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eight o'clock in the evening, when the streets were not more empty than they generally are at that hour, opposite to an open shop, and in a carriage with a friend; had we not fortunately been armed, I have not the least doubt that we should have adorned a tale instead of telling one. The crime of assassination is not confined to Portugal: in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian or Maltese is ever punished!
Behold the hall where chiefs were late convened!
The Convention of Cintra was signed in the palace of the Marchese Marialva. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders; he has perhaps changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay.
The extent of Mafra is prodigious; it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld in point of decoration; we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal.
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know
As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterized them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident.
When Cava's traitor-sire first call'd the band
Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada.
No! as he speeds, he chants, " Viva el Rey!"
"Viva el Rey Fernando!"-Long live King Ferdinand! is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs: they are chiefly in dispraise of the old king Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. I have heard many of them; some of the airs are beautiful. Godoy, the Principe de la Paz, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish Guards, till his person attracted the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia, &c. &c. It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country.
Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
Stanza 1. lines 2 and 3.
The red cockade with "Fernando Septimo" in the centre.
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match.
All who have seen a battery will recollect the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are piled. The Sierra Morena was fortified in every defile through which I passed in my way to Seville.
Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall.
Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza. When the author was at Seville she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta.
The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impress'd
Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo
Stanza Ix. line 1.
These stanzas were written in Castri (Delphos), at the foot of Parnassus, now called Aianvça—Liakura.
Oh, thou Parnassus!
Fair is proud Seville; let her country boast
Her strength, her wealth, her site of ancient days.
Seville was the Hispalis of the Romans.
Baotian shades! the reason why?
Stanza lxx. line 5.
This was written at Thebes, and consequently in the best situation for asking and answering such a question; not as the birth-place of Pindar, but as the capital of Boeotia, where the first riddle was propounded and solved.
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings. Stanza lxxxii. line last.
"Medio de fonte leporum
"Surgit amari aliquid quod in ipsis floribus angat."
A traitor only fell beneath the feud.
Stanza lxxxv. line 7.
Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the Governor of Cadiz.
"War even to the knife!"
Stanza lxxxvi. line last.
"War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French General at the siege of Saragoza.
And thou, my friend! &c.
Stanza xci. line 1.
The Honourable I*. W**. of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra. I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine.
In the short space of one month I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction:
"Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
I should have ventured a verse to the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine.