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terrible commotion occurred without any wind, which rendered it the more astounding. According to the account of a shipmaster who encountered the concussion, and survived its dangers, the whole city of Lisbon, as surveyed from the river, was waving backwards and forwards like the sea when the wind first begins to rise ; that the agitation of the earth was so great, even under the river, that it threw up his large anchor from the mooring, and carried it to the surface of the water; and that immediately the river rose near twenty feet, and as instantly subsided. Upon this event he saw the quay, with the whole concourse of people upon it, sink down, and at the same time every one of the boats and vessels near it was drawn into the cavity, which instantly closed upon them, so that not the least sign of a wreck was ever seen afterwards. It is worthy of remark, that this noble quay was the only place in Lisbon that was entirely swallowed up, the destruction in other parts only amounting to demolition.
After all the devastations and horrors of the two preceding shocks, the measure of misfortune might seem at its full. But a third shock was still in store, to complete the misery of the wretched population. It was somewhat less violent than the two former, though the water rushed in again and retired with the same rapidity. Such was the impetuosity with which the river was moved, that some vessels were cast upon dry ground that had ridden in seven fathoms of water. This alternate rising and sweeping back of the waters was repeated several times, committing on each occurrence extensive injury and destruction. At this period, it was generally believed that the city of Lisbon was doomed to be entirely swept from the face of the earth.
But the earthquake had now completed its ravages, and gave place to a raging element not less inexorable and desolating. In a hundred places at once, the flames burst forth with such fury that the whole city appeared in a blaze. The commencement of the conflagration was owing, not so much to the discharge of subterrancan fires,
which issued from fissures in the earth, as to other circumstances which rendered it inevitable. As is usual in Catholic countries on days of high festival, every altar in every church and chapel was illuminated with waxtapers and lamps; and these falling with the curtains and timber-work during the convulsion, soon gave a beginning to the fire. The neighbouring buildings caught the flames already kindled by kitchen and other fires in private dwellings, and spread them throughout the city. The destruction of life and property during the conflagration was almost equal to that caused by the earthquake, since it was six days before it was finally arrested and extinguished. The total loss of life in these several disasters is estimated variously at from 30,000 to 60,000 souls.
It is scarcely possible to depicture the condition of a population such as Lisbon possessed, amounting, perhaps, to half a million human beings, in the midst of such a scene of horror and desolation. The distinctions of rank, the possessions of the wealthy, the restraints of law and police, were all equally demolished, and society was reduced to its primitive state. The country about Lisbon was crowded with fugitives in a state of destitution, whilst the refuse of the inhabitants, with the prisoners who had broken loose from the jails, spread themselves in all directions to pillage and destroy. When the earthquake, and the fire which succeeded it, had brought confusion to its height, the terrors of human violence were added. A report was spread amongst the people, that orders had been given to cannonade the town to stop the fire, so that all who had property gave up the idea of saving any portion, and with the members of their families endea. voured with all speed to gain the fields. Thus the city was abandoned by all the respectable inhabitants, and the mob of ruffians and demons was left uncontrolled to perpetrate every diabolical outrage.
In so terrible a crisis, two fortunate circumstances preserved Lisbon from total destruction and depopulation. The first was the escape of the king, Joseph I., who made good lis retreat, together with the queen and the
royal family, from the palace the moment before it fell, and took refuge in the royal gardens at Belem. Here, for eight days, they had to shelter themselves in their carriages; yet the presence of the king, his exhortations and his authority, were necessary to the restoration of order. The other circumstance to which allusion has been made, was of yet greater importance than the first. It consisted in the executive government being in the hands of a most able and energetic minister—the famous Sebastian Carvalho, Marquis of Pombal, who took instant and effective measures to put the royal prerogative in force. A proclamation was issued, in which were the following expressions :—His majesty exhorts all his subjects to imitate the pious endeavours with which the king strives to remedy the effects of the public calamity which has so much grieved his paternal heart. His majesty invites them, in consequence, to return to the quarters of their ancient capital, and co-operate with him in its re-establishment. His majesty relies with confidence, that it will not be necessary to resort to force to compel his faithful subjects to acquit themselves of duties so essential and imperative. The soothing terms of this proclamation were, however, not alone relied upon. Orders were forwarded to the governors of all the towns and places situated on the different roads from Lisbon, to permit no one to pass without a particular permission from government. In consequence of this, guards were posted on all sides, who stopped and drove back the wretched fugitives.
