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and the real pioneer of the way to India, fired by the successes of Columbus in the West, equipped and dis
patched an expedition under Vasco da Gama
to push on still further to the East. This able and fortunate man, sent forth with the cheers of all the people of Lisbon, in four months, without storm or danger, reached the Cape, and rounding it put in at Melinda, on the eastern coast, for a pilot to guidehis ships across the Indian Ocean. On May 11, in 1498 he cast anchor off Calicut on the coast of Malabar Little could the natives then have thought what the splash and grappling of that anchor meant for them, however much they might be struck by the aspect, manners, and arms of the strangers, so unlike those of the foreigners who commonly frequented the port. To the immediate north of Calicut the harbours were held by the Hindû Râja of Bijanagar, a Muhammadan kingdom almost coinciding with the modern presidency of Madras; while still further up the coast the district called the Konkan, between the Western Ghâts and the sea from Bombay to Goa, formed the kingdom of Bijapûr. On the throne of Delhi sat Sikander, the second of the imperial house of Lôdi, and Bâber was still struggling valiantly to the west of the Indus. Calicut itself was ruled by a Zamorin, the most powerful of the petty Hindû Râjas of those parts, and was a place of extensive traffic. Da Gâma landed with great pomp, and was received with kindness by the Zamorin; but the jealousy and artifices of the Muhammadan traders from Arabia, Egypt, and the eastern coast of Africa, who at that time trafficked with every part of India, Africa, and the Mediterranean, effectually checked the progress of the Portu
guese at court; so that Da Gâma, finding his armament insufficient, returned to Portugal, and re-entered the Tagus in regal pomp on August 29, 1499. The king received him with due honour, and declared him “ Admiral of the Indian, Persian, and Arabian Seas.”
Before the year was out another expedition, consisting of thirteen ships and 1,200 men, was equipped and entrusted to Alvarez Cabral. accompanied by eight friars, and had instructions to convert the natives with fire and sword and the gospel. On his passage out, sailing too far to the West, he discovered by a fortunate accident the coast of Brazil, and landing, claimed the country in the name of his king. He arrived at Calicut in September 1501, and was received with kindness. Jealousies and ill-feeling, however, soon sprang up; and these were not abated by the conduct of Cabral and his missionaries. Massacres were exchanged, and Cabral having bombarded Calicut, withdrew to Cochin, and afterwards to Cannanûr ; at both of which places he was well received, for their râjas were at enmity with the Zamorin. In July 1501 the Portuguese expedition returned to Lisbon. Vasco da Gâma was sent out immediately to avenge its imagined wrongs, but only contrived to strike a vague terror of his nation into the natives of the Malabar coast, and to sully his name by his many atrocious cruelties.
As far as India was concerned these expeditions had accomplished nothing but the sowing of feud and future distrust. But for Portugal they had gained the command of the Eastern seas, and secured to her the monopoly of the Indian trade, which now deserted
the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and found its way to Europe only round the Cape; and Venice, Genoa, and Amalphi saw with dismay the great stream of wealth turned aside entirely from their ports.
The two brothers, Alphonso and Francisco Albuquerque and Saldanha, sailed for the Indies in 1504, Albuquer
and arrived off the Malabar coast in time to
rescue the Raja of Cochin, whom the Zamorin liad attacked and driven from his capital for the countenance he had afforded the Portuguese on a former occasion. Finding it, however, impossible to arrange matters with the Zamorin, the Albuquerques returned to Europe, leaving the fleet under the command of Duarte Pacheco, a valiant and clever leader. He, by his many exploits, and especially by his famous defence of Cochin against overwhelming odds, finally proved to the nations of the West that no native force, however courageous, could stand against the skill of European officers and the disciplined valour of European troops. But though his military skill and clearsighted policy tended greatly to raise the name of Portugal in the East, Pacheco soon met with the reward which their country two centuries later bestowed on Dupleix and La Bourdonnais. When his fortune had been spent in his country's service, false accusations were brought against him, and he was sent home loaded with chains; and, though in the end honourably acquitted, he was left to die in obscurity, His successor, Lope Soarez, soon followed him to Europe, having by his overbearing conduct destroyed all chance of a settlement with the ruler of Calicut.
The power of Portugal, however, had been so far established on the seas and along the western coast that
in 1505 a Viceroy of India, Francisco Almeyda, was sent out to direct and extend his country's interests. Under him trade rapidly increased, and with Almeyda, trade the authority of the Portuguese name.
viceroy. He received a magnificent embassy from 1905-1908. Bijanagar, the Râja bestowing on him costly presents, and offering his daughter in marriage to Prince John, King Emmanuel's son. But such success did not fail to rouse the jealousy of the Mameluke Sultan of Egypt, who, instigated by Venice and aggrieved by the decrease in his own commerce, dispatched a fleet against the new viceroy, and after a severe contest of two days defeated him off Chaul, thirty miles south of Bombay. This action is chiefly memorable for the heroic death of Almeyda's son, and for the courtesy with which the vanquished were treated by the King of Gujarât. In 1507, Almeyda discovered Ceylon, and in the following year was superseded by
AlbuquerAlphonso Albuquerque, who now landed for que, the the second time in India filled with ardour viceroy. to outdo the achievements of all his prede
1508-1515. cessors. Almeyda refused to yield to the new viceroy, and sailed on an expedition to avenge the death of his son; an object which he accomplished, though with much cruelty. In 1509 he gained a great victory off Diû, which put an end to the designs of the Sultan, and completely established the supremacy of Portugal in the Arabian Gulf. On his return to Cochin immediately afterwards, he was persuaded to resign his office to Albuquerque, and sailing for Europe ignominiously fell in a scuffle with a band of Hot. tentots on the African coast.
The name of Albuquerque is the greatest in the history of Portuguese conquest in the East. From the first he burned with the desire of accomplishing no less than the reduction of all India beneath the sway of Portugal. Nor was the position of affairs unfavourable to his design. The Bâhminî kingdom of the Dakhan was being torn to pieces by its viceroy. The Muhammadan empire north of the Nerbudda was already in that state of utter disorganization which not long afterwards tempted Bâber to his career of conquest. The first attempt of the new viceroy was an attack on Calicut, in which he nearly lost his life. But scarcely had he recovered from his wounds when he abandoned the capture of Calicut for that of Goa. Here he was unsuccessful at first; but eventually in 1510 he accomplished his object, and thus gained a spacious harbour for his fleets and a city which might well serve as a basis for his plans of victory and colonisation. Forthwith he dispatched embassies to the -native states, and received their envoys with a pomp that surpassed even the pomp of India. He also encouraged marriages with native families of distinction
; and these were celebrated in large numbers and with a somewhat laughable confusion. The island of Ormuz, which commands the Persian Gulf, next engaged his attention. On his voyage from Europe he had succeeded in rendering its king for a time tributary, but had soon been obliged to abandon the fruits of his victory. He now fitted out a magnificent expedition, and contrived with no great trouble to wrest the island from its ruler. He then established a city on this important spot, which ere