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amongst the most alarming. A sudden gust of wind which came down the rock with incredible violence, parted our cables, and hurried us to the opposite shore, under the batteries of the enemy. Providentially, here the last anchor brought her up, and secured us from driving on shore: the night was dark, the storm continued, and reduced us to the perilous situation of impending destruction, by shipwreck or captivity; but O! for gratitude truly to praise that Almighty Sovereign, who "maketh the clouds his chariot, and rideth upon the wings of the wind." When day-light began to appear, and while all human efforts were entirely useless, the gust ceased for a short time, and then blowing immediately after from the opposite point, in the short space of an hour brought us into complete security.
Departure from Gibraltar-Visit LagosArrived at Lisbon- Description of Lisbon, and its Vicinity-Air-Soil-Fruits-Population-Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants-Government-Gardens.
THE storm was succeeded by weather remarkably fine, and after a stay of ten days at Gibraltar, we proceeded for the coast of Portugal, and before my return. to the Mediterranean, opportunities were afforded of sailing its whole extent, and of visiting its principal ports. Our first anchorage was in the Bay of Lagos, near Cape St. Vincent, a place more remarkable for the monuments of superstition, than for that industry and agriculture which denote a people prosperous and happy. A supply of fresh water being wanted, but a dangerous bar preventing the ship from approaching the harbour, the author was deputed with a message to the Governor, re
questing a supply of water and vegetables. He was received by this gentleman with that politeness and hospitality ever accompanying true generosity, and arrangements were immediately made for those necessary supplies.
Having completed our stock of water, and added thereto a variety of fine fruit, we proceeded for Cape St. Vincent, and the western coast. On this Cape is built one of the most remarkable monasteries in the kingdom, and the author was informed, one of the most richly endowed; but the most distressing accounts were given of the poverty and misery of many others, both convents and monasteries, several of which, it appears, can scarcely procure the necessaries of life. The females are very severely tried in these respects, the endowments having, by various means, been greatly reduced, and in some instances annihilated. The women, immured in these spacious prisons, are necessitated to obtain a scanty subsistence by any ex. ertions in their power, and often are
glad to execute the most ingenious baskets and needle-work, for the scanty pittance of two-pence or three-pence per day. A susceptible mind cannot but commiserate their situation, which in many instances is involuntary confinement, and that they are thereby often involved in great misery. Surely the females of Britain, especially, are loudly called on to acknowledge, with gratitude to Divine Providence, the blessings they enjoy in our highly favoured land.
After a few weeks of pleasant weather we arrived at Lisbon, the capital of the kingdom of Portugal, which has one of the finest rivers, and most secure and spacious harbours in the world. On passing the bar (which is dangerous) it is difficult to conceive a finer prospect than opens, and continues to open, all the way to the upper anchorage, which is before the city; the river is navigable, and bounded by beautiful landscapes for many miles above Lisbon.
Lisbon itself, when viewed from the
river, appears beautiful and magnificent, rising gradually from the banks of the river Tagus; it covers several hills, and when seen in connection with the Queen's gardens, rope-walk, and all that beautiful country in the vicinity of Belem, must excite sentiments of admiration in every intelligent spectator; but these sentiments are materially lessened on a nearer inspection, for this place is far from having that regularity in its buildings, that cleanliness in its inhabitants, or that order and industry throughout, which its distant appearance seemed to promise; and an Englishman will often perceive a striking contrast to that industry and happiness which blesses. his native shore.
Our departures from, and returns to, this place, were frequent, though we usually remained several weeks at a time. I shall therefore, to avoid tediousness and unnecessary repetitions, throw the whole of the observations I intend to make on Lisbon and the country, into one general descrip