« ForrigeFortsett »
and as the temper of the new assembly was not fully Chap.
known, the moderate party obtained the appointments.!
Martinez dc la Rosa was Prime Minister, and had the 1822 . portfolio of foreign affairs, and the choice of his col- New Minisleagues. Aware of the difficulty of conducting thetry' government in presence of a Cortes of which Riego had been chosen president, he long refused the perilous post, and only yielded at length to the earnest solicitation of the king. Don Nicolas Garotti, an ex-professor of law in Valencia, was appointed Minister of Justice, Don Jose de Alta Mira of the Interior; Don Diego Clorumeneros, Director of the Royal Academy of History, Colonial Minister; Don Philippe Sierra-Pambley to the Finances; Brigadier Balanzat, Minister at War; Don Jacinti Romorate for the Marine. These persons all belonged to the Moderate party,—that is, they were the first authors of the revolution, but had been passed in the career of innovation by their successors. It was a circumstance ,Ann H characteristic of the times, and ominous to the nobility, £41£iMar' that two of the most important ministers—those of Justice and the Interior—were professors in universities.1
The Cortes opened on the 1st March; and the opening speech, and reply of the President Riego, were more Opening of auspicious than could have been anticipated, and pro- aid disw-*' mised returning prosperity to the country. The report oTMthVnnanof the Finance Minister was the first to dispel these flat-cestering illusions. It exhibited a deficit of 197,428,000 reals (£1,974,000), which required to be covered by loans; and as no money could be got in the country, they required to be borrowed in foreign states.* They Mere nearly all got, though at a very high rate of interest, in London; the prospect of high profits, and the belief in
* The public accounts for the year 1822 were—
Receipts 664,162,000 reals, or £6,661,000
Expenditure, . . . 861,591,000 „ or 8,615,000
DcScit 197,428,000 „ or 1,974,280
—Finance Report, March 12,1822; Ann. Uut.,v. 421, 423.
Chap. the stability of popular institutions, inducing our capitalXL ists to shut their eyes to the obvious risks of lending their 1822- money to such unstable governments as those which then ruled in the Peninsula. This circumstance deserves to be especially noted, as the commencement of numberless disasters both to the Peninsula and this country. It gave a large and influential body of foreign creditors an interest in upholding the revolutionary government in the Peninsula, because no other one would recognise the loans it had contracted. Their influence was soon felt in the public press both of France and England, which, with a few exceptions, constantly supported the cause of revolution in Spain and Portugal; and to this circumstance
iAnn Hist more than m7 otner the long and bloody civil wars v. 421,4'22; which distracted both nations, and the entire ignorance
Martignac, i i 1" i • i • •
i. 383, 384. which pervaded this country as to their real situation, are to be ascribed.1
54 The entire divergence of opinion between the Cortes Generaidis- and the Government was not long of proclaiming itself, sjiaiu. The Cortes insisted that the execution of the royal decrees should be intrusted to the authorities in the Isle of Leon and Seville, who had revolted against the Government. This was resisted by the administration, and the division led to animated and impassioned debates in the legislature. But while these were yet in progress, disorders broke out in every part of the country, which were not only serious in themselves, but presaged, at no distant time, a universal civil war in the country. The extreme leaders, or "Exaltados," as they were called, were in such a state of excitement that they could not be kept from coming to blows in all the principal towns of the kingdom. At Barcelona, Valencia, Pampeluua, and Madrid itself, bloody encounters took place between the military, headed by the magistrates of municipalities, on the one side, and the peasantry of the country and royalists, led on by the priests, on the other. "Viva Riego! Viva el Constitucion!" broke out from the ranks on one side; "Viva Murillo! Viva cl Rey Assoluto!" Chap. resounded on the other. Riego was the very worst per- XI'
son that could have been selected to moderate the Cortes imin such a period of effervescence. Himself the leader of the revolution, and the acknowledged chief of the violent party, how was it possible for him to restrain their excesses 1 "I call you to order," said he to a deputy who was attacking that party in the assembly; "you forget I am the chief of the Exaltados."—" To refuse to hear the petitioners from Valencia," said another, "is to invite the people to take justice into their own hands in the streets." To such a length did the disorders proceed that the Cortes appointed a committee to inquire into them, which reported that the state of the kingdom was deplorable. The King's Ministers were ordered, by the imperious majority in that assembly, to the bar of the Cortes, to give an account of their conduct; the military were as much divided as the people; and under the very eye of the legislature a combat took place between the March 24. grenadiers of the guard, who shouted, "Viva Murillo!" and the regiment of Ferdinand VII., who replied, " Viva Riego!" which was only ended by a general discharge of musketry by the national guards, who were called out, by which several persons, including the standard-bearer of the guard, were killed. Intimidated by these disorders, which he was wholly powerless to prevent, the king left 1Jf . Madrid, and went to Aranjuez, from whence he went on to \. stn'wd; pass Easter at Toledo; and his departure removed the only v.424,425. restraint that existed on the excesses in the- capital.1
