Volume 2, Chapter 6 -- History of the Discovery and Conquest of India by the Portuguese, between the years 1497 and 1505, from the original Portuguese of Hernan Lopez de Castaneda: *section index*
 
 
 

Volume 2, Chapter 6, Section 2a -- Narrative of the first Voyage of Vasco de Gama to India and back, in the years 1497, 1498, and 1499 (up to the arrival at Calicut).

On the death of King John, he was succeeded by Don Manuel, a prince of a great mind, bent upon high enterprise, and prone to undertake and execute things beyond the ordinary reach of human knowledge, even more than was Alexander the Great. Being exceedingly desirous to prosecute the discovery of the Indies, which had been begun by his predecessor, and proceeding upon the information left him by King John, relative to that navigation, he commanded Fernan Lorenzo, treasurer of the house of Mina, to cause [[to be]] construct[[ed]] two ships for this voyage, from the timber which had been provided by King John. These were named the Angel Gabriel and the San Raphael, the former being of the burden of 120 tons, the latter 100. In addition to these, a caravel of 50 tons called the Berrio, and a ship of 200 tons, were purchased. In the year 1497, the king appointed Vasco de la Gama as chief captain for the voyage, an experienced navigator, who had done great service, and a man of great valour, well fitted for executing the great enterprise intended by the king. Paulo de la Gama, brother to the captain-general, and Nicholas Coello, both men of valour and enterprise, were appointed the other captains of the squadron. Bartholomew Diaz was likewise commanded to accompany the squadron of discovery in a caravel to the Mirna: and as the three ships of war appointed for the voyage could not contain a sufficient supply of provisions for their crews, the ship of 200 tons, which had been purchased from Ayres Correa, was ordered to accompany de Gama to a place called St. Blaze, at which the squadron was to take in water, where the victuals with which she was loaded were to be distributed to the other ships, after which she was ordered to be burnt.

Having received their orders, Vasco de la Gama and the other captains took their leave of the king at Monte Mayor, and departed for Lisbon, where he embarked his company of 148 persons at Belem, on Saturday the 8th of July 1497. At this embarkation all the religious belonging to the church of our Lady at Belem went in procession in their cowls, bare-headed and carrying wax candles, praying for the success of the expedition; accompanied by almost the whole people of Lisbon, weeping and deploring the fate of those who now embarked, as devoted to certain death in the attempt of so dangerous a voyage. Thus commended to God and good fortune, the officers and crews embarked and immediately set sail. Vasco de la Gama, the captain-general, took the command in the Angel Gabriel, of which Pedro de Alenquer was pilot, who had been in the same capacity with Diaz when he passed the Cape of Good Hope, and discovered the Rio del Infante. Paulo de Gama went captain of the San Raphael, Nicholas Coello of the caravel Berrio, and Gonsalo Gomes,[1] a servant of Vasco de la Gama, commanded the large victualling ship. The captain-general gave out instructions that in case of separation, they should keep their course for Cape Verd, which was appointed as their rendezvous.

Proceeding on the voyage, they came in sight of the Canaries in eight days, whence steering for Rio de Oro, they were separated by a tempest, during an exceedingly dark night, on which they all shaped their course for Cabo Verde. Paulo de la Gama, Nicholas Coello, Bartholomew Diaz, and Gonsalo Gomes rejoined, and sailed together for eight days, when they came in sight of the captain-general on Wednesday evening, and saluted him with many guns and the sound of trumpets, all heartily rejoicing for their safe meeting and good fortune in this their first essay of danger. Next day, being the 20th of July,[2] the fleet reached the islands of St. Jago, and came to anchor in the bay of Santa Maria, where it remained seven days, taking in fresh water, and repairing the yards and other parts of their rigging which had been damaged in the late storm. On Tuesday the 3d of August,[3] the captain-general went on his voyage, after taking leave of Diaz, who now returned to Portugal. Proceeding for the Cape of Good Hope with all his squadron, de la Gama entered the gulf into the sea,[4] and sailed all August, September, and October, suffering many great tempests of violent wind and rain, so that they often expected instant death. At length, on Saturday the 4th November, they got sight of land at nine in the forenoon, at which they were greatly rejoiced; and being all together, the captains saluted the general, all dressed in their best array, and having their ships all decorated with flags.

Not knowing the coasts, they sailed along until the Tuesday following, when they had a perfect view of a low shore, in which was a great bay that appeared convenient for the ships to take in water, into which they all entered and came to anchor. This place was afterwards named Angra de Santa Elena, or St. Helen's bay.[5] The people of the country, as our men afterwards found, were small, black, ill-favoured savages, clothed in the skins of beasts, somewhat like French cloaks, having curious wrought wooden cases for their privities; and in speaking they seemed always sighing. These natives were armed with oak staves hardened in the fire, pointed with the horns of beasts somewhat burnt or hardened with fire, which served them for swords. They lived on the roots of herbs, and on sea wolves and whales, which are very numerous in this country, likewise on sea crows and gulls. They also eat of certain beasts, which they call Gazelas, and other beasts and birds which the land produces; and they have dogs which bark like those of Portugal. The general, after the squadron was brought to anchor, sent Coello in a boat along the shore, in search of water, which he found four leagues from the anchoring ground, at a place which he named St. Jago,[6] whence all the ships provided themselves with fresh water.

Next day the general with the other captains, escorted by some of the people, went on shore to view the natives, and to endeavour to learn what distance the Cape of Good Hope was from thence; for the chief pilot, who had been on the voyage with Diaz, had departed thence on returning, in the morning, into the open sea, with a fair wind, and had passed it during the night, and had not come near the shore when outward bound; wherefore he did not certainly know its situation, nor was he acquainted with its appearance, but conjectured it might be thirty leagues from where they then were at the utmost. When the general was on shore, he overtook one of the natives, who was going to gather honey at the foot of a bush, where it is deposited by the bees without any hive. With this person he returned to the ship, thinking to have got an interpreter, but no one on board the squadron could understand his language. The general commanded this man to have meat and drink, and set him on shore next day well dressed, that he might return satisfied to his countrymen. Accordingly, the day following, this man came down to the shore abreast of the ships, with about fifteen more natives, and the general went ashore, carrying with him spices, gold, and pearls, to try if these people had any knowledge of these things. But from the little estimation with which these articles were viewed, it was concluded that the natives had no knowledge of them. The general distributed among the natives some small bells, tin rings, counters, and such toys, which they received joyfully; and from that time till next Saturday morning, great numbers of the natives resorted to the fleet, whence they went back to their towns.

One Fernan Veloso craved leave of the general to accompany the natives to their habitations, that he might see their manner of living. On going along with them, the natives took a sea wolf which they roasted at the foot of a hill for their supper, after which they made Veloso return to the fleet, and it appeared to him that the natives had armed themselves, meaning to attack our people. On his return, Veloso saw that he was secretly followed, wherefore he hastened to the shore and hailed the ships. On this, the general who was then at supper, looked out towards the land, where he saw numbers of the savages following Veloso. He therefore gave orders for all the ships to be in readiness against an attack, and went himself on shore with several others unarmed, not dreading any harm. On seeing our boats coming towards the shore, the savages began to run away with much clamour; but when our people landed, they returned and set upon them furiously, throwing their darts, and using other weapons, which constrained our people to take to their boats in all haste, taking Veloso along with them; yet in this scuffle the general and three others were wounded. The Negroes returned to their towns; and during four days after, while our ships remained in the bay, they never saw any more of the natives, so that they had no opportunity to revenge the injury they had done.

"Some commerce took place between the Portuguese and the Hottentot natives around St. Elena Bay, by means of signs and gestures; when the fleet received plenty of excellent fresh provisions, in exchange for clothes, hawks bells, glass beads, and other toys; but this friendly intercourse was interrupted through the imprudence of a Portuguese young man named Veloso. Delighted with the novelty of the scene, and anxious to see the manners of the natives more intimately, he obtained permission to accompany them to their huts, where a sea calf was dressed in the Hottentot fashion, to his great astonishment. Disgusted at their loathsome cookery, he rose abruptly, and was impatient to depart, and was accompanied by the natives on his way back to the ships with the utmost good humour. Veloso, however, became apprehensive of personal danger, and horridly vociferated for assistance on his approach to the shore. Coello's boat immediately put off to bring him on board, and the natives fled to the woods. These needless apprehensions on both sides were increased by mutual ignorance of each other's language, and led to hostilities. While De Gama was taking the altitude of the sun with an astrolabe, some Hottentots sprung from an ambush, and threw their spears, headed with horn, very dexterously among the Portuguese, by which the general and several others were wounded. On this occasion, the Portuguese deemed it prudent to retreat to their ships."[7]
Having taken in fresh water and provisions in St. Elena Bay, the squadron left that place on the forenoon of Thursday the 16th November, with the wind at S.S.W., and steered for the Cape of Good Hope, and on the evening of the following Saturday came in sight of that cape. But on account of the wind being contrary, he had to stand out to sea all day, and turned towards the land as night set in. In that manner he continued plying to windward until the following Wednesday, which was the 20th of November,[8] when he doubled the cape with a fair wind, sounding the trumpets of all the ships, and making every demonstration of joy, but placing the chief confidence in God, that his providence would guide and protect them in accomplishing the enterprise in which they were engaged.
"In this part of the voyage the greatest proofs of courage and resolution were evinced by De Gama. While endeavouring to double this formidable and almost unknown cape, owing to contrary winds and stormy weather, the waves rose mountain high. At one time his ships were heaved up to the clouds, and seemed the next moment precipitated into the bottomless abyss of the ocean. The wind was piercingly cold, and so boisterous that the commands of the pilot could seldom be heard amid the din of the warring elements; while the dismal and almost constant darkness increased the danger of their situation. Sometimes the gale drove them irresistibly to the southwards, while at other times they had to lay to, or to tack to windward, difficultly preserving the course they had already made. During any gloomy intervals of cessation from the tempest, the sailors, exhausted by fatigue, and abandoned to despair, surrounded De Gama, entreating him not to devote himself and them to inevitable destruction, as the gale could no longer be weathered, and they must all be buried in the waves if he persisted in the present course. The firmness of the general was not to be shaken by the pusillanimity and remonstrances of the crew, on which a formidable conspiracy was entered into against him, of which he received timely information from his brother Paulo. With his assistance, and that of a few who remained stedfast to their duty, the leading conspirators, and even all the pilots, were put in irons; whilst De Gama, and his small remnant of faithful followers remained day and night at the helm, undismayed at the dangers and difficulties that surrounded them. At length, on Wednesday the 20th November, all the squadron safely doubled the tremendous promontory."[9]
Continuing the voyage along the coast beyond the cape, they saw great numbers of large and small cattle as they passed, all well grown and fat; but could perceive no towns, as the villages inhabited by the natives are all farther inland, the houses being of earth covered with straw. The natives were all somewhat black, clothed like those they had seen at St. Elena Bay, speaking the same language, and using similar darts, together with some other kinds of arms, both for defence and assault. The country is very pleasant, being diversified with wood and water; and adjoining to the cape on the east side, they found a great harbour now called False Bay, almost six leagues wide at the mouth, and running about as much into the land. Having thus doubled the cape, the squadron came, on the Sunday after, being St Katherine's day, 25th November, to the watering-place of St. Blaze,[10] which is sixty leagues beyond the cape, and is a very large bay, exceeding safe in all winds except the north.[11]

