Volume 6, Chapter 1, Section 4 -- Continuation of the Portuguese Transactions in India, during the Viceroyalty of Almeyda.
Besides the forts already erected on the eastern coast of Africa at Quiloa and Mozambique, and the factory at Melinda, King Manuel determined to build a fort at Sofala to secure the trade in gold at that place; for which purpose he sent out Pedro de Annaya with six ships in the year 1506: three of these ships being destined to remain on the African coast, and the other three to proceed to India. This fleet was separated in a storm, during which one of the captains was washed overboard and drowned, and another lost sixteen men who were slain by the natives of an island on which they landed. The squadron rejoined in the port of Sofala, where Annaya found twenty Portuguese mariners in a miserable condition. The ship to which they had belonged, commanded by Lope Sanchez, was forced to run on shore at Cape Corientes, being so leaky as to be in a sinking condition. After landing, the crew refused obedience to their officers, and separated into different parties, endeavouring to make their way through the unknown countries and barbarous nations of Africa; but all perished except these twenty, and five who were found at the river Quiloma by Antonio de Magelhaens, who brought them to Sofala.
According to his orders, and by permission of the sheikh or king of Sofala, Annaya erected a strong wooden fort at that place. The king soon afterwards repented of his concession, and was for some time in hopes that the Portuguese would be soon obliged to abandon the place on account of its unhealthiness. About this time, three of the ships were dispatched for India, and two of these which were destined for protecting the coast from the attempts of the Moors were sent off upon a cruise to Cape Guardafu, both of which were lost; the captains and part of their crews saving themselves in the boats. In consequence of the unwholesomeness of Sofala, the Portuguese garrison became so weakened by sickness that it required six of them to bend a single cross-bow. Encouraged by these disasters and instigated by his son-in-law, the king collected a force of 5000 Kafrs with which he invested the fort, filled up the ditch with fascines, and made a violent assault, darkening the sun with incessant clouds of arrows.
Though only 35 Portuguese were able to stand to their arms, they made such havock among the assailants with their cannon, that the part of the ditch which had not been filled up with wood was levelled with dead bodies. The enemy being thrown into confusion, Annaya made a sally at the head of fifteen or twenty men, with whom he drove the Kafrs before him to a grove of palms, and thence into the town, crying out in consternation that their king had sent them to contend against the gods. In the ensuing night, Annaya attacked the town, and even penetrated into the house where the king resided, who, standing behind a door, wounded Annaya in the neck with his cymeter as he entered, but was soon killed with many of his attendants. Next day the two sons of the slain king made a new assault on the fort, but without success; many of the garrison who were sick, being cured by the alarm, joined in the defence, and the Moors were again repulsed with great slaughter. The two sons of the deceased King of Sofala fell out about the succession, and one of them, named Solyman, made an alliance with Annaya to procure his aid to establish himself in the sovereignty.
The kingdom of Sofala, now called Sena by the Portuguese, who monopolize its whole trade, is of great extent, being 750 leagues in circumference; but the inland parts are all subject to the Monomotapa, who is emperor of this southern part of Africa, his dominions being likewise known by the same name of Monomotapa, called by the ancients Ethiopia Inferior. This country is watered by two famous rivers, called Rio del Espiritu Santo and Cuama, the latter of which is navigable 250 leagues above its mouth. These and many other rivers which fall into them, are famous for their rich golden sands. Most part of this country enjoys a temperate climate, being pleasant, healthy, and fertile. Some parts are covered with large flocks of sheep, with the skins of which the natives are clothed to defend them from the cold south winds. The banks of the Cuama river are covered with wood, and the interior country rises into hills and mountains, being abundantly watered with many rivers, so that it is delightful and well peopled, being the ordinary residence of the Monomotapa or emperor. Its woods contain many elephants, and consequently produce much ivory. About 50 leagues southwest from Sofala are the gold mines of Manica, in a valley of 30 leagues circumference, surrounded by mountains on the tops of which the air is always clear and serene. There are other gold mines 150 leagues farther inland, but which are not so much valued.
In the interior of the country there are some buildings of wonderful structure, having inscriptions in unknown characters; but the natives know nothing respecting their origin. The natives of Monomotapa believe in one God, whom they name Mazimo, and have no idols. Witchcraft, theft, and adultery are the crimes most severely punished among them. Every man is permitted to have as many wives as he pleases or can maintain. The monomotapa has a thousand, but the first wife commands over all the rest, and her children only are entitled to inherit the throne. Their houses are built of wood; their apparel is made of cotton, those of the better sort being mixed with gold threads; their funerals are very superstitious. The attendance on the monomotapa is more ceremonious than grand, his usual guard being 200 dogs, and he is always attended by 500 buffoons. His dominions are ruled over by a great many princes or governors, and to prevent them from rebelling he always keeps their heirs about him. They have no law-suits. Their arms are bows and arrows, javelins, daggers, and small sharp hatchets, and they all fight on foot. The women of this country are used with so much respect, that even the king's sons when they meet a woman, give way to her and stand still till she has gone past. The Moors of Magadoxa were the first who possessed the mines of Sofala, after which they were seized by the King of Quiloa. But Yzuf, one of their governors, rebelled and usurped the government to himself, assuming the title of king. This was the same person with whom Annaya had now to contend, and whose son Solyman he established in the sovereignty, under the protection and vassalage of Portugal.
While these things happened at Sofala, the Zamorin of Calicut was using every exertion to raise up enemies to the Portuguese, even entering into alliance with the Mameluke Soldan of Egypt, hoping by his assistance to drive the Christians from the Indian seas. His measures and preparations however became known to the Rajah of Cochin, who communicated the intelligence to the viceroy Almeyda. He accordingly sent his son Lorenzo with eleven vessels to endeavour to counteract the designs of the Zamorin by destroying the fleet he had prepared. Learning that the Calicut fleet was in the port of Cananor, consisting of 260 paraos, 60 of which were larger than the Portuguese ships, Lorenzo sailed thither and put them to flight after a severe engagement. In the pursuit, some of the paraos were taken, but many were sunk and run aground, by which the enemy sustained great loss, while only five or six of the Portuguese were slain. The principal booty taken on this occasion was four ships loaded with spice.
Almost immediately after this victory, Don Lorenzo received notice that the fort of Anchediva was beset by 60 vessels belonging to the Moors and Malabars, well-armed and manned with a number of resolute men under the command of a renegado. On this occasion the besieged behaved with great gallantry, and the besiegers pressed their attacks with much bravery, but several of their vessels having been destroyed and others much damaged by the cannon of the fort, and hearing of the approach of Lorenzo, the enemy withdrew in all haste.
Finding their trade almost destroyed by the Portuguese, the Moors endeavoured to shun their cruisers by keeping out to sea in their voyages from Cambaya and the ports of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, passing through the Maldive Islands, and keeping to the south of Ceylon in their way to Sumatra and Malacca. The viceroy on learning this new course of the Moorish trade, sent his son Lorenzo with nine ships to intercept the trade of the enemy. While wandering through seas unknown to the pilots, Lorenzo discovered the island of Ceylon, formerly called Taprobana, and came to anchor in the port of Galle, where many Moors were taking in cinnamon and elephants for Cambaya. To induce Lorenzo not to molest or destroy them, the Moors made him an offer of 400 bahars of cinnamon in the name of the king of Ceylon; and although he well knew this proceeded only from fear, he thought it better to dissemble and accept the present, contenting himself with the discovery of the island, on which he erected a cross with an inscription of the date of his discovery. On his return to Cochin, he attacked the town of Biramjam or Brinjan, which he burnt to the ground and put all the inhabitants to the sword, in revenge for the slaughter of the factor and his people at Coulam, as this place belonged to that kingdom.
While Cide Barbudo and Pedro Quaresme were coming out from Portugal with two ships, they arrived after many misfortunes at Sofala, where they found Annaya and most of his men dead, and the rest of the Portuguese garrison sick. Quaresme remained there to defend the fort; and Barbudo proceeding towards India found Quiloa in as bad a condition, of which he carried intelligence to Almeyda. The viceroy sent immediately Nunno Vaz Pereyra to relieve the forts of Quiloa and Sofala. But that of Quiloa was soon afterwards abandoned and destroyed, after having lost many lives, owing to the ill usage of the Portuguese to the natives, whom they treated with insufferable pride and boundless avarice.
Having been informed by Diego Fernandez Pereyra that the island of Socotora near the mouth of the Red Sea was inhabited by Christians who were subject to the Moors, the king of Portugal ordered Tristan de Cunna and Alfonso de Albuquerque to direct their course to that island, and to endeavour to possess themselves of the fort, that the Portuguese ships might be enabled to winter at that island, and to secure the navigation of the Arabian Gulf against the Moors; for which purpose they carried out with them a wooden fort ready to put up. De Cunna was destined [[=designated]] to command the trading ships which were to return to Europe, and Albuquerque to cruise with a small squadron on the coast of Arabia against the Moors. These two commanders sailed from Lisbon on the 6th of March 1507, with thirteen vessels in which were 1300 soldiers, some of whom died by the way, having been infected by the plague then raging in Lisbon; but when they came under the line, the sickness left them.
Having come in sight of Cape Augustine in Brasil, they took a new departure from thence to cross the Southern Atlantic for the Cape of Good Hope; but in this course De Cunna held so far to the south that he discovered the islands still called by his name. At this place the ships were parted in a storm, each following a separate course till they met again at Mozambique. Alvaro Tellez, however, who commanded one of these ships, overshot Mozambique and proceeded to Cape Guardafu, where he took six ships belonging to the Moors, so laden with all kind of goods, that he made a sort of bridge from them to his own vessel, consisting of bales thrown into the sea, over which his men passed as on dry land.
