« ForrigeFortsett »
National Discontent-State of the Army at Cadiz-Its Revolt-Occupies the
Isle of Leon-Expedition of Riego--Rising in Galicia-Defection of Abisbal-King forced to accept the Constitution-- Massacre at Cadiz-Anti-Revolutionary Movements-Meeting of the Cortes--Reports of the Ministers Finances-Suppression of Entails of Convents-Commercial MeasuresDissolution of the Army of Cadiz-Disgrace of Riego-Agitated State of the Kingdom--Prevalence of the Liberal Party.
For several years the discontent the executive power of the state. Althroughout Spain had been general and though, however, such a government hourly increasing. Its degradation was may make head for a certain time deeply felt by the nation, and sympa. against the strongest public opinion, thized with by the surrounding na- it possesses a radical unsoundness
, tions. It appeared the most cruel in. which will, sooner or later, manifest dignity to a brave nation, which had itself. The crazy vessel may be guimade so noble a stand, and had so ded in safety over a tranquil-sea ; but powerfully aided in restoring indepen- whenever the storm arises, it goes radence to the rest of Europe, to be re- pidly to pieces. Such a constitution duced to a thraldom more severe than resembles a national body, of which that which it had so heroically shaken the juices are corrupted, in which no off. Loud, however, as was the call disease yet manifests itself
, but to for that constitution which Ferdinand which the first wound or local injury, stood vainly pledged to bestow, all the the effects of which to another would attempts hitherto made to attain it had have been but temporary, proves mor, proved miserably abortive. There is a tal. It is seldom that in the political tendency in human society, and one world a very long period occurs with. on the whole safe and salutary, to re- out some shock or collision, which main fixed in any position which it has puts to the proof the materials of once assumed. To a great body of the which it is composed, and causes those people it appears more expedient to which are unsound to crumble into bear the ills they have, if at all toler- dust. able, than to rush on others that are The local malady which exposed to unknown and untried. It is difficult, peril the existing system of Spanish and in fact should be so, for secret government, resided in the expeditionand individual operations to combine a áry army at Cadiz. This body of force, which can make head against troops, prepared by Spain in the vain
hope of regaining her transatlantic em- ano, a citizen of Cadiz, and one of the pire, saw before them a prospect the most eloquent men in Spain ; while most dreary and discouraging. Whether money was supplied by Beltran de Lis they considered the theatre on which of Valencia, a zealous patriot, who had the war was to be waged, or the ene- seen a son die on the scaffold in the my with whom they had to contend, cause of liberty. there appeared equally little ground After many consultations, which for animation or hope.' The prospect happily escaped the jealous observaof bidding adieu to their native coun- tions of the ruling powers, the 1st of try, to perish in the vast plains and January, 1820, was fixed on as the deswamps of the Oronooko, inspired a cisive day. Riego, stationed at Las patriotic zeal, to which they might Cabezas, was to march upon Arcos, otherwise have remained strangers. the head-quarters of Calderon, comThe deliverance of their country ap- mander-in-chief of the expedition, and peared an object still more desirable, was to be joined there by the battalion when it was to be combined with their of Seville from Villa Martin. At the own deliverance from such a destiny. same time Quiroga, with two battaThe force collected at one point gave lions, was to move from Alcala de los a full impression of their own strength; Gazules, upon the Isle of Leon, and while the vicinity of Cadiz, a city upon Cadiz. which had long been the focus of li. At nine in the morning of the day beral sentiments, was likely to inocu- appointed, Riego put himself in molate them with some portion of its spi- tion. He called together his battalion,
explained to them his design, and find la consequence of these causes, a ing them disposed enthusiastically to deep discontent had long fermented in concur in it, led them direct to the the minds of the expeditionary army. square of Las Cabezas, where he proIt had even, as observed in the former claimed the constitution. In the evenyear, been organised into a formidable ing he marched with the utmost posconspiracy, which failed only through sible rapidity upon Arcos, in the vicithe vacillation or treachery of the nity of which place he arrived about Conde de Abisbal. The yellow fever, two in the morning. The battalion of which soon after began to rage at Ca- Seville having lost its way in the diz, and among the troops, aided the storm, was not yet come up. Riego views of the malcontents, by causing a waited its arrival in vain for four hours general disorganization, and relaxing then seeing day begin to dawn, and those strict precautions which the jea- apprehensive of discovery, he deterlousy of the government
would other- mined upon at once proceeding to acwise have prompted. Don Antonio tion. Though the battalion stationed Quiroga, a lieutenant-colonel, who had in Arcos was stronger than his own, been deeply implicated in the last con. he completely succeeded. The officers spiracy, was only loosely guarded at were taken by surprise in their barthe convent of Alcala de los Gazules. racks, Calderon and all his staff made He had, therefore, the opportunity of prisoners, and the Corregidor of the communicating with Don Raphael Rie. town shared the same fate. The bat. go, commander of the second battalion talion joined the insurgents, and every of the Asturias, and with other offi- thing was completed before that of cers who were disposed to engage in Seville arrived." Riego was somewhat the enterprize. The military chiefs disappointed to find only 12,000 duwere seconded by the talents of Gali- cats in the Treasury.
