Monday, July 19, 2010

A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar -part 6

Chronicle of Fernao Nuniz
(Written, Probably, A.D. 1535 -- 37)
Copy and Summary of a Chronicle of the Kings of Bisnaga, who reigned
(ORIG. were) from the era one thousand two hundred and thirty, which
was after the general destruction of the kingdom of Bisnaga.[468]

In the year twelve hundred and thirty[469] these parts of India were
ruled by a greater monarch than had ever reigned. This was the King of
Dili,[470] who by force of arms and soldiers made war on Cambaya for
many years, taking and destroying in that period the land of Guzarate
which belongs to Cambaya,[471] and in the end he became its lord.

And this taken, not being content with the victory which he had already
gained, he made ready a large army of foot and horse, and determined
to make war on the King of Bisnaga, leaving his captains in his lands
and fortresses to defend themselves against his enemies, of whom there
were many; for this King[472] was at that time at war with Bemgalla,
and with the Turkomans on the confines of the country of Sheikh
Ismael.[473] These men are fair and large of body; in their lands
are many horses with which this King of Delly made war on Cambaya
and laid it waste; and after the country was taken and he lord of it,
there still remained to him as many as eight hundred thousand horsemen
with whom he passed on to Bisnaga; of the number of people on foot
nothing is said here because no one counted them.

And, determining to make war on the King of Bisnaga and to reduce him
under his rule, he passed out of the lands which he had newly gained,
entering into those of the King of Bisnaga, which at that time were
many; and quitting the kingdom of Cambaya, he began to invade and make
war on the Ballagate,[474] whose lands now belong to the Idalcao,[475]
taking and destroying many towns and places in such a way that the
people of the country surrendered to him their persons and property,
though he left to them their weapons which he could not prevent
their carrying.

And after he had become lord of all the country of the Ballagate,
he passed the river of Duree,[476] which forms the boundary of the
territories of the Ballagate and of those of the King of Bisnaga,
which river he passed in basket-boats without finding any one to
oppose the passage. Up to that time, in all that was (afterwards)
the kingdom of Bisnaga, no place was populated save only the city of
Nagumdym,[477] in which the King of Bisnaga[478] then was, awaiting
his destruction, since it was strong, and because he possessed no
other citadel but that, which was his Lisbon.

And from the river which that King of Delly passed in
basket-boats,[479] to that city was twenty-five leagues, all being open
country (CAMPOS); and in them it seemed good to him to pitch his camp,
so that his people might drink of the water in the plain (CAMPOS)
along the length of the river. At that time there was great drought
by reason of the summer season, and the waters of the few little lakes
that were in the plain would not suffice for ten days for his troops,
horses, and elephants, without drying up; and for that reason he halted
some days by the banks of that river, till rain fell in the fields
and lakes, enough for such a large army as he had brought with him.

And when the time came he raised his camp and brought his array to
a halt in sight of that city of Nagundy.

And the King of Bisnaga, seeing his great power and how many troops
he had brought with him, determined to abandon the city, which was
very difficult to enter; close to which was, and now is, a river
which is called Nagundy, whence the city is called Nagundy, and they
say the city had its name because of it. And he fled for shelter to
a fortress called Crynamata,[480] which was by the bank of the river,
and which contained much provision and water; but not enough for the
sustenance of so many people as he had with him, as many as fifty
thousand men. Therefore the King chose five thousand men with their
property and took refuge in the fortress; and for the rest he bade
them betake themselves to another fortress of his in another part of
his kingdom.

And being sheltered in the fortress, after he had taken order about
his provisions, he was beset on all sides by the King of the people
of Dely, who had already up to this time been at war with him[481]
for twelve years; over which siege little time was spent, because the
people that were inside the fortress were numerous, and in a little
space had consumed their provisions.

