Portugal - Lisbon
( Originally Published 1891 )
December 19th.-The brilliant days still continue. While the thermometer is twelve degrees below zero in New England, and snow-drifts fill the valleys of Arizona, and Constantinople is buried in a heavy winter storm, the days here are refulgent—not too warm, but fresh, brisk, cool, and invigorating. The great event is the arrival of Dom Pedro and his royal family, and we have resigned our ample suite of apartments at the Braganza for the exiled court, and are contenting' ourselves with humbler quarters. Last evening we paid our respects to the Emperor. We found him in his drawing-room with the Empress, Count d'Eu and the Countess—the former a grandson of Louis Philippe, and the latter the daughter of Dom Pedro. The Emperor looks very old, aged. The brightness of his face is gone, his eye is dim, his hair and beard are snowy white. He inquired after Alexander Agassiz and Quincy Shaw, and recalled his interviews in 1876 with Emerson, Longfellow, and Bryant, and talked much of Agassiz, with whom be became very intimate during the expedition to the Amazon. He gathered his thoughts with difficulty and did not speak English as well as I expected. The Count d'Eu was very demonstrative about Brazil. His account of the flight of the family and the condition of the new republic was graphic. The former was hurried away with very little ceremony, and the latter was hurried in with little order. His description of Brazil is not encouraging. There are twenty provinces now called states by the new government ; some of them are distant from Rio more than thirty days by steamer, along the coast and up the rivers. In many of these states there are no persons capable of organizing a government, and none to represent them in a federal congress. The negroes are indolent and ignorant, living on the natural products of the soil. He was quite emphatic in his statements. Perhaps Fonseca would tell a different story.
The Empress is very feeble. The Countess d'Eu is a most agreeable person, with a strong, amiable face and a cordial manner. I can easily imagine her emancipating the slaves, but I cannot conceive of her disposition to usurp a government. The two young sons bore themselves well, and I was quite impressed with the confidence with which they received the kisses of the elderly persons, who raised their princely hands to subject lips and bent their knees when the little ones left the room.
The young Portuguese prince, Dom Manoel, was christened yesterday, at Belem Palace, now occupied by the King and royal family. The witnesses were the diplomatic corps, the members of the court, and the ministry. The Queen Dowager looking very lonely and pale, the King looking gratified and satisfied, the ex-Emperor of Brazil looking old and worn out, the Count de Paris looking cool and unemotional, and the young and deliberate Dom Affonso, were the members of the royal family present. Count Sabugosa, clothed in a long ecclesiastical cloak spangled with silver, bore the little prince from one point to another in the room at the various steps in the ceremony, which lasted about an hour. The Patriarch performed the service, and the benignant Nuncio was present. The name of the prince is Manoel—that is, Manoel is the one out of the twenty by which he is to be called. Dom Carlos was very cordial toward the old deposed Emperor, and crossed the room with a very warm smile to take the feeble and venerable personage from the diplomatic to the royal circle. The Queen was not present.
I received today the following note from Whittier :
"MY DEAR FRIEND :
"It was a very beautiful and fitting thing for the Minister of the United States at Lisbon to offer his apartments to Dom Pedro—the noble ex-Emperor who carries with him into retirement the love and respect of the world. Will thee give him my sincerest love and tell him that were our dear Longfellow living he would join me in affectionate remembrances.
" I am faithfully thy friend,
"JOHN G. WHITTIER."
The Emperor has gone to Coimbra and Oporto, having been notified that the revolutionists in Brazil had declared that he could not return to his empire, and that his stipend on the civil list of $400,000 is withheld. I am half inclined to think that if he had devoted himself to a standing army instead of a library he might have ruled his empire. But then Whittier and Longfellow would not have been with him.
