During the time that he drinks his six cups of strong liquor, he says and does many idle things; yet whatsoever he does or says, whether drunk or sober, there are writers who attend him in rotation, who set every thing down in writing; so that not a single incident of his life but is recorded, even his going to the necessary, and when he lies with his wives. The purpose of all this is, that when he dies all his actions and speeches that are worthy of being recorded may be inserted in the chronicle of his reign. One of the king’s sons, Sultan Shariar, a boy of seven years old, was called by him one day when I was there, and asked if he chose to accompany him to some place where he was going for amusement. The boy answered he would either go or stay, as it pleased his majesty to command. Because he had not said, that he would go with all his heart along with his majesty, he was sore beaten by the king, yet did not cry. The king therefore asked him, why he cried not? Because, he said, his nurse had told him that it was the greatest possible shame for a prince to cry when beaten; and that ever since he had never cried, and would not though beaten to death. On this his father struck him again, and taking a bodkin, thrust it through his cheek; yet would he not cry, though he bled much. It was much wondered at by all that the king should so treat his own child, and that the boy was so stout-hearted as not to cry. There is great hopes that this child will exceed all the rest.
Observations of William Finch, Merchant, who accompanied Captain Hawkins to Surat, and returned overland to Europe.
This article is said by Purchas to have been abbreviated out of the larger journal kept by Finch during his voyage to India and residence there, and seems a most useful supplement to the preceding section, being in many circumstances more full and satisfactory than the relation of Hawkins. In the Pilgrims of Purchas it does not follow the former relation, but that was owing to its not reaching him in time, as is stated in the following note, which is both characteristic of that early collector of voyages and travels, and of the observations of William Finch.
[Footnote 208: Purch. Pilg. I. 414.]
“This should have followed next after Master Hawkins, with whom William Finch went into the Mogolls country, if I then had had it. But better a good dish, though not in duest place of service, than not at all: Neither is he altogether born out of due time, which comes in due place, while we are yet in India, and in time also, before the Mogoll affairs received any latter access or better maturity: And for that circumstance failing, you shall find it supplied in substance, with more accurate observations of men, beasts, plants, cities, deserts, castles, buildings, regions, religions, than almost any other; as also of ways, wares, and wars.”—Purchas.