Then the King of Bisnaga, seeing the determination of the soldiers
of the King of Delly that they would never leave the place without
making an end of those whom he had with him in the fortress, made a
speech to them all, laying before them the destruction that the King
of the troops of Dely had caused in his own kingdoms;[482] and how,
not content with that, he had besieged this fortress, so that now
there was nothing for them to look to but death, since already there
was no water in the fortress nor anything left to eat. And (he said)
that of the fifty thousand men who had been in the city of Nagundy
he had chosen them alone as his companions and true friends, and he
begged of them that they would hold fast in death to the loyalty which
they had borne him in their lives; for he hoped that day to give battle
to the King of Delly. Then he said that already there remained to him
of his kingdom and lordship nothing but that fortress and the people
that were in it, and so he asked them to arm themselves and die with
him in battle, giving their lives to the enemy who had deprived them
of all their lands.

All of them were very content and glad at this, and in a short space
were all armed; and after they were so the King made them another
speech, saying, "Before we join battle we have to wage another war
with our sons and daughters and wives, for it will not be good that
we should allow them to be taken for the use of our enemies." And the
King said, "I will be the first to deal with my wife and sons." At this
time they were all standing in a large open space which was before the
citadel, and there by the hand of the King were slain over fifty of his
wives and some sons and little daughters; and the same was done with
their own hands by all who had wives and sons that could not fight.

When these nuptial feasts, so abhorred of all, were fulfilled, they
opened the gates of the fortress, and their enemies forthwith entered,
and slew all of them except six old men who withdrew to a house. These
were made captive and were taken before the King (of Delhi), and the
King asked them who they were and how they had escaped, and they told
them who they were; at which the King greatly rejoiced, because one
of them was the minister of the kingdom and another the treasurer,
and the others were leading officers in it. They were questioned by
the King concerning the treasures of the King of Bisnaga, and such
riches as were buried in the vaults of the fortress were delivered up
to him, they also gave him an account of the revenues of the kingdom
of Bisnaga at that time. When all was known to the King he delivered
them to one of his captains, and commanded to make over the bodies of
the dead to another captain, and gave orders that the bodies should
be burned; and the body of the King, at the request of those six men,
was conveyed very honourably to the city of Nagundy. From that time
forward that place became a burying-place of the kings. Amongst
themselves they still worship this King as a saint.

Of what the King (of Delhi) did after he had slain the King of Bisnaga,
and entirely overthrown him, and seized his lands for himself, none
being left to defend them.
As soon as the King had thus fulfilled all his desires, he bade his
captains destroy some villages and towns which had risen against him,
and give security to those who sought it of him. After the death of
the (Hindu) King he stayed in that fortress two years, having already
for twelve waged war on the kingdom.[483] He was far from his home,
which WAS more than five hundred leagues distant; and, his forces
being all scattered, news came to him how that all the land which
was first gained by him had rebelled. As soon as this was known to
the King he sent to collect his people, leaving in this fortress,
which was the strongest in the kingdom, abundant provisions for its
defence in all circumstances; and he left, for captain and governor
of the kingdom, Enybiquymelly,[484] a Moor, and with him he left many
troops, showing much kindness to each one of them separately, giving
to each lavish gifts and lands in such a way that all were content,
and, abandoning, forthwith all hope of returning to their own country,
made there their homes.

How the King of Dily departed with his troops, and took to his kingdom
the six captives that he had taken in the fortress, &c.
The King having departed to his own kingdom in consequence of the news
that had been brought to him, leaving the kingdom of Bisnaga in the
power of Meliquy niby, when it was known throughout the country how
he was out of it, those who had escaped to the mountains, with others
who, against their will and through fear had taken oaths of fealty
for their towns and villages, rose against the captain Mileque neby,
and came to besiege him in the fortress, allowing no provisions to go
in to him, nor paying him the taxes that had been forced on them. And
Meliquy niby, seeing how little profit he could get in this country,
and how badly he was obeyed, and how far off was the succour sent by
his lord the King, sent quickly to him to tell him how all the land
was risen against him, and how every one was lord of what he pleased,
and no one was on his side; and that His Highness should decide what
he thought best to be done in such case. And when the King heard this
news he took counsel, telling the great people of the realm of the
letter and message which he had from Melinebiquy, his captain and
governor of the kingdom of Bisnaga, and how badly the lords of the
land obeyed him; so that each one was king and lord over whomsoever
he pleased, as soon as he acquired any power, there being no justice
amongst them, nor any one whom they wished to obey. What was it seemed
best to them (he asked), and what in such case ought they, and could
they, do, so that he should not lose so fair a territory and one so
rich, the seizure of which had cost such labour, so much money, and
the lives of so many of their fellows? All the councillors decided
that the King should command the presence of the six men whom he held
captive, and that he should learn from them who was at that time the
nearest of kin, or in any way related to the Kings of Bisnaga; and,
this questioning done, no one was found to whom by right the kingdom
could come, save to one of the six whom he held captive, and this one
he who at the time of the destruction of Bisnaga had been minister of
the kingdom. He was not related by blood to the kings, but only was
the principal judge; but (it seemed) good that His Highness should give
the kingdom to that one. And this advice pleased the King and them all.

