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University of Illinois Library 

_■ 1 I 

L161— O-1096 





1. Rome. By Arthur Gilman, M.A. 

2. The Je-srs. By Prof. J. K. HosMER. 

3. Germany, By Rev. S. BaRING- 


4. Carthage. By Prof. Alfred J. 


5. Alexander's Empire. By Prof. 

J. P Mahafi V. 

6. The Moors in Spain. 



By Stanley 

By Prof. George 

Prof. Arminius 

By Arthur Gil- 

the Hon. EMILY 

7. Ancient Egypt. 


8. Hungary. By 


9. The Saracens. 

MAN, M..\. 

10. Ireland. By 


11. Chaldea. By Zfn'aIde A. Ragozin. 
12 The Goths. Bv Henry Bradley. 
13. Aesyria. By Zenaide A. Ragozin. 
ij. Turkey. Bv Stanley Lane-Poole. 

15. Holland. By Prof. J. E. Thorold 


16. Mediaeval France. By Gustave 


17. Persia. Bv S. G. W. BENJAMIN. 

18. Phoenicia. Bv Prof. G. Rawlinson. 
ig. Media. By Zenaide A. Ragozin. 

20. The Hansa Towns. By Helen 


21. Early Britain. By Prof. ALFRED 

J. Church. 

22. The Barbary Corsairs. By Stanley 

Lane- Poole. 

23. Russia. By W. R. Morfill, M.A. 

24. The Jews under the Romans. By 

\V. D. Morrison. 
25 Scotland. By John Mackintosh, 

Switzerland. By Mrs. Lina Hug 

and R. Stead. 
Mexico. Bv Susan Hale 
Portugal. Bv H. MoRSE Stephens. 
The Normans. By Sarah Orme 


30. The Byzantine Empire. By C. W. 


31. Sicily : Phoenician, Greek and 

Roman. By the Prof. E. A. 

32. The Tuscan Republics. By Bella 


3-,. Poland. By W. R. Morfill M.A. 

3}. Parthia. By Prof. George Raw- 

35. The Australian Commonwealth. ,By 


3fi. Spain. By H. E. Watts. 

37. Janan. By David Murray, Ph.D. 




38. South Africa. By George M. 


39. Venice. Bv Alethea Wiel. 

40. The t'lusades. By T. A. Archer 

and C. L. KlNGSFORD. 

41. Vedic India. By Z. A. Ragozin. 

42. The West Indies and the Spanish 

Main. By James .TtouvvAY. 

43. Bohemia. By C. Edmund 


44. The Balkans. By W. Miller, M.A. 

45. Canada. By Sir J. G. Bourinot, 


46. British India. By R. W. Frazer. 


47. Modern France. By Andre Le 


48. The Franks. By Lewis Sergeant. 

49. Austria. P>y Sidney Whitman. 

50. Modern England. Beloie the Re- 

loi-m Bill. Bv Justin McCarthy. 

51. China. By Prnf. R. K. Douglas 

52. Modern England. From tlie Keforni 

Bill to the Present Time. By 
Justin McCarthy. 

53. Modern Spain. Bv Mariin A. S. 


54. Modern Italy. By PlEiRO Orsi. 

55. Norway. By H.H. BOVESEN. 

56. Wales. Bv O. M. Edwards. 

■57. Mediaeval Rome. Bv W. JIiller, 
•• '■ '■ M A. 

58. J'he i*?pal Monarchy. By William 


59. Mediaeval India under Mohamme- 

dan Rule. By Sianley Lane- 

60. Buddhist India. By Prof. T. W. 


61. Parliamentary England. By Ed- 

ward JlA'KS M..A. 

62. Mediaeval England. By Mary 


63. The Coming of Parliament. By L 

Cecii. Jane. 

64. The Story of Greece. From the 

Earliest Times to .a.d 14. By 
E. S. Shlckburgh. 

65. The Story of tht; Roman Empire. 

(B.C. 29 to A.D. 476.) By H. 
Stuart Jcvks. 

66. Denmark and Sweden, with Ice- 

land and Finland. By JON 
Stefan^-son", Ph.D. 

67. Belgium. F'rom the Roman Inva- 

sion to the Present Day. By 
Emii.e Ca:\imaerts. 

68. Burma. From the Earliest Times 

to the Piesent Day. By Sir J. 
George Scott, K.'C.I.E. 

London : T. FISHER UNWIN, LTD., i Adelphi Terrace 


UKiVERsiry Of illihois 


[Russell &■ Sons. 






SPAIN FROM 1898 TO 1918 

by J. R. CAREY 



First published . . . . 190a 

Second Impression . . . igo2 

Secbnd Edilioii [Third Tin pressioit) 1906 

Third Edition {Fourth Impression) 1923 

jCiDijyRiGnT BY T. FISHER yNVyiN,.i899 
(for Great Britain) 


(for the United States of America) 


An attempt has been made to furnish an addi- 
tional chapter to the work of the late Major Martin 
Hume. The hardihood of such an undertaking is 
recognised, and the result will doubtless remind 
most readers of a stucco Georgian annexe to an 
Elizabethan mansion. The period to be covered 
— roughh' from 1898 to 1918 — bristles with diffi- 
culties even for extended treatment. The neces- 
sary limits of space have meant the crowding 
out of much and the inadequate treatment of 
more. Most of the points touched on are matters 
of living interest and impassioned debate in Spain, 
and the present writer has striven merely to 
indicate the various opinions without presuming 
-^ to lay down the law. Spain is slowly working 
"I out her destiny. Every day her contribution to 
■^ world civilisation, long obscured by the mists of 
_^' prejudice, is becoming more and more recognised. 
"^ She has a right to our steadfast sympathy in her 
^ present difficulties, and our cordial co-operation 
in her future progress. 


London, 1923. 



In the seven years that have passed since this 
book was written the happiest hopes expressed in 
its closing Hnes have so far been fulfilled. The child 
Alfonso XIII. has grown to be a man: a young 
man full of generous impulses, and deeply imbued 
by his wise mother in the duties and responsibilities 
of a constitutional monarch. To him in the flower 
-of his promising youth Queen Christina has handed 
unimpaired the sceptre she bore so bravely in the 
anxious years of her son's long minority. Peace 
and a measure of prosperity have continued to smile 
upon Spain, and in the international councils of 
Europe the ancient monarchy bears an increasingly 
important part, in cordial friendship with the two 
great democratic forces, England and France. Those 
who on the memorable day in May, 1901, saw the 
King, so bright and eager, so manly yet so patheti- 
cally young, face his parliament and his people for 
the first time as their ruler, and with head erect and 


ringing voice swear to guard inviolate the Constitu- 
tion by which he reigned, could not fail to be 
impressed with the earnest sincerity, the evident 
determination, of the young man to do right and 
fear nothing. Mistakes Alfonso XIII. may make, 
for he is human ; but it may be certainly predicted 
of him, that, like his father before him, he will do no 
evil knowingly to his people ; and that he willj so 
far as in him lies, keep his pact with the subjects 
whose love and sympathy he has already gained. 

The old politicians of the revolution, are :.drDpping 
off one by one. Silvela, Sagasta, Romexo-RobledQ, 
and Pi y Margall have died since this book, was 
written, and the newer, statesmen who alternately 
govern Spain have fouftd, as Canovas in his own 
words said of Alfonso XII., when he was, of the 
same age. as his son is now, that in Alfonso : XII L 
they "have a master." Like his father, tooj the 
young King has determined to marry for love,, and 
to marry an English Princess, bred, in the free atmo- 
sphere . of British life. When Alfonso- XII.: was 
urged by his ministers to adopt a "measure limiting 
religious freedom in. Spain, he replied: — " There aire 
two things upon which I will never' give way, though 
it cost me my crown. I will never suppress religious 
liberty,, and I will never marry against my. will-; 
and the Influences whose activity; in ah opposite 
direction drew this declaration from Alfonso XII.^ 
have found in his. son .the same firm resolve to resist 


the retrogressive forces of bigotry, and to suffer no 
political coercion in the matter of his marriage. The 
Catholic faith is, and must remain, the religion of 
Spain ; but the. day of religious persecution and 
tyrannical priestcraft is past for ever, and Catholic 
Spain is as free as. Protestant England. The sym- 
p_athies of Britons will join those of Spaniards 
towards the young couple who under such hopeful 
auspices are to begin life together. The national 
friendship typified by the.personal union is a pledge 
of .peace for Spain, and an advantage for our own 
country, and the closer communion between the 
peoples ; can not but inspire Spain once more, as a 
similar friendship did well nigh a century ago, anew 
with attachment to orderly liberty guaranteed by 
pure- .parliamentary government such as happily 
prevails in our .awn land. 

For Spain most of the auguries are hopeful. The 
vexed question of "regionalism" in Biscay and 
Cataluiia still stirs the nation to its heart, but the 
wisest of those who have hitherto clamoured for 
complete provincial autonomy are beginning ta 
recognise that the best way of attaining the end 
they have in view is not to stand apart from the 
national life and cry for an impracticable separation, 
but for the wealthy, active provinces of the north 
to infuse into all departments of the national life 
some of their own energy and strength : for Biscay 
and Cataluha to conquer and influence the rest of 


Spain as Scotland has influenced the rest of Britain, 
and whilst retaining in vigour provincial institutions, 
work for, and with, the nation as a whole. Whatever 
solution may be found for this and other burning 
questions, one thing may be foretold with confidence. 
The days of despotism have fled for ever from Spain. 
The law and not the crown shall rule ; and the bent 
of the young king, so far as it is known, encourages 
the hope that the popular liberties will have in time 
a strenuous champion and a faithful guardian. It 
must be the wish of all Englishmen, as it certainly 
is of Spaniards, that he with an English bride may 
reign long and happily over a free people ; and in 
the process of time be succeeded by Anglo-Spanish 
descendants handing down the traditions of popular 
government for future ages in a country which in 
-.the past despotism has done its best to ruin. 


London, April, 1906. 



This is the story of a nation during a century of 
struggle upward out of the abyss into which des- 
potism and bigotry had sunk it. Before the period 
commenced a king, more enlightened than his subjects, 
had brought from abroad wise and far-reaching plans 
of regeneration which he imposed upon a submissive, 
but apathetic and ignorant, people. These reforms 
were social, educational, and administrative, and in 
no way trenched upon the despotic political power 
which he had inherited from his forefathers, for he 
knew full well that orderly liberty must follow, and 
not precede, enlightenment. 

It was Spain's misfortune that the sceptre of 
Charles III. passed into the hands of an amiable 
fool at the most critical period of modern times, 
when half civilisation v^as crazy with the new con- 
viction that the face of society, and even the laws 
of nature, could be suddenly altered by changes in 
the form of governments. In England this belief 
was modified by the stolid good sense of the race, 
loyalty to the throne, and the elasticity of the con- 


stitution under which we Hved ; in France it was 
turned to his own advantage by one of the greatest 
geniuses and most unscrupulous men the world ever 
saw, and has resulted in a successful democracy 
which at intervals cries for a despot to save it from 
itself: whilst in Spain, where the throne had forfeited 
right to respect, where there was no constitution 
to be elastic, and no genius to rescue society from 
anarchy by new developments of despotism, the 
people themselves have painfully worked out, so 
far, their own salvation at the cost of a century 
of conflict and misery untold. 

Again and again during the period, political 
empirics have prescribed rapi# remedies for a chronic 
disease, always with the result that a crisis has been 
provoked which has further retarded the progress of 
the patient. False guides have betrayed the people 
from the straight upward path through short cuts 
into quagmires, or to the edge of the precipice : at 
every level resting-place the leaders have declared 
loudly that the summit has been attained, and in 
eloquent orations have called upon their followers, 
and the world at large, to witness and admire their 
cleverness in having reached it with so little labour. 
Every transient gleam of their own poor rushlight 
has been hailed in resounding phrases as the bright 
sunshine which was to be the final goal. The people 
in the meanwhile, inexperienced in the phenomena of 
progress, have readily taken flowing oratory for noble 
deeds, and flickering candles for the day's eff"ulgence; 
only to give way to bitter disappointment and 
paroxysms of rage when they have learnt the truth. 


and have been forced to toil upward again still in 
the twilight. 

But, withal, the road has led them higher. The 
squabbles and corruption of politicians, the folly 
and blindness of those who sat in high places, have 
done their worst ; but those who have patience to 
read to the end the story here told will see that in 
the course of the century the Spanish nation, in 
spite of all, has advanced, and is still advancing, 
though slowly, towards the material prosperity and 
enlightened freedom which is the right of all civilised 

I may fairly claim to possess some special qualifi- 
cations for relating many of the incidents set forth in 
this history. In my youth I have listened open-eyed 
for hours to the tales of aged relatives and their 
friends who had borne active part in the great 
struggle early in the century. Some of them had 
been friends of Godoy, some of them companions 
in arms of Wellington and Hill ; and from the mouth 
of one I learnt the tragic story of the massacre of 
the 2nd of May, at which he had been present. The 
same aged gentleman and his brother, near relatives 
of my own, were amongst the victims of the despotism 
of Fernando, and expiated in prison and in exile their 
adhesion to the cause of the Constitution. From 
them, many a time and oft, have I heard on the 
spot the story of the battle of the Constitution in 
the Calle Mayor of Madrid on the 7th of July, 
1822, and of the storming of the palace stairs by 
Diego de Leon in 1841 to capture the young 
Queen Isabel. At a later period my own observa- 


tion commenced, and as a keenly-interested spectator 
and friend of many of the chief actors I witnessed 
most of the stirring scenes recounted in these pages, 
from the revolution of 1868 up to the death of 
Alfonso XII., since when I have never ceased to 
follow closely the incidents of the contemporary 
history of Spain. 

In a work containing so many details, I cannot 
hope to have escaped errors, but I may claim that 
I have done my best to avoid them ; and I have 
been careful to confirm my memory of the events I 
have witnessed, and of descriptions given to me by 
actors in earlier scenes, by comparison with other 
contemporary accounts. 

London, October, 1899. 




Preface to the Third Edition . 

Preface to the Second Edition . . . . ix 

Introduction xv 


1-4 1 

Charles IV. and Godoy — A Fresh Start Down- 

Spain in the Eighteenth Century— Reforms of Charles III. 
— Aranda and Floridablanca— Accession of Charles IV.— 
The "Pragmatic Sanction" and the Salic law— Spain and 
the French Revolution— Rise and rule of Godoy— War with 
France— Godoy Prince of the Peace— Treaty of St. Ildefonso 
and war with England — Subjection of Spain to French 
interests — Napoleon. 

Spain and Napoleon — "Clay in the Hands of 

the Potter" ...... 42-85 

Condition of the country at the beginning of the centurj' — y j 
Population — Social condition — Industry — Finance and Trade ' 
— Education and Literature — Spain dragged at the tail of 
France — Godoy's war with Portugal — Treaty of Amiens — 
Godoy, Maria Luisa and Fernando Prince of Asturias — 
The Treaty of Paris — Napoleon Emperor — Trafalgar — 
Conflict of Fernando and Godoy — The beguilement of 






A Distracted Royal Family and a Betrayed 

Nation 86-122 

Fernando and Godoy — The conspiracy of the Escorial a 

— Godoy triumphant — Junot in Portugal — French troops in /\, 
Spain — The revolution of Aranjuez — Flight of Godoy — 
Abdication of Charles IV. — Murat in Madrid — Entry of 
King Fernando — Fernando enticed into France — The y 

assembly of the Spanish Royal Family at Bayonne — 
Squabbles and renunciations — The Junta at Madrid— The 
abduction of the Infantes — The Dos de Mayo — Fernando 
a prisoner. 


The Peninsular War ..... 123-178 

Finance and national defence — Education and Literature 
(1808) — The rising of the country against the French — 
Zaragoza — Bailen — Murat and the Junta in Madrid — King 
Joseph Bonaparte — Joseph's flight from Madrid — The Con- 
vention of Cintra — Napoleon at Madrid — Moore's retreat on 
Corunna — Wellesley in Spain — Talavera — Joseph's Govern- 
ment — The Juntas — Destruction of the Spanish army — 
Flight of the Junta from Seville to Cadiz — The Cortes of 
Cadiz— The American Colonies — The first Constitution. 


" Fernando the Desired " — Royal Reward for 

Devotion . . . . . . 179-247 

Salamanca — • Wellington in Madrid — Vitoria — Flight oi 
Joseph^Fernando at Valenyay — Return of Fernando the 
Desired — The decree of Valencia — "Death to Liberty!" 
^The despot in his capital — Fernando's character — Tyranny 
unchecked — Revolt and repression — The American Colonies 
— The revolt of Ricgo — The Constitution again — Triumphant 
democracy — Riego in Madrid — Oratory — Excesses of the 
democrats — Dissensions — Anarchy in the Provinces — Battle 



of the Constitution in Madrid — Democracy in power — The 
Holy AlHance — The Regency of Urgel — Reactionist revoki- 
tion — French intervention — Fernando conveyed to Andalusia 
— Angouleme's invasion — Siege of Cadiz — Escape of Fer- 
nando — Despotism wins — Execution of Riego. 

Despotism — Enlightened and Otherwise . 24S-293 

Finance (1823) — Social life — Arts and industry — The Drama 
— America — "The Exterminating Angel" — Persecution of 
Liberals — Death of the "Empecinado" — Calomarde — The 
Royal Family — Fernando's third wife, Cristina of Naples — 
Liberal hopes — Torrijos — Birth of Isabel — Enlightenment i'. 
Obscurantism— Intrigues for the succession — Don Carlos 
and Cristina — Illness of Fernando — Abrogation of the 
"Pragmatic Sanction"- — Revocation of the abrogation — 
"\Vhite hands oflend not" — Cristina and the Liberals — 
Banishment of Don Carlos and his wife — Death of Fernando 
— Absolutism militant. 

War and Anarchy .... . 294-347 

Review of Fernando's reign — Literature — Cristina Regent ,^ ^ 
— Cea Bermudez and enlightened despotism — Martinez de 1^. /^. 
Rosa — Constitution of 1834 — The Carlist war — Murder of ^ 
the Jesuits in Madrid — Siege of Bilbao — Death of Zumala- 
carregui — " Down with the Friars" — Rising in Barcelona — 
Anarchy — Mendizabal in office — His radical measures — 
Church property — The English legion at St. Sebastian 
— Democratic risings — Revolt of the sergeants at La Granja 
— Restoration of the Constitution of 1S12 — Espartero at 
Bilbao — Democracy in power — Constitution of 1837 — Defeat 
of Evans at Hernani — His subsequent victories — Revolt of 
the Guards — Espartero Prime Minister — Don Carlos at the 
gates of Madrid — His retreat. 




Intrigue and Instability .... 34S-403 

Decline of Carlism— Cabrera — Narvaez — The end of the 
CarHst war— Treaty of Vergara— Cristina and the Liberals 
— Progress to Barcelona— RevoUition — Flight of Cristina— 
Espartero Regent — Democracy again victorious — Diego de 
Leon's attempt to capture Isabel — Counter revolution and 
flight of Espartero — Narvaez dominant — Majority of Isabel 
— Her person and character — Olozaga — The Queen's accu- 
sation — Fall of Olozaga — Persecution of Liberals — Social 
and literary condition of the country — ^ " The Spanish 
marriages" — Renewed Carlist war — Dissensions between 
Isabel and her husband — Serrano — Return of Narvaez — 
Palace reconciliations— Tumults in Madrid — Hopes and 


On the Slope of Revolution — And Over the 

Brink . . . . . . . 404-465 

Isabel's political methods — Brabo Murillo— Birth of the 
Princess of Asturias — Attempt on Isabel's life — Civilian 
reaction — San Luis — Revolution of 1854 — Rise of Leopold 
O'Donnell — Return of Espartero — The " Duumvirate "^ 
The Constitution of 1S56 — Sale of the Church property 
— Palace resistance — Betrayal of Espartero — O'Donnell 
supreme — Birth of Alfonso, Prince of Asturias — The 
Liberal Union — Revival of industry and prosperity — War 
with Morocco — New Carlist fiasco — War with Chile and 
Peru — Fall of O'Donnell — Withdrawal of the Liberals 
from constitutional action — Prim in exile — The Revolution 
of 1868— Flight of Isabel. 


** For ever Fell the Bastard Race of Bourbon " 
— A Revolution swamped by Revolu- 
tionists . , . 466-519 

Excesses of the advanced parties — The revolution in Madrid 
— Organisation of the new Government — Prim's popularity 



— The monarchical parties — The Constituent Cortes — Candi- 
dates for the throne— The strife of parties — Election of 
Amadeo — Spanisji finance — Social, material, and intellectual 
condition of the country — Cuba — Murder of Prim — Reign of 
Amadeo — Abdication — The third Carlist war — The Republic 
— Pavia's Coup d''Eiat — Continuance of the war — Restora- 
tion of Alfonso XII. 


Restoration without Retrogression — A Last 

Atonement ...... 520-563 

Alfonso's popularity — Political parties — End of the Carlist 
war — National finance — Constitution of 1876 — Marriage of 
the King — Death of Mercedes — Fusion of the Liberal parties 
under Sagasta — Second marriage of Alfonso — Martinez 
Campos and the Treaty of Zanjon — -Death of Alfonso XII. 
— Financial, commercial, artistic, and literary progress — 
Regency of Cristina — Reforms of 1890 — Cuban war, 1895-98 
— Loss of the Colonies — Conclusion. 

A Fresh Start Uphill 564 

Post-war reaction — Position of the monarch — Political 
parties — Regionalism — Morocco — The World War and 
Spanish neutrality — Social and economic conditions — 
Ainericanisiiio — Industrial conditions — Church and State — 
Education — Literature and Art — Conclusion. 

Index . . . . . . . . -587 

Index to Supplementary Chapter . . . 597 

Alfonso XIIL, King of Spain . . Frontispiece 

From a photograph by Russell &= Sons. 

Alfonso XIIL, King of Spain Cat the age of 

twelve) . . . . . xiv 

Count de Aranda . . . ■ . 7 

From a contemporary French engraving tn the British 
Museum, taken during his embassy in Paris. 

The Puerta del Sol, Madrid . . • 1 7 

From a woodcut, late eighteenth century. 

Manuel Godoy . . . , 21 

From a contemporary engraving by Carinona. 

Manuel Godoy . . , . .29 

From a contemporary engraving at the time of his fall. 

The Family of Charles IV. . . . 47 

From a photograph of the famous painting by Goya in the 
Museo del Prado. 

Queen Maria Luisa . . -59 

From a photograph of the painting by Goya in ike Museo 
del Prado. 



Gate of the Carmen at Zaragoza . . 135 

From a recent photograph. 

Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain . . .143 

From an engraving. 

Fernando VII. ... .185 

Frotn a lithograph of the painting by Madrazo. 

Rafael del Riego ..... 203 
From a contemporary engravitig. 

"The Empecinado" .... 259 

From a contemporary engraving. 

Calomarde . . . • • .261 

From a contemporary engraving. 

Maria Cristina, Regent of Spain . . 271 

From a contemporary engravitig. 

The Execution of Torrijos and his Companions 279 

From a photograph of the painting by Gisbert. 

Zumalacarregui .... 305 

From a sketch taken from life by one of his officers during 
the war. 

MiNA . . . » . 313 

From a contemporary engraving. 

Don Carlos (the First) , . - 329 

From an English engraving in Walton's " Revolutions of 



From an engraving (1868). 

Queen Maria Cristina at the time of her 
Expulsion ..... 

From a photograph. 


Cabrera ...... 347 

From an engraving published during the first Carlist -.var. 


Narvaez . . , , , '371 

From an engraving. 

Isabel II. .... . 397 

F}-o»i a lithograph of the painting by Lopez. 

The Palace of the Congress, Madrid . . 405 

From a photograph. 


Leopold O'Donnell . . • . 443 

From a lithograph by Vallejo. 

The Puerta del Sol, 1868 . , , 453 

From contemporary print. 

The Calle de Alcala from the Prado in 1868 463 

From a photograph. (The Jouniain of the Sybil on the 
right has now been removed to the middle of the road, and 
the low house on the left— the Duke of Sesto's palace- 
has been demolished to make room for the new Bank of 
Spain. The building lying back from the road on the 
right foreground is Godoy's palace, now the War Office, 
where Prim died.) 



Prim. . . . • • 4^7 

From an engraving of Regnaulf s celebrated painting in the 


Serrano at the time of the Revolution . 473 

From a lithograph, 

Castelar ...... 478 

From a photograph. 

Amadeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta . . 483 

From a photograph. 

Prim, at the time of his Death . . 499 

From a photograph. 

Don Carlos, Duke of Madrid . , 509 

From an etching by Bonnat. 

Alfonso XII. shortly before his Death . 521 

From a photograph. 

Sagasta ... • • 539 

Frofn a recent photograph. 

Maria Cristina, Mother of Alfonso XIII. . 549 
Canovas del Castillo. . . • 555 

Froyn a photograph by Debas. 



,^1 'J 


y 'y 






Spain in the last half of the eighteenth century 
and early in the nineteenth presented the curious 
phenomenon of a nation in which the great mass of 
the people lagged far behind successive governments 
in their desire for progress and reform. The quicken- 
ing of thought, the emancipation of expression, the 
philosophical theories which preceded the great 
uprising of the French Revolution had stopped at 
the barrier of the Pyrenees ; and with the exception 
of a comparatively few travelled and enlightened 
men who were looked upon by their compatriots as 
dangerous innovators, Voltaireans and Freemasons, 
the Spanish people demanded nothing better than to 
live in their own way in peace, giving blind love and 
obedience to their kings, and equally blind com- 
pliance with the forms of their faith, which in the 
great majority of cases had degenerated to the 
blackest and grossest superstition. Nor were the 


people themselves to blame for this. In natural 
gifts, and good qualities of all sorts, they had hardly 
their equal in Europe, but a series of unexampled 
calamities, owing directly to crimes and errors of 
their governments, had separated them from the 
industrial and intellectual movement of the rest of 
the civilised world ; and in the dawn of the century 
of light still held them enthralled in the trammels 
of the age of darkness. 

By the end of the seventeenth century, when the 
last King of Spain of the house of Austria, the idiot 
Charles II., died, the evil had been done. The 
centralising system of government initiated by 
Charles V. and Philip II. had, under the rule of their 
degenerate successors, thrown unchecked power in 
the hands of a series of corrupt and greedy favourites. 
The perfect representative institutions, which in 
earlier ages had been far in advance of any parlia- 
ments elsewhere, had been sapped by tyranny and 
corruption, and had become effete by losing hold 
of the national purse-strings. The baleful in- 
heritance of the house of Burgundy in Central 
Europe had drawn Spain into a series of desolating 
wars in which Spaniards, as such, had no concern. 
Industry had been almost completely strangled by a 
preposterous fiscal policy which cast the whole of the 
crushing national burdens on to food and manu- 
factures ; whilst the expulsion of the Moriscos and 
their connection with handicrafts had caused industry 
to be regarded as degrading to a pure-born Spaniard 
who could shoulder a pike and, with good luck, plunder 
enough doubloons in America or the Low Countries 


to keep him in swaggering idleness for the rest of his 
life. The Church and the Inquisition between them, 
in their anxiety to shut out the rehgious schism 
which troubled other countries, had built a Chinese 
wall around education which successfully prevented 
the introduction of scientific advancement or intel- 
lectual progress from abroad, and had strictly limited 
the exercise of Spanish genius to works of imagina- 
tion. All through the reign of the first Bourbon, 
Philip v., the nobles, the people, and, above all, the 
Church, had continued to offer an inert or active 
resistance to the efforts of his French advisers to 
introduce reforms into the administration of govern- 
ment. Beset as he was by constant wars, and later 
by the mental lethargy that overcame him, he did as 
much as was humanly possible under the circum- 
stances to elevate the institutions of his people 
against their will. His son Ferdinand VI. was 
Spanish by birth and tradition, and, in more cautious 
fashion than his father, did his best to forward 
learning and the softer arts,; and to give them a 
national impress which should relieve them from the 
reproach of being foreign introductions. But, withal, 
when Charles IIL, his half-brother, came from Naples 
to rule over Spain in 1759, practically a foreigner and 
surrounded byToreign ministers, all saturated, like 
himself, with the newer philosophical ideas of the 
French school, he was shocked at the backward and 
miserable^qndition of his new realm, and he deter- 
mined that Spain should be brought^abreast of other 
civilised nations, whether Spaniards liked it or not. 
He worked like a giant at his tremendous task, and 


more than once in the beghming of his reign his crown 
trembled in the balance when his reforms ran counter 
to the prejudices of his people : as, for instance, when 
he insisted upon lighting the streets of his capital and 
abolishing the ancient dress of the citizens, who, he said, 
skulked about the streets with covered faces more like 
conspirators than the subjects of a civilised monarch. 
For well-nigh thirty years the greatest of the 
Spanish Bourbons strove to introduce the tardy 
light of advanced civilisation into his dominions by 
the aid of such ministers as Grimaldo, Aranda, 
Campomanes, and Floridablanca ; and when the 
Jesuits were suspected of opposing his reforms, with 
a stroke of the pen one of the most powerful organi- 
sations in Christendom was abolished in Spain, 
its members sent into exile and its vast property 
confiscated. The Inquisition, which had overawed 
earlier Spanish monarchs, and the Papacy, which in 
the days of Spain's weakness had endeavoured once 
more to fix its grasp upon the Spanish Church, were 
made to understand that in Spain only one monarch 
henceforward would be allowed to rule in all things 
temporal and spiritual, namely, he who wore the 
crown by hereditary descent. It was despotism 
pure and simple, for the Cortes were practically 
dead, but it was, in the hands of Charles III., a 
beneficent despotism which forced upon the country, 
in despite of itself, the material and civilising reforms 
which peoples have generally to wring for themselves 
from unwilling governments. Fine coach-roads were 
run through the country for the first time, irrigation 
canals brought fertility to vast arid tracts of wilder- 


ness, splendid public buildings sprang up in all the 
important towns, of which they still remain the chief 
ornament. The crushing burdens which had strangled 
agriculture and industry were partially lifted from 
them, and foreign artificers were brought to teach 
Spaniards once more the skilled handicrafts they had 
lost. The crowding of unproductive idlers into the 
church and the cloisters was discouraged, and locked- 
up wealth and lands in mortmain in the hands of 
religious corporations were, to some small extent, 
freed for the general good.^ Subsidised factories 
and heavy protective duties fostered the renascent 
national industries, and material prosperity smiled 
upon Spain for the first time for two centuries. 

But though Spaniards accepted, not unwillingly, 
their increased wellbeing, and bent their heads without 
open demur to the incomprehensible measures of 
their monarch, they looked with undisguised dislike 
at the spirit with which the reforms were pervaded. 
They had always been jealous of foreigners, but since 
the advent of Philip V. the French workmen and 
traders had swarmed upon them like locusts, well-nigh 
monopolising what was left of industry and commerce ;2 

' By the census of 1768 it is shown that there were in that year in 
Spain 15,639 parish priests ; other beneficed clergymen, assistant 
curates, and unemployed priests, 51,000; cloistered clergy, 55,453; nuns, 
27,665; church servants, sacristans, and acolytes, 25,248. In twenty 
years the number of unemployed clergy was reduced by over 8,000, and 
the cloistered clergy by a similar number. 

- A census of foreigners in Spain was taken in 1791, when it was 
found that there were 13,332 French heads of families established in 
the country, as against 1,577 Germans and 140 English. The total 
number of domiciled foreign heads of families was 27,500, so that 
nearly half were French. 


and against Frenchmen the hatred of Spaniards 
was exceptionally bitter. It happened that the new- 
fangled ideas of the King, and particularly of his 
minister, the rash and impetuous Count de Aranda, 
had reached them through France, which made their 
measures doubly unwelcome to the populace and to 
the privileged classes who especially suffered. The 
onesided " family compact," by which Spain and 
France mutually agreed to defend each other's terri- 
tories and interests, led Charles into the trap that 
his less able half-brother had avoided ; and a series 
of unpopular wars with England, in which Spain 
had everything to lose and nothing but Mahon and 
Gibraltar to regain, absorbed much of the increased 
revenue accruing from the improved financial ad- 
ministration. As Aranda himself foresaw and set 
forth in a most remarkable prophecy, the aid lent by 
Spain to the revolt of the English North American 
Colonies formed a dangerous precedent for the 
separation of her own colonial dominions, and pro- 
moted the establishment of a great Anglo-Saxon 
republic in America, which in time to come should 
oust Spain from her last foothold in the New World.^ 
Charles himself before his death, under the gentler 
guidance of the diplomatic Floridablanca, recognised 
his error in binding himself too tightly to France, over 

' "This new federal Republic," wrote Aranda to Floridablanca, "is, 
so to speak, born a mere pigmy, and has needed the support of two 
powerful nations like France and Spain to win its independence. But 
the day will come when it will grow into a giant, a terrible Colossus. 
It will then forget the benefits it has received and think only of its 
own aggrandisement." 



which and the ill-fated Louis XVL che clouds were 
fast gathering when the King of Spain breathed his 
last in December, 1788. For two years previously 
Floridablanca had resolutely refused to be drawn 
again into the vortex of war and trouble which was 
slowly encircling the rest of Europe, but he had 
continued the internal reforms which he hoped 
would render Spain able to withstand the coming 
tempest. He had against him the advanced pro- 
French and military party, led by Aranda and 
O'Reilly, as well as the discontented clergy and 
nobles who had suffered by recent changes, and he 
was begging for his retirement when the old King 


Amongst the Spanish people there was abso- 
lutely no breath of revolutionary feeling. Loyalty 
to the sovereign personally was a deeply rooted 
national tradition, and although their strong conser- 
vatism made them chary of welcoming innovations, 
it was the minister and not the monarch who was 
blamed for them. With skill and statesmanship in 
avoiding compromising entanglements, there seemed 
a better chance of stability for the Spanish throne at 
the time perhaps than for any other on the Continent. 
The high personal character of Charles III., his firm- 
ness, ability and justice, had contributed largely to 
this result. He was the first Spanish sovereign since 
Philip n. who had not been influenced by favourites, 
male or female, and although, as events proved, he 
lived in advance of his age and country, yet if his 
successor had possessed similar qualities to his own 
it is probable that many of the subsequent disasters, 


which cast Spain back into ruin, would have been 

Charles IV. was proclaimed in Madrid in January, 
1789. He was a simple, honest, kindly soul of forty, 
a man of scanty mental gifts, generous and easily 
led ; yet still with plenty of Bourbon obstinacy, and a 
high sense of his kingly privileges. He had married 
several years before his cousin, Maria Luisa of Parma, 
who had inherited to a greater degree than her 
husband the strong passions and imperious self-will 
of their common ancestress, that " termagant of 
Spain," Elisabeth Farnese, who had kept all Europe 
in a turmoil during the earlier years of the century. 
The new King was thus under the complete dominion 
of his wife, whose caprices, it will be seen in the 
course of this history, certainly did not help him to 
overcome the difficulties before him. These were 
many and pressing, especially those of a financial 
character. The expensive wars of Charles HI. against 
England, the consequent re-construction of the Spanish 
navy, and the many costly innovations in Spain and 
her Colonies had been paid for largely by money 
raised on treasury bonds to bearer for ;^8,ooo,ooo, and 
by the establishment of a National Bank of St. Carlos, 
and many finance and credit establishments and 
Chartered Companies to develop the Spanish Colonies. 
A vast amount of floating paper was thus put into 
circulation^ which, by the death of Charles HI., had 
greatly depreciated in value. The Banks and Finance 
Companies were mostly in a condition of semi-bank- 
ruptcy ; and the failure of the harvest, and the rigorous 
winter of 1788, had increased the almost universal 


distress. The new King's first decrees^ were generous 
but unwise. Taxes overdue were remitted, bread and 
other necessary food was made cheaper by govern- 
ment subventions to producers of inferior qualities, 
and large sums of money were raised by the Treasury 
on unnecessarily onerous terms, which, however, sub- 
sequently turned out disastrously for the lenders. 

During the whole of the long reign of Charles 
III. the Cortes had only once been summoned, 
namely, when it was necessary to swear allegiance to 
the heir-apparent in 1760. A permanent deputation of 
the Cortes was supposed to exist in Madrid, in which 
the kingdom of Aragon was also represented, for the 
purpose of watching the expenditure of the excise, 
which was formerly voted by the representatives of 
the people elected by the Town Councils ; but to all 
practical intents the Spanish parliaments were dead, 
and only met once in a reign for the purpose of 
swearing allegiance to the King, and acknowledging 
the heir-apparent. For peculiar reasons, which will 
presently be explained, Charles IV. went beyond this 
in the Cortes summoned on his accession, and from 
his innovation results ensued which to the present 
hour divide Spain into separate camps, and have 
already brought upon the unhappy country two deso- 
lating domestic wars. 

With all pomp and ceremony on the 23rd of Sep- 

' Charles's first decree, signed a few days only after his father's death, 
recognised all the vast floating debt incurred by the three previous 
kings, on condition that the holders should subscribe three times the 
amount of their claims to a new 3 per cent, loan secured on the tobacco 
revenue. As, however, this source of revenue was already over-hypothe- 
cated, the subscribers ultimately lost their money. 


tember, 1789, the deputies met in the ancient church 
of St. Geronimo, and there took the usual oath o. 
allegiance. It had become customary to dismiss 
them immediately afterwards, to prevent them from 
asserting their ancient right to initiate legislation by 
address to the monarch ; but on this occasion a 
mysterious hint had been given in the summons that 
something else would be asked of them besides the 
oath. It was a dangerous time to try experiments of 
this sort, for the States-General in France had only 
three months before kicked over the traces, proclaimed 
a National Assembly, and taken the memorable oath 
in the Tennis Court which inaugurated the Revolution ; 
but Floridablanca, who still remained Prime Minister, 
and Campomanes, the President of the Council and 
of the Cortes, knew full well that subversive ideas 
had yet found no lodging in Spain. The deputies 
were therefore summoned to a special meeting, and 
to their surprise were required to take a solemn oath 
that they would keep secret the subject of their 
deliberations. When this had been done Campomanes 
divulged that the King desired them to present to 
him in the ancient form a representation asking him 
to abolish the decree of 1713, in which Philip V. 
established the Salic law in Spain, and to revert to 
the ancient Spanish rule by which females might 
succeed failing males of the same grade. No reason 
was given for the demand, and none was at first 
glance apparent, for the King had three young sons 
living as well as daughters ; but the change would 
naturally be a welcome ^one to Spaniards, for they 
still recollected that Castile's most glorious sovereign 


had been a woman ; and the Cortes readily acceded 
to the King's wish, begging him to legaHse the 
enactment by publishing it as a decree. This he 
promised to do, but did not for reasons which will 
appear later ; and so the matter slept, the deputies 
and ministers keeping the secret inviolate. The 
Cortes had been so compliant that Count Campo- 
manes, the president, consulted them on other 
measures, with the object of checking the increasing 
entail of land, and encouraging the cultivation of 
estates held in mortmain; but the moment an attempt 
was made by some of the members to introduce 
petitions for reform of their own accord, they were 
hurriedly dismissed, and the Cortes came to an end. 

The reasons which prompted Charles IV. to request 
the abolition of the Salic law, and then fail to complete 
his part by publishing the decree, has given rise to 
much doubtful speculation ; but the most obvious 
explanation is probably the true one. The decree 
establishing the Salic law in 171 3 had laid down the 
rule that the heir to succeed must have been born 
in Spain. Charles IV. had been born in Naples, and 
although the condition just mentioned had been 
omitted from the codes printed in the reign of 
Charles III., it was still the law of the land, and 
rendered Charles's right to succeed questionable. On 
the other hand, there was no need to stir up the 
matter unless it was raised by others, and the King 
could at any time he thought fit perfect the new law by 
publishing it as a decree. France, moreover, was in 
a turmoil, and the King was drifting ever further 
away from the Assembly, which at one moment 


seemed to contemplate the possibility of adopting 
one of the Spanish Bourbons as their constitutional 
sovereign ; and it may have appeared unwise to 
Charles to accentuate points of difference between 
France and Spain by abolishing the Salic law estab- 
lished by his French grandfather. 

Floridablanca had continued for the first year of the 
new King's accession the reforms begun by Charles 
III., but he was an old man whose zeal was cooling. 
The excesses of the Assembly in France frightened 
him. He had been an advanced reformer for the greater 
part of his life, but if reform led to the subjection of 
sovereigns to lieges, to the storming of Bastilles, to 
inflammatory declamation in public places and the like, 
then he would have as little more of it as possible. 
His policy became consequently vacillating ; balancing 
between the dread of irritating the French Govern- 
ment, and thus aggravating the position of Louis 
XVI., and yet driven by his fears to adopt the most 
tyrannical measures to check the spread of advanced 
ideas. By a decree of April 12, 1791, all news- 
papers in Spain were suppressed except the Official 
Gazette, strict watch was kept on the frontier to 
prevent the passage of news or propaganda from 
France, and in July, 1791, a monstrous decree was 
published which brought upon Spain the protests 
of all Europe. Every foreigner in Spain, resident 
or traveller — and we have seen that a half of them 
were Frenchmen — was to swear allegiance to the 
King of Spain and the Catholic religion, and renounce 
all claim or right of appeal for protection to his own 
nationality, under the most atrocious penalties. Whilst, 



on the one hand, he was showing his fear of the French 
Revolution, and refusing to recognise the sovereignty 
of the people proclaimed by the Assembly (July, 
1789), Floridablanca was, on the other, appealing to 
the family compact to claim armed French aid against 
England in support of Spain's pretension to the 
possession of the whole of the west coast of North 
America. The Assembly acceded to the request, 
but a pacific arrangement was made by means of 
a personal interview between Charles IV. and the 
English ambassador, and fortunately hostilities did 
not ensue. The impolitic appeal, however, to a 
revolutionary government tied the hands of Spain, 
and rendered the other Powers suspicious of her ; it 
was indeed at this period, and not later, as is usually 
asserted, that the weak, fast-and-loose policy of Spain 
towards France, which afterwards caused so much 
disaster, was inaugurated, and Floridablanca and his 
master must bear a fair share of the blame, all of 
which is usually heaped upon Godoy. 

The position, it is true, was an extremely difficult 
one for Charles IV. The chief of his house, the 
King of France, insulted and held in duress by 
his subjects, was in ever-growing danger. Ties of 
blood and common family interest naturally led the 
King of Spain to try to save him. And yet he 
dared not go too far, for the National Assembly 
was in no mood to brook foreign interference, and 
Spain was not in a condition to undertake a war. 
The French emigres were unceasing in their efforts 
to enlist Europe in aid of their King, and so far as 
expressions of s^^mpathy were concerned, they had 


not much difificulty. The declaration of Pihiitz, and 
the agreement of the Bourbon princes to avenge 
any further ill-treatment of Louis XVI. after the 
flight and arrest at Varennes (June, 1791) had both 
been preceded by long and wearisome negotiations; 
and much precious time was lost before any action 
could result from them, owing to the divergent 
interests of the Powers, their jealousy of England, 
and the ineptitude and instability of the unfortunate 
Louis XVL himself Floridablanca, slow and hesi- 
tating, and depending to a great extent upon the 
guidance of the Empress of Russia, was negotiating 
with the Emperor Leopold and the King of Prussia 
for a joint invasion of France in the interests of 
Louis, when (September, 1791) the latter accepted 
the constitution and notified the fact to the European 
Powers. The Emperor and the other potentates 
accepted the declaration without open question, in 
order not to further aggravate Louis' position, but 
Floridablanca, without the knowledge of Charles IV., 
to whom he rarely spoke of foreign affairs, alone 
haughtily declined to acknowledge the notification 
sent in Louis' name as constitutional King of the 
French, until he had quite satisfied himself that the 
change had been made freely by Louis' own wish. 
The French Government were furiously indignant, 
and Floridablanca was made the scapegoat. 

When Charles was remonstrated with by the French 
and Austrian ambassadors for the danger in which 
the action of his minister placed Louis, he told them 
that he now heard of it for the first time. Florida- 
blanca's wise attempts to check the evils of land- 


entail, administrative extravagance, and ecclesiastical 
abuses in Spain, had set against him all the vested 
interests in the country, and he fell (February, 1792), 
to be replaced by the impetuous Count de Aranda, 
who was infatuated with France and all that belonged 
to her. He flew to the opposite extreme and embraced 
the Revolution without condition or safeguards, and 
the signatories of the declaration of Pilnitz, Austria 
and Prussia, entered into the war alone for the rescue 
of the Bourbon sovereign of France. 

But events moved quickly. Louis was imprisoned 
In the Temple (August, 1792), and the Prussians were 
routed at Valmy and Jemappes ; the Terror was in full 
r.wing, lusting for the blood of tyrants the world over, 
and calling upon the enslaved peoples of Europe to 
r-hake off their fetters. The Assembly, insolent with 
the victory over the Prussians, instructed their ambas- 
sador — Bourgoing — in Madrid to demand of Spain 
either a binding alliance or the alternative of war. 
Aranda's eyes were opened ; Spain was in financial 
straits and unprepared for war : but for the Bourbon 
sovereign of Spain to be forced into alliance with the 
revolutionary Government which was trying the head 
of his house for his life was a bitter pill indeed. For 
some weeks previously the possibility of joining the 
alliance of the other Powers against France had been 
discussed by Aranda and the Council of State, and it 
was practically decided that Spain should join the 
coalition and invade France over the Pyrenees. The 
threats of the French Government, however, and the 
fears of Charles for the life of Louis in the Temple 
paralysed action, and another attempt was made to 







Q C 








5 ^ 






mollify the raging National Convention. The Spanish 
minister proposed a treaty of neutrality, and the 
French were inclined to listen. But the terms they 
demanded were bitterly humiliating for the Spanish 
Bourbons to accept. Aranda and the French am- 
bassador, with great acrimony and recrimination on 
both sides, were endeavouring to come to terms, 
when suddenly, on November 15, 1792, without warn- 
ing, the aged Prime Minister received his dismissal 
from the King. The position was known to be 
extremely critical, needing the highest qualities of 
statecraft, if Spain was to preserve her peace, safety, 
and honour ; and the sudden dismissal of Aranda 
left the country aghast. What could it mean ? asked 
the gossips of the Puerta del Sol with bated breath. 
There was only one answer, whispered with frowning 
brows and glances of indignation : " The Choricero." ^ 
When Floridablanca had fallen, the same power 
behind the throne was said to have caused the 
change, although Godoy himself afterwards denied the 
fact; and stealthy murmurs ran, even then, that the bad 
times of the adulterous Queen Mariana and the vile 
favourite Valenzuela had come back again. But when 
the announcement was made that the experienced 
and dignified Count de Aranda was to be replaced by 
General Don Manuel de Godoy, Duke of Alcudia — the 
Choricero himself — disgust and indignation were only 
restrained from open expression by the traditional 

' Godoy received the nickname of the Choricero — the sausage-man — 
in consequence of his being a native of Estremadura, where the breed- 
ing of swine is the principal industry. Most of the sausage-makers in 
Spain are, or pretend to be, Estremefios. 


respect of Spaniards for the throne, and their love for 
the goodhearted, fatherly gentleman whom they called 

A word is necessary before we proceed further as 
to the rise of Manuel Godoy, who was thus at the 
age of twenty-five called to the helm of State at per- 
haps the most difficult crisis of his country's history. 
Few historical characters have been the object of so 
much adulation and so much vituperation, both 
equally undeserved, as Godoy. In England and 
Spain, especially, it was perhaps natural that the 
man whose baseness and ambition were said to have 
dragged his country to the feet of Napoleon, and to 
have caused the Peninsular War, should have been held 
up to execration ; and the most absurd fables with 
regard to him were circulated in both countries, and 
are still copied from book to book. All the bitter 
memories associated with him are dead now, and we 
can look upon his career with an impartiality denied 
to our grandfathers. When he was an old man, living 
in dire poverty and oblivion in exile, he published a 
vigorous refutation of the attacks that had been made 
upon him ; but it fell upon deaf ears, for it came too 
late. He had waited loyally till after the death of the 
King and Queen, who had loved him to the last, had 
unsealed his lips ; he had waited until his arch-enemy 
the false Fernando had ended his unworthy life, and 
when at length he spoke there were few living who 
cared ; for the world was a new one and Manuel 
Godoy was forgotten. That he was entirely unfit for 
the task thrust upon him may be at once conceded ; 
but it is given to few men to perceive their own in- 


sufficiency, and with wealth and honours crowding 
upon him by the irresistible passion of the Queen ; 
with flatterers and suppliants hailing him as a 
heaven-born genius, with kings and potentates court- 
ing him, it cannot be surprising that Godoy, a mere 
half-educated lad, should accept complacently the 
goods the gods showered upon him, and do the best 
he could under the circumstances according to his 
lights. He would have been more than mortal if he 
had spurned his good fortune, and insisted upon 
remaining a private guardsman. 

He had come to Madrid at the age of seventeen, 
the son of one of those small gentlemen in the pro- 
vinces living humbly, idly, and proudly on the poor 
independence furnished by their ancestral lands. 
They scorned commerce and industry, and thought 
more of their coats-of-arms than the coats on their 
backs ; there was little for their sons to do but to seek 
their fortunes in the career of arms, or in the house- 
hold of statesmen. Manuel's elder brother was 
already in the King's bodyguard, and the lad had 
sufficient interest also to obtain admission to the 
corps. The members were all of noble birth, and 
ranked as officers, doing duty in the passages and 
antechambers of the palace and as escort to the 
sovereigns. This was in 1784 or 1785, and the 
young gusi'dsman soon caught the fancy of the 
Queen. The absurd fables of his enchanting her 
with his guitar-playing and singing may be dismissed, 
but he must have been very handsome, for in his 
decrepit old age his bearing was extremely graceful, 
and the Queen fell in love with him, although she 
was old enough to be his mother. 


EL Ex.-.S..])UOUI-: DE I A MXT1>L\,| 


22 Charles iv. and godoy. 

He himself naturally avoids all mention of this, 
and ascribes his elevation to the desire of the King 
and Queen to have at their right hand a minister of 
their own making and entirely devoted to them. 
The ministers, they said, of Louis XVI. had played 
him false, and the same might happen to them. A 
minister of their own raising would probably be more 
faithful. This, no doubt, was the King's idea ; and 
was in strict accordance with the old Spanish system 
of the great Emperor and of Philip II. ; but the choice 
of Godoy for the position was that of Maria Luisa, 
who had already caused the lad's promotion to a 
grade which brought him into direct contact with the 
royal family before she began the education which 
was to fit him to be Prime Minister. In 1790, when 
he was only twenty-three, he was always present at 
the confidential interviews between the King and 
Queen and the ministers ; and Maria Luisa en- 
couraged him to display his wit and acuteness in 
political conversations with the King, who was soon 
persuaded by his wife that this was the raw material 
out of which their own model minister should be 
made. Before he was twenty-five he was rapidly 
advanced, successively to be a Knight Commander 
of Santiago, Exon of the Guards, Adjutant-General 
of the Guards, Lieutenant-General in the Army, 
Grand Cross of Charles III., Duke of Alcudia, 
Grandee of Spain, Knight of the Golden Fleece, 
Gentleman of the King's Chamber, and, as we have 
seen, Councillor of State, and Prime Minister on the 
fall of Aranda in November, 1792. 

He found the condition of the country truly de- 


plorable. It has been shown that the mass of the 
people were entirely out of sympathy with the 
reforming zeal of Charles III. and his ministers ; the 
Church and the nobles went further, and were to a 
large extent actively antagonistic. The excesses of 
the French Revolution had, moreover, frightened the 
reformers themselves, and the inevitable financial 
collapse of the edifice of credit reared by Charles III., 
depending, as it did, upon public support and sym- 
pathy, came when the tide of reform sank to its 
ebb. Godoy in his apology, written when he was an 
old man, passionately points out the difficulties which 
he, an inexperienced youth, had to face at this junc- 
ture. From motives of economy the army had been 
allowed to dwindle to 36,000 ill-equipped men ; for 
Floridablanca's fear, and Aranda's dislike, of England 
had caused all the money to be spent on the navy. 
War with France was now almost inevitable, there 
was no reserve in the treasury, and the revenues were 
inelastic, for the gross evils of land-entail and idle 
Church endowments still condemned much of the 
potential wealth of the country to lie waste. The 
moneyed classes were distrustful of the tax-collector 
and hid their resources ; and, notwithstanding the 
efforts that had been made by Charles III. and his 
enlightened ministers, Spaniards of all ranks con- 
tinued to look upon trade and industry as unworthy ; - 
and crowded into the idle and unproductive careers 
of the State service and the Church. 

The first problem for Godoy was how to save the 
life of Louis, and yet escape the humiliating conditions 
imposed by the National Convention as the price 


of peace between France and Spain. The course 
adopted was probably that of Charles IV. and his 
Queen, rather than that of their young minister, for 
it was characteristically Bourbonic. Unlimited credit 
was sent to the Spanish ambassador in Paris to bribe 
the members of the National Convention, and vast 
sums were squandered in this way. With the draft 
of a treaty to Paris went a mild and timid request 
that the life of Louis should be spared, and Pitt was 
cautiously approached by Godoy with a suggestion 
that England should join in the request, a course 
which Pitt refused to adopt, although urged thereto 
by the Whigs. In vain Aranda solemnly warned 
Godoy that if Louis were executed in despite of 
Spain's remonstrance, war would be inevitable, and 
begged him to be cautious ; but Charles IV. was 
determined to save his French cousin at any cost, and 
the prayer of Spain was laid before the Convention, 
with the draft treaty, in the last days of December. 
Charles offered to recognise the new government ; 
nay, even to acquiesce in the deposition and exile of 
Louis, and to give hostages for his future behaviour ; 
and simultaneously to sign the treaty of neutrality 
and mutual disarmament. Lebrun, the minister of 
Foreign Affairs, was suspicious that the treaty was 
to be used merely as a lever to save Louis' life ; but 
many of the leaders of the Revolution were heavily 
bribed by Ocariz, the Spanish ambassador ; and for 
a moment after the prayer for the King's life was 
read to the Convention, the answer seemed to hang in 
the balance. Then up sprang fiery Thuriot. "Away," 
he shouted, "with kings and their influence. Let 



not the foreign ruffians, the crowned brigands, dare 
to threaten the majesty of the people, or form cabals 
against us." His furious eloquence carried the Con- 
vention with him, and the Spanish King's prayer was 
ignominiously rejected. The draft treaty was altered 
by the Convention in a sense still more favourable to 
France, and sent back to Spain for reconsideration ; 
but still Charles and Godoy pocketed the insults, for 
the sake of the life of Louis. Once more, indeed, 
whilst the votes of the members were being counted 
to decide whether the King was to die, Ocariz, the 
Spanish ambassador, made a last appeal for mercy 
for Louis on any conditions. He had bought, as he 
thought, a majority of the Convention, and again it 
seemed as if the last penance of the unhappy King 
might be spared. But gloomy Danton overawed 
them all, and the die of death was cast. 

Thenceforward war between France and Spain could 
hardly be avoided. Godoy plaintively protests that it 
was not his fault. Perhaps it was not, but it has become 
a fixed article of faith that the war was of his making, 
and his memory bears the burden to all eternity. 
Bourgoing, the French ambassador in Madrid, de- 
manded the ratification of the neutrality treaty, and 
the disarmament of Spain, but was told that nothing 
further could be done until some sort of apology was 
made. The Convention was not in an apologetic mood, 
and war was declared by France on March 7, 1793 ; 
Barrere in the name of the Committee of National 
Defence announcing that the Bourbons must be extir- 
pated root and branch. All Floridablanca's panic- 
prompted measures to suppress revolutionary teaching 


were cast in the teeth of Spain ; all the efforts of 
Charles to save Louis, all Godoy's approaches to 
England, were cited by France as pretexts for war. 
The Convention had assumed the role of universal 
emancipator of peoples ; but the Spanish nation did 
not desire emancipation, and the war was popular on 
both sides of the Pyrenees. In Spain the hoarded 
millions were poured out into the hands of the King 
to be spent on the war.^ The Church, the nobles, the 
populace vied with each other now ; for it was no 
longer a people sulkily bending their heads to reforms 
forced upon them, it was the whole nation flying to 
arms to fight the spirit of reform itself in the hideous 
and exaggerated shape which its Spanish opponents 
had always foretold it would assume. The Spanish 
nation was ablaze to wreak vengeance on the French 
money-grubbers who had well-nigh monopolised the 
work in their towns, and whose countrymen in Paris 
had insulted and trampled on their faith and murdered 
the anointed of the Lord. 

Enthusiastic as were the people, however, the 
organisation and equipment of the army were as bad 
as could be, and though great commanders sprang, 
as if by magic, to lead the hastily raised hosts of 
France against the Royalists and the armed coalition 

' ^e Pradt says that whereas France had under the Assembly only 
contributed five millions of francs for the defence of the country, and 
that England at the commencement of this very war of 1793 only pro- 
vided forty-five millions, the amount of money voluntarily subscribed 
by Spaniards at this juncture reached the great total of seventy-three 
millions, or nearly three millions sterling. The Archbishop of Toledo 
alone gave ^^250,000 ; and the contributions in men, horses, arms, 
and stores from the nation at large were as generous as the money gifts. 


of Europe which was advancing to destroy the Revolu- 
tion, no such good fortune attended Spain, where for 
centuries the system of government had discouraged 
individual initiative. With prodigious activity the 
armies of the Republic faced and vanquished its foes 
on all sides. A Spanish army of 3,000 men in April, 
1793, crossed the Pyrenees into Rousillon, capturing 
place after place and marching upon Perpignan. But 
the general, Ricardos, had left his rear unprotected, 
and General Dagobert, with a large French force, 
slipped behind him and overran the north of Cataluna. 
All through the summer hard fighting continued on 
both sides of the frontier, without decisive result, 
whilst the French Royalists, besieged in Toulon, were 
reinforced by a Spanish fleet in union with the Eng- 
lish fleet under Hood. But jealousy and mutual 
recrimination took place between the Spanish and Eng- 
lish admirals, the Republican land force outside was 
overwhelming, the youthful genius of Napoleon was 
already making itself felt ; the allies abandoned the 
besieged city — for which the Spaniards mainly blamed 
Hood, whom they accused of utter disregard for the 
lives and interests of the Royalists and the Spaniards. 
Much, however, as the latter resented the burning of 
the Royalist ships by Hood inside the harbour, and 
the destruction of the arsenal, it unquestionably left 
England mistress of the Mediterranean when Toulon 
fell into the hands of the Republic. 

Before the new campaign of 1794 commenced 
Charles IV. called a council at Aranjuez to review the 
situation. In it the aged Aranda read a paper strongly 
reflecting on Godoy's conduct of the war, and advo- 


eating a modus vivendi with France. Hot words, 
almost blows, ensued between Godoy and Aranda in 
the King's presence. An insult to the favourite was 
regarded by the infatuated Charles as an insult to 
himself. He received Aranda's humble apology with 
rag-e, and within an hour the old minister was being 
hurried, without preparation, to his prison in remote 
Jaen, never again to enter the councils of his sove- 
reign • although Godoy claims for himself the credit 
of subsequently obtaining his release from close con- 
finement and from the threatened prosecution of the 

The campaign of 1794 was from the beginning 
disastrous to the Spaniards. First the brave and 
dashing General Ricardos died, and his successor. 
Count O'Reilly, also died before he could assume 
command. The new general, Count de la Union, was 
out-manoeuvred by Dugommier, and his lines of com- 
munication cut. The Spaniards were disorganised 
and routed and re-crossed the Pyrenees in May, fol- 
lowed by Dugommier. All through the summer the 
fighting continued on the Spanish side, and in Sep- 
tember the one French fortress in Spanish hands, 
Bellegarde, surrendered after a three months' siege. 
In November the Spaniards were finally routed with 
enormous loss, both La Union and Dugommier fall- 
ing , the strong Spanish fortress of Figueras sur- 
rendered treacherously and all Northern Spain was at 
the mercy of the French. The Spaniards were equally 
unsuccessful at the eastern end of the Pyrenees in 
Guipuzcoa and Navarre ; and only with the greatest 
difficulty could fresh Spanish forces be raised to 


{At the time of his fall.) 


recommence the campaign in the spring of 1795 ; for 
the country was now openly murmuring against the 
inglorious results of Godoy's government. The French 
army had crossed the Ebro and threatened Madrid. 
The cold fit had succeeded Spanish ardour ; and now 
that Robespierre had lost his head, the Republic itself, 
under the Directory, became less violent and blood- 
thirsty. Mutual approaches therefore took place and 
peace was signed in July, France evacuating Spanish 
soil, whilst Spain ceded to the Republic the Spanish 
part of Santo Domingo. The peace was generally 
popular in Spain, although it has always been 
characterised by the enemies of Godoy as a shameful 
surrender. Seeing that the coalition of the northern 
Powers had broken up, and that French armies were 
strongly established on Spanish soil, it is difficult to 
see how better terms could have been made. Godoy 
himself points out that at least Spain retained her 
frontiers and her institutions intact, which some of the 
other Powers did not. In any case, Godoy was the 
only person who gained directly, either by the war or 
its conclusion, for the title of Prince of the Peace re- 
warded his efforts, and the disgust of the people at 
large against the Choricero grew deeper and deeper as 
such instances of the Queen's infatuation and the 
King's apparent compliance multiplied. 

At this distance of time it seems that Gcdoy was 
not so much to blame for concluding the peace as for 
the deplorable policy he followed immediately after- 
wards. England was still at war with the Republic, 
and looked frowningly upon the terms of the peace 
which deprived her of an ally. The increase of French 


power in the West Indies, moreover, did not suit her, 
and matters became strained again between Spain and 
England, which had never forgotten the aid of Charles 
III. to the United States. In the circumstances, 
therefore, it would have been common prudence for 
Godoy to have assumed a conciliatory attitude towards 
England and to have preserved complete neutrality. 
Instead of this, immediately after peace was signed, he 
began making approaches to the Republic for an 
offensive and defensive alliance in anticipation of a 
war with England. The Directory, eager to secure 
the aid of the Spanish fleet, readily embraced the 
opportunity and Godoy signed, in August, the disastrous 
treaty of San Ildefonso, by which exhausted Spain 
found herself again face to face with England, the great 
naval power which alone could seriously injure her. 
To be dragged at the tail of France was bad enough 
when family ties and mutual interests bound the two 
despotic sovereigns together ; but for the Spanish 
Bourbon to make common cause with the revolutionary 
government, which could in no way serve the interest 
of Spain, was nothing less than suicidal.^ What 
wonder that thenceforward French statesmen should 
treat Spain contemptuously as a tool to be used as 
best suited them ? 

On the 6th of October, 1796, Charles IV. declared 
war against England, raking up all old grievances — not 

' There is every reason to believe that Godoy's extraordinary policy 
at this juncture was prompted by intrigues emanating from Paris, of 
which he was the dupe. He was persuaded that the Republic could 
not long endure ; and the raising of a Spanish Bourbon to the throne of 
France was the bait he swallowed, probably with the hope also of an 
independent principality for himself. 


forgetting Hood's quarrel with Gravina at Toulon — to 
serve as a pretext. Even then England signified her 
willingness to make peace with both Powers, if the 
cession of Santo Domingo to France was rescinded ; 
but the Directory would not give way, for General 
Bonaparte was making his triumphal march through 
Italy, ^'''^d everywhere the arms of France were vic- 
torious. The first action in the war against England 
was disastrous for 'Spain. The Spanish fleet, in b^d 
condition and poorly manned, but apparently power- 
ful, consisting of 25 line-of-battle ships and 10 
frigates, on its way to Cadiz to refit, was met by 
Admiral Jervis off Cape St. Vincent, with 15 sail, on 
the 14th of February, 1797, and utterly routed, with the 
loss of five of the finest ships under the Spanish flag. 
In July Commodore Nelson made an attempt to 
repeat the exploit of Essex at Cadiz two hundred 
years before and burn the ships in harbour ; failing in 
which he made an equally unsuccessful dash upon/ 
Tenerife. In the West Indies the English were some- 
what more successful, capturing Trinidad, although 
failing in Porto Rico and Central America. Thus far 
Spain only had suffered disaster from the war, for in 
no case had she anything to gain except by a treaty 
of peace with a defeated England. Of this there 
seemed no probability, notwithstanding the threatened 
invasion of Ireland, for anarchy was again prevailing 
in Paris, and Napoleon's hands were full in Austria 
and Italy. 

When the Emperor Francis was obliged to open 
negotiations for peace (April, 1797), Godoy's emis- 
saries were refused by France all participation in the 


negotiations. This was a serious rebuff, but much 
greater was it when, on the opening of the abortive 
negotiations between France and England at Lille, 
Spain was entirely deserted by her ally, excluded 
from the conference, and her claims against England 
not even promoted. Notwithstanding her protests, 
Gibraltar and Trinidad still remained in the hands of 
the English. Spain's pretensions to the sovereignty 
of the West Coast of North America were treated with 
contempt, and in view of the rapidly rising star of 
Napoleon, Godoy and his king must have been blind 
if they did not see that they had been hoodwinked 
and cheated. Thanks to Bonaparte's brilliant dis- 
obedience to the Directory, he forced a peace upon 
Austria (October 17) by which France gained Bel- 
gium, the Rhine provinces, Mayence, the Ionian Isles, 
and most of Northern Italy, whilst the independence 
of Venice was sacrificed to Austria; and the whole 
power of the Republic and its satellites, Spain and 
Holland, was free to be employed against England, 
whose ally Portugal, even, had been forced by Godoy 
to abandon her, on renewed threats of a French inva- 

Spain in the meanwhile was being dragged more 
and more at the tail of the Republic. The Duke of 
Parma, the brother-in-law of Charles, found the new 
Cis- Alpine Republic (Modena) established by Bona- 
parte, an unquiet neighbour to his ancestral domains, 
and the Directory for some time endeavoured to force 
him into resigning his duchy in exchange for Tuscany 
or else for Corsica and Sardinia, whilst Charles was to 
surrender to France Louisiana and Plorida. But the 



terms of the Directory were not acceptable to any of 
the parties concerned, and the matter slumbered, until 
the troops of the Cis-Alpine Republic overran the 
duchy of Parma, and proclaimed the deposition of the 
duke. The latter was willing then to accept the ex- 
change previously offered. But it was too late, and 
he was forced instead to receive a French army into 
his territory and his pay, nominally to uphold him. 
In vain Charles and the duke protested. The French 
troops were in Parma and there they stayed. 

Another instance of the determination of France to 
use Spain as an instrument to her ends was the intrigue 
set on foot when Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt was 
being secretly planned. It was suggested by the French 
Government that the Grand Mastership of St. John, 
which meant the sovereignty of Malta, should be 
granted to Godoy, in whose favour the constitution of 
the order should be altered, and the rule of celibacy 
abolished. Charles IV. seems to have approved of 
this plan for further elevating his beloved favourite, 
but the Prince of the Peace had no wish to be separated 
from his patroness and refused the offered sovereignty, 
although to make him the more worthy of it the King 
and Queen had conceived the idea of marrying him to 
a member of their own family, the eldest daughter 
of the King's brother, Don Luis, i which marriage 
actually took place in September, to the outspoken 
indignation of the people, Godoy being already 
married to ^ Dofia Josefa Tudo. 

The discontent of the Spanish people against Godoy 

" The Infante Luis had married morganatically Dona Maria Teresa 
Villabriga y Drummond. 


was indeed becoming threatening. The hope of the 
crown of France for a Spanish prince was now seen to 
be illusory ; Spanish interests had been openly dis- 
regarded by the Directory. In Portugal, where it had 
refused to ratify the treaty of peace laboriously 
negotiated by Godoy ; in Parma, where the sovereignty 
of the duke had been treated with contempt ; in Rome, 
where the Pontiff had been deposed from the throne 
of St. Peter, in the peace negotiations with England ; 
everywhere Spain had been sacrificed in the eyes of 
the world. Godoy had therefore somewhat intem- 
perately urged the French Government to fulfil their 
part of the bargain : and they had retorted by setting 
on foot intrigues to remove the favourite from his 
offices. This was no doubt the prime motive of the offer 
of the sovereignty of Malta, and when that failed other 
means were tried. Godoy's enemies were many, and 
he understood that his position was precarious. He 
attempted to appease the Directory by eager anticipa- 
tion of their wishes. He ordered the Spanish fleet to 
leave Cadiz and engage the English squadron under 
Lord St. Vincent, and promised to expel the French 
emigres from Spain, but he could not satisfy his 
hard taskmasters. The French ambassador, Truguet, 
almost insolently urged upon poor overburdened 
Charles to dismiss Godoy: the enemies of the favourite 
whispered to the King distrust and suspicion: even the 
Queen, it is said, had temporarily fallen in love with 
another guardsman named Mallo, and all presaged 
the early fall of the favourite. 

Another personality, moreover, was gradually 
gathering ro\md it those who for various reasons 


were dissatisfied with the present order of things. 
Godoy had some time previously recommended to 
the King as tutor to the Prince of Asturias, the 
heir to the crown, a certain Juan de Escoiquiz, a 
Canon of Zaragoza, a man of some small literary 
attainment, who behind a mask of sanctity concealed 
immense cunning and unlimited ambition. He lost 
no opportunity of placing conspicuously before his 
pupil every fact which could tell against Godoy, and 
very soon established a complete dominion over the 
mind of the youth. Round the young prince the 
clever tutor managed to gather all the enemies of the 
favourite, and even ventured to attack Godoy to the 
King himself under the veil of a discourse which he 
presented to Charles. But this was too much, and he 
was suddenly dismissed from Court and sent to Toledo, 
where he carried on still an active clandestine corre- 
spondence with his former pupil and the leaders of 
the popular party against Godoy. All these instru- 
mentalities at length succeeded in bringing about the 
downfall of the minister. He artfully tried to parry 
the blow by bringing into his ministry, just before his 
own dismissal, the illustrious literary genius, Caspar 
Melchior de Jovellanos, and the almost as talented 
Francisco Saa^cdra; but to no purpose, and on the 
29th of March, 1798, Madrid went mad with joy at the 
news that the Choricero was no longer a minister. 

The decree relieving him from the Secretaryship of 
State and the command of the Guards is couched in 
the most flattering terms. It was only, it says, at 
Godoy 's repeated requests that the King had con- 
sented to part with him, but he was " still to enjoy all 


his honours, pay, emoluments, and privileges," and the 
King emphatically expresses his gratitude and satis- 
faction with him. Godoy, indeed, says that only by 
great pressure could he obtain his dismissal, which at 
last Charles gave with tears in his eyes. But the 
gossips — and some people of far more importance — 
told a different tale. Charles's mind they said had been 
so influenced that he at first signed a furious decree 
of proscription against Godoy and even thought of 
putting him to death, from which he was only dis- 
suaded by Jovellanos and Saavedra for reasons of 
State. If such was the case the mood did not last 
long, for though Godoy was nominally dismissed he 
hardly ceased for a month to exercise the same power 
as ever over the King and Queen, although the 
ministers, Jovellanos and Saavedra, bore the responsi- 
bility, and bitterly resented the illegitimate interference 
of the favourite. Matters soon became too irksome 
for Jovellanos to bear. Both he and Saavedra fell ill 
of a mysterious malady attributed to poison, and the 
great writer with delight turned his back upon the 
corrupt Court and resumed his duties in far-away 
Asturias (August, 1798), Saavedra remaining Prime 
Minister, with Don Luis de Urquijo as Secretary of 
State, and Cayetano Soler in the Ministry of Finance, 
whilst Don Jose Caballero replaced Jovellanos in the 
Ministry of Justice. 

Saavedra, warned by the fall of Godoy, and 
determined not to incur the anger of the French 
Government, at once became the obsequious servant 
of the Directory and its representative Truguet. 
The emigres were rigidly expelled from Spain 


without exception, the introduction and sale ot 
English merchandise were prohibited under crush- 
ing penalties, and even the priests were sternly 
warned that they must avoid any expression offen- 
sive to the susceptibilities of the neighbouring 
Republic which had persecuted the Christian faith 
and martyred its ministers. Base and undignified 
compliance could go no further than the address of 
Azara, the new Francophil Spanish ambassador to 
the Directory (May, 1798), assuring them that: "The 
changes which have occurred in your government, 
instead of weakening the ties which bind my master 
to you, only render them stronger than ever." This 
was from the pre-eminently Catholic king who had 
jeopardised his own country to save the life, if not 
the crown, of his French kinsman ! Spain was 
humble enough now for Napoleon to be certain that 
he need fear no opposition from her to his vast 
project of making the Mediterranean a French lake, 
and Egypt the high-road to a French empire of 

Early in June the island of Malta surrendered 
to the conqueror without a blow, and on the 1st 
of July Bonaparte's great expedition sighted 
Alexandria. How Egypt was conquered and over- 
run this is not the place to tell, but in the midst 
of the triumph came the fell news of the Battle 
of the Nile (August i, 1798). Nelson had just 
missed Bonaparte at Malta, but crushed his fleet 
in Aboukir Bay and caught him in a trap. The 
Spanish Bourbon King of Naples immediately 
threw off the French tutelage that galled him and 


opened his ports gladly to Nelson and his fleet ; 
Russia and Turkey joined England against France ; 
Austria more slowly came round to Pitt's suggestion 
of a universal league against the turbulent disturbers 
of Europe, and adhered in March, 1799. Portugal, 
too, now governed by the Prince of Brazil, who had 
married a daughter of Charles IV., openly braved 
France and added its squadron to the English 
fleet. This was a fresh blow to the Spaniards, who 
had struggled hard and long to bring about a 
reconciliation between Portugal and the Directory, 
and sometimes had seemed on the verge of success, 
but English influence and money had always in 
the end prevailed ; and now Spain, exhausted and 
poor as she was, saw herself bound in unnatural 
union with the Republic during its great struggle 
against all Europe. Naples, Portugal, and the Bour- 
bons everywhere were on the side of the monarchies 
against an infidel, anarchical, unpopular, and dis- 
credited government. Charles IV., almost alone by 
his ignoble compliance and his silly ineptitude, found 
himself on the wrong side. He tried desperately to 
bring about peace, and in every capital in Europe 
Spanish ambassadors pleaded for an arrangement, 
but without effect. Beaten by the French troops, 
Ferdinand of Naples took refuge on Nelson's ships 
(January, 1799), and the Spanish King had the 
baseness to supplicate the conquerors to give his 
brother's crown to one of his own sons, in order that 
he might hold it as the humble servant of the French 
Republic. The more cringing became Charles IV., 
the more exacting became the Directory. In vain 


the allied Powers offered the Spanish king ships and 
men to enable him to shake off the yoke, in vain 
Russia threatened him with war if he did not (July, 
1799). Charles, blind to the interests of his country 
and his order, clung with increasing servility to those 
whose very existence was a negation of the right of 
kings to rule. 

The explanation of the extraordinary infatuation 
of Charles IV. can only be found in his continued 
belief, at the prompting of Godoy, in the possibility 
of the French adopting himself or his son as their 
king. The Directory itself was tottering to its fall, 
for the fresh reverses sustained by the French in 
Italy and on the Rhine had completed its unpopu- 
larity : intrigue and unrest were rife in Paris, the 
frontiers of France itself were threatened, and when 
three members of the Directory resigned (June, 
1799), it looked for a moment as if the dream of 
Charles IV. might possibly come true. But the 
arrival of Bonaparte in Paris in October, 1799, soon 
put an end to such idle visions. The " man and the 
sword " were both there at the psychological moment 
when all around them institutions were crumbling. 
" Vive Bonaparte ! " greeted him on all sides, and the 
coup d'etat of 18 Brumaire (November 10) decided 
the matter. The Legislature was expelled at the 
point of the bayonet, the prating doctrinaires and 
corrupt politicians gave way to the stern soldier, and 
by the end of the year 1799 Napoleon was installed 
as first Consul in the Tuilleries, a more absolute 
despot than any Louis of them all. 

To this pass had the servile pusillanimity of 


Charles IV. brought Spain in eleven years. Tied 
to the triumphal car of victorious anarchy and 
atheism, the proudest and most Catholic monarchy 
in Europe had sacrificed its own interests more 
absolutely than it had done in the darkest days 
of its history to the imperious ambition of Louis 
XIV., with the result that the sole reward for its 
baseness was to find itself obliged to look for sup- 
port and friendship alone to a usurping despot, to 
whom all crowns and all men were merely pawns 
in the play of his own unbounded ambition. From 
the actions of Charles IV. in the first twelve years of 
his reign the subsequent disasters that fell upon his 
unhappy country m a great measure sprang. 




In the preceding chapter we have sketched the 
pohtical position of Spain in the last years of the 
eighteenth century : we will now briefly glance at the 
material, moral, and financial condition of the nation 
at the same period. 

From a great variety of causes, which need not 
here be set forth, the population of Spain had 
steadily declined from the time of the Goths, when 
it was very numerous, down to the first quarter of 
the eighteenth century. The emigration to America, 
the constant foreign wars, the crushing of industry 
and agriculture by unwise taxation, the expulsion of 
the Jews and Moriscos, and the consequent absence 
of food for a large population, had reduced the 
inhabitants of Spain at the opening of the eighteenth 
century to eight millions. The long War of Succes- 
sion had, by the year 171 5, further brought down 
the numbers to six millions, the lowest point ever 
reached. The efforts of the Bourboif kings and 

their reforming ministers to lighten the pressure of 



taxation, and to re-establish Spanish industry and 
commerce, however, soon produced effect, and in 
1768 the population had increased to 9,307,000, and 
again on the accession of Charles IV., 1788, to 
10,143,000, whilst the inhabited villages and parishes 
had risen in number from 34,530 in 1768 to 39,300 
in 1788. This improvement had been largely owing 
to the promotion of industry by th€' Government, the 
continued discouragement of the flocking of idlers 
into the Church and religious houses, the severe laws 
against vagrancy. The food of the people had been 
cheapened by the facilitation of transport, by the 
opening of roads and by the abolition of local tolls 
and duties on merchandise in transit, and, above all, 
by the enactment of free trade in grain, the forbid- 
ding of speculative forestalling of breadstufifs, and the 
establishment of five thousand public granaries to 
supplement supply in times of scarcity (1789). 

The persistent attempts of the reformers to check 
some of the crying abuses with which the Church 
afflicted Spain had in the same period reduced very 
considerably the number of unproductive ecclesias- 
tics, who for centuries had been absorbing much of 
the national riches and giving nothing in return. 

In 1768 there had been — In 1788 — 

Secular Clergy 66,687 60,240 

Monks ... ... ... ... 56,457 ....;. 49,270 

Nuns and Friars 27,665 22,337 

Assistant Ministers 25,248 I5;875 

Total 176,057 147,722 

The decrease, therefore, of unproductive and un- 
fruitful persons under this head alone in the twenty 


years (1768 to 1788) was no less than 28,335. The 
process continued uninterruptedly under Florida- 
blanca and Godoy, until the whole population reached 
1 2,000,000 in the first year of the present century. 

But great as had been the improvement in this 
respect it had only been attained by the cease- 
less efforts of enlightened ministers to force upon 
an unwilling people measures which ran counter 
to their traditions and prejudices. The Spanish 
nation had two centuries before been forced into 
sloth, and it had grown to like it, so that the task 
of the reformers was a hard one. Mendicants and 
vagrants, airing their deformities and crying for alms 
in the name of the Virgin, still found their profession 
profitable, for the people sympathised with them if 
the law did not. Tradition was still strong against the 
hard, patient toil of the husbandman, and the fear 
of the rapacious tax-collector still survived. Hardly 
a hamlet in Spain lacked its church or monastery 
school, where the peasants' sons could learn the 
scraps of Latin which made them scorn the spade 
and sickle, and crowd into the lazy ranks of the 
Churchmen or the formidable army of " preten- 
dientes," seekers after Government offices, who are 
still the bane of the country. The seventeen uni- 
versities of Spain opened their doors wide to the 
poorest class of students, 90 per cent, of whom 
adopted study simply as a mask for idleness and 
mendicancy ; living on the doles of food at the 
monastery gates — for which purpose they carried 
in their hat-brims the traditional wooden spoon — 
begging at the street corners on the pretence of a 


need to buy books, or earning, by occasional menial 
service in private families, enough to eke out their 
profits from begging. The number of persons 
claiming nobility, too, although they had decreased 
by one-third in twenty years (1768- 1788), reached 
the enormous total of over 470,000 at the end of the 
period, and most of these lived idly or unproduc- 
tively. It had always been a feature of Spanish life 
that persons of all ranks above the lowest were 
surrounded by a disproportionate number of more or 
less dependent domestics, and it was calculated that 
at the end of the period under review at least 
276,000 of such relatively unproductive persons 
existed in Spain. It will thus be seen that, hard 
as the reforming governments had striven, they had 
not at the opening of this century penetrated very 
deeply into the inert mass of national tradition. 

It may be interesting to notice a iew of the 
measures by which even partial improvement in the 
condition of the people had been brought about. 
The alcabalas, or taxes of 14 per cent, upon all 
merchandise every time it changed hands, which 
had killed Spanish industry, had already been largely 
commuted for fixed local quotas, but were still 
grievously oppressive. They were now abolished 
altogether upon sales at first hand, and very greatly 
reduced upon subsequent sales, and the taxes on the 
principal articles of food (the millions) were also 
lightened, and the incidence was equalised by the 
imposition of a 5 per cent, income-tax on rents and 
revenues from land, and 2 or 3 per cent, on the rent 
of the holdings to be paid by tenants. The splendid 


system of high-roads inaugurated by Charles II L had 
been nearly completed by the end of the century, and 
for the first time travel in Spain became easy and safe. 
Inns were established on the principal highways 
under Government subvention, and on the initiative 
of Floridablanca regular stage-coaches were started at 
the risk of the Government in 1789 on the various 
main routes, and a post service organised from 
Madrid to Bayonne twice a week. The coach with 
six passengers occupied, it is. true, a period of six or 
seven days on the journey from the capital to the 
French frontier ; but even this was an immense 
advance upon the adventurous journey on muleback 
which had up to that time been the only mode of 
travel or communication by land with the rest of 

The further to encourage industry a great number 
of skilled foreign artisans were introduced and estab- 
lished in factories under Government subvention, 
each master being bound to take and teach a 
number of Spanish apprentices ; the tyrannical con- 
trol of the ancient trade guilds {gremios) over their 
respective crafts was limited, whilst bounties were 
given to Spanish shipbuilders ; timber, hemp, and 
other materials for the industry were allowed to be 
introduced free of duty, and export duties on Spanish 
merchandise were abrogated. The antiquated and 
oppressive privileges of the Mesta were curtailed 
and subsequently abolished, and the vast tracts of 
common pasturage turned to more civilised use.' 

' This peculiarly Spanish institution, which had existed for ages, con- 
sisted of a powerful chartered association of graziers, who were 




K 15 



The breeding of horses, too, which had formerly been 
so profitable to Spain, was revived by the ' exemption 
of the owners of a certain number of brood mares 
(twenty) from taxation, from the billeting of troops, 
and from compulsory military service. Mining 
industry was promoted by the renunciation of the 
Crown of its claims to all minerals, which were in 
future to be the property of the discoverer. All 
these measures, and many others of a similar 
tendency, initiated by the reforming ministers of 
Charles III., were zealously carried forward by 
Godoy, who, unpopular though he was, and unequal 
to his position, honestly did his best to civilise and 
raise his fellow-countrymen ; and was, during the 
whole of his career, a generous patron of art, science, 
literature, and learning. 

The disastrous series of wars into which the inep- 
titude of Charles IV. and Godoy dragged Spain 
naturally checked the progress of reform, and the 
m.aterial and financial improvement resulting there- 
from. In the last year of Floridablanca's ministry 
(1791) the total revenue raised in the Peninsula had 
reached 800,488,687 reals (96 to the £ sterling), or 
^"8,327,690, whilst the expenditure was ^^7,629,349, of 
which the disproportionate amount of ^500,000 was 
spent on the royal family and household. For 
reasons which have been already set forth the receipts 

allowed to lead immense flocks of Merino sheep, for the wool of 
which Spain had been so famous, from one part of the country to 
another twice a year ; feeding them on common lands reserved for the 
purpose. Certain provinces in Estremadura and I^eon, especially, 
were practically monopolised by these great wandering flocks, and this 
doomed to infertility immense areas of fine land. 


had fallen on the accession of Godoy, and the war 
expenditure had risen ; so that in the year 1793 the 
receipts were only 602,600,000 reals ; in 1794, 
584,162,000 reals ; in 1795,607,280,000 reals; whilst 
the expenditure had gone up enormously, being in 
1793, 708,800,000 reals; in 1794, 946,481,000 reals; 
in 1795, 1,030,000,000 reals.' This, of course, meant 
the increase of taxation and a return to the oppres- 
sive means of raising it. A special tax was placed 
upon ecclesiastical and land revenues ; and public trust 
funds, charitable and religious endowments, chancery 
deposits and the like, were forcibly taken by the 
Government on loan at 3 per cent, as well as large 
sums being raised by the creation of fresh treasury 
bonds. The bulk of the war taxation, as will be seen, 
fell at first upon the Church and landed classes, and 
Godoy's unpopularity with them was the natural 

But when these classes had been drained well-nigh 
dr}^, and the borrowing power of Spain at home and 
abroad had shown signs of exhaustion, the ever- 
growing demands for warlike expenditure had to be 
met by fresh taxation on trade and on prime articles 
of necessity, and the poorer classes then felt the 

' The revenue from the Colonies at the same period was about 
27,000,000 dollars, two-thirds of which were absorbed by expenses, 
and about 9,000,000 entered the Spanish treasury. An extraordinary 
increase in the prosperity of the Colonies had followed the edict of free 
trade in 1778. In Mexico alone the revenues for the three years pre- 
ceding the grant of open trade were 131,000,000 dollars, and for the 
three years following 232,000,000 dollars, whilst the total amount 
of precious metals raised from the American mines rose from 14,000.000 
of dollars in 1775 to an average of 22,000,000 a year at the end of the 



pinch. Continuity of fiscal sj/stem was lost. Ex- 
periments of all sorts were resorted to, and the plan 
of every empiric to raise money was tried ; partial free 
trade, partial protection, monopolies in one direction, 
liberty in another ; ' until at the end of the century 
the finances of the country were in complete con- 
fusion, a huge annual deficit was established,^ public 
confidence in the stability of the Government was 
destroyed, and Spain had already entered the down- 
hill path which led her from the consistent system 
inaugurated by Charles III., and ended in chronic 
national bankruptcy. 

Equally well intentioned, but much more successful, 
had been the efforts to improve the moral condition 
of the Spanish people. The limitation of the cramp- 
ing power of the Church and Inquisition upon 
science and learning from abroad, and the patronage 
of the successive Bourbon kings, had brought Spain 
intellectually abreast of other civilised nations by the 
beginning of the present century. Unfortunate as 

' What continued to frighten economists was that Spain's imports of 
goods from foreign countries amounted (in 1800) to ;^7, 400,000, whilst 
her exports to foreign countries were only valued at ;^3,ooo,ooo, leaving 
an annual balance of ;^4,400,ooo against Spain. This was, to a large 
extent, apparently balanced by the imports and exports to the Colonies, 
which sent to the mother country merchandise and treasure worth 
;i^8, 400,000, whilst Spain sent thither goods worth only ;i^4,6oo,ooo, 
the balance, they thought, remaining in Spain. These figures, however, 
were not very consolatory as the great imports from foreign countries 
were mainly manufactured goods, and the comparatively small exports 
to the Colonies were the same ; whilst the exports to foreign countries 
and the large imports from the Colonies represented mainly natural 
produce and silver. 

^ The deficit for the last four years of the century reached twelve and 
a half millions sterling. 


may have been Godoy's political influence it would 
be idle to deny that he was one of the best friends 
that Spanish enlightenment ever had. He introduced 
new methods and new books into the schools, he 
liberated learning from the old blighting methods of 
the priests, and in every part of Spain promoted the 
establishment of institutes and societies for the spread 
of knowledge, and its emancipation from priestly 
trammels.' Schools of science, of handicrafts, of arts, 
received, under the rule of Charles IV., assistance 
and countenance such as in Spain had never been 
dreamed of before ; and by the period of which we 
write (1800) Madrid and the principal centres of 
population could in most of the arts and industries 
hold their own with the other cities of Europe. 

There had never been any lack of bright geniuses 
in Spain, even in its hour of deepest darkness, but 
now with learning smiled upon in high quarters and 
the printing-press at least partially free, literature and 
art took a wider field of development. Great artists 
like Goya, poets like Moratin and Melendez-Valdes, 
political economists like Sempere, and the universal 
literary genius Jove-Llanos, humorists like Father 
Isla and Iglesias, men of learning and letters like 
Capmany, Vargas - Ponce, Count Campomanes, 
Munoz, Llorente, and a host of others presented an 
intellectual movement as brilliant as that offered by 
any other nation in the world at the same time. In 
its social aspects, also, Spain improved by leaps and 

' One of the titles of which Godoy was most proud was that of 
Protector of the Noble Arts of San Fernando, still an institution of 
importance in Madrid, 


bounds during the reigns of Charles III. and IV. 
The immodesty of Spanish women and the filth of 
Spanish streets had been for over a century and a 
half the theme of every traveller. The austerity of 
the Court of Charles III., and the continued labours 
of his and his son's ministers, had made Spanish 
society at least as outwardly decorous as that of 
London. Vagabondage, degenerating into brigand- 
age, which the lack of industry and the wars of the 
Philips had made one of the most prominent cha- 
racteristics of Spain, had been sternly suppressed, 
and an efficient urban and rural police enforced the 
supremacy of the law. 

It will thus be seen that the renascence of Spain, 
which had proceeded almost uninterruptedly since the 
end of the long War of Succession, only required con- 
tinued peace to ensure for the nation a flourishing and 
cultured future. The wrong turning was taken when 
the weakness, vacillation, and servility of Charles IV. 
and his ministers towards the French Revolution 
inevitably led the country into a series of wars in 
which it had everything to lose and no chance of 
gain, whilst convincing the unscrupulous Napoleon 
that he had nothing to fear from the dignity or firm- 
ness of either the King of Spain or his favourite. 

The re-establishment of stable government in 
France under the Consulate, and the efforts of 
Napoleon aided by the Spaniards to divide the 
coalition against him. had left England and Austria 
the only open enemies in arms which he had to face. 
This is not the place to describe in detail the First 
Consul's splendid dash across the Alps, the triumphant 


campaign in Lombardy, and the famous convention 
by which the Austrian general agreed to retire beyond 
the Mincio, leaving the French once more masters of 
North Italy. Spain was more interested in the naval 
struggle against England. Charles IV. had continued 
timidly to comply with the behests of his allies to aid 
them with ships in the Mediterranean, where the 
English fleet blockaded Malta and practically held 
the sea. But it was clear now to the Spaniards that 
open war with England in the Mediterranean whilst 
the coasts of Spain were at the mercy of the pre- 
dominant naval power meant ruin. Yellow fever was 
decimating Andalusia, the arsenals were unprovided, 
the ships undermanned, and the treasury well-nigh 
empty ; and such aid as Spain could give to France 
was painfully extorted by her hard taskmaster. The 
two main points, therefore, towards which Napoleon's 
consummate diplomacy was directed were, first to 
isolate England, and second to bind Spain more 
firmly than ever to France. Russia was conciliated 
by the nominal cession of Malta to Paul I. as Grand- 
Master of St. John, the northern Powers were irritated 
by representations of the maritime encroachments of 
Great Britain ; and Austria was alternately terrorised 
and cajoled. 

In the meanwhile the Peace Conference of Lune- 
ville, in which all the Powers were represented, 
was sitting ; and the consequent armistice enabled 
Napoleon to carry on his great intrigue successfully 
in every Court in Europe, until England stood alone 
(February, 1801). To chain misled Spain the tighter 
was a much easier task. Grand presents and loving 


letters were sent to Charles IV., Maria Luisa, and 
Godoy. Berthier went as ambassador with full powers 
to settle the question of Parma, which lay so near the 
Spanish Queen's heart. Charles IV. was fooled to 
the top of his bent, for Godoy and Maria Luisa were 
at his elbow. Berthier, ostentatious and grandiloquent, 
dazzled dingy Madrid ; and Urquijo, the Spanish 
Prime Minister, already tottering to his fall under the 
attacks of Rome and the priesthood, in consequence 
of his efforts to free the Spanish Church from the 
control of the Papacy, was ready to grant any terms 
in exchange for French support. The new treaty of 
St. Ildefonso was consequently easily arranged (Oc- 
tober, 1 800), by which Maria Luisa's brother, the Duke 
of Parma, or his son was to be awarded a slice of 
Tuscany with the title of King, and unhappy Spain 
was to pay for it by the cession of Louisiana and the 
gift of six armed ships-of-war to France. To this 
was added a secret agreement to the effect that both 
Powers should continue arming with the object of 
forcing the Prince Regent of Portugal to abandon the 
English alliance. 

It will be seen that Spain gained absolutely nothing 
by this treaty ; the bulk of her active fleet was locked 
up with the French squadron in Brest, her coasts 
were open to attack, Minorca was held by the English, 
she had suffered grievously already by the French 
connection, and yet she alone was called upon to 
make sacrifices, and the only paltry consideration she 
received was the cession of a strip of recently con- 
quered Italian territory to the Queen's brother, a 
foreign prince. It must not be concluded, however, 


that the corrupt and foolish action of the authorities 
in Madrid was accepted smilingly b\- Spaniards 
generally. On the contrary, although Godoy was not 
nominally minister, the whole nation outside of his 
circle of adulators cursed the Choricero deeply, if not 
loudly, for bartering away the interests of his country, 
and placing upon her neck the yoke of the hated 
gabacho. The Spanish admiral, Mazarredo, in com- 
mand of the fleet at Brest went further, and resolutely 
withstood the efforts of Napoleon to employ the 
Spanish ships in expeditions solely in the interests of 
the Republic. The first Consul wished to use them^ 
in the relief of Malta and Egypt, Mazarredo insisted 
upon the prior importance of re-conquering Minorca, 
and protecting the Spanish coasts. He urged the 
forcing of the blockade of Brest, and a rendezvous 
of the allied fleets at Cadiz ; and it needed all the 
diplomacy of Napoleon to prevent the Spanish 
admiral himself from breaking away and taking his 
squadron out of Brest alone in the face of the English. 
The persistence of Mazarredo, and the useless cost of 
maintaining a Spanish fleet locked up in a French 
port, whilst the coast of Spain was being raided, 
ended even in awakening the minister Urquijo in 
Madrid, who gave the Spanish admiral firm orders to 
carry out his own plan. 

Rebellion from such a quarter aroused Napoleon's 
anger and surprise. His first move was to endeavour 
to get rid of Urquijo, for he knew he could manage 
the Queen and Godoy, and with this object he 
announced his intention of sending his brother 
Lucien as a special ambassador to Spain. This 


was unwelcome news, for it evidently foreboded 
some fresh extortion, and at Godoy's suggestion 
Urquijo was prompted to request Napoleon to refrain 
from sending Lucien to Spain. As Godoy told the 
Queen at the time, he " was as much afraid of Urquijo 
as of the French," and he rightly foresaw that such a 
request to Napoleon would hasten the minister's fall 
rather than prevent it. Godoy therefore ostentatiously 
stood aside whilst Urquijo belled the cat. Very far 
from stopping Lucien, the Spanish remonstrance 
hastened his coming. Pushing forward, he left his 
suite at Vitoria, and suddenly appeared with only one 
attendant at the palace of the Escorial, and before 
many weeks had passed Urquijo, dismissed and dis- 
graced, was on his way to the citadel of Pamplona, 
his place of exile.^ The coalition of the Vatican and 
the First Consul had been too strong for him ; and 
Godoy, now a persona grata with both, was made 
generalissimo of all the Spanish forces, and more 
openly assumed the reins of political power, behind 
the transparent mask of his cousin, Don Pedro 

' The fall of the reforming anti-clerical Urquijo left his colleague, 
Caballero, the Minister of Justice, still at the King's ear. This man was 
a violent clerical friend of the Inquisition, a reactionary who opposed 
and thwarted all progress and enlightenment. Godoy and the new 
minister, Cevallos, did their best to temper his zeal, as Urquijo had 
done, but even Godoy could never persuade Charles IV. to dismiss him. 
Godi)y confesses that he did not understand the reason of this infatua- 
tion of the King for Caballero. To those .who have studied the old 
history of Spain it will be no more mysterious than the rise of Godoy 
himself. It was the kernel of the politleg.1 system of Charles V. and 
Philip II. to have for Prime Minister a man of the sovereign's own 
making, and to give him colleagues of v.iolently^antagonistic opinions ; 
so that the sovereign might always hold the-brflance. 


Cevallos. The loyal Spanish admiral Mazarredo was 
dismissed to soothe the angry Napoleon, and the 
subordination of Spanish interests to those of France 
was complete. 

With the peace of Luneville the second coalition oi 
the Powers came to an end. The arms and diplomacy 
of Napoleon had conquered, and England stood alone, 
her only friend, Austria, crushed by the armies of the 
Consulate ; and Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Den- 
mark making common cause with France and its 
satellite Spain to crush the naval power they all 
dreaded. The First Consul had by this time fully 
taken the measure of Spanish statesmanship, and the 
arrival of his brother in Spain coincided with a further 
development of his personal plans to make use of the 
country for his own purposes. On the 1 3th of February, 
1 80 1, Godoy, as generalissimo of the forces, and 
Lucien as special .ambassador, signed the agreement 
of Aranjuez, by which the Spanish naval forces were 
bound to act with those of the Republic in all the 
operations undertaken by the latter ; the son of the 
Duke of Parma, greatly against his will, was forced to 
accept his shadowy crown of Etruria from the hands 
of the Conqueror in Paris ;^ and, above all, Charles IV. 
at last consented (January 29, 1801) at the bidding of 
Napoleon to co-operate with the French army in the 

' The Bourbon princes of Parma were entertained lavishly by Xapo- 
leon in Paris for a month, in order to impress the other royal families 
of Europe, but the Consul made no secret of his contempt for them. 
" This is a poor King," he wrote, "it is impossible to form an idea of 
his idleness. He has not taken a pen in his hand since he has been 
here and I cannot get him to attend to business. All these princes are 


conquest of Portugal, if the Prince Regent did not 
within a fortnight renounce the EngHsh alliance. 
This involved the passage, if necessary, of French 
troops through Spain, and placed the latter country 
at the mercy of her ally. 

Before many weeks had passed a force of 15,000 
Frenchmen was on Spanish soil, under the com- 
mand of Leclerc, co-operating with a large Spanish 
army against Portugal. Godoy as generalissimo 
had divided his 60,000 men into three corps, one 
of 20,000 to threaten the Minho on the north, 
another of 10,000 on the frontier of the Algarves 
on the south, whilst he, with the main body of 
30,000 troops, set up his headquarters in his own 
native Badajoz. It is certain that Godoy's intention 
was to gain popularity and political strength by a 
successful campaign against a weak opponent, and 
his ridiculous and bombastic behaviour from the 
commencement of the campaign showed clearly his 
wish to make for himself as much capital as he could 
out of it. But he over-acted the part. He was no 
hero and no genius. His magniloquent proclamations, 
theatrical displays and exaggerated dispatches made 
of this " war of the oranges " a standing joke, and the 
Choricero an object of derision, as he had long been an 
object of dislike, to his countrymen. 

Passing over the Portuguese frontier on the 20th 
of May, 1 80 1, he found no adequate force to resist 
him, and quickly reduced all the Alemtejo, practi- 
cally without fighting. Portugal had then no 
alternative but to accede to the terms dictated to 
her by Godoy. One of her cities, Olivenza, was 


{After the painting hy Goya in the Museo del Prado) 


ceded to Spain, and she agreed to exclude from her 
ports the forces of her late ally, England ; whilst 
France and Spain were to guarantee the integrity of 
her territory. The whole campaign only lasted three 
weeks, but the King and Queen, and naturally their 
Court, hailed the victorious Prince of the Peace as the 
saviour of the country, the rival of the great conqueror 
of his time; and the sovereigns in person adorned the 
festival of the victor in Badajoz (July), where they 
lodged in the house of Godoy's father, and the famous 
branch of oranges plucked under fire, almost the only 
trophy of war, was presented with much pomp and 
circumstance to Maria Luisa. All this play-acting, 
well as it suited Godoy, did not satisfy Napoleon, who 
refused to ratify the treaty of peace with Portugal, 
which left him without any pledge in his hands to 
extort better terms from England. Azara, the Spanish 
ambassador in Paris, strong Francophil as he was, had 
already found it difficult to reconcile his patriotism, 
with the haughty and exacting attitude of the First 
Consul ; and now that Godoy in the full flush of his 
triumph plainly hinted that the end of his compliance 
had been reached, and that any further exigencies 
from France might drive Spain into an alliance with 
England, the wrath of Napoleon knew no bounds. 
" Are the King and Queen of Spain tired of reigning," 
he asked Azara, " that they thus imperil their throne 
by provoking me ? " Godoy for the moment was in 
no humble mood, and peremptorily demanded the with- 
drawal of French troops from Spain. The answer of 
the First Consul was to pour fresh battalions over the 
Pyrenees, in defiance of protests and treaties. At 


length the diplomac}^ of Azara, and the situation of 
Napoleon, enabled a temporary reconciliation to be 
effected, but thenceforward the Corsican knew that 
Godoy and his master must be humbled still further 
before he could use Spain unreservedly as an instru- 
ment of his will. By a subsequent supplementary 
treaty he despoiled Portugal of twenty-five millions of 
francs and the jewels of the Princess Regent, and by 
the end of the year the last French soldier had 
marched out of Spain. 

The tragic death of the Emperor Paul and the 
English victory at Copenhagen had broken up the 
coalition of northern Powers against England, and 
with the evacuation of Egypt by the French troops, 
and the retirement of Pitt from the Prime Ministry 
in England, led to the agreement of London (October, 
1 80 1 ), by which Great Britain was to retain the island 
of Trinidad and the Dutch possessions in Ceylon ; 
Malta was to be restored to the Knights, and France 
evacuated Naples and the Roman States, and recog- 
nised the Turkish rule in Egypt. The Congress of 
Amiens, which immediately followed, resulted in the 
series of treaties which for a short time gave a eeneral 
peace to exhausted Europe. Each of the Powers 
represented made the best terms possible for itself; 
only Spain was sacrificed. The secret agreement of 
London between France and England had been 
hidden from her, and her island of Trinidad ceded 
without reference to its former possessors. In vain 
Azara protested and pleaded. Spain had been weak, 
the result of the " war of the oranges " had offended 
Napoleon, and consequently the interests of Spain had 


to go to the wall. In the definite treaty of Amiens 
(March 23, 1802) Trinidad became an English island ; 
but Azara, who had already become alarmed at 
Napoleon's treatment of Spain/ made friends with 
Lord Cornwallis at Amiens, and established a possible 
community of interest between the two countries 
which afterwards bore fruit. 

