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24                         AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA.
actual hunt as a means for exercise and recreation, for
training the eye and quickening the blood. Akbar took pleas-
ure also in games. Besides chess, cards and other games,
fights between animals may especially be mentioned, of
which elephant fights were the most common, but there
were also contests between camels, buffaloes, cocks, and
even frogs, sparrows and spiders.
Usually, however, the whole day was filled up from the
first break of dawn for Akbar with affairs of government
and audiences, for every one who had a request or a
grievance to bring forward could have access to Akbar,
and he showed the same interest in the smallest ^incidents
as in the greatest affairs of state. He also held courts oŁ
justice wherever he happened to be residing. No criminal
could be punished there without his knowledge and no
sentence of death executed until Akbar had given the com-
mand three times.25
Not until after sunset did the Emperor's time of recrea-
tion begin. Since he only required three hours of sleep26
he devoted most of the night to literary, artistic and scien-
tific occupations. Especially poetry and music delighted
his heart. He collected a large library in his palace and
drew the most famous scholars and poets to his court. The
most important of these were the brothers Abul Faiz (with
the nom de plume Faizi) and Abul Fazl who have made
Akbar's fame known to the whole world through their
works. The former at Akbar's behest translated a series
of Sanskrit works into Persian, and Abul Fazl, the highly
gifted minister and historian of Akbar's court (who to
be sure can not be exonerated from the charge of flattery)
likewise composed in the Persian language a large his-
torical work written in the most flowery style which is the
main source of our knowledge of that period. This famous
28 J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 168.
*Loc. cit., 169.