A first-rate Blessing. – The Duke d'Alafoens' Chateau. – The great Highway to the Caldas. – Extensive Fertility. – Cadafaiz. – Boundless Vineyard. – Eggs of the Sun. – A calm Retirement. – Peaceful State of Portugal compared to other parts of the Continent.

6th June.

AT length it pleased heaven to inspire the Grand Prior with sufficient resolution to proceed; the last dregs of excuses for loitering being exhausted. The air had become much cooler; and the sun being overcast, we experienced a first-rate blessing – that of travelling under a canopy of clouds, which had the kindness not to disperse till we passed Al Priate, a chateau belonging to the Duke d'Alafoens.
This sumptuous abode, with pompous [27] high roofs, and courts, and avenues, as Frenchified as their illustrious master, is placed in a valley which would have been pleasant enough had any other trees except the pale leaden-coloured olive happened to predominate.
After jolting along in rather a convulsive manner for about a league, and receiving many a pinch from my alarmed and nervous companion, we emerged from a chaos of ruts and sandbanks into the great highway which leads to the Caldas through Alhandra, Povos, and Villa Franca.
All these places, not unpleasantly situated on the banks of the Tagus, have quintas, palaces, and fidalgos, as well as their betters; but the country which surrounds them is pretty nearly as flat, and as rich in ditches, sluices, and other means of irrigation, as the environs of Antwerp itself. Her most faithful majesty sometimes resorting to the Caldas, the road is kept in tolerable repair.
[28] At every league, pedestals with vases upon them meet the eye; and at no very distant intervals, architectural fountains, which have not yet entirely forgotten the purpose for which they were erected, and still contrive to dribble out a scanty and turbid stream.
As we approached Carregado, scenes of boundless plenty began to expand themselves; unlimited fields of Turkish corn, fine barley, and black Sicilian wheat, the ears bending to the ground with their weight.
We now abandoned the high road in order to reach Cadafaiz, another ample domain under the government of our hospitable friend, where we arrived late in the afternoon. There we found ourselves in a most comfortable antiquated mansion, perfectly cool and clean; the floors neatly matted, the tables covered with the finest white linen, and, in bright clear caraffes of Venetian glass, the most [27] beautiful carnations I ever met with, even at Genoa in the Durazzo Gardens.
The wide latticed windows of the apartment allotted to me commanded the view of a boundless vineyard in full luxuriant leaf, divided by long broad tracts of thyme and camomile, admirably well kept and nicely weeded. From this immense sea of green leaves rose a number of plum, pear, orange, and apricot trees; the latter procured by the monks directly from Damascus, and bearing, as I can testify, that most delicious fruit of its kind called "eggs of the sun" by the Persians; – even insects and worms seem to respect it, for no trace could I discover of their having preyed on its smooth glowing rind and surrounding foliage.
Beyond these truly Hesperian orchards, very lofty hills swell into the most picturesque forms, varied by ledges of rock, and completely inclose this calm retirement; wild healthful spots of delicate herbage, [30] which the goats and sheep, whose bells I heard tinkling in the distance, are scarcely more partial to than myself.
How often, contrasting my present situation with the horrid disturbed state of almost every part of the Continent, did I bless the hour when my steps were directed to Portugal! As I sat in the nook of my retired window, I looked with complacency on a roof which sheltered no scheming hypocrites, on tables, on which perhaps no newspaper had ever been thrown, and on neat white pillows, guiltless of propping up the heads of those assassins of real prosperity – political adventurers. The very air which kept playing around my temples seemed to breathe contentment; it was genially warm, not oppressive, and brought with it the intermingled fragrance of mountain herbs and native flowers.


Supreme command given to two distinguished Prelates to visit the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, and a royal wish expressed that the Author should accompany them. - Preparations in high style for the Journey. - The general Rendezvous. - Departure. - Nossa Senhora de Luz. - Lumiares. - Domain of the Monks of St. Vincent. - Reception there


A Morning Walk. - Boundless Orchards of Orange and Apricot. The River Trancaô. - Magnificent Bay-tree. - A Fishing-party. - Happy Inclosure. - An Afternoon Ramble to the Palace of the Patriarch, and its immense Parterre. - Musical contest between Frogs and Nightingales


Curious Conversation with an Ex-missionary from China. -Wonders of the Imperial Gardens. - Strange Belief of the Emperor of China


A first-rate Blessing. - The Duke d'Alafoens' Chateau. - The great Highway to the Caldas.- Extensive Fertility. - Cadafaiz. - Boundless Vineyard. - Eggs of the Sun. - A calm Retirement. - Peaceful State of Portugal compared to other parts of the Continent


A Ramble over the Hills. - Beautiful Grotto.- Reminiscences of Gil Blas. - Journey resumed. - First Sight of Alcobaça. - Pompous Reception. - The Three Graces of Holiness. - Gloomy Church. - Sepulchral Chapel of Pedro the Just and Iñez. - Interrupted Reveries. - Enormous Kitchen. - Hospitable Preparations. - The Banquet Hall. - The Banquet. - Tiresome Minuets. - Ineffectual Offer. - Ceremonious "Good Nights"


