A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 754 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08.

In the morning, at break of day, the king is at his beads, praying, on his knees, upon a Persian lambskin, having some eight rosaries, or strings of beads, each containing 400.  The beads are of rich pearl, ballace rubies, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, aloes wood, eshem, and coral.  At the upper end of a large black stone on which he kneels, there are figures graven in stone of the Virgin and Christ, so, turning his face to the west, he repeats 3200 words, according to the number of his beads.  After this he shews himself to the people, receiving their salams or good-morrows; a vast multitude resorting every morning to the palace for that purpose.  After this he takes two hours sleep, then dines, and passes his time among his women till noon.  From that time till three o’clock he shews himself again to the people, looking at sports and pastimes made by men, or at fights of various animals.  At three o’clock, all the nobles then in Agra, who are in health, resort to court, when the king comes forth to open audience, sitting in his royal seat, and all the nobles standing before him, each according to his degree.  The chiefs of the nobles standing within the red rail, and all the rest without, all being properly placed by the lieutenant-general.  The space within the red rail is three steps higher than where the rest stand, and within this red rail I was placed among the chiefest of the land.  All the rest are placed in their order by officers, and they likewise are placed within another rail in a spacious place; and without the rail stand all kinds of horsemen and foot-soldiers belonging to his captains, and all other comers.  At these rails there are many doors kept by a great number of porters, who have white rods to keep every one in order.

In the middle of the place, right before the king, stands one of the king’s sheriffs or judges, together with the chief executioner, who is attended by forty executioners, distinguished from all others by a peculiar kind of quilted caps on their heads, some with hatchets on their shoulders, and others with all sorts of whips, ready to execute the king’s commands.  The king hears all manner of causes in this place, staying about two hours every day for that purpose; for the kings in India sit in judgment every day, and their sentences are put in execution every Tuesday.

After this he retires to his private chamber for prayer, when four or five kinds of finely-dressed roast meats are set before him, of which he eats till his stomach is satisfied, drinking after this meal one cup of strong drink.  He then goes into a private room, into which no one enters but such as are named by himself, where for two years I was one of his attendants; and here he drinks other five cups of strong liquor, being the quantity allowed by his physicians.  This done, he chews opium, and being intoxicated, he goes to sleep, and every one departs to his home.  He is awakened after two hours to get his supper, at which time he is unable to feed himself, but has it thrust into his mouth by others, which is about one o’clock in the morning; after which he sleeps the rest of the night.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 08 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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