« 上一頁繼續 »
lighted therewith: some also bestowed themselves in making of curious needle-works and gold-strings, some in other things, whilst their companions gathered fruit to eat; and all this was done so quietly, and with such order and good behaviour, as made us admire it. At our going out of this garden, where the Monvagarun would needs have the ambassador to stay awhile, that he might there observe something worthy to entertain his king with at his return to Pegu, we went into a very great antichamber, where many commanders and lords were sitting, as also some great princes, who received the ambassador with new ceremonies and compliments, and yet not one of them stirred from his place. Through this antichamber we came to a door, where there were six gentlemen ushers with silver maces, by which we entered into another room very richly furnished: in this was the Calaminham, seated on a most majestical throne, encompassed with three rows of ballisters of silver. At the foot of the degrees of his throne sat twelve women, that were exceeding beautiful and most richly apparelled, playing on divers sorts of instruments, whereunto they accorded their voices. On the top of the throne, and not far from his person, were twelve young damsels about nine or ten years old, all of them on their knees round about him, and carrying maces of gold in the fashion of sceptres; amongst them, there was also another that stood on her feet, and fanned him. Below, all along the whole length of the room, were a great many of old men, wearing mitres of gold on their heads, and long robes of satin and damask curiously embroidered, every one having silver maces on their shoulders, and ranked in order on either side against the walls: over all the rest of the room were sitting, upon rich Persian carpets, about two hundred young ladies, as we could guess, that were wonderful fair, and exceeding wellfavoured."—p. 228.
"Then began the women to play on instruments of music, and six of them danced with little children for the space of three or four credos; after that, other six little girls danced with six of the oldest men that were in the room, which seemed to us a very pretty fantasticalness. This dance ended, there was a very fine comedy represented by twelve ladies, exceeding beautiful and gorgeously attired, wherein appeared on the stage a great sea-monster, holding in his mouth the daughter of a king, whom the fish swallowed up before them all, which the twelve ladies seeing, went in all haste weeping to an hermitage that was at the foot of a mountain, from whence they returned with an hermit, who made earnest supplications to Quiay Patureu, god of the sea, that he would bring this monster to the shore, so as they might come to bury the damsel according to her quality. The hermit was answered by Quiay Patureu, that the twelve ladies should change their lamentations and complaints into so many consorts of music, that were agreeable to his ears, and he would then command the sea to cast the fish upon the strand, to be done withal as they thought good; whereupon comes on the stage, six little boys with wings and crowns of gold upon their heads, in the same manner as we use to paint angels, and naked all over, who falling on their knees before the ladies, presented them with three harps and three viols, saying, that Quiay Patureu senjt
them these instruments from the heaven of the moon, therewith to cast the monster of the sea into a sleep, that so they might have their desire on him; whereupon the twelve ladies took them out of the hands of the little boys, and began to play upon them, tuning them unto their voices with so lamentable and sad a tone, and such abundance of tears, that it drew some from the eyes of divers lords that were in the room. Having continued their music about half a quarter of an hour, they saw the monster coming out of the sea, and by little and little, as it were, astonished—making to the shore where these fair musicians were; all which was performed so properly, and to the life, that the assistants could hardly imagine it to be a fable, and a matter devised for pleasure, but a very truth, besides the scene was set forth with a world of state and riches. Then one of the twelve ladies, drawing out a poniard, all set with precious stones, which she wore by her side, ripped up the fish, and out of the belly of it drew the Infanta alive, which presently went and danced to the tune of their instruments, and so went and kissed the Calaminham's hand, who received her very graciously, and made her sit down by him. It was said that this young lady was his niece, the daughter of a brother of his; as for the other twelve, they were all the daughters of princes, and of the greatest lords of the country, whose fathers and brothers were there present. There were also three or four comedies more like this, acted by other young ladies of great quality, and set forth with so much pomp and magnificence, as more could not be desired."—p. 229.