The natives here resembled those already seen in dress and arms. The country produces many large elephants, and numerous oxen, of vast size and extremely fat, some of which have no horns. On some of the fattest of these the natives were seen riding, on pannels stuffed with rye straw, as is used in Spain, and having a frame of wood like a saddle. Such of them as they choose to sell they mark by means of a piece of wood, like the shaft of one of their arrows, put through the nose. In this harbour, about three cross-bow shots from the shore, there is a rock much frequented by sea wolves, as large as great bears, very wild and fierce, with long, great teeth. These animals are very dangerous, and will attack men, and their skins are so hard as not to be pierced with spears, unless pushed with much force and valour. These animals resemble lions, and their young bleat like kids. One day that our men went to this rock for amusement, they saw at least three thousand of these animals, old and young. On this rock also, there are great numbers of birds as large as ducks, which do not fly, having no feathers in their wings, and which bray like so many asses.[12]

Having thus arrived at the Bay of St. Blaze, and lying there at anchor, the general caused all the provisions to be taken out of the store-ship and divided among the others, and then burned the store-ship, as the king had ordered. In this business and other needful employments for their safety in the remainder of the voyage, they were occupied in that bay for ten days. On the Friday after their arrival, about ninety of the natives made their appearance, some on the shore, and others on the hills, on which the general and the captains went to the shore, having their boats crews well armed, and even taking ordinance with them, to avoid the same accident which had happened at St. Elena bay. When near the shore, the general threw some bells on the land, which the Negroes picked up, and some of them came so near as to take the bells out of his hands. He much wondered at this familiarity, as Diaz had informed him when he was in those parts, the natives all ran away and would never approach near enough to be seen and conversed with. Finding them thus gentle, contrary to his expectation, he went on land with his men, and bartered red night-caps with the Negroes, for ivory bracelets which they wore on their arms. Next Saturday, the natives came to the shore to the number of more than two hundred, including their children, and brought with them twelve oxen, and four sheep. When our people went on shore, some of the natives began to play on four flutes, in four several tones, making good music; on which the general caused the trumpets to be sounded, and the natives danced with our people. Thus the day passed in mirth and feasting, and in purchasing their oxen and sheep. On Sunday a still greater number of the natives came down to the shore, having several women among them, and bringing a number of oxen for sale. After the sale of one of the oxen, some of our people noticed some young Negroes hidden among certain bushes, who had with them the weapons of the older people, from which it was conjectured that some treason was intended. Upon this, the general caused our people to remove to a place of greater security, and were followed by the Negroes to the landing place. The Negroes now gathered together, as if they meant to fight the Portuguese; on which the general, being unwilling to harm them, embarked in the boats with all his people, and then commanded two pieces of brass ordnance to be fired off, on which they were much amazed and scampered off in confusion, leaving their weapons behind. After this, the general ordered a cross or pillar having the arms of Portugal to be set upon the shore, but the Negroes pulled it down immediately, even before our people retired.

After remaining ten days here, as before mentioned, the fleet set sail for the Rio del Infante, on Friday the 8th December, being the Conception of our Lady, and during this part of the voyage, there arose a great storm with forewind on the eve of St Lucy, 12th December, that all the ships ran under close reefed courses. During this storm, they parted company with Nicholas Coello, but rejoined the next night after. On the 16th December, when the gale abated, they discovered land near certain small rocks, sixty leagues from the harbour of St. Blaze, and five leagues from the Pennon de la Cruz, where Diaz set up his last stone pillar,[13] and fifteen leagues short of the Rio del Infante.[14] This country was very pleasant, and abounded in cattle, becoming more sightly and with higher trees the further our fleet sailed towards the east, as could be easily seen from the ships as they sailed along near the shore. On Saturday they passed close within sight of the rock de la Cruz, and being loath to pass the Rio del Infante, they stood out to sea till vespers, when the wind came round to the east, right contrary. On this, the general stood off, and on plying to windward, till Tuesday the 20th December, at sunset, when the wind changed to the west, which was favourable. Next day at ten o'clock, they came to the before-mentioned rock, being sixty leagues astern of the place they wished to have attained.[15]

This rock is the cause of the great currents on this coast, which were so powerful that the fleet had much ado, with a brisk favourable wind, to stem the current between that place and Rio Infante in three or four days; but at length they joyfully passed these currents without damage, as Diaz had done formerly, and the general, encouraged by his good fortune, gave thanks to God, saying he verily believed it was the good pleasure of God that they should attain to the discovery of the Indies.

Thus continuing the voyage till Christmas day, they had discovered seventy leagues to the eastwards, and had arrived in the latitude in which India was said to be in his instructions. The fleet continued to sail for so long a time without going to land as to be in want of water, insomuch that they had to dress their provisions in sea water, and were forced to reduce the allowance of drink to one pint of water per man each day. But on Friday the 11th January 1498, drawing near the land, the boats were sent out to view the coast, where they saw many Negroes, both men and women, all of whom were of great stature, and followed our boats along the coast. As these people appeared quiet and civil, the general called Martin Alonzo, who could speak many of the Negro languages, and desired him and another to leap on shore, which they immediately did. Alonzo and his companion were well received by the natives, especially by their chief, to whom the general sent a jacket, a pair of breeches, and a cap, all of a red colour, and a copper bracelet, of which he was very proud, and returned thanks to the general, saying, "that he might have anything he wished for or needed that his country produced." All which, as Martin Alonzo understood their language,[16] he reported to the general, who was much pleased that by this means an intercourse could be opened with the natives.

Alonzo and another of our people were accordingly permitted by the general to go for one night along with the natives to their town, where the chief dressed himself out in his new garments, and was beheld with much admiration by his people in his finery, clapping their hands for joy. This salutation was repeated three or four times on their way to the town; and when there, the chief made the circuit of the whole village, that all the people might see and admire his new and strange attire. When this ceremonial was ended, the chief retired to his own house, where he commanded Alonzo and his companion to be well lodged and entertained, and gave them for supper a hen exactly the same as one of ours, and a kind of pap, or porridge, made of a yellow grain called Mylyo,[17] of which likewise they made bread. Many of the Negroes repaired that night to their lodging to have a near view of the strangers; and next day, the chief sent them back to the ships, accompanied by some Negroes, laden with hens for the general, who returned thanks for the same by means of Alonzo his interpreter. During five days that our ships remained off this coast, no kind of harm was done or offered by the inhabitants, who seemed quiet and gentle, and to have many noble men, for which reason, he called this place Terra da boa gente, or the land of Good People.[18] The town in which Martin Alonzo was had its houses constructed of straw, yet well furnished within. The women were more numerous than the men, as in a company of forty women, there were only twenty men. These people were armed with long bows and arrows, and had darts headed with iron, having many copper bracelets on their arms and legs, with copper ornaments in their hair. They have also iron daggers, with pewter handles and ivory sheaths; so that it is manifest they have plenty of copper and tin. They have likewise abundance of salt, which they make from sea water, which they carry in gourds to certain caves where the salt is made. They were so fond of linen, that they gave a great quantity of copper in exchange for an old shirt, and were so quiet and civil, that they brought water to our boats from a river about two cross-bow shots from the landing, which our people named Rio do Cobre, or Copper River.

"Osorius places the arrival of the Portuguese on this part of the coast a day earlier than Castaneda, and gives the following additional information. On the 10th January 1498, they discovered some small islands, about 230 miles from their last watering-place, having a very beautiful appearance, and consisting of verdant meadows, intermixed with groves of lofty trees, where they could see the inhabitants walking on the shore in great numbers. Here De Gama landed, and sent one of his men, who was well versant in the Negro languages to visit the king, and who was received with much civility, receiving presents of the produce of the country on his dismissal. Before leaving Lisbon, De Gama received ten malefactors on board who had been condemned to die, but were pardoned on condition of going on this voyage, for the purpose of being left wherever De Gama pleased, that they might examine the country, and be enabled to give him an account of the inhabitants on his return. On setting sail from this place, De Gama left two of these exiles on shore, to inform themselves of the character and manners of the natives."[19]
From this place our fleet departed on the 15th January, and proceeding on their voyage, came to another country of very low land, having very thick tall trees; and proceeding onwards, they found a river which was very open at the mouth, near which he came to anchor on Thursday the 24th of January, as the general deemed it proper to examine this country, and to try if any intelligence could be here procured concerning India. That same evening, he and his brother Nicholas Coello[20] entered the river; and at day-break next morning, the land was observed to be extremely low and covered with water, having many trees of great height, thickly loaded with various kinds of fruits, the country appearing very pleasant.