During this part of the voyage likewise, Ruy Pereyra put into the port of Matatama in the island of Madagascar; and being informed that this island abounded in spice, especially ginger, Tristan de Cunna was induced to go there, and anchored in a bay which his son Nunno named Angra de Donna Maria, after a lady whom he courted. By others it is named the bay of Santa Maria della Conception. As some Negroes appeared on the coast, De Cunna sent a Moor to converse with them; but when he mentioned that the ships belonged to Christians, they endeavoured to kill him, and had to be driven away by the Portuguese cannon. About three leagues farther on, they came to a village, the xeque or sheikh of which carried them to another town on an island in a well sheltered bay into which the great river Lulangan discharges its waters. This town was inhabited by Moors somewhat civilized, who being afraid of the fleet made their escape to the mainland, but so overloaded their boats that many of them perished by the way. The Portuguese surrounded the island and took 500 prisoners, only twenty of whom were men, among whom was the xeque or chief, an aged man of a respectable appearance. Next morning the sea was covered with boats, bringing over 600 men to demand the release of their wives and children. After some negociation, the Portuguese commander restored the prisoners to their liberty. He here learnt that the island of Madagascar was chiefly inhabited by negro cafrs, and produced but little ginger. He afterwards wished to have entered a town on this island called Zada, but the inhabitants set it on fire.
From this place, De Cunna sent on Alfonso de Albuquerque with four ships to Mozambique, with orders to reduce some places on the coast of Melinda; while he went himself with three ships to Matatama in Madagascar, where he was told that cloves, ginger, and silver were to be had. On this expedition however, he lost one of his ships, only the pilot and seven men being saved; on which account he steered for Mozambique, but was forced by stress of weather into the island of Angoza. At night he discovered the lights of the ship St Jago which he had left at Mozambique, and soon after Juan de Nova arrived from Angoza, where he had wintered, laden with pepper. At Mozambique he rejoined Albuquerque, whom he sent on before him to Melinda; and meeting two other ships of his squadron at Quiloa, he proceeded to Melinda. To oblige the king of Melinda, the Portuguese attacked the city of Oja, the king of which place, aided by the king of Mombaza, made war on the king of Melinda. In this country, which is inhabited by Arabs, there are some ancient and wonderful structures. Each city, and almost every village has a separate king, whom they call xeque or sheikh; but the principal among these are the sheikhs of Quiloa, Zanzibar, and Mombaza, while the sheikh of Melinda pretends to be the most ancient, deducing his pedigree from the sheikhs of Quitau, which, though in ruins, shows evident marks of ancient grandeur, having been superior to all its neighbours. These are Luziva, Parimunda, Lamon, Jaca, Oja, and others. This country is watered by the river Gulimanja, up which George Alfonso sailed for the space of five days, finding the banks every where covered with impervious woods, and the river inhabited by a prodigious number of sea horses or hippopotami.
Having now only six ships out of thirteen with which he left Portugal, one being lost, some separated by storms, and others sent away, Tristan de Cunna appeared before the city of Oja, on an open shore seventeen leagues from Melinda, and defended by a wall towards the land, to protect it against the Kafrs. De Cunna sent a message to the sheikh desiring an interview, as having some important matters to arrange with him; but the sheikh answered, that he was subject to the soldan of Egypt, caliph or head of the Musselmans, and could not therefore treat with a people who were enemies to the prophet. Considering delay dangerous, Tristan resolved upon an immediate attack, and dividing his men into two parties, one commanded by himself and the other by Albuquerque, made for the shore as soon as day light appeared. The Moors were drawn up on the shore to resist the landing, but were soon forced to take shelter behind their walls; and, not trusting to them for protection, no sooner entered at the sea gate but they ran out at the gate opposite. Nunno de Cunna and Alfonso de Noronha pursued the sheikh and his people to a grove of palm trees, in which the sheikh and many of his attendants were slain. At this time, George Silveyra observed a grave Moor leading a beautiful young woman through a path in the wood, and made towards them. The Moor turned to defend himself, desiring the woman to make her escape while he fought; but she followed him, declaring she would rather die or be taken along with him, than make her escape alone. Seeing them thus strive who should give the strongest demonstration of affection, Silveyra allowed both to go away unhurt, unwilling to part so much love. The town was plundered and set on fire, and burnt with such fury that some of the Portuguese perished in the flames while in anxious search of plunder.
On being informed of what had happened at Oja, the sheikh of Lamo, fifteen leagues distant, came to make his submission, and to render himself more acceptable offered to pay a tribute of 600 meticals of gold yearly, about equal to as many ducats, and paid the first year in advance. From hence De Cunna proceeded to Brava, a populous town which had been formerly reduced, but the sheikh was now in rebellion, trusting to a force of 6000 men with which he opposed the landing of the Portuguese. But De Cunna and Albuquerque landed their troops next day in two bodies, in spite of every opposition from showers of arrows, darts, and stones, and scaled the walls, routing the Moors with prodigious slaughter. The city was plundered, and burnt; but in this enterprise the Portuguese lost forty-two men; not the half of them by the sword, but in consequence of a boat sinking which was overloaded with spoil. Those who were drowned had been so blinded with covetousness while plundering the town, that they barbarously cut off the hands and ears of the women to save time in taking off their bracelets and earrings. Sailing from Brava, Tristan de Cunna was rejoined off Cape Guardafu by Alvaro Tellez, who had been in great danger in a storm of losing his ship with all the rich booty formerly mentioned. Having got sight of Cape Guardafu, De Cunna now stood over for the island of Socotora, according to his instructions.
Socotora, or Zakatra is an island twenty leagues long and nine broad, stretching nearly east and west, in lat. 12° 40' N. and is the largest of the islands near the mouth of the Red Sea, but has no ports fit for any great number of ships to ride in during winter. Through the middle of this island there runs a chain of very high hills, yet covered over with sand blown up by the north winds from the shore to their tops, so that they are entirely barren and destitute of trees or plants, excepting some small valleys which are sheltered from these winds. It is 30 leagues from Cape Guardafu, and 50 leagues from the nearest part of the Arabian continent. The ports principally used by us are Zoco or Calancea to the westwards, and Beni to the east, both inhabited by Moors, who are very unpolished. In those valleys that are sheltered from the sand, apple and palm trees are produced, and the best aloes in the world, which from its excellence is called Socotorine aloes. The common food of the people is maize, with milk and tamarinds. The inhabitants of this island are Christians of the Jacobite church, similar in its ceremonies and belief to that which is established in Ethiopia. The men generally use the names of the apostles, while most of the women are named Maria. They worship the cross, which they set up in all their churches, and wear upon their clothes, worshipping thrice a day in the Chaldean language, making alternate responses as we do in choirs. They have but one wife, use circumcision, pay tithes, and practice fasting. The men are comely, and the women so brave that they go to war like Amazons. They are clothed mostly in skins, but some of the better sort use cloth; their weapons are stones, which they sling with much dexterity, and they live mostly in caves. This island was subject to the sheikh or king of Caxem in Arabia.
At this place De Cunna found a tolerable fort, not ill-manned, and decently provided for defence. He sent a friendly message to the sheikh, but receiving an insolent answer he resolved to attack the place, though the attempt seemed dangerous. He and Albuquerque went towards the shore with the troops, but Don Alfonso de Noronha, nephew to De Cunna, leapt first on shore, determining to shew himself worthy of the choice which the king had made of him to command in Socotora, if gained. Noronha immediately advanced against the sheikh with a few brave men. The sheikh defended himself with great resolution, and had even almost repulsed the assailants, when he was struck down by the lance of Noronha. The Moors endeavoured with much valour to rescue their wounded chief, but he and eight more were slain, on which the rest fled to the castle. This was immediately scaled by a party of the Portuguese, who opened the gate for the rest, who now rushed into the large outer court.
The Moors bravely defended their inner fort to the last man, so that of eighty-three men only one was taken alive, besides a blind man who was found hidden in a well. Being asked how he had got there, being blind, he answered that blind men saw only one thing, which was the way to liberty. He was set free. In this assault the Portuguese lost six men. During the assault the natives of the island kept at a distance, but now came with their wives and children, joyfully returning thanks to the Portuguese commander for having delivered them from the heavy yoke of the infidels; and De Cunna received them to their great satisfaction under the protection of the crown of Portugal. The Mosque was purified by the solemnities of the Catholic church, and converted into a church dedicated to the Invocation of Neustra Sennora della Vittoria, in which many were baptised by the labours of Father Antonio of the order of St. Francis. De Cunna gave the command of the fort, now named San Miguel, to Don Alfonso de Noronha, his nephew, who had well deserved it by his valour, even if he had not been nominated to the command by the king. Noronha was provided with a garrison of an hundred men, with proper officers; after which De Cunna wintered at the island of Socotora, though very ill accommodated, and then sailed for India, sending Albuquerque, according to the royal orders, to cruise on the coast of Arabia.
While these things occurred at Socotora, the Zamorin of Calicut was arming afresh against the Portuguese, relying on the promises of his wizards and soothsayers; who, finding that the succours under Tristan de Cunna were long delayed, assured him of success in that lucky opportunity, and predicted a great change of affairs, as indicated by an earthquake and a great eclipse of the sun, so complete that the stars were seen at noon for a considerable time, and which they pretended was a sure sign of the approaching destruction of the Portuguese. But on the viceroy Almeyda receiving notice of the preparations at Calicut, he sent his son Don Lorenzo thither with a squadron of ten ships. At this time Gonzalo Vaz was in Cananor with his ship, taking in water; and on his voyage to join Don Lorenzo he fell in with a ship belonging to Cananor having a Portuguese pass, which he sunk with all her Moorish crew sewed up in a sail that they might never be seen. But this wicked action was afterwards discovered, for which Vaz was broke [[=deprived of rank]]; a very incompetent punishment for so great a crime, owing to which the Portuguese afterwards suffered severe calamities, as will appear in the sequel.
