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be perplexing questions for diplomatists, should the invading armies get possession of the capital, and of the person of the young Queen. The question may then arise, "Where is the actual government?" and which party is to be considered legitimate? You will now understand why, at such a crisis, a diplomatic agent should not be absent from his post.

We have no regular troops in the city, but a large force of national guards, and of the national militia from the neighboring villages. Some feel great confidence in their maintaining the safety of the city; others doubt their being willing to fight, seeing that the invaders are their countrymen. My idea is, that if Soane and Zurbano arrive in the neighborhood with the force they are said to have, the invaders will have to retreat, or to make battle. Should no such succor arrive, I should not be surprised if, after a few days, the city should make terms, acknowledge the insurgent authority, and that a temporary government should suddenly be organized here-how long to last, it would be useless even to conjecture.

I am scrawling this hastily, to be sent off by the French courier. I doubt letters going safely at present by the mail, as the insurgent cities through which it passes are eager to get at news from the capital. As I have no time to write to your mother, send her this letter when you have done with it. It will help to keep up the thread of Spanish affairs I have given her.

[To Mrs. Storrow, Paris.]

MADRID, July 13, 1843.


I have just learned that a French courier is about to set off from the French embassy, and I hasten to scrawl you a line by it, as letters by the mail are apt, at the present moment, to be intercepted, and you may be anxious to hear from me during these warlike times. I wrote to you about four days since, giving you some account of the critical state of affairs in this city. Since that time, we have been in a state of siege; the enemy at the gates; the whole body of national guards, etc., under arms; the main streets barricaded; every house illuminated at night;

the streets swarming with military men ; the shops shut; the publication of the newspapers suspended, and the public ear abused with all kinds of lying rumors. There has been brisk firing of musketry about some of the gates, and an occasional report of a cannon; but the besiegers calculated upon the disaffection and treachery within the walls: upon a pronunciamento in favor of the insurrectional government, and upon the gates being thrown open to them. They therefore came without artillery. Thus far they have been disappointed. The national guards have remained firm and true, and have kept up a brisk fire whenever the enemy made any demonstrations. One of my windows commands a view of one of the city gates and its vicinity, and I could hear every discharge, and at night could see the flash of the guns. It has been extremely interesting to me, and fortunately, I have so far recovered from the lingering of my malady, that I could go all about on foot, and witness some of the striking scenes presented by a city in a state of siege, and hourly in apprehension of being taken by assault. Troops were stationed in the houses along the main streets, to fire upon the enemy from the windows and balconies, should they effect an entrance; and it was resolved to dispute the ground street by street, and to make the last stand in the royal palace, where were the Queen and her sister, and where the Duchess of Victoria, wife of the Regent, had taken refuge, her own palace being in one of the most exposed parts of the city.

Apprehending that the lives of the Queen and her sister might be exposed to extreme hazard, as much in the defense as in the attack, the diplomatic corps addressed a note to the government, urging the most scrupulous attention to the safety of these helpless little beings, and offering to repair in a body to the palace, and remain there during the time of peril. Our offer has been declined, the ministry thinking the safety of the Queen and her sister sufficiently secured by the devotion of the inhabitants of Madrid, etc.

Last evening it was confidently reported that there would be a grand attack at various points in the course of the night, and many were in a great state of alarm. I had returned home at a late hour and had just got into bed, when I found a note lying on the table beside my bed, which

proved to be from Mrs. Weismuller, the young and beautiful bride of Mr. Weismuller, a connection and representative of the Rothschilds, who arrived here recently from England, and whose residence was in the main street leading from the gate that would be attacked. She requested permission to take refuge in my house. It was already twelve o'clock, but I hastily dressed myself again, and repaired to the residence of Mr. Weismuller, escorted by Lorenzo. Groups of soldiers, with sentinels, were stationed at every corner. I found Mr. and Mrs. Weismuller in much anxiety, he having received what he considered certain intelligence that the attack would take place about four o'clock in the morning. I offered every accommodation my house would afford, and, after much deliberation, it was determined that, on the first alarm of the attack, they should repair to my residence. This being settled, I returned home, but did not get asleep until between one and two o'clock. This morning, I awoke about four. There was the sound of a drum in the street, and the report of two or three distant shots. I thought the attack was about to commence, and prepared to rise; but all remained quiet, and there was no further alarm. It appeared that, instead of attacking, the enemy had drawn off in the night. They had heard of the approach of the forces under Generals Soane and Zurbano in one direction, and of a smaller force (about three thousand men) under Generals Iriarte and Enna in another direction. General Narvaez, therefore, has marched to encounter Soane and Zurbano, and General Espiroz to encounter Iriarte and Enna. Should they vanquish them, they will return upon Madrid, which, in such case, will probably capitulate. Should Soane and the others be successful, the Regent's government will be strengthened in Madrid; should they fail, his government will be overthrown. However this present contest may end, I look upon it as but the commencement of another series of conflicts and struggles for rule that will desolate unhappy Spain. Espartero has been the only man that has presented, for many years, calculated to be a kind of keystone to the arch; but his popularity has been undermined, and, whether he be displaced or not, I fear he will no longer have power and influence sufficient to prevent the whole edifice falling to ruin and confusion.

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I scrawl this in great haste, and have no time to write to any of the family; you must forward it, therefore, to your mother, that it may let all at home know that I am safe, and mean to continue so, whatever storms may prevail around me. I have just received a letter from Hamilton, dated from the Pyrenees. He will be much grieved at being absent from Madrid in these stirring and eventful times.

My health is continually improving, and I think the excitement of the last two or three days has been of great service to me. Yesterday I was on my feet from ten o'clock in the morning until twelve or one at night, and, though much fatigued, feel all the better for it.



OME of the letters of the foregoing chapter gave a glimpse or two of the scenes of warfare and confusion of which Mr. Irving was a witness while alone in the legation, with the city in a state of siege, and in hourly expectation of a general assault. He had, as we have seen, recovered sufficiently from his tantalizing malady to be able to go about on foot, and felt so extremely interested and excited during the crisis, that he could not keep in the house day or night. "I sallied out with as much eagerness," he writes, "as, when a boy, I used to break bounds, and sally forth at midnight to see a fire." What added, no doubt, to his excitement, was that his residence was not far from the gate of Alcala, about which most of the skirmishing took place. He states that he could see the flash of firearms from his window, and was often roused from sleep by the report of them in the night. The consequence of

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