Page images

over our heads, expecting them every minute to seize upon us, I lost all my spirits, and, again abandoning myself to despair, thought it was still impossible, after so many escapes, to avoid the sort of death I most dreaded.

After some time passed in these dreadful apprehensions, the wind suddenly abated, and the fire, burning upwards, made no farther progress. This again restored hope to us, and hunger obliged those that had provisions to think of eating, when an Irish Roman Catholic gentlewoman sitting near me asked if my name was not Chase, and said she knew my father many years, and gave me a large piece of water-melon and some bread and water. Mr Jorg also soon after brought me some bread, and, carrying me on his back to Mr Graves's family, left me there; and presently after, going himself with his uncle and the old lady to the water-side (to which there was now a passage, the pent-houses being burnt down), and not returning soon, I began to imagine they were gone, till it was confirmed to me by Mr Waubbes (who was the gentleman that assisted in bringing me to the square), saying that "he was surprised Mr Jorg had left me at last." But, for my own part, I had more reason to be surprised he had not done it before, and to think myself very happy that, after saving my life so many times, he had not deserted me till the most threatening dangers were almost over. Therefore, far from making any complaints, I only wished him the utmost happiness, excited thereto by the warmest gratitude for my preservation. However, as he had been almost the only person that had showed me any attention, I could not but be very uneasy at my present situation; and, determining to exert myself as much as possible, now I had nobody left to depend upon for assistance, I applied immediately to Mr Graves to beg a place in the boat he was endeavouring to procure for his family; to which he replied, "that his own family was sufficient to fill any boat he was likely to get; that it was no time for ceremony; therefore he could not pretend to offer any such thing." Surprised at such an an


swer, especially as the boats on that river are so large, I asked if his black servants were reckoned part of his family, or, if not, whether he would permit me to employ one of them to try to hire a boat for me? To which Mr Waubbes (to whom one of the blacks, it seemed, belonged) directly answered I was welcome to his servant to go wherever I pleased. Mr Graves also said I might if I liked it, but that it was impossible to get a boat, even if I was to offer a hundred mocdas for one. Knowing that I could not be in a worse situation, I accepted their offers directly, and desired one of the blacks to go immediately to the water-side, to wait there, and to endeavour to procure me a place in a boat, telling him I would give him a thirtysix-shilling piece to get me conveyed up the river to the convent of Madre de Dios, and to carry me thence to Mr Hake's house, just by it, upon his back;-to make the best bargain he could, and the remainder to be for himself. After which, if I remember well, Mr Graves, having removed us more into the square, nearer to the water-side, placed his own family in a great glass coach which stood at a little distance, leaving only the maid-servant with her bundles, upon which I was laid. There came to her then a poor boy, who seemed to have a crust over his face, begging earnestly for some water.

There being but little left, he was refused. He laid himself down, and, shrieking in the most dreadful agonies, prevailed with her to give him all that there was. Soon after, seeing the two women who had given me the melon going with a man towards the waterside, I desired Mr Graves's maid to apply to them, to ask them if they had any room in their boat, but she was answered in the negative. I begged of her also to call to the watermen, who began now to appear. At last one of them came. I offered him half a moidore, which he refused, saying they were sent only for the servants of the Palace-however, that he would go and consult with his companions upon it. About three o'clock, as I suppose, we began to hear a dreadful rumbling noise

[ocr errors]

underground. It seemed to proceed from under the ruins of the Palaceas if the earth had opened there, and the river was rushing in, forcing great stones along with it. The cause of it I could not tell, but it continued till my departure.

Mr Houston, a coffeehouse-man, with whom I had not the least acquaintance, seeing the miserable condition I lay in, came and offered me any assistance in his power. I asked him directly if he was attempting to quit the square before night? -to which he answered he was not; because he wanted to carry away with him some pieces of holland he had saved, and for which he supposed he should hardly be able to procure a conveyance before the next day. I desired him to bring them and sit down by me, which he complied with, to my very great satisfaction; for I almost despaired of receiving any further assistance from Mr Graves's family; and as the night was coming on, I knew not what would become of me without some friendly help. Some time afterwards, when I had given up all hopes of their return, came the two watermen, and offered to carry me, provided they were paid beforehand.

