Volume 6, Chapter 1, Section 5 -- Transactions of the Portuguese in India under the Government of Don Alfonso de Albuquerque, from the end of 1509, to the year 1515.
Being put into possession of the government of India in November 1509, Albuquerque prepared for an expedition against Calicut, in conjunction with Fernando Coutinno. The design was kept secret, yet the Zamorin and all the other princes along the coast provided for their defence, on hearing that the Portuguese were making preparations for war. Setting out from Cochin with thirty vessels of various sizes and 1800 land forces, besides several boats full of Malabars who followed in hopes of plunder, he arrived at Calicut on the 2d of January 1510; and consulting on the difficulties attending the enterprise, it was determined that the division of the fleet belonging to Albuquerque should be left in charge of Don Antonio de Noronha, while that belonging to Coutinno was to be commanded by Rodrigo Rabelo. Everyone strove to be so posted as to land first, and the men were so eager for landing that they were under arms all night, and so tired in the morning that they were fitter for sleep than fighting, yet soon recovered when the signal was given and the cannon began to roar.
The troops landed in two divisions; that under Coutinno consisting of 800 men with some field-pieces, and that commanded by Albuquerque of the same number of Portuguese troops, together with 600 Malabars. They marched in strange confusion, each striving to be foremost. The first attack was made on the bulwark or bastion of Ceram by De Cunna and De Sousa, who were bravely resisted by 600 men, till on the coming up of Albuquerque, the defenders fled and the Portuguese got possession of the bulwark. Being fearful of some disastrous event from the confusion of his men, Albuquerque sent notice to Coutinno, who came with all speed to his assistance. On seeing the Portuguese colours flying on the bulwark, Coutinno believed he had been called back by a contrivance of the viceroy to prevent him from acquiring honour, and addressed him in the following terms. "Were you ambitious, Sir, that the rabble of Lisbon should report you were the first in storming Cochin, that you thus recal me? I shall tell the king that I could have entered it with only this cane in my hand; and since I find no one to fight with, I am resolved to proceed to the palace of the Zamorin!"
Without waiting any reply from Albuquerque, Coutinno immediately marched his men to the palace. Being above five leagues from the shore, and the road much encumbered with palm trees, and having met some opposition by the way, Coutinno and his people were tired by their long march, and rested some time in a plain before the palace. He then attacked it, and though well defended, the Moors were forced to fly to the woods and mountains. The Portuguese soldiers, being now possessed of the palace, quitted their ranks and began plundering in a disorderly manner, as if they had been close to the shore under protection of their ships and had no enemy to fear. But the enemy, having procured reinforcements, returned to the palace and fell upon the disordered Portuguese, many of whom they killed while loaded with plunder, and did much harm to Coutinno and his men, though Vasco de Sylveira signalized himself by killing two or three chiefs called Caymals.
In the meantime Albuquerque had got possession of the city of Cochin, which he set on fire; and finding no enemy to oppose him, he thought proper to march to the palace to see what Coutinno was about. On his arrival he found the palace surrounded by armed men, and that Coutinno was within in the most imminent danger. Having cleared the way from the enemy, he sent word to Coutinno that he waited for him; and after the third message, Coutinno sent back word that Albuquerque might march on and he would follow, being busy in collecting his men who were dispersed over the palace. Albuquerque accordingly began his march, much pressed upon by the enemy, and had not marched far when he received notice that Coutinno was in great danger. He immediately endeavoured to return to his relief, but was impeded by the multitude of the enemy, who slew many of his men, and he was himself so severely wounded by a dart in the throat, and a stone on the head, that he was carried senseless to the shore.
By this time Coutinno and many more were slain in the palace, and several others on their way back to the shore; being oppressed by the multitude of the enemy, spent with labour and heat, and almost stifled by the great dust. The whole of Coutinno's division had certainly been cut off, if Vasconcelles and Andrada, who had been left in the city with a reserve of 200 men, had not checked the fury of the enemy and forced them to retire. There was now as keen a contest about who should get first on board, as had been about landing first, not considering that all their misfortunes had been occasioned by hurry and confusion. At length they got on board and sailed on their return to Cochin, having lost 80 men in this ill-conducted enterprise, among whom were Coutinno and many persons of note. On recovering his senses while at sea, Albuquerque gave orders for the dispatch of the homeward bound ships; and on his arrival at Cochin, immediately made preparations for an attempt to reduce Ormuz.
Being recovered from his wounds, all the preparations made for his expedition
to Ormuz, and the homeward trading ships dispatched, Albuquerque set sail
from Cochin with 1700 troops in 21 vessels of various sorts and sizes.
On arriving at the river of Onor, he sent for the pirate Timoja who, being
powerful and desirous of acquiring the friendship of the Portuguese, came
immediately and supplied Albuquerque with provisions. Being skilful in
the political affairs of India, Albuquerque consulted Timoja respecting
his intended enterprise against Ormuz; but he endeavoured to dissuade him
from that attempt, endeavouring to shew that Goa would be a more advantageous
conquest, and might be easily taken as quite unprovided for defence. This
advice pleased Albuquerque, and it was resolved upon in a council of war
to change the destination of the armament, for which Timoja agreed to supply
twelve ships, but gave out that he meant to accompany the Portuguese to
Ormuz, that the governor of Goa might not be provided for defence. Timoja
had been dispossessed of his inheritance and ill treated by his kindred
and neighbours, and the desire of vengeance and of recovering his losses
caused him to embrace the alliance of the Portuguese against the interest
of his own countrymen.
The small island of Ticuari, in which the city of Goa stands, is situated in lat. 15° 30' N. in a bay at the mouth of the river Gasim on the coast of Canara, being about three leagues long and one broad. It contains both hill and level ground, has good water, and is fertile, pleasant, and healthy. The city of Goa, now seated on the northern part of the island, was formerly in its southern part. The present city was built by a Moor named Malek Husseyn about 40 years before the arrival of the Portuguese in India. It is not known when the old city was founded, but some authentic writings mention that Martrasat, king of that city above 100 years before, believed in one God, the incarnation of the Son, and the Trinity in Unity; besides which, a copper crucifix was found affixed to a wall when the city was taken. These Christians may have been descendants from the converts to the true faith through the ministration of the holy apostle Thomas.
About the year 1300 the Mahometans began to conquer India. The first who attempted this with great power was Shah Mahmud Nasraddin, king of Delhi, who came down with a powerful army from the north, and conquered all the gentiles as far as the kingdom of Canara. He returned to Delhi, leaving Habed Shah to prosecute the conquest, who became so powerful by his valour and conduct that he coped with his master; and his nephew Madura prosecuting his enterprise after the decease of Habed, cast off his allegiance to the king of Delhi, and having possessed himself of the kingdom of Canara, called it the Deccan, from the various nations composing his army, this word having that import in their language. Too great an empire is always in danger of falling to pieces. Mahmud Shah, being aware of this, used every possible precaution for his safety, which was effectual for some time; but at length several of the governors of this extensive empire erected their provinces into independent sovereignties.
The greatest of these was he of Goa, the sovereign of which about the time of the Portuguese coming into India was named Sabayo, who died about the time that Albuquerque went against Goa; upon which Kufo Adel Khan, king of Bisnagar, possessed himself of Goa, and placed it in the hands of his son Ismael. The other princes were Nizamaluco, Mudremaluco, Melek Verido, Khojah Mozadan, Abexeiassado, and Cotèmaluco, all powerful but some of them exceedingly so. Sabayo was born of very mean parentage at Saba in Persia, whence his name; but having long served the king of the Deccan with great fidelity, had a grant of the city of Galberga, whence he extended his conquests over the Pagans of Bisnagar, and reduced Goa which had belonged to the Moors of Onor, killing Malek Husseyn its prince or ruler who defended it with a garrison of twelve hundred men. Goa had several dependencies, with which and the other territories he had acquired Sabayo became the most powerful prince in these parts, and was consequently hated by them all. He maintained himself however against all his neighbours while he lived, sometimes by means of force, and at other times by profound policy; but his death produced great alteration.
Having sailed from Onor accompanied by Timoja, Albuquerque came to anchor off the bar of Goa on the 25th of February 1510. As it was necessary to sail up the northern arm of the bay or river, on the bank of which the city was situated, Albuquerque sent his nephew Antonio de Noronha, accompanied by Timoja, to sound the channel. A light vessel of easy draught of water which led the way gave chase to a brigantine belonging to the Moors, which took shelter under protection of a fort or blockhouse, erected for protecting the entrance of the harbour, which was well provided with artillery and garrisoned by 400 men, commanded by Yazu Gorji, a valiant Turk. Seeing the other vessel in chase, Noronha pressed after him; and though the fort seemed strong, they attacked and took it after a stout resistance, during which the commandant lost greater part of one of his hands, yet persisted to defend his post till deserted by his men, when he too retired into the city. In the mean time, in emulation of his new allies, Timoja attacked and took another blockhouse on the continental shore of the channel leading to Goa, which was defended by some artillery and forty men. After these exploits the channel was sounded without any farther obstruction.
