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The Ras related a dream he had had a few nights before, which 'represented, in an emblematical form, the Englishman conferring great benefits on the country; and even in his strong mind there was superstition enough to give this a strange degree of importance.
• In the course of the ensuing night, we paid our last visit to the Ras: he was much affected, and the parting was painful on both sides. During the visit, he again expressed in the strongest ternis, his gratitude to our Sovereign for regarding the welfare of so remote a country, and professed his most anxious wish to encourage, by every means in his power, an intercourse wish Great Britain.'
He then stated again the great obstacles to such an intercourse ; and Mr. S. concludes the account of the interview
? There was so much good sense in these remarks, and they sa exactly corresponded with my own views of the subject, that they did not admit of any reply; except the declaration that I would never lose sight of the interests of Abyssinia, and that I was disposed to think that his Majesty's ministers would find a pleasure in doing their utmost to promote the welfare of his country. This and similar conversation had engaged us from two o clock A. M. till daylight, when we rose to take our leave. The old man, on this occasion, got up from his couch, and attended us to the door of his hall, where he stood watching us, with tears running down his face, until we were fairly out of sight.' p. 383.
The return of the party was by Adowa and Axum. At the latter place, Mr. S. again admired the noble obelisk.
• This highly wrought and very magnificent work of art, formed of a single block of granite, and measuring full sixty feet in height, produced nearly as forcible an impression on my mind as on the first moment I beheld it, and I felt even more inclined to admire the consu imate skill and ingenuity displayed in erecting so stupendous a work, owing to my having compared the design (during the interval which had elapsed since my former visit) with many of Egyptian, Grecian, and Koman structure; a comparison which seemed to justify me in considering it as the most admirable and perfect monument of its kind. All its ornaments are very boldly relieved, which, together with the hollow space running up the centre, and the patera at top, give a lightness and elegance to the whole form that is probably unrivalled. Several other obelisks lie broken on the ground, at no great distance, one of which is of still larger dimensions. spect to the antiquity of these monuments, I cannot speak with any degree of certainty, but I should conjecture they could not have been erected prior to the time of the Ptolemies, as the order of the architecture is strictly Grecian, and was, therefore, not likely to have been introduced at an earlier period.'
The long Greek inscription on a block of stone, of which he
had given an engraving in Lord Valentia's Travels, he has res copied, and has had re-engraved, with very slight difference from the former plate. His further inquiries have enabled him to make a few improvements in the translation. He has also given a fac-simile of the undefaced part of the Ethiopic inscription on the other side of the same stone. On a conjecture re. specting the date of this latter, he rests an opinion that the Geez alphabet was not borrowed from the Greek, but derived from an ancient Ethiopic or Egyptian set of letters.
At Adowa there is a manufactory of coarse and fine cotton cloth. The chief imports passing through the town from the Red Sea for the interior are specified; and it is said that they are met on the way by ivory, gold, and slaves for exportation. About a thousand pieces of this last commodity, it is supposed, pass through annually. The latitude of Adowa is 14° 7' 57", Near Adowa, Messrs. Pearce and Coffin parted from the traveller to return to Abyssinia.
At Yeeha, on the route to the coast, Mr. S. examined the massive ruins and the Ethiopic inscriptions, of a monastery built early in the sixth century. Next stage was to Dixan, the residence of the worthy old Baharnegash Yasons, where an object of great curiosity presented itself in the arrival of a cafila from Dar Fûr, after a journey of nearly three months. The destination was Mecca. The travellers were perfect pegroes. They mentioned the visit of Browne, and his iil usage by the sovereign of the country, who, they said, had been dead seven years, and had been succeeded by a much better ruler in bis son.
The apprehension caused by intelligence that very large gangs of the pestiferous Arabs had already drawn together at the pass of Taranta to intercept and plunder the party, determined old Yasons, whom the Ras had made answerable for their safe conduct, to take them by a little frequented route considerably to the north of that pass. The design, carefully kept secret; was executed with delightful quietness, through a succession of changing and highly romantic scenery, while those worst of the feræ naturæ were waiting in eager expectation,- till they would in due time discover, that there remained nothing better for them to do than to fall upon one another. Whether they performed this most excellent service, is not recorded.
Yasons, being on unfriendly terms with the Nayib of Mas: sowa, judged it most prudent, when arrived within a certain distance of that Mahomedan's quarters, and when the English were placed beyond all danger, to bid them adieu, and it is gratifying to give the concluding memnorial of this venerable man in Mr. Salt's own words.
* In the eveniug Baharnegash Yasons, who had attended me du. ring my whole stay in the country, took his leave. Among all the men with whom I have ever been intimately acquainted, I consider this old man as one of the most perfect and blameless characters. His mind seemed to be formed upon the purest principles of the Christian Religion ; his every thought and action appearing to be the result of its dictates. He would often, to ease his mule, walk more than half the day; and as he journeyed by my side, continually recited prayers for our welfare and future prosperity. On all occasions, he sought to repress in those around him every improper feeling of anger; conciliated them by the kindest words, and excited them by his own example to an active performance of their duties. If a man were weary, he would assist him in carrying his burthen ; if he perceived any of the mules' backs to be hurt, he would beg me to have them relieved; and constantly, when he saw me engaged in shooting partridges, or other birds, he would call out to them to fly out of the way; shaking his head, and begging me in a mournful accent not to kill them. I have remarked in my former journal, that with all this refined feeling of humanity, he was far from being devoid of courage, and I had an opportunity subsequently of witness ing several instances of his bravery, though he appeared on all occasions peculiarly anxious to avoid a quarrel. We parted, I believe, with mutual regret; at least for my own part I can truly say, that I have seldom felt more respect for an individual than I did for this worthy man.' p. 415.
