11 DECEMBER 1880, Page 15



BELONGING to a family which, on his father's side, traced back its descent to the celebrated Spanish champion, Bernardo del Carpio, and being, through his mother, the great-grandson -of Count Dann, of Austria—the brother of the well-known Marshal—Joao Carlos de Saldanha Oliveira e Dann, whom we shall henceforth speak of as Saldanha, began his public career at a time when Portugal was menaced with a great national danger. From the year 1805, when he first entered the army, as a cadet, until his death, in 1876, while acting as Minister Plenipotentiary at our Court, Saldanha took an active part in the politics and the wars of the Iberian peninsula. In- deed, it may be said that for the last fifty years of his life his was the foremost figure in Portugal ; and, after Espartero, he played the most prominent part in the -crises which have been of such frequent occurrence during the present century in the sister-kingdoms. It is of this long career, exceeding in length the allotted term of man's existence, and embracing some momentous epochs in modern history, that the Count da, Carnota, already favourably known for his Life of the Marquis of Pombal, gives us in these two volumes a narrative which is marked by the enthusiasm required from a biographer, while it is tempered by the judgment and good- taste of the author. If Count da Carnota has spun his pages out to too great length by including details that might well have been either omitted or relegated to an appendix, the reader is not likely to quarrel with a writer who has provided a book which is, on the whole, so exceedingly readable as are these

memoirs of the late Duke of Saldanha.

When Napoleon proclaimed, in the Moniteur of November 11th, 1807, that the House of Braganza had ceased to reign, and marched armies down the valleys of the Douro and the Tagus to carry his decree into execution, the Regent and the • Memoirs of Pidd-Marshal the Duke de &Mamba, with Selections front his Cor- respondence. By the (-tondo S. Carnota, author of "The Man:Lute of Pombal." 2 vole., with Portrait and Maps. 1880. London : Murray.

Royal family fled to the Brazils. The French entered the capital without opposition, the greater part of the national army was disbanded, and the Imperial eagle displaced the Royal arms on all public buildings. Several officers accepted commissions under the Emperor, and served him well in the campaigns in Austria and Russia. A corps of 8,000 men—re- duced to half that number by desertions—was incorporated with the French Army, and fought as the Lusitanian Legion at Wagram and Smolensko. Young Saldanha threw up his com- mission in disgust, and when the citizens of Oporto rose against the French, and gave the signal for a general insurrection, he came forward and placed his sword at the service of his country England came to the aid of the national cause, and Wellesley's victories at Roliea and Vimieiro in 1808 resulted in the Cintra convention, which freed Portugal for the moment from the presence of the French. In the year following they returned. under Marshals Soult and Victor, and from that time the allied English and Portuguese armies carried on the Peninsular war, until the French were driven back beyond the Pyrenees. During all the fighting that occurred, at Busaco,Vittoria, and in the Pyrenees, Saldanha bore himself like a good soldier, the foremost to lead his men in the attack, and the strictest in enforcingdiacipline He earned golden opinions from Marshal Beresford, and also from that "second Wellington," Sir Thomas Graham, after- wards Lord Lynedoch. Those were days of rapid promotion, but we doubt if there was another instance at that time of an officer becoming a lieutenant-colonel at twenty-one, and the commander of a brigade at twenty-three. Saldanha's first ap- pearance in the service of arms was, therefore, something more than creditable. It proved him to be by his instincts a soldier, and a born leader of men.

Soon after the close of the great war, Saldanlia was given a command in Brazil, where troubles had arisen ; and in this new post he distinguished himself so much, that he was soon placed at the head of the Portuguese army in the field against the insurgent Spanish colonies of the south. It was not until the Brazilians rose and severed their connection with Portugal that Saldanha threw up his appointment, and then, although pressed by the people to throw in his lot with theirs, returned to Portugal. This event took place in 1823, and there is no higher testimony to Saldanha's integrity and public spirit than that contained in the expressive fact that, after holding high posts abroad for eight years—that of Captain-General of a great province being the last—he returned "with only £6 in hi possession." The troubled state of affairs on the American continent, ending in a splitting-up of the empire, had not been without its counter- part at home. A revolution in 1820 resulted in a fresh Con- stitution, but the new arrangement proved short-lived. In 1823, the King, who during the preceding years had ruled the country in accordance with the guidance of the Cortes, cast off his fetters, and proclaimed his intention of governing hence- forth as "an absolute monarch." Saldanha, who had been im- prisoned for refusing to accept an empty command in Brazil, made his escape from prison, and was reinstated in his rank of brigadier-general in the army which the King's son, Don Miguel, was leading against the capital. When Lisbon was occupied without resistance, Saldanha, resigned his command, and expressed his intention of returning to the prison from which he had broken out. It is hardly necessary to say that the King at once pardoned him.

Meanwhile, two parties were forming themselves at Court,— the one in favour of an absolute monarchy, looking to Don Miguel as its chief ; the other taking shape more slowly round the Constitutionalists,—Pahnella the statesman, and the soldier Saldanha. Don Miguel, a rash and hot-headed young man, threw aside the mask in 1824, and having caused many of his opponents to be arrested, attempted to ignore the King and rule for himself. The King had the good-fortune to escape from his palace, where he had been placed under restraint, and it was from an English ship-of-war in the Tagus that he issued an address to the nation summoning loyal subjects to his side.

