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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 349  

OF HINDOUSTAN                        349

this letter,—the wretched fruit of so many voyages and
so many reflections, a motto of which the modern satirist
has so well known how to catch and convey the idea
without so long a journey—'There are no opinions too
extravagant and ridiculous to find reception in the mind
of man' ?

To conclude, you will do me a kindness by delivering
Monsieur Chapelle's! letter into his own hands; it was he who
first obtained for me that acquaintance with your intimate
and illustrious friend. Monsieur Gassendi, which has since
proved so advantageous to me. I am so much obliged to
him for this favour that I cannot but love and remember
him wherever my lot may be cast. I also feel myself under
much obligation to you, and am bound to honour you all
my life, not only on account of the partiality you have
manifested toward me, but also for the valuable advice
contained in your frequent letters, by which you have
aided me during my journeys, and for your goodness in
having sent me so disinterestedly'and gratuitously a collec¬
tion of books to the extremity of the world, whither my
curiosity had led me; while those of whom I requested
them, who might have been paid with money which I had
left at Marseilles, and who in common politeness should have
sent them, deserted me and laughed at my letters, looking
on me as a lost man whom they were never more to see.

! The letter referred to, despatched, as was the present one, from
Chiras, but on the loth June 1668, Concerning his intention of resuming
his studies, on some points which relate to the doctrine of atoms, and to
the nature of the human understanding, is not printed in this present
edition. It contains much curious matter, but nothing directly relating
to Bernier's Indian experiences. Claude-Emmanuel Luillier Chapelle
(1626-1645) was a natural son of Franfois Luillier's, at whose house
Gassendi was a frequent guest; struck by the talent of young Chapelle
he gave him lessons in philosophy together with Moliere and Bernier.
  Page 349