The Voyage of Francois Pyrard, Volume II
About this text
The Voyage of Francois Pyrard was published in two volumes in the year 1887. It was written by Franciois Pyrard de Laval. It is a travelogue covering the Frenchman’s journey in Asia. de Laval was born circa 1578. He spent around ten years in South Asia including a long period in captivity in the Maldives Island. He passed away around 1623. Selections have been made from Volume I and Volume II of The Voyage of Francois Pyrard which cover the terrains of Goa and Cochin. Observations are made regarding the administration and lifestyles of people. There are details regarding the dietary habits as well as the resources available. Primary Reading de Laval, Franciois Pyrard, The Voyage of Francois Pyrard, Volume II, The Hakluyt Society. Secondary Reading Tavernier, Jean Baptiste, Travels in India, Volume 1, Oxford University Press Tavernier, Jean Baptiste, Travels in India, Volume 2, Oxford University Press.
TO THE EAST INDIES, THE MALDIVES, THE
MOLUCCAS AND BRAZIL.
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH FROM THE THIRD FRENCH EDITION OF 1619,
AND EDITED, WITH NOTES,
By ALBERT GRAY,
FORMERLY OF THE CEYLON CIVIL SEBVICE.
By H. C. P. BELL,
OF THE CEYLON CIVIL SERVICE.
IN TWO VOLUMES.— VOL. II, PART I.
PRINTED FOR THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY,
4, LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS, W.C.
PUBLISHED FORTHE HAKLUYT SOCIETY
1. CHAPTER I.
Arrival at Goa, and description of the hospitals and
On our arrival at Goa—the principal seat of Portuguese Government in India, the residence of the Viceroy and the Archbishop, situate under the altitude of 16 degrees towards the Arctic Pole,—the general of the fleet that had brought us from Cochin, by name Don Francisque de Meneiso? a near relative of the Archbishop (who was then holding the place of the Viceroy, the latter having died at Malaca, as I shall relate hereafter), sent orders to the captain of the galiot wherein I was to remove the irons from my feet and send me to him. The captain replied that I was so ill that I could not stir, or that I must be carried to the Royal Hospital rather than elsewhere, seeing I was in such a sick and wounded condition. This was done, and the irons were removed from my other foot ; and I verily believe that the Holy Spirit had then touched the heart of this captain, who had theretofore been so barbarous and cruel towards me, for none could be more kindly and merciful than he then became. The good monk, Frère Manuel de Christo, gave me his benediction, and bade me adieu, both of us shedding tears, saying that he could not hope to see me again for a long while, as his sojourn at Goa was but short, seeing that full soon he was departing for Chaoul in the north. So we parted, to my great sorrow, and to his also.
We were borne to the hospital by Caffres, who do the work of porters and carriers, no carriages being used there. They put us down upon seats at the gate and in the shade. There we remained a full hour, the officers of the hospital being at dinner, for it was about mid-day. Viewing it from the outside we could hardly believe it was a hospital; it seemed to us a grand palace, saving the inscription above the gate, Hos'pitale del Bey nostro Seignoro. On one side of the gate are the arms of Castille and of Portugal; on the other those of the Portuguese Indies, viz., a sphere. At length we were admitted within a large gateway, where were a number of chairs and seats, upon which they lay the sick as they come in from time to time. Nothing is done until the physician, surgeon, or apothecary has seen them and certifies that they are sick, and of what ailment, that so they be placed in the proper part of the building. We were examined with many others that were there, including some people of quality that were brought in palanquins,or litters.
In the evening they brought us supper at the appointed hour, to each a large fowl roasted, with some dessert, so we were astonished at the good cheer we received. Next morning we were surprised to see our other companion, who came not only to see us, as we supposed, but by command of the general, who gave him an order to be brought there, and a recommendation to the Father superintendent, although he was only suffering from fatigue. We did not know the reason of this at the time, but afterwards learned that he was anxious not to be treated as a prisoner any sooner than we were ; but more of this anon.
This hospital is, as I believe, the finest in the world, whether for the beauty of the building and its appurtenances, the accommodation being in all respects excellent, or for the perfect order, regulation, and cleanliness observed, the great care taken of the sick, and the supply of all comforts that can be wished for, whether in regard to doctors, drugs, and appliances for restoring health, the food that is given to eat, or the spiritual consolation that is obtainable at any hour.
