A New Account of East-India and Persia, in Eight Letters
About this text
A new account of East-India and Persia was published in 1698. It was written by John Fryer. It is written in the form of eight letters spanning nine years about the author’s travails in the aforementioned areas.John Fryer was born around 1650.He became a surgeon for the East India Company in 1672.He would leave for Asia shortly after that and be there till 1682.He passed away on March 31,1733. A new account of East-India and Persia would relay the author’s views regarding the geography as well as observations relating to the local forts and flora of India. Primary Reading Fryer, John, A new account of East-India and Persia, R.R Suggested Reading Foster, William, Early Travels In India 1583-1619,archive.org
East-India and Persia,
IN EIGHT LETTERS.
Nine Years Travels,
Begun 1672. And Finished 1681.
Containing Observations made of the Moral, Natural, and Artificial Estate of Those Countries: Namely, Of their Government, Religion, Laws, Customs. Of the Soil, Climates, Seasons, Health, Diseases. Of the Animals, Vegetables, Minerals, Jewels. Of their Housing, Cloathing, Manufactures, Trades, Commodities. And of the Coins, Weights, and Measures, used in the Principal Places of Trade in those Parts.
By JOHN FRYER, M. D. Cantabrig.
And Fellow of the ROYAL SOCIETY.
Illustrated with Maps, Figures, and Useful Tables.
Printed by R. R. for RI. CHISWELL, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard. MDCXCVIII.
PUBLISHED BY R. R.
PUBLISHED FOR RI. CHISWELL
1. LETTER III. CHAP. I. Animadversions on the City and People of Surat.
THE Rudeness of the Devotes: And Seamen. The Buildings. The Heathen Rites more suppressed here than in Gulconda. Moguls and Chias disagree. Sects of the Moguls. Their Diet. Way of Entertainment. Their Attire is rich. The Women wear Jewels. Strict Observers of the Hours of Prayer. Great Revellers at Circumcisions and Marriages. Quick in Labour. Great Lamentations when any dye. The Duty of their Priests. The Xeriff their High-Priest. Extravagancies of their Fakiers. They make every place their home, and all their own. How clad. The Governor not able to quell them. The Villany of the Governor's Servants, and Tragical Event. Some exemplary Punishments. Delinquents of another nature. The Crime of growing rich. The Sheriff. The chief Customer. The Mint. Markets. The Castle built by Timurlan. The Wall and Gates. Number of Soldiers. Their Mosques. Caravans. Stables. The Governor quarrels with the Dutch.
2. CHAP. II. Shews the Tombs, Outwalks, Ceremonies, and Austerities of the Gentiles; with the Ships and River about Surat.
THE Rashpoot takes Toll with the Mogul. Dutch and Armenian Tombs. The English Burial-place. The French Tomb. The Burftaes or Heathen Wanderers. Pulparra, an Heathen Seminary. Two Pagods of excellent Lome. The burning of their Dead. They carry them [Page v] to Pulparra. The Postures and Severities of the Heathen Fakiers.Paunch Augy, or the Penance of Five Fires. Whether it be an Imposture? A Devote that had not sat down in sixteen Years. A great Tank. Gardens. Grottoes. The Cotton-Tree. Bang. Alluh. No great Variety of Flowers. The sensible Plant, and Arbor de Rais. Milk-Bushes. Sugar-Canes and Tobacco. The River commodious for Ships. The Dutch learn the Natives nothing. Their Navy. The Young King of Bantam. His Story. Their Junks and Seamen.
3. CHAP. III. Of their Solemnities, Sports, and Pastimes; Marriages; of the Parsies; their Strength by Land and Sea; their abundant Wealth, and fitness for Trade.
THeir New-Moons. Ramazan, or Lent. Grandeur of their Governor and Great Men. The Moors Aede. Their mourning for Hosseen Gosseen. The Emperor a great Zealot for his Religion. How they behave themselves in Eclypses. Ceremonies in Marriage. Dually of the Heathens. The Women have a time of Freedom. Feast of Flies. Hospitable to Dogs. Their Exercise or Recreation. Hunting. Buffolaes and Rams set to fight. The Master-piece of the Banyans. Education of Youth. The Sloth of the Moor a Whet to theBanyan. All the World brings Treasure to India. The Bassa of Bussorah. Their Jewellers may be improved. The City kept nastily. The Diseases. Remedies outward and inward. The Country Physician. The several Tribes how known. The English have the respect of their Ombrahs. Rarities in the English House. Venomous Creatures. The Surat Governor forced to comply with the Dutch. The Parsies. Worship the Sun. They expose their Dead to Ravenous Fowls. Their way of living. Large Milk-white Oxen. A Buffola. The Marshes breed Cattel. The Growth of this place. The Colum-Bird. Wine and Strumpets set the Soldiers and Seamen by the Ears. Four Arab Ships. Left Surat and S [...]dly. Mahmud Emir Caun, Son of [...] , Governor of the Province.
4. LETTER IV. CHAP. I. Concerning our shipping for Carwar; of the Factory there; the unsettled Condition of the Place; and our coming to Goa.
THE President goes to Surat: I to Carwar. Seva Gi's Naval Power. His Arms have conquered all round Carwar. The Ground our House stands on, granted by the King. Seva Gi governs by Brachmins. The hard usage of Seva Gi's Subjects. Distractions of the Kingdom of Visiapour. Their miserable Condition betwixt the Desy and Seva Gi. Take Barge for Goa, whose Passes are well guarded. The Gallantry of the Portugals, and neglect of their Carracks.
5. CHAP. II. Takes a View of Goa; makes a Voyage to Vingula; engages with the Malabars;and returns us to Carwar.
THE Archbishop's See. The Provost of the Jesuits. The College of the Dominicans the Seat of the Inquisitor. St. Roch. Domo of Bon Jesu. Why the Jesuits are called Paulistines. The Convent of St. Austin. Several Seminaries. TheFranciscans. The Carmelites. The Spittal. Sancta Monacha, a Nunnery. The Theatini in the Virge of the Palace. Going to Vingula we engage a Malabar. They caress us ashore at Vingula. Monuments for Women burnt alive with their dead Husbands. Return from Vingula to Goa. The King's Yards viewed. The Industry of the Portugal Ancestry. A wellweigh'd choice of an Harbour. Old Goa. Sancto Pilar the Seat of the Capuchins. The way betwixt Old Goa and New Goa. Their Prisons and Executions. Seva Gi a bad Neighbour. The Power of the Viceroy and Archbishop. The outward Port of the Fidalgoes. The Clergy how respected. The Women and Children. The finest Manchet. How the Outguards inform the City. Return'd toCarwar.
6. CHAP. IV. Of the King and Kingdom of Visiapour; their Policy and Government. Hobsy Cofferiespreferred. The present Protector, and other Members of Duccan. The Life, Exploits, and Expeditions of Seva Gi. The Wealth, Strength, and Powers of each, with respect to the Great Mogulas Supreme.
THE Conspiracy of Ramras his Favourites. They make themselves Kings: Are curbed by the Mogul. On the Fall of Nishamshaw, the Rajahs desert. How it comes to pass theMogul has made no further progress in his Conquests. The Government of Duccan. TheDuccances are Princes born. Cowis Caun the Protector murder'd at a Treat by Bullul Caun. The Succession of the Kings of Visiapour. Bullul Caun keeps the King and Kingdom in possession. The Members of Visiapour. The Mountains in all Conquests the last that stand out. Seva Gi raises himself on the Ruins of the other Lords. The King of Visiapour jealous of Seva Gi. Seva's Treachery in slaying Abdul Caun. Whereupon follows the Discomfiture of the Army, and taking Panalla. Another Royal Army broke by Perfidy. Seva has Rajapour surrender'd by a false Pharmond. Syddy Jore trick'd out of his Life by Bullul Caun. The King of Visiapour dies. Seva's Soldiers hardy. The King not Absolute. TheDuccanees of a restless Temper. The difference between the Hilly People and those of the plain Country. The Cities, Marts, and Ports.
7. CHAP. V. Shews the Pleasure and Product of the Woods. The People bewitch'd to Idolatry. The Sottishness of the Atheist. I am sent for to Bombaim: After some Endeavours to get thither, forced to winter at Carwar, and then return to Surat.
DIversions. A Tyger kill'd and dissected. Two Bones found in the Shoulders, immersed in the Flesh. The Customs of the Ombrahs on any great Action. Monkies the common Repast of the Tygers. Apes anatomized. Bamboes. Cassia Fistula. The Thamarind-Tree. The Indian Oak. Nux Vomica. A Feast of Priapus. The Dregs of the People use Charms, or think they do so. Their Sacrifice for the Fields. Whether these Wretches do work by the Devil or no. The sublime Wit as much in the Wrong as the depressed. No Evasion for the Atheist. I am sent for to Bombaim. All Butchers Flesh forbidden at Goa in the Heats, but Pork. Mangoes good to cleanse the Blood. Cheruses. Anana [...] s. I winter at Carwar. Bad a final Adieu to Carwar, and come again to Goa. Jews feed on Hogs-flesh,for fear of the Inquisition. Left Goa on St. Xaverius his Eve. In danger of being shipwreck'd at Bombaim. Return to Surat.
8. CHAP. XIV. The Appellations of the Warrior and Scholar; of the Merchant, Mechanicks, and Villains. Of their Garb, Civility of Manners, Facetiousness, Revellings, Sports, Weddings, Cleansings, and Burials. Of their Women; and License of Curtezans. The Eunuchs, &c.
THE Merchant. Cheats in all Professions, make the Brokers necessary. The Villany of a Droger. The Persian in his City Dress. The Drover. The Herdsman. The Husbandman. The Dervises. Vinedressers. Slaves made of the Old Persians. The Eunuchs. The Old Women. Their Women. Their Excellencies. The Mark of a Whore. Curtizans: Their Children provided for. Lyings in and Purifyings. Widows reckoned Mutes. Sodomy. Addicted to Pleasure. Corruptness of the Courtiers. Women made use of to Complain. The Persian places Felicity in Prosperity. Their Recreations and Exercises. They Hunt a long time together. How Treated on their Return. Immoderate in their Feasting. Their Religious Feasts. Foot-Racing. Their Valour, whence it proceeds. Their Urbanity. The Custom of carrying Aves. Their Virtues. Vices. How far beholden to Constitution of Body and Air. Their Diet. Cabob. Pulloe. Dumpoke. Stews.Cookoo Challow. No good Confections. Sherbets. The Persians Spit as much as other Folks. Their happiness of Body. Commutative Justice.