They saw likewise certain boats with some of the natives coming towards the ship, at which the general was well pleased, as he conceived from their having some degree of maritime knowledge in these parts, that he could not now be very far from India, or at least should soon hear news of that country. The natives were Negroes of good stature, all naked, except each a small apron of cloth made of cotton. On reaching the ships, they came on board without hesitation, and behaved themselves as if they had been long acquainted with our people. They were well received, and were presented with bells and other toys, but did not understand any of the languages spoken by Martin Alonzo, or any of the other interpreters on board, so that the only intercourse was by signs. They departed after good entertainment, and afterwards they and many others returned to the ships in their boats, bringing with them such provisions as their country afforded. The natives seemed much satisfied with their reception; and besides those who came to the ships by water, many others came by land,[21] among whom were several women who were tolerably handsome, especially the young maidens; but all were as naked as the men. They have three holes in their lips, in which they wear small pieces of tin by way of ornament. The natives took several of our men along with them to make merry at one of their towns, whence they brought water to our ships.

After the general had been three days in this river, two of the nobles, or head men of the natives, came on board to visit him, who were naked like the rest, except that their aprons were much larger, and one of them had a handkerchief on his head, embroidered with silk, while the other wore a nightcap of green satin.[22] Observing their cleanliness, or civility, the general treated these people courteously, and gave them victuals, apparel, and other things, of which they seemed to make but small account; and by certain signs, shewn by a young man, it was understood that his country was at a considerable distance, where he had seen ships as large as ours. This intelligence gave great hopes to our people that the Indies were not far off, which was much confirmed by the chiefs who had been on board, sending off for sale certain cloths made of cotton, on which there were marks of ochre. In respect of all these encouraging tokens, the general named this river Ho rio dos bos Sinaes, or River of Good Signs; and called the place San Rafael, after the name of his own ship.[23]

From the signs of the before-mentioned young men, that the country of the head men who had been on board was far off, where they had seen large ships, the general concluded that the Indies were still at a great distance; and therefore determined, in consultation with the other captains, to lay the ships aground, to give their bottoms a thorough repair, which was done accordingly. In this operation they employed thirty-two days, during which our people were much afflicted with a grievous sickness, thought to proceed from the air of the country. Their hands and feet became swelled, and their gums became so sore and putrid that they could not eat, and the smell of their breath was quite intolerable.[24] With this pestilent infection our people were much discouraged, and many of them died, the survivors being in great trouble and perplexity. But De Gama took much care, and used much diligence for their recovery, and to comfort their affliction; continually visiting the sick, and giving them such wholesome and medicinal things as he had provided for his own use; through all which many recovered who would have died, and the rest were thereby greatly comforted, and encouraged.

Having repaired the ships, and provided them with all necessaries that could be procured at the river of Good Signs, the fleet departed from thence on Saturday the 24th of February.

"At this period, two accidents occurred which had nearly frustrated all the hopes of this expedition. De Gama being alongside of the ship commanded by his brother, with whom he wished to speak, had hold of the chains, when the boat was carried from under him by the force of the current, but by immediate assistance, he and his boats crew were providentially saved. Soon afterwards, when the fleet was passing the bar of the river, the ship of De Gama grounded on a sand bank, and her loss was for some time considered as inevitable; but she floated again with the return of the tide, and to their inexpressible joy received no damage."[25]
As there was little or no wind, the fleet stood out to sea to avoid the shore, and about vespers on Sunday, they descried three small islands out to sea, about four leagues distant from each other. Two of these were replenished with trees, but the third was quite bare. Seeing no cause to delay the voyage in examining these islands, De Gama held on for six days, coming always to anchor at night. On the evening of Thursday, the first of March, they came in sight of four islands, two of which were near the land, and the other two farther out to sea; and the fleet steered through the channel next morning, the ship commanded by Coello, as being the smallest, going first. But endeavouring to enter a certain harbour, between the mainland and one of these islands, Coello missed the channel and ran aground, on which the other ships put about and went back.

They soon perceived seven or eight boats under sail coming from the island which was a good league distant from Coello, at which sight they were much rejoiced, and Coello and his people received them with much demonstration of friendship and satisfaction, Coello went along with these people to the general, and presented them, saying, that here was a quite different kind of people from any they had seen hitherto. Then the general commanded to let them go a-seaboard with their boats,[26] as he proposed to go with them to their island to anchor with his ships, that he might see what kind of a country it was, and if he could learn any certain intelligence concerning India. But the boats continued to follow our ships, making signals, and calling to our people to wait for them; wherefore the ships came to anchor, and the boats came to our fleet. The people on board were of good stature and somewhat black, clothed in dresses of cotton, striped with sundry colours; some girdled to their knees, while others carried their apparel on their shoulders like cloaks. Their heads were covered with kerchiefs, somewhat wrought with silk and gold thread, and they were armed with swords and daggers like Moors. In their boats, also, they had certain musical instruments named sagbuts. They came immediately on board with as much confidence as if they were long acquainted, and entered into familiar conversation in the language of Algarve, and would not be known as Moors.[27]

The general ordered these people to be well entertained, and they ate and drank willingly of whatever was set before them; after which, by means of Fernan Alvarez, who could speak their language, he learned that the island to which they belonged was called Monsambicke, or Mozambique, on which was a town full of merchants, who traded with the Moors of India, who bring them silver, linen cloth, pepper, ginger, silver rings, many pearls, and rubies; and that, from a country behind, they procure gold. They offered likewise to conduct our people into the harbour, where they would learn the truth of these things more fully. On consulting with the other captains, the general determined upon going into this harbour, to examine more accurately into these reports, and to procure pilots to carry them on their voyage, as they had no one in the fleet who knew the way. Nicholas Coello was therefore ordered to make the first essay, and to take the soundings of the bar, his ship being the smallest. But in entering, he touched on the point of the island where he broke his helm, and was in great danger of being lost; but by good providence he got off with no farther injury. He now found the bar was quite safe, and got into the harbour, where he anchored two cross-bow shots from the town, which is in fifteen degrees towards the south.[28]

The harbour is very good, the town is plentifully supplied with such provisions as the country produces, the houses being constructed of straw, and the inhabitants Moors, who trade to Sofala in large vessels that have neither decks nor nails, their planks being sewed together with cayro or twine, made from the fibres of the cocoa nut rind, and their sails of mats made of the leaves of a species of palm. Some of these vessels use compasses of Genoa, and regulate their voyages by means of quadrants and sea charts. With these Moors the Moors of India trade, as likewise do those from the Red Sea, because of the gold which is to be had here. On seeing our people, the Moors of Mozambique thought the Portuguese had been Turks, whom they knew of from the Moors who dwell on the Red Sea; and those who were first at our ships carried intelligence to the xeque, or sheik, which is the title of the governor of this island for the king of Quiloa, in whose territories it is situated.

"Though we shall afterwards have occasion to investigate this eastern coast of Africa more fully, in editing particular voyages to its shores, some notices seem here to be proper.[29] Owing to his keeping at a distance from, the shore for security, the present voyage gives little knowledge of the eastern coast of Africa, and it is even difficult to assign the many stations at which De Gama touched between the Cape of Good Hope and Mozambique. We have already noticed the river of Good Signs, as being probably the northern mouth of the Delta of the Zambeze, now called Quilimane, from a fort of that name on its banks. The mouth of this branch runs into the sea in lat. 18° 25' S. In his passage from the Terra de Natal, or Christmas Land, so named from having been discovered on Christmas day, and named, in this account of De Gamas voyage, the Land of Good People, De Gama missed Cape Corientes, forming the S.W. point of the channel of Mozambique, or Inner Passage, as it is now called, and overshot Sofala, the southern extremity of Covilham's discoveries, at which he was probably directed to touch, as Covilham's chart might have been of some use to direct his farther progress to Aden, and thence to Calicut or Cananor, on the Malabar coast.

"The eastern coast of Africa is hitherto very little known to geography, its trade being entirely confined to the Portuguese, who have settlements at Sofala, the river Zambeze, Mozambique, Quiloa, and Melinda, and conceal all the circumstances respecting their foreign possessions with infinite jealousy. It is said to have once been in contemplation by the British government, to employ Sir Home Popham to make a survey of this coast, but this design was never executed. Commodore Blanket remained on this station for a considerable time, and much information may be expected from his journal, some drawings of the coast having been already made for charts, which are preparing, under the orders of the Admiralty. About the year 1782, a great mass of geographical information was collected on the continent of Europe and lodged in the British Museum, from which information may probably be derived respecting this coast, when that collection shall have been arranged and submitted to the public. According to D'Apres, all the eastern coast of Africa, for a great way south of the equinoctial, is lined by a range of islands, whence shoals extend to the distance of a league. These islets form an outer shore, with a winding channel within, and are in some places a league from the coast of the continent, though very apt to be mistaken for the real coast. Within this range the boats or almadias of the country ply backwards and forwards in great safety, in the intervening channel.

"Ptolemy places the Prasum promontorium, or Green Cape, the extreme southern boundary of ancient knowledge of the east coast of Africa, in lat. 15" 30' S. and the Portuguese universally assume Mozambique as Prasum, by which classical name it is distinguished in the Lusiad of Camoens, in reference to the voyage of De Gama, and the near coincidence of situation gives great probability to this supposition. [Greek: prason] signifies a leek, and is also used to denote a sea-weed of a similar green colour, and the name may either have been derived from the verdure of the point, or from the sea-weeds found in its neighbourhood. At all events, Prasum cannot be farther south than Cape Corientes, or farther north than Quiloa or the Zanguebar islands. The harbour of Mozambique has seldom less than eight or ten fathom water, which is so clear, that every bank, rock, or shallow can be easily seen.