In the meanwhile Napoleon's ambitious plans were 
slowly maturing. For their success it was necessary 
that he should be as completely master of the Iberian 
Peninsula as he was of France. He had been kept 
informed of the action of the party in Spain opposed 
to Godoy and the Queen which had grouped itself 
around the young Prince of Asturias, Fernando, and 
had missed no opportunity of widening the breach. 
In the autumn of 1801, Charles IV. fell dangerously 
ill, and whispers ran that a will had been extorted 
from him leaving Maria Luisa and Godoy regents 
until Fernando, then aged seventeen, should show his 
capacity for ruling. The news was probably untrue, 
but it flew to Azara in Paris, who told Napoleon. 
" In a week," said the First Consul, " I will have an 
army of 50,000 men across the frontier to support the 
Prince of Asturias against such usurpation ! " and he 
instructed Azara to write to that effect to Fernando. 

Charles IV. recovered quickly, and nothing was 
done ; but it was even thus early evident that Napoleon 

' At this very time when peace was being arranged, Napoleon was 
fiercely demanding of Spain 6,000 soldiers and the Spanish squadron in 
Brest to reduce the revolted island of Santo Domingo. The troops 
were refused, but Napoleon threatened that unless the ships were con- 
ceded with a good grace, he would take them by force, and the Spanish 
squadron accompanied the French to the West Indies. 


meant to profit by the discord he fostered in the royal 
family of Spain. During the spring of 1802 Lucien 
Bonaparte took a step further towards the subjection 
of Spain to his brother. In conversation with Godoy, 
he hinted very strongly that Napoleon might ask for 
the hand of the Infanta, Maria Isabel, a daughter of 
the King, in marriage. Godoy, and especially Charles 
IV., were aghast. Napoleon was already married to 
Josephine, and though Lucien said that, " things 
human and divine might be dissolved for the good of 
peoples," the idea of such a scandal for so proud a 
house as his nearly drove poor amiable Charles out of 
his mind. No time was lost, therefore, in arranging a 
double marriage with the Bourbons of Naples. The 
young Infanta, Maria Isabel, was united to the heir of 
the Neapolitan throne, and the sister of the latter, 
Princess Maria Antonia, was wedded to Fernando, 
Prince of Asturias. Godoy did his best to prevent, 
or at least delay, the latter marriage, and advised 
that the prince should be sent abroad to complete 
his education ; but Charles IV. was obstinate and 
alarmed, and determined to get both of his children 
married before Napoleon could interfere with fresh 

His choice of a bride for his son was a peculiarly 
unwise one if he wished to remain friendly with 
Napoleon, for the new Princess of Asturias was the 
daughter of that bold, strong Caroline, Queen of 
Naples, the sworn enemy of the French and the 
friend of Nelson. From her early childhood — she 
was little more than a child still— Maria Antonia had 
seen her father's throne sustained by British guns, and 


had looked upon the French as the foes of her country 
and her race. She herself, though delicate and con- 
sumptive, had passions as strong as those of her 
mother, whose instructions she carried with her from 
Naples, to thwart, and if possible to break, the alliance 
between France and Spain, and to bring her new hus- 
band's party to the side of England. Godoy's oppo- 
sition to the match had increased her enmity towards 
him, and Queen Maria Luisa and her favourite soon 
found that the frail little princess had a bold heart and 
a bitter tongue which dared to say aloud what others 
feared to whisper in the privacy of their chambers — 
that the Queen of Spain was an abandoned woman 
who had sacrificed her country to the foreigner and 
soiled her weak husband's throne for the sake of an 
unworthy lover. Henceforth it was war to the knife 
between Godoy and the Queen on one side, and 
Fernando and his wife on the other. The two wed- 
dings were celebrated (October, 1 802) with sumptuous 
official rejoicings at the Spanish Court, and the Order 
of St. Gennaro, as Azara wrote, was bestowed so 
lavishly as not to be worth the price of an egg in 
Madrid, but the joy of the Spanish people was real, 
because they knew that this was a blow to the 
Choricero and the Frenchmen whom they hated 

It may well be imagined that these events did not 
render more cordial the relations between Napoleon 
and the Spanish Government. The death of the old 
Duke of Parma, and the continued occupation of his 
duchy by the French, notwithstanding the claims of 
his son, the King of Etruria, the nephew and son-in-law 


of Charles IV. ; and the resolute refusal of the latter to 
admit on any terms French cotton fabrics into Spain 
(November, 1802), also added to the growing estrange- 
ment. Clouds, too, were gathering in other quarters. 
In England, Mr. Addington's pacific policy was un- 
popular with all classes. The London press was loud 
in its attacks upon Napoleon's interference with the 
interior affairs of Germany to the detriment of Austria, 
and his activity in the West Indies. Malta was still 
held by English troops in defiance of the treaty of 
Amiens, and the French emigres were more active 
than ever in their efforts to undermine the revolution- 
ary government. At length matters came to a head. 
Napoleon violently demanded of Lord Whitworth, 
the English ambassador, the fulfilment of the treaty 
of Amiens, with the alternative of immediate hostili- 
ties. After a fruitless attempt to arrange terms 
relations were broken off, and in May, 1803, England 
and France were once more at war. 

As usual, the first sacrifice had to be made by 
Spanish interests. It had been agreed at the time 
of the cession of Louisiana to France (October, 
1800) that the latter Power should never transfer the 
colony to any other nation than Spain. Napoleon 
broke the treaty of St. Ildefonso and sold Louisiana 
to the United States for a sum of money with 
which to make war on England. Protests from 
Spain were useless, for Napoleon meant to use the 
misgoverned country for his own ends alone ; and 
his great plans for the invasion and domination 
of England were proceeding apace. With such 
gigantic preparations as these, which stirred the 



imagination of the world, no thought of the interests 
of Spain could be allowed to interfere. But at least 
this time the eyes even of Godoy were opened, and, 
though too late, he resisted to the extent of his power 
the further encroachment of the French. ^ Napoleon 
demanded an immediate declaration of war against 
England in compliance with the treaty of St. Ilde- 
fonso, and that 24,000 troops and the whole Spanish 
fleet should be placed at his disposal. Godoy in 
Madrid and Azara in Paris struggled hard to moderate 
the demands of their tyrant, who grew more haughty 
and exacting every day. A great subsidy (six 
million francs a month), freedom for French trade in 
Spain, and indemnities and privileges without number, 
might, he said, be substituted for a declaration of war 
against England, but in some form his pound of 
flesh he would have. 

The peace of Amiens and the re-opening of com- 
merce with England had brought some return of 
prosperity to Spain, the people hated the French 
and longed for peace, and Godoy dared not yield. 
Upon the favourite fell the wrath of Napoleon. 
A special messenger was sent to Madrid with an 
ultimatum to the King in Napoleon's own hand. 
Either Godoy, the dishonourer of his house and the 
corrupt curse of his kingdom, must be dismissed, or 
a French army would cross the Pyrenees within 
twenty-four hours and sweep all before it. But before 

' He refused, amongst other things, to urge the French Bourbon 
princes to renounce their claims to the crown, and he also refused to 
suppress the publication in the Spanish press of extracts against France 
from the English papers. 


this was handed to the unfortunate Charles, the 
messenger was to see Godoy himself and let him 
know the fate before him if he did not yield. The 
wretched favourite tried by evasion to delay the issue, 
but the French ambassador was immovable. He 
would have no more references to Azara in Paris. 
The terms of the First Consul must be complied with 
at once, or the damning letter would be handed to 
the King. Godoy and the Queen were at their wits' 
end. They had already authorised Azara to make 
the best terms possible with Napoleon, but to go 
to war with England now by their own act in 
Madrid at the bidding of the Frenchmen seemed 
to bode certain ruin to them. The course they 
adopted was to persuade the King to take the First 
Consul's letter, but not to open it. The simple-minded 
King did as he was bidden. " I have received 
the letter," he said to the French ambassador, 
" because I was obliged to do so, but 1 will return it 
to you unopened. You will soon learn that your 
action was unnecessary, as Azara has full authority to 
settle everything in Paris. I esteem the First Consul. 
I wish to be his faithful all\^, and provide him with 
all the resources my realm will afford." But withal, 
Godoy, by authority of the King, was forced to sign 
a preliminary agreement, conceding in principle the 
shameful demands of France, before the matter could 
be remitted to be settled in Paris, and it needed 
another threat of instant war from Napoleon before 
Azara signed the cruel treaty of Paris (October 9, 
1803), by which poverty-stricken Spain purchased 
her neutrality for a subsidy of six millions of francs 


a month, and humiliating commercial concessions. 
It was not the fault of Azara, but it broke his heart, 
and to the weakness and unworthiness of Godoy and 
the Queen one more sacrifice was made by their 
unhappy country. 

In May, 1804, Napoleon assumed the imperial 
dignity, and almost the first Power to recognise his 
new rank was Spain. Pitt, now in ofifice again, 
worked incessantly to draw Spain to the side of 
England, and to open the eyes of Spaniards to the 
fact that their country was being used by an ambitious 
tyrant for the subjugation of Europe to France. But 
Napoleon had his grip firmly fixed upon Godoy ; 
and though Spain was utterly bankrupt and unable 
even to pay the whole of the subvention agreed upon 
and the country at large hated and feared the 
French, the feeling of loyalty to the Crown and 
affection for the King prevented the discontent of 
the people from going beyond murmurs against the 
Choricero. The nominal neutrality of Spain was a 
mere mask, whilst French cruisers were fitting out in 
Spanish ports, and every penny the country could 
spare was being sent to Napoleon for the invasion 
of England. England's ally, Portugal, too, at any 
critical moment was at the mercy of her neighbour, 
and Pitt at length determined to treat Spain as a 
belligerent. Sudden orders were given that Spanish 
ships on the high seas were to be attacked, and in 
October, 1804, four frigates on their way from Rio de 
la Plata, under Admiral Bustamente, with a cargo of 
six millions of dollars, were assailed by Moore with 
four English ships off Cape St. Mary. One of the 


Spaniards, the Mercedes, was burnt and the other 
three captured and carried to England as a pledge of 
Spain's neutrality. The indignation of the people 
was artfully fanned by the French interest, and open 
war between Spain and England became inevitable 
(December, 1804). 

The party of the heir-apparent and his wife was 
in despair. No country was ever less prepared for 
war than Spain at this juncture. Short crops and 
the manoeuvres of speculators in grain had raised 
food to famine prices, pestilence swept unchecked 
through the southern provinces, the drain of resources 
for the French subsidy had reduced the treasury to 
the utmost penury, the priests and Churchmen 
everywhere cursed a government that had sold the 
property of pious foundations, as they alleged, to 
pamper the greed of a vile favourite and to aid an 
usurping foreigner, whilst the Court and royal family 
itself were now openly divided into two camps. 
But notwithstanding all this, a new offensive alliance 
was signed in Paris (January 4, 1805), by which 
Spain bound herself to place at the disposal of the 
Emperor for six months 30 ships of war, manned 
and armed complete, in the ports of Cadiz, Cartagena, 
and Ferrol. 

Nelson was in the Mediterranean with 1 1 ships. 
His squadron was well supplied with food from 
Sicily, Naples, and Sardinia ; his ships and men 
were in splendid condition, for they had been at sea 
for twenty months, and the watchful eye of the great 
commander was everywhere. The great armament 
prepared at Boulogne for the invasion of England 


could do nothing until the powerful squadrons in 
Brest and Ferrol were released from the English 
blockade that held them tight. The plan of 
Napoleon was to effect a junction of the Spanish 
and French Mediterranean fleets at Cadiz, and then 
by a sudden feigned dash to the West Indies to draw 
Nelson on to the other side of the Atlantic. It was 
thought that the squadron in Brest would then be 
able to break through the blockade, release the ships 
in Ferrol, join the Spanish and French fleet from the 
West Indies, and with the force from Boulogne 
successfully invade England, whilst Nelson was on 
his wild-goose chase in American waters. It will be 
seen that for this plan to be successful it was 
necessary for several concurrent circumstances to be 
favourable; and experienced sailors were from the 
first doubtful of the result of carrying on naval 
operations on military principles. Villeneuve, whom 
Napoleon appointed admiral-in-chief, was despondent 
and distrustful by nature, and when he saw the 
wretched material of which his fleets consisted he 
lost heart entirely. 

Villeneuve first sailed from Toulon on the i8th 
of January, but after a fortnight's knocking about 
in bad weather had to put back again, and lost 
seven weeks in refitting and repairs ; so that it was 
the 29th of March before he could finally start 
to rally the Spanish fleet in Cadiz. With difficulty 
he gave Nelson the slip, and joined the Spanish 
admiral, Gravina, in Cadiz on the loth of April. 
Spain was supposed to possess 16 ships in the 
port, but after three months' labour no more than 


six were fit for sea. They were of imposing bulk, 
but all, except Gravina's flagship, Argonaut, crazy, 
rotten, and antiquated. The plague was raging in 
Cadiz, the country was bare of stores, and the only 
crews available were the unwilling scum and rascal- 
dom of the city swept into the net of the press gang. 
Gravina and his officers were brave, eager, and loyal 
in doing their best; but they all distrusted the French, 
and not for a moment did they deceive themselves 
as to the inferiority of their ships, guns, and seamen 
to those of the English. When finally all was ready 
for the dash across the Atlantic, V^illeneuve found 
himself in command of 25 ships, with which he sailed 
to Martinique. For a fortnight Nelson battled with 
head winds about Gibraltar (May 7th) to get on 
the track of his foe, and it was the 4th of June 
before he cast anchor at Barbadoes, three weeks after 
Villeneuve had arrived in the West Indies. 

But much had happened in that short time. Corn- 
wallis held Brest in so firm a grip that Gantheaume 
could not get out ; and, what was of more importance 
still. Napoleon found himself once more confronted 
by a great European league against him. " Upon the 
success of your arrival off Boulogne," he wrote to 
Villeneuve, " the fate of the world depends." Alas 
for him ! Villeneuve was a weak reed to bear such a 
responsibility. In mortal fear of failure, dreading the 
very name of Nelson, the French admiral refused 
Gravina's prayers to recapture Trinidad for Spain, to 
attack Cochrane at Barbadoes, to seek and fight 
Nelson, to do anything, but to run home again, as he 
proposed to do at once, and endeavour to release 
Gantheaume from Brest. 


Sailing from Martinique on the very day that 
Nelson arrived at Barbadoes, he sadly went north, 
leaving Nelson to hunt after him from island to 
island, in the vain hope of getting him to fight. 
On the 19th of June the fleets were, unknown 
to each other, close together, but Villeneuve escaped, 
and sailed finally for Europe on the 2rst. His ships, 
especially the Spaniards', were slow, and the English 
Admiralty had early news of his return. The 
blockade of Ferrol and Rochefort was raised, and 
Calder was sent with 15 ships to meet and fight 
Villeneuve, which he did in a dense fog off Finisterre, 
on the 22nd of July. Despondent Villeneuve, com- 
plaining of his ships, his men, his allies, the weather, 
did nothing, but left all the fighting to gallant 
Gravina and the Spanish vanguard, who bore them- 
selves like heroes, though losing two of their ships 
by capture. When Calder, gallant sailor that he was, 
but no tactician, thought he had done enough and 
sailed away with his two prizes, Villeneuve was glad 
to let him go, and hopelessly sailed to Vigo instead 
of to Brest as he was ordered, whilst Gravina and the 
Spaniards chafed at so low-spirited a commander. 
In the meanwhile Nelson had returned to Gibraltar 
(July 20th), and thus the Frenchman found himself 
between Calder on the north and Nelson on the 
south. He had rallied the ships in Ferrol and 
had now 29 sail. In vain Napoleon furiously urged 
him to enter the Channel. " One hundred and fifty 
thousand men and 2,000 boats await you," he 
wrote. "All depends upon you. If you act we 
shall be masters of Europe." But there was no 


action for despondent Villeneuve. He would take 
no risks, and his opportunity went by. The camp 
at Boulogne was broken up and marched to fight 
the coaHtion in Germany, whilst the allied fleets 
tamely returned to Cadiz to be closely blockaded 
there by an English squadron of inferior strength 
(August 20th), and Nelson, who for the first time 
for two years was free to run home, set his foot 
on English soil, and arranged his future plan of 

On the 1 2th of October the English admiral 
arrived off Cadiz in the Victory to rejoin the English 
fleet. The position of the allies inside the port was 
lamentable. The Spanish officers openly insulted 
Villeneuve and demanded his dismissal from the 
command. They knew that with such a commander 
and with the material at their disposal they would be 
no match for the English fleet outside, which daily 
threatened to attack them even in port. Napoleon 
raged and stormed at the apparent ineptitude and 
timidity of Villeneuve. His great combinations were 
all being frustrated by the imprisonment of his fleets, 
and at last in desperation he called his admiral-in- 
chief a coward, and sent Rosilly to replace him. 
When this news reached the miserable Villeneuve, 
on the 1 8th of October, with the boldness of despair 
he gave sudden orders for the whole fleet to put to 
sea, rally the Spanish squadron in Cartagena, and 
sail to Naples as the Emperor had ordered. 

The Spaniards were aghast and protested. Ville- 
neuve in his turn taunted them with cowardice, and 
thenceforward there was no question of holding back, 


desperate as they knew the case to be. The next 
day the alhed squadron left port — 34 Hne-of-battle 
ships and five or six smaller craft, Avila commanding 
the vanguard of seven sail, Villeneuve the centre 
with a similar number, Dumanoir the rearguard of 
the same strength, and Gravina the reserve with 12 
ships. The morning was lovely and bright, with red 
cloudlets flecking the cobalt blue of the sky, though 
the winds were light and baffling ; and the great 
Spanish ships looked brave enough beneath their 
gilding and paint. The Santisima Trinidad, the 
biggest craft afloat, a vast four-decker of 136 guns, 
220 feet long, the Rayo, the Principe de Asturias, 
Gravina's ship, and the towering St. Ana, which led 
the vanguard, were all much larger than the heaviest 
of the Frenchmen, the Bucentaur and the Formidable. 
But though Nelson had no ships, so heavily armed as 
the Spanish monsters, his proportion of loo-gun 
ships was much larger.' Vi^^neuve practically left 
each captain to act for /xiimself "Nelson will 
endeavour to cut your line and envelope you," he 
said, " and you must prevent it if you can. Any 
officer who is not under fire will have deserted his 
post." Every seaman saw that the great, ancient, 
clumsy, ill-manned Spanish ships were not handy 
enough to prevent their being isolated, if such were 
Nelson's tactics ; but no one held back now, for the 
allies had called each other cra^vens, and both were 
on their mettle. \ 

' The actual number of guns on the EngHsh flfeet was 2,148, whilst 
the allied fleets had 2,626. The practice of the allies was, however, 
bad ; the firing much too high. 


Late on the 20tli the fleets sighted each other. 
The wind was still light, and Villeneuve's squadrons 
were straggling, so that it was far into the night 
before the allies could range into a single line of 
battle, and then it was done in a loose and lubberly 
fashion — " all of a heap," as Dumanoir reported 
— Gravina's reserve squadron, in spite of protest, 
being included in the long line. Two precious hours 
after dawn were lost before Villeneuve gave orders 
for his fleet to luff up, and before the allies 
were well ready the English fleet came down the 
wind in the form of a great wedge with the Victory 
leading at the apex. There was a big gap in the 
loose allied line between the Bucentaur and the 
St. Ana, and to this point the wedge head was 
driven, cutting the line in two. No gun was fired 
from the Victory in reply to the enemy's cannonade 
until she got through the rank of ships. Then she 
turned to port and thundered into the Redoutable 
and the big Santisinia Trinidad. Thus far Ville- 
neuve had been right in his guess at Nelson's tactics ; 
but what followed was a new stroke of naval eenius. 
which no one had foreseen. The outer wings of the 
wedge of English ships curled round, and each one 
enveloped and isolated a certain number of the 
enemy's vessels. Thenceforward it was carnage^ 
slaughter. Great Nelson fell when . victory was 
already certain, for the Buccntajir and the Santisima 
Trinidad hauled down their flags before his life 
ebbed away. The Spaniards and the French fought 
as bravely as the English. Churruca, Alcala-Galiano, 
Alcedo, and Magon fell ; Gravina, sorely wounded, died 


in Cadiz shortly afterwards. Villeneuve subsequently 
committed suicide, and the navies of Spain and France 
were practically destroyed. Of the squadrons that 
left Cadiz, 40 ships strong, only 18 leaking, battered 
wrecks struggled back into port, and all along the 
bay the scattered wreckage and a thousand corpses 
were cast up by the heavy storm that completed the 
catastrophe of the battle. From the housetops of 
Cadiz the clustered citizens with horror witnessed 
the eclipse for the second time of the naval power of 
Spain ; and the ill-starred subordination of their 
country to the fortunes of revolutionary France, 
which the weakness of the King and Godoy had 
made possible, became more hateful than ever to all 
Spaniards but those v/ho battened upon the favour 
of the Choricero. 

Napoleon's hope of beating England on her own 
element had disappeared, but on land he marched 
from victory to victory. The Austrian army sur- 
rendered to him at Ulm on the very day that the 
allied fleets had left the harbour of Cadiz, and less 
than a month afterwards he entered Vienna in 
triumph, soon to be crowned by the still greater 
victory of Austerlitz (December 2, 1805). 
• It has often been related, and sometimes questioned, 
that when the almost dying Pitt received the evil 
news of Austerlitz which made Napoleon master of 
the continent of Europe, he foretold that the force 
which would ultimately ruin the victor would take its 
rise in Spain. The prophecy has been looked upon 
as almost superhuman, but lif it was ever uttered it 
only proves that Pitt was well informed of the public 


feeling in Spain ; and that as a matter of fact an 
understanding already existed between the anti- 
French party of the Prince of Asturias and the 
English statesman. It must have been plain to him 
that the breaking-point between the two allies had 
nearly been reached. The Spanish Bourbon King 
of Naples was being turned out of his kingdom to 
make room for Napoleon's brother, Joseph ; the 
intercepted letters of the spirited little Neapolitan 
Princess of Asturias to her mother telling of her efforts 
and those of her husband to arouse Spain against 
the French usurper had been made the subject of 
acrimonious complaint from Napoleon to poor over- 
burdened Charles : the bitter hatred between Maria 
Luisa and her daughter-in-law had brought to the 
side of the latter the great majority of the Spanish 
people who were groaning under the misery caused 
by the warfare in which only the French had any- 
thing to gain ; and a man of less penetration than Pitt 
could see that the disappearance of Godoy from the 
scene would coincide with a revolt of the Spanish 
nation against the ignominy of being the mere bonds- 
men of Napoleon's ambition. Pitt, in fact, knew that 
the adherence of Spain to the anti-French coalition 
would turn the scale against Napoleon. 

Austria at the peace of Presburg following 
Austerlitz, surrendered completely ; but not so 
England, Russia, or Prussia. After the abortive 
peace negotiations with the English Whig Govern- 
ment the formation of a new coalition against 
Napoleon, to which even Spain might be rallied 
became a necessity. The fate of Fernando of 


Naples must have loomed like a presage of his 
own doom to Charles IV., and even Godoy, 
enmeshed as he was in the toils of Napoleon, 
could hardly fail to see that Spain must make a 
stand against the destroyer of thrones before it 
was too late, or King, Queen, and favourite would 
be swept away together ; if not by the French, then 
by his own enraged countrymen. The forces against 
Godoy were, indeed, already ranging themselves for 
the attack. The Princess of Asturias was indefatig- 
able; Fernando's cunning ex-tutor. Canon Escoiquiz, 
had organised a regular system of propaganda against 
the favourite : priests and friars in every parish in 
Spain told of the vast sums plundered from the 
Church and squandered on the Choricej^o, whWst better 
men were starving. Godoy felt that he must change 
sides and brave Napoleon, for the forces against him 
at home were too strong for him any longer to with- 

The new coalition against the Emperor was nearly 
complete in the autumn of 1806, when suddenly 
Prussia precipitated events by commencing hostilities 
alone. Napoleon's great army was already on German 
soil, and the Emperor himself flew to command it ; 
but his interests now covered so wide a territory, the 
new kingdoms he had to protect were so dispersed 
and numerous, that it seemed as if surely he must be 
beaten piecemeal. Godoy appears to have thought 
that this was the time for him to change his coat ; 
but he did so with characteristic timidity and dis- 
ingenuousness. Only a few months before (May, 
1806) his agent in Paris, Izquierdo, had, with his 


approval, handed to Napoleon a sum of twenty- 
four million francs of Spanish public funds on the 
Emperor's hint that if he did so Godoy might hope 
for further advancement at his hands. When the 
money was once in his possession Napoleon naturally 
made light of his hinted promises of kingdoms and 
dukedoms for the Spanish favourite, and Godoy, 
indignant and offended, sent an agent to London 
to make approaches to the projected anti-French 
coalition. The English Government was already in 
relations with the party of his enemies in Spain, 
and would have nothing to do with him ; but in 
October, when Napoleon was in arms against the 
Prussians, Godoy took his step and endeavoured to 
foist himself upon the anti-French party without 
entirely breaking with Napoleon. Early in October 
every town in Spain was astounded to read a public 
proclamation signed by the Prince of the Peace. It 
called upon all loyal citizens to aid the sovereign by 
contributions of money, horses, and armed men, to 
defend the country " during the present danger." 
There was much inflated appeal to the patriotism 
and honour of Spaniards, and vague references to 
" our enemies " ; but no hint as to who the enemies 
were. The proclamation reached Napoleon on the 
victorious field of Jena, and his brow lowered as he 
read it. " I will pay them for this," he muttered, and 
from that moment he determined that the Bourbons 
should be swept from Spain as they had been from 
France.' He might smile still — and he did so more 

' See " De Pradt Meraoires sur la Revolution d'Espagne," and 
" Conversations avec Napoleon," by Escoiquiz. 


than once — both upon poor Charles IV. and upon 
Godoy, but their doom was sealed from that hour 
— and incidentally his own too. 

In vain Godoy endeavoured, when he heard the 
news of Jena, to hoodwink the Emperor by the 
lame excuse that the proclamation was directed 
against Morocco ; no one for a moment was deceived, 
although Napoleon pretended to be so for a time, 
until he could weaken Spain by deporting her 
troops and introducing further discord in her 
counsels. The latter was an easy task now ; for the 
hatred between the party of the Prince of Asturias 
and that of Godoy and the Queen was stronger 
than ever. The young Princess of Asturias herself 
had died in May, 1806, of consumption, though 
Canon Escoiquiz took care to spread the rumour 
that she had been poisoned by the Queen's 
favourite ; and this event, whilst it removed the 
principal focus of intrigue in the palace, and was to 
that extent favourable to Godoy, left young Fer- 
nando a widower free to strengthen his cause by a 
powerful marriage. Each fresh attack upon Godoy 
by the friends of the heir-apparent was answered by 
the granting of new honours to the favourite by the 
King, whose affection for his dear Manuel was as great 
as that of the Queen. The post of Grand Admiral 
of Spain and the Indies, with the dtle of Serene 
Highness — an unprecedented honour for a Spanish 
subject — was the new proof given of the monarch's 
love ; and Fernando, offended and jealous beyond 
measure at what he called a usurpation of his rights, 
took a step which, while it was intended to beat 


Godoy at his own game, played entirely into 
Napoleon's hands. 

Up to this time it was the favourite who had 
posed as the friend of the French — whilst the 
heir-apparent, under the ini^uence of his Neapolitan 
wife, had taken the popular side and turned to 
England. It was not easy or dignified for him 
suddenly to change into a suppliant of Napoleon ; 
but Escoiquiz and his friends soon managed to 
get into confidential communication with the 
Marquis de Beauharnais, the new French ambassador 
(January, 1807). The latter was diplomatic and 
cautious, and the matter dragged for a time. He 
could not, he said, be a party to a plot against 
the King and Queen, or even Godoy, unless 
Prince Fernando himself gave him a pledge. This 
was done by an agreed signal when next they 
met, and during the summer it was arranged that 
Fernando should ask for a lady of Napoleon's family 
for a wife. He did so in an autograph letter in which 
truckling servility equalled base undutifulness. To 
the tyrant who had dethroned his kinsmen and sacri- 
ficed Spain he wrote thus : " The fear of troublin<7 
your imperial Majesty in the midst of the great deeds 
and the negotiations which so ceaselessly occupy you, 
has hitherto prevented me from satisfying directly 
my earnest desires to express to you, at least in 
writing, the feelings of respect, esteem, and affection 
which I entertain for the greatest hero of all time, 
sent by Providence to save Europe from the total 
overthrow which threatened her, to consolidate 
tottering thrones and give to the nations peace and 



happiness. The virtues of your imperial Majesty, 
your moderation, your goodness even to your most 
unjust and implacable enemies ; everything bade me 
hope that the expression of these sentiments would 
be received as the overflowing of a heart full of 
admiration and truest friendship. The state in which 
I have been for some time, which it is impossible can 
have been unperceived by the great penetration of 
your Majesty, has hitherto been a second obstacle 
which has held back my pen. But I am full of hope 
that in the magnanimity of your imperial Majesty I 
shall find a powerful protection ; and I therefore have 
determined not only to express the sentiments of my 
heart for your august person, but also to deposit in 
the breast of your Majesty as in that of a tender 
father, my most profound secrets." With incredible 
meanness Fernando then proceeds to hint in un- 
mistakable terms at the relations between his 
mother and Godoy, and prays for Napoleon's 
" paternal protection " in his attempts to over- 
throw the " perfidious egotists," " the astute and 
malignant councillors " who surrounded his father ; 
and abjectly begs that the Emperor " will deign to 
grant him a princess of his august house for a wife." 
This letter was written on the i ith of October, 1807 ; 
and in the meanwhile Godoy was living in a fool's 
paradise, enjoying more than ever, as he imagined, 
the favour and confidence of Napoleon, who, by the 
victory of Eylau over Russia and the treaties of 
Tilsit, had now brought the whole continent of 
Europe to his feet. The arrival of the Emperor in 
Paris (27th of July, 1807) coincided with the reception 


of the news of the repulse of the Engh'sh at Buenos 
Ayres, and the mutual congratulations of the allies, 
with the pretended cordiality of Napoleon towards 
Godoy, gave an opportunity for another step to be 
taken by the former in his plans for the final sub- 
jugation of Spain. Already, in order to gain his 
favour, Godoy had allowed fifteen thousand Spanish 
troops to be sent as a part of Napoleon's army to 
Germany, and now pressure was brought upon Spain 
to unite with France in compelling the Portuguese 
finally to abandon the English alliance. An 
ultimatum was sent to the Prince Reeent of 
Portugal requiring him, not only to refuse access 
into his ports to English ships, but also to confiscate 
all English property and imprison English subjects. 
This he refused to do, as Napoleon had foreseen, 
and the cunningly prepared plot was then ripe for 

For many months Godoy's agent in Paris, Iz- 
quierdo, had been in secret treaty with Napoleon 
for the occupation and dismemberment of Portugal, 
which was to serve as the French Emperor's 
excuse for the introduction of his troops into Spain. 
A strong force under Junot had been collected in 
readiness on the P>anco-Spanish frontier, and 
immediately on the refusal of the Portuguese to 
obey the commands from Paris the French army 
crossed the Bidasoa and camped on Spanish soil 
(October 18, 1807), before even the negotiations with 
Izquierdo in Paris had been concluded. It was a 
flagrant breach of faith on the part of Napoleon, and 
the first of the series of great events which changed 


the history of Europe. There were a ioxN far-seeing 
Spaniards who viewed with distrust and alarm 
the contempt with which Napoleon was treating the 
rights of their country ; but both Godoy and the 
opposite party of the Prince of Asturias had gone too 
far in their base courting of the Conqueror to turn 
back now ; and Junot and his force were received 
with open arms as friends and allies. 

The intruders lost not a day, but pushed on 
into the centre of Spain ; whilst on the 27th of 
October Izquierdo signed the shameful treaty of 
Fontainebleau for the dismemberment of Portugal. 
It was agreed that the northern part of the 
kingdom should be erected into a sovereign state 
under the name of Northern Lusitania and given 
to the King of Etruria (Duke of Parma) in ex- 
change for the cession of Tuscany to the French ; 
the Algarves and Alem-Tejo were to be ceded 
as an independent principality to Godoy, and 
the centre of Portugal was to be held until the 
general peace, with the view of restoring it to the 
Portuguese royal family in exchange for Gibraltar or 
one of the Spanish colonies conquered by the English. 
Napoleon was to guarantee the independence and 
integrity of Spain, and a French army of 28,000 
men was to be allowed to march through Spain, and 
fed at Spanish expense, as well as another force of 
40,000 men in case it should be necessary. The 
ambition of Godoy had led Spain into this trap. 
Everything had been carefully prepared by Napoleon. 
The Prince of Asturias had played into his hands and 
was competing with the favourite for his support ; 

napoleon's plot succeeds. 85 

Maria Luisa was blinded to every consideration of 
maternal and wifely duty b}- her love for Godoy ; the 
poor, weak King, believing himself a genius, was 
swayed to any side by his wife and her paramour ; 
and the wily, unscrupulous Corsican, with a fine army 
on Spanish soil, knew now that he had them all at 
his mercy and could do with them as he pleased. So 
completely had all parties in Spain been deceived, 
that both Prince Fernando and Godoy respectively 
looked upon the French bayonets as having been 
sent to support his particular cause against the other. 




The young Prince Fernando was not an amiable 
character. Sly, sarcastic, and malicious by nature, 
he had become, under the teaching and prompting of 
Escoiquiz, bitter and vengeful to the last degree, 
especially against his mother. When both parties, 
emboldened by the presence of the French troops, 
thought the time had come for striking a crushing 
blow at each other, rumours were spread through 
the capital from the prince's apartments that the 
Queen was plotting to disinherit her son and place 
Godoy on the throne ; ^ whilst the favourite's friends 
were as busy disseminating rumours of the treasonable 
intrigues of the heir-apparent against his father, 
Godoy's party was able to strike the first blow, and 

' It was alleged that the Queen's youngest child, the Infante Don 
Francisco de Paula (afterwards the father of the King Consort of Isabel 
II., Don Francisco de Asis), was the son of Godoy; and that Maria 
Luisa and her favourite were desirous of changing the succession for the 
ultimate benefit of this child, This, of course, was possibly true, but 
there is no proof of it other than public gossip spread by Fernando's 
friends, and Maria Luisa was certainly the principal mover in obtaining 
the King's pardon for his son Fernando. 



for a time was triumphant. The prince had been 
ostentatiously occupied for some time in literary 
labours — the translation of French authors and the 
like-^which gave an excuse for him to pass many 
hours in writing. But Godoy's spies watched him 
closely, and it was noticed that he wrote much late 
at night, a fact that was promptly conveyed to the 
King and Queen, who were for a time alone, as 
the favourite had remained at Madrid ill of fever 
when the Court removed to the Escorial early in 

The distrust thus aroused was rendered acute on the 
28th of October, when the King found on his dressing- 
table a note with the superscription, " Haste, Haste, 
Haste ! " " The Prince of Asturias," it ran, " is 
planning a rising in the palace, and the crown is in 
peril. The Queen runs the risk of dying of poison, 
and steps should be taken immediately to frustrate 
the plot." In deep tribulation the King consulted his 
wife, and they agreed to pay a surprise visit to the 
prince's apartments. They found their son deeply 
immersed in some papers which he endeavoured to 
hide ; but which the King seized and carried away 
with him, notwithstanding the violent and disrespect- 
ful protest of the prince. The documents proved to 
be in the highest degree compromising. There was 
a long address to the King which Fernando had 
copied from Escoiquiz's ciphered draft, accusing 
Godoy of the vilest crimes against morality, and as a 
minister: "he has," it said, "not only . . . prostituted 
the flower of Spanish women from the highest to the 
lowest, but his house, his official receptions, and his 


ministry, have been open markets for prostitution, in 
which adultery was paid for by pensions, offices, and 
dignities." He was further accused of an intention of 
kilHng the King and all his family for the purpose of 
himself usurping the throne ; and the remedy pro- 
posed was to give Fernando a free hand to order the 
favourite's imprisonment, and to take such other 
measures as he thought fit. The King was to be invited 
to meet Fernando's friends at a hunting party, where 
proofs of all the accusations would be submitted to 
him, and he was to be requested not to see the Queen 
or Godoy afterwards until the blow had been struck. 
Other papers divulged the plan already referred to 
for the marriage of Fernando with a lady of 
Napoleon's choosing, instead of with the sister of 
Godoy's wife, as had been proposed. Documents of 
a still more compromising character were also found 
— according to Godoy — in. which the liberty, if not the 
life, of the Queen — and even of the King — was evi- 
dently aimed at. These latter papers were seized and 
destroyed by the Queen, in order to save her son, 
though their nature may be guessed by the tone of 
poor Charles's letter of the same day to Napoleon, 
giving him an account of the discovery — " Monsieur 
mon frere," wrote the unhappy king on the 29th ot 
October, " at the moment when I was occupied with 
the means of co-operating for the destruction of our 
common enemies ; when I thought that all the plots 
of the late Queen of Naples had been buried with her 
daughter, I have found with a horror, which makes 
me shudder, that the most terrible spirit of mtrigue 
had penetrated into the heart of my own palace. 


Alas ! my heart bleeds to give you an account of so 
fearful an attempt. My dear son, the heir of my 
throne, has formed a horrible plot to dethrone me, 
and has gone to the length of attempting the life of 
his mother. A plan so terrible must be punished 
with the exemplary rigour of the law. The succession 
of the prince must be revoked, one of his brothers 
will be more worthy than he to fill his place in my 
heart and on my throne. I am now seeking his 
accomplices, to discover the whole of this disgraceful 
plot, and I do not wish to lose a moment in inform- 
ing your imperial Majest}^, whom I pray to aid me 
with }-our wisdom and advice." 

On the same night that this was written, the long, 
dusky corridors of the grim granite palace of the 
Escorial saw a sad procession, which reminded the 
trembling witnesses of a similar event two and a half 
centuries before, when Philip II. himself arrested his 
only son, Don Carlos. First came a gentleman-in- 
waiting, the Duke of Bejar, bearing candelabra to 
illuminate the darkness, then a platoon of the Spanish 
royal guard, in their blue and red uniforms, followed 
by a stout, well-built, fresh-coloured young man of 23, 
of singularly sinister aspect. His forehead was white 
and well shaped, and over his dark eyes lowered con- 
spicuously heavy smooth jet-black eyebrows, glossy like 
leeches ; but it was the lower part of the face which 
mainly attracted attention. The point of the droop- 
ing Bourbon nose descended over a very short upper 
lip to the level of the straight-slit mouth ; whilst the 
nether jaw, underhung like those of the princes of the 
house of Austria, stood clear out, so that the under- 


lip was on a level with the point of the nose. This 
was Fernando, Prince of Asturias, who, in his own 
person, centred all the evil qualities of both his 
Bourbon and Habsburg ancestors without any of 
their virtues ; a man of undoubted ability, beloved 
to frenzy by a generous, loyal people, who made 
greater sacrifices for him than a nation ever made for 
a ruler ; but a prince who yet, through the whole of a 
long life, belied every promise, betrayed every friend, 
repaid every sacrifice by persecution, rewarded love 
and attachment by cruelty and injustice ; and who 
thus early began by treason to an over-indulgent 
father an evil career which was to bring untold 
misery to his country, and a heritage of war of which 
the end has not yet been reached. By the side of 
the prince walked his father, a stout, elderly, red-faced 
gentleman, immersed in grief and followed by the 
ministers and other courtiers, who thus conveyed the 
heir-apparent a prisoner to his apartments after his 
examination on the charge of treason. The next day 
there appeared on the walls of the capital a pathetic 
address of the King to his people, telling them how 
his son had been seduced into a wicked conspiracy 
against the throne. But the Madrilenos could believe 
no evil of their beloved Fernando, and once more 
they made a scapegoat of the Choricero, who, they 
said, had invented a false plot to ruin the heir to the 


Fernando was no hero, and before many hours had 
passed, with incredible baseness, he betrayed all his 
accomplices and made a clean breast of his evil-doing 
to the Queen. He had, he said, written secretly to 


Napoleon, he had sic^ned a decree appointing the Duke 
of Infantado governor of Castile, speaking of the King 
as dead ; but it was all the fault of those who advised 
him, and whose names he gave. Then it was that 
Godoy and the Queen began to understand that 
Napoleon had deceived them, and that the French 
army on Spanish soil was more likely to help 
Fernando than them. They were aghast ; Godoy, 
sick as he was, flew to the Escorial to stifle the matter 
before it went any further. Entering the room in 
which Fernando was confined, he offered to arrange 
everything. Fernando, like the craven that he was, 
willingly accepted any course which offered safety 
for himself. At the dictation of the man whose ruin 
he had plotted, he wrote the following letters to his 
parents: "Dear Papa, — I have transgressed. I 
have failed in my duty towards you as my king and 
my father ; but I repent, and promise your Majesty 
my most humble obedience. I should have done 
nothing without your Majesty's knowledge ; but I 
was taken by surprise. I have divulged the 
culprits, and I beg your Majesty to forgive me 
for having lied to you the other night ; by permit- 
ting me to cast myself at your royal feet. — Your 
grateful son, FERNANDO, San Lorenzo, November 
5, 1807." 
The letter to the Queen was as follows : — 
" Dear Mamma, — 1 repent of the dreadful crime 
which I have committed against my parents and 
sovereigns, and with the greatest humility beg you 
to deign to intercede with my papa for me, to allow 
me to cast myself at his royal feet." 


These letters were at once published with a decree of 
pardon for the prince, beginning with the words — "The 
voice of nature disarms the stroke of vengeance," and 
providing for the prosecution of Fernando's advisers. 
Care was taken by Godoy to avoid all mention of 
Napoleon in the case, for the Emperor had sternly 
warned him through Izquierdo that this must be done, 
and at the same time Fernando was made to appear 
undutiful, disloyal, weak, and treacherous. To this 
extent Godoy had conquered ; but the great mass of 
the people was on Fernando's side and would believe 
no ill of him for trying to get rid of the Choi'icero and of 
the dishonour which clung to the Queen. To such an 
extent was this the case that even the judges specially 
chosen by Godoy refused to convict Fernando's 
accomplices ; and after a long trial Charles himself, 
by an exercise of despotic power, sent Escoiquiz, the 
Dukes of Infantado and San Carlos and others, into 
confinement or exile. 

From first to last this affair was disgraceful to all 
concerned. The son was ready to sacrifice his parents, 
the King was in a hurry publicly to condemn his heir, 
without waiting for proper inquiry or examination of 
proofs ; at the first sound of danger Fernando threw 
the whole blame upon his advisers, for whom he 
could find no words sufficiently abusive, and in the 
most nauseous manner flattered and caressed Godoy, 
who in his turn took care that the prince's pardon 
should exhibit him in the worst possible light. It 
was evident to Napoleon by this time that popular as 
Fernando might be, he was too weak and mean- 
spirited to be useful, even temporarily, as an ally, but 


he might still be employed as a puppet. Steps were 
taken therefore by Beauharnais to assure the prince 
of the Emperor's continued protection, and negotia- 
tions were opened for his marriage with the daughter 
of Lucien. The lady, however, had a will of her own, 
and flatly refused the honour. In the meanwhile 
events were rapidly tending to a crisis which placed 
all other considerations in the background. 

Junot had marched without delay into Portugal, 
where the Government had tardily endeavoured to 
avert the disasters which threatened by concessions 
to French and Spanish demands. Seeing that 
resistance was impossible the Regent, at the advice 
of Lord Strangford, decided to transfer his court to 
Brazil. On the day after the royal family sailed 
from the Tagus the French army entered Lisbon 
(November 30, 1807), amidst silent mourning of a 
people ; and by the end of the year the whole 
kingdom was occupied by French and Spanish 
troops. It will be recollected that one of the con- 
ditions of the treaty of Fontainebleau had been that 
the King of Etruria should exchange Tuscany for 
Northern Lusitania. The King himself had died, 
but his widow, a daughter of the King of Spain, was 
acting as Regent for her son in Florence. She was 
quite ignorant of the arrangement which had been 
made over her head for another change of her 
dominions, and was astounded at the end of 
November by an intimation that the Emperor was 
on his way to Italy, and that she must evacuate her 
kingdom at once. She started heart-broken for Spain 
with her children, and on her way saw Napoleon at 


Milan. Instead of consolation she received from him 
nothing but discouragement. She was given clearly 
to understand that he had no intention of fulfilling his 
part of the disgraceful treaty, and that her Northern 
Lusitanian kingdom was nothing but a chimera ; he 
had, indeed, already offered the Portuguese crown to 
his brother Lucien, who had refused it. 

The Emperor's plans for the subjugation of the 
whole Iberian Peninsula were now hardly concealed. 
He had taken the measure of all the governing 
powers in Spain, and saw that he might treat them 
with complete disregard. By the beginning of 
January, 1808, two new French co7'ps (Tarrnce had 
entered Spain under the command respectively of 
Dupont and Moncey ; and conjectures of all sorts were 
rife as to the meaning of the great warlike pre- 
parations of the Emperor. The bulk of the Spanish 
people looked on with distrust, but were cunningly 
kept quiet by the idea that the French bayonets had 
been sent to establish their beloved Fernando on the 
throne, and to put an end to the rule of the Choricero. 
Godoy himself doubtless now understood the danger 
of his position, but it was too late to draw back, and 
his eyes were still fixed on the promised sovereignty 
of the Algarves. At his instance Charles sent servile 
letters to the Emperor, and no opportunity was lost 
of conciliating the Conqueror. But it was the lamb 
conciliating the wolf Napoleon had probably not 
yet quite decided his ultimate mode of procedure, but 
he had already made up his mind that the Bourbons 
must follow the Braganzas, and the Iberian Peninsula 
be at his bidding alone. 


Brigade after brigade of Frenchmen was poured 
into Spain, in violation of treaties and national rights. 
The French hardly took the trouble to keep up an 
appearance of friendship. The citadel of Pamplona 
was seized by stratagem by Armagnac in February, 
the fortress of Barcelona by Duhesme a few days after- 
wards, and gradually, either by trick, cajolery, or threats 
of force, nearly all the strong places in Northern and 
Central Spain were occupied by the intruders. The 
excitement and alarm of the people grew. The fate 
of Portugal, now treated as a French possession, was 
a terrible reminder of the helplessness of Spain ; and 
the hatred of Godoy, upon whom the blame for every- 
thing was cast, grew deeper than ever. He had tried 
unsuccessfully to obtain leave to retire, and Charles 
was almost tempted to let him go, so outspoken now 
was the discontent of the people. But Fernando had 
no intention of letting him off so cheaply ; he wanted 
him for a scapegoat, and excelled himself in adulation 
of the " saviour of Spain," whom he fervently begged 
to remain at the head of affairs. Poor simple Charles 
melted to tears at the sweet unity that reigned in his 
family, now that Fernando and " Manuel " were such 
dear friends, and also prayed his darling minister to 
stay, little suspecting that the plot which had been 
frustrated a few months before was now in fuU 
swing again. 

At length in March (1808) it became clear, even to 
Godoy, that he could palter and trifle no longer. 
There were a hundred thousand French soldiers in 
Spain without reason or excuse. Murat, Grand Duke 
of Berg, had just arrived at Burgos as the Emperor's 


Lieutenant-General, and fresh troops continued to 
swarm over the Pyrenees. Simultaneously Izquierdo 
came post haste from Paris with terrifying news. 
The Emperor demanded a fresh treaty with unheard- 
of conditions, which would practically have dis- 
membered Spain, and deprived her of independence. 
Godoy in desperation advised the King to call upon 
Napoleon to suspend the further violation of the 
Spanish frontier and to fulfil the existing treaty 
obligations, or Spain would defend her soil and her 
honour. But it was too late : neither Charles nor 
Fernando's friends were prepared for so Quixotic a 
course, and the flight of the royal family seemed 
the only alternative, in imitation of the Regent of 
Portugal. It was decided at length that the King 
and Court should retire to Seville, there to await 
events, and if necessary afterwards sail for America; ^ 
and as a first stage of the journey it was ordered that 
a move should be made to the palace of Aranjuez at 
no great distance from the capital. 

The resolution was to have been kept secret, but 
soon vague and disquieting rumours pervaded Madrid. 
It was no uncommon thing for the royal family to 
visit Aranjuez and other palaces accompanied by 
Godoy; in fact, they had recently passed much of their 
time away from Madrid, but the stormy petrels of 
Fernando's party kept public excitement awake. 
The turbulent Count de Montijo, the idol and leader 

' It was the opinion of the best-informed persons at the time, and is 
probably true, that this was the real object Napoleon had in view in 
proposing the fresh terms by Izquierdo. If he could frighten the royal 
family away the coast would be clear for him. 


of the vicious classes in Madrid, was lurking disguised 
in one of the lower quarters in daily communication 
with Fernando, and the priests and friars, as usual, 
were busy with their whispered hints against Godoy. 
It was noticed, too, that large numbers of rough 
countrymen were flocking into Madrid led by fugle- 
men ; and to those who were in the habit of watching 
events it was evident that mischief was brewing. 
The lady with whom Godoy lived before and after 
his marriage. Dona Josefa Tudo, was noticed to be 
packing up her establishment in Madrid, and pre- 
paring for a long absence ; and soon the gossip 
spread that in a council held at Aranjuez the advice 
of Fernando had been overborne, and the royal 
family had decided to continue their flight to Seville. 
Orders were also given for the greater part of the 
garrison in the capital to proceed to Aranjuez ; and 
the citizens, alarmed and disturbed by the agents of 
the prince, openly demonstrated their indignation 
that at such a critical moment they should be thus 
abandoned by their rulers. 

The excitement increased hour by hour, and, as 
usual, the whole of the blame was cast upon Godoy, 
who was said to have sold Spain to the Frenchmen, 
rather than Fernando should succeed. Charles en- 
deavoured to allay the rising storm. In a proclama- 
tion addressed to " my dear vassals," he assured the 
people that they "might breathe freely : for the army 
of my dear ally, the Emperor of the French, is passing 
through my country solely with ideas of peace and 
amity : its object being to reach points threatened by 
the common enemy ; " and he emphatically denied the 



story of his intended flight (March i6, 1808). This 
was for a moment a check to the conspirators in 
Aranjuez, where all the elements of disturbance had 
now congregated, but a judicious expenditure of 
money and effort by the prince's henchmen, the 
Count de Monti jo and Don Manuel de Jauregui, 
spread abroad the news that Godoy was going to 
spirit away in the night of the 17th, not only the 
King and Queen, but Fernando as well. 

In the meanwhile utter confusion reigned both inside 
and outside the palace. Murat was rapidly march- 
ing upon Madrid, and Dupont with his corps d'armce 
was hastening to occupy Segovia and the Escorial. 
The King, as we have seen, pretended to believe no 
harm, but the movements of the French paralysed all 
government and no orders were given except those 
for flight. The people were in a frenzy of excite- 
ment. Fernando was, or feigned to be, in fear of 
assassination by Godoy's orders, an idea also osten- 
tatiously disseminated by Beauharnais, and for the 
night of the 17th the outbreak at Aranjuez was 
prepared. The Guards, who were under the com- 
mand of Godoy's brother Diego, had been secretly 
gained to the popular side, and a large crowd of 
country people, mostly Manchegans introduced for 
the purpose, and hired ruffians, surrounded the 
favourite's palace in Aranjuez, under the leadership 
of the disguised Count de Montijo. It is asserted 
by eye-witnesses — but denied by Godoy himself — 
that at midnight his mistress left the house in a 
travelling carriage, and that this gave the first 
impetus to the disturbance : in any case a shot 


and a bugle call rang out simultaneously with the 
appearance of a light in Fernando's window at the 
time that a carriage left Godoy's house, and in a 
moment the tumult began. 

The troops were in favour of Fernando, and at once 
took up positions where they might prevent the flight 
of the King ; other groups shouted below the apart- 
ments of Charles, who was ill in bed with gout, whilst 
the main body of ruffians broke through the gateway 
of Godoy's palace. From room to room they rushed 
in murderous search of the hated Choricero, wrecking 
and destroying as they went. The Princess of the 
Peace, a member of the royal family, and her 
daughter, were treated with respect and conveyed to 
the royal palace, but consideration was shown for 
nothing else. As the crowd were breaking into his 
bedroom Godoy had just time to leap from his bed, 
throw on a dressing-gown and escape by a secret 
door to a lumber-room above, where he lay hidden 
under a roll of matting whilst the mob wreaked 
vengeance on the property, and wounded and im- 
prisoned his brother. Inside the palace triumphant 
Fernando made no secret now of his approval of the 
rising. Maria Luisa cursed, and Charles wept at 
their treacherous son, but in the hope of diverting 
vengeance from their dear Manuel the King 
during the night signed a decree dismissing Godoy 
from his posts of Generalissimo of the army and 
Grand Admiral of the navy. 

The next day, the i8th, passed in great anxiety 
but comparative quiet, but during the night it was 
conveyed to the King that a furthur tumult was im- 


pending, more dangerous to him than the preceding 
one, and that the troops could not be depended upon. 
There was nothing for it but to appeal to Fernando, 
who promised sulkily to use his influence to appease 
the popular excitement. His efforts were either 
insincere or too late, for on the morning of the 19th a 
more threatening crowd than ever assembled before 
the palace. Suddenly a shout went up from a 
thousand throats that the Choricero had been found, 
and the mob trooped off to the dismantled house of 
the favourite. Godoy, after thirty-six hours of hiding, 
had been driven by hunger and thirst to emerge from 
his roll of matting. He had in vain endeavoured to 
bribe a guard on duty in his bedroom, and had been 
taken prisoner. Before the hurried meal necessary 
for his restoration had been taken the mob had 
reached the outside of the house and were howling 
for his life. The man who had so long been master 
of Spain could find now in his own wrecked palace 
no corner in which he might hide his head, and 
trembling, well-nigh fainting, surrounded by guards, 
who shielded him as well as they could, he was led 
out through the mouthing multitude to the barrack 
guard-room. Under and over the horses of the 
soldiers murderous blows were aimed at the unhappy 
man ; bathed in blood, wounded and panting, resting 
his hands on the saddles of the guards at each side of 
him, though sinking with fear and fatigue, he managed 
to keep pace with the rapid trot of the horses that 
were bearing him away from the mad fury behind ; 
and at length rescued from immediate death, he cast 
himself down in an agony of tears on the rough 


guard-room floor, the threats and curses of his perse- 
cutors still ringing in his ears. 

Soon, however, the crowd attempted to invade 
the barracks, for the cry was raised that the 
CJioricero was escaping after all, and the King 
and Queen in terror for their favourite fervently 
prayed their son to save him. Fernando consented 
scornfully ; he promised the mob that he would see 
justice done, and dispersed them, and then stood with 
a mocking smile on his wicked face over his prostrate 
enemy, the man upon whom he had fawned as his 
"saviour" so recently. "I have saved thy life, 
Manolo," he said contemptuously. " I thank your 
Highness humbly," was the reply. " Is your Highness 
already King ? " " Not yet," said the prince, " but I 
shall soon be," and turning on his heels he left him, 
saying to the guard, " Send a surgeon to attend to 
that poor wretch. He looks like an Ecce Homo." 
Fernando was sure of his triumph now, and made his 
parents understand that he alone had power over the 
mob. The old King, afflicted beyond measure,, saw 
that his undutiful son would be content with nothinc: 
less than his abdication. His ministers, particularly 
the principal of them, Caballero and Ceballos, had 
rallied to the rising sun of Fernando, and at seven 
o'clock on the same evening Charles IV. laid down 
his thorny crown, signing the decree, which made 
Fernando VII. sovereign of Spain. 

The news sent feverish Madrid frantic with joy. 
The palaces of the fallen favourite and his friends 
were sacked, all the emblems of his greatness de- 
stroyed, and throughout the country the same scenes 


were enacted. But over the mad rejoicing of the 
capital at the coming of Fernando — the Desired — 
the spectre of impending disaster loomed. The 
new King sent deputations of grandees to greet 
Murat on his approach, and on the 23rd of March 
the showy Neapolitan innkeeper's son entered Madrid 
with his staff, all flashing and glittering, at the 
head of a French army which no organised force 
in Spain could resist. The Madrilefios love shows, 
and welcomed Murat, for they still thought he 
came to support Fernando. But their eyes were 
soon opened. The Frenchmen, discontented with 
their quarters, calmly and without leave took others 
which they liked better ; and when Fernando entered 
his capital for the first time as King, on the day after 
their arrival, Murat ostentatiously manoeuvred his 
men on the line of route to the annoyance of the 
citizens, who said that their king needed no foreigner's 
protection against loyal Spaniards, now that the 
Choricero had fallen. To make matters worse, Murat 
and Beauharnais were the only foreign representatives 
who did not hasten to recognise the new sovereign ; 
for the rising of Aranjuez and the abdication of Charles 
had not been anticipated by Napoleon. His plan had 
been to frighten the whole of the royal family away 
to America, and then to take Spain as he had done 
Portugal ; and the establishment of a new popular 
monarch on the throne did not suit him. When he 
1 received the news at St. Cloud he confessed this, and 
denounced Fernando as an undutiful usurper whom 
he would never recognise. But this did not mean 
that he would help the dispossessed father. On the 


(Contrary he told Izquierdo, his obedient tool, the day 
afterwards, that the events in Spain had relieved him 
of all treaty obligations towards her ; and on the 
very same day he wrote to his brother Louis in 
Holland, offering him the crown of Spain, which 
Louis refused. 

On the day following that on which Charles had 
signed his abdication, the fear and trouble past, 
he endeavoured to impose conditions upon the new 
King as to his policy, and as to his own future. 
Fernando and his friends would not hear of it, and 
Charles and his spirited wife began to realise for 
the first time that, by a stroke of the pen in a 
moment of terror, they had been reduced to persons 
of no importance. Then came indignant reaction 
against their son, and the foolish king consulted 
the French general Monthion, Murat's chief of the 
staff, who had just entered Aranjuez. The result 
was the signing of a private withdrawal of the 
abdication, on the ground that it had been ex- 
torted by force. This miserable vacillation and 
weakness exactly suited Napoleon, who was thus 
able to play off the father against the son to the 
discredit of the latter ; and in this he was aided by 
the undignified letter in which Charles conveyed to 
him his protest against the abdication. The King of 
Spain "hastens to place himself in the hands of a 
great monarch, his ally, subordinating himself totally 
to the will of the only person who can give happiness 
to him, his family and his faithful vassals. ... I 
was," he wrote, " forced to abdicate, but with the 
fullest confidence now in the magnanimity and genius 


of the great man who has ever shown himself my 
friend, I have resolved to conform in everything with 
whatever this great man may order with regard to us, 
to my fate, and that of the Queen, and the Prince of 
the Peace." Napoleon must have thought when he 
received this cringing letter that circumstances were 
positively inviting him to make use of such a royal 
family as this for his own ends. Worse still were 
the letters from Charles and his wife to Murat in 
Madrid, humbly protesting that they and Godoy, and 
not Fernando, were the real friends of the French; 
offering to make the country submit to Napoleon, 
and outbidding the new King in professions of 
attachment and obedience to the great man in whose 
hands they placed their country and themselves. 
Meanness and servility could go no further, and 
unmerited as were the subsequent sufferings of the 
Spanish people, the miserable royal famil}^ deserved 
all that befell them. 

Almost the first regal act of Fernando VII. 
was to recall Urquijo, Cabarrus, Jovellanos, and 
all those who had suffered from the enmity of 
Godoy. Escoiquiz was summoned at once from 
his stall in Toledo to be made a Councillor of 
State ; and the Dukes of Infantado and San Carlos 
left their exile to guide the decisions of the new 
sovereign. The shallow and inflated Churchman, 
Escoiquiz, an infatuated admirer of Napoleon, and 
himself a man of no ability or knowledge of the 
world, was perhaps the worst adviser that could have '■ 
been chosen, whilst the two dukes were weak, showy 
men, unable to counteract his evil influence. The 


earliest measures of the new monarch were manily 
towards the abrogation of the unimportant but 
unpopular local regulations decreed by the late 
government ; but the suspension of the sale of the 
seventh part of the ecclesiastical properties for the 
State service, authorised by the Pope, proved that 
Fernando looked to reaction rather than to reform for 
support. In this, perhaps, he was wise, for, as we 
have seen, the mass of the people, sunk in ignorance 
and enchained in priestly bonds, had little sympathy 
with the more enlightened views of their travelled and 
better educated countrymen. In any case the growing 
effervescence of the public at the presence and attitude 
of the French troops, and the intrigues of the royal 
family, prevented any attention whatever from being 
paid to internal measures. 

The wonder-loving people of Madrid were kept 
on the tenterhooks of expectation with the stories 
of the expected arrival of Napoleon to visit the new 
king. Murat lost no opportunity of adding to the 
excitement; apartments in the palace were arranged 
for the Emperor's reception, advance baggage, said 
to belong to him, was ostentatiously received, even 
his hat and boots were shown to the gaping citi- 
zens ; but in the meanwhile Murat held himself 
personally aloof from Fernando, and carried on a 
close correspondence with the old King and Queen 
through Monthion. Charles, under his influence, 
had signed the protest against the abdication, to 
which reference has been made ; and the subsequent 
deference with which the old King and his wife in 
their abandonment by their own people were treated 

io6 A d/stracTed royal family. 

by the French generals, doubtless suggested to them, 
as it was intended to do, a hope that by the power of 
Napoleon their full dignity might be restored to them, 
Godoy saved, and their undutiful son punished. 
Fernando, too, was made to think that something of 
this soi"t might happen, and his evil advisers, Escoiquiz 
particularly, began to whisper that he must take care 
to propitiate the Emperor before the latter could be 
influenced in favour of Charles. 

Napoleon had already set out for the Spanish 
frontier, and if he had been able to frighten the 
royal family away to America, as he intended, he 
would no doubt have proceeded at once to Madrid; 
but the elevation of Fernando had altered his plans, 
and although the pretence of his coming was kept 
up, his real object now was to work upon the 
dissensions of Charles and his son until they both 
placed themselves in his hands. With this end in 
view, Murat suggested that Fernando should travel 
north for the purpose of meeting and welcoming the 
Emperor into his dominions. Escoiquiz, blind and 
foolish in his admiration for the French, approved of 
the idea, as a means also of forwarding Fernando*s 
marriage with a Bonaparte ; but it was felt that for 
the new King to leave his capital at such a juncture 
would be imprudent, and it was decided at first to 
send his younger brother, Don Carlos, who left 
Madrid on the 5th of April, with the idea of meeting 
the imperial guest at Burgos. But Don Carlos found 
no Napoleon at Burgos, and some of Fernando's 
ministers, particularly Cevallos, began to doubt. 
Murat was not a great diplomatist, and Napoleon 


would brook no opposition to his plans ; so General 
Savary was sent post haste to bring Fernando into 
France by fair means or foul. He saw the young 
King immediately on his arrival in Madrid, and told 
him that the Emperor only wished to know whether 
his policy towards France was to be the same as that 
of his father, in which case he would recognise him as 
king, and refrain from all future interference in the 
government of Spain. Fernando was overjoyed and 
gratified. All he wanted was Napoleon's recognition, 
and here it was on easy terms. Savary suggested that 
as Napoleon was even then expected at Bayonne it 
would be only a polite attention for Fernando to meet 
him at Burgos. Flattery, promises and professions of 
eternal friendship at last prevailed, and in spite of 
warnings of treachery, in spite of the alarm of his 
people, in spite of the growing arrogance of the 
French, Fernando set out from Madrid to meet his 
imperial guest on the lOth of April. With him went 
Escoiquiz, Infantado, San Carlos, Cevallos, and a 
large suite ; and a supreme board of government was 
constituted to act for him in his absence in all urgent 
matters. At the head of this Junta was placed his 
uncle, the Infante Don Antonio, a silly, weak-minded, 
bigoted old man ; the other members being the Prime 
Minister Cevallos, who, however, accompanied the 
King ; Gil y Lemus, Minister of Marine ; Azanza, 
Minister of Finance ; O'Farril, Minister of War ; 
Piiluela, Minister of Justice, and a few other chosen 

Through Spain Fernando travelled amidst a popu- 
lation burning with love and loyalty to him. If he 


or his blind advisers had made a stand, even now, a 
whole nation would have laid down their lives for him 
and for the independence of Spain ; as Napoleon 
clearly saw when he first heard of his accession ^ ; 
but there was no dignity, no patriotism, no honour in 
Fernando or his miserable family, and Savary lured 
him on from Burgos to Vitoria. There the alarm of 
his friends grew acute, and they resisted his further 
advance, but he was too near now for Napoleon to let 
him go. Seeing that Savary could not alone prevail 
upon the young King to proceed further, the Emperor 
himself wrote a letter which should have opened the 
eyes of the dullest. In haughty and vague language 
he treated Fernando's claims to the crown as being in 
his hands to decide, and went to the insulting length 
of saying — " You have no other rights than those 
transmitted by your mother." Savary, too, swore by 
his head that Napoleon would recognise him as King 
of Spain the moment he saw him in Bayonne, but not 
otherwise ; Savary had, indeed, orders to carry him 
off by force if all else failed. In vain loyal Spaniards 
proposed to Fernando rescue or flight. Blind to all 
warnings, he decided to cross the frontier ; the people 
of Vitoria threw themselves before his coach, cut his 
horses' traces, and with tears begged him to remain. 
In I run the Spanish garrison offered to carry him 
away in safety in spite of the French. All in vain ! 
P'ernando, with his brother Carlos, crossed the 
Bidasoa on the 20th of April and stood on French 

' See his letter to Murat, 29th of March, in Toreno's " Historia de 
la Revolution de Espana.'"' 


No representative of the Emperor came to greet 
him. no honours were paid to him ; a few miles further 
on he met the three Spanish grandees whom he had 
sent to welcome Napoleon, and from them he heard 
the ominous tidings that the Emperor that morning 
had declared in their presence that no Bourbon 
should ever again reign in Spain. It was too late for 
repentance, and Fernando entered Bayonne virtually 
a prisoner on the 2 1st of April, 1808. For a few 
hours there was still room for hope. Napoleon 
embraced his guest, entertained him at dinner, and 
himself accompanied him to his lodgings. But no 
sooner was Fernando alone than Savary came with a 
message from his master to the effect that the latter 
had irrevocably decided to overturn the Bourbon 
dynasty in Spain and substitute his own, and that 
Fernando must sign a renunciation of the crown for 
himself and all his family. Anger and dismay at 
once reigned amongst trapped Fernando and his 
court. Escoiquiz — the little Ximenez, as Napoleon 
mockingly called him — was beside himself with rage 
at the way in which they had been tricked, and in his 
long conferences with the Emperor and his agent, the 
Bishop of Poitiers, persisted in refusing in his master's 
name to comply with the demand, as did Cevallos and 
Fernando himself. After three days of quarrels and 
mutual recrimination Fernando was astounded to 
receive a message from the Emperor to the effect 
that he would treat with him no more : the King of 
Spain was expected to arrive at Bayonne the next 
day, and doubtless he would be more amenable than 
the Prince of Asturias. 


Murat had found it a much simpler matter to trans- 
port the old King and Queen into France than their 
son. He had begun by complaining to the Junta of 
.the constant attacks upon his men by the populace of 
Madrid ; and had then announced that he recognised 
no King of Spain but Charles, whose return to the 
throne he intimated. Already Murat had taken 
Godoy away from the custody of the Junta and had 
conveyed him, guarded by French soldiers, to 
Bayonne, and it was easy for him now to persuade 
Charles and wife to follow their favourite. Under his 
guidance Charles wrote to his brother Antonio, pre- 
sident of the Junta in Madrid, that his abdication had 
been forced from him and was void ; and that he, as 
King, confirmed the Junta in their office during his 
approaching absence on a visit to his ally the 
Emperor of the French. On the 25th of April the 
credulous old King, with his wife and Godoy's 
daughter, left the Escorial, escorted by armed French- 
men, to follow his son over the Pyrenees, drawn by 
the same bait that had lured Fernando, namely, the 
recognition of his sovereignty by Napoleon. The 
artfully promoted dissensions between father and son, 
the ambition, undutifulness, self-indulgence, and folly 
of both sides had ended in this : that the old King 
and his two next heirs were in the hands of the 
unscrupulous tyrant who had befooled them ; whilst 
Spain, abandoned, unarmed, and disorganised, lay 
apparently an easy prey to the hundred thousand 
disciplined foreigners who swaggered insolently on 
her soil. 

In Madrid matters had been going rapidly from 


bad to worse. The people, alarmed and dismayed at 
the deportation of Fernando, and at the growing 
insolence of the French troops, were ready at any 
moment to turn upon their unwelcome guests. On> 
the 20th of April the crisis nearly came. The French 
officials, in defiance of Murat's promise to the Junta, 
ordered the Spanish court printer to print a procla- 
mation signed by Charles IV. as King, and the news 
aroused the rage of the populace. With great 
difficulty the Junta appeased the threatened rising, 
and set at liberty the two French officers who had 
been arrested ; but the people knew now beyond doubt 
that the P'renchmen were the enemies of their adored 
Fernando, and would fain fasten again upon Spain 
the bonds of the Choricero and the Queen. And not 
in Madrid alone was the dangerous excitement grow- 
ing. In Toledo, Burgos, and elsewhere formidable 
riots took place which were suppressed by the over- 
nhelming presence of the French troops ; and in the 
meanwhile the weak and timid Junta in Madrid, 
which had been authorised by Fernando on his 
recognition of Napoleon's treachery to act as a council 
of regency during his absence, were beset with doubts 
and fears unending : not daring, on the one hand, to 
withstand the growing demands of impetuous Murat, 
or, on the other, to disregard Fernando, and act boldly 
for the public benefit to the best of their ability. 
Thus, whilst they gave at Murat's bidding authority 
for certain Spanish deputies chosen by him to go 
to Bayonne and discuss with Napoleon the future 
government of Spain, they dispatched envoy-s of 
their own to Fernando begging him to send them 


orders as to the policy they themselves were to 

In the face of this utter confusion and inepti- 
.tude on the part of the Spaniards the French were 
strong, united, and decided. Twenty-five thousand 
French troops were in or near the capital, and a 
strong force of artillery occupied the open space ot 
the Retiro. At every dominating point around the 
city brigades were posted ; approach on all sides was 
held by the intruders, whilst the total number of 
Spanish troops in the neighbourhood did not reach 
3,000, men who were closely confined to their barracks ; 
and Murat took care by constant manoeuvres and 
ostentatious parades to impress their powerlessness 
upon the people. Such a state of tension could not in 
the nature of things last long, and on Sunday, the 1st 
of May, whilst Murat and a brilliant staff rode from 
Mass through the Puerta del Sol, a storm of hisses 
greeted them. The immediate reason for this was an 
order given to the Junta in the name of Charles IV. 
on the previous day for the Queen of Etruria and the 
Infante Don Francisco de Paula, the only two children 
of the old King left in Spain, to proceed to Bayonne. 
After some resistance the Junta, convinced of the 
impossibility of withstanding the French, were forced 
to consent, and it was arranged that the Princess and 
her young brother should leave in the morning of the 
2nd of May, a day thenceforward for ever to be held 
as the greatest in the annals of Spain. 

All through the spring night the poorer quarters of 
the city were alive with unquiet folk, and as soon as 
dawn broke the people flocked down the Calle Mayor 


into the great open sjDace in front of the royal palace 
standing high on its bluff, from which could be seen 
the tawny landscape stretching away westerly for 
leagues to the foot of the snowy Guadarramas. 
It was said that the princess and the little prince, 
and even foolish old Don Antonio, were to be taken 
away by force, and as the crowd swelled to a vast 
multitude so the anger grew against the false 
gabacJios who had kidnapped their beloved Fernando 
and would take his youngest brother too. At nine 
o'clock in the morning three travelling carriages 
appeared before the door of the palace, and a 
sympathising royal lackey told those near him 
that the little Infante Francisco was weeping at 
the thought of going away. Sobs and lamenta- 
tions of women, curses of men, broke forth at this 
cruelty to an innocent child. The Queen of Etruria 
and her children might go, as they did, without 
hindrance, for she was unpopular and friendly with 
Murat, but there were two carriages still at the door, 
which the crowd said were for the Infantes. As this 
was being discussed one of Murat's aides-de-camp 
rode up to the palace to learn what was passing, and 
simultaneously with his appearance a woman in the 
crowd screamed, " They are taking them away from 
us ! " As if by magic the cry changed sullen dis- 
content to ungovernable fury, and with one accord 
the French officer and his escort were set upon by the 
mob. Some Spanish Walloon Guards endeavoured 
to protect them, but all were on the point of being 
slaughtered when a patrol of French troops appeared 
on the scene and they were with difficulty rescued 



Murat's quarters were only a few minutes' away on 
the heights of St. Vincent overlooking the other 
end of the palace, and the news soon reached him. 

The riot was the spontaneous outbreak of an 
unarmed mob, and might have been as easily sup- 
pressed by the authority of the Junta, as was that of 
the 2ist of April; but Murat understood that the 
time had arrived for terrorising the Spanish people 
into obedience once for all, and the attack upon his 
aide-de-camp gave him an opportunity not to be 
missed. Whilst the crowd were busy disabling the 
travelling carriages a large body of French troops 
with two cannon occupied the sides of the square in 
which the multitude was closely packed, and without 
notice poured into the mass a murderous musketry 
and artillery fire. Shrieks and groans mingled with 
shouts of rage as the survivors endeavoured to escape. 
Those who succeeded in doing so rushed up the 
Calle Mayor, and dispersing in all directions carried 
the news through the city. The long pent-up fury 
of a brave and ardent people against the insolent 
foreigner blazed out irresistibly. There was no 
thought of the utter disproportion between a disor- 
ganised rabble of civilians and the seasoned soldiers 
of Napoleon : armed only with such poor weapons 
as they could obtain — cudgels, ox-goads, trade-knives, 
and the like, with here and there an ancient blunder- 
buss or superannuated sword — the groups flocked 
down the narrow streets of the ancient burgh killing 
every stray French soldier who failed to surrender 
and beg for mercy. 

The great parallelogram of the Puerta del Sol 


with its paltry church of the Buen Suceso at one end 
was, as usual, the focus of excitement. Down the 
nine thoroughfares which debouch into it swept an 
ever-increasing multitude filled with but one thought 
— hatred of the gabacho. The solid wall of people 
desperately resisted, although with cruel loss, repeated 
cavalry and infantry charges by the French troops 
approaching from the palace quarter down the Calle 
Mayor and Calle del Arenal ; but, by and by, the big 
guns were brought from the Prado and posted in the 
Calle de Alcala and Carrera de San Geronimo at the 
opposite end of the parallelogram, so as to command 
the whole space, and soon a hail of grape-shot 
strewed the cobble stones with dead and dying, 
whilst the charges of the savage Mamelukes and 
Poles from the opposite end spread dismay amongst 
the people. Soon the word passed from one to 
another that artillery must be met with artillery, and 
that up in the old artillery barracks in the north of 
the town at least there were some big guns and 
ammunition. It is true that the place was held by a 
French force, and that the Spanish troops had been 
strictly forbidden by the Junta to act in any way 
against the intruders : the mob cared for nothing now 
but vengeance ; and trooping up the streets that led 
to the artillery post, soon a vast multitude of people 
stood before the closed gates of the barrack and 
demanded admittance. 

They were thus clamouring, without plan or 
organisation, only impelled by blind fury, when there 
stepped forth to the front one of those leaders of men 
produced by great crises. He was a captain on the 


artillery staff named Velarde, who had collected a 
small company of State Volunteers on his way, and 
now called upon his countrymen inside the barrack 
to support the people against the foreign foe. At his 
demand the seventy Frenchmen surrendered and were 
disarmed. There were only fourteen Spanish artillery- 
men in the post, and these at first hesitated to disobey 
the orders of the Government. But they were soon 
overborne by the popular enthusiasm, and their 
commander, Don Luis Daoiz, tearing up and 
trampling upon the orders of the Junta, threw in 
his lot with his comrade Velarde. Small-arms and 
ammunition were distributed as quickly as might be 
to the eager people, who scattered on every side to 
shoot down gabachos ; and the five cannons in the 
barrack yard were dragged out and placed in strate- 
gical positions in front of the gate. There the two 
brave artillery captains and all those who remained 
around them solemnly swore to fight the intruder 
until they died ; and the great cry went up " Death 
to the French, and long live Fernando ! " Ammu- 
nition was short ; already the advancing hosts of 
Frenchmen could be heard, death was almost certain 
for all, but none flinched. Whilst the artillerymen 
hastily manufactured cartridges, the rough work of 
the gunnery was done by civilians, men and women 
too, equally eager for vengeance and patriotic sacrifice. 
Attack after attack from the French was repulsed 
by this little band of heroes ; but at length General 
Lagrange with a force of 4,000 men and many 
cannon attacked the old barrack from all sides. 
Over and over again they had to fall back and still 


more troops were sent up by Murat, but yet the post 
held out. All the Spanish artillerymen had fallen by 
this time, and Daoiz was sorely wounded, whilst heaps 
of civilian slain cumbered the working of the guns ; 
the only projectiles were gun-flints and stones, but still 
the people fought on. At length Lagrange advanced 
with a white flag and asked for parley. But peaceful 
parley with Daoiz soon changed to quarrel, and before 
them all the two leaders fought, Lagrange receiving a 
wound. Then the French general's infuriated escort 
of grenadiers cast themselves upon Daoiz and killed 
him with bayonet thrusts, disabled as he was already. 
Upon this a host of Frenchmen poured in, and the 
Spaniards, soldiers and civilians, back to back fought 
with the foe until most of them had died in fulfilment 
of their oath. When, at last, the few survivors sur- 
rendered, Madrid lay at the mercy of Murat. 

The terrified Junta prayed the conqueror to stay the 
slaughter; and General O'Farril undertook to calm his 
countrymen. Through the streets the agents of the 
Junta went reassuring the people. " It was all settled," 
they said ; " it was nothing but a mistake," and so 
on, and the blood-stained city sank to muttering 
quietude during the early hours of the afternoon, 
though all the streets were still commanded by French 
cannon and the mounted Mamelukes held the Puerta 
del Sol. Suddenly a discharge of musketry rang out, 
and like lightning the news sped that Spaniards 
were being captured as they went on their way, and 
were being summarily executed in the courtyard of 
the church of Buen Suceso, and in the open place of 
the Puerta del Sol. On pretext that they bore arms, 


though it were only a pair of scissors, peaceful citizens 
were taken by the hundred, and all through the dismal 
day, and far into the night, the carnage went on. 
Without form of trial General Grouchy condemned all 
those upon whom the faintest breath of suspicion could 
rest. Bound to the stirrups of the Mamelukes they 
were led to the Prado, or to the heights near Murat's 
quarters, and there shot. 

The next morning the terrified townsmen read 
on their walls a proclamation of Murat decreeing 
vengeance for the French blood shed. " Every 
armed person shall be shot. Every place where a 
Frenchman has been killed shall be burnt to the 
ground. Any assembly of more than eight persons 
will be regarded as seditious, and scattered," and the 
cowed Madrileiios understood that force and not 
law was master. Murat had for the moment won the 
day. The people were crushed ; the little Infante 
Francisco was already on his way to Bayonne ; and 
on the morning of the 4th the Infante Antonio, 
President of the Junta, whose poor wits had almost 
given way under the stress of his position, gladly 
turned his back upon Madrid and went to follow the 
rest of his family into exile. The man was a besotted 
fool at best, but the heartlessness of his farewell to his 
colleagues in the Government showed that he was as 
selfish and brutal as most of his family. In grammar 
that would have disgraced a child, he wrote : " For 
the guidance of the Junta I let it know how I have 
gone to Bayonne by order of the King, and I tell the 
Junta to go on just the same as if I was in it. God 
send us good quittance. Adieu, Sir, until the valley of 


Jehosephat. — Antonio Pascual." No word of regret 
or sorrow for the brave Spaniards who had fallen for 
love of his unworthy house ; no sense of patriotic 
duty to the people who were sacrificing all for him 
and his. And so the last Bourbon but one slunk out 
of the country amidst the scorn and derision of all 
men, and Spain, abandoned and deserted, was left to 
fight out her own salvation. 

The rising of the 2nd of May and afterwards 
was purely popular. With very few exceptions the 
nobles, officials, civil and military, and higher classes 
generall}.-, either stood aloof, or effusively rallied to 
the foreign intruder. But base as was the conduct of 
the ruling elements in Spain itself in this supreme 
moment of national history, it was dignified and 
patriotic in comparison with the behaviour of the 
royal family in Bayonne. The welcome of Charles IV. 
and his wife by the Emperor formed a great contrast 
with the contemptuous reception that had been 
extended to Fernando. Salutes, guards of honour, 
and fcHX de joie accompanied the old King and 
Queen from the frontier to Bayonne, for they were 
unpopular and impossible as sovereigns of Spain, and 
were easily influenced ; whereas Fernando had the 
nation at his back. It was therefore to Napoleon's 
interest to ignore the right of the latter and concen- 
trate his attentions on Charles. 

The King arrived in a state of burning indigna- 
tion against his son, whom he refused at first to 
see, except in public, but his earliest inquiry was 
for his dear Manuel, and thenceforward for the 
rsst of his life and that of the Queen Godoy was 


their constant and faithful companion. Soon an in- 
terview was arranged between the Emperor, Charles 
and Maria Luisa and Fernando ; and in a violent 
scene in which the father and mother loaded their son 
with abuse and reproaches, which more than once 
threatened to descend to personal violence. Napoleon 
and Charles insisted upon Fernando's renunciation 
of the crown. At first the young man refused to 
comply — it is said that he offered to abdicate on 
certain conditions, among which was that his father 
and he should together return to Madrid, though 
that is denied by Godoy ; but whilst he was sulking 
and doubting the news of the 2nd of May arrived 
in Bayonne. Napoleon, in a rage, summoned the 
Spanish king and his son. " Let there be an end 
of dallying ! " he cried, and when Fernando appeared 
he roundly threw upon him the blame of all that 
had happened. Charles and Maria Luisa, too, over- 
whelmed the prince with reproaches. Threatened with 
death as a traitor to his king, Fernando, always a 
coward, broke down, and the next day. May 6th, 
Escoiquiz signed for him an unconditional renuncia- 
tion of the coveted crown. 

This removed Napoleon's principal obstacle, for 
the old King was easily dealt with. He had, indeed, 
already, in anticipation of Fernando's abdication, 
authorised on the previous evening the signature 
by Godoy of a deed transferring the realm of his 
forefathers to the Corsican upstart who had him 
in his power. By this shameful instrument Charles 
sets forth that the dissensions in his family making 
it impossible for him to secure the happiness of 


his " faithful vassals," he transfers his sovereignty 
to the only man capable of doing so, and accepts 
in exchange from the French treasury a pension 
of ;^300,000 a year (out of which he was cheated), 
with the residences of Compiegne and Chambord, 
a perpetual dotation of ^40,000 annually to the 
Infantes, and free asylum in France to the royal 
family and the Prince of the Peace. Only one 
more renunciation was required to make Napoleon's 
triumph complete. Fernando had resigned the 
crown but he was still Prince of i\sturias, and the 
renunciation of Charles could not rob him of his 
birthright. But all sense of dignity or resistance had 
gone now, and on the 8th of May the miserable 
Escoiquiz again signed in Fernando's name his 
surrender of all his rights to succeed to the crown u 
of Spain I in exchange for a feudatory landed estate, a 
pension of ^^40,000 a year and the rank in France of 
" Royal Highness." Then Napoleon had done with 
them all, and they might go. The next day old 
Charles, Maria Luisa, their younger children and 
Godoy started for Fontainebleau, which they subse- 
quently left for Compiegne, whilst Fernando, his 
brother Carlos and Don Antonio, went to Talley- 
rand's chateau of Valen^ay, where they afterwards 
dwelt. From Bordeaux Fernando and the two 

* Napoleon in one of hfe conversations in St. Helena confessed that 
his ruin dated from his insisting upon the abdication of the Spanish 
Bourbons. "But," he added, " when I saw those idiots quarrelling, 
and trying to oust each other, I thought I well might take advantage of 
it to dispossess a family antagonistic to me. I did not invent their 
quarrels, and if I had known the matter would have brought so much 
trouVjle to me I should never have undertaken it." — Las Cases. 


Infantes addressed a proclamation to the Spanish 
people, explaining that the surrender had been made 
in the interests of the peace and prosperity of the 
country, and exhorting them " to look for their 
happiness to the wise dispositions of the Emperor 
Napoleon. Their ready obedience to him will be 
considered both by the prince and the two Infantes 
{i.e., Carlos and Antonio) as the greatest proof of 
loyalty to them ; even as the greatest indication of 
paternal affection is given by their Highnesses to the 
people when they surrender all their rights in order 
/ to make the people happy." Thus, in base and 
undignified fashion, the Bourbon rule in Spain 
came to an end and the nation suffered its agony 



The departure of the Bourbon princes and the 
catastrophe of the 2nd of May mark the end of 
the old era in Spain. Before we proceed to give an 
account of the far-reaching consequences that ensued, 
it will be well to glance at the condition of the nation 
at the time of the outbreak. 

In a previous chapter it has been shown how rapid 
had been the renewed financial decadence of Spain 
from the accession of Charles IV. to the end of the 
century, in consequence of the wars resulting from 
his policy towards France. The continued naval 
struggle with England, which interrupted almost en- 
tirely Spain's foreign commerce, greatly accentuated 
the decline in the remaining years of the reign ; and 
at the time of the abdication the public debt had 
been piled up to ;^72,ooo,ooo sterling, three-quarters of 
which had been raised upon onerous terms by Charles 
IV., whilst the annual deficit of the national revenue 
reached three and a half millions sterling. All kinds 
of devices were resorted to for the purpose of raising 
money. Forced loans, patriotic appeals, charges on 
special funds or particular industries, and deductions 



from State payments kept all classes discontented, 
and mainly caused the unpopularity of Godoy. 
Amongst other experiments were a tax of 50 per 
cent, on incomes of foreigners in Spain, the re- 
imposition of the alcabala of 14 per cent, on foreign 
goods, income-taxes ranging from 4 to 1 5 per cent., 
succession dues from 3 to 25 per cent., taxes 
on carriages, taverns, hotels, milliners' shops, 
theatres, &c. ; and, above all, enormous and repeated 
demands upon the funds of the clergy. The unrest 
and want of confidence aroused by these and other 
similar experimental measures following no fixed 
system naturally reacted on the state of industry and 
commerce. We have seen the strenuous efforts of 
Charles III. and his ministers to replant manufactures 
and agriculture in Spain, and the success which had 
attended them. Now under his misguided son most 
of this improvement was swept away. The Govern- 
ment still struggled hard to protect and foster the 
renascent industries. Technical schools of botany, 
natural history, applied chemistry, and mechanics, 
were subsidised heavily : the factories of cotton, china, 
glass, machinery, buttons, optical instruments, and 
many others, still continued to be patronised by the 
State ; but the long war, and the heavy burdens it 
necessitated, once more crushed most of the life out 
of the laboriously reared plant of labour ; and the 
devastating struggle on Spanish soil between France 
and England following the events we have recorded, 
completed the ruin already commenced. 

The state of the national defences in 1808 was also as 
deplorable as well can be conceived. The destructive 


blow of Trafalgar had left the Spanish navy, although 
nominally still consisting of 42 ships, 30 frigates, and 
20 corvettes, with hardly a vessel seaworthy or fit to 
cope with modern armaments. Whilst this was the 
case with the material, the personnel of the navy 
was ridiculously excessive both in number and cost, 
particularly as regards officers. To man ships which 
could not put to sea, to fire cannon that would burst 
at a discharge, to defend ports that were ruinous 
and untenable there were on the pay-list of the navy 
91 flag-officers, 220 captains, and 950 lieutenants, 
in addition to engineers, coast-guards, pilots, and 
gunners, and no less than 70,000 seamen and marines 
of all ranks. There was a similar disproportion in 
the land forces between the nominal and effective 
strength. There were supposed to be 100,000 
regular troops and 40,000 militia ; but most of 
the equipped and serviceable men had been sent 
away to other countries to fight for Napoleon, ^ 
and those that remained, a comparatively few effec- 
tive men, were mainly in rags, unshod, unpaid, and 

Whatever may be said, however, of the disastrous 
foreign policy of Charles and his guide Godoy, it cannot 
be denied that Spain owed to both King and Minister a 

' There were said to be at the time 15,000 Spanish troops in 
Denmark, several battahons in Italy, and about 30,000 men in 
Portugal and on the frontier; 15,000 were at Ceuta, the Balearic 
isles and the Canaries, 10,000 at San Roque opposite Gibraltar, about 
8, 000 at Cadiz, and a somewhat smaller number in Galicia. These were 
the official figures, but the number of serviceable troops was very much 
smaller. The local militia was in its normal condition little more 
than a paper force. 


lasting debt for their constant efforts to raise the intel- 
lectual condition of the country. Mention has already 
been made of the liberal support given by Godoy in 
every part of Spain to technical education and the re- 
establishment of skilled handicrafts begun by Aranda 
and Floridablanca. In addition to this, however, 
the founding of Pestalozzian institutes and primary 
schools, the systematic teaching of political economy, 
engineering, pharmacy, botany, &c., the reform of 
the medical schools, the organisation and registration 
of the professions, the foundation of modern pro- 
fessorships in the universities, and the splendid 
endowment of research in all forms, were particularly 
conspicuous under Godoy's influence from the com- 
mencement of the century to his downfall. ^ The 
classes who most bitterly opposed him were mainly 
those who throve upon ignorance, namely, the 
ecclesiastics, the privileged classes, and the ignorant 
mob, who at a subsequent period shouted " Hurra for 
chains, down with liberty ! " but it is undoubted that 
the freedom and impetus given by Godoy to printing, 
and to learning and literature generally, made of 
this period from 1800 to 1808 one which, in the 
matter of intellectual progress at least, was worthy 

' It must be also recollected to Godoy's credit that during all this 
period he was hampered by the opposition of the principal nominal 
minister, Caballero, the sworn enemy of intellectual progress, \^ho 
was persistent in his efforts to shut out books from abroad and to 
prevent the spread of enlightenment in Spain. As has already been 
explained, not even Godoy's influence could induce Charles to dismiss 
Caballero. The great drawback to Godoy's fame in this respect was 
his banishment of Jovellanos, the most illustrious man of letters of 
his time, in consequence of his political opposition to him. 


of all respect ; and compared favourably with the 
darkness of the succeeding years. 

True to the tradition of Spanish literary form the 
works of imagination of this period were still mainly 
dramatic and lyrical. The great Moratin published 
between 1800 and 1808 his two principal comedies, 
" El Si de las Ninas " and " La Mogigata," the latter 
of which, however, brought him into trouble with 
the Inquisition (1804), shortly before that tribunal 
had to surrender its literary censorship. The poets 
Melendez, Manuel Jose Ouintana, and Juan Nicasio 
Gallego in stirring patriotic verse sang at the same 
time the past military glories of their countrymen, 
and called the nation to arms against the intruding 
foreigner ; but the most remarkable literary develop- 
ment of the period under review was the profundity 
and abundance of didactic and scientific works. One 
of the greatest comparative philologists the world 
ever saw, the Jesuit Lorenzo Hervas, the father of 
modern philology, published (1800-1805) his " Cata- 
logo de las lenguas de las naciones conocidas " ; 
Ledesma and Joaquin Antonio del Camino(" Academia 
de la Historia, Memoria," vol. iv.) brought out respec- 
tively works of the highest interest on the origin of 
tithes and ecclesiastical tributes ; the Spanish navy 
found a worthy historian in Vargas-Ponce ; political 
economy was treated profoundly by Escolar, La 
Ruga, and Llaguna ; navigation by Alcala Galiano, 
Lopez Royo, and Macarte ; botany by the celebrated 
Abbe Cavanilles ; and the history of the Spanish 
stage by Pellicer and Garcia Villanueva, At the 
same period the daring brush of Goya, rebelling 


against the second-hand insipidity of the followers 
of Mengs, Maella,and Bayeu, and against the fashion- 
able hard classicism of David, founded a new and 
purely Spanish school of painting in which boldness 
and naturalness were united once more with per- 
fection of technique. The arts of engraving and 
typography, too, were at this time producing in Spain 
results as perfect as were to be found anywhere in 
Europe — Carmona, Muntaner, and Fabregat were 
executing plates which to the present day are con- 
sidered masterpieces ; and the books issued by the 
press of Ibarra, of which the paper, type, and ink 
were all of Spanish manufacture, were perfect 
specimens of their kind. 

But both the material progress initiated by Charles 
III. and the intellectual advancement which con- 
tinued under his son were brought to an end by the 
disastrous events which have been described in the 
preceding chapters. Thenceforward for years Spain, 
devastated by war, desolated by alien armed hosts 
who fought out the great issue of the era on her 
soil : ravaged by famine, convulsed by internal dis- 
sension, her cherished institutions overthrown, and 
her national destinies the plaything of greedy pre- 
tenders, she could only suffer and sacrifice her all 
for the national cause. 

The world has rarely seen so magnificent and' 
spontaneous an outbreak of patriotism as that which 
sprang unbidden from the great mass of Spaniards 
on the news of the events of the 2nd of May. 
Rejoicing at the accession of Fernando in March 
had been followed by conflicting emotions as the 


perfidy of the French and the weakness of the royal 
family became more apparent ; and by the 2nd of 
May Spain was a great tinder heap waiting for the 
spark. The news of the heroic attitude of the people 
of Madrid ran like wildfire through the country. In 
a village called Mostoles, nine miles from the capital, 
the mayor happened to be a man of notable energ}' 
and patriotism. Over the southern provinces of 
Spain this humble functionary sent without hesitation 
the fiery cross, calling his countrymen to arms. On 
swift horses the rousing message of the Alcalde de 
Mostoles was carried from town to town. " The 
fatherland is in danger," it ran ; " Madrid is perishing, 
a victim of French perfidy. Spaniards ! come and 
save her. — The Alcalde de Mostoles." To the north 
also flew the tidings, and there as elsewhere the 
sanguinary decree of Murat was torn from the 
walls ; and everywhere the cry went up, " Long live 
Fernando and death to the French ! " 

Men, women, and children partook of the exal- 
tation of the moment and armed themselves as 
well as they might, attacking in many places those 
authorities whom they considered favourable to the 
French or friends of Godoy, and at first soiling 
the national cause with acts of cruelty and violence 
such as might be expected of an excited mob. 
But all this soon changed, and with a patriotic 
self-restraint beyond all praise the people, unor- 
ganised as they were, concentrated their vengeance 
on the intruding foreigner, for whom there was 
no truce or mercy. On the 3rd of May Murat 
boasted to the Minister of War, O'Farril, that the 



events of the previous day had delivered Spain into 
the hands of the Emperor. " Say rather," replied 
O'Farril, " that they have for ever deprived him of it." 
And so it proved ; although O'Farril himself and 
the military and official class to which he belonged 
did little to help forward the consummation. 
Experienced Spanish soldiers looked upon the resis- 
tance of an unarmed and undisciplined people against 
the swarming hosts of the Emperor as madness ; the 
State officials, apprehensive for their pay and 
pensions, not unnaturally leant to the side of the 
strongest and best organised party ; but the middle 
and lower classes throughout Spain were banded as 
one man to resist and destroy the intruder at any 
cost to themselves. 

It was in the extreme north-west corner of 
Spain where first the resistance of the people was 
organised — Asturias, from which modern Spain 
itself it had been reconquered from the Moors ; 
the heroic province which had been the last refuge 
of Christianity at its lowest ebb, rose again to its 
legendary fame, and initiated a formal national war 
against the foreign invader. The provincial council 
of Asturias — an ancient elective body mainly con- 
cerned in financial administration — happened to be 
in session at Oviedo, the capital. They pronounced 
for the side of the people against the authorities, 
and declared national war against the French (25th of 
May). The Spanish forces sent by Murat to crush 
the revolt joined them, with the exception of some 
of the higher officers ; those in Oporto deserted their 
French allies with the same object, and soon a dis- 


ciplined armed force of 18,000 men was ready to 
form a nucleus of the reconstituted national army. 
Murat promptly recognised the danger. He drafted 
the various Spanish regiments into French divisions 
of greatly superior strength. Three thousand Spanish 
soldiers were shipped for Buenos Ayres, and officers 
upon whom he could depend were placed near 
General Solano and General Castafios, who com- 
manded the Spanish forces respectively at Cadiz and 
San Roque. Wherever possible he took possession 
of all arms and ammunition and fortified his own 
position in the Retiro, for it was now evident that he 
had to deal with a whole nation in arms. In all the 
great towns the local authorities were superseded by 
revolutionary councils of defence chosen from the 
most active and patriotic of the citizens : arms and 
ammunition were seized by the popular bodies, in 
many cases after conflict with the State troops ; and 
practically the whole male population of the places 
not actually occupied by the French enlisted under 
the national flag. 

V It was natural that those who were thus absorbed 
in the one overwhelming idea of fighting the French 
should turn their eyes to the only power which had 
hitherto succeeded in resisting Napoleon ; and to 
England the Council of Asturias sent a deputation 
to pray for aid in the national cause. Posting from 
Falmouth with all speed. Viscount Matarrosa (Count 
de Toreno) and his colleagues told their wonderful 
story to Mr. Wellesley Pole, the Secretary of the 
Admiralty, before seven o'clock in the morning of 
the 8th of June. It seemed to the listener too good 


to be true, although it exactly confirmed Pitt's 
prediction made years before ; but Canning's clear 
prescience at once recognised both its truth and its 
vital importance ; and before three days were passed 
pledges of support with all the strength of Great 
Britain were flying across the Bay of Biscay to the 
sturdy Asturians, who had taken the first step in the 
Peninsular War. Not the Tory government of the 
Duke of Portland and Canning alone showed enthu- 
siasm for the gallant stand made by the Spanish 
people ; the Whigs and the English nation at large 
acclaimed this accession to the enemies of Napoleon, 
and were eager to help their new allies. 

Arms, ammunition, and army stores were sent in 
abundance from England, and in the meanwhile all 
Spain was organising the defence. Galicia, Leon, and 
the province of Santander seconded Asturias, and 
placed their numerous but undrilled levies under 
officers of the army or militia at strategical points of 
their territories. Asturias and Galicia were moun- 
tainous countries unoccupied by the French, and for a 
time were unassailed, but on the tableland of Castile, 
and in places where the French were strong, the 
Spaniards promptly learnt the difference between their 
own undisciplined hordes and the seasoned soldiers 
of Napoleon. At Segovia and Logrono the French 
soon suppressed the populace, but at Valladolid and 
other places in Old Castile the authorities themselves 
headed the rising after some pressure, and General 
Cuesta, the governor, organised the defence in a way 
which made it dangerous for the French to attack 
except with concentrated forces. Cartagena and 


Valencia in the east pronounced early for the conflict, 
and were followed promptly by Badajoz in the west. 
Nor was Andalusia in the south far behind. In 
Seville, one of the richest cities in Spain, a revolu- 
tionary council was elected, and the whole population 
declared for the national cause with indescribable 
enthusiasm. Either from jealousy of the Council of 
Asturias, or from local ambition, the Seville Council 
assumed the title of Supreme Council of Spain and 
the Indies, and arrogated to itself sovereign powers. 
The position of the city was certainly very favourable 
for becoming a centre of national defence, especially 
if Cadiz and San Roque would also join. Castanos, 
the Spanish general in command at San Roque, had 
already opened communications with Sir Hugh 
Dalrymple, Governor of Gibraltar, and following 
Seville, at once declared for the revolution with his 
8,000 men ; but General Solano, who had just arrived 
at Cadiz from revolted Badajoz, was a strong adherent 
of the French, and extremely popular with his men, 
and he hesitated to take what looked a rash step. 
His timidity was resented, and he was murdered by 
the mob, after which Cadiz joined Seville in the 
revolt. Jaen, Granada, and Cordoba followed the 
example, and in each place the oath was taken to 
fight without remission until the French were expelled 
and Fernando restored to the throne. Spanish 
authorities who resisted were forced to surrender or 
fly for their lives ; but amid much violence at first,' 

At Valencia, as in so many other places, terrible scenes of violence 
were enacted at the instigation of the Jesuit Father Calvo, who sought 
to win over the mob by his fervid zeal. Prompted by him tliey 


the organisation for the defence was gradually brought 
into something approaching order by the active efforts 
of the Supreme Council of Seville, and the great 
armed struggle began ; the French forces in the centre 
of Spain being surrounded on all sides but the Basque 
provinces and the Pyrenean frontier by an inimical 
nation in arms. 

The first triumph of the patriots was the surrender 
to the Spaniards of the French squadron in the 
Bay of Cadiz, rigidly blockaded as it was by Colling- 
wood and Purvis, whose offers of aid in its capture 
were politely declined by the men of Cadiz. This 
stroke of fortune redoubled the enthusiasm of the 
south ; but the people of the north had also their rally- 
ing point of early heroism in the splendid example 
of Zaragoza. The Captain-General of Aragon, 
Guillelmi, like most men of his rank and class, 
was opposed to the national cause ; but in his capital 
as elsewhere there sprang from the citizens themselves 
the irrepressible impetus which bore all before it. 
Almost simultaneously with the order from Madrid 
that Aragonese deputies were to be sent to Bayonne 
with those of other parts of Spain to ratify by their 
votes in a sham Cortes the iniquitous proceedings of 
Napoleon and the Spanish royal family, there arrived 
at Zaragoza news of the approach of an army of seven 
or eight thousand Frenchmen to take possession of 
the city. There were only a few companies of Spanish 
troops in garrison, 500 in all, and the governor 

murdered all the Frenchmen settled in the city, and several Spanish 
citizens whom he pointed at as reactionaries. The Council of Valencia 
promptly put an end to Colvo's atrocities and hanged him. 
















5: « 





obstinately refused to countenance resistance ; but a 
young Aragonese nobleman, Don Jose Palafox, placed 
himself at the head of the people ; Guillelmi was 
deposed, arms were distributed broadcast, the autho- 
rities fled, and Zaragoza stood ready to defend its 
honour against the hosts of the invading Emperor 
(May 26th). 

