Volume 9, Chapter 11, Section 6h -- Journal of Sir Thomas Roe, Ambassador from King James I, to Shah Jehanguire, Mogul Emperor of Hindoostan, part 8
§8. Asaph Khan protects the English for hope of Gain, as also Noormahal. --Arrival of Mr. Steel. --Danger to the Public from private Trade. --Stirs about a fort.
On the 12th October, according to his promise, Asaph Khan carried me along with him to visit the prince, and introduced me into his private apartment, when I presented ham with a small Chinese gold chain in a china cup. He used me indifferently, but Asaph Khan persuaded him to alter his course towards us, representing that he gained yearly by us a lack of rupees, and that as our trade increased every year, it would in time bring him greater profit; but that if we were harshly used, we would be enforced to quit both Surat and the country, from which great inconveniences might arise.
We were in some measure his subjects, and if, from desire of procuring rarities, he used us ill, we would necessarily strive to the utmost to conceal all we brought from his knowledge; but if he gave us that liberty and encouragement which was fitting, we would then use our endeavours to bring every thing to him. He represented, that my only study was to give content to his highness, and to procure his favour and protection, and therefore that he ought to receive me honourably when I came to visit him, and according to my quality, which would give satisfaction to my nation, and encourage me to serve him.
Finally, he moved his highness to give me a firmaun for our present use, which he easily obtained, with a promise of all manner of satisfaction. The prince accordingly gave immediate orders to his secretary to draw it up in every point to our content, and to write a letter to the governor recommending it to his attention; adding, that I should at all times have any other letters I desired.
It is thus easy to be seen what base and unworthy men I have to deal with. For the sordid hope only of buying some toys, Asaph Khan has become so reconciled to me as to betray his son-in-law, and is obsequious even to flattery. The ground of all his friendship is his desire to purchase the gold taken in the prize, and some other knacks; for which purpose he desires to send down one of his servants, which I could not deny without losing him, after having so long laboured to gain his favour; neither was this any disadvantage to us, as his payment is secure, and will save us much trouble and charge in selling elsewhere, especially the wine and other luggage that is apt to spoil in carriage.
For this purpose he obtained an order from the prince under false pretences, and wrote himself in our favour to the governor of Surat, doing us all manner of kindness. There is a necessity for his friendship, as his word is a law in this empire, and therefore I did not choose to seem to notice his unworthiness. I hope by this procedure to win him to our advantage, or at least to make our present good use of him. On this occasion I moved him to procure us a firmaun for trade with Bengal, which he has promised, though he would never before hearken to that request.
He likewise now prosecutes our debtors as if they were his own; and in passing the residence of the Cutwall on his elephant, he called upon him to command dispatch, which was a most unusual favour. Upon this Groo was immediately imprisoned, and Muckshud had only two days allowed him to pay us. Thus I doubt not that in ten days we shall recover to the amount of 44,000 rupees, though our debtors are the most shifting false knaves in all India.
On the 21st, a servant came to me from Asaph Khan, bearing a message from Noormahal, intimating that she had moved the prince for another firmaun, which she had obtained, and by which all our goods were taken under her protection; and that she was ready to send down her servant with authority to take order for our good establishment, and to see that we were no way wronged. He said farther, that Asaph Khan had done this, for fear of the prince's violence, and to guard against his custom of delays; and that now when the queen his sister had desired to be our protectress, he was sure the prince would not meddle; and farther assured me, upon his honour, that I should receive every thing consigned to me, for which the queen had written the most positive orders, and had directed her servant to assist our factors, that we might never more have any cause of complaint at Surat.
He desired, therefore, that I might write a few lines to the captains and factors, directing them to use the queen's servant kindly, and allow him to buy for her some toys, such as I could spare. This I durst not deny, though I clearly saw the greediness which was covered under this request; and I gave him a note, as desired, making a condition that I should see a copy of the firmaun, which was already sealed, and could not be seen without leave.
