Africa in general.
AFRICA,* so called from the Grecians, according to Festus, and the most Eminent Geographers, signifies wanting, or devoid of Cold; though by some the whole was taken for Lybia, which is now but a single Province; Also they call'd it Olympia, Oceania, Coryphe, Hesperia, Ortygia, Ammonis, Aethiopia, Cyrene, Ofiusa, Cefenia, and Eria, but the Romans call'd it onely Lybia and Africa. Lybia from Lybia Daughter of Epaphus son of Jupiter; and Africa from Afer the son of Hercules. The Moores, if you consult Thebets Geo∣graphy, call it Alkebulan, and the Indians, Bezecath; the Arabians, who formerly over-ran the major part, knew their Conquests by the Name of Ifriquia, de∣rived from the word Faruch, which signifies Separation, because it is visibly more separated, not onely from theirs, but from all other Countreys, than any other part of the whole World; for the Mid-land Sea parts it from Europe; the Arabian Gulf, from Asia; and the Atlantick Ocean, from our later Discoveries; Some Arabians (as Marmoll tells us) call it Ifiriquia,* in honor of Melek Ifiriqui, an ancient King of Arabia Felix, who driven from his own, planted here a New Kingdom, which after grew great and populous: The Turks as some write, call it *Magribon, from Magrip, though this Name properly belongs onely to the Western Sea.
The most received and best known is Africa, which some derive from Aphar an Hebrew word, signifying Dust, and analogizing well with that dry and sandy Soyl: Festus an old Grammarian, as was said before, will have Africa from a compounded Word, with the Greek Letter α, which hath a privative or furtive quality, and the Word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, signifying Cold, which conjunctively Page [unnumbered]
- Africa in general, stands divided into seven Re∣gions, besides Islands.
- Egypt, Fol. 39.
- Barbary, 146. and therein
- Dara, and Barka, the onely Common∣wealth in Africa.
- Biledulgerid, 283. contains,
- Three Realms, and Four Kingdoms.
- The Desart Sarra. 305.
- Negro-Land. 315.
- Nineteen Kingdoms.
- Ethiopia Ne∣ther. 489.
- Four Realms.
- Ethiopia Up∣per. 632.
- Nineteen Kingdoms.
- The Islands. 659.
- Egypt, Fol. 39.
But next to those who derive the Name from the Hebrew word Epher, or Aphar, Festus seems to have hit the Etymology of the word Africa.
¶ JUdea, and the Judean Desarts, Arabia Petrea, and Sues, with the Red-Sea,* and the Arabian Gulf, bound Africa East-ward; the South-side stretching to Cape Bon Speranza and part of the West, the Ethiopick Ocean borders; the remainder the Atlantick; on the North-side Gibraltar, and the Mid-land Sea; so that Africa lies divided from all the World by Sea, except Asia, where it sticks by a narrow Isthmus, or Neck of Land of about sixty miles, so seeming the great∣est Island of the World, form'd like a huge Pyramid, whose straight Basis takes up all from the Mouth of Nile to Gibraltar, verging with the Me∣diterranean Sea; one of its two sides running Eastward through the Red-Sea, the other Westward washed by the Atlantick, conjoyning both their Points, making its Apex or Spire the Grand Southern Cape: whose largest Extent from Gibraltar to Bon Speranza, contains 3600 miles; its utmost breadth from Cape de Verde, to the Point of Guardafuy, at the Mouth of the Arabian Gulf, 3150.
¶ THe Ancients never had any clear Prospect of Africa,* more than what vergeth the Mid-land Sea; the rest obscure; onely guessing or hear-say: but of all beyond the head Springs of Nile, and the Mountains of the Moon, they were utterly ignorant (being within these last two hundred years discovered to us) because much of those vast Tracts of Africa lying under the Torrid Zone, they concluded not habitable, being parcht up with the Suns excessive Page 4heat, therefore they never thought of further Penetrations, but blockt them∣selves up with a possest prejudice, and their own ignorance: Yet for all this, some old Writers admit most parts to be habitable, but with such monstrous Nations, that they deserve not to be accounted Humane, as *Pomponius Mela says, The Gymfasants are a naked People, who know no use of weapons either for private or military Defence, nor how to avoid a well-aim'd Javelin, ut∣terly waving all Commerce with strangers. The †Cynocephali, who have heads and claws like Dogs, barking like them. The *Sciapodes, who are wondrous swift, hopping on one Leg, and lying down on their Backs, make their single Foot an Umbrel, so shading their Bodies from the heat of the Sun. The Headless Blemmyers whose Eyes and Mouth are the onely Face, and that de∣lineated upon their Breasts; with other like Fictions.
All which later Voyages have made void, * manifesting the contrary; for the In-land Regions are found for the most part habitable, and the Suns heat by shorter days and coolness of an equal night, assisted with moistening Dews, and fresh Breezes, is much moderated; And though Africa hath many Desarts, yet the greatest part, especially under and on each side the Aequator, suppos'd to be most insupportable, abounds with Springs, Brooks, and Shade-casting Trees; Besides under the Equinox, the Seasons of the Year differ from other Climates, for our remoter Suns bring Cold and Wet; our nearer, Heat and Drowth; but there the contrary: which many admire, yet never dive into the Occult Cause, but straight flying to Providence, say, so it must be: other∣wise who could inhabit there? which though we should not altogether reject, yet God working by secondary means, we may, modestly enquire by what? which may probably be thus.
¶ THe Sun darting fiery Beams daily perpendicular into the Sea, raiseth abundance of Vapour, which suddenly ascendeth the Airs colder Re∣gion, and there thinly crusting, becomes Snow, which sinking from thence dis∣solves into a misty Cloud, or Dewy Rain, then increasing its velocity ac∣cording to the Laws of descending Bodies, and also quitting that station, ga∣thers into bigger drops, which if in abundance, (as oft happens) falls with the greater violence, no more a Shower, but like Buckets-full, or Cataracts, whose irruption and sudden dis-embogue, agitating the medium, raiseth mighty and cooling Winds, which together supplies the parched Earth, and refrige∣rates the sultry Air.
¶ BUt yet this blessing extends not to the In-land Countreys, nor hath the Atlantick Ocean any such influence upon the Western Coasts, unless (which is very rare) the Winde comes from Sea, because the condensed Air, the far∣ther it penetrates, the more it rarifies, attenuated by the invading heat of the Soyl, that before it scarce contributes a Dew to stiffen the upper Sands, in a thin Cloud, re-ascending, vanisheth.
But yet the In-land and utmost Western Shores need not much complain, being for the most part Hilly, for there the Mountains are glutted with assi∣duous showres, for those huge congested Heaps, being the highest in the world, withstanding the Airs constant motion, still agitated from East to West, or ac∣cording to Copernicus, lagging from the Earths diurnal Course, which moves swiftest under the Equator, condenseth by Reverberation the subtiler Air into Page 5its first Original, Water, which in the tumultuous commotions of eddying Windes, either finding, or forcing their passage, through unequal Glens and Declivings of the byass'd Mountains, they drive a constant trade, still brewing all sorts of stirring weather, as Winde, Rain, Hail, and Snow, which often covers their Skie-kissing Tops.
But these jarrings of the Elements there, produce happy effects below, vast Champaignes, which else would be all Desarts by natural Drowth, flourish in perpetual Green, fann'd always with cooling Gales, and kept moist with Mountain-floods, which converted into Springs, Brooks, and Rivulets, water in their Meandring Courses, barren Plains like a Garden; so that as in a Para∣dise you every where find shady and branching Trees, bearing allsorts of Fruit, like Alcinous Orchard, still blossoming, green, and ripe. Of which Equinoctial Elizium, Homer thus seems to allude:
Thus Africa, which else would be a miserable and unfrequented Desolation, is fruitful and populous, having alternately two Winters and Summers every year; Drowth making one, Moisture the other: but the tops and heads of these Mountains, according to their various Positions, differ from this general Rule, making some exceptions, setling their several Seasons otherwise; Of which I will instance some few.
¶ ON the Coast of Malabar, Winter rules from April to September;* Summer commenceth with the beginning of October, shutting up with the end of March: On the Coromandell Shores, just the contrary, yet both scituated alike under the Torrid Zone, in which Season happen great Floods, both from the Ocean, and sudden Falls from the Mount Gatis, not far distant. The like is found also at Cape Rosalgate, and Guardafuy, the utmost Eastern Point of Africa.
¶ BUt to make a deeper and more exact Disquisition, is, that all Arabia towards the East of Africa, lies enclosed with Mountains, whose Rocky Battle∣ments appear above the Clouds, their swoln Ridges extending themselves in a long continued Wall, reach from the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, to the Islands of Curiamurie; these towery Hills of so prodigious height, not onely put to a stand all Windes and Rain, but turn them in their hurrying Eddyes, so dispersing every way, as well as in the two out-stretching Capes of Mo∣samde and Rosalgate, though they lye much lower than the rest of the Sea Coast: On these Rocky Ascents, appearing to Sea-ward rough and rugged, the poor Arabians, in a very sad condition make their residence.
These people have Winter with those of Coromandell; for their remoter Suns brings them Cold and Wet: but those who dwell on the other side of the Page 6Mountains towards the Coast of Frankincense, have the same seasons with those of Malabar; so these Mountains work the like effect on the Arabians, as Gatis on the Indians, their Winter falling in June, July, and September, both in the Land of Frankincense, Arabia Felix, and the whole Coasts of the Curiamurian Isles, unto the Lake Babalmandab.
Near the Arabian Gulf in Ethiopia, you will meet there also the like altera∣tions, and the same seasons of the year as at Guardafuy, and the Kingdom of Adell, and all along the Ethiopick Coasts, to the Mouth of Babalmandab, as we have, or those of Coromandell, finding in December and January their hardest weather.
Then they which live betwixt twenty and thirty miles off the Coast, have their Colds more milde, and their Rains so temperate and harmless, they seem rather a comfort than a disturbance, Nature conferring on them such refresh∣ing Coolness: but if you venture farther up into the Countrey, then the Scene changing, you are tormented with excessive Heat, for at the same instant while Winter smiles on the Shore, it rages farther up, and their gentle Rains below so unequal to their deluging Showres above, that then there is no travelling any way, all Passages being obstructed with Floods, so sudden and violent, that many perish there with extream Cold, meerly from the raw De∣fluxes of chilling waters; such alterations the Mountain Dabyri Bizan causes.
The Portugees and Hollander have also discovered many more such places in Congo and Angola, where their Winter and violent Rains commence in the Vernal Equinox, and continue March, April, and May; their milder showres in the Au∣tumnal, September and October; so that in some places they have two Seasons, their former and later Rain; for those steep Mountains (whence Zaire, Coansa, Bengo, and other great Rivers descend) obstruct the course of the Air, and the Land-windes, being hot and dry, but the South-west winde coming from Sea, brings Rain: hence it is manifest that Africa under the Torrid Zone, is for the most part Habitable.
¶ AMongst the Ancients, *Hanno a Carthaginian, set forth by that State, disco∣vered long since much of the Coasts of Africa, but pierced not far the In∣land Countrey, nor did his Voyage give any great light that they might after steer by, though translated from the Punick Language into Greek, and published by Sigismund Gelenius at Bazill in 1533. and in the Reign of Necho King of Egypt, some Phenicians from the Red-sea sayl'd by the Coast of Africa to Gibraltar, from thence returning the same way they came; Of which *Herodotus in his †Melpomene, says, The Phenicians sayling from the Red-sea, came into the Southern Ocean, and after three years reaching Hercules Pillars, return'd through the Mediterranean, reporting wonders! how that they had the Sun at Noon on their Star∣board, or North-side, to which I give little Credit, and others may believe as they please. Nor did Sataspes Voyage in the Reign of Xerxes King of Persia, in the year of the world 3435. give us any better Hints; of which thus Herodotus in the same Book:
Sataspes, Teaspes son, ravishing a Virgin, and Condemned to be Crucified, by the Media∣tion of his Mother, Darius Sister, was to suffer no more than to undertake a Voyage round Africa, which he but sleightly perform'd; for passing Gibraltar, he sayl'd to the utmost Point called Siloe *, from thence sayling on Southward; but being weary, returning the same way he came, made a strange Relation to Xerxes, how he had seen remote Countreys, where he found few People in Tyrian Purple, but such as when they drew near Land, forsook their Abodes, and fled up into the Mountains, and that they onely drove some of their Cattel Page 7thence, doing them no further Damage; Adding also, that he had sayl'd round Africa, had it not been impossible: To which the King giving small credit, and for that Sataspes had not perform'd his Undertakings, remitted him to his former Sentence of Crucifying.
¶ AS little avail'd that Expedition of the *Nasamones to this Discovery, who (as Herodotus relates in his †Euterpe) chose by lot five young men of good Fortunes and Qualifications, to explore the African Desarts, never yet penetrated, to inform themselves of their Vastness, and what might be be∣yond; These setting forth with fit Provision, came first where onely wilde Beasts inhabited; thence travelling west-ward through barren Lands, after many days, they saw a Plain planted with Trees, to which drawing near they tasted their Fruit, whilest a Dwarf-like People came to them about half their stature, neither by speech understanding the other, they led them by the hand over a vast Common, to their City, where all the Inhabitants were Blacks, and of the same size; by this City ran towards the East a great River, abounding with Crocodiles, which Etearchus King of the Ammonians, to whom the Nasa∣mones related this, supposed to be the Nile. This is all we have of Antiquity, and from one single Author, who writ 420 years before the Incarnation, which sufficiently sets forth the Ignorance of the Ancients concerning Africa.