, The city had practically no fortifications but its 
crumbling walls, behind which some ancient cannon 
were placed, but the exaltation and superstition 
of the people had persuaded them that their 
tutelary saint, the Virgin of Pilar, was miraculously 
leading them ; and women and children vied with men \ 
in repelling the French assaults (June 15th). There 
was no vanquishing such a spirit as this. Hundreds 
of citizens fell before the repeated charges of the 
cavalry, but thousands of others were ready to take 
their places, and finally the French troops with heavy 
loss of men, standards, and arms, gave up the assault 
in despair ; and after vain attempts to negotiate with 
Palafox and the citizens, commenced a regular siege 
of the city. It is impossible here to enter into detail 
of the indomitable spirit shown by the inhabitants 
during the next six weeks of constant and unequal 
struggle. On August 3rd the heavy French artillery 
had completely riddled the old walls with breaches, 
and after a tremendous conflict, the invaders poured 
in. Then from every window, from every salient 
corner, from every recessed doorway in the narrow 
winding streets, muskets and blunderbusses belched 
forth death upon the gabachos. Mad with fury the 
Zaragozanos took no heed for their own safety, so 


long as they could stalk and kill a Frenchman. For 
seven hours without cessation the carnage went on, 
until the gutters ran blood and the heaps of dead and 
dying, assailants and assaulted, mingled in horrible 
heaps, barred the passage of the streets. Behind 
barricades of their own poor chattels men, women, 
and children fought till they fell. At length, when 
darkness came, tiie French were forced to entrench 
themselves in one small corner of the city in a 
monastery called Santa Engracia, where they re- 
mained all the next day, almost panic stricken at the 
obstinacy of the Aragonese.- On the 5th a band of 
armed Catalan volunteers, 6,000 strong, came to the 
aid of the devoted city, and this finally turned the 
scale. On August 13th those of the French who still 
lived blew up the monastery and fled, leaving behind 
them their guns, munitions, and stores. 

It must have been plain now to Napoleon, if 
he did not know it before, that he had undertaken 
a task which would tax even his prodigious energ\-, 
genius, and resource. Almost simultaneously with 
the French defeat at Zaragoza the armed Catalan 
peasants beat the French at Gerona,^ Bruch, and 

' During this interval the French general sent a note to Palafox pro- 
posing a peace, in these laconic terms, " Peace and Capitulation?"' to 
which Palafox replied as curtly, " War and Steel ! " 

- General Duhesnie, after he had been driven back disgracefully by 
the armed populace of Gerona in June, sallied from Barcelona on July 
loth, determined to reduce the place at any cost. He expressed his 
intention in imitation of Qesar thus : "Arrival, 24th July ; attack the 
city 25th ; 26th, capture it ; 27th, level it to the ground." His second 
attempt was more disastrous to him than the first, and he abandoned 
the siege on August 17th. 


Esparaguerra, and drove them back in confusion to 
Barcelona, and a still more important reverse hap- 
pened to the intruders in the south. It has already 
been mentioned that General Castanos, the com- 
mandant at San Roque, was the first Spanish 
general of high rank to join the national cause. 
He had therefore been appointed by the Council 
of Seville to the command of the Spanish patriot- 
army of the south, and in a few weeks had 20,000 
roughly drilled and badly equipped but fairly service- 
able troops. 

The French army in Andalusia, under Dupont, 
after sacking Cordoba and Jaen, had retreated to 
Andujar, commanding the passes of the Sierra 
Morena from the south ; but, Dupont with a hostile 
population on all sides of him, was short of provisions 
and in danger of being cut off from his base at 
Madrid. A reinforcement of 6,000 men were sent to 
him from Toledo under Vedel, and a similar body, 
which, however, never reached him, were despatched 
by Junot in Portugal. Castanos determined to strike 
a blow at Dupont's army in order to free Andalusia from 
Frenchmen, and place the Sierra Morena between the 
sovereign Junta of Seville and the usurping govern- 
ment in Madrid. The patriot-army was organised 
into three brigades under the command respectively 
of Reding, Coupigny, and Felix Jones, an offer of 
assistance from 6,000 English troops then in transports 
off Port St. Mary being declined ; and on July 15th 
operations v/ere opened by a feigned attack upon 
Dupont at Andujar, by Castanos with one brigade, 
whilst the other two were directed to outflank and 


defeat Vedel at Bailen. By a mistake in tactics, 
however, the latter general had abandoned Bailen 
before the Spaniards arrived there, in order to join 
the French main body at Andujar. This he did not 
effect out of fear that the Spanish intention was to 
cut off the French retreat by occupying the passes of 
the Sierra Morena. Whilst the Spaniards occupied 
Bailen, therefore, Vedel retired northward into the 
mountains, leaving Dupont with his division of 
10,000 men between two fires. 

During the night Dupont, without the knowledge 
of Castaiios, stole away from Andujar with most 
of his forces to attack Reding at Bailen, and at 
the same time recalled Vedel to his aid. Reding 
being unaware of Vedel's movements, and fearing 
that he might attack Castafios in the rear at Andujar, 
started before dawn on July 17th to reinforce his 
chief. No sooner had he sallied from Bailen, 
however, than to his surprise he met Dupont and his 
division. Both generals were anxious for a prompt 
engagement as Dupont might at any moment be 
attacked in the rear by Castafios, whom he had left at 
Andujar, whilst Reding feared a similar attack from 
Vedel. There were 3,000 more Spaniards than 
Frenchmen ; their arms, experience, and equipments 
were much inferior to those of their foes ; but they 
were fighting for their fatherland, and against the 
dashing charges of Dupont's seasoned soldiers they 
stood as firm as a wall. Again and again the French 
veterans rushed against the citizen ranks only to 
retire discomfited with heavy loss. Vedel came not 
from his wild-goose chase in the mountains to support 


his wavering countrymen ; but suddenly, to Dupont's 
dismay, a part of Castanos' brigade from Andujar 
attacked the French in the rear. This ended the 
fight, and a parley was called. After two days 
of haggling the whole French force surrendered, 
and laid down their arms. Unfortunately on this 
occasion, as on many others, the excited Spaniards, 
driven to fury, broke out of hand and murdered 
scores of disarmed and helpless prisoners ; bat 
this, and all else, was forgotten in the rejoicings 
for the great victory which gladdened the heart of 
Spain, from the Pyrenees to the pillars o. Hercules. 
(/ In the meanwhile the patriots in the east were 
no less successful. Marshal Moncey with 8,000 
Frenchmen had at first beaten back the improvised 
armies sent by the Council of Valencia to prevent his 
approach ; and on June 27th sent his summons to 
the city to surrender. The authorities, despairing of 
resistance, were in favour of capitulation, when the 
people, headed by the famous Father Rico, again 
spontaneously declared for fighting to the end. The 
terrible scenes of Zaragoza were repeated in Valencia. 
The half-armed citizens fought with the fury of 
demoniacs. hX least 2,000 Frenchmen were killed 
in the few hours of the assault on the city, and on 
^ June 29th Moncey and the rest 01' his troops fled, 
leaving Valencia free. Thus on all sides, except on 
the plains of Castile, where Bessieres and Lasalle 
were everywhere victorious, and had now Occupied 
Valladolid, Palencia, and all the large towns, the 
French were forced to stand on the defensive, 
and prepare for a regular campaign of conquest. 


It is now necessary for us to summarise briefly 
what had taken place in the capital since the fateful 
2ncl of May. The miserable Junta had allowed 
Murat to impose himself upon it as president, and 
on the same day (May 4th) Charles IV., before his 
abdication, had signed in Bayonne a decree appointing 
him his Lieutenant-General to govern the realm. It is 
difficult to regard with patience the self-stultification 
of the Junta, to whom at this moment the task of 
governing Spain had been entrusted. They owed their 
first appointment and their regency to Fernando, from 
whom they held full powers, and yet they obeyed the 
old deposed King and an intruding foreigner. At the 
bidding of Fernando, in a passing moment of strength, 
foreseeing their own future powerlessness, they had 
appointed another Junta to replace them in case of 
need, to sit at Zaragoza, or other safe place, and yet 
at the first demand of Murat they undid their own act, 
and became the servile tool of the usurper. Napoleon 
had decided to give the crown to his elder brother 
Joseph, King of Naples, an excellent and able man, 
who was doing well in his new kingdom, and did not 
wish to leave it. But Napoleon was peremptory, and 
Joseph obediently came to Bayonne. It was desirable 
that some form of legality should be preserved, how- 
ever, and it was Murat's task to manage this.^ 

First he ordered the Junta, the Council of State, 
and the other Councils to petition the Emperor to 
appoint his brother Joseph sovereign of Spain. This 

' He did so unwillingly, for he desired the crown for himself instead 
of that of Naples or Portugal, which his imperial brother-in-law had 
offered him. 


they and other pubHc bodies did in terms so nauseously 
servile as to raise a blush on Spanish cheeks now, 
well-nigh a century afterwards. In pursuance of the 
same system, an assembly of Spanish Notables was 
summoned to sit at Bayonne as a Cortes to ratify the 
choice, and to grant a constitution to Spain. Most 
of the notables were chosen by Murat, though many 
refused to serve and fled. Before the day for their 
meeting Joseph arrived at Bayonne (June /th), and 
four Spanish deputations were hastily organised to 
congratulate their future king. The Duke of Infan- 
tado at the head of the grandees told him that Spain 
looked alone to him for happiness ; the Councils of 
Castile, of the Inquisition, of Finance, of the Indies 
and of the army abased themselves before him as if 
he were a demigod ; and the next day these represen- 
tatives of the governing and official classes addressed 
a communication to their fellow-countrymen at home, 
calling upon them to lay down their arms and accept 
with due gratitude and rejoicing the new monarch 
the Emperor had deigned to send them. As soon as 
a sufficient number of deputies could be got together in 
Bayonne to look like a Cortes, a brand new constitu- 
tion was devised and signed by ninety-one prominent 
Spaniards, but as it never took effect in Spain, and 
its few concessions to modern ideas of liberty were 
illusory, it may be passed over without further notice. 
With all pomp and circumstance Joseph I. set foot 
in his new kingdom on the 9th of July, surrounded 
by the ministers and officers of State he had chosen.^ 

' The Secretaries of State had been increased from five to nine. 
Urquijo was Minister of State ; Cevallos of the Foreign Affairs ; of the 




Guns thundered and bells clanged on the frontier. 
Joseph, well meaning and honest, did his best ; but 
all around him, after the first burst of machine-made 
rejoicing, were scowling faces ; and from Vitoria he 
wrote to the Emperor, already disheartened : " No 
one has told the truth to you. The fact is that there 
is not a single Spaniard on my side, except the few 
who attended the meeting and who are travelling 
with me. Those who were so, and had arrived here 
and at other places to meet me, have fled to hiding, 
terrified at the unanimous opinion of their country- 

Joseph's position from the first was an impossible 
one. Between the unreasoning hate of the Spaniards 
and the tyrannical harshness of his brother, his own 
honesty of purpose was powerless, and he could only 
drift with events, though thenceforward he never 
deceived himself as to the final result. All along his 
line of route the French army had been victorious. 
The obstinate ineptitude of General Cuesta had made 
Bessieres master of Castile from the sea to Madrid, 
after the defeats of Rioseco and Cabezon ; and the new 
sovereign came to his capital through a weeping land 
under the shadow of foreign bayonets. From every 
stopping-place he wrote to his brother what the real 
position was. In Madrid his disappointment was 
greater still. Signs of mourning were everywhere, 
and a few days after his arrival he wrote : " All classes 
are flying. Henry IV. (of France), at all events. 

Colonies, Azanza ; Navy, Mazaretto ; Finance, the Count de Cabarrus ; 
Justice, Pinuela; and War, O Farril ; Jovellanos was appointed Minister 
of the Interior but positively refused to serve. 


had a party. Philip V. (of Spain) had only one rival 
to fight against. I have for an enemy a whole nation 
of 12,000,000 souls, hating me and thirsting for my 
life. The detestation against the Prince of the Peace 
is extreme, and it is now turned on me. . . . Sire, 
believe me, and err not : Your glory will sink in 

Y^ But suddenly one morning Madrid forgot its 
sorrows, and went wild with joy. The news, the 
glorious news, of Bailen had come, and the victorious 
Spanish troops were marching over the Sierra Morena 
to Madrid. Whilst the people in the streets were 
mad with delight, the intruders in the big granite 
palace on its bluff were in dismay. No help could 
come to them from the south, east, or west, for Du- 
pont and his men were prisoners, Moncey in Valencia 
and Duhesme in Catalonia could not even hold their 
own, and Junot in Portugal was held tightly in the 
grip of an English army. So, after a ten days' reign, 
the " intrusive King " had to fly from his capital north 
over the Ebro '^ (July 30th), and then in rapid succes- 

' Napoleon, on the day that he received news of Joseph's flight, 
wrote to him from Rochefort : "La grande armee est en marche. Les 
secours vous arrivent ; sa reunion avec Bessieres doit vous mettre a 
meme de montrer les dents. . . . J'apprendrai avec plaisir que vous 
avezmontre du charactere et du talent ; " but when he learnt ten days 
afterwards that both Joseph and all his armies had retired across the 
Ebro, he expressed his anger to his brother thus : " Mon frere, tout ce 
qui passe en Espagne est l)ien deplorable. L'armee i)arait commandee 
non par des genereux qui ont fait la guerre, mais par des inspecteurs 
des postes. Le pays qui vous convient pour faire la guerre est un pays 
de plaine et vous vous enfoncez dans un pays de montagnes sans raison 
ni necessite. Dans une retraite aussi precipite, que de choses on 
doit avoir perdues, oublices ! " 



sion there marched into Madrid, amidst the frantic 
joy of the people, the heroes of Zaragoza, of Valencia, 
and, most welcome of all, Castaiios and the victors of 
Bailen. Five of Joseph's ministers accompanied him 
in his flight, but not another Spaniard, high or low — 
not even a menial servant — would deign to follow the 
flying foreigner, for it was plain that Joseph was 
fighting a losing battle against a whole nation. As 
he travelled north, the French armies, to the number 
of 70,000 men, fell back beyond the line of the Ebro 
and awaited the dispositions of the Emperor to re- 
conquer Spain. 

In Portugal, too, matters went no more favourably 
to France than in the other parts of the Peninsula. 
Junot and Kellerman had found themselves deserted 
by all the Spanish troops they had been unable to 
disarm and confine, and the Portuguese people rose 
as one man when the news of the Spanish revolt 
reached them. The English Government, eager to 
take advantage of these circumstances to re-establish 
their influence, ordered General Spencer's force off 
Cadiz to proceed to Portugal, and sent Sir Arthur 
Wellesley to join them with a division of 10,000 men 
which had been intended as an expedition against 
Spanish America ; Sir John Moore, with 10,000 
British soldiers, being also instructed to sail for the 
same destination. Wellesley lost no time after landing 
early in August. He was the junior general officer. 
Sir Hugh Dalrymple and Sir Harry Burrard, his 
seniors, being appointed to command, but on his own 
responsibility he pushed forward towards Lisbon as 
soon as he had joined Spencer's force. Beating back 


Delaborde (August 17th) he met the main French 
army at Vimiero (August 21st) and fought them, 
against the opinion of his senior officer, Sir Harry 
Burrard. Junot's force was smaller than that of the 
English, but the latter were short of cavalry. Wel- 
lesley's choice of position remedied the defect, and 
the French were entirely defeated. The arrival of 
Sir John Moore's force from the Baltic completed the 
discomfiture of Junot ; but what Wellesley had gained 
by arms his colleagues lost by diplomacy. The in- 
famous convention of Cintra, signed by Sir Hugh 
Dalrymple as Commander-in-chief (August 30th), 
allowed beaten and helpless Junot to sail away for 
France in English ships with all his arms and booty ; 
and, to the disgust of the British sailors and their 
chief. Admiral Cotton, the Russian squadron, which 
they already looked upon as their prize, was also 
permitted to leave the Tagus unmolested. 
, Whilst the French were thus discouraged on all 
sides, and a rapid movement of the Spaniards towards 
the north might have struck them a staggering blow, 
the national leaders in Madrid were occupied with 
unworthy intrigues and personal ambitions, and 
allowed the opportunity to pass. Cuesta, the vain 
and overbearing defeated general of Castile, and Cas- 
tanos, the victor of Bailen, were both plotting to 
obtain a military dictatorship for themselves, whilst 
the people called for some form of representative 
government. The provincial Juntas, especially that 
of Seville, had on the whole shown energ}' and 
patriotism under very difficult circumstances ; but 
Madrid was, not unnaturall)-, desirous once more of 


assuming the leading place. The Junta of Regency 
appointed by Fernando had of course disappeared 
with the arrival of Joseph, and now that the latter 
and his government had fled the way was open 
for the establishment of an entirely new regime. 
After much discussion and dispute, it was decided 
to summon a national assembly, of which the 
members were elected by the provincial Juntas. 

They met at the end of September to the number 
of thirty-five, and from the first it was evident that very 
divergent views were held by the various constituent 
bodies as to the duties and powers of this Central 
Junta. It must be recollected that representative 
government had been. practically dead in Spain for at 
least a century. Some doctrinaires wished to revert 
to the ancient procedure of the Cortes of Castile, 
some were for the provincial autonomy which for- 
merly existed ; others, imbued with the modern ideas 
of the French Revolution, were in favour of imitating 
the National Convention. Amidst this infinite wrang- 
ling they were united on the subject of the sovereignty 
of Fernando, whom they crowned in absentia with 
unnecessary pomp and expense. Jovellanos repre- 
sented the more advanced section of the Central 
Junta, but was beaten in the struggle for the presi- 
dency by the old minister Count de Floridablanca, 
who was now looked upon as a Conservative. A 
more reactionary element still was the Council of 
Castile, which by the old constitution had charge of 
the whole judicature of Spain, and was the highest 
administrative power in the realm. This body had 
grovelled servilely at the feet of Joseph, but as soon 


as he had fled they asserted their supremacy, and 
protested against the actions of the Central Junta as 
each fresh innovation was introduced. Their protests, 
however, were unheeded, for they were a discredited 
body, and the members of the Junta themselves soon 
lost their balance and passed from one extravagance 
to another. Certainly, in opposition to the desires of 
the most influential provincial Juntas, its constituents, 
the Central Junta proclaimed itself sovereign in the 
absence of Fernando, assumed the title of Majesty, and 
exacted royal honours, whilst Floridablanca, with the 
style of Highness, took up his residence in the palace 
of the kings, and all the members were Excellen- 
cies with large salaries. Confusion, dissension, and 
jealousy reigned supreme, both amongst civilians and 
soldiers. Much time was wasted in pompous rejoicings 
and undignified squabbles ; and after a disastrous 
delay a Council of Generals met at the end of Sep- 
tember to plan a national campaign. They extended 
such forces as they had in a vast semicircle ranging 
from Santander to Cataluna, a far too extended 
line to be effective with only 70,000 men. In the 
meanwhile Napoleon, watching their follies with 
delight, rapidly organised his attack. 

Ney and Jourdan crossed the Pyrenees ; men and 
munitions were poured into Spain, and the Emperor 
himself assumed the supreme command. The Spanish 
generals were obstinate and opinionated, but inex- 
perienced and mostly incapable ; jealous of each other, 
and with mainly undisciplined troops. Almost every 
tactical mistake possible was perpetrated by them. 
Blake, one of the best of them, was hampered by the 


meddling of the Central Junta, and was finally super- 
seded in the command of his division by the Marquis de 
la Romana, who had just brought his men from Den- 
mark to join the national cause (October 26th). By 
a series of rapid movements of Lefebvre, this, the left 
division of the Spaniards, was defeated and driven back 
(November i ith), whilst Napoleon in person advanced 
into the heart of Castile, with no Spanish force 
between him and Madrid. The Sjmnish centre under 
Castahos was completely crushed at Tudela on 
November 26th, and the right was driven into the 
mountains of Aragon. The news carried dismay to 
Madrid and to the Central Junta, which had now 
retired to Aranjuez. Napoleon had left Burgos on 
the 22nd of November, and might be before the 
capital at any moment, the French were creeping 
down Estremadura, and threatened the retreat 
southward of the Government : so on the ist of 
December "his Majesty" the Junta fled to Talavera, 
and subsequently to Seville, to carry on the govern- 
ment of Spain, leaving the defence of Madrid to 
the Marquis of Castelar and Don Tomas Morla. 

There were only two battalions of troops in the city, 
and treachery was rife amongst the higher classes, 
Morla himself being sold to the French ; but the "town 
of the 2nd of May " determined to fight even the 
great Emperor himself, with his 60,000 veterans. The 
fight, as may be imagined, was but a short one. 
Napoleon from his headquarters in the suburb of 
Chamartin dictated his not ungenerous terms of capi- 
tulation : and on the loth of December the French 
garrison entered the " crowned burgh " amidst the 



sulky silence of the beaten burghers. Napoleon was 
uncertain at this time as to his future policy towards 
Spain. , }He had received his brother coolly, and was 
somewhat inclined to divide the country into five 
French provinces, instead of reappointing Joseph 
king ; but his hands were full, and his presence else- 
where was urgently needed. He consequently pro- 
claimed to the people of Madrid that he would restore 
his brother, but he warned them that if they mis- 
behaved themselves again he himself would assume 
the crown, in which case he would " force them to 
respect him." He began as an example by proscrib- 
ing and condemning to death in their absence all the 
nobles who had deserted or opposed the cause of the 
French, and in his decrees from Chamartin quite 
ignored Joseph.^ 

In the meanwhile the distracted Central Junta 
could only appeal to the English for aid. Sir John 

' Some of his decrees at the time were remarkable. He dismissed 
the members of the Council of Castile as being "cowards unworthy to 
represent a brave and generous people," and the Inquisition, once all- 
powerful, was abolished by a stroke of his pen. He made no pretence 
of fulfilling the terms of the capitulation. His own opinion as to the 
manner of treating Spaniards is expressed in a letter to Joseph from 
Valladolid, Janvier S""=— " Je ne suis pas content de la police de 
Madrid. Belliard est tres faible. Avec les Espagnols il faut etre 
severe. I'ai fait arreter ici quinze des plus mechants et je les ai fait 
fusilier. Faites en arreter une trentaine a Madrid . . . Quand on la 
traite avec douceur cette canaille se croit invulnerable ; quand on en 
pend quelques uns, elle commence a se degouter du jeu et devient 
soumise et humble comme elle doit etre." Napoleon only entered the 
town of Madrid once during his stay. Accompanying Joseph to the 
palace, he placed hishand on one of the lions at the bottom of the great 
staircase and pronounced the words—" Je la tiens enfin, cette Espagne 
si desiree?" Turning to his brother as he ascended the stairs he said 
— " Mon frere, vous etesmieux loge que moi," which was quite true. 


Moore had advanced from Portugal into Spain, 
and was at Salamanca by the middle of November 
with 20,000 men, whilst Sir David Baird with the 
reserve of about 4,000 was at Astorga. Moore, in view 
of the complete defeat of the Spanish native forces, 
was doubtful, but at length, on the 1 2th of December, 
set out towards Valladolid with the object of threa- 
tening the return of Napoleon from Madrid. Two 
days afterwards he learnt that the capital had fallen, 
and that the French were threatening his own retreat, 
Soult drawing him on by feigned backward marches ; 
whilst Napoleon himself, with the flower of his army, 
the National Guard, was advancing as rapidly as the 
heavy snow and dreadful roads would allow. The 
Spanish force under Romana, which was to have 
joined Moore, was demoralised, starving, and in rags : 
the people of the country, terrified now at the severity 
of the Frenchmen and the rapacity of the soldiery 
of all sorts, were unfriendly, and themselves almost 
without food or drink. Moore saw that his only 
chance of escape was a rapid retreat to Galicia ; and, 
closely followed and harassed by Soult's forces, with 
the Emperor just behind and Ney threatening his 
flank, he set out on his heartbreaking journey to 
Corunna, whilst Romana was ordered to retreat to 
Asturias, thus crossing and hampering the English 
line of march. 

It is impossible here to give an account of 
the horrors of Moore's retreat. The men, mostly 
disorganised, got out of hand, straggling, malinger- 
ing, and plundering. Hundreds died of drunken- 
ness on the way, hundreds more of the inclement 


weather and constant hardships, scores of thousands 
of pounds worth of stores had to be destroyed 
to prevent them from falling into the enemy's 
hands ; and the wretched Spaniards, robbed and 
maltreated by friends and foes alike, dared not show 
hospitality to the former, even if they would, for 
fear of the French who were close in the rear. 
Napoleon himself abandoned the pursuit at Astorga 
and returned to France, the English army ending its 
retreat by making a gallant stand at last before 
Corunna to cover the embarkation of the vanguard 
and guns (January i6, 1808). Brave Moore himself 
fell in the never-to-be-forgotten fight, but at least he 
saved his army from the shame of capitulation, and 
the last of them sailed for England the day after the 
battle, exposed to the fire of Soult's artillery. 

It was obvious to the British Government by this 
time that the enthusiasm of the Spanish leaders had 
overrated both their resources and their ability, and 
that if the country was to be rescued from the domi- 
nation of France, it could only be done by large 
organised armies from England, led by consummate 
commanders. Amongst the rank and file of the 
Spaniards from first to last the utmost bravery was 
exhibited ; bands of guerrilleros with an endurance 
almost past belief continually harassed the enemy, 
and lent valuable aid to the English troops ; and 
wherever Spanish soldiers, especially cavalry, were 
brigaded with English regiments, they fought splen- 
didly ; but the higher officers of pure Spanish blood, 
especially Cuesta, Peiia, and Castafios, were idle, incom- 
petent, jealous, and vain. Uncertain as to who were 


really their masters, always with an arrih-e pensde of 
their own interest ; harassed, moreover, by wild and 
contradictory orders from a remote revolutionary 
government of civilians ; with undisciplined forces, 
and frequently without the stores absolutely necessary 
for their men, it cannot be surprising that their co- 
operation with the English was often unsatisfactory, 
English critics of the campaign in blaming, as they 
do freely, both the Central Junta and the Spanish 
generals for their ineptitude, too often lose sight of 
the difficulties of the situation. We have seen how 
suddenly the most conservative country in Europe 
was plunged into a perfect cataclysm of change ; all 
her old institutions disappeared in the course of a few 
months, and the violent alternations of government 
threw her naturally into a state of semi-anarchy. It 
is less wonderful that the Central Junta under such 
distracting circumstances should have failed to reach 
the English standard of regularity, than that they 
were able to do as much as they did. 
v3 Joseph entered his new capital for the second time 
in state as king on the 22nd of January, 1809, a few 
days after the complete rout by Victor at Ucles of the 
only Spanish organised force near the capital ; and a 
month after (February 20th) the heroic Zaragoza, as 
the result of a second two months' siege which will ever 
remain memorable, was forced to surrender to Marshal 
Lannes at the head of an overwhelming French army, 
amidst scenes of horror indescribable.^ ^ There were 

' Lannes himself wrote to the Emperor : " I have never seen stub- 
bornness equal to the defence of this place. Women allow themselves 
to be killed in front of every breach. Every house needs a separate 
assault ... In a word, Sire, this is a war whicli liorrifics."' 


now 300,000 French soldiers in Spain, commanded 
by all the generals who had become famous in the 
Napoleonic wars. The Emperor's plan was to send 
Soult to conquer Oporto and Lisbon, Ney was to 
remain in Galicia, Victor was to reduce Estremadura 
and Andalusia, especially Cadiz. Sebastiani with a 
strong force was to protect Joseph in Madrid, Suchet 
was to hold Aragon, Saint Cyr, Cataluna ; and the 
north of Spain was entrusted to Kellerman and 
Bonnet. To meet these redoubtable warriors England 
agreed with the Central Junta to send men and money 
to enable the Spaniards to arm and organise for the 
absent Fernando. 

Soult had taken possession of the north of Por- 
tugal, when Wellesley with 20,000 troops (to which 
were added 8,000 Portuguese) landed in Lisbon 
(April 22nd). With prodigious energy the English 
general at once drove the French back into Galicia, 
which province and that of Asturias they then aban- 
doned. Encouraged by this, the sturdy Aragonese 
also rose, and with the help of Blake and his brigade, 
confined the French dominion of the ancient king- 
dom to the capital of Zaragoza. In the meanwhile 
Soult made another attempt to get into Portugal by 
Ciudad Rodrigo, in conjunction with Victor, who 
approached the frontier lower down by Merida and 
Badajoz. Wellesley's activity, however, together 
with a victory by the Spaniard Lacy over the French 
in the Mancha, caused Joseph to recall his armies 
more closely around his centre at Madrid, and Victor 
then retreated to Plasencia and Soult to Salamanca. 
Wellesley then marched rapidly from Abrantes, 


formed a junction near Plasencia with Cuesta's force 
from Estremadura, whilst Victor fell further back to 
Talavera, whither Joseph with Sebastiani's division 
hurried in order to attack the English and Spaniards 
in front, while Soult came over the mountains from 
Salamanca and attacked them on the flank. Cuesta, 
obstinate as usual, refusing to co-operate loyally with 
Wellesley, moved forward alone, and was met and 
beaten back to Talavera, pursued by the French 
(July 26th). On the following day the great 
battle of Talavera was opened by an attack upon 
Cuesta's division, which now formed the right of the 
allied army ; but the main brunt of the battle fell 
upon the English. Joseph's force was driven back 
again and again during the two days of the fight. 
Soult came not ; and at length the French made a 
precipitate retreat, with a loss of 7,000 men and 16 
cannon, the English losing 6,000 men, and the 
Spaniards 1,200.' 

The results of this great victory were almost 
entirely nullified by Cuesta's wrongheadedness. 
Wellesley set out on the ist of August to beat 
Soult, who had now arrived at Plasencia, leaving 
the Spaniards at Talavera to hold Victor in check 
and prevent him from joining Soult. Cuesta, either 
from treachery or cowardice, abandoned the place and 
ran after the English, whom he joined at Oropesa. 
Wellesley, almost in despair, therefore had the bitter- 
ness of seeing Soult and Victor in union at Talavera 

' There were present at the engagement 34,000 Spaniards, of which 
6,000 were cavahy ; 19,000 English, of which 3,000 were cavalry, and 
50,000 Frenchmen. 

T ALA VERA. 157 

and Plasencia, and the allies suffered a defeat at 
Puente del Arzobispo, which, together with Cuesta's 
disloyalty, compelled the English comn:iander to fall 
back on the Portuguese frontier and stand on the 
defensive.! In the meanwhile reinforcements were 
being hurried from France, for Madrid was once more 
threatened by a Spanish force under Venegas on the 
south. Joseph, however, completely routed Venegas' 
army with heavy loss on the nth of August, and 
returned to his capital. 

During his stay there as king Joseph had striven hard 
to gain the sympathy of his subjects ; and, to judge 
by the fulsome addresses which reached him from 
official bodies in most places where the Junta was 
not supreme, he was not altogether unsuccessful. 
Uninfluenced by the old Spanish traditions, he 
abolished by decree a host of laws which still 
impeded the circulation of merchandise, and which 
operated adversely to agriculture ; he regularised 
the despatch of business in his various ministries 

' Wellesley wrote to his brother the Marquis of Wellesley, at tliis 
time English ambassador to the Junta. " It is useless to complain, but 
we are certainly not treated as friends, much less as the only prop on 
which the cause of Spain can depend." And again, " I am much 
afraid from what I have seen of the proceedings of the Central Junta, 
that in the distribution of their forces they do not consider military 
operations, so much as they do political intrigue." The Marquis at the 
same time wrote to his Government: "Far from affording any just 
foundation of confidence in their intentions, such assiduous declara- 
tions of activity and enterprise, unattended by any provident attention 
to the means and object of the war, serve only to create additional 
suspicions of ignorance, weakness, or insincerity ; but whatever insin- 
cerity or jealousy exist towards England is to be found in the Govern- 
ment, its officers, and adherents ; no such unworthy sentiment prevails 
amongst the people.'" 


and tribunals of justice, centred the consultative 
power in a Council of State, and endeavoured to 
protect the peaceful taxpayer from extortion. But 
if he had been an angel from heaven the result 
would have been the same. The regiments of 
Spaniards he formed deserted as soon as they saw 
their old flag borne by their compatriot antagonists : 
he was represented by his unofficial subjects as a 
deformed and drunken monstrosity ; insult and scorn 
were lavished upon him — behind his back — with a 
malignity which was only equalled by the ingenuity 
and wit with which it was presented. Most of the 
old abuses were abolished. The monasteries were 
suppressed, as were the pensioned military Orders 
of Knighthood ; the Inquisition disappeared, the 
clergy were made subject to civil jurisdiction, Church 
plate as well as private plate was seized for revenue : 
but it was all of no avail ; Joseph was a Frenchman, 
and as such was odious ; Fernando was a Spaniard 
— or was supposed to be, although he had little 
Spanish blood in his veins — and as such was beloved. 
In the meanwhile the rival government of the 
Central Junta in Seville was injudicious, and not 
untouched by corruption or disloyalty. The Spanish 
Colonies had echoed the cry of the mother country, 
and unanimously declared for the national cause. 
All South America, and the remote Filipinas, broke 
out into a fervour of loyalty which equalled that of 
Spain; and during the one year 1809 sent nearly 
^3,000,000 sterling to the patriot government, in 
return for which the important decree was issued 
by the Junta declaring the Colonies to be no longer 


Crown colonies alone, but an integral part of the 
realm, and as such entitled to representation in the 
government. This was preparatory to the summon- 
ing of a Cortes of the nation, in which all interests 
should be represented. Fernando from Bayonne 
had enjoined his Junta of Regency to summon a 
Cortes, but they had not done so, and the Central 
Junta, desirous of conciliating the restive Provincial 
Juntas, in May, 1809, convened a meeting of the 
ancient Cortes for the following year, with the 
ostensible object of rehabilitating the representative 
institutions of the country which had been gradually 
undermined and lost in the preceding 250 years. 
The constitution of the Assembly, however, was to 
be altered in several respects, and the deputies from 
the Colonies admitted. 

In the earlier pages we have shown how unready 
the Spaniards were to accept reforms from kings 
and ministers. They showed themselves now no 
more enthusiastic in their welcome of the various 
innovations in the constitution decreed by the Junta, 
whose presumption and incompetence — if not worse 
— would have led to its prompt downfall, but for 
the fact that nine out of every ten Spaniards had 
for the time but one idea : namely, the killing of 
as many gabachos as possible. It will be well to 
say something of the persons who had thus assumed 
the sovereign power in Spain in the name of Fer- 
nando. For a time there was some antagonism 
between the orginal supreme Junta of Seville and 
the Central Junta which had emigrated from Madrid, 
but this had ended in a union of the two bodies. 


As usual in such bodies in times of revolution 
some of the scum rose to the top. Count de Tilly, 
originally one of the two representatives of Seville 
on the Central Junta, and now an active member 
of the Government, was a notorious profligate, steeped 
in every form of dishonesty and vice ; but popular, 
dashing, and rich. His colleague, Hore, was a fit 
companion for him ; and Riquelme, Caro, Calvo, and 
Cornel were neither particularly estimable nor wise ; 
Count de Altamira, who had succeeded old Florida- 
blanca in the presidency, was, like his predecessor, 
a lover of pomp, and an adherent of the old regime, 
but of infinitely inferior ability ; in person and mind 
more resembling a baboon than a man. Nor was 
the Marquis de Villiel, another prominent member, 
much better ; but against these unworthy members 
must be placed Jovellanos, Saavedra, and Garay. 
The first was now an elderly man, but his intellect 
and his love of enlightened reform, his prescience 
and his prudence were as brilliant as ever ; but he 
was in a minority on the Junta. Saavedra, formerly 
an able Finance Minister, honest and well-meaning, 
had now lost much of his energy ; whilst Garay, 
the Minister of State, was a plain, laborious, patriotic 
man, who did his best to keep his colleagues on the 
right path. 

The Junta sat in full dress, with swords, every 
day, and nearly all day, in the beautiful old 
Alcazar of Seville, and the work was divided amongst 
various committees. The members, originally elected 
by the provincial Juntas, were mainly the creatures 
of chance, and, as has already been pointed out, had 


assumed powers and titles which were never for a 
moment contemplated by their constitutent bodies. 
The country was in a state of division and anarchy, 
mostly occupied by foreign armies, and the people 
were practically new to really representative institu- 
tions of any sort ; and although satires and pasquins 
against the pomposity and general ineptitude of the 
Junta were abundant, there was not sufficient organised 
opposition — even if it had been possible — to take the 
management of affairs out of its hands ; the popular 
hopes, as expressed by the Provincial Juntas, being 
founded mainly upon the assembly of a representative 
Cortes which could speak with authority. This was 
a mistake, but a natural one. What the country 
needed was not yet a strong legislative power, but 
a really honest, able, and powerful executive, which 
the Junta was not, for its constitution was accidental, 
its majority reactionary, but weak, and many of its 
members vicious, treacherous, or corrupt. 

The Junta itself, with the exception of Jovellanos, 
Garay, and a few of the more enlightened members, 
were not enthusiastic about the assembly of a Cortes. 
They had ordered exhaustive studies to be undertaken 
for a year past to decide upon the constitution of 
the Chambers, but as the time approached for the 
meeting its " Majesty " the Junta hardly concealed the 
apprehensions it entertained that its own days of power 
were numbered. As a movement of self-defence 
the Junta decided, greatly to the disgust of its more 
intelligent members, to entrust its executive power 
to a committee of six of its number, chosen from 
the more unworthy and retrograde element. 



Although Wellesley's retreat after Talavera caused 
consternation to the patriots, Blake in Cataluna 
(where the splendid heroism of Gerona kept the 
French in check for months), the Duke del Parque, 
who gained a great victory over Marchand near 
Salamanca, General Santocildes in Leon, and the 
guerrilleros everywhere, kept the French constantly 
employed. With the object of rehabilitating itself 
before the Cortes met in January, the Junta was 
ill advised enough to order an attempt to follow up 
del Parque's victory by the capture of Madrid, and 
instructed Eguia, who had now replaced Cuesta in 
chief command, to concentrate all the forces of 
Estremadura and the Mancha for an advance on 
the capital. Eguia was incompetent and irresolute, 
and was out-manoeuvred by Victor at the outset. 
Seeing this, he and his army fled south to the Sierra 
Morena, and there begged the Junta to reinforce him. 
Instead of this he was dismissed, and replaced by 
Areizaga, who then proceeded towards Madrid. At 
a place called Ocana, near Aranjuez, the two armies 
met (October i8th), both being about 48,000 strong ; 
and the rush of Sabatini's cavalry bore all before 
it. The Spanish levies became a hustling mob 
seeking safety where they might. Arms and uni- 
forms were cast away in utter panic, and in many 
cases whole companies surrendered to a couple of 
mounted Frenchmen. 5,000 Spaniards lay dead on 
the field, 5,000 more surrendered in a body, there 
being 13,000 Spanish prisoners in all, with 50 
cannons, and all the flags, munitions, and stores. 
The whole Spanish army in fact was annihilated, 


and the panic-stricken Central Junta, when it heard 
the news that, even in Seville, its " Majesty '"' was not 
safe, began to hint ominously of flight to Cadiz, 
standing on its island, with an English fleet in the 

The Junta itself now was a mass of contrary 
ambitions and jealousies. Palafox aimed at a dicta- 
torship of xA.ragon, the Marquis de la Romana was 
intriguing for the regency of Spain ; plot and 
counterplot occupied the thoughts of all parties, and 
on every side the national cause was postponed to 
personal greed ; except in the sound-hearted rank 
and file of the people, whose undivided wish was to 
free their land from gabacJios — no matter how ; 
whilst unworthy Fernando in his prison-palace at 
Valen^ay was crawling at the feet of the Emperor, 
and excelling himself in servility in his congratu- 
lations on the birth of an heir to ''our august 
sovereigns the great Napoleon and Marie Louise." 

At the end of 1809 the national cause was in ap- 
pearance black enough. After indescribable heroism 
Gerona had at last succumbed, and Aragon and 
Cataluna lay at the mercy of the invader. The Spanish 
organised forces in Leon had been scattered, and 
a similar fate had befallen the armies in the Mancha 
and Estremadura ; but withal the hundreds of small 
bands of guerrilleros, particularly those under the 
famous " Empecinado " in Castile, kept the enemy 
in continual alarm; Valencia, Murcia, and Andalusia, 
were still free from Frenchmen, as were also the 
mountains of the north-west. In other words, the 
organised armies of Spain, such as they were, had 


been beaten everywhere ; but the Spanish nation 
itself, outside of officialdom, was as sturdy as ever 
in its determination to cast out the invader, or die 
in the attempt. It was clear to Napoleon that if the 
nation was to be conquered, he must strike at the 
focus of the national defence, the seat of government 
in Andalusia ; and against it he sent a fresh army 
of 55,000 men, headed by Joseph himself 

The Junta was in a panic, anarchy and treachery 
reigned everywhere, even in Seville itself; and no 
serious resistance was offered to the French in their 
march southward. The Junta and its government fled 
precipitately to Cadiz (January 19, 1810), as the last 
bulwark of Spanish liberty ; leaving Seville a prey 
to a self-appointed revolutionary council, which 
attempted to exercise sovereign powers, until the 
French took possession of the city, and put an end 
to its imbecility. The Central Junta had now lost 
all prestige. The public voice, such as it was, began 
to clamour for reform in earnest, whilst the Junta 
became more reactionary every day. Weak, violent, 
and self-seeking as it was, it saw at last that, though 
it could not preserve its own corporate existence, it 
might hamper popular reform, and save the interests 
it really represented, by appointing a regency of 
five of its members with full despotic power ; and, 
this being done, the Central Junta dissolved itself 
(January 31, 1810). 

Pending the assembly of the Cortes, the Regency 
of Five was therefore nominally supreme over Spain, 
except in the actual presence of French bayonets, but 
was itself cooped up in the isle of Leon, upon which 


the city of Cadiz stands, and was closely beleaguered 
by the invadera. The Regents themselves, with the 
exception of Saavedra, who was old and failing, were 
reactionaries of no ability or distinction,^ and they 
were aided in their intrigues to prevent the coming 
Cortes from adopting innovations by the incite- 
ments of the Royal Council recently reappointed by 
the Regency, consisting, as it naturally did, of all 
that was most despotic and jealous of change. No 
words too hard could be found for those who held 
or propagated ideas of reform in the institutions of 
the country. 

The official classes and their royal masters 
between them had by their baseness, corruption, 
and folly handed over Spain to the foreigner ; the 
mass of the people out of sheer doglike loyalty 
were cheerfully sacrificing their lives, and all they 
held dear, to win back for the unworthy ones the 
realm they had lost. And yet in this supreme 
moment, with the guns of French besiegers thunder- 
ing in their ears, the main thought of the Regency 
and the ridiculous Royal Council was how to suppress 
and punish those who asked that the people should 
have some voice, however humble, in the government 
of the country which could only be won back by 
their blood and patriotism. Again and again, on 
various pretexts, the meeting of the Cortes was 
postponed ; every conceivable obstacle — and they 

' The Regency consisted of the Bishop of Orense (Quevedo y 
Quintana), Saavedra, General Castanos, Admiral Escano, and Fer- 
nandez de Leon, soon replaced by Lardizabal, representing the 



were already sufficiently formidable — was interposed 
to the election of deputies : in vain the Provincial 
Juntas clamoured, and the now awakened people 
protested ; reasons for delay were always ready. 

The Conservatives desired the Cortes to be elected 
on the ancient plan, by the official municipalities of 
certain cities, and to sit together with representatives 
of the nobles and the clergy ; others, more advanced, 
wished for the English system of a House of Lords 
and a separate popular chamber ; whilst the most 
radical elements were in favour of a single elective 
congress which should be invested with the national 
sovereignty. A more important point still was that 
of the mode of election. It was obvious that the 
ancient Cortes of Castile, consisting of a very few 
members nominated by the Town Councils, was in 
the circumstances out of the question. Aragon, 
Cataluna, Navarre, Valencia, and the Basque Pro- 
vinces were as deeply interested in the national 
defence as Castile, and they clamoured for representa- 
tion. Only after much discussion was it finally de- 
cided by the Regents to give the suffrage to all resident 
adult men, with a member for every 50,000 souls. 
These voters were to elect Parish Councils, which 
in their turn were to elect District Councils, and the 
latter the Provincial Councils, which at last were to 
elect the national deputies. To these were to be added, 
for this Cortes only, a member for each of the eighteen 
cities which had the right of representation in old 
times, and a member for each Provincial Junta. 
This was perhaps as much as it was wise to give at 
first to a people who had lost the tradition of self- 


government, but it will be understood that, in a 
country mainly occupied by foreign enemies who 
punished with death those who professed allegiance 
to the Government of Cadiz, the material diffi- 
culties of so complicated an election were great. 

Nor were the questions with regard to the 
Colonial representation easily settled. The Radicals 
were in favour of placing the suffrage for the 
Colonies on the same footing as for the mother 
country ; but they were overborne by the Regency, 
who decreed that the Town Councils in Spanish pos- 
sessions abroad should select members to form Pro- 
vincial Councils, who should send to Spain a deputy 
for each province.^ Doubtless the Regents imagined 
that these many safeguards would give them a tract- 
able Cortes, but in this they were mistaken. The 
country was in a fever of patriotism, and only men 
who spoke fluently and strongly had a chance. These, 
naturally, were for the most part lawyers and literary 
men, who had received such enlightenment as they 
possessed through French culture, and were vaguely 
imbued with the theories which produced the earlier 
French Revolution. Such men, with a sprinkling of 
priests from the Basque Provinces, and a few soldiers 
and local politicians, formed the Cortes which was 

' It was arranged that the members for the Colonies and for those 
parts of Spain which, being occupied by the French, could not elect 
representatives freely, should be provisionally chosen by and from the 
natives of the respective provinces who happened to be resident in 
Cadiz at the time. The number of substitutes thus chosen were thirty for 
the Colonies and twenty-three for Spain. This was unquestionably the 
weak point of the Cortes of 1812, and gave to its far-reaching and bold 
measures less authority than they otherwise would have had. 


to take so momentous a step in the history of 
Spain as to change her form of government. 

Their very constitution, to begin with, was an im- 
portant innovation, and was looked upon by the friends 
and representatives of the absent Fernando with 
unconcealed dislike ; but when the personality and 
views of the members became known, then dislike 
turned to dismay and apprehension. The Royal 
Council and the Council of Castile (abolished by 
Napoleon but rehabilitated by the Regency in Cadiz) 
made all manner of claims, on the grounds of ancient 
usage, to interfere ; the Regents almost in despair at 
having to deal with so democratic a body as the new 
Cortes, postponed the meeting as long as they dared ; 
but the members were waiting impatiently, and at 
length the step had to be taken, though with a 
bad grace and much misgiving. 

The first representative parliament Spain had 
seen for centuries met on the 24th of September, 
1 8 10, at San Fernando, near Cadiz, amidst a scene 
of patriotic exaltation such as has rarely been 
witnessed, even in that impressionable land. Pro- 
foundly impressed by the historic importance of their 
meeting, the members opened their sitting with full 
religious ceremony, the High Mass being celebrated 
by Godoy's brother-in-law, the Cardinal Archbishop 
of Toledo, Don Luis de Borbon ; ^ and in the name of 

' He was the only member of his family who had escaped the net of 
Napoleon. On the abdication of his cousins in favour of the Emperor, 
he wrote from Toledo an abject letter of submission to the usurper, in 
which he spoke of, " la douce obligation de mettre aux pieds de Votre 
Majestc I'hommage de mon amour, de ma fidelite, et de mon respect. 
Que Votre Majeste imperiale et royale daigne me reconnaitre comme son 
plus fidele sujet." 


the nation they solemnly swore on the Gospels to 
tolerate no other faith than that of Rome and to own 
no other monarch than Fernando. The sittings took 
place in the local theatre, there being only the one 
elective chamber, and almost the first words spoken 
were those of the Bishop of Orense, tendering the 
resignation of the Regents into the hands of the 
Cortes. The step was probably taken thus early in 
order to place the new assembly in a difficult position 
and with the hope that, whilst still inexperienced and 
unorganised, it would fail and discredit itself in the 
sudden exercise of supreme government. The demo- 
cratic leaders of the Cortes, of whom the chief was 
Arguelles, were, however, equal to the occasion, and 
declined to accept the resignation of the Regents 
until the Cortes had settled down. Whatever may 
have been the faults of the new governing power want 
of boldness and energy was certainly not amongst 
them. Almost its first act was to assert the sove- 
reignty of the Cortes and assume the already much- 
abused title of Majesty. The legislative, judicial, and 
executive powers were separated ; the inviolability of 
the deputies asserted, and the oath to respect the 
sovereignty of the people in Cortes was obligatory on 
all, a provision which met with much resistance from 
Conservatives, especially from the Bishop of Orense. 
Other subjects divided the two schools of politicians, 
such as the liberation of the press, and the abolition of 
the censorship, which was carried by sixty votes against 
thirty-two ; and the two parties were now called, for 
the first time, respectively, " Liberals " and " Serviles," 
the former being led by Arguelles and the Count dfe 


Toreno, and the latter by Francisco Gutierrez de la 

In an assembly thus constituted, and with no 
traditions or old procedure to guide it, the debates, 
as maybe imagined, were loose, and frequently violent 
and undignified ; personal questions occupied a great 
share of the time, whilst the fatal gift of fluency 
belonging to Southern races made the proceedings 
almost interminable. The resignation of the original 
Regency was accepted a few weeks after the first 
meeting of the Cortes, and a new executive was ap- 
pointed, consisting of Joaquin Blake, Gabriel de 
Siscar, and Pedro Agar ; but as the first two were 
outside the city, others were temporarily appointed to 
replace them, one of the substitutes, the Marquis de 
Palacio, being at once arrested and placed on his trial 
for hesitating to take the necessary oath recognising 
the sovereignty of the Cortes. 

Whilst the representatives of the people were 
imitating the French National Convention, discussing 
infinitely vague theories, wrangling over personal 
trifles, voting salaries for the members, and reducing 
the emoluments of every other State official, King 
Joseph outside was master of Andalusia, except the 
extreme point comprising Gibraltar, Tarifa, and Cadiz, 
held by General Graham, with a force of English and 
Portuguese, and a Spanish army of 14,000 under the 
Duke of Alburquerque. Hardly a day passed without 
some skirmish near Cadiz ; from Gibraltar and Tarifa 
the English constantly delivered harassing attacks 
upon Soult's outposts, in conjunction with the Spanish 
troops at San Roque and Algeciras, whilst the patriot 



forces inside Cadiz by frequent sallies seconded the 
efforts of their allies. 

All round Cadiz Bay the French were posted, and, 
by land, little communication was possible between the 
national government and the north of Spain. But 
Admiral Purvis and the British fleet held the sea, and 
messages of encouragement, orders for the organisa- 
tion of the defence, and assurances of eventual victory, 
were borne by swift cruisers to the rest of the Peninsula 
from the island city. In the meanwhile the war was 
being carried on without cessation by guerrilleros^ 
especially by the Empecinado and Mina, and by the 
remnants of the army, which had been reorganised, 
in Estremadura and in the extreme north-west of Spain. 
Wellington had been obliged to retreat before Massena 
and had at length prevailed upon the British Govern- 
ment to authorise a new plan of campaign with 
greater forces, which should enable him, as they 
ultimately did, to sweep the French from the Penin- 
sula. The base of the new operations was Portugal, 
and here Wellington was stubbornly fighting Massena, 
on the lines of Torres Vedras, near Lisbon, breaking 
the spirit of the French troops and weakening their 
belief in the generals, until the Spaniards were ready 
and the time was ripe for an advance in force into 
Spain with the enormous army which he had gradually 
got together.! 

But the anxieties of the new representative Govern- 
ment were not confined to the Peninsula. The revolt 
of the English-American colony and the overthrow 
of ancient institutions in Europe, had produced their 

' Seventy thousand regular troops and 60,000 irregulars. 


natural effect in Spanish-America, and on more than 
one occasion since 1790 there had been attempts 
at separation from the mother country. At the 
first news of the French perfidy in 1808 the fever 
of loyalty to Fernando and indignation against the 
invader had spread from the Peninsula to the depen- 
dencies ; but the baseness displayed by the official 
bodies in Spain, the folly and ineptitude which 
marked the course of the Central Junta, and the 
anarchy which reigned in the mother country, gave 
rise gradually to a feeling of impatience amongst the 
younger Creole inhabitants of the Colonies. There 
was but little intercommunication between the various 
American dependencies, and no general plan of 
revolt ; but first Venezuela, and then Buenos Ayres 
and New Granada, proclaimed their independence in 
the spring of 18 10, without hindrance from the autho- 
rities or the troops, while Chile and Mexico, a prey to 
civil war, were rapidly advancing in the same direc- 
tion. The overburdened and inexperienced Cortes of 
theorists endeavoured to conjure away the evil by 
palliatives and tardy concessions ; but the central 
Government had now neither power nor prestige 
abroad ; besieged in its own city at the extreme 
corner of Spain, with a French king seated in the 
ancient capital of the realm, its hold upon the vast 
continent across the Atlantic slackened, rapidly and 
irretrievably, while the mother country was struggling 
for her own independence.^ 

' An interesting report was presented to the Cortes at this period, 
iSii, showing the revenue and expenditure on the whole of the Colonies. 
It appears that the net amount reaching the home Government hom 


The main question, however, which occupied the 
Cortes of Cadiz was to devise a new charter for 
Spain, which should restore to the people the popular 
liberties of which successive kings had filched them, 
curb the privileged classes, and limit the royal autho- 
rity for the future. This is not the place to discuss 
the wisdom of the moment chosen for so important 
a constitutional change : there is much to be said for 
both sides of the question. The circumstances of the 
country made impossible a free and complete repre- 
sentation of the people such as was desirable for the 
adoption of measures altering the bases of the national 
life ; and the enforced silence in exile of the King, 
who was one of the parties principally affected by the 
change, would seem to render inevitable the conflict 
which afterwards occurred between him and the 
reformers, as a consequence of their action. On the 
other hand, the friends of progress, with some reason, 
pointed out that a return to the old despotism was 
impossible after the abandonment of the country by 
the royal family ; and that the sacrifices and heroism 
which the people had displayed on behalf of the 
national independence rendered them worthy of the 
domestic liberties which, now that they had the 
opportunity, they asserted for themselves. 

Early in 1811 a commission was appointed to draw 
up a fundamental political constitution for Spain, 

Mexico was only ;^ioo,ooo a year, whilst Guatemala, Chile, Cuba, and 
the Philippines sent nothing. On the other hand Santa Fe produced a 
profit of ^160,000 ; Caracas, ;!^40,ooo ; Buenos Ayres, ^500,000 ; and 
Peru, ;if^6oo,ooo ; the total net amount contributed to the home 
Government by the possessions abroad being in round figures 
;^ 1, 400, 000. 


and the chamber transferred its sittings to the 
church of St. Phihp Neri, in the city of Cadiz itself 
During the long period of discussion and dispute as 
to the terms of the new constitution, the Cortes and 
its executive strained every nerve to carry on the war. 
The Spanish armies had now been reconstituted and 
divided into six corps, and Massena, finding his retreat 
from Torres Vedras threatened by the native levies of 
Leon and Castile, gradually had to fall back into 
Spain constantly followed by Wellington. Olivenza, 
Fuentes de Oiioro, Almeida, Albuera, Ciudad Rodrigo, 
and at last the terrible carnage of the storming of 
Badajoz, stand for ever as the guide posts of the 
English renewed advance, whilst on all sides, from 
Galicia to Murcia the Spaniards fought, sometimes 
in armies, often in mere bands ; beaten again and again, 
but always reassembling, co-operating loosely with the 
English, but preferring independent action. 

Napoleon's difficulties were closing round him ; it 
was not easy to send the constant reinforcements re- 
quired, and he bitterly and unjustly blamed Joseph 
for not doing the impossible. Both the " intrusive 
King " and the Cortes were at their wits' end to raise 
funds out of the desolated country. The former 
could depend upon little but what he obtained 
from Madrid, which was taxed to an unheard-of 
extent, until famine and misery were universal. 
Joseph tried to make the people forget their troubles 
by giving them bull-fights and shows, but all in vain, 
for he was a Frenchman ; and the French armies 
were burning houses and slaughtering citizens sus- 
pected of patriotism wherever the eagles reached. 


Distracted Joseph sometimes would fain have been 
rid of his brother's troops and his brother's impe- 
rious interference, and have tried his own way of con- 
cihation. Once, indeed, he made distinct advances 
to the Government of Cadiz, but without avail, for 
still the cry of every Spaniard was, " Death to the 
French and long live Fernando ! " The Cadiz Go- 
vernment, too, had to face (1811) a crushing deficit; 
the debt having now reached over ^72,000,000 sterling, 
without counting the cost of the vv^ar, and the 
annual returns of revenue were calculated at only 
^2,600,000, whilst the expenditure, without the ser- 
vice of the debt, was placed at ^12,250,000 sterling, 
A special war income-tax, graduated from 2.\ to 70 
per cent, was decreed, and other extraordinary 
measures were taken, but, as will be understood, the 
Cadiz Government was forced to look mainly to 
England and to the Provincial Juntas to sustain the 
cost of the war. 

In January, 1812, the Cortes adopted the new Con- 
stitution, which was to regenerate Spain. Instead of 
gradually widening the existing or traditional insti- 
tutions of the country the members of the forward 
party, nearly all of them partisans of the French 
Revolution, devised an entirelv fresh code, foreign 
both in spirit and form, by which the wliole national 
life was remodelled in an enactment of ten chapters 
containing 348 clauses. The abstract sovereignty of 
the nation was reasserted, the Catholic religion alone 
acknowledged, and the monarchy was to be hereditary 
under the parliamentary constitution. The legisla- 
tive power was vested in the single chamber Cortes 



with the King, the executive in the King's ministers 
only, and the judicial in the judges ; the Parhaments 
were to be indirectly elected by equal electoral 
districts of 70,ooo souls, on a residential manhood 
suffrage, and were to be summoned yearly, the 
royal veto upon acts being confined to three 
rejections, after which the acts became law in 
despite of the King's veto. The monarch was 
prohibited from absenting himself from the realm, 
or marrying without the permission of the Cortes, 
and the succession was fixed on the old Spanish 
basis, like that of England, but the Infante Don 
Francisco de Paula, the reputed child of Godoy, 
was excluded, as also was the Queen of Etruria. 

There were to be seven Secretaries of State, namely. 
Foreign Affairs, Interior, Colonies, Justice, Finance, 
War, and Marine, and the ministers were responsible 
to the Cortes, all the old Spanish Councils being 
abolished, except a Council of State of forty persons 
nominated by the Cortes to the sovereign. The 
judges were to be irremovable, all citizens being 
equal before the law, and the inviolability of the 
subject was established. The taxes were to be voted 
only by the Cortes, by whom also the extent of the 
army and navy was to be fixed ; and, above all, il 
was decided that for eight years at least no alteration 
or reform whatever should be introduced into the Con- 
stitution itself It will be seen that this was to create 
Spain practically a republic with monarchical forms, 
and the provisions gave rise to long and bitter dis- 
cussion. Intrigues on the part of the nobles and 
the King's friends were rife, one of the most pro- 


mising plans being to appoint the Infanta Carlota, 
Princess of Brazil, Regent of Spain ; and the Liberals, 
although able to prevent this, were driven to con- 
sent to the appointment of a new constitutional 
regency of five reactionaries, including the Duke of 
Infantado and Henry O'Donnell, Count of La 

On the 19th of March, 181 2, the fourth anniversary 
of the overthrow of Godoy, the new Constitution was 
solemnly promulgated, with all the pomp and splen- 
dour that a besieged city could provide. Theatres, 
streets, and squares, splendidly illuminated, were 
alive with people mad with enthusiastic rejoicing. 
At last Spain had indeed broken with the black 
past of tyranny, misery, and oppression. Happiness, 
justice, and prosperity were in future to be- the rule 
of life ; and even the Conservatives who had opposed 
the enactment were caught up and carried away with 
the extravagant hopes of a new Spanish heaven and 
earth to spring from the charter of freedom which 
the 184 representatives of the people ^ had just sworn 
to keep inviolate. But over the songs of joy there 
boomed the French guns in the outskirts of the city, 
and the camp fires of the invaders vied with the 
illuminations in the street. The Constitution of 
Cadiz was to protect Spain from its own sovereigns ; 

' The number ot members for different parts of Spain was very 
unequal. Thus Galicia sent twenty- three members, and Catalufia 
twenty, whilst Madrid was represented by one substitute only, Biscay 
by one member, and the kingdom of Leon only by six. The kingdom 
of Navarre, with a population of 271,000, sent one deputy, whilst 
Valencia, with 1,000,000 people, sent nineteen deputies. 



but in the meanwhile 230,000 French soldiers inso- 
lently flaunted their Emperor's eagles from the 
Pyrenees to the narrow straits, and ground to dust 
beneath their heels the independence of the Spanish 





The capture of Badajoz had driven the French 

western army back to Salamanca, and Wellington, 

leaving Hill to look after Estremadura, and Balle- 

steros to harass the flanks of Soult in Andalusia, 

marched the main body of the English army slowly 

forward. Napoleon had his hands full, for he was 

plunged into his disastrous war with Russia, and 

would fain have been well rid of Spain and Joseph, 

who, for his part, was utterly tired of his irksome 

crown. He had more than hinted that he would 

put up no longer with his humiliating position, 

especially if the Emperor persisted in his intention 

of adding the north-east of Spain to his own 

dominions ; and Napoleon, well-nigh at his wits' 

end, thought of restoring Fernando to his throne 

again under his protection ; authorising Joseph also, 

as an alternative, to make approaches to the Cortes, 

with a view to their adopting him as king under 

the Constitution of Cadiz. When this latter scheme 

fell through, Joseph tried to assemble a rival Cortes 




of his own in Madrid. But events moved rapidly. 
Madrid, cut off now from supplies, except on the 
north, fell a prey to an appalling visitation of famine, 
which killed its poorer citizens by the score of 
thousands, and reduced formerly opulent families to 
begging in the streets. ^ 

Wellington was slowly pushing back Marmont over 
the Duero into Northern Castile, whilst the Marshals 
were jealous of each other ; and Soult in Andalusia 
refused to help Joseph or Marmont with men. The 
latter general had evacuated the town of Salamanca 
on Wellington's approach, and had been partially 
beaten in the outskirts (June 28th) ; and on the 22nd 
of July the English and Spaniards together gained 
the great victory of Arapiles (Salamanca), forcing the 
French to fly with heavy loss and dire confusion north- 
ward, followed by the allies, who entered Valladolid in 
triumph (July 30th), and by bands of guerrilleros, 
who could now kill the straggling gabacJios to their 
heart's content. When it was too late, Joseph, the 
intruder, left Madrid with 10,000 men to help 
Marmont, but he had to retreat again to his capital 
closely followed by the English. 

On the night of the lOth of August, 1812, there ran 
through the famine-stricken city the rumour that the 
gabachos with their squinting drunkard of a king^ were 
evacuating the place, and in the morning it was found 

' This awful visitation lasted from September, 181 1, to August, 1812. 
White bread was sold in the spring of l8l2 at 7s. the quartern loaf, the 
lowest quality costing 4s. 

- It was believed by all Spaniards that "Joey Bottle," as they called 
the king, was thus afflicted. 


that they had all, but the sick and one regiment, 
stolen away in the darkness. In Madrid starvation 
was forgotten, misery, oppression, and suspicion were 
thrust into the background, and the city went crazy 
with joy. " The altars blazed with votive candles, the 
streets resounded with cheers and patriotic harangues. 
" Viva Wellington y los ingleses ! " was the universal 
cry, and before the sun had risen high through the 
garlanded capital of the Castiles there marched the 
liberating army. First came the grim guerrillero, 
" the Empecinado," and his fierce bands ; then the 
great Wellington himself with his Spanish colleagues, 
cruel Don Carlos Espafia, and Wellington's favourite 
friend, Don Miguel de Alava, the only Spanish general 
upon whom he depended, with the allied army. On 
the same day Wellington, from his quarters in the 
royal palace, issued his famous decree, which, said 
the Madrilenos, was more like an ukase of ferocious 
Murat than the proclamation of a friend. In any 
case it was to the point, for in a few words it told 
Madrid that there must be no nonsense : order must 
be maintained, the armies assisted, and the function- 
aries continue their offices as usual ; and the next 
day the Constitution of Cadiz was proclaimed with 
all solemnity. 

Gradually the people saw that the firm hand was 
not an unkindly one, although Wellington's dry curt- 
ness and haughty splendour were never to their taste. 
But for a time the English soldiers were feasted and 
made much of, especially the Highlanders, who for 
some unaccountable reason were supposed to be uienos 
hereges, less heretical, than the rest. The Duke sallied 


from Madrid on the 1st of September to stand in force 
on the road to the north, leaving Hill with a small 
division to hold in check Joseph's army on the south- 
east. After the first rejoicing was over the Madrilefios 
were inclined to be fractious. They found that the 
entrance of a liberating army had not produced, as 
by magic, the abundant supplies they had dreamt of; 
and that, if the intrusive Government could cruelly 
persecute patriots, General Espafia, the patriot 
governor, with exaggerated zeal for the Constitution 
of which he was subsequently so bitter a foe, could 
outdo the French in his cruel punishment of oppo- 
nents. The rough and masterful Englishmen, too, 
did not get on well with the expansive citizens, and 
there grew but little cordiality between them. But 
discontent changed to dismay when on the approach 
of Joseph's army Hill withdrew the little garrison 
of English troops left in Madrid, and considered it 
necessary to blow up the royal porcelain factory of 
the Retiro, of which Madrid was so proud. 

In the meanwhile Soult had retired from before 
Cadiz, loaded with loot, and, constantly harassed by 
the Spaniards under Ballesteros, had evacuated all 
Andalusia, joining Suchet and Joseph on the borders 
of Valencia, and thence marching with them towards 
Madrid. Upon this, Wellington, threatened with 
overwhelming numbers, abandoned the northern 
road, and fell back towards Portugal, whilst Joseph, 
brushing aside Hill near Aranjuez, once more 
entered his capital on the 3rd of November. But 
only for a few days this time. Starting in the un- 
successful pursuit of Hill, who was on his way to 


join Wellington in winter quarters, the King once more 
left the bewildered city in semi-anarchy, with the 
Empecinado and the guerrilleros killing every stray 
gabacho in the outskirts, and the French in the 
city still affecting to govern. But they were no 
longer the ferocious oppressors they had formerly 

^ The Madrilenos knew, as did the rest of the world, 
that the Napoleonic legend was waning, and that 
in Spain, at any rate, the French cause was a losing 
one. Joseph himself came back to Madrid for the last 
time on the 3rd of December, 1812. He was all smiles, 
but no one heeded him much, for the news came 
before long of the Emperor's terrible plight in Russia, 
and the Anglo-S-panish armies were standing strong 
and ready to give the coup de grace to the "intruding" 
Government. Soult was hurried away with a division 
to help his master in Germany, and Spain saw him 
no more ; and the other French forces were weakened 
for similar reasons, whilst Joseph in Madrid grew more 
and more anxious. At last it became evident that 
the south of Spain, at least, could not be held, and 
Joseph, at his brother's orders, packed up his regal 
belongings for the last time, and not his own alone, 
but all those of others that he could lay his hands on. 
Churches and palaces were swept of their precious 
contents ; priceless canvases, jewels, and plate ; 
ancient archives, sacred relics — all was fish that came 
to the net of the retiring intruders. For this time 
Joseph did not go alone. All his countrymen and 
friends, ministers, servants, and sympathisers pre- 
ferred exile and oblivion to the tender mercies which 


the loyal Spaniards dealt out to their compatriots 
who had as much as smiled upon the gabachos. 

Madrid was finally cleared of them at the end of 
May, 18 1 3, and long lines of coaches, as far as the 
eye could reach, stretched over the brown plain, 
carrying the plunder to France. Much of it never got 
there, for Wellington had laid his plans well, and the 
mass of the Anglo-Spanish armies lay across Joseph's 
way at Vitoria.j^ On the 21st of June the great battle 
was fought : by sunset the French were a flying 
mob, and Joseph had only just escaped, leaving much 
of his costly loot, and even his own carriage and 
private papers in the hands of the victors. The 
rest of the glorious campaign can hardly be con- 
sidered a part of the history of Spain, for with 
Vitoria Joseph's connection with the realm was 
ended, and Wellington's victorious march northward 
across the Bidasoa was only driving home the victory 
already gained. 

y Spain was ready now to welcome its beloved 
Fernando, whom we left in his palace-prison at 
Valencay in 1808. What had been his attitude 
during the five years that his devoted countrymen 
had been struggling and suffering for his sake ? 
Dancing, fencing, and dallying — for Talleyrand could 
never get them to take any interest in books — 
Fernando, his brother, and his uncle had passed 
the time as pleasantly as exiles could. Over and 
over again attempts had been made by his friends to 
plan an escape to Spain, but the prince, either from 
caution or dislike, would never listen and sometimes 
betrayed them, and had humbled himself to the 



dust beneath the hand of his oppressor.^ He still 
yearned for a marriage with a Bonaparte; cringed 
in servile adulation when the King of Rome was 
born, and basely congratulated the Emperor when 
he had gained a victory over the Spaniards. 
Napoleon, as the clouds grew darker around him, 
thought it might not be a bad thing to restore 
Fernando and make a tool of him, and in December, 
1813, the so-called treaty of Valencay was signed, 
by which, on certain conditions, Napoleon recognised 
Fernando as King of Spain. The latter was willing 
to agree to anything, but not so the Constitutional 
Regency. One of the clauses of the treaty was that 
the English should be expelled from Spain, but when 
it was presented to the new Cortes in Madrid it was 
rejected, and Fernando remained a prisoner. But 
not for much longer. Wellington's advance into 
France was rapid, and by the end of March Fer- 
nando was able to leave his place of confinement 
and return unconditionally to the desolated land 
that yearned for him. 

The Cortes in Cadiz had continued to pass radical 
measures of reform in all directions.V The Inquisition 
had been abolished, the privileges of the clergy still 

' With relation to his matrimonial suit for a Bonaparte princess, 
Fernando had the baseness to write to Napoleon from Valencay as 
follows : "I venture to say that this union and the publicity of my 
desires, which I will make known to Europe if your Majesty will allow 
me, may exercise a salutary influence on the destiny of Spain, and 
deprive a blind and furious people of the pretext for deluging their 
fatherland in blood in the name of a prince, the heir of their ancient 
dynasty, who has been convei-ted by a solemn treaty, by his own choice, 
afid by the most glorious of all adoptions, into a French prince and a son 
of your imperial Majesty. " 


further reduced, vassalage in all its forms disappeared, 
and the cultivation of waste lands was encouraged. 
A host of enactments modelled on French legislation 
had further extended the bounds of liberty and 
equalit}'. But as each fresh step in advance was taken 
the distance between the majority of the Cortes and 
their opponents had widened. Much of their legisla- 
tion was sentimental and doctrinaire, and for the most 
part it found neither sympathy nor comprehension 
amongst the mass of their countrymen. The arrival, 
too, of the elected members from the now liberated 
provinces greatly strengthened the Conservative party, 
and b)- the autumn of 1813 it was evident that the 
memorable Cortes of Cadiz had spent its impetus, and 
it was dissolved in conflict and disorder : the' new 
Cortes meeting in Madrid early in 18 14. 

The composition of the new assembly was dis- 
tinctly less liberal than that of its predecessor, but 
the communications between it and Fernando proved 
promptly to the latter that matters had indeed 
changed since he left Spain. The Cortes refused to 
acknowledge any act of his until he was free in 
Spain ; and with the approval of the Council of 
State agreed that Fernando was not to be allowed 
to exercise royal power until he had sworn to respect 
the Constitution of Cadiz. He was to be met as 
he approached his ancient realm by a deputation of 
the Cortes, who should explain to him the position 
of the country and the sufferings and sacrifices it 
had made for him. He was not to be allowed to 
bring into Spain with him any armed force or any 
foreigner. He was to travel by the route prescribed 


for him, and on his arrival at Madrid he was to be 
taken straight to the meeting-place of the Cortes, 
and there subscribe to the oath of the Constitution ; 
after which the Regents would invest him with such 
royal authority as was left to him. 

All this, of course, was gall and wormwood to 
Fernando and his friends. His envoy from Valengay, 
the Duke of San Carlos, had been jeered at in the 
streets of Madrid for his share in the wretched 
truckling at Bayonne ; and had returned to his 
master full of bitterness and fury at the insolent 
Jacobins who dared to dictate terms to their 
sovereign. But Fernando, whose duplicity had 
grown with his age, held his peace and kept a 
smiling face in public. The situation, however, was 
inflammatory. The Conservatives and friends of the 
old regime had plucked up courage in Madrid to sa)' 
almost openly what in Cadiz would have cost them 
their lives. Royalists, as they called themselves, were 
numerous, and riots in the capital — even in the Cortes 
itself — showed that the Constitution of Cadiz was not 
so universally accepted as its enthusiastic early friends 
had thought. 

On the 22nd of March, 18 14, Fernando once more 
stood upon Spanish soil atFigueras in Cataluna, and on 
the 24th crossed the river Fluvia, Suchet and the French 
army on the one side and Copons with the Spaniards 
on the other, whilst a countless multitude of citizens 
received their sovereign with joy beyond expression. 
But there was, even thus early, a drop of gall in the cup 
of pleasure. Fernando had agreed with Suchet that 
the beleaguered French garrisons in Spanish fortresses 


should be allowed to withdraw to France without 
surrender, and had left his brother Carlos as a hostage 
at Perpignan for the fulfilment of his word. To his 
surprise Copons, the Spanish general, refused to 
acknowledge the sovereign's act. It had been done, 
he said, without the knowledge of the Government or 
their English allies, and was unconstitutional. This 
was a foretaste to Fernando of what he had to 
expect, but he smiled, f.nd still smiled, at the people, 
who, frantic with deligh", threw themselves in his way 
and wept tears of joy. Through the stark and ruined 
country he went ; the emaciated and famished inhabi- 
tants, hardly one of whom but had some dear one 
killed in the war, filled to overflowing with love 
and hope of better times under the sway of their 
new king. They had suffered so much for him ; he 
was young and had suffered too, they said, in his 
exile : surely he would be good to them, make bread 
cheap, and heal their bleeding wounds. Through 
heroic Zaragoza Fernando travelled by Daroca and 
Segorbe to Valencia, where he arrived on the i6th 
of April, only a {q\w days before the fallen Emperor 
accepted his fate and left France for Elba. 

All through Fernando's journey the authorities, 
people, and troops had given him clearly to understand 
that they were indignant at the action of the Cortes in 
limiting his inherited royal prerogatives in his enforced 
exile, and had shown the desire that he should refuse 
to accept the Constitution ; but the cautious Bourbon 
had continued to smile paternally and say nothing. 
To meet and welcome him there had gone to Valencia 
all the friends of reaction. General Elio, commanding 


the army in the province, pledged his officers to sup- 
port Fernando in all his prerogatives, and in the 
speech of welcome delivered to the monarch at the 
gates of Valencia had told him that the army was 
against the Cortes. 

In Madrid the Cortes itself was profoundly divided. 
The Liberals had indignantly protested against being 
addressed in the ancient way as " dear vassals " by 
Fernando, and had expelled a member who had 
declared that he looked upon the King as his 
"sovereign master," Martiner. de la Rosa, indeed, had 
gone so far as to propose the penalty of death for 
any one who even proposed to alter the Constitution 
before the prescribed period of eight years had 
passed. On the other hard, the reactionaries in the 
Cortes were busy. Money came in plenty — the 
Liberals said from England, for Sir Henry Wellesley, 
the ambassador, leaned to the side of Fernando — and 
a cabal of Conservative members, aided by the monks 
of Atocha, organised a regular reactionary network 
throughout the city. To strengthen Fernando's 
hands this cabal drew up an address to the King 
signed by sixty-nine members and sent it by one of 
their number to Valencia. The address itself became 
famous, because it gave thenceforward to the re- 
actionary party its name of " Persians." It began 
thus : " Sire, it was the custom of the ancient Per- 
sians to allow five days of anarchy on the death of a 
king, in order that the experience of murder, robbery, 
and other excesses might render them more faithful 
to his successor ; " and it ended, of course, with a 
petition that the Constitution of Cadiz might be 
treated as void. 


Fortified by these elements of reaction grouped 
around him, Fernando began to show his teeth. His 
cousin, Cardinal de Borbon, president of the Regency, 
sent by the Cortes, welcomed him outside the city 
in Valencia. Fernando haughtily held out his hand 
for the Cardinal- Archbishop and Regent to kiss, but 
the latter affected not to see it, for the Cortes had 
forbidden Fernando to be treated as king until he 
had accepted the Constitution. At length, after 
waiting several moments, Fernando, pale with rage, 
cried out to his cousin, " Kiss ! " and the Cardinal was 
constrained to obey. On the 4th of May, the day 
'before he left the city, the King signed his famous 
manifesto to his people, which for the time, however, 
was kept secret. It had been drawn up by the 
reactionary ex-Regent Perez Villamil, and whilst 
expressing detestation for despotism " which cannot 
be reconciled with enlightenment, or with the civilisa- 
tion of other European countries," and' promising to 
watch over the welfare of his people, " for kings were 
never despots in Spain," it repudiated every action of 
the Cortes and of the Governments which had ruled 
since Fernando's departure. There was, it is true, 
much to be said for Fernando's point of view. He 
himself had never been consulted in the revolutionary 
changes which had quite altered his position ; the 
Cortes had been elected and constituted in a manner 
entirely foreign to the old Spanish laws ; and it was 
evident that the people at large did not under- 
stand, and in most cases resented, the innovations 
which appeared to them so suspicious and un- 
just towards the young sovereign who for the 


moment inspired them with such fervent love and 

If Fernando had stopped at refusing to acknow- 
ledge the Constitution until some of its more objec- 
tionable features were removed, not much could have 
been said against But he went much further, 
for not only was the Constitution abolished and a 
sponge passed over the whole of the tremendous 
events of the previous six years, but the death 
penalty was decreed against any person who dared 
even to speak in favour of the Constitution of Cadiz. 

Preceded by bodies of troops, which might, if 
necessary, terrorise his capital, Fernando moved 
onwards. The soldiers and populace had their 
orders, and the royal progress was a long saturnalia 
of reaction. Most of the towns on the way had 
changed the name of their great square from Plaza 
Mayor to " Plaza de la Constitucion " ; and the marble 
slabs bearing the latter inscription were now torn 
down and splintered, and the thoughtless mob, little 
knowing or caring what it all meant, shouted them- 
selves hoarse with cries of " Death to liberty and the 
Constitution ! " and " Long live Fernando ! " 

The Cortes in Madrid had been growing more uneasy 
every day, for Fernando had left its letters of welcome 
unanswered. The people of the city had just been 
aroused to patriotic fervour by a solemn ceremony on 

' Godoy says that when old Charles IV. in exile heard of his son's 
act, he exclaimed against the cruel severity of it. He did not, he said> 
expect that Fernando would accept everything, but to attempt to ignore 
all that had taken place in six years, and cruelly persecute many of those 
who had served his country best, was an act of unparalleled folly and 


the anniversary of tlie famous 2nd of May, when the 
ashes of the victims were brought in state to be 
buried beneath the splendid monument on the Prado ; 
and there, as everywhere, the bold words of the Con- 
stitution were emblazoned : " The power of making 
laws is centered in the Cortes with the King." Un- 
questionably Madrid itself, like Cadiz and other large 
cities, was in the main liberal, and began to distrust 
the future ; but in the fulness of its heart it did its best 
to prepare a loyal welcome for Fernando the Desired ; 
for, aggressive as were the reactionaries, it could not 
believe that the King would forget all his heroic 
people had done for him, and the ferocious decree of 
Valencia was as yet unknown. The sovereign was to 
enter his capital on the 13th of May, and days before 
every balcony blazed with colours, and arches and 
garlands of flowers bedecked the streets. The Cortes 
had been in session on the loth making final arrange- 
ments, not without misgivings with regard to the 
sov^ereign's attitude ; but the members retired as 
usual to their homes, little expecting any evil to 
themselves. Fernando had appointed by secret com- 
mission Francisco Eguia to be Governor of Castile ; 
and late at night the latter delivered the blow the 
King had been treasuring up in all the bitter six 
years of his exile. With a strong force Eguia went 
through the silent streets : first to the palace, vVhere 
the Regents were arrested, and thence to the house 
of every known friend of the Constitution. Members 
of Cortes, poets, men-of-letters, journalists, nobles, 
lawyers, officers, and play-actors, high and low, rich 
and poor, were swept into close confinement in the 



jails and barracks ; and when Madrid woke in the 
morning of the nth, every blank wall was plastered 
with the terrible decree of Valencia. 

The Madrileiios were stunned and shocked at the 
perfidy of the act, but every man of the least promi- 
nence on the constitutional side was in prison, and no 
concerted protest was possible. A salaried mob, 
moreover, of the dregs of society threatened and 
terrorised all decent-looking citizens, and those who 
wore clothes which the ruffians pleased to consider a 
mark of liberalism or " Freemasonry." Every sign 
referring to the Constitution was destroyed, the 
meeting-place of the Cortes was sacked and gutted, 
hideous mob violence drove quiet people to the 
shelter of their homes, and the one cry that resounded 
through the " town of the 2nd of May " was, " Death 
to liberty, and long live Fernando ! " 

The King entered Madrid on the 13th of May, 
riding through a sad and well-nigh silent populace. 
Signs of official rejoicing met him on all sides. The 
palaces of the nobles were brave with ancient 
tapestries and storied hangings, triumphal arches 
spanned the streets, the churches and monasteries 
brought out all their splendour to honour the man 
who by a stroke of the pen could undo the acts of six 
memorable years. Public officers and would-be cour- 
tiers,' nobles, lackeys, and the brutal, corrupted mob 
cheered the sovereign ; but self-respecting Spaniards 
who had seen the sacrifices and sufferings of the city, 
and who recollected the hundreds of brave hearts 
that the tyrant had consigned to dungeons, to 
celebrate his return, looked with growing distrust on 
the sinister face of Fernando the Desired. 


The country at large was a prey to a reactionary 
fever of the worst kind ; Fernando thenceforward was in- 
fluenced alone by the base cajnarilla which had led him 
from humiliation to humiliation before the triumphal 
car of Napoleon. He had abandoned the country to 
itself, and had not raised a finger in those terrible six 
years of its death struggle with the foreign invader. 
His had been the name upon the lips of thousands 
who had gone to their death cheerfully that he might 
reign in the land of his fathers. The country in a 
frenzy of loyalty brought him back to the throne for 
which he had done nothing ; and the returns he gave 
were chains, exile, and death to those who had fought 
hardest, and struggled most, to shake off the yoke of 
the foreigner. It may be granted that he had a 
grievance against the Constitution, in so far as it 
attacked his own prerogative ; but to have forgotten 
all that had passed, and to decree that everything 
should return to the absolutism of 1807 was a 
political crime of the blackest dye. In extent of 
time it was only six and a half years since the rising 
of Aranjuez had overturned Godoy ; but Spain had 
passed through centuries of change since then in all 
but years, and for Fernando to have ignored this 
proved him unfit and unworthy for his great mission. 

But this was not the only way in which he proved 
his unworthiness. His ministers, led by the Duke of 
San Carlos, were naturally reactionaries of the most 
extreme type, but even they soon found that they 
were mere ciphers by the side of the King's private 
camarilla. Spanish kings had been ruled by 
favourites before ; but Lerma and Olivares, even 


Valenzuela and Godoy, were men of education and 
breeding, whilst the secret advisers of Fernando were, 
many of them, coarse, ignorant buffoons. Meeting 
at night with noisy mirth they settled over the heads 
of the ministers questions of national policy, and even 
made and unmade ministers in mere caprice.' One 
of Fernando's Conservative ministers at this time 
gives the following account of the proceedings of the 
camarilla : " They make him (i.e., Fernando) distrust 
his ministers and disregard the tribunals and every 
person of standing who should have advised him 
He gives audience daily, and any one who likes 
speaks to him without any ceremony. This is in 
public, but the worst happens in secret at night. He 
allows access and listens to persons of the worst 
possible character, who blacken unmercifully those 
who have served him best. By giving credit to such 
people, and without further advice, he signs and 
issues decrees, not only without the knowledge of 
his ministers, but against their opinions.^ Ministers 
have been appointed thus who have only remained 
three weeks, and some of them only forty-eight hours. 
And what ministers ! " 

The political results of such a Court as this were 

' Ministers were appointed or dismissed arbitrarily by Fernando for 
the most puerile reasons, and were sent into prison or exile at the 
idle fancy of the King. The members of the camarilla were treated 
in the same way, being one day in high favour and the next in jail. 
There were over thirty ministers in the six years from 1 8 14 to 1 820, an 
average of two months' duration for each. 

- The most prominent member of the catnarilla was a low buffoon 
called " CJtaiiionv,^' who liiid been a water-carrier, another, Ugarte, 
was a second-hand broker ; Taltischeff, the Russian Minister, was also 
a member. 


naturally lamentable. The rest of the European 
Governments looked on in disgust. Louis XVIII. 
refused the co-operation of Spain when Napoleon 
escaped from Elba, and Europe declined to respect her 
interests at the Conference of Vienna. The Spanish 
clergy were re-instated in their full privileges, the 
ecclesiastical property was all restored, even that which 
had been sold, the monasteries were rehabilitated, 
the Jesuits brought back in triumph, the Inquisition 
entered once more into its baleful powers, and an 
active campaign was carried on against the press ; 
the censorship in its worst form being revived and 
nearly all books and papers of a modern or pro- 
gressive character proscribed. The old Councils and 
cumbrous administrative machinery were re-con- 
stituted, the ancient taxes again decreed, the Cortes' 
income tax abolished ; and strenuous efforts made to 
blot out every memory of the previous six years. 
The financial position, as has been stated in a 
previous page, was lamentable, as a consequence 
of the war, but now, with greedy bloodsuckers 
around the King, it fell into utter disorder. Troops 
were unpaid and unfed, the public service neglected, 
and corruption reigned supreme on all sides, whilst 
the customs duties were heavily increased,^ forced 

' The servile crew that surrounded the King specially handicapped 
English trade and interests, notwithstanding the ostentatious 
support given to reaction by Sir Henry Wellesley and his govern- 
ment. For instance, the Spanish import duty on English common 
baize had been in 1796 three dollars per piece, in 1805 six dollars, and 
in 1806 it had increased to sixteen dollars per piece under the French 
influence then paramount. In 180S it was reduced to its original 
figure, but no sooner had Fernando returned than it was again raised 


loans extorted and industry strangled by fresh 
impositions. In the meanwhile the reign of terror 
continued. All that was enlightened and advanced 
in Spain was placed under a ban. Deportation, 
exile, prison, death were the penalties meted out 
to every man who was known to have uttered 
liberal sentiments ; espionage of the most odious cha- 
racter rendered all men distrustful. To crown the 
iniquity, after such citizens had been dealt with, 
Fernando, who had boasted that he was a French 
prince, and had congratulated Joseph on ascending 
the Spanish throne, now persecuted without mercy 
all those Spaniards who had sided with the intrusive 

Such measures as these could not fail to provoke 
revolt, and in September the famous guerrilla chief, 
Espoz y Tvlina, endeavoured to arouse a counter- 
revolution in favour of the Constitution at Pamplona, 
but the affair was discovered, and Mina fled to 
France, A similar fate befell another attempt by 
General Porlier at Coruna. He had been condemned 
to four years' imprisonment for his liberal opinions, 
but managed to arouse and carry with him the 
garrison with the cry "Fernando and Constitution!" 
but he was overpowered and subsequently suffered 
the death penalty with unnecessary refinements of 
cruelty. In 1816 another attempt, directed against 
Fernando himself, was planned, but discovered, and 
henceforward the persecution of Liberals went on with 

to sixteen dollars. All English manufactures were burdened in a 
similar way ; and of all foreigners Englishmen were the worst treated 
under Fernando. 


redoubled vigour. A much more serious plot was 
that of General Lacy in Cataluiia in 1817. He was 
one of the most popular heroes of the war, and when 
his pronunciamiento in favour of the Constitution 
failed, he scorned to flv to P^rance like his com- 
panions, knowing that the Government dared not 
kill him. amongst his own Catalans. He was right ; 
for months Fernando kept him under sentence, and 
at last he was smuggled on board of a ship and sent 
to Majorca, there to be done to death secretly in the 
darkness of the night. The next year Valencia was 
the scene of a similar attempt, but here the tyrant 
VA'xo ruled with a firm hand. He surprised a meeting 
of the constitutional conspirators, and those who were 
not cut down on the spot were summarily hanged 
in his presence, whilst 119 persons, suspected only of 
sympathy, were handed over to the Inquisition for 

It has already been recounted how, almost without 
an effort, Buenos A}Tes, New Granada, and Venezuela 
had shaken off the yoke of Spain ; Chile had now 
been lost, and the remaining provinces had loosened 
the ties that bound them. The proceedings of Fer- 
nando's reactionary government were unlikely to 
increase the wavering allegiance of the colonists, and 
the revenue accruing to Spain from them became less 
and less. Fernando's treasury was well-nigh emptv ^ ; 

' The Budget of 181 7 presented by Martin de Gara)-, the Finance 
Minister, showed that the annual deficit reached the enormous sum of 
;if4, 650,000, without counting the interest on the debt, which reached 
nearly a million more. It was seen that the ancient s)-stem of taxation 
would not do, and a partial return to the Cortes system of a direct tax 
was adopted. The only indirect taxes retained were the customs dues 


Spanish credit, which, notwithstanding the war 
had been fairly good under the Cadiz government, 
had fallen to its lowest ebb ; the restitution of the 
ecclesiastical and Inquisition property had beggared 
the public service, and the greedy gang that sur- 
rounded the King were keen for loot. It occurred to 
them that the only chance of getting it was to fasten 
once more upon South America the fetters which she 
had almost shaken off. Immediately after Fernando's 
return General Morillo, with 14,000 men, had been 
sent to Venezuela, where at first he met with some 
success. But Bolivar was sweeping all before him ; 
the United States had taken Florida, and the 
Spaniards were almost everywhere losing ground. 

It was now proposed to send a larger force which 
might conquer the revolted colonies, but the difficulty 
was that Spain had no ships in which to send it. 
English shipowners turned a deaf ear, for the public 
sympathy in England was all in favour of the South 
Americans ; but the Russian minister in Spain, 
Tattischeff, a member of Fernando's camarilla, sold 
to the King, at an exorbitant price, a number of 
old, unseaworthy, Russian vessels, in which it was 
hoped the army might sail. It was necessary for 
this purpose that a large concentration of troops 

and the salt, tobacco, and stamp monopolies ; the rest of the revenue 
being raised by an income tax, a fresh imposition on the clergy, and on 
entailed lands and inheritances. The bonds of the floating debt without 
interest were to be legal tender for a third of their face value, and a 
small proportion of them was to be added by lot to the 4 per cent. 
Consols every year. This well-meant and radical Budget was rendered 
almost inoperative by the opposition of the provinces and the corruption 
of the administration. 


should be effected in Cadiz, and Henry O'Donnell, 
Count of La Bisbal, Captain-General of Andalusia, 
was appointed to the supreme command, with General 
Sarsfield as his lieutenant. O'Donnell was a man 
of great military talent, but had changed sides so 
frequentl}', and so vehemently, that he was looked 
upon generally with distrust. From a violent friend of 
the Constitution, he had become equally zealous for re- 
action, though he afterwards explained that this was 
for the purpose of diverting suspicion from him. The 
fate of Lacy, of Porlier, and of Mina, the persecutions 
of Liberals, and the corruption and ingratitude of Fer- 
nando's government, had caused deep disgust in the 
minds of many distinguished officers, and, as we have 
seen, Spain generally, and particularly Cadiz, the 
birthplace of the Cortes, was ripe for revolt. 

O'Donnell announced to his intimates his inten- 
tion to declare for the Constitution, and to assume 
a military dictatorship until a Cortes could meet. 
There was some distrust of him, but he seemed in 
earnest, and the 8th of July, 1819, was fixed for the 
pronouncement. O'Donnell mustered his men, and 
at the moment when he was expected to cry, " Viva 
la Constitucion ! " to the dismay of all Sarsfield 
galloped a squadron of cavalry along the line of 
infantry, shouting " Viva el Rey ! " and, before they 
well understood what was passing, all the officers in 
the plot were surrounded, disarmed,- and arrested 
by order of O'Donnell. The blow was a heavy one 
to the Liberals,, but the friends of Fernando were 
also disturbed by it. They were uncertain how far 
they could trust O'Donnell, and he was removed 



202 '\fernando the desired" 

from his command, although rewarded for his 

But the spirit of revolt, far from being crushed by 
this check, grew more formidable every day, as the 
evil results of Fernando's obscurantist folly became 
more evident. The literary men who had fled abroad, 
or who had been exiled, flooded Europe with denun- 
ciations of the King and his camarilla. English 
newspapers were indignant at Fernando's ingratitude 
to their country, and even in Spain itself enlightened 
publicists secretly spread broadcast writings against 
the Government which had brought back the Inquisi- 
tion and the friars. In vain the camarilla persecuted 
with atrocious severity those guilty of so doing, in 
vain a punishment of ten years in a dungeon was 
prescribed to those who were found in possession of 
an English Liberal newspaper ; as if by magic the 
obnoxious prints found their way everywhere, and 
civilians and soldiers alike read them with avidity 
and approval. 

Yellow fever was raging in Cadiz, and as the 
troops were sulky at being sent abroad to fight men 
of Spanish blood, it had been considered wise to en- 
camp them away from the city where Liberal feeling 
was known to predominate. The camps were to be 
broken up in the first week of January, 1820, and the 
men marched to separate quarters ready for embark- 
ation. This was the opportunity to seize, or all hope 
would be lost. Most of the Liberal officers of rank 
were in the dungeons, owing to O'Donnell's falseness, 
but a leader eagerly sprang to the front to fill the 
vacant place. This was the famous Rafael del 



Riego, an Asturian, a young man who had fought 
gallantly as captain against the French, and had 
been a prisoner of war in France for several years. 
He was now Major-Commandant of a battalion of 
Asturians, quartered in the village of Cabezas de San 
Juan. On the ist of January, 1820, he drew up his 
men on parade and in a fervid speech proclaimed 
the Constitution. He was cheered to the echo, and 
marching to the headquarters surprised and captured 
the Commander-in-chief (Calderon) and all his staff: 
joined by other battalions, he moved on to Cadiz, 
aided now by a superior officer. General Quiroga, who 
had escaped from jprison, and Riego was also assured 
of the co-operation of the troops in the city. The 
military governor, however, was on the alert, and 
sternly suppressed all disorder inside, so that much 
valuable time was lost to the mutineers. With eight 
battalions, the leaders of the revolt were for the present 
safe from attack, but if Cadiz withstood them they 
were lost. 

On the 1 2th of January they took possession of 
the arsenal, but at the end of the month they were 
still outside the city, and matters grew critical. 
It was then decided that Quiroga and part of the 
force should hold Port St. Mary, whilst Riego went 
with his column to arouse the rest of Andalusia. In 
this he was not successful, and when he tried to get 
back to his base he found his way intercepted. He 
succeeded, however, on entering Malaga ; but there 
he found few friends, and Joseph O'Donnell, the 
Commander of the garrison, was soon able to eject 
him. With his little body of men reduced now from 


1,500 to 300 by desertions, he entered Cordoba, and 
from thence fled to Estremadura, with only 45 soldiers 
left to him, and these in despair dispersed and went 
into hiding in the mountains, whilst Ouiroga remained 
isolated at Port St. Mary. 

The cause thus seemed utterly lost, notwithstand- 
ing the cowed and silent sympathy of the people 
through whom Riego passed ; but suddenly, as if 
by common accord, the whole country blazed out 
simultaneously at the news of Riego's bold pro- 
nouncement. Coruna and Asturias were first to 
respond, then Zaragoza, Valencia, and Navarre, where 
the brave Mina again unsheathed his sword. Almost 
everywhere the authorities were forced by the citizens 
to proclaim the Constitution, and Spain from end 
to end burst into rejoicing. The King and his 
camarilla were in dismay, as day by day the news 
reached them of the extent of the movement. 
Madrid was in ebullition, anonymous broadsheets 
passed from hand to hand, and the host of secret 
clubs and societies which kept alive the Liberal 
creed were so many active centres of propaganda. 
When the Government at length understood that 
the movement had really become too strong for 
them to resist, they thought to appease it by small 
concessions ; and the 4th of March the Gazette con- 
tained a pompous decree of Fernando, couched in 
the old haughty language of condescending and 
spontaneous concession, ordering a " new organisation 
of the Council of State, which should, in conference 
with the highest tribunals, discuss what they thought 
best for the good government of the realm." 


But it was too late for such palliatives now, for 
Generals were declaring for the popular cause on 
all sides, and even fickle Henry O'Donnell had 
joined the stronger party, with the troops sent to 
suppress it. Fernando then tardily (March 6th) 
remembered his promise when he entered Spain, to 
convoke a meeting of the Cortes of Castile, but this 
suggestion proved worse than useless, for it only 
reminded the people of his broken pledge. In despair 
he sent for General Ballesteros, one of the foremost 
heroes of the war, to ask his opinion. " There is but 
one way out of the difficulty," replied the General 
boldly ; " your Majesty must accept the Constitution 
of 1812." When it was clear that this was the only 
alternative, Fernando in a panic gave way, and the 
Gazette of the 7th of March contained the following 
words, signed by the King : " As it is the general 
wish of the people, I have decided to take the oath 
to the Constitution of 1812." 

The news spread like wildfire through the city, 
and once more Madrid went crazy with joy. Nearly 
all the professional and middle classes, and 
especially young people, were in favour of the 
step, and an eye-witness describes these people, the 
most cultured and respectable of the citizens, flock- 
ing into the streets at the great news, embracing 
each other out of mere delight. No cries for 
vengeance were uttered against those who for the 
last six years had so cruelly persecuted the most en- 
lightened men in Spain ; the one predominant feeling 
was of immense relief at a great danger passed, and 
of assured hope for the future. The lower classes, 


who on Fernando's return shouted, " Hurrah for 
chains, death to Hberty !" now stood aloof; but the 
respectable citizens by the thousand flocked with one 
impulse to the square before the palace to acclaim 
the constitutional King, and afterwards to the Town 
Hall, where, amidst an indescribable scene of enthu- 
siasm, a new popular Town Council was elected by 
acclamation to replace the old nominated Council 
which had been appointed on the King's return. 
Other crowds invaded the houses of the Inquisition, 
but there was no serious disorder — only joy and 

Throughout Spain once again the names of the 
great squares were changed to " Plaza de la 
Constitucion " with solemnity and rejoicing : many 
Liberals were released, or returned from exile, a new 
provisional advisory board was formed, pending the 
meeting of Cortes, with the ex-Regent, Cardinal de 
Borbon, at its head, and on the 9th of March Fer- 
nando took the oath to respect the Constitution, 
which made him a cipher.^ During the ceremony a 
vast multitude filled the square before the palace, 

' This advisory Jii/ita which ruled from March till July began well, 
but was soon dragged at the tail of the orators and the clubs. The 
administration, national and municipal, prescribed by the Constitution, 
was restored, and the political prisoners were released ; but soon the 
spoils of office were showered on to those who had sympathised with the 
revolt. Grants of land were given to all the soldiers who had joined 
the mutiny ; titles, honours, promotion, and grants were given to the 
officers. Every citizen separately was forced to swear to the Consti- 
tution, and any who hesitated were banished and proscribed ; the 
" Persians" were all imprisoned, but were afterwards released by the 
Cortes, and offices in the royal household were bestowed with great 
want of tact upon the most conspicuous progressists. 


determined that no discord should mar their joy at 
the tardy repentance of the King. Once a man, 
holding aloft an infant, cried : " Citizens ! this is the 
child of General Lacy, the victim of despotism ! " but 
though the child was fondled and tenderly treated, the 
man was hushed ; and when Fernando appeared on 
the balcony with his pretty, fair, frail little German 
wife by his side,i a great shout of welcome went up 
which might have moved a heart less cold than his. 
Smiling, he raised his hand, and the multitude was 
silent. " You are satisfied now," he said ; " I have just 
sworn to respect the Constitution, and I will keep my 
word." Cries were raised that all political prisoners 
should be pardoned, that the Inquisition should be 
abolished, and so on. "Well ! well ! " cried Fernando, 
"all that shall be done soon ; now go home quietly." 
Thus, for a time, reaction was conquered in Spain, 
and if the King had been loyal, and the reformers 
more prudent and less eloquent, all might have been 
well. But, great as was the enthusiasm, it is idle to deny 
that the Constitution of Cadiz was not of itself univer- 
sally popular with the mass of the Spanish people. It 
was avowedly founded on French ideas and models, 
and, as such, foreign in its spirit ; it was, moreover, 

' Fernando had married soon after his return Princess Isabel de 
Braganza, Don Carlos, his Ijrother, marrying at the same time her sister 
Maria Francisca. The young Queen was extremely popular, and 
initiated many architectural and artistic embellishments in the capital, 
especially the magnificent public picture gallery, the Museo del Prado. 
One girl infant of the royal couple died a few months old, and in 
giving birth to a second on the 26th of December, i8i8, the Queen died, 
as did also the child. In the following year Fernando married as his 
third wife Amelia of Saxony, who also died young and childless. 


\x\ many things, decidedly in advance of its time and 
even of ours as a monarchial constitution ; and most 
of the men who had been its originators, and were 
now its representative supporters, were simply honest 
and exalted theorists, impatient with the slowness of 
their countrymen, and determined to raise them to 
their standard of perfection, whether they were willing 
or not. But though the Constitution in its details, so 
far as they were understood, was distrusted by many, 
the blind reversion of Fernando to the ancient des- 
potism — absurd now after the trials the country 
had gone through— was more unpopular still. The 
enthusiasm of the middle classes in 1820 was not so 
much in favour of the provisions of the Constitution 
as a protest against the policy of obscurantism, and 
a hope that the meeting of a moderate elective Cortes 
might remedy some of the impractical extravagance 
of the patriots of Cadiz, and at the same time modify 
the absolutism of the King. 