By all this you may see how easy it were [[=would be]] to sell commodities here, by a little good management. Last year we were not looked at; but now that I have translated the inventory of fine wares for the king, yet concealing the pearls, everyone is ready to run down to Surat, to make purchases. Noormahal and Asaph Khan now study how to do me good offices; and many of the great men are soliciting me for letters, that they may send down their servants, so that if you had trebled the present consignment, it might all have been bought up aboard ship, and have saved you the customs, expence of carriage, and much spoil.
I have therefore directed the factory to sell to the servants of Noormahal and Asaph Khan, whatsoever can be spared, so as to leave me a decent proportion for my uses at court. By this, much trouble and charges will be saved, the prince prevented from plunder and exactions, and our friends confirmed; and yet I hope to have enough remaining to please the king and his son. At the delivery of their presents, Asaph Khan has undertaken to procure the phirmaunds for our trade at Bengal or any other port, and even to procure us a general privilege for free trade and residence in every part of the king's dominions.
On the 24th of October the king departed to a considerable distance from Mundu, and went from place to place among the mountains, leaving us quite at a loss what way we should take, as no one knew his purpose. On the 25th I had a warrant for ten camels at the king's rates of hire; and on the 29th I removed to follow the king, being forced to quit Mundu, which was now entirely deserted. The 31st I arrived at the king's tents, but found he had gone with few company on a hunting party for ten days, no person being allowed to follow without leave.
The leskar or camp was scattered about in many parts, suffering great inconveniences from bad water, scarcity and consequent dearness of provisions, sickness, and all sorts of calamities incident to so great a multitude; yet nothing can prevent the king from following his pleasures. I here learnt that it was quite uncertain whether the king proposed going to Agra or Guzerat; and though the latter was reported, the former was held to be more probable, as his counsellors wished to be at rest.
Yet because the king was expected to linger here about a month, I was advised and thought it best to send for the goods and presents, and endeavour to conclude my business, rather as [[=than]] defer it upon uncertainties. By this means, I hoped to obtain some rest, which I much needed, as I was very weak, and not likely to recover by daily travel, and the use of cold raw muddy water.
Richard Steel and Jackson arrived on the 2nd November, 1617, with the pearls and other small matters, which they had brought privately on shore according to my order; which I received and gave them acquittance for. I had a conference with Mr. Steel about his projects of water-works, intended to advance the sale of lead, which I did not approve of, because I knew the character of this people, and that this affair must be begun at our expense, while after trial we should not enjoy the profit, but the natives be taught. Besides, it did not promise any advantages for the sale of our commodity, as the lead would be trebled in price by land-carriage, and could not be delivered at Agra so cheap as other lead could be purchased there.
Yet I was willing that he should make a trial, by carrying his workmen to Ahmedabad, and meeting me there; where, by the aid of Mukrob Khan, who only among these people is a friend to new inventions, I would make offer to the king of their inventions, and try what conditions might be procured; but, in my opinion, it is all money and labour thrown away. The company must shut their ears against these projectors, who have their own emoluments much more in view than the profits of their masters.
Many things look fair in discourse, and in theory satisfy curious imaginations, which in practice are found difficult and fanciful. It is no easy matter to alter the established customs of this kingdom; where some drink only of rain water, some only that of a holy river, and others only of such as is brought at their own cost.
As for his second project, of inducing the caravans and merchants of Lahore and Agra, who are in use to travel by Candahar into Persia, to come by the river Indus and to go by sea in our ships to Jasques or the Persian gulf, it is a mere dream. Some men may approve of it in conversation, but it will never be adopted in practice. The river Indus is but indifferently navigable downwards, and its mouth is already occupied by the Portuguese; while its navigation upwards, against the stream, is very difficult.
Finally, we must warrant their goods, which cannot be done by a fleet; neither did even the Portuguese transport any of these goods, excepting only those of Scindy and Tatta, which traded by means of their own junks, having cartas or passes from the Portuguese, for which the natives paid a small matter, to secure them from being captured by the Portuguese cruizers; and the emoluments of these passes came into the pockets of the chiefs of Diu, Damaun, and Ormus.
