Travels into Turkey: Containing the Most Accurate Account of the Turks, and Neighbouring Nations, Their Manners, Customs, Religion, Superstition, Policy, Riches, Coins
Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq
Library of Alexandria
As I promised you, at parting, to give you a full Account of my Journey to Constantinople, so, I shall now make good my Word; and I hope, with Advantage too. For, I shall also acquaint you with my Adventures in my Travel to Amasia, as well as That to Constantinople, the former being less used, and consequently far less known, than the latter. My Design herein, is, to allow you a Part of the Solace, of what happened pleasurable to me; for so the ancient Friendship betwixt us obliges me, to appropriate no Joy to myself, without communicating the same to you; but, as for what happened incommodious to me, (as, in so long and tedious a Journey, some Things must needs do) those I take to my self; neither would I have you concerned in them at all; for, the Danger being now past, the more grievous they were to suffer, the more pleasant will they be, even to myself, to remember and commit to Writing. Upon the Receipt of his Letter, Ferdinand was at a stand; he did not fully believe, nor yet altogether disbelieve him; he was inclined to suspect, that the Memory of his former Sufferings, and the Fear of future ones, did deter him from that Employment, rather than the Danger of his Disease; and yet, on the other side, he did not think it creditable for himself to employ a Man that had so well deserved of him and of the Commonwealth, in any Service against his Will. But the Death ofMalvezius, which followed a few Months after, did sufficiently convince him, that his Disease was not pretended, to decline the Employment, but was really a Mortal one. Upon this, I was substituted in the Place of Malvezius: But, being unexperienced (as I said before) in the Affairs and Manners of the Turks, King Ferdinand thought it adviseable for me to bestow a Visit upon Malvezius in his Sickness, that so, by his Directions and Advice, I might be better cautioned and armed against any Impositions of the captious Turks. Two Days I staid with him, which was as much as the straitness of my Time would permit; and I husbanded them so well, as to be informed by him, what I was to act, and what to avoid, in my daily Convention with the Turks. Whereupon, I posted back to Vienna, and began, with great Application and Diligence, to prepare Necessaries for my Journey. But such was the Flush of Business, and so little the Time allowed to dispatch it, that, when the Day fixt for my Departure came, though the King did earnestly press me forward, and I had been extremely Busy all the Day in equipping myself, and in causing Bag and Baggage to be pack’d up, even from the fourth Watch; yet it was the first Watch of the following Night, before I could be quite ready; but then the Gates of Vienna, which at that time of Night us’d always to be shut, were opened on purpose for me. The Emperor went abroad a Hunting that Day, but he told his Followers, That he did not doubt but that I would be upon my Way, before he returned from his Sport in the Evening, and it fell out accordingly; yet so, that I was but just gone before he came Home.