to cover the face of the sea, and by means of which they thought to have conquered the whole earth. Yet they never adventured beyond the Red Sea; neither was the greatest of their famous victories comparable to those battles which have been fought by our men in India; in which, most invincible prince, the great prosperity of your father and you is well known. As, without moving from your palace, discoveries and conquests have been achieved by your captains, more extensive than ever were discovered or conquered by any prince in person. There never was any conquest, either by the Barbarians, Greeks, or Romans, of any thing like equal difficulty with this of India; neither any kings or captains of any of these nations equal in valour and conduct to those of your father and yourself, as will manifestly appear from the whole tenor of the following history.
The great actions which the subjects of your highness have worthily accomplished, must be deemed to have been permitted and appointed by the providence of God; that so those barbarians, with their vain idols, and the false sectaries of Mahomet, might be brought into the catholic faith, as at this time great numbers have been added to the Christian religion. For, since these great exploits, your highness, as a most godly and Christian prince, hath taken especial care, and hath given command that the Christian doctrine of the brotherhood of the company of Jesus should be taught in India, which you ordered to be brought from Rome, and have always supported at your expence. Thus likewise, you have erected, and founded the noble and sumptuous university of Coimbra, to augment the honour and reputation of your kingdom; where, besides many divines and colleges of poor begging friars to expound the evangelical law, there are temporal men also to instruct those of your subjects that defend and enlarge the commonwealth by deeds of arms, and those who adorn the same by means of learning.
All these heroic virtues of your highness being well known to me, have encouraged me to publish this work and others, which have some taste of learning, that they may remain a perpetual memorial of the noble deeds of so many gentlemen and knights of Portugal, your subjects. In this I have been much forwarded by having been in India, where I sojourned with my father, who was sent into that country by your highness as a judge. I spent all my youth in the pursuit of learning, and in the study of ancient historians. Being in India, I set myself with all diligence to learn and understand all that had been done in regard to the discovery and conquest of that country by the Portuguese, with the intention of making the same known and common to all men. By my inquiries, and through the information derived from sundry gentlemen and captains, both such as were actually present in the various transactions, and employed in their execution, as by others who were engaged in counselling and