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at court.

where he meets with some antiquities, Mr. Bruce luckily arrived at Gondar supposed to be the works of the Pto- just at the time when the king and ihe lemies. After quitting this city, Mr. ras Michael *, his prime minister, had Bruce and his retinue pass the Wale obtained a complete victory over a fordubba, or valley of byænas. This midable rehel named Tazel. This deterritory is entirely inhabited by the scription of the king's entrance into his monks, who, for mortification's fake, capital, is worthy notice. have retired to this unwholesome, hot, « The next day, after the engagement, and dangerous country, voluntarily to the army marched into the town in spend their lives in penitence, medita- triumph, and the ras at the head of the tion, and prayer. This, too, is the troops of Tigré. He was bareheaded; only retreat of great men in disgrace or over his shoulders, and down to his in disgust. These first shave their hair, back, hung a pallium, or cloak, of and put on a cowl like the monks, re black velvet, with a silver fringe. A nouncing the world for folitude, and boy, by his right ftirrup, held a silver taking vows which they resolve to keep wand of about five feet and a half long, no longer than exigencies require ; af. much like the staves of our great officers ter which they return to the world

Behind him all the soldiers, again, leaving their cowl and sanctity who had sain an enemy and taken the in Waldubba.

spoils from them, had their lances and “ These monks are held in great ve firelocks ornamented with fmall Ihreds neration ; are believed by many to have of scarlet cloth, one piece for every man the gift of prophecy, and some of them he had Nain. to work miracles, and are very active “ One thing remarkable in this ca. instruments to ftir up the people in time valcade, which I observed, was the headof trouble. Those that I have seen dress of the governors of provinces. A out of Waldubba in Gondar, and large broad fillet was bound upon their about Kofcam, never shewed any great forehead, and tied behind their head. marks of abstinence; they are and In the middle of this was a horn, or a drank every thing without scruple, and conical piece of filver, gilt, about four in large quantities too. They say they inches long, much in the shape of our live otherwise in Waldubbà, and per common candle extinguishers. This haps it may be fo. There are women, is called kirn, or horn, and is only worn allo, whom we should call Nuns, who, in reviews or parades after victory. though not residing in Waldubba, go This I apprehend, like all other of at times thither, and live in a famili- their usages, is taken from the He. arity with these faints, that has very brews, and the several allusions made in little favour of spirituality; and many fcripture to it arise from this practice :of these, who think the living in com- "I said unto fools, Deal not foolishly; munity with this holy fraternity has and to the wicked, Lift not up the not in it perfection enough to satisfy horn Lift not up your horn on high; their devotion, retire, one of each sex, speak not with a stiff neck + - For a hermit and a nun, sequestering them- promotion cometh, &c.—But my selves for months, to'eat herbs together horn shalt thou 'exalt like the horn of in private upon the top of the moun- an' unicorn'-—' And the horn of tlje tains. These, on their return, are shewn righteous shall be exalted with honour.' as miracles of holiness,—lean, ener- And so in many other places throughvated, and exhausted. Whether this out the Psalms. is wholly to be laid to the charge of “ Next to these came the king, with the herbs, is more than I will take upon a fillet of white muslin about three me to decide, never having been at

+ The crooked manner in which they these retirements of Waldubba."

hold their neck when this ornament is on * This man was governor of Tigré, in their forehead, for fear it should fall for. the plenitude of power on Mr. Bruce's ward, perfe&tly shews the meaning of speakarrival; but afterwards overpowered ing with a stiff neck, when you hold the and banished. He poisoned the last, and horn on high, or erect like the horn of the wholly ruled the present king.


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the ras.

inches broad, binding his forehead, of the heavens : other countries are tied with a large double knot behind, not like this, though this was never so and hanging down about two feet on bad as it is now. These wretches here his back. About him were the great are enemies to strangers ; if they saw officers of state, such of the young no. you alone in your own parlour, their bility as were without command; and first thought would be how to murder after these, the household troops." you; though they knew they were to

The finall pox raged at Gondar on get nothing by it, they would murder Mr. Bruce's arrival; and the prielts you for mere mischief.' "The devil is having failed to 'expel the disorder by strong in them,' says a voice from a their prayers, our author, who knew corner of the room, which appeared to something of physic, undertook a few be that of a priest. • Therefore,' says patients, particularly Ayto Confu, fon the ras, after a long conversation of Ozoro Esther, who was then wife of with your friend Aylo, whose advice

