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of the gardens of from thirty to forty acres. In my yesterday evening’s walk into the country, every scene was so beautiful, that I scarcely knew which way to turn myself. I have taken a view of Coinnbra, and of a gentleman's country-house, the best I have seen, and memorable in Portuguese legends for an insipid love adventure. With regard to the political state of this country, I think that, under a better government, and by the influence of a purer religion, the Portuguese would attain a respectable rank among the European nations. They are ill acquainted with agriculture, and with the arts in general. The soil is certainly capable of being made very productive. In many situations, where grain could not be sown, various sorts of fruittrees would thrive vigorously. At the present time agriculture is unusually neglected, in consequence of the uncertain issue of the war. They say, We can sow, but we know not who will reap ! The political depression of the country is equally, visible in their commercial allairs. Here also every thing is doing by halves. At Lisbon I saw enough to convince me of this, though my incessant regimental duty gave me few opportunities of observation. Lisbon itself has a grand appearance from the Tagus; the houses being all of stone, and disposed up the side of a hill sloping to the river. But when you land, what a contrast! The streets narrow, ill-paved, no flags on the sides, and knee-deep in the most disgusting noisomeness; the smell dreadful. Gold and Silver streets seem to be the best. Their names are derived from the variety of goods made of bullion, which are there sold. But the affluence of the country is merely nominal. There is none of that mercantile bustle to be seen in Lisbon which one witnesses in London and Liverpool. The streets are indeed thronged; but it is with military, and, I think, in every uniform to be seen under the Christ. Obselv. No. 120.
sun. Every luxury, and even necessary of life, is extravagantly dear; the resources of the country having been drained by the invasion and the subsequent war. Lisbon is almost dependent upon America for daily food. The 'fagus was covered for miles with British and American vessels. Except in the Thames, I never saw so many ships together. The noble expanse of the river, the vineyards down to the water-side, the villas of the noblesse and gentry, the bustle of the fleet, altogether formed a most imposing spectacle. But all this was only a spectacle! The most pleasant sight in Lisbon was the fruit-market, where the finest fruit was in profusion. The fishmarket was also well supplied; but as to the meat-market, the specimens I saw of its wares deterred me from visiting it. I saw convicts chained two and two, with a keeper at their side, going to labour. It is now the plan of the police to arrest every idler, and march him off, handcuffed, to the army. I met one of them in charge of a hussar, with a drawn sabre; and the fellow was bellowing like a great child.— I had occasion to go to the fair in Lisbon; and was much amused by the strange figures galloping on lame poneys, blind asses, and halfstarved mules. In the clouds of dust you could scarcely discern the riders in their immense cocked hats, without shoes and stockings, and in such party-coloured dresses as are worn by the fools in English puppetshows. Yet no mule, of any size or figure, was to be had under 120 dollars; and some were rated as high even as 200. A half-starved, one-eyed poney (unoculus inter cacos), which in England would have been dear at fifty shillings, here sold for forty-three hard dollars of five shillings each. The beast, too, was intolerably vicious. I am afraid these things fairly represent the real state of this depressed and plundered country. Some of the dissatisfied say, that if the English had let the Frenck. 5 F
alone, their country would have suffered less. This is the true language of a people careless about their government. All the Portuguese I have met with, abhor the French ; and few, if any, like the English. Their religion particularly strengthens their aversion to us. When our regiment was quartered in the convent of the Carmelites at Lisbon, the monks took good care to retire into a corner of it, quite out of the reach of the heretics. With one of them we had, indeed, some intercourse. I inclined to think well of him at first; but he turned out to be a finished profligate. I understood that he was a sample of the generality. Lisbon is full of religious houses, and swarms with friars, while bells are incessantly ringing. And this seems to be all their religion' The Portuguese are also jealous of the British armies and fleets. Yet they assert their own army to be finer than ours. They say, the Spaniards run away; the English stand their ground; but the Portuguese advance. But, believe me, if the British troops were withdrawn, Portugal would be overrun in a fortnight. Yet the Portuguese have fought well, and the Spaniards as ill. Throughout the Peninsula the lower ranks are more hearty in the cause than their superiors in the middle and higher classes.— The French retreated last year from Santarem just in the seed-time. The Portuguese instantly improved the opportunity. In their retreat from Torres Vedras, the near approach of Lord Wellington compelled them to cross a river, which was deeper than they expected. arose at that juncture so dense a fog, that his lordship was unable to manoeuvre as he had intended. So the enemy passed the river without interruption. Five hundred of them were, nevertheless, drowned. The Portuguese soldiers dived for the bodies, which they plundered of their uniforms, and of what else they had about them.
