Travels of Fray Sebastien Manrique, 1629-1643, Volume II
TRAVELS OF FRAY SEBASTIEN MANRIQUE 1629-1643
TRANSLATION OF THE
ITINERARIO DE LAS MISSIONES ORIENTALE
WITH INTRODUCTION AND
LT. COL. C. ECKFORD LAURD. C.I.F. M.A.
FATHER H. HOSTEN. S.J.
IN TWO VOLUMES
VOL. II; CHINA, INDIA. ETC.
PRINTED FOR THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY
PUBLISHED ForThe Hakluyt Society
1.1. SECTION III
JOURNEY THROUGH INDIA
August 1640 to November 1641
1.1.1. CHAPTER XLIX
[309/1] IN the couteous Jaun Vardad of Crostoncurt's1 boat for such was the Englishman's name we proceeded with sail and oar over four leagues till we came into the mouth of a river. This we entered with great difficulty owing to the sand-banks, being soaked by the lashing and driving waves which the sea raised.
As soon as landed at the port the Englishman with me up to his house, when the Xabandar of that part came to see if we had brought any merchandise with us. As he saw that no duty was leviable on the clothes I had brought in left us. Next day, when the Englishman proposed revisiting the Shim, we found she had gone, and heard later on that as the wind was favourable for entering the Muana of Piple, she had sailed there. He then told me that he was obliged to stay another three or four days to finish some busines, but than when that [Page 96] was completed [309/2] we should start for the City of Arcepur where he would arrange about my route. During this time
we got news from Piple that the Danish ship when entering the Mauna had encountered a sudden change of weather, a beam wind starting to blow accompanied by a fierce storm of rain, thunder, and lightning so that although they put out all the anchor they had the force of the storm was such as to drive the vessel on to some rocks, breaking it into a thousand pieces. Twenty-seven people were drowned, including the Captain and skipper of the Ship. I was no little taken aback by this news, thinking how grateful I should be to God's [Page 97] infinite mercy to me in saving me from this and other great dangers.
When the Englishman had finished his business we went on to the City of Arcepur. This lay eight leages inland, up a river covered over by great, pleasant, shady trees, whose thick branches here and there interlaced [310/1] so as to look like an artificial avenue. This was full of most beautiful peacocks of green screaming parrot, pure shy doves, simple wood-loving pigeons, in quantities which would satisfy the desire of any one addicted to the pursuit of the lovely and chaste Ephesian Goddess, the sister of that false god adored at Delphos by the heathen.2
The Englishman was addicted to his pursuit and carried his handy glittering implements for the volatile chase. On this he spent most of the time during our journey, and ended the day loaded with rewards of his toil.3
On reaching the City of Arcepur we proceeded to examine the best route for me to pursue. After numerous discussions we rejected the route via Goa to Portugal as it involved many inconveniences for the business I had in hand, as well as the length and devious nature of that road as entailing a second journey into India. We settled that it would be best, as I had already gone so far, to continue my journey by land, and crossing through the twelve Kingdoms of Bengala enter Industan [Page 98] by the city and Province of Patana and from there pick up the direct route.
Having decided on taking this course I was obliged to change my dress and adopt [310/2] Mogor costume. The proper clothes were therefore sent for, and I purchased a horse and engaged footmen or attendants and the necessary retinue for travelling in the guise of a Sodagar or merchant. On the fourth of August in the year 1640 I started - it being winter in those parts. I thus left Arcepur, a City in the Kingdom of Ourixa under the Governorship of the Nababo or Viceroy of Cateca, and arrived at Balasor City, in a district of the same Province, on the eight day exactly. We arrives tired out and exhausted both by the heavy rain and also by the constant crossing, and recrossing of the rivers we met. In most cases there were no boats or bridges, and we crossed with water up to our knees, our waists, or even our breasts, and one day we crossed eleven streams at great risk, their currents being swollen and rapid. We were soaked to the skin all the time, and were consequently obliged to stop five days in that City and prepare some felt coats to protect us from the [Page 99] waters of heaven. On learning our route we steered for Balgata a City one hundred and thirty-sevem leagues away, which stood in one of the fertile banks of the Ganges. From that point we were to proceed to Patana.
With this intention, therefore, we left [311/1] the City of Balasor and crossing the river, spent that night in the south of Ramaxandrapur, a small place of no great account. Leaving this place at dawn next day, we were on eight leagues reaching at nightfall the City of Jalasor as important populous trade centre. The chief articles of merchandise are cotton cloth, silk, herbs, much opium and popy-seed, things I have already full described. This city has an excellent Caramossora of moderate size, containing thirty-three rooms. Here we stayed as these places are rent-houses designed for travellers not only in those parts of Bengal, but also in Industan and through the Mogol Empire as well as in Corazane and Persia. They are the refuge and shelter for [Page 100] travellers, weary and exhausted, travelling heated by ague or by the heat which the titanic and glowing Planet causes; or clouds, saturated with moisture from the salt and bitter Ocean, after converting it into sweet soft waters, shower down, fertilizing the uncultivated earth. So after encountering all these troubles does he arrive panting at the longed for inn. In order to fulfill my debt to the curious Reader I shall not continue my narrative until I have given a detailed description of their appearence and control, as well [311/2] as of the arrangements made in them.
Most of these Caramossoras are located on high roads frequented by travellers. They are sometimes erected at the expense of neighbouring villages, sometimes at the cost of Princes or rich and powerful men, who erect them in order to keep their memory green or to satisfy their consciences, and large sums are left for such works, which in their opinion are works of piety and acceptable to God.
They are usually built in a square, like cloisters in a Monastery, and are divided up into dwelling rooms and chambers, with a male or female Regent: for women can [Page 101] also carry on this occupation. These attendanta are called respectively Metres and Materanis. Their business is to keep these rooms free from rubbish and clean and provided with cots, but without bedding which travelleres in these regions almost all carry with them.
The bedsteads are contrudted with strips of woven material two or three inches wide called webbing, or sometimes with ropes of various material. This makes them so pliant that they far surpass those heaps of oversoft mattresses we use in Europe. People carry a Godorim or mattress of cotton, which is light and bulky. Those servants are also entrusted with the preparation of food for guests, as well as doing all the other [312/1] duties essential to comfort within the house even to providing hot water for washing the feet. Hence on reaching a Caramossara all that one has to do is send out and purchase food in the Bazar or market and leave other matters to these attentivev servants. Basides these duties, if the Guests have horses, they are required also to cook mung or chick-pea, whihc is given instead of Barley we feed such animals on in Europe. Throughout the greater part of the Mogol Empire, especially in Bengala and Industan, they feed the horse on a kind of vegetable which is very sustaining and good this, which they call mung, is much superior to [Page 102] lentils. Although lentils are very plentifull, the mung is so good and health giving that it is also given to the sick. It is carefully cooked, allowed to cool down, collected and rolled into pellets, and placed in the mouth. Horses of value, and those especially hard worked, are usually given this food mixed with ghi and jagra, that is sugar well boiled down. This food is not given to them because barley is unprocurable in these parts, but in order to make them very fat and sleek, though it leaves them flabby. This is done because these people are particularly devoted to domestic animals, alleging that they are God's creatures [312/2] and so we are bound to exercise kindness towards those who servev us and obey our behests. There are some who go to such length in showing this consideration that they give dogs wadded cotton coats in winter. In the Kingdom of Gujarat I saw cows and calves clothed in fine coats of this kind, buttoned and tied over their chest and rond their bellies.4
To return to the Metres and Meteranis, who, as I have remarked, are the stewards of these inns or Caramossoras. They are so obliging that they are content with one debua, or at the most two, which is so small a coin that a half real of eight contains fifty-eight debuas, or paisas. Thus, uncivilized and Heathens though they are, they surpass our stable-men and innkeepers of Europe, who, being Christians, are under some obligation to be most moderate i all things outwardly and inwardly. But many of them do exactly the revrese, so that one can gather that they do not consider that they would be efficiently carrying out their duties of their position unless they were wicked and robbed of their substance the wretched travellers who fall into their hands.
Many, indeed, are so villainous as to surpass most uncivilized [Page 103] peoples, whom I have dealth with and described, such as the idolatrotis Heathen and Mammetans. To prove my asserton I will relate what occurred to me in 1645, just before [313/1] I arrived at Rome.
I had returned from the East Indies and after many adventures had arrived, with divine help, at Messina, one of the principal cities of the Kingdom of Sicily, or the chief city as the Messinians allege, and was about to embark for Rome, when a Brother of some age, of the Order of St. Dominic and a native of Messina, cakked Fray Mario Fardela, joined me. We embarked on a vessel for Neptunio, a port in the Ecclesiastical State. Here we heard that there were several vessels lying at the mouth of the Tiber, and therefore we decided to land and, procuring horses, to travel over the thirty-four mile which lay between Neptunio and Rome. It was early in July, the hottest season in those regions, and we were sadly prostrated by the heat and panting for water, especially a boy of nine who helped to look after the old Priest. The Priest took him by hand and kept encouraging him and diverting his thoughts from his thirstiness by saying that we would soon reach an inn where he could drink as much as he liked. So we travelled, occupying ourselves in cheering up the boy till we reached an inn. I was rather in advance, when the Priest coming up to me suggested that I should hold back, as I did not speak Italian, and they might not give me water. I therefor [313/2] halted, and the Priest went on. He saluted the innkeeper, who was standing at the door of his inn, with great courtesy and asked for a little water in the name of charity. The reply given to this polite and simple request was that if they wished to eat he would give them water, and though the Priest replied most courteously and persuasively, nothing would soften his adamantine heart. [Page 104] I, as I stood aside, was astonished on hearing and seeing that so heard-hearted a man could exist in the land of Latium.
What increased my surprise to the highest pitch and left me aghast, was that when the poor old man went uo leading the boy I have mentioned by the hand, who was beseeching the Father, with tears to give him some water, and he stood before the inhuman innkeeper and after saluting him begged him for water for the innosent booy, he replied that the water had to be brought from a long way off and was only given to those who ate. The kindly and unhappy Priest then offered him a baioque, about four maravedis in our money. This and the boy's tears, the one joined with the other, he supposed would influence the innkeeper to show the pity which he expected him to possess as a Christian. But he was mistaken. So I saw at the very doors of sacred Rome what I never met with, and never could have met with, in all the different uncivilized countries and peoples of Asia. That this first petty matter should not disturb me too much, Fortune decreed that as we were making our entry through the gate of St. Sebastian [314/1] we should meet, in the commander and captain of the guard on that gate, one so devoid of intelligence that in this and also in his acts he might well be compared to the most uncouth and civilized Barbarian of frigid Scythia.
As soon as he saw us approach, some time before we had reached the gate and came within the limits of his control, he came out to see what we had with us, and went into an inn at which we had halted for that night, as it had fallen suddenly on us before we noticed it. Here this fine guardian of the public and his companion extorted so much from us and insulted us to such an extent that a detailed account would take up too much space. So we will end this episode, kind Reader, in giving our general explanation of such behaviour by quoting the words of the saintly and sweet-voiced Bernard "Quid de populo loquar? Populus Romanus est."
