תמונות בעמוד

Minyo,) on the northern frontier, belong properly to that country, and will be noticed in speaking of it. The Mondego, rising in the mountain of Estrella, passes by Coimbra, and falls into the Atlantic. Portugal affords no piece of water deserving the name of a lake : but some small pools are pointed out, as remarkable for their unfathomable depth.

Mineral productions. The Tagus has of old been cele brated for its golden sands; and, under the dominion of the Romans, mines of gold and silver were wrought, of which considerable vestiges are still visible. Lead, tin, and iron, are also met with ; and near Buarcos, on the west coast, a considerable coal mine is still open and productive. Mineral springs are found in various parts; those of Caldas da Rainha, and Chaves, are the most noted.

Animals.-Neither the horses, nor the mules, of Por. tugal, are equal to those of Spain; and the useful cow is rare from the want of natural, and neglect 'of artificial, pas. tures : the sheep are neither numerous nor esteemed; but the hogs furnish excellent bacon and hams.

Vegetable productions.-So much attention is given to the cultivation of the vine, to supply the northern nations of Europe, particularly England, with Port, Lisbon, and other wines, that the culture of corn has been neglected to such a degree, as to render importation constantly neces. sary. When apprehensions were entertained some years ago, that Spain or France would invade Portugal, the exportation to England of Oporto wine was extended even to the vino do ramo, or common weak beverage of the labouring people, so as to occasion a great outcry in the country, requiring the interference of government to put an end to the transaction : of this miserable juice of the grape, many hogsheads, however, arrived in England, and have since been converted into excellent old port of the most choice vintages. Oranges, lemons, and other fraits, the growth of similar

climates, climates, furoish both beauty and revenue, to this highly favoured kingdom.

Religion and government. The Roman catholic religion, in its most rigid observance, is the only profession suffered in the Portuguese dominions; and the government is an hereditary absolute monarchy.

Islands.-Sixty miles to the north ward of the mouth of the Tagus, and ten miles from the land, lies a cluster of small isles, called the Berlingas, but by our seamen the Burlings. To Portugal, also, belong a group of considerable islands, situated in the midst of the Atlantic ocean, between 38° and 40° of north latitude, and about 180 of longitude, west from the nearest land of any continent, which is the cape, called the Rock of Lisbon ; a distance in that latitude of nearly 1000 geographic miles. These islands, usually called by us the Western Islands, a relative term, which, without a subject of reference, is devoid of meaning, were named by the first Portuguese settlers, about 1450, the Azores, from a species of hawks there observed in great numbers; but they are generally supposed to have been discovered by some Flemish navigators, at a much earlier period. These isles are Tercera, St. Michael, St. Mary, Graciosa, St. George, Pico, Fayal, Florez, and Corvo. St. Michael's isle is the largest, being 40 miles in length by 12 of mean breadih. In Pico is a volcanic conical mountain, rising about 7800 feet above the sea. Tercera, although not the largest, is considered as the principal isle, from which circumstance the whole group is often, but impro. perly, called the Terceras ; the chief town of the island is Angra, a sea port: the general productions of the whole are, timber, wheat, wine, and fruit.



Situation and extent.--The great and important peninsula of Spain, (comprehending Portugal, naturally a portion of that country, and at various periods subject to the same sovereign,) is most advantageously situated between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, commanding the narrow strait of Gibraltar, the only communication between those seas, and, in some respects, in the centre of the habi. table globe. The extent in latitude is from the point of Tarifa, in the middle of the strait of Gibraltar, in 36°, 2', to the point of Estaca in 43°, 48°, being, in fact, a few minutes more northerly than Cape Ortegal, hitherto considered as themost northern point of Spain. The distance, therefore, from south to north, is 466 geographic, or 538 English miles. The most westerly point of the peninsula is the head land called Cape Rocca, and by us the Rock of Lisbon, at the mouth of the Tagus, in longitude 9°, 35', west from Greenwickr; for the most advanced point of the promontory, called Cape Finisterre, at the north-west corner of Spain, is only in 9', 13', of west longitude. The most easterly point of the peninsula, which is Cape Creux, where the Pyrenees abut upon the Mediterranean, lies in 3, 16', of east longitude: the extent, therefore, between this point, and Cape Finisterre, is 12°, 29', of longi'ude, equal, on the common parallel of 42°, to about 554 geographic, or 640 English miles ; but the medium extent of the peninsula, from east to west, is only about 470 English miles.

