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progressed rapidly. Major Harris reached | tages which such a treaty, if properly acted the court of Shoa in the month of July, on, was calculated to secure both to him 1841. Some of the difficulties which he and his country. Had he been capable of had to encounter we have hinted at rather so much foresight, he would undoubtedly than described. Sáhila Selássi at first have exhibited greater perspicacity than looked upon him with distrust and appre- most of our politicians and merchants at hension, having somehow or another learn- home. Some vague ideas of great profit, of ed to cherish the idea that wherever the augmentation of power, of extended domingenius of England extends her trade, there ion, of posthumous glory, Aitted over his she silently but irresistibly lays the founda- imagination. The extraordinary energy tion of an empire. But the British ambas- and self-confidence displayed by the British sador, by the exertion of a rare sagacity guests communicated themselves, in part and an admirable talent for business, com- at least, to his mind; and so long as ihey pletely changed the texture of the king's were present with him, he felt as though thoughts. What representations he made he had been lifted above himself, and proto him, and what arguments he employed, jected, by a single effort, into the sphere of through his unaccountable suppression of civilization. Distrust of his own character all political documents, it is only permitted made him dread their departure. He knew us to conjecture. It seems probable, how they had placed him on an artificial emiever, that as Major Harris soon made him- nence, from which he feared it would be self acquainted with the relations in which necessary to descend so soon as the foreign the various states of Abyssinia stand to- props should be withdrawn. Besides, the wards each other, he was enabled to prove notion always haunted him that the mission to Sáhila Selássi that the power with which would never retire, unless in consequence Great Britain allied itself must inevitably of some offence given to it by him, in triumph over its rivals. He may possibly which case it would probably go over to his also have alluded to the fact, proved incon- enemies, and strengthen incalculably their trovertibly by experience, that whatever hands against him. eastern state hus hoped to support itself For these and various other reasons,
it through French influence has found, in the is obviously necessary to maintain a perlong run, it was leaning on a broken reed. manent mission in Abyssinia. A careful He could scarcely, in fact, fail to show his investigation of the matter, however, has majesty that the star of England is in the led us to believe that the station of the resiascendant in the east, and that whatever dent ought not to be in Shoa. To render other approaches it, is soon compelled to our view intelligible to others, it may be ' pale its ineffectual fire.' Whether these necessary to enter into some little explanawere the arguments employed for not, cer- tion. There exists, as our readers will tain it is that Sahila Selássi soon compre- doubtless remember, a spiritual power in hended the difference between the French Abyssinia, closely, in its character and acand English, and resolved to cultivate ex- tion, resembling the popedoin of Rome. clusively the friendship of the latter. He This power has, from the earliest ages, drew between the representatives of the been placed in the hands of the Abuna, two countries whom he had seen a compar- or patriarch, who, though shorn of much ison by no means favorable to our Gallic of his external splendor, still exercises an neighbors. He beheld the one all flattery extraordinary degree of influence over both and compliance, infinitely tolerant of igno- prince and people in all the states which rance, superstition and vice, and big with have been erected upon the ruins of the magnificent promises, which proved in the Æthiopic empire. Fortunately for Great end to be nothing but wind; while the Britain, the present Abuna's leanings are other, somewhat stern, haughty and stoical, all towards us. He received most of the though winning withal, overloaded him instruction, which renders bim superior to with presents, consulted his best interests, his predecessors for centuries back, from and promised, by their countenance, to ele- Dr. Lieder, an English missionary, residing vate him in power and consequence above at Cairo, whence, according to custom, the all the surrounding despots. Gladly, there Abyssinian patriarch is always taken. He, fore, did he enter into a commercial treaty with Great Britain.
* Major Harris, who has adopted a perverse Let it not, however, be supposed that the classical name into Ahoon, just
system of orthography, has metamorphosed this King of Shoa comprehended all the advan- formed Negús into Negoos.
he has trans
consequently, loves and cherishes the Eng-hamlet, through which it passes in its course. Tish name, looking probably also with Many places in this part of the world owe some little partiality on the simple gran- their being entirely to commerce.
