On This Occasion The Citizens Were Glad To Weigh Their Pepper In
The Night To Evade The Customs.
When this came to the knowledge of the
king of Cochin, he put a stop to the delivery of pepper, so that the
viceroy was glad to allow the merchants to do as formerly.
[Footnote 144: In the version of Cesar Frederick in Hakluyt, it is said
"to come from the mountains of the king of the pepper country, who is a
Gentile, and in whose dominions there are many Christians," &c. as in
the text. This king of the pepper country is probably meant for the
rajah of Travancore. The great river of the text is merely a sound,
which reaches along the coast from Cochin to beyond Coulan, a distance
of above 90 miles, forming a long range of low islands on the sea-coast,
and receiving numerous small rivers from the southern gauts. - E.]
The king of Cochin has small power in comparison with the other
sovereigns of India as he is unable to send above 70,000 men into the
field. He has a great number of gentlemen, some of whom are called
_Amochi_ and others _Nairs_. These two sorts of men do not value
their lives in any thing which tends to the honour of their king, and
will run freely into any danger in his service, even if sure to lose
their lives in the attempt. These men go naked from the waist upwards,
and barefooted, having only a cloth wrapped about their thighs.
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