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

Chapter 8: Circumcision and various other ceremonies of the heathen, and their wakes and funeral rites,   pp. 1-8 ff.



order to spare the life of a great lord, the son of his lord Feramacera.
In our day, Tora, though a Christian king, would not agree to do this.
His wives wept with joy when they saw that, by the mediation of the priests
of the          of Jesus, God had granted them the favour of (continued)
life. They lacked words to thank heaven for its blessing. But this custom
(of killing others at burials), this evil practice, used to be/c8mmon here
that the slaves of a certain Portuguese man, when they saw that their master
was dead, began to wail. When asked why they had burst into tears, they
replied that since they would not survive long now that their master was
dead they were lamenting (their own deaths) because they had no-one to do
for them. They believed that the Portuguese would follow the same custom
infidel savages;   they imagined that we practiced the same nonsense and
foolishness as these savages, and would, like them, measure out eternal acts
in terms of the transitory occurrences of this life. Whereas only the sum
of virtues and the riches of the spirit matter, not material things as they
imagine; since it is certain that where Sovereign Good manifests itself,
nothing can be lacking. In the possession ni this is abundance; while its
loss leads to /f.74/ final loss, that is, to a legacy of eternal torments,
earned and acquired, in this life here, by abominable commerce in vices and
turpitude.  For (Justice) is an attribute of Divine Bounty as much as is
Mercy.  So much for the wakes and related superstitions which are the normal
practice among the heathen of Ethiopia.   Now we shall speak of the state
the Province before the conquest by the Manes.


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