The Revolutions of Portugal (Illustrated)

The Revolutions of Portugal (Illustrated)

by Abbot de Vertot

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Overview

Amongst the Historians of the present Age, none has more justly deserv'd, neither has any acquir'd a greater Reputation than the Abbot de Vertot; not only by this Piece, but also by the Revolutions of Sweden and of Rome, which he has since publish'd.
This small History he has extracted from the[A] Writings of several French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Authors, as well as from the Testimony of [Pg xii] many Persons, who were in Lisbon at the time of the Revolution. And I believe that it will be no difficult matter to persuade the Reader, that this little Volume is written with much more Politeness and Fidelity than any which has been publish'd on this Subject.
And indeed there could be no Man fitter to undertake the Work than Monsieur de Vertot; not only as he was Master of an excellent Style, and had all the Opportunities imaginable of informing himself of the Truth, but also as he could have no Interest in speaking partially of either the one or the other Party; and therefore might say much more justly than Salust, de Conjuratione, Quam verissime potero, paucis absolvam; eoque magis, quod mihi a Spe, Metu, Partibus Reipublicæ Animus liber est.
[Pg xiii]
Would I undertake to prove the Impartiality of my Author, I could easily do it from several little Circumstances of his History. Does he not tell us, that the Inquisition is oftner a Terror to honest Men than to Rogues? Does he not paint the Archbishop of Braga in all the Colours of a Traitor? And I am fully persuaded, that if a Churchman will own and discover the Frailties, or rather the Enormities of those of his own Cloth, he will tell them in any thing else, and is worthy of being believed.
There are several Passages in the following Sheets, which really deserve our Attention; we shall see a Nation involv'd in Woe and Ruin, and all their Miseries proceeding from the Bigotry and Superstition of their Monarch, whose Zeal hurries him to inevitable Destruction, and whose Piety [Pg xiv] makes him sacrifice the Lives of 13000 Christians, without so much as having the Satisfaction of converting one obstinate Infidel.
Such was the Fate of the rash Don Sebastian, who seem'd born to be the Blessing of his People, and Terror of his Foes; who would have made a just, a wise, a truly pious Monarch, had not his Education been entrusted to a Jesuit. Nor is he the only unfortunate Prince, who, govern'd by intriguing and insinuating Churchmen, have prov'd the Ruin of their Kingdom, and in the end lost both their Crown and Life.
We shall see a People, who, no longer able to bear a heavy Yoke, resolve to shake it off, and venture their Lives and their Fortunes for their Liberty: A Conspiracy prevail, (if an Intent to revolt from an Usurping Tyrant may be call'd a Conspiracy) in which so many [Pg xv] Persons, whose Age, Quality and Interest were very different, are engag'd; and by the Courage and Publick Spirit of a few, a happy and glorious Revolution brought about.
But scarce is the new King settled upon his Throne, and endeavouring to confirm his Authority abroad, when a horrid Conspiracy is forming against him at home; we shall see a Prelate at the head of the Traitors, who, tho a bigotted Churchman, makes no scruple of borrowing the Assistance of the most profess'd Enemies of the Church to deliver her out of Danger, and to assassinate his Lawful King: but the whole Plot is happily discover'd, and those who were engaged in it meet with the just Reward of Treason and Rebellion, the Block and Gallows. Nor is it the first time that our own Nation has seen an Archbishop doing King and Country all the harm he could.
After the Death of her Husband, we see a Queen of an extraordinary [Pg xvi] Genius, and uncommon Courage, taking the Regency upon her; and tho at first oppress'd with a Load of Misfortunes, rises against them all, and in the end triumphs over her Enemies.
Under the next Reign we see the Kingdom almost invaded by the antient Usurper, and sav'd only by the Skill of a Wife and Brave General, who had much ado to keep the Foes out, whilst the People were divided at home, and loudly complain'd of the Riots and Debaucheries of their Monarch, and the Tyrannick Conduct of his Minister. But we find how impossible a thing it is, that so violent a Government should last long; his Brother, a Prince whose Virtues were as famous, as the other's Vices were odious, to preserve the Crown in their Family, is forced to depose him, and take the Government upon himself: Ita Imperium semper ad optumum quemq; ab minus bono transfertur.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149076079
Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 896 KB

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