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number of leave takings, he had reduced his whole attend. ánce to the king and queen.
Mr. Bruce's whole attention was now taken up in prepa rations for his return through the kingdom of Sennaar and the defert. Mr. Bruce does not wish to take up the reader's time with a long narrative of leave taking, or what passed between him and those illustrious personages with whom he had lived fo long in the most perfect and cordial friendship. Men of little, and envious minds, would perhaps think he was como posing a panegyric upon himself, from which therefore, he says, he most willingly refrains.
Mr. Bruce then mentions what passed at the last interview he had with the Iteghé, two days before his departure. Ten. sa Christos, who was one of the chief priests of Gondar, was a native of Gojam, and consequently of the low church, or a follower of Abba Eustathius, in other words, as great an enemy as poffible to the Catholic, or as they call it, the religion of the Franks. He was, however, reputed a person of great probity and sanctity of manners, and had been on all occa frons rather civil and friendly to Mr. Bruce when they met, though evidently not desirous of any intimate connections or friendship; and as Mr. Bruce, on his part, expected little advantage from connecting himfelf with a man of his princi: ples, he very willingly kept at all poflible distance,
This priest came often to the Iteghé's and Ayto Aylo's, with both of whom he was much in favour, and here Mr. Bruce happened to meet him, when he was taking his leave in the evening.“ I beg of you, (said he) Yagoute, as a favour, to tell me, now you are immediately going away from this country, and you can answer me without fear, Are you really a Frank, or are you not ?"" Sir, (faid Mr. Bruce) I do not know what you mean by fear ; I should as little decline answering you any question you have to ask had I ten years to stay, 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 ; nó man ever heard me fay a word about my particular mode of worship ; and as often as my duty las called me, I have never failed to attend
divine service as it is established in this country. What is the ground of fear that I should have while under the king's protection, and customs of Abyssinia ?” “ True, (replied Tenfa Christos) I do not say you should be alarmed; whatever your faith is I would defend you myself; the Iteghé knows I always fpoke well of you ; but will you gratify an old man's curiofity, in telling me whether or not you really are a Frank, Catholic, or Jesuit ?"
“ I have too great a regard, (replied Mr. Bruce) to the request of a man, so truly good and virtuous as you, not to have answered you the question at whatever time you could have asked me and I do now declare to you, by the word of a Christian, that my countrymen and I are more distant in matters of religion, from these you call Catbolics, Jesuits, or Franks, than you and your Abyssinians are ; and that a priest of my religion, pre&ching in any country subject to those Franks, would as certainly be brought to the gallows as if he had committed inurder, and just as speedily as you would ftone a Catholic priest preaching here in the midft of Gondar. Every man in our country is allowed to serve God in his own way ; and as long as their teachers confine themselves to what the facred books have told them, they can teach no ill, and therefore deserve no punishment. No religion, indeed, teaches a mani evil; but, when forgetting this, they preach against government, curse the king, absolve his subjects from allegiance, or incite them to rebellion, as being Jawful, the sword of the civil power cuts them off, without any blame falling upon their religion, because these things were done in contradition to what their priests, from the scripture, should have taught them were truly the tenets of that very religion.” The Steghé now interposed, and the subject was dropped.
Mr. Bruce then got up, and, patling to the other side of the room, he stood by Tensa Christos, saying to him, “ And now, holy father, I have one, last favour to ask you, which is your forgiveness, if I have at any time offended you; your blessing, now that I am immediately to depart, if I have not; and your prayers while on my long and dangerous journey, through countries of Infidels and Pagans.”
A hum of applause founded all throughout the room. The Iteghé faid something, but what, Mr. Bruce did not hear.