Population. The inhabitants of Spain are estimated at between eleven and twelve millions, a population seemingJy very disproportionate to the extent and general productiveness of the country: the fact however is, that many

parts parts of the interior being destitute of rivers and springs, as in both Castiles, Arragon, &c. others being covered with broad chains of mountains, as the whole northern provinces, and some southern tracis in Grenada and Murcia, the nature of the country does not in its present state admit of a numerous population ; but the sea coasts of Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, and Andalusia, present scenes of rich fertility, active industry, and crowded population, of which, without ocular inspection, it is difficult to form a conception.

Madrid, the capital of Spain, contains about 165,000 inhabitants : it is situated on an elevated plain on the east bank of the little river Manzanares, which falls into the Tagus. The town is spacious and well built, the streets in general straight, wide, clean, and well lighted. The palace is a noble quadrangle of modern architecture, commanding an extensive prospect over the river and the opposite country. The environs of Madrid are dry and open, presenting few indications of the neighbourhood of the capital of the kingdom. Toledo, once the chief town of the country, but now much decayed, is romantically seated on a rock, nearly surrounded by the Tagus, and contains about 25,000 people. Barcelona, a rich trading port on the Mediterranean, contains 100,000 inhabitants; Saragossa, on the Ebro, about 40,000 ; Valencia, delightfully situated near the Mediterranean, contains about 70,000: Grenada, celebrated for the remains of Moorish magnificence, has a population of 80,000 : Seville, an ancient city, contains about the same number : Cadiz, the grand resort of traders from all quarters, as well as the chief station of the navy, containing 70,000 people, is singularly situated at the extremity of a long sandy neck, inclosing one of the most commodious havens in Europe: Malaga, noted for the wines which grow in its neighbourhood, possesses a populasion of 40,000. Climate and soil. From its position on the globe the climate of Spain must, in many parts, be supposed to be very warm, as indeed is the case, particularly in the tracts to the southward of the great range of hills called the Sierra Morena; but the snow lies on the hills which inclose Madrid on the north, for some months in winter.



Spain is most conveniently diversified by mountain and valley, hill and plain : the mountains extend, in general, from west to east; and the centre of the country is a vast elevated plain, giving rise to many noble rivers flowing to the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The soil, in most places, where water can be procured for irrigation, produces abundantly every thing requisite for the subsistence and comfort of man: large quantities of corn are, however, regularly imported from Africa and other states on the Mediter.


Mountains. The majestic Pyrenees, which divide Spain from France, have been already mentioned in speaking of the latter country; this chain, however, although usually described as terminating at the angle of the bay of Biscay, does not, in fact, approach that part of the sea, but continues its course, with diminished elevation indeed, parallel to the sea shore, all the way to the extremity at the Cape of Finisterre, Other chains, but of much less height, stretch across likewise from east to west, as the Sierra de Urbion, or mountains of Oca, on the north side of the Douro; the Sierra de Guadarama, which separates Old from New Castile ; the mountains of Toledo, on the south of the Tagus ; the Sierra Morena, the northern boundary of Andalusia ; and the lofty mountains of Grenada, which, from their snowy summits, visible all the way from Gibraltar, are named the Sierra Nevada. In various parts are detached mountains of very considerable elevation, as Monserrat in Calalonia, of a singular conical form ; the summit, composed of a number of slender pinnacles, shooting up to a great height, and crowned with hermitages; the whole a remarkable land


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