THE LOVE LETTERS OF ROXELANA AND SULEIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT
Portrait of Roxelana by Titian  now in the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota
ROXELANA'S LOVE LETTER TO SULEIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT WRITTEN WHILST HER HUSBAND WAS ON CAMPAIGN IN EUROPE
I am praying until dawn to be reunited with you. I am begging Allah, with the loudest cries I can make, to able to kiss your lips; I am burning up inside, again I know that you are, at the moment, waging war in the name of Allah. You are on the path to win great victories and cause the Holy War to prosper. I wish for your success but my greatest wish is to be reunited with you. You are the only cure for my grieving heart that is filled with sorrow. The courtiers of the palace and your sons send you many greetings in the name of peace. In your letter you have asked me if I’m upset or not with one of your viziers, and if you listen to me, just this one time concerning this matter, I will teach you the truth. I also send greetings of peace to your servant the Pasha. Please also send greetings of peace to your son Mustafa who has also asked to join you on campaign. I pray that you find peace in this world and the next. My Lord High Sultan, after I place my head upon the earth, I kiss the soil upon which your blessed feet have trodden. Oh, My Lord, my nation’s sun and source of riches, if you ask about me, your servant, who has been set alight by the passion of missing you, I am like one whose insides have been roasted, whose chest has been rent asunder, whose eyes are filled with tears, who can no longer distinguish between day and night, who has fallen into an ocean of yearning, desperate, crazed by your love, in a worse state than Majnun and Ferhad*, this passionate love I bear means your slave is burning because we have been forced apart. Like a nightingale whose sighs and cries for help are ceaseless, I am in such a state due to being separated from you. I would pray to Allah to afflict this pain upon even your enemies.
*the protagonists of two Persian love stories (Layla & Majnun and Shirin & Farhad) by the 10th Century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi
Portrait of Suleiman also by Titian  now in the Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul
SULEIMAN'S LOVE POEM TO ROXELANA WRITTEN UNDER HIS PEN NAME MUHIBBI (SWEETHEART)
My throne of solitude, my everything, my beloved, my shining moon,
My friend, my privacy, my everything, my shah all those who are beautiful, my sultan,
My life, my existence, my lifetime, my wine of youth, my heaven,
My spring, my joy, my day, my beloved, my laughing rose.
My delight, my wine, my tavern, my lamp, my light, my candle,
My orange and pomegranate and sour orange, my candle of night,
My plant, my sugar, my treasure, my delicate in world,
My saint, my Joseph, my everything, my Khan of my heart´s Egypt.
My Istanbul, My Karaman, my land of Rum,
My Bedehşan, my Kıpchak, my Bagdad, my Horosan,
My woman of the beautiful hair, my love of the slanted brow, my love of eyes full of mischief,
My blood is on your hands if I die, have mercy oh my non-Muslim,
I am a flatterer at your door, I always praise you,
Though my heart is full of sorrow, and my eye full of tears, I am Muhibbi and I am happy.
The original Arabic text of Roxelana's letter to Sigismund II Augustus, congratulating him on his accession to the Polish throne.
ROXELANA THE DIPLOMAT
her first letter to Sigismund II, written in 1549, Roxelana expresses her deep joy and hearty congratulations to the new king on the occasion of his succession to the Polish throne after the death of his father Sigismund I. She also pleads with the King to trust her envoy Hassan Aga, her close servant who was another Ukrainian converted to Islam who had a message from her that could only be conveyed by word of mouth. Sigismund sent her a suitably polite reply and in her response to the Polish king’s letter, she writes, using her customary hyperbole, her joy at hearing that the king is in good health and that he sends assurances of his sincere friendliness and attachment towards Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. She also quotes the sultan as saying: "with the old king we were like brothers, and if it pleases the All-Merciful God, with this king we will be as father and son." With this letter, Roxelana enclosed a gift of two pairs of linen shirts and breeches, belts, six handkerchiefs, and a hand-towel, with a promise to send a special linen robe in the future.
AN ACCOUNT OF A TARTAR SLAVE RAID FROM A DESCRIPTION OF THE UKRAINE  BY GUILLAUME BEAUPLAN, A FRENCH ARTILLERY OFFICER AND MILITARY ENGINEER SERVING THE KING OF POLAND
. . . it is a sight that could touch even the cruellest of hearts, when a man is separated from his wife, a mother from her daughter, without any hope of ever being reunited, in the deplorable captivity of pagan Mahumetans, who will subject them to a myriad indignities. The Tatars’ brutality makes them commit the filthiest of deeds, such as raping maidens, violating married women in presence of their fathers and husbands, and even circumcising infants in front of the latter in order to turn them to Mahomet. In the end, even the most callous of hearts would tremble among the cries and laments, tears and moans of these unfortunate Ruthenians [Poles and Ukrainians]. For while these people sing and howl in tears, these miserable folks are dispersed in different directions: some to Constantinople, some to the Crimea, others to Anatolia, etc. This is, in a few words, how Tatars take captive as many as 50,000souls in less than two weeks, and how they treat their captives upon dividing them amongst themselves and then sell them as they please when they return to their lands…
A highly romanticised view of a Tartar Slave Raid [from a 19th Century painting]