[Footnote 369: The transactions of this period are of so little importance, and related in so desultory a manner, that in the present section we have only thought it necessary to give an abbreviated selection.—E.]
In the course of this year, 1548, a bloody war broke out between the kings of Siam and Pegu on the following occasion: The king of Siam happened to possess a white elephant, a singular curiosity, much coveted by all the princes of the east, and the king of Pegu demanded that it should be given up to him in token of superiority. This was refused by the king of Siam, and the king of Pegu invaded Siam with a numerous army, reducing the king of Siam to such straits that he was willing to make peace on any conditions, except delivering up the white elephant, even agreeing to give up one of his own daughters, and to send a woman of noble birth yearly as an acknowledgement of vassalage. But as the terms were not performed, the king of Pegu again marched into the kingdom of Siam with a prodigious army of a million and a half of men and 4000 elephants. Above 2000 workmen preceded the king, and set up every night for his lodgment a stately wooden palace, richly painted and adorned with gold. On this march the king of Pegu constructed a prodigious bridge of boats over the rapid river Menam, a full league in length, for the passage of his army.
In the course of this march, the army of Pegu was obstructed by a strong entrenchment defended by 25,000 Siamese troops. Diego Suarez de Melo, who served in the army of Pegu with 180 Portuguese, went against this entrenchment with his own small battalion and 30,000 Peguers; and carried the work with a prodigious slaughter of the Siamese. The army of Pegu at length besieged the city of Odia, in which the king of Siam resided. Odia is eight leagues in circumference, and was surrounded by a strong wall on which 4000 cannon were mounted, and was farther defended by a wide and deep wet ditch, and by a garrison of 60,000 combatants, among whom were 50 Portuguese commanded by Diego Pereyra. After continuing the siege for some time, being unable to prevail on the Portuguese under Pereyra to desert the service of the king of Siam, the king of Pegu abandoned Odia, and besieged the city of Camambee; in which the treasures of Siam were deposited. That place was strongly fortified, and defended by 20,000 men with so much valour that the Peguers were again obliged to desist. At this time Xemindoo rebelled against the king of Pegu, who sent Diego Suarez against him