The first effect of the change of policy was the 
breaking out all over Spain of a perfect deluge of 
oratory. Never before had so much public speaking 
been dreamt of in the Peninsula, and Madrid at 
least, having once loosened its tongue, has never 
for any great length of time succeeded in stop- 
ping it from that time to this. At every street 
corner orators had groups of listeners ; societies, 
hitherto secret, now held talk -meetings all day, and 
mostly all nighc. The most influential of these were 
one called " The Patriotic Society of the Friends of 
Liberty," which met at a cafe in the Puerta del Sol, 
under the presidency of an eloquent Mexican named 



Gorostiza ; and another called the "Friends of Order," 
meeting at the Fontana de Oro, where Alcala Galiano 
was the principal speaker : but nearly every cafe in 
Madrid had its own circle of public orators, and 
between the stirring strains of the Hymn of Riego,^ 
which had caught the public ear, and has never since 
lost it, and the eternal flow of patriotic eloquence, the 
guardians of public order, Liberals though they 'were, 
soon began to look upon the effervescence as dan- 
gerous, whilst the mob orators affected to regard even 
the Constitutionists in office as reactionaries. 

In the meantime a new government of Liberals 
was formed with the two Argiielles as principal 
members, a national militia was organised, and a 
new Cortes elected by the indirect method pre- 
scribed by the Constitution. From the time that 
Fernando accepted the inevitable (March 7th) to 
the assembly of the new Cortes (July 9th), all went 
smoothly and discord was hushed. The excitement 
and patriotic enthusiasm had spread now to all 
classes, and the nobles and working people seemed 
as desirous of making the best of the union of 
monarchy and the Constitution as the middle classes 
always had been. The exaltation reached its 
culminating point on the 9th of July, when Fernando 
swore before the Cortes to respect the Constitution. 

The meeting was held in the hall of the ex-convent 
of Dona Maria de Aragon — now the Senate — and 

' This famous hymn — the Spanish Marseillaise — was composed by a 
colonel of Walloon Guards, named Reart, who was a fellow-prisoner of 
Riego in France. It was sung by Riego's battalion when they revolted, 
and Riego himself sang it in the theatre on the day he arrived in 
triumph at Madrid, 


under a cloudless sky, and through a dense mass of 
cheering humanity, with church bells ringing and 
salvoes of artillery echoing the universal joy, 
Fernando with his family made his way to the 
popular Cortes for the first time. Over the facade 
of the building was graven in deep gilt letters the 
words from the Constitution : " Tlie power of enacting 
laivs is vested in the Cortes with the King ;" and as 
he stood before his throne, smiling and bowing, 
dressed in a blue coat covered with gold embroidery, 
crimson velvet breeches and waistcoat, and his breast 
blazing with diamonds, over his head in great letters, 
that all might see, an inscription ran: " The nation is 
essentially sovereign : consequently it possesses the 
exclusive right of making fundamental laws." Fer- 
nando was conciliatory and friendly, in appearance, 
with his Liberal ministers. He read his speech, 
drawn up by Agustin Argiielles, with many smiles 
and much gracious gesture, and this time he went 
through his rejoicing capital by the prescribed route 
which he had refused to follow on his entry in 1814. 
The Liberals had won all along the line, and the only 
thing that was wanted now was for the country and 
the people of all classes to act honestly, set soberly to 
work, abandon heroics, and allow the elected rulers to 
govern in peace. But this was just what they would 
not do. 

Curiously enough the first open demonstration of 
discord was provoked by Riego, the leader of the 
successful revolt. One prominent Liberal officer 
after another had come from the Lsle of Leon to 
Madrid — they were all generals now — and had been 


received with wreaths of laurel, public banquets, and 
floods of patriotic verse ; but the ambitious major 
who had first started the revolt preferred to remain 
as general in command of the large body of troops 
which had now declared for the Constitution in 
Andalusia. This arose from no modesty or dislike 
of publicity on the part of Riego, for he was really a 
vain, shallow man with no tact or practical wisdom ; 
but from a desire to hold the armed force, and so to 
control the new Government. The Liberal ministers 
endeavoured to dissolve his force, which was costly 
and useless ; but Riego was too strong for them. 
Then they tried to coax him to Madrid, but for a 
time without success. At length he suddenly appeared 
incognito in the capital (August 31st), and in an 
interview gave the Government clearly to understand 
that they owed their position to him, and must follow 
his orders. 

His presence in the capital was soon divulged, 
and the excited orators at the clubs insisted upon 
his going outside Madrid for the purpose of making 
a formal triumphal re-entry in state. Banquets, 
speeches without end, and, finally, a great gala 
representation in the Teatro del Principe, hailed 
the hero of Cabezas de San Juan. Riego, a man of 
small ability, quite lost his head, and went from one 
extravagance to another. He and his aides-de-camp 
publicly sang the Hymn of Riego in the theatre and 
introduced the insulting revolutionary song Trdgala 
(" Swallow it " — meaning the Constitution) which 
they had brought from the gutters of Cadiz, and 
which vied with the Ca ira of the French Revolution. 


The society of the Fontana de Oro, and the rest of 
them, had worked up public opinion to a state of 
excitement which threatened all government, and 
when the Liberal ministers gave positive orders for 
Riego's troops in the Isle of Leon to be disbanded 
and for the firebrand himself to proceed to Asturias, 
the people in the streets broke all bounds. In vain 
Alcala Galiano, himself a subordinate member of the 
Government, endeavoured to restrain the excesses 
which his own fiery eloquence had largely provoked ; 
the mob were no longer content to criticise, but raised 
subversive cries, ranging from " Death to the King ! " 
and " Long live the Republic ! " to " Hurrah for 
Emperor Riego!" This was on the 6th of September, 
and on the morning of the 7th astounded Madrid 
awoke to find the Puerta del Sol occupied by artillery 
with loaded pieces and lighted matches, and the 
National Militia under arms, Riego and his staff 
were hurried off to their respective places of exile, 
passing through a country stirred by violent emotions ; 
the " Friends of Order " in the Fontana de Oro and 
many similar societies were suppressed ; and a deep 
breach was opened in the ranks of tiie Liberal party, 
the old Constitutionists of 181 2 standing for the 
existing regime and the letter of the Code, whilst the 
younger reformers of 1820 represented vague and 
undefined aspirations, and attracted to themselves all 
the elements of discontent and disorder. 

The Cortes itself was in every respect an excellent 
one, consisting of the best and most eminent men of 
all the educated classes. Although gifts of eloquence 
were conspicuous in its members — especially in 


Martinez de la Rosa, the Count de Toreno, and 
Agustin Arguelles — who being a minister, had the 
right to sit in the chamber, although not a deputy — 
the frothy academic discussions that had been the 
bane of the Cortes of Cadiz were avoided, and 
practical legislation of a conciliatory character was 
the main task of the Cortes of 1820. Their acts were, 

\ of course, condemned by the extremists of both 
parties. The abolition of the religious orders, the 
limitation on the formation of new land entails, and 
the amnesty to those who followed King Joseph, were 
resented by the Conservatives ; whilst the immunity 
granted to those officers who had — like General Freire 
in Cadiz — resisted by force the Liberal rising, the 
registration, and in many cases the suppression of 
the patriotic societies, and the limitation of the 
scandalous license of the press, ^ brought down upon 
them the thundered denunciations of the exaltados of 
reform. The Cortes, like the Government, were bent 
upon reconciling, if possible, constitutional liberty 
with monarchy, but their own inexperience of con- 
stitutional methods of administration, and, above all 
the unpreparedness of the country for really Liberal 
institutions, made their task an impossible one from 
the first. 

{ In such circumstances, it was natural that the hopes 
of the King and his friends should rise^ He had for 

' The flood of newspapers were all Liberal, but the grades so various 
that their violence and rancour passed all bounds of decency. The 
most respectable and moderate were the Universal, the Imparcial— 
which still exists — and the Censor ; the extreme party being represented 
in Madrid by at least fifteen papers from the comparatively decent 
Aurora to the shameful Zurriago. 

£>/SS£NS/0.yS AND AN ARCH V. 21 5 

a time withstood the demand of his ministers for the 
abolition of the monasteries, and at length had to 
give way, with a bad grace ; but in December he was 
determined to test how far he might safely go in 
defying the party in power. During his visit to the 
Escorial he appointed, without consulting the Govern- 
ment, a strongly reactionary general, Carvajal, 
Governor of Castile. The holder of the office, 
General Vigodet, and the ministers indignantly re- 
fused to recognise this unconstitutional action and 
censured the King : but the populace went much 
further. Fernando's popularity had already nearly 
evaporated, but this attempt at despotism gave it its 
death-blow. Violent insults and the grossest threats 
were shouted at the King wherever he appeared in 
public, and in fear for his crown, if not for his life, he 
hastened to revoke his nomination. But he nursed 
his wrath to keep it warm, and thenceforward cease- 
lessly plotted with his friends, the " Serviles " and 
" Persians," to overturn the constitutional regvne. 

The country continued in a state of febrile excite- 
ment : armed bands perambulated the provinces under 
various pretexts, led by old guerrilleros, such as the 
Curate Merino ; and, it was suspected, subsidised by 
the Court ; everywhere newspapers and orators still 
added to the din and the bitterness, and the most 
extravagant rumours of foreign intervention, and the 
like, kept the agitation alive. The extreme Liberals 
alternately laughed and railed at the moderate con- 
stitutional ministers : odes, patriotic dramatic repre- 
-sentations, and inflated manifestoes of the press had 
succeeded in persuading the exaltados that Spain was 


destined to teach a slow old world what liberty 
meant ; ^ and fatuous vanity, based on ignorance, made 
them regard the nations which did not, like Naples, 
Piedmont, and Portugal, at once adopt the divine 
Constitution of 1812, as being hopelessly benighted. 

Such a state of public feeling could not fail to 
produce before long acts of physical violence. The 
King never appeared in the streets without being 
greeted by a threatening mob with the vilest insults. 
On the 4th of February, 1821, the crowd outside 
the palace was so threatening that the bodyguard 
retorted — a conflict ensued, in which the guard was 
overpowered and besieged in their barracks. This 
led to the dissolution of the ancient corps by the 
Government, and further discontent on the part of 
Fernando. On the opening of the new session of 
Cortes, on the ist of March, 1821, he felt strong 
enough to strike his first blow. No longer genial 
, and smiling, but with a lowering brow, the King 
read his speech from the throne, as it had been 
drawn up by Agustin Arguelles, the principal minister, 

' As an instance of the exaggerated importance given to the Con- 
stitution of Cadiz even by impartial EngHsh observers at the time, the 
following lines from Quin's " Visit to Spain" may be quoted. The 
writer in April, 1823, found the unseaworthy frigates sold by Russia to 
Spain being broken up, and ascribes the mutiny of the troops under 
Riego and the proclamation of the Constitution to their reluctance to 
trust themselves on such vessels : he then goes on to say : " Will the 
historian of 1900 have to relate that with the progress of light the free 
spirit of the Spanish Constitution has overthrown the rule even of the 
Russian autocracy, and has substituted for it a representative system ? 
In the details of that event, can the transaction of the three frigates be 
forgotten?" In the course of this book, unha]jpily, "the historian of 
1900 " has a very different story to tell. 


whom Fernando specially hated. When he came to 
the end of the written message, he raised his hand, 
and proceeded to make a small speech on his own 
account, complaining bitterly of the insults to which 
he was subjected by the populace : " Insults and 
affronts," he added, " which would not be offered to 
me if the executive power possessed the authority 
and energy which the Constitution prescribes, and 
the Cortes expects." With these words he descended 
from the dai's, and left the chamber ; and in the face 
of this marked personal attack the ministry could only 
follow him as speedily as possible to the neighbour- 
ing palace and tender their resignation. Quick as 
they ^\'ere, however, they found that Fernando had 
been before them, for on their arrival at the palace 
they found that their dismissal had already been 
signed by the monarch.^ This was a departure from 
the spirit, if not in the letter, of the Constitution 
and dismay reigned amongst the reformers. But it 
was not Fernando's policy to drive his triumph too 
far at once, and he affected to ignore his right to 
choose his own ministers — by asking the Cortes to 
recommend a cabinet to him ; an office which they 
V'-isely declined ; upon which he appointed a 
moderate Liberal Government, the principal members 
of which were Eusebio Bardaxi and Ramon Feliu. 

' Fernando's extraordinary action, in thus attacking his ministers 
publicly and then dismissing them, gave rise at the time to much 
wondering speculation. It is now established beyond doubt that he 
had two reasons for acting as he did: rirst, to pose before the Holy 
Alliance as a king held in duress by his Liberal subjects ; and secondly, 
his knowledge that his ministers had discovered that he was fomenting 
and paying for the reactionary risings that were taking place in different 
parts of the country. 



The mob, the press, and the orators were more 
abusive than ever at the King's unconstitutional action 
and at the appointment of ministers who were known 
to be the most conservative of Constitutionists. 
.There was a wretched crazy priest named Vinuesa in 
prison, in course of trial for a ridiculous, mad, re- 
actionary plot, at which, in normal times, men would 
only have laughed. Now the mob determined to 
have the lunatic's life. Overpowering the prison 
guards, the excited people invaded the prison and 
smashed the poor wretch's head with a pavior's 
hammer. Neither the Government nor the military 
authorities had attempted to prevent the outrage, 
which they must have foreseen, and a sudden reaction 
in the feeling of the orderly and responsible members 
of society took place. If this, they said, was to be 
the result of the Constitution and of liberty, if dis- 
' order, anarchy, and chronic disturbance, unchecked 
by authority, was to be the price paid for Liberal 
ministers, then the old policy of absolutism was 
preferable. Riego, too, who was now Governor of 
Aragon, was encouraging, rather than checking, dis- 
turbance there, and the populace of Madrid, mad with 
excitement, invaded the galleries of the Cortes and 
stopped the proceedings with their subversive cries 
and insults, going to the length of threatening the 
lives of those whom they called false Liberals : the 
most distincruished and wisest members of the Pro- 
gressive party such as Martinez de la Rosa, Count 
de Toreno, and others. 

It became abundantly evident that, unless the 
constitutional party was to fall under the attacks 


of its own violent following, it must adopt some of 
the methods of absolutism to suppress disorder ; and 
this fact alone will show that Spain, as a nation, was 
unfit and unready for the full emancipation which 
the Constitution gave it. Facing the necessity, the 
Government appointed two energetic, determined 
men as military and civil Governor respectively 
of Madrid — General Pablo Morillo and an ex-guer- 
rillero, San Martin. Then Riego was dismissed 
from his post of Governor of Aragon, and the popu- 
lace, emboldened by their long immunity, determined 
to demand the restitution of their idol. They were 
warned that disorder would no longer be allowed, 
but the orators and revolutionary prints derided the 
warning. A procession was formed, with a portrait 
of Riego at the head, to march to the palace ; but 
San Martin promptly scattered the heated patriots 
with a bayonet charge, and disorder in Madrid for a 
time was checked. More trouble was experienced in 
the provinces. Fights over Riego's portraits took 
place everywhere. Seville for the last two months of 
the year, 1 821, was in open rebellion, and the position 
of the whole country early in 1822 was truly lament- 
able. The friends of progress had lost heart, the 
Government and the Cortes were profoundly dis- 
credited, the finances were in complete disorder, and 
anarchy reigned unchecked throughout the country. 
The army had dwindled almost to nothing, and the 
navy had practically disappeared, even the ships 
bought from the Russian Government having been 
condemned as worthless. To add to the confu- 
sion, yellow fever raged through the whole of the 


south-east of Spain, and a French army of observa- 
tion, called a Sanitary Cordon, was placed on the 
Pyrenean frontier, to the undisguised dread of the 
Spanish reformers, for the proceedings of successive 
governments in Spain had aroused the deepest dis- 
trust in all Catholic continental nations, which had 
reason to dread the advance of constitutional govern- 

One of the most unwise clauses of the Constitution 
of Cadiz was that which prevented the election of 
deputies to two consecutive Cortes. The Chamber 
elected in February, 1822, was thus deprived of all 
the moderate and distinguished members who had 
made the Cortes of 1820 respectable, their places 
being filled for the most part by men of greatly 
inferior gifts and less enlightened views, nominated 
by the clubs ; the majority of them being extremists 
on one side or the other ; the men of 181 2 — the 
doceanistas as they were called — having almost 
entirely disappeared. One advantage of the ineligi- 
bility of members for re-election was that the King 
could choose his ministers from those who had 
distinguished themselves in the last Cortes, and 
Fernando again selected a ministry composed of men 
of moderate constitutional views headed by Martinez 
de la Rosa, who, under the name of " Rosita la 
pastelera," was a special victim of the attacks of the 
club orators and the gutter press, but of whom, 
curiously enough, Fernando was personally very fond. 
The Cortes received the nomination of Martinez de 
la Rosa with a storm of disapprobation. The flighty 
Riego was elected President of the Chamber, and 

THE CORTES OF 1 822. 221 

from the first moment it was seen that the struggle 
between the exaltados and the moderate Liberal 
ministry threatened the basis of parliamentary insti- 
tutions in Spain. Riego himself was a mere figure- 
head, without knowledge, wisdom, or eloquence, but 
the masses had elevated him to a pedestal and his 
name was a power. 

Antonio Alcala Galiano, the famous orator of the 
Cafe Fontana de Oro, who led the exalted Radicals, 
was a man with real ability who swayed the 
majority of the Cortes at his will. Canga Arglielles, 
the great economist, in vain endeavoured to dii'ect 
the attention of the Chamber to the vital questions 
of the financial condition of the country, and the 
extraordinary situation of the Colonies, but with- 
out avail : personal questions and heated harangues, 
rancorous opposition of the ministry, and more 
or less veiled attacks upon the King completely 
occupied the time of the Cortes, to the exclusion of 
all serious business. Attempts had been made by 
the Government to suppress the popular riots, which 
were taking place all over the country around Riego's 
portraits, and for this they were called to account by 
the Cortes. Supporters of the ministry in the Cortes 
were prohibited by vote from even visiting a Govern- 
ment office on any pretext whatever, and other 
absurd regulations of a similar description were made 
in plenty, with the avowed intention of affronting the 
ministers ; whilst the highroads of Spain from north 
to south were infested with bands of brigands, and 
poverty and misery dominated the land. Most of 
these bands of brigands, such as those of the 


" Trappist" Mosen Anton and Bessieres in Cataluna, 
of the Curate Gorostidi, Juanito and the Pastor, in 
Navarre, and others, openly fought on the side of 
the "altar and throne," or in other words absolutism, 
although they robbed impartially ; but it was no 
secret that money and arms to support them came 
in abundance from France, and that Fernando him- 
self secretly encouraged them. 

To add to the confusion the armed force at the 
disposal of the Government was as profoundly 
divided as the country itself In some places the 
people and militia were for the "absolute King" 
whilst the army was for the Constitution ; in others 
the regular force shouted " Viva el Rey ! " whilst the 
militia cheered for the Constitution ; and, as may be 
supposed, armed encounters between them were 
frequent. It was evident that a storm was brewing, 
for the ministers endeavoured to satisfy the exalted 
Radicals in Parliament whilst conciliating the 
moderates, and were violently denounced by all 
parties. The exaltados in the Cortes passed a vote 
of censure on the Government, and petitioned the 
King to adopt strong measures to suppress disorder, 
which in this case meant disorder aroused by abso- 
lutists ; but their address to the monarch went beyond 
this, and exhorted him to warn foreign Powers to 
abstain from interfering in the domestic affairs of 
Spain and to deal sternly with those Spaniards who 
were intriguing against the sovereignty of the people.^ 

' It was believed — probably correctly — by the extreme Liberals that 
Martinez de la Rosa, the Prime Minister, had given some sort of pledge 
to Russia and France to obtain a modification of the more extreme 


The Cortes knew, as did all the world, by this time, 
that Fernando's palace at Aranjuez was the focus of 
a vast conspiracy against the Constitution, and that 
the King was in correspondence with Louis XVIII. 
with the object of obtaining French support to re- 
establish absolutism. Much as Fernando was blamed 
for this at the time — particularly in England — it was 
not an unnatural course for him to take. The Liberal 
party, as we have seen, was hopelessly divided, and 
could not govern except on absolutist lines ; the 
Constitution of Cadiz had broken down, from inevit- 
able causes which has already been pointed out, and 
the country was a prey to complete anarchy. The 
friends of despotism thought they could do better 
and endeavoured to get a chance of doing it. 

Cries of " Viva el Rey ! " were on the 30th of May 
1822, raised simultaneously in various parts of the 
country, in Valencia especially, resulting in an armed 
encounter ; and shortly afterwards " the Trappist " 
and his band captured and occupied the Prince- 
bishopric of Urgel, where they set up a sort of 
Regency in the name of Fernando, whom they 
affected to believe was a prisoner in the hands of the 

clauses of the Constitution, particularly clause 3 which asserted the 
absolute sovereignty of the people. This was the principal reason for 
Liberal distrust of the ministry (who were drawn from the ranks of the 
aristocracy and were jeered at under the name of anilkros, " ring- 
wearers ") and was at the bottom of the subsequent disturbances. The 
distrust of Martinez de la Rosa's ministry, and even of that of his 
extremely Radical successor, San Miguel, led to the formation of a great 
organisation throughout Spain called the Comuncros, or "Sons of 
Padilla," whose members were pledged to defend the third clause of 
the Constitution with their lives. 


Liberals. But still the Government did nothing, or 
next to nothing, and the Sessions of the Cortes were 
closed on the 30th of June in the presence of the 
King, amidst general alarm of violent change. 
There was no cheering for Fernando now, either in 
the Cortes or the streets of Madrid, but as he entered 
his palace rival cries of " Viva el Rey absoluto ! " and 
" Viva Riego ! " led to an armed struggle between 
troops, militia, and mob, in which many persons were 

The cry in favour of absolutism had been raised 
by the King's guard, and after the disturbance 
had been quelled one of their officers, a strong 
Constitutionist, named Landaburu, upbraided his 
men for their treason, and threatened to chastise 
them. He was at once struck down and murdered 
by the soldiers, and the news ran like wildfire through 
the city. The exaltados from the clubs, the excited 
lower classes, and the National Militia, crowded to the 
palace, and surrounded the revolted royal guard. Thus 
they remained all night, whilst the King was con- 
sulting the Council of State as to whether he might 
consider his promise to respect the Constitution 
binding. They told him that the nation had broken 
no portion of the compact, nor could he do so. 
In the meanwhile the Government still remained 
quiescent, and the militia all the next day stood to 
their arms surrounding the royal guard in the court- 
yard of the palace. On the second night (July ist) 
the King sent away four out of the six battalions 
of guards in the capital to the royal suburban seat of 
the Pardo. The militia and the populace, in deep 


distrust of the King, suspected some trap and 
occupied the Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol, and 
other strategic points of the city. For the next five , 
days affairs thus remained with the city under arms ;"' 
all attempts to persuade the militia to retire to their 
barracks being unsuccessful. Civilians and soldiers 
joined their ranks by the hundred, and amongst the 
Liberal majority and the municipality of the city the 
known falseness of the King and the inertia of Mar- 
tinez de la Rosa and the ministry, established the 
firm conviction that an attempt was to be made to 
overturn the Constitution. 

The ministers, utterly cowed, could only beg the 
King to accept their resignation, which he refused, 
promising, however, that the guards should submit 
and be sent to their barracks. But the guards, who 
doubtless had their orders, refused to move, except as 
they pleased ; and hearing that Government troops 
were concentrating on Madrid, the four rebel battalions 
of guards quietly left the Pardo on the night of the 6th 
of July and fell upon the Liberals in Madrid unaware. 
There were skirmishes between the guards and the 
militia in various parts of the city, but a regular pitched 
battle was fought in the Plaza Mayor on the 7th of 
July. The guards, and especially an officer named 
Fernandez de Cordoba, fought desperately ; but the 
militia was commanded by such generals as Alava 
and Ballesteros, and the rebel battalions were forced 
to retreat to the Puerta del Sol to join a body of their 
friends there. Thence they were chased to the 
palace, where the fight continued ; but this was too 
near to please Fernando, who was no hero, and he 



sent down word by a lackey that the firing must cease. 
General Ballesteros, the constitutional leader, to whom 
the message was given, replied, " Tell the King to 
order the rebels who surround him to lay down their 
arms, or the bayonets of the freemen will pursue them 
even into the royal chamber." The guards then 
entered into parley to lay down their arms and retire, 
but whilst the preliminaries were being settled, the 
mutineers suddenly fired a volley, and fled down the 
steep slope to the Manzanares, crying "Viva el Rey ! " 
They were followed by the militia and Government 
cavalry pell-mell down the declivity, and most of 
them were slaughtered as they ran. The King was 
terrified to find that the palace was left to the mercy 
of the crowd, with neither guards nor Government 
troops to protect it ; but he had nothing to fear, for 
on this occasion the victors made no bad use of their 
victory so far as the monarch was concerned.^ 

The ministers insisted on retiring, against all the 
persuasions of the King and the Council of State, 
and Fernando, beset on all sides by extremists, was 
forced to bend his head to the men he hated, and 
whom he intended at the first opportunity to .send to. 
exile or death. Riego was flattered and caressed at 
the palace, and, as usual, acted like a simpleton,^ and 

' It is related that Fernando watched the flight and slaughter ot his 
guards from a window and exclaimed : " Serve the fools right. At all 
events I am inviolable." 

" Riego went from the palace to the Plaza Mayor, where he made 
one of his simple, incoherent speeches to the mob, saying that the King 
did not like to hear the Trdgala sung. Riego therefore begged his 
hearers to desist from singing it and also to cease the cry of " Viva 
Riego ! " Needless to say that " Viva Riego ! " became more general 
than ever. 


in August Fernando appointed a Radical ministry led 
by Colonel Evaristo de San Miguel, one of the most 
prominent ofificers who had revolted with Riego and 
opposed the royal guard on the memorable 7th of 
July. The new ministers were mostly young and all 
obscure, inexperienced men, idols of the oratorical 
clubs and the masonic lodges, which had now become 
parts of a regular political organisation. The ministers 
soon found, however, that if they were to govern at 
all, it must be on somewhat different lines from those 
they had advocated in the irresponsibility of their 
clubs ; and the " Conmneros " at once branded even 
them as reactionaries, with apparently no reason what- 
ever except that the " masonic " party and not the 
" Comuneros" were enjoying the sweets of office and 
patronage. There was no slackness in the removal 
from the surroundings of the King of every officer 
even suspected of anti-constitutional leanings, and 
Fernando, to all appearance, abandoned those who 
fought for his cause without an effort to save them. 

Persecution followed unmercifully those who had 
helped the guards or opposed the Constitution, and 
the mob in many of the great cities wreaked a bloody 
vengeance unchecked upon those who had conspi- 
cuously served the fallen regime. The ferocious Elio, 
who had been confined in a dungeon at Valencia 
since the rising of Riego, was now tried by a council 
of war of militia officers and condemned to death by 
the garotte, a sentence which he suffered with heroic 
fortitude on the 4th of September, 1822. 

As his friends and partisans went to banishment, to 
dungeons, or to death, Fernando raised no protest but 


smiled and joked sardonically with his Radical minis- 
ters, as he had done with their various predecessors, 
biding his time until he could be revenged with safety 
to himself. Through Cataluna, Aragon, Navarre, and 
Biscay, and partially in the centre and east of Spain, 
civil war was raging. Everywhere bands of armed men 
calling themselves " soldiers of the faith " resisted the 
Government troops and militia. The King, they 
said, was a prisoner in the hands of the " free- 
masons," and they would acknowledge no Govern- 
ment but the Regency that reigned in his name in the 
remote mountain stronghold of the Seo de Urgel. 
As if to give colour to their assertion, Fernando in 
the autumn signified his intention of going to the 
palace of Aranjuez ; but the Government forbade 
him, and thenceforward he gave himself the airs of 
a captive. 

To face the formidable revolt, which they knew 
was in active negotiation with France for armed 
support to release Fernando, the Government decreed 
that every male citizen of i8 years and upwards 
should join the national militia and fight for the 
Constitution, and the forces on both sides were now 
marshalled. A manifesto of the absolutist Regency 
of Urgel — the Marquis of Mataflorida, the Arch- 
bishop of Tarragona, and Baron Eroles — dated 1 5th 
of August, 1822, denounced the Constitution of Cadiz, 
the Cortes, and all its works, and called upon 
Spaniards to liberate their captive King. In Cataluna, 
Navarre, and the north generally, the effect was elec- 
trical, Fired with religious zeal, men, women, and 
children flew to arms ; but almost everywhere the 


bands were beaten by the Government troops, and 
hundreds of fugitives of the faith flocked over the 
frontier into France, there to await the prayed-for 
entrance of the great French army of dehverance 
which was standing waiting for the word to advance. 
The most horrible excesses of cruelty were practised 
on both sides, even by civilians of the rival parties in 
the towns ; General Mina himself, in his Memoirs 
deploring, though the old guerrillero was not 
squeamish, the scandalous abuses of the constitu- 
tional troops which he commanded in Cataluiia. 

The condition of affairs in Madrid in the mean- 
while was more disturbed than ever. All the 
oratorical clubs had been reopened on the motion of 
Alcala Galiano, and the lead in influence and wordi- 
ness was now taken by a society meeting in the 
refectory of the disestablished monastery of St. 
Thomas. This society had assumed the name of the 
constitutional officer of the Guards who had been 
murdered by his men on the 30th June, Landaburu, 
and it represented all that was most extreme on the 
constitutional side. This and similar clubs, together 
with the disgraceful excesses of the gutter press, kept 
the city in a continual state of turmoil and alarm. 
The French were coming ; the King had escaped ; 
San Martin, the Governor of Madrid in the last 
Government, had been released from prison ; these and 
ma ly other such rumours sent Madrid into whirlwinds 
of excitement night and day. The Government 
endeavoured to calm matters by calling an extra- 
ordinary session of the Cortes, much against Fer- 
nando's will, and compelled the King to sign a 


constitutional counter-manifesto in answer to the 
proclamation of the Regency of Urgel, but with very 
little effect. 

There was no doubt now about Fernando being 
practically a prisoner of his own Government, and 
his condemnation of the ''facciosos" deceived no 
one, and least of all the representatives of foreign 
governments, who looked with alarm and indignation 
at the anarchy which prevailed. Mina in Cataluna, 
and Espinosa and Torrijos in Navarre, were, how- 
ever, rapidly mastering the reactionaries,^ and in 
November the Urgel Regency fled to French terri- 
tory. The Holy Alliance now saw that they must 
act in earnest if they were to destroy constitutional 
monarchy in Spain. France had an army of 100,000 
men waiting on the frontier, and the Congress of 
Verona considered a representation from the Regency 
of Urgel, with the result that France received a 
subsidy and a mandate from Austria, Prussia, and 
Russia to put an end to the constitutional regime in 
Spain. Great l^ritain refused to join, and at the 
request of San Miguel offered her mediation. Not- 
withstanding the personal efforts of Wellington, 
however, the mediation was refused by France, and 
the haughty notes of the Powers, dictating a change 
in the internal government of a friendly country, were 

' As an instance of the bitter feeling on both sides the following case 
may be cited. Mina took possession of the town of Castelfollit, where- 
upon the whole population followed the retreating reactionaries. Mina 
then ordered every wall and building to be levelled to the ground, leav- 
ing only one column standing, upon which he had inscribed : " Here 
stood Castelfollit. Other towns take warning. Give no shelter to the 
enemies of the fatherland." 


presented early in January, 1823. The Cortes and 
the Constitutionists were furious with indignation 
and rage.i Orators and the press grew more vehement 
than ever, the foreign ambassadors, except Sir WilHam 
A'Court and those of the smaller Powers, received 
their passports, and overburdened Spain was once 
more face to face with a foreign invasion. 

To avoid such a calamity fresh attempts were 
made by England to persuade the Spaniards to 
modify their Constitution, at least to the extent of 
establishing a second chamber, and San Miguel at 
one time seemed to favour such an idea ; but the 
Government were at the mercy of the excited ex- 
tremists, inflated with the bombastic eloquence of 
the eternal orators, and it was soon understood that 
any surrender in the face of foreign threats was 
impossible. To make matters worse, in the midst 
of the turmoil, at the end of January, news came 
that the factious band of Bessieres was near at hand, 
threatening the capital itself, having beaten a Govern- 
ment force under O'Daly at Brihuega, but shortly 
afterwards they were forced to retreat by Henry 
O'Donnell, Count of La Bisbal. Though thus in 
hourly danger of foreign attack, or the domination 
of the absolutist party, nothing would convince the 
Constitutionists that they had anything serious to 
fear. They had no army to speak of, except the 
militia levee en masse, the King was known to be 
against them and held in duress, a great army of 

' An interesting report of this sitting of the Cortes, and of the details 
of the negotiations at the period with England, will be found in Michael 
Quin's " Visit to Spain." 


Frenchmen were ready to march upon the capital, 
but it was still considered sacrilege and treason even 
to suggest that the slightest modification could be 
made in the sacred fetish of the Constitution of 1812. 
Oratory and the press, like an undammed flood, swept 
away reason and good sense, and it was soon clear to 
Canning and the English Government that the 
infatuated people must be left to suffer the conse- 
quences of their own unreasonableness. 

On the 28th of January, Louis XVIII. opened the 
French Chambers with a speech announcing that 
100,000 French troops would at once enter Spain 
under the Duke of Angouleme, for the purpose of 
enabling Fernando VII. to give freely to his country 
the institutions he thought best, and to end the 
constitutional system. The speech stirred Spain to 
the heart. It was thought to forebode an attempt to 
obtain possession of Fernando and to carry him to 
France, and the shameful days of Bayonne and of 
Valengay were too recent to have been forgotten by 
Spaniards. On the 14th of February, 1823,' San 
Miguel came to the King late at night and asked 
permission to submit the speech of Louis XVIII. to 
the Cortes, which, the next day, authorised the 
Government to make preparations to resist the 
threatened invasion, and to remove the seat of 
government to a safer place than Madrid. When, 
however, the ministry proposed the latter step to the 
King he began by temporising, but, becoming bolder 

' For the particulars of the events of the next six months I am largely 
indebted to the King's own carefully kept diary, recently printed by 
my friend the Count de Casa Valencia, the nephew of Alcala Galiano. 


in a day or two, flatly refused to budge. When on 
the 1 8th he gave the ministers a positive refusal, the 
King relates that all the ministers marched out of the 
room whistling and singing the " Hymn of Riego." 
The next day the Cortes rose, but the King refused 
to be present, or to discuss the question of his removal, 
and on leaving the Chamber the ministers were 
astounded to learn that the King had dismissed them. 

This was too much for Madrid to stand quietly, 
and soon the palace was besieged by noisy crowds 
demanding the retention of San Miguel. Climbing 
balconies, peering into windows, they shouted insults 
and threats to Fernando and his family, demanding 
the appointment of a Regency and the immediate 
withdrawal of the decree of dismissal of the ministry, 
and terrified the King out of his wits. As usual, 
he tried to calm the mob by vague promises about 
consulting the Council of State, but it would not do. 
He had at last to get out of bed and promise all the 
crowd demanded. " For," says he, " I had no force 
that would obey me," and by two o'clock in the 
morning the rioters had gradually, dispersed. But 
still Fernando was deaf to all persuasions about his 
leaving Madrid, and at length the ministers, tired 
of his obstinacy, insisted themselves upon retiring 
(February 25th). 

This was the chance for the most extreme group, 
the " Cojimneros," and by arousing the King's fear of 
a popular insurrection in the city, they obtained a 
majority of the posts in the new ministry ; the first 
minister, however, Flores Estrada, having from his 
long exile in England learnt some political wisdom, 


and his age and former great wealth giving him a due 
sense of responsibility. The only other member of 
the ministry of any standing was General Torrijos, 
Minister of War, an ardent young reformer, of whom 
we shall have to speak later. 

Fernando had changed his ministers in the hope of 
avoiding the voyage to Seville ; but he had reckoned 
without the Cortes, which met in extraordinary session 
on the ist of March. Fernando was, or pretended to 
be, disabled by gout ; and, in his own words : " My 
speech was read, in which San Miguel made me say 
that I would undertake the journey when I considered 
it to be opportune." The Cortes knew full well that 
if it were left to the King's discretion the voyage 
would never take place, and insisted upon his making 
up his mind within twenty-four hours. Much heated 
and insulting oratory was wasted over the denunciation 
of the King ; but Fernando exhausted every shift and 
subterfuge to avoid the abandonment of Madrid on 
the approach of the French army that was to deliver 
him. Eight Court medicos certified that he was unfit 
to travel, but a Committee of the Cortes heckled the 
doctors, and ended by saying that they disbelieved 
both them and their patient. Then Fernando said 
he had no money, to which the Cortes replied that 
no more had they, but they would collect enough 
for the voyage in any case. And so, with one excuse 
after another, nearly three weeks dragged on, until 
the Cortes lost patience and threatened to appoint a 
Regency, for which the people were already clamour- 
ing, whereupon Fernando was forced to yield. He and 
his family left his capital for Seville on the 20th of 


March, followed by the Government and the Cortes, 
whilst the French army crossed the frontier on the 
7th of April. 

Angouleme met with no such resistance in Spain 
as that which had been offered to Napoleon fifteen 
years before. Mina, aided by San Miguel — a better 
soldier than he had proved a minister — did his best 
with his poor fighting material, but the divisions of 
Ballesteros and La Bisbal ' hardly made a stand. 
For it was no longer the whole of Spain fighting 
against the foreigner, as it had been in 1808, but one 
half of the country in conflict with the other half 
The National Militia, mostly young, ardent, and 
inexperienced men, were not the army of a nation, 
but of a political party which was hated by the King, 
the aristocracy, the Church, and the dregs. In some 
towns they were welcomed, and in others resisted, so 
that the struggle, such as it was, never assumed a 
national aspect. The extreme circumspection of the 
Duke of Angouleme aided this. His manifesto to 
the Spaniards assured them that he was no enemy 
but a helper ; that the Spanish flag alone shall wave 
over the land, that Spanish laws alone rule, and 
Spanish citizens alone administer in the name of the 
rightful Spanish sovereign. The peaceful entry of 
Angouleme in Madrid was preceded by a skirmish 
provoked by the absolutist chief, Bessieres, who, 

' The shifty O'Donnell planned a wholesale desertion of his army to 
the French, which being discovered, he fled. His force, however, 
broke up, a part joining the French and the rest uniting with the 
constitutionalist force. O'Donnell himself was impeached by the 
expiring Cortes at Cadiz, but he was out of their reach, and their de- 
cisions at the time had no eflect upon any one. 


ignoring the arrangement made by the constitutional 
general, Zayas, with the French, rode with his troop, 
reinforced by many of the vicious classes of the 
capital, to the centre of the Calle de Alcala, and 
raised a cry of " Down with the Constitution ! Long 
live the absolute King ! " But he and his band were 
put to flight, and on the 23rd of May the French army 
marched into Madrid by one gate, whilst the troops 
of the Constitution marched out of the other. 

Whatever may have been the hopes originally held 
by the Madrileiios as to the Constitution of Cadiz, 
there was no doubt now of the opinion of the great 
majority of the citizens who were left behind after the 
exodus of the Liberal Government with its officials and 
troops. The ashes of Daoiz and Velarde, the heroes of 
the 2nd of May, had been carried away by the Liberal 
Government to save them from profanation, and it 
would seem as if, at the same time, the very memory 
of the glorious day had faded from the minds of the 
fickle townsfolk. For now a French army was 
received with fervent blessings and rejoicing. A few 
days afterwards, at the instance of Angouleme, a 
Regency was nominated by the Council of State and 
the Council of the Indies to rule Spain in the name 
of Fernando until he should obtain his liberty. The 
Regency consisted of the Dukes of Infantado and 
Montemar, the Bishop of Osma and Gonzales Calde- 
ron, all strong royalists, as was their secretary, 
Francisco Tadeo Calomarde, of whom much more will 
be heard later. The ministers appointed by the new 
Regents were reactionaries of the most exaggerated I 
type, men of no ability or note, chosen mainly for j: 

angouleme's invasion. 237 

their strong royalist opinions. The fury of reaction 
began at once. Decrees rained from the Regents 
abolishing everything that the Liberals had enacted. 
Persecution, bitter and severe, pursued all the Consti- 
tutionists left in Madrid ; a force of royalist volun- 
teers was formed to counterbalance the National 
Militia, and to all suggestions of moderate men that 
some measure of toleration, or at least of patience, 
should be shown, Angouleme gave no reply but vague 

In the meanwhile, Fernando had arrived at Seville, 
having changed his ministry again to another group 
belonging to the masonic party, with Pando at its head. 
But ministers now were useless and of no importance.' 
The French army was rapidly approaching Seville, 
the Constitutionists had no army, no money, and no 
organisation. The King was sardonically jocose as 
the good news daily reached him, and the hearts 
of the Liberals grew more and more despairing. 
The last and only step to be taken was obviously 
to move on to insular Cadiz ; but when the Cortes 
conveyed this determination to Fernando he flatly 
declined to go any further. Once more the same 
scenes were enacted as those which preceded his 
departure from Madrid, whilst the Cortes continued 
to discuss interminably and pass important laws, 
which under the circumstances were absurd, for no 
one now paid any attention to the acts or decrees 
of a Liberal Government which was unable to sup- 
press anarchy and murder even in Seville itself, or 

■ The Minister of War, General Sanchez Salvador, comtaitted suicide 
the day after the arrival in Cadiz. 


to maintain any appearance of unity in its own 

Amidst confusion indescribable, the Cortes sat in 
Seville on the loth of June ; when Alcald Galiano 
conveyed to them the news that the King positively 
refused to leave the city, and it was decided that a 
committee of members should at once present an 
ultimatum to the King. Either he must leave next 
day at midday voluntarily, or he would be considered 
as not responsible for his actions, and taken by force. 
Fernando had used every argument and persuasion in 
his power. If they wanted to kill him, he said, let 
them do it at once. He promised the ministers and 
other Liberals his mercy and goodwill if they were 
oblis^ed to surrender to the French, in which case it 
would be as easy to surrender in Seville as in Cadiz. 
But they would not trust him ; and when he finally 
told the deputation of the Cortes that he refused to 
leave Seville except by force (June i ith) no time was 
lost in appointing a Regency consisting of Cayetano 
Vald^s, Gabriel Ciscar, and Caspar Vigodet. 

This was an act of desperation of which Fernando 
promptly took one advantage. Sending for all the 
representatives of foreign Powers in Seville, he pro- 
tested to them against the illegal act of his Cortes. 
Already the cause was lost, and some of the most 
active of the Constitutionists endeavoured to find 
salvation. Vigodet, one of the Regents, consulted 
the King before he accepted the post as to whether 
it would be considered to be a crime if he did so. 
Fernando replied that he would rather be in the 
hands of friends, such as Vigodet, than in those of 


enemies, and told liim to accept.' Ciscar, too, 
another Regent, came weeping to the King the 
day after his appointment, deploring that he must 
ask him to go to Cadiz, and the Generals Santa Cruz 
and Copons told the King they would not move 
unless he ordered them to go, which he did. On the 
1 2th of June the royal family left anarchical Seville 
amidst the curses, threats, and insults of the mob and 
militiamen ; and on Sunday, the 15th, the King and 
his suite reached San Fernando, on the isle of Leon. 
Here the King dined ; and, as he rose from the table, 
Valdes, the first Regent, came to him and in tones of 
profound respect said : " Sire, the Regency has now 
ceased to exist." With a sinister laugh Fernando 
replied : " Oh ! very well ! You mean to say that my 
ineptitude and lunacy have ceased. I am glad of it." 

Fernando has set down in his diary, in bitter- 
ness of heart, the shame and sufferings he endured 
in the four days' journey from Seville to Cadiz. 
Through scorching heat, over bad and dusty roads, 
unable either to eat or sleep from fear and excite- 
ment, surrounded by civilian soldiers, who treated 
him like a prisoner, insulted and contemned by all, 
he was still full of promises of future kindness to 
those around him ; but it is not strange that he thus 
treasured up all the slights put upon him, and in 
due time paid them back with interest. 

Not many days afterwards Cadiz was beleaguered 
by Frenchmen by land and sea, and once more French 
cannon thundered on to the island city, whilst the 

' Fernando, nevertheless, condemned him to be hanged like the other 
Liberals in due time. 


Spanish King, on a look-out tower, displayed rockets 
and roman candles, which every one knew were signals 
to the besiegers. But though every one knew, no one 
protested Apathy and despair were supreme, and 
each man's thought was now for his own safety : the 
militia were useless against a great army, and all 
Spain outside of Cadiz was cheering for the absolute 
King. Ineffectual attempts at sorties were made, in 
which many poor young militiamen gallantly threw 
away their lives for a lost cause, but all around Cadiz 
Bay, from Rota to Carracas, French cannon thundered 
salutes to a French fleet in the offing ; the Trocadero 
was in the hands of the invader (August 31st), the 
King was in constant communication with his dear 
cousin Angouleme ; and it was obvious to all that 
the captive Fernando held the winning hand, unless, 
indeed, his life fell a sacrifice to those whom he 
sneered at (in secret) as the " so-called Government " 
and " the revolutionary rabble." 

Desperate attempts were made once more by the 
Government to obtain the mediation of Great 
Britain ; but Angouleme and the French Govern- 
ment would not hear of it. Fernando, in the 
meanwhile, ostentatiously refused to accept any 
responsibility, or to read any communication, except 
those which passed through the hands of his distressed 
and despairing ministers, although it was known that 
he had private means of corresponding with the 
invaders. Only twice during his three months' stay 
in Cadiz did Fernando show himself in public in 
the streets, surrounded on each occasion by men of 
the Madrid militia, as if to emphasise his captivity 


One by one the forts defending Cadiz fell, and on the 
2 1 St of September Santi Petri, the last of the defences, 
surrendered to the invader. On the 23rd, at day- 
break, the French fleet approached and poured a 
deadly bombardment at short range on to the city, 
and for the first time the light-hearted Gaditanos 
realised that the affair was of importance to every 
citizen who had a home which a projectile might 
bring clattering down upon his head. The militiamen 
on the walls made as good a fight as could have 
been expected, and Fernando was an interested spec- 
tator of the scene from his observatory on the top of 
the Custom House, certain that his French friends 
would not send a bomb in his direction. But it was 
seen that no real resistance could be offered, and by 
midday the firing ceased. Angouleme would have 
nothing to say to the Government, but treated direct 
with the King, and at length, after desperate struggles 
to make conditions, the Cortes and the Government 
were forced to concede to the sovereign full libert}' 
of action. 

It was indeed time, for the troops inside Cadiz 
and on the island were already crying '' Viva el 
Rey absoluto!" and were more inclined to join the 
French than resist them, whilst the Government and 
the Cortes were respectively endeavouring to throw 
the responsibility of events upon each other. Fer- 
nando had played his cards with profound cunning. 
He knew that his life might be sacrificed at any 
moment, until the impotence of the Liberal rulers had 
come home to them all, and he had maintained an 
impenetrable reserve with the ministers who held 



him in duress. Over and over again Yandola and 
Luyando, two of the ministers, endeavoured to 
extract bmding pledges from him, but whilst pro- 
mismg vaguely, enough to ensure hope to the Liberals 
and consequently safety to himself, he had artfully 
avoided giving a definite pledge. On the i6th of 
September Luyando asked him point blank three 
questions-Would he grant a general act of oblivion 
for the past ? to which Fernando replied that he was 
much surprised that any one should doubt his gene- 
rosity. Would he grant a representative Government 
to Spain ? asked Luyando ; but upon this point the 
Kmg would give no definite answer. He must, he 
said, first be put at liberty in Madrid before' he 
answered that. And to the third question as to 
whether he would trust himself in the hands of the 
French, he said that that his ministers must decide. 
Luyando declaimed a good deal about the sinister 
objects of the Holy Alliance and the prophecies of 
Daniel ; but Fernando was more than a match for 
him, and he could extract no more from the Kin^ 
than this. 

When surrender was inevitable, on the 25th of 
September another attempt to exact conditions 
was made by the ministers. This time the King 
went further with regard to the first point, and posi- 
tively promised an act of oblivion. But to the prayer 
that he would gratify the nation by promising a 
representative government, he replied : " Perhaps you 
think that Cadiz is the whole nation." Here he stood 
firm ; and finally the Liberals had to content them- 
selves with the concession of the King's liberty of 


action on his pledge only of oblivion for the past. 
But when all was ready (September 29th) for Fer- 
nando to embark to join Angouleme on the other 
side of the Bay at Port St. Mary, the Government 
decided to send General Alava to settle terms with 
the French prince before they let the King go, for 
they had no guarantee but his bare word. Deeply 
disappointed, Fernando writes in his diary : " Now 
that Angouleme is waiting dinner for me, and I had 
written to him that I was free, I see clearly that I am 
as far as ever from breaking my chains. Thus God 
ordains that our patience should be tried ! " But 
Angouleme would have nothing to say to any one but 
the King ; and on the last day of September the 
ministers brought to Fernando their own dismissals, 
and they and the permanent Commission of Cortes 
kissed the smiling monarch's hand and bade him 

With all ceremony and splendour, but in gloomy 
silence, the King stepped into his launch at Cadiz, on 
the 1st of October, and an hour afterwards he threw 
himself into the arms of Angouleme at Port St. 
Mary's, a free man. The following words in his 
diary record his own feelings at his deliverance : 
" Wednesday, October I. — A happy day for me, for 
my family, and the whole nation, for from this 
moment we have recovered our ardently desired 
liberty, after three years six months and twenty days 
of the most ignominious slavery, in which I have 
been held by a handful of conspirators for their own 
ends, and of obscure ambitious soldiers, unable even 
to write their own names, who posed as regenerators 


of Spain, which they subjected to laws most calcu- 
lated to secure their sinister objects, and make their 
fortunes, whilst they destroyed the nation. Let us, 
then, give infinite thanks to the Almighty for the 
great mercy He has shown to us, and let us never 
doubt His incomprehensible power, and His watch- 
fulness over Spain." 

Fernando's last act before embarking had been 
to sign a manifesto drawn up by the ministers, 
promising the act of oblivion and pardon, "com- 
plete and absolute without any exception whatever," 
and the confirmation of all offices, ranks, and con- 
cessions, granted by the constitutional Government. 
It was asserted, indeed, that he spontaneously 
strengthened the promise by the addition of some 
words in his own hand ; but within three hours of 
his landing at Port St. Mary he issued his iniquitous 
decree which was to avenge the humiliations to 
which he had been subjected for over three years. 
" The most criminal treason, the most shameful 
cowardice, the most horrible disaster to my royal 
person, and the most irrestrainable violence, have 
been employed to change the paternal Government 
of my realms to a democracy, which has proved the 
origin of endless misfortunes." In this strain the 
decree goes on to denounce the Constitution and all 
its effects ; and ends by nullifying, utterly, every act of 
government done since March 7, 1820, and approving 
the actions of Angouleme's Regency. 

Thus Fernando broke all his promises. Scores of 
times since he had taken the oath in 1820 he had, 
with apparent sincerity, professed the most extrava- 


gant attachment to, and belief in, the constitutional 
Government ; only the day before he had solemnly 
promised oblivion and forgiveness for the past. The 
Liberals saw that this new decree meant exile, the 
dungeon, or the gallows for them, and so it proved.' 
From that moment to the death of Fernando there 
was hardly a truce to the reactionary excesses of a 
besotted despotism, for the King's vengeance knew 
no satiety. 

Fernando VII. arrived in Madrid on the 13th of 
November, and no words could describe better than 
his own the change that had taken place. " We came 
back," he writes, " by the same road as that by which 
we went, but oh ! how different is the aspect of a 
nation when it is moved by the real sentiment of its 
heart. It is impossible to describe the excess of joy, 
the delirium of the people, at seeing us free from our 
slavery. This, indeed, is the true people, and not 
those wretches whom the revolutionaries paid to serve 
as an excuse or a support, as best suited their ends." 
" From all quarters came the multitudes," continues 
the King, " some of the people from fifty leagues off, 
to cheer us, triumphal cars, flowers and crowns, flags 
and joy bells, greeted us everywhere." 

' Louis XVIII. and Chateaubriand expostulated and protested in vain 
against the iniquitous persecution of the Liberals, which they attributed 
to the priest Saez, who was Fernando's new Minister of State. Six 
hundred persons were proscribed in Madrid alone ; and even before 
Fernando's release, in the eighteen days from August 24th to September 
I2th the Regency appointed by Angouleme hanged 118 prominent 
Liberals and imprisoned many hundreds. The persecutions slackened 
somewhat, however, when Saez's ministry was replaced by the Marquis 
of Casa Irujo and more moderate colleagues. 


In a superb triumphal car drawn by relays of 
eager citizens and royalist volunteers, Fernando passed 
from the monastery of the Atocha to the palace of his 
forefathers in a tornado of enthusiasm, greeted by the 
odes of scores of poets and the paeans of innumerable 
musicians. What mattered it that the servile crowd 
who abased themselves before the lying despot, had 
only a year or two ago gone into convulsions of adu- 
lation over poor Riego ? The same brutal mob had 
purged their offence a week before the King's entry 
by mocking and loading with contumely their former 
hero, whilst he was being dragged in a basket at an 
ass's tail to be hanged and quartered as a felon in the 
Plaza de la Cebada. Thus fell the Constitution of 
Cadiz, and once more was the axiom proved true that 
a people always in the end obtains the government it 
deserves. The well-meaning theorists who attempted 
to raise their country from the dark superstition and 
grovelling subjection of centuries at one bound to the 
full light of freedom, paid in many cases with their 
fortunes, liberties, and lives for their political enthu- 
siasm, and the nation at large was plunged once more 
into an obsolete system of government which cramped 
its development and blighted its progress. The 
violent and imprudent advance of 18 12 was followed 
naturally by equally violent reaction ; in its turn to 
be succeeded by the rough rebound and the alternate 
oscillations which have since consummated the ruin 
of a country possessing all the elements of happiness 
and prosperity. As for Fernando, he had learnt 
nothing from his suffering and experience. His 
fathers had been absolute, and he would be absolute 


too. So all the old abuses were re-enacted ; the friars, 
the tithes, and the entails came back, the Spaniards 
became " dear vassals " again and gloried in the 
name, and every market-place in the land changed its 
name once more from Plaza de la Constitucion to 
Plaza Mayor, whilst such " Spanish patriots " as had 
escaped the gallows sought freedom, refuge, and 
safety in England and America. 



The entire revolution of the financial system of 
Spain three times within ten years had completely 
demoralised both the taxpayer and the treasury, and 
matters in this respect had gone from bad to worse 
with each succeeding change. The confiscation and 
restoration of the conventual and Inquisition property 
and other national assets, had taken place so often 
that, when the reformers endeavoured to sell it, as 
decreed, to cancel gradually the non-interest bearing 
floating debt, and to meet the service of the old con- 
solidated debt upon which interest was payable, very 
few purchasers could be found. The anarchy which 
reigned over Spain made it almost impossible to 
collect the ordinary revenue, and the optimistic 
estimates presented by the successive finance 
ministers were in every case ludicrously wide of the 
mark. It always has been, and still remains, a 
characteristic of Spanish finance to assume that 
budget deficits can be met by reducing expenditure 
to a point which has never been possible in any 

previous year, and in this fool's paradise Fernando's 




ministers had still dwelt. It was found in the 
estimates for 1822-23 that the annual deficit on 
general revenue reached ^2,700,000. Sweeping re- 
ductions had already been made by the Cortes in 
the expenditure, but yet it was assumed that this vast 
deficit could be met by further economies. So far 
from this being the case, the expenditure of the year 
was larger than ever, whilst the revenue fell immensely 
short of the estimate, as practically no taxes were 
received from Cataluna and Navarre. It may be 
interesting to set forth at length the details of 
revenue for 1822-23, to show the sources of taxation 
upon which the Constitutionists depended : 

Land Tax ... 


150 1 

million reals 

Tax on Clergy 



Arrears of Tithes . . . 




House Tax 

.. . 



Trade Licenses 








Tobacco, Salt, and 







i 1 

Registration Dues ... 



9 » 

Church Bulls 





. . . 



Post Office 

. . . 



First-fruits of Public Offices 




To which must be added cost of collection ., 
Making a total estimated sum to be collected 

= ;^5>70o,ooo 

;if 6,900,000 

The estimated expenditure for the year amounted 
to ;^8,400,ooo, leaving a deficit for the year of 
^2,700,000. There was also an outstanding deficit 


of i:2,ooo,ooo for the previous year ; and instead of 
the above estimate of revenue for 1823 being fulfilled, 
the actual amount received in the year was ^1,700,000 
less, the accumulated deficits at the end of the year 
thus reaching i:6,400,ooo, in addition to the increased 
expenditure of the year, and the vicious system of 
fresh borrowing to cover current expenditure was 
again resorted to. 

Nor had the three successive periods of war, re- 
action, and anarchy since 1808 been less disastrous to 
the country in its social, aesthetic, and industrial aspects. 
Joseph Bonaparte had made some attempt at improv- 
ing and cleansing the streets of his capital, but at the 
time of his last exodus little had been done but to clear 
spaces by demolition. During the period of reaction, 
on the return of Fernando until 1820, utter paralysis 
prevailed. The friars had come back, and the towns 
were still encumbered by the gloomy religious edifices, 
of which there were sixty in Madrid alone ; and large 
numbers of the houses remained in the possession of 
ecclesiastical foundations, or were tied up in perpetual 
entail, so that the ordinary domestic buildings were 
usually mean and dilapidated. Life was almost 
as slow in this early nineteenth century as it had 
been in the sixteenth ; few people travelled, or even 
stirred from the populous centres of the towns unless 
they were compelled; the roads were notoriously 
unsafe after dark, and most of the intellectual and 
literary societies which had arisen under Charles III., 
and even under Godoy, were frowned at askance after 
the restoration of Fernando. For a short time durino- 
the life of Fernando's second wife, Isabel of Braganza, 


some small artistic and architectural movement was 
perceptible through her influence, but it hardly out- 
lived her, except the establishment of the National 
Picture Gallery. 

Indeed, with literature almost dead, journalism 
confined in the capital to two official papers, with 
a rigid censorship of the printing press in all forms, 
and most men of learning and enlightenment in 
prison or banishment, it may be said that this period 
from 1 8 14 to 1820 presents the most hopeless blank 
in the history of Spanish progress. One art, and 
one only, in this period gave signs of vitality. In 
times of the greatest despotism, under the Austrian 
kings, when the exercise of the intellect was most 
severely handicapped, the stage had been almost 
the only form in which Spanish genius had found 
full scope. This was again the case in the period 
of reaction now under review. It is true that 
no great dramatist arose to give new masterpieces, 
although Moratin still lived and wrote ; but one of 
the most consummate actors that ever lived, the pupil 
of Talma, but better than his master, Isidro Maiquez, 
did for the Spanish stage at this period what Garrick 
had done for England. Old false traditions were 
banished, and gave way to naturalness, reason, and 
good taste ; scenery, dresses, and stagecraft were 
reformed, and texts were purified. Constantly watched 
by a jealous government, and not infrequently pro- 
scribed and banished, as Maiquez was, with an absurd 
censorship prohibiting some of the finest dramatic 
works of Spanish masters, the grand actor nevertheless 
introduced to his entranced public the classical 


tragedies of Shakspeare, Racine, and Alfieri, as well as 
such native plays of high merit as were not forbidden. 
Tragedy and comedy were equally attractive in his 
hands, and never before or since has the Spanish 
stage possessed such an ornament. The foolish 
cTovernment of Fernando limited his repertoire, perse- 
cuted him for his popularity, and at last worried him 
into his grave (i8i8), but he it was who gave to this 
black period of the reaction the only bright spot it 


Commerce and industry, saddled anew with crush- 
in- burdens on the return of Fernando, were unable 
to^'re-establish themselves after the great war, whilst 
the revolt of the American Colonies completed the 
ruin by depriving the languishing manufacturers of 
the only protected market they possessed. Looked 
at from any point of view, therefore, the position of 
the nation was gloomy in the extreme, and the hopes 
of an enormous rebound in material prosperity after 
the o-reat national struggle against the invader, and 
under a more enlightened system of government 
were utterly dashed by the stolid obstinacy of 
Fernando in ignoring everything that had happened 
in Spain from 1 808 to 1 8 14. 

The constitutional period from 1820 to 1823, 
unfortunately, spent most of its energy and impetus 
in oratory and polemics, but still some attempt was 
made in these four years to improve the condition of 
the country. Under Government subsidies regular 
dilio-ences were re-established on the principal high- 
roads, the shifting of the greater burden of taxation 
on to the Church and the landed classes, to the relief 


of trade, once more encouraged the foundation of a 
{itw new manufactories ; a Board of Public Instruction 
was established, with the enlightened writer Ouintana 
as its president, to reform the system of teaching in 
the public schools : the National Academy, in imitation 
of the French Institute, was founded, and scientific 
and literary institutions again raised their heads under 
the encouragement of the constitutional Government. 
The theatre, too, freed from the blighting censorship 
which had killed Maiquez, again presented the 
masterpieces of Spanish dramatic art, whilst Martinez 
de la Rosa, Angel Saavedra (Duke of Rivas), Quin- 
tana, and Solis, freed from their dungeons or their 
exile, added to the Spanish stage — in the intervals 
of their less productive political activity — dramatic 
works worthy of their great predecessors. But this 
was all, for during the constitutional period, as has 
already been related, public excitement, sporadic 
anarchy, and political eloquence had left but little 
leisure or energy for other interests ; nor had the 
instability of institutions encouraged to any great 
extent the promotion of schemes for the material 
improvement of the country. The reign of Fernando, 
from his accession in 1808 to the final fall of the 
Constitution in 1823, may indeed be summed up in 
three periods thus: From 1808 to the King's return in 
i8i4,six and a half yearsof exalted ideals and patriotic 
struggle ; from 181 5 to 1820, six years of despairing 
apathy ; and from 1821 to 1823, three years of feverish 
but fruitless effort. 

The results of Fernando's government had been no 
less disastrous in America than in the mother country. 



The Spanish Colonies, from the first .day of their 
settlement, had been treated solely as possessions 
for the production of revenue which might be 
squandered by courtiers and politicians in Spain. The 
interests of the Colonists and of the countries them- 
selves had been treated with absolute disregard, 
except for a short experimental period in the reign of 
Charles III., and again when representation in the 
national Cortes was granted by the Government of 
Cadiz in 1812. The long Peninsular war, however, 
and the state of anarchy which accompanied it, gave 
to the native-born Spanish Creoles an opportunity 
for shaking off a connection from which they gained 
nothing and sacrificed much. On the return of 
Fernando in 18 14 several of the American Colonies, 
especially Venezuela, Buenos Ayres, Chile, and New 
Granada were independent in all but name, and soon 
became so even in this respect, and throughout the 
rest of the continent the Spanish Viceroys were only 
able with the greatest difficulty to exact a local and 
limited obedience. 

A prudent government would have seen in such 
circumstances the material impossibility of holding 
by force these vast and distant possessions, and 
would have made such terms as were possible, to 
conserve at least a nominal connection and some 
preferential treatment in the matter of trade. 
Fernando and his absolutist friends, however, refused 
to acknowledge indisputable facts and determined 
to reconquer, if possible, the whole Colonial empire 
by force and terror. It was too late, for the 
Americans had proved the weakness of the mother 


country, exhausted as it was by internal conflict 
and a long war. In Mexico the revolt had not 
been so strong as elsewhere and had been domi- 
nated, and at the time of Fernando's restoration the 
Viceroyalty was for the most part apparently loyal to 
Spain. It is possible that this colony might have been 
saved for a time but for the incredible folly of the 
King and his advisers, who instead of conciliating the 
Mexicans went to the length of decreeing the re- 
establishment of the Inquisition, and a return of the 
antique despotism which the Cortes of Cadiz had 
wisely abolished. This was too much, and the insur- 
rection spread until it became irresistible. In vain 
Fernando still further depleted his shrunken treasury 
and sacrificed his unwilling soldiers by repeated 
attempts to reconquer his lost provinces. We have 
seen that his supreme effort in 1820 ended in the 
revolt of the army and the proclamation of the Con- 
stitution, and as a result all that was left to Spain on 
the American mainland in 1823 was the Castle of San 
Juan de Ulua in Mexico and some shadow of power 
in Peru. 

Fernando still looked to the European monarchies 
to save to him his American domains ; but his furious 
reactionary policy on his rescue by Angouleme in 
1823-24 alienated even his friends; whilst it con- 
vinced Great Britain that from him no enlightenment, 
no reform, and no expansion of trade could be 
expected. The unity of the forces of reaction in 
Europe under the Holy Alliance was a standing 
menace to England ; and in these circumstances 
Canning, as he himself phrased it, called a new 


world into existence to redress the balance of 
the old. On the ist of January, 1825, England 
recognised — as the United States had already done 
— the independence of the South American Republics. 
The Spanish forces in Peru still held out, but Bolivar 
and Cochrane were now free to help the Peruvians, 
and at the battle of Ayacucho (December, 1824) the 
Spaniards were beaten and forced to surrender ; the 
continent of South America thus breaking the last 
link that bound it to the despotic and obscurantist 
government of Fernando VII. 

Modern civilisation has seen no such instance of 
brutal, blind ferocity as that which followed the 
arrival of Fernando in Madrid. There was neither 
justice nor mercy in the government of the besotted 
churchmen who surrounded the King. The gallows 
was the sole instrument and argument by which they 
ruled ; they prayed for the restoration of the Inquisi- 
tion, though that Fernando dared not grant. The 
frenzy of intolerance and cruelty spread from the 
preaching friars and ignorant nobles to the brutal 
mob. It was sufficient for a person to have belonged 
to the militia, or even to be related to a known 
Liberal, for the most inhuman tortures to be inflicted 
upon him by the unrestrained populace ; and in 
many cases even women were subjected to dis- 
graceful treatment by the mob and the royalist 
volunteers. The authorities, far from discouraging, 
smiled upon the brutal orgies of these supporters of 
despotism. The prisons were so full, and the 
ordinary tribunals so busy, that impromptu courts- 
martial were established in all the provincial capitals, 


which untrammelled by legal procedure or traditions, 
condemned almost unheard multitudes of good 
citizens whose only crime was a belief in the repre- 
sentative government. It is a lamentable truth that 
much of the atrocity of this persecution was owing to 
the influence of the friars and the Church. A hideous 
ecclesiastical society, founded by the Bishop of Osma, 
called " The Exterminating Angel," which spread its 
ramifications all over Spain organised vengeance 
upon Liberals ; every pulpit, every monastery, every 
royalist club was a centre of persecution. The 
only two newspapers now allowed to be published 
— the Gazette and the Restorer — hounded on the 
furious hosts of ignorance to further acts of cruelty ; 
whilst the servile crowd who gloried in their slavery 
received the smiling sovereign when he appeared in 
his capital with cries of " Hurrah for despotism and 
chains ; death to Liberty ! " 

The greatest of the guerrilla chiefs who had 
fought the French was the chivalrous Empecinado — 
a mere peasant named Juan Martin, but a born 
commander of men. On Fernando's return from 
France the Empecinado's immense services to the 
country had been rewarded by close imprisonment, 
until the revolt of Riego set him free. When 
the Constitution fell the Empecinado escaped to 
Portugal, but was captured near the frontier at the 
same time as Fernando entered Madrid (November, 
1823). He was kept by the local authorities at Roa 
for the next ten months, suffering the most revolting 
tortures in prison, being brought out every market- 
day in an iron cage to be exposed to the insults of 



the crowd. For four days at a time he was kept 
without food or drink, confined in one position ; and 
his prayers that he should promptly be put out of his 
misery only brought upon him fresh persecution. In 
vain the English ambassador protested to the King 
against such inhumanity, the Empecinado refused 
to acknowledge any crime or beg for mercy, as he had 
formerly refused the bribe of a peerage to desert the 
Constitution, and he was at length condemned to the 
gallows. He was calm and dignified almost to the 
last ; but on his way to the scaffold he was driven to 
sudden fury by seeing one of his persecutors, a 
royalist volunteer officer, flourishing the famous sword 
which he, the Empecinado, had borne throughout 
the war. With a prodigious effort he burst his fetters 
and scattered those who held him captive ; but he 
tripped over the shroud in which he was clothed, and, 
fighting furiously to the last, this, one of the greatest 
heroes of Spanish independence, was dragged by the 
neck until he was dead, and the last insults might be 
offered to his corpse with impunity. 

But there were degrees even in this saturnalia of 
reaction. The Holy Alliance, through the Russian 
ambassador, Pozzi di Borgo, gravely warned Fernando 
of the probable consequences of such a policy as this ; 
and the King, from prudential motives, gave Father 
Saez an Archbishopric, and appointed a rather more 
moderate minister under Casa Irujo ; a so-called 
amnesty being published (May i, 1824) which con- 
tained so many exceptions as to amount to a confirma- 
tion of the persecution. But small as this concession 
was, it split the party of reaction. Fernando's brother 

y H liniitiiilf la I'.iinifiri If .vm lit/fnir.'; Esir Ir til'r'rfntr twi^*' 
II m ni'irliil fiteimifi), if /«•■ Krf/,i/hi/-:r iiiui .rt\ in-nitw lit- / 



Carlos and his wife, Maria Francisca of Braganza, 
had ever since the restoration been conspicuous for 
their ostentatious piety and attachment to the Church. 
They were now adopted by the society of "The 
Exterminating Angel," and the more bigoted of the 
friars, as leaders of the party of extreme reaction and 
resistance of all moderation. Fernando did his best 
to convince this party that his real sympathies were 
on its side, as they doubtless were. All the most 
violent reactionists were rewarded lavishly ; titles of 
nobility, such as Marquis of Loyalty, of Fidelity, of 
Constancy, of Royal Appreciation, and the like, were 
given to men who had been conspicuous in their per- 
secution of Liberals ; but, withal, the fanaticism of 
Don Carlos was more to the liking of the extremists 
than the enforced prudence of the King, and around 
the heir-presumptive and his irascible wife all the 
elements of uncompromising reaction were thence- 
forward grouped. 

After a few weeks of office the new minister, Casa 
Irujo, died (January, 1824), and was succeeded by 
Count de Ofalia, whose place as Minister of Justice 
was filled by that Francisco Tadeo Calomarde of 
whom we last heard as Secretary to the Regency 
appointed by Angouleme in Madrid. Calomarde was 
a humble lawyer who had sprung from menial service, 
and without possessing special talent was supple, 
unscrupulous, and ambitious. He had changed his 
coat several times, and at this period was considered 
an extreme reactionist ; but he succeeded thence- 
forward in establishing a complete dominion over the 
KincT, which he maintained until Fernando died. His 



262 , Despotism. 

secret of success was to guess, if possible, the King's 
view of affairs and then present it as his own. Know- 
ing, as he did, that Fernando's plan was to balance the 
extreme party against the moderates, he organised 
a complete system of domestic espionage, which 
enabled him to keep the King informed of the secret 
actions of all men ; and as he himself was known to 
belong really to Don Carlos's party, he was in a 
position to advise Fernando how far he might go on 
the side of moderation to please the allied Powers 
without quite alienating the elements of "aposto- 
Hcism " in Spain. 

The French Government looked upon Fernando's 
proceedings with undisguised annoyance. It was 
seen that such a brutal reaction as this would end in 
rendering unpopular all those who had been instru- 
mental in bringing it about, and Louis XVIII. passed 
from persuasions to threats ; and more than once the 
French Commander-in-chief in Spain, Bourmont, was 
angrily blamed by his master and Chateaubriand for 
not putting an end to such a regime by force, which 
he doubtless would have done had he been less of a 
reactionary himself. Fernando gave way to all the 
demands of France, so far as regarded the payment 
of their expenses of the war, the mediation of the 
French Government in the matter of the revolted 
American Colonies and free trade with them after- 
wards ; but when it came to abating the fury of 
reaction in Spain itself he could only go so far as 
the extremists surrounding Don Carlos would suffer 
without revolt. With the fall of Chateaubriand (July, 
1824) one of the principal moderating influences dis- 

THE ''apostolic" PARTY. 263 

appeared, and the Spanish Prime Minister Ofah'a soon 
gave place to Cea Bermudez, whom the " apostolic " 
party looked upon as one of themselves. 

But the new minister had lived long in London 
as ambassador, and disappointed his protectors by- 
adopting the policy of what was called " enlightened 
despotism"; and in this for a time he was seconded 
from prudential diplomatic motives by Calomarde. An 
unsuccessful attempt of a few refugees from Gibraltar 
to effect a rising (August, 1824) soon gave to the 
reactionaries an excuse for demanding greater severity 
against those who were suspected of liberalism, 
although every prominent man connected with the 
little insurrection, to the number of thirty-six, who 
fell into the hands of Joseph O'Donnell was shot at 
once, and the rest (lOo) put upon their trial. The 
less brutal counsels of the last few months were 
forgotten, and again the heartless severity of the 
persecution which followed those who were secretly 
denounced shocked humanity. A slight word, almost 
a look in some cases, consigned poor ignorant men 
and boys to the merciless gallows, and hardly a town 
in Spain was not disgraced again by cruelty worthy 
of a Nero. The death of Louis XVIII. left Fernando 
free from the principal moderating influence which he 
had to respect, and thenceforward it was despotism 
pure and simple with but small signs of the "en- 
lightenment " which the Prime Minister boasted of 
introducing into it. 

With the aid now of Calomarde, the ferocious 
Minister of War Aymerich, and the chief of the 
police, Rufino Gonzales, a veritable reign of terror 


was established, in which domestic espionage was 
rendered general, and almost every citizen in the 
country was classified and watched. The mere 
possession of any books or papers printed or 
introduced into Spain during the constitutional period 
was made a crime, and the strictest orders were given 
in the custom houses to prevent the importation of 
foreign books of any sort. But, notwithstanding all 
this severity and watchfulness, Fernando did not feel 
safe on his blood-soaked throne. The French army 
had at his request delayed their departure more than 
once, in order that he might depend upon their sup- 
port if needful ; and finally, at the end of 1824, it was 
agreed between the two governments that 35,000 
French soldiers should remain in Spain indefinitely 
and be paid by the over-burdened Spanish exchequer. 
Cea Bermudez, the Prime Minister, cautiously did his 
best to temper the fury of the King and his advisers, 
and Ballesteros, the Finance Minister, also laboured 
with some success to reorganise his department on 
enlightened lines ; but with Calomarde, Aymerich, and 
Gonzales near the King, affairs went from bad to worse. 
Even private soldiers and students at the universities 
were not allowed to resume their positions in their 
regiments or classes until an inquisitorial examination 
had proved them to be untainted with liberalism, the 
police code was almost childish in its violence and 
meanness ; and, to crown the situation, it was con- 
sidered necessary for Fernando to issue a special 
manifesto (April, 1825), in which he vehemently de- 
clared that he would never consent to the slightest 
alteration or diminution of his absolute sovereignty, 


or allow any chambers or institutions of any sort to 
be established in Spain. The most furious of the 
persecutors was a man named Chaperon, President of 
the Military Commission of Madrid, whose name has 
been adopted by Spaniards as typical of the time ; 
and the " epoch of Chaperon " still stands for these 
months of horror. Not even the most bloodthirsty 
wretches of the French Reign of Terror could surpass 
this man, who was held up by the party of Don 
Carlos as a model judge, and who condemned ladies 
of gentle birth, youths and maidens of tender years, 
and worthy citizens to hard labour in the galleys, to the 
dungeon, or to the scaffold on grotesquely insufficient 

At length Cea Bermudez frankly told the King 
that he was on the road to ruin, and even Calomarde 
took fright at the extremes to which severity was 
carried, and a change of policy resulted (June, 1825). 
Aymerich and the extremists were dismissed, and 
Cea Bermudez obtained a more moderate Minister 
of War. The terrible local courts-martial were 
abolished, and, for a time, matters assumed a more 
merciful aspect. Soon the violent reactionaries cried 
that Fernando was again being swayed by the Free- 
masons ; and the turbulent guerrilla chief Bessieres, a 
Frenchman who had belonged to all parties, but was 
now a tool of the " apostolics," raised the banner 
of revolt against moderation, and was joined by a 
number of rovalist volunteers. But the regular 
troops failed to join, and Bessieres' backers in the 
Court abandoned him. The rebel was followed with 
ruthless severity b}- the Count de Espafia, also a 


Frenchman notwithstanding his name, and he and 
his officers were shot at the place where they were 
captured (August, 1825). There is no doubt that 
the rising of Bessieres was intended to be a part of 
a widespread insurrection in favour of Don Carlos, 
but it was thus nipped in the bud. Fernando again 
followed his usual policy of endeavouring to con- 
ciliate his brother's party by renewed persecution 
of those who were suspected of liberalism ; and the 
gentler methods of Cea Bermudez were for a time 
obscured, the Prime Minister himself falling and, 
being replaced by the fanatical Duke of Infantado 
in October, 1825, under whom once more the hellish 
work of persecution proceeded unchecked, until his 
retirement a year later. 

In such a system of government as this the 
liberties and lives of private citizens were at the 
mercy of spies and secret enemies ; and not Liberals 
alone, but all men of moderate views looked aghast 
upon a policy which was destroying public confidence, 
paralysing national progress, and exposing Spain to 
the indignant opprobrium of the civilised world. 
Some of the most respected of Spaniards abroad, such 
as Flores Estrada in London, and Javier de Burgos 
in Paris, ventured to remonstrate with Fernando, 
but without effect ; and in January, 1826, an attempt 
at armed revolution was made at Alicante by Colonel 
Bazan, who landed there with seventy companions, 
in the belief that the local Liberals would join him. 
But the persecutions had cowed the people, and 
Bazan and the whole of his force were caught and 


On the other hand, the extreme royahsts who 
followed Don Carlos affected to be still discontented 
with what they looked upon as Fernando's modera- 
tion. Civil war was raging in Portugal, where the 
rabid absolutist, Don Miguel, was disputing the 
succession of his niece, Doha Maria, and a moderate 
enlightened limited monarchy under the aegis of 
England. Fernando was, of course, strongly in 
favour of Miguel ; but he dared not openly aid him, 
for Spain was in no condition to enter upon a war 
with England; and the Spanish army under Sarsfield 
was placed on the Portuguese frontier with orders 
to maintain strict neutrality. The besotted ultra- 
royalist party, blind to every consideration but their 
own fierce bigotry, could be restrained no longer. 
Early in 1827 a manifesto of the " Federation of 
Pure Royalists " was spread broadcast over Spain, 
advocating the elevation of Don Carlos to the throne. 
It suited Calomarde to pretend that this really 
emanated from the Liberals, and, if possible, the 
persecutions against them became more relentless 
than ever ; but in the face of events the pretence had 
soon to be dropped, for before the end of the summer 
most of Cataluha was in open revolt and a sort of 
absolutist revolutionary government was established 
at Manresa, with the ostensible object of liberating 
Fernando from the captivity in which it was said he 
was still held by disguised Liberals and Freemasons. 
The friars were the moving spirits of this revolt, and 
the name of Don Carlos was that under which they 
fought, though he personally stood aloof 

Through the north of Spain, in those countwes 



which had not forgot their independence from Castile, 
and still yearned for their old autonomy, Cataluna, 
Aragon, and Navarre, the insurrection spread rapidly, 
favoured by the mountainous character of the country ; 
and Fernando was forced to go personally and convince 
the insurgents that he was at liberty. From Tarra- 
gona he issued a vigorous manifesto telling the 
" apostolics " that their methods were as bad as those 
of the Liberals, and ridiculing the assertion of his 
captivity. The revolt broke up immediately, and 
although Fernando had promised pardon to all, he 
broke his word as usual, and most of the leaders 
were shot. In order to make things equal in this 
respect the ferocious Count de Espana, the Com- 
mander-in-chief in Cataluiia, surpassed all previous 
efforts, even in this bloodthirsty reign, in his heartless 
cruelty to those who were suspected of, or denounced 
for, holding Liberal views. Without trial or formality 
whole families were imm.ured in pestilential dun- 
geons, herded with thieves and cut-throats, on secret 
delation of an enemy or a spy. Stripped, robbed, 
insulted and maltreated, these poor creatures, often 
absolutely innocent, were driven in many cases to 
starvation or suicide, whilst the rest were sent in 
heart-broken batches to death in the African penal 
settlements or were shot, and afterwards hanged in 
rows on lofty gibbets in the presence of the Count 
de Espana himself This was the high-water mark 
of persecution, for in the rest of Spain after the 
return of the King from Catalufia more moderation 
prevailed, now that the extreme absolutists, as well 
as the Liberals, had received their terrible lesson. 


In May, 1829, an event happened which filled 
with hope the friends of Don Carlos and blind 
reaction. The faded, colourless little Queen Consort, 
Amalia of Saxony, had been in poor health for 
some time ; overshadowed by her two turbulent 
and masterful sisters-in-law, a mere cipher in her 
husband's Court. Her death without children 
seemed to ensure the speedy accession of Don 
Carlos ; for Fernando, although onh' forty-five years 
of age, was gouty and failing. His life had been a 
self-indulgent one, and it was regarded as in the 
highest degree improbable that he would marry 
again, or in any case that he would be blessed with 
succession. It will be necessary to glance at the 
characters of the two women who at this juncture, 
and during the next few years, exerted so large an 
influence on the future of their adopted country, and 
whose intrigues and ambitions have left so plentiful a 
crop of troubles and miseries behind them. 

Maria Francisca of Braganza, the wife of Don 
Carlos, was a stately and imperious lad}- of exag- 
gerated personal piety and determined and masculine 
aspect, always exercising great influence on the King, 
who had been deeply attached to her sister, his 
second wife. She, and indeed all the rest of the 
Court, was inclined to treat with some disdain the 
household of the King's younger brother, Don 
Francisco de Paula, the reputed son of Godoy, whom 
the Constitution of Cadiz at first excluded from the 
succession. The Infante Francisco bore not the 
slightest resemblance to his two brothers, who were 
strikingly alike ; he was a person of very inferior 



gifts, and had almost pathetically bidden for 
popularity by assumed cordiality and democratic 
sympathies. His wife, Carlota of Naples, was a 
vehement and energetic young woman, whose pride 
had been deeply wounded by the equivocal and 
squalid position of her husband at Court, and the 
airs of superiority indulged in by Don Carlos and 
his wife. She had naturally, therefore, kept as far 
away as possible from the fanatical Conservative 
party, of which Don Carlos was the figure-head ; and 
althouo-h no one would have dared to hint that 
Francisco and Carlota were Liberals, it came to be 
acknowledged that they were less violently reactionary 
than the elder Infante and his wife. 

Immediately after the Queen's death both of these 
ladies began to intrigue for their own ends. Fernando 
was uxorious and susceptible, and it soon became 
evident that he could not contentedly remain single, 
as Don Carlos's party had hoped. Dona Francisca and 
her sister, the Princess of Beira, had candidates of their 
own ; but Dona Carlota had a beautiful young sister 
whose portrait quite fascinated the King, and, to the 
indignation of the "apostolic" party, Fernando decided 
to marry Maria Cristina of Naples, his niece. 

Long before the young bride appeared in Spain the 
Carlist party resorted to the vilest calumny to render 
her unpopular. Her personal character was impugned, 
she was represented as an ardent and irreligious 
reformer, and thus the violence of the extremists 
drove the new Queen irresistibly to depend upon 
their opponents, whatever her own private opinions 
may have been. On her way through France she 


(Fourth wife of Fernando VII.) 


was greeted by the Spanish political refugees, who 
besTcred her intercession for their return. Her 
manner was winning and gracious in the extreme, 
and she promised the exiles that she would help 
them, a promise she kept far better than Fernando 
kept his on a similar occasion. Her journey through 
Barcelona and Valencia to Aranjuez, where she was 
betrothed to Don Carlos as proxy for the King on 
the 8th of December, 1829, was a triumphal progress. 
Her youth, her beauty, and her graciousness won all 
hearts, and when she entered Madrid in state a few 
days afterwards, dressed in the sky blue which ever 
after was the colour of her party, with her husband 
riding by the side of her carriage, the people under- 
stood that a new era was about to dawn upon 
Spain. This happy smiling girl would, surely, never 
countenance the grim cruelty which had driven 
thousands of the best Spaniards to exile or to death ; 
by Fernando's side she would be, they rightly 
thought, a counterpoise to the two sections of be- 
sotted reactionaries who alternately ruled the counsels 
of the " Rey absolute." 

As the spirits of the Liberals rose the bitterness of 
the Carlists increased. Hopes of succession to the 
King came before many months, and still further 
divided the royal family, who now hardly kept up 
even a semblance of civility with each other. If the 
expected child should prove a boy, then indeed was 
the cause of Don Carlos and the reactionaries in a 
bad way, and all the prospects of the party were 
centred in the fervent anticipation that a girl might 
be born. But Dona Carlota and the young Queen, 


who had now estabHshed a complete domination 
over P'ernando, were determined at any cost to settle 
things in their own way, and cast about for means 
to do it. 

In the early pages of this book an account is 
given of the strange action of Charles IV. in 1789 
in requesting the Cortes secretly to agree to the 
abolition of the Salic law in Spain, and then himself 
failing to perfect the enactment by publishing it as a 
decree. The documents of the Cortes of 1789 had 
slumbered peacefully from that time to the date 
with which we are now occupied ; but it occurred 
to the advisers of the Oueen that the " Pragmatic 
Sanction" given, but not published, by Charles IV., 
might now be disinterred and promulgated by his 
son ; in which case Don Carlos would only succeed 
on the entire failure of issue to the King and Queen. 
The proceedings of the reactionist party had already 
displeased Fernando ; and Doiia Francisca, his 
haughty sister-in-law, had been forced aside by the 
cleverer Neapolitan princesses, so that it was not 
difficult to persuade the King to decree the suc- 
cession of his own child, whatever its sex might be. 
Time-serving Calomarde, though he hated and 
dreaded liberalism, was afraid of offending the Queen; 
Grijalva, a minister and a powerful member of Fer- 
nando's camarilla, was won over; and on the 31st of 
March, 1830, Spain was astounded by the publication 
by the heralds in ancient form of the '•' Pragmatic 
Sanction " restoring the ancient law of succession in 
Spain, in accordance with the petition of the Cortes 
of 1789. 



The fury of the CarHsts and the reactionaries at 
this trick was unbounded. Don Carlos indignantly 
denied the right of King or Cortes to deprive 
him of his succession according to the decree of 
Philip V. in 171 3 establishing the Salic law, and 
in this the French legitimists sustained him. But 
legitimism in France itself was tottering to its fall 
under Charles X. and Polignac ; and soon the 
accession of a constitutional king, Louis Philippe 
(August, 1830), still further raised the hopes of the 
Spanish Liberals. Affairs, however, were progressing 
too fast and too far for Fernando, who had no wish 
to be drawn into open antagonism to the party of 
reaction. He was afraid of French liberalism, and 
with characteristic unwisdom he refused to acknow- 
ledge \h.&fait accompli in France ; whilst Calomarde, 
anxious still to keep in with his Carlist friends, was 
allowed to shut up the colleges and universities, and 
to declare that education was the greatest curse to 
the people, balancing matters by establishing under 
royal patronage a great school of bull-fighting in 

Louis Philippe was naturally offended at the 
attitude of Fernando, and at once offered encourage- 
ment to the Spanish exiles in France and England 
to establish in Spain a limited elective monarchy like 
his own. The exiles eagerly flocked to Paris, but 
their liberalism was of various grades. They had 
carried with them in their banishment the divisions 
and jealousies, the turbulence and impatience, upon 
which the constitutional Government of 1820 had 
been wrecked. Already, a few weeks before the fall 


of Charles X., a Spanish expedition had started 
from London, only to be frustrated by the English 
authorities ; but the promised aid of the new French 
king brought Alcala Galiano, Mendizabal, Mina, and 
other leaders to France, where they made a bolder 
move, and established a sort of provisional govern- 
ment for Spain at Bayonne, consisting of Cayetano 
Valdes, Calatrava, Isturiz, Vadillo, and Sancho ; 
General Mina being elected Commander-in-chief of 
the armed Liberal forces. Before the invasion of 
Spain could be organised the turbulent generals and 
colonels who were to take part quarrelled amongst 
themselves, several of them refusing to recognise 
Mina as chief; but at length the majority of the 
insurrectionists consented to his leadership, and the 
great guerrillero assumed supreme command. But 
division and personal jealousies had already done 
their work, and the Liberals in Spain held aloof. 
Whilst Mina entered Navarre, other forces indepen- 
dent of him, receiving their direction from another 
revolutionary government, headed by General 
Torrijos in Gibraltar, penetrated different points 
of the frontier. With a total strength of only 2,000 
men, six bodies under as many independent generals 
invaded Spain ; and, as may be supposed in such 
circumstances, utter failure was the result. Whilst 
they had been squabbling the Government troops 
had been mustering to meet them ; the country 
people looked on timidl)', for a decree had been 
specially published condemning to death any one 
who found shelter or food for the revolutionists ; and 
iven those who corresponded by letter with any of 


the exiles were subject to brutal penalties. The 
invading Liberals were therefore promptly overcome, 
and those who escaped with their lives suffered 
fearful hardships before they were able to recross the 
frontier into France. 

But failure, even such as this, did not damp the 
Liberal ardour ; for the whole tendency of Europe in 
1830 was towards liberty and the enfranchisement of 
peoples ; and General Torrijos from Gibraltar, early 
in the year, published a manifesto, setting forth to 
the Spaniards the tyranny under which they suffered 
and calling them to arms. On the night of the 28th 
of January, 1831, Torrijos landed with 200 com- 
panions near Algeciras ; but was forced by over- 
powering numbers to re-embark hastily for Gibraltar ; 
and other equally unsuccessful attempts were made 
by his friends elsewhere. Those who were caught 
in arms were instantly shot, and these constant petty, 
badly-planned invasions gave to the reactionary 
councillors near the King, to Calomarde especially, 
fresh excuse for covering the land with spies and 
informers, and for the heartless punishment of the 
victims of private delation by the re-erected courts- 
martial and the royalist volunteers. For a thought- 
less word or innocent gesture many persons were led 
to the gallows, and again women as well as men lived 
in the daily dread of death for an unknown offence, 
such as that of Mariana Pineda, a lady of Granada, 
who was hanged for working a piece of embroidery 
which spies said was ultimately intended for a Liberal 

When Fernando had accepted the inevitable and 


acknowledged Louis Philippe, the latter turned his 
back on the Spanish exiles, and nothing was to 
be feared by the " Rey absolute " from the French 
frontier. But Torrijos and his friends in the safe 
refuge of Gibraltar, with English sympathy on their 
side, were still in danger. Calomarde suggested to 
the King a plan worthy of him to dispose of these 
enemies of despotism. The instrument was to be 
General Gonzales Moreno, Governor of Malaga, who 
in old times had been friendly with Torrijos. This 
man approached the Liberal leader by means of 
spies, hinted at his discontent with reaction, and his 
willingness to co-operate with his forces in a rising, 
if the insurgents landed at Malaga. Torrijos' friends 
and colleagues, Calderon and Golfin, both ex- 
members of Cortes, warned him of possible treachery, 
but nothing would shake the belief of Torrijos in 
his old comrade. Landing near the town from two 
small vessels (December 4, 1831) with only fifty-two 
followers, Torrijos found that he had fallen into 
a trap, and was forced to surrender to Moreno. 
Instead of shooting them on the spot, as the decrees 
allowed him to do, the latter — doubtless on Calo- 
marde's instructions — determined to make an object- 
lesson of the misguided victims of his treachery. 
On the 8th of December the Gazette of Madrid 
conveyed to the lieges the " happy news " of the 
capture of Torrijos and his band, and boasted of 
the royal clemency in only condemning them all to 
be shot ; not even excepting the sailors who had 
manned the vessels. Torrijos and his officers, with 
the aged civilian Calderon, had never doubted their 


fate ; but some of their followers had dreamed that 
their lives, at least, might be spared ; when the 
horrible news came, however, to Malaga, that they 
were all to perish, there was no shrinking, and the 
whole fifty-three marched to their death still hopeful 
of a happy future for a free Spain, when the sinister 
tyrant should be dead. Ranged in rows the 
doomed men calmly awaited the word of their 
leader for the executioners to fire, and they died 
where they fell, the last Liberal victims of the 
false-hearted Fernando VII., himself now trembling 
on the brink of his unhonoured grave.^ 

In the morning of Sunday, October 10, 1830, 
an anxious crowd of functionaries awaited in the 
ante-chamber of the Queen's apartment in the 
palace of Madrid to hear at the earliest possible 
moment whether the expected child of the sovereign 
was a boy or a girl. Upon it much depended, for 
Don Carlos and his friends had made no secret of 
the intention to resist by force the accession of a 
Queen-regnant, and the birth of a prijicess meant 
that unhappy Spain was doomed to another era of 
fratricidal war, unless the "Pragmatic Sanction" alter- 
ing the succession were repealed. When, in accordance 
with the ancient custom, the infant was brought 
into the crowded ante-room on a silver salver, to be 
exhibited, the King in his impatience could not wait 

' The betrayer of Torrijos, General Moreno, was ever afterwards 
known as " the Executioner of Malaga," and when he himself in turn 
became an exile in England and France, he found that every decent man 
turned his back upon him. One of the victims was a young Irishman 
named Robert Boyd, who provided money for the expedition. 





o „ 
o -^ 

~ ■? 



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7. ? 




for ocular satisfaction, but called out hastily as the 
door opened : " What is it ? " "A robust Infanta, 
your Majesty," was the reply, at which Fernando 
turned pale, and the friends of Don Carlos were openly 
triumphant. Fernando, however, overjoyed at his 
paternity, soon banished misgivings, if he entertained 
them, and loaded his wife and child with demonstra- 
tions of affection, ordering that the little Infanta 
Isabel should receive the honours of heiress to the 
crown, and Princess of Asturias. 

Queen Cristina, certain now of the affection of 
her husband, missed no opportunity of ingratiating 
herself with the people. Her youth and her fascina- 
tion, joined with the general impression that her 
influence was exerted on the side of conciliation, 
made her extremely popular. She did her best, 
too, to win the army to her side ; knowing that 
most of the 200,000 armed royalist volunteers, 
particularly those in the north, would oppose any 
concession to liberalism. On the first birthday of 
the Infanta (October 10, 1831) the Queen handed 
to the representatives of the army some banners, 
which she herself had embroidered, and in her 
speech to the generals, and her manifesto to the 
troops, carefully emphasised the fact that they were 
to be borne in defence of " my very dear husband, 
Fernando VII., and his descendants." Thus the 
forces were gradually being defined- and arrayed 
on both sides, and even in the cabinet of ministers 
two parties were plainly apparent, the Premier, 
Salmon, and Grijalva being timidly on the side of 
the Queen, whilst Calomarde, the Minister of Justice, 


and the Bishop of Leon stood for reaction and Don 
Carlos ; the Finance Minister, Ballesteros, holding 
himself careful!}- aloof from party, and working 
with unprecedented success in reforming his depart- 
ment and balancing the national revenue and 

The death of Salmon at the beginning of 1832, 
and entry of the Count of i\lcudia in the ministry, 
gave Calomarde another reactionary colleague, and 
weakened the party of the Queen at a critical period. 
Another daughter was born to the Queen in January, 
1832; but it was now impossible to conceal the fact that 
Fernando was failing rapidly, and that no more issue, 
of either sex, could be expected. The King was only 
48, but life had lost its savour for him. He had 
always been jocose — if not ribald — with those who 
surrounded him, and loved to hear the scandal and 
gossip of the capital ; but now, like so man}' of his 

' The laborious Ballesteros succeeded for the first time for many 
years in balancing the budget. There was hardly any navy except a 
few coastguards ; and, the country being at peace, the cost of the army 
was small ; he cut down expenses to the lowest possible figure, and by 
farming out the customs and excise avoided some of the enormous 
leakage in the collection, and checked, to some extent, the almost 
universal contraband. He relieved commerce of some of its burdens, 
although the Catalan and Valencian weavers still insisted upon a pro- 
hibitive tariff being placed on English goods. He set by a considerable 
amount every year to be spent on roads and canals, promoted an indus- 
trial exhibition in Madrid, and made Cadiz a free port. Salaries and 
interest on debt were now punctually paid, and Spanish stock rose to 
a high price in the markets. But with all Ballesteros" efforts, the 
financial administration was still atrociously bad, which will be seen 
when it is considered that the budget for 1828 amounted only to 
^4,500,000, although the people were heavily taxed. The imports for 
1S32 were returned as only £i']0,ooo, and exports ;i^l6o,oc)0, but the 
contiaband trade must enormously have exceeded those amounts. 


race, he fell into despairing apathy from which 
nothing could arouse him. In July he went to the 
summer palace of the Granja, accompanied by his 
wife and children, and by Don Carlos and his wife 
and sister-in-law, the Princess of Beira. Don 
Francisco and Dona Carlota were at their country 
house near Cadiz ; for, now that the battle was won 
and the " Pragmatic Sanction " had been promul- 
gated, Dona Carlota had no particular need to 
remain at Court and subject herself to the daily 
flouts of her proud Portuguese sister-in-law. The 
breaking of the pole of the royal carriage on the 
way to the Granja inflicted upon the King a severe 
cut on the head, from which he suffered much ; and 
a few weeks later he was found in a dead swoon 
before the chapel altar, where he had been praying. 
All through July and August anxiety increased as 
Fernando became more and more feeble, and the 
agonies he suffered from suppressed gout became 
more intense. Queen Cristina nursed him with 
unremitting care, hardly leaving his bedside night 
or day. She was very young and in trouble, in 
a most difficult position, but anxious to do right, 
thoueh the interests of her children were at stake. 
On the 17th of September the King was thought to 
be dying, and the Queen sent for Calomarde to ask 
him what steps she ought to take immediately on 
the demise of her husband. The minister was 
cunning ; and, although a bitter reactionary, had 
endeavoured, not unsuccessfully, to stand well in 
the opinion of the Queen, who interpreted his 
Aragonese brusqueness as a sign of honesty. 


This was Calomarde's chance and he took it. The 
Queen was but an inexperienced girl, with no friends 
near her, and the answer that Calomarde gave to her 
question was that the moment the King died the 
whole country, the volunteers and the army, would 
declare for Don Carlos, and that the only chance left 
for Cristina and her daughter was to endeavour to 
propitiate the Infante beforehand by securing to him 
a share in the government. A decree was accordingly 
signed at once by the King appointing Cristina 
Regent during his illness, with Don Carlos as her first 
adviser. The Infante scoffed at the idea, as Calo- 
marde knew he would do, and when he was offered a 
joint regency he haughtily told the Queen's emissary 
that he should succeed by divine right to the crown 
itself, and would accept nothing less than the great 
destiny to which God had called him. 

The King became hourly worse, and Calomarde, 
the Bishop of Leon, the Count of Alcudia, and, above 
all, Dona Francisca, painted to the distracted young 
wife and mother the horrors and bloodshed which 
would ensue on the attempt to seat her infant 
daughter on the throne. All through the night, as 
the King apparently lay dying, the deliberations 
went on, and early in the morning (September i8th) 
Fernando sent for Calomarde and faintly asked him 
what could be done to avert the threatened disaster 
to his country and his children. " Either," replied 
Calomarde, " the ' Pragmatic Sanction ' must be re- 
pealed or Spain will be deluged in blood." The 
Queen in tears by the bedside burst out with the 
exclamation : " No, no ! not that ! anything but that, 


let there be no bloodshed ; " and the King faintly re- 
plied that if that were the only alternative he would 
sign a revocation of the "Pragmatic Sanction"; "but 
I enjoin you," he added, "let no one know of it till my 
eyes are closed; it must not be published before then, 
or be allowed out of the Ministry of Justice." At six 
o'clock the same evening the ministers stood around 
the bed with the short decree written by Calomarde 
revoking the " Pragmatic Sanction " of 19th of March, 
1830, altering the law of succession. " It is well," 
said Fernando, as it was read to him ; the Queen 
herself handed him a pen, and a moment afterwards 
the triumphant Don Carlos was again the legal heir 
to the crown of Spain. 

Secret as these transactions were, the victory of 
reaction soon became public, for Don Carlos and his 
wife could not hide their glee. But the country was 
deeply moved ; the Liberals and moderates had 
nourished fresh hopes during the last two years that 
the black despotism which was crushing Spain was 
coming to an end ; that the young Queen, depending 
upon her people for support, would inaugurate a new 
era which should enable the nation to range alongside 
the other civilised peoples of the world ; and now 
by an obscure palace intrigue all their hopes were 
crushed. Murmurs and threats, even gathering bands 
in various parts of the country, proved that the 
Liberals would not give way without a struggle ; and 
Calomarde, in fear for the precious document which 
gave the crown to Don Carlos, only sent copies of it 
to the ministries, the original being entrusted to the 
care of the President of the Council of Castile, with 


strict injunctions that the seal was not to be broken 
until the King was dead, and authority was sent. 
Soon after Fernando signed the decree he fell into 
torpor, and life was pronounced extinct. 

Already Don Carlos was greeted as Majesty, and 
orders were given for the decree to be published. 
The reactionary band were in the midst of their joy, 
when the news ran through the palace that the 
officials employed in preparing the King's body for 
sepulture had found that he was still alive. In their 
hurry some of the Carlist party had already posted 
a few manuscript copies of their precious decree on 
the gates of the palace ; but these were hastily re- 
moved ; and as if miraculously the King rapidly 

The news of Fernando's dangerous condition and 
the intrigues of her enemies had flown to the Infanta 
Carlota in Andalusia, and without losing a moment, 
as fast as the best horses could carry her, she rushed 
to her sister at the Granja. To her delight she found 
the King still living and set to work with all her 
masterful energy to undo the evil that had been done. 
There was no withstanding her ; she learnt all details 
from the Queen at once, and her first care was to 
wrest the original decree from the hands of the 
President of the Council of Castile. It was a secret 
ministerial document of supreme national importance, 
to which she had not a shadow of a right, but when 
aroused she was a virago who would take no denial, 
and she well-nigh frightened the exalted judicial 
functionary out of his wits with her violence. When 
she had extorted from him the precious paper and 


had destroyed it utterly, she had time to scold her 
sister for her weakness, and then she dealt with 
Calomarde. She did not mince her words with him. 
He was a false, lying rogue, and much else; she would 
take care that he suffered for his baseness (in which 
she kept her word) ; and, when the wretched man 
was sufficiently cowed, she ended by giving him a 
tremendous box on the ears. In his pain and 
terror the time-serving knave could only blurt 
out, " Madam ; white hands offend not." This was 
on the 22nd of September, and the princess's energy 
changed the aspect of affairs in a few hours. The 
King privately cancelled his revocation of the 
" Pragmatic Sanction," Calomarde ^ and all his col- 
leagues were disgraced and banished (October ist), 
a new ministry headed by Cea Bermudez, ambassador 
in England, was appointed, friends flocked to the 
Queen on all sides ; and, on the 6th of October a 
decree was signed by Fernando, appointing his 
" dear wife " Cristina sole Regent of Spain. 