Next day, as Albuquerque was sailing up the channel to proceed in his enterprise, he was met by Mir Ali and other chief men of the city, who came to surrender it to him, only stipulating, that their lives, liberties, and goods should be secured. The reason of this surrender was because Gorji had terrified them by his account of the astonishing and irresistible prowess of the Portuguese, and because a Joghi, or native religious saint, had predicted a short time before, that Goa was soon to be subjected by strangers. Albuquerque readily accepted the surrender on the terms proposed, and having anchored before the town on the 27th of February, was received on shore by the inhabitants with as much honour and respect as if he had been their native prince. Mounting on a superbly caparisoned horse which was brought for his use, he received the keys of the city gates, and rode in great pomp to the palace which had been built by Sabayo, where he found a great quantity of cannon, arms, warlike ammunition, and horses.
Having issued orders and regulations which were much to the satisfaction of the inhabitants, he dispatched several messages or embassies to the neighbouring sovereigns, the only effect of which was to shew his high spirit. Such of the neighbouring towns as were dependent upon Goa, sent deputations without delay to proffer their obedience and submission. The command of the fort or castle was given to Don Antonio de Noronha, the government of the infidels to Timoja, and the other offices were disposed of to the general satisfaction. Understanding that several ships belonging to Ormuz and other places on the Arabian coast were lading in the port of Baticala, four Portuguese vessels were sent thither, which took and carried them to Cochin, and sent an ample supply of provisions to Goa.
About four months after the easy conquest of Goa, the fortune of Albuquerque began to change its appearance, as those persons in Goa on whose fidelity he had reposed most confidence, in spite of the remonstrances of Timoja, entered into plots to deliver up the place to its former master Ismael. They had submitted so easily to Albuquerque, because unprovided for effectual resistance, to save their properties, and to gain time till Ismael Adel Khan was prepared to come to their relief. Having at length completed his preparations, he sent on before him in June 1510 his general-in-chief Kamul Khan with 1500 horse and 8000 foot, on which Albuquerque took proper measures to defend his recent acquisition. Having detected a conspiracy of the Moors to deliver up the city, his first step was to secure and punish the chief conspirators; among these were Mir Cassem and his nephew, to whom he had confided the command of four hundred Moors, whom he caused to be hewed in pieces by his guards; several others were hanged in the most public places of the city, and the rest were rigorously imprisoned, above 100 being convicted of participating in the plot. By these rigid measures the city was terrified into submission.
Soon afterwards Kamul Khan approached with the van of the army of Ismael, and attempted to pass over into the island by means of boats which he had provided for that purpose. He was courageously opposed by Noronha, who captured twelve of the boats; many of the enemy were killed by the Portuguese, and many others devoured by the alligators which swarmed in the channel round the island; but at length Kamul Khan effected a landing in force on the island, and the Portuguese were obliged to take refuge within the walls of the city. Kamul Khan then invested the city with his army, which he began to batter with his cannon, and Albuquerque used every possible effort to defend the place. Ismael Adel Khan now came up to second his general, at the head of 60,000 men, 5000 of whom were cavalry. Part of this great army passed over into the island to strengthen the besiegers, and the rest took post in two divisions on the continent to prevent the introduction of provisions, one of these being commanded by an officer of reputation, and the other by the mother and women belonging to Ismael, who maintained their troops by the gain from 4000 prostitutes, who followed the camp. By the arrival of this vast army the city of Goa was completely surrounded, and no opportunity was left for Albuquerque to execute any enterprise against the numerous assailants. Making what was necessary prudent, he and his officers resolved to abandon the city before day, which was accordingly executed though with much hazard, the way being occupied by the troops of the enemy, and Albuquerque had his horse killed under him; yet he got off all his men without loss after a siege of twenty days.
After this retreat, it was resolved to spend the winter in these seas, for which purpose the fleet came to anchor in a bay, which although not commodious was the best that could be had on this part of the coast; and being incommoded by a fort named Pangi which had a considerable number of cannon, it became necessary to gain possession. Accordingly 300 Portuguese troops were appointed for the assault, while Noronha had the command of a body of reserve, and Albuquerque guarded the shore. While the Portuguese prepared during the night to assail the fort next morning, 500 men marched by order of Ismael to reinforce the garrison; and when the Portuguese marched to the assault, both the Moorish garrison and the relief, being all drunk, mistook the Portuguese for friends; the garrison believing them to be the reinforcement, and the relief conceiving them to have been the garrison coming out to meet them. They were soon however fatally undeceived by the attack of the Portuguese, in which 340 of them were slain, and the rest put to the rout, while the Portuguese only lost one man who was drowned accidentally. A similar circumstance happened at the bulwark which had been formerly won by Timoja at Bardes. By these two severe defeats of his people, Ismael was so excessively alarmed that he left Goa, and his fear was much increased as some conjurer had foretold that he was to be killed by a cannon-shot near some river. He sent several ceremonious messages to Albuquerque, on purpose to discover what was doing on board the ships, and by the threatening answers he received his fears were materially augmented. In consequence of this intercourse of messages, Ismael was prevailed on to exchange some Portuguese, who had necessarily been left behind when Goa was abandoned, for the Moors engaged in the late conspiracy who remained prisoners with Albuquerque.
About this time Albuquerque received intelligence that some vessels were preparing at Goa to set his ships on fire, on which he anticipated the intentions of the Moors by sending a force up the river to burn these vessels, which was effected, but Don Antonio de Noronha was slain in this enterprise; Noronha used to moderate the violent passions of his uncle Albuquerque, who after his death allowed the severity of his temper to proceed to extremities. Having detected a soldier in an amour with one of the female slaves he used to call his daughters, and whom he was accustomed to give away in marriage, he ordered him immediately to be hanged; and as some of his officers demanded to know by what authority he had done this arbitrary and cruel deed, he ordered them all below deck, and flourishing his sword said that was his commission for punishing all who were disobedient, and immediately cashiered them all. During the continuance of this winter, the Portuguese fleet suffered extreme hardships, especially from scarcity of provisions; and on sailing from thence after the cessation of winter, they discovered four sail which they supposed to have been Turks, or Mamelukes rather, but on coming nearer, they were found to be a squadron from Portugal under the command of Diego Mendez. Besides these, the king had sent out this year other seven ships, under Sequeira, who arrived at Cananor soon after Albuquerque; and a third armament of two ships to settle a trade at Madagascar.
On the return of Albuquerque from Goa to Cananor, he was much rejoiced at the prospect of such powerful succours, and communicated his intentions of immediately resuming his enterprise against Goa, but was overruled in the council by Sequeira, on which Albuquerque went to Cochin, and obtained a victory over the Malabars of Calicut, who endeavoured to obstruct the Portuguese from loading pepper. Having dispatched Sequeira with the homeward bound ships, and soon afterwards Lemos with four more, he determined to resume the enterprise upon Goa. As Diego Mendez, who had formerly been favourable to this design, and several other captains, now opposed it, because it interfered with their intentions of going to Malacca, as directed by the king, Albuquerque commanded them all under the severest penalties not to quit the coast without his orders. Though much dissatisfied, they were obliged to obey. Accordingly, having fitted out twenty-three ships at Cananor, in which he embarked with 1500 soldiers, he proceeded to Onor to join his ally Timoja, whom he found busied in the celebration of his marriage with the daughter of a queen; and being anxious to have the honour of the viceroy's presence at the wedding he invited him to land, which proved very dangerous, as they were kept on shore for three days in consequence of a storm, and when Albuquerque returned to the ships a boat with thirty men was lost. On leaving Onor for Goa, Timoja sent three of his ships along with Albuquerque, and promised to join him at Goa with 6000 men.
Albuquerque anchored for the second time before the bar of Goa on the 22d of November 1510. Impressed with a strong recollection of the dangers he had escaped from on the former attempt, and anxious to soothe the discontent which he well knew subsisted among some of his principal officers on account of having been reluctantly compelled to engage in this expedition, he addressed them in a conciliatory harangue, by which he won them over entirely to concur with him in bringing the hazardous enterprise in which he was engaged to a favourable issue. Having made the proper dispositions for the assault, the troops were landed at early dawn on the 25th of November, and attacked the enemy who defended the shore with such determined intrepidity that they were put to flight with great slaughter, and without the loss of a man on the side of the Portuguese. The enemy fled and endeavoured to get into the city by one of the gates, and being closely pursued by the Portuguese who endeavoured to enter along with them, the fight was there renewed, till at length many of the Portuguese forced their way into the city doing prodigious execution, and the battle was transferred to the streets. These were successively cleared of the enemy by dint of hard fighting all the way to the palace, in which time the Portuguese had lost five officers of some note, and the fight was here renewed with much valour on both sides.
Albuquerque, who had exerted himself during the whole action with equal courage and conduct, now came up with the reserve, and the Moors were completely defeated, flying in all directions from the city and endeavouring to escape to the continent, but through haste and confusion many of them perished in the river. After this decisive victory, it was found that of 9000 men who defended the city, 6000 had perished, while the Portuguese lost fifty men. Medeorao or Melrao, nephew to the king of Onore, who commanded the three ships sent by Timoja, behaved with great courage and fidelity on this occasion; Timoja came himself to Goa with a reinforcement of 3000 men, but too late to assist in the attack, and was only a witness to the carnage which had taken place. The booty in horses, artillery, arms, provisions, and ships, was immense, and contributed materially to enable Albuquerque to accomplish the great designs he had in contemplation.
