Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to roam around and learn a bit more about Portuguese History. To find your interests, please, have a look at the right side of the page, where you can find all the posts arrenged into labels, such as "Society", "Politics", etc. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


(Taken from the Portuguese magazine VISÃO, special edition, number 13, September 2011)

Firstly I have to say sorry for the lack of quality of the pictures and of the lack of some of the bibliography of them but 1. they where scanned out of the magazine I've mentioned above and 2. not researched by me personally so, in terms of bibliography, I had to take whatever the writers of the articles researched.

This post is about some very comical caricatures and other images from the period of the French Invasions and also some expressions that were born during that time and have survived until today. Also a fado written back then which I've translated.


Caçada aos corsos imperiais e reais – dedicada aos amantes da caça (The imperial and royal deer hunt – dedicated to the lovers of hunting), from the private collection of António Ventura. A pun with the word “corso” which can mean “Corsican” or “deer”, reflecting Napoleons origins, Corsica.

O Patriotismo Hespanhol Triunfante da Capacidade Francesa (the Spanish patriotism triumphant of the French habitabilities), from the private collection of António Ventura. A satire showing the horror by the French army that didn't knew this type of Iberian warfare, religious too and Joseph Bonaparte loosing his crown.

Porto de Leiria: dous soldados portuguezes forão sercados pelo inimigo porem disparando aquelles sus pistolas e fizeram fugir vergonhozamente 22 francezes de cavallaria. Mez de Julho de 1808 (Leiria Harbor: two Portuguese soldiers were surrounded by the enemy but shot their pistols and made 22 French cavalry run away. Month July 1808). Portuguese bravery depicted in this cartoon.

The French overtaking Lisbon and the Portuguese soldiers during the 1st invasion and removing the flag from the S. Jorge castle, from the private collection of António Ventura.

A entrada dos protectores: A entrada destes guerreiros, Foi com grande intrepidez; Descalços de pé e perna, Dois aqui, acolá três! (The entrance of the protectors: the entrance of these warriors was with great intrepidity; barefooted and naked legs, 2 here and 3 there!), rimes from the Cancioneiro Geral under a cartoon depicting the conditions of the French army when it arrived in Portugal.

Vista do Praça do Rocio na qual se reprezenta a dezordem e terror dos francezez no dia do Corpo de deus no anno de 1808, os quaes tumultoazamente largarão as Armaz e dezempararão a Artilharia pelo susto que o povo lhes cauzou e os boatos que correrão: Já chegarão os inglezes.(View from the Praça do Rossio in which is depicted the disorder and terror of the French on the All Saints day of the year 1808 and who will tumultuously drop their weapons and desert the artillery because of the scare that the people caused them and of the rumors that were spread: The English are here.)
1 – Palácio da Inquisição em cuja varanda principal estava Junot.(The Palace of the Inquisition on which main balcony Junot appeared.)
2 – Entrada de S. Domingos.(Entrance of S. Domingos.)
3 – Quarteirão de S. Domingos.(S. Domingos city block.)
4 – Entrada da praça da Figueira.(Entrance of the Figueira plaza.)
5 – Emboucadura da rua Augusta.(“Mouth” of the Augusta street.)
6 – Vista do castello.(View of the castle.)
7 – Arco da bandeira por onde fugio a cavallaria franceza.(Arch trough which the French artillery fled.)
8 – Artilharia franceza dando parte a Junot do terror das suas tropas.(French artillery telling Junot about the terror suffered by the troops.)
9 – Entrada da rua dos Ourives de ouro. (Entrance of the Ourives street.)
Description of the invasion of Lisbon in 1808 and the response of the Portuguese civilians left alone to defend themselves after the King had fled to Brazil.)

Napoleão: fazei lá paz com ele! (Napoleon: make peace with him!). A satire describing all of Napoleon's human and political “qualities” and suggesting that because of them and of his actions Portugal should embrace them and make peace with him. Don't ask me to translate it all....


  • A ver navios (to watch ships): Said when ones purpose doesn't succeed, translating the idea that one was left to see ships sail away. It came from the moment when the French army entered Lisbon in 1808 and Junot saw the Portuguese royal family leave for Brazil.

  • Ir para o maneta (to got to the one-handed): When someone is sent to a man with only one arm it's the same as sending that person to hell. General Loison, who lost his arm in a hunting accident, was this one-handed man and it was a terrible thing for a Portuguese to fall into his hands (no pun intended!).

  • «... alminhas da ponte» (…little souls of the bridge): it can be used as to pray, lay flowers, light a candle for a lost/desperate cause. During the 2nd French invasion, in the city of Porto, the locals ran in panic over the bridge ponte das barcas making the same bridge crash. Today there's a shrine used for prayer, built at the end of the 18th century.

  • Por no prego (to put it on the nail): Same idea as to put something on pawn. The expression came after the English officers used Portuguese homes to live in (like the one you see as a header on my blog, where Wellington lived), informing the owners that they were being evicted with a bulletin nailed to the door. (this expression I didn't took from the magazine; it's something I've learned in school.)


Last but not least, a fado said to have been written during the 1st French invasion and that tells Lisbon not to become French. Song in which Lisbon is seen as a young girl that has to follow her father's (ancestors) example and not fall in love with France. Here sung by the most famous fado singer, Amália Rodrigues.



Don't court the French, little girl, Lisbon. Portugal is gentile sometimes but certain things aren' t forgiven.
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror of the old man that should serve you as an example. Go, follow the loyal advice, don't break your father's heart.
(Chorus) Lisbon, don't be French, with certainty you wont' be happy. Lisbon, what a wild idea, vain and "alfacinha" (the name os inhabitants of Lisbon) to marry Paris. Lisbon, you have boyfriends here that say, poor things!, with their souls in their voices: Lisbon, don't be French, you're Portuguese, you're just for us.
You fell in love with the beautiful uniforms, little girl, Lisbon. See for whom you keep yourself, an immodest maiden is nauseating.
You have here brave and valiant Lieutenants, born and raised here. Come on, have better manners, little mean and whimsy girl.


Pauline said...

É uma pena que o blog esteja em inglês.

Aqui no Brasil temos pouco conhecimento dessa parte da História de Portugal e seria maravilhoso contar com esse material em português.

Aproveito para vos fazer um convite: aqui no Brasil, sou diretoria da Sociedade Histórica Desterrense, que é um grupo de reconstrução do século XIX. Temos um fórum online e gostaria de vos convidar a fazer parte dele e compartilhar de vossas informações conosco:


Sara Seydak said...

Muito obrigado pelo convite Pauline. Foi espreitar o fórum e ver como posso contribuir. Talvez mesmo traduzindo o que já tenho para português e colocar aí.
A razão pela qual este meu blog está em inglês, é a minha tentativa de dar a conhecer um bocado da História de Portugal ao mundo, principalmente a todos os que recriam este período histórico e que vêm de países anglófonos. E tenho tido sucesso, já que os países que mais lêem o blog são do Canadá e EUA.
Mais uma vez, obrigado pela mensagem.