ONE AFTERNOON in April, 1831, Rio de Janeiro was festively decked and was stirred by unusual excitement. From windows and balconies hung gay damask dra-
peries; flags and pennants of green and gold waved in the breeze. Crowds of people-black, brown, and white-were making for the large prafa in front of the imperial City Palace on the margin of the Bay. Some of them carried green branches of the "national" croton shrub in yellow bloom. The military guard drawn up in front of the palace had decorated their caps and the barrels of their muskets with glossy sprigs from coffee trees spangled with starry blossoms and green and red berries. Also in the square were the municipal officers, on horseback and wearing ancient ceremonial uniform. Presently, from vessels in the harbor and fortresses on the hills came the boom of cannon. The crowds shouted joyfully, "Long live Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil!"