The Portuguese who were slain in this brilliant exploit were all honourably interred; those of the enemy were made food for the alligators who swarmed in the river. All the surviving Moors were expelled from the city, island, and dependencies of Goa, and all the farms were restored to the gentiles, over whom Timoja was appointed governor, and after him Medeorao, formerly mentioned. While employed in settling the affairs of his conquest, ambassadors came from several of the princes along the coast to congratulate Albuquerque on his brilliant success. Both then and afterwards, many of the officers of Adel Khan made inroads to the neighbourhood of Goa, but were always repelled with loss. At this time, Diego Mendez and another two captains belonging to his squadron, having been appointed by the king of Portugal for an expedition to Malacca, stole away from the port of Goa under [[cover of]] night in direct contravention of the orders of Albuquerque, intending to proceed for Malacca. Albuquerque sent immediately after them and had them brought back prisoners; on which he deprived them of their commands, ordering them to be carried to Portugal to answer to the king for their conduct, and condemned the two pilots who had conducted their ships from the harbour to be immediately hung at the yard-arm. Some alleged that Albuquerque emulously detained Diego Mendez from going against Malacca, which enterprise he designed for himself, while others said that he prevented him from running into the same danger which had been already met with by Sequeira at that place, the force under Mendez being altogether inadequate to the enterprise.
To provide for the future safety of Goa, Albuquerque laid the foundations of a fort, which he named Manuel, after the reigning king of Portugal. On this occasion, he caused the names of all the captains who had been engaged in the capture of Goa to be engraven on a stone, which he meant to have put up as a monument to their honour; but as every one was desirous of being named before the others, he turned down the stone so as to hide all their names, leaving the following inscription,
Lapidem quem reprobaverant aedificantes.
Thus they were all pleased, rather wishing their own individual praises to be forgotten, than that others should partake.
Albuquerque assuming all the powers of sovereignty in his new conquest for the king of Portugal, coined money of gold, silver, and copper, calling the first Manuels, the second Esperas, and the third half-esperas. Resolving to establish a permanent colony at this place, he engaged several of the Portuguese to intermarry with the women of the country, giving them marriage portions in lands, houses, and offices as an encouragement. On one night that some of these marriages were celebrated, the brides became so mixed and confounded together, that some of the bridegrooms went to bed to those who belonged to others; and when the mistake was discovered next morning, each took back his own wife, all being equal in regard to the point of honour. This gave occasion to some of the gentlemen to throw ridicule on the measures pursued by Albuquerque; but he persisted with firmness in his plans, and succeeded in establishing Goa as the metropolis or centre of the Portuguese power in India.
The king of Portugal had earnestly recommended to Albuquerque the capture of the city of Aden on the coast of Arabia near the entrance of the Red Sea; and being now in possession of Goa, he thought his time misspent when not occupied in military expeditions, and resolved upon attempting the conquest of Malacca; but to cover his design, he pretended that he meant to go against Aden, and even sent off some ships in that direction, the better to conceal his real intentions. Leaving Don Rodrigo de Castel Branco in the command of Goa with a garrison of 400 Portuguese troops, while the defence of the dependencies and the collection of the revenue was confided to Medeorao with 5000 native soldiers, Albuquerque went to Cochin to prepare for his expedition against Malacca.
The city of Malacca is situated on the peninsula of that name, anciently called Aurea Chersonesus, or the Golden Peninsula, and on the coast of the channel which separates the island of Sumatra from the continent, being about the middle of these straits. It is in somewhat more than two degrees of north latitude, stretching along the shore for about a league, and divided in two nearly equal parts by a river over which there is a bridge. It has a fine appearance from the sea, but all the buildings of the city are of wood, except the mosque and palace which are of stone. Its port was then frequented by great numbers of ships, being the universal mart of all eastern India beyond the bay of Bengal. It was first built by the Celates, a people who chiefly subsisted by fishing, and who united themselves with the Malays who inhabited the mountains. Their first chief was Paramisora, who had been a person of high rank in the island of Java, whence he was expelled by another chief who usurped his lordship, on which occasion he fled to Cincapura, where he was well received by the lord of that place and raised to high employment. But having rebelled against his benefactor, he was driven from thence by the king of Siam, and was forced to wander about Malacca, as a just punishment for his ingratitude. Having drawn together a number of the before-mentioned natives, with whom he established a new colony, he gave the name of Malacca to the rising city, signifying in the language of the country a banished man, as a memorial of his own fortunes.
The first king of Malacca was Xuque Darxa, or sheikh Dár-shah, called by some authors Raal Sabu, or Ra-el-Saib, who was the son of Paramisora, and was subject to the kings of Siam; but from whom his successors revolted. The country of Malacca is subject to inundations, full of thick woods, and infested by dangerous and savage beasts, particularly tigers, so that travellers are often forced to pass the nights on the tops of high trees, as the tigers can easily take them off from such as are low by leaping. The men of Malacca are courageous, and the women very wanton. At this time the city of Malacca was rich and populous, being the centre of trade between the eastern and western parts of India, Mahomet was then king of Malacca, against whom the king of Siam had sent an army of 40,000 men, most of whom perished by sundry misfortunes, but chiefly through similar treacherous devices with those which had been put in practice against Sequeira. But now Albuquerque approached to revenge them all. Mahomet, fearing to meet the reward of his former treachery to the Portuguese, had procured the assistance of the king of Pam, who brought an army of 30,000 men with a great number of pieces of artillery.
On the 2d of May 1511, Albuquerque sailed from Cochin on his expedition against Malacca, with 19 ships and 1400 soldiers, 800 of whom were Portuguese, and 600 Malabars. While off the island of Ceylon he fell in with and captured five vessels belonging to the Moors, which were bound for Malacca. On arriving at the island of Sumatra, the kings of Pedier and Pisang sent friendly messages to Albuquerque, on which occasion Juan de Viegas, one of the men left behind by Sequeira, was restored to freedom, he and others having made their escape from Malacca.
About this time likewise, Nehoada Beguea, who had been one of the principal authors of the treachery practiced against Sequeira, fled from Pedier; and being taken at sea by Ayres Pereira, to the great astonishment of everyone shed not one drop of blood, though pierced by several mortal wounds; but on taking off a bracelet of bone from his arm the blood gushed out. The Indians, who discovered the secret, said this bracelet was made from the bone of a certain beast which is found in Java, and has this wonderful virtue. It was esteemed a great prize and brought to Albuquerque. After this, they fell in with another ship in which were 300 Moors who made so resolute a defence, that Albuquerque was obliged to come up in person to assist in the capture, which was not accomplished without considerable danger. In this vessel was Geniall, the rightful king of Pisang; who had been banished by an usurper. Three other vessels were taken soon after, from one of which a minute account was procured of the military preparations at Malacca.
On the 1st of July 1511, the Portuguese fleet cast anchor in the roads of Malacca, infusing terror and dismay among multitudes that covered the whole shore, by the clangour of their warlike instruments, and the noise of repeated discharges of cannon; being sensible of their guilty conduct to Sequeira and conscious that the present armament was designed for their condign punishment. Next day a Moor came off in great state with a message from the king, and was received with much courtesy and ceremonious pomp by Albuquerque, to whom he said that if he came for trade, the king was ready to supply whatever merchandise he wanted. Albuquerque made answer that the merchandise he sought for was the restitution of the Portuguese who had been left there by Sequeira, and when they were restored, he should then say what farther demands he had to make from the king.
On his return to the city, the Moor spread universal consternation by this answer, and it was agreed to endeavour to avert the threatened danger, by restoring the Portuguese, and by paying a large sum of money. But Prince Al'oddin, the son of the king of Malacca, and his brother-in-law the king of Pahang, opposed this, and made ready for defence. Upon this Albuquerque began some military execution, and the king restored the captives. After this some farther negotiations ensued, as the king was desirous of peace, which Albuquerque offered to agree to, on condition of having permission to build a fortress at Malacca, and that the king should repay the entire charges incurred by Sequeira and the present armament, all the damage having been occasioned by his own treachery and falsehood; but he demanded to have an immediate answer; whether the king chose peace or war. The king was willing to have submitted to the terms demanded by the Portuguese viceroy, but his son and the king of Pahang opposed him, and it was at length determined to stand on their defence.
On the 24th of July, being the eve of St. James the apostle, everything being disposed in order for attack, the signal was given for landing, by the discharge of artillery, and immediately the Portuguese leapt on shore and charged the enemy with loud shouts. The hottest of the battle was about gaining and defending the bridge, which enterprise Albuquerque undertook in person, and where the enemy after a vigorous defence, in which great numbers of them were slain, were forced to leap into the river, where many of them were drowned. The prince and the king of Pahang bravely opposed another party of the Portuguese who endeavoured to force their way to the bridge to join the viceroy, and at the same time King Mahomet came out on a large elephant, attended by two others having castles on their backs, whence numbers of darts were launched against the Portuguese.
