All the Arabs in this island are soldiers, being in a manner slaves to the snakee or prince, whom they attend and obey all his commands, some few of them having fire-arms. Every one of them wears a crooked dagger at his left side, like a wood-cutter's knife, without which they must not be seen abroad. They have also thin broad targets, painted. The dagger-handles and sheaths of the better sort are ornamented with silver, and those of the ordinary people with copper or red latten. These Arabs are tawny, industrious, and civil, of good stature, and well-proportioned in their limbs, having their hair long, and covered with turbans like the Turks, and a cloth round their waist hanging to their knees; having seldom any other apparel, except sometimes sandals on their feet fastened with thongs. They either carry their sword naked on their shoulder, or hanging at their side in a sheath. They are fond of tobacco, yet are unwilling to give any thing for it. Some of them wear a cloth of painted calico, or some other kind, over their shoulders, after the fashion of an Irish mantle or plaid; while others have shirts and surplices, or wide gowns, of white calico, and a few have linen breeches like the Guzerats. Some of their women are tolerably fair and handsome, like our sun-burnt country girls in England; and they are all dressed in long wide smocks down to the ground, made of red, blue, or black calico, having a cloth over their heads, with which they usually hide their faces, being very dainty to let themselves be seen, yet are scarcely honest. Though the men be very poor, and have, hardly enough to serve their needs, yet their women, of whom some men have four, five, or six, are much laden with silver ornaments, and some with gold. I have seen one, not of the best, who had in each ear at least a dozen great silver rings, almost like curtain rings, with as many of a smaller kind; two carkanets or chains of silver about her neck, and one of gold bosses; ten or twelve silver manillias or bracelets on each arm, each as thick as a little-finger, but hollow; almost every finger covered with rings, and the small of her legs covered with silver rings like horse-fetters. In all these ornaments they jingle like morrice-dancers on the slightest motion. They are, however, seldom seen, being kept very close by their jealous husbands. They delight in beads of amber, crystal, and coral; but, having little wherewith to buy them, they either beg them, or deal for them privately. The children, except those of the better sort, usually, go entirely naked till of some age. They are married at ten or twelve years old.
They call themselves mussulmen, that is, true believers in the faith of Mahomet; and they alledge this reason for themselves, that all the world are of their religion, and only a handful of ours. They eat their meat on mats spread on the ground, using their hands in a very unmannerly fashion, having neither spoons, knives, nor forks. Their usual drink is water, yet do they drink wine in private when they can get it; and they make at the proper season some wine of dates which is strong and pleasant.
So much for the Arab conquerors of Socotora. They call the native inhabitants, whom they have conquered, cafrs, or misbelievers, or heretics, if you will, who are subjected to slavery, except some who live in the mountains in a kind of savage liberty like wild beasts; those who live under subjection to the Arabs not being allowed to carry weapons of any kind. These are well-shaped, but much darker than the Arabs, wearing nothing on their heads but their long hair, which seems to be never cut, and staring all round as if frightened. They have a coarse cloth of goats hair woven by themselves about their middles, and slight sandals on their feet. The women are all dressed in smocks of coloured calico or other coarse stuff, hanging to their feet, having seldom any thing on their heads; but, in imitation of the Arab women, they have manillias of iron or painted earthen ware about their legs and arms, and strings of beads instead of carkanets about their necks, painting their faces with yellow and black spots in a frightful manner. According to the report of the Arabs, they are all mere heathens, observing no marriage rites, but have their women in common. Their native language is quite different from Arabic, which however most of them understand. They live very miserably, many of them being famished with hunger. They are not permitted to kill any flesh, so that they are forced to live on such fish as they can catch in the sea, and what dates they may procure, having no means to purchase rice, except by means of their women prostituting themselves to the Guzerats when they reside here. Such as are employed to keep the cattle belonging to the Arabs maintain themselves on milk.
I could not learn of any merchandize produced in this island, except aloes and dragon's blood; and some black ambergris is said to be got on the shores of Abba del Curia. They could make, in my opinion, more aloes than could be used in all Christendom, as the plant from which it is procured grows every where in great abundance, being no other than the semper vivum of Dioscorides, with whose description it agrees in seed, stalk, &c. It is all of the red prickly sort, much chamferred in the leaves, and so full of resinous juice as to be ready to burst. The chief time of preparing the aloes is in September, when the north winds blow, after the fall of some rain. Being gathered, it is cut in small pieces, and cast into a pit in the ground, which is paved and cleaned from all filth. It lies here to ferment in the heat of the sun, which causes the juice to flow out; which is put into skins that are hung up in the wind to dry and grow hard. They sold it to us for twenty ryals the quintal, or 103 pounds English; but we were told afterwards that they sold it to others for twelve, which may very well be, considering its abundance, and the ease with which it is made. The date tree produces ripe fruit twice a-year, one harvest being in July while we were there. Dates are a principal part of their sustenance, being very pleasant in taste. When thoroughly ripe, the dates are laid in a heap on a sloping skin, whence runs a liquor into earthen pots set in the earth to receive it. This is their date wine, with which they sometimes get drunk. When thus drained, the stones are taken out, and the dates are packed up very hard in skins, in which they will keep a long time. They sometimes gather them before they are completely ripe, and dry them after taking out the stones. These are the best of all, and eat as if they were candied. They will not keep whole. In every valley where dates grow, the king has a deputy during the harvest, who sees all gathered and brought to an appointed place, no one daring to touch a date on pain of death without order, or other severe punishment. After all are gathered, the deputy divides the produce in three equal parts; one for the king, one for the Arabs, and one for the cafrs; which are distributed, but not alike to each.
Socotora has abundance of civet cats, which are taken in traps in the mountains by the cafrs, who sell them for twelve-pence each. Flesh is dear in this island; a cow costing ten dollars, and one goat or two sheep a dollar. Their cattle have good firm and fat beef, like those in England. The goats are large, and have good flesh; and the sheep are small with coarse wool. The goats and sheep are very abundant. They make very good butter, but it is always soft like cream, and is sold for four-pence or six-pence a pound. Goat's milk may be bought for three-pence the quart. Plenty of hens may be had, at the rate of five for a dollar, or about twelve-pence each. In the whole island there are not above two or three small horses of the Arab breed, and a few camels. At Delisha they take great quantities of lobsters and other good fish. A few cotton plants are found growing on the strand; where likewise there grows among the stones a shrubby plant, having large thick round green leaves, as big as a shilling, with a fruit like capers, of which it is a kind, called eschuc, and is eaten in sallads. Oranges are scarce and dear. There is very fine sweet bazil. On the shore, many fine shells are found, mixed with cuttle-fish bones, and vast quantities of pearl-oyster shells, which the people say are driven thither by the winds and waves, as no pearl-oysters are to be found here-about. The people are very poor, and rank beggars, who buy what they are able and beg all they can get, yet are honest and give civil usage. Their best entertainment is a china dish of coho, a black bitterish drink, made of a berry like that of the bay tree, which is brought from Mecca. This drink is sipped hot, and is good for the head and stomach.
[Footnote 215: The Civet, or Vierra Civetta of naturalists, is an animal somewhat allied to the weazel; but the genus is peculiarly distinguished by an orifice or folicle beneath the anus, containing an unctuous odorant matter, highly fetid in most of the species; but in this and the Zibet the produce is a rich perfume, much esteemed in the east.—E.]
[Footnote 216: This Coho of Finch is evidently coffee.—E.]
At our first landing in Socotora, the people all fled from us for fear into the mountains, having formerly received injurious treatment from the Portuguese, who they said had carried off some of them forcibly. Their town which they left, is all built of stone covered with spars and palm branches, with wooden doors, and very ingenious wooden locks. Near the sea-side stands their church, enclosed by a wall like that of a church-yard, having within a couple of crosses and an altar, on which lay frankincense, with sweet wood and gums. When we first got speech of them, they pretended this was Abba del Curia, and not Socotora, which we afterwards found to be false. We walked up two or three miles into the country, not seeing a single pile of green grass, but many date trees. We saw one other very strange tree or plant, something more than the height of a man, very thick at the root, and tapering upwards almost to a point. The trunk was very smooth and without bark, and near the top some long branches without leaves, bearing reddish flowers, which change afterwards to a fruit not unlike the date in form and size, which is at first green. It contains many small whitish kernels, which as well as the branches are very bitter, and full of a resinous substance. We also saw another church having a cross on its top.
[Footnote 217: Of this church and the whole island, see the voyage of Juan de Castro. For, in times past, the natives were Christians; which, as all others not of their faith, the Mahometans call cafrs. Being rude and brutish, they were the easier prey to the Arabs.—Purch.]
Sec. 3. Occurrences in India, respecting the English, Dutch, Portuguese, and Moguls.
The 28th August, 1608, Captain Hawkins with the merchants and some others landed at Surat. He was received into a coach and carried before the dawne, [or dewan.] We had very poor lodgings allotted to us, being only the porter's lodge of the custom-house; where next morning the customers came and tumbled about our trunks to our great displeasure, though we had only brought our necessaries on shore. We were invited to dinner by a merchant, who gave us good chear, but we had sour sauce to our banquet, for he was the person who had sustained almost the whole loss in the ship taken by Sir Edward Michelburne. The captain also of that ship dined with us. When that affair was told us, our captain said he had never heard of any such matter, and supposed it must have been done by a Hollander; but they affirmed it was to their certain knowledge an English ship, and deplored their hard fortunes, affirming there were thieves of all nations, yet they were not disposed to impute that fault to honest merchants. This liberal sentiment somewhat revived us; and we were invited the day after to supper by Mede Colee, the captain of that ship.
