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In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 177 1, 1772, and 1773. 



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•So/a ^>o/£/? Z.*7>jtf turbam praflare 'malorum, 
Ut deceat fugijfe viros. 

Lucan, lib. ix. 





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O F T H E 







Return from the Source of the Nile by Mait/Jja — Come to the Houfc 
of Welled Amlac — Reception there — Pafs the Nile at Delakus — 
Arrive at Gondar ± P. I 


FafiVs infidious Behaviour — Arrival at Gondar — Kingpaffes the 7ia- 
tazze — Iteghe and Socinios fly from Gondar ', 3® 

Vol. IV. a CHAP* 



The Author joins the Army at Mariam-Ohha— —Reception there — Uni- 
verfal Terror on the Approach of the Army— Several great Men of 
the Rebels apprehended and executed — Great Hardnefs of the King's 
Hearty P. 54 


The King promifes Leave to the Author to depart — Receives a Rein- 
forcement from Shoa — Amiable Carriage of Amha Yafous — Stri- 
king Contrajl between him and a Prince of the Galla — Bad State 
of the King's Affairs y 87 


Rebel Army approaches Gondar—Klng marches out of Gondar-— Takes 
Pojl at Serbraxos — The Author returns to Gondar with Confu f 
wounded^ no 




Michael attempts to enter Begemder — Firfl Battle of Serbraxos — The 
Rebels offer Battle to the King in the Plain — Armies feparated by 
a violent Storm ', P. 13S 


King offers Battle to the Rebels in the Plain — Defcription of the fe- 
cond Battle of Serbraxos— Rafh Conducl^and narrow Efcape of the 
King — Both Armies keep the Ground, 159 


King rewards his Officers — 'The Author again perfecuted by Guebr* 
Mafcal— Great Difpleafure of the King — the Author and Gue- 
bra Mafcal are reconciled and rewarded — 'Third Battle of Ser- 
braxos, 181 

a 2 CHAP. 



Interview with Gvfho in his Tent— Conver/ation and Inter ejiing Tn~ 
telligence there— Return to the Camp— King s Army returns to 
Gondar — Great Conffion in that "Night's March, P. 204;. 

C H A P. X. 

Rebel Army inveJIs Gondar — King s Troops deliver up their Arms 
— The Murderers of Joas put to death — Gufho made Ras — -Ras 
Michael carried away Prifoner by Powi/JJen-^—Iteghe returns to 
Ko/cam — Fa til arrives at Gondar — King acknowledged by all Par- 
ti/' Bad Con duel of Gufho — Obliged to fy, but is taken and put 

in Irons, 229 


7 he Author obtains Liberty to return Home — Takes Leave of the Iteghe 
at Kofcam* — Lajt Interview with the Monks, 249, 






jfoumey from Gondar to < Tcherkin i P. 271 


Reception at ^Tcherkin by Ozoro Eftber, &C. — Hunting of the Ele~ 
phant, Rhinoceros^ and Buffalo y 293 

C H A P. III. 

From Tcherkin to Hor-Cacamot in Ras el Feel, — Account of it-~-Tran- 
f actions there \ 313 




From Hor-Cacamot to Teawa, Capital of Atbara, ^** 333 


Tranfatlions at Teawa — Attempts of the Shekb to detain the Author 
there — Adminifcrs Medicines to him and his Wives — Various Con- 
verfations with bint, and Infances of his Treachery, $$$ 


Tranfatlions at Teawa continued — A Moullah and Sherrifjfe arrive 
from Bey la — News from Ras el ft el and Seunaar — An Eclipfe of 
the Moon — Leave Teawa, 384 


Arrival at Beyla — Friendly reception there, and after, amongjl the 
Nuba — Arrival at Sennaar, 408 




Converfation with the King — With Shekh Adelan — Interview with 
the Kings Ladies, &c. P. 429 


Conventions with Achmei — Hiflory and Government of Sennaar— 
Heat — Difeafes — Trade of that Country — The Author s diflreffed 
Situation — Leaves Sennaar^ 455 


Journey from Sennaar to Chendi, 500 


Reception at Chendi by Sittina — Converfations with her — Enter the 
Defert — Pillars of moving Sand*— The Simoom*— Latitude of 
Chiggre, 529 




Diftrejfes in the Defert — Meet with Arabs — Camels die Baggage 

abandoned — Come to Syene, P. 562 


Kind Reception at AJfouan — Arrival at Cairo~~JTranfaclions with 
the Bey there--" Land at Marfeilles, 602 











"Return from the Source of the Nile by Maitfha — Come to the Houfe of 
. Welled Amlac — Reception there- — Ptifs the Nile at Delakus — Arrive 
at Gondar, 

IT was on the 10th of November 1770 we left Geefh in 
our return to Gondar, and pafled the Abay, as before* 
under the church of Saint Michael Sacala. We defcended 
the hill through the wood, crofled the river Davola, and 
that night halted at a few huts, called Dembea, on the 
north-eafl fide of the entrance of a valley. 
Vol. IV. A On 


On the nth we continued our journey in our former 
road, till we arrived at the church of Abbo ; we then 
turned to the right, our courfe N. by E. and at three quar- 
ters paft nine refted under the mountain on the right of 
the valley ; our road lay flill through Goutto, but the coun- 
try here is neither fo well inhabited nor fo pleafant as the 
weft fide of the Nile. At eleven, going N. N. E. we pafTed 
the church of Tzion, about an eight part of a mile diftant 
to E. N. E. ; we here have a diftinel view of the valley thro* 
which runs the Jemma, deep, wide, and full of trees, which 
continue up the fides of the mountains Amid Amid. At a 
quarter paft eleven we pafTed a fmall ftream coming from 
the weft, and at twelve another very dangerous river called 
Utchmi, the ford of which is in the midft of two cataracts,, 
and the ftream very rapid ; after palling this river, we en- 
tered a narrow road in the midft of brufhwood, pleafant 
and agreeable, and full of a kind of foxes * of a bright 
gold colour. At three quarters paft one we halted at the 
houfe of Shalaka Welled Amlac, with whom 1 was wel! : 
acquainted at Gondar ; his houfe is called Welled Abea*. 
Abbo, from a church of Abbo about an eight part of amile 

I have deferred, till the prefent occafion, the introducing; 
of this remarkable character to my reader, that I might 
not trouble him to go back to paft tranfactions that are not 
of confequence enough to interrupt the thread of my nar- 
rative. Soon after I had feen part of the royal family, that 


* I fuppofe this to be the animal called Lupus Aureus ; it is near as large as a wolf, and. upon moles.. 



had been infected with the fmall-pox, happily recovered, 
and was fettled at Kofcam in a houfe of my own, for- 
merly belonging to Bafha Eufebius, my friend Ayto Aylo 
recommended to my care a man from Maitfha, with two 
fervants, one of whom, with his mailer, had been taken ill 
of the intermitting fever. As I was fupplied plentifully 
with every neceffary by the Iteghe, the only inconvenience 
that I fufFered by this was, that of bringing a flranger and 
a difeafe into my family. But as I was in a ftrange coun- 
try, and every day flood in need of the afliilance of the 
people in it, it was neceffary that I ihould do my part, 
and make myfelf as ufeful as pollible when the oppor- 
tunity came in my way. I therefore fubmitted, and accord- 
ing to AytO Aylo's defire, received my two patients with 
the befl grace pofiible ; and the rather, as I was told that 
he was one of the moft powerful, refolute, and befl-attend- 
ed robbers in all Maitfha; that he lay directly in my way 
to the fource of the Nile ; and that, under his protection, I 
might bid defiance to Woodage Afahel, confidered as the 
great obftacle to my making that journey. 

The fervant was a poor, timid wretch, exceedingly afraid 
of dying. He adhered flrictly to his regimen, and was very 
jfoon recovered. It was not fo with Welled Amlac ; he had, 
as I faid, another fervant, who never, that I faw, came with- 
in the door ; but as often as I was out attending my other 
patients, or with the Iteghe, which was great part of the 
morning, he flole a vifit to his rnafter, and brought him 
as much raw meat, hydromel, and fpirits, as, more than 
once, threw him into a fever and violent delirium. Luckily 
I was early informed of this by the fervant that was reco- 
vered,, and who did not doubt but this was ta end in his 

A 2 matter's 


matter's death, as it very probably might have done ; but, 
by the interpofition of Ayto Aylo and the Iteghe, we got 
the unworthy fubject banifhed to Maitfha, fo that Welled 
Amlac remained attended by the fervant who had been fick 
with him, and was to be truited. 

Not to trouble the reader with uninterefling particulars, 
Shalaka Welled Amlac at laft recovered after feveral weeks 
illnefs. When he firfl came to my houfe he was but very in- 
differently cloathed, which, in a fick man, was a thing not 
to be remarked. As he had no change of raiment, his 
cloaths naturally grew worfe during the time he ftaid with 
me ; and, indeed, he was a very beggarly fight when his 
difeafe had entirely left him. One evening, when I was 
remarking that he could not go home without kifling the 
ground before the Iteghe, he faid, Surely not, and he was 
ready to go whenever I fhould think proper to bring him his 
cloaths. I underftood at firfl from this, that he might 
have brought fome change of cloaths, and delivered them 
into my fervant's cuftody ; but, upon farther explanation, I 
found he had not a rag but thofe upon his back ; and he told 
me plainly, that he had much rather flay in my houfe all 
his life, than be fo difgraced before the world, as to leave it 
after fo long a flay, without my firfl having cloathed him 
from head to foot ; afking me, with much confidence, What 
fignifies your curing me, if you turn me out of your houfe 
like a beggar ? 

I still thought there was foroething of jefl in this ; and 
meeting Ayto Aylo that day at Kofcam, I told him, laugh- 
ing, of the converfation that had pafTed, and was anfwered 
gravely, " There is no doubt, you mufl cloath him ; to be 



fure it is the cuftom." " And his fervant, too ? faid I." Cer- 
tainly, his fervant too ; and if he had ten fervants that 
ate and drank in your houfe, you moll cloath them all." 
" I think, faid I, Ayto Aylo, a phyfician at this rate had 
much better let his patients die than recover them at his 
own expence." " Yagoube, fays Aylo, I fee this is not a cuf- 
tom in your country, but it is invariably one in this : it is 
not fo among the lower fet of people ; but if you will pafs 
here as a man of fome degree of confequence, you cannot 
avoid this without making Welled Amlac your enemy : the 
man is opulent ; it is not for the value of the cloaths, but 
he thinks his importance among his neighbours is meafur- 
ed by the refpecl fhewn him by people afar off; never fear,- 
he will make you fome kind of return, and for the cloaths 
I fhall pay for them." " By no means, faid I, my good 
friend .; I think the anecdote and cuftom is fo curious that 
it is worth the price of the cloaths ; and I beg that you 
would believe, that, intending to go through Maitfha, I con- 
lider it as a piece of friendfhip in you to have brought me 
under this obligation." " And fo it is, fays he : I knew you 
would think fo ; you are a cool difpaffion ate man, and walk 
by advice, and do not break through the cuftoms of the 
country, and this reconciles even bad men to you every 
day, and fo much the longer fhall you be in fafety." 

The reader will not doubt that I immediately fulfilled' 
my obligation to Welled Amlac, who received his cloaths, 
a girdle, and a pair of fandals, in all to the amount of about 
two guineas, with the fame indifference as if he had been buy- 
ing them for ready money. He then afked for his fervants 
elo iths, which were ready for him. He only faid he thought 
they were too good, and hinted as if he mould take them 



for his own ufe when he went to Maitfha. I then carried 
him new-dreiTed to the Iteghe, who gave him ftrict injunc- 
tions to take care of me if ever I mould come into his hands. 
He after went home with Ayto Aylo, nor did I ever know 
what was become of him till now, when we arrived at his 
houfe at Welled Abea Abbo, unlefs from fome words that 
fell in difcourfe from Fafil at Bamba. 

Shalaka Welled Amlac was, however, from home, but 
his wife, mother, and lifters, received us kindly, knowing 
us by report ; and, without waiting for our landlord, a cow 
was inftantly flaughtered* 

The venerable miflrefs of this worthy family, Welled 
Amlac's mother, was a very {lout, chearfui woman, and 
bore no figns of infirmity or old age : his wife was, on the 
contrary, as arrant a hag as ever acted the part on the it age; 
very active, however, and civil, and fpeaking very tolerable 
Amharic. His two fillers, about fixteen or feventeen, were 
really handfome ; but Falil's wife, who was there, was the 
moft beautiful and graceful of them all ; Ihe Itemed not 
to be pall eighteen, tall, thin, and of a very agreeable car- 
riage and manners. The features of her face were very re- 
gular; me had fine eyes, mouth, and teeth, and dark-brown 
complexion ; at firil fight a call of melancholy feemed to 
hang upon her countenance, but this foon vaniflied, and me 
became very courteous, chearfui, and moll converfible of 
the whole, or at leaft feemed to wifli to be fo ; for, unfor- 
tunately, llie fpoke not a word of any language but Galla,' 
though me underflood a little Amharic ; oiir converfation 
did not fail to give great entertainment to the whole family, 
and for her part, fhe laughed beyond all meafure. 

i The 


TtfE two lifters had been out helping my fervants in dif- 
pofing the baggage ; but when they had pitched my tent, 
and were about to lay the mattrefs for fleeping on, the el- 
deft of thefe interrupted them, and not being able to make 
herfelf underftood by the Greeks, Ihe took it up and threw 
it out of the tent-door, whilft no abufe or opprobrious names 
were fpared by my fervants ; one of whom came to tell me 
her impudence, and that if they underftood her, me faid I 
was to fleep with her this night, and they believed we were 
got into a houfe of thieves and murderers. To this I an~ 
fwered by a fharp reproof, deftring them to conform to 
every thing the family ordered them. I faw the fair nymph 
was in a violent paflion ; me told her tale to the matrons 
with greac energy, and a volubility of tongue paft imagina- 
tion, and they all laughed. FaliFs wife called me to lit by 
her,, and began to inftruct me, drolly enough, as they do 
children, but of what me faid I had not the fmallefc guefs. 
I endeavoured always to repeat her laft words, and this oc- 
cafioned another vehement laugh, in which I joined as 
heartily as any, to keep up the joke, for the benefit of the 
company, as long as pollible.. 

Immediately after this Welled' Amlac arrived, and 
brought us the difagreeable news, that it was impoffible to 
proceed to the ford of the Abay v as two of the neighbour- 
ing Shums were at variance about their refpective diftricls, 
and in a day or two would decide it by blows. The faces 
of all our companions fell at thefe news ; but as I knew the 
man, it gave me little trouble, as I fuppoled the meaning to 
be, that, if we made it worth while, he would accompany us 
himfelf, and in that cafe w r e Ihould pafs without fear ; at 
any rate, I well knew that, after the obligations I had laid 



him under at Gondar, he could not, confident with the re- 
ceived ufages of the country, if it was but for his own re- 
putation's fake, fail in receiving me in the very beft man- 
ner in his power, and entertaining me to the utmoft all the 
time I was in his houfe. 

Satisfied that I underftood him, he put on the moft 
chearful countenance : another cow was killed, great plenty 
of hydromel produced, and he prepared to regale us as fump- 
tuoufly as ponible, after the manner of the country. We 
were there, as often before, obliged to overcome our repug- 
nance to eating raw flefh. Shalaka Welled Amlac fet us 
the example, entertained us with the ftories of his hunting 
elephants, and feats in the lafl: wars, moftly roguifh ones. 
The room where we were (which was indeed large, and 
contained himfelf, mother, wife, fillers, his horfes, mules, 
and fervants, night and day) was all hung round with the 
trunks of thele elephants, which he had brought from the 
neighbouring Kolla, near Guefgue, and killed with his own 
hands, for he was one of the boldefl and beft horfemen in 
Abyllinia, and perfectly mailer of his arms. 

This Polyphemus's feaft being flnifhed, the horn of hydro- 
mel went briikly about. Welled Amlac's eldeft filler, whofe 
name was Melectanea, took a particular charge of me, and I 
began to find the neceflity of retiring and going to bed while 
I was able. Here the former ftory came over again ; the invari- 
able cuftom of all Maitfha and the country of the Galla, of 
eftablifhing a relationfliip by fleeping wirh a near of kin, was 
enlarged upon ; and, as the young lady herfelf was prefenr, 
and prefented every horn of drink during this polite" difpute 
concerning her perfon, I do not know whether it will not be 

3 thought 


thought a greater breach of delicacy to have refufed than to 
have complied :— 

But what fuccefs VanefTa met 

Is to the world a fecret yet ; 

Can never to mankind be told, 

Nor fhall the confcious mufe unfold. 

Fye upon the confcious mufe, fays lord Orrery; and fye, too, 
fay I : — a man of honour and gallantry fhould not permit 
himfelf fuch a hint as this, though the Red Sea was between 
him and his miftrefs. 

It was impoflible to fleep ; the whole night was one con- 
tinued ftorm of thunder, rain, and lightning ; the morn- 
ing was clearer, and my people very urgent to go away ; 
but I had flill to fettle with Zor Woldo, who had been kept 
by his miftrefs, Fafil's wife, notwithftanding his mailer's or- 
ders, till he had told her the whole circumflances of our ex- 
pedition, and made her laugh heartily at the oddity of our 
fentiments and cuftoms. This me repaid to him by plen- 
tiful horns of mead and bouza, as alfo large collops of raw 
meat, which made him a very eloquent hiftorian ; whether 
or no he was a faithful one, I cannot poflibly judge. 

After having fettled with him to his perfect fatisfaclion, 
and cancelled entirely the memory of fome difagreeable 
things palled, he configned us very folemnly to Ayto Aylo's 
fervant, in prefence of Welled Amlac, and had taken his 
leave, when a very fine white cow was brought to the door 
of the tent from Fafil's wife, who infilled, as a. friend of her 
hufband, that 1 would flay that day for her fake; and I mould 

Vol. IV. , B either 


either learn her my language, or .{he- would teach me Galla.'. 
The party was accepted as loon. as offered; the morning was- 
freih and cool, nor had iail night's libation any way difor- 
dered my ftomach.- Strates hirafelf, though afraid of Wel- 
led Amlac, and exceedingly exafperated at the impudent be- 
haviour, as he called it, of Melectanea, was, however, a little 
pacified at the approach.- of the- white- cow* Brother, fays he 
to Michael, we have nothing to do with people's manners 
as long as they are civil to us : as to this houfe, there is 
no doubt but the men are robbers and murderers, and their 
women wh-r-es ; but if they ufe us well while we are now 
here, and we are fo lucky as to get to Gondar alive, let the- 
devil take me if ever I feek again to be at Welled Abea 
Abbo. It was agreed to relax that day, and dedicate it to 
herborizing, as alfo to the fatisfying the curionty of our fe- 
male friends, by anfwering all their queflions ; and thus .> 
the forenoon palled as agreeable as poflible. . 

Welled Amlac, a great hunter, had gone with me 
early to a neighbouring thicket on horfeback, armed with 
lances in fearch of venifon, though we certainly did not 
want, provifions. We in a few minutes raifed two bohur, 
a large animal of the deer kind, and each purfued his beafl; 
mine had not run- 400 yards before I overtook him, and 
pierced him with my pike ; and the fame would have hap- 
pened the other, had not Welled Amlae's horfe 
put his fore-feet into a fox's hole, which threw him and 
his rider headlong to the ground ; he was not, however, 
hurt, but rofe very gravely, and defired me to return ; it 
being a rule among thefe people, never to perfift when 
any thing unfortunate falls out in the beginning of a 



Our company was now increafed by our former land- 
lord at Goutto, where we were obliged to Woldo's flrata- 
gem for difcovering the cow that was hid. We fat down 
chearfully to dinner. Welled Amlac's fall had not fpoiled 
his appetite ; I think he ate equal to four ordinary men. I, 
for the moft part, ate the venifon, which was made into an 
excellent dilh, only too much fluffed with all kind of fpices. 
Fafii's wife alone feemed to have a very poor appetite, not- 
withstanding her violent fits of laughter, and outward ap- 
pearance of chearfulnefs. A melancholy gloom return- 
ed upon her beautiful face, that feemed to indicate a 
mind not at ^afe. She was of a noble family of Galla, 
which had conquered and fettled in the low country of Na- 
rea. I wondered that Fafil her hufband had not carried 
her to Gondar. She faid her hufband had twenty other 
wives befides her, but took none of them to Gondar ; 
which was a place of war, where it was the cuftom to mar- 
ry the wives of their enemies that they had forced to fly, 
Fafil will be married therefore to Michael's wife, Ozoro £f- 
ther. I could not help being ftartled at this declaration, re- 
membering that I was here lofing my time, and forgetting 
my word of returning as foon as poffible ; but we had, for 
many months, lived in fuch conflant alarms, that it was ab- 
folutely as needful to feize the moment in which we could 
repofe our mind, as to give reft 'to -the body. 

In the afternoon we distributed our pre fen ts among the 
ladies. Fafii's wife was not forgot ; and the beautiful Me- 
lectanea was covered with beads, handkerchiefs, and ribbands 
of all colours. Fafii's wife, on my firft requeft, gave me a 
lock of her fine hair from the root, which has ever fince, 

B 2 and 


and at this day does fufpend a plummet of an ounce and 
half at the index of my three-feet quadrant. 

The next morning, the 13th of November, having fettled 
our account with our hofl, we fet out from the hofpitable 
houfe of Shalaka Welled Amlac, after having engaged, by 
promifes to the ladies, that we fhould pay them foon ano- 
ther viiit. Our landlord accompanied us in perfon to the 
ford, and by this, and his readinefs to (hew us what he- 
thought worthy of our curiofity, and by his care in ascer- 
taining for us the diftances and fituations of places, he gave 
us a certain proof he was well contented, and therefore that 
we had nothing to fear. 

We had both nights heard thenoife of cataracts, and we 
thought it might be of the Nile, as we were in fact but 
five miles from the fecond fmall cataract at Kerr, which 
lay W. S. W. of us. We were informed, however, in the 
morning, that it was the found of falls in the river Jemma, 
near whofe banks this houfe is fituated. We fet out at eight 
o'clock, the hills of Aroofli bearing north ; and at half paft 
eight we came to the ford of the Jemma, which is flrong, 
rugged, and uneven. 

The Jemma here comes from the eaft ; its banks are molt 
beautifully fhaded with acacia and other trees, growing as on 
the weft of the Nile, that is, the trunks or items of the trees 
at a diftance, but the tops touching each other, and fpread- 
ing broad. Though growing to no height, thefe woods are 
full of game of different kinds, moftly unknown in Eu- 
rope. The bohur is here in great numbers ; alfo the Buffalo, 
though not fo frequent. Whoever fees Richmond hill has 



an idea of the banks of the Jemma, and the country eaft of 
it, with all that addition that an eaftern and happier climate 
can give it ; for the rains had now ceafed, and every hill 
was in flower ; the fun indeed was hot v but a conftant 
and frefh breeze prevented its being felt near the river. The 
heat in this country ceafes, in the warmed day, the mo- 
ment we pafs from the fun to the made : we have none of 
thefe hot winds or violent reflections which we had fuffered 
in Egypt, Syria, and Arabia, and both the coafls of the Red: 

There are two cataracts lower than this ford of the Jem- 
ma, the firft about 300 yards below the ford, and another 
larger, fomething about half a mile; it is not, however, more 
than feven or eight feet high, perhaps about ninety feet 
broad, and the meet of water is not entire, but is interrup- 
ted in many places. It falls, however, into a magnificent 
bafon above 400 yards fquare, and very deep, in which are 
large fifh in great plenty, but no crocodiles ; nor indeed are 
there any feen, as I have heard above the third cataract:, 
nor confiderably below, when, after having made the tour of 
Gojam, it again turns northward towards its fources. The 
Gomari, however, often comes to the mouth of the Jemma, 
efpecially when the firft rains fall ;. the crocodile feems to, 
require a warmer climate.. 

After having fatisfied our curiofity as to the Jemma, F 
began to reproach thofe that were with me about the pa- 
nic which they felt the night before ; thefe were, a Greek 
of Gondar, titrates, and three others, my fcrvants, whom I 
brought from Cairo. " You fee, faid I, what danger there 
is ;. Welled Amlac is with us upon a mule, without a lance 
4 or 


or fhield, and only two naked fervants with him ; did not 
I tell you what was the meaning of the news ?" Though 
this was fpoken in a language of which it was impbffible Ara- 
lac could know a fylLble, yet he prefently apprehended in 
part what I would fay. " I fee, fays he, you believe what 
I told you laft night to be falfe, and invented only to get 
from you a prefent : but you fhall fee ; and if this day we 
do not meet Welled Aragawi and his foldiers, you are then 
in the right ; it is as you imagine." — "You do me wrong, 
faid I, and have not underflood me, for how mould you. 
Thofe white people believe too well all you told them, and 
are only apprehenfive of your not being able to defend us, 
Leing without arms and followers. All 1 faid was, that where 
you were,armed or unarmed, there was nodanger." — "True, 
fays he, you are now in Maitflia, and not in my coun- 
try, which is Goutto ; you are now in the worfl country in 
all Abyffinia, where the brother kills his brother for a 
loaf of bread, of which he has no need : you are in a 
country of Pagans, or dogs, Galla, and worfe than Gaila ; if 
ever you meet an old man here, he is a llranger ; all that are 
natives die by the lance young; and yet, though thefe two 
chieftains I mentioned fight to-day, unarmed as I am, (as 
you well faid) you are in no danger while 1 am with you. 
Thefe people of Maitflia, fliur up between the Jemma, the 
N le, and the lake, have no where but from the Agows to 
ger what they want ; they come to the fame market with 
us here in Goutto ; the fords of the Jemma, they know, are 
in my hands ; and did they offer an injury to a friend of 
mine, were it but to whiftie as he paffed them, they know 
I am not gentle ; though not a Galla, they are fenlible, 
one day or other, I mould call them to account, though it 
were in the bed-chamber of their mailer JFaiii." 

a " Your 


" Your matter, Welled Amlac, with your leave, faid. I." 
" Yes, mine too, faid he, by force, but he never mail be my 
mailer by inclination, after murdering Kafmati Efhte. He 
calls me his brother, and believes me his friend. You faw 
one of his wives, whom he leaves at my houfe, laft 
night, but I hope ilill to fee him and his Galla flaugh- 
tered as the cow in my houfe was yeftcrday." " I am 
furprifed, faid I, your houfe was fpared, and that Ras 
Michael did not burn it in either of his paflkges through 
Maitfha." — " In 1769, replied he, I was not with Fafil at Fa* 
gitta, and the Ras paired the Nile above this far beyond the 
Kelti; after which I returned with hmi to Gondar. In Gin- 
bot *, Fafil informed us that Amhara and Begemder were 
come over to him. When then all Maitfha joined Fafil, I went 
with my people to meet Michael at Berdera, as I knew he 
mull pafs the. Nile here oppofite to Abbo, and Begemder 
and Amhara would then be behind him, or el fe try to crofs 
at Delakus, which was then fwollen with rain, and unford- 
able : but apprehenfive left, marching Hill higher up 
along the Nile to find a ford, he might burn my houfe in 
his way, I myfelf joined him the night before he knew of 
Powuffen's revolt, and he had it then in contemplation to 
burn Samfeen.. The next morning was that of his retreat, 
and he chofe me to accompany him acrofs the Nile, ilill con- 
fidering me as his friend, and therefore, perhaps, he would 
have done no harm to my houfe." — " So it was you, faid I, 
that led us that day into that curfed clay- hole, which you 
call a ford, where fo many people and beafls were maimed 
and loft ?" — He replied, " It was Fafil's fpies that firft perfuad-? 


* The 1 ft of Ginbot is ihe-?6th of our ApriL 


ed him to pafs there, or at Kerr. I kept him to the place 
where you pafled ; you would have all perifhed at Kerr. This, 
to be fure, was not a good ford, nor paflable at all except in 
fummer, unlefs by fwimming ; but fo many men crofling 
had made it ftill worfe ; befides, do you remember what a 
florm it was ? — what a night of rain ? O Lady Mariam, al- 
ways a virgin, faid I, while they ftruggled in the mud and 
clay. O holy Abba Guebra Menfus Kedus, who never ate or 
drankfromhis mother's womb till his death,will you not open 
the earth, that all this accurfed multitude may defcend alive 
into hell, like Dathan and Abiram ?" — A kind and charitable 
prayer ! — " I thank you for it, Welled Amlac, faid I ; firft, for 
carrying us to that charitable ford, where, with one of the 
ftrongeft and ablefl horfes in the world, I had nearly pe- 
rifhed : — and, fecondly, for your pious wifh, to difpofe of us 
out of the regions of rain and cold into fo warm quarters in 
company with Dathan and Abiram !" 

" I did not know you was there, fays he ; I heard you 
had,ftaid at Gondar in order to bring up the black horfe. 
I law a white perfon* with the Ras, indeed, who had a good 
hanjar and gun, but his mule was weak, and he himfelf 
feemed lick. As 1 returned I could have carried him off 
in the night, but I faid, perhaps it is the brother of Yagoube, 
my friend and phyfician ; he is white like him, and for your 
fake I left him. 1 was much with you white people in the 
time of Kafmati Efhte." — " And pray, faid I, what did you 
after we pafled the Abay ?" — " After I faw that devil Ras Mi- 
chael over, faid Welled Amlac, I returned under pretence of 


* This was Francifco, who was fick. 


affifting Kefla Yafous there, and, being joined by all my 
people, we fell upon the ftragglers wherever we found them. 
You know what a day of rain it was ; we took 17 guns, 12 
horfes, and about 200 mules and afTes laden, and fo return- 
ed home, leaving the reft to Fafil, who, if he had been a man, 
mould have cut you all to pieces the day after."—" And 
what did you, faid I, with thefe ftragglers whom you met 
and robbed ; did you kill them ?" — " We always kill them, 
anfwered Amlac ; we fpare none ; we never do a man an 
injury, and leave him alive to revenge it upon us after; but 
it was really the fame; they were all rick and weak, and the 
hyaena would have finilhed them in the morning, fo it was 
juft faving them fo much fuffering to kill them outright 
the night before ; and I allure you, Yagoube, whatever you 
may think, I did not do it out of malice." — From this con- 
verfation one may fufriciently guefs what fort of a man Wel- 
led Amlac was, and what were his ideas of mercy. 

We parTed the church of Kedus Michael at half after 
nine, on the road to our right. At nine and three quarters 
our courfe was N. by W. and, at a quarter after ten, we paf- 
fed the Coga, a large river. At three quarters paft ten our 
courfe was north. We parTed the church of Abbo a quar- 
ter of a mile on our right. The country, after we had croft 
ed the Jemma, was much lefs beautiful than before. At twelve 
our courfe was N. by W. and at half paft twelve the church 
of Mariam Net, 200 yards to the left ; and here we forded the 
fmall river Amlac-Ohha. Every itep of this ground put us 
in mind of our difaftrous campaign in May ; and we were 
now palling directly in the tract of the ever memorable re- 
treat of Kefla Yafous and the rear of the army. At a quar- 
ter after one we halted at a fmall village of lowhoufes, as it 

Vol. IV. € were 


were in bent grafs, where, for the firft time, we faw flocks 
of goats lying on the tops of the houfes for fear of wild 

" You fhall fee, fays "Welled Amlaci whether I am telling 
truth or not ; this is the houfe of Welled Aragawi ; if he' is 
here at home, then I have deceived yon." We faw a num- 
ber of women laden with jars of bouza and hydromel, and 
afked where they were going. They faid to their mailer 
at Delakus, who waited there to prevent Welleta Michael 
of Degwafla from pafling the river: Our Greeks on this 
began to relapfe into their panic, and to wifh we were again 
at Welled Abea Abbo. At three quarters pall one we con- 
tinued our journey to the north, and pailed a river, called 
Amlac-Ohha, larger than the former: it comes from the 
eaft, and, half a mile further, receives the other ftream al- 
ready mentioned. The fun was now burning hot. At three 
o'clock we halted a quarter of an hour ; and, beginning to 
defcend gently, an hour after this we came to the banks o£ 
the Abay. Here we faw the two combatants, Welleta Mi- 
chael and Welled Aragawi, exaclly oppofite to each other,, 
the firft on the weft the other on the eaft Cide ; they had 
fettled all their differences, and each had killed feveraJL 
kine for themfelves and friends, which was all the blood 
filed that day.. 

The Nile is here a confiderable river; its breadth at this: 
time full three quarters of an Engliih mile ; the current 
is very gentle ; where deep you fcarce can perceive it flow ' r 
it comes from W. by S. and W. S. W. and at the ford runs 
eaft and weft. The banks on the eaft fide w r ere very high 
and fleep ; and on the weft, at the firft entrance, the bos- 

• torn, 


torn is foft and bad, the water four feet and a half deep, 
but above another foot, which we fink in clay. I cried to 
Welled Amlac, while he was leading my mule acrofs, that 
he mould not pray to his faint that never eats, as at the 
pafTage of the Jerima in May. He only anfwered lowly to 
me, Do you think thefe thieves would have let you pafs if 
I was not with you? My anfwer was, Welleta Michael 
would not have feen me wronged ; I faved his life, he and 
every body knows it. 

We gained with difficulty the middle of the river, where 
the bottom was firm, and there we refled a little. Whilft 
we were wading near the other fide, we found foul ground, 
but the water was mallow, and the banks low and eafy 
to afcend. The river fide, as far as we could fee, is bare 
and deflimte of wood of any kind, only bordered with thirties 
and high graf's, and the water tinged deep with red earth, 
of which its banks are compofed. This pafTage is called 
Delakus, and is pafTable from the end of October to the 
middle of May. Immediately on the top of the hill afcend- 
ing from the river is the fmall town of Delakus, which gives 
this ford its name ; it extends from N. E. to N. N. E. and is 
more confiderable in appearance than is the generality of 
thefe fmall towns or villages in Abyffinia, becaufe inhabited 
fey Mahometans only, a trading, frugal, intelligent, and in- 
duflrious people. 

Cur conductor, Welled Amlac, again put us in mind of 
the fervice he had rendered us, and we were not unmindful 
of him. He had been received with very great refpect by 
the eaftern body of combatants, and it is incredible with 
what expedition he fwallowed near a pound of raw flefli 

C 2 cut 


cut from the buttocks of the animal yet alive. After 
fome horns of hydromel, he had pafled to the other fide, 
where he was received with ftill more affection, if poflible, 
by Welle ta Michael, and there he began again to eat the 
raw meat with an appetite as keen as if he had fafted for 
whole days ; he then configned us to Ay to Welleta Michael, 
his friend and mine, who furnifhed us with a fervant to con- 
duel: us on our way, while he himfelf remained that night 
at the ford among the combatants. He advifed us to ad- 
vance as far as poflible, for all that country was deftroy- 
ed by a malignant fever which laid all wafle beyond Dela- 

We left the ford at a quarter paft five in the evening, and, 
purfuing our journey north, we pafled the fmall town of De- 
lakus, continuing along the hill among little fpots of brufh- 
wood and fmall fields of corn intermixed. At half pad fix 
pafled the river Avola. At half paftfeven crofiTed anotherjfwift- 
running flream, clear and fhallow, but full of flippery ftones. 
At three quarters after feven we alighted at Googue, a con- 
fiderable village, and, as it was now night, we could go no 
farther ; we had already feveral times miftaken our way, 
and loft each other in the dark, being often alfo mired in 
a fmall plain before we pafled the laft river ; but our 
guide had heard the orders of his mafter, and pufhed on: 

We found the people of Googue the moft'favage and un^ 
hofpitable we had yet met with. Upon no account would 
they fuffer us to enter their houfes, and we were obliged 
to remain without, the greateft part of the night. At laft 
they carried us to a houfe of good appearance, but refufed 




abfolutely to give us meat for ourfelves or horfes ; and, as 
we had not force, we were obliged to be content. It had 
rained violently in the evening, and we were all wet. We 
contented ourfelves with lighting a large fire in the 
middle of the houfe, which we kept burning all night, as- 
well for guard, as for drying ourfelves, though we little 
knew at the time that it was probably the only means of 
faving our lives ; for in the morning we found the whole 
village fick of the fever, and two families had died out of 
the houfe where thefe people had put us : for my own part, 
upon hearing this I was more affrighted than for Welled 
Aragawi and all his robbers. Though weary and wet, I had 
flept on the ground near the fire fix whole hours ♦ and, tho' 
really well, I could not during the day perfuade myfelf 
there was not fome fymptom of fever upon me. My firft 
precaution was to infufe a dofe of bark into a glafs of aqua- 
vitse, a large horn of which we had with us ;, we then 
burnt frankincenfe and myrrh in abundance, and fumiga- 
ted ourfelves, as practifed at Mafuah and in Arabia. Early in 
the morning we repeated our dofe of bark and fumigation. 
Whether the bark prevented the difeafe or not, the aquavits 
certainly ftrengthened. the fpirits, and was a medicine to the 

The people, who faw the eagernefs and confidence with 
which we fwallowed this medicine, flocked about us de- 
manding afliftance. I confefs I was fo exafperated with their 
treatment of us, and efpecially that of lodging us in the m> 
fecled houfe, that I confiantly refufed them their requeft,. 
leaving them a prey to their diftemper, to teach them ano- 
ther time more hofpitality to Grangers. 



This fever prevailed in Abyffinia in all low grounds and 
plains, in the neighbourhood of all rivers which run in val- 
leys ; it is really a malignant tertian, which, however, has 
fo many forms and modes of intermimon that it is impoffi- 
ble for one not of the Faculty to defcribe it. It is not in all 
places equally dangerous, but on the banks and neighbour- 
hood of the Tacazze it is particularly fatal. The valley 
where that river runs is very low and fultry, being full of 
large trees. In Kuara, too, it is very mortal ; in BeleiTen 
and Dembea lefs fo ; in Walkayt it is dangerous ; but not 
fo much in Tzegade, Kolla, Woggora, and Waldubba. It 
does not prevail in high grounds or mountains, or in pla- 
ces much- expofed to the air. This fever is called Ne- 
dad, or burning; it begins always with a. fliivering and 
headach, a heavy eye, and inclination to vomit ; a violent 
heat follows, which leaves little intermifiion, and ends ge- 
nerally in death the third or fifth day. In the lalt flage of 
the dillemper the belly fwells to an enormous fize, or fome- 
times immediately after death, and the body within an in- 
ftant fmells moll infupportably; to prevent which they bury 
the corpfe immediately after the breath is out, and often 
within the hour. The face has a remarkable yellow ap- 
pearance, with a blackifh caft, as in the laft ftage of a drop-. 
fy or the atrophy. This fever begins immediately with the 
fun-mine, after the firft rains, that is, while there are inter- 
vals of rain and fun-fhine t it ceafes upon the earth being 
thoroughly foaked in July and Auguft, and begins again 
in September ; but now, at the beginning of November, it 
finally ceafes everywhere. 

The country about Googue is both fertile and pleafant, 

all laid out in wheat, and the grain good. They were now 

i in 


in the midft of their harveft, but there were fome places, to 
which the water could be conducted, where the corn was 
}uft appearing out of the ground. From Googtie we have 
an extensive view of the lake Tzana, whilfl the mountains 
of Begemder and Karoota, that is, all the ridge along Fog- 
gora, appear diftinctly enough, but they are funk low, and 
near the horizon. 

On the 14th, at three quarters pad feven in the morning, 
we left the inhofpitable village Googue ; our road lay N. 
by W. up a fmall hill. At half paft eight we eroded the vil- 
lage of Azzadari, in which runs a fmall river, then almofl 
ftagnant, of the fame name. At three quarters after eight, 
the church of Turcon Abbo, being a quarter of a mile to 
our- right. At three quarters after nine we paded the river 
Avolai, coming from N. W. and which, with all the other 
ftreams above mentioned, fall into the lake : from this be- 
gins Degwada. At half pail ten we reded half an hour. 
At eleven continued our journey N. by W. and, at half after 
eleven, entered again into the great road of Bure, by Kelti. 
All the country from- Googue is bare, unpleafant, unwhole- 
fome, and ill- watered. Thofe few dreams it has are now 
dandiag in pools, and are probably dagnant in January and 
February. The people, too, are more miferable than in any 
other part of Maitiha and Goutto.. 

As we are now leaving Maitflia, it will be the place to 
fay fomething concerning it in particular. Maitiha is either 
proper, or what is called fo by extenfion. Maitma Proper is 
bounded on the wed by the Nile, on the fouth by the ri- 
ver Jemma, dividing it from Goutto ; and, on the other 
fide of Amid Amid, by the province of Damot ; on the fouth 


by Gojam ; on the eaft and north by the Abay or Nile, and 
the lake : this is Maitfha proper ; but by extenfion it com- 
prehends a large tract on the weft fide of the Nile, which 
begins by Sankraber on the north, and is bounded by the 
Agows on*the weft, comprehending Atcheffer and Aroofli 
to the banks of the Nile. This is the Maitfha of the books, 
but is not properly fo. 

Maitsha is governed by ninety-nine Shums, and is an 
appendage of the office of Betwudet, to whom it pays two 
thoufand ounces of gold. The people are originally of 
thofe Galla weft of the Abay. Yafous the Great, when at 
war with that people, who, in many preceding reigns, had 
laid wafte the provinces of Gojam and Da mot, and efpecial- 
ly Agow, when he palled the Abay found thefe people at 
variance among themfelves ; and the king, who was every- 
where victorious, being joined by the weakeft, advanced to Na- 
rea, and, on his return, tranfplanted thefe Galla into Maitfha, 
placing part of them along the Nile to guard the paries. 
His fuccefTors at different times followed his example ; 
part they fettled in Maitfha, and part along the banks of 
the Nile in Damot and Gojam, where being converted to 
Chriftianity, at leaft to fuch Chriftianity as is profefTed in 
Abyffinia, they have increafed exceedingly, and amounted, 
at leaft before the war in 1768, to 15,000 men, of whom a- 
bout 4000 are horfemen. 

The capital of Maitfha is Ibaba* There is here a houfe 
or fmall caftle belonging to the king. The town is one of 
tl e largeft in Abyffinia, little inferior to Gondar in flze or 
riches, and has a market every day ; this is governed by an 
officer called Ibaba Azage, whole employment is worth 600 
3 ounces 


ounces of gold, and is generally conferred upon the princi- 
pal perfon of Maitfha, to keep him firm in his allegiance, 
as there is a very confiderablc territory depends upon this 
office. The country round Ibaba is the moft pleafant and 
fertile, not of Maitfha only, but of all Abyflinia, efpecially 
that part called Koilela, between Ibaba and Gojam, where 
the principal Ozoros have all houfes and pofTemons, called 
Goult or Fiefs, which they have received from their refpec- 
tive anceftors when kings. 

Though Maitfha be peculiarly the appendage of Betwu- 
det, and governed by him, yet it has a particular political 
government of its own. The ninety-nine Shums, who are 
each a diftinct family of Galla, chufe a king, like the Pa- 
gan Galla, every feventh year, with all the ceremonies an- 
ciently obferved while they were Pagans ; and thefe gover- 
nors have much more influence o' v er them than the King 
or Betwudet ; fo have they (in my time at leafl) been in a 
conflant rebellion, and that has much lefTened their num- 
bers, which will not now amount to above 10,000' men, 
Has Michael having every where deftroyed their houfes, 
and carried into flavery their wives and children, who 
have been fold to the Mahometan merchants, and trans- 
ported to Maluah, and from thence to Arabia. 

At twelve o'clock, Guefgue was to the right, three or 
four, perhaps more miles ; and the very rugged mountain 
Cafercla, broken and full of precipices, on our right, at a- 
bout 1 2 miles diitance ; they rife from Kolla. Guefgue, 
which, though the language and race be Agow, is not com- 
prehended in the government of that country, but generally 
goes with Kuara. At a quarter pafl one we arrived at the 
Vol. IV. D houfe 


houfe of Ayto Welleta Michael, at DegwafTa, after entering 
into a country fomething more pleaiant and cultivated than 
the former. The village of DegwafTa is but fmall ; it had 
alfo been burnt in the late war ; it is pleafantly fituated on 
a hill fouth of the lake, about 3 miles diflance, and is fur- 
rounded with large wanzey-trees ; we were but ill-received 
at this village, notwithftanding the promifes of the mafler 
of it at the pafTage of the Abay, and we found thefe people 
fcarcely more hofpitable than at Googue. This village is a 
little out of the road, to the right. We had travelled this, 
day five hours and a half, or little more than ten miles. 

On the 15th of November, from Degwaffa we entered 
Gonzala, immediately bordering upon it : heavy rain pre- 
vented our fetting out till noon. Gonzala is full of villages, 
and belongs to the queen-mother. At a quarter after one we 
paned a large marfh, in .the midft of which runs a fmall ri- 
ver which here falls into the lake. We refled here half an 
hour ; and, at three quarters pafl one, we entered the great 
road which we had pafTed to the left in going to DegwafTa. 
At two o'clock we came fliil to a diftincter view of the 
lake, as alfo where the river enters and goes out; it appears 
here to enter at S. W. and go out at N. E. and is diflant about 
eight or nine miles. At three quarters pafl two, we arrived 
at Dingleber, having this day travelled only two hours and 
a half, or five miles. 

On the 16th we left Dingleber at {even o'clock in the 
morning ; it was very hot; and, a little before we came to 
Mefcalaxos, in a ftripe of land, or peninfula, which runs out 
into the lake, we halted a fliort time under the {hade of 



fome acacia-trees. Here we faw plenty of water- fowl, and 
feveral gomaris. A fmall river crofles the road here, and 
falls into the lake: and, at one o'clock in the afternoon, we 
continued our journey, and overtook a troop of Agows, who 
were going to Gondar, laden with honey, butter, and un- 
tanned hides. They had with them alfo about 800 head of" 
cattle. Thefe people accuftomed to the road (though hea- 
vily laden) go long journies : they had at this time 50 miles 
to make by nine o'clock in the morning of the 18th, and 
84 it was now the 16th, paft one o'clock. 

A Shower overtook us foon after pafllng Mefcalaxos, and 
forced us to take refuge in fome fmall huts near the lake, 
called Goja, where we remained. The inhabitants of this 
and the neighbouring villages fpeak Falafha, the language 
anciently of all Dembea, which, as has been already obferved, 
in moft of the plain country, has now given place to Am- 
haric. Here we faw two gomari come out of the lake and 
enter the corn, but fpeedily, upon the dogs of the villages 
attacking them, they ran and plunged into the water ; we 
could not have a diftinct view of them, nor time enough to 
defign them, but they were very different from any draught 
we had ever feen of them. The head feemed to me to 
refemble that of a hog more than of a horfe. We had this 
day travelled fix hours and a half, or about thirteen miles. 

On the 17th, at a quarter pad feven, we left Goja. At one 
o'clock we halted at Sar Ohha, after a journey of five hours 
and a half, or about eleven miles ; and on the 18th, at half 
paft fix, left Sar Ohha. At three quarters paft feven we pafTed 
the river Talti, and at half paft eleven halted at Abba Abram, 
near the church, under a large faiTa-tree. At one, con- 

D 2 tinued 


cinued our journey, and at a quarter pail two arrived at Kc* 


On the 19th of November, at feven in the morning, we 
left Kcmona, and going conftantly without Hopping by 
Ghergue and Azazo, I fent my fervants and baggage on to 
Abba Samuel at Gondar, where they arrived at one o'clock 
afternoon, and finifhed our long-projected expedition, or 
journey, to the fountains of the Nile, having, in our re- 
turn home, made as it were the chord of the arch of our 
former journey, or about ninety-three miles, with which 
we found our points, as fettled by obfervation, did very 
nearly agree. 

Two things chiefly occupied my mind, and prevented me 
from accompanying my fervants and baggage into Gondar. 
The firft was my defire of inftantly knowing the Hate of 
Ozoro Efther's health : the feeond was, to avoid Fafil, till I 
knew a little more about Ras Michael and the king. Ta- 
king one fervant along with me, I left my people at Azazo, - 
and turning to the left, up a very craggy, deep mountain, I 
made the utmoft diligence I could till I arrived at the gate 
of Kofcam, near two o'clock, without having met any one 
from Fafil, who was encamped oppofite to Gondar, on the 
Kahha, on the iide of the hill, fo that I had pafTed obliquely 
behind him. He had, however, feen or heard of the arrival 
of my fervants at Gondar, and had fent for me to wait up- 
on him in his camp; and, when he was informed I had 
gone forward to Koicam, it was faid he had uttered fome 
words of difcontent. 

I went 


I went ftraight to thelteghe's apartment, but was not ad- 
mitted, as the was at her devotions. In crofling one of the 
courts, however, I met a flave of Ozoro Lfther, who, in- 
ftead of anfwering the queflion I put to her, gave a loud 
fhriek, and went to inform her miflrefs. I found that prin- 
cefs greatly recovered, as her anxiety about Fafil had ceafed. 
She had admitted him to an audience, and he had commu- 
nicated to her the engagement he was under to her huf- 
band, as alfo the conduct he intended to purfue in order 
to keep Gufho and Powuffen from taking any effectual 
meafures which might fruftrate, or at leaft delay, the refh> 
ration of the king and arrival of Ras Michael, 

'? y> .: ai ; 



e y ■ — ■ vsg 


TafiVs infidious Behaviour — Arrival at Gondar — KingpaJJes the Taecaz- 
ze — Iteghe and ' Socinios fly from Gondar : 

I SHALL now refume the hiftory of Abyflinia itfelf, fo far 
as I was concerned in it, or had an opportunity of know- 
ing, and this I lhall follow as clofely as poflible, till I begin 
my return home through thofe dreary and hitherto-un- 
known deferts of Seniiaar, though not the moll entertain- 
ing, yet by far the moll dangerous and moll difficult part 
of the voyage. 

It was about the 20th of October that Woodage Afahel 
came with a flrong body of horfe into the neighbourhood 
of Gondar, and cut off all communication between the 
capital and thofe provinces to the fouthward of it. This 
occafioned a temporary famine, as his troops plundered all 
thofe they met on the road carrying provifions to the mar- 
ket. At firfl he refilled to tell what his real errand was ; 

4 bur , 


four, a few days after, having paffed the low country of Dem- 
bea, he took poll ai Dingleber, on the road to Maitffia and 
the country of the Agows and then he declared his only in- 
tention m coming was to join Fafil, then marching to Gon- 
dar at the head of a large army ; nor was the caufe of that 
great army, nor the reafon of Fafii's coming, fo fufficiently 
known as to free any party entirely from their apprehen- 

Sanuda, who filled the office of Ras, and the reft of that 
party, endeavoured to determine Afahel to enter Gondar, 
and pay his homage to Socinios, now king; not doubting 
but his example would have the effect of making others do 
the like, and that fo by degrees they might collect troops e- 
nough to make Michael refpect them, fo far at lead as to de- 
fer for a feafon his march from Tigre. They prevailed, in- 
deed, fo far as to engage Afahel to enter Gondar on the 28th 
of October, the day that we left it ; fo, by a few hours, and 
his taking a low road that he might plunder the villages in 
Dembea, we miffed a meeting of the moll dangerous and 
moft difagreeable kind. After having made his ufual pa- 
rade, and paffed his cavalry in review before Socinios, he had 
his public audience, where he faid he came charged by Fa- 
fil to declare that he was ready to fet out for Gondar, and 
bring with him that part of the revenue due to the king 
from the provinces he commanded, provided he had a man 
of fufiicient trufl to leave in his flead at home ; that there- 
fore he prayed the king to appoint him Woodage Afahel to 
command in the provinces of Damot, MaitjQia, and Agow, 
in his abfence. 



After the many promifes and engagements Fafil had 
made and broken, without ever affigning the fmallefl rea- 
ibn, it may be doubted whether Socinios believed this fair 
tale implicitly; but his prefent intention being to gain 
Woodage, it little fignified whether it was ftriclly true or 
not ; he therefore received it as true. FafiTs requeft was 
granted to the full; and this robber, twenty times a rebel, 
bred up in woods and deferts, in exercife of every crime, 
was appointed to a command the third in the kingdom for 
rank, power, and riches ; and, what was never before feen, 
the king went out of his palace to Deppabye, the public 
market-place, to fee the circle of gold, called the Ras Werk, 
put upon his head ; this, with the white and blue mantle, 
invefts him with the dignity of Kafmati, or lieutenant-ge- 
neral of the king, in the province given him. 

A low man, fuch as Afahel was, could not refift the ca- 
refTes of his fovereign ; he was entirely gained ; and, in re- 
turn, made privately to Socinios, and a few confidents, a 
communication of all he knew, which their natural impru- 
dence, and private previous engagements, afterwards made 
public. The fubfiance of this confidence was, that peace 
had been made and fworn to, in the moft folemn manner, 
both by Michael and Fafil ; that they were to reitore the 
king, Tecla Haimanout ; that they were, by their joint 
means, to effect, if poflible, the ruin of Guflio and Powuffen, 
governors of Begemder and Amhara ; Fafil was to enjoy the 
poll of Ras and Betwudet, and to difpofc of the government 
of Begemder and Amhara to his friends ; K as Michael was to 
content himfelf with the province of Tigre, as he then en- 
joyed it, and advance no further than the river Tacazze, 
where he was to deliver the king to Fafil, and return to his 
.2 province. 


province. Sanuda was, in the mean time, to appear as 
Ras by the connivance of Fafil and Michael ; and, if he 
faw the people of the Iteghe's party refolved upon electing 
a king, he was to take care to choofe fuch a one as would 
foon prove himfelf incapable of reigning, but fill the va- 
cancy in the mean time, and prevent the election from 
falling upon a worthier candidate from the mountain of 
Wechne. Fafil, on his part, undertook by promifes and 
propofals, and occafionally by the approach of his army, 
to frighten and confufe the Iteghe, and prevent a good un- 
derflanding taking place between her, Gulho, and Powuf- 
fen. The laft article of this treaty was, that no more mould 
be faid of Joas the late king's murder, but all that tranf- 
action was to be buried in eternal oblivion. This peace, 
Afahel had faid, was made by the mediation of Welleta Se- 
lafTe, nephew of Ras Michael, whom we have often men- 
tioned as having been taken prifoner by Fafil at the battle 
of Limjour. 

This difcovery, dangerous as it might have been in other 
times and circumflances, from the weaknefs of the prefent 
government, had no confequences hurtful to any concerned 
in it. Sanuda, who was not prefent when Afahel revealed 
the fecret, affected to laugh at it as an improbable fiction ; 
and though this whole fcheme of treachery was confirm- 
ed part by part, yet it was fo deeply laid, and fo well fup- 
ported, that, even when difcovered, it could not be prevent- 
ed, till, flep by ftep, it was carried into execution. 

Fasil was encamped at Bamba, as we have already 

mentioned ; he had discharged all thofe favage Galla 

that he had brought from the other fide of the Nile. 

Vol. IV. E As 



As foon as he had heard in how favourable a manner Wood- 
age Afahel had been received, he decamped, taking with 
him 400 horfe and 600 foot, all chofen men, from Maitiha and 
Damot,and with thefe he advanced, by forcedmarches,toGon« 
dar, where he arrived the 2d of November, to the furprife of 
the whole town and court, for he had already fo often pro- 
mifed, and fo often broken his word, that nobody pretended 
to guefs more about him till they actually faw him arrived. 
That fame evening he waited on the queen, where he made 
a fhort vifit ; he paid a Mill fhorter to the king, and no 
bufinefs palled at either of thefe meetings. 

The king, Socinios,was now more than ever confirmed 
in the belief of Afahel's information, becaufe, notwithftand- 
ing that tafil knew perfectly his neceffities, and that for 
feven years he had not paid a farthing to the revenue, he 
ftill had not brought either payment, or prefent of any fort; 
and, inflead of coming with a large army to give battle to 
Ras Michael, he arrived as in peace with fcarce a body guard; 
and, what feemed to put the matter beyond all doubt, the 
very night of his arrival, upon coming from his audience, 
he fet Welleta SelafTe at liberty, and fent him to Tigre to his 
uncle Ras Michael, loaded with many prefents, and with 
every mark of refpect. There were, however, about Soci- 
nios fome people of wifdom enough to counfel him to take 
no notice of this behaviour of Fafil, which feemed to favour 
ftrongly of defiance ; and he was wife enough for a fhort 
time to follow their advice. As he had, by fair means, 
gained Woodage Afahel, he thought he might, by purfuing 
the fame conduct, fucceed with Fafil alfo. 



In the morning, therefore, of the 3d of November, with- 
out attempting further difcuflion, proclamation was made 
that Fafil was Ras and Betwudet, governor of Damot, Mait- 
fha, and Agow, and had the difpofal of all places under the 
king throughout the empire ; declaring alfo, that all ap- 
pointments that had been made by the Iteghe or himfelf, in 
Fafil's abfence, were null and void, to be again filled up by 
Fafil only. Socinios, however, foon found that he had a 
different fpirit to manage than that of Woodage Afahel. 
Fafil took him at his word, accepted of the appointment, be- 
gan immediately to exercife his power, and the very firfl day 
he gave the poft of Cantiba, that is, governor of Dembea, 
to Ayto Engedan, nephew to the queen-mother, and fon to 
Kafmati Efhte, whom he himfelf had depofed, murdered, 
and fucceeded in the government of Damot and Maitfha ; 
and SelafTe Barea, brother to Ayto Aylo, he made Palamba- 
ras. Thefe appointments juft planted the king in the diffi- 
culty that was intended ; for the places had been given to 
Kafmati Sanuda, as a recompence for refigning the pofts of 
Ras and Betwudet, which were now conferred upon Fafil ; 
and Sanuda, whom Socinios believed his only friend, and 
the perfon that raifed him to the throne, was now left def- 
titute of all Employment whatever, by an act of feeming in- 
gratitude flowing from the king alone. 

The next day Fafil, purfuing the fame line of conduct, 
appointed Adera Tacca Georgis, a creature of his own, Fit- 
Auraris to the king. None of thefe preferments Socinios 
could be brought to comply with ; fo that when thefe no- 
blemen came to do homage for their refpeelive places, So- 
cinios abfolutely refufed to receive them, or difplace Kafma- 
ti Sanuda, This involved the king in ftill greater difncul- 

E ,3, tiesj 


ties, for he thereby broke his word with Fafil, who had done 
nothing more than Socinios gave him authority to do. On 
the other hand, Selafle Barea was brother to Ayto Aylo, the 
queen's greateft counfellor and confident ; equal to his bro- 
ther both in wifdom, integrity, and riches, and in the fa- 
vour of the people, but much more ambitious and delirous 
of governing, confequently more dangerous when difobll- 

Socinios, who did not believe that Sanuda was treacher- 
oufly urging him to his ruin, continued obftinate in reject- 
ing Fafil's appointment, and all fell immediately into con- 
fufion. Troops nocked in from every quarter, as upon & 
fignal given. Ayto Engedan, in difcontent, with a thoufand 
men fat down near Gondar on the river Mogetch; his bro- 
ther Aylo, at Emfras, about 15 miles further, with double 
that number ; Ayto Confu, his coufin-german, with about 
600 horfe, lay above Kofcam for the protection of Ozoro 
Either, his mother, and the Iteghe his grandmother — all 
were in arms, though upon the defenfive. 

In this fituation of things I arrived at Gondar on the 
1 9th of November, but could not fee the queen, who had 
retired into her apartment under pretence of devotion, but ra- 
ther from difguft and melancholy, at feeing that every thing, 
however the contrary might be intended, feemed to con- 
fpire to bring about the return of Ras Michael, the event 
in the world me dreaded mod. I found with Ozoro Either 
the Acab Saat, Abba Salama, who, as we have already ob- 
ferved, had excommunicated her uncle Kafmati Eflite, and 
afterwards contrived his murder, and had alfo had a very 
principal fhare in that of Joas himfelf. It was he that Fafil 



jfaid had fent to him to defire that I might not be allowed 
to proceed to the head of the Nile, and that from no other 
reafon but a hatred to me as a Frank. We bowed to each 
other as two not very great friends, and he immediately 
began a very dry, ill-natured, admonitory difcourfe, ad- 
drefled, for the greateft part, to Ozoro Either, explaining to 
her the mifchief of fuffering Franks to remain at liberty in 
the country and meddle in affairs. I interrupted him by 
a laugh, and by faying, If it is me, father you mean by the 
word Frank, I have, without your advice, gone where I in- 
tended, and returned in fafety ; and as for your country, I 
■will give you a very handfome prefent to put me fafely 
out of it, in any direction you pleafe, to-morrow — the foon- 
er the better. 

At this inftant Ayto Confu came into his mother's 
apartment, caught the laft words which I had faid, and afked 
of me, in a very angry tone of voice, Who is he that withes 
you out of the country ? — " I do, fincerely and heartily, faid 
I, for one ; but what you laft heard was in confequence of a 
friendly piece of advice that Abba Salama here has been 
giving me." — " Father, father, fays Confu, turning to him 
very fternly, do you not think the meafure of your good 
deeds is yet near full ? Do you not fee this place, Kafmati 
Efhte's houfe, furrounded by the troops of my father Mi- 
chael, and do you ftill think yourfelf in fafety, when you 
have fo lately excommunicated both the King and Ras ? 
Look you, fays he, turning to his mother, what dogs the 
people of this country are ; that Pagan there, who calls 
himfelf a Chriftian, did charitably recommend it to Fafil to 
rob or murder Yagoube, a ftranger offending nobody, when 
he got him among his Galta in Damot : this did not fuc- 



•ceed. He then perfuaded Woodage Afahel to fend a party of 
robbers from Samfeen to intercept him in Maitfha, Coqua 
Abou Barea himfelf told me it was at that infidel's de- 
fire that he fent Welleta Selaffe of Guefgue with a party to 
cut him off, who miffed him narrowly af Degwaffa ; and 
all this for what ? I mall fwear they mould. not have found 
ten ounces of gold upon him, except Fafil's prefent, and 
that they dared not touch." — " But God, faid Ozoro liflhei% 
faw the integrity of his heart, and that his hands were 
clean ; and that is not the cafe with the men in this coun- 
try."- — " And therefore, faid Confu, he made Fafil his friend 
and protector. Woodage Afahel's party fell in with an 
officer of Welleta Yafous, who cut them all to pieces 
while robbing fome Agows." Then rifing up from the 
place where he was fitting at his mother's feet, with a raif- 
ed voice, and countenance full of fury, turning to Abba Sa- 
lama, he faid, " And I, too, am now nobody ; a boy ! a child ! 
a mockery to three fuch Pagan infidels as you, Fafil, and 
Abou Barea, becaufe Ras Michael is away !" — Says the Acab 
Saat, with great compofure, or without any feeming anger, 
" You are excommunicated, Confu ; you are excommuni- 
cated if you fay I am Jnfidel or Pagan: I am a Chriflian 
priefl." — " A prieft of the devil, fays Confu, in a great paf- 
fion — wine and women, gluttony, lying, and drunkennefs 
— thefe are your gods ! Away ! fays he, putting his hand to 
his knife : by Saint Michael I fwear, ten days mall not pafs 
before I teach both Coque Abou Barea and you your duty. 
Come, Yagoube, come and fee my horfes ; when I have put 
a good man upon each of them we fliall together hunt 
your enemies to Sennaar." Re fvvang haflily out of the 
door, and I after him, and left Abba Salama dying with 
fear, as Ozoro Eflher told me afterwards, faying only to 

3 her 



her, as hie went out, Remember I did not excommunicate 

I left Confu with his horfes and men ; and, though it 
was now late, I went to the camp to pay my compliments 
to Fafil. Having no arms, I was very much moletled both 
in going and coming, under various pretences; I was after- 
wards kept waiting about- half an hour in the camp with- 
out feeing him ; he only fent me a meflage that he would 
fee me on the morrow. However^ we metfeveral friends 
we had fee n at Bamba, and from them we learned at length 
what we fhortly had heard from Ayto Confu, that Woodage 
Afahel had fent a party to intercept and rob us ; and it was 
that party which was called the five Agows, who had paiTed 
Fafil's army the night after we leftKelti*. They told us 
that the Lamb faid they were Agows, not to alarm us, but 
that he knew very well who they were, and what was their 
errand ; and that, the night after he left us, he got upon 
their track by information from three country men whom 
they had robbed of fortie honey, furrounded them, and, in 
the morning, had attacked them weft of Geem,and, though; 
inferior in number, had flain and wounded the whole par- 
ty as dexteroufly as he had promifed to us at our lafl in- 


I sent a fmall prefent to our friend' the Lamb, in token' 
of gratitude to him, and-delivered it to three people, that I 
might be fure one of them would not ileal it, and took Fa- 
fil's guarantee to fee it delivered; but this was upon a fol- 

* See .my laft journey to the fountains of the Nile.' 


lowing day. I refolved to remain at Kofcam in the houie 
the Iteghe had given me, as it was eafy to fee things were 
drawing to a crifis, which would inevitably end in blood. 

It was not till the 23d of November I firft faw the Iteghe. 
She fent for me early in the morning, and had a large break- 
faft prepared : Ay to Confu and'Ayto Engedan were there ; fhe 
looked very much worn out and indifpofed. When I came 
firft into her prefence, I kneeled, with my forehead to the 
ground. She put on a very ferious countenance, and, with- 
out defiring me to rife, faid gravely to her people about her, 
" There, fays fhe, fee that madman, who in times like thefe, 
when we the natives of the country are not fafe in our own 
houfes, rafhly, againft all advice, runs out into the fields to 
be hunted like a wild beaft by every robber, of which this 
country is full." 

She then made me a fign to rife, which I did, and killed 
Tier hand. " Madam, faid I, if I did this, it was in confequence 
of the good lefTons your majefly deigned to give me." — " Me! 
fays fhe, with furprife, was it I that advifed you, at fuch a 
time as this, to put yourfelf in the way of men like Coque 
Abou Barea, and Woodage Afahel, to be ill-ufed, robbed, and 
probably murdered ?" — " No, faid I, Madam, you certainly 
never did give me fuch advice ; but you mufl own that 
every day I have heard you fay, when you was threatened 
by a multitude of powerful enemies, that you was not 
afraid, you was in God's hands, and not in theirs. Now, 
Madam, Providence has hitherto protected you : I have, in 
humble imitation of you, had the fame Chriflian confidence, 
and I have fucceeded. I knew I was in God's hands, and 
therefore valued not the bad intentions of all the robbers 
1 in 


in Abyffinia." — " Madam, fays Ayto Confu, is not Guefgue 
yours ? does it pay you any thing ?" 

<{ It was mine, fays the queen, while any thing was mine ; 
but Michael took it and gave it to Coque Abou. Barea, and 
fince, it has paid me nothing. Fafil has fent for him about 
the affair of Yagoube, as he fays, and has ordered him to 
come in the fame manner that he himfelf is come in pri- 
vate; but forbid him to bring his army with him, in order 
that no means of relief may be poflible to this devoted 
country." Large tears flowed down her venerable face at 
faying thefe words, and fhewed the deep-rooted fear in her 
heart, that Michael's coming was decreed without pombilky 
of prevention. " I wonder, fays Ayto Engedan, laughing, to 
divert her, if Coque Abou Barea is the fame good Chriilian 
that you and Yagoube are; if he is not, nothing elfe will 
fave him from the hands of Confu and me ; for we both 
want horfes and mules for our men, and he has good ones* 
and arms too, that belonged to my father." — " And both of 
you, fays the queen, are as bad men as either Woodage A- 
fahel or Coque Abou Barea." At this moment the arrival of 
Fafil was announced, and we were all turned out, and went 
to breakfaft. I faw him afterwards going out of the pa- 
lace. He faluted me flightly, and feemed much pre-occu- 
pied in mind. He only defired me to come to Gondar next 
morning, and he would fpeak to me about Coque Abou Ba* 
rea ; but this the Iteghe refufed to permit me to do, fo I 
remained at Kofcam. 

Fasil, although he did not deny that he had made peace 
with Ras Michael, yet, to quiet the minds of the people, al- 
ways folemnly protefted, that, fo far from coming to Gondar, 

Vol. IV. F he 



he never would confent to his crofllng the Tacazze ; andf \ 
this had, with moil people, the defired effect ; for all Gon- 
dar loved TeclaHaimanout.a9 muchastheydeteftedSociniosj 
but the bloodmed, and cruelty that would certainly attend 
Michael's coming, made them wifh for any government that 
would free them from the terror of that event. On the 
other hand, Soeindos, though now perfectly perfuaded of 
Fafil's motives, had not deferted his own caufe; he had 
fent Woodage Afahel,: fortified with all his authority* in- 
to Maitiha, in order to raiie a commotion there ; ordered it 
to be proclaimed to the whole body of Galia in that pro- 
vince, that if they would come to Gondar, and prevent, the 
arrival of Michael, and bring their Bouco (or fceptre) 
along with them, they, mould have the election of their 
own governor, and not pay any thing to the king for feven 
years to come ; and, befides, he had ordered Powuflen of 
Begemder to endeavour, by a forced march* to furprife Fafii, 
then at Gondar, attended by a few troops, Mean time, he 
diflembled the befthecould; but, as he had very fhrewdpeople 
to deal with, it was more than probable his fecret was early/ 
difcovered. . 

Every hand being now armed, and allmeafures taken, as 
far as human forefight could reach, it was impoffible to de* 
fer any longer the coming to blows in fome part or other. . 
On the 23d, at night, advice was received from Adera Tacca 
Georgis, an officer of Fafii in. Maitfha, that he had attack- 
ed Woodage Afahel, who had collected, a number of troops, 
and was endeavouring to raife commotions ; and, after an 
obllinate combat he had defeated him, and ilain or wound- 
ed moil of" his followers : that Afahel himfeif, wounded 
twice, with a lance, had, by the goodnefs. of -his horfc. dcap- 
ed, and j pined Powuifen in Begeiftdciv 




These news occafionedFafil to throw off the mafk : he now 
publicly avowed it was his intention to reftore Tecla Haim- 
anout to the throne, and that, rather than fail in it, he would 
replace Ras Michael in all his pofls and dignities. He faid 
that Socinios was created for mockery only ; and publicly 
afferted, that he was not fon of Yafous, but of one Mercurius, 
a private man at Degwaffa ; and indeed he bore not, in his 
features or carriage, any refemblance to the royal family 
from which he pretended to be defcended. 

Socinios now faw that he was from henceforward to 
look upon Fafil as an enemy. Orders were accordingly 
given to fhut the gates of the palace, and to nation a num- 
ber of troops in the different courts and avenues leading 
to the king's apartment. No perfon was to be admitted to the 
king without examination. The drums were beat, and con- 
ftant guard kept ; and three hundred Mahometans taken into 
his fervice as mufketeers ; a meafure that gave great offence. 

Fasil had taken up his refidence in the houfe which be- 
longed to the office of Ras, at the other end of the town ; 
and, to ihew his contempt for the king, was very nightly 
guarded, his army remaining encamped under the palace. 
One thing at this time feemed particularly remarkable ; a 
drum was heard to beat in the houfe where Fafil was ; : 
whereas it is an invariable rule, that no drum is fuffered 
to beat in the capital any where but in the houfe where the 
king reiides. It was faid that king Yalbus, fecond fon to the 
Iteghe, or queen-mother, and father to Joas, had left two • 
fons by a Have of the queen ; indeed he had fo many by low 
people, that very little care was taken of them, not even 
that of fending them to the mountain Wechne. One of 

F 2 thefe. 


thefe, after the murder of Joas, had appeared in Gojam, re- 
folved to try his fortune ; but he was apprehended by the 
governor of that province, fent to Gondar, and then to Wech- 
ne. It was faid the other was with Fafil, in Gondar ; that 
the drum that then beat in Fafil's houfe announced his 
ipeedy intention of making him king : all was confufion 
within the palace, but the Ras kept up a ftrict police in the 

It was then towards the end of November, when, by me- 
diation of the Abuna, the Queen, and the Itchegue, peace 
was unexpectedly made between Socinios and Fafd ; the 
latter fwearing allegiance to Socinios as to his only fovereign, 
and the Abuna pronouncing excommunication upon either 
of them which fhould become the enemy of the other. 
What was the intention of this farce I never yet could learn ; 
for the very next day Fafd deprived Gufho and Powuflen of 
their governments of Amhara and Begemder, which was 
an exprefs proof that his intention ftill was to reftore 
Tecla Haimanout. The doors of the king's palace were again 
immediately fhut, and figns of hoftilities commenced as be- 

I was dining with Ozoro Either, when a mefTenger ar- 
rived from Coque Abou Barea, with a complaint to the queen 
that he was on his march to Gondar, to pay his allegiance 
to Socinios, and bring him the tribute of his province, when 
he received a meflage from Fafil to return the greateft part 
of his troops ; but that, defiring to be as ufeful as poffible 
in preventing the coming of Michael, he fo far difobeyed 
that order as to bring with him a considerable body of" 
the belt of his foldiers, fending the reft home under the 



conduct of Welleta SelafT6 ; but that on the 26th, early in the 
morning, he had been furprifed by Confu and Engedan, 
who, without any caufe alledged, had killed and difperfed 
all his troops, and taken from them all the horfes and mules 
they could lay their hands on : that they after followed Wel- 
leta SelafTe, and had come up with him unawares, juft as 
he entered Guefgue, had defeated him, and that Ayto En- 
gedan, in the beginning of the fight, had flain him with 
his own hand, by wounding him in the throat with a lance 
when ftretching out his hand to parley ; after which, they 
had fet fire to nine villages in Guefgue, and given the plun- 
der to their foldiers. 

In the mean time PowufTen had not difregarded the re- 
quell of Socinios. He had attempted to furprife Fafil, bur 
could not pafs Aylo, who was at Emfras, without falling upon 
him nrft, which he did, difperfing his troops with little re- 
finance. Upon the firfl intelligence of this, Fafil proclaim- 
ed Tecla Haimanout king ; and, ftriking his tents, fat down 
at Abba Samuel, a collection of villages about two miles 
from Gondar, inviting all people, that would , efcape the 
vengeance of Ras Michael, to come and join him, and 
leave Gondar. From this he retreated 1 near to Dingleber y 
on the fide of the lake, and intercepted all provifions co- 
ming to Gondar, which occafioned a very great famine, and 
many poor people died. 

Hitherto I had no intercourfe with Socinios, never ha- 
ving been in his prefence, but' when the Galla, the murderer 
of Joas, was tried ; nor had I any reafon to think he knew 
me, or cared for me more than any Greek that was in^Gondar^ 
but I had a good friend at courts who waked when I llept, 



and did not fuffer me to pafc unknown; this was the 
Acab Saat, Salama, who had inftigated the king, on the 5th 
of December, in one of his drunken fits, to fet out from the 
palace in the night, attended by a number of banditti, mof- 
ly Mahometans, to plunder feveral houfes ; he flew one man, 
as it was faid, with his own hand : among thefe devoted 
houfes mine happened to be one, but I was then happily at 
Kofcam. The next was Metical Aga's, one of whole fervants 
efcaped into a church-yard, the other being flaih. The lead- 
er of this unworthy mob was Confu, brother to Guebra 
Mehedin. Every thing that could be carried away was 
flolen or broken ; among which was a reflecting telefcope, 
a barometer, and thermometer ; a great many papers and 
fketches of drawings, firffc torn, then burnt by Confu's own 
hand, with many curfes and threats againft me. 

The next day, about nine o'clock, I had a meflage to 
come to the palace, where I went, and was immediately ad- 
mitted. Socinios was fitting, his eyes half clofed, red as fear- 
let with lafl night's debauch ; he was apparently at that mo- 
ment much in liquor; his mouth full of tobacco, fquirt- 
ing his fpittle out of his mouth to a very great diflance ; 
with this he had fo covered the floor, that it was with very 
great difficulty I could chufe a clean place to kneel and 
make my obeifance. He was dreffed like the late king, 
but, in every thing elfe, how unlike ! my mind was filled 
with horror and deteflation, to fee the throne on which he 
fat fo unworthily occupied. I regarded him as I advanced 
with the moil perfect contempt : Hamlet's lines defcribed 
him exactly : — 

2 A 


A murtherer and a villain : 

A ilave, that is not twentieth part the tithe 

Of your preceding lord ; a vice of kings ; 

A cutpurfe of the empire, and the rule, 

That from a fhelf the precious diadem Hole 

And put it in his pocket ; 

A king of ihreds and patches. 


It requires fomething of innate royalty to perfonate a king. 

When I got up and flood before him, he feemed to be 
rather difconcerted, and not prepared to fay any thing to 
me. There were few people there bendes fervants, moil 
men of conlideration having left Gondar, arid gone with 
Fafil. After two or three fquirts through his teeth, and a 
whifper from his brother Chremation, whom I had never 
before feen — " Wherefore is it^ fays he, that you who are 
a great man, do not attend the palace ? you were conftantly 
withTeclaHaimanoutjthe exile, or ufurper, in peace and war : 
you ufed to ride with him, and divert him with your tricks 
on horfeback, and, I believe, ate and drank with him. 
Where is all that money you got from Ras el Feel, of 
which province, I am told, you are Hill governor, -though 
you conceal it ? How dare you keep Yaline in that govern- 
ment, and not allow Abd eljelleel, who is my flaye, appoint- 
ed to »enter and govern that province ?" I waited patiently 
till he had faid all he had to fay, and made a flight in-- 
clination of the head^ I anfwered, " I am no great man, 
even in my own country ; one proof of this is my being 
"here in yours. 1 arrived in the time of the late king, and 
Ilwas recommended to him by his friends in Arabia. You 




are perfectly well-informed as to the great kindnefs he did 
all along fhew me, but this was entirely from his goodnefs, 
and no merit of mine. I never did eat or drink with him ; it 
was an honour I could not have been capable of afpiring 
to. Cuflom has eftabliiried the contrary; and for me, I 
faw no pleafure or temptation to tranfgrefs this cuflom, 
though it had been in my option, as it was not. I have, for 
the moft part, feen him eat and drink; an honour I enjoyed 
in common with his confidential fervants, as being an offi- 
cer of his houfehold. The gold you mention, which I have 
feveral times got from the late King and Ras el Feel, I con- 
Handy fpent for his fervice, and for my own honour. But 
at prefent I am neither governor of Ras el Feel, nor have I 
any pofl under heaven, nor do I defire it. Yafine, I fup- 
pofe, holds his from Ayto Confu his fuperior, who holds it 
from the king by order of Ras Michael, but of this I know 
nothing. As for tricks on horfeback, I know not what you 
mean. I have for many years been in conflant practice of 
horfemanfhip among the Arabs.' Mine, too, is a country 
of horfemen ; and I profefs to have attained to a degree not 
common, the management both of the lance and of fire- 
arms; but I am no buffoon, to fhew tricks. The profeflion 
of arms is my birth-right derived from my anceftors, and 
with thefe, at his defire, I have often diverted the king, as 
an amufement worthy of him, and by no means below me." 
— " The king ! fays he in a violent paffion, and who then 
am I ? a flave ! Do you know, with a ftamp of my foot I can 
order you to be hewn to pieces in an inflant. You are a 
Frank, a dog, a liar, and a flave ! Why did you tell the 
Iteghe that your houfe was robbed of 50 ounces of gold ? 
Any other king but myfelf would order your eyes to be 

4 pulled 


pulled out in a moment, and your carcafe to be thrown to 
the dogs." 

What he faid was true ; bad kings have moft execu- 
tioners. I was not, however, difmayed ; I was in my own 
mind, ftranger and alone, fuperior to fuch a beafl upon a 
throne. " The Iteghe, faid I, is at prefent at Kofcam, and 
will inform you if I told her of any gold that was ftolen from 
me, except a gold-mounted knife which the late king gave 
me at Dingleber the day after the battle of Limjour, and 
which was accidentally left in my houfe, as I had not worn 
it fince he went to Tigre." He fquirted at this moment an 
arch of tobacco-fpittle towards me, whether on purpofe or 
not I do not know. I felt myfelf very much moved; it nar- 
rowly miffed me. At this inflant an old man, of a noble 
appearance, who fat in a corner of the room next him, got 
up, and, in a firm tone of voice, faid, " I can bear this no 
longer ; we mall become a proverb, and the hatred of all 
mankind. What have you to do with Yagoube, or why did 
you fend for him ? he was favoured by the late king, but 
not more than I have feen Greeks or Armenians in all the 
late reigns ; and yet thefe very people confefs, in their own 
country, they are not worthy of being his fervants. He is 
a friend, not only to the king, but to us all : the whole peo- 
ple love him. As for myfelf, I never fpoke to him twice 
before ; when he might have gone to Tigre with Mi- 
chael his friend, he ftaid at Gondar with us: fo you, of all 
others, have leaft reafon to complain of him, fince he has 
preferred you to the Ras, tho' you have given him nothing. 
As for riding, I wifh Yagoube had jufl rode with you as 
much as with Tecla Haimanout, and you fpent as much 
time with him as your predeceiTor did ; laft night's difgrace 

Vol. IV, G would 


would not then have fallen upon us, at leaft would have been 
confined to the limits of your own kingdom ; you would 
have neither difobliged Fafil nor the Iteghe ; and, when the 
day of trial is at hand, you would have been better able to 
anfwer it, than, by going on at this rate, there is any appears 
ance you will be." This perfon, I understood, afterwards,, 
was Ras Sanuda, nephew to the Iteghe, and fon of Ras Wel- 
led de l'Oul ; he had been banifhed to Kuara in the late, 
king's time, fo I had no opportunity of knowing him., 

All the time of this harangue Socinios's eyes were moftly 
fhut, and his mouth open, and flavering tobacco; he was roll- 
ing from fide to fide fcarcely preferving his equilibrium^ 
When Sanuda ftopt, he began with an air of drollery, " You> 
are xery angry to-day, Baba." And turning to me, faid, " To- 
morrow, fee you bring me that horfe which Yafine fent 
you to Kofcam ; and bring me Yafine himfelf, or you will 4 ' 
hear of it ; flave and Frank as you are, enemy to Mary the- 
virgin, bring me the horfe !" Sanuda took me by the hand* 
faying in a whifper, " Don't fear him, I am here ; but ga 
home ; next time you come here you will have horfes> 
enough along with you." He, too, feemed in liquor; and, 
making me a fign to withdraw, I left the king and his mi- 
nifler together with great willingnefs, and returned to Kof- 
cam to the Iteghe, to whom I told what had pafTed, and who 
ordered me to flay near Ozoro Efther, as in her fervice, and. 
go no more to the palace. 

At this time certain intelligence was received that Ra& 
Michael was arrived in Lafla with Guigarr, Shum, or chief 
©f the clan called W T aag, once a mortal enemy to Michael, 
chough now at peace with him, and ferving him as his con- 


ductor. Through his country is the only pafTage from Tigre 
to Begemder and BeleiTen, and many armies have periflied 
by endeavouring to force it. Michael and the king now paff. 
ed under the protection of Guigarr, notwithftanding Powuf- 
fen had many parties among the other clans that wifhed to 
prevent him. On the 15th of December he forded the Ta- 
cazze, and turned a little to the left, as if he intended to 
pafs through the middle of Begemder, though he had real- 
ly no fuch defign, but only to bring Powuffen to an engage- 
ment. Seeing this was not likely, and only tended to wafte 
time, he purfued his journey ftraight towards Gondar, not 
in his ufual way, burning and deftroying, but quietly, cor- 
recting abufes, and regulating the police of the country 
through which he pafTed, for he was yet in fear. 

The news of his having pafTed the Tacazze determined 
Socinios and the Iteghe to fly ; and they fet out according- 
ly. Socinios directed his flight, firft towards Begemder, but, 
the next day, turned to the right, through Dembea, and 
joined the queen at Azazo, where great altercations and 
difputes followed between them. The queen had engaged 
the Abuna to attend her, and that prelate had confented, up- 
on receiving fifteen mules and thirty ounces of gold, which 
were paid accordingly : But when the queen fent, the morn- 
ing of her departure, to put the Abuna in mind of his pro- 
mife, his fervants ftoned the Iteghe's mefTcnger, without 
fuffering him to approach the houfe, but they kept the 
mules and the gold. The queen continued her flight to 
DegwafTa, near the lake Tzana, and fent all that was va- 
luable that fhe had brought with her, into the ifland 
of Dek. 

G 2 Ayto 


Ayto Engedan and Confu were at hand at the head of 
large parties fcouring the country, at once protecting the 
Iteghe, and fecuring as many of thofe of Socinios's people 
as were thought worthy of punifliment. Sanuda, too, was 
in arms ; and, throwing off the mafk, was now acting under 
the immediate direction of Ras Michael, and had apprehend- 
ed many of thofe noblemen of Tigre who had revolted againft 
the Ras, particularly Guebra Denghel, married to Ras Mi- 
chael's grand-daughter, defcended from one of the nobleft 
houfes in the province, and a man particularly diftinguifhed 
for generofity, opennefs, and affability of manners ; and 
Sebaat Laab and Kefla Mariam, men of great confideration in 
Michael's province. Confu and Sanuda having joined, en- 
tered Gondar, and took poflellion of the king's houfe, and 
put a Hop to thefe excefTes and robberies which had become 
very frequent fince the Iteghe's flight. 

One day, while I was fitting at Kofcam, Yafine enter- 
ed the court before the houfe, and, coming into the room, 
fell down and kiffed the ground before me, after the 
manner they falute their fuperior. He told me he came 
from Ayto Confu, who ordered him to do homage to me as 
ufualfor the province of Ras el Feel, and that I was to come 
to him directly, and go out to meet the king, for feveral of 
his people were already arrived at Gondar. I fent him back 
to Ayto Confu with my refpectful thanks, declined accept- 
ing of any office till I fhould fee the king ; and, as he him- 
felf had named the place to be Mariam Ohha, I thought it- 
was my duty to flay till he came there. 

In the mean time the unfortunate Socinios continued 
his flight, in company with the queen, till they came to 



the borders of Kuara, her native country. Thofe who 
made Socinios a king had never made him a friend. It 
was here fuggefted, that his prefence would infallibly oc- 
cafion a purfuit winch might endanger the queen, her 
country, and all her friends. Upon this it was refolved to 
abandon the unworthy Socinios to the lbldiers, who flript 
him naked, giving him only a rag to cover him, and a 
good horfe, and with thefe they difmifled him to feek his 

After a fhort ftay in Kuara, the queen turned to the 
left towards Bure. All Maitfha aflembled to efcort her to 
Eafil, while he led her through Damot to the frontiers of 
Gojam, where fhe was received in triumph by her daughter 
Ozoro Welleta Ifrael, and Ayto her grandfon, to whom half 
of that province belonged, and with them fhe relied at: 
laft in fafety, after a long and anxious journey. 

On the 2.1ft of December a meftage came to me from 
Ozoro Efther, defiling I would attend her fon Gonfu to meet 
the king, as his Fit-Auraris had marked out the camp at 
Mariam-Ohha; obferving, that I had a very indifferent knife 
or dagger in my girdle, (that which I had received from 
the king being ftolen, when my houfe was plundered) with 
her own hands fhe made me a prefent of a magnificent 
one, mounted with gold which' fhe had chofen with that 
intention, and laid upon the feat befide her. She told me 
fhe had already fent to acquaint her hufband, Ras Michael, 
how much Ihe had been obliged to me in his abfence, both 
for my attention to her and her eldefl fon, who had been 
feveral times fick fince his departure, and that 1 might ex- 
pect to receive a kind reception. 



CHAP. in. 

If he Author joins the Army at Mariam~Qhha— -Reception there*—*Uni' 
verfal Terror on the Approach of the Army—~-Several great Men of 
the Rebels apprehended and executed— Great Hardnefs of the Kings 

tTAVING ftill fome doubt about the propriety of going 
& to Mariam-Ohha, till the king had taken poft there, 
I appointed with Ayto Confu to meet him next morning, 
the 22d s in the plain below the church of Abbo, where is 
the pafs called Semma Confu, the dangerous path, from 
its being always a place where banditti refort to rob pa£» 
fengers in unfettled times. 

In my way through the town, though the day had 
fcarce dawned, numbers of the king's fervants, that had 
come from Tigre> flocked about me with great demonftra- 
tions of joy ; and, by the time I got into the plain below 
Abbo, I had already collected a ftrong party both of horfe 
4 and 


and foot. This was not my intention ; I had fet out un- 
armed, attended only by two Abymnian fervants on horfe- 
back, but without lance or fhield, and in this manner I in- 
tended to prefent myfelf to the king as one of the fuite of 
Ay to Confu : but all my endeavours were in vain ; and I 
faw that, making the beft of my way, and profiting of the 
early time of the morning, was the only method left to a- 
void increafing my retinue. I muft own the good difpofition 
of thefe people to me, and the degree of favour they report- 
ed me to be in, and, above all, Ozoro Either's aflurances 
had given me great comfort ; for feveral people of no au- 
thority, indeed, had prophefied that Ras Michael would be 
much offended at my having thrown a carpet over the 
body of Joas, and at my not having gone to Tigre with 

F passed the three heaps of ftones under which -lie the 
three monks who were Honed to death in the time of Da- 
vid IV. ; and at the bottom of the hill whereon flands the 
church of Abbo, I was met by Yafine, and about 20 horfe- 
men, having on their coats of mail, their helmets upon their 
heads, and their viziers down ; their pikes perpendicular, 
with their points in the air, fo that by one motion more^ 
placing them horizontally in their refts, they were pre- 
pared to charge at a word. I afked Yafine what was the 
meaning of his being in that equipage in fuch hot weather^ 
when there was no enemy f He replied, It was given him 
in orders from Ayto Confu laft night ; and that, with regard 
to an enemy, there was one that had feized the pafs of Sem- 
ma Confu, and obftinately ref ufed to let us through, un- 
lefs we forced them. Sure, faid I, Ayto Confu knows, that 
heavy armed- men on horfeback are not. fit to force panes 



through craggy mountains, where they may be all killed 
by rolling ftones upon them, without their even, feeing 
their enemiy. Strange, ftrange, faid I, (fpeaking to my- 
felf ) that any party mould be fo audacious as to take poft 
in the king's front, at fix miles diftance, and put themfelves 
between him and the capital : I am fure they heartily de- 
ferve to be cut in pieces, and fo they certainly will. Where 
is Ayto Confu ? It was anfwered by Yafine, That he was 
gone forward to the mouth of the pafs to reconnoitre it, 
and would meet us there. We marched on accordingly, 
acrofs the plain, about half a mile ; but I was furprifed to 
fee all my attendants, that I had picked up by the way, 
laughing, excepting Yafine's men, and that none of the 
reft made horfe, mule, or gun ready as if they were in dan- 
ger ; fo that I began now ftrongly to fufpect. fome trick 
on the part of Confu, as he was much given to jeft and 
fport, being a very young man. 

A little before we came to the mouth of the pafs, a 
foldier came to us and afked who we were ? and was 
anfwered, it was Yafine, Ayto Confu's fervant at Ras el Feel. 
To which it was replied, he knew no fuch perfon. He 
was fcarcely gone when another arrived with the fame que- 
ftion. I began to be impatient, as the fun was then -growing 
very hot ; and anfwered, It was Yagoube, the white man, 
the king's friend and fervant. I was again anfwered, No 
fuch perfon could pafs there. The third time, being inter- 
rogated by one whom I knew to be Ayto Confu's fervant, 
Yafine anfwered, it is Yagoube, the king's governor of Ras 
el Feel, with the flave Yafine, the moor, come to do the king 
homage, and to die for him, if he commands, in the midfl 
of his enemies. We were anfwered, He is welcome : upon 
3 which 


•which the fervant, going back, brought a drum, and beat 
it upon the rock, crying, as in a proclamation, " Yagoube 
is Governor of Ras el Feel, Commander of the king's black 
horfe, Lord of Geefh, andGentleman of the king's bed-cham- 
ber." Here this farce, the contrivance of Ayto Confu, end- 
ed. With him were many more of the king's fervants, my 
old acquaintances, and we all fat down by a fpring-well, 
under the made of the rock, to a hearty breakfaft prepar- 
ed for us by Ozoro Either. 

After this was finifhed with a great deal of chearful- 
nefs, and being ready to get on horfeback, we faw a man 
running towards us in great fpeed, who, upon his arrival, 
afked us where the king was, and if we were his Fit-Aura- 
ris ? To this we made him no anfwer ; but, laying hold of 
him, obliged him to declare his errand. He faid that he 
was a fervant of Negade Ras Mahomet, of Dara, who had 
apprehended Ayto Confu, brother of Guebra Mehedin, of 
whom I have fpoken at large, (never for any good) and that 
he had brought him along with him. This mifcreant, 
whom we had found out to be the principal actor and per- 
fuader of the robbery of my houfe, while in a drunken frolic 
with the wretched Socinios, was now in his way before the 
king, where, if all his delinquency had been known, 
he would infallibly have loft his eyes, his life, or both. He 
was nephew to the Iteghe, as has been already mentioned, 
fon to her brother Bafha Eufebius, and confequently coulin- 
german to Ayto Confu himfelf, who, with great diffidence, 
afked me if I could pardon his coufin, and allow him to be 
delivered out of Mahomet's hands, which, ill as he defervedof 
me, I very readily complied v/ith; for I would not for the world 

Vol. IV. H have 


have had it thought that I was the occafion of his death, after- 
it had been fo often faid, though falfely, that I had been the 
caufe of that of his brother. Mahomet delivered him to 
Confu and me, without helitation, and promifed not to com- 
plain to Ras Michael ; but he threatened, if ever again he 
fell into his hands, that he would certainly put him to 
death, which he well faw would not be very difagreeable 
to any of his relations, provided it happened in the field, or 
any other way than by the hands of a public executioner.. 
Ayto Confu, however, infilled upon bringing him out, and 
correcting him- publicly, though he was by ten years the 
younger of the two; and the wretch was accordingly fe— 
verely whipt with wands, and delivered after to a fervant 
of Ozoro Efther's to conduct him to fome fafe place, where 
he might be out of the reach of Ras Michael, at leafl for a 

We now got on horfeback, and having ordered Yafine 
and his foldiers to difarm, we all went in the habit of peace, 
with joyful hearts, to meet the king, who was already ar- 
rived at Mariam-Ohha, and was encamped there fince about . 
eleven o'clock that forenoon* 

My firft btifmefs was to wait on Ras Michael, who, th'o* ' 
very bufy, admitted me immediately upon being announ- 
ced. This was a compliment I was under no neceflity of 
paying him, as the king's fervant ; but I was refolved to 
take nothing upon me, but appear in all the humility of a 
private ftranger. . This he quickly perceived, fo that, when 
he faw me approaching near him to kifs the ground, he 
made an effort as if to rife, which he never did, being lame, 
sior.could do without help ; ftretching out his hand as if to 



prevent me, repeated the words in a hurry, be gzeir, be gzeir^ 
or, for God's fake don't, for God's fake don't, However, the 
compliment was paid. As foon as I arofe, without defiring 
me to fit down, he afked aloud, Have you feen the king? I 
faid, Not yet. Have you any complaint to make againft any 
one, or grace to alii? I anfwered, None, but the continuance 
of your favour. He anfwered, That I am fure I owe you ; 
go to the king. I took my leave. I had been jollied and 
almoft fqueezed to death attempting to enter, but large 
room was made me for retiring. ^ 

The reception I had met with was the infallible rule 
according to which the courtiers were to fpeak to me 
from that time forward. Man is the fame creature every*. 
where, although different in colour : the court of London 
and that of Abyfiinia are, in their principles, one. I then 
went immediately to the king in the prefence-chamber. His 
largefl tent was crowded to a degree of fuffocation ; I re^ 
folved, therefore, to wait till this throng was over, and was 
going to my own tent, which my fervants pitched near that 
of Kefla Yafous, by that general's own defire, but before I 
could reach it I was called by a fervant from the king. 
Though the throng had greatly decreafed, there was itill a 
very crowded circle. 

The king was fitting upon an ivory ftOol, fuch as are re- 
prefented upon ancient medals ; he had got this as a pre- 
fentfrom Arabia fince he went td Tigre; he was plainly, but 
very neatly dreffed, and his hair combed and perfumed. 
When I kiffed the ground before him, " There, fays he, is 
an arch rebel, what punifhment fhall we inflict upon him?" 
*' Your majefty's juflice, faid I, will not fufFer you to inflict 

H 2 any 


any punifhment upon me that can poffibly equal the plea- 
sure I feel this day at feeing you fitting there." He fmiled 
with great good nature, giving me firfl the back, and then 
the palm of his hand to kifs. He then made me a fign to 
{land in my place, which I immediately did for a moment ; 
and, feeing he was then upon bufinefs, which I knew nothing 
of, I took leave of him, and could not help reflecting, as I 
went, that, of all the vaft multitude then in my light, I was,, 
perhaps, the only one deftitute either of hope or fear* 

All Gondar, and the neighbouring towns and villages,, 
had poured out their inhabitants to meet the king upon his 
return. The fear of Ras Michael was the caufe of all this ; 
and every one trembled, left, by being abfent, he mould be: 
thought a favourer of Socinios. 

The fide of the hill, which Hopes gently from Beleflen, is 
here very beautiful ; it is covered thick with herbage down 
to near the foot, where it ends in broken rocks. The face 
of this hill is of great extent, expofed to the W. and S. W. ; 
a fmall, but clear-running ftream, riling in Beleflen, runs 
through the middle of it, and falls into the Mogetch. It is 
not confiderable, being but a brook, called Mariam-Ohha, 
(/. e. the water of Mariam) from a church dedicated to the 
Virgin, near where it rifes in Beleflen ; an infinite number 
of people fpread themfelves all over the hill, covered with 
cotton garments as white as fnow. The number could not 
be lefs than 50 or 60,000 men and women, all ftrewed upon 
the grafs promifcuoufly. Moft of thefe had brought their 
victuals with them, others trufted to their friends and ac- 
quaintances in the army ; the foldiers had plenty of meat ; 
as foon as the king had crofied the Tacazze all was lawful 

prize ;■ 


prize ; and though they did not murder or burn, as was 
Michael's cuftom in his former marches, yet they drove a- 
way all the cattle they could feize, either in Begemder or 
BelefTen. Befides this, a great quantity of provifions of 
every fort poured in from the neighbourhood of Gondar, 
in prefents to the king and great men, though there was 
really famine in that capital, by the roads being every way 
obitructed ; there was plenty, however, in the camp. 

It was then the month of December, the fairefl time of 
the year, when the fun was in the fouthern tropic, and no 
danger from rain in the day, nor in the night from dew ; 
fo that, if the remembrance of the paft had not hung hea- 
vy on fome hearts, it was a party of pleafure,.of the moll 
agreeable kind, to convoy the king to his capital: The priefts 
from all the convents for many miles round, in drefTes of 
yellow and white cotton, came, with their croffes and drums, 
in proceflion, and greatly added to the variety of the fcene. 
Among thefe were 300 of the monks of Kofcam, with their 
large crofTes,. and kettle-drums of filver, the gift of the Iteg- 
he in the days of her fplendour ; at prefent it was very 
doubtful what their future fate was to be, after their patro- 
nefs had fled from Kofcam. But what molt, drew the at- 
tention of all ranks of people, was the appearance of the 
Abuna and Itchegue, whofe character, rank, and dignity ex- 
empted them from leaving Gondar to meet the king him- 
felf ; but they were then in great fear, and in the form of 
criminals, and were treated with very little refpecl: or cere- 
mony by the foldiers, who confidered them as enemies. 

It will be remembered, upon a report being fpread jufl 
after the election of Socinios, that Ras Michael's affairs were 



taking an adverfe turn while befieging the mountain Ha- 
ramat ; that the Abuna, Itchegue, and Acab Saat, had fo- 
lemnly excommunicated the king, Ras Michael, and all 
their adherents, declaring them accui fed, and abfolving all 
people from their allegiance to Tecla Haimanout. But as 
foon as the king began his march from Tigre, application 
for pardon was made through every channel poflible, and 
it was not without great difficulty that Ras Michael could 
be brought to pardon thern, chiefly by the entreaty of Ozo- 
ro Either. But this mortification was prescribed to them 
as a condition of forgivenefs, that they mould meet the 
king at Mariam-Ohha, not with drums and croffes, or a re- 
tinue, but in the habit and appearance of Supplicants. Ac- 
cordingly they both came by the time the king had alight- 
ed, but they brought no tent with them, nor was any 
pitched for them, nor any honour fliewn them. 

The Abuna had with him a prieft, or monk, on a mule, 
and two beggarly- looking fervants on foot ; the Itchegue 
two monks, that looked like fervants, diftinguifhed by a 
cowl only on their heads ; they were both kept waiting 
till pail: three o'clock, and then were admitted, and fharply 
rebuked by the Ras : they after went to the king, who pre- 
sently difmifTed them without faying a word to either, or 
without allowing them to be feated in his prefence, which 
both of them, by their rank, were intitled to be. I afked the 
Abuna to make ufe of my tent to avoid the fun : this he 
willingly accepted of, was crefl- fallen a little, fpoke very 
lowly and familiarly ; faid he had alv/ays a regard for me, 
which I had no reafon to believe ; defired me to fpeak fa- 
vourable of him before the King and the Ras, which I pro- 
jniied faithfully to do. I ordered coffee, which he drank 


with great pleafure, during which he gave me fcveral 
hints, as if he thought his pardon was not compleated ; 
and at laft allied me directly what were my fentiments, and 
what I had heard ? I faid, I believed every thing was fa- 
vourable as to him and the Itchegue, but I did not know 
how much farther the king's forgivenefs would extend. 
I know, fays he, what you mean ; that Abba Salama, (curfe 
upon him) he is the author of it all : What do I know of 
thefe black people, who am a ftranger, fo lately come into 
the country ? and, indeed, he feemed to know very little ; 
for, befides his native Arabic, which he fpoke like a pea- 
fant, he had not learned one word of any of the various 
languages ufed in the country in which he was to live and 
die. Having nnifhed coffee, I left him fpeaking to fome 
of his own people ; about half an hour afterwards, he went 

Ras Michael had brought with him from Tigre about 
20,000 men, the bell foldiers oi the empire ; about 6000 of 
thefe were mufqueteers, about 1 2,000 armed with lances and 
fhields, and about 6000 men had joined them from Gon-- 
dar ; a large proportion of thefe were horfemejn, who were 
fcouring the country in all directions, bringing with them.' 
fuch unhappy people as deferved to be, and were there- 
fore deftined for public example. 

The fhort way from Tigre to Gondar was by Lamalmon a . 
(that is the mountain of Samen) and by Woggora. Ay to * 
Tesfos had maintained himfelf in the government of Samen ■ 
ftnce Joas's time, by whom he was appointed ; he had con- 
tinued conftantly in enmity with Ras Michael, and had now 
taken poiTeiiion of the paffes near the Tacazze, fo as to cutoff 
2- all I 


all communication between Gondar and Tigre. On the fide of 
Beleffen, between Lafla and Begemder, was Ras Michael and 
his army. PowufTen and the Begemder troops cut off the 
road to Gojam by Foggora and Dara. Ayto Engedan, who 
was to be confidered as an advanced poll of Fafil, was at 
Tfhemmcra, in the way of the Agow and Maitftia, and Coque 
Abou Barea on the N. W. fide, towards Kuara ; fo that Gon- 
dar was fo completely invefted, that feveral of the people 
died with hunger. 

Ras Michael had ordered his own nephew, Tecla and 
Welleta Michael, the king's mailer of the houfehold, to en- 
deavour to force their way from Tigre to Woggora, and 
open that communication, if poffible, with Gondar; and 
for that purpofe had left him 4000 men in the province of 
Sire, on the other fide of the Tacazze ; and now fcarce was 
his tent pitched at Mariam-Ohha, when he detached Kefla 
Yafous with 6000 men to force a junction with Michael 
and Tecla from the Woggora iide. Their orders were, if 
poffible, to draw Tesfos to an engagement, but not to ven- 
ture to ftorm him in the mountain ; for Tesfos's principal 
poll, the Jews Rock, was inacceffible, where he had plow- 
ed and fowed plentifully for his fubfiftence, and had a quan- 
tity of the pureft running-water at all feafons of the year : 
to irritate Tesfos more, Kefla Yafous was then named gover- 
nor of Samen in his place. This brave and active officer 
had fet out immediately for his command, and it was to 
me the greateft difappointment poffible, that I did not fee 

Althouoh Ras Michael had been in council all night, 

the fignal was made to flrike the tents at the firft dawn of 

4 day, 


day, and foon after, the whole army was in motion ; the 
council had been in the Ras's tent, not in prefence of the 
king, with whom I had flaid the moll part of the evening, 
indeed, till late in the night ; he feemed to have loft all his 
former gaiety, and to be greatly troubled in mind; inquir- 
ed much about the Iteghe, and Fafil ; told me he had fent 
his affurance of peace to the Iteghe, and defired her not to 
leave Kofcam : but fhe had returned for anfwer, that lhe 
could not trull Michael, after the threatnings he had fent 
againft her from Tigre. It was obferved alfo, in this day's 
march, that, contrary to his cuflom before croffing the Ta- 
cazze, he received all that came out to meet him with a 
fullen countenance, and fcarce ever anfwered or fpake to 
them. Michael alfo, every day fince the fame date, had put 
on a behaviour more and more fevere and brutal. He had 
enough of this at all times. 

It was the 23d of December when we encamped on the 
Mogetch, juft below Gondar. This behaviour was fo con- 
fpicuous to the whole people, that no fooner were the tents 
pitched, (it being about eleven o'clock) than they all Hole 
home to Gondar in fmall parties without their dinner, and 
prefently a report was fpread that the king and Ras Mi- 
chael came determined to burn the town, and put the inha- 
bitants all to the fword. This occafioned the utmoft con- 
fternation, and caufed many to fly to Fafil. 

As for me, the king's behaviour fhe wed me plainly all 
was not right, and an accident in the way confirmed it. He 
had defired me to ride before him, and fhew him the horfe 
I had got from Fafil, which was then in great beauty and 
order, and which I had kept purpofely for him. It happen- 

Vol. IV. I cd 


ed that, crofting the deep bed of a brook, a plant of the 
kantuffa hung acrofs it. I had upon my moulders a white 
goat fkin, of which it did not take hold ; but the king, 
who was drefled in the habit of peace, his long hair float- 
ing all around his face, wrapt up in his mantle, or thin cot- 
ton cloak, fo that nothing but his eyes could be feen, was 
paying more attention to the horfe than to the branch of 
kantuffa befide him ; it took firft hold of his hair, and the 
fold of the cloak that covered his head, then fpread itfelf 
over his whole moulder in fuch a manner, that, notwith- 
ftanding all the help that could be given him, and that I had, 
at firft feeing it, cut the principal bough afunder with my 
knife, no remedy remained but he mult throw off the up- 
per garment, and appear in the under one, or waiflcoat, with 
his head and face bare before all the fpectators. 

This is accounted great difgrace to a king, who always 
appears covered in public. However, he did not feem to be 
ruffled, nor was there any thing particular in his counten- 
ance more than before, but with great compofure, and in 
rather a low voice, he called twice, Who is the Shum of 
this diftricr ? Unhappily he was not far off. A thin old man 
of fixty, and his fon about thirty, came trotting, as their 
cuflom is, naked to their girdle, and flood before the king, 
who was, by this time, quite cloathed again. What had 
flruck the old man's fancy, I know not, but he pafTed my 
horfe laughing, and feemingly wonderfully content with 
himfelf. I could not help confidering him as a type of 
mankind in general, never more confident and carelefs than 
when on the brink of deftruetion; the king afked if he was 
Shum of that place ? he anfwered in the affirmative, and 



added, which was not allied of him, that the other was his 

There is always near the king, when he marches, an 
officer called Kanitz Kitzera, the executioner cf the camp; 
he has upon the tore of his faddle a quantity of thongs made 
of bull hide, rolled up very artificially, this is called the ta- 
rade. The king made a fign with his head, and another 
with his hand, without fpeaking, and two loops of the ta- 
rade were inftantly thrown round the Shum and his fon's 
neck, and they werte both hoifted upon the fame tree, the 
tarade cut, and the end made fall to a branch. They were 
both left hanging, but I thought fo aukwardly, that they 
Ihould not die for fome minutes, and might furely have 
Deen faved had any one dared to cut them down ; but 
fear had fallen upon every perfon who had not attended the 
king to Tigre. 

This cruel beginning feemed to me an omen that violent 
Tefolutions had been taken, the execution of which was 
immediately to follow; for though the king had certainly a 
delight in the fhedding of human blood in the field, yet till 
that time I never faw him order an execution by the hands 
of the hangman ; on the contrary, I have often feen him 
ihudder and exprefs difguft, lowly and in half words, at 
fuch executions ordered every day by Ras Michael. In this 
inftance he feemed to have loft that feeling ; and rode on, 
fometimes converfing about Fafil's horfe, or other indiffer- 
ent fubjeets, to thofe who were around him, without once 
reflecting upon the horrid execution he had then fo recent- 
ly occafioned, 

la In 


In the evening of the 23d, when encamped upon the 
Mogetch, came Sanuda, the perfon who had made Socinios 
king, and who had been under him ; he was received 
with great marks of favour, in reward of the treacherous 
part he had acted. He brought with him prifoners, 
Guebra Denghel, the Ras's fon-in-law, one of the beft and 
moil amiable men in Abyffinia, but who had unfortunate- 
ly embraced the wrong fide of the queftion ; and with him 
Sebaat Laab and Kefla Mariam, both men of great families 
in Tigre. Thefe were, one after the other, thrown violent- 
ly on their faces before the king. I was exceedingly dif- 
trefled for Guebra Denghel ; he prayed the king with the 
greateft earneftnefs to order him to be put to death before 
the door of his tent, and not delivered to his cruel father- 
in-law. To this the king made no anfwer, nor did he 
mew any figns of pity, but waved his hand, as a fign-'to car- 
ry them to Ras Michael, where they were put in cuftody 
and loaded with irons. 

About two hours later came Ayto Aylo, fon of Kafmati 
Efhte, whom the king had named governor of Begemder ; 
he brought with him Chremation brother to Socinios, and 
Abba Salama the Acab Saat, who had excommunicated his 
father, and been inftrumental in his murder by Fafil. I 
had a great curiofity to fee how they would treat the Acab 
Saat, for my head was full of what I had read in the Eu- 
ropean books of exemption that churchmen had in this 
country from the jurisdiction of the civil power. 

Aylo had made his legs to be tied under the mule's bek 

ly, his hands behind his back, and a rope made fait to 

them, which a man held in his hand on one fide, while an- 

3 other 


other led the halter of the mule on the other, both of them 
with lances in their hands. Chremation had his hands 
bound, but his legs were not tied, nor was there any rope 
made faft to his hands by which he was held. While they 
were untying Abba Salama, 1 went into the prefence-cham- 
ber, and flood behind the king's chair. Very foon after 
Aylo's men brought in their prifoners, and, as is ufual, 
threw them down violently with their faces to the ground ; 
their hands being bound behind them, they had a very rude 
fall upon their faces. 

The Acab Saat rofe in a violent pafhon, he ftruggled to 
get loofe his hands, that he might be free to ufe the act of 
denouncing excommunication, which is by lifting the right 
hand, and extending the fore-finger ; finding that impoffi- 
ble, he cried out, Unloofe my hands, or you are all excom- 
municated. It was with difficulty he could be pre- 
vailed upon to hear the king, who with great compoftire, 
or rather indifference, faid to him, You are the firfl ecclefiaf- 
tical officer in my houfehold, you are the third in the 
whole kingdom ; but I have not yet learned you ever had 
power to curfe your fovereign, or exhort his fubjects to 
murder him. You are to be tried for this crime by the 
judges to-morrow, fo prepare to mew in your defence, up- 
on what precepts of Chrift, or his apoftles, or upon what 
part of the general councils, you found your title to do 

Let my hands be unloofed, cries Salama violently ; I am 
a prieit, a fervant of God ; and they have power, fays David, 
to put kings in chains, and nobles in irons. And did not 
Samuel hew king Agag to pieces before the Lord ? I excom- 


municate you, Tecla Haimanout. And he was going on, 
when Tecla Mariam, fon of the king's fecretary, a young 
man, fcruck the Acab Saat fo violently on the face, that it 
made his mouth gufli out with blood, faying, at fame time, 
What ! fufFer this in the king's prefence ? Upon which 
both Chremation and the Acab Saat were hurried out of 
the tent without being fuffered to fay more ; indeed the 
blow feemed to have fo much difconcerted Abba Salama, 
that it deprived him for a time of the power of fpeak- 

In Abyflinia it is death to ftrike, or lift the hand to 
ftrike, before the king ; but in this cafe the provocation was 
fo great, fo fudden, and unexpected, and the youth's worth 
and the infolence of the offender fo apparent to every body, 
that a flight reproof was ordered to be given to Tecla Ma- 
riam (by his father only) but he loft no favour for what he 
had done, either with the King, Michael, or the people. 

When the two prifoners were carried before the Ras, 
he refufed to fee them, but loaded them with irons, and 
committed them to clofe cuflody. That night a council was 
held in the king's tent, but it broke early up ; afterwards 
another before the Ras, which fat much later ; the reafon 
was, that the firft, where the king was, only arranged the 
bufmefs of to-morrow, while that before the Ras confidered 
all that was to be done or likely to happen at any time. 

