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towards him, struck the new king and the Spanish chiefs, who had ac companied him, with a degree of surprize and consternation not to be described, and opened their eyes to the horrors of their situation,

Buonaparte, having now thrown off the mask, proceeded without delay to carry his project into effect. On the following day he summoned to his palace Cevallos, who, as already observed, had been first secretary of state to king Charles, and now occupied the same station with Ferdinand, and was much in his confidence. In the palace Cevallos was received by M. de Champagny, Buonaparte's minister for foreign affairs. Cevallos began the conference with complamis of the perfidious artifices practised on his royal master to inveigle him into France, and added that he had been instructed to declare, in the most formal manner, that he neither would nor could renounce his right to the crown of Spain, in favour of any individual or family whatever to the prejudice either of himself, or of the other branches of his house; and that no person could be called to the throne, but by the voice of the nation itself, in virtue of the national right it possessed to select a new family in the event of the extinction of the family then on the throne.

The French minister, in return, insisted on the necessity of the required renunciation, chiefly on the ground that the abdication of king Charles had not been spontaneous. Cevallos protested against the opinion, that Buonaparte had any right to interfere in the internal arrangements of Spain, and cited the ex

ample of the French government itself, which in the beginning of the revolution, had positively rejected as inadmissible, the request tendered by the king of Spain in favour of his unfortunate cousin, Lewis XVI. Having stated various circumstances in proof that the late king, in his abdication, had acted entirely from his own free choice, Cevallos was told, that while the house of Bourbon reigned in Spain France never could be secure, in the case of war again breaking out in the north of Europe.

In opposition to this argument, Cevallos reasoned with Champagny, or might have reasoned, as in fact he does in his exposition, as follaws:-Ever since the restoration of peace between the two countries, Spain had adhered to her engagements with France with unshaken fidelity. The political conduct of Charles IV. since the treaty of Basle, afforded a recent proof that sovereigns had little regard to family interests, when these were in opposition to the interests of their dominions; that the friendship between France and Spain was founded in local and political considerations; that the topographical situation of the two kingdoms was of itself sufficient to demonstrate, how important it was for Spain to preserve a good understanding with France, the only state on the continent of Europe, with which she had direct and very extensive relations. The only circumstance by which this fidelity could be staggered, would be an attempt on the part of France to assail the independence of Spain, or the honour of her sovereign. Such an attempt might re-open an intercourse with England, which had already en

deavoured

deavoured to effect a reconciliation, Becessarily to be followed by measures essentially prejudicial to France. What confidence could Europe place in treaties with Buonaparte, were it discovered that he had broken through the sacred engagements contracted by him but six months before, with Charles IV. in the secret treaty of Fontainebleau? The conference between the French and Spanish ministers was interrupted by a command from Bannaparte, who had secretly heard their discourse, to attend him in his cabinet. There, Cevallos tells us, he was treated by the French emperor, as a traitor to his former master Charles; because he was now in the service of Ferdinand, and reproached in the most insult ing manner, for having maintained, in a former official conference with general Mouthion, that however necessary the recognition of Ferdinand's title to the throne of Spain might be to the preservation of amity between the two countries, still that bis title was not to be invalidated by the withholding of any such recognition.

Finding, however, Cevallos inflexible in the principles he professed, as we are told by this minister himself, Buonaparte put an end the interview with these characteristic expressions; "I have a system of policy of my own; you ought to adopt more liberal ideas; to be less rigid on the point of hoBour; and not to sacrifice the prosperity of Spain for the interests of the Bourbon Family."

Despairing of success in a negociation with Cevallos, Buonaparte required Ferdinand to entrust his concerns with some other minister. That no difficulty might arise on

....

this score, Don Pedro Labrador, who had been minister at the court of Florence, was selected to conduct the negociation on the part of Ferdinand, and instructed to declare that his master neither would nor could consent to the renunciation of his rights, or those of his family, to the throne of their ancestors. Labrador's demands of the production of the French ministers full powers to treat with him, and for an authenticated statement of the proposals of Buonaparte, were evaded by Champagny, as matters of merely official form. Champagny added an insinuation, that Labrador might, by falling in with the emperor's views, secure the prosperity of Spain, and at the same time promote his own private advantage. Labrador required that Ferdinand should be instantly permitted to return to Spain. But he was told, that matters could be arranged only by the two sovereigns, either by letters or in a personal interview.

