Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

it does not appear how any of them eldest son Yafous living below with his could die afterwards, either by the father, no room seemed to remain for fmall-pox or meafles. All that is ma- attempting a revolution, by the young terial, however, to us, in this fact, is, candidates escaping from the mountain. that the time of the liege of Mecca will This oblivion to which they were con. be the æra of the first appearance of that figned, melancholy as it was, proved terrible disease, the finall-pox, which the best state these unhappy prisoners we Mall fet down about the year 356; could have wihed; for to be much and it is highly probable, from other known for either good or bad qualities, circumstances, that the Abyshnian army did always at some period become fatal was the first victim to it.

to

the individuals. Punishment akvays As for the church Abreha built near followed inquiries after a particular the Indian ocean, it continued free from prince; and all messages, questions, or any further insult till the Mahometan visits, at the instance of the king, were conqueft of Arabia Felix, when it was constantly forerunners of the loss of finally destroyed in the Khalifat of life, or amputation of limbs, to these Omar. This is the Abyslinian account, unhappy exiles. To be forgotten, then, and this the Arabian history of the was to be safe ; but this fafety carried War of the Elephant, which are stated very heavy distress along with it. Their as found in the books of the most cre revenues were embezzled by their offidible writers of those times.

cers or keepers, and ill paid by the The remainder of Mr. Bruce's first king: and the sordid temper of Hannes volume is occupied with the following had often reduced them all to the danfubjects--Persecution of the Christians ger of perishing with hunger and cold. in Arabia by the Jews-Their defeat “ Yasous, as he was well acquainted by the Abyllnians–Mahomet's Pre- with all these circumstances, so he was, tenfion to a divine Million--Opinion in his nature and disposition, as perrefpecting the Koran--Revolution un- fectly willing to repair the injuries der Judith, queen of the Abyflinian that were past, and prevent the like in Jiews-And, Restoration of the line of future. Nothing tended so much to Solomon from Shoa.

conciliate the minds of the people to Mr. Bruce opens his second volume their sovereign as this behaviour of with a tranflation of the annals of Yasous. Abyffinia, including a history of that « In the midst of his relations there country from the restoration of the line now appeared (as risen from the dead) of Solomon, to the period of Mr. Bruce's Claudius, son of Socinios, the first ex. arrival in Abyffinia.

ite who was sent to the mountain of In the reign of Yafous I. which Wechné by his brother Facilidas, continued from 1680 to 1704, we find a grandfather of Yasous. singular mark of condescension, which, “. There came from the mountain also it feems, however natural, had never the fons of Facilidas, with their fami. occurred before.

lies; and likewise his own brothers, “ Attended only by his nobility, of Ayto Theophilus, and Ayto Claudius, whom a great number had flocked to "fons of his father Hatzè Hannes. The him, he fat down at the foot of the fight of so many noble relations, fome mountain of Wechné, and ordered all advanced in years, fome in the flower of the princes of the royal family who their youth, and some yet children; were banished, and confined there, to all, however, in tatters, and almoft be brought to him.

naked, made such an impreffion on the “ During the last reign, the mountain young king, that he burst into tears. of Wechně, and thole forlorn princes Nor was his behaviour to the respective that lived upon it, had been, as it were, degrees of them less proper or engaging, totally forgotten *. Hannes having To the old he paid that reverence and fons of an age fit to govern, and his respect due to parents; to those about

* It is a custom in Abyssinia to confine or as interest prevails.- In the kingdom of all the younger branches of the royal family Senaar, all the brothers of the prince who to some mountain; from whence a fucceffor succeeds, are murdered, unless they are for. to the crown is called, lometimes as policy tunate enough to escape to Abyflinia,

bis

his own age, a kind and liberal fainili- with tears fowing from sensible and arity; while he bestowed upon the thankful hearts; and all the mountain young ones carefles and commenda- relounded with prayers for the long life tions, sweetened with the hopes that and prosperity of the king, and that ihe they might fee better times.

crown niight never leave the lineal de • His first care was to provide them scendants of his family. It was very all plentifully with apparel and every remarkable, that, during this long neceffary. His brothers he drefled like reign, though he was constantly inhimself, and his uncles ftill more richly. volved in war, no competitor from the He then divided a large sum of money mountain ever appeared in breach of among them all.

those vows they had so voluntarily un. “ In the month of December, which dertaken.'': is the pleasantest season of the whole We cannot pass over a singular inyear, the fun being moderately hot, the stance of excellive affection which Ya. sky constantly clear and without a cloud, sous discovered for his mistress, Ozoro all the court was encainped under the Kedultè.