On his way towards Dabul in search of the Calicut fleet, Don Lorenzo cast anchor at the entrance of the port of Chaul, into which seven vessels belonging to the Moors entered without making any return to his salute. On this Lorenzo followed them in his boats, and the Moors leaped overboard to escape on shore, but many of them were slain by the Portuguese in the water. Lorenzo then took possession of the ships, which were laden with horses and other goods; and as the Moors endeavoured to overreach him with regard to ransoming their vessels, greatly underrating their cargoes, he ordered them all to be burnt. Going thence to Dabul, where he found the Calicut fleet, he anchored off the mouth of the river, and called a council of his officers to consult on the proper measures for an attack; but owing to the narrowness of the river it was carried in the council not to attack, contrary to the opinion of Lorenzo, who was eager to destroy the enemies' ships. Passing on therefore to a river four leagues beyond Dabul, a brigantine and parao which led the van saw a ship sailing up the river, and pursued the vessel till it came to anchor over against a town, where there were many other vessels. Seeing the two vessels in pursuit of the ship Lorenzo sent a galley after them, and the three began to clear the shore with their shot of many Moors who flocked thither to defend their ships. Supposing from the noise of firing that his assistance was necessary, Lorenzo made all possible haste up the river; but before his arrival the others had taken all the vessels in the harbour, and had burnt a house on shore full of valuable commodities. All the ships in this harbour were burnt, except two from Ormuz having very rich cargoes, which were carried away. On his return to Cochin with victory and rich spoil, expecting to be received by his father with applause, he was astonished to find himself threatened with severe punishment for not having fought with and destroyed the Calicut fleet. He was however excused, as it appeared he had been overruled by the votes of the other captains, contrary to his own opinion. The viceroy broke them all therefore, and sent them home in disgrace to Portugal. By this severity, Don Lorenzo was much troubled, and in afterwards endeavouring to restore himself to the esteem of his father, he lost his life in rashly displaying his valour.
The body of one of the Moors who had been basely destroyed by Vaz, as formerly mentioned, was washed on shore, and discovered to be the nephew of Mamale, a rich merchant of Malabar. Founding on this circumstance, the Zamorin prevailed upon the rajah of Cananor to break with the Portuguese; and as it was not known who had been guilty of that barbarous act, the blame fell upon Lorenzo de Brito, captain of the fort at Cananor, who got notice of his danger, and not being in sufficient force to defend himself, sent intelligence to the viceroy. This message was delivered to Almeyda while in church assisting at the service on Maunday Thursday; and was of so pressing a nature that he immediately left the church, to give orders for the immediate shipment of provisions and men to succour Brito; and these orders were executed with such speed, that those who had lent their arms to others to watch the sepulchre, as the custom is, had to go to the church to get them back. Don Lorenzo was appointed to command this relief of Cananor, with orders on his arrival at that place to put himself under the command of Brito, who insisted that as son to the viceroy and an officer of reputation and experience he should take the command: But Lorenzo was positive that he would not take the command over Brito, pursuant to the orders of his father; and being unable to prevail, he left the relief at Cananor, and returned to Cochin.
By this time the rajah of Cananor had drawn together a force of 20,000 men, with which he besieged the Portuguese fort, which Brito determined to defend to the last extremity, and used every possible means to strengthen the place. Much blood was spilt about the possession of a well, which the Portuguese at length made themselves masters of by means of a mine. After this loss, the enemy retired to a wood of palm-trees, meaning to prepare engines to batter the fort, of which circumstance intelligence was conveyed to Brito by a nephew to the rajah of Cananor, who wished to acquire the friendship of the Portuguese, so that Brito was prepared to receive the intended assault. Having completed their preparations, the enemy moved on to fill up the ditch and assault the fort; but were opposed with so much energy, at first by incessant discharges of cannon, and afterwards by means of a sally, that the ditch was filled with dead bodies instead of fascines. After losing a prodigious number of men, the enemy retreated to the wood; and next night, which was cold and rainy, Brito sent out eighty men to beat up their quarters under the command of a Spanish officer named Guadalaxara, who was next in command. This enterprise was so vigorously executed, that after the discharge of a few small pieces of artillery, the enemy fled in every direction to save themselves, leaving 300 of their men slain.
The joy for this victory on the side of the Portuguese was soon miserably abated in consequence of the destruction of their entire magazine of provisions by fire, by which they were reduced to the extremity of famine, and under the necessity of feeding on all kinds of vermin that could be procured. In this extreme distress, they were providentially relieved by a rough sea throwing up vast quantities of crabs or lobsters on the point of land where the chapel of the Virgin stands, which was the only food which could be procured by the garrison for a long while. While in this situation, in consequence of powerful assistance from the Zamorin, the rajah of Cananor made a fresh assault upon Brito with 50,000 men, and was again repulsed with prodigious slaughter, without the loss of one man on the side of the Portuguese. Immediately after this exploit, Tristan de Cunna arrived at Cananor with a reinforcement and a supply of provisions, by which and the noble defence made by Brito the rajah of Cananor was so much intimidated that he sued for peace, which was granted upon conditions highly honourable and advantageous to the Portuguese.
As Tristan de Cunna was now ready to depart for Portugal with the homeward bound ships, the viceroy went along with him to Paniani, a town belonging to Calicut which he proposed to destroy, as it was much frequented by the Moors, who took in loadings of spices at that place under the protection of four ships belonging to the Zamorin commanded by a valiant Moor named Cutiale. The viceroy and Tristan, having anchored off the bar, held a council of war to deliberate upon a plan of attack, when it was determined to send their two sons in two barks and several boats to attack the place, while the viceroy and admiral should follow in a galley. When the foremost of the Portuguese assailants were attacking the trenches, on which some of them had mounted, Pedro Cam having even planted the colours of Lorenzo Almeyda on the summit, the viceroy on coming up observed his son climbing up with some difficulty. He immediately called out, "How comes it Lorenzo that you are so backward?" When the young man answered, "I have given way, Sir, to him who has gained the honour of the day." At this moment a gigantic Moor assailed Lorenzo and even wounded him; but in return he cleft the head of the Moor down to the breast. The town was now carried by storm, and all its defenders put to the sword, after which all the ships in the port were burnt. In this exploit the Portuguese lost only eighteen men, none of whom were of any note; but above 500 of the enemy were slain. Though the plunder of this place was of great value, it was all burnt along with the town and ships, the artillery only being carried off.
After this the fleet and army returned to Cananor where De Cunna completed his lading, and then set sail for Portugal. At Mozambique, on his way home, he met several ships belonging to a squadron of twelve sail sent from Lisbon in the former year; seven of which were to return with goods, and the other five to cruise on the eastern coast of Africa, under the command of Vasco Gomez de Abreu, who was likewise to command in the fort of Sofala. There were also two other ships in this fleet, destined to reinforce the squadron of Albuquerque on the coast of Arabia. Of this fleet, the ship commanded by Juan Chanoca was lost in the river Zanaga, that of Juan Gomez in another place, and Abreu was lost with four vessels while going to Mozambique. Other vessels of this fleet were driven to various parts, after enduring terrible storms and imminent dangers; yet these dire misfortunes were insufficient to damp the boldness of our nation in quest of riches, so prevalent is covetousness over every consideration of difficulty or danger.
We must now return to Alfonso de Albuquerque, who parted from De Cunna after the taking of Socotora on the 20th of August, as formerly related, being bound for the coasts of Arabia and Persia, pursuant to the commands of the king, having with him seven ships and 460 soldiers. He came first to Calayate, a beautiful and strong place in the kingdom of Ormuz, built after the manner usual in Spain, but which had once been more populous. Sending a message to the governor, he received supplies of water and provisions, and entered into a treaty of peace. Proceeding to Curiate, ten leagues farther on, he was very ill received, in revenge for which he took the place by storm, losing only three of his own men, while eighty of the defenders were slain. After plundering this place, it was destroyed by fire along with fourteen vessels which were in the harbour. From thence he sailed for Muscat, eight leagues farther, which was stronger than the two former, and well filled with people, who had resorted there from all quarters on hearing of the destruction of Curiate.
Being afraid of a similar disaster, the governor sent great supplies of provisions to Albuquerque, and entered into a treaty of peace; but while the boats were ashore for water, the cannon of the town began unexpectedly to play upon the ships, doing, considerable damage, and obliged them hastily to haul farther off, not knowing the cause of these hostilities; but it was soon learnt that 2000 men had arrived to defend the town, sent by the king of Ormuz, and that their commander refused to concur in the peace which had been entered into by the governor. Although Albuquerque had received considerable damage from the smart cannonade, he landed his men early next morning, and attacked the place with such resolution that the Moors fled at one gate, while the Portuguese entered at another. The town was given up to plunder, all except the residence of the governor, who had received the Portuguese in a friendly manner, and had very honourably given them notice to retire, when the troops of Ormuz arrived; but he was slain during the first confusion, without being known.
After the destruction of Muscat, Albuquerque proceeded to Soar, all
the inhabitants of which fled, except the governor and some of the principal
Moors, who offered to surrender the town; but Albuquerque gave it back
to them, on condition of holding it in vassalage from the crown of Portugal,
and payment of the same tribute which used to be given to the king of Ormuz.
Fifteen leagues farther he came to Orfucam, which was deserted by the inhabitants.
