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AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA. 33
furnace with a New Testament in his hand if the Mullahs
would do the same with the Koran in their hand, but that
the Mohammedan priests withdrew in terror before this
test by fire. It is noteworthy in this connection that the
Jesuits at Akbar's court received a warning from their
superiors not to risk such rash experiments which might
be induced by the devil with the view of bringing shame
upon Christianity.38 The superiors were apparently well
informed with regard to the intentions of the devil.
In conversation with the Jesuits Akbar proved to be
favorably inclined towards many of the Christian doctrines
and met, his guests half way in every manner possible.
They had permission to erect a hospital and a chapel and
to establish Christian worship in the latter for the benefit
of the Portuguese in that vicinity. Akbar himself occa-
sionally took part in this service kneeling with bared head,
which, however, did not hinder him from joining also in
the Mohammedan ritual or even the Brahman religious
practices of the Rajput women in his harem. He had his
second son Murad instructed by the Jesuits in the Portu-
guese language and in the Christian faith.
The Jesuits on their side pushed energetically toward
their goal and did not scorn to employ flattery in so far as
to draw a parallel between the Emperor and Christ, but
no matter how slyly the fathers proceeded in the accom-
plishment of their plans Akbar was always a match for
them. In spite of all concessions with regard to the ex-
cellence and credibility of the Christian doctrines the Em-
peror never seemed to be entirely satisfied. Du Jarric
"complains bitterly of his obstinacy and remarks that the
restless intellect of this man could never be quieted by one
answer but must constantly make further inquiry."39 The
88 j T v/heeler, IV, I, 165, note, 47; M. Elphinstone, 523, note 8; G. B.
89 In Noer, I, 485.