“ It happened, while he mountain, and the inferior Sort it rewed was watching the motions of the Galla, along the grass. All were treated at news were brought that Ozoro Kęduftè the expence of the king, passing the day had been taken ill of a fever; and and night in continual festivats. It is though, upon this intelligence, he disa but right, said the king, that I Mould posed his affairs fo as to return with all pay for a pleasure, so great that none of possible expedition, yet when he came to my predecessors ever dared to taste it ; Bercanté, the lady's house, he found and of all that noble assembly, none that he was not only dead, but had feemed to enjoy it more sincerely than been for fome time buried. All his the king. All pardons solicited for presence of mind now left him; he fell criminals at this time were granted. into the most violent transport of wild In this manner having spent a whole, despair, and, ordering her tomb to be month, before his departure the king opened, he went down into it, taking called for the deftar, (i. e. the treasury his three sons along with him, and be. book) in which the account of the Sum came fo frantic at the sight of the corpse, allowed for the maintenance of these that it was with the utmost difficulty, prisoners is stated; and having inquired he could be forced again to leave the Itrictly into the expenditure, and can. fepulchre. He returned first to Goncelled al grants that had been made of dar, then he retired to an island in the any part of that sum to others, and pro-, Jake Tzana, there to mourn his loft vided in future for the full, as well as inistress. yearly payment of it, he, for his last act, " It has been said, contrary to all gave to the governor of the mountain a truth, by those who have wrote travels large accession of territory, to make him into this country, that fons born in ample amiends for the lots of the dues marriage had the fame preference in he was understood to be intitled to from succession as they have in other coun. that revenue. After this, he embraced tries. But this, as I have said, is enthem all, alluring them of his constant tirely without foundation : for, in the protection; and, mounting his horse, first place, there is no such thing as a he took the keeper along with him, regular marriage in Abyssinia; all.conleaving all the royal family at their li- fifts in mere consent of parties, .

But, berty at the foot of the mountain. : allowing this to be regular, not only

" This last mark of confidence, more, natural children, that is, those born in than all the rest, touched the minds of, concubinage where no marriage was in that noblę troop, who hurried every contemplation; and adulterous, basman with his utmost speed to restore tards, that is, the sons of unmarried themselves voluntarily to their melan-, women by married men ; and all man, choly prison, imputing every moment ner of fons whatever, succeed equally of delay as a hep towards treason and as well to the crown as to private inhe ingratitude to their munificent, com- ritance; and there cannot be a more paifionate, and magnanimous bene . clear example of this than in the present factor.. All their way was moistened king, 'who, although he had a son, VOL. II,

Ra

Tecla

Tecla Haimanout, born of the queen Tecla Haimanout, but in every respect Malacotavit in wedlock, was yet fuc- conformable to that of the monks of ceeded by three bastard brothers, all Gojam, followers of Abba Eustathius, fons of Yasous, born in adultery, that and that of the iteghè, Malacotawit, is, in the life of the queen, David and Dermin, and Paulos. A violent cla. Hannes were fous of the king by his mour was instantly raised against the favourite Ozoro Keduftè ; Bacuffa, by king by the priests of Debra Libanos, another lady of quality.

as having fortaken the religious princi" Although the queen, Malacotawit, ples of his predeceffors. But the king had paffed over with seeming indif was inflexible; and chis ingratiated him ference the preference the king had more with the inhabitants of Gojam. given his mistress, Ozoro Keduftè, du• Not many days after, the king arrested ring her lifetime, yet, from a very the master of the horfe, Johannes Pa. unaccountable kind of jealousy, the lambaras, the Betwudet Tigi, and secould not forgive thofe violent tokens veral others, all fuppofed to be conof affection the king had fhewn after eerned in the murder of the late king, her death, by going down with his song and confined them in several places and and remaining with the body in the prifons. grave. Full of resentment for this, the • This laft a&tion of the king en bad perfuaded her son, Tecla Haiman- tirely relieved the minds of al] the out, that Yasous had determined to de- friends of Tecla Haimanoot from any prive him of his fucceffion, to fend him further fear of being called to account and her, his mother, both to Wechnè, for the murder of Yalous; and, in conand place his bastard brother, David, fon fequence of this, the queen Malocoof Ozoro Keduftè, upon the throne. tawir, with trer brothers Dermin and

