From Suràt,March 22. Anno 1623.
IN the beginning of this year, at my departure [ I] from Persia, I writ last to you from aboard the Ship call'd the Whale, in which I was newly embarqu'd upon the coasts of that Country, and had not yet begun my Voyage. Since which time having sail'd over a good part of the Ocean, arriv'd at the famous Countries of India, travell'd and view'd no inconsiderable portion thereof; by conveniency of the same Ship which brought me hither, and is ready to set sail speedily towards Muchà in the Arabian Gulph, (and the rather for that a German Gentleman a friend of mine is embarqu'd in her, with an intention to travel from thence, in case he can get passage, to see Aethiopia;) with this Letter (which I recommend to him to get transmitted into Italy, if possible, from those Ports of the Red Sea, or by the way of Cairo, where Page 2 they trade, or by some other conveyance) I come again to give you an Account of my Adventures, and the Curiosities which have hitherto afforded delicious repast to my alwayes hungry Intellect. To begin therefore: Upon Thursday the 19 of January, having dispatch'd and taken order for what was needful, a little before day, after the discharge of some Guns, as 'tis the custome at going off from any Coast, we began leisurely to display our sails, moving but slowly, because we waited for the ship∣boat which was still at shore; upon whose return we unfolded all our Canvase, and though with a small gale, directed our course between the Islands of Ormuz and Kesom, passing on the outer side of Ormuz next Arabia, in regard the shallowness of the Channel towards Persia afforded not water enough for such great Ships as ours. We were in company only two English Ships, namely, the Whale, which was the Captain-ship, (in which I was embarqu'd) commanded by Captain Nicholas Woodcock, and another call'd the Dolphin, which had for Captain, Ma∣ster Matthew Willis. At noon, being near Lareck, and no wind stirring, we cast Anchor without falling our sails, and our Captain sent his long boat a shore to Lareck, with two Grey-hounds which the English of Combrù had given him, to catch what game they could light upon. Towards night we set sail again; but though the wind somewhat increas'd, yet because the boat was not return'd we struck sail a little, and staid for it, discharging also several musket-shots, to the end those that were in it might hear and see where we were: And because 'twas one a clock in the night, and the Boat was not yet come, we doubted some disaster might have befaln it, in regard of the multitude of those Arabian Thieves call'd Nouteks, which rob upon that Sea, and frequently reside in this Island of Lareck: Yet at length it return'd safe and sound, and brought us abun∣dance of Goats; whereupon we again spread our sails freely to the wind, which was pretty stiff, although not much favour∣able to our course. However, we went onwards, plying from the coast of Arabia to that of Persia; and on Saturday morning, as we drew near the Arabian shore, we saw three small Islands, situate near one another, and not far from a certain Cape, the name of which, and the Islands, they could not tell me, so as that I might set it down truly; whereby I perceiv'd how it comes to pass that many names of places in these parts are very corruptly written in Geographical Charts; for in the Countries themselves, where commerce is had for the most part with rude and ignorant people, few of them know how to pronounce the same aright. On Sunday we went from our Ship to recreate our selves in the Dolphin, our companion, where the Captain entertain'd us liberally all day. In the mean time we had a good fresh gale, and sailing directly in the middle of the gulf, we beheld both the coasts of Arabia Felix and Persia; and in the latter discern'd a famous white Rock, which standing in the midst of a Page 3 low sandy shore, looks like a little hill made by hand. We pass'd the Cape, which they call in Persian Com barick, that is, small sand; and the next night we left behind us the point or peak of Giasck. On Monday, the Sea being calm, the Captain and I were standing upon the deck of our ship, discoursing of sundry matters▪ and he took occasion to shew me a piece of a Horn which he told me himself had found in the year 1611. in a Northern Country, whither he then sail'd, which they call Green∣land, lying in the latitude of seventy six degrees. He related how he found this horn in the earth, being probably the horn of some Animal dead there; and that when it was intire it was between five and six feet long, and seven inches in cir∣cumference at the root, where it was thickest. The piece which I saw (for the horn was broken, and sold by pieces in several places) was something more then half a span long, and little less then five inches thick; the colour of it was white, inclining to yellow, like that of Ivory when it is old; it was hollow and smooth within, but wreath'd on the outside. The Captain saw not the Animal, nor knew whether it were of the land or the sea; for according to the place where he found it, it might be as well one as the other: but he believ'd, for certain, that it was of a Unicorn; both because the experience of its being good against poyson argu'd so much, and for that the signes at∣tributed by Authors to the Unicorn's horn agreed also to this, as he conceiv'd. But herein I dissent from him; inasmuch as, if I remember aright, the horn of the Unicorn, whom the Greeks call'd Monoceros, is by Pliny describ'd black, and not white. The Captain added that it was a report, that Unicorns are found in certain Northern parts of America, not far from that Country of Greenland; and so not unlikely but that there might be some also in Greenland, a neighbouring Country, and not yet known whether it be Continent or Island; and that they might some∣times come thither from the contiguous lands of America, in case it be no Island. This Country of Greenland is of late discovery; and the first Christian that discover'd it, or went thither, was this Captain Woodcock, in the year above-mention'd; and he gave it the name of Greenland upon this account, because where∣as the other Northern Countries thereabouts are destitute of grass, (whence the white Bears and Wolves which inhabit them live upon dead Whales and other like things) he found this green and full of Grass, although it be always cover'd over with Snow; so that when the Animals there mind to feed, they hollow the snow with their feet, and easily find the grass which is kept continually fresh under the same. The English now yearly sail thither, where they take abundance of Whales; and some so vast, that when they open the mouth, the wideness is above three Geometrical paces, or fifteen foot over. Of these Whales the English make Oyle, drawing it onely out of the fat of their paunch; and they make such plenty, that out of one single Page 4 Whale, they say, they often get 19, 20, and 21, Tun of Oyl. This Greenland, by what Captain Woodcock saw, who dis∣cover'd it, from the end of seventy six degrees, to seventy eight and a half, (the cold not suffering him to go further) was un-inhabited; he not having found any person there but only wild beasts of many sorts. The Company of the Greenland Merchants of England had the horn which he found, because Captains of ships are their stipendiaries, and, besides their salary, must make no other profit of their Voyages; but what ever they gain or find, in case it be known, and they conceal it not, all accrues to the Company that employes them. When the Horn was in∣tire, it was sent to Constantinople to be sold, where two thousand pounds Sterling was offer'd for it: But the English Company hoping to get a greater rate sold it not at Constantinople, but sent it into Muscovy, where much about the same price was bidden for it; which being refus'd, it was carry'd back into Turkey, and fell of its value; a much less sum being now proffer'd then before. Hereupon the Company conceiv'd, that it would sell more easily in pieces, then intire; because few could be found who would purchase it at so great a rate. Accordingly they broke it, and it was sold by pieces in sundry places; yet for all this, the whole proceed amounted onely to about twelve hun∣dred pounds Sterling. And of these pieces they gave one to the Captain who found it, and this was it which he shew'd me.
On the 25. of January, sailing in the main Sea with the prow [ II] of the Ship South East and by East; and, as I conceive, at a good distance from the Country of Macran, (which I conjecture to be part either of the ancient Caramania, or else of Gedrosia, and at this day having a Prince of its own, lyes upon the Sea Coast between the States of the Persian and those of the Moghol) we discern'd behind us three or four Ships which seem'd to be Frigots or Galliots, but towards Evening we lost sight of them. The same day, and the other before, began to be seen in the Sea abundance of certain things, which I took to be Snakes, or at least fishes in the form of Snakes, being exactly of the form of large Eeles, long and round, and according to the motion of the water seem'd crooked as they floated along the Sea. Neverthe∣less demanding of intelligent persons what they were, I under∣stood that they were neither those Animals, nor yet living things, but onely a kind of excrement of the Sea in that shape, void of all motion, saving what the agitated water gave it; al∣though by reason of the motion of the ship they seem'd to move contrary to us, whilst we saw them left behind. And they told me, that the nearer we came to India, we should see more of these things. The next Evening, our Captain, who was a little more merry then ordinary, (because, the Captain of the Dolphin dining with us that day, he had drank pretty freely in conver∣sation) discoursing with me, as he was wont, after Supper, spoke very frankly to me concerning their affairs of Ormuz: In conclu∣sion Page 5 he told me, that their Treaty with the Persians stood thus; That if they would deliver to the English the Fortress of Ormuz, with half the revenues of the Custom-house and the City, as they desir'd from the beginning; then the English would people Ormuz, and restore the trade as formerly, keeping the same con∣tinually open with Persia; and that for this purpose, and also for guarding that Sea against the Portugals and other Enemies, they would keep four ships in Ormuz. That when this were agreed upon, the English would transport a good number of people from England, and whole Families with Wives and Children, to dwell in Ormuz, as the Portugals did before: and then they would prosecute the War against the Portugals at Machat, and every where else. But if these things were not agreed to, they would make War no longer against the Portugals; nor car'd they for the Traffick of Persia upon other terms. Now should these Treaties take effect, they would in no wise be advantagious for the Catholick Religion; and were there no more to be fear'd, the Portugals would thereby be for ever excluded from recovering Ormuz; yea, all the rest which they possess in those parts would be in great danger. Imanculi Beig, who was Ge∣neral of the Persians in the late Wars, and with whom the English treated in Combrù concerning this affair, Captain Woodcock said, he inclin'd to the bargain; but it was not known what the Chan of Sciraz, and (which is more important) the King would do. On one side, I know, the Persians insisted much upon having Ormuz wholly to themselves; accounting it a small matter to have gain'd, with so much War, and loss of men, onely the half, or rather less then half, the Fortress being deducted which the English demanded for themselves; so that the Persians would have but the same interest there as the King of Ormuz had with the Portugals, and no more. They conceive also, that they have done little, and perhaps ill, should they make no greater acqui∣sition, in having onely chang'd the Portugals in Ormuz for the English, and Christians for Christians; that upon easier terms it might be hop'd, that perhaps the Portugals, after the loss of Ormuz, would agree with the Persians, now there was no more to lose, and onely give the Persians that which the King of Ormuz, a Mahometan like themselves, injoy'd. Moreover, to the Persian, no doubt, the friendship of the Portugals would be more profitable, in regard of the many States which they possess in India, from whence they may with more facility and certainty maintain the accustomed Commerce with Persia. But, on the other side, to see the Portugals so worsted, and the English more fortunate, at least, and couragious, if not more strong, 'tis a clear case that Ormuz will never be reinhabited, nor Trade set on foot again, unless some Nation of the Franks, which have ships and strength at sea, reside there (things which the Persians wholly want, there being neither Mariners nor Timber in Persia, about that Sea, to build ships) and the loss resulting to Persia by the extinguish∣tinguishing Page 6 of this Traffick, the charge of maintaining the Fortress of Ormuz without any profit, and the continual danger of losing it every hour, unless the English guard the Sea with their ships and help to defend it; these and other like considerations may not im∣probably induce the King of Persia (contented to have demonstra∣ted his power and valor, and chastis'd his Enemies, the Portugals, according to his desire) to grant the English as much as they de∣mand: For he should not yield it to them upon force, but out of his liberality; and for his own profit give them that freely, which to retain to himself, as things now stand, would not onely be of no advantage, but of loss. Peradventure he may also imagine now, in the pride of his victory, that as with help of the English he has driven the Portugals out of Ormuz; so 'twill be easie for him to expel the English too, either by the help of others, or else by his own Forces alone, should they not comply with him. However, because these Treaties with the Persian are manag'd by the Company, of Merchants who also made the War, and not by the King of England; and hitherto 'tis not known, whe∣ther their King approve the fact or no, and will prosecute or let fall the enterprize; therefore, for a total conclusion, besides the consent of the King of Persia, they also wait the determination of the King of England; and the greatest hope I have of the defeat∣ing of these projects so prejudicial to the Catholicks, is this alone, that the English King will not meddle in them, and, per∣haps also, prohibit his Subjects so to do; as a person whom we know to be a Friend to Peace, most averse from all kind of War, especially with the King of Spain, while the Match of his Son with the Daughter of Spain is in agitation.
In the mean time we began to find the Sea sufficiently rough, [ III] being got wholly out of the Persian Gulph, and enter'd into the open Sea, (term'd by the Ancients Mare rubrum, and by us at this day the Southern Ocean) and having pass'd not onely the Cape of Giasck, but also that of Arabia, which the Portugals vulgarly call Rosalgate, as it is also set down in the Maps; but properly ought to be call'd Ras el had, which in the Arabian Tongue sig∣nifies Capo del fine, or the Cape of the Confine, because 'tis the last of that Country, and is further then any other extended in∣to the Sea; like that of Galicia in our Europe, which for the same reason we call Finis Terrae. On Saturday, the 28. of Janu∣ary, having taken the meridional altitude of the Sun, according to daily custom, and made such detraction of degrees as was ne∣cessary, we found our selves twenty three degrees five minutes distant from the Equinoctial towards the North: whence by consequence we had pass'd the Tropick of Cancer twenty six mi∣nutes and a half, according to the opinion of the Moderns, who reckon the Sun's greatest declination where the Tropicks are, twenty three degrees thirty one minutes and a half distant from the Equinoctial. During the succeeding dayes we sail'd with a brisk but favourable wind, and with a Sea not tempestuous Page 7 but something rough. Every day about the hour of noon the Sun's altitude was infallibly observ'd, not onely by the Pilots, as the custom is in all ships, and the Captain, (who was a good Seaman, and perform'd all the exercises of Art very well) but (which pleas'd me most, and which I thought worthy of great praise and imitation) there was no day, but at that hour twenty or thirty mariners, masters, boys, young men, and of all sorts came upon the deck to make the same observation; some with Astrolabes, others with Cross-staffs, and others with several other instruments, particularly with one which they told me was lately invented by one David, and from his name call'd David's-staff. This Instrument consists of two Triangles united together, one longer then the other, both having their base arch'd, and between them in the circle of their bases containing an intire quadrant of ninty degrees. But whereas the shortest Triangle, whose Angles are less acute, contains sixty degrees divided by tens (according to custom) in the circle of its base, which are two thirds of a quadrant; the other longer and of acuter Angles, which extends much backward, and opens in a wider circle at the base, comprehends no more then thirty, which make the remainder of the quadrant; so that the longer Triangle contains fewer degrees by half then the shorter; and he that would have the degrees larger for the better subdividing them into minutes, may make the circle or base of the lesser Triangle take up seventy degrees, and so there will remain to the longer no more then twenty for the complement of the quadrant. Ac∣cording to this distribution, the degrees in the longer Triangle will come to be so large, as to be capable of the smallest division of minutes; a thing very important. Besides, it hath two Fanes or Sights, in each Triangle one, which are to be mov'd back∣ward and forward; and with these, that is, with that of the long Triangle, the level of the Horizon is taken; and with the other of the short Triangle, that of the Sun; with this fur∣ther conveniency, that the Sights being sufficiently large, are therefore very expedient for performing the operation with speed, notwithstanding the dancing of the ship when the Sea is rough; in which case, if the Sights be too small, 'tis hard to make any observation. With this Instrument, and several others, many of the English perform'd their operations every day; such as knew not how to do them well, were instructed; and if any one err'd in computation or otherwise, his error was shew'd him, and the reason told him, that so he might be train'd to work exactly: The opinion of the skilful was heard, and taken notice of; and at length all the observations being compar'd together, the Pilot and the Captain resolv'd, and with mature counsel de∣termin'd of all; by which means their voyages are very well manag'd, and almost always succeed prosperously to them. In the Portugal ships I hear the contrary comes to pass; because the Pilots being extremely jealous of their affairs (an habitual Page 8 humour of that Nation) will be alone to make their observati∣ons, and for the most part perform them in secret, without any Associate to see them: Should any other person in the ship offer to take the altitude of the Sun, or look upon the Map or Com∣pass, or do any thing that relates to the well guiding of the Ves∣sel, and knowing its course, they would quarrel with him, and by no means suffer him to do it; being averse that any other should meddle with what they say is their office and belongs to them alone. From their being so little communicative, and very averse to teach others, it happens that few amongst them un∣derstand any thing of the Art of Navigation, there being none that will teach it experimentally; and they understand little enough, because they have no conference about the practical part, and learn much less of the Theory. This is the reason that their ships frequently miscarry, to the incredible detriment both of particular persons and of the Kingdom: And which is worse, 'tis said that not onely many of them are lost through the ignorance or negligence of those that guide them, but also sometime by malice: For the Portugal Pilots have got a custom when they are to make a Voyage, to take up great sums of mo∣ney at Lisbon upon interest, the most they can get to trade with∣all; and they take the same by way of Venture upon the ships which they guide: Now when by the way any small disaster befalls them, they not onely avoid it not, as many times they might do, but, if they be of evil intention, they cunningly run the ships aground either in these Coasts of Africa or elsewhere; so that though oftentimes the people, and also the arms, goods, especially of the greatest value be sav'd, yet so it is, that some∣times many perish or suffer excessive loss; and this onely to the end, that the shipwrack may be the occasion of their remaining gainers of the monies taken up at interest upon the hazard afore∣said; which monies they carry not with them to trade withall, but leave all at home in Portugal: A practice indeed very per∣nicious, and which ought to be most rigorously punish'd: but the Portugals have now no King in their Country to mind their affairs, and the government depends upon Madrid, where per∣haps they that administer it, being more intent upon their pri∣vate interests then the publick, these and infinite other disor∣ders pass unredress'd. The English, on the contrary, and other Europaeans which sail upon the Ocean, are most diligent and strict observers of all exact discipline, and of what concernes the good conduct of their ships; and because they well under∣stand all the most exquisite points of Navigation, and are ex∣tremely curious, as well in the Practice as in the Theory, they spare no pains, and neglect not the doing of any thing whereby they may render their Navigations in all places more easie and secure: Insomuch that Captain Woodcock, upon occasion of his having staid a year and odd moneths with his ship in the Persian Gulph, shew'd me a Chart or Plat-form of the whole Streight Page 9 of Ormuz, made by himself during that time with the highest exactness; for he had not onely taken the most just measures and distances of all the adjacent places, but also sounded all the Coast with a plummet, to find all the convenient places where great ships, such as theirs, might ride and cast anchor when occasion should require.