¶ BUt what they knew not, and thought almost impossible to be known, is common; for the secrets of the Deep, and remotest Shores are now beaten and tracted with continual Voyages, as well known Roads are, since Vasques de Gamma a Portugees Anno 1497. first opened the Discovery, and finish'd, to the no small Honor of the Nation, his intended Design; for that People having got ground upon the Spaniard, widening the bredth of their commodious Sea-coasts, first fell on the Moors in Africa, taking several of their best Cities near the Atlantick; Henry Duke of Viseo, yongest Son of Henry the I. encourag'd by this good Success, resolved to make this his Business, and sparing no Cost, invited from Spain and Italy expert persons for his purpose, skilful in Navigation and Mathematical Sciences, by whose help and diligence in 1420. he found Madera, in 28. the Isle *Porto Sancto; in 40. Cape de Verd, and in 52. the Coasts of Guinee. After this Prince laid open thus a new Way for Discoveries, having gotten the honor to be the first that made the Portugees Sea-men, being of a great Age, he dyed in 1463. after whose death those Seas lay fallow twenty years; which King John the Second afresh furrowed then up again, and first discovered Angola and Congo, St. Georges Isle, conducted by Diego Cou in 1486. next year re∣solving to try further, hoping to sayl round Africa, and so finde a new Way to the East-Indies, and assisted by Bartholomew Diar, passing Cape Verd first found the Princes Isle, thence steering South-ward reach'd the Great Southern Cape, from thence either daunted by cross Windes, rough Seas, or mutinous Mariners, they returned, leaving the honor of this Great Enterprize to the fore-mention∣ed Vasques de Gamma; for which, imploy'd by Emmanuel King of Portugal, after the Discovery of St. Johns Isle, and St. Hellens, he attempted the same Cape which Diar durst not, then first calling it Cabo de Bona Esperanza, there being first encouraged, with hopes of finding the much desired way to the East-Indies.
Thence doubling this Great Point, they steer'd northward, Africk on their * Lar∣board, reaching the Coasts of Quiloa, Mozambique, Mombara, and Melinde, con∣tracting an Amity with the Melindian King, by whose assistance he found the Port Caliculo in the East-Indies, from thence returning with unexpressible Joy, and eternal Honor, to Lisbon, in 1500.Page 8
The next year after Alvares Capralde, with twelve Ships and fifteen hundred men, prosecuted the Design, but suffering Shipwrack on the Coast of Brazil, desisted; but the following year the former Vasques, and his brother Stephen, reassum'd the Undertaking with greater zeal and vigour: afterward by Fer∣dinand Almeida, and Alfonso de Albukerque, and so from time to time by several of that Nation, and last of all by the English and Hollanders. By this means the Moderns were exactly informed of the particulars of Africa, when the An∣cients knew no more than the Limits of the Roman Empire, and some parts belonging to Egypt, hearing strange Stories of Beasts and Monsters; whence arose this Adage:
¶ THe Romans divided this Region into six Provinces, * first the Sub-Consul∣ship, in which were Carthage and Tunis, called properly and especially by them Africa: Next the Consulship of Numidia, wherein was Cyrte, now Constan∣tine, Bysacena being a part of that proper Africa which contained Adrumetum; last the Tripolitan Consulship, Tripoly being the Head City; and two Mauritania's, one Imperial, containing Algier and Telesin; the other Mauritania Tingitana, the Realms of Morocko and Fez; and Egypt which they also possess'd; and these Inhabi∣tants made no further discovery than what was known before, so pinching up Africa, that all was comprehended within Barbary, excepting Egypt and some fragments of Numidia; yet Plinie, though a Roman, mentions many other Na∣tions, as the Murri subdued by Suetonius Paulinus; and Garamantes, by Balbas; the Romans also possessed Cyrenaica, which they joyned to Creta.
Mela bounds Africa with the Nile, and so also Dionysius scarce mentioning far∣ther than Mauritania, Numidia, and Cyrenaica, placing Egypt in Asia; Strabo so shrinks Africk, that he pities their ignorance that made it a third part of the World, saying that Africa joyn'd to Europe, would not both quadrary with Asia; but Ptolomy, knowing further, did better, swelling it to twelve Provinces, as the two Mauritania's, Numidia, Cyrenaica, Marmorica, the inward and proper Lybia, up∣per and lower Egypt, Ethiopia under Egypt, inward or south Ethiopia; For by his Maps may be plainly seen that what lyes five or six degrees beyond the Equa∣tor, he knew nothing of, saying expresly that 64 degrees under the Southern Elevation, were all Terrae Incognitae; so the Ancients did not what they should in its Description, * but what they could; they contracting its Limits much more than Ptolomy, taking Egypt and all betwixt the Nile from Africk, conferring it on Asia.
Leo Africanus their most Eminent Author, and curious Searcher of his Native Countrey, in 1526. boasted that he had been through all, yet makes no more than four Provinces, as Barbarie, Numidia, or Biledulgerid, Lybia, and Negro-land, giving Nile for its bounds, not the Arabian Gulf, with the Streights of Sues, to the Mid-land Sea, so bestowing a great part of Egypt upon Asia Eastward; and as Marmol says, not once mentioning upper Ethiopia, or Abyssine, nor the nether, nor many other places discovered by the Portugues since; besides all that is now called New Africa, extending from the sixteenth degree of Northern Lati∣tude, to the Great Southern Cape, discovered by Vasques de Gamma.
¶ THe most apt and usual Division of Africk,* with the unanimous consent of late Geographers, is, as we shall here in a short Survey present ye. The Main Land, not reckoning the Isles, they divide into * seven Parts, Page 9Egypt, Barbarie, Biledulgerid, the Desart Sarra, Negro-land, Inner, or Upper Ethio∣pia, or Prester John, and the Outward, or Nether Ethiopia.
Egypt is divided into the Upper, Middle, or Lower; Barbarie makes six Divi∣sions, as the Kingdoms of Fez, Marocco, Tunis, Tremesa, and Dara, and Barka onely not Monarchical.
Biledulgerid contains three Realms, Targa, Bardoa, and Gaoga;* and four Wil∣dernesses, Lempta, Haire, Zuenziga, and Zanbaga; the Desart Sarra makes no Division.
Negro-land boasts nineteen Kingdoms, Gualate, Hoden, Genocha, Zenega, Tom∣buti, Melli, Bittonnin, Guinee, Temian, Dauma, Cano, Cassena, Bennin, Zanfara, Guan∣gara, Borno, Nubia, Biafra, and Medra.
Upper Ethiopia makes also nineteen, Dafela, Barnagasso, Dangali, Dobas, * Trige∣mahon, Ambiaucantiva, Vangue, Bagamadiri, Beleguance, Angote, Balli, Fatigar, Olabi, Baru, Gemen, Fungi, Tirut, Esabella, and Malemba.
Nether Ethiopia contains Congo, Monomotapa, Zanciber, and Ajan.
The Isles belonging to Africa in the Straights, are Malta opposing Tripoli,* in the Ocean, Porto Sancto, the Maderas, Canaries, the Isles of Cape de Verd, or the Salt-Islands, the Isles of Ferdinando Poo, the Princes Island, St. Thomas, St. Matthews, Ascension, Anbon, St. Helens, the Isle of Martin Var, Tristan de Cunha, the Island Dos Pikos, St. Marie de Augosta, and the Trinity; all which lye west from the Main Land: Northward from the Cape of Good Hope, and towards the East of Africk, are the Isles of Elizabeth and Cornelius, Madagascar, or St. Laurence, St. Maries, Comore, and Mauritius, and Socotara in the Mouth of the Arabian Gulf, near the utmost Point of Guardafuy, and other less Islands.
¶ THe Hills of most remark, are the Great and Lesser Atlas,* the Mountains of the Sun, the Salt-petre Hill, Sierre Lyone, Amara, Mount Table, and Os Picos Fragosos.
The Great Atlas, call'd by the Natives Aydvacall, (as Marmol tells us) and as Aug: Curio, Anchisa, and by Olivarius, Majuste runs thorow Africa, as Taurus tho∣row Asia; or the Alps, Europe; beginning in Marmarica, and from thence extend∣ed to the west, divides Barbary from Biledulgerid, and though it hath many gaps, and oft discontinues, yet holds he on from Jubell Meyes, to the utmost Moun∣tains of Cehel, and the Coast of Masra, about twenty miles from Alexan∣dria; west-ward the Atlantick Ocean stops his course, near the City Messa, chan∣ging his name Aydvacall, which often happens both to him and the lesser Atlas, taking new Denominations from the several places they pass by; No Moun∣tain in all Africa is more celebrated by the ancient Poets than this, amongst many take these from their Prince Virgil, 4 Aen.
All Writers affirm his wondrous height, that he seems to reach the sky: That side which views the Ocean to which he gave his Name, is rugged, bald, and dry; that towards the Land, seems hairy with Bushes, and shady with leavy Page 10Trees, and watred with Springs, so being made fertile, in producing all sorts of Fruit: that by day his Inhabitants not see well, and that by night the Moun∣tain seems to shine and send forth flames, and (as some say) is full of Satyrs, and abounds with Echoes, resounding like Flutes, Trumpets, and Tabors.
The Lesser Atlas, call'd Lant, coasts with the Mid-land Sea, there known by the Name of Errif, extended from Gibraltar, unto Bona; the Spaniards call both Atlas'es, Montes Claros, or the Shining Mountains, because their eminency renders them perspicuous far off, or that their Spires shine above the Clouds; Thus Diego de Torres: But the Moors (saith Strabo) call them Dyris.
On the Cape where the Atlantick shoots into the Mediterranean Sea, opposite to Europe, appears the Mountain Abyle, now by the Spaniard call'd Sierra Ximiera, or Sierra de las Monas, that is, Ape-hill; against this shews Calpe in Spain: these are the Herculean Pillars so much celebrated with a ne plus ultra, by ancient Writers.
The Chrystal Mountain, according to Pigafet in his Congo, shoots to the Sky his spiry and un-inhabitable Towers: on the Eastern skirts of that Province, there are found rich Mines of Chrystal.
Near which is the Mountain of the Sun, so call'd from its wondrous height, and being barren of all Vegetables.
On the same side Eastward, appears the Salt-petre Hill, so nam'd from the abundance fetcht from thence: This Mountain divides the River Sarbeles, whose sides are so watered by its parted Streams.
Amara (that gives the vast Kingdom of Amara denomination) consists of most high and inaccessible Hills, which stand as Out-works to a strong Fort in the middle, where the Kings Sons have Education, kept with double Guards till their Fathers decease, then the next Heir taken from thence enjoys the Crown.
The Mountains of the Moon, which lye betwixt the Tropick of Capricorn and the Great Southern Cape, are the highest in Africa, or Europe, now call'd by the Inha∣bitants Betsh, they are Ledges of barren Rocks, always cloath'd with Snow and continued Ice, extending to the Coasts of Ceva in Goyame. Eminent Wri∣ters would prove (though false) that the Head of the Nile springs amongst these; And Ptolomy hath left on Record, that his Overflowings are fed with the disso∣lution of these Mountains Snow.
At the Cape of Good Hope appears the Table-Mount, so call'd from the flatness of its Crown, like a Diamond so squar'd, not far from the Shore on the South∣side of a pleasant River, from whence by a Cliff they scale the top, no way else any accession, being very steep and wondrous high, seen from the *Offin nine or ten leagues: three or four hours before a Storm it seems to frown and grow sullen, then veyling with more thick and opacous Clouds.
Westward from this is Mount Lyons, either supposed their Palace, (being a Re∣ceptacle of those Royal Beasts) or that the Hill resembles a Lyon couchant. Near Mount Table are those the Spaniards call Os Picos Fragosos, and the Italians Pici Fragosi, signifying sharp, or rough, such being their aspiring tops continually covered with Snow, all ranging in order one by another, at whose foot runs a great and swift River, which comes down from the Countrey. On the Border of Guinee appears another Mount Lyons, Sierra Leona in Spanish; in Portugues Sierra Lioa; there are several other Mountains in Africk of wonderful height and weal∣thy in Mynes: but we pass them over till we speak of them at large in their due place, and Descriptions of their several Countreys.Page 11
¶ THis Region abounds also with many great Lakes, * the chiefest is that they call the Zaire, or Zembre, which Linschot takes to be the Old Triton, out of whose bosom issues two famous Rivers that water the Kingdom of Congo, the Coanze and Lalande: Some affirm that from the Nile, Zambere, or Couama have here their original; of which more at large hereafter.
¶ NOr are here great Rivers wanting, as the Nile, the Niger,* call'd by the Spaniards and Italians Rio Grande, or the Great River, also Sanaga, or Sa∣nega, the Gambre, Zaire, Couama, and Holy Ghost River; all which by their flyings out, and overflowings, make more fertile their neighboring Margines: what concerns the Nile (best known to us in Europe) we will discourse at large, when we make our entry into Egypt, and of all his Benefits accrewing to that Coun∣trey, and so of the rest in their order.
¶ AS for the Soyl, it is very rich, producing all sorts of Vegetables, Animals, * and Minerals; what ever of these Europe or Asia boasts, Africa hath, besides no small production of its own, which the other have not, unless brought over by Merchants and Travellers, with us presented for strange Mon∣sters in Shews, at Fairs, Markets, and the like. Such as are in common with us I shall not mention, but those Creatures most of them peculiar to that Countrey, but all strangers to Europe, will require an exact Inquisition, and here a room to be set forth in, because of their rarity.