1.1.2. CHAPTER I
[314/1] AFTER leaving the City of Gelasore we made our way with considerable difficulty, owing to the heavy mud and the swamps we met with on the road, so that though it was only seven leagues from Gelasor, we were unable to reach the City of Narangor that evening, and had to pass the night in a small Heathen village a little off our direct route. More over, as we were people of a different faith, [314/2] who eat fowls, as well as cows and pigs flesh, they were unable to admit us to their houses, since according to their Pagan religion they would then have become ipso facto unclean and impure. We were therefore obliged to seek refuge in a cow shed, which was by no means overclean, thought this was not our worst complaint, since multitudes of mosquitoes gave us no chance of resting our weary, way-ward bodies, still in spite of these drawbacks, we were palentifully supplied with rice, ghi, and other food made with milk, at a vey low price. Each of [315/1] us, however, before he could increase his supply of fresh blood through this food, was obliged to let these importunate insects extract with their delicate lancels the old blood which was perhaps present in excess. Thi together with their harsh, unmelodious harmony, forced us to pass the [Page 106] pass the whole night without any fuel and wished for slumber, supperforce keeping which we eagerly awaited the arrival of Aurora. She arrived at last but only to increase our woes, as she appeared with flashes of thunder and lightning accompanied by such heavy rain that this very hot country was as we saw, covered with water in a few hours. WWe were therefore obliged to arm ourselves with patience and wait till the next day, when we should have some one to lead us by a drier road. Meanwhile as the nenmies of the night had retired before the light of day into their obscure retreats, we all of us had an opportunity of giving rein to the sleep so baddy wanted, and pay the accustomed tribute to our frail nature. But few hours of ease by twice as many of restlessness. Now, as the boying palace we inhabited was little, or indeed not at all, in good repair as regarded as doors and windows, peacocks, doves and pigeons used to enter and take every advantage [315/2] of the ample privileges accorded by that Heathen sect to wild animals which thus become tame and enter into their houses. These Barbarians thus prove, by the security with which these animals enter, how observant and punctilious they are in adhering to their false dogmas.
But these animals had made a mistake on the occasion, since they foundthe stable secured by very different people; on the one hand by those who follow the true ZGospel, and on the other by believers in the false doctrine of the Alcoran. But we both were at one in the opinion that we could wothout sin slay such animals and eat their fleash. The first man to wake up, who was a follower of the false Hagarene Eycurgus, cast his eyes and then his hands on the largest of the peacocks. The bird was doubtless accustomed to being petted on other occasions by those simple Heathen, and so let himself be caught quite easily; but to his own ill, as instead of gentle hands he met with those of another kind, which twisted his neck. So that he paid for his over weening confidence by perpetual silence. When this voluntary murder and one other had [Page 107] been committed, the man wished to pursue the chase, and the noise woke up several of the company and myself amongst them. Seeing the two bodies I was taken aback and nervous. I went out by different doors and saw that there was no one about who could see us, and was somewhat relieved. But I took the aggressor to task, and told him of the danger he ran in acting in this way [316/1] in such a country, as he must indeed know. We gave orders that the peacocks should be concealed. On consultation, the best plan seemed to be that when all was quiet at night we should have them for dinner. After the meal we set to work, to hide feathers and bones in the ground, so that no trace of the dead should remain, so important was it for us to keep the secret. But our evil fate and our carelessness, aided by the darkness of the night, ordained that a few of the smallest feathers should have been left uncovered. Next day, when the owners came to clear out the byre, they found the feathers, and so obtaining a clue discovered what had happened. Roused by the atrocity of so serious a crime and sin they raised the usual "Babare", which, I have explaned elsewhere in this history, is the method they have of demanding justice. On this, all the inhabitants of the village came running up, and the sacrilege and crime we had committed being obvious to them, they at once took steps to be revenged on the offenders. They rapidly collected, some with bows and arrows and others with pointed sticks. They then set out to find us, in a great fury. They moved more rapidly and easily than we did and so cought us up in a few hours. As this took place in an open plain we sighted them, as they came on, from some distance. Recollecting the incident of the now long-forgotten peascocks, we gathered [316/2] that this crowd was coming to make us pay for our fault. Since it is natural for people, whatever their rank or state, to defend themselves, we at one proceeded to make two muskets ready, placing those which were already loaded in front, without saying anything to the Guide wee had with us; and so continued our march until these wild men came up with us. On getting within bowshot range they fired a volley of arrows, accompanied [Page 108] with most insulting exclamations, but God, in His infinite mercy, ordained that none of us should receive any injury. as soom as our Land-Pilot heard the tale, he abandoned us as people without the religios pale. We had replied at once to the shower of arrows by a musket-shot in order to frighten them and keep them from advancing on us.
Though the shot had only been fired to scare them, our Guide was nevertheless so terrified by it, as he was rushing off towards his owm people, that he fell down as if dead. This made his comrades suppose that he was in fact dead, which frightened them to such an extent that all they could do is turn and fly, and that to some distance. When they found themselves some way off they halted, I think with the intention of following those of us who had gone to look after the man whom they thought was dead. When we saw that the enemy had retired we once more started on our way, but in order to do so we went to look for our Guide, whose wits were still obscured by the shadow of his terror. We took him [317/1] by the hand and by kindly words encouraged him to continue to lead us until he brought us safely to the city of Narangor. [317/2] He did this under the stimulus of fear rather than from hope of gain or his own wish.
1.1.3. CHAPTER LI
[317/1] We went on , from the spot where the heathen attacked us with arrows to the City of Nrangor. We reached it in the nightfall and our Guide took us to the Carammossera, where he provided us with good clean rooms. After seeing us settled in he came up to take leave of me, concealing his ill will towards us with a smiling face and pleased expression to receive pay owing for his duties and moreover besides giving him something over and above his amount. I ordered him to be presented with some pepper, an article which these Heathen esteem highly as a flavouring for their food, as I believed it might cause him to forget the dead peacocks.
But the villian did just the opposit, going at once to the house of the Siguidar or Governor of the City. He was out, and so he waited for his return. Meanwhile the other Heathen who had shot at us arrived [317/2] and told them where he had left us.
As soom as the Siguidar, or Governor of the Cty, got back they threw themselves in their knees and begged him with loud cries to grant them justicec against certain foreigners, saying the after receiving them into their village with great knidness they had violated their religion and scruples. This complaint they expanded by saying we were robbers who carried fire-arms and were, moreoveer men of violence, adding [Page 110] everything they could think of which would prejudice the Siguidar against us. On receiving this information and learning where we were, the Siguidar sent twelve Sipahis, or soldiers, to arrest us and bring us before him in the morning. On receipt of this order, althought it was already nearly midnight, these zealous officers came to the Caramossora. They were taken [318/1] to where we were lying fast asleep, wholly unsuspicious of any such event as this. When the noise and the lights they were carrying woke us all, some of us already had our hands tightly tied behind our backs, and this although I called out Doay Pancha and asked why we were being arrested, seeing that I was a merchant journeying to the Court of the Emperor, whose territory was free to the passage of all foreigners. To this one of them, who seemed to be the oficer commanding the party, replied that if I was what I stated I was, I had nothing to fear. I then asked why they were pinioning us in this way as we were ready to come voluntarily.
On this they abstained ffrom binding me as they had bound they others. They then examined my stock of cloth, locking uo the main entrance to the roms and palcing a seal in the lock. They then took us to the Governor's house, where they avoided the trouble of guarding us by confining us in a dungeon below ground, which was so deep that we had to desecnd many stairs to it. Here they left us buried in darkness and plunged in a sea of racking an unfortunate specualation, after securing the doors with strong padlocks.
The wretched chacores and footmen who accompanied me were suffering severely from the tightness of the bonds which bound their arms, and also, [318/2] as being naturally timid people, devoid of courage, were so down-hearted as to imagine that they would never emerge alive from those dark cells. For not all their tears, nor the promises I made, induced our captors to free their arms. But when the soldiers had left i was driven by their groans, each of which pierced me to the heart, to remember the proverb "In for a penny, in for [Page 111] a pound, and taking a small knife I possessed I cut all their bonds, inspite of the darkness, guided by the sound of their voice and touch of my hand. This relieved them of their external pain, thought their internal agitation nnecessarily remained, and with it ill feeling for the originator of our trouble, whose bonds they besought me not to cut. But since this could in no way set right what had already taken palce and was beyond remedy, this man enjoyed the same privilege as the rest.
We remained in this dugeon till the succeeding night, without these Barbarians remembering to bring us any food all day, thi involuntary fast thus atoning for the voluntary and sudden greed displayed in eating the peacocks. It was about one in the morning when we heard the doors open, and a different set of officals to those who had brought us there came in, who took no notice of [319/1] the fact thay my companions were free. Without saying a word they took us out of the dungeon and into the precence of the Judge. He was seated in his tribunal and asked me in a severe tone what I was. I told him I was a Portuguese from Ugalin, as this fact as well as that of my voyage would be supported by the Nabob of Cateca's formon, which I then presented him. He made one of his offcials read it. After hearing what the passport said he salaamed, and requested me to go nearer to him. He told me of the Heathen's complaint, in a reply to which I gave him the true story of the occurence. He then asked which of my attendants had committed the outrage on the peacocks, and while I hesitted in my reply, pretending not to understand, so as to not to comdemn the offender, one of his companioons, with greater assiduity, at once named him. The Siguidar then turned to the offender and said, "Art thou not, as it seems, a Bengali and Musalman(that is, a Moor and follower of the true law)? How then didst thou dare in
As the wretched man was more dead than alive with fear, and unable to reply. I was obliged to take his head and after the usual salaam, exclaim, "Sahib (that is Sir( as a good Mussalman [219/2] and follower of your Prophet Maumet's tenets he pays no heed to the ridiculous precepts of the Hindus, as you yourself would not. This probably because God in His final sacred and tru faith has nowhere prohibited the slaying of such animals for His Divine Majesty created all of them for man's use. And, if we accept this dictum this man has committed no fault against God or against His preception or those of your Alcoran: so you can easily pardon him. The Siguidar and several other venerable Moors who were with him listened to me carefully and with great attention. They looked at each other in great surprise, and in approval of what I stated the Siguidar said to them. Allah, the sacred has bestowed much wisdom on the Franguis (for such is the name with which they, the Portuguese are baptized in these parts).
reply to me, as there were all truths in our sacred Anzir (for so they name out blessed Gospel), but the Emperor who had conquered these lands from the Heathen had given his word, taking an oath in the Mossaffo of his holy Prophet, that he and his successors would let them live under their own laws and customs: he therefore allowed no breach of them. He promised me, however, that the punishment would be far less severe than that [320/1] demanded by his accusers. He [Page 113] threfore entered them to remove the offender to the boudicana or public prison, and set the rest of us free and at liberty. On this we returned to the Carammosora well pleased at what bid taken place and then, although it was three o'clock in the morning, since we were more anxious to fill our empty stomach than go to sleep, we first took steps to remedy that and afterwards paid sleep its dues. So when the brilliant planet arose seeing that both needs were satisfies, we went to the Drova or audience held by the Siguidar. Before he appeared I tried to intervene on behalf of our imprisoned comrade through a great confidant of the Governor's lady or Siguidareza, about whom I had obtained information. After mollifying him by the usual inducements on such occassions, I sent, through him, a piece of green flowered Chinese taffeta, worked with white, pink, and yellow flowers, to this lady. It was a sufficiently rich and pleasing gift, and being such the lady gave as good a return, to show her gratitude, and did her best with her husband to get him to send me secretly to set the prisoner free, on the pretence that he had escaped.
But since the complaints voiced a whole village, though a small one, the Siguidar did not dare to offend them. The case, moreover, was simplified because according to custom the offence had to be atoned for [320/2] by a whipping and the amputation of the right hand. This the prisoner, with good reason, felt deeply, and would not even listen to the encouragement his companions gave him in explaining all the endeavours that I was making to get him set free. In fact he did nothing but weep, and refsed to take any food or say a word except that they must go and call the Father. On learning this, though I was very much depressed, I decided to go to the prison and consol him. I besought God most earnestly to free the poor boy, in the flower of youth, from the execution of so severe a sentence, but I forget, negligent minister of our Lor that I was, to also beseech His Divine Majesty to liberate him from that final and irremediable penalty of [Page 114] [...]
[Page 115] many days he had now wished for nothing else. I urged him to be firm in this good resolve, and pointed out to him clearly as I could, the errors he was living in. Seeing that he was much consoled I made him eat some food. I then left him and went to find the eunuch who was acting as my mediator, in order to learn what our kind intercessor had done. She, by importuning her husband, cajoling him, and pretending to be annoyed with him, at length accomplished what we so ardently desired, that no mutilation of any of the prisoner's members should take place; for, although the Governor had decided to forgo the punishment of the amputation of a hand, it did not follow that they would not cut off the fingers from it.
