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When the party under the Colonel's command approached Penafiel, they saw the peasantry, ready every where to give them a hostile reception, and several musket-shots were fired at them from the houses, but from what quarter they came could in no instance be ascertained. They advanced, however, beyond Penafiel, nearly a league, to the town of Valize, outside which they saw a formidable line of two thousand men drawn up, which threatened their rear, so that the Colonel was induced to shew the heads of the three little columns which he commanded. A conflict ensued, but of short duration, and, within half an hour of the onset, he had the satisfaction of hearing the constitutional hymn played by the band of volunteers. The enemy at last retreated, being driven back from their position by these volunteers. Amongst the losses on the Miguelite side, Col. Hodges enumerates no less than seven friars ; they had muskets in their hands, were armed likewise with stilettos, and were heavily laden with ammunition. Besides friars and Guerillas, there were female coadjutors in the ranks of the foe. Many women had been visible among them, sharing the hazards of the field. They proved themselves of material service in carrying off their wounded, and, in many instances, their dead also.
A convent, in front of the town which lay before them having been set fire to by the Pedroites, it was burned to ashes, and another convent, called the convent of Bostello upon being taken by the British batallion, with a loss of only three men, was immediately sacked and plundered by them. The Colonel used all the means in his power to stop the mischief; but he was much too late to make any efficient interference. The men found abundant provisions within its walls. The wine cellar is reported to have been well stocked with the choicest juice of France, Spain, and Portugal-champagne, burgundy, claret, and other varieties--to say nothing of omnigenous liquors, as old Hollands, Scotch and Irish whiskey, &c., as well as bottled ale and porter. The Colonel was fortunate enough to enter at the moment they were breaking into this repository of fluid treasures, and to stop the intended process of abstraction, by placing a strong guard there. If the wine-cellar was thus amply stored, an equal plenitude reigned in the larder, the farm-yard, and the garden; so that there was an assemblage of all that was bon pour la physique, of every thing that could make glad the heart of man," and satisfy his consuming desires.
In the town, into which the troops thus succeeded in gaining admittance, they found scarcely any of the inhabitants, and no one there once opened its doors to them. The British batallion having thus triumphantly accomplished the object of their excursion, returned to Oporto, and were received with the greatest joy. Count de Villa Flor and his staff came out to meet them, and in the dispatch which that officer sent to the Emperor on the occasion is a high eulogium on Colonel Hodges; but a somewhat
strange and unexpected demeanour on this occasion is attributed to the Emperor, as if his majesty totally dissented from the generous eulogium of Count de Villa Flor, for, when the Colonel attended the levee of the Emperor, on the following evening, he did not utter a single complimentary expression, nor, indeed, make the least allusion to the Penafiel affair. When Col. Hodges asked his Majesty how he liked the pair of horses which he had been the medium of conveying to him, he replied, “ Very well.” With horses he was himself amply furnished, as was also his staff; and all the other officers commanding corps, except Col. Hodges, were mounted. Imperial condescension, it may therefore be imagined, might gracefully have exercised itself in offering one of the presented horses to him. No such mark of consideration was, however, vouchsafed, and the Colonel was indebted for a horse to the attention of the Count de Villa Flor, without which, he might have remained unmounted up to the last day of his serving.