¶ AFrica abounds with Camels, especially in the Wilderness of Lybia, * Bile∣dulgerid, and Barbary, they have them also in Asia;* the Bactrians and Arabians use them for Burthens, nor travel they in Egypt without them: the Beast is cloven-footed, having a fleshy bunch on his back, onely peculiar to its Species, and another lesser bunch on the bending of his Knees, which seems Supporters to the whole Body; his Tayl is like an Asses, but has four knots like a Cows; his Pizzle which sticks out behind, is so sinewy, that they make of them the strongest Cross-bowe strings. Each Leg hath onely one Knee-joynt or bending, though they seem more, because of the trussness of his Hips, and short Buttocks; his Dung is like that of an Ox, his Gall lyes not separated as in other Beasts, but keeps in certain veins: Nature, as Aristotle and Plinie write, hath bestowed on him two Maws, because he eats Thistles and Thorns, for the Uval of his Mouth, and the inward Skin of his Maw, are very rough.
Modern Writers, as Purchas, Peter de Avicen, and others, * say there are three sorts of Camels, the first (as Marmol tells us) the Arabians call Elhegen, which is so large and strong, that he will carry a thousand weight; the Africans geld them, so making them more hardy, ordering onely one Male to ten Females. The second sort call'd by the Arabians Bocheti, or Bechet, is lesser, and hath two bunches, each carrying Burthens, or a Man; these are onely in Asia.* The third they call Raguahill, or Elmahari, are the Dromedaries, which are small, * lean, and tender, fit onely to carry men; but in swiftness they so far excel, that in one day they will travel a hundred miles, posting seven or eight days through Desarts with little, or almost no food: All the Arabian Nobles of Biledulgerid,* and the Africans of Lybia, ride on them usually, and when the King of Tombut would impart weighty Affairs to the Biledulgerid Merchants, he postes one away upon a Dromedary to Darha, or Segelmess, in seven or eight days, which are each from Tombut about seven hundred and fifty miles.Page 12
When they load a Camel, or unload, he sinks down on his Belly, and when he feels that he hath a sufficient Burthen, he rises, nor will take more upon him than he is able to carry: The African Camel far excels the Asiatick, for they travel forty or fifty days without Provender, * contented onely with a little Grass, and browsing on the Leaves of Trees: Solinus saith, they endure thirst four days, but swill when they come to it, not onely satisfying their arrears, but barrelling up store for the future; puddle-water best suits their palate, for finding what is clear, they will stir up the bottom with their feet, so delighting as it were in the Must, or drink with a flying Lee. Late Authors say, they will endure thirst fourteen or fifteen days, and it is certain in the Desarts of Hara and Biledulgerid, they never drink if they can finde Grass to feed.
They copulate backward (says Plinie,) * but Aristotle tells us that the Female stoops under the Males embraces, as other Juments, and that in their Amours they spend whole days in dark Recesses and private Retirements, concealed amongst Bushes and the like, none daring come near to disturb them in their commutual Love-fits. They go (as Suidas says) ten moneths, producing on the eleventh, and after the twelfth moneth prepare for the like encounters. Plinie will have twelve months e're they are delivered, and that being three years old they generate, bringing forth always in the Spring, and so soon as delivered couple again: But Aristotle puts twelve moneths to their pregnancy, and that they never bring forth more than one Foal.
They by natural instinct hate the Horse, * Lyon, and Gnat, which Cyrus King of Persia well observing, drew up his Camels against Croesus Horse, who cannot endure their smell. Elian writes how offensive Lyons are to them; the Arabs noint them over with the fat of Fish, so to keep off their Enemy the Gnat: Au∣thors differ much about their age; *Aristotle says they live above fifty years; So∣linus a hundred, unless the disagreeing temperature of the Air out of their Na∣tive Countrey cut them sooner off; They are docile and vindicative, and extreamly fond of their young; They swell if beaten, and conceal how much they take it ill, * and study revenge till they finde an opportunity. The Camel Colt learns to Dance, * as saith Africanus, to a Tabor beaten behinde the door, where he is put up in a room with a hot Stove, which not well enduring, he lifts up lightly one foot after another, which quick and tripping motion, when ever he hears the like Musick, reminding his old lesson, he puts in practice, so seeming to dance: They are driven with great trouble, yet not with stripes, but onely a Song, so that they seem delighted with vocal Harmony. Camels flesh amongst the Arabians and Sineses is esteemed as a Dainty, but prohibited to the Jews. The Arabs count their Wealth by their stock of Camels; for when they Audit their Princes Estate, they reckon not by Pounds and Duckats, but adjust his Revenues by thousands of Camels, for they live in full pleasure, freedom, and safety, because they can remove with all they have into the Desarts, where no Army nor Invasion can reach them.
¶ THe Elephant call'd by the Arabs Elfill,* is common both to Asia and Africa, but especially to the last; Amongst the Woods behinde Syrtes and the Desarts of Salee, in Upper Ethiopia, Guinee, on the banks of Niger, and in the Wilderness of Atlas, and other parts of Africk they abound, of which there are also of divers kindes; as the Lybian, the Indian, Marsh, Mountain, and Wood Ele∣phants; the Marsh hath blew and spungy teeth, hard to be drawn out, and dif∣cult to be wrought and bored through, being knotty and full of little knobs. Page 13The Mountain are stern and ill-condition'd, their teeth smaller, yet more white, and of a better shape; the Field-Elephant is the best, well natur'd, most docile, having the largest, whitest teeth, and easiest to be cut of all the other, and may by bending be shaped into any form, according to Juvenal:
The Wood-Elephants in the Kingdom of Senega, especially near the River Gamba, feed together in a Heard like wilde Swine in some parts of Europe. Of which thus Petronius:
The Lybian or Mauritanian are lesser than the Indian, and (as Polybius writes) can not endure the Voice or Cry of the Indian Elephant; The Indian, though the lar∣gest of all, differ in size much amongst themselves; They shew'd one at Con∣stantinople, that was eleven Foot betwixt his Eyes; and the utmost of his Trunk, from his Eye eight Foot in length: many are nine Foot high, some above eleven; Aloysius Camustus saw one whose flesh weighed more than five of our Stall-fed Oxen; They are all black, except the Ethiopian, yet the Relaters of the East-Indian Voyages say, that the King of Narsinga had a white Elephant.
Their Skin is rough and hard, but more on the back than the belly; they have four teeth that are Chawers, besides their Tusks which stick out of their Man∣dible, and are crooked, but the Females are streight; some of these Tusks are of an incredible bigness: Vertomanus saw two at the Isle of Sumatra that weigh'd three hundred thirty six pound. Polybius says, that in the borders of Ethiopia they are us'd for Jaums of Gates and Door-posts, and in Beasts-stalls for stakes.
For a Nose or a Snout, they have a long, small, hanging part, call'd a Trunk, reaching the ground and open, being sinewy and bending every way, it serves him for a Hand, with which he gathers both his Food and Potation, conveying so to his Mouth; through this he also breathes and smells: Aristotle says, they have Joynts in their hinder Feet below, but others write variously concerning the flexure of their Knees; some say they have Joynts in their Legs; others the contrary, and that if fallen they cannot rise: Plinie says (which experience al∣lows) that they have short Joynts in their hinder Legs, bending inwards like a Mans; their Feet are round like Horses Hooffs, but larger. Vertomanus com∣pares them to a round Table, their broad soal being eighteen inches over; their Toes (being five) look as if all one piece, being black and squadded, an unlick'd piece, so little cloven that they scarce make any separation. This creature hath two Teats, not on her Breasts but backwards, and more concealed; His Pizzle little, comparing his huge Bulk, and like a Stallions; his Stones appear not, but abscond about his Reins, which apts him more for Generation.Page 14
Their sustenance is Water-Herbs, browsing on Trees, *Musae fruit, and Indian Fig-Tree Roots; sometimes they swallow Earth and Stones; but such food proves obnoxious to them (as Pliny judges) unless well chaw'd; when tam'd, they feed most on Barley, and drink untroubled Water, delighting in Liquors made of Rice, other Fruits, and European Wine: One at Antwerp guzzel'd down seven of our Wine Gallons at once, and took such large pota∣tions often, yet are they not impatient of thirst, but will suffer eight days well, and not languish under Drowth; Their ingenuity is wonderful, as ap∣pears by that Elephant which Emanuel King of Portugall presented Pope Leo, who seeing him at a Window, made formal Congees to his Holiness with bended knees; Metellus says, that in the Isle of Zeilan they understand the Language of the Natives. Pliny reports that an Elephant he knew, could write Greek, and often set down in that Character this signification, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. I my self writ this, and offer'd up to the Celtick spoil. Elian tells us that they us'd to eat handsomly, and sit mannerly like men, not tearing or devouring their Victuals: when they drank, they took their Cup, delivering it to the next, draining the Goblet, moderately sprinkling the remainder as in a Joke upon the beholders; when they would pass any water that is scarce fordable, the tallest of them enters first, the rest passing by him, as it were a Bridge, to whom they cast Branches of Trees to help out at last.
Some affirm that they are Religious, adoring the most Eminent Lights, the Sun and Moon; and also hospitable, directing wandring Passengers when out of their way; observe Murtherers and other Criminals, and will detect such Guilty Offenders; how they will toss a Pike, and Fence one with another, playing out their several Weapons, and Dance after a Warlike manner. Auge∣rius Busbeek writes in his Turkish Letters, how he saw a young Elephant that Danc'd to a Song, and play'd at Stool-Ball, striking and retorting with his Trunk, as we with our hands; one at Rome would tye and untye hard knots by Moon-light, so cunningly complicated, that none else could unloose them, and patiently receive correction from his Master when he fail'd, and was out.
The female excels the Male in strength and hardiness; yet Aristotle makes the Female more timerous.
Oppianus tells that they will beat down with their Teeth, Beech, Olive, and Palm-trees; and whole Houses, as Aristotle relates.
Vertomannus Stories that an Elephant threw down a Tree, whose body four men could not Fathom, and that three Elephans drew a great Vessel on shore.
Aristotle saith they fight desperately, charging with their Teeth, and worsted, flye the menacing voyce of the Conquerour; an innate abhorring they have to Lyons, Serpents, Tygers, Rams, Swine and the Rhinoceros, and also to some Colours, and Fire.
Authors vary concerning their Copulation: Pliny will have the Male fit at Five years, the Female at Ten; but Aristotle allows Twenty years to both, of Twelve to the Female, if forwards; if slow, fifteen; they conjoyn usually in the water, which is easier for both, for the water supports the Male, and ligh∣tens so great a burthen, and fetches him after the Encounter more nimbly off; they deal in love-affairs very private, and but once in three years; choosing every Triennial a new Mistress, which work concluded they grow wild and almost stark mad, throwing down their Stalls and Stables; their time of pro∣duction is also uncertain, some say they go Eighteen Months, others Three Page 15Years; a few stretch it to Ten, and these reduce it to Eight years; in Tra∣vel their pangs are great, squatting down on their hinder Legs, bringing but one at a birth, though others say, four; their young see and go as soon as born, Sucking with his Mouth, not his Trunk, Eight years.
They are taken several ways both in Africk and India: The Ethiopians knowing the Elephants Night-reposes, where he alwayes withdraws to sleep, catch him in a strong Palisado made of Timber, in a close Covert, a Trap-Door left open lying on the ground, which when the Elephant is in, they sculking in a Tree, draw up and shut with Ropes: when they have him sure in the Trap, they descend and shoot him to Death with Arrows; but if he chance to escape, rending their Gins, he spares none, killing all he meets.
Others Saw a great Tree half in sunder, making a pit on the side, then co∣vering it, which the Elephant suspecting nothing, being weary, retires to his old resting place, to which, he leaning, his weight oversets the half-cut Trunk, which failing, he falls into the covered Hole, and finds himself their Prisoner.
In Zenega near Cape de Verd, the Inhabitants, sixty in a Company, draw forth, each Arm'd with six small, and one great Arrow, so finding his haunt, they stay till he resorts thither, which, by the loud rusling noise he makes, burst∣ing through opposing Branches, and overthrowing whole Trees, keeping his march, they know, then they follow him shooting continually, till their so many infixed Shafts, may bring him to his end, which the Blacks observe by the loss of Blood, and the stronger resistance of his confining Palisado against his feebler charge.
The African Lyon called by the Arabians Aced,* is the most couragious and cruel of all other, devouring not only Beasts, but Men: yea a Mauritanian Lyon sometimes dares attaque a * Troop of 200. Horsemen, and though mor∣tally wounded, will fight it out to the last gasp, defending his young ones. Those which are bred upon cold Mountains are less stout and dangerous, for the hotter their habitation, the more fierce and cruel they are; such are those to be seen between Tremesen and the Kingdom of Fez, or in the Wilder∣ness of Anguep, or Angad, and about Tremesen: Also between Bone and Tunis are found the cruellest and strongest Lyons of all Africk.