At once the six captives were released and set at liberty, and many
kindnesses and honours were done them, and the governor was raised to
be King and the treasurer to be governor;[485] and he took from them
oaths and pledges of their fealty as vassals; and they were at once
despatched and sent to their lands with a large following to defend
them from any one who should desire to do them an injury. And when
these six men had thus finished their journey to the city of Nagundy,
they found only the ruined basements of the houses, and places peopled
by a few poor folk.

In a short time the arrival of Deorao[486] (for so he was called)
was known in all the country, and now he had been exalted to be King,
with which the people were well content, as men who had felt so deeply
their subjection to a lord not of their own faith; and from this man
have descended all those who have reigned up to now. And they made
great feasts for him, and delivered up to him the lands taken by former
kings and lost to them, and he was obeyed as King. And when the captain
Meliquy niby became aware of this, he was very pleased and contented,
and delivered up to him the fortress and kingdom as the King his lord
had commanded; and making himself ready with all speed he departed,
leaving the land to its proper owner. And after he had gone, King
Deorao, entering on his rule, strove to pacify the people and those who
had revolted, and to make them safe, and he did them many kindnesses
so as to secure their good-will, and travelled about their fortresses
and towns. He abandoned the lost lands since he knew that he could
not regain them, having no army or forces for such a work, nor any
cause for which he could make war; and also because he was very old.

How the City of Bisnaga was built by that King Dehorao.
The King going one day a-hunting, as was often his wont, to a mountain
on the other side of the river of Nagumdym, where now is the city of
Bisnaga, -- which at that time was a desert place in which much hunting
took place, and which the King had reserved for his own amusement, --
being in it with his dogs and appurtenances of the chase, a hare rose
up before him, which, instead of fleeing from the dogs, ran towards
them and bit them all, so that none of them dared go near it for the
harm that it did them.[487] And seeing this, the King, astonished
at so feeble a thing biting dogs which had already caught for him a
tiger and a lion, judged it to be not really a hare but (more likely)
some prodigy; and he at once turned back to the city of Nagumdym.

And arriving at the river, he met a hermit who was walking along
the bank, a man holy among them, to whom he told what had happened
concerning the hare. And the hermit, wondering at it, said to the
King that he should turn back with him and shew him the place where
so marvellous a thing had happened; and being there, the hermit said
that the King ought in that place to erect houses in which he could
dwell, and build a city, for the prodigy meant that this would be
the strongest city in the world, and that it would never be captured
by his enemies, and would be the chief city in the kingdom. And so
the King did, and on that very day began work on his houses, and he
enclosed the city round about; and that done he left Nagumdym and soon
filled the new city with people. And he gave it the name Vydiajuna,
for so the hermit called himself[488] who had bidden him construct it;
but in course of time this name has become corrupted, and it is now
called Bisnaga. And after that hermit was dead the King raised a very
grand temple[489] in honour of him and gave much revenue to it. And
ever since, in his memory, the Kings of Bisnaga, on the day when they
are raised to be kings, have, in honour of the hermit, to enter this
house before they enter their own, and they offer many prayers in it,
and celebrate many feasts there every year.

This King Dehorao reigned seven years, and did nothing therein but
pacify the kingdom, which he left in complete tranquillity.

By his death one called Bucarao[490] inherited the kingdom, and he
conquered many lands which at the time of the destruction of that
kingdom remained rebellious, and by him they were taken and turned
to his power and lordship; and he took the kingdom of Orya, which is
very great; it touches on Bemgalla. He reigned thirty-seven years,
being not less feared than esteemed, and obeyed by all in his kingdom.

