A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Jerome Lobo


Thus we passed our days and nights in prayers, in affliction, and
tears, continually crowded with widows and orphans that - Page 124
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Thus We Passed Our Days And Nights In Prayers, In Affliction, And Tears, Continually Crowded With Widows And Orphans That Subsisted Upon Our Charity And Came To Us For Bread When We Had Not Any For Ourselves.

While we were in this distress we received an account that the viceroy of the Indies had fitted out a powerful fleet against the King of Mombaza, who, having thrown off the authority of the Portuguese, had killed the governor of the fortress, and had since committed many acts of cruelty.

The same fleet, as we were informed, after the King of Mombaza was reduced, was to burn and ruin Zeila, in revenge of the death of two Portuguese Jesuits who were killed by the King in the year 1604. As Zeila was not far from the frontiers of Abyssinia, they imagined that they already saw the Portuguese invading their country.

The viceroy of Tigre had inquired of me a few days before how many men one India ship carried, and being told that the complement of some was a thousand men, he compared that answer with the report then spread over all the country, that there were eighteen Portuguese vessels on the coast of Adel, and concluded that they were manned by an army of eighteen thousand men; then considering what had been achieved by four hundred, under the command of Don Christopher de Gama, he thought Abyssinia already ravaged, or subjected to the King of Portugal. Many declared themselves of his opinion, and the court took its measures with respect to us from these uncertain and ungrounded rumours.

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