Thenceforward the issues were clear. On the one 
side was reaction, with sanctimonious Don Carlos and 
his haughty wife, surrounded by friars and serviles ; 
and on the other was a fascinating, clever, gracious 
young woman, with an infant daughter, appealing to 
the love of liberty, the hopes of national regeneration, 
the chivalry and generosity of all Spaniards not 

' The famous Minister of Justice was ordered to be imprisoned in 
Minorca by Cristina, but he managed to escape in disguise to France, 
where he offered his service to Don Carlos, and was refused. He 
never returned to Spain, but died in France in 1842. His colleague, 
the Bishop of Leon, became a leader of the Carlist party. 

CR IS Tina's temporary regency. 287 

utterly besotted with the contemplation of the dead 
past. The new Queen Regent lost no time in earning 
the gratitude of those upon whom alone she could 
depend in the future. The universities, which had 
been closed by the contemptible Calomarde, were re- 
opened by decree, all the governor-generals of pro- 
vinces and the chief commanders of the army who 
had been appointed by the "apostolics" were replaced 
by men of higher and more progressive character ; and 
finally a generous amnesty for the Liberals who still 
languished in prison or starved in exile was promul- 
gated (October 15th). Ill as Fernando still was he 
was able to thwart Cristina's wishes to some extent 
in this matter, by insisting upon excepting from the 
amnesty those who had voted in Seville for the tem- 
porary appointment of a regency (1823), and those 
who had led armed forces against his sovereignty. 
A few days after the publication of the amnesty the 
King was well enough to return to Madrid, and the 
Queen was received as the liberator of an enslaved 
people, with delight unbounded, by all that was wise, 
moderate, and progressive in the country. Congratu- 
lations, thanks, and ardent professions of adhesion were 
showered upon Cristina, in many cases even by those 
who had been, and were yet to be, the greatest ene- 
mies of progress ; but the tide for the moment was so 
strong as to bear nearly all before it. Here and there, 
particularly in Cataluna and the north, some show 
was made of resisting the Queen's commands, and 
a conspiracy was discovered in the Life Guards at 
Madrid, but the dissent was drowned in a vast chorus 
of praise, and the Carlists for the moment were beaten 


A new department of State was created to promote 
industry, means of communication, and instruction, 
and all eyes looked hopefully to the future, when the 
. arrival of the new Prime Minister, Cea Bermudez, 
i from London (November, 1832), threw everything 
into confusion again. He had been appointed, with- 
out previous consultation, on the strength of his 
having appeared more moderate than the men by whom 
he was surrounded in his former ministry, but his one 
idea of an " enlightened despotism " received a rude 
shock when he saw how far the Queen had gone in 
the direction of enlightenment, and how much she had 
neglected the despotic part of the combination. 

Under his influence the Regent published a 
threatening manifesto warning " the misguided men 
who thought that her merciful dispositions were 
meant to encourage hopes of a vague future ; " or, 
"who dared to advocate any other form of govern- 
ment than the pure, simple monarchy, as the King 
had inherited it from his ancestors," that upon their 
necks the suspended knife should fall, no matter who 
they or their accomplices might be. A note in a 
similar sense was sent to all foreign Governments, 
and the Queen herself was made to understand, both 
by the King and Cea Bermudez, that she had gone 
quite far enough in her concessions to the Liberals. 
The Ministers of Justice (Cafranga) and of War 
(Monet), who felt with Cristina that when the moment 
came the whole Conservative party would rally to 
Don Carlos, dissented from their chief and were 
dismissed ; but the Queen provided them with im- 
portant posts elsewhere, and so far as she personally 


was concerned made no secret that her sympathies 
were now with the Progressive party. 

On the last day of the year 1832 the revocation of 
the " Pragmatic Sanction " was pubHcly withdrawn 
by the King, with every solemnit}- and formalit\- with 
which it was possible to invest the ceremony, and 
this was the last drop in the cup of Carlist patience. 
The solemn decree of revocation set forth that in his 
seeming death agony Fernando had been betra}-ed 
by traitors into signing the revocation for their own 
horrible ends. They had, he said, disobeyed and 
deceived him, and he denounced them and declared 
the revocation absolutely void. Consternation and 
rage seized the reactionaries. Dona Francisca, who 
had formed a sort of provisional government con- 
sisting of the Bishop of Leon, the General of the 
Jesuits, Joseph O'Donnell, and others, and had com- 
menced the organisation of the party for resistance, 
would wait no longer, but decided to strike her blow. 
The King early in January again took charge of the 
Government, approving of the whole of Cristina's acts 
as Regent, and this was made the signal for a pre- 
concerted rising of royalist volunteers in the city of 
Leon, under the eye of the turbulent bishop ; but the 
admirable firmness of General Castanon and the 
activity of the provincial Government suffocated the 
insurrection. At the same time attempted mutinies 
took place in Barcelona, Toledo, and in several other 
places, but everywhere with the same result, although 
bishops, priests, and friars, almost to a man, preached 
rebellion. At length Fernando's Government lost 
patience ; Don Carlos and all his family were 



" allowed " to visit Portugal for two months (March, 
1833), and the breach between the brothers grew 
ever wider, whilst Fernando, under the influence of 
the Queen, became more firmly determined that his 
daughter should succeed him. 

In the ancient Gothic church of San Geronimo, 
formerly attached to the palace of Buen Retiro, which 
had now disappeared, the infant Princess of Asturias 
\ received the oath of allegiance of the Cortes on the 
20th of June. It was no longer the democratic 
Cortes of 18 12 or 1820, but the ancient Chamber 
consisting of the deputies of the privileged towns 
sitting with the prelates and grandees summoned 
for the occasion. For three months previous the 
preparations had occupied all minds, and nothing 
was omitted that wealth, skill, or foresight could 
devise to add splendour to the ceremony. Madrid 
was turned from a prosaic city of to-day into an 
enchanted scene from the Middle Ages. Ancient 
glories long forgotten were revived, and through- 
out the country pomp and charitable munificence 
joined to impress favourably upon all classes the 
name of Isabel, the infant heiress to the crown of 

One conspicuous figure was absent from the feast. 
Fernando wrote begging his brother Carlos loyally 
to come and swear allegiance to the baby princess, 
but the Infante firmly but kindly refused. " Neither 
my conscience nor my honour will permit me to do 
so," he wrote ; " my rights to the crown are so clear, 
failing male issue to you, that I cannot ignore them." 
And when the great ceremony took place a formal 


protest was lodged in the name of the King's brother 
Carlos, who claimed the heirship for himself This 
was open rebellion, after which no further negotiations 
were possible, and Carlos was peremptorily ordered 
by his brother to leave Portugal and retire to the 
Pontifical States. He temporised and prevaricated as 
long as possible, and at length gave an answer which 
closed all communication with Fernando. Portugal, 
thanks to expeditions from England under Mendizabal 
and Admiral Napier, had declared for the constitu- 
tional cause, the absolutist, Dom Miguel, being ex- 
pelled from Lisbon and Oporto. Don Carlos's final 
answer to his brother was to the effect that he would 
leave Lisbon when Dom Miguel reconquered it ; which 
meant, in effect, never until he pleased. Civil war, 
therefore, inevitably impended over Spain ; the new 
and the old, light and darkness, were once more to 
fight out their eternal issue on Spanish soil. On the 
29th of September, 1833, the long-expected blow fell, 
and Fernando VII. died of apoplexy. Two days 
later his will was publicly read, when it was found 
that he had left his widow Cristina guardian of his 
two children and Queen Governess of Spain during 
the minority of Isabel II. 

Considered from any point of view, the death of 
Fernando was the end of the old dispensation in 
Spain. He had all his life refused to concede any- 
thing, except by force, to the modern spirit which 
demanded for the people a voice in their own govern- ■ 
ment. He was a despot pure and simple. Sometimes 
a benevolent one in a sardonic way, as when he de- 
graded and put to shame, as he loved to do, some of 


his corrupt pompous functionaries on the complaint 
of a humble suitor ; but in thought and mind he 
belonged to the sixteenth rather than to the nineteenth 
century, and it was impossible for another sovereign 
to begin where he left off. It was this fact that made 
Carlism hopeless as a national movement from the 
first, for although the Infante had on his side the 
majority of the official classes and the clergy 
who desired no innovation, the country at large was 
palpitating with a desire for progress, whilst the 
forces arrayed against it were — and are — local and 
sectional. Such a struggle might endure for a shorter 
or a longer period, but could only end in one 

Unfortunately Fernando's benighted policy had 
^sacrificed or driven into exile most men of really 
progressive ideas ; and those who surrounded his 
widow, although enlightened in comparison with 
such ministers as Calomarde, were still rigidly Con- 
servative, and timidly sought to conciliate reaction 
whilst effecting a revolutionary change in the succes- 
sion. It was this blindness to obvious facts, this 
hatred of appealing frankly to popular support, 
this eternal hankering after old despotic methods 
by a Government whose very existence was bound 
up in opposing the absolutist doctrines of the past, 
that brought about much of the long-drawn agony 
which subsequently afflicted Spain. Don Carlos 
represented an obsolete and discredited system 
which no enlightened nation would have endured for 
any length of time, and the wise course would have 
been for Cristina to have left him in the possession of 


the reactionary elements, whilst she called to her side 
the contrasted forces of liberty,expansion,and progress. 
It will be seen in the next chapter that under the 
distrustful guidance of Cea Bermudez she took the 
opposite course with unhappy results. 



The whole active reign of Fernando VII., from his 
return to Spain in 1814 until his death in 1833, had 
been a horrible national nightmare, with the doubtful 
exception of the few feverish years of constitutional 
rule after the revolt of Riego. History has no record 
of blacker ingratitude than that with which the King 
treated the country at large, and particularly those of 
his subjects who were favourable to progress and 
enlightenment. Whilst he was basely truckling at 
the feet of the foreigner who was trampling upon his 
country, whilst he was living in slothful complacency 
at Valencay, or basely bartering away the throne of 
his forefathers, Spaniards of all shades of opinion, the 
Progressives certainly not less than others, were 
straining every nerve, sacrificing ease, property, life 
itself, to keep intact the realm for the idolised Fer- 
nando. We have traced step by step the events of 
the King's unworthy life, and how he repaid his 
countrymen for their heroic efforts in his favour, and 
we have seen in passing the blighting effects of such a 
regime as his upon the social, financial, and industrial 

condition of the country. 



These lamentable effects continued up to the time 
of the King's death. It is true that the revenue 
and expenditure balanced under the care of 
Ballesteros, but the revenue itself was miserably 
small — considerably less than it had been fifty 
years before — and everything was poor, parsi- 
monious, and stunted. The only commerce that 
flourished was contraband,^ the roads were infested 
with robbers, semi-starvation was almost universal, 
the capital itself was a byword for its filth, its lack of 
decent police, and the dismal backwardness of its 
customs. Nor could this be wondered at when all 
the men of light and leading who had not been sent 
to the gallows by the brutal infatuation of the 
monarch and the persecuting lust of the zealots, were 
wearing out their lives in pestilential dungeons or 
suffering the privations of exile. Such men as the 
Count de Toreno, Quintana, the Duke of Rivas, 
Canga Argiielles, Agustin Arglielles, Martinez de la 
Rosa, Calatrava, Munoz Torrero, and Nicasio Gallego, 
were the salt of the nation ; and when they, and 
thousands such as they, had gone, it was natural that 
their country should fall into the slough. 

This would have been the case even if Fernando 
had chosen the best men he could have found in 

' To show how Uttle aid Fernando gave to the efforts of his Finance 
Minister, Mesonero Romanes tells the story that Ballesteros, with the 
greatest of difficulty, induced the King to visit the humble Exhibition 
of Spanish Industries which the former had organised. When the King 
entered the section devoted to Catalan textiles, by far the most impor- 
tant manufacturing industry in Spain, he turned on his heel and refused 
to take any interest in the exhibits, saying as he went, " Bah ! these are 
only women's things." 


the ultra-Conservative ranks, for the perioa was 
eminently one of progress all over Europe ; but, 
as has already been pointed out, he was aided in 
his policy by many ministers who would have been 
looked upon as gross caricatures if they had repre- 
sented the part in an opei-a bouffe, such nonentities 
as Lozano de Torres, Ecoiquiz, and Mozo de Rosales. 
Nor was this even the lowest depth. The secret 
camarilla, which over-rode and unmade ministries 
to the accompaniment of cigars and coarse jokes, 
was largely made up of ignorant boobies of the 
lowest ranks of society— Ugarte, an ex-errand boy, 
" Chamorro," a water-carrier, and the like ; and it 
was inevitable that under the influence of such men 
and such a king Spain should be dragged back, as 
she was, into the dark ages at a time when all other 
nations were vibrating with new hopes and aspirations 
in the youth of what was evidently destined to be the 
century of light. 

In the midst of a society oppressed by a censorship 
worthy of the days of Philip II., and compelled to 
slavish observance of religious forms, which, in most 
cases, thinly covered hideous immorality and ribald 
unbelief, it may well be supposed that the intellectual 
development of Spain in the latter part of Fer- 
nando's reign was as closely cramped as it had been 
at the beginning. With the death of Maiquez the 
glory even of the Spanish stage was for a time 
eclipsed, and second-rate Italian opera and trashy 
translations from the French attracted more attention 
than the classic drama. There was, however, no lack 
of young men of genius awaiting the liberation of 


thought to exercise their gifts. Breton de los 
Herreros' and Gil y Zarate,^ though hampered by 
their surroundings, had ah"eady produced some 
comedies which gave promise of their future great- 
ness, whilst Espronceda, Serafin Calderon("El Soli- 
tario"), Ventura de la Vega, Fermin Caballero, 
Mesonero Romanos, Larra, and other afterwards 
famous writers, were already spreading their wings 
for broader flight when times should mend. 

The intellectual movement, however, such as it 
was, was largely coloured by French influence; the 
most popular plays being Grimaldi's adaptations 
from the Paris stage, whilst the only readable prose 
allowed by the censorship were mild social satires 
and local pictures written on French models.3 For 
years past all Spaniards but those pledged irrevocably 
to obscurantism had looked forward to Fernando's 
death as opening out new possibilities of advance- 
ment, not alone for literature and society, but also for 
politics and material interests ; and the illustrious 
men still in exile, as well as all friends of enlighten- 
ment in Spain itself, watched with bated breath the 
first acts of the Queen Regent after her husband's 

' Breton de los Ilerreros gained his first success in 1S28 with "A 
Madrid me vuelvo,"' but it was not until the last dayofi83i that he 
became celebrated, with his fine comedy of " Marcela." 

- Gil y Zarate began his great career at this time with the slight 
comedies called " Un aiio despues de la boda," " El Hombre del 
Mundo," " Cuidado con las Novias," &c., but he afterwards became 
illustrious in the historical drama. 

3 These sketches were usually published under a pseudonym. The 
most important were by Calderon ("El Solitario "), Larra ("EI 
pobrecito hablador"), and Mesonero Romanos (" El curioso parlante ") 
— all being published in a kind of periodical called Cartas Espafiolas, 


death, in the fervent hope that they would be 
indicative of an entire change of pohcy. 

Bitter was their disappointment when the Regent's 
manifesto to her people was published on the 4th 
of October. No concessions was made to freedom 
or to the demands of modern progress, no word of 
appeal to Liberals to support the throne of the 
baby-Queen against the hosts of despotism led by 
her uncle; nothing but a foolish effort to win the 
reactionaries to her side by a stiff pronouncement to 
the effect that nothing should be changed in form or 
spirit of the fundamental laws of the monarchy; 
" and that no dangerous innovations will be allowed, 
however attractive they may appear at first." " I 
will," it runs, " transmit to the Queen, to whom the 
law has given it, the sceptre of Spain intact and 
unimpaired, as the law has handed it down." This 
ill-starred beginning had the natural effect of alien- 
ating the Liberals, whilst not attracting the reaction- 
aries, who had already taken the side of Don Carlos. 
If despotism was to rule no matter which sovereign 
was to sit upon the throne, the Liberals and their 
friends were not likely again to expose their lives for 
the question of persons, and the victory of Don Carlos 
was a foregone conclusion. 

It was, indeed, with the people no longer a dispute 
on the succession to the throne only : it was a question 
of widely divergent principle ; and the blindness of 
Cea Bermudez in thus alienating the only party upon 
which the Queen could depend in any case shows 
how little even the most advanced Conservative 
statesmen of the time had gauged the needs and 



aspirations of the people. Nor were the members 
of the Council appointed in the King's will to aid the 
Regent better equipped than Cea himself They 
were respectable mediocrities of the more moderate 
Conservative party — the Duke of Medina Celi, the 
Duke of Bailen (General Castanos), the Marquis of 
Santa Cruz, Don Francisco Caro, Don Jose Maria 
Ruiz, and Count de Ofalia : and though from all 
parts of Spain news came that the standard of revolt 
had been raised with the cry of " Viva Carlos V. ! " 
and even in Madrid itself the Pretender was acclaimed 
by armed bands, the Council and the ministry 
insisted upon their chimerical programme of " enlight- 
ened despotism," of which the enlightenment was the 
bait and despotism the visible hook. 

Before many days had passed, it was evident that 
such a position could not be maintained. The 
generals in the provinces reported that the people 
everywhere would refuse to stand against the 
Carlists, unless some concessions were made in a 
constitutional direction. Some of them, Quesada 
and Llauder especially, frankly told Cristina that 
her system did not offer the guarantees for liberty 
which Spaniards had a right to demand, and that her 
daughter's throne could not be maintained unless 
a representative chamber was summoned. Cristina 
gave way grudgingly. She extended the amnesty to 
most of the remaining Liberals ; but it was too late for 
half measures of this sort now. Carlism was spread- 
ing and organising rapidly, whilst the masses, disap- 
pointed at the Regent's action, refused to stir ; and 
the troops of the Queen showed no signs of enthu- 


siasm for her cause. At the end of the year it became 
obvious that the poHcy must be changed at once, or 
Isabel II. must make way for Carlos V. ; and Cea 
Bermudez, who had fallen on a previous occasion 
because he was too liberal for the King, was now 
dismissed because he was not liberal enough for the 

The new Prime Minister was the illustrious man of 
letters, Martinez de la Rosa, whose fiery liberalism of 
1812 had toned down very considerably as his years 
had increased, and who had been so much attacked 
and distrusted by the exalted Radicals in 182;^ He 
had doubtless learnt in his long exile that freedom 
was a plant of slow growth, which needed much 
cultivation before it reached maturity. He certainly 
now saw that the extremely democratic one-chamber 
constitution of 1812 was too great a step to be taken 
suddenly from the absolutism of Fernando VII., and 
he discouraged all idea of reviving it. It was, however, 
necessary, that the public demand for a more demo- 
cratic system than that of Fernando VII. should be 
satisfied at once if Carlism was to be withstood ; and 
Martinez de la Rosa cautiously set about the work. 
The press censorship was greatly lightened, the whole 
of the exiled Liberals were now allowed to come back 
and their property was restored, and some reforms 
were made in the administration ; but the minister, 
mindful of the extravagance and indiscipline of the 
former National Militia, distrusted an armed pea- 
santry, and limited the new auxiliary forces which were 
to fieht the Carlists to what was called an Urban 
Militia, drawn in strictly limited numbers from the 


towns only, and with certain conditions of age and 
standing for the members. All this was very well as 
a beginning, but it failed to meet the now rising 
demand for some form of representative govern- 

It was clear from the first that the ministry did not 
intend to revert to the Cortes of 181 2 and 1820, and 
in order to save appearances, and yet to satisf}- 
modern requirements, an attempt was made to graft a 
new system on the mass of ancient and obsolete forms 
which had ruled the long-forgotten parliaments of 
early times. The task was a difficult one, and under 
the circumstances unwise. The popular representa- 
tion in Spain was far older than the despotism which 
had stifled it, and the attempt to revive the former on 
old lines, whilst retaining for the latter much of its 
power, aroused the natural feeling that the throne was 
only grudgingly giving back in its hour of extremity 
an instalment of the rights which it had filched from 
the people in the days of its strength. 

The grave objection to the " Statute " now pro- 
mulgated (April, 1834) was that, instead of being 
discussed and adopted by a representative constituent 
chamber of any sort, it was tendered as a boon from 
the crown, to be taken entire without discussion or 
amendment. The show of adhering to the ancient 
laws was a mere pretence, although whenever possible 
ancient names were preserved ; for the various 
parliaments which formerly sat had widely dissimilar 
constitutions, and each one had varied wreath' at 
different times ; but it was considered that the new 
constitution would be more readil}' accepted if it 



came as a revival of ancient liberties, and the well- 
meant attempt was made. 

The constitution decreed by Cristina in 1834 
avoided most of the danger points of that of 181 2; 
and was purely monarchical in its tendency. There 
were two chambers called estamentos : one consisting; 
of the prelates, grandees, and peers of Castile, 
sitting by right, and an unlimited number of func- 
tionaries and other distinguished persons appointed 
by the Crown for life, a high property qualification 
being fixed for members. The second chamber — of 
deputies — -consisted of 188 members elected by equal 
districts of population, the election being indirect. In 
each sub-district the town councils, and 'an equal 
number of the largest taxpayers, met and chose two 
representatives to form an electoral college in the 
capital of the district, which college elected the 
deputies. The deputies were to be at least thirty 
years of age, and to possess an independent minimum 
income of ;^I30 per annum ; and the functions of the 
chambers, which sat and voted separately, were 
strictly confined to the discussion of subjects which 
might be submitted to them by the Government of 
the day, the Parliament being convoked, suspended, 
,or dissolved, entirely at the will of the sovereign. 
Practically the only corporate privilege possessed by 
the Parliament was to petition the Crown. It will be 
seen that this was a mere mockery of an assembly, 
with no initiative or legislative power whatever ; a 
ridiculous anachronism in a countr}' which had once 
possessed so democratic a constitution as that of 181 2. 
But, withal, it was accepted gladly as an instalment of 



a larger measure to come ; and as a pledge that the 
immovable despotism of Fernando was really aban- 

Some of the discontent of the Liberals at 
home being thus appeased, the ministry was in a 
position to bespeak friendships for the Queen abroad. 
Don Carlos had thrown in his lot with the Portuguese 
pretender, Dom Miguel, who held similar views to 
himself, and this naturally drew England to the side 
of Cristina, as representing a cause cognate with that 
of Doiia Maria da Gloria, the Portuguese Queen. 
The constitutional king of the French, Louis Philippe, 
was also opposed to the absolutist Bourbon, Don 
Carlos ; and a treaty was settled in London by which 
Cristina and Maria da Gloria were to join their forces 
against the two ultra-Catholic Conservative Infantes, 
Carlos and Miguel, whilst England was to aid them 
with a navy, and France was to give moral support. 
This treaty was welcomed by Spanish Liberals more 
heartily than was the new constitution, for it secured 
for their country the alliance of the two great consti- 
tutional Powers of the West, and its immediate result 
was the abandonment of the struggle by Dom Miguel, 
and the departure both of him and Don Carlos from 
the Peninsula.! 

' The treaty was signed in April, 1834, but Don Carlos had been 
hardly pressed by the Cristino troops before then. He had made more 
than one attempt to win over by his personal presence General Rodil's 
troops on the Portuguese frontier, and had barely escaped with his life. 
Accompanied by his family he was hunted from town to town, often 
taking to the mountains in the greatest peril, followed by the Cristino 
troops. With the signing of the Palmerston treaty Don Carlos' posi- 
tion in Portugal became impossible, and he embarked on the British 


Only a day or two after Fernando's death, small 
and partial risings had taken place in many parts 
of Spain — the first being that headed by the post- 
master of Talavera, followed by revolts in Bilbao, 
Vitoria, Logroiio, Valencia, and others ; but they had 
mostly been overcome without difficulty by the 
Cristino troops and the leaders shot. In the Basque 
provinces, however, there were other causes, besides 
religious fanaticism, which kept the revolt alive. 
These provinces, peopled by a race quite distinct 
from the Spaniards, with a separate language, litera- 
ture, and history, had never formed part of the 
Spanish monarchy, but were a separate domain, of 
which the King of Spain was lord. Any attempt to 
give to the country unified parliamentary institutions 
would necessarily assimilate the government of the 
Basque provinces to the rest of Spain, and this was 
— and still is — bitterly resented by them. 

Don Carlos, representing the old system, would 
naturally maintain the autonomy and practical 
independence of the provinces, whilst a Liberal 
regime would merge them into the constitutional 
monarchy. The Basques, therefore, stood by Don 
Carlos with unconquerable tenacity almost to a man. 
General Sarsfield reported to the Queen's Government 
that he must have 80,000 men to hold the provinces, 

warship Donegal at Lisbon on the 30th of May, accompanied by the 
Bishop of Leon and a few generals, but leaving his 360 officers and 800 
soldiers behind him as prisoners of war. General Rodil, the Cristinij 
commander, was furious at the rescue of Don Carlos by the English 
fleet, and protested against it in vain. Don Carlos and his family 
arrived in London in June ; and, as will be seen later, escaped "-q 
Spain again in a few weeks. 

ur, OfhticT de 9a Cava-Uric 


t4//er a s/JcfcA taken from life.) 


but this was impossible and General Roclil was 
appointed in his stead. 

Thenceforward throughout Biscay and Navarre it 
was war to the knife between Carlists and Cristinos, 
the latter at first being better organised and usually 
victorious ; but the former, surefooted, lithe moun- 
taineers, were only dispersed to reassemble immedi- 
ately in the almost inaccessible fastnesses with which 
they alone were familiar. At this juncture a military 
commander of the first order came to the front, and 
until the day of his death remained the leading 
soldier of the Carlist ranks ; one of the very few 
great men of action which Spain has produced in 
this century. 

Tomas Zumalacarregui was a native of the Guipuz- 
coan village of Ormastegui, where he was born in 
1788, the son of a notary, and fought as an irregular 
all through the War of Independence. Even then 
he was conspicuously opposed to the constitutional 
cause, and as such had been afterwards employed by 
Fernando as Governor of Ferrol, from which post he 
was dismissed by Cea Bermudez. Soon after the 
death of the King he offered his sword to Don Carlos 
and headed his little force in the Basque provinces 
and Navarre. With prodigious energy and ability he 
rapidly turned his one thousand countrymen into a 
formidable force of well organised, but badly armed, 
fighting-men and by the beginning of the year 1834 
was able to commence active offensive operations 
in Navarre and Guipuzcoa. 

The legitimists on the Continent and in England 
had been busy from the first in organising diplomatic 


and financial support for the Carlist cause, and several 
cargoes of muskets were despatched from England — 
mostly to fall into the hands of the Cristinos — for the 
purpose of arming the pretender's levies in Spain. 
These negotiations were continued more actively 
after the arrival of Don Carlos in England and 
the successful inauguration of the campaign by 
Zumalacarregui. Amongst the pretender's agents 
was a French adventurer of doubtful character 
named Auguet de St. Silvaint, who undertook the 
difficult task of smuggling Don Carlos out of Eng- 
land to join his army in Spain. The Infante hi'mself 
was tardy and irresolute, a man of no ability or 
character, and had to be pushed to every fresh step 
b}' his wife and her sister, the Princess of Beira, the 
on!)' men of the family, as was said at the time ; but, 
at last, he was brought to see that further delay would 
be fatal to his cause, and, thanks to Auguet's clever 
contrivance, managed to escape with false passports 
and in disguise, to join Zumalacarregui in Navarre.^ 

He found that the genius of the general had 
turned to good account the small resources which 
had been sent him. He had established a 
regular governing junta at Elizondo with the 
Curate Echevaria at its head, and already his 
force consisted of twelve battalions of infantry and 

' He lived whilst in London at Gloucester Lodge, Brompton, where 
Canning had formerly lived ; hut his disguise was effected at the house 
of a French legitimist in Welbeck Street. He travelled by Brighton, 
Dieppe, and Paris, arriving at Elizondo in Navarre on the 9th of July. 
He was supplied with funds mainly by French legitimists. In London 
he was only visited by extreme English Tories like the Duke of 


four regiments of cavalry with eighteen field guns in 
Navarre ; nine battalions of infantry, and one of 
guides with a squadron of lancers in Biscay ; six 
battalions of infantry and four of guides in Alava, 
and three battalions of infantry and three of guides 
in Guipuzcoa ; or in all rather over 35,000 troops. 
These men were mostly peasants and old royalist 
volunteers, fired with fanatical zeal by the priests of 
their country, and by the fear of losing their ancient 
autonomy. They had been hitherto used by Zumala- 
carregui in incessant harassing attacks on outposts, 
and places weakly held by the Cristinos ; but their 
familiarity with the country, their boldness, and, 
above all, their mobility, had by the time of Don 
Carlos' arrival ensured their possession of a large 
mountainous district of Navarre and Guipuzcoa 
adjoining the French frontier, which secured a safe 
retreat in case of need, and easy communication 
with the hosts of legitimists and sympathisers 

Thus began seven years of exhausting civil 
war, of which only the most salient events can be 
mentioned here. During the whole of the autumn 
General Rodil, the Queen's commander, expended 
his men and resources in fruitless marches and 
countermarches, endeavouring to catch Don Carlos, 
but all his efforts were frustrated by the skill of 
Zumalacarregui and the nature of the country. The 
Cristinos fell into ambush again and again, and were 
ingloriously slaughtered, whilst the Carlist forces 
were always able to disperse and elude pursuit if 
outnumbered The Cristino troops lost heart and con- 


fidence, whilst the name of Zumalacarregui infused 
unbounded enthusiasm in his followers ; and with 
these successes the Carlist cause grew every day 
stronger. This being the state of affairs at the seat 
of war, we will now glance at the progress of events 
in Madrid. 

On the 24th of July, 1834, the Queen Regent opened 
in state the new Cortes, the members of both Houses 
sitting on this occasion together, and from the first it 
was seen that this was, indeed, but a shadow of the 
constitutional Government which had been the 
dream in their exile of so many of the distinguished 
members of the elective chamber. Once more the 
curse of unchecked eloquence and political vehe- 
mence proved how difficult it was to enfranchise, 
even partially, a people which had been kept in 
leading-strings so long. Cholera in a deadly form was 
devastating whole populations, and Madrid itself was 
panic-stricken by the plague. Some of the ignorant 
mob-orators in the capital maddened the people by 
saying that the mortality arose from the poisoning of 
the water by the friars — and a boy was seen empty- 
ing a packet of powder in the fountain of the Puerta 
del Sol. A cry for vengeance arose ; monasteries of 
Jesuits were invaded, and all the inmates butchered. 
Over a hundred friars were murdered in cold blood 
in the capital, whilst the authorities stood by and did 

The flood of oratory rose higher and higher 
whilst these abuses went on. The reply to the 
speech from the throne was discussed ad infinituvi 
in the lower House, with a vehement determination 


to extort from the Government farther concessions 
to the Liberal principles ; and after a m.onth's talk a 
sort of " Bill of Rights " was presented to the Queen, 
in the form of a petition, demanding individual 
freedom and equality before the law, the inviolability 
of property, liberty of the press, full ministerial 
responsibility, and much else of the same sort, all of 
which could hardly be refused by Cristina in the 
position in which she found herself The next step 
was to rehabilitate all the functionaries and officers 
who had been appointed by the constitutional 
Government of 1820-23, and this expensive measure, 
although gravely questioned by many, could not 
logically be refused without accusing the former 
Liberal regime of illegality. 

The financial condition of the country had once 
more become desperate ; and if Don Carlos was 
to be beaten money must be obtained. It was 
found that the annual net revenue accruing to the 
country was five million sterling, whilst the esti- 
mated expenditure for the year was eight millions ; 
and it was proposed to consolidate the various 
foreign debts of the Government and obtain a 
further loan abroad. In order to raise the credit 
of the country the ministry proposed to recognise 
all loans raised in the name of former Governments; 
but here they met with determined resistance from 
the lower House with regard to a loan contracted 
by the revolutionary absolutist Regency of Urgel for 
the purpose of overthrowing the Constitutionists 
and releasing Fernando. In this matter, again, the 
popular chamber had its way, and it was clear now 


that timid Martinez de la Rosa by the creation, 
even of this poor shadow of representation, had 
called into being a force which he could not control, 
\nd which would not stop in its career until the 
^enfranchisement of the citizen was complete. 

Every project of the Government was surrounded 
by safeguards that the deputies resented ; the fear 
of creating a popular armed force to combat the 
Carlists aroused the anger of the people, and the 
proposal to endow the royal family with the enormous 
civil list of ;^545,ooo ^ per annum, an eighth of the 
whole national revenue, added to the distrust with 
which Martinez was regarded. There were other 
reasons which attracted the unflattering attention of 
the people to Cristina. Immediately after Fernando's 
death it had been noticed that a handsome young 
guardsman named Muhoz was constantly by her 
side, and at the first review she held after her return 
from the Pardo, where she and her daughter had 
been secluded from the cholera, the lieges were 
scandalised at seeing the favourite riding by her side 
as an equal. Cristina was still a bright, buxom 
widow under thirty, and the Madrilenos began to 
grumble that this was Godoy over again. Cries of 
" Viva la Libertad ! " were now sometimes raised as 
the Regent and the little Queen rode through the 
Prado instead of " Viva la Reina ! " as was expected. 

In the meantime the war was going badly for the 
Queen in the north. Zumalacarregui's ability and 

^ The Chamber cut the amount down to £\y:>,ooQ, of which 
;^290,ooo was for the four-year-old Queen, ^124,000 for the Regent, 
and ;i^36,ooo for the Infante Don Francisco. 

312 IV.47? AND ANARCHY. 

the enthusiasm of his men had worn out the Cristino 
troops ; and Aragon and Valencia had become 
largely infected with the absolutist fervour. Zumala- 
carregui's plan was to occupy the whole of the 
territory north of the Ebro ; and although the larger 
fortresses were able to withstand him, the semi- 
bankruptcy of the Madrid Government and Martinez 
de la Rosa's distrust of the people made it impos- 
sible for the Queen's forces to do more than stand on 
the defensive. This irregular guerrilla warfare of 
mobile bands, directed by a master of strategy 
against bodies of hastily levied and badly provided 
troops, led in the old way, might, it was seen, be 
carried on for an indefinite time ; and at length the 
signal defeat in rapid succession of the Cristino 
generals O'Doyle and Osma near Vitoria exhausted 
the patience of the Queen's friends. 

In this extremity one name sprang to every lip. 
If there was a man left in Spain who could infuse 
courage and enthusiasm into the fainting hearts of 
his countrymen, it was the erstwhile condemned 
exile Francisco Mina, the guerrilla hero of Navarre, 
who had fought the French and reactionaries with 
equal vigour. But Mina was a democrat of demo- 
crats, and Martinez de la Rosa trembled at the 
idea of putting into his hands forces which might, 
if he chose, make him master of Spain. But there 
was no alternative, and Mina was appointed to face 
Zumalacarregui. His very presence in Navarre, and 
his stirring words, gave another aspect to affairs 
for a short time. But he was no longer the Mina of 
old. Suffering and hardship had broken even his 


314 ^-4^ AND ANARCHY. 

iron frame, and he could only direct the campaign 
from a sick-bed. Mobility, once his strong- point, 
was now impossible to him : all the province, more- 
over, was against him instead of being on his side, 
as it had been against the French. He found on 
the very day that he assumed command that not 
even fuel to cook the rations was obtainable, so close 
was Zumalacarregui's blockade of Pamplona : every- 
thing, indeed, was wanting ; and the Government of 
timid doctrinaires and orators in Madrid was as 
unfit, as it was unable, to provide for a great national 

The Cristino force consisted of three brigades in 
Navarre under Generals Lorenzo, Cordoba, and 
Oraa, and two in Guipuzcoa under Espartero and 
O'Donnell, the total number of men being 25,000 ; 
an utterly insufficient force to occupy the provinces 
and hold the long line of the Ebro. In answer 
to Mina's prayer for more men the Government 
could only send him, as he wrote, "a naked battalion, 
without officers, without instruction, and mostly 
without arms." Under these circumstances it was 
not surprising that Mina should be no more suc- 
cessful than his predecessors, and from his couch of 
constant sickness he fervently prayed to be relieved 
from his impossible task (April, 1835), and surrendered 
his command to General Valdes. 

These repeated disasters, and the ever-widening 
breach between the Radical Chamber of Deputies 
and the ministry, made the position of Martinez 
de la Rosa daily more untenable, and the appoint- 
ment of General Llauder, a staunch reactionist, as 


Minister of War completed the unpopularity of the 
Government. Martinez from the first had made 
light of the Carlist rising, and his own words were 
now turned against him. " If it was so small a matter, 
why did he not end it?" asked his enemies, or was he, 
perchance, in secret treaty with Don Carlos himself? 
All these doubts and discontents culminated in 
Madrid on the night of the 17th of January, 1835, 
when a part of the garrison — the Aragonese regi- 
ment — under Adjutant Cardero, rose in mutiny, and 
took possession of the great post-office — now the 
Home Office— in the Puerta del Sol, and at the 
summons of the Captain-General of Castile, Canterac, 
to surrender, shot the latter dead in the street. When 
the Government saw that the rest of the parties to 
the plot failed to move they overcame their first 
terror, concentrated the whole of the troops in the 
capital in the Puerta del Sol, and laid siege to the 
great red brick building in which the mutineers were 
isolated. After some hours of musketry attack and 
defence on the building, in which it was clear that 
the mutineers had the sympathy of a large number 
of the people, the Government was forced to con- 
fess its weakness by allowing Cardero and his men, 
at three o'clock in the afternoon, to march out with 
all the honours of war, and without punishment. 
y\fter this exhibition of impotence the ministry of 
Martinez de la Rosa lost all moral influence. Its 
resistance to the extension of parliamentary govern- 
ment, its efforts to render the Bill of Rights inopera- 
tive, and the ill success with which it conducted the 
war, made it impossible for it to withstand the storm 
of unpopularity which overwhelmed it. 


Valdes, the new Commander-in-chief in the north 
had been beaten by Zumalacarregui at Amezcoas in 
his first battle (April 21st), and every day the war 
assumed a more ferocious and sanguinary character. 
So terrible, indeed, were the atrocities committed on 
both sides, that the English Government sent Lord 
Elliot and Colonel Gurwood to remonstrate with 
Zumalacarregui and Valdes on the subject, with the 
result that an agreement was signed regularising the 
war and providing that the lives of prisoners should 
be spared. The position of the Carlist cause was 
now most favourable. Only England, France, and 
Portugal had recognised Isabel II., and the northern 
Powers were ready to acknowledge her opponent, 
if, in addition to the territory he held, he could gain 
possession of a fortress of the first class ; in which 
case, also, a loan which Don Carlos was nesfotiatinGT 
could be concluded. Against the advice of his great 
general the Pretender therefore determined to attack 

The place was enormously strong, with a garrison of 
4,000 regulars besides militia and forty great guns, 
and its reduction was the most important task which 
the Carlists had yet undertaken. On the loth of 
June, 1835, the artillery attack was opened, and in 

' Zumalacarregui's plan was to march upon Vitoria and Burgos, 
and so to Madrid, and if Don Carlos had acted on it at the time, and 
had consented to some sort of representative government, he would 
have been welcomed, for utter confusion reigned in the capital, and a 
saviour of society was urgently wanted. But he was as slow, stupid, 
and obstinate as Fernando had been ; he was surrounded by besotted 
reactionaries and friars, and he missed this, his great chance, even as 
is grandson did in similar circumstances thirty-eight years afterwards. 


the afternoon of the 14th two battah'ons of CarHst 
infantry marched up with incredible boldness to 
storm the small breach that had been made in 
the formidable walls. The defenders themselves 
were thunderstruck at such foolhardy rashness, and 
called out before firing, " Where are you going to, 
you stupid Navarrese ? " " To death," was the true 
reply, for most of the heroes died in the breach, 
and the rest fell back only when Zumalacarregui 
sternly ordered them to do so. The next day 
(June 15th) the Carlist general ascended to an upper 
balcony of the Begona palace in the outskirts, which 
commanded a view of the city, in order to note the 
point where a new breach and assault might be 
effected. The balcony was fully exposed to the 
musketry fire, and Zumalacarregui's person and 
costume were easily distinguishable by the defenders. 
His presence attracted a shower of bullets, one of 
which penetrated the calf of the right leg. He 
made light of his wound, but it incapacitated him 
from command ; and it was arranged that the 
general should be carried to his own province to 
recover. But the Spanish surgeons treated him 
ignorantly, and in defiance of the English medical 
man who was summoned, refused to extract the 
bullet until inflammation and fever set in, and 
Zumalacarregui died in the small village of Segama, 
in Navarre, on the 23rd of June, 1835. ^^ ^^'^s 
the only man of real note and genius which the 
war produced, and his loss was an irreparable one 
for Don Carlos. He was, indeed, too great for 
his surroundings, and was intensely unpopular with 


the narrow-minded ministers who guided the Pre- 
tender ; and even the latter was jealous of his 
success and power. 

Valdes, outgeneralled entirely, and hopeless of 
relieving Bilbao, retired on to the Ebro, and threw 
up his command, ordering his subordinate Generals, 
Espartero and Latre, also to fall back. But at this 
juncture the inevitable man of action on the Cristino 
side came to the front. To both Valdes and his 
successor. La Hera, Baldomero Espartero gave the 
same reply. He declined to retreat, and Bilbao 
must be relieved.^ It was something, at this time 
of distraction and confusion, that there was, at all 
events, one Spaniard who knew his own mind, and 
was bold enough to stand by his opinion. Espartero 
was a man of no great ability or education, but he 
was as honest as was compatible with his vast 
ambition, and as firm as a rock. In this blackest 
hour of the Queen's cause he emerged from out of 
the welter of sloth, ineptitude, and base corruption, 
and by sheer force of character saved the crown of 
Isabel II. 

Espartero's determination decided the question 
that Bilbao should be relieved at all costs. The 
townspeople and garrison were fighting bravely, and 
the death of Zumalacarregui had deprived the Carlists 
of energy and spirit ; the appearance, therefore, of 
the Queen's army turned the scale, and the siege 

' The following energetic words are contained in Espartero's letter 
to his chief: " Waver not a moment ! But if, as I hope will not be 
the case, you neglect the advice of your friend, the latter will cast aside 
his general s sasli, and will loathe the name of Spaniard, whilst you will 
be for ever sunk in infamy. " 


of Bilbao was raised in July, 1835. This was the first 
great blow to the Carlist cause. The Pretender 
and his agents were all at discord with each other 
respecting his loan transactions, and already a con- 
siderable number of those who had espoused his 
cause were disgusted at the impenetrable stupidit}' 
of the Carlist ministers, who refused to make the 
slightest concession to modern ideas or to acknow- 
ledge the possibility of conciliation. Don Carlos 
himself was as stupid as the friars who surrounded 
him, and now that the overbearing Dona Francisca 
was dead there was no one to stir him to sustained 
action, or to remind him that he was in the nine- 
teenth century and not in the sixteenth. 

All these circumstances turned the tide of Carlist 
success ; but the improved outlook of the Queen's 
cause could not save Martinez de la Rosa, who was 
now quite at issue with the Cortes which he himself 
had called into being. The ministry therefore 
resigned in July, and the Finance Minister, Count 
de Toreno, accepted the difficult task of carrying 
on the Government. Martinez de la Rosa was a 
poet, a fastidious gentleman, and an honest man ; 
but, like so many of his countrymen, he was carried 
away with his torrential eloquence, and confused 
words for deeds. A Liberal by conviction, he saw 
better than most men how apt Spain was to rush 
to the abyss of license with the slightest enfranchise- 
ment of her institutions, and in vain endeavoured 
to skid the coach whilst he was driving it. The 
verdict upon him must be that he was an imprac- 
tical minister, who thought that he might satisfy 

320 ivAj? and anarchy. 

eager Liberals by a hollow pretence of enfranchise- 
ment, whilst reconciling reactionaries by an adherence 
to forgotten forms and names. 

Count de Toreno had been that fiery young demo- 
crat who had first bespoke the aid of England in 
the great struggle for Spanish independence, but he, 
too, had learnt much in suffering, poverty, and exile. 
He was clever and facile, and had been popular, 
but his acceptance of the Finance Ministry in 
Martinez's Government had caused him also to be 
looked at askance by the Liberals of the chamber. 
He sought to win them over by appointing some 
Radical colleagues, especially Juan Alvarez Mendi- 
zabal, who had done so much to secure the victory 
of constitutionism in Portugal, and was now forming 
an English legion to aid Cristina. Mendizabal was 
of Jewish origin, and was in business in London 
when he was appointed to the Ministry of Finance 
in Toreno's Government, but before he arrived events 
forced his colleagues to take a step which he had 
been advocating for years, namely, the re-expulsion 
of the Jesuits from Spain, and the suppression of all 
monasteries occupied by less than twelve brethren. 
The measure was wrung from the Government by 
the attacks upon religious houses and the murder 
of monks by the mob in Zaragoza and elsewhere 
early in July, but already the flame had caught, 
and the concession to revolutionary demands came 
too late. 

On the 26th of July a terrible outburst took 
place in Barcelona. " Down with the friars ! " rang 
from street to street, as one sacred retreat after 


another was stormed and burnt, the inmates being 
slaughtered in cold blood. Llauder, the reactionary 
Captain-General, himself threatened with death, fled ; 
and his second in command, Bassa, also a Conserva- 
tive, endeavoured to crush the revolt. This aroused 
the Catalans to fury. Hitherto the townspeople as a 
whole had looked on ; now they flocked from shop 
and factory into the streets, armed with such weapons 
as they might seize. The Urban Militia joined the 
populace ; Bassa was summoned to surrender, and 
at first refused. The palace was invaded, Bassa 
shot after he had promised to submit, his corpse 
dragged through the streets, and finally burnt on a 
great furnace of Government archives and other 
propert}-. The statue of Fernando was cast down, 
and amidst frantic cries of "Viva la Libertad ! Viva 
Isabel II.!" tlie effigy of his little daughter was 
raised on the empty pedestal ; and then the blind 
mob sated their fury by destroying machinery, 
sacking and burning as they went. 

A revolutionary assembly was elected by the 
people when some amount of tranquillity had been 
restored, which assumed the supreme rule of the 
province. The rest of Cataluna joined, and Andalusia 
followed. The friars everywhere were hunted down, 
the Militia, now called National, was re-organised, 
and a demand thundered to Madrid that liberty and 
equality of citizenship should be frankly acknow- 
ledged, and that a really representative system 
should be devised by an elected constituent assembly. 
By the end of August, 1835, there were only two 
dominant powers in Spain — Carlism and the Revolu- 



tion. The Government of Madrid with the Queen 
Regent were obliged, out of fear, to disarm their 
own miHtia in the capital, and anarchy reigned 
supreme over all. Toreno and his ministers issued 
threatening manifestoes in the name of the Queen, 
and declared all authority but their own illegal, but 
no notice was taken of them. 

The revolution was at its height when Mendizabal 
arrived from London early in September, and in his 
first interview with Cristina he told her clearly that he 
would have no part in a ministry whose only policy 
was resistance and drift. Events must be faced, and 
a strong course taken or all would be lost. Some of 
the ministers were still for fighting a hopeless battle, 
but Toreno, glad to surrender the helm, promptly 
made way for Mendizabal, who summarised his 
proposed policy in the words : " Oblivion, respect, 
reparation, and reform." He lost no time. In an 
eloquent letter to the Queen he told her of his 
labours and sufferings in exile, of the miseries and 
disappointment of the country at the grudging 
measures of reform which had been doled out to it, 
the need for ending the civil war, and, above all, for 
devising a sound representative and financial system 
on the model of Great Britain, in which the rights of 
sovereign and people should be equally defined. 

The wise, bold words of Mendizabal threw oil 
upon the troubled waters. Everywhere outside of 
the Carlist occupation the Queen's Government once 
more gained sway. Liberty of the press was decreed, 
the National Militia was rehabilitated, and the whole 
of the monkish orders rigidly suppressed (October 


iith).i All the insurrectionists were pardoned, and 
every unmarried male Spaniard between the ages 
of eighteen and forty-five was required to place 
himself at disposal of the Government, to fight the 
Carlists, or pay a fine of ^40, a measure which at 
once provided half a million sterling in cash and 
100,000 men. 

Once more Spain was under the rule of a man 
who was not afraid of democracy ; the electoral 
" Statute " of Martinez de la Rosa was considered 
no longer sufficient, and another representative 
Constitution was to be invented to replace it. The 
Constitution of 181 2 had failed to satisfy national 
needs because it was too wide ; that of 1834 because 
it was too narrow : Mendizabal now tried to strike 
the happy mean. Both in the Chamber and in 
the country there were many who feared further 
enfranchisement, and to strengthen his hands the 
minister demanded from the former an absolute vote 
of confidence, which he obtained, and then began the 
battle of the franchise. The proposals of the ministry 
were extremely moderate, but even so they were 
defeated by the intrigues of a majority of Conserva- 
tives led by Martinez de la Rosa, who demanded 
direct voting and small constituencies with one 
member each, rather than large provinces with 
several members. Mendizabal then did what it 
would have been wiser to have done at first ; he 

' Notwithstanding all the previous attacks upon the orders, there were 
still 3,140 religious houses with 53,000 inmates, of whom 36,000 were 
friars. The whole of their property was ordered to be sold by Mendi- 
zabal in February, 1836. 


abandoned the attempt to reconcile his opponents 
by half measures, and dissolved the " Estates." 

Fortified by his vote of confidence, he now- set 
about the work of Radical administrative reform. 
All claims against the Government were ordered 
to be investigated and consolidated. The National 
Debt already reached ^^84,000,000, and a great 
measure for gradually paying off the whole was 
devised. This plan has been bitterly attacked as 
unjust and unwise, and from a financial point of 
view it certainly was open to grave objection. As, 
however, it is the principal measure associated with 
Mendizabal's name, it may be briefly described. 
All the property of the clergy and monastic orders, 
except that devoted to charity, was declared national 
property (March, 1836), and sold by tender in 
small lots, I one-fifth of the purchase-money being 
paid down, and the rest in instalments extending 
over eight or sixteen years, the payment being 
made either in stock of the National Debt, or in 
money, which the Government would apply to the 
purchase of stock to be cancelled. However neces- 
sary the measure may have been from a political 
motive — for the monastic orders had certainly used 
their wealth in opposition to liberalism^ — it placed 
enormous power in the hands of Bourse specu- 
lators, of which they took full advantage, to rig the 
prices of the Government stocks to the detriment 
of the small people who were obliged to buy it at 
certain times to pay their instalments. Mendizabal 

' It should be mentioned that the Government undertook to provide 
for the Hving of all the friars and clergy who were dispossessed. 


himself recognised this evil, and, at a subsequent 
period, substituted the uniform payment of cash 
instalments extending over twenty-five years. Not- 
withstanding all this, however, and the disturbed state 
of the country, twenty-four millions sterling worth of 
monastic property was sold from 1836 to 1844, ^"d a 
hundred millions sterling of national indebtedness 
and expenditure cancelled therewith. 

When Mendizabal met the new Cortes (still 
elected under Martinez's " Statute ") at the end 
of March he found himself with a great Radical 
majority, but it soon became evident that his 
measures had offended some of those who had been 
his friends, and a bitter personal opposition was 
raised against him, particularly by Isturiz, with whom 
he fought a duel, and Alcala Galiano. He had with 
him the enormous majority of both chambers, and 
the country, but another power besides personal 
jealousy was plotting his downfall. It will readih- 
be supposed that Cristina looked with no sympathy 
upon a Radical minister who really had the courage 
of his opinions. She had surrounded herself with 
a camarilla almost as bad as that of her former 
husband. Munoz, to whom it was evident she was 
now married — she lived with him indeed for the 
rest of her life, and had a very large family by him 
— wisely avoided playing the part of a Godoy, and 
kept politically in the background ; but most of 
those who influenced the Regent were personal 
favourites, milliners, court ladies, priests, and palace 
functionaries, who naturally took the ultra-royalist 
view; Mendizabal found his proposals resisted and 


hampered at every turn by the palace set ; and 
insisted upon retiring (May 15, 1836). The Queen 
had a ministry, headed by Isturiz, ready to replace 
him. The Cortes protested, stormed, and went far 
beyond its only legal right, namely, that of petition 
to the Crown, passing votes of censure, and the 
like ; but the " Statute " gave the sovereign the 
whip hand ; and in the midst of its indignation 
the Parliament was dissolved, >" 

The war in the north, in the meanwhile, continued 
without cessation. The English legion of 10,000 
men, under General De Lacy Evans, whose principal 
headquarters were St. Sebastian, together with French 
and Portuguese auxiliary forces, now raised the 
number of Cristino troops to 80,000 men ; and the 
activity of Mendizabal in raising money and troops 
had distinctly revived the hopes of the Queen's party, 
Constitutionists in England and France looked 
even with greater disfavour upon Carlism, particularly 
in view of Don Carlos' political impracticability, 
and his iniquitous " Durango decree " ordering that 
foreigners taken prisoners should be shot.' All the 
principal fortresses were still held by the Queen's 
troops, even those of Navarre and the Basque 
provinces, although another heroic attempt had been 
made by the Carlists to win Bilbao ; an attempt 
which this time was within an ace of success when 
it was frustrated (October, 1835) by the English 
bluejackets under Lord John Hay, But another 
chief, of almost the first rank as a guerrillero, had 

' The consequence of this was that there was no quarter for the 
Enghsh legionaries. 


arisen on the Carlist side who in the open pushed 
the Cristinos hard. Ramon Cabrera, supreme now 
in.Aragon, had managed to perfect the organisation 
in that province, and by his activity, cruelty,^ and 
skill, kept the Cristinos mostly shut up behind the walls 
of their fortresses, even Espartero and Cordoba being 
beaten in the open on many occasions. The suffer- 
ings of the troops on both sides were heartrending. 
The British legion particularly, unpaid, ill-fed, and 
strangers, devastated by typhus, and shot without 
mercy if captured, passed through the most terrible 
privations — particularly in their march from Bilbao 
to Vitoria. Officers and men died or deserted by 
the hundred almost daily, and soon the number was 
reduced to less than half the original muster. 

In the early spring of 1836 the Carlist forces made 
a determined effort to carry St. Sebastian by siege, 
and on May 5th Evans effected a successful sortie 
with 7,000 men, whilst Lord John Hay with two 
English warships, bombarded the key to the Carlist 
position. The fighting was sanguinary in the ex- 
treme, no quarter being given on either side, but 
finally the Carlists gave way, and raised the siege. 
This was a great blow to the Carlists, but still the 
Cristino Government were apparently as far as ever 
from completely subduing so formidable a revolt, 
in which practically all the Basque provinces and 
Navarre were against them, as well as a large portion 

' As some indication of the ferocity on both sides it may be men- 
tioned that the Cristino General Nogueras ordered Cabrera's old mother 
to be shot in P'ebruary, 1836, in reprisal for his cruelty, and, as may 
be supposed, Cabrera amply avenged himself. 


of Aragon. It had been a favourite scheme of 
Isturiz, the present Prime Minister, and the moderates, 
to invite Louis PhiHppe to restore order in the north 
of Spain, and the citizen king had Hstened willingly 
to approaches which might secure for him a future 
claim upon Spain's gratitude. Lord Palmerston, 
however, with Villiers, the English ambassador in 
Madrid, had their hands upon the intrigue, and 
were sure of the sturdy co-operation of Mendizabal. 
So long as the latter was in power the plan was 
frustrated, and when Isturiz became Prime Minister 
the f>ench king's affairs were not propitious to the 
sending of an army into Spain, but a large body 
of Cristinos was allowed to cross a portion of French 
territory, for the purpose of strengthening the Spanish 
fortresses on the Biscay coast. 

Even thus early it was feared in England that 
Louis Philippe might plan a marriage between one of 
his sons and the child-Queen Isabel, and more direct 
support than before was consequently given by the 
English Government to Cristina, the intrigues of the 
two Powers to gain a paramount influence in Spain 
continuing simultaneously in Madrid, London, and 
Paris, Louis Philippe, however, had a difficult game 
to play, for he wished to marry some of his sons to 
German Catholic princesses, and could not afford 
to offend the legitimist Powers who supported Don 
Carlos ; so that for a time, at all events, the English 
aid to Cristina predominated, even when the mode- 
rates, who were favourable to French influence, were 
in power in Spain. 

We have seen that the party of reaction had 




rallied almost entire to the cause of Don Carlos, 
and that the Queen's throne could only depend 
upon those who advocated popular government ; but 
it soon became clear that the ostensible Constitu- 
tionists were broadly divided between those who 
were willing to give to the people a real representa- 
tive system and those who wished to put them off 
with the appearance only. It was perhaps natural 
that Cristina and her palace cajiiarilla should lean 
to the latter ; and though all outside the Carlist 
ranks claimed to be Constitutionists, yet the 
" moderates " were, for all practical purposes, a purely 
Conservative and royalist party, and enjoyed thence- 
forward the full support of the Queen. The rise 
of Isturiz was followed by the election of a Conserva- 
tive Cortes, the dismissal of all advanced Liberal 
functionaries and an era of reaction. 

But Mendizabal, the only really earnest and able 
Liberal politician of the first rank who had appeared 
for years, was still extremely popular throughout the 
country, and soon all the south of Spain was in full 
revolution against the Queen's Government. Amidst 
scenes of the wildest disorder and bloodshed the 
authorities of all the great towns of Andalusia declared 
for the Constitution of 1812. The fire of revolt was 
spreading northward when the Madrid Government 
sent General Narvaez to Zaragoza with his brigade, 
to stifle the movement there, but he found that 
Evaristo de San Miguel was at the head of the 
mutiny, as was Mina in Cataluna, and in face of 
these two powerful generals Narvaez could do nothing ; 
whilst in Madrid itself the rising was only suppressed 


with the utmost difficulty by General Quesada, and 
by the partial disarmament of the National INIilitia. 
There is no question that the country at large was 
profoundly disappointed at the attitude of the palace 
clique which had displaced Mendizabal, and it now 
despaired of gaining a really representative system by 
constitutional means. It was now acknowledged by 
parliamentarians that Martinez de la Rosa's " Statute" 
was a mockery, which offered no hope of expansion ; 
and it was seen that between the Queen and Don 
Carlos the principal difference was one mainly of 

Things were in this state on August 12, 1836, 
with one-third of Spain in the Carlist occupation, 
and another third, or more, acclaiming the Consti- 
tution of 1 81 2 against the Oueen's Government, 
when there rode into the town adjoining the palace 
of La Granja, where the Queens were staying, a 
militiaman who told the soldiers and the people that 
he had fled from Madrid to avoid the disarmament 
which had been decreed by Quesada against all the 
National Militia. The troops in garrison at La 
Granja, many of whom were Liberals, were deeply 
moved, and at ten o'clock the same night a cry 
to arms was raised. A battalion mustered in the 
barrack-square under its sergeants only ; it was aug- 
mented by some companies of the Royal Guard, 
and the force proceeded rapidly towards the palace. 
Nothing impeded the progress of the mutineers, for 
the authorities were paralysed. All the rest of 
the guards and grenadiers joined the revolt on the 
way, and two sergeants were elected to dictate terms 


to the Queen, into whose presence they were escorted 
by the commanders of their respective regiments. 

Cristina received them graciously. Kneehng they 
kissed her hand, as she stood surrounded by her 
Court, and in answer to her questions Sergeant 
Gomez said that they had been fighting the Carlists 
for the Queen, but they had been fighting for Hberty 
as well. " Yes, my sons," said the Queen, " you 
have been fighting for liberty." " But what liberty 
have we in Spain ? " asked Gomez. " Don't you 
know what liberty is?" inquired the Queen ; to which 
the bold sergeant replied that they did not judge that 
which they had in Spain to be liberty. " Liberty," 
said Cristina, " is the rule of law, and obedience to 
authority." " Then," replied the sergeant, " resistance 
to the almost universal will of the nation that the 
Constitution should be proclaimed is not liberty, the 
disarmament of the National Militia is not liberty, 
the persecution and banishment of Liberals is not 
liberty, and the wish to make terms with the Carlists, 
and to return to the bad times of old, is not liberty." 
The Queen was rapidly losing patience, and began 
to speak haughtily, when Gomez told her plainly 
that peace and order could only be restored by the 
promulgation of the Constitution of 1812. The 
Queen cleverly raised difficulties which for a time 
puzzled the sergeants, and she tried to put off the 
mutineers with vague promises ; but the regiments 
outside would suffer no temporising ; and at length 
the following decree was issued. ^ " As Queen- 

' George Borrow in his " Bible in Spain " gives a highly sensational 
account from hearsay of these events. He says that the Cristina's 


Governess of Spain, I command that the Constitution 
of 1812 shall be published, pending the manifestation 
by Cortes of the will of the nation. San Ildefonso, 
August 13, 1836." 

The Madrid Government was in dismay, and made 
no secret of their belief that the English ambassador, 
Lord Clarendon, was at the bottom of the movement ; 
a suggestion which the sergeant strenuously, and 
quite truly, denied. Fruitless attempts were made to 
buy or intimidate the sergeants by Mendez Vigo, the 
Minister of War ; intercepted letters told them that 
the Madrid Government was planning vengeance ; 
and the garrison then demanded the dismissal of the 
ministers and other high functionaries opposed to 
them. In the meanwhile Madrid itself had fallen 
a prey to uproar. The ministers fled to hiding, 
General Quesada in attempting to escape in disguise 
was caught by the mob, and butchered, and at the 
dictation of the sergeants a new ministry of con- 
spicuous Radicals under Calatrava was hurriedly 
appointed by the Queen. Once more every town 
square outside the Carlist lines changed its name to 
"Plaza de la Constitucion," again the Hymn of Riego 
resounded through the streets, and for the third time 
the constitutional mottoes were boldly emblazoned 
in public places. " The nation is essentially sove- 

husband (or paramour) Munoz, was bound and blindfolded ready to be 
shot by the mutineers, and that the Queen only gave way when the 
muskets were levelled to shoot him. The account of actors and eye- 
witnesses, however, make no mention of this scene. Sorrow's lively 
account of what happened at Madrid at the same time is probably true, 
as he was on the spot. 

334 ^^^ ^^-^ ANARCHY. 

reign," and " The power of making laws is vested in 
the Cortes with the monarch." 

The disturbed state of the Government had en- 
couraged the CarHsts to push forward into Central 
Spain ; and almost simultaneously with the events 
just narrated one of the most interesting episodes of 
the war took place. If Carlism was ever to spread 
beyond the Basque provinces and Navarre this was 
its opportunity, and General Miguel Gomez, who was 
endeavouring unsuccessfully to rally Asturias and 
Galicia to Don Carlos, determined to seize it. With 
four battalions of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and 
two field guns, he started from the north-west corner 
of Spain, crossed the kingdom of Leon, Old Castile, 
and into New Castile, almost to the gates of Madrid, 
fought with and captured a brigade of the Royal 
Guard at Jadraque, marched to Cordoba, returned to 
the Mancha and captured Almaden, again entered 
Andalusia, and approached Cadiz, finally retracing 
his steps and returning to the Carlist headquarters 
on the Ebro without serious loss, after five months' 
march (December 20, 1836). 

This brilliant but unproductive expedition ^ was 
effected in the face of the best commanders the 
Queen's Government could muster. Espartero, Rodil, 
Manso, Rivero, and Narvaez were in turn deceived 
and out-generalled. In the case of Narvaez, his 
troops mutinied in face of the enemy whom he had 

' Gomez was disgraced and imprisoned by Don Carlos on his return, 
the charges against him being that he had been too merciful with his 
prisoners, that he had not prepared the way for Don Carlos to Madrid 
and that he had failed to divide his booty fairly with Don Carlos. 


partially defeated (November 29th), and from the 
behaviour of the Queen's troops and officers through- 
out it was seen that the poison of party politics had 
penetrated deeply into their ranks. 

By far the most popular and active of the Queen's 
generals was Espartero, whom the new re\-oIutionary 
Government of Calatrava appointed to the supreme 
command of the army at the end of September, on 
the retirement of General Cordoba ; and he lost no 
time in infusing some enthusiasm into the ranks. 
Leaving for a season the task of attacking the enemy, 
he threw the whole of his immense energy into im- 
proving the moral and material condition of his men. 
The army, indeed, was in a deplorable condition ; 
starving and in rags, badly armed and worse fed, 
divided by political and personal jealousy, and with- 
out confidence in themselves or their leaders, they 
had proved themselves in the face of Gomez's march 
unfit to cope with the enemy ; and Espartero's first 
task was to reorganise his army for the supreme 
struggle. The Basques and other friends of Don 
Carlos were growing impatient at the slow progress 
of the Pretender's cause for which they had sacrificed 
so much. The great fortresses, even in the north, 
were still in the hands of the Queen ; and it was 
decided that, at any cost, Bilbao must be won ; so 
for the third time the Carlist troops sat down before 
the capital of Biscay, upon the possession of which 
the final triumph of their cause depended. 

The town was held by only 4,300 soldiers of the 
Queen, whilst the besiegers numbered some 1 5,000 with 
nineteen guns ; and the Carlists anticipated an easy 


victory. In this they were mistaken. General Santos 
San Miguel, who commanded the troops in the city, 
aroused the spirit of his men and the citizens to the 
highest pitch of fervour. Through the month of 
November a terrible fire was kept up, and one after 
another the defences of the outer line fell ; but the 
summons to surrender was indignantly rejected. 
" Let Bilbao hold out ; help shall soon reach her," 
was Espartero's signal-message to the beleaguered 
town ; but it was clear that the accumulated horrors 
of famine, fire, pestilence, and death would force the 
devoted citizens to capitulate before many days were 

The task of relief was difficult, considering the 
position of the place, with mountains on all sides. 
Espartero, with 14,000 men, had managed to reach 
Portucalete at the mouth of the river upon which 
Bilbao stands, but on the other side six miles off. 
Only one bridge was left over the river, and a first 
attempt by the Queen's troops to force it failed. The 
next day (November 28th) Espartero made a des- 
perate effort to get across on a pontoon bridge and 
was successful, but was stopped on his road to the 
town by the cutting of the bridge of Luchana over a 
tributary stream. Under a heavy fire the bridge was 
repaired, and the next day Espartero was able to pro- 
ceed ; but once more was driven back to Portugalete 
with heavy loss. On December i6th the General 
addressed a fervid proclamation to his men, in which 
he swore to relieve Bilbao or die, and on the 24th a 
o-eneral action was commenced, during which, by the 
aid of the English bluejackets, another bridge was 


thrown across the tributary at Luchana, and here 
the great battle was fought. The CarHsts Hned the 
mountains that rise on each side, and Espartero's 
troops fell in great numbers, but retreat now was 
more destructive for them than advance, for they 
were between the Carlists and the river, and a 
return over the bridge of boats would have meant 

Espartero himself was in bed with a burning fever, 
but at the supreme moment conquered his sickness, 
mounted his charger, and galloped across the Luchana 
bridge in a blinding snowstorm, to lead his men. At 
one o'clock in the morning the attack was delivered 
on the principal mountain position of the Carlists. 
Storming up the hillsides, the Queen's troops charged 
with the bayonet. The mortality on both sides was 
appalling, and the sufferings of the men were increased 
by the fury of the tempest, which rapidly covered dead 
and wounded alike in a thick winding-sheet of snow. 
Finally, after superhuman efforts and many hours of 
fighting, the height of Banderas was carried and the 
Carlists fled. Bilbao was saved for the third time, 
and it was certain now that the Pretender could never 
conquer Spain by force of arms. 

This was the most important, as well as the most 
decisive, action in a lingering civil war ; and, brave as 
were his own men, Espartero could not refrain from 
acknowledging in his order of the day that much of 
the credit of the signal victory was owing to the aid 
of Colonel Wilde and the English bluejackets and 
soldiers. With the relief of Bilbao Carlism started 
on its downward path, and the throne of Isabel II. 



was secured, at least from demolition by the armed 
forces of obscurantism. 

As we have seen, the ministry of Calatrava was the 
creation of popular tumult and a barrack mutiny, and 
it was necessary as a first step to justify its origin. 
The Queen in her speeches and decrees was now 
made to bless methods and aspirations which she had 
formerly condemned, the property of Conservatives 
and others who had fled from Spain was confiscated, 
a forced prepayment of taxes to the extent of two 
millions sterling was ordered, the salaries of public 
functionaries were reduced, and all the principal laws 
of 1820-23 were again promulgated. But Radical as 
the Government was, it saw that the Constitution of 
Cadiz was impracticable, and summoned a Constituent 
Cortes, elected on the mode of 18 12, to bring it into 
accord with the present state of affairs. Cristina 
opened the Cortes in state, and even, as her husband 
had done, swore to respect the sacred Constitution. 

There was a large Liberal majority, but the ministry 
was content to leave the initiative to the Chamber ; 
which, instead of reforming the code of 18 12, devised 
a new one. Extreme Liberals, then as now, condemn 
the Constitution of 1837 as timid and reactionary, 
and ascribe much of the trouble which afterwards 
befell the country to the discouragement of the 
Liberals at this poor result of their revolution ; but 
judging from prior and subsequent events, it may be 
questioned whether the Spanish people as a whole 
were prepared for a more complete measure of enfran- 
chisement. The principal points of difference from 
the Code of Cadiz were : ist, That two chambers were 


to exist instead of one, both of them with initiative 
power and equal rights, except in the matter of 
finance, in which the Enghsh system was followed. 
The Senate was to be nominated by the Crown from 
lists of three members elected by each constituency, 
both they and the deputies being elected by direct 
vote of the same voters; the voter's qualification being 
the payment of taxes or the possession of property to 
an amount which practically excluded the working 
class from the franchise. 2nd. The veto of the Crown 
was absolute, and it had the right to summon, sus- 
pend, or dissolve Parliam.ent, but was obliged to 
convoke the chambers every year, failing which, 
power was given for Parliament to meet of its own 
accord on December ist. It will be seen that this 
was to some extent a Liberal adaptation of the Eng- 
lish Reform Bill of 1832, and was accepted without 
much enthusiasm, or the reverse, by politicians of all 
sections of the Constitutional party. 

With all possible pomp the Regent, accompanied 
by the little Queen Isabel, swore on June 17, 1837, 
to guard and respect the new Constitution. " And if 
I should break my oath, I ought not to be obeyed. 
And so God help and defend me, or call me to 
account if I fail." So ran the oath ; and in her 
speech from the throne, more solemnly still, if 
possible, the Queen gave her adhesion to the 
new law. " Here, in the face of Heaven and 
earth, I again declare my free and spontaneous 
acceptance of the political institutions I have 
just sworn to respect, in the presence and in 
the name of my august daughter now before you." 


And then, again, the inscriptions about the sove- 
reignty of the nation and the omnipotence of the 
Cortes were rubbed out ; and though the town 
squares were still called Plaza de la Constitucion, it 
was no longer the flaming Code of 1812. But nobody 
seemed to care very much now. The nation was 
jaded with paper constitutions and retaliatory per- 
secutions by each political party ; and though the 
orators were as copious and as florid as they had 
been in 1820, and the newspapers revelled in their 
restored licence to lie and calumniate, the people 
wanted above all things peace, security, and bread, 
and these were boons which no political system 
seemed able to give them. 

Anarchy, indeed, existed from one end of Spain to 
the other. Wandering guerrilla bands, calling them- 
selves Carlists but living by plunder, infested Cata- 
luiia, Castile, La Mancha, and Estremadura. They 
were commanded by country ruffians, known by 
popular nicknames, mere freebooters ; but to a great 
extent they stopped traffic on the main roads, ex- 
tended their raids almost to the gates of the capital, 
and extorted blackmail from the wretched farmers 
for permission to grow their poor crops. Widespread 
starvation and misery was the result, and the war 
must have failed from the mere exhaustion of the 
country, if it had not been kept up by liberal sub- 
sidies from abroad.^ It had, however, now become 

' The English Government suppHed aid to Cristina to the vahie of 
;^540,ooo, which was not repaid until i860, without interest; whilst 
vast sums reached Don Carlos from the Legitimist Courts, Austria, 
Russia, Prussia, and Sardinia. The English Tories, as a party, had 
now washed their hands of Don Carlos, who was acknowledged to be 
impossible after the " Durango decree." 


necessary for some decisive results to be shown or 
these supplies would fail ; and with this end both 
Carlists and Cristinos laid their plans. 

It was arranged that Espartero should leave Bilbao 
with twenty-five battalions, simultaneously with the 
march of Evans from San Sebastian with a similar 
force, and with that of Sarsfield from Pamplona with 
10,000 men. The three generals were respectively to 
beat the forces opposed to them, effect a junction, 
and together fall upon the Carlist line of the Ebro. 
In a brilliant series of battles lasting five days, from 
March lO to 15, 1837, Evans, assisted by a body of 
English bluejackets, drove the Carlists from their 
position in Guipuzcoa with great slaughter ; but at 
the critical juncture Sarsfield failed to come up, 
owing to the bad weather and the ill condition of his 
men. When Sarsfield again retired to Pamplona the 
Carlist army of Navarre was free to turn upon Evans, 
and the latter was defeated before Hernani on the 
i6th. The carnage of the fugitives was heartrending, 
for little or no quarter was given, and it would have 
been worse but for the opportune landing of the 
British sailors from the men-of-war in San Sebastian 
roads, who formed up, and, to some extent, protected 
the retreat into the town. 

When this disaster was known to Espartero he 
also was forced to retrace his steps into Bilbao, and 
the plan failed. But the tables were soon turned. 
Early in May Espartero transported his army by sea 
from Bilbao to San Sebastian and joined Evans. On 
the 14th of May the Carlists were driven back on to 
their lines at Hernani, which they held with great 


tenacity against the English legion and Esparteiro's 
men. But the Infante Don Sebastian, commanding 
the Pretender's forces, committed the fatal error of 
withdrawing a large body of his army to make a 
march upon Madrid with Don Carlos in person ; and 
one after the other the Carlist positions in Guipuzcoa 
again fell ; Hernani on the 15th, Oyarzun on the i6th, 
Irun, after an assault of twenty-five hours, on the 17th, 
and Fuenterrabia on the i8th. The British legion, 
praised by its bitterest enemies for its clemency in 
its hour of triumph, returned to San Sebastian 
with 800 prisoners; and out of mere shame the 
wisest of the stupid Pretender's advisers fruitlessly 
begged him to repay such magnanimity by cancelling 
the " Durango decree." 

Whilst Espartero was pursuing his piT>gress through 
the heart of the Carlist country to Pamplona, Don 
Carlos made his long-projected march to Cataluna, 
where his chief Tristany had been extremely success- 
ful, and thence, it was hoped, to Madrid by Valencia. 
Fighting successfully almost every day with detached 
bodies of the Queen's troops, the Pretender went 
by Huesca, Barbastro, and Gra, to the Ebro, which 
river he crossed, closely followed on all sides by 
Cristino forces on the 29th of June. At Castellon de 
la Plana he was repulsed (July 8th) and then, rein- 
forced by Cabrera, he proceeded towards Valencia 
by Segorbe, his force now numbering twenty batta- 
lions of infantry and twelve squadrons of cavalry. On 
the 15th of July he suffered a considerable defeat at 
Bunol, and, still closely pursued by General Oraa, 
approached Valencia. 


The distracted Government in Madrid had ordered 
Espartero to hurry down from the north and place 
himself between Don Carlos and the capital ; and by 
forced marches the general had brought down a 
brigade to Calamocha, whence he could strike at the 
Pretender if he approached Madrid. But in the 
meanwhile a small Carlist force, under Zariategui, 
had boldly pushed down from the extreme north, 
and, evading pursuit, had taken Segovia on the 
opposite side of the capital and was now raiding the 
outskirts of Madrid. The Government, in a veritable 
panic, could only beseech to Espartero to come and 
protect it, and he with his brigade of guards entered 
the city on the 1 5th of August, to the intense relief of 
the townsmen ; whilst Don Carlos, still harassed by 
Oraa and Buerens, but free now from the victor of 
Luchana, pushed on from Valencia to Madrid. 

The near presence of the enemy was not by any 
means the only danger that threatened the Queen's 
ministers. The revolt of the sergeants at the Granja 
had triumphed by violence over Cristina and her 
friends, but from the first day the moderates and the 
palace clique had striven to overturn the new regime. 
The most violent attacks of the press and the orators 
had been directed against Calatrava and Mendizabal, 
and no opportunity had been lost by the Queen's 
camarilla in hampering the working of their measures. 
Espartero had hitherto given no clear indication of 
his political leanings, such as had been displayed by 
Narvaez, whom the Radicals had driven to resign his 
command ; but the royal guard, which constituted 
Espartero's brigade, were known to be strongly anti- 

344 ^^'^'^^ ^^^ ANARCHY. 

Liberal ; and the general himself had repeated with 
displeasure some incautious expressions which Mendi- 
zabal had used respecting the officers of the army. 
Long before they had entered Madrid Espartero's 
troops were approached by the agents of the " mode- 
rates," and both they and their general found that 
whilst the Radical Government looked upon them 
askance, the Queen and her friends excelled them- 
selves in their attention to them. 

The brigade of guards, of nine battalions, was 
quartered in three detachments in the suburbs of the 
capital for a few days prior to proceeding to dislodge 
Zariategui from Segovia ; and, in the interval, Espar- 
tero was awakened at two o'clock one morning by 
a deputation of officers, who informed him that they 
insisted upon a change of ministry. The general could, 
when he liked, be a strict disciplinarian, and was after- 
wards a great Liberal leader ; but on this occasion he 
temporised with the outrage. The officer commanding 
the guards — General Rivero — was indignant at the 
meeting and dismissed all the officers, mustering the 
brigade under the sergeants, but Espartero took no 
steps to punish the mutineers, beyond exhortations to 
obedience, and the like, and it was notorious that the 
Queen smiled on the revolt. 

It was evident to the ministry, therefore, that both 
the Commander-in-chief and the Regent were against 
them, and they had no alternative but to resign ; 
Baldomero Espartero, Count de Luchana, succeeding 
as Prime Minister, a post, however, which he imme- 
diately resigned, in order to continue his campaign 
against the Carlists. Not only had the "moderates" 


been intriguing with the ro}'al guard in the very- 
presence of the enem\-, but their agents had stirred 
up a lamentable spirit in the army of the north, 
where indiscipline reigned supreme. Genera] Count 
Mirasol in Guipuzcoa was deposed by his own men 
in favour of O'Donnell, and fled for his life to 
France ; in Aragon the commander of the engineers 
was the victim ; and in Miranda del Ebro the Com- 
mander-in-chief of the army of the north, Escalera, 
was slaughtered by his own men. A like fate befell 
the Governor of Vitoria and his chief officers : in 
Logrono the excesses of the mutineers horrified even 
their friends, and in Pamplona the famous General 
Sarsfield and others were also murdered by the men 
they were supposed to command. 

Whilst the army of the north was thus condemned 
to inaction, by political intrigue, a terror instead of 
a protection to its unhappy country, Don Carlos, 
brushing aside the slight opjDosition offered to him, 
appeared at the gates of Madrid on the nth of 
September, 1837. The Pretender and his friends — - 
especially the furious madman, the Curate Merino, 
who led the guerrilla in Castile — were confident now 
that success was within his grasp. There were good 
reasons for the belief, and for his presence before 
Madrid, for a secret arrangement had been made 
between him and Cristina, through the King of 
Naples, that she would welcome him, on condition 
that his eldest son married Queen Isabel. But that 
was when Cristina was saddled with a Radical 
Government : now that the revolt of the officers of 
the guard had rid her of Calatrava ; and Espartero 


had promised her success over her enemies, her 
views were changed, and Don Carlos stayed outside. 
Espartero hurried back to Madrid from Daroca. 
Cristina and her daughter aroused the enthusiasm 
of the people to the highest pitch, by themselves 
reviewing the troops, and Don Carlos, seeing now 
that he had been deceived, raised his camp after one 
day's stay and beat a retreat to his own Basque 
land, followed in a few days by Espartero ; whilst 
the terrible Cabrera returned once more to the 
kingdom of Valencia, there to recommence the 
rapine, murder and devastation with which he had 
desolated the garden of Spain before his prince had 
joined him.^ Thenceforward bands of marauders 
still afflicted Castile and the Mancha ; and Cabrera 
in Aragon and Valencia terrorised the country, but 
it was now generally understood that, outside the 
Basque provinces and Navarre, Don Carlos had not 
the people of Spain on his side. 

' As an instance of his ferocity, shortly afterwards he called a meeting 
of all his officers on learning of Maroto's surrender and pretended to 
advocate an arrangement with the Queen's party. Naturally many 
ofticers agreed with him, and the chief at once ordered them all to be 
shot. He then published a proclamation condemning to instant death 
any one who merely pronounced the word " agreement." 




Discouragement fell upon the Carlist host after 
the retreat from Madrid. The Pretender personally 
was not popular, and his mimic court of fastidious 
civilians and friars was hated by the figiiting-men ; 
whilst his black bigotry ^ and impracticability had 
disgusted his foreign supporters and limited their 
money contributions. Jealousy between the Carlist 
provinces also greatly hampered the co-operation of 
the troops. But whilst the main Carlist army 
gradually dwindled and despaired, the almost 
independent guerrilla chiefs in the other provinces 
maintained uninterruptedly the campaign of pillage 
and murder which ministered to their greed and 
satiated their savagery. Of these Cabrera was 
unquestionably the ablest. During 1838 he became, 
indeed, the most prominent of the Carlist generals, 
capturing Morella and Benicarlo early in the year,^ 
and over-running much of the two kingdoms of 
Aragon and Valencia, beating the Queen's troops 

' The Virgin of the Afflictions was solemnly appointed Commander-in- 
chief of the Carlist army. 

- He was created Count de Morella by Don Carlos. 



in almost every encounter. As cruel and ferocious 
as Cabrera, but without his vast ability, was the 
" Demon of Old Castile," the Curate Merino, a true 
guerrilla chief, who levied blackmail and terrorised 
isolated villages, without check from the more slowly 
moving regular troops. The danger that threatened 
the Queen's Government at the time was, indeed, that 
these guerrilla chiefs might end by wearing out the 
country, which might in sheer weariness, and for the 
sake of peace, accept the King at the dictation of the 
Basque provinces and Navarre. At any rate it was 
seen that affairs could not continue for any length of 
time in the existing ruinous state, with no security 
for life or prosperity and with two ostensible 
Gov-ernments, neither of which had power to rule. 

The Cortes, elected by direct vote at the end of 1837 
in accordance with the new Constitution, was found 
to contain a considerable majority of " moderates," 
and the result was the appointment of a new ministry, 
with the Count deOfalia, an old minister of Fernando 
and a member of the Queen's cainarilla, as chief, 
whose first care was to make another desperate 
attempt to persuade Louis Philippe to send armed 
aid against the Carlists, but again without success. 
This ministry, like its predecessors, soon lost credit 
both with its friends and its opponents for its 
inability to finish the war. Although Espartero had 
captured Peiiacerrada and was continuing his victories 
in the north, Cabrera held out in his stronghold at 
Morella against the Queen's troops under Oraa, whom 
he had driven away with great slaughter, and had 
utterly routed and destroyed another division under 


Pardinas at Maella, whilst Castile and the south were 
still a prey to the guerrillas. In these circumstances 
a new man came upon the scene, who was for many 
years to cast a baleful influence on Spanish politics, 
and to bring incalculable misery upon his unfortunate 

Ramon Maria Narvaez, the vain and turbulent 
general who resigned his command rather than serve 
under Espartero when the Liberals were in power, 
had made no secret of his Conservative leaninsfs. 
The " moderate " ministry were rather overshadowed 
by the Commander-in-chief, Espartero, who had 
made them understand that, if he was to serve 
any ambition it must be his own, and they had 
appointed Narvaez to organise a new reserve army 
and with it to pacify the south of Spain. He did so 
actively, and with a rigour worthy of Cabrera himself; 
and was received on his return to Madrid with marked 
cordiality by the Queen and ministry. Espartero, the 
Commander-in-Chief, would brook no divided com- 
mand and demanded that Narvaez should now join 
the army of the north, but this he neglected to do ; 
and on various pretexts, with the approval of the 
Queen and Government, remained in Madrid. When 
he proposed, however, to raise and command a great 
reserve army, and was authorised to do so by the 
Government, matters came to a head. Espartero 
put his foot down heavily, and addressed a violent 
protest to the Queen, which she dared not disregard, 
and Narvaez resigned. Going south, he endeavoured 
to utilise a popular tumult in Seville for the purpose 
of overturning the Government, in order that the 





Minister of War, Alaix, his personal enemy and 
Espartero's nominee, should be excluded ; but his 
design was understood by the insurrectionists, and 
he and his friend, General Cordoba, fled, protected, 
however, by the Government itself from any serious 
results. This was the beginning of the fatal rivalry 
between the Liberal and Conservative generals, 
Espartero for the moment being the victor ; and 
in the new ministry, which the scandalous affair of 
Seville had made necessary, his nominee, Alaix, was 
again Minister of War, the Prime Minister, Evaristo 
Perez de Castro, being an absolute nonentity, the 
real leader being a "moderate," Arrazola. 

This was the condition of affairs in the spring of 
1839 when Espartero vvith the bulk of his army 
was attacking the formidable Carlist positions of 
Ramales and Guardamino, and the main body of 
the Pretender's forces under General Maroto was 
held in check by the brigade of Guards. Before 
dawn on the 12th of May Espartero received a 
message from Maroto offering terms of surrender 
for a fort, in his keeping, which \\'ere accepted. 
Maroto had recently returned to the Carlist army 
from France, and was openly in favour of a con- 
ciliatory policy, for which he was hated by the 
" apostolics " who surrounded Don Carlos. The 
Queen's cause was prospering greatly in Navarre 
under General Leon, in Aragon under O'Donnell, 
and in Alava under Zurbano ; for causes which 
have already been set forth the Carlists were in tne 
deepest depression, and it was no surprise to any 
one when Maroto sought an interview with Espartero. 


For at least two years reconciliation had been in the 
air, and successive ministers had already spent vast 
sums in bribes to bring it about, whilst intrigue at 
home and abroad had been busy with the same 
object. When, at length, the " apostolics " in 
the Carlist camp understood that Maroto was 
approaching Espartero with ideas of arrangement, 
the fury of their denunciations knew no bounds. 
Cabrera, and the no less terrible Count de Espafia, 
thundered their denunciations against the traitor, 
the priests alternately wheedled and banned, and 
poor Don Carlos himself endeavoured to hold with 
both sections of his friends so as to lose no element 
of support, but all in vain. By the advice of Lord 
John Hay, the English admiral, Maroto submitted 
bases of an arrangement to Espartero, founded on 
the simultaneous evacuation of Spain both by Don 
Carlos and Cristina, and the marriage of the young 
Queen with the Pretender's eldest son ; peace and a 
full amnesty being granted to all. But Espartero 
would not listen to such terms, nor would the English 
Government endorse them. 

After much discussion, in which Lord John Hay was 
the intermediary, and more than one abandonment of 
the negotiations, during which the hostilities con- 
tinued, and an " apostolic " pronunciaine^ito was made 
against Maroto in the Carlist army, a meeting was held 
on the 25th of August between Espartero, who was 
accompanied by Colonel Wilde, and Maroto. The 
latter had been playing a dangerous game, for Don 
Carlos and his " apostolics " were ready to kill him 
if they could, although he represented to them that 



the bases of agreement offered were infinitely more 
favourable than they really were on the great 
question of the recognition of the Basque privileges. 
This was the point upon which Don Carlos and the 
"apostolics" hoped to prevent the Basque troops 
from consenting to the agreement, and the poor 
Pretender made a last effort to play a heroic part. 
He suddenly appeared in full uniform, covered with 
orders, before Maroto's division at Elgueta, his 
intention being to address a fervent harangue to the 
soldiers, and to win them from the side of their 
popular general. But the Bourbon's voice was thin 
and poor, his delivery mincing, and his person insig- 
nificant. Stuttering and mumbling, he made a pitiable 
exhibition of himself, and when he asked the men 
whether they would shed their last drop of blood for 
him, their King, he was answered by dead silence. 
Angrily he repeated the question ; and still silence 
greeted him. Then turning to a Basque general by 
his side — " What does this mean ? " he said. " Oh, 
your Majesty," was the reply of the officer, at his 
wits' end for an excuse, " they don't talk Spanish." 
" Then ask them in Basque," commanded the King. 
But the general was one of those who knew that 
further fighting was impossible, and instead of 
repeating the Pretender's words he asked in Basque, 
" Lads, do you wish for peace ? " and from every 
throat there thundered forth, as of one accord, ''Bay 
fauna" (" Yes, sir! "). Don Carlos understood enough 
Basque to know the meaning of that, and turning 
his horse galloped with all speed to a place of safety, 
for he saw now that he had failed, and that Spain 
would have him not. 


On the 31st of August, 1839, the famous Treaty 
of Vergara^ was signed by Espartero and Maroto. 
Drawn up opposite to each other were the armies 
of the Oueen and Don Carlos. It was still uncertain 
how most of the Biscay men would accept the recon- 
ciliation, and the lives of the generals hung in the 
balance. But when Espartero and Maroto rode 
out between the lines and embraced, all doubt was 
at an end. Weapons were thrown aside, and with 
frantic joy the troops fraternised, recollecting only 
that they were all Spaniards. The cruel war of 
six years was well-nigh ended, for although Don 
Carlos still issued his denunciations, and wandered 
for a time with his ministry and a small body of 
troops in his faithful Navarre, he and his were soon 
forced to cross the frontier into exile, to see Spain 
no more. Cabrera obstinately held out for nine 
months more in Aragon, fighting like a wild cat 
at bay, but he, too, sick, disappointed, and defeated, 
at length accepted the inevitable and came to Eng- 
land to marry and live in comfort and dignity for 
the rest of his life, to all appearance an estimable and 
amiable gentleman. 

The joy of the nation at the Treaty of Vergara 
was unbounded, and the Duke of Victoria, as 
Espartero was now styled, was a popular hero. 

^ The difficulty about terms was got over by reducing the convention 
simply to the submission of Maroto's troops, and the confirmation of 
the ranks of the officers. No mention of Don Carlos is made in the 
document. The Cortes, however, as had been privately arranged by 
Espartero, confirmed the privileges of the Basque provinces, which 
exempted them from the Spanish customs dues, the national con- 
scription, and from all interference with their provincial autonomy. 


The " moderates," however, trembled in their shoes 
at his now overwhehning influence, and especially 
. when the newly elected Cortes proved to be strongly 
progressive in its tendency, and promptly passed a 
vote of no confidence in the Government ; from 
which Alaix, Espartero's nominee, had already 
retired. Arrazola and Perez de Castro were deter- 
mined to hold on to power, and, advised by them, 
Cristina took the unwise course of dissolving the 
Parliament that had only just been elected 
(November, 1839). 

It was evident now to the Liberals that the 
" moderates " had no intention of acting constitu- 
tionally, for they had dissolved two chambers in 
succession almost immediately after the elections, 
and would continue to do so as often as suited 
them. From Espartero's army in the north came 
ominous growls of protest, and if it had dared 
the " moderate " ministry would have made short 
work of the over-powerful general. For that, how- 
ever, they were not strong enough ; and for the 
moment they confined their efforts to obtaining a 
large majority in the new Cortes by the grossly 
illegal means which nearly every Government of 
Spain has employed for a similar purpose ; whilst 
once more the opposition newspapers and orators 
broke through all bounds of decency and restraint. 
The uproar and violence amongst the spectators in 
the galleries made the sittings of the new Cortes a 
scandal, and discussion impossible, whilst the ferment 
outside at the persistent rumours that the Regent 
and the Government had designs against the Con- 


stitution (of 1837 be it understood) clearly fore- 
shadowed public disturbance. 

When the Minister of War, Montes de Oca, 
ordered the Captain-General of Madrid to charge 
the crowd that threatened the Congress, he was 
told that the troops could not be depended upon, 
and the capital was declared in a state of siege. 
In the meanwhile the Government made desperate 
and successful efforts to re-endow the clergy with 
tithes, and to pass a new Bill taking away from 
the municipalities most of the independence and 
popular character conferred upon them by the Con- 
stitution of 181 2 — which, it will be recollected 
was still in force, with the exception of the part 
referring to the Crown and the national legislature, 
modified by the Constitution of 1837. Obstruction 
in Parliament, violence in the streets, and the angry 
opposition of the threatened municipalities, were, 
however, only the muttering before the storm : the 
real struggle was to be between the ministers and 

The latter had been prodigal of rewards to his 
men and was idolised by the army. One of his 
brigadiers (Linaje) had written a vigorous attack 
upon the " moderates " in a newspaper, and the Queen 
Regent ordered Espartero to dismiss him. This 
he not only refused to do, but insisted upon the 
officer being promoted. Cristina was furious at the 
insult, and she and the ministry, for a time, held out. 
It was seen that if they gave way they would lose all 
moral influence, whereas if they stood firm the army 
would join the municipalities and the Liberals, and 


probably make a clean sweep of the board. Between 
the two evils the Government chose the less, and 
Linaje was made Major-General, which meant that 
Espartero was master of Spain. In the summer 
(1840) Cristina made a characteristically bold stroke 
for predominance, greatly to the apprehension of her 
Conservative ministers. On the plea of taking the 
young Queen for sea-bathing, a royal progress was 
made through Zaragoza to Barcelona. Espartero 
and his army were in Cataluila opposing Cabrera, 
and if he, or at least his men, could be won over by 
the personal efforts of the sovereign, and at the 
same time the wealthiest city in Spain propitiated, 
Cristina thought she need fear the Liberals no 

Accompanied by a veritable army for protection 
and a brilliant Court, the Queens did their best to 
please the populations through which they passed. 
Everywhere they were received with respect and wel- 
come, but everywhere, and especially in such great 
cities as Zaragoza and Barcelona, plain hints were given 
— and often much more than hints — that the Muni- 
cipal Bill ought not to be sanctioned by the Queen, 
that it was an infraction of the Constitution of 
18 1 2, which she had sworn to respect, and was an 
attempt on the liberty of the people. Espartero met 
the Court at Lerida, riding by the Queen's coach 
through most of the Principality of Cataluna, and 
emphatically warned Cristina to the same effect. He 
left her before she arrived at the capital, and she 
then began to understand that she had made a mis- 
take. Even the troops cheered the Constitution as 


she passed quite as much as they cheered the Queen. 
Pleased, however, with the first welcome she received 
in Barcelona, and failing to notice the inscriptions 
demanding the respect of the Constitution which were 
mixed with more courtly decorations, she turned 
triumphantly to one of Espartero's generals who rode 
by her side, and remarked : " You see ! What do you 
think of my entry now ? " to which the officer replied 
that he would wait to see what her exit was like before 
he gave an opinion. 

She was soon undeceived, for when the popular 
idol, Espartero, made a triumphal entrance a few 
days later, the whole population went mad with 
joy, and the welcome of the authorities threw their 
reception of the Queen into the shade. Cristina 
and the Government were in a desperate rage. One 
of the ministers being told that the city had voted 
a golden crown for Espartero, exclaimed that he 
would be forced to wear one of thorns. But in 
face of what she saw the Regent was constrained 
to give a promise to Espartero not to sanction the 
municipal law. When, however, the Act arrived for 
her signature her ministers insisted, and with fear and 
hesitation she gave way and confirmed it, but earnestly 
begged the ministry to postpone the order for its pro- 
mulgation. Whilst she was hesitating with her pen 
in her hand the minister, Perez de Castro, tauntingly 
asked her, " Who is monarch here, Madame, you or 
Espartero ? " This was more than a daughter of 
kings could bear, and with an exclamation of anger 
Cristina dashed her signature to the order for pro- 


This was the signal for conflict, for it was flying 
in the face of the people, the army, and the most 
popular personage in Spain. It made Cristina the 
instrument of one political party to destroy another, 
and sooner or later made her own downfall inevi- 
table when the party with which she had thrown in 
her lot was defeated. The first result of Cristina's 
action was the resignation of Espartero of his com- 
mand. An attempt was made to placate him, and the 
Queen told him she did not consider the time for his 
departure opportune, as he might be required to 
restore public order ; to which he replied that if order 
was disturbed in consequence of what had been done, 
his troops were not disposed to interfere. " Go when 
you like, then 1 " the Queen cried rudely — and Espar- 
tero went. 

The Queen was right in her apprehensions. The 
same night a public rising shook Barcelona from 
end to end. A great multitude cheered for Espartero 
and the Constitution. He prayed them to retire peace-. 
fully,and promised that whilst he lived the Constitution 
of 1837 should not be destroyed: at the same time 
around the palace there gathered a threatening mob, 
whose subversive cries could be heard by the trem- 
bling Queen. In a panic she sent for Espartero at 
one o'clock in the morning, and surrendered com- 
pletely. He refused to coerce the people, and insisted 
upon the immediate retirement of the ministers. The 
Queen in silent rage was obliged to submit, and faith- 
fully promised to revoke the Municipal Act ; the 
ministers, disguised, fled to a French vessel in the 
harbour, and the tumult subsided as quickly as it 


had arisen. A Liberal Government under Antonio 
Gonzales was at once gazetted, but when the new 
ministers arrived at Barcelona they found Cristina 
fractious and indignant at the violence to which she 
had been subjected. They demanded the immediate 
dissolution of the Cortes, and the suspension of all the 
Acts it had passed ; but she pointed out that these 
demands were unconstitutional ; she had already 
dissolved Parliament twice within a year, and at least 
the Government ought to meet the present Chamber, 
and test it by vote before dissolving. The Acts, more- 
over, had been legally passed and she could not 
suspend them at the bidding of a ministry born of 
public clamour. 

All this proved that whilst Cristina would willingly 
forget the Constitution when a " moderate " govern- 
ment was in power, she would hamper a Liberal 
ministry at every turn, and the new ministers resigned. 
Amidst much covert opposition from the Regent, and 
infinite ill-feeling, another more compliant Liberal 
ministry was formed, with Valentin Ferraz at its 
head, willing to accept the Queen's terms. Cristina 
left Barcelona with a frowning brow, and travelled to 
Valencia by sea, being received with the greatest 
coldness, although O'Donnell, the general com- 
manding the troops there, was strongly Conservative, 
and the people and press of Valencia made it as clear 
as those of Barcelona that the municipal law must go. 
The new minister (Ferraz), seeing in the face of public 
opinion the impossibility of governing, except with a 
new Parliament, resigned ; and Cristina, now almost 
at her wits' end, decided upon resistance, appointing 


another Conservative Government with a judge named 
Modesto Costazar as Premier. 

This at once caused a great public rising in Madrid 
(September i, 1840), in which the National Militia and 
the municipality were on the popular side. The civil 
Governor was imprisoned, and the Captain-General, 
overpowered by the militia, fled. Most of the troops 
fraternised with the revolutionists, and from the 
municipalities of the great towns came flying to 
Madrid messages of sympathy and support. A pro- 
visional Junta of government was formed, high officers 
were appointed to the provinces, the government of 
the Queen was utterly repudiated, and throughout 
the kingdom the wave of revolution rolled unchecked. 
Espartero addressed a letter to the Queen, pointing 
out that if his advice had been taken no trouble 
would have occurred, and still offered to save the 
threatened throne, but not to crush liberty for the 
sake of the Conservative party. His style was 
brusque, to the point of rudeness, for he was no 
diplomatist, but the attitude he now adopted marked 
the future course of the reform party ; there was to 
be no attack upon the monarchy — though the word 
Republic was on some lips — but the Constitution 
must be loyally observed. O'Donnell offered to fight 
the revolt, but Cristina saw that was impossible, and 
tried to satisfy the discontent by appointing a Liberal 
ministry of obscure men without explanation or 
excuse. But the country would not trust her ; the 
revolutionary government refused to obey, and at last 
she bent to the inevitable and appointed Espartero 
Prime Minister (September i6th). 


After some difficulty with the revolutionary junta of 
Madrid he formed his Government, and on presenting 
its members to the Queen in Valencia, she asked, as 
she had done in the case of the Gonzales ministry, what 
programme they intended to follow. They resisted 
answering as long as they could, but at length told 
her, amongst other things, that the Cortes must be 
immediately dissolved and the municipal law sus- 
pended. She objected that the law had been legally 
passed and could only be altered by constitutional 
means ; but as they insisted she said no more, and they 
took the oath of office. 

Then she shot the bolt she had reserved, and 
handed to the astounded ministers her abdication. 
They reasoned and remonstrated, but to no purpose. 
She had been vilely attacked and calumniated, she 
said, and would go abroad. This was understood to 
refer to the unsparing newspaper comments upon her 
connection with Muhoz, and one of the ministers 
sought to calm her by saying that since her first 
husband's death, her Majesty was quite at liberty 
to contract other ties, although they would be 
incompatible with the Regency. " It is not true," 
exclaimed the Queen ; but as it was notorious that 
she was living with Mufioz, to whom she had already 
borne children, and it was believed they were married, 
another of the ministers put the matter plainly by 
telling her that the public believed she had contracted 
a second marriage ; there was nothing wrong in that. 
" I tell you it is not true," repeated Cristina.' The 

' The reason of Cristina's denial of her marriage at t!ie time was that 
it would have rendered her regency illegal, and have necessitated the 


ministers, thinking that it was time it was true, said 
no more, and the irate Queen, rejecting all attempts 
to reconcile her, embarked for Marseilles on the iSth 
of October, under the name of Countess of Vista 
Alegre, leaving Espartero and his colleagues Regents 
by the Constitution, until the Cortes should appoint a 
regular Regency. 

This revolution has been described at some length, 
because it has been usual in England to assume that 
Cristina alone was to blame ; which on impartial con- 
sideration does not appear to have been the case. It 
may be granted that she was extremely unwise in her 
open preference for the " moderate " party, and in 
allowing them to turn parliamentary institutions into a 
farce ; but the action of Espartero and the Liberals 
was absolutely indefensible in insisting upon the sus- 
pension by decree of Acts legally passed, and in their 
appeal to armed mutiny and mob pressure to coerce 
the Queen to violate the Constitution which they pro- 
fessed to make their fetish. In any case, the results 
of the revolution were lamentable in the extreme. 
Violence begets violence ; and just as the harsh action 
of Fernando on his return caused the rising of Riego, 
and the latter ended in the brutal regime of 1824, so 
did this violent action of Espartero and his friends 

return of the vast sum she had received as salary. Her greed was 
always great, and on this occasion it led her to prefer money to her 
own good name. She really married Muiioz, who had sprung from 
the humblest class of society, almost immediately after Fernando's 
death, but the marriage was not acknowledged until Cristina's political 
hopes were ended by her daughter's majority. Munoz was then created 
Duke of Rianzares, and lived until quite recent years, an estimable 
and amiable gentleman with a weakness for speculation. 


find its echo, whose alternate reverberations caused 
Spain to tremble at intervals for the next thirty years. 

