« ForrigeFortsett »
been taken into the exchequer, the budget exhibited a deficit Chap. of 172,000,000 of reals (£1,720,000), being about a v1L fourth of the annual revenue,* which was provided for by 1820a loan of £2,000,000, negotiated with Lafitte and the bankers on the liberal side in Paris.
But meanwhile the Government, the creature of mili- g7 tary revolution, was subjected to the usual demands and Tumult at insults consequent on such an origin. They found ere dhSorf long that the prastorian guards in the Isle of Leon were Rieg°" as imperious, and as difficult of management, as their predecessors in the camp which had overawed the masters of the world. Incessant were the efforts made by Riego, who had now the command of that force, to keep alive the spirit of revolution among the troops; but as it rather declined, and rumours of an intention to separate the army began to reach the Isle of Leon, Riego hastened to Madrid, to support by his presence the revolutionary clubs against the Government, which was suspected of leaning to moderate ideas. He arrived there in the end of August, and for a week was the object of general adula- Aug. 29. tion. He was surrounded by the club Lorrenzini, by the influence of which the minister-at-war was removed, and succeeded by Don Gastano Valdes. In the middle of it he visited the theatre, where an audience from the Sept. 3. clubs, vehemently excited, called for a party air, the Tragala Perro, which had been composed in hatred of the noblesse during the fervour at Cadiz; and Riego himself, standing up surrounded by his whole staff, joined in the chorus. This open insult to the nobility and the Government led to a fearful tumult in the theatre, in the course of which Riego openly resisted the police and other
* The budget proposed by tho Cortes exhibited—
From all sources 530,394,271 reals, or 415,304,000
Deficit, 172,408,033 £1,724,000
which was proTided for by a loan of 200,000,000 reals, or £2,000,000.—Ann. Iliit . iii. 443.
Chap. authorities; and next day the clubs were all in a tumult, VI1' and the banners so well known in the French Revolution 1820. were seen -n the great Square—" The Constitution or
Death." The Government, however, was not deterred. The troops remained faithful to their duty: large bodies, with artillery loaded with grape-shot, were stationed around the square of the Puerto del Sol, where the mobs were assembled; and the revolutionists, seeing themselves mastered, were compelled to submit. On the following Sept. 4. day a decree of the Cortes put the clubs under a strict surveillance, closed the Lorrenziui, and Riego was deprived of his command in Galicia and sent into exile at Oviedo. At the same time the army in the Isle of Leon was broken up; but to keep the troops in good humour, and insure obedience to the decree, large gratuities and pensions 'Marti »c were voted to tne troops, according to their rank and iiu'Siol periods of service. Riego and Quiroga for their share got iiin432,435. a pension of 84,000 reals each (£840), equivalent to about £1500 in Great Britain.1
This vigorous step was attended by an immediate Closing of schism in the popular party. Arguelles and Quiroga, and rapture wno had been foremost in resisting the clubs, were soon king.the denounced as traitors and apostates; and Riego, for a Nov. Is. snort time, was the rallying-cry of the seditious in the provinces. If this victory had been followed up with vigour and perseverance, the downward progress of the revolution might have been arrested, and Spain saved unutterable calamities. But it was not so : the press continued as violent as ever; the clubs resumed their ascendant, and the progress of anarchy became unrestrained. The Cortes had passed the decree, despoiling the religious houses for the advantage of the state, already mentioned, and it was brought to the king to adhibit his signature in terms of the constitution, which declared that necessary for it to become a law. Instead of doing so, he wrote at the bottom the words prescribed for his refusal. He was perfectly entitled to do so, as much as the Cortes was to present to him the project of the law. It was on the Chap. third presenting only in successive sessions that he was YI1' constrained to accept. But it is not in the nature of 1820democracy to admit of any compromise, or tolerate any bridle, how gentle soever, in its career. The clubs were instantly in motion; the cry of a counter-revolution was heard. Frightful crowds of the lowest of the populace, yelling and vociferating vengeance in the most violent manner, paraded the streets, and converged towards the arsenal which contained all the arms and ammunition. The report spread that the troops would not act against the insurgents; that the life of the king was in danger. Intimidated and overawed, the ministers counselled submission, and renewed their entreaties to the king to sanction the law. He long resisted : but overcome at last by. „
° * •> 1 Martignac,
the increasing danger, and their assurance that the troops 246,248; could not be relied on, be affixed his signature, and lm- m.443,444. mediately after set out from Madrid for the Escurial.1
