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builders of Babel. The very dogs could not understand English: if I said “poor fellow,” the four legged Spaniard growled at me; if I whistled, even that was a foreign language, and I was obliged to address the cat in Spanish, for Miz knew not the meaning of Puss. I now can read the two languages with ease, and call for the common necessaries; all beyond this is of little consequence to me: but I have learnt to converse with the cats and dogs, always my favourite companions, for I love the honesty of the one and the independence of the other.
• This country is supplied with corn from Barbary; and that at so low a rate, that the farmers do not find it worth their while to bring their grain to market. I am informed that the harvest of last year is not yet begun upon. They cannot grind the Barbary corn in England: it is extremely hard, and the force and velocity of English mills reduce the husk as well as the grain to powder. They apprehended that the fault lay in the grindstones, and accordingly sent for some from Lisbon; but the advice which they received at the same time was of more importance ;---it was to damp the corn before they ground it, and thus the bran would be prevented from pulverizing.
"A Moor of distinction, who is now in Lisbon, was lately struck with the beauty of an English lady, and made a formal proposal to buy her of her mother! How do we revolt from appearances, instead of from realities! A proposal to buy her daughter, would shock any European parent: but, if a man of superior rank, or superior fortune, offered himself, though his intellect were of idiot imbecility, and his body rendered decrepid by debauchery, would there be the same horror entertained at selling her.
• Pombal ordered all the churches here to be built like houses, that they might not spoil the uniformity of the streets. This villainous taste bas necessarily injured the appearance of the city. I passed one morning in walking over the old Moorish part of the town, and, though accustomed to the tilth and narrowness of Spanish and Portuguese streets, I was astonished at the dirt and darkness. Yet, the contrast was
very delightful, after winding up these close and gloomy ascents, to arrive on some open eminence that commanded the city and the harbour. The river assumes a very gay appearance on any particular holyday, when the vessels are ornamented with the colours of all the nations in alliance with Portugal : the guns are then fired; but so irregularly, that the first time I was awakened by them, they gave me the idea of an engagement. These people delight in gunpowder: the last Brazil fleet was detained for six weeks, that they might fire upon the queen's birth-day.
• I have seen one of the Lent processions. There were about ten saints carried, as large as life, preceded by an imaged crucifix. Some little boys, dressed with silver wings, led the procession ; and the host concluded it, borne as usual under a purple pall. You will be amused with the history of Nosso Senhor dos Passos, the principal personage of the day's solemnity. This image one night knocked at the door of St. Roque's church and they would not let him in. He then went to the convent of Graza, at the other end of the town, and obtained admittance. As you may well imagine, the brethren of St. Roque were in no small degree chagrined, when they discovered whom they had rejected: they claimed him as their guest; and alleged, that it was evident Nosso Senhor preferred dwelling with them, as he had chosen their church first. To this their antagonists assented; but pleaded they had forfeited this claim, by refusing to admit the miraculous visitor, who of course ought to abide with those who first received him. The matter would have occasioned a law-suit, if they had not thus compromised it. The convent of Graze is his home; but the brethren of St. Roque are allowed to carry him in their procession ; and he sleeps with them the night preceding the ceremony. Surely it would have been a more equitable mode of decision, to have placed the image between the two churches, and to have allowed him to take his choice.
“A man was robbed and stripped naked last night within a hundred yards of this house. They usually strip their prey
in this country. It is not many years since a man, called from his diminutive size Don Pedro Pequeno, kept the whole city
He would murder a person for the most trifling affront, and pick a quarrel with any one who passed him in the street, for the sake of stabbing him. The fellow had killed so many officers who attempted to apprehend him, that at last they shot him, like a wild beast, from a distance.
When the present queen began her reign, she made the wise and bumane resolution of never inflicting the punishment of death. This resolution she observed till Almada church was robbed, and the host scattered about and trampled under foot. On this occasion the court went into mourning for nine days; and the thieves, when taken, were executed for their sacrilege.
