Portugal - Literature - Sculpture - Palaces
( Originally Published 1891 )
April 8th.—Having studied the churches, Chester turned his attention to the literature of Lisbon. Of course he was first attracted by Camoens, the poet of Portugal, whose statue towers above the square on which it stands—a colossal bronze presentment of the once abused and now deified author, mounted on a lofty marble pedestal, around which stand statues of Lopes the historian, Pedro Nunes the cosmographer, Eannes de Azurara, Joao de Barros, Castanheda the historian, and Quevedo, Jeronymo Corte Real, and de Menezes, the epic poets of the kingdom. This constitutes the personnel of Portuguese authorship, and this led to a walk through the libraries. The small collection of old volumes taken from the Jesuits and lodged in the Ajuda, the well-arranged collection of religious works in the Convento de Jesus, and the library of the Academy of Sciences are soon examined by the expert explorer. The National Library, however, demands more attention. Here are gathered nearly three hundred thousand volumes, derived mainly from the libraries of suppressed monasteries, and constituting but a small part of the spoils taken from those literary treasure-houses. The library is well arranged in commodious rooms—the public documents of the United States hardly receiving that attention and care to which Chester thought them entitled. The manuscripts are rare and beautiful—a large collection numbering fully ten thousand, and including three hundred of the Cistercian order from the Convent of Alcobaça, one of which is the first volume of a Bible taken from the Spaniards at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, and said to have belonged to the King of Castile, whose arms it bears. Of the vellum manuscripts are : the Old Testament in Hebrew with Rabbinic annotations, Latin Bibles, a Horæ Beatificae Mariæ of the fifteenth century, a Forus Judicum of the fourteenth century, several illuminated missals, St. Ambrose's Officinorum libri tres, Roma Triumphans of Flavius Blondus Forliensis,—to which, with their three hundred fellows, a separate room is dedicated, on every side of which the venerable and ghostly volumes stand in all the charms of vellum and antiquity.
There is probably no rarer collection of monkish literature in the world. The library also contains a valuable collection of English works on Portugal.
The Cabinet of Coins is large and interesting, being about twenty-five thousand in number, and including coins of Spain, Celtiberia, ancient Greece, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt, Rome from Julius Cæsar to Commodus, and medals and coinage of Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, England, and Russia. Arranged with them are Roman bronze statues, lamps, amphorae, lachrymatory vases, and African implements and weapons. To the student and archæologist the library is most interesting. Chester wandered through its alcoves many days, only repining over the absence of a catalogue, to which he thinks every good collection of books entitled.
It was towards the close of winter and before the spring rains had commenced that Chester came to Lisbon, and the clear, cool, and lengthening days gave him ample opportunity to stroll through the streets, whose hills, bad as they are, were not enough to discourage such an experienced pedestrian, who had already explored on foot every mountain region in Europe and many of the most famous in America. He was told to visit the Avenida—the widest and handsomest street in Lisbon,—but he found it unfinished and lined on either hand with dwellings of somewhat ordinary structure, not imposing enough, at any rate, to stand along a great fashionable highway. He was struck, however, with the narrowness of the streets and the length of their names, among which he found the Rua da Porta do Carro do Hospital Real de S. José, Travessa do Abarracamento da Cruz do Taboado, Rua de Santo Antonio da Praça do Convento do Coraçâo de Jesus. It is encouraging to know, however, that in ordinary intercourse these names are abandoned and short ones substituted, of which there is no record either on the corners of the streets or in the directory. Now and then a charming garden or a well-arranged public square relieves the weary eye. In fact, pretty gardens abound in Lisbon—the great charm of the residence of Sir George Glynn Petre, the English Minister, being an ample garden high along the river-bank, laid out by Lord Lytton during his administration as Ambassador at this Court. But the squares are worthy of a great city and a great people. The Praça do Commercio, on account of its material and historical importance, is entitled to the most attention. It lies along the river, and before the earthquake it was the Palace Yard ; but the earthquake changed all that, the palace having been swallowed up. It is now known among the mariners who throng its hard and gravelly surface as " Black Horse Square," after an equestrian statue of Dom José I., which stands in the centre overlooking the swelling tide. This statue, which some admirer has said to be " unsurpassed by any other in Europe," is an object of great curiosity. The horse is stout, thick, chunky, heavy-barrelled, and long-backed, with an excess of crest and a heavy head, an immense quarter with a huge tail clinging closely and meeting the ground, and so put together that as it appeared to Chester for speed on the road he would be useless and for draught incapable. The king is loaded with garments, and crowned with a hat which is a great cluster of plumes. By the side of the horse on the lofty pedestal stands a cub elephant—called a cub to excuse his being placed there at all when his full size would have dwarfed even the horse Chester described. Victory and Fame flank the equestrian statue, which stands twenty-one feet high and weighs eighty thousand six hundred and forty pounds. On the front of the pedestal is a medallion with the effigy of Pombal, who restored the city after the earthquake and left a chasm in Portuguese morals vastly more awful than that which the great convulsion of nature left in the hills and valleys of the town.
