[176] TENTH DAY.

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.

June 12.

WE have been all cheated at a ferocious rate by one of those harpies called provedores, who, under the mask of administering justice, and superintending hospitals, and so forth, contrive to divert every little rill of royal beneficence into their own pockets. This knave was so accustomed to the sweets of monopolies, that be bought up half the fowls, turkeys, and provisions in the place, and then dealt them out to our numerous caravan at his [177] own price. I refused seeing this cormorant; which was lucky, as I understood he joins insolence to knavery, - a compound which would have called forth my best manual exertions, occasioned delay, and very probably given but too much employment to Doctor Ehrhart.
It was so delightful a morning, - so temperate, for there were not any clouds - so balsamic, for a slight shower had lately fallen, - that I could not find it in my heart to be out of humour long. We had not left the Caldas in arrear half an hour, before we saw Obidos, with its towers and battlemented walls, rising above a forest of pines, and connected with the neighbouring hills by a long stretch of aqueduct. These hills being clothed with a thick vegetation of dwarf ilex, and myrtle, look at a distance as uniformly green as if covered with turf.
Cercal, where our dinner was prepared, is a pleasant little assemblage of reed- [178] covered sloping sheds and pointed hovels, at the feet of shrubby acclivities. Before the entrance of this aboriginal-looking hamlet, is an irregular lawn, bounded by inclosures with bamboo fences, twined over with convolvuli of various colours, forming a labyrinth of cheerful lanes, through which whole families of turkeys, consequential fathers, bustling mothers, slim aunts, and half-fledged cousins, were wandering about, clucking, and whistling, and gobbling, with all the well-known volubility of their native language.
Though mid-day and in mid-June, the heat was moderate; the sky, of a pale tender blue, inexpressibly serene and beautiful. To breathe the soft air of such a climate, is in itself no trifling luxury; it seemed to inspire new life into every vein: and if to those gifts of Nature the blessings of a free government and the refinements of art were added, more philosophy than I am master of would be [179] required, not to murmur at the shortness of our existence.
Our road in the evening lay between lofty slopes partially covered with bushes of rosemary and lavender in the fullest bloom. The sun went down behind the chain of hills which form the coast of the sea, just as we reached a quinta belonging to Forjaz, at present governor of Madeira. As we approached the rich cultivated plains framed in by the hills around Cadafaiz, we heard the country people, men, women, and children, singing hymns to Saint Anthony as they returned home from reaping.
Near Carregado we left the high road to take that of Cadafaiz. The whole country was blazing with fires in honour of to-morrow's festival. I counted above one hundred shining bright amongst the olive-trees; whilst a number of grotesque figures, withered hags, and meagre implings, kept glancing about before them, [180] in the style of those visions the illuminati often contrive to conjure up, to delude and bamboozle their dupes and victims.
At Cadafaiz itself, that most comfortable of rustic manorial mansions, the Prior of St. Vincent's, who had preceded us above an hour in his light chaise, drawn by two potent mules, was waiting our arrival. The Prior of Aviz uttered a hearty "thank God," as he sunk down in an arm-chair of most ample dimensions. Dr. Ehrhart recommended us all to dilute, after his example, as freely as possible; and Franchi unpacked his piano-forte. Recollections of the Caldas and all its apothecaries, - not to mention its dust, its glare, its bustle, and its onions, - made me value the calm and cleanliness of this retired abode still more highly. O the delightful, refreshing change! Were I to live as many years as I have often been wished to do by my good friends the Spaniards, I should not forget how keenly I enjoyed it.


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