Francisco Pelsaert

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Francisco Pelsaert (first name also spelled as "François", surname also spelled as "Pelsart") (c. 1595 – September 1630) was a Dutch merchant who worked for the Dutch East Indies Company, who became most famous as the commander of the ship Batavia, which ran aground in the Houtman Abrolhos off the coast of Western Australia in June 1629.

Quotes[edit]

Jahangir’s India[edit]

Pelsaert, Francisco., Jahangir’s India, trs. by W.H. Moreland and P. Geyl, Cambridge, 1925.

  • From the least to the greatest right up to the King himself everyone is infected with insatiable greed.
    • Pelsaert, Jahangir’s India, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • The common people (live in) poverty so great and miserable that the life of the people can be depicted or accurately described only as the home of stark want and the dwelling place of bitter woe… their houses are built of mud with thatched roofs. Furniture there is little or none, except some earthenware pots to hold water and for cooking…
    • Pelsaert, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Peons or servants are exceedingly numerous in this country... for every one-be he mounted soldier, merchant or king’s official-keeps as many as his position and circumstances permit. Outside the house, they serve for display, running continually before their master’s horse; inside, they do the work of the house, each knowing his duty...
    • Pelsaert, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • [But ultimately the brunt of all such riots was borne by the Hindus. For instance, this is how Pelsaert describes the situation prevalent in the time of Jahangir (1605-27) during Muharram.] “The outcry (of mourning) lasts till the first quarter of the day; the coffins (Tazias) are brought to the river, and if the two parties meet carrying their biers (it is worse on that day), and one will not give place to the other, then if they are evenly matched, they may kill each other as if they were enemies at open war, for they run with naked swords like madmen. No Hindu can venture into the streets before midday, for even if they should escape with their life, at the least their arms and legs would be broken to pieces…”
    • Pelsaert, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Each night the Amir visits a particular wife, or mahal, and receives a very warm welcome from her and from the slaves (i.e. slave girls), who (are) dressed specially for the occasion… If it is the hot weather, they… rub his body with pounded sandalwood and rosewater. Fans are kept going steadily. Some of the slaves chafe the master’s hand and feet, some sit and sing, or play music and dance, or provide other recreation, the wife sitting near him all the time. Then if one of the pretty slave girls takes his fancy, he calls her to him and enjoys her, his wife not daring to show any signs of displeasure, but dissembling, though she will take it out on the slave girls later on.
    • Francisco Pelsaert, Pelsaert, Francisco, Jahangir’s India, trs. by W.H. Moreland and P. Geyl, Cambridge, 1925. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 12.
  • [Pelsaert laments] “the utter subjection and poverty of the common people-poverty so great and miserable that the life of the people can be depicted or accurately described only as the home of stark want and the dwelling place of bitter woe.” He continues: “There are three classes of people who are indeed nominally free, but whose status differs very little from voluntary slavery-workmen, peons or servants and shopkeepers. For the workmen there are two scourges, the first of which is low wages. Goldsmiths, painters (of cloth or chintz), embroiderers, carpet makers, cotton or silk weavers, black-smiths, copper-smiths, tailors, masons, builders, stone-cutters, a hundred crafts in all-any of these working from morning to night can earn only 5 or 6 tackas (tankahs), that is 4 or 5 strivers in wages. The second (scourge) is (the oppression of) the Governor, the nobles, the Diwan, the Kotwal, the Bakshi, and other royal officers. If any of these wants a workman, the man is not asked if he is willing to come, but is seized in the house or in the street, well beaten if he should dare to raise any objection, and in the evening paid half his wages, or nothing at all. From these facts the nature of their food can be easily inferred… For their monotonous daily food they have nothing but a little khichri… in the day time, they munch a little parched pulse or other grain, which they say suffices for their lean stomachs… Their houses are built of mud with thatched roofs. Furniture there is little or none, except some earthenware pots to hold water and for cooking… Their bedclothes are scanty, merely a sheet or perhaps two… this is sufficient in the hot weather, but the bitter cold nights are miserable indeed, and they try to keep warm over little cowdung fires… the smoke from these fires all over the city is so great that the eyes run, and the throat seems to be choked.”
    • Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: