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stitute of such beauties. Their loftiest summits rise in the midst of the whole chain, and are long before announced and introduced by mountains far inferiour in height to the Pic-du-midi.' P.57.
This pic is about 9036 feet above the level of the sea.
The Pyrenees are shortly noticed, but we find nothing added to what was before known. Our travelers depart from them, by turning westward, to Bayonne. This is represented as an active lively town, though the shallowness of the water and the bar are impediments to its more extensive commerce. In every spot, M. Link seems particularly attentive to the beauty of women; and he here remarks, that, though England may produce a greater number of handsome women, this part of France, a part of Spain, and the north part of Italy, produce women of greater beauty.' The following remarks, on beauty of another kind, are not uninteresting.
France, considered in a general view, has many natural beauties; high mountains, beautiful rivers, and excellent valleys. The native of Low-Germany misses the delicious meadows and beautiful verdure of his native country; a High-German, the lofty and darksome forests that skirt the horizon; nor did we any where see beautiful natural forests, though we traversed the whole country through its longest diameter. The oaks are not so fine as ours; and the beech, whose interwoven branches and cheerful verdure are so charming in spring, is seldom found. At Paris and Versailles the elm is mostly planted; and in the midland parts the garden-chesnut, which may certainly be classed among the most beautiful kinds of trees. In the south of France, besides the trees that are planted and nut and other fruittrees, the oak is the only tree met with; which, however, grows in a great many, but often slight, varieties. The sea-pine is found in the neighbourhood of sandy shores, but our pine is uncommon even in the north of France; and the larch and the red and white firs are only seen on the highest mountains. Pines are only found growing single, but hills covered with thickets are common throughout the country. In the midland and southern parts are few willows planted; a tree which gives a peculiar character to the views in Germany. In the south there is a peculiar sort of willow, which has not yet been properly described (salix nigra). From this description, the reader may judge of the impression views in France are likely to make. The countryhouses are frequently very handsome, especially in the midland parts, but situated between fields, or in the villages themselves, and generally surrounded with Italian poplars and walks. The English countryhouses, when at a distance from the high-road, but so as to be distinctly seen, with an extensive lawn before them, and a shady park behind or on one side, are far more pleasantly and more tastily situ ated than those in France, where the small country-towns are dirty, ill-paved, and ill-built; whereas the contrary prevails in England, for most of them are gay and smiling. The constant repetition, however, of the same kind of beauty very much fatigues those who travel much
in England; and hence the English are so much charmed with the wild uncultivated views in Wales. But German forests exceed all that can be seen of this kind in the south of Europe; and it is but to be lamented they are agreeable only during two or three months in the year.' P. 72.
Biscay is the first province in Spain; and the country around is well described. Old Castile is the next district, to which the traveler ascends, through the whole road from the sea. It is consequently elevated and cold; and is indeed, as M. Link observes, a terrace formed by the mountains of Biscay, or rather the Pyrenees. New Castile is equally a terrace, formed by the Castilian mountains. The country, in general, is faithfully delineated; and the account is often animated, and particularly by remarks on the ornamental plants which occur. The soil round Madrid consists of gypsum and clay-hills, covered with granite-rubble from the frontier mountains of Castile. The author chiefly quotes Burgoanne's Travels, whom, in the true spirit of a Frenchman, who never spells a proper name accurately, he calls Burgoing. We regret that he was unacquainted with baron Dillon's work, in which the country is described with a more philosophic eye, though at a period when mineralogy was not so well understood, as at present.
The author proceeds through Estremadura,, to Badajoz, and enters Portugal at Elvas. On the Spanish side, the frontiers were neglected; on that of Portugal, carefully guarded. From this, he infers that the Portuguese only entertained any apprehensions. We shall select from this part the account of the evergeen oak, which forins so conspicuous a feature in Spanish landscapes.