In some deur of the Protestant religion, while he localities, cities and flourishing emporia strongly dislikes and despises that of Rome. may be said to exhibit a sort of phenomAnother circumstance, which may be re-enal existence, the duration of which is garded as favorable, is the extreme youth measured by the actual presence of the of the patriarch, who has not yet, we be trade that gives them birth. At Berbera, lieve, attained his twenty-fifth year. Should for example, throughout a considerable porGreat Britain, therefore, enlist, or rather tion of the year, the traveller who chances retain, him in her interest, the probability to land or arrive there discovers nothing is, that during his patriarchate, which may but some eighteen hundred or two thoureasonably be expected to be a long one, sand empty huts, between which the prowl. we might so completely establish our influ- ing hyenas or jackals in troops scour and ence in Abyssinia as to be able to bid defi- howl by night. Man seems to have abanance to all our rivals. Of this fact the doned the place for ever. The port is as French are so well persuaded, that they destitute of shipping as the town of inhabalready begin to affect a contempt for the itants. On a certain day, however, fixed patriarch, to depreciate his authority, and and known to the disciples of trade, a few to maintain that no benefit could be derived white sails appear in the offing approachfrom conciliating him. Properly to effecting the desolate and deserted shore; and this, our ambassador should reside in the on land, probably at an equal distance, same city with the patriarch, through clouds of dust spreading and surging up inwhom he might operate upon the minds of to the atmosphere, announce the approach of the clergy, and thus, in the end, effect im- what might easily be mistaken for an army. portant modifications in the whole system Long strings of camels, mules, and asses, of Abyssinian civilization. To look, in heavily laden, and escorted by warriors on the meanwhile, after the material interests horseback, with match-lock, lance, and of our comnerce in each Æthiopic state, a shield, emerge from beneath these clouds political agent cught to be stationed at each and make towards the silent streets. In a court, subordinate to the resident, and res- few minutes doors fly open, tents are pitchponsible in the first instance to him. We ed, fires are kindled, life of every kind may seem, perhaps, to contemplate too vast abounds, and Berbera is transformed into and expensive an establishment; but if the a populous city. And what a population ! value be considered of the commerce which There is scarcely, perhaps, a single people might thus be opened up with Central Af- or tribe dwelling within a thousand miles rica-if due weight be given to the power of the spot which has not its commercial we might thus exercise orer the spring representative at Berbera. There you beheads, as it were, of the slave trade—if we hold the Banian from India peering forth reflect upon the political preponderance cunningly between piles of rich goods; the which our position in Abyssinia would give Persian, with shawls from Kermân and us over regions scattered far and wide, in- turquoises from the neighborhood of the cluding the whole coasts of the Red Sea Caspian Sea; the natives of Mesopotamia, and Indian Ocean, together with Nubia and Oman, and Hadramaut, and Yemen, and Egypt—the price we might be called and the Hejaz, with whatever commodities upon to pay would seem to be as mere dust the soil of Arabia produces; the Egyptian, in the balance. No conception can at pres- the Nubian, the Abyssinian, the Dankali, ent be formed of the extent to which our the natives of Susa, Enaria, Kaffa, Kambat, commerce with Central Africa may hereaf- and Zingero; the Hurruri, the Isah, and ter be advanced from that which is now the Somauli, all surrounded by the produccarried on.
tions and merchandise of their respective Complete information, even respecting countries. The whole of this multitudinthe articles with which eastern Africa con- ous assemblage, brought together and perducts its traffic with the east, we can scarce- vaded by the spirit of gain, is engaged from ly be said as yet to possess.