Mr Houston said it was too much, which would have been of little consideration to me at such a time, had not the black boy returned also to tell me he had agreed for a place for eighteen shillings, and that I must go directly. With the greatest joy imaginable, I desired him to take me on his back; nor do I know why I did not ask Mr Houston to go with me, or why he did not himself offer it. I took my leave of him and of Mr Graves's family, who were all just returned from the glass coach, and were in tears disputing amongst themselves (the cause I did not then know). Mr Jorg's partner, Mr Brockleman, was with them, who came ashore in a ship's boat on pur pose to carry them away; but, as I learnt afterwards, they would not accept his offer, because his boat was not large enough to carry all of them and their bundles together at once; therefore chose rather to remain in the square another night than divide.


We were once more put to great distress by the fire; and Mr Houston in the confusion endeavouring to save their bundles, lost his own pieces of holland; however, the next day they all got away safe.

But to return to myself: another black boy offered to attend me. I made no objection, and between the two was conveyed into a large boat almost full of people, and there laid upon a board along the middle of it. A priest that came in afterwards treading upon my lame leg, the increase of pain almost overcame me; however, the coolness of the water, which was very smooth and pleasant, and the evening fine, soon brought me to myself. Going a little way up the river, just beyond the fire, the boat stopped at the Ribeira, or fish-market-a large place, from which there was an open way along the river-side into the country. The people were all put on shore; and to my great surprise, they were going to put me there likewise. Vexed to the last degree at my disappointment, I exerted all the spirits I had left, and told them that they might see in my condition it was to no purpose to set me on shore there: if they would not comply with their agreement, I desired to be carried back to the place whence they had brought me, where the fire had almost spent itself, rather than be placed here to meet with it again. One of them said he knew nothing of any such agreement that his partner was wrong to make it, for they belonged to a town on the other side of the river, and could not have time sufficient. I desired them to carry me as far as they could, and they accordingly proceeded forward. I saw Mr Home going on shore in a ship's boat, but did not speak to


When we came to the Horse-Guards, at the end of the city, the watermen said the tide was turning-and, muttering together, I heard them call me a heretic, and the blacks devils; so that I was glad to be rid of them at any rate, and was but roughly put on shore; where, deeming it unsafe they should know I had more money about me than the thirty-six-shilling piece, I chose rather to send the blacks

standing, they either knew nothing or did not mind me; whence concluding that the family had quitted the place, most likely to go on board ship, I was quite in despair what to do with myself, when Mr Joseph Hake, who was at some distance, astonished to hear the voice of a person he had been informed the preceding day was either dead or dying, called out in the greatest sur

to tell his father and mother, and came running immediately to


Mr Hake said that he had believed my case to be desperate, and therefore had wished most heartily to hear I was released from suffering. They received me in the most affectionate manner possible, which filled me with so much joy to be taken so much notice of, that I could not help telling Mr Hake that I sincerely thanked God for lengthening out my days to die under his protection.

with one of the boatmen to get the
change, and remained myself lying
on the ground close to the water;
during which a Galician porter came
and offered to carry me anywhere I
pleased for eighteen shillings; but as
the night was coming on, I had not
confidence sufficient to trust him.
Upon their return, which seemed to
me a long time at first, the boatman
asked me whether I did not think he
had run away with my money?-prise
then said it was not good, and talked
in an odd kind of manner, to which
I made no reply. The black boys
also showed no inclination to go any
farther, saying they could not get
back to their masters in the night
unless the watermen would wait, as
by their agreement at first they had
promised to do. This the watermen
said they would still comply with, if
they made haste back again; upon
which they set out, carrying me by
turns on their shoulders, often set-
ting me down to rest themselves; for
they were so weakly that I expected
them every step to tumble. The dis-
tance, I think, cannot be above a
mile, but it seemed to us then a long
way indeed; and it was with great
difficulty I prevailed with them to
get on as far as Mr Hake's juinte or
country house. The road was pretty
full of people going silently along
with the most dejected countenances.
At one of their resting-places, the
blacks put me upon some stone steps
leading up to a nobleman's house,
which brought the ladies to the
window. Imagining I was coming
to them, they told me that part of the
large house of retirement for widows
had just tumbled down. At last
they brought me, almost overcome
with the increase of pain, to the first
gate of Mr Hake's garden, which
standing open, we went in, and found
the walk leading to the house full of
people; but as it was growing dark,
I could not distinguish them.

