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foreigner in that service is subjected, he quitted for a time both his adopted country and profession. But, in 1809, an advantageous situation being offered to him in the victualling department of the British army then in Portugal, he returned to that kingdom, with advantages possessed by few of his nation:-a good knowledge of the language and the people. It is principally from the later experience of this second residence of many years—which terminated only at a recent period, -that he has attempted to describe the state of society in Portugal. The disgust once provoked in his mind by unjust treatment has long subsided; and he is conscious rather of partiality for, than prejudice against, the Portuguese and their country.' pp. v.-vii.
To most of the scenes, the Author states, that he was an eye-witness. But he forewarns his readers, that many of those scenes are such as no female writer could describe or even allude to. Referring to the declaration made by Mrs. Baillie, in her lively “ Letters from Portugal,” that the whole truth should not always be told,' the Writer says:
Of the customs of a country like Portugal, no delicate Englishwoman can be a full and exact reporter; and the author trusts, that the most fastidious reader will not be offended at delineations of manners, which are more gross than the sketches of a female hand, only because they are in the same degree more faithful.”
With this proper idea of female delicacy, the Author of course could not anticipate that his volume would find any readers among his fair countrywomen; and though we must do him the justice to say, that his volume contains nothing that is adapted to corrupt, but only to disgust, we are unable to recommend it to indiscriminate perusal. On another point, we shall let him again explain himself.
• When the Protestant Christian visits Portugal, he is hourly shocked by witnessing the conversion of all the holiest associations of his faith, into objects of gross and debasing superstition, senseless mummery, and atrocious fraud. Our reverence for sacred things revolts from their exhibition in ludicrous colours-still more in blasphemous distortion : and, unless justified by the object, even the relation of the fact repeats the offence. It is probably from some feeling of this kind, that the fair writer above alluded to has formally interdicted herself from entering into any particulars of the state of religion in Portugal. But the author of the following pages has judged otherwise of the duties of his office. At a period like the present, when the militia of the Papal Church have dangerously renovated their activity, they must be encountered by exposure. The Roman Catholic citizens of these islands merit, perhaps, no reproach for the attempt to remove their civil disabilities ; but when the champions of their cause endeavour to make light of the distinctions. of the reformed faith, as an argument for the purity of their own, it is right that the Protestant should be empowered to judge for himself of these differences. Nor can this be done more effectually than by exposing the abominations of the Romish creed, and the conduct of its ministers, in a country where both have unbounded sway. With this view, and satisfied of the sufficiency of his object, the author has entered boldly, broadly, and fully into the subject. He holds himself accountable neither for the gross absurdity nor the blasphemous. impiety of the ceremonies, which he is called upon to describe: but, sincerely attached to the pure and reformed faith of this happy land, he is anxious utterly to disclaim any design of indecent levity, and earnestly to deprecate the probability of his motives being mistaken.'
pp. ix.—xi. This manly declaration does credit to the Writer's good sense and feeling, and it is this feature in the volume that has induced us to notice his work. We cordially agree with him, that the question relating to the civil rights of our Roman Catholic fellow citizens, has—or at least ought to have-no immediate connexion in our minds with the demerits of the Papal system. But, unhappily, their advocates, both in and out of Parliament, have taken most unwisely half their stand upon a lie. That falsehood must be exposed; the mask, a more fatal weapon sometimes than either torch or sword, must be torn from the unsightly monsier; and then let the Romanists of England and Ireland themselves tell us, whether their religion be that of Naples, and Lisbon, and Madrid, or not. We do not want Mr. Butler or Mr. Lingard to tell us what Popery is. If all history could be blotted out, it is only crossing the Alps or the Pyrennees to behold it undisguised and paramount. Let them disclaim and denounce, individually, all participation in the system as they may; the fact remains, that such a system exists; and no other comment on its real character is necessary, than the state of those countries, the effect, more than of any thing else, of Popery itself.
With regard to the state of society in Lisbon, the odious filthiness of the streets and of the people, the mendicity, the prevalence of street robbery, the frequent assassinations, and the general relaxation of morals,the anecdotes and details in the present volume, whether authentic or not, cannot be charged with exaggeration; since the general facts which they are adduced to illustrate, are notorious. There are, indeed, few capitals which would not furnish a black catalogue of similar crimes; and it is not from any collection of horrible anecdotes, however authentic, that we can fairly infer the national character. But what renders them at once credible aud horribly characteristic is, that, in the case of the Portu
guese, the Spaniards, and the Italians, public feeling, the institutions of the country, and the administration of the laws are all on the side of the criminal. It is not that assassins may be hired, so much as that they go unpunished; it is not that murders are frequent, but that such is the feeling among the lower orders, we are told, that
the natural exclamation of a Portuguese, on seeing one man stab another in the street, (or prick him, as they simply term it,) is, · poor fellow, he has had the misfortune to kill a man.” Every effort is made to screen the assassin from justice ; while the dead or wounded man, far from exciting-pity or receiving assistance, will be shunned carefully as a dangerous object; it being one of the laws in these cases, to consider as the murderer, and to confine as such, the first person who has been known to touch a dead body.' p. 261.
The most desperate assassins, however, this Writer asserts, are the Gallegos; a class of people so much extolled by many ' of our countrymen who have visited Lisbon, for their great • honesty and general good character;' whereas be says, if
the Portuguese rabble have their vices, they are not likely to • improve by the importation of their Gallician neighbours, · who are perhaps less squeamish in the commission of enor'mous crimes than themselves. Of the Portuguese peasantry,' this Writer speaks in the same favourable terms as Mrs. Baillie.