On the 24th the drum beat, and the army was on their 
march by dawn of day: they halted a little after palling the 
rough ground, and then doubled their ranks, and formed 
into clofe order of battle, the king leading the center; a 



few of his black horfe were in two lines immediately before 
him, their fpears pointed upwards, his officers and nobility on 
each iide, and behind him the reft of the horfe, diflributed 
in the wings, excepting prince George and Ayto Confu, who, 
with two fmall bodies, not exceeding a hundred, fcoured 
the country, fometimes in the front, and fometimes in the 
flank. I do not remember who commanded the reft of the 
army, my mind was otherwife engaged ; they marched clofe 
and in great order, and every one trembled for the fate of 
Gondar. We pafled the Mahometan town, and encamped 
upon the river Kahha, in front of the market-place. As 
foon as we had turned our faces to the town, our kettle- 
drums were brought to the front, and, after beating fome 
time, two proclamations were made. The firft was, That 
all thofe who had flour or barley in quantities, fhould bring 
it that very day to a fair market, on pain of having their 
houfes plundered ; and that all people, foldiers, or others,. 
who attempted by force to take any provifions without ha- 
ving firft paid for them in ready money, fhould be hanged 
upon the fpot. A bench was quickly brought, and fet under 
a tree in the middle of the market ; a judge appointed to fit 
there ; a ftrong guard, and feveral officers placed round him ; 
behind him an executioner, and a large coil of ropes laid 
at his feet. The fecond proclamation was, That everybody 
mould remain at home in their houfes, otherwife the per- 
fon flying, or deferring the town, mould be reputed a rebel, 
his goods confifcaced, his houfe burnt, and his family cha- 
flifed at the king's pleafure for feven years ; fo far was well 
and politic. 

There was at Gondar a fort of mummers-, being a mix- 
ture of buffoons and ballad-fingers, and pofture- mailers, 
i Thefe 


Thefe people, upon all public occafions, run about the 
flreets, and on private ones, fuch as marriages, come to the 
court-yards before the houfes, where they dance, and ling 
fongs of their own compofing in honour of the day, and per- 
form all forts of antics : many a time, on his return from the 
field with victory, they had met Ras Michael, and received 
his bounty for finging his praifes, and welcoming him up- 
on his return home. The day the Abuna excommunicated 
the king, this fet of vagrants made part of the folemnity; 
they abufed, ridiculed, and traduced Michael in lampoons 
and fcurrilous rhymes, calling him crooked, lame, old, and 
impotent, and feveral other opprobrious names, which did 
not affect: him near fo much as the ridicule of his perfon : 
upon many occafions after, they repeated this, and parti- 
cularly in a fong they ridiculed the horfe of Sire, who had 
run away at the battle of Limjour, where Michael cried 
out, Send thefe horfe to the mill. It happened that thefe 
wretches, men and women, to the number of about thirty 
and upwards, were then, with very different fongs, celebra- 
ting Ras Michael's return to Gondar. The King and Ras, 
after the proclamation, had juft turned to the right to Aylo 
Meidan, below the palace, a large field where the troops exer- 
cife. Confu and the king's houfehold troops were before, 
and about 200 of the Sire horfe were behind ; on a fignal 
made by the Ras, thefe horfe turned fhort and fell upon the 
fingers, and cut them all to pieces. In lefs than two minutes 
they were all laid dead upon the field, excepting one young 
man, who, mortally wounded, had juft ftrength enough to 
arrive within twenty yards of the king's horfe, and there 
fell dead without fpeaking a word. 




All the people prefent, mod of them veteran foldiers, 
and confequently inured to blood, appeared mocked and 
difgufted at this wanton piece of cruelty. For my part, a 
kind of faintifhnefs, or feeblenefs, had taken pofleflion of 
my heart, ever fince the execution of the two men on our 
march about the kantuffa ; and this fecond act of cruelty 
occafioned fuch a horror, joined with an abience of mind, 
that I found myfelf unable to give an immediate anfwer, 
though the king had fpoken twice to me. - 

It was about nine o'clock in the morning when we en- 
tered Gondar ; every perfon we met on the ftreet wore the 
countenance of a condemned malefactor; the Ras went 
immediately to the palace with the king, who retired, as 
ufual, to a kind of cage or lattice- window, where he always 
fits unfeen when in council. We were then in the council- 
chamber, and four of the judges feated ; none of the go- 
vernors of provinces were prefent but Ras Michael, and 
Kafmati Tesfos of Sire. Abba Salama was brought to the 
foot of the table without irons, at perfect liberty. The 
accufer for the king (it is a poft in this country in no 
great eftimation) began the charge againfl him with great 
force and eloquence: he flated, one by one, the crimes com- 
mitted by him at different periods, the Aim of which a- 
mounted to prove Salama to be the greateft monfter upon 
earth: among thefe were various -kinds of murder, efpe- 
cially by poifon ; inceft, with every degree' collateral and 
defcendant. He concluded this black, horrid lift, with the 
charge of high treafon, or curfing the king, and abfolving 
his fubjects from their allegiance, which he Hated as the 
greater!: crime human nature was capable of, as involving 
in its confequences all forts of other crimes. Abba Salama, 

Vol. IV. K. . though 


though he feemed under very great impatience, did not 
often interrupt him, further than, You lie, and, It is a lie, which 
he repeated at every new charge. His accufer had not faid 
one word of the murder of Joas, but palled it over without 
the fmalleft allufion to it. 

In this, however, Abba Salama did not follow his exam- 
ple : being defired to anfwer in his own defence, he enter- 
ed upon it with great dignity, and an air of fuperiority, very 
different from his behaviour in the king's tent the day be- 
fore : he laughed, and made extremely light of the charges 
on the article of women, which he neither confefled nor 
denied ; but faid thefe might be crimes among the Franks, 
(looking at me) or other Chriftians, but not the Chriftians 
of that country, who lived under a double difpenfation, the 
law of Mofes and the law of Chrift : he faid the Abymnians 
were Bent Ifrael, as indeed they call themfelves, that is, Chil- 
dren of Ifrael ; and that in every age the patriarchs had 
acted as he did, and were not lefs beloved of God. He went 
roundly into the murder of Joas, and of his two brothers, 
Adigo and Aylo, on the mountain of Wechne, and char- 
ged Michael directly with it, as alfo with the poifoning the 
late Hatze Hannes, father of the prefent king. 

The Ras feemed to avoid hearing, fometimes by fpeak- 
ing to people Handing behind him, fometimes by reading 
a paper ; in particular, he afked me, Handing directly be- 
hind his chair, in a low voice, What is the punifhment in 
your country for fuch a crime ? It was his cuflom to fpeak 
to me in his own language of Tigre, and one of his greateft 
paftimes to laugh at my faulty expreffion. He fpake this 
to me in Amharic, fo I knew he wanted my anfwer jhould 



be underftood : I therefore faid, in the fame low tone of 
voice he had fpoke to me, High-treafon is punifhed with 
death in all the countries I have ever known. — This I owed 
to Abba Salama, and it was not long before 1 had my return. 

Abba Sal am a next went into the murder of Kafmati Efhte, 
which he confefTed he was the promoter of. He faid the 
Iteghe, with her brothers and Ayto Aylo, had all turned 
Franks, fo had Gufho of Amhara ; and that, in order to 
make the country Catholic, they had fent for priefts, who 
lived with them in confidence, as that frank did, pointing to 
me : that it was againft the law of the country, that I mould 
be fuffered here ; that I was accurfed, and mould be ftoned 
as an enemy to the Virgin Mary. There the Ras interrupt- 
ed him, by faying, Confine yourfelf to your own de- 
fence ; clear yourfelf firft, and then accufe any one you 
pleafe: it is the king's intention to put the law in execution 
againft all offenders, and it is only as believing you the 
greateft that he has begun with you.. 

This calmnefs of the Ras feemed to difconcert the Acab 
Saat ; he loft all method ; he warned the Ras that it was ow- 
ing to his excommunicating Kafmati Efhte that room was 
made for him to come to Gondar ; without that event this 
king would never have been upon the throne, fo that he 
had ftill done them as much good by his excommunications 
as he had done them harm : he told the Ras, and the judges 
that they were all doubly under a curfe, if they offered 
either to pull out his eyes, or cut out his tongue ; and pray- 
ed them, burfting into tears, not fo much as to think of either, 
if it was only for old fellowihip, or friendfhip which had 
long fubfifted between them. 

K 2. There 


There is an officer named Kal Hatze who Hands always 
upon fteps at the fide of the lattice-window, where there is 
a hole covered in the infide with a curtain of green taffeta ; 
behind this curtain the king fits, and through this hole he 
fends what he has to fay to the Board, who rife and receive 
the meflenger (landing: he had not interfered till now, when 
the officer faid, addrefling himfelf to Abba Salama, " The 
king requires of you to anfwer directly why you perfuaded 
the Abuna to excommunicate him ? the Abuna is a Have of 
the Turks, and has no king; you are born under a monarchy, 
why did you, who are his inferior in office, take upon you 
to advife him at all ? or why, after having prefumed to ad- 
vife him, did you advife him wrong, and abufe his ignorance 
in thefe matters Y* This queftion, which was a home one, 
made him lofe all his temper ; he curfed the Abuna, called 
him Mahometan, Pagan, Frank, and Infidel ; and was go- 
ing on in this wild manner, when Tecla Haimanout *, the 
eldeft of the judges, got up, and addrefling himfelf to the Ras, 
It is no part of my duty to hear all this railing, he has not 
fo much as offered one fact .material to his exculpation. 

The king's fecretary fent up to the window the fubftance 
of his defence, tlie criminal was carried at fome diftance 
to the other end of the room, and the judges deliberated 
whilil the king was reading. Very few words were faid 
among the reft ; the Ras was all the time fpeaking to other 
people : after he had ended this, he called upon the young- 
eft judge to give his opinion, and he gave it, '.He is guilty, 
and mould die ;' the fame faid all the officers, and after 
them the judges, and the fame faid Kamiati Tesfos after 


* The fame whofe foot was hurt by Strates'smule«in the campaign of Maitfha. 


them. When it came to Ras Michael to give his vote, he 
afFecled moderation ; he faid that he was accufed for being 
his enemy and accomplice ; in either cafe, it is not fair 
that he fhould judge him. No fuperior officer being pre- 
fent, the lafl voice remained with the king, who fent Kal 
Hatze to the Board with his fentence ; ' He is guilty and 
Jhall die the death. — The hangman Jhall hang him upon a tree 
to-day? The unfortunate Acab Saat was immediately hur- 
ried away by the guards to the place of execution, which is 
a large tree before the king's gate ; where uttering, to the 
very laft moment, curfes againft the king, the Ras, and the 
Abuna, he fufFered the death he very richly deferved, 
being hanged in the very veftments in which he ufed to 
fit before the king, without one ornament of his civil or 
facerdotal pre-eminence having been taken from him 
before the execution. In going to the tree he faid he had 
400 cows, which he bequeathed to fome priefts to fay prayers 
for his foul ; but the Ras ordered them to be brought to 
Gondar, and diftributed among his foldiers. 

I have entered into a longer detail of this trial, at the 
whole of which I affifted, the rather that I might aik this 
queftion of thofe that maintain the abfolute independence of 
the Abyffinian priefthood, Whether, if the many inftrmces 
already mentioned have not had the effecl, this one does 
not fully convince them, that all eccleiiafUcal perfons are 
fubjecft to the fecular power in Abyflinia as much as they 
are in Britain or any European Proteftant ilate whatever ? 

Chremation, Socinios's brother, wr-P next called, "he 
feemed half dead with fear ; he only denied having anv 
concern in his brother being elected king. He faid he 




had no poft, and in this he fpoke the truth, but confefied 
that he had been fent by Abba Salama to bring the Itchegue 
and the Abuna to meet him the day of excommunication 
at Dippabye. It was further unluckily proved againft him, 
that he was prefent with his brother at plundering the 
houfes in the night-time when the man was killed ; and 
upon this he was fentenced to be immediately hanged ;. 
the court then broke up and went to breakfaft. All this had 
pafled in lefs than two hours ; it was not quite eleven o'clock 
when all was over, but Ras Michael had fworn he would 
not talle bread till Abba Salama was hanged, and on fuclx 
occafions he never broke his word. 

Immediately after this laft execution the kettle-drums 
beat at the palace- gate, and the, crier made this proclama- 
tion, " That all lands and villages, which are now, or have 
been given to the Abuna by the king, mall revert to the 
king's own ufe,and be fubject to the government, or the Can- 
tiba of Dembea, or fuch officers as the king mall after ap- 
point in the provinces where they are fituated," 

I went home, and my houfe being but a few yards from 
the palace, I paned the two unfortunate people hanging 
upon the fame branch ' r and, full of the cruelty of the fcene 
I had witnened, which I knew was but a preamble to much 
more, I determined firmly, at all events, to quit this coun- 

The next morning came on the trial of the unfortunate 

Guebra Denghel, Sebaat Laab, and Kefla Mariam ; the Ras 

claimed his right of trying thefe three at his own houfe, as 

they were all three fubje&s of his government of Tigre. 

4 Guebra 



Guebra Denghel bore his hard fortune with great uncon- 
cern, declaring, that his only reafon of taking up arms a- 
gainft the king was, that he faw no other way of prevent- 
ing Michael's tyranny, and monflrous thirft of money and 
of power : that the Ras was really king, had fubverted the 
conftitution, annihilated all difference of rank and perfons, 
and transferred the efficient parts of government into the 
hands of his own creatures. He wifhed the king might 
know this was his only motive for rebellion, and that unlefs 
it had been to make this declaration, he would not have 
opened his mouth before fo partial and unjuft a judge as 
he confidered Michael to be. 

But Welleta Selafle, his daughter, hearing the danger her 
father was in, broke fuddenly out of Ozoro Efther's apart- 
ment, which was contiguous ; and, coming into the council- 
room at the inftant her father was condemned to die, threw 
herfelf at the Ras's feet with every mark and expreffion of 
the moil extreme forrow. I cannot, indeed, repeat what her 
expreflions were, as I was not prefent, and I thank God that 
I was not ; 1 believe they are ineffable by any mouth but 
her own, but they were perfectly unfuccefsful. The old 
tyrant threatened her with immediate death, fpurned her 
away with his foot, and in her hearing ordered her father 
to be immediately hanged. Welleta Selaffe, in a fit, or faint, 
which refembled death, fell fpeechlefs to the ground ; the 
father, forgetful of his own fituation, flew to his daughter's 
affiflance, and they were both dragged out at feparate doors, 
the one to death, the other to after iufFerings, greater than 
death itfelf. 




Fortune feemed to have taken delight, from very earlyr 
life, conftantly to traverfe the greatnefs and happinefs of 
this young lady. She was firft deftined to be married to 
Joas, and the affair was near concluded, when the fatal dis- 
covery, made at the battle of Azazo, that the king had fent 
his houfehold troops privately to fight for Fafil againft Mi- - 
chael, prevented her marriage, and occafioned his death. . 
She was then deftined to old Hatze Hannes, Tecla Haima- 
nout's father : Michael, who found him incapable of being 
a king, judged him as incapable of being a huiband to a 
woman of the youth and charms of Welleta SelaiTe, and, 
therefore, deprived him at once of his life, crown, and 
bride. She was now not feventeen, and it was designed fhe 
mould be married to the prefent king ; Providence put a 
Hop to a union that was not agreeable to either party : Ihe 
died fome time after this, before the battle of Serbraxos ; ; 
being ftrongly prefTed to gratify the brutal inclinations of 
the Ras her grandfather, whom, when me could not refill 
or avoid, ihe took poifon ; others faid it was given her by 
Ozoro Either from jealoufy, but this was certainly without 
foundation. I faw her in her laft moments, but too late to 
give her any affiftance ; and Ihe had told her women- fervants 
and flaves that ihe had taken arfenic, having no other way 
to avoid committing fo monftrous a crime as inceil with; 
the murderer of her father.. 

The rage that the interceilion of the daughter for her 
father Guebra Denghel had put the Ras into, was feen in 
the feverity of the fentence he paiTed upon the other 
two criminals ; Kefla Mariana's eyes were pulled out, Se- 
baat Laab's eye- lids were cut off by the roots, and both of 
them were expofed in the market-place to the burning fun, 
2 without 


without any covering whatever. Sebaat Laab died of a 
fever in a few days ; Kefla Mariam lived, if not to fee, at leaft 
to hear, that he was revenged, after the battle of Serbraxos, 
by the difgrace and captivity of Michael. 

I will fpare myfelf the difagreeable tafk of Shocking my 
readers with any further account of thefe horrid cruelties ; 
enough has been faid to give an idea of the character of 
thefe times and people. Blood continued to be fpilt as wa- 
ter, day after day, till the Epiphany ; priells, lay-men, young 
men and old, noble and vile, daily found their end by the 
knife or the cord. Fifty-feven people died publicly by the 
hand of the executioner in the courfe of a very few days ; 
many difappeared, and were either murdered privately, or 
fent to prifons, no one knew where. 

The bodies of thofe killed by the fwofd were hewn to 
pieces and fcattered about the ftreets, being denied burial. 
I was miferabie, and almoft driven to defpair, at feeing my 
hunting-dogs, twice let loofe by the careleffnefs of my fer- 
vants, bringing into the court; yard the head and arm? of 
Haughtered men, and which I could no way prevent but 
by the deftruction of the dogs themfelves ; the quantity of 
carrion, and the flench of it, brought down the hyamas in 
hundreds from the neighbouring mountains; and, as few 
people in Gondar go out after it is dark, they enjoyed the 
ftreets to themfelves,' and feemed ready to difpute the pof- 
feffion of the city with the inhabitants. Often when I went 
home late from, the palace, and it was this time the king 
chofe chiefly for conversation, though I had but to pafs the 
corner of the market-place before the palace, had lanthorns 
with me, and was furrounded with armed men, I heard 
Vol, IV, L them 


them grunting by two's and three's fo near me as to be a- 
fraid they would take fome opportunity of feizing me by the 
leg ; a piftol would have frightened them, and made them 
fpeedily run, and I conftantly carried two loaded at my gir- 
dle, but the discharging a piftol in the night would have a- 
larmed every one that heard it in the town, and it was not 
now the time to add any thing to people's fears. I'at laft 
fcarce ever went out, and nothing occupied my thoughts 
but how to efcape from this bloody country by way of 
Sennaar, and how I could befl exert my power and influ- 
ence over Yafme at Ras el Feel to pave my way, by affifting, 
me to pafs the defert into Atbara. 

The king miffing me fome days at the palace, and hear- 
ing I had not been at Ras Michael's, began to inquire who 
had been with me. Ay to Confu foon found Yafine, who ; 
informed him of the whole matter ; upon this I was fent 
for to the palace, where I found the king, without any bo- 
dy but menial fervants. He immediately remarked that I 
looked very ill ; which, indeed, I felt to be the cafe, as I had: 
fcarcely ate or flept fmce I faw him laft, or even for fome 
days before. He afked me, in a condoling tone, What ail- 
ed me ? that, befides looking fick, I feemed as if fomething; 
had ruffled me, and put me out of humour. I told him 
that what he obferved was truer that, coming acrofs the 
market-place, I had feen Za Mariam, the Ras's doorkeeper,, 
with three men bound, one of whom he fell a-hacking to 
pieces in my prefence. Upon feeing me running acrofs the 
place, flopping my nofe, he called me to flay till he mould, 
come and difpatch the other two, for he wanted to fpeak to- 
me, as if he had been engaged about ordinary bufinefs : that 
the foldiers* in conlideration of his hafte, immediately fell 



upon the other two, whofe cries were ftill remaining in my 
ears : that the hyaenas at night would fcarcely let me pafs 
in the ftreets when I returned from the palace ; and the 
dogs fled into my houfe to eat pieces of human carcafes at 
leifure. » 

Although his intention was to look grave, I faw it was 
all he could do to fline a laugh at grievances he thought 
very little of. " The men you faw with Za Mariam juft now, 
fays he, are rebels, fent by Kefla Yafous for examples : he 
has forced a junction with Tecla and Welleta Michael in 
Samen, and a road is now open through Woggora, and 
plenty eftablifhed in Gondar. The men you faw fuffer were 
thofe that cut off the provifions from coming into the city; 
they have occafioned the death of many poor people ; as for 
the hysena he never meddles with living people, he feeks 
carrion, and will foon clear the ftreets of thofe incumbran- 
ces that fo much offend you ; people fay that they are the 
Falafha of the mountains, who take that fhape of the hyama, 
and come down into the town to eat Chriftian fleifi in the 
night." — " If they depend upon Chriftian flefh, and eat no 
other, faid I, perhaps the hyamas of Gondar will be the 
worft fed of any in the world." — " True, fays he, burfting 
out into a loud laughter, that may be, few of thofe that die 
by the knife anywhere are Chriftians, or have any religion 
at all ; why then ffiould you mind what they fuffer ?" — 
*' Sir, faid I, that is not my fenthnent ; if you was to order a 
dog to be tortured to death before me every morning, I 
could not bear it. The carcafes of Abba Salama, Guebra 
Denghel, and the reft, are ftill hanging where they were up- 
on the tree; you fmell the ftench of them at the palace-gate, 
and wiH foon, I apprehend, in the palace itfelf. This cannot 

L 2 be 


be pleafant, and I do afTUre you it muft be very pernicious^ 
to your health, if there was nothing elfe in it. At the battle 
of Fagitta, though you had no intention to retreat, yet you: 
went half a day backward, to higher ground, and purer 
air, to avoid the flench -of the field, but here in the city you-. 
heap up carrion about your houfes, where is your conti- 
nual refidence." 

" The Ras has given orders, fays he gravely, to remove 
all the dead bodies before the Epiphany, when we go down: 
to keep that feftival, and waili away all this pollution in. 
the clear-running water of the Kahha : but tell me now, 
Yagoube, is it really poflible that you can take fuch things 
as thefe fo much to heart? You are a brave man; we all 
know you are, and have feen it : . we have all blamed you, 
ftranger as you are in this country, for the little care you. 
take of yourfelf ; and yet about thefe things you are as 
much afFecled as the moft cowardly woman, girl, or child 
could be." — " Sir, faid I, I do not know if I am brave or not ; 
bin if to fee men tortured or murdered, or to live among 
dead bodies without concern, be courage, I have it not, nor 
defire to have it : war is the profeffion of noble minds ; it is 
a glorious one ; it is the fcience and occupation of kings ; 
and many wife and many humane men have dedicated their 
whole life to the fludy of it in every country ; it foftens 
men's manners, by obliging them to fociety, to afliftj be- 
friend, and even fave one another, though at their own riik 
and danger. A barbarian of that profeiTion mould be point- 
ed at. Obferve Ayto Engedan, (who came at that very in- 
ftant into the room) there is a young man, faid I, who, with 
the bravery, has alfo the humanity and gentlenefs of my 
eountrymen that are foldieES." 



Engedan fell on his face before the king, as is ufual, 
while the king went on ferioufly — " War you want ; do 
you, Yagoube? war you mall have; it is not far diflant, 
and Engedan is come to tell us how near." They then went 
into a considerable converfation about Gufho, Powuffen, and 
the preparations they were making, and where they were, , 
with which I fhall not trouble the reader, as I fliall have an 
occafion to fpeak of the particulars afterwards as they arife. 
" I want Confu, fays the king ; I want him to fend his men 
of Ras el Feel to Sennaar, and to the Baharnagafh to get 
horfes and fome coats of mail. And what do you think of 
fending Yagoube there ? he knows their manners and their 
language, and has friends there to whom he is intending to 
efcape, without fo much as afking my leave." — "Pardon 
me, Sir, faid I ; if I have ever entertained that thought, it is 
proof fufficient of the extreme neceffity I am under to go." 
*•* Sir, fays Engedan, I have rode in. the Koccob horfe ; I will 
da fo again, if Yagoube commands them, and will flay with 
us till we try the horfe of Begemder. I have eight or ten 
coats of mail, which I will give your majerty: they belong- 
ed to my father, Confu, and I took them lately from that 
thief Abou Barea, with whom they were left at my father's 
death ; but I will tell your Majefty, I had rather fight naked 
without a coat of mail, than that you ihould fend Yagoube 
to Sennaar to purchafe them from thence, for he will never- 

Ras MrcHAEL was now announced, and we made hafte to 
get away. I would have Confu, Engedan, and you, come 
here to-morrow night, fays the king, as foon as it is dark;, 
and do not you, Yagoube, for your life, fpeak one word of 
Sennaarj till ypu know my will upon it. He faid this in the 



fternefl manner, and with all the dignity and majefly of a 

We panned the Ras in the anti- chamber, attended by a 
great many people. We endeavoured to Aide by him in 
the crowd, but he noticed us, and brought us before him. 
We both kined his hands, and he kept hold of one of mine, 
while he afked Engedan, " Is Fafil at Ibaba?" to which he 
was anfwered, " Yes." " Who is with him ? fays the Ras."-— 
*' Damot, Agow, and Maitfha," anfwered Engedan. " Was 
you there ? fays the Ras." " No, anfwered Engedan, I am at 
Tfliemera, with few men." He then turned to me, and faid, 
" My fon is ill ; Ozoro Either has juft fent to me, and com- 
plains you vifit her now no more. Go fee the boy, and 
don't neglect Ozoro Either, fhe is one of your belt friends.'* 
I inquired if fhe was at Gondar, and was anfwered, No; fhe 
is at Kofcam. We parted; Engedan went to Kofcam to Ozoro 
Eflher's, and I went home to plan my route to Sennaar, and 
jto prepare letters for Hagi Belal, a merchant there, to whom 
I was recommended from Arabia Felix. 

fa^&qwF ■ ■ " TT5» j§i3 





The King promifes Leave to the Author to depart — Receives a Refn~ 
for cement from Shoa — Amiable Carriage of Amha Yafous — Striking 
Contraji between him and a Prince of the Galla — Bad State of the 
Kings Affairs. 

IT was the 31ft of December that we were at Kofcam. A 
proclamation had been made fome days before of a ge- 
neral pardon to all that would return to Gondar ; but no 
one had ventured but Ayto Engedan, who was with Fafil as 
the king's friend \ nor were any of thofe who went /with- 
Fafil the object of the proclamation, for it was not thought 
that the retiring from Socinios with Fafil was doing any 
thing againfi their allegiance. 

That night the bodies of Guebra Denghel, Kefla Ma- 

riam, and Sebaat Laab, were taken down from the tree and 

laid upon the ground ; after having been watched in the 

1 night 


night by their friends to keep the bealts from them, were 
at lad fuffered to be taken privately away, at the intercef- 
fion of the troops of Tigre, whofe countrymen they were. 
Chremation and Abba Salama were abandoned to their for- 
tune, and in part putrified ; they were covered with heaps 
of ftones thrown upon them by fuch as were palling, and 
had no other burial. 

The next night, the ift of January 1771, according to or- 
der, I waited upon the king with Confu and Engedan, and 
with them Yafine : meafures were then taken for buying 
their horfes and coats of mail ; the Ras had advanced part 
of the money, the reft was to be made up by the meery, or 
king's duty, due by the Mahometan provinces, which had 
not been paid fince he went to Tigre ; a Mahometan fer- 
vant of the king was fent for from the cuftomhoufe ; with 
him was to go a man from Yafine, and with them 1 fent 
my letters by the hand of Soliman, a black of Ras el Feel, 
a man remarkable for his ftrength, courage, and fize, and 
very fhrewd and difcerning, under the appearance of an 
idiot : Yafine was fent with them to get a fafe conduct from 
his friend Fidele Shekh of Atbara, who was to convoy them 
to Beyla, and thence to Sennaar. 

It was not without great difpute and altercation the 
king would allow me the permiffion to fend letters ; at lafl, 
feeing he could do no better, it was agreed that, as an im- 
mediate engagement between PowufTen, Gufho, and Ras 
Michael, was inevitable, I mould fwear not to attempt to 
leave him till that affair was fettled fome way or other ; 
but the king infilled I mould alfo take an oa#h, that, mould 
he be victorious over, or reconciled to the rebels, if the en- 
z gagement 



gagement I was under in my own country was not fulfill- 
ed, and I recovered my health, I mould bring as many of 
my brethren and family as poflible, with their horfes,muf- 
kets, and bayonets ; that, if I could not pafs by Sennaar, 
I mould come by the way of the Eafl Indies from Surat to 
Mafuah, which, by how much it was more tedious, was by 
fo much more fecure, than that by Sennaar. 
I cannot but hope, the impollibility of performing this 
oath extinguished the fin of breaking it ; at any rate, it was 
perfonal, and the fubfequent death of the king * mull have 
freed me from it ; be that as it will, it had this good effect, 
that it greatly compofed my mind for the time, as I now 
no longer confidered myfelf as involved in that ancient and 
general rule of the country, Never to allow a ftranger to re- 
turn to his home. We that night learned, that the king had 
been in great ftraits ever iince he came from Tigre ; that 
the Ras, who was pofTelTed of all the revenues of the provin- 
ces that were in their allegiance, had never yet given the 
king an ounce of gold ; and that he furnifhedhis daily fubfift- 
ence from, his own houfe, a cow for his own and great officers 
table, and two loaves of oread for each of his fervants ; as 
fmall an allowance as any private perfon gave. It was be- 
lieved that the Ras had left moftof his money in Tigre, and 
had truited to the contributions he was to levy upon the 
great men whenever he fhouid crofs the Tacazze; but in 
this he difappointed himfelf by his cruelty, for no perfon 
Vol. IV. M came 

* It was reported, \Khen I was at Sennaar, that the king had been defeated and llain. I 
iiave no other authority, only think, all things confidered, it was moil probable. 



came before him, on his arrival at Gondar, from whom he 
could raife a farthing. 

It was about the 20th of January, that a mefTage arrived 
from PowufTen, to tell the Ras he had taken the ufurperSo- 
cinios prifoner, and held him in irons at the king's difpo- 
fal. He upbraided Michael with the cruelties of his execu- 
tions, and declared his refolution of calling him to an ac- 
count for thefe perfonally at Gondar ; he warned him in 
time, to repafs the Tacazze, and retire while it was in his 
power to his government of Tigre, where nobody would 
molefl him, and leave the king at liberty to act for himfelf. 
Gufho likewife fent a mefTenger, but what word he brought 
did not tranfpire ; after feeing the King and Ras Michael, 
both thefe mefTengers proceeded to Fafil. Soon after this came 
a mefTage from Fafil, defiring only that the King and the 
Ras might renew to him the grant of his father's lands and 
eftates, which he formerly pofTefTed : what was the mean- 
ing of this mefTage I could never learn ; he was already in 
full pofTeflion of what he afked, and more ; no perfon had 
attempted to take any thing from him, nor was it indeed in. 
their power. 

Proclamation was made accordingly in terms of the 
requeft, and all the lands that he had pofTefTed were given 
him : before he could have news of this firft grant, a fe- 
cond mefTenger came, defiring that he might be confirmed 
in his government of Maitfha, Damot, and Agow. This 
too was immediately granted him, but a condition was 
added, that he mould bring the troops of thefe provinces, 
and as many others as he could raife, to join the king with 
all pofiible fpeed, and take the field with Ras Michael againlt 




PowufTen and Gufho ; and this was but what he had fpon- 
taneoufly promifed when he made his peace at Dingleber. 
At the fame time Ayto Aylo, brother to Engedan, was pro- 
claimed governor of Begemder ; and all people holding of 
the king or of Aylo's friends, (for he had a very large eftate in 
that province) were ordered to join him ; but a very few 
came, among whom was the famous Guigarr, chief of the 
clan, Waag of Lafla, fon to Aylo's filler. 

Mean time the king ufed all the means in his power to 
induce the Iteghe to return to Kofcam, for her prefence in 
Gojam kept alive the fpirit of a number of people that 
Were attached to her, who bore very impatiently to fee her 
banimed, as fhe then was, though refident with her daugh- 
ter Ozoro Welleta Ifrael, and furrounded by the forces of 
Aylo her grandfon, who was governor of Gojam, and to 
whom half of that province belonged in property. But 
the queen was refolute never to trull Ras Michael, though 
it was believed fhe fent the king a fum in gold privately 
by Engedan. 

It was in the end of January that another mefTage ar- 
rived from Fafil, exculing his coming to Gondar on account 
of the badnefs of his health ; he faid, befides, he could not 
trull Michael unlefs he gave him Welleta SelafTe, his grand- 
daughter, to wife, and fent her to him to Bure. I have al- 
ready mentioned that the Ras was fond of this young lady 
himfelf, and nothing but that hindered him from giving 
her to the king in marriage ; and it was faid, and I believe 
with truth, that fome delicacy * the king had exprefled about 

Mm 2 this 

Sufpicion of familiarity with the Ras her grandfather^ 


this fince his return from Tigre, was .,the reafon of coldnefs 
between him and the Ras, and of Michael's putting the 
king on fo fhort allowance on his firft coming to Gondar : 
but all that was now removed by the neceffities of the times; 
gold came from Tigre in plenty ; even PowufTen had lent 
fome of the revenue of Begemder, all the other provinces, a 
proportion, with butter, cattle, and cotton cloths, for the 
maintenance of the king's houfehold and troops : for my 
part, though I enjoyed the name of feveral polls, 1 had par- 
taken fince this laft revolution of a very fmall part of their 
revenues ; I had been liberally fupplied in the king's abfence 
by Ozoro Eilher and the queen. I had few fervantsj and lived 
cheaply in the Iteghe's palace at Kofcam ; but after my arri- 
val, the king, on purpofe I believe to difconcert my journey, 
ran me grievoufly into debt with the foldiers, and other 
expences that were, as I was told, abfolutely necefTary ; it is 
true, thefe were paid in part at times but very irregularly. 
Ras Michael was not a man to be craved, nor was my tem- 
per fuch as could be brought to crave him ; from this it 
arofe that often I had been in great ftraits, and obliged to 
live fparingly, which luckily was never a great hardfhip up- 
on me, in order to fulfil my promife to others. And now the 
campaign was beginning, horfes, and mules, and every 
thing necefTary were to be purchafed, and I was in debt a- 
bove one hundred pounds, nor would it have been poffible 
I ever Ihould have cleared myfelf, for - my daily expences 
were enormous, if it had not been for the nutation that a 
certain Greek, named Petros, was in, from whom I borrowed 
about three hundred pounds, as I mail after mention. With 
regard to Kafmati Fafil, he fent me, twice, two large jars of 
honey from my lordfhip of Geefh, at two different times :. 
the firft was taken by Coque AbouBarea, the laft tailed fo bit- 


ter of lupines, that no life could be made of it. I was a Sove- 
reign, it is true, and my revenue was what wife men have faid 
is the beft, — the love of the people. It went, however, but 
little way towards fupporting my dignity. 

While the king was at Kahha, keeping the feftival of 
the Epiphany, he received a very extraordinary vifit from 
Amha Yafous, fon of the governor of Shoa, offering his per- 
fonal fervice and afliftance to the king, and brought with 
him, as a prefent, 500 ounces of gold, and a thoufand ex- 
cellent horfemen ready equipt at all points. Upon his being 
prefented to the king, two young noblemen were inftruc- 
ted to be ready to lay hold of him by the arms, and prevent 
his throwing himfelf upon the ground if he intended fo to 
do. The king was feated upon the throne, very richly 
drefTed in brocade, a Very fine muflin web wrapt loofely a- 
bout him, fo as to hang in plaits, and in fome parts mow, 
and in fome conceal, the flowers of the cloth of gold of 
which his waiftcoat was compofed. His hair was loofe, 
combed out at its full length, and falling about his head in 
every direction, and a fork, like a fkewer, made of a rhino- 
ceros horn, with a gold button or head upon it, fluck thro- 
his hair near his temples ; he was all perfumed with rofe 
water, and two people Hood on the oppofite fides of the 
tent, each of them with a filver bottle full of it. 

Amha Yasous with his thoufand horfe prefented hirn- 
felf before the door of the tent, and rode on till he was 
compleatly in it; he then defcended as in a great hurry or 
furprife, and ran forward, Hooping, to the foot of the 
throne, inclining his body lower andlower as he approached;, 
and, jufl before the ad of proftration, he was feized by Tecla 
3^ Mariana- 


Mariam and Guebra Menfus Kedus, and prevented from ktiT- 
ing the ground ; the king held his hand uncovered, but not 
extended, that is, as if he did not intend or expect that he 
fhould kifs it. Amha Yafous, after the ftru-ggle was over 
about the proftration, fuddenly feized the king's hand and 
khTed it, with fome refiftance on the part of the king, who, 
when he had khTed the back of his hand, turned the 
palm, likewife ; a great mark of familiarity and confidence 
in this country. There was a fmall ftool, about half a foot 
from the ground, covered with a Perfian carpet. Amha 
Yafous attempted to fpeak {landing, but was not fuffered, 
but con drained by the two noblemen to lit down on the 
little ftool ; they then deluged him fo with rofe- water, that 
I do believe he never in his life was fo wet with rain. Af- 
ter fome general queftions the tent was cleared. All this ce- 
remonial was premeditated and ftudied ; the etiquette could 
not have been more punctually and uniformly obferved 
in any court of Europe, and would have juft Signified what 
it did here. 

Amha Yasous was a man from twenty-fix to twenty-eight 
years of age, tall, and of a juft degree of corpulence, with 
arms and legs finely made ; he had a very beautiful face, 
fmall features, and the moft affable manners. I have thought, 
when 1 have feen them together, that the king, Engedan, 
and himfelf, were three of the handfomeft men I had ever 
beheld in any country ; befides this, all three had fine under- 
standings, noble fentiments, and courage fuperior to the 
greareil danger ; charitable too, and humane inclinations, 
were it not for that accurfed indifference, or rather pro- 
penfity, one of them had to fhed human blood; this the 
4 young 



young king had imbibed in the fchool of Michael, but for 
natural talents he certainly was the firft of the three. 

Apartments in the palace, and a table, were amgned to 
Amha Yafous, and he was ferved by the king's fervants as 
well as his own; a guard was appointed at his door, the offi- 
cer of which attended to receive his orders and take the 
word daily. This was the manner of receiving illuftrious 
ftrangers in my time at Gondar. Anthule, a Greek, mafter 
of the king's wardrobe, was ordered from time to time to 
bring him clothes of the fame kind with thofe the king 
wore. All the Ozoros, or noble women at court, fell vio- 
lently in love with Amha Yafous, as fame reported, except 
Ozoro Eflher. The young prince had not a grain of cold- 
nefs nor indifference in his nature ; he carried himfelf, 
wherever he went, with honourable, attentive, and decent 
gallantry. But his chief attention was paid to Welleta Se- 
lafie ; nor was Ras Michael jealous, nor, as public report 
went, was Welleta SelafTe unkind. I was often in the even- 
ings in his parties at her houfe ; a fixed, never-changing me- 
lancholy hung upon her face ; deep, and involuntary fighs 
efcaped from her under vifible conftraint: it did not appear 
to me poffible this could have been her behaviour, if in ac- 
tual enjoyment of fuccefsful love ; or that, after having gra- 
tified it, fhe could have put in execution that defperate re- 
folution which apparently Ihe had then formed in her 

Amha Yasous was fon of a fifter of Gufho ; itwasfaid 
afterwards that he had a commiilion from his father, go- 
vernor of Shoa, to detach Guiho, if pofnble, from his alliance 
with Powuilen, and bring him back to his allegiance to the 


q6 travels to discover 


king. Whether this was true or not I cannot fay, but that 
this, or fomething fimilar, was the cafe, feemed to be more 
than probable from the behaviour of Gufho afterwards, dur- 
ing the whole campaign. Amha Yafous did not Come to 
take part in the war, he only brought, in imitation of old 
times, a tribute to the king as a teftimony of the loyalty of 
the faithful province of Shoa ; but he was fo interefted for 
the king, after being admitted into intimacy with him, and 
fo pleafed with the fociety of the young noblemen at court, 
that he determined to come back with the command of 
the troops of his father, and in his way force Gufho to re- 
turn to his duty, if he was not already determined. 

He had heard, while at Shoa, from fome priefts of Debra 
Libanos, that there was a ftrange white man in favour with 
the king at Gondar, who could do every thing but raife the 
dead ; it was among his firft requests to the king, to make 
him acquainted with me. The king therefore ordered me 
to wait upon him every morning, and I, on my part, did not 
let flip that opportunity. Infenfibly we came to be infepar- 
able companions. Our converfation fell one day to be upon 
the Abyffinian kings who firft lived at Shoa at the time 
when the kingdom of Adel was a great mart for the Eaft 
Indian trade, before the difcovery of the Cape of Good Hope. 
He laid that a book containing their hiftory, he believed, 
was in fome of the churches in Shoa, and that he would 
immediately fend for it. Although I could not help teftify- 
ing my defire of having a book which I had fought for in 
vain through the reft of the provinces of Abyflinia, yet I 
thought it unreafonable to defire a man to fend 500 miles 
merely for the purpofe of getting it ; I therefore did not 
prefs ir, being fatisfted with his promife ; but as my work 



would have been incomplete without it, I afked my friend 
Tecla Mariam to mention it to him as from the king. His 
anfwer was, " I have already promifed to get it for Yagoube, 
the meftenger by this time is in Amhara ; depend upon it, 
my father will not fail to let me have it ; for fear of miitake, 
I have difpatched a very intelligent man, who knows and 
has feen the book at Debra Libanos." The promife was 
punctually kept, the book came, and from it I have drawn 
the hiftory of the Adelan war, and the reign of thofe kings 
who had not yet returned to Axum, but reigned in Shoa. 

One evening I inquired of him concerning the fto^y 
which the Portuguefe heard, at the difcovery of Benin, 
that the blacks of that country had intercourfe with a 
Chriftian inland ft ate they acknowledged as fove reign, from 
which they procured the inveftiture of their lands, as has 
been already mentioned in the beginning of this work ? 
whether any fuch commerce did exift with Shoa at prefent, 
or if traces remained of it in older times ? if there was any 
other Chriftian or Jewifh ftate in his neighbourhood to 
which this defeription could apply*? He faid they knew 
nothing of Benin at Shoa, nor had he ever heard of the 
name, nor any cuftom of the kind that I had mentioned, 
which either then did, or ever had prevailed in Shoa : he 
knew of no Chriftian ftate farther to the fouthward, except- 
ing Narea, a great part of which was conquered by the 
Galla, who were Pagans. The blacks that were next to 
Shoa, he faid, were exceedingly fierce, warlike, and cruel ; 
worfe than the Galla, and of the fame kind with the Shan- 
galla in Abyflinia. The other nations were partly Mahometan, 
Vol. IV. N but 

' ■ •» ! .- *' - ■ I " 

* ^.ODquetes des Portugais, liv. I. p. 46. Lafitatu 


but chiefly Galla, and fome of thefe had turned Mahometan*; 
but that they had no knowledge of any commerce with the 
Wefcern, or Atlantic Ocean, though they knew the Eaftern 
or Indian Ocean, which was nearer; were often ferved with 
Indian goods from Mahometan merchants from thence ; but 
that the Galla had over-run mofl of the intermediate coun* 
tries, and made the ways dangerous. 

After Amha Yafous's audience with the king, he wait- 
ed on Ras Michael alfo, to whom he brought a prefent in 
gold ; politely excufing himfelf for having brought it inthat 
form, on account that any other would have been trouble- 
fome, from the length of the way. He well knew, how- 
ever, that an apology was needlefsj and that Ras Micha- 
el never faw any prefent in a more agreeable form than 
that of gold. I was not at the audience, nor do I know 
what palled at it; only that, on his introduction, the Ras 
was held up on his feet, and received him Handing ; they 
then both fat down upon the fame feat, after which they di- 
ned heartily together at Ozoro Either' s apartment, who came 
from Kofcam on purpofe to prepare their entertainment,, 
and they drank and converfed together till late at night. 

The fight of gold, and a thoufand horfe at the juncture, 
made Ras Michael as light and chearful as a young man of 
twenty-five. No words concerning the government of 
Shoa paued, nor any proclamation relative to the ftate of 
that province ; and this filence was equal to declare it in- 
dependent, as it was intended, and indeed it had been con- 
fidered as fuch a long time before. As I faw Amha Yafous 
eat raw beef like the Abyflinians, I aiked him if it was the 
cuftom of other nations to the fouthward ? He faid he belie- 
red io, if they were not Mahometans ; and inquired of me 




if it was not likewife the practice among us. I imagine it 
prevails as far as the Cape of Good Hope. 

Another interview, which happened at Kahha, was much 
more extraordinary in itfelf, though of much lefs import- 
ance to the ftate. Guangoul, chief of the Galla of An got, 
that is, of the eaftern Galla, came to pay his refpecls to the 
king and Ras Michael ; he had with him about 500 foot 
and 40 horfe : he brought with him a number of large 
horns for carrying the king's wine*, and fome other fuch 
trifles. He was a little, thin, crofs-made man, of no appa- 
rent ftrength or fwiftnefs, as far. as could be conjectured ; 
his legs and thighs being thin and fmall for his body, and 
his head large ; he was of a yellow, unwholefome colour, 
not black nor brown ; he had long hair plaited and inter- 
woven with the bowels of oxen, and fo knotted and twifled 
together as to render it impoflible to diflinguifh the hair 
from the bowels, which hung down in long firings, part 
before his breaft and part behind his moulder, the 
raoft extraordinary ringlets I had ever feen. He had 
likewife, a wreath of guts hung about his neck, and fe- 
veral rounds of the fame about his middle, which fer- 
ved as a girdle, below which was a fhort cotton cloth dipt 
in butter, and all his body was wet, and running down with 
the fame ; he feemed to be about fifty years of age, with a 
confident and infolent fuperiority painted in his face. In 
his country it feems, when he appears in Hate, the beafl he 
rides upon is a cow. He was then in full drefs and cere- 
mony, and mounted upon one, not of the largeft fort, but 
which had monftrous horns. He had no faddle on his co»\ 
He had fhort drawers, that did not reach the middle of hi«s 
thighs ; his knees, feet, legs, and all his body were bare. 

N 2 He 


He had a fhield of a fingle hide, warped by the heat in feve- 
ral directions, and much in the fhape of a high-crowned* 
large, ftraw-hat, with which the fafhionable women in our 
own country fometimes difguife themfelves. He carried a 
fhort lance in his right hand, with an ill-made iron head, 
and a fhaft that feemed to be of thorn-tree, but altogether 
Without ornament, which is feldom the cafe with the arrns 
of barbarians. Whether it was neceflary for the poizing 
himfelf upon the fharp ridge of the beafl's back, or whether 
it was meant as graceful riding, I do not know, being quite 
unfkilled in cowmanfhip ; but he leaned exceedingly back~ 
wards, pufhing his belly forwards, and holding his left arm. 
and fhield ftretched out on one fide of him, and his right 
arm and lance in the fame way on the other, like wings. 

The king was feated on his ivory chair, to receive him± 
almoft in the middle of his tent ; the day was very hot, and 1 
an infufferable flench of carrion foon made every one in 
the tent fennble of the approach of this nafty fovereign,even. 
"before they faw him. The king, when he perceived him 
coming, was fo flruck with the whole figure and appear- 
ance, that he could not contain himfelf from an immoder- 
ate fit of laughter, which finding it impoflible to ftine, he 
tofe from his chair, and ran as hard as he could into ano-- 
ther apartment behind the throne. 

The favage got off from his cow at the door of the tent; 
with all his tripes about him ; and, while we were ad- 
Sxiring him as a monfter, feeing the king's feat empty, he 
took it for his own, and down he fat upon the crimfon filk. 
eufhion, with the butter running from every part of 
feim. -A general cry of aitonifhment was made by every per- 


ion in the tent: he darted up I believe without divining the 
caufe, and before he had time to recollect himfelf, they fell 
all upon him, and with pufhes and blows drove this greafy 
chieftain to the door of the tent, flaring with wild amaze- 
ment, not knowing what was next to happen. It is high 
treafon, and punifhable by immediate death, to fit down up- 
©n the king's chair. Poor Guangoul owed his life to his 
ignorance.. The king had beheld the whole fcene through 
the curtain; if he laughed heartily at' the beginning, he 
laughed ten times more at the cataftrophe ; he came out 
laughing, and unable to lpeak. The cufhion was lifted and 
thrown away, and a yellow Indian fhaal fpread on the ivory 
ftool ; and ever after, when it was placed, and the king not 
there, the ftool was turned on its face upon the carpet to 
prevent Such like accidents.. 

Guangoul, disappointed of having an audience of the 
king, went to the Ras, where he was better received, but 
what paiTed I know not. His troops, armed like himfelf, 
with fhields of no refinance, and hedge-flakes burnt and 
fharpened at the end inftead of lances, were no acquisition 
to any party, efpecially in the prefent quarrel, where all the 
veteran troops in Abyffinia were nearly equally divided on 
oppofite fides ; befides, the ShoahorSe had taken the eyes of 
people fo much, that they began to think little of any ca- 
valry that was not in Some degree equipped like them. 

After the king returned to the palace, great diverfion 
was made at Guangoul's appearance, in fo much that Ozo- 
ro Efther, who hated the very name of Galla, and of this 
race m particular, infifted upon feeing a representation of 
it. Doho, accordingly, a dwarf belonging to Ras Michael, 



very ugly, with a monftrous big head, but very fharp and 
clever, and capable of acting his part, was brought to re- 
present the perfon of Guangoul : a burnt flick and a bad 
fhield were provided ; but the great difficulty remained, how 
to perfuade Doho the dwarf to put on the raw guts about 
his neck and waift, and, above all, to plait them in the hair, 
which he abfolutely refufed, both from religious and cleanly 
motives ; as for the butter, it was no objection, as all the A*- 
byflinians anoint themfelves with -it daily, after bathing. 
Here we were very near at a Hand, all the ladies having in vain 
fupplicated him tofufferfortheirfakes a temporary pollution, 
with promifes that oceans of rofe and fcented water mould 
be poured upon him afterwards, to reftore his former lweet- 
nefs. Doho was a man who conflantly fpent his time in 
reading fcripture, the acts of the councils, the works of St 
John Chryfoflom, and other fuch books as they have among 
them. He remained inflexible : at lafl I fuggefled that fe- 
veral hanks of cotton, dyed blue, red, and yellow, mould be 
got from the weavers in the Mahometan town, and thefe 
oiled, greafed, and knotted properly, and twirled among the 
hair, well-anointed with butter, would give a pretty accu- 
rate refemblance of what we faw in the king's tent. All 
hands were immediately fet to work ; the cotton was provi- 
ded ; Ozoro Either s fervants and Haves decked Doho to the 
life. I fpotted his face with ftibium, and others anointed 
him with butter : an old milk-cow was found, contrary to 
my expectation, that fuffered a rider without much impa- 
tience, and in came Guangoul into a great hall in Ozoro 
Efther's apartment. 

Never was any thing better perfonated or better received ; 

the whole hall refounded with one cry of laughter ; Doho, 

2 _ encouraged 


-encouraged by this and the perfect indifference and ftea- 
dinefs of his cow, began to act his part with great humour 
and confidence: he was born in the neighbourhood of 
thefe very Galla, knew their manners, and fpoke their 
language perfectly. Amha Yafous, Confu, Aylo brother to 
Engedan, fome fervants of the king, acted the part that 
we did in the tent the day of the audience, that is, ftood on 
each fide of the king's chair: the cow was brought into 
the middle of the room, and Guangoul defcended with his 
lance and fhield in great flate ; a cufhion was not fpared, 
nor did Doho fpare the cufhion ; the butter fhewed very 
diflinctly where he had been fitting :. we all fell upon him 
and belaboured him heartily, and chaced him to the door. 
His fpeedy retreat was not counterfeited. Ozoro Altafh, 
Efther*s lifter, and a number of the ladies of the court, 
were prefent. Ozoro Either declared fhe would fend for 
the Ras, he had been in great good humour fince the ar- 
rival of Amha Yafous. I had not feen him fince the reco- 
very of his fon, and happened to be at the door next him j 
he took me by the hand, and faid, " Welleta Hawaryat (that 
is the name of his fon) is well, you are very kind." 

Michael was efteemed the belt orator in his country, 
and fpoke his own language, Tigran, with the utmoit purity 
and elegance ; yet in common converfation he was very 
fententious, two or three words at a time, but never obicure j 
this he had contracted by a long practice of commanding 
armies, where he faw as inftantly and clearly, as he ipoke 
fhortly and distinctly. He bowed very civilly to the ladies, 
and pointed to me to fit down on the feat by him. Amha 
Yafous was ltanding before him, I haftened to lit down on 
the carpet at his feet, and he feemed to recollect himfelf 



and placed Araha Yafous befide him : it was eafy to fee his 
mind was otherwife occupied, and as eafy to perceive by his 
look, that he gave me credit for my behaviour. When they 
were all feated, " Well, fays he, in great good humour, 
what now, what is the matter ? what can I do for you, Ya- 
goube ? are the women in your country as idle and fool* 
ifh as thefe ? has Ozoro Efther chofen a wife for you f 
flie lhall give you your dinner: I will give her a por- 
tion ; and as you are a horfeman, the king, with Am- 
ha Yafous's leave, faid he bowing, fhall give you the com- 
mand of the Shoa horfe ; I have feen them ; the men I think 
are almoft as white as yourfelf." Amha Yafous bowed 
in return, and faid, " Sir, if the king bellows them fo wor- 
thily, I promife to bring another thoufand as good as thefe 
to join them after the rains, before next Epiphany." — " And 
I, fays Ozoro Efther, for my part, I have long had a wife for 
him, but this is not the prefent bufinefs, we know your time 
is precious, Guangoul is without, and delires an audience 
of you," — Poh ! fays the Ras, Guangoul is gone to Guflio, 
at Minziro, and there is like to be a pretty ftory : here are 
accounts come from Tigre, that he has committed great 
barbarities in his journey, laid wafte fome villages, killed 
the people, for not f urnifhing him with provifions : here in 
BeleiTen he alfo burnt a church and a village belonging to 
the iteghe, and killed many poor people; I do not know what 
he means ; I hope they will keep him where he is, and not 
fend him home again through Tigre. 

A communication of this kind, very uncommon from 
the Ras, occafioned a ferious appearance in the whole com- 
pany ; but he had no fooner done with fpeaking, than in 
comes Doho upon his cow : neither man nor woman that 
4 had 


had yet feen him, ever laughed fo heartily as the old Ras ; 
he humoured the thing entirely ; welcomed Doho in Galla 
language, and faw the whole farce, finifhed by his flight to 
the door, with the utmoft good humour. Then taking 
Amha Yafous with him, and feveral great officers who had 
come in the interim, he returned by a private pafTage to his 
own apartments. 

As I mall have no occafion for further mention of this 
chieftain, I will here finifh his ftory, though not in the or- 
der of time. Gufho and PowufTen had gained Guangoul, 
and perfuaded him to make an irruption with his Galla 
into the province of Tigre, to create a diverlion againfl 
Michael, and, for that purpofe, they had fent him home 
nearly the way he had come through that province. From 
this encouragement he had begun to conduct himfelf Hill 
worfe than formerly. Ras Michael, fufpecting what would 
happen, privately difpatched Ayto Confu after him with 600 
horfe. That young foldier, happy in a command that high- 
ly gratified his mother, and guided by the cries of the peo- 
ple, followed with the utmoit diligence, and came up with 
him in the neighbourhood of Lafta, and there, after little 
refinance, Guangoul and his troops were cut to pieces, 
thofe that had efcaped being all flain by the exafperated 
peafants. Confu returned to Gondar the night of the fifth 
day, together with the bloody trophies of his conquelt over 
Guangoul and his Galla. 

I have before mentioned that this chief had brought 
with him a quantity of large horns for the king's fervice. 
Some of this fort having been feen in India filled with ci- 
vet, have given occafion to thofe travellers who faw them 

Vol. IV. O there 


there to fay, that the animal producing thefe large horns 
,was a carnivorous bull of a prodigious fize, inhabiting the 
interior parts of Africa. That no illuftration of this kind 
may be wanting, a copperplate of this curious bull is, J 
think, in fome of the firft volumes of the Philofophical 
Tranfactions. The origin of the tale is believed to be in 
Bernier or Thevenot. It may, however, with great cer- 
tainty, be relied upon, that no fuch animal exifts in Africa, 
nor probably in the whole creation. The animal furnifh- 
ing thofe monftrous horns is a cow or bull, which would 
be reckoned of a middling fize in England ; its head and 
neck are larger and thicker in proportion, but not very 
remarkably fo. I have been told this animal was firfl 
brought by the Galla from near the Line, where it rains 
continually, and the fun is little feen. This extraordinary 
fize of its horns proceeds from a difeafe that the cattle 
have in thofe countries, of which they die, and is probably 
derived from their paflure and climate. 

Whenever the animal mews fymptoms of this diforder, 
he is fet apart in the very beft and quieteft grazing-place, 
and never driven nor molefted from that moment. His va- 
lue lies then in his horns, for his body becomes emaciated 
and lank in proportion as the horns grow large. At the 
laft period of his life the weight of his head is fo great that 
he is unable to lift it up, or at leaft for any fpace of time. 
The joints of his neck become callous at laft, fo that it is 
not any longer in his power to lift his head. In this fitua- 
tion he dies, with fcarcely nefh covering his bones, and it is 
then the horns are of the greateft fize and value. I have 
feen horns that would contain as much as a common-fized 
iron- hooped water-pale, fuch as they make ufe of in the 



houfes in England ; but the Galla, who have a ready mar- 
ket for thefe of all fizes, generally kill the beaft when his 
horns will contain fomething lefs than fix gallons. Two of 
thefe horns, filled with wine or fpirits, are carried very com- 
modioufly upon a woman's back, flung over her moulders* 
I had two of the largeft fize Hole from me that night Soci- 
nios, Confu, and Chremation plundered my houfe, nor could 
I ever recover them. I have feen them at Gondar fold for 
four ounces of gold, equal to ten pounds fieri ing, the pair. 

On the 1 7th of February came meflengers from Fafil, with 
the old language of propofals of fubmimon and peace, and 
a repetition of his demand, that Welleta Selafle mould be 
given him for a wife, and fent to him, at leaft as far as Din- 
gieber, where he would advance to meet her; excufing him- 
felf from coming to Gondar, becaufe the Ras had already 
broken his promife to him; for the condition of peace made 
with the Ras, when he was befieging the mountain, was, 
That if Michael mould bring the king to the Tacazze, and 
furrender him there, and then return and content himfelf 
with the government of Tigre, without proceeding to Gon- 
dar, that Fafil mould receive the king and conduct him to 
the capital, and be created Ras and governor in place of 
Michael. Fafil had punctually performed his part, and of 
this Michael had taken advantage, and had violated every 
article which he had ftipulated on the other fide ; and this 
was at leaft the alledged reafon why Fafil had refufed to come 
to Gondar. The fame evening arrived alfo meflengers from 
Guflio and PowmTen, declaring to Ras Michael, that, if he 
<lid not leave Gondar and return to Tigre, they would come 
and burn the town. They profeffed great duty to the king, 

O 2 but 


but charged the Ras with every fort of enormity, and upon 
his refufal fent him a defiance* 

The fame evening came an exprefs from Shoa, which 
moft punctually brought the book I fo much wiffoed for, 
containing the lives of the firft kings that lived at Shoa ; 
a fair and fine copy, wrote upon parchment in a large quarto 
fize, in the pure ancient language of Geez. The author 
was nearly contemporary with the annals which he writes. 
I mewed it to the king, who till then had never feen it, 
and who only faid, I fear, Yagoube, you are carrying home 
thefe books only to make your kings laugh at ours. The 
fatisfaclion I received upon the acquifition of this book was 
greatly diminiihed by the lofs of the donor, Amha Yafous, 
who fet out the 20th of February, attended with about a 
hundred men, his own fervants, and followed by the regret 
and the good wifhes of all that had known him, mine in 
particular, having been, from the firfl: time I faw him, very 
much attached to him. 

Before his departure he had two long conferences with 
the king upon the contents of the difpatches fent by his 
father from Shoa. The fubftance he frankly told me was, 
that he did not intend to meddle with the quarrels of Ras 
Michael, nor thofe of Fafil ; that they mould fettle thefe in 
their own way ; but if either attempted any thing againft 
the king, fet up any ufurpers, as they had done in the perfon 
of Socinios, and continued fo far againft their allegiance to 
Tecla Haimanout as to withhold his whole revenue, and 
not to pay him wherewithal to fupport his ftate, that he 
would confider himfelf as protector of the royal family of 
Solomon, as the governors, of Shoa had always been.— - 



It was believed very generally, by Amha Yafous coming in 
perfon, that a treaty between fome of the great men in 
both fides, begun at his inftance, would bring every man 
that could mount a horfe from as far fouth as Gingiro, to 
over-run both the provinces of Begemder and Amhara, and 
either difplace the two governors, or at leaft force them to 
their duty; and it was owing to this, in all probability, that 
Gufho acted with fuch moderation as he did in the cam- 
paign that foon followed. 



P^g^ttessg^^a Bgap^ aggggaiig Bgjwggg j^pj 

C H A P. V. 

Rebel Army approaches GQndar-~King marches out of Gondar-— Takes 
Poft at Serbraxos — The Author returns to Gondar with Confu wound' 

GENTLE mowers of rain began now to fall, and to an- 
nounce the approach of winter ; nay, fome unufually 
fevere and copious had already fallen. Gumo and Powuffen 
of Amhara and Begemder, Kafmati Ay abdar governor of Fog- 
gora, Ayio fon of Ozoro Welleta Ifraei the queen's daughter, 
governor of Goj am s Woodage Afahel, with the troops of 
Maitfha, and Coque Abou Barea from Kuara, were at the head 
of all the forces they could raife about Emfras and Nabca, 
and the borders of the lake Tzana. A brother-in-law of 
PowufTen had brought a confiderable body of troops from 
Zaat and Dehannah s two clans of Laila, enemies to Guigarr, 
who had declared for Michael ; and thefe were the befl horfe 
in the rebel army, fuperior to any in Begemder. 

3 This 


This numerous army of Confederates were all ready, ex- 
pecting the rain would make the Tacazze impafTable, and 
cut off Michael's retreat to Tigre. Fafii alone kept them in 
fufpenfe, who, with about 12,000 men, remained at Ibaba, 
profefling to be at peace with Michael, in the mean time 
keeping all Maitfha quiet, and waiting for the coming of 
Welleta Yafous, and 20,000 Galla, whom he had fent for 
from the other fide of the Nile, intending, as he faid, to 
march on the arrival of this reinforcement, and join the 
king at Gondar. Although it may well be doubted if ever 
he intended all or any part of this, one thing was very cer- 
tain, that he was fincere in his hatred to Gufho and Po- 
wuflen ; he never could forget their treachery in breaking 
their appointment and promife at Court-Ohha, and expofing 
him either to fight Michael fingly, or have his whole coun- 
try burnt and deftroyed. Although Michael had, for thefe 
l'aft months, done every thing in his power to bring back 
to the king fuch people of confideration that poffeffed the 
lands and eftates about Gondar, and were the mofl refpect- 
able of their nobility for influence and riches, bred up a- 
bout court, and who did chiefly conftitute it ; yet the cruel- 
ty of his executions, his infatiable greed of money and 
power, and the extreme facility with which he broke his 
mofl: facred engagements, had terrified them from putting 
themfelves into his hand ; though they did not raife men, 
or join any fide, but lived privately at a diftance, yet their 
abfence from about the king had the very word effect upon 
his affairs. A great defertion had likewife happened fince 
his coming among his old troops of Tigre, both of officers 
and foldiers. The execution of Guebra Denghel, and other 
two noblemen, had greatly alienated the minds of many of 
their countrymen and their connections ; but, above all, 



his breach of promife made before the mountain of Hara- 
mat, that he was to levy no taxes upon that province for 
feven years, (but which he was now doing with the great- 
eft rigour before one had expired) difcontented them all. 

The return of Welleta Michael and Kefla Yafous from 
Samen, with about 6000 men, had considerably Strength- 
ened his army ; added to this, 2000 more, who came volun- 
tarily, from their love to Kefla Yafous, from Temben, where 
he was governor ; thefe were picked men, partly mufque- 
teers ; there was nothing equal to them in the army. 

Gusho was advanced to Minziro. PowufTen had his 
head-quarters at Korreva, not above fixteen miles from 
Gondar. The whole plain to the lake was covered with 
troops. The weather was unfeafonably cold, and consider- 
able quantities of rain had fallen from the 23d of February 
to the 29th of March. The rebels had begun to lay wafle 
Dembea, and burnt all the villages in the plain from fouth 
to weft, making it like a defert between IVlichael and Fafil, 
as far as they dared venture to advance towards either. 
This they did to exafperate Michael, and draw him out 
from Gondar ; for they had moft of them great property 
in the town, and did not wifh to be obliged to fight him 
there. He bore this fight very impatiently, as well as the 
conftant complaints of people flying into the town from the 
depredations of the enemy, and ftripped of every thing. 

The king often afcended to the top of the tower of his 
palace, the only one to which there remains a ftair, and 
there contemplated, with the greateft difpleafure, the burn- 
ing of his rich villages in Dembea. One day while he 
1 was 


Was here he mewed an inflance of that quick penetration 
for which he was remarkable, and which, as a proof of this^ 
I mall here mention. 

There is a large wafte fpace on each fide of the palace 
where the market is kept. It had rained, and it was in the 
evening almoft deftitute of people ; there were only two 
men at a confiderable diftance, who feemed to be in clofe 
converfation together, one of them apparently very much 
the worfe of liquor, the other had hold of the end of the 
fafh, or girdle, which was round the body of the drunk 
man ; it is a narrow web of cotton cloth, which they wind 
eight or ten times about their waift. The king faid to me, 
Do you know, Yagoube, what thefe two men are about ? I 
anfwered, No. I faw the drunkard untwine one turn of his 
fafh, which the other was feeling and looking curiouuy 
at, as if examining and doubting its goodnefs. That man, 
fays the king, is robbing the drunkard of his fafh : go down 
two or three of you who run befl, and apprehend him, but 
hide yourfelves till he has committed the theft, and feize him 
as he paiTes. The orders were quickly obeyed ; the drunk- 
ard unwound his fafh, by turning himfelf round and 
round, while the other feemed to be meafuring it by the 
length of his arm, from his elbow to his forefinger, and 
then gathering it up. This was done very deliberately till 
it was all unwound, and the far end loofe ; upon which 
the fellow, who was meafuring, gathering it in his arms, 
ran off as faft as he could, leaving the drunkard (landing 
motionlefs, apparently in great furprife and amazement. 
The thief was immediately feized and brought up to the 
king, who ordered him to be thrown over the tower. At 
Vol. IV. P my 


my interceflion, and that of thofe about him, he was par* 
doned, and the drunkard's fafh was returned to him. 

Ever fince the middle of February, Ras Michael had re- 
folved to march out, and give battle to the rebels encamp- 
ed about Korreva, committing every fort of violence, and 
burning all the villages, houfes, and barns in Dembea, 
with the corn they contained more than what ferved for 
their prefent ufe; but the great fuperiority of the enemy 
in horfe had always made him delay his intention. 

Yasine had, indeed, fucceeded in his commiffion to Sen* 
naar, as far as it regarded the horfes. He had found the 
Arabs encamped immediately upon the frontier at Ras el 
Feel, and had received from them very near 200 of one 
kind or other, of which 76 only anfwered the purpofe o£ 
mounting the king's black fervants ; the others were dis- 
tributed among the reft of the army that wanted them. But 
they had not been equally fuccefsful in purchafing their 
coats of mail, fourteen only of which had been brought 
with the horfes. In order to buy the reft, the meffenger con- 
tinued his journey to Sennaar, and with him my fervantSo- 
Hman with my letters, to which, of confequence, I had as 
yet no return.. But what appeared at that time moft mate- 
rial to me, Fidele Shekh of Atbara wrote to Yafine, " That^ 
there was no fear but that I mould be well received at Sen- 
naar, where Naffer, a young king, had fucceeded his father,, 
whom he had depofed ; but that the great difficulty was 
to pafs between Ras el Feel and Teawa, the place of his refi- 
dence, and from thence to the banks of the river Dender, 
for that the Ganjar horfe of Kuara, and the Arabs their 
fiends, were at war with the Arabs of Atbara, and had: 



burnt all their crops and villages: that he fometimes did not 
think himfelf fafe in Teawa, and that a load of fait had not 
been fuffered to pafs for feveral months ; which, indeed, was 
the reafon why the Arabs of Atbara were come fo near Ras 
el Feel, and that the king's horfe were procured fo readily 
at the firft coming." This traitor, however, added, " That 
if, by any means^ I could advance to him at Teawa> I need 
not take any thought about the reft of the journey ; and 
that it was better I fhould come quietly and quickly, without 
writing to Sennaar before-hand : and he concluded with 
great profeflions of refpecl: and friendfhip for me." 

It had been very cold, and more than ufual rainy, fince 
the beginning of February ; the 9th was a day of clofe rain ; 
and this, being earlier than common, very much difcou- 
raged the foldiers who were naked* and, therefore, very fen* 
fible of cold, or rain, and, as I have before faid* never can be 
brought to engage willingly, unlefs under the influence of 
a warm fun. 

At iafl the cries of the people flying into Gondar, feek* 
ing protection from the cruelties of the rebels, determined 
the Ras to march out, and fet his all upon the fortune of a 
battle. The rifk was not thought great, as he had been all his 
life in ufe to conquer ; had a better army at that time than 
ever he commanded; the Begemder troops, too, in whom the 
rebels trufted molt, were but thofe which he and his men 
had beaten at Nefas Mufa, although led by a very brave 
and valiant officer, Mariam Barea. All this was true ; but 
then, fince that period, thefe troops of Begemder had been 
conftantly led by himfelf, had been trained, and difciplined 
With the old troops of Tigre, and taught to conquer with 

P 2 thern^ 


them. Above all, they had been ufed to fee the effect of 
fire-arms, which they no longer feared as formerly, but 
boldly rallied in upon the mufqueteers, fometimes without 
giving them time to fire, oral leail before they, had time to 
charge again., 

" At laft, having previously called in all his out-poftsj. on: 
the 1.3th of May he marched out of. Gondar, taking with, 
him the King and Abuna, as alfo Ozoro Efther, and Ozoro 
Altafh. her filter, and all the other ladies about court, who 
were in pofiellion of the great iiefs of the crown, and whom 
he obliged to perfonal attendance, as well as to bring the 
quota of troop-s they were bound to by their re fpedtive te-~ 

The king's army halted upon the fame ground they had ' 
done on their return to Gondar. They were then fuppofed 
to be near 20,000 foot, belonging to Tigre.and its dependent 
cies, incomparably the beft troops of the- empire, 6000 of 
which were armed with mufquets, fix times the number 
that all the reft of Abyflirria could furnifh, and, considering 
they were all match-locks, very expert in the management 
of them. The reft of the foot which joined them fince he 
pa{Ted the Tacazze were about 10,000, befides 2000 of the 
king's houfehold, 500 of which were horfemen ; of thefe, 
few mort of 200 were his black fervantSj armed with coats 
of mail, the horfes with plates of brafs on their cheeks and 
faces, with a fharp iron fpike of about five inches in length, 
which ftuck out in the middle of their forehead, a very trou- 
blefome, ufelefs piece of their armour ; their bridles were 
iron chains ; the body of the horfe covered with a kind of 
thin quik ftuiFed with cotton, with two openings made 



above the flaps of the faddle, into which the horfeman put 
his thighs and legs, and which covered him from his hip 
(where his fhirt of mail ended) down to a little above his 
ancle: his feet were covered with flippers of thin leather, 
without heels, and his ftirrups were of the Turkilh or 
Moorifh form, into which his whole foot entered, and, be- 
ing hung very ihort,. he could raife himfeif, and ftand as 
firmly as if he. was. upon plain ground.. The faddles were 
in the Moorifh form likewife, , high before and behind ; a 
ftrong lace made fafl to the coat of mail by the one end, the 
other paned through a fmall hole in the back of the faddle, 
kept it clofe down, fo that the back was never expofed by the 
coat of mail rifmg over the hinder part of the faddle. Each 
had a fmall ax in the furcingle of his faddle, and a pike 
about fourteen feet long, the weapon with which he char- 
ged ; it was made of very light wood, brought from the banks 
of the Nile, with a. fmall four-edged head, and the butt 
end balanced by a. long fpike of iron ; this entered a lea- 
ther cafe faftened by a thong to the faddle, and- was refted 
fometimes below the thigh, and fometimes above, and guid- 
ed by the right hand at the height the point was intended 
to ftrike at. The horfeman's head was covered with a hel- 
met of copper, or block tin, much like thofe of our light 
horfe, with large crefls of black horfe taik. 

The officers were diftinguimed from the foldfers by locks ; 
of hair dyed yellow, interfperfed with the black. Upon the 
front of each helmet was a filver. ftar, at leaft a white-metal 
one, and before the face, down to the top of the nofe, a flap 
of iron chain, made in the fame manner as the coat of mail, 
but only lighter, which ferved as a vizier. This was the 
moft troublefome part of the whole, it was hot and heavy,. 



and conftantly fretted the cheek and nofe, when either the 
man or the horfe were in motion; and therefore I always 
fubftituted a black lilk net, which concealed my colour bet- 
ter, and for the reft of my face I committed it to the care of 

This body of horfe was able to make their way through 
all the cavalry in Abyflinia, if they had been drawn up a- 
gainft them with equal fronts ; for every horfeman fat im- 
moveable upon his faddle, and acted moft powerfully by 
his weight alone, and was perfectly niafter of his perfon 
alfo by the breadth and fhortnefs of his ftirrups ; whereas 
the Abyflinian horfemen were placed moft difadvantageouf- 
ly, their head and body naked, their faddle fmall, and of 
no fupport to them, their ftirrup-leathers long, and no ftir- 
rups to put their foot in ; but being conftantly afraid of 
their horfe falling upon them, the only hold which they 
had was the outftde of an iron ring, which they grafped be- 
tween their great and fecond toe, fo tjiat they had no 
ftrength from their ftirrups, whilft their foot was always 
fwelled, and their toes fore and galled. 

Of the thoufand Shoa horfe about 60 had deferted ; the reft 
were all in good order, each armed with their lances about 
ten feet long, and two light javelins, their fhafts being of 
cane, which they threw at a great diftance ; the lance they 
never loofed out of their hand ; as for their ftirrups and 
faddle, they were of the fame bad conftruclion as thofe of 
the Abyflinians in general, and this reduced them nearly 
to a footing with them. 



The horfemen of the king's army were about 7000, moft- 
ly very indifferent troops ; fo that his whole mufter was 
nearly 7000 mufqueteers, 25,000 foot, armed with iances 
and fhields, and about 7500 horfemen ; in round numbers 
about 40,000 men. It is not poifible, 1 believe, to know, 
with greater precifion, the number, fuch is the confufion of 
barbarous armies on thefe occafions, and fuch the inclina- 
tion of their leaders to magnify and increafe their quotas. 
Befides thefe, Ayto Confu and Sanuda were left with about 
600 men each, to protect Gondar from flying, pillaging 
parties, and to keep the communication open between the 
army and the capital, from whence the provisions were to 
be fupplied.. 

This army was furnifhed with a number of excellent of- 
ficers, veterans of noble families, who had fpent their 
whole life in war, which we may fay, for thefe laft 400 
years, has never ceafed to lay defolate this unhappy coun- 
try ; the principal were Ras Michael, who, arrived at the age 
of feventy-four, had pafled the laft 50 years of his life in a 
courfe of continued victories, Atmam Georgis, and Gue- 
bra Chriftos, uncles by the mother's fide to the king ; Kefla 
Yafous, in the full vigour of life, who, though unhap- 
pily born in a country plunged in ignorance, and where 
there is no education, pofTeiTed every quality that became 
a man, whether a foldier, ftatefman, citizen, or friend; Wel- 
leta Michael, mailer of the houfehold to the king ; Billeta- 
na Gueta Tecla ; Bafha Hezekias, and Guebra Mafcal, two 
principal officers of his mufq.uetry, and a great number of 
others of equal merit, known better in the camp than at the 
court ; Aylo, and Engedan, two fons of Kafmati Eflite ; Ayto 
Confu, fon oiOzoro Either, all young men, employed gene- 

4 rally 


rally in enterprifes, and growing every day more and more 
into reputation. 

It is impofllble fo much as to guefs at the number of the 
-enemy, they were always very numerous, but conftantly 
changing. It was faid, that Begemder and Lafta had at one 
•time 30,000 horfemen ; I mould believe this number greatly 
exaggerated, from what I heard afterwards ; and that the 
whole cavalry in their army did not exceed what it was at the 
battle of Serbraxos. I fuppofe indeed, that, together with their 
foot, they did not much exceed that number, tho' they were 
at times magnified to 50 and 60,000, moft of them very bad 
troops, continually deferting, excepting about 4000 men be- 
longing to Gufho, from Amhara, who likewife brought 
about 100 match-locks, and befides thefe there were fcarce- 
ly any in the rebel army. I rnuit not, however, forget 200 
horfemen, Edjovv Galla, fervants and relations of the late king 
Joas, who behaved in the moft gallant and undaunted man- 
ner, and upon all occafions fet a noble example to the reft of 
the army. 

Ras Michael himfelf led the van ; the king the center, 
with Guebra Mafcal,and a confiderable body of mufqueteers 
of Tigre ; he had no horfe but thofe of his own houfehold. 
The rear was commanded by Welleta Michael, and Tecla: 
how di'fpofed, or of what troops conftituted I know not, for 
the front, center, and rear were underftood to march 
in order, but it was often impoffible to difcern any fuch di- 
vifions ; we were often all in confufion, fometimes we were 
in the middle of the front, fometimes joined and mixed 
with the rear ; all our officers had left their command, and 
were crowding about Ras Michael and the king ; women 
2 bearing 


bearing provisions, horns of liquor, and mills for grinding 
corn, upon their backs ; idle women of all forts, half dead 
with fear, crying and roaring, mounted upon mules ; and 
men driving mules loaded with baggage, mingled with the 
troops, and palling through in all directions, prefented fuch 
a tumultuous appearance that it furpafTed all description. 
There were above 10,000 women accompanying the army: 
the Ras had about 50 loaded with bouza, and the king I 
fuppofe near as many. 

The fight threw me for a moment into low fpirits. I 
know not if the king faw it. I was perfectly filent, when he 
cried, Well, what do you fay to us now, Yagoube ? I anfwer- 
ed, Is this the order in which your majefly means to engage ? 
He laughed, and faid, Aye; why not, you will fee. If that is 
fo, I replied, I only hope it is the enemy's cuflom as well as 
your majelty's to be in no better order. The king was going 
to anfwer me, when Guebra Mafcal, who was juftbefide him, 
cried out,This is a bufinefs you know nothing about,Yagoube ; 
go to your Felac (quadrant) and your fortune-telling, if you 
are afraid ; we have no need of you, nor your advice to-day. 
Refpectfor theprefenceof the king, which youfeem to be void 
of,faidI, hinders me from anfwering you asl otherwife would 
have done ; but be allured, in which ever army they were 
to-day, they are not men like Guebra Mafcal whom I fhould 
be afraid of. The king looked at him much difpleafed, and, 
I believe, faid fomething favourable of me; what it was I did 
not diftinctly hear. 

It was now about 10 o'clock, when, marching clofe along 
the foot of the hills, we arrived at Tedda. The burying- 
place of Hatze Hannes I. fon of Facilidas, and father of Ya- 

Vol. IV. Q^ fous 


fous the Great, was fcarce a quarter of a mile to the S. W. 
of us, and the church of St George a little more on the eaft, 
when orders came from the Ras for us to encamp on the 
fide of the hill, which we accordingly did, and were prefendy 
in better order than we were when marching. The Ras, who 
had palled the river of Tedda, encamped on the fouth fide 
of it. It happened that our two bodies, the front and cen- 
ter, were at that time treading upon one another's heels ; but 
the rear, from fome accident, was confiderably behind, and 
part of it had fcarce pafled the Mogetch. 

1 Both the burying-place, and church near it, were planted 
thick round with Cyprus and cedar trees. Juft a little be- 
fore the Ras ordered us to encamp, a meflenger arrived 
from Netcho, (the Fit-Auraris) that he had that morning 
met the Fit-Auraris of Begemder on this fide of the river 
Mariam ; that he had killed the Fit-Auraris himfelf, (a man 
of Lafta) with 37 of his men, and driven them back : he 
added, that he intended to fall back himfelf upon the Ras's 
army, unlefs ftopt by contrary orders ; thefe the Ras did 
not fend, being defirous that he mould join him, as he 
foon after did, without being purfued : he brought word 
that the army of the rebels was near at hand, between 
Korreva and the lake ; that PowufTen's head-quarters were 
at Korreva, and that he had heard Gufho had pufhed on 
advanced pofts, as far as the church of Mariam ; but this he 
did not know for certain, being only the information of a 
dying man. Ras Michael immediately detached Guebra 
Mafcal, and another officer, with 400 men to take poflef- 
fion of the fepulchre and the church at Tedda, and conceal 
themfelves among the cedar-trees. 



\Ve had not encamped long, before the rear came in 
fight. Confu, fon of Ozoro Efther, whom the Ras had left 
to guard Gondar, hearing how near the enemy was, and 
the probability of a battle that day, had left his poll, and 
joined Yafine, with the horie of Ras el Feel, that were in 
the rear; foon after this junction, Afahel Woodage, with 
about 400 men, partly Edjow Galla, (the late king Joas's 
houfehold) partly Maitiha, came up from the Dembea fide 
of the lake Tzana, and began to harrafs the rear, marching 
in great con fufion. Confu, though fomething fuperior in 
number, was thought to be inferior in the goodnefs of 
troops by much more than the difference ; but the event 
proved the contrary, for he charged Woodage Afahel fo for- 
cibly, that he obliged him to quit our rear, and retire acrofs 
the plain at a pace, which if not a night, did very much re- 
femble it. Ayto Confu pre lied vigorouily upon him, till, 
being now clear of the reft of the army, and in the fair 
open plain, Woodage wheeled Ihortly about, and fhewed 
by his countenance that it was not to avoid Ayto Confu, 
but Ras Michael's mufquet^y, that he retreated to a greater 
diflance ; both fides flopt to breathe their horfes for fome 
minutes; was plain afterwards, Afahel Woodage, an 
old foldier, trufted much to the known valour of his troops, 
and wiihed to llrike a blow of confequence in prefence of 
his old enemy the Ras, 

Ras Michael was at the door of his tent then playing at 
dams, or drafts, as was his cuftom fc and Ozoro Either was 
trembling to fee her fon on the point of being furrounded 
by mercilefs Galla, the nation who moil of all ihe detefted, 
and who had every caufe to hate her. All the young men, 
{ Confu' s friends) with their lances in their hands, and rea- 

Q^a dy 


dy to mount on horfeback, befeeched the Ras to allow them 
to go down into the plain to the afliftance of Confu ; but 
the old general, without leaving off his game, faid, " I do 
ftrictly forbid one of you to flir ; Confu has broke my orders 
to-day, and brought himfelf into a fcrape by his-own folly; 
let me fee him get out of it by his courage and conduct, and 
thereby fet the army a better example than he yet has 
done." — " Sir, faid I, at leaft ftation fome mufquetry on the 
fmall hill, at the edge of the plain, that, if Confu is beaten, 
I may not have the mortification of feeing Yafine, and 
the new troops of Ras el Feel, (who were in their proper poft) 
and have all my baggage and provifions, maffacred before 
my eyes by thefe cowardly barbarians." I fpoke this in 
the utmoft anguifh, when the Ras lifted up his head with 
a ghaftly kind of laugh, and faid, " Right, well do fo, Ya- 
goube." Though this was but an imperfect permiffion, I 
ran down to the ftation with fuch hafte that i fell twice in, 
my way, and was confiderably hurt, for the ground was-, 
rocky, and the grafs flippery. 

Although I had only waved my cloak, and cried come 
on firs, a large number of matchlocks of Ozoro Efther's, 
and the king's, haftened immediately to the ground. Con- 
fu by this time had charged, and after a ftout refiflance 
beat Woodage back into the plain; Woodage, however, again 
faced about, and after fome refiftance, Confu in his turn 
was driven back in evident diforder, and pufhed almofl in 
upon the poll:, where our foldiers had made ready their 
mufquets, to fire if they came a ftep nearer. At this inftant 
a body of about 30 or 40 horfe (the commander we after- 
wards knew to be Ayto Engedan) came up full gallop from 
the right, and ftopt the Galla in their purfuit. Confu's men. 



rallied upon this affiftance, and AfahelWoodage retired in a di- 
rection palling clofe under thefepulchre,E,igedan and Confu 
keeping at a moderate pace on his left between them and the 
army, and forcing them down, as it were, to the trap they 
knew was laid for them. They were yet a long mot from 
the cedars that furrounded the fepulchre, when a volley 
was discharged at them from among the trees, where Mi- 
chael had polled his 400 men, which, though it did little 
or no execution, terrified Woodage Afahel's men fo much,, 
that Confu and Engedan, charging in that initant as upon 
a fignal, they all difperled through different parts of the 
field, and their leader after them: Joas's Edjow, indeed, 
would not fall back a ftep upon the volley, but, after an ob- 
flinate refiftance, they were broken by fuperior numbers,, 
and forced to retreat before an enemy, fo overcome with, 
fatigue and wounds, as to be unable to purfue them. 

The whole of this engagement lafted near an hour by 
my watch. One hundred and thirteen of Woodage Afahel's 
men were flain upon the fpot, and their bloody trophies 
brought and thrown before the king. On Confu's fide about 
70 were killed and wounded ; he himfelf received two 
wounds, one a large fleiri wound in the hip, the other more 
flight upon the head, both of them at the very beginning of 
the engagement. 

Notwithstanding the natural hardnefs of his heart, 
and that the misfortune which had happened was in im- 
mediate di(ob?dience of orders, Ras Michael mewed great 
fenlibility at hearing Confu was wounded ; he came imme- 
dia ely to fee him, a viiit not according to etiquette, and 
gave him a ilighter reproof than was expected for leaving 



his pofl in the town, as well as for his fighting without 
his orders. Confu, with great fubmimon and addrefs at 
the fame time, excufed his leaving his poll, from the repeat- 
ed information he had received that a decifive battle was 
to be fought that day, and knowing the Ras's want of 
horfe, he could not Hay at Gondar, and keep his idle, when 
the fate of fo kind a father, (as the Ras had been) and that 
of a mother, to whom he owed every thing, was depend- 
ing. He faid it would be more agreeable to him to die by 
the hands of the executioner of the camp, as an example 
for difobedience of orders, than furvive with the reflection 
that he had been voluntarily abfent from fuch an occafion. 
As for engaging with Afahel Woodage that day, he faid he 
had no intention of that kind ; that he knew not who he 
was when he attacked him, and only endeavoured to hin- 
der him from harrailing the rear of the army, and deftroy- 
ing the provifions : That when he charged him firft, Wood- 
age was among the women, loaded with bouza, flour, and 
fpirits, which were coming to the Ras, and great part of 
which he had intercepted, as the Ras would find. Michael 
could not help laughing at this lait part of the excufe, but 
went away, and, in his converfation that evening, gave Con- 
fu the higheft praifes for his conduct and bravery, bu$ 
faid nothing of his fault. 

Engedan was next arraigned for fighting without orders. 
He, too, anfwered with great humility, That when he faw 
the infantry run down the hill, with their matches lighted, 
he thought it was the Ras's intention to relieve Confu by 
the mod effectual means poflible; but at any rate he could 
never, with arms in his hands, Hand looking on, while his 
couiin-german and companion was mailacred by Galla. 
4 All 


All ended well. The truth is, Michael never would find fault 
with a man that fought, however imprudently he fought 
the occafion: courage was to him in place of charity ; it co- 
vered a multitude of fins. 

Ozoro Esther, in the deeped concern, had attended her 
fon from the moment of his arrival, and had feen his 
wound drefled and fwathed up. A large gaping flefh- wound 
(fuch as his was) frightens ignorant people more than the 
fmall orifice made by a fhot, which breaks bones and en- 
dangers life. Such was Ozoro Eflher's apprehenfion ; and 
every minute me inquired of me if I thought it. was poffi- 
ble he could recover. I had not quitted him fince he had 
got o£F his horfe. I advifed him by all means to go in a 
litter to Gondar, either carried by men or mules ; but no 
perfuafion, nor confideration, would induce him to go o- 
therwife than on a mule, with his horfe harnefled and led 
by him.. 

Every thing was accordingly prepared, when I received a 
meffage from the Ras to wait upon him. I immediately 
went to his tent, and found him with two dwarf boys only, 
who were fanning the flies from his face. " Ozoro Kfther 
wifhes, fays he, that you would fee Confu fafe to Gondar, 
and bring us word to-morrow how he is; and you muft flay 
with him altogether, if he is in danger." — " If he has no 
fever, faid I, he is in no danger. If the king and you" — He 
then interrupted me, — " The king, and I, and every one, 
wifhes you to attend Confu." I bowed, and went away with- 
out reply. When I was got to the door he cried after me, 
** Don't be afraid, you will be in time enough to fee every 

thing ; 


thing ; neither they nor I wifli an engagement but at Ser- 

I did not underlland the meaning of the fpeech, but 
went away without reply ftraight to the king's tent ; and I 
was juft going to fpeak when he llopt me, by crying, " Go, 
go, for God's fake ! Ozoro Either has been here almoft out 
of her fenfes." I went on this to her tent, where I found her 
fitting by Confu and drowned in tears, which at times were 
interrupted by fits of feeming diffraction. He began to feel 
the lofs of blood, which would have made me wifh not to 
move him ; but there was no Haying here for fick people ; 
and fo violent a fpirit had fpread through the army, upon 
Netcho's fuccefs and Confu's victory, that one and all infill- 
ed upon fighting the next day ; and feveral of my friends, 
who knew where I v/as going, fhook hands with me at my 
palling them, faying, " Farewell, Yagoube ; we are forry to 
lofe you, but all will be over before you come back." 

I now infilled more than ever upon Confu's going in a 
litter, and fetting out immediately, which was according- 
ly complied with. Ozoro Either had dinner, or rather fup- 
per, ready in a moment, and I had great need of it, having 
fcarcely tailed any thing for two days. While I was eating, 
Ozoro Either could not Hop the efTufions of her gratitude 
for the care I hacbagain taken of Confu. " I knew, fays 
fhe, you would have refufed me, if I had endeavoured to 
perfuade you to go away from the camp, when there are 
fuch fair expectations, you may be knocked on the head 
to-morrow ; and therefore I applied to the Ras by force to 
bend that ralh, proud fpirit of yours, which one day will 
be the occafion of your death." — " Madam, faid I, you do 
3 me 


me injuftice if you will not believe that I had rather obey 
your commands than thofe of any general upon earth : 
But, pray, what is the meaning of the Ras's fpeech to me 
about both armies wifhing to fight at Scrbraxos * ? Where is 
this Serbraxos ?" — " Why, fays me, here, on a hill juft by ; 
the Begemder people have a prophecy, that one of their go- 
vernors is to fight a king at Serbraxos, to defeat him, and 
flay him there : in his place is to fucceed another king, 
whofe name is Theodorus, and in whofe reign all Abyfli- 
nia is to be free from war, or from any trouble, ficknefs, or 
famine ; that the Galla, Shangalla, and Mahometans are all 
to be deftroyed, and the empire of Abyffinia to be extended 
as far as Jerufalem." — " All this deftruction and conqueft 
without war ! That will be curious indeed. I think 1 could 
wifli to fee this Theodorus," faid I, laughing. " See him 
you will, replied Ozoro Either ; peace, happinefs, and plen- 
ty will laft all his reign, and a thoufand years afterwards. 
Enoch and Elias will rife again, and will fight and defiroy 
Gog and Magog, and all this without any war." — " On 
which I again faid, that muft be cleverly managed. And 
now, why does Ras Michael choofe to fight at Serbraxos ? I 
do not think he is deiirous to pay his court to the king 
Theodorus, or any king brought him by Begemder." — 
"*' Why, fays fhe, all the hermits and holy men on our fide, 
that can prophecy, have allured him he is to beat the re- 
bels this month at Serbraxos ; and a very holy man, a her- 
mit from Waldubba, came to him at Gondar, and obliged 
him to march out againil his will, by telling him this pro- 
phecy, which he knows to be true, as the man is not like 
Vol. IV. R common 

# Seibraxos, abbreviation for Seiba Chriftos, the Crofs of Chrift. 


common prophets, but one who never ate any thing but 
roots, or drank other liquor than water, fince the day of his 
nativity. Such a man as this, you know, Yagoube, can- 
not lie." "And I, fays Ayto Confu, being a prophet that hath 
ate beef and drunk bouza ever fince my nativity, whenever 
I could not get wine or brandy, and who give my fhare of 
water freely to the faints of Waldubba, as a proper reward 
for the lies they tell, I do prophecy, that there are now 
two thoufand men eating their fupper within fight of Ser- 
braxos, who will never fee it nearer, but will all be ilain in 
a battle fought at this place to-morrow, at which time Ya- 
goube mall be feafting with me at Gondar, without caring 
a fig for king Theodorus and his plenty." — " A blefTed pro-- 
phet you !" fays Ozoro Efther,, 

At this inftant the fervants at the door informed us there 
was fcarce light to fee the way down the hill, and we got 
our wounded prophet, without much difficulty or com- 
plaint, into the litter. A number of men fupported him 
down the hill, and about 50 of his own horfe attended. I 
defired him to feel often the bandage if his wound 
bled ; and, finding it did not, I rode on horfeback clofe by 
his fide. For fome time, not hearing him flir or fpeak, I 
thought he was afleep, or had fainted ; on which I ilopt the 
litter, felt his pulfe, and afked him if he was dofing ? He 
faid, No ; he was thinking of all the lies his mother had been 
telling me : but there is one thing Die did not care to tell 
you, Yagoube, fhe'fays you laugh at thefe ftories ; but there 
is a fpirit who always appears to Michael and affures him 
of victory. The devil, faid I, probably ; for what good arifes 
from all thefe victories ? are they not the ruin of innocent 
people, and of the country ? No, replied Confu, it is St Mi- 


cliael the archangel ; he faw him jufl before he furprifed 
the mountain Haramat, but neither at Gondar, nor fmce he 
pafTed the Tacazze, and this makes him forrowful. The 
fpirit has been afraid to catch cold, faid I, by wetting his 
feet in that cold river. I doubt fo, anfwered Confu ; but the 
liar of a monk, who my mother fuppofes never eats nor 
drinks, told him he was to fee him at Serbraxos. 

At this time we heard the noife of horfes, and could dif- 
cern (as we thought) three men that palTed the bridge of 
Mogetch brifkly before us. As they feemed to avoid us, fix or 
eight of Confu's men purfued them at full gallop, but loft 
them in the darknefs. They, however, were found to be 
foldiers of Kafmati Sanuda, who hearing Woodage Afahel 
had been engaged with Ayto Confu, had come out with the 
unworthy purpofe of collecting fome filthy trophies, by 
mangling the dead or wounded, though thefe mull have 
been their own companions, the foldiers of Ayto Confu, who 
had been flain ; for the whole of Woodage Afahel's men 
had already undergone what Strates emphatically called 
the operation^ by the knives of Confu's foldiers. We now 
arrived at Kofcam without any adventure, and Confu was 
laid to repofe, after taking a little food : in obedience to the 
orders of Ozoro Efther, I lay down by him in the fame apart- 

Eauly next morning I was fent for by a fervant of Ozoro 
Efther, to attend Welleta SelafTe, who I was told was at the 
point of death. I repaired immediately to the houfe of Ras 
Michael, where (lie then was, but found her without poffi- 
bility of recovery, having already loft her fpeech. She ex- 
pired a few minutes afterwards, apparently in violent ago- 

R 2 nies. 


nies. The caufe was never properly known; fome attri- 
buted it to the jealoufy of Ozoro Efther, others alledged 
that me had taken poifon from apprehenfion of falling into 
the hands of Ras Michael: whatever was the truth, her fer- 
vants certainly told me, that fhe had confeffed fhe had taken 
poifon, and not till the pain became violent, and then fhe 
turned afraid, would fhe confent to have an exprefs fent to 
Ozoro Either, to bring me from the camp. I had unluckily 
left it before to attend Ayto Confu, neither is it probable I 
could have been of any fervice, as the poifon fhe had taken 
was arfenic. This accident detained me that whole day, fa 
that, inftead of returning to the army, I went to Ayto Confu 
at Kofcam, where I found another meflenger in fearch o£ 

The king's Mahometan was returned from Sennaar, and: 
with him Soliman my fervant, who brought me anfwers to 
the letters I had written ; they had come by Beyla to Ras el 
Feci, by Sim Sim, and the wenern deferts, the way to Teawa 
being much infefted by gangs of Arabs, and Ganjar horfe, 
who murdered every body they found in their way. They 
brought with them only twelve horfes, eighteen coats of 
mail, and about thirty libd*; thefe were moftly returns made 
by the principal members of government to the prefents 
the king had fent them, for every body at Sennaar now fet 
too great a value upon the armour, and horfes, to part ea- 
fily with them, on account of the unfettled ftate of the 
times, the hiftory of which we mall give afterwards. 


* Thefe are leather coats quilted with cotton, ufed infiead of coats of mail : both man and' 
iioife are covered with them A and they give to both a monflrous appearance.. 


My letters informed me that the whole kingdom of 
Sennaar was in arms, that Naffer (who had depofed his fa- 
ther by the help of two great brothers, Mahomet Abou Ca- 
ke, and Adelan) was upon the point of trufling his life and 
kingdom to the event of a battle with thefe two officers. 
I was, moreover, conjured, with all the earneftnefs, as I 
thought, of a truly honed man, that I would by no means 
undertake the journey I intended ; that to come from Ras 
el Feel to Sennaar, was, for a white man like me, next to 
an abf.)lute impoflibiltty, connecting the danger of the way 
with the great hardfhips from the exceffive heat of the cli- 
mate, and want of food and water; that even arrived at 
Sennaar, I fhould be in the utmoft danger from the foldiery, 
and the king's Haves, under no fubordination or govern- 
ment ; and that, even if I was happy enough to efcape 
thefe, the worft ftill remained, and no human power could 
convoy or protect me, in my remaining journey to Egypt 
through the great defert. I was therefore begged to lay 
all fuch intention afide as impoffible, and either ilay where 
I was, or return by Tigre, Mafuah, and Arabia, the way by 
which I firfl entered Abyffinia.. This Was the fevereft of 
all blows to me, and threw me for fome time into the low- 
eft defpondency, but it did not change my refolution, whiclx 
was already taken, not to turn to the right or the left, but 
either compleat my journey to Syene, the frontier of 
Egypt, by Sennaar, and Nubia, or perifh in the attempt.. 

I now refolved to proceed immediately to the camp, ta- 
king twenty horfe from Sanuda, and twenty from Confu, 
to efcort the coats of mail and horfes from Sennaar. I fet 
out that evening with Mahomet the king's fervant, by the 
road of Sema. Confu, and arrived about nine o'clock in the 



camp, without any adventure, bringing the news of Wel- 
leta SelafTe's death, which feemed to caufe neither furprife 
nor forrow, and was never after fpoken of either by the Ras 
or Ozoro Eflher ; but very great rejoicings were made at the 
good accounts of Ayto Confu, with very kind expreflions of 
me, both from the Ras and Ozoro Eflher. 

Before he went to bed, the king had examined Mahomet, 
and drawn from him the true ftate of the kingdom of Sen- 
naar; he then fent for me, and ordered me to deliver him 
my letters, which I did, interpreting them to him, word for 
word. He faid, however, but little at this time, as he 
thought that that door, being fo effectually fhut againft me, 
lefs could be urged againft the fafer, and more known road 
through Tigre, which, of courfe, it was prefumed I mould 
more eagerly embrace ; he kept my letters, and ordered me 
to choofe two of the horfes for myfelf, which I did, one of 
them near feventeen hands high, I fuppofe one of the moll 
powerful horfes in the world. The reft he diftributed a- 
mong the black troops ; the fame he did with the coats of 
mail. I found the army in great fpirits, but ftill the ftory 
of fighting only at Serbraxos feemed to be obflinately per- 
fifled in. I afked Ozoro Eflher if St Michael had yet appear- 
ed to the Ras ; fhe anfwered, " Hufh ! for God's fake, don't 
make a joke of this, one word of this kind repeated to him 
would prevent your ever receiving a favour from MichaeL 

It happened that, the day after I had attended Ayto Con- 
fu to Gondar, Ras Michael fent fome foldiers into Dembea 
to forage, thefe had been intercepted by a party pofted on 
purpofe by Kafmati Ayabdar and Gufho, confifting of Ed- 
jow Galla, with fome horfefrom Foggora and Amhara. An 
3 engagement 


engagement happened pretty much in the fame place and 
manner as that with Woodage Afahel and Ayto Confu, in 
full view of the camp, and affiftance was fent on both fides 
to the refpeclive parties. The troops commanded by Aylo, 
brother of Engedan, and Guebra Mafcal, were beaten back 
almoft clofe to the camp, by the horfe led by the Edjow Gal- 
la, though brave and veteran foldiers, while Ras Michael 
ordered Yaline and his 200 from Ras el Feel, (all with their 
libds on) to charge the Galla, now advanced very near. 
Each horfe had a number of brafs bells at his neck, and 
they no fooner appeared than the whole cavalry of the ene- 
my, ftarting at the hideous figure and noife, fell into con- 
fufion, and, being clofely prefled with violent blows of their 
great fvvords, no longer difputed the ground, but left the 
field on the gallop. A beautiful grey horfe of Gufho's, fu- 
perbly ornamented with gold and filver, and having a very 
rich broad-fword hanging at his faddle, and a pole-ax on 
the other fide under the furcingle, was taken by fome fol*. 
diers of Ras el Feel, who fpread the report inftantly that 
Guflio was flain. Immediately on this, orders were given 
for the whole army to defcend into the plain, which they 
did with great alacrity, forming in order of battle, though 
neither the king nor Ras Michael left the camp, nor did 
any adverfary appear ; and the troops, content with this 
bravado, returned again in great fpirits to the camp. 

This is the account I heard of that day's fkirmiili, for I 
was not prefent there, being at Gondar with Ayto Confu. 
In the evening of that very day arrived a mefTenger from 
Gufho, telling Ras Michael, that a young boy, a nephew of 
his, had, without his knowledge, gone to fee the engage- 
ment, and had taken with him his favourite horfc y who, 



being frightened at the Arabs with their libds, had thrown 
him, after which he had run oil and left the horfe among 
the enemy. He begged to have his hoile reftored at any 
price, if the man that had taken him was allowed to fell 
him. He at the fame time lent a prefent of a large quan- 
tity of fruit and frefh fifii from the lake. The meflenger 
was a pried well known by Ras Michael, and warmly at- 
tached to the king, and it was thought came with an er- 
rand of more confequence than either about the horfe or 
the fifh. The Ras fent him for his anfwer to the King, who 
told him, the horfe being taken by the troops of Ras el 
Feel, belonged to me, and with me he mull make his bar- 
gain : that I was at Gondar, and my return uncertain ; but 
that the next day he might have my anfwer. This was the 
better to conceal the prieft's real bufinefs, for the King and 
Ras knew how they were to difpofe of the horfe ; at leafl 
they certainly knew I was not to return him without their 

The morning after my arrival this fame priefl came to 
me with a menage from Gulho, defiring I would fend him 
his horfe, as a proof of the friendfhip which he faid had al- 
ways fubfifted between us, at the fame time offering me any 
fum of money that I might have promifed to content the 
foldiers who took him. As I had before obtained leave 
from Ras Michael to reflore the horfe, fo I did it with the 
very bell grace poilible, fending Yafme himfelf, chief of the 
troops of Ras el Feel, with the menage to Guflio, that I rec- 
koned myfelf exceedingly happy in having that opportunity 
of obliging him, and of iliewing the value I had everiet 
upon his friendihip"; that he very well knew the little re- 
gard I had for money, and that the ioldier who took the 
i horfe 


horfe was my fervant, and had already been abundantly fa- 
tisfied. I deiired Yafme to add, that I hoped, in order to a 
continuation of that friendihip, he would avoid, in his own 
particular command, or in that of his relations, attacking 
where the king was in perfon, becaufe it was my indifpen- 
fible duty to be there, and that his nephew might not efcape 
with the lofs of a horfe, if he again happened to be engaged 
with the Moorifh troops, who, though under my command, 
were Mahometans, ftrangers to the language, and to whom 
it was impoilible for me to convey any diftinclion of perfons. 
Gufho was exceedingly fenfible of this civil return of the 
horfe ; he cloathed Yafme magnificently, made him a pre- 
fent of another horfe, and fent a very flattering meiTage by 
him to me. 

Vol. IV. S CHAR 




Michael attempts to enter Bcgemder — Flrji Battle of Serbraxos* — The 
Rebels offer Battle to the King in the Plain — Armies feparated by a 
violent Storm. 

"A S I N E had fcarcely returned to the camp when all the 
tents were ftruck, and the army on its march. The Ras 
and Guebra Mafcal led the van, the king and Guebra Chrif- 
tos the center, Kafmati Kefla Yafous the rear ; Netcho the 
Fit-Auraris being about half an hour's march before us, 
we proceeded along the plain without interruption ; Ayto 
Engedan, with a fmall body of horfe, was covering the king's 
right flank at fome diftance. The church of Serbraxos was 
on our left upon the fide of a hill, and we expected to fee 
the Fit-Auraris take up his ground for encamping there, as 
it was the field of action determined upon by both parties. 
The Fit-Auraris, however, firft, and then Ras Michael with 
the van, palTed below Serbraxos at fo brifk a pace that we 
in the center found it difficult to keep up with them. 




r* King's palace and high walls furround- 
ing it. 

2. Afhoa, public place where the troops 
affemble, and gun-powder is fold, and 
where public executions are made. 

3. Hamar Noh, Noah's Ark, a church. - 

4. A clofe quarter over a precipice on the 
Weft, to which the merchants carry 
their effects upon fudden revolutions, 
efpecially thofe that have flour and 

5; Abbo, where the Romifh priefts were : 
ftoned and lye unburied.T 

6. Debra Berhan, famous church upoif* 

the higheft part of the hill over the" 

Angrab. . 
,7. -Riggobee Ber, or Pigeons Pafs, a rocky 

part of the town, fortified in time of 


8. Abbo, great ftreet, called from the 
church and faint of that name. 

9. Mahometan town en the river Kaha» - 

10. King's palace on the river Kaha, 
1 1. Brook of St Raphael. 

1 2 ... The river. Angrab. 

A The centre commanded by the king 
2nd Guebra Chriftos encamped on the 
South of the hill Serhraxos. 

B Ras Michael, who leads the van, en- 
camped upon the South-Eaft, and high- 
eft part of the hill. . 

G Kefla Yafous, who -commands the rear 
encamped upon the North- Weft. 

DRas Michael marching from his camp 
at Serbraxos, is ftopt at the mouth of 
the valley,, ftnd engages Powuffen and 
the troops of Begemderat E.. 

E: The- rebeL troops of Begemder engag- 
ing Ras Michael. 

F: Ayto Engedan with a thoufand men 
marches from the King's camp to rein- 
force Michael at the mouth of the val- 

G Powuffeii's c amp at Cbrreva. 

H A reinforcement marches from Pow- 
ufTen's camp, and joins the rebels en- 
gaged with Michael at E.. 

I Ras Michael beat back into the valley, 
retires under cover of hie mufketry at 
K and L, which ftop the rebels ad- 
vancing. ! 

M Kefla Yafous joins the king, marches 
to the head of the valley, wheels to 
the right, and faces to the weftward. 

KF The king's horfe upon the ford of 
the Mariam facing weftward. 

OO Two bodies of the king's mufketry 
placed to defend the ford of the Ma- 


P Ayabdar's army encamped. 

Q^P^ Ayabdar's army marches from 
the camp, and halts a fmall diftance 
from the king's horfe at NN, but : 
retreats to SS without attacking them. -. 
All but the Edjow Galla, who remain 
at T, and are all cut to pieces by the 
king's horfe, and the mufketry on the : 


A long valley, having the mountains of Begemder on the 
fouth, or farthefl end, was what the Ras had nOw entered, 
and he flattered himfelf, by a forced march, to arrive at thofe 
mountains. When once in Begemder, he knew that he not on- 
ly mould occalion a revolt among the troops of PowulTen, 
(many of whom had followed him by force rather than in- 
clination) but likewife he was afTured that he mould be met 
by many powerful noblemen and friends to the king, both 
of Lafta and Begemder, whom Powuffen dared not force to 
follow him, and who had flaid at home; by this means, 
he conceived his army would be fo much increafed that he 
foon mould bring the rebels to reafon. 

The river Mariam runs along the well fide of this valley, 
mallow, but brifk and clear, and the water excellent, while 
a fmall brook, called i>£-Ohha, (that is, the water of ho- 
nour, or of worth) falling from the mountains on the eafl, 
runs clofe by the bottom of the hill of Serbraxos, where it 
joins the Mariam. The center of the army was jufl en- 
tering from the plain into the valley, and the king's horfe 
palling Deg-Ohha, when we heard a firing in the front, 
which we guefled to be from the Fit- Auraris ; foon after fol- 
lowed a repeated firing from the van, engaged about a fhort 
two miles diftance, though a long even hill in the midfl 
of the valley, and its windings, hindered us from feeing 

Guebra Christos immediately made his difpofition ; he 
placed his horfe, and foot in the intervals of the horfe, in the 
middle of the valley ; his mufquetry on the right and left, 
the former upon the fkirts of the hill already mentioned, to 
run along the valley ; the latter up the fkirts of the hill of 

S 2 Serbraxos 


Serbraxos. Orders very foon arrived from Ras Michael; 
which did not alter the difpofition • and Kefla Yafous with 
the rear arriving at the fame time, juft joined and doubled 
the feveral polls as they had been taken ; our pofition was 
to the utmoft of our wifh ; but it had not been fo with 
Michael, for he no fooner had got into the plain, where he 
had the hills no longer either on his right or left, than he 
was attacked by PowufTen, with the whole force of Begem- 
der, who cut off the troops of his Fit-Auraris to a man, he» , 
and two or three common foldiers, only efcaping. This was 
owing to Michael's retreating inftead of fupporting him ; 
for he had fcarcely given time for PowufTen to come up 
with his horfe, who fought more defperately than was their.- 
ufual cuftom, than he himfelf again took pofTemon of the 
entrance of the valley-, and lined the hill on both fides 
with fire-arms. A very general and fharp fire from Gue^- 
bra Mafcal, and the mufquetry, (who had occupied the 
fouth end of the long hill) foon obliged PowufTen to leave 
Michael's cavalry, which he would elfe have inevitably de- 
ftroyed, and inciter himfelf in the plain from the violent 
effect of the {hot, which rained upon him alternately from i 
the hills on each fide of the valley. . 

At this time we were in the greatefi anxiety, from the 
report of the mufquets always coming nearer us, though^ 
by the contrary winds, the fmoke was carried from us. The 
day was far advanced, and excefUvely hot: the foot foldiers ., 
were bufy in giving our horfes drink out of our own hel- 
mets, which they filled from Deg-Ohha. All the troops 
were impatient, however, to come to an action upon that 
ground. At this time an officer from Michael came to 
Kefla Yafous, who was on horfeback near the king, order- 


ing him to fend a body of frefh horfe to fupport the caval- 
ry of his divifion, with an intention, if poflible, to bring on 
a general engagement. In the mean time he ordered Kef- 
la Yafous to keep firm, as he then was, in the port, of Ser- 
braxos, and not to advance till he was fure that Gufho 
and Ayabdar had left their ground, joined PowmTen, and 
were engaged -with him at the fouth end of the valley. 
Thefe inftructions were perfectly underftood by that faga- 
cious and veteran general. He detached 500 bhoa, with 
near the fame number of horfe belonging to Engedan, and 
commanded by him, and thefe, joined to the cavalry already 
in the van, again attempting to pafs the plain, were at- 
tacked by PowufTen and the troops of Begemder, who had 
been likewife reinforced, and after an obftinate engage- 
ment they had retired into the mouth of the valley, not 
from being actually beaten, but by direction of Ras Mi- 
chael, in order to bring the enemy purfuing them under 
the fire of the mufquetry, on each fide of the entrance of." 
the valley.. 

I was exceedingly curious- to have feen this engagement, . 
and I begged Kefla Yafous to fpeak to the king to permit me 
to go fingly with Engedan. To this, however, I had a flat 
refufal, not without fome marks of peeviihnefs and difplea- 
fure, which Kefla Yafous qualified by faying, " Don't be dif- 
mayedj you mall fee ;" and in that infiant the word was 
given to march to the right, w-hilft the troops left the valley 
between the long hill and the mountains, and took poll on 
the fide of the river Mariam, with their faces fronting the 
weft. The mufquetry was placed upon the eminences to the 
north and fouth, as if to defend the ford of the river, thro' 
which the entrance was, to. the north end of the valley. Mi-; 

chael 9 * 


chad, in the mean time, had, by the feigned retreat of his 
cavalry, decoyed the Begemder troops within reach of the 
mufquetry, and they were again put in diforder by the dis- 
charge on each fide of the hill, without being able to ad- 
vance a ftep further ; after which he ordered fome tents to 
be pitched upon the hill on his right, as if intending to en- 
camp there. 

