Saturday, 7 February 2009

LOVELL BADCOCK, 1832, 1833 & 1834


8th March. Lord W. Russell presented his letters of recall, and went with his family to Cintra for a few days. It was notified to me that I was to remain with the new embassy ; but I went to Cintra to spend a short time with Lord and Lady William Russell previous to their departure. I passed there three pleasant days, inspecting what was worth seeing. 9th March. I visited the Moorish castle, and rode to Montserrat. There was a procession of the host at Cintra. 10th March. Went in the morning to the Moorish palace, where I saw the room adorned with swans ; the bar-bem (magpie- room) ; the chamber of the arms of the nobility ; the shower- bath room, where the water spouts in a light vapoury discharge from all parts ; and the cham- ber with Moorish tiling, in which King Alphonso was confined for a number of years. In the afternoon I visited the palace of Ramalhada, one of the most pleasantly situated in the king- dom. It commands a beautiful view of the sea and of the entrance to the Tagus. There is a fine terrace; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and a number of excellent paintings are in the house, which is likewise well furnished. It contains an exquisite dining-room for hot wea- ther, which is an octagon in shape, and on each water flows from fountains into basins. In the centre of the table is a plateau, on which is a fountain playing into a basin that surrounds it filled with gold fish. On the dinner being served, the guests sit round outside the plateau, whilst an aviary of canary birds, and the choic- est flowers surround the windows. It is the most delightful residence in Portugal, and does credit to the taste of the late Queen-dowager. Three days' repose in a place like Cintra does every one good : such is the salubrity of the air, the pureness of the water, and the quietness of the situation.

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