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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.

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

this exposure and fatigue to one who had hardly yet regained the use of his legs, was a relapse.

We have seen, in a former letter that when preparations were made for a last stand at the palace, in case the city should be carried by assault, he had joined with the rest of the diplomatic corps in an offer to repair thither, and be near the Queen in the hour of danger. In the following letter, written after the event of the siege and the catastrophe of Espartero's regency, who had been driven from the country by a successful insurrection, he enters into some particulars of his agency in proposing the diplomatic intervention, and the motives which prompted the offer. The letter is to Mrs. Paris, is dated August 10th, and, besides the theme to which I have referred, contains other interesting and striking details of the royal drama of which he was a spectator.

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I see the French and English papers have published incorrect accounts of an interposition of the corps diplomatique in relation to the safety of the little Queen and her sister, in case of the city being carried by storm. I am represented by some as having prepared a note under the direction of the French chargé d'affaires, by others as having prepared it in concert with the British Minister. The fact is, I prepared one according to my own conception of what would be likely to meet with the concurrence of both parties, whose disagreement was likely to defeat the whole measure. The intervention was in consequence of preparations being made to convert the royal palace into a citadel, where, in case the city were carried by assault, the last desperate stand was to be made, and in consequence of a declaration of that fanfaron Mendizabal, who had the control of affairs, that, if pushed to the utmost, he would sally forth with the Queen and her sister in each hand, put himself in the midst of the

troops, and fight his way out of the city. I looked upon this as empty swaggering, but I knew not how far the defense might be pushed, or to what dangers the poor little Queen and her sister might be exposed by those who might seek to screen themselves behind the fancied sanctity of their persons.

I entered, therefore, into the remonstrance of the diplomatic corps solely on account of the royal children. I was for protesting against any EXTREME, either of attack or defense, which might put their persons in imminent jeopardy, knowing that the protest of the diplomatic corps would be promulgated, and would reach the besieging army, with the leaders of which the objections of a part of the diplomatic corps would have influence; while that of another part would have an effect upon the leaders of the defense. I had however, as I before observed, to modify the whole note, as the British Minister would only protest against the attack, while the rest of the diplomatic corps objected to omitting the word defense. I suggested the idea of offering to repair to the palace, and be near the Queen in any moment of danger; which was adopted, and incorporated in the note. Our offer was declined. Fortunately, events obviated the necessity of the measure. My only view in joining in the measure, as I before observed, was as far as our interference could have effect, to prevent the poor little Queen and her sister from being personally exposed to the dangers of any ruffian contest between warring and desperate factions. I am happy to say the storm has passed away, and they are at present safe.

The day before yesterday we had one of those transitions of scene and circumstance to which the melodramatic politics of this country are subject. Poor Espartero, as you will learn from the public papers, has been completely cast down, and driven out of the country. Notwithstanding all the obloquy heaped upon his name by those who have effected his downfall, I still believe him to have been loyal in his intentions towards the crown and the constitution; but of this no more for the present. Those who were lately insurgents, now possess the power; have formed themselves into a provisional government, occupy the capital, and carry on the affairs of the country in the accustomed manner, at the public offices.

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