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as soon as he took possession of the city, were intended to make them understand that they were no longer an independent nation, but that they must learn obedience to a military yoke. A French governor to the city was appointed, a French patrole established, and notice given that contributions would be required. It was of little avail, amidst such proceedings, that the proclamations of Ferdinand assured his subjects that perfect harmony subsisted between him and the French emperor; and on his departure from the capital the anxiety and agitation of the inhabitants hourly increased. They knew that he expected to meet Buonaparte at Burgos; and the tidings that he had passed the frontier, and proceeded to Bayonne, excited in them equal wonder and alarm. Every evening an extraordinary courier arrived from that city; the intelligence which transpired became daily more unsatisfactory; the intentions of the tyrant grew more and more apparent, and at last it could no longer be doubted that Ferdinand was to be deprived of his crown. Under this conviction the feelings of the people were excited to the highest degree, when, on the last day of April, Murat communicated the receipt of orders from King Charles at Bayonne, for the removal of the remaining branches of the royal family from the capital to that city. The courier who was expected as usual from Bayonne on that evening did not arrive. Great multitudes assembled the next day in the streets near the post-office, anxiously waiting for the news which he might bring. During the whole day it was evident that some dreadful crisis was at hand. The courier still did not arrive; Murat appeared in the streets, and was received with hisses and outcries; the French garrison were under arms all that night, and their commanders, 'cool spectators of these things,' according to their own relation, saw the crisis approaching, and saw it with pleasure. On the following morning, the ever memorable 2d of May, the royal family set out on their journey into captivity; the populace, endeavouring to resist their departure, cut the traces of a carriage, and insulted an aide-de-camp of Murat; he brought up a party of soldiers, and a scene of bloodshed presently began: —on which side the first blow was struck will, as Mr. Southey observes, never be known; nor is it of any importance that it should. It was the natural and inevitable consequence of the proceedings of the invader; and whether the first drop of that ocean of blood was spilled by a French or Spanish weapon, the guilt is equally that of Buonaparte.
'The indignation and hatred of the Spaniards, which had so long been repressed, now broke forth. As fast as the alarm spread, every man of the lower ranks who could arm himself with any kind of weapon, ran to attack the French. There is no other instance upon record
of of an attempt so brave ami so utterly hopeless, when all the circumstances are considered. The Spanish troops were locked up in their barracks, and prevented from assisting their countrymen. Many of the French were massacred before they could collect and bring their force to act: but what could the people effect against so great a military force, prepared for such an insurrection, and eager, the leaders from political, the men from personal feelings, to strike a blow which should overawe the Spaniards, and make themselves be respected? The French poured into the city from all sides, their flying artillery was brought up, in some places the cavalry charged the populace, in others the streets were cleared by repeated discharges of grape-shot. The great street of Alcala, the Puerta del Sol, and the great square, were the chief scenes of slaughter. In the latter the people withstood several charges, and the officer who commanded the French had two horses killed under him: General Grouchy also had a horse wounded. The infantry fired volleys into every cross street as they passed, and fired also at the windows and balconies. The people, when they felt the superiority of the French, fled into the houses; the doors were broken open by command of the generals of brigade, Guillot and Daubrai, and all within who were found with arms were bayoneted; and parties of cavalry were stationed at the different outlets of Madrid to pursue and cut down those who were flying from the town.'
. . . . 'About two o'clock the firing had ceased every where, through the personal interference of the Junta, the council of Castille and other tribunals, who paraded the streets with many of the nobles, and with an escort of Spanish soldiers and imperial guards intermixed. It might then have been hoped that the carnage of this dreadful day was ended; the slaughter among the Spaniards had been very great; this however did not satisfy Murat; conformably to the system of his master, the work of death was to be continued in cool blood. A military tribunal under General Grouchy was formed, and the Spaniards. who were brought before it were sent away to be slaughtered, with little inquiry whether they had taken part in the struggle or not. Three groups of forty each were successively shot in the Prado—the great public walk of Madrid. Others, in like manner, were put to death near the Puerta del Sol, and the Puerta del S. Vicente, and by the church of N. Senora de la Soledad, one of the most sacred places in the city. In this manner was the evening of that second of May employed by the French at Madrid. The inhabitants were ordered to illuminate their houses, a necessary means of safety for their invaders, in a city not otherwise lighted, and through the whole night the dead and the dying might be seen distinctly as in broad noon-day, lying upon the bloody pavement. When morning came the same mockery of justice was continued, and fresh murders were committed deliberately with the forms of military execution during several succeeding days.'—pp. 246—250.
Here we have an opportunity of adducing a striking instance of the strict fidelity of Mr. Southey's relation. Almost contemporaneously with his work have appeared the Letters of Mr. White,
E 3 under under the title of Don Leucadio Doblado: this gentleman happened to be a witness and almost a partaker of those scenes, which he describes in one of his letters with considerable detail, and we find that his account agrees even in the most minute particulars with that of Mr. Southey—a corroboration, interesting in the individual instance, but important and most satisfactory as implying the general and scrupulous accuracy of the historian.