Kasmati Ayabdar, who commanded the left wing of the 
rebels, imagining that the whole army had advanced to the 
fouth of the valley with Ras Michael, thought this was an 
opportunity of furrounding the king's troops, and cutting 
them off from their camp and ftrong poll upon the hill of 
Serbraxos ; with this intention he advanced rapidly to the 
ford of the river Mariam, thinking to take poll on the hill 
which was to our rear, being that of Serbraxos. When he 
advanced, however, near that river, and raw the king and 
his cavalry drawn up on the banks of it, his heart failed him, 
and he halted within a fliort quarter of a mile of our troops. 
In order to decoy and make him more confident, Kefla Ya- 
fous ordered the horfe to retreat and crofs the river as fall 
as they could, with an appearance of confufion, that he might 
draw their horfe within reach of our mufquetry planted up- 
on every eminence. The king (hewed great reluctance at 
this manoeuvre, however wife. He repeated very peevifhly, 
What is this ! What is this ! Am I retiring before rebels? — 
Neither did this ftratagem fucceed but in part, for Ayabdar, 
either diftruiiing the trap laid for him, or afraid to enter in- 
to ar- engagement with the king, advanced but a few paces, 
and again halted, apparently not decided what he was to 

4 The 


The Edjow Galla alone advanced to the very t> rink of the 
river, and when the mufquetry began to be fired at them, 
which would probably quickly have put them into confu- 
fion, the king, lofing all patience, ordered the black horfe, 
and all the heavy-armed troops, to charge them, which 
was inftantly executed with the greatefc fpeed; the Gal- 
la^rere all borne down, with little or no refinance, by 
the length of our pikes, and the fuperior weight of our 
horfes, and thofe that were not {lain were fcattered over the 
plain. But a greater misfortune befel us from our friends 
than from our enemies, as a volley of mot was poured up- 
on us from Serbraxos hill, on the right hand, which killed 
feven men, notwithftanding their coats of mail. The king 
himfelf was in great danger, being in the middle of the en- 
gagement, and unarmed ; young prince George, who 
fought by his fide, was mot in the thumb of his left 
hand. Kefla Yafous, who faw the danger the king was in t 
riding about, holding out his hand and crying not to fire, 
was mot through the hair, the ball j'uft grazing his head 
above the ear, and another wounding his horfe juft above 
his thigh, but fo nightly, that it was afterwards extracted 
by a fervant's fingers. 

Ayabdar, after the lofs of his Edjow Galla, retreated to 
the camp, amidft the curfes and imprecations of the army, 
who, not informed of the king's firength, thought the war 
might have been ended by a proper exertion and perfeve- 
rance in his part that day. Gufho his nephew, who had 
{laid to guard the camp, but who had reinforced Powuflen 
and Ayabdar each of them with a part of his troops, fpoke 
of his uncle in the bittereft terms of reproach, continually 
calling him dotard and coward, and declaring him incapa- 


ble of command or fervice. Whether this was really his 
opinion, or only faid with a view of forwarding a fcheme 
already laid, I will not fay ; but certainly it was the foun- 
dation of a quarrel which, by its eonfequences, did greatly 
weaken the rebels, and contributed much afterwards to 
maintain the king upon the throne ; for Gullio, who, upon 
the defeat of Ras Michael, was deftined by all parties to ta£e 
the lead, was as lavifh in praifes of Powufien for his beha- 
viour that day, as he was bitter in condemning his uncle, 
which created a violent mifunderfianding between thefe 
two chiefs, infomuch that Afahel Woodage, with his troops 
of Maitfha, left Ayabdar, and joined Powuflen. Confu, 
moreover, fon of Bafha Eufebius, and brother to Guebra 
Mehedin, who had fruurated my firft attempt to difcover 
the fource of the Nile, endeavouring to promote a revolt a- 
mong the troops of Foggora, to which he belonged, was 
put in irons by Ayabdar, from which he was but too foon 
releafed to meet, a few days afterwards, a fate that put an 
end to his profligacy and follies. 

Powussen in this conflict had retreated, if not beaten, 
with a confiderable lofs ; nine hundred of his belt troops 
were faid to have been (lain that day, and a great many 
more wounded, moil of whom (thofe I mean that had gun- 
fhot wounds) died from the want of furgeons, and the igno- 
rance of thofe who undertook to cure them. On the part 
of Michael about 300 men, all of the cavalry, were faid to 
have perifhed that day, including the troops of Netcho the 
Fit-Auraris. Of the king's divifion about twenty- three were 
killed, feven of thefe being his guards, I believe moftly by 
the unfortunate fire of his troops, arifing from his own im- 
patience in attacking the Galla unadvifedly, of whom about 
2. fixty 


fixty were left upon the field, all flain in the attack, for they 
were not purfued, but joined their main body immediate* 

Ras Michael fell back upon the army, which had en- 
camped on the hill of Serbraxos ; and it now was believed 
more than before, that the fate of the empire was to be 
determined on that fpot. Another thing, however, appear- 
ed plain, that whatever belief Michael pretended in the 
prophecy, he would not have preferred fighting at Serbrax- 
os, if he could by any means have given the rebels the 
flip, and marched his army into Begemder. The king was 
exceedingly pleafed at the part he had taken that day ; it was 
the firft time he was engaged in perfon, nor did any body 
venture to condemn it ; he fhewed, indeed, very little con- 
cern at his brother's wound, which was only a flight one 
in the flefhy part of his thumb, nor did the young prince 
trouble himfelf much about it ; on the contrary, when I 
went todrefs and bind it up, he faid to me, I wifh, Yagoube, 
the fhot had carried the thumb off altogether, it would have 
made me incapable of fucceeding to the throne, and they 
would not then fend me to the hill of Wechne. The king, 
upon hearing this, faid with a fmile, George forgets that 
Hatze Hannes, my father and his, was called to the throne 
many years after his whole hand had been cut off. Every 
one agreed that Ras Michael had that day fhewn a degree 
of intrepidity and military fkill fuperior to any thing which 
had appeared in many former engagements in which he 
had commanded. No fooner had he refreshed himfelf 
with a meal, than he called a council of his officers, which 
lafled great part of the evening, notwithflanding the fa- 
tigue he had undergone throughout the day. 

Vol. IV. T This 


This was the firft battle of Serbraxos, which, though it 
contained nothing decifive, had ftill two very material con- 
fequences, as it fo daunted the fpirits of the Begemder horfe,. 
that many chiefs of that country withdrew their troops, and 
went home, whilft fuch difcord was fown among the lead- 
ers, that I believe they never fincerely trufted one another 
afterwards ; Gufho and Ayabdar, in particular, were known 
to correfpond with the king daily. 

On the morrow after the battle, three meflengers arrived 
from Gufho, PowufTen, and Ayabdar, and each had a fepa- 
rate audience of the King and Ras, before whom they all 
three feverally declared, that their matters deiired to contL- 
nue in allegiance to him their king, Tecla Haimanout, but 
under this condition only, that Ras Michael mould be fent 
to his government of Tigre, never more to return. They 
endeavoured to perfuade the king alfo to take the fenfe of 
his army, the majority of which, they aiTerted, were ready to 
abandon him. If Michael mould agree to return to Tigrey 
they offered to carry the king to Gondar, place him in his* 
palace, and allow him to choofe his own minifters, and go- 
vern for the future after his own ideas. This, indeed, was 
the univerfal wifh, and I did not fee what Ras Michael could 
have done, had he adopted it \ but fear,, or gratitude r or both y 
retrained the young king from fuch a meafure ' y and the 
meflengers left him after a plain declaration, That they had 
endeavoured all in their power to lave him, and he rauft 
now abide the confequences, for they wafhed their hands 
of them. 

The rains were now become more frequent, and an epi- 
demical fever had fhewn kfelf in the rebel army on the 
i plain ; 


plain ; every consideration, therefore, feemed to perfuade a 
fpeedy decifion, but the confequcnces of the laft engagement 
feemed to have damped the fpirit of the rebels, without ha- 
ving much raifed that of the king's army. In fact, the 
days were dark and wet, and the nights cold, circumftan- 
ces in which no Abyffinian choofes to fight. The army 
was thinly cldathed, or not cloathed at all, and encamped on 
high ground, where fuel, though it had not failed them yet, 
xnuft Coon have done fo. 

An accident that happened this night had nearly brought 
about a revolution which the wifefl heads had laboured 
for many years in vain. Ras Michael had retired to bed at 
his ordinary time, fomewhat before eleven o'clock, and a 
lamp was left burning as ufual in his tent, for he was afraid 
oifpirks. He was full fallen afleep, when he felt a man's 
arm reach into the bed over him, which he immediately 
feized hold of, crying to his attendants, at the fame time, 
for help. Thofe that ran firft into the tent threw down the 
lamp and put out the light, fo that the man would have 
efcaped, had not the people behind got about him, and 
-endeavoured to hold him down, while entangled in, and 
ilruggling with the cords of the tent. The firft perfon that 
feized him was a favourite fervant of the Ras, a young man 
named Laeca Mariam, of a good family in Tigre ; lie, not 
perceiving his danger for want of light, received a flab with 
a. broad knife, which pierced his heart, fo that he fell with- 
out fpeaking a word. Numbers immediately fecured the 
affairm^ who was found to have dropt one knife within the 
Ras's tent, with which he had attempted at firft to have 
Slabbed him : but he was found to have another knife, 
two-edged, and fliarp in the point, fixed along his arm, with 

T 2 Which 


which he had flabbed Laeca Mariam. This wretch was a 
native of a very barbarous nation near Shoa, S. E. of Go- 
jam. The name of their country is Gurague. They are 
Troglodytes, and all robbers : their conftant occupation is 
attending the AbyfUnian camps, and Healing horfes, mules, 
or whatever they can get, which they do in a very angular 

They all wear their hair very fhort, ftrip themfelves flark- 
naked, and befmear themfelves from head to foot with but- 
ter, or fome fort of greafe, whilft, along the outfide of their 
arm, they tye a long, ftraight, two-edged, fharp-pointed 
knife, the handle reaching into the palm of their hand, 
and about four inches of the blade above the knob of their 
elbow, fo that the whole blade is fafe and inoffenfive when 
the arm is extended, but when it is bent, about four inches 
projects, and is bare beyond the elbow joint ; this being 
all prepared, they take a leafy faggot, fuch as the gatherers 
of fuel bring to the camp, which they fallen to their middle 
by a uring or withy, fpreading it over to conceal or cover 
all their back, and then drawing in their legs, they lie 
down, in all appearance, as a faggot, and in the part of the 
camp they intend to rob, crawling flowly in the dark when 
they think they are unperceived, and lying ftill when there 
is any noife or movement near them: In cafe they find 
themfelves difcovered, they flip the faggot and run ; and 
whatever part of them you feize efcapes your fingers by 
reafon of the greafe. If you endeavour to clafp them, how- 
ever, which is the only way left, the Gurague bends his, 
elbow and ftrikes you with his knife, and you are mor- 
tally wounded, as was the cafe with Laeca Mariam. 



This aiTaflin was no fooner fecured and difarmed, than 
a noofe, with a running knot, was flipt round his neck, 
and his hands tied behind his back, in which manner he 
was carried before Ras Michael, who fat upon a flool at 
fome diftance from his tent, after every part of it had been 
fearched. The fellow at firft refufed to fpeak, but, being 
threatened with torture, anfwered, in his own language,, 
which I did not underftand. He was afked, who had em- 
ployed him to attempt that afTamnation ? He faid, The re- 
bels ; and named Guiho and PowufTen : he then varied,, 
and faid the Iteghe employed him. Before he was fent a- 
way he contradicted all this, and declared, that Hagos, his 
brother, had employed him ; and that he was then actual- 
ly in the camp, with four others, who were determined to 
murder the Ras and Guebra Mafcal, whatever itfhould coi 

A search was on this ordered through all the camp, but 
no ftranger found, excepting one of the fame nation, who 
had planted himfelf and his faggot near the tent of the A- 
buna; and who being feized, examined, and promifed par- 
don, declared himfelf abfolutely ignorant of any fcheme 
but robbing, for which purpofe three of them, he faid, had 
come into the camp together ; one of them had flolen two 
mules the night before, and gone off, and that he was that 
night intending to take away two of the Abuna's mules ; 
and he fuppofed his companion had the fame intention 
with regard to the Ras ; but as to murder, or any other plot, 
he knew nothing of it. Being put flightly to the torture, 
he perfifted in his declaration ; and when interrogated, de?- 
clared, that they all three had come from Gurague with 
Amha Yafous, to load and unload his baggage, and take care 




of his beafls : that none of them had been at Gondar be- 
fore the attempt, except the affaflin, who had formerly lived 
there fome years, but whether with Hagos, or any other, 
he did not know, nor did he ever hear him pronounce the 
name of Hagos, nor fee any flranger, whom he did not 
know, converfe with himi that they all three had lain the 
laft night at the church of Serbraxos i but he further de- 
clared, that the perfon apprehended fpoke the Amharic lan- 
guage as .well as his own, contrary to what the villain had 
all along pre tended. 

This declaration, which I heard from the king's fecretary^ 
word for word as it was given, threw all the council into 
great confufion, the more fo, that, being gently talked to, and 
food given him after his examination,at night the affaffmhad 
again repeated what he before faid about Guftio, and that 
Eafil, too, was acceffory to the attempt. And what made 
this labyrinth of lies fUll more intricate was, that it was 
certainly known that Hagos, his brother, had conflantly 
lived with Cocme Abou Barea, in Kuara, from the time Ras 
Michael had put his brother to death at Gondar. It was 
intended therefore to try the effect of further torture in the 
morning, to make him confefs the truth. His guard, how- 
ever, having fallen aileep, or gone out of the tent, he was 
found flrangled by the running noofe that was left round 
his neck ; nor was any further light ever thrown upon this 
affair at any time after ; but it was generally believed the 
attempt had been made at the mitigation of fome connect 
tion of the Iteghe, and there were fome who went fo far 
as to name WelietalfraeL 



Early in the morning fome priefts came from- Powuf- 
fen, Ayabdar, and Guflio, to take the mod iolemn oaths be- 
fore the Abuna, that they never had the itnalleil knowledge 
of what the affaflin had laid to their charge i and they 
took upon themfelves fentence of excommunication, which 
the Abuna then pronounced conditionally, if they had di- 
rectly, or indirectly, been principal or acceffory, or known, 
or been confulted, in any manner whatever, as to the de- 
figns of that affaflin. Several principal officers of the rebels, 
moreover, who had left Gondar and gone over to Falil, and 
who were there in Gufho's camp, came over to congratu- 
late with Ras Michael upon his efcape, fo that, for a mo- 
ment, one would have thought the whole country interefted 
in faving him whom all were actually in arms at that in- 
ftant to deftroy. What furprifed me moil of all, probable 
as the thing might feem to be, not one man in the camp, 
from the Ras and King downward,, feemed to think that 
this attempt of the Gurague had been in any fhape the 
plot of the rebels ; and yet, in old times, murder by treafon 
mud have been very frequent in his kingdom, as appears 
by their cuftoms preferved to this day ; no perfon, be their 
Nation, connection, or friendmip what it will, can offer any 
one meat or drink without tailing it before them. 

Proposals of peace followed this friendly intercourfe, 
but the condition being always that Michael mould depart 
to Tigre, which he thought was but in other terms a pro- 
pofal to deftroy him, thefe friendly overtures ended in de- 
fiance and proteftation, That to him alone was owing the 
efFufion of human blood, and the ruin of his country, which 
was immediately to follow, 



It Was the 1 7th of May, at night, the attempt had been 
made on the Ras's life ; and the 18th was fpent in excom- 
munication before the Abuna ; and, in the evening, Michael 
received intelligence, that Ayto Tesfos, from the mountains 
of Samen, and Heraclius and Samuel Mammo, from Wal- 
kayt and Tzegade, were both preparing to join the rebels 
with a confiderable force. We were now arrived at the fa- 
tal field of Serbraxos,as we had endeavoured to pafs it, but 
in vain ; nothing now remained but to try to which fide 
the devil (the father of lies) had been forced to tell the 
truth, or whether he had yet told it to either. Darion, a 
principal man of BelefTen, and Guigarr of Lafta, joined the 
Ras's army about noon, bringing with them 1200 men, chief- 
ly horfemen, good troops, and they were joyfully received. 

A council was held with all the great officers that eve- 
ning, and the order of battle fixed upon for next day. Kef- 
la Yafous, with the befl of the foot from Tigre, with the 
king's houfehold troops, the Shoa horfe, and the Moors of Ras 
el Feel, with their libds, (in all not amounting to 10,000 
men, but the flower of the army) compofed the left wing, 
in the center of which was the king in perfon, the heavy- 
armed black horfe before him, and the officers and nobi- 
lity furrounding him : Guebra Chriflos, and Kafmati Tesfos 
of Sire, commanded the center, in which was Darion and 
Guigarr's cavalry, for the Lafla men, though of different 
fides, could never be prevailed upon to fight againfl one 
another, fo inflead of being with the king againfl Begemder 
and Lafla, they were placed in the center againfl Gufho and 
Amhara. The right of the king's army was commanded 
by Welleta Michael and Billetana Gueta Tecla, oppofed to 
the left wing of the rebels under Kafmati Ayabdar, who 
4 had 


the left wing of the rebels, under Kafmati Ayabdar, who 
had lately received large reinforcements from Gojam, by 
means of the Iteghe, who well knew him to be an invete- 
rate enemy to Ras Michael, and one who would never 
make peace with him. 

I have often heard it obferved by officers of fkill and ex- 
perience, that nothing is more difficult to defcribe than a 
battle, and that as many defcriptions as are given of ir, they 
generally difagree, and feem as many different battles. To 
this I mall add, that I find as great difficulty in giving an 
idea of the ground on which a battle was fought, which 
perhaps is not the cafe with profeffional men ; and though 
I defcribe nothing but what I faw, and what my horfe pafT- 
ed over,ftill I very much doubt if I can make myfelf intel- 
ligible to my readers. The hill of Serbraxos was neither 
very high nor ileep, unlefs on the north and eafi, where it 
was almoft a precipice. It was not a mountain joined with 
others, as the bed of a torrent, that ran very rapidly from 
BelefTen fouth of Mariam-Ohha, divided it from thefe 
mountains. The well fide of it Hoped gently to a large 
plain, which extended to the brink of the lake Tzana, and 
upon this our rear was encamped. The S. W. fide of this 
hill was like the former, and about half a mile from it 
came an elbow of the river Mariam, fo called from a church 
in the plain: on this fide of the hill our center was encamp- 
ed with the king, Abuna, and the princefles ; whilfl on the 
fouth face (which looked down a valley) was Ras Michael 
and the van of the army : the hill here was confiderably 
fteeper, and I have already faid ended with the precipice on 
the north. Along the bottom of this fouth face of the hill 
lay the frnall flream called Deg-Ohha, which flood in pools, 

Vol. IV. U and 


and was the fafeft and readieft fupply for the army, a* 
feeing perfectly under command of our mufquets, where 
our horfes could water without danger : immediately fouth 
from this ran a valley full half a mile broad, which ended: 
in a large plain about two miles, off. 

The valley where Michael and the van firft engaged, was- 
formed by the hills of BelefTen on theeaft, and the river Ma^ 
riam on the weft, and near the middle of the valley there 
was a low and flat-topt hill, not above 30 yards in height; 
which did not join with the hill of Serbraxos. Between 
them there was an opening of about 100 yards, through 
which ran Deg-Ohha, to the ford of the river Mariam, from 
which you afcended in a direction nearly N. W. up into the 
plain which reached to the lake Tzana. On the fouth end 
of this hill, as I have faid, which i might have been about 
two miles in length, the banks of the Mariam are very 
high, and the river ftands in large deep pools, with banks 
of fand between them. Where this hill ends to the right 
is another ford of the river Mariam, where a deep and nar*- 
row fandy road goes winding up the banks, in a direction 
N. W. like the former, and leads to the fame plain border* 
ing on the lake Tzana : fo that the plain of the valley 
where the Mariam runs, which is bordered by the foot of 
the mountains of BelefTen, and continues along the plain 
ibuth to Tangoure, is near 200 feet lower than the plain 
that extends on the fide of the lake Tzana. Nor is there a 
convenient accefs from the plain to the valley, at leaft that 
I faw, by reafon of the height and fteepnefs of the banks of 
the Mariam, excepting thefe two already mentioned ; one 
between, the extremity of the long even hill, and ilope of 
the mountain on the north, and. the other, on the fouth, 



through the winding fandy road up the fteep banks of the 
river, by the fouth end of that low hill, as I have already 
faid. At thefe two places are the two fords of the river, 
which continue paflable even in the rainy feafon, and the 
water at that time Hands in pools below it, till feveral miles 
further it joins the Zingetch Gomara, a larger ftream than 
itfelf, whofe banks are low, and where the ftream is 
fordable alfo ; but the banks of the river Mariam continue 
fteep, and run in a fouthern direction. In this valley, at the 
fouth end of this hill near the ford was the engagement be- 
tween Michael With the van, and the Begemder troops, on 
the 1 6th ; at the ford on the north end of this hill, in the 
fame valley, w^s the fight between the light troops and Kaf- 
mati Ayabdar, and the king in perfon, the very fame day ; fo 
that the valley was perfectly known by the enemy, and as 
they had few or no mufquetry, was wifely considered as not 
fit ground for their purpofes being narrow and commanded 
by hills everywhere. 

On the 19th of May, word was brought that the whole 
rebel army was in motion, and before eight o'clock (reck- 
oned in Abyflinia an early hour for fuch bufinefs) a great 
cloud of dull was feen rifing on the right of the rebels to- 
wards Korreva, and this was the moment the Begemder 
troops got on horfeback in the dully plain ; foon after we 
heard their kettle-drums, and about nine o'clock we faw 
the whole troops of Begemder appear, drawn up at fuch 
a diftance in the plain, above the road up the fleep bank 
of rhe Mariam, as to leave great room for us to form wi^h 
the road on our left, and a little on our rear ; Michael eafi- 
ly divined Powuffen's intention, which was to beat us back 
by a fuperior force of horfe, and then making a num* 

U 2 ber 


ber of troops glide below unfeen, along the river in the 
valley, take poiTeflion of the round hill, at the north ford of 
Mariam, and cut off our retreat to our camp at Serbraxos ; 
the Ras immediately difpatched fome fingle horfemen to 
take a view of the enemy more nearly, and report what 
their numbers were, and where Gufho and Ayabdar were 
ported, for we could diftinguifh the colour of the horfes, 
and all the movements of the Begemder troops, not being 
much above three miles diftance, yet we did not know whe- 
ther they were alone, or whether one or more of the other ge- 
nerals were with them: we faw indeed PowufTen's ftandards, 
but they were fo weather-beaten and faded, that we could not 
diftinguifli their real colours, which were blue and yellow. 

The king's whole army was defcending into the valley, 
and palling over the ford of the Mariam, to the plain above 
where Kefla Yafous was riding to and fro with great ear- 
neitnefs, encouraging his troops. In a very fhort time the 
left was formed ; the Ras, having given all his orders, and 
taken to himfelf the charge of the camp and the referve, fat 
down, as wasufual, to play at drafts with the black fervants. 
The army was now all in the plain, when the fcouts arriv- 
ed, and brought word that Guflio and Ayabdar had both 
taken their ground, not directly in a ftraight line from Po- 
wuflen, fquare with the lake, but as it were diagonally de- 
clining more to the fouthward, fo that the mod advanced, or 
nearer! to us, were the troops of Begemder ; and this was 
probably done, in order that, our backs being more turned 
to the lake, we might be eafier cut off from our camp, and 
furrounded in the plain, between their army and the Tzana r 
if Powuffeli was fo fortunate as to beat the king and the 
left ; but this difpofition of thefe troops was out • of our 



fight, being down nearer the lake. Nor is it to be under- 
stood that I mean here to give any account of their move- 
ments, or of any other, unlefs thofe of the left wing under 
the king, where I was myfelf engaged. 

Several fpies came into Ras Michael at this time, and 
they, and the horfemen that had been fent on the fervice, 
all agreed, that in the center of the Begemder horfe a large 
red flandard was difplayed, with a number of kettle drums 
beating before it, which the Ras no fooner heard, than gi- 
ving his draft-board a kick with his foot, he overturned 
the whole game, and afforded, at leaft, a bad omen of 
the future engagement. He then called for Kefla Yafous, 
and Guebra Mafcal, and having conferred with them both, 
he detatched Guebra Mafcal with five hundred mufqueteers 
to take porTemon of the hill in the valley below, and 
coafl along the left flank of our left without appearing in 

The day had been exceeding clofe, feeming to threaten 
violent thunder, and we were now come fo near as to fee 
diflinctly the large red flandard, which being pointed out 
to the king, he faid, fmiling with a very chearful- coun- 
tenance, " Aye, aye, now we fliall foon fee what mira- 
cle king Theodorus will work." The clouds had been ga- 
thering ever fince we went down the hill, and fome big 
drops of rain had fallen. The foldiers were now covering 
their lighted matches, for fear of more, when flrfl a moll 
violent norm of thunder, lightening, and rain began, then 
a temped of rain and wind, andlail a dead calm, with itich 
a heavy mower that I fcarce ever faw die like even in the 
rainy feafon. 



Had I been commander of the Begemder troops that dayy 
this fliower mould have been the fignal of charging ; for 
all the king's fire-arms were ufelefs, and the matches wet ; 
but the Begemder horfe feemed mod uneafy under the fall 
of rain; they began to be unmanageable, and turn tail to the 
wind, which now arofe and was directly in their faces, and 
in a few minutes they wheeled about, and retired to their 
camp. The king halted on the ground where he was, or- 
dered the kettle-drums to beat, and the trumpets to found ; 
and having continued half an hour till the heavy fliower 
began, he fell back as did the whole army, and retired to 
the camp. When he got up the hill, and pafled the brow 
where Ras Michael was fitting with fome Haves, who held 
up a piece of fail- cloth over his head to keep off the rain, 
the fervants raifed the Ras upon his feet; without any pre- 
vious falutation, he then afked the king what he had done 
with king Theodorus ? and was anfwered, " Begemder 
brought him, and Begemder took him away, we faw no- 
thing but his flag." Lafla carried his flag, fays one of the 
nobility. He is a peaceable prince, fays the king ; yet he 
begins with fighting, but he will make amends afterwards, 
if he governs this country in peace a thoufand years. If 
he does that, fays the Ras, Powuflfen is to die at the next 
battle, for the thoufand years peace will never begin, as 
long as he is alive. 



Q frfl* MR S 


J&ng offers Battle to the Rebels in the Plain-— -Defer iptlon of the Secsnd' 
Battle of Serbraxos — Rajh ConduB; and' narrow Efcape of the King 
—-Both Armies keep the Grounds 

THE whole evening of the 19th of May was fpent in 
feftivity and joy ; a prophet from fome part in Dem- 
b'ea had foretold the defeat of king Theodorus, and what 
was much more interefting, two large droves of cattle, the 
one from Beleflen, near Mariam-Ohha, the other from Dem- 
bea, were driven that day into the camp. Ras Michael, 
who knew the value of to-morrow, fpared nothing that 
might refrefli the troops this day. The king and he, Ozo- 
ro Efther, and Ozoro Altafh, Refla Yafous, and the Abuna 
himfelf, gave each of them entertainments to the principal 
officers of the army, and all thofe who were likely to bear 
the burden of the enfuing conflict. The foldiers were in 
great fpirit, but it was now very generally known that the 

a- officers 


officers were moftly di (affected, engaged in private treaties, 
and in daily expectation of peace. 

A very fhort council was held at the king's tent ; all 
that could be reiolved upon had been already fixed the 
day before, and lirtle had happened fince to occafion any 
alteration. All the young nobility were, as ufual, at Ozoro 
Efther's. It was with infinite pity 1 heard them thought- 
lefsly praying for a warm and fair day to-morrow, the eve- 
ning of which many of them were never to fee. 

Besides the ftores that Ozoro Either always was provid- 
ed with, the king had fent her two live cattle, wine, bran- 
dy, and hydromel ; and what was a very unufual conde- 
fcenfion, the Ras, immediately after council, came into the 
tent, and brought with him a frefh fupply. He was very 
gracious and affable, faid a number of kind things to eve- 
r^ body, and allied me particularly how we drank in Eng- 

I explained to him as well as I could the nature of our 
toads, and drinking to the health of our miftrenes by their 
names in bumpers ; that our foldiers toafts on fuch a night 
as that, if the general honoured them as he did us now 
with his company, would be, A fair morning, and fpeedy 
fight of our enemy. He comprehended it all very eafily, 
and when I law he did fo, I afked if I mould give my toalt ? 
and he and all the company joining in a loud cry of appro- 
bation, I filled a horn with wine, and Handing up, for he 
had forced us all to be feated, I drank, Long life to the king, 
health, happinefs, and victory, to you, Sir, and a fpeedy fight 
of king Theodorus. A violent fhout of applaufe followed. 
3 He 


He himfelf (the fobereft of men) would drink his horn full, 
which he did, with many interruptions from immoderate 
fits of laughter ; the horn went quickly round, and 1 ven- 
tured to prophecy, that, in the thoufand years he is to reign, 
Theodorus will never again be fo chearfully toafted. 

The Ras then turning to me faid, I wifh. I had 5000 of your 
countrymen, Yagoube, to-morrow, fuch as you are, or fuch 
as you have defcribed them. I anfwered. Would you had 
one thoufand, and I had twenty lives flaked upon the ilrue. 
Ayto Engedan upon this got up, and palling acrofs the tent 
in a very graceful manner, kiffed the Ras's hand, faying, Do 
not make us think you undervalue, or diftruft your children, 
by forming fuch a wifh : Yagoube is one of us, he is our 
brother, and he mail fee and judge to-morrow, if we, your 
own fons, are not able to fight your battle without the aid 
of any foreigners. Tears, on this, came into the old man's 
eyes, who took Engedan in his arms, and kiffed him ; then 
recommending to us not to fit up late, he withdrew. A great 
•deal of buffoonery followed about toafts, and foon after 
arrived two officers from the king, defiring to know what 
was the reafon of that violent outcry ? by which he meant 
the fhout when we drank the toad. Ozoro Either anfwered, 
We were all turned traitors, and were drinking the health of 
king Theodorus. But it was afterwards thought proper to 
explain the whole matter before the meffengers went back, 
and make them drink the toaft alfo. 

Tecla Mariam had" not fpoken much, her father having 
fent for her at that time to the king. Before fhe departed, 
I begged Ozoro Either to apologife for me, that 1 had ab- 
sented myfelf, and had not waited upon her in the morn- 

Vol. IV, X ing 


ing. I intreated her to continue her kind partiality to me the 
next day, and to judge for ever of the efteem I had for her by 
my then behaviour. She promifed to do fo with the utmoft 
complacency and fweetnefs, and departed* 

Soon after this, a fervant arrived from Ras Michael, with 
a magnificent faddle and bridle as a prefent to Engedan. 
This man told us that a rnefienger had come from Waragna: 
Fafil, defiring a place might be marked out for him to en- 
camp, for he was to join the king early in the morning ; but 
nobody gave any credit to this, nor did he, as far as I ever 
heard, advance a foot nearer the camp. The meiTenger 
commanded us all, moreover, to go to bed, which we imme- 
diately complied with. I only went to the king's tent, where 
the company was difperfing, and killed his hand, after which 
I retired. In my way home to my tent, I faw a faggot lying 
in the way, when the ftory of the Gurague came prefently 
into my mind. I ordered fome foldiers to feparate it with, 
their lances ; but it had been brought for fuel, at leaft no> 
Gurague was there. 

I was no fooner laid upon my bed, than I fell into a pro^- 
found fleep, which continued uninterrupted till five o'clock, 
in the morning of the 20th. I had fpared myfclf induftri- 
ouily in laft night's caroufal, for fear of contributing to a re- 
lapfe into defpondency in the morning ; but I found all with* 
in fcrene and compofed as it mould be, and entirely re- 
figned to what was decreed, I was perfectly fatisfied, that 
the advancing or retarding the day of my death was not in 
the power of the army of Begemder.. I then vifited all the 
iiorfes and the black foldiers, and ordered two or three of 
them > who were not perfectly recovered from their hurts*, 



to ftay in the camp. I afterwards went to the king's tent, 
-who was not yet up ; and the very inflant after, the Ras's 
firft drum beat, and the king rofe ; foon after which, the 
fecond drum was heard for the foldiers to go to breakfaft, 
I went into the king's tent to kifs his hand, and receive his 
orders. He told me they were fpeedily then going to break- 
fall within, to which meal I was engaged at Ozoro Efther's. 
He anfwered, Make halte then, for I am refolved to be on, 
the field before king Theodorus to-day. I am his fenior, 
and fliould fhew him the example. He feemed more than 
ordinary gay and in fpirits. 

I finished my breakfaft in a few minutes, and took a 
grateful, but chearful leave of Ozoro Either, and received 
many acknowledgements, and kind expreffions, both from 
her and Tecla Mariam, who did not fail to be there accord- 
ing to appointment. The day was clear, the fun warm, and 
the army descended, into the plain with great alacrity, in 
the fame order as the day before. Guebra Mafcal, with his 
•mufqueteers, took poilemon of the long hill in the valley, 
and coafted the left flank of our left wing, the river Ma- 
riana and its high banks being only between us. The king 
took his poll, with the winding road aforementioned (up 
the fleep banks of the Mariam) clofe on his left. Guebra 
"Mafcal having come to the fouth end of the hill below, • 
marched brifkly up the road, and then advanced about 200 
yards, making his men lye down at the brink of the hill 
next the plain, among bent grafs, and thin tall fhrubs like 
Spanifh broom, fo as to be perfectly out of fight ; his line 
was at right angles with our front, fo that his fire mull 
enfilade the whole front of our line. 

X 2 I ff 


If not very ufeful, yet it may, however, be thought cu- 
rious, to know the difpofition of a barbarous army ready to 
engage in a pitched battle as this was. Kefla Yafous, who 
commanded the left-wing under the king iaced his ca- 
valry in a line to the opening of the road down into the val- 
ley; between every two mufquets were men armed with 
lances and fhields ; then, at a particular diftance, clofe be- 
fore this line of horfe, was a body of lances, and mufquets, 
or fometimes either of them, in feveral lines, or, as they ap- 
peared, a round body of foldiers, ftanding together without 
any order at all ; then another line of horfe, with men be- 
tween, alternately as before ; then another round corps of 
lances and mufquets, advanced juft before the line of horfe^. 
and fo on to the end of the divifion.. 

I know nothing of the difpofition of the reft of the ar- 
my, nor the ground they were engaged on ; that where we 
Hood was as perfect a plain as that commonly chofen to 
run races upon, and fo I believe was the reft, only floping 
more to the lake Tzana., 

The king's infantry was drawn up in one line, having s 
mufquetecr between every two men, with lances and fhields.. 
Immediately in the center was the black horfe, and the 
Moors of Ras el Feel, with their libds, difpofed on each of 
their flanks. Immediately behind thefe was the king in 
perfon, with a large body of young nobility and great of- 
ficers of ftate, about him. On the right and left flank of the 
line, a .little in the rear, were all the reft of the king's horfe,. 
divided into two large bodies, Guebra Mafcal hid in the bank 
on our left at right angles with the line, enfilading, as I have 


3 o 3U 




















The Second Battle A\ 

or L — I L. 

Sembmaxos. \j| ! [J/ 

l&yrAt 20. May, 






N i Gusho of 

Tedda '&™t 



1&731? tyj Mar/am 

& St George 





Bvirvijiip Place' \\ 
of the • King's \>, 








\ :n 





S V: 







. ...# 

%<&> A ; lil 



\\ *V 

^ r'i 

i %> 

i ^lo/reva 




Kings Horse with a double line acnfs. I 

Kings infantry crofs lined square I 

Kinas presence denoted, by a small Semiarde.. 

Itebel Horse marked with a line a crofs --- 

Rebel infantry plain sauare - I 











i. Gondar. 

2.. King's palace. 


3- King's palace on the River Kaha, 
4. Mahometan town on the River Kaha 

A The king marches from his camp to 
F by the road D and E. 

GG The two bodies of horfe. 

HH Line of infantry, mufkets, and lan- 
ces alternately, 

I Guebra Mafcal in ambufh, in the face 
of the banks of the Mariam, among the 

KK Powuflen's march from his camp at 

LL PowufTen'sfirftappearance in diforder. 

MM Powuffen's line formed in the front 
of the king. 

NN The army of Begemder galloping to 
charge the king, receive a clofe Are 
from Guebra Mafcal hid in the bank 
at I, and immediately after from the 
king's line HH. 

OO Part of the army of Begemder wheel- 
ing to the left, and flying over the 
plain in diforder. 

PP The king, with his referve following 
the right of the Begemder horfe. 

QQjrhe right of the Begemder horfe 
purfued by the king, having rallied. 

RR The Begemder horfe turn fhort 
furround the king at-S£>j and drive him 
to the edge of the Bank. 

T The king efcaping down the bank, 
croffes between the pools of the River 
Mariam, and enters the valley. 

"V-The king arrived in the valley, is join- 
ed by the foot that ran fcattered down 
by the bank, 

W Engedan detached from the camp by 

Ras Michael, joins the king. 
X Mufketeers detached by Michael, take 

poll: on the fouth fide of the long hill. 
Y -Part of the -king's mufketry ported on 

a rocky ground on the fouth fide of 

the valley. . 
Z The king's troops under Kefla Yafous 

filing down the narrow road from the 

plain above into the valley, with the 

heavy armed hone behind him. 

a > Guebra Mafcal drawn up at the foot 
of the banks, makes way by his fire for 
the black horfe to take poffc In the 
king's front. - 


already faid, the whole line of our infantry ; this will be 
eafily underftood by confulting the plan where H H, 
G G, F, and I, reprefent the difpofition that I have now des- 

It was full half an hour after the king had formed be- 
fore the army of Begemder made any motion. The Ras 
firfl faw them from the hill, and made a fignal, by beating 
his drums and blowing his trumpets ; this was immediately 
anfwered by all the drums and trumpets of the left wing, 
and for the fpace of a minute, a thick cloud of dull (like the 
fmoke of a large city on fire) appeared on the fide of Korreva, 
occafioned, as the day before, by the Begemder troops mount- 
ing on horfeback ; the ground where they were encamped 
being trodden into powder, by fuch a number of men and 
horfe palling over it fo often, and now raifed by the mo- 
tion of the horfes feet, was whirled round by a very moder- 
ate breeze, that blew fteadily ; it every minute increafed 
in darknefs, and afmmed various inapes and forms, of towers 
caftles, and battlements, as fancy fuggefted. In the middle,, 
of this great cloud we began to perceive indiftinctly part of 
the horfemen, then a much greater number, and the figure 
of the horfes more accurately defined, which came moving 
majeftically upon us, lbmetimes partially feen, at other times 
concealed by being wrapt up in clouds and darknefs ; the 
whole made a molt extraordinary, but truly picturcfque ap- 

I was fo ilruck with this, that I could not help faying, 
to Billetana Giieta Ammonios, who commanded the horfe 
under me, Is hot that a glorious fight Ammonios ! who, 



•that was a king, would not be fond of war ? David, however, 
curfes thofe that delight in war, fays Ammonios. Therefore, 
replied I, there muft be pieafurein it, or elie no body would 
fall into a fin that was difagreeable in itfelf, and at the lame 
time forbidden by God. Well, well, replied Ammonios, this is 
not a time for argument, fee what a glorious fpectacle we 
ihall all be before funfet. 

At this time PowufTen's whole army was diftinctly feen; 
they came riding backwards and forwards with great vio- 
lence, more as if they were diverting themfelves, than ad- 
vancing to attack an enemy, of our confequence, that was 
waiting them. They feemed like two wings, and a main bo- 
dy, each nearly equal in numbers, as far as I could guefs, and 
are described in the plan by the letters L L, but they were 
fometimes all in one croud together, and in fuch perpetual 
motion, that it was impoflible to afcertain their precife 

Four men, upon unruly, high-mettled, or at leaft ill- 
broke horfes, rode galloping a fmall fpace before, conver- 
£ng together, as if making their observations upon us: 
they were now arrived at about fix hundred yards diftance, 
but it was not a time to make accurate calculation ; they 
then made a ftop, and began extending the left of their 
line to the weftward, as defcribed by M M. I fuppofe, too, 
their horfes needed to breathe a little, after they had fo 
imprudently blown them to no purpofe. 

In the middle of their cavalry, or rather a little more 
towards their right, than oppofite to the place where the 
king was, a large red flag was feen to rile, and was faluted 

i by 


by the drums and trumpets of their whole army. An ac- 
cident happened at this moment, which endangered the 
difcovery of the hidden part of our difpofition, and which 
would thereby have destroyed the fanguine hopes we had 
of victory, and endangered the fafety of the whole army. 
Upon displaying the red flag, two mufquets were fired from 
the poll in the face of the hill where Guebra Mafcal lay in 
ambufh. Luckily, at that very inllant, all the king's drums 
beat, and trumpets founded, a kind of mock alarm, (fuch 
as the poflure- mailers and mountebanks ufe, ) in ridi- 
cule of king Theodorus, and his red flag then flying before 

Immediately upon this, as on a fignal for battle, the 
whole army of Begemder fet out full gallop, to charge, as 
at N N, and a long hundred yards before they joined, they 
received, through the very depth of their fquadron, a clofe 
well-directed lire from, the whole mufquetry of Guebra 
Mafcal, and from the king's line an initant after, which 
put them into the utmoft confufion, £0 that they in part 
came reeling down upon our line, half wheeled about to 
the left, as men that had loft their way, with their right, 
that is, their naked fides expofed as they turned, their 
fhields being in their left. The fire from Guebra Mafcal was 
the fignal for our line to charge, and the heavy- armed horfe- 
men, with their pikes, broke thro' them with little refinance,, 
the line in the mean while, with horfe and foot, clofed with 
them, after the mufquets had given them their fire, and 
then ftaid behind to recharge. Part of their left did not 
engage at all, but wheeled about, and fled Southward over 
the plain,. 

"W in lb. 


Wh i le their army was thus feparated into two divifions,* 
both in great confufion, the king, with his referve, fell fu- 
rioufly upon them ; and being followed by all the reft of 
the horfe, they pufhed the right divifion (where Powuffen 
ivas in perfon) along the plain, but thefe retired, fighting ve- 
ry obftinately, and often rallying. Kefla Yafous faw the great 
danger to which the king would quickly be expofed by pur- 
fuing the troops of Begemder fo far at a diftance from his 
foot, and that they would foon turn upon and overpower 
him with numbers, and then furround him. He therefore, 
with great prefence of mind, provided for his retreat. He 
drew up the heavy-armed horfe which could not gallop, 
the Moors of Ras el Feel, and the foot which were left be- 
hind, and which had now recharged their firelocks before 
the narrow road, and ordered Guebra Mafcal to refume his 
ftation. He then twice, with great earneftnefs, cried in. a 
loud voice to the foldiers, The king's fafety depends upon 
you,— Stand firm, or all is loft. After which, he galloped, with 
a fmall body of horfe, to join the king, clofely engaged at 
a confiderable diftance : The foot that had purfued, or 
were fcattered, now came in by tens and twelves, and joined 
the heavy- armed horfe, fo that we began again to mew a 
very good countenance. Among thefe, a common foldier 
of the king's houfehold, bufied in the vile practice of mang- 
ling and fpoiling the dead, found the red colours of king 
Theodorus lying upon the field, which he delivered me, up- 
on promife of a reward, and which I gave a fervant of 
my own to keep till after the engagement, 

At this inft; nt Guebra Mafcal came up from below the 
bank, leaping- and flourifhing his gun about his head, and 
frying, j lift before my horfe, "Now, Yagoube,ftand firm, if 

j you 


you are a man." " Look at me, you drunken flave, faid I, 
armed, or unarmed, and fay, it is not a boaft. if 1 count 
myfelf at all times a better man thari you. Away to ybur 
hiding - hole again, and for your life appear within my 
reach. Away ! you are not now, as the other day, before the 
king." The man cried out in a tranfport of impatience, " By 
G— d, you don't know what I mean ; but here they all come, 
ftand firm, if you are men ;" and faying this, he ran nimbly 
off, and hid himfelf below the bank, with his lighted 
match in one hand, and all ready. 

It is proper, for connection's fake, though 1 did not my- 
felf fee it, to relate what had happened to the king, who had 
purfued the Begemder horfe to a very confiderabie diftance, 
and was then at S S in the plan, when the whole army of 
the rebels that had not engaged, obferving the refiftance 
made by PowufTen, and part of the divifion which they had 
left, turned fuddenly back from their flight, and at R R 
nearly furrounded the king and his cavalry, whom they 
had now driven to the very edge of the fteepeft part of the 
bank of the Mariam. Kefla Yafous's arrival, indeed, and 
his exerting himfelf to the utmoft, fighting with his own 
hand like any common foldier, had brought fome relief; 
yet as freih horfe came in, there can be little doubt at the 
end, that the king muft have been either flam or taken 
prifoner, if Sertza Denghel, a young man of Amhara, a re- 
lation of Gufho, and who had a fmall poll m the palace, 
had not difmounted, and offered to lead the king's horfe 
down the fleepeft of the banks into the river. To this, how- 
ever, he received an abfolute refufal. " I mall die here this 
day, fays the king, bin while I have a man left, will never 
turn my back upon the rebels." Sertza Denghel hearing 
Vol. IV. Y this 


this vain difcourfe, and feeing no time was to be loft, took 
hold of the bridle by force, at T, and happily led the horfe 
along one of the fheep-paths, naming down the declivity of 
the bank. The king having in vain threatened difpleafurc, 
and even death, with the butt-end of his lance, in defpair, 
ftruck Sertza Denghel in the mouth, and beat out all his 
fore-teeth. A bank of gravel, like a bridge, feparated two 
deep pools, in the river Mariam, over which the king efca- 
ped, though with difficulty, the ground being foul with 
quick fand. 

All the foot that had remained about the king ran 
down the bank, where the Begemder horfe could not pur- 
fue them, and joined him in the valley, where he made the 
bed of his way towards the fouth fide of the long low hill, 
by the winding road, on the fide of which, and juft above 
him, was placed Guebra Mafcal. Ras Michael, who faw the 
dangerous fituation and efcape of the king, and who had 
kept Ayto Engedan near for fome fuch purpofes, difpatched 
him with a confiderable body of horfe, along the low hill, 
ordering him immediately to join the king, and cover his 
retreat ; he likewife detached a confiderable body of muf- 
queteers, and mounted for the greater fpeed upon mules, 
who were directed to take poll: upon the fouth end of the 
round hill, below the winding road, while another party 
pofTeiTed themfelves of fome rocky ground on the fouth fide 
of the valley. This command was as foon executed as 
given. Ayto Engedan joined the king, who had loft all his 
kettle-drums but one, now beating before him, and upon 
his arrival at the entrance of the valley, the king, at V, turn- 
ed his face to the enemy, having the mufquetry, at X and Y, 
newly arrived from the camp on his right and left. 



Kefla Yasous was immediately acquainted with the 
king's efcape, and, knowing the confequence of protracting 
time, renewed the engagement with fomuch vigour, that he 
pufhed the horfe of Begemder to fome fmall diftance back 
into the plain. PowufTen, whofe only view was to take the 
king prifoner, and wreft the pofleilion of his perfon, and 
with that his authority from Ras Michael, was much dif- 
concerted at the unexpected way by which the king ef- 
caped ; he after this halted a little for council, then divid- 
ed his troops, with one part of which he refolved to go 
down the winding road, and with the other to pafs at the 
junction of the rivers, and enter the valley in that direc- 
tion, in order to overtake the king, and intercept him in his 
way to the camp, in cafe any thing obftructed his palling 
the winding road. Kefla Yafous took advantage of this 
movement, and with his horfe made his way to join the 
heavy-armed troops, and thofe who had joined the line, 
{landing clofely and firmly where they were flationed. 

The firft perfon that appeared was Kefla Yafous, and the 
horfe with him, ftretching out his hand, (his face being all 
befmeared with blood, for he was wounded in his forehead) 
he cried as loud as he could, Stand firm, the king is fafe in 
the valley. He had fcarce faced about, and joined the 
line, when the enemy approached at a brifk gallop. The 
Begemder horfe were clofer than ufual, and deeper than the 
front was broad; they refembled therefore an oblong fquare, 
if they refembled any thing ; but the truth is, they were all 
in diforder, and their figure, never regular, changed every 
moment ; the right of their front (which was not equal to 
ours ) was . finally placed againil the road, being clofe by 
Guebra Mafcal's poll, whofe men were much increafed in 

Y 2 number ; 


number ; they received the difcharge of his whole mufque- 
try in two vollies, fo near that I fcarce believe there was one 
fhot that did not take place on man or horfe. A great cry 
from the bank at the fame time added to their panic, which 
was anfwered by the king's troops, who immediately char- 
ged them as before, as they wheeled half round to the left* 
They were purfued, for a fmall diftance, by fome of the 
troops that had not engaged in the morning, and it was 
eafy to perceive their diforder was real, and that they wens 
not likely to rally. By this laft difcharge, PowmTen was 
flightly wounded, and his men were plainly {etn hurrying 
him off the field. In the very inftant the rebels turned their 
backs, Kefla Yafous ordered all the troops, horfe and foot, to 
file off down the narrow road into the valley, behind the: 
heavy-armed horfe, who kept their ground before the road,, 
and there to join the king; 

For my part, I' thought the affair was over, when, laft of 
all, we, too, with our heavy horfes, defcended the road,, 
where we found Guebra Mafcal, (whofe activity was 
above allpraife) drawn up on our right along the foot of 
the bank, (with a large pool of water in his front) flanking 
the valley, the king drawn up in the narrowest part of it, 
and juft engaged with the troops of Lafla and Begemder, 
that had gone round by the junction of the rivers. Thefe 
had loft, as we afterwards heard, much time in giving their 
horfes water. They were, however, the more refrefhed 
when they did come, and though they had received a fire 
from the troops on the round hill, and from thofe polled 
on the rocky ground, on the other fide of the valley, they 
had beat the king and Engedan back, and wounded him 
in the thigh, 



At this time the Koccob horfe, and Yafine with his Moors 
(who had the charge of the road above till all the troops 
were gone) arrived, being as it were mm out from the ar- 
my, v/ho were engaged at the other fide of the hill. Kefla 
Yafous, after defcending through the winding road into the 
valley, ordered Guebra Mafcal to pafs the pool, and ftand. 
at the bottom of the winding road, for fear the enemy 
mould enter at the valley on the king's right, where the 
river ran, and fo cut us ofT from our camp. 

This fpace he was then occupying when Yafine, firft, and' 
afterwards, our black horfe, arrived. He had, it feems, cried 
out to me before from the fide of the pool, but I had not 
then heard him. He now; however r repeated, Where "are 
you going, Yagoube ? To die, faid X, furlily ;,it is the bufinefs 
of the day. He then added, Kefla Yafous has crolTed over 
behind Balha Hezekias, and fallen into the king's rear. 
You know well, faid I, our poll: is in his front. Then follow 
me, cried Mafcal, for by G--d I fay you mail not take one 
ftep to-day, but I will go five before you. So faying, he ad- 
vanced very haflily, and when he faw the Begem der co- 
lours retreating before the king, he poured in a volley,, 
which, though, at a confiderable diftance, turned all to a - 
perfect flight.. 

We entered upon- the fmoke, juft' before the Shea 
horfe, with no lofs, and very little refiftance, and came 
juft into the place which we occupied in the morning, 
Though the flight of the rebels was apparently real, Kefla 
Yafous would not fufTer a purfuit into the plain, but ad- 
vancing fingly before us, began to form immediately ; the 
mufquetry were planted on each fide of the valley as far 


up the hill as to be out of reach of the horfe, and the reft 
of the infantry in the plain; Bafha Hezekias was on the round 
hill jufl behind the center, where the king had placed him- 
felf, and Guebra Mafcal nearly where he flood before. 

The army now made an appearance of a large fection of 
an amphitheatre. I obferved the king had pulled off the 
diadem, or white fillet he wears for diftinction, and' was 
very intent upon renewing the engagement : the Begemder 
troops were forming, with great alertnefs, about half a mile 
below, being reinforced from time to time. The king order- 
ed his drums to beat, and his trumpets to found, to inform 
the enemy he was ready ; but they did not anfwer, or advance : 
foon after (it being near three o'clock) the weather became 
overcaft, and cold, on which the troops of Begemder beat a re- 
treat ; the king, very foon after, did the fame, and returned 
to the camp without further molcftation ; only that coming 
near a rock which projected into the valley, (not far diftant 
from the camp) a multitude of peafants belonging to Ma- 
riam-Ohha, threw down a fliower of ftones from their hands 
and flings, which hurt feveral. The king ordered them to 
be fired at, though they were a great diflance off, and pafTec^ 
on : but Guebra Mafcal commanding about fifty men to 
run brifkly up the hill, on each fide of the rock, gave them 
two difchargcs at a lefs diflance, which killed or wounded 
many, and made the reft difappear in a moment. 

I doubt that my reader will be more than fufficiently 
tired with the detail of this fecond battle of Serbraxos ; but, 
as it was a very remarkable incident in my life, I could not 
omit it as far as I faw it myfelf, and fuppreffing any one part 
of it would have involved the reft in a confufion, with which 
3 I fear 


I fear it may be ftill too juftly charged. I therefore mail 
only fay for connection's fake, that Gufho and Guebra Chri- 
ftos, in the center, were but partially engaged, and Kafmati 
Tesfos of Sire, fecond commander for the king, in that di- 
vifion, wounded, and taken prifoner. Guebra Chriftos, the 
king's uncle, was ilain, (as it was believed ) by a fliot of his 
own men; few other lives of note were loft on either fide, 
in that divifion. The king's troops fell back under the hill 
of Serbraxos, where Michael was, and, though followed by 
Gufho, were no further attacked by him. But on the right, 
Billetana Gueta Tecla, and Welleta Michael, after a very ob- 
ftinate and bloody engagement, were beaten by Kafmati 
Ayabdar, and forced acrofs the river Mogetch, where, ha- 
ving rallied and polled themfelves ftrongly, it was not 
thought proper to attempt to force them, and they all join- 
ed the camp foon after the king, but with very great lofs. 

This battle, though it was rather a victory than a defeat,. 
had, however, upon the king's affairs, all the bad confe- 
quences of the latter, nor was there any thinking man who 
had confidence in them from that day forward. Near 
3000 men perifhed on the king's fide, a great proportion of 
whom was of the left wing, which he commanded; near 
180 young men, of the greater! hopes and nobleft families 
in the kingdom, were among that number ; Guebra 
Chriftos was in all refpects a truly national lofs. Kefia Ya- 
fous was twice wounded, but not dangerouily, beftdes a 
multitude of others of the firft rank, among whom was Ay to 
En°jedan, who by proper care foon recovered alfo, but in 
the mean time was lent to Gondar, to his coufm Ayto Con- 
fa. On our fide, too, a fon of Lika Netcho, and a fon of Ne- 
hrit Tecla, were both flain. — Providence feemed now to have 



begun to require fatisfae~tion for the blood of the late king 
Joas, in the fhedding of which thefe two were particularly 
concerned. Among the flain were our friends the Baharna- 
gafli and his fon^ who died valiantly fighting before the 
king at the time he efcaped down the bank into the val- 

But what ferved as comfort to the king, was the Hill 
heavier lofs fuftained by the enemy, who, by their own ac- 
counts that day, loft above 9000 men, feven thoufand of 
whom were from the troops of Begemder and Lafta, with 
which the king was engaged. For my own part, I cannot 
believe, but that both thefe accounts are much exaggerated ; 
the great proportion that died of thofe that were wounded 
mufl have greatly fwelled the lofs of the rebels, becaufe 
moft gun-mot wounds, efpecially if bones are broken, mor- 
tify, and prove mortal. Among the flain, on the part of Be- 
^gemder, were two chiefs of Laila, and two relations of Po- 
wufTen, (a brother-in-law and his fon) they were both (hot, 
bearing the banner of king Theodoras. The unworthy 
Confu, brother to Guebra JVlchedin, and nephew to the Ite- 
ghe, whom I have often mentioned, had efcaped, indeed, 
from Kafmati Ayabdar, who had given orders to confine him, 
to die a rebel this day among the troops of Begemder. 

The king being warned and drefTed, and having dined, 
received a compliment from Ras Michael, who fent him a 
prefent of fruit, and a thoufand ounces of gold. There be- 
gan then the filthieft of all ceremonies that ever difgraced 
any nation filling themfelves Chriftians ; a ceremony that 
cannot be put in terms fumciently decent for modefl ears, 
without adapting the chafle language of fcripture, which, 
2 when 


when neceflity obliges to treat of grofs fubjects, always 
makes choice of the lead ofFenfive language. 

All thofe, whether women or men, who have fiefs of the 
crown, are obliged to furnifh certain numbers of horfe and 
foot. The women were feldom obliged to perfonal atten- 
dance, till Ras Michael made it a rule, in order to compofe 
a court or company for Ozoro Efther. At the end of a day 
of battle each chief is obliged to fit at the door of his tent, 
and each of his followers, who has flain a man, prefents 
himfelf in his turn, armed as in fight, with the bloody 
foreikin of the man whom he has flain hanging upon the 
wrifl of his right hand. In this, too, he holds his lance, 
brandifhing it over his mafler, or miftrefs, as if he intended 
to ftrike ; and repeating in a feeming rage, a rant of non- 
fenfe, which admits of no variation, " I am John the fon of 
George, the fon of William, the foh of Thomas ; I am the 
rider upon the brown horfe ; I faved your father's life at 
fuch a battle ; where would you have been if I had not 
fought for you to-day ? you give me no encouragement, no 
cloaths, nor money ; you do not deferve fuch a fervant as I ;" 
and with that he throws his bloody fpoils upon the ground 
before his fuperior. Another comes afterwards, in his turn, 
and does the fame ; and, if he has killed more than one man, 
fo many more times he returns, always repeating the fame 
nonfenfe, with the fame gefhires. I believe there was a 
heap of above 400 that day, before Ozoro Either; and it was 
monftrous to lee the young and beautiful Tecla Mariana 
fitting upon a ilool prefiding at fo filthy a ceremony ; nor 
was llie without furprife, fuch is the force of cuflom, that 
no compliment of that kind was paid on my part ; and flill 

Vol. IV. Z more 


more fo, that I could not be even prefent at fo horrid and 
bloody an exhibition. 

The fuperiors appear at this time with their heads covered 
as before their vafTals ; their mouth, too, is hid, and nothing 
is feen but their eyes : this does not proceed from modefly r 
but is a token of fuperiority, of which, covering or 
uncovering the head is a very fpecial demonflration. After 
this ceremony is over each man takes his bloody conquer!, 
and retires to prepare it in the fame manner the Indians do 
their fcalps. To conclude this beaftly account, the whole 
army, on their return to Gondar, on a particular day of re- 
view, throws them before the king, and leaves them at the 
gate of the palace. It is in fearch of thefe, and the unburi* 
ed bodies of criminals, that the hyaenas come in fuch nurcu 
bers to the ftreets, where it is dangerous, even when armed;, 
to walk after dark* 

This inhuman ceremony being over, alfo the care of 
the wounded, which indeed precedes every thing, the king 
received all thofe of the nobility who had diflinguifhed 
themfelves that day ; the tent was crowded, and he was in 
great fpirits at the Slaughter that had been made, which 
unbecoming pleafure he never could difguife. He men- 
tioned the death of his uncle Guebra Chriilos with a degree 
of chearfulnefs, prefuming, that when fuch a man died on 
his fide, many of that rank and merit muft have fallen on 
the other. Villages, appointments, and promotions, gold, 
promifes, and prefents of every kind^ had been liberally 
bellowed upon thofe who had presented themfelves, and 
who had merited reward that day by their behaviour. The 
king had been furniihed with means from the Ras, and ac- 



cording to his natural inclination (efpecially towards fol- 
diers) he had bellowed them liberally, and I believe im- 
partially. Guebra 'Mafcal had not appeared ; he was wait- 
ing upon his uncle Ras Michael, looking after his own in- 
terefl, to which no Abymnian is blind, and expofing thofe 
bloody fpoils, which I have jult mentioned, to the Ras, his 
uncle and general, 

I had been abfent from another motive, the attendance 
on my friend Engedan, to whofe tent I had removed my 
bed, as he complained of great pain in his wound, and 
I had likewife obtained leave of the Ras to fhift my tent 
near that of his, and leave the care of the king's horfe to 
Laeca Mariam, an old Have and confidential fervant of the 

As thefe men were the king's menial fervants in his pa- 
lace, a number of them (about a fourth) ftaid at Gondar 
with the horfes, and few more than ioo to 120 could now 
be muftered, from about 200 or 204 which they at firft were : 
the arranging of this, attendance upon Ayto Engedan, and fe- 
veral delays in getting accefs to the Ras, who had all his 
troops of Tigre round him, made it pall eight o'clock in the 
evening before I could fee the king after he entered the 
camp ; he had many times fent in fearcirof Sertza Deng- 
hel, but no fuch perfon could be found.; he had been feen 
bravely fighting by Engedan's fide in the entrance of the 
valley, when that young nobleman was wounded, and he 
had retired with him from the field, but nobody could give 
any account of him, and the king, by his repeated inquiries 
after him, (hewed more anxiety, from the fuppofition he 
was loft, than he had done for Guebra Chridos his uncle, 

Z 2 or 


or all the men that had fallen that day ; I had feen him in 
Ayto Engedan's tent, fitting behind his bed, in the darkefl 
place of it ; both his lips, nofe, and chin were violently cut, 
his whole fore teeth beat out, and both his cheeks greatly 
fwelled. I had given him what relief I could, nor was 
there any thing dangerous in his wounds ; but the affront 
of receiving the blow from the king, when he was doing 
a mofl meritorious act of duty, (the faving him from death, 
or the hands of the rebels), had made fuch an imprefiion 
upon a noble mind, that as foon as he arrived in Engedan's 
tent, he had ordered his hair to be cut off, put a white 
cap, or mopk's cowl upon his head, and by a vow dedicated 
himfelf to a monafTic life. In vain the king nattered, re- 
warded, and threatened him afterwards, and went fo far as 
to make the Abuna menace him with excommunication 
if he perfifled in his refolution any longer. After this I 
carried him, as we fhall fee, by the king's defire, to Gufho, 
in his camp, and interelted him alfo to perfuade Sertza Deng- 
hel to renounce his rafh. vow : no confideration could how- 
ever prevail, for, like a private monk, he lived at home in 
the village which belonged to him, in patrimony, and, tho' 
he often came to court, never flept or ate in the palace, 
the excufe being, when defired to Hay dinner, that he had 
no teeth. He conftantly flept at my houfe, fometimes chear- 
ful, but very feldom fo. He was a young man of excellent 
underilanding, and particularly turned to the ftudy of reli- 
gion ; he was well read in all the books of his own country, 
and very defirous of being inflrucied in ours ; he had the 
very worft opinion of his own priells, and his principal de- 
fire (if it had been pomble) was to go with me to die, and 
to be buried in Jerufalenv 


{£%«* - * , l =s go^gg 


King rewards his Officers'— The Author again perfecuted by Guebra 
Mafcal- — Great Di/pleafure of the King — The Author and Guebra .- 
Mafcal are reconciled and rewarded — Third Battle of Serbraxos. 

AFTER the engagement, as every body had accefs to the 
king's prefence, I did not choofe to force my way 
through the crowd, but went round through the more pri- 
vate entry, by the bed-chamber, when I placed myfelf be- 
hind the king's chair. As foon as he fawme, he faid, with 
great benignity, " I have not inquired nor fent for you, be- 
caufe I knew you would be neceiiarily bufied among thofe of 
your friends, who have been wounded to-day ; you are your- 
felf, belides, hurt: how are you?" Ianfwered, "that I was 
not hurt to-day, but, though often in danger, had efcaped 
without any other harm than exceflive fatigue occafioned 
by heat and weight of my coat of mail, and that one of 
my horfes was killed under Ammonios." 



I then took the red colours from the fervant behind me, 
and going to the carpet fpread before the king, laid them 
at his feet, faying, " So may all your majefly's enemies fall, 
as this arch rebel (the bearer of this) has fallen to-day ;" a 
great murmur was immediately raifed upon feeing thefe 
colours, and the king cried out with the utmofl impatience, 
" Has he fallen into your hands, Yagoube ? who was he, 
where did you meet him, or where did you flay him?" " Sir, 
faid I, it was not my fortune to meet him to-day, nor did 
I flay him. I am no king- killer; it is a fin, I thank God, 
from which my anceflors are all free ; yet, had Providence 
thrown in my way a king like this, I believe I might have 
overcome my fcruples. He was killed, as I fuppofe, by a mot 
of Guebra Mafcal, on the flank of our line; a foldier picked up 
the colours on the field, and brought them to me in hopes 
of reward, while you was engaged with the troops of Begem- 
der, near the bank; but the merit of his death is with Gue- 
bra Mafcal. I do him this juftice, the rather becaufe he is 
the only man in your majefty's army who bears me ill-will, 
or has been my conflant enemy, for what reafon I know 
not; but God forbid, that on this, -or any perfonal account, 
I fhould not bear witnefs to the truth : this day, my for- 
tune has been to be near him during the -whole of it, and I 
fay it fiom certain infpeclion, that to the bravery and ac- 
tivity of Guebra Mafcal every man in your left wing owes 
his life or liberty."-—" He is a fliame and difgrace to his 
family, fays the king's fccretary, who was (landing by him, 
\i after this he can be your enemy." — "It mult be amiftake, 
fays the king's prieit (Kiis Hatze), for this lhould atone for 
it, though Yagoube had flain his brother." 



While this converfation was going on, an extraordinary 
buftle was obferved in the crowd, and this unquiet genius 
puOiing through it with great violence, his goat's fkin upon 
his moulders, and covered with duftand fweat, in the fame 
manner he came from the field ; he had heard I was gone 
to the king's tent with the red flag, and not doubting I was 
to complain of him, or praife myfelf at his expence, had di- 
rectly followed me, without giving himfelf time to make the 
leaft inquiry. He threw himfelf fuddenly, with his face to 
the ground, before the throne, and riling as quickly, and in 
violent agitation, he faid to the king, or rather bellowed, 
very indecently, "It is a lie Yagoube is telling; he does not 
fay the truth; I meant him no harm but good to-day, and 
he did not underfland my language. I don't fay Yagoube is 
not as good a man as any of us, but it. is.a lie he has been 
telling now, and I will prove it." 

A general filence followed this wild rhapfody; the king 
was furprifed, and very gravely faid, I am forry, for your 
fake, if it is a lie ; for my part, I was ram enough to believe 
it was true. Guebra Mafcal was ftill going to make bad 
worfe, by fome abfurd reply, when the fecretary, and one or 
two of his friends, hauled him out behind the throne to 
one of the apartments within, not without fome refinance, 
every one fuppofing, and many faying, he was drunk ; the 
king was filent, but appeared exceedingly difpleafed, wheh 
I fell upon the ground before him, (a form of afking leave 
to fpeak upon any particular fubject) and riling faid, Sir; 
With great fubmiffion, it is not, I apprehend, true, that Gue- 
bra Mafcal is drunk, as fome have raflily faid now in your 
prefence ; we have all ate and drank, and changed our 
cloathing fince the battle ; but this man, who has been on 
4>_. fooL 


foot fince five in the morning, and engaged all day, has 
not, I believe, ate or drank as yet ; certainly he has not 
wafhed himfelf, or changed his habit, but has been taking 
care of his wounded men, and has prefented himfelf now 
as he came from the field, under the unjufl fufpicion I 
was doing him wrong. I then repeated what had hap- 
pened at the bank when the king was purfuing the troops 
of Begemder. Now I underftand him, fays the king, but 
Hill he is wrong, and this is not the firfl inftance I have 
feen, when there was no fuch miflake. At this time a mef- 
fenger came to call me from within. 

The king divined the reafon of fending, and faid, No, he 
fhall not go to Guebra Mafcal ; I will not fuffer this. Go, 
fays he to one of his fervants that flood near him, defire 
the Ras to call Guebra Mafcal, and afk him what this bru- 
tality means ? I have feen two inflances of his mifbehavi- 
our already, and wifh not to be provoked by a third. At 
this inftant came Kefla Yafous, with his left hand bound 
up, and a broad leaf like that of a plane upon his fore- 
head. After the ufual falutation, and a kind of joke of 
the king's on his being wounded, I afked him if he would 
retire and let me drefs his forehead ? which he fhewing 
inclination to do, the king faid, Aye, go, and afk Guebra 
Mafcal why he quarrels with his befl friends, and prevents 
me from rewarding him as he otherwife would have de- 
fended. I went out with Kefla Yafous, being very defi- 
rous this affair fhould not go to the Ras, and we found 
Guebra Mafcal in appearance in extreme agony and de- 

<i The 


The whole ftory was told diftinctly to Kefla Yafous, who 
took it up in the mod judicious manner. He faid he had 
been detained at his tent, but had come to the king's pre- 
fence exprefsly to give Guebra Mafcal the j Lift praife he- 
deferved for his behaviour that day : that he was very hap- 
py that I, who was near him all the action, and was a flran- 
ger, and unprejudiced (as he might be thought not to be) had 
done it fo juftly and fo handfomely. At the fame time he 
could not help faying, that the quarrel with Yagoube in the 
palace, the taunting fpeech made without provocation in 
the king's prefence on the march, his apoftrophe in the field, 
and the abrupt manner in which he ignorantly broke in 
upon the converfation before the king, interrupting and 
contradicting his own commendations, fhewed a diftem-. 
pered mind, and that he acted from a bad motive, which, if 
inquired into, would inevitably ruin him, both with King 
and Ras ; and he had heard indeed it already had done with 
the former. 

Guebra Mascal, now crying like a child, condemned 
himfelf for a malicious madman in the two firft inftances : 
but fwore, that on the field he had no intention but to fave 
me, if occafion threw it in his way ; for which purpofe alone 
it was he had cried out to me to Hand firm, for the troops 
of Begemder were coming upon us, but that I did not un- 
derftand his meaning. Guebra Mafcal advances nothing 
but truth, faid I, to Kefla Yafous ; I did not perfectly under- 
Hand him to-day in the field,- as he fpoke in 'his own lan- 
guage of Tigre, and fiarnmers greatly, nor did I diftinctly 
comprehend what he faid acrofs the pool, for the fame 
reafon, and the confufion we were in : I mail however moft 
readily confefs my obligation to him,. for the opportunity 

Vol. IV. A a he 


he gave me to join the king. I am a ftranger, and liable- 
to err, whilft, for the fame reafon, I am entitled to all your 
protections and forgivennefs. I am, moreover, the king's 
ilranger, and as fuch, entitled to fomething more as long as : 
I conduct myfelf with propriety to every one. I have never 
fp kin a word but in Guebra Mafcal's praife, and in this If 
have done him no more than juitice ; his impatience per- 
verted what I had faid ; but the real truth, as I fpoke it, re- 
mains in the cars of the king and of , thofe that were by-~ 
ftanders, to whom I appeal.. 

Every thing went after this in the manner that was to > 
be wifhed. Guebra Mafcal and I vowed eternal friendfhip to , 
each other, of which Kena Yafous profeffed himfelf the 
guarantee. All this paned while I was binding up his head; 
he went again to the king. For my own part, tired to 
death, low in fpirits, and curfing the hour that brought me to 
fuch a country, I almoit regretted I had not died that day in : 
the field of Serbraxos. I went to bed, in Ayto Engedan's tent, , 
refusing to go to Ozoro Either, who had fent for me. I could 
not help lamenting how well my apprehenfions had been ■ 
verified, that fome of our companions at laft night's fupper, , 
fo anxious for the appearance of morning, mould never 
fee its evening, Four of them, all young men, and of great : 
hopes, were then lying dead and mangled on the field ; two 
others befides Engedan had been alfo wounded. 1 had, how- 
ever, a found and refreshing fleep. I think madnefs would ! 
have been the confequence, if this neceflary refrefhment . 
had failed me ; fuch was the horror. I had conceived of my, 
prefent fituation. ^ ' 



On the 21ft, Engedan was conveyed in a litter to Gondar; 
and early in the morning of that day arrived an officer from 
PowufTen, together with three or four priefts. He brought 
with him twenty or thirty kettle-drums belonging to the 
king, with their mules, and as many of the drummers as 
were alive. The errand was (ham propofals of peace, as ufual, 
and great profeffions of allegiance to the king. As Powuf- 
fen's attack, however, that day, had fomething very perfon- 
al in it, and that the ilory of Theodorus was founded upon 
a fuppofition that the king was to be flain on the field of 
Serbraxos, little anfwer was returned, only the red flag was 
fent back with a menage, That perhaps, from the good for- 
tune that had attended it, PowufTen might wifh to keep it 
for Theodorus his fucceffor, but it was never after feen or 
heard of. 

Gusho likewife, and Ayabdar, fent a kind of embaffy to 
inquire after the king's health and fafety ; they wilhed him, 
in terms of the greateit refpect, not to expoie himfelf in the 
field as he had done in the laft battle, or at lead, if he chofe 
to command his troops in perfon, that he fliould diftinguifti 
himfelf by fome horfe, or drefs, as his predeceilbrs ufed to 
do ; and they concluded with fevcre reflections on Michael, 
as not fufficiently attentive to the fafety of his fovereign. 
Gracious meflages were returned to thefe two, and they all 
were difmifFed with the ufual prefents of clothes and 

About eleven o'clock in the forenoon I received an or- 
der from the Ras to attend him, and, as I thought it was 
about the affair of Guebra Mafcal, I went very unwillingly. 
I was confirmed in this by feeing him waiting with manv 

A a 2 of 


of his friends without the ,tent, and ftill more fo upon our 
being called in together: the Ras was eonverfing low to two 
prieils, who by their drefs feemed to have come lately from 
Gondar; he paid little regard to either of us, but nodded, and 
afked in Tigre how we did ? Three or four fervants, how- 
ever, brought out new fine cotton clothes, .which they put 
upon us both ; and, upon another nod, feveral officers and 
prieils, and a number of other people, conducted us to the 
king, though ftill, as the Ras had fcarcely fpoken to us, I 
wondered how this mould end. After flaying a little we 
were both introduced; the Likaontes, or judges, fomepriefts, 
and my friend the fecretary, ftood about the king, who fat 
in the middle of his tent upon the ftool Guangoul had fat 
down upon ; the fecretary held fomething in his lap, and, 
upon Guebra Mafcal's firft kneeling, bound a white 
fillet like a ribband round his forehead, upon which were 
written in black and red ink, Mo ambajfa am Nizelct Solomon am Jude, " The lion of the tribe of Judah of the race of 
Solomon has overcome." The fecretary then declared his 
inveftiture ; the king had given him in fief, or for military 
fervice for ever, three large villages in Dembea, which he 
named, and this was proclaimed afterwards by beat of drum 
at the door of the tent. The king then like wife prefented 
him with a gold knife, upon which he killed the ground,, 
and arofe. 

It was my turn next to kneel before the king. Whe- 
ther there was any thing particular in my countenance, or 
what fancy came into his head I know not, but when I 
looked him in the face he could fcarce refrain from laugh- 
ing. He had a large chain of gold, with very malTy links, 
which he doubled twice, and then put it over my neck, 



while the fecretary faid, " Yagoube, the king does you this 
great honour, not as payment of pari fervices, but as a pledge 
that he will reward them if you will put it in his power." 
Upon this I killed the ground, and we were both recon- 
ducted to the Ras, with our infignia ; and, having kiffed the 
ground before him, and then his hands, we both had leave 
to retire. He feemed very bufy with people arrived from 
without ; he only lifted up his head, fmiled, and faid, Well, 
are you friends now I We both bowed, without anfwer, and 
left the tent. 

The chain confifled of 184 links, each of them weighing 
3r' T dwts of fine gold. It was with the utmoft reluctance 
that, being in want of every thing, I fold great part of this 
honourable difiindtion at Sennaar in my return home ; the 
remaining part is Hill in my pofTemon. It is hoped my 
fuccefTors will never have the fame excufe 1 had, for fur- 
ther diminifhing this honourable monument which I have 
left them* 

Aeout a few hours after this, a much more interefting 
fpectacle appeared before the whole camp. Ayto Tesfos, go- 
vernor of Samen under Joas, had never laid down his "arms,, 
nor paid any allegiance to the prefent king or his father, 
but had conftantly treated them as ufurpers, and the Ras 
as a rebel and parricide. He had continued in friendfhip 
with Fafil, but never would co-operate or join with him, 
not even when he was at Gondar as Ras. He lived in the 
inacceflible rock, (called the Jev/s Rock) one of the highefl 
of the mountains of Samen, where he maintained a large 
number of troops, with which he overawed the whole neigh- 
bouringcountry,andmade perpetual inroads intoTigre. Ene- 


my as he was to Ras Michael, he would not venture to 
take an active part againil him, till the king's affairs were 
plainly going to ruin. I have already mentioned, that the 
lad thing Michael did was to fend Kefla Yafous, Bafha He- 
zekias,and Welleta Michael, to diipoffefs him of his ftrong- 
ho)d if poffible, and in this they had failed. But now that 
Tesfos faw there was no probability that Michael mould 
be abl^ to retreat to Tigre, he came at laft to join Gulho, 
bringing with him only about a thoufand men, having left 
all his pods guarded againft furprife, and flrong enough to 
cut off all recruits arriving from Tigre. Nothing that had yet 
happened ever had fo bad effect- upon Michael's men as 
this appearance of Tesfos. It was a little before mid-day 
when his army appeared, and from the hills above march- 
ed down towards the valley below us, not two mufquet- 
ihot from our camp. 

Though Samen is really on the weft of the Tacazze, and 
consequently in the Amharic divifion of this country, yet, 
on account of its vicinity to Tigre, the language and cuf- 
toms are moftly the fame with thole of that province. 
There is a march peculiar to the troops of Tigre, which, 
when the drums of Tesfos beat at paffing, a defpondency 
feemed to fall on all the Tigran foldiers, greater than if 
ten thoufand men of Amhara had joined the rebels. It 
was a fine day, and the troops, fpread abroad upon the face 
of the hill, not only fhewed more in number than they 
really were, but alfo morefecurity than they were, in point 
of prudence, warranted to do, when at fo fmall a diflance 
from fuch an army as ours. 



Tesfos took a poft very likely to diftrefs us, as he had 
more than 300 rnufquetry with him. He fat down with 
horfe and foot in the middle of the valley before us, with 
part of his rnufquetry polled upon the fkirts of the moun- 
tain BelefTen on one fide, and part on the top of that long,., 
even hill, dividing the valley from the river Mariam." 
Over his camp, like a citadel, is the rock that projects into 
the valley, from which the peafants of Mariam-Ohha had 
thrown the ftones when we were returning to our camp 
after the laft battle. Upon this rock Tesfos had placed a 
multitude of women and fervants, who began to build ftraw- 
huts for themfelves, as if they intended to flay there for 
fome time, though there was ilill plenty of the female fex be- 
low with the camp. Indeed, I never remember to have feen fo 
many women in proportion to any army whatever, no not 
even in our own. 

If Tesfos had been long in coming, he was refolved, now 
he was come, to make up for his loft time, a$ he was not 
a mile and a half from our camp, and could fee our horfes 
go down to water, either at Deg-Ohha or Mariam ; that 
fame day at two o'clock, his horfe attacked our men at wa- 
tering, killed fome fervants, and took feveral horfes. This 
behaviour of Tesfos was taken as a defiance to Kefla Ya^ 
fous in particular, and to the army in general, . 

There was no perfon in the whole army, of any rank 
whatever, fo generally beloved as Kefla Yafous ; he was 
looked upon by the foldiers as their father. He was named 
by the Ras to the government of Samen, but had failed, as 
we have already ftated, in difpofTefTmg Ayto Tesfos, whofe 
diforderly march at broad mid-day, fo near our army, the 
2- orientations 


oilentatious beating of the Tigran march upon his kettle- 
drum as he pafTed, and his taking pod fo near, were all con- 
fidered as meriting chaitifement. That general, however, 
though very fenfible of this bravado, did not venture to 
fugged any thing in the prefent fituation of the army, but 
all his friends propofed it to him, that fome reproof mould 
be given to Tesfos, if it was only to raife the drooping 
fpirits of the troops of Tigre. Accordingly 400 horfe, and 
about 500 foot, armed with lances and fhields only, without 
mufquetry for fear of alarm, were ordered to be ready 
as foon as it was perfectly dark, that is, between feven and 
eight o'clock. 

Tesfos having waited the coming of his baggage, and 
arranged his little camp to his liking, was feen to mount, 
with about 300 horfe, to go to the camp of Gufho or Powuf- 
fen a little before fun-fet, at which time Kefla Yafous was 
diflributing plenty of meat to the foldiers. About eight 
o'clock they defcended the hill unperceived even by part of 
our camp. Kefla Yafous was governor of Temben (a pro- 
vince on the S. W. of Tigre) immediately joining to Samen, 
and the language and dialect was the fame. The foot were 
ordered to take the lead, fcattered in a manner not to give 
alarm, and the horfe were to pafs by the back of the low, 
even hill, in the other valley, along the banks of the river 
Mariam, clofe to the water, in" order to cut off the retreat to 
the plain. A great part of the Samen foldiers were afleep, 
whilft a number of the mules that had been loaded were 
flraggling up and down, and fome of them returning to the 
camp. The Temben troops had now infmuated themfelves 
among the tents, efpecially on the fide of the hill. 

k The 


The firft circumftance that gave alarm was the appear- 
ance of the horfe, but they were not taken for an enemy, 
but for Ayto Tesfos returning. Kefla Yafous now gave 
the fignal to charge, by beating a kettle-drum, and every 
foldier fell upon the enemy neareft him. It is impoflible 
to defcribe the confufion that followed, nor was it eafy to 
diftinguifli enemies from friends, efpecially for us on horfe- 
back ; only thofe that fled were reckoned enemies. The 
greater! execution done by the horfe was breaking the jars 
of honey, butter, beer, wine, and flour, and gathering as 
many mules together as poflible to drive them away. Few 
of the enemy came our way towards the plain, but mofl 
fled up the hill : in an inftant the flraw huts upon the 
rock were fet on fire, and Kefla Yafous had ordered rather 
to deftroy the provisions than the men, fince there was no 
refiftance. I palled a large tent, which I judged to be that 
of Ayto Tesfos, which our people immediately cut open ; 
but, inilead of an officer of confequence, we faw, by the 
light of a lamp, three or four naked men and women, to- 
tally overpowered with drink and fleep, lying helplefs, like 
fo many hogs, upon the ground, utterly unconfcious of 
what was palling about them. Upon a large tin platter, 
on a bench, lay one of the large horns, perfectly drain- 
ed of the fpirits that it had contained ; it was one of 
the moil beautiful, for fhape and colour, I ever had feen, 
though not one of the largeft. This horn was all my 
booty that night. Upon my return to Britain, it was afk- 
ed of me by Sir Thomas Dundas of Carfe, to ferve for a 
bugle-horn to the Fauconberg regiment, to which, as being 
part 'um /anguine , it was very properly adapted. That regiment 
being difbanded foon after, I know not further what came 

Vol. IV. Bb of 


of it ; it is probably placed in fome public collection, or 
at leafl ought to be. 

The fire increafing on the hill, and feveral mufquets ha- 
ving been heard, it was plain the enemy, in all the camps, 
were alarmed, and our furrher flay became every moment 
more dangerous. Kefla Yafous now beat a retreat, and 
fent the horfemen all round to force the foot to make the 
befl of their way back, ordering alfo all mules taken to be 
ham-flringed and left, not to retard our return. Trumpets 
and drums were heard from our camp, to warn us not to 
flay, as it was not doubted but mifchief would follow, and 
accordingly we were fcarce arrived within the limits of 
our camp when we heard the found of horfe in the val-- 

Michael, always watchful upon every accident, no 
fooner faw the fires lighted on the hill, than he or- 
dered Guebra Mafcal to place a good body of muf- 
queteers about half way down the hill, as near as pof- 
fible to the ford of Mariam, thinking it probable that the 
enemy would enter at both ends of the long hill, in ordep 
to furround thofe who were deflroying their camp, which 
they accordingly did, whilfl thofe of our people, who had 
taken to drinking, fell into the hands of the troops that 
came by the lower road, and were all put to death. Thofe 
that reached the upper ford ferved to afford us a fevere re- 
venge, for Guebra Mafcal, after having feen them pafs be- 
tween him and the river, though it was a dark and very 
windy night, gueffed very luckily their pofition, and gave 
them fo happy a fire, that moft of thofe who were not 




ilain returned back without feeing Ay to Tesfos's camp, 
being afraid that fome other trap might flill be in their 

In the morning of the 22d, we found that the (lain werfe 
men of Begemder andLafta. Tesfos, it feems, had been in 
Powuflen's camp when he faw the fire lighted on the hill, 
and thence had provided an additional number of troops to 
attack Kefla Yafous before he had done his bufinefs, but in 
this he mifcarried. Tesfos's party was thus totally deftroyed 
and difperfed, his mules flaughtered, and his provifions 
fpoiled. About thirty of Kefla Yafous's infantry, however, 
loft their lives by Haying behind, and intoxicating themfelves 
with liquor. Of the horfe, not a man was either killed or 
wounded. I was the only unfortunate perfon ; and Provi- 
dence had feemed to warn me of my danger the day before, 
for pafling then that rock which projected into the valley, 
the fire giving perfect light, the multitude afTembled above, 
and prepared for that purpofe, poured down upon us fuch a 
mower of arrows, ftones, billets of wood, and broken jars, as 
is not to be imagined. Of thefe a ftone gave me a very 
violent blow upon my left arm, while a fmall fragment 
of the bottom of a jar, or pitcher, firuck me on the creft of 
my helmet, and occafioned fuch a concuflion as to deprive 
me for a time of all recollection, fo that, when lying in my 
tent at no great diftance, I did not remember to have heard 
Guebra Mafcai's difcharge. I certainly had fome prefaging 
that mifchief was to happen me, for palling that rock, juit 
before we entered Tesfos's camp, I defired Tecla, when Ire- 
turned, to allow fifty men to proceed up the hill and 
cut thofe people in pieces who had flationed themfelves fo 
inconveniently ; but he would not confent, being defirous 

B b 2 to 


to return without lofs of time, and before the enemy knew 
the calamity that had befallen them, 

Ayto Tesfos now became a little more humble, retreated 
to the fouth end of the long hill, till being joined, next day 
the 2 3d, by his neighbours, Samuel Mammo of Tzegade, 
and Heraclius of Walkayt, who had a very large force, 
he again removed nearer us, about half a mile farther 
than his firfl pofition, and extended his camp quite acrofs 
the valley, from the foot of the hill to the river Mariam, 
keeping his head-quarters on the top of the long, even hill, 
fo often mentioned. Mammo and Heraclius had paiTed by 
Gondar, and, being much fuperior in number, had taken 
Sanuda, Ayto Confu, and Ayto Engedan prifoners, and, 
though the two laft were wounded, carried them to Gufho's 

I need not trouble the reader with the attention fhewed 
me upon my accident ; all that was great and noble at court, 
from the king downwards, feemed to be as fenfible of it as 
if it had happened to one of their own family ; the Ras 
very particularly fo; and I muft own, above all, Guebra Maf- 
cal fhewed himfelf a fincere convert, by a concern and 
friendfhip that had every mark of fincerity. Ozoro Either 
was feveral times the next day at my tent, and with her 
the beautiful Tecla Mariam, whofe fympathy and kindnefs 
would more than have compenfated a greater misfortune ; 
for, faving that it had occafipned an inflammation in my 
eyes, the hurt was of the flighteft kind. 

Many people came to-day from the feveral camps with 
propofals of peace, which ended in nothing, though it Was 



vifible enough to every one that a treaty of fome kind was 
not only on foot, but already far advanced. In the evening 
a party of 400 foot and ^o horfe, which went to Dembea 
to f >rage for the king, was furprifed by Coque Abou Barea, 
and cut to pieces ; after which that general encamped with 
Gudio, and brought with him about 3000 men. 

Provisions were now become fcarce in the camp, and 
there was a profpect that they would be every day fcarcer ; 
and, what was ftill worfe, Deg-Ohha, which long had Itood 
in pools, was now almoft dry, and, from the frequent ufe 
made of it by the number of beads, began to have both an 
offenfive fmeil and tafte ; whilit, every time we attempted 
to water at the Mariam river, a battle was to be fought with 
Tesfos's horfe in the valley. On the other hand, an epide- 
mical fever raged in the rebels camp on the plain, efpecial- 
ly in that of Guflio and Ayabdar. The rain, moreover, was 
now coming on daily, and fomething decifive became ne- 
ceflary for all parties. 

On the 24th, in the morning, a melTage arrived from Gu- 
flio to the king, defiring I might have liberty to come and 
bring medicines with me, for his whole family were ill 
of the fever. The king anfwered, that I had been wound- 
ed in the head, and was ill ; nor did he believe 1 could be 
able to come; but, if 1 was, he mould fend me in the morn- 

A little before noon the drums in the plain beat to 
arms. Heraclius, Marnmo, and Tesfos on the fide of the 
valley, Coque Abou Barea and Afahel Woodage on the fide 
of the plain, with frefli troops, had obtained leave from 



Gufho and PowufTen to try to ilorm our camp, without any 
affiftance from the main army, in order to bring the whole 
to a fpeedy concluiion. There had been a time when fuch 
an undertaking would not have been thought a prudent one 
to much better men than any of thofe who now were par- 
ties in it ; but our fpirits were greatly fallen, our number, 
too, much decreafed ; above all, a relaxation of difcipline 
(and defertion, the confequence of it) began to prevail a- 
mong us to an alarming degree. This was generally faid 
to be owing to the defpondency of the Tigre troops upon 
the arrival of Tesfos ; but it required little penetration to 
difcern, that all forts of men were weary of conftant fight- 
ing and hardships, for no other end but unjuftly maintain- 
ing Michael in a poll in which he governed at difcretion, 
to the terror of the whole kingdom, and ruin of the conlti- 

The hill of Serbraxos, when we nrft took port on it, was 
rugged and uneven, full of acacia and other ill- thriving 
trees, and various Humps of thefe had been broken by the 
wind, or unde rmined by the torrents. The great need the 
foldiers had of fuel to roaft the miferable pittance of bar- 
ley, (which was all their food) had cleared away thefe in- 
cumbrances from the fide of the hill, and the conftant re- 
foi t of men going up and down, had rendered the furface 
perfectly fmooth and frippery ; fo that our camp did not 
appear as placed fo high, nor nearly fo inacceflible as it 
wa> at lull For this reafon, Ras Michael had ordered the 
foldiers ro gather all the ftones on the hill, and range them 
in fmall walls, at proper places, in a kind of zig-zag, under 
which the ibldier? lay concealed, and with their lire- arms 
I elected the mules which went down to drink, Michael 
4 had 

Jfiru/s Horse with a double tine acrv/s...l 
Kings itifaritry croft lined square... I 

Kings presence denoted by a Semicircle ..& 

Rebel Horse rnarhed with a line acrofs l 
Rcbet infantry plain Square. 

I I i I I i i 



A The center commanded by the king 
in perfon. 

B The van encamped under Ras Mi- 

C The rear encamped, Guebra Chriftos 
being flain, commanded by fever al of- 

DD Woodage Afahel marching up to- 
wards the hill to attack the king's 

E Ayto Tesfos of Samen making a lodge- 
ment in the bank, or fide of the hill, 
under the van, to favour the attack of 
Woodage Afahel. 

F Coque Abou Barea making a mock at- 
tack on the rear to create a diverfion 
in favour of Woodage Afahel. 

G Servants of Tesfos, his camp and re- 
bellious peafants of Mariam Ohha on 
a high rock. 


had lined all thefe little fortifications with mifquetrv, from 
the bottom of the hilL to tiie door of his tent and the 

About noon the hill was afifaulted on all fides that were 
acceilible, and the ancient fpirit of the troops feemed to 
revive upon feeing the enemy were the aggreflbrs. With- 
out any aid of mufquetry, the king's foot repulfed Coque 
Abou. Barea, and drove him from the hill into the plain, 
without any confiderable ftand on his part : the fame fuc- 
cefs followed againft Mammo and Heraclius ; they were 
chafed down the hill, and feveral of their men purfued and 
llain on the plain ; but a large reinforcement coming from 
the camp, the king's troops were driven up the hill again, 
and Tesfos, with his mufquetry, had made a lodgment in 
a pit on the low fide of x>ne of thefe Hone-walls Ras Michael 
had built for his own defence, from which he fired with 
great efFecT, and the king's troops were obliged to fall back 
to the brow of the hill immediately below the tent, and 
that of the Ras's. In a moment appeared Woodage Afahel, 
with a large body of horfe, fupported like wife with a con- 
fiderable number of foot. This was the raoft acceffible 
part of the hill, and under the cover of Tesfos's continued 
fire : they mounted it with great gallantry, the troops above 
expecting them with their irons fixed at a proper elevation 
in the ground ; for it muft be here explained, that no A- 
byflinian foldier in battle refts his gun upon his hand, as 
every one is provided with a ftick, about four feet long, 
which hath hooks, or refts, on alternate intervals on each 
fide, and which he flicks in the ground before him, and 
refts the muzzle of his gun upon it, according to the height 
of the object he is to aim at ; and here is discovered the fa- 


tal and moft unreafonable effect of fear in thefe troops, who 
have not the knowledge or practice of fire-arms, and are a- 
bout to charge, for as foon as they hear this noife of planting 
the flicks, (which is fomewhat louder than that of our men 
cocking their mufquets) they halt immediately, and give the 
faireft opportunity to their enemies to take aim ; and, after 
thus fuffering from a well-directed fire, they fall into confu- 
fion, and run, leaving the mufquetry time to re-charge. This 
is as if they voluntarily devoted themfelves to deflruction ; 
for if, either upon hearing the noife of fetting the flicks 
in the ground, or before or after they have received the 
fire, the horfe were to charge thefe mufqueteers, having no 
bayonets, at the gallop, they muft be cut to pieces every 
time they were attacked by cavalry ; the contrary of which 
is always the cafe. 

Woodage Asahel had now advanced within about thir- 
ty yards of the mufquetry that were expecting him, when 
unluckily the hill became more fleep, and Ayto Tesfos (for 
fome reafon not then known) ceafed firing. The king was 
now clofe to the very brow of the hill, nor could any one 
perfuade him to keep at a greater diflance. I was not far 
from him, and had no fort of doubt but that I mould pre- 
fently fee the whole body of the enemy deflroyed by the 
fire awaiting them, and blown into the air. Woodage Afa- 
hel was very confpicuous by a red fillet, or bandage, wrapt 
about his head, the two ends hanging over his ears, whilfl 
he was waving with his hands for the troops below to fol- 
low brifkly, and fupport thofe near him, who were impe- 
ded by the roughnefs and mofTy quality of the ground. At 
this inftant the king's troops fired, and I expected to fee the 
enemy flrewed dead along the face of the hill. Indeed we 
3 faw 


faw them fpeedily difappear, but like living men, ri- 
ding and running down the declivity fo as even to ex- 
cite laughter. Woodage Afahel, with two men only, 
bravely gained the top of the mountain, and, as he 
palTed the king's tent, pulled ofT his red fillet, making align 
as of faluting it, and then galloped through the middle of 
the camp. He was now defcending unhurt upon the left, 
where Abou Barea had been engaged and beaten, when 
Sebaftos, a Greek, the king's cook, feventy- five years of age, 
of whom I have already fpoken in the campaign of Mait- 
jQha, lying behind a ftone, with his gun in his hand, fee- 
ing the troops engage below, fired at him as he paired: 
the ball took place in the left fide of his belly. He was 
feen Hooping forward upon the tore of his faddle, with fome 
men fupporting him on each fide, in his way to his tent, 
where he died in the evening, having, by his behaviour that 
day, deferved a better fate. Sebailos reported this feat of 
his to the king, but it was not believed, till a confirmation 
of the fact came in the evening, when Sebaftos was cloathed, 
and received a reward from the king. 

Tesfos had been obferved not to fire fince Woodage Afa- 
hel gained the fteep part of the hill, and it was thought it 
was from fear of galling his friends ; but it was foon known 
to be owing to anorhencaufe. Kefla Yafous had ordered two 
of his nephews to take a body of troops, with lances and 
fhields only, and thefe were to go round the Ras's tent, and 
down the fide of the hill, till they were even with Tesfos 
behind the fcreen where he lay. Thefe two young men, 
proud of the fole command which they had then received 
for the firft time, executed it with great alacrity ; and tho' 
they were ordered by their uncle to watch the time when 

Vol. IV. C c Tesfos 


Tesfos had fired, and then to run in upon him, they difdain- 
ed that precaution, but coming fpeedily upon him, part of 
them threw down the (tones under which he was con- 
cealed, and part attacked him in the hollow, and, while 
much intent upon the fuccefs of Wood age Afahel, he 
was in a moment overpowered and dhlodged; and, being 
twice wounded, with great difficulty he efcaped. Se- 
venteen of his match-locks were brought into the camp, 
and with them a man of great family in Samen, a relation 
or friend of Kena Yaibus. This perfon, after having been 
regaled with the bed that was in the camp, and cloath- 
ed anew after their cuftom, was fent back the fame 
night to Ayto Tesfos, with this fhort meiTage, " Tesfos had 
" better be upon his rock again, if my boys can beat him 
M upon the plain at broad noon-day." 

Coque Abou Barea, after having attempted feveral times 
to afcend the hill, was beaten back as often, and obliged to 
defift. On the king's fide only eleven men were killed. The 
lofs of the enemy was varioufly reported. Sixty- three men 
only, and feveral horfes of thofe with Woodage Afahel, were 
left upon the fide of the hill, after the fire of near 1000 muf- 
quets — iO contemptible is the moil dangerous weapon in an 
ignorant and timid hand. That night the body of mufque- 
teers called Laila, part of the king's houfehold, (in number- 
about 300 men) deferted in a body. One of the worft con- 
fequences of that day's engagement was, that the enemy,, 
when in pofTeffion of the foot of the hill, had thrown a, 
great number of dead bodies, both of men and beafls,. 
into Deg-Ohha, which therefore now was abandoned alto- 
gether by our troops. To make up for this, Ras Michael,, 
that very evening, advanced 2000 men upon the end of the 



long hill, immediately below him, which poll was never 
molefted after, fo that our beads had water in greater plen- 
ty and fafety than when they were at a lefs confiderable 

Below the north-weft fide of the hill, where it was a 
fleep precipice, two or three pools of water were found re- 
taining all their original purity, out of the reach or know- 
ledge of the enemy, in the bed of the torrent which fur- 
rounded the north fide of the mountain : the defcent was 
very difficult for beafts, but thither I went feveral times on 
foot, and bathed myfelf, efpecially my head, in very cold 
water, which greatly ftrengthened my eyes, much weaken- 
ed from the blow I had received. 

Ccs CHAP. 


! VQ 


Interview with Gujho in his Tent — Converfation and intcrejling Intelli- 
gence there — Return to the Camp — Kings Army returns to Gondar—- 
Great Confufion in that Night's March. 

ON the 25th of May, early in the morning, I went to 
Guflio. When I arrived near his tent I difmonnted 
my mule, and, as the king had commanded me, bared my- 
felf to below the breafts, the fign of being bearer of the 
king's orders. Four men were now fent from the tent, 
who, two and two, fupported each arm, and introduced me 
in this ft ate immediately to Guflio. He was fitting on a kind 
of bed, covered with fcarlet cloth, and edged with a deep 
gold fringe. As foon as I came near him, I began, " Hear 
what the king fays to you." In a moment he rofe, and, 
ftripping himfelf bare to the waift, he bowed with his 
forehead on the fcarlet cloth, but did not, as was his duty, 
Hand on the ground, and touch it with his forehead, tho' 



there "was a good Perfian carper, as pride and newly-ac- 
quired independence had rcleafed him from thole forms, 
in the observance of which he had been, brought up from 
his childhood. 

On feeing him attentive, I continued, " The king fends 
you word by me, and I declare to you from my own fkill as 
a phyiician, that the fever now amongft you will foon be- 
come mortal ; as the rains increafe, you will die ; confe- 
quently, being out of your allegiance, God only knows 
what will happen to you afterwards. The king therefore 
wilhes you to preferve your health, by going home to Am- 
hara, taking PowufTen, and all the reft along with you who 
are ill likewife, and the fooner the better, as he heartily 
willies to be rid of you all at once, without your leaving any 
of your friends behind you." It was with difficulty I kept 
my gravity in the courfe of my harangue ; it did not feem 
to be lefs fo on his part, as at the end he broke out in a 
great fit of laughter. " Aye, Aye, Yagoube, fays he, I fee 
you are ftiil the old man ; but tell the king from me, that if 
I were to do what you juft now defire of me, it was then I 
mould be afraid to die, it was then I mould be out of my 
duty ; afTure the king, continued Gufho, I will do him bet- 
ter fervice. Were I to go home and leave Michael with him,. 
I, who am no phyfician, declare, theRas would prove in the 
end a much more dangerous difeafe to him than all the fe- 
vers in Dembea." 

I then introduced his relation, Tecla Mariam, who flood- 
with the people behind ; and, as he had on his monk's drefs y 
Gufho at firft did not know him. He had been well inform- 
ed, however, of his having faved the king, and of the blow 
that he had received from him. He laid every thing in 
2 commendation 


commendation of the young man, and his honourable ac- 
tion, adding, that the prefervation of kings was a gift of 
Providence particularly referved for the people of Amhara. 
He then ordered new cloaths to be brought and put upon 
Tecla Mariam, who fcrupled to take off his cowl ; on which 
Guflio violently tore it from his head, dafhed it on the floor, 
flamped twice on it with his foot, and then threw it behind 
the back of the fofa. At parting, Guiho ordered him five 
ounces of gold, a large prefent for one that loved money as 
Guflio did, commanding him ftrictly to return to his duty 
and profeflion, and ordering me to carry him to the king, 
and lee him reinftated in his office in the palace. 

I then defired his permiffion to vifit the fick, and left 
ipecacuanha and bark with Antonio, (his Greek fervant,) 
and directions how to adminifler them. One of his ne- 
phews, (Ayto Aderenon) the young man who had loftGulTio's 
horie, had the fmalhpox, upon which I warned Gufho 
feriouily of the danger to which he expofed all his army 
if that difeafe broke out amongft them, and advifed him to 
fend his nephew forthwith to the church of Mariam, under 
the care of the priefts, which he did accordingly. 

The tent being cleared, he afked me if I had feen Welleta 
SelafTe ; if I was with her when fhe died ; and who was faid 
to have poifoned her, Ras Michael or herfelf, or if I had ever 
heard that it was Ozoro Efther ? I told him her friends 
had lent for me from the camp, but mined me, not know- 
ing I was at Kofcam with Ayto Confu, who had been 
wounded ; but that I could have been of little fervice to 
her if they had found me fooner: That {he had fcarce 
any figns of life when I entered her room, and died foon 
after : That me confeiled fhe had taken arfenic herfelf, and 



named a black fervant of hers, a Mahometan, from whom 
fhe had bought it ; and the reafon was, her fears that her 
grandfather, Ras Michael, whom flie had always looked up- 
on as the murderer of her father, fhould force her when he 
returned to Gondar. He feemed exceedingly attentive to 
all I faid, and mufed for a couple of minutes after I had 
done fpeaking. 

A plentiful breakfaft was then brought us, and many 
of his officers fat down to it. I obferved likewife fome peo- 
ple of Gondar, who had formerly fled to Fafil at Michael's 
firft coming. He faid he wifhed me to bleed him before I 
went away, which I allured him I would by no means do, 
for if he was well, as I then faw he was, the unnecefTary 
bleeding him might occafion ficknefs ; and, if he was dan- 
gerously ill, he might die, when the blame would be laid 
upon me, and expofe me to mifchief afterwards. " No, fays 
he, I could certainly trull you, nor would any of my people 
believe any harm of you ; but I am glad to fee you fo pru- 
dent, and that you have a care of my life, for the reafon I 
mall give you afterwards.'* I bowed, and he made me then 
tell him all that paffed in my vifit to Fafil, which I did, 
without concealing any circumftance. All the company- 
laughed, and he more than any, only faying, " Fafil, Falil, 
thou wall born a Galla,, and a Galla thou fhalt die." 

Breakfast being over, the tent was cleared, and we 
were again left alone, when he put on a very ferious coun- 
tenance. " You know, fays he, you are my old acquain- 
tance. Ifaw you with Michael after the battle of Fagitta,. 
as alfo the prefents you brought, and heard the letters 
read, both thofe that came from Metical Aga, and thofe of 

i Ali 


Ali Bey from Cairo. All the Greeks here who have confi- 
tlerabie polls, and are proud and vain enough, have yet de- 
clared to us feveral times, (as Antonio my fervant did to 
me lad night) that, in their own country, the beft of them 
are not higher in rank than your fervants ; and that thofe 
who hitherto have come into this country were no better. 
We know then, and the king is fenlible, that in your own 
country you are equal to the bed of us, and perhaps fu- 
perior, and as fuch, even in thefe bad times, you have been 
treated. Now, this being the cafe, you are wrong to ex- 
pofe yourfelf like a common foldier. We all know, and 
have feen, that you are a better horfeman, and fhoot better 
than we ; your gun carries farther, becaufe you ufe leaden 
bullets ; fo far is well ; but then you mould manage this 
fo as never to act alone, or from any thing that can have 
the appearance of a private motive *." " Sir, faid I, you 
know that when I iirlt came recommended, as you fay, 
into this countiy, Ayto Aylo, the moil peaceable, as well 
as the wifefl man in it, the Ras, and I believe yourfelf, 
but certainly many able and confiderable men who were 
fo good as to patronize me, did then advife the putting me 
into the king's fervice and houfehold, as the only means 
of keeping me from robbery and infult. You faid that I 
could not be fafe one inilant after the king left Gondar, 
being a fingle man, who was fuppofed to have brought 
money with him ; that therefore I mufl connect myfelf 
with young noblemen, officers of confequence about court, 
whofe authority and friendship would keep ill-difpofed 
people in awe. The king pbferving in me a facility of 


j y. ii , ■■ ., — m m mm >m -■ — .. —— , „ .,.■■ ■ — — ■ „ ,. ,-—■■■ «... ■ ■■ « ■ — ^ . ■.. » «w ■ ■»*»'■ ■ ■■ ■ 

* He meant, from the initiation of Ozoro Efther. 


managing my horfe and arms, with which, until that 
time, he had been unacquainted, placed me about his per- 
fon, both in the palace and in the field, for his own amufe- 
ment, and I may fay inftruction, and for my fafety ; and 
this advice has proved fo good, that I have never once de- 
viated from it but my life has been in danger. The firfl 
attempt I made to go to the cataract, Guebra Mehedin 
way-laid and intended to murder me. When the king was 
in Tigre, Woodage Afahel defigned to do me the fame fa- 
vour by the Galla he fent from Samfeen; and fo did Coque 
Abou Barea at Degwaifa, by the hands of Welleta Selafie. 
No fafety, therefore, then remained to me but in adhering 
clofely to the king, as I have ever fmce done, and was ad- 
vifed from the firfl: to do, which indifpenflbly brought me 
to berbraxos, or wherever he was in perfon. You cannot 
think it is from a motive of choice that a white man like 
myfelf runs the riik of lofmg his life, or limbs, fo far from 
home, and where there is fo little medical afliflance, in a 
war where he has no motive that can concern him." 

* Do not miilake me, Yagoube, fays Guiho, your beha- 
viour at Sebraxos does you honour, and will never make 
you an enemy, fo does the like affair with Kefla Yaibus ; 
there is no man you can fo properly connect yourfelf with 
as Kefla Yafous ; all I wanted to obferve to you is, that it is 
faid Woodage Afahel would have efcaped fafely from the 
mountain if you had not mot him, and that yours was the 
only mufquet that was fired at him ; which is thought 
invidious in you, being a ftranger, as he is the head of 
theEdjowGa.Ha, the late king's guards ; they may yet return 
toGondar, and will look upon you as their enemy, becaufe 

Vol. IV, D d a leaden 


a leaden bullet was found in Woodage Afahel's body fired at 
him by you." — " Sir, faid I, it is very feldom a man in fucjh 
a cafe as this can have the power of vindicating himfelf to 
conviction, but that I now happily can do. All the Greeks 
in the king's army, their fons and families, all Mahometans, 
who N have been in Arabia, India, or Egypt, ufe leaden bul- 
lets. The man who lhot Woodage Afahel is well known 
to you. He is the king's old cook, Sebaftos, a man pail fe- 
venty, who could not 1 be able to kill a iheep till fomebody 
firft tied its legs. He himfelf informed the king of what 
he had done, and brought witnefTes in the ufual form, 
claiming a reward for his action, which he obtained. It 
was faid that I, too, killed the man who carried the red 
flag of Theodoras at Serbraxos, though no leaden bullet, I 
believe, was found in him. A foldier picked up this flag 
upon the field, and brought it to me. I paid him, indeed, 
for his pains ; and, when I prefented the flag to the king, 
told him what I had feen, that the bearer of it had fallen 
by a fliot from Guebra Mafcal. I had not a gun in my 
hand all that day at Serbraxos, nor all that other day when 
Woodage Afahel was flam. I faw him pafs within lefs 
than ten yards where I was Handing behind the king, in 
great health and fpirits, with two other attendants ; but, 
fo far from firing at him, I was very anxious in my own 
mind that he mould get as fafely out of the camp as he had 
gallantly, though imprudently, forced himfelf into it. It is 
not a cuftom known in my country for officers to be em- 
ployed to pick out diftinguiffied men at fuch advantage, nor 
would it be confidered there as much better than murder: 
certainly no honour would accrue from it. But when means 
are necefiary to keep officers of the enemy at a proper dif- 



tance, for confequences that might otherwife follow, there 
are common foldiers chofen for that purpofe, and for which 
they are not the more eileemed. This, however, I will con- 
fefs to you, that when either the king's horfes or mine went 
down to Deg-Ohha to water, and never but then, I fat upon 
the rock above, and did all in my power to protect them, 
and the men who were with them, and to terrify the enemy 
who came to moleil them, by ihewing the exteniive range of 
our rifle guns ; and that very day when Ayto Tesfos arrived, 
fome of his troops having driven off the mules, among 
which were two of mine, I did, I confefs, with my own 
hand fhoot four of them from the rock, and at laft obliged 
the reft to keep at a greater diftance ; but as for Woodage 
Afahel, I difown having had arms in my hand the day he 
entered the camp, or having been abfent, till late in the 
evening, from the king's perfon." 

Now, all this is very well, continued Guflio ; who killed 
Theodorus, or the man at Serbraxos ; who killed Ayto Tes- 
fos's men, is no object of inquiry ; Deg-Ohha was within 
the line of the king's camp, and they that wanted to deprive 
him of this poneflion, or the ufe of it, did it at their peril. 
If you had mot Ayto Tesfos himfelf, attempting to deprive 
you of water for the camp, no man in all Amhara would 
have faid you did wrong ; but I am very much pleafed 
with what yon tell me of Woodage Afahel. The fhort, yel- 
low man, who breakfafted with you, was one of thofe two 
who accompanied Woodage Afahel when he was fhot, 
and is a friend of mine; he brought word that he was 
killed by a frank, and the leaden bullet fix'd it upon 
y ou." 

D d 2 This 


This man was now immediately called for. He went 
by the nickname of GW, or the Giant, from his fmall fize 
and debility of body. " Is this your man, fays Guiho, who 
mot Woodage Afahel on the hill ?" " O, by no means, fays 
Goul ; he was an old man with a long grey beard, and a 
white cloth round his head. This man I know well. I faw 
him with Fafil. This is Yagoube, the king's friend ; he 
would not do fuch a thing." " No, certainly he would not, 
fays Guiho, and fo mind that you tell Woodage Afahel's 
friends." Upon this he withdrew. And now, fays Gufho, 
talk no more upon this affair, I will take the reft upon my- 
felf. There is a fervant of Metical Aga's now in the camp, 
fent over by defire of your friends and countrymen * at Jid- 
da, to know if you are alive and well. He has alfo a mef- 
fage to the king, and perhaps I may fend him to the camp 
to-morrow, but more probably defer it till we meet at Gon- 
dar. Mean time, remember my injunction to you, to keep 
clofe by the perfon of the king, and then no accident 
can befal you in the confufion that will foon happen. I 
thanked him for his friendly advice, which, I promifed to 
follow. I then alked for Ayto Confu and Engedan, as alfo 
for Metical Aga's fervant, but he anfwered, I could not then 
fee them. 

He had now in his hand fome filk paper, in which they 
generally wrap their ingots of gold, and he was preparing 
to flip this into my hand at parting, in the fame manner 
we do the fee of a phyfician in Europe. " You forger, 
faid I, what you mentioned in the morning, that I am no 


* Captain Thomas Price of die Lyon of Bombay. 


call- away, no Greek nor Armenian fervant, but perhaps of 
equal rank to yourfelves : if I wanted money, Metical Aga's " 
fervant would procure it for me upon demand. It is your 
wife and two daughters who are ill ; and when you mall 
hereafter be great, and governing every thing at Gondar, 
I will by them put you in mind of any piece of friendfhip 
I may Hand in need of at your hand ; and you fhall grant 
it." — " You are a good prophet, Yagoube, fays he ; and fo 
I fhall ; but remember my advice ; 1 know you are a friend 
of Ozoro Etiher, but (he cannot protect you ; Ozoro Altafh* 
may : the befl of all is to keep clofe to the king, to defend 
yourfelf if any body molefts you on your way to Gondar, 
and leave the reft to me, 

An officer was now appointed to conducl: me acrofs the 
plain, and feveral fervants laden with fifh and fruit. About 
a hundred yards from the tent, a man muffled up met me, 
whom I found to be a fervant of Engedan. " Your army 
will difband, fays he to me, in a low tone of voice ; keep 
by the king, or Aylo my mailer's brother, and he will 
bring you over here." Having left him, we continued a- 
crofs the plain, and faw feveral frnall parties of horfe pa- 
troling, but they came not near us. My conductor faid they 
were Galla, waiting for forne opportunity to do mifchief. 
He told me that Ozoro Welleta Ifrael, and his fon Aylo, 
had joined their army that day with 10,000 men from Go- 
jam, to no purpofe at all, continued he, bur that of eating 
up the country. But your friend the Ite^he could not 
fee Ras Michael fall without giving him a iliove, though 


* Her daughter was married to Powufiln, 


me has flaid till the very laft day before me ventured, for 
fear of accidents. Gufho's men fet the fifh down at the 
advanced guard, and returned with the officer who had at- 
tended me, while I went towards the king's tent, muling 
what all this might mean, what power was to carry us to 
Gondar, difband the army, depofe Michael, and not hurt 
the king. 

