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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.

About this time Nizamoxa[353] wished to gain possession of the forts of Sangaza and Carnala, held by two subjects of Cambaya, on the frontiers of that kingdom, which were formidable from their strength and situation; and took them by assault in the absence of their commanders, who applied to Don Francisco de Menezes, the commander at Basseen to assist in their recovery, offering to hold them of the Portuguese.  Menezes went accordingly with 300 Portuguese and a party of native troops, accompanied by the two proprietors, each of whom had 200 men.  The fort of Carnala was taken by assault, and the garrison of Sangaza abandoned it on the approach of De Menezes.  Having thus restored both commanders to their forts, De Menezes left Portuguese garrisons with both for their protection.  Nizamoxa sent immediately 5000 men who ruined both districts, and the owners in despair resigned their titles to the Portuguese, and withdrew to Basseen, whence De Menezes sent supplies to the two forts, meaning to defend them.  Nizamoxa sent an additional force of 6000, men, of which 1000 were musqueteers and 800 well equipped horse.  This great force besieged Sangaza, to which they gave two assaults in one day, and were repulsed with great slaughter.  Menezes went immediately to relieve the place with 160 Portuguese, 20 of whom were horse, together with several naigs and 2000 Indians.  After a sharp encounter, in which the Portuguese were nearly defeated, the enemy fled from Sangaza, leaving all the ground about the fort strewed with arms and ammunition.  In this engagement the enemy lost 500 men and the Portuguese 20.  During the action a Portuguese soldier of prodigious strength, named Trancoso, laid hold of a Moor wrapped up in a large veil as if he had been a buckler, and carried him before his breast, receiving upon him all the strokes from the enemies weapons, and continued to use this strange shield to the end of the battle.

[Footnote 353:  In Portuguese x has the power of sh in English orthography; hence the name of this prince was perhaps Nizam Shah, and may be the same prince called in other places of De Faria Nazamaluco or Nizam al Mulk.—­E.]

The governor Don Stefano de Gama happened at this time to be in Chual, visiting the northern forts; and considering that the maintenance of Sangaza and Carnala cost more than they produced, and besides that Nizamoxa was in alliance with the Portuguese, delivered them to that prince for 5000 pardaos, in addition to the 2000 he paid before, to the great regret of De Menezes.  Soon afterwards a fleet arrived from Portugal under Martin Alfonso de Sousa, who was sent to succeed Don Stephano de Gama in the government.  This fleet had the honour to bring out to India the famous St Francisco Xaviar, one of the first fathers of the society of Jesus, both in respect to true piety and virtue.  He was the first ecclesiastic who had the dignity of Apostolic Legate of all Asia, and was very successful in converting the infidels:  But we shall afterwards have occasion to enlarge upon his great virtues and wonderful actions.

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