Even if all other difficulties were removed, yet will the caravan of Lahore be never induced to take this passage, as it mostly consists of returning Persians and Armenians, who know the journey from Jasques to be almost as bad as that through Candahar; and the small trade from the environs of Scindy is not worth mentioning. Yet, for his better satisfaction, I am content that he may learn his errors by his own experience, so that it be not done at the charges of the Company: But I suppose he will let it fall to the ground, not knowing at which end to begin.
As to the third project, for uniting the trade of the Red Sea with this of Surat, I recommended to him to use his endeavours; for it is already begun. The peril of this trade in the Guzerat ships is very obvious, owing to pirates in these seas; wherefore I have no doubt that many merchants may be induced to load their goods in our ships on freight; by which means we should make ourselves many useful friends among these people, supply our own wants, save the export of bullion, and for this year employ one of the ships belonging to the old account, that should return in September, receiving the remains of this joint stock, which will be sufficient to re-load a great ship, and would otherwise be transported at great loss.
This I explained and urged, shewing which way it might be accomplished, and recommended by him to the commander, the Cape merchants and your factors, as will appear by my letters. This measure, if followed, must evidently be to your profit, even if nothing were procured towards it by freight from the Guzerat merchants; as having so many empty vessels for so small a stock, and two pirate ships fallen into your hands, they had better even go empty as not go. There are many good chances in the Red Sea and in the way, and though they did nothing else than bring back the goods you have at Mokha and other ports in that sea, this would repay the charges of the voyage and be ready in time.
I find Mr. Steel high in his conceits, insomuch that he seems to have forgotten the respect due to me. He and Mr. Kerridge are at variance, which I use every endeavour to assuage. As for his wife, I have told Steel that she cannot remain in this country without much inconvenience to us, and injury to his masters, as she could not be allowed her expenses of travelling and living at the charges of the Company; that he must live frugally and like a merchant, as others do, and must therefore send home his wife. If he did so, he was welcome to remain in the Company's service; but otherwise, I should have to take measures with them both, much against my inclination.
Having thus persuaded him, I likewise endeavoured to deal in the same manner about Captain Towerson's wife. You know not the danger, the trouble, and the inconvenience, of granting these liberties. For this purpose, I persuaded Abraham, his father-in-law, to hold fast; stating the gripings of this court, and the small hope of any relief by this alliance, from which he expected great matters, and endeavoured to persuade him to return quietly. To further this, I wrote to your chief factor, that such things as he had brought and were vendible, should be bought for your use by bill of exchange, and at such profit to him as might answer both parties; but I utterly prohibited the taking of his trash, to remain a dead stock on your hands, on any conditions. Such inconveniences do you bring upon your hands by these unreasonable liberties.
By the strict commands in your letter respecting private trade, as well respecting your own servants as others, I find you do not mean him to have that liberty he expects; for he is furnished to the value of above £1000, first cost here, and Steel to at least £200. This, as he proposes sending home his wife, and his merit is so good towards you, I shall send home; as I presume you will admit of this to get rid of such cattle. I will not buy these goods however, but order them to be marked and consigned to you, by which you will have the measure in your own hands.
By these liberties, you discourage all your old servants. Some may do all things for fair words, and some will do nothing for good actions. I could instance some, gone home two years since, who only employed themselves in managing their own stock, and did no other business, who now live at home in pleasure; and others that raised their fortunes on your monies, trading therewith from port to port, and are now returned rich and unquestioned.
Last year a mariner had twenty-six churles of indigo, others many fardles; another had to the value of 7000 mahmudies in bastas, chosen at Baroach and purchased with your monies, and he would not probably choose the worst for himself; a fourth did the same to the value of above £150. I do not mention these things out of spite or ill will, but to induce you to equality of proceeding with your servants, that an impartial restraint be imposed upon all, and that by such instances your profits may not be all swallowed up.
For effecting these purposes, the sending the woman home, and the prosecution of trade to the Red Sea, I have sent back Richard Steel to Surat with the necessary orders. As it is now declared that the king intends going to Guzerat, I have altered my purpose about the goods and presents; and have appointed Richard Steel, after having dispatched other matters, to meet me there with the goods and presents, and his engineers. I have also sent my advice and directions to Captain Pring, to make out an inventory of all the monies and goods in the two pirate ships, and to land the whole, making it over to your stock; to give a passage home to some of the chiefs, and to take the rest into your service, referring to you at home to deal with the owners.
