[141] NINTH DAY.

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.

June 11th.

GREAT were the lamentations in Alcobaça when the hour of our departure ar- [142] rived, - a voice of wailing scarcely equaled in Rama when Rachel wept for her lost children. Here, I am perfectly convinced, that had my Lord Abbot been permitted, like spiritual lords in our own country, to avow the legal paternity of a dozen brats, he would sooner have spared the whole treasure than have lost the advice and exertions of a being he venerated above all others without any exception - a matchless cook. It was a cruel separation: the artist himself, who had a susceptible heart, as well as a hand gifted with the most exquisite sauce-making sensibilities, was far from being callous to the raptures of such a discriminating gourmand as the ruler of Alcobaça. To remain in this holy place, to quit my service, I verily believe never entered the head beneath his milk-white betasseled cook-cap; but he was visibly moved by the rapturous eulogies, still more perhaps by the generous presents I suspect he [143] had received; he saw with great commiseration how acutely the Lord Abbot felt his departure. Pity, we all know, melts the heart to love, and love full often to devotion; so, when we repaired, one and all, to take a parting mass before setting out on our journey, Monsieur Simon, though little given to demonstrations of piety, fell to thumping his, breast with such vehemence, that I could not resist saying to him as we came out of church, "Simon, my Lord Abbot seems to have quite reconverted you; you are becoming astonishingly religious." - "Ah, Monsieur," said he, "on le sera, a moins; Monseigneur rend la religion si aimable."
I thought now, as the equipages, horses, &c. were all marshalled before the grand entrance, we were actually ready to set out. No such thing: the Grand Prior of Aviz, taking me aside for a moment, whispered in my ear that he had still a few words of great importance in store [144] for my Lord Almoner, and begged me to cast another look at my favourite portrait of St. Thomas of Canterbury whilst he delivered them.
Calling his colleague of St. Vincent's, they both entered a private room of audience adjoining the hall of pictures, from which my Lord Almoner had not yet stirred; and notwithstanding the doors had been immediately closed, I heard a loud storm of indistinct but angry words approaching to tempest, the exact import of which it is not in my power to reveal, supposing I had the inclination; but I learned afterwards (though rather vaguely) from one of the Prior of St. Vincent's confidants, that they related to certain mysteries, certain despotic imprisonments, certain grotto-like communications, between this sacred asylum and another not less monastic, though tenanted by the fairer portion of holy communities - the daughters of prayer and penitence.
[145] Providence, that tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, and does kind things now and then to pets and favourites, was not totally ungracious to my Lord Almoner upon this occasion. Had it not, by directing the semi-inquisitorial visit of the two prelatical missionaries, given his right reverence of Alcobaça's thoughts serious occupation, they might have dwelt far more painfully upon the departure of his beloved Simon: the sharp edge of his afflictions in this particular was taken off by the reflections which the late stormy conference had inspired.
When he came forth to accompany us to our carriages, as the rules of courtesy demanded, I observed a marked change in his deportment and countenance; there were no longer those sunny smiles, those cooings and chucklings, which had greeted my revered companions upon their arrival. A sullen, sulky gloom - a but half-subdued expression of anger pervaded his every [146] look and gesture: coldly and formally, therefore, did we take our leave. Not above half of the community were drawn out in complimentary array, and that half looked strange and suspicious, as if they conjectured something had happened unpleasant and awkward. The two fathers deputed to attend us to Pedraneira got into one of their heavy conventual vehicles, and, in their capacities of conductors, led the van. I looked back as we drove off; and, there stood my Lord Almoner, with his eyes fixed on the pavement, before the grand portal, immovable, and as if he had been turned to stone.
The Grand Prior of Aviz having something very confidential to discuss with his secretary, begged me to excuse his accompanying me in my carriage: the Prior of St. Vincent's took his place; an exchange I had no cause to complain of, his conversation being so full of hilarity and life. This flow of cheerful good spirits did not, how- [147] ever, carry him beyond the limits of the most perfect discretion: not a syllable that had the slightest reference to pains or pleasures below ground escaped his lips - not the smallest hint - no, not a breath.