I found the king had not been well, and had taken 
warm water to vomit, a remedy I advifed him fometimes 
to make ufe of, not chooling to venture on all occafions to 
give him medicines, and he was then quiet. I therefore 
went to Ras Michael, who was alone, and feemingly much 
chagrined. He interrogated me ftricHy as to what palled 
between me and Gulho. I told him the difcourfe about 
Woodage Afahel's death, and about Fafil ; then about the 
lick family I had feen, the offer of money, the fifh, &c. 
The fame I repeated when I went back to the king, but 
nothing about our meeting at Gondar. I begged, however, 
as he Hill complained a little of his head, that he would fee 
nobody that night, but lie down and compofe himfelf, al- 
lowing me to wait in the fecretary's apartment till he mould 
awake. I thought he embraced this propofal willingly, 
Ozoro Either having had a long conference with him the 
night before. I do not imagine the Hate of the realm had 
much fhare in their converiation. After he was laid down, 
I went and found Azage Kyrillos, and with him the beau-- 
tiful daughter of Tecla Mariam, who was juft drelTed to go 
to Ozoro Efther's. She faid flie would either take me along 
with her to Ozoro Efther's, or ftay, and the king would fend 
us fupper at her father's. I excufed myfelf from either, 
on account of the king's indifpolition, and my bulinefs with 

3 he ? 


her father, who, *u"Tri 5 by mv countenance [ had forn •- 
thing material to communicate, fent heron her viiic, and Co 
we were left alone. 

As he was a man with whom I had always lived in the 
moft confidential friendship, and knew the lame fubuittd 
between him and the king, 1 made no fcruple to tell him, 
word for word, what 1 had heard from Guiho, and rnge- 
dan's fervant. He laid, withour my feeming fur'prife, Why, 
we are all worn out, but ftate all Lhis to the king. Soon 
after, came in the Have who had the charge of the king's 
bed-chamber, and told the fecretary that the king found 
himfelf well, only wanted to know what he mould drink. 
I ordered him fome water, with Tome ripe tamarinds, a li- 
quor he ufually took in time of Lent. See him and advife 
him yourfelf, fays the fecretary. I accordingly went in, 
and told the king the whole ftory. He feemed to be in 
great agitation, repeating frequently, " O God ! O God ! O 
Guebra Menfus Kedus*!" — " Who is this Guebra Menfus 
Kedus ?" faid 1 afterwards to Tecla Mariam, who in his 
heart believed in him no more than I did. " Why, anfwer- 
ed he gravely, he is a great faint, who never ate or drank 
from his mother's womb till his death, faid mafs at Jerufa- 
lem every day, and came home at night in form of a ftork." 
— -" But a bad regimen his, faid I, for fuch violent exercife." 
— " That is not all, fays Tecla Mariam, he fought with the 
devil once in Tigre, and threw him over the rock Amba Sa- 
lam, and killed him." — "T wifli you joy, faid I, this is gocd 
news indeed." All this converfation had palled in half a 


* Servant of the Holy Ghoft. ■ 


whifper. The king was quiet ; but, hearing me fay the 
laft words, he flarted, and cried, " What joy, what good 
news, Yagoube ?" — " Why, faid I, Sir, it is only Tecla Ma- 
riam informing me that the devil is dead, which is good 
news, at lead to me, who always dreaded falling into his 
clutches." — " Aye, fays the king, the monks fay fo ; it 
muft have been long ago ; but the faint was furely a holy 

Though the king was violently agitated, yet he neither 
faid that he did or did not underftand what was meant by 
Guiho and Engedan, but only ordered me home imme- 
diately, faying, " As you value your life, open not your 
mouth to man or woman, nor feem to take particular care 
about any thing, more than you did before; truft all in the 
hands of the Virgin Mary, and Guebra JVlenfus Kedus." 

I needed no incitement to go to my tent, where I went 
immediately to bed. I cannot fay but I had a ray of hope 
that Providence had begun the means which were to extri- 
cate me out of the difficulties of my prefent fituatio'n, bet- 
ter and fooner than I had before imagined; I therefore fell 
foon into a profound fleep, fatisfied that I mould be quickly 
called if any thing ailed the king. The lights were now 
all put out, and, except the cry of the guards going their 
rounds, very little noife in the camp, confldering the vail 
number of pec pie it contained, 1 was in a profound fleep 
when Francifco, a Greek fervant of the Ras, a brave and 
veteran foldier, but given a little to drink, came bawling in- 
to my tent, " It is madnefs to fleep at this time." — "I am fure, 
faid 1, very calmly, I fhould be mad if I was not to fleep. 
Why, when would you have me to take my reft? and what 
i is 


lithe matter ?" — " Get up, cries he, quickly, for wc fhall all 
be cut to pieces in a minute." — " Then hang me, faid I, if 
I don't lie ftill, for if I have no longer to live, it is not worth 
while to drefs." — " Fafil (continued he) has furprifed the 
camp, and gives no quarter."—" Faul ! faid I, impoffible? 
but go to the guard commanded by Laeca Mariam, and if 
foe has a horfe ready faddled bring him to me." 

On this Francifco catched'up a lance and fliield that were 
in my tent, for fear of danger in the way, and ran off. in 
a minute he returned to alk the word. " Googue, faid 1, is 
the parole, (it fignifies Owl.) A curfe upon his father, fays, 
he, (meaning the owl's father), and a curfe upon their 
fathers who gave fuch unlucky words for the parole at 
night ; no wonder misfortunes happen, fays he, in Greek : 
he then returned to the guard under Laeca Mariam. In 
the mean time, furveying the camp around, I could not 
help doubting the truth of this alarm ; for not a foul was 
flirring about Kena Yafous's tent, and the light fcarcely burn- 
ing. On the other hand, however, there feemed (everal in the 
tent of the Ras, and people moving about it, though the 
Tigre guard around were quiet, who, I knew well, would 
have been alarmed by the motion of a moufe. 

There was, however, ftill a light, and an unufual noife in 
the upper end of the camp to the N. E, Francifco now re- 
turned from the king's tent, and, without my fpeaking to 
him, faid, in a great paffion, " Thofe black fellows are all 
become mad; you don't keep them in any fort of order." 
" Has Laeca Mariam got ready a horfe for me, faid I ; where 
is he f — " When I delivered your orders, replied Francifco, 
to have a horfe ready for you, he faid there were fifty, but 
did not fuppofe you intended galloping to-night." Fran- 
Vox. IY. Ee >cifco 


cifco continued, "I told him Fafil was in the camp; a v & 
which he laughed outright, faid I was drunk, and wonder- 
ed you had given me the parole with a curfe upon its fa- 
ther ; a great catch this word, to be fure, it will make me 
rich." " I am afraid, faid I, friend, Laeca Mariam hath fta- 
ted the truth ; at leail I never heard of an army cut to 
pieces fo very quietly as ours is." While I was fpeaking, the 
flambeaux at the Ras's tent were all fuddenly lighted, which 
was likewife done by Kefla Yafous, all the general officers,, 
and laftly from the king's tent. This is a kind of torch, or 
flambeau, ufed by the janizary Aga, at Cairo and Conflan- 
tinople, when he patroles the ftreets'; in the night-time- 
it is lighted, but the fire does not appear till you whirl: 
it three or four times round your head, and then it burfts- 
out into a bright flame. Michael had fixteen always on the 
guard, ever fince the attempt upon his life by the Gurague. 
In a moment all the camp was lighted, and the people 
awakened, whilft, as nobody knew the reafon, the tumult 
increafed. Francifco, with great exultation, upon feeing 
the Ras's torches lighted, cried, " See who is drunk now ; 
where are your jokes ? this will be a fine night, and no- 
body is armed." " Sir, faid I, you faw Laeca Mariam and 
his guard armed ; fo is every other guard in the camp as- 
much as ever ; and you may thank God you have my fer- 
vant's lance and fhield, fo you are armed. I may drink 
coffee, though I very much fear there may be fome embroil 
on foot, of which you may be yourfelf part of the occafion. 
Go, however, to the Ras's tent, and alk if he has any orders, 
for me." 

- In fhort, we foon after found that the caufe of all this 

^ift.urbahce was, that fome part of Tesfos's men had come 

to the back of the camp and'attempted to recover the mules 



Which had been taken from them ; and they had fucceeded 
in part, when they were difcovered, purfued, and fome of 
the mules retaken. At the fight of armed men running up 
and down the hill, an alarm fpread that nobody knew the 
occafion of, till the Ras caufed the mule-keeper to be baf- 
tinado'd in the morning. That day, the 26th, we received 
advice, that the Edjow Galla,„and fome other horfe of the 
fame diftridl, had maflacred all the people they met on their 
way to and from Gondar, and that a body of troops had 
marched into the town, which threatened to fet it on fire if' 
any more provifions were fent to the camp* 

We were now without food or water ; a great council 
was therefore held, in which it was agreed to decamp the 
38th in the night, and return to Gondar on the 29th, in the 
morning. A prefent of frefh provifions had been fent to 
Ras Michael, and, in one of the bafkets, a number of torch- 
es. A mefiage was alfo delivered from Gufho, " That as 
he was informed the Ras intended travelling in the night, 
that therefore he had fent him flore of torches, left he 
mould miftake his way to Gondar by having burnt all he 
had by him in the laft night's alarm about Fafil." He de- 
clared, moreover, in name of all the Confederates, that it 
was their refolution not to molefl him in his march ; that 
the whole kingdom was in alliance with them to fave the 
efFufion of blood, now abfolutely unnecefTary, and to meet 
and treat with him at Gondar. 

Upon receipt of this mefiage, with the torches, the Ras 
flew into a moft furious paffion. He called for Kefla Ya- 
fous and Guebra Mafcal, and fharply upbraided them with 
having betrayed him to his enemies. He g#ve orders to 

E e 2 > the 


the troops to refreih. themfelves, for he was that day refold - 
ved to try the fortune of another battle. To this, however^ iv 
it was replied by all the principal officers, That the army 
was flarving, therefore a refrefhment at this time was out 
of the queftion, and that lighting was as much fo ; for Gu- 
fho, having feat to the Abuna and to the King, had folemn- 
ly excommunicated his whoie army- if any harm was of- 
fered to them in perfon or baggage, if they marched direct- 
ly back to Gondar that night, as they had of their own accord 
before intended ; and that the army was refolved, therefore, 
as one man, to return; and,. if. the Ras did not agree 
to it, there was great fear they would difband in the night, „ 
and leave him. in the hands o£ the enemy, without terms. 
Th^ kas was now obliged to make a virtue of neceffity; and 
it was given in orders, that the army mould be ready to de- 
camp at eight in the evening, but nobody ihould itrike 
their tent before that hour on pain of death. The old ge- 
neral was afhamed to be feen for the firft time flying be«-;~ 
f ore his enemies.-. 

It was plain to be read in everybody's countenance, \ 
that this refolution was agreeable to them all. I confefs,., 
however, that I thought the meafure a very dangerous one, „ 
confidering how much blood the king's army had fo lately 
fpilt, and the ordinary prejudices univerfally adopted in 
that country^ allowing, to every individual the right of re- 
taliation. Before I ftruck my tent,.! called Yafine to m@, , 
and told him that Ay to Confu, being wounded and a pri- 
foner, myfelf neceflarily obliged to attend the king, and ; 
the event of that night's, retreat unknown to any body, I . 
thought he could do neither himfelf nor me any further - 
£ervice by flaying where iie. was ; that therefore, fo long as , 

* the j 


the road to Azazo was open to him, he mould march thro' 
Dembea, as if going to Faul, then turn on the right behi d 
the hills of Kofcam, and make the bed of his way to Ris 
el Feel, in which government he mould maintain the ftne- 
teft difcipline, and be particularly careful of the intrigues 
of Abd el Jeleel, the former governor, whofe application I 
mould defeat if I had any intereft, or if the king remain- 
ed, both which I thought very improbable. I annexed, 
moreover, this condition, that on his part he mould be ac- 
tive and unwearied in procuring information concerning 
the propereft way; of my attempting to reach Sennaar ; 1 co- 
joined him alfo to be very cireumflantial in all the advices 
which he fent to me at Gondar ; that they fliould be writ- 
ten in Arabic, and fent directly to me by my black fervant 
Soliman, who was with him, and told him that I my felf mould 
join him as foon as poflible. Yafme, with tears in his eyes, 
protefted againft leaving me in the dangerous fituation of 
that night ; he faid we mould be all cut to pieces as foon as 
we were in the plain, and that there was not a man of the 
troops under him who would not rather die with me, than 
abandon me to be murdered by the hands of thefe faithlefs 
Chriftian dogs, who never were to be bound by oath or pro- 
mife. He faid, it would be incomparably fafer, as they 
were all under my command, that I fliould put my felf at 
their head, and continue my march to Ras el Feel, where, 
if I was once arrived, Ayto Confu's troops, being behind 
me at Tcherkin, (that is, between me and Gondar), I 
might, at my own. leifure, folicit a fafe conduct to Sen- 
naar. - 

I confess this propofal at firft flruck me as extremely fea> 
£Lble. ; but reflecting on my foiemn promife to the king, not 


to leave him without his direct permiflion, that Gufho had 
affured me of fafety if I kept clofe to his perfon, that it 
would be a breach of trull to leave my Greek fervant un- 
provided at Gondar, and that forfaking my inftruments 
would have the effect of making my return through the de- 
fer t imperfect, — I rejected this propofal, anddifmined.Yafine, 
with orders to adhere inviolably to the inflructions L had 
given him. 

As for the king himfelf, his countenance was not chan- 
ged, nor did he fay to me one word that day in confidence, 
whether he did or did not intend to return to Gondar. 

As no body knew what conditions were made, or whether 
any were really made at all, fear kept the common foldiers 
under obedience till it was night. The firfl who began to 
file off, it being near dark, were the women, who carried 
the mills, jars, and the heavy burdens ; thefe were in great 
numbers. Soon after, the foldiers were in motion, and the 
Ras and the King's tents were {truck jufl as it was night ; 
darknefs freed the whole army from obedience to orders, 
and a confufion, never to be forgot or defcribed, prefently 
followed, every body making the beft of their way to get 
fafe down the hill. At "firfl fetting out I kept clofe by the 
king ; but, without treading upon, or riding over a number 
of people, I could not keep my place. I was now, for the 
£rft time, on one of the firong black horfes that came lafl 
from Sennaar, given me by the king, and he was fo impa- 
tient and fretful at being preffed on by the crowd of men 
and beafls, that there was no keeping him within any fort 
of bounds. The defcent of the hill had become very flip- 

4 pery> 


pery, and men, horfes, and mules were rolling promifcuouf. 
\y over one another. 

I resolved to try for myfelf fome other way that might 
be lefs thronged. I went to the place where Woodage A- 
fahel defcended when he was (hot by Sebaftos ; but the 
ground there was more uneven,, and fully as much crowd- 
ed. I then croiTed the road to the eaftward, where the Ras's 
tent Hood, and where Kefla Yafous's two nephews had gone 
round to diflodge Ayto Tesfos : there was a confiderable 
number of people even here, but it was not a croud, and 
they were moflly women. I determined to attempt it, and 
got into a fmall flaming road, which I hoped would con- 
duct me to the bed of the torrent ; but I found, upon going 
half way down the hill, that, in place of a road, it had been 
a hollow made by a torrent, which ended on a precipice,, 
and below, and on each fide of this, the hill was exceedingly 
fieep, the fmall diftance I could fee.. 

In Abyflinia, the camp-ovens for making their bread are 
in form of two tea-faucers joined bottom to bottom, and are 
fomething lefs than three feet in diameter, being made of 
a light, beautiful potters ware, which, although red when 
firft made, turns to a glofly black colour after being greafed 
with butter. This being placed upright, a fire of charcoal 
is put under the bottom- part ; the bread, made like pan- 
cakes, is parted all within the fide of the upper cavity, or 
bowl, over which is laid a cover of the fame form or fhape. 
It is in form of a broad wheel, and a woman carries one of 
thefe upon her back for baking bread in the camp. It hap- 
pened that, juft as I was deliberating whether to pro- 
ceed or return, a woman had rolled one of thefe down the 

• hill. 


hill on purpofe, or let it fall by chance: whichever was the 
cafe, it came bounding, and juft paft behind my horfe. Whe- 
ther it touched him or not I cannot tell ; but it determined 
him, without further deliberation, to fpurn all controul of 
his rider. On the firft leap that he made it was with the ut- 
moft difficulty I avoided going over his head : I will not 
pretend to fay what followed. I was deprived of all fenfe 
or reflection, till (tumbling often, and Aiding down upon 
his haunches oftener, I found myfelf at the bottom of the, 
hill, perfectly ftupified with fear, but fife and found in body^ 
though my faddle was lying upon the horfe's neck. 

Soon after, I faw a fire lighted on the top of the hill above 
where Ras Michael's tent flood, and I did not doubt but 
that it was the work of fome traitor, as a fignal to the re- 
hels that we were now in the plain in the greateft confu- 
fion. 1 made. all hafte therefore to go round and join the 
king, pafTed Deg-Ohha incumbered with carcafes of men. 
and beafts, from which, as well as from the bottom of the 
hill, a terrible ftench arofe, which mufl foon have forced us 
out of the. camp if we had not refolved, of our own accord, 
to remove. A little further in the opening to the river Ma- 
riano, I found myfelf in the middle of about twenty perfons, 
three or four of whom were upon mules, in long clean 
.white clothes, as if in peace, the reft apparently foldieis.; 
this was Engedan's brother, Aylo, whom I was pafTmg with- 
out recollecting him, when he.<:ried, Where do you come 
from, Yagoube? this is not a night for white men like you 
to be alone ; come with me, and I will carry you to your 
-friend Engedan, My horfe, replied I, found a new way for 
-itfelf down the hill, and I confefs I would rather be alone 
/than with fo much company.: our colour by this light feems 
J2 ,to 


to be pretty much the fame. Remember me to Engedan. I 

am feeking to join the king. 

Immediately after, I got into the crowd : though they 
were now in the plain, they ftill kept in a line clofe to the 
foot of the mountain, as in fear of the enemy's horfe. I 
palled on at as brifk a walk as my horfe could go ; nor was 
I fo tender of thofe who were before me in the plain as I 
had been on the fide of the hill. Among thofe that were 
ftill in the crowd, that had not got yet down the hill, I 
heard the Abuna's fervant faying they had loll their mules, 
and denouncing excommunication and curfes againfl thofe 
who had ftolen his baggage. I could not refrain from a fit 
of laughter at the ftupidity of that pried, to think any man 
of fuch a nation would pay attention to his anathemas in 
fuch a fcene. Soon after, however, I overtook the Abuna 
himfelf, with Ozoro Altam. He aiked me in Arabic, and 
in a very mournful tone of voice, what I thought they were 
.going to do ? I anfwered, in the fame language, " Pray forf 
them, father, for they know not what to do." Ozoro Altaih 
now told me the king was a great way before them, with 
Ras Michael, and advifed me to Hay and accompany her. 
As fhe fpoke this confidentlv, and it was part of the advice 
Gufho had given me if I miffed the king, I was deliberating 
wnac courie i mould puri'ue, when a great noife of horfe 
and men was heard on the fide of the plain, and prefently 
the Abuna and Ozoro Altaih were furrounded by a large 
body of horfemen, whofe cries and language I did not un- 
deritand, and whom therefore I took for Galla. As I found 
my horfe ftrong and willing, and being alone, and unincum- 
bered with baggage, I thought it was better to keep free r 
and not trull to who thefe ilrangers might be. I therefore 
Vol. IV. F f got 



got out of the line of the troops towards the plain, fpurretb 
my horfe, and arrived at the body of cavalry where the; 
king was. 

As I had a white turban upon my head, (having fhaved 
the fore part of it after the blow I had received from the 
ftone) I was employed taking this off before I prefented 
myfelf to the king, when fomebody faid out loud, Ozoro 
Efther is taken prifoner. Ras Michael anfwered, That is im- 
poflible ; Ozoro Efther is here. It is Ozoro Altafh and the 
Abuna, faid I, from behind ; I came juft now from them. 
By whom are they taken ? fays the king. By the Galla, I 
believe, anfwered I ; at leaft by men whofe language I did 
not underftand, though indeed I took no time to confider> 
but they are clofe in our rear, and I fuppofe they will be 
here prefently. Here! fays the Ras, what will they do 
here ? It muft be PowufTen, and the troops of Lafta, to re- 
cover his mother-in-law, that fhe may not go to Gondar ; • 
and it is the Tcheratz Agow language that Yagoube has 
taken for Galla. It is fo, fays another horfeman ; the people 
of Lafta have carried her off, but without hurting any body. 
This I thought a good fign, and that they were under or- 
ders, for a bloodier or more cruel race was not in the army,, 
the Galla not excepted ; and they had met with their deferts j 
and had fuffered confiderably in the courfe of this fhor£: 

The whole road was now as fmcotli as a carpet ; and we' 
had fcarce done fpeaking when Ras Michael's mule fell 
flat on the ground, and threw him upon his face in a (mall 
puddle of water. He was quickly lifted up unhurt, and fet 
\ipon his mule again. We pane d the Mogetch, and at about 

4 200 


200 yards from the bridge, upon ground equally plain 
as the former, the mule fell again, and threw the Ras ano- 
ther time in the dirt, on which a general murmur and 
groan was heard from all his attendants, for every body 
interpreted this as an omen that his power and fortune 
were gone from him for ever. Another mule was fpeedily 
brought, but he refufed to mount it, and we palled on by 
the Mahometan town, and up to Confu's houfe, by Aylo 
Meidan. I could not, however, help reflecting how juftly 
the Ras was now punilhed for the murder of the fingers in 
that very fpot, when he returned from Mariam-Ohha and 
entered Gondar. The king went directly to the palace, the 
Ras to his own houfe, and, by the fecretary's advice, I went 
with him to that of the Abuna, where I left my Greek fer- 
vants with my gold chain, and fome trifles I wanted to pre- 
serve, together with my inllruments. I then drefTed myfelf 
in the habit of peace, and returned to the palace, where, re- 
membering the advice of Gufho, I refolved to expect my fate 
with the king. Upon feeing me with the fore part of my 
head fhaven, and remembering the caufe, as his firft mark 
of favour he ordered me to cover my head, a thing other- 
wife not permitted in the king's pre fence to any of his 

The king's fervants brought me a bull's hide for my bed; 
and although many a night I have wanted reil upon lefs 
dangerous occafions, I fcarcely ever flept more foundly, till 
I heard the cracking of the whips of the Serach Maflery, 
about live o'clock in the morning of the 29th. He performs 
this function much louder than a French poftilion upon 
finifhing a poll, it being the fignal for the king to rife. There 
was, indeed, no occafion for this cuftom, now there was no 

Ff2 court, 



court, nor judgment of caufes civil or criminal. The palace 
was quite deferted ; even the king's Haves, of both fexes, 
(fearing to be carried off to Begemder and Amhara) had 
hid themfelves among the monks, and in the houfes of 
private friends, fo that rhe king was left with very few at- 






& ■ ' ' G& 


Rebel Army invefls Gondar— —King *s T'roops deliver up their Arms-— The 
Murderers of Joas affaffinated — Gu/ho made Ras — Ras Michael car~ 
ried away Prifoner by Powujfen — Jteghe's return to Kofcam — Fafit 
arrives at Gondar — King acknowledged by all Parties — Bad Conducl 
of Gu/ho — Obliged to fly , but is taken and put in Irons. 

ABOUT eight o'clock in the morning of the 29th of 
May, the day immediately following the night of our 
retreat, came Gufho's Fit- Auraris, and marked out the camp 
for his mailer between the Mahometan town and the church 
of Ledeta, on the very fpot where Michael had encamped 
after his late return from Tigre ; Coque Abou Barea from 
Ledeta to Kofcam ; Aylo and Ayabdar on the other fide of 
the Kahha, in a line palling by Kedus Raphael, the Abuna's 
hotife at the foot of the mountain, above Debra Berhan ; 
Ay to Tesfos in the valley below, by the fide of the Angrab ; 
on the road from Woggora to Gondar, and all along the 



Angrab, till it joined the Kahha, and Kafmati Gufho's camp, 
were PowuiTen and the reft of the confederate army ; fo 
that by nine o'clock the town was completely invefled, as if 
a wall had been built round it. The water being all in 
pofTeflion of the enemy, centinels were by them placed a-, 
long the banks of each river, with orders to fufFer every 
townfman to fill fmgle jars, fuch as one man or woman 
could carry, and to break any fupernumerary jars, that 
might be brought by way of fecuring a larger provifion*. 
All the people of confequence who had property in and a- 
bout Gondar, who had fled to Falil and to the provinces, 
from fear of Ras Michael when he returned from Tigre, 
had gone back upon Gufho's word, each man to his houfe; 
Gondar was full of men in arms. In Gufho's and Ayabdar's 
army, and depending on them, was the property of all 
Gondar. Ras Woodage, Gufho's father, and brother 
to Ayabdar, had been Ras in Yafous' time, till he died, 
univerfally beloved and regretted; Ay to Engedan and Ay- 
lo, fons of Kafmati Efhte, (by a filter of king Yafous) had 
the property of near one half of the town. Though Enge- 
dan was prifoner, and Aylo had married Ras Michael's 
daughter, they were, by intereft and inclination, united to 
Guiho, and had ferved Michael only through fear, from at- 
tachment to the king, fo that Guflio and Ayabdar were the 
only citizens in whom the inhabitants of Gondar confided. 
Powuflen, and the reft, were looked upon as free-booters in 
their inclinations, at lead by the townfmen ; very little bet- 
ter than Michael, or his troops of Tigre. 


*.For extinguifhing fire. 


From the moment the town was invefted, and indeed in, 
the field, before Gufho had taken the lead, and though 
neither Ayabdar nor PowuiTen were his friends, all Gon- 
dar was at his command,; and in it an army infinitely fu- 
perior in number and riches, now they had got fuch a> 
chieftain, to all the Confederates put together, and Michael's 
army added to them. Gufho, a man of great underftand- 
ing, born and bred in Gondar, knew this perfectly .well,, 
and that he alone was looked up to as the father of his coun- 
try. He knew, moreover, that he could not ruin Michael 
fo effectually as to lodge him fafely in Gondar, amidft a 
multitude of enemies* and blockade him there before he 
had time for refources. He therefore detached Ay to Tes- 
fos, the very day he arrived before the town, after Darien,. 
Bafha of Beleflin, whom Ras Michael had fent before him 
into Woggora to effect a paffage through that province in- 
to Tigre by fair means, promifes, and prefents. Tesfos* 
came up with Darien before he had time to enter upon his' 
commimon, and, having beaten and taken him prifonen,. 
raifed all Woggora in arms againft Michael, fo that not a 
man could longer pafs between Tigre and Gondar. . 

No perfon from the rebel army had yet entered Gondar,. 
The king's fecretary, Azage Kyrillos, a relation of Gufho^ 
had gone to his camp the day of his arrival. The fame 
day the kettle-drums were brought to the brink of Kah- 
ha, and a proclamation made, That all foldiers Of the pro- 
vince of Tigre, or who had bore arms under Ras Michael, 
mould, on the morrow before mid-day, bring their arms, 
offenfive and defenfive, and deliver them on a fpot fixed up- 
on near the church of Ledeta, to commiffaries appointed 
for the purpofe. of. receiving them ; with further intimation 



to the inhabitants of Gondar, That any arms found in any 
houfe in that town, after noon of the day of proclama- 
tion, mould fubjecl the owner of fuch houfe and arms to 
death, and the houfe, or houfes, to be razed to their foun- 

The firft of the Tigre troops who fet this example was 
Guebra Mafcal ; he carried down to the place appointed, 
and furrendered, about 6000 mufquets, belonging to the 
Ras and his family ; all the reft of the principal officers 
followed, for the inhabitants of Gondar were willing inqui- 
fitors, fo that the whole arms were delivered before the 
hour appointed, and locked up in the church of Ledeta, un- 
der a ftrong guard both without and within the church. The 
Tigre foldiers, after furrendering their arms, were not fuf- 
fered to depart, but a fpace was ailigned between Gufho's 
tent and the town, where they were difpofed that night, 
and centinels placed upon them, that they might not diC- 
perfe. This indeed was needlefs ; for they were every day 
furrounded with troops and enemies, fo that all their wealth 
remained with their landlords in Gondar, which home they 
were not fuffered again to enter, a meafure which greatly 
added to Gufho's popularity in the town. A great number 
of flour facks were brought down to Gufho^s camp, and 
many mules, loaded therewith, were delivered to the dis- 
armed army, fufficient to carry them by fpeedy marches 
to their own country, for which they had orders to fet out 
the next morning. 

Kefla Yasous alone, with about 400 men, had fhut 

himfelf up in the church of Debra Berhan, where there 

was water, and he had carried in fufficient provifions for 

1 feveral 


feveral days. He refufed therefore to furrender upon the 
general fummons ; on which PowufTen, who was encamped 
immediately below him, lent an officer to require him to 
fubmit, which he not only peremptorily refufed, but told 
the officer, that, unlefs he inftantly retired, he would give 
orders to fire upon him, as he had a treaty with Gufho, and, 
till that was ratified by Gufho himfelf, he would not furren- 
der, nor fufFer any other perfon to approach his poft ; at any 
rate, that he did not intend to furrender to a man of Powuf- 
fen's low birth, however high his prefent poft had raifed 
him, which he no longer acknowledged, being the mere 
gift of Michael, one complaint againft whom was that of 
levelling and confounding the nobility with their infe- 

Gusho accordingly fent an officer, a man of great cha^ 
racier, and a relation of the king, with a confirmation of 
his promife ; whereupon Kefla Yafous fin-rendered, and 
fent down his foldiers, with what arms he pleafed, to Gu- 
fho's camp, carrying the reft privately to his own houfe, to 
which he retired that very evening. Kefla Yaious was 
much beloved by the inhabitants of Gondar, though a Ti- 
gran, and perhaps in neither party was there a man fo uni- 
verfally efteemed. He had done the townfmen often great 
fervice, having always flood between Michael and them ki 
thofe moments of wrath and vengeance when no one elfe 
dared to fpeak ; and, in particular, he had faved the town 
from burning that morning the Ras had retired with the 
king to Tigre, when warned, as he faid, by an apparition of 
Michael the archangel, or more probably of the devil, to put 
the inhabitants of Gondar to the fword, and fet the city oil 
fire ; a meafure that was fupported by Nebrit Tecla, and 
Vol. IV. G g feveral 


feveral other leading men among the Tigrans. If the devil 
can fpeak true, here furely was one example of it, Gondar 
that very day had proved fatal to the Ras ; and Kefla Ya- 
fous himfelf told me, long after Michael was gone, and all 
was peace, that having vifited him that very evening he left 
Debra Berhan, Michael had privately upbraided him with 
having prevented his burning the town, and told him, that 
his guardian fpirit, Saint Michael the archangel, or the de- 
vil, or whatever we may pleafe to call it, had left him, and 
never appeared to him again fince he had paned the river 
Tacazze on his return to Gondar ; and to this he attribu- 
ted his prefent misfortunes. 

All the king's arms were furrendered with the reft, and 
Kefla Yafous was the only man that remained unfubdued, 
a diltinclion due to his fuperlative merit, and preferved to 
him by his enemies themfelves in the very heat of con- 

As for the Ras, he had continued in the houfe belonging 
to his office, vifited only by fome private friends, but had 
fent Ozoro Either to the Iteghe's at Kofcam, as foon as he 
entered Gondar. He ate, drank, and flept as ufual, and rea- 
foned upon the event that had happened with great equa- 
nimity and feeming indifference. There was no appearance 
of guards fet upon him ; but every motion and look were 
privately, but ftrictly watched. The next day, when he 
heard how ill his difarmed men were treated by the popu- 
lace, when they were difmiffed to Tigre, he burft into tears, 
and cried out in great agony, Had I died before this I had 
been happy. He played no more at drafts, by which game 
formerly he pretended to divine the ifTue of every affair of 



Confequence, but gave his draft-board and men. to a private 
friend ; at the fame time renouncing his pretended divina- 
tions, as deceitful and finful, by the confidence he had pla- 
ced in them. 

The king behaved with the greateft flrmnefs and compo- 
fure ; he was indeed graver thanufual, and talked lefs, but 
was not at all dejected. Scarce any body came near him 
the firft day, or even the fecond, excepting the priefts, fome 
of the judges, and old inhabitants of the town, who had 
taken no part. Some of the priefts and monks, as is their 
cuftom, ufed certain liberties, and mixed a confiderable de- 
gree of impertinence in their converfations, hinting it as 
doubtful, whether he would remain on the throne, and men- 
tioning it, as on the part of the people, that he had imbibed 
from Michael a propenfity towards cruelty and bloodfhed, 
what fome months ago no man in Gondar dared to have fur- 
mifed for his life. Thefe he only anfwered with a very fevere 
look, but faid nothing. One of thefe fpeeches being report- 
ed to Gufho, not as a complaint from the king, but through 
aby-ftander who heard it, that nobleman ordered the offen- 
der (a prieft of Erba Tenfa, a church in Woggora) to be 
ftript naked to his waift, and whipt with thongs three times 
round Aylo Meidan, till his back was bloody, for this vio- 
lation of the majefty of the fovereign : and this example, 
which met with the public approbation of all parties, the 
clergy only excepted, very much leffened that infolence 
which the king's misfortunes had excited. 

He had ate nothing the firft day but a fmall piece of 
wheat-loaf, dividing the reft among the few fervants that 

G g 2 attended 


attended him, who had all fared better than he, among- 
their friends in town, though they did* not own it. Thfi 
fecond day began in the fame ftile, and lafted till noon?, 
without any appearance of provifions. After the furren* 
dry of the arms, however, came great plenty, both from the 
town and the camp, and fo continued ever after ; but he ate 
very fparingly, though he had generally. a very good appetita, ■ 
and ordered the refidue to be given to his fervants, or the 
poor about the gates of the palace, many of whom, 
he faid, muft ilarve by the long ftay of fo large an army*. 
He fcemed to be totally forgotten.. About three o'clock of 
the fecond day came his fecretary from Gufho, ftaid about 
an hour, and returned immediately ; but what had paned 
I did not hear, at lead at that time. There was no alteration 
in his looks or behaviour. He went early to bed, and had not 
yet changed the cloaths in which he came from the camp. 

The next day the unfortunate troops of Tigre, loaded 
with curfes and opprobrious language, pelted with Hones 
and dirt, and a few way-laid and flain for private injuries, 
were conducted up the hill- above Debra Berhan, on the 
road through Woggora to Tigre, by a guard of horfe from 
Gufho's camp, who protected them with great humanity 
as far as they were able ; but it was out of. the power of 
any force but that of an army to protect them from the 
enraged populace, over whom they had tyrannifed fo many- 
years. Arrived at the river Angrab, in the rear of Powuf- 
fen's army, they, were configned to him, and he delivered 
them to Ayto Tesfos, who was toefcort them acrofs the Ta- 
cazze. Many of 1 the mob, however, continued to purfue 
them even farther ; but thefe were all to a man difarmed, 
and Itript naked, on their return to Gondar, by Tesfos and;: 
PowuiTen's foldiers, who juftly judged, that in the like 

£tua£ion , 


fituation they would themfelves have met with no better 

While every rank of people was intent upon this fpec- 
tacle, a body of Galla, belonging to Maitfha, ftole privately 
into the town, and plundered feveral houfes : they came 
next into the king's palace, and into the prefence-chamber, 
where he was fitting alone in an alcove, whilil, juft by his 
fide, but out of fight, and without the alcove, I and two of 
his fervants were fitting on the floor. This room, in the 
time of Yafous and the Iteghe, (the days of: luxury and 
fplendour of the Abyffinian court), had been magnificently 
hung with mirrors, brought at great expence from Venice,. 
byway of Arabia and the Red Sea;; thefe were very neatly fix- 
ed in copper-gilt frames by fome Greek fiiligrane- workers 
from Cairo ; but the mirrors were now moftly broken by 
various accidents, efpecially when the palace was fet on fire, 
in Joas's time, upon Michael's coming from the campaign 
of Begemder. Thefe favages, though they certainly faw 
the king at the other end of the room, attached themfelves 
to the glafs neareft the door, which was a large oblong 
one, and after they had made many grimaces, and a variety 
of antics before it, . one of them {truck it juft in the middle 
with the butt>end of his lance, and broke it to fhivers, 
which fell tinkling, on the floor. Some of thefe pieces 
they took up, but in the end they were moftly reduced to 
powder with the repeated, ftrokes. of their lances. There 
were three glafles in the alcove where the king fat, as al- 
fo one in the wings on each fide without the alcove ; un- 
der the king's right hand we three were fitting, and the 
Galla were engaged with a mirror near the door, at the o- 
ther end of the room, on the left fide, fo that there was^ 



but one glafs more to break before they arrived at thofc 
in the alcove where the king was fitting. 

I was in great fear of the confequences, as they were 
about thirteen or fourteen in number ; nor did we know 
how many more of their companions might be below, or 
in the town, or of what party they were, nor whether re- 
finance on our part was lawful. We three had no arms but 
a fhort knife at our girdle, nor had the king any, fo that 
we were in the greatefl fear that, if their humour of break- 
ing the glafTes had continued when they came near the 
king, he would ftrike one of them, and we fhould be all 
mafTacred : We all three therefore got up and flood before 
the king, who made a gentle motion with his hand, as if 
to fay, " Stay a little, or, have patience." At this inftant, 
Tenfa Chriftos, (a man of confiderable authority in Gondar, 
who was underflood by Gufho to be trufled with the care 
of the town, though he had no name or poft, for there was 
yet no form of government fettled,) hearing the Galla had 
plundered houfes, and gone into the palace, followed them 
as fafl as poflible, with about a hundred fhout young men 
belonging to Gondar, well-armed. The Galla foon faw 
there was a more ferious occupation awaiting them, and 
ran out to the great hall of the king's chamber, called 
Aderaiha, when one of thefe foldiers of Gondar fhut the 
door of the room where the king fat. The Galla at firlt 
made a fhew of refinance; but two of them being very much 
wounded, and feeing themfelves in a houfe where they did 
not know their way, and all afliilance from their comrades 
impoflible, they furrendered their arms ; they then were 
tied two and two, and fent in this manner down to Gufho's 

3 camp, 


2 39 

camp, who immediately ordered two of them to be hanged, 
and the reft to be whipt and difmifTed, 

Tensa Christos, after having done this good fervicc, 
came into the room to the king, and kilTed the ground in 
the ufual manner before him. The king immediately or- 
dered him to rife, gave him his hands to kifs, and then per- 
mitted him to withdraw, without having faid one word in 
his commendation for having delivered him from fo great 
a danger. That fame day, a little after noon, a party of 
foldiers was fent into the town, who apprehended Shalaka 
Becro and his fon ; Nebrit Tecla, and his two fons ; two fons 
of Lika Netcho a prieft, and another man, whofe name I 
have forgot, in all eight perfons, natives of the province of 
Tigre, dependants and fervants of Ras Michael, and mur- 
derers of the late king Joas. Thefe being brought to the 
market-place, were delivered into the hands of the Edjow 
Galla, formerly Joas's guard. Becro and his fon were hewn 
to pieces with knives ; Nebrit Tecla's fons, the eldeft nrft, 
and then the youngelt, were thru ft through with lances ; 
and their father being then brought to them where they 
lay, and deiired to fay if he knew who they were, and an- 
fwering in the negative, he was immediately cut to pieces,. 
as were the others, with great circumftances of cruel- 
ty, and their mangled bodies thrown about the ftreets. 
Thefe were all the executions which followed this great 
and fudden revolution ; a proof of very exemplary mode- 
ration in the conquerors, confidering the number of people 
concerned in the parricide firft, and the eonfequential rebel- 
lion after. Lika Netcho, in particular, fully as guilty as his 
fons, was neverthelefs fpared, becaufe he had married one 
of the king's relations- 



As yet none of the chiefs of the rebels had entered Gon- 
dar. MefTages had paffed, but not frequently, between the 
king and Gufho; fewer flill between him and PowufTen ; 
as for the reft, they feemed to take no lead at all. 

On the ill of June, Gufho and PowufTen came both to 
the houfe of the Ras, where they interrogated him veiy 
roughly as to all his pad conduct. Till the execution of 
joas's murderers, he had conftantly drelTed himfelf in his 
very beft apparel, with all the infignia of command. As 
foon as this was told him, he cloi died himfelf plainly, and 
conflantly in white, with a cowl of the fame colour on his 
head, like the monks, a fign he had retired from the world. 
It feemed as if this was done through a fondnefs for life, 
for by that act he devoted the remainder of his days to ob- 
fcurity and penitence. Nothing remarkable happened at 
this interview, at leaf! as far as was known. Prom thence 
Gufho and PowufTen went to the king's palace, where they 
did homage, and took die oaths of allegiance. 

It was there refolved that Gufho fhould be Ras, amd 
the other places were all difpofed of. From this time for- 
ward the king began to have a fhew of government, no 
party having teftified any fort of difcontent with him; on 
the contrary, each of the rebel chiefs now waited upon him 
feparateh , and had long conferences with him ; but, what 
bade fairer! to re- -eftabhfli his authority entirely was, the dif- 
fentions that evidently reigned among the leaders of the re- 
bels them! elves, whom we, however, mall no longer confider 
as fuch, not becauie their treafon had profpeied, but be- 
caufe they were now returned to their duty. It was ftrong- 
iiy fuipected that a treaty was on foot .between Gufho and 
2 Michael, 


Michael, by which the latter, in consideration of a large 
fum, was to put the former again in pofTeffion of the pro- 
vince of Tigre; others again faid, that Kefla Yafous, at 
Ras Michael's defire, was to be made governor of Tigre, 
and to have a large fum of gold, which Michael was fup- 
pofed to have concealed there, and which he was to remit 
to Gufho, whilft he and Michael were to underftand each 
other about the government of the province. 

Be that as it may, Powuilen, on the 4th of June, without* 
any previous notice given to Gufho, marched into Gondar 
with a thoufand horfe, and, without further ceremony, or- 
dered Ras Michael to be placed upon a mule, and, joining 
the reft of his army, who had all ftruck their tents, march- 
ed away fo fuddenly to Begemder, that Ozoro Eflher, then 
rending at the queen her mother's houfe at Kofcam, had 
fcarcely time to fend her old hufband a frefh mule, and 
fome fupply of neceflary provifions. All the reft of the 
troops decamped immediately after, trie rains beginning 
now to be pretty conftant, and the foldiers defirous to be 
at home. Some of the great men, indeed, remained at 
Gondar, fuch as Ayabdar, Engedan, and others, who had 
views of preferment* Gufho took pofleffion of die Ras's 
houfe and office ; the king's officers and fervants returned 
-to the palace ; the places of thofe that had fallen in battle 
were filled, and the whole town began to refume an ap- 
pearance of peace, which every one who confidered feared 
would be of a very fhort duration. 

A few days after the army of Begemder had left Gondar, 
Powuflen fent the ufurper Socinios, loaded with irons, from 
Agar Salam, a fmall town in Begemder, where he had 

Vol. IV. H h been 


been kept prifoner. He was brought before the king in 
the fame equipage he arrived, and being interrogated who 
he was, anfwered with great boldnefs, that he was Socinios, 
fon to king Yafous, fon of BacufFa ; that he had not fought 
to be made king, but was forced by the Iteghe and Sanuda ; 
this every one knew to be true. Soon after his mother 
was examined ; but denying now what fhe had formerly 
fworn, that fhe ever had any intimate connection with the 
late king Yafous, Socinios was fentenced to death; but being 
-in his manners, figure, and conversation perfectly defpica- 
ble, the king directed he mould ferve as a Have in his kit- 
chen, whence he was taken, fome time afterwards, and hang- 
ed for theft. 

On the 21ft of June, the Iteghe arrived from Gojam, and 
all the people of Gondar flocked to fee her without the 
town. Gufho had met her at Tedda; and, at the fame time 
that he welcomed her, told her, as from the king, that it 
was his orders that neither Palambaras Mammo, nor Likaba 
Beecho, were to enter the town with her. This fhe confi- 
dered as a very high affront, and the work of Gufho, not 
the king's orders. She upbraided Gufho With avarice, 
pride, and malice, declared him a greater tyrant than Mi- 
chael, without his capacity, forbidding him to appear any 
more before her, and with great difficulty could be prevail- 
ed to go on to Kofcam inflead of returning to Gojam. It is 
impomble to conceive the enthufiafm with which the fight 
of the old queen infpired all forts of people. Gufho had no 
troops, the king as few, being left even without a fervant 
in his palace. Then was the feafon for mifchief, had. not 
Fafif been hovering with his army, without declaring his- 
" . . . , ; , . approbation.- 


approbation or difapprobation of any thing that had been 
done, or was doing. 

About the end of June he came at once to Abba Samuel, 
without announcing himfelf before hand, according to his 
ufual cuftom, and he paid his nrft vifit to the Iteghe, then 
a fhort one to the king, where I faw him : he was very fa- 
cetious with me, and pretended I had promifed him my 
horfe when I returned from Maitfha, which I excufed, by 
obferving the horfe was out of town. Well, well, fays he, 
that mall not fave you ; tell me where he is and I will fend 
for him, and give you the bell mule in the army in exchange, 
and take my chance of recovering him wherever he is. With 
all my heart, replied I ; you will find him perhaps in the 
valley of Serbraxos, at the foot of the hill, oppofite to the 
fouth ford of the river Mariam. He laughed heartily at 
this, fhook me by the hand at parting, faying, Well, well, 
for all this you mall not want your mule. 

The king was exceedingly pleafed at what had palTed, and 
faid, " I wifh you would tell me,Yagoube, how you reconcile 
all thefe people to you. It is a fecret which will be of much 
more importance to me than to you. There is Gufho now, 
for example, fo proud of his prefent fortune, that he fcarce- 
ly will fay a civil word to me ; and Fafil has brought me 
a lift of his own fervants, whom he wants to make mine 
without afking my leave, (Adera Tacca Georgis, whom he . 
named to be Fit-Auraris to the king, as he had done formerly 
when he wanted to quarrel with Socinios, Gubena to be 
Cantiba, and fome others), yet he never fees you come into 
the room but he begins immediately joking and pleafant 

H h 2 After 


After thefe appointments, which were not difputed witfo. 
him, though otherwife very much againft the king's incli- 
nation, Fan! retired with his army to Maitfha. 

In the mean time, Gufho fet every thing to fale, content 
with the money the offices produced, and what he could 
fqueeze from people who had crimes, real or alledged, to- 
compound for. He $id not perceive that fteps were taking 
by his enemies which would foon deprive him of all the ad- 
vantages he enjoyed. Inflead of attending to this, he amu- 
fed himfelf with mortifying the Iteghe, whofe daughter, Wel- 
leta Ifrael, he had formerly married, but who had long left 
him by the perfuafion of her mother. He thought it was an* 
affront to his dignity that the king had pardoned Likaba 
Beecho, and Palambaras Mamrno, the very day after he had 
forbid them to enter the town ; and, what was flill flronger,, 
that the king, without his confent, had fent an invitation to* 
the Iteghe to return to Gondar, and govern, as his mother,, 
to the extent ffie did in the time of Joas ; he refolved there- 
fore to attempt the creating a mifunderftanding between 
the king and queen, a matter not very difficult in itfelf to? 
bring about. 

Gusho had confiscated, in the name of the king, all the 
queens villages, which made her believe that this, offer or 
the king to bring her to Gondar was an infidious one. In 
order to make the breach the wider, he had alfo prevailed 
Upon the king's mother to come to Gondar, and infill with 
her fon to be crowned, and take the title and flate of Iteghe,. 
The king was prevailed upon to gratify his mother, under 
pretence that the Iteghe had rcfufed to come upon his in- 
vitation v k' at this^ as it was a pretence only, fo it was ex- 



prefsly a violation of the law of the land, which permits but 
one Iteghe, and never allows the nomination of a new one 
while the former is in life, however diftant a relation fhe 
may be to the then reigning king. In confequence of this 
new coronation, two large villages, Tfhemmera and TocufTa> 
which belonged to the Iteghe as appendages of her royalty, 
of courfe devolved upon the king's own mother, newly crown- 
ed, who fending her people to take pofTeflion, the inhabi- 
tants not only refufed to admit her officers, but forcibly drove 
them away, declaring they would acknowledge no other 
miflrefs but their old one, to whom they were bound by the 
laws of the land. 

If Guflio, in this manner, dealt hardly with the queen, 
his behaviour to the king was neither more jufl nor gene- 
rous : he had not only failed to advance any gold for the 
king's fubfiftence, but had intercepted that part of his re- 
venue which he knew was ready to be paid him, and in the 
hands of others of his fubjects. A flated daily allowance 
was, indeed, delivered to the king in kind for the mainte- 
nance of his houfehold, but even this was fmaller than had 
been fettled by Ras Michael; befides which, 120 jars of ho- 
ney, being one day fent the king from Damot, and at the 
fame time 1000 cotton coats from Waikayt, both thefe were 
feized upon by Guflio, without any part being offered to 
the king, who thereupon determined to break with him, as 
did the Iteghe from the former provocation. 

Ayabdar, never reconciled to him before the battle of 

Serb'raxos, had frem reafon of difference with him from an 

unequal diftribution of Ras Michael's effects, while Enge- 

dan, who had been promifed the province of Kuara, and: 

1 AUiom 


whom the king very much favoured, follicited that poft in 
vain, unlefs he would advance a thoufaiid ounces of gold, 
which he positively refufed to do. The king fomented 
all thefe complaints by fending a perfon of confequence to 
PowufTen, who advifed him to arreft Gufho immediately, 
and promifed, if refiftance was made, to be at Gondar in 
three days. Engedan and Ayabdar were trufled with the 
execution of this, but as Guflio was beloved by the people 
of Gondar, the fecret was not fo well kept but that it came 
to his ears. 

On the 16th of July, (the feafl of Saint Michael) Gufho 
pretended he had made a vow to vifit the church of that 
Saint at Azazo, and accordingly, early in the morning, he 
fet out for that village, attended with thirty horfe and fifty 
mufqueteers ; but no fooner had he pafTed the church 
than his real intention appeared, and he was purfued by 
Gubeno, Cantiba of Dembea ; Ayto Adigo, Palambaras ; 
and Ayto Engedan. Gubeno alone, being hearty in the 
caufe, came up with him firft, as they had pafTed the river 
Derma, when Gufho, feeing Gubeno's troops clofe behind 
him, turned quickly upon them, repafTed the river, and, 
having killed two of the foremoft with his own hand, and 
repelled the reft, he returned acrofs the river, and faced a- 
bout upon the banks of it. Upon the other troops coming 
up, he called to Engedan, putting him in mind how late- 
ly he had been in his hands, and advifmg them all to re- 
turn to Gondar, and tell the king he fhould again be with 
him in fifteen days. 

A council was thereupon held, and as it was plain, 
from the countenance of the man, that he was refolved to 



refill' to the utmoft, none of the leaders then prefent thought 
themfelves warranted to rifk the death of a perfon fo no- 
ble, and fo powerfully related, efpecially in an obfcure 
fldrmim, fuch. -as was then likely to happen, the motives 
for which \vere not publicly known ; they accordingly all 
returned to Gondar, leaving the Ras to purfue his way, 
who being now advanced as far as DegwalTa, and think- 
ing himfelf out of all danger, was fuddenly furrounded 
by Aclog, governor of a little diftricT: there, and even^ 
from him he would have efcaped by his own courage and 
exertion, had not his horfe funk in miry ground whence 
he could not recover him. After receiving thefe news, the 
king fent his Fit-Auraris, Adera Tacca Georgis, and Ayto 
Engedan, with a number of troops, to bring Gufho to 
town, when he returned a miferable figure, with his head 
fhaven : he was cloathed in black, and was confined that 
fame day (the firft of Augufl) a clofe prifoner, and in irons, 
in a high, damp, uninhabited tower of the king's houfe 5 , 
without being pitied by either party. 

It was now the feafon of the year when this country 
ufed to overflow with milk and honey; becaufe, being in all 
the low part of it covered with rain, the horfemen and 
foldiers, who ufed to obftruct the roads, were all retired to 
quarters, and the peafants, bringing provifions to the mar- 
ket, palTed the high grounds in fafety ; all forts of people, 
profiting by the plenty which this occafioned, indulged 
themfelves to the greatefl excefs in every fort of pleafure 
to which their respective appetites led them. The rains 
had fallen, indeed, as ufual, but had not, however, flopped 
the march of the armies, and if not a famine, at leafl a 

4 fear city. 


fcarcity of provisions in Gondar, had been the conse- 
quence ; not a word was heard, indeed, of Ras Michael, 
whether he was alive or dead, but his familiar fpiritjs 
deemed to prefide in the air, and pour down mifchie£ 



^ !g U--. g ^. J J al . ., , , ^ 


"Tloe Author obtains Liberty to return Home — Takes Leave of the It'eght 
at Kofcam — Lajl Interview with the Monks, 

SINCE the queen came again to Kofcam, I had paned a 
great part of my time there, but my health de- 
clining every day, I had obtained, with great difficulty, 
liberty from her to attempt my return home. The king, 
too, after a hundred exceptions and provifos, had at length 
been brought to give an unwilling confent. I had feen alfo 
Metical Aga's fervant, who, upon finding Ras Michael was 
difgraced, would not flay, but haded back, and would fain 
have prevailed upon me to return with him thro' Tigre into 
Arabia. But befides that I was determined to attempt com- 
pleting my journey through Sennaar and the defert, I by 
no means liked the rifk of paffing again through Mafuah, 
to experience a fecond time the brutal manners of the 
Naybe and garrifon of that place. 

Vol. IV, I i Captain 


Captain Thomas Price, of the Lion of Bombay, hacT" 
been obliged, by his bufmefs with the government of Meo- 
ca, to continue at Jidda till the feafon after I went from, 
thence to Abyflinia. I had already heard once from him, 
and now a fecond time. He informed me my coun- 
trymen had been in the greateft pain for me; that feveral 
reports had been current, both at Jidda and Mocha, of my 
having been affaffinated ; fometimes it was faid by the 
Naybe of Mafuah ; fometimes that it had happened at 
Gondar ; by others at Sennaar, in my return home. Cap- 
tain Price wrote me in this laft letter, that, thinking I mull 
be diftrefTed for want of money, he had left orders with: 
Ibrahim SerafF, the Englifh broker at Jidda, to advance me: 
1000 crowns, defiring my draft to be fent to Ibrahim, di- 
rected to him or his brother at Bombay, and to make it 
payable to a gentleman of that name who lived in Smiths 
field. I cannot omit mentioning thefe inflances of the philan- 
thropy and generofity of Mr Price, to whom I bore, no rela- 
tion, and who was but a common acquaintance, whom I 
had acquired among my countrymen during my flay at 
Jidda. The only title I had to this confederation was, that 
he thought I was probably in diftrefs, and that as it was 
in his power alone to relieve me, this in itfelf, to a noble 
mind, conftituted a fufficient obligation. I do. not believe 
Captain Price was able to read a word of Latin, fo that feri- 
timent in Terence, " Homo fum, nihil humani mihi alier 
" num efle puto," was as much an original in Mr Price's 
bread as if it had never before been uttered. 

I told Metical Aga's fervant the bad news I had gor 
from Sennaar, and he agreed perfectly with the contents, 
adding, that the journey v/as not practicable; he declared 



they were fo inhuman and fo barbarous a race, that he 
would not attempt the journey, Mahometan as he was, 
for half the Indies. I begged him to fay no more on that 
Jhead, but to procure from his mailer, Metical Aga at Mecca, 
a. letter to any man of confequence he knew at Sennaar. 

My refolution being therefore taken, and leave obtain- 
ed, this will be now the place to refume the account of my 
finances. I have already gone fo far as to mention three 
hundred pounds which I had occafionally borrowed from 
a Greek whofe name was Petros. This man was originally 
a native of the hland of Rhodes, which he muft have left 
^arly, for he was not at this time much pail thirty ; he 
had been by trade a fhoemaker. For what reafon he left 
his own country I know not, but he was of a very pleafmg 
figure and addrefs, though very timid. Joas and the Iteghe 
very much diftinguilhed him, and the king had made him 
, AzelefFa el Camifha, which anfwers precifely to groom of 
the ftole, or firft lord of the bed-chamber in England. Being 
pliant, civil, and artful, and always well-dreiTed, he had gain- 
ed the good graces of the whole court ; he was alfo rich, 
as the king was generous, and his perquifites not inconli- 

After the campaign of Mariam Barea, when the dwarf 
was fhot who was (landing before Ras Michael, and the pa- 
lace fet on fire in the fray which followed, the crown, which 
was under Petros's charge, was melted ; the gold, indeed, that 
it confiiledof,was afterwards found, but there was faidtohave 
been on the top of it a pearl, or jewel, of immenfe price and 
fize,larger than a pigeon'segg; and this, whatever it was, had 
•disappeared, being in all probability confumed by the fire. 

I i 2 Ras 


Ras Michael, on the contrary, believed that it had been taken 
out by Petros with a view to fell it, and for this reafon he had 
conftantly refufed him liberty to leave Abyffinia, and had 
kept him always in fear that fome day or other he would 
ftrip him of all that he had faved. While Michael was be- 
fieging the mountain Haramat, Petros befeeched me to take 
L.3oo,of him, and give him my firft, fecond, and third bill of 
exchange upon MefTrs Julian and Rofa, my correfpondents 
at Cairo, payable a month after fight, to the Maronite Bi- 
fhop of Mount Sinai, after which he fet out for his own 
country, in forma pauperis, and thereby efcaped the rapacity of 
both Ras Michael and the Naybe of Mafuah. As for the bill, 
it came duly to hand, and was paid to the bifhop, who would 
very fain have received for each of the duplicates, and was 
near being bailinado'd for infilling upon this before the Bey 
at Cairo, 

A Bill drawn from Gondar is a very great curioiity when 
arrived in London ; it mould be now upon the file in the 
fhop of my very worthy and honourable friends the MefTrs 
Drummond and Company at Charing- Crols. It was the on- 
ly piece of writing of any kind which found its way to its 
intended destination, though many had been written by me 
on different occafions which prefented for Arabia ; fo that 
I will recommend to all travellers, for the future, to tack bills 
of exchange to their letters of greateft confequence, as a fure 
method of preventing their mifcarriage. 

I had made a mew, and with fome degree of oflentation, 
of fending my gold chain to Cairo by the hands of Metical 
Aga's fervant, declaring always that it was the only piece of 
Abyilinian gold I fliould carry out of the country, which I 



was to leave, both in fact and appearance, a pauper. Mules 
are the only beafts for carriage commonly ufed in AbyfTinia, 
though bulls and cows, of a particular kind, are bought for 
the purpofe by carriers, merchants, and fuch like, in that 
country, efpecially near the mines or quarries of fait ; they 
are very flow, however, and capable of no great burden, 
though very eafily maintained. I had abundance of mules 
of my own for carrying my inflruments and baggage, and 
the king and Iteghe furnifhed me with others for my own 
riding. I had, befides, two favourite horfes, which I intend- 
ed to attempt to carry home, fooliihly enough ; for though I 
thought in my own mind that I was fufficiently informed 
of, and prepared for all forts of hardfhips, I had not forefeen 
the hundredth part of the difficulties and dangers that were 
then awaiting me. 

On the 6th of Auguft meliengers came from Fafil, and the 
day after from PowufTen,. Begemder, Gojain, Damot, and 
Martina, which provinces, by their deputies, defired that Cu- 
iho might be fet at liberty. This the king agreed to, but 
upon condition that the Ras mould inftantly- pay- him 1000 
ounces of gold, and 500 mufquets, which, on the other fide, 
was as pofitively refufed. Upon this Guiho was put into 
clofe confinement, and heavier irons than before : and, 
what was the moft unjuft, his two fons, who had left their 
own country to aflift their father in diftrefs, were confined 
in chains with him. All thefe violent meafures were attribu- 
ted to Ayabdar, Billetana Gueta Tecla, Guebra Mafcal, and 
Bafha Hezekias, officers connected with Ras Michael, whom 
the king had permitted to return from Tigre, and very much 
confided in their councils. . 



On the other hand, Adera Tacca Georgis, (the king's Fit-" 
Auraris) and Guebra Welleta Yafous, principal people in 
Maitfha, and whom Fafil had put about the king, defired leave 
to retire to their own country, from which it is probable 
they will never again return to Gondar, unlefs as ene- 

Although the king ftill obflinately infilled that the Ras 
mould pay him his thoufand ounces of gold, and five 
hundred mufquets, as a price for his being fet at liberty, 
this was refufed by Gufho, in terms that Ihewed he was 
not now, as formerly, afraid of the king's power. On the 
other hand, the king proclaimed Kefla Yafous governor of 
the province of Tigre, with the fame extent of command 
as Ras Michael had enjoyed it ; and he was already there, 
and had taken upon him the government of that province. 
At the fame time the king fuperfeded Gufho, and deprived 
him of his province of Amhara, which was given to his 
nephew Ayto Adigo, {on of Palambaras Durrie, a man of 
very great intereft and property in the province; after 
which he immediately left Gondar, and took his way thro' 
Begemder ; but at the very entrance into Amhara, he was 
defeated by a fon of Gufho who was expecting him ; his 
troops were difperfed, and his brother, Ayto AderelTon, (the 
man who loft Gufho's horfe at the battle of Tedda) wound- 
ed and taken prifoner. 

Thkre remained no longer any doubt that, as foon as 
the rains were over, the former fcenes of bloodihed and 
confufion were to be acted over again ; for, by appointing 
Kefla Yafous to the government of Tigre, and Ayto Adigo 
tto that of Amhara, and the peaceable paifage given to this 

2 young 


young nobleman through Begemder, in order to fupplans 
his uncle Gufho, by the great confidence fhewn by the king 
in the old officers and relations of Ras Michael, now at 
Gondar, and the difmiflion of Fafil's friends, (Adera Tacca* 
Georgis and Confu Adam) the moll ample confeflion pof- 
lible was made, that the king had again thrown himfelf in- 
to the arms of the province of Tigre and Begemder united* 
to which Amhara was to be added, by keeping Gufho pri- 
foner, till fuch time as his nephew Adigo could gain entire 

To counterpoife this, a mefTenger arrived from Fafil, de- 
manding privately of the king, that Gufho mould be fet at 
liberty, and return to his province of Amhara ; that Lika 
Netcho, one of the murderers of Joas, (who had been fpared, 
as being married to a relation of the king) fhould be im- 
mediately put to death, and that all the officers belonging to 
Ras Michael, then at court, fhould be banifhed for ever to 
Tigre, their native country. The king returned a pofitive. 
refufal, not qualified in any mape whatever. . 

A disagreement now Happened, which, more than all 
the reft, was interefting, and difturbed me in particular. 
Pofitive information was brought to the Iteghe, and, I 
believe, very authentic, that the king, weary of the ma* 
ny councils held at Kofcam by the fervants and deputies 
of the feveral parties, in the queen's prefence, (to which he 
was not called) had determined to give up the palace of 
Kofcam, in which it was thought there were great riches, to 
be plundered by his foldiers^ As the death of the queen by 
her confinement in fome diftant defert and unwholesome 
convent, mull: have probably been the confequence of fuc- 



cefs on Gne part, fo an immediate revolution, and the death 
of the king, was certainly to follow the mifcarriage on the 
other, that is, mould he he defeated in, or after making 
the attempt. 

Troops, headed by Engedan, Ayto Confu, and by Mam- 
mo, and all the Iteghe's relations, now crowded into Kofcam, 
into which great plenty of provifions was alfo carried. The 
wall was high and flrong, the gates lately put into good re- 
pair, the tower, or caftle, within in perfect good order ; the 
Iteghe had not furrendered her fire-arms, and all the inha- 
bitants around, efpecially the poorer fort, were firmly at- 
tached to her, as in times of diftrefs and famine her charity 
afforded them a conftant refuge. 

Since the Iteghe had returned, I always lived at Kof- 
cam by her own defire, as her health was very precarious 
fince her refidence in Gojam. This fuited my intention of 
withdrawing privately, and therefore, not to multiply the 
number of leave-takings, I had feen Gufho but once, and 
that for a moment, and Ayabdar not at all, fo that my whole 
attendance was now between the king and queen. The 
king had denied publicly his intention of plundering Kof- 
cam, but in a manner not at all fatisfaetory to the Iteghe ; 
I ventured therefore to mention it to him one day when he 
was alone, on which he faid, " I would not do it for your 
fake, Yagoube, were there no other reafon; but my mother 
(meaning the Iteghe) is ill-advifed, and worfe informed." 

On the 13th of October, PowufTen, with a very confider- 
able army, and without any previous intimatidh, arrived at 
Kofcam, his head-quarters all the laft campaign. He con- 

3 tinned 


tinued there till the 2 2d of the fame month, and then de- 
camped, palling by Gondar, without entering it ; he came 
to Ras Gufho's houfe, under the hill of Kofcam, where he 
had feveral interviews with the king and Iteghe, to what 
purport was never known ; but it probably was to endea- 
vour fomc reconcilement between the king and queen, and 
this was effected a few days afterwards (at lead in appear- 
ance) by Ayabdar, and fome of the great men at Gondar, 
after which PowuiTen returned to Begemder. For my part, 
I neither defired nor obtained an interview ; I faw that the 
ftorm was ready to break, and I was taking the molt fpeedy 
and effectual way to be out of the fphere of its action. 

On the 12th of November, all Gondar was flruck with 
*a panic at the news brought in by the peafants from the 
country, flying for refuge to the capital, deltitute of every 
thing, and thankful only they had efcaped with life. Fa- 
iil had marched with a confiderable army from Ibaba, and 
advanced to Dingleber in peace, when he left the main 
body, under the conduct of Welleta Yafous, and all his 
baggage, conlidering that place as the limits of his govern- 
ment. He marched from this, without taking for him- 
ielf two changes of raiment, at the head .of 700 horfe, the 
.moll wild and defperate banditti that ever were introduced 
into any unfortunate country. With thefe he burnt every 
village and every church between Dingleber and Sar-Ohha, 
murdered every male, without diitinction of prieft or lay- 
man; killed every woman pad the age of child-bearing, and 
gave the others as Haves to the wild Pagan Galla whom he 
had with him. In fliort, he j u it indulged that body of men' 
in the fame enormities that they thcmielves exercife in the 
inroads they make into countries unhappy enough to be 

Vol. IV, K k their 


their neighbours in time of war. The whole country of 
DegwaiTa, the diftrict which Aclog commanded, was totally 
deftroyed ; men, women, and children, were entirely extirpa- 
ted, without diftinction of age or fex ; the houfes all razed 
to the ground, and the country about it left as defolate as 
after the deluge. The villages belonging to the king 
were as feverely treated ; an univerfal cry was heard from 
every part, but no one dared to fuggeft any means of help ; 
parties were fo entirely mixed and confounded, that no 
one could fafely enter into any confidence with his neigh- 
bour ; but the common people, who had little to lofe, be- 
gan again to cry out for the return and government of Ras 4 

Fasil, having given the king this fample of what lie- 
was capable of doing, halted at Sar-Ohha, and from thence 
lent a peremptory demand that Gufho mould be at liber- 
ty. His meilenger was a crooked, diminutive dwarf, call- 
ed Dohho, of whom I have already fpoken. It was a very 
bad fign of a treaty when fuch a one was the manager.. 
He upbraided the king in terms fcarcely decent, with the 
protection, life, and kingdom the Ras Fafil had given him,, 
when the contrary was abfolutely in his power. He afk- 
ed the king if he knew who had protected him the night 
of the retreat from the hill of Serbraxos ? and told him, in 
plain terms, that, being entirely void of the noble princi-. 
pies of gratitude himlelf, he had forced him, Fafil, to be 
wanting to the next great virtue, that of hofpitality, in futf* 
fering a- man of Gufho's quality to be made prifoner after 
arriving within the limits of his government. He concluded, 
fey telling the king plainly, that, unlefs he reftored Gufho 
$0 bis liberty and government, without condition, he 

would* , 


would, in three days, make Gondar, the metropolis, as de- 
fert and deflitute of inhabitants as he had left the paltry 
diftricl: of DegwafTa. 

The king received all this with great compofure, for he 
had as much fortitude, and as little fear as ever fell to the 
fhare of any man ; his misfortune, however, was, that he 
had no refources in which he could truft ; and the Tigre 
officers about him, more imprudent, and fully as fearlefs as 
he, gave him the fame advices they would have done had 
he been at the head of the army. Ras Michael was more- 
over gone, and Kefla Yafous was at a diflance ; thefe two 
were the men for planning and contriving bufinefs, and 
who faved others the trouble of thinking. The reft, fuch 
as Billetana Gueta Tecla, Guebra Mafcal, and Bafha He- 
zekias, were only fit to be trailed with execution, and 
to proceed according to the letter of the orders they 
might receive, and the confequences of which they could 
not, nor did they wifh to underftand. By being ufed, how- 
ever, to conftant fuccefs in executing plans maturely di- 
gefled by wifer heads, they had acquired a degree of pre- 
fumption which made them very dangerous counsellors to 
a young king, in the prefent cafe, where nothing but the 
greateft prudence, amfted by the manifefl interposition of 
the hand of Heaven, (many examples of which he had al- 
ready proved) could fave him from perdition. 

I was not prefent at the audience, being at Kofcam, but 
his fecretary, to whom I am indebted for every thing that 
palTed in private, in this hiftory, and which otherwife was 
beyond the reach of my knowledge, allured me the king 
anfwered thefe threatenings without any change of coun- 

& k 2 tenance 

$6o travels to discover 

tenance or language, and in very few words : " Tell Ka£ 
iriati Fafil from me, that what I am obliged to do by the 
rules of juftice, is not to be meafured either by his inclina- 
tion or power to do wrong. Men have crucified their Sa- 
viour ; and many kings in this country (better men than I 
am) have been, in various manners, flain by their deluded 
fubjecls. The race of Solomon, however, God has prcferved 
till this day on the throne, where I am now fitting, while 
nothing but the memory of thofe who opprefTed them re- 
mains loaded with the curfcs of mankind. I am king of 
this country, and have often been acknowledged as fuch 
by Kafmati Fafil. I will not give up Guflio, but at my own 
time, if ever ; nor can he infift upon it, confidently with 
the duty of a fubjecl: to his fovereign." Noble words thefe* 
had he been at the head of an army to enforce them.. 

Tins mefTage was quickly conveyed to Fafil, who was ad- 
vanced to Azazo, where it met him, and he continued his 
march without halting till he came to Abba Samuel, about 
two miles from Gondar. It was on the 13th of November 
that his army made a mew of encamping at Abba Samuel, 
for there was not above fix tents pitched, and next day, the 
14th, by eight in the morning, a drum and trumpet, guard- 
ed by about a hundred horfe, came immediately under 
the town to the banks of the river Kahha, where the trum- 
pet liaving founded three times, and the kettle-drum beat 
as often, it was proclaimed, That all manner of perfons, of 
what degree foever, whether fervants of the palace, or others,, 
.mould inflantly leave Gondar as they regarded their lives; 
and if any {laid after this warning, their blood fhould be up- 
©n their own head. The whole town, therefore, in an inftant 
wajs deferted, and very few, even of his Own fervants, remained! 



with the king. I had already once partaken of a fimilar fccnc, 
and found it of the moil difagrceable kind ; Providence fpa- 
red me, however, this repetition of it, as I was at Kofcam, and 
determined to be retired there fo perfectly, that I did not flir 
out of my apartment till nig ht, when the gates were locked, 
and the guards placed. 

On the 15th, the king releafed Ras Gumo from his con- 
finement, who immediately went to the camp to Fafil ; and 
next day, at night, he returned, and had an audience at the 
palace with the king, and again retired to lleep at Abba Sa- 
muel. On the 17th, a little before noon, Fafil, came to the 
palace for an audience, but rlrfl took pofTefTion of every ave- 
nue leading to it; anrongguard was alfo placed in the anti- 
chamber, and the charge of the door of the king's prefence- 
chamberwas taken from the king's ordinary black fervants, 
and given to Confu Adam, who mounted guard there with 
about twenty wild Galla. What further paned I did not ilrict- 
ly inquire, being exceedingly diitrefled, by the bad profp'ect 
that prefented itfelf, and firmly refolved to take no further 
part. In general, however, I understood, that all was humi- 
liation ; and Fafil having announced to the king that he had 
given his daughter to Guiho in marriage, to him the king 
gave Gojam, and refcored the province of Amhara. Axlog 
was condemned to find fecurity for 1200 ounces of gold,, 
which was faid to be the fum Gufho had with him when, 

The king was to refiore to the Iteghe the whole of her vil- 
lages that me had ever enjoyed, from the time of BacmTa* 
her hufband, to that prefent moment. To Fafil, were given 
Damot, Maitfha^and Agow, and to Confu Adam, Ibaba Aza~ 



ge ; and, for the greater folemnity, the king and Fafil took 
a formal oath, to ratify all thefe articles, and to remain in 
friendfliip for ever. After which, the Abuna, in pontificals, 
being called to be prefent, pronounced a formal curfe and 
fentence of excommunication, upon whichever of the par- 
ties mould firfl break the vow they had taken. 

. No word was mentioned of Tigre, or Kefla Yafous, or of 
Fowuffen, nor the fmalleft notice taken of Ras Ayabdar, who 
remained in his houfe and office, as if he had not exifted. 
It appeared to me the party was again made by one half of 
the kingdom againft the other ; Kefla Yafous and Powuflen 
againft Fafil and Gufho ; as for Ayabdar and Ayto Tesfos of 
Samen, thefe were left, contemptuoufly in medio, to take any 
fide they pleafed, which, indeed, was of no confequence. 
After this interview, Fafil never again entered the king's 
lioufe, though he went often to Kofcam ; but I neither faw 
him nor fought to fee him, nor did he ever inquire after 
me, as far as I could learn. 

On the 19th of November Fafil fent orders to the palace, 
that four bodies of the king's houfehold-troops, Gimja Bet, 
Werk Sacala, Ambafele, and Edjow, mould immediately 
join him, which they did, to the number of 1200 men, all 
armed. Thefe he carried, with Gufho his fon-in-law, in 
triumph to Damot, nor was this the only inflance Fafil gave 
of the great regard he had to his late oaths, and to the fa- 
cred character of the perfon that adminiftered them ; for the 
morning he marched off, a party of the Galla, meeting the 
Abuna, and a numerous retinue mounted on mules, going 
to the king's houfe, obliged them all to difmount at 
once, without diflinclion, taking their mules with them to 
4 the 


the eamp, from whence they never returned, and leaving 
the Abuna on foot, to find his way back to his houfe, at 
Kedus Raphael, from the top of which, as from a caftle, he 
wifely poured out his excommunications, againft an army, 
qompofed entirely of Pagans, without one Chriftian among 

It is here a proper period to finifh the hiftory of Abyfli- 
nia, as I was no further prefent at, or informed of the pub- 
lic tranfactions which followed. My whole attention was 
now taken up in preparations for my return through the 
kingdom of Sennaar and the defert. Neither mall I take up 
the reader's time with a long narrative of leave-taking, or 
what palled between me and thofe illuflrious perfonages 
with whom I had lived fo long, in the moft perfect and cor- 
dial friendfhip. Men of little, and envious minds, would 
perhaps think I was compofing a panegyric upon myfelf, 
fjom which, therefore, I moft willingly refrain.. But the fe- 
veral marks of goodnefs, friendfhip, and efteem, which I 
received at parting, are confined within my own breaft, 
where they never mail be effaced, but continue to furnifh 
me with the mofl agreeable reflections, fince they were the 
fruit alone of perfonal merit, and of honeft, fteady, and up- 
right behaviour. All who had attempted the fame journey 
hitherto, had met with difappointment, dilgrace, or death ; 
for my part, although I underwent every fort of toil, dan- 
ger, and all manner of hardlhip, yet thefe were not con- 
fined to myfelf, I fufFered always honourably, and in 
common with the reft of the ftate ; and when fun-fhiny 
days happened, (for fun-fhiny days there were, and very 
brilliant ones too) of thefe I was permitted freely to partake; 
and the moil: diftinguifhed characters, both at court and in 



the army, were always ready to contribute as far as poflible, 
to promote what they thought or faw was the object of my 
purfuits or entertainment. 

I shall only here mention what pafTed at the laft in- 
terview I had with the Iteghe, two days before my depar- 
ture. Tenfa Chriftos, who was one of the chief priefts of 
Gondar, was a native of Gojam, and confequently of the 
low church, or a follower of Abba Euftathius, in other 
words, as great an enemy as poffible to the Catholic, or as 
they will call it, the religion of the Franks. He was, however, re- 
puted a perfon of great probity and fanctity of manners, and 
had been on all occalions rather civil and friendly to me 
when we met, though evidently not defirous of any inti- 
mate connections or friendfhip ; and as I, on my part, expec- 
ted little advantage from connecting myfelf with a man of 
his principles, I very willingly kept at all poffible diftance; 
that I might run no rifk of difobliging him was my only 

This prieft came often to the Iteghe's and Ayto Aylo's, 
with both of whom he was much in favour, and here t 
now happened to meet him, when 1 was taking my leave 
in the evening. I beg of you, fays he, Yagoube, as a favour, 
to tell me, now you are immediately going away from this 
country, and you can anfwer me without fear, Are you 
really a Frank, or are you not ? Sir, faid I, I do not know 
what you mean by fear ; I mould as little decline anfvver- 
ing you any quefiion you have to afk had I ten yearns to 
flay, as now I am to quit this country to-morrow : I came 
recommended, and was well received by the king and Ras 
Michael: I neither taught nor preached; no man ever 
i . heard 


beard me fay a word about my particular mode of worfhip; 
and as often as my duty has called me, I have never failed 
to attend divine fervice as it is eftablifhed in this country. 
What is the ground of fear that I mould have, while under 
the king's protection, and when I conform in every fliape 
to the laws, religion, and cuftoms of Abyilinia ? True, fays 
Tenfa Chriftos, I do not fay you mould be alarmed ; what- 
ever your faith is I would defend you myfelf ; the Iteghe 
knows I always fpoke well of you, but will you gratify an 
old man's curiouty, in telling me whether or not you real* 
I j are a Frank, Catholic, or Jefuit ? 

I have toogreat a regard, replied I, to requeft of a man, fo 
truly good and virtuous as you, not to have anfwered you 
the queftion at whatever time you could have afked me ; 
and I do now declare to you, by the word of a Chriftiaii, 
that my countrymen and I are more diilant in matters of re- 
ligion, from thefe you call Catholics, Jefuits, or Franks, than 
you and your Abyifinians are ; and that a prieft of my reli- 
gion, preaching in any country fubject to thofe Franks, 
would as certainly be brought to the gallows as if he had 
committed murder, andjufl as fpeedily as you would ftone 
a Catholic priefl preaching here in the midft of Gondar. 
They do precifely by us as you do by them, fo they have 
no reafbn to complain. And, fays he, don't you do the fame 
to them ? No, replied I ; every man in our country is al- 
lowed to ferve God in his own way ; and as long as their 
teachers confine themfelves to what the facred books have 
told them, they can teach no ill, and therefore deferve no 
punifhment. No religion, indeed, teaches a man evil, but, 
when forgetting this, they preach againil government, 
£urfe the king, abfolve his fubjects from allegiance, "or in- 
Vol. IV. L 1 cite- 


cite them to rebellion, as being lawful, the fword of the 
civil power cuts them off, without any blame falling up- 
on their religion, becaufe thefe things were done in con- 
tradiction to what their priefts, from the fcripture, fl\guld 
have taught them were truly the tenets of that very reli- 

The Iteghe now interpofed : What do you think, Tenfa 
Chriftos, if Yagoube is not a prieft, mould he not be one? 
Madam, fays he, I have one queflion more to inquire of him, 
and that fhall be all, nor would I afk it if he was not going 
away to-morrow. It is an unfair one, then faid I, but out with 
it ; I cannot fuffer in the opinion of good men, by anfwering 
directly a queflion which you put to me out of curiolity. 
It feems then, fays he, you are not a frank, but you think 
your own religion a better one than theirs ; you are not of 
our religion, however, for you fay^we are nearer the Catho- 
lics than you ; now what objection have you to our religion,, 
and what is your opinion of it ? 

As far as I am informed, faid I, I think well of it; it is the 
ancient Greek church, under St Athanafms, fucceflbr to 
St Mark, in the chair of Alexandria. This being the cafe, 
you cannot have a better, as you have the religion neareft 
to that of the apoftles, and, as I have before faid, no religion 
teaches a man evil, much lefs can your religion give you 
fuch inftruction, if you have not corrupted it ; and if you 
have, it is no longer the religion of St Athanafius, or the 
Apoflles, therefore liable to error. And now, Tenfa Chriftos, 
let me afk you two queftions ; you are in no fear of anfwer- 
ing, neither are you in danger, though not about to leave 
the country. Does your religion permit you to marry one 

3 fifor, 


filler, to divorce her, and marry the other, and then, keep- 
ing the aunt, to marry the niece likewife ? Does St Athana- 
fius teach you to marry one, two, or three wives, and di- 
vorce them as often as you pleafe ; to marry others, and 
then go back to the former again ? No, replied he. Then 
as you do this daily, anfwered I, you certainly are not liv- 
ing in this one inflance according to the religion of St Atha- 
nafius. Now I afk you, If any prieft, truly a Chriftian, 
from our parts, (not a Frank, but agreeing in every thing 
elfe with you), was to preach againft this, and fome fuch 
like practices, frequently ufed in Abyffinia, could this prieft 
live amongft you, or how would you treat him ? Stone him 
to death, fays Ayto Aylo, who was fitting by ; ftone him to 
death like a frank, or a Jefuit ; he mould not live a week. 
Yagoube is hard upon me, continued Tenfa Chriftos, turn- 
ing to the Iteghe* but I am forry to fay with truth, I fear they 
never would abandon the flefh-pots of Egypt, their ancient 
inheritance ; for the teaching of any prieft, however perfect 
his religion might be, or pure his life, or however corrupt 
their manners. Then Tenfa Chriftos, faid I, do not be over fure 
but that fliedding the blood of thofe Franks as you call them, 
may be criminal in the fight of God. As their religion has 
fo far ferved them, as to prevent the practice of fome horrid 
crimes, that are common here, yours hath not yet had 
that effect upon you ; if you do not want precept, perhaps 
you may want example, thefe Franks are very capable of 
mewing you this laft, and your own religion inftructs you 
to imitate them. 

All this time there was not the fmalleft uoife in the 
room, in which above a hundred people were prefent; but, 
as I wilhed this converfation to go no further, and was 

XI 2 afraid 


afraid- of fome queftion about .the Virgin Mary, I got up, and? w 
paffing to the other fide of the room, I flood by Tenfa Chrif— 
tos, faying to him, And now, holy father, I have one, laft fa.- 
vour, to afkyou, which is your forgivenefs, if I have at any, 
time offended you ; your blefling, now that I am immedi-. 
atcly to depart, if I have not ; and your prayers while on my 
long and dangerous journey, through countries of Infidels o 
and Pagans,. 

A hum of appiaufe founded all throughout the roomv. 
The Iteghe faid fomething, btit .what, I did not hear. Ten-- 
fa Chriftos was furprifed apparently at my humility, which ; 
he had not expected, and cried out, with tears in. his eyes,. 
Is it poffible, Yagoube, that you believe my prayers can do , 
you any good ? I mould not be a Chriflian, as I profefs to be, 
lather, replied I, if I had any doubt of the effect of good, 
men's prayers. So faying, I Hooped tp-kifs his hand, when 
he laid a fmall iron crofs upon my head, and, to my great • 
furprife, inflead of a benediction, repeated the Lord's pray- 
er. I was afraid he would have kept me Hooping till he i 
mould add the ten commandments likewife, when he con-.- 
eluded, " Ozier y' Baracuc," May God blefs you. After ; 
which, I made my obeifance to the Iteghe, and immediately; 
withdrew, it not being the cuftom, at public audience, to fa- 
lute any one in the prefence of the fovereign. . 

Twenty greafy monks* however, had placed themfelves 
in my way as I went out, that they might have the credit of < 
giving me the bleffing likewife after Tenfa Chriftos, As I 
had very little faith in the prayers of thefe drones, £o I had 
fome reluctance to kifs their greafy hands and fleeves; how- 
ever, in running this difagreeable gauntlet,! gave them my = 



Hteffing in Englifti, — Lord fend you all a halter, as he did to 
Abba Salama,. (meaning the Acab Saat.) But they, thinking 
I was recommending them to the patriarch Abba Salama, 
pronounced at random, with great feeming devotion, their 
Amen,— So be it. 

hss ffffiS fc *r £?%&.* ffissSffi &p !a ^' ^ 










Journey from Gondar to Tcherkin.. 

H E palace of Kofcam is fituated upon the fouth fide 
of Debra Tzai ; the name fignifies the Mountain of 
the Sun. The palace confifts of a fquare tower of three fto- 
reys, with a flat parapet roof, or terrace, and battlements a- 
bout it. The court of guard, or head-quarters of the garri- 
fon of Kofcam, is kept here; immediately below this is the 
principal gate or entrance towards Gondar. It is furround- 



ed by a'high outer-wall, which may have above an Englrdb. 
mile of circumference. This outer precinct is all occupied 
by foldierSj labourers, and out-door fervants ; within this 
-As another large court inclofed by walls likewife, in this the 
apartments are but of one ftorey, appropriated to the princi- 
pal officers, priefts, and fervants. In this alio is the church, 
built by the prefent Iteghe herfelf, and reckoned the rich- 
eft in Abyffinia. They have large croffes of gold for their 
pro.ceflions, and kettle-drums of -iilver. The altar is all co- 
vered with gold plates, all the gift of their magnificent pa- 
tronefs. The priefts, too, were all rich, till Ras Michael 
feized, and applied part of their revenue to his own ufe, and 
that of the ftate, and thereby reduced them to a condition 
much more agreeable to the vows of poverty, which from, 
pride they had made, than was their former one. 

The third, or inner court, is referved for the queen's own 
apartments, and fuch of the noble women as are her attend- 
ants, are unmarried, and make up her court. Behind the 
palace, higher up the hill, are houfes of people of quality, 
chiefly her own relations. Above thefe the mountain rifes 
very regularly, in form of a cone, covered with herbage to 
the very top ; on the eaft fide is the road from Walkayt ; on 
the weft from Kirara, and Ras el Feel ; that is all the low 
country, or north of Abyffinia, bordering upon the Shan- 
galla, through which lies the road to Sennaar. 

It was the 26th of December 1771, at one o'clock in the 
afternoon, that I left Gondar. I had purpofed to fet out early 
in the morning, but was detained by the importunity of my 
friends. The king had delayed my fetting out, by feveral 
.orders fent me in the evening each day ; and I plainly faw 

2 there 


there was fome meaning in this, and that he was wifliing to 
throw difficulties in the way, till fome accident, or fudden 
emergency (never wanting in that country) fhould make it 
abfolutely impoflible for me to leave Abyffinia. When there- 
fore the laft meflage came to Kofcam on the 27th, at night, 
I returned my refpectful duty to his majefty, put him in 
mind of his prornife, and, fomewhat peevifhly I believe, 
intreated him to leave me to my fortune ; that my fer- 
vants were already gone, and I was refolved to fet out next 

In the morning early, I was furprifed at the arrival of a 
young nobleman, lately made one of his bed-chamber, 
with fifty light horfe. As I was fatisfied that leaving Abyf- 
iinia, without parade, as privately as pomble, was the only 
way to pafs through Sennaar, and had therefore infilled 
upon none of my friends accompanying me, I begged to de- 
cline this efcort ; affigning for my reafon, that, as the coun- 
try between this and Ras el Feel belonged firft to the Iteghe, 
and then to Ayto Gonfu, none of the inhabitants could pof- 
fibly injure me in pafling. It took a long time to fettle 
this, and it was now, as I have faid, one o'clock before we 
fet out by the weft fide of Debra Tzai, having the moun- 
tain on our right hand. From the top of that afcent, we 
faw the plain and flat country below, black,"and, in its ap- 
pearance, one thick wood, which fome authors have called 
lately, the Shumeta *, or Nubian foreft. But of the mean- 
ing of Shumeta I profefs myfelf entirely ignorant ; no 

Vol. IV. M m fuch 

*"* See a -chart of the Arabian Gulf publifhed at London in 1781 by L, S.Dela Rochette. 


fuch word occurring, as far as I know, in any language* 
fpoken in thefe countries. 

All the difafters which I had been threatened' with it*-, 
the courfe of that journey, which I had thus begun, now 
prefented themfelves to my mind, and made, for a moment,, 
a ftrong impreflion upon my fpirits* But it was too late to- 
draw back, the dye was caft, for life or for death ; home was. 
before me, however diftant ; and if, through the protection- 
of Providence, I mould be fortunate enough to arrive there,, 
I promifed myfelf both eafe and the applaufe of my country, 
and of all unprejudiced men of fenfe and learning in Eu-. 
rope, for having, by my own private efforts alone, compleau 
ed a difcovery, which had, from early ages, defied the ad-_ 
drefs, induftry, and courage of all the world. 

Having, by thefe reflections, rather hardened, than com*, 
fbrted my heart, I now advanced down the fleep fide of the- 
mountain, our courfe nearly N, N. W. through very ftrong 
and rugged ground, torn up by the torrents that fall on : 
every fide from above. This is called theDefcent of Moura; : 
and though both we and our beafts were in great health and ; 
fpirits, we could not, with our utmoft endeavours, advance 
much more than one mile an hour. Two Greeks, one of : 
whom only was my fervant ; and a third, nearly blind, fly-. 
ing from poverty and want ; an old janhTary, who had come 
to Abyffinia with the Abuna, and a Copht who left us at ; 
Sennaar; thefe, and fome common men who took charge of 
the beafts, and were to go no further than Tcherkin, were 
ipy only companions in this long and weary journey. 




At a quarter paft four we came to the river Toom Aredo, 
which arifmg in the country of the Kemmont, (a people in- 
habiting the high grounds above to the S. W. ) falls into tha 
river Mahaanah. The Kemmont were a feci: once the 
fame as the Falafha, but were baptized in the reign of 
Facilidas, and, ever fince, have continued feparate from 
their ancient brethren. No great pains feem to have been 
taken with them fince their admimon to Chriftianity, for 
they retain mofl of their ancient cufloms. They eat the 
meat of cattle killed by Chriflians, but not of thofe that are 
flaughtered, either by Mahometans or Falafha. They hold, 
as a doctrine, that, being once baptized, and having once 
communicated, no fort of prayer, nor other attention to di- 
vine worfhip, is further necefTary. They warn themfelves from 
head to foot after coming from the market, or any public 
place, where they may have touched any one of a feci: 
different from their own, efleeming all fuch unclean. They 
abftain from all forts of work on Saturday, keeping clofe at 
home ; but they grind corn, and do many other fuch like 
works, upon Sunday. 

Their women pierce their ears, and apply weights to make 
them hang down, and to enlarge the holes, into which they 
put ear-rings almofl as big as fhackles, in the fame manner 
as do the Bedowis in Syria and Paleftine. Their language is 
the fame as that of the Falafha, with fome fmall difference of 
idiom. They have great abhorrence to fifh, which they not 
only refrain from eating, but cannot bear the fight of ; and 
the reafon they give for this is, that Jonah the prophet 
(from whom they boaft they are defcended) was fwal- 

M m 2 lowed 


lowed by a whale, or fome other fuch great fifh. They are 
hewers of wood, and carriers of water, to Gondar, and are 
held in great deteftation by the Abyflinians. 

"We croffed the river to the miferable village of Door-Mac- 
ary, which is on the eaft fide of it ; and there we took up 
our quarters, after a fhort but very fatiguing, day's journey. 
The people mewed great figns of uneafinefs upon our firft: 
appearance, and much reluctance to admit us under their 
roofs ; and difcovering that we were not any of thofe that 
had the honour of being defcended from the prophet Jonah r 
they hid all their pots and drinking-veffels, left they mould 
be prophaned by our ufing them. From Door-Macary we 
difcovered a high mountainous ridge, with a very rugged 
top, ftretching from North to South, and towering up irai 
the middle of the foreft, about five miles diftance ; it is call- 
ed Badjena. 

On the 28th, a little after mid-day, we paffed Toom Aredo % 
and went, firft Eaft, then turned North, into the great road* 
We foon after palled a number of villages ; thofe on the 
high mountain Badjena on the Eaft, and thofe belonging 
to the church of Kofcam on the Weft. Continuing ftill 
North, inclining very little to, the Weft, we came to a fteep 
and rugged defcent, at the foot of which runs the Mogetch r 
in a courfe ftraight North ; this defcent is called the And* 
At a quarter paft two we paffed the Mogetch, our direction 
N. W. It is here a large, fwift running ftrcam, perfectly 
clear, and we halted fome time to refreih ourfelves upoa 
its banks ; remembering how very different it was from 
what we had once left it, difcoloured with blood, and chok- 



ed up with dead bodies, after the defeat of the king's wing 
at tiie battle of Serbraxos. 

At half paft three we refumed our journey. A (harp and 
pyramidal mountain (lands alone in the middle of the 
plain, prefenting its high fharp top through the trees, and 
making here a very picture fque and uncommon appearance; 
it is called Glitch, and feemed to be diflant from us about 
fix miles due North. A few minutes after this we paired a 
fmall ilream called Agam-Ghha, or the Brook of Jeflamine; 
from a beautiful fpec\es of that fhrub, very frequent here ? 
and on the fides of the fmall ftreams in the province of 

A few minutes paft four we entered a thick wood, wind- 
ing round a hill, in a fouth-eaft direction, to get into the 
plain below, where we were furrounded by a great mul- 
titude of men, armed with lances, fhields, flings, and large 
clubs or flicks, who rained a mower of Hones towards us,, 
as 1 may fay ; for they were at fuch a diilance, that all of 
them fell greatly fhort of us. Whether this was owing to- 
fear, or not, we did not know ; but fuppofing that it was r 
we thought it our intereft to keep ft up as much as poflible.. 
I therefore ordered two mots to be fired over their heads ;. 
not with any intention to hurt them, but to let them hear^ 
by the balls whittling among the leaves of the trees, that 
our guns carried farther than any of their flings ; and 
that, diilant as they then were, they were not in fafety,, 
if we had a difpolition to do them harm. They feem- 
ed to underfland our meaning, by gliding through among 
the bumes, and appearing at the top of a hill farther off„ 
where they continued hooping and crying, and makin 




divers ligns, which we could not, neither did we endea- 
vour to underftand. Another mot, 'aimed at the trees a- 
bove them, iliewed they were Hill within our reach, Upon 
which they difperfed, or fat down among the bufhes, for 
we faw them no more, till pitching our tent upon the 
plain below two of their villages ; it feemed they were un- 
eafy, for they had difpatched a man naked, and without 
arms, who, Handing upon the rock, cried out in the lan- 
guage of Tigre, that he wanted to come to us. This I 
abfolutely refufed, that he might not fee the fmallnefs of 
our number, crying out to him to get farther off, or we 
would inftantly moot him. There was no occasion to re- 
peat the admonition. From the rock where he flood, he 
Aid down like an eel, and appeared again at a confider- 
able diftance, Hill making a lign of wanting to fpeak with 

While refting on the banks of the river Mogetch, we had 
been overtaken by two men, and two women, who were 
driving two loaded affes, and were going to Tcherkin; they 
had delired leave to keep company with us, for fear of dan- 
ger on the road. I had two Abyffinian fervants, but they 
were not yet come up, attending one of the baggage mules 
that was lame, as they faid ; but I believe, rather bufied 
with fome engagements of their own in the villages. We 
were obliged then to have recourfe to one of thefe flranger 
women, who underitood the language of Tigre, and un- 
dertook readily to carry our meffage to the flranger, who 
was flill very bufy making figns from behind a tree, with- 
out coming one ftep nearer. 




My mefTage to them was, that if they mewed the fmall- 
efl appearance of further infolencej either by approaching 
the tent, or flinging Hones that night, the next morning, 
when the horfe I expected were come up, I would burn their 
town, and put every man of them to the fword. A veryfub- 
miffive anfwer was fent back, with a heap of lies in excufe 
of what they called their miftake. My two fervants ar- 
ming foon after, both of whom, hereafter, were to be in the 
fervice of Ayto Gonfu, went boldly one to each village, 
to bring two goats, fome jars of bouza, and to prepare fifty 
loaves of bread for next morning. The goats were difpatch- 
ed inflantly, fo was the bouza ; but when the morning 
came, the people had all fled from their houfes, without 
preparing any bread. Thefe villages were called Gimbaar. 
They were three in number ; each fituated upon the top 
of a pointed. hill,. in. a direction from eaft to weft, and made 
a very beautiful appearance from the plain below. They 
belonged to my great enemies, Guebra Mehedin, and Con=»- 
fu, late fons of Bafha Eufebius., 

On the other hand, as my fervants told me that a mef- 
fenger of the king had paiTed that morning without taking; 
any notice of us, I began to fufpect that it was fome ftra-i 
tagem of his to frighten, me from purfuing my journey; 
which, after the letters I had received from Sennaar, and 
which he himfelf had heard read, he never thought I 
would have undertaken. This I ilill believe might be the 
cafe ; for thefe peafants did not mew any forwardnefs to > 
do us harm; however, it turned out as unfortunately for 
them, as if they really purfued us for. vengeance. 



As foon as we found the villages deferted, and that there 
were no hopes of a fupply of bread, we ftruck our tent 'and 
proceeded on our journey ; the pointed mountain Gutch bore 
north from our tent, at the diftance of about two miles. 

On the 29th, at ten in the forenoon, we left the mhof- 
pitable villages of Gimbaar, not without entertaining fome 
apprehenfions of meeting the inhabitants again in the 
courfe of the day. But though we took every precaution 
againft being furprifed, that prudence could dictate, our 
fears of the encounter did not rife to any great height. I 
got, indeed, on horfeback, leaving my mule ; and, putting 
on my coat of mail, leaving the fire-arms under the com- 
mand of Hagi Ifmael, the old Turk, I rode always about 
a quarter of a mile before the baggage, that they might 
not come fuddenly upon us, as they had done the night 

In a few minutes we paired three fmall clear flreams in a ve- 
ry fertile country; the foil was a black loomy earth; the grafs 
already parched, or rather entirely burnt up by the fun. 
Though this country is finely watered, and muft be very 
fertile, yet it is thinly inhabited, and, as we were informed, 
very unwholefome. At three quarters pail ten we came 
to the river Mahaanah, which fwallows up thefe three 
brooks, its courfe nearly N. W. it was (even at this dry fea- 
fon of the year) a confiderable rlream. 

Here we relied half an hour, and then purfued our 

journey ftraight north. We patted a large and deep valley 

called Werk Meidan, or the country of gold, though there 

is no gold in it. It is full of wood and bufhes. We had 

1 , left 


left it fix miles, at leaft, on our left hand, and the baggage 
near half a mile behind, when I met two men very decent- 
ly drefTed ; one mounted on a mule, the other on foot; both 
of them armed with lances and fhields, and both feemed 
furprifed to fee a man on horfeback alone completely arm- 
ed. The rider paned by at a very quick pace, apparently 
not defirous of any intercourfe with me. The man on foot 
at palling faluted me with a Salam Alicum ; by which I knew 
him to be a Mahometan, and we were about to enter in- 
to converfation, when his neighbour called to him, with 
feeming impatience. He immediately left me, faying only 
thefe fhort fentences, " He there before is a Chriilian, and 
a liar; don't be afraid, Ayto Confu will be at Tcherkin as 
foon as you." 

Upon this we parted, I pafTed on fomething more than 
a mile further, and at ten minutes after twelve Hopped 
for the baggage. The Mahaanah is here about a quarter 
of a mile to the N. E. and the fliarp-pointed mountain of 
Gutch S. E. and by eaft, diftance about three miles. It was 
fome time before our baggage came up, when our compa- 
nions who efcortedit exhibitedfomefmallmarksof confufion. 

The Turk was bluftering violently in Turkifh, and fet- 
ting all at defiance, wifhing to be attacked by a hundred 
that minute ; the others feemed to be much more mode- 
rate, and not to agree with Hagi Ifmael, either in time or 
in number, but were very willing to be exempted from at- 
tacks altogether. I afked them what was the occaflon of 
all this warlike difcourfc from Ifmael, who fcarcely fpoke 
Arabic fo as to be underflood ? I could learn nothing but 
threats againft the Chriftians. At lalt, the fervants told me 

Vol, IV. N n that 


that the Abyflinians who pafTed had informed them, that, 
at a certain pafs, called Dav-Dohha, which we mould arrive 
at next day, above a thoufand men, Chriftians, Pagans, and 
Mahometans, all armed, were waiting for us, refolved to 
cut us to pieces rather than let us pafs : that the Shangalla 
were expected to burn Tcherkin, and Ay to Confu's houfe ; 
and that his Billetana Gueta, Ammonios, had come with 
a multitude of mules to carry away all that was valuable 
in it. He added, moreover, that Abba Gimbaro, chief of 
Sancaho, was fent for by Ay to Confu, and entrufted with 
the defence of Tcherkin Amba, the hill upon which Ay to 
Confu's houfe is utuated. He then called the Mahometan 
who fpoke to me, to witnefs the truth of all this, which he 
did with repeated oaths ; and concluded, that nothing re- 
mained for us but to return to Gondar. They all, in anxi- 
ous expectation, awaited my refolution. One of the. fer- 
vants laid, that, by going out of the way about half a day,, 
we could avoid the pafs of Dav-Dohha altogether. I told 
them, this was neither a time nor place for deliberation ;. ' 
that we mould make the beft of our way to Waalia, where 
we were to fleep that night; as that was a town where there 
was a market, and people came from every part, we mould 
there hear news, after which I promifed to tell them my 
opinion. We accordingly fet out for Waalia, and at half 
pait four in the afternoon encamped in the market-place. 

Waalia is a collection of villages, each placed upon the top 
of a hill, and inclofmg, as in a circle, an extenfive flat piece 
of ground about three miles over, on which a very well-ire* 
quemed market is kept. The name is given it from a fpe- 
eies of i'mali pigeons*, with yellow brealts and variegated 


2 See the article Waalia in the Appendix.. 


backs, the fatteft and beft of all the pigeon kind. Waalia 
lies due N. W, from Gondar. 

Having finished our dinner, or rather fupper, about feven, 
for we made but one meal a- day, after taking care of our 
beafts, we entered into confultation what was next to be 
done. I told them, the firft ftep we were to take was to fend 
and call the Shum of one of the villages, and after him an- 
other, and if, knowing me to be the king's ftranger, feeing 
the fmallnefs of our number, and being informed that we 
were going to Tcherkin, to the houfe of Ayto Confu, their 
mafter, they did not tell us there were dangers on the road, 
we might be fure the intelligence we had received was 
void of foundation. " Sir, fays one of the ftrangers that drove 
the afles, it is a lie. No man but Ayto Confu, not even Ay- 
to Confu himfelf, could raife 500 men in this country ; no 
not even 300, Pagans, Mahometans, and Chriflians altogether. 
Where is he to get his Pagans ? unlefs he means his own 
Chriitian fort, who, indeed, are more Pagans than any thing 
elfe, and capable of every mifchief ; but there is not a Ma- 
hometan on this road that does not know who you are, and 
that you was Yaune's mafter, and gave him Ras el Feel. Stay- 
here but a few days till I fend to Ras el Feel, and to Tcher- 
kin, and if you do not take the houfes and wives, and all that 
thefe five hundred men have in the world from them, with 
the helpyou may find atWaalia, fpit upon me for a liar, ormy 
name is not Abdullah." " Abdullah, faid I, you are a fenfi- 
ble fellow, though I did not know you was fo well ac- 
quainted with me, nor do I wifli that you fpeak of me in 
that manner publickly. But what convinces me of the 
truth of what you fay is, that the man on foot had no more 
time but to fay to me, in Arabic, while palling, that his com- 

N n 2 panioA 


panion on the mule was a liar, and that I mould not be a- 
fraid, for there was no danger on the road, and that Ay to 
Confu would be at Tcherkin as foon as I ; from which, and 
his faying juft the contrary to you, I do believe the whole is 
a flratagem of the king. 

All agreed in this. Hagilfmael mentioned it as a proof 
of the worthlelTnefs of Chriftians, that even their kings 
were as great liars as common men ; and we had fcarcely 
done with this confultation, and difpelled our fears, when 
word was brought to the tent, that the chiefs of two of 
the principal villages were at the door, defiring to be ad- 
mitted, and had with them feveral fervants loaded with 
provifions. They were immediately introduced, and they 
prefented us with two goats, feveral jars of bouza, and 
a quantity of bread, which I divided among my retinue, 
now become half Chriftians and half Mahometans, neither: 
■of whom ate meat killed by the other. 

After the firft civilities were over, I afked the governor 
of Waalia all the queftions that were needful about the 
flare of the roads and the country, and whether the Shan- 
galla ever made an attempt upon Tcherkin ? They faid, All 
was 'peace ; that the people came and went to the market 
without being interrupted. They laughed at the queftion 
about the Shangalla. Ayto Confu, they faid, fomenmes 
went down and deftroyed many of that people, and brought 
others away as flaves ; but the Shangalla were not men to at- 
tack a place where there was a number of horfe, nor to climb 
mountains to deilroy houfes well itored with fire-arms. 
Have you, faid I, feen nobody pafs by from Ayto Confu 
lately ? About four or fi-ve days ago, anfwered he, a fervant 
was here, with orders to have victuals ready for you ; who 



alfo told us, that he would come himfclf in three or four 
days after. I heard alfo, that his fervant Ammonios had 
gone round Nara to take pofTemon of fome villages the 
king had given Ozoro Either, and that he had with him 
a number of horfe and foot, and feveral Ozoros, going to 
Tcherkin, but they had gone the upper road, confequently 
had not come this way. Is there no danger, faid I, in 
palling Dav-Dohba ? Why, at Dav-Dohha, faid he, there is 
danger, it is a bad place, nobody panes it on horfeback; but 
I fee your horfes are fliod with iron, which none in this 
country are ; however, to avoid all danger, you had better 
lead your horfes and mules, and walk on foot, it is not far, 

I could not help burning out into a fit of laughter at 
the fancied danger that attended us at Dav-Dohha ; and, 
as I faw this difconcerted our informant, and that he thought 
he had faid fomething wrong, I told him briefly what had 
paffed at meeting with the two men upon the road. He 
laughed very heartily at this in his turn. " That man did 
not flop here, fays he, and who he is I know not ; but who- 
ever he is, he is a liar, and a beafl of the field, All the 
people of Dav-Dohha are our relations, and Ay to Confu's 
fervants ; if there had been any body to attack you, there 
would have been found here people to defend you. What 
fignifies his ordering us to furnilh you with victuals, if he 
was to fuffer your throats to be cut before you came to eat 
them ? I will anfwer for you between this and Tcherkin j. 
after that, all is wildernefs, and no man knows if he is to 
meet friend or foe." 

I told him then what had happened to us at Gimbaar, 
at which he feemed exceedingly furprifed. " Thefe villages. 


fays he, do not belong to Ayto Confu, but to his couflns, the 
fons of Bafha Eufebius. They indeed died in rebellion, but 
our mafter has taken pofTemon of them for the family, 
left the king mould give them away to a ftranger. Some 
bad news muft have arrived from Gondar ; at any rate, if 
you are afraid, I will accompany you to-morrow paft Dav- 
Dohha. We thanked him for the kind offer, but excuied 
ourfelves from accepting it, as we fully relied upon his in- 
telligence ; and having made him fome trifling prefertts, 
about the value of what he brought, though in his eyes 
much more conliderable, we took our leave, mutually fatif- 
fied with each other. From this I no longer doubted that 
the whole was a project of the king to terrify me, and make 
me return. What ftruck me, as moll improbable of all, 
was the ftory of that lying wretch who faid that Ayto Con- 
fa had fent a number of mules to carry away his furniture, 
and trufled the defence of his place to Abba Gimbaro, chief 
of the Baafa. For, firft, I knew well it did not need many 
mules to carry away the furniture which Ayto Confu left 
at Tcherkin in time of war, and when he was not there ; 
next, had he known that any perfon whatever, Shangalla 
or Chriftians, had intended to attack Tcherkin, he was not 
a man to fight by proxy or lieutenants ; he would have 
been himfelf prefent to meet them, as to a feaft, though he 
had been carried thither in a fick-bed. 

On the 30th, at half paft fix in the morning we fet out 
from Waalia ; and, though v/e were perfectly cured of our 
apprehenfions, the company all joined in defiring me to go 
along with them, and not before them. They wifely added, 
that, in a country like that, where there was no fear of 
God, I could not know what it might be in the power of 

3 the 


die devil to do. I therefore hung my arms upon my 
horfe, and, taking a gun in my hand, wandered among 
the trees by the road-fide, in purfuit of the doves or pigeons. 
In a few hours I had fhot feveral fcores of them, efpecially 
on the banks of the Mai Lumi, or the River of Lemons. 
We came to it in about an hour from Waalia, and coafb_ j d 
it for fome minutes, as it ran north- eaft parallel to our 

A prodigious quantity of fruit loaded the branches of 
thefe trees even likely to break them ; and thefe were in all 
ftages of ripenefs. Multitudes of bloiToms covered the op- 
pofite part of the tree, and fent forth the mod delicious 
odour poffible. We provided ourfelves amply with this 
fruit. The natives make no ufe of it, but we found it a 
great refreshment to us, both mixed with our water, and as 
fauce to our meat, of which we had now no great variety 
fince our onions had failed us, and a fupply of them was no> 
longer to be procured. 

At fourteen minutes paft feven, continuing north- weft, 
we cr^fTed the river Mai Lumi, which here runs weft ; and, 
continuing ftill north weft, at eight o'clock we came to the 
mouth of the formidable pafs, Dav-Dohha, which we en- 
tered with good countenance enough, having nrft refted: 
five minutes to put ourfelves in order, and we found our 
appetites failing us through exceflive heat. The pafs of 
Div-Dohha is a very narrow defile, full of ftrata of rocks, 
like fteps of ftairs, but fo high, that, without leaping, or 
being pulled up, no horfe or mule can afcend. Moreover, 
the defcent, though fhort, is very fteep, and almoft choked 
up by huge Hones, which the torrents, after warning the 



earth from about them, had rolled down from the moun- 
tain above. Both fides of the defile are covered thick with 
wood and bufhes, efpecially that deteftable thorn the kan- 
tuffa, fo juflly reprobated in Abyilinia, 

Having extricated ourfelves fuccefs fully from this pafs, 
our fpirits were fo elated, that we began to think our jour- 
ney now at an end, not- reflecting how many pafTes, full of 
real danger, were flill before us. At three quarters paft 
eight we came to Werkleva, a village of Mahometans. Above 
this, too, is Armatchiko, a famous hermitage, and around 
it huts inhabited by a number of monks. Thefe, and their 
brethren of Magwena, are capital performers in all difor- 
ders of the flate ; all prophets and diviners, keeping up the 
fpirit of riot, anarchy, and tumult, by their fanatical inven- 
tions and pretended vifions. 

Having refted a few minutes at TabaretWunze, a wretch- 
ed village, compofed of miferable huts, on the banks of a 
fmall brook, at a quarter after two we paiTed the Coy, a 
large river, which falls into the Mahaanah. From Mai 
Lumi to this place the country was but indifferent in ap- 
pearance ; the foil, indeed, exceedingly good, but a wild- 
nefs and look of defolation covered the whole of it. The 
grafs was growing high, the country extenfive, and almoft 
without habitation, whilfc the few huts that were to be feen 
feemed more than ordinarily miferable, and were hid in re- 
cefles, or in the edge of valleys overgrown with wood. The 
inhabitants feemed to have come there by ftealth, with a 
defire to live concealed and unknown. 




On the 31ft of December we left our ftation at the head 
of a difficult pafs called Coy Gulguler, or the Defcent of 
Coy, at the foot of which runs the river Coy, one of the 
largeil we had yet feen, but I did not difcern any fifhin it. 
Here we relied a little to refrefh ourfelves and our beads, 
after the fatigues we had met with in defcending through 
this pafs. 

At half after eight we came to the banks of the Germa, 
which winds along the valley, and falls into the Angrab. 
After having continued fome time by the fide of the Germa, 
and crofled it going N. W. we, at ten, pafied the fmall river 
Idola; and half an hour after came to Deber, a houfe of Ay- 
to Confu, on the top of a mountain, by the fide of a fmail 
river of that name. The country here is partly in wood, 
and partly in plantations of dora. It is very well watered, 
and feems to produce abundant crops ; but it is not beau- 
tiful ; the foil is red earth, and the bottoms of all the ri- 
vers foft and earthy, the water heavy, and generally ill-tafted, 
even in the large rivers, fuch as the Coy and the Germa. I 
imagine there is fome mineral in the red earth, with a 
proportion of which the water is impregnated. 

