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THE CITY OF OPORTO. OPORTO is situated about 160 miles to the north of Lisbon, and, next to it, is the largest city in Portugal. It is built on the declivity of a hill, in an elevated situation, on the north side of the Douro, and is about two miles from its mouth. To the west, along the declivity of the hill, is the market town of Gaya, where a place named Cale is said to have stood; the inhabitants of which, being in want of a convenient port, constructed Oporto (literally "the port"), which they called "Portus Cale," whence "Portucal," and lastly "Portugal," is

derived.

The appearance of the city, on a first approach, is pleasing the houses rise one above another, and being all whitewashed, give it an air of great cleanliness; but on a closer inspection the houses are found to be very irregularly constructed, and most of the streets are narrow, crooked, and dirty. Still there are some broad straight streets, with new and handsome houses, with gardens full of vines and orange trees; and there are eleven public squares, called campos. A pleasant residence is noticed, by the Rev. Mr. Kinsey, in the following agreeable picture:

The windows of the back-front of our host's residence open into a large garden, filled with a variety of Brazilian plants, easily distinguished by their gaudy colours; vines extended on a trellis of considerable length, bearing a profusion of purple bunches; superb lemon trees, sweet and sour; lime and orange trees, bending under the weight of their golden fruit; with pear-trees, and apples, and plums, and Alpine strawberries growing in the greatest luxuriance. The Indian cane, with its splendid blossom, whose colour resembles that of the Guernsey, or rather the Chinese lily, is a great addition to the gay ornaments of this earthly paradise. It was delightful during the heat when it became impossible to mount the steep streets of Porto, to enjoy a lounge under the canopy formed by the vine, impervious as it was to the noontide ray.

The steep declivity of the hill on which the town is built, makes it a labour to move about, but this inconvenience is compensated by the greater cleanliness; during rain most of the impurities find their way into the river. The only scavengers are pigs, which are turned out at night and allowed to roam about the streets until sun-rise; they clear away vegetable and other refuse, thrown out after dinner, which in this warm climate would soon ferment. On the eastern side of the town, houses are built against so steep a part of the declivity, over the stream, that they can only be approached by steps cut in the rock.

The river affords a tolerably secure harbour without any artificial aid, except an elevated and walled quay which extends the whole length of the town: here the river is deep, and well adapted to the purposes of trade: vessels of 250 tons burden can come close to it. The mouth of the Douro is so obstructed by rocks and quicksands that its entrance is difficult. The rocks are sunken, and the sand forms a bar, which has been accounted for thus:-At certain seasons the river swells considerably, and carries with it a quantity of sand, brought down by the different torrents which issue from the sides of the mountains. The sunken rocks at the entrance of the harbour, break the current of the river, and prevent the water from carrying the sand out to

sea.

It thus accumulates about these rocks, and forms a bar, which is annually increasing and becoming more and more dangerous. The English Oporto Company long ago proposed to destroy these rocks, and to clear the passage; but the Portuguese replied that they never would agree to the removal of the best defence of their harbour against the insults of the Moors. In vain was it represented to them, that as the mouth is narrow, two forts, whose lines of fire intersect each other, would defend the city from every attack: they persisted in declaring, that they preferred the security of their homes to the chance of more considerable profit, which,

in the end, might occasion their ruin. In more recent times, attempts have been repeatedly made by the English merchants, to obtain the co-operation of the Portuguese, in a plan for diminishing the dangers of the navigation of the Douro, but without success.

The navigation of the upper part of the river is also difficult and dangerous: even when not swollen its descent is fearful. Mr. Kinsey says, "We shot down these roaring rapids with the celerity of lightning, occasionally enjoying the agreeable sensation of bumping against some sunken rock, and only escaping collision with the shore by the activity and quick-sightedness of the man at the prow, who managed his long pole with inconceivable dexterity." The same writer says, that "although the Douro is much narrower than the Tagus, and is wanting in its grand features, yet an English eye will prefer the appearance of the rocks and green woods, which surround Oporto and Villa Nova, to the herbless heights, on which Lisbon and Almada are situated.”

