*Section 1* -- The Venetian Merchants and Mariners at Alexandria are pressed into the Turkish service, and sent to Suez. Description of that place. Two thousand men desert from the Galleys. Tor. Island of Soridan. Port of Kor.
*Section 2* -- Arrival at Jiddah, the Port of Mecca. The islands of Alfas, Kamaran, and Tuiche. The Straits of Bab-al-Mandub.
*Section 3* -- Arrival at Aden, where the Sheikh and four others are hanged. Sequel of the Voyage to Diu.
*Section 4* -- The Castle of Diu is besieged by the Moors. The Turks plunder the City, and the Indian Generals withdraw in resentment. The Pacha lands. A man 300 years old. Women burn themselves. The Fleet removes.
*Section 5* -- A Bulwark Surrenders to the Turks, who make Galley-slaves of the Portuguese Garrison; with several other incidents of the siege.
*Section 6* -- Further particulars of the siege, to the retreat of the Turks, and the commencement of their Voyage back to Suez.
*Section 7* -- Continuation of the Voyage back to Suez, from the Portuguese factory at Aser, to Khamaran and Kubit Sharif.
*Section 8* -- Transactions of the Pacha at Zabid, and continuation of the Voyage from Kubit Sarif.
*Section 9* -- Continuation of the Voyage to Suez, along the Arabian Shore of the Red Sea.
*Section 10* -- Conclusion of the Voyage to Suez, and return of the Venetians to Cairo.
Following the PORTUGUESE ASIA of Manuel de Faria y Sousa, we have given an account of the Portuguese transactions in India in the preceding chapter, from the year 1505 to 1539. We might have extended this article to a much greater length from the same source, as De Faria continues this history to the year 1640; but his work after the year 1539 is generally filled with an infinite multiplicity of uninteresting events, petty wars, arrivals and dispatch of trading ships, and such minute matters, unconnected and tending to no useful information. We now take up an original document of much interest, and most directly connected with the object of our collection, as an actual journal of a voyage. In a separate future division of our arrangement, we propose to give an abridged extract from De Faria of everything his work contains worthy of notice, as tending to discovery, but leaving out all uninteresting details.
There are two published copies of the voyage which constitutes the essence of our present chapter. The earliest of these was published by Aldus at Venice in 1540, along with other tracts of a similar nature, under the name of A Voyage from Alexandria to India. The other was given by Ramusio in the first Volume of his Collection, under the title of A Voyage written by a Venetian officer of the Galleys, who was carried prisoner from Alexandria to Diu in India, &c. These copies differ in several respects besides the title. That by Ramusio is altered in several places both in the substance and diction, which in many parts of that edited by Aldus is obscure. Yet that edition is of use to correct some errors of the press in Ramusio. Our translation is from the text of Aldus, but we have marked the variations in that of Ramusio, and have likewise divided the journal into sections, as done by Ramusio.
Though not made by the Portuguese, this voyage certainly claims to be inserted in this place, as having a near connection with their affairs; besides which, it serves to complete the information contained in the article next succeeding; as the present voyage was made along the eastern side of the Red Sea, while the other was along its western side. So that the two together give a tolerable account of the whole of that sea; and they are in fact the more valuable, as being the only minute journals or relations extant of voyages performed along the whole length of the Arabian Gulf; except that by Mr Daniel in 1700, which is very superficial. Yet geographers, with the exception of M. de Lisle, and one or two since, seem to have made no use of these helps. It is however very surprising that neither of these two journals take the smallest notice of that great bay or arm at the head of the Red Sea, anciently called the Elanitic, a little to the east of Tor or Al Tur, which passing by the foot of Mount Sinai, penetrates a great way into Arabia. This has been described by the Arabian geographers, and confirmed by two eminent travellers of our own country, Dr Shaw and Dr Pococke, both of whom have delineated it in their maps.
"The present voyage shews the way of sailing in these eastern seas by the Turks, with whom we may join the Arabs and Indians; and it mentions several particulars respecting the siege of Diu, and particularly respecting the conduct of the Pacha, which could not be so well known to the Portuguese; serving to rectify some things and elucidate others. It must be observed that the soundings or depths of water, though expressed in fathoms, which are reckoned at six feet in the British marine service, are here to be understood as paces of five feet each. The time is expressed according to the Italian mode of reckoning; which begins the day at sunset, and counts the hours successively round from one to twenty-four; instead of dividing the entire day into twice twelve hours, as is customary with the English and other European nations." --Astl.