The Lyons forehead, (according to Aristotle) is of a middle size and four∣square; his Eyes not strutting out, nor yet hollow, his Nose rather thick than thin, his upper and under Jaws meet, yet open very wide when gaping, his Lips or closing of his Mouth thin, his Neck great and rough, moderately thick, his Breast strenuous, Belly slender, Legs strong and sinewy, Hair of a dark yellow, not falling in hard but looser curles, his Feet before have five claws, his hinder but four, the Majesty and Grandeur of his shaggy Mayn, differences him very much from the Lionnesse, who more signally may be known by the exuberances of her two Teats, according to the number of her young ones. Galen says, that the Lyons temples are very strong, that he may bite the harder, his Tongue rough, strangely red, as if fire, and speckled, hav∣ing but one bone in his Neck, as Aristotle holds: but Scaliger maintains, that it consists of many Joynts: his Complexion extremely hot and dry, caused by the sharp boyling of his heart. Gesner writes that his foreparts are hot, but his hinder cold and defective; he feeds sometimes on * Cattel, especially on Ca∣mels, and where straitned for Victuals, foraging he adventures to fall upon men: Polybius saith he saw many of them standing there, that had suffered Page 16Crucifixion to terrifie others from the like cruelty and humane slaughter.
Writers differ concerning their preying on the dead, * which Elian affirms, saying, that they feed on them and bury the overplus, lest other Beasts should prey after them; They drink little (if Aristotle and Elian say true) en∣during thirst three days, especially in Summer, but in Winter they drink often.
The Lyon loves the Dolphin, but is an enemy to Swine, Wolves, Wild Asses and Bulls: * from a Woman that dares shew her Nakedness, and boldly discover her intimacies, strangely abashed at her immodesty and quite out of countenance, he flyes, sayes Leo Africanus: The Greeks of old make him afraid at the Crowing of a Cock, but Camerarius affirms, that a Lyon in the Duke of Bavaria's Court, leap'd up to the adjoyning houses a wonderful height seizing the Pullen roosted in the roofs. Some Writers say, the Lyon Lowes like an Oxe, which perhaps the Whelps may when they get a prey; a few imagine that they grunt and whine like a Boar; others, and they the most, that they roar, which is most likely; if we will take fancy for truth. Hear the Lyon himself Describing his own Language.
Aesopic. Androcleus Sect. 11.
They procreate backwards, and at all seasons of the year, but chiefly in the Spring: then are bloody wars commenc'd among them, eight or ten Corrivals following one Lionnesse: in summe, when the Males are debilitated with the excessive heat, the Lionnesse is gal-lanted by the Pard, whom impreg∣nating, she produces a Leopard; but if she joyn with the Panther, she brings forth a more biformed race; but if with the Hyena, thence is gotten the Crocuta. Sometime urged by the necessitating Stimula's of Lust, they are forced to en∣gender with Dogs. Their young ones are brought forth seeing, which is only peculiar to them of all Quadrupeds with crooked Claws: The sixth Moneth produces them, though ill shap'd and imperfect, not as Elian will, tearing the Matrix of the Dam, but as Aristotle saith, for want of Nutriment: Pliny declares that they bring forth six young ones at the most, and sometimes but one only. Philostratus relates that one was slain which had eight in her Womb.
¶ IN several parts of Africa are an excellent breed of Horses, term'd by us Barbs, strong of Hoof, and extremely fleet: But the swiftest and most hardy either in Africa or Asia, are the Arabian Horse, so call'd because first broke by the Arabs from running Wild in the Woods, and brought thither by them, for till Xeque Ismael first took them up, they wandred in Troops, since when the Arabs have stock'd with them all Asia; The most assured proof of their celerity, is, when they can overtake the Lant or Ostrich in their Flight; if so, that Steed they value at a 1000. Duckets, or else Barter for 100. Camels: few of these Horses are in Barbary, but some are bred up in Arabia, and abundance in Lybia, not enured to Tillage, or Warres, but Hunting. They feed them daily twice with Camels Milk to keep them lusty and quick, but not too foggy: When the ranck Grass flourishes, they turn them in∣to the Fields, but then they Ride them not: The Lybian Horse, hath a Body long, Ribs and Sides thick, and a broad Breast strutting forth: The Mare, as *Elian writes, becomes lustful, and with Foal by † Whistling; of which thus Virgil in his Georgicks:
¶ THe Rhinoceros,* so call'd in Greek, that is Nosehorn, having one near the Tip of his Nose, hath a Skin speckled in tufts, with a mixture of Black and Grey, his Back looking as if saddled, his Sides and Ribs swell out Dosser∣wise, dented down to the Belly with folding panes; his Back is so hard, that a Partizan will scarce pierce it, nor hath it Scales (as with us reported) onely the deep furrows on his thick Hide resembling such: On the tip of his Nose, being like a Boars Snout, onely sharper at the end, there appears a Horn many times different in colour, being one while Black, another while of a lighter Colour: The bigness of this Beast varies, according to his Age: A midling Rhinoceros may compare with a midling Elephant, onely the short∣ness of his Legs, * makes him much more despicable: In Aristotle's time about 664. years before the Building of Rome, neither the Greeks nor the Romans knew this Creature; Nor is it yet agreed upon by Writers who first shew'd it, though Dio sayes, * it first appeared in Augustus his Triumphs: for Pliny relates, that it was before shewn in Pompey's Playes, which Solinus affirms, saying, the Rhinoceros was never seen before Pompey's time: He feeds on bristly Leaves, and sharp Herbs, * having a very rough Tongue; insomuch, that Bontzius writes, that having cast down a Man and Horse to the ground, as if nothing, (which he never does, unless greatly provok'd) he kills him afterwards with licking, for the roughness of his Tongue, will immediately denude the Bones of their Fleshy coverings: He is at great enmity with the Elephant, against whom preparing to Fight, he whets his Horn upon a Stone, ayming to strike him in the Belly, his tendrest part, that so rending it open, he may bleed to Death; but if he miss that opportunity, the Elephant assuredly kills him with his Trunk and Teeth.
¶ THe Musk-Goat is not onely found in China and Persia,* but as most Emi∣nent Writers affirm, in Africa and Egypt: There is difference among Au∣thors about its Description; yet all agree that it is a kind of Goat. We find in Martinus his Chinese Atlas, that in the Country of Xensi Musk grows in the Navel of a certain Beast not much unlike a Hart without Horns, whose Flesh the Chineses eat: When this Beast is high in lust, his Navil swells like a Tumor, or Bile full of Matter, and taken thence, resembles a thin hairy Purse stuffed with this costly Odour.
The Civet-Cat, * called in Spanish Genetta, by the modern Greeks, Zapetia, and perhaps unknown to the Ancients, hath rough Hair, and is from the Head to the Tayl, a Cubit long, about the size of, and colour'd like a Wolf; near the Cods it hath a Purse, from whence they gather Civet: She eats eagerly raw Flesh and Mice, as also sweet things, Rice and Eggs. The Excrement (which flows out of the Purse-net near the Fundament, being full of small holes) hath at first a strong Scent, but put together and set in the Air, becomes most odoriferous; some suppose this to be the Sperm, which they take Page 19daily out of the Purse with a Silver, Copper, or Horn Spoon, about the quan∣tity of one Dram: of which he will yield the more being anger'd or irri∣tated with a limber Twig or Wand, when you are to gather it.
The Leopard, hath a long Fore-head, round Ears, * very long and small Neck, little Ribs, a long Back, Thighs and Buttocks fleshy, and flat about the Belly and Hips, which are speckled, his whole Body wants shape and sym∣metry. On the Belly are four Teats; its Fore-feet have five, the hinder Feet four Clawes: his Eyes are more fiery than other Creatures in the dark, but dimmer in the open light; his Skin, according to Oppianus, is of a dark Yellow, dappled with Black upon White; 'Tis said he is marked in his Fore-head with a Half Moon, his Tongue is very Red, Teeth and Clawes sharp, and his Heart great, considering his bigness; he hath strong Legs, yet by reason of his great heat, is but lean: many of them are bred in Asia and Africa, in the Countrey of Comeri and Bengale.
He Courts often the Lionnesse her self, sometimes driving a lower Trade with homely Bitches, and the She-Wolf. Isidore fabulously relates, that the young ones anticipate their Birth, tearing their Mothers Wombs: So much he hates man, that he assassinates his picture, though a meer Paper Sketch, yet flyes from a Dead Mans head; though some say, he fears onely a humane Visage, which Gesner confirms: He bears a great enmity to the Cock, Serpent, and Leeks. Pliny saith that a Panther will not venture on any that is an∣nointed with Cocks-blood: and who wears a Panthers Skin need fear no Ser∣pents; such his Antipathy to the Hyena, that their Skins hang'd opposite, his will shed the hair, if you dare believe Pliny.
¶ THe Camelopardelis, so call'd, as springing from the Camel and Pard,* in size resembles the Camel; in his Marks or Spots, the Leopard, and is call'd Nabuna by the Moors, says Pliny, by the Moderns now Saffarat; the Greeks and Latines call it Gyraffa; Bellonius in his Observations describes this Beast very exactly, thus:
Here also are a kind of Wild Bulls, called by the Natives, Gualiox,* but by the Spaniards Vacas bravas, that is, Mad, or Hectoring Bulls: They are swift as a Hart, but lesser than our Beeves, arm'd with horns black and sharp, but his Flesh is sweet, and his Hide fit for Tanning, making good Leather: In BarbaryPage 20they run together in herds, more than 100. sometimes 200. especially in the Countreys of Duquele and Tremisen, the Desarts of Numidia, and elsewhere.
¶ WIld Asses also are found in the Wildernesses of Numidia and Lybia,* of a light grey, and for swiftness equalling the Barb.
In the high Eastern part of Prester John's Countrey, * on the Banks of Nile, are Male-Goats as big as a wean'd Calf, their thick hair trailing on the ground: They have excellent Skins call'd Xarequies, which are drest, hair and all, with the Root of a Tree, * stiled Alhanne: There also are great naked Cows, which the Egyptians call Demnie, with Tails trailing on the ground, and raising the dust like our Madams Gowns; and their Necks strip'd with divers colours.
In these parts are two sorts of Sheep, * Woolly, and Hairy; The first differ from ours, only in their Horns and Tails, the last so round and thick, that the Sheep themselves are but subservient to their own Train, some there∣of weigh 15, others 20 l. which happens chiefly in their fatting. Leo Africanus says, * he saw one weighing 80 l. Others report to have seen some of 150 l. weight: however, true it is, that the people are constrained to bind them upon little Carriages, that they may go with less impediment: All the fat that covers the Kidneys of other Sheep, is contributed upon their Tails; Store of them are found in the Kingdom of Tunis, and in Egypt, and of late in the East and West of Africa, and in the adjacent Islands.
The tame Cows in Africa are so small, * that they seem to be but two year old Heifers, yet the Inhabitants of the Mountain Galate, as Leo writes, use them for Tillage, being very strong and laborious.
Adimnaim is another tame Creature, * much like a Sheep, but great as a mid∣ling Ass, having long and pendulous Ears; the Lybians use them as Sheep, and their Milk (whereof they give much) serves both for Meat and Drink; their Wool is short, but good; the Males are without, but the Females have horns: they are mild and tractable, having strength enough to carry a Man a days Journey; they breed chiefly in the Lybian Desarts, and some few in Numidia.
The Arabian Dabuch,* which the Africans call Jesef, is of the bigness of a Woolf, and resembling him in all parts but his Legs and Feet, wherein he is like a man: He hurts no other Beasts, but devours the Dead, digging them out of the Graves, which is no strange thing, the Moors usually burying in the open fields; when the Hunters know his recess, they make their approaches Singing and Playing on Musical Instruments, ravish't with the pleasure there∣of, he is drawn forth to listen, where they in the mean while snare and kill him. Leo Africanus says, they are found in the Woods of Mauritania, Pegus, Congo, China, and divers other parts, especially in Egypt, where they breed very much.
The Dub being in the Wilds of Lybia,* of the length of a mans Arm, and the bredth of four fingers, hath a strange antipathy to Water, so that if any be put into its mouth, he immediately dyes: They lay Eggs like a Turtle, and are harmless; their Flesh roasted, tastes, as they say, like the hinder part of a Medow-Frog; he is very swift, and so strong, that if his head be in a hole, and his tail out, no strength can draw him thence, except you loosen his hold by widening the passage; it has a kind of trembling Convulsive motion three days after it is slain, if but exposed to the Fire.Page 21
The Guarall is like the Dub, but bigger, * having poison both in his Head and Tail, which is the cause that the Arabians throw them away when they Cook the rest.
In Africa, especially in Biledulgerid and Lybia is a Beast, like a little Bull, * or small Cow, called the Lant; It seems to be that Bubalus of old, which Aristotle says, is a timerous Creature, having neither Hair or Wooll: which Leo thus de∣scribes; The Lant, or Dant, resembles an Ox, but smaller Legg'd, and his Horns less, with white Hair and black Hooves, and so swift, that no Beast unless the Barb, can once overtake; yet easier to be catch'd in Summer than in Winter, because the Parching heat of the Sand softens and loosens his Hooves. But Scaliger sayes: The Dant, Lant, and Elant, (which is all one and the same, though different in name) is white hair'd, fac'd like a Cow, but less in body, yet much swifter and nimbler; so that they excell all Wild Beasts both in agility and speed: Their Skin so strong and tough, that Steel will not pene∣trate: the best time to catch them is the Summer, for then their Hooves become loose and tender by the heat of the Sand: Bellonius makes another sort, being (saith he) a full grown Beast, smaller than a Deer, but bigger than a wild Goat, and so well propor∣tioned in shape, that it is pleasure to behold; his yellow hair so sleek and shining, as if Curried and Dress'd; his Belly strip'd or dappled with more brisk and various Colours than his Back, which is dusky; Cloven-footed, with strong stubbed Legs, a thick short Neck, black and very crooked Horns, Ears like a Cow, Thighs full and plump, his Tail as a Camelopard, hanging down to his heels, full of bristly and rough hair, Lowing very like, but not so loud as an Ox. This they find in the Arabian Desarts, and between the Mountains of India and Catay, and divers parts of Asia.
