stance. Fatima, all in Tears at such an un­expected Change of her Condition, had Leisure and Opportunity to speak to Solyman, conjuring him to go to certain Intimate Friends of our Family, living in Aleppo, and tell them her Circumstances. Instead of this, the Faithless Villain goes to her Husband's Friends at Tripoli, telling them the most shameful and scandalous Things of Fatima, his Malice cou'd invent; and that by her lewd Courses she had well-nigh ruin'd her Husband; producing at the same Time for­ged Bills and Letters as from him, whereby he rais'd a Thousand Zequins, with which the perjur'd Villain's gone no Body knows whither, to make his broken Fortunes once again, and lay a Foundation for new Cheats. Whilst the poor injur'd Fatima, is forc'd to bear the Reproach and Infamy of Things whereof she ne'er was guilty. But, Time I hope will clear her Innocence, and bring that Cursed Vagabond to Shame.

I counsell'd him indeed long ago to travel, and see the various Regions of the Earth. But, I ne'er advis'd him to load his Soul in such long Voyages with the Guilt of base Ingrati­tude, [Page 69]barbarous Malice, Perfidy and other Vices of the blackest Hue. The smaller Frailties, Stains, and Blemishes of Human Life, are too great a Burden for a generous Heart to bear without Complaints and Sighs. He that has but a Spark of Vertue in him, blushes for every Peccadillo he commits. If, tempted by good Company, or in Hopes to banish Melancholy Thoughts, he indulge himself a larger Draught of Wine, than what is Ordinary, and so insensibly boil up his Blood to Irregular Heights and Superfluities, he's all this while no Body's Foe but his own: He plots no Mischief against his Friend, Re­lation, Harmless Neighbour, or Acquaintance. All the Enmity he shews is to himself, and in his Cups he is not aware of that. For which Reason afterwards, to expiate the Cri­minal Advances he made to self-Murder; he willingly scums off the grosser Ebullition of his heated Veins, in penitent weeping: A Flood of Tears runs from his Eyes, like ge­nerous Libations, at the Foot of the Altar, to pacify the Wrath of God; whilst the ligh­ter Part evaporates in pious Sighs and Vows. Thus his Pollution vanishes like Smoak, and he is soon made Clean again. And so in other Vices 'tis the same, with Men dispos'd to Ver­tue. They endeavour to root out the Evil Habits they're accustom'd to. They try all Ways, and Stratagems to reform themselves. But wicked Men by Inclination, sin on without Remorse. They never study to retrench the Evils they commit. Ever propense to Vice, [Page 70]they chuse its ways, and court the Opportu­nities of doing Impious Things. They're na­tively Unjust, and cannot live at Ease with­out premeditated Crimes. It is their Ele­ment, to be projecting Mischief. And such a one is Solyman our Cousin.

God inspire him with more Grateful Senti­ments towards his Friends, more Natural and Affectionate to those of his Blood, and a more just Deportment to all Men: Or else may he be like Cain, who for murdering his Bro­ther was condemn'd to be a Vagabond on Earth; and like Zeuli Bazar the Persian, who falsely accus'd Hosain the Prophet, and for that Reason was troubled with a Palsy in his Head as long as he liv'd.

LETTER XV. To the Mufti's Vicar.

I Sent an Account to the Port of the Death of the late Rumbeg, or Pope, who is the Great Patriarch of the Nazarenes. Now the Cardinals have chosen another to succeed him, whom they call Clement IX. A Man of a great Character for Learning and Piety, and one from whom the Franks expect Glo­rious Things to be done for the Publick Good of Christendom.

These Popes seem to inherit the Authority and Honour of the Ancient Pontifex Maxi­mus, or High-Priest of the Romans in the Time of Paganism. Nay, they assume a far more Ample and Uncontroulable Power. For, those Gentile Prelates always submitted to the Imperial Authority, from which they receiv'd Protection, and Maintenance. But, these Christian Fathers acknowledge no Su­periour on Earth. Kings and Emperours do Homage to them, and perform the meanest Services; as to hold the Bason whilst the Pope washes his hands; to hold the Stirrop, whilst he mounts, or alights from off his Mule. Sometimes Great Princes lead his Horse by the Bridle; whilst [...] another Season, they carry him on their Shoulders. 'Tis Recorded, that Eumenes, King [...] Pergamus came to Rome, and pulling off his Turbant, humbly [Page 72]laid it on the Ground before the Senate, con­fessing he receiv'd his Liberty from them. And Prusias, King of Bithynia, us'd to style himself the Roman Senate's Slave, and bow down to the Earth before them. But, this is nothing to the Reverence which Greatest Monarchs pay the Pope, when crawling on their Hands and Knees, they kiss the Sandal on his Foot.

He can make and depose Kings at Pleasure, absolve Subjects from their Allegiance; bind and remit Sins, open and shut the Gates of Pa­radise, Purgatory and Hell, or at least he en­deavours to make the World believe so.

He has Seventy Cardinals for his Assistants, and Counsellors, all equal to Princes: A Hundred and Thirty Archbishops under his Obedience: A Thousand and Seventeen Bi­shops: A Hundred and Forty Four Thousand Monasteries and Religious Houses: Three Hundred Thousand Parishes obeying his Will, and yielding Homage to him. So that if he were resolv'd to carry on some lasting War, he need only lay an Impost of Six Crowns a Year on every Monastery; and Fifty Two on every Parish, and it would amount to Sixteen Millions of Crowns yearly Income. And if out of every Monastery, he chose out Ten Men, he wou'd have an Army of Four­teen Hundred and Forty Thousand Men: Which is more than any Potentate in the World can do beside.

Thou wilt say, 'tis a Wonder then he does not put this in Practice, and so wage War [Page 73]with the Grand Signior, who has fleec'd him of so many flourishing Countries formerly under his Obedience.

O Sacred Oracle of the Mussulmans, God has tied up his Hand; he cannot do it. These are but Empty Speculations, Impracticable Projects, Phantastick Chimaera's. The migh­ty Train of his Archbishops, Bishops, Parish-Priests, with Jesuits, Monks and Friars, though never so willing to obey his Orders in such a Case, yet cannot stir a Foot without the Leave of their Respective Sovereigns. For, they are dispers'd through divers King­doms, States and Principalities, where they are subject to the Laws and Government in Force. So that unless he cou'd unite the Hearts of all the Christian Princes one with another, and with his own, to undertake so grand an Expedition, it is impossible ever to effect his Will. Each Nation has an Interest of its own to pursue, which makes 'em deaf to such Proposals as may embarass, if not ruine them. No Peter of the Desart, ram­bling up and down from Court to Court, with his Religious Harangue, will e'er again prevail to raise another Crusade. That Zeal is out of Fashion now in Christendom. Kings in these later Ages, have not half the At­tach and Veneration for the Pope, they had in former Times. When Pope Boniface VIII. claim'd a Temporal Jurisdiction in France; Philip the Fair, being then King, sent him this short Answer; Let thy Great Sottishness know, That in Temporals we are subject to [Page 74]none but God alone. And a French Embassa­dor at Rome, speaking something boldly to the Pope, the Prelate reproach'd him, That his Father was burnt for a Heretick; where­upon the Embassador gave him such a Box o'th' Ear, that he fell down as dead. But it was a tart Message indeed, which the Eastern Bishops sent to Pope John III. who claim'd an Universal Authority over all the Chur­ches in the World. For, said they, We firmly believe thy Absolute Authority over thy own Subjects; but we who are not subject to thee, cannot bear thy Pride, nor are we able to sa­tiate thy Avarice. The Devil be with thee, and God with us.

In a Word, All Denmark, Swedeland, Nor­way, Holland, England, Scotland, Geneva, Ireland, half the Empire, and half Suisser­land, are fallen off from their Obedience to the Pope within these Two Hundred Years. And those Kingdoms and States which yet continue under the Yoke, are ready to shake it off at every Turn, when they are never so little gaul'd and vex'd. France, Spain and Venice, often huff the Pope into Compliance with their Demands. Nor dares he to resist, but winks and puts up all, like an old de­crepid Father, for whom his Sons are grown too strong.

Holy Successor of the Prophet and Mes­sengers of God; Thou art th' Infallible Inter­preter of the Law, and Judge of Equity, yet dost not arrogate a Power above thy Com­mission. The Grana Signior honours thy [Page 75]Wisdom and Sanctity; And thou obey'st with humble Submission the Imperial Edicts. He is thy Lord, and thou his Guide and Tutor in the Way to Paradise. May God encrease thy Illuminations with thy Years, and inspire me and all the True Faithful with sincere Loyalty to our Sovereign, and devout Obedience to thee, without the least Alloy of Treachery or Superstition.

LETTER XVI. To Nathan Ben Saddi, a Jew at Vienna.

NOW thou seest, I am a truer Prophet than thy New Messias, that Impostor Sabbati Sevi: And yet, though I'm so in Effect, I do not aspire at the Title. I claim no Character above that of a Mortal, who has not quite forfeited his Sence and Reason. However, if thou wilt yet retain some Ve­neration for his Person, shew it by imitating his Example, and embrace the Mussulman Faith as he has done. At least he Outwardly professes it; and had the Honour to do so first, in Presence of the Sultan. I know not whe­ther thou hast heard of this or no. Thy Bre­thren perhaps may be unwilling to disperse the News of a Conversion bringing so much Infamy to all Your Race. 'Tis possible they are asham'd to own or publish to the World, the Tidings of their own Egregious Folly, in giving up their Faith to such a Cheat as this: A Cheat as one wou'd think grown stale and fetid enough, to make a man that had the smallest Grain of Sence recoil, considering how oft your Fathers have been bubbl'd be­fore by such Upstart Messiasses, such Spuci­ous Prophets as this.

I commend the Wit of Sabbati Sevi, in that [Page 77]he would not stand the Brunt of the Grand Signiors Archers, or by a vain Presumption hope for Miracles from Heaven to skreen his Naked Body from a Show'r of Fatal Shafts. Had he been so rash, I should esteem him the Greatest Miracle of Stupidity that e'er was extant on the Earth. If thou hast not been yet informed of these Passages, Fame will quickly bring them to thy Ears; and then my Letter will not seem obscure. In the mean Time, assure thy self, he deny'd his Apostleship, to save his Life, and this before the Grand Signior, with the Chief Grandees of the Court: Where, at the same Time, he confess'd One God and Mahomet his Messenger. If thou art his Disciple therefore, thou oughtest to be stedfast, and tread in his Steps, giving Glory to the Eternal One who has sent Prophets into all Nations, to lead Men in the Right Way, as he sent Moses to the House of Israel.

Nathan, suffer no Narrow Principles, no Partial Prejudices to shut up thy Soul from the bright Splendors of Immortal Truth, which shine on every Man. The Light of Heaven is not confin'd to One particular Lineage. 'Tis Copious, large and infinite; spreading abroad its Universal Rays, enlight­ning all the Families and Nations on Earth.

'Tis true, I grant, the Omnipotent first sent Moses with the Written Law to the Posterity of Isaac. Had they obey'd the Sacred Insti­tutions, 'tis possible your Race had now been bless'd above the Rest of Men. Perhaps your Fathers would have stretch'd their Conquests [Page 78]far and wide to the utmost Limits of the Land; from India to the Western Shores of Africk, and from the Remote Borders of the South to Nova Zembla in the Artick Cir­cle. Then devout Princes wou'd have tra­vell'd from the Four Angles of the World, and made long Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, there to perform their Vows, and offer Sacri­fices to the King of Heaven.

But alas your Ancestors turn'd Infidels and Idolaters, even at the very Foot of Mount Si­nai, whilst the Tremendous Eccho's of the Thunders yet were in their Ears. They made themselves a Calf of Gold, and Ador'd the Idol of their own Workmanship: So did their Children worship Adonis, Venus, Diana, and almost all the Rabble of the Gentile Gods, and Goddesses. For which Reason, the Wrath of Heaven was kindled against that Generation: God rowz'd the Mighty Mo­narchs of the East to take up Arms and pu­nish such a Wicked Race of Men. How oft was Fair Jerusalem sack'd, and all the Jews destroy'd or carried away Captives by Per­sians, Medes, Assyrians, or the Kings of Ba­bylon? How many Prophets were sent to tell 'em of their Errours and reclaim 'em? But the Obdurate Sons of Jacob stop'd their Ears, being resolutely bent on Wickedness; the Measure of which being once complete, Fate sign'd the Edict of your Utter Ruine. For then came Jesus the Son of Mary, the True Messias, who foretold the Irrevocable Ca­tastrophe of Jerusalem, which came to pass [Page 79]accordingly in that very Age; When the Victorious Roman Army laid it all in Ashes, not so much as sparing the Glorious Temple of Solomon. Ever since which, the Jews have been dispers'd abroad through all the Earth. Each Nation, City, or Province where ye live, account ye Execrable Fugitives and Vagabonds.

In the mean while, the Fame of Jesus spread abroad; his Heavenly Doctrine, per­fect Life, and Mighty Miracles, subdu'd the Hearts of Men. Christianity took Root i'th' World: It grew, and branch'd it self through­out the Continent. The Roman and the Gre­cian Empires tamely sat down under the Church's Shade within Three Hundred Years; and quickly after, other Nations fied unto the Sacred Shelter. But in process of Time this Religion also, like to yours, degenerated into Error, Superstition, and Idolatry. And then God rais'd up Mahomet, our Holy Law­giver. He sent him down the Book of Glory by the Hand of Gabriel; And commanded him to teach it to the House of Ismael first, and then to all Men that were willing to embrace the Ʋndefiled Faith; but to chastise with Fire and Sword, the Infidels who shou'd oppose his Mission, and resist the Truth.

How soon the Mussulman Law took Place, and gained Ground in Arabia, Per­sia, Syria, and the Adjacent Regions of the East? Nothing was able to stand before the Warlike Troops of True Believers. How [Page 80]Bold and Matchless were the Actions of the Valiant Hali? How wise the Counsels of Sage Omar, and Abu-Bacre? How Eloquent and Forcible the Words of the Chast and Generous Osman? The Prophet was happy in the Company of all the Holy Caliphs. They fought and conquer'd all before them.

Whene'er the Heavenly Banner was dis­play'd, Trembling and Horrour seiz'd the Infi­dels. Showers of successful Arrows streight were sent, 'gainst which the Ʋncircumcised cou'd not stand; much less could they sustain the near Approach and dreadful Shock of our Invlncible Cavalry. Their faint Battalions quickly shrunk and posted from the Field; whilst Ours unmindful of the Spoil, pursu'd the Chace, and strew'd the ground with slaugh­ter'd Carcasses of flying Miscreants. Conquest attended the True Faithful, whene'er they drew their Swords. Thus for above these Thousand Years has our Religion made its fortunate Advances on the Earth: And it another Law shou'd be reveal'd, and some New Prophet rise to check the farther Growth of Mussulman Faith, and under­mine the Empire of the Faithful; we ought not to reflect on Mahomet for this, as tho' he were an Impious Seducer, any more than we do on Moses for your Calamities; or on Jesus the Son of Mary, for the declining State of Christendom.

'Tis not impossible, but that the Omnipo­tent may have hidden Reserves of Precepts, yet to be divulg'd. He has had his various [Page 81]Methods and Dispensations in all Ages and Parts of the World. Neither is it fit for Mortal Man to limit the Eternal One, or set him Rules. His Methods are to us Incom­prehensible. He sent Moses, a Man bred up in all the Sciences and Wisdom of the Egyp­tians. To Jesus he committed his hidden Power and Knowledge; and the Apostles spake all Languages. But Mahomet cou'd neither Write nor Read, and yet thou seest his Law has proselyted many Mighty King­doms, States, and Empires. Who knows, but that in Future Times he will convert the Apostate World by some Dumb Person, who can neither Hear nor Speak? Or by some Blind Man who cou'd never see? Or it is not Impossible, but that he may employ some Maid of Admirable Beauty, Gifts and Learning, in the Mysterious Work. So were the Sybils of Old inspir'd with Sacred Wis­dom, and Fore-knowledge of Things to come. All fill'd with Inward Blasts of some Immortal Wind, the pregnant Virgins soon conceiv'd deep Mysteries of Fate, which they writ down on Leaves of Trees: For they were Eremits, and Twelve in Number, as Ancient Records say. One of them liv'd at Cuma in Italy, where her Cave is shewn to Travellers, at this Day. They foretold what should happen in After [...]imes, parti­cularly the Birth of Jesus th [...] [...]n of Mary. But they never said a Word [...] Sevi, or of any other Messias to come after the First. These Holy Maids were had in great [Page 82]Veneration by the, Gentiles, who gather'd up the scatter'd Leaves whereon they writ their Prophecies, and transcrib'd them care­fully on Paper; that so the Sacred Memoirs might be deliver'd safe down to Posterity.

By what I have said, Nathan, thou may'st perceive, That I aim at nothing else, but to wean thee from the Superstitious fond Conceit of your Nation; and to make thee sensible, That though God once favoured the Jews with Oracles of Light and Reason, yet they have for many Ages forfeited this Pri­vilege. Since which he gave the Gospel to Je­sus the Son of Mary, the Alcoran to Maho­met, and at all Times has sent Messengers and Prophets to every Nation and People on Earth.

There are no Partial Byasses in the Divi­nity which made the Worlds. He is an In­exhaustible Abyss of Love, of Light, and Life; Where every Creature drinks its Fill of Natural Happiness, according to the dif­ferent Ranks, Capacities and Desires of Things. He Vests the Sun with an Immortal Robe of Light, the Train of which is born up by the Moon and Stars.

When Phoebus is upon the Wing by Day, his Garment covers all the Sky; the Golden Fringes of it dangle to this Globe, and trail along i'th' Miry Soil, yet never gather the least Speck of Dirt: They're dipt and plung'd in Rivers, Lakes, and Seas, without being wet; and yet they drink up all the Ocean, by Successive Draughts. This Lower World rejoices in the glittering Shew; the Elements, [Page 83]with every Being compounded of them, bask in the welcome Rays. So do the Pla­nets Above, who take a singular Pride, to fold some Part of the Illustrious Dress a­bout them. They wrap themselves half up in borrow'd Light, and then like Western Franks, they foot it to and fro', in their be­loved Walks Above; giving the necessary Salutes and Conge's to each other, en Pas­sant, and to the Sedentary Signs and Fixed Stars, to see if any of them mind their Courtly Garb and Mien: For they are the Sun's Domestick Pages, the Favourites of his Serail. At other Seasons they stand still, perhaps to gaze upon themselves, in Con­templation of the Majestick Figure they make.

So have I seen a proud conceited Spanish Trumpeter, after he'd blown a Levet pretty well, lay down the Silver Instrument with a Disdainful Gravity. His Cheeks all swoln with enclos'd Air, and Soul puff'd up with Arrogance, he struts and curls his Black Mustaches. Then with big Looks surveys himself from Head to Foot; casting an Eye of Scorn upon the Silent Tube, conscious that he alone can make it sound so well.

Thou wilt say I wander in my Discourse, as much as those Heavenly Bodies I'm speak­ing of. 'Tis true, Nathan, our Thoughts are free, and not confin'd to Rules and Forms. We easily slip from one Imagination to another. And since I've made this Pla­netary Digression, suffer me now like them [Page 84]to run Retrograde, and come to the Point from which I rov'd.

Doubtless, each Individual Being is fill'd with its Essential Blifs. The Fire has its Specifick Happiness; so has the Air, the Water, and the Earth, with all the Living Generations on it. And when the Most High distributed the Sons of Humane Race through all the Various Climates, Zones, and Provinces, he furnish'd every Region of the Globe with Gifts and Products, Riches and Delights Agreeable to the Inhabitants: With this Proviso, That they shou'd live in Innocence, Justice and according to Reason. From which Eternal Law if any People swerv'd, they should forfeit these Privileges, and be subdu'd if not extirpated, by some more Vertuous Nation.

From hence sprung all the Revolutions of Mighty Kingdoms and Empires; one succes­sively supplanting another to this Day. And the Sins of your Nation being greater, it seems, than those of any other, God has dispers'd you over all the Earth, without suffering you to inherit or possess a Foot of Ground.

If ever therefore Fate designs to restore the Jews again to the Holy Land, wherein their Fathers liv'd; never expect it, till your Er­roneous Minds, and Vicious Manners are re­form'd. For, Palestine was never seated so deliciously, for Bloody Zealots, Hypocrites and Cruel Usurers to enjoy.

LETTER XVII. To Dgnet Oglou.

DAria's a Quean, a Gilt, and I'm once more cur'd of my Dotage. There is no Trust in Woman's Beauty, Faith, or Wit. They are deceitful as the Fruit of Asphaltites: They are Perfect Riddles and Paradoxes; and have more Unlucky Tricks, than cross­grain'd Elfes or Fairies. When a Man over­heated by his Amorous Passion thinks to embrace a Goddess, he meets with Ixion's Fate, and only hugs a gaudy Cloud or Meteor.

I will not make thee sick with a particu­lar Rehearsal of my second Folly in being so fond of one who had betray'd me formerly. I'll not repeat the vain Addresses I made, the Kind obliging Things I spoke, nor her deceitful Answers. I will not tell thee, how she drill'd me on into her Snares, and led me Captive in an Amorous Circle; Con­tent thy self to know, that I've been Twice her Cully; and if e'er I am the Third Time, 'twill be my own Fault, as the Italian says. No, my Dgnet, I've done with that False Sex. Henceforth for ever I abjure all Ama­rous Regards of Women. I'll shun 'em, as I would a Pestilence. I'll either shut my Eyes, or turn 'em another way at least, whene'er I meet a Female. I will not think [Page 86]of them but with Disdain and Hatred. Fi­nally, I'm off from 'em to all Intents and Purposes.

However, as the Arabian Proverb says, That Wind blows from an Ʋnlucky Point o'th' Compass, which wafts no Good to somebody: So from Daria's False and Feigned Smiles, I reap some Benefit. I've learn'd a Secret, which has rid my Spirit of a Thousand Cares, Disquiets, and Agonies.

In the Year 1664 of the Christians He­gira, I sent a Letter to the Noble Kerker Hassan, Bassa, our Countryman; Wherein I inform'd him of an Assassine made upon me in the Dark, as I was going to my Lodg­ings; and how I kill'd the Ruffian that at­tempted on my Life. I told that Generous Grandee, all my Jealousies, and Conjectures on that Subject; how I suspected some of my Enemies at the Port, to have a Hand in the Design; or else, that my Sicilian Ma­ster was concern'd in't. I knew not well what to conclude. But, now I'm satisfied 'twas Daria's Husband, who resenting deep­ly my former Amour with her, which she discover'd to him at large, cou'd never be at Rest, till he saw Paris, where he design'd to be the Executioner of his own Revenge, and lay in wait accordingly for my late Return­ing Home: For he was not ignorant of my Lodging. His Wife knew nothing of his Design, he having pretended other Business at the City. And 'twas from Accidental Words in her Discourse, that I collected this [Page 87]great Secret. For, when I asked her of her Husband's Health, she told me, he was kill'd at such a Time, by Night, in an Alley of Paris, by whom she never yet cou'd learn. But, I straight blush'd with Consciousness, and took the Hint. I drop'd some Necessary, Careless Queries by Degrees: And all her Answers still confirm'd me, as to Time and Place, with other Circumstances, That he must be the Man I murder'd in my own Defence, so long agoe.

I kept this Secret lock'd up in my Breast; nor cou'd my doting Fondness melt me into such a soft and easy Temper, as to betray my self to her. But I took inward Pleasure at the Thoughts of my Deliverance from that sudden violent Death; and from my Af­ter. Cares and Fears, by this Discovery. Henceforward I'll suspect no Mussulman, though my Enemy. Nor shall I be so fearful of my Sicilian Master. No Pan­nick Terrours shall confine me to my Cham­ber, and make me spend my Days in fretting and consuming Melancholy. I will not be surpriz'd, when Strangers knock at the Gate, or when I hear the Blustering Voices of the Parish Officers below, or the Collectors of the King's Revenues. Yet, these before were dreadful as the Sultan's Attescheriff, or Fa­tal Warrant, when he demands a Bassa's Head. So forcible is Jealousy, and suspen­ded Thoughtfulness; so black the Influence even of mis-grounded. Apprehension and mistaken Guilt.

[Page 88]My Dgnet, This Mortal Life is a dark La­byrinth of cross Events. Bewilder'd Man gropes up and down; he often trips and stumbles at Contingencies; he strays about in Thorny, Rugged Paths, not knowing where he is, or which Way to turn himself. Sometimes an Ignis Fatuus with its deceitful Light, mis-guides him into Miry Places, Fens and Bogs, where he's in Danger of being swallow'd up; or leads him to the Brink of an high Precipice, where if he ad­vance but one Step more, he's gone beyond Recovery: He falls and dashes himself to pieces, on under-growing Rocks.

Reason is the only Clew that can conduct us safe, through all the Windings of the pe­rillous Maze. Heaven grant that thou and I may ne'er let go our Hold of this so neces­sary Faculty, untill it has conducted us to Paradise.

LETTER XVIII. To the Kaimacham.

LAst Year I gave thee an Account of the Birth of a young Princess of France. Now I shall inform thee, That she was bap­tiz'd on the 21st. of this Moon. Baptism with the Nazarenes, is Equivalent to our Circumcision: Nay, 'tis something more Di­vine, if we may believe them. They call it the Sacrament of Initiation, the First My­stery of Christian Faith. But, when 'tis apply'd to Children of Royal Extraction, the Sons or Daughters of Kings. it looks more like a Ceremony of State, than a My­stery of Religion. However, be it what it will, 'tis perform'd with Abundance of Pomp and Magnificence. And at this Ce­remony it is, that every Christian receives his Name, which is given by the Godfathers and Godmothers, that is, Persons who stand Sure­ties for the Child's Education in the Chri­stian Religion. This Princess was nam'd Maria Theresa, by the Dutchess Dowager of Orleans, and by the Duke of Enguien.

On the same Day the Cardinal Duke of Vendosme had Audience of the King and Queen, in Quality of Legate de Latere from the Pope. It seems the King of France had desir'd the Pope to stand Godfather to the Dauphin; which the good Prelate accepting, [Page 90]sent this Cardinal as his Deputy and Repre­sentative, to perform the Charge. He is to give the Dauphin his Name. In the mean while, he stands much upon Punctilio's, re­quires vast Respects and Submissions from the French Bishops; and carries himself with as much State, as if he were a God or an Angel; looking as big, as if he were the Emperour of the Ʋniverse. And well he may, since during his Legation, he has as much Power as the Pope himself; that Sove­reign Prelate, having invested him with all his own Paternal full Authority; Which he wou'd make the World believe, is greater than that of Earthly Kings and Emperours. And yet he styles-himself the Servant of the Servants of God. A fine Piece of Ecclesia­stick Hypocrisie! The Ways of these Infidels are double. Their Practice runs counter to their Profession. They wou'd fain appear as Saints, when in Effect they are little bet­ter than Devils.

There has been a great Alteration lately made in Portugal; the Estates of that Na­tion having compell'd their King to renounce his Government, and conferr it on Dom Pedro, his Brother. The Spaniard laughs at this privately, hoping from their Intestine Ani­mosities to draw Occasions of advancing his own Interest, and of recovering that Crown again.

Accomplish'd Minister, There is Nothing New under the Moon; but a perpetual Cir­cle of the same Events. What we admire at [Page 91]in this Age, as a Novelty, has been acted o'er and o'er in former Times. Peace follows War, and War treads close upon the Heels of Peace. Faith, Perfidy, Sedition, Obedience, Vertue and Vice, are the Reci­procal Off spring of each other. There's nothing fix'd or stable; but the World turns round upon Eternal Vicissitudes.

LETTER XIX. To Abdel Melec, Muli Omar, Pre­sident of the College of Sciences at Fez.

I Receiv'd thy Invaluable Dispatch, con­taining Marvellous Things, Revelations of a Sublime Rank, Mysteries heretofore un­discover'd. Yet I was not much surpriz'd, having all along presag'd some Vast Improve­ment of Learning from thy accomplish'd Spirit. O thou Terrestrial Star of the First Magnitude, Chief in the Constellations of the South!

Glory be to God, who from Infinite Dark­ness started the Eternal Bright Idea's of the Universe; and on the Womb of Everlasting Silence, begat the WORD by which he formed all Things. Doubtless, there is no Blemish in his Works: No Botches, Knobs, or disproportionable Unevennesses. The World's a perfect Beauty.

Were Ptolomy alive, thy System of the Heavens wou'd put him to the Blush. And Tycho Brahe wou'd sneak out of his Planetary Frame, by some wild and more than Eccen­trick motion, asham'd that he had been such a Botcher in Astronomy. Copernicus himself wou'd sink under the Burden of the Moon, which the overloaded Earth wou'd in Re­venge [Page 93]let fall upon him, for his Unnatural Cruelty to his Aged Mother, in burdening her so long. And all the World wou'd celebrate thy Praise, who hast thus happily rescu'd Heaven and Earth from their Embarass­ments.

Thy Thoughts are high and elevated to the Heaven of Heavens; yet thy Humi­lity stoops to the Center of the Earth. But, all Mankind wou'd be oblig'd to thee a­fresh, if thou wou'd'st vouchsafe to take the Middle Path, and survey with thy accu­stom'd Accuracy, the Surface of this Globe, whereon we Mortals tread. Geography, be­ing already sensible of her Elder Sister's Happiness, in thy Correction and Amend­ments of the former Astronomick Schemes; languishes also for thy Supervisal of her own Defects and Blemishes.

Those that have measur'd the Earth, can­not agree in stating her Circumference: And there were few in former Times who did believe th' Antipodes. The Mussulmans of India do assert, that th' Earth's supported by Eight Mighty Elephants: And those of Turky, say, it rests upon the Horns of a Great Bull. If either of these Opinions were to be taken in the Literal Sence, 'twou'd put the dullest Philosopher to Subsannation, or at least a Fit of Laughter. But, doubtless they are Allegories, under which are veil'd some True and Natural Secrets.

However, let the Globe rest where it will, on Bulls, or Bears, or Elephants; or Camels, [Page 94]Dromedaries, Horses, or the Back of Atlas, as the Gentiles did affirm; I wou'd fain know, methinks, how large a Space of Land we have to tread upon, and what Propor­tion is allotted to the Sea.

'Tis true, we have a Common Notion of Four Quarters of Dry Land, Asia, Africk, Europe and America. Yet this is quarrell'd at by those of Later Times, who add a Fifth which they call Magellanica, or the Southern Ʋnknown Earth. From Immemo­rial Times, our Fathers were acquainted with the Three First Divisions or Precincts of the Globe: But, the Two Last were but of late discover'd, since the Improvement of Navigation, and the Invention of the Com­pass.

There is a Vulgar Tradition, every where in Vogue, That after Noah's Flood, Asia fell to the Share of Sem and his Posterity; Afrique to Cham, and Europe to Japhet. Whether this be true or no, cannot be prov'd, but is wholly owing to Conjecture. How­ever, this is certain, That if it were so, there have been mighty Changes in the Inheritances of Noah's Off-spring; and Alterations of their several Limits: Insomuch, as now they seem to be in Part blended and mix'd toge­ther, or at least, shuffl'd from one to ano­ther.

Those who liv'd in the Middle Ages, made but Two Divisions of the Globe; Viz. Asia and Europe: And in this they also differ'd: For, some made Africk onely a [Page 95] Province or Part of the Former, perswading themselves that they were Anciently joined together, tho afterwards separated by a vio­lent Irruption of the Atlantick Sea, by the Streights of Gibralter, which before was a Narrow Isthmus or Neck of Land; but from the Time that Bank was washed away, the Mediterranean Sea deriv'd its Origin. Others made Africk a Part of Asia, they being not absolutely parted by any Sea; though some Egyptian Kings, and Roman Emperours, attempted to make a Canal be­tween the Mediterranean and Red Sea.

A Third Sort divided the Known Part of the World into Asia, Europe, Africk, and Egypt. Whilst a Fourth plac'd Egypt to the Account of Asia, making the River Nile the Boundary between it and Africk. But this was Incommodious, in Regard it left that of Egypt on the West of Nile, to Afri­ca. Such was the Confusion of the Ancient Greek and Roman Geographers.

As for America, it takes its Name from Americus Vesputius, a Florentine, who made the Second Voyage to discover it. For it was First descry'd by Christopher Co­lumbus, a Genouese, in the Year of the Chri­stian Hegyra 1492. by the Order and at the Charge of Ferdinand, King of Arragon and Castile. This Part of the World is divided into Two Mighty Empires; the Northern, or that of Mexico; and the Southern, or that of Peru.

[Page 96] Magellanica, or the Southern Ʋnknown Land, derives its Name from Ferdinand Magellan, the First that e'er discover'd it, in the Year 1520. when he sail'd quite round the Globe. About Five and Forty Years af­terwards, Francis Drake an Englishman, touch'd upon the same Coasts; and Twelve Years after him, Thomas Candish, one of his Countrymen. Likewise Oliver van Noord, a Hollander, undertook the same Voyage. But none made such Advances in this new Discovery, as a certain Spaniard, call'd Fer­dinand de Quier.

God knows what strange and unexpected Novelties this Country might afford, if Men were once acquainted with it. This may be the Sanctuary of the Ten Tribes of Is­raelites, which were led away Captives by Salmanassar, King of Assyria. Or, perhaps, the Inhabitants of this Country, are of ano­ther Race than that of Noah and Adam. We may from them, 'tis possible, derive new Lights, as to the Pre-existence of Hu­man Souls. Who knows, but they have Records more Exact and Ancient, than the Indians and Chinese? Be it how it will, I'm clearly for new Discoveries. There is a cer­tain Specifick Boldness in my Spirit, which prompts me to invade the pretended Mode­sty of Nature: I long to furle the Veil, which hides so many Secrets, and wi [...]h a Philosophick Confidence, were I in Power, I'd rumple up the Envious Coverings of such Desirable Wonders.

[Page 97]Oh! that some Godlike Monarch in this Age, wou'd in Royal Bounty equip a Navy, and man them with the most Expert and Resolute Mariners on Earth, with Vessels to transport an Army of Land-Soldiers; With Tenders to carry Meat, Drink, Apparel, and other Necessaries for so vast an Expedition. Surely, the Event wou'd answer Expecta­tion; the Gains wou'd far transcend the Cost; the Honour infinitely surpass the Pe­ril; and all our Known Familiar World, wou'd be oblig'd by such a fortunate Under­taking.

Sage Omar, it depends on thee to bring this thing to pass. Start but the Proposal to some Mighty Sovereign; Thy Recommendation will be of Force. Thou wilt be more than a Columbus, Magellan, or Pizarra. In fine, thou wilt wind up the Searches of this In­quisitive Age, and put a Stop to future Scru­tinies.

I only hint the Thing; do thou pursue it, and all Generations shall celebrate thy Fame. God inspire thee with fresh Ardours.

LETTER XX. To Osman Adrooneth, Astrologer to the Sultan, at Adrianople.

OLD Pt [...]lomy was much out of his Byass; his wild irregular Phansy, drunk with the Lees of Aristotle's Dark Opinion and Conceit, stumbl'd and fell asleep upon the Thought of the Earth's being Center to the Ʋniverse, and then the Rest of the World seem'd to run round his giddy Head. He often strovo to lift his Heavy Noddle up, to see whether it were so or not. But the besot­ting Load of Prepossession, weigh'd him down again. He slumber'd, dream'd and snorted loud, stretch'd out at large upon the fair Chimaera.

The studious Candidates of Truth and Science, by his Example fell to the same Riot in Philosophy, and continu'd the De­bauch for many Ages: Till, too much sur­feited and cloy'd with such a fulsome Enter­tainment; bold Tycho Brahe rubs up his Eyes, and wakes the Company with a new System of the Mighty Frame. Then all be­gan to start, and rowze, as at some Prodi­gy. His Heavenly Gim-cracks pleas'd the Palate of the Age. His Epicycles, Eccen­tricks, Perigae's, and Apogae's, with all the Rest of his gay Whim-whams, were recei­ved [Page 99]with General Applause. Till the more Excellent Copernicus appear'd with some­thing Newer still. And then the Blunder­ing Dane abash'd, slipt off the Stage with­out so much as taking his Leave.

The Astronomers soon fell in Love, and pay'd Implicite Adoration to the Idol which Copernicus set up. And 'twas but Reason; since, they had never seen a fairer or a juster Scheme of the World before.

Yet every Age improves it self in Know­ledge, on the Ruines of the Former. And thus, what Ptolomy ne'er found out, nor Tycho Brahe or Copernicus cou'd mend or match, if now they were alive; is very late discover'd by the Incomparable Abdel Me­lec Muli Omar, President of the College of Sciences at Fez.

The Happy Musu Abu'l Yahyan, Pro­fessor of Philosophy there, first started the Proposal of a Mathematical Experiment. And, laying Heads together, the Primate of Moresco Doctors, Father of all the Afri­can Alfaqui's living, found a true Demon­stration in it.

I have lately receiv'd a Dispatch from that Renowned Prelate, with an enclosed Model of this Planetary Machine. A Copy of which I send thee, drawn by my own Hand. It represents the Original to a Point. Exa­mine it well and thou wilt find, 'tis much more regular and exact than any of those Antiquated Schemes, and answers all the Questions of Astronomy, without the least [Page 100]apparent Blunder. Besides, it has a perfect Symmetry and Proportion in every Part: it makes the World appear a compleat Beau­ty. Whereas the Frame which Tycho Brahe made, was all deform'd with wild Uneven­nesses. Nor was the System of Copernicus without a manifest Botch, in making the small Orb o'th' Moon alone, to interfere with that o'th' Earth: Whilst all the other Pla­nets circulate in their own entire and soli­tary Spheres, without an Interloper to di­sturb 'em.

Besides, he makes the Earth an Atlas to the Moon, whilst this poor weary Globe is forc'd, in his Opinion, to drudge yearly round the Zodiack, with the vast Burden of Diana on its Shoulders.

If it be so, it is no wonder that the Earth so often faints and trembles under the migh­ty Load. Henceforth we need not lay the Blame of Earthquakes to Enceladus, as if the drowzy; snoring Gyant, turning his monstrous Bulky Corps from one Side to the other, were the Sole Cause of these Convulsions: When Mortals reel and stagger as they walk upon the Surface; when Trees and Mountains rock, as in a Cradle, and whole Cities are sometimes swallow'd up.

No; let poor Enceladus sleep on, and take what Rest he can in his Infernal Prison. There was no Danger of his e'er stirring again, after he'd once been thorowly sowc'd in Lethe's all-benumming Streams. Copernicus is onely in the Fault: Whene'er we feel these [Page 101]Fatal Heavings of the Globe, 'twas too unmerciful a Task he impos'd upon it, espe­cially in its Old Age.

It wou'd have grumbled in its early Days and sturdy Youth, had it been thus severely us'd by Orpheus, Homer, Hermes, Trismegistus, or any other of the Primitive Sages. But now to be thus roughly handl'd by an Upstart Infidel in its declining Years, when Three Parts of its Marrow's decay'd, and its once potent Nerves and Sinews are shrunk, its Liver wasted, and every Vital dwindling away; almost broke its Heart.

Therefore these African Sages, in Duty to their aged Mother the Earth, have found a Way to free her from the Burden of the Moon in her decrepid State; and yet to make the Sun, the Center of the World; adjusting at the same Time, with accurate Laws, and an Unblemish'd Order, the Motions, Stations, and various Postures of the Planets.

This Happy Revelation in Astronomy, is not to be divulg'd in Publick Writings; lest some Inquisitive Curious Traveller, Ambi­tious Nazarene or Envious Jew, shou'd chance to light upon the Sacred Scheme, and boast himself the Inventer of it.

Let it be onely communicated to Learned, Faithful Mussulmans, of the First Rank: For, such Celestial Mysteries, ought not to be prostituted to the Vulgar. Tell not the little Jasmir Sgire Rugial of it. For, if thou dost, all the Frank Merchants at Aleppo, soon shall be made privy to the matchless [Page 102]Secret. Be it a perpetual Arcanum in the Breasts of Sublime Men, exalted Souls; Friends of God, and little less than Prophets. And be it so, till all the Sages of the East and South, are first made sensible of it, and able to defend it, against the vain Attempts of the Ʋncircumcised Nation. Then let it be promulg'd in Alla's Name throughout the Globe, to the Eternal Honour of God, and Glory of his Prophet, who cou'd neither write nor read, yet has Disciples to whom alone the purest Reformation of the Uni­verse is owing.

Do but survey with an Indifferent Look, the last and loveliest Portraicture o'th' World that e'er was made by Man. Fix thine admiring Eyes on the Magnifick Seat and Palace of the Sun. Consider at the same Time the True and equal Forms, Di­mensions, Distances, and mutual Interse­ctions of the Ambient Orbs, without the smallest Blurt or Blot in all the Eternal Frame. Then tell me thy Opinion; whe­ther thou canst not Calculate Nativities, e­rect all manner of Schemes, make Almanacks, tell credulous Men their future Fortunes, appoint th' Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, set Venus and Mercury together by th' Ears, or stir up furious Mars to make a Hurly-Burly in the Heavens and Elements: Or if thou canst not wheadle the sowr Curmudgin Saturn, into a soft obliging Humour: Or fret the Noble Jupiter to Madness, by a damn'd Conjunction, with his Mortal Ene­my: [Page 103]And a Thousand more Astrological En­terprizes. Tell me, I say, whether thou can'st not perform all this and more, as well by the enclos'd Effigies of the World; as by the old Thread-bare, Weather beaten, Worm-eaten, Italian Clock-work of Ptolomy; or the later Inventions of Tycho Brahe, and Copernicus.