At Deber, I obferved the following bearings from the 
-mountains ; Ras el Feel was weft, Tcherkin N. N. W. Debra 
Haria, north. We found nobody at Deber that could give 
us the leaft account of Ayto Confu. We left it, therefore, on 
the morning of the ill of January 1772. At half pall fen 
o'clock we pafTed a fmall village called Dembic, and about 
mid- day came to the large river Tchema, which falls into 
the larger river Dvvang, below, to the weftward. About 
an hour after, we came to the Mogcrch, a river not fo large 

Vol. IV. O o a> 


as the Tchema, but which, like it, joins the Dwang. Here 
we have a view of the fteep mountain Magwena, where 
there is a monaftery of that name, pofTefTed by a multitude 
of lazy, profligate, ignorant monks. Magwena, excepting 
one mountain, is a bare, even ridge of rocks, which feem- 
ingly bear nothing, but are black, as if calcined by the fun* 
In the rainy feafon it is faid every fpeeies of verdure is here 
in the greaieftluxuriancy ; all the plantations of corn about 
Beber are much inferred with a fmall, beautiful, green, 
monkey, with along tail, called Tota, 

Between three and four in the afternoon we encamped 
at Eggir Dembic ; and in the evening we pafTed along the - 
fide of a. fmall river running weft, which falls into the Mo-- 

I took advantage of the pleafanteft and latefl hour for - 
fhooting the waalia, or the yeliow-breafted pigeon, as alfo 
Guinea-fowls, which are here in great abundance among the 
corn; in plumage nothing different from ours, and very ex- 
cellent meat. The fun was juil fetting, and I wasreturn- 
ing to my tent, not from wearinefs or fatiety of fport, but 
from my attendant being incapable of carrying the load of' 
game I had already' killed, when I was met by a man with' 
whom I was perfectly acquainted, and who by his addrefs- 
likewife feemed no fir-anger to me. J immediately recol* 
lected him to be a fervant of Ozoro Either, but this he de- 
nied, and. faid he was a fervant of Ayto Gonfu; however, as 
Confu lived in the fame houie with his mother at* Kofcam; 
the miftake feemed not to be of any moment. He faid he 
came to meet Ayto Confu,. who was expected at Tcherkin 



that night, arid was fent to fearch for us, as we feemcd to 
have tarried on the road. He had brought two mules, in 
cafe any of ours had been tired, and propofed that the next 
morning I mould fet out with him alone for Tcherkin, 
where I mould find Ayto Confu, and my baggage mould 
follow me. I told him that it was my, fixed refolution, made 
at the beginning of my journey, and which I mould ad- 
here to till the end, never to feparate myfelf on the road 
from my fervants and company, who were Itrangers, and 
without any other protection than that of being with me. 

The man continued to prefs me all that evening very much, 
fo that we were greatly furprifed at what he could mean, 
and 1 Hill more and more refolved not to gratify him. Often 
I thought he wanted to communicate fomething to me, but 
he refrained, and I continued obftinate ; and the rather fo, 
as there was no certainty that Ayto Confu was yet arrived. 
I afked him, if Billetana Gueta Ammonios was not at Tcher- 
kin ? He anfwered, without the fmalleft alteration in his 
countenance, that he was not. No people on earth difiemble 
like the Abyflinians ..; this talent is born with them, and 
they improve it, by continual practice. As we had there- 
fore previoufly refolved, we paired the evening at Eggir Dem- 
bic, and the fervant, finding he could not prevail, left our 
tent, and we all went to bed. He did not feem angry, but 
at going out of the tent, faid, as half to ■himfelf, " I cannot 
iblame you ; in fuch a journey nothing isiike firmnefs." 

On the 2d of January, in the morning, by feven o'clock, 
having drelfed my hair, and perfumed it according to tne 
cuftom of the country, and put on clean clothes, with no 
other arms but my knife, and a pair of pulols at my gird.'e, 

O o 2 I came 


I came out of the tent to mount my mule for Tcherkin. I 
now faw Confu's fervant, whofe name was Welleta Yafous, 
pulling the Guinea-fowls and pigeons out of the pannier, 
where my fervants had put them, and fcattering them upon 
the ground, and he was faying to thofe who interrupted him, 
" Throw away this carrion ; you fhall have a better break- 
fail and dinner, too, to-day;" and turning to me more than 
ordinarily pleafed at feeing me drefTed, and that I continued 
to ufe the Abyffinian habit, he jumped upon his mule, and 
appeared in great fpirits, and we all fet out at a brifker pace 
than ufuaJ, by the amdance of the two f rem mules, 

We palTed through the midft of feveral fmall villages. At 
half an hour pall eight we came to the mountain of Tcher- 
kin, which we rounded on the weft, and then on the north, 
keeping the mountain always on our right. At twenty mi- 
nutes pad ten I pitched my tent in the market-place at 
Tcherkin, which feemed a beautiful lawn laid out for plea- 
fure, fiiaded with fine old trees, of an enormous height and 
fize, and watered by a fmall but very limpid brook, run- 
ning over beds of pebbles as white as fnow. „ 



CHAP. II.*. 

Mecepfion at I'cherkin by Ozoro E/Iber y life. — Hunting of the Elephant^ 

Rhinoceros, and Buffalo. 

THE impatient Welleta Yafous would only give me time 
to fee my quadrant and other infTmments fafely flow- 
ed, but hurried me. through a very narrow and crooked 
path up the fide of the mountain, at every turn of which 
was placed a great rock or Hone, the ftation for mufquets 
to enfilade the different itages of the road below, where it 
was ftrait for any diftance. We at laft reached the outer 
court, where we found the chamberlain Ammonios, whom - 
Welieta Yafous had fpoken of as being Hill at Gondar ; but 
this did not furprife me, as he told me at the tent that Ayto 
Confu was arrived. I faw here a great many of my old ac- 
quaintance whom I had known at Ozoro Eilher's houfe at 




-Gondar, and who all welcomed me with the greatefl de- 
anonflrations of joy, as if I had come from a long journey. 

I was then taken to an inner apartment, where, to my 
great furprife, inflead of Ayto Confu, I faw his mother, Gzo- 
ro Efther, fitting on a couch, and at her feet the fecretary's 
.daughter, the beautiful Tecla Mariam ; and, foon after, the 
Secretary hirnfelf, and feveral others belonging to the court. 
After having made a profound obeifance, " Ozoro Ellher, 
faid I, I cannot fpeak for furprife. What is the meaning of 
your having left Gondar to come into this wiidernefs ? As 
for Tecla Mariam, I am not furprifed at feeing her ; I know 
me at any time would rather die than leave you ; but that 
you have both come hither without Ayto Confu, and in fo 
ihort a time, is what I cannot comprehend "---" There is no* 
thing fo flrange in this, replied Ozoro Ellher ; the troops of 
.Eegemder have taken away my hufband, Ras Michael, Gocl 
knows where ; and, therefore, being now a fingle woman, 
I am refolved to go to Jerufalem to pray for my hufband, 
and to die there, and be buried in the Holy Sepulchre. You 
would not flay with us, fo we are going with you. Is there 
any thing furprifmg in all this,?'* 

'" But tell me truly, fays Tecla Mariam, you that know 
^very thing, while peeping and poring through thefe long 
glafTes, did not you learn by the flars that we were to meet 
you here ?" — "Madam, anfwered I, if there was one flar in 
the firmament that had announced to me fuch agreeable 
news, I mould have relapfed into the old idolatry of this 
country, and worfhipped that Mar for the reft of my life." 
Breakfafl now came in ; the converfation took a very lively 
jrurn, and from the fecretary I learned that the matter flood 

j thus: 


thus : The king, reftoring the villages to the Iteghe, ac- 
cording to the itipulation of his lait treaty with PowufTen, 
thought that he might fo far infringe upon it, from grati- 
tude to Ras Michael, as to give part of the number toOzoro 
Enher, the Iteghe's daughter ; and Ay to Con fa, going to 
Tcherkin to hunt, he took his mother along with him to 
put her in pofleilion ; for the Iteghe's people were not 
lambs, nor did they pay much regard to the orders of the 
king, nor to that of the Iteghe their m-iftrefs, at all times, 
farther than fuited their own convenience, 

We now wanted only the prefence of Ayto Confu to 
make our happinefs complete ; he came about four, and 
with him Ayto Engedan, and a great company. There was 
nothing but rejoicing on all iides. Seven ladies, relations 
and companions of Ozoro Efther, came with Ayto Confu ; 
and I confefs this to have been one of the happiefl mo- 
ments of my life. I quite forgot the difaflrous journey I had 
before me, and all the dangers that awaited mc. I began even 
to regret being fo far in my way to leave Abyffiniafor ever. 
We learned from Ayto Confu, that it had been reported aj. 
Gondar that we had been murdered by the peafants of Qim*. 
baar, but the contrary was foon known. However, ,En«*e>- 
dan and he had fet the lefler village on fire iiuheirpaflage, 
and laid a contribution of eleven ounces , of gold upon the 
two larger. 

, Ayto Confu's houfe at Tcherkin is built on the edge of 
a precipice which takes its name from the mountain Amba 
Tcherkin. It is built all with cane very artificially, the 
outer wall being compofed of fafcines of canes, fo neatly 
joined together as not to be penetrated by ram or wind. 



The entry is from the fouth fide of it, very crooked and diffi- 
cult, half way up the rock. On the earl, is a very plentiful 
fpring, which ftirnifhes the houfe with excellent ' water*."' 
Yet, after all, this houfe, though inacceflible, is not defen- 
sible, and affords very little fafety to its mailer; for the 
Shangalla, with flax, or any thing combuftible, tied to the 
point of their arrows, would eafiiy. fet it on fire if they once 
approached it; and the Abyffinians with guns could as 
.eafiiy deilroy it, as, on fuch occafions, they wrap their 
balls in cotton wads. The in fide of the ftate- rooms were 
hung with long (tripes of carpeting, and the floors covered 
with the fame. 

There is great plenty of game of every fort about Tcher- 
kin; elephants, rhinocerofes, and a great number of buf- 
faloes, which differ nothing in form from the buffaloes of 
Europe or of Egypt, but very much in temper and difpofi- 
tion. They are fierce, rafh, and fearlefs of danger; and, 
contrary to the practice of any other creature not carnivo- 
rous, they attack the traveller and the hunter equally, and 
it requires addrefs to efcape from them. They feem to be, 
of all others, the creature the mod given to eafe and indul- 
gence. They lie under the mod fhady trees, near large 
pools of w r ater, of which they make conftant ufe, and fleep 
foundly all the day long. The nefh of the female is very 
good when fat, but that of the male, hard, lean, and dif- 
agreeable. Their horns are ufed in various manners by 
the turners, in which craft the Abyfiinians are very expert. 
In the woods there are many civet cats, but they know not 
the ufe of them, nor how to extract the civet. The Maho- 
metans only are poifeiied of this art, 

i Thou gh 


Though we were all happy to ourwifh in this enchant* 
ed mountain, the active fpirit of Ay to Confu could not reft; 
he was come to hunt the elephant, and hunt him he would. 
All thofe that underflood any thing of this exercife had af- 
fembled from a great diftance to meet Ayto Confu at Tcher- 
kin. He and Engedan, from the moment they arrived, had 
been overlooking, from the precipice, their fervants training 
and managing their horfes in the market-place below. 
Great bunches of the nneil canes had been brought from 
Kuara for javelins; and the whole houfe was employed 
in fitting heads to them in the moil advantageous manner. 
For my part, tho' I mould have been very well contented to 
have remained where 1 was, yet the preparations for fport of 
fo noble a kind roufed my fpirits, and made me defirous to 
join in it; On the other hand, the ladies all declared, that 
they thought, by leaving them, we were devoting them to 
death or flavery, as they did not doubt, if the Shangalla 
miffed us, they would come forward to the mountain and 
-flay them all. But a fufficient garrifon was left under A- 
zage Kyrillos, and Billetana Gueta Ammonios ; and we were 
well affured that the Shangalla, being informed we were 
out, and armed, and knowing our numbers, would take care 
to keep clofe in their thickets far cut of our way. 

On the 6th, an hour before day, after a hearty breakfaft, 
we mounted on horfeback, to the number of about thirty 
belonging to Ayto Confu. But there was another body, both 
of horfe and foot, which made hunting the elephant their 
particular bulinefs. Thefe men dwell conftantly in the 
woods, and know very little the ufe of bread, living en- 
tirely upon the flefh of the beafts they kill, chiefly that of 
the elephant or rhinoceros. They are exceedingly thin, 

Vol. IV. P p light, 


light, and agile, both on horfeback and foot ; are very fwar- 
thy, though few of them black; none of them woolly-head- 
ed, and all of them have European features. They are call- 
ed Agageer, a name of their profeflion, not of their nation, 
which comes from the word Agar, and fignifies to hough or 
ham- firing with a fharp weapon. More properly it means, 
indeed, the cutting the tendon of the heel, and is a charac- 
teristic of the manner, in which they kill the elephant, which 
is fhortly as follows : — Two men, abfolutely naked, without 
any rag or covering at all about them, get on horfeback ; 
this precaution is from fear of being laid hold of by the 
trees or bufhes, in making their efcape from a very watch- 
ful enemy. One of thefe riders fits upon the back of the 
horfe, fometimes with a faddle, and fometimes without one, 
with only a fwitch or fhort Hick in one hand, carefully ma- 
naging the bridle with the other ; behind him fits his 
campanion, who has no other arms but a broad-fword, 
fuch as is ufed by the Sclavonians, and which is brought 
from Triefle. His left hand is employed grafping the fword 
by the handle, and about fourteen inches ot the blade is 
covered with whip-cord. This part he takes in his right 
hand, without any danger of being hurt by it ; and, though 
the edges of the lower part of the fword are as {harp as a 
razor, he carries it without a fcabbard. 

As foon as the elephant is found feeding, the horfeman 
rides before him as near his face as poilible ; or, if he flies, 
crones him in all directions, crying out, " I am fuch a 
man and fuch a man ; this is my horfe, that has fuch a 
name ; I killed your father in fuch a place, and your 
grandfather in fuch another place, and 1 -am now come 
to kill you ; you are but an afs in comparifon of them." 



This nonfenfe he verily believes the elephant underftands, 
who, chafed and angry at hearing the noife immediately 
before him, feeks to feize him with his trunk or probofcis, 
and, intent upon this, follows the horfe everywhere, turn- 
ing and turning round with him, neglectful of making 
his efcape by running ftraight forward, in, which confifts 
his only fafety. After having made him turn once or twice 
in purfuit of the horfe, the horfeman rides ciofe up a- 
long-fide of him, and drops his companion juft behind on 
the off fide ; and while he engages the elephant's attention 
upon the horfe, the footman behind gives him a drawn 
ftrokejuft above the heel, or what in man is called the 
tendon of Achilles. This is the critical moment; the horfe- 
man immediately wheels round, and takes his companion 
up behind him, and rides off full fpeed after the reft of the 
herd, if they have ftarted more than one ; and fometimes 
an expert Agageer will kill three out of one herd. If the 
fword is good, and the man not afraid, the tendon is com- 
monly entirely feparated; and if it is not cut through, it is 
generally fo far divided, that the animal, with the ftrefs he 
puts upon it, breaks the remaining part afunder. In either 
cafe, he remains incapable of advancing a (tep, till the horfe- 
man returning, or his companions coming up, pierce him 
through with javelins and lances; he then falls to the ground, 
and expires with the lofs of blood. 

The Agageer ncarefl me prefently lamed his elephant, 
and left him Handing. AytoEngedan, Ayto Confu,Guebra 
Mariam, and feveral others, fixed their fpears in the other, 
before the Agageer had cut his tendons. My Agageer", 
however, having wounded the nrft elephant, failed in the 
purfuit of the fecond, and, being cloie upon him at enier- 

P p 2 ing 


ing the wood, he received a violent blow from a branch of 
a tree which the elephant had bent by his weight, and, 
after palling, allowed it to replace itfelf, when it knocked 
down both the riders, and very much hurt the horfe. This, 
indeed, is the great danger in elephant-hunting; forfome 
of the trees, that are dry and fhort, break, by the violent 
prefhire of fo immenfe a body moving fo rapidly, and fall 
upon the purfuers, or acrofs the roads. But the greatefl 
number of thefe trees, being of a fucculent quality, they 
bend without breaking, and return quickly to their former 
pofition, when they ftnke both horfe and man fo violently, 
that they often beat them to pieces, and fcatter them upon 
the plain. Dextrous, too, as the riders are, the elephant 
fbmetimes reaches them with his trunk, with which he the horfe againfl the ground, and then fets his feet 
upon him, till he tears him limb from limb with his pro- 
bofcis ; a great many hunters die this way. Befides this, 
the foil, at this time of the year, is fplit into deep chafms,, 
©r cavities, by the heat of the fun, fo that nothing can be 
more dangerous than the riding.. 

The elephant onceflain, they cut the whole flefh off his- 
bones into thongs, like the reins of a bridle, and hang thefe, 
like fefloons, upon the branches of trees, till they become 
perfectly dry, without fait, and they then lay them by for 
their provifion in the feafon of the rains. 

I nted fay nothing of the figure of the elephant, his form 
is known, and anecdotes of his life and characler are to be 
found everywhere. But his defcription, at length, is given,, 
with his ufual accuracy and elegance, by that great matter 
©f natural hiftory the Count de Buffon, my moil venerable,. 



learned, and amiable friend, the Pliny of Europe, and the 
true portrait of what a man of learning and fafhion mould 

I shall only take upon me to refolve a difficulty which 
he feems to have had, — for what ufe the teeth of the ele- 
phant, and the horns of the rhinoceros, were intended. He, 
with reafon, explodes the vulgar prejudice, that thefe arms 
were given them by Nature to fight with each other. He 
afks very properly, What can be the ground of that animo- 
fity ? neither of them are carnivorous ; they do not couple 
together, therefore are not rivals in love ; and, as for food, 
the vafl forefts they inhabit furnifli them with an abun- 
dant and everlafting ftore.. 

But neither the elephant nor rhinoceros eat grafs. The 
fheep, goats, horfes, cattle, and all the beads of the coun- 
try, live upon branches of trees. There are, in every part 
of thefe immenfe forefts, trees of a foft, fucculent fubftance, 
full of pith. Thefe are the principal food of the elephant 
and rhinoceros. They firft eat the tops of thefe leaves and 
branches ; they then, with their horns or teeth, begin as 
near to the root as they can, and rip, or cut the more woody 
part, or trunks of thefe, up to where they were eaten be- 
fore, till they fall in fo many pliable pieces of the fize of 
laths. After this, they take all thefe in their raonftrous 
mouths, and twifl them round as we could do the leaves of 
a lettuce. The veftiges of this procefs, in its different ftages, 
we faw every day throughout the foreft ; and the horns of 
the rhinoceros, and teeth of the elephant, are often found 
broken, when their gluttony leads them to attempt too 
large or firm, a tree. 



There now remained but two elephants of thofe that 
had been difcovered, which were a fhe one with a calf. 
The Agageer would willingly have let thefe alone, as the 
teeth of the female are very fmall, and the young one is of 
no fort of value, even for food, its nefh fhrinking much 
upon drying. But the hunters would not be limited in 
their fport. The people having obferved the place of her 
retreat, thither we eagerly followed. She was very loon 
found, and as foon lamed by the Agageers ; but when they 
came to wound her with the darts, as every one did in their 
turn, to our very great furprife, the young one, which had 
been fufFered to efcape unheeded and unpurfued, came out 
from the thicket apparently in great anger, running upon 
the horfes and men with all the violence it was mafter of. 
I was amazed ; and as much as ever I was, upon fuch an 
occafion, afflicted, at feeing the great affection of the little 
animal defending its wounded mother, heedlefs of its own 
life or fafety. I therefore cried to them, for God's fake to 
fpare the mother, tho' it was then too late ; and the calf had 
made feveral rude attacks upon me, which I avoided with- 
out difficulty ; but 1 am happy, to this day, in the reflection 
that I did not flrike it. At laft, making one of its attacks 
upon Ayto Engedan, it hurt him a little on the leg ; upon 
which he ihruft it through with his lance, as others did 
after, and ir ihen fell dead before its wounded mother, whom 
it had fo affectionately defended. It was about the fize of 
an afs, but round, big-bellied, and heavily made ; and was 
fo furious, and unruly, that it would eafily have broken the 
leg eirher of man or horfe, could it have overtaken them, 
and joftled againft them properly. 



Here is an example of a heart (a young one too) poffefling 
abftracted fentiments to a very high degree. By its flight on 
the firfl appearance of the hunters, it is plain it apprehe ided 
danger to itfelf, it alfo reflected upon that of its mother, 
which was the caufe of its return to her ailiilance. r i Ins 
affection or duty, or let us call it any thing we pleafe, ex- 
cept inftinct, was llronger than the fear of danger ; and it 
mult have conquered that fear by reflection before it re- 
turned, when it refolved to make its belt and iaft efforts, 
for it never attempted to fly afterwards. I freely forgive 
that part of my readers, who know me and themfelves fo 
little, as to think I believe it worth my while to play the 
mountebank, for the great honour of diverting them ; an 
honour far from being of the firft rate in my efteem. If 
they fhould fhew, in this place, a degree of doubt, that, 
foronce, I am making ufe of the privilege of travellers, and 
dealing a little in the marvellous, it would be much more 
to rhe credit of their difcernment, than their prodigious 
fcruples about the reality or poiiibility of eating raw fleili; 
a thing that has been recorded by the united teftimony of 
all that ever vifited Abyflmia for thefe two hundred years, 
ha* nothing unreafonable in itfelf, though contrary to our 
practice in other cafes ; and can only be called in queition 
now, through weaknefs, ignorance, or an intemperate de> 
lire to find fault, by thofe that believed, that a man could 
get into a quart bottle. 

What I relate of the young elephant contains difficulties 
of another kind ; though I am very well perfuaded fome 
will fwallow it eafily, who cannot digeft the raw fleiTi. In 
both instances I adhere ftrictly to the truth; and I beg leave 
to allure thofe fcrupulous readers, that if they, knew their 



author, they would think that his having invented a lie, 
folely for the pleafure of diverting them, was much more 
improbable than either of the two foregoing facts. He 
places his merit in having accompliihed thefe travels in ge- 
neral, not in being prefent at any one incident during the 
courfe of them ; the believing of which can reflect no 
particular honour upon himfelf, nor the difbelieving it 
any fort of difgrace in the minds of liberal and unpreju- 
diced men. It is for thefe only he would with to write, 
and "thefe are the only perfons who can profit from his nar- 

The Agageers having procured as much meat as would 
maintain them a long time, could not be perfuaded to con- 
tinue the hunting any longer. Part of them remained 
with the {he-elephant, which feemed to be the fatteft ; tho' 
the one they killed fir ft was by much the moft valuable, on 
account of its long teeth. It was flill alive, nor did it feem 
an eafy operation to kill it, without the afTiftance of our 
Agageers, even though it was totally helplefs, except with 
its trunk. 

We fought about for the buffaloes and rhinocerofes ; but 
-though there was plenty of both in the neighbourhood, 
we could not find them ; our noife and ihooting in the 
morning having probably feared them away. One rhino- 
ceros only was feen by a fervant. We returned in the 
evening to a great fire, and lay all night under the made 
of trees. Here we faw them feparate the great teeth of 
the elephant from the head, by roafting the jaw-bones on 
the fire, till the lower, thin, and hollow part of the teeth 
4 were 


were nearly confumed ; and then they come out eafily, the 
thin part being of no value. 

The next morning we were on horfeback by the dawn 
of day in fearch of the rhinoceros, many of which we had 
heard make a very deep groan and cry as the morning ap- 
proached ; feveral of the Agageers then joined us, and after 
we had fearched about an hour in the very thickeit part 
of the wood, one of them rufhed out with great violence, 
croffing the plain towards a wood of canes that was about 
two miles diftance. But though he ran, or rather trotted, 
with furpriiing fpeed, confidering his bulk, he was, in a 
very little time, trans fixed with thirty or forty javelins; wliich 
{q confounded him, that he left his purpofe of going to the 
wood, and ran into a deep hole, ditch, or ravine, a cul defac, 
without outlet, breaking above a dozen of the javelins as 
he entered. Here we thought he was caught as in a trap, 
for he had fcarce room to turn ; when a fervant, who had 
a gun, ftanding directly over him, fired at his head, and 
the animal fell immediately, to all appearance dead. All 
thofe on foot now jumped in with their knives to cut 
him up, and they -had fcarce begun, when the animal 
recovered fo far as to rife upon his knees ; happy then was 
the man that efcaped firft ;- and had not one of the Aga- 
geers, who was hralfelf engaged in the ravine, cut the finew 
-of the hind leg as he was retreating, there would have been 
;a very forrowful account of the foot-hunters that day. 

After having difpatched him, I was curious to tec what 

wound the fliot had given, which had operated fo violently 

upon fo huge an animal ; and I doubted not it was in the 

brain. But it had flruck him nowhere but upon the print of 

Vol, IV, Qjj the 


the foremoft horn, of which it had carried off above an 
inch ; and this occafioned a concuilion that had ftunned 
him for a minute, till the bleeding had recovered him. I 
preferved the horn from curiofity, and have it now by 
me *. I faw evidently the ball had touched no other part 
of the bead. . 

While we were bufy with the rhinoceros, Ammonios 
joined us. A menage from the king had carried away 
Azage Kyrillos the fecretary. Two other mefFengers had 
arrived from the queen, one to Ayto Confu, and another to 
Ozoro Either ; and it was Ozoro Efther's commands to her 
fon, to leave the hunting and return. There was no reme- 
dy but to obey ; Ammonios, however, wanted to have his 
part of the hunting ; and the country people told us, that 
multitudes of buffaloes were to be found a little to the 
weft ward, where there were large trees and ftanding pools 
of water. We agreed then to hunt homeward, without "be- 
ing over-folicitous about returning early. 

We had not gone far before a wild boar arofe between 
me and Ayto Engedan, which I immediately killed with my 
javelin. Before he, on his horfe, came up to it, another of 
its companions fhared the fame fate about a quarter of an 
hour after. This was the fport I had been many years ufed 
to in Barbary, and was infinitely more dextrous at it than 
any of the prefent company; this put me more upon a par 
with my companions, who had not failed to laugh at me, 
upon my horfe's refufal to carry me near either to the ele- 

* See the article Rhinoceros in the Appendix. 



pliant or rhinoceros. Nobody would touch the carcafe of 
the boar after it was dead, being an animal which is con- 
fidered as unclean. 

Ammonios was a man of approved courage and conduct, 
and had been in all the wars of Ras Michael, and was pla- 
ced about Ayto Confu, to lead the troops, curb the preemp- 
tion, and check the impetuofity of that youthful warrior. He 
was tall, and aukwardly made ; flow in fpeech and motion, 
fo much as even to excite ridicule; about lixty years of age, 
and more corpulent than the Abymnians generally are ; in 
a word, as pedantic and grave in his manner as, it is pof- 
fible to exprefs. He fpent his whole leifure time in reading 
the fcripture, nor did he willingly difcourfe of any thing 
elfe. He had been bred a foot-foldier ; and, though he 
rode as well as many of the Abymnians, yet, having long 
flirrup-leathers, with iron rings at the end of them, into 
which he put his naked toe only, inftead of ftirrups, he 
had no flrength or agility on horfeback, nor was his bridle 
fuch as could command his horfe to flop, or wind and turn 
marply among trees, though he might make a tolerable 
iigure on a plain. 

A Boar, roufed on our right, had wounded a horfe and 
a footman of Ayto Confu, and then efcaped. Two buffaloes 
were found by thofe on the right, one of which wounded a 
horfe likewife. Ayto Confu, Engedan, Guebra Mariam, 
and myfelf, killed the other with equal fliare of merit, with- 
out being in any fort of danger. All this was in little more 
than an hour, when our fport feemed to be at the belt; 
our horfes were confiderably blown, .net tired, and though 
we were beating homewards, full we were looking very 

Q^q 2 keenly 


keenly for more game. Ammonios was on the left among: 
the bullies, and fome large, beautiful, tall fpreading-trees, 
clofe on the banks of the river Bedowi, which (lands there 
in pools. Whether the buffalo found Ammonios, or Am- 
monios the buffalo, is what we could never get him to ex- 
plain to us ; but he had wounded the beaft flightly in the 
buttock, which, in return, had gored his horfe, and thrown 
both him and it to the ground. Luckily, however, his 
cloak had fallen off, which the buffalo tore in pieces, and 
employed himfelf for a minute with that and with the 
horfe, but then left them, and followed the man as foon as 
he faw him rife and run. Ammonios got behind one large 
tree, and from that to another ftill larger. The buffalo 
turned very aukwardly, but kept clofe in purfuit; and there 
v/as no doubt he would have worn our friend out, who was 
not ufed to fuch quick motion. Ayto Engedan, who was 
near him, and might have aflifted him, was laughing, ready 
to die at the droll figure a man of Ammonios's grave car- 
riage made, running and fkipping about naked, with a 
fwiftnefs he had never praclifed all his life before ; and En- 
gedan continued calling to Confu to partake of the diver- 

The moment I heard his repeated cries, I galloped one 
cf the bufhes to the place where he was, and could not 
help laughing at the ridiculous figure of our friend, very 
attentive to the beaft's motions, which feemed to dodge with 
great addrefs, and keep, to his adverfary with the utmofl 
obflinacy. As foon as Engedan faw me, he cried, " YagoubeT 
for the love of Chrift ! for the love of the bleffed Virgin l 
don't interfere till Confu comes up." Confu immediately- 
arrived, and laughed more than Engedan, but did not of- 



fer to interfere ; on the contrary, he clapped his hands, 
and cried, " Well done, Aramonios," fwearing he never faw 
fo equal a match in his life. The unfortunate Ammo- 
nios had been driven from tree to tree, till he had got be- 
hind one within a few yards of the water ; but the brufh.- 
wood upon the banks, and his attention to the buffalo, 
hindered him from feeing how far it was below him. No- 
thing could be more ridiculous than to fee him holding 
the tree with both his hands, peeping firfE one way, and 
then another, to fee by which the bead would turn. And 
well he might be on his guard ; for the animal was abfo- 
lutely mad, tolling up the ground with his feet both be- 
fore and behind. " Sir, faid I, to Ayto Confu, this will be 
but an ugly joke to-night, if we bring home that man's 
corpfe, killed in the very midli of us, while we were 
lo king; on." Saying this, I parted at a canter behind the 
trees, crying to Ammonios to throw himfelf into the 
water, when I lliould ftrike the beaft ; and feeing the 
buffalo's head turned from me, at full fpeed I ran the 
fpear into the lower part of his belly, through his whole 
interlines, till it came out above a foot on the other iide, ; 
and there I left it, with a view to hinder the buffalo from 
turning. It was a fpear which, though fmall in the head, 
had a ftrong, tough, feafonedfhaft, which did not break by 
ftriking it againft the trees and bullies, and it pained and 
impeded the animal's motions, till Ammonios quitting ttce 
tree, dallied through the bufhes with fome difficulty, and 
threw himfelf into the river. But here a danger occurred, 
that I had not forefeen. The pool was very &eep, and 
Ammonios could not fwim ; fo that though he eicaped 
from the buffalo, he would infallibly have been drowned, 
' i '.* had 


had he not caught hold of fome ftrong roots of a tree fhoot- 
ing out of the bank ; and there he lay in perfect fafety from 
the enemy, till our fervants went round, and brought him 
out of the pool on the further fide. 

In the mean time, the buffalo, mortally wounded, feeing 
his enemy had efcaped, kept his eyes Intent upon us, who 
were about forty yards from him, walking backwards to- 
wards us, with intent to turn fuddenly upon the neareft 
horfe ; when Ay to Gorifii ordered two men with guns to 
ihoot him through the head, and he inflantly fell. The two 
we firft killed were females ; this laft was a bull, and one 
of the largeft, confefTedly, that had ever been feen. Though 
not fat, I guefs he weighed nearer fifty than forty ftone. His 
horns from the root, following the line of their curve, were 
about fifty-two inches, and nearly nine where thicket! in 
the circumference. They were flat, not round. Ayto Con- 
fu ordered the head to be cut off, and cleaved of its flefh, fo 
that the horns and fkeleton of the head only remained ; this 
he hung up in his great hall among the probofces of ele- 
phants, and horns of rhinocerofes, with this infcription in 
his own language, " Y'ogoabe the Kipt killed this upon ibeBedowi? 

We were now within fight of home, to which we went 
flraight without further hunting. Neither the ridicule nor 
the condolence of the young men could force one word 
from Ammonios ; only when I afked hirri whether or not 
he was hurt, he anfwered from the fcripture, " He that lo- 
" veth danger fhall perifh in it." But at night Ozoro Either, 
either really or feignecUy, expreffing herielf as difpleafed 
with her fen Ayto Ccnfu, Ammonios, who loved the young 
man fincerely, could not bear to be the occafion of 'this ; fo 
, x that 


thatall refolved itfelf into mirth and joke. What added to the 
merriment was, that the meflengers from the Iteghe brought 
a large increafe to our flock, of brandy ; but brought alfo 
pofitive orders, both from her and the king, to Ozoro Either, 
to determine me, by all pomble means, to return to Gondar, 
or elfe to repair thither inilantly herfelf. 

The evening of the day whereon we fet out to hunt, 
fome men arrived from Ras el Feel, lent by Yaline, with 
camels for our baggage, nothing but muks being ufed at 
Tcherkin. They brought word, that the Shangalla were 
down near the Tacazze, fo that now was the time to pafs 
without fear ; that Abd el Jeleei, the former Shum of Ras el 
Feel, Yafine's mortal enemy, had been feen lurking in the 
country near Sancaho ; but as he had only four men, and 
was himfelf a known coward, it was not probable he would 
attempt any thing againft us, though it would be always 
better that we keep on our guard, 

Tcherkin has a market on Saturdays, in which raw cot- 
ton, cattle, honey, and coarfe cotton cloths are fold. The 
Shangalla formerly molefted Tcherkin greatly, but for thir- 
ty years paft they had done little damage. The fmall-pox 
raged fo violently for a number of years among them, that 
it has greatly diminifhed their numbers, and confequently 
their power of troubling their neighbours. At Tcherkin 
we faw a prodigious quantity of black fcorpions, of a very 
fmall kind, feldom in the houfes, but chiefly hid under 
Hones ; feveral of our people were flung by them, but no 
other mifchief followed, but a fmall fwelling, and a com- 
plaint of cold in trie part, which went away in a few 



From the defcent of Moura, after leaving DebraTzai, and 
Kofcam, all was thick woods till we arrived at Tcherkin ; 
the roads very rugged and broken, but the weather was 
exceedingly pleafant ; for though the thermometer was 
fometimes at 115 , it was always cool in the made ; and 
by the fide of every river there was a frefh gentle breeze 
from N. E. efpecially at mid-day. The mornings were al- 
ways calm, or with little wind at N. E. It regularly chan- 
ged about nine to N. W. and then fell calm. About four in 
the afternoon it generally was at weft or near it ; but two 
currents were conftantly diftinguifhed at night ; the lower 
N. E. veering eafterly towards morning; while the white 
fmall clouds very thin and high, coming very rapidly from 
the S. W. mewed the direction and ftrength of the higher 
current. The mornings and nights were cloudy from the 
■the firft of January, but the days perfectly ferene. 

On Wednesday the eighth of January, having rectified my 
quadrant with great attention, I found the latitude of Tcher- 
kin, by a meridian altitude of the fun, to be 13 7' 30" N. ; 
and taking a mean between that and the meridian altitude 
of eleven different liars, the following night, I found the true 
latitude of Tcherkin Amba to be 1 3 7' ■$$" north. But though 
from that time I was ready to depart, I could not poffibly 
get difengaged from my friends, but by a competition, which 
was, that I mould flay till the 15 th, the day before Ozoro 
Efther and her company were to fet out on their return to 
Gondar; and that, they, on their part, mould fuffer me to 
depart on that day, without further perfwafion, or throwing 
.any obftacle whatever in my way. The king had recom- 
mended to them this fort of agreement, if I was obitinate, 
and this being fettled, we abandoned ourfelves to mirth and- 



^tea-a-gBe , , =^S 


From Tcherkin to Hor-Cacamoot^ in Ras el Feeh— Account of it — Tranf. 

aclions there, 

ON the 15 th of January, at a quarter paft eight in the 
morning, we left Tcherkin, and entered immediately 
into thick woods; but proceeded very flowly, the road 
being bad and unknown, if it could be called a road, and 
our camels overloaded. About an hour afterwards we palled 
a fmall village of elephant hunters on our right, and our 
courfe was flraight north, through dark thick woods, over- 
grown with long grafs, till at half an hour pari ten we 
came to another fmall village clofe on our right. We then 
turned N. W. and continued in that direction, palling feve- 
ral villages, all of elephant hunters, and moftly Mahome- 
tans. At three quarters after twelve we came to a fmall 
river which runs W. N. W. and falls into the Germa ; here 
Vol. IV. R r we 


we r.efted. At ten minutes paft one we fet out again, thro'" 
the thickeft and moll impenetrable woods I ever faw ; and 
at half paft four we encamped about two miles weft of Am- 
ba Daid, a fmall village of elephant hunters, often deftroy- 
ed by the Shangalla, but now lately rebuilt, and ftrength- 
ened by Agageers and their families under protection of 
Ayto Confu. We went not to the village, for the fake of a 
fmall brook which we had found here, running north, and. 
falling into the Angrab. 

On the 16th, at half after feven in the morning we re- 
fumed our journey, going weft ward ; about an hour and a 
half afterwards we arrived at the Germa, a large river which 
runs N. N. W. and falls into the Angrab ; and a quarter 
after nine we patted the Germa, and going N. W. through 
the very thickeft woods, came to Dabdo, a hill almoft der. 
ferted, its inhabitants having been fo frequently deftroyed , 
by the Pagan Shangalla. 

At twenty minutes paft ten, ftill going through the 
thickeft woods, and ground all opened by the heat of the 
fun, we found,, in a graffy marfh, a pretty abundant fpring 
of foul water. This is the refort of the . hunters of the 
elephant, as alfo of their rivals and enemies the Shangalla ; 
and here much human blood has been flied by people 
whofe occupation and intention, when they went from 
home, were that of flaying the wild beads only. The Baafa : 
or Dobena Shangalla, poftefs the country which lies about : 
four days journey N. E. from this. 

At a quarter paft eleven we came to the river Terkwa;., 
which, after running N. W. falls into the Angrab ; it then 

flood ; 


Hood in large deep pool^ the banks were covered with tall 
green grafs ; the tafte of the water foul, and earthy. At 
twelve we pafTed the river Terkwa ; and going north, about 
an hour after we came to the Dongola,running eaft and weft; 
and an hour after that to Jibbel Myrat river, which, running 
eaft and weft, was once the boundary between Sennaar and 
Abyffinia. Hiftory does not tell us when thefe boundaries 
were altered, or upon what occafion. It was probably upon 
the. firft invafion that new ones were fettled. It fhould feem 
that the Abyilinians had then the better of Nubia; for a 
large acceffion of territory was ceded by the latter to 
the former. A few minutes after we came to the river 
Woodo, larger than the laft. It has a rocky bottom, and 
is full of fmall fim of a browniih. and filver colour. Where 
we crofTed, it runs from well to eaft, and falls into the An- 
grab. There we pafTed the night, not without alarms, as 
freih foot-fteps in the fand were very plainly difcovered, 
which, by the length of the. foot, and the largenefs of the 
heels, our people pronounced were furely Shangalla ; but 
nothing difaftrous appeared all night. 

On the 17th, before feven in the morning we were again 
upon our journey, our direction N. and N. W. winding to 
due Weft. Andoval mountain flood W. N. W. diftant from 
us four miles. At forty minutes pail eight, going due weft, 
Andoval mountain lay to the north of us ; and Awafla 
mountains to the fouth. This is a ridge which, coming from 
the north, ftretches fouth to Dabda, and Abra Amba. An- 
doval mountain is a fmall pointed peek, which conftitutes 
the north end of them. We halted here a few minutes, 
and refumed our route to the weftward, and N. W. till we 

R r 1 came 


came to Sancaho, at half an hoar pall one,, and there we 

Sancaho is an old frontier territory of Abyflinia. The 
town may confifl of about 300 huts or houfes, neatly built 
of canes, and curioufly thatched with leaves of the fame- 
It rifes in the midfl of a plain, and refembles in fhape Tcher- 
kin Amba, though much larger ; a considerable diftricft all 
around belongs to it, of wilds and woods, if fuch as thefe, 
abandoned entirely to wild beails, can be faid to belong to 
any man. The ealt end flopes with rather a fleep defcent; 
into the plain ; and through that is a narrow winding road, 
feemingly the work of art, being obftructed at turns by 
huge (tones, and at different flages, for the purpofe of de- 
fence by guns or arrows ; all the other fides of the rock are 
perpendicular precipices. The inhabitants of the town are 
Baafa, a race of Shangalla, converted to the Mahometan re- 
ligion ; it is an abfolute government, has a nagareet or 
kettle-drum fOr proclamations, yet is underilood to be in- 
ferior to Ras el Feel, and dependent on it ; and always fub- 
ject to that nobleman, who is Kafmati of Ras el Feel, fuch 
as Ayto Confu then was, after he had refumed his govern- 
ment at my departure, though during my flay in Abyflinia 
it had devolved upon me by his furrendering it* 

Gimbaro, the Erbab or chief of Sancaho, was the tallefl 
and floutefl man of his nation ; about fix feet fix inches 
high, andflrongly made in proportion ; hunted always on 
foot ; and was faid, among his people, to have fingly kill- 
ed elephants with one blow of his fpear. The features of 
his face might well be called hideous ; he paid his part of 
the revenue in buffaloes hides, of which the befl fhields were 

made ; 


made ; and with elephants teeth, and rhinoceros's horns, 
ufed for the handles of the crooked knives, which the Abyf- 
finians carry at their girdles. All the inhabitants of San- 
eaho are hunters of elephants. It is their principal food. 
.Erbab Gimbaro came with Yaline, and brought more than 
a hundred oF the Shangallato the king's army at Serbraxos, 
where the Moors alledged he did not any way diftinguifbt 
himfelf. I had, however, taken confiderable notice of him; 
and at his earneft defire carried him into the tent, and fhew- 
ed him the king. 

We encamped at the bottom of the hill on the fouth-weft 
fide of the town, on the banks of the river, which rifes in 
the mountains fix miles off to the fouth, and encompaffes 
the half of the hill* where Sancaho ftands ; after which it 
turns northward, but was now moftly dry. While we were 
pitching our tent, I fent one of Yafine's men to order Gim- 
baro to fend us the ufual quantity of provifion for ourfelves 
and camels, and told him alfo, that my camels were few in 
number, and weak ; defiring he would fend two, or one at 
leaft, which mould be ftated in his deftar, or account of 
rent, for that year. I was aftonifhed to fee Yafine's men 
return, bringing with them only a woolly-headed black, 
the Erbab's fon, as it feemed, who, with great freedom and 
p - tnefs, and in very good Amharic, faid, " My father fa- 
iutes you ; if ye eat what he eats, ye fhall be very welcome." 
I aiked him, What that was ? — He faid, " Elephant killed yef- 
terday ; and as for camels ye demand, he tells you he has 
none ; elephant? are his camels, and rhinocerofes are his* 



Ayto Confu's fervants, who heard this meiTage deliver- 
ed, and who were as defirous of getting over this journey 
■to Ras el Feel as I was, adviied me to go with him up the 
hill to the town, and expoftulate with the Erbab, who, he 
faid, would be afhamed to refufe. Accordingly, I armed 
myfelf with a pair of piftols at my girdle, with a fu.fil and 
bayonet in my hand ; and took with me two fervants with 
their piftols alfo, each carrying a large fhip-blunderbufs. 
We mounted the hill with great difficulty, being feveral 
times obliged to pull up one another by the hands, and en- 
tered into a large room about fifty feet long. It was all 
hung round with elephants heads and trunks, with fkele- 
tons of the heads of fome rhinocerofes, and of monflrous 
hippopotami, as alfo feveral heads of the giraffa. Some 
large lion fkins were thrown on feveral parts of the room, 
like carpets ; and Gimbaro flood upright at one end of ir, 
naked, only a fmall cloth about his middle ; the largeft 
man I ever remembered to have feen, perfectly black, flat- 
-nofed, thick-lipped, and woolly-headed ; and feemed to be 
a perfect picture of thofe Cannibal giants which we read of 
as inhabiting enchanted caftles in fairy tales. 

He did not feem to take notice at my nrft entering the 
-room, nor till I was very near him. He then came auk- 
wardly forward, bowing, endeavouring to kifs my hand, 
which I withdrew from him, and faid in a firm voice, " I 
apprehend, Sir, you do not know me." He bowed and faid 
he did, but did not conceive, at the time, it was me that en- 
camped at the brook. " You did know, Sir, when you fent 
your fon with Yafme's fervant, and you know that you are 
confiderably in my debt. Befides, if you had any gratitude, 
you would remember the arrears I remitted you, and the pre- 



£ents I made you when at Serbraxos, even though you mif- 
behaved there. Your meffage to me while below at the ri- 
ver was the language of a rebel. Are you willing to be 
declared in rebellion ?" He faid, " By no means ; he had 
always been a faithful fervant to Ayto Confu, Ras Michael, 
and the king, and had come to Serbraxos upon receiving the 
firit order, and would obey whatever I mould command." 
" Then pay me the meery you owe me, and begin firft by 
bringing two camels." " He faid, he never refufed the ca- ■ 
mels, and the menage he fent was but in fport." " And was 
it fport too, Sir, faid I, when you faid you would fend me 
the nefh of elephants to eat ? Did you ever know a Chriflian 
eat any fort of neih that a Mahometan killed ?" He anfwer- 
ed, No ; and begging my pardon, promifed he would fend 
me bread and honey, and the camels mould be ready in the 
morning." They mufl be ready to-night, faid I, and before 
night too; for I am to difpatcha fervant this evening to Ay- 
to Confu to complain of your behaviour, as I do not know 
what you may meditate againfl us in our way to Ras el 
Eeel." He begged now, in the moft earner! manner, I would 
not complain ; and faid, he would have all his fpies out to 
the eaftward, that not a Shangalla mould pafs to molefl us, 
without our being informed of them. Some ofiiis princi- 
pal people now interfering, I confented to forget and for- 
give what had pafled. We then ate bread, and drank beer 9 
to fhow the reconciliation was fincere, and fo the affair 
ended. . 

About fix in the evening came two flrong camels, and 
about thirty loaves of bread made of Dora; tvvo large wheat 
loaves for me, as alio a jar of wild honey, of excellent fla- 
vour, and with thefe a prefent to Ayto Confu's fervant. 

4 On 


On the 18th, about fix in the morning, Erbab Gimbaroi 
coming down to our tent, brought thirty loaves of Dora as 
before, and four of wheat, for the journey ; and we had al- 
ready enough of honey, upon which we breakfafted with 
the Erbab, who, to confirm the f riendlhip, took two or three 
glafies of ftrong fpirits, which put him into excellent hu- 
mour. His fon, too, that he might atone for his laft night's 
mifbehaviour, brought a better camel than any we had feen, 
and exchanged it for one of thofe that came yeuerday in 
the evening. I, on the other hand, gave him a cotton cloth, 
and fome trifles, which made him perfectly happy; and we 
parted in the moft cordial friendfhip poflible, after having 
made a promife that, at my return, I ihould flay a week at 
Sancaho to hunt the elephant and rhinoceros. 

Before leaving Sancaho, I had an opportunity of verify- 
ing a fact hitherto doubtful in natural hiftory, Mr HafTel- 
quifl, the Swedifh traveller, when at Cairo, faw the fkins of 
two girafFos Huffed, which came from Sennaar. He gives 
as minute a defcription as poflible he could from feeing the 
fkins only ; but fays nothing about the horns, becaufe I 
fuppofe he did not fee them ; on which account the doubt 
remained undecided, whether the girafFo's horns were folid 
as the deer's, and call every year ; or whether they were 
hollow, attached to a core, or bone, like thofe of fheep, and 
consequently permanent. The Count de Buffon conjectures 
them to be of this laft kind, and fo I found them. They 
are twilled in all refpedts like the horns of an antelope. 

At ten minutes paft eight we fet out from Sancaho ; but 

my people took it into their heads, that, notwithftanding the 

fair behaviour of Erbab Gimbaro, he intended to lay fome 

2 ambufh 


ambufli to cut us off, and rob us on the way. For rny part, 
I was very well fatisfied of the contrary ; but this did not hin- 
der them from forfaking the accuftomed road, and getting 
among a thick wood of canes ; we were obliged to cut our 
way out of them when our direction was weft, or to the 
fouthward of welt. They were aifo afraid of Abd el Jileel. 

At ten minutes paft eleven we crofTed the Bedowi, 
which we had pafled twice before ; at half paft eleven we 
crofted it again, travelling fouthward ; and a quarter 
after twelve we were fo entangled with woods, and fo fa- 
tigued with cutting the way for our camels, that we thought 
we mould get no further. We had, however, continued 
till three quarters paft one in a direction fouth-eaft, at which 
time we were not above five miles from Sancaho ; and, at 
half paft two, had turned fouth-weft on the banks of the 
large river Tokoor-Ohha, which fignifies the Black River. 
It comes from the mountains of Awafla on the fouth-eaft, 
and, after winding confiderably, it falls into the Guangue, 
about eight miles from Guanjook. 

Tokoor-Ohha is a river famous for the number of buf- 
faloes that are upon its banks, which are covered with large 
beautiful fliady- trees, all of a hard red wood, called Den- 
gui Sibber, or Breaker of Stones. They had neither fruit 
nor flower on them at this time, by which we might judge 
to what tribe they belong ; but they are not ebony, which 
in this country is known by the name of Zope. 

On the 19th, at three quarters paft fix we left ourftation 

on Tokoor river, which we crofTed about a quarter of an 

hour after, our direction being nearly S. W. The territory 

Vol. IV. S f here 


here is called Gilmaber, from Gilma, a fmall village a mile 
and a half diftant to the fouthward. Gilmaber is about a 
mile and a half long, full of tall canes. From the time 
we left Tokoor river, we had been followed by a lion, or 
rather preceded by one, for it was generally a fmall gun- 
fhot before us ; and wherever it came to a bare fpot, its 
would fit down and grumble as if it meant to difpute the 
way with us. Our beans trembled, and were all covered 
with fvveat, and could fcarcely be kept on the road. As 
there feemed to be but one remedy for this difficulty, I 
took a long Turkifh rifled gun, and crawling under a bank 
as near as poffible, fhot it in the body, fo that it fell from 
the bank on the road before us, quite dead, and even with- 
out mufcular motion. It proved to be a large lionefs. All 
the people in this country eat the flefh of lions ; as I have 
feen fome tribes* in Barbary do likewife. We left the lion- 
efs to the inhabitants of the neighbouring village, fkin- 
and all ; for we were fo tired with this day's journey, that 
we could not be at the pains of fkinning her. 

A few minutes after this we paned the river Gilma, twice, 
which runs to the northward. At half pafl nine we joined 
Dabda road, and a few minutes after croffed the Quartuc- 
ca, a fmall river running north. 

The country here becomes more open, for the thick 
woods have fmall plains between them. In the entrance 
of a wood we found a man that had been murdered, and 
that very lately, as the wild beafts had not yet begun 


* Welled Sidi Boogannlm at Hydra. See Shaw's Travels*. . 


to touch the body ; he had been ham- ft rung, and his throat 
cut, a performance probably of the neighbouring Shangal- 
la. At fifty minutes paft ten, our route being weft, we 
paHed under a hill a quarter of a mile on our right, upon 
which is a village called Salamgue. At a quarter paft ele- 
ven we crofted the fmall river of Kantis ; and a quarter of an 
hour afterwards we afcended a hill upon which ftands a 
village of that name, inhabited by Mahometan Shangalla 
of the tribe of Baafa. 

On the 20th we proceeded but a mile and a half; our 
beafts and ourfelves being equally fatigued, and our cloaths 
torn all to rags. Guanjook is a very delightful fpot by the 
river fide ; fmall woods of very high trees interfperfed with 
very beautiful lawns ; feveral fields alfo cultivated with 
cotton ; variety of game (efpecially Guinea fowls, in great 
abundance) and, upon every tree, perroquets, of all the dif- 
ferent kinds and colours, compofe the beauties of Guan- 
jook. I faw no parrots, and fuppofe there were none ; but 
on firing a gun, the firft probably ever heard in thofe 
woods, there was fuch a fcreaming of other birds on all 
fides, fome flying to the place whence the noife came, and 
fome flying from it, that it was impoffible to hear di- 
ftinctly any other found. It was at this place that I fhot 
that curious bird called the Erkoom * in Amhara ; the 
Abba Gumba, in Tigre; and here at Guanjook, teir elNariba, 
or the Bird of Deftiny, 

On the 2 2d, at three quarters paft fix we left Guanjook, 
and a few minutes after pafled a fmall river called Gum- 

S f 2 bacca, 


* See the article Erkoom in the Appendix. 


bacca, and afterwards the river Tokoor. At half an hour 
pail eight we refted there, and three hours after came to 
the Guangue. The Guangue is the largefl river we had 
feen in Abyflinia except the Nile and Taccaze. It rifes near 
Tchelga, or between Tchelga and Nara. It joins the Tacaz- 
ze in the Barabra, in the kingdom of Sennaar. The two 
rivers when joined are called the Atbara, which gives its 
name to the province. It abounds with hippopotami, and 
crocodiles, chiefly the former, which however we thought 
were moftly fmaller than thofe of the Nile. 

At a quarter after one we came to Mariam-Ohha, and 
at half paft three arrived at Hor-Cacamoot. Hor in that 
country fignifies the dry deep bed of a torrent, which has 
ceafed to run ; and Cacamoot, the lhade of death ; fo that 
Yafine's village, where we now took up our quarters, is call- 
ed the Valley of the Shadow of Death : A bad omen for 
weak and wandering travellers as we were, furrounded by 
a multitude of dangers, and fo far from home, that there 
feemed to be but one that could bring us thither. We trail- 
ed in Him, and He did deliver us. 

Hor-Cacamoot is fituated in a plain in the midfl of a 
wood, fo much only of which has been cleared away as 
to make room for the miferable huts of which it confifts, 
and for the fmall fpots of ground on which they fow ma- 
fhilla, or maize, to furnifh them with bread. Their other 
food confifts entirely of the flefh of the elephant and rhino- 
ceros, and chiefly of the former ; for the trouble of hunt- 
ing the elephant is not greater than chafing the rhinoceros, 
and the_difFerence of gain is much fuperior. The elephant 
has a greater quantity of better flefh, while his large teeth 
3 are 


are very valuable, and afford a ready price everywhere. The 
inhabitants being little acquainted with the ufe of fire-arms, 
the fmaller game, of the deer kind, are not much molefted, 
unlefs by the wild Shangalla, who make ufe of bows and 
arrows, fo that thefe animals are increafed beyond imagi- 

Ras el Feel confuted once of thirty-nine villages. All' 
the Arabs of Atbara reforted to them with butter, honey, 
horfes, gold, and many other commodities ; and the Shekh 
of Atbara, living upon the frontier of Sennaar, entertained a 
conftant good correfpondence with the Shekh of Ras el Feel, 
to whom he fent yearly a Dongola hdrfe, two razors, and 
two dogs. The Shekh of Ras el Feel, in return, gave him a 
mule and a female Have ; and the effect of this intercourfe 
was to keep all the intermediate Arabs in their duty. 

Since the expedition of Yafous II. againft Sennaar, no 
peace has ever fubfifled between the two ftates ; on the con- 
trary, all the Arabs that amfted the king, and were defeat- 
ed with him, pay tribute no longer to Sennaar, but live on 
the frontiers of Abyflinia, and are protected there. The 
two chiefs of Atbara, and Ras el Feel, underftand one ano- 
ther perfectly, and give the Arabs no trouble ; and, if they 
pay their rent to either, it is divided between both. It was 
through the means of thefe Arabs the king of Abymnia's 
army was furnifhed, as we have feen, with heavy horfes ; 
and it was in confequence of my depending on this friend- 
fhip with the Shekh of Teawa, that I attempted going thro' 
that province to Sennaar, 



Sometime before I left Gondar I had been threatened 
with an attack of the dyfentery. At my arrival at Hor- 
Cacamoot it grew worfe, and had many unpromifing fymp- 
toms, when I was cured by the advice and application of a 
common Shangalla, by means of a ihrub calledWooginoos*, 
growing very common in thofe parts, the manner of ufing 
which he taught me. 

The country, fromTcherkin to Ras el Feel, orHor-Caca- 
moot, is all a black earth, calledMazaga, which fome authors 
have taken for the name of the province. However, the 
word Mazaga, in the language of the country, fignifies fat, 
loofe, black earth, or mold, fuch as all that ftripe of land 
from 1 3 to i6° of latitude is compofed of, at leaft till you 
reach to the deferts of Atbara, where the rains end. Ras 
el Feel is, I fuppofe, one of the hotteft countries in the 
known world. On the ill day of March, at three o'clock in 
the afternoon, Fahrenheit's thermometer, in the made, was 
114 , which was at 6i° at fun-rife, and 82 at fun-fet. And 
yet this exceflive heat did not make a proportional impref- 
fion upon our feelings. The evenings, on the contrary, ra- 
ther feemed cold, and we could hunt at mid-day. And this 
I conftantly obferved in this fultry country, that/ what was 
hot by the glafs,*never appeared to carry with it any thing 
proportionate in our fenfations. 

Ras el Feel formerly paid 400 ounces of gold, which is 
4000 crowns ; Sancaho paid 100. But trade having decrea- 
sed, lince the expedition of Yafous II. to Sennaar, without 


* See the aiticle Wooginoos in the Appendix. 


the king's demand being leflened, many people have left it> 
and are gone to Tcherkin. 

I have feveral times, in the courfe of this work, taken 
notice of a black nation called Shangalla, who furrround 
all the N. N. W. and N. E. of Abyflinia, by a belt fcarcely 
fixty miles broad. This is called by the Abyffinians, Kolla, 
or the Hot Country, which is likewife one of their names 
for hell. Two gaps, or fpaces, made for the fake of com- 
merce, in this belt, the one at Tchelga, the other at Ras el 
Feel, have been fettled and ponefTed by ftrangers, to keep 
thefe Shangalla in awe ; and here the cuftom-houfes were 
placed, for the mutual intereft of both kingdoms, before all 
intercourfe was interrupted by the impolitic expedition of 
Yafous againfl Sennaar. Ras el Feel divides this nation of 
woolly-headed blacks into two, the one weft below Kuara, 
and bordering on Fazuclo (part of the kingdom of Sen- 
naar) as alfo on the country of Agows. Thefe are the 
Shangalla that traffic in gold, which they find in the earth, 
where torrents have fallen from the mountains ; for there 
is no fuch thing as mines in any part of their country nor 
any way of collecting gold but this ; nor is there any gold 
found in Abymnia, however confidently this has been ad- 
vanced ; neither is there gold brought into that kingdom 
from any other quarter but this which we are now fpeak- 
ing of ; notwithftanding all the mifreprefentations of the 
miffionaries to make the attempts to fubdue this king- 
dom appear more lucrative and lefs ridiculous to Euro- 
pean princes. The other nation, on the frontiers of 
Kuara, has Ras el Feel on the eaft, about three days 
journey from the Cacamoot. The natives are called Gan~ 

3, - , jar;; 


jar ; a very numerous and formidable nation of hunters, 
confuting of feveral thoufand horfe. The origin of thefe 
is faid to have been, that when the Funge (or black nation 
now occupying Sennaar) difpoflefTed the Arabs from that 
part of the country, the black-flaves that were in fervice 
among thefe Arabs, all fled and took poflemon of the dis- 
tricts they now hold ; where they have greatly increafed 
in numbers, and continue independent to this day. They 
are the natural enemies of Ras el Feel, and much blood has 
been fried between them, from making inroads one upon 
the other, murdering the men and carrying their women 
into flavery. Yafine, however, had become too ftrong for 
them, by the afliftance of Ayto Confu, and they had offered 
to afTift the king at the campaign of Serbraxos. But they 
were found not fit to be trufled, fo were fent away, under 
pretence that they fhould attack Coque Abou Barea govern- 
or ofKuara for the rebels, and hinder him from coming 
to their afliftance ; and even this they did not do. 

The title of their chief is Sheba, which fignifies the Old 
Man. His refidence is called Cafhumo, by his own people ; 
and Dendy Kolla, by the Abyfiinians of Kuara. Yafine, 
however, was now at peace with them, without which our 
journey would fcarce have been poflible. Sheba fent his 
fon to fee me at Ras el Feel ; we thought, at that time, he 
came as a fpy. However, when we departed I gave him a 
fmall prefent ; and we fwore mutual friendfhip, that he 
was to be ready always to fight againft my enemies, and 
that we were to act kindly by each other, though we were 
to meet, horfe to horfe, alone in the defert. 



Yasine had done every thing, on his part, to fecure me 
a good reception from Fidele Shekh of Atbara. Every af- 
furanee poffible had been given, and I had before travelled 
ibme thoufand miles upon much {lighter promifes, which 
had, however, been always faithfully kept ; fo that I did 
not at all fufpect rhat any thing unfair could be intended 
me at Teawa, where Fidele refided. But as the lofs of life 
was the confequence of being miflaken, I never did omit 
any means to double my fecurity. 

Mahomet Gibberti, as we have before obferved, had al- 
reihdy carried a letter of mine fromGondar to his mailer Meti- 
calAga,Selictarto the SherriiFe of Mecca in Arabia, requeuing 
that he would write to fome man of confideration in Sennaar, 
and, taking it for granted that I was then arrived at Teawa, 
defire that a fervant of the king might be lent to give me 
fafe conduct from that frontier to the capital. Yafine had 
written to the fame effect, directly to Sennaar, and lent a 
-fervant of his, who, for fecurity fake, had nothing but the 
letter and an old ragged cloth about his waiil ; and he had 
long ago arrived at Sennaar, the before-named place of his 

Among the tribes of Arabs that were protected by Yafine, 
^and furnhlied with pafture, water, and a market for their 
cattle, and milk and butter, at Ras el Feel, were the Daveina, 
by much the moll powerful of all the Arabs in Atbara ; but 
they venrured no further fouthward than Beyla, for fear 
of the troops of Sennaar. 

The Shek'h of Beyla was a man of very great character 

for courage and probity. His name was Mahomet ; and I 

Vol. IV. T t had 


had often correfponded with him upon the fubject of hor- 
fes for the king while I was at Gondar. He was greatly 
tormented with the Hone, and by means of Yafine I had 
feveral times fent him foap-pills, and lime, with directions 
how to make lime-water. I therefore fent a fervant of mine 
with a letter to the Shekh of Beyla, mentioning my inten- 
tion of coming to Sennaar by the way of Teawa and Bey- 
la, and defiring him to forward my fervant to Sennaar, to- 
Hagi Belal my correfpondent there, and, at the fame time,, 
write to fome other friend of his own, to fee that the king's 
fervant mould be difpatched to Teawa without delay. This 
fervant, with the letters, I committed to the care of the She^k 
of the Daveina, who promifed that he would himfelf fee 
him fafe into Beyla; and, by a particular Providence, all thefe 
letters and meffengers arrived fafe, without mifcarriage o£ 
one, at the places of their deftination, though we were long*; 
kept in fufpence before they took, effect,.. 

I was now about to quit Ras el Feel for ever, in a firm? 
perfwafion that I had done every thing man could do to 
in lure a fafe journey and good reception at Sennaar, till- 
one day I received a vint from Mahomet Shekh of Nile .;. 
which does not mean Shekh of the river, but of a tribe of 
that name, which is but a divifion of the Daveina. To this 
Shekh I had fhewn a particular attention in feveral trips he 
had made to Gondar, in confequence of which he was very 
grateful and anxious for my fafety. He told me, that he faw 
I was fetting out perfectly content with the meafures I had 
taken for my fafety at Sennaar, and he owned that they 
were the beft that human prudence could fugged; "but, fays, 
he, in my opinion, you have not yet been cautious enough a- 
bout Teawa. I know Fidele well, and I apprehend your danges? 



is there, and not at Sennaar." He then drew a mod unfa- 
vourable picture of that Shekh, whom he affirmed to have 
been a murderer and a thief all his days, and the fon of a 
father no better than himfelf ; that he was of no religion, 
neither Mahometan, Chriflian, nor Pagan, but abfolutely 
without fear of God ; he faid, however, he believed him to 
be a great coward ; and therefore the whole of my fafety re- 
duced itfelf to this, Was. he really afraid of Yafine, or not ? 
If he was, that became the bell handle we could lay hold 
on ; but if, on the contrary, he was not afraid of Yafine, or 
was perfuaded, as he very well might be by wicked people 
about him, that, when once I was out of the country, Ya- 
fine took no further charge of me, he doubted very much 
I mould never pafs Teawa, or, at leaft, without fuffering 
fome heavy affront or ill-ufage* the extent of which it was 
impoflible to determine. 

These fenfible fuggeftions made a very ftrong impreflion 
on Yafine and me ; Yafine's firft pofition was, that Fidele was 
certainly afraid to difoblige him ; but, allowing the pom- 
bility he was not, he owned he had not fubflituted any fe- 
cond meafure to which I could truft. We all regretted that 
our friends the Daveina had been fuffered to depart without 
taking me with them by Sim-Sim and Beyla ; but it was now 
too late, as the Daveina had for fome days arrived at the 
ftation the nearefl Beyla and the fartheft from us. It was 
then agreed, that Nile mould fend a relation of his, who was 
married to one of the tribes of Jehaina Arabs, encamped upon 
Jibbel Ifriff near to Teawa, with whom Fidele was at that 
time making peace, left they mould burn the crop about 
the town. This man was not to enter the town of Teawa 
with me, but was to come there the next day, as if from his 

T t a friends 


friends at Jibbel IfriiF; and, if I then informed him there 
was danger, fibould return to the jehaina, mount a hajan- 
or dromedary, and give Yafme information with all poftible 
fpeed. All this being now fettled, I -prepared for my. jour- 
ney, having firft, by many observations by night and day, 
fixed- the latitude of be 13° 1' $%' north,. 


CHAP, iv; 

JFVflW Hor-Gacamtot to Teaw^ Capital of Atham*- 

Twas on the 17th of March that we fee out fromHor-Caca* 
moot on our journey to Teawa, capital of the province, of 
Atbara, Our courfcwas R N* W, through thick brufhwood, 
with a few high trees ; our companions being eleven naked 
men, with afie§ loaden with fak We had feveral interrupt 
tions on the road. At three in the afternoon we encamped 
at Falaty, the eaft village of Has el Feel* a little to the north- 
wards A fmali mountain* immediately north from this vil- 
lage, the one end of which is thought to refemble the head 
of an elephant, gives the name to the village and the pro« 
vince** This mountain flretches in a direction nearly north 


* Ra* tl Fed ggtu£ea the hud of as elephant* 


and fouth, as do the villages, and the fmall river when It 
has water, but it was now apparently dry. However, by 
digging pretty deep in the fand, the water filtering through 
the fides of the holes filled in a certain time with a putrid* 
ill-tailed, unwholefome beverage, which is all this mifer- 
able village has for its ufe. The people look fickly and ill- 
coloured. Falaty is three miles and a half diftant from Hor- 
Cacamoot, its name interpreted is Poverty, 

On the 18th, at half after fix in the morning we conti- 
nued our journey through thick, and almofl impenetrable 
woods full of thorns ; and in two hours we came to the 
i>ed of a torrent, though in appearance dry, upon digging 
with our hands in the loofe fand, we found great plenty 
of frelh water exceedingly well tailed, being flicker- 
ed by projecting rocks from the action of the fun. This is 
called Surf el Shekh. Here we filled our girbas, for there 
is very little good water to be found between this and 

A girba is an ox's fkin fquared, and the edges fewed to- 
gether very artificially by a double feam, which does not 
let out water, much refembling that upon the bell Englifh 
cricket-balls. An opening is left in the top of the girba, in 
the fame manner as the bung-hole of a calk. Around this 
the fkin is gathered to the fize of a large handful, which, 
when the girba is full of water, is tied round with whip- 
cord. Thefe girbas generally contain about fixty gallons 
each, and two of them are the load of a camel. They are 
then all befmeared on the outfide with greale, as well to 
hinder the water from oozing through, as to prevent its 
t>eing evaporated by the action of the fun upon the girba, 



which in fact happened to us twice, fo as to put us in im- 
minent danger of periihing with t-hirft. 

Yasine had provided a camel and two girbas, as well as 
every other provifion neccffary for us, till we mould arrive 
at Teawa. Surf el Shekh is the boundary of Ras el Feel. 
Here I took an affectionate leave of my friend Yaline, who, 
with all his attendants, mewed, at parting, that love and at- 
tachment they had conftantly preferred to me lince our firft 


Soliman, my old and f aithfuT fervant, who had carried 
my iirft letter to Sennaar, though provided for in the king's 
fervice, infilled upon attending me to Sennaar, and dying 
with me if it mould be my fate ; or elfe gaining the reward 
which had been promifed; him, if he brought back the 
good news of my fafe arrival and good reception there. At 
parting, I gave the faithful Yaline one of my horfes and 
my coat of mail, that is my ordinary one ; for the one 
that was given me by Ozoro Either had belonged to king 
Yafous, and as it would have been an affront to have be- 
llowed it on a common man like Yafine, who, belides, was a 
Mahometan, fo I gave it (with Ozoro Efther's eonfent) to' 
Ay to Engedan, king Yafous's grandfon. Before parting, 
Yaline, like an old traveller, called the whole company to- 
gether, and. obliged, them, to repeat the Eedtah, the Prayer 
of Peace;- 

At half pad feven in the evening we came to Engaldi, 

a large bafon or cavity, feveral hundred yards in length, 

and ; about thirty feet deep, made for the reception of water 

by the Arabs, who encamp by its fide after the rains. The 

4 water 


water was almofl exhaufled, and what remained had an in- 
tolerable flench. However, flocks of Guinea fowls, partrid- 
ges, and every fort of bird, had crowded thither to drink, 
from the fcarcity of water elfe where.- I believe, I may cer- 
tainly fay, the number amounted to many thoufands. My 
Arabs loaded themfelves in a very little while, killing them, 
with flicks and flones ; but they were perfectly ufelefs, 
being reduced to fkeletons by hunger and thirfl; For this 
reafon, as well as that I might not alarm any itrolling banditti 
within hearing, I did not fuffer a fhot to be fired at them. 

At eight we came to Eradeeba, where is neither village 
nor water, but only a refling-plaee about half a mile fquare, 
which has been cleared from wood, that travellers, who 
pafs to and from Atbara, might have a fecure fpot whence 
they could fee around them, and guard themfelves from 
being attacked unawares by the banditti fometimes refort- 
ing to thofe deferts. 

At a quarter pafl eleven we arrived at Quaicha, a bed of 
:a torrent where there was now no water ; but the wood 
feemed growing ftill thicker, and to be full of wild beafls, 
efpecially lions and hyenas. Thefe do not fly from man, 
as thofe did that we had hitherto feen, but came boldly up, 
efpecially the hysena, with a reiblution to attack us. Upon 
our iirfl lighting a fire they left us for a time ; but towards 
morning they came in greater numbers, than before; a lion 
.carried away one of our afles from among the other beafls of 
burden, and a hyaena attacked one of the men, tore his cloth 
from his middle, and wounded him in his back. As we 
norv expected to be inflantly devoured, theprefent fear over- 
came the refolutions we had made, not ^to ufe our fire arms, 

2 ' unlefs 

A ■ 



iinlefs in the utmofl neceffity. I fired two guns, and order- 
ed my fervants to fire two large ftiip-blunderbufles, which 
prefently freed us from our troublefome guefls. Two hy- 
senas were killed, and a large lion being mortally wounded 
was difpatched by our men in the morning. They came no 
more near us ; but we heard numbers of them howling at 
a diflance till day-light, either from hunger or the fmarts 
of the wounds they had received, perhaps from both ; for 
each fliip-blunderbufs had fifty fmall bullets, and the 
wood towards^which they were directed, at the diflance of 
about twenty yards, feemed to be crowded with thefe animals. 
The reafon why the hysena is more fierce here than in any 
part of Barbary, will be given in the natural hiftory of that 
wild beafl in" the Appendix. 

Though this, our firft day's journey from Falaty and 
Ras el feel, to Quaicha, was of eleven hours, the diflance we 
had gone in that time was not more than ten miles ; for 
our beads were exceedingly loaded, fo that it was with the 
utmofl difficulty that either we or they could force ourfelves 
through thofe thick woods, which fcarcely admitted the rays 
of the fun. From this flation, however, we were entertained 
with a mofl magnificent fight. The mountains at a dis- 
tance towards the banks of the Tacazze, all Debra Haria, 
and the mountains towards Kuara, were in a violent bright 
flame of fire. 

The Arabs feed all their flocks upon the branches of trees ; 
no beaft in this country cats grafs. When therefore the 
water is dried up, and they can no longer flay, they fet fire 
to the woods, and to the dry grafs below it. The flame 
runs under the trees, fcorchcs the leaves and new wood, 

Vol. IV. U u without 


without confuming the body of the tree. After the tropical 
rains begin, the vegetation immediately returns ; the fprings 
increale, the rivers run, and the pools are filled with water. 
All forts of verdure being now in the greateil luxuriancy,. 
the Arabs revifit their former ftations. This conflagration 
is performed at two feafons ; the frtfft; by the Shangalla and 
hunters on the fouthern parts of this woody country, begins 
in the month of October, on the return of the fun, the cir- 
cumiiances of which I have already mentioned ; the latter, 
which happens in March, and lafts all April, befides provid- 
ing future fuftenance for their flocks, is likewife intended to 
prevent, at leafl to diminifh, the ravages of the fly ; a plague 
of themofl extraordinary kind, already defcribed. 

We left Quaicha a little before four in the morning; 
of the 19th of March, and at half an hour paft five we came 
to Jibbel Aehmar, a fmall mountain, or rather mount ; for 
it is of a very regular form,, and not above 300 feet high,, 
but covered with green grafs to the top. What has given 
it the name of Jibbel Aehmar, or the Red Mountain, I 
know not. All the country is of red earth about it ; but 
as it hath much grafs, it mould be called* the Green 
Mountain, in the middle of the red country ; though there 
is nothing more vague or undetermined than the language 
of the Arabs, when they fpeak of colours. This hill, fur- 
rounded with impenetrable woods, is in the beginning of 
autumn the rendezvous of the Arabs Daveina, when there 
is water ; at which time the rhinoceros and many [ons of 
beafls, crowd hither ; tho' few elephants, but they are thofe 


Jibbel Achdar. 


of the largeft kind, moflly males; fo that the Arabs make 
this a favourite ftation, after the grafs is burnt, efpecially 
the young part of them, who are hunters. 

We reached Imferrha at half pad eleven, the water 
being about half a mile diftant to the S. W. The weils 
are fituated upon a fmall ridge that runs nearly eaft and 
weft. At one extremity of this is a fmall-pointed mountain, 
upon which was formerly a village belonging to the Arabs, 
called Jehaina, now totally deftroyed by the hunting parties 
of the Daveina, the great tyrants of this country, who, to- 
gether with the fcarcity of water, are the principal caufes 
that this whole territory is defolate. For though the foil 
is fandy and improper for agriculture, yet it is thickly over- 
grown with trees ; and were the places where warer is 
found fufficiently flocked with inhabitants, great numbers 
of cattle might be paftured here, every fpecies of which 
live upon the leaves and the young branches of trees, even 
on fpots where grafs is abundant. 

On the 20th, at fix o'clock in the morning we fet out 
from Imferrha, and in two hours arrived at Raihid, where 
we were furprifed to fee the branches of the fhrubs and 
bufhes all covered with a fhell of that fpecies of univalve 
called Turbines, white and red ; fome of them from three 
to four inches long, and not to be diflinguifhed by the niceft: 
eye from thofe fea-fhells, of the fame fpecies, which are 
brought in great quantities from the Well India iflands, 
efpecially St Domingo. 

How thefe came firft in a fandy defert fo far from the 
fea is a difquifnion I iTiall not now enter into. There are 

U u 2 • of 


of this nlTi great numbers in the Red Sea, and in the Indian 
Ocean ; how they came upon the bullies, or at the roots of 
them, appears more the bufmefs of the prefent narrative. 
To confine myfelf to the matter of fact, I mail only fay, that 
throughout this defert are many fprings of fait- water ; great 
part of the defert is foflile fait, which, buried in fome places 
at different depths according to the degree of inclination 
of all minerals to the horizon, does at times in thefe foun- 
tains appear very near the furface. Here I fuppofe the feed 
is laid, and, by the addition of the rain-water that falls up- 
on the fait during the tropical rains, the quantity of fait- 
water is much increafed, and thefe fifties fpread themfelves 
over the plain as in a temporary ocean. The rains decreafe, 
and the fun returns ; thofe that are near fprings retire to* 
them, and provide for the propagation of future years. 
Thofe that have wandered too far off in the plains retire 
to the as the only fhelter from the fun. The in- 
tenfe heat at length deprives them of that made, and they 
perifh with the leaves to which they crept for fhelter, and 
this is the reafon that we faw fuch a quantity of fhells un- 
der the buffies ; that we found them otherwife alive in the 
very heart of the fprings, we fhall further circumftantiate 
in our Appendix, when we fpeak of muflels fo found in our 
hiftory of the formation of pearls. 

Rashid was once full of villages, all of which are now 
ruined by the Arabs Daveina. There are feven or eight 
wells of good water here, and the place itfelf is beautiful 
beyond defcription. It is a fairy land, in the middle of an 
inhofpitable,- uninhabited defert ; full of large wide fpread- 
ing trees, loaded with flowers and fruit, and crowded with 
an immenfe number of the deer kind. Among thefe, 



we faw a large one, like the antelope, his buttocks (a 
confiderable way up his back) being covered with white, 
which terminated upon his thigh in a black line, drawrv 
from the haunch down very nigh to the joint of his hind 
leg. Thefe we had never feen before. They are called 
Ariel in Arabia, go in large flocks, are exceedingly 
fwift ; though, from the neceffity of coming to water, 
and its only being found in particular places, they were 
an eafy victim to thofe that watched for them at night. 

Sim Sim is a copious fpring, which fupplies a large ba- 
fon the Arabs have dug for it near thirty feet deep. It lies 
weft of Rafhid, or a little to the fouthward of weft. It is iri: 
a fandy defert, in the direct way to Beyla and Sennaar, and 
here the Daveina kept their flocks, equally fecure from 
the fly and the troops of Sennaar, the two great enemies 
they have to fear ; and being in the neighbourhood of Ras 
el Feel, they keep a large market there, fupplymg that 
country amply with provifions of all kinds, and getting 
from it, in return, what they have not in their own diftrict. 

We were juft two hours in coming to Rafhid, for we 
were flying for our lives ; the Simoom, or hot- wind, having 
ftruck us not long after we had fet out from Imferrha, and 
our little company, all but myfelf, fell mortally fick with 
the quantity of poifonous vapour that they had imbibed. I 
apprehend, from Rafhid to Imferrha it is about five miles; 
and though it is one of the moft dangerous halting- places 
between Ras el Feel and Sennaar, yet we were fo enervated, 
our ftomachs fo weak, and our head-achs fo violent, that 
we could not pitch our tent, but each wrapping himfelf in 
his cloak, refigned himfelf immediately to fleep, under 




the cool made of the large trees, invited by the pleafant 
breeze from the north, which feemed to be merely local, 
confined to this fmall grove, created probably by the vici- 
nity of the water, and the agitation we had occafioned 
in it. 

In this helplefs ftate to which we were reduced, I alone 
continued not weakened by the fimoom, nor overcome by 
fleep. A Ganjar Arab, who drove an afs laden with fait, took 
this opportunity of ftealing one of the mules, together with 
a lance and fhield belonging to one of my fervants. The 
country was fo woody, and he had fo much advantage of 
tis in point of time, and we were in fo weak and difcoura- 
ged a Hate, that it was thought in vain to purfue him one 
flep. So he got off with his booty, unlefs he was intercept- 
ed by fome of thofe wild beafts, which he would find eve- 
rywhere in his way, whether he returned to Ras el Feel, 
or the frontiers of Kuara, his own country. 

Having refrefhed ourfelves with a little fleep, the next 
thing was to fill our girbas, or fkins, with water. But be- 
fore we attempted this, I thought to try an experiment of 
mixing about twenty drops of fpirit of nitre in a horn of 
water about the fize of an ordinary tumbler. This I found 
greatly refrefhed me, though my headach ftill continued. 
It had a much better effect upon my fervants, to whom I 
gave it ; for they all feemed immediately recovered, and 
their fpirits much more fo, from the reflection that they 
had with them a remedy they could truft to, if they fhould 
again be io unfortunate as to meet this poifonous wind or 



On the 21ft, we fet out from Rafhid at two o'clock in the 
morning, and at a little pafl eight arrived at Imhanzara,. ha- 
ving gone moftly N. W. to north and by weft. This, too, is 
a ftation of the Arabs Daveina ; and there had been here 
large pools of water, the cavities, apparently dug by the hands 
of men, were from twenty to thirty feet deep, and not lefs 
than fixty yards long. The water was juft then drying up; 
and flood only about half a foot in depth, in the bottom of 
one of the pools. The borders of the bafons were thick fet 
with acacia and jujcb-trees ; but the fruit of the latter was 
drying upon the {tones, and had fallen Shrivelled in great 
quantities upon the ground. We gathered about a couple of 
pecks, which was a. very great refreshment to us. The fruit, 
though retaining a very fharp acid tafte, is mixed with a 
fweetnefs not unlike the tamarind ; and which it. commu- 
nicated to water, upon a handful of the dry fruit being ileep- 
ed therein for half an hour. The ordinary jujeb in JBarba- 
ry is oblong like an olive ; this is perfectly round like the 
cherry, but fomething fmaller. The tree is thorny, and dif- 
fers in nothing from the other, but only in the ihape of the 
fruit. When dried, it is of a golden colour ; and is here 
called Nabca, being the principal fuftenance of the Arabs, 
till thefe pools are dry, when they are obliged to feek other 
food, and other water, at fome more diftant ftation. 

This day, being the fifth of our journey, we had gone 
about five hours very diligently, though, confidering the 
weak Mate we were in, I do not think we advanced more 
than feven or eight miles ; and it was to me very vifible,. 
that all the animals, mules, camels, and horfes,were affected 
as much as we were by the JGmoom. They drank repeatedly,, 
2: and: 


and for a confiderable length of time, but they feemed to 
go jufl fojnuch the worfe for it. 

Upon approaching the pool, that had water in it, though 
yet at fome diftance from it, my fervants fent me word to 
come up fpeedily, and bring fire-arms with me. A lion 
had killed one of the deer, called Ariel, and had ate a part 
of it, but had retired upon the noife we had made in alight- 
ing. In place of him, five or fix hyaenas had feized the 
carcafe, and feveral others were at the inflant arriving to 
join them, and partake of the prey the lion had abandoned. 
I haftened upon the fummons, carrying with me a mufket 
and bayonet, and a fhip blunderbufs, with about forty fmall 
bullets in it. I crept through the bufhes, and under banks 
as near to them as poflible, for fear of being feen ; but the 
precaution feemed entirely fuperfluous ; for though they 
obferved me approaching, they did not feem difpofed to 
leave their prey, but in their turn looked at me, railing the 
briftles upon their back, making themfclves as a dog does 
when he comes out of water, and giving a fhort but terrible 
grunt. After which they fell to their prey again, as if they 
meant to difpatch their deer firft, and then come and fettle 
their affairs with me. I now began to repent having ven- 
tured alone fo near ; but knowing, with the fhort weapon 
I had, the execution depended a good deal upon the di- 
ftance, I flill crept a little nearer, till I got as favourable a po- 
fition as I could wifh behind the root of a large tree that had 
fallen into the lake. Having fet my mufket at my hand, 
near and ready, I levelled my blunderbufs at the middle of 
the group, which were feeding voracioufly like as many 
fwine, with a confiderable noife, and a civil war with each 
other. Two of them fell dead upon the fpot ; t\vo more 
3 died 


died about twenty yards diftance; but all the reft that could 
efcape fled without looking back, or ihewing any kind of 
refentment : I then took my mufquet in my hand, and 
flood, prepared with my bayonet, behind the tree, but fired 
no more, not knowing what their humour or difpofition 
might be as to a return upon acceflion of new compani- 

About twenty fmall foxes, and a flock of feveral hun- 
dred Guinea-fowls, now came up from the infide of the 
pool. The fowls lighted immediately, and ran back again 
to the water. The foxes retired quickly into the woods. 
Whether they had affembied with a view of getting a fhare 
of the deer, an animal of this kind being generally attendant 
upon the lion, or whether, as is moil likely, they were 
feeking the Guinea-fowls, I do not know. I fufpect it 
was the latter, by their number ; for never more than one 
at a time is remarked to accompany the lion. 

We obferved a variety of traps and cages, fome of them 
very ingenious, which the Daveina, or other Arabs, had fet 
to catch thefe birds, feveral of which we found dead in 
thefe fnares, and fome of them had not yet been touched 
by beafts ; and as there was but a fmall diftance between 
the traps and the water's edge, which could only be an- 
fwerable to a few days evaporation, we with great rea- 
fon inferred, that the Daveina, or fome other Arabs, had 
been there a very fliort time before. We found in the mud 
of the pool large green flie 11- mails, with the animals alive in 
them; fome of them weighed very near a pound, in no- 
thing, but fize and thicknefs of the fhell, different from 
common garden-mails. 

Vol. IY, X k Nor 


Not a little alarmed at this difcovery that the Arabs 
were near us, we left Imhanzara at four o'clock in the eve- 
ning of the 2.1ft, our journey moftly N. W. ; at eight we loft 
our way, and were obliged to halt in a wood. Here we 
were terrified to find, that the water in our girbas was en- 
tirely gone ; whether by evaporation of the hot wind, or 
otherwife, I know not ; but the fkin had the appearance of 
water in it, till its lightnefs in unloading difcovered the 
contrary. Though all the people were fick, the terror of 
being without water gave us fomething like alacrity, and 
defire to pufh on. We fet out at eleven, but ftill wandered in 
the wood till three o'clock in the morning of the 2 2d y 
when we were obliged again to alight. I really then began 
to think we were loft. I ordered the girbas to be examin- 
ed : a large one which we had filled at Rafliid was entirely 
empty ; and that one w r hich we had partly filled at Imhan- 
zara on account of the badnefs of the water, had not much 
more in it than what kept liquid the mud which had beefi 
taken up with it. This, however, (bad as it was) was 
greedily guzzled up in a moment. The people who con- 
dueled the aftes^ feeing that we had fkins to contain plen- 
ty of water for us, had omitted to fill the fmall goat-ikin 
which each of them carried. A general murmur of fear 
and difcontent prevailed through our whole company; for 
we cpuld have no guefs at the nearnefs or fituation of the 
next well, as we had loft our road ; and fome of the ca- 
ravan even pretended that we had palled it. But though 
we had travelled thirteen hours, I cannot compute the 
diftance to have been above fourteen miles- 

This day, being the fixth from Ras el Feel, at half af- 
ter five in the morning, we fet off in great defpondency ; 




Ttnd, upon the firft dawn of day, I fet our route by the com- 
pafs, and found it north and by eaft, or more eafterly. This 
did not feem the probable road to Sennaar, after having 
gone fo confiderably to the north- weft. But, before I could 
make much reflection upon the obfervation, one of the ca- 
ravan declared he knew the road, and that we had gone 
very little out of it, and were now proceeding ftraight to 
the well. Accordingly, at half pafl nine, we reached it; it 
is called Imgellalib *. There is great plenty of water, with 
a leather-bucket, and a ftraw rope to draw it up, but it is 
very ill-tailed. However, the fear of dying with thirft x more 
than having materially fuffered from it, made every one 
prefs to drink ; and the effect of this hurry was very foon 
feen. Two Abyflinian Moors, a man and woman, died after 
drinking ; the man inftantly, and the woman a few minutes 
after j for my own part, though thirfty, I was fenfible I could 
have held out a coniiderable time without danger ; and, 
indeed, I did not drink till I had warned my head, face, 
and neck all over. I then wafhed my mouth and throat, 
and, having cooled myfelf, and in great meafure affuaged 
my thirft, I then drank till I was completely fatisfied, but 
only by fmall draughts. I would have perfuaded all my 
companions to do the fame, but 1 was not heard; and one 
would have thought, like the camels, they had been drink- 
ing once for many days to come. Yet none of them had 
complained of thirft till they heard the girbas were empty; 
and it was not fixteen hours fince they had drank at Irn- 
hanzara, and but twelve fince the girbas were found to be 
airy, when we firft loft our way, and flopped in the wood. 

X x 2 The 

*The word fignifies the Well of Caravans : I fuppofe of thofe which, like ours, bring 
{alt into Atbara, for there is no other trade between the two nations. 


The extenfive, and very thick foreft, which had reached 
without interruption all the way from Tcherkin, ended 
here at Imgellalib. The country is perfectly flat, and hath 
very little water. The foreft, however, though thick, af- 
forded no fort of made ; the hunters, for the fake of their 
fport, and the Arabs, for deftroying the flies, having fet fire 
to all the dry grafs and ihrubs, which, paffing with 
great rapidity, in the direction of the wood from eaft to 
weft, though it had not time enough to deftroy the trees, 
did yet wither, and occafion every leaf that was upon them 
to fall, unlefs in thofe fpaces where villages had been, and 
where water was. In fuch fpots a number of large fpread- 
ing trees remained full of foliage, which, from their 
great height, and being cleared of underwood, con- 
tinued in full verdure, loaded with large, projecting, and. 
exuberant branches. But, even here, the pleafure that their 
made afforded was very temporary, fo as to allow us no 
time for enjoyment. The fun, fo near the zenith, changed; 
his azimuth fo rapidly, that every few minutes I was obli- 
ged to change the carpet on which I lay round the trunk 
of the tree, to which I had fled for Ihelter ; and, though: 
I lay down to fleep, perfectly fkreened by the trunk,, 
or branches, I was prefently awakened by the violent rays 
of a fcorching fun, the made having pafled beyond me;, 
and this was particularly incommodious, when the trees, , 
under which we placed ourfelves, were of the thorny kind, 
very common in thofe forefts. The thorns, being all Scat- 
tered round the trunk upon the ground, made either chan- 
ging-place, or lying, equally uneafy ; fo that often, how- 
ever averfe we were to fatigue, with the effects of the 
fimoom, we found, that, pitching the head of our tent, and 
Sometimes the whole of it, was the only poflible means o£ 




fecuring a permanent protection from the fun's opprefllve 
heat. In all other places, though we had travelled con- 
Handy in forefts, we never met wirh a tree thai could (hade 
us for a moment, the fire having deprived them of all their 

-Late tlb'i gurgite rupto 

Ambit ur nigris Mero'e faecunda colonis, 
Lata comis hebeni ; qua quamvis arbor e mult & 
Frondeat, aftatem nulla Jibi mitigat umbra^ 
Linea tarn reSlum mundiferit ilia konem, 


Having refrefhed ourfelves for near two hours by the 
enjoyment of this water at Imgellalib, and raked a fumcient 
quantity of fand over the dead bodies of our two compa- 
nions, from piety and decency rather than for ufe, we aban- 
doned them to the hysenas, who had already fmelled the 
mortality, and were coming, two and three together, at the 
diftance of a long mot from the well where we were then 
drinking. We fet out at eleven, our road being thro' a very 
extenfive plain ; and, at two in the afternoon, we alighted 
at another well, called Garigana ; the water was bad, and in 
fmall quantity. In this plain is lituated the principal 
village of Atbara, called Teawa* The thermometer, flung 
under the camel, in the made of the girba of water, had 
yet, nevertheless, varied within thefe three hours from in*' 
to 119^. 

At five o'clock we left Garigana, our journey being ftill 
to the eaftward of north; and, at a quarter pail fix in the even- 
ing, arrived at the village of that name, whofe inhabitants had. 



all periihed with hunger the year before; their wretched 
bones being all unburied and fcattered upon the furface of 
the ground where the village formerly Hood. We encamped 
among the bones^of the dead ; no fpace could be found free 
from them ; and on the 23d, at fix in the morning, full of 
horror at this miferable fpectacle, we fet outfor Teawa : this 
was the feventh day from Ras cl Feel. After an hour's tra- 
velling we came to a fmall river, which Hill had water 
ilanding in fome confiderable pools, although its banks 
were perfectly deftitute of any kind of fhade. 

At three quarters after feven in the evening we arrived 
at Teawa, the principal village and refidence of the Shekh 
of Atbara, between three and four miles from the ruins of 
Garigana. The whole diftance, then, from Hor-Cacamoot, 
may be about fixty-five miles to Teawa, as near as I then 
could compute; that is, from Hor-Cacamoot to Rafhid, thir- 
ty-two miles, and from R.alrrid to Teawa, thirty-three miles; 
but Ralhid from Hor-Cacamoot bears N. W. and by N. and 

the latitudes are : — 


Teawa, 'lat. 14. 9 2' 4" N. 

Hor-Cacamoot, if 1' 33" 

Difference, lat. i° o' 31' 

The difference of longitude is then but five or fix miles ; £o 
that Teawa is very little to the weftward of due north from 
Kor-Cacamoot, and nearly in the fame meridian with Ras 
el Feel, which is four miles -well of Hor-Cacamoot. From 
Imhanzara to Teawa, but efpecially from Imgellalib, we 
1 went 


went always to the eaftward of north. From Teawa we 
obferved the following bearings and diftances : 

Beyla, W. S. W. about 28 miles at fartheft. 

Hafib, S. and by W. 

Jibbel Imfiddera, S. about 8 miles, where is good water. 

Mendera, N. 48 miles ; indifferent water from deep wells. 

Rafhid, S. nearly i>5 miles ; plenty of good water all the 

Jibbel IfrifF, E. N. E, about three miles ; Water. 
Jibbel Attefh and Habharras, W. and by N. between 50 

and 60 miles. 
Sennaar, "W. and by N. as far as we could guefs about 70 

Guangue River, from 14 to 16 miles due eafL 
Derkin, E. N. E. about 27 miles. 

At Garigana, feveral of our caravan, with their afTes and 
loading of fait, left us, either afraid of entering Teawa, or 
becaufe their friends dwelt at Jibbel IfrifF, where the clan 
of Jehaina were then encamped, being afraid of the Arabs 
Daveina, who, the preceding year, had deftroyed all the 
crops and villages that belonged to them, or rather reaped 
them for their own advantage. The whole tribe of Jehaina 
is greatly their inferiors in all refpecls, and as by affem- 
bling upon Jibbel IfrifF, a low though very rugged ridge 
of hills, abounding in water, where the pits in which they 
hide their grain were, and where, too, they had depofited 
the principal of their effects, they had given this pledge of 
mutual affiflance to the inhabitants of Teawa in cafe of an 
attack from thofe great deflroyers the Daveina. 



The Daveina being Arabs, who conftantly live in tents, 
bear a mortal enmity to all who inhabit villages, and, as 
occafion offered, had deftroyed, ftarved, and laid wafte the 
greateft part of Atbara. They had been outlawed by the 
government of Sennaar for having joined Yafous II. upon 
the expedition againft that kingdom. They had ever fince 
been well-received by the Abyfhnians, lived independent, 
and in perpetual defiance of the government of Sennaar. 
They had often threatened Teawa, but had given the Shekh 
of Beyla an afliirance of friendfhip ever fince Yafme had 
married a daughter of that Shekh, 

The ftrength of Teawa was about 25 horfe, of which 
about ten were armed with coats of mail. They had about a 
dozen of firelocks, very contemptible from the order in which 
they were kept, and Hill more fo from the hands that bore 
them. The reft of the inhabitants might amount to twelve 
hundred men, naked, miferable, and defpicable Arabs, like 
the reft of thofe that live in villages, who are much infe- 
rior in courage to the Arabs that dwell in tents : weak as 
its ft ate was, it was the feat of government, and as fuch a 
certain degree of reverence attended it. Fidele, the Shekh 
of Atbara, was reputed by his own people a man of courage ; 
this had been* doubted at Sennaar. Welled HafTan, his father, 
had been employed by Naffer the fon, late king of Sennaar, 
in the murder of his father and fovereign Baady, which 
he had perpetrated, as I have already mentioned. Such was 
the ftate of Teawa. Its confequence was only to remain 
till the Daveina fhouid refolve to attack it, when its corn- 
fields being burnt and deftroyed in a night by a multitude 
of horfemen, the bones of its inhabitants fcattered upon 
4 the 


the earth, would be all its remains, like thofe of the mi- 
ferable village of Garigana. 

I have already obferved, in die beginning of the journey, 
that the Shekh of the Arabs Nile, who refided in Abyflinia, 
near Ras el Feel, fince the expedition of Yafous, had warned 
me, at Hor-Cacamoot, to diflruft the' fair promifes and 
friendly profeflions of Shekh Fidele, and had, indeed, 
raifedfuch doubts in my mind, that, had not the Daveina 
been parted from Sim Sim, (or the confines of Abyflinia) 
though there would have been a rifk, that if, coming with 
that tribe, I fhould have been-ill received atSennaar, I never- 
thelefs would have travelled with them, rather than by 
Teawa ; but the Daveina were gone. 

The Shekh of Atbara, having no apparent interefl to 
deceive us, had hitherto been a friend as far as words would 
go,and had promifed every thing that remained in his power; 
but, for fear of the worft, Nile had given us a confidential 
man, who was related to the Jehaina and to the principal 
Shekh of that tribe. This man conducted an afs, loaded with 
fait, among the other Arabs of the caravan, and was to fet off 
to Ras el Feel upon the firfl appearance of danger, which he 
was to learn by coming once in two days, or oftner, either 
to Teawa, where he was no farther known than as being 
one of the Jehaina, or to the river, where my Soliman was 
to meet him at the pools of water ; but his fecret was only 
known to Soliman, myfelf, and a Greek fervant, Michael. 
From leaving Hor-Cacamoot, he had no perfonal interview 
with me ; but the night, when we were like to perifh for 
thirrt in the wood, he had fent me, by Soliman, privately, 
a horn-full of water, which he had in his goat's fkin, and 

Vol, IV. Y y for 

354 T R A V E L S T O D I S C V E R 

for which I. had rewarded, him handfomely in the inftant^ 
glad of that opportunity of confirming him in his duty. 

This man we fee off to Jibbel IfrifT, as a (Iranger, with- 
orders not to come tons till the third day; for we were 
well-perfuadcd, whatever the end was to be, that our firfl 
reception would be a. gracious one. Indeed we were all of 
us inclined to believe, that our fufpicions of Fidele Shekh of 
Atbara, and of his intentions towards us, were rather the 
effects of the fear that Shekh Nile had infufed into us, than -. 
any apprehenfion which we could reafonably form after £o « 
many promifes ;- at the fame time, it was agreed on all; 
hands, that, life being at Hake, we could not be too carefuL 
in providing, means that, could, if the word happened^ ate 
the lead diminiih our rifk. 



;;g&^- i _^~ — M ang—i mm *& %% 

CHAP. % 

¥ranfa&ion$ at Teawa — Attempts of the Shekh to detain the Author 
there — Adminijler Medicines to him and his Wives— Various Convert 
Jations with him t and In/lances of his treachery, 

T the paffage of the {mall river, about a quarter of a 
mile fromTeawa, we were met by a man on horfe- 
back, cloathed with a large, loo fe gown of red camlet, or 
ibme fuch fluff, with a white muilin turban upon his head, 
and about 20 naked, beggarly fervants on foot, with lances, 
but no fhields ; two fmall drums were beating, and a pipe 
playing before them. He ftopt upon my coming near them, 
and affected a delicacy in advancing to falute me, he be- 
ing on horfeback, and I upon a mule, for my horfe was led 
behind, faddled and bridled, with a loofe blue cloth cover- 
ing him. Soliman, who firft accofted him, told him it was 
the cuftom of Abvffmia not to mount horfes but in time of 

X y 2 war, 


war, upon which he immediately difmounted, and, upon 
feeing this, I alighted likewife. We faluted one another 
very courteouffy. He was a man about feventy, with a 
very long beard, and of a very graceful appearance. It was 
with the utmoft difficulty I could prevail upon him to mount 
his horfe, as he declared his intention was to walk by the 
fide of my mule till he entered the town of Teawa. This 
being over-ruled, by an invincible obflinacy on my part, he 
was at laft conftrained to mount on horfeback, which he 
did with an agility only to be expected from a young mam 
of twenty. 

Being mounted, he mewed us a variety of paces on horfe*- 
back. All this, too, was counted a humiliation and polite— 
nefs on his part, as playing tricks, and prancing on horfe* 
back, is never done but by young men before their elders, 
or by meaner people before their fuperiors. We paffed by 
a very commodious houfe, where he ordered my fervants; 
to unload my baggage, that being the refidence affigned! 
for me by the Shekh. He and I, with Soliman on foot by 
the fide of my mule, crofled an open fpace of about five 
hundred yards, where the market is kept ; he protefled a 
thoufand times by the way, what a fliame it was to him to 
appear on horfeback, when a great man like me was riding 
on a mule 

A little after, having pafifed this fquare, we came to the^ 
Shekh's houfe, or rather a collection of houfes, one florey 
high, built with canes ; near the ftreet, at entering, there 
was a large hall of unburnt brick, to which we afcended 
by four or five fteps. The hall was a very decent one, co- 
vered with ftraw-mats ; and there was in the middle of it* 

a chair* 

the source of the nile. 357 

a chair*, underftood to be the place of the grand fignior. 
The Shekh himfelf was fitting on the ground for humility's 
fake, reading the Koran, or pretending to read it. At our 
entry he feemed to be furprifed, and made an attempt as 
if to rife up, which immediately 1 prevented him from doing, 
holding him down by the hand, which L killed. 

I shall not fatigue the reader with the uninterefling 
converfation that pafTed at this firfl interview. He affect- 
ed to admire my lize and apparent flrength, introduced 
fome loofe hints about Abyffinian women ; and, in ge- 
neral, pretended to blame me for expofing myfelf to tra^. 
vel in fuch a country. In return, I complained of the ex^ 
treme fatigue of the journey and heat, the beaits of prey, 
the thick woods without fhade, the want of water, and, 
above all, the poifonous blafts of the fimoom that had ak 
mofl overcome me, the effects of which I was at that in*- 
ftant feeling.- 

He then blamed himfelf very politely, in a manner na- 
tural to the Arabs, for having fufFered me to come'to him 
before I had repofed myfelf, which he excufed by his defire 
of feeing to great a man as me. He faid alfo, that he 
would detain me no longer ; bid me repofe a day or two 
in quiet and in fafety ; and, upon my rifing to go away, he 
got up likewife, and holding me by the hand, faid, " The 


* It is the cuftom, in all places where the governor is inverted with fupreme power, to. 
have an aim-chair left empty in the middle of the hall where juftice is adisiniftered,. whicbi 
repre£ents the fovereign, and to which obeifacce is made 3 


greateft part of the dangers ' you have parted in the way 
are, I believe, as yet unknown to you. Your Moor, Yaiine, 
of Ras el Feel, is a thief worfe than any in Habefh. Se- 
veral times you efcaped very narrowly, by mere chance, 
from being cut off, especially at Rafhid, by the Arabs Da- 
veina, whom Yafme had potted there to murder you. But 
you have a clean heart, and clean hands. God faw their 
defign?, and protected you ; and, I may fay alio, on my 
own part, I was not wanting." 

Being then on my legs for retiring, I returned no an- 
swer, but the ufuai one (Ullah Kerim) /. e. God is merciful. 
Soliman, on the other fide, echoed, " Ullah .Kerim .r by which 
I faw he underitood me. We both went out, and were 
conducted to the apartment provided by the ol^ man in 
the red cloak, who met us on our firft arrival at the river, 
and who now walked before me till we came to the 'houfe. 
It was a very decent one, confifting only of one large room, 
and flood clofe upon the river. This fituation was chofen 
with an intention to keep open the correfporidenee with the 
Shekh -of Nile's fervant, whom we had fent to thejehaina, 
and who occafionally was to meet us there ; but Soliman 
told the old man, it was neceifary to me, on account of fre- 
quent ablutions before prayer, which my religion obliged 
me to perform. This old man was called Hagi Soliman 
Kaiya, that is, the Shekh's Lieutenant, He had been at 
Mecca, and had {ecn Metical Aga, and knew his poll and 
co.nfequence ; but he was a murderer and robber like his 
m after, a liar and diflembler beyond all conception. 

We had fcarce taken poiTefHon of our lodging, or thrown 

off our clothes to put- ourfelves at our eafe, when feveral 

2 flaves 


ilaves of both fexes, brought us a quantity of dimes of 
meat from the Shekh, with many nattering compliments 
and good wifhes. The whole was difpatched very fpeedily, 
and fome of our poor companions of the caravan, with the 
fait, came and helped us very thankfully, without ceremony, 
as is the cullom of the country. When all was over, I was 
aftoniihed at one young man, who came and put his mouth 
clofe to my ear, faying thefe few words in Arabic, " Seitan 
Fidele ! el Shekh el Atbara Seitan !" i. e. Hdele is a devil ! 
the Shekh of Atbara. is the devil himfelf ? . 

All ilrangers were now difmiffed, under pretence of our 
going immediately to repofe. We had, indeed, much need 
of reft in our prefent fituation, but Hill more of council, for 
which we immediately afFembled by ourfelves, after having 
fhut the door. I afked Soliman what he thought of the 
Shekh of Atbara, and his difcourfe. He anfwered, without 
hefitation, " He is a traitor, has deceived Yafine, and means 
you ill." The wovd^great man, fo often applied to me— the 
abufe • bellowed upon Yafine, whom in his letters lie had 
called his dear brother — the wondering that I came that 
way, after, in his letters, and by his fervants, he had fo often 
perfuaded us, while at Ras el Feel, that it was the beft, nay,, 
the only road poflible; all this united together, feemed to leave 
us no doubt but that we had fallen Into a trap, from which 
our own activity and refolutions, under, the protection of 
Providence, could alone releafe us. . 

It may be remembered that, fome time before our fetting 
out from Ras el Feel, I had difpatched a fervant with the 
Daveina to Sennaar, whom they were to efcort as far as Bey- 
la; and they had configned .him into the hands of Maho* 



met, Shekh of feeyla, who was to forward him to Sennaar^ 
and this he certainly would have done immediately without 
delay, but for a misfortune that happened, and entirely dis- 
concerted the plan. The Daveina, on their way to Beyla, 
had heard that an encampment of Arabs, (who ufually, 
at this time, occupy the banks of the Nile) had come eaft- 
ward towards Atbara. Whether the Daveina intended to 
attack thefe Arabs, or were afraid the Arabs intended to 
fall upon them, I know not; but they returned weftward 
to the left, inftcad of coming to Beyla ; they fent my Ser- 
vant forward, after fome lofs of time, and Mahomet, Shekh 
of Beyla, had forwarded him to Sennaar. Here, too, he was 
detained by Shekh Adelan, the firft minifter, who happened 
then not to be at Sennaar, but levying taxes upon the Arabs. 
This we did not know at that time ; fo every moment we 
expected his arrival. We were difappointed, likewife, in not 
finding a fervant of the Shekh of Beyla waiting for us, who 
was to inform us of the fituation of the country about Bey- 
la. This we more wondered at, becaufe, being ill of the 
gravel, he had exprelTed himfelf very anxious, in his letter to 
Yaline, to have fome lime-water^ which his fervant was to 
get from me at Teawa. We did not then know, as we foon 
afterwards did, that this fervant had been waiting for us at 
Teawa, and that Shekh Fidele had informed him that I was 
no longer coming by Atbara, but that Coque Abou Barea had 
fent me, under the care of fome Ganjar horfe, ftraight down 
the Dender from Kuara ; fo that the Shekh of Beyla did not 
expect to fee me. 

All this being unknown to us, we were in conftant ex- 
pectation of fervants from Sennaar, and the mefTage from the 
Shekh of Beyla. But, as we all agreed we were in danger, 
4 we 


we refolved, the next day, at meeting Shekh el Nile's fervant, 
to difpatch him to Ras el Feel, requiring Yafine to fend 
fome perfon, as from the king or Ay to Confu, to afk the rea- 
fon of our being detained, and to be a witnefs of the Shekh's 
behaviour and our departure. In the mean time, we de- 
termined to make our interviews with him as few as poffi- 
ble, till fome afTiftance ihould arrive. Soliman met the 
Shekh el Nile's fervant, and gave him the letter he was to 
carry to Yafine, explaining himfelf to the Arab by word of 

On the night of the 24th of March, the day after our ar- 
rival, our difpatch fet off from Jibbel Ifrifffor Ras el Feel ; 
where he arrived fafely, but found Yafine was gone to Ay- 
to Confu at Tcherkin, elfe he would certainly have been 
the firfl to bring us comfort, for he had executed his com- 
miffion with great fidelity. This day I had fiaid in the 
houfe, being ill of the fimoom ; but had fent to Fidele, to let 
him know I Ihould wait upon him next day, having as yet 
given him no prefent, and being defirous to know what 
effect that might have. 

On the 25th, at four o'clock I waited upon the Shekh ac- 
cordingly, in his own houfe. Soliman the Moor, Hagi 
Ifmael the Turk, who, befides, was a merrifFe, and my Greek 
fervant, were along with me. I gave the Shekh, for a pre- 
fent, a large piece of blue Indian cotton cloth, with gold 
flowers, a filk and cotton' fafh, about two ounces of civet, 
two pounds of nutmegs, and ten pounds of pepper. He 
received the prefe.nts very gracioufly to appearance, and laid 
all the articles down befide him. I defired that he would 
difpatch me as foon as poflible, and, for that end, be pre- 

Vol. IV. Z z . paring 



paring the camels. He anfwered, the camels were fifteen 
days journey off, in the fandy deferc, for fear of the flies ; 
but that the want of them mould not detain us, if he had 
leave from Sennaar, for which he was to write that night. 
He added, that they always were exceedingly tedious at Sen- 
naar, and both the town and road were, at prefent, in a 
very unfettled Hate. -I told him, I was fur;;rifed at this, as 
Hagi Belal had written to Yafine and myfelf alfo, in a letter 
(then in my cuftody) that orders were gone both to him 
and the Shekh of Beyla, to receive me kindly, and forward 
me fafely and fpeedily to Sennaar : that he him felt had con- 
ferred this to Yafine in a letter written to him from Teawa y 
deiiring that 1 would come fpeedily, as he had every thing 
ready, which letter I myfelf had read. . Fidele feemed in 
the utmoft furprife at this. He lifted up his hands and 
eyes, as if I had been telling the greater! of lies. He faid, 
" he never wrote a letter about me to Yaiine in his life ; or, 
at lealt, not this year ; that it was all a forgery of Yafine, 
knowing that I had a quantity of gold with me, to get 
me out into the defert, to rob and murder me there ; that I 
might fee he never could receive fuch orders, or elfe it 
would have been as much as his life was worth, not to 
have prepared to difpatch me immediately ; but fo far from 
that, fays he, feek all over the town, and if you find one 
camel, or any other number, I will make you a prefent of 
them all, for this is entirely a forgery of Yafme." 

Soliman could bear this no longer. He told Fidefe,. 
" That it was he who was a forger and a liar, not Yafine. 
Will you perfuade me that I do not know of your letter to 
Yafine ? Have not your fervants Ibrahim and Nailer lived 
with us at Ras el Feel for weeks together as bearers of thefe 

letters , 


letters, which 1 have feen in their hands before reading, 
and alfo read them afterwards ? Was I not fpeaking to them 
both this morning about the letters ? and are not they jufl 
now waiting without ? If you have a mind to call them in, 
and quefcion them, do it now before me. What do you 
think Yaline will fay when he hears of the fine character 
you give him ?" " Soliman, replies the Shekh, in a very foft 
tone of voice, I may have forgotten, in the many letters and 
affairs that pafs through my hands in a day ; but Yaline is 
my brother, and I will do every thing for him and you 
that you could wifh: flay only this week, and if my camels 
do not arrive, I will fend and take them from the Arabs, 
wherever they can be found. They are for the king's bufi- 
nefs, and not mine." He faid this with fuch an air of can- 
dour and fmcerity, that it was impoflible to doubt him. 

On the 26th, I went in the forenoon to fee the Shekh ; I 
fat a few minutes with him, then rofe to go away. He 
then inquired if I had any thing particular to afk ? I an- 
fwercd, I had nothing but to pay my compliments to him. 
He made me a very civil bow, and 1 took my leave. Next 
day, the 27th, I ftaid in the houfe all day, it being the Shekh' s 
fcicival. In the evening, the old man, who was the Kaiya, 
came to my houfe with compliments from the Shekh. He 
told me Fidele was often ill with complaints in the flomach, 
and hinted that it was from exceffive drinking. He wifhed 
that i would give him fome medicine to vomit him, and 
reftore his appetite, which he had perfectly loft. The old 
man added, that this was the way to make the Shekh do 
what I wifhed, fooner than all the prefents in the world. 
I told him, that he might afllire Fidele, that I both could, 
and would do him that fervice, and for that purpofe would 
v/ait upon him at 6 o'clock next evening. 