In the Rua Nova dos Inglezes, one of the principal thoroughfares, is situated the British Factory-house, erected about five and twenty years ago. The "British Factory" is an association of the resident merchants who contribute to a public stock, so much upon each pipe of wine which they ship off to England." It is a sort of a club-house, and contains a fine library, readingroom, and spacious ball-room. Here, also, the British consul has his office. The building is of white granite, and the street elevation crowned by a handsome pediis situated below, but the merchants prefer to meet on ment, presents a very beautiful façade. The Exchange business in the street, or in the news-room.

According to Murphy, the population of Oporto is about 63,000 souls; but including Villanova and Gaya it amounted in 1827 to 80,000. Oporto contains four suburbs, Mazarelos, Cedofeita, Santo Ovidio, and La Lapa, which, together with the city, cover an extent of ground of about two miles. Villa Nova do Porto lies to the east of Oporto: it is inhabited chiefly by wine coopers and persons employed by the merchants of Oporto. Between this place and Gaya, on a small plain along the bank of the river, are the spacious vaults or "lodges," where the wine is kept till it is stored.

On a rocky eminence near Villanova is the celebrated convent and garden called Mosteiro da Serra, which belonged to the Austinian monks. The site is so elevated as to command a view of the whole of Oportu. When Mr. Kinsey visited it, it was surrounded by orchards and gardens, rabbit warrens, and woods, in which the fathers enjoyed the pleasures of the chase But the ravages of civil war have reduced this once beautiful building to an almost shapeless ruin, surrounded by rude palisadoes, while the magnificent groves of chesnut trees, luxuriant orchards, and rich vineyards, have shared in the desolation.

It was from this spot that the British, during the Peninsular war, crossed the Douro, under circumstances which none, perhaps, but British soldiers could have successfully opposed. (The reader will find an account of this achievement in the Saturday Magazine, Vol. IV., p. 150.)

Oporto contains fourteen hospitals or charitable asylums, and no fewer than ninety churches, besides a fine and spacious cathedral, rebuilt by Henry of Besançon, first Count of Portugal, A.D. 1105. It is the see of a bishop, who resides chiefly at Mezanfrio, but has a handsome modern-built palace within the city.

In 1827, when the Rev. Mr. Kinsey wrote, the number of monks in Oporto and the neighbouring convents, was estimated at 5000, and the grossest superstition everywhere prevailed. "A Protestant observer," says that gentleman, "must have 'his spirit stirred in him when he sees a city thus wholly given to idolatry,' when he discovers a people who are worthy of better instruction in all things too superstitious, and in their devotions worshipping

God ignorantly. When the people are kept in ignorance | gold., The lady of an English merchant having engaged of the right principles of their belief it is easy to conceive how they are deceived in the notions which they are directed to form of the Godhead."

The monasteries are now uninhabited, the religious orders in Portugal, as well as in Spain, having been suppressed since the establishment of the liberal system. The convent of St. Benedict formerly contained fifty nuns, who had taken the veil, and was also a sort of asylum for unprotected females, termed secularies, who of course might quit the establishment at pleasure; the number of these was about two hundred and fifty. The Franciscan convent, as well as the street in which it stands, suffered severely during the late civil war. In the church attached to the convent is a dwarfish figure of St. Francis, which is greatly honoured by the religious of the fair sex, who are accustomed to wash the hands of the sacred effigy in a basin, with soap and a towel; after which they either drink the water, or bottle it up as a holy relic.

The churches are described as being in a very filthy state, and from the invariable custom of burying the dead within their walls, they are most unwholesome; moreover the behaviour of the lower orders is so indecent that the better classes purchase permission from the Pope to have mass said in their own houses.

As the holy sacrament is conveyed from the church through the streets to the chamber of some dying person, all passengers fall on their knees and cross themselves, keeping their eyes fixed upon the ground; carriages pull up; the leathern curtains of cabriolets are drawn, and strings of muleteers remain uncovered as long as the sacred procession is in sight.