Lord Wellington is regarded by the Portuguese as the first general in the world. They begin to feel an unbounded confidence in him ; and so do our own troops. His death, they say, would cause such a gloom, and create so much despondency, as would probably ruin their cause. Should he be compelled to retreat, he would retire to his strong lines at Torres Vedras, where the whole French army might look at us again for five weeks, as they did before, and, being again starved in a desert of their own making, might again reLord Wellington has much strengthened the lines lately; and in case of any sudden disaster, could march his army on board the fleet in the greatest safety, having employed French prisoners in constructing piers in the Tagus, alongside which ships could lie so near that regiments could march directly on board without employing a single boat. When in the lines of Torres Vedras last winter, the whole army was turned out and under arms every morning three hours before daybreak, for fear of a surprise. The enemy did the same: so that at dawn each army could see the other drawn up for action. As soon as the French army was dismissed, ours was dismissed also. This game was played for five weeks.
You must now march back with me to my quarters at Coimbra; but the critical state of Portugal will justify our long absence. I must tell you, there has just been a partial engagement, in which the British and Portuguese troops distinguished themselves against an immense superiority of force. The Portuguese were cut down at their guns; and our own troops, which retired (by Lord Wellington's orders) in hollow squares, were repeatedly charged, but always repulsed the enemy. The affair has been most honourably mentioned in Lord Wellington's General Orders.
Yesterday (11th October), the rest of our regiment arrived from Figueras. In their passage from
Lisbon they narrowly escaped shipwreck, being obliged to dash between two rocks in a dreadful gale of wind. There was only space enough to get through without touching. The rest of the fleet were driven out to sea.—This morning, an hour before sun-rise, I went to the convent where the men are quartered: I marched them to the river, where they bathed and washed their clothes. During this ceremony I made a sketch of the surrounding scenery. How I longed to be able to do justice to the effects of the morning, on the river, boats, fishermen, the town rising above us with all its cupolas and towers, the mountains and forest, the dispersing of the fog, and the cheering radiance of the sun l—All the men tell me I look ill: yet I am in good health and spirits. We had a mournful account yesterday of some of our brother officers; they are sick, and have no proper accommodations. The multitude of sick at Coimbra is astonishing. The pale yellow of their diseased countenances, their languishing looks, and piteous groans, assail you at every step. I had no
idea of the unhealthiness of this climate till I arrived here; and I now believe that the prevalent diseases are chiefly confined to the lower orders and to the army. It is appalling to hear of seven thousand sick being ordered to this city — As to myself, if it please God, I shall be able to meet the dangers of my situation, from which nothing but his providence can save me. May I be able to attain a calm resignation to his will, and, above all, to the hour of death, that tremendous hour, that unspeakable change, the very thought of which is almost sufficient to annihilate the life of the body! During my stay here, I have had a favourable opportunity for prayer, meditation, and reading ; but with how many imperfections ! My books have been the Bible, Mr. *****'s Sermons (which to my great joy I found among my baggage, though I thought I had left them behind), and the Christian Remembrancer, which, tell my dear *****, who gave it to me, is a great favourite with me. When I shall go to the house of God again, I know not. Remember to pray for me. *******
The Works of the Rev. Richard Cecil, M. A. late Rector of Bisley and Vicar of Chobham, Surrey, and Minister of St. John’s Chapel, Bedford Row: with a Memoir of his Life. Arranged and revised, with a View of the Author's Character, by Josiah Pratt, B. D. F. A. S. In 4 vols. 8vo. London. 181 I.
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; for they rest from their la: bours, and their works follow them.” Very few are the persons to whom these words can be applied more confidently than to the individual of whom we are now to treat. We say this, not because he was orthodox in his creed, and evangelical in his doc
trines; for there may be ministers of this description of whom we are compelled to stand in doubt, on account of some manifest inconsistencies in their conduct:--not because he was generally correct in his life; for there is a cold correctness which affords no clear evidence of piety: —not because he was popular, or even highly useful in the pulpit; for some who in this respect were first shall be last, and the last first:—not because his end was marked with any peculiar testimony of the favour of God, any triumphant joy or delightful peace, or any strong assurance of salvation; for his views were clouded and his spirits depressed during many of the last months of his life, through the malady under which he suffered. We apply the beatitude of the text with such peculiar emphasis to Mr. Cecil, because we think that we have seen in him (and we confidently refer to the work before us) the most satisfactory evidence of what we consider to be the great point of all,—the religious integrity of the individual in question; the soundness, not of his creed only, but of his heart in the sight of God; and his manifest freedom from any measure of that hypocrisy which sometimes lurks even under a strict religious profession. The virtues, indeed, of Mr. Cecil, were in general of a very high order. He was the converse of every thing that is selfish, or mean, or time-serving. He aimed to please neither the world nor any religious party. He followed his own convictions; and his views were so large, and so disinterested and noble, that he was not always perfectly understood by some even of those whom he himself considered as serious characters. He at one time gave offence to a few devout persons in his congregation, and even to his chief benefactress, by his determination to adapt his preaching to the case of his less enlightened auditors ; and he fell under many disadvantages in consequence of the very distinguished
uprightness, as well as the delicacy
and liberality of his conduct. Mr. Cecil held remarkably exalted sentiments respecting the duty of a Christian minister, and he laboured in his own way to magnify his of. fice. He was not fond of taking counsel of his flock on this subject; and disliked to come under pecuniary obligations to men, of whose religious character he did not entertain a favourable opinion. We own, that, although we think him open to minute criticism on some of these points, yet, on the whole, we are great admirers of Mr. Cecil, on account of qualities of this sort. General elevation of sentiment, and a high spirit of independence, well become the minister of Jesus Christ.
