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most intimate friends of the person who visited O'Donnell, and who was named to me at the same time.
During the period of suspense that preceded the insurrection, attempts were made to bring about a union between the Liberal party and the Moderado opposition. The former, although divided into sections which differ on certain points, is unanimous in its desire to see Spain governed constitutionally. Overtures were made to some of its chiefs. It was proposed that it should co-operate in the overthrow of the set of men who had detached themselves from all parties, and were marching on the high road to absolutism. These men, known as the Polacos or Poles a word which seems to have had its origin in an electioneering joke-were odious alike to Progresistas and Moderados. But there were great difficulties in the way of a sincere and cordial junction between the two principal parties into which Spaniards are divided. The Moderados would gladly have availed themselves of the aid of the Liberals to upset their common enemy; but they would give them no guarantees that they should be, in any way, gainers by the revolution. The Liberals, on the other hand, mistrusted the Moderados, and would not assist men whose aims they believed to be purely personal. When the Moderados asked what guarantees they required, they were quickly ready with an answer. "Arm the national guard of Madrid," they said; or, "March your troops, as soon as you have induced them to revolt, at once into Arragon, with one of our most influential and determined chiefs." The Moderados could not be induced to listen to such terms. They found themselves exactly in the position in which the Progresistas were in 1843. Divided amongst themselves, the probabilities were that the insurrection they proposed would turn to the advantage of the Liberals; and the risk of this was doubled if they accepted even the most favourable of the conditions offered to them. They knew that the feeling of a large majority of the nation was in favour of the Progresistas; that Espartero, although for seven years he had led the life of a country gentleman at Logroño, and had
steadily resisted all temptations to mingle again in political affairs, was in reality the most popular man in Spain, and that he was idolised by the people of Madrid. Some amongst them (O'Donnell himself, it has been said), whose views were more patriotic and less selfish than those of the majority, were not unwilling to blend with the Progresistas, to whom a few, including Rios Rosas, a distinguished lawyer and senator, frankly proclaimed their adherence, declaring that the parties which for so many years had divided Spain were virtually defunct, and that there were but two parties in the country, the national one, which desired the welfare of Spain, and to see it governed according to the constitution, and the retrograde or absolutist, which trampled on the rights of the people. But although a few men were found ready to waive personal considerations and to forget old animosities, the great majority of the Moderados were less disinterested, and the decision finally come to was to do without the aid of the Liberals, and to accomplish an insurrection which, although its success was likely to be of some advantage to the country, at least for a time, had for its object a change of men rather than of measures.
One of the most important persons concerned in the conspiracy was the Director of Cavalry, Major-General Domingo Dulce, reputed one of the best and bravest officers in the Spanish army, and who had won his high rank and many honours, not by political intrigue, as is so frequently the case in this country, but at the point of his good sword. He passed for a Progresista, and most of his friends were of that party; but in fact he had never mixed much in politics, and, as a military man, had served under governments of various principles. It is evident, however, that whilst confining himself to the duties of his profession-which is rarely the case with Spanish general officershe cherished in his heart the love of liberty, and a strong detestation of the tyranny under which Spain has for some time groaned. An intimate friend of his, a well-known and distinguished Liberal, was the immediate means of his joining the conspiracy.
It was an immense acquisition to the cause he agreed to assist. Chief of the whole of the Spanish cavalry, respected and beloved by the men and officers under his command, he could bring a large force to the insurgent banner, and his own presence beneath it was of itself of great value, for he is a daring and decided officer. He it was who, by his obstinate resistance in the palace, at the head of a handful of halberdiers, defeated the designs of the conspirators in the year 1841. Dulce is a slightly-made, active, wiry man, rather below the middle height, of bilious temperament, and taciturn mood, extremely reserved, even with his friends, not calculated to cut a great figure in the council, but a man of action, precious in the field. The other principal conspirators were General Messina, a man of education and talent, who had been undersecretary of the war department, and is an intimate friend of Narvaez; Ros de Olano, a general officer of some repute; and Brigadier Echague, colonel of the Principe regiment, a Basque officer who served with high distinction throughout the whole of the civil war.