"The Moors so often mentioned are supposed by Bruce to have been merchants expelled from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, who first fixed their residence on the western coast of Africa, and extending themselves eastwards, formed settlements in Arabia and Egypt, till the oppressions of Selim and Soliman, the Turkish emperors, interrupted their commerce, and obliged them to disperse along the coast of Abyssinia and eastern Africa. Besides the impossibility, chronologically, for the assigned causes having produced the supposed effect, there is no necessity for having recourse to this improbable hypothesis. From being best acquainted with their Moorish conquerors, the Spaniards and Portuguese have always been accustomed to name all the Arabians Moors, wherever they found them, and even gave at first the name of black Moors to the Negroes, whence our old English term Black-a-moors. It is well known that the Arabs, especially after their conversion to Mahometanism, were great colonizers or conquerors; even the now half-Christian kingdom of Abyssinia was an early colony and conquest of the pagan Arabs, and its inhabitants are consequently white Moors in the most extended Portuguese sense. The Arab, or Moorish, kingdoms along the African coast of the Indian ocean, are branches from the same original stem, and the early Mahometan missionaries were both zealous and successful in propagating Islaemism among the most distant pagan colonies of their countrymen. As all zealous Mussulmen are enjoined the pilgrimage of Mecca, and commerce mixes largely with religion in the holy journey, by which the faithful from every distant region often meet at Mecca, and induce each other to extend their commercial adventures to new regions, it may possibly have been that some Moors originally from Spain, may even have reached Mozambique before the time of De Gama; but it is ridiculous to suppose that all the Moors on the African coast had been Spaniards. The overthrow of the great Moorish kingdom of Granada only took place five or six years before the present voyage.

"The island of Mozambique, which does not exceed a league in circumference, is described as low and swampy, and was inhabited by Moors who had come from Quiloa and Sofala. It was afterwards much resorted to by the Portuguese as a winter station, and became the key of their Indian trade. The African coast stretches out on both sides of the island into two points, that on the north-east called Pannoni, off which a shoal with three islets extends, some way into the sea. The southern point is called Mangale."[30]

When the Moorish governor of Mozambique[31] was informed of the arrival of the Portuguese, and that Coello was come to anchor in the harbour, he fully supposed that they were Turks or Moors from some distant place, and immediately came to visit him, apparelled in fine silk, with many attendants. Coello received him very courteously; but as neither he nor any in his ship could speak their language, the governor soon retired. Coello gave him, however, a red cap, on which he seemed to set little value, and presented him likewise with some black beads, which he carried away in his hand, both being given and received in token of friendship. On leaving the ship, he required Coello, by signs, to let him have the boat to carry him on shore, which Coello readily agreed to, and sent some of his men to the land along with him. These the governor carried to his house, and feasted them on dates and other things, and sent back with them a pot of preserved dates to Coello, with which he regaled the general and his brother when they had entered the harbour. On the arrival of the other two ships, the governor again sent off some of his people to visit them, still taking them for Turks, presenting many pleasant and delicate viands, and asking permission to visit them in person. The general, in return, sent the governor a present, consisting of red hats, short gowns, coral, brass basons, hawks bells and many other things, which he slighted as of no value, and asked why the general had not sent him scarlet, which he chiefly desired.

Soon afterwards the governor came off to visit the general; who, being apprised of his coming, ordered all the ships to be dressed out in their flags. He likewise made all the sick and infirm men to be kept out of sight, and brought a good many of the most alert men from the other ships, whom he ordered to be secretly armed, in case of any violence or treachery on the part of the Moors. The governor came on board, accompanied with many men, all well apparelled in silk, having many ivory trumpets and other musical instruments, on which they played almost without ceasing. The governor was a lean man, of good stature, dressed in a linen shirt down to his heels, over which he wore a long gown of Mecca velvet, having a cap of silk of many colours, trimmed with gold, on his head; at his girdle he wore a sword and dagger, and had silk shoes. The general received him on entering the ship, and led him to an awning, trimmed up in the best manner they were able. The general then begged him not to be offended that no scarlet had been sent, having brought none with him, and that his ships only contained such merchandise as were fit to be bartered for victuals for the people; and that his only object at present was to discover the way to the Indies, for which purpose he had been sent by a great and mighty king, his master. All this was conveyed through the interpretation of Fernan Martin.[32] The general then ordered an entertainment of the best meats and wines which the ship afforded, to be set before the governor and his principal attendants, of all which they partook willingly, even drinking wine with good will. The governor asked whether they came from Turkey, as he had heard say that the Turks were a fair people like them, and desired to see our country bows, and the books of our law. To this the general answered, that he and his men were not from Turkey, but from a kingdom in their neighbourhood; that he would most willingly shew his bows and other weapons, but had not the books of our law, as they were not needed at sea. Then some cross-bows were brought, which were bent, and shot off in presence of the governor, also some of our harness or defensive armour, with all of which he was much pleased, and greatly astonished.

During this conference, the general learnt that the port of Calicut in India was 900 leagues distant from Mozambique; and, as there were many shoals in the course, that it was very necessary to have a pilot from this place. He learned also that there were many cities along the coast. He likewise understood, that the kingdom of Prester John was far from this place, in the inland country.[33] Considering the expediency of having a pilot, the general requested to have two from the governor, who agreed to the demand, on condition that they should be well used. The reason of wishing to have two was, lest one might die during the voyage, and our people were much pleased with this promise. The governor came a second time to visit the general, and brought with him both the pilots whom he had promised; to each of whom were given thirty crowns and a coat, each crown being worth five shillings, under this condition, that whenever one of them should go on shore, the other should remain on board, that one might always stay by the ship while in harbour.

Notwithstanding these friendly meetings, speeches, and assurances, it soon appeared, after the departure of the governor, that the Moors had learned, during their intercourse with our people, that they were Christians, on which the former friendship and good will of the Moors towards them was changed to wrath and fury, and they henceforwards used every endeavour to kill our men, and to take possession of the ships. The governor, therefore, and his people, used every effort for this mischievous purpose, and had certainly succeeded, if the Almighty had not moved the heart of one of the Moorish pilots who had been received into the Portuguese fleet, to reveal the same to the general; who, fearing lest the infidels might suddenly execute their purpose, as being numerous in comparison to his small company, determined to remain no longer in the harbour. Wherefore, on Saturday the 10th March 1498, being seven days after his arrival, he quitted the harbour of Mozambique, and cast anchor close to an island, at the distance of a league from that place; intending, on Sunday, to hear mass on shore, that they might confess and receive the sacrament, which had not been done since leaving Lisbon.

After the ships were come to anchor in this place of safety from being burnt by the Moors, which the general greatly dreaded, he determined to go back to Mozambique in his boat, to demand the other pilot who had been promised, but who still remained on shore. Leaving his brother with the fleet, in readiness to come to his aid if needful, the general went towards Mozambique with his boat, accompanied by Nicholas Coello, and the Moorish pilot. On their way they saw six zambucos or boats filled with Moors coming towards them, armed with long bows and arrows, and also with shields and spears. The Moors called to our people to come along with them to the town; and the Moorish pilot, who explained their signals, advised the general to do so, as the governor would not otherwise deliver the other pilot, who still remained on shore. The general was much displeased at this advice, believing the pilot only wished him to approach the shore, that he might be able to run away, and therefore ordered him to be secured as a prisoner. He likewise gave orders to fire at the Moorish boats from his ordnance. When Paulo de la Gama heard the shot, believing the general to be in more danger than he actually was, he immediately came with the ship Berrio under sail to his aid. On seeing this, the Moors fled away in such haste that the general could not overtake them, and therefore returned with his brother to where the other ships were at anchor.

Next day, being Sunday, the general and all his men went on shore, where they heard mass, and received the sacrament very devoutly, having confessed the evening before. After this they re-embarked and set sail the same day. Having no hope of procuring the other pilot, the general ordered to release him whom he had confined, and carried him on the voyage. But he, willing to be revenged for the indignity he had experienced, determined on carrying the Portuguese fleet to the island of Quiloa, which was all peopled with Moors; and, as it seemed, intended to inform the king of that place that our ships belonged to the Christians, that he might destroy them and kill the crews. For this purpose, he craftily persuaded the general not to be in trouble for want of the other pilot, as he would carry him to a great island, on hundred leagues from thence, which was inhabited half by Moors, and half by Christians, who were always in war with each other, and where he might easily find pilots to conduct him to Calicut. Though the general was much pleased with this information, he yet did not give implicit credit to the Moor, but promised him high rewards if he carried him in safety to that country, and so went forward on the voyage with a scant wind.

On the Tuesday the fleet was still in sight of the land from which they took their departure, and remained becalmed all that day and the next. On Wednesday night, a gentle breeze sprung up from the eastward, on which the fleet stood off to seaward, but on Thursday morning, on again making the land, they were four leagues to leeward of Mozambique, whence plying to windward, they came back that evening to the island where they had heard mass on the Sunday before, where they cast anchor and remained eight days waiting for a fair wind. While here at anchor, a white Moor, who was a molah or minister among the Moors of Mozambique, came on board the general's ship, representing that the governor was much grieved at the breach of peace and friendship between them, which he would now gladly renew. To this the general made answer, that he would make no peace with the governor unless he sent him the other pilot whom he had hired and paid. With this answer the molah departed, and never came back. After this, while still waiting for a fair wind, there came another Moor on board, accompanied with his son, a boy, and asked the general to give him a passage to the city of Melinda, which he said was on his way to Calicut. He said that he was a native of the country near Mecca, whence he had piloted a ship to Mozambique, and would gladly go with him, that he might return to his own country; and farther, he counselled the general not to remain in expectation of any answer from the zeque, who he was sure would make no peace with him, on account of his hatred to the Christians. The general was rejoiced at the coming of this Moor, expecting to acquire information from him concerning the straits of the Red Sea, and of the towns on the coast between Mozambique and Melinda, by which he had to sail, and therefore gave orders to receive this Moor and his son on board.