There can be no doubt that this exploit of the British batallion, though it was attended by no great accession of booty, or of prisoners, had, at least, a very serious moral effect upon the dispositions of the Miguelites, and it is the deliberate opinion of Col. Hodges, that had the after measures been followed up in a spirit of congenial energy with that displayed by the British batallion, the results of the expedition would have been sooner and more certainly decided. But the councils of Oporto, at the time, were torn by cabals, the malignant influence of which was signally manifested in the imbecile and vaccilating measures which emanated from them. In fact, Col. Hodges describes that many of the movements and actions which took place on the part of the liberating army, by command of the Oporto council, were utterly without design or object, and produced no other consequence than a perfectly useless waste of life. At a battle which ensued, that of Ponte Terreira, the French (a battalion of whom lately joined the liberating army) and English were joined in the same attack, and Col. Hodges assures us that a rivalship, which should do more for the cause of liberty, was carried on between them in terms of friendship such as were highly gratifying to the officers of both. During this battle, a squadron of the Miguelite cavalry charged a body of troops, chiefly English and French, which were formed behind a wall, skirting a wood. Col. Hodges allowed the cavalry to approach within bayonet's length before he fired, but when they approached to that point, a well-directed volley soon dispersed them. The Miguelites came up in daring style, and as a proof of their bold spirit, it is stated by Col. Hodges that three of the dragoons attempted absolutely to leap the wall. Their horses were literally bayoneted, and the riders actually killed whilst the fore-feet of the horses were resting on the wall. A lad of the name of Edwards, is honourably mentioned by Col. Hodges. He was not more than seventeen years of
to the light company of the British battalion, was the first who plunged his bayonet into the chest of one of these horses, withdrawing it forthwith, he deliberately shot the rider. After the cavalry were repulsed, the Colonel perceived that the unfortunate man who had become a victim to this juvenile "cool hand," yet breathing. Young Edwards coming up at the moment was proceeding, with further sang froid, to take off his boots. Col. Hodges insisted that he should do no such thing until the man was dead. It was not without evident reluctance that he desisted; and afterwards, finding that the man had been stripped in the mean time by some one else, he came to me, crying like a child, and, in the urgent familiarity of grief, reproached me with his loss! The Colonel's assurance of indemnifying him by a pair of new boots on their return to Oporto, though it had some cheering effect, was hardly sufficient to restore his composure; for he declared, “with one auspicious and one drooping eye,” that he would rather have that man's boots that he had shot for than twenty pairs of others!
A better illustration cannot be pointed out of the fatality which attended the progress of the Oporto councils than this battle ; for though the liberating troops fought with valour, though they lost a valuable portion of their men, and though they gained a complete triumph on the field of battle, still no other result than a barren crown was obtained: the conquerors did not improve their position by a single degree, because no sort of provision had been made by the high and mighty Council of Oporto whereby the victory could be turned to account ! And lest any doubt should be left as to the judgment and sound policy, as well as spirit of the existing government at Oporto, the Emperor and his subordinates took care to render the truth irresistible by their conduct, for it is an undoubted fact, that, no sooner were the hostile forces seen in position at the commencement of the action, than they conceived a panic, under the impulse of which they advised the sending of an order to the military governor of Oporto to have all the public treasure, with the Emperor's baggage, embarked without delay, so as to be prepared against contingencies. · A certain degree of alarm had been already excited in the town by the demonstrations of the Miguelites. The Guerillas and advanced posts of General Povas had taken possession of Villa Nova, and kept up from the lower part of it a heavy and continued fire of musketry during the day. They had also threatened an attack on the city, having assembled some boats a little above the Serra Convent, opposite the Quinta da China, with the intention of crossing over. “The governor of Oporto, instead of observing, under these circumstances, a due secrecy as to the order he had received, suffered his zeal to outrun his discretion in the execution of it; and the previous apprehensions in the town were not a little increased when it was known that the emperor's personal baggage
had been embarked, and that many of the governor's own friends had fled for safety on ship-board. Orders, continued the Colonel, were given by the governor to force up the paving-stones, and barricade the streets in the lower part of the town. This foolish precipitation, productive of course of increased alarm, was highly blameable; but it was a worse error on the part of the governor to have made known his “ state secret,” even to a few of his particular friends. Those friends were amongst the first to abandon him to the chance of events.
Col. Hodges returned with his troops to Oporto, but, strange to say, no evidence of any sense of having gained a victory was manifested in Oporto. No expressions of joy, no vivas for liberty and the constitution were heard; but, on the contrary, deep silence was observed, and dismay appeared on every countenance. It was in such a state of things as this, that the emperor had the taste to order a pompous parade of the troops through the streets, that they might defile before his Majesty. At this point of his narrative, Col. Hodges relates an account of a most diabolical attempt, which was then made to put a speedy termination to all the hopes, not only of the foreign allies of the liberating army, but of every friend to constitutional freedom.
