Akbar and the Jesuits
About this text
Born at Toulouse in 1566, father Pierre du Jarric entered the Society of Jesus in 1582 with intentions of becoming a missionary of the order. Unable to fulfill this, he spent a major part of his life as professor of philosophy and moral theology at Bordeaux. He died at Saintes in 1617, three years after the completion of the third volume of his Histoire. Based on the letters of the fathers by whom these missions were conducted, this account is more of a guide to the spirit rather than to the events of the time. The scarcity of contemporary accounts of India in the days of Akbar lends additional importance to these letters, which not only give us information unobtainable from other sources, but contain the earliest impressions of the Mughal Empire ever recorded by European writers; for the Fathers were the first, and with the exception of the English traveller Ralph Fitch, the only Europeans who visited Northern India in the sixteenth century. Primary Sources DU JARRIC, P., & PAYNE, C. H. (1926). Akbar and the Jesuits, an account of the Jesuit missions to the court of Akbar. London, George Routledge & Sons. Suggested Reading MONSERRATE, A., HOYLAND, J. S., & BANERJEE, S. N. (2003). The commentary of Father Monserrate, S.J., on his journey to the court of Akbar. New Delhi, Asian Educational Services.
THE BROADWAY TRAVELLERS EDITED BY SIR E. DENISON ROSS AND EILEEN POWER AKBAR AND THE JESUITS AN ACCOUNT OF THE JESUIT MISSIONS TO THE COURT OF AKBAR BY FATHER PIERRE D- U JARRIC, S.J. Translated with Introduction and Notes by C. H. Payne
published by George Routledge & sons, LTD. Broadway House, Carter Lane, London
1. Akbar and the Jesuits CHAPTER I AKBAR, THE GREAT MOGUL
THIS beautiful, rich, and spacious province, which the Romans called India citerior, or India intra Gangem (India on this side of the Ganges), and which we call Indostan, is to-day in the possession (at least, for the most part) of a powerful monarch who is generally known as the Great Mogor, his ancestors having been termed Mogores by the inhabitants of that part of India which first came under their sway.
This monarch is of the lineage of the great Tamer Ian, or Tamberlan, the Tartar king whom men have called the scourge of God; the same who, having made war upon Bajazet, the emperor of the Turcs, and first of that name, defeated him in a pitched battle, and having taken him prisoner, kept him, like some wild bird, in an iron cage, and fed him as though he had been a dog with the remnants from his own table. Similarly, when he wished to mount his horse, he compelled his captive to offer his back as a mounting-step, and for this purpose led him whithersoever he went by a chain of iron, or, as some say, of gold.
He was the seventh descendant [sexiesme nepueu] of Tamerlan, or, as others say, the eighth king after him, which means the same thing. He was born in the province of Chaquata [Chaghatai], which extends on the south to Indostan, on the west to Persia, and on the north to the country of the Tartars. Howbeit, the inhabitants resemble Turcs rather than Tartars or Persians, and, for the most part, they speak the language of the former, though not with the elegance and purity of the Turcs themselves. The gentlefolk, and others who follow the court, speak Persian, but their pronunciation differs from that of the Persians, and they use many foreign words.
As to the limits of his empire, these cannot yet be stated with accuracy; for until the time of his death, which took place on the 27th of October, 1605, he was constantly making new conquests. We are told that in the year 1582 his territories stretched west-ward [Page 5] to the Indus, and further north to the confines of Persia. The eastern boundaries were the same as those of the kingdom of Bengala, of which he was master. On the north was Tartarie, and on the south the sea which washes the shores of Cambaya. Nowhere else, except in Bengala, did his empire extend to the sea; for the kings of the Mala bars, the Portuguese, the king of Narsinga, and certain others; hold, in addition to their other possessions, all the maritime ports. The rest belongs to the great Mogor, whose territories, all included, are estimated to have been, at that time, six hundred leagues in length, and four Hundred in breadth ; but since then he has annexed the kingdom of Caximir [Kashmir], and several others. The country is, for the most part, fruitful, producing the needs of life in abundance ; for between the two famous rivers, the Indus and the Ganges, which wind. over the greater portion of it, watering it like a garden, there are nine others which empty themselves into these two; namely, the Taphy [Tapti], the Heruada [Narbada], the Chambel, and the Tamona [Jumna], flowing into the Ganges, and the Catamel [Sutlej], the Cebcha [Beas ], the Ray [Ravi], the Chenao [Chenab ], and the Reb-eth [Jhilam], flowing into the Indus, which the people call the Schind. From this we can judge of the fertility of this region, and of the wealth of the great Mogor. For all the kingdoms and provinces which he conquers he holds as his own, appointing his captains, or the kings whom he has dis possessed, as his lieutenants over them. From these he takes a third portion of the revenues, the remainder [Page 6] being for their personal needs, and the maintenance of the soldiers; horses, and elephants which each of them is bound to keep in readiness for any emergency that may arise. The wealth of these provinces is increased by the extensive trade which is carried on in drugs, spices, pearls; and other precious things; and also in civet, cotton cloth, cloth of gold, woollen stuffs, carpets, velvet and other silken fabrics, as well as in every kind of metal. Horses also are brought in large numbers from Persia and Tartary.
But his military strength is even more formidable. For in the various provinces throughout his empire he has in his pay captains dependent on him, each of whom commands twelve or fourteen thousand horse. These they are compelled to maintain, as has already been stated, out of the revenues of the provinces which the king has assigned to them. Besides these, there are others of inferior rank who maintain seven or eight thousand horse, as well as a number of elephants trained for warfare. The king has in his Stables five thousand of these elephants; all ready to march at his will. As to the number of elephants in the whole of the kingdom, it has been estimated that he can put into the field fifty thousand, all well armed, in the manner about to be described. In a war with his brother, the Prince of Cabul, who marched in great force against: him, Echehar took the field with :fifty thousand cavalry, all chosen men, and five thousand fighting elephants, besides innumerable infantry; and this is leaving out of account the thousands of followers, mounted and on foot, whom he left in garrisons, or in [Page 7] other places requiring protection. In time of war, he recruited his army from all classes of the people, Mogores, Coronans [Khurasanis], Parthes; Torquimaches, Boloches, Guzarates, and other Industans, whether Pagans or Mahometans.
He goes into battle with many pieces of artillery, which are placed in the front line. The elephants are kept in the rear, and are armed in the following fashion. To protect the head from blows, it is covered with a plate of iron; or tough hide. A sword is attached to the trunk, and a dagger to each of the long tusks which protrude from the mouth. Each animal bears on his back four small wooden turrets, from which as many soldiers discharge their bows, arquebusses, or muskets. The driver is protected by a cuirass, or by plates of metal overlapping like scales. Elephants thus equipped are not placed in the front line, as they would shut out the enemy from the view of the soldiers, and would, when wounded, break the ranks of the soldiers; and throw the army into disorder. They are kept in the rear of the force ; and should the enemy penetrate so far; this formidable troupe is brought suddenly into action, to bar his further progress. These beasts, even when unarmed, can do great damage. They seize with their trunks those whom they find in their path, and raising them in the air as high as they are able, dash them to the ground ,and trample them under their feet. At other times they attack with their iron-sheathed heads, butting after the manner of rams.
It was in the year 1582 that his court was first visited by Fathers of the Company. He was then about forty years of age, of medium stature, and strongly built. He wore a turban on his head, and the fabric of his costume was interwoven with gold thread. His outer garment reached to his knees, and his breeches to his heels. His stockings were much like ours; but his shoes were of a peculiar pattern invented by himself. On his brow he wore several rows of pearls or precious stones. He had a great liking for European clothes; and sometimes it was his pleasure to dress himself in a costume of black velvet made after the Portuguese fashion ; but this was only on private, not on public occasions. He had always a sword at his side, or at any rate so near by that he could lay his hand upon it in a moment. Those who guarded his person, and whom he kept constantly near him, were changed each day of the week, as were his other officers and attendants, but in such a manner that the same persons came on duty every eighth day.
Echebar possessed an alert and discerning mind; he was a man of sound judgment, prudent in affairs, and; above all, kind, affable, and generous.
At other times, he amused himself with elephants and camels that had been trained to dance to the tune of certain musical instruments, and to perform other strange feats.
Often he used to hunt the wild animals that abound in these regions. For this purpose he employed panthers instead of hunting-dogs; for in this country panthers are trained to the chase as we train dogs. He did not care much for hawking, though he had many well-trained falcons and other birds of prey; and there were some expert falconers amongst his retainers. Some of these were so skilful with the bow that they very rarely missed a bird at which they shot, even though it was on the wing, and though their arrows were unfeathered.
To catch wild deer he used other deer which had been trained for this purpose. These carried nets on their horns in which the wild deer that came to attack them became entangled, upon which they were seized by the hunters who had been lying in concealment near by. When on a military campaign, he used to hunt in the following manner. Four or five thousand men were made to join hands and form a ring round a piece of jungle. Others were then sent inside to drive the animals to the edge of the enclosure, where they were captured by those forming the ring. A fine [Page 11] was levied on those who allowed an animal to break through and escape.
For the administration of justice, there are magistrates whose judgement is final, and others from whom there is an appeal. In every case the proceedings are verbal, and are never committed to writing. The king of whom we are speaking made it his particular care that in every case justice should be strictly enforced. He was, nevertheless, cautious in the infliction of punishment, especially the punishment of death.
If anyone expressed an adverse opinion, he would listen patiently, answer his objections, and point out the reasons for his own decision. Sometimes, in view of the objections pointed out to him, he changed the plans he had made. Persian is the language usually spoken at his court, but learned men and the priests of Mahomet speak Arabic.
