From Ikkerì,Novemb. 22. 1623.
I Write to you from Ikkerì, the Royal City and Seat of Venk-tapà [ I] Naieka, whither I am come, and where I am at present; I shall give you an account of the Audience which our Am∣bassador hath had of this King, who, in my judgment, should rather be call'd a Regulus or Royolet, although the Portugals and Indians give him the honor of a Royal Title; being he hath in effect neither State, Court, nor appearance befitting a true King. I shall describe to you every particular that is not unworthy your Curiosity, and adjoyn some other of my Relations and Descriptions of the Idolatrous Gentiles, their vain Superstitions and Ceremonies about their Idols, Temples, Pagods. What I shall now set down, mine own Eyes have witness'd to; and I shall not fear being too tedious in describing things, perhaps, over minutely in these Letters; since I know you are delighted there∣with, and out of your great erudition can make reflections upon the Rites us'd in these parts of the world, which in many things are not unlike the ancient Aegyptian Idolatry. For I am per∣swaded to believe, not without the authority of ancient Authors, that the worship of Isis and Osiris was common to Aegypt and this Region, as in Philostratus I find Apollonius affirming, that in In∣dia he saw the Statues not onely of the Aegyptians, but also of the Grecian gods, as of Apollo, Bacchus, and Minerva. But to return to the particulars of my journey; October the one and thirtieth, After one a clock in the Afternoon, we departed from Onòr with Sig: Gio: Fernandez in a Mancion or Barge, and the rest of the Family in a less Boat. Vitulà Sinay who was to go with us, we left in a readiness to set forth after us, I know not, whether by water or by Land. We row'd up the River which runs Southward to Onòr, against the stream, making use both of Sail and Oars; and a little before night having gone about three Leagues, we came to Garsopà and there lodg'd. This place was sometimes a famous City, Metropolis of the Province and Seat of a Queen: in which State, as likewise in many others upon the Coast of India, to this day, a Woman frequently hath the sovereignty; Daughters or other nearest Kinswomen be∣gotten by what ever Father succeeding the Mothers; these Gen∣tiles having an opinion, (as 'tis indeed) that the Issue by the Woman-side is much more sure of the blood and lineage of the Ancestors, then that by the Man-side. The last Queen of Garsopà fell in Love with a mean Man and a stranger, into whose power she resign'd her self, together with her whole Kingdom. In which act, (setting aside her choosing a Lover of base blood, upon which account she was blam'd and hated by the IndiansPage 106 who are most rigorous observers of Nobility, and maintainers of the dignity of their ancestors in all points) as to giving her self up as a prey to her lover, she committed no fault against her honor; for in these Countries 'tis lawful for such Queens to choose to themselves Lovers or Husbands, one or more, according as they please. But this Man who was so favour'd by the Queen of Garsopà, having thoughts as ignoble as his blood, in stead of corresponding with gratitude to the Queens courtesie, design'd to rebell against her, and take the Kingdom from her; which for a while he executed, having in process of time gain'd the affection of most of her most eminent Vassals. The Queen seeing her self oppress'd by the Traytor, had recourse to the Portugals, offering them her whole State, on condition they would free her from imminent ruine. But the Portugals, according as they had alwayes in India done by their friends, (whereby they have been many times the ruine of others and themselves too) did not suc∣cour her till it was too late, and then very coldly. On the other side the Traytor, (as his ill Fate, or rather God's just anger, would have it) call'd to his assistance against the Queen and the Portugals, his Neighbour Venk-tapà Naieka, now Master of those Countries. Venk-tapà Naieka taking advantage of the occasion, enter'd suddenly into the Kingdom of Garsopà with great dili∣gence and force, so that shortly becoming Master of the whole Country and the City Royal, having driven out the Portugals who came to defend it, he took the Queen Prisoner, and carry'd her to his own Court; where being kept, although honourably, she ended her dayes afterwards in an honourable prison. But the Traytor under-went the punishment of his crime, for Venk-tapà Naieka caus'd him to be slain; and for more secure keeping that State in his power, caus'd the City and Royal Palace of Gar∣sopà to be destroy'd, so that at this day, that lately flourishing City is become nothing but a Wood; Trees being already grown above the ruines of the Houses, and the place scarcely inhabited by four Cottages of Peasants.
[ II] But returning to my Travel, I must not omit, that the three Leagues of this journey was one of the most delightful passages that ever I made in my life; for the Country on either side is very beautiful, not consisting of Plains that afford onely an ordi∣nary prospect, nor of towring mountains, but of an unequal surface, Hills and Valleys, all green and delightful to the eyes, cloth'd with thick and high Groves, and many times with fruit Trees, as Indian Nuts, Foufel, Ambe, and such like, all water'd with innumerable Rivolets and Springs of fresh water; the sides of the River all shady, beset with Flowers, Herbs, and sundry Plants, which like Ivy creeping about the Trees and Indian reeds of excessive height, (call'd by the Country-people Bambù, and very thick along the banks) make the wood more verdant; through the middle whereof the River strayes with sundry wind∣ings. In short, the River of Garsopà, for a natural thing, with∣out Page 107 any artificial ornament of buildings or the like, is the good∣liest River that ever I beheld. Our boats being large, could not go to the ordinary landing place at Garsopà, because the River, which is discharg'd into the Sea with one stream, is there divided into many, which fall from several Springs upon some neigh∣bouring Hills, so that the water is but little. Wherefore we landed at some distance from Garsopà, which stands on the South∣bank of the River, and walkt the rest of the way on foot, and our goods were carry'd upon the Men's shoulders, whom we had hir'd for that purpose. Before we got to our lodging, it was night, and we were fain to wade over one of the arms of the River which took me up to the middle of the thigh; the bottom was stony, and not so dangerous to us, (who were free) in re∣ference to falling, as to the poor men who carry'd burthens upon their heads; so that I wonder'd not he who carry'd the hamper of my clothes fell down with it, and wetted it in the water. At length we lodg'd not within the compass of Garsopà, which was somewhat within land, but near it upon the River, in a place cover'd with a roof amongst certain Trees, where many are wont to lodge, and where the Pepper is weigh'd and con∣tracted for, when the Portugals come to fetch it: for this is the Country wherein greatest plenty of Pepper grows; for which reason the Queen of Garsopà was wont to be call'd by the Por∣tugals, Reyna da Pimenta, that is, Queen of Pepper. The River is call'd by the Portugals the River of Garsopà, but by the Indians in their own Language, one branch is term'd, Ambù nidi, and the other, Sarà nidi. From the River's mouth, where it falls into the Sea, to Garsopà, the way, if I mistake not, is directly East.
November the first, After dinner we departed from our station, [ III] and passing by the Cottages, and the places where the City of Garsopà sometimes stood, we walk'd a good way Southwards, or rather South South-west, always through an uneven, woody Country, irrigated with water and delightful, like the banks of the River which I describ'd. Then we began to climb up a Mountain, which the Country-people call Gat, and divides the whole length of this part of India, being wash'd on the East with the Gulph of Bengala, and on the West with the Ocean or Sea of Goa. The ascent of this Mountain is not very rough, but rather easie and pleasant like the other soil, being thick set with Groves of Trees of excessive greatness; some of them so strait, that one alone might serve for the Mast of a Ship. With all, the Mountain is so water'd with Rivulets and Fountains, and so cloth'd with Grass and Flowers, that, me-thought, I saw the most delightful place of the Appennine in Italy. If there be any difference, the Gat of India hath the advantage in this place, be∣cause the height is much less then that of our Appennine, the ascent more easie, the wood more beautiful and thick, the wa∣ters not less plentiful and clear; If Gat yields to it in any thing, Page 108 'tis in the frequency of inhabited places, the sumptuousness of buildings; and lastly, in the beauty which the industrious art of the inhabitants adds to the Appennine; the Indian Gat having no other, besides what liberal, yet unpolish'd, Nature gives it. About three hours after noon we came to the top of Gat, where a little beneath the highest cliff is found a kind of barr'd Gate, with a wall in a narrow pass, which renders the place sufficiently strong; a little further than which, in the top of all, are found earthen Bulwarks, and lines, which guard the passage; and in this place is a sufficient Fortress, being a mile and half in circuit. It was sometimes call'd Garicota, but now Gavarada Naghar; we lodg'd about a Musket-shot without the Fort, in a plane and somewhat low place, where are some Houses like a Village, and amongst them a Temple of Hamant, who is one of those two Scimions who were imploy'd by Ramo for recovering his Wife Sità, as their Fables relate; for which good work, and their other miracles, the Indians adore them. Here I saw his Statue in the Temple with burning lights before it, and a consecrated Silver Hand hung up by some devout person, perhaps, cur'd of some evil of his Hands. Below this place where we lodg'd, amongst the little Valleys of the Hill, is a fair and large Cistern, or Receptacle of water, which falls thereinto from a River de∣scending from the Mountain, and the over-plus running into the lower Valleys. At night we heard Musick at the Gate of the above-mention'd Temple, divers barbarous Instruments sound∣ing, and amongst the rest certain great Horns of metal, fashion'd almost into a semicircle; I ask'd the reason of this Festival, and they told me, The Idol was to go presently, accompany'd with a great number of Men and Women, in pilgrimage to a place of their devotion near San Tomè, a moneths journey and more; and that it was to be carry'd in a Palanchino, as the custom is, and in procession with sundry sounds and songs, almost in the same manner, as amongst us Christians, the Bodies or Images of Saints are carry'd in procession when any Community or Fra∣ternity go in pilgrimage to Loreto, or Rome, in the Holy year. At this time assisted at the service of the Idol, amongst others, a Woman, who, they said, was so abstinent that she did not so much as eat Rice; they held her for a kind of Saint, upon a fame that the Idol delighted to sleep with her, which these silly souls accounted a great spiritual favour; and haply, it may be true, that some Incubus-Devil ha's to do with her, and de∣ceives her with false illusions, telling her that he is her God; of which kind of Women, there are many among the Moors. Di∣vers come to ask her about future things, and she consulting, the Idol gives them their answer; one of these interrogations was made to her whilst we were present. Others came to offer Fruits and other edibles to the Idol, which one of the Priests presented to it, murmuring his Orisons; and taking half of the things offer'd, (which after presentation to the Idol, remains Page 109 to the servants of the Temple), he restores the other half to him that offer'd them; and were it but one Indian Nut, he splits it in two before the Idol, and gives half to him that brought it; who takes the same with reverence, and is afterwards to eat it with devotion as sacred food, and tasted of by the Idol.
In the Evening, by the Captain of the Fort (who was a Moor [ IV] of Dacàn, and sometimes an Officer under one Melik a Captain of Adil-Sciàh, in the Frontiers of Goa, but being taken Prison∣er in a War between Adil-Sciàh and Venk-tapà Naieka, and after∣wards set at liberty, remain'd in the service of Venk-tapà; and hath been about five and twenty years Governour of this For∣tress, and is call'd Mir-Baì) was sent a Present of Sugar Canes and other refreshments to eat, to Sig: Gio: Fernandez; whom al∣so the same night Vitulà Sinay, who travell'd with us, but apart by himself, came to visit, and entertain'd with the sight of two young men, who fenc'd very well a good while together, onely with Swords made of Indian Canes. On which occasion, I shall not omit that amongst the Indians, 'tis the custom for every one to manage and make use onely of one sort of Arms, whereunto he accustoms himself, and never uses any other, even in time of War. So that some Souldiers fight onely with Swords, others with Sword and Buckler, others with Lances, others with Bows and Arrows, and others with Muskets; and so every one with his own Arms, never changing the same, but thereby becom∣ing very expert and well practis'd in that which he takes to. The way from Garsopà to Govarada Naghar was about five or six miles, and no more.