THEN divides it self into divers Long Streets, and they are checquered by as many transverse. It enjoys some Choultries for Places of Justice; one Exchange, one Pagod, contained in a square Stone-wall; wherein are a number of Chappels (if they may be comprehended under that Classis most of them resembling rather Monuments for the Dead, than Places of Devotion for the Living) one for every Tribe; not under one Roof, but distinctly separate, though altogether, they bear the name of one intire Pagoda. The Work is inimitably durable, the biggest closed up with Arches continually shut, as where is supposed to be hid their Mammon of Unrighteousness, (they burying their Estates here when they dye, by the persuasion of their Priests, towards theirviaticum for another State) admitting neither Light nor Air, more than what the Lamps, always burning, are by open Funnels above suffered to ventilate: By which Custom they seem to keep alive that Opinion of Plato, in such a Revolution to return into the World again, after their Transmigration, according to the Merits of their former living. Those of a minuter dimension were open, supported by slender straight and round Pillars, plain and uniform up to the top, where some Hieroglyphical Portraicture lends its assistance to the Roof, flat, with Stones laid along like Planks upon our Rafters. On the Walls of good Sculpture were obscene Images, where Aretine might have furnished his Fancy for his Bawdy Postures: The Floor is stoned, they are of no great altitude; stinking most egregiously of the Oyl they waste in their Lamps, and besmear their Beastly Gods with: Their outsides shew Workmanship and Cost enough, wrought round with monstrous Effigies; so that oleum & operam perdere, Pains and Cost to no purpose, may not improperly be applied to them. Their Gates are commonly the highest of the Work, the others concluding in shorter Piles.
Near the outside of the Town the English Golgotha, or Place of Sculls, presents variety of Tombs, Walks and Sepulchres; which latter, as they stand in a Line, are an open Cloyster; but succinctly and precisely a Quadragone with Hemispherical Apartitions; on each side adorned with Battlements to the abutment of every Angle, who bear up a Coronal Arch, on whose Vertex a Globe is rivited by an Iron Wedge sprouting into a Branch; paved underneath with a great Black Stone, whereon is engraved the Name of the Party interred. The Buildings of less note are Low and Decent; the Town is walled with Mud, and Bulwarks for Watchplaces for the English Peons; only on that side the Sea washes it, and the Fort meets it. On the North are two great Gates of Brick, and one on the West, where they wade over the River to the Washermens Town.
Its Map renders it a Trapezium by an Oblique Stroke of the River on that Corner, and another next the Sea, thus. [Page 40] Without the Town grows their Rice, which is nourished by the letting in of the Water to drown it: Round about it is bestrewed with Gardens of the English; where, besides Gourds of all sorts for Stews and Pottage, Herbs for Sallad, and some few Flowers, as Jassamin, for beauty and delight; flourish pleasant Tops of Plantains, Cocoes, Guiavas, a kind of Pear, Jawks, a Coat of Armour over it like an Hedg-hog's, guards its weighty Fruit, Oval without for the length of a Span, within in fashion like Squils parted, Mangos, the delight of India, a Plum, Pomegranets, Bonanoes, which are a sort of Plantain, though less, yet much more grateful, Beetle; which last must not be slipt by in silence: It rises out of the Ground to twelve or fourteen Feet heighth, the Body of it green and slender, jointed like a Cane, the Boughs flaggy and spreading, under whose Arms it brings forth from its pregnant Womb (which bursts when her Month is come) a Cluster of Green Nuts, like Wallnuts in Green Shells, but different in the Fruit; which is hard when dried, and looks like a Nutmeg.
The Natives chew it with Chinam (Lime of calcined Oyster Shells)and Arach, a Convolvulus with a Leaf like the largest Ivy, for to preserve their Teeth, and correct an unsavoury Breath: If swallowed, it inebriates as much as Tobacco. Thus mixed, it is the only Indian Entertainment, called Pawn.
These Plants set in a Row, make a Grove that might delude the Fanatick Multitude into an Opinion of their being sacred; and were not the Mouth of that Grand Impostor Hermetically sealed up, where Christianity is spread, these would still continue, as it is my Fancy they were of old, and may still be the Laboratories of his Fallacious Oracles: For they masquing the face of Day, beget a solemn reverence, and melancholy habit in them that resort to them; by representing the more inticing Place of Zeal, a Cathedral, with all its Pillars and Pillasters, Walks and Choirs; and so contrived, that whatever way you turn, you have an even Prospect.
But not to run too far out of Maderas before I give you an Account of the People; know they are of the same Nation with Metchlapatan, have the same unbelieving Faith, and under the same Bondage with the Moors, were not that alleviated by the Power of the English, who command as far as their Guns reach: To them therefore they pay Toll, even of Cowdung (which is their chiefest Fireing) a Prerogative the Dutch could never obtain in this Kingdom, and by this means acquire great Estates without fear of being molested. Their only Merchants being Gentues, forty Moors having [Page 41] hardly Cohabitation with them, though of the Natives 30000 are employed in this their Monopoly.
The Country is Sandy, yet plentiful in Provisions; in all Places Topes of Trees, among one of which, on the top of a withered Stump sate perching a Chamelion, Graece [undefined span non-Latin alphabet], clasping with its Claws its rotten Station, filling himself with his Aerial Food, ex tali satietate facile est parare famem; a Banquet which most other Creatures else arise an hungred from: But to be confirmed in the truth of what we have only by Tradition, I caused a Black who had a Bow there, to fell him with an Earthen Pellet, which when he had, after a small time he revived, and making a Collar of Straw for his Neck, he carried him to my Lodgings, where I dieted him a Month on the same Provant. That he changes his Colours at a constant time of the Day, is not to be contradicted; but whether he live by the Air alone, I will not stand to it, unless there were a Dearth of Flies in the Countrey; though for my part I never did see him eat any. In Shape he comes nearest a Newt; with his Lungs his Body does agitate its self up to its Neck; he crawls on all Four, and has a Tail longer than his Body, which all together was no more than half a Foot; he has Teeth, and those sharp, which makes me think him an Ant [...] beel-ubian.
Nine Days spent here, our Ships set sail again for Mechlapatan, leaving us behind them.
10. Of Calicut.
A Shore the first House facing us was the English; near it were placed six small Pieces, resounding our Salutes at our Entry.
On the backside lay two great Guns, dismounted, of Brass, all that is extant of the Portugal Town and Castle (which ran out as far into the Sea as our Ships now ride, near four Miles) overflowed by Water; nothing remaining of it but only what is taken upon Chronicle.
What is also left of Calicut, is not equivalent to what might be expected from the gleaning of so many Ages of Traffick; unless, as Antiquaries esteem, most of those things are Moth-eaten by Time, which Vermin has been plaguy pernicious here: For the City that stood upon Stilts, is tripped up, for down it is gone; and the Temple, whose Marble Pillars durst compare with those of Agrippa's in the Roman Pantheon, is Topsy-turvy. And if any one that comes after me, make you believe it to be not above Four Miles in length, and in that not an House befitting a Christian; here and there a Mosque, and Burying Places with Tanks: A good long Bazzar with Trash, and Ripe Fruit; another with Opium, and Spices of this Coast; Changers and Jewellers, unfenced and rude in Building; he tells you but the truth. Indeed it is pleasantly situated under Trees, and it is the Holy See of their Zamerhin or Pope.
The Citizens are urbane, being trained up to Commerce; but the Trade gone to Goa, along with the Portugals; who at their first arrival into this Bay, found more Ships by 500 than we did, without either Chart or Compass, who most of them transported their Commodities to the Red Sea, along the Coasts; or to the Gulph of Persia; [Page 55] and thence they were carried overland to Scanderoon, Aleppo, or Constantinople, unto the Hands of the Venetians, from whom we were served with them; and by that means they gained for themselves the Power and Greatness of their State.
Since by the Prosperous Attempts of the Portugals about the Cape of good Hope, we are taught to bring them home at a cheaper Rate, whereby these Indian Hugsters begin to decline.
For a long time the Portugals kept in with Calicut, and drew a great resort hither, as well overland as by Sea; till the Zamerhin, not brooking them as Inmates, ruined their Fortifications, (which occasioned their remove toGoa), and with them the Fame of Calicut.
Their Coin admits no Copper; Silver Tarrs, 28 of which make a Fanam, passing instead thereof.
They have yet a correspondence with Persia, as may appear by their Absees, a Sixteen penny piece of Silver, current among them.
Their Trade in common with India is mostly for Beetle Nuts, and Cocoe Nuts, for Oyl, which latter they dunging with (Bubsho) Fish, the Land-Breezes brought a poysonous Smell on board Ship caused by their putrifying.
Breaking ground hence, the Mountains were grown to that height, that they seemed to be the Partition Walls betwixt this World and the Sphere of Fire; for the Sun was a long while after he had gilded the Canopy of Heaven, before he could drive his Steeds over those Olympick Towers with his blazing Orb: Which I take notice of, because the Sun and Stars ascend the Horizon to theMeridian directly in the Torrid Zone, and so descend; whereby there is little or no Twilight, as there is nearer the Poles, where they ascend and descend more obliquely.
At Mangalore the Dutch have a Fort, and 6 Miles to the North the French have a Flag flying; within a League off which a Grey Rock extols its hoary Head eight Fathom above Water, navigable on all sides, justly called by us Sacrifice Island; in remembrance of a bloody Butchery on some English by the Pirate Malabars, who are the worst Pickeroons on this Coast, going in Fleets, and are set out by the Great Men ashore; the Chief of whom lives at Durmapatan, where we took in fuller and larger Pepper than any yet: They are stronger here in Shipping than the rest; they housing several Junks of Burthen, drawn up on the Banks of the River, not yet lanched since the Rains; which they always do when they set in, keeping them dry all the Winter with the Thatch of Cajans.
Parting from hence, the Mountains above, and the Valleys below were covered with Woods, only now and then Hills of Red Earth were interspersed (which our Dawbers use for Painting) that held on their pace till we were up with Canamore, another Fortress of the Dutch: From whence they spake Defiance by spending three Shots unregarded by us.
From Durmapatam, five Leagues North, lies Phalapatan; where I took Boat, and sailed up the River with the Lascars, or Sea-men of the Country; of whom I shall say no more at present, than, that they are a shame to our Sailors, who can hardly ever work without horrid Oaths and hideous Cursing and Imprecations; and these Moormen, [Page 56] on the contrary, never set their Hands to do any Labour, but that they sing a Psalm, or Prayer, and conclude at every joint Application to it,Allah, Allah, invoking on the Name of God.
On each side upon the Teaming Banks are homely Villages, a plain Dress becoming Art, the Servant, where her Mistress, Nature, is so coruscant, here being whole Armies of Trees surprisingly beautiful. Besides these Benefits for Delight, there flow no less for Profit; they improving the Commodiousness of the River (which is Sailable round to Durmapatan) by a Free Trade. Six Miles up stands Phalapatan, of Building base; it is overgrown with the Weeds of Mahometism, the Moors planting themselves here; whose King I was so lucky to see out of my Boat, my Lascars entreating me to give them leave to go ashore to provide Victuals in the Buzzar.
His Meen was Patriarchical, his Head gray, his Beard Snowed with Age, his Raiment white in the Eastern Mode. His Son and Heir, a Child, followed him; as he passed, the People payed him humbl Respect; he was without a Guard, it being needless where Subjects are Loyal-hearted.
The River was full of Aligators, or Crocodiles, which lay basking in the Sun in the Mud on the River's side, whom the Natives are fearless of; conceiting the Brachmines have power to lay a Spell upon them, that they do no harm. Which, whether true or false, 'tis certain they a seldom do harm in the Water, as the Tigres in the Woods, over whom they fancy their Priests have the same prevalency.
