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intervals of peace, to disappear for a time, without any warning. Sometimes, indeed, one or two confidential fer** vants, pretending to be bufied in other affairs, attend at a diftance and keep their eye upon him, while difguifed in differ ent manners, he goes like a stranger to those parts he intends to vifit. In one of thefe private journeys, paffing into Kaara, a province on the N. E. of Abyffinia, near the confines of Sennaar, Bacuffa happened, or counterfeited, to be feized by a fever, a common disease of that unwholesome country. He was then in a poor village belonging to fervants of a man of diftinction, whose houfe was on the top of the hill immediately above, in temperate and wholefoine air. The hofpitable-landlord, upon the first hearing of the diftrefs of a stranger, immediately removed him up to his houfe, where every attention that could be fuggefted by a charitable mind was bestowed upon his diseased guest, who prefently recovered his former ftate of health, but not till the kind affiftance and unwaried diligence of the beautiful daughter of the houfe had made a deep impreffion upon him and laid him under the. greatest obligations,

The family confifted of five young men in the flower of their youth, and one daughter, whofe name was Berhan Magafs, the Glory of Grace, exceedingly beautiful, gentle, mild, and affable; of great understanding, and prudence beyond. her age; the darling, not only of her own family, but of all. the neighbourhood. Bacuffa recovering his health, returned, speedily to the palace, which he entered privately at night, and appeared early next morning fitting in judgment, and hearing causes, which, with these princes, is the first public occupation of the day.

7

A meffenger, with guards and attendants, was immediately fent to Kuara, and Berhan Magass hurried from her father's houfe, fhe knew not why; but her furprise was carried to the utmoft, by being presented and married to the king, no reply, no condition or itipulation being fuffered. She gained, however, and preserved his confidence as long as he lived: not that Eacuffa valued himself upon conftancy to one wife, more than the reft of his predeceffors had done. He had, indeed, many mistres, es, but with thefe he obferved a very fingular rule; he never 02

took

took to his bed any one woman whatever, the fair Berhan Magafs éxcepted, without her having been first fo far intoxicated with wine or spirits, as not to remember any thing that paffed in conversation.

After he had created his wife Iteghè, Bacuffa pretended to be fick; feveral days paffed without hopes of recovery; but at last the news of the king's death was publifhed in Gondar, The joy was fo great and fo univerfal, that nobody attempted to conceal it. Every one found himself eafed of a load of fear which had become infupportable. Several princes escaped from the mountain of Wechné to put themselves in the way of being chofen; fome were fent to by those great men who thought themselves capable of effecting the nomination, and a speedy day was appointed for the burial of the king's corpfe, when Bacuffa appeared, in the ordinary feat of justice early in the morning of that day, with the Iteghe, and the infant Yafous, his fon fitting in a chair below him. There was no occafion to accufe the guilty. The whole court, and all strangers attending there upon business, fled and spread an univerfal terror through the whole streets of Gondar. All ranks of people were driven to defpair, for all had rejoiced, and much less crimes had been before punished with death.` What this fedition would have ended in, it is hard to know, had it not been for the immediate refolution of the king, who ordered a general pardon and amneity to be proclaimed at the door of the palace.

Two kettle-drums of a large fize are constantly placed one on each fide of the outer gate of the king's house. They are called the Lion and the Lamb. The lion is beat at the proclamations which regard war, attainders for conspiracies and rebellions, promotions to fupreme commands, and fuch like high matters. The Lamb is heard only on beneficent, pacific occafions, or gifts from the crown, of general amnesties, of private pardons, and reverfals of penal ordinances. The whole town was in expectation of fome fanguine decree, when, to their utter furprife, they heard the voice of the lamb, a certain fign of peace and forgiveness; and speedily followed by a proclamation, for bidding people of all degrees to leave their houses, that the king's word was pledged for

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every one's fecurity; and that all the principal men should immediately attend him within the palace, in a public place which is called the Afhoa, and that upon pain of rebellion.

The king appeared clothed all in white, being the habit of peace his head was bare, dreffed, annointed, and perfumed, and his face uncovered. He thus advanced to the rail of the gallery, about ten feet above the heads of the audience, and in a very graceful, composed, but resolute manner, began a fhort oration to the people. He put them in mind of their wantonness in having made Ouftas, a man not of the royal line of Solomon, king of Abyffinia; of their having inĉited his brother, Tecla Haimanout, to affaffinate their father Yafous; that they had afterwards murdered Tecla Haimanout himself, one brother, and lately his other brother David, his own immediate predeceffor: That he had taken due vengeance upon all the ringleaders of those crimes, as was the duty of his place, and, if much blood had been fhed, it was because many enormities had been committed; but that knowing now that order was established, and confpiracies extinguished among them, he had counterfeited death, to fignify an end was put to Bacuffa and his bloody measures; that he was now rifen again, and appeared to them by the name of Atzham Georgis, fon of Yafous the Great; and ordered every man home to his house to rejoice at the acceffion of a new king, under whom they should have justice,· and live without fear, as long as they refpected the king that God had annointed over them.