2. CHAPTER II THE FIRST MISSION TO MOGOR
the Viceroy in India of the Portuguese king, had, in the year 1578, sent as ambassador to his court a Portuguese gentleman named Antoine Cabral, who was accompinied by several others of the same nation. Whilst they were at his court, Echebar closely watched their behaviour and manner of life, gaining thereby some idea of other adherents of the Christian religion, of which he had heard so much. He was very favourably impressed by what he saw of these persons; and showed himself so anxious to know something of the law they followed, that the ambassador did his best to explain to him its main principles, telling him also of the Fathers of the Company who were preaching it in India. The King had already heard of two Fathers of the same society who had gone in the year 1576 to the kingdom of Bengala, and he had been told that there were in India many others of the same order who were labouring to spread the law of Jesus-Christ in all the countries of the East. Finally a certain Portuguese, named Pierre Tavero, a man of substance and intelligence, who had for some years resided at his court, [Page 15] enlightened him still further on certain aspects of the Christian law, with the result that, being told of a Christian priest, renowned for the sanctity of his life, who was then in his kingdom of Bengala, he sent for him forthwith, that he might receive from him a complete exposition of the faith which he professed. Echebar heard these things with evident gladness; and so strongly was he moved to abandon his faith that, one evening while conversing with his Caziques, or Mullas, as the priests of the Mahometan religion are called, he told them frankly that he had decided to follow the counsel of the good priest, and pray to God for light to see the truth, and the path to salvation. At this discussion, his Soldan of Mecque [Mecca], the chief of all his Mullas or Caziques, was present, who, the moment these worrds fell from the King's lips, said, ‘Your Majesty follows a good law, and has no reason to doubt it, or to seek another.’ On hearing this, the King rose to his feet and ex [Page 16] claimed, ‘May God help us May God help us’ , repeating the words as if to imply that he was far from satisfied with the law that he followed, and that he would gladly have knowledge of a better.
A few days later, he asked the same priest to teach him to speak Portuguese; for he had a great desire (or so he said) to know that tongue, that he might the better understand his exposition of the Christian law. This the priest commenced to do with much care and zeal ; and the first word that he taught the King was the sweet name of Jesus. The King found such pleasure in this holy word that he repeated it at each step as he walked up and down in his house.
While conversing with the King, the priest told him one day that there were in the town of Goa some very learned and holy Fathers, who had spread a knowledge of Jesus-Christ in many parts of India; and that if he would communicate his doubts to them, he would learn from them, much better than from himself, all that he desired to know touching the Christian faith, [Page 17] in as much as they were much more learned in the holy scriptures. This made the King very anxious to see and know those of whom he spoke; and not long afterwards he sent an ambassador to India, with a letter addressed to the Fathers of the Company residing at Goa, which, translated into our own language, was to the following effect: ‘Forman of Zelabdin Mahemet Echebar. Reverend Fathers of the Order of Saint Paul : Be it known to you that, holding you in great esteem, I am sending you my ambassador Ebadola, and his interpreter Dominique Briz, to beg you to send to me two Fathers, learned in the scriptures, who shall bring with them the principal books of the law, and of the Gospels; for I have a great desire to become acquainted with this law and its perfection. I earnestly enjoin you not to hinder their coming with these same ambassadors as soon as they shall reach you. Know, also, that the Fathers who shall come here will be received by me with all honour, and that it will be a peculiar pleasure to me to see them. If, after I have been instructed as I desire in their law and its perfection, they wish to return, they will be free to do so whenever it shall seem good to them, and I shall despatch them with great respect and honour. Let them not hesitate to come, for they will be under my care and protection.’ [Page 18] Having set out from Goa in the company of the ambassador and his interpreter, the three Fathers arrived after twenty days at Surrate, which is a port of the kingdom of Cambaya, above the town of Daman, and which belongs to the Great Mogor. At last, on the 18th day of February in the year 1580, after passing through many difficulties and dangers, they reached the imperial court, then located at Pateful [Fathpur], their entire journey having occupied forty three days. So great was the King's anxiety to see them that, during this period (as they subsequently learnt), he constantly calculated the number of days necessary for the completion of their journey, and repeatedly asked those about him when they would arrive. The moment he heard that they had come, he summoned them to his palace, where he received them with many marks of friendship, and entertained them in various ways until far into the night. Before they took their leave, a large quantity of gold and silver was brought to be presented to them. The Fathers thanked him very respectfully, but would not take any [Page 19] of the money, courteously excusing themselves on the ground of their calling. As for their livelihood, for which the King urged them to accept what he offered them, they said that it was sufficient happiness for them to enjoy his favour, and that they trusted to God to supply their daily needs.
Some time afterwards, he again sent for the Fathers, summoning at the same time his Mullas and Caziques, in order that they might dispute together in his presence, so that he might discover which were in truth the holy scriptures on which to place his faith. The Fathers clearly established the authenticity and truth of the scriptures contained in the Old and New Testaments, laying bare at the same time the falsehoods and fallacies with which the Koran is filled. This first dispute ended in the complete discomfiture of the Mullas and Caziques, who, unable to find any answer to the arguments of the Fathers, took refuge in silence. The King appeared well satisfied with what he had heard; and, after the conference, told the Fathers that their law seemed to him to be good; but that he desired them to explain to him the mystery of the holy Trinity, and how God could have had a son who became a man ; for these were the greatest difficulties he found in our belief. The Fathers gave him the explanations for which he asked, and with. these he seemed for a time to be satisfied, though not wholly so; for afterwards he advised them to be on their guard when they spoke before the Saracens, ‘because’, he said, ‘they are not capable of understanding so holy a doctrine as this which you preach’. [Page 21] The priests had brought with them the Koran of Mahomet translated into the Portuguese language, that they might be the better able to refute its errors and demonstrate the false and contradictory Statements which it contained, which, by this means, and with the help of their interpreter, they did very effectively. [Page 23] At another time the same Father Aquaviva came to present to the King his bonne Pasques, or Easter gift, it being the evening of the resurrection of our Saviour. His Majesty was greatly pleased thereat. He showed the Father much honour, detaining him in conversa tion until late in the night.
3. CHAPTER III 'WHAT IS TRUTH ?'
Although his mind was not wholly made up, he used every endeavour to implant in those who served him an admiration for the Christian law, which he preached to them himself, extolling it on all occasions, and manifesting his strong desire that many should embrace it. Sometimes he would spend the entire day maintaining, in debate with his Mullas, the inferiority of the law of Mahomet.
King, who ceased to have any respect for the law of Mahomet, or for his Mullas, and openly declared as much. At the same time, his respect for the law of Christianity increased, and he favoured those who followed it in every way he could.
It was about this time that, at the request of the Fathers, he gave permission that a certain Portuguese, who had died, should be given a public funeral with Christian rites, that is to say, with lighted candles, and preceded by the cross. The funeral procession passed through the middle of the city, to the great wonderment of the infidels, who were Strongly impressed by reverent respect shown by the Portuguese towards their dead; and many even of the Saracens uttered [Page 29] prayers for the deceased, and offered to assist in the interment.
But although such acts as these seemed to show that the King held the Christian faith in high esteem, there were, nevertheless, many things which Stood in the way of his embracing it. The first was his unwillingness to accept the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation without being able to comprehend them ; so that he was kept in a State of perpetual irresolution, not knowing where to fix his faith. ‘For the Gentiles,’ he said, ‘regard their law as good; and so likewise do the Saracens and the Christians. To which then shall we give our adherence?’ Thus we see in this Prince the common fault of the atheist:, who refuses to make reason subservient to faith, and, accepting nothing as true which his feeble mind is unable to fathom, is content to submit to his own imperfect judgement matters transcending the highest limits of human understanding.
Another obstacle consisted in the innumerable duties and occupations in which he was generally plunged. These left him little leisure for private meditation, and made it impossible for the Fathers to find convenient opportunities for explaining to him the doctrines of our faith with the fullness and exactness that they demanded. To overcome this obstacle, the Fathers put before him the example of certain Kings and Princes of Iapon, who, having no leisure during the day for self-examination and religious instruction, set apart for that purpose a considerable portion of the night.
Lastly, he had a great desire to witness a miracle; and several times he suggested that, to prove which of the two laws was the better, that of the Christians or that of the Saracens, the Fathers and the Mullas, the former holding their holy scriptures, and the latter their Koran, should enter a fire together, and those who were not burnt should be regarded as the possessors ofthe true law. But it was pointed out to him that it. would be presumptuous, and only tempting God, to act thus without His special sanction ; and, in the end, the King was convinced by their reasoning, and gave up the idea of this strange test.
But not-withstanding all these things, many began to desire a knowledge of the religion for which the King displayed so much admiration, and whose priests he held in such high esteem.
Seeing that the King remained irresolute, and in order that their time might not be wasted, the Fathers began to devote themselves to the conversion of others; and, to this end, begged permission to baptise all those who desired to become Christians. This his Majesty willingly granted [...]He also gave them permission to build, out of the charitable offerings of the Portuguese, a hospital for the sick.
Indeed, so great was the number of catechumens enrolled, that the Fathers were scarce able to undertake their instruction. But it was then that the Devil, ever working against the salvation of mankind, set himself to shuffle the cards, and, to prevent the reaping ofthis rich harvest, stirred into rebellion against the King the Parthes, or Patanes, who, as we have already told, had been confined to the islands of Bengala.
These people having heard (as they said afterwards, in excuse for their revolt) that it was the King's intention to abandon the law of his ancestors, that is to say, Mahometanism, and to follow another, raised a rebellion in the kingdom of Bengala, killing the Viceroy, or Governor, whom the King had placed there.
They had also, it was said, negotiated with the King's half-brother, the Prince of Chabul, who simultaneously invaded the other side of his kingdom, which he penetrated with a large army to a distance of three hundred leagues.