All attempts to gain information upon this curious point proving fruitless, we praised fine weather and fine prospects, and deprecated bad roads. We had no occasion, however, to do so; for scarcely had we turned the angle of one of the vast walled inclosures belonging to the convent, and expected to sink into some frightful rut or sandy furrow, when an immense body of well-clothed peasants, with their strong bright tools slung over their sturdy shoulders, met us with loud vivas, and the tranquillizing assurance that the whole way to Pedraneira had been smoothed by their exertions: so we rolled along over firm gravel and compact heath-faggots most delightfully.
[148] We soon reached the banks of my favourite river, and crossed over a very picturesque-looking bridge, without parapets, to its opposite shore - a vast and dreary plain. We were beginning to experience the effects of heat rather oppressively, when we entered a forest of pine, and felt much invigorated by fragrant, genial breezes, - shade was out of the question, most of the trees being tall and sapless.
In one of the least frequented parts of this superannuated forest, the career of our caravan was suddenly arrested by a most imposing cocked-hatted personage, booted up to the chin, like West's heroes in his picture of the Battle of the Boyne, bestriding a maneged horse, decked out in all the pride of burnished pistol and gold-laced holster.
This most consequential of equerries, with as much solemnity as if he had been reading a state proclamation, invited us, in [149] the name of his mistress, a lady of high caste and importance, to screen ourselves from the meridian heats in her quinta hard by; a most blessedly shady place, in which she had congregated, I verily believe, half the birds in the country - those least in repute, such as kites, owls, and buzzards, not excepted.
My Lord of Aviz was still too deeply engaged in confidential discourse with his secretary to much relish making a halt and getting out of his carriage; but the Prior of St. Vincent's and myself were perfectly disposed to accept the invitation, having learnt, during our course of Alcobaça gossip, too many curious particulars about this eminent lady-patroness of the feathered tribe, not
to feel extremely curious to be admitted into the penetralia of the asylum she afforded them; a favour rarely granted, and which sprang most probably out of a strong curiosity to see and fondle my beloved Arabian, not my own dear self - her [150] most excellent ladyship professedly not caring one pip of an orange for strangers of any description or quality, unless they were blessed with four feet, or a natural mantle of feathers.
Preceded by the right pompous and fustified equerry, we diverged from the mended track into an avenue of dwarfish corktrees, leading straight to a lofty wall, which extended far to the right and left of a grand massive Tuscan gateway. The wide space before this stately entrance exhibited the refreshing sight of marble' troughs brimful of the clearest water; heaps of oats and barley, amply sufficient to supply the wants of our mules; and paniers of bread and oranges, under very substantial canvass awnings.
My reverend companions, as in duty bound, went immediately to offer their homage to the bird-queen; but I begged to be excused for the moment, promising that as soon as my Arabian had been re- [151] freshed and brightened up by a good rubbing, I would lead him myself to the foot of the throne of these dominions. Having gained this respite, the whole party dispersed as seemed best in their eyes, and I entered perfectly alone the deeply shaded inclosure - without exception one of the strangest scenes of fairyland ever conjured up by the wildest fancy.
As far as the eye could stretch, extended a close bower of evergreens, myrtle, bay, and ilex, not to mention humble box, lofty, broad, and fragrant; on either side, arches of verdure most sprucely clipped, opened into large square plats of rare and curious flowers; and in the midst of each of these trim parterres, a fountain inclosed within a richly-gilded cage, containing birds of every variety of size, song, and plumage; parroquets with pretty little flesh-coloured beaks, and parrots of the largest species, looking arch and cunning, as they [152] kept cracking and grinding walnuts and filberts between their bills as black as ebony.
In one of these inclosures I noticed a immense circular basin of variegated marble, surrounded by a gilt metal balustrade, on which were most solemnly perched a conclave of araras and cockatoos. Their united screechings and screamings upon my approach gave the alarm to a multitude of smaller birds, which issued forth in such clouds from every leaf and spray of these vaulted walls of verdure, that I ran off as if I had committed sacrilege, or feared being transformed by art-magic into a biped completely rigged out with beak, claws, and feathers.
The strange green light which faintly pervaded the closely-bowered alleys - the aromatic odour universally diffused - the rustle of wings, the chirping and twittering above my head and on every side of me, was so completely bewildering and [153] magical, that I almost doubted whether ever again I should be permitted to emerge into common life or common daylight. The soft, perfumed, voluptuous atmosphere of this seemingly enchanted garden, induced a languor and listlessness to creep over me I scarcely ever felt before.
