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was removed, the walls gave way, and it became one heap of ruins
- but the architect would not be thus foiled in his magnificent undertaking; a third time the walls were raised, the richly groined roof, rising spirally at its centre, once more united them; all the best energies of the spirit which had conceived, and the perseverance which had yet again produced the work, had been exhausted in the undertaking; and Alphonse Domingues, after having surveyed, with mingled pride and dread, the lordly pile which he had reared, swore that, if a third time his skill failed, he would not survive the disgrace, but would find a grave among its ruins. In vain was he dissuaded from what was universally considered an act of voluntary self-immolation; he walked calmly to the centre of the hall, he issued his directions with an unfaltering voice, portion by portion; he saw the mighty beams, which stood perhaps between him and a painful and revolting death, removed by his reluctant assistants; at length the last prop was drawn away, and many covered their eyes with their hands to shut out the miserable spectacle; but there was no necessity for the precaution, the architect stood unharmed and secure, his mighty work was above and around him-vast, magnificent, and wonderful! A memorial of his undying genius !
Another series of legends follows this description; and Miss Pardoe next makes a visit to Leiria, a town which, though presenting many traces of the destructive propensities of contending armies, was yet one of the prettiest she had seen in Portugal. Her opinion of the Portuguese generally appears quite favourable, though with some exceptions.
"I should think," she writes, “ that few people in the world are more susceptible of kindness than the Portuguese. Appear to take an interest in their welfare, bear with their peculiarities, and indulge them in their harmless and amusing vanity, and in return they will do you every service in their power. I met with frequent instances of this, and never forgot the advice of a very clever and intelligent Lisbonese Nobleman; who, when he was consulted by a British officer, about to settle in the country, as to the best method of becoming popular among the natives, simply replied: Laugh when they laugh, though you may not comprehend the jest :cry when they cry, or, at least, seem to do so, and trust the rest to themselves,'. That this was the most sensible advice which he could have given under the circumstances, there cannot be a doubt on the mind of any person who is aware of their tenacious recollection of injury, and their equal unforgivingness.
Again she mentions
" It was a very common occurrence for Portuguese gentlemen, whom I encountered in my rides, to request of me to pay a visit to their quintas, in order to let their wives and families see me ;-most of them never having previously had an opportunity of seeing an English woman; and I never had reason to regret my compliance with these extraordinary and candid invitations, beyond the temporary inconvenience to which I was sometimes subjected. I was anxious on my own part to see as much as I
could of the people among whom I was then residing; and I always knew that wherever I had suffered myself to be thus exhibited, I had made friends, who were willing and anxious to repay the courtesy by every means in their power. I do not know which excited the greatest attention my light hair, or my riding habit; the ladies always evinced the utmost amazement at both : my hair they were in the constant habit of letting down about my shoulders, to convince themselves that it 'was really the produce of my head; and they never did so without an ejaculation on discovering that the premises were untenanted; their own heads being, from the highest to the lowest, of the most animated description. I saw many very beautiful women up the country, in the manner which I have just described ; the wives and daughters of noblemen, and wealthy landed proprietors, who possessed, as I was informed, more than one muito bou quinta (very fine country house); but I universally found their hair, their teeth, and their nails, in the most filthy state of neglect : and, in so far as I was individually concerned, I never saw any beauty, which could counteract the effect of this unfeminine and revolting characteristic.
