Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Neftorian Christians in Perfia; as also several Jesuits, and many Jews. The Christian Religion was first planted in this Country by St. Thomas.

Customs.) The usual Şalute in Per fia is by bowing the Body a little, and clapping the Right-hand to their Breast; but they never stir their Cap or Turbant: Before the king, the great Men bow their Faces three times to the Ground, when they approach him. As to Europeans, if they are not clothed in the Persian Dress, they expect their Hats, and the fame Reverence they shew to Men of Quality in their own Country. There are no Exercises which the Persians endeavour more diligently to accomplish themselves in, than the Bow, and Horsemanship. Their greatest Kings have thought proper to be Witnesses of the Address and Activity of their Subjects, and frequently themselves have contended for the Prize. They begin with teaching the young Pupils to bend the Bow; afterwards he is taught to shoot forwards, backwards, sideways, and almost in every Posture; after this, they bring him to shoot at a Mark, and to deliver his Arrows with out shaking. The next Thing they teach the Pupil is to mount a Horse cleverly, to have a good Seat, to gallop with a loose Rein, to stop short, and turn swiftly to the Right or Left, upon the least Signal, without being disorder'd in the Saddle.

CURIOSITIEs.] About 30 Miles North East of Gombren is a most hideous Cave, which, for its fightful Appearance, is callid The Gate of Hell. There are yet to be seen the noble Remains of the famous Palace of Persepolis : Those Pillars now standing are of excellent Marble, and about 15 Feet high : Even Rome itself, as 'tis faid, has nothing comparable to these venerable Remains of Antiquity: This glorious Palace, or Temple, with the whole City of Perfipolis, the noblest and wealthiest City in the World, was burnt to the Ground by Alexander the Great.

· Of IND I A. CLIMATE.]THE Northern Part of India is temperate ; but

towards the South this Country is subject to Heats, which would be intolerable, if it were not for the set Seasons of Rain and Wind, with which the Countries lying in the Torrid Zone are cool'd and refresh'd. The regular Winds, which are callid Monsoons, are observ'd to blow constantly fix Months one Way, and fix Months another ; namely, from April to October, or thereabouts, they blow

from

pril to o Way, anons are a

from the South-west, and from October to April, from the North-east, not exactly from those Points, but vary fometimes a Point or two on either Side. At the breaking up of either of these Monsoons, or a little before they thift, there are usually prodigious Storms of Wind, such as we do not experience, in this part of the World, once in a great many Years. This fliifting of the Monsoons, and consequently the Storms, does not happen exactly at the same Time every Year, but sometimes a Fortnight or three Weeks sooner; and, at other times, a Fornight or three Weeks later, than. the usual Time, which frequently occasions the Loss of Shipping. Besides thefe Winds we call Monsoons, they have Land and Sea Breezes, which shift once in twelve Hours, when the Montoons are not violent; for then the Breezes give way to the Hurricane. ...

GOVERNMENT.] Malacca, Cambodia, and Laos, lately became Provinces, and great Part of them tributary to the King of Sidm; but the remote Pro. but the remoto Pan Siam, Malac

ca, Cambodia, vinces have lately thrown off their Allegiance, and Laas. and are now set up for petty Sovereigns. Siam has . fuffer'd several Revolutions, according to Loubiere ; the King's Father, who possessed the Throne when he was there, was an Usurper, and not so much as of the Royal Family, this Rebel having dragg’d his unfortunate Sovereign, out of the Temple, whither he was fled for Refuge, and afterwards strangled him. This Ufurper reign’d thirty Years, and was fucceeded by his Brother, to the Exclusion of the Ufurper's Son. The Kings of Siam sometimes starve their Relations, or put them to other Deaths : Indeed they are fometimes so merciful, that they only burn their Eyes out, or cripple them, to prevent their aspiring to the Throne. The Government of Tonquin is one of the oddest we have heard of; for the rightful Prince, it seems, enjoys little more than the Title of King; the General, or Prime Mini- Tonquin. ster, is Master of all the Treasure and Forces of the Kingdom, and to him the Subjects make their Court; and thus it has been for the last hundred Years. As to Pegu, Ava, Asem, and many inland Parts of India, we have very imperfect Accounts of them. In the Dominions belonging to the Great Mogul, some Malefactors are hang’d, others bea headed, some impaled on sharp Stakes, some town in Pieces by wild Beasts, or kill'd by Elephants, Pw

