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THE TOMB OF MOORE.
of the gallant Marshal who raised the monument, and penned the inscription to the memory of a fallen enemy. Little of memento is, however, required by the Englishman who visits it-little to be written of the character of that great man, who died, as he lived, gloriously—a gallant soldier, a sincere friend, and an ornament to the country that gave him birth!
In order to preserve the tomb, a wall about breast-high was erected by the British government, in 1824. This has had the very opposite effect from what was intended, as it not only obstructs the view, but actually conduces to its defilement, the interior being a receptacle for every description of filth and abomination. True it is, that the Spanish authorities put up a notice, many years ago, inflicting a small fine upon offenders ; but no further trouble is taken. Ah Spain! is this your gratitude—this the respect you pay to the remains of the man who came to free you from slavery and oppression? You deserted him while living, and you dishonour his sepulchre when dead. The body of Moore was interred here, in compliance with a wish he was often heard to express, that he should be buried where he fell ; and besides, it was not only the nearest spot, but indeed the only one that the circumstances of that memorable night afforded.
“ Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him;"
but if blame could have been attached to him, it may have been for accepting a command so limited by ministers at home, and so hemmed in by the trammels of diplomacy abroad. Whatever the spot on his bright escutcheon Slander would dim with her unhallowed breath, it was nobly effaced by his life's-blood on the battle-field of Corunna. When we look at the conduct of the Spanish generals—at the letters of Mr. Frere, from Madrid—at the broken promises—the never-fulfilled treaties—the behaviour of the Marquis de Romana, who kept just one day's march a-head, eating up whatever of food was to be obtained in the country, we are forced to acknowledge that in truth it was a victorious retreat.
Within the barrier, and underneath part of the monument, are buried some of the family of a former vice-consul; and, though they but mingle in the clay common to all mankind, I do think it was rather presumptuous, even for the representative of majesty
at the port of Corunna, to displace the stones erected by Soult, and disturb the ashes of the mighty dead, so hallowed by the immortal lines of Charles Wolfe, and so endeared to us by every grateful recollection. St. Paul's has her tribute to consecrate his actions, and Glasgow has erected a statue to her citizen ; but surely England will do something more, either by removing his body to Westminster, or by erecting a testimonial upon the spot where he fell. It is not too late for those private friends, and companions in arms, who fought under his banner and stood beside him in the battle-field, to bestir themselves in this noble work.
It is waxing late; the evening gun has just proclaimed the sunset, and the broad belt of golden light which marked its parting beam is fast dying in the west. The vessels of war are answering the deep-mouthed echoes from the fort, as their last boom is dying o'er the calm waters, and the shrill whistle of the boatswain is heard above the castanets and the merry dance in the different trading craft immediately beneath. Our own gallant schooner has completed her repairs, and now with her taut-ropes, taper raking masts, and beautifully-modelled hull, forms a striking contrast to the sluggish, dirty vessels by which she is surrounded. As the deep shades of evening descend, they all veer round like a herd of startled deer, and head the shifting night-breeze. The moon is rising from the ocean behind the hills of Ferrol—the deep silence of the city and the glimmering lights in the different houses remind me that it is time to return on board.
All is now ready, and to-morrow we sail. Unhappy Spain, farewell—thou art, indeed, the land of brilliant promise, but most baneful produce; yet who can look upon thy proverbial perfidythy ceaseless wars upon the liberty of thought, of conscience, and the spread of knowledge, and not behold in thy present bloody struggles a just and terrible retribution?
Arrival in the Tagus-Lisbon-Church of the Estrella-A Harbour Scene- The Dogs - The
Palacio de Cortes-Ruins of the Inquisition--Cathedral-Holy Crows A Black VirginTheatricals-Hospitals and State of Medicine-Belem-Its Palace-Convent-Tomb of Alfonzo VI.-- Mosaic Altar of St. Roch-The Carmo-Description of the City-Costumes-Gallegos-Aqueduct of Alcantara-A Suicide-Dock-yard-Visit to Cintra-Description of the Country A Postillion-Splendid Views-Moorish Castle-Penha Convent-Cork Convent- The Monks and State of Religion-Collares-Palace of Cintra---Montserratt— Beckford-A Pic NicMafra-Story of its erection - Marble Chapel-Library-English Navy Officers--A FriarPortuguese Cookery--Climate-Departure.
We left Corunna on the morning of the 10th and entered the Tagus on the 12th; the atmosphere misty, and the wind blowing a stiff breeze down the river, which presented just here a noble expanse of water, but so muddy, from its admixture with sand and dirt, that it had quite the appearance of ill-made chocolate, both in colour and consistence. The current is rapid, and the waves continued to break over us till we anchored alongside the town, yet, the fear of wet jackets could not drive us below, or compel us to forego the glorious sight that momentarily opened to our view,
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 expands 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 their different degrees of density. The distant rock of Cintra, Fort St. Lucia, and
Belem Castle, were passed in succession on the left bank, the intervening 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 cut off at right angles with the river.
We “brought up" about breakfast-time, and shortly afterwards went on shore at the Caesõdre. 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 wherever hotels, wine-shops, and billiard-rooms exist.
The public gardens and other promenades of Lisbon offer little of interest : ill-constructed fountains, dry, and surmounted by figures of tritons, fishwomen, and river gods out of all proportion, enclosed with straight hedge-rows, and spirally clipped box trees, give to the whole scene an air of stiffness and formality. These disagreeable features are, however, compensated for by the contrast of some magnificent specimens of the lovely datura arborea, still adorned with their large snow-white pendant bells, which shadow several of the public walks.
In the evening we walked out to Buenos Ayres, the westend of Lisbon ; a delightful suburb, 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 suddenly become 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 honour of the heart of our Saviour, which she fancied she possessed, enshrined in a splendid alabaster vase! It is a noble building, crowning one of the highest parts of the city, and a miniature of the church of Mafra; the dome forms a conspicuous object on entering the harbour ; 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 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
CHURCH OF THE ESTRELLA.
surrounded by elaborate fret-work, 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 situation, and the scene. 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. 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 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; we were far enough off shore to lose the hum of the city, and not too far to prevent us catching the modulated notes of the bands playing in the Caesõdre.
There are few scenes of greater interest than a large harbour such as this, with its ships and craft of all kinds and nations ; their busy inmates quieted in sleep, save the restless night-watch pacing the deck, or the stealthy gliding of the custom barge, guarding against contrabandistas. The stir and bustle of the day was now hushed into most perfect stillness—here lay our own men of war, in the centre of the river; their topmasts lowered for the night; and with their black hulls and mathematically squared yards, looking like so many monsters of the deep, waiting but the provocation to vomit forth destruction. The various merchantmen, and the feluccas whose long latteen yards shoot up like immense leafless quivering reeds, and numbers of country boats, with their high Chinese prows, and gaudily-painted sterns, 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 almost as clear and distinct as by an English sun ;--not the pale and sickly waning moon, seen in our own misty climate, but a full and brilliant