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* The Badjerund of the lion-house. It was customary to have four lions accompanying the royal camp in all its movements. The place where they were stationed was near the coinmon prison. The overseer of this has command over the officers who superintend executions.'
• The ceremonies performed at the creation of Abyssinian great officers, are singular, and throw considerable light on the national character. Before the war of Adel, and the division of the empire in the reign of David III. all was splendour and ceremony. Gold wrought into chains, cups, and other articles of use and luxury, were every where common; the finest brocades, silk, and cotton cloths were worn by the king's servants; the apartments in the palace and camp were ornamented with the most precious metals, and with beds of state, called menstaffs ; they were hung with the richest Indian stuffs, and paved with the finest carpets of Persia. All the great officers of the crown ate out of vessels of gold and silver, and most of their furniture displayed the utmost height of barbaric pomp.
"A Kasmati (governor) is masle in public, generally at'the Adebebaye, or market-place, of Gondar. The servints of ihe king, under the direction of The Badjerund of the Z«ffanbet, put around his bcad the Ras Werk, a circle of gold, and clothed him with the kaftan, a white robe, sometimes lined with blue. The Abyssinian MSS. mentions another gift, by the words sinomu mai, the meaning of which is uncertain, but seems to be a pitcher for water. One of the people employed in the ceremony, then proclaims him, in the following manner:..“6 Hear, hear, hear! We make our servant, *** Kassinati of " The kettle-drums immediately bett, the trumpels are sounded, those who are present raise loud sluuts of congratulation. He is then mounted on a horse of the king's, splendidly caparisoned, and rides to the outer gate of the paiaci, where, alighting, he is admitted into the presence chamber, and, after having prostrated himself on the ground, kisses the king's hand. He is conducted out with sandic, nagarcei, ani nesserkanu; that is, with the royal standard flying before him, and the crans and music, above-mentioned. The basha is also invested with the Ras Werk anri Kaftan. He receives gold chains for his legs and arms, called amber werk and zinar, with a gold hilted sword, and a shasha, a kind of turban, wound about his head. He is presented to the king on the throne, and ailowed to sit at the foot of it, with carpets spread innder his feet. He is there served with drink, in a golden cup; after which he is conducted by all the nobles and army at Gondar, in full procession, to the house aliotied to his office. The musqueteers, with sandic, nagareet, and nésserkalding fre repeated peals of musquetry, and ihe rejoicing in this, as 10+ deed in all cases of that nature, is noisy and rioious beyond the scription. All the great officers are invested in this manner, info fering, however, in the degree of honor which is paid to their
Tespective ranks. The tenor of the proclamation is the same. It is the perpetnal custom of the king to bestow new robes, and other. articles of dress, not on the nobility alone, but every person in his court or ariny, who has performed any action of note. A quantity of provisions from the palace is also bestowed at the same time. These customs are all of Persian origin.'
The sovereigns of Abyssinia usually passed the nine fair months of the year in the field, engaged in war with the Malometans, Galla, and other tribes on the frontiers of the kingrlom.
Long practice made 'encampment an easy regular matter, every. part of the army knew its particular station ; when the king's tent :
"s pitched, the places of all the rest were relatively determined. In av expedition, it was usual for the king to carry his wife's house ; huli servants, clergy, and treasures along with him. These are mentioned together because they were exceedingly numerous, and formed a proportionable incumbrance to the march, which was very hard, at the rate of ten or fourteen miles a day.'
“The whole camp is called Cattama,' and when extended in the manner that was usually done, on continuing long in one place, it occupied a space of several miles in circumference. The king's tents, five or six in number, were placed on a little eminence, on the east side of it, the doors of them being always to the east. The name of the place in which they stood was called Margáfs, which was surrounded with long pallisades, hung with checquered cur,tains, named Muntulot, that completely hid the tents from the army without. In this enclosure (Megardj) were twelve doors, or entrances, occupied by the guards, the principal of which looked. to the east. It was known and determined at which of these certain persons shoulu enter, for instance, the cooks at one door, the Betweiders at another, the clergy at a third and so on, throughout the whole number. The principal gate was called the wudunsha dadie, the names of the rest were the sarg wan dadje, shalemat davje, megardja dadje, mebleá dadje, blaaltihat dadje, which were double, one of each name on the right, and another on the left, of the principal entrance.'
