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VII.

1819.

mand of ti

CHAP. destination. He was received with the greatest distinc

tion at Court, decorated with the great ribbon of the
order of Charles III. ; and his second in command, Gene-
ral Saarsfield, who had powerfully seconded him in his
enterprise, promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general.

But these flattering appearances were of short duration,
59.
D'Abisbal and the discovery of the conspiracy proved entirely fatal
is deprived
of the com-

a to the expedition, with the exception of the three thou

the sand who, in the first stupor of astonishment, had been expedition.

hurried on board, and sent off to the Havannah. The
Government had become, with reason, so distrustful of
the troops that they no longer ventured to keep them
together, or in the neighbourhood of Cadiz; and sinister
rumours ere long reached Madrid as to the share wbich
the Conde d'Abisbal had had, as well as his second in
command, in the conspiracy. The consequence was that
they were both called to the capital, under pretence
of giving personal information on so dangerous an
affair; and while there they were deprived of their com
mands, and the direction of the expedition intrusted to
the Conde de Calderon, a veteran of seventy years a
age. D'Abisbal was too powerful a man, however, to f
brought to judgment; and, to the surprise of every os

this scene of dissimulation and hypocrisy on both siwe Aug. 6... was brought to a close by a decree, which, after rec ii. 389, 390; the great services he had rendered to his countr Martignac, pointed him Captain-general of Andalusia, Presid

iapthe Audience of Seville, and Governor of Cadiz.

But although everything was thus smooth on Additional face, d’Abisbal was far from having really rega\Vhe. measures of

on confidence of the Government, and they were dained. the part of into greater consternation by the discoveries

m y th the extent of the conspiracy, and the share whi Vade captain-general had had in fomenting it. Gr. th the of officers were arrested; but the Governn Vat num venture on the hazardous step of bringing th Went did They took the opportunity, however, of a.

ting

i. 181.

Unt of

60.

sever

an \y thrown

Wade as to \th the new Vat numbers

ment.

Vem to justice. however, o acting with ex

VII.

1819.

treme severity in other quarters. Ten officers who had CHAP. been arrested for their accession to Porlier's conspiracy in Galicia in 1815, and had remained in prison ever since, were ordered to be executed par contumace, twenty were sent to the galleys, and twenty-five imprisoned for various periods. Additional levies of troops were ordered in Galicia and Catalonia, the mountaineers of which provinces were deemed attached to the royal cause. General Elio adopted the most rigorous measures, and even made use of torture, to discover the traces of a conspiracy which was suspected to exist in Valencia, and to implicate a large number of the most respectable citizens ; and every effort was made to prevent the introduction of French books across the Pyrenees, by which it was suspected the minds of the soldiers and people had been chiefly corrupted. But these measures of precaution proved ineffectual : the importation of foreign revolutionary books continued, and the concentration of the troops in the great towns, where the principal danger was apprehended, ..AnnHist.

4. j. 391, 392; left the provinces open to the incursions of armed bands Ann. Reg.

1819, 180, which infested the roads, and, in some instances, openly 181. proclaimed the constitution.1

Still, however, the preparations for the expedition continued at Cadiz; but in the course of the autumn a fresh Yellow difficulty arose, which proved insurmountable. In the Cadiz. end of July, a dangerous epidemic broke out at Cadiz, Aug. which soon spread from the hospitals to the crews of the ships and the troops in garrison, or in the adjoining camps in the Isle of Leon ; and though the punishment of the galleys was, in the first instance, threatened to the physician who gave it its true appellation, on the 20th of August a proclamation of the commander ad interim of the expedition, Don Blaise-Foumas, announced the true character of the disease, which was the yellow fever, though it was disguised under the name of the typhus iterodis. In spite of all the precautions which could be taken, the progress of the malady was very

61.

ever at

g. 20.

VII.

1819.

ro

1 Ann. Hist.

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CHAP. rapid, especially among the indigent and crowded popula-_ tion of that great seaport. Ten thousand were soon seized

with the disorder—the hospitals were full—the deaths rose to a hundred a-day; and the soldiers, seized with a sudden panic, mutinied against their officers, burst through the barriers of the quarantine which had been established round the island of Leon, and, spreading to the number of nine thousand over the adjoining villages of Andalusia, carried the seeds of real contagion and the terrors of imaginary danger wherever they went. So far did the alarm spread that the most rigorous measures were adopted, to prevent any communication between Andalusia and New Castile ; a sanitary junta of eighty persons was established at Madrid to prevent the contagion

spreading to the capital ; and a decree published, denouncii. 391, 392; ing the punishment of death against any person who Ann. Reg. 1819, 180. should enter the capital, without a certificate of health,

from the infected province.1

While these events, fraught with incalculable, and then Sale of Flo- unforeseen, consequences to both hemispheres, were in rida to the Americans. progress in Spain, its Government was actively engaged

in diplomatic negotiations of the most important character. The extreme penury of the exchequer compelled them to have recourse to every imaginable device to replenish it: one thought of was the sale of the Floridas to the Americans, which was effected, under colour of determining the limits of the two countries, by a treaty signed at Washington on 22d February. By this treaty the Americans acquired the whole territories known by the name of the Floridas, between the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico—a territory of vast extent, and in great part of surpassing fertility. The price, disguised under the name of discharging claims on the Spanish Government, was to be 5,000,000 dollars, (£1,250,000). Some difficulties arose about the ratification of this treaty by the Spanish government, on the ground of a predatory expedition, alleged by the Spaniards to have been

62.

