Zitierweise / cite as:
Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Quellenkunde zur indischen Geschichte bis 1858. -- 15. Frühe europäische Quellen und Quellen aus der Zeit der East India Companies. -- 1. Zum Beispiel: Gaspar Correa <16. Jhdt.>: Lendas de India, erste Reise Vasco da Gamas nach Indien. -- Fassung vom 2008-05-31. -- http://www.payer.de/quellenkunde/quellen1501.htm
Erstmals publiziert als:
Correa, Gaspar <16. Jhdt>: The three voyages of Vasco da Gama, and his viceroyalty. From the Lendas de India of Gaspar Correa. Accompanied by original documents / Translated from the Portuguese, with notes and an introd., by Henry E. J. Stanley. -- New York : Franklin, [1963?]. -- lxxx, 430, xxxv S. ; 23 cm. -- Reprint of the 1869 ed. published by the Hakluyt Society. -- (Hakluyt Society. Works ; no. 42.). -- Originaltitel: Lendas de India. -- S. 137 - 253. -- Online: http://www.archive.org/details/voyageroundworld01tayl. -- Zugriff am 2008-05-22. -- "Not in copyright."
Erstmals hier publiziert: 2008-05-25
Überarbeitungen: 2008-05-31 [Ergänzungen]
Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung FS 2008
©opyright: Public domain.
Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Sanskrit von Tüpfli's Global Village Library
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The first Book of the Discovery of India by the first fleet which sailed from the kingdom in the year one thousand four hundred and ninety-seven; and other four fleets of captains of expeditions, up to the year one thousand five hundred and five, when Don Francisco d'Almeida went to India, the first conqueror who governed India four years. Which I, Gaspar Correa, brought together and wrote, with the greatest veracity with which I have been able to know the deeds and events of the illustrious captains who went thither up to the year one thousand five hundred and nine.
Abb.: Vasco da Gama (1469 - 1524) / von Gregorio Lopes (* um 1490; † um 1550)
[Bildquelle: Wikipedia, Public domain]
How the King of Melinde [Malindi, Kenya] bade farewell to our people, and of the equipment which he gave them ; after which they went and reached the port of Calecut [Kozhikode/കോഴിക്കോട്] on the coast of India.
Abb.: Vasco da Gama's erste Reise nach Indien (1498)
[Bildquelle: Wikipedia, GNU FDLicense]
The time having now arrived for the departure of the ships, which was with the new moon of July of 1498;1 the King, who took great care of all that was requisite for our men, had got ready for them two pilots, the best that could be found : and be sent to call the captains, and told them that [S. 138] it was now the season for departure. They replied that they were quite ready, and had got their water on board, as the Mozambique pilot had told them to do so. The King sent to call him to his presence, and asked him if he wished to go with our people. He said yes, since they treated him very well. At which the King was pleased and said that when he returned he would show him great favours, and that he was glad of his going,, so as to assist in case of any of the pilots whom he sent falling ill or dying. The King also recommended the captains to treat him well, since of [S. 139] hiss own will he wished to serve them ; which they promised him they would do. They continued conversing with the King, who gave them much information as to what they ought to do in the matter of buying and selling ; and he recommended them, above all, to speak with great gentleness, and to dissemble as much as they could whenever they fell in with bad and arrogant men ; and to do no harm, except when they had received so much themselves that all people should rejoice at their revenging themselves ; and, whilst trading to take care not to spoil the wares, which was a most important matter, and would cause them much harm, which the foreign merchants would seek to do them ; and since the people of Calecut did not observe much good faith, they should not trust themselves without safe hostages. There were many other things as to which the King advised them like a true friend, also that the Moorish broker knew the weights and measures, and he had full confidence that he would act with all sincerity, and since he now understood a good deal of our language, he was the greatest benefit they could possess. As it was now the hour, they went to dine with the King, who gave them a great banquet, and sent boats laden with food to the ships, enough for all the crews. Having ended dining, they rested a little, and as the pilots said they must sail in three days' time, the captains ordered water to be taken in, and to fill large tanks,2 which they had already placed in the ships, for as they had few staves for casks, the King had ordered them to be made by the carpenters of the country. They had made the tanks with planks joined and sewn together strongly with coir thread, and caulked with pitch ; they were pitched in such a way that they were more watertight than casks, and they were made to measure to fit the ships below deck, and placed at the foot of the main mast. Each one contained thirty pipes of water, and each ship made four tanks, which was a very useful equipment, [S. 140] for the ships were made freer so as to be able to take in more cargo. The captains remained with the King till night, when they went to the ships, and told the masters to dispose matters as the pilots wished to sail in three days, and they rejoiced very much since it was the day of the Transfiguration of our Lord.3 Next day they went on shore to stay with the King, who begged them very much always to be with him until their departure. Whilst they were with the King, he entreated them very earnestly to promise him to return thither, and not to go to Portugal without his message, which he wished to send to the King, his brother, with his letters of sincere friendship ; which friendship he should always maintain with him, so that he should be a greater King than any of those of India. The captains replied that they would be very well pleased to do so, and so they promised to do, and swore by the head of the King their Sovereign, even though they should find their fleet at Calecut, because that was the most certain and direct way to return to Portugal ; and this they assured so much that the King trusted to it. They then said that :—"Since the sea and land had their perils, according as the Lord pleased, here we will leave you a mark which shall always remain in this city of yours for your remembrance, and that of all as many as shall descend from you, which will be the name of our king written on a stone, as his sign which is placed in all the countries of his friends, and it is placed in commemoration of his sincerity." At this the King was much pleased, and said that they should bring the stone at once, and that he wished it to stand at the gate of his palace.4 They said, that standing inside the city it would not be seen by the [S. 141] people who arrived at this port, and for that reason it ought to be where it could be seen by all. To which the King replied, that ho much wished to see it, and that they might set it up where they liked. Then they gave orders to bring from the ship a column of white marble, with its pedestal and capital, which bore upon it the escutcheon of the Quinas with the crown ; and on the other side another escutcheon with a sphere ; and at the foot letters engraved in the stone and gilt within, which said, "King Manoel." Of these columns they had brought six, which the King had ordered to be made, and had commanded the captains to set them up in the countries where they established friendship, that the remembrance of it might last for ever, and that they might be seen by all nations that might come later. When the column had been brought and the King had seen it, he complained to the captains of their not having set it up as soon as they had arrived ; they answered, that they had not done so because their King had commanded them not to set up that stone except in a country in which they knew true friendship and sincere love, such as you. Sire, have shewn us out of the greatness of your goodness."5 The King experienced much satisfaction at these words of the captain-major, and told him at once to set up the stone wherever they liked ; so they went and placed it on a hill which there was above the port on the left hand side of the city, a place that was very conspicuous, so that the column could be seen from all the sea.6 The King sent stonemasons to assist in [S. 142] setting it up ; and when it was placed it was solemnised by the prayers of three priests who were in the ships, and with the trumpets and a salute of artillery from the ships, at which the King felt much pleasure. Then the captains asked leave of the King to say their prayers there to God before their departure, as they always did thus, and as it was outside of the city. To this the King answered that, "outside or within the city, wherever they pleased they should do it as if they were in their own country of Portugal." Therefore they at once set up a tent with a sail at the foot of the column, and within they disposed an altar with a rich altar-cloth and placed an effigy of our Lady of Mercy before which mass was said, and they all communicated, for they had already confessed on board the ships. This having been ended in a short space of time, they got back to the boats ; and the people of the city had been looking on much amazed, and our adoration seemed to them very good. Then all went to the King, where the captains also went as they were to dine soon. Then the King ordered the pilots to come, and delivered them over to the captain-major, telling him to treat them well because their wives and children remained at Melinde until they returned. Upon this the captain-major sent to the ships, and they brought him a hundred gold cruzados, and he, in the presence of the King, gave to each of the pilots fifty cruzados to leave for their wives, because when they returned thither they would pay them for the service they had rendered. This was looked upon by all as much liberality. The king was pleased at seeing the cruzados, and took them and gave their value to the [S. 143] pilots in money of the country; and Vasco da Gama, noticing it, immediately sent to the ship for ten Portugueses of gold, which he presented to the King in a handkerchief, saying, that that money was called Portuguese, and that each one was worth ten of the smaller coins, and that he should keep them, and with them always remember the name of Portuguese. The King was much gratified, and said, that the name of the Portuguese would never leave his heart where he preserved it, except when he died. The captain-major then presented to the king the ship-boy of the purchases, who was one of the banished, and said that he left that man with him, because if any ship came from Portugal, for it might be that some one of his fleet might come, this man would relate to them all the benefits and favours which the King had bestowed upon them, and also they would leave it all written down with their signatures, and if the ship-boy wished to go to any other place, to let him go wherever he wished, because no one could serve well without willingness. The King granted this and was pleased ; then the captain-major spoke to the ship-boy, and told him that he left him there as the King was so great a friend of the Portuguese, and that his life was quite safe, and that he was to do his best to see and learn about every thing, and if he wished it he might go to other countries to see and learn all things ; because, if he lived and returned to Portugal, for this service he would make him a gentleman of the king's household, both him and any other that so remained behind doing such service to the King; and of this he gave him his warrant signed ; and he also gave him fifty testoons. This same day, in the evening, the pilots went on board the ships, one with Paulo da Gama, and the other with Vasco da Gama, and with him the Mozambique pilot, and they gave them cabins in which to stow their property. Then the King sent boats to the ships laden with biscuit, which he had ordered to be made in the Moorish fashion, which is like mouthfuls of bread, and [S. 144] much rice, and butter, cocoa-nuts, sheep salted whole like salt meat, and others alive, many fowls and vegetables, separately for each ship, and in great abundance, and much sugar in powder in sacks. And as they were equipped with everything and ready to set sail next day, which was the day of the Transfiguration of our Lord (August 6th) ,7 they took leave of the King, who could not endure it, and embarked in his boat and went with them, saying very affectionate things, with which he bade farewell to each of them at the side of the ships ; and he remained looking at them for a space as they hoisted in the boats ; and bidding each other farewell the trumpets sounded, and all the crews gave a shout of ''Lord God have mercy, farewell !" after which night fell. The next day they arose with the ships dressed out with flags, and as it was a fine day they loosed the sails, sounding the trumpets with much joy, all upon their knees, giving great praise to the Lord for so much favour as He had shewn to them in their affairs.
1 About the 10th July. Barros says that among the people who came to visit the ships was a Moor of Guzarat, named Malemo Cana, who, both from the satisfaction which he felt at the intercourse with the Portuguese, and to please the King of Melinde who was looking for a pilot for them, accepted to go with them. Vasco da Gama, after talking to him, was very well satisfied with his knowledge, especially after he had shown him a map of all the coast of India, with the bearings laid down after the manner of the Moors, which was with meridians and parallels very small (or close together), without other bearings of the compass ; because, as the squares of those meridians and parallels were very small, the coast was laid down by those two bearings of north and south, and east and west, with great certainty, without that multiplication of bearings of the points of the compass usual in our maps, which serves as the root of the others. When Vasco da Gama showed him the great wooden astrolabe which he had brought and others of metal with which he took the sun's altitude, the Moor was not surprised, and said that some pilots of the lied Sea used brass instruments of a triangular shape, and quadrants with which they took the sun's altitude, and chiefly that of a star which they most made use of for their navigation. But that he and the Cambay mariners and those of all India made their navigation by certain stars both in the north and in the south, and also by other notable stars which traversed the middle of the heavens from east to west, and they did not take their distance with instruments like those, but with another which he used ; which he brought at once to show, which was of three tables (or plates). Since we have treated of its shape and use in our geography in the chapter of instruments of navigation, it is sufficient to say here that in that operation they use an instrument which we now use, and which mariners call balhestilla, the cross staff (or Jacob's staff), and in that chapter an account of it and its inventors will be given.
Osorio, in speaking of Gama's arrival at Mozambique, describes the compasses used by the Arab mariners at great length ; he also says they used quadrants for observing the sun's distance from the equinoctial line; and says: "Finally, they were instructed in so many of the arts of navigation, that they did not yield much to the Portuguese mariners in the science and practice of maritime matters."
3 August 6.
4 Barros says that before sailing they placed, with the King's consent, a landmark in the town, with the name of Sancto Espirito, saying that it was in testimony of the peace and friendship which they had established with him.
5 This change of persons is thus in the original.
6 When Pedralvares Cabral, who sailed from Lisbon on the 9th March, 1500, reached Melinde, the King of Melinde had been obliged to remove the column on account of the hostility it excited amongst his neighbours ; he conducted Joan de Sá by the hand, and showed him the column put by safely in a room, and the arms had been freshly coloured so that it looked like new.
Horsburgh's India Directory says, vol. i, p. 281:—"The Pagoda [or sea-mark on an island five miles NW by N of Melinde] is called by the late Admiral Owen, Vasco da Gama's Pillar, and according to him is built on the north end of a flat peninsular rock, which is about a quarter of a mile long from NNE to SSW, and one hundred and fifty yards wide. The Pillar is in lat. 3° 13' S, Ion. 40° 11' E." This is probably another landmark erected since Gama's time ; it certainly occupies a different site from the one erected by Gama.
7 Barros says they sailed from Melinde on the 24th of April.
Abb.: Cananor [Kannur/കണ്ണൂര്]
(©Google Earth. -- Zugriff am 2008-05-23)
Abb.: Cananor [Kannur/കണ്ണൂര്], 1669
Sailing with a fair wind in twenty days they got sight of land,1 which the pilots [S. 145] foretold before that they saw it, this was a great mountain which is on the coast of India, in the kingdom of Cananor [Kannur/കണ്ണൂര്], which the people of the country in their language call the mountain Delielly, and they call it of the rat, and they call it Mount Dely, because in this mountain there were so many rats that they never could make a village there. As it was the custom to give the fees of good news to the pilots when they see the land, they gave to each of the pilots a robe of red cloth, and ten testoons ; and they went on approaching the land until they saw the beach, and they ran along it and passed within sight of a large town of thatched houses inside a bay, which the pilots said was named Cananor, where many skiffs were going about fishing ; and several came near to see the ships and were much surprised, and went ashore to relate that these ships had so much rigging and so many sails and white men ; which having been told to the King he sent some men of his own to see, but the ships had already gone far, and they did not go.
1 Barros says, "Crossing that great gulf of seven hundred leagues, which there are from one coast to the other, in the space of twenty-two days, the first land which they touched was below the city of Calecut, a matter of two leagues." This does not disagree with Correa's statement, which would make about twenty-two days to Calecut. [S. 146]
Camões, Canto vi, 92.
Já a manhã clara dava nos outeiros
Por onde o Ganges murmurando soa,
Quando da celsa gávea os marinheiros
Enxergaram terra alta, pela proa.
Já fora de tormenta e dos primeiros
Mares, o temor vão do peito voa.
Disse alegre o piloto Melindano:
– «Terra é de Calecu, se não me engano.
«Esta é, por certo, a terra que buscais
Da verdadeira Índia, que aparece;
E se do mundo mais não desejais,
Vosso trabalho longo aqui fenece.»
Sofrer aqui não pôde o Gama mais,
De ledo em ver que a terra se conhece;
Os giolhos no chão, as mãos ao Céu,
A mercê grande a Deus agardeceu.
92 and 93.
Now morn, serene in dappled grey, arose
O'er the fair lawns where murmuring Ganges flows ;
Pale shone the wave beneath the golden beam ;
Blue o'er the silver flood Malabria's mountains gleam :
The sailors on the maintop's airy round,
Land, land, aloud with waving hands resound ;
Aloud the pilot of Melinda cries.
Behold, O chief, the shores of India rise !
Elate the joyful crew on tip-toe trod.
And every breast with swelling raptures glow'd ;
Gama's great soul confest the rushing swell,
Prone on his manly knees the hero fell.
Oh bounteous heaven, he cries, and spreads his hands
To bounteous heaven, while boundless joy commands
No farther word to flow.
In this country of India they are much addicted to soothsayers and diviners, especially on this coast of India, which is named country of Malabar, and they call these diviners Canayates. According to what was known later, there had been in this country of Cananor a diviner so diabolical in whom they believed so much, that they wrote down all that he said, and preserved it like prophecies which would come to pass. They held a legend from him in which it was said that the whole of India would be taken and ruled over by a very distant king, who had white people, who would do great harm to those who were not their friends ; and this was to happen a long time later, and he left signs of when it would be. In consequence of the great disturbance caused by the sight of these ships, the King was very desirous of knowing what they were ; and he spoke to his diviners, asking them to tell him what ships were those and whence they came. The diviners conversed with their devils, and told him that the ships belonged to a great king and came from very far, and according to what they found written, these were the people who were to seize India by war and peace, as they had already told him many times, because the period which had been written down was concluded. The King, much moved, asked them whether his kingdom would receive any injury. They replied that our people would do no harm except to those who did it to them. Upon this the King became very thoughtful, and talked of this frequently with his people, who very much contradicted what the diviners said, and they told him not to believe them, for in this they never hit upon the truth, because at the time that our ships arrived more than four hundred years had elapsed since in one year more than eight hundred sail of large and small ships had come to India from the parts of Malacca and China and the Lequeos, with people of many nations, and all laden with merchandise of great value which they brought for sale : and they had come to Calecut, and had run along [S. 147] the coast and had gone to Cambay; and they were so numerous that they had filled the country and had settled as dwellers in all the towns of the sea-coast, where they were received and welcomed like merchants, which they were. When those people arrived thus on the coast of Malabar everybody considered that they were the people whom their prophecies mentioned as those who would take India, and they had inquired of the diviners, who, looking at their records, told them not to be afraid, since the time when India was to be taken had not yet arrived. Thus it was ; for those people had gone all over India, trading and selling their merchandise during many years, in which many of them married and established their abodes and became naturalised in the country, and mixed up with the inhabitants of the country. Many others returned to their own country, and as no more ever arrived, they went on diminishing in number until they came to an end ; but a numerous progeny remained from them ; and because they were people of large property, and numerous in the towns where they resided, they had a quarter set apart, like as in Portugal and Castile in other times there used to be Jewries and Moorish quarters set apart; and they built houses for their idols, sumptuous edifices, which are to be seen at this day ; and in the space of a hundred years there did not remain one. All this they had got thus recorded in their legends ; and since at that time so many people did not take India, how was it to be taken now by people who came from such a distance, and who would not come in sufficient numbers to be able to conquer it ? and they mocked at what the soothsayers said. But the King, who put great trust in them, and whose heart divined what was going to come to pass, spoke to a soothsayer in whom he placed great belief, and told him to look and see upon what grounds he made his assertions; because if it was as he had been saying, he would labour to establish peace with the Portuguese in such a manner as to make his kingdom [S. 148] secure for ever, and in this lie would spend part of his treasure. The soothsayer answered, "Sire, I am telling you the truth, that these men will not bring so many people with them to seize upon countries and realms, but those who come, in whatever number they may be, will be able to prevail more with their ships than all as many as go upon the sea, on which account they must be masters of the sea, in which case, of necessity the people of the land must obey them ; and when they shall have become powerful at sea, what will happen to your kingdom if you have not secured peace with them ? I tell you the truth, and you will see it with your eyes ; and now follow what counsel you please." The King answered: ''My heart tells me that you are speaking the truth, and I will do that which is incumbent upon me." The diviner said to him : "If before five years you do not see that I have told you the truth, order my head to be cut off." Upon which the King remained quite convinced, and determined in his heart to establish with the Portuguese all the peace and friendship that was possible. And because soon after news arrived that our people were at the city of Calecut, which is twelve leagues from Cananor, the King sent men to Calecut who always came to tell him of what happened there to our men.
How the ships arrived at the city of Calecut, and in which is related all that happened to them there until they again departed.
