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.

Most of the Portuguese who were taken on occasion of this defeat, perished in slavery.  Alfonso Chaldeira followed the queen with thirty men.  Emanuel de Cuna with forty got away to the Baharnagash and was well received.  Sixty more followed the Patriarch Bermudez, making in all 130 men.  Ninety of these went to the emperor, who was then near at hand, and very much lamented the slaughter among that valiant body of auxiliaries, and the loss of their brave commander.  De Cuna with his forty men were too far off to join the Abyssinian emperor at this time.  The emperor marched soon afterwards against the king of Zeyla, accompanied by ninety of the Portuguese who had joined him after the former defeat, to whom he gave the vanguard of his army, in consideration of the high opinion he had of their valour.  At the foot of the mountain of Oenadias in the province of Ambea, they met a body of 700 horse and 2000 foot going to join the king of Zeyla.  Fifty Portuguese horse went immediately to attack them, and Antonio Cardoso who was foremost killed the commander of the enemy at the first thrust of his lance.  The rest of the Portuguese followed this brave example, and slew many of the enemy, and being seconded by the Abyssinians, first under the Baharnagash and afterwards by the king in person, eight hundred of the enemy were slain and the rest put to flight, when they went rather to terrify the tyrant with an account of their defeat, than to reinforce him by their remaining numbers.

The king of Zeyla was only at the distance of a league with his army in order of battle, consisting of two bodies of foot of three thousand men in each, while he was himself stationed in the front at the head of five hundred horse.  The emperor of Abyssinia met him with a similar number, and in the same order.  The ninety Portuguese, being the forlorn hope, made a furious charge on the advanced five hundred of the enemy, of whom they slew many, with the loss of two only on their own side.  The emperor in person behaved with the utmost bravery, and at length the horse of the enemy being defeated fled to the wings of their infantry.  The king of Zeyla acted with the utmost resolution, even shewing his son to the army, a boy of only ten years old, to stir up his men to fight valiantly against the Christians.  The battle was renewed, and continued for long in doubt, the emperor being even in great danger of suffering a defeat; but at length a Portuguese shot the king of Zeyla in the belly by which he died, but his horse carried him dangling about the field, as he was tied to the saddle, and his army took to flight.  Only a few Turks stood firm, determined rather to die honourably than seek safety in flight, and made great slaughter among the Abyssinians:  But Juan Fernandez, page to the unfortunate Don Christopher, slew the Turkish commander with his lance.  In fine, few of the enemy escaped by flight.  The head of the king of Zeyla was cut off, and his son made prisoner.  Being highly sensible of the great merit of the Portuguese to whom he chiefly owed this and the former victories over his enemies, the emperor conferred great favours upon them.  De Cuna returned to Goa with only fifty men; and the other survivors of the Portuguese remained in Abyssinia, where they intermarried with women of that country, and where their progeny still remains.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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