to whatever is in the neighbourhood; and the ruins which still cling to those crags seem more like eagles' nests than the remains of the habitations even of Moors; whereas those of Monte Moro stand comparatively at their ease on the broad back of a hill, which, though stately and commanding, has no crags nor precipices, and which can be ascended on every side without much difficulty: yet I was much gratified by my visit, and I shall wander far indeed before I forget the voice in the dilapidated convent, the ruined walls amongst which I strayed, and the rampart, where, sunk in dreamy rapture, I sat during a bright sunny hour at Monte Moro.
I returned to the inn, where I refreshed myself with tea and very sweet and delicious cheesecakes, the handiwork of the nuns in the convent above. Observing gloom and unhappiness on the countenances of the people of the house, I inquired the reason of the hostess, who sat almost motionless on the hearth by the fire; whereupon she informed me that her husband was deadly sick with a disorder which, from her description, I supposed to be a species of cholera; she added, that the surgeon who attended him entertained no hopes of his recovery. I replied that it was quite in the power of God to restore her husband in a few hours from the verge of the grave to health and vigour, and that it was her duty to pray to that Omnipotent Being with all fervency. I added, that if she did not know how to pray upon such an occasion, I was ready to pray for her, provided she would join in the spirit of the supplication. I then offered up a short prayer in Portuguese, in which I entreated the Lord to remove, if He thought proper, the burden of affliction under which the family was labouring.
The woman listened attentively, with her hands devoutly clasped, until the prayer was finished, and then gazed at me seemingly with astonishment, but uttered no word by which I could gather that she was pleased or displeased with what I had said. I now bade the family farewell, and having mounted my mule, set forward to Arroyolos.
The Druid's Stone--The Young Spaniard--Ruffianly Soldiers--Evils of War--Estremoz--The Brawl--Ruined Watch Tower--Glimpse of Spain--Old Times and New.
AFTER proceeding about a league and a half, a blast came booming from the north, rolling before it immense clouds of dust; happily it did not blow in our faces, or it would have been difficult to proceed, so great was its violence. We had left the road in order to take advantage of one of those short cuts, which, though passable for a horse or a mule, are far too rough to permit any species of carriage to travel along them. We were in the midst of sands, brushwood, and huge pieces of rock, which thickly studded the ground. These are the stones which