November the second, Early in the Morning Vitulà Sinay first visited Sig: Gio: Fernandez, and afterwards the Captain of the Fort, accompanied with a great number of his Souldiers with several Arms, but most had Pikes, Lances in the form of half Pikes, and Swords; onely two had Swords and Bucklers: one of them had a short and very broad Sword like a Cortelax, but the edge-part bowed inwards after a strange fashion. Those two with Swords and Bucklers came before the Captain, dancing and skirmishing after their manner, as if they fought together. The visit was receiv'd in the Porch of the little Temple above men∣tion'd, and lasted a good while. Vitulà Sinay, who spoke the Portugal-Tongue well, serv'd for interpreter between our Ambassador and the Captain, and handsomely intimated to the Ambassador, that when he return'd back it was fit to give a Present to this Captain, and visit him in the Fort; that the cu∣stom was so; and he had already done the like to the Ambassa∣dor; that since he did it not now, he had already made an ex∣cuse for it, by telling him that the baggage was gone before, and that he did not go to visit him, because he had no Present to carry him, but he would do it at his return. In the end of this visit, Vitulà Sinay caus'd a little Silver basket to be brought full Page 110 of the leaves of Betle, (an herb which the Indians are always eating, and to the sight not unlike the leaves of our Cedars) and giving it to the Ambassador, he told him that he should present it to the Captain, the custom being so in India, for the person visited to give Betle-leaves to the visitant, where-with the visit ends. The Ambassador did so, and the Captain without taking any of these leaves, whether it were the custom, or that being a Moor he did not use it, (which yet I believe not) gave it to certain persons of qualitie, who stood beside him, and had ac∣company'd him; neither did any of them touch the leaves, but the basket went from hand to hand till it was carry'd away as full as it was presented; which being done, the Captain first, and then Vitulà Sinay, took leave and departed.
After we had din'd, about noon or soon after, our Ambassa∣dor [ V] went away alone with his Chaplain, out of impatience to stay longer in that place; the rest of us remain'd, expecting the removing of all our baggage, which was very slow in departing, because the Men who carry'd the same upon their heads, were not sufficient, and the burthens were too heavy; so that it was needful to hire more, and increase the number of Porters to thirty six, besides mine, which I hir'd for my self apart; and because neither were these enough, it was needful to lade two Oxen, who carry'd Goods for four other Men; and this took up much time, because neither the Men nor the beasts which were hir'd were ready, but were to be sought for here and there. In the mean time, while the burthens were getting in order, I entertain'd my self in the Porch of the Temple, beholding little boys learning Arithmetick after a strange manner, which I will here relate. They were four, and having all taken the same lesson from the Master, to get that same by heart, and repeat likewise their former lessons and not forget them; one of them singing musically with a certain continu'd tone, (which hath the force of making deep impression in the memory) recited part of the lesson; as, for example, One by it self makes one; and whilst he was thus speaking, he writ down the same number, not with any kind of Pen, nor in Paper, but (not to spend Paper in vain) with his finger on the ground, the pavement being for that pur∣pose strew'd all over with very fine sand; after the first had writ what he sung, all the rest sung and writ down the same thing together. Then the first boy sung and writ down another part of the lesson; as, for example, Two by it self two make two; which all the rest repeated in the same manner, and so forward in order. When the pavement was full of figures, they put them out with the hand, and if need were, strew'd it with new sand from a little heap which they had before them where-with to write further: And thus they did as long as the exercise conti∣nu'd; in which manner, likewise they told me, they learnt to read and write without spoiling Paper, Pens, or Ink, which certainly is a prety way. I ask'd them, if they happen'd to for∣get Page 111 or be mistaken in any part of the lesson, who corrected and taught them, they being all Scholars without the assistance of any Master; they answer'd me, and said true, that it was not possible for all four of them to forget or mistake in the same part, and that they thus exercis'd together, to the end, that if one happen'd to be out, the others might correct him. Indeed a prety, easie, and secure way of learning.
Having seen this Curiosity, and our baggage being laden, we [ VI] all set forth after the Ambassador, and Vitulà Sinay set out to∣gether with us. We travell'd first East-ward, then South-ward, but many times I could not observe which way our course tend∣ed; we went upon the ridge of a Hill, and through uneven wayes, sometimes ascending, and sometimes descending, but always in the middle of great thick Groves full of Grass and running water, no less delightful then the former Fields. A little more then half a League from the Fort, we found a Meschita of the Moors, built upon the way with a Lake or Receptacle of water, but not very well contriv'd by the Captain of the said Fort, which his King had allow'd him to make as a great favour; for the Gentiles are not wont to suffer in their Countries Temples of other Religions. Here we found our Ambassador, who stay'd for us; and we tarry'd likewise here above an hour in expectation of our baggage, much of which was still behind. At length continuing our journey, and having rested a good while in another place, night came upon us in the midst of a Wood, so shady, that although we had very clear Moon-light, yet we were fain to light Torches, otherwise we could not see our way. The Torches us'd in India are not like ours, but made of metal in form of those wherewith the Infernal Furies are painted, the fire of which is fed with Bitumen, and other dry materials which are put into the mouth or hollow at the top, into which also they frequently powre a combustible liquor, which the Man that holds the Torch carries in his other hand in a metalline bottle, with a long slender neck very fit for that purpose; for when he is minded to recruit the flame, he distills a little liquor into it, the length of the neck securing his hand from hurt. By the light of these Torches we travell'd a great part of the night. At length being unable to overtake the Horses which were led before, and the baggage being behind, for fear of losing our way, we stay'd under a great Tree, where some in Palanchinoes, and others upon the ground, spent this night inconveniently and supper-less, having nothing else to eat but a little Bread, which we toasted at the fire, that we might eat it hot; and with the same fire which we kindled, we allay'd the coldness of the night, which in the top of these Indian Mountains is very cold in re∣gard of their height; yet it was not sharper to us this night, then it uses to be at Rome in the beginning of September, even in tem∣perate years.
November the third, As soon as it was day we follow'd our Page 112 way, and in a short time came to a Village of four Cottages, call'd Tumbrè, where the Horses were lodg'd, and we also stay'd till the baggage came up, which was much later then we; and we stay'd the longer to rest the people that travell'd on foot: for all the servants, and I know not how many Musketiers, which our Ambassador carried with him, were on foot. Vitulà Sinay lay there likewise this night, but was gone before we came thither. From Garicota to Tumbrè, is about a League and half; for in this Country they measure the way by Gaù's, and every Gaù is about two Leagues, and they said that from Garicota to Tumbrè, was not one Gaù.
[ VII] When we arriv'd at this Town, we found the pavements of the Cottages were vernish'd over with Cow-dung mix'd with water. A custom of the Gentiles in the places where they are wont to eat, as I have formerly observ'd. I took it for a super∣stitious Rite of Religion; but I since better understand that it is us'd onely for elegancy and ornament, because not using, or not knowing how to make such strong and lasting pavements as ours, theirs being made sleightly of Earth and so easily spoyl'd, therefore when they are minded to have them plain, smooth, and firm, they smear the same over with Cow-dung temper'd with water, in case it be not liquid, (for if it be, there needs no water) and plaining it either with their hands or some other instrument, and so make it smooth, bright, strong, and of a fine green colour, the Cows whose dung they use, never eating any thing but Grass; and it hath one convenience, that this polishing is presently made, soon dry, endures walking, or any thing else to be done upon it; and the Houses wherein we lodg'd, we found were preparing thus at our coming, and were presently dry enough for our use. Indeed it is a prety Curiosity, and I intend to cause tryal to be made of it in Italy, and the rather because they say for certain, that the Houses whose pavements are thus stercorated, are good against the Plague; which is no despicable advantage. Onely it hath this evil, that its handsom∣ness and politeness lasteth not, but requires frequent renovation, and he that would have it handsome, must renew it every eight or ten days; yet being a thing so easie to be done, and of so little charge, it matters not for a little trouble which every poor per∣son knows hows to dispatch. The Portugals use it in their Houses at Goa, and other places of India; and, in brief, 'tis certain that it is no superstitious custom, but onely for neatness and or∣nament; and therefore 'tis no wonder that the Gentiles use it often, and perhaps, every day in places where they eat, which above all the rest are to be very neat. 'Tis true, they make a Re∣ligious Rite of not eating in any place where people of another Sect or Race, (in their opinion, unclean) hath eaten, unless they first repolish the same with Cow-dung, which is a kind of Purification; as we do by washing it with water, and whitening the wall, (not as a Religious Rite, but through Custom) in Page 113 Chambers where any one ha's dy'd. I said, where people not onely of different Religion, but also of impure Race have eaten; because the Gentiles are very rigorous and superstitious among themselves, for a noble Race not to hold Commerce of eating with others more base; yea, in one and the same Race, (as in that of the Brachmans which is the noblest) some Brachmans, (as the Panditi, or Boti, who are held in great esteem amongst them) will not eat in the Company, or so much as in the House of a Brachmans, Sinay, or Naieke, and other Nobles, who eat Fish, and are call'd by the general name Mazari, and much less esteem'd then those who eat none; yet the Brachmans, Sinay, or Naieke, or other species of Mazari, who are inferior, eat in the House of a Pandito, or Boto, without being contaminated, but rather account it an honor.
After dinner, we departed from Tumbre, travelling through unequal wayes and lands like the former, but rather descending [ VIII] then otherwise; we rested once, a while under a Tree, to stay for the baggage, and then proceeding again at almost six a clock after noon, we came to the side of a River called Barenghì, which in that place runs from West to East, and is not fordable, al∣though narrow, but requires a boat to pass it. On the Southern bank, on which we came, were four Cottages, where we took up our station that Night, enjoying the cool, the shadow, and the sight of a very goodly Wood which cloaths the River sides with green; but above all where we lodg'd, on either side the way, were such large and goodly Trees, such spacious places underneath for shade, and the place so opacous by the thickness of the boughs on high, that indeed, I never saw in my dayes a fairer natural Grove; amongst other Trees there was abundance of Bambù, or very large Indian Canes, twin'd about to the top with prety Herbs. The journey of this day was three Cos, or a League and half. This River, they say, is one of those which goes to Garsopà. Vitulà Sinay we found not here, because he was gone before.
November the fourth▪ We began in the Morning to pass our Goods over the River; but because there was but one, and that a small boat, it was ten hours after noon before we had got all of them over; then following our journey through somewhat oblique and uneven wayes like the former, we found many Trees of Myrobalanes, such as are brought into Italy preserv'd in Sugar. It hath leaves much like that which produces Gum Arabick, by me formerly describ'd; different onely in this, that in that of Gum Arabick, the branch consisting of many leaves, is much less, round or oval, and seems one leaf made up of many other long and narrow ones: But in this Myrobalane Tree, the branch is sufficiently long, and the small leaves composing it in two rows on either side, are somewhat larger; nor is the Myrobalane Tree prickly like that of Gum Arabick. The fruit is round, hard, of a yellowish green, smooth, shining, of little pulp, but a great Page 114 stone, almost round and furrow'd with six circular lines. Being raw it hath an acid and astringent, but, in my judgment, no pleasant taste; but preserv'd, becomes good. They say it is refrigerative and purges Choler.