It will no now longer be a Secret, how those Birds dispose themselves, which at a cer­tain Time o'th' Year, are seen to gather in mighty Troops, and fly directly upward out of Humane Sight: not one of the whole Spe­cies being left behind, or found on any Part o'th' Earth, until the Moon has rowl'd full six Times round the Zodiack: When they return again in equal Companies unto this Globe, each Species to its Native Region. For th' Intelligent Fowls exactly know the Hour in which the Earth does in its Yearly Circu­lation intersect the Neighbouring Orb o'th' Moon, and then they Snatch the Opportunity to quit th' Attractive Atmosphere, and take the Air of that Adjacent Planet.

I have a great deal more to say on this Sub­ject, which I will reserve for another Letter. In the mean Time, thou Venerable Star-gazer, adieu, and remember to be private.

LETTER XXI. To the Venerable Mufti, Principal Support of Learning and true Science.

THE Orders of thy Sanctity, came like a Message from Heaven, surprizing me at once, with equal Pleasure and Astonish­ment, Every Line encreas'd my Rapture. And now I thought, I had no more to wish for in the World, since the Great Patriarch of the Faithful, had condescended to im­brace the Advice of so mean a Slave as Mah­mut. It has been my passionate Desire, to see Knowledge flourish in the Renowned Ottoman Empire, that the Infidels may no longer reproach us with Ignorance and Bar­barism. This was the Reason, that I so often importun'd thy Predecessor, to encou­rage the Translation of Histories into the Turkish Language. Now thou art pleas'd to begin this Glorious Work, and to ho­nour me, by requiring my Instructions in the Management of it. Nay, thou hast commanded me, to lay the Foundation of so Illustrious an Enterprize, in presenting thee a Pattern or Model of this Great Work, containing an Historical Epitome of the Four [Page 105]Great Monarchies, with a brief Series of the most Remarkable and Famous Transa­ctions, Changes, and other Events in the World, with Reference to the Nation and Age wherein they happen'd.

As to the Advice thou demandest of me, I think it wou'd be for the Honour and Benefit of the Mussulmans, That a Com­plete History of the World, should be col­lected out of the most Ancient and Sincere Writers, and digested into Annals, from the very Beginning of Time, down to the Reign of our present Emperour, the August Sovereign of the Whole Earth: That so, whatsoever has been done on Earth worthy of Memory, may be rank'd in its proper Time and Place; and we may not grope any lon­ger in the Dark, when we would know, in what Year or Age any Famous Warri­our or Monarch liv'd or died; or, when any renowned City was built, besieg'd, taken, and destroy'd, and by whom all these Things were done: With many other useful Memoirs, in which the Ottomans are now wanting.

In the Beginning of this Work, it will be absolutely necessary, to have Recourse to the Chronicles of the Indians, Persians and Egyptians, and to the Writings of Orpheus, Homer, Thales, Zeno, and others of Greece, Phoenicia and Thrace. For, though the Nazarenes of the West, despise the Autho­rity of these Authors, and calumniate all for Fables and Romances which was deli­ver'd [Page 106]before the First Olympiad; yet, the more Impartial Inhabitants of the East, whether Christians or Mussulmans, reject Nothing which has the undoubted Stamp of Antiquity; but rather seek to unriddle the Mysterious Expressions of the Poets and Philosophers, who strove industriously to cover all their Knowledge and Tradi­tions under dark Aenigma's, Figures, and Parables, that so the Divine Secrets of Antiquity might not be prophan'd, by the Rude and Unpolish'd Vulgar.

It was ever the Maxim of some An­cient Sages and Politicians, thus to keep the People in Ignorance of past Times; the better to assure their Dominion and Au­thority over them. They onely reveal'd what was obvious to every Man's Sence, the manifest and visible Influences of the Heavenly Bodies, the Course of the Sun, Moon and Stars, the Natures of Plants and Animals, with whatsoever else was lyable to any Man's Eye and Apprehension. But as to the more obstruse and less. Conspi­cuous Works of Nature, they were like the Secrets of State, kept under a Veil.

Yet, there wanted not Men of Wis­dom in other Parts of the World, who strove to unfold all Things, and render Mankind familiar with whatsoever fell under humane Intellect. Among these, the Indians and Chineses deserve the first Place, who were never covetous of the Gifts of Nature, but sought to improve all those [Page 107]of their Nations in the Knowledge of the Arts and Sciences; and especially, in the System of Ancient History. These Peo­ple, shut up themselves from the Rest of the World for many Ages; fearing, lest Commerce might corrupt the Simplicity of their Primitive Laws and Institutions. On­ly Alexander the Great, and before him, Semiramis Queen of the Assyrians, had e­ver Access to the Indies in Old Time. And China was never open till of late, when their too potent Neighbours the Tartars, broke through their famous Wall, and subdu'd the whole Empire. And their Business was not with Books, but with Men.

For these Reasons we need not won­der, that the Indian Brachmans and the Bonzi's of China, deliver an Account of the Origin of the World, and the next suc­ceeding Ages so far beyond the Epocha's of all other Historians, especially these in the West.

For Events of later Date, the Compilers of this Work may make Use of such Histo­rians, as have written the Annals of several Nations since the First Olympiad.

If thou knowst not what an Olympiad means, 'tis the Form of Computation us'd in the Ancient Graecian Hegyra, every Olym­piad containing Four Years. And the first of these Olympiads began in the Year of the World 3228. At which Time Choraebus of Elis, signaliz'd himself-by winning the First [Page 108] Race that ever was run at the Olympick Games. These Games were celebrated eve­ry Olympiad; and all the Youth of Greece flock'd to them, to try their Skill in Run­ning, Wrestling, and other manly Exer­cises.

About this Time Historians began to write Partially, and the Truth cou'd hardly be discern'd from the Fabulous Errours with which it was Adulterated. Yet this rather proceeded from a National Emulation, than from a Design to corrupt the Ancient Be­lief. However, thou mayst give Credit to Thucidydes, who in the 86th. Olympiad be­gan to write his History of the War in Pe­loponesus, between the Lacaedemonians and those of Athens; which War continu'd One and Twenty Years, as that Author testifies, who wrote Annals of it from the Begin­ning to the End. And among other Re­markable Passages, which he is very exact in recounting, he mentions a famous Eclipse of the Sun that happen'd in the First Year of that War, and was so great that the Stars appear'd at Noon day in the Sky. Plutarch also speaks of this Eclipse, telling us, that Pericles, Prince of the Athenians, being at Sea when the Sun was thus dar­ken'd, and perceiving the Master of the Vessel in a great Fright, as at some Prodigy; he threw his Cloak over the Man's Face, and ask'd him, If he was afraid of that, or look'd upon it as a had Omen? And [Page 109]when the Master answer'd, No; Pericles reply'd, What Difference is there between this Eclipse of the Sun and that, since both are caus'd by the Interposition of a Veil between the Sun and thine Eyes; onely that Veil is larger than my Cloak, it being the Moon which covers that glori­ous Lamp from our Sight?

Much about the same Time liv'd He­rodotus and Hellanicus, two famous Hi­storians, Men of Integrity and Credit, and Hypocrates the Renowned Physician of Athens. These are worthy to be translated into the Turkish Language, as are also Exnophon and Polybius, who wrote after them. They all, except the last, liv'd in the Time of the Persian Monarchy, and therefore are most likely to deliver down a true Account of the Memorable Events that happen'd during that formidable Empire.

As for the Macedonian Monarchy, the most Eminent Writers were Curtius, Arri­anus, Diodorus Siculus; but this last is fre­quently mistasten in his Chronology, and therefore ought to be corrected by the O­thers. Plutarch also must be consulted, and Josephus the Jew; with Strabo, Appian, Livy, Justin and Pausanias. For they ei­ther serve to illustrate one another, where they treat of the same Matters, or else the one carries on the Thread of History where the other left off. And therefore thou need­est not wonder that I name so many Authors, [Page 110]since they are worthy of Credit, and abso­lutely necessary to the completing an intire History of the World: Whereas there are a Rabble of other Writers, who are scarce worth the Naming; much less their Au­thority to be trusted to, in compiling an Universal History, which is to give a new Lustre to the Ottoman Empire, and raise its Credit in the Learned World.

As for the Roman Empire, it will be ne­cessary to make Use of Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Philo, Xiphilus, Zonaras, Am­mianus Marcellinus, Velleius Paterculus, Seneca, Florus, Livy and Suidas.

These will be sufficient Materials, with which the Translators, Scribes and Compi­lers may accomplish this Illustrious Under­taking; the Encouragement whereof I a­gain earnestly recommend to thy Libera­lity and Munificence.

What concerns the Injunction thou hast laid on me, to draw a Pattern or Model of this Great Work, in presenting thee with a Brief Abstract of the Rise and Fall of the Four Monarchies, with such Memorable Events as will be proper to direct the Undertakers in the Method of digesting this Universal History; I will reserve it for another Letter, not having those Books by me which are requisite to assist me in this Affair.

In the mean Time, I pray Heaven, pro­sper this Noble Enterprize, and grant that thou mayst live the Space of many, Olym­piads, [Page 111]to see the Effect of thy Bounty; When this Universal History being finish'd, shall instruct the Mussulmans, and defeat the Calumnies of the Ʋncircumcised.

The End of the First Book.

LETTERS Writ by A Spy at PARIS.

LETTER I. To Mehement, an Exil'd Eunuch, at Alcair in Egypt.

THY Sufferings pierce my Heart: I owe thee Pity on the Score of Humane Nature; and a more Compassion as thou art a Mussul­man: But, where's the Tongue or Pen, that can describe the Sympathy of Friends? Canst thou in a desponding Manner cast thy self upon thy Bed, there to exhale, in Me­lancholy [Page 114]Sighs, that pungent Sorrow, which can find no other Vent, unless those Vapours of the Spleen condense to Show'rs of Tears? Canst thou do this, and I remain Insensible all the while? No! I in a perfect Eccho to thy saddest Groans. And when thou weep'st, my Heart is not a Stone, that spatters back again the Drops that fall on it; but 'tis like Clay, that softens with the Gentle Solemn Distillation. Believe that I sweat Blood, when thou dissolv'st in Tears. I am not ca­pable of Moderation toward my Friend. My Love, my Joy, my Grief, and Anger, are all Excessive, when such a one as thou occasion'st them. 'Tis equal Pleasure to live or die, in this Magnetick Point: For, Souls of Friends are perfect Ʋnisons. Then, if thou hast a Spark of Love for Mahmut, do not kill me with thy sad Complaints. For, whilst I hear, that thou art thus abandon'd to Misfortune and Despasr, how can I live without perpetual Deaths, more Terrible than what we all must undergo, by the Course of Nature? Dost thou delight to make a Constant Martyr of me?

Thou 'rt bred a Courtier, and so was I: Our Infant Blood was season'd with the Grand Signior's. Bread and Salt: We equal­ly imbib'd the Manners, Habits, Customs, Maxims, and the Pride of the Seraill'; with the Pillow, the Milk, Sorbets, and other Nourishment of our Early Years. Since which we have seen the various Revolu­tions of Mighty Kingdoms, States and Em­pires. [Page 115]We have beheld the Invincible Em­perour of China fall a Victim to the Perfidy of his Slaves, and to the more propitious Fortune of the Tartars. After another Manner was the Glory of the British Mo­narchy eclips'd. But, no foreign Story can match the Barbarous Massacres of our Ma­jestick Sultans, Mustapha, Osman, and I­brahim, all within our Memory.

Oh! Mehemet, we have liv'd too long, after these Spoils of Royal Blood. How can we repine at our own Private Losses and Afflictions, whilst we do but sip the Flat Insipid Reliques of those Tragical, sprightly Potions, brew'd for the Palates of the Grea­test Princes. Henceforth, let's live, as if we were among the Dead. Let's hear, and see, feel, taste, and smell these Outward Objects en passant, without being sensible what we do or suffer. Let us Anticipate, by a wise Prevention, the last Stroke of Death, in dying every Moment.

Go to the Pyramids, my Mehemet, or would to God I cou'd go thither for thee; there to Contemplate the Fate of Humane Glory, the Mock Grandeur of this World. Consider all the Race of the Egyptian Kings, who built these Costly and Magnificent Stru­ctures, or their Fathers for 'em: Who fill'd the Hollow Piles with Silver, Gold and Pre­cious Stones: Whilst, with their Magick Laws, they listed Legions of Spirits, dwel­ling in the Air, Fire, Earth and Water, obliging them to guard the Wealthy Sepul­chers: [Page 116]And tell me then, what thou can'st find in those superannuated Vaults? No­thing, but Stench and Darkness. Old Time has filch'd away the slighter Glory's of the Place; and his Younger Brother Avarice, has plunder'd all the Rest, which was the more Substantial Part. He cou'd have done no less in Common good Manners, than take the Leavings of the Heir; the Elder of the Two. The Great Al Maimun thought to have the Gleanings of their Harvest; but he found, the Gain wou'd ne'er exceed the Cost.

But, what's become of all the Founders of these Astonishing Fabricks? Look in the Tomb of Cheops, who is suppos'd to build the Greatest of the Pyramids; and thou wilt find, not the least Relique of his Ashes: Or, if thou should'st 'twill be Impossible to distinguish them, from the Common Dust of other Mortals, tho' his Meanest Slaves: So Mutable is Human Glory; So Inconstant all the Smiles of Fortune.

Do but reflect on all the Glorious Con­quests of Alexander the Great, and on the Triumphant Entry he made in Babylon, when the Chariot which carry'd him, was an Epitome of all the Riches which the Indies cou'd afford; and yet that Chariot ought to be esteem'd but one Degree before his Hearse, which in a very few Days, with an Obscu­rity beneath the Merits of so great a Victor, convey'd him to his Grave.

Consider Caesar, who after Four and [Page 117]Twenty Battels, wherein he always got the Day, was drawn in a triumphant Chari­ot to the Capitol, by Forty Elephants; yet now his Name is hardly thought of.

So Epaminondas thought to outvye the world in his Magnificent Insults; yet all this Glorious Pageantry ended in Dust and Ashes. Aurelian led the Graces Captive with Zenobia; yet he himself at last became the Prisoner of Death. The Pompous Galley of Cleopatra, when she Celebrated the Cilician Triumph, serv'd but to mend the Poop of Charon's Boat, when she was to be ferry'd to Elyzium. So the Proud Sesostris, whose Coach was drawn by Four Van­quish'd Kings, at last was fain to owe his Uncouth Funeral to Four Sordid Slaves, who stole his Naked Corps away from the Design'd Revenge of Factious Eunuchs, and buryed it in a Heap of Camel's Dung.

But, where's the Pen or Pencil that will to the Life describe the Unmatch'd Cavalcade of Pompey, when by a prosperous Chymistry he had extracted all the Richest Spirits and Essences of Eastern wealth, to grace his Entry into Rome?

The Front of the Procession dazl'd every Eye, with the strange Lustre of Diamonds and Carbuncles mix'd in chequer-wise: An Orental Figure, or rather the Substance of all Asia, in Epitome. Then follow'd the Image of the Crescent Moon in massy Gold, with a Train of Mountains of the same Metal, whereon were Woods of Jet, Vines [Page 118]whose Grapes were entire Saphires, and Ani­mals all of Porphyry, Grazing on Fields of verdant Amethysts.

To sanctify this Glorious Shew, the Golden Images of Jupiter, Mars, and Pallas, came next in Sight, with Thirty Crowns of Gold, born up by the Chief Captains of his Ar­my, as if so many Kingdoms were design'd for their Rewards. And because Gods and Goddesses should not want a Temple, Five Hundred Slaves bore up a Fane, built all of Massy Silver, washed with Gold. And at the Back of this, appear'd the Statue of the Conqueror, on which no Eye cou'd fix, being crusted o'er with Hyacinths and Pearls.

Behold, my Mehmet, an Exuberance of Humane Glory: Yet wonder not to see a Man come after all; a Mortal Man, I say, made Radiant as the Sun, with borrow'd Jewels. And to complete his fading Triumph, read these Letters, all pure Jaspers, on his Cha­riot-Wheels: Armenia, Cappadocia, Paphlago­nia, Media, Colchis, Syria, Cilicia, Meso­potamia, Phoenicia, Paelestine, India, and the Desarts of Arabia. All these were the Con­quests of this Triumphant Warriour, and yet his Destiny Insulted over him. Poor Pompey thou art gone, and all thy Mighty Territo­ries in the East, are now possess'd by Sultan Mahomet our Glorious Sovereign.

And what need thou and I repine, after we have seen all this? Let Asdrubal asto­nish Carthage with the Glory of Four Pub­lick [Page 119] Triumphs: Yet that Theatre of his Honour quickly proves the Stage whereon he was degraded, stript stark naked, and in Triumph led away by Death. So Marius, after he had been exalted to the Top of Hu­man Felicity on Earth, was seen all naked lying in a stinking Ditch.

What is become of Nero's Silver Gallery in the Capitol? Or the pendant Gardens of Semiramis, which cost no less than Twen­ty Millions of Gold? Where is now the Glit­tering Hall of Atabalipa, King of Peru, whose Pavement was of Saphires? Or the Gardens of Cyrus, fenc'd round with Pales of Gold? Or Caesar's Fountains garnish'd with Dryads of the same Metal? Where is the Ivory Palace of Melaus, or the Crystal Louvre of Dru­sus? All these Things are vanish'd with their Founders.

How Wise and Happy then was Saladine, the Great and most Invincible Conquerour of Asia, who Triumph'd o'er himself; and in his Victorious Return, caus'd a Shirt to be carryed before him on the Point of a Spear, with this Proclamation: That after all his Glories, he should carry nothing to the Grave but that poor Shirt? So Adrian a Roman Em­perour, to qualify the excessive Joys of his High Fortune, Celebrated his own Funeral, and caus'd his Coffin to be born before him, when he was to make a Publick Cavalcade through Rome. This was a sacred Triumph, an Heroick Insult over himself and Death.

[Page 120]Let thou and I, my Friend, imitate these sage Examples, and ever have the Image of Death before our Eyes. Then we shall never mourn, for the vain Trifles we have lost, or covet what we ne'er enjoy'd: But being ever content with what our Destiny allots us, shall pass our Time away in a Divine Tranquility.

Mehemet, thou'lt find this to be a Profi­table and True Experiment. Try it, and the Issue will convince thee more than a Thousand Counsellors.

LETTER II. To Mohammed, the Illustrious Ere­mit of Mount Ʋriel in Arabia the Happy.

I Lodge in a House near the Wall of Paris, which gives me a daily Opportunity of surveying out of my Window, the Adja­sent Fields: These extend themselves in a Plain, for the Space of a League, or therea­bouts; And then the Eye is arrested by a long Ridge of Rising Ground, a Row of Hills or Hillocks, not meriting the Lofty Name of Mountains, yet high enough to put a Val­ley out of shape, and make th' Horizon crump­back'd.

Those Hills are cover'd thick with Woods and Groves; amongst whose verdant, sha­dy Tops, some Stately Palaces lift up their glittering Crests, and make a Sociable plea­sant Figure in those Solitudes.

This Prospect represents so much to th' Life, the Valley of Admoim in Arabia, the Place of my Nativity, that I cou'd as well grasp Coals of Fire with naked Hand, and not be burnt; as cast my Eye out of my Window, on this lovely Landskip, and not be inflam'd with secret passions for my Native Soil, the Place where I first drew the Vital Air. It is a perfect Magnet to my Spirit, wheresoever I am; attracting all my Wishes, Inclinations, and Desires. Methinks, the Eastern Winds [Page 122]at certain Hours, waft to my ravish'd Ears, the Whispers of my Countrymen. Methinks, sometimes I see the Faces of my Kindred, and their Rural Train; I hear their Voices, and converse familiarly with them, as tho' they were present: Such is the Magick of strong Desire and Sympathy. It steals the Soul a­way from it self, and with sweet Violence unites it to the belov'd Object, tho' at never so great a Distance. Thus when my wandering Thoughts have taken up their Re­sidence for a while in that delicious Vale where I was born, a far more powerfull Mag­net, draws 'em to thy Cave; Mysterious So­litary, Mirrour of Virtues, Exemplary Guide of such as consecrate themselves to God.

Glory to Him that was before All Time, the Father of Eternal Ages. He changes not, yet is the Source of Indefatigable and unwea­ried Revolutions. He is the only Independent, True, and self-Existent Being; The Increa­ted Essence from whom all other Beings derive their Origin and Conservation. He is the Prop and Basis of the Ʋniverse. He is but One, the Primitive Ʋnity, and cannot be di­vided into Fractions; yet every Species, and Individual Being i'th World participates a Share of his Divinity. Immortal Praises exhale from all his Creatures, and ascend like Clouds of Incense before the Throne of his Adora­ble Majesty; or like Vapours which the gra­teful Earth returns in a hot Summers Day, by way of acknowledgment, for the Bene­fits perpetually flowing on her from the Sun. [Page 123]So all the Elements respire their Thanks to Him that made 'em. The Firmament expands its selfe, and bows' down to the Brims of this low Globe: Sun Moon and Stars, do stoop and kiss the Floor o'th' Earth in token of profound Humility and Devotion, to the Immortal Source of Light. Onely Ungrateful Man repays, the Bounty of th' Omnipotent with Neglects, Contempts, Affronts, and Blasphemies. I mean the General Part of Humane Race; excepting always from this Charge, the Just, the Innocent and Pious. Were it not for such as these, the Divine Pa­tience wou'd be tir'd with the continual Pro­phanations of vain Mortals.

Oh! Venerable Sylvan, thou art the only Pacifick Victim of this sinfull Age. Thy con­stant Self-denials, Mortifications, Abstinences, and the whole System of thy Accomplish'd Sanctity, stop the Wrath of Heaven from fal­ling, in large Cataracts, on Mankind. When the Eternal Eye beholds thy Virtues, it drops down Tears of Love and Mercy on the Earth, glad that a Son of Adam yet survives, not stain'd with Vice. Thou art the effectual Propitiation, for the Sinful World. When Storms and Tempests of Impetuous Winds; when Lightning, Thunder, Hail or Rain dis­turb the Air, or Earthquakes menace more effectual Tragedies to the Earth, I think of thee, the Favourite of Heaven and then re­pose in full Security: Thy very Idea is my shel­ter from all evils: I shroud my self under the Shade of thy Inviolated Beard, o'er which the [Page 124] Razor never pass'd. I take Sanctuary in the Ʋmbrella of thy Arms, when stretch'd in fervent Oraisons. Thy Remembrance is my certain Refuge in Calamity.

I am Impregnated with Sacred Emulati­ons of thy Vertue; I burn with fervent, passionate Desires to become thy Disciple. I languish to withdraw my self from this vain World; and from the Contagious So­ciety of Mortals. How Happy is the Life that's led in quiet Solitude? Where the Soul can feel her self, and being awaken'd to a Sense of her Immortal Strength, rouzes and vigorously shakes off the heavy Clogs of Sleep and Death: Whilst the Divine Afflatus gently breathing on the Intellect, and fan­ning the oppressed Sparks of Reason, which lay smothering under a Heap of Errours, Lusts, Affections, and unlimited Desires; kindles the Mind into a perfect Flame of Light, which soon consumes the Rubbish of Bodily Pleasures, dissipates the Smoak and Mists of Pamper'd Flesh and Blood, and then a Man becomes all Radiant within, shining with Unclouded Splendors.

We Mortals seem to be rank'd in a Mid­dle State between the Separate Spirits and Beasts: Our Vertues make us like the For­mer; our Vices, like the Latter. For, when a Man has quite subdu'd his Appetites, and Reason sits Triumphant in her Throne, he's like an Angel, living above the Rate of his Mortality. He does not with the Stagyrite place Vertue in a Medium, or rank the Ex­cess [Page 125]of Goodness in the Predicament of Vice; But makes direct and swift Advances to the Zenith of Heroick Generosity; scorning to halt or make lame mungrel Capitulations with himself, as if he were afraid of being too Good.

I wou'd ask a Peripatetick, Whether it be a Vertue or a Vice, in him that stomaching the Enormous Villanies of Wicked Men, boyls up with an Excessive Vehement Anger? Or, Whether a Man, can err in loving God too much, or in conceiving too Violent a Sorrow for his past Offences? Or who can be too Thankful for the Favours of Hea­ven? No: the farther Distance Vertue keeps from this Cold, Earthly Mediocrity, the brighter is its Splendor. And so on the o­ther Side, the Greater is the Barbarism, Brutality and Infernal Stamp of Vice, by how much more Remote it is from this In­difference. In a Word, Vertue and Vice, are Two Contrary Extremes: So Piety is dia­metrically opposite to Prophaneness: Intem­perance to Sobriety: Fortitude to Cowardise: Incontinence to Chastity: Avarice to Bounty: Modesty to Impudence: Pride to Humility: Enmity to Friendship, &c.

Now the Mediums between these Ex­tremes, are Hypocrisy, between Vertue and Vice: Superstition between Piety and Pro­phaneness: Bashfulness between Modesty and Impudence, and so of the Rest.

Yet, after all, 'tis Necessary to observe a Medium in those Things which pertain to [Page 126]Mortal Life, and to the Perpetuation of Mankind: Such are Meats, Drinks, Natural Passions of the Body and Mind, proceeding from the alternate Sense of Pleasure and Pain. So when we are press'd with Hunger and Thirst, we ought not presently to covet the Plentiful Tables and Superfluous Banquets of the Great; But rather such a Diet as be­ing easily prepar'd, may satisfie the Cravings of our Nature, without nauseating and gi­ving us a Surfeit. To this End the Divine Providence has scatter'd up and down the Sur­face of this Globe, an Infinite Variety of Roots, Herbs, Fruits, Seeds, with all Sorts of Corn and Pulse: The Cattle afford us Plenty of Milk; the Bees are no Niggards of their Honey: the Fountains, Rivers, and Lakes, abound with ever-springing fresh Supplies of sweet refreshing Water. We also have the Use of Salt, Oyl, Wine and other exhilarating Beverages; That being con­tent with so many Benefits, and Enjoyments, we might prolong our Lives in this World by Sobriety, as in a most pleasant Garden or Paradise of Health.

But alas, instead of gratefully acknowledg­ing the Bounty of Heaven, and pregnant Fertility of the Earth; Instead of sitting mannerly down at the Table which God has spread and cover'd for us, with such a Train of Festival Dainties; we break the Rules of Hospitality; and rushing violently on the Creatures under his Protection, we kill and slay at Pleasure, turning the Banquet to a [Page 127]Cruel Massacre: being transform'd into a Temper wholly Brutal and Voracious, we glut our selves with Flesh and Blood of Slaughter'd Animals. Oh! happy he that can content himself with Herbs and other Genuine Products of the Earth; That sleeps as well in a Solitary Cave, upon a Bed of Moss or Leaves, as in a Palace on a Couch of Down. He never wants, because he ne'er desires what is not in his Power. He is not burden'd with a Crowd of Servants and Flattering Retainers; nor his Repose di­sturb'd with early and late Addresses of pre­tended Friends, Officious Sycophants, Im­portunate Petitioners, and other fretting Business of the World.

Why shou'd I longer then demurr or he­sitate; what hinders me from presently em­bracing a Course of Life, that promises so much Happiness? A Discipline that will at once free me from a Thousand Tyrannies of Imperious Lusts and Hostile Passions? I shall then have no Need of Money, or the Help of cross-grain'd Servants. I shall not want a Multitude of Goods, the Needless Pageantry of superfluous Ornaments, to make a dazling Figure, and draw the Eyes of People to a Reverend Admiration. I shall be free from Sottish Drowsiness, and turbulent Dreams. My Lungs will in my Sleep respire the Air with Ease: whilst gen­tle Slumbers, mix'd with happy Visions, shall transportt my Soul to Unknown Worlds. No Fevers, Gouts or Dysente­ries [Page 128]shall invade my Health: Nor magiste­rical Menaces of Empericks bespeak my cer­tain Death; unless I'll patiently submit to all the needless Tortures they're contriving for me, and tamely swallow down their new­invented Poisons, and be rack'd to Death in Hopes of Ease and Life. From all which horrid Circumstances, a slender, innocent Diet, not stain'd with Blood of any Animal, will set me free.

Holy Eremite, the Idea I have of this Man­ner of Life makes a profound and durable Impression on my Soul. I am ravish'd with the Sentiments of Plato and Pythagoras, and resolutely bent to undergoe the Discipline of their Philosophy. I'll first endeavour to rid my self of vain Affections, Habits, and pro­phane Negotiations of the Earth: I'll gra­dually die to all Concupiscence and Bodily Pleasure; that so I may by Equal Steps re­vive to the Contemplation of Celestial Things. Then being free from every Spot and Stain contracted in the Days of my Security and Carelesness; my Thoughts and Works will be Acceptable to God: Who in Return, will certainly infuse into my defecate Mind, a Se­cret Virtue, the Magick of this Visible World; which purifying my Soul yet farther, will pre­pare it for the last and highest Gift of the E­ternal Bounty to our Race whilst in this Life: To wit, a Power of doing Supernatural Things, and of Foretelling Events to come.

Do thou but pray it may be so, and all the Powers of Hell can ne'er prevail against [Page 129]me: For, thou hast the Ear of the Omni­potent.

LETTER III. To Hamet Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire.

IN this Time of Wars with Nazarenes, when the Ottoman Fury is rowz'd and provok'd by Infidels: it will not be amiss to expose the Nakedness of Europe, to the Supreme Di­van, which is on Earth the Close Commit­tee of the Court Above.

I chose to address my Letter to thee in Compliance with thy former Orders, where­in thou seemedst passionately desirous to know the Present State of Christendom. God give thee a perpetual Serenity; Scribe of the Scribes: May'st thou never be troubled with a Run­ning Eye, a shaking Hand, or the Tooth­ach. As for me, I'm a perfect Magazine of Diseases; a walking Hospital; The School of Aesculapius. Where the Necessary God has Scope to vent his Skill on all the various kinds of Maladies, which afflict our mortal Race: Gouts, Fevers, Cramps, and Horrid Dysenteries, are as Common with me as my daily Diet.

[Page 130]However, amidst all these Afflictions, I serve the Grand Signior and my Friends with a cor­dial Alacrity; Never grudging to Sacrifice my Ease and Health to the Interest of True Believers.

The Face of Europe is much chang'd since the Decline of the Roman Empire, and the Usurpations of the Popes. That once Mighty Monarchy, is now shrunk into a very narrow Compass, being shut up within the Confines of Germany, which formerly was but a Pro­vince of the Ancient Empire. All Italy is revolted. So are the Suisses, and the Ʋnited States of the Low Countries. The Hans-Towns which in Times past paid Homage to the Emperour, have now shaken off the Yoke, and are become Independent Commonwealths. Transylvania plays fast and loose with him, according as their Interest requires. Livonia laughs at his Menaces, as appears by the An­swer they sent to Charles V. when he de­manded their Submissions, and that they wou'd return to their Native Allegiance, o­therwise threatning them with Fire and Sword. For, all the Reply they made, was, That they knew the Emperour's Horse wou'd be founder'd, before he cou'd reach the Fron­tiers of their Country.

'Tis a General Observation, that since the Reign of Rodolph I. above Two Hundred Principalities and States have fall'n off from the Empire. And those that yet continue in their Obedience, I mean, the Electoral Prin­ces, claim so many Privileges; stand so much [Page 131]upon Punctilio's and Prerogatives, that there remains now little more of the Imperial Ma­jesty and Power, save the bare Title and Outward Pomp. It is Remarkable, That within these Three Hundred Years, no less than Nine German Emperours have been Murder'd, and many more have been depos'd and banish'd. To sum up all in a few Words, If we survey the present State of the German Empire accurately, if we pry nar­rowly into its true circumstances, we shall find, that after all the Clatter of his Noisy Titles, the Emperour can call nothing pro­perly his own, but his Hereditary Estate in Austria, which is hardly equivalent to the Territories of some Lords whom he calls his Vassals.

The Germans in general are a Rude Unpo­lish'd People, greedy of Novelties; Incon­stant, Rash, Perfidious, and very Phlegma­tick; much addicted to unnatural Lusts and Incestuous Copulations. It is recorded of Barbara, the Empress, Wife to Sigismund, another Messalina, that after her Husbands Death, her Confessor advising her to reform her Manners, and live more chastly like the Turtle, she answer'd, If I must imitate the Life of Birds, why not of a Sparrow, as well as a Turtle? Her Brother Frederick was much such another: For at Ninety Years of Age, he murder'd his Wife for the Sake of a Strumpet: And being advised to repent and think of his Grave; He said, I am now studying my Epitaph, which I design shall be compriz'd in these Words: [Page 132] ‘This is my Way to Hell; I know not what I shall find there: What I have left behind me I know. I abounded in all Delights, whereof I carry nothing with me: Neither my dainty Meats or pleasant Wines, or whatsoever my Insatiable Luxury exhausted.’

Drunkenness is said to be the Original Sin of Germany, from whence it spread it self into other Countries. They give this Cha­racter of a German, ‘"That he is an Animal which drinks more than he can carry: A Tun that contains more than he can vent: And that he understands more than he can ex­press."’ They tell a Story of Four Old Sax­ons, who at one Sitting, drank as many Healths as they could make up Years amongst them, which amounted to Three Hundred. And 'tis Recorded of a certain German Count, That he us'd to make his Children, whilst yet Infants, drink lustily, to prove whether they were of his own begetting or no: For, if they grew Sick after it, he presently con­cluded them to be Bastards: But if they cou'd bear the Debauch well, he cherish'd 'em as his own True Off-spring. In a Word, thou mayst have the same Idea of the Ger­mans at this Day, as Solyman the Magnificent [Page 133]had in his Time, who us'd to say, ‘"I slight the Germans above all other People of Europe, because they are always at discord among themselves, nor can they ever be united any more than my Fingers and Toes. They cannot endure Labour; and are the Excessiv'st Gluttons and Drunkards in the World; They always maintain a Regiment of Whores in their Camp. Their Generals take more Pride in their Feathers, than in their Military Arms."’

In a Word, the German is so over-run with all Kinds of Vice, that he wants nothing to make him a Complete Devil, but only a little Tincture of the Italian Qualities, ac­cording to the Proverb, Tudesco Italianato, e un Diabolo Incarnato; A German Italianiz'd, is a Devil Incarnate.

'Tis certain, the French have so weaken'd 'em on one Hand, and the Swedes on the o­ther; that considering the frequent Troubles they meet with from the Hungarians, Bohe­mians, and other Tributary Nations, besides the Intestine Feuds of the Electoral Princes; we need not fear the blunted Talons of the Eagle, which are scarce strong enough to sup­port her tottering State, or prop her from falling into Ruine: So far is she from being able to offend her Neighbours, that she never makes War her Choice, or takes the Field but by Compulsion, in her own Defence.

Illustrious Hamet, I pray God inspire the Victorious Osmans with Prophetick Cou­rage and Resolution; and the Final Con­quest [Page 134]of Germany will soon be the Prize of True Believers.

LETTER IV. To Nathan Ben Saddi, a Jew at Vienna.

THE Friendship that has been contracted between thee and me, ever since it was thy Fortune to serve the Grand Signior in that Station, obliges us both to mutual Sin­cerity. Besides, the Duty and Allegiance we owe our Sovereign, requires Plain-deal­ing between us. We ought to shun Flattery, as the Bane of all Friendly Engagements, the Pest of the Courts of Princes; and the Ge­neral Contagion which infects chiefly the most Effeminate Part of Mankind. Such as are these Western Nazarenes; who abound in a Thousand little Complaisances, and false Civilities; thus suffering their own Integrity to be corrupted; their Vertue and Fastness of Spirit, to be surpriz'd and debauch'd; whilst their Friends, by these means, not seldom run on Precipices, and fall into Inevitable Ruine. In a Word, they betray one ano­ther and themselves, out of pretended Good Nature.

[Page 135]By what I have said, thou wilt comprehend, That I do not reprove thee out of Spight, Envy, Malice or an affected Gravity; when I tell thee, that you took wrong Measures, in endeavouring to set the Emperour's Palace on Fire: Or to poison him at his Dinner. I told thee once before, That these preposte­rous Methods, will never take Effect. Be­sides, they will do the Grand Signior no Service.

Tho' thou art seemingly engag'd in the Cause of the Malecontents, remember, that thy Business is different from theirs. What signifies it to thee, whether the Hungarians have their Liberties, Rights and Privileges granted them, or no? Or what Reason hast thou to espouse the Interest of the Evange­licks, rather than that of the Catholicks, any farther than as an Umbrage to cover the greater Designs thou hast in Hand, as an Agent Incognito for the Grand Signior. Let the Jesuits pursue their own Game, and the Protestants theirs. Stand thou Neuter in the Main, and rather endeavour to keep both Parties in a Counterpoise, than to turn the Scales for either. For, the Sultan will gain by the Divisions of the Nazarenes, let the Case go how it will between themselves. Besides, there are Catholicks engag'd in the Faction, as well as Protestants. 'Tis rather a Civil Quarrel, than a Religious one. The Nobles and Gentry of Hungary and Tran­sylvania, are concern'd for their Estates, more than for their Churches. They see, the Imperial Court wants Money, and [Page 136]'tis a Crime for an Hungarian to be Rich. Those that have the Supreme Power, in these Cases, will find Reason enough to condemn a Wealthy Lord, whether he be guilty or not.

'Tis this puts them upon Caballing and entring into Confederacies, that so they may consult the Means of their own Safety, and be in a Posture to defend themselves.

I perceive the Count de Serini has made another Address, for the Government of Ca­rolstadt, and been repuls'd: Joseph, Earl of Haberstein, and Knight of Malta, being ap­pointed to succeed the Count d' Aversperg in that Honour. Which is an evident Sign, That the Emperour has no good Opinion of Serini, notwithstanding all his Former good Services. And this is enough to alienate a Man of his great Courage and Merits.

Count Frangipani also has his particular Discontents: So has Tatembach, with many other Potent Lords of Hungary and Croatia. Indeed, the whole Body of those Nations are disoblig'd, and almost wearied out with the continual Oppressions of the Germans.

Nathan, thou wilt find it no hard Matter, to bring 'em to a Necessity of putting them­selves under the Grand Signior's Protection. 'Tis thy part to cherish their Discontents. As for the Imperial Court, thou mayst per­ceive, they are resolv'd to mortify these Peo­ple, and to take from them all Opportuni­ties and the very Capacity of Rebelling, by not suffering the Natives of Hungary [Page 137]and Croatia, to possess any Office of Com­mand.

Every Party pursues its own Interest, and so must we ours. Self-preservation is the Root of all Mutual Society and Justice. Take Case of thy self, thy Friends, and the Cause thou art engag'd in, and then thou need'st not fear any Qualms of Conscience. In fine, I counsel thee to put in Practice the Advice of one of thy own Rabbi's, Jesus Ben Syrach; Be not over just.

LETTER V. To Pesteli Hali, his Brother, Master of the Grand Signior's Customs at Constantinople.

PRepare thy self for surprizing News, and receive it with a Moderation becoming a Man. Oucoumiche our Mother is dead. One and the same Night lodg'd her in the Apart­ments of Hymen, and the Chambers of Death. Before the Days of the Nuptial Solemnities were over, the Mournful Rites of her Fune­ral Commenc'd: She made but one Remove from her Marriage-Bed, to the Grave.

If thou wonderest, that a Woman of her Age, being Seventy Five Years Old; and ha­ving already had Two Husbands, should marry a Third; Know, that it was not Dotage, but Discretion which prompted her to take this Course. The Integrity, Wis­dom, and prudent Conduct of Eliachim the Jew, had charm'd her Affections long ago, and improv'd her Acquaintance with him, into a strict and vertuous Friendship. As a Mo­ther, she ow'd him Respect and Love, for his constant Fidelity to me: And on her own Account, she cou'd not but entertain Senti­ments of Esteem and Gratitude for a Man, who had been so nicely careful to preserve her [Page 139]Person and Honour from Injury and Vio­lence, ever since she came to Paris. For, he alone, among the many Myriads of People inhabiting this City, was the onely Confi­dent, both of her Secrets and mine. In a Word, these Regards, with some others of Piety, Zeal, and Good Nature, made her willing to become his Wife, who in all Things had perform'd the Part of a Friend, and a Person of Honour.

Besides all this, it was really her Interest, thus to dispose of her later Days in a Fo­reign Country, where she knew no body but Eliachim and me. As for me, she consider'd that my Life was not onely subject to the same Casualties with other Mortals, and that I might be snatch'd away by a Thousand Deaths; but that my Station here was very Precarious, and I might be suddenly recall'd by my Superiours to Constantinople, or at least be remov'd to some other Post, whither she cou'd not accompany me, being Incapa­ble of bearing, at these Years, the Hardships and Fatigues of Travel: That after my De­parture, she shou'd be neglected, contemn'd, and abandon'd by all, but those who wou'd desire her Death, for the Sake of her Money and Jewels.

In these Circumstances, to remain a Wi­dow, professing the Faith of Mahomet, and believing the Alcoran, in a Region and City swarming with Infidels; wou'd have been but an uncomfortable as well as a dangerous Condition. Wherefore having had Experi­ence [Page 140]of Eliachim's Vertue, and incorrupt Manners, he also making Addresses of Love to her, and giving her Encouragement to hope, that he wou'd become a Mussulman; she yielded at last to the Thoughts of taking him for her Husband, and they were mar­ried on the 7th. of this Moon, in a private Synagogue of the Jews: For, they are not allow'd a Publick One in this City, as they are in many other Cities of Europe.

