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

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 653 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 06.

CHAPTER IV.

CONTINUATION OF THE PORTUGUESE TRANSACTIONS IN INDIA, AFTER THE RETURN OF DON STEFANO DE GAMA FROM SUEZ IN 1341, TO THE REDUCTION OF PORTUGAL UNDER THE DOMINION OF SPAIN IN 1581.

In our remaining account of the early Transactions of the Portuguese in India, taken chiefly from the Portuguese Asia of De Faria, we have not deemed it necessary or proper to confine ourselves rigidly to the arrangement of that author, nor to give his entire narrative, which often contains a number of trifling incidents confusedly related.  We have therefore selected such incidents only from that work as appeared important or curious:  And, as has been already done in the two immediately preceding chapters, containing the Voyages of Solyman Pacha, and Don Stefano de Gama, we propose in the sequel to make such additions from other authentic and original sources, as may appear proper and consistent with our plan of arrangement.  These additions will be found distinctly referred to their respective authors as we proceed.—­E.

SECTION I.

Incidents during the Government of India by Don Stefano de Gama, subsequent to his Expedition to the Red Sea.

During the expedition of Don Stephano de Gama up the Red Sea, some circumstances are related by De Faria which are not noticed in the Journal of Don Juan de Castro, who either thought proper to confine his narrative to nautical affairs, or his abreviator Purchas has omitted such as were military.  On his voyage up the Red Sea, De Gama found most of the islands and cities abandoned, as the people had received notice of the expedition.  The chief island was Massua, and the principal city Swakem, in about 19 deg. of north latitude[349], which was well built and rich.  The sheikh or king had withdrawn a league into the interior, and endeavoured to amuse De Gama with proposals of peace and amity, that he might save his insular city from being destroyed.  The greatest injury occasioned by this delay was that it prevented De Gama from destroying the ships at Suez, the main object of his expedition, as so much time was gained that the news of his approach was carried to Suez, and the Turks were fully prepared for his reception.  In revenge, De Gama marched into the interior with 1000 men, accompanied by his brother Don Christopher, and defeated the sheikh with great slaughter, making a considerable booty.  Then returning to Swakem, that city was plundered; on which occasion many of the private men got to the value of five or six thousand ducats, after which the city was burnt to the ground.

[Footnote 349:  Lat. 19 deg. 40’.]

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