These bloody massacres had scarcely ceased, when there arrived from Bayonne intelligence of the abdication of both Ferdinand and Charles, with a decree by which Murat was appointed lieutenant-general of the kingdom; and the people of Madrid, the blood of their townsmen still reeking in the streets, and the yoke upon their necks, read the proclamations by which their late sovereigns enjoined them to submit to the will of the Emperor Napoleon. These edicts were followed by others from the despot himself, appointing, by virtue of the right which had been ceded to him, his brother Joseph Buonaparte to be king of Spain; convening an assembly of the notables of the kingdom at Bayonne, and making vain promises and hypocritical professions of his esteem and benevolent intentions towards the Spanish people. But these came too late for his purpose, though not for ours; .for they afford additional proof of the weakness and the wickedness, the folly as well as the audacity of one whose partizans, even when obliged to concede the injustice of his motives, compensate themselves for the reluctant admission by the most extravagant praise of his talents. We are now growing a little better informed even on this head; and by the time that Messrs. O'Meara and Las Cases have completed their panegyrics, they will have convinced all mankind of that truth which we have long proclaimed,—that this miracle of emperors was the offspring of circumstances, the spawn of the reflux of the revolution; that his abilities (except perhaps in the field) were those of a mountebank; that he had neither generosity nor genius, neither wisdom nor magnanimity; and that his peculiar and distinguishing quality was a kind of cunning audacity, ' ruse doublee de force,' as M. de Pradt expresses it, which rendered him equal to any attempt that promised gain, and did not require personal courage.
The seizure of the fortresses, and the advance of the French troops, had roused the spirit of the Spaniards; their hopes had been excited to the highest pitch by the downfall of Godoy, and, the elevation of Ferdinand; and, in that state of public feeling, the slaughter at Madrid and the transactions at Bayonne were no sooner known than the whole Spanish nation, as if by an instantaneous impulse, manifested a determination to resist the audacious usurpation. Their princes in captivity; many of their nobles and
most most of their statesmen cooped up in Bayonne; the flower of their own army out of the kingdom, and a numerous enemy possessed of their frontier fortresses, and occupying the capital and heart of the country; they yet, under these complicated disadvantages and dangers, rose in general and simultaneous insurrection against the mightiest military power that had ever, till that time, existed. On the 24th and 2dth of May the flame of patriotism burst forth in every quarter of Spain; the province of Asturias was the first to organize a provincial junta of government, and to send envoys to solicit aid from Great Britain; and the people of Zaragoza, in the name of their province, invested the celebrated Palafox with the office of Captain-General of Aragon, in which capacity he heroically declared war against France. In less than one week from this period, Leon and Gallicia, Estramadura and Andalusia, Catalonia and Valencia, were all in full insurrection and communication with England; and if ever there was a moment for national pride, it was this, when we saw a nation which had deserted our alliance, and confederated for our ruin, forget, in the crisis of their danger, the wrongs they had done us, and throw themselves, with the frankness of a renovated friendship, into the arms of our generosity. Ferdinand, when he set out upon his journey to Bayonne, had left a junta of government at Madrid; the Spaniards were therefore familiar with that name, and juntas were every where formed of the most respectable of the inhabitants of the several cities: for it should be particularly noticed, that the people showed no desire to break loose from the laws and habits of subordination. Having always been accustomed to look to their rulers, never to act for themselves, their very zeal displayed itself in the form of obedience; they were eager to follow any who would undertake to guide them, and no person thought of stepping beyond his rank to assume the direction. On these occasions, indeed, in which free scope was, for the first time, given to the hopes and expectations of enthusiastic patriotism, the more unreasonable were sometimes hurried into excesses by theit own zeal—sometimes seduced into them by wretches who were actuated by the desire of plunder, or of private revenge. Some blood was shed at Valladolid, Cartagena, Granada, Badajoz, Seville, and several other places; and at Valencia in particular, not only was the governor sacrificed to the rage of the populace, but a frightful massacre of the French residents of that city took place: but this dreadful anarchy was of short duration, and after the first ebullition of fury, the multitude every where yielded themselves implicitly to the pro^ visional authorities.
Though the provincial governments thus suddenly formed throughout the kingdom were altogether independent of one another,
E 4 a certain
a certain ascendency was conceded by general consent to the junta of Seville, as that city, for its size and importance, was regarded by the Spaniards as their capital, while Madrid remained in the hands of the enemy. That junta then, in the name of Ferdinand VII. and of the Spanish nation, declared war against the Emperor Napoleon, and against France; directed the enrolment in the patriotic cause of all men between sixteen and forty-five years of age; provided as far as possible for the collection of funds for the public service, and announced the opening of negociations with England.
The confidence of British aid which the Spaniards entertained from the commencement of their sacred struggle was not disappointed. The intelligence of their general insurrection was received in England with the most enthusiastic joy. The nation was unanimously eager to assist a people who had risen in defence of their native land against the common enemy of mankind; and the government hastened with a corresponding alacrity to extend to them every species of support. Arms, ammunition and clothing were dispatched to the northern provinces of the Peninsula immediately upon the arrival of the Asturian deputies, the first agents of the patriots who landed on our shores; men, they said, they did not want. The Spanish prisoners were released and sent home; Spain was recognized as a friend and ally; and neither expense nor exertions were spared to meet the numerous requisitions for supplies which followed in quick succession from the different provincial governments.
When hostilities once commenced, the scene of warfare was extended so immediately and in such opposite directions, into all quarters of the Peninsula, that it is difficult, indeed almost impossible, to offer any connected and comprehensive view of the early operations of the campaign of 1808. As the theatre of insurrection comprehended every part of the country not directly occupied by the invaders, and as they became every where the assailants, a reference to their positions and movements will/perhaps, best describe the general features of the 'campaign. Omitting, for a time, all mention of Junot, who held Portugal with his army, Madrid may be regarded as the centre of the French strength. Their main army was assembled round that capital, while a chain of strong divisions holding the four great fortresses which they had seized, and otherwise preserving their communications with France, extended northward in a line from Madrid to the Pyrennees. The difficulty of their situation was, that while the Spaniards were every where in arms and in commotion, they no where presented an army in the field. The invaders were consequently at a loss where to strike an effective blow, and their only resource was to get possession of the provincial capitals, that the authority .every