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Mota, A. Teixeira da (Avelino Teixeira); Hair, P. E. H. (Paul Edward Hedley) / Jesuit documents on the Guinea of Cape Verde and the Cape Verde Islands, 1585-1617: in English translation

9,   pp. [unnumbered]-7 ff.

Page 4

illness might be fatal - I carried through the confession until it
was completed, to my relief and his satisfaction.     It was (now)
after dinner, and I would only give him the Most Holy Sacrament after
Mass the next day, so I left him.    He was well disposed to receive    
the sacrament in the morning, but his death during the night fore-
stalled this and left him no time to receive it.    Those who knew the
man and had had dealings with him were astonished, and considered it
miraculous that God had shown him such mercy, but I was strongly
convinced that God had predestined this, and in order that the man
might be saved had delayed (his death) until we had reached there and i
could persuade him to confess4
The King of Guinala was ill when we arrived.    Ve hoped that he
would recover so that he could have read to him the letter which I hadl'!
brought from His Majesty.   Meanwhile we had discussions /f.139v/ with
the larego, the leading person after the king, and with the other
leading men in the kingdom who assist the king and serve in his
council, to induce them to accept our holy faith and persuade the king
to do likewise.   They agreed with all I said, manifesting great joy,
and Wtated that they wished to be the first to be baptized and that thll:
king had the same desire.   They added that each of them would retain
only one wife, this (matter of wives) being the major obstacle to the
conversion of these heathen.    Further, they said that God had brought
us there not only for the good of their souls but also for the
preservation and increase of their kingdom and their temporal
(8)      muh
possessions.   Their words, and the sincerity they showed,      gave muchj
cause for praising God.   Among the other points which I strove to
persuade them to accept of their own free will was this : that if the
king died, no-one should be killed.    For it is their custom to kill
many of a dead man's wives and servants, and even the horse on which
he rode, because the devil has put it into their heads that they must
do this so that in the next world the dead man again has wives,
servants and a horse.   I begged them to persuade the king to give
orders before he died that no person should be killed, but that instead
of wives and servants they should kill oxen, and with these celebrate

the burial in the customary fashion of these parts.    All of them gave
me their word that this would be done, and they showed that they
(8)  "...showed, according to what I was told by those who understood
the langunge,..."(LUS)


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