The United States Squadron of Evolution, having left the festivities and attentions of New York and Boston behind, sailed on the morning of Dec. 23d into the Tagus,—with the exception of the Yorktown, which was left in mid-ocean, on account of an accident, to seek refuge in Fayal. The white fleet shone among its dingy associates in the harbor, and the Stars and Stripes floated with a triumphant air on the breeze. The usual courtesies were exchanged between Admiral Walker and myself, and the officers of the ships were welcomed on shore to an American dinner, and to an American reception by Mrs. Loring, who gathered into our rooms at the Braganza a brilliant assembly for a " five o'clock tea." The guests at the dinner given to the Admiral and his officers were Captain O' Kane, of the Boston ; Captain Howell, of the Atlanta; Commodore Chadwick, of the Yorktown ; Captain Reed, Commander Rush, and Captain Robeson, of the Chicago; Flag-Lieutenant Staunton, of the Admiral's staff; the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of the Marine, the Nuncio, the British, French, Russian, Belgian, Swedish, and Spanish Ministers, and the Brazilian Chargé. All nations agree in a menu, and in good wines, and in a well decorated table ; and in this taste Sassetti, the landlord of the Braganza, with his profusion of flowers and his antique gold dinner service and his great dining-room, maintained the reputation of his nationality. Mrs. Loring was seated with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senhor Barros Gomes, on her right hand, and the Nuncio on her left ; while I was supported by Admiral Walker and the British Minister. The scene at the table was very brilliant, with the uniforms of the naval officers and the decorations of the foreign ministers.
For myself, I performed the part of toastmaster as well as host. Stating that I had no desire to make an after-dinner speech, or to place any gentleman under the necessity of responding to my call, unless his patriotic emotions or his natural enthusiasm should compel him to speak, I did think the occasion called for certain recognitions which I would present in the form of sentiments. And so I gave :
"First, the health of His Majesty Dom Carlos L, in whose dominions we have met.
" Second, the health of the President of the United States, under whose flag we have assembled.
"Third, the Admiral of the United States Squadron of Evolution, engaged in a work of instruction ; a good teacher in times of peace, and a brave commander in time of war."
Senhor Barros Gomes, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, rose immediately and made a very neat and friendly speech to the toast of " The President" ; and I announced that the intellectual part of the feast was over.
December 28th.-The ceremonies of coronation and acclamation of the King have taken place to-day. The fact that these royal ceremonies have been described often by those who have witnessed them in almost every European country does not deter me from sketching the methods by which an heir to this ancient throne is elevated to his place of power. There may be, there undoubtedly are, more imposing displays than those which attend the seating of a king on the throne of Portugal ; and we cannot help recalling the impressive gathering of wealth and power and genius for rule which collected around the young Queen of England more than fifty years ago, when the statesmen and captains who had made her kingdom great and powerful crowned her and blessed her with the loyalty of sons and the affection of parents. But this was Portugal, the tragical little kingdom, with an ancient record of wealth and power which all the modern commerce of Ormuz and the Ind cannot equal, with a history of maritime adventure which outshines the conquests of Hastings and Clive, with annals of wars whose horrors and whose bravery and chivalry are not overmatched by Marston Moor and Naseby,—Portugal, which preserves still the remnants of its ancient grandeur, and its obligations to the Church and State which the greatest of its Johns and Affonsos would recognize were they to return to the land of which they were so proud.
The day of the coronation has been charming. From the warships which were riding in the harbor of Lisbon, and from all the forts, salvos of cannon announced the rising of the sun which illumined the imposing scene. The waters of the river sparkled with the brilliancy of a bright winter day ; the far-off mountains of the Arrabida were more imposing and solemn than usual; the gray walls of Lisbon, so sombre and cold, seemed to assume a little light and life for the occasion. The flag of the United States streamed from the masts of the beautiful squadron of the Republic, and the ensigns of England, and Germany, and Spain, and Portugal floating together showed that for the hour at least there was national harmony and peace.
