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PEEPS AT MANY LANDS



PORTUGAL



BY



AGNES M. GOODALL



WITH TWELVE FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS
IN COLOUR

BY

THE AUTHOR




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LONDON

ADAM AND CHARTS BLACK



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TH-DtN FOUNDATIONS.

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CONTENTS

CHAPTi R PAGE

I. GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM .... I

II. DECLINE OF THE KINGDOM .... 7

III. LISBON AND A GREAT EXPLORER . .12

IV. MORE ABOUT LISBON . . . . 1J

V. PORTUGUESE CHILDREN . . . . 2 3

VI. COUNTRY DANCES, SONGS, AND LEGENDS . . 28

VII. COUNTRY WAYS AND COUNTRY FOLK . . '33

VIII. COUNTRY WAYS AND COUNTRY FOLK (continued] . 38

IX. CINTRA ... ..... 44

.

!J TfiOMAi 48



X. OBIDOS, LE1RIA, AND THOMAi.

XI. THE PEASANTRY



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XII. PILGRIMAGES . . , ;' .

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XIII. FARMS AND VINEYARDS . . . . . 63

XIV. OPORTO ........ 68

XV. COIMBRA AND THREE OLD MONASTERIES . . 74

XVI. BULL-FIGHTING . 8 1



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LIST OF ILLUSRTATIONS

BY AGNES M. GOODALL

A GOSSIP AT THE FOUNTAIN . . . frontispiece

FACING PAGE

STONE-PINES NEAR CINTRA .... viii

JUDAS-TREE IN BLOOM . . . 9

LISBON FISH-WIVES . . . . 1 6

GOING TO SEE FRIENDS . . . -2$

THE FARM-CART OF THE COUNTRY . . 3 2

A QUIET POOL AT CINTRA . . . 4 1

RETURNING FROM MARKET, LEIR^A . . .48

THE END OF A LONG DAY . . . -57

HERD-BOY AND FLOCK . . . .64

A LONELY FARM . . . . -73

WASHERWOMEN AT COIMBRA . . So

Sketch-Map of Portugal on p. vii.




SKETCH-MAP OF PORTUGAL.

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I



PORTUGAL

CHAPTER I

HOW PORTUGAL BECAME A GREAT KINGDOM

PORTUGAL is the most westerly country in Europe.
It is a narrow strip of land bordered on its northern
and eastern frontiers by Spain, to the west and south
by the Atlantic Ocean, and is, roughly speaking,
about the same size as Ireland. It is a country
of many contrasts, of barren rocky mountains with
deep gorges and valleys, of bleak and treeless moor-
lands and wind-swept plains, of sand-dunes, and
bold, rugged headlands. A land also of vineyards,
orange and lemon trees, of pine-forests and cork-
woods, chestnuts, oak and eucalyptus, of olive groves
and fruitful fields.

It is one of the smallest countries in Europe, but
its early history is a long romance the story of a
little nation with a great heart. Were it not so,
the Portugal of to-day would not exist at all.

Long, long ago, it was inhabited by men of the
Celtic race ; later on we read of it as belonging to

PO. i



Portugal

the great Empire of Rome, and later still, as being
overrun by Germanic tribes, Vandals, Alans, Suevis,
and Goths. In the eighth century came the Moors
from the North of Africa, and about the middle of
the eleventh century Ferdinand " the Great ' of
Castile conquered the northern portion, and
founded the " countship ' of Portugal, as the
country was to be henceforth called ; and the Counts
of Portugal became great feudal lords who owed
allegiance to Spain.

There followed many years of fierce warfare with
the Moors, who wished to regain their lost posses-
sions, and the Spanish King, Alfonso VI., at last
appealed for aid to the chivalry of Christendom,
to help him in his battles against the Mohammedan
warriors. Among the knights who joined his army was
Count Henry of Burgundy, who distinguished him-
self greatly, and afterwards married one of the King's
daughters, Theresa, and became Count of Portugal,
and it is their son, Alfonso Henriques, born in mi,
who, in 1140, declared himself independent of
Spain, assumed the title of King, and became the
greatest hero of his country. He did so much for
it, and his memory is still so highly honoured, that
I must tell you just a little about him.

He was only three years old when his father died,
and his mother acted as Regent till he was seventeen,
when he took over the government himself. An

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Growth of the Kingdom

old record tells us that at that time he was " a
skilful and valiant knight," and " of very comely
presence." He had, what is more, the dash and
enterprise, the sound judgment, and the grace and
courtesy of manner of a born leader of men.

