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remarkable only for being the residence of the emprefs. 3. Dobarna, in the kingdom of Tigre, the residence of its viceroy. 4. Nanina, in the kingdom of Gojam, formerly inhabited by the Portuguese, till their total expulfion. And lastly, Macana Celace, in the kingdom of Amhara, worth naming only for being the native place of abbot Gregory

Neither had the emperors either castles or palaces, till the coming of the Portuguese missionaries among them,

but lived altogether in their stately pavilions, attended Father Pays with all their nobles, guards, and other retinue. Such builds a

strangers were they to all kinds not only of stately, but Jumpiuous even of common regular buildings, that when the celepalace for brated father Pays undertook to build a magnificent edior, which fice for soltan Segued, in whose high favour he then was, afionipes none of that prince's subjects knew so much as how to dig the whole the stones out of the quarries, much less how to square or nation.

work them fit for use : infomuch that he was obliged to teach them both that, and how to make the proper tools for the carpenters, joiners, masons, and, in a word, for every part of the work, and how to join the stones with the red clay mentioned in the last note, instead of the usual mortar made of quick-lime. Hence the reader may guess at their great astonishment, when they, who had never till then been used to see even a few stones regularly set upon one another, beheld not only a large stupendous structure, reared with so much strength and regularity, but even high and stately stories raised one upon another, for which disposition they had not so much as a proper word, but styled them babeth-laibeth, or house upon house, How must they be surprised at the elegance and symmetry of the several wide and noble ftair cases, by which they a. scended from the one to the other; to say nothing of the

they had between twenty and ries furnishing them with a
thirty muskets, and a drake, stone, easily worked without the
which were managed by the help of either pick-axor
fons of the Portuguese ; fo wedge. The clay likewise,
that the place was looked upon which is here of a reddish hue,
as impregnable. They had is of fo glutinous a nature,
likewise built a stately church that it makes a strong cement,
in it, of the same materials, without the help of quick-
which were here to be found in lime (1).
great plenty; the various quar.

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(1) Trav. of the Jesuits, lib, iji. cap. 6. Lobo, ubi fupra, Voy.

spacious

spacious galleries that led through all the apartments of the whole building; and of a vast variety of other ornaments, within and without, as might have made it a fit refidence for the greatest monarch in Europe.

The Abyssinians have but few manufactures, though for trades linen and cotton be their chief dress, and their country or manuas proper for producing them as any in Africa: their in- fa&tures. dolence is such, that they cultivate no more than just serves their present want; and the less quantity of either serves them, as they make no use of any, either at their tables, nor for their beds, and a scanty portion will suffice the common fort to cover their bodies with. The Jews are said to be their only weavers, as they are in most parts of the empire their only smiths, in every metal, and every branch of their manufacture, which are likewise very inconsiderable. What carpenters, joiners, and masons, this country produces, may be easily guesred, from the meanness of their buildings and furniture. The potters, and makers of horn trumpets, and drinking curs, are indeed in the greatest request: these, and some still inferior forts of tradesmen, are incorporated into tribes, or companies, and have their several quarters, neither intermingling, nor intermarrying, with the rest, but the children commonly following the business of their parents.

Gold and filversmiths, jewellers, and other such curious arts and trades, are altogether unknown to them, unless it be by some manufactures brought into their country, by way of traffic or exchange, and these are only to be met with among the great and opulent. Their silks, brocades, velvets, tapestry, carpets, and other costly stuffs, are all brought hither by the Turks, by the way of the Turks ene Red Sea, and exchanged for gold-duft, emeralds, and gross the fine horses. The Jews, Arabians, and Armenians, are whole come the common merchants, or brokers, between them and merce. the Ayslinians; 'these last seldom or never travelling out Their bro. of their own country. Besides the commodities already kers, who. mentioned, which are exchanged between them, the CommodiTurks bring them feveral forts of spices. And yet, the ties ex

changed. pepper, which is the most coveted by them, is brought thither with such privacy, and the price of it so very high, that none but the very richest can purchase it. In return for these, the Abyssinians give skins, furs, leather, honey, wax, and ivory P.

P Ludolph, lib. iv, cap. 5. paff. Tellez, Lobo, & al.

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They

Their fin

They have neither inns, taverns, nor public houses, gular hos. for the entertainment of strangers, but are beyond meapitality, sure hospitable, considering their extreme indigence. If

a stranger stays longer in a village or camp than three hours, the whole community is obliged to lodge and furnish him with proper necessaries for himself, servants, and cattle, at the public charge. In that case, he need only enter into the first hut or tent he likes, and acquaint the master of it with his wants, who immediately goes and informs the lord, or chief of the place ; upon which, a cow is forthwith killed, and so much of it fent to him as will sufhce him and his company, together with a proportionable quantity of cake, or bread, and beer, or hya dromel, and other proper conveniencies for their lodging: all these articles they are the more careful to furnish, because their neglect would be liable to be punished with a fine of double the value of what they were bound to supply him with, should he prefer a complaint of it to a proper magistrate. This laudable custom, however, is

not without some great inconveniences, inasmuch as it Abused by gives: encouragement to a parcel of idle vagabonds to vagrants. abuse it, and causes the country to swarm with that de

structive vermin 9.

