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758 [734]

K. Henry. 7. The history and tyranny of the Turkes.

any of the Turkes armye to doe, so that the tenth of their spoyle or praye (what soeuer it be) be reserued to the head Turke, that is, to the great master thefe. 

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This description of the Ottoman sultan as a master thief is one ofonly two interpolations Foxe made into Georgevits's description of Ottomantreatment of their captives. The addition of this adjective, 'blasphemous', is one of only two interpolations that Foxe made to Georgevits's description of Ottoman treatment of their captives.

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Of such as remaine for tithe, if they be aged (of whom very MarginaliaChristen captiues tithed of the Turke. fewe be reserued alyue, because litle profite commeth of that age) they be sold to the vse of husbandry or kepyng of beastes. If they be yong men or women, they be sent to certein places, there to be instructed in their language and Artes, as shall be most profitable for their aduauntage, and such are called in their tongue Sarai: and the first care of the Turkes is this, to make them reny the Christian religion, and to be circumcised: and after that they are appointed euery one, as he semeth most apte, eyther to the learnyng of their lawes, or els to learne the feates of war. Their first rudimente of warre is to handle the bowe, first beginnyng with a weake bow, and so as they grow in strength, cūmyng to a stronger bow, & if they mysse the marke, they are sharpely beaten: and their alowance is two pence or three pence a day till they come and take wages to serue in warre. Some are brought vp for the purpose to be placed in the number of the wicked Ianizarites, MarginaliaO wickednes passing all miserye. that is, the order of the Turkes champions, which is the most abhominable condition of all other. Of these Ianizarites, see before. pag. 717. And if any of the foresayde yong men or children shall appeare to excell in any beauty, him they so cutte, that no part of that which nature geueth to man, remayneth to be sene in all his body, MarginaliaO misery aboue all miseries. wherby while the freshnes of age cōtinueth, he is compelled to serue their abhominable abhomination: and when age commeth, then they serue in stead of Eunuches to wayte vpon Matrones, or to kepe horses and mules, or els to be sculliās and drudges in their kitchins.

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MarginaliaThe seruitude of young women captiues. Such as be yong maydens and beautifnll, are deputed for concubines. They which be of meane beauty serue for matrones to their drudgery worke in their houses & chambers, or els are put to spinnyng and such other labours, but so that it is not lawfull for them either to professe their christian religion, or euer to hope for any liberty. And thus much of them which fall to the Turke by tithe.

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The other which are bought and sold amongest priuate subiects, first are allured with fayre wordes and promises to take circumcision. Which if they will do, they are more fauorably entreated, but all hope is taken from them of returnyng agayne into theyr countrey, which if they attempt the payne therof is burnyng. And if such comming at lēgth to liberty, will mary, they may: but then their children remayne bond to the Lord, for hym to sell at hys pleasure: and therfore such as are wise amongst thē wil not mary. They which refuse to be circumcised, are miserably handled; for example wherof, the author (which geueth testimony hereof) doth inferre hys owne experience.

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Such captiues as be expert in any manuall arte or occupation, can better shift for thēselues: but contrarywise they which haue no handycrafte to liue vpon, are in worse case: MarginaliaEx Rartholomeo Georgieniz Peregrina lib. de afflictionibus Christianorum sub Turca. And therfore such as haue bene brought vp in learnyng, or be priests or noble men, & such other, whose tender educatiō can abide no hardnes, are the least reputed, & most of all other neglected of him that hath þe sale or keeping of them, for that he seeth lesse profite to rise of them, then of the other: & therefore no cost of rayment is bestowed vpon them, but they are caryed about bare hed, & barefoote, both sommer & wynter, in frost and snow. And if any faynt and be sicke in the way, there is no resting in any Inne, but first he is driuē forward with whips, and if that will not serue, he is set peraduenture, vpon some horse: or if hys weakenes be such, that hee cānot sit, then is he layd ouerthwart the horse vpon his bely, lyke a calfe, and if he chaunce to die, they take of his garment such as he hath, and throw hym in a ditch.

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In the way moreuer, beside the common chaine, which doth inclose thē all, the handes also of euery one are manicled which is because they should not harme theyr leaders, for many tymes it happened þt x. persons had þe leadyng of 50. captiues: & when night came, their feete also were fettered, so þt they lodged in no house, but lay vpon the ground all night.

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MarginaliaThe miserable calamitie of Christen women being in captiuitie vnder the Turkes. The yong women had a litle more gentles shewed, beyng caried in paniers on the day tyme. But when night came, pity it was to heare the miserable crying out of suche as were inclosed within, by reasō of the filthy iniuries which they suffred by their cariers, in so much that the yong tender age of 7. or 8. yeres, as wel of þe one sexe as of the other, could not saue thē frō the most filthy villany of the bestial turkes.

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MarginaliaThe maner of Christian captiues, how they are brought to markets & solde. When the mornyng commeth, they are brought foorth to the market, to sale, where the buyer, if he be disposed, plucking of their garments, vieweth all the bones and ioynts of their body: and if he lyke them, he geueth his price, and carieth them away into miserable seruitude, either to tilling of their ground, or to pasture their cattell, or some other strange kynd of misery incredible to speake of: In so much that the MarginaliaChristians in their captiuitie, put to draw in the ploughe lyke horses. author reporteth, that he hath sene hymself, certayne of such Christen captiues yoked together lyke horse and oxen, and to draw the plough. The mayd seruaunts likewyse are kept in perpetuall toyle and worke in close places, where neyther they come in sight of any man, neither be they permitted to haue any talke with their fellow seruauntes. &c. Such as are committed to keepe beastes, lye abroad both day and night in the wyld fieldes, without house and herbour, and so chaungyng their pastour goe from mountayne to mountayne: of whome also, beside the office of keepyng the beastes, other handy labour is exacted at spare houres, such as pleaseth their maisters to put vnto them.