Just as I was giving way to this gentle indolence, and had sunk down by the marble basin soothed by the bubblings of its little quiet jet-d'eau, I heard the heavy tramp of the solemn equerry, - and there he was true enough. “Be pleased, sir," said he, making a bow which the stiffest and most formal dancing-master of the days of Louis the Fourteenth would have gloried in, - "be pleased to comply with the urgent request of my Lord Prior of Aviz, who is waiting with impatience to have the honour of presenting you to my most illustrious and most excellent mistress."
[154] "Oh!" answered I, "by all means; nothing less than the attractions of your most illustrious and most excellent lady's feathered favourites could have detained me from her presence - pray lead me to it."
The way was not long, but most delightful, under a continued arbour of exotic plants, looking as healthful as if they had been quite at home in Portugal - born and bred there for centuries. On either side, more flower-beds, and more birds, some at liberty and some in cages.
The house itself, at which we arrived in due course, though of an extent quite remarkable, was far from presenting a palace-like appearance, being in height only one story. Its verandas, however, commanded respect: they were extremely spacious, paved and balustraded with marble.
Under the terraces they supported, were [155] offices innumerable, not unlike rabbit-burrows in the realm of Brobdignag, out of, and into which, were continually creeping a great number of tawny-coloured menials, very slightly clothed indeed, all busily engaged in tending the feathered race committed to their charge: for half these burrows, or arched chambers, or whatever we please to call them, were closed with light trellises of wire, forming, after all, no very pleasant aviaries. Certain most horribly discordant screechings, which pierced my ears every now and then, seemed to indicate that the birds of the establishment were not so happy or judiciously governed as their sovereign mistress imagined - the case of subjects in most dominions.
On the lowest step of a grand flight of steps leading up to the principal veranda, stood three young gentlemen, aged fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen years, the nephews of the great lady, as like one to [156] the other as if they had been not only twins, but triplets; all sleek, and smooth, and sallow; all dressed in obsolete court-dresses of blue and silver tissue, each with his powdered hair in a silken bag, each with his little cut-steel-hilted sword and each with a little abdominal bulge that promised in the course of a very few years to become a paunch of considerable dignity. In close attendance upon these hopeful youths, were a stripling page, a half-crazed buffoon, an ex-jesuit, and a dwarf; personages indispensable to a noble and well-constituted Portuguese establishment. Down went all their heads the moment I drew near, and down went mine' to the very earth in return for so much courtesy.
We ascended the steps all together right lovingly, the three youths marching hand-in-hand. Nothing could exceed the decorous behaviour of these sweet young gentlemen; it did honour to their [157] preceptor, who had brought them up in the most commendable fear of the devil and of taking birds' nests; - the latter, of all crimes, was esteemed the most heinous in those dominions.
Independently of my fondness for brute animals, I am not unapt, cameleon-like, to take the colour of what happens to pass around me. It might be supposed, therefore, that I entered fully into the fashion of the place, and expressed my fondness and admiration of every species of bird it had pleased God in his infinite goodness to create, with enthusiasm. So disposed, and in this blessed trim, I entered the grand saloon of the great lady's residence. Her excellency was seated at its upper end in a high-backed wicker chair, stuck close to the wall. Seven or eight old hags, of a most forbidding aspect, all in black, and all more sincerely bearded, I make no doubt, than the Countess Trifaldi's attendants, were ranged to the [158] right and left, on narrow benches; forming one of the ugliest displays of living tapestry my eyes had ever encountered.
The two Priors, who, to their no great delight, one may easily imagine, formed part and parcel of this odious assembly, had reserved a wicker chair, the coolness of which was completely neutralized by a red velvet cushion, for the stranger - the unhappy stranger, who felt already quite sufficiently annoyed and sweltered.
As soon as we had exchanged an infinity of salutations, and several capacious golden snuff-boxes had gone their rounds with as much regularity as the planets, four antiquated damsels entered the presence, bearing trays, heaped high with candied apricots and oranges, and, still sweeter than all the sweetmeats ever confectionized, a preparation of the freshest eggs ever laid, with the richest sugar ever distilled from the finest canes ever grown [159] in the Brazils for private consumption under the most skilful management.