But the Marquis Pombal had to combat the prejudices and superstition of the people, in inducing their voluntary return to the city. The reforms that he had previously effected in the enormities of ecclesiastical power and wealth, had excited, as was natural, the violent animosity of the priests and monks. They now took advantage of the public disorder, and of the awful dispensation which had just occurred, to preach that it was a judgment upon the sacrilegious impiety which had prompted an interference with their privileges and gains. They pointed out the minister, and even the king himself, as the objects of divine wrath, and disposed the minds of the people, overpowered by so great a calamity, to disregard the royal injunctions. The interference of the pope's nuncio was alone able to restrain the unholy zeal of this turbulent body, and to compel some of them to second the patriotic efforts of the minister. Thus at length certain priests were found, who proceeded amongst the superstitious flock which was wandering up and down the fields, and exhorted them to return to the town, and apply themselves to their several occupations.
In the meantime, several fanatics and pretended prophets rushed about the city and the neighbouring parts, crying out that the end of all things had arrived, and that the earth itself was to be enveloped in destruction. It required a courageous mind to grapple with all these difficulties, since the fanaticism of a multitude, depressed by misfortune, is easily excited, and is especially to be feared. The Marquis Pombal caused many of these false prophets to be seized, and led to exemplary punishment, soothing the superstitious horror of the people by declaring that they were robbers in disguise, who were anxious only to perpetuate the public disorder. He also placed guards before the royal treasury, and other public offices which had escaped destruction, and distributed soldiers about the ruins of the city, to chase away the abandoned wretches who were engaged in the work of plunder. They were seized and brought before the tribunals, which he had hastily instituted in every quarter, and were thence instantly led to execution. He judged wisely, that, at a time when the ties of civil society were themselves broken, the only mode of repressing vice and stopping crime, was to hold up on every side the picture of punishment, so that a salutary fear might be excited in the minds of the evil-disposed. The bodies of the criminals executed were therefore left for several days hanging on high gibbets, exposed to the public view.
Among the pressing emergencies which so frightful a disaster produced, was necessarily of the first importance the providing with food a vast population despoiled of every necessary. This great object required froin Pombal the exercise of all his determination and vigilance. Orders were issued to every province of the kingdom to forward supplies, the imposts were removed on importations, public ovens were erected, and all persons who were engaged in no particular trade compelled to labour in the public behoof. The granaries of corn were fortunately at some distance from the city, and thence supplies were gained to furnish bread to the surviving inhabitants, without distinction and without payment, at so fearful a moment. The king exhausted his treasures in furnishing food to his subjects, the severest penalties were inflicted on monopolists, and rewards distributed to such as assisted in the restoration of the public trade and confidence. Thus the horrors of a famine were averted, and the endeavours of the minister to restore the city not impeded by a calamity which might have paralysed all his exertions.
When so many objects pressed upon the attention at once, it was necessary to proceed with vigour. The immense number of wounded and mangled bodies, and of others half burnt, together with the sick and dying from internal maladies, required immediate care. Physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, were ordered to give unremitted attendance, whilst temporary hospitals were erected in the ruins and in the convents, with such conveniences as the emergency permitted. After providing for the wounded and the still living, it was necessary to give heed to the heaps of dead which were in the streets, or buried beneath the houses and churches. This required the greater attention, since the humidity of winter, increased by the waters which were stagnant amongst the ruins, was rapidly decomposing the bodies and infecting the air with a pestilential vapour. But so engaged was every one in caring for his own preservation, and so nerveless had misfortune rendered the people, that the burying of the dead was with difficulty accomplished. The efforts of the Church were required to rouse the population to a sense of duty, and of the danger to which