The first proceedings of the Cortes related to the trial of various persons on the Royal side who had taken a part Proceedings in the late tumults. It was never thought of prosecuting te'sfandpl-cany person on the Liberal. A committee of the Cortes, °^ha to whom the matter was referred, reported that the exMinister of War, Don Sanchez Salvador, and General Murillo, should be put on their trial; and the resolution was adopted by the assembly as to the former, and only
Chap. rejected as to the latter by a narrow majority. A new
. law also was passed, submitting offences of the press to
1822- the decision of the juries, which, in the present state of the country, was securing for them alternately total impunity, or subjecting them to vindictive injustice. A bill was also brought in, and passed, for the reduction of the ecclesiastical establishment, which was certainly excessive, notwithstanding all the reforms which had taken place. It was calculated that, when it came into full operation, it would effect a reduction of 73,000 ecclesiastics, and 600,000 reals (£6000) a-day. The knowledge that these great changes were in progress, which went to strike so serious a blow at the influence and possessions of the Church, tended to augment the activity and energy of the royalist party in the provinces. The civil war soon became universal; the conflagration spread over the whole country. Every considerable town was wrapt in flames, every rural district bristled with armed men. In Navarre, Quesada, at the head of six hundred guerillas, was in entire possession of the country up to the gates of Pampeluna, and although often driven by the garrison of that fortress into the French territory, yet he always emerged again with additional followers, and renewed the war, and united with the Royalists in Biscay. In Catalonia, Misas led a band of peasants, which soon got the entire command of the mountain district in the north; while the Baron d'Erolles, well known in the War of Independence, secretly, in the south of the province, organised a still more formidable insurrection, which, under the personal direction of Antonio Maranon, surnamed the lJtoa "Trappist," soon acquired great influence. This singular i. aw, Milj' man was one of the decided characters whom revolution v. 427,428. and civil war draw forth in countries of marked native disposition.1
Originally a soldier, but thrown into the convent by misfortunes, in part brought on by his impetuous and unruly disposition, the Trappist had not with the cowl put on the habits, or become endued with the feelings of Chap. the Church. He carried with him into the cloister the
passions, the desires, and the ambition of the world. He .(. was now about forty-five years of age—a period of life The Tmpwhen the bodily frame is, in strong constitutions, yet in its appearance vigour, and the feelings are steadily directed rather than
tert and fol
cnfeebled by age. His eye was keen and piercing, his' air confident and intrepid. He constantly wore the dress of his order, but beneath it burned all the passions of the world. Arrayed in his monkish costume, with a crucifix on his breast and a scalp on his head, he had pistols in his girdle, a sabre by his side, and a huge whip in his hand. Mounted on a tall and powerful horse, which he managed with perfect address, he galloped through the crowd, which always awaited his approach, and fell on their knees as he passed, and dispensed blessings to the right and left with the air of a sovereign prince acknowledging the homage of his subjects. He never commenced an attack without falling on his knees, to implore the protection of the Most High; and, rising up, he led his men into fire, shouting, "Viva Dio! Viva el Rey \" In April 1822 he was at the head of a numerous band of men, animated by his example, and electrified by his speeches. Monks, priests, peasants, smugglers, curates, landowners, hidalgos, were to be seen, side by side, in his bands, irregularly armed, scarcely disciplined, but zealous and hardy, and animated with the highest degree of religious enthusiasm. Their spirit was not so much that of the patriot as of the crusader; they took up arms, not to defend their homes, but to uphold the Roman Catholic faith. Individually brave, they met death, whether in the field or on the scaffold, with equal calmness; but their want of discipline exposed them to frequent reverses when brought into collision with regular troops—which,, however, were soon repaired, as in the wars of Sertorius, A^moi;' the Moors, and Napoleon, by the unconquerable and per- v. 428. severing spirit of the peasantry.1
Vol. 11. 2 p