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tle, he was backward in shedding blood after it. Though an enemy to the Catholic religion, yet, from duty to his father, he lived with the patriarch and Jefuits upon so familiar a footing, that they confefs themselves, it was not from any part of his behaviour to them they ever could judge him an enemy. He was most remarkable for an implicit fubmiffion to his father's commands; and, upon this principle, fought in favour of the Catholic religion and against his own friends and perfuafion, becaufe fuch were the orders of his fovereign.
HANNES I. OR OELAFE SEGUED.
FROM 1665 TO 1680.
THIS prince was not in his nature averse to war, though, befides two feeble attempts he made upon Lasta, and one against the Shangalla, all without material confequences, no military expedition was undertaken in bis time; and no rebellion or competitor (fo frequent in other reigns) at all difturbed his. He feems to have had the feeds of bigotry in his temper; from the beginning of his reign he commanded the Mahometans to eat no other flesh but what had been killed by Christians; and gathered together the catholic books, which the Jefuits had tranflated into the Ethiopic language, and burned them in a heap. Much of his attention was given to church matters, and, in regulating thefe, he seems to have employed most of his time,
Hannes died the 19th of July, and was buried at Tedda, after having reigned 15 years, He feems, from the fcanty memorials of his long reign, to have been a weak prince; but, perhaps, if the circumstances of the times were fully known, he may have been a wife one.
FROM 1680 TO 1704.
YASOUS fucceeded his father Hannes with the approbation of the whole kingdom. He had twice in Hannes's life-time abfconded from the palace, and this was interpreted as im
plying an impatience to reign. But Mr. Bruce rather thinks the cause was a difference of manners, his father being extremely bigoted, fordid, and covetous; for he never, in those elopements, pretended to make a party contrary to his father's intereft, nor fhewed the leaft inclination to give either the army or the people a favourable impreffion of him. self, to the disadvantage of the king. There was, besides, a difference in religious principles. Yafous had a great predilection for the monks of Debra Libanos, or the high church; while Hannes, his father, had done every thing in his power to inftil into his fon a prepoffeffion in favour of thofe of Abba Euftathius. To thefe opinions, therefore, fo widely different, as well in religion as the things of the world, Mr. Bruce attributes the young prince's difinclination to live with his father. This feems confirmed by the first step he took upon his mounting the throne, which was to make an alteration in the church government, from what his father had left it at his death.
The king then took a journey of a very extraordinary nature, and fuch as Abyffinia had never before feen. Attended only by his nobility, of whom a great number had flocked to him, he fat down at the foot of the mountain of Wechné, and ordered all the princes of the royal family who were banished and confined there, to be brought to him. During the laft reign,the mountains of Wechné, and those forlorn princes that lived upon it, had been as it were, totally forgotten. HanHes having fons of age fit to govern, and his eldest fon Yafous living below with his father, no room feemed to remain for attempting a revolution, by the young candidates escaping from the mountain. This oblivion to which they were configned, melancholy as it was, proved the best state these unhappy prisoners could have wished; for to be much known for either good or bad qualities, did always at fome period become fatal to the individuals. Punishment always followed inquiries after a particular prince; and all meffages, queftions, or vifits, at the inftance of the king, were constantly forerunners of the lofs of life, or amputation of limbs, to these unhappy exiles. To be forgotten, then, was to be fafe: but this fafety carried very heavy diftrefs along with it. Their revenues were embezzled by their officers or keepers, and ill
paid by the king; and the fordid temper of Hannes had often reduced them all to the danger of perishing with hunger and cold.
The new king, Yafous, as he was well acquainted with all these circumstances, fo he was, in his nature and difpofition, as perfectly willing to repair the injuries that were past, and prevent the like in future. In confequence of this, there foon appeared as rifen from the dead, Claudius fon of Socinios, the first exile who was fent to the mountain of Wechné by his brother Facilidas, grandfather of Yafous. This was the prince who was fixed upon by the Jefuits to fucceed his father, and govern that country when converted to the Romish religion by their intrigues, and conquered by the arms of the Portuguefe. This was the prince, who, to make their enemies appear more odious, these Jefuits have afferted was flain by his brother Facilidas, one inftance by which we may judge of the juftice of the other charges laid against that humane, wife, and virtuous prince, whofe only crime was an inviolable attachment to the religion and conftitution of hiş country, and the just abhorrence he most reasonably had, as an independent prince, to fubmit the prerogatives of his crɔwn, and the rights of his people, to the blind controul of a foreign prelate."
