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I had previously, by the distribution of a few presents, gained the sanction of his friends; and the boy himself was delighted with the change, owing to the inconveniences to which he had been subjected from being a Musseljnaun. This ceremony took place on the 5th, at day-break; an early hour being considered as requisite, on account of the subsequent celebration of the sacrament of the communion, which can only be administered fasting.
On reaching the church, we found the head priest, Abou Barea, with about twenty priests of an inferior order, waiting in a small area about thirty yards from the spot, some of whom were engaged in chanting psalms, while the test were busy in' preparing the water and making other necessary arrangements for the occasion. At sun-rise, every thing being ready, an attendant was sent round from the high priest, to point out-to each person concerned the part which he was to take in the ceremony. The officiating priest was habited in white flowing robes, with a tiara, or siherrnounted cap on his head, and he carried a censer with burning incense in his right hand: a second of equal rank was dressed in similar robes, supporting a large golden cross, while a third held in his hand a small phial containing a quantity of meiron, or consecrated oil, which is furnished to the church of Abyssinia by the Patriarch of Alexandria. The attendant priests stood round in the form of a semicircle, the boy being placed in the centre, and our party ranged in front. After a few minutes interval, employed
in singing psalms, some af tfce priests took the boy and washeJ him all over very carefully in a large bason of water. While tha was passing a smaller font called me-te-mak (which is always kept on the outside of the ciiurcats. owing to an unbaptized person not being permitted to enter the church) was placed in the TMwhfig of the area filled with water, which the priest consecrated by prayer, waving the incense repeatedly over it, and dropping iato it a portion of the pieiron in the shape of a cross. The buy was then brought back, dripping from head to foot, and agaaj placed naked and upright in tie centre; and was required to renounce "the devil and all bis works," which was performed, by his repeating a given formula four separate times, turning each time towards a different point of the compass. The godfather was then demanded, and on mv being presented, 1 named the child George, in honour of his present Majesty, when I was requested to say the Belief and the Lord s Prayer, and to make much the same promises as those required by our own church. The head priest afterwards laid hold of the boy, dipping his own hand into the water, and crossed him over the forehead, pronouncing at the same moment, "George, I baptise thee, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost' The whole company then knelt down, and joined in reciting the Lord's Prayer.
Here, as I was given to understand, the ordinary ceremony of baptism concludes; but as the boy had been a Musselmaun, be
was, in addition, crossed with the consecrated oil overeveryjoint and limb, or altogether, thirtysix times in different parts of his body. After this, he was wrapped in a clean white linen cloth, and placed for a moment in my arms, the priests telling me, that "I must henceforth consider him verily as my son." The high priest did not take any active part in this ceremony, but the whole was conducted with great decorum, and a due degree of solemnity. The boy afterwards, according' to the custom of most of the Eastern churches, was admitted to partake of the Holy Communion. On our return from the church, the high priest accompanied us home, and continued with us nearly an hour. He paid me many compliments on what had passed, and declared, that "1 had clone an act which would for ever be recorded in their books; as the baptism of the boy most clearly proved, that the English were not "Franks" (alluding to the conduct of the Jesuits about baptism,) but that we adhered to the pure religion of the Apostles. After some conversation of tiiis kind, in which he expressed the highest opinion of our doctrines, he ended by repeating nearly the same words which he had before used to the Ras: "we go on in the dark, not knowing what is right or what is wrong, but I believe we shall do no good until we get a lesson from you;" "and now," he added, rising from his seat, "at the desire of the Ras, and from the friendship I hear you, I have to pray to God for your future prosperity:" he then recited a
long prayer for our safe return,
to which we with great sincerity answered, "Amen."
(From the same.)
