« ZurückWeiter »
but, on the departure of the king and royal familyfor Aranjuez, a fresh commotion was excited, and even the women rushed, like maniacs, into the street, bearing lighted torches in their hands, and joining the general cry of “ Viva Espagna!"
A deputation was, at length, sent to Aranjuez, complaining of the king's doubt of their fidelity, and requesting that the court would return in order to grace the capital with the usual procession on Holy Thursday. They received for answer, that his Majesty could not possibly return, as being severely indisposed; but that he would grant them a general pardon, and fulfil all his promises relative to the marquis de Squillacci, and the abrogation of the obnoxious edict. These assurances, and the subsequent departure of the Italian minister, gave peate to the kingdom: and loyal addresses were presented to his majesty from several places which had recently resounded with threats of riots and insurrections. About the same time some disturbances broke out in Quito, the capital of the Spanish government of Peru; and the bishop of that place, in attempting to escape, was made a prisoner. The expulsion of the Jesuits from the
A.D. Spanish dominions, has been justly reck
1767. oned among the most remarkable events of the eighteenth century. That a nation so violently attached to the popish religion, and so bigotted to the views and interests of the papal court, should suddenly crush and almost annihilate a religious order which had its birth and nurture in itself, is truly astonishing: nor is it less worthy of admiration that this mighty blow was struck without the least disturbance. The king's ordinance upon this occasion, seems to have been Ff2
the result of a council held on the twenty-ninth of January; yet the Jesuits were surprised in their beds, on the thirty-first of March follow, ing, without the least intimation of impending danger. Finding their houses surrounded by large detachments of regular troops, and being acquainted with the royal command, they packed up such things as were requisite for their journey, and set out to Carthagena under the escort of a strong and numerous guard-chaises, waggons, and other carriages having been sec cured and distributed in proper places to accele, rate their departure. All this was effected with, out any disturbance; so that the inhabitants of Madrid knew nothing of the matter till the next morning.
On the third day, the Jesuits' college at Barcelona was invested by a detachment of troops; the members were sent off under a strong guard; and their effects were imediately sealed up, Similar measures were taken at the same hour, in every part of Spain; and the prisoners were conveyed, by different embarkations, to Italy, The king then published his pragmatic sanction, or royal ordinance, by which, among other injunctions, the sufferers were positively forbidden to write any apologies or justifications contrary to the respect due to the said ordinance; and silence was strictly urged upon all his majesty's subjects who desired to escape the pains and penalties of high treason.
Meanwhile, the news of this event was received at Rome with inexpressible astonishment; and the first intelligence was almost immediately followed by the arrival of fourteen transports, with nine hundred and seventy Jesuits on board,
at Civita Vecchia. The pope, however, having consulted a conclave of cardinals, positively forbade their reception in the ecclesiastical state; and sent two couriers to Madrid to expostulate with his catholic majesty on the impropriety of so sudden a measure, and to remind him, that, although he had an indisputable right to treat his own subjects as he thought proper, yet he could not oblige any other sovereign to give them an asylum. No notice, however, was taken of these representations; and the miserable fugitives, after wandering about the seas, enduring numberless hardships, and finding every port shut against them, were, at last, happy to find an asylum in the steril island of Corsica. Some time after the adjustment of
A.D. this business, prodigious preparations
1775. were made, in Spain, for an invasion of Algiers; and the armament was provided with such immense stores of provision, and other necessaries, as seemed calculated for the establishment and support of a numerous colony. At length the whole force assembled at Carthagena, and is said to have consisted of seven sail of the line of seventy-four guns each; eight of forty guns; thirty-two frigates from twenty to thirty-six guns; and about twenty smaller vessels of various constructions; with four hundred transports, and nineteen thousand seamen and marines; besides twenty-twu thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry, and a Tiumerous train of artillery, all composed of the most distinguished regiments in Spain. The marine was commanded by Don Pedro Castejon, and the land forces by count O'Reily, who Ff3
had acquired great' reputation in the Spanish service.
In the beginning of July this formidable fleet arrived in the bay of Algiers, where the commanders found every appearance of a vigorous. defence. A false attack was made upon some forts near the town, in order to favor the debarkation of the troops; but though the Spaniards easily effected a landing, they found all the neighbouring hills covered with Moors, who evinced the utmost impatience to engage them : and, after an obstinate engagement of thirteen hours, the Spaniards were obliged to retire, and to take the immediate advantage of the night for a re-embarkation.
When the war between England and A. D.
her American colonies had subsisted for 1779.
some time, and France had taken part with the latter, the court of Madrid thought proper to recal their ambassador from London, and to commence hostilities against his Britannic majesty. Accordingly, they laid siege to Gibraltar, and made some great
preparations: but all their exertions proved totally unavailing against an enemy who had so long and so ably retained the dominion of the seas.
It appears from several concurring circumstances that the Spanish commanders in America and the West Indies had been acquainted with the intended rupture between Spain and England, long before the declaration presented by their minister to the court of London. And to this pre-intelligence may be ascribed the subsequent loss of the British settlements on the Mississippi and the capture of the troops destined
for their protection. But this conquest was soon counterbalanced by an ignominious repulse from the bay of Honduras, the reduction of fort Omoa, and the loss of several register ships.
Early in the ensuing year, his catholic majesty received intelligence that Sir George Rodney had taken a Spanish fleet, consisting of fifteen sail of merchantmen, under convoy of a sixty-four gun ship, four frigates of from twentysix to thirty-two guns, and two smaller armed vessels; that he had also captured the greatest part of a squadron under the command of Don Juan Langara; and that he had, in spite of every precaution, relieved the fortress of Gibraltar.
In consequence of this intelligence, the Spaniards redoubled their vigilance to cut off all future relief from Gibraltar, and a scheme was concerted for destroying a little squadron which had hitherto checked the ardor of their enterprise. Accordingly, seven fire-ships, supported by a crowd of row-boats and galleys, were sent, on a very dark night, against the enemy, while a squadron of Spanish vessels under the admiral Don Barcello, stood near the entrance of the bay, to cover the attack and to in. tercept any ships which might attempt to escape. The British commanders and seamen, however, exerted themselves with such astonishing boldness and presence of mind, that this project was utterly frustrated, and the Spaniards had the mortification to see even their fire-ships grappled and towed off amidst the bursting of shells and all the horrors of a
scene which teemed with destruction.
Though the Spaniards laboured assiduously in pushing on their works toward the fortress,