7,7. 2 On 


On the 28th, in the evening I went to the Shekh's houfe 
with the medicine, and it anfwered all our expectations. I 
obferved, however, when the cup with the ipecacuanha 
was in his hands, that they trembled, and alfo his under 
lip. He was apparently at that time under fome apprehen- 
fion, which his conscience fuggefted, of what it was in my 
power to do to him. , In thefe countries they have an eme- 
tic which they take occafionally, which operates fo violently, 
that it often throws them into convulfions. What it may 
be I know not. Some fay it is the fmall feed of a flower 
like the poppy ; fome, the pith of a tree, after it has 
been dried and rubbed into a fine powder by the hand ; 
whatever it may be, it is fo fevere in proportion to the 
ftrongeft doze of ipecacuanha, that the latter feemed but 
like a fport in comparifon. The eafe that warm water oc- 
cafioned, which he had never experienced before, was fo 
unexpected, that he could hardly be fatisfiedwith drinking. 
After this was over, all was thankfulnefs, and promifes of 
doing whatever I mould defire of him, provided I would 
adminifter two or three dozes more to him, and, if he for- 
warded me quickly, leave him fome of the powder, with 
directions how to take it in my abfence. This I engaged 
faithfully to do, and we parted apparently the belt friends 
in the world. 

The 29th, early in the morning, before fun-rife, I had. a 
menage from him again by the Kaiya, to whom I gave 
coffee at the door while I was dreffing. He told me, the 
Shekh was wonderfully well, and never in fuch health and 
fpirits in his life, but defired that I would come to him in the 
evening, for two of his wives were ill of the fame diforder 
that he had. I excufed myfelf, under pretence that it was 

. Sunday, 


Sunday, my feftival, and that I never went out upon any 

This excufe parTed as to the Shekh, but at noon a black 
common Have came down with a meflap;e from her mif- 
treffes, who thought the anfwer given to the Kaiya was a 
refufal. They faid, they were forry if I had not meat to my 
liking ; that they drefTed it with their own hands every clay 
in the bell manner pofhble, but they would alter it in 
any refpect I chofe, if I would inHruct them. 1 foon found 
how necefTary it was to content my benefactreifes. I ex- 
plained my anfwer to the Shekh about Sunday ; but allured 
them, that on Monday evening I mould be with them, to 
vomit them till they were perfectly fatisfied ; in the mean 
time, I took a fmall cup, which I filled with civet, and fent 
it by the Have to her mhtrefTes ; giving likewife, at the. 
fame time, two handfuls of pepper for herfelf. 

On the 30th, in the evening I went to the Shekh's houfe 
according to promife, and was carried into a large room, 
where he was fitting alone, fmoaking in an alcove ; I fup- 
pofe meditating future mifchief, for he had no other ap- 
parent employment. He was perfectly fober, however, and 
feemed rather thoughtful ; was very civil, and thanked me 
in an unufual itrain of kindnefs, for the care I had taken 
of his family. I afked him if he was recovered ? He declared, 
he had never been fo well in his life as fince I had given 
him the laft vomit ; but that he had received very bad news 
from Sennaar, that Mahomet Abou Calec (the nrft minuter) 
had taken the greateft part of the horfe and troops, and was 
gone to Kordofan, a very diftant province, furrounded with 
deferts, where he governed independently ; and by his man- 
's ners 


ners and difcourfe feemed refolved to withdraw himfelf 
from his duty to the king: That Shekh Adclan, his young- 
er brother, with the remaining troops, had left Sennaar, 
and was encamped at Aira, a few miles from the town, where 
he too governed defpotically by his own will ; it being the 
prerogative of the minifter to have abfolute power as foon 
as he has left the capital, and put himfelf at the head of 
the army, for levying the tax from the Arabs.; but that he had 
parted with the king on terms very little ihort of rebellion. 
He then faid, " Since this is the cafe, that Providence has 
thrown your lot here, that you cannot go forward to Sen- 
naar, nor back to Abymnia, if you will refolve to flay with 
me, and turn Mahometan, which is the only true religion, 
I will give you my daughter for your wife, and you mall 
be fecond man in the government of Teawa ; and as my 
intention is to go next year to Mecca, you fhall then be 
appointed to the government of Atbara, while I go to Sen- 
naar, and procure an office fitter for an old man." 

Although I feldom, in my life, was lefs inclined to mer- 
riment, I affected to break out into a loud fit of laughter; 
at which he looked g^ave, feeming to take it ill, and aiking 
me if I laughed at him ? " Exactly fo, faid I, at you ; I was 
laughing to think that a man fet over a province to govern 
it, like you, mould yet knowfo little of mankind as to ima- 
gine one like me capable of turning renegado* You may 
deny it for fome purpofe of your own, but I know you are 
well informed of the degree of favour and honour in which 
I was whilft in Abymnia, where I had every thing that I 
defired. They were people of my religion, and yet I never 
could confent either to flay with them or marry among them. 
What then could be m> inducement to marry here, to 
2 change 



change my religion, and live in a country where there is 
nothing but poverty, mifery, famine, fear, and dependence?" 
Hearken, fays he, you are a fool ; this country is a thou- 
fand times healthier and fweeter than Abyhlnia; but, fince 
you wont take my advice, I fhall fay no more ; come and 
fee my Harem *." — " With all my heart, replied I, as far as 
that I will go, and fhall be happy to do both you and your 
family all the good I can." 

The Shekh went before me, through feveral apartments, 
Well proportioned, but very meanly furnifhed, flovenly, and 
in bad order. This was the part of the houfe that belong- 
ed to himfelf, and formed one fide of a fquare. We crofted 
the fquare to the oppofite fide, where there were feveral a- 
partments furnifhed in a much better flyle. The floors 
were all covered with Turkey carpets. In an alcove fat one 
of his wives upon the ground, with a number of black flaves 
about her. Her face was uncovered ; the circle made way 
for me; fo that, nrft putting my hand to my lips, I touched 
the end of her fingers with the end of mine. In the mean 
time, the Shekh had brought a fecond wife from another 
apartment, and fet her down befide the firft. They were 
both women pad the middle age, feemed to have a great 
many flaves attending them, but never had been hand- 
fome. One of them, I learned afterwards, was daughter to 
the nrft minifter Shekh Adelan. 

I thought it necefTary to explain myfelf a little with Fi- 
dele. You know, Shekh, faid I, it is not always that you 


* The houfe where they keep their women, 


and I agree, and though I have lived many years with peo- 
ple of your religion of all ranks, yet I am far from knowing 
what are the manners of Atbara ; what will offend you or 
them, or what not ; for, as % I have no view but your good 
and theirs, I would not expofe myfelf to any ill ufage to 
which a miftake of your cufloms may mbject me. In Ihort, 
I mull afk thefe ladies a number of queflions, which, if you 
choofe to hear, you may, but no perfon elfe muft, as is the 
ouflom of my country." " What has he to do with us and 
our phyfician ? faid the eldefl of the two ; all his bufmefs is 
to pay you money when you have made us well." " What 
would become of him, fays Adelan's daughter, if we were 
to be ill ? he would flarve for want of people to make ready 
his meat." — Aye, and his drink too, fays the other, which 
he is fonder of than his meat." — " No, no, fays Shekh Fidele, 
in perfect good humour, we know you, Hakim ; you are 
not like us ; afk them all the queflions you pleafe, I neither 
wifh nor intend to hear them; I hear too much of them 
every day againfl my will, and only wifh to God you would 
cure them or make them dumb altogether, and then they 
will not teaze me with their illnefs any longer; a fick wo- 
man is plague fufhcient for a devil." — " Then, clear the 
room, faid I, in the firfl place, of all thefe idle women-fer- 
vants; only leave two or three of the fleadiefl flaves to ferve 
their miflrefTes." He did not feem at a lofs how to do this, 
for he took up a fliort whip, or fwitch, which lay at hand, 
and happy were they who got firfl to the door. I fawamong 
thefe a genteel female figure, covered from head to foot, 
whom Fidele pulled in with his hand, after he had pufhed 
the others out of the door, faying, " Come in, Aifcach ;" and 
immediately after this he went away. 

~I was 


I was very fenfible that I was playing a farce upon which 
a very great deal depended. Though in thefe countries 
the daughters of minifters and great men are given to in- 
feriors, this is only with a view of having them provided 
for ; they are fpies upon their hufbands, and keep up 
the confequence of their birth in their hufband's houfe 
even after they are married, and this I underflood was 
precifcly the cafe with Adelan's daughter. Notwithfland- 
ing the bad character I had of Fidele, I knew he durfl 
not rob me, without murdering me alfo ; and I was fure 
he did not dare to do either, if it was once known that I 
was arrived in the dominions of Sennaar ; and this his 
wife could inform Adelan her father of, whenever fhe plea- 
fecj. This was then the firfl: ftep towards fafety. 

I shall not trouble my reader with a repetition of my 
medical inquiries, nor the complaints of ladies, which 
are properly fecrets with me, though at the diflance of At- 
bara. The ipecacuanha operation gave high fatisfaction. 
It was now happily terminated ; but, whilft it was admi- 
niftering, I obferved the figure, who till then appeared co- 
vered, had unveiled her face and head down to her moul- 
ders ; and foon after one of the llaves, her attendant, as in 
play, pulled off the remaining part of the veil that cover- 
ed her. I was aftoniihed at the fight of fo much beauty. 
Her hair, which was not woolly, but long, and in great 
quantity, was braided and twilled round like a crown up- 
on the top of her head, ornamented with beads, and the 
fmall white Guinea-fhells, commonly known here by the 
name of blackamoor's teeth. She had plain rings of 
gold in her ears, and four rows of gold chain about her 
neck, to which was hung a number of fequins pierced ; 

Vol IV. 3 A , the 


the reft of her drefs was a blue fhift, which hung loofely 
about her, and covered her down to her feet, though ie 
was not very rigoroufly nor very clofely difpofed all below 
her neck. She was the talleft of the middle fize, and not yet 
fifteen years of age; her whole features faultlefs; they might 
have ferved alone for the fludy of a painter all his life, if he 
was in fearch of abfolute beauty. Her mother being an 
Arab of the tribe of Jehaina, her complexion was a dark 
brown. Such was the beautiful Aifcach, daughter of the, 
eldefl of the ladies that I was then attending. 

Neither ficknefs nor medicine could prevent thofe who 
were prefent from difcovering plainly how exceedingly I 
was difconcerted. Adelan's daughter faid to me, You will 
think nothing of the women in Atbara, after fo long a flay 
in Abyffinia ; but the women in Europe, they fay, are fo > 
white, that they are the handfomeft of all. I never 
was lefs perfuaded of that truth than at prefent, faid I ; 
and I fee perfectly you obferve it. " Aye, aye, fays her 
mother, and fo we do ; if Aifcach was ill, you would take 
better care of her than of either of us." " Pardon me, , 
faid I, Madam; if the beautiful Aifcach was ill, I feel I 
mould myfelf be fo much affected as not to be able to at- 
tend her at all,"' 

Aiscach made the moft gracious inclination with her 
head, to mew me was perfectly fenfible of the compliment; 
The women laughed out aloud. " Send for Yafine and 
your horfe from Ras el Feel, cries a voice behind me laughs 
ing, but fpeaking perfect good Amhark ; take her away^ 
and carry her back with you to Abyffinia, I'll go with you 
with all. my heart, and fo will me, I fvvear to you." I turn- 


cd with furprife to the perfon that fpoke the language, 
which I had not heard fpoken of late. " She is a poor 
Chriflian Have, fays the eldeft of Fidele's wives, taken by 
the Jehaina when the Mek Baady was defeated in his re- 
turn to Sennaar ; fhe is a foolifh, but merry creature, as you 
fee." All our diet and regimen being fettled, I took my 
leave, and was attended to the door by the Abyrlinian Have 
and Aifcach, who feemed to be very much her friend. 
When fhe came to the outer door, fhe covered herfelf again 
with her veil, from head to foot, as before, faying, in a low 
voice, Shall we not fee you to-morrow ? 

On the 31ft of March, Fidele again infifted upon under* 
going another experiment of the ipecacuanha. I waited up- 
on him at the fame hour as before, curious to know what 
he would fay to me about his wives. Upon my inquiring 
after them, he only aniwered, that they were well ; and 
when coffee was brought, before I went away, told me* 
that he knew perfectly well, from Ras el Feel, that, when 
I fet out from thence, I had difpofed, in various boxes and 
chefts, (which I pretended were inftruments) 2000 ounces of 
gold, befides variety of cloth of gold, and other valuable 
things for prefents ; and as all this was now in his power* 
he could not think me mad enough to refufe him 500 piaf- 
tres, which were only 50 of thefe ounces I Carried with 
me ; that, if I gave them to him civilly, he would forward 
me to Sennaar in two days ; if not, I was in his hands, and 
he could eafdy take the whole by force, and after difpofe of 
me as he pleafed. 

Well done ! out with it ! faid 1 ; this is but what I knew 
•long to be in your heart. But let me fet you right ; I have 

.3 A 2 not 


Bot three ounces of gold in all my poflellion. It is of no- 
nfe to me in my country ; take all my cafes and boxes,, 
and fearch them ; the gold that you find there I freely give 
you, and without referve. As for the cloth of gold, which- 
I s have, it is a prefent from the king of Abyffinia to the king 
of Sennaar, to be delivered with his letter; I have likewife 2. 
prefent to Shekh Adelan, with a letter to him; and fome 
other trifles for Sennaar, prefents to people in government:, 
look at them; if you think they are too great, apply to your 
own ufe what part of them you pleafe^ and account with 
the king and Adelan for what you take from them, with 
your reafon for fo doing* The little money I may want at 
Sennaar, Hagi Belal, Metical Aga's fervant from Mecca, will- 
furnifh me with, and, upon my letter j will take payment for 
the amount from my countrymen on board the Eafi India 
mips at Jidda. As for force, do not deceive yourfelf ; if all: 
thofe cafes were gold it never would be in your power to open- 
one of them. Do not think that I am a girl or a child ; corr- 
fiderthe danger and difficulties I have pafTed,under God's pro- 
tection only, and by my own force and courage : I am well: 
armed, and have brave men about me, £o try your force* 
when you pleafe. I dare fay you will keep yourfelf out of 
danger, to give an account of your brave exploit to the king; 
of Sennaar afterwards." I then arofe, and faid, " Good: 
evening." The Shekh called after me to flay.. I faid, " Ano- 
ther time ;" and immediately left him. 

We had hitherto been fupplied plentifully with provi— 
fions from the Shekh's houfe once a-day. When I came, 
home at night, I found that after Magrib, which is after fun- 
iet, a large ftore had been fent by the ladies from the 
Shekh's houfe, as acknowledgements for the attention I hadl 



paid them ; but no particular me/Tage, except than that 
they had been exceedingly well after their medicines, and 
hoped I would not abandon them, but fee them again. A- 
Greek fervant of mine, who knew perfectly their cuftoms, 
had anfwered, that I certainly would wait upon them when 
the Shekh mould defire me fo to do. 

The weather was extremely hot, and people, avoiding fan- 
mine of the day, generally fat up the whole of the night,- 
enjoying the only hours when it was poilible to breathe free- 
ly. It was about eleven o'clock at night, when the old Kaiya, 
whom I never faw but upon thefe occafions, came to me 
for coffee, o£ which he drank at leaft twenty dimes every 
vilit. He appeared at nrft very moderate, and, as he pre- 
tended, a friend. But immediately afterwards, being feat- 
ed, and afFuming a new kind of air and tone of voice, he 
reproved me roundly for my behaviour to the Shekh that 
day. He extolled him highly for his generofity, courage, , 
and his great intereft at Sennaar from his father's merits^ 
and from his having married Shekh Adelan's daughter. 
He faid,'it was the greateft prefumption, in a fet of infidels 
like us, to behave in the manner we had done toFidele that 
day. " Hagi Soliman, anfwered I, you are an old man ; if 
years have not given you wifdom, your journey to Mecca, 
and converfation with pcrfons of all nations there, mould at 
ieafl have taught you an appearance of it, which, at this time, 
you have not. I am here, immediately under the protec- 
tion of the Iherriffe of Mecca, the chief of your religion, and 
Metical Aga his miniHer. 1 have letters from the king of 
Abyilmia to your king of Sennaar, requeuing only, under 
the faith of nations, to pafs through your country in my 
way to Cairo, to rejoin Ali Bey, whofe phyfician I am, anc£ 


in whofe hands at leafl three thoufand fubjecls of Sennaar, 
and their effects, are at this moment. I fay to you now, as 
I did to your mailer in the morning, that he cannot either 
rob or murder me at Teawa without all your nation being 
refponfible for it, wherever they mall go. But I am not a 
fheep, or a lamb, to be fpoiled of my goods, or robbed of 
my life, without defending myfelf to the utmoft ; and I tell 
-you, for your proper inftruction, that there are probably 
now at Sennaar, people from the king of Abyffinia, com- 
plaining of my being detained here, and demanding ju- 

He feemed to pay no attention to this threat. He did 
not think it poffible that I could have had any communica- 
tion with Ras el Feel lince I came to Teawa, but declared, 
that, as my particular friend, he had calmed the Shekh's 
wrath, and obliged him to promife, that, for 2000 piaftres, 
he would difpatch me in two days to Sennaar. Indeed, 
Hagi Soliman, faiu I, I have not 20 piaftres in the world to 
give either him or you, nor would I give them if I had 
them. The Shekh may take all that I have by force, and is 
welcome to try the experiment. You, as his friend and fol- 
dier, may command the party, if you pleafe ; but I am re- 
folved, were he willing, never to leave Teawa till I depart 
under the conduct of another man than one of your or of 
Shekh Fidele's chufing. Upon my faying this, he arofe, 
ihook the bofom of his cloak, and faid, he was forry for it ; 
-but he w allied his hands of all the confequences. 

Immediately after this we £hut our doors ; and our fire- 

n 1 "'""' cleared, loaded, and primed, we refolved to a- 

s of this bad affair in the bell manner poffible, 



and live or die together. One thing, however, diverted us : 
One of the largi blunderbuiles being accidentally laid acrofs- 
the door, this veteran foldier flarted back at the fight of it, 
and, although the muzzle was pointed far from him, would 
not enter till the piece was removed, and placed at a confi- 
derable diflance from him* 

As we fa w things were growing to a criUs, we became 
every hour more impatient for the arrival of relief, either 
from Ras el Feel or Sennaar. On the ift of April came a fer- 
vant from the Shekh of Beyla, and delivered a mefTage to 
Fidele : What it was I know not ; but about noon he came- 
to inquire after us, and pay us a vifit. 

All this time Fidele had kept our arrival at Teawa a fe-- 
cret from the Shekh of Beyla; but the people, who frequent- 
ed the market of Teawa, having told their governor that 
they had feen Grangers there> he all at once fufpected the* 
truth, and difpatched a confidential fervant to Fidele, under ■ 
a. mew of bufinefs, to inquire whether we werethofe Gran- 
gers. An explanation immediately followed upon his co- 
ming to my houfe, and efpecially concerning the mefTage. 
the Shekh of Beyla had received from the Shekh of Atbara, 
that we were gone. by Kuara down the Dendar. He faid,, 
that his matter either had fent, or intended to fend, advice, 
of this to my fervant at Sennaar, who, expecting us no long- 
er by Teaw^ would neither come himfelf, nor feek a king's 
fervant to conduct us from hence, but would feek meafures 
for our fafety the other way, or wait at Sennaar, expecting, 
our arrival daily; for the way from Kuara was through a. 
number of outlawed, or banditti Arabs, fo that it was not- 
in the power of the government of Sennaar, if ever fo well 



inclined, to conduct us one ftep in fafety on that road tiH 
we fhould be within two days journey ©f Sennaar. The 
fervant therefore propofed, that he fhould return inftantly 
to Beyla, (as he did that night) and that his mailer fhould 
fend a meffenger on a dromedary exprefs to Sennaar, to in- 
form Hagi Belal of our fituation, and procure immediate re- 
lief. He promifed further, that his mailer fhould fend a 
Moullah, (or man of extraordinary holinefs and learning) 
in whofe prefence Shekh Fidele would not dare to proceed 
to extremities, as this was a man univerfally efleemed, and 
of great weight and reputation at Sennaar, both with Abou 
Calec and Adelan, as well as throughout Atbara. 

I must here obviate a very reafonable objection which 
may be made by my reader: — " Why, when you knew your 
fafety depended upon the government of Sennaar, when 
you was arrived at Teawa, did you not take the firfl oppor- 
tunity of notifying it to Fidele, that you had already fent 
to acquaint your correfpondent at Sennaar that you had fet 
out for that place ?" I anfwer, That to do this had been 
many times in agitation among us, but was always reject- 
ed. It was thought a dangerous meafure to leave a man 
like Fidele, the only perfon who had feen us, to give us any 
character and description he pleafed, who, from the con- 
nection and correfpondence he muft have in that capital, 
and the confidence necefTarily placed in him, as governor 
of a frontier province, might fo far prejudice the minds of 
that credulous and brutal people, by mifreprefenting us, as 
either to get orders to cut us off upon our journey, or pro- 
cure us a fate fimilar to that of M. du Roule, the French en- 
voy, after our arriving in that capital. It was by the good- 
nefs of Providence alone that we were reftrained from 
2 adopting 


adopting that meafure, often confidered as the moft advife- 
able, but which, we fince have certainly known, would have 
ended in our deftruction. 

Nothing material panned on the 3d of April, their fefti- 
val day ; but on the 4th no meat was fent us. However, 
on Sunday the 5th it was brought rather in larger propor- 
tion than before, and we fpent the whole day in conjec- 
turing what was become of our fervants, and of the Moul- 
lah whom the Shekh of Beyla's fervant had promifed us. 
On the 6th the Kaiya came, and, without ceremony, told 
me that the Shekh had heard I wanted to efcape to Beyla, 
in which journey I mould certainly perifli, and therefore 
he had taken my horfe from me, which was in a liable at 
fome diftance. From this time we got our victuals very 
fparingly. On the 7th he fent me word, that I iliould 
bring him a vomit the day after, which I promifed to com* 
ply with. It was very plainly feen Beyla's fecret was not 
kept, and to this we attributed the delay of the Moullah ; 
but nothing could comfort us for the want of an anfwer 
from Ras el Feel. 

On the 8th, in the evening, a little before fix o'clock, 
when I was making ready to go to the Shekh, a mefTage 
came, that he was bufy, and could not fee me ; with which, 
for a time, I was very well pleafed. About ten, arrived a 
naked, very ill-looking fellow, more like an execution- 
er than any other fort of man, with a large broad-fword 
in his hand, and fcemingly very drunk. He faid he was 
one of the Shekhs of Jehaina, and in a little time became 
extremely infolent. He firfl demanded coffee, which was 
given him, then a new coat, then fome civet, and, lafl of 
Vol. IV. 3 B all, 


all, drawing his fword, that we fliould inftantly provide 
him with a new fcabbard, his own being but a piece of 
common leather, which he threw with a kind of indigna- 
tion down upon the floor. Till that time I had been wri- 
ting thefe very memoirs, at lead the journal of the day. I 
was not any way afraid of one drunkard, but laid down 
my pen, wondering where this infolence was to end. Before 
I had time to fpeak a word, I heard my old Turk, the lher- 
rifle, Hagi Lfmacl, fay, " You are of the Jehaina, are you ? 
then I am of the Daveina ;" and with that he caught the 
firanger by the throat, taking his fword from him, which 
he threw oat of the houfe, after calling the owner: violently 
upon the floor. The fellow crept out upon all-four, and, as 
foon as he had picked up his fword, attempted again, to en-^ 
ter the houfe, which Soliman perceiving, matched his own 
fiiort, crooked fword, from a pin where it hung, and ran 
readily to meet him, and would very fpeedily have made 
an end of him, had I not cried out, " For God's fake, Soli- 
man, don't hurt him ; remember where you are." Indeed,, 
there was little reafon for the caution ;.-for when the Arab 
obferved a drawn fword in the Turk's hand, he prefent^ 
ly ran away towards the town, crying, Ullah! Ullah ! 
Ullah ! which was, God ! God ! God ! an exclamation of ter- 
ror, and we faw no more of him ; whilft, inflead of a new 
fcabbard, he left his old one in the houfe. Seeing at once 
the cowardice and malice of our enemies, we were now 
apprehenfive of lire, things were come to fuch an extre- 
mity ; and as our houfe was compofed of nothing but dry; 
canes, it feemed the only obvious way of dcilroying us. 

On the 9th, in the morning I fent Soliman with the 
Ic&bbard to Fidele, and a grievous complaint againil the 



iuppofed Shekh of the Jehaina for his infolence the night 
before. Shekh Fidele pretended to be utterly ignorant of 
the whole, made light of what had paffed, and faid the fel- 
low was a fool. But a violent altercation took place be- 
tween him and my fervant black Soliman, who then told 
him all his mind, threatening him with Yafine's immedi- 
ate vengeance, and alluring him he was, before this, fully 
informed of his behaviour. They, however, both cooled be- 
fore parting. Fidele only recommended to Soliman to 
perfuade me to give him 2000 piallres, without which he 
fwore I never mould go alive out of Atbara. Soliman, on the 
other hand, declared, that I was a man that fet no value upon 
money, and therefore carried it not about with me, other- 
wife I Ihould not refufe what he defired, but warned him to 
think well before he uttered fuch expreilions as he now 
had done 

In the courfe of converfation, as Soliman told me, -the 
'Shekh gave him feveral hints, that, if he would agree with' 
him, and help to rob and murder me, he fhould mare the 
booty with him, and it never would be known. But So- 
liman pretended not to underftand this, always alluring him 
that I was not the man he took me for ; and that, except 
the king's prefent, all I had was brafs, iron, and glafs bot- 
tles, of no value to any but myfelf, who only knew how 
to ufe them. They then nnhlied their difcourfe ; and he 
defired Soliman to tell me, that he expected me at the 
ufual hour of 6 o'clock to-morrow evening, which was 
Friday the 10th. 

This feemecl to me to be an extraordinary appointment, 
ibecaufe Friday is their feftival, when they eat and drink 

3 B z heartily 


heartily, nor did I ever remember any of them take medi- 
cine upon that day. Brit with Fidele all was feftival, not 
even their annual folemn fail of Ramadan did he ever keep* 
but was univerfally known to be an unbeliever, even in 
what was. called his own religion. I had Hill this further 
objection to wait upon him at night, that he had gone fo 
far as to folicit Soliman to affifl him in murdering me. But 
I confidered at laft, that we could not efcape from his hands ; 
and that the only way to avoid the danger was to brave it. 
Providence, indeed, feemed all along to have referved our 
deliverance for our own exertions, under its direction, as 
all the ways we had taken to get relief from others had 
hitherto, in appearance at leaft, mifcarried. However, it was 
refolved to go armed, for fear of the worft ; but to conceal 
our weapons, fo as to give no umbrage. I had a fmall Bref- 
cian blunderbufs, about 22 inches in the barrel, which had 
a joint in the Hock, fo that it folded double. It hung by 
an iron hook to a thin belt under my left arm, clofe to 
my iide, quite unperceived, like a cutlafs. I likewife took a 
pair of piflols in my girdle, and my knife as ufual. All 
thefe were perfectly covered by my burnoofe ; fo that, with 
a little attention, when I fat down, it was impoffible to dif- 
cover my having • any weapons about me. Hagi Ifmael 
the Turk, Soliman my fervant, and two other Mooriih fer- 
vants, took alfo their fire arms, fmall and great, and fwords, 
along with them. We all went to the houfe of the Shekh 
a little before feven o'clock in the evening. I entered the 
back door into the fquare where the women's houfe was ; 
but declined going fo far as their apartment without leave, 
turning to the left hand into the fide of the fquare where 
he ufually ftaid. I was furprifed to meet but one fervant, a 
3 - black 


black boy, in the whole houfe, and he carried me to 
the Shekh, my fervants remaining at the outer-door. 

Fidele was fitting in a fpacious room, in an alcove, on a 
large broad fofa like a bed, with India curtains gathered on 
each fide into feftoons. Upon feeing the boy, in a very flir- 
ty tone he called for a pipe ; and, in much the fame voice, 
faid to me, " What ! alone ?" I faid, " Yes, what were his 
commands with me ?" I faw he either was, or affected to 
be, drunk, and which ever was the cafe, I knew it would lead 
to mifchief ; I therefore repented heartily of having come 
into the houfe alone. 

After he had taken two whiffs of his pipe, and the Have 
had left the room, " Are you prepared ? fays he ; have you 
brought the Heedful along with you ?" I wifhed to have occa- 
sion to join Soliman, and anfwered, " My fervants are at 
the outer door, and have the vomit you wanted." " D — n 
you and the vomit too, fays he with great paflion, I want 
money, and not poifon. Where are your piaftres I" " I 
am a bad perfon, faid I, Fidele, to furnifh you with either. 
I have neither money nor poifon ; but I advife you to drink 
a little warm water to clear your ftomach, cool your head, 
and then lie down and compofe yourfelf, I will fee you to- 
morrow morning." I was going out. " Hakim, fays he, 
infidel, or devil, or whatever is your name, hearken to 
what, I fay. Confider where you are; this is the room where 
Mek Baady, a king, was fiain by the hand of my father : 
look at his blood, where it has flaiaed the floor, which never 
could be warned out. I am informed you have 20,000 piaf- 
ters in -gold with you ; .either give me 2000 before you go 
out of tMs chamber, or you mall die; I will put you to death 



with my own hand." Upon this he took up his f word, that 
was lying at the head of his fofa, and, drawing it with a 
bravado, threw the fcabbard into the middle of the room ; 
and, tucking the fleeve of his mirt above his elbow like a 
butcher, faid, " I wait your anfwer." 

I now ftept one pace backwards, and dropt theburnoofe 
behind me, holding the little blunderbufs in my hand, with- 
out taking it off the belt. I faid, in a firm tone of voice, 
" This is my anfwer : I am not a man, as I have told you 
before, to die like a bead by the hand of a drunkard ; 011 
your life, I charge you, ftir not from your fofa." I had no 
need to^give this injunction ; he heard the noife which the 
doling the joint in the flock of the blunderbufs made, and 
thought I had cocked it, and was inflantly to fire. He let 
his fword drop, and threw himfelf on his back on the fofa, 
crying, " For God's fake, Hakim, I was but jelling." At the 
fame time, with all his might, he cried, " Brahim t Maho- 
met ! El coom ! El coom*!" — u If one of your fervants ap- 
proach me, faid I, that inftant I blow you to pieces ; not 
one of them (hall enter this room till they bring in my fer- 
vants with them ; I have a. number of them armed at your 
gate, who will break in the inftant they hear me fire. 

The women had come to the door. My fervants were 
admitted, each having a blunderbufs in his hand andpiftols 
at his girdle. We were now greatly an overmatch for 
the Shekh, who fat far back on the fofa, and pretended 
that all he had done was in joke, in which his fervants 


■* El coom, that is, all his fervants. 


Joined, and a very confufed, defultory difcourfc followed, 
till the Turk, fherriffe Ifmael, happened to obferve the 
Shekh's fcabbard of his fword thrown upon the floor, on 
which he fell into a violent fit of laughter. He fpoke very 
bad Arabic, mixed with Turkifh, as I have often obferved. 
He endeavoured to make the Shekh underftand, that drunk- 
ards and cowards had more need of the fcabbard than the 
fword ; that he, Fidele, and the other drunkard that came 
to our houfe two or three nights before, who faid he was 
Shekh of the Jehaina, were juft pofTefTed of the fame por- 
tion of courage and infolence. 

As no good could be expected from this expoftulation, £ 
ftopt it, and took my leave, defiring the Shekh to go to bed 
and compofe himfelf, and not try any more of thefe expe- 
riments, which would certainly end in his (name, if not: 
in bis punifhment. He made no anfwer, only wiflicd us, 
good night. 


C H A P~ 


W^ fi<w ■ ■ mfi r&JH 


Tranjaclions at Teawa continued — A Moullah and Sberrjffe arrive 
from Beyla—News from Ras el Feel and Sennaar — An ILcllpfe of 
the Moon — Leave Teawa. 

"E went to the door, through the feveral apartments, 
very much upon our guard, for there was no per- 
fon to light us out, and we were afraid of fome treachery 
or ambufh in the antichamber and dark pafTages ; but we . 
met nobody ; and were, even at the outer gate, obliged to 
open the door ourfelves. Without the gate there were a- 
bout twenty people gathered together, but none of them 
with arms ; and, by the half words and expreflions they 
made ufe of, we could judge they were not the Shekh's 
friends. They followed us for a little, but difperfed before 
we arrived at our houfe. Soliman, my fervant, told me by 
the way, that the Moullah was arrived, and that the Shekh of 

Bey la's 


Beyla's fervant, who had come with him, had been at my 
houfe ever fince I went to Fidele's. Accordingly we found 
him ilill there, and explained to him what had happened, 
and the great diftrefs we had been in from the Moullah's 
not arriving fooner, as alfo from receiving no meffage either 
from Sennaar or Ras el Feel. He told us, the reafon of our 
fervants not joining us was the falfe information his maf- 
ter the Shekh of Beyla had received from Fidele ; that we 
were coming by the Dender, and not by Teawa, as already 
mentioned. He now advifed us to come up, and fhew our- 
felves in the morning to the Moullah, who would be fitting 
with Shekh Fidele, adminiftering juftice; but to take no parti- 
cular notice of him, and only obferve to what his difcourfe 
pointed, and he would bring us word if any thing more was 

I recommended to this fervant of the Shekh of Beyla 
that he ihould tell the Moullah that he was not to ex- 
pect I was to open my baggage here, but that I was a 
man who underitood perfectly the value of a favour done 
me, and mould not be in his debt longer than arriving at 
Beyla, which I wiihed to reach as foon as poffible; nothing 
can be quicker than thefe people are on the fmalleil hint 
given ; we feparated, fully fatisfied that we were now a 
fufficient match for the Shekh, even at his own weapons. 

Ever fince the adventure of the Shekh of the Jehaina, one 
of us had kept guard, tbe door being open every night 
for fear of fire, and it was my turn that night, a poll that 
I never declined, for the fake of good example ; but my 
fpirits were fo exhaufted this day, that I gave the old Turk 
plenty of coffee and .tobacco to undertake, as he did with 

Vol. IV. 3 C great 


great willingnefs, the office of that night for me. I went 
to bed, and fell prefently into a profound fleep, from which 
I was awakened, a little before midnight, by a menage 
from the ladies, my patients, in the Shekh's houfe, fent by 
the black Have that had fpoken in the Abyffinian language 
to me while I was attending her miftrefs. They advifed 
rne to be upon my guard, for the Shekh was abfolutely 
refolved to take a fevere revenge upon us all : That after 
we had left him that evening, an exprefs arrived from the 
lower part of Atbara, giving him an account that Shekh 
Ibrahim, a great man at Sennaar, and favourite of Adelan 
the prime minifler, while he was employed in gathering 
the taxes from the Arabs, had fought with the tribe called 
Shukorea, fomewhere eaft of Sennaar ; that he had beenc* 
completely beaten, and many of his people killed ;. as alfo,, 
that Shekh Ibrahim and his two fons were wounded ; that 
Shekh Fidele had immediately fent back word, that he had 
then with him a furgeon and phyucian, meaning me, who 
could, upon occafion, even bring a dead man to life, but that 
I would never confent to come to him unlefs I was forced ;, 
therefore, if he would difpatch a fufficient number of armed 
men, to help him to furprife me in the night, he would con- 
duct the execution of that fcheme, and would fend me to him 
in irons. He faid I was an infidel, a white man from Abyf— 
fmia, and had feveral flout people with me expert in fire* 
arms, (of which I had a number.) who would be of great ufe 
to him in fubduing the Arabs. They afTured me, however,, 
of their friendfhip, and begged me to confider what I had. 
to do in time, for many wild men would be poured in up- 
on, me, who would not fail to kill me if I refifled. 

4 I rjeturnei> 


. I returned my moft humble thanks to my kind infor- 
mants ; with a fmall gratification of civet to the two elder 
ladies, and a feparate portion to the beautiful Aifcach, af- 
furing them I mould not fail to profit by any advice they 
mould give me. After this I again fell into a found fleep, 
which continued till morning ; and, though my affairs had 
not the moft profperous appearance, I felt a calmnefs of 
mind to which I had been utterly a flranger ever fince I 
had left Ras el Feel. My fervants awakened me in the 
morning of the nth; I drank coffee, and drefTed, and 
took along with me Soliman and Ifmael, without arms in 
our hands, but having knives and piftols in our girdles, to 
mew that we had lived in fear. 

The Moullah's name was Welled Meftah, or the fon of 
interpretation, or explanation. He was reputed to have at- 
tained fuch a degree of holinefs as to work miracles, and* 
more than once in his life, to have been honoured With 
the converfation of angels and fpirits, and, at times, to have 
Called the devil into his prefence, and reproved him. He 
was a man below the middle file, of a very dark com- 
plexion, and thin beard, feemingly pafl fixty, hollow-eyed^, 
and very much emaciated. If holy, we could not fay he 
was the beauty of holinefs. I underflood, afterwards, he 
was much addicted to the life of opium, to the effects of 
which he probably was indebted for his converfation with 
fpirits. He had brought with him another faint, much 
younger and robufter than himfelf, who had been feveral 
times at Mecca, and had feen Metical Aga, but did not 
know him. He had feen likewife the Englim mips at Jid- 
da, and knew the name of the nation, but nothing more. 
He was a iherrhTe, (that is, a defcendant of Mahomet) a de- 

.3 G 2 t gree 


gree-of nobility much refpected among the Arabs, diitin— 
guifhed by wearing a green turban. The Daveina, when 
they burnt all the country between Teawa and Beyla, Caved 
this man's houCe, effects, and crop, in veneration of his CanclU 
ty. TheCe two were fitting on each fide of Shekh Fidele* 
and before him flood two black Haves holding each a mon- 
ilrous long broad-fword. I approached thefe powers, ec- 
clefiaitical and civil, with great compofure, as if nothing 
had happened; but ICmael, the Turk, had almoft Cpoiled 
my gravity, for, feeing the fwords in the men's hands be- 
fore Fidele, he faid, in his barbarous language, loud enough 
to be heard, 4 ' O, ho, they have got their fcabbards upon 
their fwords to-day." 

Fidele feemed to have a very ferene countenance, till 
we approached nearer, when, feeing the piflols in our gir* 
dies, he appeared rather difcompofed, and probably he 
thought the blunderbufs was not far off ; .1 made him, how- 
ever, a bow, and mookhim by the hand ; I likewife made an- 
other bow to their two holineffes. As people of that fane- 
tity feldom chufe to have, even their cloaths, touched by 
unbelievers in public, I made no further advance towards 
them. The fherriffe no fooner faw IfmaeFs turban, than 
he got up, took him in his arms, and, as he was an older 
man than himfelf, though all in rags, kiffed his forehead 
with great refpect.. This was returned by Hagi Ifmael,- 
firft kiffing his forehead and then his hand ; after which 
the Moullah did the fame, as 1 thought with rather lefs 
ceremony. ICmael .gave a very flight faiutation of '.Salama 
to the Shekh, and we all fat down, 

a « BaOTHIR;. 


" Brother, fays the merrifTe to Ifinael,you feem a ftranger 
in this country." "I am a Turk, anfwered Ifmael, born in 
Anatolia, a janizary of AH Bey at Cairo. 4 ' " He came, fays 
Shekh Fidele, to Habefli, with their Kafr, the Abuna or great 
prieft, and is returning to Cairo with that white man, who 
is phyfician to Ali Bey." " Kafr there, or Kafr here, conti- 
nued Ifmael (who did but half underftand what was faid) 
the greateft of all Kafrs (that is Infidel) is, I believe, in Tea- 
wa. I do not think there is one Muffulman in this curfed 
place." " Is this the Frank, fays the Moullah, whofe fer- 
vant brought letters to the Shekh of Beyla fome weeks 
ago, and was forwarded to Sennaar ?" " No, fays Fidele, he 
does not know the Shekh of Beyla." " I am fure, fays the 
Moullah, that, fuch a day, when I was at Sennaar, there 
was a talk of a man of this kind, whofe fervartt was at 
Aira with Shekh Adelan, and had orders to come hither 
with a fervant of his* and one from the king ; and I am 
fure, upon reflection, continued the Moullah, this mult be 
the man." " Shekh, fays he, turning to me, (who fat fi- 
lent, overjoyed at the train I faw the affair taking) did you 
come from Habelnf have you letters for Sennaar?" " I 
came from Habefh, replied I, with letters to the king of 
Sennaar ; . likewife letters, to him from the flierriffe of Mec- 
ca, and from Ali Bey of Cairo, (you are welcome to fee 
them: all,) yet, contrary to faith, obferved even in Pagan 
nations, lam here detained by Shekh Fidele, who lail night 
attempted to murder me in his own houfe, becaufel would 
not pay him 2000 piaflres." Shekh Fidele's face turned pale; 
he could fcarcely utter, " That is not true." " As that book 
is the word of God, fays Ifmael, (pointing to the Koran, ly- 
ing in the iherriffe's lap) it is every word true. Look upon 




my turban, (fays he to Fidele) do you call me a liar?" Fid. 
*' I did not call you a liar, only that Chriftian lied." Ifm. " I 
fay, that every word he fpoke is truth, or I am no true be- 
liever. Was not your fword drawn, and your fcabbard ly- 
ing on the floor, when I entered the room ? Was there any 
one prefent but him and you ? Whom did you draw your 
fword upon ?" " Pure merriment for a little amufement, 
fays Fidele, turning to the Moullah, I was diverting myfelf 
with the Chriftian, who came to give me medicines." " The 
diverlion, I fancy, was over on your part, fays Soliman, my 
fervant, when you threw away your fword, after drawing it, 
and called upon all your fervants for affiftance. Were not 
your women at the door upon my entering it?" Fid. " Would 
you have had me fhot in my own houfe by an infidel? 
Did he not prefent a piftol at me ?" Ifm. "Lord ! Lord ! he 
was only diverting himfelf, too? Did not you fee that? You 
fliould have gone on with your merriment : — What ftopt 
you ?" " Look you, Shekh, faid I, your inward thoughts are 
feen by me. Did not you fend two meflengers to Shekh 
Ibrahim in Atbara that very night, within thefe twelve 
hours, defiring him to take me by force, while afleep, to 
heal his wounded men ? Was this amufement, too ? Beware 
in time, for every thought in your heart is known tome as 
foon as it is formed." 

The merrifFe muttered to himfelf, " Hakim y'Eref — he 
is a learned man ; he knows thefe things." " Shekh Ibra- 
him is returned to Sennaar, fays the Moullah, that is the 
reafon why he mould make haite, and all this that has 
palled is very improper. If a man diverts himfelf with 
drawn fwords, is he not likely, when angry, to kill? this 
ought not to be ; fend the man away ; you can get camels 



from the Jehaina. Men like him have no money. There 
are many of them, at all times and places, wandering over 
the face of the earth, and will be fo till Hagiuge Magiuge * 
come ; they are Dervifhes, ftudy the herbs and the water, 
and cure difeafes." " God blefs the truth ! faid I ; there it 
is. I am a Dervifh, a poor, but an innocent man." The 
Moullah feemed to take credit to himfelf for all this learn- 
ing. " I faw, fays the fherrifTe, a number of his country- 
men in large mips from the Indies, when I was at Jidda ; 
they are called Inglefe." " They are brave men, fays If- 
mael, and came firft from Turkey. Their country is called 
Gaz Dangli to this day. I have feen it, and am fure no 
man would hurt Yagoube that knew him." Fid. " So, Ya- 
goube is his name ; the firft time I knew it." Moul. " Ya- 
goube el Hakim ; now I remember it perfectly. Ali Tche- 
lebi, Mahomet Abou Calec's factor, is ill of an enchantment 
from an enemy ; his bowels are out of order ; he it was 
that afked me if fuch a man was yet come to Beyla. They 
furely expect that you mould forward him to Sennaan 
True, Yagoube el Hakim, that was his name." Fid. " He 
mail go next week, fince it is fo, if I can but get camels." 
Upon this we rofe, feeing other people coming in. When 
1 took hold of the Shekh's hand at going away, he afked 
me, in apparent good humour, " Well, Yagoube, are we 
friends now?" I anfwered him, in the moil complacent 
tone of voice poflible, "Sir, I never was your enemy; fo 
far otherwife, that my only anxiety now is, left your beha- 
viour may bring upon you powerful adverfaries, before 
whom you are not able to ftand. The ill-ufage I have met 


* By this they mean Gog and Magog. We fhall after fee their belief concerning them,. 


with will not be eafily puffed over either in AbyfTinia or at 
Sennaar. I am neither fervant nor merchant ; and it has 
been your ill-luck to try your wicked experiments upon a 
man like me, who never in his life carried much money a- 
bout him, becaufe he never valued it." Maul. You muft 
forget all, and I will be your friend wirh the Shekh, fince 
you come from the fherrirTe of Mecca." " And I, too, fays 
the other, for the kindnefs you have mewed our brother 
Jfmael there, in carrying him home from among the Kafrs 
of Habefh ; and if Fidele cannot procure camels, we will 
try and help him ; fo go in peace, and get ready." 

We had fcarce got rid of this real danger, when the ap- 
prehenfion of an imaginary one ftruck us violently. The 
water at Teawa is llagnant in pools, and exceedingly bad. 
Either that, or the bouza, a kind of new beer which they 
fent us with our meat, had given all of us, at the fame, time, 
a violent diarrhoea, and I was tormented with a perpetual 
thirft ever fince we had been overtaken by the fimoom ; 
and the bouza being acid, was not only .more agreeable, 
but, I thought, relieved me more than bad water; in this, 
therefore, I certainly had exceeded. When we found we 
were all taken ill at the fame time, it came into our wife 
heads that Shekh Fidele had given us poifon in our dinner, 
and we were very much perplexed what we mould do the 
next day. None of us, therefore, tafted the meat fent us ; 
when at night, our friend, the black Have came, and to her 
we frankly told our doubts. The poor creature fell into 
fuch violent fits of laughing, which followed fo clofe the 
pne upon the other, and lafted fo long, that I feared fhe 
would have expired upon the fpot. u It is the water, fays 
.fhe; it does fo to all Grangers ;" and then fhe fell into an- 


other great fit of laughter. " Child, anfwered I, you 
know the Shekh is not our friend, and there is no eafier 
way to get rid of us than by poifon, as we eat everything 
that comes from you without fear." — " And fo you may, 
fays me ; the Shekh could do no fuch thing without 
our knowledge, and we would rather all be burnt alive 
than be guilty of fo vile an. action., fays fhe, this 
is not like Habefh, where both meat and drink, brought to 
you, are tailed by the bearer before you ufe them. There is 
no fuch thing as poifon in Atbara ; the lance and the knife 
in the field, that is the manner in which they kill one an- 
other here." 

"We then mewed her our dinner uneaten, and fhe again 
fell into a violent lit of laughter, and took the meat away 
that fhe might warm it^ and we heard her laughing all the 
way as fhe went by herfelf. She was not long in returning 
with provifions in plenty, and told us, that her miftrefTes 
-never were fo diverted in their lives, and that fhe left them 
ftili laughing. The black Have then called me to the door, 
and gave me an India green handkerchief, which fhe faid 
Aifcach had pulled from her head, and fent with her to me, 
with orders to inquire, " .Do the women of your country do 
•fuch things, Yagoube, which, for all the fathers and gold 
in the world, Aifcach would not be guilty of I My father 
is indeed a Funge *, but my mother is a Jehainaf." 

Neither the Shekh nor MotiUah expected me out on 

Sunday, which I told them was my festival. I employed 

Vol. IV. 3 D that 

■* Which means a flave. f A noble and free Arab. 


that day in mounting and rectifying my quadrant, and 
that fame evening had a clear and diftinct obfervation of 
Procyon, and feveral other of the fixed liars, the larger! and 
fittefl for my purpofe. ; The next day alfo, having a good 
obfervation of the fun in the meridian, all equations adopt- 
ed from a mean, I found the latitude of Teawa, the capital 
of Atbara, to be 14 2' 4" north. With regard to longitude, 
Hor-Cacamoot is about fix miles ear! of Teawa, which is near- 
ly under the fame meridian with Ras el Feel, fo there was 
no occafion for any obfervation on that fubjecT:. 

On the 13th of April arrived a naked Arab of the Jehaina, 
with intelligence that a caravan belonging to Atbara, which 
had come to Nara in Abyffinia for fait, had been all feized 
by Ammonios, Ayto Confu's governor of Nara, their afTes 
and fait taken from them, and the men put in clofe pri- 
fon. The Shekh of the Jehaina, an old man of very comely 
prefence, with ten or twelve of his clan on camels, came 
over to Shekh Fidele that morning before I went out, and 
they found the Moullah fitting with him. The news ftruck 
all of them with a panic, but none more fo than our Shekh 
of Atbara. The Shekh of the Jehaina faid he had not heard 
the caufe of it, but fo violent a procedure had not happened 
even when Yafous II. invaded Sennaar, for the people of the 
two frontiers had all that time been friends. He begged, 
however, Shekh Fidele immediately to interfere, and fend 
fome perfon to Ras el Feel, to his friend Yafine. When 
they had fettled thus far, a meflage came for me to attend 
the Shekh. I immediately went, leaving my fervants to put 
up my quadrant. I had, indeed, an inclination to obferve 
the approaching eclipfe ; but as I knew perfectly the fitua- 
tion of Teawa with regard to Ras el Feel, I thought I 



might fpare myfelf this unneceffary trouble, and only make 
ufe of the eclipfe to frighten Fidele as part of the punifh- 
ment he fo amply deferved. 

There was a prodigious number of people affembled at 
the Shekh's door. The Jehaina had all come upon camels ; 
two or three of the principal ones were fitting with him and 
the Moullah. One of thefe, whom I did not know, but who 
had feen me at Ras el Feel, upon my approaching the 
Shekh, got up, took me by the hand, and made a very re- 
fpeclful falutation. As he was a friend of Yafine, and Shekh 
el Nile, I never doubted from that minute that this was a 
contrivance of theirs in my favour. 

The Moullah had alledged, that probably I had difpatch- 
ed fome intelligence to Yafine of my being detained, which 
had caufed him to make this reprifal ; but Shekh Fidele 
allured them that he knew it to be impollible, and that this 
feizure of the caravan muft have been occasioned by fome 
ill-ufage to the people belonging to Tchelga and Nara, the 
frontier villages to the weft ward. In this the Shekh of Je- 
haina agreed ; for he had heard Ammonios mentioned, 
but nothing of Yafine. The Moullah was unconvinced, but 
afked me, " Hakim, have you never fent a complaint to 
Yafine fince you came to Teawa ? tell me truly ; no harm 
mall befal you from it." " If I were not to tell you truly 
faid 1, Shekh, I would not anfwer you at all. I am under 
no obligation to do if, nor am I under any fear. You are 
but at the beginning of this affair, and many will fuffer 
before I do." " Truly, fays the Moullah, but have you fent 
intelligence to Ras el Feel ?" " No, no, fays Fidele, he had 
it not in his power ; nor is there a man in Teawa, that 

3 D 2 durfl 


durft go on fuch an errand, it is fome disturbance about 
Tchelga." . 

I easily perceived that the Moullah wanted me to con- 
fefs, which I likewife faw the ufe of myfelf. " I fent, faid 
I, rnefTengers from Teawa two feveral times. The firfl} 
when Fidele pretended Yafine was to murder me in the 
defert ; the fecond, when he faid he had no camels; and 
I alfo mentioned the piaftres, and his intention to murder 
me." " Ammonios, fays black Soliman, and Yafine, Nara, 
and Ras el Feel, all belong to Ay to Confu, and were given* 
to Yagoube by him, for his maintenance all the time he 
was at Gondar. Ay to Confu and he are brothers ; they 
were together in the camp, flept together in the fame houfe; 
they are brothers and more than brothers, for they fwore 
to each other, when we pafTed Tcherkin, upon the heart of 
the elephant*. I fwear by our holy faith, that Confu will 
be down here himfelf ; what does he care for a journey of 
two days ?." 

All now with one voice condemned Fidele, who had' 
not a word to fay, only, that if he knew the perfon who 
carried that mefTage, he would cut off his head, if he was 
his brother. " But it is impoflible, fays the Shekh ; mould I 
not have known of the mefTenger being abfent? impoffible !" 
Then turning to his fervant, faid, "Is Kutcho el Hybari 
here ? I have not feen him lately." — " Sir, fays he, you know 
you fent Kutcho to Mendera long before the Hakim ar- 

* This is a very horrid oath, full of nonferje, and vows of friendihip and fecrecy. 



rived." — " True, fays Fidele, then it is impomble." " Your 
mefTengers and mine, laid I, Shekh, are not of the fame 
fort, nor mall I afk your leave when I am to fend to 
Ras el Feel or Sennaar, nor mall you ever cut off the 
head from any one of them. But why are you alarmed at 
thefe afles being taken ? Should you not be afraid of fome- 
thing limilar happening at Mecca ? Am not I under the 
protection of the merriffe ? When Metical Aga hears this, 
will he not refent it ? Will Youfef Kabil, the Chriftian, the 
IherrifFe's vizir at Jidda, through whofe hands your people 
pafs, will he be gentler to them upon this account ?" — " A 
curfe upon him ! fays the fherriffe ; he gentle! he is a mark." 
" Meloun Ibn Sheitan, fays the Turk Ifmael, i. e. accurfed 
wretch, child of the devil !"— " Well then, faid I, the diffi- 
eulty is only to know if he is informed of this at Mecca. 
Friday the 17th is your feflival, If the afternoon of that 
fhall pafs like thofe of common days, I am a worthlefs 
man and an impoflor ; but if on that day, before ■ ePafler*,, 
align be feen in the heavens that mall be thought by all of 
you imufual and extraordinary, then am 1 an innocent man,, 
and Fidele's deligns againil me are known to the world, at 
Sennaar and at Mecca, at Cairo and at Gondar, and every- 
where elfe, and will not be pleating either to God or man."" 
Yarif el Hakim f, fays the fherriffe ; Hakim % I fays th.3 
Shekh of the Jehaina ; Ullah Akbar || ! fays the Moullahj. 
lifting his eyes up to heaven, and. counting his. beads very, 


* El'affer is four o'clock. 
^ He is indeed wife;. 

f The Hakim, or wife man k::ows. 
Jl God is great. 


The foretelling the fign feemed not at all to pleafe the 
Shekh, who appeared very much difconcerted with the fup- 
pofed invifibility of mefTengers. I got up, having pufhed 
my defign jufl far enough. I then ihook hands with the 
Shekh, faying, " I am glad to fee you don't want camels, 
alluding to the number I faw come with the Jehaina ; get 
your bouza made, and your provisions ready, you'll have 
ftrangers with you foon." He faid only, " (Ullah Kerim!") 
i. e. God is merciful ; which was echoed by every mouth in 
the room. I faluted particularly the Shekh of the Jehaina, 
who had feen me at Ras el Feel, and I then went out of the 
room, leaving them all there, and going home very chear- 
fulj began to prepare for leaving Teawa, which we were fa- 
tisfied was now near at hand. 

On the 14th, in the morning, the Moullah and merriffe, 
with the Shekh of Beyla's fervant, and the old Kaiya Soli- 
man, came to fee our clocks and watches. They fat upon 
benches at the door and drank coffee, not caring to enter 
the houfe, I fuppofe, for fear of being denied. As the old 
Kaiya was there, it was almofl impoffible to fpeak concern- 
ing our affairs, all was about our religion, and the manner 
in which a Dervifh lived. All at once, a fervant behind cried 
out, " News from Sennaar !" and, prefently after, we faw 
three men ; one of whom was my fervant, whom I fent to 
Sennaar with the Daveina, who delivered to me a letter from 
Hagi Belal, informing me, that Mahomet Abou Calec, and 
Shekh Adelan, were both at a diftance from Sennaar, at the 
head of armies, and the king in the capital almofl alone, 
under great apprehenfions ; but as no mifchief had yet hap- 
pened, and the king had no force, it was hoped things might 
be made up. He added, that he thought it better to wait a 
3 li"le, 



little, to get a fervant of Adelan to accompany the king's, 
than to trull to that one alone. Having communicated the 
contents of my letter to Shekh Fidele, and received his con- 
gratulations, they all left me, and went to the Shekh to hear 
what further news were brought to him. What I told him 
was confirmed ; and the Shekh having no longer any op- 
tion, declared his refolution to obey without further delay, 
and defired us to get ready for our journey. 

It was told us, however, foon after, that the king's fer- 
vant who had arrived, who fe name was Mahomet, was a 
great friend of Shekh Fidele, and the ufual one fent to him 
at Teawa; and that he was a great drunkard, and reprobate. 
On the contrary, Adelan's fervant, though young, was a 
very gentle, fober perfon, a flave that had been given to A- 
delan by the Shekh of Beyla ; and he was very urgent for 
us to depart. We foon faw the confequence of this differ- 
ence of manners; and that Shekh Fidele had not relinquifli- 
ed his view to the piaflres. For having tutored the king's 
fervant all night, and gained him to his interefl, he had, 
early in the morning of the 15th, declared that he was not 
to flir from Teawa for a fortnight, and he was ordered to 
get the camels from fome diflance in Atbara, the place I 
do not remember. This difpleafed Adelan's fervant much, 
who declared before the afTembly, that he was determined 
to fet out the next day, that he knew not the orders the 
king had given, but he knew his mailers orders; and that 
if the Shekh did not furnilli him with camels, or oppofed 
our fetting out, he would take him with him to Adelan at 
Aira, or, upon his refufal to go, denounce him a rebel, and 
his mailer's enemy, and leave him to what would be the 
confequence. Upon this bold fpeech, everybody left the 

Shekh . 


Shekh, and went away, whifpering, two and two together. 
The king's fervant joined his companion, who told me to be 
ready, and fear nothing, for he would fee me to-morrow 
night at Beyla. 

About half an hour after my return home I was again, 
called to the Shekh, who had only the Moullah and the old 
Kaiya fitting by him, with two fhort letters in his hand 
from Yafine, full of reproaches for his behaviour to me, and 
declaring with molt folemn oaths, that if thofe letters found 
me at Teawa, or if I was not gone from thence in peace, he 
would, before a fortnight was elapfed, be down as an enemy 
upon Teawa ; and unlefs the Daveina did engage to burn 
every ftalk of corn between that and Beyla as foon as it 
was in the ear, he would lliut Abymnia agamfl them, and 
that they mould neither eat bread nor drink water in it as 
long as he was alive and governor of Ras el Feel. Thefe 
letters mentioned a complaint likewife that had been fent 
to Shekh Adelan at Sennaar, but by whom they did not fay, 
probably from Ay to Confu, complaining of Fidele's ufage to 
me. Yafine's men, that brought the letters from Ras el 
Feel to Teawa, were faid to be three in number, mounted on 
camels, or dromedaries, and armed with coats of mail and 
head- pieces. They refufed to come into Teawa, to eat of 
Shekh Fi dele's bread *, or driuk of his water, looking upon 
him as a declared enemy of Yafine, their m after. Fidele 
with fome difficulty at laft allowed black Soliman to go to 
meet them, to perfuade them to enter the town ; but all to 
i no 

* This refufal amcng the Arabs is a declaration of the moft deadly enmity.. 


no purpofe, for the only favour he could obtain was, that 
they mould flay with the Jehaina at Jibbel IfrifF till they 
heard I was fairly fet out on my journey. 

The next day, the 16th of April, I received a meflage 
from the Moullah, that the camels were all ready, that gir- 
bas for the water were wanting, but girbas fhould be found 
for me ; and he would give me his word they ihould be 
found filled at the river where I directed ; as alfo all forts 
of provifions and neceffaries to carry me to Bey la, to which 
place I mould fet out the moment I pleafed ; only that I 
mull not go from Teawa without making peace with the 
Shekh, and promifing to forgive him, and not make any 
complaint againft him at Sennaar or elfew here, provided he, 
on his part, gave over all further machinations againft me, 
I anfwered, That however ill-ufed, yet, for his fake, I would 
do any thing he wifhed me to do, and that I was ready 
to pacify Yafine, by writing to him by the return of hi3 
meiTengers. All was agreed, fo we packed up our baggage 
with the utmoft diligence. 

On the 17th, in the forenoon, I was appointed to meet 
the Shekh at his own houfe, and told the Moullah I expect- 
ed he would have the camels ready. As we fufpected, our 
girbas were infunicient, and indeed we had found them fo 
when they loft our water in the wood nearlmgellaiib; we got 
three new ones from the Shekh in perfect good condition, 
and gave him our two in exchange, which we r e fomething 
larger than his. Each of thefe fkins are valued at 12 dol- 
lars, or about three pounds fler-ling. There is great art and 
labour required in making the feams water-tight ; they are 
Vol. IV. 3 E all 


all ftitched mofl dexteroufly, flrongly greafed, and then laid 
over thick on the outfide with warm tar, and need conftant 
care and infpecTion. About nine o'clock we went to the 
Shekh, and entered prefently upon bufinefs. I engaged to 
pacify Yafine, whofe fervants, upon my menage, came to 
town to fee me depart, and were kindly received and 
cloathed by the Shekh. A large breakfaft was ordered; Fi- 
dele and I, with Yafine's fervants, ate together of feveral 
very good difhes. The two holy men, and another Gran- 
ger equally holy, ate together out of a feparate plate ; af- 
ter which we all flood up, and faid the prayer of peace, 
and I took my leave. We all then went out together into 
the market-place, and eight camels were ordered down to; 
my houfe, with people to wait upon them. 

The girbas, which lay filled and foaking at the river- 
fide, were ready to be loaded upon our camels. A fervant 
of the Kaiya held my horfe, which had been taken from 
me hy Fidele foon after my arriving at Teawa, but which 
was now reflored me. My fervant who came from Sen- 
naar had indeed told me that no horfes would live there ; 
that thofe that were neceflary for the troops of the govern- 
ment were all kept at a diftance from Sennaar, and main- 
tained at Aira, or places in the fand at a fmall diftance, but 
free from the plague of the fly. The Shekh made no ob- 
fervation upon this. I faid, The horfe is a very excellent one, 
and I will now fliew him to you. I fent for a fhort double- 
barrelled gun, threw off my burnoofe, and mounting the 
horfe, made him do every thing he was capable of, put- 
ting him to. his full fpeed, firing to right and left on each 
iide of him. 

3 They, 


They were all flruck with amazement, and with a kind 
of terror. They had never before feen a gun fired on horfe- 
back, much lefs a gun fired twice without charging. I 
did not want to explain the matter to them ; and, as far as 
I could perceive, the Moullah efpecially was very glad 
when I fent it home. " This is the way, faid I, that my 
countrymen ride, and the way they fight ; no people on 
earth underfland fire-arms or horfemanfhip like them. 
For my part, I am a man of peace, a Dervifh, and no fol- 
dier ; it is not my profeffion, and I do the thing aukward- 
ly. If you faw fome of our foldiers ride, it would be a 
fight indeed." Fidele laughed, or counterfeited a laugh, 
but being a foldier, it was his part to fay fome thing. " If 
many of your countrymen like you were here, man of 
peace as you are, unlefs they were friends to us they would 
get all Atbara to themfelves. If they were friends, fays he, 
I think I could do fomethirig with them ; that horfe feems 
to have the fenfe of a man." — u Such as he is, faid I, dis- 
mounting, a prince gave him to me, and fuch as he is I 
now give him to you, as a proof that I am your friend, 
and that I mould not grudge you a few paltry piafters, if 
I had not been under a vow of poverty ; money is of no 
kind of value to me, and confequently not carried a- 
bout with me." The horfe was gladly received, though, as 
I was going to Sennaar, where no horfes are kept, the 
compliment was a cheap one on my part. 


" How could you, Fidele, fays the Moullah in great fur- 

prife, have it in your heart to torment fuch a man as this ? 

I told you what he was, our books fpeak of them : they are 

not Kafrs, but fpend all their lives in wandering over the 

3 E 2 face 


face of the earth in fearch of wifdom, and are always to 
do fo till Hagiuge Magiuge come, and then there will be 
an end of the world." I made a bow of affent to the Moul- 
lah, and -all the reft turned up their eyes to heaven in 
wonder of fo much learning, repeating their ufual ejacu- 
lation, " Ullah Akbar!" God is great. I now took my 
leave of them, and was going home, when the younger 
fherriffe called after me, and faid, " I fuppofe, now you are 
all at peace, we fhall not fee the fign that you foretold us 
was to appear in the heavens to-day." " I mould be 
thought a liar if it did not appear, faid I ; do you wifh to 
fee it ?" — " I wifh to fee it, fays he, if it will do no harm." — 
" Then, replied I, you fhall fee it, and it fhall do no harm 
now. I hope it will bring health and happinefs, and a 
good crop to Teawa, and all the kingdom of Sennaar. Go 
home, while I order my affairs. Something more than 
two hours after this I will come to you, and it will then 
appear. They all went away, and, as I thought by their 
looks, they would have been better fatisfied that affair had 
been forgot, the Shekh faying peevifhly to the fherriffe,, 
■" Let him mind his affairs and his journey ; what is the- 
tife of thefe things now ?" 

I had rectified my watch by obfervation. I knew I 
could not be far wrong, having feen in the ephemerides 
the hour the eclipfe was to begin. I paffed a corner of 
the Shekh's houfe, and went in at the back-door. He was 
there with his ufual friends, the Moullah, the fherriffe, the 
Kaiya, and one or two more. The fherriffe afked me 
where the fign would appear ; and the Moullah, if there 
would be any thunder and lightning ? I told them there 
would be nothing difagreeable at all. I went to the door,. 



and faw it was begun. There was to be a total ocKpfe 
of the moon. I did not tell them at firfl, till it had advanced 
fome way, and was apparent upon the di£k. " Now ! look, at 
that, faid I ; in fome time after this the moon mall be fo total- 
ly fwallowed up in darknefs, that a fmall light fhall only be 
feen in the edges." They were frightened at the denuncia- 
tion, rather than at any thing they obferved, till a little be- 
fore the eclipfe became total. A violent apprehenfion then 
fell upon them all ; and the women from their apartments 
began to howl as they do on all melancholy occafions of 
misfortune, or death. They were in the inner fquare. 
w Now, continued I, I have kept my word ; it will foon be 
clear again, and will do no harm to man or beaft," 

It was agreed among them that T mould not go home~ 
till it was totally at an end. I confented to this ; and only 
faid to the Shekh, that I wimed he would let me fee my pa- 
tients before I went away, for that one of them was really 
ill, and needed advice. He feemed to take it very kindly, 
and deiired me to go in. I was met in the antechamber by 
Aifcach, and two or three black flaves, who cried out in 
great terror, " O! Hakim! what is this ! what are you going 
to do!" " I am going to do, Madam, faid I, one of themofl 
difagreeable things I ever did in my life ; I am going to 
take leave of you." I was immediately furrounded with 
a number of women, fome of them crying, fome of them 
with children in their arms. I went into the room where 
the two ladies were, whom I quieted and fatisfied to the 
utmoil of my power. We parted with reciprocal profeilions 
of friendfliip and regret at feparation. I then begged that 
I might fee their Have, who ufed to bring us meat, with a 
clean cloth, to wrap up fomething I had for them. They 
4 told 


told me, Sennaar was but a bad place for white people; but 
promifed to fend recommendations in my favour, both to 
Adelan and the king's women, by Adelan's fervant, who 
was to conduct us. 

When I returned to the Shekh, the emerfion was far ad- 
vanced, and they all feemed to be regaining their compo- 
fure, though flrong marks of furprife remained in their 
countenances. After a little converfation, turning chiefly 
upon Hagiuge Magiuge, and their filly ftories about them, 
which I fhall not repeat, I took my leave, and went home, 
renewing my affurances that all was forgotten. 

At night, the flave came and brought a clean cotton 
cloth. I fent a piece of thin India yellow fatin, and fix hand- 
fome crimfon and green handkerchiefs, to the beautiful 
Aifcach ; and, to the bell of my power, difcharged all our 
obligations to thofe that were our friends and had been 
kind to us. 

In a country fo defert, and exceedingly poor as Teawa, 
under fuch a government, it is not to be expected that trade 
of any kind mould floiirifli ; yet there is a miferable ma- 
nufacture of coarfe cotton cloths of the fize of large towels, 
juft enough to go round the middle, which pafs current, 
like fpecie, all over Atbara : They are called Dimoor, and 
are ufed in place of fmall filver money. The Mahalac, a 
very bad copper coin, pafTes for fmaller matters; fo that the 
currency of Teawa Hands thus : — 

20 Mahalac, 1 Crufh, 
12 Crufh, 1 Metical, 

4 Metical, -1 Vakia. 




The vakia of gold is worth about forty-five {hillings ; but 
the only commerce of Teawa is carried on by exchange, 
as fait for grain, camels for fait ; the value of goods varying 
according to the fcarcity or plenty of one fort of commodi- 
ties with refpect to the other. 

The reader will, I believe, by this, be as defirous to get 
out of Teawa as I was ; and if fo, it is charity in time to 
deliver him. I took leave of the Shekh on the 18th in the 
morning ; but before we could get all ready to depart it was 
five in the afternoon. The day had been immoderately hot, 
and we had refolved to travel aU night, though we did 
not fay fo to the Shekh, who advifed us to fleep at Imge- 
dedema, where there was frefh water. But we had taken 
a girba of water with us, or rather, in cafe of accident, a 
little in each of the three girbas ; and all being ready oh 
the river- fide, except the' king's fervant, we fet out, and he 
overtook us in lefs than two hours afterwards, pretty well 
refrefhed with the Shekh's bouza, and ftrongly prejudiced 
againfl us, asr we had occafion to difcover afterwards. 

0^====== .%% 



S^J&^-if ' ~ T " i . if it ' •• r^2 

CHAP. vn. 

Ar rival at Bey la — Friendly Reception there, and after, amongjl the Nu- 
ba — Arrival at Sennaar. 

HEN we got a few miles into the plain, my fervant 
delivered me a mefTage from the Moullah, that he 
would join us the next day at Beyla ; that we were not to 
truft to the king's fervant in any thing, but entirely to that 
of the Shekh Adelan ; and if thefe two had any difpute 
together, to take no ihare in it, but leave them to fettle it 
between themfelves ; that, upon -no account whatever, we 
mould fufFer any companions to join us upon the road to 
Beyla, but drive them off by harm words, beat them if they 
did not go away, and, if they ftill perfifted, to moot them, 
and make our way good by force; that between Teawa and 
Beyla was a place, the inhabitants of which had withdrawn 
themfelves from their allegiance to the king of Sennaar, 



who could not there protect us ; therefore we were to truft 
to ourfelves, and admit of no parley ; for if we palled, we 
mould pafs with applaufe, as if the king's force had con- 
ducted us ; and if we mifcarried, the blame would be 
laid upon ourfelves, as having ventured, fo thinly attended, 
through a country laid wafte by rebel Arabs, exprefsly in 
defiance of government. He added, that he did not believe 
it was in bhekh Fidele's power, from want of time, to do us 
any injury upon the road ; that the people in Teaw r a were 
in general well-affected to us, and afraid we fhould bring 
Yafine and the Daveina upon them, and fo were the Jehai- 
na ; and as for the pack of gracelefs foldiers that were then 
about the Shekh, their belief that we had really no money 
with us, and the lad exhibition I had {hewn them on horfe- 
back, had perfectly cured them of venturing their lives /or 
little, againfl people fo much fuperier to them in the ma- 
nagement of arms ; yet he wiihed xls to be active and vigi- 
lant like men, and truft in nothing till we had feen the 
Shekh of Beyla, and not to lofe a moment on the road. 

Our journey, For the fir ft feven hours, was through a 
barren, bare, and fandy plain, without finding a veltige of 
any living creature, without water, and without grafs, a 
country that feemed under the immediate curfe of Heaven. 
At twelve o'clock at night we turned a little to the eaft- 
ward of fouth, to enter through very broken ground into a 
narrow defile, between two hills of no confiderable height. 
This pafs is called Mattina. One of our camel -drivers de- 
clared that he faw two men run into the bufhes before him, 
upon which our people took all to their flings, throwing 
many (tones before them into the bufhes, directed nearly to 
a man's height. At their earnefl defire I ordered Ifmael to 
Vol. IV. ' . 3 F fire 


fire our large fhip-blunderbufs, with fifty fmall bullets in i%, 
among the bufhes, in the direction of the road-fide ; but 
we neither faw nor heard any thing of thofe people there- 
after, if there really were any, nor did I, at the time, indeed, 
believe the camel- driver had feen any one but* through the 
medium of his own fears ; for the Arabs never attack youa 
till near fun-fet, if they are doubtful of their own fuperio* 
rity, or at dawn of day, if they think they have the advan- 
tage, that they may have time to purfue you, 

We, however, all continued on foot, from four till the- 
grey of the morning of the 19th of April. Indeed, fo vio- 
lent an inclination to fleep had fallen upon me, that I was 
forced to walk, for fear of breaking my neck by a fall from 
my camel, till eight o'clock, when we halted in a wood of. 
ebony bufhes, growing like the birch tree in many fhoots 
from the old Items, which had been cut down for fear of 
harbouring the fly, and totally deprived of their leaves af- 
terwards, by the burning of grafs, from the fame reafom. 
This place is called Abou Jehaarat, and is the limit between 
the government of Teawa and Beyla; After fuch a very fa- 
tiguing journey, we refled at Abou Jehaarat till the after* 
noon. The fun was very hot, but fortunately fome fhep-> 
herds caves were dug in the bank, and to thefe we fled for 
fhelter from the intenfe heat of the fun, where the ebony 
trees, though in a very thick wood, could afford us no fhadej , 
for the reafons already given. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon we fet out from* 
Abou Jehaarat, in a direction weft, and at eight in the 
evening we arrived at Beyla. There is no water be- 
tween Teawa and Beyla. Once, Imgededema, and a number 



of villages, were fupplied with water from wells and 
had large crops of Indian corn fown about their pof- 
feffions. The curfe of that country, the Arabs Daveina, 
have deftroyed Imgededema, and all the villages about it, 
filled up their wells, burnt their crops, and expofed all the 
inhabitants to die by famine. 

We found Beyla to be in lat. 13 42' 4"; that is, about 
eleven miles well of Teawa, and thirty-one and a half miles 
due fouth. We were met by Mahomet, the Shekh, at the 
very entrance of the town. He faid, he looked upon us as 
rifen from the dead ; that we muft be good people, and 
particularly under the care of Providence, to have efcaped 
the many fnares the Shekh of Atbara had laid for us. Ma- 
homet, the Shekh, had provided every fort of refreshment 
poffible for us ; and, thinking we could not live without it, 
he had ordered fugar for us from Sennaar. Honey for. the 
moft part hitherto had been its fubllitute. We had a good 
comfortable fupper ; as fine wheat-bread as ever I ate in my 
life, brought from Sennaar, as alfo rice ; in a word, every- 
thing that our kind landlord could contribute to our plen- 
tiful and hofpitable entertainment, 

Our whole company was full of joy, to which the Shekh 
greatly encouraged them ; and if there was an alloy to the 
happinefs, it was' the feeing that I did net partake of it. 
Symptoms of an aguifli diforder had been hanging about 
me for feveral days, ever fince the diarrhoea had left me. I 
found the greatefl repugnance, or naufea, at the fmell of 
warm meat ; and, having a violent headach, I infilled up* 
on going to bed fupperkfs, after having drank a quantity 
of warm water by way of emetic. Being exceedingly ti- 

% F 2 


red, I foon fell found afleep, having firft taken fome drops- 
of a (Irong fpirituous tincture of the bark which I had 1 - 
prepared at Gondar, refofving, if I found any remiffion, as- 
I then did, to take feverai good dozes of the bark in pow- 
der on the morrow, beginning at day- break, which I ao-; 
©oidingly did with its uiual fuccefs.- 

On the 2oth of April, a little after the dawn of day, the~ 
Shekh, in great anxiety, came to the place where I was 
lying, \ipon a tanned buffaloe's hide, on the ground. His- 
forrow was foon turned into joy when he found me quite 
recovered from my illnefs. I had taken the bark, and. 
expreiled a defire of eating a hearty breakfa-il of rice, which 
was immediately prepared for me, 

The Shekh of Reyla was an implicit believer in medi- 
cine. Seeing me take fome drops of the tincture before 
coffee, he infilled upon pledging me, and I believe would 
have willingly emptied the whole bottle. After having 
AifFered great agony with his own complaint, he had' 
palled fome fmail Hones, and was greatly better, as he faid, , 
for the foap pills, I put him in a way to prepare thefe, 
as alfo his lime-water. It was impoffible to have done any. 
favour for him equal to this, as his agony had been fa 
great. He told me our Moullah was arrived from Teawa,. 
and had left Shekh Fidele ftill repining at our departure,, 
without leaving him the piastres. As for the eclipfe, he 
faid he did not care a itraw, nor for what they did or 
knew at Mecca, for he had no interefl there. I underftood 
our friend Mahomet, Shekh of Beyla, had been under great 
uneafmefs at the eclipfe, when it advanced in the immer- 
fion,and became total. Some time before this,, as he faid,i. 



there had been another, but not fo great, on the day thd 
Daveina burnt Imgededema, with above thirty other villa- 
ges, and difperfed or deftroyed about two thoufand inhabi- 
tants of Atbara. 

It was now the time to give the Shekh a prefent, and 
I had prepared one for him, fuch as he very well deferved ; . 
but no intreaty, nor any means I could ufe, could prevail 
upon him to accept of the merefl trifle. On the contrary, 
he folemnly fwore, that if I importuned him further he 
would get upon his horfe and go into the country. All'- 
that he defired, and that too as a favour, was, that, when I 
had relied at Sennaar, he might come and confult me fur- 
ther as to his complaints, for which he promifed he mould 
bring a recompence with him. We then fettled to give his 
prefent to the Moullah, with which he was very well plea- 
fed, and which he took without any of thofe difficul- 
ties the Shekh of Beyla had -< flatted when it was offered to 

All being friends now, and contented, the day was 
given to repofe and joy. The king's fervanc came and told» 
me, by way of fecret, that we could not do lefs to pleafe the 
Shekh than flay with him a week at Beyla, and I believe 
it would not have difpleafed him ; but after fo much co- 
ming and going, fo much occafion for talk relative to me, . 
I was refolved to follow Hagi BelalY advice, andprefs on to 
Sennaar before affairs there were in a defperate fituation, or 
fome fcheme of mifchief mould be contrived by Fidele, 
One thing Shekh Adelan's fervant told us, that he had, by 
his mailer's orders, taken from Fidele the prefent I had 
given him, though he had already made it up. into a gown, 



^or robe, for himfelf. " He is a poor wretch, fays the Shekh 
of Beyla ; he has fpent two years of the king's revenues 
from Atbara, and nobody has fupported him except Shekh 
Adelan, whofe daughter he married, but he now has 
given him up fince he has fully known him ; and, if our 
troubles do not follow quickly, I fuppofe one of thefe days 
I mall have him here in his way to Sennaar, never to re- 
turn ; for everybody knows now that it was in hatred to 
him, and for the many faithlefs and bad actions he was 
guilty of, that the Arabs have deftroyed all that part of 
the country, though they have not burnt a ftraw about 

We had again a large and plentiful dinner, and a quan- 
tity of bouza ; venifon of feveral different fpecies of the 
antelope or deer-kind, and Guinea-fowls, boiled with rice, 
the beft part of our fare, for the venifon fmelled and tail- 
ed ftrongly of mufk. This was the provifion made by the 
Shekh's two fons, boys about fourteen or fifteen years old, 
who had got each of them a gun with a match-lock and 
whofe favour I feoured to a very high degree, by giving 
them feme good gunpowder, and plenty of fmall leaden 

In the afternoon we' walked out to fee the village, 
which is a very pleafant one, fituated upon the bottom of 
a hill, covered with wood, all the reft flat before it. 
Through this plain there are many large timber trees, 
planted in rows, and joined with high hedges, as in Eu- 
rope, forming inclofures for keeping cattle ; but of thefe 
we faw none, as they- had been moved to the Dender for 
fear of the flies. There is no water at Beyla but what is 

4 g ot 


got from deep wells. Large plantations of Indian corn 
are everywhere about the town. The inhabitants are in con- 
tinual apprehenfion from the Arabs Daveina at Sim Sim, 
about 40 miles fouth-eafl from them; and from another 
powerful race called Wed abd el Gin, i. e. Son of thefaves of 
the Devil, who live to the fouth-weft of them* between the 
Dender and the Nile. Beyla is another frontier town of 
Sennaar, on the fide of Sim Sim ; and between Teawa and 
this, on the Sennaar fide, and Ras el Feel, Nara, and Tchelga, 
upon the Abyflinian fide, all is defert and wafle, the Arabs- 
only fuffering the water to remain there without villages' 
near it, that they and their flocks may come at certain 
feafons while the grafs grows, and the pools or fprings fill 
elfe where. 

Although Iwent early to bed with full determination: 
to fet out by day-break, yet I found it was impomble to put 
my defign in execution, or get from the hands of our kind 
landlord. One of our girbas feemed to fail, and needed to 
be repaired. Nothing good, as he truly faid, could come 
from the Shekh of Atbara. A violent difpute had arifen in 
the evening, after I was gone to bed, over their bouza, be- 
tween the king's fervant and that of Shekh Adelan. It was 
about dividing their fees which they had received from Shekh 
Fidele. This was carried a great length, and it was at lafl a- 
greed that it mould be determined by the Shekh of Beyla in 
the morning, when both of them, as might be fuppofed,' 
mould have cooler heads. For my part, 1 took no thought 
or concern about it, as no circumftance of its origin had 
been notified to me; but it took up fo much of our time,. was after dinner before we were ready. 



On the 2ifl of April we left Beyla at three o'clock in the 
afternoon, our direction fouth-weit, through a very plea- 
fant, flat country, but without water ; there had been none 
in our way nearer than the river Kahad. About eleven at 
night we alighted in a wood : The place is called Baherie, as 
near as we could compute, nine miles from Beyla. 

On the 23d, at half pafl five o'clock in the morning -wc 
left Baherie, flill continuing weflward, and at nine we 
came to the banks of the Rahad. The ford is called Tchir 
Chaira. The river itfelf was now Handing in pools, the 
water foul, flinking, and covered with a green mantle ; the 
bottom fo ft and muddy, but there was no choice. The water 
at Beyla was fo bad, that we took only as much as was ab- 
folutely neceiTary till we arrived at running water from 
the Rahad. We continued half an hour travelling along 
the river at N. W. and W. N. W. till three quarters pafl ten. 
At noon we again met the river Rahad, which now had 
turned to the weflward of north, and by its fides we pitch- 
ed our tents near the huts of the Arabs, called Cohala, a 
ftationary tribe, that do not live in tents, but are tributary 
to the Mek, and regularly pay all the taxes and exactions- the 
government of Sennaar lays upon them, and from thefe, 
therefore, we were not under any apprehenfion. 

On the 23d, at fix o'clock in the morning we left the Co- 
hala, continuing along the river Rahad, which here rv.ns 
a very little to the eaftward of north. At three o'clock we 
alighted at Kumar, another flation of the fame Arabs of Co- 
hala, on the river fide. This river, here called Rahad, or 
Thunder, winds the moll of any ftream in Abyffinia, It 
begins not far from Tchelga, pafFes between Kuara and 
2 Sennaar, 



Sennaar, feparating Abyflinia from Nubia, and making, with 
the river Atbara, the Aftaboras or Tacazze, and the Nile, a 
perfect ifland, whereas before it was only a pcninfula. It 
feems to intercept all the fprings that would go down to the 
middle of the peninfula, from the high country of Abyflinia, 
and is probably the reafon of the great dearth of water 
there. While it is in Abyflinia it is called bhimfa. It falls 
into the Nile at Habharras, about thirty-eight miles north 
of Sennaar. 

The quarrel between our two conductors was fo little 
made up, that the king's fervant would not travel with us, 
but always went half a day before, and we joined him when 
we encamped in the evening. We did not pay him the 
compliment of afking him why he did this, but allowed 
him to take his own way, which he feemed not to be plea- 
fed with, giving many hints at night, that he had, all his life, 
been averfe to the having any thing to do with white people. 

We fet out at five in the afternoon from Kumar, and 
in the clofe of the evening met feveral men, on horfeback 
and on foot, coming out from among the bullies, who en- 
deavoured to carry off one of our camels. We indeed were 
fomewhat alarmed, and were going to prepare for refift- 
ance. The camel they had taken away had on it the king's and 
Shekh Adelan's prefents, and fome other things for our fu- 
ture need. Our clothes too, books, and papers, were upon 
the fame camel. Adelan's fervant, though he was at firft 
furprifed, did notlofe his prefence of mind ; he foon knew 
thefe Arabs could not be robbers, and guefled it to be a 
piece of malice of the king's fervant to frighten us, and ex- 
tort money from us, in order to obtain reftitution of the 
camel. He therefore rode up to one of the villages of the 

Vol. IV. 3 G Arabs 


Arabs, tcafk them who thofe were that had taken away 
our camel. 

In one of the huts he found the king's fervant regaling 
hiniidf; upon which he faid to him, "I fuppofe, Mahomet, 
you have taken charge of that camel, and will bring it with 
you to Sennaar ; it has your mailer's prefents, and mine 
alio, upon it:" and faying this, he rode off to join us, and 
to punifh thofe that had taken the camel, who, we were 
fure after this, notification, muft follow us. We kept on at a 
very brifk pace, for it was eleven o'clock before they came 
up to where we were encamped for the night, bring- 
ing our camel, which they had taken, along with them, 
with an Arab on horfeback, attended with two on foot, and 
with them the king's fervant. 1 did not feem at all to have 
understood the affair, only that robbers had taken away 
our cameL But it did not fit fo eafy upon the Arabs, who 
did not know there was any with us but the king's fervant, 
and who wanted to frighten us for not making tMem a pre- 
fent for eating their grafs and drinking their water. At 
nrft, Ade Jan's fervant refufed to take the camel again upon 
any terms, infilling that the Cohala fhould carry it to hen- 
naar ; but, after a great many words, I determined to make 
peace, upon condition they mould furniifi us with milk, 
wht rever they had cattle, till we arrived at .Sennaar. This 
was very readily confented to ; and as this affair probably 
was owing to the malice of the king's fervant, fo it ended i 
without further trouble.. 

On the 24th, we fet out at half after five in the morn- 
ing, and paiTed through feveral fmall villages of Cohala on 
the right and on the left, till at eleven we came to the ri* 



verDender, {landing now in pools, but by the vafl widencfs 
of its banks, and the great deepnefs of its bed, all of white 
fand, it mould feem that in time of rain it will contain near- 
ly as much water as the Nile. The banks are everywhere 
thick overgrown with the rack and jujeb tree, especially the 
latter. The wood, which had continued moftly from Bey la, 
here failed us entirely, and reached no further towards Sen- 
naar. Thefe two forts of trees, however, were in very great 
beauty, and of a prodigious fize. Here we found the main 
body of Cohala, with all their cattle, living in perfect ie- 
curity both from Arabs and from the plague of the fly. 
They were as good as their word to us in Supplying us 
plentifully with excellent milk, which we had Scarcely ever 
tailed fmce we left Gondar. 

At fix o'clock in the evening of the 24th we fet out from 
a fhady place of repofe on the banks of the Dender, through 
a large plain, with not a tree before us ; but we prefently x 
found ourfelves encompafiTed with a number of villages, 
nearly of a fize, and placed at equal diftances in form of a 
femi-circle, the roofs of the houfes in Shape of cones, as are 
all thofe within the rains. The plain was all of a red, foapy 
earth, and the corn juft fown. This whole country is in 
perpetual cultivation, and though at this time it had a 
bare look, would no doubt have a magnificent one when 
waving with grain. At nine we halted at a village of 
Pagan Nuba. Thefe are all foldiers of the Mek of Sennaar, 
cantoned in thefe villages, which, at the diflance of four 
or five miles, furround the whole capital. They are either 
purchafed or taken by force from Fazuclo, and the provin- 
ces to the fouth upon the mountains Dyre and Tegla. Ka- ' 
ving fettlcments and provifions given them, as alfo arms 

3 G 2 put 


put in their hands, they never wifh to defert, but live a 
very domeflic and fober life. Many of them that I have 
converfed with feem a much gentler fort of negro than 
thofe from Bahar el Aice, that is, than thofe of whom the 
Funge, or government of Sennaar, are compofed. 

These have fmall features likewife, but are woolly- 
headed, and flat-nofed, like other negroes, and fpeak a lan- 
guage rather pleafant and fonorous, but radically different 
from many I have heard. Though the Mek, and their 
mailers at Sennaar, pretend to be Mahometans, yet they 
have never attempted to convert thefe Nuba ; on the con- 
trary, they entertain, in every village, a certain number of 
Pagan priefts, who have foldiers pay, and amft them in the 
offices of their religion. Not knowing their language per- 
fectly, nor their cufloms, it is impoflible to fay any thing 
about their religion. Very few of the common fort of 
them fpeak Arabic. A falfe account, in thefe cafes, is al- 
ways worfe than no account at all. I never found one of 
their priefts who could fpeak fo much Arabic as to be able 
to give any information about the objects of their worfhip 
in diftinct and unequivocal terms ; but this was from my 
not underftanding them, and their not underftanding me, 
not from any defire of concealment, or fhynefs on their part ; 
on the contrary, they feemed always inclined to agree with 
me, when they did not comprehend my meaning, and there 
is the danger of being mifinformed. 

They pay adoration to the moon ; and that their worfhip 
is performed with pieafure and fatisfaction, is obvious eve- 
ry night that me mines. Coming out from the darknefs of 



their huts, they fay a few words upon feeing her bright- 
nefs, and teftify great joy, by motions of their feet and 
hands, at the firft appearance of the new moon. I never 
faw them pay any attention to the fun, either rifing or fet- 
ting, advancing to or receding from the meridian ; but, as 
far as I could learn, they worfhip a tree, and likewife a 
Hone, tho' I never could find out what tree or ilone it was, 
only that it did not exift in the country of Sennaar, but in 
that where they were born. Their priefls feemed to have 
great influence over them, but through fear only, and not 
from affection. They are diftinguifhed by thick copper 
bracelets about their wrifts, as alfo fometimes one, and 
fometimes two about their ancles. 

These villages are called Dahera, which feems to me to 
be the fame word as Dafhrah, the name given to the 
Kabyles, or people in Barbary, who live in fixed huts on 
the mountains. But not having made myfelf mailer 
enough of the Kabyles language when in Barbary, and 
being totally ignorant of that of the Nuba we are now 
fpeaking of, I cannot pretend to purfue this refemblance 
farther. They are immoderately fond of fwine's flefh, and 
maintain great herds of them in their pofTeflion. The 
hogs are of a fmall kind, generally marked with black and 
white, exceedingly prolific, and exactly refembling a fpe- 
cies of that kind common in the north of Scotland. The 
Nuba are not circumcifed. They very rarely turn Maho- 
metans, but the generality of their children do. Few of 
them advance higher than to be foldiers and officers in 
their own corps. The Mek maintains about twelve thou- 
fand of thefe near Sennaar, to keep the Arabs in fubjeetion. 
They are very quiet, and fcarcely ever known to be guilty 



of any robberies or mutinous diforders, declaring always 
for the mailer, that is, the great one fet over them. There 
is no running water in all that immenfe plain they inha- 
bit, it is all procured from draw-wells. We faw them 
cleaning one, which I meafured, and was nearly eight fa- 
thoms deep. In a climate fo violently hot as this, there is 
very little need of fuel, neither have they any, there 
being no turf, or any thing refembling it, in the coun- 
try, no wood, not even a tree, fince we had palled the ri- 
ver Dender. However, they never eat their meat raw 
as in Abyffinia ; but with the flalk of the dora, or millet, 
and the dung of camels, they make ovens under ground, 
in which they roafl their hogs whole, in a very cleanly, 
and not difagreeable manner, keeping the fkins on till 
they are perfectly baked. They had neither flint nor fleel 
wherewith to light their fire at firft, but do it in a manner 
flill more expeditious, by taking a fmall piece of flick, and 
making a fharp point to it, which they hold perpendicular, 
and then make a fmall hole of nearly the fame fize in an- 
other piece of flick, which they lay horizontal; they 
put the one within the other, and, between their two 
hands, they turn the perpendicular iUck, (in the fame man- 
ner that we do a chocolate mill) when both thefe flicks 
take fire, and flame in a moment upon the friction ; fo 
perfectly dry and prepared is everything here upon the 
furface to take fire, notwithflanding they are every year 
fubject to fix months rain. 

On the 25th, at four o'clock in the afternoon we fet out 

from the villages of the Nuba, intending to arrive at Baf- 

boch, where is the ferry over the Nile ; but we had fcarcely 

advanced two miles into the plain, when we were inclofed 

z by 


by a violent whirlwind, or what is called at fea the water- 
fpout. The plain was red earth, which had been plentiful- 
ly moiftened by a fhower in the nigrit-time. The unfortu- 
nate camel that had been taken by the Cohala feemed to be 
nearly in the center of its vortex. It was lifted and thrown 
down at a confiderable distance, and feveral of its ribs bro- 
ken. Although, as far as I could guefSj.I was not near the 
center, it whirled me off my feet, and threw me down upon 
my face, fo as to make my nofe gufh out with blood. Two 
of the fervants likewife had the fame fate. It plaiftered us 
all over with mud, almoft as fmoothly a* could have been 
done with a trowel. it took away my fenfe and breathing 
for an inftant, and my mouth and nofe were full of mud 
when I recovered. I guefs the fphere of its action to be 
about 200 feet, it demolished one half of a fmall hut as if 
it had been cut through with a knife, and difperfed the ma- 
terials all over the plain, leaving the other : half Handing. 

As foon as we recovered ourfelves, we took refuge in a 
village, from fear only, for we faw no veilige of any other 
whirlwind. It involved a great quantity of rain, which, 
the Nuba of the villages told us was very fortunate, and por- 
tended good luck to us, and a profperous journey ; for they 
faid, that had dull and fand arifen with the whirlwind, in 
the fame proportion it would have done had not the earth 
been moiftened, we mould all infallibly have been fuf- 
focated ; and they cautioned us, by faying, that tem- 
pers were very frequent in the beginning and end of the 
rainy feafon, and whenever we mould fee one of them co- 
ming, to fall down upon our faces, keeping our lips clofe 
to the ground, and fo let it pais ; and thus it would neither 



have power to carry us off our feet, nor fuffocate us, which 
was the ordinary cafe. 

Our kind landlords, the Nuba, gave us a hearty welcome, 
and helped us to wafh our clothes firft, and then to dry them. 
When I was ftripped naked, they faw the blood running 
from my nofe, and faid, they could not have thought that 
one fo white as me could have been capable of bleeding. 
They gave us a piece of roafted hog, which we ate, (except 
Ifmael and the Mahometans) very much to the fa tis faction 
of the Nuba. On the other hand, as our camel was lame, 
we ordered one of our Mahometan fervants to kill it, and 
take as much of it as would ferve themfelves that night; we 
alfo provided againft wanting ourfelves the next day. The 
reft we gave among our new-acquired acquaintance, the Nu- 
ba of the village, who did not fail to make a feaft upon it 
for feveraldays after; and, in recompence for our liberality, 
they provided us with a large jar of bouza, not very good, 
indeed, but better than the well-water. This I repaid by 
tobacco, beads, pepper, and ftibium, which I faw plain- 
ly was infinitely more than they expected. Although we 
had been a good deal furprifed at the fudden and violent 
effects of the whirlwind of that day, and feverely felt the 
bruifes it had occafioned, yet we pafTed a very focial and 
agreeable evening ; thofe only of the Nuba who had been 
any time at Sennaar fpeak a bad kind of Arabic, as well as 
their own language, I had feldom, in my life, upon a 
journey, paffed a more comfortable night. I had a very 
neat, clean hut, entirely to myfelf, and a Greek fervant that 
fat near me. Some of the Nuba watched for us all night, 
and took care of our beafts and baggage. They fung and 
3 replied 


replied to one another alternately, in notes full of pleafant 

Et cantare pares & refpondere parati — 


till I fell faft afleep, involuntarily, and with regret, for, tho* 
bruifed, we were not fatigued, but rather difcouraged, ha- 
ving gone no further than two miles that day. 

The landlord of the hut where I was alleep having pre- 
pared for our fafety and that of our baggage, thought him- 
felf bound in duty to go and give immediate information 
to the prime minifter of the unexpected gueits that then oc- 
cupied his houfe. He found Adelan at fupper, but was im- 
mediately admitted, and a variety of questions afked him, 
which he anfwered fully. He defcribed our colour, our 
number, the unufual fize and number of our fire-arms, the 
poornefs of our attire, and, above all, our great chearful- 
nefs, quietnefs, and affability, our being contented with eat- 
ing any thing, and in particular mentioned the hogs flefh. 
One man then prefent, teftifying abhorrence to this, Adelan 
faid of me to our landlord, " Why, he is a foldier and a Kafr 
like yourfelf. A foldier and a Kafr, when travelling in a 
ftrange country, fhotild eat every thing, and fo does every 
other man that is wife ; has he not a fervant of mine with 
him?" Ke anfwered, " Yes, and a fervant of the king too; 
but he had left them, and was gone forward to Sennaar." 
" Go you with them, fays he, and flay with them at Baf- 
boch till I have time to fend for them to town." He had 
returned from Aira long before we arofe, and told us the 
converfation, which was great comfort to us all, for we 

Vol. IV. 3 H were 


were not much pleafed with the king's fervant going be- 
fore, as we had every reafon to think he was difafFected to- 
wards us. 

On the 26th, at fix o'clock in the morning, we fet out 
from this village of Nuba, keeping fomething to the weft- 
ward of S. W. our way being flill acrofs this immenfe plain. 
All the morning there were terrible ftorms of thunder and 
lightning, fome rain, and one mower of fo large drops 
that it wet us to the fkin in an inftant. It was quite 
calm, and every drop fell perpendicularly upon us. I think 
I never in my life felt fo cold a rain, yet it was not difa- 
greeable ; for the day was clofe and hot, and we mould 
have wiflied every now and then to have had fo moderate 
a refrigeration ; this, however, was rather too abundant. 
The villages of the Nuba were, on all fides, throughout this 
plain. At nine o'clock we arrived at Bafboch, which is a 
large collection of huts of thefe people, and has the ap- 
pearance of a town. 

The governor, a venerable old man of about feventy, who ! 
was fo -feeble that he could fcarcely walk, received us with 
great complacency, only faying, when I took him by the 
hand, " O Chriftian ! what doll thou, at fuch a time, in 
fuch a country ?" I was furprifed at the politenefs of his 
fpcech, when he called me Nazarani, the civil term for 
Chriftian in the eaft ; whereas Infidel is the general term 
among thefe brutiih people ; but it feems he had been fe- 
veral times at Cairo. I had here a very clean and comfort- 
able hut to lodge in, though we were fparingly fupplied 
with provifions all the time we were there, but never w r ere- 
iiifFered to fall a whole day together.. 



Basboch is on the eallern bank of the Nile, not a quarter 
of a mile from the ford below. The river here runs north 
and fouth ; towards the fides it is mallow, but deep in the 
middle of the current, and in this part it is much infefled 
with crocodiles. Sennaar is two miles and a half S. S. W. of it. 
We heard the evening drum very diftinctly, and not with- 
out anxiety, when we reflected to what a brutith people, ac- 
cording to all accounts, we were about to trull ourfelves. 
The village of Aira, where the vizir Adelan had then 
his quarters, was three miles fouth and by weft. 

Next morning, the 27th, Shekh Adelan's fervant left us 
to the charge of the Nuba, to give his mailer an account 
of his journey, and our fafe arrival. He found Mahomet, 
the king's fervant, our other guide, before him there, and 
Adelan well informed of all that had paffed relating to Fi- 
dele, though not from Mahomet ; for as foon as he began 
to mention that he had found U3 at Teawa, Adelan faid in a 
very angry flile, " Will no one fave me the difgrace of hang r 
ing that wretch ?" Adelan fent back his fervant to inform 
us, that, two days afterwards, we mould be admitted. Ma- 
homet, the king's fervant, too, came back with him, and 
-{laid till the evening; then he returned to Sennaar; but 
he did not give us the fatis faction to tell us one word of 
what the king had faid to him about us, or how we 
were likely to be received, leaving us. altogether in fuf- 

On the 29th, leave was fent us to enter Sennaar. It was 

not without fome difficulty that we got our quadrant and 

heavy baggage fafely carried down the hill, for the banks 

-are very fleep to the edge of the water.. . The intention of 

• 3H2 our 


our afliflants was to Aide the quadrant down the hill, in its- 
cafe, which would have utterly deflroyed it ; and as our boat 
was but a very indifferent embarkation, it was obliged to 
make feveral turns to and fro before we got all our feveral 
packages landed on the weftern fide. This afTemblage, and 
the pafTage of our camels, feemed to have excited the appe- 
tite, or the curiofity, of the crocodiles. One, in particu- 
lar, fwam feveral times backwards and forwards along 
the fide of the boat, without, however, making any attack 
upon any of us ; but, being exceedingly tired of fuch com- 
pany, upon his fecond or third venture over, I fired at him 
with a rifle-gun, and fhot him directly under his fore moul- 
der in the belly. The wound was undoubtedly mortal, and 
very few animals could have lived a moment after recei- 
ving it. He, however, dived to the bottom, leaving the wa- 
ter deeply tinged with his blood*. Nor did we. fee him again 
at that time ; but the people at the ferry brought him to me 
the day after, having found him perfectly dead. He was 
about twelve feet long ; and the boatmen told me that thefe 
are by much the moft dangerous, being more fierce and ac- 
tive than the large ones. The people of Sennaar eat the 
crocodile, efpecially the Nuba. I never tafled it myfelf, but 
it looks very much like Congor eeh. 




Sugfttwr i i- i ii i „ , lf ■ 1 ^ 3^4-1 

CHAP. Villi. 

Gonverfatkn with the King — With Shekh Adelan — Interview with the 

Kings Ladies, &C &C 

WE were conduced by Adelan's fervant to a very fpaci- 
ous good houfe belonging to the Shekh himfelf, ha- 
ving two ftoreys, a long quarter of a mile from the king's pa- 
lace. He left a menage for us to repofe ourfelves, and in a 
day or two to wait upon the king, and that he mould 
fend to tell us when we were to come to him. This we re- 
folved to have complied with molt 'exactly ; but the very 
next morning, the 30th of April, there came a fervant from 
the palace tofummonus to wait upon the king, which we 
immediately obeyed. I took with me three fervants, black. 
Soliman, Ifmael the Turk, and my Greek fervant Michael. 
The palace covers a prodigious deal of ground. It is all of 
one itorey, built of clay, and the floors of earth. The cham- 
bers through which we paned were all unfurnilhed, and 



feemed' as if a great many of them had formerly been def- 
tined as barracks for foldiers, of whom I did not fee above 
fifty on guard. The king was in a fmall room, not twenty 
feet fquare, to which we afcendcd by two fhort flights of 
narrow fleps. The floor of the room was covered with 
broad fquare tiles ; over it was laid a Perfian carpet, and the 
walls hung with tapeflry of the fame country ; the whole 
very well kept, and in good order. 

The king was fitting upon a matrefs, laid on the ground* 
which was like wife covered with a Perfian carpet, and 
round him was a number of cufhicns of Venetian cloth of 
gold. His drefs did not correfpond with this magnificence, 
for it was nothing but a large, looie fhirt of Surat blue cotton 
cloth, which feemed not to differ from the fame worn by his 
iervants, except that, all round the edges of it, the feams, 
were double-it itched with white filk, and likewife round the 
neck. His head was uncovered ; he wore his own mort black 
hair, and was as white in colour as an Arab. He feemed 
to be a man about thirty- four, his feet were bare, but co- 
vered by his fhirt. He had a very plebeian countenance, on 
which was ftamned no decided character ; I mould rather 
guefs him to be a foft, timid, irrefolute man. At my co- 
ming forward and luffing his hand, he looked at me for a 
minute as if undetermined what to fay. He then afked for 
an Ab) flinian inteipreter, as there are many of thefe about 
the paiace. I faid to him in Arabic, " That I apprehended I 
underilood as much of that language as would enable me 
to anfwer any queftion he had to put to me." Upon which 
he turned to the people that were with him, "Downright 
Arabic, indeed! You did not learn ,that language in Hahem? 1 ' 
£aid he to me. I anfwered, " No ; I have been in Egypt, 
i Tui&ey, 


Turkey, and Arabia, where I learned it ; but I have likewife 
often fpoken it in Abyffinia, where Greek, Turkilh, and fe- 
veral other languages, were ufed." He faid, " Impoflible ! 
he did not think they knew any thing of languages, except- 
ing their own, in Abyffinia." 

There were fitting in the fide of the room, oppofite to- 
him, four men dreiTed in white cotton fhirts, with a white 
fliaul covering their heads and part of their face, by 
which it was known they were religious men, or men of 
learning, or of the law. One of thefe anfwered the king's 
doubt of the Abyffinians knowledge in languages. " They 
have languages enough ; and you know that Habefh is 
called the paradife of alfesi" During this converfation, I 
took the Iherriffe of Mecca's letter, alfo one from the king 
of Abyffinia; I gave him the king's firft, and then the 
fherriffe's. He took them both as I gave them, but laid 
afide the king's upon a cufhion, till he had read the fher- 
rnTe's. After this he read the king's, and called immediate- 
ly again for an Abyffinian interpreter ; upon which I faid no- 
thing, fuppofing, perhaps, he might chufe to make him dei- 
liver fome meilage to me in private, which he would not 
have his people hear. But it was pure confufion and ab- 
fence of mind, for he never fpoke a word to him when he 
came. " You are a phyfician and a foldier," fays the king. 
** Both, in time of need," faid I. ** But the flierriffe's letter 
tells, me alfo, that you are a nobleman in the fervice of a. 
great king that they call Englife-man, who is mafler- 
sof all the Indies, and who has Mahometan as well as; 
Chriflian fubjefts, and allows them all to be governed 
by their own laws." — " Though I never faid lb to the flier- 
rifFe, replied I, yet it is true ; i am as noble as any indivi- 


dual in my nation, and am alfo fervant to the greateft 
king now reigning upon earth, of whofe dominions, it is 
likewife truly faid, thefe Indies are but a fmall part."—- 
" The greateft king ! fays he that fpoke about the afTes, you 
ihould not fay that: You forgot the grand fignior ; 
there are four, Otman, Ferfee, Bornow, and Habelh." — " I 
neither forgot the grand fignior, nor do him wrong, re- 
plied I. What I have faid, I have faid." — " Kafrs and 
Haves ! all of them, fays Ifmael ; there is the Turk, the 
king of England, and the king of France ; what kings are 
Bornow and the reft ? — Kafrs." — " How comes it, fays the 
king, you that are fo noble and learned, that you know all 
things, all languages, and fo brave that you fear no dan- 
ger, but pafs, with two or three old men, into fuch coun- 
tries as this and Habefh, where Baady my father perifhed 
with an army ? how comes it that you do not flay at 
home and enjoy yourfelf, eat, drink, take pleafure and reft, 
and not wander like a poor man, a prey to every danger ?" — 
** You, Sir, I replied, may know fome of this fort of men ; 
certainly you do know them ; for there are in your religion, 
as well as mine, men of learning, and thofe too of great 
rank and nobility, who, on account of fins they have com- 
mitted, or vows they have made, renounce the world, its 
riches and pleafures : They lay down their nobility, and 
become humble and poor, fo as often to be infulted by 
wicked and low men, not having the fear of God before 
their eyes." — " True, thefe are Dervifh," faid the other three 
men. " I am then one of thefe Dervifh, faid I, content 
with the bread that is given me, and bound for fome years 
to travel in hardfhips and danger, doing all the good I can 
to poor and rich, ferving every man, and hurting none." 
; Tybe ! thar is well," fays the king. " And how long 
4 have 


have you been travelling about ?" adds one of the others. 
" Near twenty years," faid I. — ■" You mufl be very young, 
fays the king, to have committed fo many fins, and fo 
early ; they mufl all have been with women ?" — " Part of 
them, I fuppofe, were, replied I ; but I did not fay that I 
was one of thofe who travelled on account of their fins, 
but that there were fome Dervifhes that did fo on account 
of their vows, and fome to learn wifdom." He now made a 
fign, and a flave brought a cufhion, which I would have 
refufed, but he forced me to fit down upon it. 

I found afterwards who the three men were who had 
joined in our converfation ; the firfl was Ali Mogrebi, a na- 
tive of Morocco, who was Cadi, or chief judge at Sennaar, 
and was then fallen into difgrace with the two brothers, 
Mahomet Abou Kalec, governor of Kordofan,and ShekhAde- 
lan, prime minifter at Sennaar, then encamped at Aira at the 
head of the horfe and Nuba, levying the tax upon the Arabs 
as they went down, out of the limits of the rains, into the 
fandy countries below Atbara to protect their cattle from 
the fly. Another of thefe three was Cadi of Kordofan, in the 
interefl of Mahomet Abou Kalec, and fpy upon the king. 
The third was a faint in the neighbourhood, confervator 
of a large extent of ground, where great crops of dora not 
only grow, but when threfhed out are likewife kept in large 
excavations called Matamores ; the place they call Shaddly. 
This man was -efleemed another Jofeph among the Funge, 
who accumulated grain in years of plenty, that he might 
diflribute it at fmall prices among the poor when fcarcity 
came. «. He was held in very great reverence in the neigh- 
bourhood of Sennaar. 

Vol. IV. 3 I The 


The cadi then alked me, <fe If I knew when Hagiuge Ma- 
giuge was to come ?" Remembering my old learned friend* 
at Teawa, I fcarce could forbear laughing. "I have na 
wifh to know any thing about hira* faid I ;. I hope thofe 
days are far off, and will not happen in my time." "What 
do your books fay concerning him? (fays he, affecting a 
great look of wifdom) Do they agree with ours ?" "J. don't 
know that, faid I, till 1 hear what is written in your books." 
'*■ Hagiuge Magiuge, fays he, are little people, not fo big as 
bees, or like the zimb, or fly of Sennaar, that come in great 
fwarms out of the earth, aye, in multitudes that cannot be 
counted ; two of their chiefs are to ride upon an afs, and eve- 
ry hair of that afs is to be a pine, and every pipe is to play a 
different kind of mufic, and all that hear and follow them 
are carried to hell." "I know them not, faid I, and; in the 
name of the Lord, I fear them not, were they twice as little 
as you fay they are, and twice as numerous. . I trufl in God 
I (hall never be fo fond of mufic as to go to hell after an afs 
for all the tunes that he. or they can play." The king 
laughed violently. I rofe to go away, for I was heartily ti- 
red of the converfation. Iwhifpered the AbyfTmian fervanc 
in Amharic, to afk when I mould bring a trifle I had to 
offer the king. He faid, Not that night, as I mould be tired, . 
but defired that I mould now go home, and he would fend 
me notice when to come. I accordingly went away, and 
found a number of people in the flreet, all having fome taunt 
or affronting matter to fay. I pafTed through the great - 
fquare before the palace, and could not help fhuddering, , 
upon reflection, at what had happened in that fpot to the 
unfortunate M. du Roule and his companions, though un- 
der a protection which fhould have fecured them from all : 
danger, every part of which I was then unprovided with. . 



The drum beat a little after fix o'clock in the evening. 
We then had a very comfortable dinner fent us, camels 
flefh ftewed with an herb of a vifcous flimy fubftance, called 
Bammia. After having dined, and finimed the journal of 
the day, I fell to unpacking my inftruments, the barometer 
and thermometer firft, and, after having hung them up, 
was converting with Adelan's fervant when I mould pay my 
vifit to his mafter. About eight o'clock came a fervant from 
the palace, telling me now was the time to bring the pre- 
fent to the king. I forted the feparate articles with all the 
fpeed I could, and we went directly to the palace. The 
king was then fitting in a large apartment, as far as I could 
guefs, at fome diftance from the former. He was na- 
ked, but had feveral clothes lying upon his knee, and about 
him, and a fervant was rubbing him over with very ftinking 
butter or greafe, with which his hair was dropping as if 
wet with water. Large as the room was, it could be fmell- 
ed through the whole of it. The king afked me, If ever I 
greafed myfelf as he did ? I faid, Very feldom, but fancied 
it would be very expenfive. He then told me, That it was 
elephants greafe, which made people ftrong, and preferved 
the ikin very fmooth. I faid-, I thought it very proper, but 
could not bear the fmell of it, though my fkin mould turn 
as rough as an elephant's for the want of it. He faid, " If 
I had ufed it, my hair would not have turned fo red as it 
was, and that it would all become white prefently when 
that rednefs came off. You may fee the Arabs driven in 
here by the Daveina, and all their cattle taken from them, 
becaufe they have no longer any greafe for their hair. The 
fun £rft turns it red and then perfectly white ; and you'll 
know them in the flreet by their hair being the colour 

3 I 2 of 


of yours. As for the fmell, you will fee that cured pre- 

■ 'd 
After having rubbed him abundantly with greafe, they 

brought a pretty large horn, and in it fomething fcent- 
ed, about as liquid as honey. It was plain that civet was 
a great part of the compofition. The king went out 
at the door, I fuppofe into another room, and there two 
men deluged him over with pitchers of cold water, whilft, 
as I imagine, he was ftark-naked. He then returned, and a 
Have anointed him with this fweet ointment ; after which he 
fat down, as completely drefTed, being juft going to his 
women's apartment where he was to fup. I told him I won- 
dered why he did not ufe rofe- water as in Abyffinia, Arabia, 
and Cairo. He faid, he had it often from Cairo, when the 
merchants arrived ; but as it was now long fince any came, 
his people could not make more, for the rofe would not grow 
in his country, though the women made fomething like it 
of lemon-flower. 