The town of Adowa is situated partly on the side, and partly at the bottom of a hill, a circumstance very unusual in Abyssinia; and the houses, which are all of a conical form, arc pretty regularly disposed into streets or alleys, interspersed with wanzy trees and small gardens, some of which are cultivated with considerable care; the town itself being plentifully supplied with water from three streams, which take their course through the valley below. The number of residents in this place, may, on a genera] calculation, be estimated at full eight thousand, a* I reckoned in it more than eight hundred habitations, each of which, on a moderate computation, being supposed to contain ten inmates, would altogether amount to a sum probably .falling short of the actual population. Adowa may be regarded as the chief mart for commerce on the eastern side of the Tacazze, all the intercourse between.the interior provinces and the coast being carried on through the merchants residing at that place, in consequence of which the Mahomedans there have retained a greater degree of importance than in any other part of the empire, the trade, as I have before remarked, resting almost entirely in their hands.
The chief production of Adowa consists in a manufactory of coarse and fine cloths, the former being considered unrivalled in any other part of the country, and the latter being thought little inferior to those manufactured at Gondar. The quantity of cloth made at Adowa occasions a great demand for cotton, a considerable portion of which is procured from the ow countries bordering on the Tacazze, and this is considered of •.finer quality, and consequently more valuable, than that brought tip from Massowa. The latter, notwithstanding, finds a ready sale, and though its importation be hampered by arbitrary exactions on the road, and a heavy duty on its being landed, fetches a con-. s>iderable profit. The other import*, which pass through Adowa for the Gondar market, are lead, (in small quantities) block tin, copper, and gold foil; small Persian carpets of a shewy pattern and of low price, raw silks from China, a few velvets, French broad cloths, and different coloured skins from ligypt; glass ware and beads, which find their way from Venice, and a number of other petty articles, which are brought by different conveyances to Jidda.
The exports which arc carried down to the coast in return, most of which pass through the hands cf the traders at Adowa, consist of ivory, gold, and slaves; a very considerable quantity of the first iirticlc is procured in the province of Walkayt, and in the low country northward of Shite, and the sale of it is so certain at Massowa, that the price at Adowa only differs in the expenses of carriage
being deducted. A great part ef the gold collected in the interior finds also its way through Adowi; but this commerce is carried oa by the traders with so much secrecy, that it is impossible u form any accurate estimate of the quantity. The number of akws exported, may be computed aanually at about a thousand, put of which are sent to Massowi, and the rest to the small para northward of that place1, whence they are privately shipped off b? the natives, for the purpose of avoiding the duties levied by tie Nayib. The provinces to (b south of Adowa chiefly abound is cattle and corn, which, togethn with the salt procured on the borders, constitute their chief articles of barter. There a * manufactory of small carpets orried on in the province of Samta, some of which were shewn to me at Adowa, and they really w much superior to what wigii have been expected, as the production of Abyssinian workmanship. At Axum, and in its neighbourhood, the inhabitants are celebrated for the manner in •*•■ they prepare skins for making parchment, and they likewise particularly excel in finishing this article for use. The working «•" iron and brass is general throughout the country; but the nwr* highly finished chains, wrought from the last material, are brought in the country from the south, and are said to be manufacture' among the Galla.
All workers in iron are call^ Buda by the Abyssinians, and a very strange superstition is attached to this employment, fiery man engaged in the cecupawW
being supposed to possess a power of transforming himself at night into a hyama, during which he is thought to be capable of preying even upon human flesh; and it is further believed, that if during the period of his transformation he should experience any bodily injury, a corresponding wound would be found on his proper frame. The credit attached to these fabulous ideas appears to be inconceivably strong throughout the country.
ON THE GOLD OF THE COAST OF
(By Deny* De Montfort.—From the Philosophical Magazine.) The mountains in the interior of Africa contain in their sides great numbers of gold mines: they are very seldom wrought, however, the natives confining themselves almost entirely to collecting the gold dust which is found upon washing certain earths which may be termed auriferous. In many countries of this vast continent the earth isas it were impregnated with gold; and not only do we meet with it in powder, but in considerable masses. This gold has formed and still forms the object of a very extensive and lucrative commerce: the natives of the interior bring it down to the inhabitants of the coast, and the latter sell it in their turn to the Europeans, who have given it the name of the Gold Coast, where it most abounds. Sometimes the gold-merchants, who are also slave-dealers, treat directly with strangers, but the latter most frequently purchase gold which has already passed from nation to nation and through several hands.
