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On either side of the river the breakers on the great and little Ketsups are tremendous. The larger of these sand-banks is now guarded by a handsome fort, surmounted by the Bougie light, which forms a pretty object as you enter the river. The sea breaking with fury on the edge of the sands, and the spray flying to a great height, the remnant of the waters rushes on like an immense rocket far in
upon the bank, and expends its strength in foam. In beating up the river, you are struck with the strong line of demarcation that exists between the river and sea waters, owing to the rapidity of the current, and to the different degrees of density. The distant rock of Cintra, Fort St. Lucia, and Belem Castle, were passed in succession on the left bank, the ground being but little cultivated, and having a tawny brown appearance. On the right, the banks are higher, presenting the section of a number of sand-hills at right angles with the river. There seemed to be an aggregate meeting of wind-mills on one of the adjoining hills—I counted fifty-two.
We “ brought up” about breakfast-time, and shortly afterwards went on shore at the Quai de Soudre. This large square, which is open to the river, is the great mart of Lisbon, and now crowded with English navy-officers of all ranks, from the “ Executive-Chief” down to the cheeping mid, the usual buyers and sellers that throng the avenues to the principal port of a large city; and the never-failing gang of loungers to be found
CHURCH OF THE ESTRELLA.
wherever hotels, wine-shops, and billiard-rooms exist.
The public gardens and other promenades offer little of interest : ill-constructed fountains, dry, and surmounted by figures of tritons, fishwomen, and river gods out of all proportion, straight hedgerows, and spirally clipped box trees, give to the whole scene an air of stiffness and formality.
These disagreeable features are compensated for by the contrast of some magnificent specimens of the lovely datura arborea, still adorned with their large snow-white pendant bells. In the evening we walked out to Buenos Ayres, the “ west-end” of Lisbon ; situated high above the river ; beautiful in its prospect; healthful in its air ; and the only possibly clean spot throughout this city of ups and downs, which looks just as if the earth had become suddenly arrested in some wave-like convulsion. On our way home we passed by one of the most conspicuous objects here, the church of the Estrella, or Coraco de Jesus, built by one of the queens of Portugal, in honor of the heart of our Saviour, which she fancied she possessed, enshrined in a splendid alabaster vase! The dome is a conspicuous object as you enter the harbour. It is a noble building, crowning one of the highest parts of the city, and a miniature of the church of Mafra-externally the walls are rather too highly decorated, and its order of architecture hard to define ; if any be adhered to, it is the Corinthian. The doors being open, we
INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH.
entered, just as the candles on the altar were lighted for vespers. The ornamental work of the interior is chaste and beautiful ; of different coloured marbles, wrought in panels, and surrounded by fretwork, all of the highest polish. The dome and arched roof are also of marble. A single sentinel leaned on his musket at one of the side altars; a few scattered groups of females knelt around some patron saint; and the solemnity and silence that reigned throughout the building added to the awe and reverence inspired by the hour, the scene, and situation.
Presently the priest entered, and bowed before the altar; a cloud of incense rose around him, while a most enchanting strain of slow, soft music, stole upon
the stillness, and crept religiously along the aisles, swelling gradually till it filled the whole building. On either side of the organ was a close grating, behind which the nuns and monks of the adjacent convent were placed, and poured forth a full tide of harmony. I could not avoid coupling ideas of the personal beauty of the fairer portion of the recluses with the exquisite melody of their voices. How striking is a first visit to a Roman Catholic house of worship abroad; where the pomp of ceremony, the splendour of decoration, and the enchantment of sound, serve to exalt religious enthusiasm, and to lend to a purer devotion those fictitious charms, made by exciting appeals to the senses.
We returned on board as the evening gun was fired; and after tea enjoyed our cigar on deck.
A HARBOUR SCENE.
We were far enough out to lose the bum of the city, and not too far to prevent us catching the modulated notes of the bands playing in the Quai de Soudre.
There are few scenes of greater interest than a large harbour such as this, with its ships and crafts of all kinds and nations; the stir and bustle of the day, now hushed into such perfect stillness, and their busy inmates quieted in sleep, save the restless night-watch pacing the deck, or the stealthy gliding of the custom barge guarding against contrabandista. Here lay our men of war, in the centre of the river ; their topmasts lowered for the night; their black hulls and mathematically squared yards, looking like so many monsters of the deep, waiting but the provocation to vomit forth destruction. The merchantmen, and feluccas, whose long latteen yards shoot up like immense leafless quivering reeds; and numbers of country boats, with their high Chinese prows, lie scattered on all sides of us. What a glorious sight ! lighted up by a moon of such resplendent brightness, as to dazzle the eye, and render every object clear and distinct almost as an English sun. Not the pale and sickly “waning moon,” seen in our own misty climate, but the rich effulgence of a midnight's glory.
Just now from the fort came the bugle-call, floating clear and distinct on the light wind ; that beautifully martial sound brings with it sensations the most thrilling, as carried down the stream, its
echoes fall in cadences along the broken banks, and are lost far out amid the ocean's roar. The tide has turned—the ripple has ceased against our bows, and all is silent as the grave. Moments like these raise man above himself into that world of thought, that bids him look from nature up to nature's God. But if he be within ear-shot of Lisbon, he will have little time to moralize after eleven o'clock, when the dog-howl begins. This continues without intermission till morning; it is one of the most hideous noises that ever grated on man's ear—their cry
is not “ the house-dog's honest bark,” but a wild unearthly howl, broken, at times, by the abrupt note of passion, or the prolonged yell of anguish, distinctly recognizable even at this distance. Occasionally a civil war breaks out, by some tribe invading the territories of another; and then the uproar is truly terrific. In these struggles the vanquished are instantly devoured by the conquerors.
Notwithstanding all this canine discord, the dogs appear at present the most stable part of the constitution of Portugal: their government is republican, formed of several petty states, and were it not for those nightly outbreaks, I would say was well regulated. Living in small communities, principally in the ruins of convents, old houses, and many of the places desolated by the great earthquake, they own no masters ; answer to no names; and, like all outcasts, have become an abandoned, dissolute, and uncivilized race, scorning the power as well as the