These events greatly perturbed the King; while his Mullas, who were fallen so low in his credit, were quick to interpret them as a punishment for his contempt of themselves and their law. This, and much more to the same effect, which the Mullas daily poured [Page 33] into his ears, made so strong an impression on him, that he began little by little to avoid the company of the Fathers, and to abate his former enthusiasm for the Christian faith. His changed attitude was plainly shown; for he refused to see the Fathers when they came to condole with him on the loss of the kingdom of Bengala; and for a period of some months they were not once summoned to his presence.
The King marched to meet his brother at the head of 50,000 horse, and 5000 fighting elephants, besides infantry too numerous to be estimated. Seeing so vast a force coming against him, his brother gradually withdrew. The King followed him, continuing the pursuit till he had shut him up in his own territories, which were on the other side of the Indus. After this, he put down without difficulty the revolt stirred up by the Patanes in Bengala [...]
At last, the Fathers suggested that, as the previous disputes had not made clear to him the difference between the law of Jesus Christ and that of Mahomet, he should again arrange [Page 34] a public debate between themselves and the Mullas, so that he might be able to make up his mind once for all which was the better religion to follow. This suggestion was not greatly to the King's liking, for he feared the Mullas would again be defeated; but as the Fathers urged him very Strongly, he assigned the coming Saturday for the dispute.
On this occasion, he not only attended himself, but brought with him all the Captains and lords of his court, besides a large number of his Mullas. The latter strove to uphold their false prophet; but they were so hard pressed by the Fathers, that they were able neither to explain his sayings in the Koran, nor to maintain what they advanced in his defence. The King, perceiving the futility of their arguments, tried to bring his own knowledge into play, and to cover their shame; but he too was put to equal confusion, with the result that almost all who were present saw ,clearly the false and impious character of the Mahometan law.
4. CHAPTER IV FATHER RUDOLF AQUAVIVA
SEEING the earnestness with which the King, in this last dispute, had defended his Mullas and their law, the Fathers realized how greatly he was changed, and decided to ask his permission to return to Goa, whence he had called them.
As the Fathers were anxious to know the reason why [Page 36] the King wished them to remain at his court, since he showed no intention of embracing the Christian faith, they put the question to Abdulfasil. In reply, the chaplain gave them to understand that the King, having a desire for all kinds of knowledge, and liking to show his greatness, delighted to have at his court people of all nations; and that he was particularly pleased with them, the Fathers, both on account of their conduct, and their law, which appealed to him more than any other. He told them also that on the day previous he had taken the Holy Bible which they had given to him, and with great reverence had placed it on his head, adding that he had not done the same with the book of Mahomet, which had been presented to him on the same day, and which was far more richly bound.
With their hopes partially revived by these words, the Fathers sought by every means they could think of, to bind the King's affections anew to the Christian faith.
The Saracens, seeing that he was again drawn towards our religion, showed a disposition to rise against him; and his mother, his aunt, and many of the great lords of the kingdom who attended him, left no stone unturned to discredit the Fathers and their teaching. This they considered themselves bound to do out of loyalty to their sect; while they were further incited thereto by their natural hatred of the Christian religion, which they denounced to the King as the basest and most worthless in the world. His bevy of wives followed their example; for they realised that all of them, save one only, would be abandoned if the King became a Christian ; and all their arts and blandishments were employed to divert him from such a step. Finally, his long excursions, the recreations in which he indulged each day, and, more than all, the many urgent affairs of state which demanded his attention, allowed him no opportunities for meditating on his spiritual welfare.
Whilst matters were in this state, the Fathers received a letter from the Father Provincial of India, in which he commanded their return to Goa; since he was desirous, as they could accomplish nothing where [Page 38] they were, to employ them on other enterprises for the advancement of the glory of God. Father Rudolf Aquaviva, having received this letter, took it to the King, that he might show him the order they had received from their Superior and Provincial. The King, with many marks of affeetion, told him how greatly he would regret his departure.
Seeing how averse the King was to his departure, and that the nobles likewise urged him to remain, so as not to arouse his Majesty's anger, Father Rodolfe, after commending the matter to God, and consulting with his companions, resolved to abide where he was, pending the receipt of instructions from the Father Provincial. But the other Fathers returned to India as they had been commanded. The King greatly appreciated Fathers Rodolfe's courteous compliance with his wishes, and from that day bestowed on him [Page 39] the highest marks of his affection. He again entered into familiar discourse with him on his difficulties, and even showed signs of again desiring to hear the exposition of the Christian faith, which gave rise to a similar desire on the part of many of the gentlemen and nobles of his court.
Father Rodolfe did all in his power to persuade the King to declare himself a Christian ; for neither would his subjects be persuaded whilst they saw him perplexed and in doubt. But his utmost efforts were unavailing; for the King knew well that such a Step would mean the abandonment of his numerous wives, as well as of other vicious cuStoms incompatible with the Christian law.
For the rest, so long as the Father remained there, and especially during the last year, when he had none of the Company with him, he led a life like that of the ancient Fathers of the desert; for he ate nothing but a little dry bread, and water was his only drink. He slept on the bare ground, and practised many other severe penances. The greater portion of the day and night he devoted to prayers and orisons, the constant burden of which was that God would illumine with His divine light the darkened mind of the King. He learnt the Persian language that he might the more easily expound to him the mysteries of our faith. He had always devoted much time to prayer; but during these last days amongst the barbarians, he prayed more than ever before. Sometimes he remained on his knees the entire day; for he never left his lodging except to visit the King; and often the dawn would discover him on the same spot where he had knelt to pray the evening before.
So great were his labours, and so severe the austerities he practised, that at last he fell grievously sick, [Page 41] and it was thought that he would die. But the consolation which he received from God so completely outweighed his afflictions and alleviated his sufferings, that he was able to say, with the Apostle Paul, cum infirmor, tunc fortior sum, when I am sick and infirm, then am I most Strong. Indeed, he was often heard to say, especially in these days, that he had lived as he had wished to live, and that he was then experiencing greater peace of mind than he had known in all his previous life; from which it can be seen that our Lord was, little by little, preparing him for the glory that is reserved for the martyr, and which was his shortly afterwards. On his arrival at Goa, he seemed like one who had passed through a school of righteousness, rather than one who had sojourned long in a heathen land. On account of his virtues and the many rare qualities and graces with which God had endowed him, he won the respect both of Pagans and Saracens. Though the Mullas regarded him with mortal hatred because, in the debates which took place before the King, he had always reduced them to shameful silence, yet so great was the learning he displayed in these night-long encounters, and such was the modesty of his demeanour, that even the Gentiles were wont to speak of him as the ‘Angel.’ But although the treacherous Mullas were constantly plotting the death of Father Rudolfe, their fear of the King's wrath deterred them from carrying out their evil design.
At the same time, however, the views which the King held, the corrupt customs which he followed, and still more his arrogant desire to be regarded as some God, or great Prophet, prevented him from following the counsel which the Father gave him; so that the latter, seeing that there was nothing further to be achieved, intimated to the Father Provincial that it was labour wasted to sow in so barren a field, where no fruit could be looked for. In reply the Father Provincial instructed him to ask the King's permission to return, and, having obtained it, to set out for Goa as soon as possible.
The King, though at first he would not listen to the Father's request: desiring to keep near him one whose manner of life so greatly pleased him, yielded at last to his earnest entreaties. Before letting him go, however, he made him promise that he would obtain the Father Provincial's consent to his making another visit to his court.
One boon, however, he asked, which was that his Majesty would permit him to take back to Goa a Muscovite Christian and his wife and children, who had been kept in bondage for a long time, and had suffered much, so that they were now hardly to be [Page 43] distinguished from the Saracens amongst whom they dwelt. The Queen Mother was very unwilling that these people, who were in her service, should be allowed to go. But the King, to show his affection for the Father, granted his request:, so that he took the Muscovite family with him to Goa, where they lived from that time as good Christians. This was all the treasure that Father Rodolfe took away with him from the court of this great monarch.
5. CHAPTER V THE SECOND MISSION
About this time, there arrived on the scene a Greek sub-deacon named Leon Grim on, who was to pass through Goa on his way to his own country. The King was very glad to see him, and asked him many questions about what he had done in different parts of the world ; for, whenever anyone came to his court from a foreign land, he was anxious to learn from him all that he had seen and heard in the course of his travels. The sub-deacon was a man of intelligence, who had seen many things; and the King was so pleased with his conversation, that he resolved to employ him as his ambassador to the Viceroy of India, and to send through him a request that Fathers of the Company of Jesus might again be sent to him. He, accordingly, entrusted him with a letter and some gifts [Page 46] for the Viceroy, and a second letter (which is given below) with other gifts, for the Fathers of the Company, the latter being addressed to the Father Provincial. He also proposed to send, at the same time, five thousand crowns for distribution amongst the poor Christians at Goa; and when the sub-deacon suggested that it would be better if he distributed this sum amongst the poor of his own kingdom, he replied that he had no wish to do so, as they were all slaves of Satan.
The ambassador, Dom Leon Grimon, having reached Goa, delivered, first to the Viceroy, and then to the Fathers, the letters which the King had written to them.
The Father Provincial, who was at Goa when the ambassador arrived, having read this letter, and being informed by the ambassador that the King seemed strongly disposed to become a Christian, decided to comply with the request thus made to him. He accordingly despatched to the King the Fathers Edovard. Leioton, and Christofle de Vega, with another who was not a priest. These three set out together and arrived at Lahor, where the King was in the year 1591.
The Fathers remained for some time at his court, encouraging themselves, like their predecessors, with the hope of his conversion. But seeing, as time went on, that he had no intention of making up his mind, they desired to return to Goa.
6. CHAPTER VI DISPATCH OF THE THIRD MISSION
ALTHOUGH the King Echebar appeared, on the one hand, to be strongly attached to the Christian faith and to those who preached it, being convinced, as we may suppose, of its manifest truth; yet, on the other hand, he was bound hand and foot by evil desires and depraved habits, so that he could not bend his will to submit to so holy a law.
