XX HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE.
dispense with them; and the enterprising Elizabeth, in whose reign the accident happened, sent Raleigh and Drake to explore the West, while Harebone was despatched to
open a communication with the East She wrote a Latin letter, addressed, AugJistissimo
invictissmoq. principi Sultan Murad Can; in which she seems not only to prize highly
the incipient reformation in England, but also to recommend herself to the Turk by a
principle common to Islamism, " an unconquerable opposition to idolatry." Her letter
was well received, and Sir E. Barton was appointed her first resident ambassador. He
accompanied Amurath in his Hungarian wars, and died on his return to Constantinople.
He was buried in the island of Chalki, and his monument still exists in a Greek convent
there. Hence originated an English residence at Constantinople, and the establishment
of the Levant Company, a body of merchants who, for 240 years, have caused the
name of England to be respected in the East, among the most honoured nations of
Amurath III. was distinguished by the extraordinary number of his children. He
had attached himself to a fair Venetian, sold to him as a slave, and raised her to the
dignity of Sultana; but she had no children, and the Janissaries began to express their
discontent. They accused her of sorcery, and caused her attendants to be put to the
torture, to discover what philtres she had used to entangle the sultan's affection. None
were discovered, except a good and amiable disposition. Amurath, however, soon
attached himself to so many others, that he filled the seraglio with 200 of his progeny.
He died in the year 1595, at the age o^ 50, leaving 48 children alive.
The first care of his successor, Mahomet III. was the usual resort of Turkish policy.
He strangled twenty-four of his brothers—nor was he satisfied with this carnage.
He escaped an insurrection of the janissaries, and, suspecting that his favourite
Sultana and her son were concerned in it, he caused them to be sewed up in sacks,
and drowned in the sea of Marmora. He died in 1603, after a reign of 8 years.
Achmet I. also commenced his reign with a measure of Turkish precaution. He had a
brother, and, to render him incapable of reigning, he caused his eyes to be put out This
horrid process is performed in various ways—either by scooping out the eyes; by compressing the forehead till the balls are forced out of their sockets; by rendering the lens
opaque with boiling vinegar; or, finally, by heating a metal bason red-hot, the intense
glow of which, held to the eye, soon destroys the sensibility of the optic nerve. This
latter is said to be the least painful, and has been practised by the more humane.
Not satisfied, however, with the operation, and still apprehensive of the janissaries, he
caused his blind brother to be strangled. He was, notwithstanding, celebrated for his
taste and magnificence; and the mosque, of his erection, and called by his name, is a
lasting memorial of these qualities. He died at the early age of twenty-nine, in the year
1617. His reign is remarkable for the first introduction of tobacco into Constantinople,
by the Dutch, who then began to trade there, and brought with them this plant from
America. It was at first strongly opposed by the mufti as a violation of the koran;
but the grand vizir, who became fond of it, ordered it to be served out in rations to the
janissaries, and they soon silenced all opposition.