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with an impulse like that of two ancient heroes throwing down their weapons and reconciled in the field, cast off at once their aversions and enmities, and mutually embraced each other, to solemnize this conversion of love, not by the festivities of peace, but by combating side by side, through danger, and under affliction, in the devotedness of perfect brotherhood."* Party-spirit at home was forgotten ; and Mr. Sheridan, from the opposition benches, in a generous and noble speech, exhorted the ministers to activity in the struggle, as one calculated to advance the true glory and interests of the country ; declaring that “never before had so happy an opportunity existed for Great Britain to strike a bold stroke for the rescue of the world. Now was the time to stand up boldly and fairly for the deliverance of Europe ; and if the ministry would co-operate effectually with the Spanish patriots, they should receive his cordial support.” He con. cluded by saying, “Let us mix no little interests with this mighty contest ; let us discard or forget British objects, and conduct the war on the great principles of generous support.” Mr. Canning, after declaring the delight with which he had listened to the sentiments of his honourable friend, and the determination of his Majesty's ministers to act vigorously in the cause, said, “ Whenever any nation in Europe starts up with a determination to oppose a power which, whether professing insidious peace, or declaring open war, is alike the common enemy of all other people ; that nation, whatever its former relation might be, becomes ipso facto, the enemy of Great Britain. In directing the aid which may be required, Government will be guided by three principles,--to direct the united efforts of
both countries against the common foe, to guide them in such a way as may be most beneficial to our new ally, and to such objects as may be most conducive to British interest. But of these objects the last will be out of all question, compared with the other two. I mention British interests, chiefly for the purpose of disclaiming them as any material part of the considerations which influence the Government. None can be so purely British as Spanish success ; conquest so advantageous to Eng. land, as conquering from France the complete integrity of Spanish dominions in every quarter of the globe.” Accordingly, Government inade the most liberal provisions for the contest ; the supplies voted for the war charges, amounted to the immense sum of £48,500,000, the total expenditure of the year being £84,797,000.
We must now give a brief sketch (from Captain Sherer's work) of the military efforts of the Spaniards, previous to the siege of Saragossa, the gallant defence of which will require more specific mention :
“ The alarm had spread through Catalonia. The French General, Duhesme, commanded in Barcelona, a city which had been early and treacherously seized ; as also Montjuic and Figueras. The Spanish soldiers of the betrayed garrisons quitted their ranks and flocked to the patriotic standard in Murcia and Valencia. The insurrections of the provinces took place at nearly the same moment ; and the early movements of the French divisions were simultaneous. Marshal Bessieres attacked and worsted the patriots of Navarre and Biscay ; who merely rose, armed, and declared themselves, but had neither leaders, nor points of union, nor any combination. He dispersed many of their assemblages, and took away their arms ; they always offered resistance, but in vain. The division of Verdier beat them at Legrono, and put their chiefs to death after the combat. The cavalry of Lasalle, fell upon a body of Spaniards at Torquemada, and put a vast number to the sword ; after which exploit, they burned the town. There was something like a Spanish force at Segovia ; General Friere defeated it, and took thirty pieces of cannon. At Cabeçon there was a battle between the Spanish troops and Cuesta, and the French divisions of Generals Merle and Lasalle. Here again they were beaten, lost their artillery, were broken in upon by the brigade of cavalry under General Lasalle, disarmed of some thousands of muskets, and a vast number cut to pieces. By these active operations, and by the unpitying and unsparing severity with which the French used the sword, these provinces were awed, and for a time stilled ; and the powerless and unhappy peasantry saw the fierce horsemen of the enemy ride about to collect money and provisions, which they furnished in fear. Cuesta, however, undismayed by his defeat, collected another army and his fugitives at Benevente, and was joined by Blake from Astorga ; advancing with 35,000 infantry, a few hundred cavalry, and from twenty to thirty pieces of artillery, he took up a position at Rio Seca, and again ventured on a battle. Here he was attacked by Marshal Bessieres, at the head of 15,000 men, with thirty guns. The Marshal had two divisions of infantry, one of light cavalry, and his reserve was composed of four battalions, and a small body of horse grenadiers ; all of the imperial guard. The Spaniards were signally defeated, but they were not disgraced ; when their front line was down, and dead bodies strewed the field, Cuesta fell upon the French with his second line, and with his right wing broke in upon the enemy, (victorious already over half his army) and took from him six guns ; but the Spaniards, though brave to fight, could not mancuvre ; even had Cuesta been capable of moving them. The French check was soon repaired ; the Spaniards were overpowered, and after many brave rallies, driven from the field, and pursued by a superior cavalry, who, as usual, shone in the work of slaughter.
“ It was the disaster of this day which had opened the gates of Madrid to the intruder. In the province of Arragon the insurrection was organized by Don José Palafox; a patriotic noble, the captaingeneral of the district. Lefebre Desmouettes marched upon him with 4,000 infantry, 800 cavalry, and his field artillery. At Tudela the people broke down the bridge over the Ebro, ar disputed the passage of that river. Lefedre forced it, and put to death the leaders of the rude levy by which he had been opposed. Palafox with 10,000 raw troops, waited for him on the Fluecha. The Spaniards were beaten. They ventured a second combat on the Xalon ; and were defeated again. Upon the 15th of June, the French columns halted before the city of Saragossa.”
“ Saragossa is situated on the right bank of the Ebro ; before its first siege in 1808, it contained 50,000 inhabitants. It possessed no regular defences, and few guns fit for service, but was surrounded by a low brick wall. These deficiencies were in some degree remedied by the nature of its buildings, which were well calculated for the internal warfare subsequently carried on, the houses being mostly built of brick and stone, and vaulted so as to be almost incombustible. The city was also full of churches and convents, strongly built, and surrounded by high thick walls. A broad street, called the Cosso, bent almost into a semicircle, concentric with the wall, and terminated at each end by the Ebro, divided the city into an outer and inner part. It occupied the ground on which the Moorish walls had formerly stood, before the city attained its present size. This street was the scene of that heroic resistance in 1808, whick kept the French at bay after the walls and one half of the place had fallen into their hands. On the 3rd of August, rather more than a month after the commencement of the siege, the convent of St. Engracia which formed part of the wall was breached; and on the 4th it was stormed, and the victorious troops carried all before them as far as the Cosso, and at night were in possession of one half of the city. The French General now considered the city as his own, and summoned it to surrender in a note containing only these words, "Head-quarters, St. Engracia, Capitulation.' The emphatic reply is well known, and will become proverbial : • Headquarters, Saragossa, war to the knife's point.'
“ The contest which was now carried on, is unexampled in history. One side of the Cosso, a street about as wide as Pall-Mall, was possessed by the French, and in the centre of it their General Verdier gave his orders from the Franciscan convent. The opposite side was maintained by the Arragonese, who threw up batterries at the openings of the cross-streets, within a few paces of those which the French erected against them. The intervening space was presently heaped with dead, either slain upon the spot, or thrown out from the windows. Next day, the ammunition of the citizens began to fail : the French were expected every moment to