My Mother appear'd neither too deje­ctedly sad, nor profusely merry, during the Nuptial Feast. But comporting her self with a chearful Reservedness, seem'd to have her Thoughts rather fix'd on something else, than the vain Ceremonies, Noise, and Mirth of the Company. It looks as if her Prophetick Soul was sensible of its approach­ing Release: For, to be Brief, she was found Dead in her Bed next Morning.

Brother, she is now in her Sepulchre, at Rest from all the Toils of Humane Life. Let not this News affect thee with fruitless Me­lancholy; since Death is the Common Fate of all Mortals. Rather advance the Bliss of our deceas'd Parent, with devout Oraisons for her Soul; Remembring, that e'er long, we shall be in the same Condition. For tho' Man, like a Moth, be passionately enamour'd with the Light of this World; tho' he flutter and dance about it for a while, basking in the Splendor and Warmth of his good For­tune; yet at length he is consum'd by the very Flame, which gave him Nou­rishment, [Page 141]and falls a Victim to his own Pleasure.

LETTER VI. To Hamet Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire.

I Sent thee a Letter some Days agoe, where­in I expos'd the General Nakedness, Im­becillity, and languishing State of the Ger­man Empire in this Age. My Dispatch a­bounded with Characters of their Vices: It describ'd exactly the present Eclipse of An­cient Imperial Majesty, Power and Strength, the Revolt of many Principalities and States, the Feuds and Discord of those that yet re­main in Obedience, and pay a seeming Ho­mage to Caesar; with many other Things, which being well consider'd, may for the Future prevent, or at least, diminish that Consternation and Panick Terror, which uses to seize the Hearts of Mussulmans, when we are in War with the Emperour.

Now as a farther Incentive and Encou­ragement to take up Arms against the In­fidels; as a Spur to certain Victory and Conquest, I will unlock the Treasures [Page 142]of the Country, without taking Notice of the Inhabitants. And, since nothing more excites the Resolution and Valour of Military Men, than the Hopes of Plunder, and pas­sing away a Campaign in Plenty of all ne­cessary Comforts. I will give thee a true Account of the Natural Dowry of these Re­gions, the Riches of the Soil, and the Wealth, which Commerce with other Nations, toge­ther with the Spoils of former Wars, the In­dustry of the People, and the Benevolence of Fortune have added to their Store.

Germany abounds in Generous Wines, and those more lasting than any other in Europe. The Rhenish Wines will keep above Fifty Years. The Wines of the Neckar are whol­some, and clear as Water from the Rock: Those of Franconia are strong and operative: The Austrian Grape is sweet and luscious. Several Roman Emperours have preferr'd the Fruits of the German Vintage, to those of Italy and Greece. And such is the superabun­dant Plenty of Vineyards, that at a Place call'd Stutgard, there is a Proverb currant, That they have more Wine than Water. If our Janizaries knew this, they wou'd be for an Expedition into Germany. Nay they tem­per their Mortar with Wine in some Places, and slack their Lime with it.

They have strong Beverages also made of Barley, Wheat, and other Grain, which they transport from Brumswick, Breslaw, Delph, Dantzick, Lubeck, and other Places, to most Countries in the North and West of [Page 143] Europe. They likewise make a Sort of Wine of Honey, as strong and Sweet as the Wine of Candy.

There is abundance of Frankincense and Myrrh in Moravia, of Saffron in Austria, of Licorice in Franconia, of Madder for Dyers in Silesia, of Amber in Thuringia.

There are Innumerable Orchards full of all delectable Fruits, the Fields stand thick with Corn, the Pastures are throng'd with Cattel, and they have a Breed of the stoutest Horses in the World. They have Timber enough to serve all the Nations in the World for Shipping. But that which is most inviting is, the Variety of Mines of Gold, Silver, Copper, Lead, Tin and Iron. Before Ame­rica was discover'd, Germany was the Peru and Potosi of all Europe. They have also Plenty of Marble as bright as Crystal.

Besides their Native and Domestick Riches, they have mightily improv'd their Stock, by Foreign Commerce; exchanging their Super­fluities for things more precious and of grea­ter Value: Which in a constant Course of Bartering, brings into the German Coffers ma­ny Hundred Millions of Crowns in a Year. In a Word, their Cities are so Rich, that when they have been pillag'd by an Enemy, the booty of one City, has been valu'd at Two Millions of Crowns, in ready Money, besides Plate and Jewels. The Common Souldiers have made Hilts for their Swords and Dag­gers of Gold and Silver; nay, some would have their very Helmets of the same Metals. [Page 144]Publick Gaming Tables have been set up in the Streets, and it has been Common for a private Trooper to win or lose Five or Ten Thousand Crowns at a Time. This would be rare Sport for our Janizaries and Spahi's.

I tell thee, Serene Minister, considering the Immense Wealth of Germany, and the Degeneracy of its Inhabitants; Providence seems to invite our Arms to make a Conquest of those Fertile Regions, and take from the Ʋncircumcis'd the Goods which surfeit them. They abuse the Gifts of Nature, and Fortune, by employing them to the Ends of Vice; whereas the True Believers were they once possess'd of them, wou'd turn them to Ver­tuous Purposes, the Publick Advantage, the Encrease of the Empire, Glory of God, and Propagation of the Faith Ʋndefiled.

LETTER VII. To Hebatolla Mir Argun, Superi­our of the Convent of Derviches at Cogni in Natolia.

'TWas with a Specifick Kind of Joy, not easie to be desin'd, that I receiv'd thy Venerable Dispatch. I perus'd the Welcome Orders therein contain'd with a Delight not in the least Inferiour to his, who being abandon'd to Distress and miserable Poverty, has, by good Luck, discover'd a hidden Wealthy Treasure: For so my Spirit is ravish'd, to find in this degenerate Age, a Rich Reserve of Piety and Devotion to the Ancient Prophets of God.

I'm glad to hear the Character of John the Baptist, which I sent thee formerly, was so well accepted by thee, and all the Religi­ous under thy Charge, That thou vouchsafest only to accuse the shortness of the Relation, desiring a more particular Account of that Prophet's Manner of living, especially of his Abstinences, and what may be the most proper Interpretation of the Graecian Word [...], mention'd in the History of his Life?

Praise be to God, who has inspir'd thee with this Critical Regard to one of his most [Page 146] Holy Messengers. I revere thy Learned Soul, and that accomplish'd Intellect, which is ever busie, prying into Weighty and Impor­tant Matters. I honour thy Impartial Mind, which scruples not to pay th' Attach that's due to a Saint, tho' of the Christian Calen­dar. If we should reject all that the Fol­lowers of Jesus do, we should neither Fast, Pray, give Alms, or perform any other Good Works. Therefore in this, thou art an Exemplary Pattern to the Rigid, Super­stitious Sort of Mussulman Phanaticks, who bear an endless Grudge against all those that are not of their Narrow Faith, and Dark Opinion.

Glory be to God, with whom the WORD was present from the Dawning of Eternal Light, before the Morning of his Works had peep'd o'er the Mountains of the Ancient Chaos, or penetrated the Dark Abyss, and Misty Vale of Nothing, and painted the Tops of the Creation, the Highest Ranks of Beings, with Splendors of the Early Day. Before the Sun had drank th' Immortal Halo in, and spong'd up all the Visible Beams to squeeze them out again upon the Moon, the Stars, and on this Lower World. That WORD remains for Ever, and at a de­termin'd Hour became Incarnate, in the Person of Jesus the Son of Mary, as the Holy Alcoran informs us.

In those Days John the Baptist went into the Wilderness, and preach'd Repentance to the Jews foretelling the near Approach of [Page 147]the Messias. The Sacred Hero made a Cave his Residence; and at first, to wean his Body from all Softness, he wore a Vest or Shirt of Camel's Hair, which was girt about him with a Belt made of that Painful and Reli­gious Creatures Skin, to put him in Mind, that he was born for Holy Labours, Toils, and Mortifications. He had no Table spread with far-fetch'd costly Dainties; no Dishes cramm'd with bloody and large Inventories of Birds, Four-footed Beasts, and Fish. His Diet was Simple, Cheap, and Innocent; easie to be got in every Wood or Field, without the Detriment of his Fellow-Animals. For he either contented himself with a Repast on Honey, which he found in Hollow Trees; or on a Kind of Manna, a sweet Dew fal­ling on their Leaves, and there condens'd by Heavenly Influence: Or else it was a kind of luscious Moisture, which he suck'd from certain Plants, perhaps not much unlike our Sugar-Canes: For thus Interpreters do differ about the Words [...]. Whatever it was, we may conclude it to be some slender, light and easie Nourishment. And when this Diet fail'd him, or his Sto­mach requir'd a little more Variety, he ban­queted on what the Graecians call [...]. Some will have these to be a Kind of Locusts or Grass-hoppers, a Meat indulg'd the Jews by Moses in the Law. The Syrians also coun­ted them a Dainty; so did the Ancient Par­thians, as Aristotle and Pliny tell us. And my Country-men, the Arabians, eat of them to [Page 148]this Day. Others are of Opinion, that these [...] were a sort of little Shell-Fish, such as Crabs, Crawfish, or Shrimps, which Nature has generally lodg'd in Holes along the banks of Rivers. A pleasant, tem­perate Sort of Diet, commended for their Virtues in expelling Poyson, and being Re­medies for the Strangury, and Antidotes to cure the Biting of Mad Dogs.

The Divine Prophet therefore oft frequen­ting the Waters of the River Jordan, where­in he us'd to wash his Converts and Disciples; these Men suppose, he took Occasion to allay his Hunger with these little Shell-fish, which he might easily take in mighty Num­bers from their watry Nests. And they en­deavour to strengthen this Opinion, by as­serting, That the Food which the Waters afford us, is much more Pure and Holy than what the Earth brings forth; in regard the Earth lies under the Malediction of God, ever since Noah's Flood, whereas the Waters ne'er were Curs'd. Hence, say they, it is very probable. That the consecrated Hero, wou'd not defile his Spotless Life with cursed Banquets from the Earth, but rather chose to appease his Hunger with the harmless, bless'd, and wholsome Product of the Wa­ters.

If thou wilt have my Opinion after all, I'm apt to think these [...] were nothing else but the tender Tops of Plants, such as we call Asparagus, or perhaps they were wild Apples of the Wood; and then we may [Page 149]suppose there's some Mistake in the Greek Copy. [...] for [...]. Or, it may be the Holy Prophet, in the proper Season of the Year, did use to crop and eat the Ears of Barly, and then the Word shou'd be [...]. For, what cou'd be more sweet and pleasant to an Abstemious Man, than to sustain his Life with fruits, Grain, Herbs, or Roots? Nor did the Malediction reach the Vegetables, but only the Animal Generations, from which a perfect Man abstains.

Certainly, those, who out of an Aversion for Purity, Prayer, and Fasting, turn them­selves from Humane Bodies to Swine; and from Religious Abstinence to Salvage Gur­mundizing on Flesh, seem to derive their Pedigree from a Race of Devils: Especially such as after the manner of Spiders, gathe­ring Poison from the Flowers of Piety, Blaspheme this Sacred Vertue of Abstinence, and call it by the Infamous Name of Super­stition.

For, if the Veneration we pay to God con­sist in the Knowledge, Love and Fear of his Divine Majesty, with Adoration and Praise of his Eternal Attributes; it follows, That we ought to worship him with the most Fervent Application of our Spirits. But this Religious Ardour cannot subsist in any Soul, whose Body is not mortified; nor can the Body be mortified without Austerity, which always is accompany'd with Rigorous Fasting and Abstinence from Flesh. Where­fore if we ascend to God, by the very same [Page 150]Degrees as we fall from him, it follows, That Abstinence is the First Step to Immor­tality and Supreme Happiness.

I do not mean by Abstinence, that Natu­ral Aversion which some Men have for Flesh, who never durst to taste of any in their Lives, compell'd to this by some Occult Antipathy in their Stomachs. For such a Necessity cannot make a Vertue, it being common to Men and Brutes; there being many Animals, who fast from all Provender at certain Seasons of the Year, and others that taste not some Kinds of Food, during their Lives. So there are some Men, to whom Wine, Flesh, Cheese, Apples, Herbs and other Things, are an Abomination from their Cradles. There have been others, who, by a Prae­ternatural Necessity, have lived some Days, VVeeks, Months and Years without either Meat or Drink. So Plato records, That Herus Pamphylius lay Ten whole Days among the Dead Carcases of Soldiers slain in Battel; and, when he was taken up to be laid on the Funeral Pile, they perceiv'd him to be alive. Laertius tells us, That Pythago­ras fasted Forty Days and Forty Nights from Meat and Drink. From whom Apollonius Thyanaeus learn'd the Art of keeping almost a perpetual Fast. And these Modern Times afford us the Example of a Spaniard, whom they call Alcantaro, who every Moon us'd to Fast for Seven or Eight Days together. So a famous German Maid was diligently ob­serv'd and watch'd, whilst she pass'd away [Page 151]full Seven Years Time without Meat, Drink, Sleep or Excrements. France also boasts of another Virgin, who fasted above Three Years together.

Such Abstinences as these, are not to be put to the Account of Vertue, in regard they were not the Effects of Humane Choice, but the Decrees of Fate. So wou'd our Ab­stinence be deprav'd, if we shou'd only pra­ctise it, as the old Gentiles did, who forbore to kill or eat some certain Beasts, because they held them consecrated to their Gods. As the Dog to Diana; the Tyger to Bacchus; the Horse to Neptune; the Woolf to Mars; the Eagle to Jupiter; the Peacock to Juno; the Swan to Apollo; the Dove to Venus; the Owl to Minerva. Nor need we abstain on the Account of the Soul's Transmigration; for, so we ought to forbear the Vegetable Products of the Earth, as well as Animals, since the Soul is Indifferent to all Bodies, in its separate State.

But our Reason in this Point, ought to take its Rise from the Fundamental Law of Nature, the Original Justice of the World, which teaches us, Not to do that to another, which we wou'd not have another do to us. Now, since 'tis evident, That no Man wou'd willingly become the Food of Beasts; there­fore, by the same Rule, he ought not to prey on them. Next to this Foundation of our Abstinence, we ought to build our Aims at the Perfection of our Nature, which cannot be acquir'd but by Degrees: We must en­deavour [Page 152]to abate the Aliment of our Con­cupiscences, by exhaling the superfluous and grosser Vapours of our Blood in Sacred Fasts and Oraisons. Then we shou'd re­fresh our fainting Bodies, with Food affor­ding little Nourishment and Pleasure. That so our vain Affections, Appetites and Lusts, may gradually die: Whilst the pure Mind revives, and being free from the gross Va­pours arising from too much, and too fat­ning Meats and Drinks, the Films which darken'd her Sight, fall off; and she can better now discern the Naked Forms of Things, by her own simple Intuition, than before she cou'd through all the borrow'd Spectacles and other Opticks of Book-Philoso­phy. Also she will more easily raise her self to the Contemplation and Science of Divine Eternal Things. He therefore that in Ear­nest will apply himself to the Study of ac­complish'd Sanctity, must first by Fasting exhaust the Marrow from his Bones, the Fat­ness from his Flesh, the Wild and Rampant Spirits from his Nerves, and then he must purge the Words and Actions of his Life from Vice. When this is done, the Soul becoming a pure Tabula Rasa, is fit for the Impressions of Celestial Vertue.

Those who labour under acute Diseases, run great Hazard of their Lives, according to Hippocrates, unless their Diet be accom­modated with proportionate Regard to the Quality and Time of the Critical Fits or Paroxisms. But, those who are entangl'd [Page 153]with Vice, do labour under far more dange­rous Distempers, than such as afflict the Body. Wherefore the Prophet, our Holy Law-giver, like a Wise Physician, appoin­ted certain Seasons of the Year, for Sacred Abstinences, Fastings, Pilgrimages, Vigils, and other Holy Exercises, especially the Mighty Fast and Vigil of Ramezan, where­in, tho' it be not forbid to eat of Flesh after the Stars appear at Night, yet none but loose and indevout Believers, take that Li­berty; whereas the better Sort content them­selves with an Ascetick Diet. The Hebrews fasted with Unleaven'd Bread, and a little Salad; the Christians also taste no Flesh, on their prohibited Days: And shall the Mussulmans be greater Libertines than these Infidels?

O Hebatolla! how radiant is the Lustre of a Lamp, when shining through a clean, and fine, defaecate Chrystal? So does the Soul display the Rays of her Immortal Ver­tue round about, when she inhabits in a well purifi'd, chaste, and almost pervious Body. VVherefore, it is absolutely necessa­ry for him to attenuate his Body with per­petual Temperance and Abstinence, who consecrates himself to Vertue and Devotion. He will not be ensnar'd or catch'd by any Baits of Luxury or Voluptuousness; not yet affrighted from his constant, sober Course of Life, by any Pain, or thwarting Accident. No Frowns or Menaces shall di­vert him from his Noble Purpose: But he [Page 154]will so nourish his Body all his Life, that it shall never be Surfeited, or over-fill'd with Meats. And such is the Magick of this Sa­cred Vertue, That it can never be hurt, much less subverted by all the Machinations of Evil Daemons; or the Malicious At­tempts of Men. But it proceeds from Strength to Strength, and fights the Combat valiantly, till having overcome at last, it Triumphs for ever, and receives the Palm, the Crown and Chaplet of Divine Reward in Paradise.

Holy President, pray that I may practise what I so admire, and not be self-condemn'd for living contrary to my Knowledge. For God neither loves a double Tongue or Heart, neither delights he in Feet or Hands that are swift and nimble to do Mischief.

LETTER VIII. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Em­pire.

NOw the Christians are in a general Con­sternation for Candy: The Pope has sent Letters to all the Princes that are in his Communion; inviting and pressing them to succour that Distress'd Island. Levies are making every where; and the King of France, who seeks all Occasions of Glory, appears the most forward of any to assist the Repub­lick in this Fatal Juncture. The Duke of Beaufort, and the Chevalier de Vendosm, are appointed to lead the Forces design'd for that Service. They are gone to Toulon, in Or­der to embarque. The Pope has sent the Duke of Beaufort a Breve, declaring him General of the Troops Ecclesiastick that are to serve in Candy; and for his greater En­couragement, he has sent him the Pontifical Standard.

In the mean while, there is a Triple League concluded between the Emperour, the King of Spain, the King of England, the King of Swedeland, and the States of Holland.

There is great Joy in Portugal for the Birth of the Infanta, who is call'd Elizabe­tha-Maria-Louisa, She was Born the 6th. [Page 156]of the 1st. Moon; and on the 18th. the Empress of Germany was also deliver'd of a Daughter. These Western Queens are very pregnant. Not a Year passes without the Birth, or Baptism, of some Royal Infant.

This is all the News at present; but to oblige thee I will say something of Italy, which is esteem'd the Garden of Europe. Nay, Constantine Paleologus, Emperor of Greece, was wont to say, Ʋnless I had been assur'd by very Learned and Holy Men, that Paradise was seated in Asia, I shou'd have sworn that Italy had been the Place.

It is most certain Italy is a delectable Country, abounding in Riches and Plea­sures. The Eye is not satisfi'd with seeing the infinite Variety of Beauties, which grace this happy Region. Such is the lovely In­termixture of Hills and Valleys, Groves and Plains, Palaces and Gardens, that a Traveller is ravish'd as he passes on the Road. But this is not all: She is as rich as fair. No Country in the World can match Italy for the Plenty and Variety of excellent Wines; only they are of no long Continu­ance. Above all the rest, Travellers com­mend that Sort which they call Lachrymae Christi, or, the Tears of Christ, for its deli­cious Taste. Which when a Dutch-man once tasted, he burst forth into this Excla­mation; O Christ! why didst thou not weep in my Country? At Papia, there are a Kind of Aromatick Grapes, which leave a fragrant Odour in the Mouth of him that eats them. [Page 157]It is recorded of a certain Roman Lord, That when he was in Prison half dead with Me­lancholy, he drank a Glass or Two of this generous Wine, which so reviv'd his Spirits, that instead of Despairing, as he was ready to do before, he wrote a Treatise entituled [de Consolatione.]

Besides, Italy abounds in Cattle, Sheep, Fowls, Mines, Rocks of Alabaster, Marble, Porphyry, Coral, Ophits, Agats, Chalce­donies, Azures, and innumerable other pre­cious Stones. Hence it comes, that in this Country are seen the most Glorious and Mag­nificent Temples of the World.

But, this so fair and wealthy a Spot of Ground is Inhabited by a very wicked Sort of People. They are quite degenerated from the Vertues of their Ancestors. They are a Base, Effeminate, Sly, Sodomitical Race of Men, Covetous, Revengeful, and Inexora­ble. I have heard a Story of Two Italian Brothers that were walking one Night in the Fields, it being a very serene Sky; when one of them looking steadfastly on the Heavens, wish'd, he had as many Oxen as there were Stars. The other wish'd, he had a Field as large as the Firmament. What wou'd you do with it? said the First. Let your Oxen graze there, reply'd he. But, as they proceeded in this Kind of foolish, loose Discourse, they kindled each others Anger; and at length, falling from. Words to Blows, kill'd one another on the Spot. Behold, the Conse­quence of their Covetous Desires. They [Page 158]are extremely addicted to Revenge, and are as dextrous at poysoning as the Indian Prin­ces. A certain French Author gives us a very Compendious Account of the Benefits a Stranger gets by travelling into Italy, in these Words: We go into Italy, says he, with Incredible Charges, only to purchase the mere Shadow of Civility, and we bring back from thence the whole System of Vices. The Mila­nese teach us how to Cheat. From the Ve­netians we learn Hypocrisie. Rome trans­forms us into perfect Atheists and Libertines. Naples turns us to Satyres. Florence in­structs us in the Artificial Methods of Poy­soning. There is not one City, which does not tincture us with some Specifick Ill Qua­lities.

Sage Hamet, In all my Letters to thee, I studiously insert some Remarks on these Western Nations, that so I may gratifie thy Wishes. Pardon the want of Order: For, I write Things as they present themselves to my Memory. Accept all in good Part from Mahmut, who obeys thy Commands chearfully, and honours thee without Flat­tery.

LETTER IX. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Se­cretary of the Ottoman Empire.

THou may'st Register in the Archives of the Sacred Empire; That Dom John of Austria, is made perpetual Governour of the Low-Countries, under the Spanish King's Obedience. He is also Viceroy, and Vicar-General of Arragon, Catalonia, and Valenciae. But it is fit for thee to know also, That this is so far from being esteem'd by that Prince a Happiness, that he counts it his Greatest Misfortune, in Regard 'tis no better than an Honourable and Irrevocable Banishment from the Court of Spain; where his Royal Blood and Merits, are out-master'd by the Genius of a certain Priest, whom they call Father Nitard. This Man is very Ambitious, always aiming at High Matters; yet admir'd by no body for his Learning, Beauty, or any other good Qualities. Only the Queen of Spain, is pleas'd to make him her Favourite.

He cou'd never buckle to the Humour of Dom John; and hence arose a secret Envy be­tween 'em; which afterwards burst forth in­to open Animosities, Feuds and Quarrels. So that at last, the Favourite got the Day, and Dom John was forc'd to quit the Field.

It is impossible to trace the Sovereigns of the Earth in the Foot-steps of their Royal Conduct: Or else, one wou'd of Course [Page 160]conclude, That tho' so great a Prince as this, of the same Lineage as the Queen her self, shou'd have easily eclips'd the borrow'd Lustre of an Upstart Minion. But Mo­narchs have Specifick Reasons to themselves, which others cannot penetrate.

Perhaps this cunning Priest used a Trick like that of a Soldier in the Army of Alex­ander the Great: Who being of an Ambiti­ous Spirit, and coveting to make some grea­ter Figure than that of a Private Sentinel, consider'd Alexander's Humour, and how to hit it. He knew, that his Heroick Ma­ster took Delight in any Thing was bold and brave. But how to come into his Pre­sence, he was Ignorant. At length, he pitch'd upon this Method. One Day, as Alexander was debauching with his beloved Parmenio, Haepheston, Lysimachus, and other Officers. This Fellow (whose Name was Clytus) put himself into a Mimick Dress of War, counterfeiting himself Mad, and dancing the Pyrrhick Measures, with his brandish'd Sword, kill'd Five new-listed Sol­diers lately come from Colchis. The Guards soon siez'd upon him; and it being a Tra­gical Novelty, the News was carried to the King; who caus'd the Fellow to be brought before him. And examining him on the Point, Clytus answer'd, ‘"Great King, those Five Men whom I have kill'd, had conspir'd to take away thy Life this Day, being hir'd thereto by the King of Colchis, and therefore sent into thy Army. Their [Page 161]Tent being next to mine, I had an Acci­dental Opportunity last Night, of over­hearing their Discourse, when they were plotting together the Time, the Place, and Manner of thy Death. I kept a Watch upon them, and observ'd their Motions from that Moment. For, tho' I knew the Hour appointed by them for this Execrable Regicide, yet I was solli­citous, lest some ill Fate shou'd prompt the Ruffians to antedate their own Re­solves, and hasten a Murder, whose De­lay might else discover their Designs, or at least prevent 'em. Therefore I took this mad Disguise, to execute the Sober­est and most Important Purpose that e'er I fram'd in all my Days; which was at once to save the Life of the World's Con­queror, and get my self Immortal Ho­nour by the Happy Deed."’

After profound Deliberation of the Drunken Cabinet-Council, Alexander ap­prov'd the Fact, and order'd Publick Ho­nours to be done to his Deliverer. According to the Macedonian Custom, he vested him with Purple Robes, and gave him a Chain of Gold, admitting him to the latter End o'th' Banquet, and afterwards esteeming him above his most Familiar Friends. Till such another Debauch as this, but more Un­fortunate to Clytus, at once depriv'd him of the King's Favour and his own Life: So Inconstant is the State of Humane Great­ness.

[Page 162]Sage Hamet, the Favour of Princes is like a Reed of Egypt, which either trans­pierces him that leans upon it; or flinches from the Burden, and so gives him a Fall, which most Times plunges him o'er Head and Ears, in the choaking Mire of Popular Hatred.

God grant thou may'st never be crush'd to Death from Above, by the Weight of the Sultan's Displeasure, or undermin'd from Beneath, and swallow'd up in an Earthquake rais'd by the Multitude.

LETTER X. To Hebatolla Mir Argun, Supe­ior of the Convent of Derviches at Cogni in Natolia.

THou wilt not be displeas'd to hear of a Mighty King, that laying aside his Dia­dem and Scepter, and abandoning the Height of Humane Glory, has consecrated himself to a Private Religious Life, vowing Perpe­tual Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience.

Yet this is true of John Casimir, late King of Poland, who from a Sovereign Monarch is become an Humble Subject, and having forsaken the Pleasures and Magnificences of [Page 163]his Royal Palace, voluntarily confines him­self to the Narrow Circumstances and Au­sterities of a Monastick Life.

He chose France for the Place of his Re­treat from his own Kingdom; and the Abby of St. Germains near Paris, as his Sanctuary from all Worldly Affairs. He was magni­ficently receiv'd and entertain'd in every Ci­ty through which he pass'd. And on the 4th. of the 11th. Moon, he made his first Entry into the Mosque or Church of the Convent, where he made his Vows, in Quality of Abbot, or Superior of that House: For which they solemnly sung their Te Deum, or a Song of Praise to God. And the Court of France seems to be proud of the Honour this Prince has done it, in retiring hither, and making it the Theatre of such Pious Resolves, the last Stage of his Pilgrimage on Earth, where he will bid Adieu to the vain Pageantries of Honour, Wealth and Empire; and having shaken off the Glittering Burden of a Crown, with all the other Clogs of elevated Mortality, he will the easier climb to Paradise.

Abstracting from the Particular Super­stitions of the Nazarenes, I cannot but commend the Sage Undertaking of King Casimir; who, in this, seem to outgoe the noisie ostentous Action of Adrian, one of the Roman Emperors: For he only once cele­brated in outward Pomp his own Funerals, by way of Type or Figure; making a splen­did Cavalcade, before which his Coffin was [Page 164]carried in a kind of Mock-Triumph: As if after all his other Victories, at last he had lead Death himself Captive: Whereas this hinder'd not, but that he return'd again to the Vanities which in this Publick Emblem he seem'd to despise; And from a Drama­tick Conqueror, he became a real Slave. His personated Mortification in the Streets, en­ded in his ordinary Passions at Home. And he had a stronger Inclination to the Bed of Voluptuousness at Night, than he seem'd to have by Day to his Grave.

But this Heroick King of the Poles, is really gone into his Sepulchre. (For no bet­ter is a Monastery in my Opinion.) He has translated the Seat and Throne of his King­dom, to a Tomb; not for Three or Four Hours, to make a shew, but there really to lead a dying Life, or living Death; and reign in Funeral Majesty all the Rest of his Days. For, to be thus Recluse from the World, is to be buried alive.

O Venerable and Benign Dervich, pardon the Favourable Opinion I have of this Chri­stian Monarch. I do not patronize his Er­rors in applauding his Vertue. Besides, it is the General Faith of Mussulmans, That, let a Man be a Christian, a Jew, or Pagan, provided he lives up to the best Light he has, he shall be saved. And the Holy Prophet himself gave us Encouragement to believe so.

Thou wilt at least conclude this King to be more Pious and worthy of Praise, than [Page 165]one of his Predecessors, who usurp'd the Polish Crown. This was Ʋladislaus V. who having enter'd into a solemn League with one of our Former Sultans, living in his Time, and taken an Oath thereupon, giving also the Eucharist (or, that which they esteem the Body of Christ) in Hostage; yet soon after broke the Articles that he had Sign'd, Seal'd, and Sworn to, and for the Performance of which he had pawn'd his God.

This so provok'd the Grand Signior, that he had recourse to his Arms for Justice, and invaded Poland with a Mighty Force: To repell which, Ʋladislaus also levied an Army, and met him in the Field. But, just as they were going to give Battel, the Sultan took out of his Bosom, the paw­ned Eucharist, with the Capitulations agreed upon, and sworn to between 'em. Then holding the Wafer in One Hand, and the Articles in the Other, he cryed out, in the Hearing of both Armies; ‘"O thou Cruci­fy'd God of the Christians, behold thy Per­fidious Adorers, who have given thee to me as a Pledge of their Faith and Truth in what they have sworn; yet in a most Impious Manner they have violated their Oath. If thou art a God chastise them now by my means, for their Abominable Perjury, and Prophanation of thy Name."’ His Prayer was heard of Heaven: For the Victorious Osmans gave a Total Overthrow to the Infidels; and that Blasphemous Prince was himself kill'd in the Battel.

[Page 166]Whatever various Forms of Religion there be in the World; we know there is but One True God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Conservator and Governour of Men. He connives at the Invincible Ignorances, Frail­ties and Infirmities of our Mortal Race. He accepts the Good Works and Sincere Vows of Pagans, and the Ʋncircumcised, as well as those of the True Believers, and Followers of the Prophet. But he abhorrs and punishes all Injustice, Perjury, and Treason, both in the One and the Other. For he has no Partial Regards for This Nation or Person, more than for That. They are all equally the Works of his Hands; and his Care is alike over them.

The Sun runs from the East to the West: In his daily Circuit he Illuminates and Warms this Hemisphere; and by Night, our Anti­podes enjoy his Favours, and welcome In­fluence. At one Time of the Year he com­forts the North, at another he revives the South. There is no Part of the Globe, which in due Season does not rejoyce in his all-chearing Beams.

The Moon never slacks or deviates from her wonted Course; but from the Cresent to the Wane, observes the Laws of him that made her. She is exact in timing the Flux and Reflux of the Sea. And she guides the wan­dring Mariners by Night. The Inhabitants of the Artick and Antartick Circles, wait for her Light, when the Sun absents himself for Half the Year. As soon as they see the [Page 167] Chariot of Diana appear on the Road of their Heaven, every Man claps his Hands for Joy. They rouze from their Domestick Dulness and Melancholy; they come out of their Dens and Caves. VVith Dances and Songs, they welcom the Approach of the Beautiful Goddess; Knowing that She is but a Second Remove from the Eternal Light: The Mirrour of the Sun, in which that Glorious Planet may see his Face; in whose, by Reflection, we see the Face of God.

So do the Stars keep on their various Tra­verses through the Heavens. Each Constel­lation faithfully maintaining its Post; each Planet pursuing its Road. VVhilst all toge­ther, at so vast a Distance, appear a flying Camp, ne'er setting up their bright Pavili­ons but by Night, and in the Morning ta­king 'em down again. This may be call'd the Army of Heaven, the Host of God, embattel'd in the Firmament, to guard his Friends on Earth, and to chastise his Ene­mies.

To descend lower yet into our Sublunary Elements; we find the Rain, Hail, Snow, VVinds, Thunder, Lightning and other Meteors, are impartially scatter'd up and down the Climates of the Earth; I do not mean by Chance, but by the Universal Providence which governs all Things. As the Alcoran expresses it: ‘"'Tis he directs the Seminal and Prolifick Showers, to Barren and Desart Places: Doubtless, this is a Sign of his Divine Ʋnity."’

[Page 168]In fine, all Provinces and Corners of the Earth bring forth their proper Fruits in Sea­son. And the Negro's of Africk, and Ame­rica, tho' gross Idolaters, and some of them worshipping Infernal Daemons, yet enjoy God's Blessings; and live as Plentifully, with as much Content and Joy, as we that Adore his Eternal Ʋnity.

Every Nation takes up their Religion on the Credit of their Priests; and so long as they observe the Natural and Moral Law imprinted in their Hearts: The Indulgent Judge and Father of Men, will dispense with those that Err, in Obedience to the Po­sitive Laws of their Nation: for Sedition is like Magick, odious to God and Man, and equally liable to Universal Punishment.

Once more, O Pious Father of the Der­viches, I beg of thee to pardon the Freedom I take, in discoursing of Religious Matters in thy Presence, who art a Light to the Blind, a Guide to those that Err; a Resol­ver of Doubts, an Arbitrator of difficult Questions; The Onely Oracle of thy Pro­vince.

I endeavour not to inform thee, but to dis-entangle my self from Error; and testi­fie, that tho' I Honour God and his Pro­phet; yet I think there is no need of a False­hood to defend the Truth.

LETTER XII. To Useph, Bassa.

DEath has of late Celebrated a Triple Triumph in the Court of France; ha­ving lead away Captives to the Invisible World, The Cardinal Duke of Vendôme, a Dutchess of the same Title, and Henrietta Maria, late Queen of Great Britain, being the Relict of King Charles I. and Youngest Daughter to Henry IV. of France.

Thou may'st also report to the Divan, that Casimir, late King of Poland, is now at this Court; Having left Poland, as soon as he saw Prince Wiesnowiski elected his Suc­cessor. The Dukes of Lorrain and New­burgh had severally laid Claim to that Crown, and levied Armies a-part, in order to make good their Pretentions. But the Polanders, being aware of it, were resolv'd not to bring themselves under the Jurisdicti­on of any Foreigner, so long as there was a Prince of their own Nation capable of the Dignity, and one who being the Son of King Casimir, seems to have the best Title to his Father's Throne, whose Vertues he inhe­rits.

Here is also arriv'd the Prince of Tuscany, who has travell'd through all Europe, and [Page 170]takes France, as the last Kingdom, in his Return Homewards: Protesting, That he does this in good Manners, as preferring France to all the Nations in Christendom. Indeed, he cou'd do no less in Good Man­ners, than make this Apology, which yet sounds very Flat toa Court so refin'd as this; which might have expected his First Visit as a Token of his Regard; since, tho' in Domestick Processions, Entries, and Caval­cades, those of highest Dignity take the last Place; yet in Foreign Embassies, and Voyages, it is usual for Princes to address to those first, for whom they have the Greatest Esteem.

The Politicians here keep very secret the News that comes from Candy, which makes all Men conclude, 'tis none of the most Pro­sperous. 'Tis generally reported for a Truth, That Admiral Beaufort is either Kill'd, or taken Prisoner by the Ottomans; and that the French have lost near Two thousand Men in this Undertaking.

I wonder why the Painters always de­scribe Death in the Form of a Naked Ske­leton, a Starv'd System of dry Bones: where­as one would think, he ought to be pour­tray'd as a Monster, a Miracle of Fatness; since he is the greatest Glutton in the World, hourly gurmundizing on all manner of Flesh, and is the very Original, Universal Cannibal of Nature, who from the Begin­ning of the World has feasted himself with [Page 171]Humane Bodies. But, perhaps, he has a bad Digestion, and none of all his raw and bloody Diet, will afford Nutriment enough to form so much as a poor Skin to cover his Nakedness. And, therefore 'tis he's al­ways drawn in this lean Figure.

Courteous Bassa, suffer me from this vain Jest, to fall into a serious Reflection on our Mortality, and the frail Estate of Hu­mane Race.

Man's but a fetid Vapour, first exhal'd from the Earth, and afterwards advancing, is condens'd into a Cloud, that so his Fil­thiness may be conceal'd under the Covert of a Skin, there in Secret to engender a Thousand Meteors of Fiery Passions, Lusts, Concupiscences, and Extravagant Thoughts. Which in time burst forth, and trouble all the World: Yet end at last in empty Smoak, Rain, Hail, or Wind, and are extinct al­most as soon as they were form'd.

The Elements of which we are compoun­ded, may serve as Mirrours to represent the constant Mutability of our Nature. So the devouring Fire, when all its Fuel is spent, decays and dies. Earth, Air, and Water, all are subject to Corruption, and from thence our Generation takes its Rise: like­wise thither we return again. This is the Eternal Circle of Natural Products. The Trees, the Flowers, with all the Vegetable Race; the Birds, the Beasts, and Fishes, with every Species of Animals, are so many [Page 172]Remembrancers of our Mortality. Which way soe'er we turn our Eyes, they are pre­sented with fresh Images of Humane Weak­ness. And the very Breath, which does prolong our Life, helps equally to shorten it, since every Respiration carries away some Portion of our Substance. Our finer Par­ticles gradually vanish into Smoak, and Air, whilst the more gross Remainder scums off in noisome Excrements. And if there appear a Shew of any thing solid in us at our Death, 'tis soon reduc'd to Ashes, Dirt, or Worms. Our Bodies, of which we make so great Account whilst living, are lost in the Abyss of Universal Matter, soon after Death.

What were the greatest Prince the hap­pier, tho' he possess'd the whole Circumfe­rence of this Globe? 'Tis but a Mighty Heap of Dirt, or Dung, perpetually exha­ling or crumbling away. 'Tis one of the Dishes which compose the Banquet of All-devouring Time. And whilst the insulting Monarchs of the Earth trample on it in Disdain, spreading their Armies far and wide, and boasting that their Empires have no Bounds; each do's but hasten to be shut up himself within a little, obscure and putrid Hole, not much surpassing the Li­mits of a Mole-Hill.

Great Bassa, Let not the Honours and Dignities thou possessest, make thee forget [Page 173]the Miseries to which thou art liable each Hour: But, remember thou art a Man.

LETTER XIII. To the Kaimacham.

HEre is arriv'd a Muta-faraca, call'd Solyman Ismael, with Expresses from the Grand Signior. 'Twas no small Refresh­ment to see his publick Entry, which ap­pear'd like a little Epitome of the Mussulman Grandeur and Magnificence. The Young Rabble were as curious to be Spectators of this Eastern Cavalcade, as the Romans were fond of beholding the Secular Plays, which were exhibited but once in an Age. Nay, People of all Ranks, Ages, and Qualities, fill'd the Streets, the Windows, and Battle­ments of their Houses: Some, because they never saw such a fight before; others, de­spairing that they should live long e­nough to be Witnesses of such another.

Yet with all their Curiosity, none but the Ministers of State are able to dive into the least Secret of his Instructions. These wil­ling [Page 174]communicate the Titles which the Great Arbiter of the Earth, gives the French King. That so not only his Subjects, but Neighbouring Nations may conceive the profounder Veneration for him, without pe­netrating the Measures he takes. This is an Artifice common to all States, to turn the best Side outermost; only the Hollanders excepted, who, in the Days of their Revolt from the King of Spain, cou'd not so much as put a good Face on a bad Matter: But were forc'd to expose their Poverty and Na­kedness, as well as suffer under it; addres­sing themselves to Elizabeth, then Queen of England, in the Character of, The Poor Distressed States of Holland, and so begging her Assistance.

However, Solyman has faithfully imparted to me his Affairs, as I have reason to believe. He's too well born, and bred, possesses more Reason and Wit, than to amuse the Old Man in the Cassock, (so they call me here in the Streets, who know me not by any other Character; so Private is Mahmut in Paris, at this Hour, notwithstanding all his publick Sufferings.)

I esteem Ismael as one fit to represent the Grand Signior's Person among better Peo­ple than Infidels: Yet, I tell thee, the French are the most refin'd of all the We­stern Giafers.

Ismael understands the Force of the Civil Laws, which he learn'd from Justinian's [Page 175]Code, and other Books: For he is perfect in Greek and Latin, and has bestow'd some Years in reading their Book, both Prints and Manuscripts.

He makes a very Personable Figure, be­ing Tall, Full-body'd, Well-shap'd, and not of an ugly Face; which is enough to be said of a Man, design'd for Business, and not only for Love. He's never in dan­ger of falling under Cato's Censure, who seeing Two Embassadors sent from Rome to a Foreign State, one of which had his Head so little, that it could hardly be distinguish'd from that of an Owl; and the other such a Cripple, that he cou'd not walk without a Cripple, that he cou'd not walk without Stilts; cry'd out, Here's an Embassy which has neither Head nor Tail.