I hear you happily take, as indeed we Mr. Bruce's introduction to the mi- all do, I have thought that situation beft nister and the king is curious. “We which leaves you at liberty to follows went in and saw the old man sitting your own designs, at the same time upon a sofa; his white hair was dressed that it puts your person in safety ; that in many short curls. He appeared to you will not be troubled with monks be thoughtful, but not displeased; his about their religious matters, or in face was lean, his eyes quick and vivid, danger from these rascals that may seek but seemed to be a little fore from ex. to murder


for money.' posure to the weather. He seemed to " What are the monks?' says the be about fix feet high, though his fame voice from the corner;

6 the lameness made it difficult to guess with monks will never meddle with such a accuracy. His air was perfectly free man as this.'— Therefore the king; from conftraint, what the French call continued the ras, without taking any degageé. In face and perfon he was notice of the interruption, liker my learned and worthy friend, pointed you baalomaal, and to come the count de Buffon, than any two men I mand the Koccob horse, which I thought ever sawy in the world. They must have to have given to Francis, an old soldier been bad physiognomists that did not of mine ; but he is poor, and we will difcern his capacity and understand- provide for him better, for these aping by his very countenance. Every pointments have honour, but little prolook conveyed a sentiment with it: he fit.” “Sir,' says Francis, who was in seemed to have no occasion for other presence, but behind, it is in much language, and indeed he spoke little. more honourable hands than either I offered, as usual, to kiss the ground mine or the Armenian's, or any other before him; and of this he seemed to white man's, since the days of Hatzè take little notice, stretching out his Menas, and so I told the king' hand and shaking mine upon my rising. Very well, Francis,' says the ras;

" I sat down with Aylo, three or • it becomes a soldier to speak the four of the judges, Petros, Heikel the truth, whether it makes for or against queen's chamberlain, and an azage himself. Go then to the king, and from the king's house, who whispered kiss the ground upon your appointsomething in his ear, and went out; I see you have already learned which interruption prevented me from this ceremony of our's ; Aylo and speaking as I was prepared to do, or Heikel are very proper persons to go give him my present, which a man held with you. The king expressed his furbehind me. He began gravely, “ Ya- prise to me last night he had not seen goube, I think that is your naine, hear you; and there too is Tecla Mariam, what I say to you, and mark what I the king's secretary, who came with recommend to

You are a man,


your appointment from the palace toam tóid, who make it your business to day.' The man in the corner, that I wander 'in the fields in search after took for a priest, was this Tecla Ma. trees and grafs'in Tólitary places, and to riam, a scribe. Out of the king's prefar up'all night alone looking at the stars fence, men of this order cover their

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heads, as do the priests, which was the tience to the utmost. At last, Ayto reafon of my mistake.

Aylo stole away to bed, and every body “ I then gave him a present, which elle after him, except those who had ke fcarce looked at, as a number of accompanied me, who were ready to die people were prefing in at the door from with thirst, and drop down with weari. curiosity or bufiness.

nefs. It was agreed by those that were “ I went afterwards to the king's out of fight, to fend Tecla Mariam to palace, and met Aylo and Heikel at the whisper in the king's ear, that I had door of the presence-chamber. Tecla not been well, which he did, but no Mariam walked before us to the foot of notice was taken of it. It was now the throne ; after which I advanced and past ten o'clock, and he thewed no profrated myself upon the ground. inclination to go to bed. • I have brought you a servant,' says “ Hitherto, while there were strangers be to the king, 5 from fo distanta in the room, he had spoken to us by an country, that if you ever let him escape, officer called Kal Hatzé, the voice or we shall never be able to follow him, word of the king ; but now, when there or know where to seek him.' This was were nine or ten of us, his menial ferSaid facetioufly by an old familiar ser- vants, only present, he uncovered his vant; but the king made , no reply, as face and mouth, and spoke himfelf. far as we could guess, for his mouth Sometimes it was about Jerufalem, was covered, nor did he Mew any alter- sometimes about horses, at other times ation of countenance. Five people were about shooting; again about the Indies; ftanding on each fide of the throne, all how far I could look into the heaven's young men, three on his left, and two with my telescopes: and all these were on his right. One of these, the son of deliberately and circumstantially re

Tecla Mariam, (afterwards my great peated, if they were not pointedly anfriend) who stood uppermost on the left swered. I was absolutely in despair, hand, came up, and taking hold of me and scarcely able to speak a word, inby the hand, placed me immediately wardly mourning the hardness of my above him; when seeing I had no knife lot in this my first preferment, and in my girdle, he pulled out his own fincerely praying it might be my last and gave it to me. Upon being placed, promotion in this court. At last all I again kissed the ground.