The success of Quiroga was not formed into two divisions, one of which quite so complete. He made his es- was intrusted to Riego, while Quiro
ga was made
of his battalion at Alcala. To reach Don Aguerro was placed at the his destination, however, it was neces head of the staff, and San Miguel apsary to cross the Majeceite, which was pointed his principal assistant Quirendered impassable by the rains. He rogą now addressed to his army a prowas thus unable to set out till the afq. clamation,
min which he told them, ternoon of the 2d. At Medina, he“ Spain approached to destruction : found anotherbattalion; and the troops and your ruin would have carried pushing forward rapidly through roads along with it that of your country: that were knee deep, reached at nine you were destined to death, rather to in the morning the bridge of Suazo, deliver the government from the fear which connects the Isle of Leon with which your courage inspired, than to the Continent. This important post conquer the colonies, which is become was surprised and carried in a few mi-. impossible. Meantime, your country, nutes. The insurgents, thus introdu. men remained in the most shameful ced into the Isla, were equally success. slavery, under an
tyranful in surprising San Fernando, its prin. nical government, which disposes at cipal fortress, where they took Cisner will of the property, the existence, ros, Minister of Marine. They now and the liberty of the unhappy Spapushed forward upon Cadiz, the main, niards. This government must have object of the expedition; and which be destroyed the nation, and finally itself; ing defended only by one battalion and it can no longer be endured. At once a few marines, was thought unlikely violent and weak, it can inspire only to make seriouş resistance. Ac four indignation or contempt ; but a counin the afternoon, however, the gover, try cannot be happy unless governnor of Cadiz received notice of the en. ment inspires confidence, love, and reterprize, and hastened with 500 men to, spect.” He finally assured them, that occupy .
Trocadero, a fortification the enterprize was at once easy and glocommanding the narrow neck of land, rious ; that union and discipline only by which alone Cadiz can be approach were necessary; that not a Spanish ed from the Isla. Being reinforced soldier would oppose them; and that from the ships, he succeeded in com, they would find brethren even in the pletely repulsing the attack of the in- ranks of those who were assembled for surgents. The district in their pose that purposes omabomu zadt.dbine session was thus reduced to the Isle of Leon,
name of the army, presented the folRiego in the meantime hastened to lowing address
address to the King iliw bool: join his comrades, and on his way, prom -009 as yodgid ni. 92159 159190 claimed the constitution at Xeres and “ SenorThe Spanish army, whose Santa Maria: The people, however, blood and unheard-of sacrifices restothough they shewed an interest in his red your Majesty to the throne of your success, did not
make any serious move. ancestors to the Spanish army, under ment in his favour. On his arrival at whose protection the nation, through the Isla the troops were mustered, and the medium of her representatives, sancfound not to amount to more than tioned the code oflaws intended to fix for 6000 men. They were immediately ever her happy destiny, felt its honour organized, however, under the title of and ardent patriotism wounded, when the “ Constitutional army;" they were your Majesty, breaking the bonds of
gratitude and justice, overthrew that governed as the absolute possessions of monument of justice, and denominated kings. The people of different coun. the expression of the most legitimate tries require different institutions, but rights a crime. Wulino in representative government is that which
“Şix years could not obliterate sen' appears best fitted for large societies, timents so deeply engraved in the heart. all the individuals of which cannot as. The various insurrections which have semble in a body to make laws for taken place in different times and in themselves. That is the government different places, ought to have con which the wisest nations have adopted, vinced your Majesty that the whole which all eagerly desire, the obtaining nation favoured those enterprizes, and of which cost us so much blood, and that if the person of your Majesty which no country is more worthy of have been the object of general re-than Spain, spect, such is not the feeling with « From what cause is the nation, which either the measures of govern- most favoured by nature, deprived of ment you have adopted, or the persons, the greatest blessing which men can so unworthy of your bounty and con.' bestow on themselves. Why should fidence, who surround you are regard the land which nourishes a political ed. The genius of evil stifled the ge' body be thought 'unworthy of the air nerous cry of 'freedom, and the brave of civil liberty ?-old prejudices, sysmen who raised it became the victims tems adopted by violence, frivolous of that iniquity which never pardons and vain prerogatives, which serve those who would draw aside the veil merely to Hatter the most insignificant by which the simple and igaorant are' pride, and the perfidious suggestions
