All religions are tolerated, and even their priests are held in good esteem. I used often to receive from the Mogul the appellation of Father, with many other gracious words, and had a place assigned me among his nobles. The jesuits are not only admitted into his presence, but encouraged by many gifts, and are permitted to convert the subjects, who do not on that event lose their favour at court. On one occasion, the Mogul put the sincerity of a convert to a severe trial. Having used many threatenings to induce him to abandon his new faith, and finding him undaunted, he tried by flatteries and high promises to draw him back; but these also being unavailing, he bade him continue a Christian, and dismissed him with a reward; saying, if he had been able to terrify or cajole him from his religion, he would have made him a terrible example for all waverers.
When I was in this country, the chief jesuit residing at the court of the Mogul, was Francisco Corsi, a Florentine by birth, who acted likewise as agent for the Portuguese. I wish I could confirm the reports they have made of conversions; but the real truth is, that they have merely spilt the water of baptism on the faces of a few, working on the necessities of some poor men, who from want of means to live, with which the jesuits supplied them, have been persuaded to wear crucifixes, but who, for want of instruction, are only Christians in name. Of these few mendicants, or so called by Christians, I noticed that five of them would beg in the name of Maria, for one who asked in the name of Jesus. I also desired to have put my hands to the holy work, but found extreme difficulty in the way, owing both to the Mahometan laxity in regard to the use of women, and the debauched lives of some unchristian Christians.—May he who hath the key of David open their eyes, and in his good time send labourers into this vineyard. Amen.
JOURNEY OF THOMAS CORYAT BY LAND, FROM JERUSALEM TO THE COURT OF THE GREAT MOGUL.
Without proposing to follow this singularly bold English traveller and whimsical writer, in all his crudities, as he has quaintly termed his own writings, it has seemed proper to give some abbreviated extracts of his observations, which may serve in some measure to illustrate those of Sir Tomas Roe and the Reverend Edward Terry.—E.
[Footnote 245: Purch. Pilgr. I. 607. In regard to this short article, see introduction to the immediately preceding Section.—E.]
Sec.1. Letter from Ajimeer, the Court of the Great Mogul, to Mr L. Whitaker, dated in the Year 1615.