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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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  Page 245  

DEHLI AND AGRA                        245

I am speaking only of the poor bazar-astrologers.
Those who frequent the court of the grandees are con¬
sidered by them eminent doctors, and become wealthy.
The whole of Asia is degraded by the same superstition.
Kings and nobles grant large salaries to these crafty
diviners, and never engage in the most trifling transaction
without consulting them. They read whatever is written
in heaven ; fix upon the Sahet, and solve every doubt by
opening the Koran.

The two principal streets of the city, already mentioned
as leading into the square, may be five-and-twenty or thirty
ordinary paces in width. They run in a straight line
nearly as far as the eye can reacli; but the one leading to
the-LaAor gate is much the longer. In regard to houses
the two streets are exactly alike. As in our Place Royale,
there are arcades on both sides; with this difference, how¬
ever, that they are only brick, and that the top serves for
a terrace and has no additional building. They also differ
from the Place Royale in not having an uninterrupted
opening from one to the other, but are generally separated
by partitions, in the spaces between which are open shops,
where, during the day, artisans work, bankers sit for the
despatch of their business, and merchants exhibit their
wares. Within the arch is a small door, opening into a ware¬
house, in which these wares are deposited for the night.

The houses of the merchants are built over these ware¬
houses, at the back of the arcades : they look handsome
enough from the street, and appear tolerably commodious
within; they are airy, at a distance from the dust, and
communicate with the terrace-roofs over the shops, on
which the inhabitants sleep at night; the houses, however,
are not continued the whole length of the streets. A few,
and only a few, other parts of the city have good houses
raised on terraces, the buildings over the shops being
often too low to be seen from the street. The rich
merchants have their dwellings elsewhere, to which they
retire after the hours of business.
  Page 245