Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

pended during this alarm ; and with the whole, drove the French from such consummate prudence were all the town of Caldagues, and took all his enterprizes planned and executed, the guns which they had mounted that not one of his men was either and were mounting on the batteries. killed or hurt, except one, who was But Barcelona had already been re. singed in blowing up the battery. lieved by land. St Cyr's division,

Before he quitted the station, Lord after defeating the patriots under ReCochrane rendered one more service ding and Vives, entered it on the 17th to a cause in which he felt that lively of December. Many opportunities interest which became him as a Bri- nad occurred, and many there were

ton and a true lover of li- afterwards, in which a floating EngJan. 2. berty. Hearing that eleven lish force, under an enterprizing lead.

victuallers, destined for the er, such a leader as Cochrane, might relief of Barcelona, were lying in the have recovered for Spain this most port of Caldagues, under convoy of important city, à cutter and a lugger, he captured

CHAP. XX.

Second Siege and Fall of Zaragoza. Honours decrced to that City, and

its Defenders and Inhabitants.

After the defeat at Tudela, Palafox During the former siege the Zaretired to Zaragoza, to prepare for ragozans

had been embarrassed by the a second siege. “ I had no appre- French who resided in the city. What. hension of this sort,” said he, “ at ever might be the virtues of an indiCaperroso, where I was posted with vidual, it is not to be wondered at if a division of my army, far from think- every Frenchman suffered the penalty ing that I should so soon find myself of imputed sin for the crimes of his in the lamentable situation in which government. It was necessary to I am now placed; for never could take precautions against their probaany combination of mine have brought ble treachery, and at the same time me into it.” The charge of incapacity to protect them against the fatal ef. thus implied against the commander-in- fects of popular suspicion. chief was strengthened by an official To prevent this inconve. Nov. 24. account of the battle, published by nience, and to avoid a geGeneral O'Neil. Here it appeared neral massacre of these unfortunate that the troops under the command people, which he apprehended, not of Palafox had felt the utmost confi. more from the indignant rage of the dence in their general; that his plans Spaniards than from the instigation had been ably formed; and that when, of the wretches in the tyrant's pay, in consequence

of a movement under. Palafox sent them out of the city to taken without his advice, and con- distant places of confinement. The trary to his designs, they were forced prisoners and deserters from the eneto engage under many grievous dis- my were also sent away to places apadvantages, both officers and men had pointed for their reception. All the done their duty, and maintained the women, all men above threescore, and character of their country. But the all boys not able to carry cartridges, evil was done ; and though the regret were commanded to leave the city which must have been felt that such within three days, orders having beea a man as Palafox should not have issued to all the towns and villages been left free to follow the impulses in the kingdom to receive them with of his own superior genius, might ope. kindness, and to supply their wants. rate as a warning for the future, it The nuns were permitted to remove could not remedy the past.

to other convents at a distance from

the scene of danger, where they might appointed judge of the police, who devote themselves without interrup- would pass judgement according to tion to their religious exercises. These their crimes, and suitable to the danmeasures could not be executed to ger of the country ; but before he their full extent, the enemy approach. imposed the punishment of death, he ed so rapidly; and had there been should consult the captain-general. leisure for their fulfilment, it might All the houses were ordered to be probably have been difficult to en. well supplied with vessels of water, force them; for the patriotism of the in order to extinguish fires; and the Zaragozans was as ardent in the wo. Alcaides de Barrio, or officers of the men as in the men, and many of them ward, were charged to superintend would consider it a greater evil to this important measure of preparaseek bread and protection apart from tion. All persons entering or leaving their husbands, than to remain with the city were to be watched with the them during the siege, and triumph greatest care, because the enemy even or perish together. Another decree assumed the dress of the Spaniards, was levelled against those persons and, greatly superior as they were in who, for the sake of preserving their numbers, resorted to every artifice. own property, would fain have sub- “ All these measures,” said Palafox, mitted to the intruder ; of such per. “ should be obeyed with religious resons the majority of his adherents is spect, because they are all directed composed, wretches who are bribed to the good of our country, which, by their own wealth to betray their in happier times, will recompence all country. Palafox ordained, that all the sacrifices we make,—sacrifices so the inhabitants of Zaragoza, of what. acceptable in the sight of God, and ever rank or condition, should consi. of the Virgin Mother of God, who der themselves bound to devote their is our celestial protectress." persons, their property, and their lives The French, with their usual ceto its defence; that the rich should lerity, proceeded to improve their foster, and assist, and clothe the poor, victory, and marched against Zaraenable them to maintain their respec- goza, under Marshal Moncey (Duke tive posts, and remunerate them for the of Cornegliano). They enzeal with which they defended their camped at a little distance Nov. 27. lives, their estates, and their common from that city four days country. If any man were unnatural after the battle. Meantime the utenough to disregard this sacred duty, most exertions were made by the inwhich he owed both to his country habitants to strengthen their fortifiand his religion, he should be fined cations ; old and young worked at in proportion to the magnitude of his them, without distinction of sex or offence, and the amount of the fine rank. On the 29th some skirmishes appropriated to the subsistence of the took place between the advanced pararmy. All persons who served the ties, which were to the advantage of cause of the enemy, by pasquinades, the patriots. On the 30th, in the by endeavouring to excite a want of dusk of the evening, about 1200 of confidence in the chiefs, the people, the enemy appeared on the side of or the army, or by raising disturban. the Torrero and the Casa Blanca. ces and riots, should be carried before Part of them took post on a height Don Santiago Penicela, the newly. between the Ermidas, or chapels of Soledad, and Santa Barbara, which surrender of Madrid, and the disper. commanded the Casa Blanca ; the sion of the Spanish armies should be rest ascended through the ravine de known there. But the tyrant could la Muerte, and took possession of the not possibly imagine that the fate of Carthusian monastery of the Concep. Madrid would produce any effect tion. The whole of the garrison was upon Zaragoza; that city had been

