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to remember not to eat the fish of a certain river in the territory of Giba, in the province of Shat. The king, however, flushed with his former victories, forgot the name of the river and the injunction; and, having eat fish out of this river, was immediately after taken dangerously ill, and died on his return. The writer of his life fays, that the fatal effects of this river were afterwards experienced in the reign of Yafous the Great, at the time in which he wrote, when the king's whole army, encamped along the fides of this river, were taken with violent fickness after eating the fish caught in it, and that many of the foldiers died. Whether this be really fact or not, Mr. Bruce does not take upon him to decide. Whether fish, or any other animal, living in water impregnated with poifonous minerals, can preferve its own life, and yet imbibe a quantity of poifon fufficient to destroy the men that fhould eat it, feems to him very doubtful.

Sertza Denghel was of a very humane, affable disposition, very different from his father Menas. He was fledfaft in his adherence to the church of Alexandria, and feemed perfectly indifferent as to the Romish church and clergy. In converfation, he frequently condemned their tenets, but always commended the fobriety and fanctity of their lives.

ZA DENG HEL.

C

FROM 1595 TO 1604.

NO fooner was Sertza Denghel dead, perhaps some time before, but a confpiracy was formed to change the order of fucceffion, and this was immediately execu.ed by order of the triumvirate, who fent a body of foldiers and feized Za Denghel, and carried him close prifoner to Deck, a large island in the lake Tzana, belonging to the queen, where he was kept for fome time, till he escaped and hid himself in the wild inacceffible mountains of Gojam, which there form the banks of the Nile. He was, however, afterwards reftored, and converted to the Romish religion. The transaction of this and the two succeeding reigns were, in a manner, but one continued scene of rebellion, bloodshed and flaughter. The Roman Catholic miffionaries fent to Abyffinia alfo employ feveral sheets in the original work; but as these are matters foreign to the plan of an abridgment, we fhall only

obferve,

obferve, that Za Denghel was fucceeded by Jacob, who reigned from 1604 to 1605, and was fucceeded by Socinios, who reigned from 1605 to 1632. We fall conclude this book with an extract or two from the occurrences of this lait reign.

Mr. Bruce, in his account of the kingdom of Gingiro, fays, all matters in this ftate are conducted by magic; and we may fee to what point the human understanding is debased in the distance of a few leagues. Let no man fay that ignorance is the caufe, or heat of climate, which is the unintelli gible obfervation generally made on thefe occafions. For why fhould heat of climate addict a people to magic more than cold? or, why should ignorance enlarge a man's powers, fo that, overleaping the bounds of common intelligence, it fhould extend his faculty of converfing with a new set of beings in another world? The Ethiopians, who nearly surround Abyffinia, are blacker than those of Gingiro, their country hotter, and are, like them, an indigenous people that have been, from the beginning, in the fame part where they now inhabit. Yet the former neither adore the devil nor pretend to have a communication with him; they have no human facrifices, nor are there any traces of fuch enormities having prevailed among them. A communication with the fea has been always open, and the flave-trade prevalent from the earliest times; while the king of Gingiro, shut up in the heart of the continent, facrifices thofe flaves to the devil which he has no opportunity to fell to man. For at Gingiro begins that accursed custom of making the shedding of human blood a neceffary part in all folemnities. How far to the fouthward this reaches Mr. Bruce does not pretend to know; but he looks upon this to be the geographical bounds of the reign of the devil on the north fide of the equator in the peninfula of Africa.

When the king of Gingiro dies, the body of the deceased is wrapped in a fine cloth, and a cow is killed. They then put the body fo wrapped up into the cow's fkin. As foon as this is over, all the princes of the royal family fly and hide themselves in the bushes; while others, intrufted with the election, enter into the thickets, beating every where about as if looking for game. At laft a bird of prey, called in their country Liber, appears, and hovers over the perfon destined

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destined to be king, crying and making a great noise without quitting his station. By this means the perfon destined to be elected is found, furrounded, as is reported, by tigers, lions, panthers, and fuch-like wild beasts. This is imagined to be done by magic, or the devil, elfe there are every where enough of these beasts lying in the cover to furnish materials for fuch a tale, without having recourfe to the power of magic to affemble them. As they find their king, like a wild beast, so his behaviour continues the fame after he is found. He flies upon them with great rage, resisting to the last, wounding and killing all he can reach without any confideration, till, overcome by force, he is dragged to a throne, which he fills in a manner perfectly correfponding to the rationality of the ceremonies of his inftalment.