No. XLV. XLVI. give a particular account of the Ethiopie MSS, from which Mr. Bruce composed the history of Abyssinia, inserted in his travels. The style and manner or whese Abyssinian andals bear a very close resemblance to the books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament, Among the officers of the royal household who are enumerated in No.XLIV.we find two,'. Tsafat Tasazi,' secretaries. We shall give two specimens of these Abyssinian appals. In the eighth year of the reign of Yasous, he made an excursion io Tcerkin,and anongst other game, collected a number
of apes, which he and his courtiers drove into Gondar, and exhibited in the public square. The historian of his reign records this action as follows:
In the eight year, in the month Yacatil, the king, went out to hunt as usual, and found in the way a flock of apes; and he drove them, as a shepherd doth his flock, into Gondar, and put them into the Ashoa,' (public square or area before the palace,)' And they who saw that miracle wondered and were astonished, and said, we have not heard, nor seen,neither have our fathers told us a sign or a wonder like this. And all that was done by the strengih of the Lord.'
When Mariam Barea governor of Begemder, who had been deprived of his government, and declared a traitor was delivered up to Ras Michael, the chronicle says, : • That Michael would not see his face, because he pitied him, and remembered the scripture, which forbids us to 'insult those whom the Lord hath delivered into our hand.' He sent the prisoner to the king and refused to sit upon his trial, saying, “ It is not proper that I pronounce upon him the sentence of death, for we are ene.. mies.'” But Kasinati Luto stood before the king in rage and said, “I judge him with the sentence of death, for my brother Kasmati Brule died without judgment. They pronounced the sentence and took him out of the tent ; and Kasmati Luto lifted his lance and pierced him first, and after him all the Galla stabbed him and bul. chered him (tabahwo )like an ox,and cut off his head and brought it to Ras Michael, and threw it down before him as they do spoils; I but he did not rejoice at the deed but said, take it out of my sight.'
The following is the conclusion of one of the books of Abyssinian annals :
"Month of Ginbot. On the first day he (the new king) entered Gondar ; and the nobles and judges received him, and also the priests of the hills(hermits and monks) with psalms and music of joy and exultation. And, on'tie 2d day, he was made king with the crown as kings are, and the book of his history we will also write as the holy spirit shall direct ús. And that king who was deposed, while he was in the palace by the king's perniission, grew a little sick. And, on Monday, 8th at midnight, died Joas, king of kings. We have finished the history of king Yasous, and king Joas, and the queen Welleta Georgis, by the help of the Lord. Amen and amen. So let it be. - We find that the Abyssian chroniclers who have seldom any thing else to relate than turbulent periods of violence, eruelty and bloodshed,can still use the name of the Lord with Very istile ceremony; and can also lay claim to the supere'
natural direction of the Holy Spirit. We see that Ras Mi. chael who makes a very conspicuous figure in Mr. Bruce's travels, and in the Abyssinian history of that period,can quote scripture with as niuch facility as any European usurper, when he is meditating the foullest purposes, and can disguise his ambition and his perfidy under a mask of the most extraordinary sanctity and moderation.
The following remarks of Mr. Murray on the use of oriental literature, and on the miserable deficiency in that parti. cular of some persons who have been commonly ranked high among the biblical scholars of this country, are no less peo netrating than just. They show that the learned author of this life of Ms. Bruce, is a person who can think for him : self, and who is not to be deterred by the dread of senseless clamour from stating what he thinks on a subject, on which men usually seem more prone than on- any other to foulmouthed aspersion and virulent invectige.
