08 Jan 1572

The monk Calepio remembers how he was freed from the Ottoman bonds


The monk Calepio remembers how he was freed from the Ottoman bonds:

I was taken prisoner by a talisman, a Turkish monk and sold to Osman Chelibi, the captain of a galley; how the mercy and loving kindness of our God made me at once find favour with this fierce dog, and when I was fearing to be chained to the oar, as happened to other nobles and persons of every condition, he first left me at liberty, at my prayer brought me my two sisters, bid everyone be gentle with me, and made his own pages bring me food from his own table. Often for his own amusement he made me eat with him, allotted to me and my sisters an excellent place under cover to sleep, gave us slave-girls and coverlets, and at last, after setting a big price upon me was satisfied with four thousand five hundred aspers, though I had first to pay twenty five sequins to his Kiaya, his steward, a renegade. These sums were paid out for the four hundred scudi, the noble present sent me by Pope Pius V, of happy memory through the pious hands of my General M. Serafino Cavalli, my most tender father and author of the ransom of myself and my companions so that on January 8 of the following year I was absolutely free.