« ZurückWeiter »
horrid carnage followed. Those who The fleet was now ordered to be in were not killed by the fire, were instant readiness, and the King emcharged with the bayonet. As resist- barked on the 24th of May, with ance was impossible, and the doors many of the nobles and moneyed were blocked up, there was a gene- men. They were wearied of the perral attempt to escape by the win- petual fluctuations of their revoludows. The firing was mercilessly tionary fellow-subjects; still more and wickedly continued while this fearful of the insecurity of property, desperate attempt was made, for few which is involved in all experiments could even thus escape, as the win- on constitutions ; and probably still dows were high; and some who leap- more reluctant to exchange the old ed down were mutilated or killed by quiet government of their peaceable the fall, and some who reached the King, for the irregular activity of bis ground comparatively unhurt, were
Dom Pedro was left be. so much under the impression of be- hind as Prince Regent, with a couning still pursued, that they ran into cil of three ministers, and, in case of the sea and were drowned. When all his death, succession in the Regency were either driven out or dead, the to the Princess Leopoldina. There murderers proceeded at their ease was now no farther question of the to plunder the corpses. They carried money carried on board, though it off their watches, money, and every was accounted at fifty millions of thing else worth carrying, then strip- crusadoes, (the crusado is about halfped the room of its plate and rich a-crown,) a formidable deduction ornaments, and having done their from the circulating coin of the new work completely, they left the spot. state. The massacre had settled all. Thus closed the session of an as- To whom the ultimate guilt of this sembly lawfully constituted, called spurious exhibition of power was to together by the King's authority, and be attributed, has never been ascerconvened by the Ouvidor, or High tained; it was charged on the mere Sheriff. As the details of this most spontaneous wickedness of a pamatrocious affair transpired, they pro- pered soldiery, glad to take the opduced additional horror. Individuals portunity of safe robbery and murwere slain who had no share in the der. The popular feeling denounced deliberations of the assembly, be the Conde de Arios, the late Goverthose wise or foolish. One was a nor of Pernambuco. Others charged clerk in an English mercantile house. the Prince Regent. But no satisfacHe bappened to be near the door, tory evidence was offered, and all and standing up on hearing the bus- that can be now said of it is, that it tle, saw the muzzle of a musket precipitated the King's departure. pushed close to his breast. In the Yet though the popular voice was next moment the musket was dis- frightened into silence, the national charged through his heart. Another disgust and abhorrence bave never was a young man, who, tired with subsided. The hall was never en. the length of the sitting, had fallen tered afterwards by the merchants, asleep. As he was stretched upon for whom it had been built, by one of the benches, he was fearfully whom voluntarily furnished, and with awoke by the thrust of a bayonet, whom this new Exchange had been which was driven through his back a most favourite resort. The smell into the bench on which he lay, and of murder and treachery was in it, which pinned the unfortunate man and they could not be prevailed upon to it. About thirty persons of a cer- to enter its polluted walls. For some tain respectability were found dying time it bad remained in the same or dead within the hall; others dis- condition as on the night of the masappeared and were heard of no more, sacre, the walls and floors marked probably being drowned; and many with bullets and blood. At length, to olbers were hurt in various ways. remove the palpable evidence of a
The massacre had its intended ef. fact which was equally a disgrace to fect. It completely frightened the the government, and an insult to the people. There was now no further people, the hall was repaired and put debating on the royal departure; that into the same order as on its openpoint, at least, was fully secured. ing. Still the merchants would not enter it ; and after being left in this be subject to the caprice, and abanstate of contemptuous desertion and doned to the will of their masters; disgust for some years, it was finally and not a coequal kingdom as they converted into a store-house for lum- were, more powerful, and possessing ber. The building was suffered to go more resources, than Portugal herto decay, and the vaults and offices self. Impolitic—because it was prewere tenanted bybeggars and negroes. cisely at the moment when their
The departure of the King was the union was likely to be most advansignal for a total change of measures. tageous to the mother country, that The popular outery which had been she chose to fill them with disgust, sosummarily extinguished, was again and to render in the eyes of the as summarily raised, and a demand world their separation a matter of was made of total independence. both justice and necessity.” This The Cortes of the mother country strong language was echoed by all felt this demand as an act of rebel. voices. A still more direct denial of lion, and orders were haughtily is- the authority of the Cortes was sued to break up the government, couched in the address of one of the put the country into the hands of a Andrada family, men distinguished provisional government more ame- for their abilities, and their succesnable to the will of Portugal, and, as sive high employments under the an essential measure, to send the crown." How dare those Deputies Prince Regent, without delay, to of Portugal,” says this bold manifesEurope, “ to travel for his improve- to,“ without waiting for the concurment," the well understood phrase rence of the Deputies of Brazil, lefor royal disgrace and exile. gislate on a matter, involving the