Endless Corridors and a grim-looking Hall. - Portrait of St. Thomas à Becket. - Ancient Cloister. - Venerable Orangetrees. - Sepulchral Inscriptions. - The Refectory. - Solemn Summons to Breakfast. - Sights. - Gorgeous Sacristy. Antiquities. - Precious Specimen of Early Art. - Hour of Siesta. - A Noon-day Ramble. - Silence and Solitude. - Mysterious Lane. – Irresistible Somnolency of my Conductor. - An unseen Songstress. - A Surprise. - Donna Francisca, her Mother and Confessor. - The World of Alcobaça awakened. - Return to the Monastery, - Departure for Batalha. - The Field of Aijubarota. - Solitary Vale. - Reception at Batalha. - Enormous Supper. - Ecstasies of an old Monk. - His sentimental Mishap. - Night Scene. - Awful Denunciations


Morning. - The Prior of Batalha. - His Account of the Nocturnal Wanderer. - A Procession. - Grand Façade of the Great Church. - The Nave. - Effect of the golden and ruby light from the windows. - Singularly devout celebration of High Mass. - Mausoleum of John the First and Philippa. - Royal Tombs. - The Royal Cloisters. - Perfect Preservation of this regal Monastery. - Beautiful Chapter-house. - Tombs of Alphonso the Fifth and his Grandson. - Tide of Monks, Sacristans, Novices, &c. - Our Departure. - Wild Road. - Redoubled kindness of my Reception by the Lord Abbot, and why. - Dr. Ehrhart's visit to the Infirmary, and surgical raptures. - A half-crazed Poet and his doleful tragedy. - Senhor Agostinho in the character of Donna Iñez de Castro. - Favouritism, and its reward


Too much of a good thing. - My longing for a Ramble. -Sage resolves. - A Gallop. - Pure and elastic Atmosphere. - Expansive Plain. - Banks of the River. - Majestic Basilica of Batalha. - Ghost-like Anglers. - Retrospections. -The Conventual Bells. - Conversation with the Prior. - A frugal Collation. - Romantic Fancies. - The Dead Stork and his Mourner. - Mausoleum of Don Emanuel. - Perverse Architecture. - Departure from Batalha. - Twilight. - Return to Alcobaça


Lamentations on our Departure, and on the loss of Monsieur Simon. - Mysterious Conference. - A sullen Adieu. - Liveliness of the Prior of St. Vincent's. - Pleasant Surprise. -Vast and dreary Plain. - A consequential Equerry. - An Invitation. - The Bird-Queen. - Fairy Landscape. - The Mansion. - The great Lady's Nephews. - Reception by her Excellency. - Her attendant Hags. - The great Lady's questions about England and dismal ideas of London. - The Cuckoo. - Imitations. - Dismay of her Sublime Ladyship and her Hags. - Our Departure from the bird-ridden Dominions. - Cultivated Plain. - Happy Peasantry, and their gratitude to the Monks of the Royal Convent. - Their different feelings towards the great Lady. - Female Peasants bearing Offerings to our Lady of Nazarè. - Sea View. - Pedraneira. - Banquet of Fish. - Endless Ravine. - Alfagiraõ. - Arrival at the Caldas. - Sickly Population. - Reception of Dr. Ehrhart. - His Visit to the Invalids, and contempt of the Medical Treatment of the place. - A determined Bore. - His Disaster


Knavish Provedore. - Leave the Caldas. - Obidos. - Aboriginal-looking hamlet. - Exquisite Atmosphere. - Pastoral Hymns to St. Anthony. - Bonfires on the Eve of his Festival. - Reception at Cadafaiz. - Delightful change


Excursion to a Franciscan Convent. - A Miracle. - Country resembling Palestine.-Innumerable Assemblage of Peasants. - Their sincere Devotion. - Sublime Sight. - Observations of the Prior of Aviz. - The Benediction. - Ancient Portuguese Hymn. -Its grand effect on the present occasion. - Perilous descent from the Mountain. - A Mandate from the Prince. - Evening. - Music and a Morisco Dance


Dreary expanse of Country between Cadafaiz and Queluz. - Arrival at the Palace. - Court Lumber. - Observations of the Marquis of Anjeja relative to the Prince-Regent. - Promised Promised Audience of his Royal Highness. - Visit to the forbidden Gardens. - Surprise of an African Gardener. - A Pavilion. - Night-scene. - Preparations for a Fête. - The Infanta's Nymph-like Attendants. - The young Marquis of Marialva. - Interview with her Royal Highness. - A Race. - A Dance. - The Prince's Summons. - Conversation with him. - Character of that Sovereign. - Baneful influence of his despotic Consort. - Unhappy Aspirants to Court Benefits. - Private Conference with the Marquis. - The Prince-Regent's Afflictions. - His Vision. - Anjeja's urgent Request. - Terrible Cries from the Queen. - Their effect on me. - My Departure from the Palace