To these succeeded another entrée of ci-devant young women, who presented us, upon embossed silver salvers, goblets of cut glass, containing the coldest and purest water.
Right opposite to where we sat, formally marshalled all of a row, the young fidalgos and their preceptor, who had enlisted Doctor Ehrhart, Franchi, and the two Priors' secretaries into their ranks, were seated on stools, not in the least superior either in shape or dimensions to those used for milking in the homeliest bartons of our own dear farming country.
It was some time before any sounds, except the whirring and whizzing of enormous cockchafers, and the flirting of fans almost as large as the vans of a windmill, were audible. At length the great lady broke silence, by asking me whether we had any birds in England: to which, [160] rising from my chair, I replied with a low obeisance, that, thanks be to God, we were blessed with an immense number.
"Indeed!" rejoined her excellency; "I thought your country too cold to allow them, sweet dears, to build their nests and enjoy themselves."
”Yes," observed the Jesuit, "the climate of your island must be very bitter. Camoens, whose authority none can dispute, calls it

A grande Inglaterra che de neve
Boreal sempre abunda.
(Canto 6, stanz. 42.)

"Which being undoubtedly the case," continued the bird-queen, “that great number you boast of must be imported: indeed, I understood as much from an old servant of my father's, who made a fortune by dealing in Canary-birds, and taking them to your great town, where you can hardly distinguish night from day, as he told me. But what will not the lure [161] of gain make us submit to? He was continually resorting to that black place with his living wares, (how I pity them!) and, to be sure, he gained sufficient, though he almost coughed his lungs out, to buy a nice quinta in my neighbourhood. He is an excellent judge of everything that concerns birds; knows how to treat them in moulting-time, which few do; and for the sagacity with which he discovers an incipient pip, and stops its progress, I may venture to affirm from long experience, he has no equal. But tell me fairly, most estimable Englishman, have you any native birds in your island?"
"Yes, madam," was my triumphant reply, “we have; one in particular - seldom seen, but often heard - the cuckoo."
I had scarcely pronounced that name, when an exact imitation of its well-known sound burst forth from Franchi and the buffoon, who was standing behind his stool, to the high glee of the young gen- [162] tlemen, their page and dwarf, and the evident dismay of her sublime ladyship and her hags in waiting. They looked as if they could have pinched us all as sharply as the snuff in their ample boxes. In short, surprise and anger at Franchi's want of decorum, and a suspicion, perhaps, of being what we call quizzed, in our vernacular slang, began to manifest itself; when the solemn equerry announced with his wonted solemnity, that our carriages were in waiting, and my Arabian at the door, ready to receive the honour of a caress from his most illustrious and excellent mistress.
Overjoyed at this intelligence, the two Priors and myself, all heartily tired of our formal sitting, rose up without a moment's delay; so did the great lady, and her train of hags and dismal damsels, following each other one by one. As soon as this dolorous procession reached the gateway, a great number of gigantic dark-brown um-[163] brellas were spread forth, and under their deep shade my astonished courser, with his fine arched neck held down by a couple of grooms, was patted in succession by the lank, cold fingers of the bird-queen and her antiquated attendants; then followed as many curtseys, and as low as the dry stiff knees that performed them could contrive to drop; and the Grand Prior of Aviz signifying that he had no further occasion for the attendance of his confidential secretary, I got into his dormeuse, ordered my Arabian to follow, and bade, I hope and trust, an eternal adieu to this region of screaming birds, clipped hedges, and sour-visaged old women.
It was some time before we cleared the walls of these bird-ridden dominions, a great deal more extensive than I apprehended. Our route, distinctly marked out by its recent mendings, led us across a plain in the highest state of cultivation, forming a most agreeable contrast to the ragged [164] weather-beaten forest and pompous idle inclosure we had left behind. Here every object smiled; here every rood of land was employed to advantage, the Lombard system of irrigation being perfectly understood and practised. Every cottage, apparently the abode of industrious contentment, had its well-fenced garden richly embossed with g
ourds and melons, its abundant waterspout, its vine, its fig-tree, and its espalier of pomegranate.