" It was therefore agreed to fend a Paulus, and all the murderers of the message to Yasous by a common foldier, late king Yafous, came to Gondar that informing him, that he would do well fame winter to do homage to Theophito retire to some convent for the re- lus, whom they now thought their mainder of his life, and leave the go- greatest protector. vernment in the hands of his fon Tecla " But the wife and fagasious king: Haimanout. The anfwer of Yasous had kept his secret in his own bofom. may be easily conceived; he advanced, All his behaviour hitherto had been at the head of his army, to quell this only diflimulation, to induce his broinsurrection ; but in his march through ther's murderers to come within his the low country of Dembea, was at. power. And no sooner did he fee tacked by a putrid fever. This fur- that he had succeeded in this, than the pended his operation; and the queen, very first day, while they were yet at hearing of the circumstance, privately audience, he ordered an officer, in his dispatched two of her brothers, Dermin own presence, to arrest first the queen, and Paulus, properly attended, to the and then her two brothers Dermin and place where the king lay ill, two of Paulus. He gave the fame directions whom Thot and disabled him while concerning the rest of the confpirators, Sitting on a couch, while Dermin thrust who were all feattered about Gondary him through with a sword.”

eating, drinking, and fearing nothing, Haimanout, in his turn, after reign- but rejoicing at the happy days they ing two years, was afraffinated by the had promised themselves, and were now friends of Yalous, while on a hunting. co fee: he ordered the whole of them, party ; in consequence of which, The amounting to thirty-seven persons, maophilus, brother to the late king Yafous, ny of thefe of the firft rank, to be al}. was chofen to reign.

executed that same forenoon, « Theophilus, a few days after his “ He began with the queen, who was coronation, having called the whole taken immediately from his prefence, court and clergy together, declared to and hanged by the common hangman thein, that his faith upon the disputable on the tree before the palace gate; the point concerning our Saviour's incare first of her rank, it is believed, that dation was different from that of his ever died fo vile a death, either in brother Yafous, or that of bis pephew Abyffinia or any other country, the

historie

[ocr errors]

history of which has come down to our rous in the pools of the stagnant rivers,
hands. Dermin and Paulus were first Where this flat belt, or country, i6
carried to the tree to see their fitter's. broadest, the trees thickelt, and the
execution; after which, one after the water in the largelt pools, there the
other, they were shrust through with most powerful nations lives who have
Iwords, the weapon with which they often defeated the royal army of Abys-
had wounded the late king Yalous, finia, and constantly laid waste, and
But the two Mahometans were Daot sometimes nearly conquered, the pro-
with mukkets, it having been in that vinces of Tigré and Siré, the most war-
manner they had ended the late King's like and most populous part in Abyfo.
life, after Dermin had wounded him linia.
with a sword. As they had committed " The most confiderable settlement
high treason, none of the bodies of of this nation is at Amba Tzaada, be-
thele t:aitors were allowed to be buried; tween the Mareb and Tacazzè, but
they were hewn in small pieces with nearer by one-third to the Mareb, and
knives, and strewed about the streets, almost N. W. from Dobarwa. These
to be eat by the hyænas and dogs ; people, who have a variety of venison,
a most barbarous and offensive custom, kill it in the fair months, and hang it
to which they strictly adhere to this up, cut into thongs as thick as a man's
very day."

thumb, like so many ropes, on the Under the reign of the next king, trees around them. The sun dries and Mr. Bruce takes occasion to speak of hardens it to a consistence almost like the Shangalla, a nation of blacks, who leather, or the hardeft fill sent from inhabit the Kolla, or low country of Newfoundland. This is their provision Abyssinia.

for the winter months : they first beat « The Shangalla were formerly a it with a wooden mallet, then boil it, very numerous people, divided into after which they roast it upon the emdistinct tribes, or, as it is called, dif. bers; and it is hard enough after it ferent nations, living each separately in has undergone all those operations. distinct territories, each under the go “ The Dobenah, the most powerful vernment of the chief of its own name, of all the Shangalla, who have a speciesand each family of that name under the of supremacy or command over all the jurifdi&tion of its own chief, or head. rest of the nations, live altogether upon

These Shangalla, during the fair the elephant or rhinoceros. In other half of the year, live under the shade of countries, where there is less water, trees, the lowest branches of which they fewer trees, and more grafs, the Shancut near the item on the upper part, and galla feed chiefly upon more promiscuthen bend, or break them down, plant- ous kinds of food, as buffaloes, deer, ing the ends of the branches in the boars, lions, and serpents. These are earth. These branches they cover with the nations nearer the Tacazzè, Ras el the skins of wild beasts. After this Feel, and the plains of Sirè in Abysthey cut away all the small or superflu. finia, the chief of which nations is ous branches in the inside, and so form called Baasa. And fill farther welt a spacious pavilion, which at a distance of the Tacazzè, and the valley of Walappears like a tent, the tree serving for dubba, is a uribe of these, who live the pole in the middle of it, and the chiefly upon the crocodile, hippopota. large top overshadowing it so as to make mus, and other fish ; and, in the suma very picturesque appearance. iner, upon locusts, which they boil first,