On the declivity' (of the Puerto de Miravete, near Almaraz,) 'is a small miserable village, and on the summit a small house garrisoned with soldiers. What a prospect! On one side a bare naked range of mountains every where covered with cistus; at a distance up the Tagus summits still covered with snow; on the other a black forest of evergreen oaks impenetrable to the eye, and beyond it at an immense distance the castle of Truxillo on an eminence. This was the first of these solitary desert spots we met with; but after we passed the Tagus they often occurred, though without these extensive oak-forests. I have already frequently mentioned the evergreen oak; but it requires, a short description to give a full idea of the peculiar character of a Spanish view, which depends on them so much. This tree seldom grows high, generally about the size of a moderate pear-trec; the stem is thick, and covered with a thin fissated bark, with a head formed by short branches crowded together. The leaves are not deciduous, and are of the size of those of the pear-tree, being of a dark green above, whitish below, and curled upwards. The trees generally stand at a distance from each other, so that their tops do not touch, and they are wholly destitute of the fine effect of long waving interwoven
branches. The short thick stems often afford an appearance of great age, the curled leaves have a very thirsty appearance, and the wind often exposes their lower sides, which look dried up. Here a gentle breeze can scarcely be perceived, whereas in our woods it creates a general rustling. The soil is parched and bare, and there is scarcely enough shade to render even a German summer tolerable, much less that of Spain. Here too reign silence and solitude, which accord well with some states of the mind; but the darkness of our woods, and the murmur of thick interwoven branches, lead it into that melancholy, which must here spring from the spectator. Nothing conceals the gay Spanish sky, which, however, in solitary deserted spots affords some satisfaction and repose.' P. 118.
The country round Elvas is represented as singularly beautiful; but this delightful region is soon at an end; and the towns of Portugal lie, like islands, not in the midst of a sea, but of a desert, In this part of his tour, our traveler first saw the Portuguese soldiers, of whose appearance and appointments he speaks with respect, and thinks that a Prussian regiment would not have disowned them as 'collegues;' -he should have said comrades.
The road to Lisbon is dreary and uncomfortable. The heaths are barren, from their aridity; but the numerous species of erica and cisti most elegantly adorn them, These heaths, however, soon become irksome to the author; for, without cultivation, no country can, he thinks, be pleasing, unless it be sublime and romantic.' The pine-woods occasionally diversify the scene: but these, also, soon fatigue, An abstract from a statistical narration of the province of Alemtejo, by A. H. de Silveira, is subjoined: it gives an interesting account of this province, and, in many respects, a view of the state of the whole kingdom,
Of Lisbon, many descriptions have been published; but we do not recollect any so full and satisfactory as this before
The country around is shut up by high walls, which inclose gardens; and, beyond these, the hills are represented as highly fertile, owing to the basalt, which, when wetted by rain, falls into a rich clay. The soil consists chiefly of limestone and basalt; the fornier of which rests on the latter. The earthquake of 1755 seemed principally to affect the basaltic hills: but Belem, which stands partly on a basaltic bill, escaped its ravages. The trees are chiefly olive and orange, without the oak, the beech, and the linden: the cypress, the elm, and the poplar, are rare. Hence an idea may be formed of a Portuguese prospect; and it must be added, that their fertile meadows contain only a high spiry grass, though the ground is covered by different species of trefoil. The hedges consist of the aloe and the Indian fig, which, from its prickles, is styled figo do inferno.
The high flowers of the former are grand objects, and the yellow flower of the latter is ornamental. The fig also bears an esculent fruit, not unpleasant; and both these plants are interspersed with pomegranates, whose blossoms are more highly esteemed than the fruit.
The climate and provisions of Portugal are next noticed. The heat in 1798 was 104° of Farenheit; and it frequently raises the thermometer to 96°: it seems seldom to sink below the freezing point. From midsummer, to the middle of September, rain is very uncommon; and the ground is burnt, from the drought. October is pleasant, since, from the showers, the young grass springs up, and new leaves shoot out. November and December are rainy, with frequent storms. The harvest is in May.
