Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 2.djvu/236
The king of the western Galla is stiled Lubo, the other Moory. At this assembly, the king allots to each their scene of murder and rapine; but limits them always to speedy returns in cafe the body of the nation should have occasion for them. The Galla are reputed very good soldiers for surprise, and in the first attack, but have not constancy or perseverance. They accomplish incredible marches; swim rivers holding by the horses tail, (an exercise to which both they and their horses are perfectly trained;) do the utmost mischief possible in the shortest time; and rarely return by the fame way they came. They are excellent light horse: for a regular army in an enemy's country.
Iron is very scarce among them, so that their principal arms are poles sharpened at the end, and hardened in the fire, which they use like lances. Their shields are made of bulls hides of a single fold, so that they are very subject to warp in heat, or become too pliable and soft in wet weather. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, the report of their cruelty made such an impression upon the Abyssinians, that, on their first engagements they rarely stood firmly the Galla's first onset. Besides this, the shrill and very barbarous noise they are always used to make at the moment they charge, used to terrify the horses and riders, so that a flight generally followed the attack made by Galla horse.
These melancholy and frantic howls I had occasion to hear often in those engagements that happened while I was in Abyssinia. The Edjow, a body of Galla who had been in the late king Joas's service, and were relations to him by his mother, who was of that clan of southern Galla, were constantly in the rebel army, and always in the most dif-