I asked, however, immediately, if Mr Hake was living, and if he were there neither of which they knew. Proceeding on a little farther, I heard a man speaking English, and, repeating the same questions to him, was only answered that he had lost his wife and three fine children: and even at the house, which was

They carried me to a tent made of carpets under a vine-walk where their beds were placed, and gave me some strong white wine and bread and butter, at that time exquisite and refreshing to me; but they feared to give me as much as I would have desired. The two black boys I joyfully dismissed, equally pleased with eighteen shillings each.

Mr Hake sent for the King's farrier, who was also a famous bonesetter, then in the garden with his family. This man, with the help of a barber-surgeon, examined me immediately, and declared there was nothing broke but the arm; that all the rest were only wounds and bruises, and, if fever could be kept off, I might do very well again. They set my arm immediately, but did not perceive the dislocation of the shoulder, and my left side was at that time the most painful to me. Their opinion of me being more favourable than I could have expected from my outward appearance, I determined by patience to make up for the deficiencies of all the conveniences which another time might have afforded; yet about the middle of the night, when the family had laid themselves down to rest, my left side grew so bad that it almost took away my breath, and at the same time a be

numbing coldness seizing me in my lame arm, I thought I had only a few moments to live; but, unwilling to disturb their scanty repose, I did not speak, till Mr Hake, seeing my condition, called Mr Abraham Hake to my assistance, who setting me up, I recovered a little, and by bleeding the next morning was greatly relieved, and was forced to have application to this remedy four times more.

On the Tuesday Mr Screfton the surgeon came to me with great difficulty from Belem; said he was almost pulled to pieces by the people, and, confirming the former opinion of my case, told me he was very glad to hear I had fallen into such good hands as he esteemed the bone-setter's to be.

Mr Hake from the first assured me of his assistance and protection, yet when I heard the clamour of the starving people for bread, threatening to break in upon us (so that we were forced to eat our victuals almost by stealth), as also the variety of reports of robberies and murders which were committed all around us, whilst all government was at an end, and at the same time the English were pressing him for his own safety to go on board ship, I expected every day necessity would force him to compliance, and should that happen I knew not whither to look with hope!

With what gratitude then did my heart overflow (a gratitude which no time can ever efface) to hear him declare, when earnestly entreated to go on board a ship of which he himself was an owner, and where there was a place reserved for him, that he could not leave his family. On being told they would make room for his sons, he said he not only meant his sons but myself also, whom he could not abandon in so distressful a condition, and therefore it would be in vain to mention it any more to him. And indeed in every respect he most fully complied with his promise to me, carrying me on board the aforementioned ship on Saturday the 29th of November. The next day she sailed for England with twenty-four passengers, being the second ship after the earthquake;

the Expedition packet, Captain William Clies, having sailed about ten days before us with seventeen passengers.

It was constantly a most sensible increase of uneasiness to me to give so much trouble to Mr Hake's family at such a time of general confusion and distress, and I must ever acknowledge myself greatly indebted for my recovery to the particular care and attention of Mr Abraham Hake.

Thus far I have endeavoured not only to describe most minutely all the accidents that happened to me, but even the hopes and fears occasioned by them, whether depressed and magnified by my debilitated state of mind I know not. I can only say that after I got into the street the general distress painted in every ghastly countenance made but little reflection necessary to conclude that even the nearest relations would be unable to assist each other; and from the short examination I had made of myself, I thought it was of little consequence to me, and therefore at once resolved, without a murmur, to resign myself to the will of the Supreme Governor of all things, humbly hoping, by my patience in suffering what He was pleased to inflict, to make some atonement for my faults.

