A Narrative Of Captivity In Abyssinia With Some Account Of The Late Emperor Theodore,  His Country And People By Henry Blanc

 -  Once
again on terra firma, we hailed with delight the end of our
short and disagreeable passage. On the beach - Page 130
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Once Again On Terra Firma, We Hailed With Delight The End Of Our Short And Disagreeable Passage.

On the beach we were received by the clergy, who had turned out in full canonicals to welcome us with all the pomp usually accorded only to royalty; for such had been the Imperial command.

Two of the wealthiest merchants of the place claimed us as their guests, in the name of their royal master, and, mounted on beautiful mules, we ascended the hill on which Kourata is built; the privilege of riding through the sacred streets having been conferred on, the honoured guests of the sovereign of the land.

Kourata is, after Gondar, the most important and wealthy city of Abyssinia; it is a town of priests and merchants, built on the sides of a conical hill and bathed by the waters of the Tana Sea. The houses, many of them built of stone, are superior to any we saw in Abyssinia. The church erected by the Queen of Socinius is held in such sanctity that the whole town is considered sacred, and none but the bishop or the emperor are allowed to ride through its narrow and steep lanes. From the sea it is almost impossible to see the town, so close and compact are the towering dark cedars and sycamores - the just pride of the inhabitants. The whole hillock is so completely covered with vegetation of every description, that the spot from a distance seems more like a luxuriant waste untouched by man's hand, than the abode of thousands, and the central mart of Western Abyssinia.

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