A Mile more up wasCutty-Cony, the fair Palace, as it signifies in Malabar; but though it do in their Language, it would not make the Interpretation good in English, it agreeing but in one particular, that is, the Site. It having the advantage of an Hill, has an easy Prospect over the Water, as broad here as our Thamesis; and over the Verdent Meadows, which spread themselves Westward, till Hills of Cardamoms do bound the sight, running from thence North by East, while they meet with Mount Sephir (all along unchristned Gate) these are the minor Cardamoms, and the best, if not the only in the World: On the East a gravelly Forest with tall benty Grass, offers, besides its taking Look, diversity of Game; as Hares, wild Boars, Tigres, and wild Elephants, which are dreaded by Travellers, they striking all down before them, Trees as well as Animals: The like Terror is conceived by the crashing noise among the Woods made by the wild Bulls; for all which, 'tis the practice of the Woodmen to dig deep Pits, and cover them with Sads, laid over with Boughs, to entrap them in their headstrong and unwary Course. Monkeys with white Ruffs, and black shagged Bodies, looking very gravely, are brought from hence.
On the South a Wood of Jamboes, Mangoes, Cocoes; on the North a Grove of Pepper.
The Place is now resigned to the English, though the Gentiles were unwilling to desert it, it being an Arch-Brachmine's Seat, where was a small Pagod standing in the middle of the Yard well endowed, till they had robbed their Gods of their Gold and Silver; and now they are said to be dumb and sullen because of the English. But without any prejudice to Truth, we may believe the Usurers Faith [Page 57] and theirs to be both under one Lock and Key; Quantum nummorum habet in arcâ, tantum habet & fidei.
It is walled about by the English with Mud, except the two round Points towards the Land, whose Foundations and Bastions are of Stone. They have Fourteen small Guns mounted; here are twenty two Soldiers, besides Factors: The Air so salubrious, that never any English are remembred to lay their Bones here. The Fort is a Tetragone from Corner to Corner.
Without, besides theEnglish, there are a select Company of Nairoes, who are stout, ready, and resolute for any Action: Their Weapons are Bows and Arrows, with Falchions by their sides.
By these the Countrey is inhabited; among whom if a Man fall single, salvage Beasts are more compassionate; but if you have but a Boy with you of their Cast, you may travel secure enough.
Beyond the Outworks live a few Portugals Muster [...] s or Misteradoes; among whom are Stews and Brothels; the Women of this Coast being the most professedly Lewd of any; being said to instruct the Men to be Patients, while they act the Masculine Part in their Lascivious Twines.
Sixteen Tarrs here make one Fanam; Nine Fanams one Piece of Eight; four Cash are the eighth part of one Rupee.
Outstretching the Malabar Coast, we sailed along by Batticalai on the Canatick Coasts; and the next Morning, between two Islands we saw sculking Six Malabar Proes waiting their Booty; but making use of their Oars as well as Sails, soon outstripped us.
The Day after we came to an Anchor at Onor, the Land Hilly and Barren, which I went to see; it is in 13 deg. 10 min. North. We passed to it through a narrow Bite, which expatiates into a wide Swallow, and then thrusts us up the River. On the North side a Bow and Arrow Castle overlooks it, while it runs peaceably to the Town. Where we landed, the Dutch had a House, and a new Junk lanched, with her Colours furl'd: One end of the Town stands in an hole; over a Rocky Hill stands the other part, upon which the Castle with its Stone Wall faces an Heath a great way, yet looking asquint on the Underwoods. It is built after the exact Rules of Ancient Fortifications, with a Drawbridge, and a Moat round, now a dry Ditch, the Castle without Soldiers, falling to decay. It was built by thePortugals, seized by the Canareens by the help of the Dutch, between whom and the Portugals, the Town of poor Buildings is divided: Many of the Natives have receiv'd the Christian Faith. Though those that continue in their Paganism are the most impiously Religious of any of the Indians, being too too conversant with the Devil.
TheNairoes have no footing here, nor have the Moors much.
They live in no diffidence of one another, nor Strangers of them, journeying among them without a Guide, in Broad Roads, not in By-Paths, as in the Nations properly called the Malabars: They have well-constituted Laws, and observe them obediently.
From hence we came to Mirja in the same Dominions. I went to view the Place; the Boat that carried me was Brigantine built.
At the Entry into the Harbour only a Rock withstands the Washes, but on the Shore huge craggy Mountains are drawn up for a second [Page 58] Onset, all of Black Stone, yet somewhat undermined by the beating of the Sea, where it works its self into a Syrtes; on the other side of which the Fragments of the Town are shelter'd. At my Landing, one of their Princes was the first that welcomed me ashore, (who here as well as in Italy scorn not to be Merchants); he was seated under a shady Tree, on a Carpet spread upon the Sand, and his Retinue standing about him; he it seems was expecting the Protector of Canara (the Raja being in Minority), who came anon, with his Lords and Guards, armed with Swords and Gantlets, Partizans adorned with Bells and Feathers, as also were the Horses that carried his Luscarry or Army, with such Trappings as our finest Team-Horses in England wear.
He ventured off to Sea to see our Ships; he was rowed by a Gang of 36, in a great deal of Pomp; his Musick was loud, and with the Kettle-drums made a Noise not unlike that our Coopers make on their Hogsheads driving home their Hoops: He went aboard two or three Ships, who entertained him with their Guns and Chears of their Men, presenting him with Scarlet Cloath. He is a Gentile, as are his Subjects.
Our Lading here was Pepper, Salt-Petre, and Beetle-Nut for Surat.
In our way from Mirja we met with a Man of War Pink, commission'd from the President for the scowring these Seas, which had 22 Guns, and seventy odd Men, the Name, The Revenge.
Near Carwar is the Island Angediva, Fam'd for the Burial of some Hundreds of our Countreymen.
Carwar was the Chief Port of Visiapour on this Coast, but a Grand Traytor to that King Seva Gi, is now Master of it, and the adjacent Countrey as far as Guzerat; having well nigh forced our Factory, and done other Outrages on us, which would ask our Fleet a longer time to require Satisfaction, if they were able, than they could stay; unless they would lose their Passage round the Cape of Good Hope, and content themselves to winter at the Mauritius, which all Ships that outstay their time are forced to. For the Sun being almost at his Southern Solstice, at his return he leaves a sharp Winter (which we proved), and adverse Winds in those Seas, they lying without the Tropick, which spurs them on for expedition. What this Seva Gi is, and the reason of his Usurped Power, a longer Duration in the Countrey must declare, who is every where named with Terror, he carrying all before him like a mighty Torrent.
The Shore is Hilly, and indifferent Woody; near it Islets are scattered to and again.
The People partly Moors, partly Gentues, under the King ofVisiapour, who was, till this turbulent Seva Gi drove all into a Commotion, a perfect Monarch, hardly paying the Mogul Tribute, when Duccan and Visiapour were united into one Kingdom.
Hence it is Hilly up to Guzerat; though Gates hold on where the Coasts of Guzerat begin, and outstretches them.
Fifteen Leagues to the Norward of Carwar lies Goa, the only place of consequence the Portugals retain of their first Discoveries.
The City lies up the River, out of our sight on Shipboard, though we could discern the River to be thwacked with small Craft; without [Page 59] the Bar a great Carrack unrigg'd, and on both sides the River Magnificent Structures. The Soil Fat, Level, and fit for the Share many Miles together, the Hills keeping a wide distance from them.
About two days after we passed Goa, a Ship with a Portugal Flag at the Main Top-Mast Head weathered our Admiral, and after s [...]e what we were, lay by for a Fleet of six more good Ships, one [...] and half a dozen Proes, being their Northern Armado; they fitting out one for the South also; the one against the Arabs, the other against the Malabars.
The beginning of December the North West Wind blew bitter cold upon us, and would hardly give the Sun leave to be Master in his own home; though a Cloud in the day time, ever since the Rains cleared up, could hardly vapour betwixt him and the Earth.
At Nights we had hospitable Lights shewed us from the Shore, to mark out the Rocks, which lye very thick along to intrap the unwary Pilot.
In 17 deg. 20 min. North, lies Rajapore, a French Factory now, formerly English.
Twenty Miles to the Northward, Choul, a Fortress of the Portugals, lay fair in sight.
And having the Latitude of 18 deg. 40 min. North,Bombaim opened its self; the Tide being spent, we came to an Anchor without the Bay, not having our Bearings right; and December the Eighth we paid our Homage to the Union-Flag flying on the Fort of Bombaim.
[...]In East-India is one of the Islands of Salset, parted from that part of the Canarick Coast which lies nearest Duccan, 60 Leagues North of Goa, and as many South of Surat. These Islands are in number seven; viz Bombaim, Canorein, Trumbay, Elephanto, the Putachoes, Munchumbay, and Kerenjau, with the Roc [...] of Henry Kenry; arising as so many Mountains out of the Sea; which accords to the Fancy of the Natives, who affirm that Nereus has lost these Islets, with a great deal more of the Low-Lands,from his Trident, the Earth gaining upon the Sea: And as a Remonstrance of their Credulity, they bring for proof the vast Rocks that are many Miles up the Countrey, bestuck with Oystershells and other Trophies of the Sea's [Page 62] having had once Dominion there, all which they call Conchon, or the Netherlands.
In whose opening Arm, that is, from Choul Point to Bacein (two famous Cities belonging to the Portugals) some 30 Leagues distance, lye those Spots of round, still disputable to which side to incline: For at Low Water most of them are foordable to the Main, or from one to the other; and at Spring-Tides again a great part of them overflowed.
Bombaim is the first that faces Choul, and ventures farthest out into the Sea, making the Mouth of a spacious Bay, from whence it has its Etymology; Bombaim, quasi Boon Bay.
Beyond it lies Canorein, Trumbay, Munchumbay, with their Creeks, making up the North side of the Bay: Between whom and the Main lies Elephanto, Kerenjau, Putachoes, with the great Rock or barren Islet of Henry Kenry: These, with some part of the Main, constitute the South-East side of the Bay; all which together contribute to the most notable and secure Port on the Coasts of India; Ships of the greatest as well as smaller Burthen having quiet Harbour in it; whither if they can, they chuse to betake themselves, if they happen, as oft they do, to lose their Voyages by the Monsoons.
From whence these Pieces of Land receive their general Name of Salset, if it be worth Enquiry, I can only guess, either because it signifies inCanorein a Granary, as they are to thePortugals North of Goa, and sometimes to Goa it self, as at this time, when their Armado of Rice was all lost, which annually used to furnish them with Provisions of Corn; or else analogically, from the fruitful Peninsula of the same Name, near which Goa its self stands: But whether this be certain or not, the reason of the Denomination of Bombaim is convincing.
