Not*ithstanding the threats of the besiegers nothing was at- -tenipted
against Oporto on the 26th October, farther than the throwing of a few Shells and shot into the town, by which some women and children were killed. On Wednesday the 24th, a -third attempt was made on the Serra,.with no better success than - on the two previous occasions. The Times -correspondent says— "It was very beautiful to look at ; and the firing from Miguers troops was or the first quarter of an hour very brisk. It, however, soon slackened, and they were,,a8 UMW, repulsed at all points.. Altogether the affair lasted about an hour and a half; and the origin and nature.of the attack have given rise to a great number of stories. The most feasible I have heard amongst them is this : , that some-of the relisiments just come up from Lisbon sneered at their fellow. soldiersfor having been so often defeated in their attacks and declared that they would themselves take the Convent. Their offer was not refused, and it was decides] that surprise should be attempted. This was, of course, to be kept a profound secret; but an old woman of Villa Nova, whose son is in the Serra, overheard the conversation of two officers in the afternoon, instantly made her way- down- the banks of the river, and found a boat in which she crossed. On her arrival, breathless with haste, she reported the facts to a gentleman, who instantly apprized the Government, and notice was sent across to the Convent, where the garrison awaited the approach of the enemy in silence. Of the result you are aware. It is added, but with what truth I know not, that part of the plan of surprise was for a body of Miguelites .to approach with their arms re- versed, as if for the purpose of coming over to the cause of Donna Maria, and that on their gaining admission they should overpower the guard and admit their companions; that in consequence they were permitted to come close up, and then fired on with deadly effect. Si non e cern e hen ti-ovate;' and it may have occurred as in the battle of the 29th, two parties actually mistook each other's intention in the same way, and mixed in friendly conversation, until a question from Major Miranda turned their short friendship into active hostility. The enemy's loss has not been ascertained, but is no doubt considerable ; and I yesterday met a man from Villa Nova, who stated that the number of men badly wounded was great. The artillery from this side, sweeping as it does both flanks of the Serra, and the precision with which the mortars, thrown over the Convent upon any body coming against its front, makes any attempt on that point almost chimerical; and what crotchet it is which induces Don Miguers officers to knock their heads against it, far surpasses my comprehension."
From the same source we learn, that in the course of the week several small parties had crossed to Villa Nova, for the purpose of carrying off, if possible, some part of the wine belonging to the English houses, with which the cellars of Villa Nova are full; and that 1,000 pipes were by this means got from among the hands of Don MIGUEL'S men. Several attempts have been made by the British to procure a piece of neutral ground, to which, in ease of a storming of the town, they might retreat. Two or three places have been pointed out, and successively objected to by the Miguelite authorities, on what appear to be fair grounds. In fact, they could not consent to neutralize any considerable space in the immediate vicinity of PEDRO'S lines; for they cannot possibly tell what spot they may be compelled to occupy ; and no spot not in their vicinity would answer the purpose. So the English must e'en take their chance. There was a report at Oporto on the 27th, that the besiegers were preparing to go into winter-quarters; and that long lines of huts had been erected for that purpose be- tween Vallongos and Matozinhos, on the right bank of the Douro.