The loudest acclamations followed this fpeech. "Long live Bacuffa! Long live Atzham Georgis!" It was well known that this king never failed in his word, or any way prevaricated in his promifes. Every one, therefore, went home in as perfect peace as if war had never been among them; and Bacuffa's delicacy in this refpect was seen a few days after; for Hannes bis brother having been brought clandestinely from Wechné, by Kefinati Georgis, a nobleman of great confequence, they were both taken by the governor of > Wechné, and fent in chains to the king. The ordinary procefs would have been to put them instantly to death, as being

apprehended

apprehended in the very highest act of treason; nor would this have alarmed any perfon whatever, or been thought an infraction of the king's late promise. Bacuffa, however, was of another mind. He fent the criminal judges, who ordinarily fit upon capital crimes, to meet the two prifoners in their way to Gondar, and carried them back to the foot of the mountain of Wechné to have their crimes proved, and to be tried there out of his presence and influence, where they were both condemned, Hannes to have an arm cut off, Georgis to be fent to prison to the governor of Walkayt, with private orders to put him to death; both of which fentences were executed, though Hannes so far recovered that he was king of Abyffinia in Mr. Bruce's time, notwithstanding this mutila tion.

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The king died after a vigorous reign, and after having cut off the greatest part of the ancient nobility near Gondar, who were of age to have been concerned in the tranfactions of the last reigns. This has rendered his memory odious, though it is univerfally, confeffed he faved his country from an aristocratical or democratical ufurpation; both equally unconftitutional, as they equally ftruck at the root of monarchy.

"

YASOUS II. or ADIAM SEGUED.

FROM 1729 TO 1753.

The new king, Yafous II. when arrived at the 7th year of his reign, proclaimed a general hunt, which is a declaration of his near approach to manhood; but he pursued it no length of time, and again returned to Gondar.

On the 23d day of December, Yafous again fet out on another hunting party, and killed two elephant's and a rhinoceros. He then proceeded to Tehelga, and from Tehelga to Waldubba; thence he went to the rivers Gandova Shimfa. Here he exercised himself at a very violent fpecies of hunting, that of forcing the gieratacahin, which means long tail; it is other wife called giraffa in arabic. It is the talleft of beafts, and is often killed by the elephant hunters. Its skin is beautitully

Variegated

naar.

variegated when young, but turns brown when arrived at any age. It was not with a view to hunt only, that Yafous made thefe frequent excurfions towards the frontiers of SenHis refolution was formed (as it appeared foon after) in imitation of his forefather Socinios, to revive his right over the country of the Shepherds, his ancient vaffals, who, fince the acceffion of strength, by uniting with the Arabs, had fore got their ancient tribute and fubjection.

This year, 1736, there happened a total eclipse of the fun, which very much affected the minds of the weaker fort of people. The dreamers and the prophets were every where let loose, full of the lying spirit which poffeffed them, to foretell that the death of the king, and the downfall of his government were at hand, and deluges of civil blood were then fpeedily to be fpilt both in the capital and provinces. There was not, indeed, at the time, any circumftance that warranted fuch a prediction, or any thing likely to be more fatal to the ftate, than the expenditure of the large fums of money that the turn the king had taken fubjected him to. He had built a large and very coftly church at Kofcam, and he was ftill engaged in a more extenfive work in the building of a palace at Gondar, befides a variaty of other expenfive undertakings.

In the 24th year of Yafous' reign, he was taken ill, and died on the 21ft day of June, 1753, after a very fhort illness. As he was but a young man, and of a strong constitution, there was fome fufpicion he died by poison given him by the queen's relations, who were defirous to fecure another minority rather than serve under a king, who, by every action fhewed he was no longer to be led or governed by any, but least of all by them. Yafous was married very young to a lady of noble family in Amhara, by whom he had two fons, Adigo and Aylo. But their mother pretending to a fhare of her husband's government, and to introduce her friends at court, fo hurt Weletta Georgis the Iteghé, or queen regent, that she prevailed on the king to bannish both the mother and fons to the mountain of Wechné.

In order to prevent fuch interference for the future, the Iteghé took a step, such as had never before been attempted

in

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