Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 2.djvu/175

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refuge in the desert, where they perished with hunger and thirst. In the year 1525, another caravan assembled at Hamazen, consisting of 336 friars and priests, and fifteen nuns. They set out from Hamazen on the 12th day after leaving this place, travelling slowly; and, being loaded with provisions and water, they were attacked by the Moors of that district, and utterly defeated and robbed. Of the pilgrims taken prisoners, all the old men were put to the sword, and the young were sold for slaves; so that of 336 persons fifteen only escaped, but three of which lived to return to Shoa at the time the ambassador was there. This was the first vengeance the Moors to the northward had yet taken for the alliance made with the Portuguese; and, from this time, the communication with Cairo through the desert ceased as to the Christians, and was carried on by Mahometans only.

Since the time of Peter Covillan's arrival in Abyssinia, the views of all parties had very much changed. The Portuguese at first coveted the friendship of Abyssinia, for the sake of obtaining through it a communication with India. But they now became indifferent about that intercourse, since they had settled in India itself, and found the convenience of the passage of the Cape of Good Hope. David, freed from his fears of the Moors of Adel, whom he had defeated, and seeing the great power of the Turks, so much apprehended after the conquest of Egypt, disappointed in India in all their attempts against the Portuguese settlements there; being, moreover, displeased with the abrupt behaviour of the ambassador Don Roderigo, and the promises the empress Helena had made by Matthew without his knowledge, he wished no further connexion with the Portu-