Portrait: Sultan Saifuddin of Tidore, Czartoryski Museum, Krakow
“Kesultanan Tidore does not betray its people,” the Sultan waved his hand to dismiss the envoy. “We are not Ternate,” he added, ignoring his advisor’s frown.
The envoy left, stiff-backed, and the Sultan sighed and rose from his seat. It was past time for lunch.
“I do not like the Portuguese any more than I like the Dutch,” he admitted. “Neither have our well-being in mind. But the Spaniards have helped us resist the Dutch’s dogged attempts at making us their puppets. I will not become Ternate.”
“The Sultan speaks wise words,” the advisor bowed. “As for the trade?”
“I will take the Dutch’s payment for the cloves my people grow,” Sultan Saiffudin’s smile was tight, “and I will gift it to my people, whose support I trust more than that of the Dutch East India Company.” His smile dropped. “Make no mistake, the Dutch’s only aim is monopoly.”