It is of very great extent, situated on the banks of the river, and endowed by the Kings of Portugal with 25,000 perdos (each worth 25 sols of our money, and in that country 321/2 sols), let alone the endowments and presents which it receives from the lords. This is a large revenue for the purpose in those parts, seeing food is so cheap, and the management so good; for the Jesuits who carry it on send as far as Cambaye and elsewhere for wheat, provisions, stuffs, and all other necessaries. It is managed and governed by the Jesuits, who appoint a Father to the post of governor. The other officers are Portuguese, all men of quality and gentility ; as for the servants and slaves, they are Christian Indians. The Jesuit Father is superior over all the rest, who are like the inmates of a large monastery, each having his own office ; even the porter at the gate is one of them. These officers chide the sick much, and rate them when they see them do anything they ought not to do ; but the servants durst not say a word. The slaves do all the vile and dirty work, going every day through all the chambers of the sick with large pitchers, whereinto they void all the vessels, scrubbing and cleaning everything. There are private places with large earthenware basins for tlie necessities of the sick ; these are emptied out by the slaves, who also bleach, wash, and dry all the linen, and perform other services within the hospital walls. There are physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, barbers and bleeders, who do nothing else, and are bound to visit each of the sick twice a day. The apothecary is one of the household, and lives in the hospital, and has his shop well [Page 7] stocked at the hospital’s expense ; but the physicians and surgeons are not of the household, having their residences in the town.
The sick are sometimes very numerous, and while I was there there were as many as 1,500 all of them either Portuguese soldiers or men of other Christian races of Europe, of every profession and quality, who are all received; for the Indians are not taken in there, having a hospital apart, endowed by the townspeople, wherein are received only Christian Indians. There is still another hospital for the women of the Christian Indians, also endowed by the town, to which women only may go.
All the water which is drunk on the premises comes from Banguenin, Twice a day the servants fetch large pitchers of this water, wherewith they fill the vessels of the sick, who may drink as much as they like. Each sick person has a little table by his side for keeping his conveniences upon.
The physicians, apothecaries, and surgeons visit the sick twice a day, at 8 o’clock in the morning and at 4 in the evening; when they enter a bell is rung for an advertisement, as also is done at the hours of meals. The masters, surgeons, and lords are assisted by many others in the applying of unguents and medicines. During these visits to the sick some servants of the hospital accompany them, bearing large lighted braziers, casting forth much incense and other aromatic odours.
The Jesuit Fathers have taken this hospital in charge, and most worthily acquit themselves therein ; were it in the hands of others it could hardly be maintained upon twice the present revenue. In this hospital are apartments for each, ailment. No one is allowed to enter the precincts without being searched, to see if he be bringing to any sick person any article of food or drink injurious to his health. No arms are carried within : they must be left at the gate.
People are allowed to enter the hospital to visit their friends only between 8 o’clock and 11 in the morning, and after dinner between 3 and 6. The sick are allowed to eat with them; and when the servants see a friend come to visit a patient, they bring a larger portion than the ordinary. As much bread is given as is asked for. The loaves are small ; sometimes three or four are brought for a single sick person, and very often they cannot eat one. Much would be lost if the loaves were larger, for a loaf once broken is never served a second time. The bread is very delicate, and is made by the bakers of the town by contract. There is no word of wine for the sick inmates, although they have a stock of wines of Spain, Portugal, and the Indies ; but it is not allowed to be given without the doctor’s order, and this is granted but rarely. They give them no less than a whole chicken, roast or boiled, or a half chicken, for they have no capons. If one desires or requires more he gets it. The sick are tended aud treated there with all possible propriety and delicacy. Every three days they have an entire change of linen, which is of very fine cotton.
At 7 o’clock in the morning they bring the sick their breakfast of white wheaten bread, and rice cooked with milk and sugar ; the rice is brought from Cambaye and Surrate. Water is drunk, wine not being allowed. At 10 o’clock dinner is brought, conformably to the doctor’s orders, most [Page 9] frequently consisting of boiled or roast fowls, with preserves for dessert. At 5 o’clock supper is served ; they get excellent soups, made of divers meats cooked with Boves, which is a cooling fruit, as large as our cucumbers. These meats are mutton, fowl, and chicken, well served with rice. Meat is eaten every day, except by those who prefer eggs and fish on fast days : for they get anything they ask for, unless it is forbidden by the doctor. When the doctor makes his visits he is accompanied by a number of writers. In the first place the apothecary takes the names of such as have to receive anything in his line, and then what each has to get. The same is done by the surgeons, bleeders, and clerk of the kitchen. For a clerk of the kitchen goes twice a day to see all the sick, and writes down their names and what they like to eat, and that is brought to them ; nor has anyone a fault to find for not getting his ordinary at the accustomed hour.
