Arriving at Beja, a town which Haedo describes as being but two short days' march from Tunis, he came upon a fortress, recently erected by Hamid, mounting fourteen brass cannon. Here he halted, whereupon Hamid sallied out to give him battle at the head of some three thousand troops, horse and foot.
He then returned to Sofala, and obtained news of the Island of the Moon, now known as Madagascar. With this information he returned to Cairo, where he found ambassadors from João, two Jews, Abraham of Beja and Joseph of Lamejo.
John II. had sent to Cairo two learned Jews to await the arrival of Covilham, and to one of these, the Rabbi Abraham Beja, the traveller gave his notes, the itinerary of his journey, and a map of Africa given to him by a Mussulman, charging Beja to carry them all to Lisbon with the least possible delay.
The interior of the Misericordia at Beja, a square, divided into nine smaller vaulted squares by arches resting on fine Corinthian columns, with altar recesses beyond, looks as if it belonged to the time of Dom João III., but if so the front must have been added later. This is very simple, but at the same time strong and unique.
This resolve of the senate was overturned by the plebiscitum mentioned at lxxii. 7. Now Beja on the Mejerdah. The locality has not been discovered.
The dates are not so good as those of the Jereed. Ghabs is about 130 miles from Ghafsa. We here took our farewell of Santa Maria; he went to Beja, the head-quarters of the summer-camp: thence, of course, he would proceed to Algiers, to give an account of his espionage. Next season, he said, he would go to Tripoli and Ghadames; he had been many years in North Africa, and spoke Arabic fluently.
The younger, the Duke of Beja, was also seized with the fatal fever and died in the course of the following month. The Queen and the Prince lamented the King deeply, finding the only consolation in the fact that he had rejoined the gentle girl-wife for whose loss he had been inconsolable.
Of course, when looking for parallels with such a special object in view it is easy enough to find them, and to see resemblances between the cloister windows at Batalha and various screens or panels at Ahmedabad; and when we find that a certain Thomas Fernandes had been sent to India in 1506 as military engineer and architect; that another Fernandes, Diogo of Beja, had in 1513 formed part of an embassy sent to Gujerat and so probably to the capital Ahmedabad; and that Fernandes was also the name of the architects of Batalha, it becomes difficult not to connect these separate facts together and to jump to the quite unwarrantable conclusion that the four men of the same name may have been related and that one of them, probably Diogo, had given his kinsmen sketches or descriptions on which they founded their designs.
At Beja the church of the Conceição, founded by Dom Manoel's father, has been very much pulled about, but the cornice and parapet with Gothic details, rope mouldings, and twisted pinnacles still show that it also was built when the new Manoelino style was first coming into use.
XIII. Now the greater part of these Moors had been they of Merida, Badajoz, Beja and Evora, and the King was minded to requite them in their own land according to their deeds; and he entered into the heart of their country, carrying with him fire and sword, and pressed them sorely so that they yielded vassalage.