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.
them are often able to put to flight 10,000 men who are unused to this mode of warfare.  But God in his merciful providence never forsakes those who believe in his holy religion, as was now exemplified in our distress.  For, while the Portuguese were in a manner overwhelmed with the multitude of their enemies, the joyful news arrived that a new fleet had come from Portugal to Cananore, under the valiant knight Don Tristan de Cunna, who was immediately informed of the straits to which we were reduced.  He immediately sent us a reinforcement of 300 valiant soldiers, well provided with defensive armour, and weapons of offence, after the manner of the Christians.  On the arrival of these succours, we were so encouraged that we would have burnt the city of Cananore, if our admiral had permitted us.  But on learning the arrival of this reinforcement, the enemy were so cast down that they sought to make peace with us by every means they could think of, and appointed one Mamalmaricar, a man of great riches and wisdom, to be their ambassador, with full powers to conclude peace.  This man accordingly waited on our admiral, who told him that he could not make peace without the authority of the viceroy, who was then at Cochin:  Yet it was thought best not to reject the proffered peace, as, during war, the Portuguese could not send home their ships with the commodities of India, and for this reason the viceroy agreed to the conclusion of peace.

[Footnote 114:  Probably alluding to a kind of javelins armed with a species of rockets, which have long been used in the wars of India, and often produce great disorder among the crowded masses of their ill-disciplined troops.—­E.]

To mingle some pleasure with these tragedies, I shall now rehearse a pleasant story, worthy of being remembered.  One day after the peace was settled, I happened to walk in the city of Cananore with some merchant idolaters, with whom I was acquainted before the war.  They asked me to show them a certain Christian, much taller and stronger than any of the others, who used every day to slay about twenty of the Mahometans, and who at one time, when assailed by fifty of the nairs, escaped unhurt.  At first I answered, that this valiant Christian had gone to Cochin to the viceroy:  But after some farther consideration, I told them that this soldier was the God of the Portuguese, the great God who had created the world.  Then answered they, that the Mahometans had said as much to them already, and therefore they were inclined to believe that the God of the Christians was better and more powerful than theirs.  Thus it came to be rumoured all over the country that the Portuguese had overcome more by the assistance of God, than by the strength of man.  These people are wonderfully simple and ignorant, and are easily astonished at very trifling matters; for when they saw one of our company ring a small hand-bell, and that it ceased to make a noise when set down, they took it for a miracle, saying

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