On the death of that King Bucarao there came to the throne his son
called Pureoyre Deorao,[491] which in Canara means "powerful lord,"
and he coined a money of PARDAOS which even now they call "PUROURE
DEORAO;" and from that time forward it has become a custom to call
coins by the names of the kings that made them; and it is because
of this that there are so many names of PARDAOS in the kingdom of
Bisnaga. And this King in his time did nothing more than leave at
his death as much conquered country as his father had done.

This King had a son who by his death inherited the kingdom, who was
called Ajarao;[492] and he reigned forty-three years, in which time
he was always at war with the Moors; and he took Goa, and Chaul, and
Dabull, and Ceillao,[493] and all the country of Charamamdell,[494]
which had also rebelled after the first destruction of this kingdom,
and he did many other things which are not recorded here.

This King made in the city of Bisnaga many walls and towers and
enclosed it anew. Now the city at that time was of no use, there
being no water in it by which could be raised gardens and orchards,
except the water of the Nagumdym which was far from it, for what water
there was in the country was all brackish and allowed nothing to grow;
and the King, desiring to increase that city and make it the best in
the kingdom, determined to bring to it a very large river which was at
a distance of five leagues away, believing that it would cause much
profit if brought inside the city. And so he did, damming the river
itself with great boulders; and according to story he threw in a stone
so great that it alone made the river follow the King's will. It was
dragged thither by a number of elephants of which there are many in
the kingdom; and the water so brought he carried through such parts
of the city as he pleased. This water proved of such use to the city
that it increased his revenue by more than three hundred and fifty
thousand PARDAOS. By means of this water they made round about the
city a quantity of gardens and orchards and great groves of trees and
vineyards, of which this country has many, and many plantations of
lemons and oranges and roses, and other trees which in this country
bear very good fruit. But on this turning of the river they say the
King spent all the treasure that had come to him from the king his
father, which was a very great sum of money.

This King left a son at his death called Visarao,[495] who inherited
the kingdom on the death of his father; and he lived six years,
and during this time did nothing worth relating.

At his death he left a son called Deorao, who reigned twenty-five
years. He determined to collect great treasures, but owing to constant
warfare he could not gain more than eight hundred and fifty millions of
gold, not counting precious stones. This was no great sum, seeing that
in his time the King of Coullao,[496] and Ceyllao, and Paleacate,[497]
and Peguu, and Tanacary[498] and many other countries, paid tribute
to him.

At his death this King left a son who inherited the kingdom, who
was called Pinarao,[499] he reigned twelve years, and was a great
astrologer; he was given much to letters, and made many books and
(promulgated) ordinances in his land and kingdom. As long as he
reigned he had twenty ministers, which is an office that amongst these
(people) is (generally) held only by one person. This King was very
wise; he was well versed in all his duties, and possessed such good
talents and qualities that they called him Pinarao, which amongst
them, in the language of Canara, means a very wise man. This King
was killed by treason by the hand of a nephew whom he had brought up
in his house like a son, who thus caused the death of the King.[500]
The nephew resolved to marry, and for the feasts at his wedding he
prayed the King, his uncle; that he would command that he should
be attended and honoured at his wedding by the King's own son; and
the King, for the love that he bore him and the pleasure that he
had in honouring him, bade his son make ready with his following,
and sent him with the ministers and captains of his court to attend
and honour the wedding of his nephew. And he, making all ready, as
soon as they were in his house, being at table, they were all slain
by daggers thrust by men kept in readiness for that deed. This was
done without any one suspecting it, because the custom there is to
place on the table all that there is to eat and drink, no man being
present to serve those who are seated, nor being kept outside, but
only those who are going to eat; and because of their thus being
alone at table, nothing of what passed could be known to the people
they had brought with them. And after he had killed the King's son
with all the captains, the minister[501] set out to ride as if he
were going to bear a present to the King, and as soon as he arrived
at the gates of the palace he sent a message to the King saying that
he was there, and had brought him a present according to custom. And
the King, being at that time at leisure and amusing himself with his
wives, bade him enter; and as soon as he was come to where he stood,
he presented to the King a golden bowl in which he had placed a dagger
steeped in poison, with which he wounded him in many places; but the
King, as he was a man who knew how to use both sword and dagger better
than any one in his kingdom, avoided by twists and turns of his body
the thrusts aimed at him, freed himself from him, and slew him with
a short sword that he had. And this done he ordered a horse to be
saddled, and mounted it, and rode holding his nephew's head in his
hand; and he took the road to the latter's house, apprehending that
treason might have been wrought and fearing that his son might be
dead. And as soon as he arrived he beheld the treason in very deed,
and how wicked a deed his nephew had done; seeing that his son and
his principal captains were dead, and that the traitor might have
prevailed against himself had he had the power. In great wrath the
King commanded his men to inflict dreadful punishments on all found
guilty of this treason, and indeed many who were not so. He himself
remained grievously wounded with the poisoned wounds and he lasted only
six months, and these ended, died of the poison carried on the dagger.