At eleven o'clock we left the Hotel Braganza to witness the proceedings, and the youthful eyes of Hildreth, the boy of the family, for whom the pageant had great fascination, allowed no detail to escape us, while his pen has been busy with the recital. We turned from the charming scene before our windows where in the morning hours we had admired the river and the ships and the mountains beyond, and drove through the Rua Jaquiera, the Rua Aterro de Boa Vista, and a new street entitled Dom Carlos I. to the Cortes. The streets were lined with soldiers, and the narrow sidewalks were crowded with people. The great halls of the Palace of the Cortes, to which we went, were thronged with military bodies, who represented the provinces of the kingdom, and brought with them assurances of loyalty and devotion, and the silken regimental banners of Portugal, on which were embroidered in gold and silver the arms of the kingdom. Entering the palace, we were ushered through long corridors hung with Turkish rugs and Moorish tapestries, and guarded by a host of attendants, ushers, and marshals, leading to the Loge du Corps Diplomatique, where we found many of the ministers, secretaries, and attachés of the different legations, accompanied by the wife of the American Minister; Madame Billot, wife of the French Minister ; Madame Waecker Gotter, wife of the German Minister ; Mdlle. de Grelle, daughter of the Belgian Minister ; Madame Cotta, wife of the Italian Secretary of Legation ; and the fair Madame Gomes, representing the recent Empire of Brazil. Accompanying the American Minister were Admiral Walker, with Flag-Lieutenant Staunton, and Captains Robeson, O'Kane, Chadwick, and Commander McCalla of the Enterprise, whose uniforms seemed to attract as much attention as the brilliant array of the King and his court. The galleries opposite the Loge, and the floor of the great hall, were filled with official and unofficial people, whose generally sombre apparel was diversified by the display among the peasantry of pretty colored silk handkerchiefs and hats neatly and coquettishly adorned.
The Cortes below presented a most lively spectacle. All the members were in full dress and many in brilliant uniform. They formed a semicircle, in the middle of which the private entrance and the aisle to the throne were situated. Directly in front of the members, and below us on the same side, was the royal throne, which was enclosed with gorgeous red velvet curtains embroidered in silver and gold, and with long silk and lace borders. At the top of the throne the arms of Portugal and the royal escutcheon of the Cortes were placed, all in gold set off with a brilliant jewelled background. After a somewhat tedious delay the air was filled with martial music, and the heralds pro-claimed the approach of the King and Queen, with the procession, led by the Master of Ceremonies, followed by the Major Domo, the Duke of Loulè, who is the Grand Chamberlain, bearing a large golden key ; the Cardinal of Lisbon, the Grand Almoner, the Master of the Household, the Gentlemen-in-Waiting, a special body-guard of Senators and Deputies, and the President of the Council. After the attendants had arranged themselves in a double line to the throne the King and Queen were announced. Soon the young sovereigns entered, the King a little in advance of the Queen, and all the people, together with the Senators, Deputies, and Corps Diplomatique arose and bowed low to them as they advanced. It was indeed an imposing sight as the royal couple passed down the long line of glittering courtiers. The King looked happy, dignified, and fully capable of performing the sacred duties about to be laid upon his shoulders. He was attired in a handsome uniform of dark velvet and blue cloth, and on his right breast he wore the three orders of Portugal, decorations sparkling with diamonds and precious stones. Over his shoulders an ermine cloak was thrown, and at his side a splendid sword was hung, whose hilt was richly adorned with sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, brought in former days from the rich mines of Brazil.
The Queen Amélie accompanied him on his right, and called forth cheer after cheer as she fascinated every one by her grace and youthful beauty. The Queen is very stately, and bore herself with a dignity appropriate to the occasion. She was very gracious ; and both the King and the Queen bowed most courteously to the Corps Diplomatique and the Senators and the people. She was attired in a beautiful court dress of white satin, covered with the richest embroidery in gold. Her coronation necklace, which forms a part of the hereditary crown jewels and is celebrated for the great size and brilliancy of its rubies, attracted great admiration. On each shoulder the rich lace and gold and silver trimmings were fastened by a diamond and sapphire, each of great size and beauty. On her head she wore a magnificent tiara of flashing diamonds, and in her hand she bore an exquisite fan adorned with emeralds and pearls. Her train, six yards in length, of turquoise velvet embroidered with gold, was borne by a lady-in-waiting. Behind her walked twenty ladies, who were declared to be the flower of Portuguese beauty.
Following these came Prince Dom Affonso, in military uniform with many decorations, the brother of the King, Commander-in-Chief of the Portuguese armies, and Duke of Oporto. The Prince was accompanied by the Archduke of Austria.
The King and Queen were with much ceremony marshalled to the throne, the golden curtains of which were thrown back, disclosing a magnificent dais and two royal chairs surmounted with crowns for their Majesties.