On each side of the square are long rows of arched cloisters within which are the public offices of state, and at the head and on the north side of the square stands the Anodoemo Augusto, a work which was more than a century in construction. It is a triumphal arch, with windows on one side and a clock on the other, surmounted by an enormous pile a hundred feet high from the crown of the arch to the top of the cornice. On the face of this are the arms of Portugal. The allegorical group at the top of this huge entablature is Glory rewarding Valor and Genius—Glory being a draped female figure, Valor an Amazon partially covered with an ancient Greek military dress, and Genius a nude figure of a youth with wings partially spread. Letters and Arts are also represented, and the Lyre signifies that Harmony should preside over the products of Intelligence. There is a great deal of this arch, but it must be confessed it forms a striking contrast with those structures which stand about the Roman Forum to commemorate the victories of Trajan and Antoninus, and Septimius Severus, and Constantine and Titus.
The statues over the columns of this great arch are of four national heroes and are due to the chisel of the Portuguese sculptor, Victor Bastos, who has executed his work with great taste and skill, as he also has his recumbent figures representing the rivers Tagus and Douro ; and those of Pombal, of whom I have already expressed an opinion, of Vasco de Gama, and of Variatus, who exchanged the duties of a peaceful pastor to those of a great warrior, and was only defeated by the betrayal and treachery of two of his ambassadors—not an unusual event in Portuguese history,—and of Nuno Alvarez Pereira.
Of the other squares, the Rosio is distinguished for its elaborate monument in memory of Dom Pedro IV. the Largo de San Roque, near the church of that name, containing a monument erected by Italians to commemorate the marriage of Dom Luis with Dona Maria Pia, the daughter of Victor Emanuel ; the Largo de Belem, famous, as has been well said, " as having been the spot where the Duke of Aveiro, Marquis and Marchioness of Tavora, Count Atoguia, along with several other members of the Portuguese aristocracy, were executed in the most ignominious and cruel manner on the 13th of January, 1759, having been falsely accused and found guilty of participation in the pseudo-conspiracy against the King's life ingeniously contrived by the Marquis of Pombal," and ten or a dozen squares of smaller proportions and less importance. These squares, together with the public walks and the garden of the Estrella, the Botanical, and the Zoological Gar-den for which the ex-Emperor Dom Pedro had a great affection, and which contains one immense lion, many monkeys, a huge dog kennel and an extensive poultry yard, afford great pleasure and are very conducive to the health of the people.
Of the palaces contained within the limits of Lis-bon, even Chester's elaborate notes furnish no further information than has already been given in accounts of public ceremonies which have taken place within the last year. Of the amusements, the world knows that the Opera of Lisbon ranks among the best in Europe. And of the picture galleries, the lovers of art in Lisbon bear witness that, " although foreign artists are represented in the National Gallery by the brilliant names of Michael Angelo, Caracci, Carlo Dolci, Guido, Murillo, Raphael, and Rubens, yet it must be confessed that the works are inferior specimens and not to be compared with the chefs d'oeuvre of these renowned artists." It does not appear that art students resort to the galleries of Lisbon. In the museums, however, the student will find admirable collections for the study of mineralogy, the crystals and minerals of Portugal, and of Russia, Vesuvius, and Brazil, together with large paleontological and zoological collections. A collection of products of the colonies in the rooms of the Geographical Society is well worthy a careful examination.
Lisbon provides liberally for the education of her people in polytechnic, medical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, naval, literary, industrial, and commercial institutions, and a good system of common schools. Of course hospitals, law courts, and markets abound. Cemeteries are of the usual number, including the Val Escuro for animals. The arrangements for funerals are somewhat extraordinary. The coffins resemble huge trunks, having a convex lid fixed on hinges and fitted with a lock and key. On reaching the cemetery the lid is raised, a little quick-lime is thrown on the face, after which the coffin is locked and the key given to the chief mourner. The coaches in which the priests accompany the cortège are called berlindas, and are interesting specimens of the Portuguese vehicles of the last century. They are on two wheels, and have a large gilded chaise top body for the accommodation of the priests, while the coffin is borne on an iron frame fixed across the shafts near the whiffietree. Chester endeavored in vain to get a photograph of one of these establishments, no artist being found who was inclined to take one.
Chester became much interested in the coaches. The universal coupé and Victoria and Landau can be found in all the streets and stables, with a few dog-carts and beach-wagons ; but no light wagons, no buggies, no top-wagons so called in New York. Light driving is unknown. The American trotting horse is not found, and of course the American trotting wagon is never seen.