The 2d October we embarked our goods and provisions, gave a present to Schekh Abdel-reheime, and got a dispatch for our departure; but the customers refused a licence till they should search our ship, yet meeting with some frigates in their own river, which they supposed to be Malabars, they durst not venture down to our ship. These frigates [grabs] were Portuguese, who desired that no one should come to talk with them; yet Mr Buck rashly went on board and was detained.
[Footnote 218: At this place is given a confused relation of several incidents at Surat, obviously garbled and abbreviated by Purchas, so as to be difficultly intelligible. As these are already contained in the journal of Hawkins, they are here omitted.—E.]
At this time I was ill of the bloody flux, of which Mr Dorchester died, but I was cured under God by an Englishman, named Careless. From him I learnt many things respecting India; and particularly of the great spoil done by the Hollanders to the Portugals at Malacca the last year. The Hollanders were lying before Malacca with sixteen ships, besieging that place by sea and land, in conjunction with several native kings, when news were sent to the Portuguese viceroy, then before Acheen with all the gallants of India, having with him a very great fleet of ships, gallies, and frigates, with 4000 soldiers, having been commanded to conquer Acheen and to build a castle there, and afterwards to plunder Johor, and to chastise the Moluccas for trading with the Hollanders. Upon notice from Andrea Hurtado, who then commanded at Malacca, of the distress to which that place was reduced, the viceroy set sail from Acheen to attack the Hollanders. The Dutch general got timely notice of his motions, and having re-embarked his men and artillery, went forth to meet the viceroy. After a long and bloody fight, the Dutch had to draw off to stop the leaks of their admiral; on which the Portuguese let slip the opportunity, and fell to rioting and merriment, with great boasts of their victory, not looking any more for the Hollanders. But they, having stopped their leaks and refitted at Johor, came unexpectedly on the Portuguese, most of whom were feasting ashore, and sunk and burnt all their ships; insomuch, if the viceroy had not previously detached six ships on some other service, the Portuguese naval power in India had been all utterly destroyed. After this, the Portuguese in Malacca were infected by a heavy sickness, in which most of them died, among whom was the viceroy, and the governor of Manilla, who had brought a reinforcement of 2000 Spanish troops, so that their power was laid in the dust.
[Footnote 219: He seems to have been resident in Surat; but the particulars are omitted by Purchas.—E.]
This year a new viceroy was expected from Portugal with a strong fleet, to drive the Hollanders out of India. This fleet consisted of nine ships of war, and six others for trade; which were all separated in the gulf of Guinea, and never met again afterwards. Two of them came to Mosambique, where they were fired by the Hollanders, who likewise much distressed the castle, but could not take it; and the season, requiring their departure, they set sail for Goa, being fifteen ships and a pinnace, where they rode at the bar, defying the great Captain Hurtado, who durst not meet them. Another of the Portuguese commercial ships, having advice that the Dutch lay off Goa, went to the northwards, where they landed their money and goods, and set their ship on fire, and the soldiers fell together by the ears for sharing the money. The Dutch fleet, leaving Goa, sailed all along the Malabar coast, plundering and burning every thing, they could meet, and it was reported they had leave from the Samorin to build a castle at Chaul.
[Footnote 220: This must be an error, as the country of the Samorin, at Calicut, is in the south of Malabar, and Chaul is far to the north in the Concan.—E.]
The 1st of February, 1609, our captain, Mr Hawkins, departed from Surat, with an escort of fifty peons and some horse. About this time there was a great stir about the queen mother's ship, which was to be laden for Mocha. The Portuguese fleet of twenty-two frigates then rode off the bar of Surat, and demanded 100,000 mamudies for her pass, and at last agreed to take somewhat more than 1000 dollars, with sundry presents, which the Moguls were forced to give them. At this time Mucrob Khan gave me fair words, but the devil was in his heart, for he minded nothing less than payment of his debts, striking off 17,000 from 41,000 to which our accounts extended. At last he gave me his cheet for a part, though with great abatements, which I was glad to get, esteeming it better to secure some than lose all. In the beginning of April I was seized with a burning fever, of which I recovered by losing a great deal of blood, and ten days fasting, and on the fever, leaving me I was tormented with miserable stitches. Next month also I had another severe fever.
[Footnote 221: Mecca is probably here meant; this ship being destined to carry the Mogul pilgrims. The queen mother of the Moguls, mother to the reigning emperor.—E.]
The 12th May, news came that Malek Amber, King of the Deccan, had besieged Aurdanagur with 22,000 horse; which place had been the metropolis of the Deccan, formerly conquered by Akbar; and that, after several assaults, the Moguls had offered to surrender the city, on condition that he would withdraw his army four or five coss from the city, that they might remove with bag and baggage in security. This being done, they issued out with all their forces, and making an unexpected assault on the unprovided enemy, gave them a total defeat with great slaughter. As it was feared that Malek Amber might revenge this defeat upon the other parts of the country, the Khan-Khana raised numerous forces, and demanded 300,000 mamudies towards the charges, sending also an experienced Deccan leader to govern the city.
[Footnote 222: Probably a corruption of Aurungabad.—E.]
[Footnote 223: In this and other early voyages, the coss is always named course. It is rated by Purchas at a mile and a half English. There are two cosses, the Hindoostanee, and the Rajeput, the former being 44-4/9 to a degree, and the latter 32. The Hindoostanee is equal to 1.56, and the Rajeput coss to 2.18 English miles.—E.]
[Footnote 224: This demand is inexplicable, as it is no where stated of whom it was demanded: Besides, the sum, only L15,000, is quite inadequate for the maintenance of numerous forces.—E.]
The 20th July, Shah Selim, the great Mogul, commanded his generals, Khan-Khana and Rajah Mansing, two great commanders, to invade and conquer all the kingdoms of the south to Cape Comorin, for which purpose a prodigious army was assembled. In order to resist this invasion, the three great kings of the south combined their troops, making head near Bramport, (Burhampoor or Boorhanpoor,) on the Mogul frontiers, where both armies were in camp, waiting the end of winter. These three kings, Malek Amber, King of the Deccan, whose chief city is Genefro; the King of Visiapour; and the King of Golconda, whose chief city is Braganadar.
[Footnote 225: This name is so inexplicably corrupt as not even to admit of conjectural amendment—E.]
[Footnote 226: This name is in the same unintelligible predicament with Genefro.—E.]
In August, I received a flying report of on English pinnace being on the coast at Gandooe (Gundavee,) which, on departing from thence, was forced in again by three Portuguese frigates. I supposed this might belong to some of our shipping, which, standing for Socotora, had not been able to fetch that place, and had been forced to this coast. This was actually the case, as the pinnace belonged to the Ascension, manned by the master, John Elmer, with five men and two boys, and was in want of wood and water. The master and four of his company came to Surat on the 28th of August; but I had much ado to get leave to bring them into the town, as the people pretended we were merely allowed to trade. The truth was, they stood in fear of the Portuguese, and detained these men till they should send for instructions to the nabob, who was at the distance of four coss. What was still worse, five Portuguese frigates or grabs went into the Gundavee river and captured our pinnace, weighing up its two falcons, which had been thrown overboard. We received worse news on the 5th September, the Ascension having been cast away; and next day about seventy of her company who were saved came to Surat, whom the people of the town obliged to remain outside of the walls among the trees and tombs. I was not even able to procure leave for the general himself to enter the city, though he brought letters of recommendation from Mocha, besides letters for the great Mogul from the King of England. Such was their fear of the Portuguese, in whose names two jesuits threatened fire, faggots, and utter desolation, if any more English were received. All I could do for them was sending them necessary provisions, and carrying them to the tank, where they were more conveniently lodged, yet still among the tombs. At length the governor appointed them better lodgings, at a small aldea two coss from Surat; and with much difficulty I obtained leave for Mr Rivet, Mr Jordan, and the surgeon to come to Surat, to provide necessaries for the rest. I had other trouble, occasioned by the disorderly and riotous conduct of some of the Ascension's people; more especially owing to one William Tucker, who when in liquor killed a calf, a crime held worse than murdering a man among the Banians. I was therefore glad of their departure for Agra, except fifteen who were sick and unwilling to go so far, and some who returned again.
[Footnote 227: Gundavee, a small river about 20 miles south of the Taptee, or river of Surat.—E.]
[Footnote 228: Small cannon of about two libs, ball—E.]
The 6th of October, came letters from Mr Hawkins, informing us that he had married an Armenian woman; and other letters at the end of next month, desiring me to go up to Agra. In December we were in much fear of Badur, a descendant of the Kings of Cambaya, who lay within two days march of Surat, with 600 horse and many foot. Owing to this, the governor cessed all the inhabitants according to their abilities, with the lodgement and entertainment of soldiers, rating me at ten men. I went immediately to wait upon him, and told him that I had twenty English at his service, for which he thanked me, and freed me of all farther charges. The Banians were forced to labour hard to barricade all the streets of the city, great guards were stationed at the gates, and some cannon were drawn from the castle. A reinforcement of fifty horse was sent from the garrison of Carode, which had been very insufficient to protect the town; but the governor of Ahmedabad sent 1000 horse and 2000 foot to our succour, on which Badur withdrew to his strong-holds. Two years before our arrival, this chief had sacked Cambay, of which his grandfather had been king. The 18th January, 1610, I went from Surat on my way to Agra; but it is proper I should give here some account of Surat.
[Footnote 229: Currode is a small place about 12 miles S.S.E. from Surat.—E.]