All the plates, bowls, and dishes are of China porcelain. After the dinner the Portuguese officers go and visit all the sick, asking aloud through all the rooms whether everyone has had his ordinary, and so they do after supper. All the sick are lodged separately, according to their ailments, and all the utensils even have their own rooms apart. All the cots are in one large place, with their bands to form the bed rolled up ; in another all the pillows ; in another all the mattresses, coverlets, and so with the sheets, shirts, and other linen for the use of the hospital. They have a large stock of drawers, without which no Portuguese in India ever sleeps : these reach down to the feet, because all their shirts are very short, coming down no lower than the mid-thigh.
The most common ailments of the country are burning fevers and dysenteries, besides the venereal diseases, which are very prevalent, but only where the Portuguese are, and not elsewhere in India. If the sick die and have entrusted any property, even their accoutrements, to the Jesuit Father, all such is delivered into the hands of the officers of the Miséricorde, which fraternity are obliged to bury the corpse honourably, though the deceased may not have had or left any sufficient means for the purpose.
Continuing fevers they cure promptly by bleeding, which they resort to continually, and so long as the slightest fever is present. The idolater Indians use not bleeding at all. As for the pox, it is no mark of shame there, nor any disgrace to have had it several times : they even make a boast of it. They cure it without sweating, with China root. This malady prevails only among the Christians, and they prefer it to fever or dysentery. Another ailment is prevalent which attacks them suddenly, called Mordesin, and is accompanied [Page 14] with grievous headache and vomiting, and much crying, and most often they die of it. They are very subject to poisoning and bewitchments, whereof they die in a decay. When the carracks arrive from Portugal the greater number of the sick are ill of the scurvy, and with ulcers on the feet and legs. When one has taken medicine, or is weak, he has servants charged to look after him, to raise him, and carry him. These are Christian Indians; they are neatly dressed and clean, and very soft and agreeable in their manner : for if one of them were rude to the sick, he would be expelled at once. Medicine is practised there as in Spain. It is of great honour and profit to be physician of this hospital ; he is usually physician to the viceroy, and brought out of Portugal. The Jesuit Father who has the superintendence remains in office as long as the Company please, and as he is thought fit for the work : two or three years, more or less. The Jesuit Fathers frequently send out a change of spiritual Fathers ; the Father Superior, however, has the combined administration of spiritual and temporal affairs in the hospital, and gives his orders to all.
The poor Portuguese and Metifs never go a-begging, but they send petitions to the rich ; and their women have themselves borne in a palanquin to the residence of the viceroy, the archbishop, and the great lords, and present their requests and petitions in person. In short, it would be impossible to describe all the other peculiar customs of the place, and the perfect order and regularity preserved in this admirable hospital. Thus, if a person is wont to have himself purged or bled every year, though he be not otherwise ailing, if he goes there he will be admitted for the period of his purgation.
2. CHAPTER II.
Description of the Island of Goa, the chief inhabitants,
It is now about 110 years since the Portuguese made themselves masters of this island of Goa, and I have been often astonished how in so few years the Portuguese have managed to construct so many superb buildings, churches, monasteries, palaces, forts, and other edifices built in the European style ; also at the good order, regulation, and police they have established, and the power they have acquired, everything being as well maintained and observed as at Lisbon itself. This town is the metropolis of the Portuguese state in India, which circumstance has acquired for it its power, riches, and celebrity. So, too, the viceroy makes it his residence, and has about him a court like the king himself. Then there is the archbishop, who is over the spiritual affairs, the court of parliament, and the inquisition. Besides the archbishop there is another special bishop for the place, so that it is the headquarters of religion and justice for the whole of India; and all the religious orders have their superiors there. All departures of ships of war, as well as of merchantmen sailing for the King of Spain, are made from this place. For the spiritual affairs of the Indies there are four bishops and an archbishop. The Bishop of Goa has juris [Page 27] diction as far as Mozambique. He of Cochin reaches as far north as Barcelor, and to Malaca. Then there is a Bishop of Malaca, and another of Macao in China, all of whom are subject to the Archbishop of Goa.
