Saturday, 1 August 2009

William Hickey 1782

We had several very pleasant parties with Mr. De Visme, at a beautiful seat of his a few miles from Lisbon, where he entertained in a manner never surpassed and seldom equalled. The establishment was in every respect princely, the house a perfect cabinet, the grounds laid out with peculiar taste, having in them all the rarest plants of the European world and some even from Asia and America, but what delighted me was the songs of nightingales innumerable pouring out their sweet notes in broad daylight. Mr. De Visme told us he had been at great expense in enticing them by various stratagems to his woods, but had at last so completely succeeded as to have their music for full eight months in the year. This gentleman was brother to the supercargo at China, of whom I have already spoken.
p. 377
I had now the misery to see the health of my darling Charlotte in a declining state, and that, too, without any apparent cause, having no particular malady, yet she gradually fell away, entirely lost her appetite and spirits, and felt it unpleasant to move even from one room to another. I consulted Dr. Hare, the principal physician of the British factory, who had the reputation of being very skilful in his profession. After attending her twice a day for some time, trying a variety of medicines, though without advantage, he recommended me to change the air by taking her away from Lisbon. Mr. De Visme, who happened to be visiting me when Dr. Hare gave this advice, immediately offered a country house of his about eighteen miles from the city, in, he said, as healthy a spot as any in Portugal. I accepted his polite offer. Two days after he sent us thither in one of his carriages with a confidential servant, who had orders to supply all our wants. We found it a romantic and beautiful situation, upon a small rise from the sea, from which it was not quite a mile distant. Charlotte was delighted with everything about it, finding material benefit in four-and-twenty hours. She continued mending so rapidly that in ten days her health was perfectly restored. We therefore returned to Lisbon.
p.383 (March 1782)

Memoirs of William Hickey
Vol. II (1775-1782) 7th ed
William Hickey

London Hurst & Blackett, Ltd., 1782

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