His toilet being finifhed, Ithen produced my prefentwhich 
I told him the king of Abyffinia had fent to him, hoping 
that, according to the faith and cuflom of nations, he would 
not only protect me while here, but fend me fafely and 
fpeedily out of his dominions into Egypt. He anfwered, 
There was a time when he could have done all this, and 
more, but thofe times were changed. Sennaar was in ruin, 
and was not like what it once was. He then ordered fome 
perfumed forbet to be brought for me to drink in his pre- 
fence, which is a pledge that your perfon is in fafety. I there- 
upon withdrew, and he went to his ladies. 



It was not till the eighth of May I had my audience of 
Shekh Adelan at Aira, which is three miles and a half from 
Sennaar ; we walked out early in the morning, for the 
greateft part of the way along the fide of the Nile, which 
had no beauty, being totally diverted of trees, the bottom 
foul and muddy, and the edges of the water white with 
fmall concretions of calcarious. earth, which, with the bright 
fun upon them, dazzled and affected our eyes very much. 

We then flruck acrofs a large fandy plain without trees 
or bullies, and came to Adelan's habitation ; two or three, 
very considerable houfes of one ftorey occupied the middle 
of a large fquare, each of whofe fides was at leafl half of an 
Englilh mile. Inftead of a wall to inclofe this fquare, was 
a high fence or impalement of flrong reeds, canes, or flalks 
of dora, (I do not know which) in fafcines flrongly join.ed 
together by flakes and cords. On the outfide of the 
gate, on each hand, were fix houfes of a flighter construction 
than the reft; clofe upon the fence werefheds where the fol- 
diers lay, the horfes picqueted before them with their 
heads turned towards the fheds, and their food laid before 
them on the ground ; above each foldier's fleeping-place, co- 
vered only on the top and open in the fides, were hung a 
lance, a fmall oval fhield, and a large broad- fword. Thefe,., 
I underflood, were chiefly quarters for couriers, who being 
Arabs, were not taken into the court or fquare, but fhut out 
at night. 

Within the gate was a number of horfes, with the fol- 
diers barracks behind them ; they were all picqueted in 
ranks, their faces to their matters barracks. It was one of 
the fined fights 1 ever faw of the kind, They were all above 



fixteen hands high, of the breed of the old Saracen horfes,' 
all finely made, and as flrong as our coach-horfes, but ex- 
ceedingly nimble in their motion ; rather thick and fhorr 
in the forehand, but with the mofl beautiful eyes, ears, and 
heads in the world ; they were moftly black, fome of them 
black and white, fome of them milk-white foaled, fo not 
white by age, -with white eyes and white hoofs, not per- 
haps a great recommendation. 

A steel fhirt of mail hung upon each man's quarters 
oppofite to his horfe, and by it an antelope's fkin made foft 
like fhamoy, with which it was covered from the dew of the 
night. A head-piece of copper, without creft or plumage, 
was fufpended by a lace above the fhirt of mail, and was 
the moil picturefque part of the trophy. To thefe was add- 
ed an enormous broad-fword in a red leather fcabbard ; 
and upon the pummel hung two thick gloves, not divided 
into fingers as ours, but like hedgers gloves, their fingers 
in one poke. They told me, that, within that inclofure at 
Aira, there were 400 horfes, which, with the riders, and ar- 
mour complete for each of them, were all the property of 
Shekh Adelan, every horfeman being his Have, and bought 
with his money. There were five or fix (I know not which) 
of thefe fquares or inclofures, none of them half a mile from 
the other, which contained the king's horfes, flaves, and fer- 
vants. Whether they were all in as good order as Adelan's 
I cannot fay, for I did not go further ; but no body of horfe 
could ever be more magnificer.-tly difpofed under the direc- 
tion of any Chriftian power. 

Adelan was then fitting upon a piece of the trunk of a 

palm-tree, in the front of one of thefe divifions of his hor- 

2 . fes, 


&s, which he feemed to be contemplating with plcafure ; a 
number of black people, his own ferva'nts and friends, were- 
Handing around him. He had on a long, drab-coloured> 
camlet gown, lined with yellow fattin, and a camlet cap 
like a head- piece, with two fhort points that covered his 
ears. This, it feems, was his drefs when he rofe early in- 
the morning to vifit his horfes, which he never neglected.. 
The Shekh was a man above fix feet high, and rather cor- 
pulent, had a' heavy walk, feemingly more from affectation* 
of grandeur than want of agility. He was about fixty, of 
the colour and features of an Arab and not of a- Negro, 
but had rather more beard than falls to the lot of people 
in this country; large piercing. eyes, and a determined, tho', , 
at the fame time, a very pleafing countenance. Upon rny 
coming near him he got up, " You that are a horfeman, 
(fays he, without any falutation) what would your king of 
Habefh give for thefe horfes J"— What, king, anfwered- 1, in 
the fame tone, would not give any price for fuch horfes 
if he knew their value ?"— "Well, replies he, in a lower' 
voice, to the people about him, if we are forced to go to 
Habefh (as Baady was) we will carry our horfes along with 
us." I underftood by this he alluded to the iiiue of his: 
approaching quarrel with the. king,, 

We then went into a large faloon; hung round with . 
mirrors and fcarletdamafk ; in one of the longefl fides, were 
two large fofa's covered with crimfon and yellow damaik, 
and large cufhions of cloth of gold, like to the king's. He 
now pulled off his .camlet gown and cap, and remained 
in a crimfon fattin coat reaching down below his knees, 
which lapped over at the bread, and was girt round his 
waift with a fcarf or fafh, in which he had ftuck a fhort 
dagger in an ivory Iheath, mounted with gold ; and one of 



the largeft and mod beautiful amethyfts upon his finger 
that ever I faw, mounted plain, without any diamonds, and 
a fmall gold ear-ring in one of his ears. 

" Why have you come hither, fays he to me, without 
arms, and on foot, and without attendants ?" Tagoube. " I was 
told that horfes were not kept at Sennaar, and brought none 
with me." Adela?i. " You fuppofe you have come through 
great dangers, and fo you have. But what do you think of 
me, who am day and night out in the fields, furrounded by 
hundreds and thoufands of Arabs, all of whom would eat 
me alive if they dared ?" I anfwered, " A brave man, ufed 
to command as you are, does not look to the number of his 
enemies, but to their abilities; a wolf does not fear ten thou- 
fand fheep more than he does one." Ad. " True ; look out 
at the door ; thefe are their chiefs whom I am now taxing, 
and I have brought them hither that they may judge from 
what they fee whether I am ready for them or not." Tag. 
" You could not do more properly ; but, as to my own af- 
fairs, I wait upon you from the king of Abyfiinia, defiring 
fafe conduct through your country into Egypt, with his roy- 
al promife, that he is ready to do the like for you again, or 
any other favour you may call upon him for." He took the 
letter and read it. Ad. " The king of Abyfiinia may be af- 
fured I am always ready to do more for him than this. It 
is true, fince the mad attempt upon Sennaar, and the next 
ftill madder, to replace old Baady upon the throne, we have 
had no formal peace, but neither are we at war. We un- 
derftand one another as good neighbours ought to do ; and 
what elfe is peace ?" Tag. " You know I am a ftranger and 
traveller, feeking my way home. I have nothing to do 
with peace or war between nations. All I beg is a fafe con- 
3 duel 


xluct through your kingdom, and the rights of hofpitality 
bellowed in fuch cafes on every common flranger ; and one* 
of the favours I beg is, your acceptance of a fmall prefent. 
I bring it not from home ; I have been long abfent from 
thence, or it would have been better." Ad. " I'll not re- 
fufe it, but it is quite unnecefTary. I have faults like other 
men, but to hurt, or ranfom ftrangers, was never one of 
them. Mahomet Abou Kalec, my brother, is however a 
much better man to ftrangers than I am; you will be lucky 
if you meet him here ; if not, I will do for you what r can 
when once the confufion of thefe Arabs is over. 

I gave him the fherrifFe's letter, which he opened, looked at, 
and laid by without reading, faying only, " Aye, Metical 
is a good man, he fometimes takes care of our people 
going to Mecca ; for my part, I never was there, and proba- 
bly never mail." I then prefented my letter from Ali Bey 
to him. He placed it upon his knee, and gave a flap upon 
it with his open hand. Ad. " What ! do you not know, 
have you not heard,Mahomet Abou Dahab, his Hafnadar, has 
rebelled againft him, banifhed him out of Cairo, and now 
fits in his place? But don't be difconcerted at that, I 
know you to be a man of honour and prudence ; if Maho- 
met, my brother, does not come, as foon as I can get leifure 
I will difpatch you." The fervant that had conducted me 
to Sennaar, and was then with us, went forward clofe to 
him, and faid, in a kind of whifper, " Should he go often 
to the king ?" — " When he pleafes ; he may go to fee the 
town, and take a walk, but never alone, and alfo to the pa- 
lace, that, when he returns to his own country, he may 
report he faw a king at Sennaar, that neither knows how 
to govern, nor will fuffer others to teach him ; who knows 

Vol. IV. 3 K not 


not how to make war, and yet will not fit in peace." I 
then took my leave of him, but there was a plentiful break- 
fall in the other room, to which he feilt us, and which 
went far to comfort Hagi Ifmael for the misfortune of his 
patron Ali Bey. At going out, I took my leave by killing 
his hand, which he fubmitted to without reluctance. 
" Shekh, faid I, when I pafs thefe Arabs in the fquare, I 
hope it will not difoblige you if I converfe with fome of 
them out of curiofity ?" Ad. " By no means, as much as 
-you pleafe ; but don't let them know where they can find 
you at Sennaar, or they will be in your houfe from morn- 
ing till night, will eat up all your victuals, and then, in 
■return, will cut your throat if they can meet you upon 
your journey." 

I returned home to Sennaar, very well pleafcd with my 
reception at Aira. I had not fecn, fmce 1 left Gondar, a 
man fo open and frank in his manners, and who fpoke 
without difguife what apparently he had in his heart ; but 
he was exceedingly engaged in bufinefs, and it was of fuch 
extent that it feemed to me impoihble to be brought to 
an end in a much longer time than I propofed flaying at 
Sennaar. The diftance, too, between Aira and that town 
was a very great difcouragement to me. The whole way 
was covered with infoient, brutiili people, fo that every 
man we met between Sennaar and Aira produced fome al- 
tercation, fome demand of prefents, gold, cloth, tobacco, 
and a variety of other difagreeable circumftances, which 
had always the appearance of ending in fomething fe- 

I had 


I had a long converfation with the Arabs I met with at 
Aira, and from them I learned pretty nearly the fituation 
of the different clans or tribes in Atbara. Thefe were all in 
their way northward to the refpeclive countries in the fands 
to the eaftward of Mendera and Barbar. Thefe fands, fo 
barren and defolate the reft of the year, were beginning 
now to be crowded with multitudes of cattle and inhabi- 
tants. The fly, in the flat and fertile mold which compofes 
all the foil to the fouthward of Sennaar, had forced this 
number of people to migrate, which they . very well knew 
-was to coil them at leaf! one half of their fubftance ; of fuch 
confequence is the weakeft inftrument in the hand of Provi- 
dence. The troops of Sennaar, few in number, but well 
provided with every thing, flood ready to cut thefe people 
off from their accefs to the fands, till every chief of a tribe 
had given in a well-verified inventory of his whole flock, 
and made a compoiition, at parting, with Shekh.Adelan. 

All fubterfuge was in vain. The fly, in poffenlon of the 
fertile country, inexorably purfued every fingle camel till he 
took refuge in the fands, and there he was to flay till the 
rains ceafed ; and if, in the interim, it was difcovered that 
any concealment of number or quality had been made, they 
were again to return in the beginning of September to their 
old paftures ; and in this fecond paffage, any fraud, whether 
real or alledged, was punimed with great fe verity. Refin- 
ance had been often tried, and as often found ineffectual. 
However great their numbers, encumbered, with families 
and baggage as they were,, they had always fallen a facri- 
iice to thofe troops, well mounted and armed, that awaited 
them in their way within fight of their own homes. Ar- 

2 K 2 I rived 


rived once in the fands, they were quiet during the rains„ 
having paid their pafTage northward, and fo they were after- 
wards, for the fame reafon,when they eame again to their 
own ftation, fouthward, when thofe rains had ceafed.. 

It may be afked reafonably, What does the government 
cf Sennaar do with thatimmenfe number of camels which 
they receive from all thofe tribes of Arabs in their pafTage 
by Sennaar ? To this I anfwer, That all this tribute is not 
paid in kind. The different tribes poffefEng fo many ca- 
mels, or fo many other cattle, have a quantum laid upon 
them at an average value. This is paid in gold, or in 
ilaves, the reft in kind; fo many for the maintenance of the 
king and government ; for there is nofleih commonly ufed 
at Sennaar in the markets but that of camels. The refidue 
is bought by the merchants of Dongola, and fent into 
Egypt, where they fupply that great confumption of 
thefe animals made every year by the caravans going to> 

One thing had made a very ftrong impreiiion on mCj, 
which was the contemptuous manner in which Adelan ex*, 
preffed himfelf as to his fovereign. I was fatisfied that,, 
with fome addrefs,.I could keep myfelf in favour with either 
of them ; but in the terms they then were, or were very 
ibon to be, I could not but fear I was likely to fall into trou^ 
fyle between the two.. 

The next morning, after I. came home from Aira, I was 
agreeably furprifed by a vifit from Hagi Belal, to whom I- 
had been recommended by Metical Aga, and to whom Ibra- 
^Lm.Seraff, the Engliih broker at Jidda, had addrelTed me for 




any money I mould need at Sennaar. He welcomed me 
with great kindnefs, and repeated teftimonies of joy and 
wonder at my fafe arrival. He had been down in Atbara 
at Gerri, or fome villages near it, with merchandize, and 
had not yet feen the king fince he came home, but gave 
me the very worft defcription poflible of the country, info- 
much that there feemed to be not a fpot, but the one I then 
flood on, in which I was not in imminent danger of deftruc- 
tion, from a variety of independent caufes, which it feemed' 
not pombly in my power to avoid. He fent me in the even- 
ing fome refrefhments, which I had long been unaccuftom- 
ed to ; fome tea, excellent coffee, fome honey and browni 
fugar, feveral bottles of rack, likewife nutmegs, cinnamon r 
ginger, and fome very good dates of the dry kind which* 
he had brought from Atbara.. 

Hagi Belal was a native of Morocco* He had been at 
Cairo, and alfo at Jidda and Mocha. He knew the Englifli 
well, and profeffed himfelf both obliged and attached u> 
them. It was fome days before I ventured to fpeak to him* 
upon money bufinefs, or upon any probability of finding 
arffift^nce here at Sennaar. He gave me little hopes of the 
latter, repeating to me what I very well knew about the dis- 
agreement of the king and Adelam He feemed to place all 
his expectations, and thofe were but faint ones, in the co- 
ming of Shekh Abou Kalec from Kordofan. He faid, no- 
thing could be expected from Shekh Adelan without going 
to Aira, for that he would never truft himfelf in Sennaar,, 
in this king's lifetime, but that the minifter was abfolute: 
the moment he affembLed his troops without the town. 


One morning he came to me, after having been with 
the king, when I was myfelf preparing to go to the palace. 
He faid, he had been fent for upon my account, and had 
been queftioned very narrowly what fort of a man I was. 
Having anfwered very favourably, both of me and my na- 
tion, he was afked for Metical Aga's letters, or any other 
letters he had received concerning me from Jidda ; he faid, 
that he had only fhewn Metical's letter, wrote in the name 
of the fherriffe, as aifo one from himfelf ; that there were fe- 
veral great ofhcers of government prefent ; and the Cadi 
(whom I had feen the firfl time I had been with the king) 
had read the letters aloud to them all : That one of them 
had afked, How it came that fuch a man as I ventured to 
pafs thefe deferts, with four or five old fervants, and what 
it was I came to fee ; that he anfwered, he apprehended 
my chief object at Sennaar was to be forwarded to my own 
country. It was alfo afked, Why I had not fome Englifh- 
men with me, as none of my fervants were of that nation, 
but poor beggarly Kopts, Arabs, and Turks, who were none 
of them of my religion ? Belal anfwered, That travellers 
through thefe countries mufl take up with fuch people as 
they can find going the fame way ; however, he believed 
fome Englilh fervants had died in AbyfTinia, which coun- 
try I had left the fiifl opportunity that had offered, being 
wearied by the perpetual war which prevailed. Upon which 
the king faid, " He has chofen well, when he came in- 
to this country for peace. You know, Hagi Belal, I can do 
nothing for him ; there is nothing in my hands. I could 
eafier get him back into Abyffinia than forward him into 
Egypt. Who is it now that can pafs into Egypt ?" The Cadi 
then faid, " Hagi Belal can get him to Suakem, and fo to 



Jidda to his countrymen." To which Belal replied, "The 
king will find fome way when he thinks farther of it." 

A few days after this ' I had a meffage from the palace. 
I found the king fitting alone, apparently much chagrined, 
and in ill-humour. He afked me, in a very peevilh man- 
ner, " If I was not yet gone ?" To which I anfwered, " Your 
Majefty knows that it is impoflible for me to go a flep from 
Sennaar without affiftance from you." He again afked me, 
in the fame tone as before, " How I could think of coming 
that way?" I faid, nobody imagined in Abyflinia but that 
he was able to give a ftranger fafe conduct through his own 
dominions." He made no reply, but nodded a fign for me 
to depart, which I immediately did, and fo finifhed this fhort, 
but difagreeable interview. 

About four o'clock that fame afternoon I was again fent 
for to the palace, when the king told me that feveral of 
his wives were ill, and defired that I would give them my 
advice, which I promifed to do without difficulty, as all 
acquaintance with the fair fex had hitherto been much to 
my advantage. I mud confefs, however, that calling thefe 
the fair fex is not preferving a precifion in terms. I was 
admitted into a large fquare apartment very ill lighted, in 
which were about fifty women, all perfectly black, without 
any covering but a very narrow piece of cotton rag about 
their waifts. While I was 'mufing whether or not thefe all 
might be queens, or whether there was any queen among 
them, one of them took me by the hand and led me rudely 
enough into another apartment. This was much better 
lighted than the firfl. Upon a large bench, or fofa, covered 
~ 1 - ■ . with 


with blue Surat cloth, fat three perfons cloathed from the 
neck to the feet with blue cotton fhirts. 

One of thefe, who I found was the favourite, was a- 
bout fix feet high, and corpulent beyond all proportion, 
She feemed to me, next to the elephant and rhinoceros, to 
be the largeft living creature I had met with. Her fea- 
tures were perfectly like thofe of a Negro ; a ring of gold 
paired through her under lip, and weighed it down, till, 
like a flap, it covered her chin, and left her teeth bare, 
which were very fmall and fine. The infide of her lip flic 
had made black with antimony. Her ears reached down 
to her fhoulders, and had the appearance of wings ; flie 
had in each of them a large ring of gold, fomewhat fmaller 
than a man's little finger, and about five inches diameter. 
The weight of thefe had drawn down the hole where her 
ear was pierced fo much that three fingers might eafily 
pafs above the ring. She had a gold necklace, like what 
we ufed to call Efclavage, of feveral rows, one below an- 
other, to which were hung rows of fequins pierced. She 
had on her ancles two manacles of gold, larger than any 
I had ever feen upon the feet of felons, with which I could 
not conceive it was poffible for her to walk, but afterwards I 
found they were hollow. The others were drefTed pretty much 
in the fame manner ; only there was one that had chains 
which came from her ears to the outfide of each noftril, 
where they were fattened. There was alfo a ring put thro' 
the griflle of her nofe, and which hung down to the open- 
ing of her mouth. I think me muft have breathed with 
great difficulty. It had altogether fomething of the ap- 
pearance of a horfe's bridle. Upon my coming near them, 
the eldefl put her hand to her mouth and kifTed it, 

4 faying, 



faying, at the fame time, in very vulgar Arabic, " Kifhalek 
howaja?" (how do you do, merchant). I never in my life 
was more pleafed with diftant falutations than at this time. 
I anfwered, " Peace be among you ! I am a phyfician, and 
not a merchant." 

I shall not entertain the reader with the multitude of 
their complaints ; being a lady's phyfician, discretion and 
filence are my firfl duties. It is fufxlcient to fay, that there 
was not one part of their whole bodies, infide and outfide, 
in which fome of them had not ailments. The three 
queens infilled upon being blooded, which defire I complied 
with, as it was an operation that required fhort attendance ; 
but, upon producing the lancets, their hearts failed them. 
They then all cried out for the Tabange, which, in Arabic, 
means a piltol ; but what they meant by this word was, the 
cupping inftrument, which goes off with a fpring like the 
fnap of a piftol. I had two of thefe with me, but not at 
that time in my pocket. I fent my fervant home, however, 
to bring one, and, that fame evening, performed the ope- 
ration upon the three queens with great fuccefs. The 
room was overflowed with an effuiion of royal blood, and 
the whole ended with their infilling upon my giving them 
the inftrument itfelf, which I was obliged to do, after cup- 
ping two of their flaves before them, who had no com- 
plaints, merely to ffiew them how the operation was to be 

Another night I was obliged to attend them, and gave 
the queens, and two or three of the great ladies, vomits. I 
will fpare my reader the recital of fo naufeous a fcene. 
The ipecacuanha had great effect, and warm water was 

Vol. IV. 'i L drunk 



drunk very copioufly. The patients were numerous, and' ? 
the floor of the room received all the evacuations. It was 
moft prodigiomly hot, and the horrid, black figures, moan- 
ing and groaning with licknefs all around me, gave me, I 
think, fome flight idea of the punifhment in the world bel- 
low. My mortifications, however, did not flop here. I ob- 
ferved that, in coming into their prefenee, the queens were 
all covered with cotton fhirts ; but no fooner did their 
complaints make part of our converfation, than, to my ut- 
mofl furprife, each of them, in her turn, ftript herfelf entire- 
ly naked, laying her. cotton fliirt loofely on her lap as fhe 
fat crofs-legged like a tailor. The cuflom of going na- 
ked in thefe warm countries abolifhes all delicacy concern- 
ing it. I could not but obferve that the breafts of each of 
them reached the length of their knees. 

This exceeding confidence on their part, they thought 
merited fome confideration on mine ; and it was not with* 
out great aftonifhment that I heard the queen defire to fee 
me in the like difhabille in which fhe had fpontaneoufly 
put herfelf. The whole court of female attendants flocked 
to the fpecliacle. Refufal, or reiiftance, were in vain. I 
was furrounded with fifty or fixty women, all equal in fla- 
ture and urength to myfelf; The whole of my cloathing 
was, like theirs, a long loofe fliirt of blue Surat cotton 
cloth, reaching from the. neck down to the iett. The on- 
ly terms I could poffibly, and that with great difficulty, 
make for myfelf were, that they mould be contented to-; 
ftrip me no farther than the moulders and breafl. Upon; 
feeing the whitenefs of my fkin, they gave all a loud cry- 
in token of diflike, and fhuddered, feeming to confider it 
rather the effects of difeafe than natural* I think in my 



life I never felt fo difagreeably. I have been in more than 
one battle, but furely I would joyfully have taken my 
chance again in any of them to have been freed from that 
examination. I could not help likewife reflecting, that, if 
the king had come in during this exhibition, the confer 
quence would either have been impaling, or dripping ofF 
that fkin whofe colour they were fo curious about ; tho' 
I can folernnly declare there was not an idea in my bread, 
fince ever I had the honour of feeing thefe royal beauties, 
that could have given his majefty of Sennaar the fmallefl 
reafonfor jealoufy ; and I believe the fame may be faid of the 
fentiments of theladies in what regarded me. Ours was a mu- 
tual paffion, but dangerous to no one concerned. Ireturned 
home with very different fenfations from thofe I had felt 
after an interview with the beautiful Aifcach of Teawa. 
Indeed, it was impoflible to be more chagrined at, or more 
difgufted with, my prefent fituation than I was, and the 
more fo, that my delivery from it appeared to be very dif- 
tant, and the circumftances were more and more unfavour- 
able every day. 

An event happened which added to my diftrefs. Going 
one evening to wait upon the king, and being already with- 
in the palace, patting through a number of rooms that are 
now totally deferted, where the court of guard ufed to be 
kept, I met Mahomet, the king's fervant, who accompanied 
us from Teawa. Such people, though in reality often 
enough drunk, yet if they happen to be fober at the time of 
their committing a. crime, counterfeit drunkennefs, in order 
to avail themfelves of it as an excufe. This fellow, feeing me 
alone, came daggering up to me, faying, " Damn you, Ya- 
goube, I have met you now, pay me for the trouble of go- 

3 L 2 ing 


ing for you to Teawa ;" and with that he put his arm to 
lay hold of me by the breaft. I faid to him, " Off hands, you 
ruffian ;" and, taking him by the arm, I gave him fuch a 
puih that he had very near fallen backward ; on which he 
cried out, in great fury, " Give me fifty patakas (about twelve 
guineas) or I'll ham-firing you this inftant." I had always 
piftols in my pocket for an extremitv ; but I could not con- 
fider this drunkard, though armed, to have reduced me to 
that fituation ; I therefore immediately clofed upon him, 
and, catching him by the throat, gave him a violent wrench 
backward, which threw him upon the ground. 1 then took 
his fword out of his hand ; and in the inftant ray black fer- 
vant Soliman appeared, who had ftaid behind converfmg 
with fome acquaintance in the ftreet. Several other black 
companions of this rafcal likewife appeared ; part feemed 
to defend, and part to intercede for him, but none to con- 
demn him. Soliman, however, infilled upon carrying him be- 
fore the king with his drawn fword in his hand. But how 
were we furprifed, when the king's anfwer to our complaint 
was, " That the man was drunk, and that the people in 
that country were not ufed to fee franks, like me, walking 
in the ftreet." He then gave Soliman a fharp reproof for 
having the prefumption, as he called it, to difarm one of 
his fcrvants in his palace, and immediately ordered his 
fword to be reftored him. 

We were retiring full of thoughts what might be the 
occafion of this reception, when we were met by Kittou,- 
Adelan's brother, who was left with the care of the town. 
I told the whole affair. He heard me very attentively, and 
with apparent concern. " It is all the king's fault ; every 



flave does what he pleafes, faid he. If I mention this 
to Adelan, he will order the drunkard's head to be ftruck ofF 
before the palace-gate. But it is better for you that nothing 
of this kind happen while you are here. Mahomet Abou 
Kalec is daily expected, and all thefe things will be put up- 
on another footing. In the mean time, keep at home as 
much as poflible, and never go out without two or three 
black people along with you, fervants, or others. While 
you are in my brother's houfe, as you now are, and we alive, 
there is no body dares rnoieft you, and you are perfectly at 
liberty to refufe or ; admit any perfon you pleafe, whether 
they come from the king or not, by only faying, Adelan 
forbids you. I will anfwer for the reft. The lefs you 
come here the better, and never venture into the ftreet at 

At this inftant a menage from the king called him in, 
I went away, better fatisfied than before, becaufe I now 
had learned there was a place in that town where I could 
remain in fafety, and I was refolved there to await the 
arrival of Abou Kalec, to whom I looked up as to the 
means Providence was to ufe to free me from the defigns 
the king was apparently meditating againft me. I was 
more confirmed in the belief of thefe bad intentions, by a 
converfation he had with Hagi Belal, to whom he faid, 
That he was very credibly informed I had along with 
me above 2000 ounces of gold, befides a quantity of 
nlver, and rich embroideries from India, from which 
laft place, and not from Cairo, I was come as a merchant, 
and not a phyfician. I refolved, therefore, to keep clofe at 
home, and to put into fome. form the obfervations that 

I had 


I had made upon this extraordinary government; a mo- 
narchy that had ftarted up, as it were, in our days, and 
of which no traveller has as yet given the fmalleft ac- 

jgfragrgas j l = =^=^g 




Gonverfatlons with Achmet— Hijlory and } Government of Sennaar-—Heat — * 
Difeafes — 'Trade of that Country^—The Author s diflrejfed Situation—* 
Leaves Sennaan 

FROM Salidan's time, till the conqueft of Selim empe- 
ror of the Turks, who finiuied the reign of the Ma^ 
malukes by the murder of Tomum Bey, that is, from the 
twelfth to the lixteenth century, the Arabs in Nubia and Beja, 
and the feveral countries above Egypt, had been incorpora- 
ted with the old indigenous inhabitants of' thofe territo- 
ries, which were the Shepherds^ and, upon converfion of thefe 
laft to the Mahometan religion, had become one people 
with thofe Saracens who over-ran this country in the Kha- 
lifat of Omar. The only diftinclion that remained was, 
that the Arabs continued their old manner of life in tents, 
while the indigenous inhabitants lived in huts, moiily by 
the fides of rivers, and among plantations of date-trees, 

s~ Itv 


It mufl: be, however, remembered, that this, though a 
pretty general obfervation, does not hold without excep- 
tion ; for the Arabs of Mahomet's own family, the Beni 
Koreifh, moftly lived in towns, fuch as Mecca, Tajef, and 
Medina, efpecially after the expulfion of the Jews and the 
eftablifhment of his empire. Many alfo of thefe, who 
came over to Beja and the eaftern part of Nubia, continued 
their practice of living in fmall towns or villages, and were 
diftinguilhed by the name of Jaheleen : This appellation, li- 
terally interpreted, fignifies Pagans ; but by extention, the 
ancient races of Arabs converted immediately from Pa- 
ganifm to the Mahometan faith, by Mahomet himfelf, 
without having ever embraced Chriitianity, or any other Pa- 
gan fuperflition befides pure Sabaifm, and this was the old 
religion of Arabia, and of the whole peninfula of Africa to 
the Weflern Ocean. Thefe Jaheleen are generally known 
by their name, referring to men of confederation in the time 
of Mahomet's life, whom they call their father, or to fome 
circumitance relating to Mahomet himfelf. An example of 
the firfl of the race is, Rabatab, that is, Rabat was our father, or, 
u we are the children of Rabat." An example of the fecond 
is the Macabrab, or, the fepulchre is our father, meaning the 
fepulchre of their prophet at Medina. 

These Jaheleen are, as I have faid, truly noble Arabs of 
the race of Beni Koreifh. Though they live in villages, they 
are the moft dangerous and moil fanatic wretches a travel- 
ler can meet. All this country, though nominally fubjedt 
to Egypt for the fake of trade, had their own prince of the 
race of Beni Koreifh, whofe title was Welled Ageeb, Son of the 
Good, which was his general inauguration name ; and, be- 
fides this, he was called All, or Mahomet Welled Ageeb, 
3 which 


which is part of his title, or, as it were, his Chriftian name 
added to that of his family. This prince was, neverthelefs, 
but the Shekh of all the Arabs, to whom they paid a tribute 
to enable him to maintain his dignity, and a fufficient 
ftrength to keep up order and inforce his decrees in public 
matters. As for ceconomical ones, each tribe was under the 
government of its own Shekh, old men, fathers of families 
in each clan. 

The refidence of this Arab prince, called for fhortnefs 
Wed Ageeb, was at Gerri, a town in the very limits of the 
tropical. rains, immediately upon the ferry which leads a- 
crofs the Nile to the defert of Bahiouda, and the road to Don- 
gola and Egypt, joining the great defert of Seiima. This 
was a very well-chofen iituation, it being a toll-gate, as it 
were, to catch all the Arabs that had flocks, who, living 
within the rains in the country which was all of fat earth, 
were every year, about the month of May, obliged by the 
fly to pafs, as it were, in review, to take up their abode in 
the fandy defert without the tropical rains. By the time 
fair weather returned in the fertile part of the country to 
the fouthward, and freed them from the fly, all forts of ver- 
dure had grown up in great luxuriancy, while hunger fla- 
red them now in the face among the fands to the north- 
ward, where every thing eatable had been confumed by 
the multitudes of cattle that had taken refuge there. The 
Arab chief, with a large army of light, unincumbered horfe, 
flood in the way of their return to their paftures, till they 
had paid the uttermoft farthing of tribute, including arrears, 
if any there were. Such was the ftate and government 
of the whole of this vaft country, from the frontiers of 

Vol. IV. 3 M Egypt 



Egypt to thofe of Abyflinia, at the beginning of the 1 6th 

In the year 1504, a black nation, hitherto unknown, inha- 
biting the weftern banks of the Bahar el Abiad, in about lati- 
tude 1 3 , made a defcent, in a multitude of canoes, or boats* 
upon the Arab provinces, and in a battle near Herbagi, 
they defeated Wed Ageeb, and forced him to a capitulation, 
by which the Arabs were to pay to their conquerors, in the 
beginning, one half of their flock,, and every fubfequent 
year, one-half of the increafe, which was to be levied at the 
time of their pafling into the fands to avoid the fly. Upon 
this condition, the Arabs were to enjoy their former poflef- 
fions unmolefted, and Wed Ageeb his place and dignity, that 
he always might be ready to ufe coercion in favour of the 
conquerors, in cafe any of the diftant Arabs refufed pay- 
ment, and he thus became as it were their lieutenant. 

This race of negroes is, in their own country, called 
Shillook. They founded Sennaar, lefs advantageoufly fitu- 
ated than Gerri, and removed the feat of government of 
Wed Ageeb to Herbagi, that he might be more immediate- 
ly under their own eye. It was the year 1^04 of the Chriftian 
asra that Amru, fon of Adelan, the firft of their fovereigns 
on the eaftern fide of the Nile, founded this monarchy, and 
built Sennaar, which hath ever fincebeen the capital. From 
this period, till the time when I was at Sennaar, 266 years 
had elapfed, in which 2.0 kings had reigned, that is, from 
Amru the firft, to Ifmain the prefent king. He was about 
34 years of age, and had reigned three years,, fo that, not- 
withftanding the long reigns of Amba Rabat the firft, and 
the two Baadys, the duration of the reigns of the kings of 



Sennaar will be but 1 3 years upon an average ; eight of the 
twenty have been depofed, and Ifmain the prefent king 
Hands the fairefl chance poflible of being very ibon the 
9th of that number. 

At the ellablifhing of this monarchy, the king, and the 
whole nation of Shillook, were Pagans. They were foon 
after converted to Mahometifm, for the fake of trading 
with Cairo, and took the name of Funge, which they inter- 
pret fometimes lords, or conquerors, and, at other times, 
free citizens. All that can be faid with certainty of this 
term, as there is no accefs to the ftudy of their language, is, 
that it is applicable to thofe only that have been born eaft 
of the Bahar el Abiad. It does not feem to me that they 
mould pride themfelves in being free citizens, becaufe the 
firft title of nobility in this country is that of Have ; indeed 
there is no other. Upon any appearance of your undervalu- 
ing a man at Sennaar, he inflantly afks you if you know who 
he is ? if you don't know that he is a flave, in the fame idea of 
ariftocratical arrogance, as would be faid in England upon 
an altercation, do you know to whom you are fpeaking ? do 
you know that I am a peer? All titles and dignities are un- 
dervalued, and precarious, unlefs they are in the hands 
of one who is a ilave. Slavery in Sennaar is the only true 

As I do not know that the names of thefe fovereigns are 
to be found any where elfe, I have fet them down here. The 
record from which I drew them is at leaft as extraordinary 
as any part of their hiftory ; it was the hangman's roll, or 
regifter. It is one of the fmgularities which obtains among 

3 M 3 this 


this brutifh people, that the king afcends his throne under 
an admiffion that he may be lawfully put to death by his own 
fubjects or flaves, upon a council being held by the great of- 
ficers, if they decree that it is not for the advantage of the 
ftate that he be fuffered to reign any longer. There is one 
officer of his own family, who, alone, can be the inftrument 
of fhedding his fovereign and kinfman's blood. This of- 
ficer is called, Sid el Coom, mailer of the king's houfehold, 
or fervants, but has no vote in depofing him ; nor is any 
guilt imputed to him, however many of his fovereigns he 
thus regularly murders. Achmet Sid el Coom, the prefent 
licenfed parricide, and refident in Ifmain's palace, had mur- 
dered the late king Naffer, and two of his fons that were 
well grown, befides a child at his mother's breafl ; and he 
was expecting every day to confer the fame favour upon. 
If main ; though at prefent there was no malice on the one 
part nor jeaioufy on the other, and I believe both of them 
had a guefs of what was likely to happen, It was this Ach- 
met, who was very much my friend, that gave me a lift of 
the kings that had reigned, how long their reign lafted^, 
and whether they died a natural death, or were depofed and; 

Tbjs extraordinary officer was one of the very few that 
ihewed me any attention or civility at Sennaar. He had 
been violently tormented with the gravel, but had found 
much eafe from the ufe of foap-pills that I had given him,, 
and this had produced, on his part, no fmall degree of gra- 
titude and friendiliip ; he was alfo fubjeet to the epilepfy^ 
but this he was perfuaded was witchcraft, from the machi- 
nations of an enemy who refided far fc>£F. I ofren ftaid at 



his houfe all night, when he fufFered exceffive pains, and I 
may fay then only I was in fafety. 

Ac h met feemed, by ftrange accident, to be one of ths 
gentleft fpirits of any that it was my misfortune to converfe 
with at Sennaar. He was very little attached to, or convin- 
ced of, the truth of the Mahometan religion, and as little 
zealous or inftructed in his own. He ufed often to qualify 
his ignorance, or difbelief, by faying, that any, or no reli- 
gion, was better than that of a Chriflian. His place of birth 
was in a village of Fazuclo, and it appeared to me that he 
was {till a Pagan. He was conftantly attended by Nuban 
priefts, powerful conjurers and forcerers, if you believed 
him. I often converfed with thefe in great freedom, when 
it happened they underflood Arabic, and from them I learn- 
ed many particulars concerning the fituation of the inland 
part of the country, efpecially that vail ridge of mountains, 
Dyre and Tegla, which run into the heart of Africa to the 
weftward, whence they fay anciently they came, after ha- 
ving been preferved there from a deluge. I a iked them 
often, (powerful as they were in charms), Why they did 
not cure Achmet of the gravel, or epilepfy ? Their anfwer 
was, That it was a Chriitian devil, and not fubjcct to their 

Achmet did not believe that I was a Chriflian, knew I 
was no Mahometan, but thought I was like himfelf, fome- 
thing between the two, nor did lever undeceive him. I was 
no miflionary, nor had I any care of fouls, nor defire to en- 
ter into converfation about religion with a man whole only 
office was to be the* deliberate murderer of his fovereign. 
He fpoke good Arabic, was offended at no queition, but an- 



fwqred freely, and without referve, whether about the coun- 
try, religion, or government, or the poft which he enjoyed, 
if we can term it enjoying an office created for fuch horrid 
crimes. He told me, with great coolnefs, in anfwer to a 
queftion why he murdered Naffer' s fon in his father's pre- 
fence, that he did not dare to do otherwife from duty to 
Naffer, whofe right it was to fee his fon flain in a regular 
and lawful manner, and this was by cutting his throat with 
a fword, and not by a more ignominious and painful death, 
which, if it had not been done in the father's fight, the ven- 
geance of his enemies might have fuggefted and inflicted. 
He faid, that Naffer was very little concerned at the fpectacle 
of his fon's death, but very loth when it came to his turn 
to die himfelf ; that he urged him often to fuffer him to 
efcape, but, finding this in vain, he fubmitted without re- 
fiftance. He told me, Ifmain, the prefent king, flood upon 
very precarious ground; that both the brothers, Adelan and 
Abou Kalec, were at the head of armies in the field ; that 
Kitteu had at his difpofal all the forces that were in Sen- 
naar ; and that the king was little efteemed, and had nei- 
ther experience, courage, friends, money, nor troops. 

I asked him if he was not afraid, when he entered into 
the king's prefencc, left he, too, might take it into his head 
to mew him, that to die or be ilain was not fo flight a mat- 
ter as he made of it. He faid, "By nO means ; that it was 
his duty to be with the king the greatefl part of the morn- 
ing, and neceffarily once very late in the evening ; that 
the king knew he had no hand in the wrong that might be 
done to him, nor any way advanced his death ; but, being 
come to the point that he muft die, the reft was only a 
4 . matter 


matter of decency, and it would undoubtedly be the object 
of his choice rather to be flain by the hands of his own re- 
lation in private, than thofe of a hired afTaflin, an Arab, or 
a Chriftian flave, in public view before the populace." 
When Baady the king's father was taken prifoner, and fent 
to Teawa to Welled HafTan governor of Atbara, (Shekh Fi- 
dele's father) Adelan ordered him to be put to death there, 
and Welled HafTan carried that order into execution. The 
king being always armed, was flout, and feemed to be up- 
on his guard ; and Welled HafTan found no way of killing 
him but by thrufting him through the back with a lance 
while warning his hands. The people murmured againfl 
Adelan exceedingly, not on account of the murder itfelf, 
but the manner of it,, and Welled HafTan was afterwards 
put to death himfelf, though he acted by exprefs orders, 
becaufe, not being the officer appointed, he had killed the 
king, and next, becaufe he had done it with a lance, where- 
as the only lawful inftrument was a fword, 

I have already faid, that it was the year of the Hegira, 
anfweringto 1504 of the Chriftian aera, that this people, call- 
ed Shillook, built the town of Sennaar, and eftablifhed 
their monarchy, which has now fubfifted under a fucceffion 
of twenty kings of the fame family- 






Lift of the Kings of Sennaar. 

Amru, fon of Adelan, began his reign in the 

year 1504, and reigned 
Neil, his fon, 
Abdeleader, fon of Amru, 
Amru, fon of Neil, depofed, 
Dekin, fon of Neil, - - 

Douro, his fon, depofed, 
Tiby, fon of Abdeleader, 
Ounfa, depofed, 

Abdeleader, fon of Ounfa, depofed, 
Adelan, fon of Ounfa, depofed, 
Baady, fon of Abdeleader, 
Rebat, fon of Baady, 
Baady, his fon, 

Ounfa, fon of Naffer fon of Rebat, 
Baady el Achmer, his fon, 
Ounfa, his fon, depofed, 
L'Oul, fon of Baady, 
Baady, his fon, depofed, 
Nailer, his fon, depofed, 






1 5S 1 








l 593 






165 1 


1 70 1 








l 733 







Although thefe kings began with a very remarkable 
conqueft, it does not appear they added much to their 
kingdom afterwards. Ounfa, fon of Naffer, is faid to have 
firft fubdued the province of Fazuclo. I (hall but make 
three obfervations upon this lift, which is undoubtedly au- 
thentic. The firft is, that this monarchy having been efta- 
blifhed in the 1504, it muft anfwer to the 9th year of the 
reign of Naod in the Abyffinian annals, as that prince began 
to reign in 1495. — The fecond is, that Tecla Haimanout, the 
fon of Yafous the Great, writing to Baady el Achmer, or the 
White, who was the fon of -Ounfa, about the murder of M. 
du Roule the French Ambaflador, in the beginning of this 
century, fpeaks of the ancient friendihip that had fubfifted 
between the kings of Abyflinia and thofe of Sennaar, ever 
fince the reign of Kim, whom he mentions as one of 
Baady's remote predecefTors on the throne of Sennaar, Now, 
in the whole lift of kings we have juft given, we do not 
find one of the name of Kim ; nor is there one word 
mentioned of a king of Sennaar, or a treaty with him, 
in the whole annals of Abyffinia, till the beginning of 
Socinios's reign. 1 therefore imagine that the Kim*, 
which Tecla Haimanout informs us his predecefTors 
correfponded with in ancient times, was a prince, who, 
under the command of the Caliph of Cairowan, in the 
kingdom of Tunis in Africa, took Cairo and fortified it, 
by furrounding it with a ftrong wall, and who reigned, by 
himfelf and fuccefTors, 100 years, from. 998 to 11 01, when 
Hadec, the laft prince of that race, was flain by Salidan, firft 
Vol IV. 3 N Soldan 

* Vid. Marraol>tom. I p. 274, 


Soldan of Egypt, with which country the Abyfliniails at that 
time were in conftant correfpondence, though I never 
heard they were with Sennaar, which indeed did not exiffc 
at that time, nor was there either city or kingdom till the 
reign of Naod ; fo it was a correfpondence with the fove- 
reigns of Cairo, Tecla Haimanout miflook for that with Sen- 
naar, which monarchy was not then founded. — The third 
observation is, that this Baady el Achmer, being the very 
king who murdered M. du Roule in 1704, did, nevertheless, 
live till the year 1726, having reigned 25 years; whereas 
M. de Maillet * writes to his court, that this prince had 
been defeated and flain in a battle he had with the Arabs, 
under their Shekh at Herbagi in 1705. 

Upon the death of a king of Sennaar, his eldeil fon Suc- 
ceeds by right ; and immediately afterwards as many of 
the brothers of the reigning prince as can be apprehended 
are put to death by the Sid el Coom, in the manner already 
defcribed. Achmet, one of the Sons of Baady, brother of 
NafTer, and Ifmain now on the throne, fled, upon his brother's 
acceflion, to the frontiers of Kuara, and gathering to- 
gether about a hundred of the Ganjar horfe, he came to 
Gondar, and was kindly received by the Iteghe, who perfua- 
ded him to be baptifed. Some time after he returned 
to Kuara, and joined the king's army a little before the bat- 
tle of Serbraxos, with about the fame number of horfe,. 
and there he mifbehaved, taking flight upon the firft ap- 

* Vid. Conful Maillet's letter to the French ambaiTador publifhed by Le Grande in his 
Hiftory of Abyffinia. 


pearance of the enemy, before a man was killed or wound- 
ed on either fide. He was graceful in his perfon and car- 
riage, but a liar and drunkard beyond all conception. 

The practice which obtains at Sennaar of murdering all 
the collaterals of the royal family, feems to be but a part 
of the fame idea* which prevails in Abymnia, of confining 
the princes all their lives upon a mountain. The difference 
of treatment, in cafes perfectly parallel, feems to offer a 
juft manner of judging, how much the one people furpaffes 
the other in barbarity of manners and difpofition. In Abyf- 
finia, the princes are confined for life on a mountain, and 
in Sennaar they are murdered in their father's fight, in the 
palace where they were born. 

As in Abyffinia, fo neither in Sennaar do women fucceed 
to fovereignty. No hiflorical reafon is given for this exclu- 
fion. It probably was a rule brought from El-aice, their 
own country, before founding their monarchy, for the very 
contrary prevailed among the Shepherds, whom they fub- 
dued in Atbara. The princeffes, however, in Abyflinia, are 
upon a much better footing than thofe of Sennaar. Thefe 
lafc have no ftate nor fettled income, and are regarded very 
little more than the daughters of private individuals. A- 
mong that crowd of women which I faw the two nights I 
was in the palace, there were many princefTes, fillers of the 
king, as I was after told. At that time they were not di- 
ftinguifhable by their manners, nor was any particular 
mark of refpect fhewn them. 

3 N 2 The 

* Bear, like the Turkj no brother near the throne, Popk = 


TftE royal family were originally Negroes, and remain---' 
fo ftill, when their mothers have been black like themfeivesj 
but when the king has happened to marry an Arab woniar^ 
as he often does, the black colour of the father cedes to the 
white of the mother, and the child is white. Such- was. the : 
cafe of Baady, therefore named Achmer; his father. Rebat 
was blackj but marrying an Arab, his fon who fucceeded 
him was white. The laft Baady who was llain at Teawa 
"Was a perfect Negro ; and by a Have from his own country 
he had the late king Naffer, who, like his father,, was a 
perfect black. By an Arab of the tribe of Daveina, he. had 
Ifmain the prefent king, who is white,, and. fo it has inva- 
riably happened in the royal family, as well. as in private 
ones. But what is ftill more extraordinary, though equally 
true, an Arab who is white, marrying a black woman Have, 
has infallibly white children. I will not fay that this is fo 
univerfal as that an example of the contrary may not be 
found, but all the inftances I, happened to fee confirmed 
this. The Arabs, from choice, cohabit only with Negro 
women in the hot months of fummer, on account of ths 
remarkable coolnefs of their fkins, in which they are faid 
to differ from the Arab women ; but I never faw one black . 
Arab in the kingdom of Sennaar, notwithftanding the ge^- - 
nerality of this intercourfe, . 

There is a conftant mortality among" the children in : 
and about this metropolis, infomuch that, in all appearance, 
the people would be extinct were they not fupplied by a 
number of Haves brought from all the different countries 
to the fouthward. The men, however, are ftrong and re- 
markable for fize, but fhort-lived, owing, probably, to 
their indulging themfelves in . every fort of. excefs from, 



their very infancy. This being the cafe, this climate muft 
have undergone a ftrange revolution, as Sennaar is but a 
fmall dtitance from where the ancients place the Macrobii, 
a nation fo called from the remarkable length of . their 
lives. But perhaps thefe were mountaineers from the fron- 
tiers of Kuara, being defcribed as having gold in their ter- 
ritory, and are the race now called Guba. It is very re- 
markable, that, though they are Mahometans, they are fo 
brutal, not to fay indelicate, with regard to their women, 
that they fell their Haves after having lived with, and even 
had children by them. The king himfelf,it is faid,.is often 
guilty of this unnatural practice, utterly unknown in any 
other Mahometan country. , 

Once in his reign the king is obliged, "with his own hand, 
to plow and fow a piece of land. From this operation he 
is called Baady, the countryman or peafant ; it is a name 
common to the whole race of kings, as ■ Csefar was among the 
Romans, though they have generally another name peculi- 
ar to each perfon, and this not attended to has occailoned 
confulion in the narrative given by itrangers writing con- 
cerning .them. . 

No horfe, mule, afs, or any beafl of burden, will breed, or 
even live at Sennaar, or many miles about it. . Poultry does 
not live there. Neither dog nor cat, £heep nor bullock, can 
be preferved a feafon there. They mult go ally every half 
year, to the fands. Though all poffihle care . be taken of 
them, they die in every place where the fat earth is about 
the town during the firft feafon of the rains. Two grey- 
hounds which I brought from Atbara, and the mules which 

I brought i 


I brought from Abyfiinia, lived only a few weeks after I ar- 
rived. They fcemed to have fome inward complaint, for 
nothing appeared outwardly. The dogs had abundance of 
water, but I killed one of them from apprehenlion of mad- 
nefs. Several kings have tried to keep lions, but no care 
could prolong their lives beyond the firft rains. Shekh 
Adelan had two, which were in great health, being kept with 
his horfes at grafs in the fands but three miles frorn Sennaar : 
neither rofe, nor any fpecies of jeflamin, grow here ; no tree 
but the lemon flowers near the city, that ever I faw ; the rofe 
has been often tried, but in vain. 

Sennaar is in lat. if 34/ $6" north, and in long. 33 30' 30" 
call from the meridian of Greenwich. It is on the weft fide 
of the Nile, and clofe upon the banks of it. The ground 
whereon it fcands rifes juft enough to prevent the river 
from entering the town, even in the height of the inunda- 
tion, when it comes to be even with the flreet. Poncet fays, 
that when he was at this city, his companion, father Bre- 
vedent, a Jefuit, an able mathematician, on the 21ft of 
March 1699, determined the latitude of Sennaar to be if 
4'-N. the difference therefore will be about half a degree. 
The reader however may implicitly rely upon the fituation 
I have given it, being the mean refult of above fifty obser- 
vations, made both night and day, on the moll favourable 
occafions, by a quadrant of three feet radius, and telefcopes 
of two, and fometimes of three feet focal length, both re- 
flectors and refractors made by the beft mailers. 

The town of Sennaar is very populous, there being in it 

many good houfes after the fafhion of the country. Poncet 

fays, in his time they were all of .one florey high ; but now 

3 the 


the great officers have all houfes of two. They have para- 
pet roofs, which is a lingular conltruction ; for in other 
places, within the rains, the roofs are all conical. The houfes 
are all built of clay, with very little ftraw mixed with it, 
which fufficiently mews the rains here muft be lefs violent 
than to the fouthward, probably from the diftance of the 
mountains. However, when I was there, a week of con- 
ftant rain happened, and on the 30th of July the Nile increa- 
fed violently, after loud thunder, and a great darknefs to the 
fouth. The whole ft ream was covered with wreck of houfes, 
canes, wooden bowls, and platters, living camels and cat- 
tle, and feveral dead ones pafTed Sennaar, hurried along by 
the current with great velocity. A hyaena, endeavouring to 
crofs before the town, was furrounded and killed by the in- 
habitants. The water got into the houfes that Hand upon 
its banks, and, by riling feveral feet high, the walls melt- 
ed, being clay, which occasioned feveral of them to fall. It 
feemed, by the floating wreck of houfes that appeared in 
the ftream, to have deftroyed a great many villages to the 
fouthward towards Fazuclo. 

The foil of Sennaar, as I have already faid, is very unfa- 
vourable both to man and beafl, and particularly adverfe to 
their propagation. This feems to me to be owing to fome 
noxious quality of the fat earth with which it is every way 
furrounded, and nothing may be depended upon more fure- 
ly than the fact already mentioned, that no mare, or me- 
beafl of burden, ever foaled in the town, or in any village 
within feveral miles round it. This remarkable quality 
ceafes upon removing from the fertile country to the fands. 
Aira, between three and four miles from Sennaar, with no 
water near it but the NiLe, furrounded with white barren 



fand, agrees perfectly with all animals, and here are the 
quarters where I faw-Shekh Adelan the minifter's horfe, (as 
I fuppofe, for their numbers) by far the fineft in the world, 
where in fafety he watched the motion of his fovereign, 
who, fhut up in his capital of Sennaar, could not there main- 
tain one horfe to oppofe him. 

But however unfavourable this foil may be for the pro- 
pagation of animals, it contributes very abundantly both to 
the nourishment of man and beaft. It is pofitively faid to 
render three hundred for one, which, however confidently 
advanced,is,Ithink,bothfrom reafon and appearance, a great 
exaggeration. It is all fown with dora, or millet, the prin- 
cipal food of the natives. It produces alfo wheat and rice, 
but thefe at Sennaar are fold by the pound, even in years of 
plenty. The fait made ufe of at Sennaar is all extracted 
from the earth about it, efpecially at Halfaia, fo ftrongly is 
the foil impregnated with this ufeful foffile. 

About twelve miles from Sennaar, nearly to the N. W. is 
a collection of villages called Shaddly, from a great faint, 
who in his time directed large pits to be dug, and plaftered 
clofely within with clay,; into which a quantity of grain was 
put when it was at the cheapeft, and thefe were coveied 
up, and plaftered again at the top, which they call fealing, 
and the hole itfelf matamore. Thefe matamores are in great 
number all over the plain, and, on any profpect of corn 
growing dearer, they are opened, and corn fo d at a low 
price both to the town and country. 

To the north of Shaddly, about twenty-four miles, is a- 

jiother foundation of this fort, .called VV,ed Aboud,u"ill great- 

2 ex 


er than Shaddly. Upon thefe two charities the chief fub- 
fifience of the Arabs depends ; for as there is continual war 
among thefe people, and their violence being always di- 
rected againft the crops rather than the perfons of their 
enemies, the deftruction of each tribe would follow the 
lofs of its harveft, was it not for the extraordinary fupplies 
furnifhed at fuch times by thefe granaries. 

The fmall villages of foldiers are fcattered up and down 
through this immenfe plain to watch the grain that is fown, 
which is dora only, and it is faid that here the ground will 
produce no other grain. Prodigious excavations are made 
at proper diftances, which fill with water in the rainy fea- 
fon, and are a great relief to the Arabs in their paflage be- 
tween the cultivated country and the fands. The fly, that 
inexorable perfecutor of the Arabs, never purfues them fo 
the north of Shaddly. The knowledge of this circumftance 
was what, perhaps, determined the firft huilders of Sennaar 
to place their capital here ; this too, probably, induced the 
two faints, Shaddly and Wed Aboud, to make here thefe vail 
excavations for corn and water. This is the firft reding- 
place the Arabs find, where, having all things neceffary 
for fubliflence, they can at leifure tranfact their affairs with 

To the weflward of Shaddly and Aboud, as far as the ri- 
ver Abiad, or El-aice, the country is full of trees, which make 
it a favourite fcation for camels. As Shaddly is not above 
three hour's ride on horfeback from Sennaar, there could not 
be chofen a fituation more convenient for levying the tri- 
bute ; for though Gcrri, from the favourable fituation of the 
ground, being mountainous and rocky, and juft on the ex- 
Yol. IV. 3 O tremity 



tremity of the rains, was a place properly chofen for this 
purpofe by the Arab prince before the conqueft of the 
Funge, (for his troops there cut them off, either from the 
fands, or the fertile country, as he pleafed), yet many of 
them might have remained behind at Shaddly, and to the 
weftward, free from the terror of the fly, and confequently 
without any neceflity of advancing fo far north as Gerri r 
and there fubjecting themfelves to contribution. 

In this extenuve plain, near Shaddly, arife two mountain- 
ous diftriets, the one called Jibbel Moia, or the Mountain o£ 
Water, which is a ridge of confiderable hills nearly of the 
fame height, clofely united ; and the other Jibbel Segud^ 
or the Cold Mountain, a broken ridge compofed of parts, 
fome high and fome low, without any regular form. Both 
thefe enjoy a fine climate, and are full of inhabitants, but of 
no confiderable extent. They ferve for a protection to the 
Daheera, or farms of Shaddly and Wed Aboud. They are 
alfo fortrcnes in the way of the Arabs, to detain and force 
them to payment in their flight from the cultivated coun-. 
try and rains to the dry lands of Atbara. Each of thefe dif- 
triets is governed by the defcendant of their ancient and na- 
tive princes,, who long refilled ail the power of the Arabs, 
having bothhorfe and foot. They continued to be Pagans- 
till the conquer! of the Funge. Bloody and unnatural fa- 
criiices were faid to have been in ufe in thefe mountainous. 
ftates,with horrid circumftances of cruelty,, till. Abdelcader,, 
fon of AmrUi the third of the kings of Sennaar, about the 
year 1554* befieged firfl the one and then the other of thefe 
princes in their fountain, and forced them to furrender ; 
and, having fattened a chain of gold to each of their ears,, 



he expofed them in the public market-place at Sennaar in 
that lituation, and fold them to the highefl bidder, at the 
vile price of fomething like a farthing each. After this 
degradation, being circumcifed, and converted to the Maho- 
metan religion, they were reftored each to their govern- 
ment, as ilaves of Sennaar, upon very eafy conditions of tri- 
bute, and have been faithful ever fince. 

Nothing is morepleafantthanthecountry aroundSennaar, 
in the end of Auguil and beginning of September, I mean fo 
far as the eye is concerned; inftead of that barren, bare wafte, 
■which it appeared on our arrival in May, the corn now 
fprung up, and covering the ground, made the whole of 
this immenfe plain appear a level, gr^en land, interfperfed 
with great lakes of water, and ornamented at certain inter- 
vals with groups of villages, the conical tops of the houfes 
presenting, at a diftance, the appearance of fmall encamp- 
ments. Through this immenfe, extenfive plain, winds the 
Nile, a delightful river there, above a mile broad, full to 
the very brim, but never overflowing. Every where on 
thefe banks are feen numerous herds of the mofl beauti- 
ful cattle of various kinds, the tribute recently extorted 
from the Arabs, who, freed from all their vexations, return 
home with the remainder of their flocks in peace, at as 
great a diftance from the town, country, and their oppreflbrs, 
as they poffibly can. 

The banks of the Nile about Sennaar referable the plea- 
fanteft parts of Holland in the fummer feafon ; but foon 
after, when the rains ceafe, and the fun exerts his utmoft 
influence, the dora begins to ripen, the leaves to turn yel- 
low and to rot, the lakes to putrify, fmcll, and be full of 

3 O a vermin, 


vermin, all this beauty fuddenly difappears ; bare, fcorched 
Nubia returns, and all its terrors of poifonous winds and 
moving fands, glowing and ventilated with fultry blafts, 
which are followed by a troop of terrible attendants, 
epilepfies, apoplexies, violent fevers, obftinate agues, and 
lingering, painful dyfenteries, Hill more obftinate and 

War and treafon feem to be the only employment of 
this horrid people, whom Heaven has feparated, by almoft 
impafTable deferts, from the reft of mankind, confining them 
to an accurfed fpot, feemingly to give them earneft in time 
of the only other worfe which he has referved to them 
for an eternal hereafter. 

The drefs of Sennaar is very fhnple. It confifts of a long; 
fhirt of blue Surat cloth called Marowty, which covers 
them from the lower part of the neck down to their 
feet, but does not conceal the neck itfelf; and this is 
the only difference between the men's and the women's 
drefs ; that of the women covers their neck altogether, being 
buttoned like ours. The men have fometimes a fafh tied 
about their middle ; and both men and women go bare- 
footed in the houfe, even thofe of the better fort of people. 
Their floors are covered with Perfian carpers, efpecially the 
women's apartments. In fair weather, they wear fandals ; 
and without doors they ufe a kind of wooden patten, very 
neatly ornamented with fliells. In the greateft heat at 
noon, they order buckets of water to be thrown upon them 
inftead of bathing. Both men and women anoint them- 
felves, at leail once a- day, with camels greafe mixed with 
civet, which they imagine foftens their fkin, and preferyes, 



them from cutaneous eruptions, of which they are fo fear- 
ful, that the fmallefl pimple in any vifible part of their bo- 
dy keeps them in the houfe till it difappears : For the 
fame reafon, though they have a clean fhirt every day, they 
ufe one dipt in greafe to lie in all night, as they have no 
covering but this, and lie upon a bull's hide, tanned, and 
very much foftened by this conftant greafmg, and at the 
fame time very cool, though it occafions a fmell that no 
waffling can free them from. 

The principal diet of the poorer fort is millet, made in- 
to bread or flour. The rich make a pudding of this, toaft- 
ing the flour before the fire, and pouring milk and butter 
into it ; befides which, they eat beef, partly roafted and 
partly raw. Their horned cattle are the largeft and fatted 
in the world, and are exceedingly fine ; but the common 
meat fold in the market is camels flefli. The liver of the 
animal, and the fpare rib, are always eaten raw through 
the whole country. I never faw one inftance where it was 
dreffed with fire : it is not then true that eating raw fleAi 
is peculiar to Abyflinia ; it is pra<ftifed in this inftance of ca- 
mels flelh in all the black countries to the wefhvard. 

Hogs uejfti is not fold in the market ; but all the people 
of Sennaar eat it publicly : men in office, who pretend to be 
Mahometans, eat theirs in fecret. The Mahometan religion 
made a very remarkable progrefs among the Jews and 
Chrifiians on the Arabian, or eaftern fide of the Red Sea, 
and foon after alfo in Egypt ; but it was either received 
coolly, or not at all, by the Pagans on the weft fide, unlefs 
when, after a fignal victory, it was ftrongly enforced by the 
fword of the conqueror. 



The Saracens, who over-ran this country, were bigots in 
their religion, as their pofterity continue to be at this day. 
They have preferved the language of the Koran in its an- 
cient purity, and adhere rigidly to the letter of its precepts. 
They either extirpated the Pagans, or converted them ; but 
this power and tyranny of the Saracens received a check, 
both in Egypt and Arabia, about the 1 6th century, by Selim, 
who eftabliihed Turkiih garrifons in all their principal 
places on the frontiers of Beja, or Barbaria, and in the Ber 
el Ajam, or ancient Azamia, along the weft coaft of the Red 

These Turks were all truly atheifls in their hearts, who 
defpifed the zeal of the Arabs, and opprefled them fo, that 
Paganifm again ventured to mew its head. The Shillook, 
as I have faid before, made an eruption into Beja, and con- 
quered the whole of that country. They became mailers 
of the Arabs, and embraced their religion as a form, but ' 
never anxioufly followed the law of Mahomet, which did 
not hold out to them that liberty and relaxation by which 
it had tempted the Jews and Chriftians. Thefe the law of 
Mahomet had freed from many reftraints upon pleafures 
and purfuks forbidden by the gofpel, and thus made their 
yoke eafier. But it was not fo with the Pagan nations. The 
Mahometan religion diminiihed their natural liberty, by 
impofing prayers, ablutions, alms, circumcifion, and fuch- 
like, to which before they were under no obligation. The 
Pagans therefore of Sennaar, and all the little ftates to the weft- 
ward, Dar-Fowr, Dar-Sele, Bagirma, Bornou, andTombudro, 
and all that country upon the Niger, called Sudan, trouble 
themfelves very little with the detail of the Mahometan re- 
ligion, which they embraced merely for the fake of per- 
4 fonal 


fonal freedom and advantages in trade ; but they are Pa- 
gans in their hearts and in their practices, Mahometans in 
their converfation only. As for the fons of thefe, they are 
Pagans like their fathers, unlefs fome Fakir, or Arab faint, 
takes pains to inftruct and teach them to read, otherwife the 
whole of their religion confifls in the confeffion of faith, 
« La Illah el Ullah, Mahomet Rafoul Ullah,"—" There is 
" but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet." 

There are three principal governments in the kingdom 
of Sennaar. The firft is at El-aice, the capital of that coun- 
try, from which the Shillook come. The Bahar el Abiad 
fpreads itfelf all over the territory, and, divided into a quan^ 
tity of fmall channels, (whether by art or nature I know 
not) furrounds a number of little iflands, upon each ['of which 
is a village, and this collection of villages is called the town 
of El-aice. The inhabitants are all nfliermen, and have a 
number of boats, like canoes, in which they fail up and 
down to the cataracts. With incredible fleets of thefe their 
invafion was made when they undertook the conqueft of 
the Arabs, who had not the fmalleft warning of the attempt.. 
They had, at that time, no weapons of iron : their fwords; 
and lances were of a hard wood called Dengui-Sibber. It 
muft be a relation of the Mek of Sennaar that commands 
at El-aice ; and he is never fufFered to leave that poll, or, 
come to Sennaar.. 

The fecond government, next to this in importance, is? 
Kordofan. The revenue confiils chiefly in flaves procured 
from Dyre and Tegla. It feems this fituation is the mofl 
convenient for invading thofe mountains, either from its 
having water in the way, or from fome other circumllance 



that is not known. Mahomet Abou Kalec had this govern- 
ment, and with him about iooo black horfe, armed with 
coats of mail, with whom he maintained himfelf at this 
time independent of the king. It is a frontier neareft to 
Dar-Fowr, a black flate ilill more barbarous, if poflible, 
than Sennaar, and by them it often has been taken from 
Sennaar, and again retaken. 

The third government is Fazuclo, bounded by the river 
El-aiceon the weft, and the Nile on theeaft, and the moun- 
tains of Fazuclo, where are the great cataradts, on the fouth. 
Thefe are part of the large chain of mountains of Dyre and 
Tegla, which reach fo far weflward into the continent, from 
whence comes the chief fupply both of gold and Haves 
which conilitute the riches of this country ; for the greateft 
pare of the revenue of Fazuclo is gold ; and the perfon that 
commands it is not a Funge, but the fame native prince from 
whom the army of Sennaar conquered it. This feems to be 
a very remarkable piece of policy in this barbarous nation, 
which muft have fucceeded, as they conflantly adhere to it, 
of making the prince of the flate they have conquered their 
lieutenant in the government of his own country after- 
wards. Such was the cafe with Dongola, whofe Mek they 
continue ; alfo with Wed Ageeb, prince of the Arabs, whom 
they fubdued ; and fuch was the cafe with Fazuclo, Wed 
Aboud, jibbel Moia, and other petty fcates, all of which 
they conquered, but did not change their prince. 

The forces at Sennaar, immediately 'around the capital, 

confirt of about 14,000 Nuba, who fight naked, having no 

other armour but a fliort javelin and a round fliield, very 

bad troops, as Ifuppofe ; about 1800 horfe, all black, mount- 

1 ed 


ed by black Haves, armed with coats of mail, and without 
any other weapon but a broad Sclavonian fword. Thefe I 
fuppofe, by the weight and power of man and horfe, would 
bear down, or break through double the number of any 
other troops in the world : nobody, that has not feen this 
cavalry, can have any idea to what perfection the horfe rifes 
here. The Mek has not one mufket in his whole army. 
Befides thefe horfe, there is a great, but uncertain number of 
Arabs, who pay their tribute immediately to the Mek and 
to the great men in government, and live under their pro- 
tection clofe by the town, and thereby have the advantage 
of trading with it, of fupplying it with proviuons, and, no 
doubt, muft contribute in part to its ftrength and derence 
in time of need. 

After what I have faid of the latitude of Sennaar, it will 
fcarcely be neceflary to repeat that the heats are exceflive. 
The thermometer rifes in the made to 1 19% but as I have 
obferved of the heats of Arabia, fo now I do in refpect to 
thofe of Sennaar. The degree of the thermometer does not 
convey any idea of the effe6t the fun has upon the fenfa- 
tions of the body or the colour of the fkin. Nations of blacks 
live within lat. if and 14 , when io* fouth of them, nearly 
under the Line, all the people are white, as we had an op- 
portunity of feeing daily in the Galla, whom we have de- 
fcribed. Sennaar, which is in lat 1 3% is hotter, by the ther- 
mometer, 50 degrees, when the fun is moil diftant from it, 
than Gondar is, though a degree farther fouth, when the 
fun is vertical. 

Cold and hot are terms merely relative, not determined by 

the latitude, but elevation of the place ; when, therefore, we 

Vol. IV. 3 P fay 


fay hot, fome other explanation is necefTary concerning thsr 
place where we are, in order to give an adequate idea of the 
fenfations of that heat upon the body, and the effects of it 
iipon the lungs. The degree of the thermometer conveys 
this very imperfectly ;. 90 is exceflively hot at Loheia in 
Arabia Felix, and yet the latitude of Loheia is but 15% where-*- 
as 90 8 at Sennaar is, as to fenfe, only warm, although Sen- 
naar, as we have faid, is in lat. 13 . , 

At Sennaar, then, I call it cold, when one, fully cloathed 
and at reft, feels himfelf in want of fire. I call it cool, when 
one, fully cloathed and at reft, feels he could bear more co- 
vering all over, or in part, more than he has then on. I 
call it temperate, when a man, fo cloathed and at reft, feels^no 
fuch want, and can take moderate exercife, fuch as walking 
about a room without fweating. I call it warm, when a man, 
fo cloathed, does not fweat when at reft, but, upon mode- 
rate motion, fweats, and again cools. I call it hot, when a man 
fweats at reft, and- exceflively on moderate motion. I call 
it very hot, when a man, with thin or little cloathing, fweats 
much though at reft. I call it excejive hot, when a man, in his 
ftiirt, at reft, fweats exceflively, when all motion is painful, 
and the knees feel feeble as if after a fever. I call it extrema 
hot, when the ftrength fails, a. difpofition to faint comes on, 
a ftraitnefs is found in the temples, as if a fm all cord was 
drawn tight around the head, the voice impaired, the fkin 
dry, and the head feems more than ordinary large and light. 
This, I apprehend, denotes death at hand, as we have feen 
in the inilance of Imhanzara, in our journey to Teawa; but 
this is rarely or never effected by the fun alone, without the 
addition of that poifonous wind which purfued us through 
Atbara, and will be more particularly defcribed in oui? 



Journey down the defert, to which Heaven, in pity to man- 
kind, has confined it, and where it has, no doubt, contribu- 
ted to the total extinction of every thing that hath the breath 
of life. A thermometer graduated upon this fcale would 
exhibit a figure very different from the common one ; for I 
am convinced by experiment, that a web of the fineft muf- 
lin, wrapt round the body at Sennaar, will occafion at mid- 
day a greater fenfation of heat in the body than the rife of 
5 in the thermometer of Fahrenheit. 

At Sennaar, from 70 to 78 in Fahrenheit's thermometer 
is cool; from 79 to 92 temperate; at 92 begins warm. 
Although the degree of the thermometer marks a greater 
heat than is felt by the body of us ftrangers, it feems tome 
that the fenfations of the natives bear ftill a lefs proportion 
to that degree than ours. On the 2d of Auguft, while I 
was lying perfectly enervated on a carpet, in a room delu- 
ged with water, at twelve o'clock, the thermometer at 116% 
I law feveral black labourers pulling down a houfe, work- 
ing with great vigour, without any fymptoms of being at 
all incommoded. 

The difeafes of Sennaar are the dyfentery, or bloody flux, 
fatal in proportion as it begins with the firit of the rains, or 
the end of them, and return of the fair weather. Intermit- 
ting fevers accompany this complaint very frequently., 
which often ends in them. Bark is a fovereign remedy in 
this country, and feems to be by fo much the furer, that it 
purges on taking the firft doze, and this it does alrnort with- 
out exception. Epilepfies and fchirrous livers are likewife 
very frequent, owing, as is fuppofed. to their defeating or 
diminifhing perfpiration, or flopping the pores by conffont 

3P.2 unction. 


unction, as alfo by the quantity of water they deluge 
themfelves with at the time they are hotteft. The in- 
fluence of the moon in epileptics, and the certainty with 
which the third day after the conjunction brings back 
the paroxyfm in regular intermitting fevers, is what natu- 
rally furprifes people not deeper read than I am in the ftu- 
dy of medicine. Thofe who live much in camps, or in the 
parts of Atbara far from rivers, have certainly, more or lefs, 
the gravel, occafioned, probably, by the ufe of well-water ; 
for at Sennaar, where they drink of the river, I never faw 
but one inftance of it, that of the Sid el.Coom; as for 
Shekh Ibrahim, whom I mail fpeak of afterwards, he had 
palled a great part of his life at Kordofan. The venereal 
difeafe is frequent here, but never inveterate, infomuch that 
it does not prevent the marriage of either fex. Sweating 
and abftinence never fail to cure it, although, where it had 
continued for a time, I have known mercury fail* 

The elephantiafis, fo common in Abyflinia, is not known 
here. The fmall-pox is a difeafe not endemial in the coun- 
try of Sennaar. It is fometimes twelve or fifteen years 
without its being known, notwithflanding the conftant in- 
tercourse they have with, and merchandizes they bring 
from Arabia. It is likewife faid this difeafe never broke 
out in Sennaar, unlefs in the rainy feafon. However, when 
it comes, it fweeps away a vaft proportion of thofe that are 
infected : The women, both blacks and Arabs, .thofe of 
the former that live in plains, like the bhillook, or inhabi- 
tants of El-aice, thofe of the Nuba and Guba, that live in 
mountains, all the various fpecies of Haves that come from 
Dyre and Tegla, from time immemorial have known a fpecies 
of inoculation which they call Timteree el jidderee, or, the- 



buying of the fmall pox. The women are the conductors of 
this operation in the faireft and drieft feafon of the year, but 
never at other times. Upon the firft hearing of the fmall pox 
any where, thefe people go to the infected place, and, wrap- 
ping a fillet of cotton cloth about the arm of the perfon in- 
fected, they let it remain there till they bargain with the mo- 
ther how many me is to fell them. It is necefTary that 
the terms be difcufled judaically, and that the bargain be 
not made collufively or gratuitously, but that one piece of 
filver, or more, be paid for the number. This being con- 
cluded, they go home, and tie the fillet about their own 
child's arm ; certain, as they fay, from long experience, 
that the child infected is to do well, and not to have one 
more than the number of puftules that were agreed and 
paid for. There is no example, as far as I could learn, 
either here or in Abyffinia, of.this difeafe returning, that is,_ 
attacking any one perfon more than once. 

The trade of Sennaar is not great ; they have no manu- 
factures, but the principal article of confumption is blue 
cotton cloth from Surat. Formerly, when the ways were 
open, and merchants went in caravans with fafety, Indian 
goods were brought in quantities to Sennaar from Jidda, 
and then difperfed over the black country. The return 
was made in gold, in powder called Tibbar, civet, rhinoce- 
ros's horns, ivory, oftnch feathers, and, above all, in Haves 
or glafs, more of which was exported from Sennaar than all 
the eaft of Africa together. But this trade is almoft deftroy- 
ed, fo is that of the gold and ivory. However, the gold 
fiill keeps up its reputation of being the pureft and befl in 
Africa, and therefore boughc at Mocha to be carried to 

India j. 


India, where it all at laft centers. If the wakea of Abyffi- 
nian gold fells at 16 patakas, the Sennaar gold fells at the 
fame place for 22 patakas. The ivory fells at i\ oz. * per 
rotol at Cairo, which is about 25 per cent lighter than the 
rotol of Mocha. Men-flaves, at a medium, may be about 
a wakea per head at Sennaar. There are women, however, 
who fell for 13 or 14 wakeas. What their peculiar excel- 
lencies may be, which fo far alters the price,! cannot tell, on- 
ly they are preferred by rich people, both Turks and Moors, 
to the Arab, Circaffian, and Georgian women, during the 
warm months in fummer. 


The Daveina Arabs, who are great hunters, carry the 
ivory to Abyflinia, where they are not in fear. But no ca- 
ravan comes now from Sudan f to Sennaar, nor from Abyf- 
linia or Cairo. The violence of the Arabs, and the faithlefs- 
neis of the government of Sennaar, have (hut them up on 
every fide but that of Jidda, whether they go once a- year by 

The wakea of Sennaar, by which they fell gold, civet, 
fcented oils, &c. conlifts of 10 drams; ic of thefe wakeas 
make a rotol. This wakea at Sennaar is accounted the 
fame as that of Mafuah and Cairo. It is equal to 7 drams 
57 grains troy weight. 

1 Rotol 10 Wakeas. 
1 Wakea 10 Drams. 


* Ounce of gold is here meant, 
f Nigritia, 01 the black countries on both fides of the Niger. 


But there is another wakea ufed by the merchants called. 
the Atareys. 

1 Rotol 1 2 Wakeas; 
1 Wakea 12 Drams. 


But this is only ufed for coarfe goods. There is but on 
long meafure in Sennaar, called the Draa, which is the 
peek, or cubit, and is meafured from i the center of the 
elbow-joint to the point of the middle finger. This is 
probably the ancient cubit of Egypt, and of the holy fcrip- 

I have faid, that the 5th and 6th of Auguft it rained, and 
the river brought down great quantities of fragments of 
houfes which it had fwept away from the country to the 
fouthward. It was a very unufual fight to obferve a mul- 
titude of men fwimming in this violent current, and then 
coming afhore riding upon flicks and pieces of timber. 
Many people make a trade of this, as fuel is exceedingly 
fcarce at Sennaar. But there were other figns in this inunda- 
tion, that occupied the imagination of this fuperflitious 
people. Part of the town had fallen, and a hyaena, asalready 
obferved, had come alive acrofs the river, from which the 
wife ones drew melancholy prefages. . 

Ihad not been out of the houfe for two days on account 
of the rain. On the 7th I intended to have gone to Aira ; 
but on the morning was told by Hagi Belal, that Mahomet? 
Abou Kalec had advanced to the river El-aice, to crofs it in- 
to Atbara, and that Shekh Adelan had decamped from Aira, , 
and was gone to meet him ; to this it was added, that Wed 
• a. Ageei> 


Ageeb had been fent to by the king, to collect all his forces 
among the Arabs, and join him between Herbagi and Sen- 
naar. It was forefeen, that if this was true, a revolution of 
fome kind was near at hand, probably the depofing and 
death of the king, and that, in the interim, all fubordinaV 
tion would ceafe in the town, and every man do what feem- 
ed good in his own eyes. 

Hagi Belal had, befides, told me that Shekh Fidele of 
Teawa had been feveral days in the palace with the king, and 
had informed him that I was laden with money, befides a 
quantity of cloth of gold, the richeft he had ever feen, 
which the king of Abyilinia had deflined as a prefent to 
him, but which I had perverted to my own ufe : He add- 
ed, that the king had exprefled himfelf in a very threaten- 
ing manner, and that he was very much afraid I was not 
in fafety if Shekh Adelan was gone from Aira. Upon this 
I deiired Hagi Belal to go to the palace, and obtain for me 
an audience of the king. In vain he reprefented to me the 
rifk I ran by this meafure ; I perlifted in my refolution, I 
was tied to the Hake. To fly was impomble, and I had often 
overcome fuch dangers by braving them. 

He went then unwillingly to the palace. Whether he 
delivered the meffage I know not, but he returned faying, 
the king was bufy, and could not be feen. I had, in the in- 
terim, fent Soliman to the Gindi, or Sid el Coom, telling him 
my difficulties, and the news I had heard. In place of re- 
turning an anfwer, he came directly to me himfelf; and 
was fitting with me when Ragi Belal returned, who, I 
thought, appeared fomewhat difconcerted at the meeting. 
4 He 


He told me the flory of Abou Kalec was falfe, as alfo that of 
Wed Ageeb ; but it was really true that Shekh Adelan had 
left Aira, and was then encamped at Shaddly. He chid Ha- 
gi Belal very fharply, afking him, what good all that tittle 
tattle did either to him or me? and infinuated pretty plainly, 
that he believed Hagi Belal did this in concert with the king, 
to extort fome prefent from me. " What is the difference to 
Yagoube, fays he, if Shekh Adelan be at Aira, three hours 
journey from Sennaar, or at Shaddly, five ? Is not Kittou 
in town ? and ihall not I bring every Have of the king to 
join him upon the firft requifition ? At a time like this, will 
you perfuade me, Hagi Belal, the king is not rather think- 
ing of his ownfafety than of robbing Yagoube ? I do notwifh 
that Yagoube mould ftay a minute longer at Sennaar ; bur, 
till fome way be found to get neceflaries for his journey, it 
is not in the king's power to hurt him in the houfe where 
he is ; and he is much fafer in Sennaar than he could be 
any where out of it. Before the king attempts to hurt Ya- 
goube, as long as he flays in Adelan's houfe, he will think 
twice of it, while any of the three brothers are alive. But I 
will fpeak to Kittou in the evening, and the king too, if I 
have an opportunity. In the mean time, do you, Yagoube, 
put your mind at reft, defend yourfelf if any body attempts 
to enter this houfe, and do what you will to thofe that mall 
force themfelves into it." I then attended him down flairs, 
with many profeflions of gratitude ; and at the door he faid, 
in a very low voice, to me, " Take care of yon Belal, he is 
a dog, worfe than a Chriftian." 

I resolved at all events to leave Sennaar, bin I had not 

yet founded Hagi Belal as to money-aifaiis. It was now 

Vol. IV. 3 Q^ the 



the 20th ; and, for feveral days fince Adelaa's departure, no 
provifions were fent to my houfe, as before was ufual. 
Money therefore became abfolutely necefTary, not only for 
daily fubfiilence, but for camels to carry our baggage, pro- 
vifions, and water, acrofs the defert. 

I now defpaired abfolutely of amilance of any kind 
from the king ; and an accident that happened made me 
lay all thoughts afide of ever troubling him more upon 
the fubject. There are at Mecca a number of black eunuchs, 
whofe fervices are dedicated to that temple, and the fepul- 
chre at Medina. Part of thefe, from time to time, procure 
liberty to return on a vifit to their refpective homes, or to 
the large cities they were fold from, on the Niger, Bornou, 
Tocrur, and Tombucto, where they beg donations for the 
holy places, and frequently collect large funis of gold, which 
abounds in thefe towns and territories. One of thefe, 
called Mahomet Towafh, which figniiies Eunuch, had 
returned from a begging voyage in Sudan, or Nigritia, 
and was at Sennaar exceedingly ill with an intermitting fe- 
ver. The king had fent for me to vifit him, and the bark 
in a few days had perfectly recovered him. A proportional 
degree of gratitude had, in return, taken place in the breaft 
of Mahomet, who, going to Cairo, was exceedingly defirous 
of taking me with him, and this defire was increafed when 
he heard I had letters from the fherriffe of Mecca, and was 
acquainted with Metical Aga, who was his immediate 

Nothing could be more fortunate than this rencounter 
at fuch a time, for he had fpare camels in great plenty, 
and the Arabs, as he pafled them, continued giving him 



more, and fupported him with provifions wherever he went, 
for thefe people, being accounted facred, and regarded with 
a certain religious awe, as being in the immediate fervice of 
their prophet, till now ufed to pafs inviolate wherever they 
were going, however unfettled the times, or however flen- 
derly attended. 

Every thing was now ready, my inftruments and bag- 
gage packed up, and the 25th of Auguft fixed when we 
mould begin our journey for Atbara. Mahomet, who paf£ 
ed a great part of his time at my houfe, had not been feen 
by us for feveral days, which we did not think extraordi- 
nary, being bufy ourfelves, and knowing that his trade de- 
manded continual attendance on the great people ; but we 
were exceedingly furprifed at hearing from my black Soli- 
man, that he and all hjis equipage had fet out the night of 
the 20th for Atbara. This we found afterwards was at the 
earneft perfuafion of the king, and was at that time a hea- 
vy difappointment to us, however fortunate it turned out 

The night of the 25th, which was to have been that of 
our departure, we fat late in my room up Hairs, in the back, 
or moft private part of the houfe. My little company was 
holding with me a melancholy council on what had fo 
recently happened, and, in general, upon the unpromifing 
face of our affairs. Our fmgle lamp was burning very low, 
and fuggefted to us that it was the hour of ileep, to which, 
however, none of us were very much inclined. Georgis, 
a Greek, who, on account of the forenefs of his eyes had 
flaid below in the dark, and had fallen afleep, came run- 
ning up flairs in a great fright, and told us he had been 

3 Q^2 wakened 


wakened by the noife of men endeavouring to force open 
the door ; that he hearkened a little, and found there were 
many of them. Our arms were all ready, and we match- 
ed them up and ran towards the door ; but I flopt, 
and planted them upon the firft landing-place in the flair- 
cafe, as I wifhed not to fire till the enemy was fairly in the 
houfe, that no excufe might remain for this their violation 
of hofpitality. 

I stationed Ifmael at the outer door of the houfe, intend- 
ing that he mould fire firft, as it would be lefs odious in 
him, being a lurk and a flierriffe, than for us Chriftians* 
I then went out to the outer gate, and Soliman with me. 
The entry into the yard was through a kind of porters 
lodge, where fervants ufed to fit in the day-time, and ileep at 
night. It had a door from the ftreet, and then another into 
the yard, the latter fmall, but very flrong. They had forced 
the outer gate, and were then in the lodge, endeavouring 
to do the, fame by the inner, having put a handfpike under 
it to lift it up from the hinges. " Are you not madmen, 
faid I, and weary of your lives, to attempt to force Adelan's 
houfe, when there are within it men abundantly provided 
with large fire-arms, that, upon one difcharge through the 
door, will lay you all dead where you now ftand ?" " Stand 
by from the door, cries Ifmael, and let me fire. Thefe 
black Kafrs don't yet know what my blunderbufs is." They 
had been filent from the time 1 had fpoken, and had with- 
drawn the handfpike from under the door. " Ullah! Ullah* 
cries one of them foftly, how found you fieep ! we have 
been endeavouring to waken you this hour. The king is 
ill; tell Yagoube to come to the palace, and open the door 
infiantly." " Tell the king, faid I, to drink warm water, 




and I will fee him in the morning," Ah ! Mahomet, cries 
Soliman, is'that you? I thought you had had a narrow enough 
efcape in the palace the other day, but flay a little, a fer- 
vant is gone over the back wall to call the Gindi, and we 
are here numerous enough to defend this houfe till morning 
againfl all the fervants the king has, fo do not attempt to 
break the door, and Yagoube will go to the king with the 

At this time one of my fervants fired a piflol in the air 
out of an upper window, upon which they all ran off. They 
feemed to be about ten or twelve in number, and left three 
handfpikes behind them. The noife of the piitol brought 
the guard, or patrole, in about half an hour, who carried 
intelligence to the Sid el Coom, our friend, by whom I was 
informed in the morning, that he had found them all out, 
and put them in irons ; that Mahomet, the king's fervant, 
who met us at Teawa, was one of them ; and that there 
was no poflibility now of concealing this from Adelan, who 
would order him to be impaled. 

Things were now come to fuch a crifis that I was de- 
termined to leave my inllruments and papers with Kittou, 
Adelan's brother, or with the Sid el Coom, while I went to 
Shaddly to fee Adelan. But firft I thought it neceflary to 
apply to Hagi Bela.1 to try what funds we could raiie to 
provide the neceflaries for our journey. I mewed him the 
letter of Ibrahim, the Engliih broker of Jidda, of which 
b-rore he had received a copy and repeated advices, and 
told him I mould want 200 iequms at leait, for my camels 
and p"ovi(ions, as well as for fome prefehts that 1 mould 
have occafion for, to make my way to the great men in At- 




bara. Never was furprife better counterfeited than by this 
man. He held up his hands in the utmofl aftonifhment, 
repeating, 200 fequins ! over twenty times, and afked me if I 
thought money grew upon trees at Sennaar, that it was 
with the utmoft difficulty he could fpare me 20 dollars, 
part of which he mull borrow from a friend. 

This was a ftroke that feemed to infure our deftrucTrion 
no other refource being now left. We were already indebted 
to Hagi Belal twenty dollars for provifion ; we had feven 
mouths to feed daily ; and as we had neither meat, money, 
nor credit, to continue at Sennaar was impoffible. We had 
feen, a few nights before, that no houfe could protect us 
there ; and to leave Sennaar was, in our fituation, as impof- 
fible as to flay there. We had neither camels to carry our 
provilions and baggage, nor fkins for our water, nor, in- 
deed, any provifions to carry, nor money to fupply us with 
any of thefe, nor knew any perfon that could give us aflift- 
ance nearer than Cairo, from which we were then diftant a- 
bout 1 7 of the meridian, or above 1 000 m iles in a ftraight line ; 
greatpart of whichwasthro'themoft barren, unhofpitablede- 
ferts in the world, deftitute of all vegetation, andof every ani- 
mal that had the breath of life. Hagi Belal was inflexible; 
he began now to be weary of us, to fee us but feldom, and 
there was great appearance of his foon withdrawing himfelf 

My fervants began to murmur; fome of them had known 
of my gold chain from the beginning, and thefe, in the 
common danger, imparted what they knew to the reft. In 
fliort, I refolvcd, though very unwillingly, not to facrince 
my own life and that of my fervants, and the finiihing my 
3 travels 


travels now fo far advanced, to childifh vanity. I determi- 
ned therefore to abandon my gold chain, the honourable re- 
compence of a day full of fatigue and danger. Whom to in- 
truft it to was the next confide ration; and, upon mature de- 
liberation, I found it could be to nobody but Hagi Belal, bad 
as I had reafon to think he was. However, to put a check 
upon him, I fent for the Sid el Goom, in whofe prefence I 
repeated my accufation againfl Belal ; I read the SerafPs let- 
ter in my favour, and the feveral letters that Belal had writ- 
ten me whilit 1 was at Gondar, declaring his acceptance of 
the order to furniih me with money when I mould arrive at 
Sennaar ; and I upbraided him in the ftrongefl terms with 
duplicity and breach of faith. 

But all that I could fay was very far fhort of the violent 
expostulation from the Gindi that immediately followed. 
He gave Hagi Belal many not obfeure hints, " that he looked 
upon this injury as done to himfelf, and would repay him ;. 
that though he had done this to pleafe the king, the time 
might not be far off when that favour would be of very 
little ufe to him ; on the contrary, might be a reafon for 
flopping him of all he had in the world." The force of 
thefe arguments feemed to flrike Hagi Belal's imagination 
very powerfully. He even offered to advance 50 ieqnins, 
and to fee if he could raife anymore among his friends. 
The Gindi (a rare inflance in that country) offered to lend 
him fifty. But the dye was now call, the chain had been 
produced and feen, and it was become exceedingly danger- 
ous to carry fuch a quantity of gold in any fhape along 
with me. I therefore confented to fell it to Hagi Belal in 
prefence of the Gindi, and we immediately fet about the 
purchafe of neceffaries, with this provifo, that if Adelan, 



upon my going to Shaddly, did furniih me with camels and 
necefTaries, fo much of the chain mould be returned. 

It was the 5th of September that we were all prepared to 
leave this capital of Nubia, an inhofpitable country from 
the beginning, and which, every day we continued in it, 
had engaged us in greater difficulties and dangers. We 
nattered ourfelves, that, once difengaged from this bad flep, 
the greatefl part of our fufferings was over ; for we appre- 
hended nothing but from men, and, with very great reafon, 
thought we had feen the worH of them. 

In the evening I received a mefTage from the king to 
come directly to the palace. I accordingly obeyed, taking 
two fervants along with me, and found him fitting in a 
little, low chamber, very neatly fitted up with chintz, or 
printed callico curtains, of a very gay and glaring pattern. 
He was fmoaking with a very long Perfian pipe through 
water, was alone, and feemed rather grave than in ill-hu- 
mour. He gave me his hand to kifs as ufual, and, after 
paufing a moment without fpeaking, (during which I was 
Handing before him) a flave brought me a little flool and 
fet it down juft oppofite to him ; upon which he faid, in a 
low voice, fo that I could fcarcely hear him, " Fudda, fit 
down," pointing to the flool. I fat down accordingly. 
" You are going, I hear, fays he, to Adelan." I anfwered, 
" Yes." 4t Did he fend for you ?" I faid, " No ; but, as I 
warned to return to Egypt, I expected letters from him in 
anfwer to thofe . brought from Cairo." He told me, Aii 
Bey that wrote thefe letters was dead ; and afkecl me if I 
knew Mahomet Abou Dahab ? Tagoube. "Perfectly ; I was well 
acquainted with him and the other members of govern- 



ment, all of whom treated me well, and refpected my na- 
tion." King, " You are not fo gay as when you firlt at* 
rived here." Ta. " I have had no very great reafon." Our 
converfation was now taking a very laconic and ferious 
turn, but he did not feem to underftand the meaning of 
what I faid laft. K. " Adelan has fent for you by my defire ; 
Wed Abroff and all the Jehaina Arabs have rebelled, and 
will pay no tribute. They fay you have a quantity of power- 
ful fire-arms with you that will kill twenty or thirty men 
at a {hot." Ta. " Say fifty or iixty, if it hits them." K. " He 
is therefore to employ you with your guns to punifh rhofe 
Arabs, and fpoil them of their camels, part of which he will 
give to you." I prefently underftood what he meant, and 
only anfwered, " I am a ftranger here, and delire to hurt 
no man. My arms are for my own defence againft robbery 
and violence." At this inftant the Turk, Hagi Ifmael, cried 
from without the door, in broken Arabic, " Why did not 
you tell thofe black Kafirs, you fent to rob and murder us 
the other night, to flay a little longer, and you would have 
been better able to judge what our fire-arms can do, with- 
out fending for us either to Abroff or Adelan. By the head 
of the prophet! let them come in the day-time, and I will 
fight ten of the bell you have in Sennaar." 

K. " The man is mad, but he brings me to fpeak of what 
■was in my head when I deiired to fee you. Adelan has 
been informed that Mahomet, my fervant, who brought 
you from Teawa, has been guilty of a drunken frolic at 
the door of his houfe, and has fent foldiers to take him to- 
day, with two or three others of his companions." Ta. " I 
'know nothing about Mahomet, nor do I drink with him, 
Vol. IV. 3 R or 


or give him drink. About half a fcore of people broke in- 
to Adelan's houfe in the night, with a view to rob and mur- 
der us, but I was not at the pains to fire at fuch wretches 
as thefe. Two or three fervants with flicks were all that 
were needful. I underfland, indeed, that Shekh Adelan is 
exceedingly difpleafed that I did not fire at them, and has 
fent to the Gindi, ordering him to deliver two of them to 
him to-morrow to be executed publicly before the door 
of his houfe on the market-day. But this, you know, is 
among yourfelves. I am very well pleafed none of them 
are dead, as they might have been, by my hands or thofe 
of my people." K. " True ; but Adelan is not king, and I 
charge you when you fee him to afk for Mahomet's life, 
or a confiderable deal of blame will fall upon you. When 
you return back, I will fend him to conduct you to the 
frontiers of Egypt." Upon this I bowed, and took my 
leave. I went home perfectly determined what I was to 
do. I had now obtained from the king an involuntary 
fafe-guard till I mould arrive at Adelan's, that is, I was fine 
that, in hopes 1 might procure a reprieve for Mahomet, no 
trap would be laid for me on the road. I determined there- 
fore to make the beft ufe of my time; and every thing be- 
ing ready, we loaded the camels, and fent them forward 
that night to a fmall village called Soliman, three or four 
miles from Sennaar ; and having fettled my accounts with 
Hagi Belal, I received back fix links, the miferable re- 
mains of one hundred and eighty-four, of which my noble 
chain once conlifted. 

This traitor kept me the few lafl minutes to write a let- 
ter to the Englifh at Jidda, to recommend him for the fer- 



vice he had done me at Sennaar ; and this I complied 
with, that I might inform the broker Ibrahim that I had 
received no money from his correfpondent, and give him 
a caution never again to truft Hagi Belal in fimilar cir- 

gfe *a 

3R2 CHAP. 




Journey from Sennaar to Chendi,, i 

FTER leaving Sennaar I was overtaken on the road By. 
a black Have, who at firft gave me fome apprehen- 
sion, as I was alone with only one Barbarian, a Nubian fer- 
vant, by the fide of my camel, and was going llowly. Up- 
on inquiry I found him to be fent from Hagi Belal, with- 
a bafket containing fome green tea and fugar, and four bot- 
tles of rack, in return for my letter. I fent back the me£- 
fenger, and gave the care of the bafket to my own fervant;; 
and, about ten o'clock in the evening of the 5th of Septem- 
ber, we all met together joyfully at Soliman. 

Before my departure from Sennaar I had prevailed om 
a Eakir, or Mahometan monk, fervant-to Adelan, to write ai 



letter to his mafter, unknown to any other perfon what- 
ever, to let him know my apprehenfions of the king, and 
chat, in the uncertainty how far his occupations might o- 
blige him to move from Shaddly, my way was directly for 
Herbagi, and requefling that he would give me fuch re- 
commendations to Wed Ageeb as mould put me in fafety 
from the king's perfecution, and infure me protection and 
good reception in Atbara. I begged him, in the moll feri- 
ous manner, to confider, however nightly he had thought 
of the king of Abyffinia's recommendatory letters, he would 
not treat thofe of the regency of Cairo, and of the fherrifTe 
of Mecca, in the fame manner ; tharmy nation was highly 
refpected in both places ; and that it was known, by letters 
written from Sennaar, that I actually was arrived there;. 
that they mould take care therefore, and not by ill-ufage of 
me expofe their merchants, either at Mecca or Cairo, to a 
fevere retaliation that would immediately follow the re- 
ceiving bad news of me, or no news at all. My faithful 
^oliman, who was now to leave me, was charged to carry 
the anfwers they fhould choofe to return to the letters I 
brought fromAbymnia, and I fen t him that very night, to- 
gether with the Fakir, to Adelan at Shaddly, fully inftructed 
with every particular of ill-ufage I had received from the 
king, of which he had been an eye-witnefs. 

Although my fervants, as well as Hagi Belal, and every 
©ne at Sennaar but the Fakir and Soliman, did imagine I 
was going to Shaddly, yet their own fears, or rather good 
fenfe, had convinced them that it was better to proceed at 
once for Atbara than ever again to be entangled between 
Adelan and the king. Sennaar fat heavy upon all their 
i$>irits,,fo that 1 had fcarce difmounted from my camel^ 



and before I tailed food, which that day I had hot done, 
when they all intreated me with one voice that I would 
confider the dangers I had efcaped, and, inftead of turning 
weflward to Shaddly, continue north through Atbara. 
They promifed to bear fatigue and hunger chearfully, and 
to live and die with me, provided I would proceed home- 
ward, and free them from the horrors of Sennaar and its 
king. I did not feem to be convinced by what they faid, 
but ordered fupper, to which we all fat down in company. 
As we had lemons enough, and Hagi Belal had furnilhed 
us with fugar, we opened a bottle of his rack and in 
punch (the liquor of our country) drank to a happy return 
thro' Atbara. I then told them my refolution was perfect- 
ly conformable to their wiihes ; and informed them of the 
meafures I had taken to infure fuccefs and remove danger 
as much as poflible. I recommended diligence, fobriety, 
and fubordination, as the only means of arriving 'happily 
at the end propofed ; and allured them all we fhould fliare 
one common fare, and one common fortune, till our jour- 
ney was terminated by good or bad fuccefs. Never was 
any difcourfe more gratefully received ; every toil was wel- 
come in flying from Sennaar, and they already began to 
think themfelves at the gates of Cairo. 

As I had recommended great diligence and little fleep, 
before four in the morning the camels were loaded, and on 
their way, and it was then only they came to awake me. 
The camels were abundantly loaded, and we had then but 
five, four of which carried all the baggage, the other, a 
fmaller one, was referved for my riding. This I told them 
I willingly accepted at the beginning of the journey, and 
we mould all of us take our turn, while water and provi- 
3 fions 


fions were to be procured, and that Ifmael the Turk, an old 
man, and Georgis the Greek, almoft blind, required an ad- 
ditional confideration, fo long as it poffibly could be done 
with fafety to us all ; but, when we ihould advance to the 
borders of the defert, we muft all refolve to pafs that jour- 
ney on foot, as upon the quantity of water, and the quan- 
tity of provifions alone, to be carried by us, could depend 
our hopes of ever feeing home. 

On the 8th of September we left the village of Soliman r 
and about three o'clock in the afternoon came to Wed el 
Tumbel, which is not a river, as the name would feem to 
fignify, but three villages fituated upon a pool of water, 
nearly in a line from north to fouth. The intermediate 
country between this and Herbagi is covered with great 
crops of dora. The plain extends as far as the light reach- 
es. Though there is not much wood, the country is not 
entirely deftitute of it, and the farther you go from Sen- 
mar the finer the trees. At Wed el Tumbel there is great 
plenty of ebony-buflies, and a particular fort of thorn which 
feems to be a fpecies of dwarf acacia, with very fmall 
leaves, and long pods of a flrong faccharine tafte. This is 
here in great abundance, and is called Lauts, or Loto, which 
I fufpect to be the tree on whofe fruit, we are told, the an- 
cient Libyans fed. At a quarter pall three we left Wed el 
Tumbel, and entered into a thick wood, in which we tra^ 
veiled till late, when we came to the Nile. We continued 
along the river for about 500 yards, and alighted at Sit el 
Bet, a fmall village about a mile's diflance from the ftream. 
Here we faw the tomb of a Shekh, or faint, built of brick 
in a conical form, much after the fame figure as fome we 
had ieen in Barbary, which were of ftone. 



On the 12th, at ten minutes pall fix we fet out fromiSit 
el Bet, and a few minutes after came to a village called A^ 
geda, and five miles further to another, whofe name is U- 
fheta. At half pad nine we pafled a third village, and at 
half after eleven encamped near a pool of water, called Wed 
Hydar, or the River of the Lion. All the way from Wed 
el Tumbel to this village we were much tormented with 
the fly, the very noife of which put our camels in fuch a 
fright that they ran violently into the thickeft trees and 
bu(hes, endeavouring to brufh off their loads. Thefe flies 
-do not bite at night, nor in the cool of the morning. We 
were freed from this difagreeable companion at Wed Hydar, 
and were troubled with it no more. 

At four o'clock we again fet out through an extenfive 
plain, quite deftiiute of wood, and all fown with dora, and 
about five miles further we encamped at a place named 
Shwyb, where there is a Shekh called Welled Abou HafiTan. 
While at Abou Haflan, we were furprifed with a violent 
ftorm of rain and wind, accompanied with great flafhes of 
lightning. This ftorm being blown over, we proceeded to 
a village called Imfurt. At one mile and a half further we 
joined the river. The Nile here is in extreme beauty, and 
winds confiderably; it is broader than at Sennaar, the banks 
flat, and quite covered with acacia and other trees in full 
bloom. The thick parts of this wood were ftored with 
great numbers of antelopes, while the open places were co- 
vered v/ith large flocks of cattle belonging to the Arabs 
Refaa, who were returning from the fands to their paftures 
to the fouthward. Large flocks of ftorks, cranes, and a va- 
riety of other birds, were fcattered throughout the plain^ 
2 v which 


which was overgrown with fine grafs, and which even the 
multitude of cattle that thronged upon it feeraed not ca- 
pable of confuming. At three quarters pall fix in the even- 
ing we came to a large village called Wed Medinai, clofe 
upon the fide of the river, which here having made a large 
turn, comes again from the S. E. This town or village be- 
longs to a Fakir, who received us very hofpitably. 

On the 14th, at fix in the morning we fet out from Wed 
Medinai in a direction N. W. and at three quarters pail eight 
arrived at the village Beroule. We then entered a thick 
wood, and thence into a very extenfive and cultivated plain, 
fown with dora and bammia ; a plant which makes a prin- 
cipal article in their food all over the fouthern part of the 
kingdom of Sennaar, which is defcribed, and the figure of 
it published, by Profper Alpinus*. At a quarter paft eleven 
we arrived at Azazo, about a mile and a half diftant from 
the Nile. The corn feemed here much more forward than 
that at Sennaar, and in feveral places it was in the ear. It 
rained copioufly in the. night of the 14th, but before this 
there had been a very dry feafon, and very great fcarcity 
the preceding year. At ten minutes pall four in the after- 
noon we left Azazo, our journey, like that of the day be- 
fore, partly through thick woods, and partly through plains 
fown with dora. Our direction was nearly north, and the 
river about two miles and a half diflant, nearly parallel to 
the road we went. At fix we came to a fmall village called 
Sidi Ali el Genowi. 

Vol. IV, * S On 

Vid. Profper Alpin. cap. 27. page 44. torn, 2. 



On the 16th, at half pail fix in the morning we left Sidl 
Ali el Genowi, and a few minutes after pailed two vil- 
lages on our left along the river fide, not fifty yards from 
the water, after which we went through the village of El 
Menfy. The next to this were two tombs of Fakirs, nothing 
different from the former ones. At a quarter pail ten we 
arrived at Herbagi, a large and pleafant village, but thinly in- 
habited, placed on a dry, gravelly foil. The people told us,, 
that the greatefl part of thetownfmen were at fome diflance 
looking after their farms. Herbagi is the feat of Wed 
Ageeb, hereditary prince of the Arabs, now fubjecl: to the 
government of Sennaar, whofe lieutenant he is according 
to treaty. He raifes the tribute, and pays it to the Mek, 
or his miniilers, from all thofe Arabs that live in the diftant 
parts of the kingdom, as far as the Red Sea, who do not 
pafs by Sennaar to the fands, in the feafon of the fly ; for 
thefe, as I have mentioned, are taxed by the chief minifter, 
or the perfon who hath the command of the troops of that 
capital. The revenue arifing from this is very large, and 
more than all the reft put together. The Refaa, one tribe 
of Arabs who had compounded at this time with Shekh 
x^delan, were faid to ponefs 200,000 fhe-camels, everyone 
of which, at a medium, was worth half an ounce of gold, 
each ounce being about ten crowns* The tribute then which 
that Arab paid was 100,000 ounces of gold, or i,ooo,ooodollars 
or 250,0001. There were at leaftten of thefe tribes with which: 
Adelan was to account, and at leaft fix times that number 
that fell to the fliare of Wed Ageeb, whofe- compofition is the 
fame as that paid to Sennaar, befides whatever extraordinary 
Aim he impofes for himfelf. There is alfo a tax upon the 
male camels ; but this is fmall in comparifon of the others^, 
and the young ones pay no duty, till tliey are three years old 9 „ 



Camels flelh is the ordinary food of the Arabs ; but 
there is Hill room to inquire what becomes of the prodigi* 
ous numbers of this animal annually confumed. The ca- 
ravan of Mecca requires a large fupply, and vail num- 
bers are employed in the fervice of Damafcus, of Sy- 
ria and Perfia, and efpecially of Sudan, whofe caravans 
traverfe Africa from eaft to well with Indian commodi- 
ties, which they carry from the Arabian Gulf to the At- 
lantic Ocean. Thefe, and this vail inland trade of which 
they were mafters, the gold, ivory, pearls, and tortoife 
fhells, that ferved for returns to India, were the fource of 
the riches and power of thofe Shepherds, of which fo 
many things are recorded in ancient hiftory almoll exceed- 
ing -belief. 

Immediately upon entering Herbagi, I went to wait 
upon Wed Ageeb. He had a very good houfe, confidered 
as fuch, though but a very indifferent palace for a prince. 
He feemed to be a man of very gentle manners ; was about 30 
years of age ; had a thick black beard and whiikers, large 
black eyes, and a long thin face, which marked his conili- 
tution not to be a llrong one. We found, indeed, after- 
wards, that he had been very much addicted to drinking, 
which he had often endeavoured in vain to leave off, by 
fubftituting opium in its place. He had never before feen 
an European, and tefdfied great furprife at my complexior* 
He fent us abundance of provifions, two fheep and two 
goats, and begged! would give him advice about his health 
in the evening. He inquired very particularly about my 
reception at Sennaar, which I told him only in part, and, 
among other circumilances, the report at Sennaar, that he 
was gathering his forces to the afliilance of the king againli 

3 S 2 Adelaa 


Adelan and Abou Kalec. He anfwered with a fneer, u Ge- 
hennim el Kafr, i. e. The Pagan may go to hell. He fpoke con- 
temptuoufly of the king of Sennaar, but very refpectfully 
of Adelan and Abou Kalec, any one of whofe little fingers, 
he faid, was fufficient to crufh the Mek, and all who ad- 
hered to him. I then took my leave, and went home to 

On the 17th, at noon, I obferved the meridian altitude of 
the fun, and found the latitude of the place to be i4°3o / N. 
but this obfervation was made with Hadley's quadrant, that 
I might fave time, being willing to advance to as great a, 
diftance as poffible from Sennaar, fo there may be perhaps 
a minute of error, and more there ought not to be, as it 
was confirmed by feveral obfervations at night. The in- 
itrument, infpected and rectified by day light, was exami- 
ned, and 1 found it to be without alteration before ufing it 
at night. 

About eight o'clock in the evening T went to fee Wed 
Ageeb, who had fupped, and was drinking forbet made of 
tamarinds, I believe rather to fweeten his breath than from 
third, for he had apparently drunk of flronger liquor be- 
fore he took the forbet. He told me that afervantof Adelan 
was arrived that evening from the camp, who had brought 
him a letter andmeffages on my account, and bade me 
be of good courage, for I mould be fafer in my tent than 
in Adelan's houfe at Sennaar ; that two men had been exe- 
cuted for attempting to rob Adelan's houfe ; and that Ma- 
homet, the king's fervant, was deflined to fuffer upon a 
flake, as foon as ever Adelan ihould move at a greater dif- 
1 tance 


tance from Shekh Shaddly's tomb, where fuch executions 
could not be performed with decency. 

I made him a fmall prefent of fine muflin, which I had 
bought at Sennaar; and, in the courfe of converfation, he told 
me that the Moorifh troops from Ras el Feel had burnt Tea- 
wa ; that the Daveina were with them, and had plundered 
the Jehaina, and forced Fidele to fly to Beyla. I afked if 
any Ghriflian troops were among them? fufpecting much 
Ayto Engedan and Ayto Confu. He faid there were none 
but the Moors of Ras el Feel, the Ganjar horfe of Kuara, 
and the Arabs Daveina. As I did not wiih to be known in 
this matter, I puffied my inquiries no further ; I allied him 
to provide me with one of his men for fear of the Shukorea 
Arabs, with which he complied, adding, that he was him- 
felf going out to the Shukorea, and would fend a man to 
Halfaia, where I was to confider,and acquaint him, whether 
I was to pafs the Nile at Gerri, and go by the defert of Ba- 
hiouda and Dongola, or by the more unfrequented way of 
Chendi, Barbar, and the great defert, the fatigues and dan- 
gers of which he thought it impoflible for a European to 
fuffer, but would give me a letter to Sittina his filter, to 
whom that country belonged. After Chendi, he allured me 
there was no protection to be relied upon but that of 
Heaven. This fenfible difcourfe was of great fervice to 
me, as it fet me all the reft of the journey upon the in- 
quiry as to the proper fteps for performing this dangerous 

On the 18th, at feven o'clock I left Herbagi, after wri- 
ting a letter to Adelan, thanking him for his punctuality 
and care of me, and giving the fervant that had come on 



the errand a fmall prefent. He told me it would he ten 
days before he returned to the camp ; with which laft in- 
telligence I was very well pleafed, as thereby no informa- 
tion could arrive where I was, till I was forgot, or out of 
their power. At ten minutes pall eleven we arrived at Wed 
el Frook, a fmall village clofe upon the Nile. Nothing 
could be more beautiful than the country we palled that 
day, partly covered with very pleafant woods, and partly in 
lawns, with a few fine Scattered trees. The Nile is a fhort 
quarter of a mile from the village, and is fully half a mile 
broad. It runs fmooth, and when in inundation, overflows 
the fmall fpace of ground between its prefent banks and 
Wed el Frook. It was now conliderably lower than it had 
been, and was confined within its banks. 

On the 19th we fet out from Wed el Frook at half paft five 
in the morning, and about four miles from it came to a 
large village, and the tomb of a Fakir, the Nile running all 
the way parallel to our road. At ten o'clock we came to 
another village called Abouafcar ; and a little way eaft of 
it, in the river, there is a large iHand conliderably above the 
water, where fhrubs and grafs grow abundantly. The vil- 
lage is placed upon a fmall hill, and there are a great many 
of the fame fize and ihape fcattered about the country on 
the banks of the river, which add greatly to the beauty of 
it, as we had not yet feen fuch fince our leaving Sennaar. 
At three quarters paft one we came to the village of Kamily. 
The country here is more open, the foil lighter, the grafs 
fhort and thin ; it is all laid out in pafture, and there is 
here plenty of goats, as well as black cattle. This day we 
met a caravan from Egypt, laft from Chendi, who brought 
us word that AH Bey was depofed, and Mahomet Abou 
4 Dahab 


Dahab was made Bey in his place. They faid, one part of 
the ca: avan, that went before them, had been attacked 
and cut off by the Biihareen under Abou Bertran ; that they 
had efcaped by a few hours only, and that all the road was 
fo infeiled with robbers, that it was a miracle if any one 
could pafs. 