Some years after the departure of the above-mentioned Fathers, namely, in the year 1594, he sent another ambassador to Goa, requesting, for the third time, that Fathers of the same Company might be sent to instruct him, as he expressed it, in the divine law; and he wrote to the Viceroy of India in terms evincing so much eagerness, that the latter at once summoned the Father Provincial, and begged him to comply with the request which this Prince made with so much insistence.
As leader of this Mission, he nominated Father Hierosme Xavier Navarrois, nephew ,of the blessed Father Xavier, who was at that time the Superior of the house of the Profes at Goa, and who willingly quitted that office to undertake the enterprise now entrusted to him.
Thus accompanied, and supplied with what they needed, they set out from Goa in a ship which was bound for Daman; from which place they passed into the kingdom of Cambaya, or Guzarate, where our Saviour gave them a foretaste of the fruits which they hoped to gather on this Mission, granting them so much, spiritual consolation that it seemed to be His desire to recompense them in advance for the lalbours they were to umdergo in His Service. It was at Christmas, in the year 1594, that they [Page 53] entered the city of Cambaya, otherwise called Cambayetta, capital of this realm; and as the great festival of the birth of the Saviour of the world was about to take place, they resolved to celebrate it in this town, because several Portuguese families resided there.
The Fathers remained there for three weeks [...] partly because the Soldan Morad, the second son of the Great Mogor, arrived there with a large army, which he was leading in his father's name against Melique, King of the Decan. Hearing that the Fathers were there, he sent word to them on the following day, which was Christmas eve, that he desired to see them, and that they would find him at the castle of the said town of Cambaya, where he was about to take up his quarters. The castle was close to where the Fathers lodged; and, accordingly, as soon as they knew that Soldan Morad had arrived with a small party (having left the remainder of his force in camp outside the town), they went to pay their respetts to him, and were received with kindness and honour, the Prince, like his father, showing them much good-will. As it was late in the night, the Prince remained only a short time at the caftle, and then withdrew, having first colletted two hundred thousand crowns in the town, partly in coin, and partly in ingots of gold.
He marched thence to Surrate, which is a seaport of the same kingdom on this side of the town of Daman. Having travelled a league from Cambaya, he again summoned the Fathers to his presence.
The son of the Great Mogor had with him at that time only four or five thousand horse; but it was said that twenty thousand had already gone on in advance, with four hundred elephants, seven hundred camels, forty or fifty dromedaries, four thousand bullocks, fifteen large pieces of cannon and four small, with some culverins and falconets. He went to this war with a good courage, and with great hopes of gaining posses [Page 57] sian of the kingdom of the Decan. But he was as yet in-experienced; and as he allowed himself to be guided by the young, paying no attention to the counsels of his elders, his actions were not of the wisests from which the Fathers prophesied that he would be defeated; and that, as we shall presently relate, is what happened. He was by nature mild, kind, liberal, and good-tempered; but the youthful retainers by whom he was surrounded had already corrupted him. He had no respect for the mosques of Mahomet, which he seldom entered; his sole pleasure was in the chase, in love-making, and in running hither and thither.
After his departure, the Fathers prepared to continue their journey, which they were unable to pursue in the direction of Schind, as commanded by the King, and as they had greatly desired to do, because the Governor of that place was still occupied with his fast; for when they make this fast, they are not allowed to attend to any other affairs. Some fast for the space of twenty or thirty days, others for fifteen, and others again for only eight days. The Fathers were travelling altogether for five months, although from Goa to Lahar, where the Great Mogor resided, was but a two months journey. They made some two hundred and thirty leagues by land, marching always in the countries under his jurisdiction, but with much difficulty; for the road from Cambaya to Lahar lies, except for the last twenty leagues, where the country is of a better description, mainly through deserts and dry, sandy tracts, where neither springs nor streams are to be [Page 58] found, but only sand everywhere, which is often lifted into the air by the wind, so that people are enveloped in it, and sometimes buried for ever. On this account, and also as a protection against robbers, those who make this journey usually travel in companies, which are known as cafilas, or caravans. Like the travellers to Ormuz, of whom mention has been made, they choose a captain to lead and command their troop, which often contains two or three thousand persons. That which the Fathers joined consisted of four hundred camels, a hundred carts, and as many horses, and there were besides many poor folk who followed the others on foot. Before the caravan arts, the captain orders drums to be beaten three times. When the first drums are heard, they all fold up the tents in which they have slept during the night. On the second signal, the camels and carts are loaded; and on the third, the caravan moves forward. When travelling by night, in order that the people may not. become separated from one another, the drummers lead the way, beating their drums continuously. They also give the signal when a halt is to be made. Ordinarily the caravan stops at night for repose; but halts are also made in places where it is known that wells have been dug. Such wells are usually forty or fifty fathoms deep ; and to raise the water they use the bullocks which draw the carts. One of the Fathers has written that there was great scarcity of water on this journey; for that which they found was frequently as salt as the water of the ocean. ‘This’, he writes, ‘I should never have credited if I had not experienced it, see [Page 59] ing how far away we were from the sea-coast.’ They also suffered severely from the heat, while no food was procurable on the way, because the country was a desert.
In the middle of March, they reached a town called Amadaba [...] Another notable thing was a superb building which they came upon about a league and a half from Amadaba. It was the tomb of a Cazique who had been the instructor of a certain king of Guzarate, who erected this building in honour of his preceptor, he himself and three others being buried in another chapel. It was constructed entirely of beautiful marble, highly polished. It had three inner courts, in one of ,which the Fathers counted four hundred and fifty [Page 60] marble pillars, each thirty feet high, with their bases and capitals in the Corinthian style. On one side of it there was a lake larger than the square in Lisbon which is called Rozzio. It was a very elaborate building, and designed with marvellous art. The Fathers left Amadaba on the 19th of March, and late on the 24th reached another town called Patana. The following day being the eve of the Passover, they stayed there three days to celebrate the festival.
As they continued their journey, they passed through many towns and large cities which were mostly in a state of ruin, particularly the mosques, which had not been rebuilt. Finally, on the 5th of the month of May, 1595, they entered the town of Lahor, having set out from Goa on the 3rd of December of the preceding year.
7. CHAPTER Vll THE FATHERS AT COURT
ON being informed that the Fathers had reached Lahor, the King sent one of his captains to welcome them on his behalf, and to tell them how happy he was to hear of their safe arrival.
He greeted each of them with a friendly embrace, as did also the Prince his son, who was then thirty-one years of age.
One day as he was walking in a gallery which [Page 64] overlooked the courtyard of the Palace, where all the Governors, Magistrates, and Captains were assembled to speak with him, the Fathers appeared on the scene, having come on purpose to visit him. As soon as the King saw them, he made them approach, and received them with great honour, bowing his head to them in salutation, and assigning them the highest places. None of the kings or princes present received so much honour ; though some of them had come for the first time, to make submission as his tributary. It may be mentioned in passing that this Tributary made a present to; the Great Mogor which was esti mated to be worth two hundred thousand crowns. It consisted of a pair of poniards with their sheaths and [Page 65] girdles of fine gold covered with precious stones of great value, such as rubies and carbuncles, all set in gold ; a pair of good-sized vials, all of gold, and another of the same metal, but larger; a horse splendidly furnished, having all about his harness many precious stones set in gold, together with a hundred and fifty other horses, ten mares, and fifty camels housed in green and crimson velvet; and lastly four carpets, each of which was worth two thousand crowns. And what is more, he deemed it a high favour that the King was willing to accept this present.
This was followed by a second present, of no less value, sent to him by his son Soldan Morad, then at Guzarate. It consisted of fifty elephants, which were worth a hundred and fifty thousand crowns ; a chariot of gold, and another of silver ; some beautiful ornaments made of nacre [mother-of-pearl] ; and many other of the most costly things procurable. At the same time there was brought a third present from the Viceroy of Bengala, which was valued at eight hundred thousand crowns; for he sent, in addition to other things, three hundred elephants. It was a very ordinary thing for such presents to be made to the King.
In particular, at the feast which they call Neroza [nau-roz, or New Year], an in finity of presents of great value are brought to him from all parts. A single captain made him one that was estimated to be worth at least five hundred thousand crowns. From this it can be imagined [Page 66] how great must be the treasure which this Prince has amassed.
But to turn to other subjects. The King's reverent regard for objects relating to the Christian faith, gave the Fathers great hopes of his conversion. The pictures he possessed of our Saviour and our Lady were some of the best that had been sent from Europe. He came one day to a feast which the Fathers were celebrating, and was present whilst they recited the Litany, throughout which he remained on his knees with his hands clasped, as though he had been a Christian prince. He looked long and attentively at the pictures in the Chapel, and enquired about the mysteries which they represented. He also lent the Fathers, in response to a hint which they had thrown out, his own beautiful pictures for the feast of the Assumption, and sent them in addition some hangings of silk and of gold cloth, with which they decorated their chapel very splendidly.
