Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 6 -- Further particulars of the siege, to the retreat of the Turks, and the commencement of their Voyage back to Suez.
On the 27th of October five Portuguese foists arrived at Diu, which took a Turkish vessel of the same kind, and landed succours for the besieged, but were unable to get into the harbour, as some of the cannon formerly mentioned commanded its entrance, by ranging past the end of the castle. The 29th, the Pacha ordered out forty boats filled with Turks, having some small cannon in each, in order to assault a small fort or bulwark on the water side in the harbour at some distance from the castle, the whole defences of which had been mined by the Turkish artillery, and in which there were only five or six men, who were relieved daily from the castle by water, the distance being less than a falcon shot.
On the approach of the Turkish boats, the men in this small fort or bulwark lay down that they might not be seen. On coming to the place, the Turks ran the bows of their boats on shore, where everything lay in ruins to the very edge of the water, and instantly leapt on shore. The small but gallant party of defenders immediately met them with two fire-horns, and the cannon from the castle played against the assailants so furiously, that the Turks soon fled. Several of their boats were sunk, many of the men were drowned, and the garrison of the castle took a considerable number of prisoners, coming out in one of their barks and killing or taking them while in confusion on the water. All those who were taken were hanged next day on the battlements of the castle.
The whole Turkish forces were drawn out in order of battle on the 30th, and advanced to that side of the castle next the harbour to make a general assault, for which purpose they carried a great number of scaling-ladders. Another party of the Turks mounted the breach on the land side of the castle, which they could do at pleasure, as the place was entirely opened by the fire of the batteries. But after [[their]] remaining there three hours without sufficient courage to enter the place, the besieged leapt upon the breach and pushed the Turks into the ditch, killing four hundred of them. On the 31st the Moorish captain went with eleven galleys to attack the little castle, but was forced to desist by the cannon from the great castle, which sunk some of his vessels.
On the 2nd of November, the Sanjak with the janizaries and all the rest of the Turks embarked, leaving all their artillery behind, which they had not time to carry off. This was occasioned by receiving news that the Portuguese fleet was advancing in order of battle. The 5th, twenty sail of Portuguese vessels appeared in sight, and came to anchor twenty miles distance from the Turkish fleet. In the morning only three of these ships were seen at a distance, at which time the Turks put off from the land: But at sunrise many ships were seen, which shot off a great number of guns, though nothing could be perceived but the flash of the powder. Upon this the Pacha gave orders for each of his galleys to fire three guns; after which the trumpets were sounded, all the ships hoisting their foresails and plying their oars. This was done at one o'clock at night, and at four the whole fleet departed with hardly any wind, and by day-break had run 30 miles, shaping their course S.S.W.
The 7th, we sailed forty miles in the same direction, the weather being still calm. The 8th, we proceeded 30 miles W. during the day, and 20 in the night. The 9th, we went 20 miles W., and this day the Christians had their irons taken off. The 10th, we made no way, the weather being a dead calm. The 11th, the wind blew from the W.S.W. We stood to N.W. advancing 30 miles in the day and night. The 12th, the wind being N.W. by N., we entered the gulf of Ormuz and then sailed W.S.W,. advancing all that day and night only 30 miles. The 13th, we proceeded W. 70 miles by day and 90 during the night. The 14th, 100 miles during the day and as much in the night. The 15th, 80 by day and 80 by night. The 16th, 80 by day and 70 in the night. The 17th, 90 in the day and 80 in the night. The 18th, 100 in the day and 70 in the night. The 19th, 70 by day and 80 by night; all this time the course being due west. The 20th, we sailed W. by S. 90 miles, and saw land to windward, and proceeded 100 miles in the night. The 21st, we sailed W. by S. 80 miles by day and 50 in the night. The 22nd, continuing the same course, we went only 10 miles during the day, and 20 in the night. The 23rd it fell a calm, and we proceeded along the coast of Arabia, 30 miles in the day and 20 in the night. On the 24th, the calm continued and we had adverse currents, yet proceeded along the coast of Arabia 30 miles, and came to the islands of Curia Muria, which are very desert and thinly inhabited. We stayed here one day and took in a supply of water. The fleet departed from these islands on the 26th, sailing along the coast of Arabia towards the Red Sea, 30 miles in the day and 30 at night.
