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lodgings, through a long steep and narrow street: the new scenes
of horror I met with there exceed all description; nothing could be heard but sighs and groans. I did not meet with a soul in the passage, who was not bewailing the death of his nearest relations and dearest friends, or the loss of all his substance ; I could hardly take a single step without treading on the dead, or the dying: in some places lay coaches, with their masters, horses, and riders, almost crushed in pieces; here, mothers with infants in their arms; there ladies richly dressed, priests, friars, gentlemen, mechanics ; either in the same condition, or just expiring some had their backs or thighs broken, others vasts stones on their breasts ; some lay almost buried in the rubbish, and, crying out in vain to the passengers for succour, were left to perish with the rest.
At length I arrived at the spot opposite to the house where my friend, for whom I was so anxi. ous, resided, and finding this as well as the contiguous buildings thrown down (which made me give him over for lost) I now thought of nothing else but saving my own life in the best manner I could; and in less than an hour got. to a public-house, kept by one Morley, near the English burying-ground, about half a mile from the city, where I still remain, with a great number of my countrymen, as well as Portuguese, in the same wretched circumstances, having al.. most ever since lain on the ground, and never once within doors, with scarcely any covering to defend me from the inclemency of the night air, which, at this time, is exceeding sharp and piercing.-Perhaps you may think the present doleful subject here. concluded; but, alas! the
horrors of the first of November are sufficient to fill a volume. As soon as it grew dark, another scene presented itself, little less shocking than those already described--the whole city appeared in a blaze, which was so bright that I could easily see to read by it. It may be said, without exaggeration, it was on fire at least in an hundred different places at once, and thus continued burning for six days together, without intermission, or the least attempt being made to stop its progress.
It went on consuming every thing the earthquake had spared; and the people were so dejected and terrified, that few or none had courage enough to venture down, to save any part of their substance. Every one had his eyes turned towards the flames, and stood looking on with silent grief, which was only interrupted by the cries and shrieks of women and children calling on the saints and angels for succour, whenever the earth began ta tremble, which was so often this night, and indeed I may say ever sirice, that the tremors, more or less, did not cease for a quarter of an hour together. I could never learn, that this terrible fire was owing to any subterraneous eruption, as some reported, but to three causes, which all concurring at the same time, will naturally account for the prodigious havoc it made: the first of November being All' Saints day,a high festival among the Portuguese, every altar in every church and chapel (some of which have more than twenty) was illuminated with a number of wax tapers and lamps, as customary ; these setting fire to the curtains and timber work that fell with the shock, the confiagration soon spread to the neighbouring houses,
and being there joined with the fires in the kits chen chimneys, increased to such a degree, that, it might easily have destroyed the whole city, though no other cause had concurred, especially as it met with no interruption.
But what would appear incredible to you, were the fact less public and notorious, is, that a gang of hardened villains, who had been confined, and got out of prison when the wall fell, at the first shock, were busily employed in setting fire to those buildings, which stood some chance of escaping the general destruction. I cannot con ceive what could have induced them to this hele lish work, except to add to the horror and confu. sion, that they might, by these means, have the better opportunity of plundering with security, But there was no necessity for taking this trou, ble, as they might certainly have done their business without it; since the whole city was so deserted before night, that I believe not a soul remained in it, except those execrable villains, and others of the same stamp. It is possible. some among them might have had other motives besides robbing, as one in particular being. apprehended (they say he was a Moor, condemned to the gallies) * confessed at the gale lows, that he had set fire to the king's palace with his own hand ; at the same time glorying in the action, and declaring with his last breath, that he hoped to have burnt all the royal family. The fire in short, by some means or other, may be said to have destroyed the whole city, at least every thing that was grand or valuable in it. The damage on this occasion is not to be esti
* Thirty-four of these wretches were executed in a few days.
mated, but you may judge it must have been immense, from the few following particulars.
All the fine tapestry, paintings, plate, jewels, furniture, &c. of the king's palace, amounting to many millions, with the rich vestments and costly ornaments of the patriarchal church adjoining (where service was performed with no less pomp than that of the pope's own chapel); all the riches of the palace of Bragança, where the crown jewels, and plate of inestimable value, with quantities of the finest silk tapestries, interwoven with gold and silver thread, and hangings of velvet and damask, were kept; all the rich goods and spices in the India warehouses under the palace, those belonging to the merchants of different nations in the opposite custom-house, as well as those in the merchants own houses, and dispersed among the numerous shops, were utterly consumed, or lost; even those few effects that had the luck of escaping the first Aames, found no security in the open spaces they were carried to, being there either burnt with the sparks that fell on every side, or lost in the hurry and confusion the people were then in, or (which I knew to have been the case of many persons property) stolen by those abandoned villains, who made their doubly wicked advantage of this general calamity.
With regard to the buildings, it was observed, that the most solid, in general, fell the first, * among which, besides those already mentioned, were, the granaries of the public corn market ; the great royal hospital in the Rocieu, that called
* This circumstance seems to favoùr Dr. Stukely's opinion, that earthquakes are, in a great measure, owing to electrical shocks.
the Miserecordia for the maintenance of poor orphan girls, most of whom perished; the fine church and convent of Saint Domingo, where was one of the largest and noblest libraries in Europe: the grand church of the Carmelites supported by two rows of white marble pillars, with the miraculous image of our lady of mount Carmel, who could not save her favourite teme ple from ruin; the old cathedral, which was of an excessive thickness; the magnificent church of the regular canons of Saint Augustine, not much unlike our Saint Paul's, though not to be compared to it for bigness, and reckoned by connoisseurs the finest piece of architecture in Europe, where lay the bodies of the late king John, and several of the royal family, whose monuments, by the fall of the cupola, were crushed in pieces; the castle, or citadel, wherein the ancient archives and records were reposited; the prison of the inquisition, or holy office, as it is called, with that of the Zimoeira, which was a palace of the Moorish kings, over which the supreme court of justice was held, for the try, ing of criminals. In short, it is impossible to enumerate the particular damages in buildings only; to say all in one word, every parish church, convent, nunnery, palace, and public edifice, with an infinite number of private houses, were either thrown down, or so miserably shattered, that it is rendered dangerous to pass by them. As to the people who lost their lives on this occasion, to say nothing of those who were crushed to death in their own houses, in some of which, no less than forty persons were killed (as a family lives on every foor), either meeting with immediate death, or having had