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vations. The circumference of Pico is computed at about fiftcen leagues; and its most remarkable places are Pico, Lagoas, Santa Cruce, or Cruz, San Sebastian, Pesquin, San Rocko, Playa, and Magdalena, the inhabitants of which live wholly on the produce of the island, in great plenty and felicity. The cattle are various, numerous, and excellent in their several kinds; it is the same with the vine, and its juice, prepared into different wines, the best in the Azores. Befides cedar and other timber, they have a kind of wood which they call teixo, solid and hard as iron, and veined, when finely polished, like a rich scarlet tabby, which colour it has in great perfection. The longer it is kept, the more beautiful it grows ; hence it is, that the teixo tree is felled only for the king's use, or by his order, and is prohibited from being exported as a common article of trade.
The laft of the islands, properly called Azores, is Fayal, and the most considerable of the whole next to Tercera and Saint Michael. This island takes its name from the great abundance of beech-trees it produceth; besides which, it hath a variety of other wood in such plenty, that the English frequent it chiefly on that account. It also produces large folds of cattle, flocks of birds, and shoals of fish, with which every part of its coaft is well stocked. The chief port is before the town of Orta, defended by an old caflle, some cannon, and a slight Portuguese garrison. Orta is indeed the only town on the island, and a place of but little consideration. As for the other names we meet with in geographers, they are not those of towns, or even villages, but of mean hamlets, which have been passed by pompous names for places of some consequence. We have observed, that this island is peopled by Flemings, who imagining the Portuguese garrison to be a kind of oppreflive tax upon
them, petitioned. his catholic majesty for leave to take upon themselves the defence of the island. Their request was granted, and the event almost fatal ; for the English, at different times, under the earls of Cumberland and Essex, made defcents on Fayal, took it, and destroyed the fortifications, after having taken and burnt a' squadron of rich homeward-bound ships that lay in the harbour. This disaster induced the king to resume the defence of the island; fince which time a Portuguese garrifon has constantly been maintained here. Fayal is the most western of the Azores.
As to the islands of Flores and Corvo, they are improperly included under that name, as they lie seventy leagues west of Tercera.
The first of these, or the Ilha des Flores, as the Por- Flores. tuguese call it, takes its name from the great variety of beautiful fowers with which, it is covered. Its dimenfions are about seven leagues in compass, every part of which is clothed with wood, grain, pasture, or some other production ufeful to life. It is populous, and the inhabitants live happily upon their grain, cattle, and fruits.
About a league to the south of-Flores stands the island Corvo. of Corvo, so called from the incredible flights of crows seen in it by the first discoverers, every tree or rock in the island being covered with their nefts. It abounds in much the fame productions as the preceding island; but neither of them are considerable enough to merit a particular account; and the only reason why the Portuguese keep poffellion of them, is to prevent other nations from establishing ruch settlements here, as, by their contiguity, might endanger the security of the Azores, by taking every favourable occafion that might offer for seizing upon the Canaries, so important to their Brazil commerce!.
i Davity, Sanut. Linschot. Dapper, Barbot, Cadamosto, La Croix, cum multis aliis, in loc. citat.
CH A P. XLIII.
The History of Abysinia, or Upper Ethiopia.
Giving an Account of the principal modern Authors,
quoted through the Course of this Chapter, and of
with that Empire.
I have already given in our Ancient History the
best account we could compile of this vast empire, its limits, inhabitants, and cities, as far as they were
known to the ancient writers, and the records they have Alinia left us of them would allow; and if the greater part of litile
what not only they, but others of a more modern date, have known to the ancients written of it, be either too fabulous or uncertain, either
with regard to its true fituation, extent, and boundaries, derns till as well as with relation to its nature, climate, &c. it must frequented be chiefly ascribed to that erroneous notion, which reigned by the por so long among historians and geographers, that all the tuguese.
countries that lay so near the equinoctial line, were, for
knowlege we have of them : perfect only, we mean, in great dif- comparison of what we had before they published their Hill in their accounts of this great empire; though still vastly short of accounts of perfection and certainty. Those good fathers, Jésuits and it. others, who were fent missionaries thither, to reduce the
Abyssinian church to the obedience of the fee of Rome,
had their hearts and minds too full of this one important Their over- point, to find leisure for leffer discoveries; which being zeal 10 of such a nature as would rather excite the jealousy than convert the admiration of that rude and ignorant people, they thought casions their might be more fitly postponed till the main end of their expulfion. million was once gained ; after which they might, with
more pleafure and safety, attend to the other less momentous branches of it. The misfortune was, that their untimely zeal brought such a dreadful and general persecution upon them, as hath at once quathed all the hopes and prospect of regaining either ; not only the millionaries of all denominations, but the very names of Portuguese and Franks, by which they called the Europeans, are become detestable to the whole Abyffinian nation a.