[Footnote 230: This person has been several times mentioned under this title, as a principal officer under Solyman Pacha, but we have no indications by which to conjecture who he was.--E.]
[Footnote 231: That part of the gulf may be here understood which is on the outside of the Straits of Ormuz, or the bay between Cape Ras-al-gat, or the coast of Muscat, and the Persian shore: Yet, from the after part of the voyage this could hardly be the case, and we ought perhaps to read in this part of the text the Arabian Sea, or that part of the Indian ocean which stretches across the mouths of the Indus, from the western coast of Guzerat towards the coast of Arabia.--E.]
[Footnote 232: In the text of the Aldus this place is called by mistake the town of Khamaran, which is a very different place within the Red Sea, but in Ramusio it is rightly named Curia Muria. These islands are in lat. 17° 30' on the oceanic coast of Yemen or Yaman, and are likewise named the islands of Chartan and Martan.--E.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 7 -- Continuation of the Voyage back to Suez, from the Portuguese factory at Aser, to Khamaran and Kubit Sharif.
At the second hour of the night on the 27th of November, the fleet cast anchor in six fathoms water off a town on the coast of Arabia named Aser, a barren desert place, where both men and cattle are forced to live on fish. At this place was found forty Portuguese with a consul or factor, who resided here for trade, besides other merchants who came frequently with spice and other things. But their chief trade was in horses, which are here excellent; being to be had at about 100 ducats each, and sell in India for 1000 ducats. As soon as the sheikh of this place understood that Solyman Pacha was coming there with his fleet, he caused all the Portuguese at the factory to be seized, and presented them to the Pacha, who made them all be chained to the oars. We here found a ship which had staid there by the way, being unable to proceed to India.
We remained here three days, and the Pacha seized all the biscuit which could be procured for the use of the fleet. It may be proper to notice, that in every place at which the fleet touched in this return voyage, the Turks gave out that they had conquered the whole country of India, and had cut all the Christians to pieces. The 1st December, the fleet departed, holding a courses W.S.W. along the coast of Arabia, and sailing 40 miles cast anchor before night at a place called Mikaiya, and took in water. The 2nd, continuing along the coast of Arabia, we proceeded W.S.W. 30 miles in the day, and 10 in the night. The 3d, 40 miles by day and 50 in the night. The 4th, 70 in the day and 30 in the night. The 5th, we went 60 miles farther, and by nine o'clock in the night cast anchor off the town of Adem or Aden.
On the 6th, the Pacha sent in the morning for a renegado Turk, formerly a Christian and a person of some note, and without assigning any cause ordered his head to be cut off. The reason was they all murmured, and the Pacha feared this man might accuse him of negligence or cowardice, and was therefore determined to be beforehand with him. This man had formerly been in the service of the sheikh of Aden, and was afterwards a captain at Diu, when the former king Badur was slain by the Portuguese. The widow of Badur being possessed of a great treasure and desirous of retiring to Mecca, was persuaded by this man to embark with him in a galleon, with which he treacherously sailed to Egypt, whence he carried the treasure to Constantinople and presented it to the sultan; who, because of his conversance in the affairs of India, made him commander of a galley, and ordered him to return to India with the fleet under Solyman Pacha: And as the expedition succeeded so ill, it now cost him his life.
Being desirous to secure Aden, the Pacha caused 100 pieces of cannon of different sizes to be landed from the fleet, among which were two passe-volants that had been taken out of the Venetian gallies at Alexandria. He likewise landed an ample supply of powder and ball, and left a Sanjak with 500 Turks and five foists. Thinking himself now out of danger from the pursuit of the Portuguese fleet, the Pacha removed from the half-galley and returned to the maon. On the 19th, everything being arranged at Aden, the fleet took in water, which occupied them during three days; and on the 23rd we sailed from Aden with a good wind, steering W. by S., and between the evening and morning proceeded 100 miles. The 24th at the 5th hour of the day, the fleet entered the straits of the Red Sea, and lay all night at anchor. On the 25th, being Christmas, we departed three hours before day, and sailing to the N.W. with a scant wind, we ran 50 miles and came to a castle called Mokha. The same day, an old Turk who was governor of the castle came to wait upon Solyman, who received him with great honour and gave him a caftan. In return the governor sent every kind of refreshment that the place could supply to the Pacha; and came a few days afterwards on board with all his riches, which were very great, besides many slaves of both sexes.
