Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 2.djvu/296

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his sword, cuts the silk cord asunder. Immediately upon this the young women cry, "It is a truth, you are our king; truly you are the king of Sion." Upon which they begin to sing Hallelujah, and in this they are joined by the court and army upon the plain; fire-arms are discharged, drums and trumpets found; and the king, amidst these acclamations and rejoicings, advances to the foot of the stair of the church, where he dismounts, and there sits down upon a stone, which, by its remains, apparently was an altar of Anubis, or the dog-star: At his feet there is a large slab of freestone, on which is the inscription mentioned by Poncet, and which shall be quoted hereafter, when I come to speak of the ruins of Axum.

After the king comes the nebrit, or keeper of the book of the law in Axum, supposed to represent Azarias the son of Zadock; then the twelve umbares, or supreme judges, who with Azarias accompanied Menilek, the son of Solomon, when he brought the book of the law from Jerusalem, and these are supposed to represent the twelve tribes. After these follow the Abuna at the head of the priests, and the Itcheguè at the head of the monks; then the court, who all pass through the aperture made by the division of the silk cord, which remains still upon the ground.

The king is first anointed, then crowned, and is accompanied half up the steps by the singing priests, called Depteras, chanting psalms and hymns. Here he flops at a hole made for the purpose in one of the steps, and is there fumigated with incense and myrrh, aloes and caffia. Divine service is then celebrated; and, after receiving the sacrament, he returns to the camp, where fourteen days should regu-