The King also gave the Fathers permission to baptise all who wished to become Christians. He has, wrote the same Father Xavier, practically banished the sea of Mahomet from this country; so that in the town of Lahor there is not now a single mosque for the use of the Saracens ; for those which were formerly there have been, by his orders, turned into stables, or into public granaries for the storage of wheat, rice, and other grain. The Alcorans also have been levelled with the ground. Besides this, the King, on every Friday, which is the day the Saracens regard as holy, has brought before him forty or fifty boars, which are provoked to fight with one another ; and he has their tusks mounted in [Page 68] gold. It is said that he does this for the sole purpose of bringing additional contempt on the Saracens, who detest these animals above all things.
though he seems to incline more to the superstitions of the Pagans, Gentiles being more welcome at his court than Mahometans, he cannot be called an Ethnique; for he adores and recognises the true God, the maker of heaven and earth ; and yet, at the same time, he worships the sun. It is the opinion of many, says the same Father, that he aims at making a new religion, of which he himself is to be the head; and it is said that he already has numerous followers; but that these are for the most part flatterers, or people who have been bribed by money. It is more or less certain that he has a strong desire to be looked upon, and esteemed as a God, or some great Prophet ; and he would have people believe that he performs miracles, healing the sick with the water with which he washes his feet.
it seems probable that he is drifting hither and thither, like a ship without a rudder, not knowing what haven to make for. He frequently urges the Fathers to acquire the Persian language, in order that he may discourse with them without an interpreter; and once he sent word to them by a certain person high in his confidence, and whom he employed on matters of a religious nature, that if they understood Persian they could cut the knot by which the bonds that held him fast were secured. It is on this account, and to this end, that the Fathers are Studying the Persian tongue. With a similar objet: they have opened schools in which all who desire it may learn to read and write Portuguese, and by this means may be the more easily taught the doctrines of Christianity. Many of the children of the princes and nobles come to this school, among them three sons of a certain king who is a vassal of the said Echebar. Some of these disciples are anxious to be baptised, and have already begged the Fathers to grant their desire. One of them seeks to become not only a Christian, but a monk. He publicly conducts himself as a Christian.
Another of their disciples, having been rebuked by a Saracen who came to learn Persian with the Fathers, because he had not fasted on a day on which [Page 70] the Mahometans are accustomed to fast very Strictly, said, ‘Who has commanded this fast ?’ , ‘Mahomet’, replied the Saracen. ‘And who is Mahomet, if not a false prophet and an impostor?’ asked the youth. This so astonished the other that he stopped his ears, so as not to hear such things. But he was obliged to swallow these words however much he disliked them; for the youth was of such calibre that he did not dare to say a word in opposition ; but begged his pardon for having rebuked him.
Now though the King and the Prince his eldest son had given permission for the building of a church, the Fathers, for certain reasons, pretended to have forgotten it; and on the 5th of Auguft, 1595, which was the day of our Lady of the Snows, the King again told them to build a church, and to baptise all those who desired, of their own free will, to become Christians. But when the Fathers requested him to publish the same in writing, he answered that this was unnecessary in a place where he resided, in as much as his presence was living writing.
In virtue of their own Letters, they commenced to preach the faith of Jesus-Christ publicly in the city of Lahar, and to such good purpose that, by the month of September of the same year 1595, there were several persons who had received baptism, and others who were desirous of receiving it.
8. CHAPTER VIII ON TOUR WITH THE KING
ALTHOUGH on the one hand the King seemed to entertain a high opinion of the Christian religion, as is plain from what has already been said, and that in many ways he gave it preference above all others, arousing thereby great hopes of his embracing it, yet, on the other hand, so strongly was he attached to his mad ambition to be esteemed as some great Prophet, or demi-god on earth, that there was no means of winning him to submission to the law of Christ. It is quite true that he held the law of Mahomet of no account; but he was much addicted to the worship of the sun, to which he made prayer four times a day, namely, in the morning when he arose, at noon, on retiring to bed, and again at midnight.
Now in order to drive from his mind these illusions of the devil, and arouse him from his sleep of obstinacy, it pleased the good God, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and saved, that he should undergo certain punishments. The first: was the defeat of his second son, the soldan Morad, who, as narrated above, had been sent with a big army to Guzarate, to make war on Melique, king of the Decan, to whom belonged the town of Chavi, which the Portuguese now hold, on the sea-coast some fifty or sixty leagues to the north of Goa. This son was slain in the war ; and with him the King lost the [Page 74] bravest Captains that he had. He received this news when he was celebrating the feast which they call New Year's Day, which takes place when the sun enters the sign of Belier [Aries] ; so that we may believe that God purposed, by this means, to make him understand that he was being chastised for his foolish worship of the sun. Echebar, however, did not profit by this lesson. He soon afterwards sent another of his sons to continue the war, giving him his own sword, and four hundred thousand crowns for his journey; while he himself continued to follow the same superstition. Our Lord, therefore, visited him with a second chastisement, sending it this time on the day of the Passover, in the year 1597, about the same time that a similar punishment befell the king of China, as will be narrated in its proper place. Whilst he was on the terrace of his palace, making, sg it is said, a great feast in honour of the sun, in the presence of the Prince his eldest son, and many great lords and gentlemen of his court, behold, fire fell from heaven, and catching first the sumptuous pavilion of the Prince, burnt it to ashes before anyone dared to go near to extinguish it; for all were so amazed, that none had the courage to approach it. The fire spread thence to other tents on the same terrace, enveloping them likewise, with the thrones, seats, and other valuable things which they contained. Amongst these was a massive throne of gold, estimated to be worth a hundred thousand crowns, which was either melted or lost. But this was not all; for the flames reached even to the King's palace, the greater part of which was reduced to [Page 75] cinders. The latter, it is true, was built only of wood. That which grieved the King most: was the loss of all his treasures, both those which he had inherited from his ancestors, and those he had amassed during his own reign, and which were worth many millions in gold; for the :fire consumed everything, including large quantities of draperies of cloth of gold and silk. It is said that the gold, silver, and other metals melted in this conflagration ran down the streets like Streams of water.
In consequence of this disaster, the King at once left Lahor, though it was said that he had decided to do so before it happened, and went to spend the summer in the kingdom of Caximir [Kashmir], or as others call it, Cascimir, which he had recently conquered. The kingdom of Caximir is one of the pleasantest: and most beautiful countries to be found in the whole of India, we may even say in the East. It is completely surrounded by very high mountains, which for the greater part of the year are covered with snow, and all the rest of the kingdom is a beautiful plain clothed in verdure, diversified with groves, orchards,. gardens, and well watered by springs and river a very pleasant larid for those who dwell therein. Owing to the mountains, the climate of the country is somewhat cold, though it is more temperate than that of the kingdom of Rebat [Page 76] which joins Caximir on the east. In the month of May, great numbers of wild-duck come from the mountains of Rebat and settle in huge flocks on the streams which flow near to the town of Caximir, the capital of the kingdom, because of the warmer climate. About three leagues from the town there is a lake of sweet water whicl1, though not more than two leagues in circuit and half a league broad, is so deep that large vessels can float upon it. In the middle there is an artificial island on which the King has a palace, where he refreshes himself when he goes to shoot the duck which abound on this lake. On the banks of a river, the waters of which flow through the lake, there is a species of very large tree, the trunk and leaves of which resemble those of the ches-tnut, though it is quite a different tree. The wood is very dry, and has a grain like rippling water ; it is much used for making small caskets and similar articles. The country abounds in wheat, rice, and other food grains. They plant vines at the roots of the mulberry trees, so that grapes and mulberries are seen hanging from the same branches. People say that this kingdom was one of the most formidable in these parts, and that the Great Mogor would never have been able to subdue it but for the factions which existed amongst the inhabitants. Knowing that it was a kingdom divided against itself, he invaded it with a large army, and easily made himself master of it. Formerly all the people of this country were Gentiles; but about three hundred years ago they joined the settlement of Mahomet, and the majority of them are now Saracens.
When the Great Mogor retired to this kingdom of Caximir, with all his household and family, Father Hierosme Xavier, observing that he had now more leisure, resolved to speak to him on the subject of his conversion, intending, when the opportunity offered, to remind him, on the one hand, of the great blessings he had received from God, and on the other hand, of the chastisements which the same Seigneur had sent for his admonition, hoping that there-by he might induce him to hear with attention, and not at odd moments as hitherto, the things relating to the salvation of his soul, and that in the end he would find himself able to accept and follow the holy law. But when they reached Caximir, the Father was attacked by a severe illness, which lasted for the space of two months. During this time, the King showed him much kindness, giving orders for the liberal supply of all his wants, and sending his own physician to attend him; he even went in person to see him, which was a very special favour; for it is his custom never to visit anyone. Towards the end of the summer, when the Father began to recover, the King himself fell sick. On several occasions during his illness, he sent for the Father, and had him brought to the chamber where he lay, which even the greatest lords of his court were seldom permitted to enter. Owing to these illnesses, the Father had no opportunity, before the return to Lahar, of speaking to the King as he had intended on the subject of his conversion.
Whilst they were in the kingdom of Caximir there was so grievous a famine that many mothers were [Page 78] rendered destitute, and having no means of nourishing their children, exposed them for sale in the public places of the city. Moved to compassion by this pitiable sight, the Father bought many of these little ones, who, soon after receiving baptism, yielded up their spirits to their Creator. A certain Saracen, seeing the charity of the Father towards these children, brought him one of his own; but the Father gave it back to the mother, together with a certain sum of money for its support; for he was unwilling to baptise it, seeing that, if it survived, there was little prospect of its being able to live a Christian life in that country. At daybreak the next morning, however, the mother knocked at the door of his lodging, and begged him to come to her house and baptise the child, as it was about to die Accompanied by some Portuguese, he went with her to the house and baptised the child, having first obtained the consent of its father. The latter, after it was dead, wished to circumcise it; but this the Father would not permit, but buried it with Christian rites. There. was another mother, a Mahometan woman, who brought to him, under similar circumstances, her infant son to be baptised; and in this case, too, as soon as the rite had been performed, the spirit of the little sufferer ascended to heaven.
When the summer had come to an end, the King set out on his return journey to Lahor. He had desired Father Xavier and his companion to travel with him; but the latter, anxious to avoid the commotion of the court, asked and obtained permission to go on before. On their journey they suffered much from cold and [Page 79] hunger, as well as from the badness of the road; for they had to go by rough paths which were often so narrow that there was room for only a single horseman. They were obliged, therefore, to travel very slowly and to stop frequently. Moreover, the elephant which carried their goods had great difficulty in climbing the mountains. Sometimes, feeling insecure on its feet, owing to the load which it carried, it supported itself with its trunk, making it serve the purpose of a staff.
