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Affairs of Portugal and of Spain, &c. &c. appointed armies, under his most experienced generals, himself at their head, he has entered Spain, and after seeking, defeating, and dispersing with little difficulty the chief armies of his opponents, he has taken possession of the capital; and of the greater part of the kingdom. His official bulletins give regular details of his operations, interspersed with remarks, some of which are of considerable importance. On bis arrival at Madrid he addressed the Spaniards in very firm language, assuring them that if they did not accept his offer of what he terms " a free constitution” with his brother for their sove reign, "and thus merit his confidence," be should provide " ano" ther throne" for ibe latter, and “ place the crown on his own head." Not content, however, with giving the Spantards assurances of what he intended to do, he immediately proceeds to action, by passing a bumber of decrees embracing objects of the last importance to the welfare of the pation at large. Institutions the most worthless and oppressive are abolished. Feudal and seignorial rights, or rather wrongs, by which the nobility had ground down the people, are suppressed ; and abuses the most scandalons in the financial departments, arising from the alienation of the different branches of the imposts, and the sale of laxes, are auniliilated. Sonie of the decress of the Emperor embrace the most important points of that grand, that most necessary reformn, which must ere long take place in all the old establishinents of Enrope, and withie out which all other reforms will be of little service, we neau ECCLESIASTICAL REPORM. The number of convents which in all the catholic countries, and more particularly in Spain have swarmed with useless, or worse than useless meinbers of society are reduced two tbirds; that most accursed institution which for ages has provided such constant food for the superstition, the malignity, and the cruelty of the established priesthood, the very name of which has inspired terror and liorror in every protestant state, The TRIBUNAL OF INQUISITION, is declared to be for EVER ABOLISHED. What a contrast does the conduct of NAPOLEON, in these instances, exhibit to that of the Spanish junta? Instead of commencing the salutary work of enlightening the minds of the people, and of reforming the abuses of their civil and ecclesiastical government, they have taken a contrary course, enjoining oaths the offspring of bigotry and intolerance, on all public officers civil and military ; passing decrees for re-establishing those pests of the world and of the church, the societies of the jesuits, and have been exciting their countrymen to contend for the preservation of those orders and institutions, for the destruction of which every consistent friend to mankind, every sincere christian, has long and ardently prayed. To the eternal disgrace of the protestant government of Britain, the abominable superstitions of the church of Spain have been held up to the world, in official dcclarations, as comprising what is most dear to man!" In spite however of that attachment to ancient institutions which is Dow discovered by certain protestants, institutions which have been the cause of incalculable miseries to mankind, we are determined to express our joy and exultation at their overtlırow. They are destroyed, we trust, dever, never, to be revived again by the juntas of Spain, or their allies the Romish and Protestant governments ! Wbat NAPOLEON has now effected, ought to have been effected by the new Spanish government six months since. The friends to humanity, to civilization, and to true religion would not they have beheld their proceedings with that suspicion and disgust which they have done, nor would their revolution have excited so little interest in their own country.
With respect to the instrument which the ALMIGHTY appears to bave raised up to effect these and other important purposes, meg may exclaim against the injustice of his proceedings; and if those who did so never shewed their partiality for unjust proceedings in the rulers of their own country, we should by no ineaņs be disposed to question the propriety of their language, or to doubt of the pority of their motives; but when men to serve their own base purposes, set up at one period, the cry of “ No Popery", and at another pluuge their country into a war, the professed object of which is the preservation of the most corrupt branch of the Romislı church now existing in Europe, we can only lament their shameful incousistency and vile bypocrisy, together with the infatuation of those who are the victims of such delusions.
Some of the language of NAPOLEON on these occasions, evidentJy discovers that he can make as high professions of sanctity as any of his royal brothers, or indeed as any of the evangelical professors of christianity; and may tend to convince us how little the lauguage of piety is to be regarded without correspondent conduct. In his address to the inhabitants of Madrid, he concludes his promises and bis threats, by the solemn declaration, that “God had given hin power “ and inctination to surmount all obstacles.” lo bis answer to the address presented in the name of the magistracy, by the coregidor of Madrid, speaking of the reduction of the convents, he remarks “I have preserved the spiritual orders, but with a limitation of the “ number of mouks. There is not a single intelligent person, who is “ not of opinion that they were too numerous. Those of them who “ are influenced by a DIVINE CALL, shall remain in their cloisters: “ with regard to those whose CALL was doubtful, or influenced by “ temporal considerations, I have fixed their coudition in the order “ of secular priests. Out of the surplus of the monastic property, “ I have provided for the maintenance of the pastors, that important " and useful class of the clergy," If the clergy of the established Affairs of Portugal and of Spain, &c. &c. vii ehurch of England are offended that such a man as NAPOLEON should dare to affirm that “ God has given him power and inclina" tion," or that he should presume to judge of the nature of the “divine call” to the sacred office, let them reflect whether he has not the same right to use such language, and whether he is not equally sincere in using it as the great majority of their own body, who at their ordination solemnly declare, that “they are inwurdly "moved by the Holy Spirit of God to take upon them such office." Should the touchstone applied by the French Emperor to the clergy of the church of Spain, be applied to the clergy even of protestant churches, we leave others to judge how many would be found amongst the different ranks of the sacred order, who on, their en: trance into the ministry, were influenced wholly " by spiritual, and “ not by temporal considerations!" The principle, however, adopted by NAPOLEON of judging of the views of the ministers of religion, is truly excellent, and entirely accords with that laid down by the great founder and sole rightful governor of the christian church -MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD!