My own fixed opinion is, that their capture is legal and justifiable, and all their goods forfeited. If you are pleased to restore anything, be it at your pleasure; but the more rigour you show to these, the better example you will give to such scandalous piracies; for if this course be pursued, you may bid adieu to all trade at Surat and in the Red Sea, and let the Turkey Company stand clear of the revenge of the Grand Signior.
I went to Asaph Khan on the 6th November, and showed him the pearls according to promise. As I had been previously informed, he told me the sorts were not fit for that country; yet he was so pleased that I had kept my word with him, that I believe I may say to you in the words of Pharaoh, "The land is before you, dwell where you will, you and your servants." We talked not about the price, but he vowed the utmost secrecy, and that for my sake he would give more for them than their value, not returning any, and would pay ready money.
Of this he professed to be in no want, and even offered to lend me whatever I needed. I have promised to visit his sister, whom he has made our protectress; and indeed, every contentment that good words can give, I have received, besides good deeds. When the presents arrive, I shall take care not to be too liberal to your loss; a little shall serve in that way. Indeed Asaph Khan himself has given me this advice, saying that such things are as well taken in this country sold as given, which I find by the experience of others to be true.
Finishing these conferences in his bed-chamber, Asaph Khan rose to go to dinner, having invited me and my people; but he and his friends dined without, appointing us our mess apart, for they scruple to eat with us. I had good cheer, and was well attended, the residue being given to my servants. After dinner, I moved about the debt due by Groo, and told him of the delays. He desired me to say no more, as he had undertaken that business; that Groo, at his orders, was finishing accounts with a jeweller, and he had given orders, as the money was paid, that it should remain in the hands of the Cutwall for us. This I found afterwards to be true, and the Cutwall has promised to finish in three days, desiring me to send no more to Asaph Khan on that business.
I must not omit to mention here, an anecdote of baseness or favour, call it which you please. When the prisons are full of condemned men, the king commands some to be executed, and sends others to his Omrahs, to be redeemed at a price. This he esteems a courtesy, as giving the means of exercising charity: But he takes the money, and so sells the virtue. About a month before our remove, he sent to me to buy three Abyssinians, whom they suppose to be all Christians, at the price of forty rupees each. I answered, that I could not purchase men as slaves, as was done by others, by which they had profit for their money; but that I was willing to give twenty rupees each for them in charity, to save their lives and restore them to liberty.
The king was well pleased with my answer, and ordered them to be sent me. They expected the money, which I was in no haste to give, and even hoped it had been forgotten. But the king's words are all written down, and are as irrevocable decrees. Seeing that I sent not for the malefactors, his officers delivered them into the hands of my procurator, in my absence this day, taking his note for the sixty rupees, which I paid at my return, and set free the prisoners.
Having notice of a new phirmaund sent down to Surat to disarm all the English, and some other restrictions upon their liberty, owing to a complaint sent up to the prince, that we intended to build a fort at Swally, and that our ships were laden with bricks and lime for that purpose, I visited Asaph Khan on the 10th November, to enquire into this matter. This jealousy arose from our people having landed a few bricks on shore, for building a furnace to refound the ship's bell; yet the alarm was so hot at court, that I was called to make answer, when I represented how absurd was this imaginary fear, how dishonourable for the king, and how unfit the place was for any such purpose to us, having neither water nor harbourage.
The jealousy was however so very strongly imprinted in their minds, because I had formerly asked a river at Gogo for that purpose, that I could hardly satisfy the prince but that we intended some such sinister end. You may judge from this how difficult it were [[=would be]] to get a port for yourselves, if you were so disposed. Notwithstanding all remonstrances, this furnace must be demolished, and a huddey of horse sent down to see it done. The disarming of our men was what chiefly disobliged our people, though the weapons were only lodged in the custom-house, and those only belonging to the ship's company.
I told Asaph Khan that we could not endure this slavery, nor would I stay longer in the country, as the prince gave us one day a phirmaund for our good usage, with a grant of privileges, and countermanded all the next by contradictory orders, in which proceedings there was neither honour nor good faith, and I could not answer for my continuing to reside among them. Asaph Khan said he would speak to the king at night on the subject, in the presence of the prince, and afterwards give me an answer.