But the elephants, being soon severely wounded, turned and fled through among their own men, trampling many of them to death and making way for the Portuguese to join those who had possession of the bridge. At this place Albuquerque fortified himself, and as considerable harm was done to his men by poisoned arrows discharged from the tops of the adjoining houses, he caused them to be set on fire. After bestowing great praises on his captains for their courageous behaviour, and perceiving that his people began to grow faint by long exertions, excessive heat, and want of food, he withdrew to the ships towards night. Ten of the Portuguese died in consequence of their wounds from the poisoned arrows. The loss of the enemy was not known. The king of Pahang withdrew to his own country, under pretence of bringing a reinforcement, but never returned.
While Albuquerque rested and refreshed his men on board, Mahomet was busily employed in making every possible preparation for defending the city. For this purpose he undermined the streets in several places, in hopes to blow up the assailants, and strewed poisoned thorns in the way, covering them over to prevent their being observed. He likewise fortified the bridge, and planted cannon in many places. As a prelude to the second assault, Albuquerque sent Antonio de Abren, in a vessel well manned, to gain possession of the bridge. On his way thither he had to pass through showers of bullets from both sides of the river and from the battlements of the bridge, and though desperately wounded, refused to be brought off, when Deniz Fernandez Melo, who came up to his rescue, proposed sending him to the ships to have his wounds dressed, saying, "Though he neither had strength to fight nor voice to command, he would not quit his post while life remained." Floats of wildfire were sent down the river to burn the vessel; but at length Albuquerque in person gained possession of the bridge, and the vessel, being freed from the fire rafts, had liberty to act against the enemy. Having rested his men a short time on the bridge, Albuquerque penetrated the city, through showers of bullets, darts, and arrows; and having been apprised of the mines in the principal street, he took another way and gained the mosque. At length, after a prodigious slaughter of the enemy, he gained entire possession of the city, having only with him in this action 800 Portuguese and 200 Malabars.
At the end of nine days every one of the Moors who inhabited this great city were either slain or driven out, and it was repeopled with strangers and some Malays, who were permitted to take possession of the vacant houses. Among these last was Utimuti rajah, whose son had formerly endeavoured to assassinate Sequeira. Utimuti was a rich and powerful native of Java, of whom more hereafter. The soldiers were allowed to plunder the city during three days. There were found 3000 pieces of great cannon, out of 8000 which King Mahomet had relied upon for the defence of his city, the rest having been carried off to Bintang, where the king and prince Al'oddin had fortified themselves. As it might have been of dangerous consequence to permit these princes to establish themselves so near the city of Malacca, Albuquerque sent a force to dislodge them, consisting of 400 Portuguese, 400 Malays belonging to Utimuti, and 300 men belonging to the merchants of Pegu who resided in Malacca. On the approach of these troops, the king and prince took flight, leaving seven elephants with all their costly trappings, and the Portuguese returned to Malacca. Now reduced to wander in the woods and mountains of the interior, Mahomet so severely reflected upon the obstinacy of his son and the king of Pahang, that he and his son quarrelled and separated, each shifting for himself.
To secure this important conquest, Albuquerque built a fort or citadel at Malacca, which from its beauty was called Hermosa. He likewise built a church, which was dedicated to the Visitation of our Lady; and coined money of different values and denominations, which was ordered to pass current by proclamation, and some of which he caused to be scattered among the populace. By these and other prudent measures he gained the hearts of the people, attracted strangers to settle in Malacca, and secured this important emporium of trade. Although Albuquerque was perfectly conscious of the deceitful character of Utimuti rajah, yet considering it to be sometimes prudent to trust an enemy under proper precautions, he gave him authority over all the Moors that remained in Malacca. It was soon discovered however, that Utimuti carried on a private correspondence with Prince Al'oddin, under pretence of restoring him to the sovereignty of Malacca, but in reality for the purpose of using his remaining influence among the people to set himself up. On receiving authentic information of these underhand practices, Albuquerque caused Utimuti with his son and son-in-law to be apprehended, and on conviction of their treason, he ordered them to be publicly executed on the same scaffold which they had formerly destined for Sequeira.
This was the first public exertion of sovereign justice which was attempted by the Portuguese in India, but was soon followed by others. Pate Quitir, another native of Java, whom Albuquerque appointed to succeed Utimuti in the government of the Moors in Malacca, was gained by the widow of Utimuti, by promise of her daughter in marriage with a portion of 100,000 ducats, to revenge the death of her husband on the Portuguese, and to assassinate Albuquerque. Quitir accepted her offer, meaning to seize the city for himself. About the same time also, the king of Campar formed a similar design, for the attainment of which purpose he sent a congratulatory embassy to Albuquerque, from whom he demanded the office which had been conferred on Quitir. These plots having no consequences at this time, shall be farther explained in the sequel.
During his residence at Malacca, Albuquerque received embassies from several princes, particularly from the king of Siam; and he sent likewise embassies in return, to the kings of Siam and Pegu. He sent also two ships to discover the Molucca islands and Banda, and gave orders to let it be known in all quarters that Malacca was now under the dominion of Portugal, and that merchants from every part of India would be received there on more favourable terms than formerly. Having now established everything in Malacca to his mind, Albuquerque determined upon returning to Cochin, leaving Ruy de Brito Patalim to command the fort with a garrison of 300 men. He left at the same time Fernando Perez de Andrada with ten ships and 300 soldiers to protect the trade, and carried four ships with himself on his return to Cochin.
During these transactions at Malacca a rebellion broke out among the natives at Goa, taking advantage of which, Pulate Khan, an officer in the service of Kufo Adel Khan king of Bisnagar, passed over into the island of Goa with a considerable army, and laid siege to the city. One of the principal exploits during this siege was a sally made by Rodrigo Robello de Castello Franco the governor, in which the besiegers suffered considerable loss. But Rodrigo was soon afterwards slain, and Diego Mendez de Vasconcellos was chosen to take the command by the universal suffrages of the besieged. At this time Adel Khan became jealous that his general Pulate Khan intended to usurp the sovereignty over the territory of Goa, on which account he sent his brother-in-law, Rotzomo Khan, to supersede him, who entered into a treaty with Diego Mendez, by whose assistance he got the mastery over Pulate Khan.
Finding himself at the head of 7000 men, while there were not above 1200 troops in the city of Goa, 400 only of whom were Portuguese, Rotzomo resolved to endeavour to drive them out, and resumed the siege. Being short of provisions, the besieged began to suffer severely from famine, and several of the men deserted to the enemy, some of whom repented and returned to the city. In this critical situation, Emanuel de la Cerda, who had wintered at Cochin, fortunately arrived with succours, and was followed soon after by Diego Fernandez de Beja, who had been sent to demolish the fort at Socotora and to receive the tribute at Onnuz. By these the besieged were abundantly relieved and succoured with recruits and provisions when almost reduced to extremity. Soon afterwards arrived Juan Serram, who had gone from Portugal the year before with Peyo de Sa, in order to settle a trade in the island of Madagascar, but ineffectually; and Christopher de Brito, who happened to be at Cananor with a large ship and four smaller vessels, where he heard of the distressed situation of Goa; went immediately thither with a strong reinforcement and an ample supply of provisions.
On his voyage from Malacca to Cochin, the ship in which Albuquerque was embarked struck during the night on a rock off Cape Timia in the kingdom of Aru on the coast of Sumatra. Being completely separated at midships, the people who had taken refuge on the poop and forecastle were unable to communicate with each other, and the night was so exceedingly dark that no assistance could be sent from the other vessels. When daylight appeared next morning, Albuquerque was seen holding a girl in his arms, whom chance had conducted to him during the confusion. Pedro de Alpoem came up to his relief, though with much difficulty and danger. On this occasion some of the men were lost, and much valuable commodities, but what Albuquerque most regretted was the wonderful bone which prevented the wounded Moor from bleeding, and some iron lions of curious workmanship, which he had intended for supporters to his tomb. Albuquerque continued his voyage, after this disaster, in the ship commanded by Alpoem; and on his way back took two Moorish ships which, though rich, did not make amends for the loss he had sustained in the wreck of his own. Immediately on his arrival at Cochin, being informed of the distress of Goa, he dispatched eight vessels to that place with men and provisions, promising soon to repair thither in person. There were then in the town 1000 men, who were besieged by an army of 20,000 natives.
It being now the year 1512, six ships arrived in India from Portugal, having spent a whole year on the voyage without touching at any port; and though the men were tired and sick, they relieved several places. At this time likewise a fleet of thirteen ships arrived from Portugal, one of which was lost on the island of Angoxa. This fleet, which carried 1800 soldiers, anchored off the bar of Goa on the 15th of August 1512. They immediately drove the enemy from a fort which they had constructed at Benistarim; after which Don Garcia and George de Melo passed on with their squadrons, accompanied by Juan Machado and others, who had been recently delivered from slavery in Cambaya. Albuquerque was much rejoiced at the great reinforcements brought out by his nephew Don Garcia and Melo, and by the relief of the captives, as they enabled him to proceed in the enterprises which he had in contemplation. His satisfaction was much increased by the arrival of Antonio de Saldanna with the garrison of Quiloa, which had been abandoned as a place of small importance. About the same time there arrived ambassadors from Persia and Ormuz, the latter of whom had orders from his master to proceed to Portugal.