[Footnote 210: Astley's Collection of Voyages and Travels, I. 88.]
[Footnote 211: The title of the book published by Aldus in which this voyage is contained is Viaggi alla Tana, Persia, India, &c .--Astley, I. 88. a.]
[Footnote 212: The word designating the rank of this officer in Ramusio is Comito, signifying Boatswain, or the officer who superintended the galley-slaves.--Ast. I. 88. b.]
[Footnote 213: The topography of the Red Sea has been much improved by Bruce, in his Travels in Abyssinia, and since him by Lord Valentia in his Travels in India.--E.]
[Footnote 214: The Editor of Astley's Collection does not seem aware that in the British marine, the day begins at noon, instead of the civil day which begins at midnight.--E.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 1 -- The Venetian Merchants and Mariners at Alexandria are pressed into the Turkish service, and sent to Suez. Description of that place. Two thousand men desert from the Galleys. Tor. Island of Soridan. Port of Kor.
This voyage was performed by compulsion, having been forced to accompany the eunuch Solyman Pacha, who was sent by Solyman Shah emperor of the Turks on an expedition against the Portuguese in India. At the time when the war broke out in 1537 between the republic of Venice and the Turks, a fleet of trading gallies happened to be at Alexandria in Egypt, commanded by Antonio Barbarigo, and remained there without opportunity of trading or taking in goods till the 7th of September; on that day Almaro Barbaro the Venetian consul, the captain Antonio Barbarigo, and all the merchants and seamen, with everything belonging to them, were seized and lodged in the tower of Lances. After this, all of them that belonged to the sea, and the author of this voyage among the rest, were taken from the tower and sent by fifty at a time to Cairo; whence Solyman Pacha, having selected the gunners, rowers, carpenters, caulkers, and officers, sent them by companies to Suez to assist in fitting out the fleet in that port against [[=to await]] his own arrival.
Suez stands in a desert place, where grows no herb of any kind. At this place the ships are built which are designed for India. All the timber of which they are built, with the iron work, and every kind of tackle, are brought from Satalia and Constantinople to Alexandria; whence they are carried on the Nile in jerbs or barks to Cairo, and thence on the backs of camels to Suez, where Pharaoh was drowned. On the road from Cairo to Suez, which is eighty miles, there is not a single habitation, and no water or anything whatever for eating is to be found, so that the caravans before setting out must supply themselves with water from the Nile.
In former times, Suez was a great city well supplied with cisterns for holding water, and had a Kalij or canal cut all the way from the Nile, by which these cisterns were annually filled at the overflow of the river, which served them with water all the rest of the year. Being afterwards destroyed by the Mahometans, the canal was filled up, and all the water that is drunk at Suez is brought upon camels from certain ponds or wells six miles distant; which water, though very brackish, they are obliged to drink; every fifty men being allowed as much water as a camel can carry. All the timber, iron, rigging, ammunition, and provisions for the fleet were brought from Cairo. Suez stands on a bay of the Red Sea, and has a small fort with mud walls, thirty paces square, which is guarded by twenty Turks. The fleet destined for India consisted of seventy-six sail; of which six were Maons, seventeen galleys, twenty-seven foists, two galleons, four ships, and the rest small craft.
On the 9th of March 1538, about 2000 men landed from the galleys with their arms and marched off for the mountains, meaning to desert; but when about six miles from the shore they were met by a Sanjiak, accompanied by 27 horse, designed for the garrison of Suez. The deserters were immediately surrounded by the horse, who killed about 200 of them, and all the rest were stripped and carried on board the galleys, where they were chained to the oars. On the 15th of June Solyman Pacha arrived at Suez, where he pitched his tents and rested eight days. In the meantime the fleet was got in readiness, and the soldiers received their pay, being five gold ducats to each and ten maydins, or 215 maydins in all.