The sovereigns ascended the steps of the dais and took their seats, the bearer of the Queen's train going to the left with the Ladies-in-Waiting ; and Dom Affonso ascended the step next to the King, and, bearing the great royal sceptre, stood there as the Royal Sergeant-at-Arms. Then the Chamberlain-in-Waiting presented, on his bended knee, the royal sceptre to the King. After this the Master of the Household, Master of Horse, Commander of the Body-guard, Master of Ceremonies, and Grand Mistress of the Queen's Household took their places on the highest step at the right of the dais ; and the Grand Almoner, Gentlemen of the House-hold, and aides-de-camp of the King and the Royal Standard-bearer, with unfolded banner, were placed. Before the throne stood the Ministry—Senhor de Castro, President of the Council, and Senhor Barros Gomes, Minister for Foreign Affairs ; and behind them the Councillors of State. On either side stood the Senators and Deputies. The pageant was most brilliant.
As soon as their Majesties were seated, the Corps Diplomatique, Ministry, and Senators, Deputies and the people followed their example. The President of the Senate, with two high officials on either side, advanced, and presented to King Dom Carlos the " Santos Evangilos " with a cross laid upon it, and the King changing his sceptre to his left hand, placed his right on the book and holy cross, and repeated Article 76 of the Constitution, and in a loud and steady tone :
" I swear to uphold the Catholic Apostolic Roman Religion, the integrity of the kingdom, to observe and cause to be observed the political Constitution of the Portuguese nation and other laws of the kingdom, and to promote the general welfare of the nation to the best of my ability."
This oath having been taken, the King made a short speech to the Cortes, in which he made many sensible and forcible remarks, and the President of the Senate replied in the same manner, and turning to the Deputies, made acclamation in these words :
" To the very high and powerful and most faithful King of Portugal, Dom Carlos I."; to which the members of the Cortes gave their assent and declared strict homage to their sovereign.
As soon as the echoes of the acclamation had ceased, the Standard-bearer, bearing his banner and bowing profoundly, stepped upon the tribune erected before the centre windows of the Palace of the Cortes, accompanied by the King-at-Arms, the Bearers of the Mace and Shields, and Heralds, the first of whom cried out in a loud voice to the vast crowd of people assembled below :
" Attention ! Attention ! Attention !
And thus ended the acclamation.
When the King-at-Arms had given the acclamation to the people, the cry of " Dom Carlos is crowned" was borne from rank to rank, and all the soldiers joined in a long and mighty cheer for the young sovereign. Soon after this the King gave the signal to the Deputies who stood around the throne for their departure for the Church of San Domingos.
Having made most courteous salutations to the Corps Diplomatique in return for those they received from the assembly in the Loge, their Majesties retired from the chamber, entered the great golden coach of state, and drove to the church to join in the Te Deum. Of course the occupants of the Loge followed, and many of them " got there first."
From the tribune provided for foreign ministers in the churches when royal ceremonies are performed an admirable view of the interior of these sacred structures is obtained. The Church of San Domingos is one of the finest in Lisbon. The walls are beautifully sculptured ; the dome and roof are adorned with gorgeous tapestries and silken hangings, interspersed with fine old Portuguese banners. The floral decorations were superb on this occasion. The pews and seats in the nave of the church were also decorated, and the floor was covered with a rich red velvet carpet embroidered with gold. The tribunes erected on each side of the altar for the state officials and the diplomats were also decorated with rich gold hangings. The church is a most exquisite and effective piece of architecture, adorned with many religious designs in marble—the sides of the altar being beautifully carved and upheld by small pillars wrought in silver and gold. In the middle of the altar, covered with fine, white, transparent curtains were three beautiful statues in religious and holy attitudes, representing Christ with the Virgin and the Holy Ghost on either hand. They were adorned with the most gorgeous vestments. Above them, on the top of the altar, are life-size and miniature statues of the apostles and many saints, over all of which was shed the soft light of numerous large tapers and candles.
