« AnteriorContinuar »
For APRI L, 1752.
THE SECOND EDITION.
ART. XXIX. The hiftory of the Portuguese, during the reign of Emmanuel, &c. in 2 vol. 8vo.
Aving already given an account of the firft of these volumes, which contains the discovery of the Eaft Indies by the Portuguese, and their exploits there, till Albuquerque's vice-royalty, we fhall now give a brief abftract of what followed upon the promotion of this great man; previously observing, that the nature of our work will not permit us to take any notice of Emmanuel's tranfactions in Europe, nor of the war carried on against the Moors in Africa: for thefe, as well as a more full and circumftantial account of what paffed in the East Indies, we muft refer to the hiftory itself.
Albuquerque's firft expedition was against the Zamorin of Calicut, whofe palace without the city he burnt, but was obliged to retreat precipitately, after being dangerously wounded, and lofing many of his braveft followers, among whom was admiral Coutign, a nobleman of great merit.
His next expedition was against Goa, a city fituated on the point of an ifland, called Ticuarin, and formed by a ri ver running into the fea in two different branches: This ifland is about twenty three miles in compafs, and maintains a much greater number of people than could be imagined from its extent, being covered with fruitful trees, and abounding in all forts of corn. The city was fortified, and furnished with abundance of warlike engines; it is a bout an hundred miles from Cochin.
In our Review for laft Month, VOL. VI.
Albuquerque having a fleet of twenty-three men of war well manned, befide fourteen auxiliary ones belonging to Timoia, who had taken part with the Portuguese, foon made himself mafter of Goa; in which he found a great number of cannon, furprifing heaps of bullets, and an immenfe quantity of powder and other warlike ftores. In their fhip-dock there were about forty men of war, befides fixteen pinnaces, and many other veffels. A confiderable number of fine horfes from Perfia and Arabia was likewise found in the ftables of Zabaim, who was prince of this ifland, and the territories bordering on it upon the continent.
Here Albuquerque took up his winter quarters. He eased the citizens of one third of the tribute they used to pay to Zabaim, fortified the city, and equipped the veffels in the harbour fit for fervice. He likewife fortified the entrances into the ifland, fettled the revenues, and prepared to oppose Zabaim, who was raising an army to invade the island in the fpring. It was reported that Zabaim had above forty thousand foldiers under his command, and a fine train of artillery; fo that the Portuguese were for abandoning the island, but Albuquerque thought it shameful to do fo, before he had tried whether it could be defended. Accordingly he made a brave defence, but was at laft obliged to evacuate the city and fort of Goa, after having shipped all the cannon, and a fufficient quantity of ammunition and provifions. This happened in May 1510, a year remarkable for the death of the King of Cochin, who had espoused the Portuguefe intereft with great fincerity, and given them the first fettlement in the Indies.
In the month of November Albuquerque retook Goa, after a very obftinate and bloody defence, wherein the enemy loft three thousand men and the Portuguese only forty. This done, the viceroy's next care was to fettle the government of the city, and send out fhips of war to protect the Portuguese merchant-men, as well as their allies, and to intercept all veffels trading to Calicut.
As the character and conduct of Albuquerque differed widely from that of his predeceffor Almeed, it may not be improper to obferve, after our author, wherein this difference confifted. 'Both were certainly men endowed with true greatness of foul, and amazing courage; both pursued the fame noble ends; both had at heart the glory of their religion, and the honour of their royal mafter; and for this purpofe, either would have facrificed his life with the utmost chearfulness. But they differed from each other in this re
fpect: Almeed thought it extremely unfafe to aim at ftorm-ing cities; fince by dividing their strength this would cer tainly weaken the Portuguese; it was therefore his opinion, that our people ought to keep at fea; for if they had the fuperiority there, they would have all India under their command. The fea was Almeed's only concern, and if there was only one safe station where the ships might winter, this alone he thought would be sufficient; for he thought it impoffible that fuch reinforcements could be fent every year from Portugal, as were neceffary to garrison the forts. And he concluded it to be almost a crime for any one to venture upon a scheme in this manner, to divide the Portuguese who, when united in one body, would always ftrike terror into their enemies.
