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tained views on this subject quite uncommon in his country, and exacted a degree of outward decorum to which the court had never before been accustomed. Bruce, on the contrary, saw it in a state of peculiar license; so that an actual variation in the manners at these different periods is extremely probable. *
The nobility and all those of a certain rank, it is admitted, live in a state of great licentiousness and debauchery even when married. They are seldom jealous of each other, says Pearce, at least never show their suspicions, knowing well each other's character. But notwithstanding the freedom of their conduct they strictly keep all the fasts, which are very numerous; and on those occasions they never eat or drink till about three o'clock in the afternoon, contriving to calculate the hour by measuring the shadow of their bodies on the ground. The days of abstinence amount to no fewer than a hundred and sixty-five in the year. It is to be lamented that the clergy fail to check by their example the immoral practices of the people ; being themselves
more like drunken beasts than civilized beings," while the quantity of raw meat they consume, and “the ravenous manner in which they devour it, exceed all belief.” Pearce, however, knew one at Chelicut who always conducted himself like a true father of the faith, and strove earnestly to bring all classes to a right sense of their duty. He even delivered a discourse in the church against the abomination and disgrace of eating raw meat; but before he could finish his address he was interrupted by the clerical portion of his hearers, who threatened him with deposition should he persevere in his heretical notions. The pious reformer forthwith relinquished his situation ; but the Ras, hearing of the occurrence, entreated him to resume his office, and permit the people to do as their fathers had done before them.
We are unwilling to conclude this chapter without adding an extract from “Purchas his Pilgrimes" on the condition of the Abyssinians nearly three hundred years ago. “Antonius Fernandez,” says he, “thus writeth of their apparel. The richer sort buy garments of the Saracens, and clothe themselves in their fashions. The rest, both men and
* See Leyden's Discoveries and Travels in Africa, by Hugh Murray, Esq. vol. i. p. 92.
wonten, cover their bodies either with a skinne or pelt, or with a coarse hempen cloth without other arte than the weaver's." When they doe reverence to any, they put off this cloth from the shoulders to the middle, remayning halfnaked. They let their haire grow, and that serves them for a hat and head-tyre. For finer braverie they curle and anoint their haire with butter, which shewes in the sun like grasse in the morning dew, Lest their locks and curles should be disordered when they goe to bed, each one pitcheth a forke or crutch a foot high in the ground, betwixt the hornes whereof hee reposeth his necke, and sleepeth with bis head hanging. They use to brande markes on their bodies, especially in the face. And on the little fingers they suffer the nailes to grow as long as they will, like cocke's spurres, which also they sometimes cut from cockes and fit to their fingers. They colour their hands and feet (which are bare) with the juice of a reddish barke. They usually are artlesse and lazie, neglecting hunting and fishing; and whereas wooll, hempe, and cotton, might easily be had, yet the vulgar are clothed with undressed pelts, each wearing a ramme's skinne tyed to his hands and feet. They lie on oxe-hides without quilts or mattresses ; for tables they use great bowles of wood rudely hollowed, without any naperie. Vessels they have of blacke chalke. Few but Saracens use merchandise, and in few places; most ex. ercise husbandrie ; the gentry follow armes and the court. They have no great cities, but villages unwalled and unfortified. Their greatest towne hath scarcely one thousand six hundred houses. Their houses are small, without elegance, without storie, almost without arte, rounde, and covered with earth and straw. They write no letters, nor use records in judgments or other writings, but in their holy things and offices of accompts for the king. They use no dirges or devotions for the dead. They use pictures, but not carved nor graven images. They paint Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and other saints in blacke forme, as devils and wicked men in white. So they paint Christ and his apostles at the Maundie blacke, and Judas white; Christ in his Passion blacke, and Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, and the.Jewes white; Michael blacke, and the devil white."
* Vol. ii. p. 1183, 1184.
We shall not fatigue the attention of the reader with minute details on the music, the dancing, and other pastimes of the Abyssinians, which differ not much from those of mere barbarians. The same reason has induced us to abstain from a recital of the amusements and domestic mana ners of the Nubians, who live in a state still more artless than their eastern neighbours, and retain a larger share of that simplicity which characterizes the pursuits of the savage, or at least of the human being in the very lowest condition of civilized existence.