(©Google Earth. -- Zugriff am 2008-05-23)
The ships continued running along the coast close to land,for the coast was clear, without banks against which to take precautions ; and the pilots gave orders to cast anchor in a place which made a sort of bay, because there commenced the city of Calecut. This town is named Capocate,1 and on [S. 149]
anchoring there a multitude of people flocked to the beach, all dark and naked, only covered with cloths half way down the thigh, with which they concealed their nakedness. All were much amazed at seeing what they had never before seen. When news was taken to the King he also came to look at the ships, for all the wonder was at seeing so many ropes and so many sails, and because the ships arrived when the sun was almost set ; and at night they lowered out the boats, and Vasco da Gama went at once for his brother and Nicolas Coelho, and they remained together conversing upon the method of dealing with this King, since here was the principal end which they had come to seek ; it seemed to him that it would be best to comport himself as an ambassador, and to make him his present, always saying that they had been separated from another fleet which they came to seek for there, and that the captain-major had come and brought him letters from the King. This they agreed upon together, and that Vasco da Gama should go on shore with, that message sent by the captain-major, who carried the standard at the peak ; they also talked of the manner in which these things were to be spoken of. When all was well decided upon, Nicolas Coelho returned to the ship, and Vasco da Gama remained with his brother, talking with the Moor Taibo (the broker), who told him not to go on shore without hostages ; that such was the custom of men who newly arrived at the country : and the Moor said that this King of Calecut was the greatest king of all the coast of India, and on that account was very vain, and he was very rich from the great trade he had in this city. The next day [S. 150] at dawn a great many skiffs came out with fishing nets, passing near the ships, and Vasco da Gama told the Moorish pilots to call the fishermen to sell some fish, since they knew the language of the country. When they heard themselves called by the pilots they came at once and entered the ship, and gave a quantity of fish like sardines, which they called canalinhas, and they gave a great many for a vintin, which they bit with their teeth to see if it was silver. Vasco da Gama told the pilots to say, if the fishermen asked, that they came from Melinde, and had arrived there parted company, and were going in search of other ships of their company which they thought they might find there. When the fishermen returned on shore many people asked questions of them, as they had seen them go on board the ship. They related what had been said to them, and shewed the coin which had been given them for the fish. All this was related to the King, who waited for our people to send to him. The King was very desirous that the Portuguese should send on shore, and he ordered the fishermen to go to the ships to sell their fish, or anything they liked, and to inquire about everything. This they did, and brought many fowls, figs, and cocoa-nuts, and there came many of them. Vasco da Gama ordered that no one should buy except the pilots and Moors, whom he ordered to pay according to the will of the owners, and to offend them in nothing. Many skiffs went to the other ship, and there also no one bought except the pilot, with vintins, with which the captains here paid the crew, each man twenty cruzados. The Moor and the pilots said to the captain-major, that he should send on shore; he replied, that he should not land in a foreign country without leave from its owner, as he had acted in Melinde. At this conjuncture there came a boat full of wood to sell ; and as there was much wood in the ship they did not take it, and as they were going away the captain-major ordered them to be called, and there were six men came in the boat, and he [S. 151] ordered a vintin to be given to each man, and that they might go their way, as there was no need of the wood. The Moor asked why he gave them money, since they did not take the wood. And the captain-major replied, ''They are poor men and come to sell their wood, and as it was not bought they were going away discontented, and on that account he had ordered money to be given them, that their labour might not have been in vain ; for he was thus accustomed to pay well all those who did good to him." At this the Moor and the pilots were surprised ; and so they repeated it to the black people who had brought the wood, so that they went ashore very much pleased, and related this as a great wonder. It was at once told to the King, who, in in talking with his own people, vaunted much the liberality and goodness of the Portuguese ; on the King's questioning the fishermen about everything, they told him all that they had heard from the pilots, and that they did not venture to come out on shore because they had not got the King's leave to do so, and that they came from Melinde, and were going about lost in search of their company, which they had expected to find here ; and as they had not found them they were intending to go away. Thus things remained for three days ; and as the fishermen, who came back again, said that they had related everything to the King; and as the captain-major saw that the King sent no message, he asked the Moor his opinion of what they ought to do, because they did not know the customs of these people. The Moor told him that he ought to send a message to the King and say what he wanted. This seemed good, and the Moor was ordered to get ready to go on shore ; and at this time there came from the shore a large boat in which there was a servant of the King, a gentleman of birth, whom they call Nair : he came without clothes, except a white cloth which covered him from the middle to half the thighs ; he had a very thin round shield, with slings of wood and vermilion, which [S. 152] glittered very much and a naked sword with an iron hilt : the sword was short, of an ell's length,2 and broad at the point ; his hair was pressed down upon his head ; he was a very dark man, and very well made. On reaching the side of the ship, without coming on board, he asked for the captain ; and the captain-major answered him that he was the person he wanted ; that he was the captain. The Nair then said that the King had sent him to say that they should send word who they were, and what they wanted in his port. The captain-major answered that he had not sent his message because he had not yet had the King's leave to do so, but now that he had ordered it he would do so. Then the Moor went with the Nair3 with full instructions as to what he was to say. The King, on seeing the messenger, and that he was a Moor, imagined that our men were so also. The Moor said to the King, "Sire, the captain-major of those ships says : 'I did not send you a message during these days because I had not got your leave to do so ;' but now that you have sent it by your servant, he has sent me, and he says that he is the slave of the greatest Christian King in the world ; who had sent a fleet of fifty ships which he had ordered to go to a country to take cargo of pepper and drugs, in exchange for rich merchandise and gold and silver which he sent ; and that when they found the country where they could take in the cargo which they were seeking for, they should establish a firm peace and good relations with the king of it, which should last for ever ; and he was the ambassador who was to go on shore, because the captain-major would not leave the ship to go ashore. And after their setting out on their voyage a storm at sea had separated them from the rest of the fleet, and they knew nothing of it and had been going about to many places for two years like [S. 153] lost people ; and they had been to Melinde, where there is a very noble king to whom they had related this fortune of theirs. As he had taken compassion upon them, he had said that he would give them pilots who would bring them to the country where the pepper grew, and there were many drugs, for which we thanked him very much ; and the pilots brought us here where we now are ; and we have come with great hopes that since in this city of yours there are pepper and drugs, we should fall in with our fleet ; and since we have not found it we are sorrowful, for we do not know what we are to do ; and this is the reason of our coming and what we seek." When the King heard all this message he was much surprised ; and in talking of it with his own people, he said that it would be well, since our people had put into port, to know what merchandise they wished to buy, and what merchandise they had brought to sell ? What the King said seemed good to all ; and his chief factor, who is the director of the exchequer of the sea-trade, then asked the Moor how it was that he was going about with the Christians. The Moor related to him how it was, and in what place they had taken him on board, and how since he had been with the Portuguese he had seen them act as such good men ; and because they paid him well he would serve them and go with them to the end of the world if they wished it. He also gave them a long account of the magnificence with which they had acted towards the King of Melinde, and the valuable things which they had given him ; upon which the King felt a great longing to obtain as much from our people: and he sent to say to the captain-major that he grieved much for his ill-fortune, and rejoiced at his fleet having arrived at his port ; that as to the cargo which he was going in search of, he would fill his ships with as much pepper and drugs as they wished for, and would give him on payment whatever there was in the city ; and in the meantime they might do what they pleased. The King also sent the Moor [S. 154] in a boat with many figs, fowls, and cocoa-nuts fresh and dry. The good brothers were much pleased on hearing the King's message, and gave great praise to the Lord. Having taken counsel together, they sent many thanks to the King for his reply, and for the refreshments, and said that they accepted it out of courtesy, but that they could neither accept, nor buy, nor sell anything without first establishing peace and friendship ; because if they did not first make that agreement they could do nothing, for such were the regulations received from their King, and if they did not act in that manner he would order their heads to be cut off: for that reason they would do nothing and would return thence if they did not first establish peace, for their King did not wish to trade except with his friends. And if he wished to know the reason of first establishing peace, they would give the King's own embassage which he had sent to be given to the King who should give them the cargo ; and if he was pleased to admit of this he should send hostages, as was the custom in a new country, for the captain-major to go on shore and give an explanation of his embassage.
1 Capucad is two leagues from Calicut. Barros says the first land they touched was two leagues below Calicut ; and that they arrived there on the 20th of May, in the beginning of winter on that coast, so that there was not much traffic in the port, and the foreigners had gone away, and the inhabitants were surprised at the ships coming in that season. He also says that after two days the ships went to Capocate, a port near there, where Gama waited two days for the King's message.
2 Covado, three quarters of a yard, a Flemish ell.
3 Barros says Gama sent one of the convicts with the Moorish pilot to take the first message.
The city of Calecut, as it was the principal one of India, on account of its great trade since ancient times, was all inhabited by foreign and native Moors, the richest that there were in all India. There were Moors of Grand Cairo who brought large fleets of many ships with much trade of valuable goods, which they brought from Mecca, and they took back in return pepper and drugs, and all the other richest merchandise of India, with which they acquired great wealth ; and the people who are natives of the country have no profit from it nor income, but only enough to sustain themselves with ; this sustenance is of little cost as I will explain in its place in this book. As they are ill off for wealth they are much subject to the Moors who are so rich, and this especially in the sea-ports, in which they are rich from the great resources which they draw from trade with the Moors ; from [S. 155] this trade the Moors were very powerful, and had so established and ingratiated themselves in the countries of the sea ports, that they were more influential and respected than the natives themselves, so that many of the heathen became Moors, in such manner that they were more people than the natives, by a diabolical method which the Moors found ;1 because in this region of Malabar the race of gentlemen is called Nairs [നായര്], who are the people of war : they are people who are very refined in blood and customs, and separated from all other low people, and so much do they value themselves that no one of them ever turned Moor ; only the low people turned Moors, who worked in the bush and in the fields. And these people are so accursed that they cannot go by any road without shouting, so that the Nairs may not come up suddenly and meet them, because they kill them at once, for they always carry their arms, and these low people may not carry arms to defend themselves ; and when they go along thus shouting if any Nair shouts to them they at once get into the bush very far from the road. The Moors, understanding that it was a good way to increase their sect, said to the King, and to the rulers of the places in which they traded, that they met with great difficulties with their merchandise, because they had not got labourers to cart it from one point to another, because the labourers, being low people, could not go amongst other people, as the Nairs would kill them whenever they met them, and therefore they would esteem it a favour if those of the low people who might turn [S. 156] Moors should be able to go freely wherever they pleased ; since, being Moors, they would then be outside of the Malabar religion and usages, and that they might be able to touch all sorts of people ; because if this was not agreed to they would not be able to transport their goods to sell them in their provinces. At the same time giving some fees to the magistrates and confidantes of the King, they succeeded in getting this consented to. On which account these low people [desired] to enjoy so great an advantage, because they were such accursed people that they lived in the bush and in fields, where they ate nothing but herbs and land crabs, and by becoming Moors they could go where they liked, and gain their livelihood, and eat as they pleased. When they became Moors the Moors gave them cloths and robes with which to clothe themselves, and so many of them became Moors and were converted to the religion of Mohammed, and they increased so much in numbers that all the country became full of them ; which caused these Moors to be very influential and powerful by their trade through all the countries, and especially in this country of Malabar, and above all in this city of Calecut, where they had their principal port for shipping pepper and drugs, which they transported to Mecca, and spread over Turkey, and thence to all the provinces of Christendom by exchange from country to country.
1 The diabolical method of the Moors was to set their faces against distinctions of race, whilst the Portuguese adopted them, and have perpetuated them by the word of their own language which expresses race, namely casta. Though the Arabs had come to Malabar and established their trade there six hundred years before, they had not thought of seizing the country; and when they converted the King Serna-Perimal, he divided his kingdom among his relations, and went away, after abandoning his state and wealth, to die at Mekkah. See The Coasts of East Africa and Malabar, p. 102 ; and Camões, Canto vii, 32-35.
As these things were so, the Moors of Calecut, in which city there were many who were acquainted with the affairs of Christendom, perceived the great inconvenience and certain destruction which would fall upon them and upon their trade, if the Portuguese should establish trade in Calecut, which they would immediately afterwards do throughout all the Indian countries ; and, taking counsel amongst one another, they all agreed that with all the power of themselves and their property, they should get the Portuguese turned out of the country, which they would also do in all [S. 157] the other parts, in such manner as that they should not be able to trade nor profit, nor establish men at arms, whom the Portuguese would be unable to maintain because they were from a very distant country; and in navigating to India the sea would swallow up so many that a sufficient number of them never could come to India to make themselves masters of it, and take possession of countries, and deprive them of the great footing and powers which they held in India. With these calculations thus set on foot among themselves, they wrote and made known their determination to all the others of all the coast of India, who were very ready to give all necessary assistance in person and property. With this design they spoke to the King's chief factor, who was the principal overseer of his exchequer, also to the King's Gosil, who is the minister of justice; and they spoke to him in secret, after the manner of true friends, saying that they, as sincere friends of the King, for whose service they would spend their lives and property, told him, that they as persons so deserving of credit would tell the King and warn him to take precautions and consideration as to what he did with the Portuguese, because, without any doubt, they were men who had got such wealth in their own country, that they did not undergo all this labour for trade, but only to conquer countries and acquire honours by arms, and that first they had been sent to see and spy, in order later to come and take these countries ; for which reason it might doubtless be believed that these who came in these ships did not come for anything else, except under the cloak of merchants who come to establish peace and trade, and bring presents and feigned pretences only to see and spy, and afterwards come to conquer and plunder ; and this was easily seen, since they came from so distant a country with two ships to trade and take in cargo ; therefore they (the Moors) had given information and warning to the King that he might look to what he should do with the Portuguese. The [S. 158] Gozil and overseer of the revenue, being wary men, at once occupied themselves with this matter, and conversing together upon it, they understood that what the Moors had said was all because they did not wish to see other traders who would injure their commerce, and that the fears which they were instilling were all emptiness and wind, because there was no power in the world sufficiently great to take Calecut, in which there were two hundred thousand men available for war. So the two talked the matter well over together, with the hopes which they entertained of the fees which the Moors gave them, all which they might gain according to the proceedings which they took in this affair ; and they gave some hints to the Moors that they thought well of what they had said, and that they would from affection for them do everything to prevent the Portuguese injuring their commerce. Upon this the Moors, being much pleased, at once gave them large presents and secured their goodwill. For it is notorious that officials take more pleasure in bribes than in the appointments of their offices. With this foundation, which the Moors established by this means, they caused later to the Portuguese great evils and hardships, as will be seen further on. This overseer of the treasury and the Gozil were made firm in their own interests, of deriving for their profit all that they could obtain from the Moors, which was the chief object ; also that of showing to the King that they took good care to look after the business of his service, and what was advantageous to him ; and they touched upon this matter to the King, without giving him an account of the information which the Moors had given them. The King was very vain on account of his much grandeur, and covetous by disposition. He said to his people, that in the whole world there was no power which he feared so as to omit carrying out his will, so that whoever came to him with deceit would get nothing for his pains. Whilst he was under the influence of this fancy, the Moor came with the captain-major's [S. 1599 message, as has been related above ; when the King heard it he talked it over with his confidantes, taking their opinions as to what he ought to do ; and they said they would consider about it, since affairs done in a hurry for the most part were done wrong, and besides that the condition of kings was to do their business leisurely.1 This, therefore, seeming good to the King, he ordered the Moor to come, and told him to return to the captain-major and that he would send him a reply; but if, meanwhile, he required anything on shore, he might send in security to purchase it. It seemed to the captain-major that these were State fashions of the King for giving his reply ; but he thought it advantageous to send on shore a man who, in the guise of a buyer, might see the people of the city. For this purpose he sent one Joaõ Nũz (Nunez),2 a banished man, who could speak Arabic and Hebrew, and who was a new Christian, and a man of subtle understanding, who already understood the speech of the Moor, but could not speak it ; and Vasco da Gama spoke to him and told him to go ashore with the Moor with money to buy things to eat, and to look well all over the city, and at the manner of the inhabitants, and to listen well to what he heard ; and not to speak nor answer questions, and to see what things were sold, and ask the Moor about the prices, and not buy anything except things to eat, and to return to sleep on board the ship ; having given him full instructions as to what was requisite, he despatched him, and told the Moor to go ashore and always take Joaõ Nũz with him, and not let him separate from him, and to shew him all the things which were sold in the shops, which were articles hot included in merchandise, and which he would have pleasure in carrying back to Portugal to show, [S. 160]
but not to buy anything, because he could not buy them except after peace and trade bad been established. When these two landed and the people saw a Portuguese, they crowded so much to see him that they smothered him, at which the Moor saw himself so molested that he went to the house of the Gozil, who was much pleased at seeing Joan Nũz : and having learned from the Moor how they had been importuned, he sent with them a servant of his, one of the Nairs, to make the people keep off, so that they went about without restraint from the people. The Moors seeing Joan Nũz, and some of them having spoken to him without his answering, arranged with the Gozil that he should not let him go at night to the ship, but that he should stay on shore, because they would find some one to talk to him and learn from him what they desired. The Moor and the Portuguese on going to the beach did not find a skiff, for it was already night, and returned to the house of the Gozil, and proceeding thither they fell in with a Moor who spoke to Joan Nũz in Castilian, as if he was amazed at seeing him, and he said to him, "Brother, God preserve you."3 Joan Nũz replied, [S. 161] "God give you health," and he felt great delight at hearing him speak thus. The Castilian inquired where he was going? they told him that they could not find a boat to go on board, and were therefore going to sleep at the house of the Gozil. The Castilian then said that they should not go there, that he had a house in which he would rejoice that they should [S. 162] sleep, and eat as much as they pleased. They thanked him, and when about to go with him, the Nair would not permit it unless they first went to the house of the Gozil, where the Castilian went with them ; there the Castilian told the Gozil that he wished to take those guests to his house, if he would give him permission ; and the Gozil said he might. Then [S. 163] the Castilian Moor took them to his house, and gave them a good supper, asking them about their fortunes in having come as far as that country, and of what they came to seek. Upon all which Joan Nũz gave him information according as he had been indoctrinated by the captain-major. The Castilian told him that he was a native of Seville, and when [S. 164] a boy of few years had been a prisoner, and had undergone various captivities until a master of his had died and had left him free, and to make his life secure he had taken the name and ceremonies of a Moor, but that God in heaven, to whom he recommended himself, knew that his soul was Christian.4 Joan Nũz rejoiced much at hearing him, especially because the Moor (the broker) understood very little of what they were talking, for Joan Nũz also spoke to him [S. 165] in Castilian ; and lie told the Castilian that he should be very glad if he would come to the ships to speak to the captain-major. He said that he would go willingly, and the Gozil would give him leave ; and they went to sleep. Next day they had leave of the Gozil, and they all went to the ship, where, on entering, the Castilian made his salutation, taking off his cap in his hand, and spoke to the captains who were sitting together on chairs, and said, "God give you good fortune. Who has brought you to this port." The captain-major replied, "Honoured Castilian, God give you health." The people hearing them thus speaking Castilian wept with joy. The captain-major showed him great honour, and made him sit on a stool, and continued talking to him and asking him many questions as to his fortunes and how he had come thither? to all which he answered : and when it was time to dine, the captain-major ordered dinner to be set for him at a table at which he and Joan Nũz ate ; and the captains dined at another table. When dinner was over they retired to the cabin with the Castilian, to whom the captain-major also gave an account of how they had arrived at this port, in the same manner as Joan Nũz had related it ; and the captain-major said that he was resolved to establish peace with the King, and to give him his embassage and the present which he had brought for him, and there to take in cargo for the ships, but he did not know if he should take the right steps or go wrong, because he was not acquainted with the position of the King and of the inhabitants, nor of the commerce of the country. The Castilian Moor, inspired by God, said to him, "Gentlemen, captains, listen well to what I say to you : when I entered this ship I had in my heart treason towards you, which I will relate, but on entering this cabin God commanded my heart to speak to you the truth, and I verily believe that He disposed that you should arrive here for much good, which it pleases the Lord that you should meet with, delivering you from so many perils of [S. 166] the sea, and now from those of the land, which it pleases Him that you may be delivered from by me by my discovering to you the whole truth. For you must know, gentlemen, that from the moment you put into port here you caused disturbance of mind to the Moors of this city, who are numerous and very powerful in the country on account of their great riches and commerce. These, on seeing the ships and knowing that they belonged to Christians, of whom they are mortal enemies, knowing also that you were sending a message to the King for the purpose of treating with him and establishing peace and friendship, which would not be unless with the object of establishing trade, assembled all their chief men and held councils in which they agreed to employ themselves in person and property in turning you out of India, not only from this place, but also from all the other ports of the whole of this coast ; for in all of them there is a great number of Moors, both rich and powerful, as in this city. They have written their letters upon this determination, and no doubt but that the replies will not be delayed many days, without doubt also all will be much gratified at this consultation ; and these here are already thoroughly agreed with the overseer of the treasury and with the Grozil, to injure you as much as they can with the King. As I am known to all, and they are aware that I am from the parts of Christendom, as I have related it frequently, it seemed to them that I, better than any one else, could deceive and betray you, and they promised me large gifts to induce me to introduce myself feignedly into your friendship in order to learn your secrets, and give them information of everything. I speak to you the truth, that it was with this design and thought that I brought into my house your men as guests, so that by that friendship I might gain admittance to yourselves ; and here, on entering this cabin where I now am, my heart felt much fear of God, which directed me to do good to you. Now that I have told you the truth, command [S. 167] me what I am to do^ and you will see whether I am false or true, for in my opinion it is not right that you should trust to me, since you see me as a Moor and amongst Moors." Having heard all this the captains answered the Moor, that it was a great matter which he had related to them, and that already for that much they were under great obligations to him, as he would see by his recompense after that they had experienced his truth ; and they begged him much to advise them as to the manner they were to assume towards him, in order to avail themselves of the good which he wished to do them, and that it should not be perceived by the Moors lest they should do him any harm. The Castilian replied, that he would give them his opinion, but that they should do whatever they thought for the best, and it was that they should not consent to his returning again on board the ships ; and that on shore, with those who went there he would do the best he could ; and, that his own people might not perceive it, they should dismiss him with fair words, saying, that he should not take the trouble to return to the ship except with their leave, which would be given after that peace was established. This seemed to them the best, and so they settled it ; then, after much conversation, they came out to the quarter-deck, where they remained talking of many things which the Castilian related, and all the crew rejoiced at hearing them. Then the captain-major ordered five ells of very fine green cloth to be given him, and said that he had much enjoyed hearing so many things as he had told them of, and that he might go on shore with good luck, and that he, the captain-major, was waiting for a message from the King to go on shore, and if he went there he would be very glad if the Castilian were to go with him to speak to the King, since he knew the language of the country. The Castilian replied : "Sir, no one can go before the King except when he commands it ; meantime I shall be very glad to serve you whenever you have arranged your affairs ; there [S. 168] on shore I am at your service for this favour which you have done me without my having deserved it." With this he took leave and went on shore, where the Moors at once spoke to him of what he had found out. He said to them that he had talked much with the Portuguese, and had learned from them that they had started from Portugal in company with a large fleet which their King had sent to a country to take in cargo of drugs and pepper, in exchange for merchandise, and that in a storm they had parted company from the rest ; and since two years they had been going about as lost^, for they did not know the country to which they were going ; that only the captain-major of the fleet carried a pilot who knew the country where they were to take in cargo, which was a new country to which as yet they had not navigated ; and they carried with them a present and letters for the King of the country for the establishment of peace and friendship before that they bought and sold ; and that these letters and presents had been brought by the captain of these ships, who was the ambassador who was to go on shore to establish peace and trade ; and that, having separated from their companions, they had been going for a year and a half without seeing land ; and they had come to Mozambique, where evil and treachery had been wrought against them ; so, also, the people of Quiloa [Kilwa, Tanzania] and Bombaza [Mombasa] had wished to act towards them, from which places they had gone to Melinde, where they had met with good at the hands of the King, and they had there established peace for ever, and had refitted their ships, and eat and slept on shore in the King's house ; and he, on learning their fortunes, had given them pilots who had brought them hither, [S. 169] for they thought that since their fleet had gone to seek pepper and drugs, it might be that it had come here to Calecut ; and with the hope of finding their fleet here, they had come for that purpose, and on not falling in with it, they had been about to depart ; but since here they had found what they had come to look for, they would take in cargo, if the King would establish a peace with them, for which object they would give him the letters and present of their King which they had brought with them, and which they were to give to the King of the country where they should take in cargo. "Most of these things," said the Castilian Moor, "which I have related to you were told to me by the captains, and they were told me by a broker whom they have got with them, and by the Melinde pilots. They gave me five ells of cloth, and they dismissed me like men who did not want anything more of me, only they begged me that if they came ashore that I would go with them to the King's presence, to which I replied to them that I would do it with good will, but that no one could go before the King except those whom he commanded to do so : and upon that they sent me on shore." The Moors on hearing these things from the Castilian gave much credit to him, because they held him to be a good Moor. All of them took counsel together, and said that since the King was covetous they would not be able to impede his speaking to the Portuguese ; but that after he had spoken to them and received their present, whilst friendship and commerce were being established, then it would be necessary to take such measures that in the purchases and sales they should dispose matters so that they should not take in cargo, and should go away, and the principal part of this business would have to be done by the overseer of the treasury, and that the Gozil should cause them detention before speaking to the King, so that they should be out of humour, and give way to anger, so as to do some wrong, which would be the [S. 170] cause of their effecting nothing ; but that for this to take place they must give so much to the overseer of the treasury and to the Gozil, that they should do everything, and for this they must not value money in a matter which so greatly interested them, since it was certain that if they did not do so, and the Portuguese were to establish trade, they would be ruined. And if it should perchance happen that the King were to speak to them and ask their advice, they would say that they should rejoice at everything which was to his advantage ; but that he ought to make his agreements with the Portuguese with such precautions that evil should not befal him later, because the Christians were very arrogant, and rested satisfied with nothing, and giving them one thing they wanted another, and if that was not given them, they would take it by force ;6 and they would cause him to feel such suspicion of the Portuguese, that he would never confide in them, from which something might arise on account of which they might be turned out of the country ; which being the case, it would be known at once throughout the country, even though they went to another port, no one would admit them, since the King of Calecut had turned them out, so that they would then return to their own country, and would arrive there, or not. All this having been well talked over and consulted upon amongst the Moors, they then spoke to the overseer of the treasury and the Gozil, and gave them much money and rich jewels ; and they engaged on their part to do all in their power with the King, and to counsel him not to admit the Portuguese into the country ; the Moors offering to pay the King all the loss that he might suffer from this. The Portuguese, after the departure of the Castilian, continued talking of what they [S. 171] ought to do if the King sent them a message to come on shore ; and Nicholas Coelho came to this council from the other ship of Vasco da Gama, where he always remained ; then they related to him all the warning which the Castilian had given them of the consultation which the Moors had held, of which they also informed the masters and pilots, and talked it over with them ; all expressed great doubt as to the captain-major's going on shore, since there was so much hazard and peril of life, and he ought not to run any risk, for his death would be the perdition of them all if he were killed on shore, and he ought not to go there ; and if the King sent for him, then they should send another person saying he was the ambassador, and he must not go by any manner of means ; and this all agreed to. But Vasco da Gama, as he was ardent in the service which he desired to render to the King, said : "Sir, my brother, and my friends, you must know that since I embarked in this voyage from the first, before God, I offered my life and soul for it, if the merciful Lord should be pleased that I should bring it to an end, if it was for His holy service ; for which reason I tell you in truth that even though I were now within the bar of Lisbon, I would not go in, but rather by my own hands would seek death than appear before the King without bringing him the commission which he charged me with ; and because I settled this in my soul, I do not value my life at anything ; and a sufficiently bad account would be given of me if, from fear of death, I were to put a man in my place to perform that which is so much my obligation. Therefore, without any doubt, I shall go on shore, and I fear nothing, for everything is in the hand of God. For which, my brother and all of you, for the sake of God, and on behalf of the King our sovereign, whatsoever disaster or death may happen to me, I require you not to desist from labouring, by any arrangement which may seem good to you, until you have laden these ships, or as much of them as may [S. 172] be in your power; and if you should be unable to get any cargo to show to the King, then you may depart at once, and return to Portugal to give an account to the King of what we have accomplished ; and if you should be unable to depart at once with the weather which you may have, then go along the coast as far as the weather serves you, and discover as much as you can see, endeavouring to buy pepper and drugs, and things of this country as samples ; and take nothing by force, neither on the land nor by sea, that the reputation which the Moors give of us may not remain true, for they say that we are robbers, and come to spy out countries in order to come later and take them ; and if it please our Lord, they will turn out truthful in this, for may it please God to give so great a favour to the King ; and this I tell you, and command you with all the authority which I hold." To this no one had anything to answer, except to hope that God would choose what was best for His holy service ; Paulo da Gama also promised his brother that he would do all as he had bidden.7 Vasco da Gama made his arrangements for going on shore, and prepared the present that he would take and the letter which he had to give to the King, which both of them8 drew up, placing in it the exordium of Portugal, and [they made] the King say that it had come to his knowledge that the ruler of India had power over several kingdoms, and was the lord of great riches, and was powerful from his warlike people with whom he could conquer the world if he chose : which had caused him a great longing in his heart to send in search of him and to become acquainted with him, and establish with him as much friendship and peace as he might be willing to admit, and to become friends like brothers ; and he wished to send his ships and merchandise, of which there was much in his [S. 173] kingdom of all sorts whatever, which would be brought to the kingdom of Calecut, and sold and exchanged for other goods which he was informed were to be found in his kingdom and countries, especially pepper and drugs, which did not exist in his own kingdom. For this he had sent fifty ships, and in them a captain-major for the sea, who would not go on shore, but only his servant, Vasco da Gama, the second captain-major, who was to go on shore with those people whom he had sent ; and all that he should say to the King of Calecut was from his mouth, and his speech, and all credit was to be given to it, because that which he arranged and agreed to with the King of Calecut, he affirmed it for ever ; this his sons also, and those who should descend from them, would likewise affirm, and he thus affirmed it. And they signed it with the signature of the King, and placed upon the letter the seal of his arms with red wax. Vasco da Gama got ready twelve men of good appearance to go with him well dressed ; and the present for the King, which was a piece of very fine scarlet cloth and a piece of crimson velvet, a piece of yellow satin, a chair covered with brocade of much nap, studded with silver gilt nails; a cushion of crimson satin, with tassels of gold thread ; and another cushion of red satin for the feet ; a hand basin chased and gilt, with a ewer of the same kind, a very handsome thing ; and a large, very splendid, gilt mirror; fifty scarlet caps, with buttons and tassels of crimson twisted silk and gold thread on the top of the caps ; and fifty sheaths of knives of Flanders, with ivory handles,9 which were made in Lisbon, and the sheaths gilt. All these things were wrapped in napkins, and all in very good order.10 [S. 174]
1 This speech seems very genuine, and much resembles many passages in the sixth chapter of the Fables of Pilpay or Humayūn Nameh, on the evils of precipitation.