• Albuquerque had more unbounded hopes; he not only had an eye to their prefent fecurity, but alfo planned in his mind the foundation of a grand and lafting empire in the eaft. Nor did he think the fending every year large quantities of fpices to Portugal, was an affair fo worthy of his attention, as that of enlarging and fixing the fovereignty of Emmanuel. And as they could not have fupplies but at fo great a distance, he therefore refolved to plant colonies of the Portuguese in many parts of India, that in process of time they might be able to levy armies in that country. He thought a dominion at fea alone would be very infufficient, for one ftorm might deftroy their whole force; whereas if they were masters by land, this would likewife fecure their power at fea; for if any misfortuné fhould happen to their fleet, they would then be enabled to repair it, and would quickly recover their naval ftrength: That it would alfo be extremely dangerous for the fleet to be shut up in one ftation in a country, where perhaps the foil being barren, was unable to fupport an army in winter quarters. Thofe perfons, therefore, who thought Cochin or Cananor the only forts then belonging to the Portuguese in these parts, would -be fufficient for them amidst such a number of enemies, fo bent on their destruction, feemed to him to have very little regard to futurity; fince one ftation, though never fo strong, would avail little, unless they could fend fupplies from many quarters. The taking poffeffion therefore of many places was, in his opinion, not to weaken, but enlarge the naval power: for, if they had many stations and retreats, the fleet would then go to fea with lefs danger, and they would have a greater quantity of materials for building or refitting
their fhips. In short, as Albuquerque had in his view the perpetual poffeffion of India, he therefore refolved to procure wives for the Portuguese, in order to raise an offspring, that by this means they might in time have such a resource in India, as not to depend entirely on the supplies fent from Portugal, who (or rather which) in the course of such long and dangerous voyages, were often cut off by diftempers, or swallowed up in the waves.
The wisdom and forefight of this great man was certainly extremely ferviceable to the Portuguefe; the happy effects of which appeared many years after his death. For when Solyman the Grand Turk fent the governor of Egypt with a formidable fleet to drive the Portuguese from India, he befieged the citadel of Dio; and notwithstanding he met with a very warm reception, and was vigorously opposed by our people, yet he continued the fiege many days, with great vigour; nor would he have defifted from the attempt fo foon, had he not been informed, that a powerful fquadron was coming from Goa. Nor would the king of Cambaya, who, at another time, with an army of Turks, befieged the fame place for fix months, have been so easily overthrown by John de Caftro, then viceroy of India, had it not been owing to the numerous and timely fupplies fent from Goa; for this colony became in time fo great and numerous, that it could raise armies, and fend forth fleets. This arofe entirely from the prudent management of Albuquerque, who took fo much pains to raife fuch a foundation as could not be easily shaken. He took, feveral women captives in India: These he treated with the highest respect; and having initiated them in the Chriftian religion, he gave them in marriage to his foldiers, to whom he allowed fettlements in the island of Goa, and endeavoured to make these marriages happy by all manner of favour and encouragement.
He was no lefs affiduous in ftrengthening the fortifications, and fettling every thing which might tend to the order and establishment of the government. In a word, his fame spread far and near; so that embassadors came to him from most of the princes in India. Some brought their tribute, others came to fue for peace and friendship, and all of them profeffed their attachment to Emmanuel. Albuquerque detained them fome time at Goa; for he was willing they fhould behold the fortifications of the city, the formidable fleet, and all his grand structures, that being ftruck with the magnificence of his works, they might remain faithful to Emmanuel.
Emmanuel. They beheld Albuquerque with a kind of veneration,; fome admiring his majestic dignity, whilft others were no less taken with his civility and polite behaviour. This refort of embaffadors, and concourfe of perfons of diftinction, formed an appearance of a court at Goa, equal to that of the greatest monarch.
Zabaim Idalcam, indeed, formed many schemes for retaking the island, and even attempted to invade it with a confiderable army; but was repulfed with lofs and shame.'
If the reduction and fettlement of Goa are proofs of Albuquerque's valour and prudence; if his reception of the Indian embaffadors, fhews his policy and princely fpirit; the following inftance of feverity equally displays his ability as a viceroy, and how well he knew to fupport his authority. Diego Mendez Vafconcelo, who had the command of four men of war, no fooner came to an anchor in the port of Goa, than he delivered Albuquerque a letter from Emmanuel; wherein his majesty ordered the viceroy to give Vafconcelo all the affiftance in his power to enable him to purfue his voyage to Malacca. A general council was immediately held, and it was the opinion of every one, that nothing was to be preferred to the war of Goa, and that Vafconcelo ought to be prefent at an affair of fo much importance; to which this admiral confented. When Goa was taken, and every thing fully fettled, Vafconcelo waited on Albuquerque, and after recounting his late fervices, defired he would order a fleet to be got ready, that, according to his inftructions, he might fail for Malacca. Albuquerque endeavoured, by all poffible means, to diffuade him from this expedition; telling him, it was not only dangerous, but little advantage could be reaped from it. Befides, that he himself intended to fail against the Sultan's fleet, and it would be extremely dangerous, at the fame time, to venture upon two fuch bold undertakings: Nor could he furnish him with a fufficient number of hips to carry on the expedition against Malacca. He therefore earnestly entreated and conjured Vasconcelo to fail along with him, and as foon as the war was finished he might return to Portugal with fuch marks of honour and diftinction, as his high merit deserved.
• Vafconcelo received this anfwer with the higheft indig nation, complaining that he was impofed on in the groffeft manner. However, fince he met with fo bad a requital of his fervices, he declared he would ftill go to Malacca, notwithstanding all their oppofition. Albuquerque finding him not to be worked on by entreaty, thought to deter him by