Agnes M Goodall.

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These depict ships in every conceivable peril, and
generally the figure in the church is prominently
portrayed, stilling the raging waves, or rescuing the
drowning men. Terrible daubs they are, but they
hang there, a pathetic witness to the faith which,
in the hour of danger, could seek for help where
alone help was to be found. They are presented
with a gift of money at the great yearly pilgrimage
at Whitsuntide.

A large fair is held at the same time, where whole
stalls are devoted to the sale of whistles. They are
made of red, yellow, and brown pottery, and are
the very oddest-looking things, in the shape of
grotesque birds, beasts, and figures. Everyone
buys one, and everyone whistles. It is the right
thing to do at Whitsuntide in Mathosinhos.

The pilgrimage to " Bom Jesus do monte ' ' also
takes place at Whitsuntide, and lasts for three days.
The church stands on a high hill. Leading up to
it are broad flights of steps, zigzagging from terrace

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Portugal

c^

terrace, and flai d by walls .md overhanging

The tc -nani. d with statiu

- : . fountains I d in granite, and all

tru . ular intervals, are small shrines

d J, in which stand groups of life-sized

jures repress at in g different scenes in the Passion

our Lord. Vp tru ~, ^:eps toil the pilgrims in

their thousands, men and women, young and old,

reverently worshipping at each shrine before passing

on. rv^rne few in th. devotion, weighed down

%.

by their burden of sin and sorrow, perform the
en:::: ascent ~^n their knees. Masses an chanted
and sermons preached in the church ; solemn pro-
cessions pass to and fro, with banners and crucifix
borne aloft. All knees are bent, all heads . i bowed,
5ts in g .reous vestments, bearing the Host,
move slowly along.

Children dressed like fairies take a great part in
the processions, with spangled wings, or the soft
feathered pinions of a bird fixed to their shoulders.
I have seen weary little pilgrims, so small and so
tired that the men who marched beside them
picked them up tenderly and carried them along,
fast asleep, in their arms.

There have to be great preparations made for so
large a gathering. For days beforehand the creak-
ing of ox-v, .;_:.; ns may be heard, wending their
way slowly up the hill, with their loads of food and

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Pilgrimages

ca : wine. Decorations are put up, p and
flags, and strin; Chinese lanterns. The people
begin to arrive on the Saturday. m e g one or
other of the three hotels, which on th';
are packed to overflowing ; but they mostly camp
out in the woods in tents, or rough huts made -. :
branche:. They also build fireplaces with ston
and clay, and ovens in which to bake their bread.

Here and there an idle youth brings out his
guitar, or someone bur":*. ^*ily int'- It

like a scene in a theatre, only that it is all real a
huge, happy picnic party, come together for prayer
and praise, and after that to enjoy themselv
much as they possibly can.

All are dressed in their very best. The men wear
tight trousers, white shirt:, sashet round the waist,
broad-brimmed felt hats, and short coats much
tagged and braided The women look very gay
with blue, orange, or red silk kerchiefs crossed o~
the breast, snowy- white blouses, tight-fitting bodic
black or coloured, and thickly-pleated skirts of
every conceivable hue, cut short at the anL
They wear bright embroidered aprons, and a sort
of pocket hanging round the waist, very elaborately
ornamented with beads or sequin;. Embroidered
muslin handkerchiefs cover their heads, surmounted
by round black hats edged with floss silk made to
curl and look like ostrich feathers. Added to all

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Portugal

this, they arc decked out with a great deal of gold
jewellery necklaces, heavy earrings, and huge heart-
shaped lockets of strange, intricate design.

A rich farmer's wife will sometimes have her whole
bodice covered with gold ornaments, and should she
happen to be the proud owner of three pairs of
earrings, will wear them all, to the great envy of
her neighbours.

The women also delight in possessing a great many
petticoats. The more they have the more impor-
tant do they consider themselves, for it shows how
wealthy they must be, and on such an occasion as a
pilgrimage they don them all. Sixteen or eighteen
on one woman ! Just think of it in warm weather !
On festive occasions a rich peasant woman will be
so be-petticoated that she can scarcely walk, and
will have to move slowly along in a rolling, ungainly
manner ; but she will be a proud woman, and will
gladly endure the discomfort for the sake of the
importance and dignity conferred upon her by her
many skirts.



