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.

On the 4th of March 1506, intelligence was received at Cananore of the death of the two Milanese Christians at Calicut, and on the same day the Calicut fleet set sail from the cities of Pavan?  Capagot?  Pandaram? and Trompatam?  It consisted of 208 vessels [108], of which 84 were ships of considerable size and burden, and the rest were rowing vessels which are called paraos.  This great fleet was manned with a prodigious number of Mahometans richly dressed in purple silk and cotton, also with high pointed caps after their fashion of the same colour, lined with silk, having their arms decked with many bracelets, and embroidered gloves on their hands.  For weapons, they had Turkish bows, swords, lances, peltes[109], and all kind of guns made in our manner.  When we saw their fleet proceeding in order and well appointed, it seemed afar off like a great wood, so numerous were the masts, yet were we in sure belief that God would give us the victory over the blasphemers of his holy name, and that we should prevail against the idolaters and Saracens, the ancient enemies of the religion of the blessed Jesus.  Therefore the valiant knight our governor, Don Lorenzo, the son of Don Francisco de Almeyda, viceroy of India, who had the supreme command of twelve Portuguese ships, with the assistance of the admiral, assembled all the Portuguese soldiers and mariners by sound of trumpet, and spoke to them after this manner:  “Dear friends, and brethren in one God and in one faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is now time for us to consider that our Lord spared not to give his precious body unto death for our sakes; wherefore it is our bounden duty to spend our lives in defence of his glory and of our holy faith, assuring ourselves of victory over these infidel dogs, who are hated of God, being the progeny of the devil.  Now, therefore, fighting in his holy name and under the banner of his cross, shew yourselves valiant, as you have now a fair opportunity to gain eternal fame in defending the glorious cause of your Lord and Saviour.  Therefore, along with me, raising our hearts to God, and our arms with force and courage against the enemy, in the name of the Lord, let us manfully give the onset.”  When Don Lorenzo had spoken these words, the priest went up to the highest part of the ship, holding in his hands the picture of Christ nailed to the cross, which he exposed to the view of all the soldiers, and earnestly exhorted them to remember the commands of God, and the holy faith in which they were consecrated by baptism, having no doubt that all their sins should be forgiven to those who fell in the cause of God.  Then blessing them in the name of the Lord, he pronounced the absolution and forgivenness of their sins.  This exhortation of the priest so moved all our hearts, that tears of joy ran from our eyes, and we were all animated with a desire of dying in the holy cause.

[Footnote 108:  According to the account of this great armament formerly given in the History of the Portuguese Transactions in India, the fleet of the Mahometans and Zamorin on this occasion consisted of 260 paraos, 60 of which exceeded the size of the armed ships then used in India by the Portuguese.  The action between the Portuguese and their enemies is there stated to have been in 1508.—­E.]

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