This city stands about twenty miles from the sea, on the bank of a fair river, [the Taptee,] and is of considerable size, with many good houses belonging to merchants. About three miles from the mouth of the river, where on the south side is a small low island overflowed in the rainy season, is the bar where ships load and unload, having three fathoms water at spring tides; and above this is a fair channel all the way to the city, capable of receiving loaded vessels of fifty tons. This river extends upwards to beyond Bramport, [Boorhanpoor;] and from thence, as some say, all the way to Mussel Patem. In coming up the river, the castle of Surat is on the right hand or south side of the river, being moderately large, handsome, well walled, and surrounded by a ditch. The ramparts are provided with many good cannons, some of which are of vast size. It has one gate on the inland side with a draw-bridge, and a small postern to the river. The captain of this castle has a garrison of 200 horse. In front of the castle is the Medon, [Meidan, or esplanade,] being a pleasant green, having a may-pole in the middle, on which they hang a light and other decorations on great festivals. On this side, the city of Surat is open to the green, but is fenced on all other sides by a ditch and thick hedges, having three gates, one of which leads to Variaw, a small village at the ford of the Taptee leading to Cambay. Near this village on the left hand is a small aldea, pleasantly situated on the bank of the river, where is a great pagoda much resorted to by the Indians. A second gate leads to Boorbanpoor; and a third to Nonsary, a town ten coss from Surat, where much calico is manufactured, standing near a fine stream or small river. About ten coss farther in the same direction is Gondoree, [Gundavee,] and a little further Belsaca, [Bulsaur,] the frontier town towards Damaun. Just without Nunsary gate is a handsome tank of sixteen sides, surrounded on all sides by stone steps, three quarters of an English mile in circuit, and having a small house in the middle. On the farther side of this tank are several fine tombs with a handsome paved court, behind which is a small grove of Mango trees, to which the citizens resort to banquet. About half a coss beyond this, is a great tree much venerated by the Banians, who alledge that it is under the protection of a dew, or guardian spirit, and that although often cut down and grubbed up from the roots by order of the Moors, it has yet constantly sprung up again.
[Footnote 230: This depth probably refers to the anchorage below the bar.—E.]
[Footnote 231: Masulipatam, or, more correctly, Mutshelipatnam, is at the mouth of the Kistna, on the opposite coast of India.—E.]
[Footnote 232: Nunsary is a small river, with a town of the same name, 16 or 18 miles south of the Taptee.—E.]
Near the castle of Surat is the Alphandica, where are stairs down to the river for landing and shipping goods, and within the alphandica are store-rooms for keeping goods till they are cleared; the customs being two and a half per centum for goods, three for provisions, and two for money. Without the gate of the alphandica is the great Gondoree or Bazar, being the market-place for all kinds of merchandize. Right before this gate is a tree with an arbour, where the fokeers, [faquiers,] or Indian holy men, sit in state. Between this and the castle, at the entrance of the green, or atmeidan, is the market for horses and cattle. A little lower, and on the opposite side of the river, is a pleasant small town named Ranele, inhabited by a people called Naites, who speak a different language, and are mostly seamen. The streets of this town are narrow, with good houses, each of which has a high flight of steps to its door. The people are very friendly to the English, and have many pleasant gardens, which attract many to pass much of their time there. On the trees round this village there are an infinite number of those great bats we saw at St Augustine in Madagascar, which hang by their claws from the boughs, and make a shrill noise. This bird is said by the people to engender by the ear, and to give suck to their young.
The winter begins here about the 1st of June, and continues till the 20th September, but not with continual rains as at Goa; having only heavy rain for six or seven days every full and change of the moon, with much wind, thunder and lightning. At the breaking up of the winter, there is always a cruel storm, called tuffoon, fearful even to men on land. This is not equally severe every year, but once in two or three years at the most. The monsoons, or periodical winds, serve here for going to the south in April and September, and for Mocha in February and March. From the south, ships come here in December, January, and February, and from Mocha about the 5th September, after the rains. From Ormus they sail for the coast of India in November: But none dare pass without a licence of the Portuguese, for which they exact whatever they think proper, erecting, by their own authority, a custom-house on the seas, confiscating both ship and goods to the taker, if they do not produce a regular pass.
Sec. 4. Journey to Agra, and Observations by the Way; with some Notices of the Deccan Wars.
The 18th January, 1610, I departed from Comuariaw, or Cumraie, a small village 3 coss from Surat, to Mutta, a great aldea, 7 coss. The 21st to Carode, 8 coss, a large country town, having the Surat river on the north. This place has a castle, with a garrison of 200 Patan horse, who are good soldiers. The 22d to Curka, 12 c. a great village with a river on its south side. In the way between Carode and Curka, or Kirkwah, is Beca, or Behara, a castle with a great tank and a pleasant grove. 23d to Necampore, a large town under the Pectopshaw, 10 c. In this way begins a great ridge of mountains on the right hand, reaching towards Ahmedabad, among which Badur occupies several strong-holds, which all the force of the king of the Moguls has not been able to reduce. These mountains extend to Boorhanpoor, and on them breed many wild elephants. The 24th to Dayta, 8 c. a great town, having to pass in the midway a troublesome stony rivulet. This town has a castle, and is almost encompassed by a river, being situated in a fertile soil. The 25th to Badur, 10 c. a filthy town full of thieves, where is made a kind of wine of a sweet fruit called mewa, but I found it unwholesome except it be burnt.
[Footnote 233: In this journal, conjectural emendations of names from Arrowsmith's excellent map of India, are given in the text as synonima, to avoid perpetual notes; and the distances are always to be understood as cosses, given exactly as in the original, without correction. It must, however, be noticed that the names in the text are often so corrupt, or different from those now in use, that it is often impossible to trace the route.—E.]
[Footnote 234: The Vindhaya mountains are obviously here meant; but they are on the left hand of the route between Surat and Boorhanpoor.—E.]
This is the last town of note in the land of Pectopshaw, who is a small king or rajah of the Gentiles, keeping on the tops of inaccessible mountains, which begin at Curka, and extend to many cosses distance. He holds possession of two fair cities, Salere and Muliere, where the mamudies are coined. Each of these towns has two mighty castles, the roads to which only admit of two men abreast, or an elephant at most; having also on the way eighty small fortresses dispersed among the mountains to guard the passage. On the tops of these mountains there is good pasture and abundance of grain, with numerous fountains or streams, which run thence into the plains. Akbar besieged him for seven years, and was in the end obliged to compound with him, giving him Narampore Dayta and Badur, with several other aldeas, for safely conducting his merchants along this plain; so that he is now in peace with the king, to whom he sends presents yearly, and leaves one of his sons in Boorhanpoor as a pledge of his fealty. He is said to have always in readiness 4000 mares of an excellent breed, and 100 elephants.
Leaving Badur on the 26th, I went 7 coss to Nonderbar, or Nundabar, a city, short of which are many tombs and houses of pleasure, with a castle and a fair tank. The 27th to Lingull, 10 c. a beastly town, with thievish inhabitants, a dirty castle, and a deep sandy road near the town. 28th 10 c. to Sindkerry, or Sindkera, a great dirty town. On the way, the governor of Lingull, with others as honest as himself, would have borrowed some money of me; but finding I would only give him powder and shot, he desisted, and allowed our carts to pass without farther trouble. Beyond Sindkera runs a small river of brackish water, by drinking of which I got the bloody flux, which continued with me all the way to Boorhanpoor. The 29th 10 c. to Taulneere, or Talnere, a thievish road, but a fair town with a castle and river, which is not passable in the rains without a boat. The 30th 15 c. to Chupra, or Choprah, a great town. I rested here two days on account of the rains; in which time came the governor of Nundabar with 400 horse, without whose company I could not have continued my journey without danger, as Khan-Khana had been defeated and obliged to retire to Boorhanpoor, after losing the strong and rich town of Joulnapore, or Jalnapoor, on which the Deccaners became so insolent, that they made inroads as far as the Taptee, plundering many of the passengers.
[Footnote 235: The author seems not to have been aware that this was the Taptee, or river of Surat.—E.]
The 2d February we went 6 c. to Rawel, or Arawul, a country village, where unseasonable thunder, wind, and rain, combining with my disease, had nearly made an end of me, so that we made mukom, or halted, on the 3d and 4th. The 5th I went to Beawle, or Beawull, 10 c. a large town with a good castle. Next day we were again stopt by bad weather. The 7th, 16 c. to Ravere, a great town; and the 8th, 10 c. to Boorhanpoor, where I pitched my tent in a yard belonging to the Armenians, not being able to get a house for money, the city being so full of soldiers. About 2 c. short of Boorhanpoor is Babuderpoor a fair city; and between the two the army of Khan-Khana was encamped on the north side of the road, consisting of about 15,000 horse, 200 elephants, and 100 cannon of different sizes, the encampment extending two coss in length. Within twenty or thirty coss to the south, Amber chapon, an Abashed, who was general of the army of the king of Deccan, lay encamped at the head of 10,000 of his own cast, all brave soldiers, and about 40,000 Deccaners; so that the Moguls had certainly lost the city of Boorhanpoor, had not the prince Sultan Parvis with Rajah Mausing come down with great forces; as Amber chapon had sent to demand the surrender of Boorhanpoor, deeming that Khan-Khana was unable to hold it against him.
[Footnote 236: Assuredly meaning an Abyssinian.—E.]
Boorhanpoor is a very large but beastly city, situated in a low damp place, and consequently very unhealthy, which is farther augmented by the water being bad. The castle is on the N.E. of the city, on the banks of the river which runs by Surat. In the river beside the castle, there is an image of an elephant in stone, so naturally made, that an elephant one day, coming to the river to drink, ran against it with all his force, and broke both his teeth. The forehead of this image is painted red, and many simple Indians worship it. About two coss from the castle is a garden belonging to Khan-Khana, called the Loll baug, all the way between being pleasantly shaded by rows of trees. The garden has many fine walks, with a beautiful small tank shaded by trees; and at the entrance is a fine lofty banqueting-house, likewise among trees.