SECT.

V.

Of the natural and artificial Rarities of Abyffinia.

Natural A

MONG all the natural rarities of this country, which harities may justly challenge our admiration, we may reckon The longe- the surprising longevity of the men, under the various vily of The men.

changes of their climate, from the extremes of the most sultry and burning heats, to the most vehement and continual rains and inundations, and the many distempers which they naturally occasion. :. And next to that, the liveliness and fecundity of the women, and especially the case and quickness with which they are delivered, though they commonly bear two or three children at a birth ; infomuch, that without the afliftance of doctor or midwife, they go through their pregnacy without qualms or uneasiness, and without feeling any of those dreadful and tedious pangs of child-birth, which commonly terrify and affect that tender sex, in other parts of the

. Vide inter al. Lobo, p. 73, & feq. Lud. ibid. cap. 6. $ 46.

world:

men,

concerns.

world: here they have little else to do but kneel and Agility and ftoop before they are delivered of their burthen, and rise fecundity up strong and active; and, in a very little space of time, of the wothey are able to return to their domestic employments. They scarcely allow themselves the formality of a few days lying-in, nor any of the comfortable changes of diet proper to their condition ; and suckle and rear up their offspring, whether they have more than one or two at a birth, without any intermiffion from their other family

This fecundity is still more remarkable in their domestic animals, as well as wild beasts".

Of their mines of gold, we have already hinted some- Gold mines, thing, though with diffidence. Though this country may be as likely as any other in Africa to produce plenty of that valuable metal, yet they prudently chuse to have so tempting a treasure concealed from strangers, and content themselves with what is, or perhaps they pretend to be, brought to them from Cafria, Nigritia, and other parts, rather than to hazard the enflaving of their country, by owning their having any of their own. They certainly gather quantities of that which the torrents bring down from the mountains, and which often comes in large-grains, and of a fine pure nature ; some of it, we are told, is even found about the roots of the trees. Sil. None of ver is still more scarce among them ; but whether owing silver, to the same policy, or to the want of proper hands and though some

of lead. skill to manage them, we do not hear of any mines they have of it; though by their having fome of lead, one would be apt to conclude, that they must likewise have some of silver : but what they want of the latter, is richly The people compensated by what they have of the former; and much quite igno. more so, by the great quantity of iron they draw from rant of me

tals and their mines, which is reckoned of great use and value.

mines, The misfortune is, that they are not only quite ignorant of every branch that belongs to the digging of it, but look upon it as a flavish, dismal, and hazardous business, and far beneath the high opinion they entertain of their own nation above all others. To dig and labour so far in the dark bosom of the earth, to bear with the unwholsome damps and vapours of a subterraneous dungeon, to be in continual danger of being overwhelmed by the ground over their heads, which they know not how to prop, or of being annoyed, if not drowned, by springs from beDeath, which they neither know how to drain, or draw

1.

Vide Tellez, Lobo, Ludolph, Poncet, Coding, & al. plur.

away :

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away: these, and many other difficulties and dangers,
which they frame to themselves, make them look upon
such a work as fit only for the worst of flaves; and they
content themselves with so much of that useful metal as
they find on the surface of the ground'; so that we need
not wonder if we hear of no mines, or any other metals,
such as copper, or tin, nor of any other minerals, which

require digging at any depth below ground. Mines of

They are much more expert and ready at working at
Falt. their falt mines, where there is less labour and danger,

and of which they have a considerable number, especially
on the confines of the kingdoms of Tigre, Dancali, and
Angot. The salt is not like that which we make in Eu-
rope, of fea-water, or falt-springs, but is ready made to
their hands, by the Divine Providence, in such vast quan-
tities, that those mines, which are no other than huge
socks or mountains of solid salt, are in some measure in-
exhaustible. These rocks are hewn in pieces somewhat
in the fhape of our bricks, but of different sizes and
weights : the falt, though very solid and hard on the sur-
face of the rock, is much fofter within the mine, till
consolidated by the sun, and is no way inferior in taste
and quality to the best of our own. From these

parts,
called the land of falt, those pieces are dispersed through

the whole empire, where they are bought, especially at, Salt the

their fairs, not only as a necessary commodity, but as the chief coin most current money, by which they can furnish themselves of the cour- with all other goods they want, and where they bear a

greater or lefser value, according to the distance of the

place from whence they are brought : thus, in those parts Its diffe which are near the mine, a hundred weight of it will rent value purchase what they reckon equivalent to about five of in all parts our shillings : at a greater distance, eighty pounds will of the em- have the same value; and so at a farther distance, will pire.

fixty, fifty, and in a gradual progression. At the impe-
rial camp, or court, ten pounds will still be equivalent to
à crown; and, in some of the most distant provinces,
three pounds of it will fetch a small piece of gold, called
a darim.

There is still a farther use made of this falt by the Abysa
finians, which is that of being a pledge of, and incentive
to mutual love and friendship; fo that they never go out
without a small piece of it in their purse, which commonly
hangs at their girdle. Whenever, therefore, any two
friends or acquaintances meet, their first greeting is, to
s Ludolph, lib. i. cap. 7. $ !. & feq. Tellez, Lobo, & al.

taka

try.

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