A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.
The nose is horridly deformed, with grim lowering eyes, a threatening look, and crooked hands, or talons like flesh-hooks, and feet somewhat like those of a cock; forming on the whole, a monster terrible to look at.  In every corner of the chapel there are other figures of devils of shining copper, as if flames of fire devouring miserable souls.  These souls are about the size of half a finger, some of them larger, and each figure puts one of these souls into his mouth with the right hand, while the left is on the ground lifting up another.  Every morning the priests, who are called Bramins, wash the idol with rose water, and perfume him with sweet savours, after which they pray to him prostrate on the earth.  Once every week they sacrifice to the idol after this form.  They have a little altar or cupboard, three spans high, five spans long and four broad, on which they strew all manner of flowers and sweet-smelling powders; then bringing a great silver chafing-dish full of warming coals, they kill a cock with a silver knife, throwing the blood into the fire, together with many sweet perfumes, and even thrust the bloody blade of the knife often into the fire that none of the blood may be lost; then the priest maketh many strange gestures with the knife, like a fencer, giving or defending thrusts.  In the mean time other priests with burning censers go round about the altar perfuming it with incense, and ringing a small silver bell all the time of the sacrifice.  The priest who sacrifices the cock has his arms and legs garnished with silver plates and pendants, which make a noise when he moves like hawks-bells, and he wears a kind of boss on his breast inscribed with I know not what signs, being perhaps the secret character of some hidden mystery.  When the sacrifice is finished, he fills both his hands with wheat, and goes backwards, keeping his eyes fixed on the altar till he comes to a certain tree whereon he casts the wheat; then returning to the altar he removes all that is upon it.

The king never sits down to eat till four of his priests have offered his meat in this manner to the idol; lifting their hands above their heads with many fantastical gesticulations and murmuring voices, they present the meat to the idol, and after many foolish ceremonies bring back the meat to the king.  The meat is offered in a wooden tray, after which it is laid on the broad leaves of a certain tree.  The meat of the king consists of rice and divers other things, such as fruits; and be eats sitting on the ground without cloth or carpet.  During his repast, the priests stand round him at four or five paces distance, carefully observing all his orders; and when he has done eating, they carry away all the remains of his food, which they give to certain crows, which being used to be thus fed, come upon a signal, and being esteemed holy, it is not lawful for any one to take or even hurt them.  The chief priests of these idolaters are the bramins, who are with them as bishops

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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