On leaving the court of the Calaminham, they sail down the great river Ritsey, where the ambassador makes a tradingvoyage. In this voyage they see a great variety of natives, and among others, " the merchants mention certain tawny men who are great archers, having their feet like oxen, but their hands are like unto other men, except that they are exceeding hairy: they are very much addicted to cruelty, and have below, at the end of the backbone, a lump of flesh as big as one's two fists." They saw also men, "named Magares, who feed on wild beasts, which they eat raw, such as serpents and adders; they hunt these wild beasts, mounted on certain animals as big as horses, which have three horns in the middle of their foreheads, with thick short legs, and on the middle of their backs a row of prickles, all the rest of their body is like a great lizard, besides they have on their necks instead of hair, other prickles, far larger and bigger than those on their backs; and on the joints of their shoulders short wings, wherewith they fly, as it were, leaping the length of five or six and twenty paces at a grasp. These creatures are called Banazes."
Many other remarkable people were seen in this voyage, though none equally marvellous; after which, we find an account of the death of another potentate, the Roolim of Mounay, whose funeral pyre is honoured by such splendid exhibitions; and terrible sacrifices, that we cannot forbear to wish that the prince of European magicians (hight Farley), would transport the whole scene to Covent-Garden, it being one of the very few on which his skill and his imagination have not (to our recollection) been exercised. We cannot give the detail of the procession, which occupies a whole chapter, but must not omit to say, that the body lay upon a throne of twelve steps covered with white velvet, on which were innumerable silver candlesticks, surrounded by thirty thousand priests. Five hundred naked boys, with cords round their arms, and knives in their hands, were succeeded by other boys clothed in white satin, with chains of gold and pearls. Twenty nobles of upwards of eighty years of age, followed in violet robes of damask, with silver censers. Twelve gentlemen ushers with gold maces, and twenty boys richly apparelled, sung dolefully; whilst six young gentlemen drank out of a golden cup a certain liquor, so venomous, that before they had finished the draught, they fell down dead, and were instantly burned on a fire of sandal wood and aloes, to the envy of all who beheld so fine a sacrifice, &c. &c.
Our limits warn us to conclude, and the death of some kings, the conquests of others, and the sins of all, must be left to the oblivion in which they have lain so long, leaving Ferdinand himself to relate two incidents, which we trust will justify our assertion, that his work furnishes much of tragic incident, related in a feeling and agreeable manner.
"At the time when we arrived there, there was in the King of Bungo's court a young man, called Axirandoo, nephew to the King of Arimaa, who in regard of the ill intreaty which he had received from the king, his uncle, had retired himself into this court, and continued there above a year, with an intent never to return into his country again: but his good fortune was such, as his uncle coming to die, and having no other to succeed him, he declared him for his heir. Whereupon the Fucarandono, of whom I lately made mention, desiring to marry this prince to a daughter of his, intreated the king to mediate this marriage for him, which he easily condescended unto. For which effect the king one day invited the prince to go a hunting with him into a wood, which was some two leagues off, and where there was great store of game, which he much delighted in. When they were there in private together, he moved this marriage unto him, and certified how exceedingly it would content him that he would accept of it; which accordingly he did, wherewith the king seemed to be extremely satisfied; so that upon his return unto the town, he sent for the Fucarandono, and told him how he had prevailed for the marriage of his daughter with the King of Arimaa, and therefore willed him to go and acknowledge unto him with all thankfulness this grace and honour which he did him; for he assured him on the word of a king, that he himself had desired him for his son-in-law. Hereupon the Fucarandono cast himself presently at the king's feet, and in convenient terms for so great an obligation, kissed them, with much sense of so extraordinary a favour as he had showed him. That done, he went home to his palace, where, with much joy and contentment, he gave an account of this affair to his wife, to his sons, and his kinsmen; who, showing themselves exceedingly satisfied therewith, congratulated one another for it, as they commonly use to do in such honourable matches as this. In the mean time, the mother of the bride, as she that had the best part in this joy, went unto a chamber where her daughter was sewing, with divers other young maids that served her; and taking her by the hand, led her into the room where her father, brethren, and kinsmen were, who rejoiced with her for so happy a fortune, and honoured her with the title of Highness, as being already queen of the kingdom of Arimaa; and so all that day was spent in feasts, banquets, visits of ladies, and presenting her with many rich gifts. But whereas the good or evil of such like affairs, consists more in that which followeth, than in the original thereof, upon the good and joyful beginning of this marriage such great disasters ensued, as they almost equalled them of the kingdom of Siam, whereof I have spoken heretofore: which I stick not to say, in regard I can