Part of the men belonging to the large Venetian galley, in which the author of this journal served, were distributed on board the fleet; seventy in one half galley, seventy in another, and eighteen in the galley of the Kiahya, who likewise had along with him the Venetian consul. The rest of these men were distributed in two galleons which carried the powder, saltpetre, brimstone, ball, meal, biscuit, and other necessaries for the fleet. The Pacha likewise sent his treasure on board the gallies, which was contained in forty-two chests, covered with ox hides and oil-cloth. On the 20th, he issued orders for every one to embark in two days. On the 22d the Pacha embarked, and dropt down four miles below Suez to the point of Pharaoh, where he anchored in four fathoms water on a good bottom. This place is seven miles from the pits of Moses. Seven men died here.
On the 27th of June the whole fleet left Suez with the wind at N.W., and before night cast anchor at a place called Korondol, 60 miles from Suez; at which place Moses divided the sea by stretching out his rod, and Pharaoh was drowned with all his host. At this place, which may be considered the commencement of the Red Sea, we had 12 fathoms water, and lay at anchor all night. Leaving Korondol on the 28th, we sailed 33 leagues to the S.E. and cast anchor two hours before night at a place called Tor, where there are many Fransciscan friars who supplied the fleet with water. This place is a day's journey and a half from Mount Sinai, where is the church and monastery of St. Catharine, in which the body of that saint is reposited.
We remained five days at Tor, in five fathoms water. We departed from Tor on the 3d of July, and came behind a dry sand bank about a mile from the shore and 40 miles from Tor, where we cast anchor in 12 fathoms water at a place named Kharas, where we remained two days to inspect the two ships which carried the stores. Leaving Kharas on the 5th, we came to an island named Soridan 40 miles from the coast, the whole day's course from sunrise to sunset being 100 miles. Continuing our voyage all night to the S.E., we found ourselves at sunrise of the 6th to windward of a mountain on the right hand shore, named Marzoan, 100 miles beyond Soridan. Proceeding forward on the 6th, and still sailing S.E., we advanced 100 miles by sunrise, and saw land on the right towards Kabisa.
We sailed 90 miles on the 7th S.E. by E. Proceeding on the 8th at the rate of 8 miles an hour, we sailed 100 miles by sunrise; and in the night, the wind being south-westerly, we advanced 20 miles to the S.E. On the 9th the winds were variable and rather calm. To the S.E. we found a shoal under water 50 miles from land. Our course during the day was only 10 miles to the N.W. and in the ensuing night 20 miles S. by W. On the 10th we sailed 70 miles S.E. and came to a port named Kor in eight fathoms water, in a very desert country.
[Footnote 215: This is surely some mistake, it being next to impossible that so few men should surround and overpower so great a number of armed soldiers.--Astl. I. 89. d.]
[Footnote 216: In Ramusio this is called the land of the Abissini. So that instead of Kabisa or Kabisia, we should read in the text Habash or Habashia, commonly called Abassia, Abissina, or Abyssinia.--Astl. I. 90. a.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 2 -- Arrival at Jiddah, the Port of Mecca. The islands of Alfas, Kamaran, and Tuiche. The Straits of Bab-al-Mandub.
Leaving Kor on the 11th of July, we sailed along shore till noon 30 miles, when we came to a city named Zidem, which is the emporium or landing place of all the spices from Calicut and other parts of India. This place is a stage and a half from Mecca; and though there are several shoals both above and under water, the port is good, and the town has abundance of provisions; but no water is to be met with, except from a few cisterns which are filled with rain water. This place abounds in merchandize, and the country round produces dates, ginger of Mecca, and other sorts.
In a mosque on the outside of the town is a tomb, which according to the Mahometans is the burial-place of Eve. The inhabitants go almost naked, and are meagre and swarthy. The sea produces abundance of fish. The natives tie three or four pieces of timber together about six feet long, on one of which slight rafts a man rows himself with a board, and ventures out to sea eight or nine miles to fish in all weathers. At this place the fleet remained four days and took in a supply of water.
