THE SOURCE OF THE NILE. 231
offered to take my prefent from the man who held it, that I might oiler it to his Majetty and go away; but the king always made a fign to put it oil, till, being tired to death •with Handing, I leaned againft the wall. Aylo was fait afleep, and Ayto Heikel and the Greeks curling their matter in their heart for fpoiling the good fupper that Anthuie his treafurer had prepared for us. This, as we afterwards found out, the king very well knew, and refolved to try our patience to the utmoft. At laft, Ayto Aylo Hole away to bed, and every body elfe after him, except thofe who had accompanied me, who were ready to die with thirit, and drop down with wearinefs. It was agreed by thofe that were out of fight, to fend Tecla Mariam to whifper in the king's ear, that I had not been well, which he did, but no notice was taken of it. It was now pad ten o'clock, and he mewed no inclination to go to bed.
Hitherto, while there were ftrangers in the room, he had fpoken to us by an officer called Kal Hatze, the voice or word of the king; but now, when there were nine or ten of us, his menial fervants, only prefent, he uncovered his face and mouth, and fpoke himfelf. Sometimes it was about Je- rufalem, fometimcs about horfes, at othertimes about fhoot- ing ; again about the Indies ; how far I could look into the heavens with my telefcopes : and all thefe were deliberately and circumftantially repeated, if they were not pointedly an- fvvered. I was abfolutely in defpair^ and fcarcely able to fpeak a word, inwardly mourning the hardnefs of my lot in this my fir ft preferment, and fincerely praying it might be my laft promotion in this court. At laft all the Greeks began to be impatient, and got out of the corner of the. room behind the alcove, and Hood immediately before the