I’tisam al-Din’s Shigarfnamah, 3: the expulsion of the Portuguese

My translation, based on the Farsi version, publication forthcoming: Mirza I’tisam al-Din. Shigarfnamah Vilayet. Toronto: Foundation for Iranian Studies, 2014.

On the Expulsion of the Portuguese

The Portuguese built a fortress at Balagarh along with their church, and resumed their habit of idolatry. Their corruption and recalcitrance that was based in malice led them to lawlessness and rebellion during the rule of Nawab Shayestah Khan. In brief, they cheated and wasted in trade and kidnapped Hindu and Mulsim children and sold them into slavery. And on Sundays, their day of worship, they rang their church bells and disrupted Quranic recitations and prayers. The local Magistrate demanded several times that they quit menacing the people and taking slaves, and be moderate in ringing their church bells. But they did as they pleased and engaged in battles with the Magistrate’s forces. And although their numbers were no more than a hundred and fifty Firinghee soldiers and thirty mulattos, in cannon fights they were equal to the Imperial army, and their ships that were anchored near the shore fired their cannons into land, not giving the army any reprieve to gather forces. P 31

Malek Shokrullah who was one of the army officers and famous for bravery, rode his horse into the water in the darkness of night and slashed the anchor’s rope with his mighty sword and turned the ship around and sent it down with the current to the south, where it was blocked by heavy chains as was ordered by the Magistrate, but the Portuguese broke through and escaped to Ceylon and Malabar and other islands where they had built their earliest settlements. The dark Faranghee people are but the offsprings of the Portuguese with women they took as slaves in Ceylon and Malabar and other islands. P 32

Later, the Portuguese were met with divine curse for their injustice, corruption and exploitation. In short, a massive earthquake hit their capital, and tsunamis submerged the city and the royal palace. Those who were fast on their feet escaped and the rest were killed and all the might and wealth of their merchants were drowned in water. As the fortune turned its back on their land, the Portuguese King and people were greatly reduced and since then they haven’t come to these parts. Presently the mighty King of England is protecting the Portuguese King. Even though the Russians and the French and the Spanish and the Germans desire to annex Portugal, because the English King is most powerful amongst all hat-wearing nations, they cannot take over Portugal. P 33

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  1. […] It is argued that the earthquake that hit Lisbon on November 1, 1755 drastically frustrated Portugal’s colonial fortunes. I’tisam al-Din refers to this earthquake as divine justice for all the menace the Portuguese brought to India and Bengal. [Note the last paragraph in this post.] […]

  2. […] ترجمه انگلیسی این بخش اینجاست، و توضیحاتی در مورد ترجمه متن اینجا. برای سرعت کار، متن فارسی را از فایل  پی دی اف برداشت و اینجا نسب میکنم. تا آنجا که بتوانم یادداشتهای ویراستاری را حذف میکنم اما متن کاملا تصحیح شده نخواهد بود. شماره صفحات به فایل پی دی اف رجوع دارند. با تشکر از دکتر محمد توکلی ترقی که متن چاپ نشده را در اختیار من گذاشتند […]