2 The printed edition calls him Joan Martins.
3 Camões, Canto vii, 24.
Entre a gente que a vê-lo concorria,
Se chega um Mahometa, que nascido
Fora na região da Berberia,
Lá onde fora Anteu obedecido.
(Ou, pela vezinhança, já teria
O Reino Lusitano conhecido,
Ou foi já assinalado de seu ferro;
Fortuna o trouxe a tão longo desterro).
Em vendo o mensageiro, com jocundo
Rosto, como quem sabe a língua Hispana,
Lhe disse: – «Quem te trouxe a estoutro mundo,
Tão longe da tua pátria Lusitana?»
– «Abrindo (lhe responde) o mar profundo
Por onde nunca veio gente humana;
Vimos buscar do Indo a grão corrente,
Por onde a Lei divina se acrecente.»
Espantado ficou da grão viagem
O Mouro, que Monçaide se chamava,
Ouvindo as opressões que na passagem
Do mar o Lusitano lhe contava.
Mas vendo, enfim, que a força da mensagem
Só pera o Rei da terra relevava,
Lhe diz que estava fora da cidade,
Mas de caminho pouca quantidade;
E que, entanto que a nova lhe chegasse
De sua estranha vinda, se queria,
Na sua pobre casa repousasse
E do manjar da terra comeria;
E despois que se um pouco recreasse,
Co ele pera a armada tornaria,
Que alegria não pode ser tamanha
Que achar gente vizinha em terra estranha.
Entre a gente que a vê-lo concorria,
Se chega um Mahometa, que nascido
Fora na região da Berberia,
Lá onde fora Anteu obedecido.
(Ou, pela vezinhança, já teria
O Reino Lusitano conhecido,
Ou foi já assinalado de seu ferro;
Fortuna o trouxe a tão longo desterro).
O Português aceita de vontade
O que o ledo Monçaide lhe oferece;
Como se longa fora já a amizade,
Co ele come e bebe e lhe obedece.
Ambos se tornam logo da cidade
Pera a frota, que o Mouro bem conhece.
Sobem à capitaina, e toda a gente
Monçaide recebeu benignamente.
O Capitão o abraça, em cabo ledo,
Ouvindo clara a língua de Castela;
Junto de si o assenta e, pronto e quedo,
Pela terra pergunta e cousas dela.
Qual se ajuntava em Ródope o arvoredo,
Só por ouvir o amante da donzela
Eurídice, tocando a lira de ouro,
Tal a gente se ajunta a ouvir o Mouro.
Ele começa: – «Ó gente, que a Natura
Vizinha fez de meu paterno ninho,
Que destino tão grande ou que ventura
Vos trouxe a cometerdes tal caminho?
Não é sem causa, não, oculta e escura,
Vir do longinco Tejo e ignoto Minho,
Por mares nunca doutro lenho arados,
A Reinos tão remotos e apartados.
«Deus, por certo, vos traz, porque pretende
Algum serviço seu por vós obrado;
Por isso só vos guia e vos defende
Dos imigos, do mar, do vento irado.
Sabei que estais na Índia, onde se estende
Diverso povo, rico e prosperado
De ouro luzente e fina pedraria,
Cheiro suave, ardente especiaria.
Canto VII, 24.
Amongst the rout, which him did swarm to see,
Comes one, trayn'd up in the Arabian's lore,
Having been born in land of Barbaric,
There, where Anteus was obey'd of yore.
Whether, the Lusitanian people, he
Knew meerly as a neighbour to that shore ;
Or (bitten with their steel) was sent so far
On Fortune's errand by the chance of war.
The messenger with jocund face survay'd.
He in plain Spanish gave him thus the haile ;
How to this world, in name of Heav'n (cara'rade)
So distant from thy native Portugale !
Op'ning a passage through rough seas (he said)
Which never mortal wight before did sayle,
We come to seek of Indus the great streame,
Whereby to propagate the Gospel's beam.
Astonisht at so great a voyage stood
The Moor (his name Monsayde), briefly told
Their sad disasters on the azure flood,
And hair-breadth scapes, by this same Lusian bold.
But since, his main affair (he understood)
Unto the King alone he would unfold ;
He tells him, he at present is not there,
Being retir'd into the countrey neer.
So that (until the news at Court have bin
Of their prodigious passage through the mayn)
Please him, to make his homely nest, his inne ;
With victuals of the land hee'l entertain
Him there : and, being well refresht therein,
Himself will bring him to the fleet again.
For that, the world hath not a thing more sweet,
Than in a distant land when neighbours meet.
The Portingall with bosome not ingrate
Accepts the offer, kind Monsayde made.
As if their friendship were of ancient date.
With him, he eat, and drank, as he was pray'd.
Towards the ships (that done) return they straight :
Which the Moor knew when he the build survay'd.
They climbe the Am'ral, where both man and boy.
Receive Monsayde with a gen'ral joy.
The captain (rapt) him in his arms did squeeze,
Hearing the music of the Spanish tongue ;
And (seated by him) shrieves him by degrees
Touching the land, and things thereto that long.
But as in Thracian Rhodope the trees
And bruits, to hear his golden lute did throng
Who did his lost Euridice deplore ;
So throng'd the common men to hear the More.
He thus begins. O men ! whom Nature plac't
Neer to the nest where I my birth did take ;
What chance, or stronger destiny, so vast
So hard a voyage, made you undertake ?
For some hid cause from Tagus are ye past,
And unknown Minius, through that horrid lake
On which no.barke before did ever floate,
To kingdoms so conceal'd, and so remote.
God, God hath brought you : He hath (sure) some grand
And special business here for you to do.
For this alone He leads you by strong hand
Through foes, seas, stormes, and with a heavenly clew.
India is this, with sev'ral nations man'd;
Great Nature's bounty all beholding to
For glist'ring gold, for sparkling stones of price.
For odoriferous gums, for burning spice.
4 Barros and Camões relate that this Moor, whom they name Monzaide, was a native of the kingdom of Tunis, and had already had communications with the Portuguese at Oran; and that either from remembrance of the west, where he had been born, or from some other good disposition which moved him on seeing the Portuguese, and speaking to them in Castilian, from the moment he entered the ships, he became I intimate with Vasco da Gama, and came with him to Portugal, where he died a Christian.
The account of his origin and of the motives of his assisting the Portuguese related by Correa is much more probable than that of Barros ; it is also more agreeable to human nature, since, according to the account of Barros, if he had been an Arab from Tunis he would have been an unmitigated traitor.
5 It is not stated why Gama misrepresented and increased the length of time employed in his voyage ; Barros does not relate this, but he confirms it indirectly, since he says the Catual urged on the King of Calecut that little account was to be taken of the Portuguese, since they required two years' navigation to reach Calecut. Asia, i, lib. iv, cap. ix.
6 If the history of the Arabs in Spain be taken into consideration, there was nothing exaggerated in this picture, and subsequent events in India proved its correctness. Osorio gives a long speech by the Moors to the King of Calecut, like that given by Correa.
7 Barroa says they settled that Vasco da Gama should go on shore, and Paulo da Gama and Nicolas Coelho should remain on board.
8 The two brothers.
9 Tachas, properly studs, nails.
10 Barros says that Vasco da Gama went on shore with twelve persons, but that he had not taken a present with him, and on the day after his audience of the Zamorim [സാമൂതിരി], at the advice of Monzaide, he sent a few things to the Zamorim, with the excuse that when he left Portugal he was not sure of reaching India and seeing the King of Calecut, and therefore was not as well provided as he should have been, and these things were some which he had brought for his own use, and he sent them, not for their value, but as samples of Portuguese goods : and only these had escaped from the damp of the sea, as they had been going on it so long. Barros says Gama brought two letters from the King of Portugal to the King of Calecut, one in Portuguese, the other written in Arabic. Castanheda says, the King finding Gama had brought nothing from the King of Portugal, asked for the golden image of St. Mary which he had in his ship ; Gama replied that the St. Mary was of gilt wood and not of gold, and even if it was he could not give it, as it preserved him at sea. Castanheda says Gama gave two letters, one in Portuguese, the other in Arabic ; this latter was read and explained to the King by a committee of four Moors, one of whom, at Gama's request, was Monzaide. Osorio says Gama went ashore with twelve men, and gave his letters and presents to the King, who seemed to despise them ; Gama excused them on the ground that D. Manuel had hardly expected that the voyage would end so prosperously. Gama begged the King not to communicate the letters to the Moors, but only to Monzaide.
How Vasco da Gama went on shore, and had an interview with the King of Calecut, and spoke to him about a covenant of peace and trade : and of what happened.
[S. 175] The King, on receiving the message of the captain-major to the effect that he could do nothing without first establishing peace, and giving an explanation of this, and that after peace was established then he would establish trade, spoke of this matter to his confidantes and the overseer of the treasury and the Gozil; for the King said he desired to know what the Portuguese King wanted. The overseer of the treasury and the Gozil, who had already received the presents of the Moors, said to the King that it was very requisite first to learn the truth about our people whether they came for a good purpose or not ; and that meantime he should send to tell them to send a man from whom he could get information as to what the Portuguese wanted, and if it was a thing agreeable to his will, then he would hear the embassage of their King. This advice seemed good to the King ; and at the end of three days after that he sent to call the broker, who was always on shore with Joan Nũz to purchase provisions. The broker however also bought porcelain, benzoin, and bags of musk, these in small quantities ; also pepper which they sold him by measure, and bundles of cinnamon and ginger, as if for himself, and at night they carried it away, when they went to the ship. When these came before the King he told them to go to the ship and take a message to the captain, and he sent with them a Nair, a relation of the Gozil, and told them to say that a man should be sent who could give explanations as to what he might ask him, and that they should send word through him how they wished the [S. 176] peace to be made. The captain-major, seeing that a boat was coming with a message, ordered the things of the present, which have been already mentioned, to be put on handkerchiefs, as if they were cleaning and sunning them, also many strings of coral beads, which was their principal merchandise. When the Nair came on board, they gave him a good reception, and when he had given the King's message they at once called Nicolas Coelho, who came from the other ship, and the captain-major sent him on shore well dressed and with twelve men, and told him what the King wished to know from him, and that when he asked about the peace, he was to tell him that he, the King, was to give his peace and security like a King, such as he was, to the Portuguese that they might go on shore buying and selling merchandise, and that no one was to do them any harm, nor any fraud, neither in the prices nor in the goods, and they were to give them everything the same as to the other foreign merchants, and that they should give them boats to embark every evening what they bought in the day, and that they might buy goods in what quantities they pleased, and that they should not pay more duties than what were customary in the country, both with regard to what they bought and what they sold ; and this trade of buying and selling was to last for ever with such good friendship as if he was own brother to the King of Portugal ; and of this he was to take oath, according to his usage, and give his signature. If he was satisfied with this, and gave his oath and signature, a factor would then go on shore immediately with the goods. When all should have been thus established, and the buying and selling commenced, and the captain-major should see that this was being done with order and friendship, he would immediately, on hostages being sent, go on shore to establish and confirm this peace also with his oath ; and would show the letters which he brought from the King with his present. All this the captain-major gave in writing to Nicolas Coelho. [S. 177] While this was being done, the Nair was looking at the things which were spread out, at which he was surprised ; and the captain-major gave him a cap and a knife with a sheath ; and, as the cap had no tassel, he asked to have one of the other caps and knives, but the broker told him that those were to be taken to the King. Then they went ashore, and when they landed many people ran up, and when they reached the gate of the palace they found many seats like benches of earth, very well arranged, on which was seated the Gozil on a mat of many patterns ; he rose and made a salutation to Nicolas Coelho, and made him sit close to him ; there were here two hundred men of the Nairs who were in the service of the Gozil. He ordered the Nair who had come with them to go inside the palace to take information to the King, and the Nair went and remained so long without returning, that it appears he was relating to the King all that he had seen in the ship. It was now very late, for this happened after they had already dined, and the sun had set, when a message arrived from the King that he could not speak to them as he was engaged, and would speak to them next morning. Nicolas Coelho said nothing, and asked the Gozil to order a boat to be prepared for him and he would return to the ship. He answered that the sea was high, and for that reason no one could go to the ships at night. They remained there a great part of the night; then the Gozil sent Nicolas Coelho to the house of a Gentile, a man of the country, which was a very good house ; and he ordered them to give him there boiled rice, which they set before him on green fig leaves, which were as broad as a sheet of paper ; and they gave him fowls, roast and boiled after their fashion, and good figs. When they had done eating, they gave them mats on which they slept upon benches like those that were at the King's door. The Castilian, who had seen everything, when it was night kept walking before the door of the house, until Nicolas Coelho [S. 178] came out for a moment, when lie told him to dissemble, because they were exposing him to these delays in order that he might get angry and lose his temper, and he went away not to be seen speaking to Coelho. Next day Nicolas Coelho took it very easily and leisurely in the house until they came to call him, when he went to the King's house, where he was met at the door by the overseer of the treasury, with many people, who received him with much honour, and told him that the King was indisposed and could not talk to him, and that the King sent word that Coelho was to say to him all that he wished. Nicolas Coelho said that he had brought a message which the captain-major had ordered him to repeat to the King, and therefore he could not speak it except to him ; and if the King was indisposed, he would go back to the ships and would come whenever the King pleased. The overseer of the treasury pressed him to speak to him, but Nicolas Coelho would not, and asked him for a boat to return to his ship. The overseer of the treasury sent word of this to the King, who ordered him to be introduced. The overseer of the treasury then brought Coelho to where the King was, in a small house like a chamber with little light. The King was seated on a low bed covered with a white cloth; near him was one of his Brahmans, who are like their clergy. Nicolas Coelho made his most profound salutation to the King, and remained standing in silence. The Brahman asked the broker why he did not speak ; and the broker repeated this in another language to Joan Nũz, who repeated it to Nicolas Coelho : and he replied that he could not speak without the King's commanding him to do so. Then the King bade him speak, and he gave him the whole message which he had brought, as the captain-major had ordered him. After hearing it, the King told him to go outside and wait, and the overseer of the treasury would bring him the answer. Nicolas Coelho replied that he [S. 179] would not receive the answer from any one except from himself. Then the King said that he was satisfied with all he had asked, and he ordered the overseer of the treasury to carry it all out, and with that he dismissed him.1 When they had again come outside, the overseer of the treasury told him to say what goods they had brought. He replied that they would bring what they had got on shore, and if they were not satisfied with them, they would take them back again, and would buy with gold and silver, but that they would have to settle the prices, and do all this after that the King had made everything secure as he had said ; and then they would commence trade of buying and selling as in a country of a friend and brother of the King of Portugal, and the captain-major would come on shore to give the embassage which he had brought for the King. A message of this was sent back to the King, who sent his signature on a dry leaf of a palm tree: the King's Brahman brought it ; it was written with letters made with strokes. The Brahman took a thread which he wore hung round his shoulders between his thumbs with his hands joined, and swore that the King had signed that leaf, and in it affirmed everything just as the captain-major had requested. Then Nicolas Coelho spoke to the broker, who told him to take the leaf with marks of satisfaction, that he believed all as true, and afterwards he would see how the business advanced. Then Nicolas Coelho, with signs of pleasure, took the leaf and kissed it, and placed it on his head, and put it in his bosom, and asked the overseer of the treasury to give him a boat to take the message to the captain-major. This he gave him at once, and on going to the beach the Castilian passed by the broker and put into his hand a writing by which he told the captain-major to make rejoicing over the King's leaf, and to send on shore a small quantity of merchandise for selling and buying each day, [S. 180] and that at night they should embark what they bought ; and to send a factor with the broker and Joan Nũz, and another man, and that they should be warned not to try to obtain more than was offered. When Nicolas Coelho arrived, and Vasco da Gama saw the letter of the Castilian, and Coelho had related to him what had happened, what the Castilian said seemed to him good advice, and he ordered flags to be hung out, and the trumpets to be sounded, and salutes to be fired with several charges in both ships ; at which the people were amazed seeing the ships fire so many discharges. Immediately after, the captain-major, running the risk of the luck which God might give, appointed as factor one Diego Diaz, a man of the King's establishment, and as clerk Peter de Braga,2 and with them Joan Nũz, and the broker and the Moorish pilot from Melinde, whom he invited to go with them on shore. By the advice of the broker, in order to settle the price, he sent in a chest one hundredweight of unwrought branch coral, and as much of vermilion, and a barrel of quicksilver, fifty pigs of copper, twenty strings of large cut coral, and as many of amber, and five Portugueses of gold, fifty cruzados, and a hundred testoons in silver ; also a table with a green cloth, and a wooden balance with four weights of a quintal, and one half quintal, and he ordered them to accept as the price what was given them, and to verify it with the balance and weights. All which the clerk was to write down in the book which he carried for that purpose, and they were not to crave more than what was given them ; and by no means to persist, nor to allow the broker to show any urgency or obstinacy, as was his custom ; and in everything they were to show that they were pleased, and to act so that they should rather be considered as simple men than as wary ; and he told the broker and pilot not to be in anywise obstinate in buying and selling, as such was their custom, and [S. 181] when they did not find a good market they went to some other place where they found it better. Having given all of them instructions as to what they had to do, he sent them in the boat, in which they went to a short distance from the land, and anchored with a grapnel, because they could not reach the land, for the waves broke very much, and only the Indian skiffs were able to take the waves, which did them no harm. As soon as the boat anchored, there came at once a skiff from the shore, in which the broker and Joan Nũz and the pilot placed themselves, and went on shore to ask the overseer of the treasury to give them a house on the beach for the factor to remain there with the goods which they were bringing ; he at once gave orders to the broker to take whichever house he pleased. This he did, and took a large house in two compartments, from which they at once cleared out the people who lived in it. The skiff brought the factor and clerk and all the merchandise, and the balance which they suspended, and they placed the table with a bench which they also brought from the ship ; the merchandise they placed in the other apartment. Soon after the overseer of the treasury came with many Nairs, whom he ordered to keep off many people and Moors who were looking on. The factor then showed all that he had got there to the overseer of the treasury, who asked him if he had got much goods of those which he had shown him. He replied that he had little, because much others had gone in the other ship, and that he would sell all that he had if he found anything to buy. The overseer asked what money he had got, and the factor showed it him. The overseer of the treasury then sent for a changer, who weighed it all, and proved it with his touchstones, which they carry for that purpose, and with which they are very clever ; and they set a value on each coin, which they told to the factor, and the clerk wrote it down, and it was higher than in Portugal. The factor said that it was worth [S. 182] more in his country, but that they might make a profit on their purchases. A price was then set upon each article of merchandise separately by itself, upon which a large profit was made, both in the value and also in the weight, which they named farazolas,3 which, being verified by the scales, gives twenty farazolas and eighteen pounds one bahar. They also settled the prices of pepper and all the drugs. When they wanted to set a price upon other goods, the factor said that he had not got leave to buy anything else but drugs. Then the Gozil asked what they wanted next, for he was also there, having come later bringing with him a few Moors of his party for them to see what was being done. The overseer of the treasury then asked if they wished to begin weighing at once ; they said yes : he then ordered many sacks of pepper to be brought, which were weighed in their balance, which was large and with one arm only, and each weighed five farazolas. The factor received it as it was in the sacks, without deduction for the sacks, and without speaking about the price, since it was very little. All day they weighed pepper, and in the evening they reckoned what it was worth, and the factor told the overseer of the treasury to take payment in any sort of goods as he pleased : this he took in cut coral, and copper and quicksilver, which was sufficient for the goods which had been weighed ; all which was weighed very favourably to his satisfaction by the overseer of the treasury, who hindered him in nothing; so the factor gave him more than the weight, until the balance touched the ground. Having ended, all the goods were carried away and embarked in Indian skiffs, which put it into the boats, both of which took the cargo, and the skiffs returned ashore. Whilst the overseer of the treasury was about to go away, the factor gave him [S. 183] ten ells of crimson satin and four red caps, and six knives with sheaths, which the overseer thanked him for, making many offers ; and he asked the factor what goods he wished to put on board next day : he replied that he would send and ask the captain-major. Then the overseer of the treasury left him a Nair, who was always to remain for his protection ; this the factor thanked him for very much, and was glad of it, because he made the people keep off from the door, who smothered them. The boats went to the ship, and with them the clerk Peter de Braga, who went to give an account of what had happened, and show the book in which he had written the weights and prices of everything and of the money, at which they experienced great satisfaction and gave great praise to the Lord. Next day they sent more copper in the boats, and also a little more or less of the other goods, as much as was sufficient for weighing during the day. Vasco da Gama sent to tell the factor to ask the overseer of the treasury to give them pepper because it had to go below all the other goods ; and to buy poles and planks to make compartments for each sort of goods to go separate, which was done. Next day the boats went in the morning to take their posts, and the Indian skiffs came at once and carried the goods on shore. Then the overseer of the treasury ordered pepper to be carried to the factory, and sent one of his clerks to be present at the weighing. When the overseer of the treasury related to the King the prices which he had fixed, and the manner in which things had been weighed, he was much pleased at the large profits which were made, and which doubled the money of all that was bought and sold ; and he told the overseer of the treasury to give them also some of all the other goods, so as to see with which most gain was made. During this day also pepper was weighed as the factor had requested, and he paid the labourers what the King's clerk, who was looking on at the weighing, told him to give [S. 184] them. The pilot also purchased planks and rafters, which he took to the ships in Indian boats, for which a fixed price had been established for each journey they made to the boats or to the ships. The boats remained constantly in the position they had taken, each one with two swivel guns and a gunner, and sailors with pikes under the benches, and swords placed below the thwarts of the boats, and they carried with them provisions to eat, and were always ready at hand to come up if any disturbance occurred : and they