Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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May Sth.


Having passed an examination in physiology, for which he had been
prepared by the philosopher Gassendi, in Provence, he matriculates at
the University of Montpellier.

Passes his examination as licentiate in medicine.

Takes his degree as Doctor of Medicine, and subsequently goes to

Visits Palestine and Syria.

Tends, together with Antoine de la Potherie, amanuensis, the philo¬
sopher Gassendi in his last illness, and is present at his death.

Bernier undoubtedly owed his great powers of accurate observation
to his training under Gassendi, and he has warmly recorded his sense of
gratitude to M. Chapelle (who first introduced him to that philosopher)
in the last paragraph of his letter to M. Chapelain, on the Gentiles of
Hindostan,.see p. 349.

Admirable testimony to the genius of Gassendi has been borne by
Henry Rogers as follows ; ' The character of Gassendi's intellect is
everywhere indicated by his works ;—it was critical rather than inven¬
tive. . . . Gassendi's powers of acquisition roust have been singularly
active; nor was his logical acuteness, or the liveliness of his imagin¬
ation, much inferior to the promptness and retentiveness of his
memory. His learning is never mere learning ; like that of many of
his erudite contemporaries, it ministers to his intellect, but does not
oppress it. The vivacity of his mind animates and penetrates the
mass ; and the acuteness of his reasoning and the exuberance of his
illustrations relieve of much of their tedium discussions in themselves
often uninviting enough.'    Encyc. Brit.    Eighth edition, 1856.



'Eutangjcii prodaims fjtinadf lEmptror of HinBostan, tmiin- tfje
title of aiamgtr, 21st Sttlg 1658.

Goes to Egypt. Has ' the plague' at Rosetta. Lives at Cairo for
upwards of a year. Embarks at Suez for Jedda, where he is detained
for nearly five weeks. Sails thence for Moka, where he arrives after a
passage of fifteen days. Is compelled to abandon his intention of
visiting Abyssinia, and sets sail in an Indian vessel for Surat, which he
reaches in twenty-two days, most probably towards the end of 1658 or
early in 1659.

After the battle fought at Deora near Ajmere, between the Princes
Aurangzeb and Dara, on the I2th-I3th March 1659, Bernier, then on
his way from Surat to Agra, is compelled by Dara, whom he meets
near Ahinedabad, to accompany him as his physician. Dara being
obliged to fly towards Sind, Bernier is harassed by robbers ; but event¬
ually reaches Ahmedabad, where he falls in with a Mogul Noble who
was travelling to Delhi, and places himself under his protection.
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