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Americans. Less significant was the tragicomic piece "The Reconquered Bride." The scene depicted the genius of Brazil, treading the hydra of disunity, offering the inhabitants a bundle of spikes. This painting was the work of a Brazilian, who, without studies, had so well arranged and so proportioned the figures, as well as chosen the appropriate colors, that in such a panel we were pleased to recognize signs of beautiful artistic qualities in the people of this country. No less interesting a spectacle were the "cavalhadas". Knights dressed in red and blue velvet, embroidered with gold, spears raised, represented the fighting between Moors and Christians, and, in these challenges, reminded us of the beautiful chivalrous era of Europe. Before this simulated combat began, Christians and Moors crossed swords; So they parted into two rows and ran toward each other, fighting now with spears, now with swords and pistols. In the next scene, they managed, with great agility, one after the other, to fasten the ring captured from the steward's box to the end of the front lane where it hung. If the hero was successful, removing his ring with his lance, he would choose a lady in attendance, send a black page to give the trophy to her, and triumphantly, with the sound of fanfare, would run to meet the men on horseback, carrying a ribbon or with a ribbon in the boat, tied there by the chosen woman's hand. In other maneuvers, in fencing and shooting combat, the targets were baskets with artificial flowers, fruits or animals of the country. There were also masked fights. A beautiful diversion, reminiscent of the gallantry of chivalry, was to bring forward the flower-filled knights who kissed their lady's gift, and then threw them back, filling the battlefield with flowers. These entertaining spectacles ended in races, turns, and circles, in which the actors were exalted knights and all dispersed after the fighting, exchanging expressions of friendship as good Christians. The end of these parties were formal balls and illuminations.

Dressed for the Ball

Blacks also endeavored to celebrate in their own way this extraordinary patriotic solemnity; For this reason, they found it just then more appropriate to choose a king of blacks. It is the custom of black Brazilians to appoint a king and his court every year. This king has no political or civil prestige over his fellow men of color; he enjoys only vague dignity, like the king of the bean on Kings' Day in Europe, which is why the Luso-Brazilian government does not oppose any such formality. By general vote, King Congo and Queen Xinga, with several princes and princesses were appointed,


King and Queen of the Blacks

Procession for King and Queen of the Blacks