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successes of the Li

CHAPTER XII.

CONGRESS OF VERONA—FRENCH INVASION OF SPAIN—
DEATH OF LOUIS XVIII.

These decisive successes on the part of the Spanish Chap, revolutionists demonstrated the immense advantages they X1I~ possessed from the command of the Government, the 1822, army, the treasury, and the fortified places, and rendered Great effect it more than doubtful whether, with all the support which fhe^? the rural population could give it, the Royalist cause would ever be able, without external aid, to prevail, berais. Experience had now sufiiciently proven, that however individually brave, ardent, and indefatigable the detached corps of the Royalists might be, and however prolonged and harassing the warfare they might maintain in the mountains, they could not venture beyond their shelter without incurring the most imminent hazard of defeat. It was impossible to expect that a confused and undisciplined band of priests, monks, cure's, peasants, hidalgos, and smugglers, hastily assembled together, in general without artillery, always without magazines or stores, could make head against regular armies issuing out of fortresses amply supplied with both, and conducted by generals trained in the campaigns of Wellington. Immense was the impression which these successes produced on both sides of the Pyrenees. There was no end to the exultation of the Liberals, in most of the French and Spanish towns, at victories which appeared to promise a lasting triumph to their cause. Great as Chap. they had been, they were magnified tenfold by the en- Xu' thusiasm of the Liberals in the press of both countries; l822, it was hard to say whether the declamations of their adherents in the Spanish Cortes or the French Chamber of Deputies were the most violent. On the other hand, the Royalists in both countries were proportionally depressed. A ghastly crowd of five or six thousand fugitives from the northern provinces had burst through the passes of the Pyrenees, and escaped the sword of their pursuers only by the protection of a nominally neutral but really friendly territory. They were starving, disarmed, naked, and destitute of everything, and spread, wherever they went, the most heart-rending accounts of their sufferings. They had lost all in the contest for their religion and their king—all but the v. 497,498] remembrance of their wrongs and the resolution to avenge i. Js'2f 453. them.1

These events made the deepest impression upon the Government and the whole Royalist party in France. Effect'of The exultation of the Liberals in Paris, and the open inTnmceU Io Pceans sung daily in the journals, filled them with dis- andEuroPemay. The conviction was daily becoming stronger among all reflecting men, that however calamitous the progress of the revolution had been to Spain, and however much it threatened the cause of order and monarchy in both countries, it could not be put down without foreign interference, and that the Royalists, in combating it, would only ruin themselves and their country, but effect nothing against the organised forces of their enemies. The question was one of life or death to the French monarchy; for how was royalty to exist at Paris if cast down at Madrid? The necessity of the case cannot be better stated than in the words of a celebrated and eloquent but candid historian of the Liberal school. "Whatever," says Lamartine, "may have been the faults of the Government of the Restoration at that period, it is impos

Chap. sible for an impartial historian to disguise the extreme x1L danger against which Louis XVIII. and his ministers im- had to guard themselves from the revolutions in the adjoining countries of Spain, Portugal, Naples, and Piedmont, from which the contagion of military revolutions and secret societies had spread into the armies, the last support of thrones. It was not the cause of the French Bourbons which tottered, it was that of all kings and of all thrones. Even more, it was the cause of all the ancient institutions which were sapped in all the south of Europe by the new ideas and institutions. The north itself—Germany, Prussia, Russia—felt themselves penetrated in their inmost veins by that passion for a renewal of things, that pouring of youthful blood into the institutions, that participation of the people in the government, which is the soul of modern times. Entire nations, which had slept for centuries in their fetters, gave symptoms of returning life, and even on the confines of Asia hoisted the signal of the resurrection of nations. All was the work of seven years of peace, and of the freedom of thought in France.