On the Third of February, conceiving by our reckoning that [ IIII] we were near India, in the Evening we let down the plummet into the Sea, as we us'd often to do, and found it not above se∣venteen fathom; whereby 'twas concluded, that we were little more then six leagues distant from land, although by reason of the darkness of the Air none could be yet discern'd; because that precise depth of water uses to be found in those Seas at that di∣stance from land. The Captain, who by well observing the Sun and the Winds, had every day diligently noted the ships way in the Map, as the custom is, hop'd that we might be near the City of Daman, which lies within the Gulph of Cambaia, on the right hand as you enter into it, a good way inwards; but I, without having so much minded the Maps, said, that I conceiv'd we were much lower, and more without the Gulph towards Bas∣sain; because although we had always sail'd and kept the ships prow directed to Daman by the shortest line, yet for the two or three last dayes we had had the Wind for that place contrary; which although it hinder'd us not from holding our course, be∣cause we help'd our selves with the rudder, and siding of the sails, yet the violence of the Wind must needs have continually driven the ship something lower then we intended. Two hours after midnight, the current of the Gulph of Cambaia being con∣trary, against which, by reason of its impetuosness, there is no sailing for a while, but the ship must stay either for the turning of it, (which is known when it will happen, because it regularly changes according to the hours and days of the Moon) or for a strong Wind wherewith to master the current; for this reason, and also that the day-light might resolve us in what place we were, we cast anchor, and struk sail, to wait for a more fitting time. The Sea in this place began to be very rough, which happens by reason of the strong current which it hath. The next Morning we discern'd land afar off, and, according to my conjecture, it appear'd that we were lower, that is, more to the South of Daman about twelve leagues, in a place a little distant from Bassain, which the English call Terra di San Giovanni, but in the Sea-Chart is noted in the Portugal Tongue with the name of Ilhas das vaccas, or the Islands of Cows. About one a clock in the Afternoon, the Tide being become less contrary, we set sail again by degrees, approaching still nearer the shore of India. But a little before Night the current turning against us, we were constrain'd to cast anchor once more; nevertheless after mid∣night it became favourable again, and we sail'd onwards by de∣grees till day. This slow course through the Gulph of Cambaia,Page 10 with the plummet always in hand, and sounding every hour, it was requisite for us to hold, because the place is dangerous, in regard of the many shelves or quick-sands which are in it, and especially because the current, which turns every six hours, now setting one way, and anon the other, causes great hindrance. By reason of which shelves, from the time of our entrance into the Gulph, we did not guide the ship directly towards Suràt, which no doubt would have been the shortest way by a strait line, but keeping lower towards Daman, fetch'd a large compass to the South, tacking about afterwards to the North when we were near land, onely to avoid the many shelves and shallows, through which our great ships could not pass. On Sunday, the the fifth of February, being at anchor in the Morning, we dis∣cover'd near the land, which was not very far from us, ten or fifteen Frigots or Galliots sailing Eastwards; which probably were either Portugal or Indian Merchants of some Cafila, (as they call a Fleet or Consort of ships) coming from Cambaia to go to Goa, or some other place thereabouts. The night following, we heard the report of Artillery, which we conceiv'd to come from the City of Daman, being the place nearest us. Wednesday night after, the Wind blew somewhat hard against us, in regard whereof, and the strength of the current which carry'd us in that narrow channel amongst shelves and quick-sands, we sail'd for a good while very circumspectly, and not without some danger. On Thursday we stood right against the mouth of the River of Suràt, which City is not situate upon the shore, but some leagues within land: And because there is no station there for great ships, we continued sailing Northwards to the place where is the Port most frequented by the ships of Europe; which though the best of all that Coast, yet the Vessels of that Country, not knowing so well how to steer, make not much use of it, because the entrance is a little difficult. On Fryday the tenth of Febru∣ary, in the Afternoon, the favour of the current failing us, we cast anchor in sight of the Port of Suràt at a little distance; and our boat going a shore, the President of the English Merchants (who uses to reside in Suràt, and is superintendent of all their Trade in East-India, Persia, with the other places depending on the same, is now one Mr. Thomas Rastel) perceiving our ships near, and being at that time at the Sea-side near the landing place, came in our boat to the ships, together with one of their Ministers, (so they call those who exercise the office of Priests) and two other Merchants; and after a collation and a supper lodg'd with us all night. He spoke Italian very well, and made me many civil offers and complements; shewing himself in all things a a person sufficiently accomplish'd, and of generous deportment, according as his gentile and graceful aspect bespoke him. He inform'd me, that SigrAlberto di Scilling, a German Gentleman, known to me in Persia, having return'd from the Court of the Moghol, and other parts of India, which he had travell'd to Page 11 see, was at that time in Surat, from whence he was gone to see the City of Barocci hard by, and would return speedily: with which intelligence I was much pleas'd, because Sig: Alberto was my great friend, and I extremely desir'd to see him. On Saturday Morning we convers'd together for some time, drinking a little of hot wine boyl'd with Cloves, Cinnamon, and other spices, which the English call burnt wine, and use to drink frequently in the Morning to comfort the stomack, sipping it by little and little for fear of scalding, as they do Cahue, (Coffee) by me else∣where describ'd. And they use it particularly in the Winter to warm themselves; though in India 'tis not necessary for that end, because albeit 'twas still Winter, according to our division of the seasons, yet we had more heat there then cold. After this short refection, the President return'd a shore, and I remain'd in the ship, not expecting to disimbarque till we were got into the Harbour, which was a little before night, and the anchors were cast very near the land: but because 'twas now late, and the City of Surat was a good distance off, none of us car'd to land. Nor did I go out of the ship on Sunday, both because it was a sacred day, and because our Captain was pleas'd to give an Enter∣tainment to us and the Captain of the Dolphin, our companion in the voyage. Monday, the thirteenth of the same moneth, was the day of my Ague, whereof I had had divers fits by the way at sea; nevertheless, after a collation I went on shore, together with the Captain of our ship, where we continu'd under certain tents pitch'd for convenience of the Tonnellers, (so the English term certain of their Mariners imploy'd to fill the Casks with water) in expectation of Coaches to carry us to Surat; there being in those Countries subject to the Moghol, abundance of Coaches made after their fashion, which I formerly describ'd when I saw some of them at Casbin, which the Indian Ambassador gave, amongst his presents, to the King of Persia; nor remains any thing more to be said of them, but that they are at this day much like the ancient Indian Chariots, describ'd by Strabo, and are generally cover'd with crimson silk,* fring'd with yellow round about the roof and the curtains: And that the Oxen, which also as anciently draw the same, are fair, large, white, with two bunches like those of some Camells, and run and gallop like Horses; they are likewise cover'd with the same stuff, but beset with many tufts or tassels, and abundance of bells at their necks; so that when they run or gallop through the streets they are heard at a sufficient distance, and make a very brave show. With these kind of Coaches in India, they not onely go in Cities, but also for the most part travel in the Country. To the Sea side came no Coach, and therefore the Captain went on foot to a Town a mile off, call'd Sohali, where he intended to spend the day in recreating himself amongst the Franks, who have Houses there for repositing the goods which they continually send to the Sea side to be ship'd: but I could not accompany him, be∣cause Page 12 of my Ague, and therefore staid in a Tent, well cover'd with Clothes upon my bed, which I caus'd to be laid upon the ground, waiting till the Captain sent me a Coach, and Carts from the City for my goods. Whilst I was lying in this place, the violence of my fit was scarce over, when I beheld a Cavalier ap∣pear on the shore on Horse-back, cloth'd and arm'd after the Indian manner with a Scemiter and Target, who came towards our Tent, and stood still to speak with some person, as if he in∣quir'd for something among us: Upon his nearer approach, and my better considering him, I perceiv'd 'twas my great friend Sig: Alberto di Scilling, who being return'd from Barocci, whi∣ther the President had told me he was gone, and hearing news of us, was come from Surat to the Sea side to meet me. Whereupon, raising my self suddenly from the bed, we received one the other with such kindnesses as are usual between two good friends, who come from far, and have not seen one another a long time; after which sitting down together, we recounted our adventures one to the other at length, he much condoling my misfortunes, and regretting to find me sufficiently different from what he had left me in Persia. Towards Evening came two Coaches and a Carr, with which we went together to the Town Sohali, where we found the two Captains of the ships waiting for us with a Col∣lation ready prepar'd, which immediately they gave us, enter∣taining us in conversation till night; and certain Indian Women of the Town, publick dancers, gave us some pastime by dancing to the sound of Drums, Bells, and other instruments of their fashion, which were sounded by their Husbands with very great noise, and not without disturbance of my head. A little within night the Captains took leave of us, and returned to their ships, and we betook our selves to rest the remainder of the night in this Town, because it was necessary to stay till day before we could enter into Surat, the Gates of the City being shut in the night time, at least that of the Dogana, or Custom-house, through which we were to pass. They told us the way to the City was seven Cos, or Corù, (for 'tis all one) and every Cos or Corù is half a Fersegna, or league of Persia; so that it answers to little less then two English Miles.
The next Morning very early we put our selves on the way [ V] towards Surat, and being I conceiv'd my abode there would be but short, and that when I should depart thence my way would be by Sea; therefore to avoid greater trouble, both of convey∣ance and of the Dogana, or Custom-house, which is known to be rigorous in Surat, I left all my Trunks and gross luggage in the ship, and carry'd with me onely such few things as were re∣quisite for daily use. The high-way from the Sea side to the City, (as 'tis also generally in this province of Guzarat, wherein we were) is all very even; the soil green all the year, and about the Town Sohali grow abundance of Trees of Indian Nuts, Tama∣rinds, and other fruits. Beyond the Town the Trees are not so Page 13 plentiful, unless near certain houses; but the fields are every where either ploughed, or full of living creatures feeding in them. We arriv'd at the City in good time, in the entrance of which there is a River call'd Tapì, or Taptì, which was to be pass'd over by boat: On the other side of which River, something on the right hand as you go into the City, which hath no walls, stands a Castle lately built, but very ill design'd. Moreover, near the place where the boats land stands the Dogana, or Custom-house, and it took us up some time to dispatch there, because they observe very narrowly all goods that are brought in, (although they be but Clothes for change) to see whether there be any thing coming to the Customes; nor will they suffer strangers to enter till they be first known and have licence, as 'tis also practis'd in Venice. In all things they proceed with so great wariness and good order, that it being known that I conducted with me the SigraMariuccia, although a girl very young, the Capo, or President of the Dogana, requir'd likewise to be inform'd of her quality, and gave order that she should not be conducted with any violence or other disorder: otherwise, in lawful things, there is no difficulty, either through diversity of Religion, or upon any other account. We were no sooner come to the Dogana, but the news of our arrival was, I think, by Sig: Al∣berto's means, carried to the House of the Dutch, many of which have Wives there which they married in India, purposely to go with them and people a new colony of theirs in Java Major, which they call Batavia Nova; where very great priviledges are granted to such of their Country-men as shall go to live there with Wives and Families: For which end, many of them, for want of Eu∣ropaean, have taken Indian, Armenian, and Syrian Women, and of any other race that falls into their hands, so they be or can be made Christians. Last year the Fleet of the Portugals which went to India was encountred at Sea, and partly sunk, partly taken by the Hollanders; amongst other booty, three Maidens were taken, of those poor but well descended Orphans which are wont to be sent from Portugal every year at the King's charge, with a dowry which the King gives them, to the end they may be married in India, in order to further the peopling of the Portugal Colonies in those parts. These three Virgins fal∣ling into the hands of the Hollanders, and being carry'd to Suràt, which is the principal seat of all their traffick, the most eminent Merchants amongst them strove who should marry them, being all passably handsome. Two of them were gone from Suràt, whether to the abovesaid Colony, or elsewhere, I know not. She that remain'd behind was call'd Donna Lucia, a young Woman, fair enough, and Wife to one of the wealthiest and eminentest Hollanders. The President of the Hollanders call'd by them the Commendator, who resides in Suràt, and has the general superintendency of their affairs in all these parts of the East, is at this time Sig: Pietro Vandenbroecke, a Gentleman of good breed∣ing, Page 14 and very courteous; he speaks no Italian, but Spanish very well, as being born at Antwerp: He lives in a goodly Palace, which hath many distinct apartments, with several entrances into a Court, like so many different houses, onely included within the same wall, which is entred into by one great Gate: Here the Commendator holds the best and largest apartment to himself; in the rest lodge some of their gravest Merchants, which are of the Council for management of affairs, in order to their better conveniency and union, besides many others of inferior con∣dition, which live out of this great inclosure, dispers'd elsewhere in the City, and when occasion requires, they all repair to the Pa∣lace of the Commendator. Amongst those whose habitation was in the Palace of the Commendator, Donna Lucia's Husband has one of the principal, where he lives with his family and and Wife, whom, according to the custom of India, he maintains with much splendor and gallantry. Now upon their knowledge of our arrival, Donna Lucia presently sent her coach to bring Sig: Mariuccia to her house, for her better accommodation with her, till we had setled out business, and provided lodgings. I was well pleas'd with the motion, because till I had well accommodated my self with a place of residence, the Sig: Mariuccia could not be better dispos'd of then with this Portugal Gentlewoman, who is a Christian, and withal secretly a Catholick, with the privity and connivance of her Husband, although in publick she makes a virtue of necessity, and in appearance conformes to the unhap∣py mode of that Nation, into whose power the fortune of war and the disaster of her Country-men hath brought her. Sig: Al∣berto Scilling, had, before we came from the Sea-side, importun'd me in the name of the Commendator to lodge at his house; which favour I much thank'd him for, and handsomely declin'd, not thinking fit to accept it, because I had receiv'd and wav'd the like invitation made to me before by the English President, who thought me the more oblig'd to comply with his offer, be∣cause I came in their Ships: But I excus'd my self both to the Commendator and the President; partly, because I was desirous to be at liberty by my self, and partly, for that it was requisite for Sig: Mariuccia to be amongst Women, of which there was none in the English House. Being got quit of the Custom-house, I went to see for a House; and because I was a new comer, and and had no servant that knew the City, I referr'd my self to the direction of Sig: Alberto, who took this care upon himself, and soon after told me he had sent to get one prepar'd and put in good order; But by what I found afterwards, he had contriv'd with the Dutch Commendator onely to delude me; for as he was car∣rying me to the place where he pretended to have taken a House for me, he made me pass by the Palace of the Hollanders, out of the Gate whereof a Gentleman belonging to the Commen∣dator step'd forth, and invited me in his name to alight from my Horse, and at least stay and dine with him that day, the rather Page 15 because SigraMariuccia was there; telling me that it was not conve∣nient for me wait in the streets undecently and tediously, whilst a House was preparing for me elsewhere, which could not be done so speedily. Notwithstanding which reasons, I endeavour'd all that possibly I could to decline this invitation, out of respect to the English President, and with affectionate thanks desir'd the Gentleman to excuse me to the Sigr Commendator, straining my self to correspond to his courtesie with the best Comple∣ments I had: But this avail'd me little; for as I was hastening to break off the discourse and be gone, the Commendator him∣self came forth into the street half undress'd as he was in the house, and taking hold of my Horse's bridle, told me that he would by no means suffer me to go any where else now it was late without certain quarters; at least, I must needs stay and dine with him that day. Beholding him thus on foot before me, I alighted in civility from my Horse, and with the best words I could, endeavour'd to get quit from the courteous violence which he us'd to me: But there was no remedy; he held me pri∣soner, as I may say, and I was fain to stay dinner with him as he desir'd. Moreover, when night came, being I was resolv'd to lodge in another House of mine own, under pretext that none could be got though sought for all day, (wherein I know not whether SigrAlberto deluded me too) I was forc'd to accept of a large House from the Commendator which he had taken for himself, before his late removal to that great Palace wherein he liv'd with the rest of his Country-men; which former House re∣maining empty at his charge and disposal, I was by his great importunity oblig'd to accept: Wherefore I went to lodge there this night, and for the conveniency of SigraMariuccia, they sent thither one of their Wives, a young Christian Woman of Arme∣nian race, though born in India, with some other women-ser∣vants. Now lest the English President should take this ill, I purpos'd to prevent him with terms of courtesie; and the next Morning after a short, and the last fit of my Tertian, I went to give him a visit, and make my excuses to him by representing to him the reasons of what had pass'd with the Hollanders, without any voluntary fault of mine: But upon my enquiry at his House, and sending my message to him, I was answer'd that he was not at home, although we perceiv'd by certain signes that he was, but fairly declin'd to receive my visit. Wherefore understand∣ing afterwards that he was much incens'd not onely against me, but also against the Holland Commendator, conceiving that he had unhandsomely stolne and usurp'd me from him, (as he said) in regard of the interest he had in us, upon the account of our be∣ing brought thither in their ships; and that he had a more par∣ticular displeasure against SigrAlberto, knowing him to have been the principal occasion of all, I thought it expedient to appease him by all means, and upon what ever terms of satisfaction: Ne∣vertheless I did not judge it meet to venture another repulse by Page 16 going to visit him, but sent him a Letter in justification of my self, with all the civil expressions I could devise. At first he was something backward to receive it, doubting perchance that I had written angerly to him, in regard of my preceding visit: yet at length, upon the request of some mediators whom I made use of, he took it, read it, and remain'd very well satisfied with my proceedings, in which there was nothing but gentleness. The Commendator likewise, being one of an excellent nature, us'd all means he could to give the President satisfaction, and to shew him that what he had done with us was to no ill end; he went purposely to visit him, carrying Sig: Alberto with him, to the end he might justifie himself too: both of them intreated, and both of them took the blame upon themselves; in fine, so much was done and said that the President was reconcil'd with all. And because it was insisted on my behalf that he would admit a visit from me, he consented upon this condition, that this first time should not be simply my visit but his invitation, which accordingly he made to us to come all together that night to supper with him, where he treated us very splendidly, and every thing ended in jollity and friendship as at first. And all the while that I stay'd at Suràt, he oblig'd me continually with sundry demonstrations of his affection; particularly, by often sending his own Coach to me, with his Interpreter, who is an Armenian Christian, and a Catholick, call'd Scander, Brother to F. Agostino Bagiezzi of Alingia, a Dominican, my acquaintance in Persia: which Interpreter being skill'd in the Country, and conversing with me in the Persian Tongue, carry'd me frequent∣ly abroad to see sundry things. As for the Hollanders, the ca∣resses and civilities which they have done, and still continue to me, are so numerous, that I shall have them in remembrance as long as I live. But 'tis time now to speak a little of this City, and the curiosities which here and elsewhere I have lately seen.
The City of Suràt is of a handsome greatness, and, for these [ VI] Countries, of sufficiently good building: 'Tis very populous, as all other Cities and places are in India, which every where abounds with people. The Inhabitants are partly Gentiles, and partly Mahometans; and, if I am not deceived, the former are the greater number: However, they live all mixt together and peaceably, because the Gran Moghol, to whom Guzaràt is now subject, (having sometimes had a distinct King) although he be a Mahometan (but not a pure one, as they report) makes no difference in his Dominions between the one sort and the other: and both in his Court and Armies, and even amongst men of the highest degree, they are of equal account and consideration. Yet the Mahometans, as the Masters, especially those of the Mogholian Race, which now is the Imperial in these parts, seems to have some little more of authority. But forasmuch as I have formerly survey'd and observ'd the manners of the Mahometans both in Turkey and Persia, I now turn my mind to those of the Page 17 Gentile-Idolaters in India, which are more new to me; and with such observations in reference to both, as shall seem worthy of notice, I shall not fail to acquaint you. In the first place, I shall give you the relation of a Nuptial Pomp, which I saw one day pass by my house in this manner; A long train of men with Drums and Trumpets before them march'd in the day time first, carrying cover'd baskets full of sundry things, which were either a Present sent from the Bridegroom to the Bride, or rather the attiring of the Bride, which uses to be publickly shewn in the East. Then follow'd on foot likewise some black Women-slaves, well cloth'd, being given to the Bride either by the Father or the Husband. Lastly, to conclude the Pomp, came a Palanchino, a kind of Litter, wherein persons of quality are wont to be carry'd in India. It was not of the ordinary form, which hang downwards upon one pole between the bearers before and be∣hind; but it was to be carry'd on high upon poles by four men, one at each corner, and it was cover'd all over with silk, yet no body was within it; so that I know not what it serv'd for, unless haply it was intended to transport the Bride to her Husband; this different fashion being for greater solemnity made use of, in such an occasion as Marriage. At night the married couples pass'd by, and, according to their mode, went round about the City with a numerous company. They were four, all very small Children, two boys and two girls; (for in India most Marriages are made at that age) and because they were not big enough to ride on Horse-back alone, therefore they were held up by so many well-grown men who sat upon the saddle. Before them went many Torches and Musical instruments, with a great troop of people on foot accompanying them. But the persons of qua∣lity follow'd in Coaches, of which there was a good number, and going one by one they made a very long train; whereby it was known that the married Children were of considerable quality.
