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Feb.] THE SUBURB IS CARRIED.
107 of about fifteen hundred men, who, enfeebled by disease and suffering, were made prisoners. The capture of St. Lazarus necessarily involved that of the suburb, which was without ammunition or provisions, yet many ofits defenders continued to wage a fierce but hopeless war in the streets. Many crossed the bridge under a shower of bullets, and effected their escape to the city. Others succeeded in passing the river in boats. Altogether, the loss of the besieged amounted to about two thousand. The brave Baron de Versage, who commanded on the left bank of the Ebro, was killed.
The loss of the suburb laid open to the enemy the only part of the town which had hitherto been exempted from direct attack. The besiegers, imagining that the courage of the garrison had been abated by this irreparable misfortune, continued their operations with vigour. By means of mining, two enormous breaches were made in the University-both of which were attacked and carried; and the traverses of the Cozo were at length abandoned by the Spaniards. In the meantime, Palafox had been smitten with the dreadful disease, whose ravages had been more widely spread than even those of famine and the sword. This admirable and heroic leader, who, for above a month, had been unable to quit the vault where he lay stretched on a bed of suffering, at length saw the nocessity of resigning the command.
On the nineteenth, he transferred his authority to a Junta, of which Don Pedro Ric
(Feb. 19. was appointed president. A council was immediately assembled to deliberate on the condition of the city, and the measures most proper to be adopted. At this meeting it was stated, by the General of cavalry, that only sixty-two horses remained, the rest having died of hunger. Of the infantry it appeared there were little more than two thousand eight hundred men fit for service. Ammunition was near
RIC SUCCEEDS PALAFOX. [1809. ly exhausted ; and should a shell penetrate the Inquisition, their only manufactory of powder would be destroyed. The fortifications were stated, by the chief engineer, to have been almost utterly demolished. There were neither men nor materials necessary for repairing them; and bags of earth could no longer be formed from want of cloth.
In order to ascertain the chances of external succour, the Duke de Villahermosa was sent to Palafox, to receive such information on the subject as he might be able to communicate. But fever was raging in his brain, and he could communicate nothing. His papers were examined; but these only tended to increase the conviction, that no relief could reasonably be expected from without.
With regard to the measures to be adopted, the Junta were divided in opinion. Twenty-six voted for capitulation ; eight against it. The latter were averse to surrender, while even a possibility of succour remained. With proud gallantry of spirit the opinion of the minority was adopted by the Junta. A flag of truce was sent to the enemy, proposing a suspension of hostilities, with the view of ascertaining the situation of the Spanish armies ; it being understood that should no immediate succour be at hand, the Junta would then treat for a surrender. This proposal was peremptorily declined by Marshal Lannes; and the bombardment recommenced.
On the twentieth the garrison made a last and unsuccessful effort to recover two guns which the enemy had captured on the preceding day. Affairs were now desperate. The fifty guns which had been employed in the attack of the suburb, now opened fire on the city; and the streets in the neighbourhood of the quay were laid in ruins.
Thus situated, the Junta ordered measures to be taken to ascertain the sentiments of the people with regard to the situation of their city. Two-thirds of it were in ruins. Fire, famine, and slaughter had
Feb.] THE CITY IS GIVEN UP TO THE FRENCH. 109 done their work; and from three to four hundred persons were daily dying of the pestilence. Under such circumstances the Junta declared they had fulfilled their oath of fidelity,—and that Zaragoza was destroyed. A flag of truce was despatched to the French head-quarters, followed by a deputation of the Junta, to arrange the terms of capitulation. Marshal Lannes was at first disposed to insist on unconditional surrender. The proposal was indignantly rejected by the deputies; and Ric declared, that rather than submit to it the Zaragozans would die beneath the ruins of their city. “I, and my companions," said this noble patriot, “ will return there, and defend what remains to us as best we may.
We have yet arms and ammunition, and if these fail, we have daggers. War is never without its chances; and should the Zaragozans be driven to despair, it yet remains to be proved who are to be victorious."
In this temper of the garrison, Lannes did not think it prudent to refuse granting terms. It was accordingly conceded that the troops should march out with the honours of war, that the heroic Palafox should be suffered to retire to any place where he might think proper to fix his residence, and that all persons, not included in the garrison, should be suffered to quit the city, in order to avoid the contagion. On the twenty-first, the posts of the city
[Feb. 21. were delivered up to the French, and thus terminated one of the most strenuous and extraordinary struggles of which history bears record. The resistance continued for fifty-two days with open trenches ; twenty-nine of these were consumed by the enemy in effecting an entrance,--twentythree in the war subsequently carried on in the streets and houses. By their own account the French threw above seventeen thousand bombs into the city, and expended above one hundred and sixty thousand VOL. 11.
STATE OF THE GARRISON.
(1809. pounds weight of powder. More than thirty thousand men and five hundred officers perished in the defence, exclusive of a vast number of women and children, who sank the mute and suffering victims of fire, famine, pestilence, and slaughter. The amount of loss sustained by the besiegers was studiously concealed, -that it was very great, cannot be doubted; and the contemplated operations on Lerida and Valencia, for which the army was destined, were in consequence given up.
When the garrison quitted the city, only two thousand four hundred men were capable of bearing arms; the rest were in the hospitals. On the march to France, two hundred and seventy of these men, weakened by famine and disease, were found incapable of proceeding with the rapidity which their inhuman conductors considered necessary ; they were butchered and left on the road, to serve as a spectacle and a warning to the succeeding divisions.
Among the prisoners, was Augustina Zaragoza, who had distinguished herself in the former siege. At the commencement, she had resumed her station by the Portillo gate. When Palafox visited the battery, she pointed to the gun she had formerly served with so much effect, and exclaimed, “See, General, I am again with my old friend.” Once, when her wounded husband lay bleeding at her feet, she discharged the cannon at ihe enemy, in order to avenge his fall. She frequently led the assaulting parties, and with sword in hand, and her cloak wrapped round her, mingled in the daily conflicts which took place in the streets. Though exposed, during the whole siege, to the most imminent danger, Augustina escaped without a wound. On the surrender of the city, she was too well known to escape notice, and was made prisoner. But she had already caught the contagion; and being taken to the hospital, she subsequently succeeded in effecting her escape.
Feb.] CAPITULATION VIOLATED BY LANNES. 111
The record of female heroism must be yet further extended. During the struggle, the women of Zaragoza shrank from no ordeal, however terrible. In the combat, where the fight was thickest,-on the ramparts, where the fire was most deadly-in the hospitals,-in the dark and airless dens of pestilence, breathing a tainted and noisome atmosphere,-there were they found, these “meek-eyed women, without fear,” soothing the dying, ministering to the suffering, and exhibiting a proud and memorable spectacle of fortitude and virtue.
The terms of the capitulation were shamefully violated by Marshal Lannes. Palafox was sent a prisoner into France; and the city became the scene of pillage and atrocity. The province, on the fall of Zaragoza, became comparatively tranquil. Fourteen thousand men, under Suchet, were left to maintain tranquillity; and the remainder of the besieging army, under Mortier, moved into Castile.
In the meanwhile, Europe rung with admiration of the noble defence of Zaragoza. Everywhere the pulses of the slave beat quicker and more strongly; and the heart of the freeman bounded proudly in his bosom. Poets and historians consecrated, in undying records, the virtue of her citizens; and Zaragoza, like Thermopylæ, will remain eternally linked with associations of the purest patriotism and devotion.