At our departure on the 15th of July, five small vessels were missing by chance, which we learnt from a man who had escaped from a foist. This day we sailed 80 miles S.W. by S. The 16th our course was S.E. with very little wind, making only 30 miles till night; and before sunrise 50 miles farther. The 17th we sailed S.E. till night 100 miles; and from thence till sunrise 16 miles, S.E. by S. On the 18th we steered S.E. 140 miles during the day, which was dusky; and in the night 50 miles S.E. by E. The 19th sailing E. by S. with a brisk wind till nine in the morning, we came among certain islands called Atfas, almost entirely desert, and only inhabited by people who come from other islands to fish and seek for pearls, which they get by diving to the bottom of the sea in four fathoms water. They drink rain water, which is preserved in cisterns and ponds. We remained here all night, having run 100 miles.
On the 20th we came to an island 20 miles from the land named Khamaran, where we got provisions and good water. In this island there was a ruinous castle, altogether unoccupied, and about fifty houses built of boughs of trees, besides a few other huts scattered over the island. The inhabitants were barefooted and quite naked, of a small size, and having no head-dresses but their hair, and merely conceal their parts of shame by means of a clout. They are all mariners, having a few barks and small craft, the planks of which are sewed together by rope, and are entirely destitute of iron work, with sails curiously made of mats, constructed of the barks of the palm or date tree, and folding together like a fan. The cordage and cables are made of the same materials.
They trade to the mainland in these barks, and bring from thence abundance of dates, jujebs, and a sort of white buck-wheat. They make a good quantity of Mecca ginger, and procure plenty of frankinsence from Bista. They reduce their buck-wheat to meal on a piece of marble, about the size of the stone on which colours are ground by painters, on which another stone about half an ell long and like a rolling pin or roller is made to work so as to bruise the corn. Immediately after this it is made into a paste and baked into thin cakes. This is their bread, which must be made fresh every day, otherwise it becomes so dry and hard that there is no eating it. Both fish and flesh are to be had here in sufficient abundance. From the islands of Akhefas or Atfas to this island of Khamaran the distance is 40 miles.
The Pacha landed at this place, making all the galleys turn into the harbour along with him; and sent from thence two foists with messengers, one to the king or sheikh of Zibit or Zabid, and the other to the sheikh of Aden, ordering them to provide water and provisions for the fleet, to enable him to proceed in his expedition to India against the Portuguese. The messenger to Zabid was likewise ordered to tell the sheikh of that place, which is a day's journey inland, that he must come to the shore, bringing with him the tribute due to the grand signior, and to pay his obeisance to the Pacha. The fleet remained ten days at the island of Khamaran, where it was furnished with water.
Leaving Khamaran on the 30th of July with a scanty wind, we sailed S. by E. 50 miles, and came at one in the morning to the island of Tuiccé. Here the foist sent to the sheikh of Zabid brought a present to the Pacha, consisting of swords in the shape of scymeters made at Zimina, the handles and scabbards being of silver; also some poinards of similar workmanship, the handles of which were adorned with turquois stones, rubies, and pearls. But the sheikh sent word that he would pay the tribute when the Pacha returned from conquering the Portuguese, acknowledging at the same time that he was the slave of the sultan. This day we advanced fifty miles, and fifty more during the night, our course being S. by E. On the 1st of August, we proceeded ten miles with the wind at S.W. to a shoal named Alontrakin, near the mouth of the straits, having Habisia or Habash on the right hand. Here we had two fathoms water, and staid one night.
[Footnote 217: Otherwise Jiddah or Joddah, the port of Mecca. In his map of Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia, De L'Isle makes Zidem, which he also names Gidde, doubtless a corruption of Jiddah, a distinct place a little to the south from Jiddah. This must be a mistake; as Jiddah has for many ages been the port of Mecca, as Zidem is said to be in the text. This is farther confirmed by the mention of Eve's tomb in the text, which Pitts saw at Jiddah. Thevenot says her tomb is at Gidde, which De L'Isle supposed to have been a different place from Gidda, Joddah, or Jiddah, whence arose his mistake.--Astl. I.90. b.]
[Footnote 218: Perhaps we ought to read Balsam of Mecca.--E.]
[Footnote 219: In Ramusio only 40 miles.--Astl. I. 90. d.]
[Footnote 220: This is called the land of the Abissins in the edition of Ramusio.--Astl. I. 91. a.]