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CHAPTER XIII

FARMS AND VINEYARDS

THE best tilled farms in Portugal are in the north,
in the rich province of Minho. They are quite
small, and are worked like well-kept gardens by the
farmer and his family, with perhaps the help of one
or two hired hands.

The chief crop grown there is maize, and many
different things are sown with it, such as dwarf
kidney-beans and gourds. Young cabbages are also
planted among the maize, and in the winter, after
the grain has been garnered, they grow to a great
height, when their leaves are plucked off one by one,
the top being left to grow taller still.

June and July are very busy months. Besides the
wheat and rye harvests, the maize, which is not cut
until September or October, gives endless work.
First it has to be hoed, and then earthed up. Later
on it is gradually thinned out, some of it being taken
as fodder for the cattle, and all the time it has to be
carefully and regularly watered. This is generally
done by irrigation. A farmer's whole prosperity
depends on his water-supply, and no trouble is too

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Portugal

great to insure a good one. Sometimes it is brought
for miles in underground channels, or along a groove
cut in the top of a broad wall. Another method
is to raise it from a well by means of an old-fashioned
water-wheel, worked by oxen. Many buckets are
set about a foot apart on an endless chain, which
passes over the wheel. With each turn these
buckets dip into the well, and as they come up again
empty the water into little channels, which carry it
in all directions to irrigate the growing crops.

As the maize ripens to harvest the golden cobs
have to be cut from the straw, husked, dried, and
finally threshed.

The husking or removing of the outer sheath
is a tedious business, so the farmers often give a
kind of harvest home, to which they invite the
neighbouring peasants. They provide food and
wine in plenty, and their guests work far into the
night, to the accompanying music of guitars and
violins.

There are many different kinds of beans grown
black, white, grey, and yellow, mottled beans and
striped beans, large and small. Flax, too, is widely
cultivated, and in the north the farmers' wives
and daughters spend the long winter evenings
spinning and weaving it into linen for their clothes.
In the marshy land near the sea we find rice, and
most of the onions that are sold in England as



Farms and Vineyards

Spanish onions in reality come from the North of
Portugal.

From the north, too, comes the wine we call
port. Vineyards flourish, and wine is made in all
parts of the kingdom ; but that which is imported
so largely into England, and which is handed with
dessert in so many English houses, is made only
from the grapes grown on the steep hillsides of a
tract of country on the banks of the River Douro, some
sixty miles above the old seaport town of Oporto.
It extends a long way up the river, and for a few
miles to the north and south, through the valleys
and gorges of many small tributary streams. It is
a mountainous country, and from the water's edge
to the high hill-tops there is nothing to be seen but
vineyards, rising terrace above terrace in dull,
unvarying monotony. The vines are grown as
bushes, and have none of the beauty of those in many
other parts, where they are trained over trellises, or
allowed to ramble at will up pollarded trees.

You may have often seen the rich tawny red
wine on the dining-room table, but I wonder if
you have ever thought of all the labour that went
to produce it. The construction of the terraces
where the vines are to grow is in itself a mighty
piece of work. Each terrace has its strong retaining
wall, built with the stones taken from the soil, and
when the vines have been planted, they require

PO. 65 9



Portugal

constant care and attention. In the autumn the
low-growing shoots have to be removed and the
roots uncovered. Pruning begins at the same time,
and occupies the whole winter. The ground has
to be dug in March, when all weeds are cleared
away, and the earth is hoed into little mounds to
protect the roots from the hot rays of the sun.
Next comes the training and propping of the
branches, which are secured by willow or rush ties
to stakes driven into the ground. A second digging
takes place in May, when the earth is once more
levelled, and during the summer the vines have to
be sprayed with sulphur to keep off a dreadful blight
called oidium, which would otherwise do great
damage.

At last, towards the middle or end of September,
the vintage begins, and this brings with it the hardest
work of all. Bands of men and women arrive from
far-away villages in every direction to help with the
work, singing and dancing as they come, as though
out on a holiday jaunt.

The women gather the great clusters of grapes into
baskets, and empty these into other larger ones,
which the men carry away on their shoulders,
passing from terrace to terrace right down the hill
to the wine-presses. These are large granite tanks,
into which the grapes are thrown, and men are
employed to tread out the juice with their bare

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Farms and Vineyards

feet. It is very tiring, and is performed by relays
of workers, trampling steadily, their hands placed
on each other's shoulders to steady themselves.
This goes on for many hours. The pulp is then left
to ferment for some time, and bubbles and heaves
as though it were boiling. When the stalks and
skins rise to the surface the liquor gradually begins
to cool down, and the time has come for running
it off into the huge vats in the cellars below.
The following spring the wine is put into casks, and
sent in large boats down the Douro to Oporto,
where it is stored in the merchants' " lodges ' till
required for export.