The first act of Espartero's Government was to 
abrogate the municipal and other laws which gave 
an excuse for the revolution, whilst Cristina from her 
exile in a vigorous manifesto to the Spanish people 
made clear that she was biding her time, and had 
forgiven and forgotten nothing. The " moderate " 
party acted similarly, and in the new elections stood 
aside almost completely ; witli the natural result that 
the Government obtained a great majority in the 
Cortes, but, as is usual in such circumstances, the 
majority was composed of men widely differing in 
the extent of their liberalism : and bitter opposition 
was offered to Espartero's desire to obtain the sole 
regency; the Constitution of 181 2 having decreed 
that a regency should always consist of three per- 
sons. At length, with a very small majority, Espar- 
tero's views prevailed, and on the loth of May, 1841, 
the provincial coachmaker's son, surrounded by regal 
pomp, took the oath as Regent of Spain during the 
minority of Isabel II. 

Like all rulers raised by violence, Espartero soon 
found it impossible to satisfy the more advanced 
sections of his own followers. He was a man of no 
experience, and of little natural penetration ; his 
military virtues of firmness, bravery, and honesty, of 
which he certainly made the most, had raised him to 
the position of a popular idol, but his political action 
did little to justify his elevation, and his determina- 
tion to obtain the undivided regency had already 
offended a large number of Liberals. On the other 


hand, the " moderates " naturally looked upon him 
as a usurper, and in union with many ex-Carlists, 
from the first day, skilfully plotted to overthrow him ; 
whilst every Government in Europe, except that of 
England, was averse to him. 

He began badly by appointing a ministry of 
mediocrities under Antonio Gonzales, of which the 
only man of position was Evaristo de San Miguel, 
Minister of War ; and the formal removal of Cristina 
from the guardianship of her daughter was another 
unnecessary offence given to the " moderates," and 
especially to Cristina herself, who protested bitterly 
from Paris against being deprived of her natural and 
legal rights. Agustin Arguelles,^ a man in every 
respect worthy, was appointed guardian of the 
Queen ; the poet Quintana and the widow of Mina 
being made respectively tutor and governess. 
Although care was taken to surround the Queen 
with those known to be of Liberal leanings, the 
proud dames, for whom the palace was the centre of 
the world, could not stand the presence of the 
Countess Mina — a shopkeeper's daughter — and this 
caused another schism. Cristina's friends, t-he ^ 
" moderates," the Carlists, and the clergy, kept up the 
irritation by ascribing all sorts of Machiavellian plans 
to Espartero and Arguelles. The Queen, they said, 
was being purposely educated badly, and Espartero 
aimed even higher than the regency. At length, 

' Arguelles and Quintana were men of such high character that it is 
difficult to believe that they purposely neglected their duty ; but we 
have the Queen's own word for it, that she was taught but little. She 
certainly was badly brought up by Cristina, and was very ignorant. 


under Cristina's direction a regular revolutionary 
organisation was formed, and General Leopold 
O'Donnell raised the standard of revolt in Pamplona 
in October, 1841, promptly imitated by the generals 
in Vitoria and Zaragoza. A junta of government 
in the name of Cristina was established at Bilbao, 
including statesmen of note like Santa Cruz and 
Alcala Galiano ; and soon the Biscay provinces and 
Navarre, still trembling for privileges which were 
threatened by the Liberals, declared for Cristina ; 
whilst Madrid itself was the scene of a drama unex- 
ampled in the history of modern Europe. 

On the night of the 7th of October General 
Concha with a few companies of the princess's regi- 
ment appeared before the palace, and as had been 
arranged, the regiment on guard joined them, the 
intention being to seize the young Queen and carry 
her off to the protection of the revolutionary junta 
appointed by Cristina. A number of prominent officers, 
under the dashing Diego de Leon, ascended the 
famous marble main staircase of the palace, which had 
extorted the admiration even of Napoleon, to kidnap 
the orphan princesses ; but on the first landing were 
ranged eighteen halberdiers of the guard, commanded 
by Colonel Dulce, who stoutly resisted. Up the stair- 
case swarmed the mutineers to support their chiefs, 
but still the dauntless halberdiers stood firm ; and 
with sabre, pike, and bullet a bloody struggle raged 
through the night for the possession of the weeping 
children. " Oh ! don't let them kill us," cried the 
little Queen, as she clung to the Countess Mina; "we 
will go where they like if you will come with us." 


But as she spoke a bullet penetrated the room in which 
they were, and the princesses and the Countess fled 
to safer quarters. Still the halberdiers held firm ; 
for their position on the landing gave them the advan- 
tage, and every moment was a loss to the mutineers 

Soon the National Militia surrounded the palace ; 
the troops of the garrison failed to join the revolt, as 
had been arranged, and the mutinous officers took 
to flight, just as the dawn broke, leaving their men 
to surrender. Count de Requena, and Brigadiers 
Ouiroga and Frias were captured soon afterwards, 
hidden in charcoal carts ; General Diego de Leon, the 
most popular of them all, was pursued and caught; and 
a special Council of War condemned them and most 
of their companions to death. Superhuman efforts 
were made to save them, especially the handsome 
General de Leon (Count of Belascoain), and the little 
Queen was almost induced to exert illegally her 
prerogative of mercy but they nearly all fell by the 
bullet, except the few who succeeded in escaping to 
France, and a similar fate overtook the chiefs of the 
revolt in the provinces ; whilst by a stroke of the pen 
of Espartero the time-honoured privileges of the 
Basque provinces were mostly swept away. 

This event for a short time strengthened Espartero, 
but the attacks and suspicions of the exalted 
Liberals gave the Government no truce, and in June, 
1842, a vote of censure in the Cortes put an end to 
Gonzales' ministry ; and Espartero, with but little 
political prescience, appointed another Cabinet under 
General Rodil, drawn from exactly the same section 
of the majority. This forced him to proi'ogue 


Parliament, which meant an interregnum of some 
months, during which he would enjoy a dictatorship. 
In the meanwhile, as usual, the press and the 
orators — especially the extreme Liberals — carried on 
a war without truce against the Government and the 
Regent, whom they now affected to look upon as an 
ambitious soldier bent only upon his own advance- 
ment and careless of the revolutionary creed. 

For the first time, the Republican party in Spain 
carried on an organised propaganda, and, in Cataluna 
especially, gained a strong following. Espartero had 
become extremely unpopular in Barcelona, in conse- 
quence of his stern reproof and repression of the 
revolutionary junta which had decreed the destruction 
of the hated citadel : and a formidable Republican 
rising took place in the city in November. The 
Catalan capital seemed suddenly stricken with un- 
governable fury. From every balcony and housetop 
missiles, projectiles, boiling oil, and burning com- 
bustibles were poured down upon the heads of the 
Government troops. Not Republicans alone flew to 
arms, but men of all parties ; for were they not 
Catalans, and why should Castile rule over them ? 
Why should English cottons be allowed in Spain 
whilst Catalan looms could weave them ? Espartero 
was the friend of England : perish Espartero ! 
Catalans were richer and better than Castilians : 
perish Castilian rule ! The garrison fled, a revolu- 
tionary government was formed, and Cataluna was 
declared separate from Castile, pending the establish- 
ment of a national government more worthy than 
that of Espartero ; and this was only fourteen 



months after Espartero had been welcomed in Barce- 
lona almost as a deity. But General Van Halen had 
gathered his regiments in the suburbs, Espartero was 
just behind him, and the grim fortress of Monjuich 
still frowned down upon the city and showed its 
teeth. At the threat of bombardment the revolu- 
tionary junta fled, and after a few shells from 
Monjuich the turbulent city capitulated to Van 
Halen, who treated it better than it deserved, 
whilst Espartero returned to Madrid and at once 
dissolved Parliament, rather than face it, under the 
present circumstances, for the majority had opposed 
his going to Cataluna, and he had already decided to 
remove the mild Van Halen and send to Barcelona 
a governor who should teach it better manners with 
the gallows. 

On the 3rd of April, 1843, the new^ Cortes met 
and the Government resigned rather than meet it, a 
ministry being formed under an eloquent and popu- 
lar orator named Joaquin Lopez, whose liberalism 
was considered more robust than that of his pre- 
decessor. Lopez, who belonged to the section that 
opposed the Regent, soon fell out with him by 
insisting upon the removal of most of the officers 
and friends upon whom Espartero mainly depended. 
The Regent was obstinate, and after an acrimonious 
dispute the ministry resigned (May) ; a more mode- 
rate Liberal cabinet being appointed, with Gomez 
Becerra as Prime Minister, and Mendizabal for 
finance. But the Cortes had grown tired of Espar- 
tero's unstatesmanlike muddling, and insisted upon 
passing a vote of confidence in Lopez's ministry ; 


and to this the Regent's dictatorial and nnconstitu- 
tional reply was dissolution. 

The indignant Cortes, the fervid orators, and the 
shrieking press, denounced and declaimed against the 
rule of the rude, stupid soldier whom a revolution 
and popular extravagance had raised to his pedestal. 
The young Catalan brigadier, Prim, mutinied in June 
at Reus with his brigade at the cry of " Down with 
Espartero ! " Valencia, Andalusia, Galicia, followed suit ; 
and soon all Spain was ablaze again. In vain Mendi- 
zabal sought to conjure away the danger by reduction 
of taxation and like palliatives ; but it was too late. 
The counter-revolution spread ; Espartero sought to 
conciliate it by issuing reassuring manifestoes, but 
finding this useless he placed himself at the head of his 
army, and set forth to conquer the revolt by force 
of arms, after much heated oratory and the the- 
atrical display before his beloved Madrid militia of 
embracing the national flag. 

The fickle army had changed. His name was no 
longer idolised by the soldiers as it had been. 
Cristina, tireless, clever, and rich, with the open sym- 
pathy of Louis Philippe, and the aid of such popular 
soldiers as Narvaez, Concha, O'Donnell, and Pezuela, 
had laid her plans well ; and to his dismay Espartero 
found that regiment after regiment, province after 
province, clamoured for his downfall. . 

By the middle of June Narvaez and his division 
were besieging Madrid, weakly defended by the 
National Militia. At the call of the ministry General 
Seoane hurried from Aragon with twenty bat- 
talions to relieve it, and met Narvaez's division not 


far from the capital. After a few shots had been 
fired an extraordinary comedy was played by the 
generals. Narvaez and his men suddenly rushed 
into the ranks of their opponents, crying " Viva la 
Constitucion ! " "We are all Spaniards, let us em- 
brace." The Government troops, nothing loth, 
accepted the invitation, and Seoane and Narvaez 
embraced effusively. This was all very well ; but 
the men began to ask each other what it meant, and 
which side had given way. Seoane had been bought 
to the Queen's side, but his second in command, 
Zurbano, put spurs to his horse and fled towards 
Madrid, with the cry, " We are sold ! " " We are 
sold ! " repeated the men : but most of them were 
not very sorry ; and those who appeared to be so, 
were promptly disarmed. During the night the 
army entered Madrid without resistance, for the 
capital was trembling with apprehension at the idea 
of the rule of the sword wielded by the terrible 
Narvaez, who was as King Stork to Espartero's King 

Immediately the National Militia was disarmed 
the Countess Mina and Arglielles were expelled from 
the palace, the administration of Government passed 
into new hands, and the counter-revolution was 
supreme. In the meantime Espartero, paralysed at 
h*s sudden unpopularity, wasted days at Albacete, 
and then marched to Seville with his rapidly dwind- 
ling forces. But there as elsewhere he found himself 
powerless ; the fickle crowd had nothing but curses, 
for their former idol, and he escaped to a British 
ship in Cadiz harbour, whence he sailed to Lisbon, 


374 Intrigue and instability. 

and thence to England, after signing a protest against 
the revolt that had chased him from Spain. 

In England Espartero was welcomed as a hero : 
for he represented English and Liberal influence in 
Spain as against Cristina and France. Banquets and 
public receptions greeted him everywhere. The Grand 
Cross of the Bath was already his, and the freedom 
of the City of London was now conferred upon him ; 
Queen Victoria honoured him and the people 
cheered him : whilst in Spain the Lopez Government 
which he had first appointed, and Narvaez had re- 
constituted, denounced him by decree as a traitor, 
and stripped him and his friends of all their honours, 
titles, and emoluments. This was lex talioTiis indeed, 
but both Cristina and Narvaez had heavy scores to 
settle, for they had met with scant consideration 
from the Duke of Victoria in the short hour of his 

The dissentient Liberals soon found out their 
mistake in coalescing with the revolt. Narvaez, now 
Commander-in-chief and Governor of Castile, was a 
harsh martinet who trampled upon all who opposed 
him,^ and when the Catalans found that nothing was 
to be done specially for them, Barcelona revolted 
again, and for the next ten weeks went through all 
the horrors of a siege, in which the heroic people 
were sacrificed without mercy or quarter, five thousand 
projectiles being thrown into the city in three days^ 

' It is of him that the story is told, most probably untruly, that on 
his death-bed he was urged to forgive those who had injured him, and 
astonished his confessor by saying that he had none to forgive. When 
asked how that could be, he replied that he had shot them all. 


bombardment. Zaragoza, Leon, Vigo, Gerona, 
Figueras, and other fortresses of the first class fol- 
lowed the example of Barcelona, and in their turn 
were reconquered by armed force. It was felt that 
Cristina could not come back as Regent, and the 
nation would hardly stand another upstart soldier 
in the position ; so hastily a Cortes was elected, 
and the young Queen was declared of age on the 
8th of November, 1843, the deluded people once 
more giving way to unreflecting rejoicing in the 
hope that the era of rival regencies had passed away 
for ever. 

The girl who was thus at the age of thirteen suddenl}- 
called to act the part of a constitutional monarch 
deserves a few words of description, for she became 
one of the most extraordinary public personages of our 
century, a woman so full of problematical contradic- 
tions of conduct and character as to make her 
personality a psychological puzzle, even to those who 
were brought into most frequent contact with her. 
At the period of which we are now speaking she was 
a stoutly built, very precocious girl with full cheeks, a 
snub nose, and thick, sensuous lips, incredibly igno- 
rant, but with a great deal of natural shrewdness ; 
in manner somewhat bluff, jovial, and outspoken, 
partaking of her father's malicious jocosity and her 
mother's frank fascination. She was good-hearted 
and generous to the point of prodigality, impulsive 
and imprudent beyond belief, even for so young a 
girl, and this quality she has never lost. With no 
stead}'ing sense of responsibility whatever, she had 
yet a high notion of queenly dignity, and a noble 


carriage, which frequently invested acts of thoughtless 
levity with an appearance of magnanimous con- 

The part she was called upon to play was an 
almost impossibly difficult one. She owed her 
crown to the political party opposed to reaction, 
and now held it on a constitutional tenure ; and yet 
it was the sacred injunction of her father and the 
tradition of the family to which she belonged, that 
the absolute power wielded by her forefathers must 
be handed down unimpaired from generation to 
generation. In her short life she had seen violence 
and illegality under specious names employed by 
ambitious men for the purpose of seizing power, 
which they used to persecute and condemn every- 
thing their predecessors had taught her to respect. 
She had seen fine words and high professions cloaking 
mean deeds ; she had seen bloodshed, tyranny, cruelty, 
and rapine masquerading under the garb of liberty ; 
her mother an idol one day and a fugitive the next ; 
Espartero a hero and a hunted traitor within a month, 
and it is no wonder that her belief in truth, honour, 
and patriotism was already wavering at an age when 
most girls believe no evil. 

The declaration of the Queen's majority was in 
direct contravention of the Constitution, but this was 
only one of the many instances in which the latter 
had been violated by the new rulers. The fervid 
Radical Prime Minister, Lopez, who had at first with 
his party coalesced with the " moderates " with the sole 
object of turning out Espartero, had now quite sub- 
mitted to the reactionary programme of his asso- 


ciates. But as the Conservative majority of the 
Cortes still distrusted him, and the advanced Liberals 
gave him no support, another coalition ministry was 
formed, which it was hoped might meet with better 
acceptance. The Premier was a young man of great 
eloquence, boldness, and ability, a former advanced 
Liberal named Salustiano de Olozaga, who was now 
president of the chamber. He had refused office 
repeatedly, bent upon playing a great part when 
the time should seem appropriate. He thought the 
opportunity had arrived and seized it, his idea being to 
gain for the advanced Liberals the ascendency in the 
Government of which Narvaez and the " moderates " 
had deprived them. 

Liberals throughout the country were grumbling 
that the Conservatives had been unable to over- 
throw Espartero by themselves, and now that the 
Liberals had been mainly instrumental in doing it 
the result was a reghne of almost undisguised re- 
action. Olozaga began by issuing a few decrees 
that delighted the progressives, and struck the 
" moderates " with indignation and dismay. There 
was, of course, a strong Conservative majority in the 
Cortes, and Olozaga's office appeared not worth a 
day's purchase. This he had foreseen and intended : 
his plan being to go down to the House with a 
decree of dissolution in his pocket, cause a new par- 
liament of Liberals to be elected, and place the 
"moderates" in the background. It was a bold plan, 
but it failed. On the 29th of November all Madrid 
rang with the news that the Prime Minister had used 
violence towards the Queen, and in the afternoon a 


special issue of the Gazette announced that Olozaga 
had been dismissed. Public opinion, as usual, took 
sides. The progressists declared that this was a 
palace intrigue, whilst the " moderates" and their news- 
papers raised their eloquent cries to heaven against 
this impious insult to the majesty of the throne. 

In the Cortes when the matter was debated the 
Conservatives were for hurrying Olozaga to the scaffold 
at once without trial ; vehement eloquence, without 
stint and without blemish, poured forth in irresistible 
floods in attack and defence ; but withal Olozaga and 
his friends did not venture to give the lie direct to the 
Queen's formal notarial deposition of the facts read 
by the new Prime Minister, Gonzales Brabo, the 
erstwhile scurrilous editor of the satirical extreme 
Liberal print the Guirigay, but thenceforward the 
chief of the reactionaries who gradually led Isabel 
on the road to ruin. 

The Queen's declaration set forth that Olozaga 
had presented to her a decree for the dissolution 
of Parliament, which she declined to sign, and upon 
his insisting, as she thought rudely, she rose to 
leave the room. He sprang to the door nearest to 
her and locked it, and similarly prevented her escape 
by another door ; then grabbing her by the dress he 
pulled her to the table, seized her hand roughly, and 
by main force compelled her to append to the decree 
the flourish which in Spain takes the place of the 
signature. How much of this was true it is impos- 
sible now to say, for all the parties are dead but 
Isabel II. Liberals always affected to believe that it 
was a mere farrago of lies invented by the palace 


" moderates," but having in view Olozaga's dictatorial 
temper and his subsequent history, it is difficult now 
for an impartial person to refuse belief to the 
Queen's statement. Olozaga, with unsurpassed 
eloquence, pleaded that in the decree annulling the 
Queen's signature to the dissolution, not a hint was 
given that the signature had been extorted from her, 
but, as such documents are always drafted on formal 
lines, that proves nothing. In any case Olozaga was 
forced to fly to England ; and thenceforward for a 
time, under the unscrupulous and shameless Gonzales 
Brabo, the pamphleteer and gutter journalist, reaction 
ruled unchecked. 

Rigid press laws were passed, the elective 
municipalities abolished, and the National Militia 
dissolved ; but when it came to altering the 
Constitution itself and abrogating or moderating all 
the clauses which imposed restraint upon the Crown 
and the executive, Gonzales Brabo made way for 
Narvaez as dictator, and a packed Parliament, from 
which the Liberals withdrew, voted as directed. 
Cristina and her family came back with flying 
colours, full of a fresh plan for strengthening the 
" moderates " and the royal prerogative, to which 
reference will be made presently ; Espartero's name 
was blackened without mercy, whilst the dictator 
Narvaez grew more insolent and overbearing every 
day, to the outspoken disgust even of his own party. 

Partial risings were effected by the discontented 
Liberals in many provinces, beginning with Alicante 
and Cartagena ; and in October, 1844, General Zur- 
bano raised the standard of revolt in the Rioja, but 


was caught and shot.^ The new system of taxation 
and finance introduced by the minister Mon - caused, 
in the spring of 1846, a revolt in Galicia which for a 
time imperilled the existence of the Government, as 
the rising was not solely supported by one party. 
General Solis, with a battalion of infantry, first raised 
the cry, "Viva the Queen in liberty ! Viva the Consti- 
tution ,' Out with the foreigner ! " and like wildfire 
the whole province and many regiments caught the 
infection. Revolutionary juntas were formed in the 
cities, led by the capital, Santiago : the ex-National 
Militia was convoked, and for a time the Government 
was overpowered. Cristina and the palace clique were 
in a panic, for " Out with the foreigner ! '' was a cry 
that threatened to overturn all their plans, particularly 
as the young Don Enrique, second son of the Infante 

' Narvaez shot no less than 214 persons in this year, 1844, for 
poHtical ofilences. Almost simultaneously with these risings in Spain 
revolts broke out at Manila — under the native sergeant Samaniego — 
and in Cuba. The movement in the latter country began with the 
white Creoles, but soon gave way to a more formidable rising of blacks 
against their masters, which the Captain-General O'Donnell crushed 
with ruthless and sanguinary ferocity in the summer of 1S44. 

^ This well-meant but gigantic and unpopular financial revolution 
consisted of a great simplification of taxation. Mon had to face a 
terrible state of affairs. There was a floating debt of over twenty-five 
millions sterling, a million and a half Colonial overdrafts, and an annual 
budget deficit of two millions ; all salaries and pensions were a year in 
arrear at least. Mon's great plan was to raise an additional three 
millions sterling by a direct tax on land to take the place of the 
abolished tithe and a perfect crowd of ancient exactions. All the host 
of old vexatious dues on movement and industry were also unified into 
a single direct tax on all merchandise and manufactures, another direct 
tax on incomes from invested personal property was established, and a 
fourth on sales and mortgages of realty. The large number of indirect 
taxes on food, &c., were also unified. 


Don Francisco, had given his adhesion to the revolt, 
from the warship he commanded at Corona. The 
first move of Cristina and her friends, when discon- 
tent was evident before this rising, had been to hghten 
their burden by throwing over the unpopular Narvaez,^ 
who resigned, to the delight of all parties ; and a new 
palace ministry was formed under the Marquis de 
Aliraflores (February, 1846), followed by two' other 
ministries in a i&w weeks, the Galician revolt being 
drowned in blood b}- General Jose Concha and the 
Captain-General Villalonga during the ministry of 

We have seen that the ten years which had elapsed 
since the death of Fernando VII. had been an 
unbroken period of civil war and semi-anarchy. 
Violent changes of government, military mutinies, 
public disturbance, and general distrust had done 
their worst to ruin the unhappy country, already 

" The history of his resignation is obscure ; but it is believed that he 
resigned in order to get rid of his colleagues Mon and Pidal, who had 
opposed Cristina in her suggestion of the Neapolitan prince, her 
brother Count Trapani, as a husband for the Queen. If this was so 
Nar\-aez himself was tricked. What followed during the next few 
weeks has always been a puzzle, and will probably remain so. The 
Queen, apparently out of mere caprice, threw every obstacle in 
Miraflores' way, and when he refused her extraordinary demand to 
dissolve Parliament she dismissed him. Then Narvaez came back with 
a great show of force, but in his case again some power behind the 
girl-Queen made his government impossible, and he fell in a fortnight, 
being succeeded in the summer of 1846 by Isturiz. Narvaez, in fact, 
had not answered the expectations of the extreme absolutists of the 
palace, who wished him to abolish the Constitution altogether. 
Cristina, in a rage, during his short second ministry, said he was worse 
than Espartero — he certainly was more dictatorial and insolent — and he 
had to take refuge in France after his resignation. 


exhausted by the blighting effect of Fernando's cast- 
iron despotism. The net result was politically dis- 
appointing, but, at all events, it was a mark of progress 
that rigid absolutism had been vanquished with the 
disappearance of Don Carlos from the scene, and that, 
even in the era of military reaction under Narvaez, 
neither he nor any other responsible man dared to 
revert to the older ideas by abolishing the Constitu- 
tion altogether, however much they might seek to 
weaken it in an anti-democratic direction. The time, 
indeed, had gone by for ever when by a stroke of 
a pen the Spanish people would meekly consent to 
be turned into vassals again. 

But the change in this respect was only the 
extension to Spain of the political and intellectual 
awakening that was taking place throughout Europe 
at the time. The irresistible reform movement in 
England and the overthrow of absolutism in France 
(July, 1830) coincided in point of time with the 
formation of new ideals in literature, science, and 
art. Breaking with classic models, the intellect of 
both countries gave to its creations a freedom and 
picturesqueness, a wider scope and a warmer 
imagination than had animated art for a century 

The death of Fernando and the events that 
followed it brought back to Spain the bright 
spirits which despotism had scattered into exile ; 
and they returned saturated with the ideas of 
the romantic school, modified somewhat by the 
influence of the particular countries in which they 
had passed their banishment, but always vivid, 


luxuriant, and fertile. Those who had Hved in 
England, such as Saavedra, Trueba, Jose Joaquin 
Mora, Galiano, Espronceda, and a host of others, 
came home filled with Walter Scott and Byron ; 
others who had wandered and waited in France 
transplanted to the congenial soil of Spain the 
brilliant romantic impressionism of Victor Hugo and 
Dumas, the result being that the ten years now under 
review — 1834 to 1844 — notwithstanding the deplor- 
able condition of the country, were marked by an 
abundance and excellence of intellectual production 
such as had rarely been equalled by a like period 
before, and never since. 

As usual in Spain, the most characteristic works 
took the dramatic form. Martinez de la Rosa, poli- 
tician as he was, found time to write much affected 
and sentimental poetry ; but on the stage he was 
natural and dignified, his " Conjuracion de Venecia " 
(April, 1834) being his finest historical drama. In all 
respects, however, he was beneath Angel Saavedra 
(Duke of Rivas), who rose to sublimity on the stage 
in his splendid " Don Alvaro, 6 la fuerza del sino " 
(1836), and in his historical romances and lyric poetr)', 
especially " Al faro de Malta " and " El Moro Esposito." 
To the same period belongs the drama " El Trovador " 
(upon which Verdi's opera is founded), by Antonio 
Garcia Gutierrez, and Espronceda's Byronic poems 
"El Diablo Mundo" and "El Estudiante de Sala- 
manca." But a greater poet than them all, Jose 
Zorilla, received his inspiration from similar sources, 
and at the same time, though his finest work was done 
somewhat later. His poems, like those of Scott, were 


revivals of national legends ; but his work for the 
stage, " Don Juan Tenorio," " La Mejor Razon la 
Espada," " El Zapatero y el Rey," and other dramas, 
though gloomy, are the best outcome of his genius. 
Another young author, afterwards to become one of 
the brightest ornaments of Spanish literature, made 
at this period his first success. He was a young 
German cabinet-maker named Juan Eugenio Hartzen- 
busch, and with his drama, " Los Amantes de Teruel " 
(1837), he firmly established his fame. The histories of 
Galiano and Count de Toreno have somewhat suffered 
from the fame of their authors as orators and states- 
men, but they still remain the leading authorities of the 
events they relate. 

Nor was this intellectual spring confined to the 
capital, or even to Castilian writing. The constant 
disturbance in Catalufia had driven many prominent 
Catalans into exile. These in due time returned to 
their own country, and Barcelona became the centre 
of a revival of Romance literature, as remarkable in 
its way as that which has occurred within the last few 
years in the South of France. In the case of Catalufia 
the influence in the form of the renascence was 
mainly English and German, in contradistinction to 
French : and legends and stories in romantic Catalan 
prose and verse, after the style of Scott and the 
Schlegels, were published in abundance and read with 
avidity ; the most esteemed authors of the school being 
Pablo Piferrer, Mila y Fontanals, and the poet Aribau. 

This literary activity spread from Madrid and 
Barcelona to the most remote provinces. Picturesque 
patriotism, always a dominant passion in Spaniards, 


spurred now by the inspired verse and moving plays 
of poets like Zorilla and Aribau, found vent in a 
literary form for the bubbling verbosity of the race, 
which had previously spent its force in political decla- 
m.ationand press polemics. Everywhere "Athenaeums" 
and "Lyceums" sprang up for the promotion of 
literature, and men of all classes and all ages — and, 
it may be added, of all degrees of incapacity — threw 
themselves into the task of producing, and when pos- 
sible of declaiming, romantic prose, or more or less 
Byronic verse. From the welter of these literary 
orgies there nevertheless arose some young poets of 
the first rank, who in the following decade endowed 
their country with work which lives. Zorilla, Tas- 
sara, and Pastor Diaz were already gaining fame at 
the time of which we write, but Campoamor and Rubi 
were as yet in their literary infancy. These are but 
a few names amongst the many which made of the 
decade following the death of Fernando a period 
similar to the palmy age of the poet-King Philip IV.; 
and when it is added that the Madrazos painted, 
and Romea acted at the same time, it will be 
admitted that Spain was in no way backward in 
artistic development, however unhappy she was 

Notwithstanding the deplorable state of revolution 
and insecurity, the upper and middle classes shook off 
the incubus of despotism which had confined them 
to coarse and trivial pleasures, and, at least in the 
large cities, seriously set to work to raise and improve 
the condition of their poorer neighbours, and to 
demand some modern comfort and elegance for 



themselves. Educational societies and free schools 
sprang up in all the populous centres, the noble 
Savings Bank in Madrid was founded (1838), and a 
host of other instrumentalities were started with 
similar objects. But for the curse of corrupt party 
politics and the ambition of unscrupulous soldiers, 
there was no reason why the young Queen should not 
marry happily and lead her struggle-wearied country 
up the safe path of uneventful and unexciting pros- 
perity, for which all elements existed.^ 

This question of the Queen's marriage, however, 
was unfortunately made the bone of contention 
between political parties and national jealousy with 
lamentable results. Looking back fifty years since 
the dispute raged so bitterly, we can smile at the 
irony of fate which has belied all the ambitions and 
apprehensions of rival statesmen. It has become 
an article of faith with Englishmen that it was 
solely the unscrupulous falsity of Guizot and 
Louis Philippe which so nearly brought about a 
war between France and England on this subject, 
but an impartial re-examination of the whole of 
the elements of the case tends to show that the 
bad faith was not theirs alone. The exaggerated 
distrust on both sides appears at first not to have been 
justified ; it was really the action respectively of 
Cristina, the " moderates," and the Coburg family 
which forced the two great contending nations into 

' In spite of the constant wars and revolutions a most remarkable 
advance in public wealth was made from 1830 to 1846. The estimated 
total revenue of the country in the former year was ;^6,ooo,ooo sterling ; 
in the latter year it was ;^I2, 000,000. 

THE queen's marriage. 387 

antagonism. For it must not be forgotten that, though 
France and England threw the blame of bad faith 
entirely on each other, the heart of the intrigue was 
in the party politics of Spain. It has been shown 
that from the time of the Peninsular War the Con- 
stitutional or Liberal party had naturally turned to 
England for their inspiration, whilst the absolutists 
and their successors the " moderates " had as persis- 
tently striven for a close alliance with France. 

We have seen how, during the Carlist War, the 
Queen-Regent and her friends had unsuccessfully 
pressed Louis Philippe to intervene in force as a 
counterbalance to the open aid being given by 
England against Don Carlos. Whilst it was necessary 
for the French king to avoid entanglements with 
the legitimist Powers and England, it was impossible 
for him to forget French traditional interests to the 
extent of allowing a dynasty under English influence 
to be established in Spain, as it had been in Portugal 
by the marriage of the Queen Maria da Gloria to 
Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, the cousin both of Queen 
Victoria and of her husband. When, therefore,- 
Cristina fled to France in 1840, and Espartero 
openly repulsed the French envoy, the Spanish Queen- 
mother hinted that her daughter might marry the 
Duke d'Aumale. But Louis Philippe knew that 
England would not allow this, and formed the plan 
of marrying Isabel to one of the Spanish or Italian 
Bourbons, whilst his own youngest son, the Duke 
de Montpensier, might be well provided for in the 
present, and gain vague but unlimited prospects for 
the future, by wedding the younger Spanish princess 



Fernanda, to whom her father had left a vast private 

Guizot mentioned such a. plan to Palmerston in 
Paris in 1840, but the British minister would not hear 
of it, because, he said, in the case of Isabel's death child- 
less, the French prince would become King-consort, 
which England could not tolerate. At the same time 
the French were quite justifiably determined that no 
prince not a Bourbon should occupy the position of 
the Spanish Queen's husband, and were uncertain to 
what extent the English Government would go in 
thwarting them in this. A plan was therefore hatched 
between Cristina and Guizot for the former to profess 
to the English Government a desire that Prince 
Leopold of Coburg, the brother of the King-consort of 
Portugal, should marry Isabel ; and this she did on 
three different occasions in 1841. Palmerston was 
not in favour of the suggested match, and, suspecting 
the ruse, gave no encouragement to it. 

When in August, 1841, Lord Aberdeen succeeded 
Palmerston as Foreign Minister, the connection be- 
tween the English Government and the Spanish 
reformers became somewhat less cordial, ^ and Aber- 
deen and Guizot had no difficulty in agreeing for 
England to accept as a husband for Isabel II. any 
Bourbon not a French prince. How far in these 
circumstances the English court — as apart from the 

' Guizot's plan was to lull the susceptibilities of Peel's Government 
and so to divide the English from the Spanish reformers. He wrote 
to the French Ambassador in England (March, 1842): "It is by 
detaching England from the Spanish revolutionists that we may hope 
to effect something in Spain for Spain and ourselves." 


Government — privately encouraged the suit of Prince 
Leopold of Coburg it is difficult to say ; but it is 
certain that Lord Aberdeen and the Peel ministry 
were perfectly sincere and honest in their promise not 
actively to forward his candidature. Queen Victoria 
and her husband visited Louis Philippe at Eu in 
September, 1845, when an agreement was arrived at 
to the effect that England would not aid or recognise 
any candidate for Isabel's hand who was not a 
Bourbon descendant of Philip V. of Spain, and that 
after the Spanish Queen had -married and had children, 
and not before, her sister the Infanta might marry 
Montpensier, and so, as Guizot wrote at the time, 
succeed only to " les chances inconnues d'un avenir 

It will be seen that the undertaking of England 
was a negative one ; she did not pledge herself 
actively to resist any candidature other than that of 
a Bourbon, but only to refrain from promoting such 
a candidature. Aberdeen, indeed, distinctly told 
Guizot that he would not move actively in any way. 
" Et quant a la candidature du Prince Leopold vous 
pouvez etre tranquille sur ce point. Je reponds qu'elle 
ne sera ni avouee ni appuyee par I'Angleterre, et 
qu'elle ne vous genera pas." This was in the late 
autumn of 1845, and shortly afterwards French sus- 
picions were aroused by the visit of Prince Leopold 
and his father to Portugal, and by the zealous and in- 
discreet action in his favour of Sir Henry Bulwer, the 
English Minister in Spain. Espartero and Olozaga, 
with scores of other Liberals, were in England, intri- 
guing with the English Whigs and corresponding with 


their friends in Spain, with the object of checkmating 
Cristina's plot for strengthening the " moderates " by 
increasing French interest in the country. Peel, 
Aberdeen, and the Duke of Wellington gave to the 
French their words of honour as gentlemen that the 
English Government was not helping, and would not 
help, Prince Leopold's candidature ; but, considering 
the relationship of the prince with the English royal 
family, they could not undertake actively to oppose 

Louis Philippe and Guizot thereupon worked them- 
selves into a fever of apprehension as to the secret 
plans which they thought lay behind Bulwer's zeal for 
a candidature that his Government disclaimed ; and 
determined, rather than they should be outwitted, that 
they themselves would violate the agreement, and 
either marry Montpensier to the Queen, or hasten 
both marriages and effect them simultaneously. Lord 
Aberdeen, anxious to reassure France, reprimanded 
Bulwer for his indiscreet zeal, but before Bulwer could 
retire the Peel Government fell (July, 1846), and 
Bulwer remained at Madrid ; for Palmerston, he knew, 
would back him. With Palmerston at the English 
Foreign Office, French suspicions became more acute 
than ever, and the Coburg intrigues from Lisbon con- 
tinued with greater activity. 

The most obvious candidate for the Queen's hand 
would have been the eldest son of Don Carlos, the 
latter having recently abdicated in his favour, but he 
could only be successful by a renunciation of prin- 
ciple which he could not make, and that solution was 
soon abandoned. Cristina herself had been at first 


strongly in favour of her own brother, Count Trapani; 
but Austria was violently opposed to him, and both 
Spanish parties regarded him with undisguised aver- 
sion. The only other probable prospective bride- 
grooms were the two young sons of the Infante Don 
Francisco and of that masterly Dona Carlota, Cristina's 
sister, who had boxed Calomarde's ears. Cristina 
hated her sister and brother-in-law, and they had 
lived a squalid, shabby existence for years, neglected 
by every one. Don Francisco himself was a poor little 
specimen of royalty, both physically and mentally, 
but he had all his life been bidding for popularity, and 
was credited with some sympathy for Liberalism. 
He had several daughters and two sons, the eldest of 
whom, Don Francisco de Asis, was aged twenty-four, 
and Don Enrique a year younger. 

When the termagant "mother of these two young 
men died in^ 1^44 Cristina's objection to them 
became less pronounced, and it was soon understood 
that by a process of elimination they had remained 
the only serious recognised pretenders for the posi- 
tion of King-consort. The elder, Don Francisco 
de Asis, was a dapper, fair, effeminate, young man, 
with a high piping voice ; of whom much coarse 
sport was made at Court, even by the Queen 
herself He was called by the feminine name of 
Paquita (Fanny), and when he was mentioned to 
Isabel as a. possible husband, she said that she had 
no particular objection to him if she were sure he 
was a man. His manners, however, were pleasant 
and amiable, and there was certainly nothing in his 
face or figure to indicate an absence of virility, 


although he was obviously weak and degenerate. His 
brother Enrique, though not much taller than he, was 
greatly superior to him in strength, vigour, and 
ability, and inherited much of his mother's fiery 
impulsiveness. It will be recollected that he had 
been in favour of the rising in Galicia against the 
regime of Narvaez, and had thereafter fallen into 
deep disgrace with the " moderates " : and now that it 
had become a question as to which of the two brothers 
should be preferred, it was not surprising that 
Espartero, Olozaga, and the Liberals, backed by the 
British Government, should declare for Don Enrique; 
whilst Cristina, the " moderates," and the French, 
should warmly support Don Francisco, Duke of 
Cadiz, with the Duke of Montpensier as the husband 
of the Infanta Fernanda. 

It had been privately agreed upon by the brothers 
that they should run together ; and that either, sepa- 
rately, should reject overtures for one of the prin- 
cesses, unless the other was to marry her sister. It 
did not suit Cristina, the French, or the " moderates " 
to have Enrique at all, and as the latter was in exile 
the Queen-mother exerted such influence over Fran- 
cisco that he abandoned his brother's cause, and con- 
sented to marry the Queen, whilst Montpensier should 
marry the Infanta. 

The Liberals throughout Spain were desperate — 
for the palace clique had even sent Narvaez into dis- 
grace because he was not sufficiently absolutist — they 
feared that with a French prince so near the throne, 
and a French army at Cristina's bidding, there would 
be a return to the unbridled despotism of Fernando. 


They, the Liberals, petitioned the Queen not to allow 
her sister to marry a Frenchman ; memories of the 
Peninsular War, of Augouleme's invasion, of French 
perfidy in the past, were appealed to, but without 
avail. Bulwer was vain, self-opinionated, and stiff, 
and known to belong to the progressist faction, so 
that his protests against the arrangement were not 
likely to weigh heavily as compared with the close 
intimacy existing between the palace and Bresson, 
the French minister, who was almost an mnbassadeur 
de faviille. Whilst Bresson was in and out of the 
palace all day Bulwer was nearly constantly at one 
of his country houses ; and the formal demands for 
the two royal sisters' hands were made without even 
his knowledge whilst he had been enticed away from 

It is stated by Liberal authorities that throughout 
the night of the 27th of August, 1846, Cristina and 
her friends forcibly urged upon Isabel the need for 
the latter to accept her cousin Francisco for her hus- 
band ; to which she had, when it came to the point, 
the greatest reluctance ; and her consent was at last 
only gained by threats and violence on the part of 
her mother. Bresson was in waiting in an adjoining- 
room, and the moment the promise was wrung from 
the girl Queen at two in the morning, he appeared 
and formally asked for the hand of her sister for 

As soon as Madrid woke up to the fact that 
the marriages were settled, once more the almost 
forgotten cry of " Down with the Gabachos ! " rang 
out amongst the poorer folk, who had not forgotten 


the " 2nd of May." But bayonets were everywhere, 
and even the Cortes was overawed by soldiers when 
it was called upon to vote : one deputy only, Orense, 
daring to vote against the Montpensier marriage. 
It will be recollected that Louise Philippe was person- 
ally pledged to Queen Victoria not to marry his son 
to the Infanta until Isabel was married and had 
children ; but the Liberals, both in Spain and in 
England, proclaimed loudly that, with Don Francisco 
for a husband, it was never intended that the Queen 
should have any children ; and that this was only a 
plot to place a French prince upon the throne of 
Spain at some future time. 

Cristina urged upon the French Government that 
not a day should be lost : both marriages must take 
place at once, and as secretly as might be ; for 
England and a Liberal revolution in Spain threatened 
the existing order of affairs, almost from hour to hour, 
and she might find all her plans upset. Guizot and 
his master were ready to fall in with her demands, 
for they saw that it was a victory for French diplo- 
macy over England, and excused their violation of 
their solemn pledges by Bulwer's activity in favour 
of the Coburg, which, they said, absolved them. In 
vain Bulwer threatened and sulked when it was too 
late ; his own indiscretion had been largely respon- 
sible for his failure. The English Government pro- 
tested both to the French and Spaniards, and war 
seemed inevitable. All the Spanish disaffection found 
a trysting-place in London, from Espartero to Cabrera 
and from Don Enrique to the young Don Carlos ; but 
Cristina and the " moderates " were triumphant, and 


on the loth of October, 1846, the double marriages 
were celebrated in Madrid. 

The official rejoicings were great, but many a 
muttered ''Down with the GabacJios ! " was heard ; and 
though Cristina and the " moderates " were radiant, 
all friends of liberty and impartial Spaniards gene- 
rally looked on with dismay, for they knew not what 
would be the end of a plot which made England an 
enemy to their country, married the impulsive, robust 
young Queen to a degenerate fribble, and her next 
heiress to a Frenchman. Whispers ran from one to 
another — whispers that in after years turned into loud 
denunciations and grave accusations — -that if by mis- 
chance the Queen had a male child it would never 
live, and that the Queen's own life might be sacrificed. 
How much of it was true will perhaps be known to 
our grandchildren, but subsequent events, as will be 
related, gave colour to the suspicions. 

The events which followed the marriage present 
a picture of utter disorganisation and confusion. 
Ministers were dismissed and appointed by palace 
influence, rather than for political considerations, and 
the intriguing ambition of Cristina for her Muhoz 
children would have been laughable had it not con- 
stituted a national danger. Without apparent reason 
Narvaez had been disgraced, although he had passed 
(1845) a new Constitution entirely in favour of the 
Crown, and Isturiz, a firm servant of Cristina, was 
appointed to succeed him. Isturiz justified his 
ministerial existence by entering into plans for the 
employment of Spanish forces to establish one of 
Cristina's morganatic sons on the throne of a South 


American State, but the outcry of the press 
and the protests of the EngHsh Government pre- 
vented the attempts from, succeeding, and Isturiz 
fell shortly afterwards at the end of 1846, being re- 
placed by the Duke of Sotomayor, a moderate 

We have seen that the Queen's marriage was not 
one of mutual affection — to put the case very mildly — ■ 
and the domestic results were soon apparent. Madrid 
was always a centre of scandal, and the Queen's 
lightness of demeanour had before her marriage 
given rise to much ill-natured gossip about the 
comings and goings of the handsome young politician, 
General Serrano, who had been a minister in 
Olozaga's and other cabinets. But the talk grew 
more scandalous still after the marriage ; and before 
many weeks had passed Cristina, finding she had now 
no influence over her daughter, washed her hands of 
the whole business and went to reside in Paris, where 
also Narvaez was at the time ; whilst the King- 
consort, full of his own grievances, separated from his 
new wife, and sulked apart at the suburban palace of 
the Pardo. 

Thenceforward Isabel II. went her own way — 
and that way was a bad one — whilst backstairs 
intrigue and feminine caprice reigned supreme in 
Madrid. A new Carlist war led by Cabrera, in favour 
of the young Don Carlos, broke out in Cataluila and 
the north, and attempted risings took place in different 
parts of the country, promoted by Don Enrique and 
the republicans. The ministry, in the meanwhile, 
could think of nothing better than separating Serrano 



from the Queen by sending him to command a division 
of the army in Navarre. The general refused point- 
blank to obey : the Government insisted, and the Par- 
liament strongly supported the Government, although 
the most liberal section of the "moderate" party, which 
advocated a return to the pure Constitution of 1837, 
opposed it. Suddenly, without notice, the young 
Queen herself dictated the dismissal of the ministry, 
and appointed Pacheco, the leader of the Puritans — 
or advocates of the Constitution of 1837 — Prime 
Minister, with the notorious speculative financier 
Salamanca at the treasury. 

The new ministry honestly tried to conciliate the 
progressives and men of all parties. Olozaga and 
Mendizabal were pardoned and recalled ; and even 
poor old Godoy received an amnesty ; and once more 
the Liberals became hopeful. The scandalous separa- 
tion of the Queen and her husband divided the Court 
into two parties. For some reason the " moderates " 
leant to the side of the King-consort, and looked 
grave at the Queen's proceedings ; whilst the progres- 
sists grew violently loyal and resented all suggestions 
to the detriment of the sovereign. The ministers, with 
imprudent persistence, endeavoured to make peace 
between the Queen and King, to the annoyance of 
the former, who more than once entered into intrigues 
for appointing a regular Liberal ministry. The King, 
on the other hand, was impracticable and exacting ; 
and the " moderates " saw that, unless they were to 
avoid a catastrophe, they must again bring into the 
struggle Cristina and Narvaez, who were both in 
Paris, though still bad friends. 


Narvaez was willing to govern Spain again, but 
only on one condition ; namely, that he should have 
a free hand " to use the stick and to hit hard!' The 
young Queen, with Serrano always at her side, was 
surrounded by men of Liberal leaning, who, prompted 
by Bulwer, thought to make use of the favourite 
general for their ends, whilst the King-consort was 
not only excluded from his wife's presence, but pre- 
vented even from entering the palace in her absence. 
Pacheco's Government, although broad in its ten- 
dency, was still Conservative, and becoming disgusted 
at this state of things, retired. 

Almost simultaneously Narvaez suddenly appeared 
in Madrid, talked very seriously with the Queen ; 
and, to the dismay of the Liberals, was entrusted with 
the formation of a Government. He refused to re- 
appoint clever Salamanca finance minister, whilst the 
Queen insisted upon the appointment, and Narvaez 
threw up the task in disgust ; Salamanca himself 
becoming Prime Minister. He was full of fine 
speculative plans and vague Liberal ideas, which 
would add to his own overflowing coffers, but which 
offended the Protectionist Catalans : a full amnesty 
was granted to all Liberals (September 2, 1848), but 
in the midst of his erratic political career, which quite 
undeceived the " moderates," Salamanca found his 
ministry suddenly cut short by Narvaez, who himself 
entered the Council Chamber and dismissed the 
Government in the name of the Queen. That 
Serrano was at the bottom of this violent measure 
there is no doubt, but his motive is obscure, unless he 
was tired of playing the game of the Liberals and the 


English, and thought once more to gain the support 
of his own " moderate " party.^ 

Narvaez, who only a few days before had talked 
about shooting Serrano, now suddenly changed his 
tone and made use of him. Then came a quick 
transformation. By the intervention of the Pope and 
the stern insistence of Narvaez, the Queen and her 
husband patched up their differences ; Cristina came 
back again, Serrano went contentedly to govern 
Granada, and the Liberals, finding themselves 
betrayed, could use no words strong enough now to 
blame the " goings on " of the Queen and her 

Through 1847 the new Carlist war organised in 
England had continued in Catalufia ; Cabrera at one 
time having an army of 6,000 men under him. One 
after the other, however, the guerrilla chiefs were 
caught and shot ; the new Pretender, Don Carlos 
(Count de Montemolin), was prevented from entering 
Spain, and, on the coming of Narvaez to power, the 
last embers of the rising were quenched in blood. The 
times, indeed, were such as could only be met with 
severity. In France, in Italy, in Hungary, in Prussia 
revolutions were dominant and thrones were falling. 
The Pontiff, a fugitive from the Eternal City, looked 
to faithful Spain only for support, the Bourbon throne 
of Naples trembled under the blows of Garibaldi ; and 
the intriguer Louis Philippe, upon whom the Spanish 
"moderates" had depended, was himself masquerading 
as " Mr. Smith " in hospitable England. 

' It may be mentioned also that a new "favourite" had recently 
appeared on the scene, and this may have influenced Serrano. 


Fired by such events as these, Liberal and repub- 
h'can revolts took place in Spain. Barricades sprang 
up in Madrid, and once more blood ran in the streets. 
But Narvaez, with his ruthless policy of the stick and 
hit hard, conquered them all, 'and remained supreme.^ 
Palace and political intrigues threatened him more 
than once, and for a few hours 2 (October, 1 849), he 
was out of office ; but with his henchmen, Brabo 
Murillo, as finance minister, and Sartorius Count de 
San Luis, at the Home Office, he held the reins 
firmly, and not unwisely, through all the troublous 
times from 1848 to 1850, during which he had to 
conquer two expeditions of American and Cuban 
filibusters against Cuba, and an infinite number of 
attempts at revolt in Spain itself 

In July, 1850, the eagerly-expected event of the 
birth of a child to the Queen took place. For 
months past anticipation and gossip had been rife ; 
for much depended upon the issue. If a son was 
born, then adieu to the hopes of Montpensier and his 
wife, whose importance as political factors had already 
disappeared with the fall of Louis Philippe. But much 
more depended upon it than this ; Cristina, at least, 

' Bulwer in indiscreet terms remonstrated against his severity and 
was expelled from Madrid, diplomatic relations between England and 
Spain being broken off for some time. 

- This was an extraordinary intrigue got up by the King-consort and 
a fraudulent siigmata nun called the Sister Patro'cinio, who obtained 
the appointment of an extreme absolutist ministry, but Narvaez upset 
the plan, and returned to power the same day. Sister Patrocinio and 
Father Fulgencio were sent into confinement, and the silly, reactionary 
King-consort was severely reprimanded, and frightened out of his poor 
wits by Narvaez, who deprived him of his newly-granted task of 
managing the interior affairs of the palace. 



looking upon her personal honour as being involved, 
for scandal was busy about her daughter's proceedings. 
Again, for some reason — probably enmity to Cristina 
and the King-consort — the Liberals were enthusiastic 
in their loyal attachment to the Queen, and full of 
resentment against those who attacked her ; and they 
looked forward to the birth of a direct male heir to 
the crown as an event charged with bright hope for 
the future. At length the important day came, and 
all Madrid — and Spain beyond — was breathless to 
learn whether a Prince of Asturias would be born. 
Again a Queen of Spain's antechamber was crammed 
with a mixed and curious crowd, in which the King- 
consort cut but a sorry figure. Again as the guns 
boomed out the news to the waiting people, the 
silver salver, with its new-born human burden, was 
handed to the Queen's husband, and this time the 
hopes of the Liberals were fulfilled, for the announce- 
ment was that a " robust prince " had been born. But 
the extreme " moderates " shook grave heads and whis- 
pered darkly ; though Cristina appeared overjoyed at 
the birth of her first grandchild. So much overjoyed, 
indeed, that she and the great absolutist ladies who 
flocked into the chamber could not, it was said, 
restrain the ardour with which they caressed the 
tender infant. A babe two days old does not approve 
of much embracing, and the Prince of Asturias pro- 
tested against undue affection, or against being born 
at all to such a troubled world, by the only means in 
his power — namely, by dying on the third day after 
his birth. The bereaved mother was beside herself 
with grief and disappointment, for hers was a heart 

Isabel's firstborn. 403 

avid for affection ; but it was the turn of the Liberals 
now to shake their heads and look grave, for what 
they had fearfully anticipated had come to pass. 
The suspicions they expressed cannot be believed 
for a moment, but they show how bitter and unscru- 
pulous political feeling was at the time, and furnish a 
key to much that happened afterwards. 



The confused and complicated political manoeuvres 
which have been briefly related in the preceding 
chapter are an evident proof that Spaniards were 
not, even yet, sufficiently advanced to conduct 
legitimately a constitutional representative govern- 
ment. The Cortes, instead of being the source from 
which ministers drew strength and inspiration; had 
sunk into a mere instrument for registering and 
adulating their action. Ministers, as we have seen, 
were often changed for personal reasons, and by 
backstairs intrigue ; and when it was necessary for a 
new Cortes to be elected the party in power took 
care, by the most open and unblushing corruption, 
to ensure an overwhelming majority for their own 
particular section. A parliamentary, constitutional, 
change of government was, therefore, impossible ; the 
only change there could be, except by a revolution 
or a palace coup de main, was from one section or set 
of men to another of the same party. 

The Queen herself appears to have had no inkling 

of the science of statesmanship, or of the importance 
























of political action. She was overflowing with human 
sympathy — and it may be added with human weak- 
ness — ready to be influenced, one way or another, by 
personal considerations, and by an impulsive desire 
to remedy real or imaginary evils that were pointed 
out to her. Always open to appeals to her pity or 
her chanty, surprisingly frank and confiding, it is not 
surprising that she became the dupe of a succession of 
specious intriguers of all parties, and of all ranks. In 
the intervals of her beguilement she believed all men 
alike to be self-seeking rogues, and followed her own 
bent. She must have felt that in her marriage she 
had been deliberately sacrificed, and her own happi- 
ness cynically disregarded, and if she revolted against 
maternal affection which sold her like a chattel, and 
rebelled against an unfit and galling connection which 
was forced upon her in the interests of others, the 
blame should not be laid entirely upon her shoulders. 
So, at least, the nation thought, for few sovereigns 
have been so popular as Isabel II. in the early years 
of her majority. She moved about amongst her 
people frankly and openly, often without escort, with 
a pleasant smile and a ready sympathy for every tale 
of sorrow, giving freely, often far more than she 
could afford ; hearty, generous and debonnaire, she 
won all Spanish hearts but those that were miracu- 
lously good or hopelessly bad ; and her people, like 
the Recording Angel whose tear blotted out Uncle 
Toby's oath, lovingly covered her many failings with 
a tear of regret for the wrong that she had suffered, 
and contended passionately that she was " ATuy reina 
y viuy espanola " — a thorough Queen and a thorough 


Spaniard. All this was very characteristic and truly 
Spanish, but it showed how premature were those 
who thought that a paper constitution would suddenly 
raise the country from despotism to liberty. 

As usual, the new Cortes elected in the autumn of 
1850 gave the ministry in power a great majority, 
and Narvaez appeared safe ; but he had in his 
ministry a masterful lawyer, Brabo Murillo, who 
was determined, if possible, to re-assert civilian pre- 
dominance in the Government. On entering the 
finance ministry in 1S49, he had attempted to cut 
down military expenditure by i^6oo,ooo, but the dis- 
turbed state of the country had made it impossible ; 
but early in 1851 he insisted upon a still greater 
reduction, and this time was supported by Cristina, 
who resented the militar)' power of Narvaez. The 
latter therefore retired with most of his colleagues, 
and went abroad, Brabo Murillo remaining Prime 
Minister. The ideas of the latter were extensive, 
including a complete financial re-organisation, the 
arrangement of the National Debt, large subventions 
tc public works, and concessions for projected rail- 
ways ; but all this ran counter to many interests, and 
was accompanied, moreover, by a demand for authority 
from the Cortes to collect the revenue for the follow- 
ing year (185 1) without discussion. The Cortes had 
been elected to support Narvaez, and protested. Brabo 
Murillo then promptly dissolved them, after a scene 
of wild disorder (April, 185 1); and thenceforward 
the work of reaction proceeded without hindrance. 
The monastic orders were again permitted in Spain, 
such Church property as had not been sold was 


returned to the clergy to be realised, and the pro- 
duct invested in Three Per Cent. Stock, the clerical 
salaries were settled, the Church allowed to acquire 
new possessions, and the Catholic religion alone was 
permitted ; whilst the Pontiff once more regained his 
patronage in the Spanish Church. 

The new Parliament meeting late in T851 was, by 
the usual means, almost limited to supporters of the 
Government, though Olozaga and the fiery Catalan 
general. Prim, Count de Reus, strong progressists 
both, were ceaseless, though fruitless, in their attacks. 
But the Cortes, as a whole, were obedient servants 
of the ministry, and Brabo Murillo's measures were 
humbly endorsed. The conversion and consolidation 
of the National Debt was carried out, and important 
alterations made in the fiscal system,^ railway conces- 
sions and subventions, now for the first time in Spain 
being made an element of Government finance, and 
it may be added, of Court jobbery. 

In December, 185 1, a girl child was born to the 
Queen. This time she was determined there should 
be no accident ; and night and day the mother hardly 
ever lost sight of her child — who grew up to be the 
virtuous and estimable Infanta Isabel. On the 2nd of 

' Brabo Murillo's estimate of revenue for 1852 was eleven millions 
sterling, and his budget balanced. The effect of his new financial 
system was seen in the following year, when his estimated receipts 
were twelve millions and a quarter sterling. The Spanish Three Per 
Cent. Consols, which had been quoted as low as 19 in 1848, rose under 
Brabo Muril'.o to 35 in 1850, 38 in 1851, and to 46-47 in 1852, when 
the minister retired. From that point they declined to 44 in 1853, to 
33 just prior to the revolution of 1S54, and to 31 at the end of tliat 


February, 1852, the Queen and a brilliant Court were 
to proceed, as usual in such cases, to present the 
newly-born princess to the Virgin of Atocha. All 
Madrid was alive to see the show, for now that there 
was an heiress to the crown the accession of the 
unpopular Montpensier seemed improbable, and 
Spain vvas overflowing with rejoicing and loyalty 
to the Queen. As the latter was leaving the royal 
chapel and about to enter her carriage at the foot of 
the palace staircase, an elderly priest approached her, 
and kneeling, handed her a petition. She stooped to 
take it, and the wretch stabbed her with a dagger in 
the breast. Fortunately some of the splendid bullion 
embroidery which covered her corsage broke the force 
of the blow, and the wound, though serious, was not 
dangerous. Before the Queen fainted from the shock 
she turned instinctively to where her baby was, and 
cried, " My child, care for my child " ! as if she knew; 
where danger might be apprehended. With character- 
istic generosity, she strove hard to save the life of the 
murderer, Martin Merino, whose motive was never 
fathomed, but he was publicly garotted a few days 
afterwards, his body burnt and his ashes cast to the 

In this, and in the punishment of various attempts 
at military revolt in the interests of Narvaez, the 
ministry of Brabo Murillo showed itself as fierce 
as the rude soldiers whose rule it supplanted ; and, 
to her honour be it said, Isabel II. alone sought to 
temper its severity with mercy. The attempts on the 
Queen's life, and the loyal outburst to which it gave 
rise, together with the Napoleonic coup d'etat in 


France, afforded to Brabo Murillo's ministry an 
excuse for rendering the power of the Crown and 
executive still more absolute. The Cortes were sus- 
pended, the press was gagged, military disaffection was 
ruthlessly crushed, the progressives were powerless, 
and Brabo Murillo thought he was now stronsf enough 
to cut down the representative system to a vanishing 
point and practically destroy the Constitution. '' ' 

The announcement of his intention caused a new 
grouping of parties. The " moderates " in the country 
still looked upon Narvaez as their leader ; a majority 
of them were Constitutionists of a sort, and when 
Brabo Murillo summoned Parliament at the end of 
the year (1852) he found both chambers inclined to 
be restive. His immediate answer was the usual decree 
of dissolution. Men of all parties, except extreme 
absolutists, united in condemning this abuse of 
power. With shamelessly packed Parliaments, and 
dissolution at the first hint of criticism of the acts 
of the ministry, constitutional government was a 
fraudulent farce. Narvaez protested as loudly as 
Mendizabal ; but meetings were sternly suppressed, 
newspaper comments prohibited, and even university 
lectures subject to rigid censorship : and Brabo 
Murillo's interim decree for a new Constitution was 
published, all open discussion of it being forbidden. 
By it practically all individual rights were taken 
away from the citizen ; and the executive, and not 
the law, was supreme over life and property ; whilst 
the Parliament was rendered powerless, the number 
of members being reduced from 349 to 161, the 
qualifications raised, and the Senate made mainly 


hereditary. This was too much ; and though 
Narvaez was in exile, Brabo Murillo, seeing that 
the soldiers would overcome him, hurriedly resigned ; 
and in the first days of the }'ear 1853, once more a 
general, Federico Roncali, Count de Alcoy, became 
head of the government. 

Apparently, however, yielding to Court pressure, 
the new ministry confirmed Narvaez's exile and 
refused to abrogate Brabo Murillo's tyrannical 
decree, on the absurd ground that, as the Queen 
had so recently sanctioned it, its abrogation would 
bring the royal prerogative into discredit. When 
the elections took place, therefore, all the " moderates," 
except the extreme wing, coalesced with the Liberals; 
but the coercion and corruption exercised by the 
Government over the electors, as usual, gave the 
ministry a vast majority. The decree had to be 
confirmed by the new Cortes, and a mere pretence 
was made of altering some of its more objectionable 
features, but the opposition, though small, was per- 
sistent. Generals Prim and O'Donnell threatened 
military revolts, General Concha openly accused the 
Government of trafficking corruptly in railway con- 
cessions, in union with Salamanca and Cristina's 
husband. Some accusations in this matter went 
higher still, and curious stories were afloat of how 
the concession-mongering business was carried on 
inside the palace itself ; of the backstairs influence 
of shameful " favourites," and of sudden riches falling 
to menials who shared their plunder with their betters. 
In a rage at such talk the Government suspended the 
Cortes, and attempted to punish those members who 


opposed them. But they, too, had to disappear before 
the storm they could not allay (April, 1853), and were 
succeeded by a conciliatory ministry led by General 

Brabo Murillo's financial plans were then mostly 
reversed, and the press censorship was lightened ; but 
still some influence behind tied the hands of the 
ministry, and prevented, or hampered, effective action 
on the main points of the constitutional decree and, 
the railway concessions. The Government soon fell 
out, and some of its members were changed more 
than once, but at last it signed its own death 
warrant, by confirming, by decree, all the railway 
concessions which had been granted without reference 
to Parliament, and about which such scandalous 
stories were told. It was clear that the ministry 
could not hold on long in the face of its general 
unpopularity ; but it possessed the confidence of the 
sovereign until the Minister of Marine resigned 
rather than carry out a certain onerous concession 
for conveying coal to the Philippines. Then Isabel's 
smiles turned to pouts, and Lersundi's Government 
fell (September, 1853), being succeeded by an 
extraordinary agglomeration of men of all parties, 
but with no programme or the possibility of agreeing 
upon one, the Prime Minister being Sartorius, Count 
de San Luis,- Narvaez's former henchman, who had 
begun life as a bookseller's shopman and still retained 
the manners of his old calling. 

Afiairs, indeed, had drifted into a state from which 
the only possible exit was by revolution. Ministers 
no longer represented public opinion, which had no 


legitimate expression ; and Parliament itself could 
only exert its influence by the promotion of disturb- 
ance outside. The frequent changes in the financial 
system had thrown everything into confusion, the 
country at large was growing more and more restive 
at the loudly proclaimed scandals in high quarters. 
One nonentity after another had tried his 'prentice 
hand at governing the State, and Espartero and 
Narvaez. the only men who had a large following, 
were both in exile. Cristina and her husband were 
turning political influence to their concession- 
mongering ends and piling up riches. The futile 
King-consort, surrounded by a peddling little 
camarilla of priests, nuns, and compliant friends, 
was for ever planning absolutist treachery ; whilst 
the Queen, swayed by all sorts of people, good, 
bad, and disgraceful, could never be depended upon 
to keep in the same mind for a week together. 

San Luis fruitlessly endeavoured to conciliate the 
various sections of the " moderate " party. Narvaez 
was allowed to return from exile and the decrees 
granting railway concessions were cancelled, although 
the Cortes were asked to re-sanction the same con- 
cessions by parliamentary vote. But the trail of 
jobbery was over all, and the grossest accusations of 
corruption were made openly against the highest 
functionaries and ministers, not only in the matter 
of the railway contracts but also in the proposed 
conversion of the immense floating debt which had 
accumulated for the last five years.^ 

' The unconverted floating debt reached six millions sterling, and it 
was now proposed to add it to the Consols. The estimates of revenue 


At length, early in December, 1853, the ministry 
was defeated in the Cortes, and San Luis hastily 
suspended the sittings before the estimates had been 
voted ; the unconstitutional course being adopted of 
promulgating supply by royal decree. This first step 
having been taken, San Luis made no attempt to 
govern legally. All the prominent opponents of 
the Government were banished or employed on 
distant stations. The brothers. Generals Concha 
and Generals O'Donnell, Serrano, Zabala, Infante, 
and many others, went into exile or hiding ; the 
press was finally and effectually gagged, and a 
fresh parliamentary constitution was proposed, 
which would have had the result of merely 
cloaking the omnipotence of the executive with 
the pretence of democratic institutions. 

As may be imagined, these measures only increased 
the intense unpopularity of San Luis, and the dis- 
content, driven beneath the surface, became more 
active than ever. A terrible famine raged in Galicia, 
and the utmost poverty was observable all over the 
country, the amount of taxes recovered falling 
greatly short of the estimates, and a forced loan 
being levied to cover urgent needs.^ To add to the 

for this year, 1854, reached ;!^i4,8oo,ooo, and was, as usual, supposed 
to be sufficient to cover the expenditure. These estimates show an 
increase of more than two miUions sterling over those of the previous 
year, 1853. 

' The scurrilous anonymous sheet called the Ulurcialago {the Bat) 
asserted that Cristina received ;^400,ooo out of this forced loan of 
;^i, 800,000. It was believed that her Bourse speculations and con- 
cession and contract dealing at this period produced her an enormous 


general distrust, a serious dispute, nearly leading to 
war, was progressing with the United States on the 
question of an attack upon American interests in 
Cuba. The United States minister in Madrid — Mr. 
Soule — was strongly in favour of the annexation of 
the island, and actively aided the opposition to the 
Spanish Government in the hope of profiting by 
the disorder ; his efforts culminating in an offer on 
the part of the United States to buy Cuba for the 
sum of 120 million dollars. The Government of 
Washington, however, declined to go quite so far 
as its agent and to threaten immediate intervention 
in the Antilles when the offer was not accepted; 
although they reserved their right to do so if 
insurrection broke out in the island. 

The exiled and hidden generals in the meanwhile in- 
dustriously intrigued for the overthrow of the hated San 
Luis, whilst the press and the people, for the first time, 
began to hint that honest constitutional government 
could only be hoped for by the sacrifice not only of 
the ministry but of the Queen herself. It was seen 
that she had never made any attempt to check the 
exercise of unconstitutional power by her ministers ; 
that her prerogative had been used capriciously, 
foolishly and corruptly; that the wretched domestic 
squabbles which disgraced the palace, and the extra- 
ordinary character of her private life, rendered her 
untrustworthy as the head of a limited monarchy. 
So scandalised was the press, indeed, that when in 
January, 1854, the Queen gave birth to another child, 
which died soon afterwards, complete silence with 
regard to the event was maintained by the principal 
papers of the capital. 


It must not be forgotten that the active preparation 
for revolution was confined almost entirely to the 
broader sections of the " moderate " party ; the 
Liberals, persecuted and in exile, hopeless of effective 
parliamentary action, or of any satisfactory solution 
of the trouble under " moderate " auspices, standing 
aloof from the intrigues against the Government. 
The first outburst of military revolt took place in 
Zaragoza in February, 1 854, but this was promptly sup- 
pressed, and San Luis, emboldened by the victory, 
recommenced the persecution of his opponents with 
redoubled severity. General Leopold O'Donnell was 
hidden in Madrid and had gained to the cause of the 
revolution General Dulce, the commander of the 
cavalry in the capital ; the rising being arranged for 
the 13th of June, in a village near Madrid. 

The Government, however, became suspicious of 
Dulce, and the plan was for a time frustrated ; but 
when an order was given by the Government for 
several of the cavalry regiments in Madrid to pro- 
ceed to distant parts of Spain, Dulce saw that he 
must act at once or fail. Before dawn on the morn- 
ing of June 28th,^ he mustered three regiments of 
cavalry, and marched them into the suburbs, where 
a battalion of infantry joined him, and O'Donnell 
himself took command ; the other generals being 

' As an instance of the excited state of feeling in Madrid, the writer 
has often heard it related by members of his family who lived at the 
time in the same house as General Dulce (Calle de la Reina) that as 
he was going out on this occasion the general, by accident, dropped his 
sword clattering on to the stairs. The noise in the early morning 
aroused the whole house, and the news passed at once that " the revo- 
lution " was for that day. 


Ros de Olano, Mesina, and Echagiie. Dulce and his 
friends at once published an address to the Queen, 
demanding the dismissal of the ministry and the 
restoration of the constitutional regime. 

Isabel was at La Granja, and on this occasion 
unquestionably saved her crown by her pluck and 
confidence. Without a moment's hesitation she 
hastened back to Madrid, and if she had not been 
restrained by her friends and ministers, would person- 
ally have gone and remonstrated with the revolted 
generals. With almost foolish bravado she drove 
herself through her discontented capital without 
escort, her poor little husband cowering by her side, 
sorely against his will ; whilst from every part of 
the country came news of disaffection and anticipated 
revolt. Either from obstinacy or ineptitude, however, 
the Queen still clung to her unpopular ministers, and 
insisted upon using her partly recovered influence 
to prop up their impossible cause. On the 30th 
of June O'Donnell and his force advanced upon the 
capital, and were met at Vicalvaro by the Minister of 
War, General Blaser, with what was left of the Madrid 
garrison ; a brief combat ensuing without decisive 
result, the mutineers then retiring to Aranjuez, and 
Blaser's infantry returning to Madrid in disorder. 

The Queen was overwhelmed with grief " I will 
have no more bloodshed," she wept, " and my troops 
shall not fight with their own comrades. Why cannot 
Spaniards be friends one with another? for I love 
them all. I am aware that my throne is identified 
with liberal institutions, and I have no wish to 
weaken them. I am not ignorant of the rights of 



Parliament, and am willing that Cortes should meet 
and discuss and arrange everything. Why should 
there be this conflict between brothers?"^ 

In the circumstances it would have been easy to 
have restored tranquillity if the San Luis ministry 
had had the patriotism to resign, or the Queen the 
good sense to dismiss them ; but although they were 
both full of the professed desire to avoid further dis- 
turbance, neither took the only obvious step which 
would have secured peace. 

In the meanwhile public feeling became daily more 
exasperated, and fresh regiments declared for the 
revolt. O'Donnell marched towards Andalusia, 
followed by Blaser with nearly all the Madrid 
garrison ; and the obstinate San Luis in the capital 
violated all laws and humanity by his persecution of 
private citizens, and his more than mediaeval tyranny. 
But still the Liberals held aloof from what was clearly 
a Conservative military rising, until O'Donnell and 
his friends, seeing the need for attracting them, 
suddenly issued a new manifesto from Manzanares ^ 
(July 7th) formulating the demands which had 
always been those of the progressive party. De-cen- 
tralisation of local government, a free press, electoral 
reform, respect for the constitution, the throne without 
a shameful camarilla behind it, the organisation of a 
National Militia : these and similar demands imme- 

' General Cordoba relates the Queen's conversation with him in his 
" Memoria " of the events of July, 1854. 

- This manifesto was drawn up by Antonio Canovas del Castillo, the 
afterwards famous minister, and it is asserted that the important change 
of policy was at first opposed by O'Donnell, who was always a Con- 
servative, and mainly urged by Canovas and Serrano. 


diately altered the aspect of affairs. This was a pro- 
gramme that the people themselves could understand, 
and the rising was no longer a military revolt to 
serve the ends of ambitious generals, but a popular 
revolution, in which the army aided the people to 
regain their citizen rights. Like a whirlwind the 
feeling swept over the country, and capital after 
capital in the provinces rallied to the movement. 

On the 17th of Juh' news came to Madrid that 
Barcelona had joined the revolution, and San Luis 
at length bent before the storm and hurriedly 
resigned, General Cordoba being entrusted with the 
formation of a cabinet, of which, however, the Duke 
of Rivas was the nominal chief Espartero was 
induced to leave his retirement at Logrono and 
entered Zaragoza in triumph ; O'Donnell was invited 
by the Queen to come to Madrid, and the authorities 
hastened to appeal to the armed forces in revolt to 
maintain public order. But it was too late ; San 
Luis had held on to power until the dogs of conflict 
had been let loose. On the night of the 17th of July 
the people of Madrid rose, and on the following day 
they beset the houses of the fallen ministers, of 
Salamanca, and of Queen Cristina. The troops in 
the capital were few, Cordoba was very unpopular, 
the officers were disaffected, and the infuriated popu- 
lace worked their will almost unchecked. Burning, 
wrecking, and pillaging, the mob dominated the city 
during the day and ensuing night, though only after 
considerable bloodshed ; especially in Cristina's 
palace. A revolutionary government was elected 
and installed under General San Miguel in the 


Guildhall/ and a deputation of the rioters demanded 
an interview with the Queen, an immense multitude 
assembling before the palace, clamouring for the 
heads of the fallen ministers. General Cordoba 
tried to tranquillise them, but unsuccessfully ; and 
the Queen was forced to receive the spokesmen of 
the revolt. She promised to " do her best to satisfy " 
them, but such a promise as this was powerless to 
dissolve the impromptu authoi"ities which had 
assumed control of the Guildhall and the Civil 
Government offices. Ejected from these offices by 
Cordoba, the revolutionists assembled in the Plaza 
Mayor, and there a sanguinary conflict took place 
between the people and the troops. ^ 

All next day (July 19th) the bloodshed in the streets 
continued, though General Cordoba's disposal of his 
troops prevented the mob from again approaching 
the palace. Barricades sprang up in the Puerta del 
Sol and the principal streets, and the long defensive 
line drawn transversely across the city by General 
Cordoba was repeatedly attacked throughout its 
length by the angry populace desirous of reaching 
the presence of the Queen. The latter, in tears, 
beside herself with grief, was ready to do anything 
to save further bloodshed : and in the afternoon of 

' A rival revolutionary government of the dangerous classes was 
also set up in the poorer quarter under a popular bull-fighter, 
" Pucheta," which proved a source of iriuch trouble. 

= So critical was the situation at this time that, on Cordoba's advice, 
the Queen made all arrangements for flight, which was only prevented 
by the urgent prayers and warnings of wiser people. The King's sisters 
and his brother Fernando took refuge in the French Embassy, where 
the latter, who was weak-witted, died of the fright a day or two 


the 19th dismissed Cordoba's forty hours' ministry, 
and summoned Espartero to Madrid to take charge 
of the Government. This was a blow that the 
"moderates" had not expected, but the populace 
knew now that they had gained the victory. The 
troops were mostly withdrawn from the streets, and 
confined to quarters. But the people had been 
deceived too often to trust the Queen again until 
Espartero himself should appear : they raised fresh 
barricades, and, still standing to their arms, occupied 
all the strategic points. Soon the troops were caught 
by the popular enthusiasm and began to waver. San 
Miguel, by order of the Queen, assumed command 
of the capital, for Cordoba now was a mere shadow, 
all the revolted generals were restored to their ranks 
and honours, and the revolution was triumphant. 

The throne of Isabel still trembled in the balance. 
Espartero, fully conscious that he alone could save 
it, dictated his terms to the Queen. His envoy was 
General Salazar, who, shocked at the levity of the 
sovereign, now that the immediate alarm was past, 
told her in scathing words what was thought of the 
reported irregularities of her life. Such boldness was 
new to Isabel, who turned upon him like a fury, but 
he held his ground, and told her her conduct was a {/ 
disgrace to her sex and country. In her rage the 
Oueen swore she would have no more to do with 
Espartero or a party who sent such an envoy as this. 
She would abdicate, and leave Spaniards to get on 
as best they might without her. But when it was 
pointed out to her that, if she went, she must leave 
her only daughter behind her, the reckless woman 


once more changed her mind, accepted Espartero's 
terms, and issued a proclamation in which she 
announced her full sympathy with the revolution, 
and, to crown all, accepted Salazar as one of her 

Madrid, and Spain generally, once more gave way 
to mad and frantic rejoicing. All evils were to dis- 
appear, all wrongs to be righted, and poverty was to 
be a thing of the past. Oratory in an irresistible 
flood again swept over the land ; from every flag- 
decked barricade, from every gaudy balcony, excited 
citizens with pompous verbosity, apostrophised por- 
traits of Espartero, or indulged in roseate prophecies 
of imperishable glory for those who, like themselves, 
had aided the never-to-be-forgotten revolution. 

Espartero's triumphal entry into the capital on 
the 28th of July was the culminating point of the 
enthusiasm. Through a populace ready to adore 
him almost as a demigod, the fortunate soldier, 
waving his sword and delivering inflated speeches, 
slowly made his way to the palace, once more, after 
eleven years, to receive from the hands of the Queen 
whose throne he had saved years before the govern- 
ment of the country from which her mother had 
driven him. But his speeches and those of his 
friends left no doubt that this time, if the Queen was 
to be allowed to retain her crown, all power must be 
taken from her, and the people made supreme. 

On the following day O'Donnell made his entry, 
chagrined that he, the leader of the revolt, should be 
forced to play second fiddle to Espartero ; but the 
two popular heroes theatrically embraced in public, 


though, as will be seen, their harmony was not of 
long duration. 

The task of Espartero's ministry was extremely 
difficult. Anarchy had dominated Spain for over 
three weeks, and the host of revolutionary authorities 
which had installed themselves in provincial govern- 
ments were hard to deal with. They had made lavish 
promises, appointed generals and important officers 
by the score, and had carried their assumed authority 
with a high hand. Shoals of clamorous newspapers, 
too, had sprung up side by side with excited oratorical 
clubs, formulating wild theories and extreme demands. 
The advanced Liberals, so long under a cloud, now 
lorded it over all, and claimed rewards for past per- 
secutions beyond the possibility of satisfaction, whilst 
the " moderates," who had started the revolution, 
looked on with unconcealed disgust at the progress 
of events. 

The principal popular irritation was against Cris- 
tina, whose position was gravely perilous. From 
her wrecked home she had sought refuge in her 
daughter's palace, and night and day there rang in 
her ears the curses of the people upon her. Cries for 
her imprisonment, for her death, and for the restora- 
tion of her illgotten plunder, were ceaselessly uttered 
in the press and the clubs, until the Government itself 
was forced to promise the people that she should not 
be allowed to escape until justice had been done. 
But though every exit from the palace and the town 
was jealously watched by the mob, the Queen-mother 
herself withstood all suggestions that she should fly in 
disguise from the fury that was lying in wait for her. 


"I will leave this place as a queen," she said proudly, 
" or I will never leave it." But the scandal of such a 
position could not endure, and at daybreak, on the 
28th of August, whilst Madrid was yet sleeping, 
Cristina, with a powerful escort, set out for Portugal. 
The fury of the populace when they heard that their 
prey had escaped knew no bounds.' Barricades again 
sprang up, and " Death to Espartero ! down with the 
Government ! " was now the cry ; but the dictator had 
a firm grip, and soon crushed the disorder, whilst the 
talking-clubs were suppressed, and the more violent 
newspapers held in check. 

From the seething mass of conflicting claims and 
warring interests Espartero, who was a man of no 
political sagacity, was powerless alone to extricate 
the country. Swayed from one side to the other by 
the demands of the two elements of his coalition 
Government, and b}^ the strife of parties outside ; he 
could only formulate his remedy in the invariable 
phrase : " Let the national will be fulfilled " ; and in 
pursuance of this policy a constituent Cortes was 
summoned to be elected on the basis of the Con- 
stitution of 1837, in disregard of the various alter- 
ations in the code that subsequent ministers had 
made. Nothing was allowed to be prejudged or 
taken for granted — -not even the continuance of the 
monarchy itself ; the Cortes was to be supreme and 

' It is fair to say that subsequently a Parliamentary Committee held 
a minute inquiry into the accusations of malversation and peculation 
against Cristina, and, after six months' investigation, they declared that 
they had found no proofs of her guilt. Cristina lived for the rest of 
her life in France. 



untrammelled in its choice of national institutions, 
and, for once even, the Government refrained to some 
extent from exerting pressure over the elections. 

The opening of the Chamber by the Queen on the 
8th of November, 1854, was a turning-point of her 
career. From July she had been merely a sovereign on 
sufferance, and the Cortes held itself free to proclaim 
a republic if it pleased. This was Isabel's first public 
reappearance after the revolution, and her popular 
manner and beautiful voice suddenly turned the 
wavering tide in her favour. After her speech from 
the throne the House burst into resounding cheers, 
and the Queen's crown was saved to her for another 
fourteen years. Whilst the parties of O'Donnell and 
Espartero only with great difficulty kept up even 
an appearance of union in the Cortes, the public 
effervescence in the country continued unchecked, 
especially amongst the disappointed advanced Liberals 
and the National Militia, who chafed at the coalition. 
Once more Carlism renewed its intrigues under 
the fostering care of the clergy, whilst the terrible 
scourge of cholera swept the country from end to 
end, to an extent that forced the Cortes to suspend 
its sittings in the summer of 1855. Under these 
circumstances it is not surprising that lassitude and 
discouragement fell upon the masses, who had hoped 
everything from the results of the revolution. 

The fundamental bases of the new Constitution — 
agreed upon after infinite discussion — affirmed the 
sovereignty of the people, the monopoly of the 
Catholic Church, and the continuance of the Bourbon 
dynasty. The republican party were clamorous but 


small, only 23 members voting against the crown of 
Isabel ; for Spain was yet far from ready for a 
republican form of government. There never has 
been, indeed, amongst Spaniards that jealousy and 
hatred between classes which in other countries has 
led to the overthrow of aristocratic domination. The 
high nobility is constantly recruited from rich plebeians 
and from active revolutionists, and a duke is just as 
likely to be a democrat as is a person of lower rank. 
The division of political parties by social layers, except 
perhaps in Cataluna, is, therefore, a danger which 
Spain has escaped, and this is still the most hopeful 
fact for the future regeneration of the country. 

But though the monarchy was reaffirmed, and 
Isabel was as popular as ever so long as she 
consented to remain a cipher, no sooner did she 
attempt to express a political opinion of her own 
than her position became dangerous again. A new- 
law for the disamortisation and sale of entailed lands 
and Church property was proposed, which met with 
her tearful and passionate protest.' She again 
threatened to abdicate rather than sanction its intro- 
duction, and only on the stern insistence of Espartero 
she gave way thus far. But during the discussion 

' The amount of such property was still immense. It was proposed 
to apply the proceeds of the sale to the national uses, the payment of 
debt, promotion of public works, and the like, the clergy being given 
Consols to an amount equal to the value of the appropriated lands. It 
was calculated that the property in mortmain sold prior to this Act of 
the 1st of May, 1855, reached ^^57, 000,000, and that even a larger 
amount then remained to be sold. Although much jobbery and mis- 
management existed, it cannot be denied that the remarkable material 
advance of Spain in the following few years was largely owing to the 
vast amount of property thus let loose. 


of the Bill the King-consort and his camarilla of 
bleeding nuns and mystic monks set all the ecclesias- 
tical machinery to work to influence the Queen.' 
Miraculous images sweated blood over the altars, 
the Pope's Nunico exhorted Isabel to keep faith with 
the Church of God at any cost, and the royal con- 
fessors whispered that this was the turning-point 
where the Queen must stand firm against impious 
aggression. The poor woman, at her wits' end, began 
by flatly refusing to sanction the Act, and the ministry 
decided to resign ; the advanced Liberal members 
of the Cortes even proposed to declare the throne 
vacant ; the Queen on her side entering into a palace 
plot to fly to the Basque provinces and there to issue 
a national manifesto. The intention was discovered, 
and she was obliged to yield to the pressure brought 
to bear upon her ; but though she signed the Act she 
did it against her conscience, and with the intention 
of overthrowing at the earliest possible moment the 
men who had wrung her consent from her. Relations 
between Spain and the papacy were broken off, the 
bleeding nun was banished, and a clean sweep made 
of the priests and courtiers who had surrounded the 
Queen. The poor King-consort made an undignified 
little attempt at resistance to the removal of his 
servants. With a few halberdiers he stationed him- 
self in front of his own apartments, and squeaked out 
his irrevocable determination of allowing the passage 
of the Government officers only over his own dead 
body. The tears and entreaties of his wife, however, 
melted his heart, and his terrible threat remained 


The interests attacked by Espartero were still 
powerful and vigorous. The clergy and the reaction- 
aries left no weapon idle that could damage him, from 
the rising of Carlist bands to the stinging satires of 
" El Padre Cobos " ; and Espartero, by his simple- 
minded boastfulness and theatrical attitudinising, laid 
himself especially open to the deadly arm of ridicule. 
There was no lack of well-founded discontent upon 
which to base these attacks. Ninety new Acts had 
been passed by the Cortes before the cholera sus- 
pended its sittings (July, 1855), but they had nearly all 
been of a partial or personal character at the expense of 
the nation, whilst the new electoral law was still in 
embryo, the Municipal Act of 1821 had only been 
restored provisional!}', and the great deficit caused 
by the sudden alteration of the fiscal policy had to 
be filled up by forced loans, which caused uneasiness 
and distrust. Nearly everybody who had claimed to 
be a Liberal during the last eleven years of reaction, 
or who had suffered exile or persecution, was loaded 
with honours, pensions, and rewards ; the officers of 
the army had been promoted ejt viasse, and exemp- 
tions from service granted wholesale. All this was 
costly, and aroused jealous dissension. 

As the ministry grew less and less popular, man}' 
of its members were consequently changed, until at 
last almost the onl}^ Liberal remaining in it was 
Espartero himself, who, tired of the ceaseless attacks, 
and disappointed at the greed of his followers, also 
talked of retiring. In the meanwhile the Queen 
constantly thwarted the Government, socialist and 
anarchist risings were rife in Barcelona, Valencia, and 


Zaragoza, the Carlists were again in arms, and the 
National Militia was a source of alarm to peaceful 
citizens : blazing ricks and gutted factories every- 
where telling the tale that the anti-social movement 
had now spread from turbulent Cataluiia to Conser- 
vative Castile. 

In this turmoil of discontent and disturbance, with 
simple, honest Espartero, a mere straw upon the 
torrent, the Cortes hotly and copiously discussed the 
details of the new Constitution, late in 1855, the 
great effort of the Liberal majority being to drive 
O'Donnell from the ministry, and leave Espartero 
supreme, which would have been easy but for the 
almost quixotic loyalty of the latter to his Conserva- 
tive colleague. I'hey were unsuccessful, but con- 
trived, early in January, 1856, to infuse a new Liberal 
element into the ministry on the question of the 
punishment of a regiment of militia on duty at the 
Cortes, which had revolted abortively on a cry of 
" Viva la Republica ! " 

The new Constitution was voted in January, 
establishing an elective senate, a congress elected 
by direct vote in large constituencies, and a per- 
manent committee with power of summons, to sit 
during the recess ; but when it came t3 presenting 
it to the Queen for sanction and promulgation, 
differences arose as to the wisdom of doing so. The 
moment the fundamental Acts passed in the Con- 
stituent Cortes were sanctioned by the Crown, the 
Parliament became an ordinary one, and could be 
dissolved by the minister ; for which reason the 
majority, desiring to prolong the existence of the 


Constituent Cortes indefinite!}-, as a menace to the 
Crown, prevented the acts from being laid before 
the Queen. O'Donnell was rapidly reaching the 
limit of even his gn.'at patience, and with the tacit 
if not expressed co-operation of the Queen, deter- 
mined to put an end to so abnormal a situation ; 
and at the same time to destroy the revolution 
which he had been mainlv instrumental in making. 
Dissensions broke out between Espartero and 
O'Donnell in the matter of repressive measures to 
be taken against the incendiary anarchists ; and the 
Liberal leader was warned by his friends that the 
Queen and his colleagues were planning his downfall, 
some of them going to the length of advising him to 
anticipate O'Donnell's treachery by a coup d'e'iat. 
But Espartero, vain and self-deceived as usual, 
thought he could bring the Queen to her knees by 
a threat of resignation. On the occasion of a mid- 
night cabinet council before the Queen in Jul}-, 1856, 
Escosura, the Liberal Home Minister, announced 
that he would not remain in the same ministry with 
O'Donnell. It was agreed that both should resign, 
and Espartero, trusting to the Queen's word that 
she w-ould never pardon O'Donnell for the rising of 
Vicalvaro, determined to stand by Escosura and 
resign also, in the belief that he could form a new 
government of Liberals, leaving out O'Donnell and 
the Conservatives. But a little comedy had been 
arranged between O'Donnell and the Queen ; and 
as Espartero announced his resignation and was 
leaving the room, Isabel turned to O'Donnell and 
said : " I am sure }-ou won't abandon me, will you ? " 


O'Doiinell had no intention of doing so, for he had 
a Hst of new ministers in his pocket of which the 
Queen had approved, and the next day before dawn, 
14th of July, he was sworn in as Prime Minister, to the 
dismay of the self-deceived Espartero and his friends. 

The rage of the betrayed Liberals knew no 
bounds, and it was evident from the first moment 
that a combat was impending. Espartero's want 
of statecraft had brought matters to this pass, and 
his ineptitude continued the disaster. He was still 
so powerful that he might have appealed successfully 
to the people to prevent the work of the revolution 
from being destroyed ; or, on the other hand, he 
might have accepted the reaction and have prevented 
bloodshed. But he did neither, and held his peace, 
allowing the citizens to fight O'Donnell's soldiers 
without the prestige of his leadership or the united 
aid of the militia. A hasty meeting of the Cortes was 
called on the same day, and passed a vote of censure 
on the new ministry, but before it could be handed 
to the Queen the battle was raging in the streets ot 
Madrid, and the Cortes and the people were calling 
ineffectually upon Espartero to lead them. 

A\\ day on the 14th, and most of the 15th, the 
fighting went on, the Liberal rump of the Cortes 
remaining in permanent session. Serrano swept the 
streets with grapeshot, and bombs fell in the midst 
of the palace of the Congress,^ until, at last, in the 

' This was the new Parliament house shown in the ilhistration. It 
was inaugurated in 1850, the Senate still continuing to sit in the 
ancient Convent of Maria de Aragon, close to the royal palace, where 
the Cortes of Fernando VII. had met. 


early afternoon of the 1 5th of July, further resistance 
was seen to be useless ; the few regiments of militia 
in arms were without ammunition and abandoned 
the defence, the Constituent Cortes thus coming to 
a violent end. In two days O'Donnell had undone 
amidst bloodshed the work which he had inaugurated 
by violence at Vicalvaro two years before ; and once 
more parliamentary liberties were crushed under the 
iron heel of the soldier. During those two days of 
battle Espartero might easily have turned the tide 
by leading out the militia, far more numerous than 
the troops, and the throne of Isabel II. would not 
have been worth two hours' purchase. But whilst 
he hesitated, the chance went by, and reaction was 
victorious before he attempted his lame justification. 
Isabel, who had shown from the first the utmost 
bravery, and herself encouraged the troops in front 
of the palace, thus gained a personal victory over 
the liberalism which, like her father, she hated and 

After Madrid, the provinces were soon dominated ; 
and then O'Donnell set about his work of govern- 
ment, after declaring the country in a state of siege. 
The Cortes was dissolved and the National Militia 
disbanded ; but violent reaction was no part of 
O'Donnell's scheme, and he showed great moderation 
to those whom he had overcome. The person, 
however, who had gained the real victory in the late 
change was the Queen, and she now made her 
influence felt. The new draft Constitution was 
dropped without much regret, and that of 1845 



substituted ; ^ but it cost O'Donnell a struggle to 
give way to Isabel's demands that the sale of 
the Church lands should be suspended and the 
embargo on Cristina's property removed. With 
tears, caresses, and professions of attachment to him, 
the Queen worked her will, but as he felt himself 
being led on the downward path of reaction, the 
truth came to him. The Queen had used him only 
as a tool to get rid of Espartero, and hated him still 
for Vicalvaro and her two years of humiliation. 
She was a real daughter of Fernando, and smiled 
whilst she betrayed. Suddenly Narvaez, the true 
Conservative leader, appeared in Madrid, was wel- 
comed by Isabel with open arms, and O'Donnell 
received his dismissal on the I2th of October, 1856. 

Spain had once more, by extravagance and lack 
of restraint after a successful revolution, fallen under 
the hands of the man with the gag and the stick, 
and Narvaez spared neither. With Candido Nocedal 
as Home Minister, reaction of the most tyrannical 
type was now paramount, and everything done by 
the revolution of 1854 was ruthlessly abrogated. 
The new Cortes met in May, 1857 ; the Congress, 
by the usual means, consisting mainly of the slavish 
servants of the ministry of the day, though the 
Senate, containing as it did most of the revolu- 
tionary generals of 1854, offered a bitter resistance 
to reaction and kept alive public irritation against 

' This was Narvaez's Constitution, abolishing the National Sove- 
reignty, establishing an entirely nominated life-Senate, five years' 
Parliaments (instead of three years), destroying liberty of the press, and 
rendering illegal the National Militia. 


the Government. The first task of the ministry, 
therefore, was to " reform " the Senate by re-intro- 
ducing into it the important hereditary element ; and 
when this was done and the press silenced. Parliament 
was suspended. 

Narvaez was a man of strange contradictions, 
sincerely believing himself to be a Liberal who 
was constantly being forced by circumstances into 
Conservative courses. This view was perhaps not 
altogether so absurd as it appears, though it was 
principally a violent and impatient temper that was 
his motive power. The administration of his Govern- 
ment, as apart from its legislation, was at this juncture 
enlightened and successful ; and the encouragement 
extended by him to public works and agriculture 
inaugurated a period of comparative prosperity which 
the country enjoyed for some years afterwards. But 
in addition to his platonic leanings towards liberalism, 
which did not please the Queen, his overbearing 
manner now jarred upon her more than before ; for 
her success in juggling away the revolutionary 
generals had given her a taste of personal power, and 
a higher notion of her own political ability.^ She 
therefore conceived the idea of being her own Prime 
Minister, and freeing herself entirely from the tute- 
lage of generals. Brabo Murillo, however, whom she 
privately consulted on the matter, extreme reac- 

' The Queen's friend, Don Jose de Arana (Duke of Baena), whose 
influence for several years had been supreme, had now given place to 
a young officer named Puig Molto, whom it is said Narvaez treated 
with his usual haughty insolence. It was asserted that Isabel's desire 
to get rid of Narvaez arose partly from Puig Molto's dislike of him. 


tionist though he was, convinced her of the danger 
of such a course, and she then took the extraordinary 
step of appointing an almost Liberal ministry under 
General Armero. As there was no political reason 
for her action, and she had been for weeks wavering 
between a return to pure absolutism or the appoint- 
ment of a minister even more reactionary than 
Narvaez, it will be seen that she acted on no fixed 
principle, but was swayed by the personal influences 
of the moment, which often rendered her conduct 

An event happened on the 28th of November, 
1857, which altered the appearance of the succession. 
The Queen's only living child had been the Princess 
of Asturias, heiress to the crown, but on the date 
just mentioned the little princess was displaced 
and lost her title by the birth of her brother 
Alfonso. The rejoicings were great, so far as official 
celebration could make them, but the birth of this 
child added another thong to the whip which the 
King-consort could hold over the Queen for his 
personal and political ends — and it also had the 
apparently incongruous effect of sending Captain 
Puig Molto into exile. 

When Parliament opened in January, 1858, the 
Government was defeated at the first vote, and the 
Queen in her anger at the " moderates " for voting 
against her Liberal ministry, was for dissolution at 
once. From this, however, she was dissuaded, and 
chose a Conservative ministry under her mother's 
old friend, Isturiz. But there was as much diver- 
gence of views between the " moderates " of the 


O'Donnell type and those who followed Brabo 
Murillo as between separate parties, and the Govern- 
ment soon fell to pieces, the fickle Queen sending 
for O'Donnell once more on the 30th of June, and 
entrusting him with the formation of a ministry. 
Around O'Donnell and the revolutionists of Vical- 
varo there had gathered a strong party in the 
country, consisting of the steady Liberals who were 
alarmed at the extravagances which Espartero 
always brought in his train, and of the Liberal- 
Conservatives who were opposed to reaction and 
absolutism. This party, which assumed the name 
of the " Liberal Union " under O'Donnell and was 
for several years to come to exercise great influence, 
confessedly stood between the extremes of Narvaez 
and Espartero. 

O'Donnell was an ideal man for the leadership 
of such a party. His family and associations were 
Conservative, but his rising in 1854 had proved 
that he was receptive of Liberal ideas. The extreme 
Liberals hated him for crushing the revolution in 
1856, whilst the thoroughgoing Conservatives utterly 
distrusted him for his rising at Vicalvaro ; but he 
was a born leader, a cool, calculating tactician, with 
great self-control and a handsome, winning person- 
ality, so that men of temperate views belonging to 
all parties joined his new combination. By his side 
he had a man of great penetration, tenacity, and tact 
— Posada Herrera, the Home Minister — who was the 
brain and organiser of the party, and by his advice 
such men as would rally from the extreme wings to 
the centre were satisfied with embassies or high 



administrative posts, whilst the elections for the new 
Cortes were so managed as to secure, as usual, an 
overwhelming majority for the ministry, and to gain 
for Posada Herrera the title of the " grand elector." 
This Cortes, which was to last the almost unprece- 
dented length in modern times of its full life of five 
years, was notable for the great ability of many of its 
members ; for the " grand elector " had given admis- 
sion to all the most eminent of his opponents, the 
thirty irreconcilable Conservatives being led by Gon- 
zales Brabo, and the twenty advanced Liberals by 
Salustiano de Olozaga ; all the rest, being members of 
the Liberal Union, were obedient to the nod of Posada 

It will be readily understood that only by the most 
consummate tactical skill in setting the two extreme 
factions at variance, and the avoidance of legislation 
on questions of fundamental principle, could such a 
party as the " Union Liberal " retain power, as it did, 
for several years. It was perhaps fortunate that this 
was the case, as the Government was therefore able 
to devote its attention to the improvement in the 
material condition of the country. The rapid increase 
of wealth in Europe by the introduction of railways 
naturally produced its result, even in backward Spain ; 
and O'Donnell's Government vigorously continued 
the more timid policy of his predecessors with regard 
to the promotion of public works and improved 
means of communication. 

But such a policy needed abundance of ready 
money, and the abrogation of the Act for the sale 
of mortmain and clergy lands had deprived the 


Government of the vast sums which were expected 
from that source. The angry Pope had been con- 
cihated, and, on conditions favourable to the clergy, 
had absolved the persons who had bought Church 
property ; but O'Donnell dared not go to the length 
of again openly attacking so powerful an interest. 
The mortmain property, however, not in Church 
hands was again ordered to be sold, and from the 
resources thus obtained a vast supplementary esti- 
mate was mainly covered for new forts, ships, public 
buildings, roads, and other national works.^ 

Spain, indeed, was awakening at last, and if the 
enlightenment and consequent material improvement 
had preceded the political enfranchisement in the 
natural way, all would have been well ; but, as we 
have seen in the course of this history, the political 
advance always received its motive power from a few 
men in a hurry to endow their country with the 
political institutions which they had seen successfully 
at work amongst peoples who had enjoyed better 
opportunities of education and enlightenment than 
the Spaniards. But, withal, for the next few years 

' The Government of Narvaez had been obliged, in 1856-7, to add 
seven millions sterling to the National Debt for the purpose of covering 
deficits, realising only three millions by the operation. The revenue 
for that financial year reached ;^I5, 700,000, but in 1858 this had 
increased to nearly ;^i8, 000,000, in addition to a supplementary 
estimate, public works, &c. , of over two millions, which was to be 
covered by the sales of. the mortmain lands. In the year with which we 
are now particularly occupied, 1859, the revenue and expenditure were 
about the same as in the previous year, with an extraordinary estimate 
of ;,^2, 600,000 for public works, &c., in addition to the great supple- 
mentary estimate of twenty-one millions sterling referred to above to be 
covered in eight years. 


very much was done by the nation at large to over- 
take the poHtical advance ; and if poHticians had 
been content to let the process alone, without in- 
sisting on taking another political step forward before 
the people were ready, the subsequent disasters 
might have been avoided. From 1848 to 1858 about 
five hundred miles of railways had been opened, and 
for the succeeding ten years, to 1868, nearly three 
thousand miles more were inaugurated, whilst a most 
remarkable increase had taken place in similar 
periods in the bulk of the foreign trade ; ^ and the 
population had increased from 12,162,872 in 1847, to 
15,673,536 in i860, at the rate of over a quarter of a 
million souls annually, although it is to be noted that 
only I9'97 per cent, of the citizens at the latter date 
were able to write. 

The O'Donnell Government were fortunate in thus 
being able for a time to direct public attention to 
national development and also to arouse interest in 
exterior politics in a way which increased the 
cohesion of the people. As much patriotic capital 
as possible was made out of a quarrel with Mexico, 
and the refusal by Spain of another offer of the 
United States to buy Cuba ; whilst the religious 
traditions of the country were flattered by the part 
taken by Spain during the Italian-Austrian struggle 
in 1859 to secure respect for the Holy See, in return 
for which the Pope finally gave his permission for 

' The imports and exports in 1852 were respectively ;!f7,53i,67i and 
;!^5,667,834, or together, ^13, 199,505, whilst in 1862 they had increased 
to .2^^16,793,127 and ;^ii,io5,322, making a total trade of ;i^27, 898,449, 
nearly double what it had been ten years before. 


the sale of the whole of the Church property in 

This was unquestionably a great triumph for 
O'Donnell, and provided him with the funds needed 
for his schemes ; but his crowning good fortune was 
the successful war with Morocco, in which he played 
the part of the conquering hero. The dispute first 
arose out of the raids upon the Spanish settlements 
of Melilla and Ceuta by the Riff tribes, and was 
cleverly turned by O'Donnell into an opportunity 
for representing Spain as having been insulted by 
her ancient enemy, the Moor. Public fervour in 
Spain once again overleapt all the bounds of 
restraint or reticence. Party divisions were for- 
gotten, Spaniards of all ranks, dominated by their 
national pride, cheerfully gave their substance with- 
out a murmur. Spain, they said, had indeed risen 
from her ashes, and could once more fight and 
conquer a foreign foe. 