He had already seen a great deal of fighting, and
had earned the honour of knighthood when only
a little lad of fourteen. The young Count found
himself ruler of a land consisting chiefly of moun-
tains, forests, and heaths, and surrounded by
enemies. In the north and east he had to fight
against the power of Spain, in the south he waged
incessant war against the fanatical followers of
Mohammed, but he gradually drove them back,
till his " heroic exploits were the theme of the
wandering troubadour in every Christian Court in
western Europe."

The capture of Lisbon, Santarem, Evora, Beja,
and many other towns and strongholds, added more
and more to his fame, and it is pleasing to learn that
it was by the help of some English Crusaders, who
were on their way to the Holy Land, that after
several failures he at last succeeded in taking the
strong citadel of Lisbon.

As the King advanced in years, he deputed his
son Sancho to carry on the fighting, and devoted
himself to the internal administration of his country,
dispensing justice, granting charters to many of

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Portugal

his towns, laying down boundaries, and, in fact, doing
all he could to promote the welfare of his subjects.

There is one scene in the life of Alfonso Henriques
which I think you would like to hear about the
last great exploit before his death, which occurred
the same year.

The Moors had gathered together a vast army,
and had besieged Santarem. Sancho and his troops
had done their best, there had been many bloody
encounters, but at last the overwhelming numbers
of the enemy began to tell, and the hard-pressed
garrison were on the point of surrendering, when in
the distance a large force of mounted men was seen
riding furiously to the rescue. Nearer and nearer
they came, the well-known banner of many a Chris-
tian knight waving in the breeze, and at their head
rode the grand old King.

Worn out as he was by years of warfare, bowed
down by age, and suffering from the effects of
countless wounds received in his country's cause,
this old man of seventy-four, on hearing of his son's
peril, had led his knights by forced marches from the
very furthest corner of the kingdom.

With the help of the now rejoicing garrison, who
sallied out to join in the fray, he entirely routed the
enemy, slew their leader, and drove the scattered
host back over the Tagus and across their own
frontier.



Growth of the Kingdom

It is little wonder that with such a leader the
people grew into a brave, chivalrous, and self-
reliant race.

The curtain may be dropped for a time, to be
raised again on the scene of a great wedding, which
was solemnized at Oporto in 1387 with much pomp
and splendour, between King John I., surnamed
" the Great," and an English Princess, Philippa,
daughter of John of Gaunt, and the granddaughter
of our own King, Edward III.

Not quite two years earlier, at the Battle of
Aljubarrota, Dom John, the first King of the House
of Avis, had gained a great victory over the Spaniards,
who had disputed the independence of his country,
and here again we read of 500 English archers
fighting on the side of Portugal, and doing yeoman
service. Eight months later the Treaty of Windsor
was signed, the first great link between England and
Portugal, binding them to stand by one another,
and in fulfilment of which John of Gaunt, accom-
panied by his wife and two of his daughters, landed
at Corunna with 2,000 English lances and 3,000
archers. His expedition against Spain proved suc-
cessful, and ended in one of his daughters being
given in marriage to the heir to the Spanish throne,
and the other to King John of Portugal.

From this time, when English blood first flowed
in the veins of the Royal House of Avis, dates the

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Portugal

real power of Portugal. From an obscure little
country, she rapidly became a powerful nation,
with possessions and colonies in every quarter of the
globe, and it was one of the sons of our English
Princess, Henry, surnamed " the Navigator," who
did so much to help on the explorations and dis-
coveries which were to make Portugal one of the
greatest colonial Powers in the world. In the
course of twenty-four years between 1497 and 1521
-during the reign of Emanuel, " the Fortunate,"
her explorers sailed eastward round the coasts of
Africa and India to the East Indian Islands, Siam,
and China, and westward to the Brazils, and through
the Straits of Magellan out into the Pacific Ocean.
It was a period of great deeds performed by
gallant men, and just as manners and soldiers bore
high the honour of their country abroad, so also
did the statesmen, poets, and chroniclers at home.
Lisbon became the centre for all the commerce of
the East. The trade of the Spice Islands, of Africa,
Persia, India, China, and Japan, all passed through it,
and it was the time of Portugal's highest prosperity
and power.



