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up the number, though he was not in ground stout as he was. The Abyssioffice; his name was Guebra Mascal, nians know nothing of either wrestling he was a fifter'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 Tigre, which carried fire-arms, that is the face, but his arm not being at freeabout 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 stab, 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 unpromising tript him up, but till then had never countenance ; flat 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 ftruck so viomerit 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 diftinin 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 termidier that he owed his being suffered to nation of this difpute, which was not continue at Gondár; for he was suf. productive 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 Abyffinia, “ 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 Jaughing, 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 threshcome, he will teach you something old and lide-polts of the church door, worth talking of.' They had all drank the steps before the altar, and then reabundantly, and Guebra Mascal had turns hoine : sometimes there is service uttered words that I thought were in in the church, sometimes there is not ; 'contempt I believe, replied I but he takes no notice of the difo peevishly enough, Guebra Malcal, I ference. He rides up Itairs into the should 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 servants throne ; and I have fometimes 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 with you,. Persian carpet. the end of a tallow-candle in my gun
* An officer called Serach Maffery, fhall 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 noite, 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, chases 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 rifing, who fits in judgment every by the throat, and threw him on the Yol, II.
* See page 241.
morning fafting, and after that, about the pond, his face covered with blue eight o'clock, he goes to breakfast." 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 embassy, 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 Rodle the head and plunged them in the water, rigo de Lima, the Portuguese ambalo whether men or women, saying, in his fador, 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 fays, 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, saying, '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 most to which the chaplain and his company thronged at sun-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 singing with a view of bles- nine hours this baptift-general officising 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) pared 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 baptism was most thronged; dium as frozen water, I fear it would after which, when Alvarez t came, the not have contributed much to the inJake was full of holy water, into which terests of religion to have trusted a prieli they had poured oil.
(even an old one) anong so many bold í It should 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, f. 'seen, and Abuna, and their cotton cloth round their middle. I am cottortioths. 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 see 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.
france which, with other extraordinary quali“ I should think, in the first place, ties, their superstition ascribed the power this answer of the king, should have of curing the bite of a mad dog. Had let Alvarez see no baptifu was intended he traced to this source any of the other there; or, if it was a re-baptisin, it only rivulets, which run into the lake of took place in favour of those who had Tzana, it is not unlikely that he might turned Moors, and must therefore have have met with similar instances of crebeen but partial. If this was really duliiy among the ignorant inhabitants the case, what had the king, queen, and of their banks. Yet this would not Abuna to do in it? Sure they had prove any one of them in particular to neither apostatized, nor was the com- be the head of the Nile; which, indeed, pany of apoftates a very creditable fo. from his own and froin preceding maps ciety for them.”
Itance therefore it would have been for " Of the innumerable streams that the king to be fo liberal of his queen's feed ih lake of Tzana, there is one charms, while he covers his own face that ends in a bog, to which Mr. Bruce with blue taffeta ; but to jinagire that was conducted by Woldo, a lying the Abuna, a Coptish monk bred in the guide, who told himn it was the source desert of St. Macarius, would expose of the Nile. Mr. Bruce, in a matter himself naked among naked women, of far less importance, would not have contrary to the usual custom of the taken Woldo's word; but he is per, celebration he observes in his own fuaded that, in this instance, he spoke church, is monstrous, and must exceed truth, because the credulous barbarians ail belief whatever. As the Abuna of the neighbouring district paid fomeMark too was of the reafonable age of thing like worship to this brook; which, one hundred and ten years, he might, at the distance of fourteen miles from I think, have dispensed at that time of its source, is not twenty feet broad, and life with a bathing gown, especially as no where one foot deep; (vol. iii. p. it was froji.
580) and again, (p. 593 of Mr. Bruce, Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit and 194 of this Magazine) he says, it is salvus erit,' says Alvarez. You-lay hardly fit to turn a mill, being less than right, answers the king, as to baptifm ; four yardsover, and not four inches deep. these are the worils of our Saviour; but “ Now, it is almost unnecessary to this present ceremony was lately in- observe, that the natives of that counvented by a grandfather of mine, in try being, according to Mr. Bruce's favour of such as have turned Moors, report, pagans, might be expected to and are desirous again of becoming worship the pure and falutary Atream, to Chriftians.'
of the country, appears, like the hydra, The next matter of importance to have many heads. We Niall not passing over the historical parts of this dispute with Mr. Bruce, that he is the work, which, relating to a barbarous first European that topographically depeople, can be of little importance-is scribes the spot which he marks out for Mr. Bruce's discovery of the Source of this peculiar honour; but to his whole the Nile, and this we have already ex- 13th chapter of book vi. we shall oppo e tracted *. This being the direct object an authority, which our readers of all of Mr. Bruce's celebrated journey, it claffes have an opportunity of consulte may be expected by our readers, that ing. This authority is nothing more we Mhould comment on the credibility learned than the map of Africa, in or incredibility of the expedition ; and the fourth quarto edition of Guthrie's it was our intention to do so : but our Grammar. The reader will there find own reflections on this subject having the head of the Nile laid down in the already been anticipated by a great and nith degree of N. lat. precisely as in respectable critic, we frall give such exó Mr. Bruce's map; he will find the tracts from him as meet our own ideas; river running into, as well as out of, and which may justly be considered as the lake, in the same directions as laid two opinions, confequently less liable to down by Mr. Bruce; and he will then error or partiality. The criiic proceeds-- see it winding its course northward, * See page 193 et seq.
extétly as Mr. Bruce describc3.
