A Voyage to Suratt

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Introductory notes

A Voyage to Suratt was first published in 1696. It was written by John Ovington. Ovington was born in 1653. He was a chaplain with the East India Company. He lived in Bombay and Surat. He passed away in 1731. In A Voyage to Suratt he looks at the economy and the way of life in Surat. Primary Reading Ovington John, A Voyage to Suratt, Bodleian Library. Secondary Reading Attersoll,William, Phisicke against Famine, Tho.Cotes.


In the Year, 1689.

Giving a large Account of that City, and its Inhabitants, and of the English Factory there.

Likewise a Description of Madeira, St. Jago, Annobon, Cabenda and Malemba (upon the Coast of Africa) St. Helena, Johanna, Bombay, the City of Muscatt, and its Inhabitants in Arabia Felix, Mocba, and other Maritine Towns upon the Red-Sea, the Cape of good Hope, and the Island Ascention.

To which is addded an Appendix, containing
I. The History of a late Revolution in the Kingdom of Golconda. II. A description of the Kingdoms of Arracan and Pegu. III. An Account of the Coins of the Kingdoms of India, Persia, Golconda,etc. IV. Observations concerning the Silk worms.

By J. Ovington, M.A. Chaplain to his Majesty.

Qui mores Hominum multorum vidit & urbes.
Orbesque novos trans aequora pandit.
LONDON,. Printed for Jacob Tonson, at the Judges Head in Fleet-Street, near the Inner-Temple-Gate. 1696

Earl of Dorset and Middlesex: Lord Chamberlain of his Majesty's Household; Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, etc. And one of the Lords Justices of England.

May it please your Excellency,

AS the Eastern Princes, upon the News of any Foreigner's Arrival, are wont to expect some Curiosities of the Place from whence he came, to prepare the way for his Reception, [Page] and Introduce the Stranger into their Presence; so, in imitation of this respectful Custom, this Foreign Voyage hopes for admittance to your Favour and Acceptance, upon that Stock of Novelty which it presumes upon; and which it brings with it as well from Africa, as several remoter Parts and Kingdoms of the East: For in those Places, there are several Things here taken notice of, which have escap'd the Observations of other Travellers. I need not mention, my Lord, with what facility you can employ your Judgment, to penetrate into all that is any where useful, whilst your vigorous Fancy can as readily present to you all that is divertive in its Entertainment. And tho' I confess I have very great Reason to dread the strictness of [Page] your Censure, upon the strength of your admirable Endowments; yet methinks I find a relief to this Fear, in that Native Candor, which so easily tempers the Accuracy of your Thoughts with favourable Constructions.

But I will not transgress those Measures of Civility, of which your EXCELLENCY is so absolute a Master, by being too tedious in this Address; nor there- violate those Decencies and Respects, which your Practice recommends so fully to the World, and of which none have had more sensible Demonstration than my self: Especially considering how much is due to you from the Sacred Order, which you treat with that constant uncommon Civility, as if you design'd to ballance that Contempt, which is [Page] too apt to be cast upon it: Imitating, as in other perfections, so in this too, the Ancient Poets, who instructed Men in Reverencing not only the Gods, but in a due Regard to such as were their immediate Servants, and in all things maintaining still that Greatness by your Munificence, which you freely part with in your Condescensions. I need not determine, with how much Reason the Eastern Subjects ascribe this Character to their Emperours, That their Royal Condition is owing to their Merits, and that they as far transcend other Mortals in those, as they do in Power; but I am satisfied, 'tis the unquestionable Loyalty, Prudence, Greatness of Mind, and other Virtues, which have justly rais'd you to that Sphere, wherein you move, kindly influencing the [Page] Affairs of this great Kingdom; and from whence you look down, like the Heavenly Bodies, from the highest Orb, with a kind and obliging Aspect. And that their other Opinion of their Princes, That they are the Adopted Sons of Heaven, may be your happy Portion too, is not more unfeignedly desir'd by any, than

Most Obedient,
Most Obliged,
and Devoted Servant.

J. Ovington.


HArd is our Task to Read with fruitless Pain,
The Dreams of ev'ry Cloyster'd Writers Brain:
Who yet presume that Truth's firm Paths they tread,
When all the while through wild Utopia's led,
With Faiery-Feasts, instead of Science fed.
As dreaming Wizzards Midnight Journeys take,
And weary with imagin'd Labour wake,
So vain is Speculation's fancy'd Flight:
But search of Nature gives sincere Delight.
Through her vast Book the World, a curious Eye
May Wonders in each pregnant Page descry,
Make new Remarks, which Reason may reduce
To Humane Benefit, and Publick Use.
Then Happy they who quit their private Home,
And gen'rously through Foreign Climates roam;
Who, like Ulysses, can despise the Toil,
And make each Land they meet their Native Soil.
See Men and Manners scarce by Rumour known:
Visit all Countreys to improve their own.
But ah! how few, my Friend, with your Design,
On such Discov'ries bound, have cross'd the Line!
For sordid Gain, new Worlds they will descry,
Yet this, of Old, was Jason's Noble Prize;
'Twas this that plac'd hisArgo in the Skies:
Experience was the far-fetcht Golden Fleece,
The Prize so much admir'd by Ancient Greece,
From whence may be inferr'd what Thanks are due
From Britain's Sons, Industrious Friend, to you.
Fame shall in State, your useful Book Install
In Bodley's Pile, the Muses Capitol.
You have so lively your Discoveries Writ,
The real Scene cou'd scarce delight us more.
As when some Prophet from a Trance awakes,
And to Attentive Crowds Description makes
Of Wonders, which he did in Rapture view,
The Listners think they see the Vision too.
Thus, Entertain'd with Nature and with Art,
We hear your Travels told, and well-pleas'd Guests depart.


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[...]Before we espyed the Main of India, [Page 130] Snakes seen at Sea, a token of the nearness of Land. several Snakes of different sizes came swimming round our Ship near the surface of the Water, by which we knew we were not far from Land, because they are never seen at any great distance from the shore; they were washed from it, I presume, by the violence of the Rains in the times of the Mussouns, which I shall afterwards describe. This was seconded by another sign of our approaching the Land, viz. by a multitude Locusts lighting upon our Ship at Sea. of Locusts, which came flying upon our Masts and Yards, when we were distant from it Thirty Leagues, as we found by our Computation afterwards. They were above two Inches in length, and their reaching us at that distance from the Shore, argued their great strength of Wing to flie to us so very far; by which they mounted aloft, after they had rested themselves a while, and took their Flight directly upwards. While I was at Suratt, the President and some more of us observ'd for several succeeding Nights, an Infinite number of these Creatures Flying over our Heads for several hours together, in such numerous Armies and vast Bodies, [Page 131] that they cast a Cloud over the Moon, tho' it then was at the Full. They directed their Course towards the South, but some of them called by the way, and A Field of Corn devoured by a multitude of Locusts. lighted upon a Field of Corn near the City of Suratt, and in one Nights time devour'd it all. The Poor Husbandman bewailed his Loss to the Governour of the City, who was invited forth as a Spectator of the sudden devastation, that he might be more sensibly moved to repair the Damage, and relieve the Man.

[Page 132]

2. The author describes monsoons and droughts at Bombay, and health problems related to the climate, particularly amongst Europeans.

This A Description of the Mussouns. is the only proper Season of the Year for Rain, which falls here with such violence, and on all the Coasts of Malabar, that it hinders all Navigation, and puts a general stop to all Journeys by Land: For during this time, all the Land Carriages cease, and all the Ships both European and Indian are laid up in Harbour: It continues in these parts for the space of three or four The time of its Continuance. Months, from the latter end of May, 'till the middle of September; but in June and July do fall the most plentiful Showers, and that sometimes without Its Violence. intermission, for ten or fifteen days together, intercepting the appearance of either Sun or Star all that while. The whole Hemisphere then is most [Page 133] sullenly Dark, and the Sky over-cast with the thickest weighty Clouds, so that the Earth seems rather inclosed within a huge Ocean of Water, than only a few watry Clouds, whose black and lowring Aspect is so very melancholy, that it gives the fairest representation imaginable of the terrours of a second universal Deluge. Sometimes in Three or Four Hours time, such Showers fall from these full Clouds, that the Currents run along the Streets, swelled to that height, that they are scare fordable on Horseback. After this Excess in July the Showers gradually decrease, the Horizon clears up like the first dawning of the Day, 'till at length the Heavens are all over Bright, and the benighted Sun displays his vigour and banish'd Rays again. The Bannians Offerings to the Ocean to appease it. Then do the Bannians endeavour to appease the incensed Ocean by Offerings to its inraged Waves, and in great plenty throw their gilded Coco-nuts into the Sea to pacifie its storms and Fury, and render it peaceable and calm. And after these Ceremonious Oblations are past, the Oraculous Bramins declare safety to the [Page 134] Ships that will venture upon the Ocean, before which not one of them will offer to weigh an Anchor. The Young Boys are much delighted with this Custom, for whatever Coco-nuts are thrown into the Water, they immediately swim in and fetch them out.

The Rains fall only at these times. Mussouns are the only Season for watering of their Fields, their Meadows, and Arable Land. And for the preservation of this Element, wherever they sow their Rice, they endeavour to reduce the Ground to a Level, that nothing of this Heavenly Moisture may be lost.

The The foulest Weather when the Sun is nearest. Sun's approach to the Natives of Europe promiseth them the fairest Weather, and here the fowlest. The reason of which is his Vertical Exaltation, which with great violence Exhales the Vapours of the Earth, and returns them as plentifully again. Therefore both under the Aequator and the Tropick, when the Sun has been in the Zenith, I have perceiv'd the Air has been more temperate, and the Weather cooler, than at ten or twelve Degrees distance from it: And that abundant moisture which is always [Page 135] powerfully drawn up, near the Aequator, from which the Sun is never very far distant, abates that scorching Heat of his Influence, which otherwise would be scarce tolerable to either Animal or Plant. And therefore in the middle of May, before the Southerly Winds set in, which bring the Rains Ink dried up in the Pen by the Heat. along with them, the Air at Surat is so very dry, that it licks up the Moisture in the Pen, before we are able to write it out; and so intensly Hot, especially about 3 in the Afternoon, that we cannot well endure the standing for any long time upon the Grass, where the Sun's Beams have their full force. This The Floors commonly sprinkled with Water. causes our sprinkling the Floors of our Chambers frequently with Water, to create a kind of Fresco in them, during this Season, and makes us Employ our Peons in Fanning of us with Murchals Murchals. made of Peacocks Feathers, four or five Foot long, in the time of our Entertainments, and when we take our Repose.

Now, as in other Countries, the periods of the variety of Weather are uncertain, the Fair and Foul succeeding [Page 136] one another with great variety and alteration; and as in India they have stated and fixt times without any doubtful vicissitudes; The time of the Mussouns different in some places. so likewise even there they do not observe throughout all places the same Months. For upon the East side of Cape Comorin, on the Coast of Coromondel, from April to September the Weather is Fair, and in the other Months is the Winter-like Weather; whereas on the Coast of Malabar, which lies to the West, the Fair Weather begins in September and ends in May. So that in passing over-land from one Coast to the other, the Travellers, who are unacquainted with it, are at a stand to find two different Seasons of Winter and Summer in 20 or 30 Leagues distance. The Rains likewise The Mussouns arise from several quarters. come from different Quarters in these different Regions; some from the South, some from the West, and some from the East. And at the Maldive Islands, which are reckoned 12 Thousand, the Rains follow the Course of the Waters from the West, which are carried by an impetuous Current for six Months together towards the East, that is, from April to [Page 137] September; the other six Months are Hot and Calm, with the Winds setled from the East.

TheThe Stormy Seasons of the Mussouns. Mussouns are rude and Boisterous in their departure, as well as at their coming in, which two Seasons are call'd the Elephant in India, and just before their breaking up, take their farewell for the most part in very ruggid huffing weather. As if they were constrain'd to force their Entrance, and Combat the fair Seasons, before they could make way for their admittance; and were likewise resolv'd to try their utmost effort, sooner than tamely resign their Empire, and quit the Coast. For Nature must needs be under great Conflicts and disorder, by such a suddain Change from an uninterrupted Sun-shine to such constant Rains.

India wants Rain for 8 or 9 Months.When once the Mussouns are past, the other Months are under the serenest influence of the Heavens, without one Fertile Cloud for several succeeding Months visible in the whole Firmament, but the chearful Sun, from six to six, is never veil'd with gloomy Meteors, or Eclipsed with dark and Melancholy Exhalations [Page 138] from the Earth: But all the Animal Generations bask themselves in his warm Rays, without any fear of Rain, or Tempests, or chilly nipping Weather. And now the Vegetable Race below, Trees and Corn, Flowers and Herbs grace the World with infinite variety of delightful Forms, and pleasant Colours, being refresh'd by Nature's Seminal Juice, the plentiful Showers that descended in the time of the Mussouns: Wherein several Trees, by quenching their Thirst with such a large Draught at Green Trees all the Year round, and full of Moisture. that Season, maintain a flourishing Verdure all the Year round. And what is more remarkable, some of those Trees will yield each Night a Quart of Tary or Toddy, tho it be at eight Months distance from the falling of the Rains; the greedy Soil imbibed at that time such a quantity of this pure Liquor when it fell upon the Earth. This gives India the lovely Aspect of those Blessed Seats, which are sweetly described by the Poet,

Quas neque concutiunt venti, neque nubila nimbis
[Page 139]
Aspergunt, neque nix acri concreta Pruina
Cana cadens violat, semperque innubilus Aether
Contegit, & late diffuso lumine ridet.

