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here 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 vast 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 anxious, 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 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 almost 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 exceedingly sharp and piercing.
Perhaps you may think the present doleful subject here concluded; but, alas! the horrors of the 1st 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 a 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 everything 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 to tremble, which was so often this night, and indeed I may say ever since, 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 1st of November being All Saints Day, a high festival among the Portuguese, every altar in every church and chapel (some of which have more then 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 conflagration soon spread to the neighbouring houses, and being there joined with the fires in the kitchen 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 conceive what could have induced them to this hellish work, except to add to the horror and confusion, that they might, by this means, have the better opportunity of plundering with security. But there was no necessity for taking this trouble, 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 galleys,) confessed at the gallows, 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. It is likewise generally believed that Mr. Bristow's house, which was an exceeding strong edifice, built on vast stone arches, and had stood the shocks without any great damage, further than what I have mentioned, was consumed in the
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.
With regard to the buildings, it was observed that the solidest in general fell the first. 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 was rendered dangerous to pass by them.
The whole number of persons that perished, including those who were burnt, or afterwards crushed to death whilst digging in the ruins, is supposed, on the lowest calculation, to amount to more than sixty thousand ; and though the damage in other respects cannot be computed, yet you may form some idea of it, when I assure you that this extensive and opulent city is now nothing but a vast heap of ruins; that the rich and poor are at present upon a level; some thousands of families which but the day before had been easy in their circumstances, being now scattered about in the fields, wanting every conveniency of life, and finding none able to relieve them.
A few days after the first consternation was over, I ventured down into the city by the safest ways I could pick out, to see if there was a possibility of getting anything out of my lodgings, but the ruins were now so augmented by the late fire, that I was so far from being able to distinguish the individual spot where the house stood, that I could not even distinguish the street amidst such mountains of stones and rubbish which rose on every side. Some days after I ventured down again with several porters, who, having long plied in these parts of the town, were well acquainted with the situation of particular houses ; by their assistance I at last discovered the spot; but was soon convinced to dig for anything here, besides the danger of such an attempt, would never answer the expense;
but what further induced me to lay aside all thoughts of the matter, was the sight of the ruins still smoking, from whence I knew for certain that those things I set the greatest value on, must have been irrecoverably lost in the fire.
On both the times when I attempted to make this fruitless search, especially the first, there came such an intolerable stench from the dead bodies, that I was ready to faint away; and though it did not seem so great this last time, yet it had like to have been more fatal to me, as I contracted a fever by it, but of which, God be praised, I soon
got the better. However, this made me so cautious for the future, that I avoided passing near certain places, where the stench was so excessive that people began to dread an infection. A gentleman told me, that going into the town a few days after the earthquake, he saw several bodies lying in the streets, some horribly mangled, as he supposed, by the dogs; others half burnt; some quite roasted ; and that in certain places, particularly near the doors of churches, they lay in vast heaps, piled one upon another. You may guess at the prodigious havoc which must have been made, by the single instance I am going to mention. There was a high arched passage, like one of our old city gates, fronting the west door of the ancient cathedral ; on the left hand was the famous church of St. Antonio, and on the right some private houses, several stories high. The whole area surrounded by all these buildings did not much exceed one of our small courts in London. At the first shock, numbers of people who were then passing under the arch, fled into the middle of this area for shelter; those in the two churches, as many as could possibly get out, did the same : at this instant the arched gateway, with the fronts of the two churches and contiguous buildings, all inclining one towards another with the sudden violence of the shock, fell down and buried every soul as they were standing here crowded together.
Thus, my dear friend, have I given you a genuine, though imperfect account of this terrible judgment, which has left so deep an impression on my mind, that I shall never wear it off. I have lost all the money I had by me, and have saved no other clothes than what I have on my back; but what I regret most, is the irreparable loss of my books and papers. To add to my present distress, those friends to whom I could have applied on any other occasion, are now in the same wretched circumstances with myself. However, notwithstanding all that I have suffered, I do not think I have reason to despair, but rather to return my gratefullest acknowledgments to the Almighty, who hath so visibly preserved my life amidst such dangers, where so many thousands perished ; and the same good Providence, I trust, will still continue to protect me, and point out some means to extricate myself out of these difficulties.
116.—THE GREAT AUTHOR OF CIVILIZATION.
[John Ray, who takes the most eminent rank amongst naturalists as " the founder of true principles of classification in the animal and vegetable kingdoms,” was born in 1627, near Braintree, in Essex. He was one of that numerous body of eminent men who owe everything to the old Grammar Schools. His father was a blacksmith; but he received a good classical education at the Grammar School at Braintree, which eventually enabled him to become a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1649. He was appointed Greek Lecturer, and afterwards Mathematical Tutor at his college ; but a severe illness drove him to seek relaxation in out-door exercise, and from that time his taste for natural history was formed, and his subsequent life was devoted to its scientific pursuit. This is not the place in which to give an account of his sys. tems of classification in botany and zoology. They are the results of accurate observation and deep reflection. He had to originate everything; other systematic naturalists are improvers. The volume from which our extract is given was once highly popular, and led the way to Derham's Physico-Theology,' and Paley's Natural Theology. It is entitled the “Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation."
Methinks by all the provision which he has made for the use and service of man, the Almighty interpretatively speaks to him in this
I have now placed thee in a spacious and well furnished world, I have endued thee with an ability of understanding what is beautiful and proportionable, and have made that which is so agreeable and delightful to thee; I have provided thee with materials whereon to exercise and employ thy heart and strength; I have given thee an excellent instrument, the hand, accommodated to make use of them all; I have distinguished the earth into hills and valleys, and plains, and meadows, and woods; all these parts capable of culture and improvement by thy industry; I have committed to thee for thy assistance in the labours of ploughing and carrying, and drawing, and travel, the laborious ox, the patient ass, and the strong and serviceable horse; I have created a multitude of seeds for thee to make choice out of them of what is most pleasant to thy taste, and of most wholesome and plentiful nourishment; I have also made great variety of trees, bearing fruit both for food and physic, those, too, capable of being melior