Tenfa Chrißos was surprised apparently at Mr. Bruce's humility, which he had not expected, and cried out, with tears in his eyes, “ Is it possible, Yagoube, that you believe my prayers can do you any good?"-" I should not be a Christian, as I profess to be, Father, (replied Mr. Bruce) if I had ary doubt of the effect of good men's prayers.” So saying, he stopped to kiss his hand, when he laid a small iron cross upon his head, and, to our traveller's great surprise, instead of a benediction, repeated the Lord's prayer. Mr. Bruce was afraid he would have kept him stooping till he should add the ten commandments likewise, when he concluded, “Gzier y' Baracuc,” May God bless you. After which, Mr. Bruce made his obeisance to the Iteghé, and immediately withdrew, it not being the custom, at public audiences, to falute any one in the presence of the sovereign.
Twenty greasy monks, however, had placed themselves in his way as he went out, that they might have the credit of giving him the blessing likewise after Tensa Christos. As he had very little faith in the prayers of these drones, so he had fome reluctance to kiss their greasy hands and Neeves; however, in running this disagreeable gauntlet, he gave them his blessing in English,-“ Lord send you all a halter, as he did to Abba Salama,” (meaning the Acab Saat.) But they, thinking he was recommending them to the patriarch Abba Salama, pronounced at random, with great seeming devotion, their anen,-So be it.
TO DISCOVER THE
SOURCE OF THE NILE.
BO O K VIII.
MR. BRUCE RETURNS BY SENNAAR THROUGH NUBIA
AND AFTERWARDS AT MARSEILLES.
N the 26th of December, 1771, at one o'clock in the af
ternoon, Mr. Bruce left Gondar. He had purposed to set out early in the morning, but was detained by the importunity of his friends. The king had' delayed his setting out, by several orders fent liim in the evening each day ; and he plainly saw there was some meaning in this, and that he was wishing to throw difficulties in the way, till some accident, or sudden emergency (never wanting in that country) should make it absolutely impossible for him to leave Abyssinia. When therefore the last message came to Kofcam on the 27th, at night, Mr. Bruce returned his respetful duty to his majesty, put him in mind of his promise, and somewhat peevishly, he believes, intreated him to leave him to his fortune ; that his servants were already gone, and he was resolved to set out next morning.
The next morning early, Mr. Bruce was surprised at the arrival of a young nobleman, lately made one of his bedchamber, with fifty light horse. As he was satisfied, that leaving Abyffinia, without parade, as privately as possible,
was the only way to pafs through Sennaar, he therefore infisted upon none of his friends accompanying him, and he begged to decline this escort. At one o'clock, Mr. Bruce set out hy the west side of Debra Tzai, having the mountain on their right hand. From the top of that ascent, they saw the plain and flat country below, black, and, in its appearance, one thick wood, which some authors have called lately, the Shumeta, or Nubian forelt.
All the disasters which Mr. Bruce had been threatened with in the course of the journey, which he had thus begun, now presented themselves to his mind, and made, for a moment, a Nrong imprellion upon his spirits. But it was too late to draw back, the dye was cast, for life or for death ; home was before him, lowever distant ; and if, through the protection of Providence, he hould be fortunate enough to arrive there, be promised himself both ease and the applause of his country, and of all unprejudiced men of sense and learning in Europe, for having, by his own private efforts alone, completed a discovery, which had, from early ages, defied the address, incustry, and courage of all the world.
Having rather hardened, than comforted his heart by these reflections, he now advanced down the steep fide of the mountain, through very strong and rugged ground, torn up by the torrents that fall on every side from above. This is called the Descent of Moura ; and though both they and their beasts were in great health and spirits, they could not, with their utmost endeavours, advance much more than one mile an hour. Two Greeks, one of whom only was his servant, and a third, nearly blind, flying from poverty and want ; an old janisfary, who had come to Abyflinia with the Abuna, and Copht who left theni at Sennaar; these and some common men who took charge of the beasts, and were to go no further than Tcherkin, were his only companions in this long and weary journey.
On the 28th they entered a thick wood, winding round a hill, in a south east direction, to get into the plain below, where they were furrounded by a great multitude of men, armed with lances, fhields, flings and large clubs or ficks,