Shortly after our arrival at the church the royal cortège was announced. Looking down along the nave, one could see the soldiers and the Royal Guard stationed at the entrance present arms and dip the royal banners as the long procession of ancient coaches, which have appeared on all royal public occasions I have witnessed drew up—the great gilt carriages of state, with the crown of Portugal perched high on their roofs, and their wide glass sides decorated with gilt designs, their huge frames ponderous with heavy carvings, and drawn by eight milk-white steeds richly caparisoned with heavily mounted harnesses and velvet blankets and housings edged with silver and gold and the crown handsomely worked on each. The horses were ridden by youthful postilions dressed in the King's livery, while the powerless and imposing coachman sat in all his stateliness on the box grasping the immense bundle of reins. The royal coach containing the King and Queen, presenting a vastly magnified scene in " Cinderella," attended by a special guard of honor, two equerries, and triple files of Gentlemen of the Royal Household, was drawn up before the entrance, and the Royal pair alighted, assisted by a special envoy of the ecclesiastics having the Cardinal and Chapter at their head, and bearing a most sumptuous palanquin made of rich silk finely worked and embossed with gold. This was supported by four bishops, and beneath it the King and Queen advanced down the long nave followed by a great procession of all the ecclesiastics of Lisbon, as far as the altar, receiving the salutations of the Diplomatic Corps, Senators, and Deputies, and a crowd of high officials in the body of the cathedral. Having received the Papal blessing at the altar they were escorted to the throne, where they remained while the Te Deum was given during long hours by a band and choir of great power situated in a gallery over the entrance.
After the Archbishop of Lisbon had offered up the last prayer for the welfare of their Most Faithful Majesties and the Te Deum had been sung, the King and Queen departed in the same order as they had entered, taking their seats in the royal carriage, and were followed by their attendant. "The Papal Nuncio, in his violet cap and robes, with his wealth of splendid jewels, having received the homage of the priests, joined the departing procession.
The next step in these performances was the reception of the city keys at the Municipal Hall. The decorations here were beautiful, the great portico being profusely adorned with palms, ferns; and tropical plants, and the interior of the building being covered with masses of flowers, with which Portugal is supplied throughout the year. Opposite the entrance stood a throne decorated with military and royal designs in roses, on which their Majesties sat during the final ceremonies of the coronation. The President of the Municipality advanced to the foot of the throne, and on bended knee offered the keys to the " faithful and august monarchs." The King received the ponderous bunch, and, lifting it from the golden salver on which it lay, signified his assent to the guardianship and then returned it to the President, who followed in a speech explaining the ancient custom and its significance of the obedience and royal faithfulness of the Municipality of Lisbon. To this King Carlos replied that he relied on the confidence, fidelity, and loyalty of the " City Fathers " to guard and protect his capital. At the close of this interchange of speeches, the Lord Mayor, saluting the King, passed to the balcony and pronounced the second civic acclamation of the King in the following words :
" This Very High, Very Mighty, and Most Faithful King of Portugal Dom Carlos I."
The cheers of the people and salvos of cannon confirmed this acclamation, and the King and Queen departed to their palace at Belem.
The reign of Dom Carlos had begun, and according to the course of nature it promises to last for many years. He is but twenty-six years old, in high health, happy in his domestic relations, and not burdened by the cares of a great empire. I have given this elaborate account of the ceremonies of coronation, with the assistance of " The Boy's " keen observation, because the scene is unusual in these modern days, and retains much of the pomp and glitter of the past, when great display was a vital feature of royalty in the absence of deeper significance. It was easy to imagine Dom Manoel filled with pride and loaded with wealth by the discoveries and conquests in India, passing from palace to church and the great hall, dazzling an awe-stricken people, and assuming the reins of power. Whatever may have been the spirit of the occasion, so changed from the ancient grandeur, the external emblems still remained, and in the presence of the deputies of the people, the customs and insignia of absolute imperialism were paraded and admired. In hardly any other country in Europe could this be seen ; and it is impressive, interesting, and admirable to witness a people with an ancient lineage and an imposing record preserving the customs which were established in their days of power and prosperity. If you would see the glory of the past and the promise of the present, go to a coronation in Lisbon with its gilded chariots and its popular assembly.
The royal family of Portugal has many palaces to which, like the Persian kings, it can resort at the different seasons of the year. They are all charming residences, and many of them display great architectural and decorative beauty. Belem, to which Dom Carlos and his queen resorted after the coronation, and which has long been their favorite abode, is situated high above the river bank, not far from the tower which is so conspicuous an object as you sail up the Tagus. The building was purchased by Dom John V. in 1726, and is built after the manner of a gentleman's residence. A few busts of Roman emperors adorn the walls, and a fine bust of King John V. The gardens, orange groves, and terraces are very fine, and are adorned with a group of Hercules beheading the hydra of Lernea, a statue representing the death of Cleopatra, and one of Charity. The comfort and convenience, as well as the beauty, of Belem are especially attractive.