But at Bombay, September and October, September and October unhealthful Months at Bombay. those two Months which immediately follow the Rains, are very pernicious to the Health of the Europeans; in which two Moons more of them die, than generally in all the Year besides. For the excess of earthy Vapours after the Rains ferment the Air, and raise therein such a sultry Heat, that scarce any is able to withstand that Feverish Effect it has upon their Spirits, nor recover themselves from those Fevers and Fluxes into which it casts them. And this the Indians remark concerning the excessive Heats at this time, that they An Observation of the Indians. say,'Tis September's Sun which causeth the black List upon the Antilope's Back.

Thus I leave this Description of the Season and Nature of the Mussouns, and return to Bombay, which is only a small Island, situate in about Nineteen Degrees of North Latitude, not eminent for any thing so much as its Fort and Harbour.

[Page 140]

They Plenty of Coco-nuts, but not of Cattle. have here abundance of Coco-nuts, which bring some Advantage to the Owners, but very little either of Corn or Cattle, but what is imported from the adjacent Country; and these not in great Plenty, nor of very good Growth. A Sheep or two from Suratt is an acceptable Present to the best Man upon the Island. And the Unhealthfulness of the Water bears a just Proportion to the Scarcity and Meanness of the Diet, and both of them together An unhealthful Air. with a bad Air, make a sudden end of many a poor Sailer and Souldier,who pay their Lives for hopes of a Livelihood. Indeed, whether it be that the Air stagnates, for the Land towards the Fort lies very low, or the stinking of the Fish which was used to be applied to the Roots of the Trees, instead of Dung; or whatever other Cause it is which renders it so very unhealthful, 'tis certainly a mortal Enemy to the Lives of the Europeans. And as the Ancients gave the Epithet of Fortunate to some Islands in the West, because of their Delightfulness and Health; so the Modern may, in opposition to them, denominate this the Unfortunate [Page 141] one in the East, because of the Antipathy it bears to those two Qualities.

We arrived here (as I hinted before) Above 35 buried out of the Ship in less than 4 months. at the beginning of the Rains, and buried of the Twenty Four Passengers which we brought with us, above Twenty, before they were ended; and of our own Ship's Company above Fifteen: And had we stay'd till the end of the next Month,October, the rest would have undergone a very hazardous Fate, which by a kind Providence ordering our Ship for Suratt's Rivermouth, was comfortably avoided. A fortunate Escape indeed! because neither the Commander, nor my self, were in any Hopes of surviving many Days: neither Temperance, the most Sovereign Medicine, nor the safest Prescriptions in the Physical Art, could restore the Weakness of our languishing decay'd Natures. And that which thoroughly confirm'd to us the unhealthfulness of the place we had lately loosed from, was the sudden Desertion of our The healthfulness of a good Air. Diseases, and return of Health, before half the Voyage to Suratt was finisht: In the middle of which Passage we manifestly perceiv'd in our Bodies as [Page 142] evident an alteration and change of Air for the best, as our Palates could distinguish betwixt the Taste of Wine, and that of Water.

The An Invitation for the Author to stay here. Deputy-Governour, Mr. George Cook, a pleasant and obliging Gentleman, sollicited me upon the account of my Function to reside with him upon Bombay, and invited me with all the Proposals of a frank and generous Civility, to wave my Voyage, and continue with him there, because they were then destitute of a Minister. And indeed the Deference I bore to such kind Expressions, and to the Duty of my Calling, were invincible Arguments for my Stay, had I not been satisfied of the immediate infallible sad Fate I was under, like that of my Predecessors; one of whom was interred a Fortnight before this time, and three or four more had been buried the preceding Years.[?] Which common Fatality has created a Proverb among the English An English Proverb at Bombay. there, that Two Mussouns are the Age of a Man. This is much lamented by the East-India Company, and puts them upon great Expences for supplying the Island with fresh Men, in the room of [Page 143] those that are taken away, and providing able Surgeons, furnish'd with Drugs and Chests from Europe, to take care of the Infirmaries, and all that are sick.

But there seldom happens any great The great wickedness that reigned upon the Island. Defect in the Natural World, without some preceding in the Moral; and the Springs of our Miseries and Misfortunes rise higher than meerly from Second Causes. For I cannot without Horror mention to what a Pitch all vicious Enormities were grown in this place, when the Infection was most outragious; nor can I but think that the Divine Justice interposed, and forwarded these fatal Infelicities, which are not wholy imputable to an impure Contagion of the Air, or the gross Infection of the Elements. These were made use of as Fatal Instruments of the direful Excision, but the true Cause of the Malady lay deeper. Their Principles of Action, and the consequent evil Practices of the English forwarded their Miseries, and contributed to fill the Air with those pestilential Vapours that seized their Vitals, and speeded their hasty passage to the other World. [Page 144] Luxury, Immodesty, and a prostitute Dissolution of Manners, found still new Matter to work upon. Wickedness was still upon the Improvement, and grew to such a Perfection, that no Vice was so detestable as not to be extremely vicious; whereby Satan obtain'd a more Despotick Author{i}ty in the Hearts of the Christians, than he did among the Gentiles in the Pageantry of Heathen Worship. And when the Seeds of Avarice and Prophaneness, of Envy and Injustice, and a thousand other black Infernal Vices grew up and flourish'd, and were made the Ambition of every Individual; we need not then admire, if the pure Luminaries of Heaven should set themselves against their Impieties, and dart their mortal Poysons on the Earth; if the Planets should wisely shed their venomous Aspects upon profligate Men, and thereby in Vengeance produce the mortal Fruits of Death.

The Vermin and Venomous Creatures very large. prodigious growth of Vermin, and of venomous Creatures, at the time of the Mussouns, do abundantly likewise demonstrate the malignant Corruption of the Air, and the natural [Page 145] Cause of its direful Effects upon the Europeans. For Spiders here increase their Bulk to the largeness of a Man's Thumb, and Toads are not of a much less size than a small Duck; whereby 'tis easily seen by these venomous Creatures, what encouragement these infectious and pestilential Qualities meet with in this place, and under what a contagious Influence all the Inhabitants must consequently be seated. This induc'd a Gentleman one time in the Governours and my Company, and some other Persons of Note, to affirm, that he believ'd it rain'd Frogs; because he espied upon his Hat small Frogs, about the bigness of the end of one's Finger, when he was at a great distance from any House or Covering, from whence they might drop.

All Wounds and Contusions in the Wounds hardly cured. Flesh are likewise very rarely healed here; and if they are,'tis with Difficulty and extraordinary Care; they happen generally to be very dangerous, and the Cure admits of more Delays and Hazards in the healing, than what is usual in other parts. But the Corruption of the Air has a more visible [Page 146] and Infants seldom live here. immediate Effect upon young English Infants, whose tender Spirits are less able to resist its Impressions; so that not one of twenty of them live to any Maturity, or even beyond their Infant days. Were it otherwise, the Island might in time be peopled with the Europeans transmitted thither, as the Western Islands are, which belong to the Crown of England{.} For the The Factors in India are permitted to marry English Women sent thither. Company allow Marriage to their Factors, and Liberty to young Women to pass thither to gain Husbands, and raise their Fortunes. But so very few of their Children live, and of those that do, so many of them are sent for England, that fresh Colonies from thence are very necessary for supporting the Government and Affairs of the Island.

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3. The Mogul's rule causes poverty and raises customs charges.

The Island by the War with the The War with the Mogul. Mogul was much Depopulated and Impoverished, both by destroying the English Inhabitants, and wasting the Fruit of the ground, especially of the Coco-Trees, whose Nuts are the staple Income upon it. And whatever the Original of this unhappy War was in other places, or upon what other Grounds soever it was commenced here, the English had some just Cause The Severity of the Mogul's Officers to the English at Suratt. of murmuring and Complaint, from the Treatment they had from the Mogul's Officers at Suratt, very different from what they might in Reason and Equity expect. For at the first settling a Factory there, it was agreed upon [Page 150] between the great Mogul and our President, to have a permission of free Trade for Two and an half per Cent. for all Goods Imported or Exported; which were without any Reason arbitrarily advanced to Four per Cent. beyond the Bounds of the first Agreement. And upon this very occasion the late Honourable President Bartholomew Harris has urged to me often this Case, that he thought it no Injustice to evade the payment of as much Customs for the English Goods, as they were injur'd in them above two and an half Another instance of their Severity. per Cent. by the Mogul. But this was not the only Severity the English were, and still are treated with; but before the Eruption of this last War, the very Plate Gold Buttons which the chief Factors wore upon their Cloaths, were demanded to be paid Custom for, as often as they cross'd the River of Suratt. This, to the Purser Marine particularly, was insufferable, whose Employment engages him frequently at Sualy, to which he must always pass the River; inasmuch as in a short time the very Intrinsick Value of his Gold Buttons would be spent in Custom. [Page 151] And we are all sensible how hard these violent Despotick Proceedings bear upon English Spirits, totally unaccustom'd to such Servility, and bless'd with such Paternal Constitutions, as appoint the meanest Subject Absolute Monarch of his petty Free-hold, exempt from all Impositions, but what are voted by the Assembly of the whole Kingdom, in its Representatives.

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4. The death and legacy of the former General of the East India Company.

The The General's Death General, before the Terms of Accommodation were agreed upon, dies; by a too deep Concern, as its presum'd, for suffering the Siddy to invade the Island; and for fear that such Proposals in a Firmaun as might suit with the Honour of his Masters the East India Company, might not be hearkned His Skill in Merchandize. to by the Mogul. He was a quick and expert Merchant, and totally devoted to his Masters Service: Tho' the Factors in India charge him with Partiality to his Relations, in advancing them to Stations above their standing, to the Prejudice of those who were their Seniors, and better qualified for Exclaim'd against by the Factors such Promotions. They accuse him likewise of a penurious Temper, and injuriously depriving them of the Comfort of Europe Liquors, which the Company's Bounty yearly bestowed, [Page 155] that he might the better ingratiate with his Masters for sparing their Expences, though it were a Diminution both to their Credit and their Factors Health.

He amassed abundance of Wealth The General's Wealth. during his stay, which was more than Twenty Years in India; the least Conjecture which is made of it is 100000 l. His Lady, whom he left behind him, who is fam'd for Piety, Charity, and an agreeable Behaviour, is since married The General's Lady married to Mr. Weldon. to Mr. George Weldon, fit to succeed him in his Fortune and his Bed. He is a Gentleman well descended, of easie and obliging Converse, extreme temperate and circumspect, and manages the Affairs of the Island, wherein he now as Deputy-Governour presides, with the universal Esteem and Approbation of all upon it. The Wealth which the General's Lady and Children do possess, demonstrates to what height of Fortune the Companies Servants may advance, when their Diligence and Fidelity engage the Bounty and Countenance of their Masters to encourage them.

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5. "The riches of India."

And as the Riches and extent of Asia surpass the other Quarters of the World; so has it rais'd its Monarchs to a point of Grandeur equally glorious and The Riches of India. Renown'd. And that spacious Body which is awed by the Indian Scep- [Page 167] ter, is reputed to to be one of the most Famous and Greatest, not only of all Asia, but of all this Globe of Earth besides. And if we consider the Diamonds and other Stones of value, the Gold and other Metals, the Spices and Druggs, the Silks and Cottons, and the vast prodigious quantities of all those rich Commodities and precious Stones, with which India abounds, we cannot deny it that Transcendency which its Monarch pretends to, of being Superior to other Nations of the Earth, and that it yields the Palm to none besides.

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6. The Mogul's approach to governance.

'Till he was possess'd of the Arms Aureng-Zebe's Subtilty: and Treasure of his Brother Morad-Bacche, whom he betray'd by fair Pretences of Friendship, the kindest Caresses and Expressions of Endearment; Aureng-Zebe pretended himself devoted to Austerity, and that he would rank himself among the Religious Faquires, [Page 174] or Derviches of the Kingdom, to spend his days in Poverty and Abstinence, and a private retir'd Life; by which new strain of Policy, and the Mask of extraordinary sanctity, he gain'd upon the Credulity of the People, as an holy undesigning Prince; 'till by this pious Design he craftily undermined the Opposers of his Honour and Empire, and making use of Religious Intrigues, and the help of the Planet Mercury, he soon became Victorious, and got Mars the Ascendant of his better Fortunes: And by these pretensions to uncommon Holiness, he made way for the perpetration of such execrable Crimes, as are not very commonly heard of. But His state- Maxim. if we may measure our Opinions by his, and the Maxims he has laid down for Empire, his proceedings will not appear so very black and criminal, since he has perswaded himself that Princes are exempt from several of those Laws which bind their Subjects, and that Soveraign Heads are not so severely Accountable for the Justice of their Actions, as the inferiour rank of Men. As if the despotick Soveraignty he exercis'd on Earth, [Page 175] gave him a Priviledge and Charter for the same Arbitrary Proceedings with Heaven, and that he might in some measure act as absolutely with the Supreme Lord of the Creation, as he does incontroulably with his own Subjects.