Of remarkable things without the City, there is on one side [ VII] a very large Cistern or Artificial Pool, surrounded with stone-work, and contriv'd with many sides and angles, at which there are stairs leading down to the surface of the water. In the midst stands a little Island, which cannot be gone to but by boat or swimming. The Diametre of this Artificial Lake is two good furlongs, which in our parts would seem a competent largeness, but here 'tis not much; and this Fish-pond of Suràt is not ac∣counted among the greatest, but the least in India; where indeed they are numerous, and the most magnificent and goodly structures, or rather, the only structures in this Country which have any thing of magnificence or handsomeness. They are made in divers places by Princes, Governours of Countries, or other wealthy persons, for the publick benefit, and as works of Charity; because the soil, sutable to the Climate, is sufficiently hot, and aboundeth not in water: Rivers are not in all places; and Page 18 other running waters and springs there are scarce any, especially in the more in-land parts remote from the Sea; Rain likewise very seldome through the whole year, saving in that season call'd by them Pausecàl, which signifies, The time of rain, being about three moneths, beginning about the middle of June; and during which time, the Rain is continual and very great: whence some upon this account call these three moneths Winter, although the weather be then hottest, as well in India as in all the rest of the northern Hemisphere. And this, no doubt, proceeds from the Pro∣vidence of God; since, were it not for this great rain, India would be in regard of the great heat and drought at this time, unhabita∣ble; as likewise the whole torrid Zone, in which most of India lies, was believ'd by the Ancients, who had no knowledge of these marvellous rains, which render it not onely habitable, but also fertile and most delitious. Now, for that the Country is in some parts so scarce of water, many Cities and inhabited places have no other but the rain-water gather'd in these great Ci∣sterns; which are so capacious, that one of them suffices a City for a whole year and more: And it not onely affords drink to men and animals, but also they wash clothes and beasts in it when occasion requires, and make use of it to all purposes; whereby it comes to pass that in some places the water they have is not over clear; and the rude Indians care not for such delicacies, but 'tis enough for them if they have what is barely needful. The Cistern, or Lake of Suràt, hath a great Trench adjoyn'd to it on one side, long, large, and deep, over which certain small bridges are built; and it falls into another less Cistern a good way off, which though but small here compara∣tively, would yet be a very large one in our parts; 'tis built with many sides of stone like the former, as also the banks of the Trench are. Between the great Lake and the less, upon the Trench, stands a small Cupola, or arched Structure, made for the sepulture of some principal Mahometans of the Country; and, as they say, of two brethren who kill'd one the other, and of their Wives. 'Tis no long time since this Cistern was made, according to the common report, by a private man of this City, but sufficiently wealthy; whose Daughter, they say, or rather one descended from him, is still living, and I know not by what sinister hap of fortune, very poor, so that she hath scarce bread to eat: Wherein I observ'd a great ingratitude of the Citizens of Suràt, in suffering his heir to want food, who for their pub∣lick benefit had been at so great expence. This Poole of Suràt is call'd Gopì Telau, that is, the Poole of Gopì, which was his name who made it at his own charge. And although the King, who in those dayes rul'd over Guzaràt, did what he could to have it call'd after his own name; yet that of the Builder has been justly retain'd by the vulgar, and remains to this day. 'Tis not im∣probable,* that this Gopì, who made this Piscina of Suràt, is the same whom Giovanni di Barros in his second Decade of AsiaPage 19 frequently mentions with the title of Melìk, and relates to have been in those times, a little above a hundred years ago, a great friend to the Portugals; styling him often Lord of Barocci, and once, in the last book, Lord of Suràt;* but I rather believe that he was onely Governour of either of these Cities under the then Mahometan Kings of Cambaia, (as he speaks) that is, of Guza∣ràt; of which Province Cambaia is a principal, and in a manner the Maritine City, more known then the rest to the Portugals by trade; whence they have given its name to the whole King∣dome, although not Cambaia, but Ahmedabàd, more within land, is properly the Royal Seat. 'Tis therefore possible that Melìk Gopì, mention'd by Barros, made this Cistern when he was Governour of Suràt, it being the work and expence of such a person. Nor do the vulgar mistake in saying that he was a private man, since under the Mahometan Princes, who never allow any hereditary Lord in their Territories, the Governours of their Cities, and all other Ministers, (whom they choose indif∣ferently out of all sorts of people, and not seldome out of the lowest plebeians, and are always removable at pleasure) may with reason be call'd private persons, although advanc'd to what∣ever high dignity.
On an other side of the City, but out of the circuit of the [ VIII] houses, in an open place, is seen a great and fair Tree, of that kind which I saw in the sea coasts of Persia near Ormùz, cal∣led there Lul, but here Ber. The Gentiles of the Country hold it in great veneration for its greatness and age, visiting and honoring it often with their superstitious ceremonies, as dear and dedicated to a Goddess of theirs call'd Parvetì; whom they hold to be the Wife of Mahadeù, one of their greatest Deities. On the trunk of this Tree a little above the ground, they have rudely engraven a round circle, which really hath not any fea∣ture of a humane countenance, but according to their gross ap∣plication represents that of their Idol. This face they keep painted with a bright Flesh-colour, and this by a sacred rite of Religion; as the Romans also dy'd the face of Jupiter with Ver∣million, as Pliny testifies: Round about it are fastned Flowers, and abundance of a plant whose leaves resemble a Heart, call'd here Pan, but in other places of India, Betle. These leaves the Indians use to champ or chaw all day long, either for health's sake, or for entertainment and delight, (as some other Nations for the same reasons, or rather through evil custome, conti∣nually take Tobacco:) And therewith they mix a little ashes of sea-shels, and some small pieces of an Indian Nut sufficiently common, which here they call Foufel, and in other places Areca; a very dry fruit, seeming within like perfect wood; and be∣ing of an astringent nature they hold it good to strengthen the Teeth: Which mixture, besides its comforting the stomack, hath also a certain biting taste wherewith they are delighted; and, as they chaw it, it strangely dyes their lips and mouths red, Page 20 which also they account gallant; but I do not, because it appears not to be natural: They swallow down onely the juice after long mastication, and spit out the rest: In Visits, 'tis the first thing offer'd to the visitants; nor is there any society or pastime with∣out it. He that is curious to know more of it, may consult the Natural Historians who have written of the exotick Simples of India, particularly Garcias ab Horto, Christopher Acosta, Nicolaus Monardes, translated all together into Latin by Carolus Clusius. I shall onely add, that the fame I had heard in Persia of this Indian Masticatory, (especially from an Italian Fryer who had been in India, and told me 'twas a thing not onely of great nutriment, and very good for the stomack, but moreover of an exquisite re∣lish) made me desirous to try it. As for its other qualities I can say nothing; but there is no great matter in the taste, nor should I make much difference of chawing these leaves of Pan, or those of our Cedars. But to return to my Relation; Those flowers and leaves about the Idol's face carv'd in the Tree, are frequently chang'd, and fresh constantly supply'd; and those which at times are taken away, are given as a sacred thing to the people who come from all parts to visit it. In the same rude sculpture of a humane face, they have put certain eyes of Silver and Gold with some jewels, which were given by some persons who fool∣ishly believ'd themselves cur'd of maladies of the eyes, by virtue of the Idol: Before whom, upon a little hillock, stands conti∣nually one of their Gioghi, who among the Indians are a sort of Hermits; and sometimes I have seen a Woman too standing there. On high, there hangs a Bell, which those that come to make their foolish devotions, first of all ring out, as if thereby to call the Idol to hear them; then they fall to their adoration, which is commonly to extend both hands downwards as much as possible, being joyn'd together in a praying posture; which lifting up again by little and little, they bring to their mouths as if to kiss them; And lastly, extend them so joyn'd together, as high as they can, over their heads: Which gesticulation is us'd onely to Idols and sacred things; for to men, even to Kings them∣selves, they make the same Salutation (which in the Persian-Tongue they call Teslìm, and in their Indian, Sumbaia) only with the right hand. This ceremony being perform'd, some make their prayers onely standing, others prostrate themselves with their whole body groveling upon the earth, and then rise again; others onely touch the ground with the head and fore-head, and perform other like acts of Humility. After which, they go about the Tree, some once, others oftner, and then sprinkle before the Idol either Rice, or Oyle, or Milk, or other such things which are their Offerings and Sacrifices without blood; for to shed blood, e∣ven for Sacrifice, is not their custome; but to kill any sort of Ani∣mal is counted a great sin. Such as are of ability, give moreover some Almes to the person attending the service of the Idol; from whom in requital they receive the flowers and leaves which are Page 21 about the Idol, and that with great devotion, kissing them, and in token of reverence laying them upon their heads. A-side of this Tree, stands a very small Cupola, or Chappel, with a very narrow window for entrance; I saw not what was within it, but I was inform'd that Women who have no Children go in there sometimes, and after they have been there become fruitful by the virtue of the place; but as in false Religions every thing is imposture, so 'tis the opinion here, that the attendants of the Idol play fine pranks in this particular, either beguiling simple young Women, or satisfying the more crafty; whom indeed they sometimes cause to become pregnant, but 'tis by natural means without miracle, the Priests within the Chappel supply∣ing the defects of their Husbands. Moreover, on another side of this Tree, stands a square low Post, on which certain figures of Idols are engraven: and at the foot thereof, there is a little kind of trench or hole, where also they pour Milk and Oyle, and make divers other Oblations. They are very solicitous in keeping the Tree with every bough and leaf of it, not suffering it to be injur'd by animals or men, nor in any wise violated and profan'd. They tell a story of an Elephant who one day by chance eat but one single leaf of this Tree, for which being pu∣nish'd by the Idol, he dy'd within three dayes: Which story I understood to be thus far true, namely that the event was in this manner; but 'twas thought that for the reputation of the place, the attendants of the Idol either poyson'd or knock'd the Ele∣phant on the head; in which Arts the Gioghi and Priests of the Gentiles use to be very dextrous.
The Commendator of the Dutch, came one day to give me a [ IX] visit, and after a competent conversation, carried me in his Coach a little out of the City, to see one of the fairest and famous∣est gardens of Suràt. The plot was level, well contriv'd and divided with handsome streight Walks: on either side whereof, were planted rowes of sundry Trees of this Climate, namely, Ambe, or, as others speak, Manghe, before describ'd by me in my last Letters from Persia, in the maritine parts whereof I saw some Trees of this kind; Foufel, whose leaves are like those of the Palm-tree, but of a livelier and fairer green; Narghìl, like the Palm in the leaves also, and is that which we call Nux Indica: and others, different from what are found in our parts. The plots between the several walks was full of herbs and flowers, partly such as we have, and partly not; amongst the rest they shew'd me a Flower, for bigness and form not unlike our Gilly-flower, but of a whitish yellow, having a very sweet and vigor∣ous scent, and they call it Ciampà. In a convenient place there is a square place, rais'd somewhat from the ground, and cover'd with large sheds, to fit there in the shade, after the manner of the East: and here we entertain'd our selves a while, and had a Collation; other things in the garden worthy of remark I saw none. As for the plants and strange simples of India, and the Page 22 whole Torrid Zone, (in these things very different from ours) I shall say briefly once for all, that they are such and so many, that to write fully of them would require express volumes, and make as big as those of Dioscorides and Pliny, all of things unknown to us. Nevertheless, the curiosity of the Portugals, and other Europeans who trade in these parts, hath hitherto been so small that I know not any that have spoken and observ'd any thing in this kind, besides the three Authors above mention'd. And they have written of very few things, although of those few they have written faithfully and well; and I, who have read them all with diligence, have made some not unprofitable Notes upon them, which I keep in Manuscript by me, and you may see one day; when it shall please God to bring us together. As for the Dutch Commendator, and the English President also, who came frequently in this manner to carry me abroad; I must not forbear to say, that both of them live in sufficient splendor, and after the manner of the greatest persons of the Country. They go abroad with a great train, sometimes also of their own men on Horse-back; but especially with a great number of Indi∣an servants on foot, arm'd according to the mode, with Sword, Buckler, Bows, and Arrows. For 'tis the custome of servants in India, whether Mahometans or Gentiles, to go alwayes arm'd not onely upon a journey but also in the City, and to serve in the house all day with the same weapons by their sides, and never to lay them off, saving at night when they go to sleep. Moreover, these Governours of the two Frank or Christian Nations which reside in Suràt, use to have carry'd before their Coach or Horse when they ride, a very high Bannerol or Streamer by a man on foot; (which likewise is the custome of all men of qua∣lity here) and likewise to have a sadled Horse lead by hand be∣fore them: And not onely they who are publick persons, but any private person whatever, of whatever Country or Religion, may in these parts live with as much grandeur and equipage as he pleases: and such is the liberty here, that every one may do, if he will and be able, as much as the King himself. Hence, gene∣rally all live much after a genteel way; and they do it securely, as well because the King doth not persecute his subjects with false accusations, nor deprive them of any thing when he sees them live splendidly, and with the appearances of riches, (as is often done in other Mahometan Countries) as because the Indians are inclin'd to these vanities, and servants cost very little, in regard of the multitude of people, and the small charge where∣with the common sort are maintain'd; for a simple Servant, who is not an Officer, commonly in the best houses, between wages, victuals, and clothing, stands not in more then three Rupià a moneth, amounting to about the value of a Venetian Zecchine, or ten shillings sterling. Of Slaves there is a numerous company, and they live with nothing; their clothing is onely white linnen, which though fine, is bought very cheap; and their dyet for Page 23 the most part is nothing but Rice, (the ancient food of all the Indians, according to Strabo) of which they have infinite plenty;* and a little fish, which is found every where in abundance: So that every body, even of mean fortune, keeps a great family, and is splendidly attended; which is easie enough, considering the very small charge, as I said, and on the other side the very con∣siderable gains of traffick wherein most men are imploy'd, and the incomes of the Land, through its incredible fruitfulness, I dare say, unmeasurable. Upon this occasion I must not forget, that amongst the Indian Men, both Mahometans and Pagans, agreably to what Strabo testifies, they did of old wear onely white linnen,* more or less fine according to the quality of the persons, and the convenience they have of spending: which linnen is altogether of Bumbast or Cotton, (there being no Flax in India) and for the most part very fine in comparison of those of our Countries. The Garment which they put next to the skin, serves both for Coat and Shirt from the girdle upwards, being adorn'd upon the breast, and hanging down in many folds to the middle of the Leg. Under this Cassack from the girdle down∣wards, they wear a pair of long Drawers of the same Cloth, which cover not only their Thighs, but legs also to the Feet; and 'tis a piece of gallantry to have it wrinkled in many folds upon the Legs. The naked Feet are no otherwise confin'd but to a slipper, and that easie to be pull'd off without the help of the Hand; this mode being convenient, in regard of the heat of the Country, and the frequent use of standing and walking upon Tapistry in their Chambers. Lastly, the Head with all the hair, which the Gentiles (as of old they did also, by the report of Strabo) keep long, contrary to the Mahometans who shave it, is bound up in a small and very neat Turbant,* of almost a qua∣drangular form, a little long, and flat on the top: They who go most gallant, use to wear their Turbant only strip'd with silk of several colours upon the white, and sometimes with Gold; and likewise their girdles wrought of Silk and Gold, instead of plain white. I was so taken with this Indian dress, in regard of its cleanness and easiness, and for the goodly shew me-thought it had on hors-back, with the Scemiter girt on, and the buckler hanging at a shoulder belt, besides a broad and short dagger of a very strange shape ty'd with tassell'd strings to the girdle, that I caus'd one to be made for my self, complete in every point, and to carry with me to shew it in Italy. The Mahometan Women, especially of the Mogholians, and Souldiers of other extraneous descents, who yet are here esteem'd, go clad likewise all in white, either plain, or wrought with Gold-flowers; of which work there are some very goodly and fine pieces. Their upper Gar∣ment is short, more beseeming a Man then a Woman, and much of the same shape with those of Men: Sometimes they wear a Turbant too upon their heads, like Men, colour'd and wrought with Gold: Sometimes they wear onely fillets either white or Page 24 red, or wrought with Gold and Silver; for other colours they little use. Likewise their Clothes are oftentimes red, of the same rich and fine linnen; and their Drawers are also either white or red, and oftentimes of sundry sorts of silk-stuff, strip'd with all sorts of colours. When they go along the City, if it be not in close Coaches, but on foot or on horse-back, they put on white veils, wherewith they cover their faces, as 'tis the cu∣stome of all Mahometan Women: Yet the Indian Gentile Wo∣men commonly use no other colour but red, or certain linnen stamp'd with works of sundry colours, (which they call Cit) but all upon red, or wherein red is more conspicuous then the rest; whence their attire seems onely red at a distance. And for the most part they use no garment, but wear onely a close Waste∣coat, the sleeves of which reach not beyond the middle of the Arm; the rest whereof to the Hand is cover'd with bracelets of Gold, or Silver, or Ivory, or such other things according to the ability of the persons. From the waste downwards they wear a long Coat down to the Foot, as I have formerly writ that the Women do in the Province of Moghostan in Persia, near Ormùz. When they go abroad, they cover themselves with a Cloak of the ordinary shape like a sheet, which is also us'd by the Maho∣metan, and generally by all Women in the East; yet it is of a red colour, or else of Cit upon a red ground, that is, of linnen stamp'd with small works of sundry colours upon red. Those that have them, adorn themselves with many gold-works, and jewels; especially their Ears with pendants sufficiently enor∣mous, wearing a circle of Gold or Silver at their Ears, the diametre whereof is oftentimes above half a span; and 'tis made of a plate two fingers broad, and engraven with sundry works, which is a very disproportionate thing. The Pagan Women go with their faces uncover'd, and are freely seen by every one both at home and a broad: Nevertheless they are modest, and honor'd much more then the Mahometans; and amongst them 'tis a certain thing that there is not any publick Courtisan; but amongst the Mahometan Women there are infinite, who go every day publickly to houses, and where they please; to play on Musick, sing, dance, and do what else belongs to their profession. But of these things, enough for this time.
[ X] I came from Persia with a great desire to go to Cambaia, in regard of what I had heard of it; being told that in that City, which is one of the ancientest of India, the Pagans are very nu∣merous, and above measure observers of their Rites; so that I might probably see more remarkable Curiosities there of those Idolaters then elsewhere: Sig: Alberto Scilling had the same de∣sire; so that upon my imparting my mind to him, and his consent∣ing thereunto, both of us desir'd the Dutch Commendator, that when any of his Nation went to Cambaia, as they us'd to do sometimes about their affairs, he would do us the favour to ad∣vertise us thereof, that we might go thither in their company. Page 25 The Commendator promis'd to do us this kindness as soon as possible, nor was it long before we were advertis'd of an oppor∣tunity: The Commendator's Steward, who takes care of the like businesses, came to know of us how many Coaches we should need; Sig: Alberto spoke to him for one for himself, and I for two, intending to carry SigaMariuccia with me, because I thought not fit to leave her in Suràt without me, although she had the company of good Women. I offer'd the Steward money for the Coaches, but he refus'd then to take it, saying that it was not the custome, and that at our return, accounts should be made up; for so they were wont to deal with those Hackney-men, with whom the Nation has always long account for such matters; and I, who understood things no otherwise then by this information, suffer'd my self to be perswaded. Now, on Monday the 23d of February, being the day for our setting forth, besides the three Coaches for Sig: Alberto and me, and two others full of Dutch-men who were to go this journey with us, all in very good order for habits and arms, and also with a Trumpeter with a silver Trumpet to recreate the Travellers, the Commen∣dator himself came to my house with many others of his follow∣ers in their City-Coaches, to conduct me forth and set me in the way. He accompany'd me to a certain place without the City, where, in the shadow of a small Chappel, we convers'd to∣gether for a good while, and were entertain'd with sundry fruits, particularly with Grapes, which here in Suràt we have often eat ripe, sweet, and good in February, yet green of colour, like the Vva-Lugliatica, or early July-grape of Italy; and I believe there is plenty enough to make Wine. Whilst we were in this place, a Post came to the Commendator from Agra and from the Court, with news that Sciàh Selìm, King of the Country, had sent one of his principal Chans, call'd Asàf Chan, to Agra, to remove the Royal Treasure thence before the arrival of Sultan Chorròm, one of the same Kings Sons, lately rebell'd against his Father, and then reported to be upon his march with his Army thither: And from Agra it was signifi'd, that things were in great danger of alterations through this war ra•s'd between the Father and the Son, with great danger of the whole State of India. This notable Passage happening in my time, will give me oc∣casion to write many things worthy of memory, usually attend∣ing the like Conjunctures; and being present in the country, peradventure I shall hereafter be an eye-witness, or at least have certain intelligence of sundry occurrences. In the mean time, to the end what I shall have occasion to speak of these Revolu∣tions may be better understood, I shall here give such account of the State of the King and his people, as may suffice to give light to all the rest.
