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.

The fourth gate is to the river, called the Dersane, leading to a fair court extending along the river, where the king looks out every morning at sun-rising, which he salutes, and then his nobles resort to their tessilam.  Right under the place where he looks out, is a kind of scaffold on which the nobles stand, but the addees and others wait in the court below.  Here likewise the king comes every day at noon to see the tamashan, or fighting with elephants, lions, and buffaloes, and killing of deer by leopards.  This is the custom every day of the week except Sunday,[260] on which there is no fighting.  Tuesdays are peculiarly the days of blood both for fighting beasts and killing men; as on that day the king sits in judgment, and sees it put in execution.  Within the third gate, formerly mentioned, you enter a spacious court, with atescannas all arched round, like shops or open stalls, in which the king’s captains, according to their several degrees keep their seventh day chockees.[261] A little farther on you enter through a rail into an inner court, into which none are admitted except the king’s addees, and men of some quality, under pain of a hearty thwacking from the porter’s cudgels, which they lay on load without respect of persons.

[Footnote 260:  Probably Friday is here meant, being the Sabbath of the Mahometans.—­E.]

[Footnote 261:  Mr Finch perpetually forgets that his readers in England were not acquainted with the language of India, and leaves these eastern terms unexplained; in which he has been inconveniently copied by most subsequent travellers in the East. Chockees in the text, probably means turns of duty on guard.—­E.]

Being entered, you approach the king’s durbar, or royal seat, before which is a small court inclosed with rails, and covered over head with rich semianes, or awnings, to keep away the sun.  Here aloft in a gallery sits the king in his chair of state, accompanied by his sons and chief vizier, who go up by a short ladder from the court, none other being allowed to go up unless called, except two punkaws to fan him, and right before him is a third punkaw on a scaffold, who makes havock of the poor flies with a horse’s tail.  On the wall behind the king, on his right hand, is a picture of our Saviour, and on his left, of the Virgin.  On the farther side of the court of presence hang golden bells, by ringing which, if any one be oppressed, and is refused justice by the king’s officers, he is called in and the matter discussed before the king.  But let them be sure their cause is good, lest they be punished for presuming to trouble the king.  The king comes to his durbar every day between three and four o’clock, when thousands resort to shew their duty, every one taking place according to his rank.  He remains here till the evening, hearing various matters, receiving news or letters, which are read by his viziers, granting suits, and so forth:  All which time the royal drum continually beats, and many instruments of music are sounded from a gallery on the opposite building.  His elephants and horses in the mean time are led past, in brave order, doing their tessilam, or obeisance, and are examined by proper officers to see that they are properly cared for, and in a thriving condition.

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