MALACCA, MOROCCO, AND HOME
 THE "Portuguese Mars," great and mighty Albuquerque, was a genial, venerable-appearing
commander, with pleasant countenance and affable manners, but with a will of his own which
few men dared oppose. Magellan, at the council of war called for the purpose of deciding
upon laying siege to Goa, an important city and island off the Indian coast, ventured to
offer an opinion contrary to that which Albuquerque held, and was henceforward persona
non grata with the viceroy. It mattered little to the great man what Magellan
thought or advised; but it mattered much that he should demur at the proposal to take the
merchant-ships to Goa, since it was advocated by the commander.
"If we do so," said Magellan, stoutly, "they cannot pass, this year, to Portugal,
 for which their cargoes are already prepared; and if we fail this annual voyage, there
will be great disappointment at home."
There was no quarrel, there was no outward display of irritation; but the viceroy
caustically remarked that if there were any who did not wish to go to Goa, he would not
compel them, inferring thereby that Magellan may have had an ulterior reason for his
dissent. Nothing more was said, however, for Dom Affonso had decided to take the
merchant-vessels; and take them he did, though it turned out as Magellan had said: there
was great disappointment and murmuring, and much loss to those whose rights should have
Still, Fernan Magellan was with the viceroy at Goa. He participated in the assault by
which the city was taken, and though he was not mentioned among the "honorable cavaliers"
recommended to the king's favor, he certainly deserved that honor. On the contrary,
indeed, Albuquerque is said to have sent an intimation to Dom Manoel that his ward had
proved perverse and unworthy of confidence. Whatever may have reached the king, from that
time forward Fernan Magellan no longer enjoyed
 the light of his countenance, and when he returned to Portugal he met with a very cold
The last expedition in which we can authoritatively place Magellan as a member, holding
the rank of captain, is that which Albuquerque undertook for the reduction of Malacca. It
sailed from Cochin in the month of August, 1511, an armada of nineteen vessels, and was
successful from the start, capturing junks and merchant-ships at various points on the
voyage. In one of the ships, it is said, they found the body of King Nahodabeguea, the
treacherous Malaccan who had conceived the plot for taking Sequeira's fleet and the lives
of his men.
Magellan and Serrao must have gazed upon the cadaver with grim satisfaction, and have felt
that the scheme of revenge for the slaughter of their comrades was to be fulfilled. They
arrived at Malacca July 1st; but though the city had no strong defences, it held out six
long weeks, so fierce were the men who defended it, and so numerous the cannon with which
it was provided. There were, the historians tell us, twenty thousand fighting-men and
 thousand pieces of artillery, while Albuquerque had scant fifteen hundred men, among whom
were included six hundred native archers from the Malabar coast.
By the capture of Malacca, the viceroy gained the gate of the Indian Ocean, as it has been
termed, "through which the entire commerce of the Moluccas, the Philippines, Japan, and
China passed on its road to the Mediterranean." Most important of all were the Spice
Islands, the riches of which the Portuguese were anxious to obtain, dominance over which
was the object aimed at by Portugal and some time later by Spain.
The energetic viceroy lost no time in sending a squadron in search of the Spice Islands,
and three galleons, in charge of Captain Antonio d'Abreu, sailed for the Moluccas as soon
as they could be detached from the fleet and fitted for the voyage. Abreu was commander of
the squadron and captained one of the trio of galleons; the other two were commanded,
respectively, by Francisco Serrao and (according to one historian) Fernan Magellan.
It is really quite provoking, the doubt that exists as to whether or not Magellan took
this voyage beyond Malacca to the
 Moluccas; but we are unable to decide the question. It is probable that he took it, since
one historian, Argensola, makes the statement absolutely, while against him is merely the
silence of the several others who wrote of Magellan's doings at this time. They may not
have thought it worth while to mention his command of a galleon, when there were so many
captains equally celebrated with himself, for he had done nothing up to that time to
attract particular attention. The chief importance of this question lies in its bearing
upon his future actions in respect to these same Spice Islands, for eight or nine years
later we find him representing to the King of Spain that he knew of a route thither until
that time untraversed. Either he learned of these islands and this route through his own
observations, or gained the knowledge from his friend Francisco Serrao, with whom he is
known to have maintained a correspondence for years.