As the ships were rather short of water, the general and the other captains determined upon entering the harbour of Mozambique, to take in what they needed; but ordered strict watch to be kept, lest the Moors should set the ships on fire. They entered therefore again into the harbour on Thursday; and when night came, they went in their boats in search of water, which the Moorish pilot assured them was to be found on the firm land, and offered to guide them to the place. Leaving Paulo de la Gama in charge of the ships, and taking Nicholas Coello and the pilot along with him in the boats, the general went on shore about midnight to the place where the pilot said that water was to be had. But it could not be found; whether that the pilot misled them in hope of escaping, or finding he could not escape, did so out of malice. Having spent the whole night fruitlessly in search of water, and day beginning to dawn, the general returned to the ships for more force, lest the Moors might set upon him and his small company at a disadvantage. Having furnished his boats with a larger force of armed men, he returned to the shore, still accompanied by Coello and the Moorish pilot, who, seeing no means of escaping, now pointed out the watering-place close by the shore. At this place they observed about twenty Moors armed with darts, who shewed as if they meant to prevent them from taking water. The general therefore gave orders to fire three guns, to force them from the shore, that our men might be able to land unopposed. Amazed and frightened by the noise and the effect of the shot, the Moors ran away and hid themselves in the bushes; and our people landed quietly, and took in fresh water, returning to the ships a little before sunset. On arriving, the general found his brother much disquieted, because a Negro, belonging to John Cambrayes, the pilot of Paulo de la Gama, had run away to the Moors, though himself a Christian.[34]

Upon Saturday the 24th of March, being the eve of the annunciation of our Lady, a Moor appeared early in the morning on the shore, abreast of the ships, calling out in a loud and shrill voice, "that if our men wanted any more water they might now come for it, when they would find such as were ready to force their return." Irritated at this bravado, and remembering the injury done him in withholding the promised pilot, and the loss of the Negro, the general resolved to batter the town with his ordnance in revenge, and the other captains readily agreed to the measure. Wherefore they armed all their boats, and came up before the town, where the Moors had constructed a barricade of boards for their defence on the shore, so thick that our men could not see the Moors behind. Upon the shore, between that defence and the sea, an hundred Moors were drawn up, armed with targets, darts, bows, arrows, and slings, who began to sling stones at the boats as soon as they came within reach. They were immediately answered with shot from our ordnance, on which they retired from the shore behind their barricade, which was soon beaten down, when they ran into the town, leaving two of their men slain. The general and his men now returned to the ships to dinner, and the Moors were seen running from that town to another; and so much were they afraid of the Portuguese, that they abandoned the island, going by water to another place on the opposite side. After dinner, our people went with their captains on shore, to endeavour to take some of the Moors, with the hope of procuring restitution of the Negro belonging to Cambrayes, who had run away from the ships, and they were likewise desirous of recovering two Indians, who were said by the Moorish pilot to be detained as captives in Mozambique.

On this occasion, Paulo de la Gama seized four Moors who were in a boat; but a great many Moors in other boats escaped, by hastening on shore and leaving their boats behind, in which our men found much cotton cloth, and several books of their Mahometan law, which the general ordered to be preserved. The general and the other captains ranged in their boats along side of the town, but did not venture on shore, not having sufficient force, nor could they get any speech of the Moors. Next day they went on shore at the watering-place, where they took what was needed without any opposition from the Moors. Being now hopeless of recovering the Negro, or of procuring the Indian captives, it was determined to depart; but the general resolved to be revenged on the town and people for their enmity. For which reason, he went against it next day with ordnance, and destroyed it in such sort that the Moors had to abandon it, and flee into another island within the country.[35] This being done, the fleet weighed anchor on Tuesday the 27th of March, and departed from Mozambique, whence they proceeded to two little rocks, which they called St. George, and where they came to anchor in waiting for a wind, which was now contrary. Soon afterwards the wind came fair and they departed, but the wind was so light, and the currents so strong, that they were forced in a retrograde course.

The general was much pleased to find that one of the Moors taken by his brother at Mozambique was a pilot, and was acquainted with the navigation to Calicut. Proceeding on their voyage, they came, on Sunday the first of April, to certain islands very near the coast, to the first of which they gave the name of Ilha da Açoutado, because the Moorish pilot of Mozambique was here severely whipt by order of the general, for having falsely said that these islands were part of the continent, and likewise for not shewing the way to the watering-place at Mozambique, as before related. Being cruelly whipt, the Moor confessed that he had brought them to this place expressly that they might perish on the rocks and shoals of these islands, which were so numerous and so close together, that they could hardly be distinguished from each other. On this the general stood out to sea, and on Friday the 4th of April,[36] standing to the north-west, he came in sight, before noon, of a great land, with two islands near the coast, around which were many shoals. On nearing the shore, the Moorish pilots recognized it, and said that the Christian island of Quiloa was three leagues astern; on which the general was much grieved, believing certainly that the natives of Quiloa had been Christians, as represented by the pilots, and that they had purposely taken a wrong course that the ships might not come there.

The pilots, to conceal their treachery, alleged that the winds and currents had carried the ships farther than they reckoned. But in truth, they were more disappointed in this than even the general, as they had reckoned upon being here revenged upon the Portuguese, by having them all slain. In this God preserved our people from the intended danger most miraculously, for if they had gone to Quiloa they had all surely perished; as the general was so fully persuaded of the natives being Christians, as reported by the pilot, that he would doubtless have landed immediately on his arrival, and have thereby run headlong to a place where he and all his people would have been slain. Both parties being thus sorry for having missed Quiloa, the general because he hoped to have found Christians, and the Moorish pilots because of their intended treachery, it was determined to put back with the intention of seeking for it; but still the wind and currents opposed their purpose, and they tried a whole day in vain. This doubtless proceeded from the providence of God, and his merciful goodness to our men, who were thus preserved by miracle from the malicious and devilish intentions of the two Moorish pilots of Mozambique.

The fleet being thus baffled and tossed to and fro, it was determined to bear away for the island of Mombaza, in which the pilots said there were two towns, peopled both by Moors and Christians. But they gave out this as before to deceive our people, and to lead them to destruction; for that island was solely inhabited by Moors, as is the whole of that coast. Understanding that Mombaza was seventy miles distant, they bore away for that place, and towards evening, they came in sight of a great island towards the north, in which the Moorish pilots pretended there were two towns, one of Christians and the other of Moors; making this false assertion to make our people believe that there were many Christians on this coast. While pursuing their voyage towards Mombaza for some days, the ship San Raphael chanced one morning, two hours before day, to get aground on certain shoals, two leagues from the shore of the continent. Paulo de Gama immediately made signals to apprise the other ships of his situation and their danger; on which they had the good fortune to avoid the shoals and got safely to anchor. The boats from the other ships were immediately sent off to assist Paulo de Gama in the St. Raphael; and, on seeing that the tide was then low, the general was much rejoiced, as he well knew she would float again with the tide of flood; whereas before, he was much afraid she might be totally lost. He therefore gave orders to carry all their anchors out to deep water, to prevent her from getting farther on the shoal. By the time this was done day broke, and soon after at low water the St. Raphael was quite dry on a sand bank, having taken no harm in striking. While waiting for the tide of flood, our people named these sands Os baixos de Sam Rafael, or the Shoals of St. Raphael, and named certain islands and hills of the continent, then in sight, the islands and hills of St. Raphael.

While the ship remained thus dry, and the people walking about on the sand, they saw two boats full of Moors, who came to our ships, bringing many sweet oranges, much better than those of Portugal. These men told the general not to fear any damage to the ship which was aground, as she would float uninjured with the next flood; and the general was so much pleased with this good heartening, that he gave them several presents, which they accepted with many thanks; and understanding that our fleet intended to put in at Mombaza, they requested to be carried thither. The general granted their request, and permitted them to remain on board, the others returning from our ships to their own country.[37] When it was full sea, the St. Raphael floated and got off the shoal, and the fleet proceeded on its voyage.

Following the coast to the north-eastwards, the fleet came to anchor outside of the bar of the harbour of Mombaza, about sunset of Saturday the 7th of April. Mombaza is on an island very near the shore of the continent, and has plenty of provisions, such as millet, rice, and cattle, both large and small, all well grown and fat, especially the sheep, which are uniformly without tails; and it abounds in poultry. It is likewise very pleasant, having many orchards, abounding in pomegranates, Indian figs, oranges both sweet and sour, lemons, and citrons, with plenty of pot-herbs, and it has an abundant supply of excellent water. On this island there is a city having the same name, Mombaza, standing in lat. 4°S. which is handsomely built on a rocky hill washed by the sea. The entrance of the haven has a mark or beacon, and on the very bar there is a little low fort, almost level with the water.[38]

Most of the houses of this place are built of stone and lime, having the ceilings finely constructed of plaster, and the streets are very handsome. This city is subject to a king of its own, the inhabitants being Moors, some of whom are white and others brown.[39] The trade of this city is extensive, and its inhabitants are well dressed, especially the women, who are clothed in silk, and decorated with gold and precious stones. The harbour is good and much frequented by shipping, and it receives from the African continent in its neighbourhood, great quantities of honey, wax, and ivory.

The general did not enter the harbour that night because it grew late, but commanded to hoist the flags in compliment, which the people did with much mirth and joy, in hope that they had come to an island in which there were many Christians, and that next day they might hear mass on shore. They had likewise great hope that the sick, who were almost the whole crews, might here recover their health; though, indeed, they were much reduced in number, many having died during the voyage. Soon after our ships came to anchor, although night approached, a large boat, containing about a hundred men, all armed with swords and targets, was seen coming towards the fleet. On reaching the general's ship, they would have all come on board with their weapons, but the general only permitted four of their principals to come aboard, and even they unarmed; causing them to be told in their own language, that they must excuse his precaution, being a stranger, and not knowing therefore whom he might trust. To those whom he permitted to come on board he gave courteous entertainment, presenting them with such conserves as he had, of which they readily partook; and he requested of them not to take ill that he had thus refused entrance to so many armed men.