From Mokha the Pacha sent a messenger to the sheikh or king of Zabid, who was a Turk named Nokoda Hamet, commanding him to come immediately to the sea-side and pay his obeisance to the sultan. The sheikh sent back for answer, that he was ready to pay the tribute due to the sultan, and would willingly accept a Sanjak or banner if sent to him; but that he did not know the Pacha and would not come to the sea-side. The Pacha was much displeased at this, yet sent his Kiahya and some janizaries to Zabid, which is three days journey inland, to carry a standard to the sheikh. In return the sheikh made him a rich present, in which was a splendid scimitar and dagger, with some beautiful pearls of six carats forming a string above a foot in length, besides one fine pearl of eighteen carats: for a great deal of fine oriental pearls are found in this coast of Arabia. He likewise gave each of the Turks two rich vests or caftans, and a young black slave. The Kiahya made him many compliments, and entreated him to wait upon the Pacha; but the sheikh would on no account consent. Finding that he could not prevail upon him, the Kiahya said, "Since you will not go to the Pacha, he will come to you:" And so took his leave and returned to Mokha.
We remained twenty-nine days at Mokha, which we left at sunrise on the 23d of January 1539 with a brisk gale, and sailed W. by N. till noon; when the wind altered and we proceeded N.W,. going in all 100 miles that day. The 24th we continued to the N.W. under easy sail with a fair wind 30 miles during the day; and by the sixth hour of the night, we cast anchor at the island of Khamaran, 20 miles farther. The Pacha landed on the 29th, and gave pay to all the janizaries who were willing to fight, but nothing was given to the slaves and mariners. The 2d of February, the weather being calm, we left Khamaran by the help of our oars, and came about six o'clock to a place on the coast called Kubit Sarif, 20 miles from Khamaran.
[Footnote 233: About the distance rather vaguely indicated in the text, is a place called Dhofa_ on the coast of Yemen, and perhaps the text ought to have been D'Afer.--E.]
[Footnote 234: These fouts, so often mentioned in this chapter, were probably grabs or jerbs, a large species of barks employed in their navigations by the Arabs of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.--E.]
[Footnote 235: In the edition of Aldus, this place is here named Khebiccairf; but afterwards Kubit Sarif as in the text. In Ramusio it is named Kobbat Sharif, signifying the noble dome, which is probably the right name.--Astl. I. 98. a.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 8 -- Transactions of the Pacha at Zabid, and continuation of the Voyage from Kubit Sarif.
On the 3rd of February, the day after our arrival at Kubit Sarif, a Turk in the service of the sheikh of Zabid revolted with fifty horse and came to the Pacha, who received him kindly and gave him presents. This man encamped with his followers on the shore, and we noticed that in this country they had their horses in armour, to defend them against darts and arrows which are their chief weapons. The Pacha landed on the fourth, ordering his men to be got ready with provisions and ammunition, in order to march for Zabid, and directed some light pieces of artillery to be put on carriages to accompany him. The Pacha set out on his march on the 19th, three hours before day, on horseback, and was joined on the road by another Turk with fifty horse, who had deserted from the sheikh. Him the Pacha made free, and continued his march.
He encamped on the 20th on the outside of the city of Zabid, and sent a message to order the sheikh to wait upon him. Seeing himself betrayed by many of his own people, and distrusting the fidelity of the rest, the sheikh came forth with a cord about his neck, as the slave of the grand signior, and presented himself before the Pacha, who immediately commanded his head to be cut off. On this the people of the city, to the number of three hundred men, fled to the mountains, among whom were three chiefs with all their riches, which were very considerable, yet knew not where to go.
