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to resist the power which was preparing to overwhelm them. There was no man but must wish success to a generous and gallant people, thus struggling in the glorious cause of national independence. No man, he was sure, could more cordially wish them success than he did, or would more willingly concur in the proper means of promoting and ensuring that success; but what were the most proper conditions, and the best mode of assisting the Spaniards? What part were his majesty's ministers prepared to act at so critical a juncture? They had at present in this country delegates from the brave people of Spain, who seemed determined to stem the torrent by which they were to be swept into servitude. From these and other sources, he hoped they might be able to collect the best information of the real state of that country, and of the probability of success, with which so bold and hazardous a struggle might be attended. With such information before them, what would be their conduct? This was the point that excited his anxiety. Would they hold out encourage ment and assistance to the Spauiards, who were now in arms against the invaders, before they saw any form of government established in the country with which they could communicate? Would they make common cause with the patriots of Spain, before they ascertained the principles on which they were acting, and the end which they were endeavouring to accomplish? He could not think it politic to embark in such a cause, without some previous knowledge of the designs of the Spanish patriots, without some

more definite determination of the grounds on which they were proceeding to act. He hoped ministers would take a lesson from past experience, and recollect the result of the interference of this country in La Vendee. He thought it his duty to throw out these hints, without expecting any detailed explanation of what might be the views and intentions of his majesty's govern-' ment.

Lord Hawkesbury, after bestowing due praise on the candid and circumspect manner in which the noble duke had delivered his opinions on a point of such delicacy, said, that the people of Spain had manifested a spirit and determination to resist the attempts of their invaders, which would have done honour to the most glorious periods of their history, and which, perhaps, were not to have been expected under the pressure of such formidable difficulties. Such a scene, every man in that house, and in the country, must hail with the liveliest satisfaction. And what every generous heart must wish should be done, in support of so glorious a cause, his majesty's ministers would feel it their duty to do. With regard to what information they had received of the designs or the hopes of those brave and resolute men who, in defence of their country's independence, were exposing themselves to every thing that a powerful and san guinary tyrant could devise and inHict, it could not be expected that he should now unfold it. His majesty's ministers were fully sensible of the extreme importance of this event; and, he trusted, they would be found to have acted accordingly,

House

House of Lords, 4th July.-By virtue of a commission, the royal assent was given to a number of bills after which the lord chancellor, having delivered a speech in his majesty's name, to both houses, prorogued parliament to the 20th of August. The concluding, and,

indeed, the greater part of the speech turned, as was natural, on the Spanish nation, loyally and uobly struggling against the tyranny and usurpation of France, and therefore no longer to be considered as the enemy, but the ally of Great Britain,

• See State Papers.

СНАР.

CHAP. VII.

Buonaparte intent on the Subjugation of Spain, by a combined Plan of Treachery and Force.-Divisions and Distractions in the Royal Fawily of Spain.—French Troops poured into Spain —Spanish Ambassedor at Paris, returns to Madrid with Instructions from Buonaparte.-A Conference between him and the King and Queen.-Preparations of the Royal Family to emigrate to Mexico.-General Murat advances with his whole Army to occupy Madrid.—Ferdinand VII. solicitous to conciliate the Favour of Buonaparte.-Report of Buonaparte's being on his way to the Spanish Capital.—Ferdinand persuaded to go to Burgos to meet him, and drawn on to Bayonne ; whither all the rest of the Royal Family of Spain are also attracted.— Circumstances co-incident in point of Time with these Intrigues.——— Description of the Frontier of Spain.—Fortresses and other Positions occupied by French Troops.-On what Pretences.-Report that the King was preparing to leave Aranjuez, with a View to Emigration.Insurrection at Aranjuez.-The Prince of the Peace arrested and imprisoned. — Charles IV. abdicates his Throne in favour of the Prince of Asturias.—Proclaimed King under the Name of Ferdinand VII-First Acts of Ferdinand's Reign.—Arrival and Reception of Murat at Madrid.—An Occurrence at Barcelona of a nature most suspicious and alarming to the Spaniards.—Patriotism of Count Expellata, Governor General of Catalonia.-Effects produced by the Journey of Ferdinand to Bayonne on the public Mind.—Interference of Murat, at the Instigation of Buonaparte, for the Releasement of the Prince of the Peace.-Universal Joy that had been excited at the Imprisonment of this Favourite.-His excessive Elevation_contrasted with his Fall.-Arrival of Charles IV. and his Queen at Bayonne.— Visited by Buonaparte.

THE treaty of Tilsit, as observ

ed in our last volume, was hardly concluded when Buonaparte, agreeably to what had been agreed on between himself and the emperor Alexander, turned his eyes to the west of Europe, and resolved on the subjugation of Spain and Portugal. In this, it may be presumed, he was actuated by a passion still more stimulative than his usual lust of conquest. His guilty mind, though perhaps impenetrable by the stings of remorse, could VOL. L.

never be quiet so long as the sovereignty of a neighbouring, great, and glorious peninsula resided in the house of Bourbon. The reduction of that noble country an der his own power, appeared to be necessary to the security of the thrones he had already usurped, and even to his personal safety.