They said that they had merely come to see him, as a new and rare thing in their country, and that their being armed was merely because such was the custom of the country, whether in peace or war. They also said, that the king of Mombaza expected his arrival, and would have sent to visit him, if it had not been so late, but certainly would do so next day. Their king, they added, was rejoiced at his arrival, and would not only be glad to see him, but would load his ships with spices. They also said that there were many Christians on the island, who lived by themselves; at which the general was much pleased, believing their story, which agreed with what the two pilots had said. Yet he entertained some jealous doubts, for all their fair speeches, and wisely suspected the Moors had come to see if they could lay a train to take our ships. In this he was perfectly right, as it afterwards appeared that this was their sole intent. The king of Mombaza had received perfect intelligence that we were Christians, and of all that we had done at Mozambique, and plotted to be revenged, by taking our ships and killing our men.

Next day being Palm Sunday, still prosecuting his wicked purpose, the king sent some white Moors with a message to the general, declaring his great joy at our arrival, inviting him into the harbour, and engaging to supply him with all things he might be in need of; and, in token of amity, sent him a ring, a sheep, and many sweet oranges, citrons, and sugar canes. These white Moors were likewise instructed to pretend that they were Christians, and that there were many Christians in the island. All this was so well counterfeited, that our people actually believed them to be Christians, on which account the general received them with much courtesy, and made them some presents, sending a message to the king that he would certainly come farther into the harbour next day. He also sent a present to the king of a fine branch of coral. And, for the greater security, he sent along with these white Moors, two of our banished men, who had been embarked expressly for such hazardous undertakings, or for being left on shore where it might be deemed expedient, to become acquainted with the circumstances of various places, and to be taken on board again. These men, and the Moors who had been on board, were met in landing by a number of people, curious to see and examine them, who accompanied them all the way to the king's palace, where they had to pass through three several doors, each guarded by an armed porter, before they came to the place where the king was. They found the king in no very great state, yet he received them well, and commanded the Moors who had brought them on shore to show them the city.

In going through the streets, our men saw many prisoners in irons; but not knowing the language, they could not ask who or what these were, yet believed they might be Christians, as our general was informed by the Moorish pilots, and the king's two messengers, that there were Christians on the island, and that the Christians and the Moors had wars together. Our men were likewise carried to the house in which the merchants of India dwelt, who were said to be Christians. These people, learning that our men were Christians, shewed much joy at receiving them, embracing and banqueting them, and shewed them a piece of paper on which the figure of the Holy Ghost was painted, which they worshipped on their knees, with great shew of devotion, as if they had been what they pretended. The Moors then informed our men by signs, that there were many other Christians at another place, too far for carrying them there; but that they should be conducted to see them when our ships came into the harbour. All this was done craftily to entice our people into the harbour, where they were determined to destroy them all.

After our two men had seen the city, they were conducted back to the king, who ordered them to be shewn ginger, pepper, cloves, and wheat, giving them samples of them all to be carried to the general, with assurance that he had great store of all these commodities, and would give him his loading if he desired it. They were likewise told, that he had great plenty of gold, silver, amber, wax, ivory, and other riches, which he would sell at lower prices than they could be bought in any other place. This message was brought off on Monday to the general; who, hearing the king's offer to furnish him with a loading of these commodities, was much rejoiced, and was much pleased with the information brought by the two convicts, and their good report of the people, city, and country, and more especially on account of the two Christians whom they had seen in the house of the Indian merchants. After a consultation with the other captains, it was determined to enter the port next day, and to accept the spices offered by the king of Mambaza, after which, to continue the voyage to Calicut; and if they could not procure similar articles there, to return contented with what might be got in this place. In the meantime, several of the Moors visited our ships, conducting themselves with much gentleness and humility, and evincing an appearance of friendship and kindness to our people, as if they had been long and familiarly acquainted.

When the tide of flood was sufficiently advanced on the following morning, the general gave orders to weigh anchor, intending to carry the ships into the harbour. But the Almighty Disposer of events, not willing that he and his company should fall into the snare which the Moors had laid for their destruction, interposed to avert the danger, and to work their safety. For when the general's ship had weighed anchor and was about to enter the port, she touched on a shoal by the stern; upon which, he immediately let fall his anchor again, which was likewise done by the other captains. Seeing this, the Moors who were on board concluded that he would not enter the harbour that day, and instantly took to their boat, which was alongside, and made for the city: At the same time, the pilot of Mozambique leapt from the stern of the admiral's ship into the water, and was taken into the boat by the Moors. The admiral called out to them to bring him back, but all in vain; on which he began to suspect that the Moors and their king had evil intentions towards him and his people, and was thankful for the accident which had detained him from the harbour, and preserved him from the purposed treachery.

After explaining his apprehensions to the other captains, he commanded, in the evening of this day, that two of the Moors who had been made prisoners at Mozambique should be put to the torture, to endeavour to ascertain whether any treachery was intended, and to force them to disclose the same. This was done by dropping melted bacon upon their flesh; and they immediately confessed that treason was intended, and that the pilots had escaped by swimming from the ship, as fearing the same had been discovered. On this confession, the general resolved on no account to enter the harbour; yet determined to put another Moor to the torture, to learn if he were in confederacy with the rest. But this Moor, on seeing preparations made for the purpose, although his hands were bound, leapt into the sea; which was likewise done by another Moor before day-light.

Having thus discovered the secret mischiefs which had been prepared against him, the general gave thanks to God, by whose good providence he and his people had been delivered from imminent hazard of death among the infidels; whereupon he and his company joined in the Salve regina with great devotion. After this, lest the Moors might attempt anything against their safety during the night, he ordered a strong and vigilant armed watch to be kept. It is worthy of notice that all the sick among our people, who were indeed many, began presently to get well, from their first coming to Mombaza; so that in this time of their great necessity and danger, they found themselves sound and strong, beyond all human hope, and far above the ordinary course of nature; for which reason it can only be attributed to the marvellous and supernatural power of God, miraculously done at this peculiar instant time of need, for the preservation of these poor and distressed persons, whose only hope of safety was in him.

After the night watch was set, those of the Berrio felt the cable by which they lay at anchor swagging, as if shaken by a great tunny, of which there were many in this place, very large and excellent food. But on giving more attention to the circumstance, they perceived that this was occasioned by their enemies the Moors, some of whom were swimming about the cable, and were cutting it with knives or falchions, that the ship might drift on shore and fall a prey to them. On seeing this, our men scared them away by crying out, and gave notice to the other ships to be on their guard against similar attempts. Some people from the San Raphael went immediately to the assistance of the Berrio, and found some of the Moors about the chains and tacklings of the foremast, who cast themselves into the sea, and swam, along with those who had attempted to cut the cable, to certain boats that were in waiting at a short distance, in which, as our people afterwards learnt, there were a great number of the Moors, who now rowed away to the city in all haste.

Our fleet still remained off the harbour of Mombaza, all the Wednesday and Thursday following; during both of which nights the Moors came off in boats, which always lay close by the shore, whence some of them swam to the ships, endeavouring to cut our cables: But our men kept such strict watch, that they were unable to succeed. Our people, however, were always in much fear and perplexity, lest the Moors might burn our ships; and it was wonderful they did not make the attempt by means of the ships they had in the harbour; which, in all human probability, they had [[=would have]] succeeded in, killing and destroying us all. It was conjectured that they were deterred from making this attempt from fear of the ordnance in our ships; but whatever might appear to us as the cause of their not using open force, it was assuredly the good pleasure and favour of God, that put their hearts in fear against making an open attack, by which we were preserved from the execution of their cruel purposes towards us.

The reason of the general remaining during the two days off Mombaza was, that he might endeavour to procure two pilots from thence to carry him to Calicut, without which assistance the voyage would have been very difficult, as our pilots had no knowledge of that country. But finding none were to be had, he took his departure from that place on Friday morning, though with a very light wind. On leaving the anchorage, he was forced to leave one of his anchors behind, as the crew was so completely exhausted by hauling up the rest, that they were unable to weigh this one. It was afterwards found by the Moors, and carried into their city, where it was deposited near the king's palace. When Don Francisco de Almeida, first viceroy of the Indies, took this place from the Moors, this anchor was there found, as I shall afterwards relate in the second book of this work.

Departing thus from Mombaza, the fleet continued its voyage along the coast to the north-east, and having very light wind, was obliged to come to anchor in the evening near the shore, about eight leagues from Mombaza. Towards the dawn of next day, two sambuccos, or little pinnaces, were seen about three leagues to the leeward of the fleet, and out at sea; on which, in hope of procuring some pilots who could carry him to Calicut, the general ordered the anchors to be weighed, and he and the other captains gave chase to the sambuccos the whole of that day. Towards vespers, the general came up with and captured one of these pinnaces, but the other escaped to the land. In the captured pinnace there were seventeen Moors, among whom was an old man who seemed master over the rest, and had his young wife along with him. In this boat there was great store of silver and gold, and some victuals.

On the same evening the fleet came to anchor off Melinda, which is eighteen leagues from Mombaza, and is in lat. 3° S. This place has no good harbour, being only an almost open roadstead, having a kind of natural pier or reef of rocks on which the sea beats with much violence, owing to which the ships have to ride at a considerable distance from the shore. The city stands in a broad open plain, along the shore, surrounded with many palms, and other sorts of trees, which are green the whole year. It has also many gardens and orchards, abounding with all kinds of herbs and fruits, and many fountains of good water. Their oranges are particularly excellent, very large and sweet. They have also abundance of millet and rice, plenty both of cattle and sheep, and great store of fine poultry, which are very cheap. Melinda is a large city, with fair streets, and many good houses of stone and lime, containing several storeys, with windows, and having terraced roofs made of lime and earth. The native inhabitants are black, of well-proportioned bodies, having curled hair; but many strangers resort thither and dwell in the city, who are Moors from Arabia, who conduct themselves in a commendable manner, especially the gentlemen or better sort. These, from the girdle upwards, go naked; but below the girdle they are dressed in silk, or fine stuffs of cotton, though some wear short cotton cloaks, after the old fashion. On their heads they wear certain cloths embroidered with silk and gold. They wear also rich daggers ornamented with silken tassels of many colours, and very handsome swords. They are all left-handed, and go constantly armed with bows and arrows, taking great delight in archery, at which they are very expert. They account themselves good horsemen; yet there is a common saying on this coast, the horsemen of Mombaza, and the women of Melinda, as in Mombaza they are excellent horsemen, and the women of Melinda are very handsome, and dress richly.