The Torres dos Clerigos, or Tower of the Clergy, is one of the most striking objects among the public buildings of Oporto. The steeple is the loftiest in Portugal, after that of Mafra: from its summit, a most commanding view may be obtained over the town and neighbouring wooded heights, the windings of the Douro, a large extent of coast, and the Atlantic ocean. This steeple was once struck by lightning, to the great alarm of the inhabitants, who actually met for the purpose of deliberating on the best means of protecting the tower from the destructive agent. Two plans were proposed, and each was warmly supported: one was to fix a conductor to the steeple, and the other to put up a lamp to be lit every night in honour of St. Barbara, the patroness of the church. The latter proposal was finally adopted, as the most effectual protection against the effects of future

storms.

In the vicinity of this church is the market called Cordoaria. It is well supplied with fish, fruit, and vegetables, which are all sold by women. "It is curious to observe them, when business is dull, running every now and then from their merchandize to the church to breathe a prayer, and then hurrying back to business; while others unwilling to lose the chance of a customer, content themselves by telling their beads at their stations in the market place."

The lower orders are passionately fond of trinkets and articles of jewellery; and the taste seems to have been created by a curious kind of necessity, in addition to the usual stimulus of vanity. As there are no savings' banks in Portugal, the peasants either hoard their earnings in strong boxes or lay them out in the purchase of trinkets. The handsome ear-rings and chains of solid gold worn by women among the lower classes excite surprise, until it is known that they regularly invest their money in the acquisition of these ornaments; so that by an unusual combination the increase of the family wealth, and the gratification of their taste for personal decoration, go hand in hand; and as these trinkets are generally of solid gold, and made with little regard to fashion, their value is easily ascertained, and they are converted into cash without difficulty. Many women who go about barefooted, are ornamented with valuable necklaces of

a servant who seemed every way competent to her duties, was shocked at her wearing no shoes, and thinking this might arise from poverty, kindly offered to advance part of her wages. The offer was received with something like indignation by the domestic, who immediately opened her box and displayed a wealth of jewelry which quite astonished her mistress, and proved beyond doubt that if shoes had not been procured, it was not on account of poverty, but because they were deemed useless incumbrances to the wardrobe.

The principal trade of Oporto is in wine, white or red, but chiefly red. This is made in the province of Tras-os-Montes, to the north-west, and in some districts of Entre-Douro-é-Minho, to the north. Throughout the wine country the precaution is adopted of fencing in the vineyards on those sides lying near the roads with a light frame work, composed of the Arundo domax, covered with furze, to secure the grapes from the grasp of the passing traveller. "If we owe you money, come and be paid, but don't rob me of my property," said a farmer to a party supposed to belong to the company who were observed helping themselves to what came within their reach.

In the gardens of the quintas, small channels of water, kept constantly filled from some overflowing fountain, are so skilfully constructed, as to furnish a never-failing supply of moisture to the shrubs and plantations, which would The ulmis otherwise in summer be burnt up by the heat. adjungere vitem is well known in poetical description; but in Portugal, besides overshadowing their artificial supporters, the vines are seen attaching themselves to, or hanging down in luxuriant festoons from forest trees, such as the oak, chesnut and cork, in all the wildness of nature, and not unfrequently insinuating themselves among the branches of myrtle-trees, which attain a considerable size in the hedge-rows, and contrasting their large purple The union is bunches with the snow-white blossom. truly poetical, and its novelty is charming to the eye of a northern traveller. A vine is often purposely planted by the farmer under an oak tree, whose boughs it soon overruns, repaying the little labour expended in its cultivation by its fruit, and the lop of its branches.

The red wine is exported, largely, to various parts of Europe and America; but the greatest consumption is "Port wine." that of this country, where it is known as The amount yearly exported varies from 50,000 to 70,000 pipes. Other exports are oil, sumac, linen, lemons, and oranges. The imports are woollen, cotton, iron, and hardwares from England. Manufactures at Oporto are not in a thriving state.

In 1831-3,

The loss of the Portuguese colonies, and the frequent wars of which the town has been the scene, have been ruinous to its commerce. Oporto was taken and sacked by the French during the Peninsular war. it was the scene of a fierce contest for the throne of Portugal, between Don Pedro, ex-emperor of Brazil, and his brother Don Miguel, who had usurped the Crown from his niece Donna Maria. The siege lasted above a year: the town was partly destroyed by the artillery, and several wealthy mercantile houses were ruined by the suspension of trade, and the wanton destruction or property by the troops of the usurper, who, on their retreat from before the lines of Oporto, blew up with gunpowder several wine-cellars belonging to the merchants, and thus caused the destruction, it is said, of An eye-witness says, 13,000 pipes of wine. hissing streams of wine were like rivulets pouring out of the smoking ruins into the Douro, whose waters were tinged to a deep red."

