Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/67

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The chief African settlements were seized with little difficulty by Francisco de Almeida; and the rest of the programme was successfully carried out by Affonso de Albuquerque (1509-15). The excellent natural harbour of Goa had already been chosen as the new seat of the Portuguese dominions. The town, built by the Muslim fifty years previously, had lately fallen, together with the adjacent country, under the swav of the powerful Adil Khan; and it was well known that here the Muslim enemy intended to concentrate their forces with the view of driving the Portuguese from the Indian seas. A Muslim pirate who foresaw the issue of the contest allied himself with the Portuguese, on the terms that he should be appointed guaztt or port-admiral of Goa, and farmer of the large demesne lands which the conquest would annex to the Portuguese Crown; and on March 4, 1510, Albuquerque entered Goa and received the keys of the fortress. The dispossessed Hindoo inhabitants welcomed the Portuguese as deliverers; and although Adil Khan forced his way again into the town, compelling the Portuguese to evacuate, it was recaptured by Albuquerque (November 25), and strongly fortified. Many Portuguese received grants of land, and married native women; the confiscated estates of the Moorish mosques and Hindoo temples were annexed to the great church of S. Catherina: a mint was set up, the new coinage having on one side the cross of the Order of Christ, on the other ManoePs device of a sphere, lately adopted by him to signalise the vast accession which his dominions had now received. Hindoos and Moors returned to the settlement, acknowledging the Portuguese supremacy; and Goa thus became the most thriving port of the Malabar coast.

Albuquerque followed up this success by sailing in person for Malacca, where he arrived in June, 1511. A few Portuguese had already been allowed to settle there for the purpose of trade. They had been treacherously attacked by the Moors, and their property confiscated; and although a few effected their escape, several were still held prisoners. Mohammad, the Sultan of Malacca, having refused Albuquerque's demand for their liberation and the restitution of their property, Albuquerque assaulted and sacked the town, capturing hundreds of guns, erected a fortress, set up a mint, and built a church dedicated to the Virgin. The native princes of the adjoining mainland and islands hastened to offer their friendship and urge the Portuguese commander to make his footing secure. In this he completely succeeded, for although repeated attempts were made to dislodge the Portuguese, the settlement was successfully defended, and became, as was foreseen, a base from which all the Muslim settlements in the Far East were gradually reduced to subjection.

The news of the capture of Malacca was in due time communicated to the Court of Rome. A public thanksgiving was appointed, marked by processions in which the Pope figured in person. Later came an