I rested till the 12th under my tent, for the recovery of my health, which God was pleased to grant. Two days after my arrival, news came that Ravere and other neighbouring places had been sacked by 1500 Deccan horse, so that we were thankful to God for our safe arrival, as the way was not now passable for 1000 horse. I was here informed, by letters from an Armenian, of a prodigious disaster sustained by the Portuguese armada on the Malabar coast, consisting of fifty frigates or grabs, and two gallies, which being dispersed by a storm, was suddenly assailed by the Malabar pirates issuing from many creeks, who took many of their fleet and burnt most of the rest. On the 12th I rode out to visit the prince, and on the 13th I made him a present. He received me very courteously, and promised me every thing I asked. The prince was attended by 20,000 horse and 300 elephants; having along with him Asaph Khan with about 3000, and Emersee Rastein, late King of Candahar, with some thousand veterans. While I remained in the camp, Rajah Mansing joined with 10,000 horse, all Rajaputs, and near 1000 elephants; so that all the plains for a vast distance were covered with tents, making a most splendid appearance. Along with the army were many large boats, for transporting the troops across large rivers. On the prince removing, I returned to Boorhanpoor; and as he advanced three coss towards the enemy, I went on the 26th to take my leave, when news were brought of the defeat of some of Rajah Mansing's troops.
The 1st of March I departed for Agra along with the governor of Boorhanpoor and that day we travelled 12 c. to Barre, a great village, having passed by a very steep and stony road across the great ridge of mountains, [Callygong hills,] which come from Ahmedabad. On this way, and about four coss from Boorhanpoor, we passed the strong and invincible castle of Hasser, seated on the top of a high mountain, and said to be large enough to contain forty or fifty thousand horse. On the top are many tanks and fine pasture grounds. In the time of its former sovereign, Badur Shah, it is said to have been defended by 600 pieces of cannon. Akbar besieged it for a long time, surrounding it on all sides, and at length took it by composition. For it is said there bred such innumerable quantities of small worms in the waters of the fort, that the people swelled and burst, by which mortality the king was forced to submit and surrender, the place being impregnable by any human force. The 3d we came to Candah, eleven c. a small aldea, the road being stony and very troublesome. The 4th to Magergom, four c. a large aldea, and by a very bad road. The 5th ten c. to Kergom, or Kargaw, a large village and a steep road. The 6th thirteen c. to Bircool, a small village. The 7th eight c. to Taxapore, or Tarrapoor, a small town, within two coss of which we passed a fine river called Nervor, [Nerbuddah,] which runs into the sea at Broach. On the bank of this river is a pretty town with a good castle, immediately under which is the ferry. About a coss lower down is an overfall where the water is not above three feet deep, but a mile in breadth, by which camels usually pass. The 8th five c. to Mandow, three coss of which the road goes up a steep mountain, having no more than breadth for a coach.
[Footnote 237: This is an error of Finch. The Vindhaya mountains, which run from Guzerat eastwards, are on the north of the Nerbuddah river; whereas the mountain ridge in the text divides the valley of the Nerbuddah from that of the Taptee, and joins the western Gauts near Surat.—E.]
This ridge of mountains, [the Vindhaya,] extends E. and W. On the top, and at the very edge of the table land, stands the gate of the city, over which is built a handsome fort and pleasure-house. The walls extend all along the side of the mountain for many cosses. On the left hand of the entrance, at two or three miles distance from the gate, is a strong fort on the top of a pointed mountain, and some ten or twelve more dispersed in other places. For two coss or better within the outer gate, this city is all ruined, except many tombs and mosques which yet remain, interspersed among the tottering walls of many large houses. The old city of Mandow is four coss from the S. to the N. gate, and measures ten or twelve coss from east to west, beyond which to the east are good pasture grounds for many cosses. On the top of the mountain are some fifteen or sixteen tanks, dispersed about the city. What still remains of this city is very well built, but small in comparison with its former greatness, yet has many goodly buildings, all of stone, and very lofty gates, the like of which, I believe, is not to be seen in Christendom. At the entrance on the south, within the gate of the city now inhabited, as you pass along, there stands a goodly mosque on the left hand, and over against it a splendid sepulchre, in which are interred the bodies of four kings in exceedingly rich tombs. By the side of which stands a high tower of 170 steps in height, built round with windows and galleries to each room, with many fine arches and pillars, the walls being all inlaid in a most beautiful manner with green marble or some other rich stone. On the north side, where we came forth from this city; there lay a cannon, the bore of which was eighteen inches diameter. The gate is very strong, having six others within, all very strong, with large walled courts of guard between gate and gate. All along the side of the mountains runs a strong wall, with turrets or flankers at intervals, although the hill is so steep in itself that it is hardly possible for a man to creep upon all fours in any part of it, so that it appears absolutely impregnable; yet was taken, partly by force and partly by treason, by Humaion, grandfather of the present Great Mogul, from Sheic Shah Selim, whose ancestors conquered it from the Indians about 400 years ago. This Shah Selim was a powerful King of Delhi, who once forced Humaion to flee into Persia for aid; and, returning from Persia, put Selim to the worst, yet was unable to conquer him. He even held out during the whole reign of Akbar, keeping upon the mountains. Beyond the walls, the suburbs formerly extended four coss to the north, but are now all in ruins, except a few tombs, mosques, and goodly serais, in which no persons now dwell.
[Footnote 238: The original says N.E. and S.W. but in our best and latest map of Hindoostan, the direction is nearly E. and W. or perhaps E. by N. and W. by S.—E.]
The 9th we went four coss by a very bad stony road to Luneheira. Between this and the ruins, at three c. from Mandow, is a fine tank inclosed with stone, having a banqueting-house in the middle, and a fair house on the south side, now in ruins, from which to the banqueting-house is an arched bridge. The 10th to Dupalpore, fourteen c. a small town and the road good. The 11th twelve long cosses to Ouglue, or Oojain, a fair city, in the country called Malwah, a fertile soil abounding with opium. In this country the coss is two English miles. We halted the 12th. The 13th to Conoscia eleven c. 14th, eight c. to Sunenarra, or Sannarea, by a bad stony way, among a thievish people, called graciae, inhabiting the Hills on our left hand, who often plunder the caffilas, or caravans, and a hundred of them had done so now to a caravan, if we had not prevented them by our arrival. This is a small town, short of which we passed a great tank full of wild fowl. The 15th ten c. to Pimelegom, a shabby aldea. At the end of the fourth coss we passed Sarampore, or Sarangpoor, a great town with a castle on its south side, and a handsome town-house. Here are manufactured much good cotton cloth and handsome turbans. Short of this town we met Khan Jehan, a great favourite of the king, with 10,000 horse, many elephants, and a number of boats, going to join the army at Boorhanpoor. On the way also we met many of Rajah Mansing's Rajapoots, he having in all about 20,000, so that it was thought the army would amount to 100,000 horse when all assembled.
From the 16th to the 26th of March, we travelled 74 coss to Qualeres, or Colarass, a small pretty town, encompassed with tamarind and mango trees. The 27th to Cipry, or Shepoory, seven Surat cosses of a mile and a half each, by a desert road. Two nights before, some sixty or seventy thieves assailed in the dark a party of 150 Patan soldiers, mistaking them for a caffila that had just gone before, by whom ten of them were slain and as many taken, the rest escaping in the dark. The 28th to Narwar twelve c. through a rascally desert full of thieves. In the woods we saw many chuckees, stationed there to prevent robbery; but they alledge that the fox is oft times set to herd the geese. This town stands at the foot of a steep stony mountain, and on the top is a castle having a steep ascent rather more than a mile, which is intersected by three strong gates. The fourth gate is at the top of the ascent, where no one is allowed to enter without an order from the king. Within, the town is large and handsome, being situated in a curious valley on the top of the mountain. This fortified summit is said to be five or six coss in circuit, walled all round, and having towers and flankers every here and there, so that it is impregnable unless by treachery. This was formerly the gate or barrier of the kingdom of Mandow, and has been very beautiful, and secured by means of strong works with abundance of cannon, but is now much gone to ruin.
[Footnote 239: It has been thought better to omit the minute enumeration of stages in the sequel, where no other information occurs; more especially as their names can seldom be referred to those in modern maps of India.—E.]
The 29th we went seven c. to Palacha, or Pelaiche; 80th, twelve c. to Antro, or Anter; 31st, six c. to Gualior, a pleasant city with castle; and on the top of a pyramidal hill, is a ruined building in which several great men have been interred. The castle of Gualior is on the west side of the town, on a steep craggy cliff, six coss in circuit, or, as some say, eleven, which is all enclosed with a strong wall. On going up to the castle from the city, the entry is by a strong gate into a handsome court enclosed with strong walls, where a numerous guard is always kept, no person being allowed to enter without a public order. From thence a narrow stone causeway leads to the top, with walls on both sides, having three gates at intervals on the ascent, all strongly fortified, with courts of guard at each. At the top of all is another strong gate, at which is a curious colossal figure of an elephant in stone. This gate is highly ornamented, and has a stately house adjoining, the walls of which are curiously adorned with green and blue stones, and the roof with sundry gilded turrets. This is the house of the governor, in which is a place for the confinement of nobles who have fallen under the displeasure of the King of the Moguls. He is said to have two other castles devoted as prisons for the nobles. Rantipore, or Rantampoor, is one of these, forty c to the W. to which are sent such nobles as are intended to be put to death, which is generally done two months after their arrival; when the governor brings them to the top of the wall, and giving them a bowl of milk, causes them to be thrown over the rocks. The other is Rotas, in Bengal, to which are sent those nobles who are condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and from whence very few return. On the top of the mountain of Gualior is a considerable extent of very good ground, with many fair buildings, and three or four good tanks or reservoirs of water. Below, on the same side with the town, there are many houses cut out of the solid rock, serving both as habitations, and as shops and warehouses; and at the foot of the hill on the north-west side, is a spacious park inclosed with a stone wall, within which are several fine gardens and pleasure-houses, and which is also useful for securing horses in time of war from marauders. This castle of Gualior was the main frontier of the kingdom of Delhi towards Mandow, and the ascent from the petah, or town, to the top of the rock, is near a mile.
