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THE city of Bezeneger was sacked in the yeere 1565, by foure kings of the Moores, which were of great power and might: the names of these foure kings were these following, the first was called Dialcan, the second Zamaluc, the third Cotamaluc, and the fourth Viridy: and yet these foure kings were not able to overcome this city and the king of Bezeneger, but by treason. This king of Bezeneger was a Gentile, and had, amongst all other of his captaines, two which were notable, and they were Moores: and these two captaines had either of them in charge threescore and ten or fourescore thousand men. These two captaines being of one religion with the foure kings which were Moores, wrought meanes with them to betray their owne king into their hands. The king of Bezeneger esteemed not the force of the foure kings his enemies, but went out of his city to wage battell with them in the fieldes; and when the armies were joyned, the battell lasted but a while not the space of foure houres, because the two traitourous captaines, in the chiefest of the fight, with their companies turned their faces against their king, and made such disorder in his army, that as astonied they set themselves to flight. Thirty yeeres was this kingdome governed by three brethren which were tyrants, the which keeping the rightfull king in prison, it was their use every yeere once to shew him to the people, and they at their pleasures ruled as they listed. These brethren were three cap taines belonging to the father of the king they kept in prison, which when he died, left his sonne very yong, and then they tooke the government to themselves. The chiefest of these three was called Ramaragio, and sate in the royall throne, and was called the king: the second was called Temiragio, and he tooke the government on him: the third was called Bengatre, and he was captaine generall of the army. These three brethren were in this battell, in the which the chiefest and the last were never heard of quicke nor dead. Onely Temiragio fled in the battel, having lost one of his eyes: when the newes came to the city of the overthrow in the battell, the wives and children of these three tyrants, with their lawfull king (kept prisoner) fled away, spoiled as they were, & the foure kings of the Moores entred the city Bezeneger with great triumph, & there they remained sixe moneths, searching under houses & in all places for money & other things that were hidden, and then they departed to their owne kingdomes, because they were not able to maintaine such a kingdome as that was, so farre distant from their owne countrey.

When the kings were departed from Bezeneger, this Temiragio returned to the city, and then beganne for to repopulate it, and sent word to Goa to the Merchants, if they had any horses, to bring them to him, and he would pay well for them, and for this cause the aforesayd two Merchants that I went in company withall, carried those horses that they had to Bezeneger. Also this Tyrant made an order or lawe, that if any Merchant had any of the horses that were taken in the aforesayd battell or warres, although they were of his owne marke, that he would give as much for them as they would: and beside he gave generall safe conduct to all that should bring them. When by this meanes he saw that there were great store of horses brought thither unto him, hee gave the Merchants faire wordes, untill such time as he saw they could bring no more. Then he licenced the Merchants to depart, without giving them any thing for their horses, which when the poore men saw, they were desperate, and as it were mad with sorrow and griefe.

I rested in Bezeneger seven moneths, although in one moneth I might have discharged all my businesse, for it was necessary to rest there untill the wayes were cleere of theeves, which at that time ranged up and downe. And in the time I rested there, I saw many strange and beastly deeds done by the Gentiles. First, when there is any Noble man or woman dead, they burne their bodies: and if a married man die, his wife must burne herselfe alive, for the love of her husband, and with the body of her husband: so that when any man dieth, his wife will take a moneths leave, two or three, or as shee will, to burne her selfe in, and that day being come, wherein shee ought to be burnt, that morning shee goeth out of her house very earely, either on horsebacke or on an eliphant, or else is borne by eight men on a smal stage: in one of these orders she goeth, being apparelled like to a Bride, carried round about the City, with her haire downe about her shoulders, garnished with jewels and flowers, according