[ IX] Having rested many times upon the way, and in all travell'd two Leagues, we ended this day's journey in the onely conside∣rable and populous Town we had hitherto met, which is call'd Ahinelì. We lodg'd in the Porches of a Temple of Idols, which had two Porches, one within, the other without, both low after their manner, with very large Pent-houses strengthen∣ed with great Posts; the Pavement rais'd high and dung'd, but not lately; the walls white, sprinkled in the corners and ends, with a sort of Rose-Oyle, ill colour'd; for so is their custom always in their Religious Structures. The Idol was call'd Virenà Deurù, the latter of which words signifies God, or rather Lord, being attributed also to Men of quality; he stood at the upper end in a dark place with Candles before him; of what figure he was I could not see well, by reason of the darkness, but they told me 'twas a Man: In the body of the Temple, were many other wooden Statues of less Idols, plac'd about in several places, as 'twere for ornament; some of which were figures of their Gods, others not of Gods, but for ornament, of several shapes. Many of these figures represented dishonest actions. One was of a Woman, lifting up her cloths before, and shewing that which Modesty oblig'd her to cover: Another was of a Man and a Woman kissing, the Man holding his Hand on the Womans Breasts: Another had a Man and a Woman naked, with their Hands at one another's shameful parts, those of the Man being of excessive greatness, and sundry such representations fit indeed for such a Temple. But these were not figures of Gods. Of Gods there was a Brahmà with five Heads, and three Arms on a side, sitting astride a Peacock, which in their Language they call Nau Brahmà, that is, the Peacock of Brahmà; another God was call'd Naraina, with four Arms on a side: Another with an Elephant's Head, and two Hands to an Arm, whom they call Ganesù, and others Bacra-tundo, that is, Round-mouth; for one and the same God hath divers names: Another call'd Fuenà, had the shape of a Man, holding a naked Sword in his right Hand, and a Buckler in his left: Another had a Man under his Feet, upon whose Head he trampled; and so, many others of various sorts. I observ'd that all these Idols had the same cover of the Head, high, with many picks or peaks, all ending in one long peak, a strange and majestical Diadem not us'd now in India; it might have been of wreath'd Linnen, or Gold, or other solid matter; wherefore I imagine that it is a very ancient co∣vering, at this day dis-us'd; unless haply it be some ensign of Divinity, which I rather think, because I remember to have seen at Rome almost the same Diadems upon the Heads of some Aegyptian Statues, and, if I forget not, they were call'd Tutuli,Page 115 and the Idols of Tutulati, as amongst us the Diadems of the Saints, or, as some make it, three Crowns one upon another, like the Regno, or Pontifical Crown of our Pope. In the middle of the Temple was another darker inclosure, wherein stood fastned in the ground certain slender staves, with others cross them in two rows, making a little Steccato or Palisado of a long form; and these were to hang Lamps and Tapers upon, at more solemn d•yes and hours. A Barber whom we had with us, an Indian-Gentile, but a Native of the Country of Adil-Sciàh, who was nam'd Deugì, and understood something of the Portugal-Tongue, could not well tell me the names of those figures and Idols of the Temple, when I ask'd him; because, he said, they were not things of his Country, where they had other things and Gods, and that every Country had particular ones of their own. With∣in the circuit of this Temple, but on one side of the Court as you go in, were three other little Cells separate from the body of the great Temple, two of which were empty, perhaps not yet well accommodated, but in the other was an Idol of an Ox, which our Barber knew, and said was also of his Country, and that they call it Basuanà; it was half lying, or rather sitting upon the floor with the Head erect; like which Ox, or Basuanà, stood another in the upper part of the Temple before the Tri∣bunal of the Idol Virenà, as if it stood there for his guard. In the Evening the Ministers of the Temple ring a kind of Bell or Shell which was within the Temple, striking it with a staff; and it made a tolerable sound, as if it had been a good Bell: at which sound, some from without assembling together, they be∣gin to sound within the Temple very loud two Drums, and two Pipes or Flutes of metal; after which many Tapers being light∣ed, particularly, at the Steccato above-mention'd, and put in order a little quilt, with a Canopy of rich Stuff, which is alwayes ready in the Temple for carrying the Idol, they put the princi∣pal Idol Virenà into it, not that of ordinary wood in the middle of the Temple, but the other at the upper end, which was of the same bigness, about two spans round between the figure and ornaments about it, but all painted with various colours, gilded and deck'd with white Flowers. Then one of the Ministers march'd first sounding a Bell continually as he went, and after him others, and at length two with lighted Tapers, after which followed the Idol in his Canopy, with a Minister before him carrying a Vessel of Perfumes, which he burnt; and thus they carry'd him in Procession: First, into the Court without the Temple, going out of it on the left Hand, as you enter, which to them as they came forth was the right, and returning by the other opposite. After which going out of the Gate of the Court into the street, they went in the same manner in Procession, (still sounding their Bells) I know not whither, but 'tis likely they went to some other Temple to perform some kind of Ce∣remony; for in the Town there was more then one. Being at Page 116 length return'd, and the Procession re-entring the Court with a great train of Men and Women of the Town, they went thrice about the inside of the Court, as they had done once before they went out: But in these three Circumgyrations they observ'd this Order, that the first time they walk'd as they had done in the street; the second, more leisurely, and those that sounded the Flutes, left off, and sounded another kind of shriller and sweeter Pipe; the third time, they walk'd more slowly then be∣fore, and leaving off the second Pipes, sounded others of a far lower note. Which being done, those that carry'd and accom∣pany'd the Canopy of the Idol, stood still in the entrance of the Temple right against the Upper End, and one of the Priests or Ministers standing at the Upper End directly opposite to the Idol, (who was held standing on his Feet by help of one of the Minister's Hands, who for that purpose went alwayes on one side near him;) began to salute the Idol a far off with a dim Taper in his Hand, making a great circle with the same from on high downwards, and from below upwards, directly over against the Idol, which he repeated several times; and in the end of the circles, which were always terminated in the lower part, he de∣scrib'd a strait line from one side to the opposite, and that where the circle began; nor did he seem to me always to begin the cir∣cles on the same part, but sometimes on the right, and some∣times on the left, with what Order I know not. This being done within, the same Priest came to the Entrance where the Idol stood, passing directly through the midst of the Palisado of Lights, (through which, I believe, that for others, and another time, it is not lawful to pass; because out of these Ceremonies when any one enter'd to perform other Services, I saw him al∣ways go without the Palisado on the sides) coming along, I say, sounding a Bell, and being follow'd by a Boy who carry'd a Basin of water with Santalus, or Sanders after him, (the same where∣with, I conceive, they are wont to paint their fore-heads) and also with Drums and Flutes sounding all the while; he went in this manner three times round the Idol, beginning his circuits from the left side. When he had thus done, standing on the same side of the Idol where he began, and laying aside his Bell, he offer'd the Basin of water to the Idol, and dipping one Finger in it, lay'd the same upon the Idol's Fore-head, or thereabouts; and if I was not mistaken, taking a little in his Hand, he also dy'd himself and the other Minister who upheld the Idol on the Fore-head therewith, after which he went to powre the remain∣der of the water in the Basin upon the ground without the Temple, but within the inclosure or Court. Then he took a wax-Candle, and therewith describ'd within the Palanchino or Carriage before the Idol many circles with lines at the end; and putting out the Candle, took the Idol out of the Palanchino, and carrying it through the rail'd Steccado in the middle of the Torches, plac'd it on its Tribunal at the Upper End where it Page 117 usually stands. In the mean time one of the Ministers distri∣buted to all the by-standers a little quantity of certain Fitches mingled with small slices of Indian Nut, which, I conceive, had been offer'd to the Idol; and they took and eat the same with signes of Devotion and Reverence. He offer'd some likewise to our people, and there wanted not such as took them; the Drums and Fifes sounding in the mean time: which at length ceasing, and the Candles being put out, the Ceremonies ended, and the people return'd to their Houses. Such Men as were not Officers of the Temple, assisted at these Ceremonies in the first entrance, where we also stood: but the Women stood more within in the body of the Temple, where the rows of lights were. For the better understanding of all which description, I shall here delineate the Plat-form of the Temple with its inclosure and Porches, as well as I could do it by the Eye without mea∣suring it.
1. The Street. 2. The Stairs of the Entrance. 3. An high Wall of Earth before the Outer Porch. 4. The Outward Porch with an high Earthen Floor. 5. Two small Idols in two Nieches on the out side of the ends of the Porch. 6. The Gate, level with the Earthen Wall. 7. The Inner Porch with an Earthen Floor higher then that of the Gate, the Wall, and the Outer Porch. 8. A Void Space between the Porch and the Temple. 9. Part of the First Entrance of the Temple, lower then the plane of the Gate and the said Void Space. 10. Part Page 119 of the same, but one Step higher. 11. The said Step, dividing the first Entrance in the middle. 12. The body of the Temple, situate between the first Entrance and the Penetrale or Chancel, the pricks denoting the rows of Torches. 13. A little door to go out at. 14. The Penetrale or Chancel, where the Oval de∣notes the Statue of Boue or Basuanà upon the ground. 15. The Inmost part of the Chancel, where the Idol Virenà stands. 16. A high Earthen Wall encompassing the Temple, 17. Three little Cells; in the first of which, the Oval represents the Statue of Boue or Basuanà. 18. An open square-Court or Inclosure sur∣rounding the Temple which stands in the middle of it. 19. The Walls thereof. 20. The Houses of such Men and Women as keep the Temple.
The same Evening was brought to our Ambassador a Letter [ X] from Vitulà Sinay, who writ, that arriving at the Cour on Fryday before, he had spoken with his King, who being well pleas'd with the Ambassador's coming, had prepar'd the same house for him, wherein the King of Belighì was wont to lodge when he was at his Court; and that he would make him a very honorable Re∣ception; that therefore as soon as we arriv'd at the Town Ahi∣nalà, (where we now were) the Ambassador should send him notice; which was accordingly done, by dispatching the Messenger presently back again; and we waited for his return.
November the fifth, At day-break the Ministers of the Temple where we lodg'd, sounded Pipes and Drums for a good while in the Temple, without other Ceremony. The like they did again about Noon, and at Evening; but at night they made the same Procession with the Idol, and the same Ceremonies which are above describ'd. This day came to the Town a Captain from the King with many attendants, and having visited the Ambassador, took divers of those Idols which stood in the first Entrance, and carry'd them away with him to be new made, because some were old and broken. Late in the night came another Letter from Vitulà Sinay, which signifi'd to us that we should move forwards to a Town very near the Court call'd Ba∣drapòr, where some persons from the King were to meet us, and accompany us to the Court; although the Ambassador had writ to him before, that he car'd not for being accompany'd at his Entrance, but onely when he should go to see the King. I style him King, because the Portugals themselves and the Indians do so; although in truth Venk-tapà Naieka, not onely because his Predecessors were a few years ago Vassals and simple Naieka's (that is, feudatory Princes, or rather Provincial Governours) under the King of Vidianugher; and though at this day he reign he absolutly by Usurpation, is in effect no other then a Rebel; and God knows how long his House will abide in greatness; but also much more by reason of the smalness of his Territory, (though it be great, in respect of other Indian Gentile-Princes) deserves not Page 120 the Appellation of King; and the less, because he pays Tribute to Idal-Sciàh, who although a greater Prince, is but small nei∣ther for a King, and payes Tribute to the Moghol. In short, Venk-tapà Naieka, although now absolute, should, in my opinion, be called a Royolet rather then a King: But the Portugals, to magnifie their affairs in India, or else to honor the persons that rule there, (which is not displeasing in Spain, and the Court of the Catholick King, who is of the same humor) give the Title of King to all these petty Indian Princes, many of whom have smaller Dominions then a small feudatory Marquis in our Countries; and (which is worse) that of Emperor to some, as to him of Japan, of Aethiopia, and of Calicut, who is very incon∣siderable; the quondam-Prince of Vidianagher, or Bisnagà, (as they speak) having in a strange and unusual manner multiply'd the number of Emperors, beyond what the fabulous books of Knights Errant have done: Albeit, in truth, there was never found but one Emperor in the world, the Roman Caesar, who, at this day, retains rather the name then the substance, in Germany.