To go on then from whence we deviated, it is necessary you should be first acquainted, That after Vasquez de Gama, in the Year 1547, had laid open these Seas for Traffick to the East-Indies; the Portugals to their Honour took for a while sure Footing of what they had industriously so long laboured for, and brought most of the Borderers on the Sea-Coasts under their Subjection; not all India, as they have fondly reported. It suffices then, to avoid a Volume of Discourse, that Bombaim with these Islets continued still in their hands, until the Year 1661, when the Crown of Portugal parted with these, together with the Haven, to His Majesty of Great Britain, as a Portion of the Dowry of Donna Infanta Catherina, Sister to the King of Portugal, and Consort to Charles the Second, late King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland. A matter of great Import to the Kingdom, had it been transferred according to Contract, as well in regard to the Protection of our Ships, as for the Profit of the Soil to the English Inhabitants; but most of all for the Awe it might impose [...] them who are the Disturbers of our Trade here.
12. A DESCRIPTION OF SURAT, AND Journy into DUCCAN. LETTER III. CHAP. I. Animadversions on the City and People of Surat in the East-Indies.
GOING out to see the City of Surat, I passed without any Incivility, the better because I understood not what they said; for though we meet not with Boys so rude as in England, to run after Strangers, yet here are a sort of bold, lusty, and most an end, drunken Beggars, of the Musslemen Cast, that if they see a Christian in good Clothes, Mounted on a stately Horse, with rich Trappings, are presently upon their Punctilio's with God Almighty, and interrogate him, Why he suffers him to go a Foot, and in Rags, and this Coffery (Unbeliever) to vaunt it thus? And are hardly restrained from running a Muck (which is to kill whoever they meet, till they be slain themselves) especially if they have been at Hodge, a Pilgrimage to Mecca, and thence to Juddah, where is Mahomet's Tomb; these commonly, like evil Spirits, have their Habitations among the Tombs: Nor can we complain only of this Libertinism, for the Rich Moormen themselves are persecuted by these Rascals.
As for the rest, they are very respectful, unless the Seamen or Soldiers get Drunk, either with Toddy, or Bang (a pleasant intoxicating Seed, mixed with Milk) then are they Monarchs, and it is [Page 92] Madness to oppose them; but leave them to themselves, and they will vent that Fury, by breathing a Vein or two with their own Swords, sometimes slashing themselves most Barbarously.
The Town has very many noble lofty Houses of the Moor-Merchants, flat at top, and Terassed with Plaster. There is a Parsy, Broker to the King of Bantam, has turned the outside of his Pockets on a sumptuous House, a spacious Fabrick, but ill contrived, as are many of the Banians. They, for the most part, affect not stately Buildings, living in humble Cells or Sheds. Glass is dear, and scarcely purchaseable (unless by way of Stambole, or Constantinople, from the Venetians, from whom they have some Panes of Painted Glass in Sash Windows) therefore their Windows, except some few of the highest Note, are usually folding Doors, skreened with Cheeks, or Latises, Carved in Wood, or Isingglass, or more commonly Oistershells. The greatest Commodity here is Air, which is to be admired in the Rich Banyans, how they stew themselves out of a penurious humour, crowding Three or Four Families together into an Hovel, with Goats, Cows, and Calves, all Chamberfellows, that they are almost poysoned with Vermin and Nastiness; but surely they take delight in it, for they will fresh and fasting besprinkle themselves with the Stale of a Cow, as you behold a good Christian with Holy-water, or a Moorman slabber his Beard with Rosewater: Nay more, they use it as a Potion, or Philter, and bid the Devil do his worst after it; so stupid, that notwithstanding Chints, Fleas, and Muskeeto's, torment them every Minute, dare not presume to scratch where it itches, lest some Relation should be untenanted its miserable abode.
The Habits and Customs of this place are reconcilable with them in the Kingdom of Gulconda, only the Moguls being more absolute, and of a more Puritanical Sect than the Chia's; the Heathens are suppressed in respect of their Barbarous Rites, and reduced to a more civil Garb, being more decently Clothed.
The Moguls, who are Lords here, differ from them of Gulconda in point of their Caliph's Succession, he first maintaining the Sect of the Arabs, the others of the Suffean, or Persian.
They have Four Expositors of the Law, to whom they give Credit in matter of Ceremonies, viz.
Their great scruple is about Eating together among all sorts of these Eastern Nations.
All Musselmen (true Believers) as they call themselves of this Persuasion, Communicate in that point; only some Punctilio's in respect of Marriage remain yet undecided; as for an Hanoffi to offer his Daughter to a Shoffi, is a great shame; but if the other request it first, he may comply without derogation.
[Page 93] They are distinguished, some according to the Consanguinity they claim with Mahomet; as a Siad is a Kin to that Imposture, and therefore only assumes to himself a Green Vest and Puckery (or Turbat) none other being permitted to wear them. A Shiek is a Cousin too, at a distance, into which Relation they admit all new made Proselytes. Meer is somewhat Allied also, and Mussanne. The rest are adopted under the Name of the Province or Kingdom they are Born in, as Mogul the Race of the Tartars, and are esteemed, as the Name imports, White Men; Patan, Duccan; or Schisms they have made, as Bilhim, Jemottee, and the lowest of all is Borrah.
These Eat highly of all Flesh Dumpoked, which is Baked with Spice in Butter; Pullow, a Stew of Rice and Butter, with Flesh, Fowl, or Fish; Fruits, Achars, or Pickles, and Sweatmeats: If they invite a Christian, they order Dishes apart, and between Meals Entertain with Coho, Tobacco, Pawn, which makes a fragrant Breath, and gives a rare Vermilion to the Lips; and as a great Compliment drown you with Rosewater, Senting themselves with Essence ofSandal and Oranges, very Costly, and exquisitely Extracted. They drink no Wine Publickly, but Privately will be good Fellows, not content with such little Glasses as we drink out of, nor Claret or Rhenish (which they call Vinegar) but Sack and Brandy out of the Bottle they will Tipple, till they are well warmed.
At the First entrance into their Houses, for the greater Respect, they meet at the Portal, and usher Strangers to the place of Entertainment; where, out of common Courtesy, as well as Religion, (when they enter an Holy Place) they pull off their Slippers, and after the usual Salams, seat themselves in Choultries, open to some Tank of purling Water; commonly spread with Carpets, or Siturngees, and long round Cushions of Velvet to bolster their Back and Sides, which they use when they ride in their Chariots, which are made to sit Crosslegg'd on, not their Legs hanging down as ours; it being accounted among them no good breeding to let their Legs or Feet be seen whilst sitting: In their Palenkeens, Coaches, or swinging Cotts, which they affect for Ease, are laid huge Bolsters of state, and Quilts of Cotton to lie at length., their Ceilings and Posts are Hung with Mechlapatan Pintado's, and adorned with other Gallantry.
They go rich in Attire, with a Poniard, or Catarre, at their Girdle; as they are Neat in Apparel, they are Grave in their Carriage.
Their Women wear the Breeches, but in a most servile condition; yet they have their Ornaments of Head, with Bracelets of Pearl, Earrings and Noserings, to which they hang Jewels, mostly set in Silver, because Gold is Nigess, or Unclean.
They are strict observers of the Hours of Prayer, when they strip off all their Gorgeous Habiliments to their Shift, and after Washing Hands and Feet, Prostrate themselves during the time of Devotion, when Rising they Salute their Guardian-Angels according to the Opinion of the Stoicks, who allotted every one his Juno and his Genius; having made their Orisons, and Purified themselves, they return to Company as before.
[Page 94] They are great Revellers by Night, in the heat of the Day they sleep and dally.
They circumcise the Foreskin of the Male, which is performed by a Barber, at Eight years of Age; with Feasting, and carrying the Boy about in pomp, with Musick and great Expressions of Joy. Of the Girls they make small account, they being instructed within doors how to pray.
The Cazy or Judge, after the Match is made by the Parents, marries them; from whence doubtless our Phanaticks borrowed their Custom of Marrying by a Justice of Peace: This is also a time of Solemnity sometimes kept for several Weeks together with Illuminations on their Houses, their Garments tinctured with Saffron, riding triumphantly through the Streets with Trumpets and Kettle Drums; fetching the Bride from her Kindred, and they sending Banquets, Houshold-stuff, and Slaves their Attendants, with a great Train through their Streets, which is all their Dowry: But the Cazy has a Knack beyond those Couplers of Europe, he can loose the Knot when they plead a Divorce. They have four Wives if they can maintain them, and as many other Women as they please; she that bears the first Son is reckoned the Chief.
At their Labours they seldom call Midwives, being pretty quick that way, though there are not a few live well by that Profession; known by Tufts of Silk on their Shooes or Slippers, all other Women wearing them plain: At the end of their Quarentine, which is Forty days, after the Old Law, they enter the Hummums to Purify; and the Child, without much Ceremony, is named by the Parents.
At Funerals, the Mullahs or Priests, make Orations or Sermons, after a Lesson read out of the Alchoran, and lay them North and South, as we do East and West, when they are Inhumed, expecting from that Quarter the appearance of their Prophet. Upon the death of any, in the hearing of the Outcry, which is great among the Women, beating their Breasts, and crying aloud, they neither eat, nor shift their Cloaths, till the Person be interred; the Relations mourn by keeping on dirty Cloaths, and a neglect of their Apparel; neither washing nor shaving themselves: It is usual to hire People to lament, and the Widow once a Moon go to the Grave with her Acquaintance to repeat the doleful Dirge, after which she bestows Holway, a kind of Sacramental Wafer; and entreats their Prayers for the Soul of the Departed; and for that reason the most store of Graves are in Cross-ways, or High-roads, that the Passengers may be put in mind of that Office: They never Enshrine any in their Moschs, but in the places adjoining them; where they build Tombs, and leave Stipends for Mullahs to offer Petitions up for them.
The Duty of the Mallahs, besides these, is to call from the Steeples of their Maschs every Pore, that is, once in Three hours stopping their Ears with their Fingers: Allah Eckbar, Allah Eckbar, Eschadu ela Hale ilallah we Eschedu, Mahmed ewesul: Cuah Fleje ala Selah heie ula Felah, Alla Eckber, Alla Eckber, La Jelah Hallah: i. e. God is Great, I profess, there is no Deity but God, and confess that Mahomet is the Prophet of God. Their Priests say Prayers five times [Page 95] aday,and expound the Alcheran once a-week, and that on Friday, which day they are not to lye with their Women, setting it apart for the Service of God.
Here is a Xeriff, who is as it were their Primate, under him the Cazys, or Judges, are the next, then the Inferior Clergy, as the Mullahs, and Scribes, or Teachers of Youth in the Arabick Tongue.
With these, by the favour of the present Mogul, who lived long in that Order, till he came to the Throne, must be numbred the Fakiers or Holy Men, abstracted from the World, and resigned to God, for the Word will bear that Interpretation; on this Pretence are committed sundry Extravagancies, as putting themselves on voluntary Penances. Here is one that has vowed to hang by the Heels, till he get Money enough to build aMosch to Mah [...] met, that he may be held a Saint. Another shall travel the Country with an Horn blowed afore him, and an Ox it may be to carry him and his Baggage, besides one to wait on him with a Peacock's Tail; whilst he rattles a great Iron Chain ettered to his Foot, as big as those Elephants are Footlocked with, some two yards in length; every Link thicker than a Man's Thumb, and a Palm in length; his shaking this speaks his Necessity, which the poor Gentiles dare not deny to relieve; for if they do, he accuses them to the Cazy, who desires no better opportunity to fleece them: For they will no stick to swear they blasphemed Mahomet, for which there is no evasion but to deposit, or be cut, and made a Moor.