went on weighing until the evening, when the overseer of the treasury came to make the account and receive the merchandise, and he took those goods which the factor gave him, because upon all of them much money was gained. At night, when the Portuguese took the goods on board, the overseer of the treasury went to give an account to the King, who ordered that ginger should be given next day, which was done, and the ginger was brought to the factory; it came smeared with red clay, because it was exported in that manner, for with the clay it travelled better, and with more strength. But the clay was so much in excess of what was sufficient, that the clay weighed much more than the ginger, which was a great robbery of the Portuguese, and the factor understood it, because the broker pointed it out to him ; but he dissembled and told the overseer of the treasury to order more clay to be put upon the ginger, because it had to go a long way. Of this the overseer of the treasury ordered so much to be brought, that they had to spend three days in weighing it ; during these they also brought in some pepper, because the factor said it was necessary to stow it below the other merchandise. The Mozambique pilot who was in the ship arranged the compartments with the rafters and planks, all which were made very strong and pitched over, which was done by the ship's workmen; and they were lined with matting, of which there was plenty on shore, made for this purpose of stowing [S. 185] cargo in ships. The pilot told the captain-major that each kind of goods was to go by itself separated from the rest, because that which went mixed was spoiled, the one kind by another ; and it was thus executed as the pilot directed. When three days had passed, during which they weighed the ginger, the overseer of the treasury said that they should take cinnamon ; the factor said they would take the cinnamon last, because, as it was a bulky article of little weight, it must lie on the top of the cargo. The overseer replied that it was necessary they should take a little of it, because they had to clear out a house in which it was kept. The factor, seeing that perforce he would have to do as the overseer chose, could not do anything else ; and the cinnamon was brought in packages of sticks and mats, and so they weighed it, and it was old cinnamon and of a bad quality which was unserviceable. The factor acted as if he did not perceive it, and weighed it, and the boats went loaded with it three times, during a day till nightfall, to the ships, and all of it was discharged into the ship of the captain-major, which as yet had got no cargo. The factor wrote to the captain-major that he had taken the cinnamon, although it was bad, because the overseer of the treasury had sent it for him to take. The captain-major answered him, telling him to take everything, even should they be worse goods, because they were not able to do better ; and that he was always to ask for pepper, which was the most suitable, because they could not stow cargo without first having pepper to go below. The King was so covetous, on account of the large gains he was making upon the purchases and sales, that he now no longer recollected anything about the embassy. The Moors felt great vexation at seeing the Portuguese thus taking in cargo, and that like stupid people they accepted so unprofitably whatever was given them without making any complaint, since these were bad articles, which were not worth the half of what they were [S. 186] giving for them, and the merchandise which they gave was with excess of weight; and they knew that the King was so covetous that, as long as the Portuguese wished to buy, the King would sooner supply our men than them ; on which account, if many ships came to fetch cargo, they would entirely lose their trade. So they went to speak to the Gozil, and made a long exposition to him, saying that he very well saw that the buying and selling of the Portuguese was like that of stupid men, who gave for merchandise the double of what it was worth, and who took rotten things which were of no use, and were delighted with them as if they were good; all which the King gave because he gained so much by it ; and that it was certain that always and whenever the Christians should come thither, he would be selling merchandise and supplying cargo to them sooner than to the Moors. Wherefore, if they could not get cargoes as they had done for so many years, they would be entirely ruined, and all their remedy to prevent this coming to pass lay in his hand, and in that of the overseer of the treasury, as they could counsel the King not to establish peace nor trade with the Portuguese except after he had first had many years experience of their being sincere friends ; because it was very clear that they were not merchants, but spies who came to see the country, in order to come afterwards with a large fleet to take and plunder it ;4 [S. 187] because, if they were really merchants, they would not buy in that manner, nor unprofitably give such high prices for that which was worth nothing : and withal the King was so covetous, that he neither saw nor understood how much this was of importance to his kingdom and his vassals, and he had established peace and trade, in order to see the embassage, and learn of what nature it was, all which had been entirely forgotten. And since they would give the Gozil and the overseer as much as they pleased, they should find the means of counselling the King to send for the embassy to come on shore, and to do his business as so great a King should do. If the ambassador came, by showing him great state, he would esteem the King much more highly, because the Grand Turk, whenever he received an embassy from any King, however great he might be, the ambassador, before he saw him, waited at his doors for many days, for all consisted in points of honour and state and ceremony which great kings have to uphold ; and after that the embassage has been heard, many days pass before the reply is despatched. Therefore, since the Gozil had already given [S. 188] them his word, let him take some action in the matter so as to prevent the cargo being proceeded with, and then they would at once see the arrogance of the Portuguese, and that which they concealed under the cloak of merchants. The Gozil offered to do it, for he felt envy on account of what the overseer of the treasury had got from our men, and he went to the King and spoke to him in the manner in which the Moors had spoken to him ; upon which the King sent to call the overseer of the treasury, and talked over with him what the Gozil had been saying. The overseer said that the Portuguese put all on board, and paid as much as was asked, without rejecting or refusing anything; at which the Gozil said, that on that account he had great suspicions that the Portuguese were not merchants ; that if they were so, they would not take poor and despicable merchandise, giving for it double what it was worth, but that he understood truly that they were evil men of war, and thus in the guise of merchants they entered into countries to spy and search in order afterwards to come and rob, and therefore they ought not to give them cargo, but rather to kill them all and burn the ships, so that they should never return there again. The King said, since that was their opinion, he would send for the ambassador to come, who would bring him the present, and afterwards they would do whatever would be for the best, and that they should still go on selling goods to them, because if they did not supply them, the Portuguese would at once be filled with suspicions of evil, on account of which the ambassador would not come on shore : this seemed to them good. The King then arranged with the Gozil the coming and reception of the ambassador, and that after he had come on shore, he would go thence outside to Panane, where he used to reside frequently, and he would order the ambassador to come thither, and if he did not go, he would order him to be brought by force, and he would order him to be seized if he [S. 189] broke out into any violence ; and they settled that that would be a good course. Immediately next day the Gozil sent one of the King's Nairs with a message to the captain-major, that the King said that since peace had been established as he desired, and he was loading his ships, he would be pleased if he came to deliver the embassage which he had brought for him. The Castilian, who took good care, as it pleased the Lord, on learning these things, came at night in the garb of a beggar, and going along begging alms, reached the door of the factory and begged alms in Castilian, and the factor recognised him, because the Castilian told him by a sign, and he brought him inside, when he told the factor that the captain-major was not to come ashore without good hostages, and that he would give him a sign of what would be a good one : then he went out again, begging in the same way. This the factor wrote to the captain-major, who on hearing the message of the Nair, told him that he was ready to go at once, and he asked him as a favour at once to send a hostage to the ship as was the custom for ambassadors, because he was ready to go immediately. When the King heard this, with the longing that he had for the present, he told the Gozil to send a couple of Nairs, of the most honourable that he had, and with them his nephew. The Gozil did not like this, as he did not know what would turn out. The King told him to send them, because after the ambassador had come on shore he would send for them to come, and of this he gave him his promise. Then the three Nairs, with very good cloths, and gold bracelets on the shield-arms above their elbows, and gold earrings in their ears, and their swords and splendid shields, which it is their custom always to carry as long as they live, by day and night, were delivered over by the Gozil to the factor, for him to convey them to the ship; he excused himself from doing so, saying he could not because he was weighing, but that the interpreter [S. 190] Joan Nũz would go to the King for him to deliver them up, because they had to be received from the King's hand, and then he would conduct them to the ship. This the Gozil did, and went with the interpreter to the King, and delivered to him the hostages. Meanwhile, the Castilian found time to tell the factor which of the three Nairs was the Gozil's nephew, who was sufficient. They went immediately in an Indian boat to the ship, and the captain-major received them with much honour ; and seeing three hostages, on account of the notice which he had already received from the factor, he said through the interpreter that one hostage was sufficient for so great a king as was the King of Calecut, even though he were only one youth belonging to his household. They then got ready at once, and the captain-major ordered all the articles which I have before mentioned to be wrapped up in handkerchiefs and napkins, and the Nairs were delighted to see them : and he ordered the trumpeters to be dressed in white and red liveries which he had had made ; and on the trumpets were set streamers of white and red taffety, with a gilt sphere upon them, and their slings, and the trumpets were cleaned and burnished so that they shone like gold. He took to accompany him twelve men well clothed, and some of his household, and there went Alvaro de Braga, Joan de Setubal, and Joan Pallia, all smart men. The clothes of the captain-major and the articles of silver were put in a chest, and all embarked in the boat, and he took one of the Nairs, and left the other with the Gozil's nephew, well lodged in an apartment of his cabin, to whom Paulo da Gama gave a good welcome. Next day Vasco da Gama went in the boats, which also carried goods for the factory, where the Gozil, with many people, was on the beach waiting for him ; and he first sent the Nair to go and tell the King that he was there, and with him he sent an interpreter. This the captain-major did on account of a warning from the Castilian, who sent [S. 191] him word that the King was about to go five leagues outside the city, in order to bid him go thither, and that this was at the advice of the Moors. The Nair and interpreter, on reaching land and mentioning the message with which they were going to the King, were sent back again by the Gozil to the captain-major to tell him to disembark and that they would go to the King's houses, and that he had had to go outside the city in a hurry and would return in the evening, and had given orders for them to wait there till he came. Vasco da Gama sent the Nair on shore to wait until he saw the King and tell him that he was coming at his summons, and that as he did not find him, on that account he was returning to the ship until the King came : and if he sent for him to come, he would come at once. At this the Gozil felt melancholy ; and said to the factor that the captain-major did wrong not to come out and wait for the King as he had bidden. The factor told him that the captain-major was doing what he was ordered by his instructions, and that he was not to give his embassage by night but by day, when the King was in his palace with all his nobles. Then he sent word to the captain-major to send the hostages on shore that they might go and eat. The captain-major answered that he had not got to send them, that he had no authority over them, and that they could very well go away if they pleased, as he was not going to keep them by force. Then Yasco da Gama spoke to the hostages, and told them that he had been going on shore to speak to the King, and that he had not found him, since the Gozil had sent to say that the King had gone outside to some other part, and that he had sent him word to send them on shore, which he could not order them to do, because the King had ordered them to remain there in the ship until he had spoken to him ; therefore, if they wished to go, they might go and welcome, as he did not keep them by force. The Nairs said that they would not go except [S. 192] with the King's orders, and they sent to say this to the Gozil ; on account of which they brought them their food and water, which they drank. The Gozil sent a message to the King of what the captain-major had done. The King was angry because he was inclined to go out of the city, and he came back at once next day, and sent to tell the captain-major that he was in his palace waiting for him. Upon this the captain-major went at once in the boat, and the Moorish broker took him on shore with all the packages in large Indian boats, and he went into the factory, where he dressed himself in a long cloak coming down to his feet, of tawny coloured satin, lined with smooth brocade, and underneath a short tunic of blue satin, and white buskins, and on his head a cap with lappets of blue velvet, with a white feather fastened under a splendid medal ; and a valuable enamel collar on his shoulders, and a rich sash with a handsome dagger. He had a page dressed in red satin, and in front of him went the men in file one before another. First after these went the basin, carried wrapped in a napkin by a man who held it against his breast, and in front another with the ewer ; then a tray with the knives and caps, and then the open mirror which had doors, and was all splendidly gilt ; next the pieces of silk, and in front of all the chair carried upon the head of the broker : and there was in front a piece of scarlet cloth opened so as to show it. Before these went the trumpets sounding, and the factor went with a cane in his hand, and his cap off, as he conducted all the bearers of the present. The King was in a balcony and saw everything in the order in which it came, with great pleasure at seeing such rich things. The factor entered in front and presented each thing to the King, and he placed a cushion upon the chair, and another at its foot [and said], that the ambassador asked him as a favour to sit on the chair for him to give him his embassage seated on that chair, and the King, with the great satisfaction [S. 193] which he experienced, sat upon it. Before arriving at the palace there was a long street through which the captain-major went ; but the crowd was so great that our men could not advance, even though there were many Nairs making the people keep off, and in that crowd there were a great number of Moors also with swords and shields, after the fashion of the Nairs. The captain-major went very leisurely and without fatiguing himself, and remained still until they had made the people stand off. Before reaching the palace, by the King's orders, the catual of the King's house came to receive the captain-major ; he is the chief officer of the guard of the King's palace, and if any one enters where the King dwells without his leave, immediately he will order his head to be cut off at the door of the palace without asking the king's pleasure about it. With this Catual the Portuguese proceeded with less encumbrance, because he ordered the people to keep off, and they were much afraid of him. Each time the factor presented any piece of goods, the King looked at it for some time, and this caused much detention. When the captain-major arrived, he was conducted through many courts and verandahs to a dwelling opposite to that in which the King was, beyond, in another room arranged with silk stuffs of various colours, and a white canopy, which was of subtle workmanship and covered the whole room. The King was sitting in his chair, which the factor had got him to sit upon ; he was a very dark man, half naked, and clothed with white cloths from the middle to the knees : one of these cloths ended in a long point on which were threaded several gold rings with large rubies, which made a great show. He had on his left arm a bracelet above the elbow, which seemed like three rings together, the middle one larger than the others, all studded with rich jewels, particularly the middle one which bore large stones which could not fail to be of very great value ; from this middle ring hung a pendent stone which glittered : it was a diamond of [S. 194] the thickness of a thumb ; it seemed a priceless thing. Round his neck was a string of pearls about the size of hazel nuts, the string took two turns and reached to his middle ; above it he wore a thin round gold chain which bore a jewel of the form of a heart, surrounded with larger pearls, and all full of rubies : in the middle was a green stone of the size of a large bean, which, from its showiness was of great price, which was called an emerald ; and, according to the information which the Castilian afterwards gave the captain-major of this jewel, and of that which was in the bracelet on his arm, and of another pearl which the King wore suspended in his hair, they were all three belonging to the ancient treasury of the Kings of Calecut. The King had long dark hair, all gathered up and tied on the top of his head with a knot made in it ; and round the knot he had a string of pearls like those round his neck, and at the end of the string a pendent pearl pear-shaped and larger than the rest, which seemed a thing of great value. His ears were pierced with large holes, with many gold ear-rings of round beads. Close to the King stood a boy, his page, with a silk cloth round him ; he held a red shield with a border of gold and jewels, and a boss in the centre of a span's breadth of the same materials, and the rings inside for the arm were of gold ; also a short drawn sword of an ell's length, round at the point, with a hilt of gold and jewellery with pendent pearls. On the other side stood another page, who held a gold cup with a wide rim, into which the King spat ; and at the side of his chair was his chief Brahman, who gave him from time to time a green leaf closely folded with other things inside it, which the King ate and spat into the cup. That leaf is of the size of an orange leaf, and the King was always eating it ; and after much mastication he spat it into the cup, and takes a fresh one, because ho only tastes the juice of this leaf and the mixture that goes with it of quick-lime and other things, which they call areca, cut up small ; it is of the [S. 195] size of a chestnut. Thus chewed all together, it makes the mouth and teeth very red, because they use it all day wherever they may be going, and it makes the breath very pleasant. The factor having finished presenting all the things to the King, which he was looking at very leisurely, the ambassador arrived and made profound salutations to the King ; and the King, bowing his head and his body a little, extended his right hand and arm, and with the points of his fingers he touched the right hand of the captain-major, and bade him sit upon the dais upon which he was ; but he did not sit down, and spoke to him through the language which Joan Nũz spoke to the broker, and the broker spoke to the Brahman, who was by the King ; there were also there the overseer of the treasury and the Gozil, and Vasco da Gama said to the King, "Sire, you are powerful and very great above all the kings and rulers of India, and all of them are under your feet. The great King of Portugal my sovereign having heard of your grandeur, and it is spoken of throughout the world, had a great longing to become acquainted with you and to contract friendship with you as with a brother of his own, and with full and sincere peace and amity to send his ships with much merchandise, to trade and buy your merchandise, and above all pepper and drugs, of which there are none in Portugal ; and with this desire he sent fifty ships with his captain-major; and he sent me to go on shore with his present and message of love and friendship, which I have presented to you, because I have been separated from the rest of my company by storms. God has been pleased to bring me here where I now am, and, therefore, I truly believe that you are the king and ruler whom we came in search of, since here we find the pepper and drugs which our King commanded us to seek, and which you. Sire, have been pleased to give us; and I have great hopes in God that before we depart hence another fleet will arrive here, or some others, for without doubt, Sire, we came to seek for [S. 196] you; and I tell you, Sire, that so powerful is the King of Portugal my sovereign that after I shall have returned to him with your reply, and with this cargo which you are giving me, he will send hither so many fleets and merchandise, that they will carry away as many goods as are to be had in this city. To certify the truth of what I say, here is the letter of the King my sovereign signed with his hand and seal, and in it you will see his good and true words which he says to you." Vasco da Gama then kissed the letter and placed it upon his eyes, and upon his head, and gave it to the King with his knee on the ground ; the King took it and placed it on his breast with both hands, showing marks of friendship, and opened it and looked at it, then gave it to the overseer of the treasury, telling him to get it translated. The King then said to Vasco da Gama that he should go and rest, and that he would see the letter and answer it; and that he should ask the overseer of the treasury for whatever merchandise he wished to put on board, and he would give it him ; also whatever he required for the ships ; and that he should send all his people to the city to amuse themselves, and to buy whatever they liked, for no one would do them any harm. He told the Gozil to announce this by the crier, and with that he dismissed Vasco da Gama, saying that another day he would speak more at leisure, as it was now late. So Vasco da Gama went out with the overseer of the treasury, and the Gozil, and the Catual of the King's door, who brought him to the factory, with his trumpets blowing before him, and there they took leave of him with salutations. The captain-major slept at the factory, after his great satisfaction, and the next day he sent the trumpeters to the ship with a letter in which he wrote all that had taken place with the King.
1 The other historians do not mention this visit of Coelho to the King.
2 Barros mentions their appointment, but as having happened later, he names De Braga, Alvaro, instead of Peter.
3 The appendix to Barbosa and Magellan's book says: "a farazola is twenty-two pounds of sixteen ounces and six ounces and a half more : twenty farazolas are one bahar."
4 This advice not to make a treaty hurriedly was wise ; if trade is mutually advantageous no treaty is required, and both parties are interested in conducting themselves well, which they are not when one party is the strongest and has bound the weaker by a treaty. As soon as Vasco da Gama returned to Portugal, a fleet of thirteen ships was fitted out and sailed for India in the year 1500 under Pedralvares Cabral. It was not, however, a fleet of merchantmen laden with goods to exchange for the produce of India—it carried twelve hundred men and several priests, and the principal article, says Barros, in the instructions given to Pedralvares, was: "Before he attacked the Moors and idolaters of those parts with the material and secular sword, he was to allow the priests and monks to use their spiritual sword, which was to declare to them the Gospel, with admonitions and requisitions on the part of the Roman Church, asking them to abandon their idolatries, diabolical rites and customs, and to convert themselves to the faith of Christ, for all men to be united and joined in charity of religion and love, since we were all the work of one Creator, and redeemed by one Redeemer, who was Christ Jesus, promised by prophets, and hoped for by patriarchs for so many thousand years before he came. For which purpose they brought them all the natural and legal arguments which the Canon Right disposes of. And should they be so contumacious as not to accept this law of faith, and should reject the law of peace, which ought to be maintained amongst men, for the conservation of the human kind, and should they forbid commerce and exchange, which are the means by which peace and love amongst all men is conciliated and obtained (since this commerce is the foundation of all human polity, if the contracting parties agreed in religion and belief in the truth, which each one is obliged to hold and believe of God), in that case they should put them to fire and sword, and carry on fierce war against them. And of all these things he carried copious regulations." Decade i, lib. v, cap. i.
