THE PORTUGUESE IN INDIA. 165 Early Portuguese Governors. — In 1502, the King of Portugal obtained from Pope Alexander VI. a bull consti- tuting him ' Lord of the Navigation, Conquests, and Trade of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India.' In that year Vasco da Gama set sail a second time for India, with a fleet numbering twenty vessels. He formed an alliance with the Rajas of Cochin and Cannanore against the Zamorin of Calicut, and bombarded the latter in his capital. In 1503, the great Affonso de Albuquerque sailed to the East in command of one of three expeditions from Portugal. In 1505, a large fleet of twenty-two sail and fifteen hundred men was sent under Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. In 1509, Albuquerque succeeded him as Governor, and widely extended the area of Portuguese influence. Having failed in an attack upon Calicut, Albuquerque seized Goa in 1510, which has since remained the capital of Portuguese India. Then, sailing round Ceylon, he captured Malacca, the key to the navigation of the Indian Archipelago, and opened up trade with Siam and the Spice Islands. Lastly, Albuquerque sailed back westwards, and, after penetrating into the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, returned to Goa, only to die, in 1515. In 1524, Vasco da Gama came out to the East for the third time, and died at Cochin in the same year. Cruelties of the Portuguese in India. — For exactly a century, from 1500 to 1600, the Portuguese enjoyed a mono- poly of Oriental trade. But the Portuguese had neither the political strength nor the personal character necessary to found an empire in India. Their national temper had been formed in their contest with the Moors at home. They were not traders, but knights-errant and crusaders, who looked on every pagan as an enemy of Portugal and of Christ. Only those who have read the contemporary narratives of their conquests, can realize the superstition and the cruelty with which their history in the Indies is stained. Albuquerque alone endea- voured to win the goodwill of the natives, and to win the friendship of the Hindu princes. In such veneration was his memory heid, that the Hindus of Goa, and even the Muhammadans, were wont to repair to his tomb, and there to
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/169
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