The travels of Sig. Pietro della Valle, a noble Roman, into East-India and Arabia Deserta in which, the several countries, together with the customs, manners, traffique, and rites both religious and civil, of those Oriental princes and nations, are faithfully described : in familiar letters to his friend Signior Mario Schipano : whereunto is added a relation of Sir Thomas Roe's Voyage into the East-Indies.
Della Valle, Pietro, 1586-1652., Roe, Thomas, Sir, 1581?-1644., Havers, G. (George)

SECTION XXVI. Of the exceeding great Pensions the Mogol gives unto his Subjects, how they are raised, and how long they are con∣tinued, &c.

WHich great revenues that many of them do enjoy, makes them to live like great Princes rather than other men. Now for those Pensions, which are so exceeding great, the Mogol in his far extended Monarchy allows yearly pay for one Million of Horse; and for every Horse and Man about eighteen pounds sterling per annum, which is exactly paid Page  463 every year, raised from Land, and other Commodities which that Empire affords and appointed for that purpose. Now some of the Mogol's most beloved Nobles have the pay of six thousand horse; and there are others (at the least twenty in his Empire) which have the pay of 5000 horse, exceeding large Pensions above the revenue of any other Subjects in the whole World, they amounting unto more than one hundred thousand pounds yearly unto a particular man. Now others have the pay of four thousand horse; others of three, or two, or one thousand horse, and so downward; and these by their propor∣tions, are appointed to have horses always in readiness well mann'd, and otherwise appointed for the Kings service, so that he who hath the pay of five, or six thousand, must always have one thousand in readiness, or more, according to the Kings need of them, and so in proportion all the rest which enables them on a sudden to make up the number, at the least of two hundred thousand horse; of which number, they have always at hand one hundred thousand to wait upon the King whereso∣ever he is.

There are very many private men in Cities and Towns, who are Merchants, or Trades-men that are very rich: but it is not safe for them that are so, so to appear, lest that they should be used as fill'd Sponges.

But there is never a Subject in that Empire, who hath Land of inheritance, which he may call his own; but they are all Te∣nants at the will of their King, having no other title to that they enjoy besides the Kings favour, which is by far more easily lost than gotten; It is true, that the King advanceth many there, unto many great honours, and allows them (as before) marvel∣lous great revenues; but no Son there enjoys either the Titles, or Means of his Father that hath had Pensions from that King, for the King takes possession of all when they are dead, appoint∣ing their Children some competent means for their subsistence, which they shall not exceed, if they fall not into the Kings af∣fection as their Fathers did; wherefore many great men in this Empire live up to the height of their means; and therefore have a very numerous train, a very great retinue to attend up∣on them, which makes them to appear like Princes, rather than Subjects.

Yet this their necessary dependance on their King binds them unto such base subjection, as that they will yield with readiness unto any of his unreasonable and willful commands. As Plutarch writes of the Souldiers of Scipio, Nullus est horum, qui non conscensa turri semet in mare praecipaturus sit, si jussero, There was never a one in his Army, by his own report, that would not for a word of his mouth, have gone up into a Tower, and cast himself thence head-long into the Sea: and thus the people here will do any thing the King commands them to do; so that if he bid the Father to lay hands of violence upon his Page  464 Son, or the Son upon his Father, they will do it, rather than the will of the King should be disobeyed. Thus forgetting Na∣ture, rather than Subjection.

And this tye of theirs (I say) upon the Kings favour makes all his Subjects most servile flatterers, for they will commend any of his actions, though they be nothing but cruelty; so any of his speeches, though nothing but folly. And when the King sits and speaks to any of his people publickly, there is not a word falls from him that is not written by some Scriveners, or Scribes, that stand round about him.

In the year 1618. when we lived at that Court, there ap∣peared at once in the moneth of November in their Hemisphear two great Blazing-stars, the one of them North, the other South, which unusual sight appeared there for the space of one moneth. One of those strange Comets in the North, appeared like a long blazing-torch, or Launce fired at the upper end; the other in the South, was round like a pot boiling out fire. The Mogol consulted with his flattering Astrologers, who spake of these Comets unto the King, as Daniel sometimes did of Nebu∣chadnezzars dream, Dan. 4.19. My Lord, the dream is to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof unto thine enemies. For his Astrologers told him that he needed not trouble himself with the thought thereof, for it concerned other places and people, not him nor his. But not long after this, their season of Rain, (before spoken of) which was never known to fail till then, failed them; and this caused such a famine and mortality in the South parts of his Empire, that it did very much un∣people it: and in the Northern part thereof (whither the Mogol then repaired) his third Son Sultan Caroom raised, and kept toge∣ther very great forces, and stood upon his guard, and would not disband, till his Father had delivered his eldest Son Sultan Coobse∣roo into his hands. And how, when he had him in his power he used him, you shall after hear.