“ It would be trifling with the pa. many large rivers which Aow fouth tience of our readers to say one word into Ethiopia, and then, according to more on the question, whether the Por- the inclination of the ground, fall into ruguese jesuits or Mr. Bruce discovered the Indian or Atlantic oceans. Among what they erroneously call the head of those which fall into the latter, Mr. the Nile. Before either they or he had Bruce, vol. iii. p. 724. erroneously indulged themselves in a vain triumph reckons the Niger, which on good over the labours of antiquity, they grounds is believed, (see the proceedought to have been sure that they had ings of the African Association, and effected what antiquity was unable to particularly. Major Rennel's Memoir) accomplish. Now, the river described not to run into the sea, but to lose itself by the jesuit Kircher, (who collected in the sands of Tumbućtoo. Such the information of his brethren) as then, according to the Egyptian priests, well as by Mr. Bruce, is not the Nile is the true and philosophical source of of which the ancients were in quest. the Nile, a source discovered above three This is amply proved by the prince of thousand years ago *; and not, as Mr. modern geographers, the incomparable Bruce and the jefuits have supposed, d'Anville, (at least till our own Ren- the head of a paltry rivulet, one of the nell appeared) in a copious memoir innumerable streams that feed the lake published in the twenty-sixth volume of of Tzana.” the Memoirs of the Academy of Belles We shall now give Mr. Bruce's foLettres, p. 45. To this learned disser- lution of the cause which occasions tation we refer our readers, adding only the overflowing of the Nile. to what M. d'Anville has there ob.
“ The opinion of Democritus was, served, that it seems probable, from that the overflowing of the Nile was Diodorus Siculus, l. i. c. 23. sub init. owing to the sun's attraction of snowy compared with Herodotus, l. ii. c. 28. vapour from the frozen mountains of that the ancients had two meanings the north, which, being carried by the when they spoke of the head wind southward, and thawed by warmer source of the Nile; first, literally, the climates, fell down upon Ethiopia in head or source of that great western deluges of rain ; and the fame is adstream, now called the White River, vanced by Agatharcides, of Cnidus, in which contains a much greater weight his Periplus of the Red Sea. This of waters, and has a much longer opinion of Democritus, Diodorus ate course, than the river described by the tempts to refute, but we shall not join jesuits and Mr. Bruce; and secondly, him in his refutation, because we are metaphorically, the cause, whatever it now perfectly certain, from observawas, of the Nile's inundations. This tion, that Democritus and Agathar. cause they had discovered to be the cides both of them had fallen upon the tropical rains which fall in the extent true causes of the inundation. of 16 deg. on each side of the line, " Whatever were the conjectures which made the Sacristan of Minerva's of the dreamers of antiquity, modern temple at Sais, in Egypt, tell that in- travellers and philosophers, describing quisitive traveller Herodotus, that the without fyftem or prejudice what their waters of the Nile run in two opposite eyes faw, have found, that the inundadirections from its source, north into tion of Egypt has been effected by Egypt, and south into Ethiopia ; and natural means, perfe&tly confonant the reports of all African travellers with the ordinary rules of Providence, serve to explain and confirm this ob- and the laws given for the government fervation. The tropical rains, they of the rest of the universe. They have acknowledge, give rise to the Nile, and found, that the plentiful fall of the all its tributary streams, which Aow tropical rains produced every year at northward into the kingdom of Sen- the same time, by the action of a vionaar, as well as to the Zebec, and to lent fun, has been uniformly, without
*" Long before Herodotus, Homer and fed by raiņs. Vid. Apollon. Lexicon gives to the Ægyptus, or Nile, the epithet Homeri, p. 280, voc. Ab TETEOS." SOITETUS: qui cælitus decidit, a river produced
miracle, the cause of Egypt being re- same purposes; and we are warranted gularly overflowed.
to say this, till we receive from the hand
[To be continued.]
D'ALTON. WRITTEN BETWEEN after some hours, the sky again clears, DECEMBER 1787 AND NOVEMBER with a wind at north, and it is always 1789. FROM THE FRENCH. disagrceably cold when the thermome.
35. ter is below 63 deg.
LETTERS and Memoirs of Princes “ The second thing remarkable is the variation of the thermometer ; the present collection is particularly fo,
are always interesting to the Public; when the sun is in the southern tropic, as being written at a time when Europe 36 deg, distant from the zenith of Gondar, it is seldom lower than 72 deg. even the foundert politicians were be-,
was nearly in a general flame, and when but it falls to 60 and 59 deg, when the wildered in their conjectures. In our fun is immediately vertical; so happily extracts we shall endeavour to give the does the approach of rain compensate
true character of Joseph, in the affair of the heat of a too-scorching sun.
the Netherlands, and at the same tinie, " The third is that remarkable stop preserve his opinion of other important in the extent of the rains northward, political concerns. The Belgians como: when the sun, that has conducted the
plain heavily of the Letters of January vapours from the line, and should seem, now more than ever, to be in poffeffion 30, and February 7, 1788. of them, is here over-ruled suddenly,
• Vienna, Jan. 30, 1788. till, on its return to the zenith of Gerri, My dear general d'Alton, I have again it resumes the absolute command received your letter, and saw with
great over the rain, and reconducts it to the satisfaction the adequate manner in line to furnish disant deluges to the which you made your dispositions on fouthward."
the 22d of January After a variety of reasoning, which
“ It is essential that the public have our limits will not permit us to detail, been convinced that the military will no on the origin of Egypt, Mr. Bruce longer suffer insult; and that they are concludes, “ I hope I have now fatis. determined to maintain, by force of fied the reader, that Egypt was never arms, that which I have a right to dee an arm of the sea, or formed by fedi. mand. ments brought down in the Nile, but
* The Nile rises in the country of these that it was created with other parts of people, who were, once, the most con. the globe at the same time, and for the liderable nation in Abystoia.