But such is the power of a lovely face, strengthened by the seal of matrimony, that even the remission of the fingers was acceded to, and in the end it resolved itself into no more than the carrying out of the whipping. For when the complainants insisted on the carrying out of the rest of the punishment believing the prisoner to be still in the gaol, they contrived so that he should leave it one night, I being given a efinite order to go and wait him in the City of Bardaun, through which I had anyhow to pass.
1.1.4. CHAPTER LIII
[325/1] I WAS twenty- seven days in the City of Daack, of as the Lusitanian idiam has, Dacca. When I entered it I had but slight hopes of ever leaving it, owing to the continous fever, which declined to leaave me. However, through our Lord's pity, it at length departed. This delay would have been excusable but for the other obstacle I have noted.5 As soon as this was overcome I at once proceeded to continue on my journey up the Ganges. In order to shorten the journey, in accordance with the opinions I had heard from men familiar with those routes. I decided to hire a boat as far as the City of Patana. THough at once prepared and manned by first-rate paiques or rowers, yet falthough, I had a formon or passprt issued from the chautera of chief customs office so my timely dilligence was useless as the whole of that day we were unable to clear the vessel at the other stations and lesser customs offices. [325/2] As soon as we had received all the documents we needed for presentation during the seven stages between Dacca and the City of Azarati, the route which all leaving this part for Patna were obliged to follow, we started off very easily the next day. We only made a short journey because the heavy current and the floods on the river at that time were against us. The first day, therefore, we were obliged, when it was already late, to anchor in a tiny pagan village called Amadampur. Our fate ordained that these Barbarians should, on thet very day, be there carrying [Page 121] out a service6 to the wreyched memory of a Bramene or Priest to their idols, who had been reputed a saint. Death had, in the preceeding year, put an end to the sinful course of his life and sent him to the abodes of Tartary, there to suffer the penalties due to his idolatry.
On reaching the shore the vessel was moored fore and aft with strong cables, owing to the violence, rapidly, and force of the current. We then all went ashore, [326/1] as is usual in the case of vessels of this kind. Now before we reached the shore, we had, on noticing the concourse of people and hearing the noise, suspected more or less, from previous experience, what was afoot. So we took the precaution to moor our vessel more than a musket-shot's length from the Pagoda or idol temple, around which the crowd was collected, as we supposed that the ridiculous superstitions of the Heathen would not be roused at that distance and aloofness, but we were mistaken. For as soon as we landed some of them came to ask us to go away from that spot, or re-embark. To the second proposition we replied courteously, that as soon as our paiques had taken their meal we would at once put off. They departed on receiveing this answer, and imagining that they were satisfied, each of us went on doing whatever he was at. But, meanwhile, night advanced with slow steps, bringing her shadowy curatins of concealment with her, that claock for the carrying out of ideas, whether good or evil. Now the ideas of those Idolators centred on the purity of their rites and ceremonies, which, by our presence even at a distance, were rendered imperfect and impure, and so they decided to turn us out. Then, since no remedy appeared more rapid [326/2] or convenient of execution then the use of violence, they took advantage of the night and the high cotton crop then growing in the fields thereaboout, as a screen for their evil ends, and sent out men who secretly severed the cords which held the vessel. In one moment it left the shore and gave no chance [Page 122] to those sailors who swam out to rescue the boat and to secure it. God willed it that at this moment I should be on board with one servant. We seized two oars and brought the vessel's head up to her course, as she was drifting away at great speed and owing to the force of the water was in danger of striking abeam on a sand-bank and if uncontrolled would fill, with the loss of all there was within her. The river carried our utmost by rowing to keep her prow to the force of the stream, the impetuous current, aided by a breeze from the north-east which had begun to blow and increase in power as the moon rose, was too mcuh for our waery and weakened arms, which were wholly incapable of resisting the fury of those powerful elements. So we recognized our weakness and giving up the struggle, turned her stern to the wind and waves, and admitting the weakness of the human nature surrendered ourselves up to the mercy of the waters, unable as we were to make either one bank or the other. At last we grounded on a small island or reeds, [327/1] where we contrived to secure the vessel to the best of our ability with what remained to us of the cables, and settled down to await the coming day. With it our sailors appeared. They had not dared to follow us by swimming, so they had come along by the bank of the river. As soom as they saw us one od them entered the river on a large water-pot, and by hauling on a piece of cable he easily. We continued to make wway by being towed till we reached the place from which we had been cut loose. We here picked up our cooking utensils and the man guarding them, and set off, sufficiently wearied and disgusted at the trick played on us by those Barbarians of Amadampur. When this matter was ended we continued on our way, constantly tacking on the wide, and here unfrequented, Ganges, without seeing in the space of five days anything but varios species of caimanes or crocodiles, some of which were so enormous in size that theit appearence astonished us. We could scarcely believe our eyes, so that it seems to me best to leave the description of their size to the arithmetic and [Page]
[Page 123] computation at the meticulous for were I to describe, then as they appeared to me,I should make statements tha, owing to their strangeness might make people dislieve whatever I said till the point.
As soon as we reached the City and customs outpost of [327/2] Azargil we produced the forman or passport we had obtained till the Capital of Dacca, at the head custom office on which they allowed us to pass through without question. We continued our voyage up the same river for another nine days. We met with villages and country towns all along its little banks; every bit of the land along that river which we saw was cultivated, bearing fruit trees, wheat, rice and vegetables; when these things were not met with large areas of pastures, sheep and goats, but no pig, as they do not use them.
Besides these things we also saw the ruins of the City of Goura, in former days the Capital and most famous of all cities in the Gangetic Empire and as such the seat of the Padshahs or Emperors of Bengal.
Then, as it was already time to support our human weakness with its necessary sustenance, we proceeded to land. On diembarking the servants of each section of our community prepared food according to the cities they followed; some of us followed those which are sacred and proper for Catholics, other those full of the idolatry and superstitions of the Heathen; and finally others full of the abominations and evil customs of Maometans. Now as these preparations and those of anointing [326/1] themselves and washing (which, as I mentioned else where, most Asiatic races perform before they eat; took my companions two or three hours as a rule. [Page 124] I thought I should have time to go and examine the site of certain lofty walls which still showed their early magnificance amidst the ruins. Driven by this curiosity I took [...] companion and went up to these fortifications which were a little over half a mile away from the river. Before reaching them we came upon another wall of medium height which served as an outer rampart. We noticed a small pattern done in the wall and believing we should obtain entry freely by it we went up to it. But before reaching it we met some [...] soldiers at the entrance who [326/2] asked us what we wanted I replied that being a stranger who happened to be passing that way I desired to see those antiques. On this one of them said that I could not enter without a permit from the Captain. He asked me my nationality, and I said I was a Franksih Sodagor, as all those nations term Portugueses merchants. I then made the usual salaam and turning my back, was moving away when he begged me in polite phrases not to leave, as a man would at once go and inform the Captain who could no doubt give me permission to enter. On this I waited in order not to appear rude, and also as I knew these people to be timid by nature and moved to suspicion on the most trivial basis.
1.1.5. CHAPTER LIV
[328/1] ON my stopping, one of the guards went off at once to ask for the permission they said was necessary. Until this came his companions entertained [328/2] themselves by examining a pistol and musket which my two companions had with them, arms with which they were but little familiar, as most of the Mogol militia use [329/1] bows and arrows. Those who carry fire-arms in their army are matchlock men and people of no rank, known as tufangis. They carry arquebuses, which, being poorly made, are, as it were, awkward arms. On the return of the man who had gone to get permission he said, on behalf of the Captain, that unless I was much pressed for time he begged I would go and see him, as he was very fond of Franguis and liked to talk with them. My reply to this coureteous request was to follow the messenger. On reaching the great wall which had prompted [Page 126] my visit so passed through in his handsome, [...] of hewn stone, out into rude flors, decorations and leave and supported by large handsome courtyard chiefly occuoied by heaps of bricks, so strong as to be almost all undamages. As we looked at these the man who conducted me said that no bericks of that sort were made in these days as through wickedness the people of our counterfeited everything.
Betwixt these relies of long-ruined houses we walked on until we came to a great touring tent, before which stood twenty soldiers, apparently a guard. One of them, whose dress adn general appearence marked him out ad the commander of that body [329/2] drew up his men in two lines and then advanced towards me with the usual obedience. He then took me by the hand and led me to where the [Page 127] Mirza, who corresponds to a second-grade official with us was. He was seated, with five other Moors of dignified demeanour, at the table. As soon as he saw me he said smilingly,"Mianjibaitho" (which means in our tongue, "Pray be seated, my dear Sir"). "We did not wish to begin eating, as soon as we learnt of your arrival, until you came. And so I beg you, on account of the goodwill I bear towards the Franguis, to eat with me, even if you have already dined." o this doubled complliment I replied in the most grateful terms I knew comfortable to their custom for the great honour done to me. To please him I said I had not dined (as was indeed true), for I had made up my mind to go and see those antiquities while dinner was preparing, and then eat it later, with all the more appetite; but seeing the unusual opportunity fortune had given me through his kindness I would augment my appetite in order to please my host. He, appreciating my remark, laughingly said that he would do his best to delight me. The dinner then commenced with the greatest prpriety and abundance. After numerous dishes of varios kinds of fleshh, both of domesticated and wild animals and birds, with stimulants of sundry achares, made of cucumber, radish, limes, and green chillies, [330/1] soaked in strong fragrant vinegars, that served to spur the appetite, and reopen the road to a meal which, in its, exces was already tedious ot me. When we had eaten these dishes they brought different kinds of sweets, made after their own fashion and though these lacked the perfection which Lusitanian sweets possess, as the daintiest and best in the world, they were sufficiently appetizing. On these followed every knid of dried fruit produced by these countries, that is, the distant Persia and closer Cassimir, which they ordinarily give as dessert.
After a weary three hours we arose from table and the [Page 128] banquet or Memane, as they call it their idiom, came to and. I then started to carry out my desire to see and examine those old remains. The Mirzas joined me at once, and, taking me by the hand, showed me the great wall, which, according. These walls were seventy feet high, joined to twenty-five feet of width. This mighty edifice was constructed wholy of strong bricks, a fact which accounted fot its being still intact, save for a turret here and there. Within its circuit, besides the palaces of the Bengali Padcha, or Emperor of Bengal, were several gardens, contianing large handsome reservoirs for water, but since they were dry they allowed a view to be obtained of their costly structure, from great, handsome squared standing in niches surrounded by carved grotesques and leaves, appriate situations for the abodes of such gods as their false histories assign to them.
After I had seen these antiques and exained them, he took me of to show me some cellars, which had nothing surprising about them save their great depth; below these were some entrances to what seemed to be subterranean vaults. "Those pits", said the Mirza, pointing with his finger, "are halls for you must know that some three months past a shepherd came here to look for one of his flock that was missing. While traversing these ruined building he climbed up on to a piece of the wall in order the better to find what he was seeking. The inclemencies of the weather having had their usual effect at this point, he found in the centre of the wall a hollow in which three copper vessels lay, so tightly enclosed in it that he could not move one of them. He suspected what these might be, so he abandoned the original quest which had brought him there as being no longer of any important to him, believing that Fortune desired to raise him from the lowly status of a shepheard to the sublime position of a man of wealth.