The Prince's situation bad now most sacred interests of the entire become one of delicacy. Open re. kingdom? How dare they deprive sistance to the decree must have been Brazil of her Privy Council, her Court followed by his denouncement as a of Conscience, her Board of Comrevolter. Acquiescence must have merce, her Court of Requests, and so closed his career as the sovereign of many other institutions, just estaa great empire. But he was soon blished among us, and which proextricated from the dilemma. The mised us such future benefits? Where frigate was scarcely ordered to be now must the people apply for jusready for sea, and the Prince had tice in their civil and judicial conscarcely announced his “dutiful sub- cerns ? Must they once more, after mission to the will of his illustrious enjoying for twelve years the advanfather," when an uproar arose from tages of speedy justice, seek it in a one end of the Brazils to the other. foreign land, across two thousand Newspapers, now for the first time leagues of ocean, among the procrascalled into activity, popular meet- tinations and corruptions of Lisbon ings, provincial riots, the general tribunals, where the oppressed suitor convulsion of men and things, com- is abandoned by hope and life ?” But manded the refusal of the ordinance the more pungent part of the address of the Cortes, the creation of a so- was an appeal to the Prince, to know vereignty, and the stay of the Prince whether he would allow himself" to in the country. The newspapers led be led about like a schoolboy, sur
The Déspertador Bra- rounded by masters and spies.” The zilieuse (Brazilian Awakener) was Camera presented an address exfilled with eloquent diatribes on the pressed in the same terms, which was subject. It pronounced the measures readily answered, “ that since the of the Cortes, “illegal, impious, and Prince's remaining seemed to be the impolitic. Illegal—because decreed general wish and for the general good, without the co-operation of the Bra- he would remain.” The declaration zilian representatives, and conse- was received with great popular triquently without any manifestation umph. The usual exhibition of an of the national will. Impious--as opera commemorated the day, the shewing the contemptuous indiffer- Prince and Princess appeared in their ence with which the Cortes disposed box, to receive the homage of the of their existence, as if they were a audience; and the national hym, band of miserable slaves, erected to written and composed by the Prince
himself, was sung with extravagant hand, declaring that if it were necesapplause.
sary, he would fire the first gun. But this determination was in im. Within the stated time, the Portumediate hazard of being roughly guese were all embarked, and sailing changed. The Portuguese battalions, out of the harbour. In the entire of which felt themselves still strangers those anxious transactions, Dom in the land, murmured loudly against Pedro had continued to raise his eswhat they termed rebellion to the timation among the people. No exauthority of their country, and threat- cellence in a King will compensate ened to seize the Prince's person, for the want of energy. The public and carry him on board. They assem- instinctively connect decision with bled round the theatre for the pur. power; and the monarch who exhipose of their seizure, but the Prince bits himself fluctuating, or fearful, escaped. They next took post up- unequal to casualties, or apprehenon a hill, with their guns pointed sive of results, instantly falls from down on the city. A civil war his high estate in the general mind. was all but begun. Yet the disci. By the mere fact of his being a mopline of the Portuguese was baffled narch, he is prohibited from the irreby the rude zeal of the people. The solution which might be pardonable popular force continued to pour in in an inferior grade; he is placed on during the entire night,-arms and the throne, for the express purpose ammunition were brought from con- of command. Dom John, with all the siderable distances on mules and qualities of a paternal sovereign, had horses, and by daybreak the Portu- rapidly forfeited the public respect guese battalions were astonished to by his indolence, timidity, and indefind themselves besieged by five cision. Dom Pedro threw a veil thousand suddenly armed soldiers, over all his unpopular qualities, or hourly increased by the population rather eclipsed them, by the new from the neighbouring districts. The lustre of his one great quality for a battalions soon made another and not troubled throne-decision. During less formidable discovery, that in the struggle with the turbulent their preparations for war, they had troops he was every where, he ha"forgot the essential of provisions, zarded his ease, his throne, and his and that if they remained but a little life, hourly; and by his conduct in longer in their position, they must this trying time, he shewed the peo. be starved. They had now no re- ple