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cheat, a person of mean birth, and worfe character, who only took upon him that public employ to impose on the
French king, and obtain some considerable presents from The am
him. His name was Murat, or Morat, a Syrian by birth. basador
He had been in Abyssinia, and was known to, and employed Morat cried down by, the emperor in some commercial affairs; but pretendby them.
ed moreover to have credential letters as his ambaffador to the French king, together with fome presents, and a commission to negotiate an alliance of commerce with that court; but the greatest part of those presents he pretended were either loft at sea, or taken from him by the Turkish bashaw of Maffoufa; and as for the emperor's letter, which he carried in a rich brocaded filk bag, he refused to deliver it up to any but to the king of France's own hands;
fo that the consul, who was eager, notwithstanding all The consul's these obstacles, to prove the embaffy, was forced to make treatment ufe under-hand of the bashaw of Kairo's authority to of him.
wrest the letter from him by force, in order to examine the contents of it. But whilst the consul and the fathers of the Holy Land, who were his creatures, endeavoured to support his character of ambaffador, the Jesuits were as zealous in destroying it; and affirmed the king's fignet was counterfeited, a forgery which they had discovered by comparing it with that of another letter, sent by that monarch to the patriarch of Alexandria. They likewise represented Morat as a vile fellow, a great boaster, liar, and drunkard, who had served as cook in several merchants houses, and at length assumed the character of ambassador to raise his fortune.
Morat, feeing himself thus over-reached, and frustrated of the presents he expected to receive, behaved like a man distracted ; and was with difficulty, and the joint authority of the bashaw and consul, hindered from turning Mohammedan, and betraying the whole fecrét; but was at length sent away with some fmall prefents; and
embarking for Surat, went and died at Hifpahani. De Route The conful had at that time provided one Le Noir, Jent ambas» commonly call De Route, a creature of his, thoroughly Jador into acquainted with all the particulars of Morat's embassy. Abuliinia.
Him he fent with the same character to the Abyslinian court as from the French king. But this last met with a much worse fate than that of Morat. After a tedious and
dangerous voyage, and other disappointments, he was at Alalinated a Sanaar. length assassinated by order of the king of Sanaar, after
i Vide Le Grand, ubi fupra, p. 162, & feq.
having been received at his first arrival with all the marks of favour and distinction due to his public character. Some say that he was dispatched pursuant to a private order which that monarch received from the negus, or emperor, of Abyssinia ; and others, that his death was owing to a diflike which the grandees of Sanaar had taken against him, on account of his too great intimacy with the prime minister Ali Zogoyer. A letter was afterwards trumped up, pretended to be written by the negus to the pope, but fince brought to his son Tekla Haimanout; who had by this time dethroned him ; which, if genuine, wholly clears him from having had any hand in that assassination. The misfortune is, that most of our accounts from those parts are so often contradicted by the opposite parties on both sides, that the truth is not easily ascertained; this only we can be certain of, that his death not only put an end to that consul's project, but that the very notion of a mutual embaffy fo exasperated the clergy and people, that they readily joined with the emperor's son above named to dethrone his father, as the encourager of it, though more probably quite innocent and ignorant of both.
Whilst the consul was taken up with the management The Jesuits of this affair, the Jesuits, more refined politicians in things proječi anof this nature, had projected another scheme of their other own, which was every way more promising. The patri- scheme, in arch of Alexandria, on whom the Abyssinian church
Alexan. wholly depends, had been so far wrought by those dex- drian paterous fathers in favour of the Romish church, and the triarch joins pope's supremacy, as to dispatch an ambassador to the with thema courts of Paris and Rome, with offers of aflifting with all his power and authority the Romish missionaries, through all the countries belonging to his patriarchate, in re-uniting the Coptic church to that of Rome. The person pitched upon for this embaffy was one Ibrahim Channah, a Maronite, who was strictly charged to execute it with the utmost secrecy in both courts, whilst the good fathers loaded him with letters of recommendations and other encouragements, which procured him an honourable reception wherever he came ; more particularly at ibe court of Versailles, where he was admitted to the
Sends an royal presence, and caressed by all the prime ministers; amballador after å stay of about four months, from August 24 to to Paris November 25, 1702, he was dispatched with new creien- and Rome. tials and recommendatory letters to the pope, several cardinals, and other members of the fociety De Propaganda Tide. This project was so highly relished at the French
court, that they thought it necessary to send their confu at Cairo express orders to act in concert with the patriarch and the Jesuits, and to forward it with all his power; and
this measure occasioned its miscarriage ; for the consul, Whom the whether out of dislike to it, or to those who had exposed conlul exposes as a
his ambassador as a cheat, divulged the whole secret by cheat at
his imprudent conduct, and publicly examining the old Rome.
patriarch about it, who, now sensible of the imminent danger he was in, not only from the Turks, but from his own clergy and laity, denied the whole purport of Ibraim's embassy; alleging that the two letters he had entrusted him with to the pope and French king, were only letters of compliment. In consequence of this declaration, the consul sent no less than three certificates one afier an. other, to the court of Rome, figned by several monks and
own chancellor ; all which were shewn to his holinefs by cardinal Fabroni; fo that he had not resided long at Rome, before he found a quite different treatment than he had met with at Paris, his public character not only questioned, but exposed as a vile forgery and imposition, and calculated only with a view of some considerable gain. The fathers of the million of the Holy Land, a set of monks quite opposite to the Jesuits, and who now acted under the consui's direction, were the most zealous of all
in discrediting him, and exploding all he alleged in his His defence own defence. This perfecution obliged him to present a and me
memorial to the pope, complaining of the unjust methods moir to the pope.