"It is certian that he cast way that hereditary tranquillity of mind which usually accompanied poverty, and engulfed in [Page 129] a sea of speculatio [331/1] must have turned ovre a thousand confused ideas in his mind before he reached his poor paternal abode wherehe told the men of his discovery to his father. At the dead of night taking the necessary implements with them they proceeded to the spot where Fortune had reserved so rich a reward for them should they know how to obtain possession of it. Here, by using their implements they removes from the wall the three carefully sealed copper vessels. But two of these were so big and heavy that their united corporal and mental stregth could not devise a plan to anable them to raise them at all. They therefore went in search of a pinga which is an insrument used by two men in carrying heavy weights. This consisits of the strong kind of cane which the Bengalis call Bansa and Portuguese Bambus, those used for this purpose being about the thickness of a mans's leg. With the Bambu and strong ropes they removed the vessel in two journeys, having already taken the smaller jar away. Father and son then ensconced themselved in their now much enriched house and commenced the longed-for examination. They first of all opened the larger vessels and found them full of rupees or tangas of gold. It is necessary that the curious reader who peruses this history should know that one rupee or tanga of gold, in these parts, is equivalent to thirteen silver coins, ori n our currence six peses and a half, or reals of eight.7 The sight of such riches so overwhelmed the limited mids of these simple [331/2] peasants that they made no futher inspection and left the smaller jar unexamined,as id it was something which merely caused them repugnance, perhaps because they supposed it to be filled with the same substance or because the sudden sccident of finding themselves raised from poor to rich men had deprived them of the power of judgement under such a strange transforamation. So, incapable of finding the road which they ought to follow in order to [Page 130] enjoy such wealth to their own satisfaction, they judged it best to go to the Nabab of Daca, the Viceroy in those parts and give him a full account of it all. The Viceroy at that time, as I have already remarked, was Sultan Shah Shuja, the Great Mogol's second son, who then held his Court and place of residence at Rajamol, situated a few days hourney from the ruins of ancient Gouro. With this object the father set out, leaving his son to guard the treasure, which they had already buried agian. On reaching Rajamol he wasteed several days until at last his good fortune ordained that the Prince should pass in state through the City, in costly festal attire, in order to testify his pleasure at the news he had jus received from the Emperor's Court, that his marriage had been arranged with a most lovely and beautiful girl, to whom he was deeply attached, the daughter of one of the principal and most powerful of the Princes at the Court. On this occasion, then, the villager obtained on opportunity of speaking, and his news about the treasure increased [332/1] the joy of the enamoured Prince, who held such news to be good omen at such a moment and an augury of happy times to some with his beloved and much-desired consort. As there is never any lack of flatteres and fawners by the sides of Princes and noble Lords, who chameleon-wise adject their speech to the colour of events, so, too, there were not wanting in this case those who followed up the joyous mood of their Prince by prophesying a thousand happy events to come, beguiling him with exaggerated encomiums on the fortunate conjunction of the two pieces of good news, especially in that Heaven had vouchsafed, in this day, the discovery of such unimagined wealth. Contented and smiling, the Prince turned to the rustic villager and approached him with affability. He assured him of honours and rewards to come, and ordered that he should at once be given a dress of honour. he was then made over to me[the Mira], as I was then present, and I was ordered to embark at once, with some of my soldiers, in four good cossas (which [Page 131] as I [the author] have already remarked, are war-vessels and very speedy, often being used for watch and ward along the populous banks of the swift-flowing and wide Ganges river). On receiving this order under the quidance of this rustic herdsman, now transformed into a coutier, we reached a small village of fifteen to twenty thatched houses.
"On his arrival, our Palinurus, before entering his own house, oblivious of the importance of his new status as a courtier, and relapsing into habits whihc couls [332/2] naturally not be changed so rapidly as his clothes, called out in village fashion and in some agitation to his son. The latter, recognizing the paternal voice, at once appeared to recive his father, but the moment that he saw him dressed up and without his rustic apparel he was afraid to come near, and, srtuck with wonder gazed at him without saying a word; a fact which pleased us onlookers mightily.
"At length the father went up and embraced his son. They then disinterred the vessels and made them over to me. I did not examine them, but had them at once sealed up in the presence of all of us. I sent them down to my cossa and proceeded to go on board, taking the father and son with me as I had been told to do, much pleased at the rapid dispatch of this affair, since the good servant can do nothing better than carry out his master's behests with promptness.
"I ordered the cossas to weigh anchor, and with their usual wsiftness we reached the port we were bound for, after a few days' journey. We saluted it with out thundering sulhureous instruments in order that we might, by assembling a crowd, make the reason of our arrival more generally known. Through this salute and the crowd we made our way to the Prince Nababo's palace, where we entered the presence of HIs Highness and made over the vesels which had come in my charge. The Prince, looking at the seals, asked me what lay beneath those rough covers. When I replied that I had not dared to examine [333/1] them before his Highness, he at once had the two big vessels opened. Finding that what the villager [Page 132] [...]
Yet all these ricjes [333/2] were not sufficient to check the spurring forward of desire, which, being hutmen is never fully satisfied by riches, more especially here, as there was a strong presumption that where such riches had been found other might be discovered. I was therefore ordered to open uo the seal of this once inhabited spot from top to bottom, and let the rays of the brilliant Planet penetrate all, and so make visible its most deeply hidden secrets.
It is for this reason we are digging these artificail pits, which have so far produced nothing but the sweat of those wretched labourers, and the annoyance of all who, by being gragged from their houses, also bear a share of it.
With these words, this courteous and noble gentleman ended this account and satisfied my importanity. I then tooks leave of him with all the usual courtesies and made my way to my vessel.
As it was already dark I was obliged to remain there until approaching Aurora began to appear. We then continued our journey, and on the fourth day reached the City of Rajamol, or, according to Industanic pronunciation Ragmehell.
1.1.6. CHAPTER LVI
[337/1] In the opinions of the false Heather of old were those founded on fact than on high sounging tales, we might have good reason, suppose that the God who was the son of Jupiter and Maya used to live most of his days in the City of Patana and that occupied with the enormous quantity and variety of merchandise of the persistant trade, for the city was full of such people who collected them every part of Asia, at its never-ending marts.
This City is situated below the north, one end drinking at [Page 140] the Ganges, the other [337/2] extending inland for [...] league. It lies entirely on a flat plain for the [...] Principality is formed of palins without the ornaments [...] and mountains which Nature, the Secretay in our [...] Creator, has granted to other places. This City is so populated that they assured me it contaimed over two hundred thousand inhabitants, irrespective of the great number of strangers as I have mentioned, were drawn there by its vast trade [...] Mogol Empire, very wealthy and offering every amentiy. The trade was so great that, as they informed me, it contained over six hundred brokers and middlemen [331/1] engaged in commerce, all of whom derived such great profits from these labours that most of them were wealthy men.
This town of Patana is the Capital of the Principality, which since it takes its name from the town, is known as the Principality of Patana.
The seat of the Nabobos or Viceroys was in this plce, the Nababo at that time being, a son of Prince Assofo Kan, by name Sexto Kan, a youth endowed with good parts, and vevry ambitious for success and fame in this world and hence on who paind but little attention to anything which he thought might restrict popular applause and praise; an attitude not common with followers of the wicked Alcoran, their private interests usually taking forst place. Yet, great as the private interests of the Prince must have been, if, like others, he was pretending, while devoting himself to the idol of his honour; still, as he attained to the first [his interests] by bypath, while striving to preserve the latter this honour, by his magnificence, he showed that, Barbarian as he was there is nothing beneath heaven more estimable than hanour. [Page 141] [...] reason, though we must abandon the thread of our [...] for a spice, I think it is right I should give an [...], in brief paenthetic style, of the event which immensely [...] the high reputation he aimed at.
It was this. A custom existed, or an abuse as it would be so rightly termed, with the Emperors of the Mogol [...] as disciples of the perverse and lascivious precursor of Antichrist, by which on a certain on a certain day in each week they were visited by the wives of the [338/2] great men and principal Nobles of their Court. During these visits, full advantage was taken of the ample licende allowed by their hateful Prophet to his followers, by which there is no conugal bonds but might be disregarded and violated, wherever beauty of form and face invited it.
Now, since the wife of Naboba Sexto Kan possessed these qualities in a high degree, her husband did all he could to save her from these obligatory visits, on one pretext or another so that some time passed before, in an evil hour, some ladies came to visit his wife. Now it is usual for modest women to possess pride and vanity which is exaggerated it, as in the case of thelady, it is accompanied by natural gifts of grace, beauty, attractiveness, and a fine figure. Of these advantages she was well aware, and also of how much she surpassed other [Page 142] women in them. She also liked to show them [...] only surpassed them in such advantages as they [...] a fact they must have known well (if any woman, [...] ugly she may be, ,ever recognizes the fact by, but at the [...] Ume let tehm understand that her natural gifts were heightened by the glamour of inviolable conjugal chastity. [...] impressed upon them in such unmistakable terms [...] other, although they hid their annoyance for the time being understood at what those remarks were aimed and strongly resented them. They decided at once to have recourse to a [339/1] woman's natural revenge.
So, after several consultatations, they agreed to make a joint complaint to the Emperor to remove the cause of their annoyance by treating her, whom they looked on as their enemy, just as he had treated them; as, this done, she would be unable to boast of being more chaste than they were.
As their petition was certainly not made without the accompaniment of the ever-ready tear, it is reported that the Barbarian Monarch listened to them with a saddened countenance, no doubt in order to appear in sympathy with these suppliant dames, whome he satisfied by promising to remedy their wrong. For indeed he was thus satisfying his own wicked natural desires, which, urged on by the free currents of his fiery lusts, gave him no chance of considering the injury he was inflicting on one who had served him so faithfull. To cloakk this with an appearance of honesty he at once appointed Nababo Sexto Kan to Patana with an order to proceed without delay to the frontier of Rajamol and Moguer, taking a force of eight thousand horses with him, to repel the martial designs which, it was suspected, existed in the sudacious breast of Sultan Shah Shuja, in whose Governorship then lay the principalitites of Bengal.
Prince Sexto Kan was grateful for the favour the Emperor was showing him, and in order to prove it by his deeds proceeded with alacrity to carry out the wishes of this ravager of his honour. He therefore set out from the Court a few days [Page 143] after leaving his beloved one [339/2] and very dear wife in the care of his father. Assofa Kan, with, moreover, strict orders that she should pass the time of his absence within its walls, this arrangement, he believed, would make her quite sad. But he was wrong. For no sooner had he left the Court that the insulted women, who wished to see him included in the same list as their own long suffering husbands besought [...] to send for the lady.
The Emperor wished to conceal as well as he could the [...] which the gracious and divine Cytherea had inspired the fine msot sucesses od his libidinous breast, teaching him that Love is not accustomed to rule its Empire by the harsh [...] of the sword. Moreover, he recognized that in a female [...] vengence admits of no truce, and therefore he put [...] fictitious difficulties before them, which only to satisfy [...] own desires, he showed himself ready to satisfy theirs. He [...] however that in this amorous conquest artifice would [...] the strongest battery in assaulting the proud rock of chaste principles held by this lady. He decided, pn this account to make use of his only daughter, whom he was said to regard wth a more than paternal affection, as an intermediary in his schemes. His daughter then sent for the lady, and received a reply that she was ill. After waiting a few days she sent her Tabib afor with this titiel do they designate in that country the followers [340/1] of the doctrines of Aesculapius) who went to visit her on the Princess's behalf. [Page 144] This was an especial favour, and one very rarely granted, in their pride of position, by the Princes of that Monarchy to any of thier vassals.
After this unusual favour the lady could not excuse herself from going to the feet of Her Highness to offer the thanks she owed her, The Princess, to show that she received her in all graciousness, lavished further deceitful favours upon favour until, seeing that she was at her ease, she retired into an [...] apartment, whence the Emperor had been playing [...] Noting the skill with whihc his daughter had played the part he rallied forth from his concealment and attacked [...] a bird of prey attacks a simple dove, and by contaminating her with venereal poiso, in a few brief moments made [...] a fitting companion for those insulted women, proving to them how she had also violated the matrimonial couch. They [...] the lady felt this disgrace acutely, and the more on learning that it had been contrived by those whom she had mocked. These women, as soon as they knew that the Adulterer has left the room, came triumphantly in , and being fully avenged of their insults and quite happy, they joked with her about it and embraced her, thus greatly lessening her affliction, for Solarium est miseris, socios habere penates.
