Saturday, July 25, 2009

Portuguese Impressions of the Zamorin

'The Zamorin was almost naked, having only a piece of white cotton round his waist, wrought with gold. On his head he wore a cap of cloth of gold resembling a helmet. In his ears he had rich jewels of diamonds, sapphires, and pearls, two of the latter being as large as walnuts. His arms, from the elbows to the wrists, were covered with golden bracelets, set with numberless precious stones of great value; and his legs, from the knees to the ankles, were similarly adorned. His fingers and toes had numerous rings, and on one of his great toes he wore a ruby of great size and wonderful brilliancy. One of his diamonds was bigger than a large bean. All these were greatly surpassed by his girdle of gold and jewels, which was altogether inestimable, and was so brilliant that it dazzled the eyes of the beholders. Beside the zamorin was a rich throne or state chair, all of gold and jewels; and his andor , in which he had been carried from the palace was of similar richness, and stood near him. He was attended by twenty trumpeters, seventeen of whom had silver trumpets, and three of them gold, all the mouth-pieces being finely wrought and set with jewels….On entering the hall, and seeing the splendid state of the zamorin, Cabral would have kissed his hand, as is the custom of Europe; but was informed that this was not customary among them, and therefore sat down in a chair near the king, which was appointed for him as an especial honour. He then delivered his letter of credit from the king of Portugal, written in Arabic, and then said, that the king his master, willing to cultivate trade and friendship with the zamorin and his subjects, had given him orders to require permission to establish a factory or house of trade in Calicut, which should always be supplied with every kind of merchandise that was in demand; and requested the zamorin to supply a sufficient loading of spices for the ships under his command, which he was ready to pay for, either by means of the commodities he had on board, or in ready money. The zamorin seemed or affected to be pleased with the embassy, and said that the king of Portugal was welcome to every thing in his city of which he was in need….

No comments:

Post a Comment

Google Analytics