the Greeks began to be impatient, and • The king was in an alcove ; the got out of the corner of the room behind reft went out of light from where the the alcove, and stood immediately be. throne was, and fat down. The usual fore the throne. The king seemed to questions now began about Jerufalem be astonished at seeing them, and told and the holy places where my country them he thought they had all been at was? which it was impossible to de- home long ago. They said, however, fcribe, as they knew the situation of no they would not go without me ; which country but their own 1-why I came fo the king säid could not be, for one of fari-whether the moon and the stars, the duties of my employment was to be but especially the moon, was the same charged with the door of his bed-chamin my country as in their's ?-and a ber that night. great many such idle and tiresome ques “ I think I could almost have killed tions. I had several times offered to him in that instant. At laft Ayto take my prefent from the man who held Heikel, taking courage, came forward it, that I might offer it to his majesty to him, pretending a message from the and go away; but the king always queen, and whispered him something in made a sign to put it off, rill, being the ear, probably that the ras would tired to death with standing, I leaned take it ill. He then laughed, faid he against the wall. Aylo was fast alleep, thought we had supped, and dismissed us. and Ayto Heikel and the Greeks curfing “ We went all to supper in violent their master in their heart for spoiling rage, such anger as is usual with hun. the good supper that Anthulè, his trea- gry men. We brought with us from furer, had prepared for us. This, as the palace three of my brother baalowe afterwards found out, the king very maals *, and one who had stood to make well knew, and refolved to try our pas * Gentlemen of the bed-chamber,


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up the number, though he was not in ground stout as he was. The Abyssi.
office; his name was Guebra Mafcal, nians know nothing of either wrestling
he was a lifter's son of the ras, and or boxing. He drew his knife as he
commanded one third of the troops of was falling, attempted to cut me in
Tigré, which carried fire-arms, that is the face, but his arm not being at free-
about two thousand men. He was re- dom, all he could do was to give me a
puted the best officer of that kind that very trifling ftab, or wound, near the
the ras had, and was a man about crown of the head, so that the blood
thirty years of age, short, square, and trickled down over my face. I had
well made, with a very unpromiling tript him up, but till then had never
countenance ; fat nose, wide mouth, ftruck him." I now wretted the knife
of a very yellow complexion, and much from him with a full intention to kill
pitted with the small.pox; he had a him ; but Providence directed better.
most uncommon presumption upon the Instead of the point, I struck so vio-
merit of past services, and had the lently with the handle upon his face as
greatest opinion of his own knowledge to leave scars, which would be diltin-
in the use of fire-arms, to which he did guilhed even among the deep marks of
not scruple to say ras Michael owed all the small-pox."
his vi&ories. Indeed it was to the good Many of the succeeding pages are
opinion that the ras had of him as a sole occupied with the progress and termi-
dier that he owed his being suffered to nation of this dispute, which was not
continue at Gondár ; for he was fufproductive of any very ill consequences.
pected to have been familiar with one of The tenth chapter is wholly employed
his uncle's wives in Tigré, by whom it by a geographical division of Abyffi.,
was thought he had a child, at least the nia into provinces, which we must beg
ras put away his wife, and never owned

to pass over. In the next, Mr. Bruce the child to be his.

defcribes a bloody banquet in Abyssinia, “ This man supped with us that which we have already extracted *. night, and thence began one of the The king's manner of going and remolt serious affairs I ever had in Abyf- turning from church is curious. “The finia. Guebra Mascal, as usual, vaunt- king goes to church regularly, his ed incessantly his skill in fire-arms, the guards taking possession of every avenue wonderful gun that he had, and feats and door through which he is to pass, he had done with it. Petros said, and nobody is allowed to enter with laughing, to him, 'You have a genius him, becaute he is then on foot, exfor Thooting, but you have had no op- cepting two officers of his bed-chamber portunity to learn. Now, Yagoube is who support him. He kisses the threshcoine, he will teach you something old and side-poits of the church door, worth talking of. They had all drank the steps before the altar, and then reabundantly, and Guebra Mascal had turns hone: sometimes there is service uttered words that I thought were in in the church, sometimes there io not ; 'contempt of me. I believe, replied I but he takes no notice of the difpeevithly enough, Guebra Malcal, I ference. He rides up stairs into the fhould suspect, froin your discourse, presence-chamber on a mule, and lights you neither knew men nor guns ; every immediately on the carpet before his gun of mine in the hands of my fervants throne ; and I have sometimes seen Thall kill twice as far as your's, for my great indecencies committed by the faid own, it is not worth my while to put a mule in the presence-chamber, upon a ball in it: when I compare


carpet. the end of a tallow-candle in my gun

* An officer called Serach Maffery, shall do more execution than an iron with a long whip, begins cracking and ball in the best of your's, with all the making a noise, worse than twenty skill and experience you pretend to. French poftillions, at the door of the

