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riding in among them, exclaimed, “ What, ye dogs; when God has given you so glorious a victory, would you cut one another's throats about a prisoner?” at the same time aiming a blow at Sebastian, he brought him to the ground, while the rest dispatched him. In conformity to this relation, it is further said that Muley Hamet sent next day to the spot where th scene had passed, when one of the king's yalets discovered his master's body among the slain, and that others recognized it also by Yery probable marks; for it is allowed that his visage was too much disfigured to admit of çertain proofs. This body, however, was delivered up, and, being conveyed to the monastery of Belem, was interred among the princes of Portugal with all possible solemnity.
The other most likely account is that of Louis Brito, a Portuguese nobleman, who, retiring from the scene of carnage with his colours wrapped round his body, was met by the king, who called out, “ Hold fast your colours, and let us die upon them.” The prince immediately rushed
among the Moors, and was taken. "Brito delivered him, but in the event was himself seized, together with the colours. While they were carrying him away, he observed Sebastian, who was not pursued. Don Louis de Lima deposed, likewise, that he met his majesty advancing towards the river, and this was the last time that he saw him.
These circumstances deserve to be recorded, because, about twenty years after this fatal day, a person appeared at Venice, who gave himself out to be Don Sebastian, and offered a very plausible account at least for his re-appearance.
He said, that after the battle he dragged himself from below the dead with which he was covered, and after wandering about some time in Africa, he returned to Portugal, and even entered his own palace, where shame prevented him from making himself known. Certain it is, this person had the gait, stature, gestures, and voice of Don Sebastian ; and, in confirmation of his identity, he shewed the scars of his wounds, and particularly those in his shoulder and over his eye.
Several of the Portuguese recognized and acknowledged him. The commissioners too, whom the senate of Venice had appointed to interrogate him, were much astonished to hear him give an account of some secret negotiations with that republic.* Struck with his manly confidence, the invariable firmness of his answers, his modesty, his piety, and the fortitude with which he bore his sad misfortunes, they durst not declare him an impostor. The Spanish ambassador, however, insisted that he should be expelled from the state of Venice, and the senate, though well inclined to grant him an asylum, did not venture to refuse.
After this, the real or pretended Sebastian retired to Florerice, where he was arrested by order of the grand duke of Tuscany, and delivered up to count de Lemos, viceroy of Naples, for the king of Spain, who at that time was in possession of the throne of Portugal.
Though inclined to believe that this man was no impostor, is it not possible that the rival Venetians might have set him up to confound the Portuguese, and furnished him with information that would give a verisimi. titude to his relation ?
When the prisoner appeared before the viceroy, being asked who he was, he replied, “ You certainly ought to know me, as you was twice charged with embassies to my court.” He then entered into the detail of some secret circumstances that could have been known only to the prince who then sat on the throne. He even astonished two princesses, related to Don Sebastian, by the closeness of his replies to some questions which curiosity prompted them to
propose to him.
For a time he was mildly treated, though retained a prisoner; but, after the death of the count de Lemos, he was put to the torture in order to force a retraction of his declarations. This he steadily refused to make, in spite of all that ingenious cruelty could inflict. next tried to make him contemptible in the eyes of that public which either favoured or pitied him. He was paraded about the streets of Naples on an ass, preceded by a public crier, who announced him as the impostor that called him. self Don Sebastian, king of Portugal; to which he constantly replied, “ I am Sebastian ;” and when the crier added that he was a Calabrian, he exclaimed in a louder tone, 6 That is false.”
After this ignominious ceremony he was detained a prisoner some time longer in the kingdom of Naples, and was then removed to Castile, where he was never heard of more.
Unable to account for his knowledge of many circumstances relative to Portugal, and unwil. ling to allow that he was the identical Don Sebastian, the Spaniards gravely pretended that he was a magician, and that the devil sug: gested to him those illusions which were cal.
culated to make an impression on credulous minds. It must, however, be allowed, that, supposing him in reality to have been an impostor, they ought to have convicted him by the clearest evidence, in order to justify their treatment of him, and to undeceive the world.
In Portugal, Don Sebastian was considered and believed to be really dead ; and, in conseA. D. quence, the cardinal Henry, his uncle,
assumed the reins of government, at the 1578.
advanced age of seventy. His situation was irksome in the extreme. All the young nobility were cut off, or carried into slavery, and the kingdom was exhausted of men, money, and reputation. The first wish of the nation was, that the king should marry, in order that he might leave heirs, and prevent a civil war, with which the kingdom was menaced, in case of the failure of the direct royal line. A dispensation having been proposed for tlie old cardinal, both as a priest and a bishop, the consistory of Rome debated on the subject but political reasons induced them to suspend their decision.
From the moment, indeed, that Henry as cended the throne, he heard of nothing else but successors. Three competitors instituted claims to the throne of Portugal, whenever it. should become vacant: the prince of Parma, the duchess of Bragança, and Philip II. of Spain. The two last had nearly an equal right. Henry was extremely partial to the duchess of Bragança, but dreaded the power of Spain ; and, thus wavering between his inclinations and his fears, he died without declarir a successor. He lived sixty-eight years, anu reigned
amidst incessant vexation and chagrin about seventeen months. He was the nineteenth sovereign, and the seventeenth king of Portugal, the eighth and last of his house ; for in him terminated the male line of the Portuguese princes, after having subsisted upwards of four hundred and sixty years.
Henry was little esteemed, notwithstanding he possessed many good qualities, and he would have left the world without the regret of his people, had they not reflected on the storms to which they were about to be exposed. In order to allay them in some measure, Henry had named five governors, in whose hands the sovereign power was to be deposited after his death, till a successor should be legally appointed. The grand affair relative to the succession was be debated in their presence; but, in fact, the business had been settled before the king made his exit. Of the five governors or regents, a majority were in the interest of Philip II. of Spain; but, to support his pretentions, he had a more decisive voiceman army of twenty thousand meri, commanded by the duke of Alba, who had orders to enter Por. tugal without delay.
That kingdom was far from being in a state capable of opposing an effectual resistance to so formidable a force. The Spaniards, therefore, advanced with order and discipline, no one disputing their progress, except the prince of Crato, the illegitimate nephew of the deceased king, who caused himself to be proclaimed by the populace of Lisbon, to whom he was generally acceptable. His troops, composed of raw men, collected in haste, badly armed and appointed, Vol. XV,