¶ SOme Writers say, that in Africa, in the Mountains of Beth,* in Upper-Ethiopia, breeds the Unicorn: Garcias ab horto tells, that he saw one be∣tween the Cape of Good Hope, and Cape de Currentes, though Modern Authors do not without cause deny, and hold it a Fiction, and that there can be no such Creature as the Antients describe. Strabo out of Onesicritus saith, it is like a Horse; but Philes, that his Tail being ringl'd, resembles a Wild Boar, and that he opens his Mouth like a Lyon: According to Pliny, he hath a Harts head, Feet like an Elephant, Tail of a Boar, and the rest representing a Horse, with a Horn in his Forehead two Cubits long: Isidorus makes him the same with the Rhinoceros, affirming his Horn so strong and mighty, that he either breaks or penetrates quite through what e're he strikes: Marcus Paulus Venetus tells us, that the Great Cham of Tartary uses them, and that in the Region of Lambri, they are smaller than an Elephant, having a flat head like a wild Swine, an angular Tongue, wherewith they take in what food they can get, and the rest of their Shape agrees with the Rhinoceros. One Lewis de Barthema of Bononia writes thus of it: Near the Temple at Mecha, are Stables wherein they keep two living Unicorns; the one having a Horn near four handfuls in length. But the other being of the growth of a Colt of two years and a half old, had a Horn on his Forehead near seven foot long, the Body being of a sad Colour, with a Head like a Hart, short Neck, little Hair, and thinly Main'd, spindle shanks like a Deer, Feet with Hooves a little cloven; be∣ing by nature Wild, and loving solitude: That which we call in Europe the Unicorns Horn, and preserve as a costly and rare Cordial, belongs to a Monster or Sea-fish taken in the North-Seas, upon the Coasts of Island, Greenland, and other adjacent Isles: which we thus describe.
It is a full and well-grown Fish, near eighteen foot long, and twelve broad; * headed like a Perch or Carp; the Horn shoots out of the upper Jaw above Page 22his Mouth, opens very wide, not right in the middle, but a little more towards the left side; its Skin is russet, under which lyes very much fat, whereof are made great quantities of a nauseous and ill scented Oyl, which for that cause hath little esteem. The Back-bone consists of many strong Joynts, ending in a forked tail, armed on both sides with strong prickles: The Horn is streight, hard, white, and so neatly adorned with deep wreathings, as if it were smoothly polish'd, and Artificially turn'd Ivory; in length sometimes nine, ten, twelve foot, or more; whose vertues are not inferior to those ascribed to the Land-Unicorn, as well in driving out the Measles and Small Pox, as in asswaging Malignant Feavers, and tough Distempers of Agues.
In Nubia and the Kingdom of the Abyssines,* is a Beast called Zorafes, or Gi∣raffes, as big as a two-years old Heifer, having a Neck like the Glave of a Javelin, or Half-Pike, and a head resembling a Gazell, with Legs short behind and long before, hair'd and brindled like an Ox, the Ears like a Hart, and Breast smooth and shining; which the Africans say is generated of two Spe∣cies; he wanders solitarily through the Woods, flying from men, and not to be taken, but young.
¶ HAving treated thus far of Beasts; We shall now briefly present you with some Plants and Vegetables, referring their full discourse to the places where naturally produced.
Though Africa be in some places very fertile, yet a great part of the Country lyes waste and unmanured, full of Barren Sands, or abounding with Serpents, in such manner, that the Peasant dare not Till the ground, unless Booted; but the manured parts afford a rich crop to the industrious Husband∣man, yeilding oftentimes an hundred fold encrease.
The chief Grain of Africa, is Wheat, Rye, Barley, Rice and Maiz, and besides the Trees growing there, that are in common with Europe, are divers others not found amongst us, such are the Cassia, Egyptian Fig-tree (the Inhabitants term it Guimeiz) the Date, Cotton, Coco, and Balsam-tree, Sugar-Canes, and the like Productions, with which they drive a great Trade with us in Europe.
Among others in the Wildernesses of Lybia, * Biledulgerid, and Negro-land, grows the Tree call'd Ettalch, guarded round with Prickles, having leaves like the Juniper shrub: from under the Bark issues a Gum, whose body and smell resembles Mastich, which the Merchants often cheat with, by adulterating, so selling it for Mastich.
Of the Tree Argan or Erguen,* an Oyl is made by the Inhabitants; whereof more at large in the Description of Hea a Province of Marocco.
In the Countrey of Lyme,* is found the Aud-Altassavijt, which is tough like Hemp, and will not break with hachelling, but yields at every blow a plea∣sing sound.
Other parts of Africa afford no small number of Herbs and Plants; all which we shall set forth in their due place, especially in the Description of Egypt.
There is also the Root by the Inhabitants call'd Terfez,* but Kamha by the Physitians, resembling an Earth or Ar-Nut, but bigger and very sweet, ga∣ther'd by the Arabians in the Desarts of Biledulgerid, pleasing their palates like confected Fruits. Another Root yeilding a very sweet and pleasing scent, is found on the Western parts on the Sea-shore, which the Merchants of Page 23Barbary carry to sell among the Negroes, who use it as a Perfume, onely by sprinkling it about the house: An African* Mudde, which in Mauritania, is sold for half a Ducket, which the Merchants vend again among the Negroes for eighty or a hundred Duckets, and sometimes dearer.
There is another Root call'd Addad, not unknown to the African Women, * whose acid Leaves and Root are of so poysonous a faculty, that a little of their water distilled, gives a quick dispatch by sudden death to their Husbands, or any other that they are weary of.
On the West-side of Mount Atlas, is the Root Surnag;* having a special ver∣tue to incite Venus. The Inhabitants report, that it will devirginat Maids, couching to Urine on the Leaves, and after will much dis-affect them with Tympanied infirmities. There is also Euphorbium, whereof more at large in Barbary.
¶ HEre are two sorts of Pitch, the one natural, or Stone Pitch; * The other Artificial, and thus made: They erect a great Oven with a hole at the bottom, in which they put the Branches of Pine or Juniper chop't in peices, then the Ovens mouth close stop'd, a fire is made underneath, by the heat whereof, the Pitch is extracted out of the wood, running through the bottom of the Oven into a hole underneath it in the Earth, whence they take it out, and put it into Bladders, or Leathern Bags.
All the Salt in the most part of Africa, as Leo saith, is dig'd out of Salt-pits, * being white, red, and gray: Barbary 'tis true, hath plenty of Salt; Biledul∣gerid is reasonably well stored: but in Negro-land, and the innermost Parts of Ethiopia, a pound of Salt is sold for half a Ducket: They use no Salt-cellar, nor set it on the Table, but each having a piece in his hand, lick it at every Morsel. In a Lake in Barbary, near the City of Fez, all the Summer is found a well-concocted and coagulated Salt; but such as border on the Sea, make Snow-white Salt of Sea-water.
Atlas on that side, where Biledulgerid borders on the Kingdom of Fez,* pro∣duces great quantity of Antimony, and sundry other have veins of Sulphur; * but above all, the rich Mines of Gold and Silver, those especially in Negro-land, Guinee, and Ethiopia, deserve admiration.
¶ MArmol relates from Aben-Gezar,* that certain Stones are found in the Land of Lyme, call'd by the Spaniards, Los Hechizos, and by the Arabians Hajar Acht, which have divers signatures, representing several parts of a Man, as a Hand and Foot, Face, Head and Breast, many like the Heart, but some the whole compleat Figure of a Man, in just proportions. The most perfect of these Stones, they assuredly believe, to have an occult and wonderful faculty, irritated by the help of Spels and Sorcery, to introduce and bring the Bearer thereof into the favour of Princes.
In the steep Mountains Alard and Quen, between Nubia and Zinchamque,* a Stone is found call'd Beth, which, as they say, will make those Speechless that long gaze upon it.
¶ AFrica also brings forth Eagles, differing in size, colour, and properties, * whose greatest, the Arabs call Neser, and bigger than a Crane, having a very short Beak, Neck and Legs, yet mounts exceeding high, till for want of Feathers, he betakes himself to his Nest, where the Eaglets feed him.Page 24
Divers parts of this Countrey, * especially Guinee and Ethiopia, yield Parrots of several sorts and colours. Whereof more at large, when we come to those parts.
The Mountains of the upper Ethiopia,* specially that of Beth, as Marmol says, shew Griffons, which the Arabians enstile Ifrit.
Great store of strange Creatures, * some Amphibii, as the Hippo-potamus or Sea-Horse, the Sea-Cow, the Crocodile, Tortoises, Ambare, and others of the same nature using both Water and Land, are found in the Lybian wildes, and Sea-coasts of Africa.
Serpents, * Venomous Creatures, Reptiles, and strange Insects, are produced in the Wilderness of Biledulgerid, Negro-land, and upper Ethiopia.
¶ HItherto we have lightly touch't several things; as first, that Africa is for the most part habitable, from the mildness of the weather and the sea∣sons conducing thereunto; next the greatness of the Mountains, richness of their Mines, enumerated their Provinces and Kingdoms, the variety of Creatures, Plants, Grain, and Herbage: now we will say something of the people them∣selves, their Statures, Complexions, Manners and Religions.
Some divide the Africans into Black and White, but a curious eye may easily observe a great difference in the colours of those people, * as not being under the same climate: * Such as in habit in and about Guinee, and the Negroes Land, be∣tween the Equinoctial and Tropick, are Black; who live in Prester John's Countrey, * are Brown and Olivaster, but the Natives of the Cape of Good Hope (which of all Africa, is the most Southward) are the Blackest. Experience therefore clears the vanity of that conceit, that according as people live nearer or farther from the Aequator, so they are Blacker or Whiter; whence it would follow, those who have the Sun directly over them, must needs be the Blackest; and the farthest therefrom, the whitest: whereas Nature in this case hath frustrated the fancy of the Learned, by a visible contrary, giving diversity of colours to the Inhabitants of the same degree: for the Patagons a great people near the Streights of Magellan, are totally white, whereas at the Cape of Good Hope under the same Latitude, they are very Black; of the causes whereof are * various opinions, but which carries the greatest probability of truth, we will not here discuss.
Nor is there a greater distinction of Complexions, * than difference in the bulk of their Bodies; * the Natives of the Kingdom of Neguz, being Giant-like; those of Mosambique,* Dwarfish; and those of Barbary, of a middle Stature. As to their several characters and dispositions, we shall touch them in the Descrip∣tion of each particular Country.
For Valour and Courage, * they are much inferior to the Europeans; neither understanding to handle Arms, nor willing or forward to learn: A great number of them not long since, by their effeminacy were conquer'd by a few Portugues: One strong Fort, with a small Garrison, keeps a whole Countrey in awe, and a * Regiment of English or Hollanders, are able to rout whole Armies: And the Turks make continual war upon the King of the Abyssines, wresting from him divers places of great concernment, which † he never durst attempt to recover. 'Tis true, in some places, the people are very wilde, savage, and dangerous to deal with, but their ignorance and unskilfulness in Arms, makes their fierceness little avail for defence of so great a Countrey. Among all these Provinces, *Barbary is the most Warlike; having a long time by the Christians Page 25been exercised in Martial affairs, making manful resistance against all inva∣ding attempters, with the assistance of her home-born Turks and Arabs: yet they are kept in awe by the Christian Forts on the Sea-coast, receiving from them no small damage, without hopes ever to recover what they knew not how to keep.
There are in Africa divers sorts of people, generally divided into Arabians,* and Aborigenes, sub-divided again into Whites and Blacks; of which two kinds so dispers'd over Africa, it will be worth our pains to set down their places of abode, manners, and strengths.
The White Africans are by Johannes Leo, divided into five Tribes, viz. * Zanha∣gians, Musmudans, Zenetans, Haoranians and Gumeranians; which are again sub∣divided into six hundred Families, as their Historian Ibnu Rachu,* by Marmol named Ibni Alraquiq, hath Registred: The same Marmol, calls the first two Zinhagians and Mukamudans, in the other three agreeing with Leo, who says, That the Musmudans dwell East and by South from Mount Atlas, inhabiting all the Plains, and commanding the four Provinces of Hea, Sus, Guzule, and Marocco. The Gumeranians possess the Mountains of Mauritania, towards the Mid-land Sea, and the Strands of Errif, beginning from the Streights of Gibral∣tar, and extending East-wards to the borders of the Kingdom of Tremisen: These two people live apart, whereas the other three live mix'd one among another, but may as easily be distinguish'd by the Air of their faces, and Mien of their bodies, as the Natives from Strangers, being at continual hostility among themselves.
The Zenetans and Haoranians inhabit the fields of Temesne, but the Zinhagians in the Lybian Wildernesses, (whereby it appears that in former times they all had their dwellings in the Plains) each favouring his own party, and imploy∣ing themselves in works necessary for humane subsistance. The Gover∣nours are Pastors, or Keepers of Cattel; but the Citizens apply themselves to Trading, the Mechanicks also follow Husbandry. Some Writers imagine that the Kings of Tombuto, Melli, and Agadez, are sprung from these Zin∣hagians.
