chapter  XIII
Pages 10

THE general anxiety to reach Gondar-thc capital of Abyssinia, and the loadstone of the natives-before evening, imparted fresh strength and elasticity to our footsore people, and they bounded along at a rate that would have entitled them to the prize had they been running a race. A brisk march of several hours brought us to Magatclt, which is spanned by a bridge of five arches. There we met a good number of people who were on their way to the market of the metropolis. The commodities which they had for sale or barter were of the rnost motley character conceivable. Here was a Ulan sweating under a heavy bag of teff , and, a little further on, walked a woman carefully supporting on her elaborately-curled head a crushing !Jumbo of honey. Now passed a whole group charged with garlic and onions, chilies and pepper; in a few minutes more came a procession of donkeys, almost smothered beneath bulky and shapeless bales of lowland cotton; and anon, the rugged aud steep highway was blocked up by droves of oxen and cows, destined to furnish brounao joints to the inhabitants

of the royal city. 'I'he peripatetic speculators in the animal and vegetable creation of Ethiopia gazed at us in wondering surprise, and, for the nonce, business was merged in the conjectures excited by the visit of the strangers. They were all exceedingly civil to us, and we passed without inconvenience through the steaming and gaping crowd.