All the island of Goa is mountainous and sandy, the soil is red like Bolarmeny, and very pretty pottery and vases of fine quality and design are made of it, as of terre sigilée. There is found there also another kind of earth even finer in grain and quality, which is blackish or somewhat grey : of this also they make numbers of vessels that are as fine as [Page 28] glass. The island is not very fertile,—not that the soil is bad, but by reason of the mountains. For (only) in the more humid hollows and valleys rice and millet are sown which bear twice a year. The country there is always green, as in all the other islands and lands between the two tropics, for the trees and herbs are always green there. There is also a great number of Palmero or orta like our orchards here, full of cocos trees planted close together; but these grow only in well-watered and low ground. They produce the largest revenues to the Portuguese at Goa. They are enclosed with walls, and, along with a house and pretty garden, are called orta, wherein they take their recreation with their families. Water is led thither by canals among the trees, and those who have not this appliance are at great pains to cany water for the trees by hand. They let these gardens to the Canarins of Goa, who make a profit and take the produce. This is worth a good deal at Goa, because of the wine, which is in great request. The Portuguese retain some only of these gardens for their own pleasure, and make very pretty alleys and tunnels amid these gardens or orchards, set off with fountains and grottoes. The soil of the island would of itself be good enough, but being full of high mountains, and also of people, and without being very confined, it is found to be unproductive. The inhabitants prefer to work and traffic by sea and land, rather than to amuse themselves with rearing cattle ; besides, too, the island is too full of houses and people for that. So it is that the island of Goa produces little of itself, and yet everything is cheap.
This island is formed by the fair broad river which surrounds it, and also forms other islands, which are inhabited by natives and Portuguese. The river is of some depth, but large vessels, such as the carracks and galions of Portugal, on their arrival are stopped at the mouth, which is called the [Page 29] Bare. They are constrained to halt outside this bare, although it is not closed. After being discharged they are taken up before the town, two leagues off. At the entrance to this bar, where the ships lie at anchor both on arrival and departure, there are, as I have said, two fortresses1 built against the Hollanders and other foreigners, to prevent them from entering and casting anchor in the river, as has been sometimes done by the Hollanders. They forced an entrance, and burnt and sunk a large number of ships that were there, and even held the bar for the space of ten or twelve days, in such wise that not a single boat even could enter to Goa, while they themselves obtained water and provisions from the land. It is a great misfortune alike for the Portuguese and the Indians, when they arrive a little late at these rivers and bars, to find them choked, as happens there and at Cochin, and at most other places in the Indies during the winter. In that case they must wait and lie at the mercy of the weather and of their enemies, who most often come and destroy them there : for when the bar is thus closed and choked with sand, not a single boat can go in or out, but must wait.
At the entering in of this river, on the left hand, is the land of the Bardez, belonging to the Portuguese. Here is a very fine spring, whereat departing ships supply themselves with water. It is on the low ground, and from a distance appears to be of white sand. The Portuguese call such places Agoadas. At this place is one of these fortresses, a very strong one, and well equipped with cannon. The land of the Bardez is lofty and mountainous. It is opposite to the city of Goa, covering all its northern quarter, opposite to which that fortress is.
Goa is furnished all round its circuit with seven passably good fortresses; no need, indeed, for them to be very strong, because the river protects them. Among these seven are included the two first named, but not that of the town itself, which contains the viceroy’s palace, and is situated on the banks of the river; adding that, there are eight in all, besides that of Bardes, which protects the spring. They extend entirely round the island, and each has its parish church and [Page 33] others. After the viceroy’s comes that of Madré de Deos, i.e., Mother of God, otherwise called Daugin; there, too, is the parish church of St. Joseph, and a Capucine monastery possessing a very fine garden, which is often visited by the viceroys for recreation. This monastery has the same name as the fort.
3. CHAPTER III.
Of the City of Goa, its squares, streets, churches; palaces, and
Having spoken of the island of Goa, I now come to the city, of which I shall in the first place say that it is not overstrong; and whosoever should make himself master of the island would be master of the town also, which has no staunch fortress, but is strong in men alone: for though it is enclosed with walls, yet are these walls low, like those wherewith we enclose our gardens here. It is strong on the riverside only.
The north side of the city is built on the river, and is half a league in length, having many gates, each guarded by a warder. These are crippled fellows, who get the place by way of compensation, and for life. Between the town and the river are three large esplanades along the water-side, separated and enclosed with good walls, which are connected with those of the town, and run out into the river, in such wise that none may enter or depart but by the gates (whereat these gatekeepers search everyone), or else by water in boats. The first of these esplanades one meets in arriving at the town from the west is the largest and finest, and is called La Riviera grande1 (for they call these esplanades Rivürcs). It has two gates entering to the town. It is very well laid out, having some terraces and ramparts, with cannon to defend the river. The commander there is the Viador de Fasienda, who has a good and strong residence within it, having a gate on the town side, and another on the riverside; and he alone has the privilege of closing these gates every night for fear, not of enemies, but of the robbers of the town.
