Chap. Madrid with their arms, but without ammunition, to

'. distant quarters assigned them, after delivering up the

1822" murderers of Landabura. The two last battalions departed in silence, armed and downcast; but the four others, foreseeing in a surrender at discretion only a snare to involve them in destruction, adopted at the eleventh hour the desperate resolution of resistance. Determined to sell their lives dearly, they opened a general volley on the corps of militia which advanced to disarm them, and, instantly levelling bayonets, charged in close column down the street leading to the nearest gate of the city. All opposition was quickly overthrown, and the entire column succeeded in forcing its way out of the town, closely pursued, however, by two squadrons of the regiment of Almanza, some companies of militia, the Sacred Battalion, and a few guns. They sustained great loss during the pursuit, which was continued until nightfall without intermission. A considerable body of them scaled the walls of the Gasa del Campo, a country palace of the king, and for some time resisted the pursuers; but being destitute of provisions, they were obliged to surrender, to the number of 360 men and 9 officers, at two on the following morning. Such of the remainder as were unwounded escaped. The entire loss of the guard in these disastrous days was 371 killed, 700 wounded, and 600 prisoners; and the brilliant corps which a few days before seemed to hold the des1*457 4M- t'mes of Spain in their hands, disappeared for ever Add. keg.' from its annals. Conducted with more skill, led with 244;'Mar- greater courage, they might, with half the loss, have 411^4331 re-established the monarchy and averted the French invasion.1

fi The same day which witnessed the destruction of the Dcfeat'of royal guard at Madrid, was marked by the suppression of ge'te the military revolt in the south of Spain. The Royalist ^"dc^di*. carabineers and their adherents were attacked in the neighbourhood of Montero by General O'Donoghu, at the head of a greatly superior body of Constitutional Chap. troops, and completely routed. The fugitives escaped to

the vicinity of Ciudad Real, where they were again attacked on the 16 th, and obliged to surrender. About "T the same time a conspiracy of a totally different character was discovered and defeated at Cadiz. This had been set on foot by Don Alphonso Gueriera, Don Ramon Ceruti, and a number of others, the chiefs of the ultra-revolutionary party in that city, the object of which was to depose all the constituted authorities, proclaim a republic, and divide among themselves all its places and emoluments. The civil and military authorities in the i Ann ^ island of Leon, having received intelligence of the plot, ^'ma and having put the garrison and militia under arms, y. 45a, 406;

, 1,1 1? • • 1 ■ • Martiguac,

apprehended the whole conspirators without opposition i. 432,435. on the night of the 9th July.1

These repeated successes utterly prostrated the royal gg authority in Madrid, and deprived the king of the shadow changiof of respect which had hitherto belonged to him. The andwmviolent party, supported by the clubs, the press, and the u^oi secret societies, became omnipotent. For some days the {S>*nTMTMlu king remained shut up in his palace without ministers; his former ones had resigned, and no one in such a crisis was willing to incur the danger of becoming their successors. At length the absolute necessity of having some government prevailed over the terrors of those offered the appointments, and a new ministry was appointed, consisting, as might be expected in such circumstances, entirely of the leaders of the extreme Liberal party. The king, wholly powerless, agreed to everything demanded of him, provided he were allowed to leave Madrid, and take up his residence at St Ildefonso, which was agreed to. San Miguel, formerly chief of the staff to Riego during the sMartigoac, revolution in the island of Leon, was made Minister of i^i^; Foreign Affairs, with the lead in the Cabinet ;2 Lopez- ^461i^nBafios, another chief of the Isle of Leon, was appointed aw. Minister at War; and M. Gasco, one of the most violent