[Footnote 221: In Ramusio this shoal is called Babel, being the two first words or syllables of Bab-el-Mandub, corruptly called Babel Mandel. Bab-el-Mandub signifies the gate of weeping, being the name of the entry to the Red Sea of Arabian Gulf; so called because reckoned exceedingly dangerous by the ancient Arabs, insomuch that they used to put on mourning for their relations who passed them, as persons given over for lost.--Ast. I. 91. d.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 3 -- Arrival at Aden, where the Sheikh and four others are hanged. Sequel of the Voyage to Diu.
On the 2nd of August, leaving the shoal of Alontrakin, we sailed 10 miles E. by S. and got through the straits; whence proceeding till sunrise next morning we went 80 miles farther. On the 3rd sailing 80 miles E. by N. we arrived at the city of Adem, or Aden. This city is strongly fortified, standing close to the sea, and surrounded by lofty mountains, on the top of which are several little forts or castles. It is encompassed also on every side with ravelins, except an opening of 300 paces wide leading from the shore to the country; and has strong gates and towers and well-built walls. Besides all these, there is a fort built on a shoal before the city, having a tower on one side to defend the port, which is to the south, and has two fathoms water. To the north there is a large port with good anchorage, being safe in all winds. Though there is plenty of good water here, the soil is dry and produces nothing. The water is all from rain, and is preserved in cisterns and pits 100 fathoms deep; and is so hot when first drawn up that it cannot be used till it stands to cool. This city is provided with provisions, wood, and every other necessary from other places, and has abundance of Jews.
Immediately on the arrival of the fleet, the Pacha was waited upon by four principal persons of the city, who brought refreshments. He received them courteously, and talked with them a while in private; after which he gave each of them two vests of figured velvet, and sent them back with letters of safe conduct for the sheikh, signifying that he might come freely on board and fear nothing. The sheikh sent back word that he would not come in person, but would readily supply whatever was wanted. On the 5th of August, the Pacha ordered the janizaries to land with their arms, and all the galleys to man and arm their boats. He then sent his Kiahya to summon the sheikh to come before him, and do homage to the sultan. The sheikh answered, "I swear by your head that I am the humble slave of the sultan," and came immediately to the galleys attended by many of his principal officers.
The Kiahya presented him with a handkerchief round his neck to the Pacha, who embraced and entertained him with much courtesy. After a long conference, the Pacha caused two vests of figured velvet to be brought, which he put with his own hands on the sheikh, and made all the lords of his retinue be clothed in a similar manner. They conferred together afterwards for a long time, and the sheikh was dismissed with leave to return to the city. What happened afterwards it is not proper for me to relate; suffice it to say, that Solyman suddenly gave orders to a sanjack with 500 janizaries to take possession of the city, the inhabitants of which, like those of Kharabaia, are swarthy, lean, and of small stature. Aden is a place of considerable trade, particularly with India, at which there arrive every year three or four ships laden with various kind of spices, which are afterwards sent to Cairo. In these parts grow ginger of Mecca, but no other sort.
On the 8th of August, the fleet removed to the north port of Aden, where it remained eleven days, taking in a supply of water. On the 19th we departed, being 74 sail in all, reckoning galleys, foists, ships, and lesser vessels; the Pacha leaving three foists behind to guard the port. This day our course was 40 miles E. by N. On the 20th we went 50 miles east with a fair wind at west; and during the night we went another 20 miles E. by N. The 21st we ran 30 miles east in a calm, and by sunrise 30 more. The 22d it was quite calm till noon, when a gentle breeze arose which carried us 20 miles east before night, and 50 more during the night in the same direction. During the 23d, we steered 60 miles E. by N. and 40 miles in the night N.E. The 24th 40 miles N.E. and another 40 miles in the night in the same direction. The 25th 90 miles N.E. by E. and 100 miles in the night the same course. The 26th 90 miles N.E. and 80 in the night. The 27th 90 miles, and in the night 100, both N.E. The 28th 90 miles during the day, and 90 more during the night, still N.E. The 29th still keeping the same course, 90 miles in the day, and 90 more at night. On the 30th, we sailed 86 miles E. by N. during the day, and 90 miles N.E. by E. during the night. Still holding N.E. by E. on the 31st we sailed 70 miles by day and 80 by night. Proceeding in the same course on the 1st September we went 70 miles in the day and 50 in the night. Holding on the same course on the 2d we ran 30 miles; by noon we were in 35 fathoms water, and at night in 20 fathoms, being within 100 miles of Diu, but 400 miles from the nearest land on the north. While between 100 and 150 miles from the land, we saw several snakes in the sea, the water often having a green colour, which are sure signs of approaching the land on this coast.