This very Maometan-like event was soon known througout the Court and passed thence to the ears of her own husband. In spite of the great love he bore her and the excuses for her act sent by his father, Assofo Kan, and the unhappy lady herself, he considered it unpaardonable and divorced her in the spot.
This shows that even among Barbarians there are Caesars when an sudacious Clodius Pulcher appears.
1.1.7. CHAPTER LVIII
[343/1] ON the evening of the most blessed day on which the Most Exalted Father of all mercies took human shape and began his work of redeeming [343/2] the human race, that is, on the twenty-fourth of December of the current year 1640, we reached the mighty City of Agra. [344/1] It stands on a lovely wide palin on the banks of the pleasant Gemana river, which, as being a source of the ancient Ganges and rejoicing in the same attributes, is similarly held to be sacred by that foolish Paganism. Along the bank of this river the City of Agra spreads out in a semicircle. It is twenty-eight degrees and thirty-nine minutes north of the equator. Before [Page 152] the Emperor Ackabar's day the City had but a small population but after the capital of the Empire passed to it in [...] he continued to increase its size and importance until it is a day one of the most Cities of the East, filling two [...] leagues in length, its area embracing, according to the commonly accepted opinion, six hundred and sixty thousand inhabitants, excluding the large number of strangers who continually fill ninety Caramossas and other private house which are situated throughout the town, This makes the chief streets so crowded that it is difficult to pass along, there. After entering the City I made my way to the Caramossas of the Armenians in order to obtain information there about a rich merchant to whom I had been directed to apply. On hearing that he was at Biana, three days' journey from Agra and also that, as it was the season for purchasing Indico and he would be detained there longer than I could spare, I arranged to hire [344/2] a cart for a week hence in order to go and see him. meanwhile I paid heed to the spiritual needs of my soul by deciding to pass that most holy night in a chapel belonging to the Jesuit Fathers which stood in their house. Here I met Father Antonio de Olivera and Matheo de Cruz. They recognized who I was in spite of my Mogol clothes and received me with great kindness, in consonance ] [Page 153] with which they offered me the house which was ordinarily used by the Father Prior Fray Antonio de Christo, who was not occupying it. Although he was then in the public prison on behalf of our most Sacred Religion, he had left some poor Christians in the house who looked after it and also kept the Oratory, in which the Father celebrated when he was present, clean and neat.
I started from this place for the city of Biana when the day settled upon arrived. I travelled continuously past villages and fertile fields filled at that season with different kinds of grain, which showed the proximity of the harvest by their waving yellow ears, swayed by this sight, was diverted from those sombre thoughts which are ever within us, those secret companions of the soul. No less did the numerous gardens and country houses of many of the great men at the Court attract attention, as in them what was lacking in nature had been supplementef [345/1] by a happy combination of artificial arragement.
Along this same route we passed through the City of Fateapur, once the second capital of the Rulers of the Mogol Monarchy.
The devastation with which time had visited its ancient granduer were concealed by great green, but not fruit-bearing trees that now surrounded it.
We went past without halting, and contuing our journey, reached Biana. Here I got into touch with the merchant whom I had gone to see. He completed my business next day to my satisfaction, arranging for a relative of his own to accompany me, who, being well instructed in such matters would be able to guide me in dealing with any occasion which might arise, especially with regard to my business with Father Antonio de Christo. After getting over certain difficulties in regard to entering the Bundicanas or Royal prison, I contrived to see him. As I was was wearing Mogol dress he did not recognize me, and received me with all the ceremony with which such people are usually received, begging me in the Industan idiom to say who I was. I replied to him in Latin: Pante tempere vobiscum fui et non cognovisti me.
I will let the prudent reader imagine the joy this servant of God felt as soom as he recognized me, for I propose to devote a seperate chapter to this doughty Confessor of Christ and his companion Fther Fray Francisco de la Encarnacion [345/2] But as the Emperor was absent at this time from this Court, at the City of Laor, Nababo Subdal Chan, who had been [Page 155] left behind as Governor of the Town, was averse to carrying out the liberation of the Father, saying that he had written about it to the Emperor and was waiting his order, which had not come, though he had just received urgent instructions to proceed to the City of Laor from the Emperor himself. I therefore took no further steps in this matter, but on the Father's suggestion decided to wait a few days in order to accompany the Nababo on this journey, so as to this account obliged to spend more time at this Court than I had intended. This gave me leisure to examine all there was in the City that was of importance or beautiful, not omitting to get some under landing as to the government and politics of the state; especially in regard to warlike matters, as the preservation of Empires and Monarchies depends on the proper management of war. So turning to a description of the wonders of the Mogol Court I should say that what most surprised me was the enormous quantity of riches, mostly consisting of that in the great Nacassares, or Treasuries, which the Emperor possesses in various parts. The rest cosisits mainly in the [Page 156] great incomes enjoyedby the Princes and nobles of the Empire and thirdly and lastly, the immense wealth or firtune [346/1] of the merchants, especially of those known by the generic title of Sadagar (which means merchant in our tongue) and by the locL ppellation of Katari. This least title is the most distinguished honorific among such as follow the merchantile profession in those parts as if they had been covered over they would have struck the ordinary gazes as being merelt heaps or grain rather than piles of anything so unusual. Nor did [346/2] the huge amounts of food-stuffs and dainties of all sorts, which were to ne met with in the numerous Bazars or markets cause me less surprise. Entire streets could be seen wholly occupied by skilled sweet-scented dainties of all kinds which would stimulate the most jaded appetite to gluttony, to such an extent, indeed, that had the [Page 157] Tuscan poet Petrarca been there, he would have sung, recitng to his gentle lyre, his sublte and ingenous saying; that gluttony and sleep and the soft luxurious couch drove all virtue out of the world.
1.1.8. CHAPTER LIX
[346/2] THE principal buildings, amongst the magnificent and sumptuous edifices of this Court, are the Imperial palaces and two Mochorobas or Mausoleums. These two are, one that of the Emperor Achabar, and the other, a modern work, of the present Emperor Corrombo, dedicated to the remains and memory of his beloved Begoma and legal wife- a daughter of Prince Asofo Kan, whom he dearly loved [346/2] on account of her rare beauty and grace.
But postponing for the moment to decribe these homs of the dead I will first deal with the Imperial palaces, the homes of the living, or more accurately, the fortified Rock or castle which by its size and the buildings within it forms indeed a small City in itself. It surrounded by a superb wall, twenty-five cubits hihg, of red coloured stone. It is a stupendous work which, while it strikes pleasantly on the senses, standing at rest before one, [347/1] on the other hand fills one with dread and awe when seen mirrored, as it were moving, in the deep moat, full of dark black waters, whose sad aspect might give rise to the poetical fiction that they were derived from the Stygian lake of Acheron.
The stones in this wall are so well fitted and set one on other that a close inspection is necessary in order to detect the joints between the blocks.
In order that nothing shouls mar the beauty and unity of this most magnificent work, the curved summit of this wall is not surmounted by the usual battlemnted parapet, but by a heavy massive coping of the same stone with spherical towers rising from it at regular intervals. These were occupied by loud voiced cannon whihc, when they hurled their missiles torch, rendered is impossible for the warlike and daring soldiers to pass, making the fortress still more a stronghold and in expugnable.
The Imperial Palace is entered by four lofty handsome gates, with drawbridges raised at night by thibk iron chains from whihc they are hung by day. Of these gates the first that to the North, is protected by very large pieces of ordanance. The second gate, which lies to the West and is known as Chickeri, opens on to a fine bazar or public square. On the same paart of the inner section of this gate is a well-designed arch, on each side of which two [347/2] well-modelled elephants of polished black marble stand on pedestals.
Riding upon them are the Meliche King Mirin and two of the chief nobles of the gret De Kani Kngdom, whom the [Page 160] infamous and perjured Achabar falsely and traitously captured, and with them secured the whole of the Kingdom of the De Kan; also obtaining possession of the formidable and inviolable fortree of Seyr through treachery.
Near this gate is the Chadi's tribunal or chautors, where he is went to listen to the complaints of all the litigants who present themselves. Alongside this tribunal stand three most beautiful bronze of unusual size and perfect workship.
Facing the tribunal stands a fine Palace in which the princeipal Nababo resides. he promulgates all avours, decrees and privileges made by that Majesty, their copies being kept in the archives at this place.
Passign through this gate one comes upon a square, covering about a quarer of a league, surrounded by numerous mosques and tombs on all side, After traversing this square one [Page 161] [...]
[...] [Page 162] salute him and give him the morning's greeting with the customary Tassalima.
Various Tamaxas, that is entertainment of different times take place here daily, mainly fights between Lions, Elephants, Tigers, and other fierce animals. The sentences of those condemned are also carried out here on Thursdays, in accordance with the different kinds of punishments used which I will desribe farther on.
To return now to the third gate, the Dewanage Achabar. This gate leads into a very beautiful terrace surronded and adorned [348/2] on all sides by well designed open alcoves, where some of the military Commanders and other military officials sleep on certain days of the week. These alcoves are in consequence of this called [...]. A short way farther on one enters an inner court through a barred iron gate, but none except the Princes, nobles and those holding certain rank are allowed to enter it. Through these barred gates the ushers conduct people to the Derbar or Imperial throne of the Emperor. In from of this is a small area enclosed by a handsome railing and roofed in above to keep off the brilliant and hot rays of the glowing Planet, by the richest of canopies ambroidered with various devices in gold, silver, and silk. At [Page 163] the far end of the small enclosure rises a majestic portico, containing the Imperial throne. Right upto it no one can approach unless first summoned, the only exception to this rule being in the case of the EMperor's sons, the chief Nababo for Visir as they call him in Turkey, and the two Pithkaerans, or thosetwo men who in such placce always attend with two rich fly whisks, implements essential to keep the bold and importunate flie oft his Imperial Majesty. Within the limits and confines of this tailing, no one can easily gain admittance except the four hundred Captains of horse who occasionally serve at the entrance to two lofty, towering [349/1] Minarets which stand within the interior of the Imperial palace or fortress. These are so beautiful that they well merit a visit from any voyager from a distance. The walls within them are all covered with rich plates of fine gold. On them the Master Goldsmith has not only proved his skill in the subtlety of the designs of interlaced flowers and grotesques but also in the wellmatched and mingled colours of his inlaying.
One of these towers stands above the Emperor's private retiring room, and the other over the wonderful and incalculably valuable jewel house.
Walking on a short distance from this spot, one comes on upon a most delightful garden indescribably grateful and soothing. Here I saw several trees exhailing the sweetest odour and laden with many and varied flowers, whose sweetness fell [349/2] most pleasing on the sense of smell of all who entered and so participated in their natural properties. The guardians of these sweet-smelling orchards assured me that even without flowers they exhalted some fragrance, and that the original plants had come fron very distant lands.
The much-blossomed garden was enamelled with such a variety of flowers, roses, and aromatic herbs that I do not dare to describe them, nor indeed would the Reader know them if I did so.
This delightful and cunningly designed garden terminates [Page 164] in a fine avenue of leafy, green, pollarded trees which stretch down to the pleasant stream of the quiet, serenely flowing Gemama, form a harbour, and give asylum to several gilded and handsome vessels covered with rich canopies, which pass to and fro from another garden opposite.
1.1.9. CHAPTER LXI
[353/1] AFTER spending twenty-seven days at Agra owing the departure of Nababo Subdal Kan, whihc was perpetually being postponed for various unexpected events that arose from day to day, it was finally announced at the juncture that the departure would certainly be put off for over a month more.
On hearing this I deciding to lose no more time considering that it would be saved and better spent at Laor in soliciting the aid of Prince Assofo Kan, the Royal channel through [Page 179] which, at their time, the mercies, gifts, and favours of the Mogol Monarch flowed in a broad stream.
