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

Part two: The Province of Sierra Leone, chapter 1: the name, situation and bounds of this province and the nature of the land,   pp. 1-18

Page 15

said to them, 'Stopl Don't fight! But dig up this place!' They
found the abominable creature, which was so large and gross that
they were horrified. They put an end to all this evil by killing
it.(k) This is the story the Manes tell. (The moral is this).
The intriguer and liar teaches and incites evil deeds. But he hides
himself away, avoiding the public view, as the camosel does. For
this creature only ranges its terrain in the secrecy (of night). It
is indeed only in secrecy that falsehoods can prosper, can succeed,
and can become profitable. So says Job:
'An evil ma'n suits madmen.'
Let us conclude by 'discussing the baga-baga. This is a kind of
ant. Its king is one of the same kind, but bigger, that is, longer
and thicker. The society of this animal is a well organized natural
republic. The royal palace is a mound of earth like a pyramid,
almost a small bill, filled with cells inside. The female subjects
serve tJ'eir leader by surrounding him in the centre of the tower.
Among themtis to be found the heir and successor to the monarchy, an
ant which has a smaller body than the king, but which has the capacity
to grow larger, in order to attain like him to the sceptre and royal
dignity. This superior ant is served with all respect and all the
signs of' natural love. It never leaves the ant-hill; the others bring
it the delicacies of mother nature. These ants make war on another
kind of ant, a smaller sort.
(k) Alciato refers to this : he relates that a lioness and a boar
fought each other under a tree above which was a vulture. The
vulture was delighted because if the lioness won it would not
be able to eat up all the boar, and so the vulture said, 'The
spoils of victory are coming to me. What does t" evil care
if you destroy each other?  Or the judge if the evil womanetc.


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