The Pacha sent to tell those who had escaped, that they ought to return and join him, promising to enroll them among his troops and to give them good pay. Accordingly there came back 200 black Abissins, who had been soldiers in the service of the sheikh. These were valiant desperate fellows almost naked, who did not value their lives, and were almost as swift as horses. For arms, some carried clubs of the cornel tree headed with iron, others had pointed stakes which they used like darts, others again had short swords, a span shorter than those used by the Christians, and everyone had a dagger at his girdle, bent like those used,by the Moors and Arabs. The Pacha asked every one his name, which he caused to be written down, and with higher pay than they had received before. He then dismissed them, with orders to return next morning without arms to receive their pay, when they were all to be admitted to kiss his hand, on which occasion they would have no use for their arms. The Abissins accordingly presented themselves at the time appointed, and being ordered to lay down their arms, they went to wait upon the Pacha who was sitting near his tent on the plain, surrounded by his Turks under arms. They were no sooner within the circle, than a previously concerted signal was given, and they were all instantly cut to pieces.
After this bloody scene, the Pacha placed a Sanjak with 1000 soldiers in Zabid, to retain it under subjection. The city is well built, and the country round is pleasant and fertile, abounding in running water, delightful gardens, and abundance of productions that are not to be found in any other part of Arabia; particularly Zibibs like those of Damascus, which have no stones, and other excellent fruits, such as dates. Flesh is to be had in plenty, and corn is not scarce.
On the 8th of March 1539, the Pacha returned to the coast, whence he ordered ammunition to be sent to Zabid to secure his acquisition, and appointed foot foists to remain as a guard for that part of the coast. The 10th, the Pacha ordered the Portuguese prisoners, to the number of 146 in all, reckoning some Indian converts, to be brought bound on shore; and having distributed them among his troops, all their heads were cut off by his command. The head of the chief was flayed, and the skin was salted and filled with straw. The noses and ears of all the rest were cut off, and put into bags, to be sent to the sultan. On the 13th the Kiahya departed in company with another galley for Zadem, whence he was to go to Constantinople by way of Mecca, with an account of the expedition to India, carrying with him the heads, noses, and ears, besides magnificent presents for the sultan, to make it appear that the Pacha had performed great exploits and mighty services.
On the 15th of March we departed from Kubit Sarif, and cast anchor at sunset at a place called Kor, five miles from the land and 100 miles from Kubit Sarif. We departed from the island of Kor on the 16th an hour before day with a fair wind and pleasant breeze, and sailing along the coast of Arabia came to anchor at sunset in 8 fathoms water at Zerzer, 70 miles from Kor, a place subject to Mecca. At this place the three persons who had fled from Zabid with their riches were brought to the Pacha, who caused their heads to be cut off, and seized their treasure, which filled six large sacks, each of which was a sufficient load for any single man.
The 17th we sailed along the coast with a pleasant gale, which became contrary an hour before sunset, when we cast anchor in 8 fathoms water, at a place called Adiudi, 50 miles from Zerzer. We departed from thence on the 18th two hours before day, and coasted along the land till noon, when we anchored in a good port named Mugora, in 4 fathoms water, 50 miles from Adiudi, where we got wood and water. An hour before day on the 19th, we departed by means of our oars, the wind being contrary; but at sunrise the wind became fair, and we sailed 50 miles along shore to a place called Darboni, where we came to anchor in 7 fathoms water. [[The wind]] being calm, we coasted along by rowing till noon, when a breeze sprang up; and then using our sails, we came to anchor in 10 fathoms water by sunset at a place called Yasuf, belonging to Mecca. On the 21st we proceeded 60 miles, and anchored in 40 fathoms, at a place called Khofadan, in the dominions, of Mecca. The 22nd, the navigation being much encumbered with sand banks, so thick together and intricate that it was hardly possible to sail in the day, the Pacha ordered six galleys to lead the way, and we came to a shelf or shoal called Turakh. The 23rd we coasted along, still among shoals, the channel being so narrow that only one galley could pass at a time; and cast anchor at a place named Salta in 4 fathoms, having ran fifty miles. Sailing 30 miles farther along the coast on the 24th, we anchored at noon in the port of Mazabraiti in 6 fathoms, near a place called Ariadan inhabited by peasants who are subject to Mecca. On the 25th we weighed anchor early, and endeavoured to proceed along the coast; but the wind getting up at sunrise and proving contrary, we had to stand out to sea till noon, when we again made for the land, off which we cast anchor early in the evening.