that he possessed all the title to source but to surrender, which they their obedience that could be deserdid, with the Prince's stipulation ved by personal intrepidity. that they should be sent to Europe. But when he had thus gained the But the transports not being ready, steps of Empire, he was soon com. the troops were suffered to encamp pelled to learn, that even the most on the opposite side of the bay, un- successful ambition has its penalties. til preparation was made for them The new spirit of independence to put to sea. But yet when the which had lifted him to supreme time arrived, the troops again refu- power, suddenly began to spread sed to move. Dom Pedro now acted through the provinces, and Maran. with the necessary promptitude. He hao, the Minas Geraes, and several ordered a division of Brazilians into other of the chief divisions of this their rear, to prevent their march on enormous empire, each equal to an the city, and at the same time moor- European kingdom, began to claim ed two frigates in their front. Going the right of separate legislation. on board one of them, he declared to The policy of the Portuguese Cortes the commander of the Portuguese, promoted those divisions, with the that he gave him but till the next idea of keeping the revolted governday to make up his mind on the sub- ment in check. The standard of inject; and that if he was not ready to dependence was actually hoisted in embark at that time, he would order the great province of Minas Geraes, a general assault by sea and land. and a provisional government apSuiting the action to the word, he pointed. As this was the province displayed himself on the quarter of the principal gold mines, and one deck, with a lighted match in his of the most powerful, populous, and intelligent of the empire, Dom Pedro and that was enough for the Braziresolved on striking at rebellion lians. On that day, a deputation there, without delay. Leaving the of the Camera waited on him with government of Rio de Janeiro to his the proposal of the title of “ Confriend, Andrada, and ordering troops stitutional Prince Regent, and Perto march on all sides in the direc- petual Defender of Brazil.” The tion of Villa Rica, the capital of the next invitation was, to call a geneinsurgent province, he took the ral council to deliberate on the afmanly resolution of setting out in fairs of the kingdom. This was equiperson, and actually preceding the valent to a declaration of independtroops to the centre of insurrection. ence; and the actual declaration was The daring nature of this action was soon to follow. the source of its success. The in- The Portuguese Cortes, like all surgent army had marched out to the modern makers of European fight the troops whom they expected constitutions, were Jacobins, and, to meet on the road to their capital of course, at once blunderers, imThey met only the Prince, and whe- postors, and tyrants. With the Jather astonished, or corrupted, or cobin, in all countries, personal cucaptivated, they received this soli- pidity is the sole impulse, and the tary opponent with shouts, put them- extinction of every man and thing selves under his command, and above himself the sole object of his marched back to Villa Rica. Insur- success. Generally flung out of the rection bid its head at his approach, natural and honest ways of acquiring or rather was turned into sudden character, he is poor and characterloyalty, for the independents joined less; and he knows, or will adopt no the deputation which came forth to better way of balancing his ill luck, welcome the sovereign. Dom Pedro than by sinking every honester and had the good sense to be satisfied better man to his own level. Uniwith the submission, declared him- versally a personal profligate, heartself, so far from hostile to indepen- less in his private intercourse with dence, that he was its warmest advo- society, without allegiance to God, cate, congratulated them on having, or fidelity to man, he becomes an like himself, burst asunder all fetters, advocate for every extravagant claim and gave a huzza for the constitu- of popular passion; is a clamourer tion, religion, honest men, and the for the independence of all religions, men of the Minas. No punishment in all their forms, which all, in all was inflicted, except the politic sus- their forms, he equally despises; depension of a few of the leaders from votes himself to the cause of license public employment. He then turn- in every land, under the insulted ed his horse's head, galloped back to name of liberty; and with every eleRio; on his arrival went instantly to ment of scorn for all human rights, the Opera, announced there to the interests, and feelings, utterly con. shouting multitude the submission of temptuous of human nature, and the province, and thus showily closed looking on the people but as a toola campaign of thirty days, during fraudulent in all his dealings, and which he had accomplished a jour- false in all his protestations, he proney of a thousand miles, through claims himself ihe champion of poforest, mountain, furious river, and pular rights throughout all nations. trackless wilderness, continually in The Portuguese Cortes acted in peril, and accomplished the still the full spirit of this character. The more hazardous object of appeasing slightest claim to equality of priviand reconciling a remarkably daring, leges was scofied at. The Brazilians turbulent, and headstrong portion of were pronounced rebels, troops were his people.