Our Author somewhere recounts, in a pensive tone, the persons the most distinguished and interesting in Abyssinian society in Bruce's time, to say, with a special emphasis on the favourite names of Ozoro Esther and Tecla Mariam, he found they were all dead. Whatever English traveller shall, at a distance of time from the present day of half the number of years which elapsed between the visits of Bruce and our Author, make another sojourn in Abyssinia, will have to tell, with the same pensive reflections, that, certainly the persons of most conspicuous value that Mr. Salt knew there,
Yasons and Welled Selassé, and probably Guebra Mehedin, the chief priest, most of the persons forming the court of Tigré, and even Pearce and the young and excellent Ayto Debib,
are all dead. To a part of our Author's narrative, relating to Ozoro Mautwaub, the Ras's wife, and sister to the nominal emperor of Abyssinia, he subjoins this note,- Both this lady and her * brother Kasimaj Yasons, have since my return fallen victims to the small-pox.'
At Arkeeko, where the combined heat and filth, it seems, would render a short stay very perilous, at any time, to a northern European, (the danger is felt even by the Abyssinians,) Mr. Ş. had nearly become the victim of a violent fever. When recovering, he was carried over in a dow to Mocha, still in a
state of great feebleness. This illness forbad an attempt which he was anxious to make, to ascertain the site, or rather to survey the unquestionable ruins, of the ancient city of Adule in Annesley Bay. The sum of his information, gained from a variety of testimony, left not the slightest doubt of the iden tity of those ponderous ruins with that ancient city.
The concluding chapter of the work consists, in part, of historical researches, displaying great learning, labour, and ingenuity; on a series of events so remote and devious from the grand stream of the world's activity, that we should fear no illustrations can render it generally interesting;-with the exception (a strong exception) of the story of the zealous, persevering, partially successful, but finally and totally defeated efforts of the Church of Rome, to add the Abyssinians to her other unnumbered millions of slaves. The great conflict terminated, and all was over for popery, in the year 1632. The whole period of this persevering attempt may be considered as having occupied a space of one hundred and fourteen years, during which a continual struggle was maintained between the people and its monarchs; the former appearing to have been uniformly averse to the doctrines which the Jesuits attempted to introduce. One effort more, indeed, was made by the seducer of nations, so lately as 1751, but with a result that doomed it the last. Mr. S. has given in his appendix, the rather entertaining story of this adventure, translated from a M. S. of the Italian journal of. Remedio, one of the three Franciscan triars, who were sent to enact this after-piece so long since the close of the principal performance. It may be confidently presumed that the Holy Father will have no more to say to such obstinate heresy, but to pronounce his malediction upon it. And he may curse his stars into the bargain, while he thinks of the creeds he cannot make those people say, the bulls he cannot even make them hear, the fetters he cannot make them suffer to be put on, the vaults of the Holy Office into which he cannot drag them to be tortured.
Indeed this country, surrounded by the immense empire of African barbarism, presents a gratifying and memorable spectacle, a people equally invulnerable to the two grand aggressions on Christianity; that from Rome, and that from Mecca. As to the latter we quote our author;
the Mahomedan power soon overwhelmed all the countries adjoining Arabia, spread to the remotest parts of the East, and pene trated across the unsocial regions of Africa; while Abyssinia, unconquered and true to the Christian faith, remained within two hundred miles of the walls of Mecca, a constant and galling opprobrium to the followers of the prophet. On this account, unceasing and implacable
war ravaged her territories; the native princes on the borders being supplied with arms and money, and occasionally rewarded with splendid presents by the reigning sheriffes, whose constant attention was directed towards the conquest of the country.' p 371.
Reverting, for a single moment, to our Author's researches into the ancient history of Abyssinia, we must acknowledge that he does appear to have reduced into something more of order than it had attained before, and that some particular points are adjusted with remarkable acuteness.
The work concludes with a very brief notice of the homeward voyage, by the way of Bombay, and an Appendix chiefly consisting of Vocabularies of the Dialects' spoken by different tribes of the natives inhabiting the coast of Africa, from Mosambique to the borders of Egypt, with a few spoken in the in"terior,'-and a collection of observations in natural history.
We hope Mr. S. will not long withhold the additional information which he has obtained since his return, concerning Abyssinia, in letters from Pearce; and we take leave for the present with a wish, hardly less warm than his own, that after our country shall have religiously fulfilled all the enormously costly duties of subserviency to the selfishness and ambition of Powers denominated Christian nearer home, it might be induced to consider,―at how small a cost the most important assistance might be rendered to a Christian state that never did us the smallest injury, that would be very grateful for aid, and that has been long suffering at once the calamities of internal distraction, and the pressure of an incessant conflict for existence with Mahomedans and Pagans.
With respect to the advantage possible to be imparted to a remote nation in the most serious of all its interests, that of religion, it is an extraordinary circumstance, that the first statesman and hero in Abyssinia and the first ecclesiastic, concur in avowing a conviction that they want our aid in this concern, in words to this effect. 'We all say this is right and that is right, ' but I believe we shall only wander about in the dark until we re'ceive a lesson from you.'
The illustrations of the volume are of a very superior quality. The general map of Abyssinia, and the charts of the East coast of Africa, Amphila Bay, and Annesley Bay, are large and elegant there are several smaller charts; a number of portraits slightly but spiritedly executed; several sketches of subjects of natural history; and a very considerable number of views finished in an elaborate manner. The whole number of plates is more than thirty, including the map and charts, and all but these are engraved by C. Heath.