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many occasions displayed the greatest generosity, and most undaunted bravery.
The women have black sparkling eyes, and olive complexions, which they improve by art. In conversation, they are lively and witty, and are said to have a nice sense,of honour. When they go abroad on foot, they use long veils which cover their heads, but leave their faces exposed. Their bloom lasts but a short time, and decay is hastened by the very means they resort to, in order to prolong their charms.
Portugal, though still a kingdom of very limited extent, was originally much smaller. Both Spanish and Portuguese historians agree, that Don Alonzo, king of Castile and Leon, and son to Don Ferdinand the Great, bestowed his daughter Donna Theresa in marriage upon an illustrious stranger, named Don Henry, and gave him as her nuptial portion, the frontier province which he had conquered from the Moors, lying south of the river Minho, with the title of count. This Don Henry, it appears, was the son of Robert I. duke of Burgundy, and younger brother to Henry I. of France; but there is such a discordancy between the early native writers respecting the time and the occasion of this investiture, that we are obliged to apply to less partial and prejudiced sources, for the information we want.
The facts seem to be as follow. Don Alonzó, justly apprehensive that his success in taking the city of Toledo would draw down on him all the vengeance of the Moors, sent to demand assist, ance from Philip I. of France, and the duke of Burgundy, whose daughter he had married. Both princes acceded to his request ; and a nu.
merous body of troops was speedily collected for his assistance, at the head of whom marched Raymond count of Burgundy, Henry younger brother of Hugh duke of Burgundy, and many others of the best warriors of the age. A.D.
Arriving at the court of Don Alonzo, 1087.
they were received with all possible re
spect; and in the course of two years, having fully evinced their courage and conduct, the king resolved to bestow his only daughter Donna Urraca, then a child, on Raymond count of Burgundy, with the province of Galicia; and not long after, in order to reward Henry of Burgundy for his able and faithful services, gave him in marriage a natural daughter named Donna Theresa, with full sovereignty over the district already mentioned.
The new count Don Henry and his consort fixed their residence in the town of Guimaraez, supposed to have been built on the site of the ancient city of Araduca, and pleasantly situated on the fertile banks of the river Ave. The remains of an ancient palace in this place still attracts the notice both of natives and strangers ; and in consequence of Guimaraez having been once the capital, the king, Don Denis, granted the inhabitants an exemption from taxes, a privilege which they still enjoy.
With the natural ambition of independent nations, the Portuguese soon turned their views to an enlargement of their dominions; and, as all Christian princes considered victories and conquests over the Moorsasdoubly meritorious, count Henry is said to have performed many valiant exploits against this people: but the accounts of transactions, at this period and in this quarter,
are so indistinct, that historical fidelity shrinks from the task of recording them.
It appears, however, that count Henry passed a life of great activity, and that having at last raised the siege of Astorga in Leon, he there fell into a grievous distemper, of which he
A. D. died. His son and successor, Don Alonzo,
1112. caused his body to be removed to the cathedral church of Braga, where it was interred with great solemnity, and a splendid monument was four centuries afterwards erected to his memory. He was a generous, wise, and gallant prince, and with his dying breath is said to have left three things in charge to his son: first, that he should be zealous in promoting and protecting the Christian faith; secondly, that he should consider his subjects as his children, and govern them by equal and impartial laws; and, thirdly, that he should attend himself to their execution, lest the rich and the great should be tempted to tyrannize over the weak and the poor, from his indolence or neglect.
Don Alonzo was an infant at the time of his father's demise ; and, during his minority, his mother, assisted by two able ministers, managed the affairs of government. For the space of nine years, nothing remarkable happened under their administration; but, after that period, some differences arose between the regent and Urraca queen of Castile. Theresa insisted that, in consequence of her father's will, part of Galicia ap. pertained to her of right; and to substantiate her claims, seized upon the episcopal city of Tuy. Urraca resisting her demands, raised a powerful army, and marching at its head, compelled Theresa to retire to one of her own for
tresses. The effects of this misunderstanding might have proved fatal to the new state, had not the bishop of Compostella, at this critical juncture, demanded leave to retire with his vassals. His assistance was so necessary to Urraca, and she was so much provoked at his tergiversation, that she threw him into prison. This hasty action, which was dictated only by passion, excited a violent commotion among her own subjects; in consequence of which, ine Portuguese were relieved from their apprehensions of an attack.
Theresa, however, fell into a similar error by committing to prison the archbishop of Braga, because, with the prudence natural to age
and experience, he had been tardy in supporting her pretended rights. The prelate was soon set at liberty by a papal bull; but Donna Theresa at once lost influence and credit by her injudicious conduct towards him.
Not long after this affair, queen Urraca departed this life, and all disputes were amicably adjusted between Theresa and Don Alonzo Raymond, her successor ; but, when every dispute which had ever existed between them was supposed to be buried in oblivion, the king of A. D. Castile, being obliged to march with the 1126.
whole strength of his dominions against
his father-in-law, the king of Navarre and Arragon, Theresa treacherously re-occupied Tuy; from which, however, she was soon driven with disgrace on the king's return. This was only the prelude to her misfortunes. Her son being now arrived at the age of eighteen, and having received an excellent education, was spurred on by some enemies of his mother's government, to
vindicate his own rights, and convince his people that he was able to defend both them and himself. With the impetuosity of youth, he fell in with the proposal, assumed the sovereign authority, and in general met with a cheerful obedience. His mother's party, however, was very considerable, and they were determined to support her cause with their-swords. Lest an accommodation should take place, which would have been fatal to their views, the partisans of the young prince persuaded him to give instant battle to the regent's forces, over whom he gained a signal and complete victory. Theresa, after her defeat, took shelter in the castle of Legonaso, while her principal advisers fled; and Don Alonzo Enriquez his son, investing the fortress, obliged her to surrender, and after. wards imprisoned her for life. Sensible of her violent temper, he appears to have been driven to this extremity by the urgency of his affairs; but he made her confinement easy till the time of her death, which happened in less than two years.
Don Alonzo Enriquez, as he is called by way of distinction, having thus attained
A.D. the full and free possession of his heredi
1130. tary dominions, made several unsuccessful attempts on Galicia, to which his mother had instituted pretensions; but at last he was, glad to make peace with Alonzo king of Casa tile and Leon, who had assumed the title of emperor of the Spains.
About this time, the Moors taking advantage of the dissensions among their Christian neighbours, invaded Portugal with such immense armies, that, had not a plague broke out in their camp, it would have been impossible to