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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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240                        DESCRIPTION OF

Paris in beauty, extent, and number of inhabitants. I
hasten, therefore, to gratify your curiosity upon these
points, and I may perhaps intersperse a few other matters
which you will not find altogether uninteresting.

In treating of the beauty of these towns, I must premise
that I have sometimes been astonished to hear the con¬
temptuous manner in which Europeans in the Indies speak
of these and other places. They complain that the
buildings are inferior in beauty to those of the Western
world, forgetting that different climates require different
styles of architecture ; that what is useful and proper at
Paris, London, or Amsterdam, would be entirely out of
place at Dehli; insomuch that if it were possible for any
one of those great capitals to change place with the
metropolis of the Indies, it would become necessary to
throw down the greater part of the city, and to rebuild it
on a totally different plan. Without doubt, the cities of
Europe may boast great beauties ; these, however, are of
an appropriate character, suited to a cold climate. Thus
Dehli also may possess beauties adapted to a warm climate.
The heat is so intense in Hindoustan, that no one, not
even the King, wears stockings ; the only cover for the
feet being babouches,^ or slippers, while the head is pro¬
tected by a small turban, of the finest and most delicate
materials. The other garments are proportionably light.
During the summer season, it is scarcely possible to keep
the hand on the wall of an apartment, or the head on a
pillow. For more than six successive months, everybody
lies in the open air without covering—the common people
in the streets, the merchants and persons of condition
sometimes in their courts or gardens, and sometimes on
their terraces, which are first carefully watered. Now,
only suppose the streets of S. Jaques or S. Denis trans¬
ported hither, with their close houses and endless stories ;
would they be habitable ? or would it be possible to sleep
in them during the night, when the absence of wind
1 Paonposh ; litQro.\ly foot-cover.
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