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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 25: The state of Christianity in the Serra,   pp. 1-10

Page 7

Now let us discuss the torments of Antonio Fernandes,() a native of
(Fogo) Island, and a wanderer through the thickets of Ethiopia. For his
life'here he had earned from divine justice the expectation of eternal
pains. One night the devil appeared to him in the figure of a duck, with
which he exchanged blows but always got the worst. On this occasion one
of his companions saw him so exhausted that he was beyond himself. /f.114/
The enemy persecuted him by inventing new forms of punishment, now forcing
his hands around his throat to throttle him, now scratching him, now
wounding and beating him in the most cruel way, so that it took him many
days to recover. The minister of darkness took pleasure in blowing smoke
up his nose, which not only burnt him internally but made him bring up a
great quantity of blood which poured out of his mouth. All this happened
in Bena, in the land of the Sousos. A young man who travelled in company
with this wretch, and who told me about it, had his share (of the       
He said that he himself could-not understand how so much ill could come to
a man only for sharing the company of evil men, without imitating them.
"For", he added, "while I was with Antonio Fernandes I never
had a quiet and
restful night, night being the time when these things happened. The first
night I spent with him a little rat ran over me, back and forward, so
lightly that I was quite upset. Another time, as I was supping with him,
was struck heavily in the back from behind, and when I turned I saw no-one.
Again, wheni: was asleep I felt great flames which were burning one leg from
the knee upwards : I woke up and uttered the name of Jesus, and the evil
spirit who was persecuting me immediately disappeared with a loud bang, and
the house was filled with a bad smell like that of sulphur; but when I
looked around I saw no-one. One night while asleep I felt something chewing
my arm; and waking up 1 saw the face of a woman who grimaced at me and gnashed
her teeth. Another time one foot went cold, so that I could not move it.
Another time I was plagued by an ants' nest in my bed, and I felt the
creatures biting me through skin and fleshand various other discomforts I
shall not describe. A dog we kept barked when the evil spirit entered. I
could never find out from my companion the cause of these ills. He claimed
they were the responsibility of the King of Bena, but this was false. Had
he said that it was the King of Glory who permitted them because of the
murders he had committed, I could have believed this more easily. For the
king said to me: "White man also have witch. That trouble of Anto'nio
from God, who has grabbed him because he has a wicked heart".

(o) A hell of torments for Antonio Fernandes, a native of the same island.


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