CHAPTER II

THE DECLINE OF PORTUGAL

THE seeds of Portugal's downfall were, however,
already being sown. With added riches the nobles
grew self-indulgent, and the old patriotic spirit gave
place to a love of ease and luxury. The officials
grew corrupt, inclined to oppress the people, and,
above all, the best blood in the country was gradu-
ally being drained away to supply the wants of her
new possessions. Her young men volunteered as
sailors to man the fleets, or as soldiers to fight her
battles in the far-away lands beyond the seas, and
what with the fighting and the unhealthy climates,
few of those who sailed away ever returned. There
was also much emigration to Madeira and the
Brazils, and it was always the strongest and most
enterprising who left the mother-country to seek
their fortunes abroad.

There were yet other reasons which contributed
to the gradual decline.

In 1441 negro slaves had been brought home by
the explorer Nuno Tristao, and the slave trade
steadily increased as years went on, till by far the

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Portugal

greater part of Southern Portugal was cultivated
for the nobles by black labour. It was cheap, but
it drove out the peasantry for lack of employment,
and led to more emigration than would otherwise
have been the case.

Then came King EmanuePs great mistake, the
expulsion of the Jews.

All Jews who refused to become Christians were
ordered to leave the country within six months.
A great many of them were well known for their
honesty, industry, and wealth, and also for their
high intellectual qualities, so that Portugal was in
reality banishing vast numbers of her most capable
and enterprising citizens.

In 1536, John III. introduced the Inquisition,
which in course of time became so fanatical that the
merest suggestion of heresy caused men and w r omen
to be imprisoned, cruelly tortured, and even burnt
at the stake. All this tended still further to crush
out the manhood of the people. Moreover, the
powers of the Inquisition w 7 ere largely used for
political purposes. Thus, under a fair exterior,
the country was steadily decaying.

King John died, and in 1557 we once more find
a little child of three years old Dom Sebastian
ascending the throne.

This time, however, there was no wise mother
to act as Regent, and at fifteen the young King

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Decline of the Kingdom

was declared of age, and took the government into
his own hands. He was by nature a dreamer and
a visionary, and very obstinate. He looked on war
as the noblest occupation for a King, and being
deeply religious, became fired with a romantic
ambition to become a true soldier of the Cross,
and to carry Christianity to the Moors in the North
of Africa at the point of the sword.

The Pope and the King of Spain both refused
to help in such a wild undertaking ; Sebastian's own
Ministers and advisers did their best to dissuade him,
but he was a despotic and self-willed monarch, and
in his saintly enthusiasm he drained his treasury and
imposed new taxes on his already heavily burdened
people, to provide money for the great Crusade.

His best Generals and fighting men were all in
India, but he raised an army of raw recruits and
mercenaries hired from other countries, and at
length set sail for Morocco with an army of about
17,000 men.

Poor Dom Sebastian was utterly unpractical, and
a hopelessly bad General, but he proved himself,
in his first and last great battle, to be a brave and
fearless soldier. His little army was surrounded
by that of the Moorish " Sherif," more than three
times its numbers, and after an heroic struggle, in
which quite half the force lost their lives, the remnant
were taken prisoners.

PO. 9 2



Portugal

What became of the King nobody quite knows.
He was last seen fighting in the forefront of the
battle, wearing his crown. Afterwards, stripped of
its clothes and disfigured with wounds, a body was
found which was supposed to be his, and which
was eventually taken back to Portugal for burial.
There are others who say that no trace of the King
could be discovered, either among the prisoners
or the slain, and the Portuguese populace still
believe that he will some day return in a miraculous
way, crown and all, to rule his people, and to raise
his country to her ancient fame.

There is no need to tell you much more about
the history of Portugal. After the reign of Dom
Sebastian the days of her greatness were over.
She came under Spanish rule for sixty disastrous
years, during which time the enemies of Spain
became her enemies also, and her trade and naval
power were practically ruined by the Dutch and
English. She was also made to feel the weight of
Spanish oppression at home, but at last, in 1640, the
plucky little country, remembering the proud tradi-
tions of her past, rose in revolt, and threw oif the
foreign yoke.

Since that time England, her old ally, has more
than once stood by her in her day of trouble.

In the time of Napoleon it was England who
enabled Portugal to maintain her place among the

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Decline of the Kingdom

nations, but we must also not forget that it was
largely through her help that Wellington was able
to bring the long Peninsular War to a triumphant
end.