peasantry are possessed of a great deal of sly humour; ad eve n indulge it at times on the most sacred subjects, with an irreverence wholly incompatible with our English ideas of religion." 1. During her stay at Leiria, Miss Pardoe made one of a party who visited another celebrated monastery, called Alcobaca. Here is a receptacle for the dead, the Chapel of Tombs ; she saw the sarcophagii of Pedro I. and the celebrated Ignez de Castro; to the latter of whom the French appear to have behaved with much bárbarity. The tombs were greatly defaced by the soldiers of Buonaparte, particularly that of the Queen Ignez, whose body the ruffian soldiery dragged from its resting place, in the mercenary hope of discovering concealed treasure: and she was assured by the monks, that the body of Donna Ignez-unfortunate even beyond the grave!--had been so skilfully embalmed, that the face was perfect--and the very sacrilegious miscreants who tore her from her tomb exclaimed in ecstasies on her beauty. Her hair had grown remarkably since her interment; and after the hurried departure of the French, when the alarm was given of the approach of the British army, the Juiz de Foro of Alcobaca cut several tresses from her head, and sent them as reliques to some friends in Lisbon. * A very full description is given of the monastery and its inhabitants; and Miss Pardoe commemorates, in grateful language, the splendid hospitality which had been extended to her and her party by the monks. An excursion, for the purpose of determining the source of a river named Alcoa, brought Miss Pardoe into a part of the country where the scenery was very striking. Returning to Alcobaca, she was just in time to accompany the parochial minister to the church in order to witness the ceremony of a Portuguese marriage. When they entered, the bride elect was on her knees between her'two bridemaids; all three were dressed in black silk, and wore large cloaks with the hoods drawn over their heads, and long black veils beneath them. The youngest lady of the party sported a pair of white cotton stockings, and pale blue satin shoes, which was the only attempt at finery amongst them. The bridegroom wore a cloak of brown cloth, with gilt buttons on the shoulders. As the strangers entered the church, each of the gentlemen was presented with a long wax candle ornamented with painted flowers and gold leaf, which he held lighted during the whole of the ceremony. The matrimonial rites were very simple; the contracting parties followed the rector to the extreme end of the aisle, close to the door of entrance
a short prayer was read the lady repeated a few Latin sentences after the priest—and the gentleman followed her example one hand of each, during this portion of the ceremony, being covered up, clapsed together in the sotana (surplice) of the priest; these, at the conclusion of what is supposed to be the mutual vow of acceptance, he sprinkled with holy water ; the ladies then knelt down at the church door, while the bridegroom and his friends followed the rector to the altar, where they remained for about two minutes, when the bridegroom very deliberately walked out of the church followed by his two companions, scattering doces (sweetmeats), as they went, to a crowd of dirty children who thronged the entrance, and thus he made his exit in a manner as anti-bridal as his costume, leaving the ladies to follow as they might!
Miss Pardoe believes it to be extremely probable that the married couple had never exchanged a word in their lives before, it being in Portugal the height of indecorum for even an accepted lover to visit the house of his mistress. The courtship, therefore, is carried on chiefly by pantomime: and an anecdote, related by Miss Pardoe, affords a pretty fair specimen of the customs which usually precede matrimonial engagements in Portugal. At Villa Franca her father and herself resided at the house of a widower who had four daughters, one married, and the other three still remaining under the paternal roof. A most unfavourable report is made by Miss Pardoe of their pretensions to beauty, in the following description, which we are obliged to say would have been much more consistent with such delicacy as she attributes to these ladies, than to that of a highly educated lady of England. They were the least attractive specimens of le sexe' that I ever remember to have seen, with the same advantages of station and respectability; Daniel Lambert, en jupon, would scarce have exceeded the elder in weight and circumference; the second was like a leaf of dried tobacco, as long, as thin, as tawny and as uninteresting ; and the younger had a form like a feather pillow, and a face like a sheep!
The second of these ladies had a namorado (lover), and one evening, upon the invitation of the young lady, Miss Pardoe attended her to have a sight of her lover. When the appointed hour came, Miss Pardoe entered the apartment and found the
lady alone. They "then proceeded to the balcony, to the great surprise of Miss Pardoe, who expected to meet the lover in the apartment. We give the scene in her own language: "Is he not then 'coming to visit you ?" I inquired in my ignorance, as I surveyed her careful coiffure, her clean dress, and the tale-telling carnation in her bosom.