Sciàh Selim, (who, as I have formerly writ to you, is King of [ XI] the greater part of India, between Indus and Ganges, and whose Countries are extended Northwards as far as the cliffs of mount Page 26Taurus, or Imaus, where it divides India from Tartaria;) is that great Monarch, whom in Europe you commonly call the Great Moghòl: Which Name is given him, because of his being deriv'd from a Race of Tartars call'd Moghols, who are of the City of Samarcand, and the Province of Giagatà, which is the ancient Sogdiana; as 'tis manifested by the Persian Geography, where to this day that Territory is denoted and distinguish'd by the ancient name of Soghol. Teimùr Lenk, call'd by us Tamerlane, as Mir Aliseir reports, a famous Author of those times, who writ his History in the Persian-Tongue handsomely and with great exactness, descended by a collateral line from the near kindred of Cnighiz Chan, the most puissant King of Chataio, known also in Europe to our Histories, and by S. Antonino, who writes largely concerning him,* nam'd with a little corruption Cingis Cham. This Cnighiz warring with his neighbours, and destroying many other Principalities, became at length Lord of a Vast Dominion, and in a manner of all Tartaria, (which compre∣hends both the one and the other Scythia) and at his death di∣vided the same between his Sons. To Giagatà, the second Son, fell the Country of Samarcand, with all Sogdiana, and sundry other adjacent Territories; and He, from his own Name call'd it Giagataio, and all the Nations who remain'd under his Govern∣ment Giagataians: A very ancient custome of the Scythians to give the Princes Name to Counties and their Subjects, as ap∣pears by Diodorus Siculus.* In process of time, a Descendant of Giagatà reigning still in these parts, Teimùr Lenk, though ex∣tracted from the noblest blood of the Kings, yet remote from the Royal Stock by a long series, liv'd in Samarcand his own Country, a man rather of valour then of great fortune. But it falling out that the King at that time was slain for his evil de∣portments, by the Grandees of the Country; in which con∣juncture Teimùr Lenk was elected and placed in the Sove∣reignty: He, not contented with the sole Kingdom of Giagataio, being increas'd in strength and power, made afterwards those great Expeditions which the World beheld: Of which never∣theless, little sincere fa•e arrives to us; there being no Europae∣an who hath written truly thereof, saving briefly in the Spanish-Tongue Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo, who was sent thither Embassa∣dor by his King Don Henry the Third of Castile. In like manner Teimùr at his death left that his great acquired Empire, divided amongst many Sons and Nephews, who falling at variance after∣wards, and their Successors continuing the same, ruin'd one ano∣ther with sundry warrs; and God knows whether in Tartary there be left at this day any Prince of that Race. A Cadet, or Younger Brother of them, who had no share among the Tartars, came over the Mountains to seek his fortune in India, within the Court of a Prince then reigning in one part of it: Where being once introduc'd, by great alliances and services he rais'd a great House; and in time, various Revolutions brought it to pass that Page 27 one of his Successors came to be possess'd of that Kingdom, and to found the Royal Family now regnant; of which, with very great augmentations of Dominion Sciàh Selim, now living, is the fourth King, as his own Seals testifie, the impression whereof I keep by me, wherein is engraven all his pedigree as far as Tamerlain, from whom Sciàh Selim reckons himself the eighth descendent. When Sciàh Selim was born, he was at first call'd Sceichù; because the King Ekbàr his Father, having before had no children, conceiv'd he had obtain'd him by the prayers of a certain Sceich, (so they call a Religious Man) to whom he bore great reverence. But after he was come to ripe age, his Father chang'd his Name, as here they sometimes do, into Sciàh Selim, which, in the Arabian Dialect, the learned Language to all Mahometans, signifies Rè Pacific, a Peaceable, or Peace-making King; conceiving this Name to agree to his Nature: The Father dying, Sciàh Selim being advanc'd to the Kingdom, chang'd his Name once again (as 'tis the custom of many Oriental Princes on such an occasion) with more Magnificent Titles, (for their proper Names are no∣thing but Titles and Epithets) and would be call'd Nur eddin, Muhammèd, Gihòn ghir, which partly in Arabick, partly in Persick, signifies, The Light of the Law, Mahomet, Take the World; in regard of the profession which he makes in publick of the Ma∣hometan Sect; though really in secret, by what they report, he little cares for Mahomet and his Law, or any other Religion; accounting, according to the vain opinion of some in these parts, that a man may be sav'd in every Law. Nevertheless, the Name Sciàh Selim, tenaciously inhering in the memory of people, remains still to him, and in common discourse he is more frequently call'd by this then any other Name. He had two Brothers: One, who took a part of the Province Dacan, was call'd by his proper Name Peharì, and by sirname Sciah Muràd: The other, who dy'd in the City Berhampòr, was nam'd Daniel, and sirnam'd Sombòl Sciàh, but both dyed without Heirs; whereupon their Dominion returned back to Sciàh Selim. I know not whether by one or more Women, this King had four Sons; the first, is call'd Sultàn Chosrou; the second, Sultàn Peruìz; the third, Sultàn Chorrom, now in rebellion, (to whom, when he return'd from a war which he had prosperously manag'd in Dacàn, his Father gave the title of Sciahi Gihòn, which is interpreted, King of the World;) and the fourth Sultàn Scehriar, is yet a youth of small age. 'Tis possible, others besides these have been born to him; but being dead, either in Child-hood or long ago, there is no mention made of them at present. He hath one Wife or Queen, whom he esteems and favours above all other Women; and his whole Empire is govern'd at this day by her counsel. She was born in India, but of Persian Race, that is, the Daughter of a Persian, who coming, as many do into India, to the service of the Moghòl, hapned in time to prove a very great man in this Court, and, (if I mistake not) Chan Page 28 or Vice-roy of a Province. She was formerly Wife in India to an other Persian Captain who serv'd the Moghòl too; but after her Husbands death, a fair opportunity being offer'd, as it falls out many times to some handsome young Widows, I know not how Sciàh Selim had notice of her, and became in love with her. He would have carried her into his Haràm, or Gynaeceo, and kept her there like one of his other Concubines, but the very cunning and ambitious Woman, counterfeited great honesty to the King, and refus'd to go into his Palace; and, as I believe, also to comply with his desires, saying, that she had been the Wife of an Honourable Captain, and Daughter of an Honourable Fa∣ther, and should never wrong her own Honour, nor that of her Father and Husband: and that to go to the King's Haram, and live like one of the other Female-slaves there, was as unsuitable to her noble condition. Wherefore, if his Majesty had a fancy to her, he might take her for his lawful Wife, whereby his Honour would be not onely not injur'd, but highly enlarg'd; and on this condition she was at his service. Sciàh Selim, so disdaign'd this haughty motion at first, that he had almost resolv'd in de∣spight to give her in Marriage to one of the Race which they call Halàlchor, as much as to say Eater-at-large, that is, to whom it is lawful to eat every thing; and for this cause they are account∣ed the most despicable people in India. However, the Woman persisting in her first resolution, intending rather to dye then al∣ter it; and Love returning to make impetuous assaults on the King's Heart, with the help too, as some say, of Sorceries pra∣ctis'd by her upon him, if there were any other charms (as I believe there were not) besides the conditions of the Woman which became lovely to the King by sympathy; at length he determin'd to receive her for his lawful Wife and Queen above all the rest. And as such she commands and governs at this day in the King's Haram with supream authority; having cunningly remov'd out of the Haram, either by Marriage or other hand∣some wayes, all the other Women, who might give her any jealousie; and having also in the Court made many alterations by deposing and displacing almost all the old Captains and Officers, and by advancing to dignities other new ones of her own creatures, and particularly those of her blood and alliance. This Queen is call'd at this day Nurmahàl, which signifies, Light of the Palace; A Name, I believe, conferr'd on her by the King, when he made her Queen. She hath a Brother, who is still in great favour with the King, and of great power, and is the Asàf Chan, whom I mention'd above, and one of whose Daughters is one of the Wives of Sultan Chorròm now in rebellion; whence some, not without ground, suspect that the present rebellion of Sultan Chorròm, is with some participation of Asàf Chan, and of Numrahàl her self; perhaps upon design that the Kingdom may fall to him after the death of the Father. Sultan Scehriàr hath also to Wife a Daughter of Nurmahàl by her first Husband, for Page 29 by the King she hath hitherto no Children: Wherin appears the prudence of this Woman, who hath so well establish'd her self with alliances in the Royal Family. But to return to the King's Children, Sultàn Chosrou the eldest, who was a Prince of much expectation, well belov'd, and, as they say, a friend in particular of the Christians, being at the government of I know not what Country, rebell'd against his Father, under pretext that the Kingdom by right belonged unto him, because indeed King Ek∣bar his Grand-father, at his death left it to him his Nephew be∣ing then born, and not to Selim the Father who was his Son; being displeas'd with his Son Selim, for that one time in his life he attempted to rebel against him. So easie are Insurrections amongst these Infidels, and so little faith can Fathers have in Sons, and they in their own Fathers: With this pretence Sultàn Chosrou, once rais'd a great Army against his Father; but coming to a battel he was routed and forc'd to surrender himself freely to his Father: Who chiding him with words rather gentle then otherwise, ask'd him to what end he made these tumults, knowing well that he held and kept the whole Kingdom for him? Yet his deeds were sharper then his words; for in the first place, he caus'd all the chief Captains who had follow'd him in the war to be cruelly slain, and shewing them so slain to Chosrou, as in his return with Triumph he made pass along with himself in the middle of a long row of them barbarously mangled in several manners, and to behold some of his faithfullest Confidents sew'd up in beasts skins, and be so left miserably to rot; he bad him see in what sort of people he had confided. Moreover, he suffer'd him no longer to live freely, but committed him to the safe but Honourable custody of certain Grandees of his Court: And, which was worse, he caus'd his eyes to be sew'd up, as 'tis some∣times the custom here; to the end to deprive him of sight with∣out excaecating him, that so he might be unfit to cause any more commotions; which sewing, if it continue long, they say it wholly causes loss of Sight; but after a while, the Father caus'd this Prince's eyes to be unrip'd again, so that he was not blinded but saw again, and it was only a temporal pennance. Yet he was not deliver'd from prison, in which he lived so closely for two years, that onely one person was suffer'd to be with him in the prison to serve him. Nurmahàl, who had apprehended that Sultan Chosrou would succeed his Father in the Kingdom, and desir'd to establish her self well, had frequently offer'd her Daughter to Sultàn Chosrou before she married her to Sultan Scehriàr; but he, either for that he had another Wife he lov'd sufficiently, and would not wrong her, or because he scorn'd Nurmahal's Daughter, would never consent: Insomuch that whilst he was in prison, and was told by reiterated messages that if he would marry Nur∣mahal's Daughter, he should be immediately set free; never∣theless he would not be brought to do it. His Wife, on the con∣trary, who lov'd him as well as he lov'd her, obtain'd to be the Page 30 person allotted to serve him in the prison, and accordingly went thither and liv'd with him so long as he was there, never ceasing to perswade him to marry Nurmahal's Daughter, that so he might be deliver'd from those troubles; that for her part, she was con∣tent to live with him as a slave, provided she saw him free and in a good condition; but he could never be prevail'd with. Thus he liv'd in prison with his faithful and dear Wife, till, the malice of his persecutors and his Father's anger being wearied, about two years after he was taken out of prison, but still held in a more honourable custody. For these things, Sultan Chosrou re∣main'd always much in the hatred of Nurmahal; who despairing to marry her Daughter to him, gave her to Sultan Scehriar, as is abovesaid. Sultan Peruìz, the second Son, is now Governour of the Kingdom of Bengala at the mouth of Ganges, and lives peaceably, nor is any news heard of him. Sultan Chorrom, the third Son, had and hath under his Government that part of Dacan, which is subject to the Moghol, but now is about to usurp the Kingdom of Guzarat, where I writ these things. Sultan Scehriar hath no Government yet, but 'tis said that he is lately made Captain of eight thousand Horse: Now touching the rebel∣lion and the beginning of it; Sultan Chorròm, after the alliance that he made with Asaf Chan, so wrought by the means of his Father in law, and Numerhal his Aunt, that the King granted him the prisoner Sultan Chosrou into his own power, taking him out of the hands of him that kept him, and committing him to him to keep, yet with order to use him very well and have great care of him. And this, because Chorrom refus'd to go to his go∣vernment, and to the war whereunto they sent him, unless he carried Sultan Chosrou with him, alledging that it was not con∣venient that he should be absent from the Court whilst Sultan Chosrou his competitor and back-friend stai'd there; when he had got him into his hands, he went to his goverment, and there kept and treated him honourably a year or two: but afterwards, out of the intention which he always had to remove him out of his way to the succession of the Kingdom, he being absent (as some say) sent him poyson'd meats, appointing certain of his Captains who kept him, to make him eat those meats by any means, either fair or foul. The Captains punctually executed this order; but because Sultan Chosrou, becomming suspicious by their importunity to have him eat, would by no means taste of those meats, saying plainly, that they intended to poyson him; the Captains, since there was no other remedy, and perhaps having order, leap'd all upon him, and he defended himself bravely, till at length having fell'd him to the ground, they strangled him with a Bow-string. Others say, that Sultan Chor∣ròm himself slew him with his own hand publickly. Be it as it will, Sultan Chosrou dy'd of a violent death; and Sultan Chorròm was either by himself, or by mediation of others the Mutherer. Sciah Selim upon hearing this news, being highly displeas'd with Page 31Sultan Chorrom, calls him to Court to give account of the fact. Sultan Chorrom would not obey the Summons, but gathering together his Forces, which nevertheless are not great to with∣stand his Father; and raising not onely those of his own juris∣diction, but also divers other neighbouring Cities not compre∣hended therein, (as Cambaia and other such, from which he hath remov'd the Governours plac'd there by his Father, and appointed others at his own devotion) with the assistance and counsel of some pety Gentile Princes, he remov'd his Camp to∣wards Agra, as is above intimated. In which commotions, and the death of Sultan Chosrou, 'tis not onely suspected that there is some conspiracy of Asaf Chan and Nurmahal, his ancient ene∣mies in secret, but also that the King of Persia is of intelligence with them, who about the same time, or a little before, on his side made the warr of Candahar: in which the coldness which the Moghol shew'd, proceeded, no doubt, either from his not being well inform'd, because perhaps Nurmahal, and Asaf Chan, who were his chief Counsellors, suffering not true intelligence to be signifi'd to him; or perhaps, because the evil carriage of Sultan Chorrom hath hitherto necessitated him to stand in su∣spence. 'Tis true, the last Advertisements from Agra, that the King, as I said, sent Asaf Chan to remove the treasure from thence, argue that the King still entrusts him; and consequent∣ly, either that he is not in fault, or that his fault is not yet known. The doubt will be best clear'd by Time. Sultan Chosrou left a little Son behind him, whose name is Sultan Bulachi: But my journey now calls me elsewhere.
The Commendator having read the Letters from Agra, and [ XII] communicated to me all the News, it being now Evening, I took leave of him; and after sundry volleys of muskets he re∣turn'd to the City; and I with my company of five Coaches, took the way of Cambaia. Having travell'd two Cos, we ferri'd over the same River of Suràt; and then proceeded four other Cos, which in all were six, and at Night took up our lodging at a Town call'd Periab: But we rested little, because soon after mid-night we put our selves upon the way again. Our journey from Suràt to Cambaia, was always with our faces towards the North. The next Morning early, we made a Collation by the side of a Piscina, or Lake, which we found by the way of a long and narrow form, of which kind there are many in these parts. Having travell'd sixteen Cos, which was from Suràt in all two and twenty, before Evening we arriv'd at the City of Barocci, or Behrug, as they call it in Persian; under the walls whereof, on the South side runs a River call'd Nerbeda, which we ferri'd over. The City is encompass'd with a wall of moderate bigness, built high upon a rising hill. For the circuit 'tis populous enough, as generally are all the parts of India. 'Tis considerable for a very great Trade of fine Cotton Cloth, or Callico, made more plenti∣fully there then in other places, and dispers'd not onely through Page 32Asia, but also into our Europe; so that the English and Dutch (which two Nations have Houses of constant residence here) freight five or six great ships therewith every year; and for the better imbarking it, make it up in very great balls, each as big as Ro∣man Coach; and every piece of Cloth, little bigger then one of our Towels, being carri'd to Aleppo, will not be sold for less then three or four Piastre, and in Italy at least for six Crowns. Whence you may infer, what wealth comes out of this small City alone, which for compass and buildings, is not greater then Siena in Tuscany, although 'tis above three times as populous; and you may also consider to what summ the Prince's Customes arise. A few Cos from the City, is a Mine of Calcidonies and Agates, white and green; but these stones are carry'd less into Barocci then to Cambaia, although it be further from the Mine, because there is a Sea-port, and a greater concourse of forreign Merchants; and in Cambaia they are wrought into little Globes, either round or oval, to make Coronets or Neck-laces, and also little Cups, and divers other curious vessels for ornament. The Sea comes not up to Barocci even at the highest tides, but is about as many miles distant as 'tis from Suràt. When we pass'd over the River, our Dutch Trumpeter sounding his Instrument, gave notice of our coming to his Country men residing in Barocci; and they, at the Summons, came immediatly to the bank-side to meet us; from whence we went with them to lodge in the Dutch House there. Late in the Evening they carry'd us to see a Patache, or small Indian ship which they were building, and was not yet finish'd, in which they treated us till night, drinking of Tari, which is a liquor drawn from the Nut-trees of India, whitish and a little troubled; of taste, somewhat sowrish and sweet too, not unpleasing to the palate, almost like our Poignant or Brisk-wine; yet it inebriates as Wine doth, if drunk immo∣derately. The next day, which was Wednesday Feb. 22. we departed from Barocci late in the Forenoon. Six Cos off, we made a Collation near a water without lighting out of the Coach, having brought provision with us for this purpose from Barocci. Afterwards upon the way we met the Wife and Fami∣ly of the Governour of Cambaia, remov'd from that charge by the Rebel Sultan Chorrom, who had plac'd another there at his devotion; and this, being driven from thence, return'd to Suràt, where his house and usual habitation was. His Wife was carry'd upon an Elephant, in a cover'd and very convenient litter. Three other Elephants follow'd unladen, saving with the men upon their necks who guided them; then abundance of Coaches, partly cover'd and full of women, partly uncover'd with men in them; then a great number of Souldiers, Horse and Foot; and, in brief, a great train suitable to the quality of the person and the custom of India, which is to have a very nu∣merous attendance whoever it be. After this we foarded a small River, which I believe, was of salt water, which, they say, is Page 33 call'd Dilavel; and before night having travell'd eighteen Cos, we staid to lodge in a great Town call'd Giambuser. On Thurs∣day, two hours before day, we arose to go along with a great Cafila, or Caravan, which was there united; nevertheless we departed not so soon, but were fain to wait in the Coach till al∣most day; because the City was lock'd up, and none was suffer'd to go forth without paying a Toll, as likewise was paid in many other places the same day, though of small value. The Cafila was so great, and the Coaches so many, that in certain narrow places we were fain to stay a good while before we could go for∣wards; just as it happens in the streets of Naples and Rome at so∣lemn pomps. Having travell'd about five Cos, an hour after Sun-rise, we came to an arm of the Sea, or, to speak better, to the inmost part of the Gulph of Cambaia, directly where the Ri∣ver Mehi falls into the Sea: In which place, the flux and reflux of the Sea is more impetuous and violent, and with a more rapid current, then perhaps in any other part of the world, at least any whereof I have knowledge. But before I proceed further, 'tis needful here to correct an enormous error of many of our Geographers, even Moderns, which hath likewise given occasi∣on of mistake to sundry Historians. In almost all the Mapps which hitherto I have seen, the River Indus is always describ'd falling into the Sea at the inmost recess of the Gulph of Cambaia; which is a grievous error, and as wide from truth as the whole Country of Guzarat is broad, (and 'tis no narrow one): for Indus, which is discharg'd into the Sea with two very large mouths, sufficiently distant, runs not on the East of Guzarat, as it should do if it enter'd into the Sea at the Gulph of Cambaia; but rather on the West, and so far from the Gulph of Cambaia, that all Guzarat, and perhaps some other Countries lye between. Wherefore the River which disembogues in the inmost part of this Gulph, is not Indus, but this Mehi which I speak of, a River of handsome but ordinary greatness, and hath not the least corre∣spondence with Indus. Now, being come to the side of it, we were fain to foard over this Water, and not without danger: For there is a plain of about five Cos, which is all over-flow'd at high Tide; and when the water is lowest, in three or four places there are waters sufficiently broad and deep to be foarded; and should the Sea happen to come in whilst a man is in that pas∣sage, he would infallibly be drown'd. And besides, even in those places which are always foardable, when the Water is a little higher, or the current more furious then ordinary (for 'tis not always equal, but more or less, according to the times of the Moon) it often carries away people, and sometimes with such violence, that an Elephant cannot bear up against it, but is swept away by the Water. Therefore they wait certain fit hours to pass this foard, namely, when the Sea is at the lowest Ebb; which, if I mistake not, in all other places of the World is wont to be when the Moon is either rising or setting in the Hori∣zon; Page 36 as, on the contrary, when the Moon is in the middle of Heaven, the Tide uses to be at the highest. But in the Gulph of Cambaia, I know not upon what reason, perhaps because 'tis much within the Land, and far from the great mass of the Ocean, it happens at another different hour, yet well known to the Country-people. The more cautious, wait also the most fit∣ting days in the moneth; because at the New Moon and Full Moon the Waters are always greater and higher; and, without comparison, highest and most impetuous of all, about the Aequi∣noxes and Solstices: In the quarters of the Moon the Tides are moderate, and in other intermediate days, lower then the rest. So that we being come to this place a few days before the New Moon, were come in a good time, and likewise in a seasonable hour, the Cafila, or Caravan, having set forth from the City in such a moment as was exactly convenient for ordering matters right; for the owners of the Coaches, and the others imploy'd in this journey, are well instructed of every thing, and know what they have to do. So being united in a great troop, the better to break the stream, we pass'd over all that space of five Cos, which was moist yet firm ground; saving that in four places where we foarded the running-water of the River, which nevertheless is salt there, the great strength of the Sea over∣coming that of the River. Of the four streams which we waded, the first was inconsiderable, the other three came higher then the belly of the Oxen which drew the Coaches, into which ne∣vertheless the Water enter'd not, because their floar, and espe∣cially the wheels are very high; and you sit, according to the manner of the East, as upon plain ground, without hanging the Legs downwards, but keeping them bow'd under you. For greater security, they hir'd sundry men on foot, who held the Coaches on either side stedfast with their hands, that so in regard of their lightness, they might not float and be carry'd away; and also to carry our bundles high on their heads, that so the same might not be wetted if the Water should come into the body of the Coaches. The men who go on foot in this passage, either strip themselves naked, covering onely their privities with a little cloth, or pulling up their coat, which, as I said, is of plain white linnen, and serves both for garment and shirt; and also tucking up their breeches made of the same, they care not for wetting themselves. 'Tis certainly an odd thing to behold in this passage, which is very much frequented, abundance of people go every day in this manner, some in Coaches and Char∣riots, others on Horseback and a foot, men and also women naked, without being shie who sees them; a spectacle, no doubt, sufficiently extravagant. This wet passage being over, there remain two other Cos, but of firm and higher ground, (which is not overflow'd, although it be plain and the Sea-shore) to arrive at the City of Cambaia, whither we came before dinner-time, having travell'd that day, in all, twelve Cos. And here likewise Page 35 we went to lodge in the House which belongs to the Dutch Merchants, by whom we were receiv'd with great kindness, and treated continually with exquisite chear; for such was the order of the Commendator concerning us in all places.
