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A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Jerome Lobo

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pleased with the design of sending a fleet into that sea, and, to
give a greater reputation to the enterprise, proposed making his son
commander-in-chief, but could by no means be brought to think of
fixing garrisons and building fortresses there; all he intended was
to plunder all they could, and lay the towns in ashes.

I left no art of persuasion untried to convince him that such a
resolution would injure the interests of Christianity, that to enter
the Red Sea only to ravage the coasts would so enrage the Turks that
they would certainly massacre all the Christian captives, and for
ever shut the passage into Abyssinia, and hinder all communication
with that empire. It was my opinion that the Portuguese should
first establish themselves at Mazna, and that a hundred of them
would be sufficient to keep the fort that should be built. He made
an offer of only fifty, and proposed that we should collect those
few Portuguese who were scattered over Abyssinia. These measures I
could not approve.

At length, when it appeared that the viceroy had neither forces nor
authority sufficient for this undertaking, it was agreed that I
should go immediately into Europe, and represent at Rome and Madrid
the miserable condition of the missions of Abyssinia. The viceroy
promised that if I could procure any assistance, he would command in
person the fleet and forces raised for the expedition, assuring that
he thought he could not employ his life better than in a war so
holy, and of so great an importance, to the propagation of the
Catholic faith.

Encouraged by this discourse of the viceroy, I immediately prepared
myself for a voyage to Lisbon, not doubting to obtain upon the least
solicitation everything that was necessary to re-establish our

Never had any man a voyage so troublesome as mine, or interrupted
with such variety of unhappy accidents; I was shipwrecked on the
coast of Natal, I was taken by the Hollanders, and it is not easy to
mention the danger which I was exposed to both by land and sea
before I arrived at Portugal.

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