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ordering a body of cavalry to proceed to Villa Vicosa to release the prisoner by force. The Marquis de Châstelar, who was in charge of the Guard, refused to give him up; but the Junta, to prevent a collision, sent down an order for his release, and he was brought to the French camp, a miserable spectacle of the reverse of human fortune. The proud voluptuary returned in the most miserable apparel, “ unshaven and unshorn," with the marks of his late ill treatment fresh upon him, and the abrasions from his fetters unhealed. Murat had the generosity to feel for him, and, having ordered all his wants to be attended to be sent him off to Bayonne under the care of one of his aides-de-camp. The dethroned sovereigns were now all eagerness to take the same road, that they might lay their griefs before the great arbiter of their fate. Having, therefore, care-1. fully packed up the crown diamonds, they slept at the Palace of the Escurial on the 23rd, and, journeying along the great road to France, arrived at Bayonne on the 30th. The wretched scenes that were here enacted will be found related in all the histories of the period. They exhibit a melancholy picture of human degradation in the highest rank, unsupported by virtue and self-respect; but they do not enter into these “Annals," as they had no influence, one way or other, on the war.
7. INSURRECTION AT MADRID. Reports of the proceedings at Bayonne were transmitted by slow but faithful messengers into Spain, and roused the anger of the people. The French Commander-in-Chief took good care that nothing should be published in print in the capital, but rumours passed from mouth to mouth, and an universal agitation became the natural consequence. Every day the Puerta del Sol, or the great square of Madrid, into which opened the great streets, was crowded with angry multitudes. The appearance of a few dragoons, sent by Murat to keep down disorder, only added to the general rage and apprehension of ill. An order at this time arrived (ostensibly from Charles IV.) that the Queen of Etruria and the infant Don Francisco de Paolo, should be sent to join the Royal Family at Bayonne, and the Queen readily consented to go, but the Junta hesitated about sending the young Prince, a minor 13 years of age, and assembled in deliberation on the subject on the night of the 30th of April and 1st of May. The meeting was very numerous and stormy. A great many councillors were against consenting to the young Prince's journey, when the Minister of War, O'Farrell, showed them how impotent they were now already to oppose the French, but, as a compromise, a simulated refusal was made to Murat, wlio, on receiving it, declared that he would take the matter upon his own responsibility, and would despatch the young Prince on the 2nd. The intervening day was Sunday, and the greatest anxiety pirvaded the thousands who had thronged to the capital, and who wire all day eagerly on the watch for news from Bayonne, whence no courier had arrived for two days. The French garrison was ordei ed
INDIGNATION OF THE SPANISH POPULACE.
to rest on their arms all night, but at early morning of the 2nd the Court carriages appeared ready to start, and at 9 o'clock the Queen of Etruria entered the first, with her son and daughter, and drove off. Her departure occasioned no great interest. But, while the other carriages lingered, it was reported that the young Prince had evinced great unwillingness to leave Spain, and was shedding tears. At this news the women loudly expressed their pity, and the men were already wound up to some act of desperation, when a young French officer, recognised as an Aide-de-camp of the Grand-Duke of Berg, appeared approaching the palace. The cry was immediately raised, " He is come to carry off our Prince," and he was accordingly hooted and stoned, and would have been torn to pieces but for the interference of the Guard. Murat saw the conflict from the windows of his palace and sent his picket to disperse the multitude, when one or two musket-shots brought the insurrection to a head. The people, with daggers, firelocks, old swords, and cudgels, ran upon the soldiery, but were driven back by well-directed volleys. On one side there was a hideous cry raised from a populace excited to fury, on the other side the sound of the trumpet and the drum. Murat was soon on horseback and in the very midst of the melée, and sent his orders to the distant troops on every side to enter Madrid. He soon cleared the space in front of the palace: cannon charged with grape swept the streets leading towards