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7. The Mogul is weighed every 5th of November: a feast day.

There is another day in India, as well The 5th of November, remarkable in India. as England, which is eminently remarkable, the 5th of November. This day the great Mogul is weighed, and if it's found that he has increas'd in bulk, [Page 179] The Weighing of the Mogul. above what he weighed the preceding Year, this adds excess of Mirth and Joy to the Solemnity; but if he prove lighter in the Scales, this diminishes their Triumphs, and damps their chearful Entertainments. The Grandees and Officers of State prepare for this Feast, two Months before its approach, what costly Jewels and curious Rarities they can any where meet with, which they present to the Emperour at this Ceremony; either to secure his Favour, or to ingratiate with him for a more exalted station, or Honourable Employ. The Moguls are sometimes weighed against Silver, which has been distributed to the Poor.

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8. Flattery in the Mogul's court.

The dependance upon the Prince's The flattery of the Eastern Subjects. Favour makes Obsequiousness fashionable, and Flattery practis'd in all the Courts of the East: So that tho' they require an account of their Affairs, and expect to be informed; yet they think it a diminution to their Grandeur, to be acquainted with any thing that may disgust, or told any thing that looks displeasing. Except among the Chinese, with whom the liberty of Admonishing The freedom used by the K. of China's Subjects with him. their Emperour was established by a Law, which impowred them to use importunate Applications to him upon any failure, and caus'd them instantly to remind him of taking care of his Life and Actions, and that the virtuous Pattern of his Royal Behaviour, was the best and only method for deriving Justice, Integrity, and Loyalty upon his Magistrates and People. They likewise admonished him, that if he deviated from the transcendant Virtues of his Ancestors, his Subjects would inevitably digress from their Duties of Allegiance and Fidelity to him. For it is a receiv'd Maxim a- [Page 182] mong those People, That the Subjects are like Ears of Corn, wherewith a Field is cover'd, and the Morals of their Emperour are like a Wind, which inclines them which way it pleaseth.

But the Indian Emperours are incontroulable in what they say, as well as in Court Flattery. their Actions; so far, that it is an allowed Maxim in this Court, That if they say at Noon-day it is Night, you are to answer, Behold the Moon and the Stars! This flattery of their Subjects has made them fancy themselves more than Demi-Gods, and vaunt themselves in the most exorbitant swelling Titles. Thus the Emperour of Japan calls himself Son Proud Titles of the Eastern Kings. of the Sun; and for this Reason, when the Imperial Diadem is upon his Head, will never after appear in the sight of the Moon, for fear of debasing his Gratness, and because he thinks it would Eclipse his Glory. Thus the present Mogul's Father stiled himself Cha-Jehan, i.e. King of the World: and the Name of Aureng-Zebe imports the Ornament of the Throne; are The Titles of the K. of Bisnagar. no less Extravagant than the rest, they are these, The Husband of good Fortune, the God of great Provinces, [Page 183] King of the greatest Kings, the Lord of Horsemen, the Master of them which cannot speak, Emperour of three Emperours, Conqueror of all he sees, and Keeper of all he Conquers, Dreadful to the Eight Coasts of the World, Vanquisher of the Mahumetans, and Lord of the East, West, North, South, and of the Sea, which now Ruleth and Governeth this World.

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9. The Mogul's army, and revolts against him by Rajahs. The author also describes India's currency.

The vast Tract of Land to which The extent of India. this large Empire is extended, reaches near 2000 Miles in length, some say more; which makes it necessary for the Mogul, whose Territories are so large, to employ a numerous Army to awe his Infinite multitude of People, and keep them in an absolute Subjection. Several hundred thousand Soldiers are the least that are maintain'd in Pay; some See the Embassy of Sir Tho. Roe. affirm he allows Pay for one Million of Horses, and for every Horse and Man about eighteen pounds, whose Wages seldom run on beyond a Month or two, because by them they have their only Subsistence. And did he not constantly clear their Arrears, and keep on foot continually such a Potent Army, he could never be able to command the [Page 186] turbulent Rajahs, nor prevent their Plotts and Insurrections; who notwithstanding frequently molest his Government, pretend a right to their Conquer'd Dominions, and raise Armies against him with that Tribute which they refuse to pay. But sure it were better, instead of all those needless repeated Conquests, he could assure himself of fixing an Empire in the Hearts of Loyal, tho' less numerous Subjects.

The Frequent Revolts in India. frequent Revolts in India render those parts very miserable, and reduce the Inhabitants to a very distressed State. For hoping to retrieve their Liberty, and regain the Kingdoms they have lost, they often declare for a Rajah, which is a Native Indian Prince, and stand by him till the Mogul over- powers their Forces, defeats their Rebellion, stints their Progress, and reduces them to a tame Obedience again. So The miserable lives of the Indians in some parts. that one while the Mogul comes upon a City, and demands the Contribution of so many Thousand Gold Moors, or else he threatens the Raseing its Foundations, Pillaging the Houses, and converting them into Smoak and Flames. When he is retreated, [Page 187] the Rajah's Army flies upon them with Fury and Hunger, and storms their Towns, and threatens them with Fire and Sword as their inevitable Fate, if they offer to delay the payment of so many thousand Gold Roupies more. Or if these formidable Threats are not listned to, they take that by Rapine, which was civilly demanded, ravage the Country, and load themselves with Plunder and Spoil. Which makes Fear and Distress, Poverty and Famine the universal Air and Genius of those unquiet Abodes. This was the unhappy condition of Su- ratt, An. 1664. when Rajah Sivagy plundred it for Forty Days together, carried off in Gold, Silver, and Jewels an Infinite Sum, without sparing any part of it, but the Habitations of the English and French, and the Castle, who defended themselves with their Can{n}on.

Sometimes the Conquest of one part of the Kingdom is the loss of another, for that Rajah who without reluctancy submitted to the Mogul's Power, while his Camp was near, immediately disclaims it, when he knows it at a di- ; [Page 188] stance; which Commotions bring on the Mogul endless Troubles and Expence.

A A particular Rajah's Revolt. mighty Rajah is now abroad, in his Expedition to the Coast of Choromandel, where he expects Recruits of Men and Money; he has secur'd a strong The great length of a Rajah's Arms. Party upon the Coast of Malabar, and it's believ'd will in a short time appear in the Field with very Potent Forces. If his Martial Arms be proportionably as extensive as his Natural, they will certainly reach very far, and stretch his Authority farther than any Potentates in the East; for they are so long, that as he stands, his Hands reach down below his Knees. And may be the Indians, who upon this account are apt to harbour Superstitious Thoughts concerning him, may be the easier won to his Alliance and Designs; if this be not a feign'd Report.

The Mogul's Army are pursuing their Conquests The Mogul's Ambition. with all vigour towards Cape Comeron, the Southermost Promontory of India, where are several Inferiour Princes not yet attempted upon, the Conquering of whom take up [Page 189] the thoughts, and is the main Object of Aureng-Zebe's Ambition. The Mogul's Forces.

Besides the vast Army which is always Incamped, and ready for any Expedition and onset, the several Nabobs and Vice-Roys are obliged to keep continually in Pay considerable Forces, for maintaining their own Port, and the Peace of the Provinces where they preside. Soveraign Princes do not exceed some of these in point of State and Income. The Nabob or Governour of Bengal was reputed to have left behind him at his Death, twenty Lacks, Courous, Padans, Nils, what they are. Courous of Roupies: A Courou is an hundred thousand Lacks, a Lack is an hundred thousand Roupies, a Padan is an hundred thousand Courous, a Nil is an hundred thousand Padans; Lacks, Courous, Padans, and Nils, rise by a gradual advancement of an hundred Aureng-Zebe's living in his Camp. thousand higher one than another.

Aureng-Zebe seldom leaves the Camp, but both he and his (Haram keep their Tents Winter and Summer in the Field. His numerous Army has a daily The Camp well provided with Necessaries supply of all Provisions and Necessaries from all parts of the Empire, in as great plenty and order as any of [Page 190] its Cities can afford them; and whatever the Kingdom yields, may be with as much ease purchased here, as in any publick Fair. So that there is always in the Camp a multitude of People brought thither, as large almost as the Army, who come thither, some out of Curiosity, others out of Friendship and Relation, but the most for Sale of their Goods, which the Soldiers take off, by whom they live, and from whom they have their Subsistence.

Where-ever The Order in the Camp. the Mogul removes his Camp, the Generals and Officers, as well as private Centinels, still pitch their Tents in the same Position and Place in respect to his, and one another, as they formerly were posted in; so that he who once knows where such a Captain had his standing, may readily be directed to it, though he has decamped from the place he left an Hundred Miles. For all are obliged to the same distance, and to the same Station and Quarter in relation to one another, and the Emperour's Tent, in whatever Ground they pitch their Tents.

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Before the Mogul begins to move his Measuring the Way, a thing customary in the Indies. Camp, to set out upon a Progress, or undertake any small Journey; and before any Omrah, or Person of Note sets forward to Travel, the way they must pass is measured out by Line, by a Servant appointed for that Trouble; and a just account both of the distance and number of Miles is brought to them, before the Journey is begun: And so exact are they in maintaining this piece of Indian State, of measuring the Road, that though they have travell'd that way often, and are sufficiently knowing in all its Paths, yet without this Ceremony they are loath to stir.

Besides the Army, and the several The Mogul's Elephants. Nabobs and Governours of Provinces and Cities, of Towns and Castles, which drain his Treasure, and put him upon immense Expences, the Indian Emperour maintains daily at least Four or Five Hundred Elephants, with Camels, Mules, and other Beasts of Burthen; some for the War, and others for his Women and Attendants, his Carriage and Provisions in the Field. The principal of all his stately Campaign Elephants has a stated extraordinary Al- [Page 192] lowance of Sugar mixt with his Provender, and Jaggary Rack, which is a kind of Aqua Vitae, with his Water; which consume the Mogul Five Hundred Roupies every Month, that is, near Sixty Pounds Sterling.

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10. The Mogul has absolute rule over the people and their wealth.

The whole Kingdom of Indoston is All the Land in India is the Mogul's. intirely the Possession of the Mogul's, who appoints himself Heir to all his Subjects; so that neither the Widow, nor Children of a General, can peremptorily challenge one Piece after his Decease, without the Emperour's bounteous Indulgence. He that tills the Ground, and spends his time in Agriculture, is allowed half the Product for his Pains, and the other Moyety is reserv'd for the King, which is collected by Under-Officers, who give in their Accounts to the Superiours in the Provinces, and they discount to the Publick Exchequer. Only for the Encouragement of Trade in Cities and Maritime Towns, he dispenses with the Merchants building their Houses, and the Propriety of them descending in their Families; very few are allowed Paternal Inheritances; but even all this is the extraordinary Grace and Favour of the Prince, and revocable at his Pleasure. The Mogul absolute. His Will likewise is the Law, and his Word incontestably decides all Controversies among them. So that he is the main Ocean of Justice and Equity, and from him all the smaller [Page 198] His Justice Rivulets of Wealth flow, and to him they all pay Tribute, and return again. He generally determines with exact Justice and Equity; for there is no pleading of Peeridge or Priviledge before the Emperour, but the meanest Man is as soon heard by Aureng-Zebe as the chief Omrah.

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11. The story of Aureng-Zebe robbing the Faquirs.

Notwithstanding The Mogul's Avarice. all these Diamonds and immense Treasure, of which the Mogul is Absolute Master, yet is not his Mind satisfied, nor his Desires abated by his Accessions, they rather stretch and swell the more, and push him on to aspire to that real Character, which his Father assum'd, of being King of the World. So little has either Increase of Wealth, or Extent of Power, heal'd his restless Faculties, or compos'd the unruly Turbulence of his Spirit. However, had Aureng-Zebe laid his Schemes of Victory only towards the Indian Princes, and those potent Neighbours, from whose Conquest he might expect to reap some Glory; this methinks would have carried with it a greater [Page 203] Air of Majesty and Grandeur, than that meaner Action which is recorded of him in India, of stripping the Faquires of their Wealth and Jewels.

