[Footnote 151: It is not easy to say whether the author means to express that Negapatam is this great city 72 miles from Ceylon, or if he refers to another city 72 miles from Negapatam.—E.]
Of Saint Thome and other places.
Following my voyage from Negapatam 150 miles towards the east, I came to the house of the blessed apostle St Thomas, which is a church held in great devotion, and is even much reverenced by the Gentiles, for the great miracles which they have heard were performed by that holy apostle. Near to this church the Portuguese have built a city, which stands in the country that is subject to the king of Bijanagur. Though not large, this city, in my judgment, is the handsomest in all that part of India, having many good houses with fine gardens in the environs. The streets are large and in straight lines, with many well frequented churches; and the houses are built contiguous, each having a small door, so that every house is sufficiently defensible by the Portuguese against the natives. The Portuguese have no other property here beyond their houses and gardens, as the sovereignty, together with the customs on trade, belong to the king of Bijanagur. These customs are small and easy, and the country is very rich and has great trade. Every year there come to this port two or three very large and rich ships, besides many other small ships. One of these great ships goes to Pegu and the other to Malacca, laden with fine bumbast or cotton cloth of all kinds, many of them being beautifully painted, and as it were gilded with various colours, which grow the livelier the oftener they are washed. There is also other cotton cloth that is woven of divers colours and is of great value. They also make at St Thome a great quantity of red yarn, dyed with a root called saia, which never fades in its colour, but grows the redder the oftener it is washed. Most of this red yarn is sent to Pegu, where it is woven into cloth according to their own fashion, and at less cost than can be done at St Thome.