Cambaia is a City indifferently large, though most of its great∣ness [ XIII] consists in Suburbs without the walls, which are sufficiently spacious. 'Tis seated on the Sea-shore, in a plain, almost in the utmost recess of that great Gulph, whereunto it gives name. The City, that is the inner part, without the Suburbs is incom∣pass'd with walls, built with plain cortines and round battle∣ments. The Houses within, are brickt with coverings of Tiles and Cisterns, which is the custom in India for provision of Water, which falls in such plenty during those three moneths of the great Summer rains. In our Countries they would be or∣dinary Houses, but in these parts they are counted good, and per∣haps, the best of the whole Province; and they are made shady and cool, as the heat of the place requires. The City hath no form'd Port, because it stands in a low Plain, but 'tis call'd a Port, by reason of the great concourse of Vessels thither from several parts; which nevertheless for the most part are Frigots, Galeots, and other small ones of that make, which go either by oar or sail; because great ones cannot come near the Land by a great way. The people of Cambaia are most part Gentiles; and here, more then elsewhere, their vain superstitions are ob∣served with rigor. Wherefore we, who came particularly to see these things, the same day of our arrival, after we had din'd and rested a while, caus'd our selves to be conducted to see a famous Hospital of Birds of all sorts, which, for being sick, lame, depriv'd of their mates, or otherwise needing food and cure, are kept and tended there with diligence; as also the men who take care of them, are maintain'd by the publick alms; the In∣dian Gentiles, (who, with Pythagoras and the ancient Aegyptians, (the first Authors of this opinion,* according to Herodotus) be∣lieve the Transmigration of Souls, not onely from Man to Man, but also from Man to brute beast) conceiving it no less a work of Charity to do good to beasts then to Men. The House of this Hospital is small, a little room sufficing for many Birds: Yet I saw it full of Birds of all sorts which need tendance, as Cocks, Hens, Pigeons, Peacocks, Ducks, and small Birds, which during their being lame, or sick, or mateless, are kept here; but being recover'd and in good plight, if they be wild, they are let go at liberty; if domestick, they are given to some pious person who keeps them in his House. The most curious thing I saw in this place, were certain little Mice, who being found Orphans without Sire or Dam to tend them, were put into this Hospi∣tal; and a venerable Old Man with a white Beard keeping them in a box amongst Cotton, very diligently tended them with his spectacles on his nose, giving them milk to eat with a Bird's feather, because they were so little that as yet they could Page 36 eat nothing else; and, as he told us, he intended when they were grown up, to let them go free whither they pleas'd. From this place we went out of the City to the Sea-side, to see a Gar∣den sometimes belonging to the Kings of Guzarat. 'Tis small, adorn'd with the same Trees as that which I saw in Suràt, with some also of ours, as the Figtrees and Coleworts of Europe, which in India are accounted rare things. There is a running-water which at the entrance falls from a great Kiosck, or cover'd place to keep cool, standing upon a great Piscina, or Lake, contigu∣ous to the Garden on the out-side; and serving like that of Suràt, to the common uses of the City. Besides which, in this Garden there is nothing worth notice: Going from hence we went to see upon the same Lake a Meschita, or Temple of the Mahome∣tans, whereunto there is continually a great concourse of people with ridiculous and foolish devotions, not onely Mahometans, but likewise Gentiles. In the street before the Gate, many per∣sons sitting on the ground asked Alms, to whom the passers-by cast some Rice; others, certain other Corn, but no Money: Within the Meschita, in a narrow dark place by a walls side, is a kind of little Pyramid of Marble, and this they call Pir, that is, Old, which they say is equivalent to Holy: I imagine it the Sepulchre of some one of their Sect accounted such. The people enter in with great crowds, especially Women, who use to be more forward in these things then others: All who go in, strew Flowers or Rice there; to which end stand divers near the Gate that sell Flowers to whoso pleases for such Offerings: But this is rather a Custom of the Gentiles then Mahometans; and the Gentiles being more numerous and ancient in Cambaia, 'tis no wonder that some Rite of theirs hath adher'd to the Maho∣metans. A little distant from this place, we saw another Sepuchre ador'd too of some Mahometan (for the Gentiles, who burn their dead, have no Sepulchres) built with a great roof four square, supported by divers pillars, and under it a place open on all sides like a Porch; this also many persons came to kiss and venerate. Beyond the abovemention'd Garden upon the Sea∣side, we saw another Sepulchre of a Mahometan of quality, having a high round Cupola, like a Tower, which is ascended by a little ladder, and there you have a most goodly prospect upon the Sea and Land, to a great distance. These things being seen, we return'd home the same way we came: The next Morning, going about the City, we saw another Hospital of Goats, Kids, Sheep, and Weathers, either sick or lame, and there were also some Cocks, Peacocks, and other Animals needing the same help, and kept altogether quietly enough in a great Court; nor wanted there Men and Women lodg'd in little rooms of the same Ho∣spital, who had care of them. In another place, far from hence we saw another Hospital of Cows and Calves, some whereof had broken Legs, others more infirm, very old, or lean, and therefore were kept here to be cur'd. Among the beasts there Page 37 was also a Mahometan Thief, who having been taken in Theft had both his Hands cut off: But the compassionate Gentiles, that he might not perish miserably, now he was no longer able to get his living, took him into this place, and kept him among the poor beasts, not suffering him to want any thing. Moreover, without one of the Gates of the City, we saw another great troop of Cows, Calves, and Goats, which being cur'd, and brought into better plight, or gather'd together from being dispers'd and without Masters, or being redeem'd with Money from the Mahometans who would have kill'd them to eat, (namely, the Goats and other Animals, but not the Cows and Calves) were sent into the field to feed by Neat-herds, purpose∣ly maintain'd at the publick charge; and thus they are kept till being reduc'd to perfect health, 'tis found fitting to give them to some Citizens, or others who may charitably keep them. I excepted Cows and Calves from the Animals redeem'd from slaughter; because in Cambaia, Cows, Calves, and Oxen, are not killed by any: And there's a great prohibition against it, by the instance of the Gentiles, who upon this account pay a great summ of Money to the Prince; and should any, either Maho∣metan or other be found to kill them, he would be punish'd se∣verely, even with death. At Night we had Musick at home, made by some Mahometan Women Singers and Dancers, (for among the Gentiles none practise such Arts) who with their In∣dian Instruments, which a•• Drums, Bells ty'd to the Arms, and the like, all of great noise, gave us divertisement, playing, dancing, and singing whilst we were at Supper; but their Musick being too full of noise, was to me rather distasteful then pleasing. The next Morning we saw in the City a Temple of Idols, one of the best which the Gentiles have in Cambaia. The form of it is perfect square, with walls round about, supporting a flat roof, which is also upheld in the middle by four pillars dispos'd in a square too; within which, upon the little space re∣maining, is advanc'd somewhat higher then the roof, and yet of a square form, a kind of Cupoletta, or little Chappel. In the principal part of this Temple stand in three great Nieches so many great Idols, made of white Marble, and naked, (as the Indians paint all their Idols:) They are in a sitting posture, yet after the manner of the East, as they use to sit upon the ground with the Legs gather'd under; but they sit in a place somewhat higher then the floare, as it were upon a large Pedestal. These Nieches are inclos'd with doors made with lattices, that so the Idols may be seen without opening them; but they are open'd upon occa∣sion for any that are minded to go in: They were so for us, but we entred not, because the Nieches are so small that we saw every thing well enough from the doors. The principal Idol in this Temple, is that which stands in the middle Nieche, call'd Mahavir, from whom the Temple is denominated: Who this Mahavir is, and whether he be all one with Mahadeu, as I Page 38 have some suspicion, I do not yet know; because the Indians who talkt with us, either in the Portugal or Persian-Tongue, be∣ing all Factors or Merchants, and consequently unlearned, could not give us any account of these things; besides, they speak those Languages ill, and are not intelligible saving in buying and selling: With other learned Gentiles, to whom alone their Indian Speech is familiar, we could not discourse for want of Language; wherefore of all these things, and all the particulari∣ties of their Religion, I reserve my self to be further inform'd at Goa, if it shall please God; where I shall have better conveni∣ence and more time, and meet with some learned Brachman, perhaps turn'd Christian, and able to give me a more certain Re∣lation hereof either in Portuguez or Latine; and if he be a Christian, he will, no doubt, give it me more truly then the Gentiles, who I believe, talk with us concerning their own matters neither willingly nor sincerely. Wherefore referring my self to the better intelligence which I hope to have there, I shall here only relate what I saw with mine own eyes, and some∣thing more which I attain'd to understand, without suspicion of error. Before the Idol without the Nieche hung a Bell, (as 'tis the custom in all their Temples) which, as I said before, all those who come to make their prayers ring at their first entrance. Within this and the other Nieches on the sides, were one or two lighted Candles. In the other sides of the Temple, something higher then the pavement, were in the wall certain little Nieches, in each of which stood an Idolet, or little Idol, some in the shape of Men, others of Women. One there was which had many Arms on a side, and many Faces; and this they said was call'd Brachma, one of their chief false Deities. Another had the head of an Elephant, and was call'd Ganescio: They say, he is the Son of Mahadeu, who finding him one day with Parveti his Wife, but his own Mother, and not knowing who he was, kill'd him out of jealousie, cutting off his Head; but afterwards un∣derstanding that he was his own Son, he repented him of his error, and resolv'd to bring him to life again: Wherefore meeting with an Elephant, (as he had purpos'd to do with what he first happen'd upon) he cut off his Head and plac'd it on his dead Son's Shoulders: Whereupon Ganescio reviv'd, and thenceforward liv'd immortal with an Elephants Head. But behold another delusion. One there is with the Head, I know not, whether of a Tyger or Lyon, probably 'tis that Narosinha, which I formerly writ that I saw in Combru, in the maritine parts of Persia. Some of these Idolets sate upon sundry Animals, as Tygers and the like, and even upon Rats; of which things the foolish and ignorant Indians relate ridiculous stories: But I doubt not, that under the veil of these Fables, their ancient Sages (most parsimonious of the Sciences, as all Barbarians ever were) have hid from the vulgar many secrets, either of Natural or Moral Philosophy, and perhaps also of History: And I hold Page 39 for certain, that all these so monstrous figures have secretly some more rational significations, though express'd in this uncouth manner: As we know in ancient time among the Gentiles of our Countries there was, in the figures of quadrifronted Janus; of Ju∣piter Ammon, with the Head of a Ram; of Anubis, with the Head of a Dog, and many other extravagances not onely of the Greci∣ans and Aegyptians, but also of the Romans. The Sieling, Pillars, and Walls of this Temple were adorn'd with Painting, especi∣ally red, which how dear 'tis to the Indians, I formerly intima∣ted. The doors of their Houses, namely, the Posts, Architraves, and Barrs that fasten it, are all colour'd so; adding some mixture of white limes to the red; for of white too they are so enamour'd, that all Men are generally cloth'd with it. A custom peradven∣ture deriv'd to them from Aegypt where it was in use,* as Herodotus writes; and whence perhaps Pythagoras himself learnt it, who went cloth'd in white, as we find noted by Aelian, and others.* And I observe, that in many particulars the manners of the present In∣dians much resemble those of the ancient Aegptians; but since the Aegyptians who descended from Cham the Son of Noah, were a very ancient people, I rather believe that the Indians learnt from the Aegyptians, then the Aegyptians from the Indians; and 'tis known, that from Aegypt there was always Navigation and Commerce into India by the Southern Ocean. The red colour, amongst these Indians is, besides by the Women, worn also by the Sami, who are a kind of religious persons; with red, the Gioghi who live like Hermits and go about begging, sometimes paint their bodies in many parts; and also with red blended with yellow, that is, with some parcel of Sanders or Saffron, almost all the Indian Gentiles dye their fore-heads, and some∣times their garments; accordingly, as Strabo reports from the testimony of Onesicritus,* they did likewise in the time of Alex∣ander the Great. Lastly, they wear red Turbants upon their Heads, and their Girdles are oftner wrought with red then any other colour. After having seen the Temple of Mahavir, we went to visit an old Brachman, accounted very learned amongst them, with whom we discours'd as well as we could by an inter∣preter, because he understood no other Language but the Indian. We found him amongst many Scholars, to whom he was giving a Lecture: He shew'd us his Books written in an antique Character, which is the learned amongst them, not common to the vulgar, but known onely to the learned, and us'd by the Brachmans; who, in distinction from other vulgar Characters, us'd variously in sundry Provinces of India, call it Nagheri. I have, and shall carry with me two small Books of it, which I sometimes bought in Lar. This Brachman is call'd Beca Azàrg; of which words, Beca is his proper Name, and Azàrg his Title of Honour. Amongst other Books, he shew'd us that of their sect; in which, though it was bound long ways, as 'tis the fashion of their Books, yet the lines were written cross the paper, after the manner of Page 40 some of our Musick-Books: He affirm'd to us for certain, that it was a work of Pythagoras, which well agreeth with what, Phi∣lostratus saith,*Jarchas told Apollonius, namely, that they Indians believ'd the same concerning the Soul which Pythagoras had taught them, and they the Aegyptians; which is quite contrary to what, I said before, was my opinion, which of these two Na∣tions first taught the other. But Diogenes Laertius, who writes Pythagoras's Life copiously enough,* making mention of his going into Aegypt, and how he convers'd likewise with the Chaldaeans and Magi, yet speaks not a word that ever he went into India, or had communication with the Brachmans. Wherefore, if Pythagoras taught any thing to the Indians, as Jarchas said, he did it not in person but by his books, which possibly were carry'd into India. Moreover Beca Azàrg added, that their Brachmà, esteemed one of the chief amongst their false Gods, (from whom they are denominated Brachmans) is all one with Pythagoras: A curious notion indeed, and which, perhaps, would be news to hear in Europe, that Pythagoras is foolishly ador'd in India for a God. But this, with Beca Azàrg's good leave, I do not believe: Either he did not expresly speak thus, and by the fault of the Interpreters we did not understand him aright; or, if he did affirm it, perhaps he came to be mistaken by having heard Pythagoras nam'd by some Europaeans for the Author of that foolish opinion of the Transmigration of Souls. Be it as it will, I cannot believe that Pythagoras and Brachma are all one; because though Pythagoras be very ancient, for he flourish'd in the Consulship of Brutus, who expell'd the Kings out of Rome; yet I hold the Rites and opinions of the Brach∣mans much more ancient. For when Diodorus relates the con∣test of the two Wives of Ceteus, an Indian Captain in the Army of Eumenes,* each of whom would be burnt with her Husband slain in battel, speaking of the Laws, Customs, and Rites of the Indians, he calls them, even at that time, Ancient things. And though Pythagoras and the Consulship of Brutus may pre∣cede not onely Eumenes, who was one of Alexander the Great's successors, but Alexander himself by about two ages, according to the Chronology of Bellarmine, which to me seems good e∣nough; yet the space of two hundred years or somewhat more, is not such as that those things may be call'd Ancient, which had their beginning within so short a term; as it should be infallibly, if Pythagoras, whom they take to be their Brachma, were the first Author to the Indians of their Learning, and consequently of their Rites, Customs, and Laws. But since I have already made frequent mention of the Brachmans, and perhaps shall have occasion to do the same hereafter; to the end it may be under∣stood what they are, I shall here subjoyn so much as I have hither∣to attain'd to know concerning them, and all the other Indians.