Don Miguel was compelled to leave the country, and the King

resumed the functions of authority. At this time, Saldanha. was appointed to the military governorship of Oporto. A lull ensued in Portuguese politics, until Don Joao VI. died, an event that took place on March 10th, 1826. His son, Don Pedro, who had established an independent empire in Brazil, was the

recognised heir to the Crown, and when Joao died, he was pro- claimed King. A deputation was sent to Rio inviting him to come to Portugal, or in the event of his declining the proffered

throne, which was considered quite possible, to send his infant daughter, Donna Maria IL Don Pedro announced his inten- tion of abdicating in favour of his daughter, on the condition of a charter of constitution being proclaimed. There was some hesi- tation among the members of the Regency about taking this step, when Saldanha cut the Gordian knot by proclaiming it himself in Oporto, and by threatening to march on Lisbon. The Cortes was summoned, and Saldanha became Minister of War. The infant Queen was proclaimed with all the customary formalities, and even her uncle, the banished Don Miguel, took the oath of allegiance to her and the Charter. There was a general im- pression that in Portugal the cause of constitutionalism had been finally won, and perhaps it would have been, when, in an ill- advised moment, Don Pedro announced that he had appointed his brother, Don Miguel, the guardian of his daughter, and the governor of the kingdom during her minority. Hence followed years of internal confusion and civil war. Saldanha had pre- viously resigned, and came to England, where he had many friends. No sooner did Don Miguel reach Lisbon, than he began to take steps for the subversion of the recently- granted Charter, by removing the statesmen who had supported it, and substituting creatures of his own. Within a very few months of his return, Don Miguel showed that his ambition would not be content with the rank of Regent, but that he aspired to the supreme position of all. At the very moment when he was attempting to organise a pleliscite in his own favour, Saldanha arrived in the Tagus. His return was hailed with general expressions of delight, but on this occasion it did not appear prudent to leave the friendly shelter of a British man-of-war. The mere presence of Saldanha could not deter Don Miguel from pursuing the reckless course he had resolved upon. A servile Cortes declared him absolute king, and abolished the Charter of the people's rights.

Risings at once took place throughout the country in favour of the infant Queen, and Saldanha, who had hurried back to England, proceeded to Oporto, to head the national movement. Owing to delays, and causes over which Saldanha had no control, this plan proved a fiasco, and the cause of Donna Maria made little progress against her ambitious uncle. It was not, indeed, till 1832, when Don Pedro came to Europe, that affairs assumed a more hopeful aspect. He landed with a small army at Oporto, and esta- blished himself in that city without encountering any serious opposition ; but here his success ended. The incapacity shown both by himself and his Generals gave the Miguelites the advan- tage, and invited disasters that should never have occurred. A petty jealousy, and the sinnosities of party intrigue, hopeless to follow, had prevented Don Pedro applying to Saldanha, the one General for the occasion. The defence of Oporto had, up to this, been very unskilfully conducted, and only the apathy of the besiegers, who had surrounded the town on all sides, pre- vented its speedy surrender. But when Saldanha arrived, all was changed. He infused his own indomitable spirit into the soldiers, set an example of patience and endurance to all, caused the damaged fortifications to be repaired and new ones to be erected, and showed the way to ultimate victory by assuming the offensive on every possible occasion. At first treated with indifference, his great services rendered it impossible to keep him in the background, and when be had beaten the enemy in several encounters, he was appointed to the command-in-chief, under Don Pedro. It was soon after this that Don Miguel obtained the support of Marshal Bourmont, a French General who had earned a good name both in Napoleon's later wars and in Algiers. It was thought that Saldanha would prove no match for this "great commander," and Bourmont fostered the belief, by boasting how soon he would effect an entrance into the streets of Oporto. He is even reported to have said that he

would make Portugal " une nouvelle VendEe." This officer had scarcely examined the position of Don Pedro's army, when he

determined to make an attack on it in great force. This was de- livered on July 25th, and although made with considerable judgment, it was repulsed, with heavy loss to the Mignelites.

Saldanha then assumed the offensive, and the siege of Oporto was raised. He then hurried off to Lisbon, which had surren- dered to another corps, and before the capital he won several fresh battles over the usurper. Driving his opponent before him, he obtained victories at Pernes and Almostir, concluding the war by a convention at Monte Evora, where the army of Don Miguel became prisoners of war, and Don Miguel left the country, pledging himself never to return. The party of the Queen Maria II. was at last triumphant, and the cause of con- stitutional government in Portugal had been finally won ; but neither result would have been attained, but for the courage, integrity, and remarkable military capacity of Saldanha.

Of Saldanha's later life we need say little. Count da Carnota gives the fullest details of his brother-in-law's career. The great soldier, on the close of this war, put aside the sword ta grasp the pen ; but, like our own Wellington, his efforts as a. Minister do not seem to have been very successful. He was,. perhaps, too uncompromising in his own views and too much of a disciplinarian to follow without expressions of disapproval and disgust the tortuous ways of party warfare. He held, how- ever, portfolios in numerous Ministries, and was the recognised Premier on at least two occasions. Daring absence from office he was generally employed as the representative of his country at foreign Courts, and in 1870 he came as Minister Plenipo- tentiary to the Court of St. James's. He died in this country in November, 1876, at the patriarchal age of eighty-six, retain- ing to the last the use of his exceptional mental capacity. When the news of his death reached Portugal, party feeling was hushed in the face of the loss of the greatest citizen of the country, and the minds of all went back to the time when his. daring courage and prescient skill turned the tide of battle in favour of a sinking cause, and when he stood forward almost alone as the champion of an infant Queen and of the Charter of the people. It is to that period all should turn who wish to dis- cover what manner of man Saldanha was, and why his country- men loved him so well.