it was to occur, its approach was known to several persons who, without being implicated in the plot, sincerely wished it success. There seemed no doubt of the event. But, at the very moment, a portion of the artillery of the garrison, which had pledged itself to take part in the movement, failed to make its appearance at the place of rendezvous. General Dulce considered their absence so important that he abandoned, for that day, his intention of marching off his cavalry, and declaring against the government. The combat of the 30th of June, in the fields of Vicálvaro, showed that he did not overrate the importance of including all arms in the composition of the insurrectionary force. At the time, however, a storm of censure burst over his head. He was taxed with treachery, with a deficiency in moral courage; his best friends looked mistrustfully and coldly upon him; more than one general officer, presuming on seniority of rank and age, took him severely to task. General O'Donnell was not backward in reproaching him. "Never was a white man" (these were the very words of the exgovernor of Cuba) "sold as you have sold me." Dulce, although deeply sensitive to all this blame, took it meekly, acknowledged that appearances were against him, but declared that he had acted for the best, and steadily affirmed that his future conduct would prove his fidelity to the cause he had espoused. Not all believed him.
Several false starts were made before the insurrection really broke out. On the 13th of June, especially, it had been fixed to take place. The garrison of Madrid had been ordered to parade before daybreak for a military promenade and review outside the town. Such parades had been unusually frequent for a short time past; and it was thought the government ordered them, owing to information it received, not sufficiently definite to compromise the conspirators personally, but which yet enabled it to defeat their designs. On that morning, however, all was ready. The Principe regiment, instead of marching directly to the parade ground, lingered, and finally halted at a place where it could easily join the cavalry. O'Donnell left the town, disguised, and stationed himself in a house whence he could observe all that passed. Persons were placed in the vicinity to watch over his safety. The proclamations that had been prepared were got ready for distribution. Late on the eve of the intended outbreak, about four or five hours before
Some days passed over, and there was no word of an insurrection. The conspirators were discouraged. Rumour spoke of dissensions among them. It was thought that nothing would occur. It was known to many that Dulce was of the conspiracy, and that, by his fault or will, a good opportunity had been lost; and they said that if he were not playing a double game, the government would certainly have heard of his complicity with O'Donnell, and would at least have removed him from his command. It was fact that, for some time past, anonymous letters had been received by the ministers, warning them that he was plotting against them. But they disbelieved this information, and
some of the letters were even shown to Dulce. The Duke of Rianzares, calling one day on a minister, found Dulce there."What is this that I hear, general?" said Queen Christina's husband; "is it true that you intend to shoot us all?" The question was awkward, but easily parried. A few days before the insurrection occurred, Dulce went over to Alcala, five leagues from Madrid, under pretence of inspecting the recruits stationed there. Seven squadrons of cavalry were in that town. Doubtless his object was to see if he could still reckon upon their following him whithersoever he chose to lead. I met him in the street after his return; I think it was on the 26th of June. He looked anxious and careworn. His position was certainly critical, and it is not presuming too much to suppose that a severe struggle was going on within him between a long habit of military discipline and duty, and what we must in justice believe to have been, in his opinion, a paramount duty to his oppressed country. For he was at the top of the tree. His position was splendid; his emoluments were large; he had but to persevere in his adherence to the government of the day to attain to the very highest rank in his profession-although that did not afford a more desirable place than the one he already occupied. Under these circumstances, even his enemies must admit-however guilty they may deem him-that he was not actuated by the selfish desire of personal advantage or aggrandisement.
