Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

and the Viceroy, and not to desire now to forfeit the honours he had already gained. And as Garcia de Sousa was desirous of serving the King, he performed all that Afonso Dalboquerque desired of him, and set sail with instructions how he was to act, wherein he was earnestly enjoined to cruise about and keep a sharp look-out, for information had reached him that in company with these ships of Calicut some of the Rumes also were coming.

Three or four days after Garcia de Sousa and Simão Martinz had departed on their voyages, Diogo Mendez came to land with his captains, and proceeded to the fortress where Afonso Dalboquerque was, and reminded him that he had promised, while at Anjadiva, to dispatch him, and give him pilots, and everything else that was necessary for him to make his journey to Malaca, as soon as they arrived at Cananor; and as there was now an opportunity, he begged him of his goodness to dispatch him, and give him permission to sail away. Afonso Dalboquerque replied, that after his arrival here he had been constantly occupied, not only with the King of Cananor, but also in dispatching certain captains whom he had sent to guard that coast; and on this account he had not had any time for communing with the captains: but now he would order them to be summoned to meet, and he would discuss with them this business of his, and would send him a reply in accordance with their opinions.

Diogo Mendez then said that matters which had been arranged by the King our lord ought not to be made to depend upon the opinions of any other persons, but all that remained to do was to comply with the commands of his Highness and his covenants and instructions; for, in so doing much was involved: and he desired of him, on the part of the King, to permit him to prosecute his voyage in accordance with the orders under which he had come out from Portugal. For, he said, in the covenant which the

King had made with him and the merchants, he had been all along exempted from the jurisdiction of Afonso Dalboquerque, as could be seen by an inspection of the papers which he there and then laid before him.

Afonso Dalboquerque replied, that he had no necessity to examine the papers, for the King would not exempt him, · Diogo Mendez, from his own governor, if there should be any need in Indian affairs (as there was sure to be), and it was this very point that he desired to discuss with the captains. And when Diogo Mendez perceived that Afonso Dalboquerque was determined not to give him any answer until he had first of all communed with the captains, he no longer cared to insist upon being dispatched away, and returned to his ship.

CHAPTER XLVII.

How the great Afonso Dalboquerque deliberated with the captains, whether he should permit Diogo Mendez to go to Malaca or not; and what conclusions were arrived at, and what happened in regard to Diogo Mendez.

At the close of the interview which the great Afonso Dalboquerque held with Diogo Mendez, he gave an account to the captains (in the presence of Rodrigo Rabelo, captain of the fortress of Cananor) of all that had passed between himself and Diogo Mendez up to that time. And when they had discussed first one thing and then another, they agreed that in consideration of the events which had taken place with Diogo Lopez de Siqueira at Malaca,—who carried with him five ships and four hundred men,—and of the small strength of the fleet and men and other necessary things which Diogo Mendez brought with the intention of taking in hand so extensive an undertaking as that was which was contemplated, and also in consideration of the

news of the coming of the Rumes, and that it was known. for certain that there had set out from Suez fifty sail and ten thousand men,-in consideration, I say, of all these inconvenient events, they decided that Diogo Mendez ought not to go to Malaca, but that he ought to wait until the month of April, for by that time the affairs of India would have been reduced to their settled state.

And when this had been thus arranged, Afonso Dalboquerque ordered that Diogo Mendez and his captains should be called, and he told them that he had recounted the matter to Rodrigo Rabelo, captain of the fortress, and the rest of the captains, and all considered that it was very important for the service of the King that he should not be permitted to go, as well on account of the certain information respecting the coming of the Rumes, as also because the affairs of Malaca were so badly circumstanced that it required more force than that which he, Diogo Mendez, had brought from Portugal to pacify that country. For, he said, Diogo Lopez de Siqueira had returned from that region with his plans disconcerted1 and sixty of his men killed or taken captives, and he himself had run great risk of losing all his fleet, if it had not been that he was advised in time of the treachery which had been arranged against him: and since the affairs of Malaca were in the state which he knew them to be, it was necessary that he should go to their assistance with sufficient forces, and undertake their settlement in such a manner that the powers there would be immediately compelled to make terms with him: and this it was, he declared, which would be more serviceable to the King than the mere loading of his ships well or badly. And, he continued, this reason alone was enough to make him think it unadvisable to carry out this journey at this time; not to mention another reason, of much greater weight, which was, the present state of Indian affairs, and the confirmed report of the coming of the 1 Com a cabeça quebrada; lit., with his head broken.

Rumes, and Goa risen up in successful rebellion, and the Kings of Cambaya and of Calicut, and the Rumes, all united in one body with that city against us, with many ships built all along the coast as far as Diu to co-operate with them against us. And therefore he would beg Diogo Mendez earnestly of his goodness to enter more heartily into this business at present in hand [the taking of Goa] than he had hitherto done, for thereby he would be really performing good service to the King our Lord, seeing that with India lost it would not be much use for the King to hold Malaca.

Diogo Mendez replied, that he was so desirous of performing the service of the King, that he would yield to no one in this respect; and, therefore, truly it appeared to him that nothing would so much conduce to this service as that he should be quickly dispatched to prosecute his voyage, in accordance with instructions which he had brought from Portugal. For, if he could not load his ships in Malaca, he could do so in Samatra or in Pegú, and therefore he would beg him of his kindness not to interpose difficulties in the way of his dispatch; because, although the affairs of Diogo Lopez had turned out as had been alleged, yet he hoped, with God's aid, that on arriving at Malaca he would be able to dispose his forces in such a manner that not only would he be able to get his ships laden, but he expected to rescue the Portuguese who were now in captivity there. And, he continued, seeing that the King in the letter which he had written to him, had especially dwelt upon the rapidity of his dispatch, Afonso Dalboquerque ought not to be so firmly set upon detaining him, because in India there were many ships and men, and the fleet of Gonçalo de Siqueira which was on the point of arriving, so that these ships of his might well be dispensed with.

The reply of Diogo Mendez somewhat exasperated Afonso Dalboquerque, and he said he knew very well the necessities

that India was labouring under, and in respect of them he would undertake to give an account to the King his Lord, and therefore Diogo Mendez should not set his mind upon going to Malaca,-for it was now thus settled; but he would send him thither in April, and send in company with him four additional ships well supplied with arms and victuals, for in this wise he could go safely; whereas it was unsafe to attempt the voyage in four ships not much better than sides of bark, as his were, badly munitioned with everything that was necessary for the success of an undertaking like this. And this he said he would undertake to do for him, if the affairs of Malaca at that season were to improve their aspect.

Diogo Mendez answered that, as Afonso Dalboquerque had made up his mind not to suffer him to go to Malaca, he could certainly, in his capacity as Captain-General of the King of Portugal in the parts of India, exercise this power, but it would be against his will and that of his captains, for his only object in coming was for the service of the King; and, therefore, if Afonso Dalboquerque considered that by his remaining in India he would be doing better service, he would do so willingly. And so much cavilling about this could have been dispensed with; for he well knew that he would gain more by remaining where he was than by going to Malaca. And, on the conclusion of these debates, from that day forward, Diogo Mendez did not care to talk any more to Afonso Dalboquerque about his dispatch.

« VorigeDoorgaan »