affirm it with truth, as having seen these two successes with mine own eyes, and been present at them with danger enough of my person. All this day was spent in the visits of the principal persons of the kingdom; but in this public rejoicing, there was none save the bride alone that was discontented, in regard she was desperately in love with a young gentleman, the son W one Groge Arum, who was a baron amongst us, but very much different in extraction and quality from the Fucarandono, the father of the bride; who, as soon as it was night, compelled by the violence of the love which she bore to him, sent him word by her whom she had always secretly made use of in this affair, that she would have him come and steal her away out of her father's house before some other mischief arrived. Whereupon the young man, who was no more free from this passion than she, failed not to come to her to a place in which they used to meet together, where his mistress importuned him in such manner, as he was constrained to carry her away from her father's house, and put her into a monastery of religious women, whereof an aunt of her's was, as it were, the abbess; in which she continued nine days concealed, without the knowledge or privity of any body. The next morning her governess went into her chamber, where she had left her the night before; but not finding her there, she presently repaired to her mother's chamber, imagining that she was gone thither to trick up herself extraordinarily, in regard of the time, or for some other such like occasion; and missing of her there too, she returned to her bedchamber, where she found one of the windows that looked into a garden open, together with a sheet fastened to one of the bars, and one of her sandals lying below on the ground. Presently misdoubting the business, she went, without further delay, to impart the sad news unto her mother, who was still in her bed, out of which in all haste she arose, and diligently searching all the women's chambers, where she conceived she might be, and not finding her, it was said, that she was so overcome with grief, as she fell down dead in the place. In the mean time, the Fucarandono, who as yet understood nothing of the matter, hearing the noise which the women made, ran in haste to know the cause thereof: Whereupon, being assured of the flight of his daughter, he sent with all speed to acquaint his kinsmen therewith, who, amazed with the novelty of so unfortunate and unexpected an accident, came instantly unto him. Having consulted then amongst themselves what they should do in this affair, they resolved to proceed therein with all the rigour that possibly could be used; so that presently beginning with the women of the house, they cut off, I know not how many of their heads, under pretext of being accomplices of this rape or flight. After this execution, being of different opinions touching the place where this maid might be, they were all of the mind not to proceed any further, until they had first acquainted the king with the business; which instantly they did, and withal, very earnestly besought him to permit them to go and search the houses of some whom they named unto him, where they believed she was: which the king refusing, as well to exempt the masters of them from such an affront, as also to prevent the tumult which this disorder might cause. The Fucarandono, offended for that the king did not grant him his request, returned with his kinsmen to his palace, where he resolved with them to do therein all that in such a case he thought was for his honour, alleging, that it was only for men of little worth and base minds to proceed by way of justice, in matters which might be carried by force. This resolution taken, as it is the custom of these people of Japan to be more ambitious of honour than all the nations of the world, he determined to bring his design to pass at any price whatsoever, without regard to any thing that might arrive thereupon; so that giving intelligence thereof to all his friends and kinsmen that were in the court, they came all to him that night, and approved of this his resolution, after he had declared it unto them; insomuch that they went without further delay to the houses of them where this maid lay hid: but they being already fortified and furnished with men, upon notice given them before-hand of their intent, such a great and terrible uproar ensued thereupon, as there were above twelve thousand persons killed that night. To this disorder the king ran in person with his guard, to see if he could pacify it, but the quarrel grew so hot betwixt them, as it was impossible to appease it; so that after they had lost the respect which they owed to the king, they turned all their fury against him, and slew the most part of them that were with him, so that he was constrained to retire unto his palace, where he gathered unto him as many as possibly he could upon a sudden; but all that served him to little purpose, for they pursued him thither, and killed him, together with very near all them that he had drawn to his defence, amounting to the number of seven or eight thousand men, amongst the which were six-and-twenty Portuguese, of forty that were with the king. But these ministers of Satan, not contented with having committed so horrible a treason, went directly to the queen's lodging, where, having found her sick in her bed, they most mercilessly butchered her, with three of her daughters, and all the women they could meet withal. After this, with an enraged fury, they set fire on the town in six or seven places, which kindling by the violence of the wind, that was very high at that time, it took hold of it in such sort, as in less than two hours it was almost burnt