Leaving Gualior on the 1st April, 1610, we arrived at Doolpoor on the 2d, being nineteen c. Within two c. before reaching that place, we passed a fine river, called the Cambue, or Chumbull, as broad as the Thames, a little short of which we went through a narrow and dangerous pass between two hills. The castle of Doolpoor is very strong, having four walls within each other, with steep ascents to each, the outermost having a deep and broad ditch. This castle is three quarters of a mile through, and has similar walls and gates to be passed on going out Its inhabitants are mostly Gentiles. The 3d April we went to Jahjaw, nine c. and next day other nine c. to Agra. In the afternoon the captain carried me before the king, where I found Mr Thomas Boys, three French soldiers, a Dutch engineer, and a Venetian merchant, with his son and servant, all newly come by land from Christendom.
In May and part of June, the city of Agra was much distressed with frequent fires by day and night, some part or other of the city being almost ever burning, by which many thousand houses were consumed, with great numbers of men, women, children, and cattle, so that we feared the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah had gone forth against the place. I was long and dangerously ill of a fever, and in June the heat was so excessive that we thought to have been broiled alive. The 28th June arrived Padre Peneiro, an arch knave, a jesuit I should say, who brought letters from the Portuguese viceroy with many rich presents, tending entirely to thwart our affairs. In this time Mucrob Khan was complained against to the king by our captain, Mr Hawkins, when Abdal Hassan, the grand vizier, was ordered to see that we had justice: But birds of a feather flock together, and Mucrob Khan, partly by misstatements and partly by turning us over to a bankrupt banyan, would only pay us with 11,000 mamudies instead of 32,501-1/2 which he was due, and even that was not paid for a long time.
[Footnote 240: Finch uniformly calls this person Mo. Bowcan, but we have substituted the name previously given him by Hawkins.—E.]
In July news came of the bad fortune of the king's army in the Deccan; which, when within four days march of Aumednagur, hoping to raise the siege of that place, was obliged by famine and drought to retreat to Boorhanpoor, on which the garrison was forced to surrender after enduring much misery. The royal army in the Deccan consisted of at least 100,000 horse, with an infinite number of elephants and camels; so that, including servants, people belonging to the baggage, and camp followers of all kinds, there could not be less than half a million, or 600,000 persons in the field. The water in the country where they were, became quite insufficient for the consumption of so vast a multitude, with all their horses, elephants, camels, and draught cattle, insomuch that a mussock of water was sold in camp for a rupee, and all kinds of victuals were sold excessively dear. The army of the King of Deccan spoiled the whole country around, and getting between the Moguls and their supplies from Guzerat and Boorhanpoor, prevented the arrival of any provisions at the camp, daily vexing them with perpetual and successful skirmishes, and by cutting off all foraging parties and detachments; so that the whole army was in imminent danger, and was only extricated by a speedy retreat to Boorhanpoor; at their return to which they did not muster above 30,000 horse, having lost an infinite number of elephants, camels, and other cattle, that had died for want of forage and water.
This month also, news came of the sacking of a great city called Putana in the Purrop, and the surprisal of its castle, where a considerable treasure belonging to the king was deposited, the citizens having fled without making any resistance. But the successful insurgent was almost immediately besieged and taken in the castle by a neighbouring great omrah; and on the return of the fugitive citizens, he sent twelve of their chiefs to the king, who caused them to be shaven, and to be carried on asses through the streets of Agra in the garb of women, and it is said that next day they were beheaded.
[Footnote 241: This name and province are difficultly ascertainable. The Purrop has possibly a reference to the kingdom of Porub, the Indian name of Porus, so celebrated in the invasion of India by Alexander. If this conjecture be right, the Potana of the text was Pattan or Puttan, in the north of Guzerat, the ancient Naherwalch.—E.]
Likewise this same month, the king made a great stir about Christianity, affirming before his nobles that it was the true religion, while that of Mahomet was all lies and fables. He had ordered all the three sons of his deceased brother to be instructed by the jesuits, and christian apparel to be given them, to the great wonderment of the whole city; and finally these princes were baptized solemnly, being conducted to the church by all the Christians in the city, to the number of about sixty horse, Captain Hawkins being at their head, with St George's ensign carried before him, in honour of England, displaying them in the court in the presence of the king. The eldest was named Don Philippo, the second Don Carlo, and the third Don Henrico. On the 3d September following, another young prince was christened by the name of Don Duarte, being grandson to a brother of the Emperor Akbar. This king gave frequent charges to the fathers to instruct all these princes in the Christian religion; yet all this has since clearly appeared to have been mere dissimulation.
[Footnote 242: It is possible that Selim, unwilling to put to death such near relations, fell upon this device to render them ineligible among the Moguls to the succession, by which to secure the throne to himself and his sons.—E.]
Sec. 5. Description of Futtipoor, Biana, &c.; of Nill, or Indigo; and of other Matters.
The 1st of November I was sent to Biana to buy nill, or indigo. I lodged the first night at Menhapoor, a great serai or public inn, seven c. from Agra, near which the queenmother has a garden, and Moholl, or summer-house, very curiously contrived. The 2d I halted at Kanowa, or Kanua, eleven c. At every coss from Agra to Ajmeer, 130 coss, there is erected a stone pillar, owing to the following circumstance. At Ajmeer is the tomb of a celebrated Mahometan saint, called Haji Mondee; and as Akbar had no children, he made a pilgrimage on foot to that famous shrine, ordering a stone pillar to be erected at every coss, and a Moholl, with lodgings for sixteen of his principal women, at the end of every eight coss; and after his return he had three sons.
At twelve coss from Agra, on this road, is the famous city of Futtipoor, built by Akbar, and inclosed by a fair stone wall, still quite fresh, having four great gates, some three English miles between each. Within the walls, the whole extent of the city lies waste like a desert and uninhabited, being very dangerous to pass through in the night time. Much of the ground is now occupied as gardens, and much of it is sown with nill, or different kinds of grain, so that, one could hardly suppose he were in the middle of what was so lately a great and populous city. Before the gate towards Agra, in a stony ascent near a coss in length, are the ruins of an extensive suburb. At the S.W. gate, for two English miles from the city, there are ruins of many fine buildings; and on the left are many fine walled gardens, to the distance of three miles from the city. At the entrance of the N.E. gate is a goodly bazar, or market, all of stone, being a spacious straight-lined and paved street, with handsome houses on both sides, half a mile long. Close, within the gate is the king's serai, consisting of extensive stone buildings, but much ruined. At the head of this street stands the king's house, or Moholl, with much curious building; beyond which, on an ascent, is the goodliest mosque in all the east. It has a flight of some twenty-four or thirty steps to the gate, which is, in my opinion, one of the loftiest and handsomest in the world, having a great number of clustering pyramids on the top, very curiously disposed. The top of this gate may be distinctly seen from the distance of eight or ten miles. Within the gate, is a spacious court curiously paved with stone, about six times the size of the exchange of London, with a fine covered walk along the sides, more than twice as broad and double the height of those in our London exchange, supported by numerous pillars all of one stone; and all round about are entrances into numerous rooms, very ingeniously contrived. Opposite the grand gate stands a fair and sumptuous tomb, most artificially inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and inclosed by a stone ballustrade curiously carved; the ceiling being curiously plastered and painted. In this tomb is deposited the body of a calender, or Mahometan devotee, at whose cost the whole of this splendid mosque was built. Under the court-yard is a goodly tank of excellent water; none other being to be had in the whole extent of the city, except brackish and corroding, by the use of which so great a mortality was occasioned among the inhabitants of this city, that Akbar left it before it was quite finished, and removed his seat of empire to Agra, so that this splendid city was built and ruined in the space of fifty or sixty years.
The name of this place at first was Sykary, signifying seeking or hunting: But on his return from his pilgrimage to Ajmeer, and the subsequent birth of his son Selim, the present emperor, Akbar, changed its name to Futtipoor, or the city of content, or heart's desire obtained. Without the walls, on the N.N.W. side of the city, there is a goodly lake of two or three coss in length, abounding with excellent fish and wild-fowl; all over which grows the herb producing the hermodactyle, and another bearing a fruit like a goblet, called camolachachery, both very cooling fruits. The herb which produces the hermodactyle, is a weed abounding in most tanks near Agra, which spreads over the whole surface of the water. I did not observe its leaf; but the fruit is enclosed in a three-cornered hard woody shell, having at each angle a sharp prickle, and is a little indented on the flat sides, like two posterns or little doors. The fruit while green is soft and tender, and of a mealy taste, and is much eaten in India; but, in my opinion, it is exceedingly cold on the stomach, as I always after eating it was inclined to take spirits. It is called Singarra. The camolachachery, or other fruit resembling a goblet, is flat on the top, of a soft greenish substance, within which, a little eminent, stand six or eight fruits like acorns, divided from each other, and enclosed in a whitish film, at first of a russet green, having the taste of nuts or acorns, and in the midst is a small green sprig, not fit to be eaten.