"The

From the mountainous situation of Oporto, the climate is damp and foggy in winter. The unhealthy season is from the beginning of July, to the end of August. The heat during the day is quite oppressive, although a cold wind prevails on the river, and a chilling sea-fog come up the Douro every evening at the turn of the tide. These almost hourly variations in the state of the 798-2

atmosphere have a serious influence on the health of a stranger. In summer the heat is excessive, especially in the narrow valley formed by the hills on the southern declivity of which Oporto is situated.

The following graphic description of a storm in the neighbourhood of Oporto, is from an anonymous work entitled Portugal and Gallicia.

The extreme and long-continued heat that prevailed in Portugal during the summer of 1827, was, I believe, almost unparalleled: the vines were everywhere injured, in some places destroyed, and the agriculture had universally suffered; but during the last two days an evident change had taken place, the weather was becoming more temperate, and clouds of a leaden hue were gradually collecting from all points of the horizon. They must have concentrated their strength during the night of the 26th, for on the following morning the sky resembled a great sea of ink; deep black masses overhung our heads, gradually sinking lower and lower, and a faint moaning wind alone interrupted the heavy repose that had settled upon the face of the earth. At length the storm burst; not ushered in by any light showers, not even by any warning drops, but descending at once and vertically, in sheets of water, as if hurled by an offended God against a world which he had resolved to submerge again.

I had never seen so fierce a conflict of the elements. Those hills, a few minutes before so destitute of water that I could have hailed with pleasure the most trifling rill, now resounded with the roar of a thousand torrents rushing impetuously into the valley; and my path, which led along a natural channel between two rocks, at once became the main artery that received these tributary streams. As the water was rising fast, and every moment assumed more the character of a raging torrent, I endeavoured to escape from its vortex by turning my mule and retracing my steps; but the strength of the current and the terror of the animal, when required to stem it, rendered this manœuvre impracticable, and I was therefore obliged to continue my amphibious journey till I found an outlet.

Having extricated myself from this master-flood, I became involved with the lesser streams, that dashing around me, tumbling from crag to crag, and crossing each other in all directions, presented a magnificent scene of uproar and confusion. I called to the muleteer and Antonio, who had lingered in the rear, to warn them from the main channel, which might have been dangerous to them, and would probably have been fatal to the loaded mules, but my shouts were drowned in the noise of many waters. Some of our luggage was carried off, and had the inundation continued, we must have lost the whole; but fortunately the sky relented, in mercy to a country which had so long withered under its burning eye, and was now visited by a still more tremendous infliction.

ONE's age should be tranquil, as one's childhood should be playful: hard work, at either extremity of human existence, seems to me out of place; the morning and the evening should be alike cool and peaceful; at midday the sun may burn, and men may labour under it.-DR. ARNOLD.

Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise,-
We love the play-place of our early days;
The scene is touching, and the heart is stone,
That feels not at that sight-and feels at none.
The wall on which we tried our graving skill;
The very name we carved existing still;

CURIOUS CHESS PROBLEMS.

XVII.

THE inventor of the following remarkable problem is M. Julius Mendheim of Berlin. White is not to be allowed to move any piece except the Knight, and with this he is to give Checkmate, which he can do in about seven moves. From the simplicity of the condition attached to it, this problem is by no means difficult of solution, although the number of moves may appear large to the young student.

BLACK.

WHITE,

In the life of Sir Astley Cooper, it does not appear that he was an absent man, but the following amusing act of forgetfulness is related by his biographer.