Feb. 22.

VII.

connived at by the American government, into the pro- CHAP. vince of Texas. At length, however, these difficulties – were adjusted, and the cession took place. Thus while 1819. Spain, in the last stage of decreptitude, was losing some of its colonies by domestic revolt, and others by sales to foreign states, the great and rising republic of America was acquiring the fragments of its once boundless dominions, and spreading its mighty arms into farther provinces, the scene of war and appropriation in future times. One Febeste of the most interesting things in history is the unbroken 1819; Mes

sage to succession of events which obtains in human affairs, and Congress,

Dec. 7, the manner in which the occurrences, apparently trivial, 1819; Ann.

Hist. ii. of one age, are linked in indissoluble connection with 597, 604. changes the most important in another.1 Anxious, if possible, to continue the direct line of suc

63. cession, the king, after the death of his former queen, did Marriage of

the king. not long remain a widower. On 12th of August a proclama- Aug. 12: tion announced to the astonished inhabitants of Madrid that the king had solicited in marriage the hand of the Princess Maria Josephine Amelia, niece of the Elector of Saxony, and been accepted. The marriage was solemnised by proxy at Dresden on the same day, and the young queen set out immediately for Spain. She arrived at the Bidassoa on 2d October, and at Madrid on the 19th of the same month, when she made her public entry into Madrid on the day following, amidst the discharges of artillery, rolling of drums, clang of trumpets, and every demonstration of public joy. But it was of bad augury for the married couple that the very day before an edict Oct. 19. had been published, denouncing the penalty of death against any one coming in from the infected districts in the south. An amnesty was published on occasion of the

% Ann. Hist. marriage ; but as, like the former, it excluded all persons ii. 395, 396;

Ann. Reg. charged with political offences, it had no effect in allaying i819, 181. the anxiety of the public mind.2

But the time had now arrived when an entire revolution was to take place in the affairs of the Peninsula, and

VII.

pted

Jan. 1, 1820.

CHAP. those changes were to commence which have changed the

dynasty on the throne, altered the constitution of the 1820.

country, and finally severed her American colonies from 64. Revolution Spain. The malcontents in the army, so far from being by Riego.

deterred by the manner in which the former conspiracy had been baffled by the double and treacherous dealing of the Conde d’A bisbal, continued their designs, and, distrusting now the chiefs of the army, chose their leaders among the subordinate officers. Everything was speedily arranged, and with the concurrence of nearly the whole officers of the army. The day of rising was repeatedly adjourned, and at length definitively fixed for the 1st January 1820. At its head was RIEGO, whose great achievements and melancholy fate have rendered his name imperishable in history.* On that day he assembled a battalion in the village of Las Cabezas where it was quartered, harangued it, proclaimed amidst loud shouts the Constitution of 1812, and marching on Arcos, where the headquarters were established, disarmed and made prisoners General Calderon and his whole staff; and then, moving

upon San Fernando, effected a junction with QUIROGA, ? Martignac, who was at the head of another battalion also in revolt. i. 183; Ann. Hist. iii. The two chiefs, emboldened by their success, and having 386, 390; Ann. Reg. bitherto experienced no resistance, advanced to the gates 1820, 222,

of Cadiz, within the walls of which they had numerous partisans,1 upon whom they reckoned for co-operation

223.

* “Raphael y Nunez del Riego was born in 1785 at Tuna, a village of Asturias. His father, a Hidalgo without fortune, placed him in the Gardes-du-Corps, which, ever since the scandalous elevation of the Prince of Peace, by the favour of the Queen, from its ranks, had been considered as the surest road to fortune in Spain. He was in that corps on occasion of the French invasion of that country in 1808; and when it was disbanded by the seizure of the royal family, he entered a guerilla band, and was afterwards promoted to the rank of an officer in the regiment of Asturias. He was ere long made prisoner, and employed the years of his captivity in France in completing his education, which he did chiefly by reading the works of a liberal tendency in that country. On the peace of 1814 he was liberated, returned to Madrid, and received the appointment of Lieut.-Colonel in the 2d battalion of the Regiment of Asturias. That regiment formed part of the army under the Conde d'Abisbal, destined to act against South America ; and it was thus that Riego was brought to destruction and ruin."- Biographie Universelle, lxxix. 114, 115 (RIEGO).

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