How great, then, must be my thankfulness to Divine Providence for raising me up assistance, not only unasked, but even unhoped for, amongst people almost strangers to me, more especially Mr Jorg (with whom I had but a slight acquaintance), who, like a guardian angel, appeared always to assist me in the utmost extremities. He afterwards assured me that it gave him the greatest concern to be obliged to leave me in the manner he did; but that, finding all hopes of procuring a boat were vain, because the moment any came near to the shore they were immediately crowded with people who waited there on purpose, he resolved to get away himself in the same manner, and endeavour to send me the first help he could procure that accordingly, after crossing the river (which took them up a long time), he met with a Mr Bride, an English shoemaker, who was going over, and

who, at his entreaty, promised to look for me, and carry me away with him; and that, after making the most diligent search for me without success, he rightly concluded I had been already removed thence. I have been the more particular to mention this circumstance, because it sets in its true light a behaviour I can never reflect on without the greatest surprise and astonishment, as well as the deepest sense of gratitude.

Some time afterwards, I learnt that no part of our house fell except the arada where I was, nor were any of the family killed; only the housekeeper and one man-servant were much hurt by the falling of the arada upon them as they were going out of the house. The ceilings of the upper story were, however, so much shattered, that none ventured to enter into any of the rooms.

It is universally agreed that all the mischief proceeded from the first three shocks of the earthquake, which were attended with a tumbling sort of motion, like the waves of the sea, so that it was amazing the houses resisted so long as they did.

No place nor time could have been more unlucky for the miserable people! The city was full of narrow streets; the houses strong-built and high, so that their falling filled up all the passages; the day of All Saints, with the Portuguese a great holiday, when all the altars of the churches were lighted up with many candles, just at the time they were fullest of people! Most of the churches fell immediately. The streets were thronged with people going to and from mass, many of whom must have been destroyed by the mere falling of the upper parts of the houses.

It would be impossible to pretend justly to describe the universal horror and distress that everywhere prevailed! Many saved themselves by going upon the water, whilst others found there the death they hoped to have avoided. Some were wonderfully preserved by getting to the tops of their houses; more by retiring to the bottoms of them. Others, again, unhurt, were imprisoned under the ruins of their dwellings, only to be burnt alive! whilst two Dutchmen,

in particular, were said to have escaped by the fire reaching the ruins of their house, and lighting them through passages they would not otherwise have found out. The earnest but unheeded supplications of the disabled, and the violent, noisy prayers of the people, who thought it to be the Day of Judgment, added to the general distraction. In short, death in every shape soon grew familiar to the eye.

The river is said to have risen and fallen several times successively in a most wonderful manner; at one time threatening to overflow the lower parts of the city, and directly afterwards leaving the ships almost aground in the middle of its bed, showing rocks that had never been seen before.

The duration of the first shock (which came without any warning, except a great noise heard by the people near the water-side) is variously reported, but by none is esti mated at less than three minutes and a half. At the latter part of it (I suppose), I was thrown over the wall, and fell about four stories, between the houses, where I must have lain but a little time, if it was the second shock that I felt in the Portuguese man's house-which was said to have happened at ten o'clock (though by some people it is confounded with the first). I almost think it could not have been the third that I felt at Mr Jorg's house; for as that took place at twelve o'clock, I must have remained a long time in the street, whereas it appeared to me that, instead of two hours, as it must have been if between the second and third shocks, I lay there scarcely a quarter of an hour.

Before I left Mr Jorg's house on the Saturday night about eleven o'clock, which was in the same street with ours, called Pedras Nagras, situated upon the hill leading up to the Castle, I saw all the middle part of the city to the King's Palace, and from thence up the opposite hill to us, leading to the Baira Alto, containing a number of parishes, all in one great blaze.

Three times I thought myself inevitably lost! The first, when I saw all the city moving like the water;

« PreviousContinue »