be Great Mo. and others bitten by Snakes. If an Elephant be gul's Domini a commanded to dispatch a Criminal immediately, ens. he stamps upon the Wretch, who lies trembling VOL. I,

S

before

[ocr errors]

before him, with his broad round Foot, and crushes him to Death in a Moment; if it be intended he should feel his Death, and die in Torture, the Elephant breaks first the Bones of his Legs, then his Thighs and Arms, and leaves him to die by the Wounds he has given him. Sir Thomas Roe relates, that, when he was at the Mogul's Court, a hundred Thieves were brought before that Monarch, who order'd the chief of them to be torn in Pieces by Dogs, and the rest to be put to Death in the ordinary Way: Accordingly the Prisoners were divided into feveral Quarters of the Town; and the chief of them was torn in Pieces by twelve Dogs ; and thirteen of his Gang, at the same Place, had their Heads tied down to their Feet, and their Necks being chopped half off with a Sword, were left naked and bloody in the Street, where they became a

great Annoyance to the Neighbourhood. The The Mogul's Women of the Haram or Seraglio, as it is Horam or Scraglio.

usually callid, are either Wives or Concubines,

Princesses of the Blood, Governantes, or Slaves. Those that are callid Wives, and contracted with Ceremony, feldom exceed four; the Number of Concubines is very uncertain, but it is generally agreed they amount to about icoo. The first Son the Great Mogul has by any of his Wives, is look'd upon to be Heir to the Empire; tho' the longest Sword usually carries it; and whoever possesses himself of the Throne, commonly destroys all his Brothers, and their Male Iflue. Number of Jewels, and precious Stones, which, 'tis said, the Ladies of the Seraglio wear, exceeds all Belief. The Governantes of the young Princesses, and those who are Spies upon the Conduct of the King's Women, are a considerable Body in the Seraglio; and, 'tis said, have a great: Share in the Government of the Empire. If this Monarch has any Council, it is compos’d of these Ladies ; for it is by their Influence the Great Officers of State and Governments. are dispos’d of, and all Business of Consequence is effected ; these Ladies having better Opportunities of representing Things to the Emperor, than his Ministers have without Doors. This Prince is serv'd altogether by Women in his Retirement, and has a Guard, 'tis said, of Tartar Women, arm’d with Scymetars and Bows, who have the Care of his Person. The Government of the Great Mogul is very tyrannical, having both the Purses and Persons of his Subjects wholly at his Dispofal : His bare Will is the Law, and his Word a final Decision of all Controversies. His Letters and Orders are receiv'd with the utmost Reverence; for the Governot, to whom they are sent, having Intelligence they

are

are upon the Road, rides out with all his Officers to meet the Messenger who brings them : He no sooner sees the Packet, but he alights from his Horse, and falls down on his Face to the Earth; then he takes them from the Messenger, and lays them upon his Head, whereon he binds them fast; and returning back to the Court where he usually dispatches his Business, he reads them. This mighty Monarch shews himself to the People three times a Day; the first is at Sun-rising from a Gallery, at which time Crouds of People resort thither, to give him the usual Salam, crying out, as soon as they fee him, Long Life and Health to the great King. At Noon he Thews himself again; and, lastly, at about Sun-set; being always usher'd in and out with Drums, Trumpets, and other Wind-Music; and at any of these Times, if any Man, tho' never so mean, has a Petition to the Emperor, it is receiv’d. This Monarch administers Justice himself in capital Cases, as his Viceroys do in their respective Provinces. The King of Siam, according to the Custom of the East, is an absolute Monarch; he gives the Land to whom

