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grand motive of all this enterprise was, in the first instance, the famed wealth of India. The ardent wish to arrive at the seat of so much riches even swayed the judgment of Columbus, and concealed from him the true nature of his own discoveries. The Portuguese, in the mean time, had reached the long sought goal by the Cape of Good Hope, and followed up their success with an alacrity worthy of so glorious an achievement. The court of Portugal had long prided itself on the encouragement it gave to maritime enterprise ; and when the object of its long continued exertions was at length attained, it proceeded to reap the fruit of its discoveries with the same vigour with which it had prosecuted them hitherto. Instead, therefore, of following the policy adopted by Spain in the New World, and giving up India, on condition of future contingent benefits, to needy individuals of desperate fortunes, the crown of Portugal resolved to maintain its dignity and provide for its interests in the East by national armaments.
The expense incurred by the equipment of De Gama's expedition had caused not a little public discontentment: but so much more persuasive is success than reason ; so much more does experience weigh with the bulk of mankind than all the arguments in the world ; that the tide of popular sentiment was totally changed by the issue of the voyage, and those who had most loudly decried the passage to India as a wild chimera were now most sanguine in estimating its advantages. Soon after the return of Vasco de Gama, orders were issued for the preparation of a new and more imposing armament. The fleet destined for this second voyage to India consisted of no less than thirteen ships, well manned, and supplied with every thing that the naval experience of that age deemed requisite for the accomplishment of an arduous navigation. The command of the expedition was given to Pedro Alvarez Cabral, who carried with him a number of Franciscan monks to convert the nations of the East, and 1200 fighting men to strike terror into those who might seem disposed to treat him with hostility. Cabral was accompanied by able officers, and appears to have been himself a navigator of eminent abilities. Aware of the difficulties and delays likely to be experienced near the coast of Africa from adverse winds and currents, he formed the resolution of holding his course far to the west of that continent, until he should arrive near the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope; and he actually persevered in this south-westerly course, until, in 17° southern latitude, he discovered land, to which he gave the name of Santa Cruz. He took possession of the country for the crown of Portugal; and the cross which he erected on that occasion is still preserved in Brazil.* This discovery appeared to him of such importance, that he immediately sent back a ship to Portugal to announce it: and although Vincent Yanez Pinzon had visited the same coast a few months earlier, the court of Spain relinquished, in this instance, the rights of priority; and the claims of the Portuguese to the sovereignty of Brazil were never disputed. Thus Cabral, with singular sagacity, chose at once the very course which is now usually taken by ships bound to India ; and his boldness appears more worthy of admiration when contrasted with the timidity which confined Portuguese seamen, a few years before, to short struggling voyages along the shores of Africa.
The gleam of success which shone in the commencement of Cabral's voyage was soon overcast with the darkest adversity. In the passage from Brazil to the Cape of Good Hope the fleet encountered the most tempestuous weather. Furious hurricanes and a raging sea continued for twenty days with little intermission. Four ships foundered in the gale; and one of these was commanded by Bartholomew Diaz, the intrepid mariner who first discovered the Cape of Good Hope. It was not allotted to him to witness the value of the discovery to which he had so largely contributed, nor does he appear to have reaped distinctions from his sovereign commensurate with his merit. But Camoens has compensated him for
* Lindley. Narrative of a Voyage to Brazil, p. 232.
the neglect of courts. That great poet represents him as perishing by no vulgar fate; but as engulfed in the abysses of the ocean, to satisfy the vengeance of the genius of the Stormy Cape, upon whose repose he had dared to intrude.
Cabral stayed some time at Mozambique to refit the shattered remnant of his fleet, and then steered for India. As his armament, though reduced to only six ships, was still strong enough to inspire fear, he was treated with attention and respect by all the native princes. The zamorin of Calicut, now acquainted with the formidable power of the Portuguese, was willing to atone for his equivocal treatment of De Gama; and with this view gave Cabral a house, by a legal deed engrossed in letters of gold; permitted him to erect over it the arms or standard of Portugal, to appoint a factor or consul for his nation, and to open magazines for the purchase of goods. This friendship, however, had but a short continuance. Correa, the factor, and about fifty Portuguese, who dealt with the natives rather as conquerors than merchants, fell victims to an ebullition of popular anger provoked by their own arrogance. Cabral then sailed to Cochin, Coilan, and Cananore; received assurances of friendship from the comparatively feeble chieftains of these cities; and, having freighted his ships with rich cargoes, proceeded to return home, with ambassadors from these three princes. He doubled the Cape without difficulty, and arrived at Lisbon in July, 1501. Notwithstanding his discovery of Brazil, and the ability and spirit with which he had conducted himself in India, yet, owing to the loss of life which had attended his expedition, he was treated as one who had met with but dubious success.