The peasantry, comfortably clad in substantial garments, looked kindly and unenviously at our splendid caravan, because their hearts were expanded by good treatment, their granaries amply stored, their flocks numerous and healthy, and their landlords, the rich monks of Alcobaça, neither griping nor tyrannical. When the Prior of Aviz stopped to converse with these good people, which he frequently did, and inquired with his usual affable [165] benignity, "Who taught you to till your land so neatly? to manure it with so much judgment? to raise such crops of grain? to spare your cattle all forced oppressive labour? to treat their young with so much gentleness?" the answer was prompt and uniform, - "Our indulgent masters and kind friends, the monks of the royal monastery."
The pleasure my excellent friend received from this communication beamed forth from his ingenuous countenance, as he noted down the result of his inquiries on his tablets; a set-off, perhaps, in his opinion, to the strange mysterious report he had received of certain unedifying frailties. Whatever snares of the evil-one my kind hosts of Alcobaca may have fallen into beneath ground, few communities ever conferred more solid benefits upon its surface to all their dependants.
Very different were the replies to our queries about the great lady: shrugs of [166] the shoulder, and shakings of the head, gave us to understand most plainly, that, as far as her territorial influence extended, - luckily small in comparison with that of the great convent - it was of a nature more blighting than genial, less charitable than oppressive. And as to her birds, they were a flagrant nuisance - whole flights of her doves, parrots, kites, finches, and thrushes being allowed to commit with the most perfect impunity every species of depredation best suited to their habits and propensities.
We were all so enchanted with these scenes of rural delight and joy, that we ordered our carriages not to be driven along too rapidly. We had to pass the river again and again over the same sort of ruinous bridges as we had met with in the immediate vicinity of Alcobaça. My revered companion could not repress sensations of terror as we jolted up and down steep arches unprotected by any parapet - [167] sensations which the most fervid exhortations on my part to put faith in Saint Anthony could not subdue; so out he trundled into all the dust and offal of the road.
After not less than three or four of these rather dangerous transits, we mounted a heathy, pastoral hill, browsed by goats, and met a long string of female peasants, bearing offerings of various kinds to our Lady of Nazarè; and presently the sanctuary, to which they were going in pilgrimage, discovered itself on the brow of a craggy eminence shelving down to the Atlantic.
Much praise cannot in truth be lavished upon this edifice, which is neither considerable nor picturesque; but the colours of the wide unlimited ocean, so pure, so vivid, so beautifully azure, made up for all other deficiencies, and, joined to the reviving freshness of the sea-breeze, gave my spirits the most delightful and ani- [168] mated flow. Gay, agile, and buoyant, I leaped out of the carriage the moment it stopped, and was immediately received into the arms and garlick-scented embrace of the two aged fathers, our harbingers, who, had preceded us to Pedraneira.
This most opulent farm-mansion, the capital of the conventual domains in these quarters, had very much the air of an oriental caravanserai, with stables for mules and courts surrounded with arches, castellated granaries, and vaulted chambers, incrusted with clean glossy tiles, by no means indifferently painted with scriptural and legendary subjects. In the largest and coolest of these apartments we were regaled with a magnificent banquet of fish, caught near the rocks of Peniche, and reckoned the best upon the whole line of the coast.
Being a fast-day, except a few hashes of pork for heretics, savoury as the flesh-pots of Egypt, nothing unorthodox was served [169] up. Dr. Ehrhart, however, partook of every ragout set before him indiscriminately, to the scandal of our hosts, the monks and their attendants. All the rest of the company having made their election, stuck to fish with true Catholic propriety.
Our repast quickly dispatched, and the aged fathers most kindly thanked and most willingly dismissed from their attendance, - for, to say truth, they were not only intolerably effluvient but inveterately prosy, - we made haste to set forth in order to reach the Caldas before night. As long as we continued on the shore enjoying the vast marine prospect and the unceasing sound of the waves, nothing could be pleasanter; but when we entered an almost endless ravine, its banks entirely covered with the strong healthy flowers of the Papaver corniculatum, our progress was slow and tedious. To this ravine succeeded another, diversified by a more agreeable [170] sort of vegetation - the yellow lupin in all its fragrance.