to the estate of the party, and they goe with as great joy as Brides doe in Venice to their nuptials : shee carrieth in her left hand a looking glasse, and in her right hand an arrow, and singeth thorow the City as she passeth, and sayth, that she goeth to sleepe with her deere spowse and husband. She is accompanied with her kindred and friends untill it be one or two of the clocke in the afternoone, then they goe out of the City, and going along the rivers side called Nigondin, which runneth under the walles of the City, untill they come unto a place where they use to make this burning of women, being widdowes, there is prepared in this place a great square cave, with a little pinnacle hard by it, foure or five steppes up: the foresayd cave is full of dried wood. The woman being come thither, accompanied with a great number of people which come to see the thing, then they make ready a great banquet, and she that shall be burned eateth with as great joy and gladnesse, as though it were her wedding day: and the feast being ended, then they goe to dancing and singing a certeine time, according as she will. After this, the woman of her owne accord, commandeth them to make the fire in the square cave where the drie wood is, and when it is kindled, they come and certifie her thereof, then presently she leaveth the feast, and taketh the neerest kinseman of her husband by the hand, and they both goe together to the banke of the foresayd river, where shee putteth off all her jewels and all her clothes, and giveth them to her parents or kinsefolke, and covering herselfe with a cloth, because she will not be seene of the people being naked, she throweth herselfe into the river, saying: O wretches, wash away your sinnes. Comming out of the water, she rowleth herselfe into a yellow cloth of foureteene braces long: and againe she taketh her husbands kinseman by the hand, and they go both together up to the pinnacle of the square cave wherein the fire is made. When she is on the pinnacle, shee talketh and reasoneth with the people, recommending unto them her children and kindred. Before the pinnacle they use to set a mat, because they shall not see the fiercenesse of the fire, yet there are many that will have them plucked away, shewing therein an heart not fearefull, and that they are not affrayd of that sight. When this silly woman hath reasoned with the people a good while to her content, there is another woman that taketh a pot with oile, and sprinckleth it over her head, and with the same she anoynteth all her body, and afterwards throweth the pot into the fornace, and both the woman and the pot goe together into the fire, and presently the people that are round about the fornace throw after her into the cave great pieces of wood, so by this meanes, with the fire and with the blowes that she hath with the wood throwen after her, she is quickly dead, and after this there groweth such sorrow and such lamentation among the people, that all their mirth is turned into howling and weeping, in such wise, that a man could scarse beare the hearing of it. I have seene many burnt in this maner, because my house was neere to the gate where they goe out to the place of burning: and when there dieth any great man, his wife with all his slaves with whom hee hath had carnall copulation, burne themselves together with him. Also in this kingdome I have seene amongst the base sort of people this use and order, that the man being dead, hee is carried to the place where they will make his sepulchre, and setting him as it were upright, then commeth his wife before him on her knees, casting her armes about his necke, with imbracing and clasping him, untill such time as the Masons have made a wall round about them, and when the wall is as high as their neckes, there commeth a man behinde the woman and strangleth her: then when she is dead, the workemen finish the wall over their heads, and so they lie buried both together. Besides these, there are an infinite number of beastly qualities amongst them, of which I have no desire to write. I was desirous to know the cause why these women would so wilfully burne themselves against nature and law, and it was told mee that this law was of an ancient time, to make provision against the slaughters which women made of their husbands. For in those dayes before this law was made, the women for every little displeasure that their husbands had done unto them, would presently poison their husbands, and take other men, and now by reason of this law they are more faithfull unto their husbands, and count their lives as deare as their owne, because that after his death her owne followeth presently.

