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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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  Page 428  

428              -JOURNEY TO KACHEMIRE

This is all the information I could collect concerning
these regions; it is certainly confused and scanty, but after
all will be found tolerably complete considering the igno¬
rance of these people, seldom able to give reasons for any¬
thing, and that I had also to deal with interpreters who
experienced the utmost difficulty both in clearly stating
my interrogatories, and in explaining satisfactorily the

Here I intended to close this letter, or rather this book,
and take my leave of you until our return to Dehli; but my
inclination for writing is still strong, and I enjoy some
leisure. I shall endeavour, therefore, to answer the five
questions which you put to me in your last letter, on be¬
half of the industrious and inquisitive Monsieur Thevenot}
who makes greater and more important discoveries in his
study than others who circumnavigate the globe.

His first inquiry is, whether it be true that Jews have
for a long period resided in the kingdom of Kachemire :
whether they be in possession of the Holy Scriptures, and,
if so, whether there be any discrepancy between their Old
Testament and our own.

The second request is, that I should communicate what¬
ever observations I may have made concerning the Moisson,
or Season of the periodical rains in the Indies.

The third, that I make him acquainted with my remarks
and opinions upon the singular regularity of the winds and
currents in the seas of the Indies.

The fourth, whether the kingdom of Bengale be as
fertile, rich, and beautiful as is commonly reported.

The fifth, that I give a decisive opinion on the old con¬
troversies as to the causes of the Nile's increase.

! Hence doubtless arose the errors in stating the relative bearings of
Kashmir and Kashgar, and Kashgar, Yarkand.

2 Melchisedec, the uncle of the Traveller, Jean de Thevenot (1633-
1667), is the well-known Publisher of travels (Fol. Paris, 1663 et seq.),
and was born about 1620, and died in 1692. He was the French
Hakluyt and Purchas.
  Page 428