Some months before the return of Cabral, the king of Portugal had sent Juan de Nova to meet him with a squadron of four ships. On his outward voyage De Nova fell in with Ascension Island in 8° south latitude. He missed Cabral's fleet, but arrived safely in India, where he contributed to raise the warlike repu
tation of the Portuguese : he defeated a numerous fleet sent against him by the zamorin of Calicut; took in rich cargoes at Cananore and Cochin; and on his return home discovered the island of St. Helena, of which he gave so favourable a description that the Portuguese admirals received instructions to touch there for the future for refreshments.
If the three voyages already undertaken to India did not yield large profits, they had the effect, at least, of nourishing great hopes. No difficulty was now experienced in raising the funds requisite for the equip. ment of new expeditions; and the king, persuaded of the necessity of sending a strong armament, where so much opposition was likely to be encountered, gave orders for the preparation of twenty good-sized ships. Vasco de Gama was induced to leave his retirement and take the command of this fleet. In the spring of the year 1502, he sailed from Lisbon, and, arriving without any accident at Quiloa, compelled the king of that place to become tributary to the king of Portugal, and to agree to the annual payment of two thousand crowns of gold. From Quiloa he stood across the ocean to India, and in his way fell in with a group of islands, to which he gave the name of the Admirals Isles. They form a part of the cluster at present best known as the Seychelles.
When the Portuguese admiral made his appearance in the Indian seas with an increased force, the friendly sovereigns of Cananore and Cochin hastened to receive him with warm congratulations. The Christians - of India, or, as they are generally called, the Christians of St. Thomas, entreated of him to leave a squadron for their protection, when returning to Europe; a request to which he very willingly assented. The zamorin of Calicut in the mean time fitted out a fleet to attack the Portuguese; but De Gama won a complete and easy victory. Two ships were captured, containing immense riches; for, besides gold and silver plate to a great value, there was on board one of them an idol of pure gold weighing
sixty pounds; the eyes formed by emeralds of great size, and in the breast was a ruby as large as a chestnut. Vasco de Gama freighted his ships with the most valu, able productions of India, and returned to Lisbon without the occurrence of any accident. He was received, on landing, with the utmost joy; and the tribute of the king of Quiloa, in a silver basin, was carried before him.
Vincent Sodrez, in the mean time, remained in the Indian seas, with six large ships. As his chief object was the acquisition of wealth, he totally neglected the interests of his allies on the coast of Malabar, and cruised off the Red Sea to capture prizes. He was the first Portuguese who visited the island of Socotra, or who coasted the shores of Arabia Felix. But his avarice controlled his prudence; and, neglecting the advice he received, not to visit the Arabian seas before the tempestuous season was over, he perished with all his treasures.
In the year 1503, Francisco de Albuquerque conducted a fleet of nine ships to India. His nephew,
Alfonso de Albuquerque, who afterwards acquired so · great a reputation in India, commanded one of the
squadrons. From the first arrival of the Portuguese in the eastern seas, they had proved a source of jealousies and wars among the native princes; some of whom were determined to repulse those new and dangerous visiters, while others felt inclined to give them a favourable reception. The king of Cochin was among the latter number. The partiality which he had manifested towards the strangers provoked the hostility of the zamorin of Calicut, their implacable enemy; and, unable to resist so powerful an adversary, he had been compelled to fly, and abandon his dominions. But on the arrival of Albuquerque the balance of victory was quickly changed. The forces of the zamorin were immediately driven from Cochin, and the fugitive prince was reinstated in his kingdom. In return for this important service, he granted the Portuguese permission to build a fort in Cochin, The work was soon finished,