Circumstan- morning till night in excessive turmoil and ces, however, have come to our knowledge wrangling. Honesty, moreover, is a rare which
may throw some light on the stream of visitor among them. Each endeavors to wealth which flows through it towards the overreach the other, high words arise, quarRed Sea, enriching every city, town, and rels spring up, blows are given and return
AUGUST, 1844. 35
ed, lances Aourished and creeses drawn, (they not mothers, fathers, and brethren, and here and there a pool of Mussulman who mourn for them at home, who behold or Pagan blood tells of the way in which empty the place they were wont to occups bargains are sometimes concluded by these in the bovel, who see dust settling on the rough customers. All the dialects and idi- basket or the calabash which their tiny oms of Babel pass current there, each man hands once carried, out of which their little screaming at the top of his voice in order sable lips once drank the refreshing waters to make himself heard amid the indescrib- of the neighboring spring? We have said able din, created partly by human tongues, that parents sometimes sell their children. partly by the neighing of horses, the strange But nature has provided that crimes so heingrunting of the camel, the bellowing of ox- ous shall be rare. In most cases the heart en, and the braying of asses. Dogs, too, of man and woman, however hardened or of every size and species, lean, hungry, degraded by barbarism, yearns towards its savage, and without masters, prowl about offspring, and will rather share with it the the purlieus of the mart in search of offal, most sordid destitution than voluntarily howling and barking to augment the con- snap asunder the links of affection. To cord of sweet sounds that denotes the prove this we need only reflect upon the whereabouts of the devotees of commerce. care and arts put in practice by the wretch
Nevertheless in this strange and discord- ed inhabitants of the interior of Africa to ant hive a prodigious amount of business protect their little ones from the ruthless is transacted, partly by means of barter, slave kidnapper. As a general rule the partly through the instrumentality of silver parents, who live in constant terror of those and gold. Among the principal articles of human vultures, place their children caretraffic in this great fair must be enumera- fully between them in bed at night, supposted slaves of all ages and of both sexes, buting it impossible they should thence be sto particularly females. These, whether Chris- len. But, as the toils of the day and the tians, Mohammedans, or Pagans, are gener- heavy influence of a sultry climate usually ally of tender age, children kidnapped from plunge them in deep sleep, the man-stealer their parents, or sometimes perhaps sold by enters their hovels, like the fabled ghouls them in defiance of the most sacred in- of the Arabian tales, and, without waking stincts of nature. These are purchased by their natural guardians, snatch the infant the Mohammedans, to be educated for their from the breast and the boy from his father's harems or employed in household drudgery, arms. Sometimes the dread of this leads and being transported into Arabia and Per- the poor hunted African to construct a secsia, as formerly into Sinde, soon retain of ond story in his hut, where he deposits his their parents and their country scarcely a children, and imagines them to be ihere out remembrance. We cannot, however, con- of danger But the agents of the slave trade cur with those who think they are the less laugh at his poor precautions. They raise to be pitied on that account. Not to have their ladders to the roof, push aside the palm dear friends, not to have a country to love, thatch, and without disturbing an individmay be reckoned among the greatest ills ual among the inmates, carry off their slumthat fesh is heir to. True, the slaves may bering prey. To obtain possession of girls become attached to their new country, may bordering upon womanhood, other strata even, when well used, learn to entertain gems are put in practice. Near the brooks and some affection for their masters; but these springs generally found in the vicinity of an bastard feelings are altogether weak and in- African hamlet, the kidnappers lie in amoperative compared with the spontaneous bush about the dawn of day, when the woimpulses of the heart, with the original in- men and maidens generally go forth to fetch spirations of nature, which custom cannot water. A number of fleet horses are stawholly quench or time obliterate. In the lioned close at hand. The miscreants harheart of the slave, therefore, there is ever a ing carefully reconnoitred the village, and war of emotions, and the gratitude for favors discovered that no men are stirring, rush received cannot always subdue, though it may forward on their prey, seize, bind, and lift blunt the edge of that revenge which the them on their horses, and before the alarm infliction of intolerable injury never fails to can be given, or their brothers and fathers engender. Besides, it is to take a very nar- come forth to the rescue, are already scourrow and ignorant view of slavery to confine ing away far upon the plain, heedless of the our regards to the treatment which the cap- shrieks and cries of their wretched captives. tives meet with in a strange land. Have It may be said, therefore, without the slight
est exaggeration, that the curse of the slave (viting goal; their hearts burning with the imtrade penetrates through the whole length placable hatred of hostile barbarians, and pantand breadth of Africa, and envelopes its ing to consummate their bloody revenge. Taentire population in a cloud of fears and ken entirely by surprise, their devoted victims apprehensions. No man lays his head on dreams of happiness and security, alas! 100
lay helplessly before them, indulging in fatal his pillow in peace, neighbor views neigh-speedily to be dispelled. Hundreds of cattle bor with suspicion, suspicion engenders grazed in tempting herds over the flowery hatred, and thus feuds are kindled which meads. Unconscious of danger, the unarmed are seldom quenched but in blood. Besides, husbandman pursued his peaceful occupation for what are all the sanguinary forays under- in the field; his wife and children carrolled taken by one powerful tribe against another?