In the combined plan of treache ry and force, which he determined to pursue for the attainment of that object, it was his first care to foment discord in the royal family. [K]

The

The prince of Asturias had transmitted to his father a sketch of the administration of the prince of the peace, charging him with a notorious attachment and subserviency to France. Buonaparte, apprized of this, stimulated the minister to the proceedings at the Escurial, in the autumn of 1897; and then it was his policy to take the part of the oppressed prince against the ministerial oppressor. He set himself, by nourishing the ambition of the son, to excite the resentment of the father, and rendered them mutual objects of mistrust, jealousy, and hatred; to disarm the father from taking precautions against the son, while he still encouraged the son in his views of inmediate succession; to seduce to his side all that was most respectable in Spain, or by infamous propositions and surmises, to subject them to popular suspicion; and, in a word, by striking a mortal blow at the head of government, and getting into his power, or under his influence, or debasing the great lords to whom the public eye might, at a great crisis, be naturally turned, to tear asunder all the bonds of the social compact, and plunge the defenceless nation into anarchy and

confusion.

Buonaparte, during his affected journey to Italy, towards the close of 1807, thought it now time to give an answer to letters he had received from the king of Spain, detailing the particulars of the mysterious arrest, and release of the prince of Asturias. In his answer, he denied his knowledge of that affair, or that he had ever received any letter from the prince: though

this answer did not accord with that afterwards transmitted by Buonaparte to Ferdinand, in which he formally declares, that he had received it. He yielded his consent, however, to the king's proposal of a marriage between the heir apparent and a French princess of Buonaparte's family, well foreseeing that this would afford a pretext for interfering in the private concerns of the royal family; and, at any rate, that it would withhold or withdraw their attention from ulterior measures for the fulfilment of his designs in the Peninsula. By this conduct also he hoped to gain the goodwill of the Spanish nation in general, as it had a tendency to convince them of the sincerity of his friendship for persons to whom they were so firmly attached. It was, further, calculated to give credit to the insinuations of his emissaries in Spain, that Buonaparte was secretly inclined to favour the cause of the prince of Asturias: while, through other channels, the minister, and favourite, Godoy, the prince of the peace, whose ambitious views must soon have been discovered by a person of Buonaparte's penetration, was privately encouraged to look forward to the protection of France, in the accomplishment of his nefarious projects.

By this mysterious conduct Buonaparte threw the king, the queen, the prince of Asturias, and the favourite into extreme disorder. And while they were all of them under this distraction, the French troops were suffered to spread themselves over a great portion of the Spanish ter

* See Vol. XLIX. HIST. EUR. p. 278.

ritory.

ritory. So far did this infatuation prevail in the administration that orders were issued for receiving and treating the French on a more liberal scale than even their own troops.

Many important posts in Spain, as well as the whole of Portugal, being now in the possession of the French, Buonaparte transmitted to the king of Spain a complaint, that no further steps had been taken in the affair of the marriage of the heir apparent with his relation. To this Charles replied, that retaining the same sentiments, he was desirons that the marriage might take place immediately. Some further proceedings were necessary to the maturation of Buonaparte's projet, and not being willing to commit these to writing, he thought he could not find a fitter instrument than Don Eugenio Izquierdo, whom he had detained in Paris, in a state of great dejection and terror, artfully impressed upon him, that he might thereby be induced the more effectually to execute his commission, by inspiring the royal parents, and the favourite with the same feelings. Izquierdo was ordered to repair to Spain: which he did in a very mysterious and precipitate manner. According to his verbal statements he did not bring any proposal with him in writing. On his arrival, under these circumstances, at Aranjuez, the favourite conducted him to the presence of the royal parents, and their conferences were conducted with so much secrecy, that it was impossible for any one to discover the object of his mission. But soon after

his departure from the Spanish capital, their inajesties began to shew a disposition to abandon both the metropolis and the Peninsula, and to emigrate to Mexico.

The recent example of the determinations taken by the royal family of Portugal (which, as some liave conjectured, was not uninfluenced by secret communications from France) induced Buonaparte to form a hope that the example of the court of Lisbon, in the present perplexing and alarming posture of affairs, might be followed by that of Spain. But scarcely had the first reports gone abroad of the intentions of the royal family of Spain to abandon the place of their residence, a resolution unequivocally indicated by the preparations which were going on, when discontent and fear were exhibited in the most lively colours in the features of all the inhabitants of the capital, and of ali ranks and classes of persons. This alone was sufficient to induce their majesties to refute the rumour, and to assure the people that they would not abandon them. Nevertheless such was the general distrust, such the magnitude of the evils which must have ensued, and such and so many the symptoms of a fixed determination to emigrate, that every one was on the alert, and all seemed to be impressed with the necessity of preventing a measure fraught with so many mischiefs. The danger increased, and with this the fears of the people. A popular commotion burst forth at Aranjuez, on the 17th and 19th of March, like a sudden explosion; the people being actuated by a sort [K2]

of

*One of the royal residences, situate on the banks of the Tagus, twenty-three miles to the southward of Madrid.

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