Canua is a small country town, eighteen c. from Agra, W. by S. around which very good indigo is made, owing to the strength of the soil and brackishness of the water. It makes yearly about 500 M. Ouchen, three c. distant, makes very good indigo; besides which no town but Biana is comparable to Canua. The country which produces the excellent indigo, which takes its name from Biana, is not more than twenty or thirty coss long. The herb nill, from which indigo is made, grows in form not much unlike chives or chick-pease, having a small leaf like that of senna, but shorter and broader, set on very short foot-stalks. The branches are hard and woody, like those of broom. The whole plant seldom exceeds a yard high, and its stem, at the biggest in the third year, does not much exceed the size of a man's thumb. The seed is enclosed in a small pod about an inch long, and resembles fenugreek, only that it is blunter at both ends, as if cut off with a knife. The flower is small, and like hearts-ease. The seed is ripe in November, and is then gathered. When sown, the herb continues three years on the ground, and is cut every year in August or September, after the rains. The herb of the first year is tender, and from it is made notee, which is a heavy reddish indigo, which sinks in water, not being come to perfection. That made from the plant of the second year, called cyree, is rich, very light, of a perfect violet colour, and swims in water. In the third year the herb is declining, and the indigo it then produces, called catteld, is blackish and heavy, being the worst of the three. When the herb is cut, it is thrown into a long cistern, where it is pressed down by many stones, and the water is then let in so as to cover it all over. It remains thus certain days, till all the substance of the herb is dissolved in the water. The water is then run off into another cistern which is round, having another small cistern in the centre. It is here laboured or beaten with great staves, like batter or white starch, when it is allowed to settle, and the clear water on the top is scummed off. It is then beaten again, and again allowed to settle, drawing off the clear water; and these alternate beatings, settlings, and drawing off the clear water, are repeated, till nothing remain but a thick substance. This is taken out and spread on cloths in the sun, till it hardens to some consistence, when it is made up by hand into small balls, laid to dry on the sand, as any other thing would drink up the colour, and which is the cause of every ball having a sandy foot. Should rain fall while in this situation, the indigo loses its colour and gloss, and is called aliad. Some deceitfully mix the crops of all the three years, steeping them together, which fraud is hard to be discovered, but is very knavish. Four things are required in good indigo; a pure grain, a violet colour, a gloss in the sun, and that it be light and dry, so that either swimming in water or burning in the fire it casts forth a pure light violet vapour, leaving few ashes.
[Footnote 243: The meaning of this quantity is quite unintelligible; but may possibly mean 500 maunds.—E.]
The king's manner of hunting is thus. About the beginning of November, he goes from Agra accompanied by many thousands, and hunts all the country for thirty or forty coss round about, and so continues till the end of March, when the great heats drive him home again. He causes a tract of wood or desert to be encompassed about by chosen men, who contract themselves to a near compass, and whatever is taken in this enclosure, is called the king's sykar, or game, whether men! or beasts, and who ever lets aught escape loses his life, unless pardoned by the king. All the beasts thus taken, if man's meat, are sold, and the money given to the poor: If men, they become the king's slaves, and are sent yearly to Cabul, to be bartered for horses and dogs; these being poor miserable and thievish people, who live in the woods and deserts, differing little from beasts. One day while the king was hunting, about the 6th January, 1611, he was assaulted by a lion which he had wounded with his matchlock. The ferocious animal came upon him with such sudden violence, that he had in all probability been destroyed, had not a Rajaput captain interposed, just as the enraged animal had ramped against the king, thrusting his arm into the lion's mouth. In this struggle, Sultan Chorem, Rajah Ranidas, and others, came up and slew the lion, the Rajaput captain, who was tutor to the lately baptized princes, having first received thirty-two wounds in defence of the king; who took him into his own palanquin, and with his own hands wiped away the blood and bound up his wounds, making him an omrah of 3000 horse, in recompence of his valorous loyalty.
[Footnote 244: The lion of these early travellers in India was almost certainly the tyger.—E.]
This month of January 1611, the king was providing more forces for the Deccan war, although the king of that country offered to restore all his conquests as the price of peace. Azam Khan was appointed general, who went off at the head of 20,000 horse, with whom went Mohabet Khan, another great captain, together with a vast treasure. With these forces went John Frenchman and Charles Charke, engaged in the king's service for these wars.
[Footnote 245: This Charles Charke I have spoken with since in London, after having served several years in India.—Purch.]
The 9th January, 1611, I departed from Agra for Lahore, to recover some debts, and carried with me twelve carts laden with indigo, in hopes of a good price. In seven days journey, I arrived at Delhi, eighty-one coss from Agra. On the left hand is seen the ruins of old Delhi, called the Seven Castles and Fifty-two Gates, now only inhabited by Gogars, or cattle herds. A short way from Delhi is a stone bridge of eleven arches, over a branch of the Jumna, whence a broad way, shaded on each side with great trees, leads to the tomb of Humaion, grandfather of the present king. In a large room spread with rich carpets, this tomb is covered by a pure white sheet, and has over it a rich semiane, or canopy. In front are certain books on small tressels, beside which stand his sword, turban, and shoes; and at the entrance are the tombs of his wives and daughters. Beyond this, under a similar shaded road, you come to the king's house and moholl, now ruinous. The city is two coss in extent, between gate and gate, being surrounded by a wall which has been strong, but is now ruinous, as are many goodly houses. Within and around the city, are the tombs of twenty Patan kings, all very fair and stately. All the kings of India are here crowned, otherwise they are held usurpers. Delhi is situated in a fine plain; and about two coss from thence are the ruins of a hunting seat, or mole, built by Sultan Bemsa, a great Indian sovereign. It still contains much curious stone-work; and above all the rest is seen a stone pillar, which, after passing through three several stories, rises twenty-four feet above them all, having on the top a globe, surmounted by a crescent. It is said that this stone stands as much below in the earth as it rises above, and is placed below in water, being all one stone. Some say Naserdengady, a Patan king, wanted to take it up, but was prevented by a multitude of scorpions. It has inscriptions. In divers parts of India the like are to be seen.
[Footnote 246: It has not been deemed necessary to retain the itinerary of this journey, consisting of a long enumeration of the several stages and distances, the names of which are often unintelligible. Any circumstances of importance are however retained.—E.]
[Footnote 247: There are said to be four Delhis within five coss. The oldest was built by Rase; who, by advice of his magicians, tried the ground by driving an iron stake, which came up bloody, having wounded a snake. This the ponde or magician said was a fortunate sign. The last of this race was Rase Pethory; who, after seven times taking a Patan king, was at last by him taken and slain. He began the Patan kingdom of Delhi. The Patans came from the mountains between Candahar and Cabul. The second Delhi was built by Togall Shah, a Patan king. The third was of little note. The fourth by Sher-shah-selim, and in it is the tomb of Humaion.—Purchas.]
[Footnote 248: Purchas alleges that these inscriptions are in Greek and Hebrew and that some affirm it was erected by Alexander the Great—E.]
It is remarkable, that the quarries of India, and especially those near Futtipoor, are of such a nature that the rock may be cleft like logs, and sawn like planks of great length and breadth, so as to form the ceilings of rooms and the roofs of houses. From this monument, which is two coss from Delhi, there is said to be a subterraneous passage all the way to Delhi castle. This place is now all in ruins, and abounds in deer. From Delhi, in nine stages, I reached Sirinam, or Sirhind, where is a fair tank with a pleasure-house in the middle, to which leads a stone bridge of fifteen arches. From thence is a canal to a royal garden, at the distance of a coss, with a paved road forty feet broad, overshaded by trees on both sides. This garden is square, each side a coss or more in length, enclosed with a brick wall, richly planted with all kinds of fruits and flowers, and was rented, as I was told, at 40,000 rupees. It is crossed by two main walks forty feet broad, raised on mounds eight feet high, having water in the middle in stone channels, and thickly planted on both sides with cypress trees. At the crossing of these walks is an octagon moholl, with eight chambers for women, and a fair tank in the middle, over which are other eight rooms, with fair galleries all round. The whole of this building is of stone, curiously wrought, with much fine painting, rich carving, and stucco work, and splendid gilding. On two sides are two other fine tanks, in the midst of a fair stone chounter? planted round with cypress trees; and at a little distance is another moholl, but not so curious.
From Sirhind, in five stages, making forty-eight coss, I came to a serai called Fetipoor, built by the present king Shah Selim, in memory of the overthrow of his eldest son, Sultan Cussero, on the following occasion. On some disgust, Shah Selim took up arms in the life of his father Akbar, and fled into Purrop, where he kept the strong castle of Alobasse, but came in and submitted about three months before his father's death. Akbar had disinherited Selim for his rebellion, giving the kingdom to Sultan Cussero, Selim's eldest son. But after the death of Akbar, Selim, by means of his friends, got possession of the castle and treasure. Cussero fled to Lahore, where he raised about 12,000 horse, all good Mogul soldiers, and getting possession of the suburbs, was then proclaimed king, while his father was proclaimed in the castle. After twelve days came Melek Ali the Cutwall against him, beating the king's drums, though Selim was some twenty coss in the rear; and giving a brave assault, shouting God save King Selim, the prince's soldiers lost heart and fled, leaving only five attendants with the prince, who fled and got thirty coss beyond Lahore, in his way to Cabul. But having to pass a river, and offering gold mohors in payment of his passage, the boatman grew suspicious, leapt overboard in the middle of the river, and swam on shore, where he gave notice to the governor of a neighbouring town. Taking fifty horse with him, the governor came to the river side, where the boat still floated in the stream; and taking another boat, went and saluted Cussero by the title of King, dissemblingly offering his aid and inviting him to his house, where he made him prisoner, and sent immediate notice to the king, who sent to fetch him fettered on an elephant. From thence Selim proceeded to Cabul, punishing such as had joined in the revolt; and on his return with his son a prisoner, at this place, Fetipoor, where the battle was fought, as some say, he caused the eyes of Cussero to be burnt out with a glass, while others say he only caused him to be blindfolded with a napkin, tied behind and sealed with his own seal, which yet remains, and carried him prisoner to the castle of Agra. Along all the way from Agra to Cabul, the king ordered trees to be planted on both sides; and in remembrance of the exploit at this place, he caused it to be named Fetipoor, or Heart's Content, as the city formerly mentioned had been named by Akbar in memory of his birth.