it, and while the cavalry of the Imperial Guard, under Dumesnil, charged down the broad Callé de Alcala, the Polish lancers created a panic among the scattered people on foot by the reckless use of their weapon. Men and women in terror fled into houses, from the windows of which stones, and missiles, and even scalding water were thrown on the heads of the French horsemen. Some Mamelukes were particularly obnoxious to the Spanish of both sexes, who have an ancient hereditary animosity against Mahometans. There were Spanish troops in the barracks, with a considerable stand of arms, and the inhabitants called on the Junta to come to their assistance and to give arms to the people, which, at first, they refused to do; but, seeing how the French illused their countrymen, they at length joined the insurgents, headed by Don Louis Daoiz and Don Pedro Velarde, and the people harnessing themselves to the park of artillery near the Puerta de Fonkarral, and getting three of the guns into battery, commenced firing grape into the midst of the French soldiers. Brigadier Lepine, at the head of a column of infantry, promptly charged and carried the guns. and in the rush both the Spanish leaders were killed. This was the most important circumstance in the episode of the 2nd of May, for the blood here shed was the first that flowed in the Peninsular War, and it was awfully revenged upon the aggressors in the sequel. The contest, which had commenced about 10 o'clock, was terminated about 2, by the French soldiers capturing the arsenal containing the arms and cannon; but Murat, Grand Sabreur, par excellence, was not content with the mere establishment of order — he forth with named a military commission at the
Hotel of the Post, before whom every inhabitant seized with arms in his hands was tried, and at once taken to the Prado and shot without mercy. This severity was long afterwards remembered, with the circumstance, not readily forgiven by so superstitious a race, that they were massacred without even the consolations of a priest.* The people were, however, thoroughly cast down and terrified by this vigorous retaliation, and the Grand-Duke, without further delay, sent off all the Royal family, who were now eager to get away, including the tearful Infant Don Francisco de Paolo. The Junta was by this act deprived of its president, Don Antorio, and Murat demanded the post for himself, which the Supreme Junta unwillingly yielded; but their authority was soon afterwards superseded by a decree of Charles IV. appointing the Grand-Duke of Berg Lieutenant-General of the kingdom.
The indignation which the massacre of the 2nd of May excited throughout Spain was indescribable. The intelligence passed from house to house, from village to village, from town to town, from! province to province, and awakened a unanimous resentment, of a ! fervour almost unknown to history. Without chiefs, without any central authority, without the leadership of an individual or of a party, and without the aid of a free press, the flame spread as rapidly through the lonely mountains as in the crowded cities. Far from being intimidated at the hostile occupation of their capital and principal fortresses by a treacherous enemy, they were simultaneously, and altogether without premeditation, roused to the most vigorous and energetic exertions, that they might drive these usurpers out of their much-loved country.
8. ABDICATION OF THE BOURBONS – JOSEPH BONAPARTE KING
OF SPAIN. Matters, in the meantime, proceeded to their consummation at Bayonne. Charles IV. having revoked his resignation of the crown of Spain, Ferdinand was again reduced to the condition of Prince of Asturias, and, in the unseemly disputes which took place between him and his parents, before the Emperor, his mother shamelessly announced to him, that, although he was her son, he was not the ! son of the King. A very few days brought all these things to their inevitable conclusion; both father and son were deprived of the crown, and the conqueror announced that he had selected one of his own family to be their successor upon the throne of Spain. As early as the 3rd of May, this intention was transmitted to the Council of Castile and the Indies, that they might make the formal
* Did no evil genlus whisper in the ears of Murat, as the volleys resounded to the palace in which he sat,
“Nec lex æquior ulla
Quam necis artifices arte perire sua "? Surely these gory Spaniards rose upon his sight when, ten years later, he saw the muskets of the Neapolitan grenadiers levelled at his heart, in the castle-yard of Pizzo, in Calabria.
NAPOLEON'S DESIGNS UPON SPAIN.