What occafioned this sudden and surprising change, after the Portuguese had been so kindly invited thither by of it beone of their empresses, and had done her and some of come inace her successors lignal services, for which they were raised cuffible to to the highest degree of esteem and confidence in the the Euro
peans. Abyssinian court, will be best seen in the course of this history : at present, it will be sufficient to say, that all access to any part of that kingdom is, since their expulsion, become to the last degree dangerous, and in some measure impracticable, to all Europeans, in any disguise, or under any pretence whatsoever. All the passes to it are guarded with the utmost diligence; and no fooner doth a ftranger offer himself at any of their frontiers, but he is immediately examined from head to foot, to see whether he carries any arms, letters, books, writings, or any other thing that is liable to suspicion : his skin, hair, complexion, and shape, are scrupulously scrutinized, and especially whether he carries with him the scar of circumcifion.
Upon the whole, whoever compares the observations The obfer. of those missionaries, will find them so different and im- vations of perfect, that he will have reason to conclude they were the Portu. made in haste, and without that accuracy which we ob- guese made
with precio ferve them to use in all other countries, where they make
pitation. a longer residence, and have better means and instruments for such a work. Whoever reads those who seem to have taken the most pains to review their observations, and reconcile them to each other, such as father Tellez, Ludolph, and others of equal capacity, will find still variance enough amongst them to make us wish for, what we are not likely to see in hafte, a more accurate survey. of
country To give an instance or two of this remarkable difference, we need but compare the fituation of the town of Giesim, which was reckoned the mid-way between the town of Sennaar and the confines of Ethiopia, Material as fixed by father Brevedent's own obfervations, who is difference allowed to have been an excellent astronomer, and one
them. a Tellez, Poncet, Ludolph, Maillet, & al. plur.
Why its lic
who accompanied the physician Poncet into Ethiopia, but died in the way thither, and places that town in the oth degree of north latitude b; and the situation which father Tellez, and Mr. Ludo'ph after him, give it in their map of this empire, and we shall plainly see that one of them must be greatly out; and yet Brevedent took his obfervation upon the spot. Another proof how little Tellez's map is to be depended upon, is the Gituation which another Portuguese Jesuit afsigns, from his own observations likewise, to the kingdom of Dembea ; which is such, according to him, that both the poles are vibible, and that the antartic appears the higher of the two; which is the very reverse of what Tellez and Ludolph's maps reprefent it.
We need not therefore wonder if some of the writers miis so far of the African part of the world, particularly some of our extended by Atlaffes 4, have extended the limits of this empire so far be
yond its due bounds; to say nothing of those of older phers.
date, who have stretched its southern limits so vastly beyond the equinoctial line; though they are found to come so short of it by the common consent of all our modern geographers. They were altogether in the dark about the countries that lay beyond it on that fide; and had no other way to supply that great chasm of fix hundred leagues, than by bringing all that vast tract within the limits of it, and bestowing upon its emperors, all that immense territory which they knew not how to difpofe of otherwise. Thus they have stretched it from 22° north, to 16 or 17 south, and given it an extent of 39 or 40 degrees; which is above twenty-one more than it really hath, as we shall shew very soon from the more authentic testimonies, and more accurate observations, of those Portuguese faihers, whose long residence and acquaintance with these parts, have enabled them to give us a more satisfactory knowlege of them ; of whom, therefore, it will not be improper to give some previous account, besore we proceed farther, and by way of introduction to the following
history. The Porty
The emprefs Helena, grandmother to the emperor Da
vid, having received a kind of congratulatory embaffy ented into from Emanuel king of Portugal, was so highly pleased Abyfinia with it, that she resolved to send the like to him, with a by the emprofs He
b See Poncet's Voyage to Ethiopia, p. 33. lena.
c Fernandez ap. Codign. lib. i. cap. 11. P. 69. d Vide inter al. Mercator, Johnson, and De Lille,