It seems this Prince was minded to compass a little Treasure somewhere, and the only Method he pitch'd upon for it, was to make a Booty of the Faquires. Aureng-Zebe's robbing the Faquires. These Faquires nearly resemble the Romish Mendicants in some things, their Character I shall expatiate upon hereafter. The Emperour therefore causes Proclamation to be made through all the Provinces of his Kingdom, That all Faquires should make ready to repair to a splendid Entertainment, which he design'd to prepare for them. The News of this Royal Banquet was esteem'd so honourable an Instance of Condescention in the Emperour to these poor Men, that without any further Summons or Invitation they instantly prepar'd and flockt from all the remotest parts to come and receive it. When they were come, and had satisfied themselves with the sumptuous Feast, and overjoy'd at the Thoughts of being Guests to such a Noble Banquet, to which they had been called by [Page 204] the Person of their Emperour, they now address themselves to him with grateful Acknowledgments for his Bounty in those Royal undeserv'd Favours, so far beyond what the Meanness and Poverty of their Condition would suffer them so much as to think of. And withal wishing him, that Glory and Success might be the distinguishing Characters of his prosperous Reign for many Years, they humbly craved Liberty of departing to their proper Dwellings. To which the Emperour reply'd to this Effect, I would not have you think that I have yet forgot the Kindness I had for you and your Profession, in my former Years. 'Tis not the being seated upon the Throne of India, that can make me overlook the Consideration of your Poverty, or the Relation I had to you, e'er Fortune and your Good Wishes rais'd me to the Glory of my Ancestors, and the Soveraignty I now enjoy. And therefore as you have thought fit to taste of my Banquet, and express your selves pleas'd with the Entertainment; so I expect from you likewise the acceptance of some Raiments I have provided for your Use, to prevent your Return in that ragged Dress; and that [Page 205] the World may see after your Departure hence, what Kindness I had for you, in conferring these more lasting Favours upon you. At this they unanimously voted for their old Cloaths, as more agreeable to their Condition, and that he had sufficiently honour'd them by his splendid Repast. But the Servants, who stood by, immediately unstript the Faquirs, and brought forth fresh Garments for their old, in which were found abundance of Jewels, Gold, and Precious Stones, enough by far to overpay the Expence; as Aureng-Zebe by his former Acquaintance and ancient Intimacy with them could well discover. This Relation which I had from a Gentleman at Suratt agrees very well with Auren-Zebe's Policy; but methinks it suits not well with his Honesty and Greatness.

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THE The Latitude of Suratt. City of Suratt lies in 21 Degrees, and some odd Minutes of North Latitude.'Tis by Ptolomy call'd Its Situation. Muziris, and is situated upon a River Ten or Twelve Miles distant from the Sea. The Name of the River is Tappy, or Tindy, which rises from the Mountain of Decan, and from thence falls down through Brampore, and by Meanders from Suratt glides down gently into the Ocean. The Circumfe- [Page 215] rence of it, with the Suburbs, is between two and three English Miles, tending somewhat in its Position to the Form of a Semicircle or Half Moon, because of the winding of the River, to which half of it adjoyns. It is fortified with a Wall, which is flankt at certain Distances with Towers and Battlements, occasion'd by the fre uent Incursions of the Enemies; but its greatest Strength is in the Castle, which commands not only the Ships and Boats in the River, but likewise guards the City by Land.

The Castle is built towards the The Castle. South West part of the City, having a River to defend it on one side, and a Ditch on the other. It is built square, and fortified at each Corner with a large Tower, containing various Lodgings, and furnish'd with all Conveniences fit for accommodating the Governour, and has several Canons mounted upon the Walls.

The Gates of the City.

The Entrance into the City is by six or seven Gates, where are Centinels fixt continually, requiring an Account, upon the least Suspicion, of all that enter in, or pass out of the City.

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The The Buildings. Houses are many of them fair and stately, tho' unproportionable to the Wealth of the Inhabitants, who are always concern'd to conceal their Riches, and therefore never exceed in any Luxurious Furniture, lest it should prove too powerful a Temptation to the Avarice of the Mogul. They are flat roof'd, or rather made a little shelving, after the manner of the Buildings in Spain and Portugal, cover'd with Tiles, and the Walls are made of Brick or Stone. The Windows are without Glass, and kept open for the Convenience of the fresh Air; and the Floors both of the lower and upper Stories are all Terrass'd to make them cool. But the poorer sort, and such as inhabit the Skirts of the City, live much meaner, in Houses, whose Walls are only Bambous at a Foot distance, with Reeds wove through them; and their Covering is only Cajan, or Palm-leaves of Trees, which gives them the common Name of Cajan-Houses.

The The Streets Streets are some too narrow, but in many places of a convenient breadth; and in an Evening, especially near the Bazar, or Market- [Page 217] place, are more populous than any part of London; and so much throng'd, that 'tis not very easie to pass through the multitude of Bannians and other Merchants that expose their Goods. For here they stand with their Silks and Stuffs in their Hands, or upon their Heads, to invite such as pass by to come and buy them.

In the midst of the City is a spacious Castle-Green. vacant place, called Castle-Green, because of its nearness to the Castle, on which are laid all sorts of Goods in the open Air, both Day and Night, excepting the Mussoun time. And here the English, French, and Dutch, with the Natives, place their Bales, and prepare them as Loadings for their Ships.

The Governour of the Castle is appointed The Governour of the Castle always confin'd to it. by the Mogul; and his Authority seldom stretches beyond the space of three Years, in all which time he is a real Prisoner under the appearance of a high Commander, and under a severe and strict Engagement never to pass without the Walls of his Castle; but to be continually upon his Guard, in a constant readiness for any Emer- [Page 218] gence or Surprize, all the time he is in the Government.

Suratt Suratt a chief Town of Trade. is reckon'd the most fam'd Emporium of the Indian Empire, where all Commodities are vendible, though they never were there seen before. The very Curiosity of them will engage the Expectation of the Purchaser to sell them again with some Advantage, and will be apt to invite some other by their Novelty, as they did him, to venture upon them. And the River is very commodious for the Importation of Foreign Goods, which are brought up to the City in Hoys and Yachts, and Country Boats, with great Convenience and Expedition. And not only from Europe, but from China, Persia, Arabia, and other remote parts of India, Ships unload abundance of all kinds of Goods, for the Ornament of the City, as well as inriching of the Port.

It is renown'd for Traffick through all Its Commodities. Asia, both for rich Silks, such as Atlasses, Cuttanees, Sooseys, Culgars, Allajars, Velvets, Taffaties, and Sattins; and for Zarbatfs from Persia; and the abundance of Pearls that are [Page 219] brought hither from the Persian Gulph; but likewise for Diamonds, Rubies, Saphires, Topazes, and other Stones of Splendor and Esteem, which are vendible here in great quantities: And for Aggats, Cornelians, Nigganees, Desks, Scrutores, and Boxes neatly polisht and embellisht, which may be purchas'd here at very reasonable Rates.

The Gold of Suratt is so very fine, The fineness of Indian Gold and Silver. that 12 or 14 per Cent. may be often gain'd by bringing it to Europe. And the Silver, which is the same all over India, out-does even the Mexico and Sevil Dollars, and has less Allay than any other in the World. I never saw No clipt or bad Money. any Clipt Money there, and 'tis rare if either the Gold or Silver Coin is falsified. The Gold Moor, or Gold Roupie, is valued Gold and Silver Roupies how valued. generally at 14 of Silver; and the Silver Roupie at Two Shillings Three Pence. Besides these they have Foreign Coyns, but not in that Plenty; and Pice, which are made A Pice how much. of Copper, Sixty of which, sometimes two or three more or less, are valued Bitter Almonds pass for Money. at a Roupie. Lower than these, bitter Almonds here pass for Money, about Sixty of which make a Pice.

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All The Custom paid by all strange Coins. strange Coyn, whether Imported or Exported, pays to the Mogul's Officers. Two and an half per Cent. and other Goods pay more. In some other Nations Customs paid in China according to the largeness of the Ship. of the East, as in China, they take other Measures in their Customs, not according to the Value or Quantity of the Goods, but according to the Burthen of the Ship, which is measur'd and examin'd upon her first Arrival; and upon this such a Custom is charged upon her, without any Consideration of her Cargo. When this is paid, there is Liberty granted of fraighting upon the Ship what Goods Men please, those of the richest as well as the meanest Value. An English Ship there of 400 Tuns, paid for its Custom 1000 Dollars.

Whatever All strange Coin<s> melted <down in> Suratt. strange Coyn comes into the Hands of the Mogul's Officers, 'tis <me>lted down, and converted into Roupies, which are stamped with the particular Characters of the Emperour then Reigning. After the Emperour's The Reason that Old Coin is of less value than New. Death the value of it abates, may be a Pice or two in a Roupie, because of its Antiquity, whereby, they say, so much of its Worth is wore off; and only the [Page 221] new Coin passes currant without any Diminution.

The Silks and Callicoes vendible Silks sold by the Cobit. here, are either sold by the Piece, or by Cobits, which is a Measure containing A Cobit what it is. 27 Inches.

Corn sold by weight.

Their Rice and Corn, and other Commodities which are sold with us by Concave Measures, are with them sold by Weight. The common Weight is a Sear, which weighs 13 1/3 Ounces Avoirdupoise; and also the Maund, which contains forty Sear. Pecks and No hollow Measures in India. Bushels I never heard of. For as their Kingdoms, so are their Customs in Some Indian Customs contrary to ours. these Kingdoms quite opposite in many things to ours. The Teeth of their Saws, for Instance, are made quite contrary to ours; their Locks are fashion'd and open quite different ways; and the very Dispositions of some Irrational Creatures vary from the Genius they retain with us; as at Tunquin Dogs catch Mice. the vigilant Dogs watch all Night to devour the Rats and Mice, which are there very large and troublesom; as our Cats do with us.

Goods are brought to Suratt from Goods from whence brought to Suratt. Agra, their Capital City, from Dehli,

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Baroch, Amadavad, and other Cities noted for particular Commodities, which are sold off in great quantities to the Europeans, Turks, Arabians, Persians, and Armenians, who above any of the rest Travel the farthest, spread themselves in Armenians great Merchants. all parts of Asia, as well as Europe, and are as universal Merchants as any in the World. The Armenians are Civil and Industrious, their Language is one of the most general in all Asia, and they have spread themselves in vast Colonies very far, in Anatolia, Persia, the Holy Land, Egypt, Russia, and Polonia, and range by private Persons and Families, like Jews into all parts, and like them are as subtle and diligent in their Traffick. For they have always had a celebrated name for Merchandise; and near them in ancient times, that is, at Phasis in Georgia, was kept the Golden Fleece, which was likely nothing else but a Rich and Profitable Trade of Wool, Skins, and Furs, which the Northern People brought thither, and to which they now drive a Trade of some resemblance in their costly Tapestries, Grograins, watered Chamlets, etc. And , [Page 223] Jason, and the Greeks being the first Discoverers of the Fleece, above all the rest of Europe, and encountring many Hazards and Dangers in the first Navigation; it was said to be guarded by Furies, Bulls, and an horrible Dragon, that is by men bold and well Armed.

For the Carriage of their Goods, the Indians seldom make use of Horses, they are generally employed in the Mogul's service in War; but bring them to Suratt in Waggons, upon The Carriage of their Goods in India. Dromedaries, Asses, and Camels: The strength and hardiness of the Camels qualifie them extremely for the weight of Burthens, and the length of the Roads.


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The Governour of the City.

Suratt, who is always confin'd a Prisoner within its Walls, there is another of the City, to whose management and Care is committed the Trust of all Civil Affairs. He receives Addresses from the Principal Merchants and Men of Note, and all Applications of moment from the Inhabitants are made to him. He generally keeps at home for dispatching the business of his Master, or the People under his Care; [...]

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14. A description of the Moors or Moguls at Suratt.

I shall distinguish the Natives here into three sorts. F{i}rst, the Moors, or Moguls. The Moors at Suratt. Secondly, the Bannians or Antient Gentiles. Thirdly, The Parsies or Gaures. And first, To treat briefly of the Moors, who are allowed a precedence to all the rest, because of their Religion, which is the same with that of Respected above the Gentiles of their Religion. their Prince, and for this reason they are advanc'd to the most Eminent Stations of Honour and Trust; are appointed Governours of Provinces, and are intrusted with the Principal Military, as well as Civil Employments. Very few of the Gentiles being called to any considerable Trust, or incou-

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rag'd any more, than just to follow their several Manual Occupations, or Merchandize. For Religion, which puts a Biass upon the Mind, Intitles them to the Court Favours, when it carries a conformity to that of their Prince. Therefore the Gentiles are little esteem'd of by the Mogul, and contemned by the Moors, and often treated with Inhumanity and neglect, because of their adhesion to the Principles of a Religion, which is differen[t] from that of the State. And yet their peaceable submissive Deportment wins mightily upon the Moors, and takes off much of that scornful Antipathy which they harbour against them.

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15. The Moors' or Moguls' diet.

YetTheir Food. tho' they are under a severe restraint from the Juice of the Grape, they are not debarr'd the Eating of Rich and delicate Food, nor from dressing it with such store of Spice and high Cordial Ingredients, as mightily invigorate their Spirits, warm their Stomachs, and inflame the Vital Heat. Cloves and Amber-Grese, Cinnamon and other fragrant Oriental Spices, do often help to compound their Dishes of Palau, and other Meats that are in use among them, in the Families of Men of Fortune and Estates. Some of whom, notwithstanding their Prophet, thro' whose Prohibition they are restrain'd from Wine, will yet privately be as Licentious therein, as other Persons who are allow'd to drink it with moderation. And many of Dutra intoxicateing Herb. them take the liberty of mixing Dutra and Water together to drink, without any privacy or fear, which will intoxicate almost to Madness, when they are in the humour of gulping it freely; and this sometimes puts them beyond their Native tender Deportment, and forces them upon suddain Bold Attempts. 'Tis commonly observ'd concerning [Page 236] this Herb Dutra, that whatever Humour prevails in any person at the time of his drinking it to Excess, that Temper continues with him in the highest pitch, 'till the inebriating quality abates. If he is Melancholy, he is then rais'd to the utmost degree of Sadness; If Amorous, he is all Love and Flame; if he is Merry, he is then a perfect Antick. And pouring cold Water upon the Leggs, removes these excessive Humours, and restores them to their Senses and Sobriety again. The English and other Europeans sometimes in their pleasant Frolicks, are pleas'd to divert themselves with these gay Humours and strange Actions, by taking a chearful Draught or two of this Liquor.