The fons of Facilidas, with their families, alfo came from the mountain, and likewise his own brothers, Ayto Theophilus, and Ayto Claudius, fons of his father Hatza Hannes. The fight of fo many noble relations, fome advanced in years, fome in the flower of their youth, and fome yet children; all, however, in tatters, and almost naked, made fuch an impreffion on the young king, that he burst into tears. Nor was his behaviour to the respective degrées of them less proper or engaging. To the old he paid that reverence and respect due to parents; to thofe about his own age, a kind and liberal familiarity; while he bestowed upon the young ones careffes and commendations sweetened with the hopes that they might fee better times. His firft care was to pro vide them all plentifully with apparel and every neceffary. His brothers he dreffed like himself, and his uncles still more
richly. them all.
He then divided a large fun of money among
In the month of December, which is the pleasantest season of the whole year, the fun being moderately hot, the sky conftantly clear and without a cloud, all the court was encamped under the mountain, and the inferior fort strewed along the grafs. All were treated at the expense of the king, paffing the day and night in continual festivals, "It is but right, (faid the king,) that I fhould pay for a pleasure so great, that none of my predeceffors ever dared to taste it ;" and of all that noble aflembly none feemed to enjoy it more fincerely than the king. All pardons folicited for criminals at this time were granted. In this manner, having spent a whole month, before his departure, the king called for the deftar, (i. e. the treasury book) in which the account of the fum allowed for the maintenance of these prifoners is stated; and having inquired ftrictly into the expenditure, and cancelled all grants that had been made of any part of that fum to others, and provided in future for the full, as well as yearly payment of it, he, for his last act, gave to the governor of the mountain a large acceffion of territory, to make him ainple amends for the loss of the dues he was underflood to be entitled to from that revenue. After this, he embraced them all, affuring them of his conftant protection; and, mounting his horfe, he took the keeper along with him, leaving all the royal family at their liberty at the foot of the mountain.
So generous a' conduct, and this last mark of confidence, more than all the reft, touched the minds of that noble troop, who hurried every man with his utmoft fpeed to restore themselves voluntarily to their melancholy prifon, imputing every moment of delay as a step towards treafon and ingratitude to their munificent, compaffionate, and magnanimous benefactor. All their way was moistened with tears flowing from fenfible and thankful hearts; and all the mountain refounded with prayers for the long life and profperity of the king, and that the crown might never leave the lineal defcendants of his family. It was very remarkable, that, dur ing this long reign, though he was constantly involved in
war, no competitor from the mountain ever appeared in breach of thofe vows they had fo voluntarily undertaken.
Another great advantage the king reaped by this generous conduct, was that all the most powerful and confiderable people in the kingdom had an opportunity, at one view, to fee each individual of the royal family that was capable of wearing the crown, and all with one voice agreed, upon the comparifon made, that, if they had been then affembled to elect a king, the choice would not have fallen upon any but the prefent.
Yafous is reported to have been the most graceful and dexterous horfemen of his time. He diftinguifhed himself in hunting as much for his addrefs and courage against the beafts, as he had, for a fhort while before, done by his affability, generofity, and benevolence, amidft his own family. All was praife, all was enthusiasm, wherever the young king prefented himself; the ill-boding monks and hermits had not yet dared to fortel evil, but every common mouth predicted this was to be an active, vigorous, and glorious reign, without being thought by this to have laid any pretenfion to the gift of prophecy.
In the 9th year of the reign of Yafous, there appeared a › comet, remarkable for its fize and fiery brightness of its body, and for the prodigious length and diftin&tness of its tail. It was first taken notice of at Gondar, two days before the feast of St. Michael, on which day the army takes the field. A fight fo uncommon alarmed all forts of people; and the prophets, who had kept themselves within very moderate bounds during this whole reign, now thought that it was incumbent upon them to distinguish themselves, and be filent no longer, Accordingly, they foretold, from this phenomenon, and published every where as a truth infallibly and immutably pre-ordained, that the prefent campaign was to exhibit a fcene of carnage and bloodshed, more terrible and more extensive than any thing that ever had appeared in the annals of Ethiopia. That thefe torrents of blood, which were every where to follow the footsteps of the king, were to be stopped by his death, which was to happen before he ever