Albuquerque sent his nephew, Don Antonio, to pursue them at the head of
100 men; who, though he brought back twenty-two prisoners, received almost
as much damage from the Moors as he did [[=caused]], as they were very
numerous and fought bravely in defence of their wives and children. The
deserted town of Orfucam was plundered for three days, during which time
Albuquerque disposed all things in readiness for proceeding against Ormuz,
which was the chief object of his voyage, deeming these previous exploits
only a prelude to his grand enterprise, and accounting them but trifles,
though they might appear considerable to others.
The city of Ormuz or Hormuz is situated on the small island of Jerun at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, only three leagues in compass, and so barren that it produces nothing but salt and sulphur. The buildings of the city are sumptuous. It is the great mart for all the goods of Africa, Arabia, and India; by which means, though having nothing of its own, it abounds in all things. It is plentifully supplied with provisions from the province of Mogostan or Laristan in Persia, and from the islands of Kishom, Kissmis, or Kishmish, Larek, and others. About the year 1273, Malek Kaez possessed all the land from the isle of Jerun to that of Bahrayn, bordering on the kingdom of Gordunshah of the province of Mogostan. This king by subtle devices prevailed upon Malek to give him the island of Jerun, being a place of no value whatever; after which he fortified himself there, and transplanting the inhabitants of the ancient city of Ormuz on the coast, where the king used to reside, to that island, the king of Persia, fearing he would refuse the accustomed tribute, prepared to invade him.
But the king of Gordunshah diverted him from his purpose, by engaging to be responsible for the tribute, and by doing homage by his ambassadors once in every five years. By these means the city and kingdom of Ormuz was established, which continued to be ruled over by the heirs of the first possessor and others, mostly by violence.
"This account of the origin of the kingdom of Ormuz or Harmuz is related differently in a history of that state written by one of its kings, and given to us by Teixeira at the end of his history of Persia, as follows.--In the year of Hejirah 700, and of Christ 1302, when the Turkomans, or Turks from Turkestan, overran Persia as far as the Persian Gulf, Mir Bahaddin Ayaz Seyfin, the fifteenth king of Ormuz, resolved to leave the continent where his dominions then were, and to retire to some of the adjacent islands. He first passed over with his people to the large island of Brokt or Kishmish, called Quixome by the Portuguese, and afterwards removed to a desert isle two leagues distant eastward, which he begged from Neyn king of Keys, and built a new city, calling it Harmuz after the name of his former capital on the coast, the ruins of which are still visible to the east of Gamrun or Gambroon. By the Arabs and Persians this island is called Jerun, from a fisherman who lived there at the time when Ayaz first took possession. In the course of two hundred years, this new city and kingdom advanced so much in wealth and power that it extended its dominion over a great part of the coasts of Arabia and Persia, all the way to Basrah or Basora. It became the chief mart of trade in all these parts, which had formerly been established at Keys; but after the reduction of Ormuz by the Portuguese, its trade and consequence declined much, owing to their tyranny and oppression. Ayaz Seyfin, was succeeded by Amir Ayas Oddin Gordun Shah. Thus it appears distinctly, that the Malek Kaes in the text of Faria, ought to have been called the Malek or king of Kaes or Keys; and that instead of the kingdom of Gordunshah of the province of Mogostan, it should have been Gordun Shah king of Mogostan; besides, the island was not granted to him, but to his predecessor Ayaz. As a mark of their sense of the riches of Ormuz, the orientals used to say proverbially, if the world were considered as a ring, Ormuz was its jewel."When Albuquerque arrived at Ormuz about the end of September 1507, Sayf Oddin, a youth of twelve years of age, was sovereign, under the guardianship of a slave named Khojah Attar, a man of courage but of a subtile and crafty disposition.
Hearing what had been done by Albuquerque at the towns upon the coast, Attar made great preparations for resisting the new enemy. For this purpose he laid an embargo on all the ships in the port, and hired troops from all the neighbouring countries, so that when the Portuguese entered the port there were 30,000 armed men in the city, of whom 4000 were Persians, the most expert archers then in the world. There were at that time 400 vessels in the harbour, 60 of which were of considerable size, the crews of which amounted to 2500 men. Albuquerque was not ignorant of the warlike preparations which had been made for his reception; but to shew his determined resolution, he came immediately to anchor in the midst of five of the largest ships riding in the harbour, firing his cannon as he sailed along to strike a terror into the inhabitants, and the shore was soon lined by 8000 troops. As no message was sent to him by the king, he commanded the captain of the largest ship, which seemed admiral over the rest, to repair on board of him, who immediately complied, and was received with much civility, but in great state. He then desired this man to go on shore and inform the king of Ormuz, that he had orders from the king of Portugal to take him under the protection of that crown, and to grant him leave to trade in the Indian seas, on condition that he submitted himself as vassal to the crown of Portugal, and agreed to pay a reasonable tribute. But if these proposals were rejected, his orders were to subdue Ormuz by force of arms.
It was assuredly no small presumption to offer such degrading terms to a king who was at the head of above 30,000 fighting men and 400 ships, while all the force he had against such prodigious force, was only 460 soldiers and seven ships. The Moorish captain, who was from Cambaya, went on shore and delivered this insolent message to the king and his governor Attar; who immediately sent Khojah Beyram with a message to Albuquerque, excusing them for not having sent to inquire what the Portuguese wanted in their port, and promising that the governor should wait upon him next day. Attar however did not perform this promise, but endeavoured to spin out the time by a repetition of messages, in order to strengthen the fortifications of the city, and to receive fauther supplies. Albuquerque immediately perceived the purport of these messages, and told Beyram that he would listen only to the acceptation of peace on the terms proposed, or an immediate declaration of war. To this insolent demand, Beyram brought back for answer, that Ormuz was accustomed to receive, and not to pay tribute.
During the night, the noise of warlike instruments, and the shouts of the troops collected in Ormuzm were heard from all parts of the city; and when morning came, the whole walls, the shore, and the vessels in the harbour were seen crowded with armed men, while the windows and flat tops of all the houses were filled with people of both sexes and all ages, anxious to behold the expected events. Albuquerque immediately began to cannonade the city and the large Moorish ships, and was spiritedly answered by the enemy, who took advantage of the obscurity occasioned by the smoke to send a large party of armed men in 130 boats to attack the ships, and did some damage among the Portuguese by incessant and prodigious discharges of arrows and stones. But as many of the boats were sunk by the Portuguese artillery, and numbers of the men slain and drowned, they were forced to retire. They returned again to the charge with fresh numbers; but after a severe conflict were again obliged to retreat with prodigious loss, the sea being dyed with blood, and great numbers of them slain. By this time, Albuquerque had sunk two of the largest ships in the port and taken a third, not without considerable opposition on the part of the enemy, forcing the surviving Moors to leap into the sea; and the other captains of his squadron had captured three ships, and had set above thirty more on fire. The crews of these cut their cables and drifted over to the Persian shore to enable themselves to escape; but by this means communicated the conflagration to other vessels that were lying aground.
These disasters struck such terror into the people of Ormuz that they all fled in dismay within their walls, and Khojah Attar sent a message to Albuquerque offering to submit to his proposals; on which he put a stop to farther hostilities, yet suspecting the governor of treachery, he threatened to inflict still heavier calamities on the city unless the terms were performed with good faith. Thus, with the loss only of ten men on the side of the Portuguese, most of the numerous vessels belonging to the enemy, full of various rich commodities, were taken, burnt, sunk, or torn to pieces, and above seventeen hundred of the Moors were slain, numbers of whose bodies were seen floating in the harbour. Many of these were seen to have ornaments of gold, which the Portuguese anxiously sought after, and on this occasion it was noticed that several of the enemy had been slain by their own arrows, none being used by the Portuguese.
Khojah Attar, dismayed by the prodigious injury sustained in the conflict, and afraid of still heavier calamities, called a council of the chief officers of the kingdom to deliberate on what was best to be done, when it was agreed to submit for the present to the demands of Albuquerque; after which articles of pacification were drawn up and sworn to between the parties. The two principal articles were, that the king of Ormuz submitted to pay a tribute to the king of Portugal of 15,000 Xerephines yearly, and that ground should be allowed for the Portuguese on which to build a fort. The fort was accordingly immediately commenced, and considerable progress was made in its construction in a few days. On purpose to avoid the payment of the tribute, Khojah Attar dressed up a pretended embassy from the king of Persia demanding payment of the usual tribute, and required that Albuquerque should give them an answer, as the king of Ormuz was now subject to the crown of Portugal. Albuquerque penetrated into this design, and desired Attar to send some one to him to receive the answer. The pretended Persian ambassador accordingly waited upon him, to whom he gave some spears and bullets, saying such was the coin in which the tribute should be paid in future. Finding this contrivance fail, Attar endeavoured to corrupt some of the Portuguese, and actually prevailed on five seamen to desert, one of whom had been bred a founder, who cast some cannon like those belonging to the Portuguese. Being informed by these deserters that Albuquerque had only about 450 soldiers, Attar began to pick up fresh courage, and entered into contrivances for breaking the peace, pretending at the same time to lay the blame on Albuquerque, and refused to deliver up the deserters.
