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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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348                           THE GENTILES

but biapek, as they allow, and incorruptible. He can be
thus divided into so many portions of body and soul, they
will answer you only with some fine similes :—That God
is as an immense ocean in which many vessels of water
are in continual motion; let these vessels go where they
will, they always remain in the same ocean, in the same
water; and if they should break, the water they contain
would then be united to the whole, to that ocean of which
they were but parts.—Or they will tell you that it is with
God as with the light, which is the same everywhere, but
causes the objects on which it falls to assume a hundred
different appearances, according to the various colours or
forms of the glasses through which it passes.—They will
never attempt to satisfy you, I say, but with such com¬
parisons as these, which bear no proportion with God, and
which serve only to blind an ignorant people. In vain
will you look for any solid answer. If one should reply
that these vessels might float in a water similar to their
own, but not in the same; and that the light all over the
world is indeed similar, but not the same, and so on to
other strong objections which may be made to their
theory, they have recourse continually to the same similes,
to fine words, or, in the case of the Soufys, to the beautiful
poems of their Goul-tchen-raz.

Now, Sir, what think you ? Had I not reason from all
this great tissue of extravagant folly on which I have re¬
marked ; from that childish panic of which I have spoken
above; from that superstitious piety and compassion
toward the sun in order to deliver it from the malignant
and dark Deiita ; from that trickery of prayers, of ablutions,
of dippings, and of alms, either cast into the river, or
bestowed on Brahmens; from that mad and infernal hardi¬
hood of women to burn themselves with the body of those
husbands whom frequently they have hated while alive;
from those various and frantic practices of the Fakires;
and lastly, from all that fabulous trash of their Beths and
other books; was I not justified in taking as a motto to
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