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16. The Moors' or Moguls' beliefs about eating meat.

The Moguls feed freely on Beef or Mutton, or the Flesh of any other Creature which is not accounted unclean Swinesflesh forbid the Moors. among them; but Swines-flesh is under a dis-repute,and held among them an Abomination. Yet the Grandees will taste of this, as well as Wine, and will not stick at the Eating it at a private Collation. For an English Agent, A Story of some Moors eating a Pig instead of a Kid: by a frequent Interview with the Governour of a City, arriv'd at length to that familiarity with him, that he took the liberty of Inviting him and some Intimates more, to a friendly Entertainment of Persian and European Wines. The Governour coming to it, was so Charm'd with the welcome which he receiv'd, because the Wine had that influence on his Humour and Palate, that upon his departure he stept to the Agent and told him, he design'd him suddenly another Visit, and withal desir'd from him a couple of young Kidds of the Agent's preparing, and whispering to him privately, he told him he meant young Piggs. The Agent expressed his humble [Page 241] Sense of the Honour they had vouchsaf'd him, and his satisfaction at the freedom they had taken; and withal assur'd them, that such an Evening the Kids should be provided for their coming. He instantly sent abroad his Servant, for procuring him two of the fattest Pigs that could be met with, and order'd them to be roasted against the time appointed; and pulling off their Skin, and cutting off their Heads and Feet, had them brought before the invited Guests. They rejoyc'd at the sight of them, and when they had tasted, applauded the delicacy of the Meat, eat it with abundance of delight, and boasted that they had never seen any such plump Kids, whose relish outdid any thing they had ever tasted; and heartily wisht for the opportunity of such another Repast, and the liberty of Banqueting frequently upon such Dainties. They admir'd the Christians Indulgence in such noble Liquor, and such exquisite Fare, and believ'd that the unconfin'd Luxury in Eating was equal to the pleasure of their desirable variety of Women; and that the Carnal Excesses approv'd by Mahomet do [Page 242] not outvie the unconstrain'd Liberty which the Christians take in sumptuous Repasts,and such kind of Luxurious Sensuality.

The Moors are only bound to abstain from Unclean Beasts, and load their Tables with Fish and Fowl, and other Bannians. no Butchers Fare. And it is only among them that the Butchers kill the Meat, and sell it to strangers; for the Indians will scarce look upon a mangled Carkass. A Butcher with them is little less than a Murtherer, but of all Vocations that is the most odious with them.

The The Fast Ramezan. Moors with a very rigid and avowed Abstinence, observe every Year one Month, a Fast, which they term the Ramezan; during which time they are so severely abstemious, that they stretch not their Hands to either Bread or Water, 'till the Sun be set, and the Stars appear; no, not the Youths of 12 or 13 Years of Age. Which makes the Penance so much the more rigorous and troublesome, in that a draught of Water in those warm parching Climates is so very necessary, and so refreshing to such as are ready to faint with Thirst. This Fast is not kept always at the [Page 243] same Season of the Year, but begins its date Annually more early by Eleven Days. When I was at Suratt, this mortifying Custom was about the Month of September, at which time the Moors would begin to refresh themselves about the close of the Evening, and Eat then freely; and by an Early Collation in the Morning, before the dawning of the Light, prepare themselves for the drought and heat of the A story concerning Mahomet. following Day. The Almighty, they told us, requir'd from Mahomet,that his followers should be oblig'd to this Austerity, the whole Circuit of the Year; but that the Holy Prophet, in compassion to the Faithful, obtain'd from God the confinement of it only to a Month, which would therefore highly aggravate their Crime, if they neglected the Dedication of so small a Portion of the Year to this Religious Abstinence, tho' the observance of it had been injoyn'd after a more rigorous manner than it is. And to add to the Sanctity of this Celebrated and solemn Fast, The Mullahs Devotions. their Mullahs, acted with a sacred Zeal, and lively concern for the Souls of the People, will at this time spend whole [Page 244] Nights in the Musseets, in chanting aloud alternately their Divine Hymns, 'till the approach of day breaks up their Devotions: And so they compleat their Fast, according to the strictest Rules of the most rigid Asceticks, by mixing Prayers and Watchings with their Abstinence; in which, as well as in their Publick Prayers and Religious Worship, they tie themselves up to a very nice and devout strictness, and behave themselves with all those decencies of Respect, with that astonishing Reverence in the Musseets, as not to defile them with either their Eyes or Lips; not daring so much as to turn their Heads to gaze about, or utter the least word to one another. Which profound Respect Their decent Religious Behaviour. casts an obloquy and deserv'd Reproach upon some Professors of a much purer Religion, and more Holy Faith, whose careless Deportment and familiar Address discountenance all the Religious decorum of Prayers, and might tempt those Heathens to conclude, that our Devotions were rather some light Diversion, than the effects of serious and sacred Thoughts.

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17. The Bannians and their temperament.

Next to the Moors the Bannians areThe Bannians. the most noted Inhabitants at Suratt, who are Merchants all by Profession, and very numerous in all parts of India. Their Temper and obsequious deportment. They are most innocent and obsequious, humble and patient to a Miracle; sometimes they are heated into harsh Expressions to one another, which is seldom; and this Tongue-Tempest is term'd there a Bannian Fight, for it never rises to Blows or Blood-shed. The very killing of a Fly with them, is a Crime almost inexpiable. They cannot so much as endure hot Words, as they call them, from the Europeans; but if they see them exasperated, and in a Rage, retreat for a day or two, 'till they give them time to cool; and when they find the Passion asswag'd, form their Addresses in the most affable manner, and obliging Respect.

The Orientals are generally much more tender and insinuating in their Language, [Page 276] and more prompt & easie in their Deportment, than those that are bred in the Tempestuous Regions, and Northerly Air The Tempers of Men alter by the Climate they live in. of Europe, which has a certain Influence upon their Spirits, to render them boisterous and irregular, in respect of that submissive temper and affable Carriage of the Eastern Nations. He that has convers'd for any time among these, can hardly bear the roughness, or be brought to digest the rudeness of the others. For the sudden Changes, and uncertainty of the Weather in all Seasons of the Year, affect both the Heads and Hearts of such as are Conversant in these uneven Climates; it makes them suddenly heated into Passions, and as hardly brought to an warmth of Affection; it makes them both unlike other Nations, and inconsistent with themselves, by raising unequal Humours, and unconstancy in the Passions, unfixt Desires, and uncertain Ends. And were the Bannians to be transported hither, who hold a Transmigration, they would be apt immediately upon their Arrival to conclude, that many of the Men had really invaded the Natures of [Page 277] some of the most savage Brutes, were animated with no other Souls than those of Tygers and Bears; and that the Irish and French Opinion of the Lougaroos, or Men turn'd into Wolves, was as true and authentick a Notion, as any that prevail'd among them.

18. The Bannians are interested in increasing their wealth.

They are mainly addicted to prosecute Much given to Riches. their Temporal Interest, and the amassing of Treasure; and therefore will fly at the securing of a Pice, tho' they can command whole Lacks of Roupies. I know those among them computed to be worth an Hundred Thousand Pounds, whose Service the Prospect of Sixpence Advantage will command to traverse the whole City of . [Page 278] Suratt. For they are always upon the Thoughts of increasing their Wealth, and plodding for Gain, which they lay hold on upon the least occasion, tho' by never so minute and inconsiderable Advantages. By which Diligence they generally secure a comfortable Subsistence; and some of them amass a prodigious Treasure.

The Bannians are by much the most numerous, and by far the wealthiest of all the Pagans of India, whose Distinction Each Trade of a different Opinion in Religion. in Religion argues a difference of their various Vocations; and each single Trade is diversified by some particular Opinions; the Goldsmith, and Scrivan, the Joyner, Barber, and Merchant, etc. as they have different Employments, so are they of divers Sentiments, and distinguish'd in the Ceremonies of their Worship; and mix no more in their Sacred Sentiments of Religion, than in their Civil Arts. Therefore all their Arts are Hereditary, and their Employments confin'd to their own Families. The Son is engag'd in the Father's Trade, and to maintain the Profession of it in his Posterity, it is transmitted always to the [Page 279] succeeding Generation, which is obliged to preserve it in a lineal Descent, uncommunicated to any Stranger. Upon this account all Marriages are restrain'd No Persons whose Parents are of contrary Trades, marry together. to one Sect, and contracted only between Persons of the same Perswasion and Profession. The Merchant is debarred from entring into any League of Love with the Daughter of a Goldsmith, Shoemaker, or of any other different Employment; and all Persons are under a strict Confinement, in their Matrimonial Ties and Addresses to direct their Passions and Affections to those only of their own Opinion and Trade. Which Custom has formerly prevail'd even in the most Western Island of this Hemisphere; and several Great Men in the Septs of Ireland, had heretofore their Physicians, Poets, Smiths, and such like, who always continued in the same Races.

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19. The Bannians' days of devotion.

The Days set apart for the publick The Bannians Days of Devotion. Devotion of the Bannians, are only two in a Month, about our ninth and twenty fourth; in which, by a very strict Discipline, they abstain from all things eatable 'till the Evening most Religiously. And inculcate this severity upon their younger Children, in their Infant Growth, to induce the observance Their Abstinence. of it with facility upon them, and to render the Abstinence tolerable and less troublesome in their riper Age.

The Pagans, who are bred to labour Holy Ballads Sung all the day long. and Manual Occupations, consecrate each Day in the Week, and every thing they take in Hand thus far; that they fill their Mouths with a pious Song at the first dawning of the Morning, as soon as ever they ingage in their several Employments and Manual Occupations, and never cease their Secular Vocation without concluding with the mixture of a Holy Rhime. When a Company of Labourers are employ'd together about the same Work, this sacred Ballad is repeated by them some- [Page 292] times alternately, sometimes by single persons, the rest answering in a Chorus, all the Day long, without the intermission of one quarter of an Hour. The Lascars or Sea-Men upon the Water, all the while they handle the Oar, divert themselves by turns with this tuneful Melody.

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20. The Bannians' food

When any European is invited by a Bannian to a Collation, the Repast is [Page 296] little Their Entertainments. else but variety of Sweet-meats laid upon the green Leaves of Trees, which after the Entertainment are thrown away. Sometimes a Dish or two of rich spic'd Palau may come in to make up a complete Banquet. Sherbet, that is Wine, Water, and Lemon; tis the best Drink they indulge themselves, or allow others commonly to partake of. For Wine they abominate as well as Flesh, and hate it as much as Manes, the Author of the Manichees, who pronounced it to be the Blood of Devils.

India, Their tenderness to living Creatures. of all the Regions of the Earth, is the only publick Theatre of Justice and Tenderness to Brutes, and all living Creatures; for not confining Murther to the killing of a Man, they Religiously abstain from taking away the Life of the meanest Animal, Mite, or Flea; any of which if they chance wilfully to destroy, nothing less than a very considerable Expiation must Atone for the Offence.

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21. The Bannians have hospitals for animals and bugs.

For within a Mile distance from Suratt A Hospital for old Cows, Horses, etc. is a large Hospital, supported by the Bannians in its maintenance of Cows, Horses, Goats, Dogs, and other Animals diseas'd, or lame, infirm or decay'd by Age; for when an Ox by, many Years Toil grows feeble, and unfit for any farther Service; lest this should tempt a merciless Owner to take away his Life, because he finds him an unprofitable Burthen, and his Flesh might be serviceable to him when he was dead; therefore the Bannian reprieves his Destiny, either by begging him from the Owner, or by buying of him at a certain Rate, and then places him in the Hospital, where he is rescued from any other Death, but what is due to Nature, and is there attended and fed, 'till he spins out the appoint{e}d customary term of Life. This Chaerity which they extend to Beasts, is accounted by them an act of great Reputation and Virtue; nor can they be reconcil'd to that inhuman Cruelty, which destroys those Creatures [Page 301] which are the Nurses of our Lives, and by whose labour we live at Ease.

Near this Hospital is another built A Hospital for Buggs, Fleas, etc. for the preservation of Buggs, Fleas, and other Vermin, which suck the Blood of Men; and therefore to maintain them with that choice Diet to which they are used, and to feed them with their proper Fare, a poor Man is hired now and then to rest all Night upon the Cot, or Bed, where the Vermin are put, and fasten'd upon it, lest the stinging of them might force him to take his flight before the Morning, and so they nourish themselves by sucking his Blood, and feedin{g} on his Carcass.

Once a Year the charitable Bannian prepares A Feast for Flies. a set Banquet for all the Flies that are in his House, and sets down before them, upon the Floor or Table, large shallow Dishes of sweet Milk and Sugar mixt together, the most delicious Fare of that liquorish little Creature.