And then, our Muta-faraca is rich: He supports the Charges of his Commissi­on, with extraordinary Munificence. His House is already become the Sanctuary of all the distress'd Levantines, whether Greeks, Armenians, or Followers of the Prophet: and he speaks French as readily as a Native. Yet he Dissembles his Expertness in that Language, to keep up the State and Reser­vedness of the Ottoman Empire, which dis­dains to condescend to any other Speech, than Turkish, or Arabick. Besides, he has the Advantage, by thus artificially shut­ting his Ears, that he can at one time both hear and be deaf; understand and be igno­rant of whatsoever is said by the Spies of [Page 176]the French King. And this is no small Gift in a Man of his Character and Trust. For he had need of an Angel, or a Devil at's Elbow, that thinks to over-reach this Court.

Above all, I believe our Solyman will never be guilty of the Error committed by the Embassadors sent from Tenedos to one of the Roman Emperors. I'm sure he is not yet. For, those Gentlemen had seen the Death of the Emperor's Son, Eleven Moons, and Fourteen Days, as the Story says, be­fore they knew 'twas their Duty to make an Address of Condolence: Or, at least, before they call'd it to mind; for, they were drown'd in the Roman Luxury. So that, when they came to perform that Devoir, the Emperor cou'd not forbear to Scoff at them in these Terms: I much lament, said he, the Fate of the Renowned Hector, your Country-Man, and Champion, whom Achilles the Grecian kill'd above a Thousand Years agoe.

I speak this in a particular Regard to So­lyman's Deportment here. For, when he first came to this Court, he found them all in Mourning for the Death of the King's Aunt, the late Queen of England, and of other High Personages (particularly those that were slain in the late Action at Candia) whereof I have already given an Account to the Sublime Port, in another Letter. Without Instructions he very demurely accosted the [Page 177]King, and told him, ‘"There cou'd be no Dunalma in the Ottoman Empire, for the late Success at Candia, so long as the French Court were Mourners."’

This was a sensible Touch to those that understood it; and from that Moment the Grandees and Ministers of State have made a Difference in their Entertainment of this Ingenious Muta-faraca, and that which they us'd to give to the Chiauses formerly sent from the Port.

I can assure thee, he is, at the same time, very Blunt, and very Elegant, in his Discourse. There's Fire in every word he utters, to warm and refresh, if they take it at a due Distance; but, if they approach too near, he scorches their Spirits, and puts them into a Choler, they dare not shew. They consume inwardly in their own De­spight: yet cannot help themselves.

Doubtless, the King of France is the Great­est Monarch, the most Powerful and Victo­rious Prince in Christendom, the only Invinci­ble Emperor of the Western Franks. Yet he veils to our Majestick Sovereign, Lord of the whole Earth. And our Eunuch will not part with a Tittle of his Master's Honour, or give any Advantage by an Easiness wor­thy of Blame, in a case that may be turn'd to a Precedent. He is very happy in his Repartees, as thou wilt perceive by the Answer he gave to a French Lord yesterday, when he ask'd him, Whether he thought it [Page 178]not a Violation of the Civil Law, for Em­bassadors to be Imprison'd, as they often are at the Ottoman Port? No, (says Solyman) it is not, where the Embassador is guilty of Treason, or Crimen laesae Majestatis. But, if it were, you French-men have the least Reason to accuse us of it, since we first learn'd this Maxim from the Back-side of your Sa­lick Law, where 'tis Endors'd. And then he produc'd Twenty several Instances of this Kind in the Court of France.

In a word, Solyman has hitherto acquitted himself with Marvellous Success, in every thing; tho' the French Grandees often set upon him to try what Metal he is made of, having generally a mean Opinion of Mus­sulmans, because Learning is so little coun­tenanc'd among us.

I have no Matter of News to acquaint thee with, save that a violent Plague broke forth not long agoe at Soissons; and a terri­ble Earthquake in Sicily, frighted the Inha­bitants of Catanea, and the adjacent Towns, from their Habitations; After one whole Village had been swallow'd up.

Those who were curious to pry into the Cause of these particular Convul­sions, and that affrighting Overthrow, perceiv'd, after diligent Search, that it pro­ceeded from a new Eruption, or Breach, in Mount Gibell, about Two Miles from Cata­nea: Where the Horrid Chasm vomited forth Floods of Fire, with Flaming Stones; [Page 179]which being carried violently through the Air, for the space of near a League round about, at last fell down in Flaming Showers, or Cataracts, producing sad, and Calamitous Effects in the Neighbouring Country.

Serene Minister, it is evident that the Judgments of God are upon these Infidels: Yet, they will not be converted from their Errors, and Vices. They have felt the same Tempest of Fire which overwhelm'd the Nine Cities of the Lake Asphaltites. Yet, they remain Insensible and Obdurate. Surely, they will be exterminated from the Earth.

The End of the SECOND BOOK.

LETTERS Writ by A Spy at PARIS.

LETTER I. To Mehement, an Exil'd Eunuch, at Alcaire in Egypt.

BE no longer Melancholly, my Friend, nor sink under the Burthen of thy Misfortunes. Give not thy Enemies an Occasion of double Triumph in that they have driven thee from thy Self, as well as from the Grand Signior's Happy Pre­sence. Thou hast Money and Jewels enough left to purchase thee a competent Felicity [Page 182]any where. Or, at least, thou hast Vertue, which renders every Place a Paradise. Asso­ciate thy self with the other Exiles in that Ci­ty, Victims to a Royal Caprice; suffer'd with all their Immense Riches, to make a Pom­pous and Magnificent Entry into that Me­tropolis of Egypt, but soon after stript of all their Wealth, and Sacrific'd to the Court-A­varice. So were the Consecrated Bulls of old, dress'd up in stately Equipage, their Horns and Hoofs all gilded o'er with Gold, adorn'd with Ribbands of costly Silks, their Bodies cover'd o'er with Mantles of Broc­cade and Tissue, embroider'd with Pearls and Precious Stones, and trailing on the Pavements of Apollo's Temple: Whilst the Priests stood ready at the Altar to dispatch whole Hecatombs of these gay Sacrifices.

Your Case is not so bad at Caire, in that your Lives are spar'd, and you at Liberty to carve new Fortunes to your selves, where e'er you please. You ought to aid and coun­sel one another in your Misfortunes. It is a Comfort to the Miserable, to have Compa­nions in their sad Estate. Insinuate thy self into the Bassa's Favour. He may do something to Alleviate thy Grief. He'll mea­sure thy Circumstances by his own; consi­dering that he has but Three Years to enjoy his present Wealth and Grandeur.

Go to the banish'd Mufti, if he be living at Caire; desire his Spiritual Advice: Per­haps thou may'st receive in to the Bargain some Temporal Advantage from it. He has [Page 183]a greater Influence on some of the Egyptian Beys, than the Grand Signior has himself. You're all alike embark'd in one Affliction, whose Essence do's consist in being degraded from your former Honours, (tho' in diffe­rent Degrees) and being separated from your Friends, that bask in the immediate Lustre of Imperial Dignity. It is your Business therefore now, to find out some new Source of Happiness: to make New Friends, since you have lost the Old; or, at least, to prop up one another by a mutual Friendship, not to be Broke or Dissipated, but by a Destiny equal to the former. And then you have no more to do, but prosecute your several Interests, and be resign'd to Fate.

As for thee, I am particularly sollicitous; being engag'd together from our Youth, by a Reciprocal Participation of Good Offices, which was the Effect of a deep rooted and strong Sympathy. The Agreeableness of Hu­mour, united first our Souls, and taught us the Mysterious Lessons of Platonick Love. We saw each other, and were straight inspir'd with sacred Inclinations. My Eye no sooner fix'd on thine, but through that Perspective I could see the inward Vertue of thy Soul, which immediately produc'd a Veneration in my Breast: And I soon found our Hearts heat Time to one another. This generous Passion afterwards encreas'd as we grew up; and what it lost of its First Violence, it gain'd by acquiring a more lasting Strength, more durable Integrity and constant Faith­fulness. [Page 184]Our Joys and Griefs were still the same. No Prosperous or Adverse Fortune cou'd ever change our Minds, to warp us ei­ther to Flattery or Contempt: But with an even Mind we still sustain'd the different Ac­cidents of Humane Life, and propp'd up one another with tight Affection; till 'twas the Will of Fate to separate us, I being made a Slave in Sicily, whilst thou enjoy'dst the Smiles and Favours of thy Infant-For­tune, which introduc'd thee first to the Sera­il'. Afterwards I gain'd my Freedom, and return'd to the Imperial City, and to the Pa­lace of the Sultan. But was not suffer'd long to enjoy that Happiness, being appoin­ted for this hazardous Post in Paris.

I tell thee, Mehemet, I reckon my Case far worse than thine, in that I am forc'd to take my constant Residence up among these Infidels. Cou'd my propitious Stars encou­rage me but with the smallest Hopes to change my present Course of Life, I'd ne'er repine at what is past, but please my self with flattering Prospects of some future and unknown Felicity. But, to be irrevocably chain'd down to the Oar, without a Glimpse of any Sign that I shall ever be reliev'd, is worse than Death it self.

Whereas, on the other side, thou art dis­pos'd of in the happiest Region of the Earth; Egypt, the Mother of Sciences, the Midwife of Celestial Secrets; the Nurse of Sages, Saints, and Prophets; the Granary of the Mussulman Empire; and the Refuge [Page 185]of Distressed Mortals. Oh! Mehemet, prize the vast Advantage thou hast of me, and others of thy Fellow-Slaves. Improve thy Privilege, and Opportunity of ranging where thou list. Go, visit all the Antiquities of Egypt, and trace her Borders to the West and South. If this will not divert thy Me­lancholy, go farther yet, and search the mighty Cataracts of the Nile, which deafen Mortals with their Fall. Go view the Moun­tains of the Moon in Aethiopia: Or, see the Desolation of the Smoaky Vale, and of the Cities, whose Inhabitants were in a Minute Metamorphos'd into Stones, as a Memorial of Eternal Vengeance against crying Sins.

But, after all, my Mehemet, depart not from thy Reason, Loyalty and Faith. For these are Armour-Proof against the Assaults of Chance and Destiny, of Men and De­vils, of Earth and Hell. And when thy Travels are finish'd here on Earth, those Vertues will not fail to carry thee to Heaven.

LETTER II. To the same.

I Cannot forbear giving thee the Trouble of another Letter by this Post; that I may yet more encourage thee to a Vertuous Re­signation to the Will of Fate, which, thou know'st, is Inexorable.

There is an Eternal Law fix'd in the Uni­verse, which admits of no Repeal. No Prayers, or Tears of Passionate Mortals; no Vows, Alms, Pilgrimages, or any Supererro­gating Works can move the Destinies. They're more Inflexible than the Judges of the old Athenian Areopagus. And the Unchangeable Edicts of the Median Empire might sooner be revers'd than the Decrees of Fate.

If thou cou'dst make Corban with a Hun­dred Thousand Sheep, and feed the Poor of all the East, according to the Mussulman Practice; or Sacrifice as many Bulls, after the Fashion of the Ancient Gentiles: could'st thou monopolize all the Aromaticks of the Orient, to compound the most exalted In­cense, and make a Pyramid of Odoriferous Smoak ascend, high as the Shadow of the Earth at Midnight, whereby the Heaven of Heavens shou'd be all perfum'd, and every sleeping Deity shou'd be awaken'd by the Fragrant Smell; could'st thou bribe the Quires above, to tune the Spheres anew, and [Page 187]raise the sweetest Harmony, that ever reach'd the Eternal Sense; yet all wou'd not prevail, to alter the Resolves of Heaven, or re-in­state thee in thy former Honour. No! my Mehmet, thou art lost for ever at the Serail': The Face of Things is chang'd, since thou hast been in Egypt. Thy Friends are all dis­pers'd abroad i'th' World, or Dead; which is but another kind of Separation. There are no Hopes now left thee, of e'er retur­ning again to that Proud City, which inhe­rits the Character of Ancient Rome, The La­dy of the Earth. I wish the Roman Luxury be not alike entail'd.

Rouze up, my Friend, and look not on thy State, through the deceitful Opticks of thy Passion; but let Reason light the Pro­spect. Thou wert before a Slave; now thou art free, and Master of thy Self. However, to rid thee of the very Idea of phansy'd Mi­sery, I counsel thee once again, to travel.

Go, make the speediest Retreat thou can'st, out of the Limits of the Ottoman Empire, that thou may'st forget thy Cares and Fears. Take not thy Way by Barbary, nor covet to see the Place where ancient Carthage was si­tuated; be not curious to enquire after Queen Dido, Aeneas, or Hannibal, or to hear some Stories of the Famous Scipio. Nor wou'd I counsel thee to pass the King­doms of Morocco and Fez. For, tho' those Realms pay no Obedience to the Sultan: Yet, they are his Allies; and that Reflection will always keep thee in Pain. Besides, the [Page 188]sight of Mussulmans will terrifie thy Mind and fill thee with a Thousand Apprehensions.

Go rather the directest Way thou canst, unto the Kingdoms of the Negro's or Black People, inhabiting the Torrid Zone. But, take this Rule: Be sure to Coast along the River Nile, as near as the Roads of Africk will permit: That so thou may'st avoid the Horrible and Affrighting Desarts of Libya, Nubia, and Zanfar, with other Inhospita­ble Mountainous Parts between the Tropick of Cancer and the Equinox. For, thou wilt not find it very pleasant to encounter and converse with none but Dragons, Basilisks, and other Monsters of those Regions. And yet, for ought I know, 'tis better, than to fall into the Hands of Humane Salvages.

I know not how to give a General Cha­racter of the Southern Blacks; since every Province varies in its particular Principles, Customs, Laws, and Institutions. The A­byssines are Christians; so are the Inhabi­tants of Congo, Songo, Angola, and other Countries bordering on the Upper Aethiopia. Those that dwell along the Red Sea, are ge­nerally Mahometans. They discourse also of a very Populous Country thereabouts, pos­sess'd by Jews alone. And there are Authors who assert a Female Kingdom; a Nation of Amazons. 'Tis certain, on the Western Side they're all Pagans.

It will be worth thy Labour, to observe the different Humours of these People, and make Comparison between the Ancient and [Page 189]this Modern Gentilism; to abstract their Mo­rals from their Superstitions: And tell me then, whether they do not better deserve the Title of True Believers, than we Mussul­mans, since they act according to their Faith, whereas we go by a quite contrary Method. They believe no other Gods but their Dome­stick Priests, and these they never willingly offend. Whereas, whilst we profess the E­ternal Ʋnity, we scruple not to sin against Him every Hour. They Circumcise, Wash, Pray, Abstain from Meats, give Alms as well as we. Their Justice is as strict, their Mercy soft as ours. In fine, they're Men differing from us, only in Colour, Education, and the peculiar Maxims of their Country, which they rigorously observe, and hope for Hap­piness thereby, as we do by Obeying the Law brought down from Heaven.

Mehement, Our Holy Prophet has said, ‘"That whosoever lives innocently and does Justice, whether he be a Christian, Jew, or Pagan, shall be sav'd as well as his Disci­ples."’ Therefore in all thy Travels, despise not any Man for his Religion, be it never so ridiculous in Appearance; provided he be Good and Honest in his Conversation: Much less contemn those Africans for their Colour; since Black and White are all alike to him who first gave Man the Power to know the Diffe­rence.

[Page 190] Mehemet, if thou acceptest my Advice, take also my Wishes for thy good Voyage and Prosperity.

LETTER III. To the Mufti, Venerable Patron of Learning and Knowledge.

FRom thy Clemency I will not fear a Charge of Negligence, in that I have delay'd to perform the Task thou enjoinedst me. Thou know'st my Circumstances, and wilt consider, That tho' I have read Books, yet I have not a Library of my own. 'Tis true, I often frequent those of this City, but my Seasons are limited, either to those Hours when the Libraries are open'd, or to those I can spare from the Affairs of my Commission. I cannot serve the Grand Sig­nior, and follow my Studies both at once. Yet I have out-pass'd Frugality, and turn'd a Niggard of my time, that I might obey the great Oracle of True Believers, and pro­mote a Work, for which I have so passionate a Regard.

The Enclos'd Paper contains the Size of the Volume, which I conceive will be most [Page 191]proper for so great a Work, with the Con­trivance of the Pages, which I have divided into Columns, that so the Years of the World, the Date of the Olympiads, with other Remarkable Aera's, may be rank'd in Order, each Parallell with the rest, and all with the Matter treated of at such a Time.

This I have done in the enclos'd Paper, not thinking it proper to interrupt the Series of my Letter, with a blank Scheme, which is for the Use of the Compilers; but to present thee with a transient View of the Four Monarchies, which have made such a noise in the World; wherein thou need'st not fear the Fatigue of a tedious continued History; for I design only to cull out such Passages as are most Diverting, and worthy of Perusal.

To begin then with the Assyrian Monar­chy, which was the First of the Four: This Nation was, for a great while, conten­ted with its own Bounds, without seeking to encroach on the Territories of others. And Ninus was the First of the Assyrian Kings, who enlarg'd his Dominions by Con­quest. He subdu'd the greatest part of Asia, and rais'd Assyria to the Title of an Em­pire.

After his Death, Semiramis his Wife, took upon her the Government, counterfeit­ing the Person of Ninyas, his Son, who was as yet but a Child. She wore the Ha­bit of a Man, and being like her Son, pass'd [Page 192]for him, as the lawful Successor, unsuspected. This Virago enlarg'd the Conquests of her Husband, and spread her Empire from India to Aethiopia; and to lay the Foundation of an immortal Fame, she built Baby­lon.

To her, succeeded Ninyas her Son, of whom nothing is Remarkable but his Effe­minacy. For neglecting the Affairs of War, he spent all his Time among his Concubines. And the same Stain is fasten'd on his Succes­sors, even to Sardanapalus; in whose Death the Assyrian Monarchy suffer'd an Interrup­tion, being Cantoniz'd into Petty Royalties, by the Governours of Provinces. Among whom, those who assum'd the Crown of Babylon, were of most Note, in regard they first recover'd the broken Empire to its Old Grandeur and Unity.

By a Succession therefore of many Kings, in Reference to whose Actions History is silent, the Monarchy descended to Mero­dach Baladan: In whose Days happen'd that wonderful Retrogradation of the Sun, mention'd by Hebrew Writers and others, which occasion'd those Famous Controver­sies among the Philosophers, and Astrono­mers of that Age, mention'd in the Persian Chronicles. For they observing, that not only the Sun, but the whole Planetary Sy­stem, and all the Fixed Stars went back at the same Time, or at least seem'd to do so, began to revive that curious Question, about the Motion of the Earth, which the Chal­daeans, [Page 193]and Gymnosophists of India had star­ted before, when the Sun and Moon stood still at the burning of Ida. And it was con­cluded by some of 'em, That the Motion of the Earth being granted, its standing still, or going back at these extraordinary Times, would solve all the Astronomical Appearan­ces better, and in a more Natural Way, than by supposing such a Prodigious Stop to be put to the whole Coelestial Frame at one time, or that the Everlasting Spheres shou'd be Rowl'd backwards at the o­ther.

This Dispute was the Occasion of that famous Conflux of the Eastern Sages to Babylon, mention'd in the Persian Poets, and Historians. For Baladan being very In­quisitive after Knowledge, and particularly desirous to be inform'd in the Grounds of this Preternatural Appearance, sent Messen­gers into India, Egypt, Persia, and all King­doms, where Learning flourish'd; inviting the Astrologers, Priests, Magicians, Pro­phets, and all that had the Character of Wise-Men, to come to his Court at Babylon, where they were magnificently entertain'd; and when they had fully satisfied all the King's Demands, he sent them away laden with Gifts and Presents, every Man to his own Country.

Arkianus succeeded Baladan in the King­dom of Babylon, in whose time Ecbatane was built. To him succeeded Belithus, Aphronadius, Rigibelus, Messissimerdacus; [Page 194]after whom the Kingdom was again transla­ted to the Assyrians, in the Reign of Eschar­haddon, in the 3323d. Year of the World, and the 24th. Olympiad. During the Empire of this Escharhaddon the Assyrian Monarch, Chalcedon that lies over against the Imperial City, was built by the Thracians, in the 25th. Olympiad, and 3329th. Year of the World.

To Escharhaddon succeeded Saosduchinus, Chyladanus, Nabopolassar; in the Reign of which last, Necho King of Egypt, attemp­ted to cut a Canal from the Nile to the Red-Sea, wherein he employ'd an Hundred and Twenty Thousand Egyptians; but discou­rag'd by the slow Progress they made, and the vast Expences he was at, he gave it over.

This Nabopolassar, once more rais'd the Kingdom of Babylon to an Ʋniversal Monar­chy; for before his Time it had been for some Years in the Hands of the Assyrians; but he subdu'd all Syria, Phoenicia, Judaea, and Egypt, and expell'd the Scythians out of Asia.

To him succeeded his Son Nebuchadnezzar, who dreamt of the Four Ʋniversal Monar­chies, that were to succeed one another. In his Reign was born the Grand Cyrus, who rais'd the Persian Monarchy. Of him it is Recorded, That one Night he dreamed, The Sun stood at his Feet, whom when Cyrus Thrice attempted to lay hold on, the Sun as often dis­appear'd: Which the Magi interpreted, as a [Page 195]sure Sign that he should Reign Thirty Years, which came to pass accordingly.

During this Reign, there was a Notable Duel fought between Pittacus, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece, and Phrynon the most Renowned Combatant of those Days; for he always won the Prize at the Olympick Games. He was General of the Athenians; and being puff'd up with his constant Suc­cesses, he defy'd any Man to a single Com­bat. Pittacus the Sage, accepted the Chal­lenge; and when they were hotly engag'd in the Field, he suddenly threw a silken Net o­ver Phrynon's Head, and having thus entang­led him, thrust him through with his Lance.

This was that great Nebuchadnezzar, who having besieg'd and taken Jerusalem, burnt it down to the Ground, raz'd the Walls, and carry'd away all the Jews with their Riches into Captivity to Babylon.

Afterwards having Conquer'd all the Neighbouring Nations, he new built Baby­lon, and enclos'd it with Three Walls: He also built those Pendulous Gardens, Renow­ned throughout the Earth; and made those Brazen Gates which were reckoned among the Wonders of the World. But at length, being puff'd up with the Thought of his Magnificent Works, he was Metamorphos'd into a Satyr or Sylvan, and dwelt Seven Years in the Desarts of Arabia, being a Compa­nion of the Brutes. My Country-men shew the Places of his wild Haunt, to this Day; having receiv'd it by Tradition from their Fa­thers. [Page 196]They say also, that Paremiel, the Angel of the Woods, when the Term of Se­ven Years was expir'd, interceded with God for Nebuchadnezzar, who thereupon turn'd him into a Man again, and restor'd him to his Empire. He dyed peaceably in the 3442d Year of the World, and the 43d of his Reign.

To him succeeded Evil-Merodach, Neri­glissor, Laborosoarchod, and Labynitus, in whose Time there was War between the Ba­bylonians and Persians; when Cyrus after ma­ny Victorious Campaigns, at last laid Siege to Babylon, took the City, and translated the Empire to the Persians; and having subdu'd all the West of Asia, even to the Red Sea, he died at Seventy Years of Age; Commanding his Servants not to Embalm his Body, nor use any costly Pomp at his Funeral, but bu­rying him decently like a Man, shou'd cause this Epitaph to be writ on his Tomb: ‘O Mortals, I am Cyrus who laid the Foundation of the Persian Monarchy, and was Emperour of all A­sia: Therefore envy me not a Grave.’

To him succeeded Cambyses his Eldest Son, who marching with his Army into E­gypt, [Page 197]and laying Siege to Pelusium, caus'd a great Number of Cows, Apes, Birds and other Animals to be plac'd in the Front of his Army; knowing, that the Egyptians worship'd such for Gods, and consequently wou'd forbear to shoot their Arrows that way: By which Stratagem he took the City, and afterward Conquer'd all Egypt, carrying away many Thousands of the Egyptians, with Foreigners residing there, into Captivity, a­mong whom was Pythagoras the Philosopher.

After this, Cambyses sent Spies under the Notion of Embassadors to the King of Aethi­opia, with Rich Presents. But the King suspecting what was their Business, took a Bow in his Hand and bent it, as tho' he wou'd shoot; and giving it to the Spies, he bid them carry it to their Master, and tell him, That when he and his Persians had learn'd to bend Bows of that Strength, he might think of invading Aethiopia, and not before, for that the Aethiopians were Gyants in Vigor. And when the Spies return'd to Cambyses, there was no Man found among his Soldiers which was a­ble to bend that Bow. Yet he march'd di­rectly toward Aethiopia with a Great Army; Part of which was overwhelm'd in the Sands of the Desarts, to the Number of Fifty Thousand, and the Rest being reduc'd, for Want of Provisions, to a Necessity of eating one another, he returned in a great Rage to Memphis, where he slew Apis the God of the Egyptians, and caus'd his Priests to be Mas­sacred. He also slew his own Brother, and [Page 198]kill'd his Wife because she mourn'd for him. He shot Prexaspes through with an Arrow, and commanded Twelve Persian Nobles to be bury'd Alive: He set Fire to the Temples, blasphem'd the Gods, and at last kill'd him­self by an Accident with his own Sword.

After his Death, the Magi Crown'd one of their own Order, and set him on the Throne of Persia, giving out that he was Smerdes the Younger Son of Cyrus, who had been murder'd by the Command of his Brother Cambyses. And it was easy to carry on the Fraud, in regard the Persian Kings rarely suffer themselves to be seen; which is a Cu­stom, thou knowst, observ'd by all the Mo­narchs in the East.

One Ostan, a Persian Prince, first disco­ver'd the Cheat by Means of his Daughter, a Concubine of the King's: For she, by his Instruction, found out, that the King had no Ears: Which was a convincing Argument that he was one of the Magi, whose Ears Cambyses had commanded to be cut off.

This Ostan drawing Six other Princes in­to a Conspiracy, they rush'd into the Pa­lace, and kill'd all the Magi, and singl'd out of their own Number, one Darius, the Son of Hystaspes, to succeed in the Throne. This was not done by Election, but by Lot: For they agreed to meet all together, one Mor­ning, before the Palace Gates on Horseback; and that he whose Horse first Neigh'd, after the Sun was up, shou'd be King. This fell to Darius's Share, by the Stratagem of his [Page 199] 'Squire, or Master of the Horse. Then the other Princes Crown'd him, and made him swear by the Sun and the Fire, that he wou'd never put them to Death, or deny them his Presence.

But Darius finding himself curb'd by these Princes, was resolv'd to rid himself of such dangerous Companions. Wherefore he cau­sed a Stove to be built on purpose for a Ban­quetting-House, and so artificially contriv'd that the Fire-place being under the Banquet­ting-Chamber, should in so many Hours burn asunder the Pillars that supported the said Chamber, and cause the Floor to fall down into the Fire. Then he invited these Princes to a Feast, which he held in this Banquetting-House, and was merry with them till the Signal was given for him to depart: At which Time he left them in the midst of their Mirth; and within a while after he was gone, the Floor of the Chamber fell down, with all that were in it, into the Fire underneath, where the Princes were soon consum'd to Ashes.

After this, Darius manag'd all the Affairs of his Empire without Controul. He rul'd over all the Provinces of Asia, from India to Aethiopia, containing above a Hundred Kingdoms. He extended his Conquests to the Provinces of Greece; and setting forth a pro­digious Fleet, he sail'd into the Mediterra­nean and Archipelago: He conquer'd the I­slands of the Aegean Sea, reduc'd Chalcedon, and all the Cities along the Hellespont and [Page 200] Propontis, even Byzantium it self, the pre­sent Seat of our August Emperours. At length, having Reigned prosperously Thirty six Years, he died, and left Xerxes his Son to succeed him in the Throne.

Thou seest, Great Guide of the Faithfull, that I have not yet reach'd to the End of the Persian Monarchy; whereas I thought to have comprehended all the Four in one Letter: For I have only touch'd upon the most Re­markable Passages, omitting the main Body of the History, which it wou'd be too tedious for thee to peruse.

If thou approvest what I have written, I will continue thus to abbreviate the History of the Persian, Macedonian, and Roman 'Empires in other Letters: But if thou think­est what I have already writ, to be a suffici­ent Model for the Compilers of an Ʋniver­sal History, I submit to thy Oraculous Ap­pointment.

In the mean time, I pray the King Eter­nal, who Establishes and Dissolves all the Empires in the World, and has put into the Possession of the Grand Signior those Am­ple Tracts of the Earth which formerly be­long'd to the Successive Monarchies; to ex­tend the Limits of the Mussulman Empire through the Five Zones.

LETTER IV. To Mirmadolin, Santone of the Vale of Sidon.

TWas a long time before I could find out the True Secret of Humane Hap­piness. I have for many Years grop'd after it in the Dark; and when I thought I enjoy'd a Prospect of it, as clear as of Things we discern in the Light of a Mid-day Sun; that Sun was little better than the Sol Mor­tuorum of the Ancient Romans, whose Beams serv'd only to give a faint Mock-Glim­mering to the Ghosts that wander on this side Charon's Ferry, and like an Ignis fatuus to mislead 'em up and down in the dark Suburbs of Elyzium, the Fens and Marshes of the Stygian Lake. So have I straggl'd, all my Life, through unknown Ways, seek­ing the Road to Heaven, yet finding no­thing but the Paradise of Fools.

Sometimes, I thought, by outward Works of Vertue, to purifie my Self and gain Perfection. I was punctual in obser­ving every Precept of the Law; and per­form'd not a few Acts of Supererogation. Confiding too much in the Fidelity, and inviolable Fastness of my Wings, the Force of my Religious Passions, first form'd by Nature, afterwards improv'd by Pious Tu­tors; I strove to make Heroick Flights, and [Page 202]soar above my Guide. But, alas! they were mere borrowed Feathers which bore me up so long; dead Artificial Wings, ce­mented to my Soul only by Education, Custom, and the Practice of my Fathers; a Composition of Spiritual Wax, or Glew, which could not stand the Brunt of hot and fiery Tryals, but soon dissolv'd in my Un­warrantable, Bold Approaches to the Sun. So that, in fine, my Wings dropt piece­meal off, and I'd the Fate of Icarus, to fall a Victim to my own obstinate Zeal, and Rashness.

Surely our Souls are like the Augaean Sta­ble, which no Humane Power, Art, or In­dustry, can ever cleanse, did not the Messen­gers and Favourites of God, like Hercules, teach us the Method of opening a Canal from Heaven, and letting in the Torrent of the River of Purification from Para­dise.

Our Vices, Hydra-like, still start Young Infant-Heads, as fast as we cut off the Old. Whereas our Vertues are like the Venetian Treasure, which being once shew'd to the Spanish Embassador in many Coffers of Sil­ver, Gold, and Jewels; the Wise Castilian desiring to see the Bottoms of those Weal­thy Chests turn'd up; when it was done, made this Remark, Your Riches have no Roots, nor grow, like those my Master does possess i'th' Indies. So are all the boasted Ex­cellencies acquir'd by Humane Discipline, more inanimate and dead than the Artificial [Page 203]Productions of Minerals, Metals, and Stones. No traditional Chymistry of Men, can e'er revive a Soul, that's dead to God. Perhaps, some Theological Paracelsus, Helmont, or Arabian Ifriqui, may, from the Ashes of an Original Flower, raise the Phantastick Form of it again; I mean the Colour and Con­texture of the Leaves: But none of them is able to bestow the Vital Sap, the Seminal Juice, the Inward Vertue of the once pro­sperous and flourishing Vegetable. No Mor­tal can repair what Adam once destroy'd. That Protoplast has ruin'd us All.

Well then! Must we despair of Remedy? Shall we decamp, and sneakingly retire to Hell, because we can't take Heaven by Storm, nor Undermine it; nor have recourse to Stratagems; nor Bribe the Garrison; or make a Party amongst the Coelestial Burg­hers? No: Let's rather lie entrench'd with­in our Selves, till Heaven shall voluntarily open its Gates, and Sally forth in Love, to invite and lead us in.

Oh! Thrice-Happy Santone, thou hast experienc'd what I say. My Resolution is to follow thee, by suffering my self to be gradually abdicated from the World, and from my own Will. Vouchsafe to instruct me in the Method, lest Self-Love misguide me to my Ruine.

[Page 204]In the mean while, repose thou in the Bosom of God, which is the Bed-Chamber of Holy Souls.

LETTER V. To the Selictar Aga, or Sword-bearerto the Sultan.

I Shall entertain thee now with a Medly of Relations, some containing News of the freshest Date, others only informing thee of Things done many Moons agoe, yet pleasant enough in the Rehearsal. How­ever, I beg of thee to accept this as a Te­stimony of my Devoir and Regard; in that I have abundance of Letters to write, many Friends to gratifie, and cannot send the same Matter to All. I am forc'd to parcel out my Intelligence, and suit every Letter to the Genius and Station of him to whom I Ad­dress. Knowing therefore thy particular Inclinations, I shall present thee with some­thing very Agreeable.

No doubt but thou art acquainted with the Christians Carnaval, which is a Time of publick Joy, Licentiousness, and Sport. [Page 205]This Year the King and Queen of France observ'd it with wonderful Magnificence.

Among their other Divertisements, they were presented with a Play, wherein Two Rival Princes, by an Ingenious Emulation, strove to out-vy each other in regaling a Princess, equally belov'd by both. The Representation was very fair, and full of Majesty. On the Right-hand of the The­atre appear'd Apollo in the Air, returning to his Heaven, after he had chas'd and routed all the Cyclops, with the Serpent Python. On the Left was seen the same God on the Top of Parnassus, in the mid'st of the Nine Muses, scattering Flowers on the Arts and Sciences which were at the Foot of the Mountain. Then a Veil being drawn a-side, discover'd a Sea, surprizingly natural and fine: In the midst of which, the Gods of many famous Rivers appear'd seated on Rocks, with Tritons, and Cupids rang'd on each side, upon the Backs of Dol­phins. Then from above, amidst the Clouds, King Aeolus appear'd, laying his straight Commands upon the Winds, that they im­mediately retire into their Caverns, excepting only Zephyr, who, for his soft and gentle Breezes, was permitted to be present at this Feast. After which, came Neptune riding in his Cockle-Chariot, drawn by Four Sea-Horses, attended by a Train of Gods that dwell within the Deep.

Immediately the Scenes chang'd into a Champain, representing the Delicious Fields [Page 206]of Tempe; where a most excellent and agree­able Comedy was acted, to the Satisfaction of all the Court. I leave the Dances, In­terludes, and other Novelties to thy Imagi­nation; assuring thee, that all was Astoni­shing and Magnifick.

But not to entertain thee longer with these empty Trifles, I shall now acquaint thee with something of Importance; which is a Peace concluded between this King, and the State of Algiers. On the 2d. of the 3d. Moon, the Count de Guiche brought the Articles of the Treaty to the King, from the Hands of the Marquis de Martel, Lieu­tenant-General of the French Fleet in the Mediterranean.

If thou wouldst know [the Particulars of this Agreement, read the enclos'd Paper: As for Matter of Fact, all the French Slaves at Algiers, were immediately releas'd upon the Signing and Sealing] the Treaty, and delivered up to the French Commander; with some French Vessels also which they had seiz'd. And so dishonourable are their Ca­pitulations, That at the same Time they have yielded up a Ship of theirs, which the French had taken from them, for ever quit­ting all Claim to it.

In the Beginning of May, the King took his Journey to Flanders, to visit his New Conquests there. This put his Enemies in­to a great Consternation, fearing that he had some Design upon them. They began to be upon their Guard, and prepare for a [Page 207]sudden Surprize. But the King perceiving their Alarm by his Spies; sent them Assu­rance, on his Royal Word, That he would do them no Violence at this Time.

However, he soon after sent the Mareschal de Crequi into Lorrain, with a force consi­derable enough to reduce that Prince to Reason, who had not kept his Parole with him in several Instances. The Effect [of this Expedition, was the Reducing Pont-a-Mousson, Espinal, Chasté, Longwy, and all the Principality of Lorrain, to the French King's Obedience: So that the poor Duke is forc'd to seek his Refuge in Foreign Courts.

Noble Aga, this Duke is not to be Pitied, being very Ungrateful, and a perfect Mad­man. He owes his Liberty and Life to the King of France, yet could not forbear Plot­ting against him. Now he is deservedly Chastis'd for his Folly. So may all those suffer, who abuse their Benefactors. But, upon the Benign and Good, may the Fa­vours of Heaven rest till the Splitting of all Things.

LETTER VI. To Isouf, his Kinsman, a Merchant at Astracan.

I Receiv'd thy Letter, and perus'd it with much Complacency, finding thy Senti­ments very agreeable to Reason. Yet give me leave to warn thee of an Excess which thou art running into. For I have had Experience of its ill Consequence.

Thy Losses have made thee Melancholy, and the Fraudulent Dealing of thy Corre­spondents, Factors, and supposed Friends, has taught thee to declaim against Friend­ship, Men, and Business: And not only so, but it seems thou hast taken a Resolution to abandon all Worldly Affairs, Pleasures, and Engagements whatsoever, and turn Faquir, Eremit, or Dervich at least: For, thou art disgusted at Humane Society, and weary of all Things but Solitude.

I must confess, Isouf, these are very Ge­nerous Thoughts, and Pious Resolves. But, they are not easily put in Practice. They are Undertakings, fit only for perfect Saints, Men of unblemish'd Lives, and free from all Sorts of Vice; Persons who have a Stock of Temperance, Chastity, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Patience, Humility, and all the other Vertues, a Fund of Magnanimity, [Page 209]which can never be exhausted by any Temp­tations, Difficulties, or Perils, that usually assault and environ such as enter into so au­stere a Course of Life.

Wilt thou be able to endure the unrelen­ting, rigid Cold of Winter in the Desart, where there are no Chimneys, Hearths, or Stoves, nor any other Method of keeping Fire to warm thee by? Canst thou sustain the raging Blasts of Boreas at that Season, or the killing Tempests of North-Eastern Winds, which blow from far, and fill the Air, the Earth, and Sea, with baneful Mists, Frosts, Ice, Snow, Sleet, and other chilling Meteors, out of their Eternal Magazines, within the Artick Circle, which Ovid calls the Frigid Zone?

There are many other Extremities to which a Man's expos'd in such a Solitary State. Nor wilt thou be less liable to Incon­veniences and Hardships, if thou should'st ramble as a Faquir, up and down the World. Much less could'st thou endure the sad Re­straints, and Mortifications of a Convent. Thou'dst hardly live out thy Novitiate with Patience. It goes against the Grain of Na­ture to obey another's Will, in every trifling Matter that he commands. Thou must not Eat or Drink, but thy Superiour will set the Place, the Time, and Manner of thy Diet; which will be irksome to thy Free-born Soul. And then thou must forsake thy Amorous Pleasures; for ever Forswearing also, the very Thoughts of Money, or of being Rich. I [Page 210]tell thee, thou must resolve to become a Religious Drone, fit for nothing but to mum­ble o'er thy Beads, or turn the Superstitious Round, till thou art Giddy, or Dance an Hour together to the Musick of a Thousand Hue's and Hei's, hoarsly croak'd out in Frantick Tones, by thee, and all thy Brethren Dervi­ches, till ye are sick, and foam at Mouth: Then your Devotions are thought Meritorious. Canst thou digest these sacred Fooleries? Or grant this to be a Rational Service of the Divinity, as some will plead; who say, We ought to employ each Member, and all our Faculties, in Praising him that made 'em; yet canst thou brook a Confinement all thy Days, to this Religious State?

I tell thee Isouf, I have been often tempted in this Manner, to forsake the Sultan's Ser­vice, with all other Engagements of the World, and throw my self into a Convent, or spend the Residue of my Days in some obscure and solitary Corner of a Desart: Yet, I found at length, that this was no­thing but Delusion, and the subtle Sophistry of that Malicious Daemon, who envies Man his Happiness. 'Tis he that whispers Ar­guments of Discontent and Murmuring into our Souls, watching his Opportunities when any Thing gives us exquisite Pain or Grief, to drive us to Despair.

So have I sometimes labour'd under an Intolerable Anguish of Mind, besides the fretting Maladies of Flesh, and Blood, with outward Crosses in my Fortune. Then [Page 211]have I wish'd my self in some dark Cavern of the Earth, or on the solitary Top of Teneriff, where I should converse with none but Spirits and Daemons dwelling above the Clouds. Or else I coveted the Melancholy Retirements of the Lybian Desart, which affords no other Society than that of Ly­ons, Tygers, Dragons, and other Beasts of Prey.

When these Wishes have appear'd too Extravagant and Wild, I then retrench'd my Thoughts, and pitch'd upon some other Manner of Life, equally promising Comfort, yet less threatning and Dangerous. I gave my self up wholly to Prayer and Fasting for a while, thinking to hold out thus for ever. So sensible a Pleasure attends these Exercises, That at certain Moments a Man's all Rapture, Ecstasy, and I know not what. He is apt to think himself in some New World. A Sacred Pride invests his Soul. He seems all Majesty within; an inseparable Companion of the Immortals, and the Dar­ling Friend of God. Whereas all this results but from the Ventilation of his Blood, by Vocal Oraisons; and is no more than a meer Natural Operation, whereby his Lungs are artificially breath'd, and gently forc'd to Disembogue their over-heated Airs, their thick caliginous Vapours, which fill the Heart and all the rest of the Vitals with Seeds of Melancholy, Fear, Suspicion, Grief, and other doleful Passions.

