Monday, 10 August 2009

Portugal illustrated By William Morgan Kinsey

Our next visit was to the modern Gothic quinta called Montserrat, now in a state of complete dilapidation, of which, however, sufficient remains to give evidence of its former splendour. We proceeded thither on Burros, whose movements were constantly quickened by the shouts and blows of a rabble of boys in red nightcaps, blue shirts, and red sashes worn round their waists. A merry party of Portuguese, mounted on Machos, among whom was a fat Dominican monk contesting with a lady for a first arrival at the town, had nearly run down our little unpretending squadron on the road. This once beautiful building is situated midway between Cintra and Colares, upon the extremity of a little knoll shaded by forest trees, and commanding a most lovely prospect over the gardens, vineyards, and orchards, scattered along the valley of Colares, and extending to the sea-side. It is said to have been built by Mr. Devisme, and to have been sold by him to Mr. Beckford, who furnished it in the most sumptuous manner; but the marble halls are silent now, and the voice of music has long ceased to cheer the desolate ruin. Lord Byron's description of its present condition is truly apposite and highly poetical

p. 133

2nd edition 1829

Kinsey was at Cintra in 1827

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