In the yeere of our Lord God 1567, for the ill successe that the people of Bezeneger had, in that their City was sacked by the foure kings, the king with his Court went to dwell in a castle eight dayes journey up in the land from Bezeneger, called Penegonde. Also sixe dayes journey from Bezeneger, is the place where they get Diamants: I was not there, but it was tolde me that it is a great place, compassed with a wall, and that they sell the earth within the wall, for so much a squadron, and the limits are set how deepe or how low they shall digge. Those Diamants that are of a certaine sise and bigger then that sise, are all for the king, it is many yeeres agone, since they got any there, for the troubles that have beene in that kingdome. The first cause of this trouble was, because the sonne of this Temeragio had put to death the lawfull king which he had in prison, for which cause the Barons and Noblemen in that kingdome would not acknowledge him to be their King, and by this meanes there are many kings, and great division in that kingdome, and the city of Bezeneger is not altogether destroyed, yet the houses stand still, but empty, and there is dwelling in them nothing, as is reported, but Tygers and other wilde beasts. The circuit of this city is foure & twentie miles about, and within the walles are certeine mountaines. The houses stand walled with earth, and plaine, all saving the three palaces of the three tyrant brethren, and the Pagodes which are idole houses: these are made with lime and fine marble. I have seene many kings Courts, and yet have I seene none in greatnesse like to this of Bezeneger, I say, for the order of his palace, for it hath nine gates or ports. First when you goe into the place where the king did lodge, there are five great ports or gates: these are kept with Captaines and souldiers: then within these there are foure lesser gates : which are kept with Porters. Without the first gate there is a little porch, where there is a Captaine with five and twentie souldiers, that keepeth watch and ward night and day: and within that another with the like guard, wherethorow they come to a very faire Court, and at the end of that Court there is another porch as the first, with the like guard, and within that another Court. And in this wise are the first five gates guarded and kept with those Captaines: and then the lesser gates within are kept with a guard of Porters: which gates stand open the greatest part of the night, because the custome of the Gentiles is to doe their businesse, and make their feasts in the night, rather then by day. The city is very safe from theeves, for the Portugall merchants sleepe in the streets, or under porches, for the great heat which is there, and yet they never had any harme in the night. At the end of two moneths, I determined to go for Goa in the company of two other Portugall Marchants, which were making ready to depart, with two palanchines or little litters, which are very commodious for the way, with eight Falchines which are men hired to cary the palanchines, eight for a palanchine, foure at a time: they carry them as we use to carry barrowes. And I bought me two bullocks, one of them to ride on, and the other to carry my victuals and provision, for in that countrey they ride on bullocks with pannels, as we terme them, girts and bridles, and they have a very good commodious pace. From Bezeneger to Goa in Summer it is eight dayes journey, but we went in the midst of Winter, in the moneth of July, and were fifteene dayes comming to Ancola on the sea coast, so in eight dayes I had lost my two bullocks: for he that carried my victuals, was weake and could not goe, the other when I came unto a river where was a little bridge to passe over, I put my bullocke to swimming, and in the middest of the river there was a little Iland, unto the which my bullocke went, and finding pasture, there he remained still, and in no wise we could come to him: and so perforce, I was forced to leave him, and at that time there was much raine, and I was forced to go seven dayes a foot with great paines: and by great chance I met with Falchines by the way, whom I hired to carry my clothes and victuals. We had great trouble in our journey, for that every day wee were taken prisoners, by reason of the great dissension in that kingdome: and every morning at our departure we must pay rescat foure or five pagies a man. And another trouble wee had as bad as this, that when as wee came into a new governours countrey, as every day we did, although they were al tributary to the king of Bezeneger, yet every one of them stamped a several coine of Copper, so that the money that we tooke this day would not serve the next: at length, by the helpe of God, we came safe to Ancola, which is a country of the queene of Gargopam, tributary to the king of Bezeneger. The marchandise that went every yere from Goa to Bezeneger were Arabian Horses, Velvets, Damasks, and Sattens, Armesine of Portugall, and pieces of China , Saffron, and Skarlets: and from Bezeneger they had in Turky for their commodities, jewels, and Pagodies which be ducats of golde: the apparell that they use in Bezeneger is Velvet, Satten, Damaske, Scarlet, or white Bumbast cloth, according to the estate of the person with long hats on their heads, called Colae, made of Velvet, Satten, Damaske, or Scarlet, girding themselves in stead of girdles with some fine white bombast cloth: they have breeches after the order of the Turks: they weare on their feet plaine high things called of them Aspergh, and at their eares they have hanging great plenty of golde.

