SECOND DAY.
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.
THE sunbeams entering my windows summoned me to enjoy the fresh morning
breeze blowing over the uninterrupted mass of foliage which fills up
the whole valley belonging to the convent.
After breakfast we walked amongst well-cultivated vegetables, fields
of Indian wheat as healthy and vigorous as any that ever flourished
in the islands which float about like rafts on the Lake of  Mexico,
and the most extensive orchards of orange, apricots, and other fruit
trees, perhaps in Portugal. Every inch of ground within this enclosure
is turned to the most advantageous account: the oranges alone produce
from seven to eight thousand cruzados a year. A very active lay-brother
has the management of this fortunate spot, and is continually extending
its limits over the bare hills in the neighbourhood, many of which are
comprised within the domain of the fathers.
The river Trancaõ, which runs through the garden, is diminished
to a brook at this season; but that brook is clear, and flows rapidly.
Its rocky edges, worn into irregular shapes by winter torrents, bloom
with the rose-coloured flowers of the oleander. Their appearance was
strikingly beautiful many of these shrubs had attained the height
of fifteen or sixteen feet.
But one of the grandest objects of the  vegetable world which ever
met my sight is a bay-tree, situated in the thickest part of the orange
orchards, above which it towers majestically, clothed with luxuriant
boughs that glisten with health and vigour. It consists of about thirty
stems, none less than two feet, and some thirtyeight inches in diameter,
springing from one root, and rising to the height of sixtyfour feet.
I loitered away the sultry hours of mid-day most pleasantly under its
deep, fragrant shade.
The Prior had ordered a fishing-party for our amusement; no great
amusement, however, for one who detests the sight of wretched animals,
inveigled from their cool aquatic homes, and cast on a dry bank, gasping
for life and distending their jaws in torment. Full often have I fancied
what woful grimaces we children of Adam would be compelled to make,
should ever the colossal inhabitants of a superior planet be permitted
on some dread day of  retribution to drop down on the earth on an
angling tour, and fish us out of our element for their dinner or recreation.
No want of sport need be apprehended in this case plenty would
bite. Men have in general such wide-open appetites for the objects of
their individual pursuit, that, only render the bait sufficiently tempting,
and I promise they swallow it, hook and all. So few set any bounds to
their voraciousness, that a shark might be chosen president of a temperance
society with equal justice. Courtesy obliged both the Grand Prior and
Doctor Ehrhart, as well as myself, to remain much longer than we wished
on the banks of the river, witnessing the joy of the anglers, and the
struggles of the expiring fish.
About two, we returned home, through shady alleys of curious citron-trees,
collected from every part of the Portuguese dominions on this and on
the other side of the ocean, divided by tall canes mantled  with
vines, which promise, like every plant in this happy enclosure, an abundant
produce. The nightingales were singing in the recesses of woods impenetrable
to the sun, and at the same time, I am sorry to add, frogs were croaking
a deep thoroughbass to this enchanting melody.
We dined late for the sake of devouring the produce of our fishery,
prepared by the fishermen themselves a sort of matelotte, which
my famous Simon, the most incomparable of cooks, declared, with a smile
of ineffable contempt, was only fit to be placed before persons dying
with hunger and cast away on some desolate island.
In the cool of the evening we drove through the village 'of Tojal to
a palace of the Patriarch, containing nothing very remarkable, except
a vestibule with a tribune looking into a church. The walls of this
gallery are lined with the richest marbles of Spain and Portugal, disposed
 in panels, and ornamented with an overwhelming profusion of doubly
and trebly gilt bronze ornaments in that style of lavish expenditure
carried to such triumphant excess by that most magnificent of modern
Solomons, King John the Fifth.
After seeing ourselves reflected on all sides in tablets innumerable,
polished like mirrors, we repaired to an immense parterre the
flattest, the richest in red and yellow flowers, and the most like a
Turkey carpet, of any I ever had the vexation of visiting either in
Holland or Germany. I was glad to escape from this far-spread expanse
of pomposity and dulness, and return to the simple orange thickets of
my amiable friend, where I walked till almost midnight, listening to
the nightingales, who at length had shamed the frogs to silence.