Despatched from Chiras in Persia,
the 4th October 1667.
Describing the Superstitions, strange customs, and Doctrines of
the Indous or Gentiles oj Hindoustan ;
From which it will be seen that there is no Doctrine too strange
or too improbable for the Soul of man to conceive.
O N S I E U R,i
I have witnessed two solar eclipses which it is scarcely
possible I should ever forget. The one I saw from
France in the year 1654, the other from Dehli in the
Indies in I666. The sight of the first eclipse was im¬
pressed upon my mind by the childish credulity of the
French people, and by their groundless and unreasonable
alarm; an alarm so excessive that some brought drugs as
! Jean Chapelain (1594-1674), an excellent man but a poor poet. In
1662 he was employed by Colbert (see p. 201, footnote ') to draw up an
account of contemporary men of letters to guide the King (Louis xiv.)
in his distribution of pensions.