[Footnote 236: This name is differently written Zibit, Zebit, and Zebeyd. It is a town of the Tehamah on the western coast of Arabia, in lat. 15° 2O', about 30 miles from the Red Sea, inland from the large bay formed by the isle of Khamaran.--E.]
[Footnote 237: Probably negroes, imported from the coast of Abyssinia, Massua and Arkike, the gates or entry into that country being on the opposite coast of the Red Sea.--E.]
[Footnote 238: Pacheco most probably, formerly mentioned, who surrendered in a cowardly manner at Diu.--E.]
[Footnote 239: Formerly called Zidem, but it ought to be Jiddah, Joddah, or Juddah, as differently pronounced: Yet Barthema, Corsali, Barbosa, and other travellers of those times call it Zidem or Ziden; doubtless by corruption. Thus likewise Yamboa, Yembo, or Al Yambo, the sea port of Medinah, is named Elioban by Barbosa, transposing the letters instead of El Jambo.--Astl. I. 99. a.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 9 -- Continuation of the Voyage to Suez, along the Arabian Shore of the Red Sea.
We remained at anchor during the whole of the 26th, and proceeded two hours before day of the 27th, in very pleasant weather; and at eight o'clock, having sailed 30 miles, we anchored in 4 fathoms at a place called Yusuma. The 28th, we coasted along the land till noon with a fair wind, and then entered among certain banks two miles from the shore, where we could not let go our anchors for fear of losing them, being off a place named Mukare, 30 miles from Yusuma. The 29th, still coasting along, we came among other shoals called Balir, thirty-five miles farther on. The 30th, continuing along shore till evening, we anchored in 12 fathoms at a place called Mukhi, having proceeded 35 miles. Departing on the 31st with a calm two hours before day, the wind springing up at sunrise, and in the evening we came to Ziden or Jiddah the sea-port of Mecca. The Pacha landed on the 1st of April, and pitched his tents on the outside of the town, where he rested four days. On the 7th he rode away for Mecca on pilgrimage, leaving orders for the fleet to proceed to Suez.
On the 8th the fleet was driven two miles out to sea by a contrary wind, and was obliged to come to anchor among the shoals. Remaining here till the 11th, we made sail with a fair wind, and at the twentieth hour came into the port of Contror Abehin, where one of our galleys was sunk in attempting to double a point of land. At this place a carpenter belonging to the Venetian gallies of Alexandria, named Mark, turned Mahometan and remained behind. Having stayed here two days, we proceeded again with a fair wind along shore, and cast anchor in 12 fathoms at a place called Amomuskhi, 70 miles farther. Setting sail on the 15th two hours before day, the Moorish captain's galley got aground on a bank, but was towed off by the boats belonging to the other ships, without having received any damage. We then coasted along the land 30 miles, to a place called Raban or Robon, where we cast anchor in 13 fathoms. From the 16th to the 20th both inclusive, we left this place every day, and were always forced to return by contrary winds. The 21st we departed with an off shore wind; but at the sixth hour of the day were again driven towards the coast by a contrary wind, and obliged to put in among certain banks where we remained all night.
The 22nd, we coasted along by favour of a land breeze; but the wind coming contrary were obliged to anchor at a place called Farsi, having only advanced 16 miles. The 23rd, we continued along the coast till noon, when the wind changed full in our teeth, and we had to come to anchor at a place named Sathan, having sailed 25 miles that day. The 24th, we proceeded along the coast till noon, when the wind became again contrary, and we were driven to the coast, and came to Lorma, 30 miles beyond Sathan. We rowed along shore against the wind on the 25th, and came at evening to Yamboa. This place affords provisions, particularly fish and dates. Their water is kept in cisterns, and has to be brought on camels from a place a day's journey distant, as there are no wells or springs. A day's journey inland from this place is a large town named Medinah, or Medinat al Nubi, where is the sepulchre of Mahomet, though commonly said to be at Mecca. We remained at Yamboa six days, and set sail at four o'clock on the 1st of May; but after proceeding only 10 miles the wind became contrary, and we had to anchor among some shoals, where we stayed two days. During the 3rd and 4th, we had to stand off and on, beating up against a contrary wind; and so continued for six days, advancing only eight miles in all that time. The 10th and 11th, the wind being still contrary, we made only 10 miles, and anchored in a different place. Proceeding along the coast on the 13th, we came up with a galleon which left Zabid before the rest of the fleet. The pilot's name was Mikali, and some of those on board belonged to the Venetian galleys of Alexandria.