[Footnote 249: Purrop, or Porub, has been formerly supposed the ancient kingdom of Porus in the Punjab, and Attobass, here called Alobasse, to have been Attock Benares—E.]
[Footnote 250: There are several places in India of this name, but that in the text at this place is not now to be found in our maps, on the road between Delhi and Lahore.—E.]
From hence I went to Lahore, twenty-nine coss, in three stages, arriving there on the 4th of February, 1611. The 28th there arrived here a Persian ambassador from Shah Abbas, by whom I learnt that the way to Candahar was now clear, having been impassable in consequence of the war occasioned by Gelole, a Turk, who had tied to Persia with 10,000 Turks, when, having got a jagheer on the frontiers, he endeavoured to make himself independent, but was overthrown, and lost his head.
Sec. 6. Description of Lahore, with other Observations.
Lahore is one of the greatest cities of the east, being near twenty-four coss in circuit, round which a great ditch is now digging, the king having commanded the whole city to be surrounded by a strong wall. In the time of the Patan empire of Delhi, Lahore was only a village, Mooltan being then a flourishing city, till Humaion thought proper to enlarge Lahore, which now, including its suburbs, is about six coss in extent. The castle or royal town is surrounded by a brick wall, which is entered by twelve handsome gates, three of which open to the banks of the river, and the other nine towards the land. The streets are well paved, and the inhabitants are mostly Banyan handicrafts, all white men of any note living in the suburbs. The buildings are fair and high of brick, with much curious carvings about the doors and windows; and most of the Gentiles have their house doors raised six or seven steps from the street, and of troublesome ascent, partly for greater security, and to prevent passengers from seeing into their houses. The castle is built on the S.E. bank of the Rauvee, a river that flows into the Indus, and down which many barges of sixty tons and upwards navigate to Tatta in Sindy, after the falling of the rains, being a voyage of about forty days, passing by Mooltan, Sidpoor, Backar, &c.
The river Rauvee comes from the N.E. and passing the north side of the city, runs W.S.W. to join the Indus. Within the castle is the king's palace, which is on the side towards the river, and is entered by the middle gate on that side, after entering which, you go into the palace by a strong gate on the left hand, and a musket-shot farther by a smaller gate, into a large square court, surrounded by atescanna, in which the king's guard keeps watch. Beyond this, and turning again to the left, you enter by another gate into an inner court, in which the king holds his durbar, or court, all round which are atescannas, in which the great men keep watch, and in the middle of the court is a high pole on which to hang a light. From thence you go up to a fair stone jounter, or small court, in the middle of which stands a fair devoncan, with two or three retiring rooms, in which the king usually spends the early part of the night, from eight to eleven o'clock. On the walls is the king's picture, sitting cross-legged on a chair of state, on his right hand Sultan Parvis, Sultan Chorem, and Sultan Timor, his sons; next whom are Shah Morat and Don Shah, his brothers, the three princes who were baptized being sons of this last. Next to them is the picture of Eemersee Sheriff, eldest brother to Khan Azam, with those of many of the principal people of the court. It is worthy likewise of notice, that in this hall are conspicuously placed the pictures of our Saviour and the Virgin Mary.
[Footnote 251: This unexplained word probably signifies a corridore, or covered gallery.—E.]
[Footnote 252: Perhaps a divan, or audience hall.—E.]
From this devoncan, or hall of audience, which is pleasantly situated, overlooking the river, passing a small gate to the west, you enter another small court, where is another open stone chounter to sit in, covered with rich semianes, or canopies. From hence you enter a gallery, at the end of which nest the river is a small window, from which the king looks forth at his dersanee, to behold the fights of wild beasts on a meadow beside the river. On the walls of this gallery are the pictures of the late Emperor Akbar, the present sovereign, and all his sons. At the end is a small devoncan, where the king usually sits, and behind it is his bed-chamber, and before it an open paved court, along the right-hand side of which is a small moholl of two stories, each containing eight fair chambers for several women, with galleries and windows looking both to the river and the court. All the doors of these chambers are made to be fastened on the outside, and not within. In the gallery, where the king usually sits, there are many pictures of angels, intermixed with those of banian dews, or devils rather, being of most ugly shapes, with long horns, staring eyes, shaggy hair, great paws and fangs, long tails, and other circumstances of horrible deformity, that I wonder the poor women are not frightened at them.
Returning to the former court, where the adees, or guards, keep watch, you enter by another gate into the new durbar, beyond which are several apartments, and a great square moholl, sufficient to lodge two hundred women in state, all having several apartments. From the same court of guard, passing right on, you enter another small paved court, and thence into another moholl, the stateliest of all, containing sixteen separate suites of large apartments, each having a devoncan, or hall, and several chambers, each lady having her tank, and enjoying a little separate world of pleasures and state to herself, all pleasantly situated, overlooking the river. Before the moholl appropriated to the mother of Sultan Cussero, is a high pole for carrying a light, as before the king, as she brought forth the emperor's first son and heir.
Before this gallery is a fair paved court, with stone gratings and windows along the water; beneath which is a pleasure garden; and behind are the king's principal lodgings, most sumptuously decorated, all the walls and ceilings being laid over with pure gold, and along the sides, about man's height, a great number of Venetian mirrors, about three feet asunder, and in threes over each other; and below are many pictures of the king's ancestors, as Akbar his father, Humaion his grandfather, Babur his great-grandfather, the first of the race who set foot on India, together with thirty of his nobles, all clad as calenders or fakiers. In that disguise Babur and his thirty nobles came to Delhi to the court of Secunder, then reigning, where Babur was discovered, yet dismissed under an oath not to attempt any hostilities during the life of Secunder, which he faithfully performed. On the death of Secunder, Babur sent his son Humaion against his successor Abram, from whom he conquered the whole kingdom. There afterwards arose a great captain, of the displaced royal family in Bengal, who fought a great battle against Humaion near the Ganges, and having defeated him, continued the pursuit till he took refuge in the dominions of Persia; where he procured new forces, under the command of Byram, father to the Khan Khana, and reconquered all, living afterwards in security. On the death of Humaion, Akbar was very young, and Byram Khan was left protector of the realm. When Akbar grew up, and assumed the reins of government, he cast off Byram, and is said to have made away with him, when on a roomery, or pilgrimage to Mecca. The son of Byram, Khan-khana, or khan of the khans, in conjunction with his friends and allies, is a great curb on Shah Selim, being able to bring into the field upwards of 100,000 horse. Shah Selim affirms himself to be the ninth in lineal male descent from Tamerlane, or Timur the Great, emperor of the Moguls.
[Footnote 253: We have here left out a farther description of the palace and other buildings at Lahore, which in fact convey little or no information.—E.]
The 17th of May came news that the Patan thieves had sacked the city of Cabul, having come suddenly against it from their mountains with 11,000 foot and 1000 horse, while the governor was absent on other affairs at Jalalabad, and the garrison so weak that it was only able to defend the castle. In six hours they plundered the city, and retired with their booty. For the better keeping these rebels in order, the king has established twenty-three omrahs between Lahore and Cabul, yet all will not do, as they often sally from their mountains, robbing caravans and plundering towns. The 18th of August, there arrived a great caravan from Persia, by whom we had news of the French king's death, from an Armenian who had been in the service of Mr Boys.
On the west side of the castle of Lahore is the ferry for crossing over the Rauvee on the way to Cabul, which is 271 cosses, and thence to Tartary and Cashgar. Cabul is a large and fair city, the first seat of the present king's great-grandfather Babur. At forty cosses beyond is Gorebond, or Gourhund, a great city bordering on Usbeck Tartary; and 150 coss from Cabul is Taul Caun, a city in Buddocsha, or Badakshan of Bucharia. From Cabul to Cashgar, with the caravan, it is two or three months journey, Cashgar being a great kingdom under the Tartars. A chief city of trade in that country is Yarcan, whence comes much silk, porcelain, musk, and rhubarb, with other commodities; all or most of which come from China, the gate or entrance into which is some two or three months farther. When the caravan comes to this entrance, it must remain under tents, sending by licence some ten or fifteen merchants at once to transact their business, on whose return as many more may be sent; but on no account can the whole caravan be permitted to enter at once.
From Lahore to Cashmere, the road goes first, part of the way to Cabul, to a town called Gojrat, forty-four coss; whence it turns north and somewhat easterly seventy coss, when it ascends a high mountain called Hast-caunk-gaut, on the top of which is a fine plain, after which is twelve coss through a goodly country to Cashmere, which is a strong city on the river Bebut, otherwise called the Ihylum, or Collumma. The country of Cashmere is a rich and fertile plain among the mountains, some 150 coss in length, and 50 broad, abounding in fruits, grain, and saffron, and having beautiful fair women. This country is cold, and subjected to great frosts and heavy falls of snow, being near to Cashgar, yet separated by such prodigious mountains that there is no passage for caravans. Much silk and other goods are however often brought this way by men, without the aid of animals, and the goods have in many places to be drawn up or let down over precipices by means of ropes. On these mountains dwells a small king called Tibbet, who lately sent one of his daughters to Shah Selim, by way of making affinity.
[Footnote 254: Little Thibet, a country hardly known in geography, is on the north-west of Cashmere, beyond the northern chain of the Vindhia mountains.—E.]
Nicholas Uphet, [or Ufflet] went from Agra to Surat by a different way from that by which I came, going by the mountains of Narwar, which extend to near Ahmedabad in Guzerat. Upon these mountains stands the impregnable castle of Gur Chitto, or Chitore, the chief seat of the Ranna, a very powerful rajah, whom neither the Patans, nor Akbar himself, was ever able to subdue. Owing to all India having been formerly belonging to the Gentiles, and this prince having always been, and is still, esteemed in equal reverence as the pope is by the catholics, those rajahs who have been sent against him have always made some excuses for not being able to do much injury to his territories, which extend towards Ahmednagur 150 great cosses, and in breadth 200 cosses towards Oogain, mostly composed of, or inclosed by inaccessible mountains, well fortified by art in many places. This rajah is able on occasion to raise 12,000 good horse, and holds many fair towns and goodly cities.