This answer, added to the other circumstances, left no doubt in the mind of king Ferdinand, that he was actually under arrest. However, in order to establish beyond a doubt the certainty of this fact, Cevallos, by his majesty's order, sent a note to the French minister for foreign affairs, telling him, that the king was determined to return to Madrid, to tranquillize the agitation of his beloved subjects; and to provide for the transaction of the important business of the kingdom; assuring Mr. Champagny at the same time, that he himself would continue, in order to treat with his imperial majesty, on affairs reciprocally advantageous.

Buonaparte finding Ferdinand in

flexible,

flexible, had recourse to other expedients for effecting his object. It was with a view to this, that the old king and queen were invited to repair to Bayonue, for the purpose of a final arrangement of affairs.

Scarcely had Charles reached Bayonne, when he was employed to demand, that his son should resign the crown so lately assumed, signifying at the same time, his resolution not to remount the throne himself, but to renounce all his rights, and those of his family, in favour of France. Ferdinand VII, overawed, a prisoner, and controlled by circumstances, on the 1st of May transmitted in writing a conditional renunciation of the crown in favour of his angust father. In that paper Ferdinand observed, that though his father had personally declared his abdication to be voluntary, it now appeared, that it was his secret intention to resume the crown, when it should become advisable. It now also appeared, that it was not his design either to remount the throne himself, or even to return to his dominions; at the same time, that the rightful heir was directed to renounce his claims to the succession.

Notwithstanding the inexplicable contrariety in Charles's conduct, Ferdinand consented to resign all present pretensions to the throne; but upon certain conditions, calculated to prevent the alienation of the sovereignty to any foreign power. He proposed, that Charles should return to Madrid, whither he would attend him as a dutiful son; that the Cortes, or at least, the great council of the kingdom,

should be assembled; that his present resignation, with his motives thereto, should be duly and regularly recorded; that Charles should dismiss from his presence the persons who had so justly incurred the detestation of the nation; that if Charles, as it was understood, declined to resume the reins of government, Ferdinand would undertake the administration, either in the name of his father, and as his lieutenant, or in his own namé.

On the following day, May 28, the old king, in a long answer, evidently dictated by the great usurper, author of the whole tragedy *, declared his abdication to have been compulsory, and attributed his present distressful situation to the inveterate hatred of Ferdinand against France, of which evidence in his own letters had beer communicaled, (which has been above adverted to) by the emperor.

Charles concludes with asserting his conviction, that the disorders of Spain were to be remedied only by Buonaparte, whom, from long experience, the aged monarch says, he knew to be incapable of forming any design hostile to the honour and interests of the royal family of Spain.

Ferdinand's reply to this communication, dated the 4th of May+, together with many powerful representations to his father, on the future situation of the kingdom, contains many strong arguments for believing the abdication of the 19th of March to have been voluntary, although the consequences to be apprehended from the popular commotions, might have

* See Appendix to Chronicle, p. 235.

+ Appen. to Chron. p. 236.

have had a commanding influence on Charles's mind.

On the same day, 4th of May, when this reply was sent by Ferdiand to king Charles, (whether before or after it was received does not appear, and is perfectly immaterial) announced to the council of Castille, his abdication of all his daims on the Spanish kingdoms, in favour of his friend and ally, the emperor of the French, by a treaty which had been signed and ratified, and which stipulated for the integrity and independence of the Spanish kingdoms, and the preservation of the holy catholic religion, not only as the predominant, but as the sole and exclusive religion in Spain. He had thought proper to send this letter, that they might Conform themselves thereto, pubFish its contents, and make every exertion in favour of Napoleon, "Display," said king Charles, "the utmost frankness and friendship towards the French; and above all, direct your care to preserve the Country from insurrections and tumults."

