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“ He was
were found willing to assist the enemy. The introduction they have to his camp describes him environed with splendour, and the mitaquer or officer, who conducted them, is a personage of no small importance, being attended by sixty halberdiers, and six
pages richly apparelled, riding on white curtals. received by four beautiful boys attired in long coats, garded with green and white; wearing about the small of their legs little hoops of gold in the form of shackles, with maces in their hands." By these boys the mitaquer and the strangers were conducted through many files of visitors, and spacious quadrangles, to a large space," where we saw four ranks of statues of brass, in form of wild men, with clubs and crowns of the same metal, gilt: these idols, or giants, were each twenty-six spans high, and six broad on the shoulders, their countenances were hideous and deformed, and their hair curled like negroes.”. They saw also, “ a plantation of orange trees, surrounded with a fence of flowers not known in Europe, in which was a tent perched upon twelve ballisters of camphor wood, wreathed about with silver, in the fashion of knotted card work. In the tent was a low throne, garnished with branch work of fine gold, and over it was a cloth of state, set thick with silver stars ; also, the sun and moon, and certain clouds; some white, others like those before rain, all so enamelled, that it was impossible to see any thing more complete for beauty and proportion. On the throne lay a great statue of silver, and about the statue were four and thirty idols, ranged in files, placed upon their knees. For the guard of this tent were sixty halberdiers, clothed in gilt leather, with morians on their heads curiously engraved, all which were very agreeable and majestical objects."-" In the next room was the King of Tartaria, on one side of whom were kings, princes, lords, and captains, splendidly arrayed, to the number of fourteen ; on the other side were thirty-two very
women, who, playing upon divers instruments of music, made a wonderfully sweet concert."
“ The king was set on his throne under a rich cloth of state, and had about him twelve young boys kneeling on their knees, with little maces of gold-like sceptres, which they carried on their shoulders; close behind was a young lady extremely beautiful, and wonderfully richly attired, with a ventiloe in her hand, wherewith she ever and anon fanned him. This same was the sister of the Mitaquer, our general, and infinitely beloved of the king, for whose sake therefore it was, that he was in such credit and reputation throughout the whole army: the king was much about forty years of age, full stature, somewhat lean, and of a good aspect; his beard was very short, his mustachios after the Turkish manner, his eyes like to the Chineses, and his countenance severe and majestical; as for his vesture, it was violet-colour, in fashion like to a Turkish robe, embroidered with pearl ; upon his feet he had green sandals wrought all over with gold-purl, and great pearls among it, and on his head a satin cap of the colour of his habit, with a rich band of diamonds and rubies intermingled together : before we past any farther, after we had gone ten or eleven steps in the room, we made our compliment by kissing of the ground three several times, and performing other ceremonies, which the Truch-men taught us: in the mean time, the king commanded the music to cease, and addressing himself to the Mitaquer; “ Ask these men of the other end of the world,' said he unto him, whether they have a king, what is the name of their country, and how far distant it is from the kingdom of China where now I am ? Thereupon one of ours, speaking for all the rest, answered; That our country was called Portugal, that the king thereof was exceeding rich and mighty, and that from thence to the city of Pequin was, at the least, three years voyage.' This answer much amazed the king, because he did not think the world had been so large, so that striking his thigh with a wand that he had in his hand, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, as though he would render thanks unto God, he said aloud, so as every one might hear him: 'O Creator of all things! are we able to comprehend the marvels of thy greatness, we that at the best are but poor worms of the earth? Fuxiquidane, fuxiquidane, let them approach, let them approach. Thereupon beckoning to us with his hand, he caused us to come even to the first degree of the throne, where the fourteen kings sat, and demanded of him again, as a man astonished, Pucau, pucau, that is to say, How far, how far? whereunto he answered as before, ‘That we should be at least three years in returning to our country. Then he asked, "Why we came not rather by land than by sea, where so many labours and dangers were to be undergone? Thereunto he replied, • That there was too great an extent of land through which we were not assured to pass, for that it was commanded by kings of several nations.'
• What came you to seek for then,' added the king, and wherefore do you expose yourselves to such dangers ? Then having rendered him a reason to this last demand, with all the submission that might be, he stayed a pretty while without speaking; and then shaking his head three or four times, he addressed himself to an old man that was not far from him, and said, “ Certainly we must needs conclude, that there is either much ambition or little justice in the country of these people, seeing they come so far to conquer other lands. To this speech the old man, named Raja Benan, made no other answer,. But that it must needs be so; for men,' said he,' who have recourse unto their industry and invention to run over the sea for to get that which God hath not given them, are necessarily carried thereunto, either by extreme poverty, or by an excess of blindness and vanity, derived from much covetousness, which is the cause why they renounce God, and those that brought them into the world. This reply of the old man was seconded by many jeering words of the other courtiers, who made great sport upon this occasion, that very much pleased the king; in the mean time the women fell to their music again, and so continued, till the king withdrew into another chamber in the company of
these fair musicians, and that young lady that fanned him, not so much as one of those great personages daring to enter besides : not long after one of those twelve boys that carried the sceptres before mentioned, came to the Mitaquer, and told him from his sister, that the king commanded him to depart away, which he held for a singular favour, by reason this message was delivered to him in the of those kings and lords that were in the room, so that he stirred not, but sent us word, that we should go unto our tent with this assurance, that he would take care the Son of the Sun should be mindful of us."
