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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)
(1990)

Chapter 14: How the savage army attacked the Congo and what happened thereafter, up to the time that the Province of Serra Leoa was conquered,   pp. 1-3


Page 1

How the savage army attacked the Congo and what happened thereafter,
up to the time that the Province of Serra Leoa was conquered.
In the time of King Bernard, as mentioned above, and when her Most
Serene Highness Queen Catherine was ruling Portugal, this horde
entered the Province of the Congo, devastating those towns and villages
which were least prepared and least strongly fortified, with typical
cruelty. They spared neither mother nor child, but sliced up the
latter before 'the eyes of the former, and anointed themselves with the
innocent's blood. They held up limbs or other parts of the body to
their mouths and ran their teeth across them, in order to inspire
greater terror. This was their normal practice during this journey.
What it must have been to see this multitude of enemies screaming!
What emotions, what quantity of tears, this wretched spectacle would
arouse!
The king was distressed to discover how limited were the forces
at his disposal to rescue his people. But affection finds a way.
Affection, and also fear, induced him to send an envoy to Portugal in
all haste. King Bernard sent him relying on the royal splendour of a
kingdom so Catholic that it would never fail to help him. /f.86r/
As soon as it was known what the envoy sought, ships of the fleet were
ordered to be fitted out and made ready. In due course the fleet
reached this Province and was received as if coming from heaven. The
Manes learnt of this Portuguese aid, but their army was not intimidated
or discouraged since it believed that no power existed which could
prevail against it. The battle took place, with thundering of guns
and whistling of musket-balls, and a shower of arrows from the natives.
Now both victory and life itself were being lost by those whose
unmeasured ambition had sought to prolong each, When the Manes
realised that their expectations were being dashed, however many
councils of war they held, in a conflict where they previously had had
the better of it, they decided on peace. They promised to be at
complete peace with the natives, and to remove any suspicions about
their future intentions, as a token of peace they promised to take
wives in the country. The Congos accepted this agreement, which has
continued valid, so that many of the Manes are today keen Christians
and friends of ours, and those who have not yet merited this grace
from the Lord have lost their own name of 'Sumbas' and are called


 


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