The whole Gentile-people of India is divided into many [ XIV] sects or parties of men, known and distinguisht by descent or Page 41 pedigree, as the Tribes of the Jews sometimes were; yet they inhabit the Country promiscuously mingled together, in every City and Land several Races one with another. 'Tis reckon'd that they are in all eighty four; some say, more, making a more exact and subtle division. Every of these hath a particular name, and also a special office and imployment in the Common∣wealth, from which none of the descendents of that Race ever swerve; they never rise nor fall, nor change condition: Whence some are Husbandmen, others, Mechanick, as Tay∣lers, Shoemakers, and the like; others, Factors or Merchants, such as they whom we call Banians, but they in their Language more correctly Vanià: Others, Souldiers, as the Ragia-puti; And thus every one attends, and is employ'd in the proper Trade of his Family, without any mutation ever hapning amongst them, or Alliance of one Race contracted with another. Diodorus and Strabo, (almost with the same words, as if the one had transcrib'd the other) affirm,* that anciently the Races of the Indians were seven, each addicted to their proper profession; and for the first of all, they place that of the Philoso∣phers, who, no doubt, are the Brachmans. Into seven kinds of men with their particular, and by Generation perpetuated Offices, Herodotus in like manner writes, (and Diodorus con∣firms it,* though he disagrees in the number) the people of Aegypt was divided in those days; whereby 'tis manifest what correspondence there was between Aegypt and India in all things. Nor do I wonder at the division into seven Races onely, because what is observ'd at this day, must then also have hapned, namely, that the so many Races which they reckon, are reduc'd to four principal; which, if I mistake not, are the Brachmans, the Soul∣diers, the Merchants, and the Artificers; from whom by more minute subdivision all the rest are deriv'd, in such number as in the whole people there are various professions of men. In the substantial points of Religion all agree together, all believe the Transmigration of Souls, which according to their merits and demerits (they think) are sent by God into other bodies, either of Animals more or less clean, and of more or less painful life; or else of men more or less noble and handsome, and more or less pure of Race, wherein they place not a little of their vain super∣stition; accounting all other Nations and Religions, besides themselves, unclean; and some more then others, according as they more or less differ from their Customs. All equally believe that there is a Paradice in Heaven with God, but that thereinto go onely the Souls of their own Nation, more pure and without any sin, who have liv'd piously in this world: Or in case they have sin'd, that after divers Transmigrations into various bodies of Animals and Men, having by often returning into the world undergone many pains, they are at length purg'd, and at last dye in the body of some man of Indian and noble Race, as the Brachmans, who amongst them are held the noblest and purest; Page 42 because their employment is nothing else but the Divine Wor∣ship, the service of Temples and Learning, and they observe their own Religion with more rigor then any others. 'Tis true, the Brachmans, who amongst the Indians, in my opinion, much resemble the Levites of the Jews, are divided too into several sorts, one more noble then another, and, according to nobility, more rigorous also in matter of eating, and in their other superstitious Ceremonies; for some of them are Astrolo∣gers, some Physitians, some Secretaries of Princes; and so of other sorts of Scholars which I know not well: but the most esteem'd and most sublime amongst the Brachmans, and conse∣quently, the most rigorous of all in point of eating and other ob∣servances, are those who perform the Office of Priests, whom they call Boti. Ordinarily they never admit into their Sect any man of another Religion; nor do they think that they do ill herein, or contrary to the zeal of saving Souls; since believing the Transmigration, they conceive it not necessary to salvati∣on to change Religion, although one be of a false Sect; but judg that if this Soul shall be worthy to have pardon from God, it shall after death, and after being purg'd sundry ways, pass into, and be born in the body of some Indian amongst them, and live excellently; and so by this way at last arrive at Paradice and live with God, although in the beginning it was in the world in the body of the worst sinner and miscreant whatever. With people of other Religion they never eat, nor will have any com∣munication of food, and, as much as possible, they avoid even to touch them; conceiving themselves polluted by communi∣cating with others. And herein they are so scrupulous, that even amongst the Indians themselves, one of more noble Race, not only neither eats, nor makes use of the same clothes, or vessels, nor communicates in any thing with one less noble, but also en∣dures not to be touch'd by him; which if it fall out by chance that he be, he must purifie himself from the defilement by wash∣ings, and other arrogant Ceremonies. And hence 'tis a prety sight to behold the great respect which upon this account the ignoble bear to the more noble then themselves, and how upon meeting in the street, the ignoble not onely give place, but dance wildly up and down for fear of rushing against the noble, and polluting them in any measure; which, if they should not do, the Noble, and especially the Souldiers, would make them do it to the Musick of blows. From this averseness to communi∣cate one with another, particularly, in the use of eating and drinking-vessels, concerning which they are most strict, is sprung a strange Custom, which I was delighted not onely to see, but also sometimes out of gallantry to imitate in conversation. It happens very often during hot weather, both in Travelling and in Towns, that people have need of refreshing themselves, and drinking of a little water; but because every one hath not a drinking-vessel of his own ready, to avoid defiling or being de∣fil'd Page 43 by his companion's cup; there's a way found out whereby any person may drink in that, or any other whatever, without scruple or danger of any either active or passive contamination. This is done, by drinking in such manner that the vessel touches not the lips or mouth of him who drinks; for it is held up on high with the hand over the mouth, and he that lifts it up highest, and holds it farthest from his mouth, shews himself most man∣nerly; and thus powring the liquor out of the cup into the mouth, they drink round while there is any left, or so long as they please. So accustom'd are the Indians to drink in this man∣ner, that they practise it almost continually with their own ves∣sels for delight, without the necessity of shunning communica∣tion with others; and they are so dextrous at it, that I remem∣ber to have seen one of them take with both hands a vessel as big as a basin, and lifting it up above a span higher then his mouth, powre a great torrent of water into his throat and drink it all off. Having been frequently present at such occasions, that where ever I came the Indians might not be shie of reaching me a cup of water, I purposely set my self to learn this manner of drinking, which I call drinking in the Air, and at length have learn'd it; not with cups as big as basins, like his abovesaid; but with a handsome cruze, like those we use, or with a little bottle or drinking glass made on purpose, I do it very well: Sometimes in conversation we drink healths all' Indiana, after this fashion, with consent that all do reason in the same manner; and he that cannot do it right, either wets himself well, or falls a coughing and yexing, which gives occasion of laughter. But to return to the opinions of the Indians; As for good works and sins, they all agree with the Doctrine of Morality, and the universal consent of Mankind, that there are differences of Virtue and Vice in all the world. They hold not onely Adul∣tery, but even simple Fornication a great sin; nor do they ac∣count it lawful, as the Mahometans do, to have commerce with femal slaves, or with others besides their own Wives. Yea, slaves of either Sex they no-wise admit, but hold it a sin; making use of free persons for their service, and paying them wages, as we do in Europe: Which likewise was their ancient custom, as appears by Strabo,* who cites Megasthenes and other Authors of those times for it. They detest Sodomy above measure, and abhor the Mahometans whom they observe addicted to it. They take but one Wife, and never divorce her till death, unless for the cause of Adultery. Indeed some, either by reason of the remoteness of their Wives, or out of a desire to have Children, in case the first Wife be barren; or because they are rich and potent, and are minded to do what none can forbid them, some∣times take more Wives; but 'tis not counted well done, unless they be Princes, who always in all Nations are priviledged in many things. When the Wife dyes, they marry another if they please; but if the Husband dye, the Woman never marries Page 44 more; were she so minded, nor could she find any of her own Race who would take her, because she would be accounted as bad as infamous in desiring a second Marriage. A very hard Law indeed, and from which infinite inconveniences arise; for not a few young Widows, who in regard of their Reputation cannot marry again, and have not patience to live chastly, commit disorders in private, especially with men of other Na∣tions and Religions, and with any they find, provided it be secret. Some Widows are burnt alive, together with the bodies of their dead Husbands; a thing which anciently not onely the Indian Women did,* according to what Strabo writes from the Relation of Onesicritus; but also the chaste Wives of the Thra∣cians, as appears by Julius Solinus. But this burning of Women upon the death of their Husbands, is at their own choice to do it or not, and indeed, few practise it; but she who doth it, ac∣quires in the Nation a glorious name of Honour and Holiness. 'Tis most usual among great persons, who prize Reputation at a higher rate then others do; and in the death of Personages of great quality, to whom their Wives desire to do Honour by burning themselves quick. I heard related at my first coming, that a Ragià, that is, an Indian Prince, (one of the many which are subject to the Moghol) being slain in a battel, seventeen of his Wives were burnt alive, together with his body; which in India was held for great Honour and Magnificence. I have heard say, (for I have not seen any Women burnt alive) that when this is to be done, the Wife or Wives who are to be burnt, in∣close themselves in a pile of wood, which is lay'd hollow like the rafters of a house, and the entrance stop'd with great logs, that they may not get out in case they should repent them when the kindled fire begins to offend them: Yea, divers men stand about the pile with staves in their hands to stir the fire, and to powre liquors upon it to make it burn faster; and that if they should see the Woman offer to come out, or avoid the flames, they would knock her on the head with their staves and kill her, or else beat her back into the fire; because 'twould be a great shame to the Woman and all her kindred, if she should go to be burnt, and then through fear of the fire and death, repent and come out of it. I have likewise heard it said, that some Women are burnt against their own Will, their Relations resolving to have it so for Honour of the Husband; and that they have been brought to the fire in a manner by force, and made besides them∣selves with things given them to eat and drink for this purpose, that they might more easily suffer themselves to be cast into the fire; but this the Indians directly deny, saying, that force is not us'd to any; and it may be true, at least in Countries where Mahometans command; for there no Woman is suffer'd to be burnt without leave of the Governour of the place, to whom it belongs first to examine, whether the Women be willing; be∣sides, and for a Licence, there is also paid a good sum of money. Page 45 Nevertheless, 'tis possible too that many Widows being in the height of their passion taken at their word by their kindred who desire it, go to it afterwards with an ill will, not daring to deny those that exhort them thereunto, especially if oblig'd by their word; nor to discover their own mind freely to the Governour. Things, which amongst Women, through their natural fearful∣ness and modesty, easily happen. And I would to God that in our Countries, in sundry cases, as of marrying or not, and the like matters, we had not frequent examples which Women not sel∣dom give of great resolutions, not forc'd in appearance, but indeed too much forc'd in reality, for avoiding displeasure and other inconveniencies. In the Territories of Christians, where the Por∣tugals are Masters, Women are not suffer'd to be burnt, nor is any other exercise of their Religion permitted them. Moreover, the Indian-Gentiles believe that there is a Devil in the world, almost of the same conditions wherewith we conceive him; but they think too, that many wretched Souls unworthy ever to have pardon from God, as the last of the great punishments which they deserve, become Devils also; than which they judge there cannot be a greater misery. The greatest sin in the world they account shedding of blood, especially that of men; and then, above all, the eating of humane flesh, as some barbarous Nations do, who are therefore detested by them more then all others. Hence the strictest amongst them, as the Brachmans, and particularly the Boti, not onely kill not, but eat not, any li∣ving thing; and even from herbs tinctur'd with any reddish co∣lour representing blood, they wholly abstain. Others, of a larger conscience eat onely fish. Others, the most ignoble and largest of all, though they kill not, nevertheless they eat all sort of Animals good for food, except Cows; to kill and eat which, all in general abhor, saying, that the Cow is their Mo∣ther, for the Milke she gives, and the Oxen she breeds, which plough the Earth, and do a thousand other services, especially in India, where through the paucity of other Animals, they make use of these more then any for all occasions. So that they think they have reason to say, That Cows are the prop of the world, which perhaps would signifie by that Fable, common also to the Mahometans, and by me formerly mention'd; That the world is supported upon the Horns of the Cow. More∣over, they have these creatures in great Veneration; for Cows being kept well in India, and living with little pains and much ease, therefore they believe that the best Souls, to whom God is pleased to give little pain in this world, pass into them. All the Indians use many washings, and some never eat without first washing the whole body. Others will not be seen to eat by any one; and the place where they eat, they first sweep, wash, and scoure with water and Cow-dung. Which, besides cleanliness, is to them a Ceremonial Right, which they think hath the virtue to purifie: But having observ'd it too in the houses of Christi∣ans, Page 46 I find that indeed it cleanses exquisitly, and makes the floores and pavements of houses handsome, smooth, and bright. And if the Cows and Bulls whose dung they use, eat grass, it gives a prety green to the pavement; if straw, a yellowish: But for the most part the floores are red, as those of Venice are, and I know not with what they give them that colour. But these and other Ceremonies which I have not seen my self, and know onely by Relation, I willingly pass over. I shall conclude therefore with saying that by the things hitherto mention'd, it appears that in the substance of Religion, and what is most important, all the Races of the Indians agree together, and differ onely, per∣haps, through the necessity, which is caus'd by the diversity of humane conditions in certain Rites and Ceremonies, particularly, of eating more or less indistinctly. Wherein the Ragiaputi, Souldiers, with the wonted military licentiousness, take most liberty, without thinking themselves prejudic'd as to the degree of Nobility. Next to them, the meanest and most laborious pro∣fessions are more licentious in eating then others, because they need more sustenance; some of which drink Wine too, from which the others more strict, abstain to avoid ebriety; and so from all other beverage that inebriates. But those of other Races whose employments admit more rest and a better life, are also more sparing and rigorous in the use of meats, especially the Brachmans, as I said, dedicated wholly to Learning and the Service of Temples, as the most noble of all. In testimony whereof they alone have the priviledge to wear a certain Ensign of Nobility in their Sect, whereby they are distinguisht from others; 'tis a fillet of three braids, which they put next the flesh like a Neck-chain, passing from the left shoulder under the right arm, and so round. This fillet hath a mystery, and is gi∣ven to all persons of that Race, and to a few of one other for a great favour, with many superstitious Ceremonies, of which I forbear to speak, because I have not yet any good information thereof. There was a long dispute in India, between the Je∣suits and other Fathers, whether this fillet, which the Portugals call Linha, was a badge of Religion, or onely an Ensign of piety; and whether it was to be permitted, or not, to Indian Con∣verts, who were very loth to lay it aside. Much hath been said, and with great contest by both parties, and at length the cause is carried to Rome, and I was inform'd of it two or three years ago in Persia. For I remember Sig: Matteo Galvano Gudigno, a Canon and Kinsman to the then Archbishop of Goa, pass'd by Sphahàn, and continu'd there many days; being sent by the same Archbishop, who favour'd the side contrary to the Jesuits, purposely to Rome with many writings touching this affair, which he out of courtesie communicated to me. I know not whether the final determination of it be yet come from Rome; some say it is, and in favour of the Jesuits: But at Goa we shall know these things better. The truth is, the Jesuits prove, Page 47 (on one side) that the honour of wearing this Ribban is fre∣quently granted not onely to the Indians, but also to strangers of different Nation and Sect; as to Mahometans, who (by con∣descension of that King, who among the Indians hath authority to do it, as Head of their Sect in spirituals) have in recompence of great and honourable services enjoy'd this priviledge, without becoming Gentiles, or changing their Religion, but still per∣sisting to live Mahometans; which indeed is a strong Argument. On the other side, they prove that many Brachmans and others of the Race priviledg'd to wear it, intending to lead a stricter life, and abandon the world by living almost like Hermits; amongst other things, in humility lay aside this Ribban, being a token of Nobility; which 'tis not likely they would do, if it were a Cognizance of Religion; yea, they would wear it the more. But this second Argument seems not to me so cogent, because, amongst us Christians, if a Knight of the order of Calatrava, or the like, which are Ensignes of Nobility, in order to a more holy life enter into some Religion, either of Fryers, Monks, or other Regulars; 'tis clear that taking the Religious Habit, he layes aside the body of his Knight-hood, although it be that Cross, than which there cannot be a greater Cognizance of Christian Religion; albeit 'tis worn by those Knights as a token of Nobility too. 'Tis enough, that the Jesuits think their opi∣nion abundantly confirm'd by the two abovesaid Reasons, name∣ly, that it is rather a sign of Nobility then a Cognizance of Re∣ligion. And although the same is conferr'd with many super∣stitious Ceremonies, yet they will not have it taken away, al∣ledging for example, that the Crosses of our Knights, however Ensignes of Nobility, are given with many Ceremonies and Rites of our sacred Religion, the more to authorize them. Whence it appears that the use of this Ribban may be without scruple permitted to the Indians, provided these superstitious Ceremonies be lay'd aside, and especially the End, in which alone consists the sin; changing it in that manner as the ancient Christians chang'd many Festivals and superstitions of the Gentiles into Festivals of Martyrs, and other pious Commemorations. And this may be done by applying (e. g.) the signification of the three Braids to the most Holy Trinity, or in some such manner, turn∣ing it to a pious and lawful use. Nevertheless those of the con∣trary party impugn this opinion with no bad Reasons; they say, 'tis a thing in it self, of its own nature, wholly unlawful to Christians, as being perfectly a Gentile-superstition; which is prov'd by the Ceremonies and words us'd in conferring it; and that for the three Braids, 'tis well known, they hold and wear them in honour of three of their chief false Gods; and that al∣though they be Ensigns of Nobility in the wearer, yet they are withall, and principally a manifest Cognizance of their Re∣ligion; as Crosses are amongst our Knights, wherewith who ever hath the same on his breast, not onely ostentates his Nobility, Page 48 but also firmly profess the Christian Faith. That the Gentile-Kings having honour'd with this Ensign some Mahometan, their Vassal, and remaining a Mahometan, is no more then as if in our Countries we should grant to some Jew the priviledge of wearing a black Hat without becoming a Christian; which may be done by way of dispensation, and yet it cannot be deny'd but that the wearing a black one, or a yellow, is, besides the matter of credit, a Cognizance also of the Religion or Sect which a man professes. Many other Reasons they alledge, which I do not well remember, and which, no doubt, will be narrowly examin'd at Rome. What the determination will be, I shall know more certainly at Goa; and for the present thus much may suffice concerning the Opinions and Rites of the Indian-Gentiles.