The overseer of the treasury came next day to the captain-major and brought him twenty pieces of white stuff, very fine with gold embroidey, which they called beyramies, [S. 197] and other twenty large white stuffs, very fine, which were named sinabafos, and ten pieces of coloured silk, and four large loaves of benzoin, as much as a man could carry, and in a porcelain jar fifty bags of musk : six basins of porcelain of the size of large soup basins, and six porcelain jars, each of which would hold ten canadas1 of water. He said that the King sent him these things for himself, and that when he went away, then he would give him what he was to take to the King. For which the captain-major sent his best thanks ; and he sent all these things and his clothes to the ship, and ordered them to bring on shore a piece of crimson satin and ten strings of large coral, and twenty red caps and many knives, and a piece of scarlet cloth, and a case of branch coral of the best that there was. The Gozil ordered the proclamation to be made which the King had commanded, and as the factory house was small, and the captain-major had ordered the scales to be mounted outside the door, he ordered a large shed to be made with boughs, and had it swept and watered, and he had benches set all round, upon which many merchants and Moors used to sit looking at what was going on. They were always weighing goods, and at night they paid, and before daylight put the goods on board, as the sea was sometimes favourable for that, but the best time was in the evening. Then the captain-major made presents, which he sent by the broker to the overseer of the treasury and the Gozil and Catual, to each ten ells of satin, six caps, ten knives in sheaths, three strings of coral, and half a quintal of branch coral ; with which they were much delighted, and sent great thanks : but the Gozil was angry because he knew that the captain-major had given more to the overseer of the treasury than to him. The Moors seeing this good state of affairs for the Portuguese, and the great evil that was beginning for them if they did not interrupt it, and that if the [S. 198] Portuguese trade and friendship remained thus established, they would be ruined for ever, they held their councils I and spoke to the Gozil and the Catual of the King's gate, and gave them much money to act so that this should not be established, for which purpose they might find means to excite some quarrel so that the Portuguese should do some harm and that they might kill some of them, after which the Portuguese also would wound and kill, and the King would be indignant against them, and order them all to be killed, and would take all that was in the factory. The Gozil, and especially the Catual, because he was in poorer circumstances and coveted much what the Moors gave and promised, bound themselves to do what they should see, but that as to quarrels and killing the Portuguese, they were afraid that the King would act with great severity in that case, because he was so taken with the Portuguese, as they saw. He therefore at once set on foot his evil design, and went to tell the captain-major that the King wished to speak to him next day, because afterwards he had to go to a city which was two leagues off where he had his principal residence, for this was only the commencement of the city, and he only came thither to see the ships ; and this was the truth, because from there to the principal residence of the King, which was in the middle of the city, there were two good leagues. The captain-major, on hearing this message, and believing that it was from the King, said that he would do what he ordered. But the King had not given such orders ; but when he sent those presents to the captain-major, he went to his residence in the city, as he had left everything well disposed of. The Catual took great precautions at the doors, in such a manner that no one could go in to the King without his first knowing of it, and going and telling the King, for this was his duty of chief guard ; and neither the overseer of the treasury nor the prince went in to the King without leave from the Catual ; and this was so [S. 199] according to their ancient usages. The Moors, seeing that the Catual had power to do everything, since he had the King so kept under his hand, that even if the Portuguese wished to complain to him of any injury that might be done them, they could not do so, bribed the Catual so much that he took measures for doing his work. Two days having passed, he came to the factory in a litter, which men carried on their shoulders. These are made with thick canes bent upwards and arched, and from them are suspended some cloths half a fathom in width, and a fathom and a half in length ; and at the extremities, pieces of wood to sustain the cloth hanging from the pole ; and upon this cloth a mattress of the same size as the cloth. All this made of silk stuffs and gold thread, with much embroidery and fringes, and tassels, and the ends of the pole mounted with silver ; the whole very splendid, and as rich as the gentlemen who go in them, who go sitting upon this mattress ; or, if they please, lying down on silken cushions ; and as many dainty luxuries as they may desire. The Catual came in one of these litters, and brought another like his own, saying that the King had sent it for Vasco da Gama to go in, since the distance was a long one, and it would weary him, for the King was in the city. The overseer of the treasury was in the factory talking to the captain-major about the goods. During these days much pepper was being given to him, and great preparations were making for embarking cargo; for they had already got many drugs, and were then taking cloves and nutmeg. The cloves were all stick, and the nutmegs half rotten ; but the captain-major and factor praised it all as good, so that the Moors and Gentiles were of opinion that the Portuguese were stupid, considering that they did not perceive that deceit. Then the captain-major got into the litter,2 and strongly recommended the preparations that [S. 200] were to be made to the overseer of the treasury and to the factor; and he went away with the Catual, thinking that he [S. 201] was conducting him to the King's palace. The Catual went leisurely, because eight men whom the captain-major took [S. 202] with him, in woollen jackets, with sticks in their hands, were getting tired. He had not chosen that they should carry [S. 203] swords, which the Nairs had much requested of him. Neither did the captain-major wear anything else than a tunic of red [S. 204] satin, and an overcoat of scarlet cloth, and a scarlet cloth cap. Thus they went by roads which the Catual took, with [S. 205] many turns, until it became night, when they stopped at some large houses, where they lodged the captain-major and [S. 206] his men in a separate inner house in the middle of the other houseSj and they gave them poor straw mats upon which to sit. When the captain-major left the factory, the Castilian passing by Joan Nũz, who came last of all, said to him, "Sufrir y callar" (endure and be silent). This he repeated to the captain-major as they were coming along the road, at [S. 207] which he was irritated. They remained thus sitting in the house, upon the mats, for a considerable part of the night. Then they brought them boiled rice upon fig-leaves, with boiled fish ; and they shut the door outside, and no one spoke to them any more; only they set down inside ajar of water. Some, who were hungry, ate; but the captain-major ate nothing, from his irritation and anger; and he walked up and down almost the whole night, for the house was very close, and the air very still. When it was morning they did not open the door till very late, when the Catual sent to tell him that the King's orders were for him to remain there, as he could not speak to him. The captain-major sent Joan Nũz with a message to the Catual, but they did not permit him to go with it; and they again shut the door until almost midday, when they brought them rice and fish to eat, as before. Then Joan Nũz said to the people who brought it, that they required to go out for their natural wants. They said they would go and tell the Catual ; and in a short time they returned with leave for those to go out who wanted ; [S. 208] and five went out, who were separated; and each one went with a Nair as a guard, who conducted them to the edge of a thicket, where they were able to retire. After that they again put them in the house, and shut them in ; and so they remained all day and the night, and all were very angry at seeing themselves thus prisoners. The captain-major, although his heart was burning with fire, yet dissembled, and put on a good face, telling them not to be angry, because God would deliver them, if it so pleased Him. Next day, in the morning, the Nairs took them away, saying that the Catual had ordered them to go in that direction, and they went amongst thickets until about midday, stifled with the great heat of the sun ; and they reached the bank of a river, where they were put into two Indian boats, and they went along a great river which had large villages of houses on both banks. The boat in which five of the Portuguese went, remained behind, and the boat which carried the captain-major arrived at a place where there were some small thatched houses. There they did not let them land ; only they remained until some rice was cooked, which they gave them, saying that there was nothing else to eat with it. Some, who were very hungry, ate it ; but his great passion did not suffer the captain-major to eat ; and they again proceeded along the river. The captain-major was very angry because he did not see the other boat, but he said nothing; and when it was almost night they landed, and were put into a house, and shut in, in the same manner. Joan Nũz asked the Nairs for the other boat ; they said that it would come soon.
1 A Canada is a measure equal to three pints.
2 This account differs from that of Barros and Camões in many respects ; they relate that Gama had an audience of the Zamorin, whom
they describe in much the same language as that of Correa : their account of Gama's speech or embassage to the Zamorin is also the same, except that they do not mention his fiction of having started with fifty ships. Barros represents this embassage as having been delivered at a second audience, and that at the first two letters from Dom Manuel were presented to the Zamorin, one in Arabic and the other in Portuguese. Barros says that the Catual told the Castilian Moor to attend upon Gama ; and Camões represents the Catual as questioning him about the Portuguese ; and in the speech which he puts into the mouth of the Moor Monzaide the poet shows more knowledge of the opinions of the Moors than is to be found generally at the present day, for Monzaide says to the Catual of the Portuguese, Canto vii, 69.—
"Têm a lei dum Profeta, que gerado
Foi sem fazer na carne detrimento
Da mãe, tal que por bafo está aprovado
Do Deus, que tem do mundo o regimento,
They hold a Prophet's law who was begot
Sinless nor stained with carnal detriment
His Mother ; and that same the Word they wot
O' the God who sways the world omnipotent.
Captain R. Burton.
Barros then says that the Moors, forewarned by auguries of the ruin the Portuguese would bring upon them and upon Malabar, persuaded and bribed the Catual to thwart the Portuguese ; and the first thing he did was to prohibit the Portuguese from going out of their house on the beach into the town, giving as a reason the danger of their getting into a quarrel with the Moors. Vasco da Gama, seeing these delays, asked to be dismissed without any cargo of spices, since it was sufficient for him to bring back news to the King of Portugal, and Monzaide advised him to get away before the large Arab ships arrived from the Red Sea. The Catual then informed the Zamorin that in general all the people in Calicut who came from the west said that the Portuguese were corsairs rather than merchants, that they were men banished from their own country, and that the letters which they had given under the name of embassage were a fiction to conceal their infamy as vagabonds, that it was not in reason that a king so distant as was the west of the country of the Franks should send an embassy which had no other foundation than a desire for friendship with the King of Calecut ; and this very circumstance showed that it could not be, for one reason for friendship was communication between persons, and assistance in action, and in this case there was the great difference between their respective creeds, and the distance between the states: and a king so great and powerful as the King of Portugal was represented by them to be, gave a bad sign of his power in the present which he had sent, which was rather that of a simple merchant, and any merchant from the Straits gave a better one : they had brought no goods in proof of their being merchants, and it was better not to lose the profits which they already had from the Moors for the promises of men who dwelled in the extremities of the earth and required two years of navigation to arrive ... The Zamorin, on reflection, sent for Vasco da Gama, and urged him to tell him the truth, whether he was in reality a banished man, and that if so he would assist him, and whether it was true that he had no king, and was more of a corsair than a merchant. Vasco da Gama did not let him go on further, and said that it was no wonder the King of Calecut's vassals thought such things, from the great novelty of people who were new to them in religion and customs, and who had come by a way never before navigated, with an embassage from a powerful king who did not pretend to more than their friendship, and to giving them a new outlet for their spices, because Portugal was so rich in men, arms, horses, gold, silver, silk, and other things necessary to human life, that they did not require to seek those of other men, especially so remote as those of India. But that hearing of the fame of the Zamorin his King had sent him to him, and that in the thousand six hundred leagues of coast which the King of Portugal had discovered, in which there had been found many Gentile kings and princes, he had required nothing of them, except to instruct them in the faith of Christ Jesus, in whose service he undertook this enterprise of new discoveries. And besides this benefit of salvation of souls which the King, D. Manuel, procured for those kings and peoples, he also sent them ships laden with things which they did not possess; in return for which his captains brought him others which were in those countries. By which exchanges those kingdoms which accepted his friendship, from being barbarian became polished, from weak became powerful, and instead of poor, rich ; all at the cost of the labour of the Portuguese. In this his King only sought for the glory of doing great things for the service of his God, and the fame of the Portuguese.a As to the Moors, as they were their enemies, they had taken from them four principal fortresses in the kingdom of Fez by force of arms ; and on that account the Moors everywhere reviled the name of Portuguese, and maliciously sought their death. Such treachery they had not met with from the heathen, because they were naturally friends of the Christians, and conformed with them in many of their customs, and in the fashion of their temples, as he had seen in this kingdom of Calecut. Even the King of Calecut's Brahmans, in the religion which they held of the Trinity of three Persons and one only God, which amongst the Christians was the foundation of all their faith, conformed with them (though in another very different manner) [Barros' parenthesis], which thing the Moors contradict. And the King of Portugal had so long desired to make the discovery of the way from Portugal to India, that even if he, Gama, should not return, by reason of any disaster, he knew for certain that the King would prosecute this discovery until he got information of the Zamorin. He therefore begged the Zamorin to use his power to protect them against the hatred of the Moors, and not allow them to be the cause of lighting up war in these parts. The Zamorin listened very attentively to all these words of Vasco da Gama, looking much at the temperance with which he spoke, and the fervour and constancy of the man, in order to form a conjecture as to their truth. As he was a prudent man, and wished also in part to satisfy the Moors, he desired Vasco da Gama to return to his ships, where he would send him the reply to his embassage. lie added that, for the present, this seemed most suitable for Vasco da Gama himself, since he had confessed that there was hatred between the Portuguese and the Moors; and if the Portuguese remained in the city, they might exchange words which might be the cause of their receiving some injury, against his will, at which he would be displeased ; and with this he dismissed him.
a The history of a very few years later shewed how false this language was. Vasco da Gama may have deceived himself ; yet the same language has been repeated, with the same consequences. The latest occasion on which the language has been used, was last month, in advocacy of extending the objects of the Abyssinian expedition. (Dec. 3, 1867.)
The Catual then conducted Vasco da Gama out of Calicut, under the show of accompanying him half way to the place of his embarcation ; and he had secretly ordered the officers of the King, who were in Capocate, where he took leave of him, to detain him, like men who did that in their course of duty. When Vasco da Gama saw himself detained, it appeared to him that it was rather at the instigation of the Moors than by the orders of the Zamorin, and he began to complain seriously to the officers; but they said that he complained without cause, and that it was their duty as King's officers to look to the good and safety of the country ; for they did not detain him with the intention of annoying him, but from apprehension that he would cause some annoyance or injury to the people of the country after he got to his ships, according as it was said that they had done in the ports where they had touched ; and if he and his people were peaceable people, they ought to follow the custom of those parts, especially in the winter season, and beach their ships, and not always remain with the yards hoisted, like people who had the design of committing some evil. To this Vasco da Gama answered, that his ships had keels, and were not of the build of those of the country, and therefore it was impossible to beach them, as they had not got the tackle and fittings which they had in Portugal for that purpose. Finally, they were so urgent as to beaching the ships, or leaving on shore some men with goods, in the manner of hostages, until the Zamorin should dismiss him, saying that the seafaring men required it in order to be able to fish in security with respect to them, that Vasco da Gama agreed to leave on shore, with a small quantity of the goods which they carried for buying provisions, Diogo Dias as factor, Alvaro de Braga as clerk, Fernan Martins the interpreter, and four men of his service, until he saw how the Zamorin despatched him. Those who carried out this business, since they saw that they had put themselves in security, consented to Vasco da Gama's re-embarking ; but they put all manner of artifices in the way to prevent Diogo Dias from buying anything, so that for six or seven days they were rather prisoners than factors. Vasco da Gama complained of this to the Catual, who gave excuses and feigned ignorance of it. The Catual also advised his removing the factors to Calecut where there was plenty of merchandise, and going with his ships from Capocate to before Calecut, where he would be nearer the Zamorin. Vasco da Gama, though he felt that these artifices were delays to detain him until the arrival of the Red Sea ships, nevertheless moved his ships to before Calecut in order more easily to communicate with the Zamorin and to know what his factors were doing. Vasco da Gama hearing from Monzaide that the Moors would have already killed them had they not feared to anger the Zamorin, and seeing that the Zamorin had forgotten to despatch him and that his business was in a bad way, held a council with his brother and Nicholas Coelho ; and after it, wrote through Monzaide to Diogo Dias that he was to come as secretly as possible on such a day before morning to the beach where he would find boats to pick him up. But as the Moors kept watch on them, they perceived them and arrested them, taking what goods they were carrying with them. Vasco da Gama upon this seized twenty and odd fishermen who came to sea to fish, and set sail with them, which was a great satisfaction to the Moors at seeing the disturbance it caused to the Gentile Malabars, and the cries of the fishermen's wives. (Here Camões varies slightly from Barros, and says the men seized by Vasco da Gama as reprisals for the factors were old and rich merchants of Calecut who had come to the ships to sell precious stones.a) This affair reached the ears of the Zamorin at once, the Moors saying that now he would see what the Portuguese really were, and as the Malabar women clamoured for their fathers and husbands, the Zamorin sent two principal men of the Gentiles to get information. These reported to him that Vasco da Gama seemed rather to have taken these people as reprisals for his own men than for any other motive, especially as he was under sail standing off and on the shore as if he would give satisfaction if they gave it to him. The Zamorin sent these same men for Diogo Dias and the others with him, and spoke to them of the method of despatching them, and bid them write to Vasco da Gama to treat well the men he had taken as his men were well treated, and with the Zamorin, who would despatch his business through them. Gama remained well satisfied with this letter ; however, he made some more tacks out to sea to increase the clamour of the parties interested in the liberty of his captives, and then anchored before the city. Finally, the Zamorin despatched Diogo Dias to Vasco da Gama with a letter which he had written to the King Dom Manuel, in which he said that he had received his letter and heard his ambassador, and had answered him ; and that the cause of his departure in that manner was the ancient differences between Christians and Moors; that he would feel much satisfaction at possessing his friendship and trading in the things of his country, if it could be without those scandals, because he held the Moors as being natives of his kingdom, as they were people employed in that branch of commerce since very ancient times. With this letter and a few things which he gave to Diogo Dias he dismissed him, sending two Gentile gentlemen to deliver him and his companions and the goods which had been detained to Vasco da Gama, and receive from him the fishermen. This they did with some precautions in the method of the delivery, as the Moors were still bent on their artifices. But when all our men were regained, on account of some goods which they would not give up, Vasco da Gama retained certain Indians whom he brought with him, and also the faithful Monzaide, and departed that day, which was the 29th of August, seventy-four days having elapsed since his arrival at the city of Calecut.b (Camões also says that Gama carried off by force some Malabar men and also Monzaide, and some pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon as proofs of his discovery, which he had obtained through Monzaide : Correa related this (p. 175) of Davané. In the next chapter, Barros says that Gama, on leaving Calecut, set up a landmark named Santa Maria on some small islands close to the coast, since one named S. Gabriel, which he had sent to the Zamorin by Diogo Dias to be set up in the city of Calecut was not likely to be left standing by the Moors for many hours. Here Gama found some fishermen, and sent by them a letter written to the Zamorin by the hand of Monzaide, in which he complained of the deceit practised in restoring the merchandise, a good part of which had remained on shore (Barros had before said that the whole quantity sent was but little), and that the Zamorin should not take it ill that he carried away with him some of his subjects, because it was not with the object of reprisals for the goods, but in order that the King his sovereign might through them be informed of the State of Calecut, and by the same means the Zamorin might learn the affairs of Portugal, when he or some other captain returned to his city, which he hoped would be the following year, for the confusion of the Moors. Castanheda gives the same account of a letter which he says was written by Bomtaibo in Arabic, on the Monday, 10th of September, to the King of Calecut, because Gama thought they would require his friendship if they returned there, and that it was necessary to use some ceremony with him.
a Castanheda also says that Gama, on looking out for hostages, first thought of taking four young men who came to sell jewels ; but he let them go after receiving them well, and later detained six persons of distinction who came in a boat with nineteen men.
b Castanheda says that Gama refused to take his merchandise, and retained his prisoners as a proof of his discovery. Chap. xxiv.
Camões, Canto viii, 60.
Sobre isto, nos conselhos que tomava,
Achava muito contrários pareceres;
Que naqueles com quem se aconselhava
Executa o dinheiro seus poderes.
O grande Capitão chamar mandava,
A quem chegado disse: - "Se quiseres
Confessar-me a verdade limpa e nua,
Perdão alcançarás da culpa tua.
Fala do Samorim ao Gama
"Eu sou bem informado que a embaixada
Que de teu Rei me deste, que é fingida;
Porque nem tu tens Rei, nem pátria amada,
Mas vagabundo vás passando a vida;
Que quem da Hespéria última alongada,
Rei ou senhor de insânia desmedida,
Há de vir cometer com naus e frotas
Tão incertas viagens e remotas?
"E se de grandes Reinos poderosos
O teu Rei tem a régia majestade,
Que presentes me trazes valerosos,
Sinais de tua incógnita verdade?
Com peças e dons altos, sumptuosos,
Se lia dos Reis altos a amizade;
Que sinal nem penhor não é bastante
As palavras dum vago navegante.
"Se porventura vindes desterrados,
Como já foram homens de alta sorte,
Em meu Reino sereis agasalhados,
Que toda a terra é pátria para o forte,;
Ou se piratas sois ao mar usados,
Dizei-mo sem temor de infâmia ou morte,
Que por se sustentar em toda idade,
Tudo faz a vital necessidade."
Forthwith a council he conven'd, but found
Discordant sentiments alone prevail'd ;
For gold among his faithless Counsellors
Its pow'rful influence had exercis'd.
The great commander, then, the Samorim
Summon'd, and thus address'd : "If thou to me
The pure unvarnish'd truth wilt now confess.
Pardon for thy offence thou shalt obtain ;
For well am I inform'd this embassy.
Which thou pretendest by thy King is sent,
Is a mere fiction. Neither King hast thou,
Nor belov'd country ; for thy life is pass'd
In lawless roving. From Iberia
Would any Sovereign with sense endued.
Hither send Missions, and confide his fleets
To seas unknown, remote and unexplor'd ?
If, too, thy King the royal sceptre wields
Over dominions great and powerful,
What costly off'rings hast thou to present,
To prove thyself his Representative?
Gifts of inestimable price are wont
The amity of Monarchs to cement ;
Nor is such friendship adequately pledg'd
By a mere wand'ring Navigator's word.
If thou art exil'd from thy native land,
(Which oft has been the fortune of the great).
In my dominions thou shalt be receiv'd :
For ev'rywhere the brave a country find ;
Or if to piracy thou hast thyself
Devoted, here thou need'st not fear or death
Or infamy ; for stern necessity
Life to preserve all means may justify."
