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Ere toil his thirst for travel can assuage,
Yet Mafra shall one moment claim delay,
That men forget the blood which she hath spilt,
[“ After remaining ten days in Lisbon, we sent our baggage and part of our servants by sea to Gibraltar, and travelled on horseback to Seville; a distance of nearly four hundred miles. The horses are excellent : we rode seventy miles a-day. Eggs and wine, and hard beds, are all the accommodation we found, and, in such torrid weather, quite enough.” — B. Letters, 1809.]
“ Her luckless Majesty went subsequently mad; and Dr. Willis, who so dexterously cudgelled kingly pericraniums, could make 'nothing of hers.” — Byron MS. [The queen laboured under a melancholy kind of derangement, from which she never recovered. She died at the Brazils, in 1816.]
3 The extent of Mafra is prodigious: it contains a palace, convent, and most superb church. The six organs are the most beautiful I ever beheld, in point of decoration : we did not hear them, but were told that their tones were correspondent to their splendour. Mafra is termed the Escurial of Portugal. [“ About ten miles to the right of Cintra,” says Lord Byron, in a letter to
Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air,
XXXI. More bleak to view the hills at length recede, And, less luxuriant, smoother vales extend; In.mense horizon-bounded plains succeed ! Far as the eye discerns, withouten end, Spain's realms appear whereon her shepherds tend Flocks, whose rich fleece right well the trader
knows Now must the pastor's arm his lambs defend:
For Spain is compass'd by unyielding foes, And all must shield their all, or share Subjection's
his mother," is the palace of Mafra, the boast of Portugal, as it might be of any country, in point of magnificence, without ele. gance. There is a convent annexed: the monks, who possess large revenues, are courteous enough, and understand Latin ; so that we had a long conversation. They have a large library, and asked me if the English had any books in their country.”— Mafra was erected by John V., in pursuance of a vow, made in a dangerous fit of illness, to found a convent for the use of the poorest friary in the kingdom._Upon inquiry, this poorest was found at Mafra ; where twelve Franciscans lived together in a hut. There is a magnificent view of the existing edifice in Finden's “ Illustrations."]
Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall,
But these between a silver streamlet glides,
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low, 2
[Or art's vain fence, like China's vasty wall ?— MS.] 2 As I found the Portuguese, so I have characterised them. That they are since improved, at least in courage, is evident. The late exploits of Lord Wellington have effaced the follies of Cintra. He has, indeed, done wonders: he has, perhaps, changed the character of a nation, reconciled rival superstitions, and baffled an enemy who never retreated before his predecessors.1812.
XXXIV. But ere the mingling bounds have far been passid, Dark Guadiana rolls his power along! In sullen billows, murmuring and vast, So noted ancient roundelays among. ? Whilome upon his banks did legions throng Of Moor and Knight, in mailed splendour drest : Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the
strong; The Paynim turban and the Christian crest Mix’d on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts oppress’d.
Xxxv. Oh, lovely Spain! renown'd, romantic land ! Where is that standard which Pelagio bore, When Cava's traitor-sire first call'd the band That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore 23 Where are those bloody banners which of yore Waved o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale, And drove at last the spoilers to their shore?
Red gleam'd the cross, and waned the crescent pale, While Afric's echoes thrill'd with Moorish matrons' wail.
[“ But ere the bounds of Spain have far been pass'd,
For ever famed in many a noted song." -MS.] 2 [Lord Byron seems to have thus early acquired enough of Spanish to understand and appreciate the grand body of ancient popular poetry, -- unequalled in Europe, - which must ever form the pride of that magnificent language. See his beautiful version of one of the best of the ballads of the Grenada war - the“ Romance muy doloroso del sitio y toma de Alhama," Works, vol. x. p. 299.]
3 Count Julian's daughter, the Helen of Spain. Pelagius preserved his independence in the fastnesses of the Asturias, and the descendants of his followers, after some centuries, completed their struggle by the conquest of Grenada. — (“ Almost all the Spanish historians, as well as the voice of tradition, ascribe the invasion of the Moors to the forcible violation by Roderick of
Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale ?
Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue,
Awake, ye sons of Spain ! awake! advance !
Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore,
Florinda, called by the Moors Caba, or Cava. She was the daughter of Count Julian, one of the Gothic monarch's principal lieu. tenants, who, when the crime was perpetrated, was engaged in the defence of Ceuta against the Moors. In his indignation at the ingratitude of his sovereign, and the dishonour of his daughter, Count Julian forgot the duties of a Christian and a patriot, and, forming an alliance with Musa, then the Caliph's lieutenant in Africa, he countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Şaracens and Africans, commanded by the celebrated Tarik ; the issue of which was the defeat and death of Roderick, and the occupation of almost the whole peninsula by the Moors. The Spaniards, in detestation of Florinda's memory, are said, by Cervantes, never to bestow that name upon any human female, reserving it for their dogs.”_SIR WALTER Scott, Poetical Works, vol. ix. p.375.]