A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

Before the throne, near a window of the hall, there was a great kurkeh or drum, on a raised stage, attended by two men, and near it a great band of musicians.  Part of the hall was divided off by curtains which came close to the throne, that the ladies belonging to the palace might see the company without being seen.  After all the victuals and liquors were brought in and properly distributed, two khojas withdrew, the curtains which covered a door behind the throne, and the emperor came forth, amid the sound of many instruments of music, and took his seat under a canopy of yellow satin, ornamented with four dragons.  After the ambassadors had made five prostrations, they sat down to table, and were treated as at other times.  During the entertainment, many comic tricks were acted for the amusement of the emperor and the company.  The first performers that appeared were painted with white and red, like girls, and dressed in gold brocade, holding nosegays of artificial flowers.  After this, a man lay down on his back, as if asleep, holding his feet raised up in the air; then another person held several thick canes in his hands, seven cubits long, placing the other ends between his legs, on which a youth of ten or twelve years of age mounted, with surprising agility, and performed several tricks at the top.  At last the canes slipped away from under him, and every person thought he must have fallen to the ground and been dashed to pieces; but the pretended sleeper instantly started up and caught him in the air.  There was one musician who played tunes after the twelve different modes of the Kathayans.  Two men played the same air together, each having one hand on his own instrument, and the other on that of his companion.  During this entertainment, several thousand birds of different kinds flew about the court of the palace, and lighted among the people, to eat up what they could find scattered on the ground, without appearing to be in the least scared at the multitude.  During the five months that the ambassadors remained at Khanbalik, they were regaled at several other banquets, where plays were acted, much surpassing that now mentioned.

On the seventeenth of the month Zu’lhajjeh, all the criminals were carried to be punished according to the nature of their offences, and as prescribed by the laws.  The twenty-fifth of Moharram, Mulana Kadhi Yusof sent to acquaint the ambassadors that next day, being the first of the new year, according to the reckoning of the Kathayans, the emperor was to go to his new palace, and that no person must wear white, as that was the dress of mourning in this country.  On the twenty-eighth, at midnight, the Sekjin came to conduct them to the new palace, which had been nineteen years building, and was only newly finished.  Every person had his house or shop illuminated, with torches, lanterns, candles, and lamps, so that it appeared as light as noon-day.  At the palace they found an hundred thousand people, who had come from

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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