When a great part of the night had passed, the captain-major was called and told that the Catual wanted him, and they did not allow any one to go with him except the interpreter. As the captain-major was going out, he told the men who remained in the house, who were three in number, to be discreet, and if they removed them from that place [S. 209] to any other whatsoever to say nothing good or evil, and not to answer anything if they were questioned, and to do no harm even if it should be done to them, because it would be of no advantage to them since there they were. The other men of the other boat were brought and put in another house close to this one, without their having any knowledge about the captain-major, and they shut them up also in a house, and took away their sticks, which they gave up without showing any passion, because Joan de Setubal told them that it was requisite to endure everything and say nothing, but only act as though they were ignorant, and did not feel what was done to them ; but they wept with rage because they did not know what had been done with the captain-major. He was conducted for a short distance among the bushes, and the other Nairs remained behind, and he went with one Nair alone by a narrow path through the bushes, so that his heart was much afflicted, and they reached some houses in which he was put alone in a house and shut in. All these vexations were practised upon him, because the Moors who were with the Catual only acted thus in order that the Portuguese might break out into open violence. Whilst the captain-major was thus coming through the thicket with only one Nair, the Moors offered much money to the Catual to order him to be killed ; this he did not dare do, saying that if he did such a thing he would be very certain of his own death, which the King would inflict on him and upon all his lineage ; and that they well saw how much he was labouring, and into what trouble he was bringing the Portuguese, and how they endured everything without moving against him. This night the captain-major remained alone with very sad thoughts, for he did not know what would become of himself nor what had been done with his men. Next day in the morning they brought him where the Catual was, who was sitting on the couch on which he slept, and [S. 210] looking very ill-disposed ; without speaking to Vasco da Gama, nor bidding him sit down, he kept him standing until they called Joan Nũz to interpret ; when he had come, the Catual said to him that a ship had arrived from Mombaza and Quiloa, in which had come respectable merchants who said and certified to the King, that the Portuguese were robbers who went about the sea plundering, and that under the cloak of merchants they entered countries to see if they could plunder, which they had attempted to do in Quiloa and Bombaza ; but that they had not allowed them to enter within. On which account the King of Calecut was highly indignant, and had ordered their ships to be taken, and all of them were to be kept prisoners until they confessed the truth to him ;1 therefore the captain-major should tell him the truth, that he might go and relate it to the king. The captain-major, speaking with much assurance and almost laughing, said to the Catual that he should conduct him to the King and he would tell him the truth ; and that he was not going to tell to him anything of that which he questioned him about, and that he might go and tell the King so. The Catual rose up with signs of great anger, and asked him why he did not tell it to himself who was questioning him. But the captain-major did not answer anything ; neither would he speak at all, although the Catual put many questions to him. Then the Catual again ordered Vasco da Gama to be put in another house by himself, and Joan Nũz [S. 211] in another, and the Catual again sent for Joan Nũz and put many questions to him ; but he, who had always been warned by the captain-major as to what he was to say, answered many things beside the purpose. The Catual talked of it with his own people, and said that a man was a brute who did not know how to speak except what he was told to say ; and he asked him if the ships contained much merchandise. He replied that they contained a good deal of the same as what was in the factory. Then they again put him in the house ; and the Catual took counsel with the Moors, as to the advisableness of making the Portuguese disembark all the merchandise that they had got, and then they would go and tell the King that he ought to take it, which he would do as he was very covetous, and then they would tell him that they had information that the Portuguese were robbers who went about plundering by sea and land, and that he should command them all to be executed, and their ships to be taken, and then there would remain in his hands great riches which would be found in the ships ; and that afterwards no one could do him any harm on that account. This seemed good to the Moors, who gave presents of rich jewels to the Catual to act in that manner. But the Catual only spoke thus to the Moors in order to extract from them the large sums which they gave him, for he well knew that although the King was very covetous, and might easily practise some exaction upon them, yet to take their ships and put them to death, that he would never do, because he would not choose to incur so great a stain upon his honour. The Catual made these calculations ; and, desiring to see what course he could take, he spoke to the captain-major the next day, and told him that the King had commanded that Vasco da Gama should have all the merchandise which he had got in the ships brought on shore and put in the factory, and after that he would give him the whole of his cargo in four days, and then he should depart immediately. [S. 212] To this the captain-major replied that he would do what the King commanded, and that it was necessary to send a message to the ships for them to send the merchandise. Then the Catual went to other houses a little distance off close to the sea, where the Portuguese were who had remained in the house and those who had come in the boat which had been separated, and neither party knew anything of the other, and they placed them in other houses close by [where the captain-major was] . Since, during all these days, neither the factor nor any of the Portuguese knew what had become of the captain-major, they went about very sorrowfully because they did not know what had been done to him ; and they were very sad because no message came ; and the factor spoke of it to the overseer of the treasury, who told him that the King was a long way off, and for that reason there was this delay, for the overseer did not know anything, and truly thought that the captain-major was with the King, who was at a distance of two leagues thence. Then the Catual told the Moors the answer which the captain-major had given him, and that he was as calm and as little angry as if he had not felt anything, though he had done so many things to him and to his men, and they did not utter a word. The Moors then said that he should let the captain-major send a man to the ships to bring ashore the merchandise; and if they did not bring it, then they would be justified in going and telling the King that he had promised to bring all the merchandise on shore, and now would not bring it, because he did not trust the King's good faith ; and with this they could also tell the other things, which would make the King indignant, so that at least he would not give the Portuguese any more cargo, so that they would immediately discover the design which they entertained. Then the Catual told the captain-major that he had sent to inform the King of what he, the captain major, had said, and that the King was satisfied, but that he ordered that he should not [S. 213] re-embark until all the cargo was complete. At which the captain-major shewed much pleasure, and said that the King did him a great favour, and acted like a good friend and brother of the King his sovereign. Then the Catual, seeing the satisfaction of the captain-major, was pleased at seeing him content, and sent for the Portuguese to come from where they were to the captain-major, and all were much delighted because the captain-major made them a sign to that effect. He then sent Joan de Setubal to the ship in an Indian boat which the Catual gave him, for this place was about a league distant from the factory ; and he told him to tell his brother all that had happened, and the state in which he was; and therefore he was to send the Indian boat laden with merchandise of all sorts; and if he saw that they did not allow him, Vasco da Gama, to go on board, he was to take back the factor, and nobody was to go on shore, and he was to keep a good guard over the hostages. This had been done; for after the captain-major went on shore, Paulo da Gama had not again allowed them to come out of the cabin. They indeed had desired to escape, if they had been able, for the Catual had sent them word to do so through the boys who brought them their food from the shore. Joan de Setubal gave the message to Paulo da Gama, who was furious when he knew what had happened ; but he at once sent the Indian boat laden with merchandise, and Joan de Setubal remained on board the ship, as the captain-major had told him to do; and the Indian boat with the merchandise came to land where the Catual was, who, on seeing the boat laden with goods, sent it to the factory; and the negroes told the factor that the captain-major was there enjoying himself with the Catual, and that he ordered all the merchandise to be brought on shore. So the factor rejoiced very much, and sent to tell the captain-major that he had sent to the ship for goods, and that they had not sent any because they had not got his orders, and therefore [S. 214] it would be necessary for him to go to the ship to have the merchandise sent, because they had sent to tell him that they were not going to send any more. The captain-major was put out at this message, and told the Catual to give him many Indian boats, with which he would shortly return with all of them laden in superabundance, because nothing that he brought on shore had to return to the ships, and whatever was over and above would remain for him and for the Gozil and the overseer of the treasury; and that he, the Catual, would have all the merchandise in his hands until the cargo was completed. The Catual, covetous of this, ordered ten large Indian boats, in which the captain-major was going to embark; but the Catual would not consent to it, and told him to send the Portuguese men in the boats, and that only the interpreter and two others should remain with him; and that when the boats came with the merchandise, then he would send him on board at once. At this the captain-major dissembled, and shewed no passion; and he sent to say to his brother that he was of opinion that even though he were to send the boats full of goods, they would not let him go; and therefore, if it should be so, he required him, for God's sake, and as his own brother by blood he much entreated him, that when he saw clearly that they did not intend to let him embark, that he should at once send the hostages on shore with much honour and with gifts, and that he should immediately make sail ; and if they did not set him at liberty upon the arrival of the hostages, he was then to return to the kingdom, and give information to the King of what had been done; and if he, Vasco da Gama, remained behind, and were killed, nothing was lost; but if Paulo da Gama did not go back to Portugal, so great a benefit would be lost, that he would have to give an account of it to God ; therefore he was to do nothing else except depart, because if he remained there in the port, it would be the cause of their killing him, or torturing him, to obtain [S. 215] the delivery of the ships or the merchandise; or what was most certain, many ships which were in the port would go out to fight them, for which the Moors would make great efforts. Paulo da Gama, on receiving this message from his brother, ordered the men to come on board the ship, and would not send out any more goods; and he wrote a letter to the captain-major saying that without him he would not depart from the port ; and for this he would spend his life and the ships, for all the crew were ready to die together for this matter;2 therefore Vasco da Gama was not to send him any orders, because in this he should do only what would seem to all of them for the best ; therefore let the Catual undeceive himself, because if he did not at once set him at liberty, they would make war, and destroy all the ships that were in the port. The captain-major rejoiced much at this letter. The Catual, seeing that the boats returned without anything, asked the captain-major why, and he replied that the captain of the ship would not give any merchandise until he went on board. At this the Catual became very melancholy. He then went to the factory, and took the factor and clerk, with the three men who were with them, and the captain-major with three others, and took them to the house of the Gozil, and delivered them up into his keeping whilst he went to tell the King of the affront which they had given him. Then the Catual went to the King, and said to him : "Sire, since I belong to you, all these days I have been labouring for jour service, and I had brought much merchandise on shore from the ships; and the ambassador, with falsehood, promised that he would cause to be brought on shore all the merchandise he had got in the ships, which was so much that there would remain [S. 216] some over and above, and all that remained in excess was to be for you. And when all was thus agreed upon, I sent ten boats to the ships, and the men who went in them did not choose to return, and sent back the boats empty, and said that the ambassador and factor, and all that was in the factory, were to be sent to them immediately, because, if they were not sent, they would at once make war, and burn all the ships that were in the port. On which account I have spoken to the Moors, who are the owners of the ships ; and all offer themselves to fight, and take or burn the Portuguese ships." This the Moors also repeated to the King, and they certified to him that the Portuguese were robbers, and with falsehood went about thus giving presents in order to see and spy countries and peoples, and then they committed their evil deeds ; and that the goods which were in the factory ought to be given up for the injuries which they had committed at sea. But the Moors did not desire to have anything, but only that the King should order it all to be taken and collected for himself. When the King heard this, he at once ordered the goods in the factory to be brought in, and commanded that the captain-major and the others should be put to death. His Brahman and the overseer of the treasury hindered him in this, and said : "Sire, do not command such a thing to be done, for you have no reason for it ; because, even though all that the Catual says were true, yet up to this time the Portuguese have done no harm, but rather, like good people, have been very mild and peaceable. Look, that they gave you so rich a present that such an one was never given in all India. Let this matter be ; and whenever you see that they do harm, then execute your will." Upon this there were long debates, for the Moors wished to make war at once; however, it seemed best to the King to wait until the Portuguese should first commence to do injury.
1 Barros does not notice this ; Camões does, and says :
Canto VIII, 85.
Aos brados o razões do Capitão
Responde o Idolatra que mandasse -
Chegar à terra as naus, que longo estão,
Por que melhor dali fosse e tornasse.
To all the captain's importunities,
The pagan bids him in a word, command
(For the more ready truck of merchandise)
To have his ships brought close up to the land.
2 Castanheda gives a similar account of Paulo da Gama's resolution to rescue his brother ; he however says that the merchandise was sent on shore with Diogo Diaz, the factor, and Alvaro de Braga, his clerk, upon which Gama was released and returned to the ships.
Paulo da Gama, seeing that the boats brought nothing, [S. 217] but on the contrary brought word that they had seen the factor go away with many people, and the door of the factory shut up, all felt much anger, not knowing what was going on on shore; and so they remained all night, keeping a careful watch. Next day Paulo da Gama called all to a council, and he spoke to all of them of the message which his brother had sent him, whom he valued so much, and much more than his own life, and said that to go away and abandon him was so strong a measure, that he would die sooner than return to Portugal ; and that he knew the temperament of his brother, who would give a hundred lives in exchange so long as that the King his sovereign were informed of what he had already done ; and for his part the greatest danger which he saw for the lives of those that were on shore would be if they were to move and do any injury, such as it was in their power to do, to the ships in the harbour ; and that he had reflected much upon this during the night, and had determined on setting the hostages at liberty, and on sending them ashore with much honour, for it might be that this might bring some advantage, and that they might let our men go, or at least do them no harm. This seemed good to them all, and they agreed that in any case this should be done. Upon this Nicolas Coelho offered to go on shore with them, trusting to what God might please, because if they did not set free the captain-major, he intended to remain with him. This decision was at once put in execution, and Paulo da Gama brought the Nairs out of the cabin and said to them that the King had sent them to remain there in pledge until the ambassador returned to the ship, and in case of any harm being done him on shore, for their heads to be cut off; and he asked whether they knew that this was so. They answered, yes : that there they were, and if any harm were done to the ambassador on shore, the Portuguese might cut off their heads if they pleased, for they were men who had brothers [S. 218] and relations on shore who would revenge their deaths, even upon the person of the King. Then Paulo da Gama related to them all that the Catual had done to the ambassador, which the King did not know of; but that since the King had wicked and traitorous servants and people who without any fear of him did such things, he would depart immediately and return to his country, and they might do what they pleased with the Portuguese who remained on shore; and since they, the Nairs, were men of gentle birth, let them look well to what was so requisite for their own honour, and complain much to the King of the contumely which he would be heaping upon them ; and they were to tell the King, that he might know for certain that their King was so good, that for the love of one man alone he would send to take vengeance for him as far as the extremity of the world, and let him know of a surety that they would take a great revenge since their ambassador had gone on shore to oflFer so rich a present, under the King's peace and good faith, which he broke like a base man, and did not keep faith, and did not act like the great King of Calecut, of whose greatness so much had been told them in Melinde. But now, in all the countries to which they went, they would relate his frauds and falsehood; and that he was a king who deceived foreign people, and that he did not possess the goodness and truth of the good King of Melinde : that he was going away, and let the King take good care of those that remained on shore, for he swore by the head of the King his sovereign that he would have to pay dearly for them. Then he gave to each of the Nairs a red cap, a knife and sheath, three ells of red satin, and a gold Portuguese, and sent them in the boat, to put them on shore if they found an Indian boat. The Nairs seeing that they were well paid as if they had rendered great service, and that the ships intended to depart, begged much of Paulo da Gama not to leave, but to wait until they had got on shore [S. 219] and spoken to the King. He replied that he was not going to wait for anything, that he knew now that Calecut had a treacherous king. The boat carried them close to the shore, and they called an Indian boat, which carried them to the beach, and the boat returned to the ships, which made sail leisurely, with a light wind which was a land breeze off shore, and as it was now afternoon it was slight ; and they stood out of the port under foresails and mizens, and soon after the wind fell altogether, and changed to a sea breeze, with which they again came to anchor, a league from the shore.1 The Nairs, on arriving before' the King, in the presence of his court, repeated all to him just as Paulo da Gama had spoken, and they said that if he were going to order the ambassador to be put to death, that he should say so, because then they would at once kill themselves there before him, since he the King had given them as pledges of his good faith, and they, trusting to it, had staked their heads, and they owed them, and it was not right that they should keep them, since he had not kept faith; and that he ought to look well at this so great damage that he would be doing to his honour, since the Portuguese had done no harm in his country, but had given him the most valuable present which had ever been given to a king of Calecut; and he should consider what the Portuguese would say of him wherever they went, which would be a very ill report, the chief part of which would be that he had wished to rob them of their goods which they had brought on shore. The overseer of the treasury supported the Nairs much in this statement, and the Gozil also, to whom the Nair his nephew made much remonstrance. The King, on hearing this, and seeing that the ships were departing without the injury which the Moors announced, repented of what he had done, seeing, too, the clamour of [S. 220]the Nairs, and he summoned before him the broker who was with the factor. He, on coming into the King's presence, threw himself at his feet, and said : "Sire, give a great punishment to whoever has counselled you to do so great an evil against your great honour by breaking your faith." The King ordered the factor to be called : he came shortly, and the King told him to go with the overseer of the treasury to see how much merchandise he had in the factory, and he would immediately order it to be paid for. And he sent for Vasco da Gama, and he begged his pardon many times, saying that he had been deceived with bad counsel, and evil reports which had been made against him; but for the deceit which had been practised upon him, he would inflict a good chastisement on those who deserved it, and this he swore he would do ; therefore he might embark at once, and go with good wishes. To this the captain-major only replied, that the King should do that which his honour required, because he was a foreign man, and if the King were not so to act, people would speak very ill of him. The King then gave Vasco da Gama a large quantity of fine white stuffs, and pieces of silk, and a gold jewel with rubies and pearls, and so took leave of him, asking his pardon frequently, and saying that if at any time he returned to his country he would hear of the punishment which he had inflicted upon those who had given him the bad counsel. While Vasco da Gama was thus going away accompanied by the Nair hostages, they met the factor, who was returning to tell the King that the factory had been robbed, and the captain-major would not suffer the factor to return to the King, for the broker said that the robbery had been done by the King. The captain-major embarked in two Indian boats with all his men, and bade farewell to the overseer of the treasury, and said that if at any time he returned to Calecut he would take his revenge upon those who had done him wrong. The overseer of the treasury said he regretted [S. 221] very much the manner in which he had been treated, but that the King was not in fault. The Castilian came up in a hurry and got into the boats which the Moors had sent, for as a known friend he went with them to the ship to see the design which they entertained. The captain-major was very glad to see the Castilian, and on coming to the ships, when the Portuguese saw the captain-major they wept with joy. When all had come on board, the brothers embraced with great delight.
1 Castanheda describes the ships as standing out to sea and anchoring before Calicut.
Then the Castilian related that all the evil had been caused by the Catual of the gate, who, for the large bribes given him by the Moors, had done everything without the King having known or given any orders about it, and had carried them through the woods ; subjecting them to those great vexations in order that they might commit some outrage which they could have reported to the King, so that he might have ordered them all to be put to death ; but they had preserved themselves by behaving so patiently that the Nairs themselves felt grief for them, and disputed with the Moors; and then, seeing that they did no harm, the Catual went to the King with the accusation of the falsehood, with which the Portuguese refused to bring the merchandise on shore, as they had agreed to do ; and he had said so many bad things of them that the King gave orders to put them to death ; and it would have been done had not his Brahman prevented it, and after him the overseer of the treasury; and they should give great thanks and praise to the Lord for having delivered them from such great risk in which they had been placed. Then the captain-major gave to the Castilian five portugueses of gold and ten ells of scarlet cloth, and four red caps ; and he gave him a signed document, which said : "Portuguese gentlemen, this Castilian, named Alonso Perez, is our sincere friend ; therefore place all confidence in him, because I have found in him all good faith, as he is a faithful Christian." This he signed, and the [S. 222] Castilian was more pleased with it than with all the rest, and promised that he would fulfil that which the document said. The captain-major promised him that if he returned to India, and found him there, he would do for him what he deserved ; and he told him to say to the Moors, that for love of them he would come back to India : and that the evils which they had procured for him would be their destruction, as they would see, and they might keep it in their remembrance. With this he dismissed the Castilian, who, on arriving on shore, told the Moors of the great hatred and spite against them which the Portuguese were carrying away with them ; and that they went away swearing that if they returned to India they would revenge themselves, and the Moors should pay them for the robbery which the King had committed in the factory, since they had been the cause of all. He told the overseer of the treasury that the Portuguese spoke very highly of him, and without doubt, if they came back to India, he would find a good friend in them, on account of the sincerity they had always experienced from him. The things which the Castilian related were repeated to the King, for which reason he sent for him, and the Castilian gave him an account of it all. The King then recognising the error which he had committed, desired to give the satisfaction which his honour required ; and as the ships were at anchor, waiting for a wind, the King sent the Castilian with one of his Brahmans, of very great credit, in an Indian boat, with great haste, to tell the captain-major that he felt very great regret for what had happened ; but that he had arrested the person whose fault it was, and he would inflict upon him the punishment which he would see ; therefore he greatly entreated him to return to the port, because he would send on board his ship all the goods required to complete the lading of the ships, and all the goods which had remained on shore, for he did not wish them to go away speaking ill of him. The captain-major answered that he [S. 223] was not going to return to the port, and that he was going back to his country to relate to his King all that had happened to him, and he would tell him the truth, which was that all had been caused by the treachery of his own people with the Moors ; and if at any time he should return to Calecut, he would revenge himself upon the Moors who had done all the harm; with which he dismissed the messengers, saying that he would tell his King of the good compliments of the King of Calecut now that he had repented of his error. As there was a fair wind the ships set sail, and they gave great praise to the Lord who had delivered them from so great perils, and they were content, although the ships were only half laden, for the masters said that so they sailed very well, because the ships were old and would not have been very safe if fully laden. The captain-major said that with only ten quintals of each kind of goods that he carried he was very well satisfied, and that the Lord had shown him great favour in granting him what he had got, which was sufficient for the King to be certain that he had discovered India; and if the Lord were pleased in His mercy to bring them to Portugal, then the King could order the ships to be fully laden. So they went running down the coast. The King of Calecut remained with much inclination to use severity against the Moors in respect to their merchandise, but did not dare to give them offence lest they should go out of his country, by which he would have incurred great loss. Then, as he thought that the Portuguese would go to Cananor, he wrote a letter to the King, giving him an account of the error he had committed against our men, with many excuses to the effect that the Moors had been the cause of it, and that he sent to make great entreaty of the Portuguese to return to his country to see the punishment which he gave to those who were in fault, and in order to complete the cargo of the ships with the goods which remained on shore, which they had refused [S. 224] to do, on which account he felt much regret, and if the Portuguese went to Cananor, he requested him to tell them all this on his behalf. To which the King of Cananor answered that he would do so.
How the Portuguese went to the port of Cananor, and saw the King, and of what happened with him, and what they settled.