At length, on the 13th of November, after many hardships, they arrived at Lahor, from whence they had set out on the 15th of May of the same year, 1591. The people of the town exhibited towards the Father and his companion a more friendly attitude than was their wont.
The King and the Prince arrived some days later, having lost on their way many horses and elephants, and several of their attendants.
We must now return to the Fathers. It was at festival of Noel, at the close of this same year, that companion of Father Xavier, Benoist de Gois, ador the altar of the newly built church with a small ere representing the birth of the Son of God.
But it was not only the humble people who displayed affection for the things of our faith. One day, a Prince came and presented two beautiful candles, each four feet long, and so large round that it required two hands to grasp them. The Prince took one of these, and with closed eyes, as if engaged in meditation or in prayer to God, charged the Father to burn it in honour (as he said) of the Seigneur Jesus-Christ. He then presented the other to be burnt in honour of the Lady Mary. After this, he gave as alms the equivalent of thirty crowns> which sum was, by order of the Father, distributed amongst the poorest of the Christians.
After the letter of the Father Provincial, another was read which had been written to the King by Father Monserrat, who had been at his court the first time with Father Rodolfe, and who, after having been six years in captivity, as has been related above, had returned to Goa. The King wished to know the reason why he had been captured and so badly treated by the Turcs. Father Xavier said that the Saracens and Turcs were sworn enemies of the Christians, and especially of the Fathers of the Order, whom they illtreated in every way possible because of their opposition to the law of Mahomet; although, he added, they ought to love them because of their desire to show [Page 84] them the true road to salvation. He then went on to narrate how, on a previous occasion, the Father Abraham George,16 who had gone to Ethiopie, had been killed because he had refused to deny his faith, and embrace Mahometanism. Many Mahometans who were with the King were offended at his discourse. One of them, out of the friendship which he had for the Father, advised him to be more guarded in his language when speaking of the law of Mahomet; ‘For,’ said he, ‘there are none but Mahometans present; and when you speak evil of their law, they thirst for your blood; and even I, who am your sincere and firm friend, when I hear you speak ill of our Prophet, am so angered that I could plunge my dagger into your body.’ As for the King,He was, otherwise, still in a state of irresolution, not knowing where to fix his faith.
The Armenian's desertion of the faith of our Saviour was more than counterbalanced by the many unbelievers who, in the same year 1598, were converted and baptised at Lahor, though these were all people whose lives were despaired of; for the Fathers did not, at first, baptise those likely to live long, for fear that they might afterwards renounce their faith; for they are a fickle and inconstant people.
the Great Mogor, having returned from Caximir to Lahor, and having already sent one of his sons to continue the war against Melique, king of the Decan, who had slain his second son, the Soldan Morad, resolved to proceed to the war in person, at the head of a large army.
This town of Agra is distant about a hundred leagues from Lahor, and in a southerly direction, the kingdom of the Decan lying still further to the south. The King marched in such grand array, that eight hundred elephants and seven thousand camels scarcely sufficed to carry his tents and pavillions ; which is not [Page 89] to be accounted strange, seeing that his Secretary took with him seven hundred camels and seventy elephants This expedition of the Great Mogor caused much alarm amongst all the kings of these regions; and indeed they had reason to fear a monarch so powerful, and who approached their territories with so great an army. Nevertheless, having arrived at Agra, he remained there more than a year. During this time the Father Xavier was not idle.
We must now, for a brief space, return to Lahor. There, since the departure of Father Xavier, who had followed the King to Agra, Father Pignero had baptised thirty-eight catechumens. Three of these, who were citizens of Lahor, and had previously belonged to a Pagan sect, exhibited great courage in overcoming the obstacles placed in the way of their conversion by their relatives and friends, who used to meet it secret to conspire against them, lest by their public profession of Christianity they should bring disgrace and dishonour on their law. But these brave proselytes displayed such constant resolution that they triumphed over Satan and his band, and on the day of the Pentecost of the year 1599, they, in company with others, were cleansed in the water of holy baptism. The ceremony was performed Publicly, and with great magnificence.
The Street down which this holy company passed was decorated with green foliage, and shaded with palm branches. The candidates left the house in which the Fathers lodged in an orderly procession, each one carrying a palm leaf in his hand, while those who were already Christians walked two and two on either side of the street, which was strewn with flowers. Musicians marched in front of them with drums, trumpets, clarions, flutes, and other musical instruments, on which they played till the procession reached the church.
at last, having completed the sacred rites which it is customary to perform at the church door, the Father led them inside, and baptised them, deriving therefrom as great comfort as those who received the divine sacrament.
But they were unable to accomplish their primary object:, which was the conversion of King Echebar, who died at the end of the month of October in the year 1605, in the State of mind we have described, and without, so far as is known, having formed any definite intention of embracing Christianity.
9. CHAPTER IX AT THE SEAT OF WAR
[...] the King of Mogor, named Achebar, having determined to conquer the kingdoms of the Decan, and others in India further to the south, set out from the city of Lahor, and having marched with his army to Agra, proceeded thence to the Decan. During this expedition, Father Hierosme Xavier, and his companion Benoist de Goes, kept themselves constantly by the King's side, in order to maintain him in the good affection he appeared to have for the Christian faith, and the Fathers of the Company.
The King continued his southward march with an army, horse and foot, of a hundred thousand men, and more than a thousand war-elephants. The mountains of Gate were crossed by passes so rough and difficult that it sometimes took a whole day to cover a distance equal to the range of an arquebus; for they had, it seems, to cut their way through the rock.
In the confusion, worse than Babylon, of this great camp, Father Xavier and his companion performed their devotional exercises as earnestly and calmly as though they had been in some Christian town, celebrating the holy mass in their portable church, and fulfilling all the other duties of their calling.
The priest selected for this purpose was Father Francois Corsi, who, after reaching Daman, proceeded to Cambaya, from whence it was his intention to visit Father Xavier, and consult with him touching his journey to Lahor.
Here, too, the Baneanes (who are certain Gentile merchants ,of India, living after the manner of the Pythagoreans) brought him the letters-patent of the King of Mogor, which had been sent by Father Xavier, containing permission for those of the Company to travel to Agra, Lahor, and Catai [Cathay], with orders to the various governors to supply funds for their journeys, and provide them with trustworthy guards.
some time afterwards, the Father left Cambaya, and reached the King's camp a month later, on the 4th of June. His journey had not been without danger. Soon after leaving Cambaya, he and those with him fell in with a band of five hundred robbers, from whom, by the will of God, they were delivered by none other than the captain of the band From Sambussar they were escorted for a distance of three leagues by the captain of the town with a hundred horse and Some elephants, after which they were sent on with forty soldiers, twenty mounted and twenty on foot, and all arquebusiers, who took them as far as Baroche. Here they were met by a messenger [Page 101] with letters from Father Xavier; and they were also warned that there were robbers on the road they were to follow. They discovered, however, that these had been put to rout by the Governor of Cambaya, who had encountered them on his way back from the court, slaying five hundred of them, and capturing ten of their elephants
In a letter describing the last portion of the journey, Father Corsi States that they were accompanied by more than a thousand soldiers, mostly mounted, who had been sent by the King of Mogor to escort Meira Mustaphar, the son of the King of Guzarate, who, on account of a certain affront he had received, had left the twenty companies of which he was the chief, and, out of spite, had become a Iogue. They were also joined by about four thousand merchants and other travellers. Nevertheless, about three stages from Breampur, they were attacked by a hostile force of more than four thousand horse ; and a fierce conflict ensued, in which a hundred of the enemy were killed, and many wounded. Of the King's troops, only twenty were killed [...]The lives of the others were saved by an elephant which rushed furiously against the enemy's horse and threw them into such disorder that they were speedily put to rout.
It must be stated at the outset that it had long been the intention of this King of Mogor, called Achebar, to seize the whole of this region which is properly called India, and which lies between the two rivers, the Indus and the Ganges; and being already in peaceful possession of the greater portion of it, he wished to make himself master of the remainder, taking first of all the kingdoms of the Decan, and afterwards those of Goa, Malabar, and Bisnaga.
At last the King began to bombard this fortress with guns more powerful than those which are made of iron, and with shot more effective than cannon-balls. In other words, he bombarded it with great sums of money, acting on the principle of Philip of Macedon, who guaranteed to capture with ease the Strongest fortress provided that a mule laden with gold could enter it. Large quantities of gold and silver were sent secretly to those who conducted the defence, which was so weakened thereby that none of the seven kings who were there to maintain the succession would accept the throne; for seeing that the captains and soldiers showed so little spirit, and so little resolution to defend themselves, they knew that their royalty would be of short duration.
10. CHAPTER X AN EMBASSY TO GOA
About this time, Father Emmanuel Pigneiro, who had remained at Lahor, came to the camp, partly for the comfort of seeing Father Hierosme Xavier, for it was nearly three years since they had met, and partly to visit the King. The latter had been apprised of his departure from Lahor, and was the :first to inform Father Xavier of his coming. On his arrival, the two Fathers went to pay their respeCts to his Majesty; and as it was not customary to appear before him empty handed, they took with them as their present a picture of our Lady very beautifully executed on paper.
they went on the following evening to his lodging, where he sat in less State, and where those who spoke to him could come nearer to his person. Here none but the most favoured persons were received. The Fathers, nevertheless, obtained entrance, and presented to him, besides some smaller gifts, another picture, this time of our Lady of Lorete, painted on gilded calaim. Calaim is a metal which comes from China. Though it resembles tin, it is a different metal, and contains a large proportion of copper. Nevertheless, it is white, and in India they make it into money. It can also be gilded, like silver.