I went again to wait upon Asaph Khan on the 18th, when he made many protestations of the Mogul's affection to my sovereign and nation, and to me, and assured me he had risked the prince's disfavour for our sakes, and had full assurance of a complete redress of all our grievances: and that he proposed getting the prigany of Surat transferred to himself, which the prince would have to resign, as he had been made governor of Ahmedabad, Cambay, and that territory. To satisfy me that he did not dissemble, he desired me to come at night to court, bringing the king my master's letter and the translation, as the time was favourable for its delivery; desiring me at the same time to persist in my complaint, and to offer taking leave, when I should see what he would say for us.
Accordingly, I went at night to wait upon the king, whom I found surrounded by a very full court. The king was sitting on the ground, and when I delivered the letter, it was laid before him, of which he took no great notice, being busy at the time. Asaph Khan whispered to his father, Etimon Dowlet, desiring him to read the letter and assist us, which he could better do than himself. Etimon Dowlet took up both letters, giving that in English into the king's hands, and read the translation to the king, who answered many of the complaints.
On coming to that point, of procuring our quiet trade, by his authority with the Portuguese, he demanded if we wanted him to make peace with them? I answered, that his majesty knew long since I had offered to be governed entirely by him, and referred that matter to his wisdom, and waited therefore to know his pleasure. On this he said that he would undertake to reconcile us, and to cause agreement to be made in his seas, which he would signify in his answer to my master's letter, in which he would farther satisfy his majesty in all his other friendly desires.
Notwithstanding of this, I asked leave to go before to Ahmedabad, to meet the king's presents, and to prepare for my return home. Upon this, a question arose between the king and the prince, who complained that he derived no profit from us, and was very willing to be rid of us. Asaph Khan then took up the discourse, and plainly told the king that we brought both profit and security to the port of Surat and to the kingdom, but were very rudely treated by the prince's servants, and that we could not continue our trade and residence unless matters were amended; for which reason it would be more honourable for his majesty to licence and protect us, than to treat us discourteously.
The prince angrily replied, That he had never wronged us, and had lately given us a phirmaund at the desire of Asaph Khan. It is true, replied Asaph Khan, that you granted him a phirmaund to his satisfaction; but in ten days you sent down another, virtually to contradict and annul the former; and as he stood as surety between both, and had undertaken our redress on the prince's word, the shame and dishonour of this double procedure fell upon him. He said he spoke for no ends, but for the king's honour and justice, as he owed me nothing, nor I him, and for the truth of his words he appealed to me, who complained that our goods were taken away from us by force, and that Rulph, who began this two years ago, would never pay us, and his officers continued the same procedure every season.
If the prince were weary of the English, he might turn us away; but then he must expect that we would seek for redress at our own hands upon the seas. He demanded whether the king or the prince gave me the means of living; or, as they did not, at whose expense I was maintained? saying, that I was an ambassador and a stranger, who lived in this country and followed the progress of the king at great charges; and if our goods continued to be taken from us by force, so that we could neither get back our goods, nor yet their value in money, it would be impossible for us to subsist.
This was delivered with some heat, and the king, catching at the word force, repeated it to his son, whom he sharply reprehended. The prince promised to see me paid for all that had been taken. He said likewise that he had taken nothing, having only caused the presents to be sealed; and, as his officers had received no customs on these, he desired to have them opened in his presence. This I absolutely refused to consent to, telling the king that I only did my duty to my master, in insisting to deliver the presents free from duty, and that, when I had so done, I should give the prince full satisfaction in all other things.
At this time, Etimon Dowlet, who had been made our friend by his son Asaph Khan, whispered to the king, and read a clause or two from my master's letter, on which the king made the prince stand aside. Asaph Khan joined in this private conference, which they told me was for our good; and in conclusion, the prince was commanded to suffer all the goods to come quietly to me, and to give me such privileges for our trade as were fit, and as should be proposed by Asaph Khan.