[Page 212]But, mark a Zealot, when his Prayers are over, his Fast is done, and all his Fervent Pious Discipline is accomplish'd; how like a Hypocrite he looks and acts: How formal is his Carriage, or at least, how vain and light? He either heaves out fulsom Hypo­condriack Sighs, with Supercilious Looks, and Chaps, set like the Furrows of a sowr­fac'd Hadgi; or else he's tickl'd into a loud ungovernable Laughter, and all his Carriage is ridiculous and wanton. Either his Hunger, Thirst, and Faintness, the usual Effect of such Excessive Devotion, makes him Peevish, Cholerick, and Unmortified; or else he is as Apish as a Cat.

Humane Nature cannot abide long in the same Humour, and those that seem to be always Even Temper'd People, like the Cas­pian Sea, without Ebb, or Flow, are only Counterfeits, and Politicians. There is an Art to conceal ones Passions, but there is none that can annihilate them. We change from one Affection, Appetite, and Desire to another. Our Inclinations circulate with our Blood. They are transform'd each Minute, Hour, and Day; they vary like the Wind and Weather. Therefore never think of taking an Eternal Pleasure, or Distaste, in any Thing here Below. Prayer is good in its Turn, I mean, the Vocal Aspi­rations. So are Fasting, Abstinence, and other Religious Severities. But if all Men shou'd be perpetually at these Exercises, God in a little Time, wou'd have but few [Page 213]Adorers on Earth. The Ground must be left Untill'd; the Fields would quickly bring forth Crops of Briars and Weeds, instead of Corn. The Gardens then must turn to Wildernesses. There would be then no need of Millers, Bakers, and the other Trades, whose Lively­hood depends upon the Husbandman. And so for want of proper Sustenance, Mankind must quickly perish.

I do not argue against those who seem to be Constellated to a Solitary Life; or by some special Grace of God, are strengthned to endure the constant Hardships of an Hermitage: Such as the Illustrious and Great Mohammed, of Mount Ʋriel in Arabia, who is our Holy Prophet's Tenant and Suc­cessor, in the Cave of Wonders. Such also is Ilch Rend Hu, the Celebrated Bramin of Cachemire in India, who lives on the Top of an High Mountain, is a Hundred and Twen­ty Three Years old, foretells Things to come, resolves all Doubts, gives Infallible Counsel, heals divers Diseases, works some Miracles; and in fine, says and does all Things by a Spirit worthy of Admiration.

The Mountain whereon this Philosopher, or Prophet dwells, seems to be the Landmark between Summer and Winter. For one side of it is always cover'd with Snow, the other with Blossoms, Flowers, Herbage, and Fruits. This over-looking a spacious Valley, which they call the Paradise of the East; That affording a Prospect little more agreeable or fair, than [Page 214]what the Poets speak of the Riphaean Hill.

Ilch Rend Hu, has his Habitation in a Cave or Grot, which passes through the Rock, as Virgil's does near Naples in Italy, which thou hast seen.

In this Mysterious Station, he appears like Aeolus, Lord of the Weather: For, 'tis cer­tain, he commands the Winds to blow or cease, at the least word, within the Verge of his accustom'd Walks. If any Person dare prophane the Silence of the Place, with Words, or other ruder Noise, they are im­mediately surpriz'd with dreadful Storms of Thunder, Lightning, Wind, and Rain; such as seen to threaten the Dissolution of all Things: Which makes all Men in those Parts, hold Ilch Rend Hu in great Venera­tion. He is the only Oracle of the Indies. They resort to him from the Neighbouring Provinces, and Kingdoms, in all their Dif­ficulties. The Grandees of Persia, Tibet, and Cathay, send to him Honourable Pre­sents, desiring his Counsel in Matters of Peace, and War. Nay they make devout Pilgrimages to him from the Kingdoms of Tunquin, and China. He is the Apollo of the East.

Isouf, it would be some Encouragement for Thee and Me, to embrace a Solitary Life, if we might ever hope to attain such wonderful Perfections. But, as We have hitherto liv'd in the World, and stain'd [Page 215]Our Selves with the Common Vices of Mortals, We connot presume to merit these extraordinary Favours: Our Old Habits are rooted in Us, and if We have Time and Strength to plant New ones in their Stead, yet they will not grow up to Maturity, but with many Years: For, believe Me, Cousin, no Body becomes a Devil, or a Saint all at once.

LETTER VII. To the Chiaux Basha.

IT appears, That the King of France's Fortune not only procures him constant Victories and Triumphs in Europe, but such a Renown and Character in foreign Countries, as stimulates the most Remote Princes, and Puissant Monarchs of the Earth, to court his Alliance and Friend­ship.

Here is at this present, an Embassador come from the Coasts of Guinea, in Africk, being sent by the King of Arder, one of the Greatest Sovereigns in those Parts, pos­sessing an Absolute and Uncontroulable Authority over his Subjects, as the Grand Signior does over the Faithful Osmans. But, we will not compare the narrow Limits of his Dominion, with the vast and unboun­ded Extent of the Mussulman Empire, the Inheritance of our Sublime Sultan, the Lord of the Globe at large. Suffice it, that this Black Prince is a Wise Man, descended of a Race of Sages; and, that Policy of State is as natural to him, as common Craft or Cunning to the meanest of the Vulgar. He knows how to make War or Peace abroad, and to keep his Subjects in Awe at Home.

[Page 217]Surely, there is a Force and Charm in the Derivative Blood of Heroick and Wise An­cestors, which secretly inspires their Off­spring with Maxims, and Principles, agree­able to the Inclinations, Aims, and Purposes of the Family from whence they descend. And where 'tis experienc'd otherwise, it may be suppos'd That change of Climates, unhappy Marriages, or some over-ruling Misfortunes in the World, have caus'd the Degeneracy. For so some Noble Vegetables of Asia, and other Quarters of the Earth, lying near the Sun, will not prosper, if once transplanted into the Cold and Barren Soils of Northern Europe. Thus Poverty, Disgrace, and other abject Circumstances, chill the Greatest Spirits, and spoil their Growth. Yet there is an Inborn Excellency in some Natures, which with Evenness supports the Stroaks of Fortune, and pushes through all Difficulties to attain its End.

So this great African King, informing himself, not only by French Vessels Trading in his Ports, but also by other Ships of Chri­stendom, of the Grandeur of the French King, his Wealth and Puissance by Sea and Land, with the vast Interest and Traf­fick he has in both the Indies; thought it high time to seek his Friendship, whose Enmity would, in all Probability, be very Fatal to him: For he had heard of his Con­quests far and wide. 'Tis no matter, whe­ther by Valour, or good Conduct, we make our Selves Happy. One is as laudable as the [Page 218]other, in the unequal War we are engag'd in, with Fate, Providence, and Chance; with Angels, Men, and Devils; with Heaven, Earth, and Hell.

I speak this in reference to the Celebrated Prowess, Magnanimity, Riches, and Strength of this Negro King; who need not yield to the King of Benin, his next Neighbour, and the most Potent of all the South-Western Maritime Princes of Africk, nor to any of his other Neighbours besides; yet could not think himself safe, or be at rest, till he had sent this Embassy to the King of France, offering his Lands, his Havens, his Seas, and whatsoever was within his Jurisdiction, to this Great Monarch.

The Address which his Embassador made to the French King, deserves Remark. For, after the usual Obeysances at the Foot of the Throne, he went up Three Steps, and then prostrating himself Three times on his Face and Belly; he clapp'd his Hands in token of Reverence, and put his Fingers on his Eyes, to shew, that he was not able to behold the Lustre of so much Majesty. This is the French Interpretation of his Carriage: But I tell thee, 'twas rather design'd as a Precedent to the French Embassadors, if any should be sent to Guinea, where 'tis the Custom of the Country for all Foreign Ministers, to observe the same Ceremonies to the King of Arder, and other Princes his Neighbours.

[Page 219]These Europeans, because they first found out the Art of Navigation; or at least, first improv'd it to the Discovery of many Re­mote Countries, value themselves too high; imagining, That all the Nations, formerly Unknown, are Fools, and know not them­selves, and their own Strength. They thought, 'twas impossible to find in Africk or America, Empires, Kingdoms, and Com­monwealths, as strong and well Govern'd, as those in the Heritage of Japhet: But, 'tis a damn'd Mistake. For, the most High is Impartial, in the Distribution of his Gifts and Favours. Those despicable Blacks, whom all the Princes, and Nobles of Europe and Asia, buy as Slaves, being born of the Vul­gar, are, nevertheless, come out of Regions, where Power, Riches, and VVisdom, are as much in their Zenith, as in these Western Countries.

They are all Outwardly Flesh and Blood, as we are, notwithstanding the Contrariety of our Colours. And as for their Souls, they are even just as Capable of Knowledge and Ignorance, Reason and Folly, Vice and Vertue, Piety and Prophaness, Superstition and Atheism, as we are, who pretend to be Lords of the VVorld, and all Things.

May Thou and I, practise Moderation, and not contemn any of Humane Race, though they be the Caphars of Mosambique. But let us always remember the old Turkish Proverb, That 'tis not good or safe, to point in [Page 220]Mockery behind the Grand Signior's Back. Adieu.

LETTER VIII. To Mohammed, the Illustrious Soli­tary of Mount Uriel, in Arabia.

THE Grand Root of the Common In­justice which Men are guilty of, in re­ference to the Beasts, and of the Intempe­rance with which they corrupt themselves, I perceive, is a false Principle which they have establish'd, denying the Capacity and Use of Reason to all Living Creatures but themselves.

This Error was first publickly maintain'd by the Peripateticks, Stoicks, and Epicureans; and afterwards by Claudius of Naples, out of a particular Aversion they had for the Doctrines of Pythagoras and Empedocles, Two famous Patrons of Abstinence.

Heraclides Ponticus undertook to explain the Sentiments of the former Sects; and Hermachus those of the Latter. But, both of them seem to confide more in the little Tricks and Arts of Sophistry, than to use true Reason. For at the first Essay of their Skill, they strive to cast a Mist in the Readers [Page 221]Eyes, by dividing the Generations of Living Creatures, into such as are endu'd with the Fa­culty of Reason, and such as want it. Whereas, thou knowest, it is an indubitable Maxim in the Eastern Philosophy, That every Thing which partakes of Sense, has also Reason. For, 'tis the Mind alone, which sees, hears, &c. the Body of it self being deaf, blind, and void of all Sense. It is evident therefore, that since the Beasts do see, hear, and per­form all other Actions of Sense, they have also what the Greeks call [...] or the Mind in them, which is the very Seminary, or Native Seat of Reason.

'Tis true, indeed, we cannot affirm, That they possess a Reason so perfect as ours, since that Perfection is acquir'd by Discipline, which the Generality of the Brutes want. They have no Colleges or Schools, where the Arts and Sciences are profess'd, and taught by Rules. Nature is their only School-Mistress, and they learn her Instru­ctions with abundance of Promptness, and Sagacity. They are educated in the open Elements, as in an Academy, or University founded by the Creator of all Things; where every Thing they encounter, serves as a Book to teach them all the Knowledge which is necessary to their Well-being on Earth. And they need no more.

'Tis manifest also, That some Species, and Individuals, are more capable of Learning what is taught 'em, than others; even as we discern the same Difference among the [Page 222]various Nations, Families, and Persons of Men. But we do not use to say of Inani­mate Things, That this piece of Wood is more apt to Learn than another, as a Dog is more Tractable and Docile than a Hog: Nor of Immoveable Things, That this is slower than that: Nor of Things which want Sense, That a Stone is duller of Ap­prehension than a piece of Iron. So could we not properly affirm of Animals, That one is more Crafty and Sagacious than ano­ther; more provident, chaste, temperate, cleanly, and the like Epithets; if they were not by Nature, capable of Knowledge and Vertue. And yet we daily see all this true, in comparing one Species of Living Creatures with another; nay, and one Individual of the same Kind, with some of its Fel­lows.

When Antipater accus'd Asses, and Hogs of Nastiness, he did not consider how accu­rately Nice and Curious the Lynxes and Cats are, which, with so much Diligence and Care, hide their Excrements, that they can never be seen, or smelt again. So the Swal­lows teach their Young to mute over the Brims of the Nest. All which are Argu­ments of their Prudence and Discretion. Doubtless, every Animal has its peculiar Gift, and Excellency. One is more quick-sighted than another; This has better Ears than That; a Third surpasses in the goodness of his Smell, or the swiftness of his Feet. Let not vain Man therefore Boast, [Page 223]and Insult, as if he were the sole Engrosser of all Wisdom and Vertue; since the Beasts of the Field, the Birds of the Air, the Fish of the Sea, with all the Generations of Rep­tiles, Insects, and whatsoever is endu'd with Life and Sence, possess their Shares as well as he.

It is manifest also, That there are various Principles of Folly, Injustice, and all Man­ner of Ignorance, Error, and Vice, in Hu­mane Nature, equal to what we can possibly find in the rest of Animals, whom we so much despise. And 'tis a Question, Whe­ther even the very Sea-Horse, who murders his Father, and for that Reason, was by the Ancient Egyptians, made the Hieroglyphick of Impiety; may not justly exchange his Cha­racter with Some of Humane Race, who make their Parents the continual Martyrs to their Ambition, Pride, Envy, Avarice, and other Vices.

I would fain know, Whether any Man would not take it ill, to be told, he is Blind and Deaf, because he cannot see and hear so quick as some of the Beasts? Or, that he is a Cripple, because he cannot out-run a Hart? Certainly, a strong Man deserves that Character, tho' he cannot pretend to match the Strength of a Camel, or an Elephant. And shall we then say, That the Beasts have no Reason, or Vertue, because they cannot discover those Qualities so Artificially as Men?

[Page 224]Besides, Do not all Privations suppose some Habits? And is not Madness a Priva­tion of the Habits of Reason and Prudence? If therefore Dogs, Bulls, Foxes, and other Animals are known to be sometimes Mad, Shall we think it less fit to say of them, That they are out of their Minds, or Wits, than to affirm the same of Men? And if Compos, or, Non Compos Mentis are proper Expres­sions of any Beast, when it is Sober, or Mad; Who, that is not depriv'd of Rea­son himself, can deny, that they have the Possession of that Faculty by Nature, as well as he?

As oft as I trouble thee with Letters on this Subject, thou may'st conclude, I am newly awaken'd to a Sense of my Error, in not Religiously observing the Sacred Institu­tion of Abstinence; which ought to be the Natural Consequence of these Thoughts: For, in a word, if it be lawful to kill the Animals for the sake of Food, I think we may as well turn Cannibals, and eat the Flesh of our purchas'd Slaves, or of our Captive Enemies, over whom we have, by the Law of Nations, an equal Right as to their Life and Death, as over our Beasts.

Abstemious Sage, I leave thee to the Di­vine Inspirations of the Genius, which pos­sesses that Holy Cave: I leave thee to the sacred Whispers of Winds from Eden, and to the Sweets of an innocent Solitude, [Page 225]which admits no other Society than that of Angels, or Beasts.

LETTER IX. To Zeidi Alamanzi, a Merchant at Venice.

I Receiv'd thy Dispatch, which informs me, That thou art commanded to re­move from Venice, with all speed possible, and to visit Naples, Genoua, Rome, Padua, Milan, Florence, with the other Chief Cities of Italy: In fine, that thou art not to make a long Residence, or take up thy Abode any where; but after the Manner of a Traveller, to be always in a moving Posture from Place to Place, from one Province and Principa­lity to another; that thou may'st take a just Estimate of the Strength and Riches of each State, through which thou shalt pass: That thou may'st dive into their Counsels, observe their Motions, watch their Designs, and transmit thy Remarks to the Ministers of the August Divan, the Mysterious Cabi­net of the Earth's Great Sovereign.

[Page 226]There may be less of Profit in such a Peregrination, for the Present, than in thy constant Residence at Venice, where thou art establish'd in a settled way of Merchan­dice. But, thou wilt find abundance more Pleasure: And if thou acquittest thy self Successfully, the Grand Signior will re­ward thy Merit. Besides, thou may'st meet with a Thousand Opportunities of Traf­fick, even in thy Travels. An Active and Diligent Spirit, cannot fail of Means to ad­vance its own Interest in any Part of the World; and thou dost not want a Stock of Money to support thy honest Underta­kings.

Thou wilt meet with a New Sort of Ita­lian, where-ever thou shalt set thy Foot: That People being strangely mix'd, and descending from several Nations. Every City has a different Genius; which is so Re­markable and Conspicuous, that they have all got peculiar Epithets: As, Rome the Holy, Naples the Gentile, Florence the Fair, Bolonia the Fat, Milan the Large, Ferrara the Civil, Bergamo the Subtle, Genoua the Proud, Padua the Strong, Siena the Studious, Mantua the Glorious, Lucca the Industrious, Ravenna the Mild, Capua the Amorous, Ʋrbin the Loyal, Verona the Worthy, Brescia the Fortified, Furli the Wanton, Rimini the Good; and so of the Rest.

Beware of contracting Friendship with any Italian: And if thou dost engage, be cautions how thou givest a just Offence. [Page 227]Thou can'st not be too tender in this Point: For, as the Italians are very Constant where they have once pitch'd their Affection, so they are Inexorable in their Revenge, where they apprehend their Love abus'd; and they are the most Jealous People in the World. If thou hast made Two false Steps, never seek to repair thy Fault by After-Submis­sions, but Fly; for thou hast wounded his Soul, and he will never Pardon thee, or let thee live to be Guilty of another Affront. They have a Common Maxim in this Case, ‘'He that Wrongs me Twice, 'tis his Fault; but if I let him Injure me the Third Time, the Blame's my own.'’

The wisest Course is to be Civil and Mo­destly reserv'd; not to be too frank and open in Discourse, or loose in Carriage. For this lays a Man naked, and exposes him to the Contempt and Censure of such as are more compos'd and recollected: And this is the peculiar Character of the Italians, ‘'That they think more than they speak, and are many times disgusted at the Person on whom they Smile.'’

When thou art on the Roads in Apulia and Campania, when thou beholdest the Beauties of that Luxuriant Soyl, and thy Smell is ravish'd with the Fragrant Odors of the Hedges, and adjoining Groves; think on Elyzium, Paradise, or whatsoever Place Nature has made Delightful; and say, It must be in this Country, or in some Region very like it.

[Page 228]As thou sojournest at Naples, remember with what Pleasure Virgil pass'd away his Time there. 'Twas in that happy Air, that Horace penn'd his Admirable Poems. There Livy wrote the Roman History, and Seneca his Morals. From thence we have the Works of Statius, Claudian, Laurentius Valla, and many other Learned Writers.

Forget not, when thou art at Genoua, the former Glory of that Commonwealth; how once she did possess Sardinia, Cyprus, Lesbos, Chios, and did extend her Conquests to Pera, near Constantinople: How she entred the Black Sea, planted a Colony of Genouese at Caffa, and stretch'd her Dominion to the River Tanais.

Thou wilt find Matter of Contemplation in Pisa, Milan, Padua, and all the Cities of Italy. But when thou art at Rome, 'twould be a kind of Sacrilege not to cast back thy Eyes, and view her Ancient Glory, when she was the Mistress of the World: When she had Three Millions of Men with­in her Walls, and a Hundred and fifty Mil­lions of Gold in Yearly Revenue: When she kept in Constant Pay, at Home and Abroad, Six hundred, Five and forty thousand Men. Her Foreign Conquests may be number'd by her Domestick Triumphs; which from Romulus, her Founder, to Augustus Caesar, were no less than Three hundred. Julius Caesar aug­mented the Publick Treasury, with Forty Millions of Gold. In the Reign of Aureli­anus this City was Fifty Miles in Compass, [Page 229]and the Number of her Inhabitants, encreas'd to Four Millions: And they were prodi­giously enrich'd with the Spoils of their Ene­mies. Seneca when he died, left Seven Mil­lions, and Five hundred thousand Crowns behind him. Claudius Isidorus, tho' much exhausted by the Civil Wars, yet left Four thousand One hundred and seventeen Slaves, Three thousand and sixty Yoak of Oxen; and of other Cattel, Two hundred and fifty seven thousand. There were commonly kept in Rome, Five hundred Gladiators, a Thou­sand Bears, and a Hundred Lyons. There were always Five hundred Men employ'd in looking after the Aqueducts, and Bathes of Rome.

VVhen Cyneas, the Embassador of Pyrrhus had view'd the City round, and was ask'd what he thought of Rome; He answer'd, I think all Rome is but One Temple; (for there were above Four hundred in the City) Her Senate is an Assembly of Kings; She is the Beauty of the whole Earth: The Flower of Mankind dwell within her Walls.

Zeidi, this was the State, this the Grandeur and Magnificence of Pagan Rome. But since the Incursions of the Goths and Vandals, the Lombards, Huns, and other Barbarous Nations of the North, Rome's Glory is Eclips'd, her Ho­nour laid i'th' Dust. VVhereas before, she lifted up her stately Crest on Seven High Hills, now she is fain to stoop, being hum­bly seated in the Plain of Campus Martius, being not by a Fifth Part so large as former­ly, nor yet so populous.

[Page 230]All over Italy thou'lt meet with Reliques of the Ancient Roman Majesty and Greatness. And in some Places, thou may'st encounter Persons of great Extraction, but very Poor, who may not unfitly be call'd the Ruines of Ancient Nobility: Such as the Marquisses of Ceva, the Earls of Piacenza, and the Knights of Bologna, who are become the Proverb of Illustrious Poverty. Such also are the Counts of Lusigniani, Three of whom were once seen upon a Fig-Tree, eating the Figs to keep 'em from Starving. And many Italian Lords get their Livelyhoods by selling of Ptisans, Limonades, Essences, Powders, and other Refreshments, to the Gentry. Yet they are Proud, and when any one Addresses to them he must entitle them, Most Excellent, Most Illustrious, or else they'll Frown and be Affronted.

Zeidi, If ever it be thy Fortune to be made a Lord, I pray Heaven give thee an Estate answerable to the Title: For a Lord without Riches, is like a Soldier without Arms, very Ridiculous.

LETTER X. To Dgnet Oglou.

THis Day, something has happen'd to me very Prodigious, and I know not what to make of it. About the Hour of Quindinamasi, I was suddenly taken with strange Fits of Vomiting: My Stomach was in a Prodigal, or rather a Philosophical Hu­mour; resolving to cast off all Superfluities, and only retain what was necessary to its Ease and VVelfare in this Life. I labour'd under a Thousand Horrid Agonies, which made me fear, that either an Imposthume was the Cause of such violent Convulsions; or at least, that they would end in opening the inward Sluces of my Blood, by too much forcing of the Pectoral Veins.

VVhilst I were busied thus with sad Pre­sages of a sudden Death, (for I dread to be so unawares thrust out o'th VVorld) I long'd and passionately languish'd for an Arabian Orange.

It happen'd at the same Time, my Mo­ther Oucoumiche, Daria and Eliachim the Jew, were with me in my Chamber, and had been there an Hour. They all stood at the VVindow to see a Procession that was going by. But when they heard the strain­ing Noise I made, immediately they ran to [Page 232]my Bed-side, as Human Nature, Curiosity, or Passion, uses to prompt in such like Cases.

With a faint broken Voice I told 'em what I wish'd for Eliachim forthwith gives Or­der to his Boy that waited in an Anti-Cham­ber, to run with speed, and buy the best Ara­bian Oranges he cou'd find.

The arch Young Lad was gone full Thir­teen Minutes by my Watch, and then re­turn'd with Half a Dozen Oranges of Spain, (for he could get no other.) But Heaven, as I have Reason to think, supply'd his Neg­ligence, and unsuccessful Mercating. For long before he came with that sowre crabbed Fruit, Daria spy'd an Orange of Arabia on the Table.

No body knew from whence it came, or what kind Hand had laid it there. They were all equal Witnesses, That there was no such Thing upon the Table, when they came to the Bed-side, nor a considerable Time afterward: And when it was suggested, that some one of the Company had privately convey'd it thither, whilst the rest were look­ing another way; Eliachim with solemn Vows and Imprecations clear'd himself; so did Daria, and my Mother. As for my self, they all were sensible it was impossible for me to do it, as I lay in my Bed. A Ge­neral Astonishment possess'd us all; and the Women would needs have it to be a Mira­cle, whilst I greedily eat the Delicious Fruit, not troubling my Thoughts with making endless Scrutinies, or so much as caring which [Page 233]way it came there, so long as I had the En­joyment of it.

Yet I ceas'd to be thus Indifferent, when I perceiv'd my Malady on a sudden remov'd by eating of this wondrous Orange. And whereas I had lain for Six whole Days and Nights in a continual faint and languishing Condition, not able to get down a Morsel of Bread, now my Spirits grew brisk and fresh; I seem'd like one transform'd, or in another VVorld. My Stomach reviv'd, my almost dissipated Vigor rally'd, and I rose chearfully to eat a hearty Supper. These Things, I must confess, put me, as well as the rest of the Company, upon thinking.

I tell thee, upon the strictest Examina­tion possible, I am very well satisfied, that there cou'd be no Design, or Trick i'th' Case: For if there were, no body would be guilty of so many repeated horrid Perjuries in denying it: But every one rather would have been forward to own themselves the Instruments of thus happily and unexpected­ly rescuing a poor sick Man, from the very Jaws of Death: For I was just then ready to expire.

VVhether there be Magick in the strength of a Man's Fancy at such Times; and that through the Intense Agitation of his exal­ted Spirits, he moves the Soul of the Ʋni­verse by Sympathy to exert some of its hid­den and uncommon Faculties, and gratifie his necessary Desires: Or whether there be an Order of Officious Beings Invisible about [Page 234]us, who have the Charge of Mortals com­mitted to them, and are bound by the Laws of their conceal'd Kingdom, to assist us in Extremities, even to the Height of a seem­ing Miracle, where it cannot be done with­out, I know not. But 'tis certain, any ob­serving Man may take notice of some extra­ordinary Passages in the Course of his Life, of which he can give no Rational Account, but must be forc'd to put 'em on the Score of Praeternatural Causes. Such is our Ignorance of the Secret Operations of Na­ture.

All the Company were ready to list me among the Prophets; or in the Catalogue of Saints, for this stupendous Occurrence. But I had other Thoughts of my Self: For com­paring this with some former Occurrences of my Life, I presently concluded, 'twas the Fore-runner of some grand, but short Affli­ction: And so I told them All.

I believe, my Dgnet, that God will hedge me in with diverse Kinds of Adverse Circum­stances: He'll rush upon me on a suddain, like a Troop of Tartar Horse, who swiftly spread themselves all round the affrighted Country, and take Possession of the Roads and Passes. They hunt the Conscious Infi­dels from Dens and Caves, and other lur­king Places in the Woods and Mountains. None can escape their Chastisement and Re­venge: So my presaging Soul foretells some sad surprizing Inrodes from the Omnipo­tent.

[Page 235]That which I have to do in this Case, is to make speedy Expiations for my past Se­curity and Presumption, to repair the ru­in'd Fastnesses of Vertue, and build new Ones where they are wanting; to keep strong Guards; and lastly, to retire my self into a most profound Humility, and Com­plyance with the Will of God; which is the strongest Fortress, in time of a Divine In­vasion.

LETTER XI. To Sephat Abercromil, Vanni Ef­fendi, Preacher to the Sultan.

THE Character and Fame of thy Exem­plary Life, and profound Doctrine, tho' studiously conceal'd and suppress'd by thy self, have yet made a forcible Eruption, and fill'd the Mussulman Kingdoms with the fragrant Odour of thy Incomparable Piety, and Vertue. Even these Remote and Infi­del Regions of the West, are edify'd by thy sacred Rules and Institutions of a Spiritual Life. The Nazarene Priests and Doctors, begin to harbour Emulations of thy Sanctity, since they have seen no fairer Draught of true Acceptable Religion, than what the Chap­lains to the French Embassadors at the Port, have copied from thy Principles, and re­commended to their Friends among the Clergy of France. Insomuch as Francis Ma­levella, a Blind Ecclesiastick, but an Argus in the Sciences, has publickly espous'd thy Theorems and Practices; having in Print, now lately, undertaken the Patronage of a Contemplative Life, so much insisted on by thee; to which the College of Sorbonne have also given their Approbation.

[Page 237]That Excellent Man, tho' he has lost the Use of his Corporeal Eyes, yet has a Soul transform'd all over into Light, by which he clearly can survey the vast Mysterious Hori­zon of the Invisible World, and penetrate the most recluse and hidden Secrets of Eter­nity. The Age is ravish'd with the Book he publish'd: He has Ten thousand Proselytes among the Roman Priests and Derviches. None but the Jesuits and Dominicans oppose him.

The former of these Orders is grown odious throughout Christendom, for the Im­pious Doctrines they maintain, and the Enor­mous Crimes they have committed being notorious Boutefeu's, Traytors, Hypocrites, and Secret Libertines. Their Colleges are esteem'd the Shops and Forges of Sedition, Faction Publick Animosities, Broils, and Wars, with all the Mischief that is done in Europe. The Latter are not lov'd in France, because they are generally chosen Officers of the Inquisition: Which inhumane Judicature, was first projected by St. Dominick, their Founder, in order to exterminate the Moors from Spain. There is a Natural and Irrecon­cilable Antipathy between the French and Spaniards. They mutually abhorr each others Customs, Laws, and Humours: But, above all, the French can ne'er be reconcil'd to that Infernal Court, which tyrannizes o'er the Souls of Men, and punishes them for Thoughts. It is an equal Crime to speak, or to be silent; to pray, or not; to go to Church, or stay at [Page 238]Home, provided you are Rich. 'Tis Wealth the Inquisitors aim at, not the pretended Safety and Deliverance of the Church from Enemies and Rebels.

Therefore the Dominicans and Jesuits be­ing look'd upon as Favourers and Patrons of the Inquisition, and for that Reason hated by the French; in vain they argu'd against Malevella's New reform'd Model of Interi­our Religion, which is but a Translation of the Original Dogmata, laid down by thee. Thy refin'd Sentiments are Prolifick, as the Solar Beams, which by Ineffable Encreases, propagate themselves without diminishing the Illustrious Fountain. Each bright and fertile Atom, by a miraculous Emanation, begets another; they multiply by an Admi­rable Progressive Issue and Expansion from every Point of the Refulgent Center, till every splendid Particle becomes a Ray of equal Length, and all together produce an entire Orb of Light. Thus thy serene Idea's of Religion, dilate themselves through this dark Side o'th' VVorld, as fast as they illu­minate the Moselman Hemisphere. The Honester Sort of Western Franks, are already, by a Demi-Metamorphosis, grown half Ma­hometans, capitulating with their Pre-posses­sions, Prejudices, and the Force of Educa­tion, for the rest.

They go to Church, but not to babble o'er a Thousand vain Tautologies, which are taught 'em by their Priests, and to ensure their Memory, are printed in their Pocket-Manuals, [Page 239]or Books of Prayer: Nor do they number a long Series of the same repeated Oraisons on Beads, or use any other Exte­riour Form of blind and lame Devotion: But with inward Recollection, Silence, Pu­rity, and fervent Application of the Spirit, they address themselves to God; or rather by a certain gradual Passiveness, Oblivion of Outward Things, and dying to themselves, they prepare and fit their Souls for the Di­vine Approaches: Thus having barricado'd up their Senses, and made Retrenchments round the Center of the Mind, to secure it from the last Invasion, and Assault of Mun­dane Objects; thither they retire, desiring Death, rather than to take Quarter by a faint Cowardise, or timorous Apostacy, and sur­render to the VVorld.

These People undergoe at certain Times, strange Drynesses, Desertions, and Sterilities of Spirit, which are the Torments that com­pose the most severe and painful Martyr­doms. A common Death, or any violent Dis­solution of the Body, is but the Recreation, Sport, or Play of Nature, when compar'd with these Tremendous, Tragical and Dark Annihilations of the Soul. A Man at such a Season, seems to be reduc'd to an Eternal Catastrophe. His Spirit descends, and is en­gulph'd in the Abyss of Hell; or Hell comes up to him, and yawning with its horrid Dragons-Jaws, Murders the Soul with Bane­ful and Infernal Breath. Yet this they find to be the only near directest VVay to [Page 240] Heaven. This is the Mystick Fence, the Ditch, Bastion, and Counterscarp of Para­dise. He that would scale the VValls, or enter by the Gates of Eden, must first pass through these terrible Out-works. This is the streight and narrow Bridge, o'er which each Soul must pass that would attain Im­mortal Life. Moses, Jesus, Mahomet, and all the Messengers of God, have pointed at this, as the only VVay to our supreme Feli­city. Neither was it unknown to the Anci­ent Poets and Philosophers, among the Gen­tiles. Orpheus, and Hesiod, recommended it in their Mysterious Verse. Empedocles, Theophrastus, Plato, Plotinus, Porphyry, Jamblichus, with many others, improv'd the Sacred Revelation, adding new Lights unto the Blest Discovery: And if we take the History in a right Sence, unless I am de­ceiv'd, Socrates died a Martyr to this Im­portant Truth. Many of the Learned He­brew Rabbi's, have asserted it. The Persian and Arabian Doctors, before and since the Holy Flight, have been its Advocates: And let not Envy refuse to give some of the Christian Priests their due Acknowledgment, who preach'd this Doctrine in the Primitive Assemblies, taught it in the Publick Schools, and ensur'd it to Posterity in Learned Manu­scripts. Such were Origen, and Ammonius, Clemens of Alexandria, Simplicius, Chry­sostom, Tertullian Augustine; and in more modern Times, Thomas of Aquin, Marsi­lius Ficinus, Bonadventure, with many others: [Page 241]And 'tis esteem'd the Height of Indian Re­ligion to this Day; the Bramins delivering it as an Hereditary Article of Faith, and Point of Practice, from Immemorable Ages. Since therefore all Religions in the World agree in this, notwithstanding their other Ceremonial and Speculative Differences; Doubtless it is the Voice and Will of God, not the Contrivance or Innovation of Man.

Reverend Effendi, It is a common Proverb among the Christians, That wheresoever God has a Temple, the Devil has a Chappel. That cunning Spirit, like a Serpent, winds himself into outward Forms and Ceremonies of De­votion. But he that builds a Mosque in the Center of his Soul, may bid Defiance to Tagot: For that's the Throne of God, near which the Daemon cannot approach.

May thou and I, live always Skreen'd behind our Selves; for in that Dark Recess from Visible Things, the Eternal loves to manifest his otherwise Invisible Light. Adieu.

LETTER XII. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior.

AFter all my Scepticisms, I at this Hour believe, there's Something of us re­mains Immortal, and Incorruptible, when our grosser Bodies are dissolv'd. Call it what you will, an Astral Body, a Ghost, a Spirit, or any Thing else, I'm sensible some Part of us will never die. What signifies the vain Dispute of Words, the dark Resolves of Plato's Cave? Let it be Substance or Acci­dent, Matter or Form, or a Result of all; There's still a certain Portion of our Nature, against which the Stroak of Death, and of Ten Hundred Thousand Deaths, can ne'er prevail. We may be chang'd indeed, and masquerade it up and down, perhaps, through Infinite Worlds, in so many different Disgui­ses: But we can never be annihilated, or made Nothing. We cannot be excluded from the Eternal List of Atomes. The Loss or Absence of the least Particle from the Ʋniverse, would either cause the Lou­dest never-ending Thunders and Lightnings, or an Everlasting Silence, Sullenness and Darkness. This mighty Aggregate, and Stupendous Heap of Beings, would fall to Ruine, if there were the least Vacuum, or [Page 243]the smallest Mite missing. Steal but the most Indivisible Atom from the rest, and down comes all the Fabrick: For one supports ano­ther by an Inseparable Adhesion, Reciprocal Congruity, and Mathematical Fitness. They are so cunningly hitch'd and knit together, so closely fasten'd and indented each with other, by the Original Art, or Chance which form'd the World, that all the Motions of this Grand Machine would at an instant stop, in such a Case; as does a Watch, when the least Tooth is missing from any one of the contiguous Wheels. Every Thing in Nature, is full and pregnant. Nei­ther can there be any other Emptiness, save what we think we see in Bottles, or other Hollow Vessels; which when they are void of Water, Wine, or other Liquors, it is but to be cramm'd brim-full of Air, which Ele­ment insinuates and crowds it self into each Diminutive Crany, Chink, and Pore of grosser Substances: So if the Airy Atomes have any Hollownesses in 'em, the smallest Va­cancy possible is still supply'd with its full Measure of the purer Aether, and that again, with some Matter more refin'd, if any such there be, or else it drinks full Draughts of Immaterial Essences: and by such a Sub-ordi­nate Gradation, Humane Souls, though in themselves, perhaps, pure Incorporeal Spirits, are yet fasten'd and cemented to our Bodies. Thus is one Being successively, and Eternally, either a Syringe, or a Sponge to another. The Elements inebriate one another by Turns; [Page 244]an Universal Epicurism and Drunkenness Reigns.

So the Hot Stomach of the Earth, parch'd with Inward Mineral Fires, greedily guzzles down the very salt unpalatable Lees of the Sea, rather than be adry: With a Thousand Thousand gaping Throats, it gulps the Beverage which Neptune's Deep and Mighty Cellar runs withal. It pants, and sucks eternally, the thick ropy Settlements of the Ocean's Bottom. These are distill'd again in hidden Limbecks, Cylinders, and other Chymical Vessels below, that so the gaping Channels on the Superficies, may be constantly supply'd, with more refin'd Liquor, through the Springs and Fountains: And yet the Globe not having quench'd its Thirst with this perpetual Draught, continually sups up the Rain, a Liquor more sublime and pure than all the rest. But this is only on cer­tain Holy-days of Fate, when the Celestial Powers, the Planets, Stars, and Constella­tions, order a Dunalma for the Vegetable Race Below, to refresh the Herbs, the Corn, and Trees, with Banquets from the Clouds. Then the Big-belly'd Tuns above are rowl'd out of their hidden Store-houses, and broach'd; the Conduits of the Ʋpper Region spout and run with plentiful Showers and Cataracts of Nature's Seminal Juice, the Radical All­chearing Nectar of Heaven. The greedy Soil imbibes the sacred strong Cascade; each joyful Turf is frolicksome, and swallows down large Bumpers of the Elemosynary [Page 245]Wine. Whilst the least dry and crumbling Lump of the late fainting Glebe, has Drops and Supernaculum's enough to revel on; till party-colour'd Iris, the Major-Domo in these Yearly Festivals, perceiving the tender Seeds and Roots are well nigh fuddl'd with what at Second Hand they have exhausted from the over-laden Ground, makes her Appea­rance in the Clouds, inviting all the Guests to a splendid Collation of warm Beams and Rays, with which the Sun is minded to re­gale them.

A grateful, soft and chearful Noise was heard throughout the Room before. The Earth and Air were in a merry Humour. Well pleas'd with the Debauch, they would have sat till Morning at it, being loth to leave their Liquor behind 'em, or change it for dry Meat. But at the sight of Iris, eve­ry one chang'd Countenance; an universal Murmur ran throughout the Hall; they were sorry thus to be baulk'd i'th' midst of all their Mirth. Till courtly Zephyrs come with their soft Compliments, and tell 'em, It is necessary for their Ease and Health: Then are the Tuns, and Bottles remov'd, with all the drunken Tackle. The Table soon is spread, and cover'd with a Rich Course of glittering Chargers, sent from Phoebus.

That Sponging Planet only lives by Bante­ring and Wheedles. The Illustrious Figure he makes i'th' World, is always borrow'd. He never wore a Fashionable Dress in's Life, [Page 246]but what he took up by Tally from the First Source of Lights: For which he's bound to pay so vast an Interest, that he would neces­sarily become a Bankrupt, did he not repair his broken Fortune, by playing Tricks upon the Earth. Thus whilst he mocks this Sub­lunary World, with his pretended Treats, he makes it pay for all, with costly Exha­lations. He plunders the Elements, picks the Pockets of the Earth, and robs the Trea­suries of the Sea: Nor can he forbear fil­ching something from the Air; and when he has stollen enough, he slinks away i'th' Dark, and flies to th' other side of the Globe; there to commence New Shams and Cheats upon the Antipodes. And all the while, the Stars are full as bad as he: For like a Brave Highway-man, that Luminary fre­quents the Publick Road of Heaven by Day; he robs in open sight of all the World, and leaves a generous Viaticum, where-ever he borrows any Thing. But the Stars, those little Bullies of the Sky, are perfect Night-Pads, Shop-lifts, and Sharpers; they skulk about i'th' Dark, through all the private Alleys of the Firmament, and commit a Thousand Murders, Rapes, and other Vio­lences. Some of their Aspects are as veno­mous as the Fatal Eyes of Basilisks; they carry divers Kinds of Mortal Poysons in their Looks, which they disperse at Random in this lower World. They strew the Earth with Hemlocks, Aconites, and other baneful Weeds. They also scatter up and down, the more [Page 247]contagious Seeds of Envy, Avarice, and a Thousand black Infernal Vices, which take Root in Humane Souls, at our Nativities; and growing up with us, in time bring forth the fatal Fruits of Death. The ugly Race of Dragons, Serpents, Crocodiles, and all the Reptile Generations, with every Thing that's Hideous, Cruel, and Destructive on the Globe, derive their Natures, Qualities, Forms, and Dispositions from some Malignant Stars or Constellations, if Astrologers say true. So do the Scaly Monsters of the Vast Abyss; and every Bird of Horrible Figure flying in the Air. They're all the Brood, the Emis­saries, Spies, and Agents of the Powers Above, sent down on Thievish Errands, to prey on other Animals, more innocent than them­selves.