"The Bourbons had given freedom to the press and Lamartine's to the tribune in their country; and that liberty of tions on thought, re-echoed from Paris and London in Spain, th« 6ub- jtaly; and Greece, had occasioned the explosion of the revolutionary elements which had been accumulating for centuries in the capitals of those countries. By a natural rebound, these revolutions — restrained at Naples aud Turin, fermenting and combating in Greco-Moldavia and Wallachia, triumphant and exasperated in Spain—reacted with terrible effect on the press, the tribune, the youth, and the army of France. The Constitution proclaimed at Cadiz, which left only the shadow of royalty, which surpassed in democracy the constitution of 1791 in France, and which was nothing in reality but a republic masked by a throne, threw into the shade the Charter of Louis XVIII. and the mixed constitution of Great Britain. Revolutionary France blushed for its timidity in Chap.

the career of innovation in presence of a nation which, xn"

like the Spanish, had achieved, at the first step, the 1822' realisation of- all the visions of the philosophy of 1789; which had established freedom of worship in the realm of the Inquisition, vindicated the land from the priesthood in a state of monastic supremacy, and dethroned kings in a nation where absolute royalty was a dogma, and kings a faith. Every audacious step of the revolution at Madrid was applauded, and proposed to the imitation of the French army. The most vehement speeches of the orators in the Cortes, the most violent articles in the revolutionary journals, were reprinted and eagerly read in France; the insurrection, the anarchy of the Spanish revolution, were the subject of enthusiasm in Paris; every triumph of the anarchists at Madrid over the throne or the clergy was publicly celebrated as a triumph by the French revolutionists. Spain was on the verge of a republic; and a republic proclaimed on the other side of the Pyrenees could not fail to overturn the Bourbons in France. Europe was slipping from beneath the monarchies; all felt it, and most of all the revolutionists of Paris. Was it possible that the Bourbons and their partisans should alone not perceive it \ War was declared between their ^martine,

* Histoire do

enemies and themselves; the field of battle was Spain: i» Rosuuit was there they must conquer or die. Who can blame 64,66! them for having not consented to die \"1

But while the considerations here so eloquently set forth demonstrate the absolute necessity of French in- Opposite tervention in Spain, and vindicate the steps they took preTaUedTn accordingly, there were many reasons, equally cogent and ^inf B" well-founded, which caused a very different view to be taken of the subject in Great Britain. The first of these was the general, it may be said invariable, sympathy of the English with any other people struggling for freedom, aud their constant conviction that the cause of insurrection is that of justice, wisdom, and ultimate

Chap. happiness. This is not a mere passing conviction on the X1L part of the inhabitants of this country—it is their firm im' and settled belief at all times, and in all places, and under all circumstances. No amount of experience of ruin in other states, or suffering in their own, from the effect of such convulsions, is able to lessen their sympathy for the persons engaged in them, or shake their belief in their ultimately beneficial consequences. Justly proud of their own freedom, and tracing to its effects the chief part of the grandeur and prosperity which this country has attained, they constantly think that if other nations could win for themselves similar institutions, they would attain to an equal degree of felicity. They never can be brought, generally speaking, to believe that there is an essential difference in race, physical circumstances, and degree of civilisation, and that the form of government which is most beneficial in one situation is utterly ruinous in another. Their sympathy is always with the rebels; their wishes, in the outset at least, for the people and against the government. This was the case iu 1789, when nearly all classes in Great Britain were carried away by the deceitful dawn of the French Revolution, and Mr Pitt himself hailed it with rapture; and the same disposition led them, with a few exceptions of reflecting men, to augur well of the Spanish revolution, and to sympathise warmly with its fortunes.

In addition to this, there was another circumstance, Repugnance strongly rooted in the national feelings, which rendered interven- the thoughts of any French intervention in Spain pecut 0"' liarly obnoxious to every person actuated by patriotic dispositions in Great Britain. Spain had been the battlefield of England and France during the late war; it had been the theatre of Wellington's victories—the most glorious victories her arms had ever gained. The last time the French ensigns had been seen in the Pyrenees was when they were retiring before the triumphant host

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