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waned in the St. Paul School year by year. Germans formed

time:2023-11-30 06:16:32 author:data read:421次

They discover the relics. Their apprehension of the Galles. The author converts a criminal, and procures his pardon.

waned in the St. Paul School year by year. Germans formed

We took with us an old Moor, so enfeebled with age that they were forced to carry him: he had seen, as I have said, the sufferings and death of Don Christopher de Gama; and a Christian, who had often heard all those passages related to his father, and knew the place where the uncle and nephew of Mahomet were buried, and where they interred one quarter of the Portuguese martyr. We often examined these two men, and always apart; they agreed in every circumstance of their relations, and confirmed us in our belief of them by leading us to the place where we took up the uncle and nephew of Mahomet, as they had described. With no small labour we removed the heap of stones which the Moors, according to their custom, had thrown upon the body, and discovered the treasure we came in search of. Not many paces off was the fountain where they had thrown his head, with a dead dog, to raise a greater aversion in the Moors. I gathered the teeth and the lower jaw. No words can express the ecstasies I was transported with at seeing the relics of so great a man, and reflecting that it had pleased God to make me the instrument of their preservation, so that one day, if our holy father the Pope shall be so pleased, they may receive the veneration of the faithful. All burst into tears at the sight. We indulged a melancholy pleasure in reflecting what that great man had achieved for the deliverance of Abyssinia, from the yoke and tyranny of the Moors; the voyages he had undertaken; the battles he had fought; the victories he had won; and the cruel and tragical death he had suffered. Our first moments were so entirely taken up with these reflections that we were incapable of considering the danger we were in of being immediately surrounded by the Galles; but as soon as we awoke to that thought, we contrived to retreat as fast as we could. Our expedition, however, was not so great but we saw them on the top of a mountain ready to pour down upon us. The viceroy attended us closely with his little army, but had been probably not much more secure than we, his force consisting only of foot, and the Galles entirely of horse, a service at which they are very expert. Our apprehensions at last proved to be needless, for the troops we saw were of a nation at that time in alliance with the Abyssins.

waned in the St. Paul School year by year. Germans formed

Not caring, after this alarm, to stay longer here, we set out on our march back, and in our return passed through a village where two men, who had murdered a domestic of the viceroy, lay under an arrest. As they had been taken in the fact, the law of the country allowed that they might have been executed the same hour, but the viceroy having ordered that their death should be deferred till his return, delivered them to the relations of the dead, to be disposed of as they should think proper. They made great rejoicings all the night, on account of having it in their power to revenge their relation; and the unhappy criminals had the mortification of standing by to behold this jollity, and the preparations made for their execution.

waned in the St. Paul School year by year. Germans formed

The Abyssins have three different ways of putting a criminal to death: one way is to bury him to the neck, to lay a heap of brambles upon his head, and to cover the whole with a great stone; another is to beat him to death with cudgels; a third, and the most usual, is to stab him with their lances. The nearest relation gives the first thrust, and is followed by all the rest according to their degrees of kindred; and they to whom it does not happen to strike while the offender is alive, dip the points of their lances in his blood to show that they partake in the revenge. It frequently happens that the relations of the criminal are for taking the like vengeance for his death, and sometimes pursue this resolution so far that all those who had any share in the prosecution lose their lives.

I being informed that these two men were to die, wrote to the viceroy for his permission to exhort them, before they entered into eternity, to unite themselves to the Church. My request being granted, I applied myself to the men, and found one of them so obstinate that he would not even afford me a hearing, and died in his error. The other I found more flexible, and wrought upon him so far that he came to my tent to be instructed. After my care of his eternal welfare had met with such success, I could not forbear attempting something for his temporal, and by my endeavours matters were so accommodated that the relations were willing to grant his life on condition he paid a certain number of cows, or the value. Their first demand was of a thousand; he offered them five; they at last were satisfied with twelve, provided they were paid upon the spot. The Abyssins are extremely charitable, and the women, on such occasions, will give even their necklaces and pendants, so that, with what I gave myself, I collected in the camp enough to pay the fine, and all parties were content.

The viceroy is offended by his wife. He complains to the Emperor, but without redress. He meditates a revolt, raises an army, and makes an attempt to seize upon the author.

We continued our march, and the viceroy having been advertised that some troops had appeared in a hostile manner on the frontiers, went against them. I parted from him, and arrived at Fremona, where the Portuguese expected me with great impatience. I reposited the bones of Don Christopher de Gama in a decent place, and sent them the May following to the viceroy of the Indies, together with his arms, which had been presented me by a gentleman of Abyssinia, and a picture of the Virgin Mary, which that gallant Portuguese always carried about him.

The viceroy, during all the time he was engaged in this expedition, heard very provoking accounts of the bad conduct of his wife, and complained of it to the Emperor, entreating him either to punish his daughter himself, or to permit him to deliver her over to justice, that, if she was falsely accused, she might have an opportunity of putting her own honour and her husband's out of dispute. The Emperor took little notice of his son-in-law's remonstrances; and, the truth is, the viceroy was somewhat more nice in that matter than the people of rank in this country generally are. There are laws, it is true, against adultery, but they seem to have been only for the meaner people, and the women of quality, especially the ouzoros, or ladies of the blood royal, are so much above them, that their husbands have not even the liberty of complaining; and certainly to support injuries of this kind without complaining requires a degree of patience which few men can boast of. The viceroy's virtue was not proof against this temptation. He fell into a deep melancholy, and resolved to be revenged on his father-in-law. He knew the present temper of the people, that those of the greatest interest and power were by no means pleased with the changes of religion, and only waited for a fair opportunity to revolt; and that these discontents were everywhere heightened by the monks and clergy. Encouraged by these reflections, he was always talking of the just reasons he had to complain of the Emperor, and gave them sufficient room to understand that if they would appear in his party, he would declare himself for the ancient religion, and put himself at the head of those who should take arms in the defence of it. The chief and almost the only thing that hindered him from raising a formidable rebellion, was the mutual distrust they entertained of one another, each fearing that as soon as the Emperor should publish an act of grace, or general amnesty, the greatest part would lay down their arms and embrace it; and this suspicion was imagined more reasonable of the viceroy than of any other. Notwithstanding this difficulty, the priests, who interested themselves much in this revolt, ran with the utmost earnestness from church to church, levelling their sermons against the Emperor and the Catholic religion; and that they might have the better success in putting a stop to all ecclesiastical innovations, they came to a resolution of putting all the missionaries to the sword; and that the viceroy might have no room to hope for a pardon, they obliged him to give the first wound to him that should fall into his hands.


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