“ Every tree then is a house, under and afterwards keep dry in baskets which live a multitude of black inha- most curiously made with split branches. bitants until the tropical rains begin. of trees, so closely woven together as to It is then they hunt the elephant, which contain water almost as wellas a wooden they kill by, many various devices, as veflel. they do the rhinoceros and the other “ This soil, called by the Abyffilarge, creatures. Those, who reside nians Mazaga, when wet by the tropiwhere water abounds, with the same cal rains, and dissolving into mire, industry kill the hippopotami, or river. forces these savages to seek for vinterhorses, which are exceedingly nume. quarters. Their tents under the trees

being no longer tenable, they retire west, are obliged to pay a certain numwith their respective foods, all dried in ber of Naves. the sun, into caves dug into the heart of “ When a settlement of these is fur. the mountains, which are not in this prised, the men are all laughtered; the country basaltes, marble, or alabaster, women, also, are many of them llain, as is all that ridge which runs down many throw themselves down preciinto Egypt along the fide of the Red pices, run mad, hang themselves, of Sea, but are of a soft, gritty, sandy itarve, obstinately refusing food. ftone, easily excavated and formed into “ The boys and girls under feven. different apartments. Into these, made teen and eighteen years of age, (the generally in the steepest part of the younger the better) are taken and edumountain, do these lavages retire to cated by the king, and are fervants in Mun the rains, living upon the Acth all the great houses of Abyssinia. They they have already prepared in the fair are instructed early in the Christian weather.

religion ; and the tallest, handsomest, “ I cannot give over the account of and best inclined, are the only servants the Shangalla without delivering them that attend the royal person in his pa. again out of their caves, because this lace. return includes the history of an ope “ The Shangalla have several wives, ration never heard of perhaps in Eu. and these very prolific. They bring rope, and by which considerable light is forth children with the utmost ease, and thrown upon ancient history. No sooner never rest or confine themselves after does the fun pass the zenith, going delivery, but washing themselves and fouthward, than the rains instantly the child with cold water, they wrap it cease; and the thick canopy of clouds, up in a soft cloth made of the bark of which had obscured the sky during their trees, and hang it upon a branch, that continuance, being removed, the fun the large ants, with which they are inappears in a beautiful sky of pale blue, fested, and the serpents may not devour dappled with small thin clouds, which it. After a few days, when it has gafoon after disappear, and leave the thered strength, the mother carries it heavens of a most beautiful azure. A in the same cloth upon her back, and very few days of the intense heat then gives it fuck with the breast, which the dries the ground fo perfectly, that it throws over her shoulder, this part be. gapes in chasms; the grass, ftruck at ing of such a length as, in some, to The roots by the rays, supports itself no reach almost to their knees! more, but droops and becomes parched. « The Shangalla have but one lanTo clear this away, the Shangalla fet guage, and of a very guttural pronunfive to it, which runs with incredible ciation. They worship various trees,, violence the whole breadth of Africa, serpents, the moon, planets, and stars palling under the trees, and following in certain positions, which I never the dry grass among the branches with could so perfectly understand as to give such velocity as not to hurt the trees, any account of them. A'ftar pafling but to occasion every leaf to fall, rear the horns of the moon denotes the

"A proper distance is preserved be- coming of an enemy. They have priests, tween each habitation, and round the or rather diviners; but it should seein principal watering-places ; and here that these were looked upon as servants the Shangalla again fix their tents in of the evil-being, rather than of the the manner before described. Nothing good. They prophecy bad events, and can be more beautiful than thefe shady think they can afflict their enemies with habitations; but they have this fatal fickness, even at a distance. They ge. effect, that they are discernible from nerally wear copper bracelets upon their the high grounds, and guide their ene- wrists and arms.. mies to the places inhabited.

“ I have said the Shangalla have each • The country now cleared, the several ivives.' This, however, is not hunting begins, and, with the hunting, owing to any inordinate propensity of the danger of the Shangalla. All the the men to this gratification, but to a governors bordering upon the country, much nobler caule, which should make from the Baharnagalh to the Nile on the European writers, who object this to

them,

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »