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in unknown spots, and, exhausted by the heat of the day, slept with. put care or apprehension.
• Thus I seized the pen to defend my friends the Portugueze, de termining impartially to poustray their character, their mode of life, and their agriculture, with which last my occupations rendered me intimately acquainted; till thus a mere apology grew into a book of travels. It being often needful to draw a comparison between the Portugueze and their neighbours the Spaniards, I added a short account of our journey through Spain, and France is too important an object of public attention to omit the few observations I have prefixed, more particularly on provinces through which travellers have of late very rarely passed.' P.iv. . M. Link has certainly seen the Portuguese with a favourable eye; and, though we attach little credit to the accounts of travelers who have merely surveyed the capital, we know too much of the interior country, to be able to pay any great attention to the flattering account here given of it.
The author hastens through the road from Calais to Paris, but enlarges a little on what is most interesting in the me. tropolis; and bis remarks on England chiefly appear in the comparative statement of the conveniences and beauties of the two countries.-- We shall select a short specimen.
- The country round Paris is, without comparison, more beautiful than that round London. How charming is the view of a part of the city from the Botanic garden! which is even exceeded by that of all Paris, from the pleasant hill of Montmartre. The continuation of this hill, with its numerous vineyards, to the neighbourhood of Chasenton, presents an agreeable variety to the eye; and the banks of the Seine up to the spot where it receives the Marne, and to the majestic bridge over the latter, are equally pleasing.' But still more charming is the spot, where, having passed the Elysian fields, it forms a curve toward the bridge over the Sevre, watering the foot of a charming hill, on which is the park of Meudon. Here it makes a sharp turn, and flows to the park of St. Cloud, amid the shady walks and thick foliage of which Peace seems to dwell, while the solitary castle gives as it were a soft elegiac murmur of sympathy. The extreme flatness of the country round London renders it naturally dull, and between Bagshot and Hounslow horrible : nothing, indeed, but art could have given it any attractions. Of the neighbourhood of London, the country about Chelsea is the pleasantest on one side ; and at a farther distance, on the other side, on the banks of the river below the metropolis, are Greenwich park and hospital for decayed seamen, a magni. ficent building, the prospect of which is an ornament to the neighbouring country, which it greatly contributes to render extremely pleasant. The view at Richmond is remarkably fine; but the spectator must be placed on the hill in the park, or in the Star-tavern, to trace all the windings of the river, which often conceals itself amid a crowd of houses and gardens, meadows, fields, and foliage. It affords but a single view, and resembles a solitary bright thought in an otherwise
siguificant work. I love not an epigrammatic country vicw.' P. 26.
M. Link seems not to have availed himself of some of the advantages lie might have found in England, particularly with respect to the collections of natural objects and botanic gardens.
In his progress southward, he follows the lime- and sandstone country, to the mountains of the Limousin, where the gramte commences, which is again lost on the southern side of the Correze. The country, in general, is described as poor, and the people dissatisfied, particularly in the manufacturing towns. The young men, returning from the fields of war, to which they bad been carried by compulsion, are said to have brought back the most rooted hatred of the government.
From the banks of the Dordogne to those of the Garonne, the country is calcareous, with an occasional appearance of sand-stone: it is well described ; and some of the peculiar politics of this part of the kingdom, particularly of the town of Montauban, diversify, perhaps enliven, it. Soon after passing the Garonne, the travelers enter Gascony-a country also of lime-stone, much diversified, and often singularly beautiful, though too deficient in woodland. The limestone continues, till they arrive at a little town called La MiTande. Beyond this is Rabasteins, on the declivity of a mountain, from which the view, described in the following extract, occurs: the whole country, from Mirande, rises considerably.
• Here indeed the view is extremely delightful; exhibiting a cheerful and finely cultivated country, with numerous towns, villages, and detached houses, hills clothed with hanging woods, open cheerful val. leys and excellent roads, together with the near view of the Pyrenees, the majestic summits that raise their heads above all the rest in Bi. gorre, the sharp peaks, almost resembling needles shooting into the air, in Foix and Roussillon, and a cheerful smiling country, over which the genius of sublimity seems to hover:
We entered the vale of Tarbes at Rabasteins. Across this vale, which however, rather resembles a wide-extended plain, runs a straight road as even as a floor, and planted on each side with trees. Near the road are meadows carefully watered by art, and fields and vineyards give variety to the view. The vines twine round the trees to a certain height, from which the branches hang in festoons; neat houses are seen half-concealed in groves of Italian poplars, and in front appears the city of Tarbes with its elegant towers; when suddenly and unexpectedly behind them arise the Pyrenees, in the midst of which is the Pic-du-midi, situated in Bigor e, at only a mile and a half distance, being 9000 feet above the level of the sea, while the other lofty summits of this chain of mountains seem to crowd around it. There are perhaps few chains of mountains, where so perfect a valley can be found in the most charming of climates, and so near the foot of so lafty a mountain. The Alps are, throughout their whole extent, de.
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 west ward, 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 fruittrces, 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 inidland 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 situated 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 bcauiy 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 iufers 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 free 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 affyrd 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 brecze can scarcely he 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 spcaks with respect, and thinks that a Prussian regiment would not have disowned them as 'collegues;'
he should have said comiades.
The road to Lisbon is dreary and uncomfortable. The heatlıs 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 us. The country around is shut up by high walls, which inclose gardens; and, beyond these, the hills are represents ed as highly feruile, owing to the basalt, which, when wetted by rain, falls into a rich clay. The soil consists chiefly of lime.stone and basalt; the former of which rests on the latter. The earthquake of 1755 seemned 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 oik, the beech, and the linden: the cypress, the clm, and the poplar, arc rure. Hence an idea may be formed of a Portuguese prospect; and it must be added, that their fertile meadows contain only i liighi 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.