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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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existed with us, where, I must again ask, should we find
Princes, Prelates, Nobles, opulent Citizens, and thriving
Tradesmen, ingenious Artisans and Manufacturers ?
Where should we look for such cities as Paris, Lyons,
Toulouse, Rouen, or, if you will, London, and so many
others ? Where should we see that infinite number of
towns and villages; all those beautiful country houses,
those fine plains, hills and valleys, cultivated with so much
care, art and labour ? and what would become of the ample
revenues derived from so much industry, an industry
beneficial alike to the sovereign and the subject.'' The
reverse of this smiling picture would, alas! be exhibited.
Our large towns would become uninhabitable in conse¬
quence of the unwholesome air, and fall into ruins without
exciting in any person a thought of preventing or repair¬
ing the decay; our fertile hills would be abandoned, and
the plains would be overrun with thorns and weeds, or
covered with pestilential morasses. The excellent ac¬
commodation for travellers would disappear; the good
inns, for example, between Paris and Lyons, would
dwindle into ten or twelve wretched caravansaries, and
travellers be reduced to the necessity of moving, like the
Gyp.sies, with everything about them. The Eastern
Karavan.s-Serrah resemble large barns, raised and paved all
round, in the same manner as our Pont-neuf. Hundreds of
human beings are seen in them, mingled with their horses,
mules, and camels. In summer these buildings are hot and
suffocating, and in winter nothing but the breath of so
many animals prevents the inmates from dying of cold.

But there are countries, I shall be told, such for instance
as the Grand Seignior's dominions, which we know better
than any without going as far as the Indies, where the
principle of meum and tuum is unknown, which not only
preserve their existence, but maintain a great and in¬
creasing power.

An empire so prodigiously extensive as that of the
Grand   Seignior,   comprising   countries   whose   soil  is   so
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