At some distance we saw a Moorish castle, standing proudly on an insulated eminence, presenting a grand mass: it bears also a grand name, Alfagiraõ. This picturesque object, the stillness and soft hues of evening, and the perfume of the lupins, were circumstances too pleasing not to make us regret our arrival at the Caldas with quite sufficient light to distinguish all its ugliness; - its dull monotonous houses, with their coarse green window-blinds and shutters flapping to and fro in the dusty breeze; and its heavy verandas, daubed over with yellow ochre, and striped in places with blue and red, in patterns not unworthy of Timbuctoo or Ashantee.
In my eyes, the whole of this famous stewing-place wore a sickly unprepossessing aspect. Almost every third or fourth person you met was a quince-coloured [171] apothecary, accoutred like a courtier on his march to the drawing-room, and carrying many a convenient little implement in a velvet bag, as pompously as if he had been a lord chancellor; and every tenth or twelfth, a rheumatic or palsied invalid, with his limbs all atwist, and his mouth all awry, being conveyed to the baths in a chair. You could hardly move without running your head against the voluminous wig of some medical professor, and hearing the formidable stump of his gold-headed cane.
The news of the advent of a great German doctor, ex-physician to the household of his ex-majesty the most Christian King, soon spread itself throughout the Caldas; and we had not set our feet on the hot flag-stones of this physical emporium above five or six minutes, before a deputation of the faculty arrived. These sages came on purpose to introduce themselves to Dr. Ehrhart, and entreat the honour of [172] his company on a professional tour to their principal patients. His account of the woful condition and appearance of the wretched invalids in their respective tubs and cisterns, related in Alsatian French, sound Latin, and broken Portuguese, was most original.
"I found many of them," said the indignant doctor, "with galloping pulses, excited almost to frenzy by the injudicious application of these powerful waters, and others with scarcely any pulses at all. The last will be quiet enough ere long; and considering what dreadful work these determined Galenists drive amongst them, with their decoctions, and juleps, and spiced boluses, and conserve of mummy, and the devil knows what, I expect a general gaol-delivery must speedily take place, and the souls of these victims of exploded quackeries be soon released from their wretched bodies, rendered the worst of prisons by a set of confounded bunglers."
[173] Never shall I forget the indignant scowl my angry doctor cast upon the contemners of simple and vegetable medicine. His ebullitions of wrath remained unpacified till he had swilled down the contents of an ample caraffe of wine, diluted with only a very few drops of water, accompanied by a platter of those savoury bulbs which geese are so often stuffed with in England, for the express purpose, he openly avowed, of decreasing flatulence, and expelling the prince of the air and all his satellites. I thought the Prior of St. Vincent's would never have ceased laughing at this species of exorcism. The Portuguese have in general a strong relish for coarse practical jokes; and I am far from pretending that this one was not most decidedly of the number.
The master and mistress of the large rambling habitation assigned to us thought proper to light up with their own hands all the tapers in the Bohemian glass [174] sconces and chandeliers of the barn-like saloon on their ground-floor. Such a glare, equal at least to that of a ridotto in a second-rate Italian town, was as sure to excite notice and attract passengers, as a flaming candle every moth and father longlegs in its neighbourhood. We were, therefore, in no want of company.
Our tea-table, which we had prudently established as far beyond the influence of Doctor Ehrhart's regale as possible, was soon surrounded by all the fashion not under immediate medical restraint that happened to be at the Caldas: old buckram officers, not much the wiser for having served under the Count de la Lippe; pot-bellied fidalgos, who had not yet been stewed down to less unseemly proportions; and desembargadors and men of the law, as greedy as sharks, and as heavy as cart-horses.
One of the most ponderous of the set, a personage of some political importance, [175] and a distinguished graduate of the University of Coimbra, was half inclined to turn restive, because I would not sit down by him and explain in minute detail some passages in Blackstone's Commentaries about which he was eager of information. Pushing my chair away from this determined bore, he pushed his after me with such vehemence, that a conflict must have ensued, perhaps to my total discomfiture, had not his chair been killed under him; - both back and legs gave way, and down he fell flat on the gritty floor. Everybody's sides in the room shook with laughter - even the spare ribs of the Count de la Lippe's ancient martinet officers.


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