H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

by the interests of Spain, as well as those of France, that a strong hand should re-establish order in the Spanish government that bad fallen into such disgrace, and that was hastening so quickly to its final overthrow and ruin: that a prince who was the friend of France by inclination and by interest, that had nothing to apprehend, and could never be an object of mistrust to France, should consecrate the whole resources of Spain to its internal prosperity, to the re-establishment of its marine, and to the success of that cause which connected Spain with the continent. The work of Lewis XIV. was to be recommenced. What policy advised, justice sanctioned."

The reporter after setting himself to establish this point by a review of circumstances adduced to prove the lurking hostility of Spain to France, and its predilection for England, and that it was actually in a state of war with his imperial majesty, says, "But, independently of these considerations, existing circumstances do not permit your majesty to abstain from intervention in the affairs of that kingdom. The king of Spain had been hurled from his throne, your majesty was cailed to judge between the father and the son. What part could your ma jesty take? Could your majesty sacritice the cause of sovereigns, and suffer an outrage to the majesty of the throne? Or suffer a prince to sit on the throne of Spain who was unable to disentangle himself from the yoke of the English any longer than your majesty should maintain a powerful army in Spain? If, on the other hand, your majesty should determine to restore Charles IV. to the throne, this could not be

done without overcoming very great resistance, and without a deluge of French blood. In short, could your majesty abandon the Spanish nation to its fate in the midst of extreme agitation, and while the English were busy in fomenting trouble and anarchy? Ought your majesty to give up this new prey to be deyoured by England? God forbid— I have represented the circumstan ces that oblige your majesty to come to a great determination. is recommended by political wisdom, authorized by justice, and by the distractions of Spain, imperiously demanded. Your majesty ought to provide for the security of your empire, and to save Spain from the influence of England."

The minister for foreign relations, in another report made to the emperor, Paris, September 1, to be communicated to the senate, says, "If in the dispositions which your majesty has made, the security of France has been your principal object, the interests of Spain have not been neglected. In uniting the two states by the most intimate alliance the prosperity and the glory of both have been equally consulted; your majesty interposed as a mediator for the salvation of Spain, torn to pieces by intestine broils. You pointed out to the Spaniards on the one hand the anarchy with which they were threatened, and on the other hand England ready to take advantage of their disorder in order to appropriate to herself whatever might suit her convenience.-Shall England be permitted to say, "Spain is one of my provinces," and to domineer at the ports of France? If the French fight for the liberty of the seas, they must begin with tearing Spain

from

from the tyrant of the seas. If they fight for peace, they must drive from Spain the enemies of peace-In this contest all Europe prays for success to France."

Thus far we have seen Buona parte carrying on his design by intrigue and fraud; by which means be considered it as accomplished. But the Spaniards, not only in the provinces of Spain, but in the co

lonies, started up simultaneously, as if moved up by one indignant soul into an attitude of defence and defiance, and declared eternal war against their perfidious and insolent oppressor: an event which astonished all Europe, and no one, it may be presumed, more than the tyrant, who had treated them with so much contempt.

CHAP.

CHAP. IX.

Description of Spain, Geographical, Moral, and Political.-Circumstances tending to encourage the Spaniards in their Resistance against the French.

Sendered is: PAIN, in ordinary language, is.

extensive state or kingdom; and so it is in its foreign relations, and sundry other points of the greatest importance. But under the crown of Spain are united many states or kingdoms, which have gradually coalesced into one monarchy; each kingdom (formerly so called) retaining still, together with many particular laws and usages, a peculiar and distinct character, and some of them separate local interests: circumstances which, no doubt, presented to such a mind as Buonaparte's, hopes of being able to call to his aid the destructive power of division and discord. The northern districts, containing the kingdom of Navarre, the three provinces of Biscay, and the principality of Asturias, enjoy peculiar privileges, being governed in some sort by themselves, and by far the greater part of their contribution appropriated to the expences of their own municipal establishments. These provinces consisting chiefly of prodigious tracts of mountains, produce a race of hardy, active, and industrious people, who, for want of sufficient employment in the cultivation of the ground, or in the iron mines with which their country abounds, have naturally devoted themselves to the sea service in va rious branches; and from those tracts of sea coast, the Spanish na

ea is the most. vy draws the most energetic por

The other parts of Spain are very unequally distributed into those belonging to the crowns of Castille and Arragon. To Castille belong the kingdom of Gallicia, the provinces of Burgos, Leon, Zamora, Salamanca, Estramadura, Palencia, Valladolid, Segovia, Avila, Toro, Toledo, La Mancha, Murcia, Guadalaxara, Cuenca, Loria, and Madrid: to these are added, the four ancient Moorish kingdoms, composing the provinces of Andalusia, namely Seville, Cordova, Jaen, and Grenada. To the crown of Arragon belong the kingdoms of Arragon and Valentia, the county of Catalonia, and the kingdom of the island of Majorca. The states under the crowns of Castille and Arragon, had their several cortes or assemblies of representation of the different orders of inhabitants; but those of the two crowns were never united into one body; and, indeed, since the days of Charles V. who resigned the government in 1555, the cortes were seldom convened.