At the present day the country has a constitu-
tional Government somewhat on the same lines as
our own. The Cortes, or Parliament, consists of
a house of representatives elected by the people,
which corresponds to our House of Commons,
and of an upper chamber of grandees fidalgos
they are called who are appointed for life by the
King, and which is rather like our House of Lords.
But unluckily for Portugal, there is a tendency
among the officials never to do to-day what can
be put off till to-morrow, and much corruption
prevails.



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CHAPTER III

WHICH TREAT? OF LISBON AND A GREAT EXPLORER

LISBON has been the capital of Portugal ever since

it was taken from the Moors bv Kin? Alfonso

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Henriques in 1 14-.

The harbour, where the River Tagus broadens out
into a veritable inland sea, is one of the finest in the
world. It is about ten miles from the river's mouth,
where there is only a narrow : .re by which ships
may pass in and out, the greater part of the entrance
bein? blocked bv the bar or creat sandbank, formed

o / cr

by the meeting of sea and river, and which is un-
covered at low tide.

Steaming up the river, the first great feature of
Lisbon which one notices is the palace of the Ajuda,

.nding out against the sky, a huge, solid-looking
building on a hill, above the western portion of
the town. It is in another palace near here, that
of the Necessidades, that the present King, hardly
more than a boy, remained for so many weeks
without daring to venture beyond the walls, after
the cruel assassination of his father and elder brother
in the early part of 1908. The dreadful event is

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Lisbon and a Great Explorer

still so recent that most people will remember all
about it.

The King and Queen and the Crown Prince had
disembarked at the fine landing-stage on the river
side of the Pra^a do Commercio, or Black Horse
Square, as the English call it, from the equestrian
statue of King Joseph I., which stands in the centre.
They had only just started for the palace, and the
carriage was turning out of the Square into the
narrow street known as the Street of the Arsenal,
when a band of men with firearms, which they had
kept hidden under the long cloaks they were wearing,
sprang out and shot the King and the Prince before
anyone had time to interfere. The coachman lashed
up his horses, and drove at a gallop into the gates of
the Arsenal close by. The brave Queen had thrown
herself in front of her son to try and protect him ;
but, alas ! it was too late to save either him or her
husband. It is said that when, some months later,
the young King Manuel drove out for the first time
through the streets of the capital to attend a solemn
requiem Mass, the Queen-mother wandered in rest-
less terror up and down the long rooms and corridors
of the palace, fear gripping at her heart, lest he too
should fall a victim to assassins, and she had arranged
to have telephonic messages sent to her from suc-
cessive points on the royal route as he passed them
by in safety.

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Portugal

On the banks of the river below the Ajuda Palace
is the historic old Tower of Belem, solid and square,
with turrets at the four corners, and with ramparts,
parapets, and battlements standing out into the
water.

It was from this spot that long ago the great
explorer, Vasco da Gama, sailed away to discover
the new route to India, round the Cape of Good
Hope. Those were the days of Portugal's greatness,
when her sons went out to explore and to colonize,
encouraged by their enlightened Prince, Henry the
Navigator. Gradually her sailors found their way
farther and farther from home, and made many
settlements on the West Coast of Africa. In 1487
Bartolommeo Diaz, going farther still, discovered
the Cape of Good Hope, and ten years later King
Emanuel fitted out four ships, which he placed
under the command of Vasco da Gama, who was
to try and discover a way to India by sea.

We can picture the scene. The great explorer
walking slowly down the stone steps to the water's
edge, and stepping into the barge which was to
take him to the ships lying farther out in the stream ;
the brightly dressed crowd, which had assembled
to see him off ; and the hero himself, grave, yet full
of hope, as he took his last farewell of his native
land before sailing away down the river with his
little squadron.

H



Lisbon and a Great Explorer

They were considered very fine ships in those
days, but compared to the great vessels we are
accustomed to now they were really quite small,
and only 160 men were required to man all four.
For months they battled against adverse winds, which
much delayed them, and then encountered one
frightful storm after another, till the superstitious
crew, feeling that all the powers of evil were being
let loose against them, and terrified at the idea of
going on into the great unknown, mutinied, and
tried to force their leader to turn round and go
back to Portugal. But he was made of sterner
stuff, and that which he had set out to do he meant
to accomplish. After doubling the Cape, he sailed
on up the East Coast of Africa, and then across the
Indian Ocean, and at last, after a voyage of nearly
a year's duration, he reached India. The result
of this expedition was that Portugal acquired many
settlements and colonies both in India and Africa,
and Vasco da Gama had great honours conferred
upon him.