The prince would not yield the presents, unless Asaph Khan became his surety that he should have a share, which he did, and we were then all agreed on that point. The king paid me many compliments in words, and even gave me two pieces of pawne out of the dish then before him, desiring me to partake of what he was eating. I then took my leave for Ahmedabad; and that same night I began my journey, leaving my tents, as I expected to reach that city the next day: But I had to ride two nights, with the intermediate day and half of the next, with excessively little accommodation or refreshment; and arrived at Ahmedabad on the 15th at noon.
The 8th January, 1618, there was some question about presents by the prince, whom I told that his were ready whenever he was ready to receive them. He asked me, why I had broken the seals? On which I said that it would have been dishonourable and discourteous in me to have delivered the king's presents in bonds, and having waited his highness' licence during twenty days, but seeing no hope of its arrival, I had been under the necessity of breaking open the seals. Some heat was likely to have arisen on this subject, but a gentleman from the king, who was sent to observe what passed between us, told us both that the king commanded our presence before him immediately, at a garden where he then was, on the river side, a coss from the town.
The prince went there immediately in his palanquin, and I followed in a coach, well attended upon by the servants of the king and prince. On my arrival, the women were going in, on which occasion no man dare enter except the prince, who accordingly made bitter complaints against me for having broke open the seals, taking out from the packages whatever I pleased, without his knowledge. Asaph Khan was called, who was my surety, and the prince laid the blame of all this upon him, but he strenuously denied all knowledge or participation; yet I had not accused him, but took it all upon myself, knowing he would deny it, as is the custom, to excuse himself, and I knew myself better able to bear it.
I was then sent for to the water-side, where the king had been sitting in private, and went in, having the presents along with me, but the king was gone into the female apartments. Asaph Khan blamed me for breaking his word, saying, that the prince had shamed him. I answered, through Jaddow, that he well knew I had his consent, of which this man was a witness. He denied this to us both, and when I again said that, although I would not lay the blame on him, that it was still true, as this man could witness; Jaddow refused to interpret my answer, saying, that he durst not tell Asaph Khan to his face that he lied.
This is a quite usual thing among them; for if any command comes from the king which he afterwards forgets or denies, he that brought the message will deny it stoutly. I bore up as high as I could, on which some of the great men said that it was a great affront, of which no other man durst have been guilty, while others smiled. I answered, it was by no means so great as the prince had often done to me. We thus spent the day, during which the king never appeared, having privately stole away, leaving us all in anxious expectation.
At night, word came that the king was gone, when I offered to have gone home, but was so well attended, that I was in some measure constrained to force my way. While on the road, new messengers came to seek me, and I had to return to court, without having either eaten or drunk. The king was not however come back, and I could not get free from my attendants, who yet used me very respectfully. After waiting an hour, a sudden order was given to put out all the lights. The king now came in an open waggon, drawn by bullocks, having his favourite Noormahal along with him, himself acting as waggoner, and no man near.
When he and his women were housed, the prince came in on horseback, and immediately called for me into the place where the king was. It was now midnight, and I found the king and prince only attended upon by two or three eunuchs. Putting on an angry countenance, the king, as he had been instructed by his son, told me I had broken my word, and he would trust me no more. I answered roundly, that I held it fit to give freely, not upon compulsion, and had committed no offence, according to my judgment; and if their customs were so very different from ours, I had erred only from ignorance, and ought therefore to be pardoned. After many disputes, the prince offered his friendship, with many fair promises, and we were all reconciled.
I then opened the chests, gave the king his presents, and the prince his, and sent in those intended for Noormahal. We were about two hours engaged in viewing them. The king was well pleased with the tapestry, but said it was too coarse, and desired to have a suit of the same quality with the sweet bags. Three articles were detained besides the presents; and for these the prince said he would pay, as his father had taken them. He likewise desired me to come to see him in the morning, promising to be my protector and procurator, which I willingly accepted in all things except the goods.