Chap. members of the Opposition, in the last Cortes, of the inteXL rior; M. Benicio Navarro, another deputy of the same 1822- stamp, received the portfolio of Justice; and M. Mariano, Egoa, and Cassay, of the Finances and the Marine respectively. The triumph of the extreme Liberals was complete; their adherents, and those of the most determined kind, filled all the offices of Government. ?0 The first care of the new Cabinet was to make an enThenew tire change in the royal household, and to banish, or deand po-' prive of their commands, all the leading men of the counjwintmenta. try whose sentiments were not in accordance with their own. Murillo, notwithstanding the determined stand he had made at the head of the Constitutional troops against the royal guard, was deprived of his offices of Captaingeneral and Political Chief at Madrid, which were bestowed on General Copons, a staunch revolutionist; Quiroga was made Captain-general of- Galicia, and Mina of Catalonia. The Duke del Infantado, the Marquis las Amarillas, General Longa, and several other noblemen, who, although Liberals, were known to belong to the Moderate party, were exiled, some to Ceuta, some to the Canaries; and in the palace an entire change took place. The Duke de Montemart, Major d'Uomo, Count Toreno, and the Duke de Belgide, were dismissed; and the Marquis de Santa-Cruz, General Palafox, and Count i Ann. Hist. 0nate, substituted in their room. In a word, the extreme MartignM2' party was everywhere triumphant; the Jacobins of the i. 437,438. Revolution, as is usually the case when the malady is not checked, had supplanted the Girondists.1 71 It soon appeared what the new Government was to be, Murder^ and whether the Jacobins of Spain were to be behind their predecessors of France in their thirst for blood. The soldiers of the guard who had been implicated in the murder of Landabura had already been condemned to death, but the revolutionists demanded, with loud cries, the head of Colonel Geoiffeux, an officer of the guard, and ■who, although neither connected with the death of that Chap. man, nor the revolt of the guards, as he was with the two Xl' battalions which remained at the palace, was known to 1822entertain decided Royalist sentiments, and as such was selected as the object of popular indignation. He was arrested accordingly at Butrago, when on his way back to France, of which he was a native. When taken, his name was not known, and a falsehood might have saved him; but when asked who he was, he at once answered, "GeoifFeux, first-lieutenant in the guard." He was immediately brought back to Madrid, taken before a courtmartial, and condemned to death. His character, however, was generally esteemed, his innocence known. His courage on his trial excited universal admiration; sympathy was warmly excited in his behalf, and even the revolutionary municipality was preparing a petition in his favour. The anarchists feared lest their victim should escape; the clubs, the press, the mob in the street, were put in motion, and the innocent victim was led out to death. His courage on the scaffold made even his enemies blush with shame, and shed a lustre on the cause for which he suffered. Geueral Copons, who, as military commander at Madrid, had confirmed the sentence, soon afterwards gave the clearest proof of its illegality by declaring the tribunal which had tried him incompetent in the case of some other officers charged with a similar offence, who were not marked out for destruction ; a de- ,

. ' 'Martignac,

cision which excited so great a clamour in reference ^440|*.4t1; to the former trial, that he was obliged to resign his v.Tib. appointment.1

Elio was the next victim. This distinguished general and intrepid man had been three years in prison, charged Second trial with alleged offences committed when in command at tbnonsiTo. Valencia ; but though convicted by the revolutionary tribunal, he had never been executed: so flagrant and obvious was the iniquity of punishing a military commander

Chap. for acts done in direct obedience to the orders of Govern_ ment. The cry for his blood, however, was now so i822 - vehement that he was again brought to trial, not on the former charges, but for alleged accession to the riot of 30th May, when an attempt, as already mentioned, had been made by a Royalist mob to effect his liberation from prison. The absurdity of charging him with participation in that affray, when at the time he was a close prisoner, carefully watched under military guard in the citadel, made as little impression on his iniquitous accusers as did his patriotic services and glorious career. No small difficulty was experienced in finding military officers who would descend to the infamy of becoming his judicial murderers. The Count d'Almodavar, the Captain-general, resigned his office to avoid it; Baron d'Andilla, appointed in his stead, feigned sickness to escape. None of the generals or colonels in Valencia would sit on the commission; and they were at last obliged to take for its president a lieutenant-colonel, named Valterra. Every effort was made to suborn or falsify evidence, but in vain. The cannoneers accused of being concerned in the plot for his liberation were offered their lives if they would declare they had been instigated by Elio; none would consent to live on such terms. An alleged letter was produced by the general to his sister, avowing his participation in Aug. 28. the offence; it was proved he had no sister. The accused had no counsel, but he defended himself with courage and spirit for two hours. Even Valterra long hesitated to sign a conviction wholly unsupported by evidence, but the revolutionists were inexorable. The municipality threatened to make Valterra responsible with his head if , Ami Hiat . he did not instantly sign the conviction; the clubs reR*g3i822n' soun(^e^ declamations; a furious mob surrounded 247; Mar-' the court-house ; he trembled and obeyed.1. Elio was led 412, ui out to the scaffold, erected on a public promenade with which he had embellished Valencia during his govern

« ForrigeFortsett »