All three are fit for their stature – the first and second, an indication of their social standards and the third, to their way of life.
Four capotes or cloaks of Scarlet cloth, six hats, four branches of coral, twelve almasares, a box containing seven brass vessel, a chest of sugar, two barrels or oil and a cask of honey
A richly wrought basin and ewer of silver gilt; a gilt silver flagon and covet of similar workmanship ; two silver maces; four cushions, two of which were cloth of gold and the other two of unshorn crimson velvet ; two very rich arras hangings, one ornamental with human figures and the other with representations of trees and flowers
A large squadron consisting of 20 ships was despatched to India on the 3rd of March 1602 under the command of Vasco da Gama. The role of da Gama now was not that of a messenger, as it had been in his first voyage, but of an avenger. Off Cannanore, on the 1st of October, he came upon a ship returning from Mecca, having 300 pilgrims on board. It belonged to Sahabantra Koya’s brother, whom da Gama regarded as the worst enemy of his nation at Calicut. The wealth on board, it is said would have sufficed to ransom every Christian slave in the kingdom of Fez and even then leave a handsome balance. The passengers offered all this for tbe grand mercy of being landed anywhere on the coast with their bare skin. Jovar Pakki, the ambassador sent to the Zamorin by the Sultan of Egypt, promised spices to load ail his twenty ships in twenty days with the perpetual friendship of the Zamorin to boot. But da Gama was unmoved. His mission was not spices but revenge. He removed all the merchandise of the Moorish Vessel to his own, and after dismantling it and confining its passengers under the hatches, set fire to it. The Muhammadans however extinguished the conflagration, collected the very few arms that were left, prepared to sell their lives dearly, and beat off the boats sent to rekindle the flames. Vasco da Gama, says Lopes, looked on through his port-hole, and saw the women bringing up their gold and jewels and holding up their babies to beg for mercy, but tbere was no mercy. The Portuguese tried to board the vessel but they could not. For eight days and nights they fired into her with their bombards. As they were on the point of giving up the attack in despair a hunch-backed traitor set the ship once more on fire. The anonymous author of the matter-of-fact Calcoen estimates the number of victims at 380 men, besides many women and children, and the loot at 12,000 ducats in cash and another 10,000 in goods.
Then, concluding a treaty with the Rajah of Chirakkal, the Portuguese admiral proceeded to Calicut. The Zamorin, ignorant of the fiendish cruelty perpetrated by him on the way, sent him messages of peace and goodwill. But da Gama answered them by hanging the messengers like dogs. In this wise he arrived off Calicut on the 29th of October.
The Zamorin again sent an envoy to da Gama, welcoming him to his capital and promising all help. He could not for a moment believe that the Portuguese captain bad come to exact reparation for an aggression which had all been on their side. Da Gama had carried off his subjects without his permission; Cabral had bombarded Calicut for a fancied wrong, and had done him a most irreparable injury by encouraging the Cochin Rajah to rebel. Not without reason was the Zamorin dumbfounded when da Gama came out with his terms. Every Moor and Moplah found in Calicut were to be banished. This was a condition which neither honour nor prudence would allow him to comply with. He could not banish five thousand families of Muhammadans who had come to Calicut, no one knows when, who had rendered yeoman service to his kingdom, whose trade had filled his treasury, against whom he had not a single complaint. Prudence also connselled in the same direction. The conduct of both da Gama and Cabral proved that what he had first considered as their peculiar weakness was a deeply rooted national trait. They had been arrogant and avaricious, fickle and faithless, and ready to declare war at the least opposition to their wishes. It was better to have them as foes ‘than as allies. For three days messengers went to and fro.At last, tired of the delay, da Gama sent a twenty-four hours ultimatum, detaining at the same time the Zamorin’s envoy and the fifty or sixty fishermen who had come to sell provisions.
All through the night the Nayars and the Moplaha exerted themselves in strengthening the defences of the city. Pits were dug in the beach; stakes were driven into the sea to prevent the approach of boats; barricades were erected at the most vulnerable points in the streets; to the six guns in the jetty two more were added and all of them trained on the Potuguese ships, ready for action.
On the 2nd of November, exactly at noon, when the ultimatum expired, da Gama opened fire. He did not make any attempt to land; his object was not to capture the city, which he knew was impossible with the email number of soldiers he had at his command, but to destroy it. The guns in the city made a terrific noise but little impression on the enemy; a ball or two perhaps fell on the Portuguese ships. Their fire, on the other hands was well-directed and vigorous. The thatched huts of the Mukkuvas on the shore were burnt, and a number of godowns in the bazaar were damaged. Unfortunately, a fleet of twenty four ships arrived at this time with rice from Mangalore, and da Gama seized all their crew, numbering about 800. Then followed an act resembling that of a fiend rather than cl a human being. He “ordered his men to cut off their bands, ears and noses, and a Brahmin, who had gone to him disguised as a friar, who was also similarly treated. This done, their feet were tied together and in order to prevent them from untying the cords with their teeth, he ordered his men to strike them on their mouths with their staves and knock their teeth down their throats. They were then put on board, heaped one upon the top of the other, and covered with mats and dry leaves; the sails were then set for the shore and the vessel set on fire. The friar, with all the hands and the ears that had been out off, was sent on shore by himself in a small vessel, which was not fired, with a palm leaf letter to the king, telling him to have a curry made to eat of what his friar brought him”.
Leaving Sodre with six ships to blockade Calicut and out off its supplies by sea. da Gama set sail for Cochin. There he forced a treaty upon the helpless Rajah, securing the monopoly of its foreign trade to his country, with the right to establish factories wheresoever his king and his officers liked. Then he proceeded to refit his ships and load them for his return voyage.