On the 20th we left Kamily at a quarter pafl five in the 
morning,andat aboutfix miles (the diltance betweenthat and 
Wed Tyrab) we paiTed a bare and fandy country, interfper- 
fed with fmall coppices, and three quarters pail ten came 
to Bifhaggara* This is a large village, fomething above 
a mile's diftance from the Nile, which fpace is entirely ta- 
ken up with brufhwood, without any timber trees. We 
begin now to fee the effects of the quantity of rain having 
failed. There was little fown, and that fo late as to be 
fcarcely above the ground. It feems the rains begin later 
as they pafs northward. Many people were here employed 
in gathering grafs feeds* to make a very bad kind of 
bread. Thefe people appear perfect fkeletons, and no won* 
der, as they live upon fuch fare. Nothing increafes the 
danger of travelling, and prejudice againft flrangers, more 
than the fcarcity of provifions in the country through which, 
you are to pafs. - 

At fifty minutes pafl tliree in the afternoon we left Bi» 
fhaggara, and at feven came to Eltie, a flraggling village, 
about half a mile from the Nile, in the north of a large, 
bare plain, all paflure, except the banks of the river, which 


* We had feen this pra&ifed too by the Ago-ws at the fource of the Nile 


are covered with wood. We now no longer faw any corn 
fown : The people here were at the fame miferable employ- 
ment as thofe we had feen before, that of gathering grafs- 
feeds ; yet, though ftarving, they brought us plenty of 
milk, in exchange for tobacco, a commodity very much in 
requeft in thefe parts. At half pall ten we arrived at Gi- 
did ; the houfes were built of clay, with terrafled roofs : on 
our way we palled through feveral little cantonments of 
Nuba. All this country is fand, interfperfed with thick cop- 
pices and acacia-trees that feemed not to thrive. On the b- 
ther fide are large, dead, fandy plains, but both iides of the 
river are covered with wood. The ferry over t the Nile is 
here from the well to the eaft. The country about Gidid, 
efpecially to the weftward, is very bare and barren, and 
fcarcely produces any thing faving grafs and bent, of which 
the poor people ufe the feed for bread. This is the cafe all 
to the weftward of El-aice ; and the country here, for want 
of rain, is fall dwindling into a defert, and the foil, is chan- 
ged to fand. There is no corn, though, from the vicinity 
of two large rivers, it produces grafs enough for cattle, 
fhecp, and goats, and there is as yet plenty of milk i but as the fun mines conftantly, no herbage will remain 
that can be food for any other cattle but goats, and at lalt 
the whole becomes a perfect defert, capable of nourifhing 
nothing but antelopes and oftriches. 

On the 21ft, at feven in the morning we left Gidid, and 
near three miles further we came to the pafTage, and def- 
cended a long way with the current before we landed. The 
manner they pafs the camels at this ferry is by fattening 
cords under their hind quarters, and then tying a halter to 
their heads. Two men fuftain thefe cords, and a third the 



halter, fo that the camels, by fwimming, carry the boat on 
fhore. One is fattened on each fide of the Hern, and one 
along each fide of the ftem. Thefe ufeful beads fufFer 
much by this rude treatment, and many die in the pafiage, 
with all the care that can be taken, but often through ma- 
lice, or out of revenge. Thefe boatmen privately put fait in 
the camels ears, which makes the animal defperate and un- 
governable, till, by fretting and plunging his headconuantly 
in the water, he lofes his breath, and is drowned ; the boat- 
men then have gained their end, and feaft upon the flefh. 
But the Arabs, when they pafs their camels, ufe a goat's 
fkin, blown with wind like a bladder, which they tie to the 
fore part of the camel, and this fupports him where he is 
heavieft, while the man, fitting behind on his rump, guides 
him, for this animal is a very bad fwimmer, being heavieft 
before. The boats here are larger and better made than 
in any other part on the^river. All between the Nile and 
Halifoon is bare ground, interfperfed with acacia-trees. 
The lofs of a camel is very confiderable, but the price of 
ferrying very moderate ; it is only three mahalacs for 
each camel, with his merchandife and every thing be- 
longing to him. The river is fomething more than a quar- 
ter of a mile broad, but is double that meafure in the 
rainy feafon, the current very violent, and ftrong at all 

Notwithstanding our boatmen had a very bad charac- 
ter at this time, we palled with our camels and baggage 
without lofs or accident. They feemed indeed to mew a 
very indifferent countenance at firft, but good words, and a 
promife of recompence, prefently rendered them tractable. 
By half paft twelve we were all fafe on the other fide, and 
Vol. IV. 3 T at 


at thirty-five minutes paft three we arrived at Halifoon, 
about five miles from the ferry on the eaft fide of the Nile. 
One mark of the boatmen's attention I cannot but mention :.-. 
The weather was very hot, and we had plenty of time ; the 
water being clear and tempting, I propofed fvvimmingover to 
the other fide for the pleafure of bathing ; but they, one and;' 
all, oppofed my defign with great valence, and would not 
fufFer me to undrefs. They faid there was a multitude of 
crocodiles in the river near that place, and although they 
were not large enough to kill, or carry off a camel, they 
very often wounded them, and it would be a wonder if 
we pailed without feeing them ; indeed the lafl boat had 
not reached the Ihore before two of them rofe in the mid- 
dle of the ftream. I made what haile I could to get a gun, 
and fired at the largeft, but, as far as I could judge, without 

On the 22d,at three o'clock in the afternoon we left Ha- 
lifoon, and by ten at night came to Halfaia, a large, hand- 
fome, and pleafant town, although built with clay. The 
houfes are terrafied at the tops, their inhabitants being no 
longer afraid of the rains, which have been for fome time 
here very inconfiderable. The Battaheen were encamped 
near Umdoom, a large village on the fide of the river, about 
feven miles from Halifoon. They are a thievifh, pilfering 
fet, and we palled them early in the morning, before it was 
light. The road is very pleafant, through woods of aeacia- 
trees, interfperfed with large fields covered with bentgrafs. 
At Umdoom we found troops of women going to their 
morning occupation, that of gathering feeds to make bread. 



The command of Mahomet Wed Ageeb is very exteniive. 
It reaches from this paffage of the river at Halifoon on the 
fouth, as far as Wed Baal a Nagga on the north, and to the 
eaft as far as the Red Sea, though a great part of thofe Arabs 
have been in rebellion, and have not paid their tax for fome 
years. His command on the weftward of the river reaches 
to Korti, all over the defert of Bahiouda, though lately the 
Beni Gerar,Beni*Faifara,and Cubba-beefh, have expelled the 
ancient Arabs of Bahiouda, who pretend now only to be the 
fubjects of Kordofan. He has alfo the charge of levying the 
tribute of liorfes from Dongola, in which conlifts the great 
Itrength of Sennaar. 

Halfaia is the limit of the rains, and is iituated upon 
a large circular peninfula furrounded by the Nile from S. 
W. to N. W. that is, at all the points of W. It is half a mile, 
or fomething more, from the river. This peninfula con- 
tains all their Town land, and is not watered by the river, 
but by what is raifed from the ftream by wheels turned by 
oxen. Halfaia confifts of about three hundred houfes ; their 
principal gain is from a manufacture of very coarfe cotton 
cloth, called Dimour, which ferves for fmall money through 
all the lower parts of Atbara. There are palm-trees at Hal- 
faia, but they produce no dates. The people here eat cats, 
alfo the river- horfe and the crocodile, both of which are 
in great plenty. Halfaia, by many altitudes of the fun and 
liars, was found to be in lat. 15° 45' 54", and in long. 32'- 
49' 15" eail from the meridian of Greenwich. 

On the 29th, at fix o'clock in the morning we left Hal- 
faia, and continued our journey about 3 miles and a half 
further, when we came to two villages, a fmall one to the 

2 T 2 north 


north and a large one to the weft. The Nile here runs N. 
E. of us. This Wjhole day was fpent in woods of a very plea- 
fant kind ; there were large numbers Of birds of various co- 
lours, but none of them, fo far as I could hear fince we 
left Sennaar, endowed with the gift of fong. Sakies* in the 
plain, all between the Nile and the road, lift the water 
from the ftream, and pour it on the land, in hopes that it 
may produce fome miferable crops of dora ; for the river 
overflows none of this country, and it is very precarioufly 
and fcantily watered with rain. 

In a little time, continuing our journey, we came to 
Shekh Atman's, the tomb of a Fakir on the road. There 
is a high ridge* of mountains on our left, weft of the Nile 
about five miles, and a low ridge on our right, about eight 
miles diftant ; our direction was ftraight north. At half paft 
eight, about five miles further, we came to the village Wed 
Hojila. The river Abiad, which is larger than the Nile, 
joins it there. Still the Nile preferves the name of Bahar 
el Azergue, or the Blue River, which it got at Sennaar. The 
village was once intended to be built at the junction of the 
two rivers, but the Fakir's tomb being on the fide of the 
Nile, the village likewife was placed there. The Abiad is 
a very deep river; it runs dead and with little inclination, 
and preferves its ftream always undiminished, becaufe ri- 
fing in latitudes where there are continual rains, it there- 
fore fufFers not the decreafe the Nile does by the fix months 
dry weather. Our whole journey this day was through 
woods, with large intervals of fandy plains producing no- 
thing except fome few fpots of corn fown in time of the 


.* ' ■ ■ ■ " ■— ■ i ■■ — - ■■ ' —- - ■ ■ ■■ .■■■ _ ...■—■■■ i- ■■ ■■■ ■—■.... -- ■ . ■^i — 

* A machine for raifing water from the Nile, otherwife called the Perfian wheel. 


mowers, while the fun returned over the zenith, but ftill 
looking very poorly. At half pall twelve we arrived at 
Suakem, under trees, near a fakia. At four o'clock in the 
afternoon we left Suakem, the mountains of Gerri bearing 
N. E. of us, and, five miles further, alighted in a wood near 
the Arabs Abdelab, 

On the 30th, at five o'clock in the morning we left this 
flation, and after having gone eight miles N. E. we came to a 
village, which is, as it were, the fuburb of Gerri. The A- 
caba of Gerri is- a low ridge of rocks that feems firil to run 
from both fides acrofs the bed of the river, as if defigned 
to flop it ; and it is impoflible to look at the gap through 
which it falls down below, without thinking that this paf- 
fage was made by the Nile itfelf when firft it began to flow. 
Gerri is built on a riling ground, confifting of white, barren 
fand and gravel, intermixed with white alabafter like peb- 
bles, which, in a bright fun, are extremely difagreeable 
to the eye. It confifts of about 140 houfes, none of them 
above one florey high, neat, well built, flat-roofed, and all 
of one height, compofed with the fame coloured earth as 
that on which it ftands, and, for this reafon, it is fcarcely 
vifible at a diftance. It is immediately at the foot of the 
Acaba, fomething more than a quarter of a mile from the 
Nile. Gerri is fituated at the end of the tropical rains, in 
lat. 16 15', and the Acaba feems to anfwer thofe mountains 
of Ptolemy, beyond which (that is to the N.) he fays it is 
^iaf/jw.ov jtai a@pa%py %o>y<h *, that is, a country full of fand and 
without rain ; it is but a fmall fpot immediately on the Nile, 
which is all cultivated, as it enjoys the double advantage 
both of the overflowing of the river and the accidental 


* Ptd. Geograph, lib. iv, cap.. 8,- 


fhowers. It is alfo called Beladullah, or the Country of God, 
on account of this double bleffing. The dates of Gerri are 
fent to the Mek, and are referved on purpofe for him. They 
are dry, and never ripen, nor have any of the moid and 
pulpy fubftance of the dates of Barbary. They arc firm 
and fniooth in the fkin, and of a golden colour. 

On the ill: of October, at half pail five in the morning 
we left Gerri, the Acaba continuing on the ead and weft, 
but the two extremities curving like a bow or an amphi- 
theatre. This ridge of mountains is compofed of bare, red 
done, without any grafs. At ten minutes after eight we 
changed our road to N. E. endeavouring to turn the point 
of the Acaba about three miles off, and at ten o'clock alight- 
ed among green trees to feed our camels. At three o'clock 
in the afternoon we left our reding- place in the wood. The 
mountains, which were then on our left hand, are thofe of 
the Acaba of Gerri ; but thofe on the right dill ran parallel 
to our courfe, and ended in the Acaba of Mornefs : we were 
now two miles from the river, its courfe due north. About 
twenty minutes pad four we came to the Acaba of Mornefs, 
a ridge of bare, dony hifls, and half an hour after we palled 
it. There is very little afcent, and the road is only loofe, 
broken Hones, which lalt about a quarter of an hour. 

At fix o'clock in the evening we came to Hajar el AfTad, 
or Hajar Serrareek, the firft fignifying the Lion's Stone, the 
next the Stone of Thieves, a beggarly, draggling village, 
where there is a fakia, and Tmalliiripes of dora, as if fown 
in a garden, and watered from the well at pleafure. Hajar 
-el Affad is the boundary between Wed Ageeb and the Mek 
of Chendi ; it is a yellow done fet upon a rock, which they 
2 imagine 


imagine has the figure of a lion. We now al 
half a mile from the river, in a fmall plain, where ,vas oaij 
one fhepherd with his cot and flock. At fome di .'lance, near 
the river, there was a houfe or two with fakies. September 
is the feed-time in this country. When the Nile is at its 
height, the flat ground along the fide of the water, which 
is about a quarter of a mile broad, is fown with dora, as 
far as water can be conducted in rills to it, but after this 
fhort fpace, the ground rifes immediately ; there rhe har- 
veft-time is in November ; and the feed- time at Sennaar is 
in July, and their harveft in September ; both regulated by 
the height of the Nile at the refpective places. 

On the 2d of October, at half pall: five in the morning we 
left Hajar el AfTad ; for the two laft days paft our journey lay 
through woods and defert, without water or villages ; we 
refted upon the Nile, which foon receded from us. After 
having gone about two miles we faw fome fmall houfcs 
and fakies, with narrow ftripes of corn on both fides of the 
river. About a mile further, we began, inflead of the fandy 
defert, to fee large flratums of purple, red and white mar- 
ble, and alfo alabafter. It feems as if thofe immenfe quar- 
ries, which run into Upper Egypt io° N. from this, flrft take 
their rife here. . This day we journied through woods of 
acacia and jujebs. At twenty minutes paft eight we alight- 
ed in a wood to feed our camels. The fun was fo immo- 
derately hot that we could not travel. The Nile from Ger- 
ri declines almoft infenfibly from the E. of N. The whole 
country is defert and without inhabitants, faving the banks 
of the river ; for there are here no regular rains that can 
be depended upon at any certain time for the purpofe of 
agriculture ; only there fall violent mowers at the time 



the fun is in the zenith, on his progrefs fouthward from 
the tropic of Cancer towards the Line, and the grafs grows 
up very luxuriantly in all the fpots watered by thefe acci- 
dental fhowers ; but all the reft of the country is dry and 
burnt up. 

Near Gerri, a little north, is the large rock Acaba, full 
of caves, the firft habitations of the builders of Meroe. A 
little below it is the ferry over which thofe who go by the 
weft lide of the Nile to Dongola, through the defert of Ba- 
hiouda, muft all pafs. It is five days journey before you 
come to Korti, where travellers arrive the morning of the 
fixth, that is, going at the rate of fifteen miles a-day. Near 
Korti you again meet the Nile, which has taken a very unna- 
tural turn from Magiran, or where it meets the Tacazze from 
An got. The way through this defert, which was that of Pon- 
cet, is now rendered impafTable, as I have already faid, by 
the Beni Faifara, Beni Gerar, and Cubba-beefh Arabs, three 
powerful clans, which come from the weftward near Kor- 
dofan from fear of the black horfe there, and which have 
taken pofTemon of all the wells in that defert, fo that it is 
impomble for travellers to avoid them. The Cubba-beefh 
are fo called, from kebfh*, a fheep, becaufe they wear the 
fkin of that animal for cloathing. They are very numerous, 
and extend far into the great defert Selima and to the frontiers 
of Egypt. Thefe tribes have cut off the lafl three caravans co- 
ming from Dongola and Egypt. This ferry, and the Acaba 
beyond it, belongs to Wed Ageeb ; and here all goods, paff- 
ing to and from Egypt, Dongola, and Chendi, pay a duty, 
3 which 

* Keblh, a fheep j pi. Cubba-beeih, fheep. 


which is not regulated as to its extent, but is levied arbitra- 
rily, according to circumftances of the times, and paid to 
the Shukorea, or other Arabs, who are in the neighbour- 
hood, which happens from February to July. The Mek, or 
prince of the Arabs, paffes them by fair means or force. 
After the rains become confiant, thefe go eaftward to Men- 
dera andGooz, and then the road from Sennaar to Suakem 
through thefe places becoming dangerous on account of 
all the other Arabs afTembling there to avoid the fly, the ca- 
ravan of Suakem is obliged to pafs through Halfaia to Bar- 
bar, and from thence to Suakem, fo that this was the mod 
frequented road in the kingdom. ' Now, indeed, the com- 
munications on all fides are obftructed by the anarchy that 
prevails among the Arabs, fo that he who paffes to or from 
Egypt mull depend folely upon his own exertions and the 
protection of Heaven. 

The Acaba of Gerri,-and the banks of the Nile there, are 
inhabited by tribes of Arabs, called Beni Hamda, and Haf- 
fani. They are all poor and miferable banditti, and would 
not fuffer a man to pafs there at the ferry were it not for 
the extraordinary dread they have of fire-arms. The report 
of a gun, even at a.diftance, will make a hundred of them 
fly and hide themfelves. We gave them feveral vollies of 
blunderbuffes, and double-barrelled guns, fired* in the air, 
from the time of our entering their territory till near Wed 
Baal a Nagga ; we faw them upon the tops of the pointed 
rocks as far diitant as we could wifh, nor did they ever ap- 
pear nearer us, or defcend into the plain. 

At Halfaia and Gerri begins that noble race of horfes 

juftly celebrated all over the world. They are the breed that 

Vol. IV. 3 U was 


was introduced here at the Saracen conqueft, and have been- 
preferved unmixed to this day. They feem to be a diftin<ft. 
animal from the Arabian horfe, fuch as I have feen in the 
plains of Arabia Deferta, fouth of Palmyra and Damafcus, 
where I take the moil excellent of the Arabian breed to be, 
in the tribe of Mowalli and Annecy, which is about lat. 36° ; 
whilil Dongola and the dry country near it feems to be the 
center of excellence for this nobler animal, fo that the 
bounds within which the horfe is in its greateil perfection 
feems to be between the degrees of lat. 20 , and 36% and 
between long. 30 e ail from the meridian of Greenwich to> 
the banks of the Euphrates. For this extent Fahrenheit's,, 
thermometer is never below 50 in the night, or in the day 
below 80% though it may rife to 1 20 at noon in the made, at 
which point horfes are not affected by the heat, but will 
breed as they do at Halfaia, Gerri, and Dongola, where the 
thermometer rifes to thefe degrees, Thefe countries, from. 
what has been faid, muil of courfe be a dry, fandy defert, 
with little water, producing fhort, or no grafs, but only roots, . 
which are blanched like our cellery, being always covered 
with earth, having no marines or fwamps, fat foapy earth,, 
or mould. 

I never heard of wild horfes in any of thefe parts. A-- 
rabia Deferta, where they are faid to be, feems very ill cal- 
culated to conceal them, it being flat without wood or co- 
ver, they muft therefore be conftantly in view ; and 1 ne- 
ver heard any perfon of veracity fay they ever faw wild: 
horfes in Arabia. Wild afTes I have frequently feen alive, 
but never dead, in neck, head, face, and tail very like ours, 
only their fkins are flreaked, not fpotted. The zebra is 
found nowhere in Abyflinia, but in the S. a W. extremity of 



Kuara among the Shangalla and Guba, in Narea and CafTa, 
and in the mountains of Dyre and Tegla, and to the fouth- 
ward near as far as the Cape. 

What figure the Nubian breed would make in point 
of fleetnefs is very doubtful, their make being fo entirely 
different from that of the Arabian ; but if beautiful and 
fymmetrical parts, great fize and itrength, the mofl agile, 
nervous, and elaftic movements, great endurance *of fa- 
tigue, docility of temper, and feeming attachment to man, 
beyond any other domeflic animal, can promifcany thing 
for a flallion, the Nubian is, above all companion, the 
mofl eligible in the world. Few men have feen more hor- 
fes, or more of the different places where they are excellent, 
than I have, and no one ever more delighted in them, as 
far as the manly exercifc went. What thefe may produce 
for the turf is what 1 cannot fo much as guefs, as there is 
not, I believe, in the world one more indifferent to, or ig- 
norant of, that amufement than I am. The experiment 
would be worth trying in any view. The expence would 
not be great, yet there might be fonie trouble and applica- 
tion neceiTary, but, if adroitly managed, not much even of 

I could not refrain from attempting a drawing of one 
of them, which I fmce, and but very lately, unfortunately 
.miflaid. It was a horfe of Shekh Adelan, which with fome 
difficulty I had liberty to draw. It was not quite four years 
old, was full 16 hands high : I ■mean this only as an idea ; 
I know the faults of my drawing, and could correct many 
-of them ; but it is a rule I have invariably adhered to in 
this,. as well as indefcription, to corredl nothing from recoh- 

3 U 2 lection 



lection when the object is out of my light. This horfe's* 
name was El Fudda, the meaning of which I will not pre- 
tend to explain. In Egypt this is the name of a fmall piece 
of money clipped into points, otherwife called a parat ; but, 
very probably, the name of horfes in Nubia may have as 
little allufion to the quality of the animal as the name 
which our race-horfes have in England ; they are, how- 
ever, very jealous in keeping up their pedigree. All noble 
horfes in Nubia are faid to be defcended of one of the 
five upon which Mahomet and his four immediate fuc- 
cefTors, Abou Beer, Omar, Atman, and Ali, fled from Mecca' 
to Medina, the night of the Hegira. From which of thefe 
El Fudda was defcended I did not inquire ; Shekh Adelan^ 
armed, as he fought, with his coat of mail and war faddle, 
iron-chained bridle, brafs cheek-plates, front-plate, breaft- 
plate, large broad-fword, and battle-ax, did not weigh lefs- 
upon the horfe than 26 flone, horfeman's weight. This-, 
horfe kneeled to receive his mafter, armed as he was, when 
he mounted, and he kneeled to let him difmount armed 
likewife, fo that no advantage could be taken of him in 
thofe helplefs times when a man is obliged to arm and 
difarm himfelf piece by piece on horfeback. Adelan,- in 
war, was a fair-player, and gave every body his chance. 
Fie was the firft man always that entered among the ene- 
my, and the lad to leave them, and never changed this horfe.. 
The horfes of Halfaia and Gerri do not arrive at thefize of 
thofe in Dongola, where few are lower than 16 hands. They 
are black or white, but avail proportion of the former to the 
latter. I never faw the colour we call grey, that is, dappled, but 
there are fome bright bays, or inclining to for el. They are 
ali kept mon£roufly fat upon dora, cat nothing green but 



fhe fhort roots of grafs that are to be found by the fide of 
the Nile, after the fun has withered it. This they dig out 
where it is covered with earth, and appears blanched, Which 
they lay in fmall heaps once a-day on the ground before 
them. They are tethered by the fetlock joint of the fore- 
leg with a very foft cotton rope made with a loop and large 
button. They eat and drink with the bridle in their mouth, 
not the bridle they actually ufe when armed, but a light 
one made on purpofe to accuftom them to eat and drink 
with it : If you afk the reafon, they tell you of many battles 
that have been loft by the troops having been attacked by 
their enemy when taking ofF the bridles to give their horfes 
drink. No Arab ever mounts a flallion ; on the contrary, 
in Nubia they never ride mares ; the reafon is plain : The 
Arabs are conilantly at war with their neighbours, (for fo 
robbery in that country is called) and always endeavour to 
take their enemies by furprife in the grey of the evening, 
or the dawn of day. A .flallion no fooner fmells the ftale 
of the mare in the enemy's quarters, than he begins to 
neigh, and that would give the alarm to the party intend- 
ed to be furprifed. No fuch thing ever can happen when 
they ride mares only ; on the contrary, the Funge truft on-' 
ly to fuperior force. They are in an open, plain country, 
muft be difcovered at many miles diflance, and all fuch 
furprifes and flratagems are ufelefs to them.. 

The place where we alighted is called Hajarel Dill, and 
is a mile eaft from where we halted in the wood to feed our 
camels. We continued along the Nile at about a mile's di- 
ftance from it, and, after advancing near three miles, came- 
in fight of a large village called Derreira ; on the oppofite 
£dc of the Nile, and beyond that, about four miles on the 
4 famj 


fame fide, is Deleb, a large village, with the fhrine of a fa- 
mous faint of that name. The country here is more culti- 
vated and pleafant than that which we had paffed ; there is 
a low ridge of hills in the way. At half pail fix in the even- 
ing of the 2d of October we arrived at Wed Baal a Nagga. 
The village is a very large one, belonging to a Fakir, a faint 
of the firil confideration in the government of Chendi. All 
this country, except immediately upon the Nile, is defert 
and fandy. All along the plain we faw numbers of people 
digging pits, and taking out the earth, which they boil in 
large earthen vafes or pans. This is the only way they 
procure themfelves fait, of which they fend great quanti- 
ties to Halfaia, where is a market, and from whence it is 
fent to Sennaar. , 

On the 3d, at five o'clock, we left Wed Baal a Nagga, and 
continued along the Nile, which is about a quarter of a mile 
off; and feven miles further to the N. E. we paffed a tomb 
of the Fakir el Deragi, clofe to the road on our left hand. 
All from Wed Baal a Nagga, on both fides of the Nile, is 
picturefque and pleafant, full of verdure, and varied with 
houfes in different fituations till we come to the tomb of 
this Fakir. Immediately from this all is bare and defolate, 
except one verdant fpot by the fide of the river, fhaded with 
fine trees, and full of herbage, and there we alighted at 
nine o'clock. This place is called Maia ; a few trees appear 
on the other fide, but beyond thefe all the country is defert. 
It is inhabited at prefent by the Jaheleen Arabs of Wed el 
Faal ; as they have had violent mowers in the high coun- 
-try, and^ their pools were fiill full of water, they fiaid by 
them longer than ordinary feeding their cattle. Idris Wed 
el Faal, governor of Chendi, nephew to Wed Ageeb, and fon 
4 to 



to Sittina his lifter, to whom this country belongs, was then 
with them, fo we did not fear them, otherwife there is not 
a worfe fet of fanatical wretches, or greater enemies to the 
name of Chriftian, than thefe are. 

As we are here fpeaking of Arabs and their names, I 
mall once for all obferve, that Wed, a word which I have 
frequently made ufe of in the courfe of this hiftory, and 
which in this fenfe is peculiar to the kingdom of Sennaar, 
does not mean river, though that is its import in Arabic. 
Here it is an abbreviation of Welled, peculiar to the inhabi- 
tants of this part of Atbara, who feem to have an averfion to 
the letter 1 ; Wed el Faal, the fon of Faal ; Wed Hydar, the 
fon of Hydar, or the lion ; Wed Haftan, the fon of Kaftan, 
and fo of the reft. For the fame reafon, Melek Sennaar, 
the king of Sennaar, called Mek, by throwing out the 1 ; 
Abd el Mek, the flave of the king, inftead of Abd el Melek. 
Here alfo I had the pleafure to find the language of the- 
Koran that of the whole people in common converfation ; 
and as this was the book in which I firft ftudied the Ara- 
bic, I found now a propriety and facility of expreffion I had 
not been fenfible of before ; for that of the Koran, in Ara- 
bia, is a kind of dead language, rarely underftood but by 
men of learning. 

At Wed Baal a Nagga there is a ferry for thofe who 
go to Dongola by the defert of Bahiouda. Derreira is the 
landing-place on the other fide; I fuppofe it is to avoid: 
thefe Jaheleen that caravans ferry over at Gerri rather 
than come fo low as Wed Baal a Nagga. We left Mai a at 
half paft three in the. afternoon, and, after going three. 

miles* \ 


miles, we came to Gooz, a fmall village on our left, where 
we found plenty of good food for our camels. At fix we 
alighted at Fakari. Chendi was now five miles eaft of us, 
where we arrived at eight o'clock in the morning of the 4th 
of October. 

Q feas ' ■ ffg 



• H.ll'U'.'W.l. g '^ g^' 


Meception at Chendi by Sittina — Converfations with her — Kilter the De+ 
fert-— Pillars of moving Sand — i Xhc*S>imoom'~~>Latitude of Chiggre* 

CHENDI, or Chandi, is a large village, the capital of its 
diftric~t, the government of which belongs to Sittina, 
(as fhe is called) which fignifies the Miftrefs, or the Lady, (he 
being lifter to Wed Ageeb, the principal of the Arabs in 
this country. She had been married, but her hufband was 
dead. She had one fon, Idris Wed el Faal, who was to fuc- 
ceed to the government of Chendi upon his mother's death, 
and who, in effect, governed all the affairs of his kindred al- 
ready. The governor of Chendi is called in difcourfe Mck 
el Jaheleen, prince of the Arabs of Beni Koreifh, who are 
all fettled, as I have already faid, about the bottom of Au 
ikara, on both fides of the Magiran. 

There is a tradition at Chendi, that a woman, whofe 
name was Hendaque, once governed all that country, 
whence we might imagine that this was part of the king- 
dom of Candace ; for writing this name in Greek letters 
dt will come to be no other than Hendaque, the native, or 

Vol. IV. 3 X miftrefs 


miitrefs, of Chendi, or Chandi. However this may be, 
Chendi was once a town of great refort. The caravans of 
Sennaar, Egypt, Suakem, and Kordofan, all were in ufe to* 
rendezvous here, efpecially fince the Arabs have cut off the 
road by Dongola, and the defert of Bahiouda ; and though 
it be not now a place of great plenty, yet every thing here 
is at a cheaper rate, and better than at Sennaar ; we mull 
except the article fuel, for wood is much dearer here than 
in any part of Atbara ; the people all burn camels dung. 
Indeed, were it not for drefling victuals, fire in a place fo 
hot as this would be a nuifance. It was fo fultry in the 
end of Auguft and beginning of September, that many 
people dropt down dead with heat, both in the town and 
villages round it ; but it is now faid to be much cooler,, 
though the thermometer at noon was once fo high as 
1 1 9°. 

Chendi has in it about 250 houfes, which are not all 
built contiguous, fome of the bell of them being feparate-, 
and that of Sittinas is half a mile from the town. 
There are two or three tolerable houfes, but the reft of 
them are miferable hovels, built of clay and reeds. Sit- 
tina gave us one of thefe houfes, which I ufed for keep- 
ing my inftruments and baggage from being pilfered or 
broken ; I flept abroad in the tent, and it was even there 
hot enough. The women of Chendi are efteemed the moll 
beautiful in Atbara, and the men the greateft cowards. 
This is the character they bear among their countrymen, 
but we had little opportunity of verifying either. 

On our arrival at- Chendi we found the people very 

much alarmed at a phenomenon, which, though it often 

3 happens, 


happens, by fome ftrange inadvertency had never been obfer- 
ved, even in this ferene fky. The planetVenus appeared fhi- 
ning with undiminifhed light all day, in defiance of the 
brighteft fun, from which flie was but little diftant. Tho* 
this phenomenon be vifible every four years, it filled all 
the people, both in town and country, with alarm. They 
nocked to me in crowds from all quarters to be fatisfied 
what it meant, and, when they faw my telefcopes and 
quadrant, they could not be perfuaded but that the ftar 
had become vifible by fome correfpondence and intelli- 
gence with me, and for my ufe. The bulk of the people 
in all countries is the fame ; they never foretell any thing 
but evil. The very regular and natural appearance of this 
planet was immediately converted, therefore, into a fign that 
there would be a bad harvell next year, and fcanty rains ; 
that Abou Kalec with an army would depofe the king, 
and over-run all Atbara ; whilft fome threatened me as a 
principal operator in bringing about thefe difalters. On 
the other hand, without feeming over-folicitous about my 
vindication, I infinuated among the better fort, that this was 
a lucky and favourable fign, a harbinger of good fortune, 
plenty, and peace. The clamour upon this fubfided very 
much to my advantage, the rather, becaufe Sittina and her 
fon Idris knew certainly that Mahomet Abou Kalec was 
not to be in Atbara that year. 

On the 12th of October I waited upon Sittina, who received 
me behind a fcreen, fo that it was impoffible either to fee 
her figure or face ; I obferved, however, that there were a- 
pertures fo managed in the fcreen that Ihe had a perfect 
view of me. She exprefied herfelf with great politenefs, 
talked much upon the terms in which Adelan was with 

3X2 the 


the king, and wondered exceedingly how a white man-? 
like me mould venture fo far in fuch an ill-governed coun-, 
try. " Allow me, Madam, faid I, to complain of a breach > 
of hofpitality in you, which no Arab has been yet guilty of 
towards ffie. M ~" Me ! faid fh'e, that, would be ftrange indeed, 
to a man that bears my brother's letter. How can that 
be !"-— " Why, you tell me, Madam, that I am a white man, , 
by which I know that you fee me, without giving me the 
like advantage. The queens of Sennaar did not ufe me fo 
hardly ; I had a full light of them without having ufed 
any importunity/' On this me broke out into a great fit 
of laughter ; then fell into a converfation about medicines 
to make her hair grow, or rather to hinder it from, falling 
off. She deiired me to come to her the next day; that her 
fon Idris would be then at home from the Howat *, and i 
that he very much wifhed to fee me. She that day fent : 
us plenty of provifions from her own table. 

On the 13th it was fo exceflively hot that it was impof- 
fible to fuffer the burning fun. .The poifonous fimoom blew 
likewife as if it came from an oven. Our eyes were dim, , 
our lips cracked, our knees tottering, our throats perfectly . 
dry, and no relief was, found from drinking an immoderate 
quantity of water; The people advifed me to dip a fpunge 
in vinegar and water, and hold it before my mouth and \ 
nofe, and this greatly relieved me. In the evening I went ; 
to Sittina. Upon entering the houfe,a black flave laid hold • 
of me by the hand, and placed me in a paffage, at the end of; 
which were two opponte doors. I did not well know the 

reafon : 

* The farm where he kept the flocks belonging to himfelL. 


reafon of this ; but had ftaid only a few minutes when I 
heard one of tlie doors at the end of the pafTage open, and 
Sittina appeared magnificently drefTed, with a kind of round 
cap of folid gold upon the crown of her head, all beat very 
thin, and hung round with fequins ; with a variety of gold 
chains, folitaires, and necklaces of the fame metal, about 
her neck. Her hair was plaited in ten or twelve fmall di- 
visions like tails, which hung down below her waift, and 
over her was thrown a common cotton white garment. She - 
had a purple filk ftole, or fcarf, hung very gracefully upon 
her back, brought again round her waift, without covering 
rier moulders or arms. Upon her wrifts fhe had two brace- 
lets like handcuffs, about half an inch thick, and two gold 
manacles of the fame at her feet, fully an inch diameter, 
the moft difagreeable and aukward; part of all her drefs. . 
I expected ilie would have hurried: through with fome af- 
fectation of furprife. On the contrary r fhe ftopt in the middle 
of the paJTage, faying, in a very grave manner^ " Kifhalec," 
— how are you ? I thought this was an opportunity of kif- 
fing her hand, which I did, without her mewing any fort 
of reluctance. " Allow me as a phyfician, faid I, Madam, 
to fay one word." She bowed with her head, and faid, " Go 
in at that door, and I will hear you.". The flave appeared, 
and carried me through a door at the bottom of the paffage 
into a room, while her miilrefs vaniihed in at another door 
at the top, and there was the fcreen I had feen the day be- 
fore, and the lady fitting behind it. . 

She was a woman fcarcely forty, .taller than the middle 
lize, had a very round, plump face, her mouth rather large,, 
very red lips, the fineil teeth and eyes I have feen^ but at the 

2.. tOp_ 

' t 


top of her nofe, and between her eye-brows, fhe had a fmall 
fpeck made of cohol or antimony, four-corner'd, and of the 
fize of the fmallefl patches our women ufed to wear ; ano- 
ther rather longer upon the top of her nofe, and one on the 
middle of her chin. 

Sittina. " Tell me what you would fay to me as a phyfi- 
cian." — Ta. " It was, Madam, but in confequence of your 
difcourfe yefterday. That heavy gold cap with which you 
prefs your hair will certainly be the caufe of a great part 
of it falling off." Sitt. " I believe fo; but I mould catch cold, 
I am fo accuilomed to it, if I was to leave it off. Are you a 
man of name and family in your own country ?" Ta. " Of 
both, Madam." Sitt. " Are the women handfome there ?" 
Ta. " The handfomeft in the world, Madam; but they are 
fo good, and fo excellent in all other refpects, that nobody 
thinks at all of their beauty, nor do they value themfelves 
upon it." Sitt. " And do they allow you to kifs their hands?" 
Ta. " I underftand you, Madam, though you have miftaken 
me. There is no familiarity in killing hands, it is a mark 
of homage, and diftant refpecl paid in my country to our 
fovereigns, and to none earthly belides." Sitt. "Oyes! but 
the kings." Ta. " Yes, and the queens, too, always on the 
knee, Madam; I faidour fovereigns, meaning both king and 
queen. On her part it is a mark of gracious condefcenfion, 
in favour of rank, merit, and honourable behaviour; it is a 
reward for dangerous and difficult fervices, above all other 
compenfation." Sitt. " Bur do you know that no man ever 
killed my hand but you ?" Ta, " It is impoffible I mould 
know that, nor is it material. Of this I am confident, it 
was meant refpectfuily, cannot hurt you, and ought not to 



offend you." Sitt. " It certainly has done neither, but I wifh 
very much Idris my fon would come and fee you, as it is 
on his account I dreffed myfelf to-day." Ta. " I hope, Ma- 
dam, when I do fee him he will think of fome way of for- 
warding me fafely to Barbar, in my way to Egypt." Sitt. 
" Safely! God forgive you ! you are throwing yourfelf away 
wantonly. Idris himfelf, king Of this country, dares not un- 
dertake fuch a journey. But why did not you go along with 
Mahomet Towafh? He fet out only a few days ago for Cairo, 
the fame way you are going, and has, I believe, taken all 
the Hybeers with him. Go call the porter", fays me to her 
flave. When the porter came, " Do you know if Mahomet 
Towafh is gone to Egypt ?" " I know he is gone to Barbar, 
fays the porter, the two Mahomets, and Abd el Jelleel, the 
Bifhareen, are with him." "Why did he take all the Hy- 
beers?" fays Sittina. " The men were tired and difcoura- 
ged, anfwered the porter, by their late ill-ufage from the 
Cubba-beefh, and, being {tripped of every thing, they want- 
ed to be at home." Sitt. " Somebody elfe will offer, but 
you mull not go without a good man with you ; I will not 
fuffer you. Thefe Bifhareen are people known here, and 
may be trufted; but while you flay let me fee you every day, 
and if you want any thing, fend by a fervant of mine. It 
is a tax, I know, improperly laid upon a man like you, to 
afk for every neceffary, but Idris will be here, and he will 
provide you better." I went away upon this converfation, 
and foon found, that Mahomet Towafh had fo well follow- 
ed the direction of the Mek of Sennaar, as to take all the Hy- 
beers of note with him on purpofe to difappoint me. 

This being the fird time I have had occafion to mention 
this ufeful fet of men, it will be neceffary I mould here ex- 


plain their office and occupation. A Hybeer is a guide, 
from the Arabic word Hubbar, to inform, inftruct, or direct, 
becaufe they are ufed to do this office to the caravans tra- 
velling through the defert in all its directions, whether to 
Egypt and back again, the coaft of the Red Sea, or the coun- 
tries of Sudan, and the weftern extremities of Africa. They 
are men of great confideration, knowng perfectly the fitua- 
tion and properties of all kinds of water to be met on the 
route, the diftance of wells, whether occupied by enemies 
or not, and, if fo, the way to avoid them with the leaft in- 
convenience. It is alfo neceiTary to them to know the places 
occupied by the fimoom, and the feafons of their blow- 
ing in thofe parts of the defert, likewife thofe occupied by 
moving fands. He generally belongs to fome powerful 
tribe of Arabs inhabiting thefe deferts, whofe protection he 
makes ufe of to allilt his caravans, or protect them in time 
of danger, and handfome rewards were always in his 
power to diftribute on fuch occafions ; but now that the 
Arabs in thefe deferts are everywhere without government, 
the trade between Abyillnia and Cairo given over, that be- 
tween Sudan and that metropolis much diminifhed, the 
importance of that office of Hybeer, and its confideration, is 
fallen in proportion, and with thefe the fafe conduct ; and 
we mail fee prefently a caravan cut off by the treachery of 
•the very Hybeers that conducted them, the firfl inftanee of 
the kind that ever happened, 

One day, fitting in my tent mufing upon the very un- 
.promifing afpcct of my aifairs,, an Arab of very ordinary ap- 
pearance, naked, with only a cotton cloth around his mid- 
dle, came up to me, and offered to conduct me to Barbar 
and thence to Egvpt. He faid his houfe was at Daroo.on the 



fide of the Nile, about twenty miles beyond Syene, or Affou- 
an, nearer Cairo. I afkcd.him why he had not gone with 
Mahomet Towafli ? He faid, he did not like the company, 
and was very much miftaken if their journey ended well. 
Upon preffing him further if this was really the only rea- 
fon ; he then told me, that he had been fick for fome months 
at Chendi, contracted debt, and had been obliged to pawn 
tiis cloaths, and that his camel was detained for what 
flill remained unpaid. After much converfation, repeated 
feveral days, I found that Idris (for that was his name) was 
a man of fome fubftance in his own country, and had a 
daughter married to the Schourbatchie at Affbuan. He faid 
that this was his laft journey, for he never would crofs the 
defert again. A bargain was now foon made. I redeemed 
his camel and cloak ; he was to fhe w me the way to Egypt, 
and he was there to be recompensed, according to his beha- 

Chendi, by repeated obfervations of the fun and flars, 
made for feveral fucceeding days and nights, 1 found to be 
in lat. 1 6° 38' $5" north, and at the fame place, xhc 13th of 
Oclober, I obferved an immernon of the firft fateilite of Ju- 
piter, from which I concluded its longitude to be i,f 24' 45" 
eaft of the meridian of Greenwich. The higheft degree of 
the thermometer of Fahrenheit in the made was, on the 10th 
of October, at one o'clock P. M. 1 19 , wind north ; the lowed 
was on the 1 ith, at midnight, 87 , wind 'weft, after a fmall 
Ihower of rain. 

I prepared now to leave Chendi, but firtfc returned my 
benefactrefs Sittina thanks' for all her favours. JSbe had 
called for Idris, and .given him very pofitive inftructions, 

Vol. IV. 3 Y mix*: 


mixt with threats, if he mifbehaved ; and hearing what X' 
had done for him, me too gave him an ounce of gold^ anc£ 
faid, at parting, that, for knowledge of the road through 
the defert, fhe believed Idris to be as perfect as any body ; 
but in cafe we met with the Bifhareen, they would neither 
fhew to him nor to me any mercy. She gave me, how- 
ever, a letter to Mahomet Abou Bertran, Shekh of one of 
the tribes of Bifhareen, on the Tacazze, near the Magiran* 
which fhe had made her fon write from the Howat, it not: 
being ufual, fhe faid, for her to write herfelf. I begged I 
might be again allowed to teftify my gratitude by killing her 
hand, which fhe condefcended to in the moft gracious man- 
ner, laughing all the time, and faying, " Well, you are an 
odd man ! if Idris my fon faw me juft now, he would think, 
me mad/' 

On the 20th of October, in the evening, we left Chendi^, 
and reflcd two miles from the town, and about a mile from a 
the river; and next day, the 21ft, at three quarters paft four 
in the morning we continued our journey, and paffed 
through five or fix villages of the jaheleen on our left;, 
at nine we alighted to feed our camels under fome trees^ 
having gone about ten miles. At this place begins a large 
jfland in the Nile feveral miles long, full of villages, trees, 
and corn, it is called Kurgos. Oppofite to this is the moun- 
tain Gibbainy, where is the firft fcene of ruins I have met 
with fince that of Axum in Abyffinia. We faw here heaps 
of broken pedeflals, like thofe of Axum, all plainly defignecl 
for the flames of the dog ; fome pieces of obelifk, likewife,. 
with hieroglyphics, almoU totally obliterated. The Arabs 
told us thefe ruins were very exter five ; and that manypie-^ 

4: ces 



ces of ftatues, both of men and animals, had been dug up 
there ; the flames of the men were moftly of black flone. 
It is impoflible to avoid rifquing a guefs that this is the an- 
cient city of Meroe, whofe latitude mould be i6° 26' ; and I 
apprehend further, that in this ifland was the obfervatory 
of that famous cradle of aftronomy. The Ethiopians can- 
not pronounce P ; there is, indeed, no fuch letter in their 
alphabet. Curgos, then, the name of the ifland, mould 
probably be Purgos, the tower or obfervatory of that city. 

There are four remarkable rivers mentioned by the an- 
cients as contributing to form the ifland of Meroe. The 
firft is the Aftufafpes, or the river Mareb, fo called from 
hiding itfelf under ground in the fand, and again im- 
merging in the time of rain, and running to join the Ta- 

The next is the Tacazze, as I have faid, the Siris of the 
ancients, by the natives called Aftaboras, which forms, as 
Pliny has faid, the left channel of Atbara, or, as the Greeks 
have called it, the ifland of Meroe. 

On the weft, or right hand, is another confiderable river, 
called by the name of the White River, and by the ancients 
Aftapus, and which Diodorus Siculus fays comes from large 
lakes to the fouthward, which we know to be truth. This 
river throws itfelf into the Nile, and together with it makes 
the right-hand channel, inclofing Meroe or Atbara. The 
Nile here is called the Blue River ; and Nil, in the language 
of the country, has precifely that fignification. This too 
was known to the ancients, as the Greeks have called it the 
Blue River, and thefe being ail found to inclofe Meroe, nei- 

3 Y 2 > ther 


ther Gojam, nor any place that is not. fo limited, can eveit 
be taken for that ifland, 

I will not pretend to fay that any politive proof moulds 
be founded upon the agronomical observations of the an- 
cients, unlefs there are circumflances that go hand in hand 
with, and corroborate them ; but we mould be at a very 
great lofs ihdeed, notwithstanding all the diligence of mo- 
dern travellers, were we to throw the. celeftial obfervations ; 
of the ancients entirely behind us. We have, from various 
concurring circumftances, fixed our Meroe atGerri, or be- 
tween that town and Wed Baal a Nagga, that is about lat.. 
i6° io' north ; and Ptolemy, from an obfervation of the Sol-- 
ftice, fixes it at 16 26', fo that the error here, if any, feems- 
to be of no confequence, as the direction of the city might: 
extend to the northward. The obfervations mentioned by 
Pliny are not fo accurate, nor do they merit to be put in 
competition with thofe of Ptolemy, for very obvious reafons; 
yet flill, when ftrictly examined,, they do not fail, inaccurate 
as they are-, to. throw fome light upon this fubject. He fays ; 
the fun is vertical.- at Meroe twice a-year, once when he 
enters the 18 of Taurus, and again when he is in the 14th 
degree of the Lion,:, 

Here are three impofTibilities, which plainly mew that; 
ihis error is not that of Pliny, but of an ignorant tranfcri* 
ber ; for if the zenith of Meroe anfwered to the 1 8th degree : 
of Taurus, it is impoflible that the fame point mould an- 
fwer to the 14th degree of the Lion ; and if Syene was 5000 
iladia from the one, it is impoffible it could be no more 
from the other which was fouth of it, if they were all ; 



three under the fame meridian ; let us then confefs, as* 
we mud, that both thefe obfervations are erroneous. 

But let us fuppofe that the firft will make the latitude of 
Meroe to be 17 20', and the fecond 16 40'; taking then a 1 , 
medium of thefe two bad obfervations, as is the practice in 
all fuch cafes, we fhall find the latitude of Meroe to be 16 
30', only 4' difference from the obfervation of Ptolemy, 

Vosius*, among a multitude of errors he has commit- 
ted relating to the Nile, denies that there are any iliands 
in that river. The reader will be long* ago fatisfled from 
our hiftory, that this is without foundation, feeing that 
from the ifland of Rhoda, where ftands the Mikeas, to the 
ifland of Curgos, which we have juft now mentioned, we 
have described feveral. . He would indeed inilnuate, that 
Meroe, or Atbara,. is not an ifland, but a peninfula, though 
it is well known in hiftory thefe. words are conftantly ufed 
as fynonimous ; but were it not fo, Meroe fcarcely ftands 
in need of this excufe. If the reader will caft his eye- upon 
the map, he will fee two rivers, the Rahad and Tocoor, 
that almoft'meet in lat. 12 40- north. Acrofs the peninfula, 
left by thefe rivers, is a f nail ftripe called Falaty, running in 
a contrary direction ■■■from the general courfe of rivers in 
this country, that is from eaft to' weft, though part of it in 
dry weather is hid in the fa-nd, and this river makes Atba- 
ra a complete ifland in time of rain, . 

" Simonidesv 

* De, orig. flum. cap., xvi. p. 57. 


Simonides the Lcfs ftaid five years in Meroe ; after him, 
Ariftocreon, Bion, and Bafilis*. It is not then probable that 
men of their character omitted to afcertain the fact whe- 
ther or not the place where they lived was an ifland. Dio- 
dorus Siculus has faid, that Meroe was in the form of a 
fhield, that is, in the figure of that triangular fhield called 
Scutum, pointed at the bottom, and growing broader to^ 
wards the top where it is fquare. Nothing can be more 
exact than this refemblance of the lower part of Atbara, that 
is, from Gerri to the Magiran, the part we fuppofe Diodorus 
was acquainted with, and it is fcarcely pofiible that he could 
have fixed upon this refemblance without having feen fome 
figure of it delineated upon paper, 

As this muft fuppofe a more than ordinary knowledge in 
Diodorus, we mall examine how the meafures he has given 
us of the ifland correfpond with the truth. He fays, that 
the ifland is 3000 ftadia long, and 1000 fladia broad. Now 
taking 8 ftadia for a mile, we have 375 miles, and meafu- 
ring with the compafs from the river Falaty, where, as I have 
faid, Atbara becomes an ifland by the confluence of the ri- 
vers, I find that diftance to be 345 miles, of 60 miles to a de- 
gree, fo that without making any allowance for the difad- 
vantages of the country, it is impoflible at this day to have 
a more accurate eftimation. As for the breadth, it is fcarce- 
ly pofiible to guefs at what part Diodorus means it was mea- 
fured, on account of the figure of the fhield, as I have al- 
ready obferved, as conflantly varying. But fuppofe, as is 
moil probable, that the breadth of the ifland was referred to 


* Plin. lib. vi. c 30, 



£he place where the city flood, then, in place of 1 25 miles, the 
produce of 1000 ftadia, I find it meafures 145 miles, a differ- 
ence as little to be regarded as the other. 

Let us now examine what information we can learn 
from the report of the centurions fent on purpofe by Nero 
to explore this unknown country, whofe report has been 
looked upon as decifive of the diftances of places through 
which they palTed. 

These travellers pretend, that between Syene and the en- 
trance into the ifland of Meroe was 873 miles, and from 
thence to the city 70 miles ; the whole diftance then be- 
tween Syene and the city of Meroe will be 943 miles, or 15 
43'. Now Syene was very certainly in 24°, a few . minutes 
more or lefs ; and from this if we take 15 , there will remain 
9 of latitude for the ifland of Meroe, according to the re- 
port of thefe centurions, and this would have carried Meroe 
far to the fouthward of the fountains of the Nile, and con- 
founded every idea of the geography of African The paral- 
lel which marks 1 1° cuts Gojam very exactly in the middle, 
and this peninfula may be faid to refemble the fhield called 
Pelta; bat very certainly not the Scutum, to which Diodorus 
has very properly likened it. Befides, their own obfervation 
condemns them, for it is about Meroe where they firft faw 
an appearance of verdure; the reafonof which is very plain, 
if the latitude of that city was in 1 6 a , upon the verge of the 
tropical rains, where,as aneye-witnefs, I who have palled that 
dreary diftance on foot can teftify, thofe green herbs and 
Ihrubs, though they begin, as is very properly and cautioufly 
exprefTed, to appear there, feem neither luxuriant nor abun- 



But had the centurions gone to Gojam, they would have 
palled a hundred miles of a more verdant and more beauti- 
ful country before arriving there. The pfittaci aves, or the 
paroquets, which they very properly obferved were firft feen 
in Meroe, that is, in Atbara, would have been fought for in 
vain in Gojam, a cold country ; whereas the paroquet's de- 
light is in the low, or hot country, where there is always va- 
riety of fruit ; neither could Ptolemy's obfervation, nor thofe 
two juft mentioned by Pliny, be admitted, after any fort of 
modification whatever. 

Strabo remarks of the fituation of Meroe, that it was 
placed upon the verge of the tropical rains ; and, with his 
Tifual accuracy and good fenfe, he wonders the regularity 
of thefe tropical rains, as to their corning and duration, was 
not known earlier, when fo many occafions had offered to 
obferve them at Meroe before his time. The fame author 
fays, that the fun is vertical at Meroe forty-five days before 
the fummer folftice ; fo that this too will place that ifland 
in lat. 1 6° 44', very little different from the latitude that 
Ptolemy gives it. From all which circumflances we may 
venture to maintain, that very few places in ancient geo- 
graphy have their fituations more ftricHy defined, or by a 
greater variety of circumflances, than the ifland of Atbara or 
Meroe. But fuppofing the cafe were otherwife, there is not 
one of thefe circumflances that I know of, that could be ad- 
duced with any effect to prove Gojam to be Meroe, as Le 
Grande and the Jefuits have vainly afferted. 

At half pari eleven o'clock in the forenoon of the sifl 

of October, having fpent the whole day in winding through 

vallies, and the bare hills of the Acaba, we alighted in a 

a. wood 


wood about a mile from the river. This fide of the Nile, 
along which we travelled to-day, is quite bare, the other 
full of trees and corn, where are feveral large villages. 

On the 22d, in the afternoon, we left this place, which is 
called Hor-Gibbaity, and pafled through feveral villages of 
the Macabrab, named Dow-Dowa, and three miles further 
came to Demar, a town belonging to Fakir Wed Madge 
Doub, who is a faint of the firft confequence among the 
Jaheleen. They believe that he works miracles, and can 
ftrike whom he pleafes with lamenefs, blindnefs, or mad- 
nefs ; for which reafon they ftand very much in awe of 
him, fo that he pafTes the caravans in fafety through this 
neft of robbers, fuch as the Macabrab are, and always have 
been, though there are caravans who chufe rather to pafs 
unfeen under the cloud of night, than trull to the venera- 
tion thefe Jaheleen may have of Wed Madge Doub's fanctity. 
After thefe are Eliab, their habitation four miles on our 
left at Howiah. 

On the 25th, at three quarters pall fix in the morning 
we left Demar, and at nine came to the Tacazze, five fhort 
miles diflant from Demar, and two fmall villages built with 
canes and plaiftered with clay, called Dubba-beah ; thefe 
are allies of the Macabrab, as coming from Demar. They 
took it in their heads to believe that we were a caravan 
going to Mecca, in which they were confirmed by a fon of 
Wed Madge Doub, whom I brought with me, and it was 
neither my bufinefs nor inclination to undeceive them, but 
juft the contrary. 

Vol. IV. 3 2 Th;e 


The Tacazze is here about a quarter of a mile broad, ex- 
ceedingly deep, and they have chofen the deepeft part for 
the ferry. It is clear as in Abyflinia, where we had often 
feen it. It rifes in the province of Angot, in about lat. 9% 
but has loft all the beauty of its banks, and runs here thro' 
a defert and barren country. I reflected with much fatif- 
faetion upon the many circumftances the fight of this river 
recalled to my mind ; but ftill the greater!; was, that the 
fcenes of thefe were now far diftant, and that I was by fo 
much the more advanced towards home. The water of 
the Tacazze is judged by the Arabs to be lighter, clearer, 
and wholefomer than that of the Nile. About half a mile 
after this ferry it joins with that river. Though the boats 
were fmaller, the people more brutifh, and lefs expert than 
thofe at Halifoon, yet the fuppofed fanetity of our charac- 
ters, and liberal payment, carried us over without any diffi- 
culty. Thefe fons of Mahomet are very robuft and flrong, 
and, in all their operations, feemed to trull to that rather 
than to addrefs or flight. We left the pafTage at a quarter 
after three, and at half paft four arrived at a gravelly, wafte 
piece of ground, and all round it planted thick with large 
trees without fruit. The river is the boundary between At- 
bara and Barbar, in which province we now are. Its inha- 
bitants are the Jaheleen of the tribe of Mirifab. 

On the 26th, at fix o'clock, leaving the Nile on our left 
about a mile, we continued our journey over gravel and 
fand, through a wood of acacia-trees, the colour of whofe 
flowers was now changed to white, whereas all the reft we 
had before feen were yellow. At one o'clock we left the 
wood, and at 40 minutes paft three we came to Gooz, a 
fmall village, which neverthelefs is the capital of Barbar. 



The village of Gooz is a collection of miferable hovels com- 
pofed of clay and canes. There are not in it above 30 houfes, 
but there are fix or feven different villages. The heat 
feemed here a little abated, but everybody complained of 
a difeafe in their eyes they call Tifhafh, which often termi- 
nates in blindnefs, I apprehend it to be owing to the 
fimoom and fine fand blowing through the defert. Here a 
misfortune happened to Idris our Hybeer, who was arretted 
for debt, and carried" to prifon. As we were now upon the 
very edge of the defert, and to fee no other inhabited place 
till we mould reach Egypt, I was not difpleafed to have it 
in my power to lay him under one other obligation before 
we trufted our lives in his hands, which we were immedi- 
ately to do. I therefore paid his debt, and reconciled him 
with his creditors, who, on their part, behaved very mode- 
rately to him. 

When trade rlourifhed here, and the caravans went re- 
gularly, Gooz was of fome confideration, as being the firft 
place where they Hopped, and therefore got the firft offer 
of the market ; but now no commerce remains, nor is it 
worth while for flated guides to wait there to conduct the 
caravans through the defert, as they did formerly. Gooz 
is fituated fifteen miles from the junction of the two rivers, 
the Nile and Tacazze. By many obfervations of the fun 
and ftars, and by a mean of thefe, 1 found it to be in lat. 17 
57' 22"; and by an immerfion of the firft fatellite of Jupi- 
ter obferved there the 5th of November, determined its lon- 
gitude to be 34 20' 30" eaft of the meridian of Green- 
wich. The greater! height of Fahrenheit's thermometer 
was, at Gooz, the 28th day of October, at noon, 1 1 1°. 

3 Z 2 Having 


Having received all the afTurances poffible from Mrw 
that he would live and die with us, after having repeated the 
prayer of peace, we put on the bell countenance pofllble, 
and committed ourfelves to the defert. There were Ifmael 
the Turk, two Greek fervants befides Georgrs, who was 
almoft blind and ufelefs. Two Barbarins, who took care 
of the camels, Idris, and a young man, a relation of his, 
who joined him at Barbar, to return home ; in all nine 
perfons, eight only of whom were effective. We were all 
well-armed with blunderbuffes, f words, piflols, and double- 
barrelled guns, except Idris and his lad, who had lances-, 
the only arms they could ufe. Five or fix naked wretch- 
es of the Tucorory joined us at the watering place, much 
againft my will, for I knew that we mould probably be re- 
duced to the difagreeable neceflity of feeing them die with 
third before our eyes ; or by affifting them, lliould any ac- 
cident happen to our water, we ran a very great rifk o£ 
perilhing with them. 

It was on the 9th of November, at noon, we left GOoz; 
and fet out for the fakia, or watering-place, which is be- 
low a little village called Hana. All the well fide of the 
Nile is full of villages down to Takaki, but they are all 
jaheleen, without government, and perpetually in rebel- 
lion. At half pall three in the afternoon we came to the 
Nile to lay in our {lore of water. We filled four fkins, 
which might contain altogether about a hogfhead and a 
half. As for our food, it confided in twenty- two large 
goats fkins fluffed with a powder of bread made of dora 
here at Gooz, on'purpofe for fuch expeditions. It is about 
the fize and ihape of a pancake, but thinner. Being much 
dried, rather than toailed at the fire, it is afterwards rub- 
2 bed 


bed between the hands into a duft or powder, for the fake 
of package; and the goat's ikin crammed as full as poftible, 
and tied at the mouth with a leather thong. This bread 
has a fouriih tafte, which it imparts to the water when 
mingled with it, and fwells to fix times the fpace that it 
occupied when dry. A handful, as much as you could 
grafp, put into a bowl made of a gourd fa wed in two, about 
twice the contents of a common tea-bafon, was the quan- 
tity allowed to each man every day, morning and evening; 
and another fuch gourd of water divided, one half two 
hours before noon, the other about an hour after. Such 
were the regulations we air of us fubfcribed to ;we had not 
camels for a greater provifion. The Nile at Haifa runs 
at the foot of a mountain called Jibbel Atefhan, or the 
Mountain ofTbirft; the men, emphatically enough, coniider- 
ing that thofe who part from it, entering the defert, take 
there the firft provifions againft thirft, and there thofe that 
come to. it from the defert firfl affuage theirs,. 

On the nth, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon we 
left Haifa. It required a whole day to fill our ildns, and 
foak them well in the water, in order to make an experi- 
ment, which was of the greateft confequence of any one we 
ever made, whether thefe ikins were water-tight 1 or not. I 
had taken the greateft care while at Chendi to dawb them 
well over with greafe and tar, to fccure their pores on the 
outfide ; but Idris told us this was not enough, and that 
foaking the infide with water, filling them choak-full, and 
tying their mouths as hard as poffible, was the only way to 
be certain if they were water-tight without. 




While the camels were loading, I bathed myfelf with in- 
finite plcafure for a long half hour in the Nile, and thus 
took leave of my old acquaintance, very doubtful if we 
mould ever meet again. We then turned our face to N. E. 
leaving the Nile, and entering into a bare defert of fixed 
gravel, without trees, and of a very difagreeable whitifh co- 
lour, mixed with fmall pieces of white marble, and pebbles 
like alabafler. At a quarter pad four we alighted in a fpot 
of high bent grafs, where we let our camels feed till eight 
o'clock, and at three quarters pail ten we halted for the 
night in another patch of grafs ; the place is called Ho- 
weela. Jibbel Atefhan bore S. W. and by W. of us, the dis- 
tance about feven miles. I inquired of Idris, if he knew, to 
point out to me, precifely where Syene lay, and he mewed 
me without difficulty. I fet it by the compafs, and found 
it to be N. and by W. very near the exact bearing it turned 
out upon obfervation afterwards. He faid, however, . we 
mould not keep this tract, but fliould be obliged to vary oc- 
cafionally in fearch of water, as we mould find the wells in 
the defert empty or full. 

On the 12th, at feven o'clock in the morning we quitted 
Koweela, continuing our journey through the defert in the 
fame direction, that is to the N. E. ; our reafon was, to avoid 
as much as poflible the meeting any Arab that could give 
intelligence of our being on our journey, for nothing was 
fo eafy for people, fuch as the Bimareen, to way-lay and cut 
us off at the well, where they would be fure we mufl of 
neceffity pafs. At twenty minutes pad eight we came to 
Waadi el Hairner, where there are a few trees and fome bent 
grafs, for this is the meaning, of the word Waadi in a de- 
fert. The Arabs, called Sumgar, are here on the weft of us, 

3 by 



by the river fide. At half pad: twelve we alighted on a fpot 
of grafs. Takaki from this diftance will be twenty-four 
miles, between the points N. W. and N. N. W. and from Ta- 
kaki to Dongola ten fhort days journeys, I fuppofe 180 miles 
at moft. We are now in the territory of the Bimareen, but 
they were all retired to the mountains, a high even ridge, 
that is fome thing above two days diftance from us, and runs 
parallel to our courfe, on the right hand of us, all the way 
into Egypt. 

At half paft eight we alighted in a fandy plain without 
trees or grafs. Our camels, we found, were too heavily 
loaded, but we comforted ourfelves that this fault would be 
mended every day by the ufe we made of our provifions ; 
however, it was very much againft them that they were 
obliged to pafs this whole night without eating. This 
place is called Umboia. We left Umboia, ftiil ftretching 
farther into the defert at N. E. At nine we faw a hill called. 
AfTero-baybe, with two pointed tops N. of us, which may 
be about twelve or fourteen miles diftant, perhaps more, 
This is the next Hybeer's mark, by which he directs his 
courfe. On the eaft is Ebenaat, another iharp-pointed rock, 
about ten miles diftant. All this day, and the evening be- 
fore,ourroad has been through flony, gravelly ground, with- 
out herb or tree. Large pieces of agate and jafper, mixt 
with many beautiful pieces of marble, appear everywhere 
on the ground. 

At two o'clock in the afternoon we came to Waadi Amour, 
where we alighted, after we had gone fix hours this day 
with great diligence. Waadi Amour has a few trees and 
fhrubs, but fcarce enough to afford any made, or night's 



provision for our camels. Being now without fear of the 
Arabs who live upon the Nile, from which we were at a 
fumcient diftance, we with the fame view to fafety, declined 
approaching the mountains, but held our courfe nearly N. 
to a fmall fpot of grafs and white fand, called Afla-Nagga. 
Here our misfortunes began, from a circumftance we had 
not attended to. Our fhoes, that had needed conftant repair, 
were become at laft ahfolutely ufelefs, and the hard ground, 
from the time we paned Amour, had worn the fkin off in. 
feveral places, fo that our feet were very much inflamed by 
the burning fand. 

About a mile north-weft of us is Hambily, a rock not 
confiderable in fize, but, from the plain country in which it 
is fituated, has fhe appearance of a great tower or caftle, 
and fouth of it two hillocks or little hills. Thefe are all 
land- marks of the utmoft confequence to caravans in their 
journey, becaufe they are too confiderable in fize to be co- 
vered at any time by the moving fands. At AfTa Nagga, Aili- 
ro-baybe is fquare with us, and with the turn which the 
Nile takes eaft ward to Korti and Dongola. The Takaki are the 
people neareft us, weft of AfTa Nagga, and AfTero-baybe up- 
on the Nile. After thefe, when the Nile has turned E. and W. 
are the Chaigie, on both fides of the river, on to Korti, where 
the territory called the kingdom of Dongola begins. As the 
Nile no longer remains on our left, but makes a remark- 
able turn, which has been much mifreprefented in the maps, 
I put my quadrant in order, and by a medium of three ob- 
servations, one of Procyon, one of Rigel, and one of the mid- 
dle ftar of the belt of Orion, I found the latitude of AfTa 
Nagga to be 19 30', which being on a parallel with the far- 
iheft point of the Nile northward, gives the latitude of that 

. place 



place where the river turns weft by Korti towards Dongola, 
and this was of great fervice to me in fixing fome other mate- 
rial points in my map. 

On the 14th, at feven in the morning we left Affa Nagga, 
our courfe being due north. At one o'clock we alighted a- 
mong fome acacia-trees at Waadi el Halboub, having gone 
twenty-one miles. We were here at once furprifed and ter- 
rified by a fight furely one of the mofl magnificent in the 
world. In that vaft expanfe of defer t, from W. and to N. W. of 
us, we faw a number of prodigious pillars of fand at differ- 
ent diflances, at times moving with great celerity, at others 
ftalking on with a majeftic flownefs; at intervals we thought 
they were coming in a very few minutes to overwhelm us ; 
and fmall quantities of fand did actually more than once 
reach us. Again they would retreat fo as to be almoft out of 
fight, their tops reaching to the very clouds. There the tops 
often feparated from the bodies ; and thefe, once disjoined, 
difperfed in the air, and did not appear more. Sometimes 
they were broken near the middle, as if flruck with a large 
cannon fliot. About noon they began to advance with confi- 
derable fwiftnefsuponus,the wind being very ftrong at north. 
Eleven of them ranged alongfide of us about the diflance of 
three miles. The greateft diameter of the largefl appeared to 
me at that diflance as if it would meafure ten feet. They reti- 
red from us with a wind at S. E. leaving an impreffion upon 
my mind to which 1 can give no name, though furely one in- 
gredient in it was fear, with a confiderable deal of wonder 
and aftonifhment. It was in vain to think of flying ; the 
fwifteft horfe, or fafteft failing fhip, could be of no ufe to 
carry us out of this danger, and the full perfuafion of 
this rivetted me as if to the fpot where I flood, and let the 

Vol. IV. 4 A camels 


camels gain on me fo much in my ftate of Iamenefs, that it; 
was with fome difficulty I could overtake them. 

The effect this ftupendous fight had upon Idris was to. 
fet him to his prayers, indeed rather to his charms ; for,, 
befides the name of God and Mahomet, all the reft of the. 
words were mere gibberifh and nonfenfe. This created a 
violent altercation between him and Ifmael the Turk, who 
abufed him for not praying in the words of the Koran, main- 
taining, with apparent great wifdom at the fame time, that 
nobody had charms to flop thefe moving fands but the in-, 
habitants, of Arabia Deferta. 

The Arabs to whom this inhofpitable fpot belongs are 
the Adelaia. They, too, are Jaheleen, or Arabs of Beni Ko- 
reifh. They are faid to be a harmlefs race; and to do no 
hurt to the caravans they meet ; yet I very much doubt; 
had we fallen in with them they would not have deferved 
the good name that was given them. We went very flow- 
ly to-day, our feet being fore and greatly fwelled. The 
whole of our company were much disheartened, (except 
Idris) and imagined that they were advancing into whirls 
winds of moving fand, from which they mould never be 
able to extricate themfelves ; but before four o'clock in the 
afternoon thefe phantoms of the plain had all of them 
fallen to the ground and difappeared. In the evening we 
came to Waadi Dimokea, where we pafTed the night, much 
disheartened, and our fear more increafed, when we found, 
upon wakening in the morning, that one fide was perfectly 
buried in the fand that the wind had blown above us i#, 
the night. 


From this day, fubordination, though not entirely ceafed, 
was fall on the decline ; all was difcontent, murmuring, and 
fear. Our water was greatly diminifhed, and that terrible 
death by thirft began to flare us in the face, and this was 
owing in a great meafure to our own imprudence. Ifmael, 
who had been left centinel over the fkins of water, had 
flept fo foundly, that this had given an opportunity to a 
Tucorory to open one of the fkins that had not been touch- 
ed, and ferve himfelf out of it at his own difcretion. I fup- 
pofe that, hearing fomebody flir, and fearing detection, he 
had withdrawn himfelf as fpeedily as poflible, without ta- 
king time to tie the mouth of the girba, which we 
found in the morning with fcarce a quart of water in it. 

On the 15th, at a quarter pail feven in the morning we 
left Waadi Dimokea, keeping a little to the weflward of 
north, as far as I could judge, jufl upon the line of Syene. 
The fame ridge of hills being on our right and left as 
yefterday, in the center of thefe appeared Del Aned. At 
twenty minutes pafl two o'clock in the afternoon we came 
to amopening in the ridge of rocks ; the paJTage is about 
a mile broad, through which we continued till we alight- 
ed at the foot of the mountain Del Aned. The place is call- 
ed Waadi Del Aned. 

The fame appearance of moving pillars of fand prefent- 
ed themfelves to us this day in form and difpoiition like 
thofe we had feen at Waadi Halboub, only they feemed to 
be more in number, and lefs in fize. They came feveral 
times in a direction clofe upon us ; that is, 1 believe, with-* 
in lefs than two miles. They began, immediately after 
fun-rife, like a thick wood, and almoft darkened the fun : 

4 A 2 His-, 


His rays mining through them for near an hour, gave them 
an appearance of pillars of fire. Our people now became 
defperate : The Greeks fhrie-ked out, and faid it was the 
day of judgment. Ifmael pronounced it to be hell, and the 
Tucorories, that the world was on fire. I afked Idris if ever 
he had before feen fuch a fight ? He faid he had often feen 
them as terrible, though never worfe ; but what he feared 
moft was that extreme rednefs in the air, which was a fure 
prefage of the coming of the fimoom. I begged and en- 
treated Idris that he would not fay one word of that in the 
hearing of the people, for they had already felt it at Im- 
hanzara in their way from Ras el Feel to Teawa, and again 
at the Acaba of Gerri, before we came to Chendi, and they 
were already nearly diffracted at the apprerrenfion of find- 
ing it here. 

At half paft four o'clock in the afternoon we left Waad 
Del Aned, our courfe a little more to the weflward than the 
direction of Syene. The fands which had difappeared yef- 
terday fcarcely mewed themfelves at all this day, and at 
a great diftance from the horizon. This was, however, a 
comfort but of fliort duration. I obferved Idris took no 
part in it, but only warned me and the fervants, that, upon 
the coming of the fimoom, we mould fall upon our faces, 
with our mouths upon the earth, fo as not to partake of 
the outward air as long as we could hold our breath. We 
alighted at fix o'clock at a fmall rock in the fandy ground, 
without trees or herbage, fo that our camels failed all that 
night. This place is called Ras el Seah, or, by the Bifhareenj 
El Mout, which fignifies death, a name of bad omen. 



On the 16th, at half pa A: ten in the forenoon we left El 
Mout, ftanding in the direction clofe upon Syene. Our men, 
if not gay, were however in better fpirits than I had feen 
them fince we left Gooz. One of our Barbarins had even 
attempted a fong ; but Hagi Ifmael very gravely reproved 
him, by telling him, that finging in fuch a fituation was a 
tempting of Providence. There is, indeed, nothing more 
different than active and paflive courage. Hagi Ifmael would 
fight, but he had not ftrength of mind to fuffer. At eleven 
o'clock, while we contemplated with great pleafure the rug- 
ged top of Chiggre, to which we were fait approaching, and 
where we were to folace ourfelves with plenty of good wa- 
ter, Idris cried out, with a loud voice, Fall upon your faces, 
for here is the fimoom. I faw from the S. E. a haze come, 
in colour like the purple part of the rainbow, but not fo com- 
preffed or thick. It did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, 
and was about twelve feet high from the ground. It was a 
kind of blufii upon the air, and it moved very rapidly, for 
I fcarce could turn to fall upon the ground with my head to 
the northward, when I felt the heat of its current plainly up- 
on my face. We all lay flat on the ground, as if dead, till 
Idris told us it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze, 
which 1 faw, was indeed pafled, but the light air that {till 
blew wai of heat to threaten fuffocation. For my part, I 
found diitmctly in my breait that I had imbibed a part of it, 
nor was I free of an afthmatic fenfation till I had been fome 
months in Italy, at the baths of Poretta, near two years af- 

An univerfal defpondency had taken pofTefiion of our 
people. They ceaied to fpeak to one another, and when 



they did, it was in whifpers, by which I eafdy guefled their 1 
difcourfe was not favourable to me, or elfe that they were 
increafmg each others fears, by vain fuggeftions calculated 
to link each others fpirits Hill further, but from which no 
earthly good could poffibly refult, I called them together, 
and both reprimanded and exhorted them in the ftrongeft 
manner I could ; I bade them attend to me, who had nearly 
loll my voice by the fimoom, and delired them to look at 
my face, fo fwelled as fcarcely to permit me to fee; my 
neck covered with blifters, my feet fwelled and inflamed, 
and bleeding with many wounds. In anfwer to the lamen- 
tation that the water was exhaufled, and that we were upon 
the point of dying with thirft, I ordered each man a gourd 
full of water more than he had the preceding day, and 
mewed them, at no great diftance, the bare, black, and fharp 
point of the rock Chiggre, wherein was the well at which 
we were again to fill our girbas, and thereby banifh the fear 
of dying by third in the defert. I believe I never was at 
any time more eloquent, and never had eloquence a more 
fudden effect. They all protefted and declared their con- 
cern chiefly arofe from the fituation they faw me in ; that 
they feared not death or hardfhip, provided I would fubmit 
a little to their direction in the taking a proper care of my- 
felf. They intreated me to ufe one of the camels, and throw 
off the load that it carried, that it would eafe me of the 
wounds in my feet, by riding at leaf! part of the day. This 
I pofitively refufed to do, but recommended to them to be 
flrong of heart, and to fpare the camels for the lafl re- 
fource, if any fhould be taken ill and unable to walk any 

4. This 


This phenomenon of the fimoom, unexpected by us, 
though forefeen by Idris, caufed us all to relapfe into our 
former defpondency. It flill continued to blow, fo as to ex- 
hauft us entirely, though the blaft was fo weak as fcarcely 
would have raifed a leaf from the ground. At twenty mi- 
nutes before five the fimoom ceafed, and a comfortable and 
cooling breeze came by flarts from the north, blowing 
five or fix minutes at a time, and then falling calm. We 
were now come to the Acaba, the afcent before we arrive d 
at Chiggre, where we intended to have flbpt that night, 
but we all moved on with tacit confent, nor did oneperfon 
pretend to fay how far he guefTed we were to go. 

At thirteen minutes paft eight we alighted in a Tandy 
plain abfolutely without herbage, covered with loofe flones, 
a quarter of a mile due north of the well, which is in the 
narrow gorge, forming the fouthern outlet of this fmall 
plain. Though we had travelled thirteen hours and a quar- 
ther this day, it was but at a flow pace, our camels being 
famifhed, as well as tired, and lamed likewife by the fharp 
flones with which the ground in all places was covered. 
The country, for three days paft, had been deftitute of 
herbage of any kind, entirely defert, and abandoned to 
moving fands. We faw this day, after palling el Seah, 
large blocks and flrata of pure white marble, equal to any 
•n colour that ever came from Paros, - 

Chiggre is a fmall narrow valley, clofely covered up and 
furrounded with barren rocks. The wells are ten in num- 
ber, and the narrow gorge which opens to them is not 
ten yards broad. The fprings, however, are very abundant. 
Wherever a pit is dug five or fix feet deep, it is immediate- 


ly filled with water. The principal pool is about forty 
yards fquare and five feet deep ; but the beft tafled water 
was in the cleft of a rock, about 30 yards higher, on the 
weft fide of this narrow outlet. All the water, however, 
was very foul, with a number of animals both aquatic and 
land. It was impoffible to drink without putting a piece 
of our cotton girdle over our mouths, to keep, by filtration, 
the filth of dead animals out of it. We faw a great many 
partridges upon the face of the bare rock ; but what they 
fed upon L could not guefs, unlefs upon infects. We did 
not dare to fhoot at them, for fear of being heard by the 
wandering Arabs that might be fomewhere in the neigh- 
bourhood ; for Chiggre is a haunt of the Bifhareen of the 
tribe of Abou Bertran, who, though they do not make it a 
ilation, becaufe there is no pafture in the neighbourhood, 
nor can any thing grow there, yet it is one of the moll va- 
luable places of refrefliment, on account of the great quan- 
tity of water, being nearly half way, when they drive their 
cattle from the borders of the Red Sea to the banks of the 
Nile ; as alfo in their expeditions from fouth to north, when 
they leave their encampments in Barbar, to rob the Ababde 
Arabs on the frontiers of Egypt. 

Our firft attention was to our camels, to whom we gave 
that day a double feed of dora, that they might drink for 
the reft of their jonrney, fhould the wells in the way prove 
fcant of water. We then walhed in a large pool, the coldeft 
water, I think, I ever felt, on account of its being in a cave 
covered with rock, and was inacceffible to the fun in any 
direction. All ray people feemed to be greatly recovered by 
this refrigeration, but from fome caufe or other, it fared 
otherwife with the Tuckorory ; one of whom died about 
anhour afterour arrival, and another early thenext morning. 
3 Subordination 


Subordination, if now not entirely gone, was expiring, 
fo that I fcarcely expected to have intereft enough with my 
own Servants to help me to fet up my large quadrant: Yet 
I was exceedingly curious to know the fituatioh of this 
remarkable place, which Idris the Hybeer declared to be 
half way to AfTouan. But it feems their curiolity was not lefe 
than mine ; above all, they wanted to prove that Idris was 
miftaken, and that we were confiderably nearer to Egypt 
than we were to Barbar. While Idris and the men nlled the 
ikins with water, the Greeks and I fet up the quadrant, and, 
by observation of the two bright ftars of Orion, I found the 
latitude of Chiggre to be 2o°_58 / 30" N.; fo that, allowing even 
fome fmall error in the pofition of Syene in the French maps, 
Idris's guefs was very near the truth, and both the latitude 
and longitude of Chiggre and Syene feemed to require no 
further inveftigation. 

During the whole time of the observation, an antelope, 
of a very large kind, went feveral times round and round 
the quadrant ; and at the time when my eyes were fixed 
upon the ftar, came fo near as to bite a part of my cotton 
cloth which I had fpread like a Carpet to kneel on. Even 
when rflirred, it would leap about two or three yards from 
me, and then ftand and gaze with fuch attention, that it would 
have appeared to by-ilanders (had there been any) that we 
had been a long time acquainted. The firft idea was 
the common one, to kill it. I eafily could have done this 
with a lance ; but it feemed fo interefted in what I was do- 
ing, that I began to think it might perhaps be my good ge- 
nius which had come to vifit, protect., and encourage me in 
the defperate fituation in which I then was. 

Vol.W. 4B CHAPo 


&&' .'", : : l ' J \'"\ J », ^ 3 


Dijlrejfes in the Defert — Meet with Arabs — Camels die — Baggage aban- 
doned — Come to Syene. 

|N the 17th of November, at half paft ten in the fore- 
noon, we left the valley and pool of Chiggre. l£- 
mael, and Georgis the blind Greek, had complained of 
ihivering all night, and I began to be very apprehenfive 
fome violent fever was to follow. Their perfpiration hud 
not returned but in fmall quantity ever fince their coming 
out of the water, and the night had been exceffively cold, 
the thermometer Handing at 63 . The day, however, was 
infufferably hot, and their complaints infeniibly wore off to 
my great comfort. A little before eleven we were again 
terrified by an army (as it feemed) of fand pillars, whofe 
march was conftantly fouth, and the favourite field which 
they occupied was that great circular fpace which the Nile 
makes when oppofite to AfTa Nagga, where it turns weft 
to Korti and Dongola. At one time a number of thefe pil- 


lars faced to the eaftward, and feemed to be coming direct- 
ly upon us ; but, though they were little nearer us than 
two miles, a confiderable quantity of fand fell round us. 
I began now to be fomewhat reconciled to this phenome- 
non, feeing it had hitherto done us no harm. The great 
magnificence it exhibited in its appearance, feemed, in fome 
meafure, to indemnify us for the panic it had firrt occafion- 
cd : But it was otherwife with the fimoom ; we all of us 
were firmly perfuaded that another paflage of the purple 
- meteor over us would be attended with our deaths. 

At half part four we alighted in a vaft plain, bounded on 
all fides by low fandy hills, which feemed to have been tranf- 
* ported hither lately. Thefe hillocks were from feven to 
thirteen feet high, drawn into perfect cones, with very fharp 
joints and well-proportioned bafes. The fand was of an 
inconceivable finenefs, having been the fport of hot winds 
for thoufands of years. There could be no doubt that the 
<* y before, when it was calm, and we fuffered fo much 
by the fimoom between El Mout and Chiggre, the wind 
had been railing pillars of fand in this place, called Umdoom; 
marks of the whirling motion of the pillars were diftinctly 
Ceen in every heap, fo that here again, while we were re- 
pining at the fimoom, providence was bufied keeping us out 
of the way of another Icene, where, if we had advanced a 
■day, we had all of us been involved in inevitable deftruc- 

On the iS th we left Umdoom at feven in the morning, 
our direction N. a little inclined to W. ; at nine o'clock 
we paired through a fandy plain, without trees or ver- 
dure. About 300 yards out of our way, to the left, among 

4 B 2 fome 


forne fandy hillocks, where the ground feems- to be more 
elevated than the reft, Idris the Hybeer told me, that one of 
the large ft caravans which ever came out of Egypt, under 
the conduct of the Ababde: and the Bifhareen Arabs, was 
there covered with fand, to the number of fome thoufands 
of camels. There are large rocks of grey granite {battered i 
through this plain. At ten o'clock we alighted at a plac^ : 
called Hrbcygi, where are fome trees, to feed, our camels. 
The trees I have fo often mentioned in our journey thro' 
the defert are not timber, . or tall- growing. trees ;.. there are 
none of thefe north of Sennaar, except a few at Chendi. 
The trees I fpeak of, which the camels eat, are a kind of 
dwarf acacia, growing only to the height of bufhes ; and 
the wood fpoken of likewife is only of the defert kind, ate 
almofl bare by the camels. There are fome high trees, h> 
deed, on the banks of the Nile. At half pafl one o'clock 
we left Erboygi, and a large wood of doom (Palma 
cuciofera).. Here r for the firft time, we faw a fhrub which 
very much refembled Span ifli broom., The whole ground 5 
is dead fand, with fome rocks of reddifh granite. . Exactly, 
at five o'clock we alighted in the wood, after having trav 
veiled a moderate pace, . The place is called El Cowie, and< 
is a ilation of the Bifhareen in the furamer months; but 
thefe people were now-eaft of us, three days journey, towards 
the Red Sea, where the rains had fallen, and there was plen- 
ty of pafture. At forty minutes pafl twelve we left El. 
Gowie, and at five o'clock in the evening alighted in a wood, , 
called Terfowey, full of trees and grafs. The trees are the 
talleft and largefl we had £ccn fince leaving; the Nile. We . 
had this day enjoyed, as it were, a holiday, free from the 
terrors of the land, or dreadful influence of the fimoom. 
Tins poifbnous wind had made.feveral attempts to prevail 

thi$< : , 


tfiis day, but was always overpowered by a cool breeze at? 

On the igth we left the weft end of the wood,- or rather 
continued the whole length of it, and at a quarter paft eight 
in the evening arrived at the well. It is about four fa- 
thoms deep,, but the fpring. not very abundant. We drain-* 
edit feveral times, and were obliged to wait its filling again* 
Thefe laft two days, fince we were at El Cowie, we had feen 
more verdure than we had altogether fince we left Barbar, 
Here, particularly at Terfowey, the acacia-trees are tall and 
verdant, but the mountains on each fide appear black and » 
barren beyond imagination. 

As foon as we alighted at Terfowey; and had chofen a^ 
proper place where our camels could feed, we unloaded 
our baggage near them, and fent the men to clean the well, 
and wait the filling .of the fkins. We had lighted a large 
fire. The nights were exeeffively cold, though the thermo- 
meter was at 53 ; and that cold occafioned me inexprefiible 
pain in my feet, now fwelled to a? monftrous fize, and eve- 
rywhere inflamed and- excoriated. I had taken upon me the 
charge of the baggage, and Mahomet, Idris's young man, 
the care of the camels ; but he too was gone to the well, 
though expected to return immediately.. 

A doubt had arifen in my mind by the way, which was 
then giving me great uneafinefs. If Syene is under the 
fame meridian with Alexandria, (for fo Eratofthenes con- 
eeived.when he attempted to meafure the circumference of 


the earth), in this cafe, Alexandria being fuppofed to lye in 
long. 30°, Syene muft be in 30 likewife ; but Gooz being in 
34% it is impoffible that Syene can be within a trifle north 
of Gooz ; and therefore we mull have a much greater quan- 
tity of welling to travel than Idris the Hybeer imagines, 
who places Syene a very little weft of the meridian of 
Gooz, or immediately under the fame meridian, and due 
north from it. 

Our camels were always chained by the feet, and the 
chain fecured by a padlock, left they fhould wander in the 
night, or be liable to be ftolen and carried off. Mufing 
then upon the geographical difficulties juft mentioned, and 
gazing before me, without any particular intention or fuf- 
picion, I heard the chain of the camels clink, as if fome- 
body was unloofing them, and then, at the end of the gleam 
made by the fire, 1 faw diftinctly a man pafs fwiftly by, loop- 
ing as he went along, his face almoft to the ground. A lit- 
tle time after this I heard another clink of the chain, as if 
from a pretty fharp blow, and immediately after a move- 
ment among the camels. I then rofe, and cried in a threaten- 
ing tone, in Arabic, " I charge you on your life, whoever 
you arc, either come up to me direclly, or keep at a diftance 
till day, but come that way no more; why fhould you throw 
your life away ?" In a minute after, he repaffed in the made 
among the trees, pretty much in the manner he had done 
before. As I was on guard between the baggage and the 
camels, I was confequently armed, and advanced deliberate- 
ly fome ileps, as far as the light of the fire fhone, on purpofe 
to difcover how many they were, and was ready to fire up- 
on the next I faw. " If you are an honeft man, cried I aloud, 
and want any thing, come up to the fire and fear not, I am 
1 .alone ; 


alone ; but if you approach the camels or the baggage a- 
gain, the world will not be able to fave your life, and your 
blood be upon your own head." Mahomet, Idris's nephew, 
who heard me cry, came running up from the well to fee 
what was the matter. We went down together to where 
the camels were, and, upon examination, found that the 
links of one of the chains had been broke, but the opening 
not large enough to let the correfponding whole link 
through to feparate it. A hard blue ftone was driven 
through a link of one of the chains of another camel, and 
left {ticking there, the chain not being entirely broken 
through ; we faw, befides, the print of a man's feet on the 
fand. There was no need to tell us after this that we were 
not to fleep that night ; we made therefore another fire 
on the other fide of the camels with branches of the aca- 
cia-tree, which we gathered. I then fent the man back to 
Idris at the well, defiring him to fill his fkins with water 
before it was light, and tranfport them to the baggage 
where I was, and to be all ready armed there by the dawn 
of day ; foon after which, if the Arabs were furhciently 
ftrong, we were very certain they would attack us. This 
agreed perfectly with Idris's ideas alfo, fo that, contenting 
themfelves with a leiTer quantity of water than they firft 
intended to have taken, they lifted the fkins upon the camels 
I fent them, and were at the rendezvous, near the baggage, 
a little after four in the morning. 

The Barbarins, and, in general, all the lower fort of Moors 
and Turks, adorn their arms and wrifts with. amulets ; thefe 
are charms, and are fome favourite verfe of the Koran 
wrapt in paper, neatly covered with Turkey leather. The two 
Barbarins that were with me had procured for themfelves 



new ones at Sennaar, which were to defend them from tire 
fimoom and the fand, and all the dangers of the defert. That 
they might not foil thefe in filling the water, they had taken 
them from their arms, and laid them on the brink of the 
well before they went down. Upon looking for thefe after 
the girbas were. filled, they were not to be found. This double 
attempt was an indication of a number of people being in the 
neighbourhood, in which cafe our prefent fituation was one 
of the, moil defperate that could be figured. We were in 
the middle of the moft barren, inhofpitable defert in the 
world, and it was with the utmcft difficulty that, from day 
to day, we could carry wherewithal to affuage our thirft. 
We had with us the only bread it was poflible to procure 
for fome hundred miles ; lances and fwords were not ne- 
ceflary to deflroy us, the buriting or tearing of a girba, the 
lamenefs or death of a camel, a thorn or fprain in the foot 
which might difable us from walking, were as certain death 
to us as a fhot from a cannon. There was no "flaying for 
one another; to lofe time was to die, becaufe, with the ut- 
rnoft exertion our camels could make, we fcarce could carry 
along with us a fcanty provifion.of bread and water fuffi- 
cient to keep us alive. 

That defert, which did not afford inhabitants for the af- 
firmance or relief of travellers, had greatly more than fuffi- 
cient for deftroying them. Large tribes of Arabs, two or 
three thoufand, encamped together, were cantoned, as it 
were, in different places of this defert, where there was wa- 
ter enough to ferve their numerous herds of cattle, and thefe, 
as their occafion required, traverfed in parties all that wide 
expanfe of folitude, from the mountains near the Red Sea 
.eaft, to the ba n ks.°f the Nile on the weft, according as their 
^ feveral 


feveral defigns or neceilities required. Thefe were Jaheleen 
Arabs, thofe cruel, barbarous fanatics, that deliberately (lied 
£0 much blood during the time they were eftablifhing the 
Mahometan religion. Their prejudices had never been re- 
moved by any mixture of ftrangers, or fof tened by fociety, 
even with their own nation after they were poliflied ; but 
buried, as it were, in thefe wild deferts, if they were not 
grown more favage, they had at leafl preferved, in their 
full vigour, thofe murdering principles which they had 
brought with them into that country, under the brutal and 
inhuman butcher Kaled Ibn el Waalid, impiouily called 
The Sword of God. If it mould be our lot to fall among thefe 
people, and it was next to a certainty that we were at that 
very inftant furrounded by them, death was certain, and 
our only comfort was, that we could die but once, and that 
to die like men was in our own option. Indeed, without 
coniidering the bloody character which thefe wretches na- 
turally bear, there could be no reafon for letting us live.: 
We could be of no iervice to them as flaves ; and to have 
fent us into Egypt, after having firft rifled and deftroyed our 
goods, could not be done by them but at a great expence, 
to which well-inclined people only could have been induced 
from charity, and of that laft virtue they had not even heard 
.the name. Our only chance then remaining was., that their 
.number might be fo fmall, that, by our great fuperiority in 
fire-arms and in courage, we might turn the misfortune 
upon the aggrelTors, deprive them of their camels and 
means of carrying water, and leave them fcattered in the 
defert, to that death which either they or we, without al- 
ternative, mult fuller. 

Vol. IVc 4 C I explained 

57 Q 


I explained myfelf to this purpofe, briefly to the people, 
on which a great cry followed, " God is great ! let them 
come !" Our arms were perfectly in order, and our old 
Turk Ifmael feemed to move about and direct with the vi- 
gour of a young man. As we had no doubt they would 
be mounted on, camels, fo we placed ourfelves a little with- 
in the edge of the trees. The embers of our two fires were 
on our front ; our tents, baggage, and boxes, on each fide of 
us, between the opening of the trees ; our camels and wa- 
ter behind us, the camels being chained together behind 
the water, and ropes at their heads, which were tied to trees. 
A fkin of water, and two wooden bowls befide it, was left 
open for thofe that mould need to drink. We had finifhed 
our breakfaft before day-break, and I had given all the 
men directions to fire feparately, not together, at the fame 
fet of people ; and thofe who had the blunderbuffes to fire 
where they faw a number of camels and men together, 
and efpecially at any camels they faw with girbas upon them, 
or where there was the greateft confufion. 

The day broke; no Arabs appeared; all was ft ill. The dan- 
ger which occurred to our minds then was, left, if they were 
few, by tarrying we mould give them time to fend off mef- 
fengers to bring afliftance. I then took Ifmael and two 
Barbarins along with me, to fee who thefe neighbours of ours 
could be. We foon traced in the fand the footfteps of the man 
who had been at our camels ; and, following them behind 
the point of a rock, which feemed calculated for concealing 
thieves, we faw two raggedy old, dirty tents, pitched with 
grafs cord So. 



The two Barbarins entered one of them, and found a 
naked woman there. Ifmael and I ran brifkly into the lar- 
geft, where we faw a man and a woman both perfectly na- 
ked, frightful, emaciated figures, not like the inhabitants 
of this world. The man was partly fitting on his hams ; a 
child, feemingly of the age to fuck, was on a rag at the cor- 
ner, and the woman looked as if fhe wifhed to hide her- 
felf. I fprung forward upon the man, and, taking him by 
the hair of the head, pulled him upon his back on the 
floor, fetting my foot upon his breaft, and pointing my 
knife to his throat ; I faid to him flernly, " If you mean to 
pray, pray quickly, for you have but this moment to live." 
The fellow was fo frightened, he fcarce could beg us to 
fpare his life ; but the woman, as it afterwards appeared, 
the mother of the fucking child, did not feem to copy the 
paffive difpofition of her hufband ; fhe ran to the corner of 
the tent, where was an old lance, with which, I doubt 
not, fhe would have fufficiently diftinguifhed herfelf, but 
it happened to be entangled with the cloth of the tent, and 
Ifmael felled her to the ground with the butt-end of his 
blunderbufs, and wrefted the lance from her. A violent 
howl was fet up by the remaining woman like the cries of 
thofe in torment. " Tie them, faid I, Ifmael ; keep them 
feparate, and carry them to the baggage till I fettle accounts 
with this camel-ftealer, and then you mail ftrike their 
three heads off, where they intended to leave us miferably 
to perifh with hunger; but keep them feparate." While 
the Barbarins were tying the woman, the one that was the 
nurfe of the child turned to her hufband, and faid, in a 
moft mournful, defpairing tone of voice, " Did I not tell 
you, you would never thrive if you hurt that good man ? 

3 G 2 did 


did not I tell you this would happen for murdering the 

Our people had come to fee what had paired, and I 
fent the women away, ordering them to be kept feparate,' 
out of the hearing of one another, to judge if in their an- 
fwers they did not prevaricate. The woman defired to have 
her child with her, which I granted. The little creature; 
inftead of being frightened, crowed, and held out its little 
hands as it paffed me. We fattened the Arab with the chain 
of the camels, and fo far was well ; but ftill we did not 
know how near the Bifhareen might be, nor who thefe 
were, nor whether they had fent off any intelligence in the 
night. Until we were informed of this, our cafe was little 
mended. Upon the man's appearing, all my people decla- 
red, with one general voice, that no time was to be loft, but 
that they mould all be put to death as foon as the camels 1 
were loaded, before we fet out on our journey ; and, in- 
deed, at firft view of the thing, felf-prefervation, the firft 
law of nature, feemed ftrongly to require it. Hagi Ifmaei , 
was fo determined on the execution that he was already 
feeking a knife fharper than his own. " We will flay, Hagi 
Ifmaei, faid I, till we fee if this thief is a liar alfo. If he pre- 
varicates in the anfwers he gives to my queftions, you mall 
then cut his head off, and we will confign him with the 
lie in his mouth, foul and body to hell, to his mailer whom 
he ferves." Ifmaei anfwered. " The truth is the truth; if. 
he lies, he can deferv.e no better.. 

The reader will eafily underftand the neceffity of my 
fpeaking at that moment in terms not only unufual for a 
Chriftian, but even in any fociety or converfation ; and if the 



ferocity and. brutality of the difcourfe fhould mock any, 
efpecially my fair readers, they will remember, that thefe 
were intended for a good and humane purpofe, to produce 
fear in thofe upon whom we had no other tie, and thereby 
extort a confeffion of the truth; which might anfwer two 
purpofes, the faving the effufion of their blood, and provi- 
ding for our own prefervation. " You fee, faid I, placing the 
man upon his knees, your time is fhort, the fword is now 
drawn which is to make an end of you, take time, anfwer 
diftindtly and deliberately, for the firft trip or lie that you 
make, is the laft word that you will utter in this world. Your 
wife mall have her fair chance likewife, and your child ; you 
and all mall go together, unlefs you tell me the naked 
truth. Here, Ifmael, ftand by him, and take ray fword, it 
is, I believe, the fharpeft in the company." 

" Now I afk you, at your peril, Who was the good man 
your wife reproached you with having murdered ? where 
was it, and when, and who were your accomplices ? He 
anfwered trembling, and indiftinctly, through fear, " It was 
a black, an Agafrom Chendi." " Mahomet To wafh, fays If- 
mael ; Ullah Kerim ! God is merciful !" "The fame," fays 
the Bifhareen. He then related the particulars of his death 
in the manner in which I mall have occafion to ftate after- 
wards. " Where are the Bifhareen ? continued I ; where is 
Abou Bertran ? how foon will a light camel and meiTenger 
arrive where he now is ?" " In lefs than two days; perhaps, 
fays he, in a day and a half, if he is very diligent and tlze 
camel good." " Take care, faid I, you are in danger. Where 
did you and your women come from, and when ?" " From 
Abou Bertran, fays he; we arrived, here at noon on the 5th 



day*, but the camels were all fhe-camels ; they are favourite 

camels of Shekh Seide ; we drove them foftly ; the two you 

faw at the tents are lame ; befides there were fome others 

unfound ; there were alfo women and children." " Where 

did that party, and their camels, go to from this ? and what 

number of men was there with them ?" " There were about 

three hundred camels of all forts, and about thirty men, 

all of them fervants ; fome of them had one lance, and 

fome of them two ; they had no fhields or other arms." 

" What did you intend lafl night to do with my camels ?" 

" I intended to have carried them, with the women and 

child, to join the party at the Nile." M What muft have 

become of me in that cafe ? we muft have died ?" He did 

not anfwer. " Take care, faid I, the thing is now over, and 

you are in my hands; take care what you fay." " Why, 

certainly, fays he, you muft have died, you could not live, 

you could not go anywhere elfe." " If another party had 

found us here, in that cafe would they haveflain us ?" He 

heftated a little, then, as if he recollected himfelf, faid, "Yes, 

furely, they murdered the Aga, and would murder any 

body that had not a Biftiareen with them." A violent cry 

of condemnation immediately followed. " Now attend and 

underftand me diftinctly, faid I, for upon thefe two que- 

ftions hangs your life : Do you know of any party of 

Bifhareen who are foon to pafs here, or any wells to the 

north, and in what number? and have you fent any 

intelligence fince laft night you faw us here ?" He anfwer- 

ed, with more readinefs than ufual, " We have fent nobody 

anywnere ; 

* It is not here to be underftood that the Arab defcribed the day by the 5th, but by an 
interval of time which we knew correfponded to the 5th. 


anywhere; our camels are lame; we were to follow, as foon 
as they could be able to travel, to join thofe at the Nile. 
The parties of the Bifhareen are always pafling here, fome» 
times more, fometimes lefs ; they will not come till they 
hear from the Nile whether the grafs is grown. They have 
with them two dromedaries, who will carry the news from 
the Nile in three days, or they will come in fmall parties 
like the laft, for they have no fear in thefe parts. The wells 
to the north belong to the Ababde. When they pafs by 
them with cattle they are always in great numbers, and a 
Shekh along with them ; but thofe wells are now fo fcan- 
ty they have not water for any number, and they muft 
therefore all pafs this way." 

I got up, and called on Ifmael. The poor fellow thought 
he was to die. Life is fweet even to the mod miferable> 
He was {till upon his knees, holding his hands clafped round 
the back of his neck, and already, I fuppofe, thought he felt 
the edge of Ifmael's knife. He fwore that every word he 
had fpoken was truth; and if his wife was brought me could 
not tell another ftory. 

I thereupon left him, and went to his wife, who, when 
fhe faw Hagi Ifmael with a drawn fword in his handy- 
thought all was over with her hufband, and fell into a vio- 
lent fit of defpair, crying out, " That all the men were liars 
and murderers, but that fhe would have told the truth if I 
had afked her firft." " Then go, Hagi Ifmael, faid I, tell 
them not to put him to death till I come, and now you have 
your chance, which if you do not improve by telling the 
truth, I will firft flay your child with my own hand before 
your face, and then order you alL to be cruelly put tOi 
3, death 


death together." She began with great earneflnefs to fay, 
" She could not tell who killed Mahomet Towafh, for fhe 
only heard it in converfation from her hufband, who was 
there, after he had come home." I then, word for word, 
put thofe quellions to her that I had done to her hufband, 
and had precifely the fame anfwers. The only difference 
was, that fhe believed a party of the Ababde would pafs Chig- 
gre foon; but feeing me rife to go away, fhe burft out into a 
flood of tears, and tore her hair in the moll violent excefs 
of pafuon; fhrieking out, to have mercy upon her, and pref- 
fing the little child to her breafl as if to take leave of it, 
then laying it down before me, in great agony and bitter- 
nefs of heart, fhe again fhrieked out, " If you are a Turk^ 
make it a nave, but do not kill my child, and fpare my huf- 

Though I underflood Arabic well, I did not, till that 
day, know it had fuch powers, or that it contained expref- 
fions at once fo forcible and fo fimple. I found myfelf fo 
much moved, and my tears came fo fail, that it was in 
vain to endeavour to carry on a farce under fuch tragical 
appearances, " Woman, faid I, I am not a Turk, nor do I 
'make flaves, or kill children. It is your Arabs that force 
me to this ; it was you that attacked me lafl night, it was you 
that murdered Mahomet Towafh, one of your own religion, 
and bufied in his duty. I am a flranger, feeking my own 
fafety, but you are all murderers and thieves." — " It is true, 
fays fhe, they are all murderers and liars, and my hufband, 
not knowing, may have lied too. Only let me hear what 
he told you, and I will tell you whether it is truth or not." 
Day was now advancing apace, and no refolution taken, 
whilft our prefent fituation was a very unfafe one. We 
4 .carried 


carried the three prifoners bound, and fet George, the 
Greek, centinal oyer them. I then called the people toge- 

I stated fairly, in a council held among ourfelves, the 
horror of flaughtering the women and child, or even lea- 
ving them to ftarve with hunger by killing their camels, 
from whom they got their only fuftenance ; for, though we 
fhould not flain our hands with their blood, it was the fame 
thing to leave them to perifti : that we were ftrangers, and 
iiad fallen upon them by accident, but they were in their 
own country. On the contrary, fuppofe we only flew the 
man, any of the women might mount a camel, and, travel- 
ling with diligence, might inform the Bifhareen, who would 
lend a party and cut us off at the next well, where we mull 
pafs, and where it would be imponible to efcape them. I 
inuft fay, there was u confiderable majority for fparing the 
women and child, and not one but who willingly decreed 
the death of the man, who had confeffed he was endeavour- 
ing to Ileal our camels, and that he intended to carry them 
to his party at the Nile ; in which cafe the lofs of all our 
lives was certain, as we mould have been flarved to death, 
•or murdered by the Arabs, 

The very recital of this attempt fo enraged Hagi Ifmael 
that he defired he might have the preference in cutting off 
his head. The Barbarins, too, were angry for the lofs of 
their bracelets. Indeed every one's opinion was, that the 
Arab mould die, and efpecially fince the account of their be- 
haviour to Mahomet Tovvafh, whofe death I, for my own 
part, cannot fay I thought myfelf under any obligation to 
revenge. " Since you are differing in your opinions, and 

Vol. IV. 4 D there 


there is no time to lofe, faid I, allow me to give you mine* 
It has appeared to me, that often,. fince we began this jour- 
ney, wc have been preferved by viiible inftances of God's 
protection, when we fhould have loft our lives if we. had; 
gone by -the rules of our own judgment only. We are, it is ■ 
true, of different religions, but all worlliip the fame Godi. 
Suppoie the p relent cafe ( a trial, whether we trufl 
really in God!s protection, or whether we believe our fafe- 
ty owing to our own forefight and courage. If the man's 
life be now taken away, to-morrow we may meet the Bifha- 
reen, and then we fhall all reflect upon the folly of our precam 
tion. For my own part, my conftant creed is, that I am in 
God's hands, whether in the houfe or in the defert ; and not 
in thofe of the Bifhareen, or of any lawlefs fpoiler. I have 
a clear confcience,, and am engaged in no unlawful purfuit, 
feeking on foot my way home, feeding on bread and water, 
and have done, nor delign, wrong to no man. We are well 
armed, are nine in number, and have twice as many fire- 
locks, many ofthefe with double-barrels, and others of a fize 
never before feen by Arabs, armies of whom have been de- 
feated with fewer:, we are ragged and tattered in our clothes; , 
and no prize to any one, nor do I think we fhall be found 
a party of pleafure for any fet of wild young men, to leave 
their own homes, with javelins and lances to way-lay us at 
the well for fport and diverfion, fince gain and profit are out 
of the queftion. But this I declare to you, if- ever we meet 
thefe Arabs, if the ground. is fuch as has been near all the 
wells we have come to, I will fight the Bifhareen boldly 
and chearfully, without a doubt of beating them with eafe- 
I do not fay my feelings would be the fame if my confcience 
was loaded with that mofl heinous and horrid crime, mur- 


tier in cold blood ; and therefore my determination is ,to 
fpare the life even of this man, and will oppofe his being 
put to death by every means in my power." 

It was eafy to fee, that fear of their own lives only, and 
not cruelty, was the reafon they fought that of the Arab. 
They anfwered me, two or three of them at once, " That 
it was all very well ; what mould they do? mould they 
give themfelves up to the Bifhareen, and be murdered like 
Mahomet Towafli ? was there any other way of efcaping ?" 
" I will tell you, then, fince you afk me what you mould do: 
You mail follow the duty of felf-defence and felf-preferva- 
tion, as far as you can do it without a crime. You fhall 
leave the women and the child where they are, and with 
them the camels, to give them and their child milk; you 
mall chain the hufband's right hand to the left of fome of 
yours, and you ifiall each of you take him by turns till we 
fhall carry him into Egypt Perhaps he knows the defert 
and the wells better than Idris; and if he mould not,ftill we 
have two Hy beers inftead of one ; and who can foretell 
what may happen to Idris more than to any other of us ? 
But as he knows the ftations of his people, and their cour- 
•fes at particular feafons, that day we meet one Bifhareen, 
the man that is chained with him, and conducts him, (hall 
inftantly flab him to the heart, fo that he mall not fee, much 
lefs triumph in, the fuccefs of his treachery. On the con- 
trary, if he is faithful, and informs Idris where the danger 
is, and where we are to avoid it, keeping us rather by icatity 
-wells than abundant ones, on the day I arrive fafely in rgypt 
I will cloath him anew, as alfo his women, give him a good 
camel for himfelf, and a load.of.dora for them all. As for 

4 D 2 the 


the camels we leave here, they are fhe-ones, and necefiary to 
give the women food. They are not lame, it is faid, but we 
fhall lame them in earneft, fo that they fhall not be able to 
carry a melTenger to the Bilhareen before they die with 
thirft in the way, both they and their riders r if they fhould 
attempt it.' r 

An univerfal applaufe followed this fpeeeh; Idris, above 
all, declared his warmeft approbation* The man and the 
women were fent for, and had their fentence repeated to 
them. They all fubfcribed to the conditions chearfully j 
and the woman declared fhe would as foon fee her child 
die as be an inftrument of any harm befalling us, and that, 
if a thoufand Bifhareen mould pafs, fhe knew how to mif- 
lead them all, and that none of them mould follow us till 
we were far out of danger. 

I sent two Barbarins to lame the camels effectually, butr 
not fo as to make them paft recovery. After which, for the 
nurfe and the child's fake, I took twelve handfuls of the 
bread which was our only food, and indeed we could 
fcarely fpare it, as we faw afterwards, and left it to this mi- 
ferable family, with this agreeable reneclion, however, that: 
we fhould be to them in the end a much greater blefling 
than in the beginning we had been an affliction, provided- 
only they kept their faith, and on their part deferved it. 

On the 20th, at eleven o'clock we left the well at Terfowey* 
after having warned the women, that their chance of feeing 
their hufband again depended wholly upon his and their 
faithful conducl;. We took our prifoner with us, his right 
handbeingchained to the left of one of the Barbarins. We had 



uo fooner got into the plain than we felt great fymptoms of 
the fimoom, and about a quarter before twelve, our prifoner 
firft, and then Idris, cried out, The Simoom ! the Simoom ! 
My curiofity would not fuffer me to fall down without 
looking behind me. About due fouth, a little to the eaft, 
I faw the coloured haze as before. It feemed now to be ra- 
ther lefs compreiied, and to have with it a made of blue. 
The edges of it were not denned as thofe of the former, 
but like a very thin fmoke, with about a yard in the mid- 
dle tinged with thofe colours. We all fell upon our faces ? 
and the fimoom paned with a gentle ruining wind. It con- 
tinued to blow in this manner till near three o'clock, fo we 
were all taken ill that night, and fcarcely ftrength was left 
us to load the camels and arrange the baggage. This day 
one of our camels died, partly famifhed, partly overcome 
with extreme fatigue, fo that, incapable as we were of la- 
bour, we were obliged, for felf-prefervation's fake, to cut 
off thin flices of the nefhy part of the camel, and hang it 
in fo many thongs upon the trees all night, and after upon 
the baggage, the fun drying it immediately, fo as to pre- 
vent putrefaction- 

At half paft eight In the evening we alighted at a well 
called Naibey, in a bare, fandy plain, where there were a few 
ftraggling acacia- trees. We had all this day feen large 
blocks of fomle fait upon the furface of the earth where 
we trod. This was the caufe, I fuppofe, that both the fpring 
at Terfowey, and now this of Naibey, were brackifh to the 
tafte, and efpecially that of Naibey. We found near the 
well the corpfe of a man and two camels upon the ground. 
It was apparently long ago that this accident happened, for 
the moiilure of the camel was fo exhaled that it feemed to 



weigh but a very few pounds ; no vermin had touched it, 
-as in this whole defert there is neither worm, -fly, nor any 
thing that has. the breath of life. 

On the 2 i ft, at fix in the morning, having filled the gir- 
bas with water, we let out from Naibey, our direction due 
north, and, as we thought, in a courfe almoft ftraight upon 
Syene. The firft. hour of our journey was through fharp- 
pointed rocks, which it was very eaiy to fore-fee would very 
foon finifli our camels. About eight we had a view of the 
defert to the weftward as before, and faw the fands had al- 
ready begun to rife in immenfe twilled pillars, which dark- 
ened the heavens. The rifmg of thefe in the morning fo ear- 
ly, we began now to obferve, was a fure fign of a hot day, 
with a briik wind at north ; and that heat, and the early 
riling of the fands, was as iure a fign of its falling calm about 
mid-day, and its being followed by two hours of the poifon- 
ous wind. That laft confideration was what made the great- 
er!: imprefhon, for we had felt its effects ; it had filled us 
with fear, and abforbed the laft remnant of our ftrength; 
whereas the fand, though a deftruclion to us if it had in- 
volved us in its