Abb.: Cananor [Kannur/കണ്ണൂര്]
(©Google Earth. -- Zugriff am 2008-05-24)
While the Portuguese were at Calecut, the King of Cananor always knew all that happened to them, because he had sent people for that purpose to write to him everything. The Moors of Cananor, who received information from those of Calecut, in order to indispose the inclination of the King, used to tell him many lies about the Portuguese, that they used violence and arrogance in Calecut, and many other false tales with respect to which the King knew the truth. For which reason, one day that the Moors were thus relating these things to him, he said that no one should tell him lies, because he would order his head to be cut off for it. The King said this because he had already settled in his heart that he would establish as much peace with the Portuguese as they might be willing, because he was always talking to his soothsayers, who continually repeated what they had said to the King, and they said to him that the evils done in Calecut caused by the Moors would doubtless grow, and that the Portuguese would always do much harm to Calecut, and would destroy the Moors throughout India, and would turn them out of India, and they would never again possess the navigation which they now had. The King said that if that came to pass, that he also would receive great losses to his kingdom. The soothsayers said to him and gave great assurances that so it would be, because [S. 225] the Portuguese would be masters of the sea, and that no one would be able to navigate upon it unless they were friends of the Portuguese, and that whoever were their enemies would be destroyed at sea and on the land, and that they were telling him the truth, and he should take counsel and do what appeared to him to be for the best.1 The Portuguese, then, running along the coast with land and sea breezes, which was in November of 1498, found themselves one morning in sight of Cananor, far out at sea, and the King had kept boats out at sea lest they should pass by night ; the land breeze began to fall and the ships became becalmed until there sprung up a change of wind from the sea which brought them to land, and they came before the port of Cananor.2 When the ships were sighted, the King at once sent to them a large boat, which they call a parao, with a good crew, in which he sent a Nair of his with a message to the captains, begging them much and supplicating them by the life of the King their sovereign, not to pass by without going to his port to see him, because it was very necessary for a great good, and also for them to refit themselves, for he already knew the evil which had been done them in Calecut, which he regretted very much. [S. 226] Following after this message, he sent many boats with jars of water and wood, figs, fowls, cocoa-nuts, dried fish, butter, and cocoa-nut oil, and a message to say that if they would not listen to his request to come and speak to him, he begged them to take these things which he had sent, and which they required for their voyage ; and since they were merchants, they made a great mistake in not completely filling their ships with a cargo of the goods they had come in search of, and that he would give them as much as they wanted, and they would not be losing any time for their voyage ; and he would be surprised, since they were men of good understanding if they rejected his friendship, so he entreated them much and would give them the merchandise at a much better price, and in better condition than what had been given them in Calecut, because he desired to establish a sincere peace and friendship with them. The good brothers having heard this message, for the captain-major as yet went in his brother's ship, both held a council, and settled to have an interview with the King, and to establish with him peace and trade, since that was what they had come in quest of; and they went on till they arrived at the port, and anchored, with the ships dressed out with flags and standards, and they fired salutes with chambers3 towards [S. 227] the outside, not to do any harm to the shipping. The King, who saw this from the beach, was much pleased, and immediately sent one of his ministers to visit the Portuguese and convey to them many thanks for having come to the port, and to entreat of them to complete the taking in of the ships' cargoes with what suited them best, as he would give them of everything ; and they were not to omit to take these goods, even though they might not have wherewith to pay for it; because he would give it all if they would swear by the head of their King and sovereign that when they returned to India they would come to his city to take cargo, and establish peace and the friendship of a brother between him and their King, for which purpose he was ready to see them whenever they pleased, and this they ought to do since it so much suited them. To this the Portuguese replied with many compliments and thanks, saying that they would do everything that he desired, [S. 228] only if he would excuse the interview between them, which was a thing that could not be, because the King their sovereign forbade them ever going on shore without first having established peace and friendship by means of signed letters with which he could be satisfied, and therefore in all the rest of what the King of Cananor might desire they would do everything in accordance with his pleasure. With this they gave a list of the things which were wanting to complete the cargo, and also of what they wanted for the voyage. Immediately, on the following day, the King sent to them in paraos all that they had asked for, with superfluity, so that they sent some back ashore. The captain-major seeing such generosity and such demonstrations on the part of the King, desired to overcome him in liberality, and without weighing or reckoning he sent him in the same paraos so large a quantity of branch coral, vermilion, quicksilver, and brass and copper basins, that the whole was well worth the double of what the King had sent. When the paraos went away from the ships, Nicolas Coelho was sent in a boat with a present to the King, viz., a piece of green cloth, a piece of brown satin velvet, a piece of crimson damask, a large silver basin, thirty scarlet cloth caps, two knives with sheaths, and five ells of darker scarlet cloth. On reaching the beach, the clerk called men, who carried away the present, and the boat returned to the ship without any of the crew having landed, for the captain-major had thus ordered it. The King was much delighted with the present, and said to Nicolas Coelho that the goods which had been sent in excess should be left for them to pay for whenever they pleased, and that he was much pleased with the present, because his heart saw that which it had desired, but that it would not be altogether at rest unless he saw the captains with his own eyes, and he would manage that they should not violate the commands of their King. With this he dismissed Nicolas Coelho, and sent [S. 229] him to the ships in a parao. Immediately afterwards, with great haste, the King ordered a wooden bridge to be made, which advanced into the sea as much as a cross-bow shot, and very narrow, so that only one man could pass upon it in front of another, and at its extremity a chamber was made of wrought wood ; thither the King came to sit with six or seven persons, for the house would not hold more, and there he could see the ships better, and send everything which they required. Then he sent word to say that he begged the captains very much to come and see him in their boats, since they could do so without any infraction of their King's commands, because he was waiting for them in the water where they could come in their boats without touching land. The captains seeing so great a desire on the part of the King, disposed matters for complying with his will, and for making a treaty of peace and friendship, and an agreement as to merchandise, for they bore in mind that if Calecut did not make a good settlement, they could take advantage of Cananor and its capabilities, and from thence they might gain the good will of Calecut; so that on all accounts it was very necessary to make an agreement with Cananor. They sent to tell the King that they would go and see him whenever he commanded it. The King, with much satisfaction, sent his thanks, and a request that they would come the very next day, and that they would get ready for that purpose. Next day the King came with many people and music, and in state, very richly dressed, and sat down in the chamber, which was hung with rich silken stuffs, and he sat on a dais covered with silk stuffs. The captains came in their boats : they were gaily dressed, and the sailors also wore very splendid clothes, which the captain-major gave them, made of the silk stuffs which the King had given, and there were carpets in the boats and covered chairs, and rugs on the thwarts, on which the crew sat; and the boats carried forked streamers of white and red [S. 230] damask with the cross of Christ, and the trumpets sounded, and the boats carried their swivel guns, and on leaving the ships they fired salutes with many chambers. As they were coming along, the King's minister, who governs all the kingdom, came to the King, who sent him to accompany the captains, to do them more honour. The captains showed him much respect, and Vasco da Gama took him into his boat and carried him with him. When they reached the chamber where the King was, the two captains made him profound salutations, and remained standing with their caps in their hands. The King rose to them from his seat much pleased, and came to the edge of the planking ; and he ordered the boats to come close up, and entreated the captains to come in where he was, which they did as the King requested it so much, and as there were only his chief men with him, about seven or eight persons. When they entered the chamber, the King took them both by the hand, and sat down with them upon his dais, and looked at them with much delight. The King inquired which of them had been a prisoner in Calecut; and Paulo da Gama said: "Sire, this brother of mine it was to whom the King did much harm without his deserving it." The King said that the King of Calecut had sent him a letter begging him, if the Portuguese came to Cananor, to exculpate him, because what had been done had happened without his knowledge, and he had been deceived, at which he had been very angry, and would take great vengeance on those who had given him bad counsel. The captain-major replied : "Sire, when the King gives this punishment we shall see that he speaks the truth ; we now no longer remember this, for the time will come that he will repent still more of it.'' Then Paulo da Gama said, by means of the broker Davané and the Melinde pilot, who interpreted : "Sire, you will have already known who we are, and how we have come to this country, which it is not necessary for us to relate to you more at length : [S. 231] I only say that we have seen with our eyes that you are truly a good king, without any of the falseness of the King of Calecut, on which account we have come here at your call; and since you show so much goodness in your conduct and actions, we shall be glad to establish with you peace and good friendship, which shall always endure with the King our sovereign, who is so good a king, that when he establishes friendship with any good king, he then becomes like his brother, a friend of his friends, and enemy of his enemies ; this sincere friendship being thus established, we will serve you like our own king, which will do likewise, as many of us as may come later to India, as you will see." The King answered him: "There is now in my heart the greatest joy that I ever thought to feel, and within me all is peace and friendship towards your King ; therefore I will affirm it in the manner you may desire, according to my custom, because it will give rest to my heart, which has desired this from the first day that I saw your ships, and since I learned what happened to you in Calecut ; with the friendship of your King which you will give me, my heart will be very tranquil until I see in this my port other ships which will bring me an answer from your King ; and if you promise me this, my desire will be accomplished." Then Paulo da Gama replied: "Sire, the certainty of seeing our ships come to this your port with an answer from our King, God can give it according to his will, because we are going amidst the perils of the sea; but we, who are both sons of one father, we promise you, by God who is in the heavens, and by the head of our King, that if any other ships of our King should come to this port, they will bring with them letters ratifying the security of your peace and brotherhood, which will last for ever as long as you so wish it ; all which we two promise in the name of our King from this day forward for ever:4 and in remembrance of it and as a trustworthy [S. 232]worthy sign we give you this sword ; as such is the custom of our King, who, when he establishes a new friendship, gives a sword to certify its sincerity, because by breaking it he would remain with the loss of his honour, since all honour is gained with the sword. For which reason, from this day forward for ever peace and friendship with you remain secured on our part." Then they gave him the sword which Paulo da Gama carried: it had a hilt enamelled with gold, and a velvet scabbard with the point sheathed with gold. The King then said that all those words and promises and assurances which they had given to him on behalf of their King, he in the same manner said and affirmed them for ever upon his head and upon his eyes, and by the womb of the mother that bore him : and he at once ordered a gold leaf to be prepared, upon which all these things were written, and which the King and his ministers signed. Then the King gave them a splendid gold collar of jewels and pearls, broad to go upon the shoulders, for the King, it might be worth ten thousand cruzados, and ten pieces of silk with gold thread, a very handsome thing; and he gave to each of the captains a thick round gold chain with a gold jewel set with precious stones, and six gold rings with valuable gems; and to each of them twenty very fine white stuffs ; upon which they paid him great compliments and courtesies, and took leave of him. The King also made demonstrations of much affection and satisfaction. The good brothers returned to the ships with very great satisfaction ; and two days later the King sent to say that they should send for the letter, which was now finished. Upon this they sent Nicolas Coelho in the boat very well fitted up : he went to the chamber on the sea where the King was, and took with him the broker and the Melinde [S. 233] pilot, who knew the language of the country very well. The King delivered the letter to him with his own hand, again repeating the words of his oath, and swearing besides by his pagodes, which are their idols, which they adore as gods, that he would fulfil everything till his death, and that when he died, he would enjoin it likewise upon his prince ; and this so long as that the ships came to his port, and took in cargo of what was to be found in his country, all which he would give them of a good quality, and for the prices which it was worth in the country, and also he would take the merchandise which they gave him ; for which they would establish a factory, and in the whole of his country they would be secure, as in the country of an own brother of the King of Portugal. All which the King said was put down in the letter ; he saw that Nicolas Coelho wished to write everything, at which he was much pleased, and commanded the letter to be read, and Nicolas Coelho wrote. The King was much pleased to see him write, and the whole translated. Then Coelho gave the paper to the King, who signed it with his hand ; and the gold letter was wrapped up, and upon it was put the paper which Nicolas Coelho had written. The King gave to Nicolas Coelho two rings and some fine white stuffs, and dismissed him, sending with him his minister to go and deliver the letter to the captains, to do them greater honour. The captains received him with great respect and ceremony, and the minister kissed the letter, and touched his eyes with it, and placed it on his head, and then gave it into Paulo da Gama's hand, who took it with both hands with great courtesy, and placed it upon his breast. They gave to the minister a piece of scarlet cloth, and another of green satin, and they again sent Nicolas Coelho on shore to carry a present to the King of a silver hand-basin and a chased and gilt ewer, and half a piece of brocade; and to four Nairs who came with the minister they gave red caps and knives [S. 234] with sheaths; so they went away praising our people highly. When they arrived before the King, who was still in the chamber, and Nicolas Coelho gave him the present, the King and his people were much surprised, and held this to be great liberality, and said that the Portuguese would not do such things unless the King of Portugal possessed great riches. Then the King commanded the minister to send to the ships all that they wanted for their voyage freely for nothing, for which purpose he ordered the broker to remain on shore, and Nicolas Coelho went back to the ships. They were three days taking on board the things they wanted. When about to sail, they dismissed the broker and gave him a document signed by themselves, in which they declared to all the captains of the King of Portugal that Davané the broker, a native of Cambay, was a very good and sincere friend, who had always gone with them until their departure, and they had always found in him much truth, and therefore wherever they might find him they were always to do him great honour, wherever they met with him, whether at sea or in the country in which they signed this. They gave him a hundred cruzados and a hundred testoons, besides all that was due to him, and they gave him goods which were worth as much as five hundred cruzados, and pieces of silk and damask, and a letter in the language of the country, which the pilot spoke, and which specified all this, and which the broker requested to have given him. They also gave him a gold portuguese, and told him to have a hole bored in it, and always to wear it hung round his neck as a remembrance, because that coin was called a portuguese, and was money of the King of Portugal. So the broker remained very well satisfied, and the captain-major said he would send to recommend him highly to the King for him to treat him with honour; and the broker asseverated that when he knew of Portuguese coming to India he would go and seek for them to serve [S. 235] them ; and with that he took leave. Whilst they were thus on the point of departure, two paraos came from the shore for each ship, laden with fowls and many fresh things, which they took in; and by a Nair who brought these things they sent a recommendation of the broker to the King, and through him they took leave of the King with many complimentary speeches. They then loosed the sails and departed, which was on the twentieth of November of the year 1498.5
1 The following lines from a Persian Kasidah, or ode of Niamet Ullah Wely, written in the year 570 A.H. or 1174 A.D., may be given as an instance of the sayings of the soothsayers referred to in the text.
The nation of the Christians shall seize upon the whole of Hindostan.
Then, when tyranny and innovation shall have become a custom among them,
The King of the West shall fight against them victoriously,
Between them there shall be great wars,
The Christians without doubt shall be defeated,
Islam shall remain victorious for forty years in the realm of Hind ;
After that Dajal shall appear in Isfahan,
To drive out Dajal—listen to what I say,—
Jesus comes, and the Mehdy of the End of Time shall come.
2 Goes, Castanheda, Barros, and Camões take Vasco da Gama away from the Indian coast on leaving Calecut ; none of them say anything of Cananor.
3 Camaras : these were tubes or cylinders which received the charge and were introduced into the breech of the cannon, sometimes fitted by pressure, at other times by screwing ; as is mentioned by Diego Ufano, in his Treatise on Artillery, Brussels, 1617, p. 15: "The parafuso (screwgun) of Lisbon is likewise a piece of ordnance but the chamber is with a screw fitting." Further on he says of this gun called parafuso—"Its form shows well how much labour there was in fitting it with its chamber or breech, the charge of which was always made and fashioned after the method used for loading with cartridges or little bags of stuff." See also Cibrario, Frammenti Storici, Torino, 1856, p. 406, etc., who mentions camaras and mascolos, which are the same as camaras. Cibrario also says that every bombard had a spare chamber to change with the one already discharged. Thus the camara was a separate piece of metal which was adjusted to the cannon, and there were some which served for firing salutes independently of their cannon.
The passage in the text might perhaps also be translated—They fired salutes with chambers outside [the guns] so as not to hurt their ships. From the following passage of Gaspar Correa's History of Pedralvares Cabral, 1500, it will be seen that these chambers served like modern cartridges for rapidly loading breech-loading guns. "As all (the boats) were going in good order, and Nicolas Coelho in the van, he ordered the guns to be fired. The bombardier had not well covered up the chambers which he carried loaded, and he set fire to them, so that all went off with the balls which they carried, which wounded the sailors, and some men were burned, and the boat was stove in, and would have gone to the bottom if the others had not crowded up, and they took it between other boats, and returned to the ships. This the captain-major took for an omen, and he did not choose that they should return against the [Indian] ships."
Colonel A. Lane Fox informs me that this practice of firing the chambers for salutes has continued to the present day, and the guns now fired in St. James's Park on the Queen's birthday are these identical chambers of the ancient Bombards, which have been used ever since ; and it is to be hoped that the ancient custom of firing these chambers will never be given up.
4 The Viceroy Francisco d'Almeida says, in a letter to the King : " I built the castle of Cananor and dismantled that of Angediva ; the Moors were greatly enraged with the castle of Cananor." Annaes de Sciencias, Lisbon, 1858.
5 Camões represents Garna as having been advised by the Castilian Moor to leave the Indian coast before the arrival of the great Arab ships from the Red Sea.
Canto IX, 3.
Gidá se chama o porto, aonde o trato
De todo o Roxo mar mais florescia,
De que tinha proveito grande e grato
O Soldão que esse Reino possuía.
Daqui aos Malabares, por contrato
Dos infiéis, formosa companhia
De grandes naus, pelo Índico Oceano,
Especiaria vem buscar cada ano.
Por estas naus os Mouros esperavam,
Que, como fossem grandes e possantes,
Aquelas, que o comércio lhe tomavam,
Com flamas abrasassem crepitantes.
Neste socorro tanto confiavam,
Que já não querem mais dos navegantes,
Senão que tanto tempo ali tardassem,
Que da famosa Meca as naus chegassem.
Mas o Governador dos céus e gentes,
Que, para quanto tem determinado,
De longe os meios dá convenientes,
Por onde vem a ef eito o fim fadado,
Influiu piedosos acidentes
De afeição em Monçaide, que guardado
Estava para dar ao Gama aviso,
E merecer por isso o Paraíso.
Este, de quem se os Mouros não guardavam,
Por ser Mouro como eles, antes era
Participante em quanto maquinavam,
A tenção lhe descobre torpe e fera.
Muitas vezes as naus que longe estavam
Visita, o com piedade considera
O dano, sem razão, que se lhe ordena
Pela maligna gente Sarracena.
Informa o cauto Gama das armadas
Que de Arábica Meca vêm cada ano,
Que agora são dos seus tão desejadas,
Para ser instrumento deste dano.
Diz-lhe que vêm de gente carregadas,
E dos trovões horrendos de Vulcano,
E que pode ser delas oprimido,
Segundo estava mal apercebido.
Gidá is hight the harbour, where the trade
Of the Red Sea was in most flourishing way.
Whereby was great and grateful gain conveyed
To the Soldán, who o'er the land held sway.
Hence to the Malabars, by contract made
With th' Infidels, a beautiful array
Of stalwart vessels, through far Indic seas
Came seeking every year their spiceries.
And for this squadron did the Moors await,
That, inasmuch 'twas puissant, and 'twas dire,
These, who had 'minished their commercial state
It might consume with crepitating fire.
Upon such succour was their hope so great,
That from the stranger nought they now desire,
Save that in harbour he such time remain,
Till the famed Meca's ships the coast could gain.
But He who rules the heavens and human race,
Who for whate'er determined hath His will.
Convenient means from distant time and place,
The fated end disposeth to fulfil ;
Inspired with accidents of ruth and grace
The Moor Mouçaide's heart ; who prudent still
Stood ever prompt the Gama to advise,
And by such merit conquer Paradise.
He, whom the Moorish clan suspected not,
Being like them a Moorman, but designed
Participant in every knavish plot
Reveals the villain treacheries of his kind :
And oft the squadron which was moored remote
He visits, and with pity calls to mind
The loss all reasonless and hapless fate.
Doomed by the Saracens' malignant hate.
He warns the wary Gama of th' Armade
From the Arabian Meca yearly sent.
Wherein his tribe their hope of vengeance laid,
That it might be their hatred's instrument :
It comes with soldiers in a host, he said.
And horrid bolts which Vulcan did invent ;
And to their power he must fall a prey.
Seeing he stands unfurnished for the fray.
Captain R. Burton.
How the ships departed from Cananor and crossing over to Melinde met with calms, and put in, and touched at the island of Angediva : and of that which happened to them there.