The first Planters of the Eastern Desarts of Africa, are now term'd African Bereberes, descended from the Sabeans of Arabia Faelix, who came thither with their King Melek Ifiriqui, mentioned before: But those of Tingitana, Numi∣dia and Lybia, are call'd Bereberes Xilohes: when these people fell at variance, the Conqueror remaining Master of the Field and Cattel, forc'd the Van∣quished to secure themselves in the Mountains, or more populous Cities, who intermixing with the other Africans, came at last, as they, to dwell in Houses, and to be equally subject with them: Therefore those which live in * Tents, as the Arabians, are counted more noble, because more mighty, and richer in Cattel; yet both preserve their Pedigree and Descent, having their habitation in the strongest places of Barbary, Numidia and Lybia.
The Mukamudens hold four Provinces of Marocco in common with the Zene∣tans, with them residing in the Fields of Temesne, the utmost westerly part thereof. These are now a mean people, called Xavies: But others of them inhabiting part of the Great Atlas, bordering on this Kingdom, and Tremisen, are very valiant, maintaining continual Wars with the Turk: Another sort of them dwell in the Countreys of Constantine and Tunis; some in the Fields, like the Arabs, and a few dispersed in Houses and Towns.Page 26
The Haoranians are mixt with the Zenetans: The Zinhagians reside behind the Mountains of Barka unto Nefuca, and Gueneris: The Gumeranians possess the Lesser Atlas, where it extends towards the Midland-Sea, and along the bounds of Ceute, to the utmost part of Mauritania Tingitana, bordering on the Imperial Mauritania.
¶ THere are another people scattered over Barbary and Numidia,* for the most part Herdsmen: some so effeminate that they Spin and Weave, yet live very poorly in Mountainous Holes and Caves, Tributary to the Arabians. Others are War-like, and laborious, enjoying liberty, and not acknowledg∣ing any Superior. They claim as their chief Seat, the Provinces of Temesne and Fez: But those who inhabit that part of the Kingdom of Tunis adjacent to the Date-Countrey, are the most mighty and stout, having dared to engage in a War with the King of Tunis, Anno 1509. and gave Battel unto Mules Nacer Son of Mahomet, King thereof, endeavoring to subject them; who at this day bear Rule over the Kingdoms of Cauco and Labez.
The Zenegans, or Zanagans, the Guanesers, Tergers, Lempters, and Berdoans, all very poor and despicable, living without Order or Laws in Tents, and rove about with their Horses, like the Arabs through the Lybian Wildernesses.
Some of the Arabians in Africa are more Savage, wandring over the Moun∣tains, and through the Woods. Others dwell in Cities, and are called Hadares, that is, Courtiers; being indeed Merchants for the most part; the rest apply themselves to Study, or follow Princes Courts, and are counted less noble, because they mix their blood with others. Those which inhabit Fez, are intituled Garbes, that is, West-countrey-men; such as dwell Eastward, Xarquies, that is, * Easterlings; which made Diego de Torres divide the Countrey into Xar∣quia and Garbia: The Lybian Arabs are Savages, but stout and war-like, Tra∣ding with Merchandize upon Camels to the Negroes Countrey, and keeping many Barbary Horses, oft-times recreating themselves with hunting of Wilde Asses, Ostriches, and other Beasts: The Numidians are great friends of the Muses, * and highly pleas'd with Poetry, Poets naturally, being much addicted thereunto, having so rich fancy, that on all occasions they set forth their Passions and Love-fits in a smooth and elegant stile: They are also jealous, especially in bestowing their favours, lest they discover their wealth and abilities: The Men go apparelled as the Numidians, but the Women differ.
Those between Mount Atlas and the Mid-land Sea, are much wealthier than these of Numidia, both in sumptuousness of Apparel, richness of Tents, and abundance of Horse, which are handsomer, and more full and brawny than the former, but want much of their speed. Tillage and Cattel are their chief livelyhood, the later of which are so numerous, that they are often compell'd to remove and seek new Pastures: They are Savage like those of the Wilder∣ness; some living as Subjects to the King of Fez, but others in Marocco and Du∣cale, formerly free from Tolls and Taxes, till the King of Portugal began to conquer Asafi, Aza and Azamor, when after a civil War, and the miseries of its common Attendant, Famine; they freely submitted to the Portugueses.
They of the Wilderness about Telesin and Tunis, are rich and stately; their Rulers drawing great Sums of Money yearly from the Neighbour Kings, which is equally distributed among the people, who pride themselves in comely habits, being ingenious in making Tents, and Breaking or Riding Horses: Page 27In Summer they come to the very borders of Tunis, to gather Contributions; and in Harvest furnish themselves from other mens labours, with all Necessa∣ries, as Victuals, Clothing, and Arms, wherewith fully supplyed, they return to their old Winter Quarters; but the Spring they spend in Hunting: Their Tents abound with greater plenty of Cloth, Copper, Iron, and other Mettals, than the richest Ware-houses of some Cities; and no mar∣vel, for under the pretext of courtesie and civility, * they steal all they can lay hold on: They are also ingenious Poets, and the best of them, get not only praise, but according to their excellency, have rich rewards, and high honours from their Governours.
The Women, according to the custom of the Countrey, * wear black Gowns with wide Sleeves, cover'd somtimes with a mantle of the same colour, or blew, fastned about their Necks with Silver Clasps: their Ears, Fingers, Legs and Ancles, are adorn'd with Silver Rings: If any man, except their Kindred and intimate Acquaintance, meet them abroad, they cover their Faces with Vi∣zard Masks, and pass by in silence: In all their Journeyings (which are fre∣quent) the Women ride on Tin Saddles fastned to the Camels backs, big enough only for one; yea, and going to war, their Wives accompany them, the more to encourage them to fight for them and their Children.
The Maids Paint their Faces, Breasts, Arms and Hands; but the more noble Women content themselves with their own natural Colours and Com∣plexions; only somtimes out of Hens Dung and Saffron, they mix a Colour, wherewith they make a little round Beauty-spot in the Center of their Cheeks, a Triangle between their Brows, and an Olive-leaf, or long Oval, upon their knees: Their Poets and Amours so highly commend the painting of the Eye∣brows, that it is not used above two or three dayes together; in which time none but her Husband and Children may see her, because they account this painting a great incitation to Venus, as thereby supposing themselves much more beautiful and handsom.
¶ LEo writes that the Arabians of Barka between Barbary and Egypt,* live very miserably and poorly, which happens by reason of their want of Corn; * for there is not in all that Countrey a place fit for Tillage, or that produces ought save Dates, and those too but in a few Villages: wherefore though sometimes they Barter Camels and Cattel for Corn, yet cannot they purchase sufficient for so many people; whereupon the Parents are constrained to leave their Children to the Scicilian Merchants for a pawn or security of payment: And if according to the agreement, they break their day, the Sellers keep their Children for Slaves, whom if the fathers will redeem, they must render tre∣ble of the former debt: This misery makes them such barbarous and inhu∣mane Robbers and Murtherers, that no Merchants dare approach their Coasts, but rather choose to travel some hundreds of Miles about.
¶ PEter Dan in his Journey to Barbary, in the year 1633. * hath very exactly described the manners and life of these Arabians. * They utterly (saith he) abhor labour, glorying in a supine carelessness, and esteem no other people so happy, though themselves be the most despicable and wretched in the whole world; so priding in their pover∣ty, that they will scarce change their Hutts and Rags for the Palaces and Robes of the greatest Monarchs; They have no secure or setled place of abode, but rove up and down: where they stay for any short time, they pitch their Tents, or rather Huts, close together, Page 28but divided into several quarters: and this great Troop, or Company, they call Dovar; each single Tent they stile Barraque: Here they lye upon the ground intermixed with their Cattel; the Barraques seem like Pavilions, underprop'd with two great Poles, the Door made of branches of Trees, and a place in the middle like a void Court.
The Men wear about their heads a kinde of Shash, * hanging down part before, and part behinde: They use no Linnen nor other Clothing for their Bodies, save only a remnant of four or five yards of Cloth, wherein they wrap themselves, casting it over the Shoulder and under the Arms, bare-footed, and bare-leg'd.
The Women wear a piece of Cloth hanging from the Breasts down to the Knees, * the rest naked: They tye up their Hair, adorning it with Fishes∣teeth, and some small pieces of Coral, or Glass, over which they lightly cast a fine Hair-cloth, or Lawn, to appear the fairer. They pounce their Foreheads, Cheeks, Thumbs, and Calves of their Legs, making various marks with the point of a needle, wherein they strow a black Powder to make them the more visible, and continuing; and in stead of more costly Jewels, Wear wooden Rings.
Their Kitchen-Furniture consists in one or two earthen Pots: their daily food is Rice, * Cakes, and Cuscous, with a little Drink and Milk: they drink fair water, wash their right hands, but never any part else; using nei∣ther Cups or Napkins, but squat crosse-leg'd on the ground on a Mat made of Date-leaves: Each Houshold carries with it a * Mill to Grind Corn, made of two stones lay'd one upon another, which they turn about with a stick: Every day they bake Bread in great flat Loaves under the Embers, and eat it hot. They are strangers to riot and luxurious feeding, never tasting of two several Dishes at one Meal; which admirable temperance may be the cause of their so constant health, * and freedom from the Gout, Stone, and all other like Distempers, usually living eighty years, and upwards.
They greatly delight when they come into Cities, to be presented with Oyl and Vinegar in a Dish, and warm Bread, which broken in small pieces, they dip therein and eat.
Each wandring Company chooses a Captain, * his Barraque or Tent stands in the midst of the Dovar, where he takes care of all things conducing to their preservation. Their Arms are a Half-pike or Javelin, they call it Agay, or Azagay; and use it with such dexterity and strength, that they can certainly hit a man, and wound him dangerously at a very great distance: They use besides a broad Dagger, which they wear in a sheath on their right Arm near the Elbow, for the more ready service: They are so skilful and active Horse∣men, * that whatever they let fall, they can take up again, their Horses running in careere at full speed.
Upon any Visit, * if they be equals, they salute one another upon the Cheek at first meeting, but if a Commander, or Marabou, visit them, they kiss their hands with great respect and reverence: After salutes, they civily enquire of the health and welfare, not onely of their Wives, Children, and Relations; but also Horses, Cattel, and Hens; nay more, strangely inquisitive how their Dogs and Cats do, as a more concern'd Domestick; for their Dogs are highly esteemed, not as their Play-fellows, nor Ladies Foisting-hounds; but as faithful Warders, and a Watch against the incursions of the subtile Fox, preventing all Assaults and Plots upon his Masters Poultry, and also giving no∣tice Page 29of a more dreadful Enemy the Lyon, by their loud and continual barking. But the great estimation they set on their Cats, is not onely that they pre∣serve Victuals from the plundering Rat and Mouse, where ever seizing of them, but their persons from the deadly tooth of the Viper, which there abounds.
¶ THeir Marriages are thus celebrated: * The Wooer furnish'd by his father with a certain number of Oxen and Cows, wherein their wealth consists; drives them to his intended Father-in-laws residence, who immediatly acquaints his Daughter that such a man must be her Husband: Whereupon putting on a White Garment, she waits till he comes to visit her in the Tent, where the onely Complement is to tell her how much he lov'd her, by declaring how dear she cost him, whereto a customary reply is made, that a discreet and vertuous Wife cannot truly be valu'd at any price: After this first interview, she remains for a while * veyl'd in her Fathers Tent, and there visited by all the Maids of the Dovar; which done, she mounts on Horseback, attended by the same Visitants, with great shouting and joy, till arriv'd at her Bridegrooms Tent, where expected by many Women, with his Mother and Friends: At the Bridegrooms approach, they offer him drink, wherein is sopt a piece of the Tent wood, with loud acclamation, wishing happiness to the new Mar∣ried Couple: and that the great God would so bless their Marriage, that their Cattel might encrease, and Milk flow to the top of the Pavilion: When they alight, they give the Bride a sharpned Wand, which she sticks into the ground, to intimate that as that cannot come out of the earth unless forc'd, so a woman must not forsake her Husband, unless by Divorce, or driven away: These Ceremonies perform'd, they set her to keep the Herds and Flocks, signifying that from thenceforth she must lay her hands to work, and take care about Houshold-affairs: After her Marriage, she wears a Mask for a Moneth, not stirring abroad.
When one dyes, the Wife or next Neighbour goes out of the Tent, * howl∣ing in a strange manner with a loud cry, or Ou-la-loo; by which Sum∣mons the Women start out from their Tents, and joyning their sad notes, make a hideous and doleful harmony: others mean while repeating as it were in a Song, his Eulogies, chanting forth his Praises and Vertues, till at last they bring him to the Grave, according to the custom of the Mahumetans.
They are so much addicted to Robbery and Theft, that their very name Arab, signifies a Theif: for where the Prophet Jeremy saith, Like a Thief in the Wilderness; St. Jerome saith, like an Arab in the Wilderness.
¶ THe Xilohes and Bereberes, as Marmol says, * at this day write and speak all one Tongue, which is called Quellem Abimalick; that is, the speech of Abimalick, who was accounted the Inventer of the Arabick letters: But besides this, they use also the African speech, very much different from the other, and mixt with many Arabian words: Africanus says, the five white People of Africa use this Speech, which he calls Aquel Marik, that is, a noble Speech; This last is di∣vided into three several Dialects; the Tamazegtans using one; the Xilhans ano∣ther, and the Zenetans a third; each varying from other onely in some words, and holding affinity with the Arabick.