The high spirit of Albuquerque could not brook this conduct, and determined upon taking vengeance, but had little success in the attempt, being badly seconded by the officers serving under him. Taking advantage of this spirit of insubordination, of which he had ample intelligence as it was occasioned by his own intrigues, Attar one night set fire to a bark which the Portuguese were building on the shore; and at the same time one of the deserters called aloud from the wall on Albuquerque, to defend his boat with his 400 men, and he should meet 7000 archers. At this time some of the Portuguese captains gave intelligence to the enemy, and had even assisted the five renegades to desert. Enraged at this affront in burning his bark, Albuquerque endeavoured to set some ships on fire which were building or repairing in the arsenal of Ormuz, but failed in the attempt. He next undertook to besiege the city; and having taken several persons who were carrying provisions thither, he cut off their hands, ears, and noses, and sent them into the city in that miserable condition, to the great terror of the inhabitants. About this time there was a hot dispute between the Portuguese and the garrison of Ormuz, about some wells which supplied the inhabitants with water, which Albuquerque endeavoured to fill up, in which the Moorish captain and the guard over the wells were all slain, and the wells filled with the carcasses of their men and horses. The young king and his governor sallied out from the city to drive the Portuguese away, and actually cut off the retreat of Albuquerque; but a lucky cannon-ball opened the way, by throwing the cavalry of the enemy into confusion.
In these actions with the Ormuzians, Albuquerque was ill seconded by his people, three of his captains having resolved to leave him and to sail for India. These men drew up a letter or remonstrance, assigning reasons why he should desist from his present enterprise; which Albuquerque ordered one of the masons to lay beneath a stone in the wall of the fort, saying that he had there deposited his answer, and would be glad to see if any one dared to remove the stone to read what he had written. Though much offended by this, these captains did not venture to make any reply; yet jealous about the command of the fort, when it should be built, the three captains actually sailed away for India. Though much troubled at this shameful desertion, Albuquerque determined upon continuing his enterprise, notwithstanding that two other captains who still remained opposed him, and were desirous to follow the example of the other three; but by proper severity he deterred them from executing their designs. Learning that a fleet was on its way from Bahrayn for Keyshom with a reinforcement of men and provisions, Albuquerque endeavoured ineffectually to intercept it. After failing in this, he fell upon a country palace belonging to the king which was guarded by three hundred foot and sixty horse, whom he defeated with the loss of one man, killing eighty of the enemy. He then fell upon Keyshom or Queixome, which was defended by five hundred archers sent to Ormuz by the king of Lar or Laristan in Persia under the command of two of his nephews, both of whom were slain with most of their men, and the bodies of the two slain princes were sent by Albuquerque as a present to Attar. The town of Keyshom was plundered and burnt. Among the plunder was taken a large Persian carpet, which the soldiers were going to cut in pieces to divide among them, and for the greater convenience of removal, which Albuquerque purchased from them, and sent afterwards to the shrine of St. Jago in Gallicia.
Having but few men left who were much harassed, and winter approaching, Albuquerque resolved to go to Socotora, and gave leave to Juan de Nova to sail for India, where he had formerly had the command of a fleet. He accordingly wintered at Socotora, where he relieved the Portuguese garrison, then much distressed by famine; for which purpose he went in his own ship to Cape Guardafu, and sent others to Melinda and Cape Fum, to seize some ships for the sake of their provisions. When winter was over, be resolved to return to Ormuz, though too weak to carry his designs into execution, yet to see in what disposition were the young king and his governor. On his way thither he determined to take revenge upon the town of Kalayat, for some injury that had been done there to the Portuguese. Kalayat is situated on the coast of Arabia beyond Cape Siagro, called also Cape Rasalgat, at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Behind this town there is a rugged mountain, in which are some passes which open a communication with the interior; and by one of these opposite the town almost all the trade of Yemen or Arabia Felix, which is a fertile country of much trade and full of populous cities, is conveyed to this port.
Immediately on his arrival, Albuquerque landed his troops and took possession of the town, most of the inhabitants escaping to the mountains and some being slain in the streets. He remained here three nights, on one of which a thousand Moors entered the town by surprise and did considerable damage before the Portuguese could be collected to oppose them, but were at length put to flight with great slaughter. Having secured all the provisions of Kalayat, which was the principal booty, Albuquerque set the place on fire and proceeded to Ormuz, where he arrived on the 13th of September. He immediately sent notice of his return to the king and governor; on which Attar sent him a message, saying they were ready to pay the tribute of 15,000 Xerephins, but would on no account consent to the erection of the intended fort. Albuquerque therefore determined to recommence the siege of Ormuz, and ordered Martin Coello to guard with his ship the point of Turumbaka, where the wells are situated, and Diego de Melo to prevent intercourse with the island of Keyshom; while he and Francisco de Tavora anchored before the city. He there observed that Khojah Attar had completed the fort formerly begun by the Portuguese. In this new attempt the success was no greater than it had been formerly. On one occasion Diego de Melo and eight private men were slain; and on another Albuquerque was himself in much danger. Finding himself unable to effectuate any thing of importance, he returned to India, having taken a ship in which was a great quantity of valuable pearls from Bahrayn, and Francisco de Tavora took another ship belonging to Mecca.
During the time when Albuquerque was employed before Ormuz, the Soldan of Egypt fitted out a fleet of twelve sail with 1500 Mamelukes, which he sent under the command of Mir Husseyn to oppose the Portuguese in India. While on his voyage up the Red Sea, Husseyn attacked the towns of Yembo and Jiddah, putting the sheikhs of both places to death, and making great plunder. He then sailed for Diu, where Malek Azz commanded for the king of Cambaya, with whom he was ordered to join his forces to oppose the Portuguese. The timber of which these ships were built was cut in the mountains of Dalmatia, by procurement as it was said of the Venetians, as the Soldan and the Turks were then at variance. It was conveyed from Dalmatia to Egypt in twenty-five vessels, commanded by a nephew of the Soldan, who had a force of 800 Mamelukes on board, besides mariners. At this time the gallies of Malta were commanded by a Portuguese knight, Andrea de Amarall; who, learning that the timber was designed to be employed against his countrymen in India, attacked the Egyptian fleet with six ships and four gallies, in which he had 600 soldiers. After a sharp engagement of three hours, he took seven ships and sunk five; but the rest escaped to Alexandria, whence the timber was carried up the Nile to Cairo, and thence on camels to Suez.
At this time the viceroy Almeyda was on the coast of Malabar, and had sent his son Don Lorenzo with eight ships to scour the coast as far as Chaul, a town of considerable size and importance seated on the banks of a river about two leagues from the sea, and subject to the Nizam-al-Mulk, by whose orders Don Lorenzo was well received. They had some intelligence of the fleet of the Soldan, but believed it an unfounded rumour, till it appeared in sight while Don Lorenzo was on shore with most of his officers. They hastened immediately on board, giving such orders as the time permitted, and were hardly on board when the enemy entered the harbour, making great demonstrations of joy at having so opportunely found the enemy of whom they were in search. Husseyn thought himself secure of victory, as he had surprised the Portuguese ships, and determined himself to board the ship commanded by Don Lorenzo. For this purpose he ran her on board, pouring in balls, arrows, hand-grenades, and other fireworks; but was answered with such determined bravery, that he gave over his intention of boarding, though the Portuguese vessel was much smaller than his. The other Egyptian vessels had no better success; and as night approached, both parties gave over the engagement to prepare for its renewal next morning.
As soon as day appeared Don Lorenzo gave the signal to renew the fight; and in his turn endeavoured to board the Egyptian admiral, in which he was imitated by the other captains: Only two of them succeeded in capturing two galleys belonging to the enemy, all the men on board which were put to the sword. The battle was carried on with much bravery on both sides, and the Portuguese seemed fast gaining the superiority; when Malek Azz, lord of Diu, made his appearance with a great number of small vessels well manned, coming to the assistance of Husseyn. Don Lorenzo immediately dispatched two galleys and three caravels to hinder the approach of this reinforcement to his enemies, which executed their orders so effectually that Azz was obliged to flee for shelter to another place. The battle still continued between Lorenzo and Husseyn till night again parted them, both endeavouring to conceal their loss from the other.
In the evening after the cessation of the battle, the Portuguese captains met in council on board the admiral to deliberate on what was best to be done; and were unanimously of opinion that it was rash to continue to defend themselves in the river of Chaul, especially as Malek Azz was so near with such a powerful reinforcement, and strongly recommended that they should go out to the open sea, where they might fight with less disadvantage, and would have it in their power to escape if circumstances rendered it necessary. But, remembering the displeasure of his father for not having attacked the fleet of Calicut in the river of Dabul, and fearing his retreat into the open sea might be construed as flight, Lorenzo determined resolutely to await the events of the next morning, only making some change in the disposition of his force, in order to protect some ships belonging to Cochin which were much exposed to the enemy.
Next morning, on observing the change of posture in the Portuguese ships, Malek Azz conceived that they meant to retreat; he immediately came out therefore from the place where he had taken shelter, and boldly charged them, undismayed at the havock which was made among his small vessels by the Portuguese cannon. Most unfortunately at this time the ship of Don Lorenzo ran foul of some stakes in the bed of the river, and let in so much water that she was in danger of sinking. The brave Lorenzo exerted himself to the utmost in this perilous situation, till a ball broke his thigh; then ordering himself to be set up leaning against the main-mast, he continued to encourage his men till another ball broke his back and killed him. His body was thrown below deck, where it was followed by his page Gato, who lamented the fate of his master with tears mixed with blood, having been shot through the eye by an arrow. After a vigorous resistance, the Moors boarded the ship, and found Gato beside his master's body. He immediately rose and slew as many of the Moors as covered the body of Lorenzo, and then fell dead among them. At length the ship sank, and of above an hundred men who belonged to her only nineteen escaped. In all the Portuguese ships an hundred and forty men were slain, while the enemy lost upwards of six hundred. The other captains got to Cochin, where the viceroy then was, and who received the intelligence of his son's glorious death with wonderful resolution.