Turning to the east from this place you come out near the Koyal Hospital inside the town, and you enter another large square, also enclosed, which is between the said hospital and the Rivière. It is only a landing-place for fishermen, and a place for all other classes of people to take boat or land. This place is called Caye de Sancta Cathcrina, or Bazar de Pesche, meaning “fishmarket”, the fish being landed and sold there.
As for the fortress, or palace of the viceroy, it is a most sumptuous construction ; and all in front is a very large square on the town side, called Campo del passo, where the nobles and courtiers assemble on horseback, on foot, and in their palanquins. Lor the viceroy never goes abroad without the previous day causing drums to be beat through the town, that so the noblesse may be advertised to assemble on horseback at early morn ; and they remain there till he comes forth, all in their best array and order. Opposite the viceroy’s gate is a large building, wherein the parliament is held, called Cambra Presidialo. The first president is called Desembarguador Mayor. It is the principal court of justice in India for the Portuguese; there is another subject to it. This palace of the viceroy is not strong in cannon on the town side; but it is a good and commodious residence.
This hospital contained some sick; it was founded and is maintained by the town. On the other side, and right opposite, is a very fine tank or lake with many riverbirds. In this campo all the cavaliers and gentlemen have their tournaments, with their canes and oranges, on the days of St. John and St. James, the patron saints of the Portuguese and the Spaniards, and of St. Catherine the patroness of Goa: there, too, the inhabitants hold their shows.
4. CHAPTER IV.
Of the markets, slaves, money, water, and other remarkable
things at Goa.
These markets, as far as regards provisions, are held every working day, and even on the lesser festivals, from six or seven in the morning until noon; so, too, the great market, which is held all along the great straight street, the one end whereof touches the Misericordia, and the other the palace of the viceroy. This street is very handsome and broad, full of shops of jewellers, goldsmiths, lapidaries, carpet weavers, silk mercers, and other artizans. While this market is afoot, there is so great a crowd in the street that one can hardly pass. They fear neither rain in winter nor heat in summer, by reason of the large sombreros or parasols which everyone carries ; these are six or seven feet in diameter at the least, in such wise that when a crowd is assembled they all touch one another, and the whole seems but one covering.
In this place are to be seen all kinds of merchandise, among others, numbers of slaves, whom they drive there as we do horses here; and you see the sellers come with great troops following. Then in order to sell them they praise them and put them up, telling all they can do, their craft, strength, and health, while the buyers examine them, question them, and scan them all over with curiosity, both males and females. The slaves themselves, hoping better treatment with a change of masters, show their disposition and praise themselves to take the fancy of the buyers. In buying, however, a certain day is agreed upon beforehand for repudiating or closing the bargain, so that they have time to learn the truth.
As for the fresh water used in the island of Goa, it must be remembered that the river surrounds the whole island, although the tide comes up as far as the town, rising and ebbing. But there are here and there a number of springs of water, good and excellent for drinking, which come from the rocks and mountains, and becoming streams, water the island in divers parts ; and this is the reason there is so great a number of coco and other fruit trees. As for wells, there are few houses that have none, but they are not for drinking, the water not being good except at some. These wells serve only for bathing, and for washing the body, for cooking, for laundry purposes, and other needs. For there, both men and women of the half-castes bathe their private parts, after they have done the offices of nature, as do the Indians. There are also some fish-ponds and reservoirs, very pretty and built of stone.
But of the ordinary water that is drunk, as well in the city as in the suburbs, the best, healthiest, and lightest, to my mind, is that which is fetched a quarter of a league from the town, where there is a large, beautiful, and clear spring, [Page 71] called Banguenin, coming out of the rocks. The Portuguese have had it enclosed with walls, and well supplied with good channels ; while lower down are large reservoirs, where most of the men and women come to bleach the linen: these folks are called Menâtes: and there are other reservoirs for bathing and washing the body. So that the way there is well trodden and much frequented, although it is difficult of access, because you have to ascend and descend three or four great hills. All the people there are going to and fro for this water alone, and even at ten o’clock at night there are some will assemble, armed, and will go in their shirts and drawers to bathe there. This water is sold in the town. The slaves .distribute it everywhere, and carry it in large earthenware jars, holding about two buckets, and sell it at five bousuruques the jar, that is, about six deniers. They take their stand with their jars at certain cross-roads, and go not crying it about the town. They make bargains with their masters how much they are to account for the day, and they have to feed themselves upon their work, except on Peast days and Sundays, whereon their masters find them food; also when they are ill. The same is done in all other trades. The Portuguese might have had this spring led into the town by aqueducts and conduits, but they say that it enriches them, and occupies their slaves, and that strangers would get the enjoyment of this good water without any cost: for there are more strangers there than native inhabitants; for which reason they have not thought fit to conduct this water into the town.