The 14th, we sailed 10 miles along the coast, and cast anchor in 7 fathoms at a place named Sikhabo. The 15th, we sailed 70 miles N.W. and came to anchor in the open sea. The 16th, we sailed along the coast 30 miles, and anchored at a place named Buducktor or Bubuktor. The 17th, sailing 30 miles along the coast, we anchored in 20 fathoms in the open sea, near an island called Yenamani. Going 20 miles along shore on the 18th, we anchored for the night off Khifate. We proceeded 50 miles along shore on the 19th, and anchored at Molin. The 20th, we anchored at sea 25 miles farther. Proceeding 48 miles on the 21st along shore, we anchored in the evening out at sea. The 22nd, after sailing 10 miles, we anchored again at sea. Being in a very bad anchorage, we proceeded again on the 24th with a tolerably good wind. The half-galley left an anchor and three cables at this last anchorage, and one galley ran aground but was got off. After advancing only 10 miles, we came to anchor in 8 fathoms with good ground, and remained two days. Proceeding 85 miles along the coast on the 26th, we came to anchor in a road-stead.
[Footnote 240: It does not appear that the Pacha ever rejoined his fleet. It has been already mentioned from De Faria, that on his return to Turkey he was reduced to the necessity of killing himself. "Cruel and tyrannical men like him," says De Faria, "should always be their own executioners."--E.]
[Footnote 241: Called Jombu in the edition of Aldus, and Jambut by Rarmusio. This is Yembo, Yambo, or Yamboa, the Italians using the J instead of the Y. Yamboa is the port of Medina, Medinah, or Medinat al Nubi, signifying the city, or the city of the prophet.--Astl. I. 100. c.]
[Footnote 242: Medina is at least 90 miles inland from Yamboa, which cannot be less than three ordinary days' journeys.--E.]
[Footnote 243: This error has been long since corrected, yet many travellers still persist in placing the tomb of Mahomet at Mecca.--Astl. I. 100. d.
--Christian travellers are debarred from visiting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. At Mecca the grand object of pilgrimage is the Caaba or holy house, containing a black stone, the remains of the ancient Pagan superstition of the Arabians. Perhaps the same with the Lingam or Priapus of the Hindoos.--E.]
[Footnote 244: In Ramusio this distance is made 60 miles.--Astl. I. 100. e.]
[Footnote 245: Only 40 miles, in the copy published by Ramusio.--Astl. I. 100. f.]
Volume 6, Chapter 2, Section 10 -- Conclusion of the Voyage to Suez, and return of the Venetians to Cairo.
On the 27th of May we proceeded on our voyage, sailing W.N.W. At noon we were abreast of Tor or Al Tor, and continued our course for two hours after night-fall, when the wind came foul, on which we lay too till day-light, when the Moorish captain set sail again, and the other galleys weighed anchor and hoisted their foresails. After running 100 miles we came to shoal water where we cast anchor in 6 fathoms, and remained five days waiting for a fair wind. Leaving the bank on the 3d of June, and holding on our course, we cast anchor sometimes on the western coast and sometimes on the eastern, having contrary winds, and on the 15th we arrived at Korondol, where Pharaoh and his host were drowned, and where are the baths of Moses, as they are called. We took in water at this place, where we stayed two days. The 16th, the fleet sailed from Korondol, and continuing its course for two days together, we arrived at Suez on the 17th of May 1589, whence we had set out on the 27th of June in the former year.