The Palace of Das Necessidades stands also in the western extremity of Lisbon, commanding a magnificent view of the Tagus, and consists of the palace proper, the church, and the upper palace, formerly a convent. It was built by Dom John V. on a spot once occupied by a poor mechanic who fled from Ericeira to escape the plague, and, taking up his quarters at Alcântara, erected a small shrine for an image of our Lady of Health, which he brought with him. He dedicated his chapel to our Lady under the title of " Reliever of our Necessities." For this image Dom John had special veneration, and attributed to the prayers addressed to her his recovery from a dangerous illness in 1742. Filled with gratitude, he erected the buildings now known as Das Necessidades, and which have always been a favorite resort for the royal family. Dom Fernando made this his home, and it was here that Dom Augusto died last summer. The statue of San Carlo Borromeo constitutes about all the art to be found on the spot ; but the gardens are especially attractive. The buildings and grounds make a great and imposing estate.
The Palace of the Ajuda, which I have already described, is now occupied by the Dowager-Queen Maria Pia ; it is the most attractive and perfect palace of all those dedicated to Portuguese royalty.
The Palace of Bemposta, built in 1700 by Catharine of Braganza, daughter of John IV. of Portugal, and widow of Charles II. of England, has but little architectural merit. It has a few good pictures. It has been used for a long time as a military school ; and on the grounds Dom Pedro V. erected a hospital in memory of his queen, Dona Estaphania.
The Palace of Caxias is occupied by the royal family only in the bathing season. The royal palace at Cintra, to which I have referred so often, is used as a summer residence for a few weeks. And in the old palatial fortification at Cascaes, at once fort and palace, Dom Luis died in September last—in that autumn home to which he resorted annually for the sea-breezes and the view of the ocean, which his youthful experience as a sailor had taught him to love. The old Palace of the Telles at Coimbra, now deserted, is visited for its tragic history ; and Mafra is only used as a hotel while the King shoots in the royal preserves.
In all the great cities and important towns of Portugal are the imposing, and in many cases abandoned, residences of the once proud and noble families who upheld the power of the kingdom in the days of its prosperity. They tell a tale of affluence and regal splendor which was not surpassed _in the days of their prosperity by any country in Europe. They shared with the monasteries the luxury of Portugal, and witnessed the social refinement which wealth and cultivated association always bring. A climate which gave twelve months of refulgence surrounded these homes with all the beauties of nature, and the groves and gardens planted by man. Their literature was the romantic and tender verse of Miranda and Ribeyro, and the vigorous and inspiring epic of Camoens. To the nobility of Portugal its country owes much of its power in former days, and much of that ambition which gave birth to those long and bloody conflicts which destroyed industry, prevented intellectual culture, and exhausted the tone and force of the people.
The King, for whose purposes these palaces have been erected, and for whose friends the dwellings were provided, has great power in Portugal. The Constitution of the kingdom, after declaring that Portugal is a free and independent state, declares also that the person of the King is inviolable and sacred ; and he is not responsible to any one. He can adjourn the Cortes and dissolve the Chamber of Deputies in cases in which the salvation of the state may require it—convoking immediately a substitute at his will. He can appoint and dismiss at his pleasure the ministers of state ; and can suspend magistrates on account of complaints made against them. He can give or deny his approval of the decrees of the Cortes, Apostolic letters, and other ecclesiastical institutions provided by the Cortes. " The King consents," is the approval of the decrees of the Cortes, and the bills when signed are forwarded to the municipalities. Against the veto of the King there is no appeal. The Cortes fixes annually on in-formation from the government, the King; and his ministers, the size of the army and navy. It authorizes the government to contract loans ; and establishes the means of paying the public debt.
The King, Dom Carlos I., has all the qualities to make an excellent ruler. He has a strong constitution and sound health, and the composure which goes with them. He is fond of and well informed in all the needs and processes of Portuguese agriculture ; and has large interests in that industry. He is fond of rural sports, and is one of the best shots in Europe. He is not inclined to contention, but, judging from his moral and physical organization, he possesses great determination and force in an emergency—a quality inherited from his mother, Maria Pia, the pride of the Portuguese. He is proud of his country, and cherishes her honor with a warm appreciation of her past and strong faith in her future.
