ingenuity and skill than those which engage the attention of the other portion of their fellow-creatures, are less favourable to the engendering of self-conceit and sufficiency, so utterly at variance with that lowliness of spirit which constitutes the best foundation of piety. The sneerers and scoffers at religion do not spring from amongst the simple children of nature, but are the excrescences of over-wrought refinement; and though their baneful influence has indeed penetrated to the country and corrupted man there, the source and fountain head was amongst crowded houses, where nature is scarcely known. I am not one of those who look for perfection amongst the rural population of any country; perfection is not to be found amongst the children of the fall, wherever their abodes may happen to be; but, until the heart discredits the existence of a God, there is still hope for the soul of the possessor, however stained with crime he may be, for even Simon the magician was converted; but when the heart is once steeled with infidelity, infidelity confirmed by carnal wisdom, an exuberance of the grace of God is required to melt it, which is seldom manifested; for we read in the blessed book that the Pharisee and the wizard became receptacles of grace, but where is there mention made of the conversion of the sneering Sadducee, and is the modern infidel aught but a Sadducee of later date?
It was dark night before we reached Evora, and having taken leave of my friends, who kindly requested me to consider their house my home, I and my servant went to the Largo de San Francisco, in which the muleteer informed me was the best hostelry of the town. We rode into the kitchen, at the extreme end of which was the stable, as is customary in Portugal. The house was kept by an aged gipsy-like female and her daughter, a fine blooming girl about eighteen years of age. The house was large; in the upper storey was a very long room, like a granary, which extended nearly the whole length of the house; the farther part was partitioned off, and formed a chamber tolerably comfortable but very cold, and the floor was of tiles, as was also that of the large room in which the muleteers were accustomed to sleep on the furniture of the mules. After supper I went to bed, and having offered up my devotions to Him who had protected me through a dangerous journey, I slept soundly till the morning.
Shopkeeper at Evora--Spanish Contrabandistas--Lion and Unicorn--The Fountain--Trust in the Almighty--Distribution of Tracts--Library at Evora--Manuscript--The Bible as a Guide--The Infamous Mary--The Man of Palmella--The Charm--The Monkish System--Sunday--Volney --An Auto-Da-Fé--Men from Spain--Reading of a Tract--New Arrival --The Herb Rosemary.
EVORA is a small city, walled, but not regularly fortified, and could not sustain a siege of a day. It has five gates; before that to the