[The Queen's personal history]

[Excerpt from Letter VI, from Mangalor, December 9, 1623:]

[155] After she [=the Queen of Olaza] was gone her way, I with my people enter'd into a little village, and there took a lodging in an empty house belonging to a *Moor* [=Muslim] of the Country, and near the Palace; but I caus'd my diet to be prepar'd in another house of a neighbour Moor, that so I might have the convenience of eating flesh [=meat], or what I pleas'd; which in the houses of Gentiles would not be suffer'd. The inhabitants of Manel are partly Gentiles, and partly Malabar-Moors, who have also their Meschite's [=masjids, or mosques] there; which was of much convenience to me....

As for this Country's being subject to a Woman, I understood from intelligent persons of the Country, that in Olaza Men were and are always wont to reign, and that 'tis a custom receiv'd in India amongst the greatest part of the Gentiles, the Sons do not succeed the Fathers, but the Sons of their [156] Sisters; they accounting the Female-line more certain, as indeed it is, than the Male. Yet that the last King of Olaza, having neither Nephews nor other legitimate heirs, his Wife succeeded him; and she also dying without other Heirs left... her Sister to succeed her. To whom, because she is a Woman and the descent is certain, is to succeed a Son of hers, of whom I shall hereafter make mention; but to him, being a Man, not his own Sons, but the Son of one of his Sisters, hereafter likewise mention'd, is to succeed.

Not to conceal what I know of the History of this Queen, I shall add, that after her Assumption to the Throne upon the death of her Sister, she was married for many years to the King of Banghel, who is now a fugitive, depriv'd of his dominions, but then reign'd in his own Country which borders upon hers. Yet, though they were Husband and Wife (more for Honor's sake than any thing else), they liv'd not together, but apart each in their own Lands: in the Confines [=border areas] whereof, either upon Rivers, where they caus'd Tents to be erected over boats, or in other places of delight, they came to see and converse with one another; Banghel wanting not [=not lacking] other Wives and Women, who accompany'd him where-ever he went. 'Tis reported, that this Queen had the Children, which she hath, by this Banghel, if they were not by some other secret and more intimate Lover; for, they say, she wants not [=does not lack] such.

The Matrimony and good Friendship having lasted many years between Banghel and the Queen, I know not upon what occasion discord arose between them, and such discord that the Queen divorc'd Banghel, sending back to him (as the custom is in such case) all the Jewels which he had given her as his Wife. For this, and perhaps for other causes, Banghel became much offended with the Queen, and the rupture proceeded to a War: during which, it so fortun'd that one day as she was going in a boat upon one of those Rivers, not very well guarded, he sending his people with other boats in better order, took her and had her in his power: Yet, with fair carriage [=behavior] and good words, she prevail'd so far that he let her go free and return to her Country.

In revenge of this injury, she forth-with rais'd war against Banghel, who relying upon the aid of the neighbouring Portugals, because he was confederate with them, and (as they say of many Royolets [=petty kings] of India), Brother in Arms to the King of Portugal, the Queen to counterpoise that force call'd to her assistance against Banghel, and the Portugals who favour'd him, the neighbouring King Venk-tapa Naieka, who was already become very potent, and fear'd by all the Neighbours, and under his protection and obedience she put her self. Venk-tapa Naieka sent a powerful Army in favour of the Queen, took all Banghel's territories and made them his own, destroying the Fort which was there; he also made prey of divers [=various] other petty Lords thereabouts, demolishing their strength, and rendering them his Tributaries; one of which was the Queen of Curnat, [157] who was also confederate with the Portugals, and no friend to her of Olaza: he came against Mangalor, where in a battle rashly undertaken by the Portugals, he defeated a great number; and (in short) [he defeated] the flower and strength of India, carrying the Ensigns, Arms, and Heads of the slain to Ikkeri in triumph.

He did not take Mangalor, because he would not; answering the Queen of Olaza, who urg'd him to it, That they could do that at any time with much facility, and that 'twas best to let those four Portugals remain in that small place (which was rather a House than a Fortress), in respect of the Traffick and Wares which they brought to the benefit of their Countries: After which he came to a treaty with the Portugals, by which he restor'd the Colours he had taken from them, and by their means Banghel surrendered the Fort, which Venk-tapa, as I said before, demolished; besides other conditions which are now under consideration, according as is above-mention'd in my Relation of the Embassy to Ikkeri.

This was the War of Banghel, in which the Queen got the better of him and the Portugals, of which she was very proud; yet with-all, her Protector Venk-tapa Naieka, who is very rapacious and little faithful, sufficiently humbled her, and she got not much benefit by him, saving quiet living; for besides his subjecting her to his obedience in a manner, she was necessitated, whether by agreement or violence I know not, to resign to him Berdrete, which is the best and richest City she had, together with much land in those confines of Venk-tapa, and of the inner part of her Country, which amounted to a good part of her Dominions; however, at present she lives and governs her Country in peace, being respected by all her Neighbours.

This Queen had an elder Son than him that now lives; he was called Cic-Rau Ciauesu, and died a while since. The Portugals say, that she her self caus'd poison to be given him, because the young man being grown up, and of much spirit, aspir'd to deprive her of the Government, and make himself Master: which is possible enough: for divers other Princes in the world have procur'd the death of their own Children upon jealousy of States; so prevalent is that cursed enormous ambition of ruling. Yet such an impiety not being evident to me concerning the Queen, I will not wrongfully defame her, but rather believe, that the young man died a natural death, and with regret to her.

So neither do I believe what the Portugals incens'd against her further report, namely, that she hath attempted to poison this second Son; but it succeeded not, he being advertis'd thereof by his Nurse who was to give him the poison; since I see that this Son lives with her in the same place and house peaceably, which would not be, if there were any such matter: Nor can I conceive, why she should go about to extinguish all her own Issue in this manner, having now no other Heir born of her self.

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