My mind hus made up, I hired a cart for the twenty-one day journey between Agra and Laor. I said farewell to Father Antonio de Christo and although depressed at leaving him in such severe and prolonged duration, I still entertained great hopes that with God's help, I should chieve his liberation at Laor.
[353/2] The Father of the Society of Jesus, Antonio de Olivera and Mathio de la Cruz with their usual kindness, were not content with ordinary everyday civilities, but accompanied me in their own cart haf a league beyond the City to where a magnificent Reservoir stands, full of sweet, clear water. It is constructed of one hewn stone, and is of handsome design. It was surrounded by leafy, pollarded trees, which just then showed in the tender, delicate, clear green tint of their leaves the fresh livery they were putting on, in which to receive joyfully and oppose in common the glowing heat of summer, inviting the weary traveller to repose peacefully through the long hour of his hot siesta. At this delightful spot dinner was ready. And if the food surpassed in quantity and delicacy the usual moderation of a priestly meal, it at any rate, and the charitable feelings whihc prompted it, equalled, even exceeded, the charitable fervour of the hospitality shown, and this made fitting [354/1] what would have been otherwise unfitting.
As soon as these acts of worldly kindness were over we turned to those spiritual, and commended ourselves to God, praying Him through the customary Catholic orisons from the Vism pacis, for divine support. We then took leave of each other, the Father returning to the City, while I took the road to Laor.
After six days' journey, always aalong roads level and much frequented, ,we reached the ancient city of Deli, the original house and source of the Mogol Monarchy, for from it its rulers take the title inscribed on their imperial decrees and writs, Delique Padcha, which means Emperor of Deli, this brief title including lordship over thirty-seven kingdoms and provinces. This City is much resorted to by merchants on account of the varied kinds of merchandise found there, especially Indigo, cotton clothes, mostly dyed in various colours, and stuffs which they call Chita. Its wealth is also due to the fertility ot its fields of corn, rice, and various kinds of vegetables.
In this City stands a magnificent tomb or Mochoroba, in which a King of its early false believers named Secander is buried, as well as other Patan Kings also, of late date, and the Emperor Hamayun.
This Mausoleum, as id the custom of the country, stands in the middle of a fresh [354/2] and lovely garden.
The City is also adorned by an ancient Palace whose very antiquity, representative of Majesty, shows in the most impassing of its gateways that it is the work of the forst founder, Humayun.
According to common report it was he who, in the midst of the ups and downs of fortune first began the expansion of that vast Empire. As being his work the Palace is maintained with great solitude, although it is but little visited by the Mogol Emperors.
I was unable to enter this Palace as the Captain of the guard was absent, and although he was to return that night I had to take it as seen, in order not to lose the next day's march.
So next day we cotinued our journey, leaving the City at the usual hour. We came in sight of some extensive old ruins of handsome tombs and other buildings. Here Time showed his great consistancy in inconsistency, for report and general opinion attributef these structures to that ancient and most powerful of Indian Monarchs, Sultan Berusa, though others consider that they may be the more recent work of the great Tamberian, from whom the Mogol Emperor boast that they derive their descent, with which we shall deal farther on in treating of their political system.
Continuing our from this place, on the fourth day we reached Tanassar, fair-sized [355/1] town with a fort. [Page 182] Near this place is a well-known Rservoir, holding true crystalline water, surrounded by many pagodas or idolatrous temples, full of various monsterous idols which that Barbarous Heathendon superstitiously worships. A little apart from these diabolical temples is a deep pit, from which they extract much sal-ammoniac.
We continued our journey from this town of Tanassar, reaching Sirynam at the third stage. It is a City which is filled with followers of the mercantile profession on account of the great store of various cotton goods made there. In this City also stands a most magnificent great Reservoir, constructed of the fine cut stone, and full of clear spring water. From the centre rises in circular form the foundation of a round shrine of great beauty, dedicated by the wicked, misled Agarene to his useless five Nimasa or times of prayer, which [Page 183] are so recommended in the accursed Alcoran by their false prophet and undoubted precursor of Antichrist.
This Maumetan Oratory is reached by a most beautiful bridge, built at the same hewn stone, and supported upon fifteen fine great arches. The palinums of my terrestrial vessel halted in the City of Sirynam, being stimulated thereto by the avarice of the good value. So, as I was delayed there for two days, I took the opportunity to visit the Royal garden at this place, belonging to the Mogol Emperor, which stood just over half a league away from this fine placid Reservoir. One passes to it along a most lovely road, or rather avenue, some forty feet wide and ornamented on both sides with fresh green willows, plnted at regular intervals. Their shady branches meet above and, interlacing, form a green, leafy canopy, whihc resists the brilliant Planet, whose fierce rays, on encountering it cannot pass below.
Along one side of this pleasant avenues flows a rivulet, whose gentle stream and pleasanr banks might well produce on a certain modern poet the dreamy efects of his African Lethe.
The avenues ends in a wide open plain, where the garden is situated. It was square in form divided into equal sections each covering about half a league, the whole enclosed by a high massive wall of strong burnt bricks. Four lofty sumptuous gateways lead into this most pleasant fruit-garden.
Each gateway, when open, gives a vista down a long, wide roadway, the four forming cross; one could not see from one end to the other. These roads are ornamental at regular intervqal [355/1] by funereal obelick-shaped cypresses which divide the garden into four sections: one section contains every kind of fruit-tree; a secong every kind flower and odoferous [Page 184] ferous herb in abundance; in the third sectio are eatable vegetables of all kinds, and in the last section a grand Royal Palace surrounded by a beautiful, well-designed Gallery, running along the top, of eight sets of rooms, the apartments of the Royal concubines.
After I had seen these things, as my charioteer had completed his purchases, we started off just as it was dawning, on the third day after our arrival, and so carrying out the number of stages arranged on , we reached Laor on the thirteenth day, having traversed many towns and large villages [356/2] situated with provisions and good Caramossoras. Some of the latter are handsome and particularly well built, in whic we sometimes could not find room to stop owing to the great stream of passengers of all sorts and conditions, who were at that time following those roads, owing to the presence of the Court at Laor.
So we at times passed the night under trees ot the canopy of heaven, common to all, a custom very much followed in summer in those parts. One thus breathes regularly during the nights the sweet and health-giving air which the breezes carry, thus reviving the body and purging it, at the same time, of those deadly vapours whihc might provr fatal to the harmonious action of the four corporeal humours, that minister to the appetite and sense of feeling.
1.1.10. CHAPTER LXIII
[359/1] I SAID in the previous Chapter that we did not enter Laor City when we reache dit, as it was already lat. SO had shown by rising what time it was, we made our way into the City, just as the human beings whose rest was over were leaving their soft or hard [359/2] couches, as the case might be, and proceeding to quit their beloved home. Thus we found even the streets empty and traversed them easily. On making unquiries about the Caramossora of the Franguis we luckily met Father Josepg de Crasto, of the Comapny of Jeus. He was starting out on horseback, and as he was at once recognized by my companions, I addressed him in Latin, which so astonished him that he stopped his horse. I went on in the same tongue, [360/1] saying that I brought letters for him, on which he dismounted and joined me in my cart, telling those who were with him to lead the way to his house. On our arrival there he received me with much courtesy, ahowing the greatest joy at my coming, especially as he knew that I brought an order to solicit the liberation of the Father Prior Antonio de Christo, of who I will tell when I deal with the work done done by this servant of God in thses regions. [Page 191] To return to the promise I gave in the heading to this Chapter, I may say that the City of LAor is situated on a very beautiful site, which is made agreeable and attractive by the presence of a swift, pleasant river that washes it on one side eith it fecund, crystalline and health-bearing waters. These descend from the lofty mountains of the kingdom of Cassimire and passon, bathing the shore and fertilizing the land with simple and mixed empire and command, until they tribute derived from their origin to the famous wide-streamed Indus.
This City of Laor is the second city of the Mogol Empire, famous both as having been, after Deli, the second place of residence for its monarchs, and also owing to its wealth and grandeur. This is augmented by its being adorned with magnificent Palaces, delightful gardens, and fruitfil orchards, full of reservoirs and springs of excellent water. I have no wish to become wearisome in giving an account of its abundant supplies, or the riches of its bazars, [360/2] as it will suffice for the curious reader to have perused what I have said already in treating of its moving Suburb. The riches, then, discernble in its main street, or as the inhabitants style it, Bazar of the choco, were such as already proved the advantage derived by these regions from the richest and most powerful parts of Europe, especially on this occasion, when the Emperor was [Page 192] present for the feast of the Nourous8, which that year was during the Easter of their Ramadan, with its thirty days' fast.
This feast is celebrated for eight days, and is hence called the Nourous, which means the first day of the year, and also a feast lasting nine days. All at this season dress in their [Page 193] best clothes, and call upon each other to congratulate one another and wish each other a happy feast. The common people, as well as the most devout, at this time usually ornament the doors and entrances to their houses with green branches, or else whiten them with plaster, daubing Sindul, a reddsih-coloured substance, over them, as this is an ordinary sign of a festive occasion in these parts.
During these days the Great Mogol appears in public, in his gratest magnificence and majesty, throughout nine days, in a large, handsome, and most richly decorated hall. But before we enter it we must deal with the magnificent and truly regal arrangements outside.
On the night immediately preceding [361/1] the festival, before pale Latona showed her twilight-heralding face to old mother earth, the towers, minarets, and loftiest points of the Imperial Palace were covered with brilliant illuminations, which shining through coloured shades looked like a field full of flowers. And if a natural view ornamented with green trees is the more pleasing and attractive to the eye, no less pleasing was this artificial scene we are descrbing, made gay by many flags and banners of green silk; for this colour is that which these misguided descendants of the slave hold to be dedicated to the faith of Maomet, that perverse precursor of Antichrist.
Beyond the majestic gateway of this Imperial Palace was a courtyard, a fine, large, open aquare, stretching, as it seemed [Page 194] to me, to the distance of a falconet-shot, and it breadth being proportionate, it would alone have been sufficient, [...] and beautiful. At this moment, however, it was far more [...] this, for, in addition to the ordinary guard of His Majesty it was rendered gay by a large body of glittering cavalry, numbering, according to people's statement at the time, four thousand horse, all the horses being decked out in different coloured embroidered silks. The men were dressed in rich glowing festival robes, bearing gilt and coloured shields in their belts hung their sharp, curved, scimitars, embellished some with gold, some with silver,or, lacking these metals with red latten gilt. [361/2] On the side pooposite to the scimitars, there hung from their belts rich and curiously wrought quivers full of sharp feathered arrows, which, deriving their feathers from birds, their iron from Mars, and strength from the shooter's arm, speed forth to pierce, in all their power, the quarry aimed at.
All this body of horse was drawn up in two lines, so as to form a long, handsome avenue. At the end of the cavalry another avenue commenced, less indeed in length, but more striking and majestic. It consisted of six hundred elephants drawn up in two ranks, all protected by armour and carrying towers just as they do in battle. These towers were of wood, coloured black, adorned with plaques of gilt latten, the animals necls bearing bells of the same metal. They carried sharp scimitars in their trunks with blades five inches wide. But while they presented a terrific and awe-inspiring spectacle, in this respect they nevertheless appeared plasing enough when one's sight fell on the numberless flags and banners of varied silks of all colours which adorned the tops of their towers. There fluttering in the pleasant, gentle breeze, in gladsome fashion, seemed to prove their gratitude by joyfully acting as fly-flaps for their sturdy standard-bearers.
This squadron of warrior elephant, terminated at the beginning of the second terrace or courtyard, in which the Emperor's second guard was posted. Here [362/1] another avenue was formed by a hundred elephants, decked out in various gay silver-mounted coverings, ornamented with varied silken flowers, whose diverse colours greatly enhanced the beauty of the work. These elepahnts carried rich golden and silver howdahs, some covered over and others open, much like our litters. This corps of elephants was accompanied, according to report (for I did not count them), by two thousand armed soldiers, all picked men, youths apparently of from twenty-five to thirty years of age.