But before this letter of abdication should be delivered, he had dispatched a proclamation, dated on the same day, the purpose of which was, to prepare the public mind, in some degree, for what was so soon to follow; in conformity with the usual policy of Buonaparte, who, on all occasions, was Lot less attentive to moral influence than to physical force. Charles, evidently adopting the sentiments, and very style of Buonaparte, told his "Dear Subjects," that perfidious men sought to mislead them, to arm the Spaniards against the French, and the French against the Spaniards; but the devastation of

Spain, and calamities of every kind would be the consequence. In this critical juncture, he had concerted with his ally, the emperor of the French, measures for their welfare. All those who spoke against France ́ thirsted for their blood. They were either the enemies of the Spanish nation, or the agents of Eng-. land, who sought, by their intrigues, to sever the mother country from her colonies; to effect a separation of her provinces; or to involve the country for a long course of years in trouble and disaster. "Spaniards," said he, "be guided by my experience, and yield obedience to the authority which I derive from God, and my ancestors. Follow my example, and be assured, under the present circumstances, there is neither pros→ perity, nor safety for the Spaniards, but in the friendship of the grand emperor our ally."

The negociation between the father and the son, for the purpose of procuring the unconditional and absolute renunciation of all right on the part of Ferdinand to the Spanish throne, did not keep pace with the ardour of Buonaparte; who, therefore, adopted measures for bringing it to a conclusion in his own peculiar way.

At four in the afternoon of the 5th of May, his imperial majesty went to visit the old king and queen of Spain. At this interview there were present, besides their majesties, the Infant Don Carlos, Godoy, the grandees of Spain, who had accompanied the new king in his journey to Bayonne, and the Spanish minister Don Pedro Cevallos. After a conference, which was continued above an hour, Ferdinand was called in by his father, "To

hear"

hear," says Cevallos, "in the presence of the emperor, expressions so disgusting and humiliating that I dare not record them." The scene to which Cevallos alludes was this. The queen, in a transport of passion, addressing Ferdinand, said, "Traitor, you have for years meditated the death of the king your father; but thanks to the vigilance, the zeal, and the loyalty, of the prince of the peace, you have not been able to effect your purpose: neither you, nor any of the infamous traitors who have co-operated with you, for the accomplishment of your designs. I tell you to your face, that you are my son, but not the son of the king. And yet, without having any other right to the crown than those of your mother, you have sought to tear it from us by force. But I agree and demand, that the emperor Napoleon shall be umpire between us: Napoleon, to whom we cede and transfer our rights, to the exclusion, of our own family. I call on him to punish you and your associates, as so many traitors, and abandon to him the whole Spanish nation."

This scene of the queen bastardizing her own legitimate son in the presence of the king, his legitimate father; and proclaiming her own infamy before her husband, is something so new, surprizing, and, singular, that it ould not bave gained universal and undoubted credit as it has done, if it were not attested by so many witnesses. It has been supposed by some, on no improbable grounds, to have been not merely an effusion of passion, but to have been preconcerted between the queen and Buonaparte.

Certainly there is nothing so bad concerning such a woman as to ap

pear any wise incredible. It is believed by many that the famous letter, in which Buonaparte tells the prince of Asturias, that he had no right to the crown of Spain but through his mother, was not written on the 16th of April, but subsequently to this interview. It did not appear in the Moniteur, till near the middle of May, when it was published, together with the transactions at Bayoune, on the first days of that mouth. If it had been sent to the prince on the 16th of April, it must have come to hand before his arrival at Bayonne, which was not till the 20th; and if those who were about the prince did not interfere for the discontinuance of his journey, after the reception of a letter so gross, so insolent, so immoral, and so menacing, instead of commiserating their stupidity, we could not help regarding them with detestation and horror. It is impossible, nor would it serve any important end, to unravel all the intricacies of intrigue of any kind, much less where they descend into profundities altogether unfathomable, or even to be conjectured by common experience and observation. What is obvious, is, that on the side of the French court there was the utmost subtlety and blackest perfidy; on that of the Spanish court, if not treachery, a stupidity bordering on ideotism.

There seemed to be no end to the queen's reproaches and rage, when Napoleon interrupted her, by saying," No! I give to Ferdinand the crown of Naples, and to Charles that of Etruria, with one of my nieces in marriage to each of them. Let them declare if they be willing to accept this offer."

After a short silence, Don Car

los

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