The Gentiles drink no other water but that of their housewells, unless they go and fetch it elsewhere themselves, for they are afraid lest others should put something into their drinking-water. They drink from copper goblets made in the form of little pots, which they never touch with their mouths in drinking, as I have already said,—a custom observed by [Page 73] the Portuguese and Christian Indians also. All drink water only, men and women, girls and hoys; it is great shame to them to drink wine, and to reproach them therewith is highly offensive. The women drink it not at all, but the men of quality drink a cup or two at most at their dinner and supper, but a little only, and without water. This wine comes from Portugal, and such as cannot afford that drink only vin de passe} That of Portugal is worth forty sols the canade, which is our pint; whereas the best passe is worth only twenty-five bousuruques, or six blanks, and is good and strong. The Portuguese wine is a trifle sour when it reaches Goa. The other wine is white, called arac, and is worth only ten bousuruques ; it is for folks of low condition and slaves, and they often get drunk of it; it is like eau-de-vie. They drink water from vessels made of the prettiest and finest earthenware possible, and the water from them is extremely good and cold.
When Easter comes round, all Holy Thursday and Friday there are general processions, as in all countries of the King [Page 99] of Spain. Then, too, crowds of penitents of all qualities beat themselves, and go on their knees with their arms crossed. It were impossible to describe all the strange and superstitious ceremonies and forms observed of them. Some places then are, in the manner of hospitals, furnished with great store of vinegar, comfits, bread, wine, and other sorts of refreshments, with plenty white linen. The vinegar serves them to foment their bodies, the other things to refresh them with eating and drinking, and the linen to wipe and rub themselves withal.
All the churches have exceeding fine monuments. The interiors are richly ornamented and curtained: the pavement is scattered with herbs and flowers, with large branches with fair broad leaves on all sides. Most part of these are palm. The same is observed outside; and all around the churches, and even in the streets, which are exceeding clean, they erect quantities of herbs, and flowers, and branches. In the approaches to the said churches are great rows of palms set on either side. All this is done on the days of the great festivals of each church. They have also for the service of the church goodly companies of hautbois, cornets-à-bouquin, drums, violins, and other instruments. At the doors are sold all manner of cates, and quantities of trinkets and baubles. All their festivals begin at noon of the eve thereof and end at noon of the festival days; thereafter is more solemnity. All the streets and frequented places, and the churches where the festivals are held, are posted with pardons and indulgences.
the King of Deaccan: he has a great number of elephants, whereof he makes presents betimes to the King of Spain, and these are kept at Goa for his service. He has also plenty of good horses, but these come from Persia and Mogor. As regards Arab horses, the viceroys of Goa give them to him ; they are sent to his people young and fresh, and they break them, for there is no nation in all the Indies so handy with horses. The Portuguese themselves have no other grooms for breaking and training their horses but those from there ; indeed also, after the Nairs, there are none who understand the management of elephants so well.
The country produces a vast number of tigers, which trouble them sore. The soil is fertile throughout, being watered by many rivers and streams. There are also serpents very thick and long. The finest and best diamonds come in quantities from the kingdom of Ballagata: they are among the principal sources of wealth to the king and country; for in the Indies the diamonds of Ballagata only are prized; plenty are found in Pegu and elsewhere, but not of like value. His people have also silk and cotton, whereof they make stuffs : they are exceeding well dressed, wearing trousers, and large coats of silk and cotton, with turbans on [Page 137] the head—straight, high, and pointed, and not round like those of the Turks and Arabs ; their shoes are of the Turkish fashion, red, gilded and pointed in front, and open above; this is the dress as well of Gentiles as Mahometans. It is a marvel to see the throng of people that enters the island of Goa every day, as well men as women, laden with all kinds of provisions, with buffaloes, asses, and other beasts of burthen : thus is Goa fed.