They are often mistaken for pride but they are in truth very remote from it. There is also a delicacy of moral taste, confounded by some with a disposition to excessive scrupulosity, which indicates a mind exercised in the study of the will of God, observant of the events of his providence, and anxious to apply general doctrine to practical use with fidelity and exactness. And there is a sentiment even of honour, very different from the false honour of the world, which very properly associates itself with all this moral refinement. Mr. Cecil was a mas of high honour in this excellen: sense. But having pointed out some of the leading qualities of this eminent minister of Jesus Christ, it is time to advert to the general account of him which is given in the first of these volumes. It opens with a short preface, by his coadjutor, Mr. Pratt. who then steps aside (meaning, however, soon to re-appear), in order to give place to Mrs. Cecil. Of the manner in which a pious widow executes the task of certifying to the world the private worth, as well as all the other excellencies, which she has witnessed in her recently-departed husband, it is searcely within the province of us, reviewers, even to treat. Being debarred from blaming, or even criticising, in so delicate a case, we seem to ourselves to be also restrained from any free indulgence of our praise; and it is therefore only of the facts recorded in this part of the volume that we proceed to speak. Mr. Cecil was born in Chiswell Street, London, on the 8th November, 1748. His father and grandfather were scarlet-dyers to the East-India Company. His mother was the only child of Mr. Grovesnor, a Londou merchant, and brother to the Rev. Dr.Grovesnor, author of the Mourner. In order to enlarge her resources, she employed herself, according to the fashion of that day (a fashion, we trust, to which the difficulties of
the present times will bring back some of our modern females), in working fine work, which she sold for the benefit of the family. Mr. Cecil's father inherited a tract of ground on which his dye-house stood, and this was the spot of young Cecil's pastime. Here his life was endangered by several adventures. Once he fell under the ice which covered a back of water, and, when apparently dead, was saved by a working man, who, fancying that he saw a scarlet cloak, drew up with it his young master. At another time his coat was caught in a mill wheel, and he would have been crushed, had he not thrust his foot against the mill-horse's face, and thus stopped the mill, and disentangled himself. At a later period, Mrs. Cecil tells us, that his riding horse fell, and threw him before a loaded cart, the wheel of which went over his hat, pushing his head from beneath it, and only bruising his shoulder. Perhaps there are few among us whose wife, whose parent, or whose playfellow, could not record some event, though not as remarkable as these, yet threatening our life, and proclaiming the doctrine of a Providence. To how many hair-breadth escapes are our soldiers especially indebted for the continuance of their earthly existence! Would to God that every one who reads these pages would, in the perusal of this part, recollect the accidents he has survived; the sever he has escaped ; the fall from a horse, which perhaps he little heeded; the deliverance from fire, from water, from a variety of sudden deaths, which, though long forgotten, he has formerly experienced; and would be induced by the recollection to devote, like Mr. Cecil, the life which has been preserved to the zealous service of his Deliverer! Mr. Cecil’s mother was a dissenter, and was a religious woman : many preceding generations in her family having been also pious characters. We rejoice in every record
of this hereditary kind of religion. We are well aware that grace cannot, like a family estate, be vested in a man and his heirs for ever; but we are of opinion, that a doctrine too much the reverse of this has gained a dangerous currency among us; so that the text which says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart therefrom,” has been deprived of more than half its strength of meaning. The Gospel, it has been sometimes said, is ambulatory. Doubtless it is in a certain degree. But so also is wealth; so is political liberty; so are many temporal benefits. It pleases God, nevertheless, to bless a variety of prudent and reasonable means of extending the possession of these fleeting advantages, beyond the period which might otherwise be assigned to them; and why should we not suppose that means and end will commonly accompany each other, in the case of spiritual as well as temporal blessings Many of the old dissenters took special care of their children's education, preserved them from the contagion of the world, enriched them with a variety of religious knowledge, and exercised their minds respecting cases of conscience and moral questions. They placed religion much less in hearing, and much more in doing, than a great portion of the modern religionists. They, for the most part, intermarried with serious characters, and were far from expecting that God would interpose some extraordinary conversion which should supersede the necessity of religious care and industry. How remarkable is it, that the northern states of America should retain, to this day, so large a portion of their original piety. They were peopled by persons probably not unlike the progenitors of the mother of Mr. Cecil; and religion continued long to descend from father to son, as if entailed with the American soil; and has not, even to this day, disap