I waited upon the prince on the 10th, when I was well received, and had orders for a phirmaund about the murdered man. He likewise made a public declaration of his reconcilement, desiring all his officers to take notice of it, and act accordingly. He likewise ordered his chief Raia to be in future my procurator, and to draw out whatever phirmaunds I required. I presented to him Captain Towerson, and some others of the English, whom he received graciously; and in confirmation of our renewed friendship, he presented me with a robe of cloth of silver, promising to be the protector of our nation in all things we could desire.
I then told him about Mr. Steel and his workmen, when he desired me to bring a small present at night to the king, to whom he should present them, which I did. He kept his word, and spoke in our favour to the king, who seemed disposed to entertain them. On this occasion I presented Captain Towerson to the king, who called him up, and after a few questions, rose. At the Gitshel Choes I presented Mr. Steel and his workmen. The king called for Mr. Paynter, and gave him ten pounds, promising to take him and all the rest into his service. On this occasion the king sat all night in a hat which I had given him.
The 13th, the Dutch came to court, bringing a great present of China ware, saunders-wood, parrots, and cloves, but were not allowed to approach the third degree, or raised platform. After some time, the prince asked me who they were. I answered, that they were Hollanders who resided at Surat. He then enquired if they were our friends. I answered, that they were of a nation which was dependent upon the king of England, but not welcome in all parts, and that I did not know their business. He then said, since they were our friends, that I ought to call them up.
So I was obliged to call upon them, that they might deliver their presents, on which occasion they were placed beside our merchants, yet without any farther speech or conference. Finally, everything I asked was complied with, or at least promised, and I now wait for performance and money. I am satisfied that, without this contestation, I had never [[=would never have]] succeeded in our just demands; for I told the prince's messenger, in the presence of all the English, that if he chose to use force against me or my goods, he certainly might, but it should cost blood, for I would set my chop upon his master's ship, and send her to England.
On the 18th I received notice from Surat of the imprisonment of Spragge and Howard at Burhanpoor, where their house and goods were seized, and their lives in question, on the following account: --The Cutwall had been drinking at their house, and one of his men had died that night, on which they were accused of having poisoned him, and the Cutwall, in excuse for having been at their house, pretended that he had gone to fetch away a man's wife who was detained by Thomas Spragge. What may be the truth of this affair I know not; but information has been sent to the king against them.
I went therefore to the prince, who had promised to undertake all our causes, but could not get speech of him, though I had likewise to complain of force having been used against a caravan of ours on the way, notwithstanding a phirmaund from the rajah of the country, on both of which subjects I shall present a petition at night to the king. My trouble with this barbarous and unjust people is beyond all endurance. When at the prince's, I found the promised phirmaund drawn up indeed, but half of the agreed conditions were omitted, upon which I refused to accept it, and desired leave to depart, that I might treat with them in the sea.
On the 21st, a command was issued to set free the English at Burhanpoor, and to restore their goods; on which occasion the king observed that if they had killed the Mahometan who came to drink at their house, he had only met with his just reward. Another order was issued, commanding Partap-shah to repay us all exactions whatsoever, and that he should hereafter take no duties upon our goods in their way to the sea-port, threatening, in case of failure, to deliver his son into my hands.
On the 22nd, I went in person to receive these phirmaunds, and carried the merchants along with me, together with some pearls the prince was eager to see, and which were pretended to belong to Mr. Towerson. The prince had received some vague accounts of our having pearls to the value of twenty or thirty thousand pounds, which he hoped to have extracted from us. When his secretary saw our small pearls, he observed that his master had maunds of such, and if we had no better, we might take these away. You may judge how basely covetous these people are of jewels. I told him that we had procured these from a gentlewoman to satisfy the prince, and as they could not be made better, it was uncivil to be angry with merchants who had done their best to show their good will.
I then spoke to him about the phirmaunds, when he bluntly told me I should have none; for as we had deceived the prince's hopes, he would disappoint us. I had asked leave to depart, and I might come to take leave whenever I pleased. To this I answered, that nothing could please me more, but that I should requite their injustice in another place, for I should now apply to the king, and depend no more on them, as I saw their conduct was made up of covetousness and unworthiness. So I arose to depart, but he recalled me, desiring that I might come next day to the king and prince together, when I should have complete satisfaction.