Most of these are Vagabonds, and are the Pest of the Nation they live in; some of them live in Gardens and retired Places in the Fields, in the same manner as the Seers of old, and the Children of the Prophets did: Their Habit is the main thing that signalizes them more than their Virtue; they profess Poverty, but make all things their own where they come; all the heat of the Day they idle it under some shady Tree, at night they come in Troops, armed with a great Pole, a Mirchal or Peacock's Tail, and a Wallet; more like Plunderers than Beggers; they go into the Market, or to the Shopkeepers, and force an Alms, none of them returning without his share: Some of them pass the bounds of a modest Request, and bawl out in the open Streets for an Hundred Rupees, and nothing less will satisfy these.
They are cloathed with a ragged Mantle, which serves them also for a Matrass, for which purpose some have Lyons, Tygres or Leopards Skins to lay under them: The Civilest of them wear Flesh-coloured Vests, somewhat like our Brick-makers Frocks, and almost of that Colour. The Merchants, as their Adventures return, are bountiful towards them, by which means some of them thrive upon it.
These Field Conventiclers at the hours of Devotion beat a Drum, from them called the Fakiers Drum; here are of these Strolers about this City enough to make an Army, that they are almost become formidable to the Citizens; nor is the Governour powerful enough to correct their Insolencies. For lately setting on a Nobleman of the Moors, when his Kindred came to demand Justice, they unanimously [Page 96] rose in defence of the Aggressor, and rescued him from his deserved Punishment.
For all the Governor comes to his Seat attended every Morning with 300 Foot with Fire-Arms, Three Elephants in their Cloathing (which is here also a principal Mark of the Greatness of these Men in place, the more Elephants they keep, they are looked on as more Honourable) Forty Horses mounted, Four and twenty Banners of State; besides a large Retinue of the Cazy's, who is always present to assist him in Law Points. Moreover he has Loud Trumpets made as big, and like our Stentoro Phonica, or speaking Trumpet, with Thundring Kettle-Drums; yet neither the Formality of this Appearance, nor regard due to his Office, is terrible enough to prevail with these to submit to resign the Caitiff, and hardly is his whole Force able to keep them from barefaced Rebellion.
But though these Outlaws (for as such they ought to be look'd on, while they disown all Subjection) behave themselves thus, the poor Inhabitants that work for their Bread, are under severer Restraints; for the Governor's Servants being upheld by as uncontrouled Licentiousness, on pretence of pressing the Craftsmen from their daily Labour into the Governor's Service, extort continued Fees from them, or else they are sure to be set on work, without any thing for their Pains: Which was but even now made a Publick Grievance, by the Resistance of a sturdy Patan, (who is sprung from a Warlike People, of whom it is said, They never draw their Swords, but Blood must follow): And thus it happen'd; The Patan having employ'd a Taylor at his house, one of the Governor's Men seized him for his Master's Service; but the Patan rushing in to release him, the Soldier ran a young Brother of the Patan's through, naked and unconcerned in the Scuffle; which so enraged the Patan, that forcing the Sword out of the hand of this inhuman Butcher, he kill'd him and two more that came to his Rescue; and going into his house, slew his own Wife, and Sister, and a little Son of his own, that they might not fall a Sacrifice to the Governor's Rage: The wretched Taylor, animated by the Example of the Patan (tho but coolly), had murder'd his Wife had she not fled; but laying hold on his Old Father and Mother, he dispatched them; and bolting forth into the Street, set upon what Governor's Men he and the Patan could meet: Tidings whereof striking the Governor's Ears, he came with all his Power to beset the exasperated and desperate Men; but though a Thousand Men were up in Arms, and gazing upon the Patan standing with his Sword in his hand at the Entrance of the House, none durst venture to apprehend him; till his Fury abating, and Promises given by a Great Man, of Favour if he resigned; he attending to his Parley, in the mean while two Men with Guns from atop of the House discharged on him, and wounded him and the Taylor mortally, but not before they had carried this false Great Man with some of his Attendants along with them out of the World: So that these Curs set to keep the Sheep, are the first that worry them.
Lest therefore all Shew of Justice should be banished, now and then, when they have not Mony to buy it off, or the Emperor be [Page 97] informed, some Exemplary Punishments are inflicted: Some Instances whereof I shall relate.
The one was of an Armenian, Chawbucked through the City for selling of Wine. The other was of a Goldsmith who had coined Copper Rupees; first they shaved his Head and Beard, as our Country men do Bayliffs when they presume to Arrest in Priviledg'd Places; then putting a Fool's Cap on his Head, they set him on an Ass, with his Face to the Tail, which is led by an Holencore, and one of their Drums is beat before him, which is an Affront of the highest degree; thus they lead him up and down the City, where the Boys and Soldiers treat him but scurvily, pelting him all the way he passes: Being brought back to Prison, they cut off his Hand, and let him lye during the Governor's Pleasure. The Third was of a Pack of Thieves that had infested the Roads a long time, and after some whiles Imprisonment the Banyans proffered Money for their Redemption; but the Great Mogul sending an Express, they were led to Execution; They were Fifteen, all of a Gang, who used to lurk under Hedges in narrow Lanes, and as they found opportunity, by a Device of a Weight tied to a Cotton Bowstring made of Guts, (with which they tew Cotton) of some length, they used to throw it upon Passengers so, that winding it about their Necks, they pulled them from their Beasts, and dragging them upon the Ground strangled them, and possessed themselves of what they had: One of these was an Old Man with his two Sons, the youngest not fourteen. This being their Practice, they were sentenced, according to Lex Talionis, to be hang'd; wherefore being delivered to the Catwal, or Sheriff's Men, they led them two Miles with Ropes about their Necks to some wild Date Trees: In their way thither they were chearful, and went singing, and smoaking Tobacco, the Banyans giving them Sweetmeats, they being as jolly as if going to a Wedding; and the Young Lad now ready to be tied up, boasted, That though he were not Fourteen Years of Age, he had killed his Fifteen Men; wherefore the Old Man, as he had been a Leader of these Two, was first made an Example for his Villany, and then the two Striplings were advanced, as all the rest were, half a Foot from the Ground; and then cutting their Legs off that the Blood might flow from them, they left them miserable Spectacles, hanging till they dropped of their own accord.
The following Delinquents being of another kind, we shall see how they fare: The one was of a Rich Merchant of theMoors killing his Wife, and a Child he had by her of Three Years old, upon taking her with her Paramour in Adultery; for which Crime a Pecuniary Mulct excused him: The other was a Boy's sticking a Sodomitish Moor to the Heart with his own Catarre, while he attempted upon his Body; which Fact was so far from being accused as a Fault, that the Boy came off with Commendation; though there is nothing more frequently committed among them, than the unnatural Sin of Buggery.
There is another thing above all the rest an unpardonable Offence; for a Banyan or Rich Broker to grow Wealthy without Protection of some Great Person; for it is so mighty a Disquiet to the Governor, [Page 98] that he can never be at ease till he have seen the bottom of this Mischief; which is always cured by Transfusion of Treasure out of the Banyans into the Governor's Coffers: Which makes them become humble Suiters for the Umbrage of any of Quality, to skreen them from this Violence.
The next in the Executive Power is the Catwal, the Governor of the Night, as the other two Great Officers rule the Day; or nearer our Constitution, the Sheriff of the City: For after the Keys are carried to the Governor, it is the Catwals Business with a Guard of near Two hundred Men, to scower the Streets and Brothels of Idle Companions; to take an account of all People late out, to discover Fires and Housebreakers, and to carry all lewd Persons to Prison, which is solely committed to his Charge: So that all Night long he is heard by his Drums and Trumpets, shouting and hallowing of his Crew in their Perambulation through all Parts of the City; with Lights and Flambeaus, with some few of his Companions in Coaches or Palenkeens: Moreover he seises all Debtors, and secures them, and has the care of Punishing and Executing all Offenders.
This is a Place of great Trust, but neither so Honourable or Profitable as the Shawbunder's is; who is King of the Port, or Chief Customer, though something abated by the Mogul's too fondly in a Religious Vanity granting Immunity to the Musslemen lately, which is no small detriment.
The Custom-house has a good Front, where the Chief Customer appears certain hours to chop, that is, to mark Goods outwardbound, and clear those received in: Upon any suspicion of default he has a Black-Guard that by a Chawbuck, a great Whip, extorts Confession: There is another hangs up at the daily Waiters, or Meerbar's Choultry, by the Landingplace, as a terror to make them pay Caesar his due; the Punishment, if detected, being only Corporal, not Confiscation of Goods: This Place is filled with Publicans, Waiters and Porters, who are always at the Receipt of Custom, but are a little too tardy sometimes in the delivery of Goods, making the Merchant dance attendance, till a right understanding be created betwixt the Shawbunder and them, which commonly follows when the Fist is mollified.
Over-against the Custom-house is a stately Entrance into the Mint, which is a large Town of Offices within it self; hither repair all Shreffs or Bankers, for the proof of Silver, which in this place is the most refined, and purest from allay, in the World; as is also their Gold: Their lowest Coyn is of Copper.
Between these two is a crowded Buzzar of all those who come to sell and buy Cloath; being disengaged here, we pass the High-Streets, with Shops on each side, not like ours in Europe, being more like Pedlers Stalls; we crossed several Buzzars, which yielded sustinence to the many Mouths we encountred.
Piercing thorough the City to the Walls which are building to surround it, and a Ditch accompanying it, (though but shallow, yet the Wall is high, and of good well baked Brick) at length we came in sight of the Castle, having a large Pomarium.
[Page 99] They say it has been standing ever since Tamberlane was here; who they give out to be its Founder: It may be so, for it is old, yet bears 30 or 40 stout Pieces of Ordnance, fronts the River, and is Moated by it; to which they pass a Draw bridge, but admit no Stranger: It is Manned by 300 Luscarries or Soldiers, armed with Gun, Sword and Buckler, has a peculiar Governor independent from him of the Town or Province, being as it were confined to it, not presuming, on forfeiture of his Head, on any account to pass out of a Garden by the Bridge, it being his farthest Walk.
Up and down the City are Remains of Seva Gi's Fury, the Ruins being not yet repaired; of whom they stand in hourly fear, having their Sores still fresh in their Memory: To prevent whose Rage, they are collecting an Hundred thousand Rupees till their Walls be finished, when we shall see how they will defend them; having 700 Men allotted for that Office, besides Europe Gunners at every Gate, which are Six in number, beside 36 Bastions with half a dozen great Guns apiece: Upon the top they have piled spiked Timber to annoy the Scalers.
Every Gate is barbed with Iron Spikes to break the rushing in of the Elephants; these also are under a distinct Command.
The Governor of the Town has an Army of 1500 Men in pay, with Matchlocks, Swords and Javelins; Two hundred Horse with Quivers full of Arrows at the Bow of their Saddles, Lances at their Right Stirrup, and Swords of an unweildy bulk, with Bucklers hanging over their Shoulders; their Bows are curiously and strongly made with Horn, and for that reason better in Dry than Wet Weather.