which some people had taken to discredit his commillion, and thereby to prevent the good intentions of the patriarch, and the so much desired conversion of the Ethiopians; he therefore begged his holiness to send some proper person into Egypt, to be fully satisfied of the whole matter from the patriarch's own mouth, to the end that if he was proved a cheat, he might be punished as such ; and if a faithful messenger, he might have justice done to his character. The proposal was thought so reasonable, that his holiness immediately appointed don Gabriel, a Maronite, of the order of St. Antony, to go to Kairo
for that purpose. The patri. Not long after his departure, Ibrahim received a letter arch com
from the Alexandrian patriarch, expressing his surprize to plains against him find, that, instead of observing the secrefy he had so earand the nestly enjoined him, he had so far divulged that important conful. affair, that it had reached the ears of the French consulat
Kairo, and all that part of the world ; insomuch that the fathers of the Holy Land were come in one body to quef
tion him in a public manner, whether it were true that he was come over to the Latin church, and had sent an express messenger into France, to confirm an alliance with it ; that upon his asking them what reason they had to put such interrogatories to him, they answered, they were ordered by the court to do so; upon which he told them, that the letters which he had given to Ibrahim were only for his private service. He desired him to acquaint the Message 10 pope, that he had assembled all the bishops under him to the pope. consecrate the oil used at the coronation of the Abyssinian monarchs, and to beg his holiness's blessing upon it. He received another some time after, in which he tells him, that he had finished the confecration of the holy oil, and had sent some of it into Abyssinia by the hand of father Bishot, a Jesuit, who was to go privately into that country, in company with Du Route, whom he had entrusted with a letter to the emperor, and another to the Abyssinian abuna. In both those letters he acknowledges Ibrahim Ibrahim's to be his agent and confident, and himself to be an hum- legacy 10 ble dependent on his holiness, to whom, as such, he gave an account of his actions ; fo that, if these letters were
confirmed really sent by that patriarch, nothing could more effec- by the pa. tually justify the character of Ibrahim against the clamours triarch which the Holy Land missionaries had raised against it at the court of Rome. But what justified him ftill more effectually, was the return of father Gabriel from Kairo, who confirmed all the particulars of Ibrahim's embassy, in a new letter wbich he brought from the patriarch to the pope.
Ibrahim, thus vindicated, was very pressing at the Romish But no recourt for a proper reparation to his character ; but after paration is many delays and excuses, was told, that Rome was not a
him. proper place to obtain justice against the fathers of the Holy Land; and that as to the French consul, he must apply to the French court for redress. At which answer being highly dissatisfied, he left that city about the end of the year 1705, leaving behind some presents, which the pope had designed to send by him to the Alexandrian patriarch, but which were afterwards conveyed to him by another hand. Ibrahim was foon after shipwrecked on the Is Mipcoast of Cyprus; and having lost all his effects, and the wrecked in greatest part of his papers, and obtaining a certificate of way
home. his misfortune, went and settled at Saide'; a circumstance which put an end at once to his public character and em. bassy, and to this promising and deeply concerted scheme of the society, as they had done to that of the French cönful, | Le Grand, ubi fupra, p. 6', & feq. 47', & seq.
The Abys Can we therefore wonder at the vigilance of the Abyffinians more finian monarchs to keep all the avenues to their territories jealous and so strongly and closely guarded against all approaches of able by thoje the Europeans, when they see what plots and contrivances embassies they are capable of, what dangers, labours, and expences
they will expose themselves to, and what their views and designs tend to, in endeavouring to gain at any rate a fresh entrance into them? On the other hand, where there reigns such jealousy and emulation, not to call it by a
worse name, between those miffionaries of different orAnd our
ders, who yet profess to have the same meritorious views,
the reducing of that whole country under the pope's fubthence more uncertain,
jection, can it be at all surprising that the accounts we have from thence should come to us so lame, dissonant, and unsatisfactory?
SE C T. II.
The Situation, Division, various Names, Extent, Li
mits, Provinces, &c. of the Alinan Empire; with
an account of the Gallas, and ineir several Conquests. graphy of THIS empire is situate entirely under the torrid zone ;
between the 8th and 17th deg of north latitude, and Abylinia,
between the 3. it and 40th of weit longitude from our London meridian. The former is taken by drawing a Itrait line from the old country of Focay, lying a little above Swakem, and forming its northern boundary under the 18th degree, quite to that of Bergamo, its utinost southern boundary, which lies under the 17th, and will consequent ly be about nine degrees in length. But as at this present time the country of Focay is dismembered from the empire, so that we must reckon only from one degree above
Mazowa, that is, from the 16th to Bergamo above menSituation tioned, it will be still shorter by one degree. Hence apand length. pears the great error of old geographers, who extended its
Touthern limits so far beyond the equinoctial live, as to place the head of the Nile several degrees south of it; which is, by the latest and most accurate observations, found to be almost thirteen degrees on this side of the
The breadth of the empire is commonly computed from the coasts of the Red Sea, eastward, to the banks of the