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MarginaliaThe great daungers of Christē captiues which flye out of Turkie. Out of this misery there is no way for them to flye, especially for them that are caryed into Asia beyond the seas: Or if any do attempte so to do, he taketh his time chiefly about haruest, when he may hyde him selfe al the day time in the corne, or in woodes, or marishes, and fynd foode: and in the night onely, hee flyeth, and had rather bee deuoured of wolues and other wyld beastes, then to returne agayne to his maister. MarginaliaThe maner & shift of our men in getting ouer the sea. In their flyeng they vse to take with them an hatchet and coardes, that when they come to the sea syde, they may cut downe trees, and bynd together the endes of them, and so, where the sea of Hellespontus is narrowest, about Sestos and Abydos, they take the sea, sittyng vpon trees, where, if the wynde and tyde do serue luckely, they may cut ouer in foure or v. houres: MarginaliaThe manifolde daungers by the way in flying. But þe most part either perish in the floudes, or are driuen backe agayn vpō the coastes of Asia, or els bee deuoured of wilde beastes in woodes, or perishe with hunger and famine. If any escape ouer the seas alyue into Europe, by the way they enter into no towne, but wander vpon the mountaines, folowing onely the Northstarre for their guide.

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MarginaliaThe miserye of Christian cities & prouinces which liue vnder the Turkes tribute As touchyng such townes & prouinces, which are wōne by the Turke, and wherin the Christians are suffered to lyue vnder tribute: first all the nobilitie there, they kyll and make awaye, the Churchemen & clergy hardly they spare. The Churches with the belles and all the furniture therof, either they cast downe, or els they conuert to the vse of their owne blasphemous 

Commentary  *  Close

The addition of this adjective, 'blasphemous', is one of only twointerpolations that Foxe made to Georgevits's description of Ottoman treatment oftheir captives. This description of the Ottoman sultan as a master thief is one ofonly two interpolations Foxe made into Georgevits's description of Ottomantreatment of their captives

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Religion, leauyng to the Christians, certaine olde and blynd chappels, whiche when they decaye, it is permitted to our mē to repayre thē agayne, for a great somme of money geuen to the Turke: Neither be they permitted to vse any open preachyng or ministration. But onely in silence and by stealth, to frequent together. Neither is it lawfull for any Christian to beare office within þe citie or prouince, nor to beare weapō, nor to weare any garment lyke to the Turkes. MarginaliaIf Christiās may not goe lyke turkes. why shoulde our Gospellers goe lyke Papistes? And if any contumely or blasphemie, be it neuer so great. be spoken agaynst , or agaynst Christe, yet must thou beare it, and holde thy peace. Or if thou speake one word agaynst their religion, thou shalt bee compelled (whether thou wilt or no) to be circumcised: And then if thou speake one word agaynst Mahumet, thy punishment is fire and burnyng. MarginaliaThe Turkes haue their fire & fagots, as well as our papistes.
The Christians must lyght from their horse, meeting a Turkishe priest, and adore hym.
And if it chaunce a Christian beyng on horsebacke, to meete or passe by a Musulman, that is a Turkish priest, he must light from hys horse, & with a lowly looke, deuoutly reuerēce & adore the Musulmā: Or if he do not, he is beaten down frō his horse wt clubs & staues.

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Furthermore, for their tribute they pay the fourth part of their substance and gayne, to the Turke: beside the ordinarie tribute of the Christians, whiche is to paye for euery polle within his familie, a ducket vnto the Turke: which if the parentes can not do, they are compelled to sell theyr children into bondage. Other beyng not able to pay, go cheyned in fetters from dore to dore beggyng, to make vp theyr payment, or els must they lye in perpetuall prison.

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MarginaliaAn other miserie most lamentable, in taking away Christē mens childrē frō their parentes, to serue the turke. And yet notwithstandyng, when the christians haue discharged all dueties: it remayneth free for the turkes to take vp among the christians children, whom they best like, and them to circumcise and to take them away beyng yoōg, from the sight of their parentes, to farre places, to be brought vp for the Turkes wars, so that they may not returne to them agayn: but firste are taught to forget Christ, and thē their parents: so that if they come agayne amongst thē, yet are they not able to know their kinsfolkes and parents.

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This misery passyng all other miseries, no man is able wt tongue to vtter, or with wordes to expresse. MarginaliaO myserye. What weping & teares, what sorow and lamentation, what groning, sights, and depe dolour doth teare and rent asōder the wofull harts of the sely parents, at the plucking away of their babes and children? to see their sonnes & their owne children, whō they haue borne and bred vp to the seruice of Christ Iesus the sonne of God, now to be drawn away violently from thē, to the warfare of Satan, and to fight against Christ? to see theyr babes borne of christian bloud, of christiās to be made turkes and so to be pluckt out of their armes and out of their sight without hope euer to returne to them agayne: to lyue per-

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petually
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