Before the king enters his palace, two men are to be flain; one at the foot of the tree by which his house is chiefly supported; the other at the threshold of his door, which is besmeared with the blood of the victim. And, it is faid, that the particular family, whofe privilege it is to be flaughtered, fo far from avoiding it, glory in the occafion, and offer themfelves willingly to meet it.

The Ethiopic memoirs of Socinios's reign is interrupted to record a very trifling anecdote, which Mr. Bruce inferts, as it ferves to give fome idea of the fimplicity and ignorance of thofe times. The hiftorian fays, that this, year there was brought into Abyffinia, a bird called Para, which was about the bigness of a hen, and spoke all languages; Indian, Portuguese, and Arabic. It named the king's name; although its voice was that of a man, it could likewife neigh like a horse, and mew like a cat, but did not fing like a bird. It was produced before the affembly of judges of the priests, and the azages of court, and there it spoke with great gravity. The affembly, after confidering circumstances well, were unanimously of opinion, that the evil spirit had no part in endowing it with thefe talents. But to be certain of this, ́it was thought moft prudent to take the advice of Ras Sela Chriftos, then in Gojam, who might, if he thought fit, confult the fuperior of Mahebar Selaffé; to them it was fent, but it died on the road. The hiftorian closes his narrative by this wife reflection on the parrot's death, « Such is the lot of all flesh." TRAVELS

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ANNALS OF ABYSSINIA.

CONTINUATION OF THE ANNALS, FROM THE DEATH OF SOCINIOS TILL MR. BRUCE'S ARRIVAL IN ABYSSINIA.

713

1

FACILIDAS, OR SULTAN SEGUED.

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FROM 1632 TO 1665.

F

ACILIDAS, in the fifth year of his reign, after having gained feveral victories over the neighbouring princes, paffed the winter in Gafat; but a misfortune happened the following year, which very much affected the whole kingdom. The people of Lafta grew defperate from their former defeat, and determined again to try the fortune of war. Facilidas, trufting to his former reputation acquired in these mountains in his father's time, on the third of March 1638, advanced with a large army into Lafta, with a defign to bring thefe peasants to a battle. But the rebels, growing wife by their laffes, no longer chofe to truft themselves on the plain,

but,

but, retiring to the strongest posts, fortified them so judicioufly, that, without risking any lofs themselves, they cut off all fupplies or provifions coming to the king's army.

It happened at that time the cold was fo exceffive that almost the whole army perished amidst the mountains; great part from famine, but a greater still from cold, a very remarkable circumftance in thefe latitudes. Lasta is barely 12° from the Line, and it was now the equinox in March, fo that the fun was but 12° from being in the zenith of Lafta, and there was in the day twelve hours of fun. Yet here is an example of an army, not of foreigners, but natives, perishing with cold in their own country, when the fun is no farther than 12o from being vertical, or from being directly over their heads; a strong proof this, that there is no way of judging by the degrees of heat in the thermometer, what effect that degree of heat or cold is to have upon the human body.

A

Facilidas, after a long reign, in which nothing very remarkable occurred, was taken ill at Gondor, in the end of October, of a disease which, from its first appearance, he thought would prove mortal. He, therefore, fent to his eldest fon Hannes, whom he had constantly kept with him, and who was now of age to govern, and recommended to him his kingdom, and the perfevering in the ancient religion. He died the 30th of September 1665, in great peace and compofure of mind, and they buried him at Azazo. Facilidas had every good quality neceffary to constitute a great prince, without any alfoy or mixture; that, upon so much provocation as he had, might have mifled him to be a bad one. He was calm, difpaffionate, and courteous in his behaviour. In the very difficult part he had to act between his father and the nation, the neceffities of the times had taught him a degree of referve, which, if it was not natural, was not therefore the lefs useful to him. He was in his own perfon the bravest foldier of his time, and always exposed himself in proportion as the occafion was important. To this were added all the qualities of a good general, in which character he seems to have equalled his father Socinios, who else was univerfally allowed to be the firft of his time. Fierce and violent in bat

tle,

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