A more memorable circumstance occurred upon the robbing of a church at Lisbon : the wafers were missing; of course the city was in an uproar, and the court in mourning. During this period of public calamity, a priest, passing by a drove of oxen in one of the public streets, saw the foremost beast fall upon his knees. He leaped forward, and, stooping to the ground, produced a wafer ! clean and immaculate, though the streets were dirty. A miracle was immediately shouted---the miraculous host was immediately conveyed to the church--the driver and his oxen stopt--and high mass celebrated upon the occasion. The priest and the driver were pensioned for this fortunate miracle; and even the oxen purchased, and turned out to be pastured for life at the public expence.
* As Good Friday happened on the 25th of March this year, they have put off Lady-day till the 6th of April. I have now witnessed all the mummery of a Roman Catholic Lent. Of the processions I have already spoken : on the Sunday and Monday preceding Lent, as on the first of April in England, people are privileged here to play the fool: it is thought very jocose to pour water on any person who passes, or throw powder in his face, but to do both is the perfection of wit.
“On the evening of Good Friday I went to the new convent, to witness the rending of the veil of the temple, and hear a Portuguese sermon. The earthquake was represented by a noise like scuffling of feet : the sermon was extempore, and its subject the sorrows of the virgin Mary; the preacher addressed
himself to her image, the words magoas (sorrows) and esta tristissima noite (this most mournful night) were continually whined out; it was the very reverse of the celebrated carol of her seven good joys.
* The following day I attended to see the church stripped ; it was under the management of a man of high rank, remarkable for his attachment to priests and prostitutes. One of the officiating priests wore a wig with a hole cut in it by way of the mystic tonsure. After I had waited some hours, exposed to all the effluvia of a Portuguese crowd, the black curtains were in an instant drawn, and the altars discovered completely illuminated.
* Apicius himself might envy the feelings of a Catholic on Easter eve. After doing penance for forty days on fish and soup meagre, they make amends for it by falling to when the clock strikes twelve, and this midnight feast is said to do them more injury than all the previous fasting.
• Easter Sunday is the accession day of the emperor of the Holy Ghost. This great personage, of whom you have probably never heard, is a little boy; his reign lasts only till Whitsuntide, but his privileges are for life, and singular ones they are; for he is allowed to commit any crime without incurring the punishment of death, except high-treason: for which he may be beheaded.
Mr. Southey next indulges himself with sorze severe sarcasms on the Catholic religion, in a style very different from his late writings. He says, speaking of the Portuguese priests, "I should respect their zeal though they pestered me with their absurdity: but they tempt in the day of poverty, they terrify on the bed of sickness, they persecute in the hour of death ; and if they find a man senseless in his last agonies, they place a candle in his hand, and smuggle him under false colours into the kingdom of heaven. An Englishman who kept a Portuguese mistress was so tormented by these friars in his last illness, that he died with a loaded pistol in each hand, ready to shoot the first monk that approached him.'
Having visited Cintra, “we returned,' says our author, 'to Lisbon on burros : the ass in this country is as respectable an VOL. IV.
animal as it is useful: you will probably be as incredulous as I was, till undeniable testimony convinced me, when I tell you that a Portuguese lady here is so enormously fat that she actually broke the back of a strong ass, and the animal fell dead under her. They go a quiet, constant pace, and as I jogged patiently on I was reminded of the way of life: imagination is a mettled horse that will break the rider's neck, when a donkey would have carried him to the end of his journey slow but sure.
. They have no idea of the exertions of our English horses. A young Englishman, who draws very well, drew one in the act of leaping a gate; sir, said the Portuguese, to whom he shewed the sketch, no horse can do that, it is impossible.
'All improvements here are classed under the hateful term of innovations. A Portuguese, who, after making some fortune in England, settled in his own country, had learnt the value of English comforts, and built a chimney in his sittingroom. But none of his countrymen would sit in the room. “ No,” they said, “they did not like those metaphysical things." Essas cousas metaficas. I met with as curious an application of a word in the fragment of a Portuguese theological work; after enumerating some of the opinions of an heretic, the author adds, “ he was guilty of these and many other such bestialities."
Mr. Southey now concludes his amusing work by observing, that though he was eager to be again in England, yet his heart would be heavy when he looked back upon Lisbon for the last time.