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some liberal concessions to the people, in order to establish more firmly the throne of his royal employer. His influence, however, proved of short duration, and he was soon removed to make room for the duke de Alcudia, The irregular proceedings of the
A. D. French, the indecent reception of the
1793, interference of the court of Madrid in favor of Louis XVI, and the subsequent execution of that unfortunate monarch, induced his catholic majesty to declare war against France on the 23d of March; and the first actions which took place between the Spanish and republican forces were decidedly in favor of the former; for general Don Ricardos, who commanded in Catalonia, forced the town of Goret, which was defended by three thousand men, and put the enemy to flight with the loss of all their artillery ; the troops under Don Ventura Caro destroyed the encampment of Biriatu, and drove the French from the fort of Andaya; the fortress of Bellegarde was also taken on the 22d of June, and on th: 22d of September, general Ricardos obtained a decisive victory over the French in the vicinage of Truillas.
But the ensuing campaign proved altogether unfavorable and unpropitious. The French army took the field early in the month of Febru. ary, and made such vigorous exertions to retrieve the credit of their countrymen, that the Spaniards were not only compelled to abandon St. Jean Deluz, Cerat, and the town of Boulon, but a complete victory was gained over them near Collisare, when, besides those that fell in battle, seven thousand, men laid down their arms, and all the baggage and artillery fell into
the enemy's hands. About the same time the strong town of Bellegarde was wrested from Spain, after a brave but unsuccessful effort for its preservation, and upwards of six thousand troops were made prisoners.
The repeated failures of the Spanish commanders in their attacks on the French, induced them to collect a force which might afford better hopes of success. This project was accordingly reduced to execution, and they advanced against Dugommier, their most formidable enemy, to the neighbourhood of Spanilles. But though the contest was supported with equal fortitude and obstinacy, victory eventually declared for the French, and the assailants were repulsed with prodigious loss and slaughter. Dugommier, however, was slain, by a cannon ball, in the very moment of conquest.
Exasperated at these continual defeats, the Spanish officers resolved to concentrate their whole force in a position strong by nature, and rendered still more secure by a chain of entrenchments and batteries, which were defended by an army of forty thousand men. my, however, advanced boldly to these stupendous works, and, after an action of about three hours, penetrated them in every quarter. The Spaniards certainly performed prodigies of va lour upon
this occasion, but their utmost exertions were insufficient to repel the fury of their assailants, and after a most sanguinary conflict, they were completely defeated and put to flight. This misfortune was immediately followed by the reduction of Saint Fernando de Figures, a place of extraordinary strength, garrisoned by nearly ten thousand men, and containing mi
litary stores and other articles of immense value.
Elated by these brilliant successes, the French marched forward with such alacrity that all resistance fell before them, and they soon became masters of several important towns which opened the
way into those parts they were chiefly desirous of attacking.
Nor were these calamities confined to the eastern frontiers of Spain. Vigorous exertions had been made against the invaders at Saint Jean Deluz, by the Spaniards; but general de la Forde soon defeated them, with the loss of their baggage, military stores and provisions! and a body of fifteen thousand Spanish troops was, soon after, dislodged from an important post on a mountain which had hitherto mate, rially obstructed the designs of the enemy. This unfortunate action, in which the Spaniards lost two hundred pieces of cannon, and tents for twenty thousand men, besides a prodigious number of troops, that were either killed or made prisoners, emboldened the French to march immediately against Fontarabia, and in the space of four days they made themselves masters of that place, together with Port Pas:sage and Saint Sebastian, in which they took about three thousand prisoners, besides the prodigious stores with which those towns were furnished. It is, however, necessary to observe that this rapid augmentation of conquest' re. sulted, in a great measure, from a very general change of political opinions among the Spaniards.
Disasters so repeated and unusual, filled the court of Madrid with inexpressible anxiety, and Vol. XV. Hh
the desertion of a corps of the king's Walloon guards, confirmed them in the distressing idea that the growing calamities were occasioned by disaffection. In this critical situation some ad. vised a pacification as the only possible mode of subjugating those pernicious principles which had been imported from France; and others suggested the idea of raising the people in a mass; but those who recommended the latter expedient soon found it utterly impracticable, and the attempts which were made to disseminate among the commonalty a spirit of universal resistance, were all frustrated in the most vexatious manner. Nobles, ecclesiastics, placemen, and opulent adherents to government, were now called upon to assist the cause of their country; and these readily made such donations as the exigence of the state required. But, notwithstanding these exertions, the enemy continued to extend their conquests, and the despon. dency of the people soon became so apparent, that the court was clearly convinced that unless a speedy peace were concluded, the whole kingdom must be eventually reduced. Accordingly, after making every effort which art or prudence could suggest, his catholic majesty detached himself from the confederacy which had hitherA.D.
to been attended with such ill success;
and intimated his resolution of putting 1795.
an immediate termination to the war. This conduct gave the greatest pleasure to the generality of the nation; France was delighted with so great a diminution of the coalition, and a treaty of peace was concluded in the month of July, at Basle, by which his catholic majesty "eeded all his part of Hispaniola in the West
Indies, and the convention agreed to restore all their recent conquests in Spain. It was also agreed that Spain should recognise the French and Batavian republics; and that France should admit the interposition of Spain on behalf of Naples, Parma, Sardinia and Portugal.
Towards the close of the ensuing year, Spain was drawn into an alliance with the French republic, and persuaded to declare war against Great Britain. Accordingly, great naval preparations were made in all the Spanish ports; and in the summer of 1797, a fleet, consisting of six ships of one hundred and twelve guns, one of one hundred and thirty-six, two of eighty-four, and eighteen of seventy-four guns, wasappointed to form a junction with the French fleet át Brest; and, after being reinforced by a numerous squadron of Dutch vessels, they were to put to sea all together, in order to execute their designs upon the British dominions. But before the intended junction could be effected the Spanish feet was met by admiral Jervis, near cape St. Vincent, and an engagement ensued which, notwithstanding its prodigious inequality,terminated in the capture of four vessels and the loss of a considerable number of men.
A part of the fleet, which had been dexterously separated from its main body by the British admiral, rejoined it with four other ships toward the close of the action, but the commanders were 'unwilling to engage; and, after a distant and ineffectual fire, they permitted the enemy to sail leisurely away with their valuable prizes.
The news of this transaction occasioned loud complaints at Madrid, and the generality of the gation began to complain that their country