Many years later, on another voyage, he died at
Cochin, far away from home, but his body was
brought back to Portugal, and now lies in the
beautiful church of Belem, near the old tower from
which he had sailed away on that great voyage of
discovery, which, above all others, was to make his
name famous, and to alter the whole conditions of



Portugal

commerce with the East. It is a fitting place for
him to rest in, for it was built by King Emanuel
in fulfilment of a vow he had made to erect a church
and convent to the Blessed Virgin on the spot
where the famous navigator should land if his
voyage proved a successful one, and it is one of the
most beautiful buildings in the whole country.

It is built in a style peculiar to Portugal, called
" Emmanuelan," a kind of Gothic architecture, very
elaborately carved with figures, flowers, and foliage,
knots, festooned cables, and endless other devices.
Often this is overdone, and many Portuguese
buildings are, for this reason, lacking in the simple
grandeur of some of our own cathedrals. But at
Belem this is not the case, for in its own way it is
very beautiful. Coming into the cool semi-darkness
from the hot, glaring sunshine outside, you seem
at first only to realize that it is high and vast, a
place in which to speak in whispers, a sanctuary to
worship in, with wonderful carved white pillars
disappearing into the mysterious gloom of the
vaulted roof.

Behind the church lie the cloisters, where one
might almost imagine that some beautiful lace had
been converted into stone by a magician's wand, so
wonderful is the carving and so delicate the tracery
of arch and pillar.



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CHAPTER IV

MORE ABOUT LISBON

STILL farther up the river, and inland from it, high
on one of Lisbon's many hills, stands the fortress of
St. George, another of the very few ancient build-
ings that escaped destruction in the dreadful earth-
quake of 1755, when hardly a house remained
standing, and over 60,000 people perished.

It is a long climb to where the old Moorish
fortress stands dominating the town, up long flights
of worn, uneven steps, and through narrow twisting
streets ; but the visitor will be amply repaid by
the splendid view of the town and surrounding
country which can be obtained from the time-worn
battlements of the citadel, to which he is admitted
in charge of a private of the " Casadore," after an
interview with the friendly sergeant of the guard.
From here he can see the Tagus with its shipping,
and the red-roofed, white-walled houses, with
here and there an odd one, coloured blue, pink,
yellow, or green. From this point, also, he may
look down on the two largest pracas, or squares,
of the city the already-mentioned Praca do

PO. 17 3



Portugal

Commcrcio, near the river, and more directly at
his feet the Pra<;a de Dom Pedro, so called from
the statue of Peter IV., which stands on a high
column in the centre. This place is known among
the English sailors as " Roly-Poly Square," on
account of the strange way the pavement is laid.
It is in curved lines of alternate black and white,
and looks most uneven, almost like the waves of the
sea, or the ridge and furrow of a ploughed field,
and it is quite a surprise in walking across it to find
that in reality it is perfectly flat.

Still farther from the river is the Avenida da
Liberdade, a very wide and shady promenade,
planted with palms and other trees. It is the finest
part of Lisbon, where smart carriages may be seen
driving up and down ; and it is the happy haunt of
children and nursemaids, not to speak of caracoling
cavaliers.

Looking round the old fortress, any Englishman
would notice the list of battles emblazoned on the
barrack walls. They might have been taken from
the roll of honour on the Colours of some of our
own regiments, and remind one of the time when
the Portuguese and English fought shoulder to
shoulder throughout the Peninsular War, and
Wellington led the allied armies to victory against
the soldiers of the great Napoleon.

The Portuguese still have a very friendly feeling

IS



More about Lisbon

for England, which was prettily shown one day
by the gentleman in charge of the Arsenal Museum,
who was kindly showing me a fine collection of old
bronze guns. They were of many nations, and
after examining them for some time, I asked if there
were no English guns among them.

" Ah, no !" he answered, with a charming smile ;
" the French and Spaniards have often left their
guns behind them, but the English never !"

Another hill in Lisbon, about midway between
the Fort of St. George and the Royal Palace, is
crowned by the fine church of the " Estrella,"
whose towers and high dome stand out in bold relief
against the bright blue sky. Near by is the English
church and cemetery.

Visiting a cemetery is generally rather a gloomy
proceeding, but this one is quite an exception.


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