“She looked at me for a moment in perfect astonishment; and then coolly informed me that, in Portugal, bolding any intercourse with the man whom you were to marry was a thing unheard of; that she had never spoken to her intended husband in her life, but that he every day sent a carnation to her, which she wore in her bosom each evening at the hour when she expected him to pass the house, as a proof that his attentions were agreeable to her. And she assured me that nothing would offend her so much, as his allowing the weather, be it what it might; business, be it never so important; or any occupation, be it as agreeable as heart could wish; to interfere with his punctuality in the performance of this duty. The first time she should resent the neglect, by omitting to wear his cravo (carnation) on the morrow: and the second dereliction from gallantry would infallibly subject him to final and irrevocable dismission.
“At this period of the conversation the Senhor made his appearance, took off his hat as gravely as though he had been passing a funeral, and walked on! The lady on her side, bowed and smiled; and then continued calmly to enlighten me on the subject of Portuguese courtship. She informed me, among other equally interesting particulars, that I now knew the reason why she did not comb out her hair, and wash her face when she rose in the morning, for both which indelicate habits I had frequently chidden her; she always put off her ablutions and their concomitant'ceremonies until five o'clock, in order that she might look nice and fresh when she met the passing glance of her namorado! This was of course an unanswerable argument; and having remarked that the lover (!) was a little ill-looking fellow, and decidedly many years younger than herself, I asked her whether she did not feel unhappy at the idea of marrying a man of whom she knew nothing. The reply to this question was as sensible to the full as her previous reasoning had been: she liked the match extremely, for her intended husband was much more wealthy than the person who had married her sister, and she should consequently be enabled to dress better, and to give larger parties; besides which, single women were not allowed to attend the assemblies at Villa Franca, and she was very fond of dancing. ...
“All this being extremely satisfactory, I had only one more question to ask : How had he ventured to propose for her ? That, also, was easily explained; he was settled in life, and his friends were anxious that he should marry her father having ascertained the fact, and knowing that he had muito deneiro (plenty of
money), had offered her to his family; which offer, as she had a fortune of four thousand crusada novos (half-crowns), they had joyfully accepted."
We pass over the account of Pombal and Redinha, and the legend of the Dog of Condeixa, which occupy two long chapters, and accompany our pleasant guide to the renowned city of Coimbra. The university, and the library in particular, was visited by her, and she states that nothing can be more graceful and picturesque than the costume of the students. “ It consisted of silk stockings, pumps, and gowns of Gros de Naples; the young men are always very strict about their feet; and there are houses in the different streets where they habitually change shoes, so filthy is the city. In the neighbourhood of Coimbra is the Quinta das Lagrimas, the Villa of Tears, memorable as the place where Ignez de Castro was imprisoned: the edifice is long, gloomy, and unsightly, but contains some finely proportioned apartments. The gardens are extensive, and the parterre filled with the most costly flowers. At the extremity of the grounds rises a perpendicular rock of great height; whence issues a spring, which, after passing some distance through the heart of the rock, falls eventually into a beautiful natural basin, and then glides away into a bath lined with granite, whence it is let off by sluices. There is a legend attached to this romantic spot, which, if not true, well deserves to be so. During the sojourn of Donna Ignez in the quinta, the locality was under strict surveillance, and the heartstricken husband in vain endeavoured to gain access to his no less wretched bride; in his wanderings he discovered this rock-spring, when he instantly occupied himself, at safe intervals, in perforating a passage sufficiently capacious to admit a small ball of cork : having achieved this, he caused the balls to be made, and hollowed into boxes : and in these he enclosed letters, which, every day at a particular hour, he committed to the rock, when they were impelled onward by the current of water, and finally floated on the basin, where they were secured by the imprisoned Princess.”
A few more legends, and the account of a residence in a quinta near Lisbon, together with descriptions of sundry visits to convents, conclude the work. From the specimens which we have now given of Miss Pardoe's manner of viewing men and things, we are entitled to expect that our readers will be enabled to form a just estimate of her powers. A very happily endowed young lady; at least, in mental qualifications, she possesses all that buoyancy of spirits which are sure indications of benevolence and worth.