At other times he extends his Liberality Their Charity to the Pismires. to the Pismires, and walks with a Bag of Rice under his Arm, two or three Miles forward into the Country, and stops, as he proceeds, at each Ant-

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Hill that he meets with, to leave behind him his Benevolence, a handful or two of Rice straw'd upon the Ground, which is the beloved Dainty on which the hungry Pismires feed, and their best reserve and store in time of need.

Therefore they never taste the flesh of any thing that has breath'd the common Air, nor pollute themselves with feeding on any thing endued with Life; and are struck with astonishment at the voratious Appetites of the Christians, who heap whole Bisks of Fish upon their Tables, and sacrifice whole Hecatombs of Animals to their Gluttony. No tasting of Flesh. They cannot be tempted, either by the delicacy of the Food, or for prevention of either Sickness or Death, to so enormous an Offence as the tasting of Flesh. Vegetable products, and the Milk of Cattle, Rice, and other sorts of Grane, which Nature affords in plenty, and they with Innocence can enjoy, is the lawful Nourishment they delight in; nor will they be induced, by the meer indulgence of their Appetites, to make their Tables Altars of Luxury and Excesses, no more than [Page 303] the original Inhabitants of the World, whom Antiquity supposes not to have been Carnivorous, nor to have tasted Flesh in those first Ages, but only to have fed upon Fruits and Herbs.

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22. There is no coal in Suratt, so wood is used for fuel.

Wood is the only combustible matter No Coals in India. in Suratt, which is commonly made use of in the Kitchin, either by Indian or European, for boiling and roasting their Victuals. Some of the more poor Natives make Fires of dried Cow-Dung. There is not any Necessity of Fuel in private Apartments, the great Globe of Light is the universal Fire all over India, which cherishes and keeps them warm without any Expence of Chimneys or of Hearths in their Lodging-Rooms. Wood [h]ere bought by Weight. The Fire-Wood is bought in the Bazar by Weight, for so much the Seer, and is brought home by Servants. And every Roupie which the Servant lays out in buying either this or any other Goods, he peremptorily demands back for his own use a Couple of Pice from the Seller.

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23. A Caravansaray, or Inn, in Suratt.

In A Caravansaray. the middle of the City is built a noble spacious Caravansaray, or Inn, for the Convenience of Merchants that are Strangers, and resort hither for Traffick, where they may decently repose at Night. For here are no Publick Houses No Houses of Entertainment. for the Entertainment of Guests or Travellers, lest the Jealousie of the Husbands should be rais'd concerning their Wives and Daughters, by the frequency of such Temptations. And upon this Account, all Men whose Affairs call them into the Country, either take care of providing their own Victuals, or commit that Charge to their Peons and Attendants, to make it ready for them at their Resting-places by Day, [Page 313] or in the Fields where they sleep at Night.

As the heat of the Sun, when it is in the Meredian, is very apt to pall the Appetite, and dissipate that warmth and Heat of the Stomach, which is proper for Digestion; so the Bannians and Their times of Eating, are the Morning and the Evening. Moors, to prevent that inconvenience, change their Repasts to other Seasons of the Day, and take their Collations about 8 or 9 in the Morning, and at 4 or 5 in the Afternoon. And often at Midnight, after their nocturnal Embraces, they recover their Spirits by some nourishing Food, to excite them again to fresh Amours.

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24. "All things cheap at Suratt."

The meanest Female in Suratt is not wholly destitute of Ornaments upon her Body, though she be able to spend no more than two or three Pice a day. For Herbs (which are the common All things cheap at Suratt. Food of the Poor) are here in plenty, and bought at very low Rates,which encourages the daily Labourers to work for very low Wages. And the moderate Barber (which is not the meanest Profession) shaves the Beard, and cuts the Hair, picks the Ears, and pairs the Nails, all for one Pice or two.

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25. A violent pestilence.

A tedious Pestilence at Suratt. Six Years are now elapsed since a violent Pestilence first broke out among the Indians at Suratt, and has raged without interruption from the time of its first rise, tho not always with equal fury; for as it had some sort of Interval, in the times of the Mussouns, which cool'd the Air; so its greatest Paroxysms were always immediately before, and after that Season of the Year. Before the Rains fall, the Air is extreme dry and parching, and when they are fallen, such store of hot unwholsome vapours are rais'd and scatter'd in the Air, that they give Birth to more Diseases, than all the Year besides produces. Above an Hundred Gentiles in one of these Seasons were carried out of the Gates of this City one Morning to be Burnt, besides the Moors which were carried off by the Plague, and those of both Casts which died in the Suburbs; which by a very modest Calculation will a- [Page 348] mount to the number of 300 a Day. And yet the Inhabitants are very numerous still, the Streets populous, and there is but little appearance of any such An Earthquake. violent Destruction of the Natives. Before the Eruption of this Pestilence, there happen'd a small Earthquake, which alarm'd the People, but without the Ruin of Houses, or mortal effect to any Inhabitant. But that which creates The wonderful Preservation of the English from the Plague. the greatest Admiration in the Moors, and not a little Joy in the English, is our escaping all this while the direful Influence of this mortal Disease, so that not one English man was ever yet affected by it. This makes the Heathens cry out, that God is among us, whilst they observe whole Families of their own swept away, without the least Infection touching any one of our Nation; they observe those menial Servants that attend us, both constantly in our Chambers, and in all publick places, falling Dead within a few Hours after they have left our presence; and both the Wives and Children of these persons that wait upon us, languishing at home of this Pestilential Sickness, whilst we all escape its hor- [Page 349] rid Mortal Blasts. And tho' I cannot in this case but ascribe something to second Causes, to the generous Wines and costly Dishes, to the strength of that Aliment whereon we feed; yet when I consider how languid and feeble several of the English are at sometimes of the Year, and notwithstanding their Food, much less vigorous and Athletick in their Bodies than the Indians, and therefore less able to repel a contagious Disease; I think there is some Reason for the Pious Opinion of the Indians, and that the Almighty displays an extraordinary Power in our Preservation.

From Balsera we received Advice, in A violent Plague at Balsera. the Year 1691, that Two Hundred Thousand People, in Eighteen Days time, were taken away by a sweeping Pestilence; but it soon abated its Rage, and the violence of it shorten'd its continuance.

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TWO Miles distant from Suratt, Pulparrock, frequented by the Faquirs. is a very delightful place, nam'd Pulparrock, adorn'd with pleasant Walks and Groves of Trees, near the gentle Streams of the River Tappy. The Ground is all very even, except only near the Banks of the River, where the rising Hills enlarge the prospect upon the Water. And the Hot Air is temper'd by the shady Walks under the spreading Branches, and the nearness of the Current of the Water glideing by. For these Religious Santones , [Page 360] here, as well as in Europe, are industrious in culling out the most delightful Habitations in the Country, and taking up their Abode where ever either Art or Nature Invite their Residence by a commodious pleasant Dwelling. For there is not any place near Suratt, that yields either the Beauty, or the Delight that Pulparrock affords.

The The Original of the Faquirs. Original of these Holy Mendicants is ascrib'd, according to their Account, to a certain Prince named Revan, who quarrell'd with Ram, a Knowing and Victorious Prince; and being Conquer'd and depriv'd of all by a certain Ape named Herman, or Hanneman, which was his Assistant on Earth, spent the remainder of his Days in Pilgrimage, and rambling, without any Maintenance either to himself or his Followers, but what was given them in Charity: It was for the good Services done to The Indian's respect for Apes. Ram in his Life time by the Apes, that they are in so great Esteem both with the Moors and Gent[il]es in the Indies; and this arch unlucky Creature is in that Repute among them all, that they seriously declare, were the Blood of one of them spilt upon the Ground, the [Page 361] Earth would suddenly become unfruitful, and the Judgment upon it would be at least a Years Famin. And therefore when a large Ape had broke loose from the English Factory at Suratt, and skipping to and fro' had snatch'd away several things of value, and in his Anger had bit a Child or two so sorely, that they afterwards died of the Wounds, (as it was reported,) yet was it an inexcusable Crime at the same time for any violent Hand to touch him.

These Philosophical Saints have since The Rudeness of the Faquirs. the first forming of their Order, assum'd a liberty of taking that by violence, which they find is denied their civil Requests, and sometimes force a Charity from the People, when Intreaties cannot prevail, especially in the Country Villages. For their numbers render them imperious, and upon pretension of extraordinary Sanctity, they commit a thousand Villanies unbecoming their Profession. They imitate the Romish Orders in Vows of Piety and Celibacy, and in their Pretensions to a strange Intimacy, and prevailing Interest with Heaven. Thus they endeavour to raise their Veneration and [Page 362] Respect; thus they acquire constant Homage and Address, daily Applications, and large Presents from the People. And some, by a seeming neglect of themselves, indulge their Bodies, and pamper their Ambition the more.

They Their filthiness. are called Faquirs by the Natives, but Ashmen commonly by us, because of the abundance of Ashes with which they powder their Heads, and mix with their Hair, which falls down sometimes to the middle of their Backs. They use no Pillabers to repose their Heads on, but lay them unconcernedly upon the Ground, where they gather a constant supply of Dust and Filth, which makes them (in their Opinion) of a very becoming appearance, because it is squalid, but gives the Ascetick or votary in our Eyes a very disagreeable and sordid Aspect.

Of The Immodesty of some Faquirs. this Persuasion and kind of life, are several sorts both among the Gentiles and the Moors; some of whom shew their Devotion by a shameless appearance, and walking naked, without the least Rag of Cloaths to cover them. And even at Mid-day, and in the heart of the City, and places of chief Con- [Page 363] course, will they walk the Streets, as shameless and unconcern'd, as if they were Cloathed all over. The constant sight of them in the City, which offers it self at every turn, abates that bashfulness in the Spectators, which such an immodesty might be apt to create, and diverts neither Sex from their Society, from a familiar Conversation and Intimacy with them; and Custom has wore off all that Coyness even in the Women, which would be startled at such an immodest Spectacle at first.

Others make solemn Vows of continuance The several tormenting Postures of these Faquirs. in such and such kind of Postures all the days of their life, and will never move from them or alter them, tho' the Pains are never so violent, which seem to be attended with so much Torture, as would even force them to forbear. For these are Penitentiaries in earnest, without any Mask or possible appearance of Deceit, and voluntarily mortifie their Limbs, and distort their Joints to a perfect Dislocation. For by the Delusions of Satan, these infatuated Votaries are possessed with a wretched Opinion of making themselves unspeakably happy hereaf- [Page 364] ter by these insufferable Torments here: And the Enemy of Mankind, impatient of Delays in exercising his infernal Cruelty, persuades them to undergo these Torments which will end in making them Meritorious Saints, and that by these horrid Punishments they may secure a future larger Bliss.

Among these violent Postures, some I observ'd with both their Arms stretcht out toward Heaven continually, which they never let fall, and are therefore by long use grown so much into that Position, that by long continuance it begins to grow Natural, and without Violence they cannot move them downward. The Nails from their Fingers too, are grown beyond the Paws of any Lyon, into three or four Inches length, (by an Opinion which they have imbibed, like that of the Emperour of Japan, who, after his Coronation, is deterr'd from permitting either Razor or Scissers to come near his Hair or Nails,) upon a Persuasion that it is a kind of Sacriledge in those cases to cut them.

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Others, as devout as these, gaze with their Eyes continually toward Heaven, by holding their Faces, directly upwards. They throw their Heads so far backwards between their Shoulders, that their Eyes can never behold any other Object but the Stars and Sky, whither with unwearied Earnestness they look continually, delighted as it were with the pleasant sight of the blessed Regions above, and loath to cast their Eyes upon any thing of this vile and wicked World. But before their Eyes can be thus fixt, and their Heads setled in this Posture, the Faquirs run thro' much Uneasiness and Trouble, molested both in the Utterance of their Words, and in receiving any Food. And both those who extend their Arms continually towards Heaven, as if they were reaching at that place; and those whose Eyes are constantly fixt upwards, are rendred thereby wholly unserviceable to themselves, and are therefore attended always by a Servant or two, who administer to them in their Necessities, and conduct the gazing Saints to different places of Abode.

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Others there are with their Right Arm brought round the Neck over the left Shoulder, and the Left Arm over the Right Shoulder, and their Fingers clasping one another before their Breasts, with the Palms of their Hands turn'd outwards. This twists the Arms, dislocates the Shoulder-bones, and therefore vexes the Patient with inexpressible Torments.

Some of the Faquirs neither sit, nor ever lie down, but constantly either walk or lean. They lean upon a small Pillow, or Quilt, laid upon a Rope, which hangs down from the Boughs of a Tree, where the two Ends are fast- ned above, and swing in that posture to and fro Day and Night. But when these Faquirs prepare themselves to pray, they change this Gesture, and fasten their Feet in two Ropes that hang down from the Boughs of a Tree, and with their Heels upwards, and their Heads down, as if they were asham'd to lift up their Eyes to Heaven, they pour out their powerful Supplications. And from the Prayers of these humble Saints are expected to flow considerable Blessings, and the prevention of many Mischiefs.