Exhibiting the more remarkable Features in Nubia and Abyssinia.
Want of attention to this subject on the part of Travellers-Primitive
Rocks-Granite, Gneiss, Porphyry, Quartz, and Serpentine--Similar Structure towards the Eastern Frontier-Mountains of Cosseir-Marble - Emerald Mountains — Batn-el-Hadjar — Dar Mahass—Primary Rocks-Secondary Formation at Berber-Primitive Strata reappearEl Querebyn-Fazoglo-Singueh-Mountains of Abyssinia–Taranta --Lamalmon-Ganza-Singular Shapes Occasioned by Periodical Rains-Theory of the Earth-Reflections.
No one has written on the geological structure of Ethiopia without expressing regret, that the enterprising travellers to whom we are indebted for so much valuable information in other respects, should not have found it convenient to devote more attention to the character and distribution of mineral substances. Above the first cataract the banks of the river, or rather the channel of the stream itself, may be considered as constituting the great highway which connects Egypt with Sennaar and Abyssinia-a line from which tourists have hitherto deviated so little, that whatever is situated a few hundred yards on either side of it may be pronounced utterly unknown to Europeans. The rocks that project into the current, or form the partial obstacles over which it precipitates its waters, may have been hastily
inspected by the passing, stranger, who describes them as sandstone or granite, according to the extent of his knowledge, and gives them a place in a system agreeably to the principles of the school in which he has happened to be initiated. Hence nothing is less satisfactorily determined than the nature and succession of those stony bodies which compose the basin of the Upper Nile, except perhaps the magnificent ranges of moun. tains which stretch from the Nubian frontier to the shores of the Arabian Gulf.
We have elsewhere observed that the hills of secondary formation, which bound Egypt on the east and west, graduate into primitive masses as they approach the neighbourhood of Syené. At this point, where the calcareous strata of the north give place to the granitic ridge which has been traced far into the south, the rocks, from a certain intermixture of hornblende, assume a
peculiar aspect, and are described by a specific term. The granite itself appears to be occasionally diversified by alternations of gneiss, porphyry, clay-slate, quartz, and serpentine, which contain as imbedded minerals a great variety of carnelians and jaspers. There has also been discovered in the vicinity a true marble, or granular foliated limestone, exhibiting the various hues of white, gray, yellow, blue, and red; and which, when combined with the green tint of the serpentine, forms the well-known verde antico.
In an eastern direction we can trace indications of a similar structure across the whole extent of the desert; the specimens presenting in some places a splintery or conchoidal fracture, a gray or variegated colour, and numerous petrifactions of shells, corals, and fishes. The mountainous country near Cosseir contains many calcareous eminences in which gypsum predomi. nates; while, in the valleys which intersect the elevated ground, the sand is partly calcareous and partly siliceous, denoting the quality of the strata from the waste of which it is formed. It is even said that the ridge in question consists of three kinds of rock; the first of which is a small-grained granite ; the second is a breccia or puddingstone of a particular sort, known by the name of breccia de verde; and to this succeeds, for the space of thirty miles, a schistose deposite, which seems to be of a contemporaneous formation with the breccias, since they are connected by gradual transitions, and contain rounded masses of the same substance.
The mountains observed by Bruce on his way to Cosseir are described by him as being composed of green and red marble ; and after a journey of two hours he found hills of porphyry, out of which the Egyptian monuments appear to have been hewed. The stone in this case was perfectly purple, though rather soft and brittle when newly separated from the quarry. This formation was succeeded by a lofty ridge, the greatest part of which was marble, verde antico, and by far the most beautiful that he had ever seen. Proceeding still towards the south, he examined a range of mountains, the prevailing rock in which was a kind of granite, with reddish veins throughout, and black spots of a square or triangular form. Nearer the shore of the gulf the green marble once more appeared, which was succeeded by a very high mountain composed of serpentine; and “through about one-third of the thickness ran a large vein of jasper, green, spotted with red. Its exceeding hardness was such as not to yield to the blows of a hammer."*
The descriptions of the traveller, while they leave no doubt that the country through which he made his journey consists of primary rocks, afford but a faint light as to their order and
• Travels, vol. ii. p. 89.