An account of Hiriye Venkatappa Nayaka’s annexation of Gersoppa, according to the annals of Pietro Della Valle. Well, such praiseworthy words for the Portuguese, applicable only to pirates…

“The last queen of Garsopa fell in love with a mean man and a stranger, into whose power she resigned herself, together with her whole kingdom. In which act, setting aside her choosing a lover of base blood, upon which account she was hated and blamed by Indians (who are most rigorous observers of nobility and maintainers of the dignity of their ancestors in all points) as to giving herself up as prey to her lover, she committed no fault against her honor; for in these countries it is lawful for such queens to choose to themselves lovers or husbands, one or more, according as they please.”

“But this man who was so favored by the Queen of Garsopa, having though as ignoble as his blood, instead of corresponding with gratitude to the Queen’s courtesy, designed to rebel against her and take the kingdom from her, which design for a while he executed, having in process of time gained the affection of most of her most eminent vassals. The Queen, seeing herself oppressed by the traitor, had recourse to the Portuguese, offering them her whole state on condition they would free her from imminent ruins. But the Portuguese, according as they had always in India done but their friends (whereby they have been many times the ruins of others and themselves too) did not succor her till it was too late and then very coldly.”

“On the other side the traitor (as his ill fate or rather God’s just anger, would have it) called to his assistance against the Queen and the Portuguese his neighbor Venkatappa Nayaka, now master of those countries. Venkatappa Nayaka, taking advantage of the occasion, entered suddenly into the kingdom of Gersoppa with great diligence and force, so that, shortly becoming master of the whole country and the city royal, and having driven out the Portuguese who came to defend it, he took the queen prisoner and carried her to his own court; where being kept although honorably, she ended her days in an honorable prison.”

“But the traitor underwent the punishment of his crime, for Venkatapa Nayaka caused him to be slain, and for more secure keeping that state in his power, caused the city and royal palace of Garsopa to be destroyed, so that at this day that lately flourishing city is become nothing but a wood, tress being already grown above the ruins of the houses, and the place scarcely inhabited by the four cottages of peasants.”

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