Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

felt that if there were any im- chy, and of giving to all the inprovement which was required by terests guaranteed by the charter these great interests, as well as that profound security which we for the maintenance of our liber- owe them. ties, and which would merely mo- We shall at the same time undify some of the regulating forms dertake the task of making all our of the charter, in order the better laws harmonize with the constito ensure its power and its opera- tutional monarchy. You have tion, it belonged to me to pro- already adopted several which pose such improvement.

have this tendency; and I have The moment is come for given directions for the preparastrengthening the chamber of de- tion of others which will ensure puties, and for withdrawing from individual liberty, impartiality of it the annual action of parties, by trials, and a regular and faithful ensuring to it a duration more administration throughout all deconformable to the interests of partments and districts. public order and to the external Providence has imposed on me dignity of the state : this will the duty of closing the abyss of be the completion of my work. revolutions; of bequeathing to More fortunate than other states, my successors, to my country, init is not from provisional mea- stitutions that are liberal, firmly sures, but from the natural deve- established, and durable. You lopment of our institutions that are assembled for this sacred purwe shall derive our strength. pase. In order to accomplish it,

It is from the devoted zeal,-it rely, gentlemen, on my unalteris from the energy of the two able firmness, as I rely on the cochambers,-it is from their close operation of my faithful and loyal union with my government, that peers of France,--of my faithful I would ask the means of saving and loyal deputies of the departthe public liberty from licentious- ments. ness, of establishing the monar

VOL. LXI.

[N]

CHAPTER CHAPTER XI.

SPAIN.

Death of the deposed King of Spain.- Design baffled by this Event.

Spread of Disaffection in Spain.- Organised Bands of Robbers.--Conspiracy in Valencia.-Severe Measures and Proclamation of General Elio.- Fresh Change of Administration.-Cadiz ExpeditionCanses of its long Delay.-Mutiny among the Troops of the Erpedition. How quelled by Count Abisbal.-- Ruin of the Expedition.Disgrace of Abisbal. Further Proceedings of General Elio. Resistance of the Magistrates.-- Authority assumed by the Inquisition.Ravages of the Yellow Fever.-Decree of the King respecting his

Re-marriage.- Reception of the new Queen in Spain. On the 20th of January 1819, Mancha, — indulged themselves Charles IV, the abdicated king in all the excesses which a feeble of Spain, ended his days at Rome and ill-conducted government is in the 71st year of his age, having unable to restrain. The high survived his consort only a fort- roads were infested with nunight. This circumstance, in it- merous bands of robbers, eviself of small importance, was at dently acting under a regularly the time regarded as a favorable organized system, who manifested event for king Ferdinand, whose somewhat of a political object in justly discontented subjects it their depredations, by attacking deprived of a rallying point. with much greater eagerness all Charles IV himself had been persons charged with the receipt much less the object of unpopu- of money for government, than larity than his queen and her fa- individuals travelling on their vorite the prince of Peace; and private affairs. One of these his restoration appears to have troops is stated to have amounted been for a moment contemplated to 300 men. A conspiracy against by the liberales of Spain.

the government said to have been In the meantime, the spirit of formed in the city of Valencia, disaffection was daily extending but of which the proofs are reitself amongst the higher classes ported not to have been very coof society, and especially amongst gent, gave occasion to numerous the military; whilst the lower, in arrests and to the infliction of seseveral provinces,-in Andalusia, vere punishments. Several perEstramadura, New Castile, and sons were condemned to the galparticularly in the district of La lies of Ceuta; colonel Vidal the

leader

leader of the enterprise was cessary to make application to hanged, and twelve others were Russia to furnish vessels for the

General Elio, the military South American expedition, and governor of the province, issued a considerable number had arrived on the occasion a truly ferocious at Cadiz. But these ships, which proclamation, in which he warned were built only of pine, and had the inhabitants to feel no pity for already seen much service, were the “ monsters” whose fate they soon discovered to be in so bad a had witnessed.

state that very considerable re. · In the month of May, a fresh pairs were requisite to fit them for revolution took place in the ad- the voyage. During the delay ministration, which within the occasioned by this circumstance, last five years had changed as a spirit of mutiny gained upon many times. One of the minis- the soldiers destined for the serters was ordered to quit Madrid vice, which broke out just as other in an hour, and another was re- difficulties had at length been commended to repair to some town surmounted and the preparations in the kingdom of Grenada until appeared on the point of being he should receive an appointment completed. Very decided sympin that quarter. Financial diffi- toms now made it manifest, that culties, which each set of coun- the troops would not allow themcillors in its turn tried to over- selves to be embarked on board come and found insuperable, bad ships, badly fitted out, and were believed to be the true cause above all, badly commanded, of these endless vicissitudes in in order to restore the colonies the cabinet of Ferdinand VII. to the domination of a prince