blithely over the ordinary household avocaIs it not that the victors may carry away smiling valleys, which, long before his going
tions; and the ascending sun shone bright on and sell the wives and sons and daughters down, were left tenanted only by the wolf and of the vanquished? Let the reader exam- the vulture. ine Major Harris's account of the ferocious “Preceded by the holy ark of St. Michael, incursions made by Sáhila Selássi into the veiled under its scarlet canopy, the king still territories of the Pagan Galla, and he will led the van, closely attended by the father conunderstand something of the curse which
sessor, and by a band of priests, with whom the slave trade proves to one whole quarter wards the expectant army, and pronounced
having briefly conferred, he turned round toof the world. He will behold villages in the ominous words which were the well known flames, fathers, sons, and husbands welter- signal for carrying fire and sword through the ing in blood upon their own thresholds, land. May the God, who is the God of my which they had vainly endeavored to de- forefathers, strengthen and absolve! Rolling fend; and yonder upon the burning plains
on like the waves of the mighty ocean, down troops of wo-begone and desolate women, glades and rural hamlets, at the heels of the
poured the Amhára host among the rich exhausted by sobbing, their eyes swollen, Aying inhabitants ; trampling under foot the their cheeks pale, but bearing still their fields of ripening corn, in parts half reaped, children in their arms, as, pricked and goad- and sweeping before them the vast herds of ed like cattle, they toil forward to hopeless cattle which grazed untended in every direcservitude before the lance of their ferocious tion. When far beyond the range of view captors :
their destructive progress was still marked by
the red Aames that burst forth in turns from “A succession of richly cultivated plains, dot- the thatched roofs of each invaded village; ted over with clusters of conical white hous s, and the havoc committed many miles to the in parts surrounded by clumps of towering ju- right, hy the division of Abogáz Maetch, who nipers, stretched away from the foot of the moun- was advancing parallel to the main body, and tain, the very picture of peace and plenty. Em- had been reinforced by the detachment under bosomed beiween the isolated peaks of Yerrur, Ayto Shishigo, became equally manifest in Sequala, and the far-famed Entotto, lay the numerous columns of white smoke towering wide plains of Germáma, thickly peopled by upwards to the azure firmament in rapid the Ekka and Finfinni Galla, upon whose succession. doomed heads the thunderbolt was next to fall;
“The embassy followed close in the train of and full in its centre two placid silver lakes, the Negoos, who halted for a few minutes on like great mirrors, reflected back the rays of the eastern face of the range; and the eye of the morning eun across sheets of luxuriant cul- the despot gleamed bright with inward satistivation, extending for miles, nearly ready for faction, whilst watching through a telescope the sickle. Far beyond, the long wooded line the progress of the Aanking detachments as of the Háwash, rolling its troubled waters to- they poured impetuously down the steep side wards the plain of the Adaïel, loomed indistinct- of the mountain, and swept across the level ly through the haze; and in the extreme dis-plain with the fury of the blast of the sirocco. tance, the lofty blue range of the Aroosi and A rapid detour thence to the westward, in an Ittoo Galla, skirting the mysterious regions of hour disclosed the beautifully secluded valley Gurágué, bounded the almost interminable of Finfinni, which, in addition to the artificial prospect.
advantage of high cultivation, and many ham“ The morning mists loaded with dust raised lets, hoasted a large share of natural beauty. by the tramp of thc Amhára steeds over acres Meadows of the richest green turf, sparkling of ploughed land, hung heavy on the heaths, clear rivulets leaping down in sequestered casgreen slopes, and partially screening the ap- cades, with shady groves of the most magnifproach of the locust army, conspired tị en- icent junipers lining the slopes, and waving hance its success. Twenty thousand br iwny their moss-grown branches above cheerful warriors, in three divisions, covering many groups of circular wigwams, surrounded by miles of country, and linked by detachments implements of agriculture, proclaimed a district in every direction, pressed on towards the in- which had long escaped the hand of wrath.