On the 3d the fleet proceeded with calm weather along the shore, and at nine in the morning the Pacha was informed by a boat from the land that there were 600 Portuguese in the castle of Diu, and six armed galleys in the port. The Pacha made the bearers of this intelligence a present of six kaftans or vests, and dismissed them. A Jew was afterwards taken on shore by some of the Turkish sailors, and confirmed this account. This day our course along shore was 30 miles, and we made 30 more during the night. On the 4th of September at sunrise, we proceeded 30 miles, and cast anchor within three miles of Diu. Before anchoring, a Portuguese foist was seen coming out of the harbour, which was chased by a half-galley all day, but made her escape in the night.
[Footnote 222: Perhaps redoubts or detached towers are here meant; or the word here translated ravelins may signify shoals, reefs, or sand-banks, encompassing the harbour.--E.]
[Footnote 223: This circumstance is not in the least improbable; yet it is possible that the author of this journal may have mistaken Banians for Jews, as we know that all the trade in the ports of Arabia and the Red Sea is now conducted by Banian factors--E.]
[Footnote 224: In the edition of Ramusio, the author is made to relate the story openly, in the following manner: "That same instant after dismissing the sheikh, the Pacha, caused him to be hanged by the neck at the yard-arm, together with four of his principal officers or favourites."--Ast. I. 92. a.]
[Footnote 225: By Ramusio this word is given Arabia.--Ast. I. 92. b.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 4 -- The Castle of Diu is besieged by the Moors. The Turks plunder the City, and the Indian Generals withdraw in resentment. The Pacha lands. A man 300 years old. Women burn themselves. The Fleet removes.
The same day on which we anchored near Diu, one Khojah Zaffer came on board in a galley. This man was a native of Otranto in Italy, but had turned Turk and was captain of a galley in the former fleet sent to India by the sultan. When that fleet was defeated and destroyed, Zaffer entered into the service of the king of Diu or Kambachia, who gave him lands and made him chief governor of his kingdom. Zaffer had also insinuated himself into the confidence of the Portuguese; but when he learnt that the Turkish fleet was coming, he and the vizier or viceroy of the kingdom came with 8000 Indians, took the city of Diu from the Portuguese, and besieged them in the castle; which was now closely begirt by their troops, not a day passing without a skirmish. Zaffer was accompanied on this visit to the Pacha by the prime vizier of Cambaya, and both were received with much honour.
They informed the Pacha that there were 500 soldiers and 300 others in the castle, which they had besieged for 26 days, and had no doubt of being able to reduce it with their Indian troops, if the Pacha would furnish them with artillery and ammunition. The Pacha presented each of them with two vests; but while they remained on board, the Turkish troops landed with their arms and plundered the city of Diu, doing infinite injury to the Indian inhabitants, and not even sparing the palace of the viceroy, whence they took three fine horses, together with, some treasure and furniture, carrying away every thing they could lay hands upon. They likewise advanced towards the castle, and skirmished with the Portuguese garrison.
When the viceroy returned and was made acquainted with the outrages committed by the Turks, he gave immediate orders to his officers to have everything in readiness, and retired from Diu with 6000 men, going immediately to the king who was about two days journey up the country. That same night a foist came from the city to our fleet with a supply of fresh bread, nuts, flesh, boiled rice, and other things, sent in the name of the king of Cambaya, all of which were taken into the Pacha's galley. On the 5th of September, the Pacha sent the Moorish captain and his Kiahya to join these on shore; and all the galleys sent their boats filled with janizaries to assist the native troops who were encamped round the castle, these being now reduced to not more than 2000 men, as all the rest had departed along with the viceroy and Khojah Zaffer. On the 7th, the fleet removed to a very good port, thirty miles from Diu, called Muda Burack, where we got abundance of water.