The government, however, though in appearance despotic, and independent of the will of the nation, was, as is the case in even the most arbitrary European states, tempered by a complicated system of councils, in which if judgment was tardy, it was commonly just.

The

The great and important Penin- north; the sedate and solemn inhasala of Spain (including Portugal, bitant of the broad and arid plains naturally a part of the same counof the two Castilles and La Mantry, and at various periods subject tha; the pensive and taciturne Esto the same sovereign) is most ad- tramaduran; the volatile and talkavantageously situated between the tive Andalusian; the laborions culAtlantic and the Mediterranean. It、tivator of the shores of the Medicommands the narrow strait of terranean-these different descripGibraltar, the only communica- tions of the population of Spain, tion between these seas, and occu- resemble each other in so few pies in some respects the centre of points as to appear to be of very the habitable globe. This Penin- different descent, and indeed the sula, a name by which the Spa- production of very different_counniards frequently designate their tries and climates. In one imporcountry, extends, where broadest, tant particular, however, the nafrom west to east, about 640 Eng- tional character of the Spaniards lish miles and from north to south might be traced in every corner of about 540 miles. The population the kingdom. Entire and respectof the whole Peninsula has been ful submission to the authority of computed at between thirteen and the sovereign was every where prefourteen millions of which Portu dominant. For while the Calalogal is supposed to contain two mil- nian was proud to think, that the lions. The remainder, distributed king was not king, but only count over Spain will afford only about of Catalonia; and the Biscayan, 74 persons for every square mile, that he was only lord of his mounwhile the inhabitants of England tains; they both agreed in yielding are computed to exceed 150, and most implicit obedience to his manthose of France one hundred and dates, when promulgated in the sevenly, on a similar extent of ter- customary forms of each respecritory; many parts of the interior be- tive district. ug almost destitute of springs and rivers; and others being exccedingly mountainous. Indeed on the first glance at the map of Spain, it appears to be a country shaped, and in a very great measure consisting in beits of mountains, ramifying from one another and leaving intervals of various breadths between them, yet all of them linked to the same mass or stock. The sea coasts of Catalonia, Valenfia, Murcia, Grenada, and Andalasia, present scenes of amazing fertility, active industry, and crowded population.

The hardy, industrious, and admountaineer of the

venturous

That the Castillian and the Arragoneze should glory in their submission to the royal authority, is not surprizing, as from the union of the sovereigns of Castille and Arragon, sprang the family which in the course of time became masters of the whole country. Arragon and Castille had likewise embraced the interests of the house of Bourbon in the dispute with that of Austria in the beginning of the last century. That the Catalonians, however, should have evinced in 1808 a decided attachment to the reigning family, against whom they had obstinately and long contended, and from whom they had received no favours, but

many

many marks of dislike, having been disarmed, and experienced various other proofs of distrust from those in power-that the Catalonians should manifest now a decided and determined attachment to the interests of the House of Bourbon, can be attributed only to an inveterate aversion to their neighbours on the northern side of the Pyrenees, with whom for ages they had been in almost continued hostility, from whose inroads and devastations they had often severely suffered, and whose revolutionary doctrines, moral, political, and religious, as well as their actions, were calculated to inspire Spaniards with aversion and horror.

Another feature, strongly characterising all the provinces of Spain, and indeed all the subjects of his catholic majesty in any quarter of the world, was, an absolute devotion, not only to the doctrine, but to the policy of the see of Rome. In this absolute devotion to the church, the Spaniards, with perhaps the exception of the Portugueze alone, exceed all the nations of Europe. The church or secular clergy in Spain possessed immense revenues, even the third part, it has been computed, of the whole land. But it would be extreemly erroneous to conclude that those revennes were appropriated to the sole enjoyment, application, or accumulation of the several incumbents. Of late years, it became the policy of government to grant pen

sions on the richest benefices for the support of various public establishments; so that even the metropolitan of Toledo, the most exalted dignitary of the kingdom, although nominally enjoying a revenue of perhaps £100,000 sterling, could not in reality, dispose of more than a fourth part of that sum. The opening of roads, the construction of bridges, the establishment of inus and schools, the reparation of churches and chapels, and various other works of public utility, which in Britain are carried on at the expence of the state, or more frequently of individuals and associations, in Spain, are often imposed on those enjoying large ecclesiastical possessions; and where such duties have not been imposed, the incumbents, from zeal to the public good, or even from a desire to imitate the conduct of their predecessors or contemporaries, have often charged themselves with that performance *.

The attachment of the people to the church and its ministers was also warmly cherished by the exemplary deportment of the episcopal body, who from the day of their appointment, immediately repaired to their respective dioceses, in which they uniformly resided, there devoting themselves entirely to the various duties of their station.

The abbies and convents over Spain appropriated to the reception of females, were some years ago calculated to contain about 34,000 persons,

There are not a few monuments of the public spirit and munificence of the Roman Catholic clergy, in various parts of Britain. The old bridge over the Dee was built at the expence of the bishop of Aberdeen. That over the Eden, a great work, was constructed by the archbishop of St. Andrews. The university, and the library funds of this last mentioned city, would not have been encroached on by monkish professors.

« TrướcTiếp tục »