In spite of all the attempts which have been made, and particularly in latter times by the English, to penetrate into the interior of Africa, this interior is still very little known to us, and the city of Tombuctoo,—that city which is said to contain an immense population, is still problematical, for we have nothing on the subject but the vague and lying assertions of some Moorish and African merchants. Some of the latter undertake long voyages, which frequently last upwards of a month. Being situated at two or three hundred leagues from the coast, they penetrate as much further into the interior in order to procure gold, slaves, and elephants' teeth, which they deliver to the European vessels or establishments. In short, these people are very mysterious in all their operations, and it is very difficult to obtain from them the slightest intelligence: not only their taciturnity, their reserve and jealousy, are obstacles, but their various languages furnish others, for it requires an interpreter always to make oneself understood. Africa is so divided among tribes without number, that we presume it would not be difficult to reckon more than a thousand different languages, without including the numerous dialects which are derived from them. It is thus that we see arrive from the source of the river of Volta, the mouth of which is situated in 5° 55' north latitude, people who from tribe to tribe, and from interpreter to interpreter, at length fall in with the great island of Malfi, akind of religious capital, which, placed in the midst of the river, is still upwards of 60 leagues
from from the coast, and the inhabitants of which, almost all brokers, and of course linguists, end by accompanying them to the seashore.
Whether it is in small grains or in dust, the gold of Guinea is extremely pale in colour, although very pure; and it greatly resembles the filings of yellow copper, with which Negroes or other cheats mix it fraudulently. When a Negro plays this trick, if he is discovered (and this is easily done hy aqua-fortis), he is instantly made a slave: a White man comes off a little better. But there is still another fraud which a. buyer must be upon his guard against: this is when the gold has not been thoroughly cleaned; and as the sand mixed with it is quartzous, the nitric acid has no effect on it: in this case it requires a keen eye, a glass, or even the crucible if it be at hand. The goid-dust is the only part of this precious metal which the Blacks sell to the Europeans. The lumps, of -which there are some so large that the king of Assianti possesses one requiring four men to lift it, fthe Negroes call these pieces "image gold,") are held sacred, and when they do not exceed an ounce in weight are bored to make necklaces and bracelets for the arms or legs. They know also how to work and meit them. The principal image or grand deity of Akra is a man'sheailof solid gold, or perhaps even a naturally formed mass which has assumed that form.
The black merchant is always extremely skilful in this commerce: lie knows the price of what he sells with the utmost
precision; and that there a»: no fraud, he weighs it hitae with scales which he always aries with him. Formerly t-: trade was much more consdeni.; than it is now :—we shallseeta reason presently.
The Negroes have in Oosbh with Europeans two ways of procuring gold, digging andtnsbBf The Negroes of the coast s* washers only, while those live among the mountains xz ■-sentially miners.
The mountains of Guinei least those which we are acqi~;" ed with, are in generalgnv and schistous; thin ma?£'" granite, as their summits per hare formed by the lapse of fcand by their detritus, the p*.-which forms broad bedt on && lower flanks. In thenvnvsasons, torrents descend from m« mountains, carrying with ths stones and gravel, whichbenpw from the higher rocks present tit same elements. These mom** are filled with mines of pH^ iron. The first of these meal! seems to have been sought fori? Negroes from time imaxW*'as to the latter, they donottoo* how to use it, and it is nor $** terest of Europeans to teachthas: gold is found in them in a prto; tive state in narrow stripes. «■ it is found as usual between W> layers of a granite, finer, actt compact, and more highly ed*" ed than the rest of tic rock: » Negroes have not yet thought oi working the latter,' but it is r* hable that avarice will "»"(* them to do so, now thaUhesla** trade is abolished, and thatlct excess of population is forced
provide, for itself: for, n*1