[ XI] November the sixth, Two hours before noon we went from Ahinalà, and having travell'd through a Country like the former, but plain, about noon we came to the Town Badra; where▪ ac∣cording as Vitulà Sinay had writ to us, we thought to lodge that night, and accordingly had lay'd down our baggage, and with∣drawn to a place to rest; but after two hours being there, we found our selves surrounded by abundance of people, (for 'tis a large Town, and they go almost all arm'd) who out of curiosi∣ty came to see us; whereupon the Ambassador, either having receiv'd an Answer from Vitulà Sinay, or not caring for a pom∣pous entrance, rais'd us all again; and after a small journey further we arriv'd at Ikkerì, which is the Royal City of Venk-tapà Naieka where he holds his Court; having travell'd since morn∣ing from Ahinalà to Ikkerì but two Leagues. This City is seat∣ed in a goodly Plain, and, as we enter'd, we pass'd through three Gates with Forts and Ditches, but small, and consequently, three Inclosures; the two first of which were not Walls, but made of very high Indian Canes, very thick and close planted in stead of a Wall, and are strong against Foot and Horse in any, hard to cut, and not in danger of fire; besides, that the Herbs which creep upon them, together with themselves, make a fair and great verdure, and much shadow. The other Inclosure is a Wall, but weak and inconsiderable: But having pass'd these three, we pass'd all. Some say, there are others within, belong∣ing to the Citadel or Fort where the Palace is; for Ikkerì is of good largeness, but the Houses stand thin and are ill built, espe∣cially without the third Inclosure; and most of the situation is taken up in great and long streets, some of them shadow'd with high and very goodly Trees growing in Lakes of Water, of which, there are many large ones, besides Fields set full of Trees, Page 121 like Groves, so that it seems to consist of a City, Lakes, Fields, and Woods mingled together, and makes a very delightful sight. We were lodg'd in the House, as they said, wherein the King of Belighì lodg'd; I know not whether Kinsman, Friend, or Vassal to Venk-tapà Naieka, but probably one of the above-mention'd Royolets; and to go to this House we went out of the third In∣closure, passing through the inmost part of the City by another Gate opposite to that by which we enter'd. The House indeed was such as in our Countries an ordinary Artisan would scarce have dwelt in, having very few, and those small and dark Rooms, which scarce afforded light enough to read a Letter; they build them so dark, as a remedy for the great heat of Summer. How∣ever, this must needs have been one of the best, since it was as∣sign'd to the said King first, and now to our Ambassador; al∣though as we pass'd through the midst of the City I observ'd some that made a much better shew.
At night they brought the Ambassador a couple of bed-steads [ XII] to sleep upon, and some stools for our use, some of them made of Canes intervoven, instead of coverings of Leather or Cloth, being much us'd in Goa and other places of India; but some others were cover'd with Leather.
November the seventh, Vitulà Sinay came in the morning to visit our Ambassador, and in his King's Name brought him a Present of Sugar-Canes, Fruits, Sugar, and other things to eat, but not any Animal; and, if I was not misinform'd, (for I was not present) he excus'd his Kings not sending him Sheep or other Animals to eat, by saying, that he was of a Lingavant or Noble Race, who neither eat nor kill any Creatures; as if he should have sin'd and defil'd himself, by sending any to the Ambassador who would have eaten them. With this Present he sent a piece of Tapistry, not as a Gift, but onely for the Ambassador to make use of in his House, and it was us'd in such sort that at length it had a hole in it: The Ambassador, as not prizing it, having given it to his Interpreter to sleep upon; as indeed, he seem'd not very well pleas'd with it or his Donatives; for, speaking of the Reception which Venk-tapà Naieka made him, he would of∣ten say, (according to the natural and general custom of his Nation); Let him do me less honour, and give me some∣thing more, and it will be better. However, I believe Venk-tapà Naieka, who is not liberal, will abound more in Courtesie to the Ambassador then in Gifts. Vitulà Sinay said, that the next day the Ambassador should be call'd to Audience three hours after noon; wherefore Himself and all his Attendants continued un∣dress'd till dinner-time. I knowing the custom of Courts, and that Princes will not wait but be waited for, and that the hours of Audience depend upon their pleasure, not upon his who is to have it, dress'd my self in the morning leisurely, that I might not afterwards confound my self with haste; and though in such solemnities others cloth'd themselves in colours, and with orna∣ments Page 122 of Gold, yet I put on onely plain black Silk as mourning for my Wife. Before we had din'd, and whilst we were at Table, they came to call us in haste to Audience, saying, that Vitulà Sinay and other great Persons were come to conduct us to the King. The Ambassador finding himself unready and surpris'd, was forc'd to desire them not to come yet, making an excuse that we were still at dinner; and, the Table being taken away, he and all the rest retir'd to dress themselves in great confusion; and greater there was in getting the Horses sadled, preparing the Presents which were to be carry'd, and providing other neces∣sary things in haste, for nothing was ready; but the Ambassador and all his Servants were in a great hurry and confusion, calling for this and the other thing, which seem'd to me not to have too much of the Courtier. The persons who came to fetch us, stay'd a good while without, but at length were brought into the Porch of the House, that is, into the first Entrance within the Court, where Visits are receiv'd; without seeing the Am∣bassador or any of his Attendants, who were all employ'd in the above-said confusion, at a good part of which these persons were present.
At length the Ambassador being dress'd came forth with the [ XIII] rest, and receiv'd the Visit of Vitulà Sinay, and another great Person sent by the King to accompany him; he was a Moor by Sect, but of Indian Race, very black, and Captain General in these parts of Banghel, from which charge he was lately return'd, and his Name was Musè Baì. With these came also a Son of his, a Youth of the same colour, but of a handsome Face, and cloth'd odly after the Indian Fashion, that is, naked from the girdle upwards, having onely a very thin and variously painted cloth cast cross one Shoulder, and another of the same sort girt about him, and hanging down loose; he had a little Bonnet upon his Head, like those of our Gally-slaves, but wrought with divers colours; his Hands, Arms, Neck, and Nose, were adorn'd with many ornaments of Gold, and he had a guilt Po∣nyard at his girdle, which shew'd very well. His Father was cloth'd all in white, after the manner of India, to wit, of such as wear Clothes, and go not naked from the Waste upwards; upon his white vestment he had a shorter sur-coat of Velvet, guarded with Gold at the bottom, loose and open before, which is the custom onely in solemnities. He had no Sword, but onely a Ponyard on the right side, the hilt and cheap guild∣ed, and, as I believe, of Silver; upon his Head he had a little Cap of the same form, made of Cloth of Gold; for in these Countries 'tis the fashion for Men to cover their Heads either with such Caps, or with white Turbants, little and almost square. Vitulà Sinay and some other personages who came with them to accompany the Ambassador, were all cloth'd with white garments of very fine Silk, and other rich Silken sur-coats upon the same, to honor the solemnity; and upon these they had Page 123 such colour'd clothes as in Persia they call Scial, and use for gir∣dles, but the Indians wear them cross the shoulders cover'd with a piece of very fine white Silk, so that the colour underneath ap∣pears; or else wear white Silk alone. As soon as we came forth of doors, Musè Baì presented to the Ambassador one of these colour'd Skarfs inclos'd in white Silk to wear about his Neck; and the Ambassador gave him a piece of I know not what Cloth, and in the mean time a publick Dancing-Woman whom they had hir'd, danc'd in the presence of us all. Then we all took Horse, the Ambassador riding upon a good Horse of his own which he had brought from Goa, with a saddle embroider'd and adorn'd with Silver Fringe; and another Horse with trap∣pings being lead before him, both which he had brought from home, with intention, perhaps, to sell them here at his depar∣ture; for Horses here yield a good price, and he had been for∣merly at Ikkerì purposely to sell Horses, and so became known to Venk-tapà Naieka. There was also another good led-Horse, which the Vice-Roy sent as a Present to Venk-tapà Naieka; that which they had given to Vitulà Sinay, he had carry'd to his House, and it appear'd not here. All the rest of us rode upon Horses of the place, which are of a very small size, and were sent to us for that purpose, accoutr'd after their manner, with saddles pretty enough to look upon, but to me very inconvenient; for they have bows and cruppers very high, and are all of hard wood, without any stuffing, but with sharp wreath'd edges, cover'd with black or red Cloth, lay'd with lists of Gold or yellow, or other colour; in the cruppers are many carv'd orna∣ments almost of this figure (
The Pomp proceeded in this manner: Many Horsemen went formost, who were follow'd by divers Foot arm'd with Pikes and other weapons, some of them brandishing the same as they [ XIV] went along; then march'd certain Musketiers with Drums, Trumpets, Pikes, and Cornets sounding; these cloth'd all in one colour after the Portugal manner, but with coarse stuff of small value; and amongst them rode a servant of the Ambassa∣dor's, better clad after their fashion, as Captain of the Guard. Then follow'd the Ambassador in the middle between Vitulà Sinay and Musè Bài; and after him we of his retinue, to wit, the Chaplain, Sig: Consalvo Carvaglio, Sig: Francesco Montegro, who liv'd at Barcelòr, and whom we found at Ikkerì about some affairs of his own; but because he wanted a horse, he appear'd not in the Cavalcade. After us came some other Horse-men; but, in summ, there was but few people, a small shew, and little gallantry; demonstrative signes of the smallness of this Court and the Prince. In this manner we rode to the Palace which stands in a Fort or Citadel of good largeness, incompass'd with a great Ditch, and certain ill built bastions. At the entrance Page 124 we found two very long but narrow Bulwarks. Within the Ci∣tadel are many Houses, and shops also in several streets; for we pass'd through two Gates, at both which there stood Guards, and all the distance between them was an inhabited street. We went through these two Gates on Horse-back, which, I believe, was a priviledge, for few did so besides our selves, namely, such onely as entred where the King was; the rest either remaining on Horse-back at the first Gate, or alighting at the Entrance of the second. A third Gate also we enter'd, but on Foot, and came into a kind of Court, about which were sitting in Porches many prime Courtiers, and other persons of quality. Then we came to a fourth Gate guarded with Souldiers, into which one∣ly we Franchi or Christians, and some few others of the Country were suffer'd to enter; and we presently found the King, who was seated in a kind of Porch on the opposite side of a small Court, upon a Pavement somewhat rais'd from the Earth, cover'd with a Canopy like a square Tent, but made of boords and gilded. The Floor was cover'd with a piece of Tapistry something old, and the King sat after the manner of the East up∣on a little Quilt on the out-side of the Tent, leaning upon one of the pillars which up-held it on the right hand, having at his back two great Cushions of fine white Silk. Before him lay his Sword, adorn'd with Silver, and a little on one side almost in the middle of the Tent, was a small eight-corner'd Stand, painted and gilded, either to write upon, or else to hold some thing or other of his. On the right hand, and behind the King, stood divers Courtiers, one of which continually wav'd a white fan made of fine linnen, as if to drive away the flies from the King. Besides the King, there was but one person sitting, and he the principal Favorite of the Court, call'd Putapaià, and he sat at a good distance from him on the right hand near the wall.