[ XV] Now in pursuance of the Narration of my Travells, I am to tell you, that after the seeing of the Temple, and visiting the Brachman abovesaid, the same day, which was Saturday the 25th of February, upon occasion of a Cafila, or Caravan, which was setting forth from Cambaia to Ahmedabàd, which is the Royal Seat and Head of the whole Kingdom of Guzaràt, we, namely, Sig: Alberto Scilling, and my self, with our attendants, were desirous to see that City; and since the insecurity of the wayes allow'd us not to go alone, we resolv'd to go with the Cafila. And because at the same time another Cafila was setting forth for Suràt, in which some of the Hollanders, residing at Cam∣baia, went with their goods which they carry'd thither in order to be shipt; we all went out of the Town together, and in a place without the Gate and the Suburbs, were the wayes di∣vided under the shade of certain great Trees of Tamarinds, which the Indians call Hambelè, (where also are certain Sepul∣chres, and a Mahometan Meschita or Temple, unroof'd and without walls about, saving a little wall at the front, and a place markt where prayers are to be made; of which sort of Mes∣chita's many are seen in India, especially in the Country) we entertain'd our selves a good while with the Dutch, being di∣verted with Musick, singing and dancing by the same Women, which we had the night before at our house. At length taking leave, they took their way towards Suràt, and Sig: Alberto and I with our company towards Ahmedabàd, going a little out of the way to see another very famous Temple of Mahadeù. The Fabrick is small and inconsiderable; within there is no other Idol but that of Mahadeù, which is no other but a little co∣lumn or pillar of stone, thicker below then at top, and which diminishing by degrees, ends at the top in a round. Whatever 'tis that would signifie thereby, the name of Mahadeù they in their language, is properly interpreted Great God. But we had enough to laugh at, when we heard that this Idol was held by the Country people for a worker of miracles; and a∣mongst other of his miracles, they relate that he grows every Page 49 day, and becomes bigger hourly; affirming, that many years since he was no higher then a span, or little more, and now he is above two, and perhaps three; and thus he continues increa∣sing every day: a folly not to be believ'd but by such fools as themselves. Having seen this Temple, we overtook our Cafila at a Town call'd Saimà, three miles distant from Cambaia, where we all lodg'd that night. The next Morning being Sunday, the Cafila, which consisted of above a hundred Coaches, be∣sides foot-men and horse-men, and great loaden Wagons, set forth three hours before day; and staying not to rest any where, according to the custom of the East, (which is to make but one bout of a days journey) having travell'd fifteen Cos by noon, or little later, we lodg'd at a Town call'd Màter, where we saw an infinite number of Squirrels leaping amongst the trees every where; they were small, white, and with a tail less, and not so fair as those of our Countries. On Monday, about two hours before day, we resum'd our Voyage. When it was day, we saw upon the way every where abundance of wild Monkies, of which almost all the Trees were full. They put me in mind of that Army of Monkies, which the Souldiers of Alexander the Great, beholding upon certain Hills a far off, and taking to be Men intended to have charg'd, had not Taxilus inform'd them what they were, as Strabo relates.* We found abundance of people too upon the way begging alms with the sound of a Trumpet, which almost every one had and sounded, and most of them were arm'd with Bows and Arrows; two things sufficiently un∣couth for beggars, and indeed, not be suffer'd by Governours, since these Ruffians under pretext of begging, rob frequently upon the way when they meet persons alone and unarm'd; which having weapons themselves, they may easily do. This County was almost all woody, the ground unmeasurably dusty, to the great trouble of Travellers; the High-ways were all enclos'd on the sides with high hedges of a plant always green and unfruitful, not known in Europe; and having no leaves, but in∣stead thereof cover'd with certain long and slender branches, al∣most like our Sparagus but bigger, harder and thicker, of a very lively green; being broken, they send forth Milk like that of immature Figgs, which is very pernicious to the flesh wherever it touches. The Fields were full of Olive-trees, Ta∣marind-trees, and other such which in India are familiar. About noon, having travell'd twelve, or, as others said, fourteen Cos, we arriv'd at Ahmedabàd, and our journey from Cambaia hither was always with our Faces towards the North East. Being entred into the City, which is competently large, with great Suburbs, we went directly to alight at the house of the English Merchants, till other lodging were prepar'd for us, where also we din'd with them. After which we retir'd to one of the houses which stand in the street, which they call Terzì Carvanse∣rai, that is, the Taylers Inn. For you must know that the Car∣vanserai,Page 50 or Inns in Ahmedabàd, and other great Cities of India, are not, as in Persia and Turkey, one single habitation made in form of a great Cloyster, with abundance of Lodgings round about, separate one from another, for quartering of strangers; but they are whole great streets of the City destinated for strangers to dwell in, and whosoever is minded to hire a house; and because these streets are lockt up in the night time for secu∣rity of the persons and goods which are there, therefore they call the Cavanserai. Notwithstanding the wearisomness of our journey, because we were to stay but a little while at Ahmedabàd, therefore after a little rest we went the same Even∣ing to view the market-place, buying sundry things. It displeas'd me sufficiently that the streets not being well pav'd, although they are large, fair, and strait, yet through the great dryness of the Earth they are so dusty, that there's almost no going a foot, because the foot sinks very deep in the ground with great defile∣ment; and the going on Horse-back, or in a Coach, is likewise very troublesome in regard of the dust; a thing, indeed, of great disparagement to so goodly and great a City as this is. I saw in Ahmedabàd, Roses, Flowers of Jasmin, and other sorts, and divers such fruits as we have in our Countries in the Sum∣mer; whence I imagin'd, that probably, we had repass'd the Tro∣pick of Cancer, and re-enter'd a little into the temperate Zone; which doubt I could not clear for want of my Astrolabe, which I had left with my other goods at Suràt. On Tuesday following, which to us was the day of Carnaval, or Shrove-Tuesday, walking in the Morning about the Town, I saw a handsome street, strait, long, and very broad, full of shops of various Trades; they call it Bezari Kelàn, that is, the Great Merkat, in distinction from others, than which this is bigger. In the middle is a structure of stone athwart the street, like a bridge with three Arches, almost resembling the Triumphal Arches of Rome. A good way be∣yond this bridge, in the middle of the same street is a great Well, round about which is built a square Piazzetta, a little higher then the ground. The Water of the Well is of great ser∣vice to all the City, and there is always a great concourse of people who come to fetch it. Going forwards to the end of the Market, we came to the great Gate which stands confront∣ing the street, and beautifi'd with many Ornaments between two goodly Towers; 'tis the Gate of a small Castle, which they call by the Persian word Cut. Nor let it seem strange, that in India in the Countries of the Moghòl, the Persian Tongue is us'd more, perhaps, then the Indian it self, since the Mogholian Princes being originally Tartars and of Samarcand, where the Persian Tongue is the natural of the Country, have therefore been willing to retain their native Speech in India; in brief, the Persian is the Language of the Moghols Court, most spoken and us'd in all publick writings. Near this Castle Gate, in a void place of the street are two pulpits handsomely built of stone, Page 51 somewhat rais'd from the ground, wherein 'tis the custome to read the King's Commandments publickly, when they are be proclaim'd. Thence turning to the right hand, and passing another great Gate, and through a fair Street we came to the Royal Palace; for Ahmedabàd is one of the four Cities, amongst all the others of his Dominions, where the Grand Moghòl by par∣ticular priviledge hath a Palace and a Court; and accordingly he comes sometimes to reside there. This Palace hath a great square Court, surrounded with white and well polish'd walls. In the midst stands a high Post to shoot at with arrows, as is also usual in the Piazzaes of Persia. On the left side of the Court as you go in, are the King's Lodgings, a small and low building. What 'tis within side, I know not, for I enter'd not into it; but without, 'tis as follows: Under the King's Windows is a square place inclos'd with a rail of colour'd wood, and the pavement somewhat rais'd; within which, when the King is there, are wont to stand certain Officers of the Militia, whom they call Mansubdàr, and they are almost the same with our Colonels: their Command extends not to above a Thousand Horse; nor are they all equal, but from a thousand downwards, some have more, some less, under them. Within this inclosure of the Mansubdary, under the King's Balconies, stand two carv'd Ele∣phants of emboss'd work, but not large, painted with their natu∣ral colours; and in the front of the Royal Lodgings, are other such Ornaments after their mode, of little consideration. Some said, that a while ago in one of the Balconies stood expos'd to publick view an Image of the Virgin Mary, plac'd there by Sciàh Selim, (who, they say, was devoted to her) and to whom, perhaps, it was given by one of our Priests, who frequent his Court out of a desire to draw him to the Christian Faith; but the Image was not there now, and possibly, was taken away by Sultan Chorrom his Son, (reported an Enemy of the Christians and their affairs) since his coming to the Government of those parts of Guzaràt. The station of the greater Captains, and of higher dignity then the Mansubdary, as the Chans and others of that rank, is in the King's Balconies; or near hand above there within the Rooms: The inferior Souldiers, that is, such as have onely two or three Horses, stand upon the ground in the Court without the above mention'd inclosure. In the front of the Court is another building, with an inclosure also before it, but less adorned; 'tis the place where the King's Guard stands with all its Captains: And the same order, I believe, is always observ'd in the Moghòl's Court, in whatsoever place or City he happens to be. Within this Court is another on the left hand, surrounded with other buildings for necessary Offices, but not so well built nor polish'd. Having seen what we could of the Royal Palace, we return'd by the same way we came to the street of the great Market. From whence we went to see a famous Temple of Mahadeù, to which there is hourly a great Page 52 concourse of people, and the street which leads to it is always full, not onely of goers and commers to the Temple, but also of beggars who stand here and there asking Alms of those that pass by. The building of this Temple is small, the entrance narrow and very low, almost under ground; for you descend by many steps, and you would think you were rather going into a Grotto then into a Temple; and hence there is always a great crowd there. On high hung a great number of Bells, which are rung every moment with great noise by all those who come to worship. Within the Temple continually stand many naked Gioghi, having onely their privities (not very well) cover'd with a cloth; they wear long Hair dishevel'd, dying their Fore-heads with spots of Sanders, Saffron, and other co∣lours suitable to their superstitious Ceremonies. The rest of their bodies is clean and smooth, without any tincture or impurity; which I mention as a difference from some other Gioghi, whose Bodie are all smear'd with colours and ashes, as I shall relate hereafter. There is, no doubt, but these are the ancient Gymnosophists so famous in the world; and, in short, those very Sophists who then went naked, and exercis'd great patience in sufferings,* to whom Alexander the Great sent Onesicritus to consult with them, as Strabo reports from the testimony of the same Onesicritus. Many of them stood in the Temple near the Idols, which were plac'd in the innermost Penetral or Chancel of it, with many Candles and lamps burning before them. The Idols were two stones, somewhat long, like two small Ter∣mini, or Land-marks, painted with their wonted colours; on the right side whereof was a stone cut into a figure, and on the left another of that ordinary form of a small pillar, according to which, as I said before, that they use to shape Mahadeù: And before all these, another like figure of Mahadeù, made of Crystal, upon which the Offerings were lay'd, as Milk, Oyle, Rice, and divers such things. The assistent Gioghi give every one that comes to worship some of the Flowers, which are strew'd upon, and round about the Idols; receiving in lieu thereof good summs of Alms. Coming out of this Temple, and ascending up the wall of the City, which is hard by, we beheld from that height the little River call'd Sabermeti, which runs on that side under the walls without the City. Upon the bank thereof, stood expos'd to the Sun many Gioghi of more au∣stere lives, namely such, as not onely are naked, like those above describ'd, but go all sprinkled with ashes, and paint their bo∣dies and faces with a whitish colour upon black, which they do with a certain stone that is reduc'd into powder like Lime: Their Beards and Hair they wear long, untrim'd, rudely involv'd, and sometimes erected like horns. Painted they are often, or rather dawb'd with sundry colours and hideous figures; so that they seem so many Devils, like those represented in our Comedies. The ashes wherewith they sprinkle their bodies Page 53 are the ashes of burnt Carkasses; and this, to the end they may be continually mindful of death. A great crew of these with their Chief or Leader, (who conducts them with an extrava∣gant banner in his Hand, made of many shreds of several co∣lours, and to whom they all religiously obey) sat by the Rivers side in a round form, as their custom is; and in the field there were many people, who came, some to walk, and others, to wash themselves; the Pagan Indians holding their Rivers in great Veneration, and being not a little superstitious in bathing themselves therein. From the same place, I beheld a little Chappel built upon two small figures of Mahadeù, not upright, but lying along upon the ground, and carv'd in basse relief, where also were Lamps burning, and people making their Offerings. One of the Gioghi, laying aside all other care, remain'd conti∣nually in this Chappel with great retiredness and abstraction of mind, scarce ever coming forth; although it was very trouble∣some abiding there, in regard of the heat of the lights; and inconvenient too, by reason the Chappel was so little that it could scarce contain him alone as he sat upon the pavement, (which was somewhat rais'd from the Earth) with his Leggs doubled under him, and almost crooked. Returning home by the same way of the great Bazàr, or Market, I saw Carvanserai, or Inns made with Cloysters like those of Persia; one greater and square of the ordinary form, and another less, narrow and long. Of divers other streets, in which I saw nothing observable, I forbear to speak.
The same day after dinner, having taken leave of certain [ XVI] Armenian and Syrian Christians, who live in Ahmedabàd with their Wives and Families, we put our selves upon the way to return to Cambaia, with the same Cafila, with which we came; and which every week departs thence at a set day. At our setting forth we met with a little obstacle, for by reason of the new Commo∣tions between the Moghòl, and his Son Sultan Chorròm, who was become Master of these parts of Guznet, there was a fresh pro∣hibition in Ahmedabàd, that no Souldiers Wives, nor other person of quality should go out of the City by Land; and this, as I conceive, lest the rumors of the troubles should cause the people of the City to remove into other Territories, and aban∣don the faction of the Rebel Sultan Chorròm; which they could not do if their Wives were restrain'd, because Husbands are in a manner necessitated to abide where their Wives and Houses are. So that by reason of this prohibition, I could not have got away, having my SigraMariuccia with me, un∣less I had obtain'd express leave in writing from the Go∣vernour; in order to which it was needful for me to make it appear that we were strangers and not people of the Country, and to pay some small summ of Money, besides going back∣ward and forward, whereby we lost much time. Having at length obtain'd permission, and being got out of the City, Page 54 we went a little without the walls to see a great Artificial Lake which is there, made of stone with stairs at several angles about it; its Diameter was, by my conjecture, above half a mile. It hath about the middle an Island, with a little Garden, to which they go by a handsome Bridge of many Arches very well built; upon which, I believe, two Indian Coaches may go a breast. Indeed these Indian Lakes are goodly things, and may be reckon'd amongst the most remarkable structures of the world. Having seen this, we went to overtake our Cafila, which was arriv'd at a Town seven Cos distant from Ahemdabàd, call'd Barigia, or Bariza, (for the Indians very much confound these two Letters g and z in their speaking.) We came late to the said Town, by reason of our hindrances at our departure from Ahmedabàd; but certain Horse-men appointed, as I conceive, to guard the way, having met us in the night, would needs accompany us thither that so we might go safely; for which service they were contented with a very small gratuity which we gave them.
[ XVII] The first of March, being Ash-Wednesday, we set forth by break of day; and having travell'd fifteen Cos, an hour or little more before night, we came to lodge in a competently large Town call'd Soznitrà, where I saw Batts as big as Crows. The next day, March the second, beginning our journey early, we travell'd twelve Cos, and a little after noon arriv'd at Cambaia. The Dutch Merchants there understanding by others that we were coming with this Cafila, came to meet us a little without the Gate, and with their accustomed courtesies conducted us to lodge in their House. March the third, we went out of the walls to the top of the Tower of that Sepulchre, which I said we saw near the Garden of the King of Guzarat, to behold from thence, (being a great prospect upon the Sea) the coming in of the Tide, which indeed was a pleasant spectacle. 'Twas New-Moon this day, and so a greater Tide then usual, and we went to observe it at the punctual time of its being at the height, which those people know very well; because at that time it in∣creases in less then a quarter of an hour, to almost the greatest height it is to have, and flows with greatest fury; contrary to what happens in other Seas. Now at the due time we saw the Sea come roaring a far off, like a most rapid River, and in a moment overflow a great space of Land, rushing with such fury that nothing could have with-stood its force; and I think it would have overtaken the swiftest Race-horse in the world. A thing verily strange, since in other places both the rising and the falling of the Sea in the flux and reflux is done gently in full six hours, and with so little motion that 'tis scarce perceiv'd. After this we went to see another goodly Cistern, or Lake, without the City, formerly not seen, of a square form, and of a sumptu∣ous marble structure, with stairs about it like the others which I had seen elsewhere. Afterwards we saw in one of the Suburbs Page 55 or Hamlets near the City, call'd Cansari, a Temple of the Gen∣tiles, peradventure the goodliest that I have seen, with certain Cupola's, and high Balconies of tolerable Architecture, but no great model. This Temple belongs to that Race of Indians who shave their heads (a thing unusual to all others who wear long hair, like Women) and such are call'd Vertià. The Idol in it sate on high over an Altar at the upper end, in a place some∣what dark, ascended by stairs, with lamps always burning before it. When I went in, there was a Man at his Devotions, and burning Perfumes before the Idol. At some distance from this, stands another Temple of like structure, but more plain and of a square form; within it were seen abundance of Idols of several shapes, whose Names and Histories, the shortness of time, and my unskilfulness in their Language allow'd me not to learn. Without the Gate of these Temples, I beheld sitting upon the ground in a circle, another Troop of those naked Gioghi, having their bodies smear'd with Ashes, Earth, and Colours, like those I had seen upon the River of Ahmedabàd; they made a ring about their Archimaudrita, or Leader, who was held in such Veneration not onely by the Religious of their Sect, but also by the other secular Indians, for Reputation of Holiness, that I saw many grave persons go and make low Reverences to him, kiss his Hands, and stand in an humble posture before him to hear some sentence; and He with great gravity, or rather with a strange scorn of all worldly things, hypocritically made as if he scarce deign'd to speak and answer those that came to honour him. These Gioghi, are not such by Descent but by Choice, as our Reli∣gious Orders are. They go naked, most of them with their bodies painted and smear'd, as is above mention'd; yet some of them are onely naked, with the rest of their bodies smooth, and onely their Fore-heads dy'd with Sanders and some red, yellow, or white colour; which is also imitated by many secular persons, out of superstition and gallantry. They live upon Almes, de∣spising clothes and all other worldly things. They marry not, but make severe profession of Chastity at least in appearance; for in secret 'tis known many of them commit as many debauche∣ries as they can. They live in society under the obedience of their Superiors, and wander about the world without having any setled abode. Their Habitations are the Fields, the Streets, the Porches, the Courts of Temples, and Trees, especially un∣der those where any Idol is worshipt by them; and they undergo with incredible patience day and night no less the rigor of the Air then the excessive heat of the Sun, which in these sultry Countries is a thing sufficiently to be admir'd. They have spi∣ritual exercises after their way, and also some exercise of Learning, but (by what I gather from a Book of theirs translated into Persian, and intitl'd, Damerdbigiaska, and, as the Translator saith, a rare piece) both their exercises of wit and their Learning, con∣sist onely in Arts of Divination, Secrets of Herbs, and other Page 56 natural things, and also in Magick and Inchantments, where∣unto they are much addicted, and boast of doing great wonders. I include their spiritual exercises herein, because according to the aforesaid Book, they think that by the means of those exer∣cises, Prayers, Fastings, and the like superstitious things, they come to Revelations; which indeed are nothing else but corre∣spondences with the Devil, who appears to, and deludes them in sundry shapes, forewarning them sometimes of things to come: Yea sometimes they have carnal commerce with him, not be∣lieving, or, at least, not professing that 'tis the Devil; but that there are certain Immortal, Spiritual, Invisible Women, to the number of forty, known to them and distinguisht by various forms, names, and operations, whom they reverence as Deities, and adore in many places with strange worship; so that some Moorisco Princes in India, as one of these three pety Kings who reign'd in Decàn, Telengane, and Meslepaton, (Cutbsciach, as I remember) though a Moor; yet retaining some reliques of anci∣ent Gentilism, makes great Feasts and Sacrifices to one of these Women in certain Grottoes under high Mountains which are in his Country; where 'tis reported, that this Woman hath a par∣ticular and beloved habitation; and He of the Gioghi, that by long spiritual exercises can come to have an apparition of any of these Women, who foretells him future things, and favours him with the power of doing other wonders, is accounted in the degree of perfection; and far more if he happen to be adopted by the Immortal Woman for her Son, Brother, or other Kinsman; but a∣bove all, if he be receiv'd for a Husband, and the Woman have car∣nal commerce with him; the Giogho thenceforward remaining excluded from the commerce of all other Women in the world, which is the highest degree that can be attain'd to; and then he is call'd a spiritual Man, and accounted of a nature above hu∣mane, with promise of a thousand strange things, which for brevities sake I pass over. Thus doth the Devil abuse this mise∣rable people. As for any thing more concerning these Gioghi, I refer you to what I have formerly written of them, and the Samì, who are another sort of Religious Indians who wear Clothes, as I saw them in Bender of Combrù. And of the Scien∣ces of the Gioghi, and their spiritual exercises, especially of a curious way, rather superstitious then natural, of Divining by the breathing of a Man, wherein they have indeed many curi∣ous and subtle observations, which I upon tryal have found true. If any would know more, I refer him to the Book above mention'd, which I intend to carry with me for a Rarity into Italy; and if I shall find convenience, I shall one day gratifie the Curious with a sight of it in a Translation.
