29 AUGUST 1931, Page 22

The new volume issued by the Hakluyt Society and edited

by its learned President, Sir William Foster, is of unusual interest as a picture of the Near East in Elizabeth's day. The Travels of John Sanderson in the Levant (Quariteh, 31s. 6d.) was printed by Purchas, who knew the writer, but is now edited from the MS. in the British Museum, together with Sanderson's autobiography and correspondence and many valuable notes. Sanderson first went to Constantinople and Egypt in 1584, but his third journey (1599-1602) was the most notable since he went as consul and treasurer for the Levant Company. His description of the Turkish capital and of the barbarous methods of government is vivid and racy. He notes in 1595 that when Mehmet III succeeded his father Murad he had his nineteen brothers strangled, to prevent any dispute about his right to the throne. Sanderson seems to have been a peevish fellow, with many grievances ; his colleagues once lost patience so far as to go in a body and assault him. But he was a shrewd observer, and his narrative is worth reading. He refers continually, for instance, to the intrigues and counter-intrigues of rival European ambassadors to the Porte. Even in those days the Turk profited by the quarrels of the Christians.