Having arranged everything at Cochin, and appointed Melo to the command of Cananor, Albuquerque proceeded to Goa, where he was received with every demonstration of joy and respect. After visiting the fortifications, he endeavoured to concert measures for driving Rotzomo Khan from the works which he had constructed for besieging Goa. On the sixth day after his arrival, being on an eminence with several officers taking a view of the works of the enemy, 4000 Moors, 200 of whom were horse, were seen sporting on the plain, it being Friday, which is the sabbath of the Mahometans. On this occasion, a detachment of the Portuguese made a sudden attack on the Moors, and after a hot skirmish drove them for shelter to their works, having slain above an hundred of the enemy, with the loss of one officer and one private, and several wounded. Having resolved to take possession of a strong fort which the enemy had erected near Goa for the protection of their camp, Albuquerque caused it to be attacked both by sea and land at the same time; and thinking that the sea attack was not conducted with sufficient vigour, he went himself in a boat to give orders, and came so near that a cannon-shot struck the head off a Canara who steered his boat, dashing the blood and brains on his beard. Enraged at this incident, he offered a high reward to any one who should destroy that cannon; on which one of his gunners aimed a shot so exactly that it struck the muzzle of the cannon which flew in pieces, and killed the Moorish cannoneer.
By this fortunate circumstance, the Portuguese were able to get farther up the river and to get close to the fort. At this time Zufolari, one of the generals of the Moors, appeared with 7000 men on the continental shore to relieve the fort; but being unable to effectuate his purpose, was forced to retire after sustaining some loss by a distant cannonade. Albuquerque now closely invested the fort with 4000 men, 3000 of whom were Portuguese. He divided these into two bodies, one under his own immediate command, and the other under the charge of his nephew Don Garcia. At first the Portuguese received some damage; but in the end Rotzomo Khan agreed to surrender the fort with all its cannon and ammunition, to deliver up all the Portuguese prisoners and deserters, and to evacuate the island of Goa and its dependencies. The Portuguese deserters were severely punished by order of Albuquerque, having their ears, noses, right hands, and the thumbs of their left cut off, in which mutilated condition they were sent home to Portugal. One of these, named Ferdinando Lopez, as a penance for his crimes, voluntarily remained with a negro at the island of St. Helena, where he began some cultivation, and was afterwards serviceable to several ships that called in there, by furnishing them with refreshments.
Having thus completely relieved Goa, Albuquerque endeavoured to gain over Rotzomo Khan to the Portuguese service, but unsuccessfully; but his good fortune made a great impression on many of the native princes, several of whom sent pacific embassies to the viceroy. The king of Calicut, terrified at the growing power of the Portuguese, concluded a treaty of peace with Don Garcia, whom his uncle had sent to take the command at Cochin. The kings of Narsinga, Visiapour, Bisnagar, and other districts of India, sent ambassadors to the viceroy; who endeavoured in his answers to impress them powerfully with the value of amity with the Portuguese, and dread of encountering their arms, and sent back envoys of his own to these princes, to acquire intelligence respecting their power and resources.
There arrived likewise at Goa an ambassador from the Christian sovereign of Abyssinia, whom the Europeans denominate Prester John, who was destined to go over to Portugal, carrying a piece of the true cross, and letters for the king of Portugal from the queen-mother Helena, who governed Abyssinia during the minority of her son David. The purport of this embassy was to arrange a treaty of amity with the king of Portugal, and to procure military aid against the Moors who were in constant hostility with that kingdom. This ambassador reported that there were then three Portuguese at the Abyssinian court, one of whom, named Juan, called himself ambassador from the king of Portugal; and two others, named Juan Gomez and Juan Sanchez, who had been lately set on shore at Cape Guardafu, by order of Albuquerque, in order to explore the country.
Everything at Goa being placed in order, the viceroy now determined upon carrying the enterprise against Aden into execution, which had been formerly ordered by the king of Portugal. Without communicating his intentions to any one, he caused twenty ships to be fitted out, in which he embarked with 1700 Portuguese troops, and 800 native Canaras and Malabars. When just ready to sail, he acquainted the captains with the object of his expedition, that they might know where to rendezvous in case of separation. Setting sail from Goa on the 18th of February 1513, the armament arrived safe at Aden. This city, called Modocan by Ptolemy, is situated on the coast of Yemen or Arabia Felix, in lat. 12° 45' N. near the mouth of the Red Sea, and looks beautiful and strong from the sea, being rich and populous owing to the resort of many nations for trade. But immediately behind are the barren and rocky mountains of Arzira, which present numerous cliffs and precipices. The soil is arid, having very little water, which is procured from a few wells and cisterns, as this part of the country is scarcely watered from the heavens above once in two or three years. Hence it is devoid of all trees, and has neither gardens nor orchards.
Immediately on the arrival of the Portuguese fleet, Miramirzan the governor sent a complimentary message to the viceroy with a present of provisions; but as there was no prospect of voluntary submission or surrender, Albuquerque resolved upon carrying the place by assault, but found the enterprise more difficult than he expected. Having landed his men early in the morning, the troops advanced to the walls with scaling ladders: but after a considerable number had got up to the top of the wall, the ladders broke under the weight of the multitudes who pressed to get up; so that Albuquerque was obliged to order down those who had already ascended, by means of a single ladder constructed out of the broken fragments of the rest. Thus, after four hours engagement, the Portuguese were forced to desist from the attack with some loss, occasioned more by the insufficiency of the ladders than by the prowess of the enemy. George Sylveyra and five men were killed on the spot, but several others died afterwards of their wounds, and some from bruises occasioned by falling from the walls and ladders.
Submitting to his bad fortune, and by the persuasion of his officers, Albuquerque resolved to abandon this enterprise, that he might have sufficient time remaining to sail for the month of the Red Sea. But before leaving Aden, he took a redoubt or bulwark which defended the entrance into the harbour, where a great many Moors, or Arabs rather, were slain, and 37 pieces of cannon taken. Having plundered the ships in the harbour, they were all burnt; and on the fourth day after arriving at Aden, the fleet set sail for the mouth of the Red Sea, on their arrival at which great rejoicings were made by Albuquerque and the Portuguese, as being the first Europeans who had ever navigated that celebrated sea.
The form of the Red Sea is not unlike that of a crocodile, having its mouth at the narrow Straits of Mecca or Babelmandeb, the head being that sea which lies between Cape Guardafu and Fartaque, and the extremity of the tail at the town of Suez. Its general direction is from N.N.W. to S.S.E. being 530 leagues long, and 40 over where broadest. The channel for navigation is about the middle, where it has sufficient depth of water for the largest ships, but both sides are very shallow, and much encumbered by sand banks and numerous small islands. No river of any note falls into it during its whole extent. It is called by the Moors or Arabs, Bahar Corzu or the Closed Sea, and by others the Sea of Mecca; but by Europeans the Arabian Gulf or the Red Sea, owing to the red colour it derives from its bottom, as was proved by a subsequent viceroy, Don Juan de Castro, who caused some of the bottom to be dragged up in several places, when it was found to consist of a red coralline substance; while in other places the bottom was green, and white in some, but mostly red. The water itself, when taken up, is as clear as in any other part of the sea. The Red Sea does not abound in fish, but it produces small pearls in many places.
The mouth of the Red Sea, called the Straits of Mecca or of Bab-al-mandeb, is in lat. 12° 40' N., and is as it were locked up by seven small islands, the largest of which, now Mehun, was called by Ptolemy Perantonomasiam. On going from the straits towards Suez along the eastern or Arabian shore, there are only a few small ports of no note for the first 44 leagues, till we come to the island of Kamaran, which is subject to the king of Aden. At 60 leagues from thence we come to Gezan, a large town; thence 130 leagues to Yambo, all in the dominions of Mecca, having several good towns and harbours. Among these are the famous and well known ports of Ziden and Juddah, or Joda; Mecca being 15 leagues inland from the latter. From Yambo it is 60 leagues to Toro, where the children of Israel are said to have crossed the Red Sea, which at this place is 3 leagues across. Thence to Suez is 40 leagues, and there ends the Arabian shore.
On sailing back to the straits along the western shore of Egypt and Ethiopia, from Suez which is 20 leagues from Grand Cairo the vast metropolis of Egypt, it is 45 leagues to Al-cosier; thence 135 to the city of Suakem, in which space there are many ports. From thence 70 leagues farther on is the island and port of Massua, and opposite to it Arkiko; and thence other 85 leagues bring us back to the Straits of Bab-el-mandeb. Behind a ridge of mountains which runs close along the whole coast of Ethiopia, lie the dominions of Prester John, which has always preserved Christianity after its own manner, and has of late been much supported therein by the Portuguese arms.