From the countryyard a wide well-made flight of steps led up to a very large hall, which from the ceiling down to the base of the walls was all covered with numerous, life-like pictures of battles, hunting-scenes, and riding parties.
The whole of the building was accupied by a great number of nobles, by Mirzas, military officers, and gentlemen, all most distinguished in the splendour of their appearance. This first hall led into a second, which while it seemed to be about the same in size, was yet even more rich and splendid. for from floor to ceiling it was gilt and ornamented with floral decorations, whose vividness and varied colours showed their immunity from the fierce suns of summer and their security from the general despoliation of their pomp and beauty by fructiferous autumn.
They preserve these even in frigid, rain-bearing winter, while spring ever finds them again in full springtime verdure. Many eunuchs [362/2] were present in this hall. They were very richly dressed in varied kinds of cloths and in gold or silver flowered silks, carrying wands of gold or silver in their hands eith which they accompanied and cleared the way for the Princes and Nobles who entered the hall, up to a handsome, wide gallery. At the door of this [...] venerable white-haired old man who held a golden stick in his hand and seemed to be the Commander of that body of eunuch door-keepers, and of two hundred Usbekes, who [Page 196] were drawn uo in two lines, with their short lances and javelins in their hands. They formed up throughout the whole length of that long, wide gallery up to a spacious, handsome portal at that time adorned with a fine, grandiose, triumphal arch standing on four silver pillars, entwined and ornamental with various artificial leaves and flowers enamelled in the richest colours, which might have held their own with their live representatives in the open field.
The base of these columns were formed by the same nunber of silvered and gilt pedestals. These hollow, and enclosed various receptacles and braziers in which different sweet perfumes were burnt. These perfumes passed uo the hollow pillars and met at the apex of the arch, whence their mingled odours floated out through various vents, and these odours, driven by the air which entered at the door and windows of the gallery, spread a sweet fragrance throughout the adjoining halls.
At the entrance to his handsome arch  stood twelve mace-bearers carrying heavy silver maces on their shoulders who made way for those passing into the Imperial hall. I would not attempt to describe the magnificence and splendour of this hall had not the fame of this most powerful Monarch's wealth been already made public in the accurate accounts of Portuguese writers.
So, relying on this support, I may say as follows:
The four corners or this magnificence and richly decorated hall, from the spread of the pavement to the highest point of the roof, were entirely covered with inlay-work of interwined flowering branches and grotesques in the finest gold. These were traced out in agate in relief on the walls and quite out-shone our employment of loose tapesty. And if our tapestry [Page 197] pleases the eye by its varied colours, this permanent ornamentation I am describing did so far more, for in place of mere artificial colouring, which loses its lustre with age, these reliefs were made with natural, transparent coloured crystals and various stones, let into the empty spaces, whereever required. Even if these crystals and stones only held the fourth or fifthe rank among oriental precious stones, still their great humber made the work extraordinary.
In the centre of thi, forming as it were the eighth (if but modern) wonder among the wonders of antiquity, stood a superb Throne. So, if what is most perfect disturbs our feelings, just as the glowing rays of the Sun confronting us [363/2] obscure our vision; if the roar of dashing, clashing waters hurling themselves from a lofty rock stuns and deafens our hearing; if the scent of aromatic drugs and oriental spices confounds our sense of smell; if the sweetness of the honey of Hybla vitiates our sense of touch;- what wonder is it that, when my senses were distracted at the sight of so remarkable and surprising an object as that THrone, I could no twell grasp the precious nature of its constituent materials? Yet, in order to carry out my promise, I will not fail to give succh an account of it as my perturbed and numbed senses could grasp at the time.
It was a Throne which contained within its spherical circumference four seperate stages, each with six gold and silver steps, on which the designer had shown the unrivalled skill of his workmanship.
Upon this Throne or tacto, as the natives style it sttod eight exceedingly rich columns of gold sustaining a Cupola of the same metal which formed a canopy and cover over a more magnificent and beautiful seat, also of gold. The Thrones is the brilliance of its glittering, polished metal; thus served to remind one that except with due submissiveness, one should not amongst such splendous dare to gaze on the richest gifts which ancient mother earth is wont to bestow on the greatest and most powerful of this world.
[364/1] For here were to be seen the purest and most brilliant diamond from Bisnagua, lovely to look on and (see our St. Isidor avers) most useful against enchantment, which they far exceed ordinary diamonds in size. Here, too, was te purple ruby from Ava, which exposed to the air glowred and scintillates under the rays of the glittering Planet. Also were to be seen green emeralds, most precious of stones from the mountains of Jatir, whose soft radiance and glow comforting and cheering the tired sight, entices the eye to look upon them. Moreover, here were to be seen, even more lovely and hailing from the same Jatir mountains, the celestial sapphire, whose colour resembles [364/2] Heaven's blue in a serene sky and in spelndour the Firmament: they say that they cool down, in whosoever bears them, all lustful ardour of the flesh.
Nor, to complete the perfection of this rare marvel, did it lack the ornaments of the gates of Paradise; for it could be seen that the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf had to this end [Page 199] contributed its finest and rounded pearls, useful, it is alleged, for the body's health and in lotions for bad eyesight. Three sets of steps made of silver, seven palms in height, encompassed this Throne. These were in three separate flight and served to distinguish the rank and dignity of those who, within their precinct, attended the Court of the Mogol Majesty.
1.1.11. CHAPTER LXIV
[364/1] ON the night preceeding the following day, that of the festival commemorating that on such a day the Emperor Corrombo [364/2] came into the world, before the lesser and unstable luminary had emerged to illuminate the shades of night with her dim beans, artificial thunder from the Imperial Palace began to fulminate [365/1] with its awe-inspring [Page 201] deafening roar and announce the approaching feast. That year His Majesty was celebrating it in his own Palace with many festal ingenuities, dances, spectacles, and masquerades, which lasted most of the day. These over, the Emperor left his Imperial throne, and, accompanied by a great concourse of Princes and Lords, proceeded to his Mother's Palace to see her and receive her felicitations.
During this visit the Princes and Nobles of the COurt presented rich, sumptuous gifts which I believe must be the real motive for this visit, seeing the avarice of Mogols generally, and especially of the Barbarians monarch I am describing. So as soon as these presentations were over, he returned at once to his Palace, where he gave a copious feast or splendid Memane, or Banquet as we exit it, in a handsome, pleasant hall. When they arrived there the terrestrial tables were already prepared and when all were sealed in their proper places, according to precedence and dignity the eunuchs at once commenced to bring in various appetizing viands. At the end of this function, the banquet concluded, the Emperor Corrombo retired to a richly decorated private chamber adorned with all the most precious and valued products of the world.
In the centre of the wonderous room there hung secondly fastened by [365/2] thick chains of gold, a pair of scales made of the same metal, their circular edges being set with many rich stones. The Imperial Majesty came forth to atend this solemn function dressed in a white satin robe covered with most precious stones of many colours, which, while they pleased one by their many colours, which, while they pleased one by their many colours on the one hand on the other astonished one by their size. He also wore round his neck very rich collars of most valuable jewels; so that when I mentally summed up everything estimated I could only think that all this adornment most serve rather as a troublesome burden then an elegant ornament.
On reaching the balance dressed in this fashion, the Emperor squatted in one part, and as once certain official commenced [Page 202] to fill the the other pan with bags of silver, coined like rupee until the weights were equalized and the balance was at equilibrium. This weighing over, they removed the silver with other bags full of gold and precious stones. After adjusting this they made a third weighment with different kinds of cotton cloth, woven with gold, silver, and silk. They also added, in this third weighment, certain precious spices and various drugs. The fourth and last weightment was made against eatables, such as wheaten cakes, flour, sugar, ghi, and the common kinds of cotton cloth.
All the articles included [366/1] in the final weighing are it is said, at once distributed amongst poor Bramenes and Baneanes, but with such secrecy that, save those who actually gave the gifts and those who received them, no one saw them; for, Heathen Barbarians as they are, these people understood that aims given for love of God must be made in secret to be meritorious. Thus, though they do not follow the precept of our Divine Lawgiver, Christ, yet they showed by this act that they scrupulously observe that which He teaches and enjoins on us enough His sainted Evangelist Matthew, when he says: Te antem faciente eleemosynant noli tuba canere: sed nescial sinistra tua quid facial dextera ut sit eleemosyna tua in abscondito.
This is a sufficient rebuke for the devices used by certain Catholic Christians in these sad days, devices equally at variance with the teaching of the Gospel that we profess as of the examples of Saints whom we should imitate; for they announce beforehand the aims and pious works they are going to do by the trumpet and by a show of arms and emblems, placed even on the sacred vessels and adornments whihc are to be used in divine service.
But to quit moral sentiment for the moment and return to the thread of our history. I say that the three first and more [Page 203] important weighments, after being most faithfully valued are at once converted into cash, which is regularly and charitably expended in the alms made by that [366/2] Monarch throughout the year.
This ceremony of valuation, computation, and weighing being comppleted, the Emperor returns to his throne. As soon as he is seated on it dish-bearing eunuchs advance with great trays of gold filled with artificial and imitation fruits, in silver, representating almonds, nuts, hazel-nuts, and many other kinds and species of fruit, all so delicately contrived that I do not believe that one thousand of these artificial fruits would weigh twenty-five or thirty pesos. Indeed I tested it, as Mirza Abdul-Hassen on that occasion gave me a great plateful of them, and they only just weighed eleven rupees, that is, five and a half pesos of our money.
The Emperor distributed this fruit among the Price and Nobles. He then ordered that several dishes full of silver rupees, newly coined, should be divided among to lesser folk, which altogether may be taken to amount to from ten to twelve thousand rupees, at the most equal to about six thousand pesos or reals of eight.
These gifts and expenditure on his part are far surprised by the enormous quantities of adias, or gifts, which he received on such occasions from all the Grandees and Princes at Court.
In the midst of all this grandeur, in order that the Reader may form a truer concept of the character of the Monarch Corrombo, I will relate an incident. Though he is one of the richest men in the world, [367/1] his avarice is such that he had strict proclamations made that lost articles found were to be bought to him. It so happened that during this great festival a poor man found a small and by no means clean purse containin three golden rupees, equal to thirty-nine silver rupees. He brought it to the Emperor, and they say [367/2] that he opened this dirty little bag with his own hands and took out the three golden coins. He then kept two himself and gave the third to the poor man who had found them, saying laughingly to him:
"Take that; it should be ample for you" - an act sufficiently shameful in one of much lesser estate and position unless he were as full of insatiable avarice as this Emperor.
1.1.12. CHAPTER LXVI
[372/1] JUST as I was leaving Laor, garrulous rumour annouced that the Emperor was about to visit his father-in-law, Assofo Kan, to congratulate him on his recovery [372/2], a reason why I was delayed two days beyond the time appointed for my departure, awaiting a necessary dispatch.
[373/1] I also made use of this opportunity to witness the wonderful and magnificent Banquet given by this Prince to his Lord and Emperor. I took full advantage of the great privilege granted meof entering the palace, as far as etiquette allowed, and on this occasion even obtained permission to exceed those limits, and, with a companion who was with me, to penetrate up to a gallery which ran above the principal bath-hall, which I have already described sufficiently. A eunuch, conducted us there, and warned us not to make a sound, and should we be forced to make any, in being obliged to rid ourselves of unrestrainable and importunate phlegm, we were to go into an adjoining room, which he pointed out to us. He also told us not to leave that place until he returned to fetch us, and so left.
The Banquet took place in the chief bath-hall. Besides [Page 214] its usual fixed ornamentation, the hall was also adorned on this occasion with rich carpets of silken, silver, and golden embroidery, which covered the floor so as to form tables on the ground, as is the national custom, and also serve in place of chairs and couches to those who graced them as invited guests. But, though they thus rejected raised table as unnecessary, they still approve the use of magnificent rich vessels.