On the day of our arrival, we began to draw the barks on shore. The 2nd of June we began to haul up the large galley, and next the half-galley of the Pacha, all the rest being unrigged and drawn up successively. On this occasion the whole labour rested on the Christians, who acted as porters and worked all the tackle for unloading, cleaning and unrigging all the vessels: In short the entire fatigue lay upon their shoulders. On the 16th, the Lemin came and paid off all the seamen, Christians as well as Turks, giving 180 maidans to each. The 19th of August, the Emin, accompanied by seven boats, went to Tor to pay off the galleys which remained behind, taking with him all the best and strongest of the Christian mariners to navigate these galleys to Suez, as they were in a manner disarmed, many of their crews having died and others run off. At Tor all were paid off, and the Christians were distributed among the galleys, which they brought up to Suez on the 20th of October, and were all drawn up by the Christians, who worked hard both day and night. On the 26th, all the galleys being hauled up, the cables, rigging, tackle, iron work, planks, small cannon, and all the other stores were carried into the castle of Suez.
The Red Sea from Suez to its mouth extends 1800 miles in length; the coast running all the way from N.W. to S.E. This gulf is 200 miles broad, and in some places more. In its whole length it is full of banks, shoals, and shelves, towards the land on both sides, so that it cannot be navigated by night, except in the middle. These obstructions are so intricately disposed that the channels can only be discovered by the eye, nor can the proper course be taken except by means of an experienced pilot standing constantly on the prow, and calling out starboard or larboard according to circumstances. Owing to this, the return voyage does not admit of being described so accurately as the outward bound. There are two distinct kinds of pilots for this sea; the one being acquainted with the middle of the gulf, which is the passage outwards; and the others, called Rubani, are for ships returning from the ocean, and navigating within the shoals. These are such excellent swimmers, that in many places where they cannot cast anchor on account of foul ground, they will swim under water and fix the galleys within the shoals, and will often even fasten the prows under water, according to the nature of the place.
On the 28th. of November 1539, the Christians belonging to the Venetian galleys left Suez, and arrived at Cairo on the 1st of December, where they were lodged in the same house that they had formerly occupied. Each of them was allowed half a maidan daily for subsistence, which is equal to about twopence of Venice. They here suffered great affliction and fatigue, as whatever laborious work was to be performed was devolved upon them. Clearing out the water-cisterns, levelling hills, putting gardens in order, new buildings, and such like, all fell to their share. On the 25th of March 1540, many of the Christians went from Cairo with a guard of Turks to a hill or mount two miles from the Nile, which seemed to have been a burying-place like the Campo Santo, where every year, on the Friday before our Lady of August, a vast number of people assemble to see dead bodies rise out of the ground. This resurrection begins on Thursday evening, and lasts till Saturday at six o'clock, during which time great numbers rise; but after that no more appear. When they do rise, some are rolled about with linen bandages in the manner in which the ancients swathed their dead. It must not be imagined that these dead bodies move, and still less that they walk about. But, one instant you may observe and touch the arm or the leg of one, or some other part, and going away for a moment, you will find at your return the part you had formerly seen and touched still more exposed, or farther out of the ground than at first; and this will happen as often as you make the experiment. On that day, many tents are pitched about this mount, and thither many persons repair, sick as well as healthy; and near this place there is a pond in which the people bathe on the Friday night, in order to get cured of their infirmities. For my own part, I did not see these miracles.
[Footnote 246: In the original called the Abyssinian coast, but certainly that of Egypt.--E.]
[Footnote 247: In Ramusio the Emin, who is an officer of the treasury, or the pay-master.--Astley, I. 101. a.
--Probably Al Emin, and originally written in Italian L'Emin.--E.]
[Footnote 248: From Suez to the Straits of Bab-al-Mandub, the direct distance is about 1590 statute English miles, or 1200 geographical miles, 60 to the degree. From the Straits to Cape Guardafu is about 433 English miles farther, or 375 geographical: making in all 1825 of the former and 1575 of the latter. The direction is S.S.E.--E.]
[Footnote 249: In the original Italian, Orza and Poggia, being the names of the ropes at the yard-arms which are hauled when these words are pronounced.--Astl. I. 101. b.]
[Footnote 250: The expression in the text is not very obvious, but seems to indicate that these Rubani are such excellent divers as to be able to fasten ropes or hausers to the rocks below water.--E.]
[Footnote 251: The 15th of August, the Assumption of the Virgin.--E.]
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