Soon after the defeat of the Portuguese fleet at Chaul, Almeyda received a letter from Malek Azz. This man was born in slavery, being descended of heretic Christian parents of Russia, and had risen by degrees to the rank he now held. The origin of his advancement was owing to the following trivial incident. One day a kite, flying over the king of Cambaya, muted [[=defecated]] on his head, on which the king was so enraged that he declared he would give all he was worth to have the kite killed. Malek Azz who heard this, was an excellent bowman, and immediately let fly an arrow which brought down the kite. The king of Cambaya rewarded this lucky shot so bountifully, that the archer soon rose to be lord of Diu, a famous sea-port in Guzerat, seated on a triangular peninsula, which is joined to the continent by so small an isthmus that it is generally reputed an island. In this letter to the viceroy, Malek Azz craftily endeavoured to secure himself at the same time both in the favour of the king of Cambaya, and to conciliate the Portuguese, though he mortally hated them for the injury they had done to the trade of Diu. While he pretended to condole with the viceroy on the death of his son, whose bravery he extolled in exalted terms, he sent him the nineteen men saved from his son's ship, who had been made prisoners in the late battle; endeavouring by this conciliatory conduct to appease his wrath for having aided Mir Husseyn and occasioned the defeat of the Portuguese.
In this same year 1508, seventeen vessels sailed for India from Lisbon
about the beginning of April, which were all separated by bad weather,
but all rejoined at Mozambique, except one which was lost on the Islands
of Tristan de Cunna. These ships, with those of the former year, coming
all together to India about the close of the year 1508, greatly raised
the courage of the Portuguese, which had been much depressed by their defeat
at Chaul. By this fleet an order came from the king for Don Francisco de
Almeyda to resign the government of India to Don Alfonso de Albuquerque,
and to return to Portugal in one of the trading ships. But Almeyda took
upon him to suspend the execution of this order, under pretence that he
had already made preparations for taking revenge upon Mir Husseyn, and
the Rums or Turks who had slain his son. Owing to this a controversy
arose between Albuquerque and Almeyda, the former demanding possession
of the government, which the latter refused to demit; which became a precedent
for succeeding governors to protract the time of their command. Albuquerque,
much offended by this conduct of Almeyda, retired to Cochin, where he appears
to have lived in private till the departure of Almeyda from India.
Having dispatched the homeward bound ships under the command of Fernando Soarez and Ruy de Cunna, who perished by the way, Almeyda sailed on the 12th of November, 1508 from Cananor towards Diu in pursuit of Mir Husseyn. On this expedition he had nineteen vessels of different sizes, with 1600 soldiers and mariners, 400 of whom were native Malabars. All western India was alarmed at this armament, but chiefly the Zamorin and Malek Azz, who had used every precaution in his power to ward off the danger. Having landed with his officers in the delightful island of Anchediva, Almeyda called a council of war, in which it was unanimously determined to attack Dabul in the first place. This city was one of the most noted on the coast, seated on a navigable river at the distance of two leagues from the sea. Its buildings were then magnificent and stately, and it enjoyed considerable trade, the inhabitants being a mixture of Pagans and Moors, subject to Sabay king of the Decan. It was always defended by a considerable garrison, which was at present augmented by 6000 men, being in fear of an attack from the Portuguese, and new works had been raised for its defence, which were planted with cannon. On the approach of the Portuguese fleet, the inhabitants began to remove their families and goods into the country, but were forbidden by the governor under pain of death; and the more to encourage them he brought his own wife into the town, in which example he was followed by many of the principal inhabitants, whose wives were brought in from their country-houses.
On the 30th of December 1508, the fleet entered the harbour, and the troops immediately landed with the utmost promptitude, dividing into three bodies to attack three several gates at once. The Moors made a brave resistance at each attack, but the works being high, their shot flew over the heads of the assailants, who were more obstructed by the dead bodies than by the defenders or their works. Nunno Vaz Pereyra, who was sent with a detachment to force an entrance at another place, put the numerous troops who resisted him to flight after a brave resistance; but they now fled in such haste towards the mountain, though pursued by ten Portuguese only, that they tumbled over each other in their haste, and retarded their own escape. In this fight, which lasted five hours, fifteen hundred of the enemy were slain with the loss only of sixteen Portuguese. Having gained possession, Almeyda distributed his men in several quarters of the streets, with orders to keep strict guard, lest the enemy might return; which they accordingly did by stealth in the night, in order to recover their wives, children, and goods. In the morning, the viceroy gave permission to his troops to plunder the town; but this was speedily prevented by the houses taking fire, which in a few hours reduced the whole to ashes, so that the booty did not exceed 150,000 ducats. In fact the town was purposely set on fire by the private orders of the viceroy, lest the men might have been so satiated by the riches of the place as to retard his ulterior designs. The ships in the harbour were likewise destroyed by fire, to the no small risk of the Portuguese ships which were very near.
In fitting out for this expedition, the viceroy had not laid in any considerable store of provisions, as he expected to have got supplies on the coast; but on sending to the neighbouring villages none was to be had, as the last crop had been utterly eaten up by locusts, many of which were found preserved in pots for food by the natives, and being tasted by the Portuguese were found palatable, and not unlike shrimps. This made them conclude that there were land shrimps, as in some places, particularly in the vineyards about Rome, there are crabs found not unlike those of the sea. Hence if locusts were not so numerous and destructive, so as to blast the hopes of harvest and to be dreaded like a plague, they might be useful as food; and we know from Scripture that St. John fed upon them in the desert.
Leaving Dabul, the viceroy proceeded for Diu, expecting to procure provisions along the coast. Payo de Sousa, having seen some cattle feeding on the banks of a river, went up the stream in his galley in hopes of procuring some; but was opposed by the natives, and he and George Guedez were both slain. Diego Mendez succeeded in the command of that galley, and while continuing the voyage towards Diu he met one of the Mameluke galleys going from Diu to Dabul, which was well manned and commanded by a courageous and experienced Turk; who, on discovering the Portuguese galley ordered all his soldiers to conceal themselves, so that Mendez immediately boarded without suspecting any danger, on which the Turks rushed out from their concealment and had almost gained the Portuguese galley; but the Portuguese recovered from their surprise, and made themselves masters of the Turkish galley, slaying every one of the enemy without losing a single man on their side. The chief booty taken on this occasion consisted of a young and beautiful Hungarian lady of noble birth, who was brought to the viceroy, and given by him to Gaspard de la India, who gave her to Diego Pereyra, who afterwards married her. Farther on, they took in the river of Bombaim, now called Bombay, a bark with twenty-four Moors belonging to Guzerat, by whose means they procured a supply of sheep and rice, while some cattle were procured in other places, and a farther supply was got at the fort of Maim, all the people flying to the mountains from terror of the Portuguese, having heard of what had happened at Dabul.
On the 2nd of February 1509, the viceroy arrived at Diu, which from the ships appeared a grand and spacious place, girt with strong walls and lofty towers, all handsomely built and well laid out like towns in Portugal, which recalled in the men the memory of their own country, and animated their courage to achieve the conquest. Malek Azz the lord of Diu was at this time with his army about twenty leagues distant, making war upon the Rajaputs; but immediately on receiving notice of the approach of the Portuguese fleet, he hastened to his capital with all possible celerity. He had already used such precautions as not to excite suspicions in Husseyn of his fidelity, though little inclined to assist him, and he was now anxious not to exasperate the viceroy in case of his proving victorious. Taking into consideration the strength of the place, the courage and conduct of Azz and Husseyn, and above all that there were above two hundred vessels well manned and armed, he thought it necessary to proceed with the greatest circumspection, and accordingly it was settled in a council of war, that Nunna Vaz Pereyra should lead in with his ship, in which there were 120 fighting men, many of them gentlemen of tried valour. Pereyra was to be seconded by George de Melo, whose crew was equally numerous; after which the rest of the ships were to follow in succession, having from 80 down to 25 men in each according to their size. The night was spent by the Portuguese in anxious preparation for the approaching conflict, by exercises of religion and putting their arms of all kinds in order.
Between nine and ten next morning, when the tide had risen sufficiently to float the ships over the bar, the viceroy gave the signal for entering the port in the appointed order, and the fleet moved on amid the noise of loud shouts and the din of warlike instruments from both sides. The vessels belonging to Malek Azz made haste to oppose the entrance of the Portuguese, and poured in a shower of bullets and arrows into the galley commanded by Diego Perez who led the way for Nunno Vaz, by which ten men were slain; yet Nunno courageously continued his course, pouring his shot among the large ships of the enemy, and sunk one of them. Vaz was in great danger between two ships of the enemy, when Melo came up gallantly to his rescue, and ran so furiously upon one of these ships that he drove it up against the ship commanded by Vaz, so much disabled that it was immediately boarded and taken by the next ship in succession commanded by Sebastian de Miranda. All the ships having penetrated into the harbour, pushed on in emulation of each other who should do most damage to the enemy; while the viceroy, placing himself in the midst of the enemy, directed his shot wherever it seemed most calculated to annoy the enemy and to aid his own ships. In this manner the action continued to rage for some time with reciprocal courage and violence, till at length the paraos belonging to Calicut fled along the coast, giving out every where that the Rumis or Mamelukes were victorious.
On the flight of the Moors of Calicut, and seeing many of his fleet destroyed, Mir Husseyn, who was wounded, went on shore in disguise; and mounting on horseback, went in all haste to the king of Cambaya, being no less fearful of the fury of the Portuguese than of the treachery of Malek Azz, against whom he made loud complaints, that though he had given aid in the battle with his vessels, he had not assisted in person. Yet did not the absence of Husseyn discourage his men, for those of his own vessel being boarded disdained to yield, and fought valiantly till they were all slain. The Portuguese now attempted to carry a large ship belonging to Malek Azz by boarding, but being unable to succeed, the ship commanded by the viceroy in person sunk her by repeated broadsides. Antonio de Campo boarded and took a large galleon. Ruy Soarez, who was next in order to enter the harbour, dashed boldly through the thickest of the enemies' ships and placed his vessel in front of the city, where he fought his ship in so gallant a style, forcing the crews to abandon two galleys, which he took, that being noticed by the viceroy he exclaimed, "Who is this who so nobly excels the rest? I wish I were he!"