But of one class of coaches Lisbon appears to have a monopoly. The royal coaches are to be seen in the coach house near the palace of Belem. This collection comprises many curious specimens of the coach builder's art, especially during the reign of Dom John V., who was extravagantly fond of ostentatious displays. On the occasion of the marriage of his son, Prince of the Brazils, with an Infanta of Spain, the royal family went in procession from Elvas to the frontier to meet the Spanish Court. This cortège consisted of 49 royal coaches drawn by 354 horses, 150 royal carriages drawn by 468 horses and mules, 673 saddle-horses with velvet saddle-cloths embroidered with gold, and 316 mules, besides an immense number of carriages and horses be-longing to the retinues of the nobles and other persons who accompanied their majesties.
The number of coaches possessed by the Crown has been greatly reduced ; the earthquake of 1755 destroyed many ; upwards of fifty were taken to the Brazils by the royal family, and many in a dilapidated condition were sold during the reign of Dona Maria II. Nevertheless thirty-nine still remain in the royal court house. Amongst this number the most notable are:
A coach brought by Queen Maria Francisca from France, a present from Louis XIV., richly carved and gilded, with a painting on the back representing her Majesty seated on the throne—a very good portrait.
Three chariots which served at the marriage of Dom John V. with Dona Maria Anna of Austria in 1708. Also one presented to King John V. by his Holiness Clement XI., and one presented to Dona Maria Anna of Austria by the Emperor Francis Joseph I.
Three coaches used at the marriage of the Prince of the Brazils, son of King John V. with the Infanta of Spain, Donna Marianna Victoria.
An immense unwieldy, cumbersome octagonal travelling carriage with a table in the centre used by Dom John V.
Several coaches brought by the Philips from Spain, and some of which belonged to John IV., Affonso VI., and Pedro II.
Two modern travelling carriages made in England for Queen Maria I.
These state coaches appeared on all royal occasions, and with a young king and a pretty queen, sitting in their amplitude of gilt and satin, present a most gorgeous appearance.
Chester had been so entirely occupied with the material condition of Portugal and its varying fortunes that he had forgotten the value of intellectual culture and power in the work of creating and pre-serving a nation. He had seen so many monuments erected in memory of kings and warriors and explorers, so many churches built in commemoration of great deeds of church and state, in honor of saints and martyrs, in gratitude to God for victories and con-quests and heirs to the throne, that he forgot the mental achievements which are the boast of every people truly great. He could not lose sight of Camoens —for his monument overtopped the city. He had not forgotten the theological disquisitions of Anthony and Bartholomew and Pedro Negles and Andrè d'Almada, and Guzman and Bernardes ; or the oratory of Vieira and Timotheo de Ceabra ; or the poetry of de Mello and Antonio Ferreira and Bocage and Manoel de San José ; or the historical works of Veigas and Telleo and Bernardino de Silva and Diego de Conto. But the theology was rather out of date, the orators were not fitted to the present occasion, the histories were so much of the past that those engaged in the affairs of the present seldom alluded to them. The restoration of Portugal means not the revival of letters, or the application of profound systems of state and society, or the cultivation of an old philosophy, or the perfection of a long sought system of government, or devotion to a great popular declaration, but a return to the golden days when the fabulous wealth of Ormuz and the Ind was poured into the coffers of the extravagant and the ambitious. In such a struggle æsthetic books were of small importance ; theories were a delusion and a snare science was quite unnecessary ; and popular education and technology fulfil all the requirements. In a community like this book-worms are not abundant, philosophical societies are not common, transcendental discussions are rare, lyceum lectures have no attractions, Browning clubs do not flourish, the inventive genius is unheard of, the poet does not soar, the popular orator is seldom heard. The genius of the fathers did not run in this direction.
Chester seemed to be evolving these thoughts as he sat before my fire at the spacious Braganza after a long day of exploration, during which the hills seemed to be interminable and the valleys unfathomable. He was getting into a gloomy view and he was evidently attempting to find in Portugal a Magna Charta and a Cromwell, or a Winkelried and a William Tell and a Morgarten, or a club of Encyclopoedists and Girondists, or a Mazzini and a Garibaldi, or a Washington and a Jefferson, as if all these were necessary for national glory and strength.