In this city also there are many Gentiles from the kingdom of Cambaya in India, who are great merchants and trade to this place for gold, which is found in this country, as likewise ambergris, ivory, pitch, and wax; all of which commodities the inhabitants of Melinda exchange with the merchants of Cambaya for copper, quicksilver, and cotton cloth, to the profit and advantage of both parties. The king of this city is a Moor, who is served with far more state than any of the kings on this coast to the southwards. Being arrived over against this city, the general and all the people of the fleet were much rejoiced at seeing a city resembling those of Portugal, and gave thanks to God for their safe arrival. Being desirous of procuring pilots to navigate the fleet to Calicut, the general commanded to come to anchor, meaning to use his endeavours for this purpose. For hitherto he could not learn from the Moors he had lately captured, whether any of them were pilots; and though he had threatened them with the torture, they always persisted in declaring that none of them had any skill in pilotage.

Next day, being Easter eve, the old Moor who had been made prisoner in the pinnace, told the general that there were four ships belonging to Christians of the Indies at Melinda, and engaged, if the general would allow him and the other Moors to go on shore, he would provide him, as his ransom, Christian pilots, and would farther supply him with everything he might need. Well pleased with the speeches of the old Moor, the general removed his ships to within half a league of the city, whence hitherto no one came off to our fleet, as they feared our men might make them prisoners; for they had received intelligence that we were Christians, and believed our ships were men of war. On the Monday morning, therefore, the general commanded the old Moor to be landed on a ledge, or rock, opposite the city, and left there, expecting they would send from the city to fetch him off; which they did accordingly as soon as our boat departed. The Moor was carried directly to the king, to whom he said, as instructed by the general, what he chiefly desired to have. He farther said, that the general desired to have amity with the king, of whom he had heard a good report, hoping by his aid, and with the will of God, he might be enabled to discover the route to India.

The king received this message favourably, and sent back the Moor in a boat to the general, accompanied by one of his own servants and a priest, saying, that he would most willingly conclude a treaty of amity with him, and would supply him with what pilots he needed. These messengers likewise presented the general, from the king, with three sheep, and a great many oranges, and sugar canes, which he thankfully accepted; desiring the messengers to acquaint their master, that he gladly agreed to the profered amity, and was ready to confirm the same between them, and promised to enter their harbour next day. He farther desired them to inform the king, that he was the subject of a great and powerful sovereign in the west, who had sent him to discover the way to Calicut, with orders to enter into peace and amity with all kings and princes on whose territories he might happen to touch by the way. That it was now two years[40] since he left his own country, and that the king his master was a prince of such puissance and worth as he was convinced the king of Melinda would be glad to have for a friend. He then dismissed the messengers, sending as a present to their king a hat of the fashion of the time, two branches of coral, three brass basons, two scarfs, and some small bells.

On the second day after Easter, the general removed his ships nearer the city. The king, knowing this, and believing that the king of Portugal must be a high-spirited prince, and the general a worthy subject who had hazarded himself in so long and dangerous a voyage, became desirous of seeing such men; wherefore, he sent a more honourable message to the general, saying that he proposed next day to visit him in person, intending that their meeting should be on the water; and sent him a present of six sheep, with a considerable quantity of cloves, ginger, pepper, and nutmegs. Upon this message, the general removed his fleet still nearer the city, and came to anchor close to the four ships of the Indies, of which the old Moor had made mention as belonging to Christians. When the owners of these ships learnt that we were Christians, they came immediately to visit our general, who happened then to be in the ship of Paulo de la Gama. These men were of a brown colour, but of good stature and well proportioned, dressed in long white cotton gowns, having large beards, and the hair of their heads long like women, and plaited up under their turbans or head-dresses. The general received them with much kindness and attention, asking, by means of an interpreter, who understood the language of Algarve, or Arabic, whether they were Christians. These men had some knowledge of that language, though it was not their own tongue, but had learnt it in the course of their trade and conversation with the Moors of Melinda, of whom they advised the general to beware, lest their inward intentions might be far different from their outward shew.

Willing to make trial if these men were really Christians, the general caused a picture to be shewn them, on which our Lady was painted weeping, surrounded by some of the apostles, but without informing them what this was meant to represent. Immediately on this being set before them, they fell down and worshipped the picture, praying for some time. The general then asked if they were of Calicut; on which they answered they were of Grangalor,[41] still farther off, and could give him no information respecting Calicut. From this time, so long as our fleet remained at Melinda, these people came every day on board the ship of Paulo de la Gama, to pay their devotions before this picture, offering to the images which it represented gifts of pepper and other things. These Indian Christians, according to their own account, eat no beef.

On the last day of the week after Easter, and in the afternoon, the king of Melinda came off in a great boat to our fleet. He was dressed in a cassock of crimson damask lined with green satin, and wore a rich cloth or turban on his head. He sat in a chair of the ancient fashion, very well made and wrought with wire, having a silk cushion; and on another chair beside him, there lay a hat of crimson satin. An old man stood by him as his page, who carried a very rich sword with a silver scabbard. In the boat there were many sacbuts, and two ivory flutes eight spans long, on which they played by a little hole in the middle, agreeing and according well with the music of the sacbuts. The king was likewise attended by about twenty Moorish gentlemen, all richly dressed. When the king had nearly attained our ships, the general went to meet him in his boat, gaily decorated with flags and streamers, himself dressed in his best apparel, and attended by twelve of the principal officers of the squadron, leaving his brother in charge of the ships. On the boats' meeting, the two parties made every demonstration of friendship and respect; and the Moorish king immediately offered to come on board the general's boat, that he might see him the better. The general accordingly received him with all respect, and the king shewed as much honour and courtesy to the general as if he had been likewise a king.

The Moorish king, after examining the dress and appearance of the general and his men with the utmost attention, asked the general the name of his king, which he commanded to be immediately written down. He particularly inquired respecting the power of the king of Portugal, and the general gave the most satisfactory answers to all his questions; particularly detailing the reasons of his being sent to discover Calicut, that Portugal might be thence supplied with spices, which were not to be had in his own country. The king, after giving him some information on these points, and respecting the straits of the Red Sea, promised to furnish the general with a pilot to carry him to Calicut, and then earnestly solicited him to accompany him to the city, where he might solace and refresh himself in the palace, after the fatigues and dangers of so long a voyage; and promised, if the general would do so, that he the king would visit him on board.

To this the general prudently answered that he was not authorised by his instructions to go on shore, and that he could not answer for deviating from the orders of his sovereign. On this the king observed, that if he were to visit the ships, he could not well answer for his conduct to the inhabitants of his city; yet, he was grieved that the admiral refused to go into the city, which should be at his will and pleasure, and that of the king his master, to whom he should either write or send an ambassador, if the general would call in at Melinda on his return from Calicut. The general gave the king thanks for his politeness, and promised to return that way; and, while this conversation was going on, he sent for the Moors who had been taken in the pinnace, whom he presented to the king, saying, he would most gladly perform any other service that lay in his power to the king. The king was greatly pleased with this gift, which he valued as much as if the admiral had given him another city equal to Melinda.

Having ended their conversation, and confirmed their mutual friendship, the king rowed through among our ships, examining them with much pleasure and admiration, and was saluted in passing by many discharges of the ordnance, at which he and his attendants seemed much delighted. On this occasion, the general attended upon him in his own boat out of respect, and the king observed, that he never was so much pleased with any men as with the Portuguese, and would most gladly have some of them to help him in his wars. To this the general answered, that if his highness were to have experience of what they were able to perform, he would like the Portuguese still better; and that they should certainly give him aid, if it should please the king of Portugal to send any of his war ships to Calicut, which he did not doubt would be the case, if it were God's will to permit the discovery of that place. After the king had satisfied his curiosity, he requested of the general, since he would not go himself into the city, to permit two of his men to go and see the palace, offering to leave his own son, and one of his chief priests, which they named Caçis,[42] in pledge for their safe return. To this request the general consented, and sent two of our men along with the king: He, at his departure, requested that the general would next day, in his boat, come close to the shore, when he should be gratified with a sight of the native horsemen going through their evolutions. After this they separated.

Next day, being Thursday, the general and Nicholas Coello went in their boats well armed along the shore, according to the invitation of the king, keeping at a small distance from each other for mutual defence in case of need, where they saw many men skirmishing on the shore. As our boats approached the royal palace, certain of the king's attendants brought him in a chair down some stone stairs which led to the water; and, being then very near the general's boat, the king entered into friendly conversation with him, and once more entreated him to land and go to the palace; saying that his father, who was lame, was exceedingly desirous to see him, and even offered, that, while the general remained on shore, he and his children would go on board the ships as hostages for his security. But our general, still dreading that some bitter treachery might lurk beneath this honied speech, continued to excuse himself from landing, as he had not permission from his own prince to do so, and must obey him, in all things. After this, taking his leave of the king, he rowed past the ships of the Indian merchants, which he saluted in passing with his ordnance; and when they saw us pass, they held up their hands, exclaiming "Christe! Christe!"

