chapter  XI
Pages 11

THE Abyssinians, as a nation, are a strong, robust, and wiry race. Accustomed from early childhood to simple diet and constant exposure to the open air, their system becomes inured to privations, and impervious to the various ills which afflict humanity in a more artificial state of society. The most prevalent diseases are fever and dysentery, but these seldom assume the malignant character they exhibit in the " !colla" or low countries. Leprosy, scrofula and scorbutic affections, which hasten hundreds and thousands to premature decay and death, cannot be regarded as indigenous to the climate, since they are either the cruel legacy of dissolute parents, or the natural consequence of filthy habits and a vicious course of life. The disease, which may justly be styled national, is the '<Teenia,' or tape-worm. This complaint, from which scarcely one in a hundred is exempt, has hitherto baffled philosophical inquiry and ingenious speculation. The theory that assigns its probable cause to a too liberal indulgence in the

use of raw meat is contradicted by the natives, who allege that its cause must be in the water and air, as otherwise numbers of herbivorous animals would not be exposed to its attacks. Happily I escaped this national scourge, and can, therefore, offer no experimental opinion on the disputed question; but I am inclined to believe that broundo, cayenne pepper sauce, tedge and dallah, are far more to blame for it than the murmuring rivulet and the soft cool breeze. Nature has kindly provided various remedies against this loathsome disease. A small grain, called "Inquoquo," was found to be all infallible antidote by the agents of Bishop Gobat , but the natives, with perverse obstinacy, consider the temporary relief effected every two rnonths by a potent dose of kosso more conducive to health than an effectual and radical cure.