When the Dutch finally attempted to conquer Malacca from the Portuguese, in alliance with the king of Johor, and besieged it both by sea and land, they found it too strong to be reduced by force, and thought it would be tedious to reduce it by famine. Hearing that the Portuguese governor was a sordid, avaricious wretch, much hated by the garrison, they tampered with him by letters, offering him mountains of gold to betray his trust, and at length struck a bargain with him for 80,000 dollars, and to convey him to Batavia. Having in consequence of his treachery got into the fort, where they gave no quarter to any one found in arms, they dispatched the governor himself, to save payment of the promised bribe.
The seventh government bestowed by the company is that of the Cape of Good Hope. The governor here is always one of the counsellors of the Indies, and has a council to assist him. This colony was taken from the Portuguese by the Dutch in 1653, and is justly esteemed one of the most important places in the hands of the company, though the profits derived from it are not comparable to what they derive from some of the islands in the East Indies. Formerly things were still worse, as the revenues of this settlement fell short of its expences. Yet the company could hardly carry on the trade to India, were it not in possession of this place, as here only the ships can meet with water and other refreshments on the outward and homeward-bound voyages; and these are indispensably necessary, especially for such ships as are distressed with the scurvy. This place so abounds in all sorts of provisions, that there never is any scarcity, notwithstanding the vast yearly demand, and all ships putting in here are supplied at moderate rates. These refreshments consist of beef, mutton, fowls, fruit, vegetables, wine, and every thing, in short, that is necessary, either for recovering the sick on shore, or recruiting the sea-stores for the continuance of the voyage out or home. In the space of a year, at least forty outward-bound ships touch here from Holland alone, and in these there cannot be less than eight or nine thousand people. The homeward-bound Dutch ships are not less than thirty-six yearly, in which there are about three thousand persons; not to mention foreign vessels, which likewise put in here, and have all kinds of refreshments furnished to them at reasonable rates. There are almost always some ships in this road, except in the months of May, June, and July, when the wind usually blows with great violence at N.W. and then the road is very dangerous.
Account of the Directories of Coromandel, Surat, Bengal, and Persia.