There is an Eternal Chace in Nature, whilst every thing is either on the Hunt or Flight. Thus Heaven purloins from Earth, and that from Heaven again. When we are first conceiv'd, our wandring Souls are catch'd, as in a well-baited Trap. And when we dye, 'tis but the Soul's Escape from One Snare to be soon trapann'd into Another. Perhaps a Humane Body may be our Prison again, or we may be attracted by some more agreeable Embryo. This Magnetick Star may draw us up to Heaven, or the wide Jaws of all-devouring Orcus, may swallow us down into the Hungry Paunch of Hell; which God avert.

[Page 248]Learned Hali, let not thou and I, be too sollicitous about these Things: For all our Timorous Forecasts are in vain. But, con­sidering the secret Magnetisms dispers'd throughout the Universe, and that every Thing attracts its Like, let us take care to qualify our selves with Celestial Habits and Dispositions; and then we cannot fail of being drawn up to Paradise.

LETTER XIII. To the Mufti.

IN Obedience to thy Commands, I shall now proceed in relating the most Memo­rable Transactions of Former Ages, during the Four Great Monarchies, observing thy Instructions not to be prolix, or over-curious in tracing down the particular Successions of Kings and Princes; but rather to relate the Actions of Famous Men, the Wise Sayings of the Ancients, with such other Remarks, as may be at once Delightful and Instru­ctive.

'Twill be no Breach of this Rule, to be­gin where I left off in my Former Letter, with the Death of Darius, and Succession of Xerxes his Younger Son, there being some­thing of Nicety in the Plea between him and his Elder Brother Artabazanes for the Crown: For this laid Claim to it on the Ac­count of his Primogeniture: But in regard he was born before Darius was made King, the Succession was determined in favour of Xerxes, who had a Double Advantage, in being begot by a Crowned King, and born of Atosh, the Daughter of Cyrus, who first Established this Monarchy.

As soon as Xerxes was setled in the Throne, he lead an Army into Egypt, and suppressed the Insurrections in that Countrey. Then [Page 250]he fitted out a Fleet of 4200 Ships, on Board of which were above Five hundred thousand Men. He had a Land Army also, consisting of Two Millions, and Five hun­dred thousand Soldiers of several Nations. With this vast Multitude he march'd against the Graecians; and to facilitate the Voyage of his Fleet, he caused one Part of his Army to dig a Passage through Mount Athos, whereby the Sea was let in, and the Ships might sail Two a-brest; whilst another Part of the Soldiers, were employ'd in building a Bridge of Boats over the Hellespont. No sooner was this done, but there arose a ve­hement Tempest; which so discompos'd those Narrow Seas, that between the Winds and Waves, the Boats which made this Bridge, were all dispers'd, broken, and cast away.

This so incens'd Xerxes, that he comman­ded the Sea to be scourg'd with Whips, and a Chain to be thrown into it, as a Mark of its future Subjection. He also Beheaded those who built the Bridge, and caused others to make a new One.

Here one of Xerxes's Eunuchs, and a Particular Favourite of the King, sent for a Graecian of the Isle of Chios, who had for­merly depriv'd him of the Evidences of his Virility. And the Old Man coming with his Sons to wait on this great Courtier, the Eu­nuch caus'd him first to Castrate his own Sons, and afterwards forced them to do the same by their Father, in revenge of his own Loss, and Disgrace.

[Page 251]From hence Xerxes marching with his Army by the Place where once stood the Famous Town of Troy, went in Pilgrimage to the Tomb of King Priamus, where he sa­crific'd Ten Hecatombs of Oxen, to the Ghosts of the Ancient Heroes, and to the Divinity of the River Scamander, which his Soldiers drank dry, and yet half of them had not quenched their Thirst.

After this, he came to the Hellespont, where taking a Survey of all his Land and Sea-Forces, which cover'd the Hellespont, and all the Neighbouring Shores; and Con­templating the Shortness of Man's Life, and that of so Innumerable a Multitude, not one should be alive at an Hundred Years End, he Wept bitterly.

Then having sacrific'd to the Sun, for the good Success of his Expedition, he caus'd all his Army to pass over the Hellespont by his Bridge of Boats; after which they drank their Way through another River, which had not Water enough to satisfie half his Men and Cattle: For his Army encreas'd all the Way, by the Accession of Soldiers out of every Nation through which he pass'd. Yet Leonidas, King of Sparta, with a small Bo­dy of 4000 Lacedaemonians, gave Battle to the whole Army of Xerxes. And in a Sea-Fight at Salamis, the Persians lost 500 Ships, with a considerable Part of their Army; which, with other Disasters of Sickness, Fa­mine, &c. so terrified this Great Monarch, [Page 252]that he posted back again, as fast as he could, by the Way of the Hellespont, which he cros­sed in a poor Fisher-Boat all alone, leaving Mardonius to pursue the Wars in Greece. But an ill Fate attended their Arms; for at Platea, the Graecians set upon them under Pausanias their General, and routed the whole Army, Killing above Two hundred thousand of them upon the Spot, and Burning their Camp, and Navy.

Xerxes hearing these ill Tydings, fled to­wards his own Country, and by the Way set Fire to the Temples of the Gods at Baby­lon, and other Parts of Asia, sparing none but that Magnificent Fane at Ephesus, which was Renowned throughout the whole World.

About this Time dyed Pagapates, the faithful Eunuch of Darius, who had passed Seven whole Years Mourning at the Tomb of his Master.

I must not omit the Treachery of Pausa­nias, the Lacedaemonian General, who held a Private Correspondence with Xerxes. And having been Twice accused of Treason, and as often acquitted, was the Third time dis­covered by a Boy whom he kept as his Mi­nion; and, by the Sentence of the Ephori, was starved to Death.

Thou hast forbidden me to augment the Bulk of these Historical Letters, with Glos­ses, or Remarks of my own, or else it were a proper Occasion to put thy Holyness in [Page 253]Mind, how great a Value ought to be set on a Faithful Man, and let Nature it self plead my Excuse for entrenching on thy Orders; whilst I vindicate my self from the Calum­nies of the Envious, and beg of thee to rest assured, That no Man on Earth can be truer to his Trust, than the Arabian Slave Mah­mut.

But to return to Xerxes, He was Unfaith­fully dealt with by the Captain of his Guard; who, by the Assistance of Spamitres the King's Chamberlain, and Seven other Con­spirators, kill'd him in his Bed with his El­dest Son Darius, and crowned Artaxerxes in his stead.

To him fled Themistocles the Athenian, who was suspected a Partner in the Treason of Pausanias. The King received him into his Favour, and made him Governour of a Province, adding the Gift of Five Great Ci­ties, to furnish him with Money for the Ex­pences of his Table and Wardrobe. And this the King did, not as a Reward or En­couragement of Treason, (from which he knew Themistocles was free, being falsly ac­cused by the Athenians) but he heaped those Honours on him, as a Debt to the Merits of that once Illustrious Enemy, now become a Friend, and seeking shelter in the Persian Kingdom, from the Barbarous Ingratitude of his own Country-men; who, for all his Eminent Services to Greece, could think of no better Acknowledgement, than to put to [Page 254]death as a Traytor, the Bravest and Wisest Captain of that Age.

Not long after this, the Persians lost 200 Ships in a Sea-Fight with the Graecians, and were routed at Land by a Stratagem of Cimon, the Graecian General, who, after the Naval Victory, put his Men aboard the Persian Vessels which he had taken, and apparelling them in the Gar­ments of the Persian Captives, landed them near the Enemies Camp in Pamphylia; who taking them for Friends, suffer'd them to enter their Trenches without Jealousie, and so were all slaughtered, except a few who escaped by the swiftness of their Horses.

About that Time, Pericles was made Prince of Athens, of whom I made men­tion in my former Letters. And Themistocles being made General of the Persian Army, and sent against the Graecians; rather than fight against his Country, or betray the Cause of his New Master, became a Voluntary Victim to his own Integrity and Honour: For, sacrificing a Bull in his March, he drank off a Bowl of the Blood, and fell down Dead at the Foot of the Altar.

The next War the Persians were engag'd in, was with Egypt; where, in a Battel near Memphis, they lost a Hundred thou­sand Men. But sending fresh Recruits, they dryed up the River Nile, where the Atheni­an Fleet, Confederate with the Egyptians, lay at Anchor. Which so amazed the Egyp­tians, that they made their Peace with them: [Page 255]And the Athenians set their own Ships on Fire, in Number 200, and returned Home with Disgrace, when they had been Six Years in Egypt. After this, a Peace was con­cluded between the Persians and those of Greece. And in the First Year of the 84th. Olympiad, which soon followed, there was an Ʋniversal Peace throughout the World, which continued till the First Year of the 87th. Olympiad, at what time began the Peloponnesian War.

In the 4th. Year of the 88th. Olympiad, Artaxerxes dyed, and his Son Xerxes was Invested with the Crown. But at a Years End, being overcome with Wine, and fal­ling asleep in a Place where no Guard was kept, his Brother Secundianus, with the Help of an Eunuch, murdered him, and took the Government on himself. He also, was soon after dispatched by his Brother Da­rius.

I over-run whole Olympiads, without men­tioning any Thing, save the Transactions which made most Noise in those Times. But I am unwilling to slip the Reign of any King, tho' I speak but Two Words of it, that so thou mayest have a perfect Idea of their Succession.

During the whole Series of Darius's Reign, History mentions nothing Remarka­ble, but is taken up in relating the little Quarrels, and Reconciliations of several [Page 256] Provinces in Greece, some Private Treaties between the Persian Governours of Lesser Asia and those of Peloponnesus, and the Over­tures of Peace between the Lacedaemonians and Persians, the End of the Peloponnesian War, with such other Passages, as would be too tedious for a Letter.

I will only rehearse a Memorable Saying of Darius, on his Death-Bed, to his Eldest Son Artaxerxes, who was to succeed him in the Throne. The Prince being assured by the Royal Physicians, That his Father's End drew near, thus addressed Darius: ‘"My Father, since it is the Will of the Gods to take you from Earth into their own Blessed Society, and that you have been pleased, with the Consent of the Nobles, to de­clare me your Successor in the Kingdom; tell me, I beseech you, by what Methods of Policy you have Govern'd this Empire these Nineteen Years, that so I may fol­low your Example."’ 'To whom the King Reply'd; ‘"My Son, be assured, That if my Reign has been blessed with greater Success and Peace than those of my Pre­decessors, 'tis because in all Things I have Honoured the Immortal Gods, and done Justice to every Man."’

As soon as Artaxerxes was possessed of the Crown, he sent for his Brother Cyrus; and put him in Manacles of Gold, with Design to make him privately away; but at the Intercession of his Mother, he released [Page 257]him again, and restor'd him to his Govern­ment of Lydia.

About this time, Plato the Philosopher be­ing very Young, gave an early Specimen of a ripe Wit, in Comforting Antimachus the Poet, who lost the Garland in a Contest with Niceratus, at the Lysandrian Feast. For when he beheld the Poet extremely vex'd at the Ignorance and Partiality of Lysander, who knew not how to distinguish between his lofty Measures, and the flat Rhimes of his Antagonist, Plato bid him be of good Courage: For, said he, his Ignorance no more diminishes thy Knowledge, than a Blind Man's mistaking thee for another, would deprive thee of thy Sight.

When Cyrus was returned to his Govern­ment, he plotted to depose his Brother: And to win Lysander to his Party, he presented him with a Ship built all of Gold and Ivory. Alcibiades, the Famous Athenian Captain perceiving this, designed to give Artaxerxes notice of his Brother's Treason; but by the Way he was murdered himself by some Sol­diers hired for that Purpose by Lysander, who yet durst not set upon him in the Day­time, when he was armed in his own De­fence, but in the Night set his House on Fire; and as he was escaping through the Flames and Smoak, they lying in Ambush, shot him dead with Arrows.

However, Artaxerxes quickly became sen­sible of his Brothers Designs; and raising [Page 258]an Army of Nine hundred thousand Men, gave him Battel not far from Babylon. In the Fight he was wounded by Cyrus; but after a hot Dispute, Cyrus was killed, and Artaxerxes got the Victory.

Parisatis, the Mother of Cyrus, to re­venge the Death of her Son, caused those that wounded him, to be killed with lingring Torment: And inviting Queen Statyra, the Wife of Artaxerxes, to a Feast, she divided the Bird Rhindaces asunder with a Knife poisoned on one side, and gave the Enveno­med Part to Statyra, eating the other her self. Upon which, the Queen died in horri­ble Anguish and Torture.

The famous Deeds of many Heroes, are also Recorded, during the Reign of this Ar­taxerxes; as of Agesilaus, King of the Spar­tans; Iphicrates, Pharnabazus, Tissaphenes, and Tizibazus, Persians; with Conon the Athenian. But fearing to entrench on thy Patience, I content my self with only mentioning their Names, and so finish my Letter with the Conclusion of Artaxerxes his Life, who died of Grief for the Death of his Son Arsames, whom Ochus his Brother had caused to be Murdered out of Envy and Jealousie, because his Father do­ted on him.

If I have not answered thy Expectation in this Letter, blame not me, but the Histo­rians, from whom I have collected these Passages, or accuse the Men of that Age, [Page 259]that they did not perform Greater Actions However, in the next thou shalt hear of the Birth and Life of a Great Prophet, even Alexander, the Conqueror of all Asia. In the mean time, I plunge my Self in the Idea's of the Dust thou treadest on, and shrinking into an Abstract of Humility, I bid thee Adieu.

The End of the THIRD BOOK.

LETTERS Writ by A Spy at PARIS.

LETTER I. To Pesteli Hali, his Brother, Master of the Customs, and Superinten­dant of the Arsenal at Constanti­nople.

I Know not well, whether it is my Part to be sorry or glad, when I hear thy Son is Wild and Prodigal: That he is Amorous, and very much addicted to Frolick with Women, Wine, and Musick; That he frequents the Bathes and Play-Houses, on purpose to make some Interest for his Love, [Page 262]that he may sometimes get a sight of Beau­tiful Ladies, and have the Pleasure of being admitted into their Company; That he haunts the Society of Foreign Merchants, the Houses of Christian Embassadors, and insi­nuates himself into the Acquaintance and Familiarity of all Travellers, who make any Figure in the Imperial City.

I protest, it seems difficult in my Opinion, to determine whether thou thy self hast Rea­son to be griev'd at all this, or not rather to rejoice, as at a Presage of his future good For­tune; since it is a manifest Argument of the Greatness of his Soul: And, let that alone to work out its own Way to Happiness. Ne­ver check a Generous Spirit: For such are full of the Divinity. They are the Eagles, the Lyons, the Kings and Princes of the Earth. Their Veins flow with Sacred Blood; their Nerves strut with the Milk of Paradise. A Thousand Excellencies possess their Hearts, and Ten Thousand Perfections take Root in their Brains. Whatever of Precious is scatter'd up and down in the Elements, meets in their Accomplish'd Nature, as in an Epi­tome, or rich Compendium of the Brightest Essences; an Extract of all that's Valuable, Good, and Lovely in the Ʋniverse.

Be not discourag'd to see thy Son Amorous of Women. 'Tis a Sign of a good Nature; and he is lookt upon as a Monster, or dege­nerate Person, who feels no Warmths or Passions for that lovely Sex. Women are sent into the World on purpose to blow up those [Page 263]gentle Flames within our Breasts, which sub­limate our grosser Mold, and make us more refin'd. Love is a sacred Phrensie of the Soul, a Divine Madness, elevating a Man up to the Pitch of a Santone, and rendring him the Care of the Benigner Daemons. He is every where safe; having the Favour of Gods and Men, as the Roman Poet expresses it:

Quisquis Amore tenetur, eat tutusque sacerque.

And had it not been for thy own Expe­rience of this Noble Passion, thou hadst not had a Son to complain of.

Perhaps it makes him expensive and costly in his manner of living. He wou'd, no doubt, appear Gay and Polite in the Eyes of his Mistresses: He would be Generous and Magnificent in his Entertainments; Liberal to his Friends and Acquaintance; Charitable to all Persons in Distress. And canst thou really blame him for putting in Practice so many Amiable Vertues? Is not this better than to see him of a sneaking, sordid Temper, addicted to Avarice, and other Ignoble Vices? Remember thy own Genius, when thou wert Young; what a passionate Delight thou took'st in Travelling? Yet, this cou'd not be maintain'd without great Charges. Consider therefore, that it is thy own Blood, running in the Veins of thy Son, which prompts him to a Noble Way of living. And do not thou imitate those Fa­thers, who by their Severity, teach their Children to degenerate, instead of making [Page 264]them better, or more reform'd. They frighten them from the Paths of innate Ver­tue, for the Lucre of their Gold, and take Abundance of Pains to instruct them in the Methods of Covetousness; as if that alone were the Zenith of Wisdom and Vertue, whereas it is in Truth, the very Sink and Se­minary of all Vice.

I will relate to thee a Story which I have heard in Paris, which has something in it very Singular and Remarkable, concerning the Affection and Care of a Father toward his Extravagant and Prodigal Son. This old Gentleman had a fair Seat about ten Leagues from this City, which had belong'd to his Family for the space of Five Hundred Years. His Yearly Revenue was very considerable; and having only one Son, he gave him the Liberty of managing Half his Estate, when he came to the Age of One and Twenty Years.

This young Spark being of a High Spirit, was so far from harbouring any Thoughts of Frugality, that he cou'd hardly brook the Necessity of living within the Compass of his Allowance. He addicted himself to Ga­ming, Drinking, and other lewd Courses, which in a short Time consum'd his Means, and reduc'd him to great Streights.

About the same Time his Father dyed, and left him the Remainder of his Estate, giving him all the Instructions that are usual in such Cases; and among the Rest of his Sage Counsels, he charg'd him, If it shou'd be [Page 265]his Misfortune to become a Bankrupt again, so as to be forc'd to sell his Estate, that he wou'd at least not part with that House which had been so long in the Possession of their Family: Especially he conjur'd him to reserve one particular Chamber for him­self as long as he liv'd, which was the same where he then lay a-dying. For this, said he, will be a Sanctuary for you, when you have no other Place of Refuge in the World.

After the Old Man's Decease, his Son fell to his former Course of Life; and, to make short of it, in a few Years spent all his Patrimony; even that very House it self, which he was forc'd to sell at last for an under-price, to supply his present Necessities. However, he obey'd his Father's last Injunction; and in the Sale of the House, made Articles for the perpetual Claim and Use of that Chamber to himself.

It was not long before he had consum'd the Money which he receiv'd for the House: So that now his last Support was gone. He try'd to borrow some of his Friends and Ac­quaintance: And in Charity they supply'd him at first with small Sums: But when he often press'd them, they grew weary of him, and deny'd to part with any more.

The disconsolate Gentleman, over-whelm'd with Grief and Melancholy, returns to his Chamber, hoping to find some Ease in that private Recess; where he might at least [Page 266]have the Privilege of venting his Sorrow in Sighs and Tears.

He pass'd away some time in this dejected Condition, when at length he cast his Eyes on an old Trunk which stood in a corner of the Chamber, and which he had scarce ever regarded before. An odd Curiosity promp­ted him to rise and look into this Trunk, perhaps not so much in Hopes of finding any Relief there, as to divert himself and pass away the tedious Minutes. And yet 'tis Na­tural for People in great Calamities and Mis­fortunes, to flatter themselves with the Imagi­nation of unexpected Reliefs, and to catch at every the least Glimpse or Shadow, that seems to presage any Good. Be it how it will, he fell to rifling the Trunk, but found nothing, save a Parcel of Old Rags and Papers, with other Remnants and Fragments of Silk, Linnen, and Velvet, the Reliques and Spoils of his Father's Wardrobe. This was no Booty for him: However, he ceas'd not his Scrutiny, till he had quite empty'd the Trunk. When to his no small Astonish­ment he found these Words on the Bottom: Ah Prodigal! hast thou spent All, and sold thy House? Now go and hang thy self. There is a Rope ready provided for thee in the Beam of the Chamber.

The Young Gentleman looking up to the Cieling, and seeing a Halter hang there, be­ing fasten'd to an Iron Ring, was struck with such a Damp, that concluding it was the Will of Fate, that he should fulfill the [Page 267]Words he found on the Bottom of the Trunk; he immediately took a Chair, or Stool, and placing it just under the Rope, got up and rais'd himself upon it, that so he might the better reach the design'd Instru­ment of his Death.

He stood not long musing: For Life ap­pear'd now Insupportable to him. Where­fore putting the Halter about his Neck, in the Height of Despair, he kick'd the Stool away. When behold, instead of hanging there, he fell to the Ground, the weighty Swing of his Body having pull'd out a Piece of square Timber from the Beam, being that Part to which the Ring was fasten'd. Immediately he was like to be over-whelm'd, and buryed alive in a great Heap of Gold, which came showring down upon him out of the Hollow Place, which his Father had contriv'd on Purpose in the Beam, to put this Kind Sarcasm on his Son, now sufficiently mortified by so many Sorrows.

In a word, this made so deep an Impressi­on on him, that he grew reform'd, buying all his Estate back again with Part of the Mo­ney; and employing the Rest in Merchandi­sing, grew to be a Richer Man than his Father, or any of his Progenitors.

[Page 268]Dear Pesteli, thy Son is Generous and Witty: It is thy Part to reclaim him by Methods agreeable to his Nature. For Rug­gedness and Austerity, will make him but the worse.

LETTER II. To Codorafrad Cheick, a Man of the Law.

HEre has happen'd an Accident of late, which testifies the Zeal of the French for their Religion, as well as it discovers the Rash and Unwarrantable Fury of a Bigotted Desperado. This Person was one of that Sect they call Huguenots, of whom there are great Multitudes in France; and they are Diametrically Opposite to those of the Ro­man Faith in their Principles, and the Man­ner of Worshipping God; yet are tolerated by the State, to prevent the Inconveniencies of a Civil War, and the Effusion of Humane Blood. The King chusing rather by Cle­mency to win them to his Party, than by a severe Execution of the Laws in Force [Page 269]against them, to compell their Consciences in Matters relating to God.

Yet many Men are of Opinion, That this Royal Condescention will not have its desir'd Effect, upon a Stubborn and Ungrateful sort of People; who instead of being oblig'd to Fidelity and Obedience by such Indulgent Favours, are apt to interpret them as Ar­guments of the King's Impotence and Disa­bility to punish those that resist his Authori­ty, and to harden themselves the more in their Factious Insolence: As it will appear by what I am going to relate of a certain Religious Furioso, a Huguenot by Profession. This Fellow coming one Day into the Great Temple in Paris, which they call Nostre Dame, makes up directly toward the Priest who was celebrating the Mass; and waiting a convenient Season to execute his Purpose, just as the Priest was elevating that which they esteem the Sacramental Body of Jesus, the Messias, above his Head, according to Custom, that it might be Ador'd by all the Congregation; this Ruffian steps to him, and striking the Wafer out of his Hand, trampl'd it under Foot, and then assassinated the Priest with his Dagger.

The whole Assembly were astonish'd at such an unexampl'd Attempt. They stood still like Statues for a while, and suffer'd the Villain to pass through the Throng, till he came to the very Gate of the Temple: When beginning to rouze out of their Stupefacti­on, some run after him, and so he was siez'd, [Page 270]and carried before the next Cadi, or Judge of Criminal Causes, who condemn'd him to have his Right Hand first cut off before the Gate of the same Temple, where he had been guilty of this Assassine and Prophana­tion, and his Body presently afterwards to be burnt alive. Which was accordingly exe­cuted.

But not thinking this a sufficient Expia­tion of the Dishonour done to God, the Archbishop of Paris commanded Publick Prayers to be made which they call the Orai­sons of Forty Hours. He appointed also a Solemn Procession of all the Clergy to the Temple of Nostre Dame, to cleanse it from the Defilement (which, according to their Be­lief) it had contracted by this Impious Acti­on. The Soveraign Companies of the City likewise, attended these Ceremonies in their Robes of Honour, to testifie their Devotion.

Thou wilt not conclude me an Infidel, or say that I undertake the Patronage of the Roman Religion, if I condemn this Fellow as a Martyr to his own Presumption and Ar­rogance. The Romans and Huguenots are all alike to me, so long as they are equally Ene­nemies to the Messenger of God. But it is not decent or wise, neither Good Manners nor Policy to affront the Establish'd Reli­gion of the Country where a Man lives. 'Twas sufficient that this Ruffian, and all his Brethren, had the Liberty of serving God after their own Way. It was an unpardona­ble [Page 271]Immorality to disturb the lawful Priests of the Nation, especially in so barbarous a Manner, in the very Heighth of their Myste­ries, the midst of their Daily Sacrifice at the Altar of their God; where they profess to immolate after a transcendant Manner, no less than the Body and Blood of the Messias,

Doubtless, all Nations are Zealous for their Religion, and we Mussulmans shou'd not scruple to put to Death a Head-strong Giafer, who wou'd presume but to pollute our Sacred Mosques by his Uncircumcised Presence; much less should we spare him, if he attempted to offer any Violence to a True Believer, as he was Adoring the Eter­nal Ʋnity, after the way observed by our Fa­thers, and commanded by the Prophet. And tho' these Nazarenes are Worshippers of Images and Pictures; tho' they Adore that, which to all outward Appearance is but a Piece of Bread; yet the Precept of Moses ought to be regarded, which says, Ye shall not Blaspheme the Gods of the Nations whi­ther ye go to dwell.

Venerable Successor of Moses and the Pro­phets, vouchsafe to pray for Mahmut, that whilst he dwells among these Infidels, he may neither make Shipwreck of his Faith, by embracing their Vanities, nor yet forfeit his Discretion by any Rude, Unseemly, or Violent Carriage against them.

LETTER III. To Dgnet Oglou.

THere are a sort of Men among the Na­zarene Ecclesiasticks, whom they call Casuists. These are profoundly Vers'd in the Learning of the Schools, which (if thou remembrest) Honest Father Antonio, the Old Sicilian Priest, our Friend, us'd to term The Science of Husks. A dry, chaffy Sort of Knowledge, consisting only of empty, vapid Notions, windy Idea's, Distinctions made in Sand, which may be effac'd, alter'd, or form'd at Pleasure. The very Contem­plation of these Metaphysical Trifles, is enough to put one in a Fever; so subtle is the Poyson they contain: a spiritual Ve­nom, which darts like Lightning through ones Thoughts, and soon ferments the Soul, boiling our Reason up, to Scum and Froth it self away in Divine Jargon, and Religious Nonsence.

These Men will spilt a Hair in Divinity, to make a Scruple, or to disannull it. They raise a Dust in the Eyes of those that give Heed to them, and play fast and loose with Humane Reason, as it serves a Turn. They'll make a Hog of a Cushion, and turn an Elephant into a Coffee-Dish, with their enchanting Haecceities, Identities, Quatenus's, [Page 273]and the Rest of their Learned Legerdemain, the perfect Hocus-Pocus of the Sorbonne, by which they juggle Men out of their Senses, and frame Chimaera's far more Monstrous than those in the Fictions of Ovid, or the more Early and Mysterious Poems of Mu­saeus, Orpheus, and Hesiod. They teach Men to stumble at a Feather in the way of a Religious Life, yet not to boggle at a Milstone or a Mountain, where Interest calls for Resolution and Speed. They start more Difficulties than themselves can an­swer in the Cases of the Poor: But where Plenty of Gold appears, every Thing is made easie and plain. Mere Higglers in Re­ligion; Quacks and Empiricks in Matters of Conscience; murdering a Thousand Distem­per'd Souls, for one they Cure: Pretending to be Guides to Paradise, they lead Men through uncouth Paths, and intricate wind­ings, till they are lost in Labyrinths of Error, bordering on the Confines of Hell. And then they leave 'em to themselves; where, if they make One false Step, they go out of their Bounds, trespass on the Devil's Frontiers, and so are either in Danger of a Precipice, or at least of being taken Captives, by the out-lying Scouts of the Infernal Kingdom, from whom 'tis dif­ficult to escape.

There were such as these also among the Jews and Gentiles of Old, and so there are at this Day, in all Religions, Men who are severe in Punctilio's, and neglect the [Page 274]more Important Precepts of the Law. Nor can the Mussulmans themselves be free from this Embarassment of the Faith and Truth brought down from Heaven.

If thou observest the grave and supercili­ous Looks of our Imaum's, Mollah's, Cadi's, &c. Thou'lt take 'em for the Justest Men, the Holyest Saints on Earth. Mark but their Discourse, 'tis an Abridgement of the Alco­ran. They're seen each Morning at the First Hour of Publick Prayer, walking be­fore the Mosques, or sitting in the Royal Coemeteries, under some Melancholy Cypress, reading the Book of Assonah, or some other Spiritual Treatise. With Eyes cast up to Heaven, or humbly fix'd upon the Ground, and Minick Postures of their Hands, they act Devotion to the Life: Yet, in their Hearts, perhaps, are studying how to Cir­cumvent their Neighbour.

Go to these Persons for Instruction in any doubtful Case: They'll hamper thee with far-fetch'd Terms and crabbed Problems: With formal Aspects, and tedious Circumlo­cutions, stroaking their Beards, and sighing from Deceitful Breasts, they'll Industriously amuse thy Soul with Dark Aenigma's, and trapan thy Sense in Snares of Insignificant and Untelligible Words; striving to make thee believe, they are the Pick-Locks of the Eternal Cabinet, if not the Privy-Counsel­lors of Heaven: Whereas, the way of Piety is plain, and circumscrib'd with certain noted Boundaries. 'Tis hard indeed for a bewil­der'd [Page 275]Traveller, to find the Narrow Gate and First Avenue of this Sacred Path, a­mongst so many Gorgeous, Glittering Por­tals, ever standing open, and inviting Men into the spacious Fields of Vice. But when he has once enter'd the obscurer Pass, he has nothing else to do, but go directly on, without turning to the Right Hand or the Left; only regarding the fix'd Landmarks of Eternal Truth, invariable Reason, and sound Morality. To speak plainly, A Man's Duty is comprehended in a few easie Rules: And he that goes to render 'em difficult, by knotty, thorny Glosses, throws Stumbling-Blocks before the Feet of True Believers, and interrupts their Pilgrimage to Hea­ven.

My Friend, if any Pious Scruples trou­ble thee or me, let us henceforth be our own Casuists; and not by blind implicite Faith, enslave our Souls to Men perhaps more Ignorant than our Selves. The Law is plain and positive, in necessary Matters. What need we seek to entangle our Selves with more?

If we perform our Oraisons at the appoin­ted Hours, What matter is it whether we observe the Six Traditionary Postures, or no? VVe that are Illuminated, I only speak of such. As for the Phlegmatick, Dull Multitude, 'tis fit they shou'd be curb'd with Discipline, and made to observe the nice Punctilio's of Obedience. VVhat signifies the old Versatile Turn of th' Head, [Page 276]from one side to th' other, as if we thought to catch the Prophet peeping o'er our Shoul­ders? Or, VVhere's the Sense of the pro­founder Mystery, of poring on our Fingers with extended Palms, as if we were at School, and learning our Alphabet; or imita­ted the clownish Rusticks of Armenia, who as they work i'th' Fields and Vineyards, will make a Dyal of their Hand, a Gnomon of a Straw, and lose an Hour in stedfast gazing on their dirty Fists, to know what Time of Day 'tis? Then the Mysterious Resting of our Hands upon our Knees, with other For­mal Ceremonies; VVhat are they all, but an External Discipline, confirm'd by Ancient Custom, and observ'd for Order's Sake? This need not trouble thee or me, when e'er we have Occasion to retrench such In­different Niceties.

Nay, to go farther; if we should neglect the stated Periods of Solemn Adoration, compell'd thereto by Sickness, Travelling, or any other Necessity; Be not disconsolate, as if thou hadst been guilty of a Mortal Sin. Some supererogating VVork of Charity, will cancell Ten such Faults as that: Or at least, thou may'st look boldly in the Face of God, when at another Season, on thy Knees, thou makest ample Compensation; Or by sacred Abstinence and Fasting, dispersest all the Mists and Clouds of Guilt, that sate so hea­vy on thy Soul. The Times are all alike to him who is Eternal. There's no Distincti­on of Day or Night, with that Immor­tal [Page 277]Essence, who made the Sun and Stars, and is himself th' unchangeable Source of Light.

So, if we shou'd address our Selves to Heaven, without the usual Forms of Prayer, or any words at all; we have no Reason to be sad, as if our Oraisons were Ineffectual and Unheard. In the Eternal High Recess, our silent Vows and softest VVhispers of the Soul, Eccho as loud as the most bold and noisy Clamour of the Tongue. There is a Rank of Spirits among the Rest Above, on purpose made to waft the Secret Thoughts of Mortal Men to Heaven. We cannot fail of Audience there, when e'er we send the least Ejaculation up, with firm Credentials, from the Heart.

In a word, believe my Dgnet, That the Supremely Intelligent and Wise, chiefly re­gards the Intention and Fervour of our Minds, the Habitual Bent of our Souls, with the Innocent and Pious Actions of our Lives. He is not to be mov'd (unless to In­dignation) by the vain Tautologies of our Verbal Oraisons, the nauseating Crambe of devoutest Words, common to Hypocrites and Persons of Sincerity, to the most Incor­rigible Sinners, and the Greatest Saints. The humble Silence of a Heart resign'd to Desti­ny, is a Pacifick Sacrifice, attoning for the greatest Sins, attracting choicest Favours, Smiles and Benedictions from the Eternal. This is the Discipline of Sacred Love; the Rule of perfect Life, the Secret Chart of the [Page 278]Elect, whereby they steer their Course to Paradise.

Which of the Prophets was a formal Beadsman, to number out his Oraisons at Finger's End, and offer up to God a short and vain Retail of Words, in Recompence of Infinite Bounties Past, and in Hopes of more to Come?

VVhen Mahomet was pursu'd by cruel In­fidels, and forc'd to make the VVilderness his Sanctuary, and hide himself within the Hollow of an Aged Oak, He did not seek to amuse th' Eternal with studied Forms of Speech and Humane Eloquence, or tire th' Immortal Ears with a Religious long Ha­rangue; as if he thought to ensnare the General Mercy of the Holy One, in Trains of Artificial and Elaborate Language, or catch his more particular Indulgence, in a Trap of Subtile Rhetorick. The harmless Saint, with Heart and Face, compos'd with Self­denying Thoughts and Looks, stood like a Statue in the Bless'd Asylum: VVhilst gen­tle Rivolets of Compassionate Tears trill'd down his Cheeks, His Soul was pierc'd with Sacred Pity to his Enemies. He sigh'd, and wish'd, in short, whatever Blameless Piety cou'd suggest for him and them. Angels immediately carried the Prophetick Vows to Heaven. His silent passionate Prayer was heard. The Cruel Persecutors, blinded with Impious Fury, rush'd into the Desart; they sp [...]ad themselves abroad and rode at large: One Traytor spurr'd his Horse through [Page 279]thickest VVebs of low entangl'd Thorns and Underwoods, greedy of the Royal and Ma­jestick Prey; whilst others took the open Paths, hoping to overtake the Prophet on the Flight. They seem'd to swim or fly, rather than ride, such was the Swiftness of their Course. Fierce was the Cry, re-eccho'd from the Hollows of the Rocks, and Valleys, [Mecca, for the Head of Mahomet.] Some stumbled at the out-creeping Roots of Trees, and broke a Leg or Arm, by a Precipitate Fall from off their Beasts; whilst others had their Eyes struck Blind by Interfering Twigs. One had his Turbant rudely brush'd off, and Scalp severely shav'd, by broken Stumps of Boughs, and Rows of Knotty Branches, plac'd and bent down by Fate, on Purpose to revenge th' Apostle's Cause on such a Miscreant as this. Another cou'd not curb his Horse from jumping down into a deep blind Quarrey, dugg i'th' midst o'th' VVood, where the proud Heretick dash'd his Skull and Brains upon the Marble Pave­ment at the Bottom. So Sensible and Vin­dictive are Inanimate Creatures, when a Good Man, a Saint, a Friend of God is wrong'd. The very Stocks and Stones, and all the Ele­ments are touch'd with Sacred Sympathies at such a Time. The Frame of Nature feels strange tender Passions, Fits, and Qualms of Amorous Regard: And God himself, if I may so express my self, is rowz'd as from a Trance, and snatching up the Weapons of his Power [Page 280]and VVrath, runs like a Champion to de­fend the Cause of injur'd Innocence.

But, I forget that I am writing a Letter, and therefore ought to be Brief. Besides, what I have said, is sufficient to convince thee, That I have an Idea of Religion, far different from that which the Casuists, whether Mus­sulmans or Christians, would Imprint in Men's Minds.

If thou can'st not think as I do, I con­demn thee not. Use thy Native Freedom; but remember, That tho' Men's Reasons and Opinions vary as do their Faces; yet Truth is Homogeneous, Uniform, and ever of the same Complexion, in all Ages and Nations.

LETTER IV. To the Kaimacham.

THE King of France has lately made a League with the King of England. VVhereupon the People, by way of Pro­verb, say, That Mars and Jupiter are now in Conjunction: Reflecting thereby on the different Tempers of these Two Princes. The One, Debonaire and Jovial, Excessively addicted to VVomen and VVine, yet not forgetting or declining Martial Affairs, when his Honour or Interest invites him to take up Arms: The Other seeming wholly taken up with the Thoughts of Conquest, and en­larging his Dominions; yet sparing some Time for the Enjoyment of Himself, and Prosecution of his Amours.

However, both of them now have pro­claim'd Open VVar against the Hollanders, by Sea and Land. The King of Sweden, who was before an Allie of the Dutch, has of late declar'd himself a Neuter. And the Bishop of Munster, who is one of the Ele­ctors of the German Empire, is engag'd in the French Interest.

Thus are some of the Princes and States in Europe divided already; and God knows how far the Breach may extend in Time.

'Tis not altogether unworthy of Remark, what different Factions there were of Late [Page 282]amongst the Hollanders themselves, tho' a Republick pretending to greater and faster Union of Interests, than what can be found in any Monarchy. Yet this Commonwealth was rent into Three several Parties: VVhere­of One was headed by the Prince of Orange; the Other by John De-Wit; and the Third was compos'd of the Commons, without any Chief of Note.

I will [...] trouble thee with a Character of the Prince of Orange. He is already known by Fame at the Sublime Port. As to John De-Wit, I can give no other Account at present; but that he was a Person whom For­tune had rais'd to such an Eminence in the Commonwealth, as made him the Prince of Orange's Rival, and Competitor for the Su­premacy. Therefore he sought to exclude him from all Employments and Offices of Trust, that he might establish himself in his Place.

The Third Party, whom we may call Re­publicans, were of Opinion, That it was not for the Honour of the Commonwealth to ac­knowledge any Head; judging that the Esta­blishment or Exclusion, the Rise or Fall of the Prince or De Wit, ought to be a Thing Indifferent to the States. In regard the Commonwealth appear'd in their sight sufficiently to flourish, under the Protection of her own Arms and Riches, without having any Need of either the Prince of Orange's As­sistance, or De Wit's.

[Page 283]However, notwithstanding these Animo­sities of the Hollanders among themselves; as soon as they found themselves engag'd in a War with Two such Potent Monarchs, They all Unanimously chose the Prince of Orange, as General of their Army; Remem­bring the Famous Actions of his Fathers, the Princes of the House of Nassaw; by whose Valour and Conduct, they had gain'd and conserv'd their Liberties. On the other side, De Wit having rendred himself Odious to the Vulgar, was by them torn in pieces: Such a Destiny oft happening to those who aspire to raise themselves by Unlawful Me­thods, and who are Ambitious to be the Ringleaders of a Faction.

The French call the Prince of Orange, a Ge­neral without an Army; In Regard, the Hol­landers being as yet only upon the Defensive, and their Towns wanting strong Garrisons; their Soldiers are all dispos'd of this Way, so that there is little or no Appearance of a Field-Army.

This is Certain, the King of France is the most Gallant Prince in Europe. he passes from Divertisements to the Toils of War; and from the Champaign returns to his Plea­sures again. Thus, 'tis difficult to distin­guish between his Labours and Recreations; his Pleasures and his Business. They seem to be near of Kin, that he takes equal Plea­sure in both

'Twas but a little before the first Appear­ances of this War, That he and his Queen [Page 284]were revelling in the Gardens of Chantilly, where a Royal Entertainment was prepar'd for them by Night. The Court attended them thither; and there the Roman Luxury was seen in Royal Miniature. As soon as the Gates were open'd, there appear'd an Artificial Day; so light was the Place made with Flambeau's and Lamps: Which being well plac'd among the Trees, with other refin'd Illuminations, adorn'd with Chaplets of Flowers, which presented the Eye with a pleasing Medly of Colours, interspers'd with Oranges, Citrons, and other agreeable Fruits, transported the Company with ex­quisite Delight. All together pretty well resembl'd a Forest in a Chamber: For the Walls not being far from the Place where the King sate, were hung with Arras, with a Multitude of Lights burning near the Hang­ings: And there was a Spring of Water in the Middle of the Garden, raising it self af­ter a wonderful Manner into the Form of a High Pyramid; and falling again into Three Basons of Marble successively from one to the other, made a pleasant Spectacle to the Courtiers.

Then a most Magnificent Collation was serv'd up with Vocal and Instrumental Mu­sick, so soft and fine, with a sudden Dew cooling the Air, which had a Smell like Sweet-Bryars, as render'd the Place a per­fect Paradise. After which followed the King's Supper, far surpassing the other Ban­quet in all Manner of Delicacy and Polite­ness, [Page 285]as well as the stupendious Abundance of Dishes. When Supper was ended, they were entertain'd with a Show of something Admirable and New in Fire-Works. But, tho' it be so to them, I will not trouble thee with a Description of it, since thou hast seen far Finer and more Costly at Constantinople, or where-ever the Great Sultan kept his Resi­dence at the Time of a Dunalma.