To bear these there were in the four corners of the room as many stands, each of five tiers, [373/2] all handsome and covered with Persian mileques of gold and silver. These, thus acting as side-boards or buffets, were covered with numerous vessels of gold, which were well worth looking at; some were to be seen inlaid with precious stones, the oothers in place of this had the finest and most brilliant enamel work, which, while it varied as to material, harmonized in colour.
This superb display was accompanied by divers large perfume-holders and braziers of silver, of wonderful workmanship, ranged all round the hall, in which the sweetest perfumes were burnt, composed of various confections of ambergris, eagle-wood, and civet, mingled with other odoriferous substances. These, thus blended, were gratifying without offending and even soothed the olfactory organs. At the [Page 215] entrance to this lovely hall stood a Hydra with seven spouts. It was of silver, of wxquisite workmanship and moderate height, ornamented with greenish scales. It projected out of its renascent heads thin streams of scented water which fell into a large trough of the same material, keeping it always half filled. For, though it discharge part of what it received at one side, the level from the other side was always maintained for washing the feet, which is an essential point of ceremonial courtesy according to Mogol custom.
In the centre of this, for the time being [374/1], gilded and decorated treasure-house a desterchana was laid, that is, a table-cloth, as we should say, made of the finest and whitest muslin, on which, instead of natural sweet-smelling flower, artificial flowers of gold and silver, interwoven in the cltoh, served as ornament.
In the principal place at this table were two large and beautiful cushions of plain gold, and upon these other smaller cushions of silver cloth, also quite plain. The formed the entire furniture of the Imperial table, since napkins, which they do not use, were wanting.
When the time came the Emperor entered, accompanied by a large bevy of gallant, handsome women. These preceded him, dressed in the richest garments,in mileques or cloth of gold, the gold and silver ground-work being ornamented with varied designs in coloured silk: on their heads were adorned with silver garlands. Following this lovely bevy of [Page 216] women came the Emperor between his mother-in-law and her daughter, leading the former on his right and the latter on his left.
Just behind him came the heir-apparent, Prince Sultan Dara Sucur, with his grandfather, Assofo Kan, on his right. As soon as the whole company had reached the principal entrance of this garnished dining-hall they began to play music in the neighbouring rooms, and those opposite them, on every kind of instrument. When [374/2] the Emperor had taken his seat at the table between those two cushions I mentioned, with two venerable matrons at his back, who stood and kept the importunate flies away with rich fans the father-in-law, mother-in-law, and their family knelt down suddenly before the Emperor, who extended his hand to his mother-in-law, made her rise, and addressing her as "mother", placed her on his right. This, however was so appreciated by her husband and grandchildren that they at once made deep and profound obeisance to the Emperor, to prove how fully they valued that favour. In order to enhance it the Emperor ordered them to sit at his table, which they only did after the third demand. They then took their seats at the end of it, the Princes placing their grandfather in the centre.
As soon as all this ceremonial obeisance and prostration was over, and all had taken their places in the order I have noted, sweet sounds of soft voices were heard singing together chants glorifying the battles and victories HIs Majesty had won over [Page 217] his foes. While this well-concerted and sweet harmony of voice and instrument was going on, the arrangements for the washing of hands were brought in, as follows.
First of all four lovely gilrs, relations of Prince Assofo Kan and daughters of great Noblemen, entered. Their white [375/1] and pink complexions and auburn locks would hold their own with the whitest skins which Boreas produces. While they were equal in these points, their northern sisters could not but show themselves inferior in regard to gracefulness, gallant bearing, and beauty, For as it is a warm climate which governs these things and balances pose, action, movement, grace and speech, we ay, when it is lacking, well exclaim as Catullus did of Quincia's beauty: Nulla in tani puichra corpore muca salis. These four moels of beauty advanced in such a manner that the Cyprian goddess herself might well have been envious of their dignity, gallant bearing, and sprightliness. They brought, equally divided amongst the font of them, the implements used in this ablution of the hands of that Imperial Majesty.
After the Royal ceremonies, one of them approached him and spread out before him a white satin cloth she carried in her hands; another placed upon it a very rich golden vessel, inlaid with the finest precious stones, of great value. These vessels are rather better designed than ours. They are hollow in the centre, this hollow being covered by a fine grating, through which the water and saliva passes, without leaving any foul, clotted phlegm on the upper cover in view. As soon as this vesel had been placed before him, another damsel [Page 218] advanced with an ewer of water of the same material [375/1] and value, and she poured out the water, in which the Emperor washed his hands receiving from the remaining damsel a towel on which to dry them. As soon as this ablution ceremony was over these girls retired and twelve more came in, who, though less striking than the first bevy, yet were not unworthy of beig able to appear in any company with confidence. These damsel, after presenting the hand-washing vessel to the Princes with rather less ceremony than the first company had used towards the Emperor, withdrew. The dishes were then brought in by another entrance, to the deafening sound of intruments such as Atab;es, Bergondas, and Vacas, instruments not unlike our trumpet, but of uncertain and mournful tone.
The dinner was brought in rich golden dishes by eunuchs, richly attired in Industane style, with trousers of different couloured silks and white coats of the finest transparent muslin. These coats served to cover their dark-brown skins, which disseminated the precious sweet smeling unguents with which, on this festive occasion, they were anointed. Four of the principal eunuchs placed themselves next His Majesty. They served him only by passing on the dishes brought by other eunuchs to two most lovely damsels who knelt on each side of the Emperor.. These damsels in turn placed the dishes before him, similarly [376/1] handing him his drinking water and removing dishes no longer wanted.
I was astonished and surprised to see so much polite usuage and good order in practice amongst such Barbarians, while I was not less astonished at the abundance and diversity of the dishes and eatables among which some were in European style, especially certain pastries, cakes, and other sweet confections made by some slaves who had been with the Portuguese at Ugalim. These were so admirably and delicately made that the Emperor was surprised at such nvelties, and he asked his father-in-law who made such excellent sweets.
When he said they had made by certain Franguinis (that is Portuguese) the Emperor said, raising his voice as if in astonishment
In truth the Frank would be a great people but for their having three most evil characteristics: first, they are Caffars that is people without a religion): secondly, they eat pork, and thirdly, they do not wash that part from which peplete Nature expels the superfluities of their corporeal bellies.
On the conclusion of this idle discourse the sinner ended also, after lasting over four houres, and the tables being cleared, with a million profis ceremonies, which for this reason I shall not describe in order to narrate and bring to the curious Reader's notice another million more important and interesting matters, which form the cause and also the chief object of such visits [376/1] as the Majesty is accustomed to make to his principal vassals.
Then, as an agreeable and cheering from of dessert to this feast, twelve dancing girls now came in, whose lascivious and suggestive dress, immodest behaviour and posturing, were suited to Maumetan sensuality and wickedness. We may pass them over in silence, left to their own depravity as matter unfit for Christian ears.
So, to return to the real incentive for this obscene meeting, say that three beautiful damsels in rich and festival garb entered amongst them, bearing in their hands three large mostly golden vessels filled with most precious stones. Diamonds, palasios, Pearl, Rubies, and other magnificent gema: according to popular eumour, these three vessels full were worth over ten hundred thousand rupees.
Now this would be a most desirable, estimable, and longedmouthful to a poor man, but to one of the richest Monarchs [Page 220] in the world, the Lord of thirty-seven Kingdoms and provinces (of which we shall later on give a very deatiled and this account) and possessor of vast treasures of gold, silver, and precious stones, it should be of little value. But this Prince was subject to an all-devouring avarice another Marcus Crassus, in his greed for accumulating treasure; and he showed it openly, for he paid scant attention to the dancing and acting which they made for him, spending all the time in gazing at these jewels and letting them pass through his hands; I gather, in order [377/1 to count them. For anything may be expected of a wealthy miser (such as he), of whom thelyric Horace tells in his first Satire: Congestis undique saccis Indormis inhians, et tanquam parcere sacris, Cogeris, aut pictis tanquam gandere tabellis.
When the feast had reached this stage, our eunuch returned to fetchus, telling us it was time we left, for if we stayed to the end it would be very difficult for us.
On this warning we at once got up and followed [377/2] our guide, who, in order not to take us through the body of the Imperial guards, took us by subterranean passages until he put us on the road. We rewarded him for his trouble and the care he had taken of us and started for our lodging. It was far off and we had first to cross many streets and squares to reach it, and that with great difficulty, though we were well satisfied to undergo this in exchange for seeing so much magnificence and things so different from any seen in Europe.
1.1.13. Chapter LXVII
[377/1] THE cause of my delay at starting being past, as I had received what I was waiting for, I was now free nd so took leave of Prince assofo Kan, and next day, [377/2] before the son of Jupiter and Latona had spread his brilliant golden rays over the Earth, we left the City of Laor for that of Multan. This place was ten days' journey distant, and we travelled continuously through cultivated land bearing wheat, rice, vegetables, and cotton. [378/1] Where no crops were growinng many villages and hamlets accupied the vacant spaces, in all of which we met with excellent Caramossoras and cheap provisions. So, journey comfortably on we reached Multan City, which thought but a place of moderate size, is nevertheless very wealthy, well stocked, and plentifully supplied with all necessaries and conveniences man desires. This was due to [Page 222] its being the hiding-place of all the cafilas [...] Persia Cortizane, and other distant kingdoms.
They passed in by this route to all parts of the Empire in order to trade and sell their merchandise, [...] chance, as a rule, in company with the Mogol caravans and cafilas.
This City is, moreover, one of the chief keys to this Empire as it is doorway of the kingdom of Kandahar and [...], the frontiers of the region of Ferra and Maxete, ruled over by the neighbouring and inimical Suffi, as we shall explain when reach those parts.
For the present, to return to Multan: I must state that on the city after my srrival I went to present the Nababo ir Viceroy of that Province with a letter from Assofo Kan. After accepting it with all courtesy and ceremony as a letter from him who stood Secundus de Rege in that monarchy, and in order ot show greater honour to me, he ordered me to sit at hid right hand. On hearing the recommendations [378/1] inside in the the letter he told me that he would give orders for my business to be carried out in the shortest possible time and wish all the security feasible. Meanwhile he invited me to dine with him, but I excused myself on the ground that these were days of rosa with me, which is the same as fast, days. And he went no farther in that matter, as being a question concerned with religion; for they are most scrupulous use it to be the cause of any transgression of its laws.
This pretext served to excuse me from joining those [Page 223] Mammetan feasts where, in some of them one witnesses sights little saited to Christians, and stll less to priests.
On this reply of mine, the Nababo at once sent for a Catari or Heathen merchant, of the class that carries on most of the business in Sinde. He learnt from him that there was no vessel then ready to sail, but that on of his own was being made ready, which would sail within fifteen days at the latest. He was satisfied with this answer, and at once put me under the care of the Catari, with every mark of regard, telling him I was a Baro-manus (which in our tongue would mean "man of position") and as such held in high estimation by the great Nababo, and on this account he recommended and adjured him to take the greatest care of me and to look after me well. The timid Baneane did not know where to bestoe me, after receiving such particular instructions, and so proposed to take me to his own house. But when I excused Myself, saying that I was quite comfortable and well provided for, he [370/1] accompanied me to the Caramossora where I was lodging. But he did not think I was well off there, and hence took me to another, belonging to a friend of his, which stood in the chief street of that City and closer to his house, whence besides the various gifts he made me, almost daily, he courteously came to see me. Now finding myself so much in his debt and obliged to him for all this courtesy, and on the other hand knowing that I had used up all the curios which I had with me, I kept pndering, with some concern, how I was to show my gratitude to this Pagan, by making him a present, which in being foreign would be the more valued. Among other articles which occurred to me the most suitable seemed the purchase of a Persian Camarbando. THese are sashes used by