A security for money. John de Castro of Portugal, having
captured the castle of Diu, in India, borrowed of the inhabitants of
Goa 1,000 pistoles for the maintenance of his fleet, and gave one of
his whiskers as security of payment, saying, “All the gold in
the world cannot equal the value of this natural ornament, which I
deposit in your hands.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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