The Gumerians and Haoranians, who live on the lesser Atlas, and all the In∣habitants of the Cities on the Coast of Barbary between the greater Atlas and the Midland-Sea, use the Morisk Tongue: But in the City of Marocco and all its Provinces, the Numidians, Getulians, and Western part of Africa, speak the Page 30antient African, known by the two old names of Xilha and Tamazegt. Others residing Eastward, bordering Tunis, and extending beyond Tripoly to the Desarts of Barka, speak a broken Arabick; Such as live in Dovars, or in houses, mingle the Zenetan Tongue with corrupt Arabick: so that few people in Afri∣ca speak pure and true Arabick,* but use generally in their writings the Abi∣malik Tongue: some have observed, that in the Cities on the Coasts of Barbary the Citizens speak Arabick, but base and corrupt. The Peasants use the African Tongue: But the common Edicts, Commands, Lawes, and Contracts, yea and their very Proverbs, are written in pure Arabick.
The Azengians and other Mahumetans mingle their speech with Arabick and Barbary words: * the speech of Gelofe, Geneba, Tombuto, Meli, Gago, and Galata, they call Zungay: that of Guber, Cano, Queseve, Perzegreg, and Guangray, Guber; which the people of Borno and Gouga imitate; whereas in the Kingdom of Nubia, they have a Dialect different from all the former; these Countreys lye upon the River Niger: In the more Southern, the Languages are as various and differing, the principal are Zinch, and Habex, which last the Abyssines use: In some of these parts the people are so sullen and brutishly inclined, that they will neither speak, be sociable, nor appear to any; and in case one of them be taken, he will rather starve to death, than open his mouth and speak.
Eminent Arabian Historiographers affirm, that when the Government of Barbary (the choicest part of Africk) became subject to the Mahumetans, the African and Roman Letters were the same, and were used commonly in Wri∣ting: so that all their *Arrian Histories are Translated out of Latine, and abridged with the Names of Princes and Commanders, according to the Reigns of the Persian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Israelitish, and Roman Kings. But the Schismatical Caliphs who conquered Africa, raging with malice, destroyed all those Books of Histories and Sciences, permitting no other to be read, than those of their own Sect. And the beforementioned Writer Ibnu Alraquiq sets forth, that the Romans after their Conquest, destroy'd all the ancient Records and African Books, * introducing in place thereof their own name, which in small time so prevail'd with a shining lustre, that their honour and glory alone remain'd, and the African Letters so totally blotted out, that without any glimmering thereof, they now write all in Arabick.
¶ JOhn Leo saith, * that the Africans are well skill'd in Astronomy, and other Sciences, and that they have some skill in Architecture and Husbandry: which knowledge they first learn't out of Latine-writers, as appears not onely in that they order their Moneths by Ides and Calends, as the Latines; but that they have likewise a great Book in three Volumes, Entituled, The Treasury of Husbandry, which in the time of Mansor Lord of Granado, was translated out of Latine into Arabick, wherein are contained the rules of Tillage and Husban∣dry, the alteration of the Seasons, manner of Sowing, with many the like singularities: Insomuch that in former times these parts produced divers in∣genious and great Wits, * such as the Comedian Terence, and some Fathers and Doctors of the Christian Church: And others whose valour was not inferiour to the greatest, who by an incredible courage maintain'd their liberty against the most magnanimous of the Romans; although the present Inhabitants by a sad change, are so degenerated from that glory of their Ancestors, that they are esteemed the absurdest and most despicable Clowns in the Universe.Page 31
The African and Arabian Mahumetans reckon by the Moon, allowing to the year but three hundred fifty four days, every year shorter by eleven days than our European Account, giving six moneths thirty days, and to the other six twenty nine.
¶ AS Africa is thus blest with the extraordinary production of Cattel and Corn, * so the infertility of the Desarts is in many places recompenc'd by rich Mines of Gold and Silver. Guinee, Sofale, Gago, Nubia, and divers other contain such Mines of Gold; as, Angola, Monomotapa, and other King∣doms produce excellent Silver, not without some Gold; the Kingdom of Neguz is rich in many sorts of Merchandise; the Coasts of Barbary inhabited by the Turks, yields Corral, which they dive for, growing upon Rocks under water; and Tombuto affords the finest Gold, and other precious Rarities; so that Africa is not to be esteemed the least or meanest part of the World.
If the Valor of the Inhabitants did but equal their number, * the united Forces of the rest of the World could little prejudice them; so numerous are the Armies alone of the King of Marocco and Fez; besides those of the Ara∣bians, the bands of the Turks in the Kingdoms of Tunis, Algiers, Tripoly, and Egypt, the usual Army of the King of Neguz, and the incredible numbers of the King of Angola, seeming sufficient to make Africa invincible, if they were hardy and couragious, and trained up to the use of Arms. It remains then that we touch thereupon, and their manner of making war.
The Arabians of Marocco and Fez use Lances or Sagayes, Shields, * Brest∣plates and Helmets: Their Swords generally they have from Europe, and are much esteemed by them for the hardness of their Steel and excellent tem∣per. They are, according to their manner of Riding, most expert Horse∣men, casting their Javelins (whereof some carry six or seven) very swiftly one after another, and aiming exactly at great distance; All manner of Fire-Arms, whether for Horse, or Foot, or Field-Carriages, Cannon, great or small, wanting experience hitherto, they are not skilful in: They ride with tuck'd up Stirrops, that their heels almost kiss the Skirts of their Saddles, and in Fight cast off suddenly their loose upper Garment, or Man∣dilion, to ease their Horses, and make themselves free and loose for the Battel.
Those that inhabit Westward, near Tremesen, and the Wildernesses of Barka, carry sharp, long-pointed iron Javelins, which they cast here and there, forwards, backwards, and on every side at their Enemies, that like the antient Parthians, they do greater execution in flight, than charging in Battel; yea, some of them are so hardy, that one of them so mounted will engage their single person some∣times against a dozen of their opposers: They use no Shields, nor other de∣fensive Arms; some few have Bowes; fewer Gunnes, which they onely carry to terrifie the Wilde Arabs, who fly from the report, as Wilde-fowl, not onely fearing, but abominating so base and treacherous an Engine that surprizes at such distance, and kills before warning, the sound not being heard till execution.
All their Wars hitherto have been managed on Horse-back, yet lately those of Tremesen have some Musketiers, but they use neither Ranks nor Files, but fall on in disordered Plumps, so many crowded together, and throng'd up in a narrow circle: And if assaulted, dissipate immediately, endeavoring to break through the Ranks, or else making huge gaps, force their passage to escape by flight, or in so doing break through the imbodied Enemy.Page 32
¶ SOme parts of Africa are govern'd by Emperors and Kings, * others by Vice-Roys, and elsewhere by Xeques, that is, Commanders, onely those of Bravas have moulded themselves into the form of a Republick, while ano∣ther sort live without Governors and Laws, like Vagrant Rogues, roving about and robbing their Neighbours.
Barbary, (which was chiefly known to the Antients) was at first subject to several Princes, and after the destruction of Carthage, and other African Kings, fell under the command of the Romans, who planted these fruitful parts with their Colonies, and govern'd them a long time by Sub-Consuls, till the Vandals under the conduct of their King Genseric, with an Army of twenty four thousand men, in Anno 427. became Masters thereof. In possession of which they continued one hundred and eight years: But Carthage in the year 553. was re-conquered by Bellizarius, the Emperor Justinian's General, and their King Gelemer taken Prisoner: by which Victorious proceedings, Africa was a Province of the Greek Empire, who sent thither Annual Governors.
The Greeks maintained their Conquests till the year 663. when the Ara∣bians invaded the Countrey, and subdued part thereof in the Reign of Ottoman the first King of the Turks, under the command of their Generall, Occuba Ben Nasick, with an Army of twenty four thousand men; with which, having worsted the Greeks in divers Battels, he built the City Cairaven, since corrupt∣ed to Carvan or Cairvan, thirty Miles Eastward of Tunis. Most of the Arabians, (say the African Historians) returned home laden with rich Booties, but they which remain'd in Barbary built more Towns, mixing themselves with the Africans of Zinhagia, Barvata, and Zenega, commonly call'd Berberes, and by continual conversation speaking *Italian or corrupt Latine, forgot the Arabick, their Native Tongue.
¶ ANd here we may observe, * that when Barbary was under the Arabians, (and the family of Iris, who built the City of Fez, ruled over both the Mauri∣tania's, and the Abdarhamans at Cordova) one family of the Zenetans, call'd Mequinecers obtain'd the Government: After that the Magaroanians of Biledulgerid drove out the Abdarhamans, and won many places from them, and also the Maquenetians out of Barbary; but themselves were soon expelled by other Africans of Zinhagia (by some call'd Lumptunas, by others Almoravidians and Morabitines) who were the first that embraced the Mahumetan Sect, in the Reign of Hexin, son of Abdul∣malik: yet did it not prevaile to quiet their possession long, for a Mahumetun nam'd Mehedi, made War upon them, under the favour of the African Hargia's (a branch of the people of Mukamuda) and his Successors became in time Lords of all Africa by the name of Movaledines, from the Doctrine of Mohavedin, that is, The Law of the Writers: Against these the Benenerins arose and expelled them, but were shortly themselves subdued by another people, call'd Beni-Oataz, who last of all were bereft of the Government by the Xeriffes, or Cheriffs: All these together with the Kings of Tunis and Tremisen, and all the Kings of Africa who have reigned since the fall of the Arabians, are issued out from these five people.
¶ THe Africans were in former times great Idolaters, * worshipping the Sun and Fire, as the Persians, erecting stately Temples to the honour of both, and therein preserving a never-dying flame, as the Vestals did at Rome, by con∣stant Vigils. In this blind Superstition they remained to the year 349. when they embraced Christianity, though some soon after fell into the Manichaean He∣resie. Page 33The Numidians, Getulians and Lybians worship'd the Planets: * The lower Ethiopians, some ador'd the Sun, others the Moon, others the Stars, Water, Fire, and many things besides. Nay, so did superstitious folly lead some, that they worship'd whatever living Creature met them at their first going abroad. They of Upper Ethiopia by a natural instinct, honor'd Guigim, that is, the * Lord of Heaven: Afterwards, as themselves report, they became Jewish Proselites by means of the Queen *Saba, or Maqueda, who having heard of Solo∣mon's great Wisdom, travel'd thither, and received from him Moses Law, with the Books of the Prophets: But in the year 1067, Yahaia the Son of Abu∣bequer coming into Negroland and Lower Ethiopia, some of the Mahumetan Priests insinuated into the minds of the simple people, notions of their false Doctrine, (which suddenly rooted and spread like an infectious Disease, not onely into Egypt, but over the Mid-land Sea into Spain) thence coming off Victorious.
¶ BUt the Africans having embraced Christianity, * as we said before in the year 349. continued therein, by reason that in those parts which now make the kingdoms of Tunis and Tripoli, at that time divers Christian Princes (most of them Arrians) flying from the rage of the Gothes (who harras'd Italy) took up their residence about Carthage, with whom, the Arabians (invading Barbary) waged War a long time, until after various Successes, and tyred out, some went for Spain, and others for Italy. As an apparent Testimony, how well Christian Religion had thriven and improved here, it is * recorded, that in Carthage seven Ecclesiastical Councels have been held; in one of which, viz. that Anno 1411. there assembled two hundred eighty six Orthodox Prelates, besides a hundred and twenty more summon'd, that were absent; Nor was this all, it having produced many excellent and famous Fathers, such were Tertullian, Cy∣prian, Fulgentius, Pope Gelasius the first, Arnogeus, with divers others; but above all, the incomparable St. Augustine.
They of Upper Ethiopia yet remain Christians, though tainted with many Jewish Superstitions, by the residence of some few Jews among them: but the Nether Ethiopians continue all in their Idolatry, onely here and there some few, since the Voyages of the Portugues into those parts, have received the Gospel.
At this day Africa is possess'd by five sorts of Religions, viz. Christians, * Jews, Caffers, Idolaters, and Mahumetans. The Christians in Africa are partly Strangers, and partly Natives, whereof some Slaves to the Turks and Barbarians; others are free people: Of these again, some are Or∣thodox (as to Fundamentals) such are they under the Government of the King of Spain, the Venetians, English, Netherlanders, and Genoese, &c. Others Hete∣rodox, Superstitious and Schismatical, as in Prester John's Countrey, and some part of Negro-land; Others live here and there scatter'd, as the Armenians, Maronists, Georgians, Thomists, and Grecians: the first acknowledge the Patri∣arch of Alexandria; the last the Patriarch of Constantinople; and the rest have their own peculiar Prelates.
Here likewise on the Sea-coast several sorts of people at certain seasons of the year, assemble to Negotiate and Trade with the English, Hollanders, French, * Danes, &c. who make constant and frequent Voyages over the whole Coast of Barbary along the Mediterranean Sea, unto the Streights of Gibraltar, and from thence to Cape de Verd, and the Cape of Good Hope: the two first of whom have rais'd Forts and Fortresses in divers places on the Coast of Guinee, to secure and confirm their Trade.Page 34
Many Jews also are scatter'd over this Region; * some Natives, boasting themselves of Abrahams seed, inhabiting both sides the River Niger: Others are Asian Strangers, who fled thither either from the desolation of Jerusalem by Vespa∣sian; or from Judea wasted and depopulated by the Romans, Persians, Saracens, and Christians: Or else such as came out of Europe, whence they were banish'd, viz. Out of some parts of Italy in the year 1342. Out of Spain in the year 1462. Out of the Low-Countreys in 1350. Out of France in 1403. Out of England in 1422. These all differ in habit, and are divided into several Tribes, having no Dominion, though both wealthy and numerous, but despised of all Na∣tions, and so abominated by the Turks, that they are not admitted to be Mahumetans, unless first Baptized: And then no otherwise made use of, than to receive their Customes, and gather in their Taxes.