This had been selected as the spot for the roy- to bestow freedoin on many hundred Galla al plunder and spoliation; and ihe troops, an- women and children. Some attempts, we imated by the presence of the monarch, now performed their bloody work with a sharp and are aware, have been made to throw doubt unsparing knife; firing village after village opon this affair; but the mere harboring of until the air was dark with their smoke, min- a suspicion is absurd. Several English gled with the dust raised by the impetuous gentlemen were present besides the envoy, rush of man and horse.
and their testimonies corroborated the “ The luckless inhabitants, taken quite by statement of the fact transmitted to the Insurprise, had barely, time to abandon their dian goverument. Moreover, was there property and fly for their lives to the fastness not a missionary of the Church of England of Entuito, which reared its protective form at the distance of a few miles. The spear of the on the spot, and that missionary a man warrior searched every bush for the hunted jealous of the honor of his calling, and refoe. Women and girls were torn from their markable for the strictness of his integrity ? hiding to be hurried into hopeless captivity. Has he impugned the correctness of Major Old men and young were indiscriminately Harris's relation ? Weighing man against slain and mutilated among the fields and man, we should not be disposed to doubt groves; flocks and herds were driven off in the envoy's veracity, even if he had; but, triumph, and house after house was sacked and consigned to the flames. Each grim Am- strengthened by the evidence of such a withára warrior vied with his comrade in the work ness, our reliance on the accuracy of the of retributive destruction amongst the execra- facts related by Major Harris is complete. ted Galla. Whole groups and families were A second occasion soon presented itself surrounded and speared within the walled of proving the hold which the British envoy court-yards, which were strewed with the bod. I had acquired over the despot's mind, atjes of the clain. Wretches who betook them; tended by much the same circumstances. selves to the open plain were pursued and hunted down like wild beasts; and children,
Nor these the only striking acts of of three and four years of age, who had been humanity which, during his residence at placed in the trees, with the hope that they the court of Shoa, Major Harris was enamight escape observation, were included in bled to perform. In one of those excesses the inexorable massacre, and pitilessly shot of fury to which despotic princes are liable, among the branches. In the course of two Sábila Selássi issued an ordinance, conhours the division left the desolated valley la- demning to slavery and all its concomitant bers of wailing temales and mutilated orphan toils every person throughout his dominchildren, together with the barbarous trophies ions who, according to immemorial custhat had been stripped from the mangled hod. tom, had intermarried with any of the king's jes of their murdered victims."-Vol. ii., p. slaves. Upwards of four thousand seven 189-193.
hundred individuals were, by this cruel de
cree, torn from their families, inscribed on This exhibition of barbarity, so disgrace- the list of the king's serfs, and constrained ful to the King of Shoa and his subjects, by force to labor at the royal works. It is did not, however, terminate in the usual not easy to imagine the sorrow and conmanner. For, although the influence of sternation which this act occasioned the British envoy was not sufficiently pow- throughout the country. There was erful to prevent the foray, it at least so far scarcely a family which, in a greater or less prevailed with the despot as to induce him, degree, was not affected by it. Still, acwhen his cupidity had been gratified by customed to opression, inured to the odicus seizing on the droves and herds of the van- caprices and violence of tyranny, the Shoans quished, to offer some reparation to human- obeyed their master's mandate in sullen ity, by liberating upon the spot the whole silence. There was no insurrection, no of the captives. Major Harris by no means riot, no one contemplated the renewal of seeks to monopolize the credit of this sig- the Ides of March. The slaves smothered nal transaction. He undoubtedly mentions their rage, but, stung nevertheless to the first the efforts of the embassy, but is care-quick, they cursed the king in their hearts. ful immediately to add, that the Reverend To deliver Sábila Selássi from the disgrace Louis Krapf, whom Sáhila Selássi greatly of this measure, and his subjects from its respected, united earnestly in making in- humiliating consequences, Major Harris tercession for the prisoners. It was by the repared to the palace, and, obtaining an joint efforts, therefore, of our political rep- audience, made so earnest and successful resentative and spiritual minister that the a remonstrance, that the infamous order was King of Southern Abyssinia was persuaded revoked. The intelligence spread rapidly