Entering into the Red Sea, Albuquerque sailed along the coast to the island of Kamaran, which he found abandoned by its inhabitants from dread of his approach. He took two vessels by the way, and found four others at this place, one of which belonged to the Soldan of Egypt. From this island he visited several others; and one day there appeared in the sky to the whole [[of the]] persons in the fleet a very bright red cross, seemingly about six feet broad, and of a proportional length. All the Portuguese knelt down and worshipped the heavenly sign, Albuquerque making a devout prayer; after which the happy omen was joyfully hailed by the sound of music and cannon, till at length it was covered over by a bright cloud and disappeared. As the trade wind failed for carrying him to Judduh, Albuquerque returned to Kamaran where he wintered, and where his people suffered extreme misery from famine and sickness. In July 1513, as soon as the weather would permit, he sailed again for India, meaning to appear again before Aden, and touched at the island of Mehun, in the middle of the straits, to which he gave the name of Vera Cruz, in memory of the miraculous vision with which they had been favoured, and erected a very high cross upon an eminence. From thence he sent two ships to examine the city and port of Zeyla, on an island in a bay of the coast of Adel, where they burnt two ships belonging to the Moors, and joined the fleet again before Aden. He found the fortifications of this place repaired and strengthened; and after exchanging a cannonade which did little damage on either side, and burning some ships in the harbour, he sailed for India.
Albuquerque arrived at Diu about the middle of August 1513, and was immediately supplied with some provisions, accompanied by a courteous message from Malek Azz, the lord of that city under the king of Cambaya, more from fear than affection. Being aware of his duplicity, Albuquerque dealt cautiously with this chief, and demanded permission to erect a fort at Diu; but Malek Azz excused himself, referring Albuquerque to the king of Cambaya, whom he secretly advised to refuse if asked. However it was agreed to settle a Portuguese factor at this place to conduct the trade; and at parting Azz treated Albuquerque with so much artful civility, that he said he had never seen a more perfect courtier, or one more fitted to please and deceive a man of understanding. Some time afterwards, the king of Cambaya gave permission for the Portuguese to erect a fort at Diu, on condition that he might do the same at Malacca.
At this time there arrived two ships from Portugal, a third having been cast away in the voyage, but the men saved. Albuquerque went to Goa, and sent his nephew Noronha to Cochin to dispatch the homeward bound trade, along with which an ambassador was sent from the Zamorin to the king of Portugal, peace being now established with that sovereign, who permitted a fort to be erected at his capital. By these ships likewise were sent the presents of many of the Indian princes to the king of Portugal, together with many captives taken in war. There went also a Portuguese Jew, who had been an inhabitant of Jerusalem, and had been sent by the guardian of the Franciscans to acquaint Albuquerque that the Soldan of Egypt threatened to destroy all the holy places at Jerusalem.
Pate Quitir, the native of Java, who had been preferred by Albuquerque to the command of the native inhabitants of Malacca, continued to carry on measures for expelling the Portuguese, and having strengthened himself secretly, at last broke out into rebellion. Having slain a Portuguese captain and several men, and taken some pieces of cannon, he suddenly fortified the quarter of the city in which he resided, and stood on his defence with 6000 men and two elephants. Ferdinando Perez and Alfonso Pessoa went against him with 320 men, partly by land and partly by water, and after a long contest forced him to flee for refuge into the woods after many of his men were slain. A considerable quantity of artillery and ammunition was found in that part of the city which he had fortified, which was burnt to the ground after being plundered of much riches. Having received succour from Java and Mahomet, the expelled king of Malacca, Quitir erected another fort in a convenient place at some distance from the city, where he became powerful by sea and land, being in hopes of usurping the sovereignty of Malacca.
Perez went out against him, but though he fought as valiantly as before, he was forced to retreat after losing three captains and four soldiers. At this time Lacsamana, an officer belonging to Mahomet, entered the river of Malacca with a great number of men and many cannon on board several vessels. Perez attacked him with three ships, and a furious battle took place which lasted for three hours, with much advantage on the side of the Portuguese, but night obliged the combatants to desist, and Perez took a position to prevent as he thought the Malayans from escaping out of the river during the darkness. But Lacsamana threw up an intrenchment of such respectable appearance during the night, that it was thought too dangerous to attempt an attack, and Perez retired to the fort. At this time three ships entered the port from India, bringing a supply of ammunition and a reinforcement of 150 soldiers; but Lacsamana had established himself so advantageously, that he intercepted all the vessels carrying provisions for Malacca, which was reduced to such straits that many fell down in the streets from famine. The same plague attended Pate Quitir in his quarters.
When the season became fit for navigation, Perez set out with ten ships and a galley in quest of provisions. While sailing towards Cincapura, the galley discovered a sail, and stuck by it till the fleet came up. It was found to be laden with provisions and ammunition for Pate Quitir. Perez brought the captain and other head men on board his own ship, where they attempted to slay the Portuguese, even Perez being stabbed in the back by a cris or dagger. Being foiled in this attempt, most of them leapt into the sea, but some were taken and put to the rack who confessed there was a son of Quitir among them, and that they were followed by three other vessels similarly laden. These were likewise captured and carried to Malacca. At the same time Gomez de Cunna arrived with his ship laden with provisions from Pegu, where he had been to settle a treaty of amity and commerce with the king of that country. The famine being thus appeased, and the men recovered, Perez attacked Pate Quitir by sea and land; and having fortunately succeeded in the capture of his fortified quarters, which were set on fire, that chieftain was forced to retire to Java, and Lacsamana, on seeing this success of the Portuguese, retired with his forces.
Java is an island to the south-east of Sumatra, from which it is divided by a strait of fifteen leagues in breadth. This island is almost 200 leagues in length from east to west, but is narrow in proportion to its breadth, being divided by a long range of mountains through its whole length, like the Apennines of Italy, which prevents intercourse between the two coasts. It has several ports and good cities, and its original inhabitants appear to have come from China. In after times the Moors of Malacca possessed themselves of the sea coast, obliging the natives to take shelter in the forests and mountains of the interior. At this period a Malay chief named Pate Unuz was lord of the city of Japara, who became afterwards king of Sunda. Indignant that the metropolis of the Malayan territories should he possessed by the enemies of the Mahometan faith, he had been seven years preparing a powerful armament of 90 sail to attempt the conquest of Malacca, during all which time he kept up a secret correspondence with the Javan Malays who inhabited that city. Several of his ships were equal in size to the largest Portuguese galleons, and the one destined for himself was larger than any ship then built by the Europeans.
Having completed his preparations, he embarked with 12,000 men and a formidable train of artillery, and appeared suddenly before the city. Ferdinando Perez immediately embarked with 350 Portuguese and some native troops in 17 vessels, and attacked the Javan fleet, with which he had an obstinate engagement, doing considerable damage to the enemy, but night parted the combatants. Next morning Pate Unuz endeavoured to get into the river Maur with his fleet; but Perez pursued him, and penetrating into the midst of the enemy plied his cannon and fireworks with such success, that many of the Javan ships were sunk and set on fire. After a furious battle of some endurance, Unuz fled and was pursued all the way to Java, where he preserved his own vast vessel as a memorial of his escape and of the grandeur of his fleet, and not without reason, as a merchant of Malacca engaged to purchase it of Perez for 10,000 ducats if taken. This victory cost the Portuguese some blood, as several were slain, and few escaped without wounds. From this time forwards, the natives of Java were forever banished from Malacca.
Soon after this brilliant victory, Ferdinando Perez sailed from Malacca to Cochin with a valuable cargo of spice, accompanied by Lope de Azevedo and Antonio de Abreu, who came from the discovery of the Molucca islands with three ships. After their arrival at Cochin, Antonio de Miranda arrived there from Siam, to the great joy of Albuquerque, who thus reaped the rich fruits of his care and labour for the acquisition of Malacca, and the happy return of those whom he had sent upon other discoveries.
King Mahomet had not yet lost all hope of recovering Malacca, to which he now drew near; and having in vain attempted to succeed by force, had recourse to stratagem. For this purpose he prevailed on a favourite officer named Tuam Maxeliz, to imitate the conduct of Zopirus at Babylon. Being accordingly mutilated, Tuam fled with some companions to Malacca, giving out that he had escaped from the tyrannical cruelty of his sovereign. Ruy de Brito, who then commanded in the citadel of Malacca, credited his story and reposed so much confidence in his fidelity that he was admitted at all times into the fortress. At length, having appointed a particular day for the execution of his long-concerted enterprise, on which Mahomet was to send a party to second his efforts or to bring him off, he and his accomplices got admittance into the fort as usual, and immediately began to assassinate the Portuguese garrison by means of their daggers, and had actually slain six before they were able to stand to their defence. Brito, who happened to be asleep when the alarm was given, immediately collected his men and drove the traitor and his companions from the fort, at the very moment, when a party of armed Malays came up to second their efforts. The commander of this party, named Tuam Calascar, on learning the miscarriage of Tuam Maxeliz, pretended that he came to the assistance of Brito, and by that means was permitted to retire.