Ajmeer, the capital of a kingdom or province of that name, west from Agra, stands on the top of an inaccessible mountain, three coss in ascent, being quite impregnable. The city at the foot of the hill is not great, but is well built and surrounded by a stone wall and ditch. It is chiefly famous for the tomb of Haji Mundee, a saint much venerated by the Moguls, to which, as formerly mentioned, Akbar made a roomery, or pilgrimage on foot, from Agra, to obtain a son. Before coming to this tomb, you have to pass through three fair courts; the first, covering near an acre of ground, all paved with black and white marble, in which many of Mahomet's cursed kindred are interred. In this court is a fair tank all lined with stone. The second court is paved like the former, but richer, and is twice as large as the Exchange at London, having in the middle a curious candlestick with many lights. The third court is entered by a brazen gate of curious workmanship, and is the fairest of all, especially near the door of the sepulchre, where the pavement is curiously laid in party-coloured stones. The door is large, and all inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and the pavement about the tomb is all mosaic of different-coloured marbles. The tomb itself is splendidly adorned with mother-of-pearl and gold, having an epitaph in Persian. At a little distance stands his seat in an obscure corner, where he used to sit foretelling future events, and which is highly venerated. On the east side are three other fair courts with each a fair tank; and on the north and west are several handsome houses, inhabited by sidees, or Mahometan priests. No person is allowed to enter any of these places except bare-footed.
Beyond Ajmeer to the west and south-west, are Meerat Joudpoor and Jalour, which last is a castle on the top of a steep mountain, three coss in ascent, by a fair stone causeway, broad enough for two men. At the end of the first coss is a gate and court of guard, where the causeway is enclosed on both sides with walls. At the end of the second coss is a double gate strongly fortified; and at the third coss is the castle, which is entered by three successive gates. The first is very strongly plated with iron; the second not so strong, with places above for throwing down melted lead or boiling oil; and the third is thickly beset with iron spikes. Between each of these gates are spacious places of arms, and at the inner gate is a strong portcullis. A bow-shot within the castle is a splendid pagoda, built by the founders of the castle, ancestors of Gidney Khan, who were Gentiles. He turned Mahometan, and deprived his elder brother of this castle by the following stratagem: Having invited him and his women to a banquet, which his brother requited by a similar entertainment, he substituted chosen soldiers well armed instead of women, sending them two and two in a dowle, who, getting in by this device, gained possession of the gates, and held the place for the Great Mogul, to whom it now appertains, being one of the strongest situated forts in the world.
[Footnote 255: This is probably a stair.—E.]
[Footnote 256: A dowle, dowly, or dooly, is a chair or cage, in which their women are carried on men's shoulders.—Purch.]
About half a coss within the gate is a goodly square tank, cut out of the solid rock, said to be fifty fathoms deep, and full of excellent water. A little farther on is a goodly plain, shaded with many fine trees, beyond which, on a small conical hill, is the sepulchre of King Hasswaard, who was a great soldier in his life, and has been since venerated as a great saint by the people in these parts. Near this place is said to be kept a huge snake, twenty-five feet long, and as thick as the body of a man, which the people will not hurt. This castle, which is eight coss in circuit, is considered as the gate or frontier of Guzerat. Beyond it is Beelmahl, the ancient wall of which is still to be seen, near twenty-four coss in circuit, containing many fine tanks going to ruin. From thence to Ahmedabad or Amadaver, by Rhadunpoor, is a deep sandy country.
Ahmedabad is a goodly city on a fine river, the Mohindry, inclosed with strong walls and fair gates, with many beautiful towers. The castle is large and strong, in which resides the son of Azam Khan, who is viceroy in these parts. The streets are large and well paved, and the buildings are comparable to those of any town in Asia. It has great trade; for almost every ten days there go from hence 200 coaches richly laden with merchandize for Cambay. The merchants here are rich, and the artisans very expert in carvings, paintings, inlaid works, and embroidery in gold and silver. At an hour's warning this place has 6000 horse in readiness: The gates are continually and strictly guarded, no person being allowed to enter without a licence, or to depart without a pass. These precautions are owing to the neighbourhood of Badur, whose strong-hold is only fifty coss to the east, where nature, with some aid from art, has fortified him against all the power of the Moguls, and whence some four years ago, proclaiming liberty and laws of good fellowship, he sacked Cambaya by a sudden assault of 100,000 men, drawn together by the hope of plunder, and with whom he retained possession for fourteen days.
[Footnote 257: Perhaps camels ought to be substituted for coaches; or at least carts drawn by bullocks.—E.]
[Footnote 258: This is very singular, to find liberty and equality in the mouths of Indian despots and slaves.—E.]
Between Ahmedabad and Trage, there is a rajah in the mountains, who is able to bring 17,000 horse and foot into the field, his people, called Collees or Quuliees, inhabiting a desert wilderness, which preserves him from being conquered. On the right hand is another rajah, able to raise 10,000 horse, who holds an impregnable castle in a desert plain. His country was subject to the government of Gidney Khan, but he has stood on his defence for seven years, refusing to pay tribute. This rajah is reported to have a race of horses superior to all others in the east, and said to be swifter than those of Arabia, and able to continue at reasonable speed a whole day without once stopping; of which he is said to have a stud of 100 mares. From Jalore to the city of Ahmedabad, the whole way is through a sandy and woody country, full of thievish beastly men, and savage beasts, as lions, tygers, &c. About thirty coss round Ahmedabad, indigo is made, called cickell, from a town of that name four coss from Ahmedabad, but this is not so good as that of Biana.
Cambaya is thirty-eight coss from Ahmedabad, by a road through sands and woods, much infested by thieves. Cambay is on the coast of a gulf of the same name, encompassed by a strong brick wall, having high and handsome houses, forming straight paved streets, each of which has a gate at either end. It has an excellent bazar, abounding in cloth of all kinds, and valuable drugs, and is so much frequented by the Portuguese, that there are often 200 frigates or grabs riding there. The gulf or bay is eight coss over, and is exceedingly dangerous to navigate on account of the great bore, which drowns many, so that it requires skilful pilots well acquainted with the tides. At neap tides is the least danger. Thieves also, when you are over the channel, are not a little dangerous, forcing merchants, if not the better provided, to quit their goods, or by long dispute betraying them to the fury of the tide, which comes with such swiftness that it is ten to one if any escape. Cambay is infested with an infinite number of monkies, which are continually leaping from house to house, doing much mischief and untiling the houses, so that people in the streets are in danger of being felled by the falling stones.
Five coss from Cambay is Jumbosier, now much ruined, and thence eighteen coss to Broach, a woody and dangerous journey, in which are many peacocks. Within four coss of Broach is a great mine of agates. Broach is a fair castle, seated on a river twice as broad as the Thames, called the Nerbuddah, the mouth of which is twelve coss from thence. Here are made rich baffatas, much surpassing Holland cloth in fineness, which cost fifty rupees the book, each of fourteen English yards, not three quarters broad. Hence to Variaw, twenty coss, is a goodly country, fertile, and full of villages, abounding in wild date trees, which are usually plentiful by the sea-side in most places, from which they draw a liquor called Tarrie, Sure, or Toddic, as also from a wild cocoa-tree called Tarrie. Hence to Surat is three coss, being the close of the itinerary of Nicolas Ufflet.
The city of Agra has not been in repute above 50 years, having only been a village till the reign of Akbar, who removed his residence to this place from Futtipoor, as already mentioned, for want of good water. It is now a large city, and populous beyond measure, so that it is very difficult to pass through the streets, which are mostly narrow and dirty, save only the great Bazar and a few others, which are large and handsome. The city is somewhat in the form of a crescent, on the convexity of a bend of the Jumna, being about five coss in length on the land side, and as much along the banks of the river, on which are many goodly houses of the nobles, overlooking the Jumna, which runs with a swift current from N.W. to S.E. to join the Ganges. On the banks of the river stands the castle, one of the fairest and most admirable buildings in all the East, some three or four miles in circuit, inclosed by a fine and strong wall of squared stones, around which is a fair ditch with draw-bridges. The walls are built with bulwarks or towers somewhat defensible, having a counterscarp without, some fifteen yards broad. Within are two other strong walls with gates.
[Footnote 259: This of course is to be understood as referring back from 1611, when Finch was there. We have here omitted a long uninteresting and confused account of many parts of India, which could only have swelled our pages, without conveying any useful information.—E.]
There are four gales to the castle. One to the north, leading to a rampart having many large cannon. Another westwards, leading to the Bazar, called the Cichery gate, within which is the judgment-seat of the casi, or chief judge in all matters of law; and beside this gate are two or three murderers, or very large pieces of brass cannon, one of which is fifteen feet long and three feet diameter in the bore. Over against the judgment-seat of the casi, is the Cichery, or court of rolls, where the grand vizier sits about three hours every morning, through whose hands pass all matters respecting rents, grants, lands, firmans, debts, &c. Beyond these two gates, you pass a third leading into a fair street, with houses and munition along both sides; and at the end of this street, being a quarter of a mile long, you come to the third gate, which leads to the king's durbar. This gate is always chained, all men alighting here except the king and his children. This gate is called Akbar drowage; close within which many hundred dancing girls and singers attend day and night, to be ever ready when the king or any of his women please to send for them, to sing and dance in the moholls, all of them having stipends from the king according to their respective unworthy worth.