“O lamentable ruins of the ill-fated Nicosia, still moist with the blood of your valorous and unfortunate defenders! Were you capable of feeling, we might jointly bewail our disasters in this solitude, and perhaps find some relief for our sorrows in mutually declaring them. A hope may remain that your dismantled towers may rise again, though not for so just a defence as that in which they fell; but I, unfortunate! what good can I hope for in my wretched distress, even should I return to my former state? Such is my hard fate, that in freedom I was without happiness, and in captivity I have no hope of it.”
 A city of Cyprus, taken from the Venetians by the Turks in 1570.
These words were uttered by a captive Christian as he gazed from an eminence on the ruined walls of Nicosia; and thus he talked with them, comparing his miseries with theirs, as if they could understand him,—a common habit with the afflicted, who, carried away by their imaginations, say and do things inconsistent with all sense and reason. Meanwhile there issued from a pavilion or tent, of which there were four pitched in the plain, a young Turk, of good-humoured and graceful appearance, who approached the Christian, saying, “I will lay a wager, friend Ricardo, that the gloomy thoughts you are continually ruminating have led you to this place.”
“It is true,” replied Ricardo, for that was the captive’s name; “but what avails it, since, go where I will, I find no relief from them; on the contrary, the sight of yonder ruins have given them increased force.”
“You mean the ruins of Nicosia?”
“Of course I do, since there are no others visible here.”
“Such a sight as that might well move you to tears,” said the Turk; “for any one who saw this famous and plenteous isle of Cyprus about two years ago, when its inhabitants enjoyed all the felicity that is granted to mortals, and who now sees them exiled from it, or captive and wretched, how would it be possible not to mourn over its calamity? But let us talk no more of these thing’s, for which there is no remedy, and speak of your own, for