" Now," said I, " you need have no fear of Portugal. She has her ancient renown and power and has just as good a right to travel her own road to distinction as her neighbors and contemporaries have to travel theirs. She once reached a great height and has had but a few years of peaceful endeavor since her tide turned. And it is evident she has now turned her attention towards industrial development and the application of her energies to her vast outlying colonial territories. When the Minister for Foreign Affairs announced not long ago that the future of Portugal lay largely in her African possessions, he undoubtedly pointed the path his nation proposed to travel. Portugal is a most interesting study—only study her just as she is.,,
Into this study the politics of Portugal naturally enters, and of this chapter the dozen sacks and sieges of Lisbon, and the public and private murders of kings and queens and councillors innumerable, which mark the last thousand years of her existence form no part whatever. Under the ancient régime, notwithstanding the constantly recurring civil commotions, the Portuguese had been undoubtedly a united and happy people, who, while they differed materially on questions of supremacy, had no occasion for political divisions or discussions. With the French armies, however, came French philosophy and politics. The people, who were not to be subdued by the armies of Napoleon, and whose autonomy was considered an important integral part of the imperial power of Europe, yielded to the more insidious influence of popular assertion and claims for popular right. Political clamor and political punishments commenced. The first attempt to establish a constitutional government failed and its leaders were brought to the scaffold. When in 182o the Constitution was proclaimed in Lisbon and Oporto, a citizen monarchy commenced and political agitations were organized. In the Nova Lei Fundamental were embodied changes in the laws and institutions of the country—the sovereignty was declared to reside essentially in the people and the title of Majesty was given to the Cortes. In 1807 the royal family had left Portugal and taken up its residence in Brazil, a regency governing in Lisbon in the name of the Queen Dona Maria I. At her death in 1816 her son, Dom John VI., became King but continued to reside in Rio. Meanwhile liberal ideas began to take root in Portugal, and agitations increased rapidly. An attempt on the part of England to restore the royal family failed. Secret political societies were organized in Oporto and elsewhere. A junta presided over by Silveira Pinto de Fonseca, whose protestations of fidelity to the Crown and the reigning family of Braganza, had great influence in leading the people to acquiesce in the proposed change of government. An ineffectual proclamation drawn up by the Count de Palmella and signed by the Cardinal Patriarch, the Marquis de Borba, Count de Peniche, Count de Feria, and by Senhor A. Gomes Ribeiro was issued ; but the Cortes met in vain, Lisbon followed the example of Oporto, the "junta Provisional do Governo Supremo" was formed and the regency was dismissed. The people were at once called upon to take the oath of allegiance. The junta issued orders that deputies for all the provinces should be elected to form a representative chamber; on January 24, 1821, a Cortes assembled in Lisbon. The Provisional junta resigned its powers ; and on the 3d of the following July the King, Dom John, arrived from Rio with four thousand followers, including his family, the Corps Diplomatique, the ministers, the court deputies for the colonies, and a numerous suite, The King proceeded at once to the House of Deputies where he took an oath of allegiance to the new Constitution " so far as it was already prepared." On the 1st of October following, the King took the required oath under a completed Constitution ; one hundred and forty deputies signed their adherence to the Constitution, and on the 4th the chamber was prorogued. The royal consort, Dona Carlota, refused to take the oath, and by a royal decree was ordered to retire from the Court and reside at the Quinta de Ramalhâo near Cintra.
This Constitution was short-lived. It was opposed to the general opinion of Europe. A single chamber elected by the people was empowered to nominate a State Council of thirteen members, whose term of office was to be but four years. The Crown was silent and powerless in the presence of the Legislature. The sovereign was obliged to yield to every whim of the assembly—and to unjust and fatal laws he could only oppose a temporary opposition. This " Congress " commenced issuing theoretical principles, and entangled itself in questions of secondary importance ; and the Constitution was " reduced to a collection of theoretical maxims." It is said that during the last months of its existence there were committed more scandals, more injustice, and more illegalities, if possible, than during the days of absolutism. The establishment of this Constitution of 1822 was so strongly opposed by Russia, Austria, and Prussia, that they recalled their ministers from the court of Dom John.
Prior to this time there had been Cortes in Portugal apparently as wise and independent as any ever assembled in Europe. This was the case in 1352 ; and in 1697 a meeting of the Cortes is recorded, consisting of members of the three estates of the realm : the clergy, the nobility, and the people.
It is easy to imagine that violent opposition to the Constitution and the Cortes should have arisen. In February, 1823, the Count de Amarante issued a proclamation at Villa Real de Tras-os-Montes, in which he declared that he rose " to deliver the country from the yoke of the Cortes and the revolutionary pest, and to give the King his liberty ; " a performance for which he was deprived by the King of his titles and honors, and was forced to take refuge in Spain with his troops.
Whether the King was in earnest or not in his action is not known—but it is known that not long after the condemnation of Count de Amarante, the King's own son, Dom Miguel, commenced his operations which threw the country into a long and cruel civil war. Dom Miguel made his first decree at Villa Franca on the 27th of May, 1823, and was there joined by a large body of troops. The movement in Villa Franca was seconded in Lisbon, when a regiment of infantry' marched to the palace and shouted, "Viva el Rei Absoluto ! Marra a Constituicas ;" to which the King replied, " Since you wish it, since the country desires it, ` Viva el Rei Absoluto! ' " and ere long issued a proclamation declaring that the Constitution was illegal and incompatible with good government. Dom Miguel was meanwhile appointed commander-in-chief of the army. Queen Carlota plotted a complete reaction in favor of absolutism. The King, Dom John, returned to the capital and formed a new ministry, and a counter-revolution was commenced, having its origin in the Court.