In the mean time, take one admirable example of a very gross flatterer, but a great Favorite of that King, who was noted above others of that Nation to be a great neglecter of God, be∣lieving it Religion enough to please the Mogol his Master. This man was a Souldier of an approved valour: But upon a time he sitting in dalliance with one of his women, she pluckt an hair from his breast (which grew about his Nipple) in wantonness, without the least thought of doing him hurt. But the little wound, that small and unparalle'd instrument of death made, presently began to fester, and in short time after became a Can∣ker incurable; in fine, when he saw that he must needs dye, he uttered these words, which are worth the remembring of all that shall ever hear them, saying:

Who would not have thought but that I, who have been so long bred a Souldier, should have dyed in the face of mine Enemy, either by a Sword, or a Launce, or an Arrow, or a Bullet, or by some such Page  465 instrument of death: But now (though too late) I am forc'd to confess that there is a great God above, whose Majesty I have ever despised, that needs no bigger Launce than an hair to kill an Atheist, or a despiser of his Majesty. And so, desiring that those his last words might be told unto the King his Master, he died.

The Mogol never advanceth any, but he gives him a new name, and this of some pretty signification; as Pharoah did unto Joseph, when he made him great in his Court, Gen. 41.45. The new names (I say) that the Mogol gives unto those he ad∣vances and favours, are significant. As Asaph Chan, The gather∣ing, or rich Lord; whose Sister the Mogol married, and she was his most beloved Wife: and her Brothers marvellous great riches, answered his name; for he died worth many Millions (as I have been credibly informed) the greatest Subject (I believe) for wealth that ever the World had. So another of the Mogols Grandees was called Mahobet-Chan, The beloved Lord. Ano∣ther Chan-Iahan, The Lord of my heart. Another Chan-Allaam, The Lord of the World. Another Chan-Channa, The Lord of Lords. He called his chief Physician Mocrob-Chan, The Lord of my health; and many other names, like these, his Grandees had, which at my being there belonged to his most numerous Court.

And further for their Titles of honour there, all the Kings Children are called Sultans, or Princes; his Daughters Sulta∣na's, or Princesses; the next title is Nabob, equivalent to a Duke; the next Channa, a double Lord, or Earl; the next Chan, a Lord. So Meirsa signifies a Knight, that hath been a General, or Commander in the Wars; Vmbra, a Captain; Hadde, a Ca∣valier, or Souldier on horse-back: who have all allowed them means by the King (as before) proportionable for the supports of their Honours, and Titles, and Names.

His Officers of State are his Treasurers, which receive his re∣venues in his several Provinces, and take care for the payment of his great Pensions, which, when they are due, are paid with∣out any delay: There his chief Eunuchs (which command the rest of them) take care for the ordering of his House, and are Stewards and Controulers of it; his Secretaries, the Masters of his Elephants; and the Masters of his Tents are other of his great Officers; and so are the keepers of his Ward-robe, who are entrusted with his Plate and Jewels. To 〈◊〉 I may add those which take care of his Customs for Goods brought into his Empire, as for commodities carried thence. But these are not many, because his Sea-ports are but few. The Customs paid in his Ports are not high, that strangers of all Nations may have the greater encouragement to Trade there with him. But as he expects money from all strangers that Trade there: So it is a fault he will not pardon (as before) for any to carry any quanti∣ty of silver thence. He hath other Officers that spread over his Empire, to exact monies out of all the labours of that people, Page  466 who make the curious manufactures. So that like a great Tree he receives nourishment from every, even the least Roots that grow under his shadow; and therefore though his Pensions are exceeding great (as before); they are nothing comparable to his much greater revenues.

By reason of that Countries immoderate heat, our English-cloath is not fit to make Habits for that people: that of it which is sold there, is most of it for colour Red; and this they imploy for the most part to make coverings for their Elephants and Horses, and to cover their Coaches, the King himself taking a very great part thereof; whose payments are very good, only the Merchant must get the hands of some of his chief Officers to his Bill, appointed for such dispatches, which are obtained as soon as desired. And this the King doth to prevent the abuses of particular, and single persons.

And now that I may present my Reader with the further glo∣ry of this great King, I shall lead him where he may take a view,