immediately under arms. tried and proved, and the hatred Dec. 1. At day-break the enemy which rankled in the heart of this

were attacked, dislodged base barbarian against its defenders from the monastery, and compelled was manifested by his invectives ato fall back through the ravine; they gainst Palafox. To this hatred he then took post, in five columns, on gave full scope when it suited him to the heights that command the Torre- speak his real feelings : Mines and ro, and having mancuvred till ten bombs, said he, shall reduce Zarao'clock, commenced a vigorous at- goza to reason; and he swore in his tack in the direction of the Casa fury that the city should be destroyBlanca. It continued for four hours, ed. A great quantity of mortars, during which time the fire of the bombs, and howitzers of every cali. Spaniards was so well kept up that bre, were brought by General Dedon, the French at length fell back, and who commanded the artillery, from at four in the afternoon they filed off Pamplona ; and Lacoste, the general towards Alagon, leaving behind them of engineers, who was one of the part of their baggage and a consi- Corsican's aid-de-camps, collected derable quantity of provisions. The instruments of every kind for mining. success of the day was attributed in Buonaparte had been taught that great measure to the able dispositions there was no other means of conquerof General St Marc. This repulse ing Zaragoza than by destroying it. impeded the plans of the enemy, and Marshal Berwick, after he had ata division of their force, which was tained the height of his military readvancing by Zuera, fell back to. putation, used to wish that he might wards Tausti. They were not more have a good fortress to defend,-this successful in an attack made upon he thought was yet wanting to his the line of the canal, where the bridge fame. Something more would still was three times taken and recovered. have been wanting, which never fell The division of Asturian troops char- to Marshal Berwick's lot,-a good ged them with such spirit that they cause for which to have defended it : retreated, leaving many hundreds up- A man may become a great general on the field.

without this, but he never can be. The delay which was occasioned come a hero; never can win for him. in the progress of the siege by these self the admiration and reverence and defeats, and by numerous other sallies love of all succeeding ages, like Paof the Zaragozans, Buonaparte re. lafox within the mud walls of Zara. presented as an act of humanity on goza. Moncey proposed to him to his part. He was anxious, he said, capitulate ; his answer was, Talk of to spare the inhabitants the horrors capitulation when I am dead! The inseparable from a capture by storm, soldiers and the citizens were alike and was unwilling therefore that the worthy of their illustrious leader. city should be attacked before the The Countess of Burita again errel.

led herself with three hundred women himself, followed by O'Niel and of all ranks, to assist those who work- Saint Marc, hastened to the spot, put ed at the batteries, by carrying pro. himself sword in hand at the head of visions, and rendering whatever service his countrymen, rallied them, encouwas in their power. Young and old raged them by his voice and his exwere inspired with the same sacred ample, and the French were defeated enthusiasm. A boy of fourteen of- and driven back, leaving 4000 men fered himself as a soldier, and was re

upon the field. jected as too young to serve. Never. A few days afterwards, theless he mixed with the troops, Moncey, who had now Dec. 22. joined in one of their attacks upon fixed his head-quarters at the French, and won with his own the Torrero, sent a letter to Palafox, hand a stand of colours, which in the assuring him that Madrid had capitusight of the army he carried to the lated, and that any farther resistance church of the Pillar, and laid upon on the part of Zaragoza could only the high altar as his offering to the produce its total and inevitable deVirgin.

struction. The French Marshal On the 20th of December, the spoke also of his earnest wish to spare enemy made a general attack in great the effusion of blood, and to preserve force on the side where Moncey com- so fine and so estimable a city ; and manded in person. They won the he called upon the Aragonese general Torrero, a post untenable from its to inspire the people with peaceful situation against superior numbers ; sentiments, and so deserve the blessthey won also the Casa Blanca ; and ings which were offered them. The the battery of Buenavista, which was emperor, he said, had given him power flanked in consequence by this, suc- to put a stop to all fart herevil; and his cess, was blown up by a shell. The heart as well as his duty made him urge Spaniards, expecting that their posi- the Zaragozans to accept the peace tion would be lost, had ruined the which was proposed. Such profanation bridge of America, and by blowing of language, to which the French have it up, prevented the French cavalry been accustomed since the baneful from harassing their retreat, which ascendancy of the Corsican, makes they effected in good order to the Genseric and Attila, and the old redoubt of the Pillar, at the head barbarians of the North and of the of the bridge de la Huerba. The East appear less hateful ;-they only success of the day was very different outraged humanity; these wretches, elsewhere. On the other side of the while they commit equal excesses, river seven columns of infantry, with insult the understanding, and would a large body of horse, attempted to pervert the moral nature of man. Pawin the suburb. The command on lafox replied, " that Madrid, if it had this side had been entrusted to Bri. indeed capitulated, must have been gadier Don Josef Mạnso, captain of betrayed ; —the second of May,” said the royal guards, who, after an action he, " is a day which has no parallel in of five hours, repulsed the enemy. history ; either that city defends it. They renewed the attack with their self, or it has been sold. But what reserve, and their fire was so hot and if it has been sold ? Madrid is but a the attack so fierce, that the patriots single town. What avails it to talk were somewhat disordered. Palafox of danger to men who know how to

« ForrigeFortsett »