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[244] of rival for Naples. But within there is little to justify this magnificent exhibition as you approach it; for, besides the extreme filthiness of the streets, there is little either curious, interesting, or beautiful in the buildings and architecture. . . . .

The only building that has anything like a classical interest is the fine convent and church at Belem, an immense building or rather mass of buildings, erected about 1497, in a singular style, between Gothic and Arabic, by the famous Dom Manuel, to commemorate the successful accomplishment of the great voyage of Vasco de Gama. It was from this spot he went out, and it was here he landed again; and Camoens, therefore, has consecrated it in two stanzas that might have given immortality to a subject less interesting and worthy than this monument of the greatest of all the Portuguese achievements,—see Lusiad, IV. 87, and X. 12,—for Portugal has never produced so great an effect on the world as by the discovery of the Indies.

But of all the works at Lisbon that deserve to be seen, the most remarkable is certainly the aqueduct that supplies the city, which is, I doubt not, unrivalled either as a conveyance for water or as a specimen of this kind of architecture; for, as antiquity has certainly sent down to us nothing so perfect or so bold, I presume modern times have no competition to offer. It was the work of John V., and was built between 1713 and 1732. It brings the water from Bellas, about eleven English miles from Lisbon, and passes frequently under ground, and several times traverses deep valleys. The most remarkable point is where it crosses the vale of Alcantara, just before it enters the city; and here it altogether exceeds everything I have seen, even the Pont du Gard, which is more remarkable than the aqueducts about Rome. The length of it here is more than two thousand four hundred Paris feet, and it passes on thirty-five enormous arches, springing from the depths of the valley and going boldly up to the top, of which the one in the centre is one hundred and seven feet eight inches wide and two hundred and thirty feet ten inches high,—the very boldest arch, I presume, ever risked,—and yet of such exact proportions and construction that it resisted the tremendous earthquake of 1755. The water passes the whole way completely covered, in a kind of continued building in which you can walk upright, and divided into two channels, in one of which it flows half the year and in the other the other half, so that it may be kept clean and in repair,—an advantage, I believe, no other aqueduct possesses. On each side, too, is a walk like a bridge, and the view from it of the valley winding up between the hills, ornamented with the country-seats of the nobility, and covered with orange


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