* * * * *
"And now, reader, we are at a stand: some more idle, or more busy spirits, willing either to take their rest, or to exchange their labour; and some perhaps wishing they had the whole journal, and not thus contracted into extracts of those things out of it which I conceived more fit for the public. And, for the whole, myself could have wished it, but neither with the honourable Company, nor elsewhere, could I learn of it; the worthy knight himself being now employed in like honourable embassage from his majesty to the Great Turk. Yet, to supply the defect of the journal, I have given thee the chorography of the country, together with certain letters of his, written from India to honourable lords, and his friends in England; out of all which may be hewed and framed a delightful commentary of the Mogul and his subjects. Take them therefore, reader, and use them as a prospective glass, by which thou mayst take easy and near view of these remote regions, people, rites, and religions." --Purchas.
* * * * *
In the Pilgrims, in supplement to the journal of Sir Thomas Roe, Purchas has inserted a formal complimentary letter from king James to the Great Mogul, or emperor of Hindoostan, together with another from the Mogul to king James, containing nothing besides hyperbolical expressions of regard; both of which are here omitted, as entirely devoid of interest, amusement, or information. Purchas has also added several letters said to have been found among the papers of Sir Thomas Roe, with some others which he says were transcribed from "Sir Thomas Roe's own book." As these letters merely repeat circumstances and opinions already more fully and more methodically expressed in the preceding journal, they could only have served unnecessarily to swell our pages, without any adequate advantage, and are therefore omitted.
Purchas also informs us that Sir Thomas Roe, before he left the court of the Great Mogul on his return for England, requested to be favoured with a recommendatory letter from the Mogul to king James. This request was granted with the utmost readiness, and a letter written accordingly; but the Mogul, or his ministers, shewed much scrupulousness about the placement of the seal to this letter, lest, if placed under the writing, it might disparage the dignity of the Mogul; or if placed over the letter, king James might feel disobliged. On this account, the letter was delivered to Sir Thomas unsealed, and the seal was sent separately, that it might be afterwards affixed, according to the pleasure of the king of England.
This seal was of silver, and Purchas has given an engraving, or facsimile, of it, consisting of an inner and larger circle, bearing the style or title of the reigning king, or Padishah Jehanguire; surrounded circularly by eight smaller circles, containing the series of his direct ancestors, from Timor, or Tamerlane, downwards. These are all of course in the Persian language and characters; but Purchas gives likewise a copy or translation of the same in English letters. It seemed quite superfluous to insert here the Persian facsimile, being merely writing without ornament, armorial bearing, or cognizance. The following is the series, expressed in English characters; the last being the central circle, which contains the name and title of the reigning emperor:--
1. Ebn Amir Temur Saheb Quran. 2. Ebn Miran Shah. 3. Ebn Mirza Soltan Mohamed. 4. Ebn Soltan Abu Said. 5. Ebn Mirza Amar Shah. 6. Ebn Bahar Padishah. 7. Ebn Humaiun Padishah. 8. Ebn Akbar Padishah. 9. Abu Amozaphar Nurdin Jebanguire Padishah.
[Footnote 215: In the edition of Churchill, the king is said to have removed twenty-four cosses from Mundu, while in the Pilgrims it is called only four cosses.--E.]
[Footnote 216: This project is nowhere explained, but might possibly be intended for conveying water, by means of machinery and leaden pipes, for the supply of some palace or city in India.--E.]
[Footnote 217: Dixit, et edictum est; fatur, et est factum.--Purch.]
[Footnote 218: On a former occasion, where this person is mentioned, it has been said that his name, in the edition of this journal given by Churchill, is written Sulph. From the circumstances in the context at this place, it is possible that Sulpheckar Khan, or Zulfeccar Khan, governor of Surat under Sultan Churrum, may be here meant.--E.]
[Footnote 219: This circumstance is perhaps explained in the sequel, as relating to the death of a person at Burhanpoor.--E.]
[Footnote 220: This is probably meant for the same public audience called, in other parts of the journal, the Gazul Khan.--E.]
[Footnote 221: This obscure expression seems to imply a threat of taking vengeance, or making reprisals at sea, for the oppressions of the Mogul government against the English trade.--E.]
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