of favourites, who are oppressors one "So fatal a destiny has not intimi- day, and are themselves oppressed on dated the troops of the army assembled the next-are these just 'motives for for the ultra-marine expedition, and violating the laws of reason, humanity, they again raise the cry so dear to and justice ? Kings are for nations ; every Spaniard who knows the value kings are only kings because nations of that name. They raised it, Senor, will them so to be. The light of knowand solemnly pronounced it on the first ledge has recalled these incontestible of January. They have pronounced axioms; and when governments seek it with the firm and decided determi- to establish the opposite principles, nation of being faithful to the bath they speak the language of fraud of hy. the manda
11* It is the wish and the determinaperjured, and the last drop of their tion of the army that this language blood will be cheerfully sacrificed in' shall no longer prevail. "The people barhetente o pestowbiche they are em cherish
the same wishes and people the constitution but habits of obedience to the laws is their object; to have it recognized have opposed a dyke to their resentthat the nation, legitimately represent. ment. "It falls to pieces on its being ed, has solely the right of giving her. known that the army has already self laws, is what excites in them the made a breach. The districts they purest accents of the warmest'en- and acclamations on the re-promulga
and teaches them to occupy resounded with shouts of joy thusiasm.
ijv? tion of that 'code which ought to have “The enlightened state of Europe, beeni bat dace proclaimed. May these Senor, no longer permits nations to be shouts soon spread over the whole pe
ninsula, and render it again the scene the capital believe only what was wishof virtue and heroism ! But should ed, and to dispel those exaggerated hopes so delightful not be fulfilled, if reports which were eagerly listened Heaven should not favour our ardent to. At the same time, General Freyre, wishes, still the efforts of the brave who had recommended himself so much will not be made in vain; to die for by his zeal and exertion,' was made liberty appears to them preferable to commander-in-chief forAndalusia ; and living, however long, under the laws all the troops in Granada, consisting and caprices of those who are corrupt. of six regiments, were placed under ing the heart of your Majesty, and his command. leading you to your infallible ruin. Several days elapsed, in which the
“Senor ANTONIO QUIROGA, hostile parties remained inactive, in
as Organ of the Army. view of each other. The insurrectionHead-quarters, San Fernando, | al troops only sent occasional detach. Jan. 7, 1820."
ments to collect provisions, and disap.
peared at the approach of the royalist Another address was at the same forces. On the 10th, however, Quitime presented to the Spanish people, roga's party gained a considerable acin which they reminded them of the an. cession in the regiment of the Carracient glory and liberty of the nation, of ries, which entered the Isla, protected its heroic resistance against the usurpa- by a sally of Riego, who repulsed O'tion of Buonaparte, of the recompence Donnel's cavalry, On the following which it had met with, and the mise- evening they obtained a still more im. ries which had been the consequence. portant advantage. The great naval It called upon them, therefore, to co- arsenal of the Carraca, situated on a operate in the glorious effort now made small island close to the shore of that to restore to them the rights of which of Leon, contained an immense supthey had been deprived.
ply of warlike stores, and, by its poThese events were not unobserved sition, checked the movements of the or unregarded by the Spanish provin- insurgent troops. The garrison being cial authorities. General Freyre, who weak, a detachment had been ordered commanded at Seville, lost no time in to reinforce it, but was not to arrive throwing the regiment of America, till the 12th. On the night of the 1000 strong, into Cadiz, though it 1lth, 400 men embarked at the bridge could enter that city only by sea. At of Suazo, and reached unobserved so the same time all the cavalry, amount. close to the foot of the walls, that the ing to about 2000, being placed un- batteries could no longer play upon der General Joseph O'Donnell, watch them. They surprised the first guards ; ed the approaches to the Isla, in order and before the strength of the garrito prevent the troops there from draw. son could be called out, were already ing aid and supplies from the neigh- in possession of the place. Besides bouring country.
stores, they found also provisions, and This momentous intelligence being a ship of war of 74 guns, called the St conveyed to Madrid, did not at first Julian. The dungeons of this place obtain belief; but when a full confir- contained also a great number of the mation arrived, the government redour friends of freedom, who were immedibled its jealousy and severity ; all cor- ately liberated. respondence and private intercourse The increased means thus obtained was narrowly watched; and every ef- were employed in raising batteries, fort was made to make the people of with the view of storming the Corta