27 abril 2014

Portugal e portugueses (e revoluções) em 1809

THE study of modern history has been, during a long course of years, greatly neglected in the generality of public schools; but it now begins to be regarded (as indeed it ought always to have been) as an object of the greatest importance. In England, particularly, it constitutes one of the principal branches of both public and private education.

The abbé de Vertot’s History of the Revolutions of Portugal has been always esteemed equally entertaining and instructive; and as such more especially calculated for the use of young people. The late events in that country has made it doubly interesting, and nothing now seems wanting to complete so excellent a performance, but to continue the narrative to the present period. (...)

The recent departure of the family of Braganza from Lisbon, and their arrival in Brazil, has called for the attention, and interested the minds of every one. We have therefore been tempted to give a slight sketch of a country which is now become an object of no small curiosity: to which we have added, for the satisfaction of those readers who may be desirous of a more minute description, a list of the principal authors who have made this beautiful, though remote part of the new world, the particular object of their attention. (...)

THE kingdom of Portugal makes part of the great extent of country called Spain; most of its provinces bear the names of the different kingdoms into which it is divided: that of Portugal lies to the West of Castille, and on the most western coast of Europe; it is only a hundred and ten leagues in length, and its greatest breadth does not exceed fifty. The soil is fertile, the air wholesome, and the heat of the climate is tempered by refreshing breezes and fruitful showers. The crown is hereditary, and the monarch absolute. The formidable tribunal of the Inquisition is regarded by this prince as the safest and most useful means of forwarding his political views, and as such, employed by him with the greatest success. The Portugueze are naturally fiery, proud, and arrogant, greatly attached to their religion, though more superstitious than truly devout; they regard almost every event as a prodigy, and not only persuade themselves, but endeavour to persuade others, that they are the peculiar favourites of Providence, which never fails to protect them in the most extraordinary manner.

Deste The History of the Revolutions of Portugal

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