demand of a Bonaparte for their sovereign, in the vacancy of the throne by the resignation of the Bourbons. The Marquis de Caballero became, in consequence, the mouthpiece of that body, who declared that, in the event of the actual renunciation of Charles and Ferdinand, they did not see a better hope for Spain than for a Prince of Napoleon's family. Still the Emperor was in doubt which one of his brothers to name, for Louis, unhesitatingly, declined his offer, and Lucien, in the recent interview he had had with Napoleon in Italy, had even refused the offer of the hand of Ferdinand for his daughter ; Joseph was appealed to, and the throne of Spain offered instead of that of Naples, but the whole month of May wore away before the elder brother either replied or appeared to the summons. At length, his approach was announced, and Napoleon, who was still at Bayonne, at once issued a decree, on the 7th of May, proclaiming Joseph King of Spain and the Indies, and, on the same day, went out to meet him on the road with all his state. With the accustomed energy and activity of the Imperial mind, he had employed these three weeks of suspense in preparing to give due éclat to the succession, by summoning out of Spain all the grandees, who would come on his invitation, to form a Junta, which should resemble the Council of the Indies, and confer a sort of legality on this delegation of the sovereign power. The Dukes of San Carlos, de l'Infantado del Parque, de Frias, de Hijar, and de Castel- Franco, the Counts of Fernando-Nunez, d'Orgaz, and Cevalloz, the Ministers of War and Finance, O'Farrell and d'Azarza, all attended the summons, and assembled to pay homage to King Joseph, on the 15th of May, when they were convoked in a solemn assembly, of which d'Urquijo was Secretary, to determine the new constitution on which Spain was to be henceforth governed. This was afterwards promulgated on the 7th of July, in a solemn assembly, presided over by Joseph on his throne. On the 9th, escorted by the Emperor as far as the frontier, the new King entered Spain, and repaired to the capital; and, on the 20th, the arduous task of kingcashiering and king-making having been now accomplished, Napoleon returned to Paris.
The conqueror saw very clearly that his acts had been throughout too unjustifiable to meet with the approbation of the world, however much he might esteem himself its master; but he was scarcely prepared for the outburst of resistance which followed, nor did he deem that the cry of the lowest classes of the people, in the most passive and backward nation of Europe, would form the thin end of the wedge that should overturn his omnipotence. Far, however, from dreading injury to his power from this source, he set his mind, with all its wonted energy, to work to clear the way for the military occupation of Spain. His first thoughts were directed to rendering impotent the poor remains of the Spanish army, and he, accordingly, wrote to Murat, that General Solano should be ordered to march away the troops which were in Madrid to the camp of San Roch, before Gibraltar, and the remaining divisions to the Portuguese frontier. He directed him to take all the Swiss Guards
NAPOLEON'S SCHEME OF BRITISH ANNIHILATION. [A.D.
of the late monarchy into French pay; but, doubting whether these mercenaries might be d'un courunt d'opinion française, or tun courant d'opinion espagnole, he ordered the regiments to be separated, and one to be attached to Dupont's army, and sent to Talavera, and the others to Cartagena and Malaga ; he, at the same time, expressed his will that Dupont should be sent to Cadiz to protect the fleet of Admiral Rosily in that port, and that Junot should be ordered to displace the Spanish divisions, by sending French troops to garrison Almeida and Elvas, in order to be prepared for whatever might happen in North Castile or Andalusia. He desired that the Spanish garrisons in the Balearic Islands might be left there, and even strengthened, in order to lessen the amount of national troops on the mainland, and all, that could not be otherwise better disposed of, were to be sent along the high roads to France, with the expressed object of joining the Marquis de la Romana, in the north, in an expedition against the British. He also bethought himself of the wretched remains of the Spanish fleet at Cadiz, Ferrol, and Cartagena, and directed that such ships of war as might be seaworthy should repair to the Spanish colonies, in order to save them from seizure by the English, and to form part of the grand scheme he meditated, of employing all the fleets of Europe to annihilate the “ships, colonies, and commerce" of his yet formidable rival.
9. THE SPANISH NATION RISE AGAINST THE FRENCH.
The Spanish nation, however, was not reduced to subjection by the base conduct of its pusillanimous Royal family and abject nobility. The public mind of Spain had continued in a ferment ever since the horrid massacre of the 2nd of May, and commotions and tumults had arisen in various places; but when it transpired, on the 20th, that the ancient crown of Spain had been abdicated in favour of the Bonaparte family, there was a great and general explosion among all classes of the kingdom. It happened that just about the time this became known (the 27th of May) fell St. Ferdinand's Day; and the idea that Ferdinand VII. was their last king, awakened all the sensibility of a nation so ardent, so heroic, and so enthusiastic as that of Spain. It may be said that the unfurling of the flag of Spanish independence dates from that anniversary.
The first effect of the general defection was the desertions from the army. Every night 300 or 400 men deserted from the barracks of Madrid. The Gardes de Corps, who were still on duty at the Escurial, melted away in driblets, three or four at a time, so that, in a very few days, there was not one left. The same occurred at Barcelona, Burgos, Corunna, &c. The troops in Andalusia remained, however, compact, and the army, commanded by General Castaños, amounting to 25,000 men, became a rallying point for many of those who got safely across the Sierra Morena. This