The police of Lisbon, and the description of the Portuguese, we need not abridge. M. Link thinks the accounts of the latter, in Mr. Murphy's work, incorrect, and speaks with still less respect of the New Picture of Lisbon. The account of the Portuguese is, on the whole, not uninteresting, though not always perfectly decorous. Among the amusements of Lisbon, he speaks highly of the opera: but no other public entertainment merits his commendation.
The institutions of Lisbon seem never to have been described with fidelity. The literary ones are spoken of slightly but learning has not wholly forsaken this coast; and some libraries contain works of general interest and information. There are a few collections of natural history, which contain specimens of curiosity, but are neither full, nor well arranged. The literary characters of Lisbon are not very highly extolled.
The country on the south side of the river, though sandy, contains nunierous villages and hamlets, with at least ten considerable and populous market-towns, within the space of about fifteen miles. The royal residence of Quelus is in this neighbourhood. The prince of Brasil is represented as possessing good natural qualities: but his talents are questioned; and it is apprehended he will fall under the dominion of the priests. Of the ministers, our author speaks more favoura bly than some of his predecessors have done.
The mountains of Cintra are on the north-west of Lisbon, and trend from the north-east to the south-west, where they terminate in a cape called Cabo de Rocca-by our sailors, the Rock of Lisbon.' These mountains abound in shade and water, when everything else is scorched; and are consequently the retreats of its most opulent inhabitants. The southern cape, which, with the rock, forms the mouth of the Tagus, is the termination of a ridge, which rises on the
east at Palmello, and runs westward, consisting of a grey close lime-stone, which breaks in shivers.
Portugal is said to contain 744,980 houses. Reckoning four persons to a house, the whole population is much under three millions. If we reckon four and a half, the number scarcely exceeds three millions. The whole of the country, across the mountains, to St. Ubes, is well delineated, and the trade of the latter detailed, in contrast with that of Lisbon. The next tour is to the northern provinces, and particularly to the hot baths of Caldas: but it contains nothing that we can transcribe with advantage. From Caldas, our author proceeds to the university of Coimbra, through Alcobaça and Batalha. He describes the country, and the different buildings, criticising, somewhat severely, our countryman Mr. Murphy: but we cannot engage in the controversy. The church, it seems, is not built of white marble, but of a calcareous sand-stone. We see no reason why an architect should necessarily be a mineralogist.
Coimbra is built on the declivity of a hill, round which the Montego winds-a river that, in winter, overflows its banks, and renders the air, in the subsequent summer, unwholesome. Our author describes the constitution of the university more minutely than former travelers, and generally speaks of it with respect, as he does of signor Brotero, the botanical professor, in the language of panegyric. We ought, however, to add, that M. Link is not a chemist: he looks in the mineral waters for oxygen gas, which they seldom contain; and, at the conclusion of this chapter, adds that Dr. Black would not have discovered oxygen gas, had he not doubted the categories as well as the elements of the Stagirite.' Dr. Black did not discover oxygen gas; and, in his experiments on magnesia, could not have thought of Aristotle, to whom the magnesian earth was never known.
The country round Coimbra is delightful; and this spot was hallowed to wedded love, by the retreat of the celebrated and beautiful Inez de Castro, the wife of Don Pedro, and who was cruelly murdered by Alphonso IV.-The description of the cupressus Lusitanica is new; and we should have selected it, would not our article be otherwise sufficiently extensive. The mountains are a coarse sand-stone, alternating with a grey lime-stone: the olive-trees nume rous and fruitful. The rust of the olive-tree is supposed to be a fungus, arising from an overflow of sap, preduced by the wounds of an insect, perhaps a species of coccus. has been attributed to the insect itself, and to an exuberance of sap: but the former system, hinted by our author, is more probable.