电影摘要：Down came the pagan host like the rushing blast, and the stones flew far under the clatter of their hoofs. But they were fiercely met by the long-bladed spears of the Amhára, and every inch of ground was for once stoutly contested. The roar of the foaming cataract, which thundered within fifty yards of the battle-field, was lost in the hoarse yells which rung through the air. The rocky bed proved for a time the scene of slaughter, and the turbid waters receiving numbers of dying and wounded wretches, hurried them to eternity. At length, each individual singling out his foe, the contest assumed the confused appearance of a chance medley. The sharp lance met with little opposition from the cotton robe; and deprived of other weapons. Christian and Galla, grappling stoutly together, fought with sword and knife, and in the fury of the moment, and in the excitement of the struggle, many rolled over the frowning scarp, clinging tightly together in the last embrace of death.
On the festival of the Holy Virgin, the cemetery was thrown open, wherein rest the remains of Asfa Woosen, grandsire to Sáhela Selássie. It is a building adjoining the church of Saint Mary; and being anxious to visit the mausoleum, I sent a message to the Lord Bishop, requesting permission to do so. An insolent reply was returned, that since the English were in the habit of drinking coffee and smoking tobacco, both of which Mohammadan abominations are interdicted in Shoa upon religious grounds, we could not be admitted within the precincts of the hallowed edifice, as it would be polluted by the foot of a Gyptzi.
The seed, having been placed for some time in wood-ashes, is well rubbed with red earth before planting; and wherever the locality is favourable to irrigation, water is not spared. The pod, when ripe, is cut with a knife, the husk removed, and the wool deposited in a bag, with the utmost care to exclude extraneous matter. One full bearing bush produces twice during the twelve months between four and five pounds of raw stuff.
To the cry of “Abiet!” which now resounded so unceasingly, the Abyssinians attach the opinion that, on the last day, Satan, taking up his post before the gates of heaven, will continue thus to vociferate until he gains admittance. On presenting himself before the judgment-seat, it will be asked “what he would have?” “The souls which have been wrested from me by the angels,” is to be the reply; but on his acknowledging inability to specify the names of those who have robbed him, the Father of Evil will receive a command to be gone, and never to shew his face again.Slaves in Africa are thus in proportion to the freemen of about three to one; but although the number of individuals reduced to a state of bondage by the operation of the above causes, and the destruction created, both as regards life and property, is immense, the whole combined are but as a single grain of dust in the balance, when compared with the slavery, the destitution, and the desolation, that is daily entailed by the unceasing bloody struggles betwixt state and state. Towns and villages are then obliterated from the face of the earth, and thousands upon thousands of the population, of whatever age or sex, are hurried into hopeless captivity.
“Not one of them shall close his eyes to-night, at all events,” grumbled the Ras. “I shall myself superintend the business, and see to the safety of the camp; for, by the life of the Prophet, this is an evil spot!”Raw flesh, eaten with pepper, butter, and wheaten bread, forms the principal diet. Edible fruits are abundant. Citrons, nutmeg, ginger, coffee, and tea, grow wild over the whole country. The two latter are taken by the Christians of Susa, as is also snuff; but tobacco is not inhaled. The grape vine is indigenous and extensively cultivated; and the Outoo, the Gondweiyo, and the Goddo, are described as aromatic trees, of which the flowers, possessing the richest perfume, are dried, pulverised, and amalgamated with civet—the cats producing which are kept in every house, fed on raw beef, and placed before the fire, as in Enárea.Introduction.Upon payment each of a few pieces of salt, many hundred candidates receive the breath of the Holy Ghost from the Abuna in a single day; but every Abyssinian being ignorant of his own age, it is essential to the reception of priestly orders that the beard should have appeared. Deacons are chosen from among boys and children, because on reaching maturity the life of the adult is not always distinguished by that spotless purity which is held indispensable. The juvenile novices are present during divine service in capacity of servitors, and they complete the requisite number at the administration of the holy communion.Entertaining the liveliest fears of death, his manifold superstitions were ever the most easily awakened during sickness, when the actions of his past life crowded up in judgment before him. It was on these occasions that, in order to quiet his conscience, he made the most liberal votive offerings to the church and to the monastery, and that he gained the greatest victories over his deep-rooted avarice; and it was on these occasions, therefore, that the chord of his latent good feeling might obviously be touched with the happiest result to the cause of humanity.