After his death a son remained to him who inherited the kingdom and
was called ... [502], and this King, as soon as he began to reign,
sent to call his treasurers and the minister and the scribes of
his household, and inquired of them the revenue of his kingdom, and
learned how much revenue came in yearly; and His Highness had every
year thirteen millions of gold. This King granted to the pagodas a
fifth part of the revenue of his kingdom; no law is possible in the
country where these pagodas are, save only the law of the Brahmans,
which is that of the priests; and so the people suffer.

On the death of this King succeeded a son named Verupacarao.[503] As
long as he reigned he was given over to vice, caring for nothing but
women, and to fuddle himself with drink and amuse himself, and never
showed himself either to his captains or to his people; so that in
a short time he lost that which his forefathers had won and left to
him. And the nobles of the kingdom, seeing the habits and life of this
king, rebelled, every one of them, each holding to what he possessed,
so that in his time the King lost Goa, and Chaull, and Dabull, and
the other chief lands of the realm. This King in mere sottishness
slew many of his captains. Because he dreamed one night that one of
his captains entered his chamber, on the next day he had him called,
telling him that he had dreamed that night that the captain had entered
his room to kill him; and for that alone he had him put to death. This
King had two sons already grown up, who, seeing the wickedness of
their father and how he had lost his kingdom, determined to kill him,
as in fact was done by one of them, the elder, who was his heir; and
after he had killed him, when they besought him to be King, he said,
"Although this kingdom may be mine by right, I do not want it because
I killed my father, and did therein that which I ought not to have
done, and have committed a mortal sin, and for that reason it is
not well that such an unworthy son should inherit the kingdom. Take
my brother and let him govern it since he did not stain his hands
with his father's blood;" which was done, and the younger brother
was raised to the throne. And when they had entrusted the kingdom to
him he was advised by his minister and captains that he should slay
his brother, because, as the latter had killed his father so he would
kill him if desirous of so doing; and as it appeared to the King that
such a thing might well be, he determined to kill him, and this was
at once carried out, and he slew him with his own hand. So that this
man truly met the end that those meet with who do such ill deeds This
King was called Padearao; and after this was done he gave himself up
to the habits of his father, and, abandoning himself to his women,
and not seeking to know ought regarding his realm save only the vices
in which he delighted, he remained for the most part in the city.

One of his captains who was called Narsymgua,[504] who was in some
manner akin to him, seeing his mode of life, and knowing how ill
it was for the kingdom that he should live and reign, though all
was not yet lost, determined to attack him and seize on his lands;
which scheme he at once put into force.

He wrote, therefore, and addressed the captains and chiefs of the
kingdom, saying how bad it was for them not to have a King over them
who could govern properly, and how it would be no wonder, seeing the
manner of his life, if the King soon lost by his bad government even
more than his father had done.

