Below I’ve translated a few stories of good deeds performed by the royal family, principally D. Pedro II, during their reign. The stories come from Revista da Semana (Jan. 1st, 1921). I’ve titled each story, minus the first one which already had a title.
Here are a few topics – many of which have yet to be published – that demonstrate the social and human conduct of the distinguished Emperial Family of Brazil. […] the Brazilian dynasty never knew how to distinguish between the rich and the poor, white or black. All were equal in the judgement and hearts of His Majesty and Her Highness.
Master and Servant
One time, D. Pedro II heard that one of his Palace’s male servants was very sick. His Majesty (H.M.) soon wished to know the man’s residency.
– My Lord would like someone to go there? – asked a valet. – If H.M. wishes, one of my helpers can bring the sick man the news that H.M. has taken interest with his state of health…
The Emperor smiled.
– No, my dear man, it is I that wants to see him.
And, later that evening, having learned of the residence of the servant, the Emperor ascended the hill of the Castle. Finding the sick man in a hopeless state, H.M. allowed him to be at his side, attending to him during his last moments and placing in the man’s hands himself, a candle.
“The Old Man and the Monarch”
One morning, strolling around at the Largo do Paço (Praça XV), the Emperor came across an old black beggar, who had held out his hand.
The man groaned:
– The one who is asking is a servant of the country! I spilled blood for Brazil in Paraguay! And the government leaves me in misery!
The black man did not recognize Dom Pedro II.
H.M. approached him:
– You were a volunteer?
– Yes, sir.
And, showing his chest, barely covered by a ripped up jacket:
– Here is the ribbon. Here is the war metal. The government, however, isn’t bothered by this!
D. Pedro II, moved by the story, asked:
– And you think the Emperor is capable of supporting the abandonment of those who serve their country?
The black man turned to him, looked at the monarch – who he still had not recognized – with an air of disdain and quickly responded:
– If you ask such a thing, it is because you don’t know the Old Man! The Emperor has a big heart. If he were able to, none of us, who have been in Paraguay, would have reason to complain about a thing!
D. Pedro II put a coin in the hands of the black man and then walked away.
On the following day, the ex-volunteer was placed in one of the servant’s quaters of the Palace, where he stayed until his death.
The Emperor loved the entrudo (aka, shrovetide), to which he surrendered himself, many times, in Petropolis. Only…he did not wish for others to get him wet. As it were, he made many people make limões, full of violets, to ‘battle’ with H.M.
“Princess Isabel and the Viscount”
D. Isabel would hold, on a weekly basis, open court. She would receive people, by order of arrival, according to notes that one of her chambermaids would bring her.
It was there that one day, during one of the Princess’ open courts, that a nobleman in a rush, had pushed his way through the line and approached the Princess.
The Princess, very delicately, inquired with her chambermaid:
– Is it the Viscount’s turn?…
– No, my Lady, the Viscount was the last to enter the line.
And D. Isabel, who only had common people in front of her, said:
– Then, Mr. Viscount, do me the favor of waiting your turn…