Page:Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile - In the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773 volume 2.djvu/167

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Goez, one of the first historians, says, that he had seen a journal written in Alvarez's own name, very different from the journal that is gone forth to the public. For my part, I can only say, that what is related of the first audience with the king, and many of the following pages, seem to me to be fabrications of people that never have been in Abyssinia; and, if this is the case, no imputation can be laid against Francisco Alvarez, as, perhaps, he is not the author of the misrepresentation in question. But, as to the cordiality with which the Catholic religion was received by the monks and people in general, during the long stay and bad reception Don Roderigo met with, I have no sort of doubt that this is a falsehood, and this must be charged directly to his account.

We have already seen that, early as Zara Jacob's time, the religion of the Franks was held in the utmost detestation, and that in Bæda Mariam's reign the whole country was in rebellion, because the king had directed the Virgin Mary to be painted by one Branca Leon, a Venetian painter, then alive, and in court, when Don Roderigo de Lima was with the king in Shoa. Iscander and Naod were both strict in the tenets of the church of Alexandria; and two Abunas, Imaranha Christos, who lived till Iscander's time, and Abuna Marcus, alive in Alvarez's, had given no allowance for strange or foreign worship to be introduced. How the Catholic could be so favourably and generally received in the time of Alvarez is what I cannot conceive. Blood enough was spilt immediately afterwards, to shew that this affection to the Roman Catholic religion, if any such there was in Alvarez's time, must have been merely transitory. When, therefore, I find any thing in this journal plainly misunder-