None here to pity, none to save—Salute those blessed hands bearing the pure torch of the Gospel,The Comus, or Bishop, who ranks next above the Priest, is without diocese or even authority over the inferior members of the church; and his peculiar function is to bless and purify the sacred ark, should it accidentally receive the impure touch of deacon or layman; to repeat the prayer of admission, and sign the cross on the skull-cap of the candidate for monastic seclusion; and to afford absolution for trivial offences against the conscience.Twelve thousand clerical drones, “Fruges consumere nati,” fatten in idleness on the labour of the working classes, and employ their influence to foster the prejudice, bigotry, and superstition of their flock. The kiss imprinted on the hand of one of these licentious shepherds being believed to purify the body from all sin, they are treated with the highest respect and veneration, are fed and caressed both by high and low, and invariably addressed as “Father.”
The rebellion of the Loomi, which had now with infinite difficulty been quelled, affords an excellent commentary upon the nature of Sáhela Selássie’s Galla tenures. A portion of this tribe had failed to pay their tribute to the now disgraced governor of Mentshar, who was wounded in the attempt to levy it, and the royal forces took the field against them. Bótha, who presided over a portion of the Yerrur district, was also a defaulter, though not in open revolt; but at the entreaty of his brother Dogmo, a faithful vassal of the king, he came in with his arrears as the army drew nigh; and having been mildly reproached for the delay, was dismissed with pardon. No sooner, however, had he left the camp, than he went over to the Galla on the plain of the Háwash, and aided the Loomi in a projected attack upon the Amhára. Upon this defection, Shambo, his elder brother, became apprehensive of consequences; for he conceived it by no means improbable that he might be held responsible for an offence in which he had no participation, as in the case of Súmmad Negoos, late governor of Geshe, who is to this day a state prisoner in consequence of his brother Negooso going over to the ruler of Argobba. He therefore determined to renounce his allegiance, but deferred the execution of his design until after joining Ayto Shishigo, who commanded the troops acting against the Loomi; and it being then proposed to burn a village on the summit of an adjacent hill, belonging to the tribe of Bótha, he immediately took part with the enemy, and heading an onset in person, slew a vast number of the Christians.Sing praises to the martyr who laughed their religion to scorn.Assuming the posture of earnest entreaty, the elders of the Muda?to were not sparing of their oily words:—“All ancient differences should be fully adjusted, and the Wóema should depart to their own tents, loaded with the richest produce of Aussa as a free gift of its elders; but the great conference could not be held until the morrow; the chief, Yoosuf Ali, was absent, and a swift messenger could scarcely reach him before nightfall. Would the Wóema meanwhile destroy the seat of learning and of religion? Would the sons brandish the gory spear where their fathers were wont to fall prostrate in prayer? If camels had been stolen, the thieves should be delivered over to punishment, and every point of dispute should be most satisfactorily arranged.”From Tajúra to Killulloo.
Built on the only sloping face of the hill, the governor’s houses stretch entirely across the outlet from scarp to scarp, and from his immediate bedchamber two trap-doors cover the passages to the inner recesses of the prison. A staircase descends from one into the vaults underground, where immured in chains are the state criminals, and the younger branches of the royal family; and a passage leads through the other to a series of small apartments erected upon the upper surface of the hill, but surrounded by strong palisades to the very verge of the precipice. The scarp was of considerable height, and had never yet been attempted by those offenders whose lighter crimes had enforced a residence in these more agreeable locations; and the besotted Wulásma being in no mood to reflect on the strength and daring of his present charge, merely conducted him to one of these places of security, and barring the door on the outside, retired grumbling to the crown officials, after leaving an ample repast for the entertainment of his distinguished prisoner.The sultry afternoon was already far advanced, when the weary eye was refreshed by a glimpse of the verdant plain of Sultélli, a perfectly level expanse, so ingeniously overgrown with pale green vegetation as to furnish an exact representation of a wide lake covered with floating duckweed, around which numerous camels were busily browsing on the rank herbage. During the greater part of the year, this plain presents one vast and delightful sheet of water; but the fairy form of the light-footed gazelle was presently seen bounding over the delusive surface, and although clothed throughout with the most tantalising verdure, it yet proved perfectly dry. The camels were milch females, capable of subsisting for days, and even for weeks together, without drinking, whilst their milk serves to quench the thirst of their unwashed Bedouin attendants. Beedur, the chief of a section of the Débeni, who resides in this spot during the rainy season, had long since decamped with his clan to more distant pastures.