• The leading points of the plot' seem to have been these, as appeared on inquiry the following day. All the convents in which the troops, worn out by the exertion of two harrassing days, and therefore the more profoundly buried in sleep, were quartered, were to have been fired simultaneously at two o'clock in the morning; while the Emperor, from his known activity, would, as it was anticipated, have mingled in the crowd to assist in arresting the flames. It was conceived that in such a situation his assassination would have been easily accomplished ; and this pious office was undertaken by a certain Capucin friar, a man as well known for his profligate habits as his utter disregard of personal danger.
• Most providentially, it rarely happens that such villainous projects, that depend upon an accurate combination of means, turn out successful. And so it proved in this instance. At one o'clock in the morning of the 25th, and therefore one hour before the time appointed, the convent of St. Domingo, directly behind the Rua Nova dos Inglezes, and in the most populous part of the city, appeared on fire.
In this convent were quartered the fifth Cacadores. The flames broke out in three several places before the men were aware of their danger : but the alarm in the town became general—the alarm-bells were rung, and in the general noise and uproar they were roused from their sleep, and happily escaped with the loss of only three of their comrades and the colours of the regiment.
• It was immediately evident that the convent was designedly fired; and in the midst of the confusion three friars were seen cautiously gliding out from the convent, and attempting to mix with the crowd. They were seized by the soldiers, and one of them fell an instant sacrifice to their just vengeance. The other two were imprisoned; but, most unaccountably, in spite of the strongest evidence of their guilt, they have never been brought to trial. The men had hardly escaped when the roof fell in with a frightful crash, a very short time after the first appearance of the flames.' -Vol. ii. pp. 59–61.
It is quite unaccountable that the guilty parties in this abominable transaction should be let off with impunity. There is not on record a more scandalous example of the abuse of the principle of indulgence, and it produced its natural consequences, namely, a reaction in the indignant minds of the soldiers, who openly declared that they were determined to destroy every friar and monk that fell into their hands.
The perfect and cordial unanimity which now subsisted between the English and French portions of the troops was so manifest that it absolutely provoked the jealousy of such of the Portuguese, and they were numerous, as were hostile to the expedition. Some expressions of theirs are recorded by the Colonel, and the following seems to be a characteristic specimen of their nature:
6" Look at those English and French! Why, only a few years back, they were cutting each other's throats in this very town, and now they are like brothers! Ay, and the English are even preferring the French to us!"
No better testimony could be adduced of the preference of the Portuguese peasantry for Dom Miguel, than the fact that the women from the neighbouring country, who brought their daily contributions to the market, were in the habit of bringing notes concealed in their hair, which they wore in profusion, supported by large combs, covered over with a white handkerchief. Indeed the apprehensions of the liberative party were unceasing every hour, by reason of these demonstrations, nor were they palliated in the least by a most extraordinary act of cowardice of the Ca. cadores, which appears to be connected with either a blunder or a treacherous manæuvre of one of the liberative Portuguese officers. The disaster created in fact in Oporto the most serious state of general depression; and so perplexed was the council, the emperor included, that Colonel Hodges is of opinion that the Miguelites might have walked into Oporto the next day without opposition. Nay, as matters stood, the expedition was just on the point of being given up. The very party who cried out against foreign aid, and who happened to enjoy the complete ascendency over Dom Pedro's mind, actually prevailed on him to re-engage the transports which had brought them to Oporto, and which had been long discharged, to enable himself and the army to go back. But this proceeding, when looked at deliberately, looked so unutterably disgraceful, that the council had not courage even to do that; Sartorius, Villa Flor, and Palmella protested against it; and it was not until after forty-eight hours' reflection that his Majesty, the Emperor, decided upon taking the chance of remaining.
An account follows of the mission which was then sent to England in the person of the Marquis of Palmella, which we have not space to notice; and the same observations apply to the complaints of Colonel Hughes of the privations under which his army laboured. In the mean time the conflict continued, and another victory at the