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and this being accepted, all parties were satisfied, and the interdict taken off.
Domestic peace being thus restored, the king made a tour of his dominions, and regulated many things which had fallen into confusion. He afterwards turned his arms against the Moors, and obtained several advantages over them; but becoming once more embroiled with his clergy, and through this medium with the domineering court of Rome, his kingdom was subjected to a second interdict. Not satisfied with this stretch of power, which in an enlightened age it seems wonderful should ever have been submitted to, the pope proceeded to depose the king of Portugal, and to appoint his brother Don Alonzo regent. The queen was also carried off as pri soner, and the ill-fated Sancho, after several ineffectual attempts to recover his crown, retired to
Toledo, where he spent the remainder of 1248.
his days in acts of penitence and piety. He
deceasedinthetwenty-fifth year of his reign. Don Alonzo III.- now ascended the throne, as heir to his brother. He was a prince of pregnant abilities, but of insatiable ambition. In the second year of his reign, he besieged and took the city of Taro, then esteemed the capital of the Moorish territories, and carrying Loule by storm, put every person it contained to the sword, and added a considerable tract of land to his dominions.
These successful enterprises rendered him respected by his neighbours, and dreaded by his enemies. Nor was his conduct in civil affairs less firm and judicious: he enacted good laws; he encouraged the good; he restrained the li
centious; and, in a word, was equally distinguished as a warrior and a statesman.
Tempted by the beauty and fertility of Anda. lusia, he conceived the design of despoiling the king of Niebla in that province of his small territory; but the Mahometan prince having put himself under the protection of Don Alonzo the Wise, king of Castile and Leon, the latter in quality of ally took the field, and having overrun the kingdom of Algarve, erected Silves into a bishopric. The king of Portugal, aware of his danger, claimed the interposition of the pope, which produced an accommodation, and this was farther cemented by Alonzo of Portugal espousing a natural daughter of Alonzo's the Wise, named Donna Beatrix, with whom he received back the kingdom of Algarve as a marriage portion, reserving a certain homage.
Having a queen, however, though sterile, living at the same time, this match involved his Portuguese majesty in many difficulties. The pope refused a dispensation, and even put the kingdom under an interdict; but his former queen dying, a dispensation at last was granted, and the children by Donna Beatrix were legitimated.
New quarrels, however, broke out between him and his clergy, whose insolence seems to have become intolerable; but by policy and address he surmounted all difficulties, and at last died in peace, in the sixty-ninth
1279. year of his age, leaving his dominions entire, and his people prosperous.
Don Denis, his son and successor, surnamed the Liberal and Father of his country, was only nineteen
when he mounted the
throne. He espoused Donna Isabella, daughter of Pedro king of Arragon, justly reputed the must amiable princess in Spain; and, notwithstanding some disputes between him and his mother and brother, as well as renewed misun. derstandings with his clergy, he conducted himself so well, that the general affection of his subjects saved him from all annoyance. Few princes of his age were more learned, and none shewed a warmer patronage to men of erudition. He created an university at Lisbon, and established seminaries of learning in all the principal towns of his dominions. He passed several excellent laws, particularly in regard to ecclesiastical property, which, after supporting the proper ministers of religion, he justly considered as a fund for the poor, of which the church was only the trustees, and therefore discouraged all accu. mulation of wealth in religious communities.
During this reign, a difference commenced with Castile, which subsisted a long time. Frequent reconciliations took place, but they were neither lasting nor sincere. A double marriage between the two families only seems to have produced new feuds; and to increase the mortification of Denis, his son Don Alonzo had been spurred on by some malecontents to acts nearly bordering on rebellion.
In this dilemma, recourse was had to the see of Rome; but, in spite of every effort on the part of the king to prevent extremities, Alonzo took the field, and though he was defeated and taken prisoner, and afterwards treated with great lenity, this had no effect upon him; for as soon as he could retrieve his affairs, he began to commit the most horrid excesses in the country through
which he passed. Girard, bishop of Evora, remonstrated with him, and threatened him in the name of the pope with spiritual censures, if he did not return to his allegiance; but so far was this from intimidating him, that he barbarously put the prelate to death for his interference. At length queen Isabella interposed, and a reconciliation was effected between the prince and his father; but it was far from being sincere on the part of the former. In short, he appeared incorrigible. When, on a certain occasion, Avezedo, a gentleman of the bed-chamber, was descanting on the prince's want of duty, and the impolicy of ruining a kingdom that would soon be his own, he ordered him to leave his presence on pain of losing his head; “I do not value my head, sir," returned Avezedo, “ in the king's service : the only pain I shall feel in losing it, is from the reflection that my master has begotten a son capable of such an action.”
The king finding himself approaching his end, immediately sent for his son, who attended the summons with filial regard; and, after receiving much good advice from his father, saw him depart this life, in the sixty-fourth year A. D.
No monarch could live more beloved, or die more regretted ; and it is a Portuguese proverb to this day, “As generous as king Denis.” He kept a great naval and military force, which protected the trade and the property of his subjects from all annoyance.
Don Alonzo IV. surnamed the Brave, while heir apparent had done little to merit praise, but much to deserve blame. He entered, however, on the discharge of his duty with some appear
of his age.
ance of vigour, and discarded and even punished many of the advisers and partners of his former crimes. This conduct would have soon rendered him popular, had he persevered in it with firmness and prudence; but, though brave and naturally sensible, he was too much swayed by his ca. prices, and influenced by his passions. He proscribed his brother Sanchez as a traitor, but was afterwards reconciled to him; he entered into a war with Castile, which for several years entailed misery on both nations; but the Moors taking advantage of the hostilities among the A. D. Christians, the latter united their arms 1340. against the infidels, and gave them a
signal defeat in the battle of Celdano. The war, however, was carried on for several years with various success. The Moors made a descent on Algarve, which they destroyed with fire and sword, but at length were obliged to retire, and leave the Portuguese dominions in peace.
No sooner, however, was this affair terminated, and the kingdom recovering from the storm, than a new and unexpected hurricane arose, which shook the government to its very foundations. Don Pedro, prince of Portugal, had hitherto conducted himself with exemplary prudence aud bravery. He was a good son, and good husband to Donna Constantia Manuel, by whom he had several children; but happening to fix his affections on Donna Agnes de Castro, the daughter of a Castilian gentle. man, who had taken refuge in the court of Portugal, his princess, who it is said perceived it, grew melancholy and died. Pedro, there is reason to hope, had not suffered his passion for