quinta-feira, 10 de fevereiro de 2011

Character Series nº 7 - Nuno Álvares Pereira

(Part III)

I received hundreds of messages from our huge following, asking me to continue my original (and wonderful...) dissertation into NAP's life. It is always good to know there is a lot of people out there with a keen interest in Portugese history and this is the only reason why I chose to neglect my other important professional duties to return to this subject.

As you surely remember (as I am sure you do...), NAP had been appointed squire of the beautiful and evil Queen Leonor by the influence of his father.
And his father had more plans for him. At the age of 16, NAP was introduced to his brand new wife. Well, maybe not that “brand new”, since she was a widow. However, NPA’s father guaranteed that her late husband had never been able to perform his marital duties, due to his old age (a guy has to wonder how NAP’s father knowledge about that fact came about).
Well, that was just another minor detail. Do not forget that NAP’s father was a happily married monk, who begot 32 children.
It seems this business was the cause of much distress to NAP, since from his early years he wanted to devote his life to the service of God and chose the way of sexual abstinence. But he simply had to obey his father. 
And he did.
And for a few years NAP led the life of a medieval Lord, looking after his extensive dominion and hunting with his squires. During the period of 3 years he had 3 children, although only one (a girl) survived infancy.
During the year 1381 Portugal was once again invaded by a Castilian army. The Portuguese forces, timidly led, are not able to avoid the invasion and the destruction of lives and property.  NAP felt depressed because he was not able do anything to change that, since there were a lot of Portuguese nobles that favoured the Castilian King.
Eventually, Lisbon was placed under a light siege (early 1382) by a Castilian fleet and NAP joins the defence. At a given point, he gathers a small force of knights outside the walls to chase a group of Castilian looters. However, a much larger enemy force appears in the meantime.
To NAP the choice was very simple: Charge! 
The thing is, he eventually charged alone, since all of his merry friends turned tail and “went back to get some help”.
But that was not a thing NAP could do.
He went in alone, charging wildly into the middle of the enemy, wielding his spear and sword with the strength born out of desperation.
But this very well could prove to be the end, since the odds were stacked high against him and soon his horse was fatally wounded.
However, help arrives! His friends came back with a vengeance, shamed by NAP’s valour and determined to save him.
And they did.

Great story, huh?
And the best is yet to come…one of these days.

PC