Respecting Serrao we have full information, especially relating to this voyage, and it is
of such adventurous character that we could wish Magellan might have been connected with
it, instead of the man whose life
 he saved. After successfully accomplishing the voyage to the Moluccas, and lading his
galleons with most precious spices, more than worth their weight in gold, Abreu set sail
for Malacca. The weather was "heavy," the seas were uncharted and full of reefs and shoals
unknown to man, so it is not strange that one of the vessels, that commanded by Serrao,
struck on a coral reef and became a total wreck.
The island upon which the unfortunate Portuguese lost their vessel was uninhabited, save
by pirates and wreckers who visited it occasionally to glean what the reefs had brought
them. The morning after the disaster, as Serrao was looking out to sea, he beheld a
piratical proa approaching the island. He knew at a glance the character of the craft and
hiding with his men in a cave, awaited developments. Seeing the wreck on the reefs, the
pirates landed for the purpose of finding the survivors, who they knew must be on the
They made a great mistake in going ashore in a body, leaving no one on board their craft,
and Serrao and his men, who had hidden near the shore, silently swam off to the vessel and
took possession with
 out opposition. When the pirates found out what had been done they were in dismay, and
promised the Portuguese anything if they would not leave them on that desert island
without food or water. Their prayers were granted, and together all sailed for Amboina,
one of the Moluccas, where Serrao found favor with the king, and whence, during the years
in which he continued to reside there—from about 1512 to 1520—he wrote
frequent letters to Magellan.
But the two never met after the termination of this voyage—whether Fernan Magellan
went on it or not—for, while Serrao remained in the Moluccas, as the captain-general
of a native king, his friend returned to Lisbon, where we find him in the year 1512. After
seven years spent in distant lands in the service of his king, cruising and fighting
continually, Magellan made his way back to the country of his birth, where only paltry
honors, without substantial emolument, were his reward.
In token that he belonged to the king's household, and was really a "servant of his
majesty," he was entitled to a stipend, hardly more than nominal—in fact,
contemptible—called the moradia. In his case
 it amounted to about a dollar a month and an alqueire, or measure containing not
quite thirty pounds of barley, daily. In consideration of his great services, he was
promoted to the rank of nobleman, entitled to a coat of arms, and his pension was doubled,
so that he was privileged to draw from the royal treasury the sum of twenty-four dollars
As he had lost all properties acquired in the Indies (though his share of the plunder must
have been quite large), he returned to Portugal relatively poor, and soon after retired to
the small estate at Saborosa. But he did not stay there long, for to one who had sniffed
the smoke of battle on many a field, who had participated in the scenes attendant upon the
extension of Portugal's great eastern empire—founding settlements, subjecting
strange peoples, and erecting fortresses—country life was tame and uneventful. He
soon bade adieu to secluded Saborosa, and probably for the last time, as soon after he was
compelled to quit the country by the king's compulsion.
He wandered back to Lisbon, seeking an opportunity to sail again for India, but,
soldier-like, followed along the line of least
 resistance, and, finding no good chance for the East, enlisted for Morocco. An armada was
to be despatched to the Moroccan coast consisting of four hundred ships and eighteen
thousand fighting-men, merely for the sake of avenging an insult to his majesty Dom
Manoel. It set sail in August, 1513, and arrived off Azamor, the offending city and port,
within two weeks after. The mere sight of such a mighty fleet brought the Moors quickly to
terms, and the city was taken by the Portuguese without the loss of a man. They held it
through the succeeding winter, during which it was the custom of the most venturesome of
the cavaliers to make armed forays into the country roundabout.
Among these mounted hidalgos who delighted in scampering about the country at night, for
the purpose of returning at morn with spoils of the Moors, was Fernan Magellan. He was
equally at home on ship or on horseback, and always anxious to be in motion, whether on
one or the other. On one of his excursions he discovered the patrols of a vast army
advancing, which proved to be one that had been assembled by the kings of Fez and Mequinez
 relief of Azamor. So rapidly and so silently had the Moors advanced—most of them
having embarked on the famed "ships of the desert," their swift and tireless
dromedaries—that they were almost upon the city before Magellan ran against the van
of that formidable host. He turned his horse towards Azamor and, with several well-mounted
Arabs in pursuit, dashed towards and into the gateway of the city, shouting lustily: "The
Moors! the Moors!"