[S. 236] The good brothers having set sail from Cananor made their course to Melinde, and having got away from the coast about forty or fifty leagues, the wind fell and they remained in a dead calm^ at which they were much put out. Talking of it to the pilots, they said that it was not yet the time of the [S. 237] monsoon, and on that account it would be well to return to land, not to go on in that way working the ships and expending water. The captain-major said : "I am ashamed to return to land, which is the act of people who do not know how to navigate." The pilot said : "We will not return [S. 238] to Cananor, but will fetch the first land, and we will go and stop at an island near the land, which has a good port, in which there is good water and wood, sheltered from all winds, where we shall be very well, until we have the monsoon."1 When the captains heard this they determined to [S. 239] put into port, and some little wind arising they returned towards the land, and found in a short time more wind, of which there was none, except near the coast. They fetched the land and ran along the coast, with delays, because the wind did not serve for the island, and they met many ships, which were sailing to all parts, and the pilots said that they should go and take them, because they carried much merchandise. The captains said : ''We have got the ships laden with what we came to seek ; we do not want to take other men's goods, for we are not thieves.'' They went and put in at Angediva, where they enjoyed themselves much : there were good water springs, and there was in the upper part of the island a tank built with stone with very good water and much wood ; there they remained until ten days of November (? December), when they departed on their voyage to Melinde. The ships remained thus at this island, in which there were no inhabitants, only a beggar-man, whom they call joguedes, of whom further on I will give a long account ; this man lived in this island under a stone grotto, and he ate of what was given him from the ships which passed by there, which was only rice and dried herbs, because these men do not eat anything else. Our men were much on shore enjoying themselves and looking at the manner of navigation in these parts, and [observed] that the [S. 240] ships had not got more than one large mast, and two ropes on the sides and one at the prow like a stay, and two halliards which come down to the stern and help to sustain the mast; and the rudder is very large and of thin planks; and on the outside of these ships they have ropes on either side, with which they haul on the rudder in order to steer the ship: and the ship is undecked, short, and with few ribs, the planking is joined and sewn together with coir thread, and very strongly, for it endures all the strain of sailing ; and the planks are fastened in the same manner to the ribs, sewn with the same coir, and they remain as secure as if they were nailed. There are other ships which have the planks nailed with thin nails with broad heads, riveted inside with other heads fitted on, and also broad : and they have planks as high as up to where they put cargo, and from that point upwards they have cloths very thick, more so than bed-sacking; these are pitched with a bitumen which they call quil, which is like pitch, which they boil with cocoa-nut oil and fish oil ; and above these cloths some cane mats of the length of the ship, woven and very strong, and they are a defence against the sea, and no water gets through them. Inside, instead of decks, they have chambers and compartments made for the merchandise, covered with leaves, the leaves of the palm tree dried and well woven together ; they form a sort of shelving roof from which the water runs to the sides of the ship, and the rain-water runs to the side of the ship and goes below to the pump without touching the goods, which are carried very well lodged and stowed in their compartments ; and above this covering of palm leaves they place cane mats spread over it, and walk upon them without doing harm to the chambers beneath. Our people had seen all this in the port of Cananor, in which there were some very large ships, and the captains had sent the sailors to see them, so that they might give an account of everything in Portugal; in these ships they have [S. 241] not got pumps, only some buckets of thick leather, tanned in such a way that they last very long; they throw out all the water by hand labour : they call these buckets baldes.2 Their yards have two-thirds of their length abaft and one-third before the mast, and the sail is longer abaft than forward by one-third ; they have only a single sheet (escota), and the tack of the sail at the bow is made fast to the end of a sprit almost as large as the mast, with which they bring the sail very forward, so that they steer very close to the wind, and set the sails very flat. They do not pitch the ships as we do, they only put bitumen of quil3 in the seams, and grease them with fish oil, which sticks like tallow grease ; this they do inboard as well as outside, so that the vessels are very watertight, and sail for the seven months that the summer lasts. They have no tops, nor have they more than the one large sail. They carry their water in tanks, which are made after the fashion which I have already mentioned, square and high. Their planks are also sewn with coir and rattans outside, and are very strong inside, and resist the weight of the water; they are pitched inside also, and are very watertight and roomy, so that they carry thirty or forty pipes of water. The ships which are thus sewn with coir have keels, and those fastened with nails have not, but are flat-bottomed. Their anchors are of hard wood, and they fasten stones to the shanks so that they are heavy and go to the bottom ; they have also got other anchors of stone and iron which have wooden arms, and which also hold well. They carry their rudders fastened to the ships with ropes passed outside. The crew are lodged above, and no one has quarters below where the [S. 242] merchandise is stowed. I have given this description of these ships of the coast of India as it seemed natural here. They never put their boats inside the ships, except in the case of the ships which cross over from India to the straits of Mekka. The Portuguese ships remained thus at Angediva, which is a league off from the mainland, and near there was a river which is named Cincatora,4 from which Indian boats came out to fish ; these went a long way off from the ships from fear, on which account our men could not get to speak to them to give them confidence, and to get fish from them, which they wanted very much, for they could catch none where they were, and the Portuguese in their boats could not overtake them because they went very fast with sails and oars. The ships which passed by came to the island to take in wood and water ; and as the island contained a bay, within which the Portuguese ships lay, the ships that came from outside did not see them, except when they came upon them suddenly. On those occasions our people saw well the sails of those ships, which have not got small sails, but within the seams of the sail they put thin cords running from top to bottom, which make the sail very strong ; and to each of these cords they splice on outside the sail other cords of half a fathom long, one end outside, the other inside the sail, with a fathom between each, and this in very good order as far as half of the sail; and when there is much wind, with these ties they roll up and tie up the sail underneath, so that they make the sail as small as they wish.5 When they have to stand on a fresh tack, they lower the sail half way down the [S. 243] mast, and with a rope, which is rigged from the yard to the poop, they haul upon the yard until they bring it even with the mast and pass the rope to the other side, and so bring the yard over to the other side : in going to windward they fasten the sheet to the tack of the sail and haul it forward as much as they wish to go upon a bowline ; and this is their art of navigation and way of handling their sails. The ships which came in to the island, surprised at seeing our ships, tried to take the offing, which they were unable to do so quickly that the Portuguese boats could not first reach them, in which the Moorish pilot went and. spoke to them, and gave them security; upon which they used to anchor, and the captain-major sent at once to bring back the crews who were on shore, and sent to tell the Moors that they might go, and welcome, on shore and no one would do them any harm ; and they, having thus gained confidence, went on shore to wash, and fetch water and wood, which each merchant and passenger brings to his quarters, because the captain of the ship gives wood and water to the mariners, and provisions are given by money payments and each man carries what he buys for the voyage. These Moors seeing that the Portuguese were so peaceable with them in their boats, used to come and see the captains, and brought them fowls, figs, and cocoa-nuts, for which they gave them many thanks, and caps, and knives, and they complained of not being able to communicate with the Indian boats about their fish, which they wished to buy and pay well for. Then the Moors sent their boats to the Indian boats and spoke to them, and made them lose their fears, and they brought them to our ships, where they bought their fish, and paid for it with vintins and half vintins of silver, so much to their satisfaction that they gained confidence, and many always came to the ships to sell their fish. As they found good pay they used to bring fowls, figs, rice, and many other articles of food from the main land, and stuffs and other things, so [S. 244] that they became great friends with our men from the large profits they made ; and they used to come from the sea with great haste to see who would get first to sell his fish. Whilst our ships remained in this way at Angediva, the news of it ran through the country and reached Goa,6 which is twelve [S. 245] leagues thence, the King of the place was a Moor named Sabayo, who was the lord of many countries and people. As this [S. 246] city was the principal seaport, with a large river which formed an island in which the town was situated, which was a place [S. 247] of great trade, it kept at sea a fleet of swift vessels, with which they used to make the ships which passed by come into their port to pay them their dues. This Sabayo, hearing that our ships were at Angediva, and it was also related to him by the ships and sambuks which passed by Angediva, that the Portuguese did no harm to any one, desired to learn about the ships, and he called a Granadine Jew, who was his captain-major at sea, and he spoke to him about our ships. This Jew, at the taking of Granada,7 was a very young man, and having been driven from his country he passed through many lands until he came to Turkey, and went to Mekkah, from whence he passed on to India and established his abode with this Sabayo, who, finding him to be a valiant man in naval warfare, made him captain-major of his fleet. When the Sabayo talked to him about the ships the Jew offered to go and see them, and, if he could, to communicate with them as they could not do him any harm, for he would go in a swift vessel with sails and oars, and it might be that he should find the ships in such a condition that he might be [S. 248] able to bring them to Goa, for he had already been informed about these ships going about at Calecut and on the Malabar coast. So he got ready to start in a small fusta with rowers, and took with him eight large armed fustas with men to fight with the Portuguese ships if that should be suitable. He was an old man, quite white, of large stature, and full beard. He came with his fustas, and arrived by night, in order not to be seen by the ships, and posted the fustas amongst the islets which were at the mouth of the river of Cintacola, which was at the distance of half a league from the ships, where they could very well remain without being seen by the ships. As it was a dark night he got into an Indian boat with rowers, and went silently to the ships and saw them from a distance, and knew that they were ships from Spain, and upon that he returned to the fustas. When it was morning he got into a small fusta well manned with rowers, which went very swiftly with sails and oars, and went to the ships with the determination to go on board of them with some feigned pretext, and see what crews they had, and if he found a convenient opportunity to take them by some stratagem, and if not, then he would see if he could burn them and get any plunder from them, or else he would return to Goa to fetch a fleet with which to capture them. He trusted to his small fusta, which the boats could not overtake even if they came in pursuit of it ; and with this idea he went to the ships. When this Jew arrived at the islets with the fustas he had been seen by the fishermen who went out to sea, and they saw that the fustas had concealed themselves amongst the islets, and they knew that they belonged to Goa and went to sea to plunder. The fishermen, as they were very friendly with the Portuguese, who lived in good fellowship with them, and hoping that on that account the Portuguese would make them a present, came to the ships with great haste and gave them notice of all that they perceived, and that the fustas were not in that place except for the purpose of doing some [S. 249] mischief. The captain-major gave them good pay for this, and they went away much pleased. The captains then got ready their artillery, and took all the measures which were fitting, and watched well all the night, but they did not see the Indian boat in which the Jew came to see the ships. When it dawned the Jew came in his small fusta, and did as though he were passing by to some other part and saw the ships that had put in ; so when he had come near he took in his sail, and with the oars approached the ships which were both close together. When he was near their sterns within hearing, he hailed the ships in Castilian, saying, "God preserve the ships and the Christian captains, and the crews who sail with them ;" and the rowers gave a shout, which was answered from the ships with the trumpets. All the crews were much excited and pleased at hearing the Castilian language ; and the Jew, coming up nearer, said, "Gentlemen, captains, give me a safe conduct and I will come on board of your ships to learn the news of my country, and from me you also may learn whatever you please, since God has brought you hither for your good and for mine ; for it is now forty years that I have been a captive, and now God has shown me ships from Spain, which is my country, therefore may it be your pleasure to give me the safe conduct which I request, for without it I should not dare to come on board." They answered him from the ship that he might safely come on board with peace, and that they would do him all honour, because they much rejoiced at hearing him speak, and that in the ships there was no one who would do harm to anybody. The Jew, trusting to these words, approached and came on board, and they received and welcomed him, and bade him sit down, and questioned him as to the country he came from, and how it was that he was at such distance from his native land, and many other things which the Jew answered ; and the captains showed that they were much pleased to hear him. Of the rowers of the small [S. 250] fusta several also came on board, and were much surprised at what they saw, and in great security as they saw their captain sitting down thus and conversing with so much satisfaction. The captain-major ordered Nicolas Coelho to be called to come and see the new guest who had come to visit them. Nicolas Coelho came to the ship in his boat with a few men and as he approached the ship the captain-major ordered him to come alongside on the side where the fusta was, and when they arrived to board the fusta. The captain-major then rose up and at once ordered the Jew to be bound by men who were ready for that purpose ; and on seeing that, the sailors of the fusta threw themselves into the sea, and the boat came up and gathered them all in so that none escaped. The Jew, seeing himself bound in that manner, said, "Oh, gentlemen, noble Christians, God protect me and you ; for having trusted myself to your words I am now bound hand and foot." The captain-major answered him, "Jew, it was with treachery that you asked for a safe conduct, and on that account it shall not avail you." Then they put heavy irons upon his feet, and sent all the rowers down below decks. Afterwards the captain-major ordered the Jew to be stripped, and two ship-boys to give him many stripes with cords ; and he said to the Jew that he well knew of the treachery with which he had come with the fustas which were concealed amongst the islets, and therefore he swore, by the life of the King of Portugal his sovereign, that he would put him to death by flogging and torturing him with drops of hot fat, until he confessed the truth out of his mouth. The Jew, finding himself in such straits, and that he was already questioned about the fustas which were at the islets, said, "Sir, I confess that I am worthy of death, but have pity on me and on this white beard, and I will tell you the whole truth." Then the captain-major ordered him to be unbound and dressed, and he related all that I have mentioned above. Then the captain-major took great oaths [S. 251] that if lie did not deliver up to him the fustas which were in the islets, he would have him flayed alive. The Jew replied, "Sir, command me, and if I do not do it I am in your power." Then the boats were sent well manned, with their swivel guns and many pots of powder all prepared ; there were twenty men in each boat with the best arms that could be provided ; and the captain-major went in the small fusta, taking the Jew with him in irons and his hands tied behind him, and the pilots and masters went in the boats. They went at night, when it was quite dark, for the moon set before the morning; and Vasco da Gama told the Jew to speak to his men on arriving at the fustas in such manner that they should not be alarmed, nor get ready to fight, because the first thing after that would be his being killed. The Jew said, "Sir, I will endeavour to save myself from death." They went and reached the fustas before morning, and all were asleep taking their rest. The light fusta went a little in front, and the boats a little astern and at a distance from it, which being heard by the people of the fustas who kept watch, they asked who was coming. To which the Jew replied in their own language, "It is I, and I am bringing with me some relations." Upon which he entered amongst the fustas, and the ships' boats, carrying their matches concealed, came to the outer side of the fustas ; when the captain-major reached them he gave a shout which they heard, crying out, Santiago, Sam Jorge; at which the boats gave a shout and fired their guns, and the Portuguese boarded the fustas with their powder-jars lit, which they threw amongst the rowers, who were all asleep ; so that the whole of them sprung into the sea. As the fighting men were few in number, and flustered with being so suddenly roused from sleep, there was no one who fought or defended himself, since it seemed that the fustas were entirely on fire with the flames from the powder-pots. As all the fustas were together our men over-ran them all, until not one black [S. 252] man remained in them; and all were swimming about in the sea and taking refuge in the islets; during which time it dawned. But the captain-major, with the light fusta and the ships' boats was going about the sea killing them all, and they went to kill as many as were in the islets, for they spared the life of nobody. They then took the fustas in tow made fast to the boats and light fusta, and so returned to the ships with great delight, and the ships hailed them in return with shouts and trumpeting. They found rice and cocoa-nuts in the fustas, and some dried fish which formed their provisions ; the fustas contained some small guns and cannon (roqueiras) , which the Portuguese threw into the sea, and the weapons were javelins (zagunchos) and long swords and large bucklers made of boards covered with hides sewn with sinews, and very light and long bows, like English bows, with cane arrows with long broad iron points. The Portuguese took from the fustas whatever they wanted, and broke up some of them for wood. The Indian fishing-boats came up, and the Portuguese captains told them to take the fustas away with them, but they would not do it, but each one carried away what he pleased, and they divided the sails into pieces and took them for their fishing-boats. Then the Portuguese selected from amongst the captive rowers some of the best men for the service of the pumps, twelve for each ship, and they killed the others in the presence of the fishermen, because they knew of the treachery with which they had come. The Jew was much alarmed, and expected that when the others had all been made an end of, he would be the last to receive more severe punishment, but the captain-major ordered him to be put below the deck. As he had already taken in water, and it was the season of the monsoon,8 and the pilots said that they ought to depart, [S. 253] they set sail, crossing over the great gulf and making their course for Melinde ; which they did with good weather and without misfortune, and arrived at Melinde on the eighth of January of the year 1499.9
(©Google Earth. -- Zugriff am 2008-05-25)
Abb.: Melinde = Malindi, Kenia
(©Google Earth. -- Zugriff am 2008-05-25)
1 Barros represents Gama as touching at the Islands of Anchediva [die Insel kann nicht genau identifiziert werden]. Camões does not mention those islands, but brings the Portuguese to an enchanted island which Venus provides for their repose and delight, and where their future triumphs in Asia are foretold to them.
Canto IX, 51.
Cortando vão as naus a larga via
Do mar ingente para a pátria amada,
Desejando prover-se de água fria,
Para a grande viagem prolongada,
Quando juntas, com súbita alegria,
Houveram vista da ilha namorada,
Rompendo pelo céu a mãe formosa
De Menónio, suave e deleitosa.
De longe a Ilha viram fresca e bela,
Que Vénus pelas ondas lha levava
(Bem como o vento leva branca vela)
Para onde a forte armada se enxergava;
Que, por que não passassem, sem que nela
Tomassem porto, como desejava,
Para onde as naus navegam a movia
A Acidália, que tudo enfim podia.
Mas firme a fez e imóvel, como viu
Que era dos Nautas vista e demandada;
Qual ficou Delos, tanto que pariu
Latona Febo e a Deusa à caça usada.
As now triumphant to their native shore
Through the wide deep the joyful navy bore,
Earnest the pilot's eyes sought cape or bay.
For long was yet the various watery way ;
Sought cape or isle from whence their boats might bring
The healthful bounty of the crystal spring :
When sudden, all in nature's pride array'd.
The Isle of Love its glowing breast display'd.
O'er the green bosom of the dewy lawn
Soft blazing flow'd the silver of the dawn,
The gentle waves the glowing lustre share,
Arabia's balm was sprinkled o'er the air.
Before the fleet, to catch the heroes' view.
The floating isle fair Acidalia drew ;
Soon as the floating verdure caught their sight.
She fixt, unmov'd the island of delight.
So when in child-birth of her Jove-sprung load,
The sylvan goddess and the bowyer god.
In friendly pity of Latona's woes,
Amid the waves the Delian isle arose.
2 This is a Portuguese, not a Malabar word : balde is a bucket, and a shovel ; baldear is to pour out, to discharge from one ship to another, to bale.
3 Kīl, pitch, Malabar, or Tamil word.
4 Perhaps the fortress of Cintacola [14°51'N - 74°07'E], at the mouth of the river Aliga, which separates the kingdom of Decani of the Sabayo from the kingdom of Xarsinga, which fortress belonged to the Sabayo. See East Coasts of Africa and Malabar, p. 78.
5 From this elaborate description of reefing a sail, it would appear that this practice was till then unknown in Europe.
6 Barros relates that Vasco da Gama had sent a landmark named S. Gabriel through Diogo Dias to the Zamorin, but that it was not likely that it would be left many hours standing, so on leaving Calecut he went to some small islands close to the coast to set up another landmark ; and these islands, which are between Bacanor and Baticala, are now named Santa Maria, after the landmark which he set up there. Having done this, and wishing to heel over and clean his ships, at the suggestion of the people of the country he went to some other islands called Angediva or Anchediva, from anche five and diva islands, since there are five of them, and one is notable on account of a fortress which King Manuel caused to be built there. Whilst Gama was refitting his ships and taking in water, as it was the best along the coast, and all the ships that navigate in these parts used to come here for it, there came to him a corsair named Timoja, who later was a great friend of the Portuguese. He, hearing of the Portuguese ships, came out of a place where he lived, named Onor, near there, and as he was an astute man he attempted to attack the Portuguese by stratagem, and joined together eight rowing vessels covered with branches, so that they appeared like a large raft. When Gama saw this raft approaching from the coast, he inquired of the Indians, who were going about familiarly with the Portuguese, what the thing he saw was. They replied that it was the invention of a corsair who used to attack the ships that passed by there. Vasco da Gama ordered his brother and Nicolas Coelho before Timoja came up to go and discharge their artillery at him, which they did in such manner that the vessels separated and made for the coast ; during their flight Nicolas Coelho captured one of them, in which they found some rice and other meagre provisions of the country. After this event, another occurred, for the country was full of the news of the Portuguese abiding in these islands, which was as follows. A Moorish ruler named Sabayo, to whom belonged a city named Goa, which was twelve leagues from the Anchediva Islands, had with him many Arabs, Parsees, Turks, and some Levantine renegades, with whose assistance he had acquired great state ; when he heard of the Portuguese ships, he desired to have more information about them, and summoned a Jew, a native of Poland, who served him as Shahbender (captain of the port), and asked him if he knew to what nation they belonged. The Jew replied that he knew that they were Portuguese, who dwelt in the extreme parts of Christendom, warlike people, enduring hardships, and that the Sabayo should attempt to get them into his service, as with such men he might make great conquests. As the Sabayo used to endeavour to obtain the services of warlike people, he ordered the Jew to go to them and approach them on his part with a favourable offer ; and if they would not accept, he would send three or four armed vessels to back him, and on his sending them word, they should attack the Portuguese ; and that he should go at once, and the ships would follow. The Jew started with that understanding, and came in a small boat to the land, and ascended a small hill over above the Portuguese ships, and there began to shout that he wished to speak to the captain, and that they should give him a safe conduct by that sign, showing at the same time a wooden cross. When Vasco da Gama saw the cross he reverenced it in his heart, saying to himself that under that sign of his redemption he did not expect deceit or injury; and turning to the heathen who were with him, he asked them if they knew the man who was shouting. They, as they were pleased at the good which had been done them, said : "Sir, do not trust that man, because he is a soldier of a city named Goa, which is near here ; and as he is a Moor, people with whom you are at enmity, perhaps he comes with some deceit." When Vasco da Gama got this information, he ordered an answer to be given, that if he wanted anything and was a safe man, that he gave him a safe conduct. Upon which the Jew replied that he came with much sincerity, and that trusting to him he confided himself into his power. With which words he came down and came to Vasco da Gama, showing much confidence, like one who had nothing else in his breast ; but Vasco da Gama discovered it at once by ordering him to be tortured. When the Jew found himself in that state he began to beg them for the love of God not to torture him, and he would tell the whole truth of his coming ; and that before coming to that point he would relate the beginning of his birth and life, from which, and from what he now felt with respect to their arrival in these parts, it seemed to him that it was not only for his salvation, but also for that of so many thousand souls, as there were of the heathen in those parts, because it was not in reason that men so western as were the Portuguese people, who lived at the end of the earth should come to the east by so great a distance over seas and unknown tracks, unless for some great mystery, which God intended to work by means of them. Then he began to relate the beginning of his life, saying that in the year of Christ 1450, the King of Poland had ordered a proclamation to be made throughout his kingdom, commanding all the Jews within it to become Christians within thirty days, or to go out of his kingdom, and that after this limit of time had elapsed, whoever were found should be burned. This was the cause of the greater part of the Jews going out of the kingdom to divers parts, and in this emigration were his father and his mother, who were dwellers in a city called Bosna; these came to Jerusalem, and from thence passed on to the city of Alexandria, where he was born ; and after that he had grown up, after wandering about in many parts, he had come to those of India, into the service of the Sabayo, the ruler of Goa, by whose order he had come here to call upon Vasco da Gama and his men to enter his service and pay, as there were several Levantines there with him ; and that the Sabayo had formed this desire because he had vaunted the Portuguese nation ; and this was the true cause of his coming, and he begged him not to do him any injury, and to be pleased to receive him as Christian people are accustomed to receive those who come to be baptised, since he wished to accept it, and to die in the Christian faith. When Vasco da Gama saw in this, and in other conversations which he had with him, that he was a man of experience, and that he gave many details about the affairs of those parts, he began to console him, and to tell him not to vex himself about the son and property which he said he had left in Goa, because the King his sovereign, if so be he should by the help of God arrive in Portugal, would at once send a large fleet to these parts, with which he would return, in which voyage the Jew would be able to regain his son, and much more property than what he left in Goa by the favour of the King of Portugal. Finally he was baptised, and named Gaspar, taking as surname Gama, on account of Vasco da Gama, who brought him to that state ; and by his advice the next day, before the ships which the Sabayo was to send could arrive, Vasco da Gama, being now ready, set sail, crossing the great gulf between India and Africa. During this passage many of the crew fell sick and died, by reason of the many calms. The first land which he made was below the city of Magadaxo, situated on the open coast; he passed by it without stopping longer than to discharge his artillery at it, for seeing by the show of its edifices that it was an important place, he did not choose to gain more experience of the sincerity of the Moors of that coast. But he could not go away without some encounter with them, for having advanced further on to another city named Pat6, there came out seven or eight well armed sambuks with the intention of attacking him, but he made such discharges of artillery against them that they did not choose to follow him further. n arriving at Melinde he was received by the King with much pleasure, who treated the sick men with refreshments from the shore, but several were buried during the five days that he remained there, in such a condition were they. Setting sail again, on reaching the shoals where the ship San Rafael had struck (as we have before related), it struck again, and remained there for ever : this did not cause much vexation to Gama, as so many of his crews had died that he could not navigate three ships, and even for two there were few, these men were divided among the two ships (Osorio says Gama burned Paulo's ship at Melinde). They reached the isles of S. Jorge in front of Mozambique on the day of the Purification (February 2nd), and heard a mass there, and another at the watering place of S. Bras, and on the 20th of March (Osorio says 26th of April) doubled the Cape, when the crews began to recover their health.
7 Osorius calls him a Sarmate by nation and Jew by religion ; Barros says a Polish Jew ; Castanheda says he announced himself as a Levantine Christian, and that at a distance of two hundred leagues from Anchediva he confessed he was a Moor, and later he was converted, and it was said afterwards that he was a Jew, because it was found that he was married to a Jewess who lived in Cochin. Correa's account is the most probable.
8 Camões, Canto x, 143.
"Podeis-vos embarcar, que tendes vento
E mar tranquilo, pera a pátria amada."
Assi lhe disse; e logo movimento
Fazem da Ilha alegre e namorada.
Levam refresco e nobre mantimento;
Levam a companhia desejada
Das Ninfas, que hão-de ter eternamente,
Por mais tempo que o Sol o mundo aquente.
Ye may embarque (for wind and weather fit,
And the sea courts you) for your countrey dear.
Thus said shee to them ; and they forthwith quit
The Isle of Love, the harbour of good chear :
Noble provisions they take out of it ;
Take their desir'd desirous Nymphs to bear
Them company : whom nothing shall divorce,
Whilst in the heav'ns the sun shall run his course.
9 Correa said above (p. 239) that they sailed from Angediva on the 10th December ; Goes and Castanheda fix the departure from Angediva on Friday, 5th of October, the sighting of Magadoxo and bombardment of it on the 2nd February, and the arrival at Melinde on Monday the 7th of February. Castanheda gives a few additional details of the return voyage from Angediva to Melinde, which he says lasted four months, what with calms and other causes : the crew were again sick, with their gums swollen and rotten as at the river Bons sinaes, and they had ulcers in their arms and legs, and thirty persons died, and others could hardly move ; they were also short of water, which had to be served out by measure. The pilots wanted to put back to Calicut, and made a conspiracy, which Vasco da Gama discovered, upon which he arrested them, and took the care of directing the ships' course.
Zu: 2. Zum Beispiel: Gaspar Correa <16. Jhdt.>: Lendas de India, dritte Reise Vasco da Gamas nach Indien.