Returning to my voyage, when we were together in Ancola, one of my companions that had nothing to lose, tooke a guide, and went to Goa, whither they goe in foure dayes, the other Portugall not being disposed to go, taried in Ancola for that Winter. The Winter in those parts of the Indies beginneth the fifteenth of May, and lasteth unto the end of October: and as we were in Ancola, there came another Marchant of horses in a palanchine, and two Portugall souldiers which came from Zeilan, and two cariers of letters, which were Christians borne in the Indies; all these consorted to goe to Goa together, and I determined to goe with them, and caused a pallanchine to be made for me very poorely of Canes; and in one of them Canes I hid privily all the jewels I had, and according to the order, I tooke eight Falchines to cary me: and one day about eleven of the clocke wee set forwards on our journey, and about two of the clocke in the afternoone, as we passed a mountaine which divideth the territory of Ancola and Dialcan, I being a little behinde my company, was assaulted by eight theeves, foure of them had swordes and targets, and the other foure had bowes and arrowes. When the Falchines that carried me understood the noise of the assault, they let the pallanchine and me fall to the ground, and ranne away and left me alone, with my clothes wrapped about me: presently the theeves were on my necke and rifeling me, they stripped me starke naked, and I fained my selfe sicke, because I would not leave the pallanchine, and I had made me a little bedde of my clothes; the theeves sought it very narrowly and subtilly, and found two pursses that I had, well bound up together, wherein I had put my Copper money which I had changed for foure pagodies in Ancola. The theeves thinking it had beene so many duckats of golde, searched no further: then they threw all my clothes in a bush, and hied them away, and as God would have it, at their departure there fell from them an handkercher, and when I saw it, I rose from my pallanchine or couch, and tooke it up, and wrapped it together within my pallanchine. Then these my Falchines were of so good condition, that they returned to seeke mee, whereas I thought I should not have found so much goodnesse in them: because they were payed their mony aforehand, as is the use, I had thought to have seene them no more. Before their comming I was determined to plucke the Cane wherein my jewels were hidden, out of my coutch, and to have made me a walking staffe to carry in my hand to Goa, thinking that I should have gone thither on foot, but by the faithfulness of my Falchines, I was rid of that trouble, and so in foure dayes they carried me to Goa, in which time I made hard fare, for the theeves left me neither money, golde, nor silver, and that which I did eat was given me of my men for Gods sake: and after at my comming to Goa I payed them for every thing royally that I had of them. From Goa I departed for Cochin, which is a voyage of three hundred miles, and betweene these two cities are many holdes of the Portugals, as Onor, Mangalor, Barzelor, and Cananor. The Holde or Fort that you shall have from Goa to Cochin that belongeth to the Portugals, is called Onor, which is in the kingdome of the queene of Battacella, which is tributary to the king of Bezeneger : there is no trade there, but onely a charge with the Captaine and company he keepeth there. And passing this place, you shall come to another small castle of the Portugals called Mangalor, and there is very small trade but onely for a little Rice: and from thence you goe to a little fort called Barzelor, there they have good store of Rice which is carried to Goa: and from thence you shall goe to a city called Cananor, which is a harquebush shot distant from the chiefest city that ye king of Cananor hath in his kingdome being a king of the Gentiles: and he & his are very naughty & malicious people, alwayes having delight to be in warres with the Portugales, and when they are in peace, it is for their interest to let their merchandize passe : there goeth out of this kingdom of Cananor, all the Cardamomum, great store of Pepper, Ginger, Honie, ships laden with great Nuts, great quantitie of Archa, which is a fruit of the bignesse of Nutmegs, which fruite they eate in all those partes of the Indies and beyond the Indies, with the leafe of an Herbe which they call Bettell, the which is like unto our Ivie leafe, but a litle lesser and thinner: they eate it made in plaisters with the lime made of Oistershels, and thorow the Indies they spend great quantitie of money in this composition, and it is used daily, which thing I would not have beleeved, if I had not scene it. The customers get great profite by these Herbes, for that they have custome for them. When this people eate and chawe this in their mouthes, it maketh their spittle to bee red like unto blood, and they say, that it maketh a man to have a very good stomacke and a sweete breath, but sure in my judgement they eate it rather to fulfill their filthie lustes, and of a knaverie, for this Herbe is moyst and hote, & maketh a very strong expulsion. From Cananor you go to Cranganor, which is another smal Fort of the Portugales in the land of the king of Cranganor, which is another king of the Gentiles, and a countrey of small importance, and of an hundreth and twentie miles, full of thieves, being under the king of Calicut , a king also of the Gentiles, and a great enemie to the Portugales, which when hee is alwayes in warres, hee and his countrey is the nest and resting for stranger theeves, and those bee called Moores of Carposa, because they weare on their heads long red hats, and these thieves part the spoyles that they take on the Sea with the king of Calicut , for hee giveth leave unto all that will goe a roving, liberally to goe, in such wise, that all along that coast there is such a number of thieves, that there is no sailing in those Seas but with great ships and very well armed, or els they must go in company with the army of the Portugals. From Cranganor to Cochin is 15 miles.

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