• The Salsics are a very fine race of men, active, athletic, and, generally speaking, well made. Their complexion, although dark, is advantageously mixed with a good share of brick-dust colour; their eyes are very fine; their hair falls in ringlets upon their brawny shoulders; their dress is becoming, and their whole appearance highly picturesque and rustic. The charge of indolence and slothfulness has been indiscriminately laid against the whole of the people of Portugal, by persons who have precipitately drawn their conclusions from the samples of the lower orders seen in Lisbon ; but any one ought to be aware, that the meagre and bloated inhabitants of a capital can never offer a just criterion whereby to form an accurate idea of the physical or moral peculiarities of any nation. The Portuguese peasantry may justly repel the charge of indolence, for their distinguishing characteristics are, industry, patience under privation, intrepidity, and courage. They only stand in need of a good government calculated to call forth in a greater degree their natural good qualities. I would not advocate as warmly, or in fact at all, some other classes of Portuguese ; I mean the priests and the magistrates; for, whatever measure of corruption in every respect this world can contain, is to be found in superfluity in those orders.'
pp. 331, 2. In fact, the Portuguese peasants are said to be some of
rest ble; but We beliconnected intery. And
• the best creatures breathing. The men are laborious and • brave, and the women are chaste. For these qualities, however, they are indebted neither to their laws nor to their religion. In proof that the celibacy of the priests is one principal source of the corruption of morals, the Author declares, that he could cite instances which he witnessed, from one end of Portugal to another, of their profligacy and effrontery. And to them, mainly, he imputes the abuses connected with the administration of public justice. We believe these facts to be notorious and undeniable; but we must refrain from the citation of anecdotes resting upon anonymous testimony. We entertain no doubt whatever respecting the Writer's veracity, but have found frequent occasion to regret his want of discrimination and limited information. We had supposed that every Englishman knew the origin of a barber's pole; but it was a long time before this Writer could make out its meaning. It is in general use, he tells us, throughout the Peninsula, and he has been told, that it is still to be seen in some remote
places in England.' Algarve, or, in Moorish, Algarbia,' he informs us, “ signifies fertile country.' This is a mistake; Al Gharb signifies the West. There are two Algarves, the Euro. pean and the African. Again, Camoens is stated to be the only Portuguese poet worthy of the name. The Author should not have ventured an assertion on a subject of which he evidently knows little. The fact is, that Portugal has produced many Castilian poets ; but, among those who have cultivated the Portuguese dialect, which differs but little from the Gallician, there are several of no mean name. Some of the instances of brutality which he mentions in the lower orders of Portuguese, might, we regret to say, be parallelled in other nations.
Upon the whole, it is much easier to abuse a people, than to describe them. Strip a Spaniard of all his virtues, and you • make a good Portuguese of him,' says the Spanish proverb. • I have heard it more truly said,' remarks Dr. Southey, • Add • hypocrisy to a Spaniard's vices, and you have the Portuguese • character. These sayings just prove, that the two nations cordially hate each other, but there is this difference. The Spaniards, we are told, despise the Portuguese ; the Portuguese hate the Spaniards. The former, in their national songs, threaten their neighbours with invasion: the latter content themselves with defying their enemies. This proves, however, not that the Portuguese fear more than they are feared, but that the Spaniards are the greater boasters. The French, in like manner, used to talk of invading England, and John Bull, secure behind his wooden walls, was accustomed to sing, Let them come if they dare. It is generally agreed, we believe, that the Portuguese make the better soldiers ; and under a free government, they would soon become the better men. We confess, however, that we are sceptical as to the existence of any very marked difference between the natives of Spain and of Portugal. The country, the climate, the religion, the institutions, the manners and customs are essentially the same : at least, they do not differ more widely than one province differs in these respects from another in the same country. Thus, the Castilian and the Andalusian, the Catalonian and the Murcian, the Gallician and the Biscayner, are distinguished from each other by peculiarities not less striking than any which can be detected in the Portuguese.
What is Portugal ? As to its history as well as geographical position, it is a mere offset of the Spanish monarchy. In point of geographical extent, it is but little larger than Switzerland, and it is not half so populous as Ireland. Humboldt estimates the population as low as 3,173,000. Lisbon and Oporto are the only two cities in the kingdom which contain a population exceeding 20,000 inhabitants. The former is said to contain 230,000, of which one fifth consists of negroes and mulattoes. Oporto, by far the cleaner and more agreeable town, contained, in 1802, 74,000. Thus, these two cities together comprise a tenth of the whole nation. Elvas, Coimbra, Braga, Setubal, and Evora, contain from 12 to 16,000 each; Beja has about 9000 inhabitants, and Santarem 8000 : the population of no other place rises so bigh as 7000. Yet, Portugal has two archbishops, thirteen bishops, two universities, 400 monasteries, and about 150 nunneries! Into these, as so many stagnant lagoons, the salutary streams of national wealth have been diverted. Like pompous-bridges over a deserted channel, these institutions remain as the monuments of past times and the mockery of the present. Taking the population at three millions, we cannot rate the adult male population at more than a fifth, or 600,000; and the lowest computation will give 6000 ecclesiastics, secular and regular. We have then every tenth man à priest; every tenth man living in professed celibacy and licensed idleness, a worse than unproductive member, a baleful excrescence of the social system. Such is Portugal,--a country into which civilization has as yet scarcely penetrated, without roads, without canals, without manufactures, with little or no inland trade, its only exports raw produce, (wine, salt, and wool,) almost without laws, and quite without Bibles or any thing deserving the name of religion.
Yet, as compared with Spain, if Portugal has never attained to such a height of national grandeur and power, it has never suffered so rapid and extreme a depressioni Spain, which, in