A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.

After so many long and dangerous voyages and peregrinations, in which we had partly satisfied our desire of travel, and were partly wearied by the many inconveniencies we had undergone, we began to consider of the best means for returning to our native country.  I will therefore briefly relate what happened to me by the way, that other men, taking example by my travels, may know better how to conduct themselves in like situations, if similar inclinations should move them to undertake such voyages.  In Calicut we found two Christians of Milan in Italy, who had come to India with licence from the king of Portugal, on purpose to buy precious stones.  The names of these men were John Maria and Peter Anthony.  I was more rejoiced at the sight of these men than I can express, and knowing them to be Christians by their fair complexions, though they could not know me as I was naked like the natives, I immediately spoke to them, informing them that I also was a Christian, and their countryman.  Then, taking me kindly by the hand, they brought me to their house, where, for joy of this unexpected meeting, we could scarcely satisfy ourselves with tears, embraces, and kisses, for it seemed a strange thing to me thus to find men who spoke my own language, and even to speak it myself.  They told me that they were in great favour with the king of Calicut, yet anxiously wished to get hack to their native country, but knew not how, as they had fled from the Portuguese, and durst not run the risk of falling into their hands, having made many pieces of great cannon and other ordnance for the king of Calicut, and that now the Portuguese fleet would shortly be there.  When I proposed to endeavour to go to Cananore, and solicit their pardon from the Portuguese admiral, they said that could not be looked for, as they were well known to many of the kings and princes between Calicut and Cananore, who were friendly to the Portuguese, and who would certainly intercept them, as they had made above 400 guns, great and small, and could never hope for pardon.  By this I could perceive how fearful a thing it is to have an evil conscience, and called to remembrance the saying of the poet:—­

“Multa male timeo, qui feci multa proterve.”

That is to say, “I fear much evil because I have done much.”  These men had not only made many pieces of artillery for the infidels, to the great injury of the Christians, in contempt of Christ and his holy religion, but had also taught the idolaters both how to make and use them.  While I remained in Calicut, I saw them give a mould to the idolaters, by which they might cast brass cannon of sufficient bigness to receive a charge of 105 cantaros or measures of powder.  At this time also there was a Jew in Calicut who had built a handsome brigantine, in which were four large iron cannons; but Providence soon after gave him his due reward, as he was drowned while bathing in the river.  To return to the two Italians:  God knows how earnestly I endeavoured

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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