That night, having obtained leave from the king, our men made them a great feast, with much diversion, also of squibs, firing of guns, and loud cries. The fleet remained at anchor for two days without any message from the shore, on which account the general was much distressed, fearing the king had taken offence at his refusal to go on shore, and might break the peace and amity between them, and not send him any pilot. But on Sunday the 21st of April, a person who was in high credit with the king, came off to visit the general, who was much disappointed when this person brought no pilot, and again began to entertain suspicions of the king's intentions. When the king learnt this, and that the general remained merely for the purpose of having a pilot, he sent him one who was a Gentile, called Gosarate[43] in their language, and whose name was Canaca, sending an apology at the same time for not having sent this person sooner. Thus the king and the general remained friends, and the peace continued which had been agreed between them.

"De Barros and Faria give this pilot the name of Malemo Cana, and say that he belonged to one of the Indian ships of Cambaya, then at Melinda. De Barros adds, that he shewed De Gama a very small chart of the coast of India, laid down with meridians and parallels, but without rhumbs of the winds. This pilot shewed no surprise on seeing the large wooden and metal astrolabes belonging to the Portuguese, as the pilots of the Red Sea had long used brass triangular instruments and quadrants for astronomical observations, and that he and others who sailed from Cambaya, and the ports of India, navigated by the north and south stars, and the constellations of the eastern and western hemispheres; and, though they did not use these instruments in navigation, they employed one made of three pieces of board, similar to the balhestillia, or cross-staff, of the Portuguese.

"In a collection of papers published in 1790, called Documentos Arabicos, from the royal archives of Lisbon, chiefly consisting of letters between the kings of Portugal and the tributary princes of the east in the sixteenth century, the zeque, sheik, or king of Melinda, with whom De Gama afterwards made a treaty of alliance, and whose ambassador he carried into Portugal, was named Wagerage."[44]


*on to Section 2b*

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[1] By Mr Clarke this person is named Gonçalo Nunez.
[2] Mr Clarke alleges, that Lichefield, our original translator, has fallen into an error in this date, which ought to have been the 28th July.--E.
[3] If Saturday were the 5th July, on which the fleet sailed from Lisbon, the 3d of August must have been on Thursday. But it does not seem necessary to insist upon such minute critical accuracy; which, besides, is unattainable.--E.
[4] This strange expression probably means, that Gama stretched directly across the gulf of Guinea, not creeping as usual along the coast, and endeavoured to make a direct course for the Cape of Good Hope.--E.
[5] Our old English translator, Lichefield, strangely mistakes in calling this place the island of Sancta Haelena; which is assuredly St Elena bay, in lat. 32° 40' S. It has since been sometimes named St Martin's bay, but the proper and general name is the bay of St Elena, the S. W. point of entry being called St Martin's Point.--E.
[6] Perhaps the Berg river, at the bottom of St Elena bay.--E.
[7] This paragraph is added to the relation of Castenada from the works of Faria and Osorius.--Clarke.
[8] If the Thursday on which they came in sight of the Cape were the 16th, the Wednesday following must have been the 22nd of the month.--E.
[9] This paragraph is an addition to the text of Castaneda from Osorius-- Clarke, I. 342
[10] From the circumstances in the text, this watering-place of St Blaze is probably what is now called St Katherines or St Sebastians Bay; yet that place hardly exceeds forty-seven Portuguese leagues east from the cape. The sixty leagues of the text would carry us almost a degree farther east, to what is now called Kaffercroyts river. Clarke removes this place still farther to Flesh Bay, otherwise called Angra de St Braz, or Aguada de St Braz by De Barros. This latter place is seventy Portuguese leagues, or above eighty marine leagues east from the cape. --E.
[11] This account seems erroneous, whether St Katherines or Flesh Bay be the one in question, as both ought to be safe in north winds, and the winds between the S and E points give both a lee shore.--E.
[12] Probably a species of Penguins: Lichefield calls them stares, as large as ducks; Osorius says the natives called them satiliario, and that they were as big as geese.--E.
[13] Probably Rock Point, forming the western boundary of Algoa or Zwartkops bay, in long. 27° E. bring the rocky extreme promontory of the Krakakamma ridge.--E.
[14] It is infinitely difficult to guess the course of these early voyages, without latitudes or longitudes, and only estimated distances by dead reckoning in uncertain leagues; but the Rio del Infante of this voyage and that of Diaz, is probably that now called Great-fish river, in the Zuureveld of Graaff Reynet, in long. 28° 20' EĽ which, however, is twenty-six Portuguese leagues, or thirty geographical leagues from Rocky Point, instead of the fifteen leagues of the text.--E.
[15] The sixty leagues in the text are inexplicable on any rational supposition, as they seem to have again made the Rocks de la Cruz, or rather Rocky Point, said just before to be only fifteen leagues from Infante river, to which they were then bound.--E.
[16] The Portuguese ships appear to have been now on the coast of Natal, or the land of the Caffres, certainly a more civilized people than the Hottentots of the cape. But the circumstance of Alonzo understanding their language is quite inexplicable: as he could hardly have been lower on the western coast than Minz, or perhaps Congo. Yet, as a belt of Caffres are said to cross the continent of Africa, to the north of the Hottentots, it is barely possible that some Caffre slaves may have reached the western coast.--E.
[17] This grain was probably what is now well known under the name of millet.--E.
[18] According to Barros, Aguada da boa Paz.--Clarke.
[19] Gibb's Orosius, I. 50.
[20] The text here ought probably to be thus amended, "He and his brother, with Nicholas Coelle," &c.--E.
[21] These probably swam off to the ships.--E.
[22] De Faria alleges that the people of this river were not so black as the other Africans, and wore habits of different kinds of stuffs, both cotton and silk, of various colours, and that they understood Arabic; and adds, that they informed De Gama there were white people to the eastwards, who sailed in ships like those of the Portuguese. Osorius likewise says, that one of the natives spoke Arabic very imperfectly, and that De Gama left two of his convicts at this place, which he called San Rafael.--Clarke.
[23] There is no circumstance in the text from which the situation of this river can even be conjectured. Clarke, p.440, alleges that it was Soffala; and yet, in a note in his preceding page, says, "That De Gama seems to have passed Cape Corientes during the night, and to have kept so far from land, on account of a strong current setting on shore, as not to have noticed Sofala." In the notes on the Lusiad, this river of Good Signs is ascertained to have been one of the mouths of the Zambeze, or Cuama River, which divides Mocaranga from the coast of Mozambique; the different mouths of which run into the sea between the latitudes of 19° and 18° S.--E.
[24] They were evidently afflicted with the scurvy; and accordingly De Barros refers the disease to its proper cause, "Having been for so long a time confined to the use of salt fish and corrupted biscuit.-- Clarke."
[25] Addition to the narrative of Castaneda, from De Barros.--Clarke.
[26] This obscure expression seems to mean that De Gama wished them to precede the ships, and point out the way into the harbour.--E.
[27] This expression has probably been misunderstood by the original translator. It appears that these Moors of Mozambique spoke Arabic, here called the language of Algarve, and finding themselves understood and answered by the strangers, mistook the Portuguese for Moors.--E.
[28] Mozambique is in lat. 15° 35' S. and in 41° of E. Long--E.
[29] The observations here inserted, and marked with inverted commas, are made by the Editor of the present collection. They are much too long for insertion in the form of a note, and appeared of too much importance to be omitted; being chiefly from Clarke, I. 447.--E.
[30] For the materials of this addition to the text of Castaneda, we are chiefly indebted to the Progress of Maritime Discovery, p. 447, 458. --E.
[31] His name, as given by Osorius, was Zacocia, and De Barros adds, that he wore richly embroidered clothes, and had his sword ornamented with diamonds.--Clarke.
[32] This is probably the same person named Fernan Alvares on a former occasion.--E.
[33] It is added by De Barros, that three Abexijs, or Abyssinians, from the territory of Preste Joano, came on board the fleet, along with the Moors who brought provisions; and, seeing the image of the angel Gabriel painted on the ship of that name, and being accustomed to such representations of angels in their own country, they made their adorations to this holy picture.--Clarke.
[34] Mr Clarke, Progr. of Marit. Disc. I. 464, strangely misrepresents this story; saying, "that the pilot of Paulo de la Gama had deserted to the Moors, though a Christian."--E.
[35] According to De Burros, after the inhabitants abandoned the town, the zeque sent De Gama a pilot to navigate Coello's ship, from whom De Gama learnt that Calicut was a months voyage from Mozambique.--Clarke, I. 464.
[36] If Sunday, as above, were the first of April, the Friday following must have been the 6th.--E.
[37] The text is here obscure; but it would appear that only some of the men belonging to these two boats remained on board, and the rest returned to the coast. Not that the Moorish pilots from Mozambique were here dismissed, as the text of Lichefild's translation seems to insinuate.--E.
[38] Motta, in the Portuguese East Indian Pilot, places this town in lat. 3º 50'S. He says the entrance is much incommoded with shoals, and so narrow in some places as not to exceed the length of a ship. This city is said to have once stood on a peninsula, converted into an island by cutting a canal across the isthmus.--Clarke, I. 469.
[39] This may be understood that part of the inhabitants were unmixed Arabs, comparatively whites; while others were of a mixed race between these and the original natives, perhaps likewise partly East Indian Mahometans, of a similar origin.--E.
[40] This is surely an oversight in Castaneda or his translator, for one year.--E.
[41] It is difficult to ascertain what place in India is here meant. Cranganore comes nearer in sound, but is rather nearer Melinda than Calicut; Mangalore is rather more distant. The former a degree to the south of Calicut, the latter not quite two to the north; all three on the Malabar coast. On a former occasion, Castaneda says these merchants were of Cambaya or Guzerat, above eleven degrees north of Calicut.--E.
[42] This seems to be the same office with that named Kadhi, or Khazi, by the Turks and Persians, which is rather the title of a judge than of a priest, which is named Moulah.--E.
[43] It is probable that this passage should be thus understood, "The king sent him a pilot, who was an idolater from Guzerate, &c."--E.
[44] The addition to, or observations on the text, inserted in this place within inverted commas, are from Clarke, I. 486, 487.--E.
 
 

 

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