On the 8th the Pacha went on shore at Diu, where the besiegers had began to batter the castle, having placed some cannons for that purpose on four maons. He sent also three pieces of artillery on shore, which were planted on a tower standing by the waterside about a cannon-shot from the great fortress, being the place where the Indian officers used to receive the customs. It had thick walls and was defended by four brass guns and a hundred men, but had no ditch. On the 9th, a ship and galley which were laden with biscuit, powder, and other stores for the siege, struck on a sand bank while entering the harbour. The goods and the galley were saved, but the ship was totally lost.
A half-galley belonging to our fleet arrived at Diu on the 19th in bad condition. She had fallen behind the fleet, and had been driven to a port belonging to a people of the Pagans called Samori[,228] where she sent a boat on shore with some janizaries, who were all cut to pieces. After which the natives in our barge and some of their own barks, attacked the galley and slew other sixty men of her crew, so that she had much ado to escape. The Pacha sent for the pilot of this galley, and caused him to be hanged for his bad management.
On the 25th an Indian who had turned Christian and belonged to the garrison in the castle, was made prisoner in a sally; and being brought before the Pacha, but refusing to answer any questions, was condemned to be cut in two. On the same day an old man presented himself before the Pacha, who said that he was upwards of 300 years old, which was confirmed by the people of the country, who asserted that there were several very old men in that neighbourhood. The natives of this country are very lean and live sparingly. They eat no beef, but use their oxen for riding upon. Their oxen are small and handsome, very tractable, and have an easy pace. Instead of a bridle, they use a cord passed through a hole in the nostrils of the ox. Their horns are long and straight, and they are used as beasts of burden, like mules in Italy. These animals are held in much veneration, especially the cows, and they even make great rejoicings on the birth of a calf, on which account these people are reckoned idolaters.
When any of the men of this country happens to die, the widow makes a great feast for the relations; after which they go in procession with music and dancing to a place where a great fire is prepared, into which the corpse is thrown, carrying along with them many large pots full of scalding hot grease. The widow then dances round the fire, singing the praises of her husband, after which she distributes her entire dress and ornaments among her relations, till she has nothing left but a small apron. Immediately after this, having thrown a pot of the scalding grease into the fire, she leaps into the midst of the flames, and the assistants throw in all the other pots of grease to increase the flames, so that she is dead in an instant. All women who would be esteemed virtuous observe this custom; and such as do not are accounted wicked, nor will any one marry them. The country of Guzerat is rich and fertile, producing excellent ginger of all sorts, and cocoa-nuts. Of these last the natives make oil, vinegar, flour, cordage, and mats. The cocoa-nut tree resembles the date palm in every thing except the fruit and leaves, those of the palm being broader.
On the 28th the fleet removed from the port of Mudaferaba, which has from 2 to 4 fathoms water; and having sailed six hours on the 29th, cast anchor about 15 miles from Diu. Having remained at anchor all night, the fleet made sail on the 30th with a north wind from shore, and came behind the castle of Diu, where all the gallies discharged their artillery in succession, after which they cast anchor about three miles from the castle.
[Footnote 226: This place is afterwards called Mudafar-aba, and perhaps ought to be written Madaffer-abad.--Ast. I. 93. e.]
[Footnote 227: Perhaps we ought here to read, against the tower by the waterside.--E.]
[Footnote 228: Probably meaning the dominions of the Zamorin of Calicut--E.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 5 -- A Bulwark Surrenders to the Turks, who make Galley-slaves of the Portuguese Garrison; with several other incidents of the siege.
On the 1st of October, a messenger came from the lesser castle offering to capitulate, being no longer able to hold out. The Turks had planted three pieces of cannon against that fort which carried balls of iron of 150 pounds weight, and pierced the tower through and through, so that the stones flew about and had slain twenty men out of an hundred in the garrison. Yet these men had slain many of the Turks with their musquets and four pieces of cannon, the fire having continued incessantly for eighteen or twenty days. On delivering his message, the person sent from the fort received a rich vest, and had a safe conduct written in the most ample form for himself and all the garrison. When the messenger returned to the tower, he persuaded the captain and two other persons to wait upon the Pacha, who gave the captain a vest and confirmed the safe conduct, only under the express condition that they should not go into the castle. The captain, whose name was Juan Francisco Paduano, returning to the tower which was called Gogole, brought off his men to the number of eighty, all of whom the Pacha ordered to be disarmed and confined in a house under a strong guard.