CHAPTER XIV

OPORTO

How am I to give you an idea of the quaint pictur-
esque old town of Oporto ? It dates back to Roman
times, when it was already a busy seaport, and it is
now only second in importance to Lisbon itself.

It does not at first sight present such an imposing
appearance as Lisbon, that dazzling white city
throned on its seven hills and looking down in calm
dignity on the bright blue waters of the Tagus.
But whereas the southern capital is disappointing
when you see it nearer, Oporto grows on you more
and more, with its steep, dark alleys and old-
fashioned balconied houses, its gardens and foun-
tains, and busy, bustling wharfs. The heart and
soul of Oporto are to be looked for by the riverside,
the narrow green-watered Douro flowing swiftly
along between high granite cliffs, to which cling the
white and yellow houses with their many-tinted,
red-tiled roofs.

The river is always crowded with shipping, from
full-rigged ocean-going merchantmen to dugouts
shaped from a single tree ; broad-beamed boats,

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Oporto

with graceful lateen sails, and narrow boats, with
high peaks at bow and stern ; large flat-bottomed
wine-boats from the vineyards far up the river ;
rowing-boats, sailing-boats in fact, boats of every
size and shape and colour.

The quays swarm with people hard at work
loading and unloading cargo. Women pass up
and down along narrow planks from shore to ship
with baskets full of coal balanced on their heads.
Longshoremen and idlers look on, contentedly
smoking. Groups of boys may be seen playing cards
or throwing dice, and younger urchins, of similar
tastes but fewer possessions, gambling excitedly
with buttons. Here also are barefooted, brightly-
dressed fishwives, and girls selling fruit, children
at play, chestnut-sellers with their little charcoal
stoves, rough brigand-like men rolling barrels of
wine ashore, strings of pack-mules, and ox-carts
waiting to be loaded, each with its pair of pretty
browny-yellow oxen, under their high, elaborately
carved yokes.

It all forms the most charming medley of move-
ment and colour against a background of tumble-
down overhanging houses with projecting gables
and painted balconies. There are vine-trellises
offering leafy shade, clothes hanging out to air,
rows of fine old trees, and here and there glimpses
of the ancient river-wall. In this wall are many



Portugal

deep recesses used as wine-shops, or as general
stores, where the sailorman may satisfy his numerous
requirements in the way of oilskins, ropes, blocks,
and all the many articles smelling of tar, so dear
to the seafarer's heart.

This is Oporto as seen from below, down by the
water's edge ; but the best view of the whole town
is to be had much higher up, where the great bridge
of Dom Luiz spans the narrow gorge. From this
point of vantage you may look straight down on the
river and on the busy wharfs far below ; you may
see the narrow, rough-paved streets that lead by
flights of steps up the hillside, the many churches,
the solid square towers of the cathedral on the hill,
the old Moorish walls, and the odd little gardens
bright patches of colour in unexpected nooks and
corners.

Beyond the bridge, on the south side of the river,
stands the ancient convent of Nossa Senhora da
Serra do Pilar, Wellington's headquarters in May,
1809, when he so successfully drove the French
army under Marshal Soult out of Oporto.

Six weeks earlier, after a three days' siege, Soult
had assaulted and taken the brave old city, which
had gallantly, if foolishly, refused to surrender.
Its fall was followed by hideous scenes of rapine
and slaughter. The French gave no quarter, and
the hunted people fled down to the river in

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Oporto

thousands, hoping to escape by a bridge of boats
that stretched across to the other bank. So great
a crowd proved more than the bridge could bear.
It sank under the weight, and over 18,000 men,
women, and children were drowned, or butchered
by the French soldiers.

It was, however, a short-lived triumph for the
arms of France. Three weeks later Sir Arthur
Wellesley, the future great Duke of Wellington,
landed at Lisbon, and before he had been in the
country ten days he was on his way north to retake
Oporto.

