The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation, by Richard Hakluyt

A briefe relation of the great magnificence and rich traffike of the kingdome of Pegu beyond the East India, written by Frey Peter of Lisbon, to his cousin Frey Diego of Lisbon, from Cochin.

[Sidenote: The coast of India greatly troubled with Moores.] I receiued your letters in the harbour of Damaon by a carauell of aduise that came from Malacca, which brought shot, powder, and other prouision for the furnishing of foure gallies and a great Gallion, which are now in building, to keepe our coast for feare of great store of men of warre, being Moores, which trouble vs very sore. At that instant when I receiued your letters I was newly come from the kingdome of Pegu, where I had remained one yeere and an halfe, and from thence I departed to the city of Cochin in October 1587. The newes which I can certifie you of concerning these countreys are: that this king of Pegu is the mightiest king of men, and the richest that is in these parts of the world: for he bringeth into the field at any time, when he hath warres with other princes, aboue a million of fightingmen: howbeit they be very leane and small people, and are brought vnto the field without good order. [Sidenote: Abundance of golde, siluer, pearles, and precious stones in Pegu.] He is lord of the Elephants, and of all the golde and siluer mines, and of all the pearles and precious stones: so that he hath the greatest store of treasure that euer was heard of in these parts. The countrey people call him the God of trueth and of iustice. I had great conference with this king, and with the head captaine of the Portugals, which is one of the countrey. They demanded of me many questions as touching the law and faith of Iesus Christ, and as touching the Ten Commandements. And the king gaue his consent that our Order should build a Church in his countrey, which was halfe builded; but our peruerse and malicious Portugals plucked it downe againe: [Sidenote: The great gaine of the Portugals in Pegu.] for whereas it is a countrey wherein our nation gaine very much by their commodities, they fearing that by the building of this Church there would be greater resort thither, and so their trade should be impaired if their great gaines should be knowen vnto others then those which found this countrey out first, therefore they were so vnwilling that the building of this church should goe forward. Our Portugals which are here in this realme are woorse people then the Gentiles. I preached diuers times among those heathen people; but being obstinate they say, that as their father beleeued so they will beleeue: for if their forefathers went to the diuell so they will. Whereupon I returned backe againe to our monastery to certifie our Father prouinciall of the estate of this new found countrey. It is the best and richest countrey in all this East India: and it is thought to be richer then China.

[Sidenote: Pegu the best and richest countrey in all the East Indies.] I am afrayd that the warres which his Maiestie hath with England will be the vtter vndoing and spoile of Spaine: for these countreys likewise are almost spoiled with ciull warres, which the Moores haue against the Gentiles: for the kings here are vp in armes all the countrey ouer. Here is an Indian which is counted a prophet, which hath prophesied that there will a Dragon arise in a strange countrey, which will do great hurt to Spaine. How it will fall out onely God doth know. And thus I rest: from this monastery of Cochin the 28 of December, 1589. [Sidenote: A prophesie of an Indian against Spaine.]

Your good cousin and assured friend

frier Peter of Lisbon.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hakluyt/voyages/v11/chapter49.html

Last updated Monday, March 10, 2014 at 22:20