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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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OF THE GREAT MOGOL                  111

him to such a degree that the Prince's situation became
quite desperate. What then ought he to do ? To remain
inactive was only quietly to await destruction. The season
for departure was passing away ; it was therefore necessary
to come to a decision of some kind. He meditated, at
length, an enterprise which never was exceeded in ex¬
travagance, and which proves the hopelessness of the
situation to which he was reduced.

Although the King of Rakan be a Gentile, yet there are
many Mahometans mixed with the people, who have either
chosen to retire among them, or have been enslaved by
the Portuguese before mentioned, in their expeditions to
the neighbouring coasts. Sultan Sujah secretly gained
over these Mahometans, whom he joined with two or three
hundred of his own people, the remnant of those who
followed him from Bengale; and with this force re¬
solved to surprise the house of the King, put his family
to the sword, and make himself sovereign of the country.
This bold attempt, which resembled more the enterprise
of a desperado than that of a prudent man, had neverthe¬
less a certain feasibility in it, as I was informed by several
Mahometans, Portuguese, and Hollanders, who were then on
the spot. But the day before the blow was to be struck,
a discovery was made of the design, which altogether
ruined the affairs of Sultan Sujah, and involved in it the
destruction of his family.

The Prince endeavoured to escape into Pegu; a purpose
scarcely possible to be effected, by reason of the vast
mountains and forests that lay in the route ; for there is
not now, as formerly, a regular road in that direction.
He was pursued and overtaken, within twenty-four hours
after his flight: he defended himself with an obstinacy of
courage such as might have been expected, and the
number of barbarians that fell under his sword was
incredible; but at length, overpowered by the increasing
host of his assailants, he was compelled to give up the
unequal combat.    Sidtan Banque, who had not advanced
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