On the morning of May 12, 1809, he was already
on the south bank of the Douro, but without bridge
or boat by which to pass over. So safe did Soult
believe himself to be, with the steep cliffs and the
swift-flowing river between himself and the English,
that he never contemplated the possibility of a
crossing, and Sir Arthur was able to carry out one
of the most daring plans in the annals of war.

By the aid of the inhabitants two boats were at
last secured, and twenty-five British soldiers rowed
across in broad daylight, just above the town.
Under cover of artillery fire three companies of the
BufTs were next ferried over. They climbed by a
track up 200 or 300 feet of rock, seized an unfinished
building, and held it with great bravery while more
troops were hurried across. Gradually the tables

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Portugal

were turned. The English became the attackers,
the French slowly retreating, till after some two
hours' fighting Soult and his army took to their
heels, leaving bag and baggage, guns and ammuni-
tion behind them. Sir Arthur Wellesley is reported
to have said on the evening of the I ith that the next
day he would breakfast in Oporto. He did break-
fast in Oporto and dined there too, on the food
that had been prepared for the French general !

The markets of Oporto are very attractive. The
chief one is the Mercado do Anjo, which lies just
to the north of the fine church of the Clericos,
whose lofty tower may be seen from most parts
of the town. It is a picturesque spot, and presents
a busy scene in the early mornings ; but as I write
it is another market-square that rises before my
mind's eye. It was the first I saw after landing
in Portugal. I could not drag myself away from it,
and the fascination of it seems to hold me still.

There were low, shady trees in the middle of that
little square, and white booths beneath them, covered
with fruit and flowers, cakes and vegetables. The
open-doored shops at the sides were windowless, and
had piles of goods heaped on the pavements in front
of them, and spreading out well into the road : shining
potsandpans; gay coloured kerchiefs redand yellow,
blue and green ; rolls of sombre woollen material
and lighter-coloured cottons ; and, most inviting of

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Oporto

all, the many heaps of pottery. What may not be
purchased here for a penny, or even for a halfpenny ?
Jugs and jars, mugs and plates, basins, bowls and
dishes, all of a dull cream-coloured ware, with
simple brightly painted designs boldly splashed
upon them. Next to them, and more tempting
still, are the unglazed, red-brown earthenware
vessels used all over Portugal for carrying water.
Beautiful in shape and colour, they are of Moorish
or Roman design ; some with quaint twisted handles,
others with long narrow necks, some few with spouts,
and all so cheap that the smallest coin in your pocket
will pay for two or three of them.



PO. 73 10



CHAPTER XV

COIMBRA AND THREE OLD MONASTERIES

ANOTHER town that has filled an important position
in Portuguese history is Coimbra. A charming old
place it is, built on a hill, the River Mondego flowing
at its foot, and the University buildings crowning
the summit. Its steep, narrow streets are full of
picturesque peasants and of students clad in long
black cloaks, of the selfsame pattern as the togas
worn by the Romans of old.

This ancient city witnessed the days of the Gothic
occupation ; saw the Goths supplanted by the
Moors, and the Moors by the Christians ; was for
many years the capital of Portugal ; and ever since
1306, when King Diniz founded the University,
it has with but short intermission been the seat of
learning and culture.

The University buildings are grouped round a
large quadrangle, at one side of which is a terrace
commanding a view that may well have inspired the
ardent souls of poets and scholars. Looking out
over the town, the eye wanders up the silvery waters
of the Mondego, and round the bends and turns of

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Coimbra and Three Old Monasteries

a beautiful and fertile valley to the blue mountains
in the distance.

Across the river stands the great white convent
of Santa Clara, " once the glory of Coimbra and
the cloister of Queens," but now used as a factory.
Lower down are the ruins of another convent, in
which the Porta de Rosa recalls the pretty
legend of the miracle of the roses. St. Elizabeth,
the wife of King Diniz, spent all her time and money
in ministering to the poor, till at length her husband
remonstrated with her and forbade her to continue
her good works. The Queen was very unhappy ;
she was loath to disobey, but her kind heart bled for
the hungry women and little children who would
look in vain for her coming, and one day she again
sallied out with a basketful of bread on her arm.
As she was passing through a doorway, who should
she meet but the King.

What have you there ?" cried he in anger.

" Roses," faltered the trembling Queen, not
daring to tell the truth.

" Let me see them !" thundered the King, lifting
the cover of the basket. And lo and behold ! to
the good St. Elizabeth's joy and wonder, it was
full of beautiful roses.