The victory thus gained over the king was not attended 8g by the advantages which had been anticipated. In some Reception places in and around the great towns, as Valencia and cree against Barcelona, the people broke in tumultuous crowds into the i^spain?* monasteries, forcibly expelled the monks and nuns, and it was with difficulty that the heads of the houses were rescued from their hands. At Valencia, the archbishop, besieged by a furious mob in his palace, on account of an anathema which he had fulminated against the sale of the ecclesiastical estates, was only rescued from death by being embarked in the night for Barcelona, where, on landing, he encountered similar dangers. But in the mral districts, especially Galicia, Leon, Navarre, Asturias, Old Castile, and Aragou, the decree against the priests met with a very different reception, and was found to be incapable of execution. Transported with indignation at the thoughts of the hospitable doors, where they had so often been fed in adversity, being closed against them, and their revered inmates being turned adrift upon the world
Vol. 11. F
Chap. without house or home to shelter them, the people rose _ in crowds and forcibly prevented the execution of the im- decree. Between the resistance of the people in some districts, and the cupidity of their own agents in others, the treasury derived scarcely any aid from this great measure of spoliation. It was exactly the same in France in 1789; it will be so in similar circumstances to the end of the world. When Government takes the 1Ann Hist lead in iniquity, it soon finds it impossible to restrain jij^4(445 j the extortions of inferior agents: it is like a woman who i. 248,25i. has deviated from virtue attempting to control the manners of her household.1 flo Meanwhile the king, shut up in the Escurial, refused niegai'ap- to be present at the closing of the session of the Cortes, o?'General which terminated on the 9th November; and in secret SerSng.by meditated an attempt to extricate himself from the Nov. i§. meslies in which he was enveloped. To effect this, the support of the military was indispensable; and with that view the king, of his own authority, and without the concurrence of any of his ministers, which, by the constitution, was required to legalise the appointment, promoted General Carvajal to the situation of Captain-general of New Castile, in room of the constitutional General Vigodet, who held that important command. A warm altercation ensued between the two generals when the order to cede the command was produced, which ended by Vigodet declaring that he would retain the command till superseded by a general legally appointed. The intelligence of this rash step on the part of the king soon transpired: the clubs immediately met and commenced a warm agitation; the committee of the Cortes met, and declared its sittings permanent; the ministers were in constant consultation; and in the clubs and agitated crowds in the streets, it was openly announced that a counter-revolution had been resolved on, and that dethronement had become now indispensable. Anxious to avoid such an extremity, the ministers sent in their collective resignation to the king; and the permanent commission of the Chap.
Cortes, and municipality of Madrid, sent deputations to the Escurial, with grave and severe remonstrances against 1820the illegal step which had been taken. The irresolute and inconsistent character of the king immediately appeared. No sooner were the addresses read than he declared he had no idea he was doing an unconstitutional thing in the appointment of General Carvajal, that he|A^j^. revoked it; that he would dismiss the Count Miranda, f^f^Tithe grand-master of his household, and his confessor, Don Ann. Reg.'
Victor Paez, and within three days would re-enter his 230.'' capital.1
He arrived, accordingly, on the 21st, accompanied by the queen, who was in a very feeble state of health, Return of surrounded by a crowd shouting vociferous revolutionary Mlw^t° cries, through a double line of National Guards, andNov-2K amidst cries of " Viva el Constitution!" Suddenly a child was raised up above the crowd, with the book of the constitution in its hand, which it was made to kiss with fervour. A thousand cries, and the most fearful threats of vengeance, accompanied the incident; and when the king inquired what it was, he was informed it was the son of General Lacy come to demand justice against his father's murderers. Overcome with terror, and almost stupefied with emotion, the king, with feeble steps and haggard looks, re-entered the palace, and immediately shut himself up in his apartment. The most sinister presentiments were felt. Terror froze every heart. The striking resemblance of the procession which had just terminated to that of Louis XVI. from Ver-,Ann nist sailles to Paris in 1789, struck every mind; and men jjj^*^. shuddered to think how short an interval separated that l: 225.227:
i i i • n i T i i Ann. Reg.
melancholy journey from the 21st January, when the 1820,230. martyr king ascended the scaffold.2
The victory of the revolutionists was now complete, and they were not slow in improving it to the utmost advantage. General Riego, so recently in disgrace, was