To the usual festivities of this season have this year been added the ceremonies of the coronation with its formalities and banquets. I had introduced Admiral Walker and the officers of the squadron to the King, and he was kind enough to invite them to the coronation dinner. It was a season of great rejoicing—Christmas, New Year, an opening reign, and all the rejoicing that goes with such occasions. The weather was such as we find at this season in Florida ; the sky was bright and the air as soft as in our southern latitudes ; and as I sit at my window at the Braganza, with the rosy western sky in which the sun is just setting casting a shade of beauty over the broad bay lying between me and the far-off hills across the water, it seems as if the earth was busy reconciling those of us who remain to the loss of those who are gone.
After our own dinner to the officers of the squadron, and the Te Deum at the church, there was the royal banquet at the Ajuda on Sunday evening, at which the King and the ministers and court officials, the officers of the army and navy, the Diplomatic Corps, the Archduke of Austria, and the dignitaries of the Church were present—numbering a little more than two hundred. The dining-hall at the Ajuda is large and fine. The frescos of the ceiling are superb, and the tinting of the walls is a soft ashes-of-roses color, with gilt surroundings, which give great effect to the light shed by thousands of candles from superb cut-glass chandeliers. Two long tables, running the length of the hall, which is more than a hundred feet, accommodated the guests, at one of which, in the centre of the long side, sat the King, and at the other of which sat the Queen. The tables were decorated with flowers, and were adorned with heavy golden candelabra in the regions of the King and Queen, and with long lines of silver candlesticks stretching away to the ends. The table-service was extremely pretty, of Minturn and Dresden and silver plate. I am obliged to confess to the solemnity of the dinner, and to compliment the wines, which were excellent.
The guests were of course attractive. Madame de Serpa, the wife of the ex-Premier, sat on my left—a most cheerful and bright companion. Mrs. Loring was taken in to dinner by the Premier Senhor Luciano de Castro. She sat at the King's table, directly opposite to him, with the Grand Chamberlain, Count Ficalho, on her left.
After a two hours' session at the tables, we adjourned to the throne-room, where their Majesties gave a reception, which continued until one o' clock. The ladies as usual occupied one side of the room, and the gentlemen the other. The King passed from one gentle-man to another, and chatted either as a leader or as a follower, as he and his interlocutor found most convenient. The Queen pursued the same course towards the ladies, until they had all had their little interview, and then she wandered away into the middle of the room to receive the gentlemen, whom she called out from the group, or who ventured to approach her unbidden. I presented Admiral Walker to her, and they had a long and of course interesting talk. Later on she received her guests sitting. She was magnificently dressed, her jewels being brilliant, a necklace, tiara, and brooch of great emeralds and diamonds. Her dress was emerald velvet. She was really quite splendid with her superb attire and jewels and erect form and dark hair and black eyes. Her manner is most simple and unaffected.
We all stood far into the night, and returned home in a light rain, quite exhausted. The Admiral and his companions found the landing-gates locked and spent an extra hour or two in getting to their ships.
January 1st.—Today we have had a New Year's reception at the same palace. The Diplomatic Corps was received first, as usual, the ladies forming a line on one side of the room and the gentlemen on the other at an angle. The King and Queen walked along the lines and welcomed each person in a kindly speech. The King deplored the death of the Empress of Brazil, and spoke of the revolution there as sad work. He was much interested in the account I gave him of Mr. Whittier's letter. The regulation dress on such occasions is for gentlemen the uniform of his legation, and for ladies a train three yards in length, with extremely scanty supply of dress on the shoulders. Blue and white intermingled are forbidden, as that is the court dress of ladies-in-waiting. While all this was going on, the side of the room opposite the ladies was filled with a highly decorated and uniformed group of ministers, generals, peers, and gentlemen-in-waiting, who stood their ground until the Diplomatic Corps had been received, and then opened to let them pass out.
When I left the King's quarters of the palace, I went to the apartment of the Queen Dowager, and recorded my name and Mrs. Loring's, and thence to Das Necessidades to record my own in the book of the Archduke of Austria, who is domiciled there, and thence to call on the German Minister ; and finally to the quiet of my own room in the Braganza.