It was a third-rate little campaign and an easy 
victory over a barbarous foe, but it served its pur- 
pose. A new conscription of 50,000 men was voted 
by acclamation, fresh taxes, and discounts on all 
Government payments were welcomed, and hardly a 
town in Spain failed to offer voluntary contributions 
in money, men, or kind. All Spain, indeed, went 
crazy with, patriotic extravagance, and it needed a 
cold douche from Lord John Russell to remind 
O'Donnell that, though England had no objection 
to see Morocco punished for her attacks on Spain, 
the English Government would not allow a war of 
conquest on the coast opposite Gibraltar. The 


popularity of O'Donnell himself surpassed even 
that of Espartero in his best days, and when the 
news came that the Spanish army under his com- 
mand had entered Tetuan (February 6, i860), he was 
made a grandee and Duke of Tetuan ; Prim was 
created Marquis of Castillejos, after his first victory ; 
Ros de Olano received the title of Marquis of Guad 
el Gelu, and promotions, grants, and decorations were 
scattered broadcast. 

Again Great Britain was obliged to act the part 
of mar-feast, and forbade the Spaniards from per- 
manently occupying Tangiers or dismembering the 
Moorish Empire, to the profound indignation and 
resentment of the people of the Peninsula. Whilst 
this question was still pending the Moors offered to 
submit. But the Spanish terms were too hard, and 
the war dragged on, Tangiers being subsequently 
approached (April 25th), and the great battle of 
Guad Ras fought with a loss of 3,000 Moors 
killed and wounded, and a heavy mortality on the 
part of the Spaniards. But still the mountain 
passes had to be won before Tangiers was entered, 
and on the day after Guad Ras a provisional treaty 
of peace was made ; the limits of the Spanish settle- 
ments being somewhat extended, a new settlement 
granted on the west coast, which to this day has 
never been identified, an indemnity of four millions 
sterling promised to Spain and the future personal, 
religious, and commercial interests of Spanish sub- 
jects in Morocco safeguarded. The five months' 
campaign, in which sickness and neglect were more 
deadly enemies to the Spaniards than were the 

.'■f^' '- ■•*:' 




Moors, raised O'Donnell and Prim to the apogee of 
their glory. Every man who had fought in the war 
was made a hero, and those who witnessed the entry 
of O'Donnell and the victorious army into Madrid 
saw a whole people literally delirious with joy, and 
drunk with national vanity. 

Whilst the nation was in a state of patriotic exalta- 
tion which cemented all differences, the eldest son of 
the late Don Carlos, the Count de Montemolin, was 
ill advised enough to make an attempt to seize the 
crown. During the domination of Espartero, after 
the revolution of 1854, the King-consort had opened 
negotiations with the Count de Montemolin through 
his ultramontane friends, and it was practically agreed 
that the " common enemy " — the Liberals — should 
be frustrated by the recognition of Montemolin as 
King, on condition that his eldest son should marry 
the Princess Isabel, and that Charles VI., as he was 
to be called, should abdicate when his said son should 
reach the age of twenty-five, Isabel II. and her hus- 
band being still given the honorary titles of Queen 
and King. But this did not suit Cristina in Paris, 
and her friends managed to upset the reconciliation ; 
and when the counter revolution of 1856 ensured 
the stability of Isabel the matter was dropped. 

Montemolin then began to conspire, and by means 
of a great expenditure of money and a widespread 
organisation obtained important friends in every 
official centre, from Ministers of State downwards. 
This culminated in the landing on the Valencian 
coast of General Ortega, the Governor of the 
Balearic Isles, and his troops, simultaneously with 


the publication of a manifesto from Montemolin. 
who accompanied him, accepting a representative 
government. But the affair missed fire. A week's 
delay of the Prince at Cette, before he joined Ortega 
at Majorca, spoilt the combinations ; after marching 
a short distance from the landing-place towards 
Tortosa, Ortega's troops refused to follow him, and 
he was captured. When he heard that all Spain 
had not risen, and the Queen had not abdicated, 
he exclaimed, " They have sold me ! " Who had 
sold him was never known, for he was very shortly 
afterwards shot, and how far the " palace " was 
implicated in the affair is still a mystery. The 
prince and his brother Don Fernando were in hiding 
for some days, and were then captured. In fear for 
their lives, they signed a formal renunciation of all 
their rights to the crown, against which they pro- 
tested as soon as they were safe out of Spain. But 
it was too late, for their other brother, Don Juan, the 
father of the present Don Carlos, solemnly asserted 
his right to the crown which his elder brother had 
renounced, and professed himself, curiously enough, 
in favour of advanced Liberal ideas. This split the 
Carlist party hopelessly, until death and abdications 
had left the present Don Carlos the only Pretender. 

The fervid exaltation produced by the Moorish war 
and the Carlist fiasco was succeeded by the natural 
reaction when the heroics were over and the bill had 
to be paid. The Queen's two latest children, both 
daughters, had to be provided with incomes, the shifty 
Don Sebastian, a distant cousin of the Queen, had 
for the second time deserted Carlism and was richly 


rewarded for his doubtful loyalty. All this and the 
lavish scattering of largesse to the victorious army, 
meant additional taxation, and consequently pro- 
duced bitterness and discontent ; whilst disastrous 
inundations reduced large tracts of country and 
thousands of citizens to ruin. O'Donnell's policy 
continued, however, the same, namely, to divert 
public attention to foreign affairs and give employ- 
ment abroad to possible rivals such as Narvaez, 
Serrano, and Prim. Little wars were undertaken in 
Cochin China, in Santo Domingo, where the Spanish 
half of the Negro Republic desired annexation to 
Spain, and in Mexico, where Prim, to the secret 
annoyance of O'Donnell, took the sensible course 
adopted by the English and withdrew when the 
Mexican Government gave redress for the grievances 
complained of; leaving Napoleon alone to carry out 
the fatal policy which ended in Queretaro.^ 

A much more serious war was that with the 
Republics of Chile and Peru in 1866, which began 
badly for Spain by the capture of the Corvette 
Covadonga and the suicide of the Spanish admiral, 
Pareja. His successor, Mendez Nuiiez, retorted by 
bombarding the open port of Valparaiso ; but the 

' Isabel's methods and her love of peace were curiously exhibited at 
this juncture. Prim's action was very unpopular in Spain, where the 
war fever ran high, and O'Donnell carried to the Queen a decree for 
her signature, censuring him. She heard of his intention, and in order 
not to have to refuse to sign the document, she caused her husband to 
meet O'Donnell at the door. "Oh ! " said the King, " you have come 
to congratulate us on Prim's splendid proceeding : the Queen is 
delighted." Thus warned, O'Donnell kept the decree in his pocket 
whilst the Queen praised Prim to the skies. 


bellicose people and Government of Spain complained 
of his supposed want of energy and boldness. Thus 
spurred on, Mendez Nunez performed one of those 
acts of rash heroism of which Spaniards have always 
been fond, but of which the practical results gained 
bear no proportion to the risk. The Spanish squadron 
consisted of one ironclad, the Numancia, and six 
wooden steamers. With this force Mendez Nunez 
blockaded and bombarded Callao, the strongest port 
on the Pacific, protected as it was by excellent bat- 
teries and an armoured fort with two three-hundred- 
pounder Armstrong guns. The bombardment took 
place on May 2, 1866 — a date calculated to arouse 
Spanish patriotism to fever-heat ; and, as may be 
supposed, ended in much useless slaughter and the 
disabling of the Spanish fleet without entirely silenc- 
ing the Peruvian batteries. The first discharge of the 
big Armstrongs nearly crippled the Villa de Madrid 
with a loss of forty men. The Almansa and the 
Berenguela were next disabled, whilst the Blanco 
and another ship had to retire for want of ammu- 
nition and Mendez Nunez was wounded. Both sides 
loudly claimed the victory ; but the fact remains 
that the Peruvian fire was not silenced, whilst the 
Spanish fleet was forced to abandon the struggle. 
The Spaniards have never ceased to sing the glories 
of Mendez Nunez's valour in leading wooden ships 
into a point-blank combat with heavily-armed shore 
batteries, but if hostilities are to be judged by results 
it must be pronounced to have been a piece of 
useless bravado. 

We have, however, somewhat anticipated events 


and now return to O'Donnell's Government. The 
Queen looked upon the personal omnipotence of 
O'Donnell and the extinction of party government 
with unconcealed dislike, and early in 1863 turned 
towards the advanced Liberals for advice. The only 
counsel they could give her was to choose a mode- 
rate Liberal ministry, not belonging to the Union 
Liberal, and so gradually to pave the way for a return 
to party government, in which the now monopolous 
" centre " might be disintegrated. She accordingly 
dismissed O'Donnell, and summoned a mild Liberal 
Government under Armero and Mon ; but as they 
naturally demanded an immediate dissolution, which 
she refused, they only remained in office a few weeks, 
and in March, 1863, a ministry of pure conciliation, 
headed by the Marquis of Miraflores, was appointed. 
Their plan was not very far different from that of the 
Union Liberal ; being, indeed, to govern non-politi- 
cally by moderate men but without the overpowering 
personality of O'Donnell, which the Queen considered 
a menace to herself and the country. It looked a 
harmless ministry enough, but it took the first step 
which led to a new revolution. 

A new Cortes was to be elected at the end of 
1863, and in its manifesto the Government signified 
its intention of allowing a fair proportion of both 
parties to be elected and to return to the system of 
party government, which the Union Liberal had 
destroyed. But at the same time they forbade any 
but electors to attend political meetings. There was 
nothing very new in this, for it had been done before, 
but the advanced Liberals made it their excuse for 


retiring- altogether from tlie contest, and abandoning 
open political action. This meant, sooner or later, a 
Liberal revolution, and so it proved. The advanced 
Liberals threw upon the Queen the odium of their 
retirement. She had, they said, refused to dissolve 
Parliament for a moderate Liberal Government, in 
order to discredit the party, and had dissolved Cortes 
without difficulty at the bidding of a ministry whose 
tendency was Conservative. It was clear then, they 
asserted, that whilst Isabel reigned no Liberal 
ministry would be allowed to govern, whatever pro- 
fessions of attachment she might make to them for 
her own objects. 

The retirement of the Liberals deprived the elections 
of all interest, and the Government party of cohesion 
and authority ; the result being the accession of a 
more strongly Conservative ministry under Arrazola, 
which, however, fell after a few days on their demand 
for another dissolution ; when they were succeeded 
by a semi-Liberal combination headed by Mon and 
Canovas, whose programme was purity of election, 
loyalty to the Constitution (of 1845), and greater 
freedom of the press. But it was clear to all observers 
by this time that parliamentary government had 
broken down. The unblushing manipulation of 
elections, and the Queen's erratic exercise of her 
prerogative of dissolution, with the retirement of the 
Liberals, had turned the whole business into a dis- 
credited farce, of which all honest men were tired. 

The impatience of the country was still further 
aroused by the meddling of the King-consort, who 
had gone to Paris to return the visit of the Empress 



Eugenie, and on some inducement never understood, 
had entered into an undertaking with Louis Napoleon 
for the recognition of Victor Emmanuel as King of 
Italy, and the return to Spain of the detested Cristina. 
This neither Isabel nor the Government could stand, 
and the latter retired ; the Queen, at her wits' 
end, then consulting O'Donnell, who recommended 
the nomination of a purely Conservative ministry, to 
which he promised his support in order to hold 
democracy in check. This, of course, meant Narvaez, 
who formed a ministry with Gonzales Brabo at the 
Home Office, but refused O'Donnell's proffered co- 

The Liberals, now under the leadership of Prim, for 
old Espartero had finally retired, still stood aloof; 
and the cloud of coming revolution loomed blacker 
than ever. The sale of the mortmain properties, 
which had supplied O'Donnell with abundant funds 
for several years, had now nearly come to an end, 
and money was scarce again ; the Queen surrendei"ed 
three-quarters of the royal patrimony to meet national 
expenditure, but it was all in vain ; for the Govern- 
ment grew more unpopular every day. Again 
Narvaez's favourite remedies, the gag and the stick, 
were used ruthlessly ; Castelar was dismissed from 
his professorship, the Rector of Madrid University 
deprived of his post, peaceful citizens were trampled 
on and killed by soldiers,^ elected town councils were 

^ The terrible scenes of slaughter and outrage u]ion inoffensive people 
for the simple purpose of infusing terror, on the night of the Saint 
Daniel, April lo, 1865, in Madrid, must be laid at the door of Gonzales 
Brabo alone. Narvaez was ill and failing, and was not at this juncture 
in favour of the iron tyranny of his colleague. 

reYiremeni of the liberals. 451 

arbitrarily dismissed and substituted by nominated 
bodies, and in the meanwhile underground conspiracy 
spread its fibres throughout Spain, Prim being the 
motive power of the coming revolt. 

The Queen took fright and summoned O'Donnell 
in June, 1865, to try and win back the Liberals to 
parliamentary action, and he formed a government 
for the purpose, with Posada Herrera and Canovas 
as members. But Prim, Sagasta — editor of the Iberia 
— and the rest of the Liberals resisted all attempts 
to entice them into the net again. In vain a Liberal 
policy was followed ; Italy was recognised, the reduc- 
tion of the franchise and electoral purity promised, 
the bleeding nun. Sister Patrocinio, and the Queen's 
confessor. Father Claret, were once more banished ; 
other personages even more objectionable were sent 
away from the palace, and Prim was ostentatiously 
courted, notwithstanding his known disaffection. But 
it was too late, for the Queen grew daily more divorced 
from her people as the scandals about her increased, 
for the Liberals, who were formerly her champions in 
this respect, were silent now. 

All through the autumn of 1865 cholera raged in 
Madrid, and risings, small but significant, took place 
in various parts of the country, the Queen in the 
meanwhile resentfully remaining in retirement con- 
trary to her usual custom when her people were in 
trouble. A military rising was planned by Prim for 
January, 1866, but the afifair missed fire through 
ill-direction ; and of the large force which promised 
aid only two regiments of cavalry joined him at 
Aranjuez. Followed by the Government troops he 


escaped to Portugal, and the failure of this wide- 
spread conspiracy, which was revolutionary like that 
of 1854, but not anti-dynastic, sealed the fate of 
Isabel's throne. 

Prim continued to conspire from his exil.e in France, 
but he no longer shut his eyes to the fact that the 
success of a mere military revolt was not now possible, 
and if a popular movement accompanied it the result, 
to use his own words, would be " to throw the throne 
out of the window." He faced this possibility, and 
organised a great rising of troops, in union with the 
democrats and Liberal civilians, to start from Valla- 
dolid in May, and to spread along the whole line 
between Madrid and the French frontier, the prin- 
cipal active agents being the non-commissioned 
officers of the various regiments. After several false 
alarms and much disagreement, the artillery sergeants 
in the barrack of San Gil in Madrid revolted on the 
22nd of June. They had not intended to kill their 
officers, but on the resistance of the latter they did so, 
and followed by 1,200 men with thirty pieces of artil- 
lery, posted themselves at strategic points of the city. 
The troops which remained loyal, however, under 
O'Donnell and Serrano, overcame the mutineers in 
the Puerta del Sol and at the barracks, with terrible 
slaughter, after ten hours' fighting. The civilians who 
held barricades were more easily defeated ; and the 
simultaneous risings in Valladolid and elsewhere 
melted away when the disaster of Madrid was known. 
The slaughter of prisoners horrified humanity ; the 
constitutional guarantees were suspended, and a reign 
of terror was established at the bidding of the palace 












clique that disgusted even O'Donnell, grim old soldier 
though he was.^ 

For a time, thanks mainly to O'Donnell's energy, 
Isabel's inevitable fall had been delayed, but the 
besotted reactionaries who were dominant in the 
palace could not forgive the marshal for his insistence 
on the recognition of Italy and his coquetting" with 
liberalism ; and on July lo, 1866, he understood by 
the Queen's attitude towards him that his position 
was undermined, and for the last time he threw up 
his post. As he left the misguided woman, the last 
prop that sustained her throne crumbled. Swearing 
never to cross the threshold of the palace again 
whilst Isabel II. reigned, he turned his back on Spain 
to tread its soil no more, for before the end of the 
following year the descendant of the great Ulsterman, 
O'Donnell the Red, slept in his splendid tomb at the 

Narvaez and Gonzales Brabo came back again, but 
with somewhat chastened hearts. They promised 
oblivion and forgiveness, and the Liberals came out 
of their hiding ; but the palace clique, with the 
Marquis of Orovio, General Calonge, and other ex- 
treme reactionaries, forced the hand even of Gonzales 
Brabo, who could only advise privately the betrayed 
Liberals to fly before it was too late. The result was 
an exodus of all those who had ever taken part in 

' He is said to have replied to a courtier who urged that more 
sergeants should be shot: "But does not this lady {i.e., the Queen) 
understand that if we shoot all the soldiers we catch, the blood will rise 
up to her own chamber and drown her? " There were sixty-six execu- 
tions, but it is difficult to believe the assertion that the Queen herself 
was not on the side of mercy. 


Libera movements, and the Government was irresis- 
tibly swept along the current of reaction until its 
decrees became such as would have shamed Fernando 

All legality was trampled under foot, all guarantees 
forgotten, all liberty crushed. Taxes were extorted 
in advance, municipalities dissolved, the electoral laws 
altered by decree, the press and speech, public and 
private, suppressed. Dismay, almost panic, reigned 
supreme : ruined shopkeepers put up their shutters in 
every town, merchants closed their counting-houses, 
money well-nigh disappeared from circulation — for it 
will be recollected that even in London at the time 
the Bank rate was lo per cent. — and the great cities 
of Spain were like communities in mourning. The 
more moderate members of the Cortes attempted to 
petition the Queen for redress, but the Captain- 
General of Madrid trampled upon the rights of 
Parliament and shut the doors against the members ; 
the president, Rios Rosas, and the permanent com- 
mittee being banished. General Serrano, a duke and 
a grandee of Spain, the Queen's earliest friend, per- 
sonally dared to remonstrate with her ; and he, too, 
was driven into exile to join the conspirators who 
were already perfecting their plans in France, 
Belgium, and England. 

Under these circumstances the new Cortes, meeting 
early in 1867, was a farce. Canovas del Castillo and 
a few other Conservatives vigorously opposed the 
insensate tyranny of the Government, but without 
effect ; official senators who dared to vote against 
the Government were dismissed, and Gonzales Brabo, 


with a parliamentary ability which has rarely been 
equalled, made the worse appear the better reason, 
and obtained for himself, unpopular civilian though 
he was, a practical dictatorship. 

In the meanwhile the exiles were not entirely 
united. The central direction of the revolution was 
in Brussels under Prim, but a republican organisation, 
with Pi y Margall and Castelar, met in Paris, whilst 
several friends of Prim were in London. From the 
first the difficulty was what could be devised to 
replace the present regime. " Down with the Bour- 
bons ! " v/as the popular cry ; but Prim and Olozaga 
would not have the question prejudged : all must be 
left for the elected of the people to decide after the 
success of the revolution was attained. This was 
Olozaga's policy, and was no doubt considered wise 
in order to unite all the discontented under one 
banner ; but it was a fatal mistake, as events proved, 
for it only delayed division to a time when division 
was destructive. Efforts were made to enlist the 
name of old Espartero in the coming revolution ; 
but he had done with politics, and refused his 
countenance, and the extreme democratic party and 
the republicans were far from unanimous in aiding 
Prim without knowing what was to follow. 

In these circumstances the latter could only look 
to his own friends for funds, and could barely collect 
enough for the humblest preparations. When, at 
length, in accordance with the plan agreed upon, he 
entered the port of Valencia from Marseilles in July 
of 1867, he found that his promise to abolish con- 
scription had offended the officers upon whom he 


depended ; and he had to return to France unsuc- 
cessful. Simultaneous risings took place in Cataluiia, 
Aragon, Valencia, and Castile ; but they all failed, for 
there was no united plan of proceeding, and no 
definite understanding as to the final object. Mani- 
festoes and counter-manifestoes rained plentifully. 
The Government called the revolutionists perjured 
traitors, and these retorted with accusations of 
tyranny and oppression ; but it was now evident 
that Prim alone had not command of sufficient 
resources or prestige to succeed, and it was neces- 
sary to form fresh combinations. 

Don Carlos, ever on the look out for a chance, 
approached Sagasta and Prim, who was in London, 
and the former had a long interview with Cabrera ; 
but though the Carlists were pliable, Prim put his 
foot down heavily, and the suggested fusion fell 
through. A more promising recruit was found m 
General Serrano ; and with him a more powerful 
auxiliary still, who was able to provide what was 
required more than anything else — namely, money. 
The Duke of Montpensier, whose marriage with 
Isabel's sister had caused so much heartburning, 
had sunk into political insignificance with his father's 
dethronement and the rise of Louis Napoleon ; but 
he had lived a peaceful, happy, and respectable life 
with his family, managing thriftily his wife's vast 
property in Andalusia. He was, however, like most 
of his family, a man of business ; and when it be- 
came evident that his sister-in-law's throne was to 
go begging, he apparently thought that his wife and 
children's chance of obtaining it should not be 


neglected. He was excessively rich and could afford 
to risk something for such a prize ; but he was 
frugal and undertook but grudgingly to finance the 
revolution. I 

What conditions he made with Serrano and Admiral 
Topete and what pledges they gave him are still a 
mystery, but it is certain that Prim declined to bind 
himself beyond the overthrow of the existing state of 
things and the election of a Constituent Cortes. Out 
of this tacit, if not expressed, difference between the 
leaders of the revolution, the whole of the subsequent 
trouble arose. The nation, as we have seen in the 
course of this history, was not in a condition to be 
able to choose calmly and judiciously its own in- 
stitutions, and it was the duty of those who overturned 
the old order of things to have another ready to 
replace it, with a strong hand, if necessary, to impose 
what they deemed best. Montpensier, it may be 
granted, was a foreigner and unpopular, but his wife 
was not ; and they were both sensible and of good 
repute, and would have been, at all events, preferable 
to the chaos which followed the revolution. 

Narvaez died in April, 1868, and Gonzales Brabo, 
Orovio, and Marfori 2 (Marquis of Loja), the Queen's 

' Prim wanted from ;!{^40,ooo to ;if6o,ooo for the revolution, and 
when Montpensier sent him ;i^4,coo to London by Seiior Mazo for the 
purpose, Prim refused to undertake a rising for such a sum. The duke 
subsequently contributed ;^4,ooo more, so far as is known, but probably 
a much larger sum was provided secretly by him through other channels, 
especially for the rising of the fleet. 

^ This person had been an actor and was the son of an Italian cook. 
He was soon withdrawn from the ministry to take the place of super- 
intendent of the royal household, a position which brought him into 


great friend, formed a ministry pledged to utter 
reaction and undisguised tyranny. An attempt of 
the Cortes to meet in session was violently repressed, 
and all the leaders of opinion not favourable to the 
ministry were arrested and banished, amongst whom 
were Generals Serrano, Dulce, Cordoba, Zabala, 
Serrano-Bedoya, Caballero de Rodas, Hoyas and 
Letona, and Rios Rosas, the President of the Cortes, 
whilst the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier were 
deported to Lisbon. 

In this critical situation the Government was 
unwise enough to allow the Queen and her family — 
accompanied by Marfori, chief of the palace — to go 
to Lequetio, on the Biscay coast, for sea-bathing, and 
whilst she was there, on the 19th of September, 1868, 
Rear-Admiral Topete, in command of the squadron 
in Cadiz Bay, raised the flag of revolt. He had 
long been distrusted by the local governor, and only 
shortly before his declaration many arrests had been 
made amongst the men in garrison in Cadiz ; but his 
cleverly worded manifesto, denouncing the tyranny 
of the Government and calling for a Constituent 
Cortes and a return to an honest parliamentary 
regime, fell like a bombshell in the ranks of reaction. 
This was the spark which all Spain was waiting for, 
and it caught fuel that blazed out irresistibly. 

Prim, Sagasta, Paul y Angulo and others, had em- 
barked at Southampton on the 12th in the steamer 

constant contact with the Queen, who was much attached to him. But 
for Isabel's indignant refusal to dismiss him from her side at the critical 
moment of the revolution, when her return to Madrid was contemplated, 
her crown might even yet have been saved. 


Delta, and had landed in disguise at Gibraltar on the 
17th, sailing thence on a steam yacht belonging to 
Mr. Bland to join Topete at Cadiz. Prim found the 
admiral, whom he did not know, strongly in favour 
of the Duchess of Montpensier as constitutional 
Queen, with Serrano as leader of the rising. With 
regard to the latter. Prim easily agreed, for it was 
obvious that he was not powerful enough in the army 
to head a successful national revolt, but on the point 
of sovereignty he would not move from his principle 
of leaving everything to a Constituent Cortes ; and 
with this Topete, who was no politician, had to 
be contented. As neither Serrano nor the exiled 
generals from the Canaries had yet arrived, however, 
and Topete dared no longer delay, Prim was appointed 
to the interim command ; and the citizens of Cadiz 
were delighted, on the morning of the 19th of Sep- 
tember, to see the ships of the squadrons dressed 
with flags, and to hear the cheers of the crews, the 
Hymn of Riego, and the thundering of the cannon, 
which announced the fall of the ancient Spanish 
dynasty. When Prim and Topete, followed by 
Serrano, landed in Cadiz, and the exiled generals 
from the Canaries joined them, there was no doubt of 
success. Cadiz went wild with joy ; Seville followed 
suit : the telegraph carried the great news through 
Spain, and, as if by magic, the whole country rose. 
To the last moment Gonzales Brabo, who was with 
the Queen on the north coast, had lived in a fool's 
paradise, scoffing at all warnings ; and the successful 
revolution came upon him like a thunderclap. Whilst 
his colleagues in Madrid were praying him to come 


back, and proclaiming martial law, he could only 
desert the falling edifice, and recommend the Queen 
to appoint a military dictatorship under Manuel 
Concha, Marquis of Habana, who, collecting such 
forces as remained faithful, sent General Pavia, 
Marquis of Novaliches, to meet Serrano and the 
revolting army of Andalusia, which was advancing 
on Madrid ; whilst other loyal generals were told off 
to hold in subjection the north and centre of Spain. 

Serrano left Cordova on the 24th of September to 
meet Pavia, who stood in his way towards Madrid with 
9,000 infantry, 1,300 cavalry, and 32 guns. The 
armies met on the plain of Alcolea, with the famous 
bridge, the scene of so many struggles, between them. 
From the first Pavia knew that success was hopeless, 
for the revolt had awakened the sleeping land like a 
bugle call, and Serrano's force was the larger ; but he 
was the soul of loyalty, and sorrowfully resolved to 
fight to the last in a lost cause. The bridge had 
been seized by Serrano's general, Caballero de Rodas, 
and there the principal struggle took place. " Viva 
la Reina!" cried the Government soldiers, as they 
rushed to storm it ; and " Viva la Hbertad ! " was the 
reply of the defenders. Soon both detachments were 
firing from behind parapets of corpses, and on all 
sides across the plain the bitter conflict raged, 
abounding in instances of pitiful generosity and chi- 
valry, as well as in brutal fury ; whilst honest John 
Rutledge, the Northumbrian engineer, who had run 
down from Cordova on his engine by the line that 
overlooked the battlefield, worked like a beneficent 
giant helping the wounded and the dying. .As night 


closed in both armies were exhausted, for 1,000 men 
had fallen, and Pavia himself had had his nether jaw- 
shot away. It was clear that Serrano could not be 
beaten back, and during the night the Queen's troops 
retired — those who did not join the insurgents — and 
Serrano's road to Madrid was free. 

In the meanwhile Gonzales Brabo had fled, and 
Concha's Government in Madrid was a prey to utter 
distraction ; the Queen alone keeping a stout heart. 
She would go to Madrid and brave the rising ; she 
would, indeed, at one time, have gone to Cadiz and 
have exerted her personal influence on the generals : 
but as news came day by day of fresh ships or regi- 
ments revolted, ominous whispers of abdication in 
favour of little Alfonso, with old Espartero for Regent, 
were rife. But these were counsels of despair : and 
the Queen would not listen to them. Again and 
again she was ready to start for Madrid with all her 
Court ; but Concha, who knew where the danger lay, 
always stopped her with a telegram, insisting that if 
she came she must come alone, or accompanied only 
by her children. She knew — all the world knew — 
what alone meant, and with tears of rage, that any 
man should dare to dictate to her — a Queen — the 
choice of her servants, she would tear up the minis- 
ter's telegrams and stamp them with fury beneath 
her feet ; whilst the stout, coarse-looking man with 
the sallow face behind her, and the frail, gentle, little 
consort by her side could only bow to her imperious 

On the 29th of September the news of the defeat 
of Alcolea reached her ; and in quick succession, 

.' J' 







































the intelligence of the unanimous rising of i^fadrid, 
the deposition of the Bourbon dynasty, and the for- 
mation of a provisional government. All through 
that night the distracted Queen and Court discussed 
the next step to be taken, and a dozen times the 
train, with its engine towards France, was ready in 
San Sebastian station and again countermanded. 
But as the thunder peals of revolution drew nearer 
and nearer, and the French Caesar, a few miles off 
at Biarritz, could offer nothing but sympathy and 
shelter, Isabel II. accepted the inevitable and went 
into exile. 

With tears coursing down her fat, good-natured 
cheeks, but still with a proud port befitting a Queen, 
leaning on the arm of her husband, and with Marfori 
behind her, she entered the railway carriage which 
bore her over her frontier into France. A few weep- 
ing subjects blessed her and touched the hem of 
her garments as she passed, for the dregs of the 
great love the people had borne her still lingered ; but 
her thoughts must have been gall and wormwood to 
her fond, proud heart : for in this very corner of her 
dominions hundreds had cheerfully laid down their 
lives for her. Even as her father had done before 
her, though not so wickedly, she had frittered away by 
her faults and caprices the ardent devotion of a 
loyal people, and lost the ancient crown which her 
ancestors had worn for well-nigh a thousand years. 
She went into exile with wounded pride, grief, and 
anger, contending for the mastery : and her last 
official words on her own soil to the local authorities 
who took leave of her as she crossed the frontier, 


were the bitter words, " / tliougJit I had struck deeper 
root ill this latid." ^ 

The time has not yet come, nor is the material )-et 
available, to form a final judgment on Isabel II. ; but 
this much at least may be said ; that those who la}- 
upon her alone the blame for the disasters of hei 
reign are unjust. Owing her crown at first to the 
Liberal parties, she nevertheless saw that whenever 
the}" were in power there was a growing tendency to 
reduce her to a cipher, and to destroy her preroga- 
tiv^e. She was her father's daughter, the inheritresi 
of great traditions, impulsive and imprudent, sur- 
rounded by evil influences, and was seduced into 
siding with the political party which defended what 
she considered to be her rights. That she did so 
unwisel}' is obvious from the result, but that she was 
a tyrant by nature, or wished to be one, is untrue. 
She was, indeed, but a weak, ignorant, intensely sym- 
pathetic woman, without a single honest friend near 
her, or a husband to whom she could look for support 
or counsel. All her life made a pawn and a tool to 
serve other interests than those of her country or 
herself, she was entangled in the meshes from which 
great wisdom alone would have kept her free, and she 
was as much sinned against as sinning. 

' She at first lodged at the ancient castle of Pau, whence she 
launched a passionate protest against her deposition ; and afterwards 
resided for a time in the Pavillion ue Rohan, an annexe of the Tuileries 
fronting on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. During the winter of 1868-9 
she bought the beautiful new house of a ruined Russian gambler, named 
Basilewski, in the Avenue de Roi de Rome (now the Avenue Kleber), 
which she re-named the Palace of Castile, and has lived there ever since. 




TOPETE, Prim, Serrano, and the generals returning 
from exile in the Canaries had successively issued 
magniloquent and vehement proclamations to the people 
varying considerably in their degree of revolutionary 
feeling, but agreeing in one thing— namely, that the 
existing state of affairs must be destroyed first, and 
that the nation itself must decide upon the new insti- 
tutions. Naturally the people at large were not so 
reticent, and began to discount the future according 
to their party or personal predilections as soon as the 
success of the revolution was assured. Prim, the 
acknowledged head of the progressists, and as such 
supposed to be more advanced than Serrano and 
Topete, was the real hero of the hour. On the entry 
of the leaders of the revolt into Cadiz he had been 
greeted with frantic enthusiasm, whilst his nominal 
head, Serrano, had been less warmly acclaimed ; and 
this feeling in favour of radical social and political 
change grew more apparent as the revolutionary 
juntas were formed in the various cities by a rough- 



{From the painting by Rcgnanll.) 


and-ready mode of election to take the place of the 
overturned local institutions. Manifestoes and pro- 
clamations were issued ad nauseam by these impro- 
vised local authorities, all of whom went far beyond 
the programme of the revolution, and in many cases 
assumed sovereign powers, abolishing taxes whole- 
sale, and decreeing fundamental changes in national 
affairs The junta of Seville, for instance, on the day 
it was formed, declared its adhesion to universal 
suffrage, absolute liberty of the press, of teaching, 
of religion, of traffic, and of trade, abolition of the 
death penalty ; the inviolability of person, domicile, 
and correspondence, the adoption of the Radical 
constitution of 1856, the abolition of conscription for 
army and navy, the abolition of Government mono- 
polies, and of octrois and excise, deposition of the 
Bourbon dynasty, and much else ; whilst in some 
seaports the total abolition of customs dues was pro- 
claimed ; and in the towns of the west, particularly 
Barcelona, whither Prim proceeded from Cadiz when 
Serrano set out with the army towards Madrid, the 
most violent socialist and republican sentiment was 
paramount. Prim was a Catalan of Catalans, and 
was idolised by his fellow, provincials ; but even he 
became almost unpopular in Barcelona because he 
refused to prejudge the decision of the Constituent 
Cortes to the extent of stripping from his uniform 
the symbols of royalty with which it was orna- 

In Madrid itself the tendency of the popular voice 
to anticipate the work of the sovereign Cortes was 
equally strong. At the first symptoms of the revo- 


lution a Junta was formed of advanced Liberals, 
headed by Rivero and Madoz, which, though its 
efforts were at first confined to exhorting the people 
not to precipitate a rising in the capital, and to pre- 
venting anarchy, as soon as the news of the triumph 
came proclaimed the National Sovereignty, the 
downfall of the Bourbon d}'nasty for ever, and 
declared that no member of the race should be 
eligible to the throne. 

The news of Alcolea reached Madrid on the morn- 
ing of the 29th, and the scene presented in the streets 
during the day was one never to be forgotten. 
Soldiers and civilians tore from their clothes the 
royal crown, of which, at one time, they had been 
so proud. Generals and high officials, who had for 
years paid court to the fallen Isabel, and had received 
favours and titles from her hand, trampled under foot 
the symbols of her sovereignty. From public build- 
ings, from shop windows, and from ancient palaces, 
the hated crown v/as wrenched and splintered : once 
more fervid and excited oratory carried all before 
it, and from hundreds of balconies the pompous 
Castilian tongue rolled forth prophecies of coming 
glory and happiness for Spain and the Spaniards, 
now that the nightmare of the Bourbon monarchy 
had been banished. 

But from the Babel of extravagance and vocifera- 
tion which reigned supreme on the 29th of September 
and the following days, when there was no force to 
save the capital from anarchy and loot but the good 
instinct of the frenzied people themselves, there came 
out two clear utterances which became, so to speak. 


the mottoes of the revolt, and soon were scrawled 
on every blank wall and ev'ery public building, with 
endless eccentricities of caligraphy and etymology 
— " Pena de Muerte al Ladron ! " (" Death to the 
thief ! "), and the illiterate and ungrammatical, but 
unmistakable sentence, " Cayo para siempre la raza 
espurea de los Borbones ; en justo castigo de su 
perversidad " (" For ever fell the bastard race of 
Bourbon in righteous punishment for its perversity ").i 
Of that, in the mind of the Madrileiios, there could 
be no mistake. No Bourbon should ever again rule 
in Spain ; and as a beginning, the Madrid Junta, 
without even consulting the other great cities, declared 
its own supremacy, and appointed Serrano and Prim 
heads of a provisional government. All this was 
forcing the hands of Serrano and Topete, who had 
certainly contracted pledges towards the Duke and 
Duchess of Montpensier — both Bourbons — but they 
made the best of it ; thinking, doubtless, that when 
popular effervescence had subsided they could mani- 
pulate the Cortes in the usual way, and gain their 

Serrano entered Madrid in triumph on the 3rd of 

' The popularity and longevity of this sentence was very remarliable. 
Successive governments ordered it to be erased from the walls ; and 
during the Republic the official motto, "" Libertad, Igualdad, Frater- 
nidad," was painted on all public buildings by the authorities, who 
endeavoured to supersede the uncultured motto of the revolution. But 
no sooner was " Cayo par?i siempre " expunged than it was mysteriously 
replaced ; and whenever turmoil occurred in the larger towns excited 
patriots might be seen mounted on ladders or scaffolds painting the 
phrase on the walls, high enough to be out of reach of those who might 
wish surreptitiously to erase it. It remained in many places until the 
eve of the restoration. 


October, his handsome person' and popular words 
gaining for him a splendid welcome ; especially when, 
on the great balcony of the Home Office in the 
Puerta del Sol, before an immense multitude that 
filled the extensive space, he publicly embraced 
Rivero, the Radical chief Behind Serrano there 
always went a dark-factd little man with a wide 
mobile mouth, fervent, fluent speech, and a subtle 
brain, who, with Olozaga and Zorilla, had been the 
principal intellectual force behind the revolution. 
This was Praxedes Mateo Sagasta, the ex-deputy to 
Cortes, and editor of the Iberia, who had been con- 
demned to death under the regime of Gonzales Brabo. 
Upon him fell now the principal labour of organising 
the Government, of which he was appointed Home 

Like star actors on a stage, each of the revolu- 
tionary leaders made his separate entrance, the suc- 
cessive receptions in gradually declining importance 
giving an excuse for prolonging the public rejoicing 
of a people never too fond of quiet work. Prim's 
welcome on the 9th of October marked the high tide 
of enthusiasm. Here, as elsewhere, he was accepted 
as the leader of the advanced and anti-dynastic party, 
who was determined to break with the past, and to 
allow no tampering with the national sovereignty. 
As he slowly made his way through the thronged 
thoroughfares, with garlands, arches, wreaths, and 
decorations all around him, the people kissing his 

' In the days of his early favour with the Queen, when she was a 
girl and he a j-oung man, his nickname had been General Bonito — 
General Pretty. 


stirrups and embracing even the steed that bore him, 
his hard, plebeian face, fixed and grim, so diiTerent 
from that of courtly Serrano, gave no sign of exul- 
tation ; but all men could read in its firm lines that, 
though others might be bought or cajoled by favour 
or flattery, rough Juan Prim was incorruptible and 

The new Government, with Serrano at its head, 
Prim at the War Office, Topete at the Admiralty, 
and Sagasta at the Home Office, had a difficult task 
in reorganising the national administration pending 
the meeting of the Cortes ; but by flattery and 
appeals to the pride of the nation they struggled 
hard to avoid the anarchy and disorder almost in- 
evitable under such circumstances. The principal 
danger arc se from the fatal mistake already indicated 
of having no solution ready to impose upon the 
country after the Queen's Government had been 
overturned. The Republican party was now active, 
and had drawn into its ranks a considerable number 
of advanced progressists and democrats. It had the 
great advantage over all other parties in possessing a 
clear programme, the monarchical parties being 
split into many sections advocating different claims ; 
those of Iberian unity under a Portuguese monarch, 
the Duke or Duchess of Montpensier, Don Enrique, 
the brother of the King-consort, old Espartero, a 
favourite with the democrats, various German and 
Austrian princes, or a member of the House of Savoy. 
The attacks, of the republicans on the Government 
were constant and damaging, and anarchy and con- 
fusion grew from day to day, notwithstanding 



474 ^^^ REVOLUTION. 

Sagasta's warning to the local authorities that public 
excitement must cease. Like the National Militia of 
old times, the " Volunteers of Liberty," truculent 
ragamuffins who had seized arms at the first sound 
of revolution, were a terror and a menace to all 
decent folk, and were generally on the side of the 
extreme party. Once more history repeated itself, 
and, as in 1820, clubs and orators sprang up as if by 
magic at every street corner, making day and night 
alike vociferous, whilst all over the country misery 
and poverty stalked unchecked. Inflated talk was 
again supreme, work was stopped, confidence was 
destroyed, many of the better classes fled abroad, 
and, amidst scenes of bloodshed and confusion, 
republican revolts had to be forcibly suppressed in 
Cadiz, Malaga, Jerez, and elsewhere. 

In the face of the growing danger, the monarchical 
parties patched up some sort of reconciliation, though 
there were still many extreme democrats who held 
aloof A collective manifesto was issued, adopting a 
strictly limited constitutional monarchy as the aim of 
the party, but excluding all members of the fallen 
dynasty, whilst the Government endeavoured to gain 
friends by decreeing extremely liberal measures, such 
as the abolition of the excise, the organisation of the 
Volunteers of Liberty, freedom of the press and 
public meeting, popularly elected town councils, and 
the election of the Constituent Cortes on the demo- 
cratic basis of the Constitution of 1856. 

It will be seen that all this was a departure from 
the original programme, which was to leave every- 
thing to the Constituent Cortes, over which Serrano 


and Topete had anticipated that they could exercise 
sufficient influence to secure the election of Mont- 
pensier ; but, in the face of the strong republican 
feeling, it was considered wise to thrust Montpensier 
somewhat in the background, much to his own annoy- 
ance and disappointment. Once, indeed, he made 
the bold move of clandestinely leaving his exile in 
Lisbon, and joining the troops who were operating 
against the republicans at Cadiz ; but the coup failed, 
and he was hastily ordered by Serrano's Government 
to return to Portugal, which he did with a bad grace. 

For once the elections were not largely corrupted 
by the Government, although mob-intimidation was 
conspicuous in many places, but the monarchical 
progressist party was in a considerable majority in 
the chamber, the republicans and absolutists forming 
common cause to combat the revolutionary Govern- 

In February, 1869, the Sovereign Cortes met and 
confirmed Serrano as head of the executive. The 
first demand made by the Government was for a fresh 
conscription of men to suppress the disorder in the 
country ; and thus on the very threshold of its rule 
the promise of the revolution to suppress the blood- 
tax and depend upon a volunteer army was found 
impracticable. The great duty of the Constituent 
Cortes was to devise a new fundamental code for the 
government of the State. Individual liberty, inviola- 
bility of property, trial by jury, and the other well- 
worn formulas, were readily adopted, and the question 
of a second chamber elected by indirect voting was 
with some difficulty overcome ; but when the ques- 


tions of religious toleration and the disestablishment 
of the Church were tackled, all the blind bigotry of 
ancient Spain was aroused. How, said the democrats, 
can you concede the widest individual freedom, as 
you profess to do, unless you allow the citizen reli- 
gious toleration ? The more moderate Liberals were 
in favour of limiting full toleration to foreigners, with 
the concession of it only to those Spaniards who 
renounced Catholicism ; and after much bitter dis- 
cussion the democrats were forced to be content with 
this ; although the republican orator Castelar exerted 
all his inspired eloquence in favour of complete reli- 
gious liberty. In the discussion of the form of 
government and the person of the monarch also, 
Castelar rose to heights of oratory which have rarely, 
if ever, been surpassed ; but again the republicans 
were beaten, and in June, 1869, the new Constitution 
of a democratic limited monarchy was promulgated, 
Francisco Serrano, Duke of La Torre, being elected 
Regent, pending the choice of a monarch. 

This was the signal for letting loose the warring 
ambitions of rival candidates and parties. The 
present Don Carlos (son of Don Juan, who had 
renounced his claim, and grandson of the original 
Don Carlos) called his adherents to arms, and Carlist 
bands sprang up in all parts of Spain ; socialist and 
separatist risings took place in Cataluila, Aragon, 
Andalusia and Valencia. Again the blood of 
Spaniards was shed by Spaniards in almost every 
o-reat town before comparative order could be re- 
stored ; and, in the meanwhile, intrigues without 
end, secret combinations and active propaganda 


at home and abroad, pushed the interests of rival 
candidates for the throne. Spain was flooded with 
Hthographs representing variously Espartero, Don 
Carlos, King Ferdinand of Portugal, Prince Leopold 
of Hohenzollern, the Duke of Genoa, and a half- 
dozen others, in the regal trappings of the King of 
Castile and Leon ; whilst in Paris Gonzales Brabo, 
Orovio, Marfori, and Isabel ceaselessly intrigued for 
a restoration of the fallen dynasy.^ Anarchy reigned 
everywhere. Sagasta and Serrano, who was now 
Regent, were for reverting to strong repressive 
measures, especially against the Republicans, but, 
thanks to Prim's prudence and honesty, coupled 
with the good sense of Castelar, a large number of 
"unitarian" Republicans began to look askance at the 
excesses of their federalist colleagues and strengthened 
the party of order. 

The union of the various monarchical sections, 
in the meanwhile, was strained almost to breaking- 
point, the only hope of keeping them together being 
to delay the choice of a candidate for the throne, and 
to avoid extreme measures of all sorts. This state 
of things, however, could not continue long. The 

' It was assumed at the time and since that their object was to raise 
the child-prince Alfonso to the throne, but the writer has reason to 
know that this was not the case. In several conversations he had on 
the subject at the time with Gonzales Brabo the latter made this clear : 
suggested that "perhaps the prince might die of small-pox, &c. ; " and 
Gonzales Brabo certainly left on the mind of the writer the distinct 
impression that he and the extreme " moderate " party then looked 
first to the Queen herself and then to the Princess Isabel — who had 
married the Count of Girgenti, the brother of the King of Naples. Thiy 
anticipated an early restoration, and Alfonso with a revolutionary reg .-ncy 
would not have suited them. 



country was more poverty-stricken tFian ever, indig- 
nant, impatient and disappointed that the fine 
promises made by the revolution had not "been 
fulfilled ; the Cortes, having passed the Constitution, 
and having no radical legislation proposed to them 
by the Government, had grown languid ; and it was 


(From a photograph.) 

evident that a solution would have to be found 
promptly or all would be lost. Prim worked like 
a hero to heal discords and keep his restive team, 
together, for he was ready to make any sacrifice to 
prevent reaction or a return to old Bourbon misrule. 
The candidate of the majority of the ministers was 
the young Thomas of Savoy, Duke of Genoa, nephew 


of Victor Emmanuel, but the moderate Liberals 
(Unionists) would not hear of a king from the 
Liberal anti-papal house, and were still strongly in 
favour of Montpensier. Attempts at reconciliation 
were made by proposing Ferdinand of Portugal, or 
young Alfonso with an advanced Liberal regency, but 
without avail, and seeing that the progressists and 
Prim were firmly supported by the country against 
Montpensier, the Unionists, with Topete and Silvela, 
retired in disgust from the ministry, although 
Topete was afterwards induced to return rather 
than jeopardise the work of his own revolution. 
Utter confusion reigned everywhere. The Federal 
Republicans were practically supreme in Cataluiia and 
Valencia ; Carlists bands still infested the provinces, 
reactionary conspiracy was busy, and brigandage was 
rife once more, whilst the Cortes, hopelessly divided 
and given up to petty intrigue, had lost all influence 
and initiative. The nation at large was in dismay, 
and for the last time the old name which had 
resounded so often before in days of trouble arose 
to almost every lip. Talk of Baldomero I. and 
" King Espartero " was heard everywhere, and the 
aged chief was again called by thousands to drag his 
country from the slough of despond. But he was 
weary of strife, ill, and childless, and turned a deaf 
ear to the addresses and petitions, to the deputations 
and resolutions, which poured upon him in his humble 
retirement at Logrono. ^ 

' At a later period, when most of the candidatures had failed, even 
the Montpensierists were in his favour, with the idea of securing the 
reversion of the crown after his death for their own candidate. 


Thus, at the end of 1869, Spain found itself a 
kingdom without a king, with a nerveless regency, 
an effete Cortes, a Constitution disregarded, a 
ministry divided against itself, an empty treasury 
and a population irritated to the point of fury. 
Zorilla and Martos, the most advanced members 
of the Government, resigned when they found 
the Duke of Genoa was to be dropped, and that 
Prim was forced to trim his sails to please the 
Unionists ; and the fusion between the various 
monarchical Liberal parties came down with a 
crash on the 19th of March, 1870. Prim had 
long been chafing at the sacrifice of his democratic 
principles, and on the night mentioned in a turbu- 
lent sitting of the Cortes he finally lost patience 
at the growing exactions of his " Unionist " 
colleagues. " Defend yourselves, Radicals!" he cried ; 
" let those who love me follow me ! " and thence- 
forward the patriot Prim, though he still strove to 
conciliate, was a man marked down for destruction 
by the parties who had no desire entirely to break" 
with the past and by those who dreamed of a 
Utopian future. 

More conscripts were needed, and fresh risings 
took place against the blood-tax ; powers of sup- 
pression v/ere hurriedly granted by Cortes which 
practically suspended the Constitution ; murder, 
pillage, anarchy, and national decay had reached 
their apogee in the spring of 1870, when the question 
of the monarch had to be settled. The Montpensier 
party, seeing that Prim was their principal obstacle, 
endeavoured by an intrigue to overturn him, but 


ineffectually. The Duke of Genoa's candidature was 
at an end, for the Unionists as well as Republicans 
were against him ; Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern 
had accepted the candidature ; but was vetoed by 
France, to her own disaster, and Ferdinand of Por- 
tugal—a Coburg, and a cousin of Queen Victoria— 
finally refused the offer of the Spanish crown. ^ With 
the failure of each successive candidature the spirits 
of the reactionists rose. Isabel, to the disgust of 
Gonzales Brabo and the absolutists, abdicated her 
rights in favour of little Alfonso, in the hope that the 
Liberals might take him up as against Montpensier, 
whom she never forgave for his share in the revolu- 
tion. It was seen by the monarchical revolutionists 
that, unless they reassembled the Cortes at once and 
regularised the position by electing a sovereign, either 
the " United States of Iberia " or Don Alfonso might 
be sprung upon them at any moment by an armed 
revolt. The Montpensiers were fuming and clamour- 
ing for the fulfilment of the promises made to them 
before the revolution, but every one in Spain saw that 
the time was past for the solution they desired. ^ It 

' Ferdinand at first gave but a doubtful negative, and it is quite 
possible that affairs might have been arranged with him but for the 
violent opposition of Napoleon III., who had previously approved of 
his candidature, and subsequently pretended to do so again (May, 1870), 
but Ferdinand by this time had made up his mind not to be the king of 
a party only, and he had, moreover, recently contracted a morganatic 
marriage. Negotiations still continued for several weeks more, at Prim's 
instance, but without effect ; and by the end of July the matter came 
to an end with considerable ill-feeling on both sides. 

^ Montpensier had become doubly impossible now in consequence of 
his having killed the Infante Don Enrique in a duel (March, 1870, 
provoked by the latter. Don Enrique, it will be recollected, was the 



might have been possible if Topete had proclaimed 
the Duchess in his first manifesto in Cadiz Bay, but in 
the strife of parties Spain had got out of hand, and 
no Bourbon would be accepted now, unless he was 
imposed by a counter revolution. On the other hand, 
Prim was firmly determined that there should be no 
republic, for he knew that with the strong provincial 
feeling which dominated Spain, that would mean 

All other candidatures having failed. Prim, almost 
in despair, again turned to the Duke of Aosta, 
the second son of Victor Emmanuel, who had de- 
clined the advances made to him earlier in the 
year. The King of Italy himself was in favour 
of his son's acceptance ; and after sounding the 
cabinets of England, Austria, Russia, and Prussia, 
of which the last only objected, the candidature of 
Amadeo of Savoy was presented to the Cortes for 
approval on the 3rd of November, 1870. Prim and 
the progressists, and the monarchical democrats, 
strained every nerve to gain a large majority for 
their candidate, whilst the Montpensierist Unionists 
and reactionary Alfonsists protested, and Republicans 

English and Liberal candidate for Isabel's hand, or that of her sister, 
and had been supplanted by French intrigue. He was turbulent and 
unwise, and aspired to play the part of a Spanish Egalite. 

' Count Keratry was sent in October by Gambetta's Government to 
beg for Spanish aid against Prussia. In a remarkable interview, in 
which, with the consent of the Spanish republicans, he was authorised 
to guarantee to Prim the presidency of a Spanish republic, he indulged 
in threats to favour the Carlists unless Prim would make common 
cause with the French republic. Prim's reply was : " I choose to be 
a Monk rather than a Cromwell. There shall be no republic in Spain 
whilst I live. That is my last word." 


{Sometime King of Spain.) 


of all shades stormed and threatened. The result 
was that in a house of 311 members, 191 voted for 
the Duke of Aosta, who was at once proclaimed 
Amadeo I., King of Spain, amongst the frigid 
indifference or open discontent of his profoundly 
divided subjects. 

Before relating the events of his short and troubled 
reign we must now glance briefly at the financial, 
material, social, and intellectual progress of the nation 
during the few preceding years. It has always been 
the vice of Spanish finance to ignore patent facts ; and 
successive finance ministers who flitted across the 
scene have almost always grossly exaggerated pro- 
bable national receipts and under-estimated expendi- 
ture; so that with wearying monotony a paper surplus 
turned into a real deficit, and every year the floating 
debt was swollen until it became unmanageable, 
when a portion of it was added to the consols at a 
ruinous rate.^ A desperate attempt, not altogether 
unsuccessful, was made in the two years following 
O'Donnell's rising in 1854 to mend matters. Heavy 
discounts were deducted from all State payments 
and salaries, a half-hearted effort was made to 
establish a sinking fund to extinguish some of the 
floating debt, and for a time the price of Spanish 
stocks went up and the Government could borrow 
money at 7 per cent, instead of 9. But with the 
counter revolution of 1857 all changed. The old 
bad methods were again resorted to, and, notwith- 
standing the considerable growth of the wealth of the 

'The annual deficits added to the debt from 1850 to 1864 amounted 
to ^18,500,000. 


country and the exchequer receipts, the expenditure 
grew still greater in proportion. The sale of the 
mortmain lands, which had enabled O'Donnell to 
relieve the treasury and set on foot so many fine 
public works, was stopped ; jobbery and peculation 
again became rampant, and the enormous floating 
debt, constantly added to, was now foisted upon the 
Government Banks and Savings Banks, in exchange 
for the cash deposits confided to them, a process, it 
may be added, which has been going on to the 
present day, until gold and silver currency has 
almost disappeared. When at length, in 1865, the 
Pope agreed that the Church property should be sold, 
an attempt was made to establish a Land Bank for 
the purpose of the gradual liquidation and the 
extinction of the floating debt with some of the 
proceeds, but jealousy and party rancour stood in 
the way and the affair fell through, most of the 
proceeds of the sales being jobbed and frittered away. 
By the eve of the revolution of 1868 the annual 
budget had grown to ^^27,000,000, but still showed 
a large deficit, and although successive conversions 
of floating debt into 3 per cent, consols at the ruinous 
price of 40-41 had been effected in 1856 and 1864, 
with the effect of adding ;^20,000,000 to the con- 
solidated debt, the Government of Serrano was 
obliged to obtain permission from Cortes to raise a 
loan of ^10,000,000, in 1869, to cover the pressing 
needs and meet the accumulated deficits of previous 
years. But though national finance had gone from 
bad to worse the general well-being of the country — 
apart from temporary distress caused by political 


disturbance — had certainly advanced rapidly with 
the introduction of railways and steamship lines, 
and the raised standard of modern comfort. ^ Madiid 
and Barcelona had, even before the revolution, began 
to extend their boundaries, and became in the next 
few years almost completely transformed, both in 
aspect and habits. Not only did the rural populations 
flock into the great towns, but Spaniards, enriched in 
the colonies and South America, built splendid houses 
in and around the capitals, and beautiful hotels and 
villas sprang up in the many Biscay watering-places, 
now that it had become the fashion of Spaniards to 
travel. The mining centres, like Rio Tinto, Pontevedra, 
Bilbao and others, also rose rapidly in wealth with the 
introduction of foreign capital. This process, and 
the material improvement in the condition of the 
people, was only temporarily checked during the 
revolutionary period, and in the resume given in 
the next chapter it will be seen that the national 
development on the whole still continued, in spite 
of political trouble. 

' It cannot be too forcibly insisted upon that one of the chief reasons 
for the incurable extravagance of Spanish finance is the wasteful and 
unproductive expenditure on the public services. Each successive 
revolution or change of government means an entire change of the 
administrative staff from the prime minister to the doorkeeper through 
all departments of the State service and the payment of pensions to the 
outgoing staff, who thereupon become active intriguers all over the 
country for the return of their friends to power and themselves to full 
pay. This vicious system dooms thousands to idleness or worse, 
crushes enterprise, and paralyses effort. To this must be added the 
need for finding places and wholesale promotion for the supporters of 
each successive military revolt. No Government in Spain has ever 
dared to tackle this curse of bureaucracy. 


The alternate repression and license of the press 
during the latter years of the reign of Isabel and the 
first two years of the revolution, did not tend to im- 
prove or exalt the condition of Spanish literature. 
The newspapers were shamefully corrupt and licen- 
tious, and party feeling was so universal and so bitter, 
that most men of letters were drawn into the vortex 
of political journalism. But even politics could not 
quite crush the fertility of Spanish imagination, and 
such statesmen as Canovas del Castillo and Lopez de 
Ayala could spare time from party polemics to write 
romances and historical sketches that will live ; the 
great orator Castelar could produce literary, critical, 
and descriptive articles by the score, and journalists 
like Perez Galdos and Correa were already fore- 
shadowing in their early work the fame which, in the 
next decade, was to be theirs as romancers. During 
the last ten years of Isabel's reign the picturesque- 
romantic schools of novels had become vulgarised by 
prolific writers of the second rank, such as Fernandez 
y Gonzales and Perez Escrich ; but the finer spirits 
had followed the fashion in France and England in 
reverting to the more subtle and delicate naturalism 
of Balzac, of Thackeray, and of George Eliot. " Fer- 
nan Caballero," a lady of German birth whose name 
was Bohl de P"abre, commenced as early as 1847 to 
write her photographic scenes of rapidly vanishing 
life in Andalusia, in one of the best known of modern 
Spanish novels, " La Gaviota," ^ and early in the 

' "La Gaviota" was translated into English by the Hon. Augusta 
Bethell and very widely read, but neither that nor Fernan Caballero's 
other famous novel, "La Clemencia," can compare with her Andalusian 
folk-tales and " Cuadros de Costumbres Populares" (1852). 


period now under review produced some of her best 
work. Later, Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, in his 
charming " Sombrero de tres picos," and " Diario de 
un Testigo de la Guerra de Africa," proved that com- 
bined vigour and subtlety was as attainable in Spanish 
as in French. Above all, Juan Valera, diplomatist, 
statesman, courtier, and poet, with a style as pellucid 
as that of Anatole France, and a judgment as keen 
as that of Sainte Beuve, wrote " Pepita Jimenez," a 
masterpiece of novel writing, to be followed by even 
finer work in " Comendador de Mendoza," and other 
stories, which will remain classics as long as refined 
fancy and delicate irony can charm. In poetry, 
Campoamor still continued to write, when he could 
spare time from denouncing democracy, and the un- 
fortunate Adolfo Becquer, up to 1870, poured forth 
his Heine-like dreamy fantasies in verse as well as 
prose. But, speaking generally, the period we are 
now considering did not show Spanish poetry at its 
best. Nor was the Spanish drama so brilliant as 
usual, for Echegaray had not yet produced his 
first work ; but Manuel Tamayo wrote at least two 
fine plays, "La Locura del Amor" (1856) and " Un 
Drama Nuevo" (1867). 

We have seen that the crown which the revolution 
offered to Amadeo of Savoy was a thorny one, even 
if the national difficulties had been confined to the 
Peninsula. But such was very far from being the 
case. The need for providing for successive sets of 
successful revolutionary politicians, and the haste of 
the latter to enrich themselves in colonial offices 
before a fresh change of government cast them out 

CUBA. 489 

to make way for another greedy horde, had exhausted 
the patience of the native-born colonists, especially 
in Cuba. In constant communication with the ad- 
jacent United States and Jamaica, it was impossible 
for them to avoid comparing the state of their own 
fertile land, a prey to the rapacity of the vultures that 
battened on it, with that of their neighbours ; and the 
party of reform grew rapidly. Serrano and Dulce in 
succession had been Captains-General of the island in 
the few years before the flight of Isabel, and had 
gained considerable popularity there by their efforts 
to introduce a more enlightened state of things. 

But the partial reforms granted were but a very 
small instalment of the complete autonomy or 
independence respectively demanded by the two 
sections of native Cubans, who became ever bolder 
and made each concession an excuse for further 
claims. Lersundi and Manzano then tried severity 
again, and the " military commissions " desolated 
whole villages by their heartless punishments ; taxes 
being enormously increased, although it was im- 
possible to collect a quarter of those already imposed. 
As usual, a large paper surplus for the colony turned 
into a huge deficit (1868), and, as the revolution in 
Spain approached, the Government officers in Cuba 
redoubled their extortions in order to fill their pockets 
before the threatened catastrophe occurred.' 

' The taxes were levied in Spain nominally in crowns, i.e., silver 
crowns, worth 2^ francs, whilst the only crown current in Cuba was the 
gold crown worth lo francs. The Spanish officials, taking advantage of 
the ignorance of the Cubans, insisted upon taxes, &c., being paid in gold 
crowns, and so collected four times the proper amount, of which they 
pocketed three-quarters. 


Simultaneously with the revolution in Spain the 
rising took place in the West Indian Colonies. After 
some unsuccessful attempts both in Cuba and Porto 
Rico, a rich planter, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, 
raised the cry of Cuban independence at Yara in 
October, and appealed to Cubans the world over to 
save their native land from tyranny and extortion ; a 
provisional government being organised in the east 
part of the island. The movement spread like wild- 
fire, and in a few days Cespedes had a force of 5,000 
armed men under his command. The Spanish 
authorities, always indolent and inept, were unpre- 
pared and driven back at all points ; and in an in- 
credible short space of time the whole of the east and 
centre of Cuba, except the garrison towns, was in the 
hands of the insurgents. General Lersundi at first 
represented this formidable insurrection as a ridicu- 
lous riot, but when the truth became known, and 
reinforcements were sent, and Spanish volunteers 
raised in Cuba, the revolution was too firmly estab- 
lished to be easily overcome : aid and sympathy 
flocked to the insurgents from the United States, 
and Lersundi resigned in despair. 

With the triumph of the revolution in Spain con- 
cessions to Cuba were demanded peremptorily by 
Spanish Republicans and democrats in the Cortes. 
Lopez de Ayala, the colonial minister, was beset by 
cries for the complete autonomy, and even the inde- 
pendence, of the island, for the immediate freeing of 
all the slaves, and much else ; and when he pointed 
out the impossibility of granting all this, suddenly 
he was taunted with being a reactionist, and false to 

CUBA. 49 1 

the principles of the revokition. The matter was, 
indeed, not so easy as the theorists thought, especially 
the question of slavery. The Creole planters were 
glad of the co-operation of the negroes and half- 
breeds in their cry for independence from Spain ; 
but the sudden emancipation of the slaves would 
not only have meant ruin to the planters themselves,^ 
but would have placed Cuba in peril of a black domi- 
nation similar to that which has reduced Hayti to 
savagery, or worse. The Cuban revolutionary mani- 
festo issued by Cespedes promised gradual emancipa- 
tion, which, to some extent, was, indeed, granted by 
Spain herself in the Moret Act of 1870, freeing all 
slaves above sixty years of age and children born after 
the passing of the Act. To have gone beyond this 
point at the time would have been madness, although 
the coloured men in arms, who formed at last the 
bulk of the revolutionary forces, naturally could not 
see it in that light. This divergence of objects 
between the white Creoles and coloured Cubans was 
always the weak point of the demands for the inde- 
pendence of the island, and explains why all lovers 
of civilisation who understand the question are in 
favour of the control of Cuba by the strong and 
enlightened United States Government, rather than 
the country should sink to a second Santo Domingo 
under coloured rule. 

Dulce, the new Captain-General, arrived at Habana 

' At the time of the revoUition there were between 350,000 to 400,000 
slaves in the island, and the value of them was very high, ranging for 
men between ;^50 and ;!^300 per head. They were consequently treated 
usually with care as a valuable asset, if for no higher reason. 


in January, 1869, and the Spaniards there received 
him but sourly, for in his previous term of office he 
had been imprudently pro-Cuban in his utterances. 
But Duke's revolutionary charming and his invitations 
to Cubans to send members to the Spanish Cortes 
came too late, and the new Captain-General pleased 
neither party. Separatist demonstrations took place 
even in Habana itself, and simultaneously with the 
promulgation of the new constitution for Cuba 
Creoles and Spaniards were fighting to the death 
in the streets of the capital. Count Balmaseda, who 
commanded the Spaniards in the east of the island, 
followed the lead of his chief Dulce and insisted in 
his attempts at conciliation ; but he was tricked into 
an ambush and defeated near Nuevitas, and Puerto 
Principe was surrounded and blockaded by the in- 

After that it was war to the knife. All the 
newly granted liberties were again suspended, the 
" councils of war " recommenced their fell work, 
and the Spanish " volunteers " wreaked their cruelty 
unchecked upon the " Mambises " ; whilst the rebels 
incited the slaves to murder their Spanish masters, 
and Cespedes and his friends in New York wildly 
exaggerated their strength in order to persuade Grant 
to recognise the Cubans, at least as belligerents. The 
President, however, now firmly fixed in his new term 
of office, having no desire to strengthen the Demo- 
cratic party by adding Cuba to the agricultural states, 
resolutely refused ; and the help that was sent plenti- 
fully to the insurgents was sent unofficially. Of the 
heartless ferocity of the war, of the murderous fury of 

CUBA. 493 

the volunteers and the inhuman reprisals of the 
'• Mambises," there is no space here to speak. 

Spain in the midst of her own throes sent the best and 
strongest of her young manhood to die by thousands 
in the manigua or to be killed in hopeless skirmishes 
with almost unseen foes. Dulce, wavering between 
the extremes of unwise conciliation and panic-stricken 
severity, was almost excelled in ineptitude by the 
home Government of Serrano, whose policy towards 
the colony was simply distraction ; and at length the 
"volunteers" and the Spanish element in Habana 
hounded Dulce out of his office, and he was replaced 
by Caballero de Rodas, who arrived at Habana in 
June, 1869. He, however, in his turn fell under the 
displeasure of the ferocious " volunteers," and Prim 
in despair listened to the approaches of General 
Sickles, the United States minister in Madrid, for an 
arrangement with the insurgents. 

Prim was willing to grant independence to the 
island if a plebiscite of Cubans proved in favour 
of it, and if the United States would guarantee the 
payment of a satisfactory equivalent to Spain ; but 
the first condition was that the insurgents should 
lay down their arms, and this condition was fatal. 
Prim, upon that point, dared not give way, even if he 
had wished. Part of his own revolutionary plan had 
been to give to Cuba full autonomy, and if the un- 
fortunate rising had not taken place at Yara when it 
did, the island would probably have gained indepen- 
dence peacefully through autonomy ; but Prim, stub- 
born, as befitted a Catalan himself, was also the ruler 
of a proud and stiff-necked nation, and, cost what it 


might, he would grant no concessions to rebels in 
arms against the mother country. When, indeed, 
Prim's negotiations with Sickles became known in 
Spain there was a furious outcry of wounded pride 
that he had gone so far as he had done. All those — 
and especially the Catalans — who had property in 
the island took fright, and thenceforward Prim him- 
self was powerless to carry the matter forward, and 
the cruel war of extermination still went on. Again 
and again Caballero de Rodas reported the insurrec- 
tion to be at an end, in vain fresh concessions were 
made to the Cubans ; the forces in the bush always 
reassembled, and fresh aid reached them from the 
Cuban Junta in New York ; and by the time Amadeo 
mounted the throne there were no less than 30,000 
armed men fighting for the independence of Cuba, 
and the Spanish tax-collector was powerless in the 
east and centre of the island outside the great towns. 
Amadeo accepted the crown of Spain in the Pitti 
Palace at Florence from the deputation of the Cortes 
headed by the democrat Zorilla, and embarked for 
Cartagena in the Spanish ironclad Ntimancia in the 
last week of December, 1870, bravely determined to 
rule Spain constitutionally, like a gentleman and an 
honest man, a true son of the R6 Galantuomo. As 
we have seen, he was the King of Prim and the 
advanced Liberals ; and all other political parties 
sulkily looked upon his coming as a defeat for them- 
selves. Whether Prim believed in the permanence of 
a foreign king in Spain has often been incredulously 
questioned, for he knew his countrymen well, and 
many have asserted that he desired to exhaust 


possibilities in order at last to seize supreme power 
for himself. If this was the case he gave no sign of 
such a thought in his demeanour, for he struggled 
heroically to reconcile Spaniards to their new king, 
and to render the difficult task of the latter as 
easy as possible. 

Whilst Amadeo was still at sea, and the Cortes 
was about to dissojve, on the night of the 27th 
of December, 1870, Prim was chatting in the lobby 
of the chamber prior to returning to the War 
Office. Jokingly he asked one of the Federal re- 
publican deputies whether he was going to Carta- 
gena to greet the new king. A somewhat taunting 
reply was given, and Prim retorted in the same vein 
that he hoped there would be no nonsense, for if 
there was he " would strike with a heavy hand." 
" Every dog has his day," said the deputy as he 
turned away, and Prim, followed by his aides-de- 
camp, stepped into his brougham and drove through 
the dark, snowy winter's night towards his office. 
His road lay through a narrow street called the 
Calle del Turco, which runs from the back of the 
Cortes to the Calle de Alcala, into which it debouches 
between two blank walls obliqueh- opposite to the 
War Office in the Buena- Vista Palace at the corner 
of the Prado. 

For days past Prim had been denounced, in- 
sulted and threatened, especially by the extreme 
parties ; but he was brave to a fault, and refused 
to take any precautions, for he was determined 
that reconciliation and harmony should mark the 
coming of the new King. As his carriage was rapidly 


driven through the narrow Calle del Turco a cab 
blocked the way into the main thoroughfare of 
Alcala ; and it was noticed that a few moments 
before Prim's brougham reached the obstacle a man 
on the side-walk struck a match, as if to light a 
cigarette. It was a signal, and out of the shadow 
there stepped six cloaked men armed with blunder- 
busses, three on each side, and simultaneously poured 
their fire through the windows into the breast of Prim, 
As soon as the deed was done the assassins and the 
impeding cab disappeared, and the mortally wounded 
general was driven at a gallop to the War Office 
nearly opposite. Sending for Topete, who, although 
he had always opposed the election of Amadeo, was 
the soul of honour and chivalry. Prim begged him 
to take his place, to go to Cartagena to receive the 
King and accompany him to Madrid ; and on the 
very day (December 30, 1870) that Amadeo landed 
upon Spanish soil the man who alone had made 
him a king breathed his last, foully murdered by 
Spaniards : he the only really great Spaniard that 
the century has produced. 

The time has not yet come for saying plainly 
who killed Prim and why the deed was done. The 
man who struck the light was well known as a 
hairbrained young political dreamer of advanced 
views, and one, at least, of the men who fired the 
dastard shots afterwards lived in London for years 
— and perhaps does so still — whilst others were said 
to have been shot long afterwards by the civil guard 
in an attempt to arrest them. Endless investigations 
and scores of arrests were made without definitq 


result, and the blame was vaguely cast upon the 
socialistic republicans ; but it is significant that the 
active agents were at the time not only allowed, but 
assisted, to escape by those in high station, who were 
certainly not republicans. Rumours grew to bold 
assertion that, though advanced fanatics may have 
been the tools, there were others behind who 
prompted them ; and years afterwards, when Alfonso 
XII. sat upon the throne, the writer saw in the prison 
of the Saladero several men not belonging to the 
criminal classes, who had lingered without trial in 
jail since the crime, not because they were suspected 
of having had any part in it, but because they knew 
dangerously much and had opened their mouths too 
wide upon the subject. Two at least of the person- 
ages of high position who were cognisant of the inten- 
tion to kill Prim still live — one of them a lady ; but 
it is only fair to say that no one connected with the 
fallen royal family had anything to do with it, and 
that the crime was not organised or countenanced 
by any of the recognised political parties. It was, 
indeed, the most foolish crime imaginable, and really 
served no purpose whatever. It was isolated, and 
formed no part of a general plan : it could not stay 
Amadeo's coming, as it might have done if it had 
been committed six months before ; and when this 
was pointed out to the men who were concerned in 
it, all they could say was, " Well, at least we have 
got him (Prim) out of the way." Prim, in fact, was 
sacrificed not by an organised political conspiracy, 
but by a few muddle-brained visionaries of one 
faction, pushed on by the vengeful spite of a smaller 



number still of the highly placed members of 

When Amadeo entered his snow-clad capital on 
the 2nd of January, 1871, splendidly mounted in 
advance of his escort, his gallant bearing and his 
evident bravery wrung from unwilling spectators 
universal cheers of sympathy. Alone amidst 
strangers, many of them bitterly inimical, a mark for 
any stray murder-bolt, he never blenched ; there was 
no cringing or bidding for welcome, no sacrifice of 
dignity, but noble courtesy, candid honesty, and a 
determination, at any sacrifice to himself, to rule this 
people righteously and well. His first duty was to 
pray at the Atocha for help and guidance and to 
gaze for the first and last time upon the dead face of 
the man who had placed upon his head the crowns of 
Castile. Then he rode to the Cortes, where the 
Regent Serrano surrendered his powers, and the new 
sovereign swore to respect the Constitution. 

Jealous eyes watched his every movement, scornful 
spirits ready to cast ridicule upon him waited critically 
for some foreign note to be struck that could be turned 
to his disadvantage ; and though Amadeo's manly 
simplicity and his difficult position might have dis- 
armed cruelty itself, the eagerly sought-for opportunity 
of derision was soon discovered. The King had 
simply to lay his hand upon the Gospels and pro- 
nounce the words " Yo juro " (" I swear ") ; but alas ! 
the hard guttural J in Spanish is a crucial test for 
Italian tongues, and Amadeo gave to the rough ''Joia" 
the sound of the soft Italian G. The Spanish 
language has no such sound, and soon there spread 


(From the painting by RegnauU.) 


through the streets and through the land mocking 
attempts to reproduce the outlancUsh soft sound. 
Amadeo was a foreigner, and that was a crime that 
no Spaniard could forgive. 

Of the treatment extended by Spaniards to 
Amadeo and his wife, Maria Victoria della Cisterna, 
who joined him in the spring, it is difficult for 
an eye-witness to write with restraint and patience. 
The much-vaunted chivalry of Spain must blush 
and hide its head at the mere recollection of the 
mean insults, the dastardly outrages, daily com- 
mitted upon these young monarchs whose only fault 
was they were honestly striving to do their duty. 
Instead of squandering all his time in his own 
pleasure or caprice, as other Spanish sovereigns had 
done, and turning night into day, Amadeo was at 
work long before his dissipated capital was out of 
bed. The slipshod splendour and prodigal promiscu- 
ousness of Isabel's Court gave place to order, economy, 
and decency. The only lavishness now was in 
judicious and organised charity. There was no more 
indiscriminate squandering ; no more haphazard 
familiarity and impulsive bounty to unworthy objects. 
" What a King ! " grumbled the tradespeople ; " he 
expects to pay no more than other folks for what he 
buys." " What a King ! " echoed the courtiers, whose 
ideas of regal magnificence consisted in their being 
allowed the opportunity of turning the palace into a 
warren where prolific hordes were fed and kept at the 
public expense. " What a King ! " cried the vulgar 
mob, " to walk about unattended, and drive without an 
escort like an ordinary person." " What a King ! " 

AMADEO I. 501 

sneered Isabel in Paris, " to live in only one corner of 
my palace for economy's sake." " What a King ! " said 
the officials ; " he expects us to live on our salaries and 
to keep our accounts in order as if we were common 
hucksters." And so, when Amadeo and his wife were 
seen in the street, the cultured Spaniards turned their 
backs upon them or stared rudely in their faces with- 
out a sign of recognition! : talk about" Italian pastry- 
cooks " and ridiculous efforts to pronounce the Italian 
soft G, being ostentatiously indulged in the while. 
Maria Victoria, though not of ro}-al blood, was as 
virtuous and charitable as her husband was honest 
and brave ; but it was all of no avail, for Amadeo and 
his wife were foreigners and they were impossible 
from the first. Peoples, it has been said, alwa}'s have 
the rulers they deserve. The Spaniards did not 
deserve Amadeo and did not keep him. 

Amadeo's first cabinet under Serrano was a co- 
alition of Liberals ranging from the Unionist premier 
to the extreme democrat Zorilla, the progressist 
Sagasta remaining at the Home Office ; and it was 
at once opposed by the union of all the anti-dynastic 
parties, from Carlists to Red Republicans, and from 
atheists to Catholic bigots, determined to spare no 

' On one occasion the writer saw the King and Queen (who was then 
in a deUcate state of health) enter an open-air concert unannounced. 
There were scores of men occupying chairs, but not one oflered a seat 
to the Queen, who had to stand until a chair was brought specially for 
her. On the occasion of the Carnival, a worse outrage still was 
perpetrated. The Queen thought to please the people by wearing 
the beautiful old Spanish garment, the white lace mantilla. Some 
aristocratic young ruffians thereupon dressed the loose women of the 
capital in white lace mantillas and sent them into the Prado in carriages, 
whilst all the ladies in society by common consent wore black. 


means, however foul, to overturn the King. In the 
new Cortes, although the Government gained a 
majority, the Carlists held the balance of parties, and 
Serrano's coalition cabinet soon fell to pieces by the 
retirement in disgust of its radical members, at the 
impossibility of carrying the reforms they considered 
necessary. Already the Liberals themselves were 
profoundly divided ; jealousy and self-seeking were 
supreme, and Serrano tried in vain to form a new 
moderate Liberal Government. 

When he had failed Zorilla succeeded, and at last the 
extreme radicals had a chance of carrying into effect 
the patriotic principles with which they were animated. 
Amadeo frankly seconded their efforts; the Cortes were 
not in session to hamper them, and the hope began to 
reign amongst the people at large that, perhaps, after 
all, the foreign King might be tolerated. Amadeo 
made a successful progress through Aragon, Catalufia, 
and Valencia, dispensing charity and pardons, and 
giving complete political amnesties on his way, whilst 
previously unheard-of economies were made in the 
public expenditure, and a successful loan of i^6,O0O,ooo 
proved that the financial world looked with sympathy 
upon the new order of affairs. But on the very first 
day of the meeting of the Cortes (1871) the hopeful 
prospect vanished. The two ministers Zorilla and 
Sagasta quarrelled, and the Liberal government 
broke up ; another was formed and was defeated in 
the Cortes, and from this moment the crumbling of 
Amadeo's throne was inevitable. The Carlists and 
Republicans were intent on making all government 
impossible ; and even with a homogeneous Liberal 

AMAbEO t. 503 

party to confront, this was not difficult. Now that the 
Liberals were split by political and personal differences 
into at least three factions, the position was hopeless. 
Desperate attempts were made to effect a reconcilia- 
tion, but without success, in a large measure owing to 
Sagasta's exigencies ; and Amadeo, with considerable 
hesitation, consented to a dissolution, after appointing 
Sagasta Prime Minister with a less advanced Liberal 
cabinet. Before the new Cortes could be elected 
dissensions broke out in this cabinet also, and it had 
to be reconstituted with infinite difficulty before it 
could meet the newly elected parliament (April, 1872). 
The monstrous coalition of extreme parties was 
again repeated, and Sagasta fell amidst great conflict 
and confusion before the accusation that he had 
employed i^8o,ooo of the Colonial funds to influence 
the elections. A more moderate ministry still was 
then appointed under Serrano and Topete. This 
exasperated the more advanced democrats, who coa- 
lesced with the Republicans and planned an appeal 
to arms ; whereupon Zorilla, their leader, retired into 
private life in despair. The third Carlist war, to 
which reference will be made presently, was raging 
in the north, and the threatened rising of Federal 
Republicans and democrats convinced Serrano's 
ministry that the attempt to govern Spain constitu- 
tionally must be abandoned if anarchy and dis- 
memberment were to be avoided. The Government 
proposed a suspension of the Constitution, and other 
strong measures to Amadeo but he resisted. Badly 
advised, or ill-informed as to the real condition of the 
country, he decided to stand by his oath — although 


it had been pronounced in bad Spanish — and the 
ministry retired (June, 1872). The King appealed 
once more to Espartero to take the helm, but in vain, 
and he then turned to Zorilla and the Radicals. 
Zorilla refused all advances, until a great mass of his 
friends brought him to Madrid almost by force, and 
against his own will and convictions he formed a new 
Radical Government with Martos and Cordoba as 

The first thing was to suspend the sessions of 
Cortes, in which they could hope for no majority, 
although the estimates for the year had not been 
adopted. Both Houses protested to the King 
and declared the collection of taxes illegal. The 
Government, full of good intentions and flattering 
promises, sought to gain the country to its side, and 
again dissolved the Cortes (July, 1872). A desperate 
attempt to assassinate the King was made in Madrid 
at this period, and confusion and party rancour reached 
their height. When the Radical ministry met the 
new Cortes in September, obstruction and irrelevancy 
made all progress impossible in Parliament, whilst a 
serious Federal Republican conspiracy to seize the 
arsenal of Ferrol, which was only suppressed with 
much bloodshed, proved that the opposition factions 
would stop at nothing. In Madrid, Malaga, and 
elsewhere, the Republicans also appealed to arms, 
notwithstanding the exhortations of Castelar, and 
other parliamentary leaders, begging that the Radical 
Government should at least be allowed ?i chance, 
whilst already active intrigues were being carried on 
in favour of the restoration in the person of Alfonso, 


the only son of Isabel, under the regency of Mont- 

In this state of complete distraction the Cortes 
reassembled on January 15, 1873, and Zorilla's 
Government, to please the extreme democrats and 
Republicans, proposed, amongst other Radical 
measures, the abolition of the conscription. The 
corps of artillery has always been the aristocratic 
branch of the Spanish service, and its officers were 
strongly opposed to Zorilla's Government, Their 
excuse was a command which the Government had 
conferred upon an officer (General Hidalgo) obnoxious 
to them ; and notwithstanding the efforts of General 
Cordoba to placate them, their mutinous spirit 
culminated in collective resignation, although the 
Carlists were still in arms in the north. The indignant 
Government were for accepting the resignations and 
reorganising the corps under the sergeants, but this 
Amadeo refused to allow until the ministry repeated 
their decision supported by a vote of confidence from 
both Houses of Parliament. The oppositions were 
willing to help the Government in this, for they fore- 
saw that Amadeo, driven in a corner, might abdicate, 
and it is difficult to understand how Zorilla himself 
can have failed to perceive this. The decree raising 
the sergeants to commissioned rank was presented 
to the King on the 8th of February, and, true to his 
Constitutional oath, he signed it. 

If he had chosen to pronounce it, a single word 
from him would have ranged on his side all the 
elements of force, and he might have ruled Spain 
by the army as others had done. But he was 


sick of the hopeless struggle. His wife, assailed 
by fears for his safety, and unhappy at the 
insults constantly offered to her by the nobility, 
seconded his resolve to be made a sacrifice rather 
than to rule by force ; and Amadeo, in a dignified 
address to the Spanish people, which should have 
made the most hardened blush with shame, sur- 
rendered into their hands the crown which, whilst he 
had worn it at least, had suffered no dishonour The 
next morning (February 12, 1873), Amadeo of Savoy 
— now Duke of Aosta again — gladly turned his back 
upon his ungrateful people : the only man who had 
come out of this sordid scramble an upright gentleman 
without stain and without reproach. 

Before relating the events which followed the 
abdication of Amadeo it will be necessary for us to 
eo back a little, in order to describe the renewed civil 
war which the Carlists had commenced. Soon after 
the abortive attempt of the Count de Montemolin 
both he and his brother Fernando had died, and the 
Radical Don Juan, the only remaining son of the 
original Don Carlos, made great efforts to reconcile 
himself with Isabel and return to his position as a 
Spanish Infante; and although he did not succeed, 
the Carlist party completely disavowed him and 
adopted his son, the young Don Carlos as their chief 
Just before the fall of Isabel the Pretender and his 
friends held an important meeting in London. Don 
Juan was persuaded to transfer such rights as he 
possessed to his son, who held his mimic court in 
Paris, funds were collected, arms and uniforms bought, 
and in the summer of 1869 several small risings took 


place simultaneously, most of which were rapidly 
dispersed. The main conspiracy was to seize 
Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, in July, but this 
too was frustrated — Cabrera had obstinately refused 
to leave his English retirement, but now he was at 
last induced to take the political direction of affairs, 
in the hope that he might guide Carlism into the 
more reasonable and modern spirit which his English 
experience had taught him was necessary. But the 
Spanish Carlists were as benighted as ever. They 
wanted to force the " sacristy," as Cabrera called it, 
upon Spain at the point of the bayonet ; and the old 
leader soon threw up the thankless cause in disgust. 
Elio then assumed the chief direction of the party 
under Don Carlos himself, but after several partial 
risings, always successfully crushed by Prim's Govern- 
ment, disunion became general amongst the Carlists, 
and by the time Amadeo arrived in Madrid Don 
Carlos acknowledged his failure and suspended 

But the Carlist juntas all over Spain, and especially 
in Cataluna, were straining in the leash, and Gonzales 
Brabo, who had now deserted Isabel,^ was urging the 
Pretender on to war. Candido Nocedal, the leader of 
the Carlists in the Cortes, remonstrated in vain against 
an appeal to arms. " Only let us, who hold the 
balance," he said, " overthrow Amadeo, and the 
extravagancies of the Red Republicans will soon lead 

' As has been already mentioned, the writer has reason to know that 
Gonzales Brabo and the "moderates" were not in favour of Alfonso, 
who they knew could only reign under constitutional auspices. Most 
of them deserted her when she abdicated in favour of her son. 


all Spaniards to welcome Don Carlos as a saviour of 
society." This difference of opinion caused long and 
bitter contention in the Carlist ranks, and the pretender 
himself wavered from day to day, until at length his 
hand was forced by the war party. On April 14, 
1872, he wrote from Geneva to his commander-in- 
chief, Rada : " At length the solemn moment has 
arrived. Good Spaniards are calling for their legiti- 
mate King, and the King cannot turn a deaf ear to 
the summons of his country. I order a general rising 
all over Spain for the 21st instant, to the cry of ' Down 
with the foreigner ! Long live Spain ! ' — Carlos." 
Nocedal protested, and resigned ; but the militant 
Carlists were confident and eager, and soon all the 
north and east of Spain was astir with partially armed 
and undrilled peasants, ready to fight once more for 
King and " fueros." ' Serrano at once took the field 
at Tudela and Tafalla, whilst General Moriones 
operated with an insufficient force in the mountains 
of Navarre. Don Carlos himself crossed the fron- 
tier on foot almost alone on May 2, 1872, and set 
up his headquarters at Vera. " God, Fatherland, 
and King!" was his battle-cry, and the Navarrese 
acclaimed the Pretender as their heaven-sent sovereign 
with superstitious reverence. Pursued constantly by 
Serrano and Moriones, dispersing at one point only 
to reassemble at once in another, the Carlists carried 
on the exhausting guerrilla warfare which the confor- 
mation of the country and the universal sympathy of 
the people made easy for them. Moriones managed 
to surprise a large body once at Oroquieta, and killed 
or captured nearly 1,000 of them ; but, as in the 

*' \ <-:- 

•^ f; 


(From an etching.) 


previous Carlist war, the important fortresses, Bilbao 
Pamplona and San Sebastian, stood firm for the 
Liberal cause, and the struggle was mainly rural and 
mountain warfare. 

Don Carlos, ostentatious and pleasure-loving, was 
a poor figure-head morally, although his appearance 
was splendid in the extreme. Money soon ran short, 
the organisation and combination were wretched, and 
the Carlists of Biscay, without direction, discipline, 
food, or resources, despaired after a thirty days' cam- 
paign, and accepted from Serrano what was called 
the treaty of Amorevieta, by which a complete 
amnesty was given to Carlists in arms ; officers and 
men who had deserted the regular army for the 
Carlists might return to their ranks, and promises 
were given that the autonomy of the provinces should 
not be disturbed. This greatly weakened the Carlist 
cause, but the Navarrese still stood out ; and especially 
in Cataluha, where Don Carlos' brother, Don Alfonso, 
was in command, the insurrection gained strength and 
organisation, thanks to the constant hankering of rich 
Cataluna for separation from poor Castile. 

This was the condition of affairs when Amadeo 
abdicated, and the period of confusion which succeeded 
enormously aided the Carlist cause. The violent 
changes in Madrid, the disaffection of the army, and 
the dread of red republicanism, made thousands of 
Spaniards Carlists who had hitherto held aloof; and 
in the summer of 1873, when distracted civilian 
theorists were squabbling for power, Don Carlos had 
on his side 50,000 men, fairly organised and armed. 
This was the Pretender's chance, and on several 


occasions he would have been welcomed with open 
arras by a majority of Spaniards if he had possessed 
the wit and daring to take fortune at its flood, and 
had assumed the position of defender of authority 
and property against the looming anarchy which 

Immediately Amadeo disappeared the two Chambers 
of Cortes sat together, in entire disregard of the Con- 
stitution, and by 258 votes against 32 proclaimed the 
Republic, with Figueras as president, and Castelar as 
minister of State. Madrid was filled with alarm, 
Barcelona and Malaga for a time were in the hands 
of a turbulent mob and a revolted garrison, whilst 
the Cortes which had illegally assumed constitueat 
powers, abolished the conscription with a stroke of the 
pen, and in mortal fear of extremists, surrounded 
itself with the bayonets of the civil guard. The 
ministry was very soon obliged to resign hurriedly to 
prevent a battle in the streets, so incensed were the 
Federalist mob that some democratic ex-ministers of 
Amadeo had entered the Republican Government. 
An attempt on the part of Martos, the Radical presi- 
dent of the Cortes, to assert authority by force of 
arms, was frustrated by Pi y Margall, one of the 
ministers, and anarchy became general, successive 
Federalist Republican ministries rising and falling 
in competition with the Cortes, of which the majority 
consisted of Democratic Radicals. Barcelona declared 
Cataluna a separate State. Socialism, division of 
property, and the profanation of the churches were 
decreed by several of the revolutionary juntas, whilst 
the army was completely disorganised. " The Volun- 


teers of liberty," skulking ruffians, consisting in most 
places of a majority of anarchists, infused terror into 
peaceful citizens ; and the phantasmagoria of govern- 
ments in Madrid were almost powerless, in 'mortal 
dread of their own supporters. 

The Cortes had been dissolved, but its permanent 
committee still competed with the ministers for rule, 
and such soldiers as were in Madrid under General 
Pavia were on the side of the assembly. Everything 
was prepared for an armed struggle. The ministry 
stationed their police and civil guard at strategic 
points in the streets, the " Volunteers of Liberty" 
were mustered in the Bull-ring, and Federalist Re- 
publican generals were placed in command of the 
various barracks. On the other hand, Pavia with 
his regiments stood ready, but the Radical civilian 
leaders, instead of backing him, spent the time in 
interminable florid speeches and personal recrimina- 
tion. At length Pavia, in disgust, resigned and went 
home, and the flood-gates being thus removed, the 
Federal Republican and Socialist mob stormed the 
palace of the Cortes in search of members to kill, 
Castelar himself with difficulty escaped with his life 
in his efforts to save others ; the President, Figueras, 
was arrested by the populace, and Madrid was in the 
hands of the anarchists, the only restraining influence 
being the most advanced member of the ministry, 
Pi y Margall. 

The new Cortes, the first Republican chamber that 
ever sat in Spain, met on June i, 1873, and at once 
proclaimed the Federal Republic under the presidency 
of Pi y Margall. Ministers changed daily, the 


decencies of debate were forgotten, though Pi y 
Margall strove hard to keep order, in and out of the 
Chamber, and begged for union in the face of civil war 
and the deplorable condition of the country. Castelar, 
Salmeron, and Figueras, the responsible Republican 
leaders, stood aloof, and the latter in despair fled the 
country. Barcelona, Alcoy, Seville, and Malaga be- 
came a prey to a murderous revolted soldier}' and 
a savage mob, the excesses of which Pi y Margall 
refused to punish ; and without waiting for a new 
Federal Constitution to be devised, the towns erected 
themselves into independent cantons at their own 
good pleasure. When the ministry at last endea- 
voured to organise a force to restore order, the can- 
tonalists, in defiance of the Government, had taken 
possession of the great arsenal of Cartagena, and the 
bulk of the Spanish fleet under General Contreras. 
Pi y Margall was then forced, even by the Republican 
Cortes, to give place to Salmeron, who promised 
greater energy against the insurrection. The new- 
born energy soon produced results. Pavia captured 
Seville with great slaughter, and then dominated the 
rest of Andalusia, the volunteers of Malaga being 
disarmed, but Salmeron soon took fright at the 
military element, and dissolved Pavia's army without 
allowing him to finish the task he had begun. 

In the meanwhile Serrano and many other 
monarchists were negotiating in France with Isabel's 
friends for the constitutional restoration of young 
Alfonso, but for the time the affair came to nothing. 
Castelar succeeded Salmeron as president in the 
autumn of 1873, and under his rule the republic 



lost much of its terrors. He had been in favour of 
a Federal system, but he was not a faddist or a 
fanatic, and he saw that the first duty of any govern- 
ment was to maintain security and order. He at 
once set about re-organising the army. General 
Lopez Dominguez was furnished with sufficient 
forces to besiege and capture Cartagena from the 
cantonalists, which he did with dreadful destruc- 
tion ; General Jovellar was sent to crush the lingering 
insurrection in Cuba ; a levy of 100,000 men was 
called into the ranks in Spain ; the Carlists were 
allowed no truce, and once more Spain breathed 
again, when the Cortes suspended their sittings 
^September 30), leaving Castelar dictator. But 
still it was evident that affairs could not continue 
long in this way. The treasury had incurred a new 
floating debt of nearly seventeen millions sterling,^ 
the estimates of expenditure of the year (twenty-four 
millions) had been largely exceeded ; the fiscal system 
was entirely disorganised, and bankruptcy stared 
Spain in the face, whilst conspiracy, civil war, and 
anarchy, were almost general. 

The Cortes were to meet again on January 2, 
1874, and the defeat of Castelar was certain, for the 
Red Republicans already looked upon him as a 
renegade, and the awful devastation at Cartagena 
enraged them, but he refused General Pavia's advice 
to continue his dictatorship illegally. In these 

' On the breaking out of the revohition (1868) the treasury debt 
was ;i^26, 000,000, mostly taken from bank deposits, and thei.'e was an 
extra deficit in the next year of ten milHons. Most of this, however, 
had now been funded. 


circumstances Pavia (Governor-General of Madrid) 
decided to act the part of a Cromwell himself, and 
save his country from continued anarchy. In accord 
with all the elements of order, but depending entirely 
upon the few trustworthy troops in garrison, he pre- 
pared his men on the day for the opening of Par- 
liament. Castelar defended himself in the Cortes as 
usual with splendid eloquence from the bitter attacks 
and taunts of the angry members, and after a stormy, 
all-night sitting the Government were defeated at 
five o'clock in the morning of January 3rd. A new 
President, Palanca, was elected on the spot, but, sud- 
denly, a bugle call rang out before the Chamber, and 
the indignant members found themselves surrounded 
by troops. The Minister of War angrily ordered 
Pavia to return to barracks, and the reply of the 
general was to give the members only a few minutes 
to evacuate the building. Resistance was useless, and 
at the point of the sword the deputies were forced 
into the street. Then Pavia summoned a meeting of 
notables, which Castelar in protest refused to attend. 
Some were for Alfonso, others for a united Republic, 
whilst Pavia thought of seizing power for himself 
But Pavia was a small man, and as a compromise 
General Serrano was appointed head of the execu- 
tive, with Sagasta, Topete, and Zabala as colleagues. 
This Government was a strong one, and would stand ■ 
no nonsense. The constitutional guarantees were sus- 
pended, a heavy hand was laid on malefactors ; and 
Republicans of all sorts now saw that the Republic 
had been wrecked beyond redemption by the ex- 
cesses of its so-called friends. 


In February the news came that Moriones and 
Primo de Rivera had been defeated by the Carh'sts in 
an attempt to raise the siege of Bilbao. Panic fell 
again upon Madrid, and Serrano himself hurried to 
the front with reinforcements, which brought up his 
army to 30,000 men. On March 25th he attacked 
the enemy at Somorrostro with only partial success, 
but on May 2nd Lopez Dominguez and Concha 
relieved Bilbao,^ and Serrano was able to return to 
Madrid in triumph. On June 27th Marshal Concha 
struck at Estella, Don Carlos's capital, but he fell 
mortally wounded in the fighting, and his men with 
terrible loss were obliged to fall back. New armies 
were raised ; Pavia, Zabala, Lopez Dominguez, and 
Martinez Campos worked like giants, and gradually 
Cataluna and the centre of Spain were cleared of 
Carlists in arms. In Navarre and Guipuzcoa the 
Pretender still stood firm and supreme except in the 
fortresses, and once more, at the end of 1874, Serrano 
found himself at the head of 100,000 men in the 
north, determined to beat Carlism in its strongholds. 

In the meanwhile the Alfonsists were busily 
intriguing. It was plain to every one that the 
Republic had failed, and most public men were 
endeavouring to set themselves right with the 
regime that they saw was coming. The Govern- 
ment was perfectly aware that Alfonsist committees 
were formed in every town, and that hardly a regi- 
ment in the service was not prepared to proclaim 

' The terrible siege of 125 days will for ever remain memorable. 
10,000 projectiles were discharged from the walls, and famine had 
reached such a height in the town that a hen cost 28s. and an egg is. 3d. 


the new king. Some half-hearted measures they 
naturally took against disaffection, but not many. 
Mild remonstrances, gentle threats, hollow denuncia- 
tion, and the deportation of a few active agents were 
considered sufficient by Sagasta, the Home Minister, 
to save the situation. General Balmaseda twice 
attempted unsuccessfully to raise the cry of " Viva 
Alfonso ! " ; but Canovas del Castillo and the best 
advisers of the young prince had no desire to seat 
him on the throne by means of a military revolt. It 
was plain that Alfonso was inevitable, and would 
come in due course by constitutional action and 
common consent, without the aid of reactionary 

At the end of 1874 the young prince, then a cadet 
at Sandhurst, and for some time past separated from 
his mother, signed a modest and sympathetic address 
to his adherents in Spain in which he invoked con- 
stitutional rights and made no appeal to violence. 
But the generals and the Conservatives were in a 
hurry, and on the 29th of December, 1874, General 
Martinez Campos, at the head of a brigade at Sagunto 
commanded by General Daban, proclaimed Alfonso 
XII. The bulk of the army was in the north and 
promptly accepted the King ; the Captain-General of 
Madrid, Primo de Rivera, declared for the revolt ; the 
Government had no forces, even if they had the will, 
to resist ; and Sagasta, though still strongly protest- 
ing, did not attempt to stay the triumphant revolu- 
tion, but made way for Canovas del Castillo, who 
entered Madrid and assumed the post of Prime 
Minister and head of the Regency on the last day 


of the year 1874 by virtue of a decree signed by 
Alfonso in the previous year. 

There was no bloodshed, though the mob would 
have fought if they could for the Republic, especially 
in Cataluna. But Serrano by a bold stroke had 
already disarmed the " Volunteers of Liberty " ; the 
army was in favour of the change, and turbulent 
Cataluila was held in check by Martinez Campos, 
the new Captain-General, as Madrid was by Primo 
de Rivera ; whilst Serrano himself made no protest, 
but remained provisionally at the head of the army 
in the north. Decent people of all ranks were utterly 
tired of experiments and eccentric vagaries, and were 
ready to welcome any reasonable regime that offered 
stability and security. 

The restoration was not a reactionary triumph. 
Alfonso was guided by men of moderate liberal ideas 
who had welcomed the deposition of his mother and 
who brought the young King back, not as a revengeful 
conqueror over revolution, but as the best instrument 
for uniting Spaniards, and ensuring the domination 
of law and liberty. Benighted absolutists like 
Gonzales Brabo had rightly gone over to the 
Carlists ; and though the supporters of the new 
monarch ranged from advanced Democrats to 
timid Conservatives, they and most reasonable 
people were agreed upon one point — that Spain 
must be governed as a limited constitutional 
monarchy, and that despotism at last was dead. 

Thus, after infinite suffering and contest, the nation 
had taken one great step in advance ; and whatever 
oscillations might in future afflict her they would 


hardly again reach the extreme points of anarchy on 
the one side, or t\'ranny on the other. " Cayo para 
siempre la raza espurea de los Borbones," disappeared 
from the walls at last, and for good. This and other 
additions which intemperance and impatience had 
added to the programme of the revolution of 1868, 
had to be unlearnt, but the net result of the " revolt 
of disgust" was sound and good, for it had finally 
purged Spain of the baleful old traditions of capri- 
cious personal rule ; and though a bright young lad, 
with a clean record, became the figure-head of the 
ship of State, the helm was gripped firmly by able 
and comparatively honest men, who would tolerate 
no tampering with the compass or deviation from the 




The advisers of the young King were wise in 
introducing him to his new subjects in the boisterous 
separatist city of Barcelona. Amidst the booming 
of cannon, the waving of myriads of red and yellow 
flags, and the hearty cheers of the immense populace, 
Alfonso XII. proceeded in state through the Catalan 
capital on the lOth of January, 1875. He came with 
the Pope's blessing and with the good wishes of all 
Europe, but he won most hearts by his bright, boyish 
eagerness to please, his ready smile, and his winning 
frankness of manner. His facile tact of word and 
deed were conspicuous from the first moment. Con- 
ciliation, and never triumph over adversaries, was the 
note he struck. " I wish to be the King of all 
Spaniards," were his first words to his countrymen 
in Paris ; and to the deputation of Catalans, who 
came to meet him at sea, he would only talk of their 
commerce and industry, and his pride at being Count 
of Barcelona rather than King of Spain, whilst to 

Barcelonese manufacturers the highest aspirations he 


-^ -*>> :^^ 



could express was to " make all Spain a Barcelona," 
and so on with every interest and locality. 

