Travels of the Jesuits, Into Various Parts of the World, Volume II
About this text
Travels of the Jesuits was published in 1743. It was written by John Lockman. It is a series of writings related to the travel of Jesuit priests to several countries. Lockman was born in 1698. He was a scholar as well as a translator of various French works. He died in 1771. Selections have been made from Volumes One and Two of Travels of the Jesuit. One gets to know of the point of view of the Jesuit priests regarding India and its facets. Primary Reading Lockman, J., Travels of the Jesuits, Volume One, John Noon. Secondary Reading Carre, Abbe, The Travels of Abbe Carre, Volume Two, Asian Educational Services. Carre, Abbe, The Travels of Abbe Carre, Volume Two, Asian Educational Services.
Various Parts of the WORLD:
Compiled from their LETTERS.
Now first attempted in ENGLISH.
Intermix'd with an
ACCOUNT of the Manners, Government,
Religion, &c. of the several Nations visited
by those Fathers :
EXTRACTS from other Travellers, and mis-
By Mr. LOCKMAN
Illustrated with Maps and Sculptures.
Printed for JOHN NOON, at the White Hart near
Mercer's Chapel, Cheapside.
M DCC XLIII.
PUBLISHED FOR John Noon
The Species of Serpents I now speak of, are more common hereabouts than in the other Parts of India; because the Indians imagining them to be consecrated to one of their Deities, pay them a certain Worship; and are so follicitous about their Preservation, that they keep and feed some of them at the Doors of their Temples, and even in their own Houses. They call this kind of Serpent, Nalla Pamboo, or good Serpent; this Reptile, according to them, bringing Happiness to those Houses where it inhabits. Nevertheless, how propitious soever it may be, it often proves the Death of its Worshippers. The specific Remedy against the Bite of these Serpents, and that of a great many other venomous Animals found in India is called Veia-Marondoo or the Antidote. ‘Tis us'd more by the Christians than by the Heathens because these immediately invoke the Devil, and have Recourse to a Multitude of other superstitious practices they are vastly fond of ; whereas the Christians employ only natural Remedies, among which this is the chief’.Tis said that a Joguis or Heathen Penitent, taught this Secret to one of our first Missionaries, in Return for an important Service.
The Idolaters employ Superstitious Compacts, not only to cure the Bite of Serpents, but in almost all their diseases. There is nothing gives the new Converts, (who are surrounded with their idolatrous Countrymen) more Trouble, than to prevent, whenever they are sick, their Parents or Relations from using these Expedients, for when they are asleep, or happen to faint away, they sometimes tie about their Arms, their Neck, or their Feet, certain Figures and Charachters, which are so many Tokens of a Covenant made with the Devil. But the instant the sick Person [Page 285] person comes to himself, or wakes, he tears these infamous Covenants, and wou'd die rather than recover his Health by such criminal Methods.
Some of these Converts absolutely refuse to take even the natural Medicines from the Hand of a Heathen because they often employ superstitious Ceremonies on these Occasions.
I stay'd but Half a Day in Coottour and set out from thence next Day. I pass'd thro the Settlement, where, two months before, in my Journey to Pondicheri, I had baptized two Children, and a grown Person, who was dying. Four or five of the most fervent Converts in this Settlement accompanied me to another, call'd Kokeri, in its Neighbourhood.
I at last arriv'd, after a Variety of Fatigues, at Coonampaty, formerly one of the most flourishing Churches of the Million, but now almost ruin'd, by [Page 288] the different Contests and perpetual Wars of the Lords who inhabit these Forests. This Church, for three Years, has been superintended by Father Carvalho who, not-withstanding his ill Health, reaps an extraordinary Harvell.
The little Rain which fell the Year before; the violent Heat felt in March; and the Multitude of Christians who came to Coonampaty had drained a great Part of the Pond, which is the only Place where these People can be furnished with Water. For this Reason I resolved to go to Elacoorrichy but was prevented by a Persecution then railed against the Christians of Cottoor
Indian Customs, however harsh and disagreeable; that they sit cross-legg'd upon the Ground, eat also fitting upon the Ground, without touching any Thing with the left Hand, which the Indians think quite rude and indecent, that they observe a continual Fad, never making but one Meal a Day, which consists of some Fruits, Pulse or Roots, and a little Rice boiled in Water; you having heard that Bread, Wine, Meat, Eggs, and Fish, the usual Food of other Nations, are absolutely forbid a Missionary of the East-Indies. Had the first Misionaries of Madura refused ever so little to devote themselves to this Kind of Life, in its utmost Rigour, their Zeal would have been rendered fruitless , and they would not have converted several Bramins, and above an hundred and fifty thousand Idolaters. The like Care and Circumspection were used in establishing the Mission of Carnata.
First, that the East Indians are divided into various Classes, called by the Portugueze Castes, of which there are three Principal. That of the Bra mins who are the Nobility: The Caste of the choutres or Rajas, who are as the Gentry in Europe and the Caste of the Choutres, or common People.
Besides these three Castes, which are very numerous, there is a fourth called the caste of the Parias including the Dregs of the Populace. This Caste is considered by all the rest, as quite vile; so that nothing is thought so infamous as to hold the least Correspondence with them. The Parias are detested to such a Degree, that all Things touched by them are instantly polluted, and can never be used again. They are never spoke to but at a Distance, nor allowed to live in Towns or Cities, but inhabit Villages apart, at a certain Distance (which is limited from the Habitations of the rest of the Indians.
The second Thing to be observed is, no Indian can eat with a Member of a Caste inferior to his own, without degrading himself; nor touch any Food dressed by a Person of such a Caste. A Bramin, and not a Choutre must dress the Victuals of another Bramin.