The victory was now complete, and the viceroy and all the captains assailed the smaller vessels, whose crews endeavoured to escape by swimming; but the gallies and boats of the Portuguese being sent among them, killed such numbers that the sea was dyed in blood. In this great battle, the enemy lost above 1500 men, and the Portuguese only 40. Vast riches were acquired by plunder in the captured vessels; and by the great variety of books which were found in different languages, it was concluded that the crews were made up of various nations. Some of these books were in Latin, some in Italian, and others in Portuguese. The colours of the Soldan and of his admiral Mir Husseyn were taken, and afterwards sent to the king of Portugal. Of all the vessels taken in this glorious and decisive victory, four ships and two galleys only were preserved, all the rest being ordered to be burnt by Almeyda. This great victory would have much more redounded to the honour of the Portuguese arms, had not the conquered been treated with barbarous cruelty: owing to which, many persons very reasonably considered the unhappy end of Almeyda and other gentlemen, as a just punishment for their crimes on this occasion.
Next morning Malek Azz sent a message to Almeyda by one of his principal officers, in which he congratulated the Portuguese viceroy on his glorious victory, with which he pretended to be well pleased. It was reported in the Portuguese fleet that the city of Diu was in the utmost consternation, being afraid of an assault from the victors; and when the Portuguese saw that Almeyda seemed inclined to accept the congratulatory compliments of Azz in good part, they complained of him for checking them in the career of fortune. On being informed of these murmurs, the viceroy convened his principal officers, and represented to them that he did not act on the present occasion from any regard to Malek Azz, but out of respect for the king of Cambaya who was still the friend of the Portuguese, and to whom the city of Diu belonged. He requested them likewise to consider that the city was strongly fortified, and defended by a numerous garrison; that they were already fatigued by the exertions of the late battle; and that between the men who had been slain and wounded, and those who were sick, out of 1200 there were now only 600 fit to carry arms in the assault of Diu; even supposing they were to succeed in capturing the place, it would be utterly impossible to maintain possession of it; and that they might easily revenge themselves of Malek Azz by the capture of his trading ships.
All the officers being completely satisfied by these reasons, the viceroy received the envoy of Malek Azz very graciously, and told him that two motives had principally induced him to make the late assault on Diu; one of which was to be revenged on the Rumi or Mamelukes, and the other to recover the Portuguese prisoners who had been taken by them at Chaul, as he considered them in the same light as the son he had lost on that former occasion. The first object he had already completely attained, and he demanded immediately to obtain the second, by having all the Portuguese prisoners in the power of Malek Azz delivered up to him. He demanded in addition to these, that all the artillery and ammunition which had belonged to the Rumi, still remaining in such of their ships as had been hauled on shore, should be delivered up, and these ships burnt; and that Malek Azz should supply the Portuguese fleet with provisions.
All these conditions were readily agreed to by Malek Azz, and executed with the utmost readiness and punctuality; in consequence of which a treaty of peace and friendship was settled between Azz and the viceroy. Almeyda left one of the liberated Portuguese prisoners at Diu, to load two ships with such articles as were in request at Cochin and Cananor; and besides supplying his own fleet with provisions, he dispatched Norenha with a supply of provisions, and some of the booty procured in the late battle, to his brother Don Alfonso at Socotora. These important affairs being dispatched, the viceroy left Diu and proceeded to Chaul, where the king was so much intimidated by the accounts he had received of the late victory, that he submitted to pay a yearly tribute. Passing thence to Cananor, he was received in the most honourable manner; and entered afterwards into Cochin in triumph.
Even before he had laid aside his festive ornaments, Albuquerque pressed him to resign the government, pursuant to the royal orders; but the viceroy begged he would give him time to divest himself of his present heavy robes, after which there would be sufficient opportunity to talk of those matters. Evil councillors fomented the dispute on both sides, some persuading the viceroy to retain the government in his hands, while others incited Albuquerque to insist upon his resignation. The rajah of Cochin even became in some measure a party in these dispute, insomuch that he delayed loading two homeward bound ships with pepper, till Albuquerque should be installed in the government. Disputes at length rose so high, that Almeyda sent Albuquerque as a prisoner to Cananor, where he was courteously received by Lorenzo de Brito who commanded there; and to whom Almeyda wrote a few days afterwards to conduct himself towards the prisoner as one who was soon to be viceroy of India.
Some considerable time before this, the king of Portugal having been informed of the preparations which were making by the Soldan of Egypt, resolved to send a powerful reinforcement to India. This consisted of fifteen sail of ships commanded by Don Fernando Coutinno, who had an extraordinary power given him to regulate all matters that might happen to be amiss, as if the king had even surmised the probability of a disagreement between Almeyda and Albuquerque. Coutinno arrived safely at Cananor, whence he carried Alfonso de Albuquerque along with him to Cochin as viceroy. At first Coutinno treated Almeyda with much civility, but afterwards thwarted him, as he refused to let him have a ship which he had purposely prepared and fitted out for his return to Lisbon, and was obliged to put up with another which he had no mind to.
Don Francisco de Almeyda, now divested of the viceroyalty which indeed he had for some time unlawfully retained, sailed from Cochin on the 19th of November 1509, with two more ships in company. Before leaving Cochin some of the sorcerers or astrologers of that place predicted that he would not pass the Cape of Good Hope. He did pass the Cape however, but was slain and buried at the Bay of Saldanna only a few leagues beyond that place. Having passed the Cape of Good Hope with fine weather, he observed to some of his attendants, "Now God be praised! the witches of Cochin are liars." Near that place, he put into the Bay of Saldanna to procure a supply of water; and as some of the people went on shore to exchange goods with the natives for provisions, a servant belonging to the ex-viceroy treated two of the Hottentots so ill that they knocked out two of his teeth and sent him away bleeding. Some of the attendants upon Almeyda thought proper to consider this as an affront which ought to be avenged, and persuaded him to go on shore for that purpose, when they ought to have counselled him to punish the servant for abusing people among whom they sought relief. Almeyda yielded to their improper suggestions, though against his inclination, being heard to exclaim as he went into the boat, "Ah! whether and for what end do they now carry my old age?" Accompanied by about 150 men, the choice of the ships, they went to a miserable village, whence they carried off some cattle and children. When on their return to the boats, they were attacked by 170 natives, who had fled to the mountains, but now took courage in defence of their children; and though these naked savages were only armed with pointed stakes hardened in the fire, they soon killed fifty of the Portuguese and Almeyda among them, who was struck through the throat, and died kneeling on the sea-shores with his hands and eyes raised to heaven. Melo returned with the wounded men to the ships, and when the natives were withdrawn from the shore, he again landed with a party and buried Almeyda and the others who had been slain. This was a manifest judgment of God, that so few unarmed savages should so easily overcome those who had performed such heroic actions in India.
Don Francisco de Almeyda was the seventh son of Don Lope de Almeyda, Count of Abrantes, and was a knight of the order of St. Jago. He was graceful in his person, ripe in council, continent in his actions, an enemy to avarice, liberal and grateful for services, and obliging in his carriage. In his ordinary dress, he wore a black coat, instead of the cloak now used, a doublet of crimson satin of which the sleeves were seen, and black breeches reaching from the waist to the feet. He is represented in his portrait as carrying a truncheon in his right hand, while the left rests on the guard of his sword, which hangs almost directly before him.
Among the ships which were dispatched from Lisbon for India in 1508, were two squadrons under the command of Duarte de Lemos and Diego Lopez de Sequeira, which were sent upon separate services, and which could not be conveniently taken notice of in their proper place. After encountering a storm, Lemos arrived at a place called Medones de Oro, whence he went to Madagascar, and thence to Mozambique, where he was rejoined by the rest of the squadron, except one ship commanded by George de Aguilar, which was lost. He now assumed the government of the coasts of Ethiopia and Arabia, according to his commission from the king. From Mozambique he sailed for Melinda, whence he proceeded to visit the several islands and towns along the eastern coast of Africa to compel payment of the tribute they had been in use to pay to Quiloa, and which was now considered as belonging of right to the crown of Portugal by the conquest of that place. Monfia submitted. Zanzibar resisted, but the inhabitants were driven to the mountains and the town plundered. Pemba acted in a similar manner, the inhabitants taking refuge in Mombaza, and leaving their houses empty; but some plunder was taken in a small fort in which the sheikh had left such things as he had not been able to remove. Returning to Melinda, he gave the necessary orders for conducting the trade of Sofala.
Lemos departed from Melinda for the coast of Arabia with seven ships, one of which was separated from the rest in the night on the coast of Magadoxa, and carried by the current to the port of Zeyla near the mouth of the Red Sea, and there taken by the Moors. In his progress along the Arabian coast, Lemos managed the towns more by cunning than force. Using the same conduct at Ormuz, he was well treated by the king and Khojah Attar, and received from them the stipulated tribute of 15,000 xerephines. From this place he dispatched Vasco de Sylveyra to India, who was afterwards killed at Calicut. He then went to Socotora, of which he gave the command to Pedro Ferreira, sending Don Antonio Noronha to India, who fell in with and took a richly laden ship belonging to the Moors. Noronha manned the prize with some Portuguese; but she was cast away in a storm between Dabul and Goa and the men made prisoners. His own ship was stranded in the Bay of Cambaya, where he and some others who attempted to get on shore in the boat were all lost, while about thirty who remained in the ship were made prisoners by the Moors and sent to the king of Cambaya. On his return to Melinda, Lemos took a Moorish vessel with a rich loading. When the winter was passed, he returned to Socotora, where he found Francisco Pantaja, who had come from India with provisions, and had made prize of a rich ship belonging to Cambaya; the great wealth procured in which he generously shared with Lemos and his men, saying they had a right to it as being taken within the limits of his government. Finding himself now too weak for any farther enterprises, Lemos sailed for India, where he was received with much civility by Albuquerque, who was now in possession of the government.