After this, the King went to see the New Fortifications of Dunkirk, which he had or­der'd not long before. And in a little time, follow'd this Declaration of War against Holland.

So things go in a Circle; from War to Peace; from Peace to War again. Howe­ver, thou wilt the better know by what I have said, how to comport thy self, in Case of any Difference between the English, French, and Hollanders at the Sublime Port. God inspire thee with Climacterical Wisdom, to adjust all Difficulties in their Stated Periods.

LETTER V. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior.

THou hast born with a Thousand Imper­tinencies in my Letters; and I know not, whether what I'm now going to write, will deserve a better Character. However, I feel a Spirit within me, checking my Stu­pid Mind, in that I was not before sensible of my Error, but must make so late a Re­cantation. It is impossible for me to reflect on the vain and trifling Subjects I have all along entertain'd thee with, and not to blush at so grand an Oversight; Since I then seem'd not so much as to regard thy Know­ledge and Practice in Medicines, which has exalted thee to the Honour of being plac'd in the Front of those who take Care of the Grand Signior's Health. Much less did I pre­sent thee with Matters suitable to thy more Interiour Knowledge, and that hidden VVis­dom, which deservedly ranks thee among the most Perfect and Accomplish'd Mor­tals.

In Ancient Times, Theology and Physick were counted Sciences of such a near Rela­tion and mutual Dependance, that one cou'd not subsist without the other. By Physick they meant the General Science of [Page 287] Nature, otherwise termed Magick: VVhich comprehended under it the Knowledge of the Heavens, the Elements, and every Being within their vast Circumference; The Mo­tions of Sun, Moon, and Stars, their various Aspects, Influences, and Dominions in this Lower VVorld; The Nature of the Winds and Meteors, with their Effects; The Vir­tues of all Plants, and Living Creatures; as also of Insensible Things, the Metals, Mi­nerals, and other Substances found both on the Surface of the Earth, within its Concave, and in the Sea.

Such as these of Old, were Apollonius Tyanaeus, with the Magi of Persia and Chaldaea. Such was Hierarchas among the Brachmans; Tespion the Gymnosophist; Bud­da the Babylonian; Numa Pompilius at Rome; Zamolxides of Thrace; Abbaris the Hypberborean; Hermes Trismegistus of Egypt; Zoroaster the Son of Oromases, King of Bactria; Evantes, an Arabian King; Za­charias a Babylonian; Joseph a Hebrew: VVith many others of different Nations; as, Zenotenus, Kirannides, Almadal, Thetel, Alchind, Abel, Ptolomy, Geber, Zahel, Nazabarub, Tebiti Aerith, Salomon, Astrophon, Hipparchus, Alomeon, &c. And of later Date, Albertus, Surnam'd the Great, Arnol­dus de Villa Nova, Cardan, Raymund Lullius: VVith a few more, not worth the Na­ming.

These contemplated the Secret Force and Virtue of Celestial and Sublunary Things; [Page 288]the hidden Sympathy between them, and the Mysterious Powers of Nature. Then having by a curious and painful Scrutiny trac'd out the true Genealogies of Things; cast their Nativities; and discover'd all their Kindred, Allies, Friends and Enemies; knew by applying in due Seasons, Actives to pro­per Passives, how to produce Effects ap­pearing stupendious Prodigies to the Vulgar, and no less than Miracles: VVhereas, all this is but a pure Result of Nature, help'd by Humane Art. So VVatches, Dyals, Clocks, and Mirrours, appear'd at first to th' Igno­rant VVorld, the Effects of Magick: Espe­cially the Simple Natives of America, shew'd little more VVit than Apes or Cats, which look behind the Glass, to find the Active Figure of themselves, that they saw in it.

And now I'm got amongst those poor Barbarians, I can't forget a Passage of a Peruvian Slave, who being sent by his Spanish Master with a Basket of choice Fruit and a Letter to his Friend; The silly Ignoramus being faint, by Reason of the excessive Heat; his Journey being also tedious, from the Town of Lima to a Village near the Moun­tains of Potosi, eat up the Fruit by the way, to allay his Hungry Thirst. However, not having so good a Stomach to the Letter, he deliver'd it safe to the Person to whom it was address'd; never once dreaming, that an Insensible Piece of Paper cou'd tell Tales. But, that discovering his Crime when he came home, his Master order'd him the [Page 289] Bastinado, to make him sensible of it. Then he was sent again on the same Errand, with Oranges and a Letter; and meeting with the same Temptation, he knew not what to do. At last, he hid the Letter under a Heap of Sand; wisely concluding, That if it saw him not, it cou'd ne'er betray his Fact. Howe­ver, to secure it from all Means of peeping, he spread his Mantle o'er the Place, and then fell roundly to his Banquet; thinking he shou'd now have no Accuser. In fine, he eat up all the Oranges, and was worse bang'd for his Pains than the time before.

Generous Hali, thou seest I'm fall'n into the same Error for which I made Apology at the Beginning of this Letter: But, thou canst easily forgive such Crimes as these. Suffer me only to relapse thus far, That I may mention the Mathematical Magicians; such as Archytas, who made a Wooden Pigeon to fly; and Albert the Great, who taught a Brazen Head to speak: not forgetting him unknown by Name, who gave to the Statues of Mercury, Voluble Tongues, and Elegant Language; by whose Mechanick Art, a Bra­zen Serpent learnt to hiss; and Birds of the same Metal, with other Helps, outvy'd the Nightingales and Thrushes in their Melody.

I will not omit the Execrable Practices of Necromancers, or such as Invocate the Dead, and with nefandous Ceremonies, Rites and Sacrifice, call to their Aid Infernal Spirits; bind them in Crystals, or some other Vehi­cle; and then Adore them, as the Ancient [Page 290] Romans did their Lares and Penates. These are their Oracles which they consult in all Emergencies; and by their Help, work Won­ders in the World, foretell Things Future, and reveal the most remote and hidden Se­crets, whether Past or Present. Nor is this a Fable or an Old Wives Tale; for, unless the experienc'd Nations of the Earth had found some real Evils, from Wizards, Magicians and Witches; they wou'd not have made so severe Laws against them, as to aim at their Extermination from the Earth.

Neither need we admire; that Women are as much addicted to these cursed Vani­ties as Men; since they are naturally more in­quisitive into Secrets, and less cautious of be­ing impos'd upon: They're prone to Super­stition; and, from their Infancy, bred up to observe their Dreams, their Moles, and other Marks upon their Bodies. They covet all the Depth of Palmestry and Physiognomy; be­sides a thousand other little Follies.

If they meet a Man i'th' street at first go­ing out, they are encourag'd, and take it for a Sign of their good Fortune: but, if one of their own Sex encounters them; they curse the undesigning Female, and return home again. They observe Fatal Days, and Nights, and certain Critical Hours, wherein they try Experiments to know their Future Husbands. They brew Enchanting Philters for their Lo­vers, and Intoxicate them with Liquors, wherein young Human Cupids have been boil'd, with Herbs as powerfull to effect [Page 291]their Wish, as those that Circe or Medea knew. In short, there is no Species of Sor­tilegy, or Divination, which vain young Mai­dens are not practis'd in. Which is a fair Disposition, or Introduction, to the Blackest kind of Magick.

But blessed are they, O Pious and most learned Hali, who being profoundly skill'd, and daily conversant in the Science of Na­ture, have never yet tainted themselves by any unlawfull Commerce with Spirits Un­clean, Infernal, and Enemies to God. They are Divine Magicians, having Celestial Cha­racters, the Hidden Name of God imprinted on their Souls; whereby they are able to at­tract the Angels, and make the Highest Spi­rits obey them.

Hali, God grant that thou may'st be one of this Venerable and Happy Number. Fare­well.

LETTER VI. To Orchan Cabet, Student of the Sciences, and Pensioner to the Grand Signior.

IT has been a long time since the Christians have openly publish'd Libels against our Holy Lawgiver, and the Book which he recei­ved from the Hands of Gabriel, one of the Chief Princes of Heaven: They affirm for an undoubted Truth, That Mahomet him­self compos'd that Volume of Light, by the Help of Nestorius a Christian Monk, and Abdalla a Jew: And that it is but an Arti­ficial Medley, a Hotch-potch, or Gallimaufry of Pagan, Jewish and Christian Principles; cunningly suited and blended together, in order to gain Proselytes of all Religions.

I protest by the Veneration I owe to the Eternal God of Heaven, That I really believe the Alcoran to be of Divine Original. Such is the inimitable Elegance of the Style, the Brightness and Force of its Reasons and Argu­ments the wonderfull and charming Contex­ture of Things Historical, Moral and Divine; That all the Writings in the World beside, seem to me flat and insipid, compar'd with this Sacred and Stupendous Pandect of Wisedom. Yet, I must confess, I know not how to an­swer [Page 293]the Accusation of the Nazarenes, be­cause I have never read any Mussulman Trea­tise, that undertook to refute these Calum­nies: Which makes me apt to think, there is none such extant. For, I have made dili­gent Enquiry, discours'd with several Lear­ned Doctors of our Law; but can gain no Satisfaction in that Point.

Perhaps, our Fathers in former Ages, were ignorant how the Messenger of God had been traduc'd by the Christians: or if they knew it, yet they disdain'd to answer such Malicious Lyes. And as for these Mo­dern Times, the Zeal of Religion is grown too Cold among the True Believers. Every one is carried away with Self-Love, whilst no Man will be at the Pains to defend the Truth, or manifest the Errors of our Ene­mies. Besides, it is now impossible to dis­prove what they say concerning Nestorius and Abdalla; unless we cou'd produce Au­thors of unquestionable Authority, who liv'd in Mahomet's Time, and so could give a more exact Account of his Life, than those that came after them.

However, if we consult common Reason, we shall find it very improbable, That Three Men of such Contrary Principles, as a Jew, a Christian and a Pagan, should all volunta­rily agree and jump in one Design of brewing their several Religions together, and drawing such an Extract from them as could suit with neither of their Parties singly, and was like to have all of them together for its Enemies [Page 294]and Persecutors: There was no Ground for them to expect the Conversion of any Jews, so long as the Alcoran asserts Jesus the Son of Mary to be the True Messias, the Word and Breath of God, Worker of Miracles, Healer of Diseases, Preacher of Heavenly Doctrine; and Examplary Pattern of a perfect Life; de­nying that he was Crucify'd, but affirming that he Ascended into Paradise. Whereas the Jews call him an Execrable Impostor, Magi­cian, Seducer of the Nations; and finally, by way of extreme Derision, they term him the Man that was hang'd on a Tree.

Neither was the Alcoran like to find any better Entertainment among the Christians, for this last Reason; In that it denies the Crucifixion of the Messias, which is the Ba­sis whereon all the Superstructure of their Religion is built; 'tis the Angular Stone of Christianity. Besides, they cou'd never be reconcil'd to Polygamy, Circumcision, aboli­shing of Images and Pictures, nor to a great many other Things which the Mussulman Law enjoyns. Especially, they could never brook the Denial of the Trinity.

And for the same Reason, this suppos'd patch'd Form of Religion would have been as little welcom to the Gentiles, in that it took from them the Multitude of their Gods, and asserted the Ʋnity of the Divine Essence. So that all Circumstances being weigh'd, it appears that the Alcoran, since it has had such Success in the World, could not be forg'd by those Three, nor compos'd by any Humane [Page 295]Pen; but is of Divine Original. Besides, had there been such a Triumvirate known in the Case, the Coraei's of Mecca, and other Mortal Enemies of Mahomet and his Do­ctrine, would not have spar'd to upbraid him with it: And if they were not known to the Arabians who were conversant with him, how come the Christians to be inform'd of this private Cabal, who were altogether Strangers to Mahomet at that Time?

Consider well these Things, and thou wilt have no Reason to give Credit to the Calum­nies and lying Aspersions cast on the Apostle of God, by Ʋnbelievers; but being more and more confirm'd in the Ʋndefiled Faith, wilt glorifie God, who has guided thee into the Right Way, and not into the VVay of Infi­dels, and of those with whom he is displeas'd.

Orchan, as thou art endu'd with great Lear­ning, I counsel thee to employ it in defend­ing the Cause of the Prophet, who cou'd nei­ther Write nor Read.

LETTER VII. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Em­pire.

HEre has been hot Work this Summer in the West. The King of France has made such swift and large Conquests on the Hollanders, that they have hardly had Time to consider their Losses, and the Number of their Towns fallen into their Enemies Hands.

It always falls out so, when this Monarch. goes in Person to the Campaign as he did this Year. In a very little Time he took Burich, Orsoy, Rimberg, Vezel, Rees, Em­merick, and many other Places. Yet this Success was allay'd with the Death of the Duke of Longueville, who fell a Victim, ei­ther to his Dullness or Temerity, in not hearing or not receiving the Cries of the Enemy, who demanded Quarter as the French were passing the Rhine. He was shot with a Musket-Bullet: and the Duke of Enguien, his Cousin, verry narrowly escap'd; for they were both jointly engag'd in the same Action.

The Death of this Prince is much lamen­ted, not only by those of his Family, but by the whole Court and City, as being the [Page 297]Flower of his Time; having signaliz'd his Valour at the Siege of Candie, the Conquest of the Franche-Comptè, and other Warlike Expeditions. And they discourse, as if he had been design'd to stand Candidate for the Polish Crown.

I am the more particular in this Relation, because the Enterprize of the French King in passing the Rhine, is look'd upon as one of the most hardy and bold, that ever was taken in Hand. In all the Histories of these Parts, there is not one Example of so sur­prizing an Expedition. And the Success answer'd their Expectations: For the Hol­landers were extremely daunted and dis­heartned by the News of these Exploits. In a little Time Arnheim and Nimeghen, were reduc'd to the King's Obedience; with the Fort of Skin, and Towns of D'Oesburg, Bomel, Zutphen; Deventer, the Metropolis of a Province; with Weifet, Tongres, Maseick, Dortemein, Elbourgh, Woerden, Arnham, another Capital City, with many more Pla­ces, too tedious to be rehears'd.

In a Word, such are his Expeditions, Marches, his Sage Counsels, his Never-fail­ing Success, That the People think it no Flattery to call him a Second Alexander the Great, Timurleng, Scanderbeg, Scipio, Hannibal, and all the Great Heroick Names in the World.

To speak the Truth, the Kings of France have all along made an Illustrious Figure in the World. And their Famous Exploits in [Page 298]War, with their Heroick Actions in Time of Peace, afford sufficient Matter for the highest Panegyricks, without an occasion of Hyperbole's. Which made one of the Roman Mufti's, in a Letter to the King of France, thus express himself: ‘"By how much the Royal Dignity transcends the State of other Men, so far is the Monarchy of France exalted above all the Kingdoms in the World."’ Pope Ʋrban IV. said, That the King of France was as the Morning Star in the Firmament of Princes; brighter than all other Kings, a perfect God on Earth. 'Tis asserted by another Author, That by the King of France's Shadow, the whole VVorld is rul'd. And such was the Esteem which Pope Clement had for this Monarchy, that he granted a Hundred Days Indulgence to every one that pray'd for the King of France; to which Pope Innocent IV. added Ten Days more.

'Tis a Maxim in the Salick Law, That the King of France never dies. But this in­deed is altogether as True in Spain, Great-Britain, and other Hereditary Kingdoms, till the Succession fails. For then it degene­rates to an Elective Monarchy, or otherwise into Aristocracy; or last of all into Demo­cracy, or a Republick.

But France is yet free from these painted Forms of Slavery. Her Kings are Masculine and Vigorous; her Queens Chast and Fruit­full. There never wants an Heir apparent to the Crown. And this secures the Nation [Page 299]from a Thousand Calamities, which atten Elective Monarchies, and more Popular Forms of Government.

What Injustices, Cruelties, Massacres, and all manner of Publick Grievances were complain'd of in Rome, after Claudius Caesar had bought the Empire of his Souldiers? VVhat Bicke­rings between the Senate, the People, and the Armies? Each Party would have an Emperor of their own chusing, one Province was Emulous of another: So that some­times there have been Twenty or Thirty Emperors together, all claiming the Sove­reignty. And when there were but Two, such was the Obstinate and Strong Dispute between them, That they have been forc'd to share the Empire equally, as the only Means to prevent its utter Dissolution, Hence sprung the First Institution of Col­leagues in the Empire. And this was the Root of those Factions and Divisions, which encreasing and growing up with Time, branch'd forth into smaller Schisms; till at length, by the Ambition of some, the Mis­fortune or Carelessness of others, or at least their want of Power and Courage; that Mighty Empire was Cantoniz'd, rent in Pieces, and dwindl'd into that narrow Domi­nion which it now possesses under the Tutelage of the House of Austria. And there appear no hopes of its ever being restor'd again to its pristine Grandeur, unless the Bourbons, with their growing Fortune, shall Crown the Eagle with a Chaplet of Flower-de-Lys's, [Page 300]and change the Seat of the Western Monar­chy, from Improsperous Vienna, to All-con­quering Paris.

In a Word, Henry IV. began the Design; Lewis XIII. carried it on; and this present King has so far improv'd it, by his Match­less Fortune and Courage, that in all Pro­bability, this or the next Age will see it brought to Perfection.

Accomplish'd Minister, I bow my self with Abundance of Interior Veneration, to the Dust of thy Feet: I affectionately kiss the Border of thy Robe, and bid thee a devout Adieu.

LETTER VIII. To William Vospel, a Recluse of Austria.

THy Letters make me very restless and inquisitive; They awaken New Doubts and Scruples in my Breast, instead of remo­ving or satisfying the Old Ones. Fresh Que­ries start in my Mind; and the more thou labourest to fasten me in thy narrow Super­stition, and bigotted Zeal for the Infallibility of the Pope and the Roman Church, the loo­ser I grow. My Soul is like a Wild Colt of the Wilderness, that tosses up his Head, snuffs the Air in Indignation, and scorning the Bridle of Servitude, neighs for Joy at his Native Liberty, scampering at large through the solitary VVaste; nor can he be wheedl'd by Humane Craft, to lose his beloved Free­dom, or change it for a Tame Captivity.

I have revolv'd in my Mind the Ages that are Past, and the Years of Untraceable Ori­gin. I have examin'd the Times and Sea­sons of the VVorld, recorded in History; from Adam to Moses, from Moses to Jesus, and from Jesus to these present Days where­in we live. After all, I find that the Me­moirs of Former Transactions are cover'd with great Darkness; yet there are not want­ing some Glimmerings of Light, to direct [Page 302]a diligent Mind, an Impartial Lover of Truth.

Jesus the Son of Mary, was of the Stock of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was e­ducated in the Law of Moses, which he ob­serv'd in all Things to a Tittle: And in his Life time he said, Think not that I come to de­stroy the Law, but to perfect it. His Apostles observ'd the same Rule, and in all Things were strict Observers of the Stated Precepts. So were the Primitive Christians, even to the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath; besides the First Day of the Week, appointed for the Publick Celebration of their own Mysteries. They abstain'd from Blood, and from Things strangl'd, and from all Ʋnclean Meats, and such as were Sacrific'd to Idols. They had no Images or Pictures in their Churches, Cha­pels, or Oratories. In fine, they observ'd all the Necessary Purifications, and Ador'd One God with Unity of Heart, a Lively Faith, and Good VVorks. VVhereas thou seest, the present Roman Church follows quite con­trary Maxims. They give the Lye to our Lord's own Declaration; and positively say, That he came on purpose to Abolish the Law, and introduce an Ʋniversal Liberty; That we may now as freely banquet on the Blood of slain Beasts, as on the Milk of the Living; and Eat of Swines Flesh, and other Abomi­nable Food, with as little Detriment to our Souls, as on the Flesh of Lambs, or other clean Creatures allow'd by the Law of God.

[Page 303]How can this hang together, or be credi­ted by any Rational Man? 'Tis no wonder there are so many Libertines and Atheists in the VVorld, when they find Christianity to be a mere Heap of palpable Contradictions.

To this thou wilt answer, according to the common Rule of Divines, That during the Primitive Times, the Apostles and all other Christians observ'd the Law of Moses, for fear of giving Scandal to the Jews, of whom great Numbers were converted to the Christian Faith, when they saw that the Followers of Jesus did not deviate from the Institutions of the Seniors, the Statutes of the House of Jacob: But that afterwards, when the Gospel was preach'd far and wide on the Face of the Earth, and that many of the Gentile Nations were brought over to the Church; it was no longer necessary, for the sake of so Contemptible a People as the Jews, to scandalize all the Rest of the World, and impose on them a Yoke which they were not accustom'd to bear, and which wou'd tempt them to shake off Christianity it self, rather than submit to so Intolerable a Burden: Therefore the Church, to facilitate as much as in her lay, the Conversion of the Roman Empire, which then extended it self over the Greatest Part of the Earth; accommodated her Injunctions, Precepts, Manners, and Ceremonies of Re­ligion, to the present Humour and Mode of those Times. And whereas the Gentiles eat [Page 304]of all Meats Indifferently; so they were taught, that this was agreeable to the VVill of our Lord Jesus, who came to rescue Men from the Slavery and Bondage of Mosaick Superstitions.

By the very same Rule, they introduc'd the Use of Images and Pictures in their Churches: And the Vestments of the Priests, the Orna­ments of the Altar, the Tapers, Lamps, In­cense, Flower-Pots, and other Religious Gay­eties; were fashion'd according to the Pat­terns they receiv'd from the Priests of Jupi­ter, Apollo, Venus, Diana, and the rest of the Heathen Deities. Hence the Festivals of the Gods and Goddesses, were turn'd to Holy­days of Saints; and Temples before conse­crated to the Sun, Moon and Stars, were a­fresh Dedicated to the Apostles and Martyrs. Thus the very Pantheon it self in Rome, or Temple of All the Gods, in Process of Time, by an Ecclesiastick Dexterity, was Converted to the Church of All-Saints. In a word, Christianity in all Things seem'd no other than Gentilism in Disguise. And it must be thought a Pious Fraud, thus to wheedle so many Millions of Sinners into the Bosom of the Church, whether they wou'd or no.

Oh! Father William, dost thou not blush at these Trivial Excuses, for the manifest Violation of the Laws of God? Can Man be wiser than the Omnipotent? Or will he presume to correct the Ways of Him that is Perfect in Knowledge? Is the True Religion to be propagated by imitating the Idolatrous [Page 305]Rites of Infidels? Or by prostituting the Sa­cred Injunctions of Heaven, to the Caprices of Humane Policy? Did ever any wise Law­giver condescend to alter and new-model his Laws, to humour a peevish captious Subject? VVou'd he add or diminish any Thing for the Sake of gaining a Faction or Party? And can we think, that God ever design'd, or can be pleas'd to have his Divine Laws gar­bl'd and mix'd with profane Indulgences, Dispensations and Amendments of Mortals? As if he had been Ignorant what he did, when he divulg'd his Statutes, and wanted the Counsel of his Creatures to help him out at a dead Lift.

Was that Tenderness to be only shew'd to the Jews for a Time? And were they for e­ver afterwards to be scandaliz'd? In vain do's the Church daily pray for the Conversion of that People, whilst by her Doctrines and daily Practices, she hardens them more in their Infidelity. The Ethiopian Church is a standing Witness against her to this Day, where the Christians from all Antiquity, e­ven from the Times of the Apostles, have kept that Part of the Law of Moses, which relates to Cleanness and Ʋncleanness, and prescribes the Choice we are to make of Meats allow'd to be Eaten, forbidding those that are Execrable, and an Abomination. Hence it is, that there are more Jews Con­verted to the Christian Belief in that Country, than in any other Part of the World beside.

[Page 306]It was, in my Opinion, to begin at the wrong End, thus to neglect the Salvation of the Jews, our Elder Brethren, from whom we receiv'd the Oracles of God, and run to proselyte the Gentiles by such preposterous Methods, as render'd us in a manner as much Their Converts, as them Ours: since we shuffl'd our Religions together at Random, and made a Lottery of Divine and Humane Institutions; exchanging one Species of Su­perstition and Idolatry for another; bartering Jupiter for Peter; and Mars for Paul; Venus and her Cupid, for the Virgin Mary, and her Child Jesus: A God for an Apostle; and a Demy-God for a Martyr: Whilst the Law it self, which is the Foundation and Main Prop of True Religion, lies neglected and trampled under Foot.

The Christians of the East, seem more Excusable than we: For, tho' they are not so punctual in observing all the Niceties of Cleanness and Ʋncleanness, Meats and Drinks, &c. as those of Ethiopia: yet they will not taste of Blood, or any Thing Stran­gl'd. And their Ecclesiasticks abstain from all Manner of Flesh, during the whole Course of their Lives. They observe also many Purifications, and wholesome Rules of Life. Whereas we of the Latin Church, wallow in all Manner of Filthiness like Swine, and bless our selves, as if we were the Only True Catholicks, the Elect of God, in the High Road to Heaven. I am at a Loss, what to think of these Things. Neither [Page 307]ca I ever hope to see the Jews converted, till these Offences are remov'd.

There is a Rumour spread up and down, of the Wandring Jew. I suppose thou hast heard of such a Man. He is now at Astra­can, and Preaches every where that there will be a Reformation of Christianity, after the Year 1700. That the Jews shall be Conver­ted, and all this to be perform'd by the Ad­miral Gifts of an English Man, who shall restore Truth to its Primitive Lustre and Integrity. They say, He will cause the Images and Pictures to be utterly destroy'd, and the Law of Moses to be kept, so far as relates to Cleanness and Ʋncleanness, &c. That in his Days, the Temple of Solomon, shall be rebuilt, and the World shall put on a new Face.

Father William, I wou'd not have thee de­spise these Things, since they have been long foretold by Joachim the Abbot, by St. Metho­dius, by Nostredamus the French Prophet, and by many other Eminent Persons, whose Writings are extant, and many of their Predictions are already come to pass. The Roman Church manifestly stands in Need of a Reformation: And since the Governours of it cannot be prevail'd on to set their Hands to so Pious a Work, we know not but God may effect it by the means of a Stranger, some Obscure Person at present, but whose Light may shine hereafter through all Generations.

[Page 308] Father William, thou wilt pardon the Li­berty I take in discoursing about these Things, and remember, that 'tis a Work of Charity to bear with the Impertinencies of others. However, I thank God I'm out of the Pur­lieu of the Spanish Inquisition.

LETTER IX. To Codarafrad Cheik, a Man of the Law.

I Have a Kinsman by Blood, residing at Astracan, in the Parts of Moscovy. His Name is Isouf, a Man of an ardent Spirit, and active Wit; a great Traveller, and one who makes good that Character by the solid Remarks he has made on the most Impor­tant Things in his Way through Asia, Africk, and Europe. For he is not in the Number of those who come home from Foreign Coun­tries, only laden with Vanities and Tri­fles.

From him I receive frequent Dispatches, since his being setled at Astracan, in Quality of a Merchant; where he improves his Estate to great Advantage, enjoys the Inno­cent [Page 309]Pleasures of Human Life, without suf­fering himself to be tainted with the Vices which are unprofitable, troublesome, and bring Scandal to a Man's Reputation. For some Vices, thou know'st, pass into the Pre­dicament of Vertues, when Interest or Ne­cessity give an Indulgence.

There is a mutual Intercourse between my Cousin and me: And among other Letters which he sends me, I receiv'd one lately; wherein he informs me, that he whom they call the Wandring Jew, of whom I made mention formerly in one of my Dispatches to the Sublime Port, is now at Astracan; That he preaches openly in the Markets, and at the Bourse or Exchange; not refusing private Conversation with any that desire it.

There is a great Conflux of People from all Nations, and of all Religions to that City. He carries himself with an equal In­difference to every various Sect, and they all seem mightily taken with his Doctrines. The Chief Thing he aims at in all his Dis­courses, is, That there will e'er long be an Universal Change of Religion over all the Earth; and that every Nation on the Globe shall worship One God, obey the Law of Jesus the Son of Mary, and embrace One Faith. When he insists on this, he seems to be void of all Doubts and Hesitations; speaks Magisterially, like a Prophet, who has receiv'd a sure and certain Revelation of the Thing he foretells. But when any [Page 310]Dispute with him, not in a Spirit of Cap­tiousness, but to sift the Truth; he freely condescends to answer all their Objections with solid Reasons, and to convince them by their own Principles, that it must be so.

He says, That about the Year 1700 of the Christians Hegira, the Invincible Osmans shall break down the Fences of Europe, and shall overflow all Christendom like a migh­ty Torrent, that has over-top'd its Banks. In those Days there shall be great Desolation in Hungary, Poland, Germany, France, and other Regions of the West. Only Denmark, Sweden, Muscovy, and other Countries of the North shall remain untouch'd. But above all other Nations, he says, Italy will be made a perfect Wilderness, her Cities laid in Ashes, her Immense Wealth plun­der'd and carried away by the greedy Tartars, Arabians and Turks; who will spare neither Age nor Sex, putting all to the Sword, espe­cially the Ecclesiasticks, none of which shall escape the Publick Vengeance, save Three Cardinals, sincere and Holy Persons, who shall fly into England for Sanctuary by the way of the Sea.

That Island, he says, shall become the Refuge of all such who can escape the Cala­mities involving the adjacent Countries. Thither they shall flock with their Wives and Children and all their Wealth, when they shall hear of the approaching Terrors; the present Devastation of Italy, and the [Page 311]Universal Conquests of the Osmans. The King of the Country shall receive those distress'd Fugitives with open Arms, and shall assign them certain Portions of Land, where they may build Houses and Habita­tions for themselves and their Families; there being Abundance of waste Ground in that Island, which they may manure and improve to their Own and the Publick Ad­vantage.

After this, says he, shall arise a certain Man in England from his Obscure Center; a Person fill'd with all Manner of Divine Knowledge and Wisdom, endu'd with the Spirit of Prophecy, of a Graceful Aspect, and Elegant Speech, of a Compos'd Gravi­ty, and Calm Address, a Man Mild, Inno­cent, Temperate, Chaste and Merciful above the Rest of Humane Race. People shall let their Eyes fall on the Ground, when they meet him in the Streets, even before they know what he is; overcome by the Lustre of Modesty, Grace and Vertue which shines in his Countenance. A Person highly belo­ved of God and Man.

This Man shall meet the Three Fugitive Cardinals in an Hour of Destiny. Then that which lay long smothering, shall sud­denly burst forth into a Flame. The Light of God shall be diffus'd through his Soul; his Heart shall be like a Lamp, and his Tongue shall utter marvellous Things. When he opens his Mouth in divulging the Mysteries of God, his Words shall be like [Page 312]the Sparks of an Eternal Fire, kindling Flames of Love in the Breasts of the Hear­ers. The Cardinals shall rise from their Places and run to embrace him. A Coun­cil of the Chief Bishops and Priests of the Land shall be assembled by the King's Or­der, where the Three Cardinals also shall be present; and after mature Deliberation, with Unanimous Consent, they shall call for the Holy Oyl of Consecration, and shall anoint him: They shall proclaim him the Great Father, and Patriarch of the Faithful; The Directer of such as would go to Para­dise.

He shall shew them a new Pattern of the Law of Jesus the Son of Mary; or rather the Old and True One, freed from the Corruptions and Errors which have been superinduc'd for many Ages. Their Hearts shall yield as to an Oracle, and the King of the Country shall approve of their Council. So shall all those of the Noble and the Vul­gar, whose good Fate is written in their Foreheads. As for the Rest, they shall re­main in their Incredulity.

This Holy Person shall reform the Er­rors of all the Christian Churches, utterly abolish the Use of Images and Pictures, con­vince the Jews of their Infidelity, and chase away the Darkness of Superstition from Earth. He shall argue with Reasons so for­cible and cogent, so clear and demonstra­tive, that none but the wilfully obstinate, [...]ll resist the Truth which he divulges, or [Page 313]oppose his Authentick Missions. Thousands shall be converted by the Dint of his Word, and Ten Thousands by his Exemplary Life. For he shall go up and down preaching and doing Good Works throughout Great Bri­tain, till the Number of his Proselytes is complete. Then he shall send Apostles and Messengers into Swedeland, Denmark, Mos­covy, and other Parts of Europe, who shall likewise convert an Innumerable Multitude to his Law. Foreign Princes shall send their Embassadors to the King of Great Britain and to him; for he shall be at the King's Right Hand. They shall enter into Leagues and Covenants, and all the Christian Princes shall be at Unity. Mighty Armies shall be rais'd in the North, who shall come down and give new Courage to the oppress'd Nazarenes of the West. They shall all take up Arms, and chase the Osmans back again to their own Country, recovering the Wealth which they had taken from them.

After this, by an Universal Agreement of the Christians, this Holy Person shall be proclaim'd the Great Pastor of the Church. a prodigious Army shall be gather'd toge­ther out of all the Christian Nations, to conduct him to the Holy Land, and to crown him in Jerusalem. They shall vanquish and exterminate the Osmans out of Palaestine and all the adjacent Regions. Then shall Jerusalem be re-built Gloriously, and the Temple of Solomon with Saphires and Eme­raulds. That City shall be the Seat of the [Page 314] Christian Mufti's, this New Patriarch, and his Successors, to the Day of Doom. Then shall the Eyes of the Jews be open'd: They shall acknowledge Jesus the Son of Mary to be the True Messias, whom they have so frequently Cursed. In a word, he says, Both Jews and Gentiles, People of all Nations, shall resort to Jerusalem, or send thither their Gifts and Presents. It shall become the Mistress of the whole Earth.

Sage Cheik; This is the Substance of what my Cousin Isouf acquaints me with concern­ing the Wandring Jew, and his New Do­ctrines. The Censure of which I leave to thee, who hast a discerning Spirit, and art able to distinguish Truth from an Im­posture. God only knows what is hid in the Womb of Futurity. Every Age is preg­nant and brings forth strange Events. Yet when 'tis over, all sounds like a Dream. The World it self is no better; and I that write this, am but methinks the Shadow of a Vision or Trance. I hardly know whether I'm asleep or awake whilst my Pen seems to move. Therefore, it being very late, I lay it aside, and bid thee adieu: Praying that thou and I may have the Happiness, even in this Life, to taste the Sweet Slumbers of Paradise.

LETTER XIII. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Princi­pal Secretary of the Ottoman Empire.

I Think all the sensible World are inqui­sitive into the Life of Cardinal Richlieu. He was the Pole-Star of Statesmen, whilst living; and now he is dead, his Memoirs and Maxims serve as a Chart and Compass, by which the Politicians steer their Course, to avoid the Rocks and Shelves which threa­ten a Kingdom, or Commonwealth, both in the Tempests of War, and the Serene Calms of Peace.

Thou hast formerly receiv'd some Re­marks from me on the Life of this Great Minister: Yet I am not surpriz'd at the Con­tents of thy last Dispatch, which require a farther Account of him. No body can know too much of a Man who was the Mi­racle of his Time; and not only startled the wisest of his Contemporaries, by his Pro­digious Actions; but has puzzl'd all that survive him, to trace his Footsteps.

Undoubtedly, France owes to his Con­duct, all her present Grandeur, with the Hopes she has of encreasing it. To him she is indebted for her Conquests in Flan­ders, [Page 316]Sicily, Catalonia, Piedmont, and the German Frontiers. 'Twas He first taught Her the complete Way to Humble Her Inso­lent Neighbours, and to suppress her Re­bellious Domesticks. He much abated the troublesome Weight of a Crown, and made it sit Lighter on the Head of Lewis XIII. Whilst Cardinal Mazarini, his Successor in the Prime Ministry, acting by the same Principles, render'd it as soft and easie to the present King, as the Grand Signior's Turbant. In a Word, through the Efficacy of Rich­lieu's Politicks, Lewis XIV. is become the most Absolute Monarch in Christendom. For he either undermines, or over-reaches his Enemies, by specious Treaties of Peace, where he is sure to have the better on't; or he runs them down with the Force of War. To conclude, he has a long Head, and a longer Sword, which all will confess that have to do with him. And this is the pure Result of Richlieu's Memoirs.

Yet after all, that Minister had his blind side too, as well as other Mortals. Publick Vertues, and Private Vices; State-Perfecti­ons, and Personal Frailties. He serv'd his Master, with a Zeal and Fidelity, with a Wisdom and Courage, difficult to be match'd; but he serv'd himself after the Common Manner of Men. He indulg'd his Favourite Passions, which were Love, Jealousie, and Revenge.

[Page 317]There is a Letter of mine Register'd in the Archives of the Sacred Port; wherein I mention'd a Particular Amour of this Great Prelate. Besides that, he had several Intrigues with the Dutchess of Elbeuf, the Countess of Soissons, and other Ladies of Prime Quality. Nay, there are not wanting such as confidently report, That he had Two Children by one of his own Nieces. And Verses were spread about on that Subject.

As he cherish'd this soft Inclination to Women, so he was naturally Jealous of all Rivals, whether of his Love or Interest. He would never suffer any Man to live, whom he once suspected to be in a Capacity, and to make the smallest Advances to thwart his Designs.

For this Reason, he gave the most Con­siderable Military Offices, both by Sea and Land, to Ecclesiasticks who depended on him: Which occasion'd a certain Waggish Poet, to pass this Jest on the Publick Admi­nistration:

Ʋn Archevêque est Admiral,
Ʋn Gros Evêque est Corporal,
Ʋn Prelât President aux Frontieres,
Ʋn Autre a des Troupes guerrieres,
Ʋn Capuchin pense au Combat,
Ʋn Cardinal a des Soldat,
Ʋn autre est Generalissime;
France je croy qu' icy bas,
[Page 318]Ton Eglise si Magnanime,
Milite & ne triomphe pas.

Reflecting hereby, on the Archbishop of Bourdeaux, the Bishop of Chartres, the Bi­shop of Nantes, the Bishop of Mande, Fa­ther Joseph, a Friar, Cardinal de Valette, and Cardinal Richlieu; these being the Chief Commanders of the Land and Sea For­ces.

It will make thee smile, perhaps, to read an Epitaph that was made on that Father Joseph above-named; who being esteem'd a very Infamous Man, and lying interr'd in the same Tomb with another Friar named Father Angel, provok'd some Satyrical Wit, to put this Sarcasm on him:

Passant, nest ce pas chose êtrange,
De voir un Diable auprês d'un Ange?

I believe Father Joseph was the worse be­lov'd for being Cardinal Richlieu's Confessor. It was observ'd that he dyed suddenly, without Confessing himself, which occasion'd another Epitaph to be made on him:

Sous ce Tombeau git un bon Pere,
Qui eut tant de Discretion,
Que pour ê'tre bon Secrêtaire,
Il mourut sans Confession.

[Page 319] Every body suspected the Cardinal had a Hand in his precipitate Death, to prevent his telling of Tales: For he knew all his Se­crets: And the Cardinal was known to be with him when he dyed. It was during the Siege of Brisac, a City on the Rhine, which was then upon the Point of surrendring to the French: And the News coming to the Cardinal, just as Father Joseph was in his last Agonies, he came to his Bed-side, and laying his Mouth close to the poor Friar's Ear, cryed out as loud as he could, Cou­ráge, Couráge, mon Pere, Nous avous pris Brisac. A strange Cordial for a dying Man, and some body made these Verses on it:

Ite Cucullati, vobis si Purpura ridet,
Fungitur Inferni Munere Pontificis.

There is another Instance of the Cardi­nal [...]s Revengefull Temper and his Cruelty. One Day the Duke of Orleans, who hated him mortally, went to his Palace, under Pretence of giving him a Visit, but really with a Design to Stab him. However, as soon as he came into the Cardinal's Presence, his Nose fell a Bleeding. Which appearing to him as an Ominous Presage of what he was going about, he was struck with some Remorse; and frankly confessing his Design to the Cardinal, begg'd his Pardon. That cunning Minister dissembl'd his Resentments, knowing the Duke was not a Man of Reso­lution [Page 320]enough to undertake so bold an Acti­on, unless he had been extremely animated by some body near him; he presently refle­cted on Monsieur Puylaurent, the Duke's Chief Favourite. Immediately he decreed his Ruine; and to effect it with more Ease, he pretended an extraordinary Friendship to him, offering him one of his Nieces in Mar­riage. Monsieur Puylaurent who suspected not the Train which was laid for him, em­brac'd the Proposal with much Joy, as ho­ping thereby to raise and establish his For­tune under the Protection of his Potent Un­cle. In fine, he marry'd the Cardinal's Niece, but liv'd not to enjoy her; for on the very Nuptial Day, the Cardinal caused him to be arrested and sent Prisoner to the Ba­stile; where he was poisoned by a Friar, in a Glass of Wine. As soon as he had swal­low'd the Fatal Potion, the Friar told him, It was necessary for him to confess his Sins that very Moment, in regard he had but a few Minutes to live. Monsieur Puylaurent threw the Glass at the Friar's Head, giving him Two or Three swinging Curses, and then fell on his Knees, to Confession; which being perform'd, he expir'd.

