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long became the centre of the trade between India, Persia, and Western Asia. An attempt on Aden immediately afterwards failed. Then turning his thoughts to the further East, he resolved to found another emporium amidst the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Malacca was the spot fixed upon; and in 1511 it was taken, after hard fighting, from its Malay founders. His policy here was the same as on former occasions. He strove to unite the natives and his countrymen by common interests, and treated his new subjects with kindliness and forbearance. He despatched embassies to Siam, Java, and Sumatra. But his brilliant career was drawing to a close. He was growing old, and his health was giving way. On his voyage to Goa he was met by the sudden news that he had been superseded by Lope Soarez, a whom above all
Lope others he hated. This act of ingratitude Soarez. broke his heart. He died ere he reached land, and amidst the lamentations of the natives and of his countrymen was buried with great pomp in the settlement, where a splendid monument still attests his greatness.
The Portuguese power in the East may now be said to have reached its greatest height; for only a few points on the remoter coast of Africa and two or three settle. ments on the shore of Coromandel were afterwards added. Among these that of Bombay was obtained in 1530. As the historian Faria y Sousa boasted of his countrymen, their dominion stretched from the Cape of Good Hope to the frontiers of China, along 12,000 miles of coast. But it was in no sense a territorial dominion, for they possessed in all perhaps not
more than thirty factories. It was the far more useful command of the Eastern seas, with the entire control of a most lucrative trade. The rest of their history is mainly the history of a desperate struggle to maintain their ground against the natives, whom their domineering, bigoted, and persecuting spirit had filled with the bitterest hatred, and against the Dutch whom Spanish persecution had forced into heroism and driven on to
In 1534 Nunho Cunha, then the Portuguese viceroy, took Diû and Bassein; but the former place was only finally established as a factory in 1536. Soon afterwards Damân was added.
In 1541, the great Apostle of the Indies,
Francis Xavier (1506-1552) landed in India, and preached, baptised, and founded the missions which still survive along the southern coast. The effects of his work are also still to be seen in Malacca, in the Spice Islands and in Japan. But, though in 1545 Juan de Castro held Diû successfully against the king of Gujarât, and in 1571 Louis de Cetaide saved Goa after a ten months siege from the combined forces of Bijapûr, Ahmednagar, and Calicut, the progress of decay was making itself plainly felt in all the Indian governments of Portugal—in the governments of Ceylon, of Goa, and of Malacca.
On the death of Don Sebastian, Philip II. seized on the crown of Portugal, and from 1580 to 1640 that country felt the numbing effects of Spanish sway. During that period, though at times in this or that place, there flashed out somewhat of the old daring and heroism, Portuguese power and Portuguese prestige gradually declined ; her colonies languished, and her sceptre passed into the hands of the Dutch.
In 1662 the degenerate successors of Albuquerque and De Castro are seen trembling before the guerilla chieftain Sivaji, paying the chout (or fourth part of the revenues) to him and his Mahrattas ; or, again, resisting them with spasmodic bravery, and rivalling them in deeds of violence ; till in 1739, this astonishing and rapidly increasing Hindu power —with no small cause for triumph-took, after a terrible siege, the stronghold of Bassein, and sealed once for all the fate of Portuguese supremacy. Nor did those, who for more than a century had ruled the Eastern seas, experience less of humiliation at the hands of the new Vikings. In 1607 the Dutch had seized the Moluccas ; in 1640, Malacca ; while in 1656 the same untiring foe drove their rivals completely out of the fertile island of Ceylon. But this was not all. In the western provinces, the Portuguese found themselves face to face with the English. Nor did all their infuence at the Court of the Mogul save them from being gradually supplanted in Surat and other parts of Gujarât by the superior power and policy of these formidable interlopers. An expedition undertaken by Shah Abbas, king of Persia, conjointly with the English, deprived them of Ormuz in 1622 ; and the Imâm of Muscat, seconded by the natives, stripped them of well-nigh all their possessions on the coast of Africa. Thus did their vast dominion dwindle down and decay even more rapidly than it had grown up; till of all their flourishing factories on the islands and the mainland of India there are left to them only Goa, and the insignificant stations of Damân and Diû; while the sleepy, lanky scribes, with yellow eyes and yellow cheeks, who in their white jackets and washed-out trousers, haunt, umbrella under arm, the crowded bazaars of Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, form a somewhat stern commentary on the unwise attempt to mingle races so entirely different.
It may not be without some use briefly to summarise the leading causes of this strange decline. No doubt the crushing weight of Philip's hand, and the wonderful perseverance and enterprise of the Dutch, had much to do with it, for the Portuguese power depended almost entirely on the supremacy of the sea, and when this passed into other hands their power inevitably fell into decay. But there were other and as serious causes still of which it would be well to take account. The conquerors had from the first attempted to force their religion on the conquered. The Inquisition had been imported into India as early as 1526; and no means of sword, or faggot, or even more brutal contempt, had been spared to effect its purpose. Such conduct could not but hopelessly alienate the better classes of Indians, who were more enlightened and far more humane than their conquerors, and especially those who claimed such a man as the great Akbar as their chief. Nor were their savage methods applied only to the natives ; they were extended also to the Christians of Travancore. This conduct, combined with their constant cruelty from first to last, deprived them of all chance of ever obtaining that reputation for wisdom and kindliness without which no dominion of a few over countless multitudes can ever be expected to endure. When we add another cause as serious as any—the rapacious conduct and the incapacity of
in the East.
the successors of the first great viceroys, the result is not hard to understand ; while the position of Clive on his arrival in India in 1765 gains in interest for us from the similarity of the causes then threatening the Company's ruin.
Though the rise of Dutch power in the East contributed so greatly to the downfall of Portugal, yet as the sea-kings of Holland never formed any The Dutch important or extensive establishment on the continent of India, it will not be necessary here to give more than a bare outline of their doings in these parts. The Dutch had no sooner freed themselves from the tyranny of Spain in 1609 and obtained a twelve years' truce from Philip III., than they turned their attention vigorously to the Eastern trade. But they had already laid a sure foundation of future suc
Not venturing to make use of the route round the Cape of Good Hope, they had thrice between 1580 and 1590 attempted to find a way to India and China round the northern coast of Asia. But this hope failing, they at last determined to risk the enmity of Portugal, and in 1594 dispatched by the Cape route to the Eastern Archipelago four ships under one Cornelius Houtmann, who had obtained the necessary information during a long residence at Lisbon. After a tedious voyage he arrived off Bantam, in the island of Java, without encountering any important opposition or obstruction. He was well received at first, but afterwards, having behaved with violence and having quarrelled with the king, he returned to Europe. The original Company, augmented by one more recently formed, sent out early in 1599 no fewer than eight ships under