Revolutions are always attended with great confusion. In this affair in Portugal it seems as if " confusion were worse confounded." The King had his plans—the Queen had hers—Dom Miguel had his. Plots for the King's dethronement were charged upon the Queen and her son. The King sought safety on board H. B. M. ship-of-war, the Windsor Caste, from which he issued a proclamation promising public security to the Portuguese ; denouncing the " sinister inspirations " by which his son, Dom Miguel, was led ; withdrawing from him the authority which perverse intrigues had led him to abuse ; and commanding all to preserve strict obedience to the authority of his royal name. Upon this Dom Miguel embarked for Brest, and the King returned amidst great rejoicings. AU this happened in 1824.
On the loth of March, 1826, Dom John VI. died, having on the 6th signed a decree appointing his daughter, the Infanta Dona Isabel Maria, regent, in the absence of his eldest son, Dom Pedro, the lawful-heir to the throne of Portugal, an arrangement quite unsatisfactory to the pretender, Dom Miguel. He, in-deed, declared his approbation until, as he expressed himself, " the intentions of the legitimate heir and successor to it, who is our much beloved brother and lord, the Emperor of Brazil, should be made known " ; and he also addressed the Emperor Dom Pedro, in which he acknowledged His Imperial Majesty as his " legitimate sovereign and heir and successor to the Crown of our glorious ancestors." With these declarations of loyalty and fidelity, however, Dom Miguel was already entertaining the idea of returning to Lisbon from Vienna, to which he had been banished by his father. The Spanish minister at Vienna strongly advised his return to Lisbon. Intrigues sprang up at once in his behalf. The King of Spain was opposed to the return of Dom Pedro " on account of his liberal ideas." At-tempts were made to arrange a marriage between Dom Miguel and Princess Christian of Naples. Still the virtuous Dom Miguel resisted. Dom Pedro confirmed the authority of the regency to govern until the constitutional charter which he had prepared for Portugal should be promulgated—the charter of 1826 ; and having effected this, he abdicated in favor of the next heir, his daughter, Dona Maria da Gloria, on condition that the charter should be received and ratified in Portugal, and that a marriage between the young Queen and Dom Miguel should be contracted.
Dom Miguel had, however, fallen into other hands. The Emperor of Austria was opposed to the Charter. Prince Metternich stated that " the Señorita Infanta had brought him a letter and papers which had been sent to his Highness for the purpose of convincing him of his right to the throne and of the nullity of the oaths they had obliged him to take." He fell into the hands of the absolutists. The hostile intentions of King Ferdinand toward Portugal continued, and the name of Dom Miguel was constantly invoked in aid of these rebellious attempts. The Portuguese ambassador was instructed to call on Great Britain for that assistance which was stipulated by treaty between the two countries. Accordingly George IV. sent a message to the two Houses of Parliament, calling on them to secure from foreign hostility " the most ancient ally of Great Britain."
Five thousand British troops were in consequence sent to Lisbon under General Clinton.
Declarations in favor of Dom Miguel were made at once in many parts of the kingdom. In April, 1827, the garrison of Elvas, on the frontier of Spain, united itself with the populace, and declared in favor of Dom Miguel as absolute King with cries of " Death to the Constitution ! The course of Dom Pedro was not easily understood. On July 3, 1827, he wrote to George IV. that " the necessity of establishing order in Portugal and of consolidating the constitutional system which has there been sworn to compels me, as legitimate sovereign, to send an order to the Infante Dom Miguel, my brother and son-in-law, to proceed to govern that kingdom in my name and as my lieutenant." A signal like this the Pretender was not reluctant to obey ; at this call every obstructive element in the kingdom rallied to his banner.
