Collyrium is an Eye Wash

Akbarnama of Abul Fazl Vol. III translated from Persian by H. Beveridge page 1058

On the 30th the privy chamber of wisdom was illuminated by a ray from the Shahinshah’s [Emperor Akbar’s] glory, and some special intimates received joy. Suddenly there arose the noise of a marriage and His Majesty ordered that the music should be stopped, as a foreign sound did not suit the banquet of enlightenment. The spectators received collyrium on beholding his mildness, farsight, fewness of words, and acceptance of remark.

Chapter 13 of The Milk Line is based on this paragraph.

“The emperor was intimate with one of the concubines, which is typical. But afterwards, while he was being bathed, she mentioned marriage. Stupid woman. Emperor’s do not marry concubines, but I suppose she felt due. Apparently, the emperor himself dragged her out of the bath and ordered the other women to turn, avert their eyes.”

“They said the emperor was completely silent. He did not speak at all. However, the other women heard the violence of her death. One of the women said they heard the noise of her beating… of crushing bones.”

“All the women in attendance followed orders. They all turned. Averted their eyes. All, but one. Apparently, she saw what happened. The emperor had lye poured onto her eyes. He calls it a ‘collyrium’ …some kind of ‘eye wash’. Blinding her will ensure no one else speaks of this matter.”

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