sent to coerce them; and while the His popularity was now unbound- rabble of Portugal were giving law ed, and it was dexterously made a to the throne, the halls of the Cortes ground for a new advance in power resounded with the bitterest taunts The 13th of May, the anniversary of of the members against the fair his father's birth, was singularly claims of Brazil, seconded or dicchosen to consummate the usurpa. tated by the most furious clamours tion of the son; but it was a holiday, of the mob, which were suffered to crowd their avenues and galleries. at Bahia now became the points of The few Brazilian deputies vainly public attention. Dom Pedro disattempted to reason; they were put played his habitual activity on this ocdown by uproar. The Brazils, a ter. casion, collected troops, engineers, ritory as large as Europe, and hourly and ammunition from all quarters, and rising in wealth, population, and ge- made a still more important accesneral acquirement-anempire,whose sion in the person of Lord Cochrane, smallest province was larger than whom he put at the head of the the whole of Portugal-were treated Imperial fleet, and instantly disas the toy, the slave, or the victim of patched to Rio. The enemy's feet the rabble legislation of Lisbon; and was strong, amounting to thirteen orders were sent out commanding ships, with 398 guns, while the the Prince's return to Europe within Brazilian amounted only to seven, four months; and denouncing all the with 250 guns. But their commanmilitary who continued to obey him, der's name was a tower of strength; as traitors to Portugal. But this act of he found the Portuguese hauled out violence was equally an act of folly. in order of battle, and instantly atThe blow was too late. The Prince, tacked them. But his ships were on receiving the dispatches, virtually worked by inexperienced Brazilians, consigning him to a dungeon, de- and by Portuguese, who could not be cided at once on resistance. After relied on. He yet forced the Portucontemplating them seriously for a guese line, but he found bimself so time, he drew the natural conclusion, il seconded, that after some firing that on his decision turned the ques. he was forced to retire. On returntion of personal sovereignty or chains. ing the next day to the attack, he He exclaimed, “ Independence or found that the enemy had been frightDeath!” The exclamation was caughtened under the guns of their shore like a Roman omen—was repeated batteries; he therefore blockaded on all sides; and from that moment them, and urged the blockade with the Brazils were free. The town of such vigilance, that the garrison Piranga, where this event occurred, were speedily on the verge of famine. is still commemorated as the cradle But a blockade was not sufficientemof Brazilian independence.
ployment for the stirring spirit of this The next and natural step was the officer. He determined to enter the formation of a legislature. By the harbour, and surprise the fleet. The advice of the Council, a general as- English commodore in the Bay, well sembly of Deputies from all the acquainted with the style of the provinces was called, to assume the gallant blockader, advised the Porfunctions of a Parliament. And the tuguese Admiral to take some prefirst act of the nation, thus establish cautions against a night attack. But ed in its independence, was to shew the Portuguese thought himself safe, its gratitude by proclaiming Dom and, like a true son of the south, left Pedro its sovereign. On the 22d of the rest to fortune. He was dining October, he was publicly shewn to on shore with the General, when a the soldiery and the people, in the fire from the bay at ten at night told Campo de Santa Anna, as“ Consti- him that the Englishman was not tutional Emperor, with the unani- mistaken; Lord Cochrane had atmous acclamation of the people.” tacked the feet at anchor. Under The tinge of republicanism thrown cover of the night, he had hove his over this high acknowledgment, was ship into the midst of the fleet, and destined to colour the whole future was already alongside of the Admi. history of this brief sovereignty; but, ral’s vessel. The wind had brought for the time, all was contidence, him thus far, and in a few minutes triumph, and perhaps sincerity; and more his boarders would have been whether with the tacit object of upon the deck of the Portuguese. marking the popular influence on But by one of the changes common the occasion, or in the mere captiva- in that climate, the breeze died tion of a sounding title, the Saint lost away at the moment, and the assailher rights, and the Square was ant found himself powerless in the thenceforth named the Campo d'Ac- midst of the enemy's fleet, and, what clamacáo.
was of much more importance, under The Portuguese garrison and feet the guns of their batteries. There