On 18th October, Metternich, in conference with the English Ambassador and the Portuguese plenipotentiary, agreed that Dom Miguel should accept the regency and set out for Lisbon at once, giving assurance that on his arrival he " firmly intends to support the charter." The Duke of Palmella urged the return of Dom Miguel as a relief to the prevalent disorders of Portugal, and fearing that unless this was done changes and disturbances would be in store for many years to come. The Spanish minister also urged his return. October 27, 1827, Dom Miguel wrote to his brother Dom Pedro accepting the appointment of regent of the kingdoms of Portugal and the Algarves and their dependencies, and declaring his intention to maintain the institutions by which the Portuguese monarchy is governed. On October 30th he arrived in London, was entertained by King George IV., visited the Duke of Wellington at Strathfieldsaye, and passed on to Lisbon, where his adherents were already engaged in vivas for " The holy religion of our fathers ; Dom Miguel, the absolute monarch the august throne of Bragança ; the re-established monarchy." On February 22d Dom Miguel arrived in Lisbon, and Dona Maria, the regent, formally handed over her powers to him. Meanwhile complaints were made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs that democracy had gained too much power in Portugal. The regent commenced at once to resist and oppose all revolutionary principles ; dissolved the Chamber of Deputies on the ground that many of its members had made the famous protest against any alteration of the Constitution of 1822 ; called around himself a party ready to proclaim him absolute King, and secured a convocation of the " ancient Cortes of the kingdom " in place of the Chambers of Parliament. England was disturbed ; Lord Dudley, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, expressed to Palmella the belief that Dom Miguel entertained the firm intention of setting aside the Charter. Portuguese funds began to fall ; the Duke of Wellington feared serious consequences from the recent proceedings. Dom Pedro became alarmed; a protest to the Portuguese nation was issued in his name and that of his daughter, Queen Dona Maria, against the unjust and shameful usurpation of the sovereign's rights. A reign of persecution now commenced throughout Portugal. The Cortes signed their adhesion to the usurper. The insincerity of Dom Miguel became more and more manifest. His ministers established a reign of terror. Ten liberals were hanged on one scaffold at Oporto on April 9, 1829 ; thirteen others of the same party were sent to the coast of Africa, and a long list of colonels, captains, and judges were exiled or put to death. Noblemen and officers were bound with cords, dragged through the streets of Oporto, and strangled on a lofty scaffold so that their punishments might be witnessed by the people ; their heads were cut off, their bodies burned, and the ashes thrown into the sea. A formal attempt to secure from the English government a recognition of Dona Maria was met by the declaration of Lord Palmerston that this would be impossible under the circumstances of Dom Miguel's possession of the kingdom. The entry of the Queen's forces into Oporto alone relieved that city ; the prisons were opened ; the hangman was put to death by the mob. The strife was transferred to Lisbon, where the struggle was fierce and bloody. Innumerable were the atrocities committed by the partisans of absolutism in many parts of the kingdom during these years. In Estremoz alone, on the 27th of July, 1832, thirty-three political prisoners were barbarously assassinated in the prisons by a frantic populace incited by the authorities and assisted by the military force which was itself appointed to guard the safety of their prisoners. Lisbon was besieged, and the destruction of life and property was enormous. The forces of Dom Miguel were at last dislodged, Sir Charles Napier annihilated his fleet, and he was obliged to resign all claims to the Crown. On September 22, 1832, Dona Maria arrived in the Tagus and at once took possession of her throne. But war and slaughter still went on. Factions divided the people ; and not until June, 1834, did Dom Miguel embark at Sines, the birthplace of Vasco de Gama, for Genoa and for that exile from Portugal which ultimately brought peace and an opportunity for improvement to that unhappy kingdom.
The day, however, broke slowly. The assault on Leiria for its rescue, the battle at Pernes, and the rout of the Miguelites were advancing steps in the onward march of the supporters of the Queen; but it seemed as if intrigues more disastrous than battle would never end. It is said that a portion of the clergy, supporters of Dom Miguel, sought every means of injuring the cause of the Queen. The campaign of 1834 was most active and, as I have stated, most successful. The political complications were most interesting and important. The people were still dissatisfied. The government was not popular. On more than one occasion the Queen was insulted, and when on August 15, 1834, the Chambers assembled, Dom Pedro reviewed the history of affairs from 1826 and asked for a decision of the question whether he should or should not act as regent during the minority of his daughter. There was a multitude of councillors—not, however, of that kind which secures safety. In the confusion Dom Pedro withdrew from the regency ; the majority of Dona Maria II. was proclaimed by the Cortes, and she assumed the reins of power and the duties of the wife of Charles Eugène Napoleon, Duke de Leuchtenberg, at the same time. The reign continued, but the death of the Duke broke up the family. Still Dom Miguel threatened from his retirement. Disturbances broke out in the colonies. The finances were in disorder. Party hate led to frequent assassinations. The national guard was disorganized. Dishonest subordinates had to be dismissed. The ministry was frequently dissolved. And a new era was inaugurated on January 1, 1836, by the marriage of the Queen with Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, who was made Marshal-General of the kingdom. Questions still arose with regard to the ministerial power. The struggle continued between the supporters of the Constitution of 1822 and the Charter of 1826 —the former being counted against the monarchical power and the latter in its favor. The Constitution was based on what were called " the rights of man " ; the Charter of 1826 was prepared on the plan and principles of the British Constitution. The Constitution nullified the sovereign's right of veto—the Charter made the right of veto absolute. The Constitution conferred all the prerogatives of royalty on the Council —the Charter provided for life members of the Council named by the Crown. And now peace being restored, the Cortes met for the purpose of forming a new constitution—the new Constitution of 1838, which provided for a Senate and a House of Deputies, the principles of the Charter still remaining so far as the Executive was concerned. This Constitution met the usual fate, and in 1845 it was set aside and the Charter of 1826 was restored. The acts of the Assembly organizing a magistracy, regulating the taxes and the department of health created a fresh disturbance, and the formation of a new ministry resulted in riots and martial law in the streets of Lisbon. Again securities fell, and the prospect was gloomy. Now and then a faint shout was heard for Dom Miguel. In the midst of the confusion, on the 15th of November, 1853, the Queen Dona Maria II. died suddenly, leaving the King Consort regent during the minority of his eldest son, Dom Pedro V., born on September 16, 1837.