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Some of these devoted Mendicants extend only one Hand toward Heaven, others turn only one Arm round their Shoulders. But they are all in singular Esteem, and religiously resorted to by the Vulgar; and by these Distortions of their Bodies they gain the Repute of Men of perfect Hearts and of upright Minds.

Besides these painful unnatural Postures A savage Custom near Carwar. near Suratt, a savage Custom is still maintain'd by the Gentiles near Carwar, in offering Sacrifice to the God of Plenty, at the Season of the growing Corn. The Bramins at this time kill a Cock, and make an Oblation of his Blood, as was usual with other Heathens; while the People that are concern'd in it are struck with amazing Horror and Consternation, their Faces are writhed, and their Looks ghastly; their Flesh creeps upon them, and their Joints tremble; and to all Men they appear frightful, as if they were possessed; and they own too, that the Devil at that time inhabits them, and a cquaints them with several strange things. After the Sacrifice is past, Six Men, and an equal number of Women, [Page 368] are appointed to perform a Ceremony very dreadful. Upon each side of the Back-bone of the Men are stuck two Iron Hooks into the Flesh, by which they are lifted up to the top of a Pole standing out like a Gibbet, above 20 Foot high. This Gibbet is fasten'd to an Engine with four Wheels, which is drawn upon the Ground above a Mile, with the Men hanging upon the Tenters all the way. The Women have each of them a sort of Bason upon their Heads, upon which are set Six Cups as large as Tea-Cups, one upon another, with Fire in each of them, which being very tottering, makes the Women exceding careful how they tread; lest if they slip, and thereby any Cup falls, or the Fire be shaken out of any, the Woman forfeits her Life, and is sentenc'd to immediate Death. But if with Care and Dexterity they go thro' with the Walk as far as the Men, they then are safe, and the Solemnity ceases. And notwithstanding all the tediousness of the Passage, and the jogging of the Carriage whereon they hang, which one would think would force the Hooks to tear the Flesh in pieces; yet will the [Page 369] Men, poor miserable Wretches! take Swords and brandish them in their Hands, as it were, in defiance of their Torments all the way{.}

The Faquirs resort sometimes together in great numbers, and live upon the Spoil and Alms of the Country, as they pass in their Pilgrimage. If they find the People unwilling to give, they audaciously demand, and that not in the humble strain for a Pice or two, but sawcily beg a Roupie. One of these A Story of a sawcy Faquir. Mendicants in a petulant Humour, impudently requested from an English President, whom he met abroad, twenty Roupies. The President to humour his Forwardness and Impudence, offer'd him Nineteen, which he magnanimously refused, because he thought it unbecoming his Greatness, to sink a Farthing below his first demands.

Of these Imperious Godly Beggars, I have seen an hundred (at least) of them in a Company, seated under a shady Grove of Trees, rejoycing at a publick Entertainment, which was prepar'd by a leading Man of their Company. I observ'd that they drunk very freely of Bang, steep'd in Water, while [Page 370] I stood among them, whose Intoxicating quality is very apt to disturb the Brain. The Faquirs very orderly at their Feasts Which made me enquire whether such Jovial Meetings were not apt to end in Madness and Quarrels; and the Excess of that Liquor, by kindling an unruly Heat, disturb their Spirits, and convert their friendly Meetings into feuds and discords, and mischievous Debates? To which they answer'd, That they took care of preserving Peace and Amity, and as much decency and order at these times of Mirth, as at their ordinary Meetings; for which end, they chose a number from among themselves, who were totally debarr'd from Drinking, and were Censors upon others, to inspect their Carriage, and interpose in their Disputes, to restrain them from all exorbitant Mirth, and excessive Drinking.

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27. AN ACCOUNT OF THE English Factory AT SURATT.

THE English East-India Company The yearly Expence of the Company. (from an Account we have of it in a Pamphlet concerning their Trade) are at the Annual Expence of one hundred Thousand Pounds. For they esteem it necessary, as well for the [Page 386] Honour of the English Nation, as facilitating of their Traffick, to maintain their principal Servants in India, not only in Decency, but Splendor, as is visible to any that has travell'd either to Suratt, or the Fort of St. George, to Gombrone in Persia, or Bengal. These are the chief places of Note and Trade, where their Presidents and Agents reside, for the support of whom, with their Writers and Factors, large Privileges and Salaries are allowed.

The several parts of India have each their peculiar Commodities proper to them, which are bought up, and made ready by the Companies Servants, to load upon their Ships at their Arrival. And The necessity of English Factors in India. were not the English constantly upon this Account kept in those parts, the other European Nations would soon fill up all our vacant Factories, and so monopolize the Indian Trade, that not only the Spice Islands would be their darling Propriety, but all Indian Commodities as well as Spices, Silks, Callicoes, Drugs, Precious Stones, etc. should (within a while) be apt to bear what Rates in Europe they thought fit to lay upon them. For accomplishing [Page 387] which design, some People have already some time ago, profer'd to the Great Mogul the advancement of his Customs at Suratt, to a much higher Rate than now they are at, upon condition of Establishing that intire Trade upon them. And both by large Presents, and by raising of the Price of Pepper upon the Coast of Malabar, they have indefatigably endeavour'd a total subversion of our Trade therein among the Natives. Therefore the continuance of Factors in India by a Company, seems very necessary and just; and were this practice once withdrawn, the Indian Trade to England, would probably soon be remov'd too. For other means would soon be projected for accomplishing what Bribes and Presents to the Mogul and his Officers could not effect, by which those that secur'd the Trade for themselves, would soon find a Way of stopping all Traffick from theIndies, but what came through their Hands. Therefore are our Presidents oblig'd continually to watch their Motions in India, and observe their Designs, to countermine their Projects, and grati- fie not only the Mogul now and then, [Page 388] with grateful Gifts, but likewise to be always upon the same method with the Omrahs and Favorites at Court, ingaging a continuance of their Favours.

This makes those that are concern'd in the Trade of India think fit, that this necessary Expence of Factors for continuance of the Indian Trade to England, should be recompens'd with some publick Priviledges for its support. And that therefore the private Advantage which grows from this great Care and Cost, should not easily be checkt and discourag'd, especially considering likewise that the securing the Traffick in the power of the English from Foreign Designers, contributes not a little to the common good, especially if thereby their Ships be enabled to come home in good Fleets, as the Dutch do, which would thereby the better secure them from the common Enemy the French, that they might not be so easily Seiz'd to the publick Damage of the Nation.

The The House where the Factors live. House provided for the Entertainment of the English at Suratt belongs to the Mogul, and is fitted with the best Accommodations of any in the City. It is situated in the North-West [Page 389] part of it, and is able to give convenient Lodgings to forty Persons, besides several decent Apartments to the President. Our Land-lord Aureng-Zebe is extreme kind and liberal in permitting us to expend the Rent, which is 60 l. Yearly, either in Beautifying, Repairing, or in additional Rooms to the House, so that he seldom receives much Rent from us. It is built with the Convenience of several Cellars, and Ware-houses, of a Tanque of Water, and an Humhum.

The President of the Northern Parts The Priviledge of Traffick allow'd the President and Factors of India resides here, who is dignified frequently with the Government of Bombay, and invested with the Title of Honourable. A few Years stay here has rais'd several of the Presidents to Plentiful Estates, who besides their Salaries, which is 300 per An. and several Advantages by the Ships, are permitted a free Trade to all the parts of the East. This is indulg'd likewise to all the Companies Servants of what station soever, which is a Favour attended with considerable Benefit, suits well with the freedom of an English Subject, and is a profitable Blessing for which the Dutch Factors [Page 390] are earnest Supplicants, and from which they are very strictly restrain'd.

The The Council. Accountant succeeds the President, next to him is the Store-keeper, and to him the Purser Marine. These four constitute the Council, among whom the President has a double Vote; and all Cases and Affairs relating to the Company, or their Servants, are debated and determin'd by them.

The Advancements according to every ones standing. Secretary, tho' none of the Council, yet always attends their Orders and Consultations, and stands Candidate for the first Vacancy among them; to which all are gradually advanc'd according to the Seniority of their time or Station; except the Authority of the Company interposes in their Earlier Exaltation, which they seldom attempt, because as the other method is most equitable, so they find it most suitable to their Affairs and Interest.

The Chaplain, who is respected as third in the Factory, the Senior and Junior Factors, the Writers and Apprentices make up the rest. These all remain in their various Stations, for three or five Years, or as many as they and the Company have agreed upon at their [Page 391] first coming out, before they rise to new Degrees, as from Apprentice to Writer, from Writer to Factor. And every step they take in Promotion, the Company raises their Salary, and allows them some new Privilege. They all have given to them their Diet and Lodging gratis by the Company, besides Wages, and the advantagious liberty of Trafick to all parts, wherein from China to Su- ratt, they commonly make Cent per Cent; they can sometimes mak{e} 50 per Cent. from thence, if they only carry out Silver and bring home Gold: And those among them that are Persons of Credit and Esteem, but of small Fortunes, may borrow from the Bannians Money for China at 25 per Cent. and that only to be paid upon the safe Arrival of the Ship, which if it miscarries in the Voyage, they are exempt from all damage. To some parts their Gains amount to more, to some they are less, according to the distance of Ports, and opportunities of Trade.

For dispatching of the Companies Affairs, Several Peons maintain'd by the Company. and attending on the President and Council, there are kept always in the Companies Pay, Forty or Fifty Pe- [Page 392] ons, who wait daily upon the President in the Morning, that they may receive his Commands for the Service of the Day; and appear before him in a Body in the Evening, to pay him their Homage, who then (at his pleasure) with a Nodd dismisses them to their Homes in the City. Besides these, the President is allowed for his personal Attendance several others, the Accountant or second is allowed two, the Minister, and the rest of the Council, and the Secretary, each of them one.

The whole Business and Concern of all is zealously to promote the Honour and Interest of the Companies Affairs, in maintaining their Reputation, and vending their Commodities at as high Rates, and buying for them others at as low as they can.

The The Salaries and Wages of the Companies Servants. President and all the rest of the Society are paid their Salaries once a Year; the Second 120 l. the Senior Factors who are of the Council, 40 l. the Junior Factors 15 l. the Writers 7 l. Besides which, the Council and Secretary have several advantagious Perquisites belonging to their places. The Peons receive their Wages every Month, which are four Roupies to each, and six [Page 393] to their Captain. At the beginning of the Month they give their Attendance, and respect; address themselves first to the Moon, and then to the President, who then appoints the Steward to discharge their Accounts.

Lest any thing of value might be lost The honesty of the Peons. in the Factory, thro' this multitude of Peons who are called to their Service there continually, the Butlers are injoin'd to take an account of the Place each Night before they depart home, that they might be examin'd before they stir, if ought be wanting. But their Honesty is our security from being damag'd by any Theft, which has not been charg'd upon them in the Factory these many Years: Nay, such is the approved Honesty and Fidelity of these Servants to our Affairs, that whenever the President designs to run the Custom of a considerable Sum of Gold or Silver, he commits the secret to some of these Peons, who manage it dextrously, and are Faithful to a Roupie.

Without Liberty from the President, None permitted to lie without the Factory. none are permitted to leave the Factory, to lie abroad, or depart into the Country; and the Porter who attends the [Page 394] Gate both Day and Night, keeps all from Entring into our Precincts, whose admittance he judges may not be proper. But each Thursday Night he craves leave of going home, because he is a Moor-man and Married, and he fears that the neglecting a Visit to his Wife for more than a Week, might give an occasion of Complaint. Therefore on this Night the Poor Man that beg in the Streets commonly do it in the prevailing Stile of Jimroot sab, Jimroot sab; intimating as much as, Sir, since this is Thursday Night, let me (I pray you) partake something of your Bounty, as a means the better to inable my Kindness to my Wife.

Each A publick Table. Day there is prepar'd a Publick Table for the Use of the President and the rest of the Factory, who sit all down in a publick place according to their Seniority in the Companies Service. The Table is spread with the choicest Meat Suratt affords, or the Country thereabouts; and equal plenty of generous Sherash Wine, and Arak Punch, is serv'd round the Table. Several hundreds a Year are expended upon their daily Provisions which are sumptuous enough for [Page 395] the Entertainment of any Person of Eminence in the Kingdom; and which require two or three Cooks, and as many Butchers to dress and prepare them. But Europe Wines and English Beer, because of their former Acquaintance with our Palates, are most coveted and most desirable Liquors, and tho' sold at high Rates, are yet purchased and drunk with pleasure. A Wealthy Indian who was curious to see our manner of Eating, and desirous to please himself with the Pride of our E{n}tertainments, was strangely amaz'd and surpriz'd at the opening of a Bottle of Bottled Drink, when he saw it froth and fly about. The President askt him what it was that struck him with such Admiration? which was not, he told him, the sight of the Drink flying out of the Bottle, but how such Liquor could ever be put in.