This story is also told of her aunt, St. Elizabeth
of Hungary, but I like to think it was true of the
sweet Portuguese Queen.

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Portugal

To the right of the old convent lies the Quinta
das Lagrimas the Villa of Tears. The tragic
history attached to this is no legend, but records
the sad fate of a beautiful woman, Inez de Castro,
who was a maid of honour at the Court of Portugal
in the middle of the fourteenth century.

Dom Pedro, the King's son, was desperately in
love with her ; but his father and the nobles deemed
her no fit mate for the heir to the throne, and at
length, in their hatred, caused her to be foully
murdered beside the waters of a deep spring which
gushes out of the rock " The Fountain of Love
in the Garden of Tears," as it is called to this day.

Dom Pedro's grief was deep and bitter. He
rebelled, and raised an army to fight against his
father. Two years later, when the old King died,
and Pedro in his turn came to the throne, he made
a solemn declaration that he had been privately
married to the fair Inez. To punish the haughty
courtiers and nobles who had helped to bring about
her death, he had her body removed from its grave,
crowned, arrayed in royal robes, and placed on the
throne. All had to vow fealty to her as to a Queen,
kneeling and kissing her hand in homage. Loyal
to the last, this most constant of royal lovers is
buried in the old cathedral church of Alcobaca,
and close by, in another beautifully carved tomb,
lies his beloved and long-mourned wife.



Coimbra and Three Old Monasteries

The Monastery of Alcoba^a was founded by King
Alfonso Henriques in 1148, as a thank-offering for
the capture of Santarem from the Moors. It grew
to be one of the wealthiest in Europe, and the
monks all men of noble birth ruled with kindly,
despotic sway over the tenants and peasants who
tilled their broad acres.

Though living in the greatest luxury, and enter-
taining exalted guests with more than royal splen-
dour, they did not ignore the claims of chanty, but
dispensed food and clothing to hundreds of poor
people at their gates.

The years passed by, war and desecration stripped
the abbey of its magnificence, and now that the
religious orders have been suppressed in Portugal,
and their lands confiscated by the State, the monks
and friars are to be seen no more. The church
where the French soldiers stabled their horses is once
more used for holy service ; but only visitors and
tourists now frequent the bare and deserted cloisters,
and the remaining portion of the vast old building
is used as a cavalry barrack.

Some fifteen miles from Alcoba^a lies Batalha,
another huge deserted monastery, the finest in
Portugal, or perhaps in any other European country.
The road from Alcobaca leads through vineyards
and cultivated fields to the village of Aljubarrota,
where in 1385 John the Great gained his famous

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Portugal

victory over the Spaniards. The story is still told
of a brave baker's wife who sallied forth during the
fray armed only with her " oven-peel " a sort of
long wooden s.hovel and slew seven Castilian
soldiers with this homely weapon.

Farther on we reach a high, narrow ridge, where
silvery-grey aloes grow in the sandy soil, and many
high, weather-worn stone crosses stand by the way-
side.

The road then passes through dark pine-forests,
carpeted with heather, and down to the little
hamlet of Batalha. In its midst rises the vast
old abbey, a perfect dream-abbey of grandeur and
beauty, with its glorious west front and its fretted
pinnacles and spires. The church inside is severe
in character, but the light which streams through
the richly coloured windows, stains the grand,
simple columns with many hues, and the wealth
of carving in the chapels and cloisters is a revela-
tion of grace and lightness in the airy delicacy
of its exquisite tracery. If Alcobaca, with its
great kitchen and hospitable traditions, carries one's
thoughts back to the time when monks made
merry there on the best of good cheer, Batalha,
on the other hand, conjures up a vision of pious
brethren living in sanctity and poverty, the dim
aisles of their beautiful church echoing to the sound
of holy chant and psalm.

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Coimbra and Three Old Monasteries

It was Philippa of Lancaster, Portugal's English
Queen, who first thought of building this beautiful
monastery as a perpetual memorial of the victory
of Aljubarrota. She and her husband, John the
Great, are buried in the Founders Chapel, their
stone figures lying hand in hand, beneath a canopy
bearing the joint arms of England and Portugal.

The Convent of Mafra, built by John V. as a
thank-offering for the birth of a son, is another great
monument of the past. It is some twenty or thirty
miles to the north of Lisbon, and is less remarkable


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