« 上一頁繼續 »
fine clear complexion, a large black eye, and long glossy hair, curling profusely over his temple, than whom I never desire to behold a more lovely specimen of the beauty of the human countenance. Indeed, what sight can there be on earth more delightful, or more strongly suggesting to the mind the idea of angelic purity and bliss, than that of a beautiful and intelligent child, or a group of such children, before passion, sensuality, and selfishness have stamped their dark and degrading impress upon the countenance, and while as yet it exhibits only the innocent joy and exuberant excitement of gladsome childish feeling.
At the age of ten years the boys at this hospital are sent to some higher school, or bound out as apprentices. When they have completed their time of service, and wish to commence for themselves, each one is furnished by the institution with about seventy dollars, to aid him in his efforts. The same sum is paid to each of the girls when they marry, at which time also they are furnished with a given number of the common articles of wearing apparel, making a competent supply for two or three years. The whole expenses of the hospital are $ 70,000 a year, and they are constantly increasing. The superintendent had been in office but two years, during which time he had effected a thorough reform in every department of the hospital. As a result of his judicious and benevolent efforts, we learned, that while formerly 90 of every 100 of the infants received there died, at the time we were there only 14 in 100 were lost, thus making a difference of 76 per cent., a degree of success without a parallel in the history of similar institutions. The Lancasterian system of instruction is pursued in the schools of the hospital, and many of the boys are promoted from one public school to another, until they finish a professional education. We were told that many of the medical students, whom we saw at the anatomical lecture in the morning, were formerly inmates of the Foundling Hospital, and that the same is true of some of the first professional and political men in the kingdom.
The convent of Belem, as it is called, is on the banks of the Tagus, four miles from Lisbon. The chapel is large and lofty, and was the finest specimen I had as yet seen of the slender, graceful, and picturesque architecture of the ancient Moors. It was once the burial-place of the kings of Portugal, and some of their monuments still adorn its walls, while their bones and ashes, mingled with the rags of what were once the trappings of royalty, are now placed behind the altar, where they are exhibited to gratify the vulgar curiosity of all who wish to gaze at them. The convent buildings and gardens, which are quite extensive, once belonged to monks of the order of St. Jerome, but are now appropriated to the far more laudable and benevolent purpose of a boarding school for from 1,200 to 1,400 poor children, many of whom came from the Foundling Hospital. They are taught six hours each day, and those more advanced have instruction in music and other ornamental branches, on a plan similar to that adopted in the Reclusorio of Naples.
The class of pupils which most interested me, were the deaf and damb. They were twenty or thirty in number, and were by far the most intelligent and best educated I had met with since leaving home. The natural language of signs, as used by the deaf and dumb, being strictly speaking a universal one, there is little difficulty, where a person has become familiar with it, in conversing on common subjects with those of this class, whether they have been educated or not. In the case referred to, however, the French system of instruction, founded on the works of the Abbés L'Epée and Sicard, had been pursued. Thus were we soon engaged in lively and pleasant intercourse, as for years I had been familiar with this system. The eagerness with which they told me of their own affairs and modes of learning, and showed me their finished and beautiful specimens of drawing, and the peculiar interest with which they sought information as to the deaf and dumb, and a thousand other matters in the United States, presented a scene spirited enough for the pencil of an artist, and almost made me feel that after a separation of years I had met again with a class of my former pupils. The mind loves to dwell on scenes thus met with in one's lonely wanderings in a foreign land; and when, after staying to a late hour, my new-made friends followed me to the door, and warmly pressing my hand urged me to visit them again, I could not but feel that there was a place where the warm affections and lively sympathies of the soul were sure to meet a sincere and hearty response. There is a peculiar pleasure in visiting and describing such humane and benevolent institutions as those just noticed, and in witnessing their prosperity and increase in those countries where they are most needed; for, while our weak and groundless
national prejudice and pride are thus lessened, the purer and kindlier sympathies of our nature are called into action, and we are led to feel more strongly that tie of universal brothhood which binds us to our fellow-men, and to look forward with brighter and more cheering hopes to that coming day, when knowledge and virtue shall extend their triumphs throughout the habitable earth.
There is one important fact in the commercial history of Portugal, which it may be well here to notice. Before the nation turned their attention mainly to commerce, they raised wheat enough not only for their own supply, but also a large amount for exportation. By the treaty of 1703, however, by which England engaged to take all the wines of Portugal in exchange for her own manufactures, all the wheat-fields were changed into vineyards. Hence, while Portugal freely poured forth her wines she was entirely destitute of a home supply of bread. Thus, by an act of consummate folly, was that which was worse than useless, an injurious article of luxurious indulgence, substituted for the staff of life. By the same means was such a taste for articles of foreign manufacture created, as to cause Portugal to become the humble and dependent slave of England. About the middle of the last century, however, that efficient but despotic minister, the Marquis Pombal, ordered one third of the vineyards to be destroyed, and the ground thus made vacant to be sown with wheat. Still Portugal is in a great degree dependent on foreign nations for her bread-stuffs. France is still guilty of a suicidal policy in this self-same matter, one half of her population being dependent on the vineyards for their support
CINTRA, MAFRA, AND MADRID.