The pursuing Arabs halted so abruptly at the city portal that their foam-flecked barbs
were thrown upon their haunches. Disappointed of their prey, they returned to the main
army, which encamped at the river Azamor, where the Portuguese troops promptly attacked
them. They routed the vanguard with loss, but the main body of the army was so vast that
it forced those in front ahead, filling the gaps caused by the Portuguese artillery and
almost over-whelming the city, in spite of terrible slaughter. When at last the Arab host
was forced to retreat, a thousand prisoners remained in the hands of the Portuguese, and
more than eight hundred horses.
The booty was so vast that a special
 board was named to apportion it, and one of its members was Fernan Magellan, who, having
been wounded by a lance-thrust in the knee, was incapacitated for active service. This
wound, in fact, which was received in a charge he led upon the Arab vanguard, was the
cause of lameness during the remainder of his life, and ever after he walked with a
perceptible limp. It was also the indirect cause of a final rupture of his relations with
Dom Manoel, for as soon as he had completed his labors on the board of apportionment, he
hastened home to prefer a claim for an increase of his moradia. It was on account of the
wound, primarily, but ostensibly for his long term of service in the king's armies.
Unable, as he was, to sit in his saddle and fight, and there being no longer any Moors to
contend with at Azamor, he saw no reason why he should not return to Lisbon, especially as
his old commander, Dom Joao de Meneses, with whom he was a favorite, had been replaced by
another, who treated him badly from the outset. The new commander, in fact, sent word to
Dom Manoel that Captain Fernan Magellan had left Africa without his permission, and that,
 moreover, he was charged with irregularities in the division of the booty obtained from
the Moors. He was accused, in company with another of the board, Captain Alvaro Monteiro,
of selling horses and cattle to the Moors and pocketing the proceeds; but Magellan
contended that on the contrary he had refused to do so, and thereby had incurred the
enmity of the very people who denounced him.
The king, probably with the charges of Albuquerque in mind, refused to listen to Fernan's
excuses, and ordered him to return at once to Azamor. Dom Manoel had always loathed him,
one historian tells us, but gives no reason for the king's aversion, except it might have
been that Magellan deserved greater rewards than he accorded him. Having spent seven years
in India and a year in Africa—having wasted in the king's service the very best
years of his manhood's prime—Magellan was certainly entitled to great consideration.
But he did not get it, nor even scant recognition of what he had done, for when, having
once more returned to Lisbon, with papers proving his innocence of any misdemeanor, he
asked for an increase in his pension, he was peremptorily refused.
 Lest Fernan Magellan be accused of sordidly estimating his services at a money value, let
it be stated that the increase was but half a cruzado per month, or a paltry
sum of twenty-six cents; and it was not this augmentation of his moradia that he desired
so much as the enhancement of reputation and the promotion that it carried. The larger the
moradia, the higher its recipient stood in favor with the king and in rank, hence the
rivalry among the cavaliers to obtain an increase whenever possible.
But Magellan had to do with a sovereign every way as mean and niggardly as Henry VII. of
England; one who was "suspicious of his servants, even, and very jealous of directing
personally all the details of government." Whatever sentimental value the cavaliers may
have attached to the moradia, he viewed every extension of it as an increased drain upon
his treasury. It is told of him that, when Albuquerque doubled the pay of his men who had
been wounded at Calicut, the king was greatly incensed. They should have been satisfied,
he said, with the pittance they received and the glory they won; and so with Magellan:
 the royal boor insinuated that he had feigned his lameness in order to excite sympathy for
his claim to an increase of pension!
After that, could a self-respecting subject again approach such a parsimonious,
base-minded monarch and request a favor of him? Magellan steeled himself to once more
crave an interview with Dom Manoel, though it was for the purpose of bestowing a favor,
not requesting one; but the king's jealousy and short-sightedness prompted him to set
aside a gift which went to his rival the King of Spain.