segunda-feira, 29 de março de 2010

"Graham's travel's..."

Eis um pequeno texto pescado através do Google Books. Trata-se de um livro publicado em 1820 e que relata a viagem que um senhor de nome William Graham fez durante a guerra peninsular, percorrendo Portugal e Espanha.
Aqui apenas coloco a parte que diz respeito à cidade do Porto.

(página 38)
"...when we marched for Oporto, sixteen miles [vindo de Sta. Maria da Feira], a city far surpassing Lisbon and Coimbra, in point of beauty. The first which that strikes a traveller, is a general cleanliness,-also the evenness of the houses, and uniformity which reigns in each street. It is situated on the Duoro(sic), a few miles from the sea, and has a bridge of boats which open in the middle, for the passage up to St. Joas de Pisqueri(sic), Lamego, & c. The convents here are superior to any I have yet seen, and, as usual, occupy the greatest part of the town. On the northern side of the river is a part called Vila Nuevo de Oporto(sic), or the new town, inhabited by coopers and smiths, of whom the number is immense. Oporto is very large and our English company reside here. They generally purchase the vintage some months before it is pulled; making the wine on the spot, and floating it down to Oporto, were they doctor it for our market. As to their wine the juice of the grape alone is not so capital as is imagined, being rather insipid. There is one street here called Rua des Ingleses(sic), which may, perhaps, rival any in Europe; the houses, numbers 1, 2, 3, compose the English hotel, and a noble one it is. Oporto very much resembles the towns in England, and one-eight of the inhabitants are thought to be English-the one company giving employment to so many; and to this company may be imputed the commercial prosperity of Oporto.

Throughout Portugal, the orders of Santa Cruz and Santa Francisco(sic) appear to be richest. The chapels, in general, are the greatest ornament about them, and the gardens are laid out in a superb style. On convent here is on an immense perpendicular rock, on the south side of the town, and has a truly grotesque appearance; I was billeted just under it. The town lies on the side of a hill, like Lisbon and Coimbra, slanting to the river. The streets are very good, with many fine houses. There is a great trade and shipping can come up to the merchant's doors with ease. The streets are lighted with lamps, in the English mode, and the houses don't look so much like prisons as those of Lisbon(!!!). The great iron bars to the windows are not much in use. They are built with stone, very high, many being seven stores. There is an excellent fish market here, and a good landing place, almost all along the northern bank of the river. The inhabitants are less reserved then those of the south, as their intercourse with the English makes them acquainted with our manners and customs, some of which, they adopt. It is rather singular that the port wine is very bad here--nor is it like the wine we have in England; the English company monopolize the best for exportation. Adeney and I refreshed with a bottle on the morning we started; but it was not at all to our taste."

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