As soon as we saw the King afar off, the Ambassador and we [ XV] pull'd off our Hats, and saluted him after our manner; he seem'd not to stir at all; but when we approach'd nearer, the Ambassador was made to sit down within the Tent at a good distance from the King near the wall, as Putapaià sate, but on the left side, at which we enter'd. The rest of us stood a good while before the Tent, on the left side also. Vitulà Sinay approach'd to a Pillar opposite to that on which the King lean'd, and there serv'd as Interpreter, sometimes speaking with the King, and sometimes with the Ambassador. Musè Baì stood also on our side, but di∣stant from the King, and near one of the Pillars of the Porch. The King's first words were concerning the Health of the King of Spain and the Vice-Roy; and then the Ambassador subjoyn'd the causes of his coming, namely, to visit him, and continue the Amity which his Highness held with that State of the Portugals, (who use that style to these Indian Kings, as they did also to their King of Portugal when they had one, whence this custom first arose, and is still continu'd; although now when they name Page 125 their King of Spain, so much a greater Lord then the King of Por∣tuagl, they use not the term Highness, but Majesty, after the manner of Europe.) The Ambassador added that in token of this Amity, the Vice-Roy sent him that Present, not as any great matter, but as a small acknowledgment; That their King had sent him a considerable Present from Spain, which his Highness knew was lost at Sea; That yet by the Ships which were coming this year he should receive another, as he might see in the Vice-Roy's Letter which he presented to him. And hereupon the Ambassador arising from his Seat, went to present the same to him almost kneeling upon one knee; and he without moving a whit, took it and gave it to Vitulà Sinay, who gave it to another, probably, the principal Secretary, without reading or opening it. The Ambassador had brought a Letter to him likewise written in the King of Spain's Name, but did not present it now; because the Portugals say, that the first time of going to Audience, they are onely to make a Visit, and not to treat of business. Then they drew forth the Present before the King, which was some pieces of cloth, within one of those wooden gilt boxes which are us'd in India; a Lance of the Moorish shape, to wit, long and smooth like a Pike, the point of Iron gilt, and the foot em∣bellish'd with Silver, a gallant Target, and the Horse above∣mention'd cover'd with a silken Horse-cloth; which Horse was brought into the Court where the King sate. After he had re∣ceiv'd and view'd the Present, and taken the Iron of the Lance in his hand, which the Ambassador said was of Portugal; they caus'd the rest of us to sit down near the outer wall of the Porch on the left side, upon a rough Carpet strip'd with white and blew, (of that sort which the Turks and Persians call Kielim) spread upon the pavement of the Porch. The Ambassador, al∣though he sate, yet never put on his Hat before the King, (for so the Portugal Nobles are wont to do before the Vice-Roy, namely, to sit, but not to be cover'd) nor did the King speak to him to cover himself, but let him continue uncover'd; wherein, to my thinking, he committed an error; for going as he did in the name of the State, which amongst them is as much as to go in the King of Spain's Name; why should he not be cover'd be∣fore so small a Prince? And the error seem'd the greater, because he was the first that went Ambassador to Venk-tapà Naieka in the name of the State; and consequently, hath made an ill president to such as shall come after him. And in introducing such prejudi∣cial customs, a publick Minister should have his eyes well open: but the truth is, the Portugals of India understand little, are lit∣tle Courtiers, and less Polititians, how exquisite soever they be accounted here, as this Sig: Gio: Fernandez is esteem'd one of the most accomplish'd, and, I believe, not undeservedly. At night, I could not forbear to advertise some of his Country-men hereof in a handsome way, it not seeming fit for me, a stranger and the younger man, to offer to give him a Lesson. However, Page 126 he never put on his Hat, and Civility oblig'd us to the same for∣bearance; but indeed, it was too much obsequiousness for such a Prince; as also for the Ambassador to tell him of the other times that he had been privately at that Court, and kiss'd his Highnesse's Feet; with other like words little becomming an Ambassador. Nevertheless he spoke them, professing himself much the servant of Ven-tapà Naieka, out of hope that he, as Vitulà Sinay had promis'd him at Goa, would write to the King of Spain in his favor, by which means he should have some remuneration. Indeed, the Portugals have nothing else in their Heads but Interest, and therefore their Government goes as it does.
[ XVI] As we sate down, (being four of us that did so, besides the Ambassador, to wit, the Chaplain, Caravaglio, Montegro, and my self) I handsomely took the last place; because knowing the nature of the Portugals, I would not have them think that I a stranger went about to take place and preheminence of them in their solemnities; and they conformably to their own humor, not onely us'd no Courtesie to me, as well-bred Italians would have done, by saying to me, Amice, ascende superiùs; but I saw they were greatly pleas'd with my putting my self in the last place, Caravaglio taking the first, the Chaplain the second, and Montegro the third. I, little caring for this, or for shewing and making my self known in the Court of Venk-tapà Naieka, laugh'd within my self at their manners, and with the observation recreated my Curiosity, which alone had brought me into these parts. The King's discourse to the Ambassador was distended to divers things, and, as he was speaking, he frequently chaw'd leavs of Betle, which a Courtier reach'd to him now and then, and, when he was minded out a lump of the masticated leaves, another held a kind of great Cup to his Mouth, for him to spit into. The King ask'd concerning the slowness of the Ships this year, as that which disgusted him, in regard of the Money they were to bring him for Pepper. He inquir'd of several things of India, and desir'd to know some kind of News. The Ambassador told him all the News we had at Onòr, which were uncertain, being one∣ly the Relations of some vulgar persons, and therefore, in my judgement, too immaturely utter'd; affirming, for certain, the coming of the Fleet with a great Army, the Alliance be∣tween Spain and England, the passage of the Prince of England into Spain; and moreover, (Good God!) the reduction of all England to the Catholick Faith by the publick command of that King, with other such levities usual to the Portugals, who are very ignorant of the affairs of the world and of State. The King further spoke long concerning things transacted with him in the War of Banghel, particularly, of the Peace that concluded it; for which, probably, being disadvantageous to the Portugals, he said, •e heard that many blam'd him the Ambassador, who ne∣gotiated it with his Ministers; and that they not onely blam'd Page 127 him for it, but said, he would be punish'd by the King of Spain, who was offended with it; whereat being sorry, as his Friend, he had sent several times to Goa to inquire tidings concerning him. The Ambassador answer'd, that 'twas true, there had been such accusations against him and greater, some alledging that his Highness had brib'd him; but that they were the words of male∣volent persons, which he had always laugh'd at, knowing he had done his duty, and onely what the Vice-Roy had appointed him; and that in Spain they give credit to the informations of the Vice-Roy, and not to the talk of others, as well appear'd by the event. Venk-tapà proceeded to say, that that Peace was ve∣ry well made for the Portugals, and that much good had follow'd upon it; intimating that they would have made it with disad∣vantage, if it had not been concluded in that manner as he con∣cluded it: As if he would have said, It had been ill for the Portugals, with manifest signes of a mind insulting over them, and that the business of Banghel was no more to be treated of. Then he ask'd the Ambassador, How old he was? How many Children he had? Putting him in mind of his using to come, when a very Youth, to Ikkerì with his Father to bring Horses, and shewing himself very friendly to him. Nor did the Ambas∣sadar lose the occasion of desiring him that he would favor him with his Letters to the King of Spain, pretending to hope for much upon account of them; a thing which I should not commend in an Ambassador, because he may thereby come to be thought by his natural Prince too partial to, and too intimate with, the Prince with whom he treats; and also by this means disparages himself, as if he need to beg the mediation of foreign Princes to his natural Lord, and of such Princes too with whom he negotiates in behalf of his own; which by no means seems handsome. Then Venk-tapà Naieka inquir'd concerning the rest of us, and Vitulà Sinay answer'd his Questions; telling him of me, that I was a Roman, and that I travell'd over so great a part of the World out of Curiosity, and that I writ down what I saw; with other things of the same nature. Venk-tapà Naieka ask'd me, Whether I understood the Language of the Moors? I answer'd that I did, together with the Turkish and Persian; but I mention'd not the Arabick, because I have it not so ready as the other two, to be able to make use of it before every body. He seem'd sufficiently pleas'd in seeing me, and understanding that I was born at Rome, and came thither so great a Traveller; highly esteeming the ancient fame of Rome and the Empire, and its new Grandeur and Pontificate of the Christians. These and other Discourses, which I omit for brevity, lasting for some time, he caus'd to be brought to him a piece of Silk embroider'd with Gold, such as the Indians wear cross their shoulders, but with us may serve to cover a Table or such like use; and calling the Ambassador before him, whither we accompany'd him, gave it to him, and caus'd it to be put upon his shoulders; Page 128 whereupon we were dismiss'd, and so going out to Horse again, we were reconducted home with the same solemnity and com∣pany.
[ XVII] After this, as we were walking through the City late in the Evening without the Ambassador, we saw going along the streets several companies of young girls well cloth'd after their manner, namely, with some of the above-mention'd wrought and figur'd Silk from the girdle downwards; and from thence upward either naked, or else with very pure linnen, either of one colour, or strip'd and wrought with several, besides a scarf of the same work cast over the shoulder. Their heads were deck'd with yellow and white flowers form'd into a high and large Diadem, with some sticking out like Sun-beams, and others twisted together and hanging down in several fashions; which made a prety sight. All of them carry'd in each hand a little round painted Stick, about a span long or little more, which striking together after a musical measure, besides the sounds of Drums and other instru∣ments, one of the skilfullest of the company sung one verse of a song at once, at the end of which they all reply'd seven or eight times in number of their meter this word, Colè, Colè, Colè, which I know not what it signifies, but, I believe, 'tis a word of joy. Singing in this manner, they went along the street eight or ten together, being either friends or neighbours, follow'd by many other women, not dress'd in the same fashion, but who were either their Mothers or their Kins-women. I imagin'd it was for some extraordinary Festival, and I was willing to have follow'd them to see whither they went, and what they did; but being in the company of others, I could not handsomely do it, nor had my Companions the same Curiosity, as indeed the Portugals are not at all curious. I understood afterwards that they went to the Piazza of the great Temple, which is moderately large, and there danc'd in circles, singing their songs till it was late; and that this was a Festival, which they keep three dayes together at the end of a certain Fast in Honor of Gaurì, one of their Goddesses, Wife of Mohedaca; and therefore 'tis celebrated by girls.
[ XVIII] November the ninth, Walking about the City, I saw a beam rais'd a good height, where, in certain of their Holy-dayes some devout people are wont to hang themselves by the flesh upon hooks fastned to the top of it, and remain a good while so hanging, the blood running down in the mean time, and they flourishing their Sword and Buckler in the Air, and singing verses in Honor of their Gods. Moreover, in a close place opposite to the Temple, I saw one of those very great Carrs, or Charri∣ots, wherein upon certain Feasts they carry their Idols in Pro∣cession, with many people besides, and Dancing-women, who play on musical instruments, sing, and dance. The four wheels of this Carr were fourteen of my spans in diameter, and the wood of the sides was one span thick. At the end of it were two great Page 129 wooden Statues, painted with natural colours; one of a Man, the other of a Woman naked, in dishonest postures; and upon the Carr, which was very high, was room for abundance of people to stand; and, in brief, it was so large that scarce any but the widest streets in Rome, as Strada, Giulia, or Babuino, would be capable for it to pass in. I saw also certain Indian Fryers, whom in their Language they call Giangàma, and perhaps, are the same with the Sages seen by me elsewhere; but they have Wives, and go with their faces smear'd with ashes, yet not naked, but clad in certain extravagant habits, and a kind of picked hood or cowl upon their heads of dy'd linnen, of that colour which is generally us'd amongst them, namely, a reddish brick-colour, with many bracelets upon their arms and legs, fill'd with something within, that makes a jangling as they walk. But the pretiest and oddest thing was, to see certain Souldiers on Horse-back, and considerable Captains too, as I was inform'd, who for ornament of their Horses wore hanging behind the saddle-bow two very large tassels of certain white, long, and fine skins, (they told me they were the tails of certain wild Oxen found in India, and highly esteem'd) which tassels were about two yards in compass, and so long as to reach from the saddle-bow to the ground; two, I say, hung behind the saddle-bow, and two before of equal height, and two others higher at the head stall; so that there were six in all: between which the Horse-man was seen upon the saddle half naked, and riding upon a Horse which leap'd and curvetted all the way; by which motion those six great tassels of skin, being very light and not at all trouble∣some, but flying up and down, seem'd so many great wings; which indeed was a prety odd spectacle, and made me think I saw so many Bellerophons upon severall Pegasus's. The same Evening I saw the companies of girls again, and following them I found that they did not go into the Piazza of the Temple, as they had done the two nights before, but into one of the King's Gardens, which for this purpose stood open for every body, and is nothing but a great field planted confusedly with shady and fruit-Trees, Sugar Canes, and other Garden plants. Hither al∣most the whole City flock'd, Men and Women, and all the companies of the flower'd Virgins, who putting themselves into circles, here and there danc'd and sung; yet their dancing was nothing else but an easie walking round, their snappers alwayes sounding; onely sometimes they would stretch forth their legs, and now and then cowre down as if they were going to sit, one constantly singing, and the rest repeating the word Colè, Colè. There wanted not other Donne ballatrici, Dancing-women, who exceeded the former in skill and dexterity: But in conclusion, they gather'd into several companies to supper, with the other Women that accompany'd them; so did the Men also, some with their Wives, and some alone, of which there wanted not who invited us, not to eat with them (for they communicate Page 130 not with strangers at the Table) but to take some of their fare; which we thank'd them for, but accepted not, being delighted onely to see them feast so together, dispers'd in se∣veral places of the Garden; this being the night that the Fast ended.