Sometimes the Cardinal was very singular and Ingenious in the Execution of his Re­venge, as if he endeavour'd to perswade the World, That he fulfill'd the Law of the Talio, which requires an Eye for an Eye, and punishes by an exact Kind of Propor­tion. As it happen'd in the Case of the [Page 321]Dukes of Guize, Montmorency, and Mon­sieur de Bassompierre. These were the Heads of a Faction which diametrically oppos'd the Cardinal and his Party. He was the Grand Eye-sore, the Chief Obstacle of their Design'd Prevalence at the Court. Where­fore if they cou'd but once remove him out of the VVay, they thought themselves sure of the King's Ear in all Things. To effect this, they consulted together, how to dispose of him. The Duke of Guize was of Opi­nion, he should not be kill'd, in regard he was a Prince of the Holy Church, but that he should be sent to Rome, there to attend the proper Affairs of his Ecclesiastick Fun­ction, among the Rest of his purpl'd Bre­thren. The Duke of Montmorency was clearly for taking off his Head. But Mon­sieur de Bassompierre was against both these Methods: For, said he, if he be sent to Rome, he will be always plotting of Mischief against us. And it would be an Eternal Ble­mish to France, if the Purple of the Holy Church should be stain'd with Blood. Let us send him close Prisoner to the Bastile, where he may spend the Remainder of his Days in writing Learned Books.

The Cardinal who had his Agents busie about in all Parts, soon was inform'd of this Consult: and he retaliated every Man's Sen­tence upon its own Author. For he banish'd the Duke of Guize, confining him to Rome. He beheaded the Duke of Montmorency; [Page 322]and imprison'd Monsieur de Bassompierre in the Bastile, where he lay till the Cardinal's Death.

I could insert a great many more Remarks concerning Cardinal Richlieu. But I am afraid of offending by Tediousness. If thou commandest me, another Letter shall pre­sent thee with more Varieties.

In the mean Time with humblest Obeysance and Respect I desist, and take my Conge, wishing thee a long Life on Earth, full of Honour; and a Fame without Blemish when thou art translated to Heaven.

LETTER XIV. To Musu Abu'l Yahyan, Professor of Philosophy at Fez.

THou hast laid a Grand Obligation on me by thy last Dispatch, whose Lear­ned Contents have open'd my Eyes; or ra­ther drawn back the Veil which cover'd the Interious of Africk, from the View of Strangers. Now I stand as it were on the Top of a high Mountain, from whence I take a clear Prospect of those fair Regions, Inhabited by Blacks. I survey the Paradises of the Torrid Zone, a most fertile and popu­lous Climate; tho' blind Antiquity could not discern a Blade of Grass growing there, nor any of Humane Race fetching their Breath.

My Mind revels in perfect Voluptuous­ness, and all the Faculties of my Soul ban­quet on the Contemplation of that most Delectable Precinct of the World. Oh A­frick! Thou may'st be call'd the Bazar or Mercat, where Nature exhibits all her choi­cest Wonders. Thy Mountains are Higher than the Clouds; their Tops are Inaccessible. They approach the Borders of Paradise. On them fall the Rivers of Eden in mighty Cataracts. The Noise of the Precipitate Waters is heard afar off, like the Sound of [Page 324]Remote Thunders. It deafens the Ears, and astonishes the Minds of Mortals. The Ambitious undergrowing Rocks, are proud of the Glorious Cascade; and envy those that shoot up above 'em which receive the Sacred Flood at the First Hand, from the very Wings of Gabriel.

Happy are the Valleys which lie beneath, and are Yearly impregnated by the Heavenly Deluge. The grateful Fields and Plains in humble Acknowledgment, make their Re­turns of Corn and Fruits in due Season. The Marshes of Egypt, are as the Gardens of Asia; the Banks of the Nile, as the Fenced Seminaries of Babylon, fragrant and a­bounding in all Sorts of Vegetable Delica­cies.

My Heart is ravish'd with the Speculation of these Things I am full as the Moon, and cannot utter my Sentiments in Order. Vi­sions of Aethiopia, Marocco, Fez, and the Land of Archers invade my Eyes. I behold the Beautiful Provinces of the South in a Trance: I stand gazing in Ecstasy on the shady Groves of Benin and Arder, the Haunts of lovely Daemons, the Genij of the Upper Element; who daily descend to those Refreshing Solitudes, and converse with their Younger Brethren, Incarnare Mortal Daemons, the Sons of Men.

[Page 325]I consider with Admiration the Monsters of Africk, the Creatures of the Sun and Slime. With Contemplative Horror, I draw near the Dens of Dragons; the Purlieu of Crocodiles, and other Amphibious Ani­mals, which lurk among the Reeds of Nile and Niger, to trapan with feigned Cries th' Unwary Traveller.

In fine, I am mov'd with superlative De­votion and Joy, when I peruse thy accurate Description of the Principal Mosch at Fez. Methinks I see the Stupendous Fabrick making its lofty Advances toward Heaven. My Eyes revere the Holy and Magnifick Structure, on the out-side adorn'd with stately Towers and Minarets, and covering Fifteen Hundred Paces in its Circuit. But when my Phansie enters in by any of the One and Thirty Gates by Night, I'm dazl'd with the Insupportable Splendor of so many Thousand Lamps, as burn within that most Illustrious Temple. I admire with propor­tionate Veneration, the Character thou givest of all the other Magnificences in that Anti­ent and Noble City; with whatsoever else thou say'st of the whole Kingdom, and the Adjacent Regions.

In Answer to thy Request, I will in ano­ther Letter send thee a short Pourtraicture and History of Constantinople; but now I am interrupted by Company. Besides, my Letter would be too long.

I beseech thee to cherish that Friendship which thou hast hitherto shew'd me; and [Page 326]let me have the Honour of thy frequent Conversation by Letters. For tho' I live in a Populons City, yet my Life seems like that of an Owl or a Pelican of the Desart, extream Solitary and Dejected.

LETTER XV. To the same.

SUch is the Zeal I have to demonstrate how highly I value thy Friendship, that I would not suffer this Post to escape without gratifying thy Expectations. I just now dismiss'd my Company, and having Time enough, will entertain thee with an Abstract of what I know to be most Remarkable in the State of Constantinople, both at present and in Ancient Times.

In the first Place, it will be convenient for thee to know, That this City was for­merly call'd Byzantium, from one Byzas, Ad­miral of the Spartan Fleet, under Pausanias the King of Sparta, who laid the First Foundations of it. The Story is this:

[Page 327]In Old Time the Graecians having a Mind to build a New City in some Part of Thrace, and being at Odds about the Choice of a Spot of Ground suitable to so Great and Im­portant an Undertaking, they at last agreed to consult the Oracle of Apollo. They did so, and were answer'd, That they should lay the Foundations of the City, right over-against the Blind Men: For so the Inhabitants of Chalcedon were call'd, because when they were upon the same Design of founding a New City, they could not discern between the Fertility of the Soil on what side the Pro­pontis, where Constantinople now stands; and the Barrenness and Desart State of the Ground where they built, on the other side.

Pansanias therefore busying his Mind about these Things, and pitching right upon the Sence of the Oracle, caus'd the Foundations of the City to be laid exactly over against Chalcedon: And when it was finish'd it was call'd Byzantium, as I have said, from Byzas who had the Oversight of the Work.

It retain's this Name many Years and Ages, flourishing in a high Degree among the other Cities of Greece and Thrace, be­ing esteem'd the Gate of Europe and Asia, by which the Mutual Commerce of both those Quarters of the Earth was interchange­ably held up.

But after the Days of the Messias, there arose an Emperour of Rome, whose Name was Constantine. This Prince, as 'tis Recorded [Page 328]in Roman Histories, saw a Vision in the Air when he was at the Head of his Army mar­ching against Licinius, and preparing to give Battle. He and all his Soldiers beheld the Figure of a Cross, with these Words plainly engraven in the Firmament: In hoc Signo vinces. Constantine took this for a Good Omen, and caus'd a Standard of Silver to be made exactly after the same Form: To which he appointed Eifty Standard-Bearers, to carry it by Turns, and to guard it: For it was exceeding Rich, being em­boss'd all o'er with Rubies, Diamonds, Pearls, and other precious Jewels of the Orient. He built a Pavilion also for the Glorious Idol; and being instructed in the Christian Law by Eusebius Pamphilus, and other Learned Mollah's, he was at last Bap­tized by Silvester the Pope.

This Great Monarch, as the Story goes, being very Pious, and having conceiv'd a profound Veneration for Pope Silvester, left him the Dominion of Rome, and a great Part of Italy, whilst he remov'd the Impe­rial Court to the East, and took up his Re­sidence at Byzantium, which he augmented with Innumerable stately Edifices; striving, if possible, to equal it with the Majesty and Grandeur of Rome. He collected whatso­ever was Precious and Beautiful in all the East, to adorn the City withal: Witness the Palaces of Superb Architecture the Admirable Height and Form of Diverse Obelisks and Pillars, all made of Marble, [Page 329]Porphyry, or Jasper. Not to insist on the Prodigious Strength and Firmness of the Walls, the Costly Aqueducts, with other Serviceable Things. At last, that he might consecrate himself to Immortal Renown, he call'd this City by his own Name, Constantino­ple, or, the City of Constantine: By which Name it is known even to this Day. It was also called New Rome, after it once be­came the Seat of the Christian Emperours: In whose Possession it remain'd, till it was taken by Mahomet II. Invincible Emperour of the Ottomans, in the Year 1453. accor­ding to the Epocha of the Nazarenes; on the Third Day of the Week which they call Pentecoste.

It had been a Grand Neglect and Over­sight in any Prince so Potent and Politick as Mahomet was, to suffer such an Opportuni­ty to escape as Fortune offer'd him, of ta­king the most Opulent and Glorious City in the VVorld: For there was an Irreconci­lable Schism broke forth between the Chur­ches of the East and West. There were Two or Three Popes at the same time, quar­relling in Rome for the Supremacy; there was a VVar of Fifty Years standing between the French and the English, which unhing'd all the Courts in Europe. The Christians had long before, by dear-bought Experience (the Loss of many Hundred Thousand Men and Infinite Sums of Mo­ney, consum'd in those vain and rash Expe­ditions, which they Sanctified with the spe­cious [Page 330]Title of the Holy War;) found, that it was not easie to wrest one Town of Strength out of the Hands of the Tenacious Mussul­mans; much less to defend it long, or save their most important Cities from the Fury of a Turkish Reprizal. They were sick and surfeited with the Visionary Stuff of Peter the Her­mit; and all Illuminato's like him, grew out of Fashion. Every Prince and State in Western Christendom, began to mind their own Interest. No more Enthusiastick Tales of that Kind wou'd go down: The Great Ones had open'd their Eyes.

Besides, he that was then Emperour of Greece, Constantinus Paleologus, was look'd upon by the Christians, as a Tyrant, the Off­spring of Tyrants, and Usurper. The Graecians still retain'd the Black Memoirs of those horrid and nefandous Tragedies, acted by Michael Andronicus, John, and Manuel, the Pedecessors and Ancestors of this Con­stantine. And they had such a particular Aversion for his Government, that tho' there were Infinite-Treasures of Gold and Silver in the Hands of the Rich Citizens of Constantinople, when that City was besieg'd by Mahomet II. yet no Man wou'd part with the least Sum of Money, to support the Publick Cause: But chose rather in a Kind of revengeful and desperate Sullenness, to fall into the Hands of the Victorious Os­mans, than to afford their Hated Sovereign any Relief.

[Page 331]Thus fell that Queen of Cities, the Glory of all the East, under the Power of our Puissant Emperours, in whose Possession it remains to this Day; and may it so remain, till the Moon shall be in her last Wane, and the Sun cease to shine on the World.

In the mean Time, I will entertain thee en Passant, as the French call it, with a short View of the Chief Magnificences in Constantinople.

That which first draws the Admiration of Travellers, is the Glorious Structure of San­cta Sophia, a Temple consecrated to the Eter­nal WISDOM, by which the Worlds were made: Built by the Emperour Justi­nian with inimitable Magnificence; tho' af­terwards Spoil'd and Plunder'd of its chiefest Ornaments, by the greedy Soldiers of Maho­met II. whom I have so often mention'd; and Six Parts of it entirely subverted by suc­ceeding Emperours.

Pity it was, if furious and ill-grounded Superstition was the Cause of such deplora­ble Ruines. What can be said of those who demolish'd the Sub-Fana of the Third Tem­ple, celebrated in the Universal History of the VVorld? That of Diana at Ephesus, 'tis true, was the Pattern; yet 'twas not much beyond it. Schelomo's boasted Fane at Jerusalem, without Iron Pins or Nails, or other VVork of the Hammer, excell'd but a little in the Artifice and Symmetry. Indeed, the Lustre of Sion's. Mosch, was more Radiant and Glorious in VVorkman­ship of Gold, the VValls and Floor being [Page 332]over-laid with that Metal, and the Roof on the out-side was, as it were, studded with Spikes of Beaten Gold so thick, that there was not Room for a Bird to perch between them. And this was done to prevent the Prophanation of the Temple by their mu­ting on it.

VVhen the Sun shone in his full strength, the covering of the Temple thus adorn'd, look'd like a Firmament glittering with In­numerable Stars.

But to return to the Mosch of Sancta So­phia, let us consider it in its Primitive State, and we shall find some Excellent Curiosities. Among the Rest, there was a Candlestick or Sconce of Beaten Gold, so admirably contriv'd, That it spontaneously fed the Bowls of Seven Branches with a constant Stream of Oil, which by equal Measures flow'd into them, from the Hollow of the Shaft. So that if the Flame but of one single One, had wanted Aliment, all the Rest must have been extinguish'd at the same Time.

The VValls of this Glorious Mosch, with­in and without, present the Eye with no­thing but VVhite Marble, Porphyry; and other Precious Stones. The Roof is of a Prodigious Height, cover'd with Lead with­out, but proudly Ostentous of its inward Cieling, which is divided into Vaults and Ar­ches richly adorn'd with Golden Fret-work; and supported by Pillars of Cyprian Jasper, purest VVhite Marble, and Porphyry. There [Page 333]is a Marble Stone in the Mosch, had in great Reverence by the True Faithful, be­cause the Tradition goes, That on it Mary, the Mother of Jesus, wash'd the Infant-Prophet's Linen.

There are also under the Mosch, Innume­rable Vaules or Oratories, full of Altars and Sepulchres: But there is no Access to them, in Regard the Doors are wall'd up.

In a Place not far from these, you find Ten huge Vessels full of Oyl, reserv'd there ever-since the Days of Constantine the Great, yet remains Uncorrupted, being of Colour VVhite like Milk. It is an Inexpiable Crime for any, but the Grand Signior's Phy­sicians or Surgeons, to use or touch it. And they compound certain Medicaments with it, for the Service of him and his Serail.

Now I remember what I have read in a very Authentick Historian, concerning an Oil made by certain Holy Persons who on­ly had the Secret of it. As the Story goes, it was Extracted from the Leaves and Chips of VVood which are found floating in the Rivers that descend out of Paradise. This Oil they compounded with other Ingre­dients, and perform'd Cures therewith, which were esteem'd Miraculous. It was sent from one Prince to another, as a Sacred and Invaluable Treasure. Till at last it came into the Hands of the Eastern Patri­archs, who presided over the Christians of the Greek, Armenian, and Egyptian Chur­ches: VVho pretend to the only true My­stery [Page 334]and Power of making it at this very Day. And that tho' the Ancient Popes of Rome, were formerly presented with a Year­ly Portion of it so long as they remain'd in Communion with the Patriarchs of the East; yet after Victor once had made the Fatal Schism, which never cou'd be healed since, the Holy Favour was deny'd to his Successors: VVho instead of the Origi­nal Genuine Oil, were forc'd to counterfeit it, using a Spurious Unguent, to preserve the Authority of their Religious Sacraments. And hence, they say, it comes to pass, that few or none are ever healed by the Extreme Ʋnction of the Latin Church.

God knows, whether this be Truth or no. But I am apt to think, That the Ten Jarrs of Oil before-mention'd which lie under the Mosch of Aja-Sophian, are Reliques of the Ancient Patriarchs of Constantinople; who had the Secret of compounding the Mysterious Extract.

From the Place where these Vessels are kept, you descend into the Dormitories of Royal Ottoman Carkasses, the Sons of our Renowned Emperors. From thence you pass into Two Caverns; One leading directly to the Seraglio, the Other extending it self under the Buildings of the City, by a vast long Tract of Ground. I know no Use there is at present of the Former Cave: but the Latter serves for a VVork-Room, to cer­tain poor Silk-Spinsters.

[Page 335]This Letter wou'd be too tedious, if I should describe all the other Moschs, and Buildings of Note in Constantinople. VVhere­fore not to tire thee, I will reserve what remains to be said of that Glorious City, for other Dispatches.

In the mean Time, with an Affectionate Conge of my Soul I bid thee Adieu: Praying God to let thee crop the choicest Flowers of Humane Happiness.

LETTER XVI. To Hamet, Reis Effendi, Principal Secretary of the Ottoman Em­pire.

NOw I will perform the Promise I made thee long agoe; which was, to pre­sent thee with an Idea of the different Strength and Policies of these Nazarene King­doms and States: VVherein, I will begin with Germany, which is, as it were, the last Retrenchment of the Declining Roman Empire.

The Annals affirm, That in the Reign of Charles V. when the Mussulmans Invaded Austria with Innumerable Forces, that Em­perour oppos'd them with an Army of 90000 Foot, and 30000 Horse. Maximi­lian II. went beyond him, and rais'd 100000 Foot, and 35000 Horse. Neither was Corn dear in so vast an Army. It is certain, That the German Emperour can, upon Occasion, send into the Field 200000 expert Soldiers. It is moreover observ'd, That from the Year 1560 of the Christians Hegira, even to these present Times, there has been no VVar between France, Spain, and the Nether­lands, wherein many Thousands of Germans have not serv'd.

[Page 337]Their best Infantry is gather'd out of Bava­ria, Austria, and Westphalia. And their choicest Cavalry come out of Bruns­wick, Juliers, and Frankendal. Both Foot and Horse fight better and more successfully in an Open Plain or Field, than in Narrow, Covert Places, such as Lanes and Woods &c. For they are not good at taking Advantages of Ground, or at politick Skirmishes, and cunning Ambuscades. They have not Pa­tience to lie long waiting the Enemies Mo­tions, neither care they to divide their Main Body into Fragments or Detachments; but they love to wedge themselves altogether in Form of a Triangle, and so march with grave and slow Pace, that so they may break through the Enemies, and confound their Order, which they esteem a certain Step to Victory. They fight better also under a Foreign Commander, than a General of their own Nation. They cannot endure the Hard­ships and Afflictions of a long Siege; but when once they begin to smart for want of Provisions, they soon Capitulate and Sur­render. Neither have they more Patience in a Camp to bear the Injuries of Weather: But they make hast to set upon the Enemy, and decide the Quarrel in a pitch'd Combat: Wherein if their First Onset fail, they seem like Men Stupify'd, Astonish'd, or in a Trance, not knowing whether they had best to renew the Assault, or to fly: And, if they oncefly, there's no rallying them again. Yet these Armies are not rais'd without a vast Expence, [Page 338]nor maintain'd without a greater, being cum­ber'd with a Train of VVomen, Children, and Servants; who consume the Provisions of the Soldiers, so that many Times they starve for want of common Ammunition-Bread.

Their Horses may be call'd rather strong than sprightly, and bold; being, for the most Part, taken from the Plough, or o­ther Rural Drudgeries. In a word, they are like their Riders, Phlegmatick and Dull; having this also peculiar in their Constitu­tion, that at the sight of Blood, they shrink, and are ready to faint: Whereas, the Spanish Horse gather fresh Courage from this Specta­cle.

The Germans also have considerable For­ces by Sea; but they seldom make Use of them, unless it be against the Danes and Suedes. Besides all this, their Auxiliary Ar­mies are not to be forgot, which they re­ceive from the Italian Princes; from the Dukes of Savoy and Lorrain; and sometimes from the Trusty Suisses.

But there are Two Things chiefly want­ing in this Empire, amidst all its Numerous Forces: One is, Unity and Concord among the Subjects; Another is, a fix'd Resolution and Readiness to enterprize any Thing of Moment. Their Hans Towns are always Jea­lous of the Neighbouring Princes. And these again give 'em Occasion to suspect their Power, and hate their Interest, which they so often employ against them, by encroach­ing [Page 339]on their Privileges. Then the Catholicks, and Protestants are always quarelling: And one Sect of Protestants, perpetually Perse­cuting another. Hence it falls out, That the Princes go so unwillingly and rarely to the Diets: And when they come there, they spin out so much Time in adjusting their private Pretensions, Claims, and Privileges; in performing of State-Ceremonies; and in deliberating concerning the Publick Good, whilst every one contradicts his Neighbour, and labours with all his Might to establish his own Opinion, and get it pass'd into a Decree, by the Sanction of the Diet; that before they come to any Resolves, an Expe­ditious and Potent Enemy might rush into the Heart of the Country, and even take all these Northern Blockheads Prisoners.

The German Empire is Elective; and the Power of chusing Caesar, is in the Hands of Seven Princes. These are First, the Archbishop of Mentz, Grand Chancellor of the Empire; in whose Custody are the Ar­chives and Decrees of the German Diets. The Second is, the Archbishop of Triers or Treves, Great Chancellor of the Empire for France. The Third is, the Archbishop of Colen, Great Chancellor of the Empire for Italy. The Fourth is, the King of Bohemia, Cup-Bearer to the Emperor. The Fifth is, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, Master of the Imperial Palace. The Sixth is, the Duke of Saxony, Marshal or Sword-bearer to the Emperor. The Seventh and last is, the Mar­quis [Page 340]of Brandenburgh, Great Chamberlain or Treasurer of the Empire.

There are reckon'd 25 Politick Princes, or Dukes in the Empire, 6 Marquisses, 5 Landt­graves, 9 Archbishops, and Bishops 47. Abbots who enjoy the Title and Dignity of Prin­ces 12. Abbots of a lower Degree 52. With Innumerable Others too tedious to be nam'd. They reckon also 82 Counts of Principal Note, besides many of a Meaner Figure. They number 49 Barons and Free Lords, 90 Hans-Towns, and 10 Cir­cles of the Empire.

In the German Diets, this Order is ob­serv'd: VVhen the Emperor is plac'd in the Throne, the Archbishop of Triers takes his Place just over against him: He of Mentz sits next to the Emperor on his Right Hand; the Second Place belongs to the King of Bohemia; and the Third to the Count Palatine of the Rhine. On the Em­peror's Left Hand, the Archbishop of Colen takes the First Place; the Duke of Saxony the next; and the Marquis of Brandenburgh the Third.

The Hans-Towns, which acknowledge no other Lord but the Emperor, are grovern'd by their own Municipal Laws and Privile­ges. In some of them, the Common People bear Rule; in others, a Mixture of the Commons and Nobles, and many of them wholly obey the Nobility.

No Man salutes by the Title of Emperor, him whom the Princes have Elected to that [Page 341]Dignity, till he be crown'd by the Pope or Muf­ti of Rome. They call him Caesar, or King of the Romans, or King of Germany; but not Emperor, till the Coronation is finish'd. Nor does the Em­peror, even after he is Crown'd and Establish'd in the Throne, exercise an Absolute Power in all things; Affairs of Importance being ge­nerally referr'd to the Publick Diets or Divans of the Empire: Where the Electoral Princes deliberate all Things, on whom the very Power of the Emperour himself depends.

These Diets are very confus'd and tedious, in Regard the Princes seldom appear there in their own Persons; but send their Em­bassadors and Deputies, who yet have not full Power to conclude any Thing without Particular Orders from their Respective Ma­sters. So that a Prodigious deal of Time is taken up in sending Couriers to inform the Princes of all emergent Counsels and Tran­sactions, and in waiting for their Express Instructions, and Answers again.

In a word, considering the Diversity of Interests carried on by the Electoral Princes, their Mutual Feuds and Dissentions, Do­mestick Animosities, and Foreign Engage­ments, both on Religious and Politick Ac­counts; it is a Miracle that this tottering Empire stands so long, and does not fall to Ruin: Especially being environ'd and almost continually assaulted by Three Potent Ene­mies, the King of Sweden, the King of France, and our Invincible Monarch. Not to men­tion the frequent Incursions of the Moscovites [Page 342]and Tartars; the Revolts of the Hungari­ans, Transilvanians, Bosnians, Croats, and other Nations which are counted Members of the German Empire. But he abounds in Men and Money, with all other Necessaries to support his Wars: There not being a more Rich and Populous Region on Earth than Germany.

Sage Hamet, when the determined Period is come, God will abase the Pride of these Infidels by the Hands of the True Believers: The Riches of the West shall become the Spoil of Eastern Hero's; and the Posterity of Shem shall take Root in the Cities of Japhet.

May'st thou live till that Time, to tri­ [...]ph in the Glory of the House of Ismael, when they shall be exalted more than in the Ages that are past.

LETTER XVII. To Cara Hali, Physician to the Grand Signior.

THy Memory is like the Smell of In­cense; refreshing as VVine of Tenedos in a Goblet of pure Gold. VVhen my Heart is almost dead with Melancholy; when I can find no Pleasure in Company abroad, and the very Elements of which I am made, frown upon me; when the Time of Night forces me to come home Sighing as to a Prison, and the Hangings of my Bed-Chamber look dull and seem to be painted with horrid Tragedies: In a word, when every Thing in Nature appears in an angry threatning Fit, then I think of thee, my Friend, and that Thought relieves me. Thy belov'd Idea is a perfect Talisman, working VVonders in my Soul. It Charms or Countercharms, as my Occasions do require. No Fears, or Griefs, or other Melancholy Passions dare abide its Energy: As soon as it appears, each baneful Thought is gone; the Troops of sad Chimaerae's va­nish like the Morning Mists before the Sun Thou art as a strong Tower or Fortress, where I can take Sanctuary from my Ene­mies: An Impregnable Cittadel seated on the Top of a high Rock: From whence [Page 344]I can look down with Scorn on my Perse­cutors beneath; possessing my self in per­fect Security.

I dare not so much as vent my Thoughts to another, tho' a Mussulman, for fear of some untoward Consequence: So Industri­ous is the Malice of most Men; so vigilant and studious for an Opportunity of doing Mischief. And as for these Infidels, my Conversation is, for the most part, Histrionick. I am constrain'd to act to the Life, a very Zealous Christian and a Catholick: When, God knows, my Heart keeps not time with my Exteriour Actions and Words. Not but that there are Scepticks among the Christians, as well as among the True-Beli­vers: But they are generally very private and reserv'd: For open Blasphemy, or what is reputed so here, is certainly punish'd with Death.

I sometimes meet with Ingenious and Candid Souls, with whom I can discourse freely, and like a Man that doubts of many Things, which others currantly believe. Yet we dare not trust each other too far, nor the very Air into which our Words vanish, after it has help'd to form 'em; lest some sly envious Daemon shou'd catch the tran­sient sound, and reverberate the yet articu­lated Body of Particles which made it, into some Inquisitive Ear, to ruine us. For there are certain busie Gossiping Eccho's, scat­ter'd up and down the Elements, which are always listning to the Words of Mortals: [Page 345]And if the spightful Elves can but take Hold of any Syllable, to do a Man an Injury, they are big till they have vented it. Yet they make no Shew nor Noise, but whisper out their Tales in Secret; sometimes in Dead of Night, when Men are fast asleep; at other times when they are deeply musing on the hidden Things of Nature. For, 'tis only to the VVise, the Sage, the Noble, and the Great, that they reveal these Passages, beeause 'tis such alone have Ears to hear Them. They haunt the Bed-Chambers of Kings and Princes, to tell 'em News in Dreams. They are the swiftest Couriers in the VVorld: For they have VVings, and fly from Court to Court, and from one Climate to another in a Moments time. They're always buzzing in the Ears of Statesmen and great Politicians, to whom they shew the Dark Intrigues of Foreign and Domestick Enemies. Thus are Con­spiracies and Plots of Rebels oft discover'd, tho' manag'd ne'er so secretly. They visit, now and then, the Closets of Philosophers, and such as love the Sciences. Men of ab­stracted Souls; whose Thoughts are volatile and pure, their Phancies lively and vegete. To these they unfold the covert Mysteries of Nature, and shew 'em Things to come. They frame th' Idea's of remote unknown Events, which they imprint upon the Du­ctile Minds of Prophets and Holy Men; Inspiring them with strange and unaccoun­table Presages of what shall shortly happen [Page 346]to themselves or others, whether it be Good or Evil. For these Busie-bodies are the Daughters of the World's great Soul; and they inherit an Universal Sense and Feeling of whatsoever happens in the Elements. 'Tis true, some Knowledge they acquire by Study and Observation, even as we Mortals do; but at a far swifter Rate. Their Airy Bo­dies do not so oppress their Intellectual Fa­culties, as our gross Hulks of Flesh do ours. We're forc'd to Dig and Plough, to Sow and Harrow for small Returns of Science. Our Soil is barren, it must be manur'd and cul­tivated with Art and Cost, before it yields a tolerable Harvest of what deserves the Name of Solid Knowledge. But these de­fecate Tenants of the Air, have no more to do, but to be merely passive, and they streight learn every Thing: For the Eternal Sapi­ence wanders through the Universe, to seek out such as will or can imbibe her free Im­pressions. She voluntarily slides into recep­tive Souls, and fills them with her Rays. Thus the Sublimer Genij of the Air, bask in an open Orb of Intellectual Light, because they are embodied in the most refin'd and purest Matter: Whereas we Mortals, must be thankful for her Illuminations by Retail. She only shines on us through Chinks and Cranies of our Dungeon Flesh: And yet but seldom so in direct Beams. Few Men can boast that Privilege. The greatest Part walk only in the Uncertain Twilight of Opi­nion; or at best in the faint languid Glim­merings [Page 347]of Humane Reason, which like the Moon, conveys the Original Light of Science to us by Reflection, and at second Hand. We're fain to learn from Books, from Con­versation, and Experience.

Courteous Hali, thou wilt pardon the Confusedness and want of Order in this Letter, when thou shalt consider the Force of Melancholy which first prompted me to write it. For, being very sad, and over­cast with Clouds of dark and gloomy Thoughts, which different Passions caus'd to justle one against another in my troubl'd Mind; I knew not how to escape the Tem­pest better than by writing to thee, my Lear­ned Friend, tho' only to express my Circum­stances. For when I began, I knew not what to say; but 'twas an Ease to write at random, any Thing to breath my Heart, and venti­late my Spleen. But the Specifick Remedy of my Grief consisted in addressing to thee, my Dear Physician, whose very Remem­brance is a Catholicon, proof against all my Maladies.

Adieu, thou Aesculapius of the Ottomans, and live for ever.

LETTER XVIII. To Musu Abul Yahyan, Professor of Philosophy at Fez.

THou shalt see, That I am a Man of my VVord, and will keep my Promise: For this Dispatch contains a farther De­scription of Constantinople, which I en­gag'd to present thee with in my last.

This Famous City is Sixteen Miles in Circuit, and contains Nine Hundred Thousand In­habitants. 'Tis divided into Three Parts, by the Intercourse of certain Arms of the Sea; and almost forms the Figure of a Triangle. The VValls are of an Incredible Height, and encompass Seven Hills within their Extent. One is near the Grand Sig­nior's Serail: Another is in the Opposite Corner of the City, which leads to Adriano­ple. Between Two others, there lies a Plain, which is call'd the Great Valley. In this is to be seen an Aqueduct of Admirable Con­trivance and Structure, the VVork of Constantine the Great, who by his convey'd VVater to the City from Seven Miles di­stance. Solyman II. augmented it, by open­ing a Current of VVaters Two Miles beyond the Source of Constantinople, which run through Seven Hundred and Forty Pipes [Page 349]into the City; besides those which serve the Mosques, the Bathes, and Houses of Purification.

At the Extremity of the Town is seen the Antique Building of a Fortress, which is call'd, the Castle of the Seven Towers; a VVork of Inimitable Architecture. There is a Garrison in it of Two Hundred and Fifty Soldiers, not one of which dares to set his Foot out of the Castle Gates without the Leave of the Vizir Azem, unless it be on Two certain Days in the Year; That is, the First of Beiram and Ramezan.

In this Place formerly the Ottoman Em­perours us'd to lay their Treasures of Gold and Silver; their Arms and Ammunition, their Books, and whatsoever they esteem'd Precious. But Amurat the Son of Sely­mus II. translated all these Things into the Serail'; where they have been kept ever since: And this Castle is turn'd into a Prison for Kings and Princes taken Captives by the True Faithful; as also for Rebellious Bassa's, and other Persons of Quality. Here Cores­qui, Vayvod of Moldavia, was shut up in the Year 1617. of the Christians Aera. And in the Year 1622. of the same Date, the Rebellious Janizaries Imprisoned their So­vereign Lord, Sultan Osman, whom after­wards they strangl'd in the same Place.

[Page 350]There are above Two Thousand Mosques, Oratories, and Sepulchres within the VValls of Constantinople. I have already describ'd that of Aia-Sophian, in my last. It remains now, that I speak of Four others, built by some of our former Emperors. The First and Chiefest, was built by Sultan Mahomet II. to express his Gratitude to God for the Taking of Constantinople. It is a Magnificent Stru­cture, rais'd according to the Pattern of Sancta Sophia. He caus'd a Hundred state­ly Chambers to be built round about it, both for the Service of the Imaum's and Mol­lah's who belong to the Mosch; and for the Entertainment of Strangers, let them be of what Nation or Religion soever. He rais'd also Fifty other Chambers without these; for the Use of the Poor: And endowed the Mosque with Sixty Thousand Duckats of Yearly Revenue.

The Second Mosque was built by Baja­zet II. the Son of this Mahomet. The Third was built by Selymus I. The Fourth by Soly­man the Magnificent. The Three last of these Princes lie buried, each in his own Mosch, under Monuments of a Superb Figure: In­numerable Lamps burning over them and round about them, night and day, whilst certain. Mollah's pray by Turns, without ceasing, for the Health of the Departed Royal Souls.

But the last of these Moschs which was built, as I have said, by Sultan Solyman; far exceeds all the Rest, and comes not short of [Page 351] Sancta Sophia, in the Richness of Marble, Porphyry, and other excellent Materials.

The Greeks have Forty Churches and Chapels in Constantinople, where they per­form the Nazarene Worship. The Arme­nians have Four. Those of the Latin Com­munion have but One, with a College annex'd to it for a certain Number of Jesuits. This is seated in Pera, which is a kind of Suburb to Constantinople.

The Jews have great Liberty in the Impe­rial City. Their Habitations are Contigu­ous, taking up Nine Principal Streets, and they have Eight and Thirty Syna­gogues.

The Walls of the City remain very entire, and are double toward the Land. There are Nineteen Gates in them; One of which is call'd the Holy Gate, in Respect of a vast Multitude of Christian Saints who lie bu­ried in a Chapel hard by it. It was through this Gate, that Mahomet II. made his Tri­umphant Entry into Constantinople, on Pur­pose, as it were, to prophane the reputed Sanctity of the Place, and insult o'er their False Gods; whilst he came to establish the Law and Worship of the Only True God; Creator of Heaven and Earth.

There are Abundance of Antique Monu­ments in the City, as Pyramids and Obelisks of Admirable Figure and Contrivance. In one Place, there are Three Serpents of Mar­ble, stretching themselves to the Height of Two Men, and mutually twisting about [Page 352]each other. The Report goes, That these were erected by a Magician, at a Time when the Citizens were much infested with Living Serpents, and that by this Enchant­ment they were freed.

One of these has a Wound in the Neck, which was given it by Mahomet II. when he rode into the Vanquish'd City. For, he beholding the Horrid Idol, and guessing right, that it was the Work of some Ma­gician, was mov'd with Holy Zeal and Indignation. Wherefore, couching his Spear, and giving Spurs to his Horse, he ran full Tilt against it, and wounded one of the Serpents in the Neck, which is seen to this Day.

In the same Pavement there stands a very Elegant Column of Rustick Workmanship, as they call it: The Marbles of which it consists, being fastned together without the Intervention of Mortar, Bitumen, or any other Cement. It has within a winding Stair-Case, by which one may go up to the Top.

In this Place, which is call'd the Hippo­drome, the Ottoman Grandees exercise them­selves on Horseback, and sometimes the Grand Signior himself: Especially on great Festivals.

Round about it, there are above Two Thousand little Shops of Taylors or Bot­chers, for the Use of those who would have their Garments mended, scowr'd and po­lish'd at a small Price. And yet out of this [Page 353]so contemptible a Trade, the Grand Signior receives a Yearly Custom of Eleven Thou­sand Zequins. By this thou may'st take an Estimate of his other Revenues, which flow into his Coffers from all Parts of so vast an Empire.

There are above Fourty Thousand Ware-Houses and Shops of Merchants, Brokers, Pedlars, Hucksters, and such like Callings: Each Trade having their proper Bazar, or Mercat, according to the Quality of the Goods they sell. But there is one more Eminent than all the rest, which is called Baystan; where be Goldsmiths, Jewellers, and such as deal in any Manner of fine and cost­ly Things. This Place is environ'd with very strong Walls, Six Foot Thick, and is shut up every Night by Four double Gates, and at other Times, as Occasion requires: So that it looks like a Little well-fortified Town.

In this wealthy Mercat, there is a Gallery or Piazza neatly arch'd and supported by Twenty Four Pillars. Under this, there are Abundance of little Shops, Six Foot long, and Four in Breadth. Here all those precious Commodities are expos'd to Sale on Tables or Counters, and with their Lustre dazle the Eyes of such as pass by.

Thou may'st also conjecture at the vast Gains of these Merchants, by the Rates which they pay to the Grand Signior, only for their License to sell in this Place. I have known one Man, that was my parti­cular [Page 354]Acquaintance, give Yearly Two Thou­sand Franks for this Liberty; and he told me, That no Man cou'd enjoy the Freedom of the Place under that Price, unless he had great Favour shewn him, which is very rare; and even then it wou'd not be much aba­ted.

As one passes from this Mercat one way, there arises a stately Column of Porphyry, be­girt in many Places with Iron Hoops: And little distant you see another more Lofty than this: It is call'd the Historical Column, being engraven all over with the Figures of Men. In this also, there is a Stair-Case to the Top, but much broken, and in Danger of falling, if it were not strengthen'd and held together with vast Hoops of Iron.

The next thing worthy to be seen, is the Old Palace of Constantine the Great: Wor­thy I say to be seen, only for its Antiquity; for it is no very Elegant Building; yet it has this Commendation, That it stands in the purest and most wholsome Air of the whole City.

There is another Mercat also wall'd in, be­sides that of the Goldsmiths, &c. Which has a Piazza supported by Sixteen Pillars. In this are sold all manner of Silks. And a little way off from this, is the Bazar, where they sell Slaves. So great are the Gains of this Traffick, that those who use it, pay to the Grand Signior, by way of Custom, the Year­ly Sum of Sixteen Thousand Zequins.

[Page 355]The Vintners, Victuallers, and Sutlers, who sell Wine to the Christians and Jews, and privately to the Mussulmans, pay Yearly Fifty Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eighty Eight Zequins. The very Fisher-men of Constantinople who live along the Strand, pay the Yearly Sum of Twenty Nine Thou­sand Three Hundred Ninety Four Zequins. The Corn-Market, where all Sorts of Grain, Pulse, Meal and Flower are sold, pays Year­ly into the Treasury 14 Purses of Money, each Purse being worth a Thousand Six Hundred, Thirty and Three Zequins. The Egyptian Merchants, who bring their Goods from Alcaire to sell them at Constantinople, pay 24 Purses. The Fraught of all Foreign Merchant Ships, makes up 180 Purses of Gold. I have mention'd the Value of each Purse before. The Great Shambles without the City, pays 32 Purses. There serve in this Place 200 Butchers; over whom there is a Praefect or Master, without whose Consent no Man can kill any Beast, unless it be in the Case of Corban. Nay, so great is the Authority of this Praefect, that the Jews themselves are forc'd to ask his Leave to kill their Beasts after their own-Fashion. The Reason why the Shambles is without the City is for Purity's Sake, lest the City be pol­luted with Blood.

It is Impossible to cast up the Prodigious Revenue which arises to the Grand Signior from the Sale of Hungarian Sheep and Oxen in the 10th. and 11th. Moons. But thou [Page 356]may'st comprehend that it is very Great, when sometimes in one Days time there are sold 25000 Oxen, and 40000 Sheep.

Neither is it more easie to reckon up his Incomes from the Sale of Houses, Skiffs, Galleys, Saicks, and bigger Vessels. Be­sides, it would be too tedious for one Letter. What shall I say of the Tribute which the Jews and Christians pay, amounting Year­ly to a Prodigious Sum of Money? Time, Paper, Ink, and Human Patience it self would fail, in rehearsing so many Particula­rities.

But thou may'st frame a Regular Judg­ment of the Immense Riches which the Grand Signior is possess'd of; when thou shalt know, that there is a Mint in the Imperial City where Four Hundred Men per­petually labour in coining new Money, ha­ving a President or Overseer who supervises the Work, who must be a Graecian, by a special Privilege granted to that Nation by our Mu­nificent Emperors; because the Mines of Silver and Gold, are within the Limits of the Graecian Empire. So that none but Greeks are admitted to assist at this curious Arti­fice.

The President is oblig'd every New Moon to send into the Serail Ten Thousand Ze­quins of Gold, and Twenty Thousand in Silver. For such is the Pleasure of the Great Sultan, that the Royal Palace should always abound with fair New Money.

[Page 357]Sage Musu, assure thy self, that Constan­tinople is the Grand Treasury, Exchequer, or Banque of the whole Earth: Where all the Riches of the East, West, North and South, and of the Seven Climates, are refunded and laid up as in their proper Center. But I have more to say in another Letter concer­ning this Glorious City. Only Time just now gave me a Prick with the end of his Scyth, to put me in Mind of an Urgent Affair not to be neglected this moment. Wherefore in hast Adieu.


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