Luslad

or The Lusiads. The adventures of the Lusians or Portuguese under Vasquez da Gama in their “discovery of India.” The fleet first sailed to Mozambique, in Africa, but Bacchus (the guardian power of the Mahometans) raised a commotion against the Lusians, and a battle ensued in which the Lusians were victorious. The fleet was next conducted by treachery to Quiloa, a harbour on the east coast of the same continent; but Venus or Divine love, to save her favourites from danger, drove them away by a tempest, and Hermes bade Gama steer for Melinda, in Africa. At Melinda the Lusians were hospitably received, and the king of the country not only vowed eternal friendship, but also provided a pilot to conduct the fleet to India. In the Indian Ocean Bacchus tried to destroy the fleet, but “the silver star of Divine love” calmed the sea, and Gama arrived at India in safety. Having accomplished his object, Gama returned to Lisbon.

N.B. Gama sailed three times to India: (1) with four vessels, in 1497, returning to Lisbon in two years and two months; he was appointed admiral of the Eastern seas. (2) In 1502, with twenty ships, when he was attacked by the Zamorin or king of Calicut, whom he defeated, and returned to Lisbon the year following; and (3) when John III. appointed him viceroy of India. He established his government at Cochin, where he died in 1525. It is the first of these voyages which is the subject of the Lusiad by Camoens.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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