[ XIX] The same night a Post from Goa brought the Ambassador a Letter from the Vice-Roy, with another for Vitulà Sinay, and a third from the Captain of Onòr. The Ambassador imparted his intelligence to none, but forbad the Post to let it be known that he had brought Letters; whence I conceiv'd, that the News was not good, otherwise it would have been presently publish'd; onely I heard some obscure talk of the Malabarians, but I would not inquire further into the matter, as that which did not belong to me; especially amongst the Portugals who are very close and reserv'd towards strangers.
November the tenth, I saw passing along the street a Nephew of Venk-tapà Naieka, his Sisters Son, a handsome youth, and fair for that Country; he was one of those that aspire to the succession of this State, and was now returning from the fields without the Town, whither he uses to go every Morning. He is call'd Sedà-Siva Naieka, and was attended with a great number of Souldiers both Horse and Foot marching before him, and behind with many Cavaliers and Captains of quality, himself riding alone with great gravity; He had before him Drums, Cornets, and every sort of their barbarous instruments: Moreover, both in the Front and in the Rear of the Cavalcade, were, (I know not whether for magnificence or for guard) several Elephants carrying their guides upon their backs; and amongst them was also carried his Palanchino or Litter.
November the eleventh, The Ambassador went again to Au∣dience, to present to Venk-tapà Naieka the Letter writ to him in the King of Spain's Name▪ and declare what that King re∣quir'd of him. He went alone without any of us, or of the Por∣tugals his Companions, either not willing that we should be present at the debating of business, or because he went in a Pa∣lanchino, and had his two Horses led before him, but there were neither Palanchino's nor Horses enow in the House for the rest of us. With those that came to fetch him, came also a publick Dancing-woman, who perform'd a prety piece of Agility in his presence; for standing upon one foot, when the Drums and other instruments sounded, with the other she swiftly turn'd round in the Air a large Iron Ring, about a span in Diametre, without letting it fall off her great Toe, and at the same time with one hand toss'd two Cymbals or brass balls, catching one in her Hand whilst the other was aloft, and so alternately, and very nimbly without ever letting them fall; which indeed was great dexterity, to be imploy'd at the same time with the foot and the hand, standing firm all the while on the other foot with∣out support, and yet attending to the Musick, and this for a Page 131 good space together: during which an old Man with a white beard and bald head, who brought her, stood behind her, cry∣ing all the while Ahùd, Ahùd, Ahùd, which in their Language signifies as much as Good, Good, Good. The Ambassador return'd quickly from Audience, but made not a word of any thing. The King frequently sent him things to eat; particularly, fruits out of season, to wit, brought to him from far distant places, amongst which we had Ziacche, (which I take to be the same with Zátte, which is a kind of Gourd) a fruit very rare at this time; and also Indian Melons, which how good soever, are worth nothing at any time, the Climate not being for such fruits.
November the twelfth, I took the height of the Sun at Ikkerì, and found the Meridian Altitude 31. degrees. He was now in the 19th degree of Scorpio, and consequently, declin'd from the Aequinoctial towards the South 17. gr. 29′.23″. which substra∣cted from the 31. degrees in which I found the Sun, there remain 13. gr. 30′.37″. and such is the Elevation of the Pole at Ikkerì; which must be also as many degrees, to wit, 13. gr. 30′.37″. di∣stant from the Aequinoctial towards the North. At dinner the Ambassador told us, that the King of Spain's Letter which he had presented the day before to Venk-tapà Naieka concern'd not any business, but was onely of complement, and particularly, to give him much thanks for having of late years refus'd to sell Pepper to the English and Dutch, who had been at his Court to buy it; and also for the good Amity he held with the Portugals, which he desir'd might encrease every day: That of the affairs of Banghel, or any others, he said nothing, referring all to the Vice-Roy, and the Embassador whom the Vice-Roy had sent to him: Wherewith Venk-tapà Naieka was very well pleas'd, and he had reason; for during the present State of the Portugals affairs, I certainly think they will not speak a word to him of Banghel, nor of any thing else that may be dis∣gustful to him.
The same day the Ambassador had been at Court; being in∣vited to see solemn Wrastling at the Palace. We did not ac∣company him, for want of Horses and Palanchinoes; but at night he told us, Vitulà Sinay ask'd much for me, wishing I had been present at this Wrastling, which was exercis'd by Persons very stout and expert therein; because he had heard that I writ down what I saw remarkable. However, Caravaglio, Montegro, and my self not going thither, went out of Ikkerì half a League North∣wards, to see another new City which Venk-tapà hath begun to build there. 'Tis call'd Saghèr, and is already prety well in∣habited, with Houses all made of Earth after their manner. The Palace is finish'd, and Venk-tapà frequently goes to it; as also a Temple built upon a great Artificial Lake, a House for his Ne∣phews and other Grandees, with all conveniencies thereunto, particularly, great Stalls for Elephants, of which he keeps here above eighty; we saw many of them here, some for War, large Page 132 and handsome. A Market was kept this day in Saghèr, as 'tis the custom every Sunday, and at Ikkerì every Fryday. There was a great concourse of people, but nothing to sell besides ne∣cessaries for food and clothing, after their manner. The way between Ikkerì and Saghèr is very handsome, plain, broad, al∣most totally direct, here and there beset with great and thick Trees which make a shadow and a delightful verdure. As we return'd home at night, we met a Woman in the City of Ikkerì, who, her Husband being dead, was resolv'd to burn her self, as 'tis the custom with many Indian Women. She rod on Horse-back about the City with open face, holding a Looking-glasse in one hand, and a Lemon in the other, I know not for what purpose; and beholding her self in the Glass, with a lamentable tone sufficiently pittiful to hear, went along I know not whither speaking or singing certain words, which I understood not; but they told me, they were a kind of Farewell to the World and her self; and indeed, being utter'd with that passionateness which the Case requir'd and might produce, they mov'd pity in all that heard them, even in us who understood not the Language. She was follow'd by many other Women and Men on foot, who, perhaps, were her Relations; they carry'd a great Umbrella over her, as all Persons of quality in India are wont to have, thereby to keep off the Sun, whose heat is hurtful and troublesome. Before her, certain Drums were sounded, whose noise she never ceas'd to accompany with her sad Ditties or Songs; yet with a calm and constant Countenance, without tears, evidencing more grief for her Husband's death then her own, and more desire to go to him in the other world than re∣gret for her own departure out of this: A Custom, indeed, cruel and barbarous, but withall, of great generosity and virtue in such Women, and therefore worthy of no small praise. They said, she was to pass in this manner about the City, I know not how many dayes, at the end of which she was to go out of the City and be burnt, with more company and solemnity. If I can know when it will be, I will not fail to go to see her, and by my presence honor her Funeral, with that compassionate affecti∣on which so great Conjugal Fidelity and Love seems to me to deserve.
[ XXI] November the thirteenth, I took the Altitude of the Sun at Ikkerì, and found it 31. gr. 40′. The Sun was now in the 20th degree of Scorpio, and declin'd Southwards 17. gr. 45′, 40″. which taken from 31. gr. 40′. leave 13. gr. 54′, 20″. The former time, I found Ikkerì to be in 13. gr. 30′, 31″; but now I found it to be in 13. gr. 54′, 20″. between which there is onely the difference of 23′, 43″, which is a small matter: And therefore I account my observation right; for the small variation between the two times is no great matter, in regard the declination of the Sun not be∣ing punctually known, may cause the difference. At night, walk∣ing in the City, I saw in the Piazza of the great Temple (which Page 133 I understood was dedicated to an Idol call'd Agore Scuarà, who, they say, is the same with Mahadeù, although they represent him not in the same shape with that I saw of Mahadeù in Cambaia, but in the shape of a Man, with but one Head and Face, and sixteen Arms on each side (in all thirty two); which is not strange, since our Antients call'd many of their Idols by names sufficiently different, and pourtray'd them in several shapes; and wherein also I understood there was an Idol of Par∣vetì, who is the Wife of Mahadeù, though the Temple be not dedicated to her): I saw, I say, in the Piazza one of their Fryers or Giangami, clad all in white, sitting in an handsome Palanchi∣no, with two great white Umbrellaes, held over him, one on each side, (which two were for the more gravity) and a Horse led behind, being follow'd by a great train of other Giangami, clad in their ordinary habits. Before the Palanchino, march'd a nu∣merous company of Souldiers, and other people, many Drums and Fifes, two strait long Trumpets, and such brass Timbrels as are us'd in Persia, Bells and divers other Instruments, which sound∣ed as loud as possible, and amongst them was a troop of Dancing-women adorn'd with Girdles, Rings upon their Legs, Neck-laces, and other ornaments of Gold, and with certain Pectorals or Breast-plates, almost round, in the fashion of a Shield, and but∣ting out with a sharp ridg before, embroyder'd with Gold, and stuck either with Jewels or some such things which reflected the Sun-beams with marvellous splendor; as to the rest of their bodies, they were uncover'd, without any Veil or Head-tire. When they came to the Piazza, the Palanchino stood still, and the multitude having made a ring, the Dancing-women fell to dance after their manner, which was much like the Moris-dance of Italy, onely the Dancers sung as they danc'd, which seem'd much better: One of them, who, perhaps, was the Mistress of the rest, danc'd alone by her self, with extravagant and high jump∣ings, but alwayes looking towards the Palanchino: Sometimes she cowr'd down with her hanches almost to the ground, some∣times leaping up she struck them with her Feet backwards, (as Coelius Rhodiginus relates of the ancient dance call'd Bibasi) continually singing and making several gestures with her Hands; but after a barbarous manner, and such as amongst us would not be thought handsome. The Dance being ended, the Palanchino with all the train went forward, the Instruments continually playing before them. I follow'd to see the end, and found that they went into the ch••f street, and so out of the City by the Gate which leads to Sag•èr, stopping in divers places of the street to act the same, or the like dances over again; and particular∣ly, in the Entrance of the said Gate, where, amongst many Trees and Indian Canes which make the City-Wall, there is a small Piazza, very eeven, and shaded about, like a Pastoral Scene, and very handsome. At last the Giangamo with his Palanchino and train, enter'd into certain Gardens without the Gate, where Page 134 his House stood; and after the last Dance he remain'd there, and the rest went away. They told me, this Honor was done him, because they had then cast water upon his Head, and perform'd some other Ceremony, equivalent to our ordaining one in Sacris, or creating a Doctor. As I was going along the streets to behold this Pomp, I saw many persons come with much devotion to kiss the Feet of all those Giangamoes, who on Foot follow'd the principal Giangamo who was in the Palanchino; and because they were many, and it took up much time to kiss the Feet of them all, therefore when any one came to do it, they stood still all in a rank to give him time; and whilst such persons were kissing them, and for more reverence touching their Feet with their Fore-heads, these Giangamoes stood firm with a seem∣ing severity, and without taking notice of it, as if they had been abstracted from the things of the World; just as our Fryers use to do when any devout persons come out of reverence to kiss their Habit; but with Hypocrisie, conformable to their super∣stitious Religion.