Among the many Moschs to and again, only two are famous with long Spires by the Wall, where is a stately Dwelling for the Xeriff.
They have Three other Places for Strangers called Caravan Serawes, or Inns, intended by the Donors gratis, but since perverted, and let out to Foreigners.
Near the Governor's Stables were Forty Camels housed, ready for War, and half a dozen Elephants.
These Stables are rather Sheds, or Booths of Hair-cloath, to remove on occasion, than any Building fixed for that purpose; and were it not for the manner of treating their Horses, not worth the mentioning: They have no Racks, but feed as Nature intended them, from the Ground, if they get Hay; for their Corn, it is usually Garavance, a sort of Pease which they put into an Hair Bag, and by a String (clapping their Mouths into it) fastned behind their Ears, is kept from the Ground; out of this they have their daily Allowance; beside Butter, Sugar and Jaggaree or Mulasso's made into Past, with the Meal of Garavance, which fattens all their Beasts of War, and makes them slick and fine; they cover them very warm with a kind of Felt or Flockwork, two or three double, and tye them by all their Feet stretched out at length; in which posture they always stand: When they make their Beds, they sift the Dung they make, after it is dried in the Sun, and make a soft lying for them of it; they court them with all the gentleness and kind Speeches imaginable, [Page 100] seldom or never speaking to, or using them harshly; every Horse has one Man wholly imployed about his Service, and pretends to no other business; so that as good Horses are chargeable to purchase, they are also chargeable in keeping.
The Governor about this time taking occasion to quarrel with the Dutch, offering several Abuses both of Body and Purse; the Commodore was resolved no longer to endure it, and therefore had sent for their Fleet, and in the mean time threatned to remove the Factory to Gogo, a Port over-against Swally; which with Diu Point makes Swally Hole: To prevent which, a Decoy was put upon all Fringi's, that we could not go out of the Gates of the City, but by especial Commission from the Governor.
13. CHAP. III. Of their Solemnities, Sports and Pastimes; their Marriages; of the Parseys, their Strength by Land and Sea, their abundant Wealth, and Fitness for Trade.
AND now having entertained you thus far, I shall continue to you the Circumstantial or Accidental Shews, together with their Sports and Exercises.
The first depends on the New Moon, when, all Malice apart, the Moors embrace one another, and at the sight thereof make a Jubilee, by firing of Guns, blowing of Trumpets, Feasting and Praying very devoutly.
The next is the Day of the Week observed for the Great Mogul's Advancement to the Throne; which is not so generally kept, only by the Soldiers and Officers.
But that which affects them all, is at the end of their Ramazan or Lent, which is always the first New Moon in November; which as it is observed with the greatest Strictness, not swallowing their Spittle all the Day of its Continuance, so is it celebrated when it concludes, with the highest Expression of Joy and Solemnity.
The Governor goes in Procession, and bestows his Largess in his Passage to the Chief Place of Devotion, liberally scattering Rupees as Kings do Medals at their Coronations, waited on by all the Gallants of the Town: His Son first leading a Body of Horse of the Cavalry of the City; himself beginning the first File on the Lefthand, the place of highest Honour, it was as deep as the Street would admit, observing no Rank: After whom followed the Cazy, with Green Banners, with a Band of Foot of 100 Men; then the Customer with his Men and Colours, both carried inPalenkeens; whom followed the Mullahs and Merchants, without any distinction, some in Coaches, others in Palenkeens, with their large Troops of Serv [...] tors: Then five Elephants in Armour, with Banners supported by those that were in their Seats, capable of a dozen Sitters; they manage them by one Rider sitting near his Neck, with an Iron Instrument [Page 108] a Cubit in length, the Point bended downwards as long as a Finger, ascribed by Livy to the Invention of that famous Leader's Brother Asdrubal, who seeing these Creatures of great Terror to the Enemy, but if taking an heedless Course were as liable to damage Friend as Foe, found out this Remedy; delivering a Graver to their Masters with an Hammer, ordered them to strike it with their main strength on the Juncture where their Head was fastned to their Neck, if they were unruly, whereby the great Bulk fell to the Ground. Magister fabrile scalprum, cum malleo inter aures positum, ipsâ in compage quâ jungitur capiti cervix, quanto maximo poterat ictu adigebat, But afterwards they learned by striking on the Vertebra's of the Neck, to rule them; which Custom I see here maintained. After these came a Dozen Leopards on State-Hackeries with their Keepers, who train them up to hunting. At convenient distances the Trumpets sounded, and Camels of War with Patereroes on their Saddles, marched with a Pace laborious to the Guiders, giving them a Disease not much different from a Gonorrhea. Here nothing was seen but Banners and Streamers, nor heard but Kettle-Drums and Trumpets; after which followed the Governor in the middle of a Troop of Soldiers, all in Coats of Mail and Headpieces, armed at all Points, both themselves and Horses; himself mounted on a little She-Elephant, with all the Trappings and Accoutrements of State. Et ad morem antiquum quo puberes filii & jam in virili togâ, comitabantur triumphantem patrem, quod etiam ex Livio appareat de Paulo loquente. Two or three Striplings (his own Children) rode smiling with him, who were very White respectively; the Governor himself being a Mogul, which is as much as Suffet in Arabic, from whence the Persian Emperor is called Suffee and this, Mogul, as being derived from the same Parent; as also are all those descended from them. In this State he rode to a Place set apart for this Day's Solemnity, out of the Walls, to the Queen's Garden-Gate, before which it stands, where after Prayers he receives the Compliments of the Grandees, and returns to Feast.
At this time the Walls of the City, and Towers of the Castle, wanted not their Adornments, being bestuck with bloody Ensigns, and smoking with Guns of Jubilee, as well as tooting with their Trumpets, and beating with their Drums; as the Jews on their Sabbaths, or their solemn Feast days were wont.
The New Moon before the New Year (which commences at the Vernal Equinox) is the Moors Aede, when the Governor in no less Pomp than before, goes to sacrifice a Ram or He-Goat, in remembrance of that offered for Isaac (by them calledIshauh); the like does every one in his own House, that is able to purchase one, and sprinkle their Blood on the sides of their Doors.
About this time theMoors solemnize the Exequies of Hosseen Gosseen, a time of ten days Mourning for two Unfortunate Champions of theirs, who perished by Thirst in the Deserts, fighting against the Christians: Wherefore every Corner of the Street is supplied with Jars of Water; and they run up and down like Furies in quest of these two Brethren, laying about with Swords, Clubs, and Staves, crying with that earnestness upon their Names, and dancing [Page 109] in such Antick Dances as resemble the Pyrrhical Saltation.Haec Celebratio non omnino dissimilis ei generi exerceri solita à juvenibus armatis Lacedemoniae cum Patris Achillis rogum celebraret; that a sober Man could make no other judgment on them, than that they were distracted. This is done through the Streets, where if two Companies encounter, they seldom part without bloody Noses; which Occasion being given like Esau's Intentions on the Day of his Father's Lamentation, to revenge himself on his Brother Jacob, has been the Cause why the Mogul has restrained it for the prevention of Outrages; but yet his Mandate is not so valid to make them forsake it here: After Sun-set they eat, and fall to singing the Psalms of Doud, or David, in the most consonant Tone I have heard.
The last Day they prepare a couple of Coffins, and have a Man or two on Horseback all bestuck like our Man in the Almanack, with Arrows; these ride reeling, and ready to drop off their Horses for Faintness, till they come to the River, where they put the Coffins afloat with a loud Cry, and then returning, repeat with great Veneration their Names, and after this trim their Beards, wash and shift their Cloaths, (all this while worn negligently, as Mourners) and return to their more beastly Vomit of Luxury, than this of more than Manly Fury.
This Religious Bigot of an Emperor Auren Zeeb, seeks not to suppress it utterly, but to reduce the Celebration, to preserve their Memories by a pious Respect, suitable to the Gravity of the Moors: For, says he, hereby Opportunity is offered to the Cophers (Unbelievers) to think Musslemen favour the Lewd Worship of the Heathens; which is not only a Scandal to the Mahometan Religion, but an Encouragement to the Enemies thereof to persist in their own, whilst such Licentiousness is connived at in that which should be set as a Pattern for them to imitate: For even at this instant he is on a Project to bring them all over to his Faith, and has already begun by two several Taxes or Polls, very severe ones, especially upon the Brachmins, making them pay a Gold Rupee an Head, and the inferior Tribes proportionable; which has made some Rajahs revolt, and here they begin to fly to the Portugal Countries, andBombaim; though should they make a joint Resistance they are a thousand to one more than the Moguls can with an unanimous Contrivance fairly muster.
On an Eclipse of the Sun or Moon, the Moors are in a lamentable Plight, making a great Noise with Pots and Pans, and other noisy Instruments; not omitting their Prayers, fancying them prevalent to deliver them from their Travel. When the Heathens, instructed by their Brachmins, by a better Philosophy, declare to them the Day before the two great Luminaries are obscured by the Interposition of the Moon's, or Earth's Globe, that they may Fast, Wash, and Purify themselves for Twenty four Hours before the Eclipse happens, and all the time of its lasting; after which is past, they feast and bestow their Benevolence freely on the Brachmins, holding them for this their profound Knowledge, in mighty Admiration.
And though the Jollity and Pomp of the Heathens is much allayed by the Puritanism and unlimited Power of theMoors, insomuch that they are wholly forbidden to Burn their Wives with the [Page 110] Husbands; yet must not the Indians be totally denied their Feasts, and chiefly that of their publick Nuptials, which comes in twice a Year; as the Atticks in their [undefined span non-Latin alphabet] in January and October, so these in the Months Fulgannau and Puxu, in January and March; to enjoy which times of Festivity, the Governor expects large Gratuities, which they collect as every one can afford; All which times they make Processions, and appear, (especially the Children and young Folks) in rich Dresses of Gold and Silver, Mitres on their Heads, and weighty Sashes about their Middles, bedawbed and stained all over with Saffron Colour; the Married Folks riding on Horseback, Palenkeens, and Coaches, splendidly adorned, drawn by Oxen, Goats, and Elks, Painted over with Saffron, their Horns tipped with Silver; Musick, Streamers, and Banners going before them, the Women Singing Epithalamiums, the Men, following, and a great Attendance with Pageants, Mirchals, and Kitsols, giving Pawn and CocoNuts frankly, as they pass.
The Ceremonies after Washing and Cleansing, conclude by their Sitting Two Hours Tied by the Neck, while the Priest Prays, the Woman being then Manacled with Gold or Silver Shackles about her Wrists and Ankles, a white Sheet being held over them Unvailed, a Coco Nut exchanged to confirm the Bargain, and Corn scattered upon them; all Emblems of the Matrimonial Bands, Chastity and a firm resolution to comply with one anothers Fortunes; and then dismisses them, by sprinkling Water on the Married Couple, that they may Increase and Multiply. The Women are never Married more than once, the Men are under no such Obligation.
The first New Moon in October, is the Banyans Dually, a great Day of Celebration to their Pagan Deities, when they are very kindhearted, presenting their Masters with Gifts, as knowing they shall be no Losers, and Entertain one another with mutual Mirth and Banquetting.