On the 3d of October, the Pacha ordered the four slave gunners of the large galleys on shore, and gave them in charge to batter the principal castle. He likewise ordered all the Portuguese who had surrendered to be distributed among the galleys and chained to the oar, captain and all. The same day, three Portuguese galleys entered the harbour of Diu without opposition, for the Pacha did not send a single vessel to hinder them. The 8th, a ship arrived with provisions and was wrecked in the road. On board were fifteen men belonging to the large galleys, together with the admiral, and sixty sailors with many galley-slaves. The 13th, the fleet removed from the west to the east side of Diu, where they anchored two miles from the castle; but during this change of position, the cannon of the fortress sank one galley and broke the main-yard of another.
On the 15th, the Pacha removed from the maon where he resided hitherto into his half-galley, but ordered a white sail to be taken from another galley, his own being distinguished by colours. The reason of this was that he expected the Portuguese fleet, and did not wish they should know what ship he was in. Being also afraid of the shot, he caused a great ring of cables and such things to be formed on the poop, sufficient to repel cannon-shot, for he was fearful and cowardly. He likewise ordered all the Christians to be put in irons. On the 17th, being the eve of St. Luke, he caused the head of one of the people belonging to the Venetian galleys to be cut off, merely for saying, the signory of Venice is not dead.
On the 22d the Pacha gave out in orders to the gunners on shore, about 400 in number, some of whom were slain daily, that whoever shot down the great standard of the castle should have a reward of 1000 maydins and receive his freedom. This was chiefly occasioned by a desire of revenge, as his own standard had been given to the Portuguese by a Sanjak. Upon this, one of these Christian gunners at the third shot broke down the standard, which stood on the top of a great tower, on which the Turks made great rejoicings and published the news with much exultation throughout the fleet. The gunner was rewarded with a silken vest.
The artillery belonging to the Turks was planted against the castle all in one line, but in six separate batteries. In the first was an iron culverine carrying a ball of 150 pounds, and a paderero of 200 pounds. At a small distance was an iron passe-volant of 16 pounds, which discharged cartridge shot. In another place was a paderero of 300 pounds, and a culverine of 150; and in this second post was a passe-volant like the former, both belonging to the great galleys. In another place was an iron saker of 12 pounds, a small cannon of 16 pounds, a falcon of 6 pounds, and a mortar throwing a ball of 400 pounds. In another post was a culverine of 100 pounds.
By this prodigious train of artillery the Turks had battered down one tower, so that they could easily mount the breach; the tower not being very high, and the ditch not having been dug to a sufficient depth: But as fast as the Turks ruined the defences of this tower, the besieged repaired the breach as well as they could with earth and rubbish. It must also be observed that this fortress had no flanks; and being built upon a rock, they had made no casemates, only erecting embrasures on the top of the wall, which were all ruined and shaken. The main safety of the besieged consisted in their bravery. Every day fifteen or twenty of them used to sally forth like so many furious lions, killing all they met, which struck such terror into the Turkish soldiers that they fled in confusion as soon as they saw the Portuguese.
On the 25th of October, the Turks caused a great number of cotton sacks to be got ready, covered with skins and bound with ropes, all of which were thrown into the ditch, which they completely filled, reaching as high as the wall. This being noticed by the besieged early in the morning, before the Turks put themselves in order for the assault, sixty of the Portuguese made a sally from the castle, forty of whom fought the enemy with great gallantry, while the other twenty remained in the ditch, each of whom carried a small leather bag full of powder and a lighted match. These men cut open the cotton bales, into each of which they put a handful of powder, which they fired, so that in a short time several of the bags were set on fire; and the whole continued burning for two days. Those who sallied out upon the enemy maintained the fight for more than three hours, during which time they killed 190 Turks and wounded as many more, losing only two of their own number.
[Footnote 229: It ought to be Pacheco.--E.]
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