The creator is unknown, though the tapestry is small and simple enough to indicate that it was produced by a commoner. The celebration of independence is not coherent, of course, for the Brazilian monarch guides his country in the direction of that taken by the North American republic of the United States.
Disorder and Progress: Antonio O Conselheiro’s Rebellion in the Sertão and the Holy City of Canudos | Stephen Basdeo
“The reign of God was nigh. He will descend in majesty and might, confound His enemies, and destroy the impious republic; cast down the mighty from their seats; exalt the sufferers, the poor—His poor—and burn up those who had refused to come and listen to His Counsellor.”
“Brazil is founded on genius”–so wrote Dr Monteiro in 1853. One of the nation’s geniuses was a young poet named Alvares de Azevedo who wanted to revolutionize his country’s idea of romanticism.
“I have power by virtue of chance; I must be employed in doing good. Progress and Liberty!” Such were the words which came of the mouth of the Emperor of Brazil on meeting the 1800s’ most venerable author, Victor Hugo.
Europe clamours for the organisation of labour and preaches communism. Here the same clamour translates into the cry of ‘War on the Portuguese’.
Luiz Guerra’s new, and very fine, translation into English of Azevedo’s Shadow of Don Juan [‘Sombra de Don Juan’] is the first English translation of Azevedo’s poem. With great skill, as is usual of Guerra’s translations, he has largely preserved the original rhyme scheme while retaining Azevedo’s meaning.
The monarchy of Pedro II, a figure who commanded respect from Conservatives and Liberals, was an ardent abolitionist whose support for the cause spelled the end of his reign.