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[246] it follows, so that the prospect shifts and varies at every step you advance; now hiding you in some sunless little dell, where you have only the secrecy of a solitude, covered by the deep shades of its rocky forest, and made, as it were, audible to the feelings by the gushing of some cascade from above, and now carrying you out upon a projecting precipice, from which you have again the wide and glorious prospect of the rock, its broken sides, and the houses and castles that cover them, with all the richness of the plain below and all the grandeur of the ocean beyond.

All this was heightened to me by the society of those who make every ‘scene of enchantment more dear’; for with Sir J. Campbell, Mr. Musgrave, the British agent, and Count Bombelles, the Austrian charge d'affaires, all pleasant and interesting men, and men of excellent culture, I passed my time in the family of Baron Castel Branco, whom we joined every morning before breakfast, and from whom we did not separate until midnight. This excellent family, commonly known here by the name of the Lacerdas, is of the ancient and most respectable Portuguese nobility; and consists, besides the father and mother,—who are worthy people,—of three accomplished and interesting daughters, one of whom, Donna Maria da Luz, is a most open-hearted, sweet, intelligent girl. Their hospitality was altogether of that kind and winning sort, which comes upon you with the heartiness of old familiarity; and when I had passed half the first day there, I felt that I should wrong their kindness if I went anywhere else. They, like my friends from Lisbon, had of course seen everything at Cintra for the thousandth time; but each morning after breakfast, mules were brought to the door for us all, and the whole cavalcade of nine or ten persons set out to scramble over the rocks together.

In this way we went successively to the palace where Alphonso VI. has left the traces of his weary footsteps, and where he died in 1669, after an imprisonment of seven years; to the ‘sete ahis,’— seven sighs,—the country-seat of the Marquis of Marialva, where the famous Convention of Cintra was signed; to Penhaverde, the favorite retreat of Don Joao de Castro, the great navigator and powerful viceroy of the Indies. . . .; to Mon Serrate, the romantic, elegant seclusion of that Mr. Beckford whom Lord Byron has justly ‘damned to eternal memory’ under the name of Vathek;1 to the Quinta da Penha, to Colares, and, finally, to the rock which forms

1 From the story of that name, of which he was the author.—Childe Harold, Canto I. Stanza 22.

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