The sailing of the long in- whose arbitrary system of governtended expedition from Cadiz for ment had already disgusted the recovery of the revolted pro- themselves. In the night of the vinces of South America, con- 7th of June, count Abisbal tinued to be postponed from time (O'Donnel) the commander in to time, for the equipment of a chief, became apprised of the exsingle squadron was now an effort istence of a conspiracy in the which exhausted all the resources first division of the army, which of this great kingdom,-once by he felt the necessity of strangling its power and riches the tyrant or in its birth. He quitted Cadiz the terror of Europe. The Spa- with dispatch and secresy, and nish marine, since the fatal ale collected the troops in garrison liance formed with France in the at the Isle of Leon and Puerto. year 1796 and the long series of Real, to the number of 4,000. national misfortunes which had With this force having surrounded resulted from this step, had sunk the mutinous camp, 7,000 strong, into the last stage of decay. The he caused the soldiers to lay navy had been annihilated, the down their arms, pronounced the arsenals emptied, and the forests dismissal of the officers, above 120 of the kingdom destroyed. In of whom he took into custody, the present emergency, therefore, and dispersed the regiments the government had found it ne- among the towns of Andalusia.

[N 2]

The

The whole was performed with evils of this distracted country. out resistance and without blood. The yellow fever declared itself shed, by means of the great as

at Cadiz in the month of August, cendancy of the commander over and spreading to Seville and other the minds of his troops, but the towns in the south, committed expedition was totally discon- horrible ravages, some particucerted; the mutinous troops could lars of which will be found in our not be trusted, and the regiments Chronicle articles. by whom they had been disarmed The king, who had become & had only been bribed to render widower at the close of the prethis piece of service by the pro- ceding year, issued on August mise of count Abisbal that they 12th the following decree, renshould not be embarked for South dered worthy of preservation by America : the conduct of this the extraordinary style in which general himself incurred suspi- it is expressed. cion, and he was dismissed from “ The supreme tribunals of the his command. General Elio con- capital, the deputies of my kingtinued to pursue his measures for dom, the different municipalities, the suppression of conspiracy in several religious communities and the kingdom of Valencia with a many other corporate bodies, have keenness which produced not dis- represented to me bow advantacontent alone among the inhabi- geous and necessary it would be tants, but resistance on the part to the well-being of the nation in of the local magistrates ; several general, and to all Christendom, of whom were thrown into prison to preserve by means of a new on their refusal to execute the nuptial union the legitimate suc commands of the military gover- cession of the throne upon which nor. The dungeons of the city Divine Providence has placed me. became so crowded with political I have listened with favour to the delinquents, that it was found ne- just desires with which all these cessary to transfer some of the bodies are animated, and have number to Murviedro. Torture yielded to their ardent wishes; is said to have been applied to and considering the high nobility one of the prisoners on his refu- of the Saxon blood, and of the sal to acknowledge the words most serene princes who compose which he was accused of having that august family, the alliances, uttered by one of the secret ancient as well as recent, that agents of the police, who had adorn it, the particular attachtreacherously drawn him into dis- ment that his majesty king'Frecourse on public affairs. The derick Augustus has always enInquisition, which had lent itself tertained for the crown of Spain, without scruple to the political and above all the rare and subenterprises of the government, lime qualities which heaven has was invested with the superin- granted to the most serene printendence and control of all the cess Maria Josephine Amelia, his other magistracies.

niece, daughter of the most high The scourge of pestilence was and most puissant prince Maxisoon after added to all the ctheimilian, and of the most serede

princess princess Caroline Maria Theresa, quences the most favourable to of glorious_memory; I have the Catholic religion and my subchosen Don Ferdinand de Aguilar jects." y Contreras, marquis of Cerralbo, The new queen arrived safely that he should go and propose to in Spain in the following month. that monarch my hand and my It was hoped that on this joyful throne for the said princess. occasion an act of grace would Having then imparted to his ma- have sanctioned the return of a jesty and her highness my sove- portion at least of the exiled

pareign intentions, they have testi- triots ; but conciliation formed at fied with profound veneration how this period no part of the policy agreeable such an union would be of Ferdinand VII; and in answer to them, as also to all Saxony. to certain solicitations on this I now inform the council thereof, subject, a confidential minister of that it may be apprised of it, and his majesty drily answered : share the satisfaetion which this « This affair must be left to new union creates in me, from time." which I trust will ensue conse

CHAPTER

« AnteriorContinuar »