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classes. He was a sleek official who had attained his high

time:2023-12-06 15:27:42 author:internet read:841次

Our fathers then imagined they had nothing more to fear, but too soon were convinced of their error, for they found the whole country turned against them, and met everywhere new enemies to contend with and new dangers to surmount. Being not far distant from Fremona, where I resided, they sent to me for succour. I was better informed of the distress they were in than themselves, having been told that a numerous body of Abyssins had posted themselves in a narrow pass with an intent to surround and destroy them; therefore, without long deliberation, I assembled my friends, both Portuguese and Abyssins, to the number of fourscore, and went to their rescue, carrying with me provisions and refreshments, of which I knew they were in great need. These glorious confessors I met as they were just entering the pass designed for the place of their destruction, and doubly preserved them from famine and the sword. A grateful sense of their deliverance made them receive me as a guardian angel. We went together to Fremona, and being in all a patriarch, a bishop, eighteen Jesuits, and four hundred Portuguese whom I supplied with necessaries, though the revenues of our house were lost, and though the country was disaffected to us, in the worst season of the year. We were obliged for the relief of the poor and our own subsistence to sell our ornaments and chalices, which we first broke in pieces, that the people might not have the pleasure of ridiculing our mysteries by profaning the vessels made use of in the celebration of them, for they now would gladly treat with the highest indignities what they had a year before looked upon with veneration.

classes. He was a sleek official who had attained his high

Amidst all these perplexities the viceroy did not fail to visit us, and make us great offers of service in expectation of a large present. We were in a situation in which it was very difficult to act properly; we knew too well the ill intentions of the viceroy, but durst not complain, or give him any reason to imagine that we knew them. We longed to retreat out of his power, or at least to send one of our company to the Indies with an account of persecution we suffered, and could without his leave neither do one nor the other.

classes. He was a sleek official who had attained his high

When it was determined that one should be sent to the Indies, I was at first singled out for the journey, and it was intended that I should represent at Goa, at Rome, and at Madrid the distresses and necessities of the mission of Aethiopia; but the fathers reflecting afterwards that I best understood the Abyssinian language, and was most acquainted with the customs of the country, altered their opinions, and, continuing me in Aethiopia either to perish with them or preserve them, deputed four other Jesuits, who in a short time set out on their way to the Indies.

classes. He was a sleek official who had attained his high

About this time I was sent for to the viceroy's camp to confess a criminal, who, though falsely, was believed a Catholic, to whom, after a proper exhortation, I was going to pronounce the form of absolution, when those that waited to execute him told him aloud that if he expected to save his life by professing himself a Catholic, he would find himself deceived, and that he had nothing to do but prepare himself for death. The unhappy criminal had no sooner heard this than, rising up, he declared his resolution to die in the religion of his country, and being delivered up to his prosecutors was immediately dispatched with their lances.

The chief reason of calling me was not that I might hear this confession: the viceroy had another design of seizing my person, expecting that either the Jesuits or Portuguese would buy my liberty with a large ransom, or that he might exchange me for his father, who was kept prisoner by a revolted prince. That prince would have been no loser by the exchange, for so much was I hated by the Abyssinian monks that they would have thought no expense too great to have gotten me into their hands, that they might have glutted their revenge by putting me to the most painful death they could have invented. Happily I found means to retire out of this dangerous place, and was followed by the viceroy almost to Fremona, who, being disappointed, desired me either to visit him at his camp, or appoint a place where we might confer. I made many excuses, but at length agreed to meet him at a place near Fremona, bringing each of us only three companions. I did not doubt but he would bring more, and so he did, but found that I was upon my guard, and that my company increased in proportion to his. My friends were resolute Portuguese, who were determined to give him no quarter if he made any attempt upon my liberty. Finding himself once more countermined, he returned ashamed to his camp, where a month after, being accused of a confederacy in the revolt of that prince who kept his father prisoner, he was arrested, and carried in chains to the Emperor.

The time now approaching in which we were to be delivered to the Turks, we had none but God to apply to for relief: all the measures we could think of were equally dangerous. Resolving, nevertheless, to seek some retreat where we might hide ourselves either all together or separately, we determined at last to put ourselves under the protection of the Prince John Akay, who had defended himself a long time in the province of Bar against the power of Abyssinia.

After I had concluded a treaty with this prince, the patriarch and all the fathers put themselves into his hands, and being received with all imaginable kindness and civility, were conducted with a guard to Adicota, a rock excessively steep, about nine miles from his place of residence. The event was not agreeable to the happy beginning of our negotiation, for we soon began to find that our habitation was not likely to be very pleasant. We were surrounded with Mahometans, or Christians who were inveterate enemies to the Catholic faith, and were obliged to act with the utmost caution. Notwithstanding these inconveniences we were pleased with the present tranquillity we enjoyed, and lived contentedly on lentils and a little corn that we had; and I, after we had sold all our goods, resolved to turn physician, and was soon able to support myself by my practice.

I was once consulted by a man troubled with asthma, who presented me with two alquieres--that is, about twenty-eight pounds weight--of corn and a sheep. The advice I gave him, after having turned over my books, was to drink goats' urine every morning; I know not whether he found any benefit by following my prescription, for I never saw him after.


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