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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)

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PERIODICAL RAINS IN THE INDIES      431

'The 2iui"ity of their law, after a lapse of ages, may have
been corrupted, until, having long degenerated into
idolatry, they were induced, like many other pagans, to
adopt the creed of Mahomet.^

It is certain that many Jews are settled in Persia, at Ear
and Hyspan; and in Hindoustan, towards Goa and Cochin.'''
I also learn that in Ethiopia, where they are very numer¬
ous, these people are remarkable for courage and military
prowess; and if I am to believe two ambassadors from
the Ethiopian King, lately at this court, there was a Jew,
fifteen or sixteen years ago, grown so formidable, that he
endeavoured to erect an independent kingdom in a certain
small and mountainous district difficult of access.
 

Answer to the second Inquiry, concerning the
Periodical Rains in the Indies.

The sun is so strong and oppressive in the Indies during
the whole year, particularly during eight months, that the
ground would be completely burnt, and rendered sterile
and uninhabitable, if Providence did not kindly ju'ovide
a remedy, and wisely ordain that in the month of July,
when the heat is most intense, rains begin to fall, which
continue three successive  months.      The  temperature  of

! The Moslem historian known as Alberuni, who was born in a.d.
973i says in his description of Kashmir, talking of the inhabitants :
'They are particularly anxious about the natural strength of their
country, and therefore take always much care to keep a stronghold
upon the entrances and roads leading into it. In consequence it is very
difficult to have any commerce with them. In former times they used
to allow one or two foreigners to enter their country, particularly Jews,
but at present they do not allow any Hindu whom they do not know
personally to enter, much less other people.'—P. 205, vol. i., English
Ed. by Dr. Edward C. Sachau.    London : Trtibner, 1888.

^ It is said that Jews settled in Cochin in the first year of the
Christian era, and from copperplates still extant it is put beyond doubt
that the Jewish church was firmly established there by the eighth cen¬
tury.    There is a regular Jews' quarter in the town of Cochin.
  Page 431