[ XVIII] On the fourth of March, I went out of Cambaia to a Town two miles off, call'd Hagrà, to see a famous Temple, built of old by the Race of the Banions, and belongs to them; but yet the Brachmans possess it, and have care of it, as if it were descen∣ded Page 57 to them. This Temple is dedicated to Brahmà, who, as I said before, they hold to be the same with Pythagoras, although of the origine of Bramà, and how he was produc'd of the first Cause, or else of the first Matter, and how they take this for one of the Elements, and a thousand other extravagances; they tell long Fables, which do not agree to Pythagoras a meer man; but for all this they confound the two Names, and 'tis no great matter to reconcile them herein, after the same manner that our ancient Gentiles agreed in their Jupiter, taken sometimes for one of the Elements, and sometimes historically for an anci∣ent King one of Saturn's Sons; and in divers other like names, in reference to History and Philsophy they had double, allegori∣cal and mysterious significations. Concerning the Genealogy of Bramà, and the other fabulous Indian Gods, and what be∣longs to their vain Theology, I refer the Reader to the Books of Father Francesco Negrone, or Negraore, as the Portugals call him, who writes fully thereof in his Chronicles of the things done by those of his Order in India, written in the Portugal Language; and I think he is the first, and perhaps, the onely Modern Wri∣ter who hath given account of this matter in Europe. The said Father having been assisted therein, for information by most fit and sufficient Interpreters, namely, the Fathers of his own Religion, good Divines, skill'd in the Indian Tongue, and per∣fectly intelligent of these matters; who also read and interpre∣ted the very Books of the Indians to him, and were likewise his interpreters in the discourses which he had often with the learned Indians concerning their Religion, as himself frequently told me. Besides which, he wanted not other helps, because being appointed Historiographer to his Order, he was abundantly supply'd with what was needful to that Office; he convers'd long in the Kingdom of Bisnaga, where the Religion and Sciences of the Indians have their Principal Seat; as also in the Island of Zeilan, which many take to be the ancient Tabrobana, and in other Countries for this very purpose. He made many peregri∣nations expresly to see places and things conducing thereunto, and was assisted by the Vice-Roys themselves and Governours of Provinces, subject to the Portugals, who sent him into all places accompany'd oftentimes with whole bands of Soul∣diers, where the wayes were not secure; in brief, without spa∣ring cost, pains, or diligence, he professedly intended this bu∣siness for many years together, with all kind of convenience and authority. Lastly, he was some years since sent by his Order into Europe, in Order to print his Works; and in the year 1619, as I came through Persia, I saw him at Sphahàn; and during his short abode there by means of a Friend got a sight of his Papers, but had not time to read them, as I desir'd. He went thence directly to Rome, whither I gave him some Letters to certain Friends and Relations of mine to be civil to him there, as I know they were; and after some years sojourning at Rome, whilst I Page 58 was at Bender of Combrù, I heard that he was coming from Rome towards Turkie, in order to return to India, where I hope to see him again; and if he bring his Books printed with him, I shall read them, and what I find remarkable therein which may be serviceable to these writings of mine, I shall make mention of the same in its proper place, Father Joam de Lucena a Jesuit, in his History of the Life of San Francesco Xavier, written in the Portugal Tongue, makes mention likewise of the Religion and Customs of the Indian-Gentiles, and seems to speak thereof with good grounds, although in some few particulars, if I mi∣stake not, he is capable of a little correction. Yet that which troubles me most, is, that it clearly appears by his Book that he knew much more of the Customs of the Indians then he hath written: which perhaps he would not write, either because they were obscene and impious, or pertain'd not to his purpose. I saw Father Negrone since at Goa, but he brought not his Book printed; either because his Fathers, as some say, would not have it printed; or —. Yet he saith, he hath sent it to be printed in Portugal in that Language, and expects it by the next Ship; if it comes, I shall see it. But having in Goa discours'd with him more largely then I did in Persia, I find him very little vers'd in matters of ancient History and Geography, as generally the Fryars of Spain, and especially Portugal are not, addicting themselves little to other Studies, besides what serves to Preach∣ing; wherefore, without good skill in ancient History, Geogra∣phy, and other Humane Learning, I know not how 'tis possible to write Histories well, particularly, concerning the Customs of the Indians; of which also he hath had no other information but by interpreters; in which way I have by experience found that many errors are frequently committed. Nevertheless we shall see what light may be had from F. Lucena's Book, although it be short, concerning the Religion of the Indians.
[ XIX] In the mean time returning to my purpose, I shall tell you, that in the Temple dedicated to Brahmà in the Town of Naghrà, which is little considerable for building but in great Veneration for ancient Religion, there are many Idols of white Marble. The biggest is the Chief, and hath the worthiest place: In the middle is the Statue of Brahma, or Pythagoras, with many Arms and Faces, as they ordinarily pourtray him, namely, three Faces, for I could not see whether there were a fourth or more behind; 'tis naked with a long picked Beard, but ill cut as well as the rest of the figure, which for its bigness hath a very great Belly, I know not whether through the Artificers fault, who seems to have been little skilful; or else because the Indians, as I have also heard of the people of Sumatra, account it a great Beauty and perfection to have a great Belly. This figure of Brahma stands upright, and at his Feet two other less carv'd figures, which, as they say, are his two Sons, Sunnet and Sunnatan. On each side of Brahma stand likewise two Statues of Women, some∣what Page 59 less then Brahma himself, and they call them his Wives, Sa∣vetrì, and Gavetrì. On the left side of this narrow Temple, stand two other figures of the same bigness, being two naked Men with long Beards, whom they pretend to have been two religious per∣sons, I know not whether Doctors or Disciples of Brahma or Pythagoras; one is call'd Chescuèr, the other Ciavan de Chescuèr. On the same side downwards are many other Idolets, as one with an Elephants Head, and divers others formerly by me mention'd. All which Idols are serv'd, ador'd, perfum'd, offer'd to, and wash'd every day as for delight, (for the Indians ac∣count it delight to wash often) by the Brachmans, who assist at their service with much diligence. I must not forget, that the Banians say, this Town Naghera was the King's Seat and principal City, anciently the Head of the whole Kingdom of Cambaia, and that the City now properly call'd Cambaia, and rais'd to great∣ness by the ruine of this old, is a modern thing; whence I have sometimes suspected that the Indian Character call'd Naghra, us'd by the learned, was denominated from this City wherein it was anciently us'd; but 'tis onely a Conjecture; and I have learnt by long and much experience, that in the derivation and interpre∣tation of Names, especially of Places, there is no trusting to the resemblance of Words; because by reason of the diversity of Languages, and the casual Conformity of Words which signifie things sufficiently different, according to the variety of Places, gross errors are easily admitted. Nagher in the Indian Language signifies a Great City. Coming from Naghra, I saw some naked and besmeared Men, of deportment almost like the incinerated Gioghi, who were of a Race of Indians accounted by themselves the most sordid and vile Race of all in India; because they eat every thing, even the uncleannest Animals, as Rats and the like; whence ••ey are call'd in Persian, Hhalal-chor, which signifies a Man that accounts it lawful to eat any thing; the Indians call them Der, and all people in general abhor not onely to converse with, but even to touch them. Concerning Religion, I have heard nothing particular of them, but believe them Gentiles as the rest, or perhaps, Atheists, who may possibly hold every thing for lawful, as well in believing as in eating. They are all sufficiently poor, and live for the most part by begging, or exer∣cising the most sordid Trades in the Common-wealth, which others disdain to meddle with; but they, either because their Rite teaches them so, or necessity inforces them, are not at all shie of. March the fifth, We visited the King's Garden again, and many other Gardens, where we tasted divers fruits, and be∣held several Flowers of India unknown in Europe; amongst the rest, one very odoriferous which I kept in a Paper, which they call Ciompa. Without the City we saw the Saltpits, and also the Field by the Sea-side, where the Indians are wont to burn the bodies of their dead; which may be known by the reliques of many fires and pieces of bones not wholly burnt, which are seen Page 60 scatter'd about the same. The next Morning early, we re∣turn'd to this Field, and saw several Bodies burnt, and parti∣cularly observ'd the Funeral of one Woman from the beginning to the end. They carry the Corps wrapt in a cloth of Cit, of a red colour for the most part, and much in use among the Indi∣ans for other purposes. They carry it not upon a Biere, as we do, but ty'd to and hanging down like a sack, from a staff lay'd cross two Men's shoulders. They make the funeral pile of wood, lay'd together in form of a bed, of equal length and breadth, and sufficient to receive the Body; upon which, beginning then to lament with a loud voice, they lay the carkass naked and su∣pine, with the Face and Feet towards the Sea; which I believe, is likewise observ'd (where the Sea is not) towards Rivers, Lakes, and Cisterns, the Indians having a particular devotion to the Water; nor do I know, that herein they have respect to any Region of Heaven. They cover the privities with a piece of wood, anoint the Hands and Feet, put a coal of fire in the Mouth; and then all things being prepar'd, they set fire first at the Throat, and afterwards to the whole pile round about, be∣ginning first at the Head, but with their Faces turn'd another way, as Virgil saith our Ancestors did; Then sprinkle Water on the ground round about the pile, which they continually stir up with staves in their Hands, and blow with the motion of a cloth, to the end the flame may not spread, but burn more speedily. The body being consum'd by degrees, they reduce the fire into a round form, and when all is burnt, they leave the ashes, and sometimes a piece of a bone not wholly consum'd there in the same place: The cloth wherein the body was wrapt before it was committed to the pile, they give in Charity to some poor person present. Such as have where withall, are burnt with odoriferous and precious wood, in which the rich sp••d much; but they that cannot reach so high, use ordinary wood. Children under two years of age are not burnt but buried, as we saw some in the same Field. Nor let the Reader wonder, that in the same day and hour we hapned to see so many dead per∣sons; for, besides that Cambaia is a large City and very po∣pulous, as all the Cities and Lands of India are; the Gentiles are wont to perform this Ceremony of the dead onely in the Morning, at a set hour, and in that place; so that all that dye in the whole City, during the twenty four hours of the day, are brought to that place at the same hour. The same day we had News of a Jesuit's coming to Cambaia from Goa, with a Cafila of Portugal Frigats, which was going for Agrà: Whereupon in the Evening, Sig: Alberto Scilling and I, in company of a Venetian Merchant, went to visit him at the house where he lodged; and having told him that we were to go the next day for Suràt, I desir'd him to give a letter to the Jesuits of Daman and Bassaim, where I hop'd to touch upon the way to Goa; which he very courteously condescending to do, we went again the next Morn∣ing to see him before we departed.
Page 61March the seventh, In the Morning we visited the Father Je∣suit, [ XX] who was not a Priest, but one of those whom they call Fratelli, Brothers, or young Fryars. He gave me Letters to F. Antonio Albertino, an Italian, and Rector of their Colledge in Daman, and to the Father Rector of their Colledge of Bassaim, desiring them that since I could not imbarque at Cambaia in the Cafila of the Portugals, because I was to return to Suràt, where I had left my goods in the Ships, they would favour me and assist me to get convenient passage for Goa in the said Cafila, either at Daman or Bassaim, where I intended to meet it as it return'd. I on the other side gave this Father a Letter to their Fathers Re∣sident at Agrà, to whom I had written formerly from Persia, desiring them to send me some correct Copy of the Persian Books, written by their Fathers in that Court, in order to get the same printed at Rome; and by Sig: Alberto Scilling, I had understood that my first Letter was receiv'd there, and that the said Fathers of Agrà knew me by report, and the relation of divers who had seen me in Persia, particularly of this Sig: Alberto. In this other Letter from Cambaia, I acquainted them with my Voyage to Goa; and desiring them to write to me there, and remember to favour me with those Books. Having dispatch'd the Father Jesuit, we return'd to the Dutch House to have a Collation; and here we were entertain'd a good while with good Musick by an Indian, who sung tolerably well, and play'd upon a certain odd instrument us'd in India; which pleas'd me well enough, because it was not so obstreperous Musick as the or∣dinary of the vulgar Indians, but rather low and very sweet, and the Musician was skilful according to the mode of the Country, having liv'd at the Court of Tisapor, in the service of Adilsiah. His Instrument was made of two round Gourds dy'd black and vernish'd, with a hole bor'd in one of them, to reverberate the sound. Between the one Gourd and the other, about the distance of three spans, was fastned a piece of wood, upon which they both hung, and the strings which were many, partly of brass, and part∣ly of steel, were extended, passing over many little pieces of wood like so many bridges; and these were the frets, which he touch'd with the left Hand to diversify the sounds, and the strings with the right, not with his Fingers or Nails, but with certain iron wires fastned to his Fingers, by certain rings like thimbles, where∣with he did not strike the strings strongly, but lightly touch'd them from the top downwards, so that they render'd a sound sufficiently pleasant. When he play'd, he held the Instrument at his breast by a string that went round his neck, and one of the Gourds hung over his left shoulder, and the other under his right arm, so that it was a prety sight. Collation and Musick ended, we were conducted about two Cos out of the City by the Dutch Merchants, and took the same way by which we came. We pass'd over the five Cos of wet ground, with the four Currents of Water, of which the second was the deepest (having Page 62 waited a while for a fit hour) in company of a numerous Cafila of Coaches, Carts, Horse-men and Foot-men, in the same manner and circumstances as I writ before; onely the Water was now much higher then we had found it at our coming, so that it came into all the Coaches, and we were fain to stand upright and hold fast by the roof of the Coaches, bare leg'd too, because the Water came above the bottom of the Coaches to the middle of the leg. The Oxen and Horses could scarce keep their Heads above Water, and the Coaches being light, if Men hir'd purposely had not gone along in the Water to hold them steady, and break the course thereof by holding great stumps of wood on that side the Tide came furiously in, without doubt, the Water would have swept them away. In this place on the left hand to∣wards the land in the moist ground, we beheld at a distance many Fowls, as big or bigger then Turkies, go up and down, rather running then flying. They told us, they were the same which the Portugals call Paxaros Flamencos, from their bright colour; and I think, they are those of whose beaks Mir Mahhammed in Spahàn, makes bow-rings for the King; although he errone∣ously takes it for the beak of the Cocnos, or Phoenix, which good Authors describe, not a water Fowl, but rather an inhabitant of high Mountains. Having at length pass'd this dangerous foard, and following our way we came at night to lodge at Gi∣ambuser, the same Town where we had lodg'd formerly. March the eighth, We put our selves upon the way again, and foarded the little salt-water Dilavel, and at night arriv'd at Barocci, and were as formerly entertain'd in the House of the Dutch. But upon the way, before we enter'd the City, we saw a handsome structure standing upon a famous Sepulchre of I know not well who, but seems to be some great person's, and is worship'd by the Moors as a sacred thing. This Fabrick is pleasantly seated a∣mongst Trees, something elevated upon the side of a little Lake, or Great Cistern. In the chief part of it, besides the principal Sepulchre, which stands apart in the most worthy place, are many other Sepulchres of white Marble, of an oblong form, with many carvings and works tolerable enough; 'tis likely they are the Tombs, either of the Wives and Children, or of the other kindred of the Principal, because they seem all of the same work and time. Round this greater structure stand other less, with Sepulchres of Moors in them, who cause themselves to be bu∣ried there out of devotion to the place; whence I gather that the principal Sepulchre is not onely of some great person or Prince as it intimates, but also of one that dy'd with some opini∣on among the Moors of Sanctity. I know not who told me that it was the Sepulchre of a famous Tartarian King, who came to have dominion in those parts; but I credit not the Relation, because I had it not from a good hand. March the ninth, We departed from Barocci, ferrying over the River, and at night lodg'd at Periab, where we had quarter'd before as we went. Page 63March the tenth, Having gone the short way which remain'd, and pass'd the River of Surat by boat, we came to that City about Noon, where I repair'd to the House before assign'd me by the Dutch Commendator, and there found the Daughter of one of the Armenian or Syrian Merchants, seen by us at Ahmeda∣bàd, who was come thither with a Brother of hers, in order to be marry'd shortly to one Sig: Guilielmo, a Hollander, to whom she had been promis'd in Marriage at Ahmedabàd, and who also was in the same House, which was capable of him and more. I understood at Suràt, that Sultan Chorròm had taken and sackt the City of Agrà, except the Castle, and that his Army and him∣self had committed very great Cruelties there in spoiling and dis∣covering the Goods and Mony of the Citizens; particularly, that he had tortur'd, and undecently mangled many Women of quali∣ty, and done other like barbarities, whereby he render'd himself very odious to the people. Concerning Asaf Chan, it was said, that he was held in custody by the King, as suspected of Rebellion, although his affairs were spoken of with much uncertainty; and that the King was hastning to come against his Son, but was not yet far off, and mov'd slowly.
March the one and twentieth, Conceiving the return of the [ XXI] Portugal Cafila from Cambaia to Goa to be near hand, and desiring to make a Voyage with the same; since in regard of the great∣ness of my luggage, and the length of the way I could not go by Land, and 'twas not safe going by Sea, by reason of the con∣tinual incursions of the Mahabar Pirates; I dispatch'd a Messen∣ger to Daman, a City of the Portugals, a little way from Suràt, to F. Antonio Albertino, Rector of the Colledge of Jesuits, with the Letter which their above-mention'd Father had given me in Cambaia; and giving him account of my self and my intention, I desir'd him to send me from Daman one of those Light Vessels which they call Almadiae, and are of that swiftness that they are not at all afraid of Pirates, to carry me from Suràt to Daman, where I desir'd to meet the Cafila: For I could not go by a Boat of Suràt, since the Mariners of Suràt would not have taken my Goods aboard which were in the English Ships, without first car∣rying them into the City to make them pay Custom; whereby I might have been put to a great deal of trouble of going back∣ward and forward, as also upon the account of the Moorish Books which I had with me, and reliques of Sig: Maani. Wherefore to prevent these intricacies, I pray'd the Father to send me a Boat from Daman to take me in not at the City, but at the Port where the Ships ride, and where I intended to be with my Goods ready upon the shore of Sohali. And to the end this Portugal Boat might come securely and not fear, I sent him two safe Conducts, one from the English, and the other from the Dutch; although there was no necessity of them, because Boats come many times secretly from Daman, without such safe Con∣duct to sell Commodities to the English Ships. March the Page 64 fifteenth, Was the first day of the Feast of the Indian-Gentiles, which they celebrate very solemnly at the entrance of the Spring, with dancings through the street, and casting Orange Water and red Colours in jest one upon another, with other fe∣stivities of Songs and Mummeries, as I have formerly seen the same in Sphahan; where also reside constantly a great number of Ba∣nians and Indian-Gentiles. Yet the solemnity and concourse of people was greater then in Persia, as being in their own Country, and a City inhabited in a great part by Gentiles and wealthier persons. Otherwise, I saw nothing at Surat during these three Festival Days, but what I had seen already at Sphahan, and have mention'd in my Writings from that place. March the eighteenth, Being invited to the Dutch House, we there saw the Contract of SigraMariam, the Daughter of the abovesaid Armenian or Syrian Merchant, Resident Ahmedabad with SigrGuiglielmo a Dutch-man, which was follow'd by a sumptuous Dinner, at which were all the Christian Dames of Europe that liv'd at Surat to attend upon the Bride; namely, one Portugal Woman taken in the last Ships, which were surpriz'd by the Dutch, and married likewise to a Dutch man; Mary Bagdadina, Wife to another Hollander, and with them also my young Mariam Tinatìn; and another born in India, and contracted to a Dutch-man; of which Nation, many upon the encouragement of certain priviledges granted them by the State, marry Wives in India of any kind, either white Women or black, and go to people New Batavia, which they have built in Java Major, near a place which they call Giacatora; and they that cannot light upon Free-women for Marriage, buy slaves and make them their lawful Wives to transport thither. At this entertainment were present also the President of the English, with all those of his Nation, all the Dutch Merchants, the Brides Brother, Sig: Alberto Scilling, my self, and in short, all the Europaean Christians that were in Surat.
March the one and twentieth, A Post came to the Dutch [ XXI] Merchants from Agra, with fresh News, that Sultan Chorròm, had besides the former, given a new sack to the said City, and the Souldiers committing the like and greater Cruelties, exaspe∣rated perhaps, at their being valorously repuls'd, in assaulting the Castle with loss of many of their Companions. March the two and twentieth, This Morning the Messenger whom I had sent to Daman, return'd to Surat with the answer which I expected. F. Antonio writ me word that there was but one of those Light Vessels belonging to Daman, and it was now at Surat, being late∣ly come thither, the Master of which was one Sebastian Luis; wherefore he advis'd me to agree with him for my transpor∣tation, and in case he were already gone, then I should advertise him thereof at Daman, and they would speedily send him back; for which purpose they kept the safe Conducts, which I had sent for security of the Vessel. But having presently found the above∣said Page 65Sebastian Luis, I have agreed with him to bring his Boat out of the River to the Sea-side, and take me in at the Port which is some distance from the mouth of the River, where I have ap∣pointed to meet him to morrow morning. It remains onely that I take leave of the Dutch Commendator and the English President, from whom I have receiv'd infinite Obligations du∣ring all my residence here, particularly to the Sigr Commendator; the remembrance whereof shall continue with me during Life. I hope, God willing, to write to you speedily from Goa, and in the mean time humbly kiss your Hands.