Madrid, incredulous of an insurrection, was taken completely by surprise by the news that greeted its uprising on the morning of the 28th June. Some hours previously, it was informed, the director-general of cavalry, after mustering for review, in a field just outside the walls, the eleven squadrons that formed part of the garrison of the capital, had been joined by a battalion of the regiment of Principe, by a few companies from other regiments, and by General O'Donnell himself, and had marched to Alcala to incorporate in his insurrectionary force the troops there stationed. Other generals, it was stated, were with him, but for many hours-indeed for the whole of that day-truth was hard to be got
at, and Rumour had it all her own way. The aspect of Madrid was curious. The Queen and Court had left two days previously for the Escurial; all but two of the ministers were absent; those two were paralysed by the sudden event, and seemingly helpless. No measures were taken, no troops brought out; for a time it might have been thought that, as was reported, all but some fifteen hundred of these had left with the insurgent generals; for several hours the town was at the mercy of the people, and had they then risen it would probably have been their own, for many of the troops remaining in Madrid were disaffected and would have joined them. There was great excitement; the general expression was one of joy at the prospect of getting rid of a ministry than which none could be more odious; the Puerta del Sol and the principal streets were full of groups eagerly discussing the events of the hour; friends met each other with joyous counteances, and shook hands as if in congratulation-Liberals and Moderados alike well pleased at the event that threatened to prove fatal to the common enemy. I need not repeat the countless reports current on that day. The most important fact that became known was that the cavalry at Alcala had joined the insurgents, and that two thousand horsemen, some of the best dragoons in the Spanish army, were in hostile attitude close to Madrid, accompanied by a small but most efficient body of infantry. Towards evening the authorities began to awake from their lethargy of alarm. Ignorant of the fact that a line of telegraphic wires had been concluded on the previous day between Madrid and the Escurial, the insurgents had neglected to cut off this means of rapid communication; news of the insurrection had been transmitted to the Queen, and her return to the capital was announced. The streets were quickly filled with troops, illuminations were ordered (there was no hope of their being volunteered), and at about ten o'clock her Majesty made her entrance, passing completely through the town, having previously been to perform her devotions in the church of Atocha, whose presiding virgin is the special patroness of the royal
qualities, but whom evil influences and
I cannot pretend to relate all the
family of Spain-the gracious protec-
the gate near to which the enemy were supposed to be. The residence of the Captain-general and the officers of the staff is in the lower part of that street, and the constant passage to and fro of orderlies and aides-decamp interested the people: so that on the line of demarcation, beyond which there was no passage, there was a throng from morning till night, watching-they knew not exactly for what. From time to time there was a rush and panic-when the mob encroached on the limit, and the military were ordered to make them recede. The Café Suizo, at the summit of the street-which rises and again sinks over a small eminence was a great point of rendezvous, and was crowded with eager politicians. Towards evening, on the 30th, the garrison (almost the whole) being out of the town, it became known that a fight was imminent, or already begun. This was in the neighbourhood; but as none were allowed to pass, or even to approach the gates, news were scanty, and little to be relied upon. Cannon and musketry were heard, and wounded men were seen straggling in. The fever of expectation was at its height. Public opinion was decidedly in favour of the insurgents. They would beat the government troops, it was said, and enter the town pell-mell with them. All the male population of Madrid was in the streets, a few troops were stationed here and there; there was no disorder, but it was easy to see that a trifle would produce it. I was in the Café Suizo, which was crowded in every part, a short time after nightfall, when one of the alarms I have referred to was given. There was a violent rush in the street outside, cries and shouts; those without crowded into the café, most of those within made for the open doors. The effect was really startling; it was exactly that produced by a charge of troops upon a mob; and I saw more than one cheek blanch amongst the consumers of ices and lemonade (the evening was extremely hot) who filled the café. But it was a groundless alarm, produced, as before, merely by the troops compelling the crowd to recede. Armed police circulated in the throng, dispersing groups, and urging them to go home. Soon the
streets were comparatively clear, but the clubs and coffee-houses were filled until past midnight with persons discussing what had occurred, and giving fifty different versions. There had been a fight, it was certain, at about a league from Madrid, but who had won and who had lost was a matter of doubt until the next day.
The Madrid Gazette, the order of the day, published by General O'Donnell, and conversation with officerspresent in the short but sharp action, enable me to give you a sketch, which you may rely upon as correct, of its principal incidents. The garrison of Madrid, consisting of about eight battalions of infantry, four batteries of artillery, and some three hundred cavalry, took position on a ridge of ground at about a league from Madrid. The enemy, strong in cavalry, but weak in infantry, sought to draw them farther from the town, and into a more favourable position for horse to act against them. As the result proved, the wisest plan would have been to persevere in these tactics, and, if the garrison refused to advance further, to let the day pass without an action. But General O'Donnell had assurances that a large portion of the troops opposed to him only waited an opportunity to pass over to his banner. A part of the artillery, especially, was pledged to do so. some preliminary skirmishing, he ordered a charge, which was made in gallant style by two squadrons of the Principe regiment. In spite of a severe fire of shot and shell, reserved. until they were within a very short distance of the battery they attacked, they got amongst the guns, and sabred many of the artillerymen, but were prevented from carrying off the pieces, and compelled to retire, by the heavy fire of the squares of infantry formed in rear of the artillery. Having thus ascertained, beyond a doubt, that there was no chance of the artillery coming over to them, or allowing themselves to be taken, the insurgents would have perhaps acted wisely in making no farther attempts upon the hostile line, or, if they were resolved upon a contrary course, in assailing the flanks, instead of again charging up to the mouths of the cannon. But it appears from O'Donnell's own bul