Visit to Cintra in Autumn,-in the Spring.–Natural Scenery:-Houses, Mountains. — The Sea. – Montserrat. – Palaces. - Mafra, its Palace.-Convent.
- Organs. - Musical Bells. - English Influence. Leave Lisbon for Madrid.- Smugglers. - Robbers. - Prejudice against Foreigners.-Royalists. — Volunteers. -Carlists. Croakers. - A Sail on the Tagus. - Our Lady of Attalia. — Porters. – A Cabin Scene. - Posadas. – Roads. Smugglers, their Mode of Life.- A Night Scene. — Armour. - Sketches of my Companions. - Our Road. Pigs. — Turkeys. - Cork Trees. The Olive. – Fortresses. Estramoz. – Elvas. Badajoz.- National Hatred. Smuggling: Music. — Arrive at Badajoz. – Cavallo Blanco. The Landlady. - Servant Boy. – Recruits, mode of treating them. -Drill. ing. - Manuel Godoy. - The Queen Regent. - Battle of Badajoz. — The Cathedral. — Paintings. Leave Badajoz. – A Parting Scene. — My Fellow-Passengers. The Mayoral. — Our Galera. - Postilions. Merida. Truxillo. – Meeting of Friends. - A Murder. – Talavera, Battle there. Spanish Ferocity. – Flocks of Sheep: - Sheepfolds. — Shepherds.-Christ
Robbers. - Severe Cold. Madrid.
To Cintra, that earthly Paradise, I made repeated pilgrimages during our visit at Lisbon. It is about sixteen miles from the city, and lies along the sides of the mountains of the same name, the highest point of which is called by mariners, the Rock of Lisbon. My first visit there was late in Autumn, and though there was then much verdure and beauty, still, the sear and yellow leaf, the emblem of decay and death, gave a tinge of sadness to the scene, which harmonized full well with the unbroken quiet of the place. The proud, the wealthy, and the noble had left this delightful retreat to mingle again in the busy scenes of active life, and their various dwellings, from the royal palace, down to the tradesman's cottage were wellnigh tenantless, the birds sang unmolested among the beauteous bowers and lovely gardens which on every gentle eminence and in each deeply shaded glen, enclosed those tasteful dwellings where but lately, beauty, wealth, and fashion had revelled with delight. My first view of this charming landscape was from Penha Verde, a little hillock which rises amid the thickly-wooded pleasuregrounds of that famous hero and discoverer, Don John De Castro, and near the spot which, just before his death in India, he selected as the burial place of his heart, and where
it was afterwards deposited. - The scenery below and around was peculiarly striking and beautiful, embracing the rude mountain cliffs, the dark ravine, the shady glen, the fertile valley, and rolling ocean. The following morning a more perfect view of the same delightful landscape was enjoyed from one of the overhanging mountain peaks. With such scenes before him, well might the Author of Childe
“ Lo, Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen.
Who to the awestruck world unlocked Elysium's gates." My second visit to Cintra was in the Spring, when surrounding nature was decked with radiant beauty, and breathed forth richest fragrance. The orange and lemon trees were laden with their golden fruit, while the peach, the lilac, and a thousand other plants and shrubs were thickly hung with blossoms of every richly varied hue and color, charming the eye with their beauty, and loading every passing breeze with balmy and refreshing odors. Every peak and crag along the mountain's side, was clothed with foliage of deep and living green, presenting a striking contrast to the blossoms of the numerous wild plants scattered thickly around, as also to the brown and barren walls of granite which form the summits of the cliffs above. Both Nature and Art had done their perfect work, and each of the numerous ravines which connect the mountain gorges with the fair and fertile plains beneath, and each romantic point projecting out towards the lovely vale below, had its cottage, its mansion house, or its palace, surrounded with a rich variety of flowering plants and shrubs, with bowers and gardens, with fruit and forest trees.
The streams which the numerous mountain springs supply, conveyed in aqueducts, or rushing in their untamed wildness down their rocky beds, discharge themselves in tasteful reservoirs, or flow forth from classic fountains, diffusing abroad their beneficent influence, giving life, richness, and beauty to all surrounding nature.
As I turned my eye from the stern and barren grandeur of the topmost cliffs above, to the teeming fertility caused by the waters which