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RABBI JOSEPH BEN JOSHUA BEN MEIR,
PRINTED FOR THE ORIENTAL TRANSLATION FUND
589. AND it came to pass, after many days, that some ships of the king of Portugal went out to plunder, and to make spoil in the land of Cush”, which is on the shores of the Great Ocean towards sunset: and thence they went round towards the ornament of countriest and the east: this was their custom continually. And they took for themselves cities on the sea-shore, and builded there fortresses, in which they have dwelled until this day. Moreover, they brought daily some of the inhabitants of the country, and sold them for slaves and for handmaidens in the four corners of the world. And as they returned every year, they extended their voyage until thou come to Tarshish; and they reached also
* AEthiopia; but here Africa in general.
2 PORTUGUESE DISCOVERIES. NC
unto Calicut”, which was under the government of the great Turk; and they bound their princes with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iront : so the country became theirs: and they made a covenant with the inhabitants, who have been slaves to the king of Portugal until this day. Thence they brought also spices, and silver, and gold, in abundance, and thus filled their dwellings with spoil. All that was done at Calicut was reported to the Great Turk, and he became zealous for his people and his gods. At his command, they brought workmen, who builded cruizing ships of war, and bore them away on camels to the sea; for from this sea the Turks go into the great Sea of Suff, which is that sea which compasses the world. And they put into their ships valiant men, all drawing the sword; and one of their princes was over them as captain. With them was a Venetian, a wise and mighty man of valor. And the king commanded the pasha, the general of the army, saying, “Fall not out by the ways; and do all that the Venetian adviseth you; and according to his word, so shalt thou do.” Then the pasha replied, “O lord, my king, I will do according to thy words.” As they journeyed thence they came to a great city, the glory of all the surrounding * typosp. + Ps. cxlix. 8. † FMD D". The sea of weeds, usually the Red Sea. § Gen. xlv. 24.