The story of the death of this young King and his charming Queen, Estaphania is familiar to all readers of history, and his graceful example, his unpretending desire for good government, his domestic fidelity, form a picture between the disturbed condition of Portugal, to which I have hastily called attention, and the present, which gives additional charm to the comparative peace and prosperity which have followed. The accession of Dom Luis to the throne was attended by a most characteristic Portuguese tragedy. Without warning the royal family had been swept away by an unaccountable disease, brother after brother had succumbed, the Palace of Necessidades had been turned into a tomb, and the heir to the throne had been preserved by the accident of absence from Lisbon in the naval service of his country. Dom Luis on coming to the throne left behind him the strange story I have related. At the close of his reign he received the American Minister in Cintra, where he gave him an audience, in the Royal Palace there, broken in health and soon to pass away. During his reign he had perfected many of those measures of reform which are bringing Portugal into the front rank of nations as a constitutional monarchy. The well-defined power of the King is everywhere recognized. The people are determined for the rights of their country. The cause of education is encouraged.
The dignity of the government is preserved. And Dom Carlos I. has only to manifest a deep interest in the welfare of his people to secure all that loyalty and devotion which are their peculiar characteristics. That the generally diffused prosperity of Portugal is on the increase there is strong belief. The energy which for so many centuries placed her in the foremost rank of nations, and which enabled her to assert and defend constitutional right against the intrigues of the most adroit and powerful legitimists in Europe, will undoubtedly develop her resources and confirm and strengthen her power.
April 20th.—It is more than half a century since the political events I so hastily reviewed to Chester occurred, and during all that period Portugal has been steadily and gradually settling into a normal condition. The storm did not retire at once—but flashes were occasionally seen in the horizon, and a far-off subdued roar of thunder was heard as the clouds passed away. From his retirement Dom Miguel took occasional observations, and now and then an uprising in his behalf was threatened. The marriage of the Queen, however, in 1836, to Dom Fernando, introduced an element of strength into the country and secured most valuable alliances, the effect of which continues to this day. The charter of 1826 was restored in 1845. And on the death of the Queen, which occurred in November, 1851, Dom Fernando became regent, in which position he continued until 1855, when his son, Dom Pedro V., be-came of age and assumed the reins of government—a young King of most engaging manners, great sincerity, unusual wisdom, who, with his young Queen, Estaphania, died after a short reign, as I have said, in 1851. Dom Luis, his successor, has but recently passed away.
This hasty and imperfect sketch of the last great political struggle in Portugal I gave Chester as an illustration of the trials which surround a people whose history and traditions are not in accord with the object for which they strive. Portugal was not passing from monarchy to republicanism, as many of her people hoped, but from one form of monarchy to another. It cannot be said that popular government had any interest whatever in the strife. The extreme absolutism of Europe encouraged in her a reactionary movement, not on account of immediate alarm, but out of a fear that perhaps a growing desire for self-government in Brazil, with which her relations were most intimate, might gather strength enough to revolutionize her own institutions. England had assisted Portugal in defeating the armies of Napoleon, but England had no desire to see imperialism overthrown in the rescued country. Austria was alert for monarchical power in all Europe. And so the struggle went on. The power of the monarchy was confirmed. The most easily fitting constitution was secured. The alliance of Portugal with the great monarchical powers of Europe was strengthened. And she sailed over the stormiest sea to float at last into a harbor where she finds opportunity for all those faculties which her varying fortunes and her trials have developed.
" Portugal has a peculiar charm for me," said Chester, " that charm which always goes with a veil. I have tried to read Southey's unfinished history, and Beck-ford's rhapsodies, and Miss Pardoe's sketches, and Murray's old quarto, and have read Portugal old and new, but I always wanted a friendly introduction, You know the old mysterious kingdom, which when Napoleon had succeeded in ruling and closing every port from Trieste to St. Petersburg on the European continental coast, stood out against him, patted on the back by England, and exchanging nods with the defiant young republic of the Stars and Stripes. I like the picture. "
" You are affectionate," said I, " now, when you say anything about Portugal tell about the busy Portuguese in America, what industrious citizens they are. Tell about the charming little gardens of Lisbon. Tell about the great camellia trees in Cintra, beneath which at this season the ground is thickly strewn with the fallen flowers, and tell Blackmore that he is mistaken when he says in ` Kit and Kitty' that ` if you send for camellias to Portugal you see a great clumsy stickout at the, heel of the graft and the bark grinning open all along,' but that for camellias and roses and geraniums, Cintra can match the world. Tell about the good things in Portugal, as you do about those in England and France and Italy, and advise your friends to come and see."