Soon after this Pedro de Faria arrived at Malacca from the Straits of Sabam, bringing with him Abdela king of Campar who, being no longer able to endure the insolence of his father-in-law Mahomet, came to reside in security under the protection of the Portuguese in Malacca. This was in the month of July, shortly after the arrival of George de Albuquerque from Goa to command at Malacca. By instructions from the viceroy, Abdela was appointed Bendara, or governor, of the natives, which office had till then been enjoyed by Ninachetu, who was now displaced on account of some miscarriage or malversation. Ninachetu, who was a gentile, so much resented this affront, that he resolved to give a signal demonstration of his fidelity and concern. He was very rich, and gave orders to dress up a scaffold or funeral pile in the market-place or bazar of Malacca, splendidly adorned with rich silks and cloth of gold, the middle of the pile being composed of a vast heap of aromatic wood of high price. The entire street from his dwelling to the pile was strewed with sweet-scented herbs and flowers, and adorned with rich hangings, correspondent to the magnificence of the pile. Having collected all his friends, and clad himself and family in splendid attire, he went in solemn procession to the bazar, where he mounted the scaffold and made a long harangue, in which he protested his innocence and declared that he had always served the Portuguese with the utmost zeal and fidelity. Having ordered the pile to be fired, and seeing the whole in flames, he declared that he would now mount to heaven in that flame and smoke, and immediately cast himself into the flaming pile, to the great admiration of all the beholders.
At this time the king of Campar had gone home, intending to return to assume his office of Bendara, but was hindered by Mahomet and the king of Bintang, who fitted out a fleet of 70 sail with 2500 men under the command of the king of Linga, and besieged Campar, in the harbour of which town there were eight Portuguese vessels and some native proas, under the command of George Botello. Observing this squadron to be somewhat careless, the king of Linga fell suddenly with his galley on the ship commanded by Botello, followed by the rest of his fleet; but met with so warm a reception that his galley was taken, so that he had to leap overboard, and the rest of the enemies fleet was put to flight. The siege was now raised, and Botello conveyed the king of Campar to Malacca, where he exercised the office of Bendara with so much judgment and propriety, that in four months the city was visibly improved, great numbers of people resorting thither who had formerly fled to Mahomet to avoid the oppressions of Ninachetu.
Perceiving the growth of the city under the wise administration of Abdela, Mahomet determined to put a stop to this prosperity by means of a fraud peculiar to a Moor. He gave out secretly, yet so that it might spread abroad, that his son-in-law had gone over to the Portuguese at Malacca with his knowledge and consent, and that the same thing was done by all those who seemed to fly there from Bintang, with the design to seize upon the fort on the first opportunity, and restore it to him who was the lawful prince. This secret, as intended by Mahomet, was at length divulged at Malacca, where it produced the intended effect, as the commandant, George de Albuquerque, gave more credit to this false report than to the honest proceedings of the Bendara, who was tried and condemned as a traitor, and had his head cut off on a public scaffold. In consequence of this event, the city was left almost desolate by the flight of the native inhabitants, and was afterwards oppressed by famine.
During the year 1513, while these transactions were going on at Malacca, the viceroy Albuquerque visited the most important places under his charge, and gave the necessary, orders for their security. He dispatched his nephew Don Garcia to Cochin, with directions to expedite the construction of the fort then building at Calicut. He appointed a squadron of four sail, under the command of his nephew Pedro de Albuquerque, to cruise from the mouth, of the Red Sea to that of the Persian Gulf, with orders to receive the tribute of Ormuz when it became due, and then to discover the island of Bahrayn, the seat of the great pearl-fishery in that gulf. He sent ambassadors well attended to several princes. Diego Fernandez de Beja went to the king of Cambaya, to treat about the erection of a fort at Din, which had been before consented to, but was now refused at the instigation of Maluk Azz. Fernandez returned to Goa with magnificent presents to Albuquerque, among which was a Rhinoceros or Abada, which was afterwards lost in the Mediterranean on its way from king Manuel to the pope along with other Indian rarities. Juan Gonzalez de Castello Branco was sent to the king of Bisnagar, to demand restitution of the dependencies belonging to Goa, but with little success.
In September 1513, five ships arrived at Goa from Portugal under the command of Christopher de Brito, one of which bound for Cambaya was lost. Having dispatched these ships with their homeward cargoes, Albuquerque prepared for a military expedition, but was for some time indetermined whether to bend his course for Ormuz or the Red Sea, both expeditions having been ordered by the king. In order to determine which of these was to be undertaken, he convened a council of all his captains, and it was agreed that Ormuz was to be preferred, which was in fact quite consonant to the wishes of the viceroy. He accordingly set sail on the 20th of February 1514, with a fleet of 27 sail, having on board a land force of 1500 Portuguese and 600 native Malabars and Canaras. The fleet anchored in the port of Ormuz on the 26th of March, and an immediate message of ceremony came off from the king with rich presents; but Albuquerque was better pleased with finding that Michael Ferreyra, whom he had sent on an embassy to Ismael king of Persia, to negociate a treaty of amity and commerce, had strong hopes of success.
Seif Addin, king of Orrauz and his governor Khojah Attar, were now both dead, and Reis Hamet now possessed the entire favour and confidence of the new king. Among other things, Albuquerque sent to demand being put immediately in possession of the fort which he had formerly begun to build at Ormuz, and that some principal persons should be sent to ratify and confirm the submission which the former king Seif Addin had made of the kingdom to the supremacy of the king of Portugal. All was consented to, as there was no sufficient power for resistance; and Reis Noradin the governor came to wait upon Albuquerque accompanied by his nephew, to make the desired ratification. The viceroy made rich presents on the occasion, and sent a splendid collar of gold to the king, with the Portuguese standard, as a mark of the union between the two nations. Public rejoicings were made on both sides on account of this amicable arrangement; and Albuquerque took possession of the fort, which had been formerly begun, and by using every exertion it rose in a few days to a great height, so that the viceroy and his principal officers took up their residence in some houses in its neighbourhood. Albuquerque now made splendid preparations to receive the ambassador from the king of Persia, who brought a magnificent present from his sovereign, consisting of rich brocades, precious stones, splendid golden ornaments, and many fine silks. The ambassador was honourably received, and the treaty concluded to mutual satisfaction. This ceremony took place on a scaffold erected in public near the residence of the viceroy, and had been delayed for a considerable time on purpose to be exhibited in great splendour to the people of Ormuz, that they might see that the Portuguese friendship was sought after by so powerful a sovereign. The king of Ormuz was at a window to see the procession.
Reis Hamet, formerly mentioned, had come to Ormuz from Persia with the design of seizing the city and delivering it up to the Sophi. He had insinuated himself so effectually into the favour of the king as to govern him in all respects, and nothing was done but by his directions. The better to carry on his enterprise, he had gradually introduced a number of his dependents into the city, and was actually preparing to kill the king and seize the government, but deferred his intentions to a more favourable opportunity. Albuquerque was fully informed of all these secret practices, and that the king was anxious to be delivered from the influence of Hamet; he therefore endeavoured to devise means for effectuating the purpose, and fortune soon gave him an opportunity. An interview had been appointed to take place between the king and Albuquerque; but prompted by his fears, Hamet endeavoured to shun this danger, by proposing that Albuquerque should wait upon the king, lest if the king went to visit the viceroy, he might be obliged to attend him.
But Albuquerque insisted upon receiving the visit of the king, which was at last agreed to, on condition that neither party was to be armed. Some of the attendants upon Hamet were however secretly armed, and Hamet came armed himself, and pressed foremost into the room with much rudeness, on which Albuquerque made a concerted signal to his captains, who. instantly dispatched him. After this the king came, and a conference began between him and the viceroy, which was soon interrupted by a violent clamour among the people, who supposed their king was slain. But the people belonging to Hamet, knowing that their master had been killed, ran and fortified themselves in the king's palace. Albuquerque proposed immediately to have dispossessed them by means of his troops; but the king and governor found other means of expelling these men from the city, who to the number of 700 men went to Persia.
When this tumult was appeased, the people of Ormuz were much gratified at seeing their king conducted back to his palace in great pomp, attended by Albuquerque and all his officers, more especially as he was now freed from the tyranny of Hamet, and restored to the majesty of a king. Albuquerque now dispatched the Persian ambassador, accompanied by Ferdinando Gomez, carrying a present of double the value of that he had received, and having orders to give a proper account of the late transactions at Ormuz, especially in regard to Reis Hamet. Gomez was well received, and brought back a favourable answer. It would require more room than can be spared in this history to give an account of the affairs of Persia; it may therefore suffice to say that the valiant prince who reigned over Persia at this time was engaged in war with the Turks, and was desirous of taking advantage of the Portuguese assistance against his enemy.
While the fort of Ormuz was building, or rather finishing, Albuquerque persuaded the king that it would contribute to the safety of the city to put all their cannon into the fort to defend them against their enemies, but in reality to disable them from resisting the Portuguese domination. Security is a powerful argument with those who are in fear, so that the king and his governor reluctantly consented to this demand. Thus the rich and powerful kingdom of Ormuz was completely subjected to the Portuguese dominion, yet more to the advantage than detriment of its native princes; who were more oppressed before by the tyranny of their ministers, than afterwards by the tribute they had to pay to the Portuguese, besides the security they enjoyed under protection of the Portuguese arms. Yet liberty is sweeter than all other conveniences.
