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come with a very large fleet along the shore, destroying all the ports and towns in such a manner that the Çamorim shall not be able to assist one side or the other with his army, and that we shall take him without his being able to escape. And so we shall drive out of Calicut the Moors, who are the people that furnish him with all the revenue that he requires for the expenses of the war, and depriving him of the people of the land, his ports will be left without trade, destroyed and undone; and after this is over, I shall give my attention forthwith to the affairs of Goa, wherein I can help him in the war against the King of Decan,1 and from him will I take the trade in horses that comes to his kingdom, whereby he is enabled to carry on the war with him (the King of Narsinga).
"You will tell him, also, how Ormuz now belongs to the King my Lord; and if he wishes to obtain the King of Portugal's friendship and to send his ambassadors to Portugal to visit him with presents whereby he may show signs of true friendship, the King of Portugal on his part will send him many things that are in that kingdom. And that the horses of Ormuz shall not be consigned except to Baticalá, or to any other port he pleases to point out where he can have them, and shall not go to the King of Decan, who is a Moor and his enemy. And in order that our friendship be more firmly established, you will tell him that when he comes with his camp to these parts, I will proceed to visit him in person, and together we will arrange many matters that will benefit his service. And I again remind you that you are to labour as much as you possibly can to cause the King of Narsinga to send his ambassadors to Portugal, that they may visit the King, carrying presents of jewels and other things produced in that land.
"You will, moreover, speak to him to the effect that, in
1 Decan, Dakhan, or Deccan, the name given to the great interior country in the South of India.
case it shall be to the advantage of the King my Lord that we should make a settlement and factory in any place within his ports between Baticalá and Mangalor,1 he shall command that the King's men and fleets be received in those ports and be granted a space for erecting a strong house wherein his merchandise and people may be secured from any tumult of the natives which may arise, seeing that the distance is so great that his justices might not be able to arrive to succour them in time to retrieve their position if it were assailed. And if the King of Narsinga be willing to do this he shall hold securely all the trade in horses and every other kind of merchandise of Portugal which he may need in his land.”
OF THE PROVINCE OF MALABAR, AND OF SOME CUSTOMS WHICH THE PEOPLE OF MALABAR PRACTICE.
The Province of Malabar commences at the port of Maceirão, close to Mangalor, and reaches as far as the Cape of Comorim2 in the interior country, bounded by the great Kingdom of Narsinga; and all along this land there runs a very lofty mountain range which divides the Province of Malabar from the Kingdom of Narsinga. The greatest breadth of this land from the sea coast up to the range is about fifteen leagues. These ranges of mountains are so lofty that the natives of Narsinga say that in their country the east winds never blow, because they are prevented from passing over from the other side by reason of the great height. The length of the coastline of this Province would be about a hundred and thirty leagues. In it there are many kings, and all the people are heathens.
The sons of the kings do not inherit, but their nephews,
1 Mangalor, or Mangalur, on the West Coast of India, 12 deg. 52 min. N., 74 deg. 50 min. E. See the plan and description of the fortress in Barretto de Resende's work, MS. Sloane, 197, fo. 188. 2 The most southern point of the Indian Continent.
sons of their sisters, not the sons of their brothers, for they hold it to be a very doubtful matter if their sons are their Wherefore, if they have a sister, they give her to a Brahmin, who keeps her as his mistress, and the sons of this sister inherit the kingdom. And if they can get Brahmin Patamares,' who come from the Kingdom of Cambaya (and are held in these parts as a more noble race than any other), to them they give their sisters to take them from their earliest girlhood, and with this charge they give the Brahmins large sums of money that they may be willing to take this trouble, which they perform very rigorously, and the sons of these sisters inherit the kingdom.
These Brahmins are a set of religious men (just as our priests among us here), who take care of their pagodas. They have among themselves a scientific language, which is like the Latin among us, that no one understands unless he is instructed in it. They are married to one wife only; they do not eat flesh nor fish, nor anything which may suffer death; their food is rice, milk, butter, and fruits, and their drink, water. And, in order that this kind of substance may never fail for the Brahmins, who were numerous, the ancient people of this land forbade that cows or bulls should be killed, under penalty of death; and this law was so strictly observed that, not only do they not kill them, but they worship them, and they are even held as objects of sanctity. They have knowledge of the Trinity and of Our Lady, whereby it appears that anciently they were Christians.
The Naires of this land are the military men and esteemed cavaliers, and the most honourable people of all the country; and it is said that in this province there would be about two hundred thousand of these men. They are very loyal to
1 Patamares, among the Canarese, messengers, or runners.
2 Que as levem de virgindade.
their king, and worship him; and it has never been found that a Naire has been guilty of treason.
They have physicians, whose method of cure is in this wise. To those who are suffering from fevers, they give meat and fish to eat, and purge them with the seed of the figueira1 de Inferno," the fig tree of hell", or give the leaves pounded to them in water to drink. If one suffers from diarrhoea, they give him to drink the fresh water of cocos, and it is stopped immediately. If any are sick, they wash their heads for them with cold water, and the vomiting ceases. If wounded, they give warm oil three times a day, and cure them in this manner. In prolonged illnesses, the remedy which they give to the sufferers is to take musicians and make pilgrimages to their pagodas.
In the Province of Malabar, there are between Chetua3 and Coulão many Christians of the time of St. Thomas, and there are many churches. Many other customs have they, concerning which I do not write, to avoid digression; but I leave the account of them to those who will write the history of India.
How the great Afonso Dalboquerque prepared his fleet with the intention of entering the Straits of the Red Sea and of the council he held upon an expedition to Goa.
The great Afonso Dalboquerque was no sooner well of his wounds, although he continued to feel somewhat of the injury done to his arm, and could not lift it well up to his
The Ricinus communis, sometimes R. Palma Christi, the castor-oil plant.
2 The Cocos nucifera, or common coco-nut.
3 Chaitwa, on the Western Coast of India, 10 deg. 32 min. N., 76 deg. 3 min. E.
head, than he set to work at once to order the refitting of all the ships, vessels, and galleys, which the Viceroy had left in a dismantled state at the time of his departure for Portugal. And when he had his fleet already fitted out with things necessary for the time that he should start, he summoned the captains and said to them :-" Sirs, now that the affairs of Malabar are in a quiet state and settled, as you perceive them to be, I have determined to go to Cocotorá and unite with Duarte de Lemos, in accordance with the orders I have received from the King our Lord, and thereafter to make our way to the Straits of the Red Sea in search of the fleet of the Grand Sultan; and, in case of not finding it in the Sea, to go on to Suez and burn it for him; for the best way is to go and seek them there and not let them get out and set foot in India, where for a certainty they would command the favour and assistance of the Moors against us. This has always been my policy, provided that we are to govern; and there are many reasons which I will give in support of my views, when I have more leisure to do so; and after this, we will go and complete the fortress of Ormuz, which I left just commenced. And I beg of you that, after well considering the one thing and the other, to advise me what I ought to do." And, after they had heard many propositions that were made concerning this matter, it was decided that he ought to make his way to the Straits of the Red Sea; and, with regard to Ormuz, time would show what he would have to do.
On this determination being arrived at, Afonso Dalboquerque left the fortresses of Cochim provided with captains, and men, artillery, gunpowder, and stores, and everything else that they required, and a fleet of vessels along the coast to rely upon in case anything should happen, and set out from Cochim on the tenth day of February in the year one thousand five hundred and ten with a fleet of twentythree sail. And these were the captains :-Dom Antonio de