“ He said I was a Frank, and a liar, pulace before the dawn of day. This and, upon my immediately riling up, chales away the hyæna and other wild he gave me a kick with his foot. I beaiis ; this, too, is the signal for the was quite blind with passion, seized him king's rising, who fits in judgment every · by the throat, and threw him on the YOL, II.

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* See page 241.

morning fafting, and after that, about the pond, his face covered with blue eight o'clock, he goes to breakfaft." taffeta, while an old man, who was the

We cannot pass over a ceremony of king's tutor, was standing in the water this country *, which Mr. Bruce, in up to the Moulders, naked. as he was part, has quoted from Alvarez, chap- born, and half dead with cold, for it lain to the Portuguese embally, under had frozen violently in the night. All don Roderigo de Lima.

those that came near him, he took by « The king had invited don Rode- the head and plunged them in the water, rigo de Lima, the Portuguese ambalo whether men or women, saying, in his sador, to be present at the celebration of own language, I baprize thee in the the festival of the Epiphany. They name of the Father, Son, and Holy went about a mile and a half from their Ghoft. former station, and encamped upon the “ The baptism, Alvarez says, began fide of a pond which had been prepared at midnight, and the old tutor, dipt for the occasion. Alvarez fays, that, every perion under water, taking him in their way, they were often asked by by the head, faying, 'I baptize thee in those they met or overtook, 'Whether the name of the Father, of the Son, and or not they were going to be baptized' of the Holy Ghost. It was molt to which the chaplain and his company thronged at fun-rife, and ended about answered in the negative, as having nine o'clock; a long time for an old been already once baptized in their man to stand in frozen water. childhood.

“ The number (as women were pro• In the night, says he, a great num miscuously admitted) could not be less ber of priests assembled about the pond, than forty thousand; fo that even the roaring and finging with a view of blet- nine hours this baptift-general officifing the water. After midnight the ated, he must have had exercise enough baptism began. The Abuna Mark, to keep him warm, if forty thousand, the king and queen, were the first (many of them naked beauties) palled that went into the lake; they had each through his hands, a piece of cotton cloth about their mid " The women were stark naked be. dle, which was just so much more than fore the men, not even a rag about the rest of the people had. At the sun- them. Without some fuch proper me. riling the baptisin was most thronged; dium as frozen water, I fear it would after which, when Alvarez t came, the not liave contributed much to the inlake was full of holy water, into which terests of religion to have trusted a priest they had poured oil.

(even an old one) among so many bold “ It hould seem, from this outset of and naked beauties, especially as he had his narrative, that he was not at the lake the first fix hours of them in the dark. till the ceremony was half over, and did “ The Abuna, the king, and queen, not see the benediction of the water at were the three first baptised, all three all, nor the curious exhibition of the being absolutely naked, having only a Ring, k 'een, and Abuna, and their cotton cloth round their middle. I am cotton lioths. As for the circumstance sure there never could be a greater of the oil being poured into the water, deviation from the manners of any I will not positively contradict it, for, kingdom, than this is from those of though I was early there, it might have Abyffinia. The king is always coverescaped me if it was done in the dark. ed; you seldom fee any part of him However, I never heard it mentioned as but his eyes. The queen and every part of the ceremony; and it is proba- woman in Abyssinia, in public and ble I should, if any such thing was private, (I mean where nothing is in. really practised; neither was I in time tended but conversation) are covered to have seen it at Kahha.

to the chin. It is a disgrace to them " Before the pond a scaffold was to have even their feet seen by strangers ; built, covered round with planks, with, and their arms and hands are concealed in which fat the king looking towards even to their nails. A curious circum. This author calls it a baptismal cere.

+ Vide Alvarez's narrative in his account, mony, but Mr. Bruce denics its affinity to of the embally of don Roderigo de Lima, baptism

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