Diego Lopez de Sequeira, the other captain who sailed from Lisbon at the same time with Lemos, was entrusted with the discovery of Madagascar and Malacca. Arriving at the port of St Sebastian in the island of Madagascar, he ran along the coast of that island, using a Portuguese as his interpreter, who had been left there and had acquired the language. In the course of this part of his voyage he had some intercourse with a king or prince of the natives named Diaman, by whom he was civilly treated; but being unable to procure intelligence of any spices or silver, the great object of his voyage, and finding much trouble and no profit, he proceeded to India in the prosecution of the farther orders he had received from the king. He was well received by Almeyda, then viceroy, who gave him an additional ship commanded by Garcia de Sousa, to assist in the discovery of Malacca. In the prosecution of his voyage, he was well treated by the kings of Pedir and Pacem, who sent him presents, and at both places he erected crosses indicating discovery and possession. He at length cast anchor in the port of Malacca, where he terrified the people by the thunder of his cannon, so that every one hastened on board their ships to endeavour to defend themselves from this new and unwelcome guest.
A boat came off with a message from the town, to inquire who they were and what they wanted, to which Lopez sent back for answer that he brought an ambassador from the king of Portugal, to propose entering into a treaty of peace and commerce advantageous for the king and city of Malacca. The king sent back a message in dubious language, such as is usual among the orientals when they mean to act treacherously, as some of the Moorish merchants, from enmity to the Portuguese, had prevailed upon him and his favourite Bandara, by means of rich presents, to destroy Lopez and the Portuguese. On the third day, Lopez sent Hierom Teixeyra in the character of ambassador, attended by a splendid retinue, who was well received on shore, and conducted on an elephant to the king, from whom he returned well pleased. All this was only a bait to entrap the Portuguese to their destruction; and in addition, the king sent an invitation to Lopez to dine with him in public. Lopez accepted this invitation, but was informed by a friend of Jao-Utimuti-rajah, that the king intended to murder him, on which he sent an excuse under pretence of indisposition. Credit was now given to an advice sent by a Persian woman to Duarte Fernandez, after she had been prevented by Sequeira from coming on board under night, thinking she came on an amorous errand, but which contributed to save the ships.
Another contrivance was put in practice to destroy Lopez and his ships, by offering a lading of spice, and pretending that it was requisite to send for it to three several places. This succeeded in part; as while thirty men were sent on shore according to agreement, a fleet of small vessels was secretly prepared under cover of a point of land, ready to assault the ships, while the thirty men were to be murdered in the town. At this time likewise, a son of Utimuti-rajah came on board under pretence of a visit to Lopez, and finding him engaged at draughts requested him to continue his game, that he might have the better opportunity of assassinating him unobserved; and in fact he frequently put his hand to his dagger for that purpose, but waited till the other branches of the intended treachery should begin. At this time, a seaman on one of the tops who was on the outlook, seeing a throng in the town and hearing a considerable noise, called out 'Treachery! Treachery! they kill our men.' Lopez instantly threw away the draught board, calling out to arms; and the son of Utimuti, perceiving the treacherous designs discovered, leapt into his boat with his attendants in great consternation.
The fleet of boats now came round the point and attacked the Portuguese, who exerted themselves as well as possible in their defence, considering the suddenness of the attack; and after sinking many of the enemies' boats, forced the rest to retire. Not having a sufficient force to take vengeance for this treachery, Lopez was under the necessity of quitting Malacca, where he left sixty of his men in slavery, who were made prisoners on shore, and having eight slain. On his way back he took two Moorish ships bound for Malacca; and, having arrived at Cape Comorin, he sent on Teixeyra and Sousa with their ships to Cochin; resolving, though ill provided, to return alone to Portugal, being afraid of Albuquerque, as he had sided with Almeyda in the late disputes respecting the government of India. He reached the island of Tercera with much difficulty, and from thence proceeded to Lisbon.
[Footnote 87: In the translation of De Faria by Stephens these are called Moors; but it is not easy to conceive how Annaya should have had any of these on his side.--E.]
[Footnote 88: De Faria does not give any dates to the particular transactions in his text, merely noticing the successive years in the titles of the various sections into which his work is loosely divided, and occasionally on the margin. Even this has been neglected by the editor of Astley's Collection. These last transactions on the coast of Africa seem to have taken place towards the end of 1506.--E.]
[Footnote 89: By Moors in the writings of the early Portuguese, Mahometans are always to be understood. The Moors of Madagascar were a mixed breed between the Arabs and Negroes.--E.]
[Footnote 90: This wintering, being in the southern hemisphere, probably refers to June and July 1507.--E.]
[Footnote 91: Abyssinia is obviously here meant.--E.]
[Footnote 92: Though not distinguished in the text, Faria seems here to confine himself to the barbarous Christian natives, inhabiting the country; as the towns appear to have been occupied by Mahometan Arabs.--E.]
[Footnote 93: Cashen or Cassin.--Astley, I. 63.]
[Footnote 94: By a marginal note in Faria, it appears to have been now the year 1508; but the particular place or town in Socotora attacked by De Cunna is not mentioned. I am disposed however to believe that date an error of the press, for 1507.--E.]
[Footnote 95: Little did these poor Jacobite Christians suspect, that in exchanging masters they were subjected to the more dreadful yoke of the Portuguese Inquisition! The zeal of the Portuguese for the liberty of the Christian inhabitants of Socotora soon cooled, when it was found unable to pay the expence of a garrison, and it was soon abandoned to the milder oppression of its former Mahometan masters.--E.]
[Footnote 96: From an after part of the text of Faria, we learn that this fort in the island of Socotora was taken on the 20th of August, probably of the year 1507.]
[Footnote 97: In an after part of De Faria, this officer is said to have been a Chinese.--E.]
[Footnote 98: The expression in the text is obscure. It appears that Malek Kaez, ruled over the sea coast of the kingdom or province rather of Mogostan, of which Gordunshah was king or governor.--E.]
[Footnote 99: The account in the text is unintelligible and contradictory. But we fortunately have one more intelligible from the editor of Astley's Collection, I. 65. c. which being too long for a note, has been placed in the text between inverted commas.--E.]
[Footnote 100: In a plan of Ormuz given in Astley's Collection, the isle of Kishoma or Kishmis is placed at a small distance from that of Ormuz or Jerun, and is said to be the place whence Ormuz is supplied with water. In fact the island of Kismis or Kishom is of considerable size and some fertility, though exceedingly unhealthy, while that of Jerun on which Ormuz was built, though barren and without water, was comparatively healthy. It was a commercial garrison town of the Arabs, for the purpose of carrying on the trade of the Persian Gulf, and at the same time withdrawing from the oppressive rule of the Turkoman conquerors of Persia.--E.]
[Footnote 101: A Xerephine being worth about half a crown, this tribute amounted to about L. 1875 sterling.--Astl. I. 66.a.
According to Purchas a Xerephine is worth 3s. 9d; so that the yearly tribute in the text is equal to L. 2812 20s. sterling.--E.]
[Footnote 102: No year is mentioned in the text of Faria, which is throughout extremely defective in dates; but from the context it was now probably the year 1508--E.]
[Footnote 103: Turumbaka, in the plan of Ormuz mentioned in a former note, is a palace belonging to the king of Ormuz, in the same island with the city. The Isle of Keyshom has already been stated as the place whence Ormuz was supplied with water; but there may have been tanks or cisterns at Turumbaka.--E]
[Footnote 104: Called Nizamaluco by De Faria.]
[Footnote 105: The Turks, as having conquered the eastern Roman empire, have succeeded in India to the name of Rums, Rumi, or Romans. The Circassian Mamelukes of Egypt are here named Turks, because so soon afterwards conquered by that nation.--E.]
[Footnote 106: Dabul is on the coast of Canara, in lat. 17° 46' N. in that part usually called the Pirates' coast, which is occupied by a number of half-independent Mahratta chieftains, who often plunder defenceless trading ships, by means of armed grabs full of desperadoes.--E.]
[Footnote 107: It is hardly necessary to observe that these books belonged in all probability to Christian galley slaves serving under the Mamelukes.--E.]
[Footnote 108: Though not called upon to vindicate the conduct of Albuquerque and the Portuguese on this occasion; it may be noticed that the almost interminable war which subsisted for many centuries between the Christians and Moors of the Peninsula, and after the expulsion of the latter, with the states of Barbary; joined to the hellish Inquisition on the one side, and the most degrading slavery inflicted on both by their enemies, long nourished the most rancorous spirit of enmity and hatred, now farther exalted by commercial rivalship.--E.]
[Footnote 109: De Faria uniformly gives some description, as here, of the persons and dress of the successive viceroys and governors of Portuguese India; which however has been generally omitted in the sequel.--E.]
[Footnote 110: Probably a malefactor left on purpose, as has been formerly mentioned from Castaneda in our second volume.--E.]
[Footnote 111: Pedier and Pisang; as called by the English.--Astl. I. 70. b.]
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