The Caffers, or Libertines, who hold many Atheistical Tenets, live together promiscuously without Ceremonies, like our Familists* or Adamites, follow∣ing their sensuality and unbridled lust, inhabiting from Mosambique to the Cape of Good Hope.
The Idolaters are numerous in Negro-land, Upper and Lower Ethiopia, and towards the great Ocean, except, as we hinted before, some few, who by the industry of the Portugueses and Spamards, have been converted and baptized in several places.
The Mahumetans possess at this present a great part of Africa; arriving there from Asia and Arabia; of whom, we will a little enlarge.
Some of them are Non-conformists, living uncontrouled and without Laws, nor acknowledging any Principality, having their Meeting-places in the Wildernesses of Lybia, Barka, and Biledulgerid: Those of Marocco, Fez, and some Ethiopian people, have their Kings; whereas the Inhabitants of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Egypt, are govern'd by Deputies and Lieutenants, that is, Turkish Bassa's.
¶ MAhomet was born, * as most Authors hold, in the Reign of the Emperor Mauritius, Anno Christi 592. (though some would have it eleven years sooner, others sixteen years later) at a mean Village in Arabia call'd Itrapea: his Father an Ishmaelite, Abdellas; his Mother, a Jewess, by name Cadiges; different you see both in Nation and Religion: They say he was twenty three years in brooding of his Monstrous Issue, the Alcoran, dying in the Emperor Constantius his time in 655. at the Age of sixty three years, though some stick not to say he poyson'd himself in the thirty fourth year of his age.
The chiefest cause how this accursed Doctrine hath so prosper'd, * and from all others drawn Proselites to it, may be, for that it is a subtile compound of several Religions, tolerating pleasures, and not obliging its followers by rea∣son, but faith: so wheedling both the Jew, Gentile, and Christian; first the Jews it draws in by the acknowledging of onely one God, affirming Adam to be the first man, and Abraham and Moses to be Prophets, commanding Circumci∣sion, Offerings, and the Feast of the Passeover, also forbidding Swines flesh, and abolishing of Images. The Gentiles are not diffident to own it, because they observe them adore towards the Sun rising, admit Polygamy, and some of their Superstitions. Christians are inveigled by the great respect they give our Saviour, the Virgin Mary, and some of the Apostles, that they fast, acknowledge God the Father, and have great veneration for the Holy Ghost, and many other the like Tenets. These indeed are causes, but the main concern is fear, or the terror of falling into slavery, under the insup∣portable Page [unnumbered]Page [unnumbered]
¶ THe Mahumetans have divers Sects, * the first follow the Alcoran in the literal sense: of this Sect are many Marabouts among the Arabians. The second follow Elhesibnu Abilhazen, born in the City of Bafra, and the Father of it, eighty years after Mahomet's Decease; he left no book behind him, but taught his Disciples certain Rules and Commands, which Mahomet never prescribed, which after was carry'd down to Posterity by Tradition: They are numerous in Egypt and Cyrene, where they usually spend their time in Poesie, Dancing, glad Acclamations, singing Love-Songs, and the like: The third Sect, had for Founder, one Elhari Ibnu Esed, born at Bagadat a hundred years after the former: he left his Disciples some Books, but the whole Fraternity was shortly after condemned by the Mufti and whole Divan of their Doctors; yet after eighty years it revived again, under another famous Teacher, whose fortune no better than the former, he and his followers were condemned to death; but upon better defence of their Doctrine they were released, and since that continued a hundred years, until Maliksach, of the Turkish race, descending from the greater Asia, banish'd all of this opinion; whereupon some fled to Cairo, and the rest sheltred in Arabia: Under this cloud they continued near twenty years, to the Reign of Kaselsah, Nephew of Maliksach, when Nidan Elmule one of his Councel, and a man of a daring Spirit, much enclining to this Doctrine, so restor'd it with the help of one Elgazulli (who wrote divers learned Exposi∣tions thereon) that he reconciled the Doctors aforesaid to them of this Sect, on condition that the Doctors should be stiled The Preservers of Mahomet's Law, and these his Disciples, The Correctors of it. This Agreement lasted till the ruine of Bagadat by the Tartars; since which they have dispers'd themselves almost over all Asia and Africa, accounting all other Mahu∣metans, Hereticks, while themselves by the vulgar are reputed Saints, though guilty of all manner of impieties: They Elect one High-Priest, whom they name Eloth.
There are many other Mahumetan Sects, as the Cabalists, Sanaquites, &c. * amounting in all to seventy two. By some all these are reduced to two: viz. that of Lashari, spreading over all Africa, Egypt, Syria, Arabia, and Turky: And that of Imamie embraced over all Persia, and in the City of Corazan.
These two Sects differ in many points, for the Arabian Lashari maintain, that God is Author of good and evil: But the Persian Imamie say, he is onely Author of good: The Persians hold God onely to be Eternal; but the Turks say, the Law is so also: The Persians believe, the Souls in bliss see not God but in his works; whereas the Turks affirm, he shall be visible in his * Essence. The Persians allow, when Mahomet received the Alcoran, his Soul was carried by the Angel Gabriel into Gods presence: But the Turks, that his Soul and Body were both so carried. The Persians pray but thrice a day: The Arabians five times, besides many other differences about the interpretation of the Page 36Alcoran, as may be read in Camerarius, Bovius, and others; which for brevity we omit.
What Mahomet contrived designing his Foundation for this (as they call it) his Law, appears in the Alcoran, wherein speaking of Christ, the Virgin Mary, the Gospel, and himself, he says; That God, Jesus, and Mary, wrought Miracles before men. And in another place; The Word of God, Christ Jesus, the Son of Mary, was sent by the Creator of the World, to be the face of all people in this, and the Ages to come. Elsewhere he confesses, That Christ is the power of God, the Word, Wisdom, Soul, Breath, and Heart of God, born by a Divine inspiration of the Virgin Mary, that he raised the Dead to life, made the Blind to see, the Lame to go, and wrought many other miracles. That he was more excellent than all the Prophets, and that the Jews had no more Prophets after him. He prefers Jesus before all men and Prophets, and Mary above all Women; but averreth withall, that the * Traitor Judas was Crucified in stead of Christ, being changed into his likeness, and apprehended in his likeness in the Garden. Speaking of himself in the Alcoran, he useth these words, That he did no miracle, nor should; that he was ignorant of most things; that he was a meer man, though sent and inspired by God, and could not forgive sins. He forbad people to worship him; confessing that the truth of some things ex∣tant in his Books may be doubted. He acknowledges the power of the Gospel, in that he calls in a Light, a Guide, and Perfection; And much diminished the Authority of his Alcoran, in saying, Every one that worshippeth the true God, and liveth honestly and uprightly, be he Jew, Christian, or Saracen, shall obtain mercy and salvation. His Disciples believe the Creation of the World, that Adam was made of earth, all the Hebrew Histories, and Christs Doctrine in part; They acknowledge a Resurrection of the Dead, the last Judgment, Rewards, and eternal Punishment in Hell; and that Christ shall sit next to God in judgment, which are points so seemingly consonant to the truth, that weak Christians mistaking those general notions, think it no great error to submit to it; but all those fair shews and formal species are quickly overthrown and dash't to pieces by Mahomet's assuming too much to himself, where he saith that Christ had profit by him in these words; I declare unto you from the Messenger of God who shall come after me, whose name is Mahomet, that is written from eternity, in the sight of Gods Throne, on his right hand: 'Tis true, he commends Moses highly, and owns Christ greater than Moses, but himself the greatest of all. He further adds, that the Christians have corrupted the Gospel, and the Jews the Law of Moses; But yet both together makes up the same, and as much truth as is in his Alcoran. That he was sent and directed by God, to settle his Law by force of Arms, but Christ in the power of Miracles.
At eight years of age, * the time of their Circumcision, the Children ride to the Mosque with a Turbant on their heads, and a Torch carried on a Spear before them. After the Circumcision, the Child by the Priests direction saith aloud, La Illah Illella Muhemet re sul Allah, that is, God is one God, and Mahomet his Prophet; and so after some Prayers and Offerings, returns.
The Mahumetan Law contains eight Commandments; The first com∣mands to acknowledge one onely God, and but one Prophet. The second contains the Duty of Children to their Parents. The third, the love of Neigh∣bors one towards another. The fourth, the times of their Sala, or Prayer in the Mosque. The fifth, their annual Fasts, by all to be observed thirty days. The sixth, the love and alms to the Poor. The seventh, of Matrimony. And the eighth, against Murther.Page 37
A Paradise of all pleasures is promi'sd to the observers of these commands; but for the Offenders a Hell with seven gates is prepared, wherein they shall eat and drink liquid Fire, be laden with Chains, and punish'd with hot seething Water.
The grounds or rise of Mahomet's promised sensual Paradice, first appears in Homer, which he makes no more but a shady place of quiet retirement; con∣cerning which, Ulysses congratulating Achilles, seeming to him as great a Prince there, as when alive, and the primest Heroe in the Grecian Camp, he much con∣trary to his expectation thus answers:
But Virgil raises his Elizium to a higher pitch, giving them pleasant slowry walks, and shadows of Fruit Trees for delight, passing their time in Singing, Dancing, Wrastling, and such like Entertainments. For which take a part of himself thus described.
But Tibullus drove it up almost to this our Mahomet's height, * of which he thus says▪
These amorous encounters being the top of his Paradise, Mahomet by the help of Sergius an Apostate Monk, imping the Poets fancies, introduced as the greatest of all allurements, setting forth Beauties most admir'd by the Asiaticks with full and black Eyes, who shall alone regard their particular Lovers, not such as have lived in this world, but created of purpose, which daily shall have their lost Virginities restored, ever young and Feasting with all variety of Delicacies.
They have three sorts of Marabouts or Saints; The first affirming; that a man by good works and fasting, and abstinence from Meat, may attain the nature of an Angel; the heart by these Duties, say they, being so cleansed from all infection of evil, that although it would, it can sin no more, and that to attain happiness, they must ascend by the steps of fifty Sciences. They live very strictly at first, and torment themselves with fasting, keeping a long Page 38Lent; after which the Scene changing, their abstinence and mourning turns to all Feast and Merriment, and their whole life is a continual * Carneval, which they spend in Maskings, and Serenaids, and all manner of dissolute and intoxicated pleasures; whereof four Books are written by Eseb-ravardi Schra∣varden Sein, a Learned man born in the City of Corasan. Ibnul Farid, another Author, hath described their whole Religion in a Poetick stile; upon which one Elfargari made an Exposition, collecting the Rules of the Sect, and disco∣vering the steps to attain happiness. These Verses are made in so sweet and elegant a stile, that they will sing no other at their publick Feasts and Merry∣meetings; Some of their Tenets are as follow, viz. That the Heavens, Planets, and fixt Stars, are holy; that no Law or Religion is erroneous, every one being at liberty, to pray to what his mind is most enclined to; That all knowledge of God was infused into the first man, whom they name Elchot; and that man elected by God, is made like him in knowledge. After this Elchot's death, forty men called Elanted, that is, the Heads or Chief, choose another out of their own number, and when any of these forty happen'd to dye, then they choose another out of the number of seven hundred sixty five. These Vagabond Sectaries are by certain rules of their order to go alwayes unknown, in poor and despicable rayment, so that whoever sees them, would judge them to be Mad-men, and void of all honesty and humanity, rather than Marabouts or Saints; for they run naked and wilde all over Africa, and force Women pub∣lickly (as beasts) without modesty or shame. Leo saith, that many of them are in Tunis, but more in Egypt at Alcair, where I (saith he) upon the Market-place Bain Elkasraim, saw a Matron-like Woman coming out of a Bath, Ravish'd by one of these Fanaticks, in the presence of many people, who thereupon ran in great numbers to touch her Garment, as a Holy thing; and the Womans Husband with silence, manifested his thankfulness towards the Ravisher, by a great Feast, and liberal Gifts.
The second sort called Cabalists, fast very severely, eat not the flesh of any living creature, but have a peculiar Dyet and Clothing. They have Set-Prayers for every hour of the day and night, according to the diversity of the Days and Moneths; and wear small square Tablets Engraven with Chara∣cters and Figures. They feign daily to converse and discourse with Angels, who, as they say, teach them the knowledge of all things. Their chiefest Teacher was one Boni, who set them Rules, and invented those Prayers and Tablets. Their Rule is divided into eight parts, the first whereof is call'd Elumha Ennonaritae, that is, the Demonstration of Light, containing their Prayers and Fast-dayes. The second, Semsul Meharif, the Sun of Sciences, wherein are the aforesaid square Tablets, with their use and advantages. The third, Lesme Elchufne, and in it a Table of the Ninety nine Vertues, which, as they conceive, are comprehended in the name of God; each other part of the eight having a particular name, and matter whereof it treateth.
The third sort termed Sunachites, reside in the Wildernesses like Hermits, living onely upon Herbage, and Leaves. They have a little smatch of Idolatry and Gentilism, using no Circumcision till the thirtieth year; yet they Baptize in the Name of the living God; so that they have a smack both of Christianity, Judaism, and Gentilism.
Thus far of Africa in general; we will now descend to particulars, be∣ginning first with Egypt, having obtain'd the pre-eminence and place, both from Antient and Modern Writers; and also being so often mentioned in Sacred Scripture.