"It was during this session that my uncle, one night after a surgical lecture, said to me, Come, Bransby, jump into the carriage, and I'll take you home.' I was living in Cannon-street, not seven minutes' walk from the hospital. I was no sooner seated in the carriage than he said, 'I have to call at the West End of the town first,' and off we drove for Westminster, I caring little about the distance, as it gave me an opportunity of being with my uncle. At last we arrived at a nobleman's house, I think in Grosvenor square, and, as it was a cold night, he told me I had better get out and sit in the drawing-room while he went up stairs elegantly furnished room, and at first was sufficiently to see his patient. Accordingly I was ushered into an amused by examining the pictures, and the bijouterie upon the tables. I then took up a book, and sat down close the fire, after which I lost all recollection until I awoke cold and comfortless, and with only a few expiring embers left in the grate. The last glimmer of the candle just gave me light enough to see my way to the staircase, but the hall-lamp was out, and all was dark and silent. I now felt assured that I had been forgotten by my uncle, and that I was the only person in the house who was not in bed. I began to think how I should extricate myself from my difficulty; I listened for the least noise to indicate that some one was stirring, but all was silent as the grave, excepting, as I moved to and fro, the noise made by the creaking of my shoes, which, so far from calming my disquiet, filled me with apprehension, lest it should be heard and mistaken for the footstep of some nocturnal depredator. "My situation became every instant more painful. At I listened for the effect, but as the tinkling ceased, the last I summoned up resolution, and rang the bell gently; death-like stillness of the house was resumed. A second pull at the bell was more successful, for I soon after heard footsteps approaching, so cautiously, however, as to make it evident to me, that the trepidation of the person roused by my summons was equal to my own. I advanced towards of the earth, and being highly rarefied, the heat is diffused the staircase, and there meeting a man whose looks, through a wider space.-Connexion of the Physical Sciences. as he started with surprise at seeing me, sufficiently told

The bench on which we sat while deep employed,
Though mangled, hacked, and hewed, yet not destroyed.
The little ones unbuttoned, glowing hot,
Playing our games, and on the very spot;
As happy as we once to kneel and draw
The chalky ring, and knuckle-down at taw.
This fond attachment to the well-known place,
Where first we started into life's long race,
Maintains its hold with such unfailing sway,

We feel it e'en in age, and at our latest day.-CowrER. TEMPERATURE does not vary so much with latitude as with height above the level of the sea; and the decrease is more rapid in the higher strata of the atmosphere than in the lower, because they are farther removed from the radiation

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his state of mind,-I asked, 'Is Mr. Cooper gone? Gone, sir!' exclaimed he in return, these four hours! This led to an explanation, and about three o'clock in the morning I turned out of the house, and at once endeavoured to find my way to Cannon-street, at which place, from my ignorance of London at that period, it took me no little time to arrive. I thought my uncle never would have ceased laughing, when I told him the next day at the hospital of the unpleasant situation he had left me in. He declared he had lost all recollection of having taken me with him, until I recalled it by my relation of the fact."-Life of Sir Astley Cooper.

VARIOUS Opinions have been formed on the original or primitive distribution of plants over the surface of the globe; but since botanical geography became a regular science, the phenomena observed have led to the conclusion, that vegetable creation must have taken place in a number of distinctly different centres, each of which was the original seat of a certain number of peculiar species, which at first grew there and no where else. Heaths are exclusively confined to the old world, and no indigenous rosetree has ever been discovered in the new, the whole southern hemisphere being destitute of that beautiful and fragrant plant. But this is still more confirmed by multitudes of particular plants, having an entirely local and insulated existence, growing spontaneously in some particular spot, and in no other place; as, for example, the cedar of Lebanon, which grows indigenously on that mountain and in no other part of the world. The same laws obtain also in

the distribution of the animal creation.-MRS. SOMERVILLE.

THE OCEAN.

WIDE Ocean! boundless, measureless,
Beyond the ken of mortal eye,
Outspreading far thy mightiness
Into a dread infinity;

What thing is imaged by thee
In thine unseen immensity?

Majestic Ocean! lifting high

Thy mountain-billow head, all space
The throne-seat of thy sovereignty,
Thine unapproachable high place;
What thing is imaged by thee
In thine enthroned majesty?
Great Ocean! Peerless in thy sway,
Proud scorner of man's impotence,
Upheaving, swelling to display

Thy might and thy magnificence;
What thing is imaged by thee
In thine august sublimity?

Mysterious Ocean! wherein dwell

Myriads of unknown things, deep, deep
Thou hast a bed; and who may tell

What wonders in that wide bed sleep?
What thing is imaged by thee
In thine unravelled mystery?

