On his arrival in the port of Goa, Martin Alfonso de Sousa sent notice to Don Stefano de Gama at the dead hour of the night, which induced De Gama to return an answer unworthy of them both. Martin Alfonso found nothing to lay to the charge of Don Stefano, as those desired who instigated him to seek for offences; for Alfonso was a gentleman of much honour, and could never have thought of any such thing of himself. But, though he ought now to have checked himself, finding nothing against De Gama, he became the more inveterate; as it is natural for men when they are in the wrong to persist with obstinacy. Alfonzo vented his malice by refusing conveniences to De Gama for the voyage home, which so disgusted him that he never waited upon Alfonso after resigning to him the sword of command.
Don Stefano arrived safe in Portugal, where he was received with much honour by the court, and with favour by the king; but refusing a wife offered by his majesty, he was disgraced, on which he went to reside at Venice. The Emperor Charles V. persuaded him to return to Portugal, assuring him of the kings favour; but he found none; for princes are more fixed in punishing a little omitted to please, than in rewarding much done for their service. On assuming the government of India, Don Stefano made an inventory of all he was worth, being 200,000 crowns; and when he left the government his fortune was found 40,000 crowns diminished. He was of middle stature, thick and strong built, with a thick beard and black hair, and a ruddy completion. On his tomb was inscribed at his own desire, He who made knights on Mount Sinai ended here.
Exploits of Antonio de Faria y Sousa in Eastern India.
We have placed these exploits in a separate Section, because, although they appear in the Portuguese Asia as having taken place during the government of Don Stefano de Gama, yet is their chronology by no means well defined: and likewise because their authenticity is even more than problematical. In themselves they appear to carry evidence of overstepping the modest bounds of history; and there is reason to believe that they rest principally, if not altogether, on the authority of Fernan Mendez de Pinto, of notorious character. Yet they seem sufficiently curious to warrant insertion in this work; and it is not at all improbable that Antonio de Faria may have been a successful freebooter in the Chinese seas, and that he may have actually performed many of the exploits here recorded, though exaggerated, and mixed in some places with palpable romance.—E.
[Footnote 354: De Faria, II. 29 & seq.]