After this, he asked various questions about the Pope, desiring to know, amongst other things, what ceremonial was observed when he was visited by the Emperor; and on being told that the Emperor kissed the Pope's foot, he exclaimed, ‘Yes That is because the Christians regard the Pope as the Vicar of the Lord Jesus.’ So greatly did this powerful monarch desire to make himse1f master of Goa and the Portuguese possessions [Page 113] in India, with the regions adjacent thereto, that he constantly referred to the subject when conversing with his friends. On one occasion, while speaking of these things to the nobles assembled in his palace, he told them with bold assurance that, having conquered the kingdom of Decan, he would have little difficulty in overcoming Idalcan, after which he would soon have Goa, and all the Portuguese possessions in those parts.
It was in pursuance of this object that he despatched an ambassador who reached Goa at the end of the month of May, of the year 16o1. The ambassador sent on this occasion was from the kingdom of Cambaya, a person of great wealth and influence, a Guzarate by birth, and of the sect of the Saracens. The alleged object of the mission was to establish a permanent peace by land and by sea with the Portuguese. The ambassador was also to make inquiry as to the most suitable present that his Majesty could make to the King of Portugal, to whom he contemplated sending an ambassador in order to confirm and strengthen their alliance.
the chief feature of his reception was a terrific salute of artillery which was continued throughout the day, both from the guns in the city and from those in other parts of the island ; for the Portuguese had a great store of artillery of high [Page 115] quality. The ambassador fully appreciated the significance of this music. The gifts which he presented to the Viceroy on behalf of the Prince were some rich carpets, a panther which had been trained to the chase, another smaller panther, and a very valuable horse.
But far more valuable were the gifts which Benoist de Goes, the companion of Father Xavier (who accompanied the ambassador by the King's command), presented to our Saviour and the Church; for he brought with him to Goa many half-casts of both sexes, the children of Portuguese, born amongst the thorny paths of Paganism and Mahometanism, who, upon the reduction of the fortress, became the slaves of the Great Mogor, who handed them over to the said Benoist de Goes. These, after receiving some instruction in the Christian faith, were all baptised. The Viceroy showed them much kindness, and signified his desire to stand godfather to them. Amongst them was a Portuguese Jew who was ninety years of age. For more than forty years he had publicly professed Judaism; but God at last shed the light of heaven upon him, and he was converted to Christianity, and baptised.
11. CHAPTER XI FATHER PIGNEIRO AT LAHORE, 1600-1
WHILST Father Hierosme Xavier and Benoist de Goes accompanied the Great Mogor on this expedition, Father Emmanuel Pigneiro remained at Lahore to look after the few Christians who were there, and to endeavour to lead others to our Saviour. Both Mahometans and Gentiles used to seek speech with him, going frequently to his house to question him on divers subjects. Many came away with a lower opinion than before of their own seets; while many were left doubtful and wavering. But there were others who laughed at the idea that there could be a better law than the law of Mahomet; and when strong reasons were put before them, they said that their minds could not grasp such matters, and that it was enough for them to believe what Mahomet had told them.
The Gentiles were more easily persuaded; for, in the end, they were ready to admit that there was only one God, and that those which were sold to them as such, were not Gods. Whatever aversion they had to the Fathers, was due to the Brachmanes, who instilled into them the belief that the Christians were a barbarous and ignorant people, who ate rats, cats, and such like animals, and practised other absurdities. The Viceroy and Governors, or magistrates of the city, treated them with much respect, especially the Viceroy, who spoke of them in terms so high that modesty forbids their repetition. not to seem uncivil, and to avoid giving offence, he accepted from him gifts of melons, grapes, and other fruits.
Once, when a violent quarrel arose between the chief judge [Juge-mage ] and the King's treasurer, and a conflict between their armed partisans was imminent, the Father succeeded in bringing about a reconciliation, thus preventing much bloodshed and loss of life.
Not very long afterwards, this good Viceroy died He left behind him thirteen hundred thousand crowns in gold coin, and a large store of gold and silver ware, precious gems, and other valuable things, besides many horses and elephants; for the splendour of his retinue surpassed that of the greatest lords of Spain.
the enemies of the Fathers, thinking that, as the former Viceroy was dead, they could now attack them with impunity and do them any ill they chose, were constantly watching for an opportunity to satisfy their malice. Accordingly, on a certain day, one of their number, seeing a great ,crowd collected outside the church, went to the Catual (one of the Governors of the town, who has charge of the guard), and urged him to destroy the building, and drive the Fathers away. The Catual replied that he could not do this, in as much as it was the will of the King that the Fathers should stay there, and that their church should remain Standing.
12. CHAPTER XII
ALTHOUGH the Viceroys and Governors of the town displayed both respect and regard for the Fathers, there were certain Gentiles living near them who constantly sought to do them some ill turn. Once, because some of their relatives had been won over to the faith, they circulated a number of malicious and slanderous reports about them, in which they accused them, amongst other outrageous charges, of eating human flesh.
13. CHAPTER XIII SOME NOTABLE CONVERSIONS
At the festival of Noel of the year 1600, the Father Pigneiro fashioned on the altar of the church a manger in which lay the image of the infant Jesus-Christ, together with other scenes illustrating the stories and mysteries of holy scripture. He also made figures of some of the better known of the prophets, of whom these people had heard, inscribing beside them in Persian their prophecies of the birth of our Saviour. The adoration of Jesus-Christ, God and Man, by the three wise Kings was also represented [...] It greatly astonished the Saracens to learn that the holy writings of the Old Testament spoke so clearly of the birth of the Son of God into this world.
[...]appeared a philosopher, reviling his senses for making him adore things created instead of his creator, though this was contrary to his philosophy, to whom came Adam, telling him of original sin, from which had proceeded ignorance and all the other defects of human nature, which was perfect when man was first created. They then entered into a dispute about the divine essence, and the trinity of the Persons, in which Adam, by many arguments, demonstrated that God, though perfect: in purity, nevertheless had a son, to which in the end the philosopher assented. In the next scene a discussion took place between Mercy and Divine Justice touching the sin of Adam; and in the next, an angel appeared, and announced to some Brachmanes the birth in the world of the Son of God.
As to the primary purpose of the Fathers, which was the conversion of the infidels, things go on from day to day in such a manner that they are unable to tell what may be God's purpose in regard to this country. For when, on the one hand, they contemplate so vast a wilderness of Mahometanism and Paganism, they despair of ever attaining their goal, and feel that the time and labour spent in preparing a soil so barren might be employed to more profit elsewhere. On the other hand, when from time to time blossoms appear, and souls are won for our Saviour, they are filled with renewed courage, and a renewed hope that this land, which is now so unfruitful, may one day yield an abundant harvest.
In the course of this year, the Fathers baptised on one occasion thirty-nine persons, on another twenty, and on a third occasion, forty-seven.
14. CHAPTER XIV
THE Gentiles, and especially the Brachmanes, who are, more than all others given to idolatry, exhibited the greatest resentment when any of their children became Christians; and their hostility on this account was the most formidable obstacle which the Fathers encountered in their efforts to extend the boundaries of the kingdom of Jesus-Christ in the territories of the Mogor. Whenever a young man showed a disposition to abandon the sea of perdition to which he belonged, and to embrace our faith, he was subjected to continuous persecution by his parents and other relations.
15. CHAPTER XV AN IMPERIAL FARMAN
HAVING taken, as we have seen, the fortress of Syr, and made himself master of the kingdom of Bream pur, Echebar, finding that his affairs were not in a satisfactory State,decided to return to his country, though it was still his intention to carry on the war, and to conquer all the kingdoms of Melique and Idalcan, for which purpose he left several of his captains in the lands he had conquered. He himself withdrew to the city of Agra, and thither the Fathers, who usually travelled in his suite, accompanied him. These were Father Hierosme Xavier and Father Emmanuel Pigneiro, who had come from the city of Lahor, It took them seven months to travel from Goa to Agra. The Fathers were informed of their approach by the King, to whom information of their movements had been sent; and Father Pigneiro at once proceeded to a spot some leagues distant from the city to welcome them.
Having arrived at Agra, and having paid their respects to the King, who received them with great cordiality; they set themselves to renew their spiritual fellowship, and, during the month that they were together, they formed themselves into something like a small college, maintaining, as far as was practicable, monastic discipline.
Father Francois Corsi, who was at this time in charge of the church at Lahor, which is the capital of the estates of the Mogor, was much depressed, partly because he was without a companion, and partly because he saw that Christian affairs were not prospering. For after the deaths of the two Viceroys who had displayed so much goodwill towards the Fathers and their Church, a third had succeeded, who was of an opposite disposition ; for besides being a Saracen and strongly opposed to Christianity, he was a sworn enemy ofthe Portuguese, whom he had fought against some years previously, when governor of Guzarate, and whose courage he had exp erienced in several encounters, in one of which he had been wounded.
At the time the Fathers entered the palace, his Majesty was counting a huge quantity of gold pieces of different values which he had had made. He was surrounded by some hundred and fifty dishes full of these, besides a great number of bags likewise full, which had either been counted, or were waiting to be counted. All of these were examined by him, as well as by others. He used every day to spend a portion of his time in this way; for it was thus that he diverted himself when he returned weary to his palace after the public audiences, which, three times daily, he held for those who desired to speak with him. All the money having been counted and tied up in bags, was deposited amongst his treasures, which were very great.
16. CHAPTER XVI A MIRACULOUS PICTURE
WHILE Father Pigneiro was still in the city of Agra, Father Xavier, who was also there, presented to the King a treatise in the Persian language on the life, miracles, and teaching of our Saviour Jesus-Christ, which his Majesty had himself asked for, having a great desire to see the same. He showed, too, that he valued it very highly, and often he made his great captain Agiscoa read it aloud to him, in doing which the latter found so much pleasure that he asked the Father for a copy of it for himself. Indeed the book was so much spoken of amongst the great ones of the court, as to arouse the hope that it was God's purpose to make known by its means His only Son, our Saviour, to these infidels and misbelievers. The King afterwards asked the Father to write another book on the lives of the Apostles.