Although the king here appears a tolerably sensible man, his expedition does not denote much wisdom, and he lost so many soldiers from sickness and want, that he commanded his camp to be set on fire, and having embarked his infantry and ammunition, set out by land himself for his own country with three hundred thousand horse, and twenty thousand rhinocerots. “Now after they had taken an account of all the dead, they appeared to be four hundred and fifty thousand, the most of whom died by sickness, as also an hundred thousand horses, and threescore thousand rhinocerots,* which were eaten in the space of two months and a half, wherein they wanted victual; so that of eighteen hundred thousand men, wherewith the King of Tartaria came to besiege Pequin, he carried home seven hundred and fifty thousand less than he brought.”
Notwithstanding these losses, we find the king no way diminishing his state, which with that of many other great sovereigns is described as, “ the Calaminhan lord of the indomitable force of the elephant of the earth”—the “ lord of the white elephant, &c.” whose land“ borders on that of a certain people called Muscovites, who are fair, as may be seen by some of them now in this country, and apparelled with breeches, cassocks, and hats, like to the Flemings in Europe."
The ambassador of the Emperor of Caran was, however, more splendid than any other, having for his guard
“ Sixscore men armed with arrows and partisans, damasked with gold and silver, and attired in violet and green. After them marched on horseback twelve ushers carrying silver maces, before whom were led twelve horses, each covered with carnation cloths, bordered with gold and silver; followed by twelve huge tall men like giants, clothed in tigers' skins. Then appeared, twelve little pages mounted on milk white hacknes, with green velvet saddles trimmed with silver lace and
By rhinocerots, we apprehend Mendez Pinto means buffaloes, provided for victualling this mighty army.
fringe. They were all apparelled alike in crimson satin cassocks, lined with marterns, breeches and hats of the same, and had great chains of gold scarf-wise about them. These twelve boys were all of equal stature, so fair of face, so well favoured, and of 'so sweet proportion of body, I believe there never have been seen any more accomplished. - For himself, he was seated in a chariot, with three wheels on each side, called a pirange, it was garnished with silver, and round it. walked forty footmen in jerkins and breeches of green and red cloth, laced all over with carnation silk lace, having swords by their sides three fingers broad, with hilts and chaps of silver, and hunting horns hanging in silver chains (brandric wise) about them, and on their heads they wore caps full of feathers with spangles. Thus was the ambassador so sumptuous and stately, we might well conclude he belonged to a mighty prince.”
The King of Tartaria engages the Portuguese in his service occasionally, and Jorge Mendez devotes himself entirely. to him, though not “ without many tears.” In this new country immense idols and many particulars of worship engage their attention, and they experience great generosity, but on their departure are again plundered by a Chinese pirate, and at the town of Pungar they are accused of being spies, and sentenced by the King of the Lequios “ to be quartered, as an example to all others to the end of the world.”
From this horrible end they were saved by a Portuguese woman, who was married to a native, and by her extraordinary grief raised up a number of ladies in their behalf, who petitioned the queen-mother, who undertook their care, and finally carried it so effectually, that they were not only pardoned but sent honourably out of the country, laden with presents from the charitable; the petition to the princess who espoused their cause is long, and completely oriental; it commences thus :
“ Sacred pearl ! congealed in the profoundest depth of the waters; thou star! enamelled with rays of fire; thou tress of golden hair, intermixed with roses; whose feet are so replenished with greatness, that they rest upon the top of our hands, like unto rubies enchased in gold,” &c.
After this, many long voyages and dangerous journeys occur, but they arrive safely at the bar of Martabano, and make part in an armament against the King of Mattaban, whose capital is taken and most horribly sacked; and not content with abundant pillage and massacre, on the following day the queen, with her two young children, and one hundred and forty ladies of her court, are all cruelly executed by being hung up by their
· heels until they were choaked. This dreadful scene is described with painful minuteness, and commented upon with sensibility. We should be glad to disbelieve our historian in this place; but when we recollect how much of the horrible has been practised in our own times, both in France and Ireland, we are compelled to admit its possibility; for the demon-man
“ Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven,
As would make angels weep." But from this scene, we are led to witness the splendid pageantry arriving from victories so unmerited, and completed by tying a stone round the neck of the king, and casting him into the sea. These accounts of the rejoicings are again
interrupted by a new siege, and a moving letter
from a widowed queen,
which failed to avert a fresh scene of sin and suffering, from which the very senses recoil. This is followed by a curious account of the worship of the country, and the manner of installing a new bishop, or high-priest, into his office; which was by apparently burying him with great pomp, then sending a beautiful child drest as an angel into the grave, who is supposed to breathe into him a new and purer soul, whereby he is fitted for the holy office, which ,he, arising, claims with great dignity. It appears from this work, that there are various institutions all over India, resembling the nunneries of Europe, into which rich women are given to retire, in which case their wealth is generally left to the pagodas; and it seems worthy of remark, that women are equal to the holding of considerable rank, and even political importance, as queens are frequently found acting as regents, and appear to exercise full powers of discretion, as other despotic sovereigns. We must, however, hasten through this voluminous work, and present a picture of the court of the Calaminham, on his return from these victories, and his reception of an ambassador, in whose train the Portugal wanderers were placed, as it contains a dramatic entertainment.
“ We past along through the midst of a great garden, made with such art, and where appeared so many goodly things, so divers and so pleasing to the eye, as words are not able to express them: for here were many alleys environed with ballisters of silver, and many arbours of extraordinary scent, which we were told had so much sympathy with the moons of the year, that in all seasons whatsoever they bare flowers and fruits; withall there was such abundance and variety of roses and other flowers, as almost passeth belief. In the midst of this garden we saw a great many young women, very fair, and well clad, whereof some past away their time in dancing, and others in playing on sundry sorts of instruments much after our manner, which they performed with so much harmony, as we were not a little de