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resist them. To increase the consternation and dismay of the Portuguese, the emperor Don Alonzo, passing the frontiers, carried fire and sword into their territories. The prince of Portugal, however, surprised and cut off a considerable part of the emperor's army; but this would have availed him little, had not the pope's legate interfered, and accommodated all differences between them. A peace was therefore concluded ; and all places and prisoners taken on either side, were mutually restored. In gratitude for this service, Don Alonzo offered a voluntary tribute to the holy see.
Meanwhile, the progress of the Christian arms in Spain, having reached the ears of Abu Ali Texefien, supreme governor of the Moors in Barbary, he ordered Ishmael his lieutenant in Spain, to assemble all the forces in the southern provinces, and to drive the Christians beyond the Douro. Ishmael hastened to put these orders in execution, and, having received considerable reinforcements from Barbary, he advanced to the plains of Ourique on the banks of the Tayo, where he was met by Don Alonzo of Portugal. The commander of the infidels used every possible precaution to prevent the Christians from passing that river, because he was willing to secure a favourable position for his cavalry, in which his strength principally, consisted, to act in full force. The Portuguese indeed were very
inferior in point of numbers; and Ishmael being confident of victory, broke his army into small bodies, and disposed them in such a manner, as might intercept the flight rather than sustain the attack of the Christians. In consequence of this security, the Moors were
overthrown with prodigious slaughter, and a vast number taken prisoners. Among the latter were 1000 Christians of the sect called Mozarabians, whom Don Alonzo was prevailed on to liberate, together with their wives and children, and to allow them settlements in his own dominions. This glorious victory was achieved on
A.D. the twenty-fifth day of July; and its
1139. anniversary has been celebrated ever since, to preserve the memory of sich a signal interposition of Divine Providence, in favour of the Christian arms.
It was on the plains of Ourique that Don Alonzo Enriquez, after his illustrious actions, was first hailed king of Portugal by his sol. diers. The title he accepted; and so far used it, as to renounce all dependance on the crown of Spain : but he wisely knew how to reconcile monarchical authority with a regard to his people's rights; and therefore was not eager to exercise all the power at once, which had thus been gratuitously conferred upon him.
From the Battle of Ourique to the Reduction of Por
tugal by Philip King of Spain. By at
tle of Ourique on the frontiers of Algarve, Don Alonzo had opened a free passage into his own dominions. Such was the slaughter of the infidels that the rivulets in the vicinity of VOL. XV.
the field of action are said to have carried their waters deeply stained with blood into the Gua. diana.
After these transactions, Raymond count Barcelona, and regent of Arragon in right of his wife, having proposed to Don Alonzo to enter into a league against the emperor, his jealousy of that potent prince induced him to accede to the plan.
In consequence of these engagements, the king of Portugal entered Galicia with a considerable force on one side, while his ally Raymond did the same on the other. The enterprise was well concerted; but success did not favour them. The Portuguese monarch met with a severe check in this expedition, lost some of the principal of his nobility, and himself received a dangerous wound. To heighten his distress, news was brought him, that the Moors had invaded his dominions in his absence, which determined him to retrace his steps; but with all the speed he could use, the strong fortress of Leyria fell into the hands of the enemy, before he could come to its relief. This they demolished, and with barbaric fury put all the garrison to the sword. The king, however, took care to have it rebụilt in a much stronger form than ever, and placed a powerful garrison there, in case of a second attack.
The war was carried on with various success, for several years; but Alonzo at last projecting an expedition against Santaren, situatedabout twelve miles from Lisbon, he succeeded in this enterA. D.
prise; and, in consequence, added a con
siderable tract of country to his former do1145. minions, at the same time that he secured
them by the strong natural barrier which bounded his conquests.
Encouraged by the fortunate termination of this expedition, Don Alonzo determined to execute without delay a project which he had long indulged. Having assembled the states of his kingdom, consisting of prelates, nobility, and commons, he caused himself with much ceremony to be chosen by the public voice, as he had formerly by the military, king of Portugal; and received the diadem with general acclamation from the archbishop of Braga. In the presence of his people, he renounced all dependance on the crown of Spain, declaring, that if any of his successors should condescend to pay tribute, or to do homage to that crown, he was unworthy of holding the sceptre of Por. tugal.
Next year, the king pushed on his conquests against the Moors, and with a small army laid siege to Lisbon, then in the hands of the infidels. Various and contradictory are the accounts which the Portuguese historians have left us of the strength of the place at this juncture, and the means which Alonzo possessed to effectuate his design. It is evident, however, that partly from the natural strength of the city, and partly from the numerous garrison by which it was defended, the Portuguese monarch could make little impression on it. At length, however, fortune threw succours in his way which he could not have expected.
A fleet of adventurers, consisting of French, English, Germans, and Flemings, in their passage to the Holy Land, happened to cast anchor at the mouth of the Tagus, The assistance of these he demanded as not al,
together foreign to their design of warring with the infidels. Enthusiasm co-operating with opportunity, made them readily fall into his lure; they strained every nerve to evince their zeal and to display their courage, at the outset of their expedition; and by their powerful aid, directed by his own wisdom, he carried the city that has long been the residence of his successors. The crusaders being gratified out A.D.
of the plunder found in the place, de
parted well satisfied; and so much repu1147.
tation did Alonzo acquire by his conquest, that numbers Aocked to his standard, and in less than twelve months he reduced many
other considerable cities. For several years after this exploit, the current of fortune flowed uninterruptedly in his favour ; and, being in a great measure free from foreign enemies, he settled the internal government of his kingdom, had his regal dignity confirmed by a papal bull of Alexander III. and gradually made himself master of four out of the six provinces that now constitute the kingdom of Portugal.
Immediately after his coronation, he had espoused Matilda, daughter of Amadeus, count of Maurienne and Savoy, a woman of masculine endowments, who assisted him by her counsels, and undertook the conduct of affairs, whenever circumstances required his absence. By her he had a numerous offspring; among the rest three daughters, the eldest of whom, Matilda, was married to the king of Arragon; the second, Urraca, to Ferdinand king of Leon; and the third, Theresa, to Philip earl of Flanders. Some time after, however, Alonzo of Por