The next Moon their Women flock to the Sacred Wells; where, they say, it is not difficult to persuade them to be kind, supposing their Pollutions not to remain after their Washing in these Holy Waters.
March begins with a Licentious Week of Sports and Rejoycing, wherein they are not wanting for Lascivious Discourse, nor are they to be offended at any Jest or Waggery. And to shew their Beneficence at the beginning of the Rains, they Treat the Ants and Flies with Sweatmeats and Wafers, studiously setting Hony, Syrups, or any thing that may entice them to their own death, out of their way; allowing them Sugar, or any other dried Confects for their Repast, instead of them.
They are constant Benefactors to the Dogs, which are many, the Bitches littering in the Streets; but avoid touching them, as they would an Holencore, whom if their Garments chance to brush, they hie them home, Shift, and Wash.
And now we enter upon the Agonalia, first of the Moors: They love to outdo one another in Feats of Activity, as Riding full speed, and to stop with a Jerk, or motion of the Body, their Horses being well managed; Tilting and Greeding, that is, Casting of [Page 111] Darts, both for Utility and Recreation; Shooting with Bows and Arrows, which is near at hand, not far off, as we at Rovers; Running on Foot, which belongs to the Pattamars, the only Footposts of this Country, who Run so many Courses every Morning, or else Dance so many hours to a Tune called the Patamars Tune, when they labour as much as a Lancashire Man does at Roger of Coverly, or the Tarantula of their Hornpipe; these wear Feathers in their Turbats.
The Wrestlers Anoint with Oil, and are Naked, only a Belt about their Wastes, in which they weary one another only by pure Strength and Luctation, not by Skill or Circumvention; these two last use Opium to make them perform things beyond their strength; and it is incredible to think how far these will Travel before the virtue of it be worked off.
Hunting of Tigers is sometimes a Pastime, at others a Tragy-Comedy; for besetting a Wood where Tigers lurk, with Men and Horses, and putting a Set of their loud Musick to strike up in the middle of it; they rouze at the unaccustomed Noize, and rushing forth seize the first in their way, if not Shot or Launced, to prevent them: Wild Bulls and Buffola's are as dangerous, nor is the Boar less fierce than any of them.
Antilopes are set upon by Leopards on this wise; they carry the Leopards on Hackeries, both for less suspicion, and to give them the advantage of their Spring; which if they lose, they follow not their Prey, being for a surprize; wherefore the Hackeries wheel about at a distance, till they come near enough to apprehend them, they feeding fearless of the Hackeries; then with three or four Leaps, after a small Chace, seize them, and easily become their Masters.
The Great Men have Persian Greyhounds, which they Cloathe in Cold Weather, and some few Hawks; a Colum may be Hunted with a Greyhound, as we do Bustards, being a great Fowl and long in Rising.
Buffola's animated by their Keepers, fight with great fury; their Horns, being reversed, are useless; but they knock Foreheads with a force adequate to such great Engines, till they are all of a gore, and follow their blow with such vigour, that the strength of their Backs exert themselves into their Natural Parts, which they brandish as if stimulated to Venery; the stronger will hardly permit the weaker to go back to return with his force, but pressing on him, endeavours to bear him down; thus foiling one another, they are a long time before they will yield.
Persian Rams set together in this manner, are not parted without a bloody Catastrophe, which are kept on purpose for the sport of their Great Men; as likewise are Elephants, who engage at the Will of their Masters.
Here are no Gladiators, but at Cudgels they will play as at Backsword, till they warm one another.
The chief Pleasure of the Gentiles, or Banyans, is to Cheat one another, conceiving therein the highest Felicity, though it be Cuckolding, which they are expert at. They will play at Chess, or Tables; but their utmost Fewds are determined by the dint of the Tongue, to scold lustily, and to pull one anothers Puckeries, [Page 112] or Turbats off, being proverbially termed a Banyan Fight. [...]
The Moors, who are by Nature slothful, will not take pains; being proud, scorn to be taught; and jealous of the Baseness of Mankind, dare not trust their Children under tuition, for fear of Sodomy; whereby few of their Great Men or Merchants can read, but keep a Scrivan of the Gentues: On which account it is the Banyans make all Bargains, and transact all Money-business; and though you hear, see, and understand them, yet you shall be choused, they looking you in the face; for as a piece of Superstition, they must put their Hands under a Ramerin, or Mantle, when by their Fingers they instruct one another, and by that slight often contradict their Tongues: Such a subtile Generation is this, and so fitly squared a Place is Surat to exercise their Genius in [...] [Page 114] [...] Physick here is now as in former days, open to all Pretenders; here being no Bars of Authority, or formal Graduation, Examination or Proof of their Proficiency; but every one ventures, and every one suffers; and those that are most skilled, have it by Tradition, or former Experience descending in their Families; not considering either alteration of Tempers or Seasons, but what succeeded well to one, they apply to all.
In Fevers their Method is to prescribe Coolers, till they have extinguished the Vital Heat; and if the Patients are so robust to conquer the Remedies used to quench the Flame of the Acute Disease, yet are they left labouring under Chronical ones, as Dropsy, Jaundice, and Ill Habits, a long while before they recover their Pristine Heat.
They are unskill'd in Anatomy, even those of the Moors who follow the Arabians, thinking it unlawful to dissect Human Bodies; whereupon Phlebotomy is not understood, they being ignorant how the Veins lye; but they will worry themselves Martyrs to death by Leeches, clapping on an hundred at once, which they know not how to pull off, till they have filled themselves, and drop of their own accord.
Chirurgery is in as bad a plight, Amputation being an horrid thing: Yet I confess it is strange to see, that what Nature will effect on such Bodies, Intemperance has not debauch'd.
Pharmacy is in no better condition; Apothecaries here being no more than Perfumers or Druggists, at best; for he that has the boldness to practise, makes up his own Medicines, which are generally such Draughts, that if their own Energy work not, yet the very Weight must force an Operation.
They pretend to understand the Pulse, but the Urine they will not look on [...] [Page 118] [...] Here are brought up large gallant Milk-White Oxen with Circling Horns, artificially Modelled in Cases, which they Tip with Silver, Gold, or Brass, and make them shine like Jet; putting a Rope through their Nostrils, and an Headstal on them of London Cloath, surrounding their Necks with Collars for Bells, Feeding them delicately as their Horses; and one of these fitted for a Coach, will Sell for 30 or 40 l. The other Oxen are Little, but all have a Bunch on their Neck; and how they become Oxen is on this manner; Their Religion not allowing them to Castrate them, they Bruise their Testicles, not Geld them by Cutting them off when Young; which answers the intention as fully as the other. This kind of restraint upon Nature is exercised on no Brutes but these, they never offering to deprive their Horses of their Stones or Tails, which they alway suffer to grow; a Bobtailed Nag, or Gelding, being as rare here, as a Crop-eared Horse, which never was seen.
A Buffola is of a Dun Colour, and are all as big as their largest Oxen; they love to wallow in the Mire like an Hog; there are of them Wild, which are very Fierce and Mischievous, Trampling a Man to Death, or Moiling him to Pieces with their Foreheads; their Horns are carelesly turned with Knobs around, being usually so ordered, or rather disordered (for they retain no certain Form) that they lie too much over their Heads to do any harm with them. Their Flesh is reckon'd Hotter and Courser than Beef, which is the most common Sustinence of theMoors; as their Milk and boiled Butter is of the Gentues; for did they not boil their Butter, it would be Rank, but after it has passed the Fire, they keep it in Duppers the year round: On which Dr. N. G. in his Account of the Rarities of the Royal Society, has sufficiently enlarged.
Here in the Marshes are brought up great store of Cattle of all sorts; and though there lie store of Aligators to and again, they are seldome known to Prey either on them or their Young; so that what stir they make of Charming them, is but a pious Fraud of the Brachmins, they being a lazy sort of Amphibious Creature, feeding on Grass as well as Fish, and I question whether ever their Appetite stand towards Flesh.
The Mutton here is not much inferior to the Mutton of England, for the Pallat, though as to its Wool, there is no compare. Cows [Page 119] Butter sometimes will be hard in the Cold Season, and look yellow, but they arrive not to the making of Cheese, unless it be soft Cheese, which pickled, our Seamen keep a good while, as they do their Achars.
Here grow Carrots, Turnips, Rhadishes; Cabbage rarely, though Coleworts frequently; Melons of all sorts, and Betes: Wheat as good as the world affords; Rice, Barley, Millet, and Nuchanny; Pease and Beans; OylTrees, and Rape for Lamp Oyl; (only Wax-Candles for the Rich, by reason of the warmth being to be used).
Herbs for Salading are Purslain, Sorrel, Lettice, Parsley, Tarentine, Mint, and Sog, a sort of Spinach.
Here Asparagus flourish, as do Limes, Pomegranates, Genitins; Grapes in abundance; but the Moors suffer no Wine to be made.
Fish, Oisters, Soles, and Indian Mackerel, the River yields very good, and the Pools and Lakes store of Wild Fowl; peculiarly Brand-Geese, Colum, and Serass, a Species of the former; in the Cold Weather they shunning the Northern rigid Blasts, come yearly hither from Mount Caucasus; what is worth taking notice of, is their Aspera Arteria, wound up in a Case on both sides their Breastbone in manner of a Trumpet, such as our Waits use; when it is single it is a Serass, when double a Colum, making a greater Noise than a Bittern, being heard a great while before they can be seen, flying in Armies in the Air.
As we came nearer Swally, Groves of Brabb-Trees present themselves; from whence the Parseys draw Wine a kin to Toddy, which after the Sun is up, contracts an Eagerness with an heady Quality; so that these places are seldom free from Soldiers and Seamen of the Moors, which sometimes meeting with ours, there happen bloody Frays, especially if the Quarrel be about Strumpets, who here ply for their Fares: The like disputes are sometimes among the Europeans themselves, and then they make sport for the Parseys upon the Trees, who have the diversion of the Combatants; as Boxing among the English; Snicker-Sneeing among the Dutch; ripping one anothers Bellies open with short Knives; Duelling with Rapiers among the French; Sword and Dagger among the Portugals.
Coming to the Marine, beside the Dutch Fleet and English Ships, were Four Arabs with Red Colours, like Streamers, Riding in the Hole. These are true Rovers both by Sea and Land; they are constantly upon the Plunder with the Portugals, but care not to engage where nothing is to be gotten but Blows, wasting those Places that lie most open on the Seacoast and Unguarded.
These have lately fitted themselves with good stout Ships at Surat, their own Country supplying them with no Materials for Building; the non-payment whereof, according to the Contract with the Governor, at present has put a stop to their increase that way in Shipping; and has kindled matter for farther alarming the Merchants: For the Governor, for his security, has seised the Imaum's Vockeel, nor intends he to enlarge him till the uttermost Gosbeek be paid.