The President and Council only meet The President and Council, only meet at Supper. at Supper, for the maintenance of a Friendly Correspondence, and to discourse of the Companies Business, and prevent all Jealousies and Animosities which might obstruct the publick Affairs from that Progress, which a joint Unanimous Affection might carry them [Page 396] on with. For the Current of the common Interest has been sometimes very much lessen'd and diverted by the unhappy Intervention of private misunderstandings and Quarrels. And tho' it has been a repeated Contrivance of some leading Men, to play their Servants in India one against another, and to set them as Spies of each others Actions, yet I'm sure the publick Affairs have suffer'd when the Design has been unmask'd, and the Jealous Eye has been awaked. For nothing vexes a Man of Honour, and who is conscious of his own Integrity more, than to find himself suspected of Dishonesty, and Designs laid by those to intrap him in his Actions, who have the least Reason in the World to distrust his Fidelity.

Both before and after Meals, a Peon appointed for that purpose, attends with a large Silver Ewer and Bason, for those that sit down to wash their Hands; which at both times is a Decency in all places, but here necessary, because of the Heat and Dust which are so very troublesome. All the Dishes and Plates pure Silver. All the Dishes and Plates brought to the Table are of pure Silver, massy and Substantial; and such are al- [Page 397] so the Tosses or Cups out of which we drink. And that nothing may be wanting to please the Curiosity of every Palate at the times of Eating, an English, Portuguese, and an Indian Cook, are all entertain'd to dress the Meat in different ways for the gratification of every Stomach. Palau, that is Rice boil'd Several sorts of Indian Dishes. so artificially, that every grain lies singly without being added together, with Spices intermixt, and a boil'd Fowl in the middle, is the most common Indian Dish; and a dumpoked Fowl, that is, boil'd with Butter in any small Vessel, and stuft with Raisons and Almonds, is another. Cabob, that is, Bief or Mutton cut into small pieces, sprinkled with Salt and Pepper, and dipt with Oil and Garlick, which have been mixt together in a Dish, and then roasted on a Spit, with sweet Herbs put between every piece, and stuft in them, and basted with Oil and Garlick all the while, is another Indian Savory Dish. Bambou and Mangoe Achar, and Souy the choicest of all Sawces, are always ready to whet the Appetite. The Natives at Suratt are much taken with Assa Fætida, which they call Hin, and [Page 398] mix a little of it with the Cakes that they eat, which tho' very unpalatable and unsavoury, yet because they esteem it beyond all things healthful, the English are tempted sometimes to taste it. The whole City sometimes smells very strong of the nauseating Vapours which flow from that abundance that is eat in it.

Upon The Great Entertainments on publick Days. Sundays and publick Days, the Entertainments keep up a Face of more Solemnity, and are made more large and splendid, Deer and Antilopes, Peacocks, Hares, Partridges, and all kind of Persian Fruits, Pistachoes, Plumbs, Apricocks, Cherries, etc. are all provided upon high Festivals; and European as well as Persian Wines are drunk with Temperance and Alacrity. Then the King's Health, and afterwards that of the Companies, are sent round the Table to the lowest Writer that sits down. When the Banquett is past, they generally divert themselves for a while with some Innocent easie Recreation.

The The state the President goes abroad in. President upon Solemn Days generally invites the whole Factory abroad to some pleasant Garden adja- [Page 399] cent to the City, where they may sit shaded from the Beams of the Sun, and refresht by the Neighbourhood of Tanques and Water-works. The President and his Lady are brought hither in Palanquins, supported each of them by six Peons, which carry them by four at once on their Shoulders. Before him at a little distance, are carried two large Flaggs, or English Ensigns, with curious Persian or Arabian Horses of State, which are of great value, Rich in their Trappings, and gallantly equipt that are led before him.

The Furniture of these, and several other Horses, whereon the Factors Ride, is very costly; the Saddles are all of Velvet richly Embroider'd, the Head-stalls, Reins, and Croupers are all cover'd with solid wrought Silver. The Captain of the Peons at this time ascends his Horse, and leads forty or fifty others after him, which attend the President on foot,. Next the President follow the Council in large Coaches, all open, except their Wives are in them; the several Knobbs about them are all covered with Silver, and [Page 400] they are drawn by a Pair of stately Oxen. After them succeed the rest of the Factors, either in Coaches, or Hackeries, or upon Horses, which are kept by the Company to accommodate their President, and People at these times, or whenever they fancy to take the Air. In this pompous Procession does the President, when he goes abroad, travel thro' the Heart of the City.

The Evenings and the Mornings being allay'd with moderate Breezes, and cool and temperate in respect of the Heat when the Sun is at the Height, invite the Factors daily almost to the Groves or Gardens near the Water side, there to spend an Hour or two with a Bottle of Wine, and cold Collation The Natives respects to the English because of the state maintain'd by them. which they carry with them. And neither the Chaplain nor any of the Council stir without the Walls of the City without the attendance of four or five Peons upon the Coach. This creates a Respect from the Natives as they pass along, strikes them with a Regard to the English wherever they meet them; makes them value our Friendship, and place an Honour in our Intimacy and Acquaintance. The

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Probity and Grandeur of the English Living hath formerly rais'd the Presidency of Suratt to that Veneration and Esteem, among the Native Inhabitants, that it has Eclips'd the greatness of their own Government, by incouraging the Injur'd and Distress'd Indians, to apply themselves for Relief, rather to our President, than their Governour. The Factors sometimes eat lying.

The Factors when they eat at Home, do it after the English manner, but abroad they imitate the Customs of the East in lying round the Banquet upon the Persian Carpets which are spread upon the Ground, twenty or thirty Foot in length.

For the Buying and more advantagious The Companies Brokers. disposing of the Company's Goods, there are Brokers appointed, who are of the Bannian Cast, skilled in the Rates and Value of all the Commodities in India. To these is allow'd threeper Cent. for their Care and Trouble. And once The Dually time. a Year, which is their Grand Festival Season, called the Dually time, they have a Custom, much like that of our New-Years-gifts, of presenting the President and Council, the Minister, Surgeon, and all the Factors and Writers with

[Page 402]

something valuable, either in Jewels or Plate, Atlasses, or other Silks, according to the Respect which they owe to every Man's Station. Whereby the Young Factors besides their Salaries, Diet and Lodgings, are supplyed likewise with Cloaths sufficient for their Service a great part of the Year. Which things prevent their Necessity of any great Annual Expence, and happily contribute towards giving them a Life of Delight and Ease. Besides these Gratuities, the Minister and Surgeon seldom fail of the President's Bounty at the Christmas Season; and whenever there is occasion for either of their Services, they commonly meet with very liberal Returns.

If A Doctor and a Surgeon provided for the Factory. either a Disease, or any unlucky Casualties should happen to any in the Factory, the President has provided an Indian Doctor of Physick, and an English Surgeon to take care of them. The Surgeon, whose Salary is about forty Pounds a Year, gains considerably too by his outward Practice and Traffick. And whatever Medicinal Drugs, or Unguents, Balsoms, or Spirits are thought necessary for prevention or healing of Diseases and Sores, they are presently [Page 403] A Minister of the Factory. acquir'd, and charg'd upon the Company's Account; that their Factors might in all things be nicely taken care of, and not destitute of any thing for the support of either Life or Health.

And that their Souls might not be neglected amidst all this Affluence and Ease, and care of their Bodies, there is a stated Salary of an Hundred Pounds a Year appointed for a Minister, with Diet and convenient Lodgings, a Peon to attend him in his Chamber, and the command of a Coach, or Horse, at any time he thinks fit to use them. Besides many private Gifts from Merchants and Masters of Ships, who seldom fail of some valuable Oblation to him, or Rarity of the place they come from; and the noble{,} large Gratuities which he constantly receives for officiating at Marriages, Baptisms, and Burials. And that nothing might be wanting to the making of either his Life happy, or his Function Venerable, he is injoin'd from all a civil Deference and Deportment, and a Precedence next to the second in the Factory. And indeed such is the constant obliging Carriage of all to a Man of his Character, that were he the [Page 404] Principal Man of the Province, or Primate of Indoston, he could not wish for more Respect.

The The Ministers Duty. Minister is oblig'd to a publick Discourse once, and publick Prayers thrice on Sunday, and to read Prayers Morning and Evening in the Chappel, each other Day on the Week, viz. about six in the Morning, before the Factors are called forth to Business, and at Eight at Night, when all is past. He is ingag'd to Catechize all the Youth; to visit the subordinate Factories upon the Coast of Malabar, at Carwar, Calicut, Ruttera, etc. and to give Instructions for their Administration of Divine Service in his Absence{.}

The The Chappel. Chappel, where they meet at Prayers, is within the Factory, decently Embellisht, so as to render it both neat and solemn, without the Figure of any living Creature in it, for avoiding all occasion of Offence to the Moors, who are well pleas'd with the Innocence of our Worship.

For want of a Minister qualified for the Administration of Baptism among the Dutch at Suratt, they request that Favour from the English, who performs [Page 405] it for them in their Chappel; which at first sight might be very well taken for a Guard-Chamber, because they keep their Arms in it.

The stately Burying places of the Europeans. The English and all the Europeans are priviledg'd with convenient Repositories for their Dead, within half a Mile of the City. There they endeavour to outvie each other in magnificent Structures and stately Monuments, whose large Extent, beautiful Architecture, and aspiring Heads, make them visible at a remote distance, lovely Objects of the sight, and give them the Title of the Principal Ornaments and Magnificencies about the City. The two most celebrated Fabricks among the English, set off with stately Towers and Minorets, are that which was Erected for Sir John Oxonton, and the other for the Renown'd and Honourable President Aungers. The two most noted among the Dutch, is one, a noble Pile rais'd o- ver the Body of the Dutch Commissary, who died about three Years ago; and another less stately, but more fam'd; built by the order of a Jovial Dutch Commander, with three large Punch-Bowls upon the top of it, for the En- [Page 406] tertainment and Mirth of his surviving Friends, who remember him there sometimes so much, that they quite forget themselves.

Lest all the Care and Instruction of a Minister might be inavailable for reclaiming the Dissolute and Refractory among the English, the Company have interpos'd their own Authority, and publisht their Orders and Injunctions in these following words.

The The Company's Instructions.Governour, Deputy, and Committees of the East-India Company, having been inform'd of the disorderly and Unchristian Conversation of some of their Factors and Servants in the parts of India, tending to the dishonour of God, the discredit of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the shame and Scandal of the English Nation: And being desirous, as much as in them lies, for the future to prevent the like, and reduce all their People in their several Factories and Colonies, not only to a Civil, but also to a Religious and Pious Comportment, that may render our Nation Honourable, and the Religion we profess amiable in the sight of those Heathens, among whom they reside: Have thought fit to re- [Page 407] quire and enjoin a strict observation of the ensuing Rules and Orders, to which they do expect from all their Factors and Servants a due compliance.

Then after some Rules enjoining a strict Observance of Sundays, and of publick and private Prayers, this follows. That the Agents and Chiefs in their several Factories, take care to prevent all prophane Swearing, and taking the Name of God in vain by cursed Oaths; all Drunkenness and Intemperance, all Fornication and Uncleanness; and that if any will not be Reform'd, and do not abstain from these Vices, but after Admonition and Reprehension, shall be found faulty again, that then such Punishment shall be inflicted on them, consisting with the Laws of God and this Kingdom, as the Agent and Council shall find their Crime to deserve. And that if after such Punishment inflicted, he or they will not amend, or be reform'd, then the Agent is strictly enjoin'd and requir'd, to send home for England by the next Ships, such Person or Persons so unreclaimable, that they may not remain in India, to the dishonour of God, the Scandal of Religion, the discredit of our Nation, and perverting of others.

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And that both the Company and their Servants may be constantly blest with the Favours of Heaven upon them in their respective Stations, therefore they have ordered a Form of Prayer to be used daily in their Factories, for the obtaining a common Blessing upon them all; which is as follows,

The Prayer for the Company. O Almighty and most Merciful God, who art the Sovereign Protector of all that Trust in thee, and the Author of all Spiritual and Temporal Blessings, we thy unworthy Creatures do most humbly implore thy goodness for a plentiful Effusion of thy Grace upon our Employers, thy Servants, the Right Honourable East-India Company of England. Prosper them in all their publick Undertakings, and make them famous and successful in all their Governments, Colonies, and Commerce both by Sea and Land; so that they may prove a publick Blessing by the increase of Honour, Wealth and Power to our Native Country{,} as well as to themselves. Continue their Favours towards us, and inspire their Generals, Presidents, Agents and Councils in these remote parts of the World, and all others that are intrusted with any Authority [Page 409] under them, with Piety towards thee our God, and with Wisdom Fidelity, and Circumspection in their several Stations; That we may all discharge our respective Duties faithfully, and live Virtuously, in due Obedience to our Superiours, and in Love, Peace and Charity one towards another: That these Indian Nations among whom we dwell, seeing our sober and righteous Conversation, may be induc'd to have a just esteem for our most holy Profession of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be Honour, Praise and Glory, now and for ever. Amen.

This is a selection from the original text


animals, authority, charity, climate, crime, entertainment, food, health, plenty, province, punishment, religion, trade, travel, vice, virtue, voyage, wealth

Source text

Title: A Voyage to Suratt

Author: J. Ovington

Publication date: 1696

Original compiled c.1696

Original date(s) covered: 1689

Edition: 1st Edition

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online at http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home. Original compiled c.1696 Original date(s) covered: 1689

Digital edition

Original author(s): J Ovington

Language: English


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > non-fiction prose > travel narratives and reports

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.