Considering the value of oriental literature, in all investigations which are intended to examine, or illustrate, the principles of revealed religion, and the tendency of that literature to promote our knowledge of a very extensive and interesting portion of the globe, not to mention the advancement of our political interests in India, it is to be regretted, that the study of that branch of learning is, in this country, neither cultivated nor encouraged. Perhaps . theologians think, that the church is secure on the basis of what has been already alone ; and that a general neglect, not to say ignorance, of the language of the sacred books may be excused, as the industry of former times has enabled us to know, in general what they contain. This security is not prudent. For the great scholars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had not the same ada vantages either in criticism or philosophy which we possess, They ascertained what was truth as far as they were able ; but it cannot be supposed that a work, which is progressive, could be finished at once. Considerable pains have, indeed, been taken, to procure by collation, an accurate copy of the Old Testament; but it is astonishing to see how little knowledge of the oriental languages, Lowih, and other translators of particular books, have shewn in their different works. Literature is disgraced by a number of dull Hebrew grammars and dictionaries, written by such scholiasts as Parka hurst, Bate, &c. who' pretend to settle the meaning of words, and at, the same time, have neither good sense and judgment to investigate, nor learning to discover the objects of their research. By maintaining that the Hebrew language exists only in the Bible, and by thus detaching it from the Arabic, and other related dialects, they assume a liberty of giving whatever form and meaning to the words they think most plausible, Yet the gran mar and prosody of the Jewish language might easily be traced from these kindred sources.
On the other hand, if infidels should attack the sacred books in the present state of Hebrew philology, it is certain, that they might gain a greater advantage than, on a first view of the subject, may be apprehended, and a support to their arguments, which it would require some time and attention to remove. The literature of Jones, united with the wit' and intentions of Voltaire, would do more harm than many volumes of philosophical scepticism.'
The following is part of the account which Mr. Bruce gives in his common-place book of the entry of the king into Gondar.
“The second of March we went to meet the king on his march to Gondar. The vizir (Râs) came first, with about a hundred horse, mounted upon a mule. He first stopt and made a short prayer at the church of Azato, and then came to a small bill on the other side of the river Dumasa, which runs below Azaro, that is near Gondar. His. mule ran so fast, and be was so poorly dressed, that,' though we were dismounted to wait for him, he past us without our being able to salute him. Having past the Dumasa, he sat himself down on a small rising ground to see the army pass while they were pitching his tent. The army advanced by twos and threes, all in disa order; part encanıped, the rest entered Gondar. There was no order observed. We first pulled off our shoes, and then kissed his hand, sitting down as he desired us.. After the vizir, came the king with about an hundred horse, with forty drums,, mounted on mules beating before him; and long horns or irumpets after the fashion of the country. Upon the king's passing, we all rose, so the vizir. On the other hand, the king seeing him standing hastened to pass that he might sit again, for he was about 80 years old, and was besides lame, his thigh being broke in his youth, by a wound from a lance. The king entered his tent.' The king rode upon a mule all covered with scarlet and blue housing ; his head bare, with a fine linen or muslin cloth wrapped around him, which he held with one hand up to his mouth.' • Three of the queen's daughters came after riding upon mules like men, their faces half uncovered, with parasols like a dais carried.over their heads, as was likewise over the heads of the vizir and king.' . . The third in the morning the king made his entry. Before him came part of the troops, horse and foot without auy order, about 4000, who joined themselves to about 500 horse.' 'All the soldiers who had killed an enemy, distinguished themselves by a narrow stripe of red cloth upon his lance or musket ; if he had slain more he carried more, and round the wrist be had the privy parts of his enemies killed, stuffed with straw, which as soon as the king was seated, he threw downl, each in his turn, before him, with encomiums on his own bravery; and this is the never failing practice
even when a woman is regent, as was the late queen in the minority , of Juas, and his father Yasous.' . ;