Is the Metropolis of the Portugals in the East-Indies, and the Residence of a Viceroy, who gives Laws to all Seculars, though he cannot execute them on the Fidalgoes in Capital Crimes, the King reserving the Definitive Sentence in such Cases to himself; they are therefore sent home to be tried in Europe, by the established Courts of their Kingdom. The Archbishop is Supreme in Spirituals, or ought to be so. The City is a Rome in India, both for Absoluteness and Fabricks, the chiefest consisting of Churches, and Convents, or Religious Houses; though the Laity have sumptuous ones all of Stone; their Streets are paved, and cleaner than the tops of their Houses, where they do all occasions, leaving their Excrements there. They live with a splendid Outside, vaunting in their number of Slaves, walking under a Street of their own Umbrelloes, bare-headed, to avoid giving Distaste in not removing their Hats: They being jealous of their Honour, pardon no Affront; wherefore to ogle a Lady in a Balcony (if a Person of Quality) it is revenged with a Bocca Mortis, or to pass by a Fidalgo without due Reverence, is severely chastised; they are carried mostly in Palenkeens, and sometimes on Horseback.
The Clergy affect little of outward State, going out only Frater cum Socio, in Couples; they salute a Father by first kissing the Hem of his Garment, then begging a Benediction.
The Mass of the People are Canorein, though Portuguezed in Speech and Manners; paying great Observance to a White Man, whom when they meet they must give him the Way with a Cringe and Civil Salute, for fear of a Stochado.
The Women, both White and Black, are kept recluse, vailed abroad; within doors, the Richer of any Quality are hung with Jewels, and Rosaries of Gold and Silver many times double; Moneloes of Gold about their Arms, Necklaces of Pearl about their Necks, Lockets of Diamonds in their Bodkins for their Hair, Pendants in their Ears; a thin Lungy, or Half-smock reaching to their Waste, shewing their Skin through it; over that, abroad, a close Doublet; over their Lower Parts a Pitticoat or Lungy, their Feet and Legs without Stockins, but very Rich Slippers. Amongst them some are extraordinarily featur'd and compleatly shap'd, though not of that coruscant Beauty our English Ladies are; and for Mien far beneath them, being nurtured up in a lowly Bashfulness, whereby they are render'd unfit for Conversation, applying themselves wholly to Devotion and the Care of the House: They sing, and play on the Lute, make Confections, pickle Achars, (the best Mongo Achars coming from them), and dress Meat exquisitely, not to put the Stomach to much trouble, but such as shall digest presently; Supoes, Pottages, and varieties of Stews, in little China Dishes or Plates, which they shift before you are cloy'd, and at a common Entertainment [Page 157] alter half a dozen Modes: Their Relishing Bits have not the Fieriness of ours, yet all the pleasure you can desire; and to speak truly, I prefer their ordinary way of ordering Victuals before any others. If a Stranger dine with the Husband, and he consent to have the Wife come in and sit at Table as our Women do, there is no means of persuading her, but she will be much offended if you taste not of every thing they cook. The little Children run up and down the House naked, till they begin to be old enough to be ashamed.
The finest Manchet it may be in the World is made here, and the purest Virgins Wax for Tapers. At Nerule is made the best Arach or Nepa de Goa, with which the English on this Coast make that enervating Liquor called Paunch (which is Indostan for Five) from Five Ingredients; as the Physicians name their Composition Diapente; or from Four things, Diatesseron.
The way they give Notice from the Outguards of what Ships are seen off at Sea, is after they have spread the King's Standard, to elevate so many Baskets on Poles; which Sign the next appointed Watch receives, and so successively till it arrive at the City.
On New-Year's Day, Stilo Veteri, with Captain Gary in his Baloon of Ten Rowers, and Six Servants, we set sail for Carwar, and had brought half Salset behind us, when the Moon being two Hours high we discovered a Light, and immediately Three Sail making after us, and by the Shore another small Sail intercepting us: Our Men that before would not handle an Oar, fell to it tightly, and two more pursuing us out at Sea, we ran fairly into Cola or Salset, a Fishing Town, where lay several Boats to carry off Mountains of Fish salted on the Beach the Scent whereof was very noysom under a miserable Shed we took for our Lodging: The next Morning we came early to the River Sal, where we found Eight Boats scared in for Protection against the Malabars; where we had this Advice, That Five were roving in sight, and had vowed Revenge for the Injury we did them at Vingula, killing their Captain and three or four of their Chief Men, besides as many more Soldiers, all which they buried at Anjediva: We staid here therefore this Night, and lay in the open Air by the River's side, being sufficiently soaked by the Dew.
Captain Gary therefore the next Morn, not willing to hazard himself on a Voyage undertaken only for Pleasure, procured a Pilot Boat to go before us, and make Signs by a White Flag, if the Coasts were clear at every Point; and so we got safe to Carwar River's Mouth, when the Chief having notice of our coming, came on Horseback to welcome us, and accompanied us in the Baloon to the House.
This Captain Gary is he that was the last Governor for the King on the Island Bombaim: He is a Person of a Mercurial Brain, a better Merchant than Soldier, is skill'd in most of the Languages of the Country, and is now writing a Piece in Arabick, which he dedicates to the Viceroy, with whom he is in great Esteem. He lived at Achein, and was created a Noble by that Queen; was born a Venetian, but of English Parents, by which means he understands Italian, Portugueze, and Latin, perfectly, and is an accomplished Courtier.
15. The Moguls
Are the Invaders of their Liberties and Properties, ruling tyrannically; yet more tolerable than what they were when first invited hither by the Plenty of this Country, and Scarcity of their own, which was a means to gain, as well as now to preserve their Conquest; for they were originally Tartars, coming from Scythia with their Leader Tamerlane, and thence prided themselves to be called Whites, and still do so in scorn of the Indians, who are Blacks; [Page 195] and it is the Flower of their Emperors Titles to be called the Great Mogul, Burrore Mogul Podeshar, who reckons but few Descents from Tamerlane, and is at present Auren Zeeb; who Governs by this Maxim, To Create as many Ombrahs, or Nobles, out of the Moguls or Persian Foreigners, as may be fairly entrusted, but always with this Policy, To remove them to remote Charges from that where their Jageah, or Annuity arises; as not thinking it fit to trust them with Forces or Money in their allotted Principalities, lest they should be tempted to unyoke themselves, and slip their Neck from the Servitude imposed on them; for which purpose their Wives and Children are left as Pledges at Court, while they follow the Wars, or are Administring in Cities or Provinces; from whence when they return, they have nothing they can call their own, only what they have Cheated by false Musters and a hard Hand over both Soldiers and People; which many times too, when manifest, they are forced to refund to the King, though not restore to the Oppressed; for all Money, as well as Goods and Lands, are properly his, if he call for them.
Out of these are made Generals of Armies, under whom are Commanders of Hundreds and Thousands, as the Centurions and Legions; from thence to Fifty, Twenty, and Ten.
A Cavalier is Armed with a Poniard at the Right side of his Girdle; a broad Bladed Sword of an unwieldy size (and therefore poised with an heavy Pummel), on his Left side in a Belt; a Bow made of Horn strongly and artificially Glutinated (Adducto flectere cornua nervo) and Arrows in a Quiver at the Bow of his Saddle; and a great Lance in his Hand, with a Target hanging cross his Shoulders Bossed.
A Foot Soldier carries a Match-lock Gun, or else a great Lance and Target, and sometimes a Sword; the former are ranked under the great Ombrahs, or the Chief Commanders of Hazory; the latter have a Standard of their own to repair to.
Munsubdars, or petty Ombrahs, own the King only for their Leader, and have not above Four or Five Horse under them.
Rousanders are Cavaliers that are Paid by the Day, a considerable Salary, surpassing the Munsubdars, though not so Honourable.
A simple Cavalier under the Ombrahs have some of them Two Horses apiece, as his Lord favours him, and his Pay 30 or 25 Rupees per Month.
Among these may be reckoned the Artillery in which the Fringi's are Listed; formerly for good Pay, now very ordinary, having not above 30 or 40 Rupees a Month.
For Artillery they have both great Ordnance and small Field Pieces, drawn by Elephants and Oxen, adorned with Streamers, besides Camels that carry Petereros.
The Soldiery are Paid, partly out of the Treasury, and partly out of the Lands allotted for that purpose.
The Husbandman is forced to Build low, and the Doors like entring Ports, otherwise the Soldier would bring his Horse in as well as himself.
[Page 196] The Moormen domineer over the Indians most unsufferably; and these are of the Turkish or Arabian Sect in matters of Religion, owning Mahomet, and his Brother to be his Successor: The Chias, or Persian, own Mahomet also, but place the Succession of the Caliphship in the Daughter; and this is a Dispute of so high a nature, that they Eat not, neither Communicate one with another.
There are some great Merchants among them, that are buoy'd up more by the Authority of their Religion and Cast, than Cunning, the Banyan being forced to flee to them for Patronage: They imitate a noble Pomp, and are not encountred abroad nisi magna Comitante catervâ, without a great Train, using many Odors in the Hummums, or Balneo's; nor are they without Oils, Perfumes, and Essences of Sandal, Cloves, and Oranges, which are in their kind very exquisitely drawn off. They go Rich in Apparel, their Turbats of Gold, Damask'd Gold Atlas Coats to their Heels, Silk Alajah, or Cuttanee Breeches, Embroidered Sashes and Slippers, Golden Hilted Swords and Poniards, as also Golden Embossed Targets; Silver and Gold Capparisons for their Horses, which are of Arabia, Persia, or Turky.
The Moguls Feed-high, Entertain much, and Whore not a little.
The Women are conformable to the Wills of their Husbands, being truly no more than their Chief Slaves; Dressing the Victuals, and Waiting till their Lords have Dined, before they Eat themselves. Every Cast in India refuse to Eat with those of a contrary Tribe or Opinion, as well Gentues, Moors, and Persians, as any other; nor so much as to Dress the Meat in their Vessels, they accounting them Defiled.
16. CHAP. VII. COLLECTIONS OF THE Coins, Weights, and Precious Stones, Usual in those Places of Trade within the Charter of the Honourable East-India Company. Coins of Surat, Amadavad, Agra, &c. in India.
THere are divers sorts of Coins in Gold, seldom used in Payments among Merchants, some of a greater, others of lesser Value; so also in Silver; but the Rupee is the most ordinary, whereof there are;
R U P E E S
All valued at Mamoodoes, 2 ¼; the latter is of greater Weight, but course.
M A M O O D O E S are current only in Surat, and Parts adjacent; they are worth somewhat less than an English Shilling, but are so accounted in the Company's Books; and among Merchants in the Countrey, 2 ¼ Mamoodoes is reckoned a Rupee. Yet to change Mamoodoes into Rupees, there is sometimes given 3, sometimes 8 or 10 Mamoodoes on the 100 Rupees, according to their Plenty or Scarcity, or as the Governor or Banyans please to advance the Cambio, which is called among them Vattaw: In Anno 1663. was given 20Mam. per Cent.
P I C E, a sort of Copper-Mony current among the Poorer sort of People; of these, sometimes 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, to 24, make, or are reckoned to a Mamoodoe; therefore because they rise and fall, the Company's Accounts are kept in Bookrate Pice, viz. 32 to the Mam. and 80 Pice to the Rupee, for that without any reason the Rupee is by the Accomptant rated at 2 ½ Mam. whereas if it were rated at Mam. 2 ¼ per Rupee, then in Book-rate the Rupee would fall to be 72 Pice.