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

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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boat carefully fastened, yet our cable was broken, and we
should have been driven into the main channel, there
inevitably to perish, if I and my two Portuguese had not,
by a sudden and spontaneous movement, entwined our
arms round the branches of trees, which we held tightly
for the space of two hours, while the tempest was raging
with unabated force. No assistance was to be expected
from my Indian boatmen, whose fears completely over¬
came them. Our situation while clinging for our lives to
the trees was indeed most painful; the rain fell as if
poured into the boat from buckets, and the lightning and
thunder were so vivid and loud, and so near our heads, that
we despaired of surviving this horrible night.!

Nothing, however, could be more pleasant than the
remainder of the voyage. We arrived at Ogouly on the
ninth day, and my eyes seemed never sated with gazing on
the delightful country through which we passed. My
trunk, however, and all my wearing-apparel were wet, the
poultry dead, the fish spoilt, and the whole of my biscuits
soaked with rain.

Answer to the fifth Inquiry, concerning the Periodical
Rising of the Nile.

I know not whether my solution of this fifth question
will be satisfactory; but I shall impart opinions formed
after having been twice a witness of the increase, after
having given to the subject the whole of my attention, and
after making certain observations in the Indies which afford
some facilities for the disquisition, which must have been
wanting to the great man who has written so ingeniously
and learnedly on this interesting topic, although he never
saw Egypt but in his study.

■■ Bernier appears to have travelled from Pippli to Hooghly, not by
the main channel of the river, but through minor channels. All those
who are familiar with the nature of the Sundarban tracts will be able
to testify to the vividness of the traveller's description of his journey.
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