A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.
and began plundering in a disorderly manner, as if they had been close to the shore under protection of their ships, and had no enemy to fear.  But the enemy having procured reinforcements, returned to the palace, and fell upon the disordered Portuguese, many of whom they killed while loaded with plunder, and did much harm to Coutinno and his men, though Vasco de Sylveira signalized himself by killing two of three chiefs called Caymals.

[Footnote 112:  The author here very improperly calls the Nayres, or Malabar soldiers of the zamorin, Moors; though in all probability there might be some Mahometans among the defenders of Calicut.—­E.]

In the meantime Albuquerque had got possession of the city of Cochin, which he set on fire; and finding no enemy to oppose him, he thought proper to march to the palace to see what Coutinno was about.  On his arrival he found the palace surrounded by armed men, and that Coutinno was within in the most imminent danger.  Having cleared the way from the enemy, he sent word to Coutinno that he waited for him; and after the third message, Coutinno sent back word that Albuquerque might march on and he would follow, being busy in collecting his men who were dispersed over the palace.  Albuquerque accordingly began his march, much pressed upon by the enemy, and had not marched far when he received notice that Coutinno was in great danger.  He immediately endeavoured to return to his relief, but was impeded by the multitude of the enemy, who slew many of his men, and he was himself so severely wounded by a dart in the throat, and a stone on the head, that he was carried senseless to the shore.

By this time Coutinno and many more were slain in the palace, and several others on their way back to the shore; being oppressed by the multitude of the enemy, spent with labour and heat, and almost stifled by the great dust.  The whole of Coutinnos division had certainly been cut off, if Vasconcelles and Andrada, who had been left in the city with a reserve of 200[113] men had not checked the fury of the enemy and forced them to retire.  There was now as keen a contest about who should get first on board, as had been about landing first, not considering that all their misfortunes had been occasioned by hurry and confusion.  At length they got on board and sailed on their return to Cochin, having lost 80[114] men in this ill conducted enterprise, among whom were Coutinno and many persons of note.  On recovering his senses while at sea, Albuquerque gave orders for the dispatch of the homeward bound ships; and on his arrival at Cochin, immediately made preparations for an attempt to reduce Ormuz.

[Footnote 113:  In Paris, this reserve is stated at 2000 men, obviously a typographical error, yet copied in Astley’s Collection, without considering that the whole original force was only 1800.—­E.]

[Footnote 114:  The loss acknowledged in the text is ridiculously small for so disastrous an enterprise, and we are almost tempted to suspect the converse of the error noticed in the preceding note, and that the loss might have been 800.—­E.]

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