He made great presents to all of them so as to gain their goodwill,
and when he had thus attached many people to himself he made ready
to attack Bisnaga where the King dwelt. When the King was told of the
uprising of this captain Narsymgua, how he was approaching and seizing
his lands and how many people were joining him, he seemed unmindful of
the loss he had suffered, he gave no heed to it nor made ready, but,
instead, he only ill-treated him who had brought the news. So that a
captain of the army of this Narsymgua arrived at the gates of Bisnaga,
and there was not a single man defending the place; and when the King
was told of his arrival he only said that it could not be. Then the
captain entered the city, and the King only said that it could not
be. Then he even entered his palace and came as far as the doors of
his chamber, slaying some of the women. At last the King believed,
and seeing now how great was the danger, he resolved to flee by the
gates on the other side; and so he left his city and palaces, and fled.

When it was known by the captain that the King had fled he did not
trouble to go after him, but took possession of the city and of the
treasures which he found there; and he sent to acquaint his lord,
Narsymgua. And after that Narsymgua was raised to be king. And as
he had much power and was beloved by the people, thenceforward this
kingdom of Bisnaga was called the kingdom of Narsymga.

After he was raised to be king and was obeyed he came to Bisnaga,
where he did many acts of justice; and he took the territories from
whomsoever had, contrary to right, taken them from the king. This King
reigned forty-four years, and at his death left all the kingdom in
peace, and he regained all the lands which the kings his predecessors
had lost. He caused horses to be brought from Oromuz and Adeem[505]
into his kingdom and thereby gave great profit to the merchants,
paying them for the horses just as they asked. He took them dead or
alive at three for a thousand PARDAOS, and of those that died at sea
they brought him the tail only, and he paid for it just as if it had
been alive.

At the death of that King there remained three fortresses which had
revolted from his rule, and which he was never able to take, which were
these -- Rachol, and Odegary and Conadolgi,[506] which have large and
rich territories and are the principal forts in the kingdom. At his
death he left two sons, and the governor of the kingdom was Nasenaque,
who was father of the king that afterwards was king of Bisnaga;[507]
and this king (Narsymgua), before he died, sent to call Narsenaque
his minister, and held converse with him, telling him that at his
death he would by testament leave him to govern the kingdom until
the princes should be of an age to rule; also he said that all the
royal treasures were his alone, and he reminded him that he had won
this kingdom of Narsymgua at the point of the sword; adding that now
there remained only three fortresses to be taken, but that for him
the time for their capture was passed; and the King begged him to
keep good guard over the kingdom and to deliver it up to the princes,
to whichever of them should prove himself most fitted for it. And
after the King's death this Narsenaque remained as governor, and soon
he raised up the prince to be king, retaining in his own hands the
treasures and revenues and the government of the country.

At that time a captain who wished him ill, determined to kill the
prince, with a view afterwards to say that Narsenaque had bidden him
commit the murder, he being the minister to whom the government of
the kingdom had been entrusted, and he thought that for this act of
treason Narsenaque would be put to death. And he soon so arranged it
that the prince was killed one night by one of his pages who had been
bribed for that purpose, and who slew the prince with a sword. As soon
as Narsenaque heard that he was dead, and learned that he himself (was
supposed to have) sent to kill him, he raised up another brother of the
late King's to be king, not being able further to punish this captain,
because he had many relations, until after he had raised this younger
brother to be king, who was called Tamarao. He (Narsenaque) went out
one day from the city of Bisnaga towards Nagumdym, saying that he was
going hunting, leaving all his household in the city. And after he had
arrived at this city of Nagumdym he betook himself to another called
Penagumdim,[508] which is four-and-twenty leagues from that place,
where he at once made ready large forces and many horses and elephants,
and then sent to tell the King Tamarao of the cause of his going;
relating to him the treason that that captain by name Tymarsaa[509]
had carried out slaying his brother the king, and by whose death he
(the prince) had inherited the kingdom. He told him how that the
kingdom had been entrusted to him by his father, as well as the care
of himself and his brother, that as this man had killed his brother,
so he would do to him in the same way, for he was a traitor; and he
urged that for that reason it was necessary to punish him. But the king
at that time was very fond of that captain, since by reason of him
he had become King, and in place of punishing him he bestowed favour
on him and took his part against the minister. And, seeing this,
Narsenaque went against him with large forces, and besieged him,
threatening him for four or five days, until the King, seeing his
determination, commanded Timarsaa to be put to death; after which he
(the King) sent the (traitor's) head to be shown to the minister,
who greatly rejoiced. Narsenaque sent away all the troops and entered
the city, where he was very well received by all the people, by whom
he was much loved as being a man of much justice.