" The rest you know well," said I to Chester, who seemed desirous of prolonging the description. For the provisions of the present Constitution, to which he was willing at last to turn, I referred him to a letter I wrote some months ago to my excellent American correspondent, to whom I have also given account of the royal funerals, coronation, and christening, and the political movements which have occurred since Dom Carlos ascended the throne. In the excitement attending the occupation by England of territory in East Africa claimed and occupied by Portugal on the ground of original discovery, the government here has conducted itself in a firm and dignified manner, protesting against the crown of Great Britain and counselling moderation among the exasperated people. Quietly one ministry has retired and another has been called together by the King. A Cortes has been dissolved and a new one elected without opposition, beyond a successful coalition of progressists, republicans, and Africans in Lisbon. Energetic steps have been taken by the Government for an increase of the army and navy. A disposition has been manifested to enlarge the commercial relations of the kingdom, which have been somewhat confined to a single channel. At the opening of the Cortes, on the 19th of April, the King delivered an address marked by sound judgment, a spirit of conciliation, and an earnest desire for the prosperity and honor of the country. Of the mode of conducting business in the Cortes I can say but little. The only important assembling of this body that I have seen was that convened to hear from Senhor Barros Gomes his account of the difficulty between Portugal and the English Government, and I was struck with the courtesy and good order of the audience. And now, Chester, what more have you to say about Lisbon ? "
" O, Lisbon has been entertaining, said he. " The populace are orderly and respectful. They take off their hats when they meet and part, and they shake hands frequently. They are well dressed and ride on most excellent saddle-horses with a firm and graceful seat. The streets are remarkably free from drunkards and brawlers. A pet lamb is the favorite attendant of the common people. The teamsters drive fine, well-trained oxen, always on the off side. Newspapers abound and are universally read. The problem of the hack-drivers I have been unable to solve ; there is no price fixed except an exorbitant one, and the threats of the police are without effect. The most picturesque person I have seen was a galego girl with a red turban on her head, a red sash around her waist, enormous golden rings in her ears, a short striped shirt, a blue and crimson waist, and feet and ankles of the natural color. She was riding on the front seat of a horse-car. She was one of the fish women at leisure, one of the Varunas, as they are called, and one of a class of curious, industrious, interesting people, engaged in fishing and selling their fares on the streets. The husbands, brothers, and fathers live on the sea like the Swampscot fishermen and reap the same ample reward for their labor. The female side of the family do the traffic—little girls of eight or ten years old and women of fifty and over. Their street-cry is most piercing. The bawling of the mule-drivers and teamsters is feeble when compared with that startling strain with which the women and girls cry " Peixes," as they march steadily and rapidly through the streets ; and woe be to him who insults or chaffs one of these strong . and sturdy females, who can walk all day with untiring vigor, and strike a blow in self-defence which would astonish John L. Sullivan, of Boston.
" These people and the sellers of lottery-tickets make up the most lively and demonstrative part of street-trade in Lisbon. The lottery is an established institution now, and it has always been, in spite of obstacles. The Portuguese will take the chance when they can get it. When in 1833 the lottery was abolished, good people rejoiced, but the masses objected so strongly that for the benefit of the great charity of the Misericordia it was restored, and now the charity and the government which taxes it get the reward—charity getting 12 per cent. of the amount drawn, and the state getting 15 per cent., the latter amounting to 154,000 francs annually.
" The nobility are numerous in Portugal in proportion to the population. Their power, which was broken by Pombal, was, after his death, restored by a liberal supply of newly elevated persons of wealth or accomplishments or favoritism, who devoted themselves to the patronage of the government. In this industry they were quite successful. Among all classes, how-ever, admirable characteristics are found which really indicate the nature of the people. They have great courage, self-possession, patience, cheerfulness, and affection. They are seldom in a hurry, and society moves on with great tranquillity. They are polite and obliging, strong in their loves and in their hates ; and find in their families and in the social atmosphere of Lisbon, where few strangers gather, all the society they need. At the theatre and the opera the audience is quiet and undemonstrative, though easily roused. Holidays abound and are strictly observed. The private equipages are good, and together with all other carriages, are driven with great speed. I have never seen a horse stumble even on the most precipitous hills. I have never seen such furious driving, up hill and down, and I think I have never seen so many' unsound horses at work in the streets And now, what city would you advise me to visit next ? '
" If you have never seen Seville," said I, " go there.
There is no town like it. Oriental, bright, commercial, with a beautiful river, with poetic traditions, with the noblest and mournfullest cathedral in the world, with a picturesque hotel, with delicious art, with vivacity and energy, with fine avenues, beautiful gardens, a charming surrounding country, and a most romantic history, —go to Seville and then return to America."
The next day Chester departed on a new exploration, and in search of a new interview. Whither he went I know not, but I do know that he carried with him a keen interest in the ancient little kingdom, and a sincere desire that her " days may be long in the land."