Rough Ocean! to mad fury driven,

With foam of unchecked wildness reeking,
Thy giant breast with tempest riven,

Thy voice like loudest thunder speaking;
What thing is imaged by thee
In thine untamed ferocity?
Free Ocean! free, and yet a slave!

Slave to the Power whose mandate bade
Thy waters roll, who taught each wave
How far to go, where to be stayed;
What thing is imaged by thee
In thy mysterious slavery?

A human mind! its mystery,

Its beauty (born of heaven's own light),

Its passions, and its slavery,

Its grandeur and its prideful might,
Its majesty, immensity,

This dost thou image, wondrous Sea!

ONE of the greatest physical changes in the earth, is produced by the extermination of carnivorous animals; for then the graminivorous become so numerous as to eat up all the young trees, so that the forests rapidly diminish, except those which they do not eat, as pines and firs.-Dr. Arnold,

SOME ACCOUNT OF WHALE FISHING. IT is a common remark that sailors are proverbially superstitious, and we cannot expect to find an exception in those who are engaged in the Greenland whale fisheries. The ships employed in this service are for the most part manned by natives of the Orkney and Shetland isles; who of course communicate to their more southern messmates the wonderful tales, traditions, spells, and magic, of their own romantic land. It will not, therefore, surprise us to find many singular and superstitious customs prevailing amongst those engaged in the exciting, but hazardous occupation of whale fishing. The following account is given by an eye witness:

After some days' sail, the first ceremony or preparation commenced, and was called "spanning the harpoons." The harpoon is a weapon of iron, the barb being in the shape of an arrow, with a socket, into which is fixed a staff six feet in length. The harpooners are first invited into the cabin, and each is required to drink, from the socket of his weapon, a bumper to the success of the fishery. The men appeared to bear this sentence with great resignation, though the length of the shafts appended to their drinking vessels, gave them a most ludicrous appearance, when turned end upwards, and caused many jokes, and much laughter.

After this began the "spanning," which is accomplished by splicing a piece of new untarred rope round the shank. This rope is called the "foreganger," and is made from the best hemp, and unsoiled by pitch, that it may bend freely with the weapon. It is about thirty feet long, and the loose end is spliced to the end of the whale line. Several other ceremonies then take place, and the evening ends in dancing, singing, tale-telling, and mirth.

We kept hovering and beating about the eightieth degree of north latitude for some days, in hopes of falling in with game, when the weather became mild, in comparison with the former intense cold. One day, about the time of eight bells, our anxious wishes were gratified: the cry of "Fish, fish," from the crow's nest, (or post of observation at the top-gallant-masthead,) resounded through the ship. I ran upon deck, at the welcome sound, and beheld in the act of sinking behind a flat piece of ice, the broad black tail of an enormous whale. Two boats were immediately lowered down, and the eagerness of the crew to man them could only be compared to the impatience of dogs to be let loose on their game. In three minutes they were off, and the mate would soon have got fast (as it is called) to the huge monster, but just as he expected to be rowed upon its back, his boat-steerer fell overboard, and the crew being obliged to "hold water," or keep back, in order to pick up the poor fellow, the whale disappeared, and rose no more; and thus our philosophy was severely tried in having to bear the disappointment like men.

Had the fish gone "tail up,' as the sailors term it, that is, dived perpendicularly, throwing up her tail with a flourish as she descended, her reappearance might have been expected somewhere near the same spot, because that mode of diving denotes that the fish is in a gay humour, and amusing itself with exercise and feeding; but when a whale is going "right an end," or running straight forward, occasionally disappearing, and then coming to the surface at a considerable distance, till it is seen no more, there is little chance of her being taken. It was a terrible blow, and "Lost, lost!" cried all hands mournfully to each other; while many began to pull off their caps and mittens, which they had put on to be ready to join in killing the fish, when it should be struck. "We shall have no luck this year," said an old sailor to the spectionecr: "How could you hope it?" cried another, "while we have that ugly black, curly-hided dog on board! Nothing is more unlucky than such a brute." "You would not stick that heart, I wanted you to burn last night," said a third; "I killed the poor cat

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