How I Found Livingstone Travels, Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo by William Makepeace Thackeray







 -   The air of this pure
sky has little effect upon the edifices, - the edges of the stone
look as sharp - Page 20
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The Air Of This Pure Sky Has Little Effect Upon The Edifices, - The Edges Of The Stone Look As Sharp

As if the builders had just left their work; and close to the grand entrance stands an outbuilding, part of

Which may have been burnt fifty years ago, but is in such cheerful preservation that you might fancy the fire had occurred yesterday. It must have been an awful sight from this hill to have looked at the city spread before it, and seen it reeling and swaying in the time of the earthquake. I thought it looked so hot and shaky, that one might fancy a return of the fit. In several places still remain gaps and chasms, and ruins lie here and there as they cracked and fell.

Although the palace has not attained anything like its full growth, yet what exists is quite big enough for the monarch of such a little country; and Versailles or Windsor has not apartments more nobly proportioned. The Queen resides in the Ajuda, a building of much less pretensions, of which the yellow walls and beautiful gardens are seen between Belem and the city. The Necessidades are only used for grand galas, receptions of ambassadors, and ceremonies of state. In the throne-room is a huge throne, surmounted by an enormous gilt crown, than which I have never seen anything larger in the finest pantomime at Drury Lane; but the effect of this splendid piece is lessened by a shabby old Brussels carpet, almost the only other article of furniture in the apartment, and not quite large enough to cover its spacious floor. The looms of Kidderminster have supplied the web which ornaments the "Ambassadors' Waiting-Room," and the ceilings are painted with huge allegories in distemper, which pretty well correspond with the other furniture.

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