previous next

[243] manufactures for above an hundred years, under the Methuen treaty, they have more conveniences and are able to receive you more comfortably than in Spain. In short, from what five days experience taught me, which is a good proportion of all that can be known in this little kingdom, I would rather travel in Portugal than in Spain, though my guides, with true Spanish exclusiveness, were every moment reminding me how much worse it was.

On the 23d, just five months from the day I entered Madrid for the first time, I reached La Moita on the Tagus, opposite Lisbon, and embarked to cross it. It was a beautiful day, and I did not at all regret that an unfavorable wind kept us nearly four hours in passing only fourteen miles.1 The city, which, with its suburbs, forms one long line upon the shore of above eight miles, broken by as many hills that finally tower above it and are covered with gardens, vineyards, and orange groves, formed a splendid view, shifting and changing into new and striking beauties every moment, as the wind drove us up or the current carried us towards the mouth of the river; while, at the same time, the shore from which we receded, dotted with neat white villages, and gay with cultivation or frowning with castles and fortifications on its bold, solemn cliffs, added to the effect by contrast, and made the passage worthy of the beautiful stanzas Lord Byron has written about it. At last we landed, and I finally finished the most wearisome, dangerous, and difficult journey I ever made, though certainly one of the most interesting and instructive. . . . .

Lisbon is, in its situation and external appearance, a most beautiful city. The opening into the ocean, the splendid bosom of the Tagus, which here stretches to the breadth of twelve miles and then is contracted again by the precipices below Belem to a comparatively narrow, rapid stream; the multitude of ships crowded together by the amphitheatre of hills; and the city, which, springing from the water's edge, rises with its beautiful white houses and towers, and is crowned behind by the heights that are ornamented with country-houses, gardens, convents, and churches,—altogether make it a kind


1 Some of the band of contrabandists with whom he had travelled came as far as Lisbon, and Mr. Ticknor used to tell the following anecdote of this passage across the Tagus. These men had become attached to him, and had acquired immense faith in his superior power. The tacking of their vessel, under a head wind, was very tedious to them, and one of them, who was very seasick, sent for ‘Don Jorge,’ and besought him to command the sailors to cease going backward and forward, and to take them straight across, nothing doubting that he would be obeyed.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lisbon (Portugal) (3)
Portugal (Portugal) (1)
Madrid (Spain) (1)
Belem (Portugal) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Elisha Ticknor (1)
Don Jorge (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
23rd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: