Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 2.djvu/150

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upon Abyssinia, hearing that such a person, in such a character, was arrived, sent and took him out of the hands of the governor of Dabul, where his sufferings else would not have so quickly ended. All the Portuguese cried out upon seeing such an ambassador as Matthew sent to their master; sometimes they pretended that he was a spy of the Sultan, at other times he was an impostor, a cook, or some other menial servant.

Albuquerque treated with him privately before he landed, to make his commissions known to him; but he expressly refused shewing any letter unless to the king himself in Portugal. This behaviour hurt him in the eyes of the viceroy, who was therefore disposed, with the rest of his officers, to flight him when he should come ashore. But Matthew, now out of danger, and knowing his person to be sacred, would no longer be treated like a private person. He sent to let the viceroy, bishop, and clergy know, that, besides his consequence as an ambassador, which demanded their respect, he was the bearer of a piece of wood of the true cross, which he carried as a present to the king of Portugal; and, therefore, he required them, as they would avoid an imputation of sacrilege, to shew to that precious relict the utmost respect, and celebrate its arrival as a festival. No more was necessary after this. The whole streets of Goa were filled with processions; the troops were all under arms; the viceroy, and the principal officers, met Matthew at his landing, and conveyed him to the palace, where he was magnificently lodged and feasted. But nothing could long overcome the prejudices the Portuguese had imbibed upon the first fight of him; and, notwithstanding he carried a piece of the true cross, both he and it soon fell into perfect; obli-