Returning home, I met a Corps going to be burn'd without [ XXII] the City, with Drums sounding before it; it was carryed sitting in a Chair, whereunto it was ty'd that it might not fall, cloth'd in its ordinary attire, exactly as if it had been alive. The seat was cover'd behind, and on the sides with red and other colours, I know not whether Silk or no. It was open onely before, and there the dead person was to be seen. By the company, which was small, I conjectur'd him to be one of mean quality. But they told me, All dead people are carry'd thus, as well such as are buried, (as the Lingavani, whom they also put into the Earth sitting) as those that are burn'd; and that he, whom I saw, was to be burn'd, we gather'd from the Fire and Oyle which they carry'd after him in vessels. The night following there was a great solemnity in all the Temples, by lighting of Candles, singing, Musick, dancing, about twenty Dancing-women, who went in Procession with the Idol into the Piazza, dancing before the great Temple; but, as I was told, they began very late, name∣ly, at the rising of the Moon, which was about an hour before mid-night; so that I was gone to bed before I knew of it, although in the Evening I saw the lights in the Temple. But though I saw nothing, yet I heard of it as I was in bed, being awaken'd by the noise; and hearing the same was to be acted over again the next night, I purpos'd with my self to see it.
November the fourteenth, I went at night to the Temple to see whether there was any extraordinary solemnity; but there was nothing more then usual, nor did the Idol come forth: onely in the great Temple and its Inclosure or Court, into which they suffer not strangers to enter, they made their accustom'd Pro∣cessions with musical instruments, singing, and other Ceremo∣nies, which, I conceive, were the same with those I saw in Ahi∣nelì: onely they are celebrated here every night, because as 'tis Page 135 a more eminent Church, so consequently the service is more pompous; besides that, they told me Venk-tapà Naieka had a great and particular devotion to the Idol Agoresuàr, who is here worship'd.
On the fifteenth of the same moneth, came first in the day-time and afterwards at night to our House twelve or fifteen publick Dancing-women, who by consequence, are also publick Strum∣pets, although very young, being conducted by certain of their men. In the day time they did nothing, but talkt a little; and some of them made themselves drunk with a certain Wine made of dry'd Raisins, or a sort of Aqua Vitae and other mixtures, call'd in India, Nippa; I say some of them, because certain others of less ignoble Race, as they are more abstinent in eating, so they drink not any thing that inebriates. At night, they entertain'd us a good while with Balls, or Dancing, after their mode, accom∣pany'd with singing, not unpleasant to behold; for they consist of a numerous company of Women, all well cloth'd and adorn'd with Gold, Jewels, and Tresses of several fashions, who sing and snap their wooden instruments. They begin all their Balls slow∣ly, and by degrees growing to a heat, at last end with furious and quick motions, which appear well enough: Amongst their other Dances two pleas'd me well, one in which they continually re∣peated these words—and another wherein they repre∣sented a Battel, and the actions of slaughter; in the conclusion, the Master of the Ball, who directs all, and was one of those that brought them, dancing in the midst of them with a naked Pony∣ard, wherewith he represented the actions of slaughter as the Women did with their short sticks. But the end of this shew was more ridiculous: For when they were dismiss'd, they not onely were not contented with the largess of the Ambassador, although I added as much of my own to it, but went away ill satisfi'd, testifying the same by cholerick yellings, which to me was a new Comedy.
November the sixteenth, I was told that the above-mention'd Woman who had resolv'd to burn her self for her Husband's death, was to dye this Evening. But upon further enquiry at the Womans House, I understood that it would not be till after a few dayes more, and there I saw her sitting in a Court or Yard, and other persons beating Drums about her. She was cloth'd all in white, and deck'd with many Neck-laces, Bracelets, and other ornaments of Gold; on her Head she had a Garland of Flowers spreading forth like the rayes of the Sun; in brief, she was wholly in a Nuptial Dress, and held a Lemon in her Hand, which is the usual Ceremony. She seem'd to be pleasant enough, talking and laughing in conversation, as a Bride would do in our Countries. She and those with her, took notice of my standing there to behold her, and conjecturing by my strange Habit, what the meaning of it was, some of them came towards me. I told them by an Interpreter, that I was a Person of a very remote Page 136 Country, where we had heard by Fame, that some Women in India love their Husbands so vehemently, as when they dye to resolve to dye with them; and that now having intelligence that this Woman was such a one, I was come to see her, that so I might relate in my own Country that I had seen such a thing with my own Eyes. These people were well pleas'd with my coming, and she her self, having heard what I said, rose up from her seat, and came to speak to me. We discours'd together standing, for a good while. She told me that her Name was Giaccamà, of the Race Terlengà, that her Husband was a Drum∣mer; whence I wonder'd the more; seeing Heroical Actions, as this •ndoubtedly ought to be judg'd, are very rare in people of low quality. That it was about nineteen dayes since her Husband's death, that he had left two other Wives elder then she, and whom he had married before her, (both which were present at this discourse) yet neither of them was willing to dye, but alledg'd for excuse that they had many Children. This argument ga•e me occasion to ask Giaccamà, (who shew'd me a little Son of her own, about six or seven years old, besides an other Daughter she had) how she could perswade her self to leave her own little Children? And told her, that she ought likewise to live rather then to abandon them at that Age. She answer'd me, that she left them well recommended to the care of an Uncle of hers there present, who also talk'd with us very cheerfully, as if rejoycing that his Kins-woman would do such an action; and that her Husbands other two remaining Wives would also take care of them. I insisted much upon the tender Age of her Children, to avert her from her purpose, by moving her to com∣passion for them, well knowing that no argument is more pre∣valent with Mothers then their Love and Affection towards their Children. But all my speaking was in vain, and she still answer'd me to all my Reasons, with a Countenance not onely undismay'd and constant, but even cheerful, and spoke in a such manner as shew'd that she had not the least fear of death. She told me also, upon my asking her, that she did this of her own accord, was at her own liberty, not forc'd nor perswaded by any one. Where∣upon I inquiring, Whether force were at any time us'd in this matter, they told me, that ordinarily it was not, but onely sometimes amongst Persons of quality when some Widow was left young, handsome, and so in danger of marrying again (which amongst them is very ignominious), or committing a worse fault; in such Cases the Friends of the deceas'd Husband were very strict, and would constrain her to burn her self even against her own will, for preventing the disorders possible to happen in case she should live; (a barbarous, indeed, and too cruel Law.) However, that neither force nor perswasion was us'd to Giaccamà, that she did it of her own free will; in which, as of a magnanimous action, (as indeed it was) and amongst them of great honor, both her Relations and her self much Page 137 glory'd. I ask'd concerning the Ornaments and Flowers she vore, and they told me, that such was the Custom, in token of the Mastì's joy (they call the Woman, who intends to burn her self for the death of her Husband, Mastì) in that she was very shortly to go to him, and therefore had reason to rejoyce; whereas such Widows as will not dye, remain in continual sad∣ness and lamentations, shave their Heads, and live in perpetual mourning for the death of their Husbands. At last Giaccamà caus'd one to tell me, that she accounted my coming to see her a great good fortune, and held her self much honour'd, as well by my visit and presence, as the Fame which I should carry of her to my own Country; and that before she dy'd she would come to visit me at my House, and also to ask me, as their cu∣stom is, that I would favour her with some thing by way of Alms towards the buying of fewel, for the fire wherewith she was to be burnt. I answer'd her, that I should much esteem her visit, and very willingly give her some thing; not for wood and fire wherein to burn her self, (for her death much displeas'd me, and I would gladly have disswaded her from it, if I could) but to do something else therewith, what her self most lik'd; and that I promis'd her, that so far as my weak pen could contribute, her Name should remain immortal in the World. Thus I took leave of her, more sad for her death then her self, cursing the custom of India, which is so unmerciful to Women. Giaccamà was a Woman of about thirty years of age, of a Complexion very brown for an Indian, and almost black, but of a good aspect, tall of stature, well shap'd and proportion'd. My Muse could not forbear from chanting her in a Sonnet, which I made upon her death, and reserve among my Poetical Papers.
The same Evening Lights being set up in all the Temples, and [ XXIV] the usual Musick of Drums and Pipes sounding, I saw in one Temple, which was none of the greatest, a Minister or Priest dance before the Idol all naked, saving that he had a small piece of Linnen over his Privities, as many of them continually go; he had a drawn Sword in his Hand, which he flourish'd as if he had been fencing; but his motions were nothing but lascivious gestures. And indeed, the greatest part of their Worship of their Gods, consists in nothing but Musick, Songs, Dances, not not onely pleasant but lascivious, and in serving their Idols as if they were living Persons; namely, in presenting to them things to eat, washing them, perfuming them, giving them Betlè-leavs, dying them with Sanders, carrying them abroad in Pro∣cession, and such other things as the Country-people account delights and observances. In rehearsing Prayers, I think they are little employ'd, and as little in Learning. I once ask'd an old Priest, who was held more knowing then others, grey, and clad all in white, carrying a staff like a Shep-herds crook in his Hand, What Books he had read, and what he had studied? Adding that my self delighted in reading, and that if he would Page 138 speak to me about any thing, I would answer him. He told me, that all Books were made, onely that Men might by means there∣of know God, and God being known, to what purpose were Books? as if, he knew God very well. I reply'd, that all thought they knew God, but yet few knew him aright; and therefore he should beware that himself were not one of those.
November the seventeenth, By Letters brought from Barcelòr, with News from Goa, we heard that the Prince of England was gone incognito into Spain to accomplish his Marriage with the Infanta; and that his arrival being known, and the King having seen him, preparations were making for his publick Reception. That the Fleet was not yet arriv'd at Goa, except one Galeon; and that the News from Ormùz was, that Ruy Freyra was landed in that Island, and having entrench'd himself under the Fort, held the same besieg'd with that small Armado he had with him: Whence 'twas hop'd, that great supplies being to be sent to him from Goa, and the enmity of the English ceasing in considerati∣on of the Marriage between the two Crowns, and consequently, their assistance of the Persians, Ormùz would shortly be recover'd; and indeed, in respect of the above-said circumstances, I account it no hard matter.
November the twentieth, In the Evening, either because it was the next night after Monday, or that 'twas their weekly cu∣stom, or perhaps, for some extraordinary solemnity, Tapers were lighted up in all the Temples of Ikkerì; a great noise was made with Drums and Pipes, together with the Dancings of the Ministers of some Temples before the Gates, as is above described.
