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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 13: The Biafar heathen,   pp. 1-6 ff.


Page 6

Their form of bringing up their children and their social
discipline are those of the other inhabitants of Ethiopia, but those
of the Biafar are more refined. Their family life is not different in
style from that of the others. Affection, and such generosity as the
means of each afford, are not absent. All of them are in disposition
spiritied and haughty, as is not least evident in their habit of
hiding their feelings and dissimulating. Each and all of them present
a true portrait of hypocrisy, one that could not be truer. See a
Biafar and his exterior appearance is saintly; raise the curtain
and you find all hell within. Lying is their commonest attribute,
or perhaps I should say that this diabolic vice is rooted in them,
to such an extent that they are recognised as the biggest liars in
all this Ethiopia, the individuals with least regard for the truth.
Considerable doubt about their capacity to progress in the faith can
be entertained, since once the faith is received it increasingly
hunts out the secrets of its enemy, that is, their sins. And th s
is a process so painful for the Biafar that he devotes his efforts
to concealing his evil dispositions.


 


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