And after some days and years had passed, Narsenaque, seeing the age
of the king how young he was, determined to keep him in the city of
Penagumdy, with large guards to make safe his person, and to give
him 20,000 cruzados of gold every year for his food and expenses,
and himself to govern the kingdom -- for it had been entrusted to
him by the king his lord so to do. After this had been done he told
the King that he desired to go to Bisnaga to do certain things that
would tend to the benefit of the kingdom, and the King, pleased at
that, told him that so it should be; thinking that now he himself
would be more his own master and not be so liable to be checked by
him. And after he had departed and arrived at Bisnaga, Narsenaque
sent the King 20,000 men for his guard, as he had arranged, and he
sent as their captain Timapanarque, a man in whom he much confided;
(commanding him) that he should not allow the King to leave the city,
and that he should carefully guard his person against treachery.

And after this was done Narsenaque began to make war on several places,
taking them and demolishing them because they had revolted. At that
time it was proposed by some captains that they should kill the King,
as he was not a man fitted to govern, but to this Narsenaque would
answer nothing. After some days had passed, however, Narsenaque,
pondering on the treason about which they had spoken to him, how it
would increase his greatness and more easily make him lord of the
kingdom of which he was (only) minister, called one day those same
captains who had often proposed it to him, and asked them by what means
the King could be slain without its being known that he had had a hand
in his death. Then one man[510] told him that a very good way would be
that he (the minister) should appear to be annoyed with him and should
send to command his presence, which mandate he would not obey, and
on account of this act of disrespect he (the minister) should ordain
that some punishment be inflicted, and at this aggravation he would
leave the city and fly to Penagundy to stir up the King against the
minister. He said that after he had gained the goodwill of the King
he would so plot against him that he would render him disobedient;
and that to give the King greater encouragement he would forge letters
as if from captains which should contain the same counsel -- namely,
that he should leave that city where he was more prisoner than free --
and would point out to him that he alone was king and lord, and yet
that the land was under the power of Narasenaque his vassal, who had
made himself very strong and powerful in the kingdom and held him (the
King) prisoner, and had rebelled. He would urge the King to secretly
quit the city and betake himself to a fortress belonging to the captain
who had sent him that letter, and that there he should prepare himself,
getting together a large following. And he would tell him that when
the lords and captains came to know of his wish and determination they
would act according to it, and would help him, and would come with him
to fall upon Narsenayque, and would bestow upon him (Narsenaque) the
prison in which he (the King) was now kept. So he would be king. (The
captain further said) that after he had persuaded the King to this
he would cause him to (leave the city), and while going out he would
kill him, and that in this way Narsenaque should become king.

Narsenayque was well pleased to listen to this treason and to hear
of the evil deed which this captain planned, and he showed him much
favour. The captain disappeared after some days from where Narsenayque
was, feigning to have fled; and he came to Penagumdy, where in a few
days his arrival was known; and he set about and put in hand all those
things that had been arranged. Every day he showed the King a letter,
one day from a captain of one fortress, the next day another from
another captain; and the King, understanding the plots contained in
the letters so shown, replied that the counsel and advice seemed good,
and yet how could he resist the power of Narsenayque, who, besides
being minister of the kingdom, had (possession of) all the horses
and elephants and treasure, so that he could at once make war against
him? "True it is, Sire, that which thou sayest," answered the traitor,
"and yet he is much misliked by all the captains who raised thee
to be king, and as soon as they shall see thee in Chaodagary"[511]
(which was a fortress whither he had advised him to flee, being one
which up to that time was independent), "all will flock to thine aid,
since they esteem it a just cause." Said the King, -- "Since this is
so, how dost thou propose that I should leave this place, so that my
going should not be known to the guards and to the 20,000 men who
surround me in this city?" "Sire," he replied, "I will disclose to
thee a very good plan; thou and I will go forth by this thy garden,
and from thence by a postern gate which is in the city (wall), and
which I know well; and the guards, seeing thee alone without any

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