Wherefore I went to the great Temple, where, being the [ XXV] principal, I thought to see the greatest and most solemn Cere∣monies. After the people were call'd together by the sounding of several Trumpets a good while without the Temple, they be∣gan to make the usual Procession within the Yard or Inclosure, with many noises of their barbarous instruments, as they are wont to do here every Evening: Which after they had done as often as they pleas'd, they went forth into the street, where much people expected them, carrying two Idols in Procession, both in one Palanchino, one at each end, small, and so deck'd with Flowers and other Ornaments, that I could scarce know what they were. Yet, I think, that in the back-end was Agorescuèr, to whom the Temple is dedicated; and the other Parveti, or some other Wife of his. First march'd the Trumpets, and other instruments of divers sorts, continually sounding; then follow'd amongst many Torches a long train of Dancing-women, two and two, bare-headed, in their dancing dress, and deck'd with many Ornaments of Gold and Jewels. After them, came the Palanchino of the Idols, behind which were carryed many Lances, Spears with silken Streamers, and many Umbrella's garnish'd with silken tufts and fringes round about, more stately Page 139 then those us'd by others, even the King himself; for these are commonly the Ensignes of Grandeur. On each side the Palan∣chino went many rows of Women, either publick Dancers or Whores; but because these were not to dance, they went bare-fac'd indeed, (as the Pagan Women here little care for covering their Faces) but with a cloth bound about their Heads, and hanging down both behind upon their Shoulders, and before upon their Breasts. Some of them next the Palanchino, carryed in their Hands certain little Staves, either of Silver, or Silver'd over; at the end of which hung thick, long, and white tufts of the hair of Horses tails, with which (as 'tis the custom of great Persons in India to use them) they went fanning the Air, and either drove away the Flies from the Idols in the Palanchino, or at least performing this Office as a piece of Grandeur, as with us the same is done to the Pope, with fans made of the tails of white Peacocks, when he goes abroad in Pontificalibus. Neither were there wanting about the Idols many of their Priests or Mi∣nisters of the Temple who accompany'd them; particularly, one who seem'd the chief and Archimandrita of the rest; besides, abundance of Torches whose light dispell'd the darkness of the Moon-less night. In this order they came into the Piazza, and there after they had made a large ring, the dancing began; first, two Ballatrici, or Dancing-women, one from one side of the circle, and another from another, yet both with their Faces always turn'd towards the Idols, walk'd three steps forward, and then three backward; and this they did innumerable times. I suppose, it was a way of saluting the Idols. After the said two Dancers alone had done thus, two others from the several sides joyn'd with them, and they did the same again, three and three. This Salutation, or Preamble of the Ball, being many times repeated, they began to dance, namely, two that danc'd better then the rest, one on the right side of the circle, and the other on the left, both with their Faces, never with their back towards the Palanchino of the Idols, though often in the Dance they retir'd backwards as well as went forwards. Their dancing was high, with frequent leapings and odd motions, some∣times inclining their posteriors as if they meant to sit down, some∣times rising very high, and displaying the Coat wherewith they are cover'd from the girdle downwards, and almost holding one Arm stretch'd out before them, wherewith they now and then made as if they were thrusting or fencing; besides other mad gestures which were all accompany'd with words which they sung, and sometimes with cries more apt to give horror then delight. Hence, while all the other Dancing-women, (that is, those who were uncovered and loose for dancing) danced all in a company together further distant from the Idols, snapping their little sticks and singing, being guided by a Man who danced with them and was their Master. But the other Dancers who were clothed, stood about the Idols, but danced Page 140 not, nor ever moved from their place; onely they accompanyed the Shew, very fine with Ornaments of Gold and Jewels, and some of them having Flowers, others, leavs of Betle, or other Odoriferous Herbs in their Hands. This Dance being ended, the Procession went forwards with the same Pomp, and a nu∣merous Train of Men and Women of all sorts. They went round about the outermost walls of the Temple, which is sur∣rounded with very large streets, inhabited for the most part by the said Dancers, or publick Strumpets. The circuit of the Procession began from the right Hand as you come forth of the Temple, which comes to be the left as you enter in; and in the same manner I saw the Procession begin at the Temple of the Town Ahinelà, which I have described above; so that it must needs be one of their usual Ceremonies. This stop'd at the se∣veral places of the streets through which it past; and at every such stopping, the above-mention'd Dancings, Preambles, and other Circumstances were again repeated; whence the Shew last∣ed a good while, and concluded at length with the last Dance in the Piazza before the Temple-Gate; which ended, the Pro∣cession with the Idols re-entered the Temple, where being re∣placed according to their accustomed Ceremonies, the solemnity ended, and all the people departed.
[ XXVI] I was told by one of the spectators, that this Ceremony was practised every Monday at night, and every New Moon, and every Full, as also upon certain other extraordinary solemnities with more or less Pomp proportionably to the Festivals: And he added, that the night following there would be a greater solemnity then this, because the New Moon, and another of their Feasts were then co-incident, and that the King himself would be there; Wherefore I resolved with my self to see it.
November the one and twentieth, This night were an infinite company of Torches and Candles lighted, not onely in all the Temple, but also in all the Streets, Houses, and Shops of Ikkerì, which made a kind of day-light over all the City. In each of the Temples was its Idol, which in some was a Serpent; and they had adorned the outward Porches not onely with lights, but also with certain contrivances of papers, on which were painted Men on Horse-back, Elephants, people a fighting, and other odd figures; behind which papers, lights were placed in certain little Arches, like those which we make in our Sepulchres; these, with other gay Ornaments of Silk hung round about, made a sufficiently prety Shew. In the great Temple, not onely the inside, in the middle whereof is a very high and slender Cupola, (which appears without too) but also all the outer walls, and all those round about the Piazza which lies before it, as also the Houses of the adjacent sides were all full of lights. The con∣course of people of all sorts and degrees, both Men and Women was very great; and they appeared to go about visiting all the Page 141 Temples. When it was very late, the King came to the great Temple, accompanied onely with his two Nephews, to wit, Seda-Siva Naieka, (whom I had formerly seen) Son of one of his Daughters, and Vira-badrà Naieka, a young boy his Son's Son, and is he whom he designs for his Successor, if his other kindred elder then he, to wit, the above-said Sedà-Siva, and two other of Venk-tapà's Nephews by another of his Brothers whom he keeps prisoner, do not disturb him. The King came in a Pa∣lanchino a great pace, his two Nephews on Horse-back, and so did Vitulà Sinay who rode by the King's side, with appearance of a great Favourite. Likewise Putapaia came in a Palanchino, and other of his Grandees, some in Palanchino's, and some on Horse-back, following him at a great distance, with some num∣ber of Souldiers and Servants on Foot; but, in summ, the whole train was not very considerable. The King stay'd in the Temple about an hour, being entertain'd with Musick, Dancing, and other things which I could not see, because I was without. At length he came forth, and with the same company, and run∣ning in as much haste as he came, return'd home; the like did all the other people of whom the Piazza was full, some on one side, some on the other.
After the King was come out of the Temple, they carry'd the [ XXVII] Idols a while in Procession about the Piazza, but with small pomp and company; so that I car'd not for staying to see them, but went to another Temple standing at the end of the Bazar, or Market, in the view of a large and goodly street, where, be∣sides the shew of lights which was gallant, I stay'd a good while with my Companions, (for all the Ambassador's Family was come abroad this night to see the solemnities; the Padre Capellano not excepted, but disguis'd) to see two great companies of Dancing-women dance, they all being sent for thither by a great Captain, (who, perhaps, had the care of the solemnities of this Temple) after the King was gone from the great Temple, they danc'd here a good while, in numerous companies; after which, we return'd home, it being after mid-night.
November the two and twentieth, Ven-tapà Naieka had already given our Ambassador an answer concerning the affairs which he negotiated, and the Ambassador had prepar'd a dispatch to be sent to the King of Banghel; also another for the Vice-Roy of Goa, giving him an account of his negotiation; when a Currier arriv'd from Banghel with new Letters, both for Venk-tapà Naieka and the Ambassador: Whereupon consultation was held, what Answer to return him, which was soon concluded on the part of Venk-tapà Naieka to this effect, (being no other then what he had before resolv'd upon) namely, that he would pay the King of Banghel 7000 Paygods yearly, according to the Treaty of the Peace, provided the said King would come and live in his Court, or in some other place of his Country, (excepting such Lands as were formerly his, for fear he might make new insurrections) or Page 142 else in Goa, or any of the adjacent places, namely, in the Island of Salsette, or some place there without the City; but however, such wherein he may be subject to the Vice-Roy of Goa; so that Venk-tapà might be secure that the said Banghel would live peaceably without making new commotions. But in case (as he seem'd to intend) he would live neither in Venk-tapà's Country, nor in that of Goa, but would continue in Cagnoroto where he was at present, (which is a place beyond Mangalòr Eastwards, and belongs to another small but free Prince, alli'd to Banghel, whither, being near to his quondam-Territories, he had be∣taken himself) or else would remove here and there like a Fu∣gitive and Invader, disquieting these Countries; then Venk-tapà was resolv'd not to give him any thing at all. Therefore let him either accept the above-said Offer, or never speak more to him, for he would not hear him. That he hath been mov'd to make this offer of paying him the said summ, by the instance of the Portugals, who had interpos'd in his behalf by this Em∣bassie: And that for Banghel's assurance that he would perform this, he gave the Ambassador (and accordingly he did so) a Copy of the Letter containing these promises, which he writ to the said King of Banghel, to the end the Ambassador might send it to the Vice-Roy, and be a witness of what he promis'd and was to observe. He ha's further told the Ambassador, that this King had formerly writ to him that he would come and live in his Dominion, and repented of what he had done heretofore through evil counsel; that yet, for the future, he would be at his devotion, receiving that Pension which he had promis'd him, and the like: Nevertheless he had now chang'd his mind, and refus'd both to come into his Dominion, and to go into that of Goa: That therefore seeing him so unconstant, he had much reason not to trust him, and, in short, would neither trust him, nor give him any thing saving upon the above-said terms; and that not for his own sake, but in regard of the instance which the Portugals made for him: That this was his last Answer, and that nothing more was to be expected or hoped from him. From Spain, they say, Orders are sent to the Vice-Roy to re-establish Banghel by all means in his State, and to make war upon Venk-tapà, unless he restore the same intirely. However, being that Country is remote, and in the time that is spent in the going and coming of dispatches, many things may happen which may render it necessary for the Vice-Roy in the present conjuncture to proceed in sundry particulars differently from what Orders he receives from Spain, and to have authority in this business of Banghel to deliberate of Peace or War, as shall to him seem most expedient, endeavouring to comply no less with the time and the State of things, than the advertisements from Spain: Therefore the King of Spain, in the Letter which he writ to Venk-tapà Naieka, making onely general complements to him, referrs all matter of business to the Vice-Roy, to guid Page 143 himself therein as he shall think most fit. Accordingly the Vice-Roy, though he knows the King of Spain's intention and order to make war upon Venk-tapà; yet it not seeming to him a fit time, whilst the Portugals are engag'd in the war of Ormùz, and also in Malacca, (which is reported besieg'd either by the King of Acem, (which is Sumatra), or by him and the Dutch together) and much perplex'd in a thousand other intricacies in India; hath therefore given Order to the Ambassador to seem satisfi'd with what-ever Answer Venk-tapà Naieka gives, and to return without making further instance; it sufficing the Vice-Roy to have made this complement for the service of the King of Banghel, and shown that he hath done therein what was in his power; as well-knowing that Venk-tapà would not be moved by the Embassie alone, and that the conditions he requires of the King of Banghel, upon which to give him what he had pro∣mis'd, are but excuses; being certain this King will not venture himself in his Dominions, (as neither is it reasonable) much less go and subject himself in the Territories of Goa, and so will not admit of the Proposals. Wherefore seeing 'tis not time now to constrain Venk-tapà Naieka to greater things by war, he dis∣sembles till a better occasion, for fear of drawing this new Ene∣my upon him at an unseasonable conjuncture; and orders the Ambassador to depart with shew of good Friendship. The Ambassador hath accordingly done so, and seeming satisfi'd with Venk-tapà's Answer, hath added other Letters to those formerly written to the King of Banghel, certifying him of Ventapà's Re∣solute Mind; that he must either accept of the Agreement, or must speak no more of any; and that he onely expects at Ikkerì this his last Resolution before his return to Goa. He hath writ∣ten the same to the Vice-Roy of Goa; and the dispatches being seal'd, he hath order'd both Curriers to depart, and also a Brachman call'd Mangasa, together with the Currier, to the King of Banghel, sending likewise with them a Christian of Barselòr, nam'd Lorenzo Pessoa, who was at Ikkerì with Montegro, that he might either in Mangalòr, Banghel, or other places thereabouts procure Mariners for a Ship remaining at Barselòr unprovided of Men; giving the said Pessoa a Licence to hire some, which he had obtain'd of the Ministers of Venk-tapà Naieka, to levy them in his Territories if need were. Being by this time sufficiently in∣form'd of remarkable things in Ikkerì, I am desirous of divers others, especially, to see the person of the Queen of Olaza, whose History and many valiant exploits I read, when I was in Persia; for which I have a fair opportunity by accompanying these Men sent from the Ambassador, of whom when I have taken leave, I shall (God willing) depart to morrow.