After dispersing the Spanish armies, and settling matters at Madrid, the French Emperor turns his attention to the British forces, which be had recently threatened to expel from the peninsula. It does not yet clearly appear how large a portion of his armies he dispatched for that purpose, or how far he accompanied them: but the melancholy intelligence which has been officially communicated by our ministers, together with the details which have appeared in our public prints, too plainly prove that the Emperor has not threatened in vain. The British forces which had entered Spain in various divisions at leugth effected a junction, and had advanced to within one hundred miles of Madrid. The Emperor on being apprised of their approach, immediately set out with a considerable part of his forces, with the design of harrassing them in their rear, and if possible, of cutting off their retreat. The snow and the torrents of rain, through the passage of the Guadarama, delayed the march Iwo days. By the dispatches of Sir J. MOORE, commander in chief of the British army, it appears that from the information he received of the advance of the French forces, he thought it prudent to abandon his intention of attacking the first division under Marshal SOULT, to “ 'rest satisfied with the diversion he had occasioner, " and to lose no time in securing his retreat." We can easily conceive the disappointment and chagrin the British commander must have felt on hearing, in the first instance, of the dispersion of the Spanish armies, and afterwards of the trifling resistance shewn by the army and the inhabitants of Madrid; on being informed of the un. interrupted approach of the Inperial forces, and on witnessing the apathy discovered by the Spaniards. By the letters which have been
published in the ministerial papers from “ officers of rank," the opiņion of those who may be supposed, from what they have seen, 10 be the most competent judges, respecting the general disposition of the Spaniards may be easily discovered. One of these states as follows:“We march this vight to attack Soult at Carrian and Sal“ dana: we shall probably overset him; but I cannot disguise my “ opinion, that the only good result to be expected from our opera« tions is the preserving unsullied the honour of our arms. SPAIN, " in my opinion, IS CONQUERED, NOR IS IT WORTH SAVING : “ Such apathy, such ignorance, such pusillanimity never before “ eristed." Another officer thus expresses himself:-“ You will “ hear the army is falling back; I really believe it is high time to do
80: the enemy are coming on in every direction, and in great “ force. We have by our movements made a great diversion. If " the Spaniards profit by it, of which I have no expectation what
erer, niore may be done; if not, it will be apparent to every one “ that the cause is hopeless!"
Although much of the tale of the retreat of the British army remains to be told, the accounts published by our government, together with various details from those who were eye witnesses, are sufficient to fill the mind of every friend to bumanity, of every friend to his country with reflections the inost melancholy. The retreat resembles that of an army pursued by a victorious foc, compelled to undergo every species of hardship, and whose only hope is escaping with their lives. In the depth of winter, “ the roads “almost impassable:"_“the greater part of the baggage, much “ of the artillery, with the military chest lost;" the troops instead of firing at the enemy, principally engaged in shooting their owa horses, unable to proceet, without shoes and without forage; one regiment thus losing 750 out of 800;" the carcases of the auimals " covering the roads for nearly one hundred miles :" occasional and unavoidable skirmishes with the enemy, which liowever they might serve to display the bravery of our forces most severely barrassed thein in their retreat ; the sick and wounded left to the mercy of the pursuers; numbers perishing with fatigue; several thousands unable to keep up with the main body taken prisoners ! length the dinivished army arrive at Corúnna, when doubtless they hailed the port from wbence they hoped to be immediately conveyed to their native shores; instead of which no transports are to be found, and they remain in all the horrors of suspense ; at length after two days, the transports and the enemy arrive at the same moment. The army is attacked, and after a inost sanguipary conflict attended with the loss of 7 or 800 men including that of the commander in chief and many excellent officers, after bravely repulsing the evemy, it at length effects its embarkation. With the
Affairs of Portugal and of Spuin, &c. &c.
is further toss of 300' men wrecked at sea, the wearied soldiers at length arrive in port, from whence 1500 sick and wounded are conveyed to the hospitals. Thus closes the campaign of the army of Great Britaiu for the year 1808. Such are the triumphs which have cost this nation forty millious of money! · The reflections of Lieut. Gen. Hope who succeeded to the command of the army, on this interesting subject, are well deserving vorice.--" Circumstances forbid us to indulge the hope, that the " victory with which it has pleased Providence to crown the efforts “ of the army can be attended with any very brilliant consequences " to Great Britain. It is clouded by the loss of one of her best “soldiers. It has been achieved at the termination of a long and ** barassing service. The superior numbers, not less than thie * actual situation of this army, did not admit of any advantage “ being reaped from success..... The army which had entered " Spain, amidst the fairest prospects, had no sooner complealed its "junction, than owing to the multiplied disasters that dispersed "the native armies around us, it was left to its own resources. " The advance of tbe British corps from the Duero, afforded the “ best hope that the South of Spain might be relieved ; but this "generous effort to save the unfortunate people, also afforded the "enemy the opportunity of directing every effort of his numerous
troops, and concentrating all his principal 'resources for the de"strucsion of the only regular force in the North of Spain. You "are well aware with what diligence this system has been pur"sued ..... These circumstances produced the necessity of rapid "and barrasing marches, which bad diminished the numbers, ex" hausted the strength, and impaired the equipment of the army.'
The account written by Sir J. Moore of the proceedings of the army on its retreat, from the date of bis last letter inserted in the Gazette, yet remains to be published. It appears to have been the intention of ministers to have kept it secret, but in consequence of a conversation in the house of Commons, some extracts are promised by Lord .CASTLERE AGH to be given to the public. The list of the killed and wounded is yet to be made out. When these documents together with the French bulletins, are published, we shall be the better enabled to form an estimate of the sufferings aud of the loss of our army. For the present we conclude the melancholy subject with the reflcetions of Lord Erskine, as delivered in a debate in the upper house, on an address of thanks to the army for their conduct at Cor. runna.
"Was it possible to deplore the loss of friends whom we loved, " and of men whose lives were precious to their country in a most "awful crisis, without lamenting in bitterness that they were literally