But that which more than anything else impressed the inhabitants of the town of Agra was a picture of our Lady, copied from that at Rome called di Populo, which the Fathers had obtained two years previously from Portugal, but which, until now, they had not dared to exhibit, for fear that the King might ask them for it. However, at the feast of Noel of the year 1601, and at that of the Circumcision of our [Page 161] Saviour in the year 1602, they decided that it should be placed in the church, which, on this occasion, they decorated as splendidly as possible, having no other motive beyond their own devotion and that of the Christians.
One day during the octave, some poor women who lived near the church, having asked and received permission to enter the building, were so deeply moved by the beauty of the picture that they went out and proclaimed on all sides its wonders and perfection, so that the tidings passed from mouth to mouth until they were spread throughout the city. In consequence, a huge crowd collected at the church, the people leaving their shops and their work to come and see this marvel. That same evening, more than two thousand people came to the church from the streets in the neighbourhood.
17. CHAPTER XVII
ALTHOUGH in the conversion of souls there was not so much progress in this land of the Saracens, who are as hard as diamonds to work upon, as in other lands where this sect has not taken root, yet God did not withhold his mercies from his sheep scattered in this vast forest of unbelief.
In the year 1602, there were at Rantambur some forty persons, for the most part children or grand-children of Portuguese, with their wives and relatives, who had been taken by the Great Mogor at the capture of the fortress of Syr, and had been enslaved. For though the King had led some of his prisoners to Agra, where he afterwards set them at liberty, trusting that they would not run away, he left the majority of them in the fortress of Rantambur, where they would have been completely forgotten, if the Fathers had not borne them in mind.
In the same year 1602, two ships of the Portuguese navy, while sailing northwards in the gulf of Cambaya, were wrecked on a portion of the coast which was under the sway of the King of Moger. Some fifty Portuguese and fifteen servants contrived to reach land, but were instantly made prisoners by the captain who governed that country in the name of the King. The latter, to whom the circumstance was at once reported, ordered the prisoners to be sent to him. In the course of their journey, the poor fellows endured so many hardships that when they reached Lahor their plight was pitiful to behold.
They were supported throughout at the expense of the Fathers, but for whom, they would have perished miserably from hunger and other afflictions. That they found such a refuge was a manifestation of the providence of God.
The King, however, sent them four hundred xerafins for the purchase of clothing, and consented, at the instance of the Fathers, to grant the two captains an audience. A substantial donation was also received from the Prince, the eldest son of the King, who, so soon as he heard of the misery of these poor people, sent the Fathers a thousand crowns to relieve their necessities. Eventually, having been detained for more than a year, they were set at liberty.
18. CHAPTER XVIII PRINCE SALIM
THROUGHOUT almost the whole of the year 1602 there was serious discord between the King and the Prince, his son and heir to his eStates, of which the cause was this. The King being at the war in the Decan, the Prince, impatient to take the reins of government into his hands, and chafing at the long life of his father, which kept him from the enjoyment of the dignities he so much desired, resolved to usurp the same, and on his own authority began to assume the name and to exercise the prerogatives of a king. On learning this, Echebar at once abandoned his project of conquering in person the kingdoms of the Decan, and leaving, as has been said, some of his captains to carry on the war, returned to Agra, whither he summoned his son to appear before him. The latter was unwilling to obey the summons ; and it was not until message after message had reached him as he moved from place to place, that he resolved to go to meet his father ; but this he did with a large army at his back, bringing under subjettion all the country through which he passed.
Learning that he was approaching in such array, and with so powerful a force, his father's suspicions were aroused, and fearing that his son's designs were evil, [Page 183] he assembled his great captains and men-at-arms, and made preparations for war. At the same time, he sent many messages to his son, in some of which he attempted to soothe him with kind words, while in others he used threats to intimidate him. It was at this juncture that the King summoned to Agra an eminent and very astute captain, who was then in the neighbourhood of his son, and in whom, by reason of his prudence and courage, he had great confidence. On becoming aware of this, the Prince, knowing how valuable the advice of this captain would be to the King, caused him to be followed on his march by certain people in his pay, who assassinated him, and carried his head to the Prince. This greatly enraged the King, and filled . the whole court with consternation. Nevertheless, after repeated negotiations, a reconciliation between father and son was brought about, though they continued to live apart, and to hold separate courts.
The Prince exhibited far greater regard for the Fathers, and" the Christian religion, than the King.
He directed a servant of his household, whom he was sending to Goa on business, to go to the Father Provincial of the Company, and ask him to allow some Fathers to come to him and reside at his court in the same manner as those who were with his father. The requeSt was accompanied by a present consisting of three handsome and coStly carpets, and some smaller articles of less value. The Provincial, however, did not think it prudent to send Fathers to him at that time, in as much as he was in revolt against his father, to whom he (the Provincial) was much indebted; but to please him as far as possible, he sent him a letter in which he wrote that the Fathers who were in those parts would serve him as willingly as they served the King.
Now after the Prince and the King his father had been estranged for a long time, each holding his court in a separate town, and each styling himself king (for the Prince so Styled himself, though he called his father the great King), they were at last reconciled [...]
After this, negotiations were renewed, and the King sent so many agents, letters, and messages to the Prince, that the latter was induced to approach his father, unaccompanied by a military force. The King received him in a certain gallery at Agra with many signs of affection ; then drawing him apart, he conducted him to a separate lodging where he confined him, treating him very leniently ; but three days afterwards he set him at liberty, and provided him with a house and retinue. In short, he behaved towards him, at this time, as though there had never been any differences between them. The Prince contented himself with the kingdom of Cambaya or Guzarate, which his father made over to him, until, little more than two months later, he found himself King of the entire realm; for the death of his father, which he had so much desired [...]
19. CHAPTER XIX PERSECUTION OF THE FATHERS
ALTHOUGH the work of spreading Christianity seems to make little progress in this land of the Moger, where Mahometanism and Paganism are so strongly established, nevertheless, through the few Christians dwelling there, our Saviour is often glorified, both by the constancy with which they hold to their faith, and by their earnest devotion, which is seen not only amongst the older Christians at Lahar, but amongst those more recently converted at Agra; for in both these places there are churches, and a goodly number of Christians, whose devotion is being stimulated by every means possible.
Meanwhile, though the Fathers were so beloved by the King and by the Prince (as has already been said), yet they did not escape either opposition or persecution ; while at times it seemed that they might even be called upon to endure martyrdom, as the following shows. A Saracen of high position and authority, a native of the kingdom of Husbech, and grandson of Abdulaxa, governor of the kingdom, which had formerly belonged to the great Tamburlan, came one day to the church. At the time of his visit, the Father was speaking of the mysteries of our faith, and, amongst other things, said that our Saviour was the true Son of God. On hearing these words, which always rouse the Mahometans to fury, one of the Saracen's retainers sprang to his feet, and drawing his sword, was twice in the act of cutting off the Father's head, when he was restrained by those who were near him.
Certain Gentiles, who were bitterly hostile to the Christian religion and to the Fathers who preached it, desiring to find some means of driving the latter out of the country, and knowing that the Viceroy had a grudge against: them in his heart, resolved, after taking counsel together on the subject, to secure his alliance and co-operation. They, accordingly, entertained him, in the house of one of their number, who happened to stand high in his favour, at a sumptuous banquet, at which, after making him a rich present, they placed in his hands a scandalous indietment of the Fathers, in which some of the least crimes imputed to them were that they ate human flesh, stole children and sent them to be sold in Portuguese countries, committed murders, and used spells to make people abandon their law and embrace Christianity.
The Gentiles, thinking that victory was within their grasp, and eager to follow up their advantage, were already devising plans for the banishment of the Fathers, and for forcing the Christians to renounce their faith. The Viceroy encouraged their hopes; but as he delayed from day to day taking any further steps, the Gentiles, in order to bring pressure to bear upon him, prepared for him another great feast, close to the church and the house of the Fathers, presenting to him, on this occasion, a large sum of money, some horses, and other costly gifts, all which things he readily accepted.
The plan devised by the Viceroy for making the Christians renounce their faith was to seize their wives and young children. Of this, the Fathers received warning from the Catual, who had always been a friend to them.
But God, who never neglects the needs of His faithful servants, confounded the designs of the Viceroy and the Gentiles, and turned their joy to lamentation. On the very day they had appointed for their raid on the Christians (which was the 15th of September in the year 1656 ), the son of the Viceroy, who had been sent on a campaign by his father, entered the town, a solitary fugitive, having been defeated in battle, with the loss, of some hundred horse and a great [Page 200] number of infantry. The Gentiles, to their great fortification, saw all the schemes they had devised gainst the Christians fall to pieces ; for the Viceroy as now too much occupied with his own disordered fairs to think about the ruin of the Fathers. With Lit tle delay, he set out to colleCt his scattered soldiers, ho were wandering here and there like sheep without shepherd, and at the mercy of the enemy. Thus were the Christians of Lahar delivered from the snares of the Gentiles and Saracens, and other emies of their faith, and suffered once more to live their lives in tranquillity.
As for the Gentiles, who were at the bottom of all the mischief, one of them was soon afterwards imprisoned by the new Viceroy
20. CHAPTER XX THE DEATH OF AKBAR
THE death of this great and powerful monarch took place on the 27th of October, in the year 1605. He died as he had lived; for, as none knew what law he followed in his lifetime, so none knew that in which he died.
He was some sixty-three years old when he died, having reigned for about fifty years. When all was over, his son and successor arrived, and the body was at once wrapped in a winding-sheet. Some wished to pray for him in the Saracen manner; others did not dare to; and in the end neither Saracens, nor Gentiles, nor Christians would claim him as theirs, so that he had the prayers of none.