Albuquerque dispatched his nephew Don Garcia de Noronha with most of the fleet to Cochin, with orders to send home the ships of the season with the trade to Portugal, remaining behind to conclude such arrangements as seemed to require his presence. He soon afterwards fell sick, and was persuaded by his attendants to return to India for the recovery of his health, which he consented to, and left Pedro de Albuquerque in the command of the fort at Ormuz. His departure gave great concern to the king, who loved him as a father. While on the voyage to Goa, he got notice that 12 ships were arrived in India from Portugal with orders for his return to Europe, Lope Soarez who commanded that fleet being appointed his successor. He was likewise informed that Diego Mendez and Diego Pereyra, both of whom he had sent home as prisoners for heinous crimes, had come back to India, the one as governor of Cochin and the other as secretary to the new viceroy. These news gave him much dissatisfaction, and he is reported to have vented his distress on the occasion to the following purpose: "It is now time for me to take sanctuary in the church, having incurred the king's displeasure for the sake of his subjects, and their anger for the sake of the king. Old man! fly to the church! Your honour requires that you should die, and you have never yet omitted anything in which your honour was concerned!"
Then raising his hands and eyes to heaven, he gave God thanks that a governor had come out so opportunely, not doubting that he should soon die. He fell into a profound melancholy, and arrived at Dabul almost in the arms of death, at which place he wrote the following letter to the king. "This, Sir! is the last letter your highness will receive from me, who am now under the pangs of death. I have formerly written many to your highness full of life and vigour, being then free from the dread thought of this last hour, and actively employed in your service. I leave a son behind me, Blas de Albuquerque, whom I entreat your highness to promote in recompence of my services. The affairs of India will answer for themselves and me."
Having arrived on the bar of Goa, which he called his Land of Promise, he expired on the 16th of December, 1515, in the sixty-third year of his age, retaining his senses to the last, and dying as became a good Christian. Alfonso de Albuquerque was second son to Gonzalo de Albuquerque lord of Villaverde, by Donna Leonora de Menezes, daughter of Alvaro Gonzalez de Atayde, first count of Atouguia. He had been master of the horse to King John the Second. He was of moderate stature, having a fair and pleasing countenance, with a venerable beard reaching below his girdle to which he wore it knotted. When angry his looks were terrible; but when pleased his manners were merry, pleasant, and witty. He was buried in a chapel which he built near the gate of the city of Goa, dedicated to Our Lady of the Mountain, but, after a long resistance from the inhabitants of Goa, his bones were transferred to the church of Our Lady of Grace at Lisbon.
The dominion of the Portuguese in India was founded by three great men, Duarte Pacheco, Francisco de Almeyda, and Alfonso de Albuquerque; after whom scarcely was there a single successor who did not decline from their great character, having either a mixture of timidity with their valour, or of covetousness with their moderation, in which the vices predominated. In gaining this Indian crown, Pacheco alone acted with that fiery heat which melted the arms and riches of the Zamorin; only Almeyda could have filed and polished it, by his own and his son's sword, bringing it into form by humbling the pride of the Egyptian Soldan; while Albuquerque gave a finish to its ornaments, by adorning it with three precious jewels, Goa, Malacca, and Ormuz.
[Footnote 112: The author here very improperly calls the Nayres, or Malabar soldiers of the zamorin, Moors; though in all probability there might be some Mahometans among the defenders of Calicut.--E.]
[Footnote 113: In Paris, this reserve is stated at 2000 men, obviously a typographical error, yet copied in Astley's Collection, without considering that the whole original force was only 1800.--E.]
[Footnote 114: The loss acknowledged in the text is ridiculously small for so disastrous an enterprise, and we are almost tempted to suspect the converse of the error noticed in the preceding note, and that the loss might have been 800.--E.]
[Footnote 115: From various circumstances in the context, the word India, is here evidently confined to the peninsula to the south of the Nerbudda, called generally Deccan, or the south.--E]
[Footnote 116: He was the sixth king of a dynasty of Turks from Persia, which founded the kingdom of Delhi in 12O2, or rather usurped it from the family of Ghaur, who conquered it in 1155 from that of Ghazni, which had subdued all India in 1001 as far as the Ganges. Mahmud Shah Nasr Addin began his reign in 1246, so that the conquests mentioned in the text must have happened considerably before 1300.--Astl. I. 71. 2.]
[Footnote 117: Deccan or Dakshin signifies the south, and is properly that portion of India which lies between the Nerbudda and Kistna river. It would far exceed the bounds of a note to illustrate the Indian history, which is very confusedly, and imperfectly stated in the text.--E.]
[Footnote 118: In the text of Faria named Mamud-xa, and probably the same person named immediately before Madura.--E.]
[Footnote 119: These names are strangely corrupted in the Portuguese orthography of Faria, and the princes are not well distinguished. Only three of them were very considerable: Nizam Shah, or Nizam-al-Mulk, to whom belonged Viziapour; Koth, or Kothb-shah, or Kothb-al-Mulk, the same with Cotamaluco of the text, who possessed Golconda; and Kufo Adel Khan, called Cufo king of Hidalcan in Faria, who held Bisnagar.--Astley, I. 71. d.
--The great king of Narsinga is here omitted; which Hindoo sovereignty seems at that time to have comprised the whole of southern India, from the western Gauts to the Bay of Bengal, now the high and low Carnatic with Mysore.--E.]
[Footnote 120: From the context it is obvious that this bay and the fort of Pangi were in the close neighbourhood, of Goa; in fact the bay appears to have been the channel leading to Goa, and the fort one of those bulwarks on the continental shore which defended the navigation of that channel.--E.]
[Footnote 121: By winter on the coast of Malabar, must only be understood, the period of storms and excessive bad weather which occurs at the change of the monsoons, when it is imminently perilous to be at sea.--E.]
[Footnote 122: This person is afterwards named by Faria Melrao, and is said to have been nephew to the king of Onore; the editor of Astley calls him Melrau. Perhaps his real name might have been , and both he and Timoja may have been of the Mahrana nation.--E.]
[Footnote 123: In lat. 2° 25' N.]
[Footnote 124: Named Pahang or Pahan, by the editor of Astleys Collection.]
[Footnote 125: In the text of Faria, and following him in Astley, the number of cannon is said to have been 8000; a number so incredible that we have used a general expression only on this occasion in the text.--E.]
[Footnote 126: All are Moors with Faria, particularly Mahometans. The crew of this vessel were probably Malays, perhaps the most ferociously desperate people of the whole world.--E.]
[Footnote 127: On this occasion, Faria mentions that Albuquerque wore his beard so long that it was fastened to his girdle; having made a vow when he was forced to retreat from Ormuz, that it should never be trimmed till he sat on the back of Khojah Attar for that purpose.--E.]
[Footnote 128: This prodigious train of artillery is quite incredible, though, twice repeated in the same terms, but it is impossible to form any rational conjecture for correcting the gross error or exaggeration in the text.--E.]
[Footnote 129: According to some authors these were commanded by Lopez de Azevedo and Antonio de Abreu, who set out in 1511 and returned in 1513; but according to others Antonio de Abreu, Francisco Serrano, and Ferdinand Magalhaens were the officers employed on this occasion, during which Magalhaens projected his circumnavigation of the globe.--Astley, I. 74. 2.]
[Footnote 130: The editor of Astleys Collection adds, with liberty to build a fort; but this condition is not to be found in the text of Faria, which is followed in that work literally on most occasions, though often much abridged.--E.]
[Footnote 131: In our early volumes it will be seen that this imaginary Prete Jani, Prester John, or the Christian Priest-king, had been sought for in vain among the wandering tribes of eastern Tartary. The Portuguese now absurdly gave that appellation to the Negus of Habesh, or Emperor of the Abyssinians; where a degraded species of Christianity prevails among a barbarous race, continually engaged in sanguinary war and interminable revolution.--E.]
[Footnote 132: The extreme length of the Red Sea is 400 geographical leagues, 20 to the degree, or about 1380 statute miles, and its greatest breadth 65 of the same leagues, about 225 miles.--E.]
[Footnote 133: It is probable that Mr Stevens has mistaken the sense of Faria at this place, and that the famine in Malacca was occasioned by the joint operations of Lacsamana and Pate Quitir, holding the city in a state of blockade.--E.]
[Footnote 134: Faria perpetually confounds all Mahometans under the general denomination of Moors. These possessors of the coast of Java were unquestionably Malays.--E.]
[Footnote 135: Faria omits any mention of the year, but from the context it appears to have been in 1513.--E.]
[Footnote 136: Reis or Rais signifies a chief, and is commonly given on the coasts of Arabia and Persia to sea captains: In Faria it is Raez.--Astl I. 75. 2.]
[Footnote 137: It is scarce possible to conceive how Faria could gravely make this observation, when the Portuguese had imposed an annual tribute on the king of Ormuz, and were actually building a fortress to keep the capital under subjection.--E.]
[Footnote 138: Portuguese Asia, II. vii. This rhetorical flourish by De Faria, gives a specimen of what was perhaps considered fine writing in those days; but it strongly marks the important services of Albuquerque, and is therefore here inserted.--E.]
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