The King of

Siam. he pleases, and takes it away when he will : * Wherefore no Families can be ennobled by Estates; nor is there any Nobility but by Offices, which the King confers and takes away at Pleasure ; whence 'tis not uncommon to see the Son of a Lord tugging at the Oar. Only one of the King's Women has the Honour of being call'd Queen; and for the Seraglio they take the Daughter of any Subject. The Laws of Siam require an unlimited Obedience to Parents; any one who should presume to op- Laws. pose and contradict his Parents, would be look'd on as a Monster. Lying is punish'd by sewing up the Mouth, Sometimes Criminals are tossed by one Elephant to another, without killing them ; for this, 'tis said, the Elephants will do upon a Sign, they are so extremely tractable. But their Punishment is usually adapted to the Crime : One who has been guilty of Extortion has melted Gold or Silver pour'd down his Throat.

Forces.] The Army of the Great Mogul consists, 'tis said, of 300,coo Horse, and 400,000 Foot; beside 3000 Elephants : But, according to the best Accounts, there is allow'd Pay for a Million of Horse ; not that the whole Num. ber is ever brought into actual Service ; for the respective Viceroys seldom keep up above half the Number, and the Pay of the rest goes into their own Pockets. Notwithstanding the Great Mogul has such a vast Extent of Sea Coast, there is no such thing as a Man of War, or a Ship of Force,

S 2

of

at Pleasure ; whenwhich the Kins; nor is

o schove hal pockets.ent of Seat Forces

to be found in India ; not but the Indian Merchants have Ships of 400 or 500 Tun of their own, built after the English Model ; but their Sailors would make but a poor Defence, if they should be attacked ; and their Skill in Navigation is very mean, insomuch that they are glad when they can find an Europoen Commander. An Englisn Sailor, with very ordinary Qualifications, serves for a Captain of one of the Mogul's Merchant-Ships.

CHARACTER.] The Indians are of a good Stature, wellshaped, and agreeable Features ; and it is generally observ'd, that there are hardly any deform’d or crooked People amongst them. Those that inhabit the Northern Parts of this Empire, are of a deep tawny Complexion; and those in the South as black as Jet; those of the Mountains, in the middle Parts of the Peninfula, are all Coal-black to a Man: Indeed the Indians on the Coast, who are mixed with the Portuguese, and other Europeans, are generally of an Olive-colour ; but in any Part of the Country, the Natives have long black Hair, and black Eyes, let their Coniplcxion be what it will. The Indians are to be distinguished into Moors or Moguls, and Pagans or original Indians. The Moors or Moguls are a Mixture of Tartars, Persians, Arals, and almost every Mahometan Nation. These having the Power in their Hand behave like Lords of the Country, and treat the ancient Inhabitants with some Contempt, and feem to have still a greater Contempt, or rather Aversion, to all Christians in general, thor they are serviceable to the Mogals as Engineers, Mathematicians, &c. and frequently give great Pay to those who enter into their Service. The Siamese are of a small Stature, but

well-proportion'd; their Complexions are very o fwarthy, and the Faces of both Men and Wo

men are of the broadest, with high Cheek-bones, dark finall Eyes, large Mouths, and thick pale Lips, short Nofes, and round at the End, and large Ears. The Siamese have a ready and clear Conception, and their Repartees are quick and very smart; they imitate any thing at Sight very well; and are neither lascivious or intemperate, nor will wanton Discourse país for Wit, or be taken for Sublimity of Genius ; drinking strong Liquours is counted infamous amongst them, and Adultery is hardly heard of at Siam : They are polite and courteous, and their Minds are as calm as their Heaven, having the govu Fortune to have the Command of their Passions. They are great Lovers of their Wives and Children, and as well belov'd by them; their Children are faid to be exceeding engaging, and of a sweet

Temper,

Nam

Sium.

« EdellinenJatka »