The reception in Madrid was as hearty as at Bar- 
celona and Valencia, but the young King was not 
allowed to rest in idleness. In a week he was taken 
to the army of the north to witness the final extinc- 
tion of Carlism. The Basques and Navarrese were 
already becoming hopeless of final success, for no 
great town had fallen into their hands, and the 
struggle was still strictly local. Large numbers of 
them continued to accept the pardon and amnesty 
offered by Alfonso, and. most important of all, 
Ramon Cabrera — the old " tiger of Morella " — sick of 
the fanaticism and extravagance that surrounded the 
Pretender, took the oath of allegiance to Isabel's son, 
and was confirmed in all his titles and honours by 
the new King. 

But in the meanwhile Sagasta and the Liberals had 
held aloof Serrano had seen the King and accepted 
the situation, many of the old Unionist Liberals 
following his lead : but for the more advanced wing 
the transition was difficult from being a Conservative 
party, as they were under the Red Republic, to a 
democratic opposition under the new order of things. 
The great difficulty was the wide difference of opinion 
as to a new Constitution. The Conservatives still 
looked upon the code of 1845 as the non plus ultra 
of political wisdom, whereas nothing short of the 
extremely Radical Constitution of 1869 would satisfy 
Sagasta and his friends. The ministry itself was 
divided as to the extent to which Liberal institutions 
should be adopted and broke up in September, 

THE CORTES OF 1 8/6. 523 

Canovas temporarily retiring and General Jovellar 
being appointed premier with a transition cabinet 
from which Orovio and the extreme Conservatives 
were excluded, but which enjoyed the support of 
Canovas, the late Prime Minister. The electoral law 
of 1870 was therefore utilised for the new elections, 
and this was a distinct gain for the Liberal party,i 
which now under Sagasta entered openly into the 
political struggle (November, 1875), and acknow- 
ledged the restoration. This point being settled, 
Canovas again became Prime Minister, and General 
Jovellar took command of the army of the north 
in the Basque provinces, a position which he very 
shortly afterwards surrendered to General Quesada ; 
and himself proceeded to Cuba as Captain-General. 

With the beginning of the year 1876 the strategic 
movements in the north which were to finish the war 
commenced, and simultaneously Spain was excited 
from end to end by the election of the Constituent 
Cortes which should devise one more paper constitu- 
tion. The Republican party, although discredited 
and silenced for a time, was not by any means 
dead. To the patriotism and good sense of 
Castelar is due the fact that instead of being con- 
spirators, the more moderate of them now became 
a parliamentary party. The danger, indeed, for the 
moment arose not from the Liberal elements, but 
from the ceaseless attempts of the reactionists to 
capture the situation, which Canovas was determined 
not to allow ; and thanks in a great measure to his 

' This law gave universal manhood sufirage. 


efforts, a large majority of moderate Liberals, more 
advanced than his own ministry, was elected in the 
new Cortes. The King opened his first Parliament 
in state on the 15th of February, and the next day 
again started to join the army of the north, where a 
brilliant campaign under Quesada, Primo de Rivera, 
and Martinez Campos had succeeded in reducing 
Carlism to its last ditch. Large sums of money, as 
well as warlike prowess, had been employed to aid 
in this happy result ; and by the end of February 
Don Carlos threw up the attempt in despair and 
abandoned Spanish territory. 

It has been the writer's lot to witness all the great 
celebrations in Spain for many years : as will have 
been seen in the course of this history the nation is 
an impressionable one and apt to carry its enthusiasm 
of the moment into extravagance ; but never has 
popular rejoicing assumed so spontaneous and sincere 
a character in the writer's personal experience, as in 
the festivals to celebrate the pacification of Spain and 
the return of the King and army of the north to 
Madrid ; whilst the places which the horrors of the 
war had touched more closely rejoiced, if less 
riotously, quite as earnestly as the capital at their 
liberation from the scourge 

As may be imagined, after such a period of civil 
war, anarchy, and confusion the financial condition 
of the country was truly deplorable. Salaverria, the 
Finance Minister, laid before the Cortes a plain state- 
ment of the financial situation which struck the country 
with dismay. The floating debt had now reached 
the terrible total of sixty millions sterling, in addition 


to the consolidated debt of over three hundred and 
sixty milHons, and the public funds had fallen to 
16^; the revolutionary governments (until Seiior 
Camacho took the Ministry of Finance in 1874) 
having simply lived from hand to mouth on loans 
and bank balances. It was now necessary to face 
the situation and re-impose taxation in order to 
obtain an approach to a financial equilibrium, and 
cover an expenditure of nearly twenty-seven millions 
sterling, increasing in the following year (1877) to 
twenty-nine millions, of which no less than ten 
millions was for the service of the debt. The 
country, however, was rapidly increasing in wealth, 
and with prudent administration there was no doubt 
that it could meet the demands of its Government 
if peace were secured to it. 

In the meanwhile, thanks largely to the conciliatory 
yet firm guidance of Canovas, the burning political 
questions were gradually being settled, not without 
much bad blood and bitter dissension, for Sagasta 
and the Liberals had withdrawn from the Cortes 
again, but generally by a workable compromise 
The Conservatives who called for complete reaction 
were partially mollified by decrees restraining some- 
what the liberty of the press and the closing of 
republican clubs, by the limitation even of the modi- 
fied religious liberty granted by the code of 1869, by 
the almost complete suppression of civil marriage and 
the abolition of universal suffrage ; whilst the more 

* In February of the following year, 1877, Spanish Consols fell to 
below II. 


moderate Liberals were kept from breaking away 
by the abolition of the autonomous privileges of the 
Basque provinces, by the restoration of the constitu- 
tional guarantees, and by the recognition at least of 
the principle of popular election in municipalities and 
for Parliaments, though hampered by indirect voting 
and a property qualification. 

The young King won golden opinions everywhere. 
Through his many progresses in the provinces he had 
identified himself with the interests and aspirations 
of his subjects with a tact and fulness of information 
surprising in one so young. He had, indeed, been 
well and wisely brought up, and was naturally of a 
bright and joyous disposition, with a positive gift of 
graceful and winning speech and ready sympathy, 
which, though reminiscent of his mother, was gene- 
rally controlled by discretion and dignity. He was, 
moreover, fortunate in having at his side in these 
critical early years his widowed elder sister Isabel, 
the presumptive heiress to the crown, who had learnt 
wisdom in the hard school of sorrow, and ruled his 
household with care and diplomacy. Alfonso, for 
all his amiability, had a will of his own, and though 
apparently acquiescent to advice, usually followed his 
own course in the end. That he should insist upon 
doing so in the matter of his marriage threw his 
ministers and his family into dismay. Several 
princesses were proposed to him, who it was 
thought might serve to conciliate interests in 
Spain, but as a boy the King had fallen in love 
with his first cousin Mercedes, the daughter of the 
Duke of Montpensier, and her alone he declared he 


would marry. Queen Isabel in Paris was furious/ 
and the Conservatives and clericals in Spain were 
equally so, for Montpensier's money and ambition 
had promoted the Revolution of 1868, whilst on the 
other hand the Liberals and the country at large 
hated him for a foreigner, and one who, like his 
father and grandfather, had been false to his own 
order. Rut Alfonso had made up his mind and was 
determined to marry his beautiful cousin in spite of 
all. His courtship was short in the bright winter 
sun of Seville, and before the wedding took place 
in Madrid, the dark beauty of the bride, and the 
romantic story of the boy King's love, had touched 
the hearts of the impressionable people who were 
not politicians. 

On the 23rd of January, 1878, Madrid again 
donned its festal garb and all Spain came to the 
capital to see such a show as even that impulsive 
city has rarely afforded. The antique glories of 
the royal house were brought out after a generation 
of darkness ; priceless tapestries, ancestral em- 
broideries, wonders of old art, were taken from 
hiding-places in ancient palaces to grace the wedding 
procession of the King. All that love, loyalty, and 
lavishness could devise was spent upon this splendid 

■ ' Isabel had returned to Spain for a short time after Alfonso's re- 
storation, on conditions strictly laid down by Ganovas, but she was 
soon offended and returned to Paris in high dudgeon. She was then 
imprudent enough to become ostentatiously familiar with the wife of 
Don Carlos, and to enter into a friendly correspondence with the 
Pretender himself, then in arms against her son. This produced for 
her great unpopularity in Spain, which she repaid by making for a 
time the task of Alfonso's ministers as difficult as possible. 


pageant. Flags, music, national dances, royal bull- 
fights with nobles for toreros, religious magnificence 
and secular enthusiasm, all gloriously flaunted under 
a sapphir*" ''ky, greeted Alfonso's wedding with 
Mercedes. Through the cheering populace to the 
church of the Atocha the procession made its way. 
Old Cristina, with her glistening black eyes and her 
hard mouth, had come to Madrid again, after so 
many years of absence, though she was too infirm 
to attend the wedding,^ but poor Don Francisco, the 
' King Father," long since separated from his wife, 
shrank, a little wizened figure, in the depths of a 
mighty, swaying tortoise-shell coach ; and other 
members of the royal family, some dignified and 
rich, some squalid and poor, did their best to add 
distinction to the scene. Isabel was sulking, praying, 
some said, far away in Paris, for this was the day of 
her enemy's triumph, and the real hero of this grand 
festival was not the bright, smiling, alert young King, 
but the stout, elderly Frenchman with the pointed 
grey beard, the gabacho " King Father-in-law," as the 
mocking crowd called him, the Duke of Montpensier. 
After all these years the cunning plots of Louis 
Philippe and Guizot were to succeed, and the 
descendants of the house of Orleans were to sit 
upon the throne of Castile. 

Alas ! the story is not told until the last chapter. 
Before the spring had turned to summer the beautiful 
Mercedes was in her grave, the last hope of the 
" King Father-in-law " had passed away, and Alfonso, 

' She died a few months afterwards at her house near Havre. 


Still not much more than a boy in years, was a 
broken-hearted man with all zest for life crushed 
out of him by the weight of his sorrow, thence- 
forward himself overshadowed by his own coming 
doom. But, withal, Alfonso was stout-hearted. He 
was never the same bright, merry fello\\^ that he had 
been before, and it was painful to see the effort with 
which he forced himself to appear interested with 
what went on around him, but he never wavered in 
his duty, and bore his burden bravely to the last. 

Every day that passed made Alfonso more beloved. 
His sorrow, his bravery, his obvious good intentions, 
his strict observance of the Constitution, and his 
personal attraction, had gathered around him the 
real affection of most of his subjects who were not 
irretrievably pledged to Carlism or the Republic. 
An attempt was made on his life in Madrid by a 
socialist Catalan in October, 1878, which gave rise 
to an imposing national demonstration of attachment 
to him. He well deserved it ; for the Conservatives 
of all grades, his mother, the Carlists and the 
clericals, tried their hardest to turn the attempt into 
an excuse for drawing him into a reactionary policy, 
but without success. Alfonso almost quarrelled even 
with Canovas and his ministers because they forbade 
the royal clemency being extended to the murderer.^ 

By the spring of 1879, when the elections for the 
new Cortes were to take place, the various political 

' Although the ministers would not allow the King to pardon his 
assailant, Alfonso pensioned the daughter of the man. On the 30th of 
December following (1879), a still more desperate attempt was made 
to shoot the King, who with his new bride had a very narrow escape. 



parties had assumed the positions which they were 
to occupy for many years to come. For the purpose 
of opposition and parHamentary campaign the con- 
stitutional Liberals, the moderate democrats and the 
possibilists, or Castelar republicans,^ coalesced under 
Sefior Sagasta, demanding at least a return to the 
Constitution of 1869, with purity of elections and a 
further decentralisation of local government ; whilst 
the clericals and reactionists, apprehensive of this 
strong new combination, constantly exerted them- 
selves to drive the Conservative party into extreme 
courses, and attempted, though with but little 
success, to use underhand court influence to this 
end. Canovas, though ostensibly the leader of the 
Conservative party, was on the side of moderation, 
and resisted both advance and retrocrression. But, 
in fact, there was not then, and has never been since, 
afiy sincerity or reality in the pretended antagonism 
of the political parties. There is no doubt that the 
new Liberal combination under Sagasta consented to 
return to regular Parliamentary opposition on the 
tacit, if not expressed, understanding, that both 
parties were to alternate in power, and that in turn 
the supporters of both were to have a fair share of 
the national loaves and fishes. 

This state of things has existed ever since, and 
the bewildering changes of government without any 
apparent reason, which so much puzzle foreigners, 
are thus explained. In opposition the Sagastinos 

' Zorilla, who had retired to Paris in disgust, refused to take any 
part in parliamentary opposition, which he looked upon as a sham, and 
Pi y Margall and the Federal Republicans also stood aloof. 


declaim against the open and flagrant falsification 
of election returns by their opponents, and demand 
purity of administration as well as democratic reform ; 
but when their spell of office comes, though appear- 
ances are kept up by some slight concessions in die 
way of legislation, all the old dishonesty of practice, 
wasteful and corrupt expenditure, and vicious adminis- 
tration are continued without a break. No attempt 
is made — or indeed can be made under present cir- 
cumstances — to trample out the evil that is sapping 
Spain's vigour, " empleomania : " no bold politician 
dares to look facts in the face and speak the whole 
truth. And so the evil circle is complete ; dishonest 
governments are faced in sham battle by dishonest 
oppositions, and parliamentary institutions, instead of 
being a public check upon abuses, are simply a mask 
behind which a large number of politicians may carry 
on their nefarious trade with impunity. Under these 
circumstances, therefore, the changes of ministry 
have little significance or influence on the national 
life, and need not henceforward be minutely described 
as they have hitherto been. 

Queen Mercedes had died childless, and it was 
considered necessary, if possible, to ensure the suc- 
cession to the Crown in the male line, as it was 
known that the King was consumptive. Alfonso 
still clung to the memory of his dead wife, but 
recognised the national desire that he should marry 
again, and his choice fell upon the Archduchess 
Maria Cristina of Austria, whom he had known in 
Vienna. In the autumn of 1879 the Archduchess 
and her mother were staying at Arcachon near 


Bordeaux, and thither went Alfonso to meet her. 
The wooing was a sad one, for the King was in deep 
mourning for his beloved sister Pilar, who had died a 
{ew weeks before, and he himself had just suffered a 
bad accident which partially disabled him. But yet 
as they walked in the sandy pinewoods of Arcachon 
they were a not unattractive couple. The lady with 
her long fair Austrian face and somewhat cold and 
haughty expression, had nevertheless a sweet, sincere 
directness of regard and speech which carried con- 
viction both of honesty and strength, and her slight, 
graceful figure was as tall as that of the King who 
chatted by her side. He was pale, and traces of 
suffering were already stamped deeply on his face, 
but he had grown into a han dsome, virile man ; and 
his quick intelligence, voluble speech, and mobile, 
smiling features, made him a delightful companion. 
He needed all his courage and high spirits, for 
calamity continued to assail his country. Famine 
had afflicted Spain, for months, and the poorer 
classes were suffering much, while politicians were 
wrangling interminably over the nostrums of Free 
Trade or Protection ^ ; but a still greater catastrophe 
hurried the King almost direct from his short court- 
ship to witness scenes of desolation which have 
rarely been exceeded even in Spain. In October 
of 1879 a terrible inundation desolated vast tracts 

^ This in Spain is mainly a provincial question. The Catalans being 
a manufacturing people, rich, industrious, enterprising, and well 
organised, insist upon protection for their mdustries ; whereas the 
Castilians and other agricultural populations clamour for free trade, in 
order that their needs may be cheaply supplied. It is needless to say 
that Spain does not depend upon foreign countries for its food supply. 


of the most fertile part of Spain, the kingdom of 
Murcia; villages were swept away, whole populations 
drowned, and important cities ruined. The heart 
of Europe was touched with the appalling story, 
and aid was sent in plenty to the thousands of home- 
less and destitute folk ; but though the material 
succour assuaged some of the suffering, the presence 
and personal efforts of the young King were a greater 
moral stimulus still. Alfonso did not spare himself 
Night and day, sometimes up to his knees in the 
mud and slime of the flooded streets, he worked 
heroically, directing and consoling. Alfonso had 
always been popular with his people but after his 
conduct in the Murcia floods he became, and re- 
mained, beloved as he had never been before. 

His second marriage was celebrated in the last 
days of the year (1879); this time with the full 
approval and presence of Isabel, and on the whole 
was not an unhappy one. Maria Cristina's name 
was against her, for it recalled that greedy old Maria 
Cristina, now dead, who had misgoverned Spain in 
Isabel's infancy ; and the cool inexpansiveness and 
seclusion of the new Queen did not please a people 
so long accustomed to take part in the daily life of 
their sovereigns as the Madrilenos had : but though 
they never loved the " Austrian," for she was a 
foreigner, they soon learnt at least to respect her 
for her rectitude, her virtue^ and her practical wisdom. 
Poor, impulsive, light-hearted Alfonso, moreover, was 
but a wayward husband to her at first, surrounded as 
he was by gay companions and trying to forget the 
past ; but he, too, ended by revering his devoted wife 


and the mother of his two daughters, the eldest of 
whom he called by the name of his unforgotten 
Mercedes ; whilst the Queen never faltered in her 
care and tenderness for the husband whom she could 
not from the first hope to retain for many years. 

The revolution in Cuba lingered in the centre 
of the island until February, 1878, when Marshal 
Martinez Campos, the Captain-General, finally ended 
it by means of a lavish expenditure in bribes and 
promises of autonomous reforms. The struggle had 
cost Spain nearly 100,000 men and forty millions 
sterling, and pacification had become an absolute 
necessity, unless the mother country was to be 
drained of the last drop of her sorely needed 
resources. But the promises made by Martinez 
Campos to the rebels were bitterly resented by 
the Conservative party in Spain, to which he 
belonged ; and prudent Canovas, anxious to retain 
his hold over the party, promptly resigned and made 
way for the marshal as Prime Minister when it 
became necessary to present to the Cortes in the 
spring of 1879 a Bill for gradually abolishing slavery 
in Cuba (as had already been done in Porto Rico) 
and otherwise making a show of keeping faith with 
the Cubans. 

The Government Bill for the abolition of slavery 
provided for no compensation to owners of slaves, 
but bound the latter to serve their old masters at 
a wage for eight years. The extreme Liberals were 
in favour of immediate manumission, whilst many 
Conservatives considered the Government proposals 
unfair to the slave-owners. Martinez Campos, on 


the other hand, refused to alter a Hne of the Bill 
and resigned (December 1879), and was succeeded 
by Canovas del Castillo, the Government proposals 
being then promptly pushed through the Cortes 
in the absence of the extreme parties on both 
sides, who withdrew from the Chamber in company 
with the representatives of Cuba. This, however, 
did not by any means settle the Cuban questions. 
Bitter discussions and recriminations took place in 
the Cortes with regard to the important financial 
and administrative reforms promised to the Cubans; 
and the rebels, finding that political parties in the 
mother country were not disposed to endorse the 
marshal's promises, once again raised the flag of 
revolt. Martinez Campos, who was no genius, was 
made the scapegoat, as doubtless Canovas intended 
from the first, the mass of the Conservative party 
practically disavowing him and his promises, although 
the Liberals and soldiers like Concha, Jovellar, and 
Pavia, who were acquainted p^sonally with the 
conditions of Cuba, sided with him. The result was 
that the promises were not kept and the state of the 
unhappy island became worse than even. The cost 
of the war was saddled upon Cuba, whose debt was 
thereby increased to fifteen millions sterling. In the 
face of a decline in the prosperity of the sugar 
industry fresh taxes were piled upon the already 
half-ruined people, who thenceforward were pillaged 
and wronged almost without restraint by those who 
were anxious to sweep in their ill-gotten wealth 
before the inevitable tornado came which should 
sweep them out of the land. 


The persistence of Canovas in power by throwing 
over Martinez Campos and sacrificing Cuban reforms 
drove all the opposition elements into fusion under 
Sagasta, now aided by " the generals," who under- 
stood the critical condition of the colony. " The 
generals," too, began to hint at a military revolt 
like that of 1854, unless the Conservatives gave the 
other side a turn of office, and Alfonso himself sought 
to redress matters by smiling upon the opposition. 
In February, 1881, therefore, Canovas resigned the 
premiership, and was succeeded by Sagasta and a 
Liberal government, which for the first time in the 
modern parliamentary history of Spain attained office 
by peaceful constitutional means. Naturally a party 
which had reached power by such means and pro- 
mises as those used by Sagasta was unable to satisfy 
all its elements, and soon a discontented democratic 
left, under Serrano, split off, whilst protectionist 
Cataluna, and manufacturers generally, rebelled 
against the supposed free-trade tendencies of the 
Government. Socialist agitation, especially in the 
south and east of Spain, assumed alarming propor- 
tions as a result of the disappointment felt by the 
advanced Liberals, and the same cause was the pre- 
text for a revolt of the garrison of Badajoz (August 
4, 1883), which, however, was soon suppressed by the 
activity of Martinez Campos, who was acting tempor- 
arily as Prime Minister during Sagasta's absence.^ 

' There is no doubt that this was intended to be part of a widely 
organised rising in favour of the RepubHc under Sah-neron and Zorilla, 
with the Constitution of 1869, and many small partial attempts were 
made simultaneously, but, mainly owing to Martinez Campos' vigour, 
none of them succeeded. 


The ministry made heroic attempts to regain some 
of its lost prestige. Alfonso was taken all over the 
country reviewing troops and making pleasant 
speeches ; but, unfortunately, was also allowed to 
pay an ostentatious round of visits to Germany and 
Austria. Although the Marquis de Vega Armijo, 
the Foreign Minister, took the responsibility of this 
step, it doubtless originated with Alfonso himself, 
who wished to visit the great German army man- 
oeuvres, and possibly also had an idea of international 
combinations. In any case, Canovas and the Con- 
servatives were strongly opposed to the King's 
voyage, and events proved that they were right. 
The German court was, for political reasons, some- 
what demonstrative in its welcome to the Spanish 
King, who was appointed an honorary colonel of 
Uhlans ; and during Alfonso's return, on his way 
through Paris (September 29, 1883), he was grossly 
insulted by the irrepressible scum of the French 
capital. " Down with the Uhlan King ! " " Down 
with Alfonso ! " was the best welcome that the 
courtes}' of Paris could extend to a foreign monarch 
with whom France was at peace ; and the Govern- 
ment of Jules Ferry, though full of polite expressions, 
made no attempt either to repress or punish the 
outrage. The insult added, if possible, to Alfonso's 
popularity with his own people, but it left much ill 
blood behind it, and further weakened a Government 
which had acquiesced, if it had not prompted, the 
King's voyage. 

Sagasta at length perceived that the time was 
arriving when the Conservatives must again be 


allowed to have their turn of office, and he suddenly 
became strongly Liberal again. Did the democratic 
left wish for universal suffrage ? Certainly ; they 
should have it. The full constitution of 1869 ? Don 
Praxedes Mateo Sagasta had no objection at all. But 
it was too late for him to avoid his own fall, although 
a coalition ministry of more advanced Liberals for a 
short time followed him, under Posada Herrera, most 
of the members being pledged to the introduction of 
universal suffrage and the revision of the Constitution, 
in a Radical sense. A term of opposition, however, 
was necessary to knit together again the Liberal web, 
and Canovas returned to office in January, 1884,^^ 
with a decree for the dissolution of Parliament. A 
dissolution was necessary in any case, and Alfonso 
has been somewhat unjustly blamed for not allowing 
the Liberals to dissolve instead of the Conservatives, 
but all such discussion is empty and academic, in 
face of the tacit understanding that each party was 
to have its share of office ; and the Liberals were so 

' Of the many promises made by the Liberals in opposition, almost 
the only one fulfilled was that to promote trade by treaties of com- 
merce. Those with France and Germany were passed, against bitter 
Catalan opposition, but that with England was so unpopular as to be 
impossible. In the following year (March, 1885), when Canovas' 
ministry was attempting to arrive at a modus vivendi with England on 
the basis of the admission of Spanish wines up to 30 per cent, alcoholic 
strength at the shilling a gallon duty, Alfonso committed a grave 
imprudence. A deputation of Catalans addressed him against the 
project, and the King in reply made a violent protectionist speech, 
which the Government were obliged to cover with their responsibility, 
but which practically condemned their own action ; and the arrange- 
ment with England fell through. Alfonso's impulsive sympathy not 
infrequently led him into mistakes of this sort. 


(Liberal Prime Minister.) 


profoundly divided that, whatever section of them 
formed a government or controlled the Cortes, they 
were certain to be faced by a coalition of dissentients 
and Conservatives, which would render another dis- 
solution necessary, and government would become 

In the spring and summer of 1885 an appalling 
visitation of Asiatic cholera descended upon Spain, 
beginning in Valencia and Murcia, and soon reaching 
Madrid. The King and his wife refused to abandon 
the capital for a place of immunity, whatever hap- 
pened I ; and great as was the dismay, the decision 
of the royal family added much to Alfonso's popu- 
larity. By the middle of the summer, however, the 
epidemic was committing awful devastation in the 
south-east of Spain, and the stout-hearted little King 
saw that Madrid, bad as it was, was not the place of 
greatest danger, and consequently not the place of 
greatest honour. He begged hard of Canovas to be 
allowed to go to the plague-stricken districts, but 
the Government absolutely refused to take such a 
responsibility, and threatened to resign if the King 
persisted, Sagasta and the Liberals being of the same 
opinion. Alfonso gave way, as his manner was, and 
apparently abandoned the project. At the end of 
June between 500 and 600 fatal cases a day were 
recorded, and one of the worst centres of the epidemic 
was the village surrounding the palace of Aranjuez, 
about twenty-seven miles from Madrid. On July 2nd 

' It will be recollected that Isabel II. had incurred much unpopularity 
for having stayed away from Madrid during the previous visitation in 


the King went ostensibly for a walk in the Retiro 
gardens, attended by only one gentleman, and 
without notice to any one, suddenly entered a train 
about to depart and slipped away to plague-stricken 
Aranjuez, where he visited the hospitals and patients, 
encouraged the officials, offered his palace for the 
shelter of convalescents, and provided succour for the 
necessitous. Soon the news reached Madrid : the 
unconstitutional act of the King was forgotten in its 
generosity, and when Alfonso returned at night all 
the capital greeted him as he had rarely been 
welcomed before. 

Through the autumn of 1885 Spain was in a fever 
of excitement with regard to the attempt of Germany 
to take possession of the Caroline Islands, which 
Spain had always claimed but never effectively 
occupied. The populace of Madrid, especially, lost 
all sense of restraint and proportion, and were for 
immediate war, without counting the cost. Thanks, 
however, entirely to the coolness of the German 
Government, who acted with great prudence through- 
out, the question at issue was referred to the Pope, 
who eventually (early in 1886) awarded to Spain the 
Carolines proper, whilst refusing her claim to the 
Gilbert, Marshall, and Mulgrave groups, as also to 
the Palaos and Maleotas, between the Philippines and 
the Carolines. 

But amidst these warlike demonstrations ominous 
rumours began to circulate about the King's health. 
A slight cold neglected, said the doctors at first ; but 
it was noticed that Alfonso had grown thin and list- 
less, and he rarely appeared in public. The officials 


and courtiers, too, overdid the talk of his robustness, 
and proclaimed with suspicious vociferation every 
movement of the King outside his chamber, as if the 
performance of his ceremonial duties was something 
to be wondered at. Then early in October there 
came talk of his going to a milder climate for the 
winter, in place of cruel Madrid ; ^ but even this had 
to be abandoned, and at the end of the month the 
King was carried to the suburban palace of the 
Pardo ; though it was said that on the approaching 
marriage of his sister Eulalia with Montpensier's son, 
Antonio, he would go and pass a few weeks amongst 
the orange groves of San Lucar. Through it all, to 
the last, the officials and the Government insisted 
that Alfonso was in perfect health ; and he himself 
scoffed at the idea of his being ill, and resented the 
least suggestion that he was an invalid. His jokes 
and funny stories, of which he was so fond, became 
more frequent than ever, but the racking cough and 
hectic flush that accompanied them made the hearers 
weep tears of pity behind their courtier smiles. On 
November 22nd his mother and his wife, with the 
Duchess of Montpensier, visited him at the Pardo, 
and drove into the country. A close carriage had 
been ordered ; but Alfonso hated close carriages,^ and 
though his family and friends prayed him to follow 

' The Madrilenos have a proverb that the air of Madrid is so 
penetrating that it will kill a man and not put out a candle. It is 
particularly dangerous to persons of consumptive or bronchial ten- 

^ When he was well he nearly always used a high-hooded gig or 
cabriolet, with a tandem team. 


the physicians' recommendation and use a closed 
vehicle, and, as usual, he appeared to agree with 
them, an open carriage was at the door when the 
time came. The air of the mountains was cold and 
raw, and when the party returned the King stood 
laughing and chatting with his mother, wife, and 
aunt before a great wood fire. The Duchess of 
Montpensier reminded him that the 28th was his 
birthday, and promised to come and dine with him 
on that day. Suddenly he became grave, a cloud 
passed over his face, and as if musing he murmured 
— " K nice way to spend my twenty-eighth birth- 
day ! " It was indeed, for he passed it in his coffin ! 
If he was aware of his condition when he used the 
expression is uncertain, but these were the only 
words that ever passed his lips indicating any such 
knowledge. From that day the King was stricken 
for death, and three days afterwards, on November 
25th, Alfonso de Bourbon breathed his last. His 
devoted wife had been induced to leave his bedside 
for a time to take some rest. Several times during 
the night and early morning she approached him 
silently to watch his j^rogress ; and on the last occa- 
sion, at eight o'clock in the morning, she tiptoed to 
the side of the sleeping King alone. Suddenly some- 
thing in his appearance alarmed her, and she cried 
aloud, heartbroken, " Alfonso ! Alfonso ! He is 
dying ! " And she guessed aright, for in a few- 
minutes she was a widow and the mother of a 
King as yet unborn. 

It is too early yet to pass judgment upon Alfonso 
XII. as a king, but at least it may be honestly 


asserted that he never meant evil. He had many 
of his mother's quahties, though with an infinitely- 
stronger will, but he had been better trained than 
she, and had learned in adversity the lessons which 
she needed to make her a good queen. The circum- 
stances of his country, moreover, were more favour- 
able ; his subjects had advanced considerably in 
capacity for representative government, and the sove- 
reign's task was a much easier one than that which 
had fallen either to Fernando VII. or to Isabel II. 
His death left Spain in a perfect panic of sorrow and 
apprehension for the future ; but pity, chivalry, and 
patriotism on the part of the governed, and, for once, 
wisdom and moderation on the part of the governors, 
enabled the nation to pass through a trying inter- 
regnum without disturbance, and to prove to the 
world that Spain, although slowly, was profiting by 
her hard experience. 

Before proceeding to sketch briefly the events of 
the present reign a glance backward at the progress 
of the country under the restoration may be interest- 
ing. Spanish finance still retained its invariable 
character of improvident optimism. First on the 
programme of all political parties, and most elo- 
quently proclaimed in all political speeches, was 
the principle of financial integrity and economy ; 
but the estimates, however roseate when presented, 
always resulted in a heavy deficit which had to be 
added to the floating debt, and the collection and 
expenditure were as incurably corrupt as ever ; whilst 
the taxation still weighed heavily upon the people in 
the form of excise on necessary articles of food. But 


the advance in wealth of the rest of the world acted 
to some extent upon Spain, and though the people 
were, and are still, sorely burdened, the standard of 
living had been considerably raised ; houses were 
more comfortable, manners were softened, and the 
respectable classes in towns were distinctly better 
off than thev had been. 

The amount of annual revenue collected at the 
period of Alfonso's death fluctuated between thirty 
and thirty-two millions sterling, and the conversion, 
reduction, and reorganisation of the various national 
debts had considerably relieved the exchequer ; the 
new Spanish consolidated 4 per cent, being quoted 
at about 60, so that the credit of the country stood 
higher than it had done for many years. This was 
partly owing to the fact that Spain had apparently 
shaken from her politics the yoke of militarism, and 
that the days of prommciainientos were over. The 
trade of the country also had enormously increased, 
the imports being in 1882 worth ;i^3 2,666,676, and the 
exports ;^30,6i 5,043 : whereas in 1862 they had only 
been respectively worth ^^"16,793, 127 and ^i 1,105,322, 
the value of trade having therefore much more than 
doubled in twenty years. The principal items of 
increase of exports were wine, minerals, and oranges, 
of which France and England were the best cus- 
tomers, as the following figures will prove : — 





1S62. 1S82. 

Imports from 



;^4, 198,424 ;^6,S34,055 

Exports to 



3,086,209 9.407,659 

Totals ;^8,787,i5o ;^2i,226,399 

;^7,284,633 ;^i6,24T,7i4 


whereas the great increase between Spain and 
Germany in the same period had been ahnost 
entirely in goods imported into Spain, which had 
risen from ^i6,6i6 in 1862, to ;^3, 309,661 in 

The movement of shipping had been also remark- 
able, the amount of tonnage entering Spanish ports 
having been in 1862, 2,836,966 tons ; and in 1882, 
18,310,608 tons, of which nearly one-third was 
English, notwithstanding the heavy differential dues 
in favour of Spanish ships. The protection of 
Catalan textiles and the jealousy of manufacturers 
almost closes the door against English goods, and 
our principal exports to Spain are coal, coke, pig- 
iron, and machinery, whilst we mostly receive 
from her minerals, fine wines, and fruit ; the main 
produce of Spain sent to France being common 
red wine for the purpose of turning into French 

In other ways, too, the country had advanced. A 
great increase had been made in the mileage of the 
splendid State high-roads ; and, thanks to foreign 
capital — mainly French and Belgian — railways and 
irrigation works had been augmented to some extent. 
The population had now risen to seventeen and a 
half million souls, of whom 28 per cent, could read 
and write in 1885, as against 20 per cent, twenty 
years before, notwithstanding the wretched school 
system, compulsory only in name, which left the 

' The falling off of English exports into Spain is continuous, having 
fallen to ;!^3, 330,747 in 1897, whereas the Spanish produce received in 
England for the same year had risen to ^13,125,000. 

Progress of spa in. 547 

national schoolmasters unpaid, and considered suf- 
ficient one school for every 560 of the population.^ 

The artistic and literary movements in the period 
now under review had been very marked, annual 
exhibitions of pictures in Madrid and Barcelona, and 
the support of chosen students by the State, greatly 
adding to the artistic production. In 1878 the world- 
famous picture by Pradilla, one of the State students, 
was exhibited, representing the " Crazy " Queen 
Jane jealously watching the coffin of her husband 
in an open field on a snowy night, rather than allow 
it to enter a convent of nuns. Ribera, Gisbert, 
Degrain, Villegas (painter of the famous "Baptism"), 
Madrazo, and Rosales, also produced notable works 
during the reign of Alfonso : whilst in Paris and 
Rome at the same time Spanish artists were fol- 
lowing in the school of the famous Fortuny, and 
producing characteristic Spanish work of the highest 

The final triumph of the limited inonarchy and 
parliamentary government of a sort had at least 
freed the expression of thought from trammels, and 
Spanish letters now took a wider flight. It is true 
that during the reign of Alfonso the famous, if some- 
what gloomy and overrated, romantic tragedies of 
Echegaray were produced : "En el pufio de la Espada," 
" La Esposa del Vengador," " El Gran Galeoto," &c., 
and a large number of lighter theatrical pieces by less 
well-known men, but generally speaking the larger 

' There were in 1885 24,529 public elementary schools and 5,576 
private schools in Spain, the number of scholars on the books being 


sphere now opened to writers turned some of the 
best pens to other than dramatic work. The most 
popular of all Spanish writers was — and still is — ■ 
Benito Perez Galdos, with his twenty volumes of 
patriotic novels called " Episodios Nacionales," be- 
ginning with incidents of the reign of Charles IV., 
and bringing the story of Spanish politics and society 
in fiction down to our own times. Though not so 
popular as Galdos Jose Maria Pereda, who at this 
period produced some of his best work, is in many 
respects far superior, as in his novels, " Pedro San- 
chez," " Sotileza," and others, treating of the Biscay 
life he knows and loves so well. Juan Valera. was 
still writing, and the poet-politician Ayala died only 
shortly before Alfonso ; but some entirely new 
writers of genius were now heard of for the first time, 
Leopold Alas (Clan'n), a great literary critic, but a 
far greater novelist, had just written (1884) his fine 
analytical romance, " La Regenta " ; and Armando 
Palacio Valdes had commenced his career with 
" Marta y Maria," and " La Hermana de San Sul- 
picio." Their greatest contemporary rival, the most 
famous Spanish woman writer of this century, is 
Emilia Pardo Bazan, whose novels of her native 
province, Galicia, are photographic in their fidelity 
to life, although her best work, " Los Pazos de 
UUoa," " De mi tierra " and " La Madre Naturaleza," 
were not written until after the death of Alfonso. 

Apart from writers of fiction, the Spaniard who 
attracted most attention as an author during 
Alfonso's reign and since was Marcelino Menendez 
y Pelayo, whose extraordinary learning and keen 

'% ' 

" %*4 



critical faculty were shown in his " Ciencia espanola," 
and " Historia de los Heterodoxos espanoles " (1881), 
although his more famous " Historia de las ideas 
esteticas en Espafla " did not appear until later. 
He is indeed, although still comparatively young, 
the head of a profound but somewhat heavy school of 
Spanish historical writing, of which the laborious 
Father Fidel Fita, Captain Fernandez Duro, and 
Sefior Azcarate are the most distinguished members. 

Alfonso's elder daughter, Mercedes, succeeded 
temporarily as Queen, with her mother as Regent, 
pending the birth of the expected child of the latter. 
It was a period of suspense, during which, to the 
honour of all parties, controversy was hushed. In 
order to give the opposition no excuse for agitation, 
Canovas, with true patriotism, recommended the 
grief-stricken Regent in the early days of her 
widowhood to entrust the government to his oppo- 
nents, the Liberals under Sagasta, and to the latter 
fell the duty of proclaiming to the waiting nation 
the birth of Alfonso XIII. on the 17th of May, 1886. 

It has already been remarked that the Regent was 
unfortunate in her name and nationality, for of the 
two Queen Regents of Spain during the minority 
of the sovereigns, their children, one had been a 
Cristina and the other an Austrian, and both had 
been bad. Many a grave head shook at the ominous 
conjunction of the two, and doubt grew into alarmed 
conviction amongst the superstitious people when the 
Queen insisted upon calling her child after his father, 
Alfonso, for the number he would have to bear in 
history was the THIRTEENTH, and surely this, they 


said, was inviting disaster ! But the Regent, though 
a Cristinaand an Austrian, walked straight and stead- 
fastly, living a blameless life ; self-restrained and 
wary, devoted to her children and honest towards her 
adopted country, she tried to banish the evil omens 
that surrounded the prospects of her baby son. 
Whether she will have succeeded remains yet to 
be seen ; but those who have read this history will 
admit that it has been indeed a great achievement 
to have kept the throne of her son safe and firm, and 
the country free from civil war, during the thirteen 
)'ears of her regency. 

The political parties alternate in office with as 
little reason or profit to the country as before ; the 
old abuses of " empleomania " and administrative 
corruption go on without great change ; the rural 
classes are still crushed with fiscal burdens so great 
as, in many cases, to make their arid un irrigated land 
not worth tilling ; but the nation lives its life, and 
progresses independently of its politics, only asking 
to be allowed to work in peace, and to keep some 
portion of the product of its labour for its own suste- 
nance. We have seen how rough has been the 
awakening on every occasion that impatient re- 
formers have sought prematurely to raise the nation 
politically more rapidly than its development in 
other respects warranted. It may now be safely 
asserted that during the last thirty years the people 
themselves have with much painful effort almost 
reached the level of their present political institu- 
tions, and if left to work out their own social salva- 
tion without fresh convulsions will make vast strides 


in enlightenment and prosperity in the next few 

Only by this process, and not by the impatient 
efforts of politicians, can the deeply-rooted evils 
which have ruined Spain be cast out. With a raised 
standard of comfort for all classes and a conse- 
quent greater need for money, the crowding into the 
wretchedly paid State service will give way to more 
profitable industry ; with the spread of education and 
wealth the advantages of a stable earned income over 
the precarious windfalls of corruption will be apparent. 
In the case of Spain, as with other countries, the social, 
moral, and intellectual uprising should precede, or 
at least go hand in hand with the full enjoyment 
of popular government, in order that the benefit of 
the latter may be felt by the nation at large. The 
misfortune of Spain has been that the opposite course 
was followed by well-meaning men, who thought to 
remedy in a year the evils imposed by centuries of 
serfdom ; and this history has been mainly concerned 
in relating how the plant of Spain civilisation has 
gradually in the course of a century pushed its way 
through the stones that politicians have piled upon 
the land. 

It was 1890 before the Liberal promises made 
in opposition were partially fulfilled with regard to 
the reform of the " restoration " Constitution of 
1876, but some of the clauses to which advanced 
democrats most objected were wisely still allowed 
to stand. The power of making laws remained as 
before, " invested in the Cortes with the King " ; 
the Senate continued to consist of three classes, 


namely : grandees, bishops, and high officers of 
State, sitting by right, with lOO members nominated 
by the Crown, and i8o elected by Provincial Councils, 
Universities, and other Corporations, one-half of the 
elected Senators being elected every five years : but 
the popular chamber is now elected by indirect vote 
on a residential manhood suffrage. There are 431 
members, of whom 88 are elected in 26 large districts 
with several members each, and the rest by equal 
single-member electoral districts of 50,000 inhabi- 
tants each. Every province has now its provincial 
elected council, which has charge of the local 
government ; and each Commune has its district 
council with control over the local taxation of the 
town or district, so that the Radical cry for decen- 
tralisation has also been met. Unfortunately, however, 
official jobbery and administrative corruption continue 
to tamper disastrously with elections, local and 
parliamentary, and, perfect as the machinery appears 
on paper, the apathy of the population still allows a 
iQ.\N party wire-pullers, who in Spanish political slang 
are called " caciques," to control almost everything. 

Canovas and the Conservatives returned to power 
in 1890, after the reform of the Constitution, but made 
way for Sagasta again two years later. It was during 
Sagasta's term of office early in 1895 that the Cuban 
question again became acute. Since Spain had 
broken the promises made for her by Martinez 
Campos at Zanjon in 1878, the Cubans had been 
organising in the United States a supreme struggle 
for their national independence, and the first 
successful movement v/as made from Santo Domingo 


in March, 1895, the chief organisers being Jose Marti, 
who fell early in the struggle, and Maximo Gomez, 
the most active leaders being the mulatto brothers 
Maceo, who landed at Baracoa on March 31st, to be 
followed by Marti and Gomez a fortnight later at 
Maisi. There were only 19,000 Spanish soldiers in 
Cuba, less than half of whom were in the eastern part 
of the island where rebellion was strong. The Captain- 
General, Isasi, proclaimed martial law at Matanzas 
and Santiago, and troops were brought from Porto 
Rico, but the home government had no desire to 
fight, if affairs could be settled by concession or 
money, and Martinez Campos was sent hurriedly by 
Sagasta to carry out a policy of conciliation com- 
bined with force. 

The Cubans at first were divided into two well- 
defined parties, one in favour of complete inde- 
pendence, and the other promising to be content 
with autonomy under the Spanish flag. It was 
Martinez Campos' task to divide these two parties 
and dominate them separately, the one by arms and 
the other by promises ; but events marched rapidly. 
The rebels increased largely in numbers, resources 
reached them readily from Santo Domingo, Jamaica, 
and the States; and on September 13, 1895, the 
first Constituent Cuban Assembly met at Jimaguaya 
and formally proclaimed the Cuban Republic, of 
which the revered Salvador Cisneros was elected 
President with a regularly constituted administration, 
and with Maximo Gomez and Antonio Maceo the 
cfenerals to command the forces. 

The natives in arms were greatly favoured by the 

From Photo by\ [Fernando Debas, Madrid. 


(Tlic late Consetvative Prime Minister.) 


mountains and thickly wooded country in which they 
fought, and time after time the Spaniards fell into 
ambush and were slaughtered. The malarious fever 
worked havoc in the ranks of poorly fed lads who 
formed the Spanish rank and file, and it was seen that 
once more Spain must strain every nerve or lose the 
" pearl of the Antilles." The line of blockhouses and 
entrenched fences across the island, separating the 
loyal from the rebel territory, was reconstructed, and 
by the end of the year 1895 Martinez Campos had 
80,000 Spanish soldiers to face the insurrection. 
But in the broken jungle and rugged mountains 
large bodies were almost useless. The rebels in 
small bands crept through the lines by thousands to 
Cienfuegos and Espiritu Santo. Everywhere they 
eluded large bodies and destroyed small ones, and 
soon Martinez Campos found that almost within sight 
of Havana a rebel force of 12,000 men could muster 
with impunity. The people of the country outside 
the reach of Spanish bayonets were persuaded or 
coerced to join the insurrection and cut off Spanish 
supplies ; and even in the extreme west of the island 
beyond Havana, in the province of Pinar del Rio, 
Maceo with 4,000 men defied the armies of Spain. 
The Spaniards in Havana and at home soon lost 
patience at the failure of Martinez Campos, for whilst 
he was unable to beat the rebels in the field, no one 
would listen to his talk of concession and conciliation. 
With the return of Canovas and the Conservatives to 
power a fatal new policy towards Cuba was adopted. 
There was to be no conciliation until the rebellion had 
been utterly crushed, and the man chosen for the fell 


work was Valeriano Weyler, Marquis of Tenerife, who 
arrived in the island early in 1896. He had shown 
Cubans in the previous war the stuff of which he was 
made, and came with all the terror surrounding his 
name, for the avowed purpose of drowning in blood 
the hopes of Cuban independence. 

His plan was to cause the wretched country people 
in the districts occupied by the rebels to be concen- 
trated in fixed places under Spanish guard, and then 
to set forth on a regular systematic campaign of extir- 
pation of person and property within the provinces 
from which these " pacific " people had been cleared. 
All through the summer of 1896 the work of devas- 
tation ^vent on with savagery worthy of the first 
Spanish conquerors, the miserable " pacificos " dying 
by thousands of starvation and fever, for the Spaniards 
themselves were hungry and sick, and these unhappy 
people were in still worse case. Gomez and the 
Maceos with their forces were ubiquitous, and as 
savage in their reprisals as was Weyler in his attack. 
Many Cuban leaders fell, amongst them Jose Maceo, 
but the worst disaster was the loss of his brother 
Antonio Maceo, the second in command, who was 
caught and killed by the Spaniards in the autumn. 
Discouragement fell upon the rebel forces, and Gomez 
abandoned the west part of the island, whilst We)^ler 
gradually pushed ever further eastward his zone of 
destruction. Santiago, Manzanillo, Holguin, and the 
other large towns in the east were in Spanish hands, 
but the open country was still held by the Cubans, 
and here with ruthless ferocity the guerrilla war of 
extermination was carried on. 

55B Restoration without retrogression. 

But civilisation was growing sick of this savage 
slaughter, especially in the United States, where a 
great number of Cubans were resident ; and in Spain 
itself Liberals and Democrats were crying shame and 
reproach upon such warfare. At this point, in August, 
1897, the Spanish Premier, Canovas del Castillo, was 
murdered by an Italian anarchist in a northern 
watering-place ; and, after a short transition ministry 
under General Azcarraga, Sagasta and the Liberals 
came into office. A sudden change in Cuban policy 
was the result, and General Blanco was sent out to 
pacify the island with offers of autonomy. Blanco 
arrived in Cuba in November, 1 897, and at once com- 
menced his merciful commission. Some of the starving 
" pacificos " were sent back to their ruined homes, and 
an attempt made to save them from utter extinction by 
famine and pestilence : the Cuban home-rule measure 
was put into effect, and an island parliament assem- 
bled, but matters had already gone too far. The blood 
wantonly spilt could not be forgotten by either side, 
and, with the exception of Spaniards and a few town- 
dwellers of Cuban birth, no one was in favour now 
of home-rule under the Spanish flag ; though Blanco 
struggled manfully to win the people to his side. The 
Cubans in arms and their United States sympathisers 
could not forget how Martinez Campos' promises had 
been broken and would trust Spain no more. The 
Republican Government now under President Masso, 
with Gomez and Calisto Garcia as generals, held 
firmly to its demand for complete independence, and 
" Cuba libre ! " was the only cry that reached Cuban 


The United States Government could not fail to be 
deeply moved at these events passing at its own doors 
and in a country where the interests of its citizens 
were so large. President Cleveland in his message to 
Congress of December, 1896, had warned the Spanish 
Government that the patience of the United States 
was nearly at an end, and a year later President 
McKinley had repeated the warning. In the mean- 
while the " volunteers " and other Spanish friends of 
the old abuses in Havana were acting towards Blanco 
as outrageously as years before they had done towards 
Dulce. The turbulence and rioting in the city 
threatened United States interests, and the Maine, 
U.S. battleship, was sent to Havana Harbour to watch 
events. On the night of the 15th of February, i89<S, 
a terrible explosion shook the city, and the Maine 
was destroyed with awful loss of life. Already the re- 
lations of the countries were strained, for the horrors 
of Weyler's campaign, and the appeals of the Cubans 
in arms, had touched the imagination of the United 
States citizens, and this explosion was sufficient to fire 
their indignation beyond control. That the Maine 
was destroyed by a submarine mine is certain, but 
whether discharged purposely from the shore, or 
accidentally, is still in dispute. If so hideous a crime 
was committed it was positively not with the con- 
nivance of any responsible Spanish authority or 
government, for it was the most untoward event that 
could have happened for the afflicted country, and for 
those who were now striving honestly to grant to 
Cubans full autonomy under the old flag. 

On the 19th of April the United States legislature 


adopted a joint resolution to the effect that the 
Cubans " are, and of right ought to be, free and inde- 
pendent," and demanded the withdrawal of Spanish 
forces and authority from the island. Spain was poor 
and unprepared, but she was anxiously desirous at 
last to do justice to Cuba, and was proudly indignant 
at the peremptory demand of the American Republic. 
Her honour was touched, she dared not give way, and 
by the end of April the Cuban ports were blockaded 
by American cruisers, and unhappy Spain was again 
sending the flower of her youth and her sorely-needed 
resources to be sunk into the bottomless gulf which 
the ineptitude and bad faith of her own rulers had 
opened. Once more picturesque patriotism over-rode 
all other considerations. Eloquent declamation, fervid 
demands for any sacrifice but that of honour, blessing 
of banners, rogations at shrines, solemn dedication 
of lives to death or victory ; beautiful, romantic, and 
touching, but, alas ! what was lacking was business- 
like prior preparation. Devoted sacrifice and imprac- 
ticable professions were useless with the enemy at 
the door, the Spanish ships foul and unready, the 
p-uns obsolete, and the ammunition short. America 
was unready too, but with unlimited resources, a near 
base, and the Cubans on her side, her unreadiness 
was more easily remedied. 

The war was a little one, so far as land operations 
were concerned. The sinking of the Spanish squadron 
at Manila proved how utterly unprepared was the naval 
force of Spain, upon which the last hope of rescuing 
the Antilles depended. The main Spanish fleet under 
Admiral Cervera left the Cape de Verde islands at 


the end of April, ami evaded the American squadron 
for some time in the neighbourhood of Cuba, entering 
the harbour of Santiago on the 19th of ?klay, where 
it was promptly blockaded by Admiral Sampson and 
the United States fleet. A futile bombardment of 
the land forts was attempted by the American ships, 
and an attempt made by sinking the Merriiiiac in the 
mouth of the harbour to bar Cervera's escape ; but 
finally a regular attack in force on the town from the 
land side had to be made by aUnited States army corps; 
and when the place was thus closely beleaguered by 
land and sea, the only escape for the Spanish fleet 
was to run the gauntlet and force a passage from the 
harbour in which, with incredible ineptitude, it had 
allowed itself to be caught like a rat in a trap. It 
was heroic, hopeless, and useless. The ships were 
outclassed by the Americans, they were in wretched 
condition, the guns were obsolete and badly served 
and the ammunition short. On the 3rd of July four 
Spanish cruisers and two torpedo destroyers sallied 
from Santiago Harbour, in face of the American fleet, 
and attempted to escape. They were pursued by the 
big battleships and sunk or driven ashore as they ran 
with fearful carnage, and thus, for the fourth time in 
her history, Spain temporarily disappeared as a naval 
power. Santiago promptly surrendered, and the pre- 
liminaries of peace were agreed to in Washington on 
the 1 2th of August, by which exhausted Spain was 
forced to renounce all her rights over Cuba, Porto 
Rico, and the Philippines. 

The fate of Cuba and the Philippines still trembles 
in the balance as we write, and Porto Rico, which had 



sought no change, is now an American possession ; 
but whatever may become of these tropical lands, at 
least they will return no more to the dominion whose 
nerveless hand has let them go, and they have for 
ever ceased to belong to the future history of Spain. 
Pity, as we must, the pathetic helplessness of a brave 
and ardent nation which thus, almost without an effort, 
sees the last shred of its great trans- Atlantic empu'e 
torn from it, we can only bend our heads to the in- 
exorable law that tells us, " Surely your sin shall find 
you out." Cruelty, rapine, and injustice had marked 
Spanish rule both at home and in the Colonies ; but 
just at the hour when brighter days were dawning, 
and the sound-hearted people of Spain were entering 
the circle of enlightened self-governing nations, the 
sins of their fathers are visited upon them, and the 
payment for past evil is exacted to the full. 

The sacrifice was inevitable, and yet one set of 
politicians after another have sought to make capital 
out of it for themselves, and have ended by casting 
upon the woman who strove hardest for peace, Queen 
Cristina, the onus of the calamitous result for which 
every person in Spain is more responsible than she. 
Sagasta has made way for Canovas' successor, Silvela ; 
Liberals and Conservatives have sought to shift upon 
each other, and have finally agreed to shift upon the 
Queen Regent, the act of surrender ; whilst patriotic 
Don Carlos has been threatening to revive his hopeless 
cause and fill the cup of the nation's sorrow when the 
sacrifice was complete. 

The fate of the child-King Alfonso XIII. and of 
his nation rests upon the knees of the gods, but one 


thing may be safely predicted, namely, that Carlism 
as a political system is dead in Spain. A new gene- 
ration of prosperous Basques has sprung up, who are 
contented with things as they are ; absolutism, upon 
which Carlism depended outside of the Basque pro- 
vinces, is past revival, and a popular constitutional 
government, republic or monarchy, is alone possible 
in Spain, the most naturally democratic country in 

The story we have had to tell has been a pitiable 
one in many respects ; a story of almost unbroken 
calamity and trouble for over a century : but it has 
in it the germ of consolation, that through all the 
wickedness and folly which have marked the pro- 
gress of governments, the tendency of the people 
has been mainly upward. "Hurrah for chains!" 
will be heard no more, and a return to the days of 
Fernando, or even of Isabel II., is as impossible now 
as a return to the despotism of the Philips. Spain's 
greatness and Spain's ultimate misery arose from the 
same cause, namely, the extension of her interests 
and dominions beyond the power of control possessed 
by her own nation. It may be that the loss of her 
vast possessions will prove a blessing in disguise to 
the Niobe of nations, and that fate will be satisfied 
with this last great atonement, and will bring to an 
end the long tale of Spain's tribulations with a wise, 
happy, and prosperous reign for Alfonso XIII- 



The loss of the Spanish possessions in the West 
Indies and the PhiUppines naturally produced an 
enormous reaction in Spain. A wave of pessimism 
swept over the country, which is specially reflected 
in the literature of the period. A demand for 
reforms in administration was loudly raised, and 
in many quarters the loss of the colonies was 
looked upon as a not unmixed evil, if its result 
were to be the turning of the attention of the 
country to home problems. Looking back on 
the period which has elapsed since the fateful 
year, one sees signs of a continuous effort being 
made towards the political, social and economical 
regeneration of the country, but the climb out 
of the abyss has been an arduous one, with not 
a few falls backward. Here an attempt can only 
be made to indicate some of the main features of 
the struggle which all lovers of Spain have watched 
with sympathy. 

It will be impossible to follow the frequent 
changes of Government. The system of rotation 

of parties has gone on practically unchanged, 



though the manoeuvres have been comphcated 
by the rise of the Regionahst and Sociahst forces. 
Both main parties, Liberal and Conservative, 
have from time to time been rent by dissensions, 
and on occasion resort has been had to a coahtion 
ministry. The position of the monarch under 
these circumstances has not been an easy one. 
From his accession in 1902, Alfonso XIII. showed 
every sign of wishing to continue the policy 
inaugurated by his father, that of acting as a 
strictly constitutional ruler. He early manifested 
an interest in the general life of the people, and 
did a great deal to break through the rigidity 
of traditional court ceremonial. His marriage in 
1906 to an English Princess was a triumph for 
those who placed their hopes for the welfare of 
Spain in an approximation to the Western in 
preference to the Central group of European 
Powers. A series of visits to the various countries 
has evinced the personal popularity of Alfonso XIII. 
abroad, whilst his striking courage on more than 
one occasion when his life has been in danger 
from assassins has awakened fervent admiration 
in a people, one of whose characteristics has 
always been personal bravery. If in latter years 
there has been a growing feeling that the King 
has been influenced by a Court camarilla and a 
military clique, some explanation may perhaps 
be found in the bewildering succession of political 
advisers which the constant changes of ministry 
have afforded him, with the possible effect of 
forcing him to look elsewhere for steady advice 
and support. 


The long reigns, turn and turn about, of the 
Conservative, Canovas del Castillo, and the Liberal, 
Sagasta, during the regency of Queen Cristina 
had the effect of increasing the indifference of 
the people to matters political. These two leaders 
were supreme in their respective parties, and 
shared power between themselves with a perfect 
good grace. After their deaths an entirely different 
state of affairs set in. No one politician on either 
side was strong enough to claim the entire succes- 
sion, and subsequent political history shows a 
series of party splits, with consequent instability 
of ministries. It is possible here to mention only 
a few of the outstanding names. On the Conserva- 
tive side the most prominent leader in the earlier 
stages was Silvela. A well-intentioned man, he 
unsuccessfully attempted several reforms, seconded 
by his lieutenants — Dato, in social, and Villaverde, 
in financial matters. In subsequent years, Dato 
reached a high position in the party, and was 
several times Prime Minister, notably at the 
outbreak of the European War, But most will 
admit that a more representative Conservative 
figure during this period has been Don Antonio 
Maura. Though looked upon by many as a 
reactionary, he has, during his long political career, 
never ceased to preach reform. In the presence 
of the growth of Republican and Socialist sentiment 
in the country, he sees, as the only possible means 
of salvation, a " revolution from above." The 
death of Sagasta brought forward three aspirants 
to the Liberal succession — Montero Rios, Canalejas, 
and Moret. The last-named, for a time, seemed 


to be establishing himself in power, but he was 
finally outstripped by Canalejas, who represented 
the more Radical tendencies of the party. He 
succeeded, by skilful compromises, in maintaining 
himself in power for considerable periods, but 
thereby weakened the possibihty of carrying 
into effect his promises of reform. His career 
was brought to a tragic close in 1912, when he 
fell by the hand of an assassin. Since then the 
most prominent figure on the Liberal side has 
been the Conde de Romanones, whose advent to 
power seemed to mark a reunion of Liberal forces, 
which has, however, never lasted for any con- 
siderable length of time. 

Among what may be called the anti-dynastic 
groups are ranged the Carlists, the Regionalists, 
the Republicans, and the SociaHsts. The first- 
named seem to be suffering from a distinct loss 
of vitality. After the last civil war, Don Carlos 
refused to interfere on occasions such as the 
Spanish-American War, which might have tempted 
an effort to regain the throne. His son, Don 
Jaime, has not given much opportunity to learn 
his plans. In later years there has been a ten- 
dency to develop the social side of the movement, 
largely supported by the strong religious feeling 
of the northern provinces, which has also made 
itself heard on the question of the relations between 
Church and State. The " integrists " of the 
party, as they style themselves, take their stand 
on the supremacy of the CathoKc religion and on 
the Divine right of Kings. The Republican party, 
which in theory draws its inspiration from the 


former heads of the short-hved Repubhc, has had 
its influence lessened by internal dissensions and 
by the fact that most of its suggested reforms 
have become law at the hands of the Liberals 
and the Moderate Conservatives. Its outstanding 
representatives have been Melquiades Alvarez 
and Lerroux. In recent years, the former seems 
to have wavered in his faith, and prefers to be 
known as a Reformista. There have always 
been close relations between the Republican party 
and the Regionalist movement. Finally, the return 
to Parliament in 1909 of Pablo Iglesias marked 
the first entry of Socialism into political life. 
Here, as elsewhere in Europe, the issues involved 
are economical rather than political. 

The internal political movement of supreme 
importance which has developed in recent years 
in Spain is that known as Regionalism. Though 
the tendency has shown itself strong in the Basque 
Provinces, in Galicia, and even in Valencia, its 
most marked manifestations have been in Cata- 
lonia. The cultural beginnings of the movement 
in the last century soon took on a political aspect. 
Memories of the former independence of Catalonia 
were stirred up, and in particular, stress was laid 
on what was held to be the superiority of the 
ancient civil law of the Duchy of Barcelona as 
compared with the modern Spanish code. The 
upheaval of 1898 gave a new impulse to these 
ideals, and inspired a determination to lift Cata- 
lonia out of the rut into which the country as a 
whole had fallen. In 1901, a definite organisation, 
known as the Lliga Regionalista, was formed. 



and by 1907 no less than forty Regionalist 
deputies were returned to the Cortes. A recent 
statement (1916) of the aspirations of Catalan 
nationalism contains the following programme : 

1. An autonomous Catalan State, sovereign as 
to internal government. 

2. Catalan parliament responsible only to people 
of Catalonia. 

3. Executive responsible only to Catalan parlia- 

4. Catalan code of law to be enforced. 

5. Local judicial power, with a Supreme Court 
of Appeal for Catalan cases. 

6. Official character of the Catalan language. 

7. Federal Union of Spain, with a central power 
to take charge of foreign affairs, inter-federal 
relations, army and navy, communications, 
coinage, etc. 

Some idea of the mixture of parties in the 
Spanish parliament may be obtained by the 
following allocation of seats after a recent general 
election (1918). 

Moderate Conservatives 

Extreme Conservatives 





Republicans. . 












With regard to the share taken by the country 
in general in politics, the introduction of uni- 
versal suffrage into Spain did little to change 


the electoral conditions. Practically it only meant 
the manipulation of a larger quantity of votes 
by the Government which had the " making " 
of the elections, and by the caciques who worked 
under their orders, or were themselves able to 
hold out conditions, and to obtain terms from 
the rival parties. But in recent years the power 
of the cacique has been challenged by an important 
rival, the duro. The elector has begun to realise 
that his vote has a definite market value. As a 
modern writer, Gomez de Baquero, has picturesquely 
put it, in the eyes of the elector the dazzling 
power of the gilt ball on the Ministerio de Gober- 
nacion in the Puerta del Sol, has been outstripped 
by that of the massive figures on some of the 
banks in the Calle de Alcala. At the same time, 
there are encouraging signs of electoral indepen- 
dence in some of the larger towns. Madrid returns 
a majority of members who do not belong to either 
of the traditional parties. 

A disturbing element in the internal political 
life of the country within the last few years has 
been the formation of the military Juntas de 
Defensa. These defence committees were origin- 
ally started to formulate grievances, some of 
which, notably those referring to promotion, were 
admittedly justified. But they soon developed 
into formidable political instruments. Repressive 
measures were first tried against them, and after- 
wards withdrawn. Realising the weakness and 
divisions of political parties they were able, for a 
time, to dictate their own terms, but public opinion 
was at last aroused, and they were finally suppressed. 


To turn now to external political affairs, the 
question of Morocco has dragged its slow length 
along practically the whole of the period under 
review, and its recurring problems have prevented 
Spain from turning much needed attention to 
home affairs. There is probably no question 
on which public opinion is more divided in Spain. 
It may be pointed out, however, that the movement 
towards Morocco represents not so much a con- 
tinuation of a consistent Spanish policy as the- 
revival of a long dormant one, inspired by a 
different class of interests. The traditionalists 
still keep harping on the testament of Isabel 
the Catholic in its references to Africa, but they 
seem to forget the fact that for several centuries 
the eyes of Spain were turned from the lands at 
her feet to the immense possessions at the other 
side of the globe. The impulse to return to the 
consideration of her African interests would appear, 
in effect, to have come from without. When the 
Fashoda incident between France and England 
had been settled, and the former was left with a 
free hand in Northern Africa, it became necessary 
to settle respective " zones of influence " between 
her and Spain. In 1902 a treaty was drawn up 
but remained unsigned. Its principal point of 
interest was that it included the important town 
of Fez within the Spanish zone. In 1904 a Franco- 
British declaration fixed the bases for future 
action in Morocco between these two countries, 
and recognised the interests of Spain. This 
arrangement was soon followed in the same year 
by a definite agreement between France and 


Spain by which a line of demarcation was fixed, 
leaving Fez outside of the Spanish zone, and 
establishing an international regime in Tangier. 

These arrangements were not regarded by 
Germany with a kindly eye. The Kaiser, with much 
pomp and circumstance, paid a visit to Tangier, 
and German diplomacy made a determined effort 
to separate Spain from France and England. 
The fall of Delcasse paved the way for the entry 
of Germany into the discussions on the Morocco 
question at the Conference of Algeciras in 1906. 
The first meeting of the Conference was held in 
January, and the sessions lasted som.e ten weeks. 
After a discussion in the Spanish parliament the 
formal exchange of ratifications took place in 
Madrid in December. The main effect of the 
Convention was to recognise the special interests 
of Spain and France in Morocco. A native police 
force was to be officered by Spanish and French 
instructors, and both countries were to be jointly 
responsible for the enforcement of customs regula- 
tions. The final article stipulated that all previous 
treaties and conventions between signatory Powers 
and Morocco would remain in force unless their 
terms were in opposition to the Convention. 
The importance of this Conference for Spain 
lay, more than in the actual benefits of the arrange- 
ment, in the fact that it meant the reappearance 
of Spain in the councils of Europe. After a long 
period of isolation, the country began to take its 
place once more as a factor of political importance. 

The situation in Morocco remained fairly satis- 
factory until 1909, when trouble broke out in 


the environs of Melilla owing to the attacks of 
the Rif tribesmen on Spanish workmen engaged 
in railway constiuction. So serious did the situa- 
tion become that the ordinary army forces were 
considered insufficient and the reserves were 
called out. Th( rising was not put down until 
after much bloodshed the following year, when an 
indemnity of 65 million pesetas was paid by 
Morocco. A number of questions still remained 
to be settled between France and Spain when 
Germany decided to enter the field once more 
by the spectacular dispatch of a gunboat to 
Agadir. When the storm raised by this action 
had subsided, a new Franco-Spanish treaty was 
signed in 1912, which included a fresh delimita- 
tion of spheres of influence. The result of this 
was received with mixed feelings in Spain, especi- 
ally as Tangier was still kept out of the Spanish 
zone. However, the danger of encirclement by 
other European Powers on the African shores 
had been stopped, and the way was open to Spain 
to develop her material interests in the new pro- 
tectorate. Unfortunately she seems to have had 
no very clear idea of the policy to be adopted, 
and instead of. civil administration, military rule 
was set up with disastrous results, which have 
not yet been successfully handled. 

The second outstanding feature in Spain's 
foreign relations in late years has, of course, been 
her attitude in presence of the great European 
conflict. This is not a matter in which the com- 
batant parties could be expected to judge impar- 
tially, but some notion of the state of public 


opinion in Spain may be gained from the utter- 
ances and actions of political leaders of different 
types. A moderate Conservative party was in 
power under Dato at the outbreak of war, and a 
formal declaration of neutrality was promptly 
issued. After sixteen months of warfare, the 
Prime Minister was able to expp^ss his satisfaction 
that no complaint had come from any one of the 
belligerent Powers as to the attitude of Spain. 
When a Liberal Government under Romanones 
assumed office, its leader declared : "In the 
actual circumstances only one course is laid down 
for us, absolute neutrality. This is what the 
whole country demands, and this is what I intend 
to maintain with all my strength." The German 
submarine campaign made him change, somewhat, 
his point of view, but he recognised that the 
general opinion of the country was not with him 
and he resigned. He was succeeded by the leader 
of the Democratic party, Garcia Prieto, who 
likewise made no attempt to change the policy 
adopted by Spain. To take political leaders not 
in office at the time, Maura's opinion may be 
summed up in his words : " We have neither 
the duty, the power, nor the will to go to war." 
Vazquez de Mella, the Carlist representative, 
preached support of Germany largely as a protest 
against English imperialism (Gibraltar), and French 
Jacobinism (the Church question). The " Refor- 
mista ■ ' leader, Melquiades Alvarez, advocated 
a benevolent neutrality in favour of the western 
allies : " Rather with France and England in 
defeat than by Germany's side in triumph." 


Finally, the Republican leader, Lerroiix, proposed 
a " d^-namic neutrality," by which Spain would 
allow the use of her ports and Mediterranean 
fleet to the Allies. Round all these politicians 
public opinion gathered in varying shades, influ- 
enced by sympathies of creed, class and profession. 
But if Spain withheld from armed intervention 
on either side, she took an active part in humani- 
tarian efforts to mitigate the horrors of war every- 
where. Under the immediate auspices of King 
Alfonso, an office was established in the Royal 
Palace of Madrid which did splendid service in 
putting wounded and prisoners in enemy countries 
into communication with their families. Simi- 
larly, the Spanish representatives at the various 
capitals worked unceasingly on behalf of the 
interests of subjects of Powers at war with the 
countries to which they were attached. 

We may now turn our attention more particu- 
larly to the internal aft'airs of the country. The 
social problem in Spain, in spite of various well- 
meant efforts, has become more and more acute. 
Strikes and disputes are almost chronic. The 
great industrial districts of Catalonia and Biscaya, 
with their centres at Barcelona and Bilbao, are 
continually exposed to disorders, whilst the large 
stretches of land owned by a few proprietors in 
the agricultural districts of Andalusia are a con- 
stant source of dissatisfaction to the rural popula- 
tions. Unfortunately these labour disturbances 
are seldom unaccompanied by violence. In Barce- 
lona the conditions of unrest are intensified by the 
presence of a large cosmopolitan element in close 


touch with centres of extreme thought through- 
out Europe. This city was the scene of the revo- 
lutionary outbreak of 1909, which brought into 
prominence ,the name of Ferrer, and it gave the 
signal for the general railway strike in 1912. This 
was only averted by the Government making 
use of the expedient found convenient in other 
countries of calling the men to the colours. Some 
attempt has been made to find remedies for the 
prevailing unrest by the foundation of the Institute 
of Social Reforms in 1904, which has been followed 
by a succession of legislative measures. Indeed, 
if legislation, pure and simple, could ameliorate the 
lot of the working classes, most of the abuses 
would long since have been removed. There has 
been a steady flow of enactments dealing with 
hours of labour, savings banks, child and women 
workers, apprenticeship, night work, Sunday rest, 
etc., but in a great number of cases the regulations 
have remained a dead letter, through administra- 
tive difficulties, and the lack of a strong public 
opinion to support the enforcement of the law. 
The unrest in the agricultural districts translates 
itself in a fashion equally disastrous for the nation. 
Wholesale emigration from a countryside frequently 
takes place, and of the enormous total of 200,000 
annual emigrants, nearly the half is drawn from 
rural districts. 

The vast proportion of the emigration is, of 
course, to South America, and this may be a 
suitable place to mention that considerable atten- 
tion has been given in recent years to the question 
of the relations between Spain and the South 


American Republics. There have been many 
signs of a desire on the part of the latter to enter 
into closer economic and cultural connection 
with the mother-country. But in both aspects 
there is a great deal of lost ground to be recovered. 
Economically, South America tends to become 
more and more a market for the United States, 
while culturally her spiritual home has been 
France. Spanish-American congresses and ex- 
hibitions, interchange of university professors, 
special missions of members of the Royal Family, 
exclusive postal facilities, subvention of steamship 
lines ; these are some of the means that have been 
employed to foster the connection. Recent de- 
velopments in aviation have opened up the possi- 
bility of greatly reducing the space separating 
the two continents, and the establishment at 
least of an aerial post is receiving special atten- 
tion. When one remembers that the Spanish 
language is spoken by some eighty millions of 
people in various, parts of the globe, of whom 
the Peninsula claims only a quarter, it can easily 
be realised what a power for world civilisation 
is implied by the strengthening of the bonds that 
unite the different Spanish-speaking nations. 

If we turn to the consideration of agricultural, 
industrial and commercial development during 
the period under review, we shall see that although 
there has been progress, it has been excessively 
slow. One may say that each of these three 
branches of national activity has had its special 
obstacles to overcome. Agriculture is faced by 
the lack of the necessary irrigation, and the exist- 



ence of large, undeveloped estates, industry by 
the poverty of communications and lack of capital, 
and commerce by the faulty customs system and 
the fluctuations of the exchange. Hardly a year 
has passed without legislation being introduced 
directed towards the alleviation of one or other 
of these evils, but in the whirligig of politics, but 
a small portion has been carried into effect. A 
fair amount of progress has been made in the 
development of irrigation schemes. The canalisa- 
tion of the Ebro and the Duoro is rendering in- 
creasing services to the regions of Catalonia, 
Aragon and Old Castile. The mining industry 
has likewise undergone a certain amount of develop- 
ment, and the foundations of a shipbuilding 
industry have been laid. But a large proportion 
of industrial concerns are financed by foreign 
capital, and their profits lost to the country. 
In respect to the needs of the country, the develop- 
ment of railway communication ' is still very 
deficient. The engineering difficulties in a land 
so crossed by mountain chains must be taken 
into consideration, but allowing for this, the gaps 
in the railway system are still very serious. Such 
an important town as Valencia has no direct 
communication with Madrid, and the distance 
between the latter and Corunna, 630 kilometres 
by road, reaches to 831 kilometres by rail. 

The European war brought a sudden wave of 
prosperity to Spain. The prices of products it 
had been in the habit of exporting rose to pheno- 
menal heights, and new industries were set on 
foot. The peseta attained to a foremost position 


among European exchanges. But this prosperity 
could not in the nature of things last, and it was 
limited in extent to a comparatively small number. 
The bulk of the people were greatly affected by 
the all-round dearness of articles of first necessity. 
Advantage was not taken of the opportunity 
to stabilise Spanish financial credit. A succession 
of strikes, accompanied at times by public dis- 
order, has also prevented a steady advance in 
material progress. Finally, the recent Morocco 
campaign has plunged the country into debt which 
will hamper her advance for a considerable time 
to come. 

The relations between Church and State in 
Spain have several times been strained during 
the present century. Besides the extreme political 
parties who are frankly anti-religious in tendency, 
there is a body of Liberal opinion which is anti- 
clerical only in the sense that it considers the 
influence of the Church in certain public matters 
to be excessive. The three main points round 
which the conflict has raged have been : the 
increased toleration of other than Catholic forms 
of worship ; the removal of education from Church 
inspection and influence ; and most fiercely de- 
bated of all, the question of the religious orders. 
Toleration of non-Catholic religions has been 
extended to permission to display outward signs 
on places of worship. A certain number of " free " 
schools, i.e. not conforming to the religion of the 
State, were estabHshed by various educationalists. 
The question of the religious orders reached a 
crisis as a result of a large influx of new congrega- 


tions due to the working of the Law of Associa- 
tions in France. There was an existing arrange- 
ment with the Vatican under the Concordat of 
1851, renewed in 1876, but one of the clauses as 
to the number of rehgious orders to be allowed to 
settle in Spain was not clearly defined, and its 
/ application gave rise to prolonged discussions. 
At one point the minister in power, Canalejas, 
withdrew the Spanish representative at the Vati- 
can, and though diplomatic relations were shortly 
afterwards resumed, the question has not been 
settled to the satisfaction of both parties. The 
Church has uniformly had the support of the 
Conservatives and Moderate Liberals in these dis- 
cussions, and the Catholic religion continues to 
hold its place in the hearts of the vast majority of 

The Instituto de Libre Ensehanza of Giner 
de los Rfos marked the first stage in an attempt 
to develop education on lines other than those 
laid down by the State schools. In 1907 a body 
was formed which, though in theory a section of 
the Ministry of Public Instruction, was practically 
autonomous. It is known as the Junta para 
Ampliacion de Estudios (Board for Development 
of Studies), and has continued to do very practical 
work within the limits of its opportunities. One 
of its first activities was to establish burses for 
studies in foreign universities, thus preparing a 
body of teachers trained in modern methods. 
In 1910 it created the Centro de Estudios His- 
toricos, and in connection with it the Spanish 
School of Studies in Rome, which has done 


excellent research work in the Archives of the 
Embassy there. But perhaps its most important 
achievement has been the establishment in the 
same year of the Residencia de Estudiantes, a 
hostel for university students in Madrid, which 
is an attempt to incorporate some of the features 
of English university life, especially the tutorial 
system. Included in the activities of both these 
bodies are the publication of research work and 
the preparation of textbooks on modern lines. 
The outstanding figure in the band of scholars 
who carry on this work is Menendez Pidal, and 
among his more prominent helpers are Castillejo, 
Castro and Navarro Tomas. These and others 
have also contributed to the formation of the 
excellent series of critical editions of the Spanish 
classics published by "La Lectura." 

One of the most striking manifestations in 
Spain of the effects of the Cuban War was the 
repercussion on literature. " The generation of 
'98 " still serves as a formula to describe the 
writers of the period. The line of thought they 
adopted had indeed made its appearance before 
the war, particularly in Ganivet's Idearium 
Espanol, but the disastrous issue of the struggle 
gave it renewed life. Among the outstanding 
figures of the movement were Costa, Baroja, 
Unamuno, " Azorin," and Maeztii. Though they 
differed in many points of detail, the main line 
of their thought emphasized the necessity of 
Spain withdrawing from external adventures to 
concentrate upon the crying needs of home affairs. 
At the same time an effort was to be made to 


bring Spain within the circle of modern European 
thought. Costa, in fact, summed up his idea 
of the needs of Spain by coining the word 
europeizacion. Of the course of literary effort 
since those days only a summary notion can 
he given here by mentioning two or three names 
under the various forms of production. 

In the novel, the great work of Galdos was 
continued down to his death in 1916. The period 
saw the rise of new men. Baroja excels in his 
pictures of a life of adventure and action, in 
his own Basque country, amongst the " picaresque " 
quarters of Madrid, and in revolutionary types 
in various European countries. Leopoldo Alas 
(" Clarin "), though perhaps better known as a 
critic, has written a novel. La Regenta, which 
some place in the foremost rank. Palacio Valdes, 
after describing life on the northern coasts, was 
caught by the fascination of Andalusia. There is 
much more of the " real Spain " to be found in 
him than in the much boomed Blasco Ibaiiez, 
whom English readers seem to have accepted 
on the strength of America's imprimatur. Students 
of style will be interested in Valle-Inclan and 
Ricardo Leon. Among the younger generation, 
Gomez de la Serna and Perez de Ayala have 
attracted much attention. 

Three names may be chosen as illustrative of 
the modern Spanish stage. Benavente has attained 
to a world-wide fame, as indicated by the bestowal 
on him of a Nobel prize for literature. Translations 
of Martinez Sierra, mainly dealing with middle- 
class Madrid life, have found favour with English- 


speaking audiences. The Brothers Quintero have 
excelled in the portra3^al of scenes from their 
native Andalusia. All these dramatists are charac- 
terised by a bewildering activity of production 
which recalls the golden age of Spanish drama, 
with its scores of pieces to a single author's name. 
The novel and the drama are perhaps the literary 
forms which present most interest to the foreign 
reader. A hasty glance at other branches will 
have to suffice. The great movement in modern 
Spanish poetry came from the other side of the 
Atlantic. The name of the Nicaraguan, Ruben 
Dario, is writ large across the period. His origi- 
nality of themes and metrical experiments have 
found many disciples — Villaespesa, the Brothers 
Machado, Gabriel y Galan — though Jimenez seems 
to have resisted his influence. 

Under the vague heading of essayists we may 
group together a number of prose-writers whose 
works take different forms. Chief of them is 
Unamuno, a scholar and sometime Rector of 
Salamanca, a militant social and political reformer, 
a Cervantist, though he would scorn the term, 
in his Vida de Don Quijote and a philosopher in his 
Sentimiento Trdgico de la Vida. Among critical 
writers two stand out — Alas and Martinez Ruiz — • 
who are much better known by their pen-names 
of " Clarin " and " Azorin." The latter 's Lediiras 
Castellanas forms an excellent short introduction 
to Spanish life and letters. Maeztii and Ara- 
quistain have chosen the press as the principal 
medium for the propagation of their ideals, while 
Ortega y Gasset in his university lectures is an 


exponent of modern philosophic thought. Finally, 
in the more specialised fields of scholarship, the 
revival of learnijig inaugurated by Menendez y 
Pelayo is being carried on by Menendez Pidal, in 
philology, by Rodriguez Marin, in Cervantist studies, 
and by Altamira in historical research. 

Though little reference can here be made to 
modern Spanish artists, it is pleasant to be able 
to record that several exhibitions of painting and 
sculpture have been held with great success in 
various European capitals, and that the works 
of modern Spanish composers are being increasingly 
appreciated abroad. It is an insult to Spanish 
art and music to dismiss it in a sentence, but we 
shall have to be content with the mention of the 
names of the painters Zuloaga and Sorolla, of the 
sculptors Benlliure and Inurria, and of the com- 
posers de Falla and Granados. 

In looking back over this very summary account 
of Spanish life in recent years, one has the uneasy 
feeling that the impression carried away by the 
reader will be tliat of repeated failure. Though 
we have not shirked mentioning the mistakes that 
have been made, we believe that to leave such 
an impression would convey a wrong idea of 
modern Spain. Every attempt, in the life, either 
of individuals or nations, to repair the errors of 
the past, must needs be a record of stumbles 
and falls. The important thing is that the will 
to reform be there. And this will to reform does 
exist in Spain. A large body of thinkers and 
workers are bending all their energies to the task. 


As happens in every country and with every cause, 
they are not all agreed on the means to be adopted. 
Cutting across the old lines of cleavage, roughly 
represented by the political denominations of 
Liberal and Conservative, the party of reform 
seems to be divided into those who look to a 
deeper interpenetration with European ideals, the 
eiiropeizacion of Costa ; and those who believe 
that in Spain itself there lie, unexplored and un- 
worked, rich deposits of spiritual wealth, sufficient 
not only to establish on a firm basis the national 
civilisation, but also to give of its abundance 
to the general life of the Continent. The solution, 
as so often in such problems, will doubtlessly be 
found in some via media. A Europe which has 
witnessed the shipwreck of its boasted political 
development may not be the best mentor for a 
country struggling towards self-realisation. The 
once proud motto of Spain, Plus Ultra, led her, 
after a period of almost unparalleled splendour, 
into the quagmire. It may well be that she will 
yet find her salvation under the humbler but 
more secure device : Plus Intra. 


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Aberdeen, Lord (sec Spanish 

Addington, Mr. (Lord Sidmouth), 

Agar, Pedro, 170 
Alaix, General, 352 
Alarcon, P. A., author, 488 
Alas, Leopoldo, author, 548 
Alava, General, 181, 225 
Alburquerque, Duke of, 170 
Alcala Galiano, Antonio, 2 10, 213, 
221, 229, 238,275, 325, 367,3:^3 
Alcala Galiano, Captain, at Tra- 
falgar, 75 
Alcedo, Captain, at Trafalgar, 75 
Alcolea, battle of, 461 
Alcudia, Count, 281-3 
Alfonso XII.. birth, 436. 462, 
477, 481, 515 ; proclaimed 
king, 517 ; his first marriage, 
527 ; his popularity, 529 ; 
second marriage, 531-3 ; in- 
sulted in Paris, 537 ; visits 
cholera patients, 541 ; death, 


Alfonso XIII., 552, 563 

Algarves, sovereignty of, pro- 
mised to Godoy, 94 

Amadeo of Savoy, Duke of 
Aosta, 482 ; accepts the crown, 
494, 498 ; abdication, 506 

Amalia of Saxony, third wife ol 
Fernando VII., 208, 269 

American colonies, emancipation 
of, 172, 200, 254 (Cuba), 415, 
489-93, 534-6, 553-60 

Amiens, peace of, 61-2, 65-6 

Angouleme, Duke of, his in- 
vasion of Spain, 232, 235 

Antonio, Don, the Infante, 107, 
III ; his farewell to Spain, 
119, 121-2 

Aranda, Count, 6 ; his prophecy 
about the United States, 6 ; 
returns to power, 16 ; his dis- 
missal, 18 ; banishment, 28 

Aranjuez, conspiracy of, 96-102 

Aranjuez, treaty of, S7 

Argiielles, Agustin, 169, 210, 295, 
366, 372 

.A.ribau, poet, 384-5 

Arrazola, minister, 352 

Asturias, resistance against the 
French organised there, 130-2 

Auguet de St. Silvaint, 307 

Aumale, Duke of (see Spanish 

Aymerich, minister of war, 263. 

Azanza, 107 

Azara, Spanish ambassador in 
France, 38, 60-1, 64. 66, 68 

Azcarate Gumersindo, author, 





Badajoz, capture of, 174, 177 
Bailen, battle of, 138-40 
Baird, Sir David, 152 
Ballesteros General, 182, 206, 

225-6, 236 
Ballesteros, finance minister, 281 
Balmaseda, General, 492, 517 
Barcelona, revolt in, 370 
Bardaxi, Eusebio, 217 
Barrere, Camillc, 25 
Bassa, General, 321 
Bayonne, the Cortes of, 134, 142 
Bayonne, the royal family at, 

109-10, 119-22 
Bazan, Colonel, 266 
Beauharnais, Marquis of, French 

ambassador in Spain, 81, 93, 

Becquer, Adolfo, 488 
Beira, Princess of, 270, 282 
Bessieres, General, 140, 144 
Bessieres, Guerrillero, 222, 231, 

235, 265-6 
Bilbao, siege of, 31^19. 33^-7 
Blake, General, 155, 162, 170 
Blanco, General, in Cuba, 558 
Blaser, General, 417-18 
Borbon, Don Luis de, 168, 191, 

Bourgoing, French ambassador 

in Spain, 25 
Brabo Murillo, minister, 401, 

407, 408-9, 410-11, 412, 435, 

Bresson, Count, French ambas- 
sador in Spain (sec Spanish 
Brest, blockade of, 55, 70 
Breton de los Herreros, drama- 
tist, 297 
Buhvcr, Sir Henry [sec Spanish 

marriages), 399 
Burgos, Javier de, 266 
Burrard, Sir Harry, 146-7 

Caballero Fermin, author, 297 
Caballero, Jose, 36, 56 

Caballero de Rodas, 493-4 

Cabarrus, 104 

Cabrera, Ramon, General, 327, 

342, 346, 348, 355, 396, 522 
Cadiz, siege of, by Angouleme, 

Cafranga, minister, 288 
Calatrava, 275, 295, 333, 343, 


Calder, Admiral, 72 

Calderon, Serafin, author, 297 

Callao, bombardment of, 447 

Calonge, General, 454 

Calomarde, 236, 260, 263, 264, 
273-4, 276, 280-4, 286 

Camacho, finance minister, 525 

Camino, Antonio de, historian, 

Campoamor, poet, 385 

Campomanes, Count, 11, 51 

Candidates for the throne, 477, 
479, 481 

Canga Argiielles, 210, 295 

Canning, Mr., 132 

Canovas del Castillo, minister^ 
449, 451, 455, 487, 517, 523, 
525, 529, 534, 537-8, 553, 558 

Canterac, Captain-General of 
Castile, 315 

Cantonal insurrection, 513-14 

Capmany, 51 

Cardero, Adjutant, 315 

Carlist War, 298-300, 304-9, 
316-19, 326, 335-42, 345-6, 
348-9 ; end of war, 353-5 ; 
renewal, 396, 400, 444, 476, 
506-10, 516, 524 

Carlos, Don, 106, 12 1-2, 189, 
260, 266-7, 269, 272-3, 282- 
4, 289-90, 300-3 ; in Eng- 
land, 307; in the field, 308, 
319, 342 ; at the gates of 
Madrid, 345 ; retreat, 346, 348 ; 
llight from Spain, 355 

Carlos, Don, the younger, 457 
476, 506 ; crosses the frontier 
508-10, 516 ; retires from 
Spain, 524 

Carlota, Dona, 269, 272-3, 282 
285-6, 391 

Carmona, engraver, 128 



Caro, Francisco, 299 

Caroline islands, question of, 

Casa Irujo, 258 
Castanon, General, 289 
Castafios, General, 131, 138-40, 

146-7, 153. 299 

Castelar, Emilio, 450, 477, 487, 

Castelar, Marquis of, 150 

Catalonia, revolt in (1835), 321 

Cavanilles, botanist, 127 

Cea Bermudez, 263-4, 265, 266, 
286, 288, 293, 299, 306 

Ceballos, loi, 106, 107 

Cervera, Admiral, 560 

Cespedes, President of Cuba, 

" Chamorro," 196, 296 

Chaperon, 265 

Charles II., 2 

Charles III., his efforts to reform 
Spain, 3-8, 23 

Charles IV., his accession. 9-10 ; 
his subservience to Napoleon, 
38-9, 40-1, 54-^5, 57-60, 62-3, 
66-8, 70-8, 83-5 ; treatment 
of his son, 87-92 ; flight to 
Aranjuez, 96 ; abdication, 
101-4 ; at Bayonne, 109-10, 

Chile and Peru, war with, 447 

" Choricero, the" {see Godoy) 

Churruca, Captain, 75 

Cintra, the Convention of, 147 

Ciscar, Gabriel de, 170, 238 

Cisneros, Salvador, Cuban leader, 

Coburg (see Spanish marriages) 

CoUingwood at Cadiz, 134 

Concha, Jose, General, 371, 381, 

411, 414, 461, 516 

Concha, Manuel, General, 414, 

Constitution of 1812, 173, 175-8, 
206-7, 220; of 1834, 301-2, 
323-5, 330 ; of 1837, 33M0, 
349, 3.57, 399, 424 ; of 1854, 
426 ; 1869, 475 
Contreras, General, 513 
Copons, General, 188, 238-9 

Cordoba, General, 314, 352, 419- 

Cortes of Cadiz, 164-9, 172-4. 

Cortes of Castile, 10-12, 148 
Cortes of 1854,426-^0; of 1869, 

Corunna, the retreat on, 151-3 
Cotton, Admiral, 147 
Cuba, liberation of {see American 

Cuesta, General, 144, 147, 153, 

156, 162 


Dagobert, General, 27 
Dalrymple, Sir Hugh, 13,5, 146-7 
Danton, 25 
Daoiz, Captain, hero of the 2nd 

of May, 1 16-17 
Degrain, artist, 547 
Directory, the, 35, 37-8, 39, 40 
Dos de Mayo, 1 12-19 
Dugommier, General, 28 
Dulce, Domingo, General, 367, 

416, 489, 491, 493 
Dumanoir at Trafalgar, 74 
Dupont, Marshal, 94, 138 


Echagiie, General, 417 

Echegaray, dramatist and states- 
man, 488, 547 

Echevaria, Curate, 307 

Eguia, General, 162, 193 

Elio, General, 190, 199, 227 

Elliot, Lord, 316 

"Empecinado,the" (Juan Martin). 
163, 171 ; death, 257-8 

England and the Spanish war 
in Morocco, 441-2 

English Legion in Spain, 326-7, 

English soldiers in Madrid, 181 
Enrique, Infante, Don, 380, 391, 

392,396 ; killed, 481 
Eroles, Baron, 228 
Escoiquiz, Juan de, 36, 78, 80, 87, 

104, 109, 120 



Escolar, political economist, 128 
Escorial, the conspiracy of the, 

Espana, Genera!, 181-2, 265, 268 
Espartero, Baldomero, 318, 335, 
336-7, 341-2 ; prime minister, 
344, 349-52 ; Vergara, 352-5 ; 
at Barcelona, 359 ; Regent, 
360-4, 369 ; flight of, 371-4, 
392 ; his recall, 419-25 ; h'S 
ministry, 426-31 ; retirement, 

437, 456, 462, 479 
Espronceda, poet, 297, 383 
Etruria, King of (Duke of Parma), 

84, 93 
Etruria, Queen of (Infanta of 

Spain), 93, 1 12-13 
Evans, Sir de Lacy, 326-7, 34i 
Excesses of the Radicals, 209, 

Exterminating Angel, society of, 


Fabregat, 128 
Family Compact, 6, 14 
Feliu, Ramon, 217 
" Fernan Caballero," 487 
Fernanda, Infanta (Duchess of 
Montpensier), 281, 388-9, 392, 
393, 401, 457, 482 
Fernandez de Cordoba, 225 
Fernandez Duro, author, 550 
Fernandez y Gonzales, 487 
Ferdinand VI., 3 
Fernando, Prince of Asturias, 
36, 63, 69 ; his enmity to 
Godoy, 69, 78, 80 ; approaches 
to Napoleon, 81-2, 85 ; his 
conspiracy, 86-92 ; revolution 
of Aranjuez, 96-103 
Fernando VII. ascends the 
throne, loi ; enticed to France, 
106-11 ; at Bayonne, 119-22 ; 
in France, 163, 184, 186 ; re- 
turn to Spain, 188 ; abolished 
the Constitution, 191; arrest 
of Liberals, 193; character and 
conduct of the King, 195-8 ; 
accepts the Constitution, 206- 
20S, 210-11 ; subsidises the 

counter Revolution, 223 ; 
revolt of his guard, 224-7 ; 
carried to Seville, 234 ; carried 
to Cadiz, 238-43 ; return to 
Madrid, 245 ; reaction, 256, 
262-3; third marriage, 270-80; 
illness, 281-6 ; death and 
character 291-2 ; review of 
his reign, 294-9 
Ferraz, Valentin, 361 
Figueras, President, 511, 512 
Finances of Spain, 9, 23, 44-9, 
124-5, 175, 199, 248-50, 281, 
324, 380, 408, 413, 427, 439, 

484-5, 524, 545-6 

Fita, Father, author, 550 

Flores Estrada, 266 

Floridablanca, Count, 6, 8, 13 ; 
his fear of the French revo- 
lution, 13-14 ; head of the 
Central Junta, 148-9, 160 

Fontainebleau, Treaty of, 84, 93 

Francisco de Asis, King Consort, 
391, 396, 398, 400-1, 428, 449, 
464, 481, 528 

Francisco de Paula Infante, 112, 
113, 176,269, 381, 391 

French Revolution, its action 
upon Spain, 8, 11, 13, 14-16, 

French troops in Spain, 57-60, 
83, 93-6, 98, 102-6, 112-19, 
128 ct scq. to 184 

Gallego, Juan Nicasio, poet, 127, 

Garay, finance minister, 100, 

Garcia, Calixto, Cuban leader, 

Garcia, Villanueva, historian, 127 

Gerona, 162-3 

Gil y Lemus, 107 

Gil y Zarate, dramatist, 297 

Gisbert, artist, 547 

Godoy, Prince of the Peace, his 
rise, 18-22 ; his government 
policy towards PYance, 25-6 ; 
makes peace with France, 30 ; 



beguiled by Napoleon, 34 ; his 
unpopularity, 35 ; retires from 
the ministry, 36-7 ; effects of 
his policy, 44-50, 57-60, 66-7, 
76-9, 80-5 ; plots against, 
86-92 ; his final fall, 96-102 ; 
goes to France, no, 12 1-2 ; 
his policy in Spain,- 125-6 
Gomez Becerra, minister, 370 
Gomez, Cuban leader. 554 
Gomez, Miguel, General, 334 
Gomez, Sergeant, 332 
Gonzales Antonio, minister, 361, 

Gonzales Brabo, minister, 378, 

379, 450. 454-5. 45^> 460; 
flight, 461, 477, 481, 507 

Gonzales Calderon, 236 

Gonzales Moreno, General, "the 
executioner of Malaga," 277-8 

Gonzales Rufino, 263-4 

Goya, artist, 51, 127 

Graham, General, 170 

Granja, the (revolt of the ser- 
geants at), 331-3, 343 

Gravina, Admiral, 70 passim 

Grijalva, 280 

Guizot (see Spanish marriages) 

Guillelmi, Captain-General of 
Aragon, 135, 136 

Gurwood, Colonel, 316 

Gutierrez de la Huerta, 170 


Hartzenbusch Juan Eugenio, 

author, 384 
Hay, Lord John, 326-7, 355 
Hervas, Lorenzo, philologist, 127 
Hill, Lord, 182 

Holy Alliance, 230, 232, 255, 258 
Hood, Admiral, 27, 32 


Ibarra, printer, 128 

Infantado, Duke of, 92, 104, 177, 

236, 266 
Isabel of Braganza, second wife 

of Fernandti, 208, 250 
Isabel II.. 278, 290-3,' 311, 339 ; 

attempt to kidnap her, 367 ; 
attains majority, 375 ; cha- 
racter, 376 ; marriage, 386-95 ; 
dissensions with her husband, 
396, 398, 400 ; birth and death 
of her first child, 401-2 ; her 
political action, 404 et seq. ; 
attempt to murder, 409 ; the 
revolt of Vicalvaro, 417-28; 
dismisses O'Donnell, 434 ; her 
political action, 448-9 ; liight, 
462-4 ; review of her reign, 

465, 527 
Isabel Infanta, 408 
Isla, Father, author, 51 
Isturiz, 275, 325-6, 328, 330,381, 

Izquierdo, Godoy's agent in 
France, 83-4 


Jauregui, Don Manuel, 98 
Jervis, Admiral (St. Vincent, 

Lord), 32, 35 
Joseph Bonaparte, 77, 141 ; 

enters Spain, 142-5, 148, 154, 

156-9, 175, 179 ; flight, 180, 

Jourdan, Marshal, 149 
Jovellanos, Melchior de, 36-7, 

51, 104, 148, 160 
Jovellar, General, 514, 523, 535 
Junot, in Portugal, 83, 93, 145, 

Junta, the Central, 148, 151, 

154-5, 158-9 ; its personnel 

and proceedings, 160-3 ; flight 

to Cadiz, 164 


Kellerman, General, 146, 155 

Lacy, General, 155, 199, 208 

La Hera, 318 

Landaburu, 224, 229 

Lannes, Marshal, 154 

La Kuga, political economist, 127 



Larra, author, 297 
Lasalle General, 140 
Ledesma, historian, 127 
Leon, Bishop of, 281, 283, 289 
Leon, Diego de, General, 352, 

Lersundi, General, 489-90 
Linage, General, 357-8 
Literature in Spain, 51, 127, 

250- r, 295-7, 383-5, 487-8, 

Lopez de Ayala, statesman and 

author, 487, 490 
Lopez Dominguez, General, 514, 

Lopez, Joaquin, minister, 370, 

374, 376 
Lopez Royo, author, 127 
Lorenzo, General, 314 
Louisiana sold to the United 

States, 6s 
Louis XVL, 8, 14 ; arrest at 

Varennes, 15, 16 ; Spanish 

efforts to save him, 24-5 
Louis Philippe, King, 274, 328, 

387-94, 400 
Llauder, General, 299, 314, 32i 
Llorente, author, 51 
Lucien Bonaparte sent to Spain, 

56-7, 63 
Luneville, peace of, 54, 57 
Luyando, 242 


Macarte, auth(jr, 127 

Maceo, Antonio, Cuban leader, 

554, 557 , 
Maceo, Jose, 557 
Madrazo, painter, 385 
Madrid, outbreak in, on the 2nd 

of May, 112-19 ; revolt in 

(1835), 315 ; (1836), 333 ; (1840), 
362; (1 854), 416, 419-25; (1856), 
432-33 ; (1865), 452; (1868), 460 

ct seq. 
Madrid surrenders to the French, 

Madrid, the battle of the Con- 
stitution in, 225 

Magon, Captain, at Trafalgar, 75 
Maiuc, the, 559 

Maiquez, Isidro, actor, 251, 296 
Manso, General, 334 
Manzano, General, 489 
Marchand, General, 162 
Marfori, Marquis of Loja, 458, 

459, 464, 477 
Maria Antonia of Naples, Prin- 
cess of Asturias, 63-4, 77 ; 
death of, 80 
Maria Cristina of Austria, second 
wife of Alfonso XII., 531, 

Maria Cristina of Naples, third 
wife of Fernando VII., 270, 
272, 278-88 ; first regency, 
286 ; second regency, 291-3, 
298-9, 309-12, 325, 331-3, 339, 
345 ; voyage to Catalonia, 
358-60; flight,. 363 ; arranges 
Spanish marriages, 386-95 ; 
returns to B'rance, 396 ; in 
Spain, 402, 413 ; her palace 
sacked, 419 ; flight, 424 ; death, 

Maria Francisca, wife of Don 
Carlos, 260, 269, 273, 289, 319 

Maria Luisa, Queen, 9, 22, 35, 54, 
56, 64, 66-7, 77, 80, 84-5 ; Fer- 
nando's plot against her and 
Godoy, 86-92 ; flight to Aran- 
juez, 96 ; protests against 
abdication, 103-5 ; ^t Bayonne, 
109-10, 120-2 

Maria Victoria, Queen, 500-1, 

Marmont, Marshal, 180 

Maroto, General, 352-5 

Marti, Cuban leader, 554 

Martinez Campos, General, 516 ; 
proclaims Alfonso, 517, 524 ; 
in Cuba, 534-6, 553-4, 556, 

Martinez de la Rosa, 214, 218, 
220, 225, 253, 295, 300, 312, 

315, 319, 322. 383 
Martos Cristino, minster, 511 
Massena, 171 

Masso, Cuban President 558 
Mataflorida, Marquis of, 228 



Mazarredo, Admiral, 55-7 
Medina Celi, Duke of, 299 
Melendez-Valdes (poet), 51 
Mendez Nufiez, Admiral, 447 
Mendez Vigo, Minister of War, 

Mendizabal, 275, 291, 320-2, 

330, 343. 370, ^371. 39*^ 
Menendez Pelayo, author, 548 
Mei-cedes, Queen, 528 
Merino Martin, regicide, 409 
Merino, tlie Curate, 215, 345, 

Mesina, General, 417 
Mesonero, Romanos (author), 

Mexico, Spanish war in, 446 
Mila y Fontanals author, 384 
Mina, Countess of, 366, 372 
Mina, Francisco, 171, 198, 205, 

229-30, 275, 283, 312-14- 330^ 
Miratiores, Marquis de, 381 
Mirasol, Count, General, 345 
Misgovernment of Spain under 

the House of Austria, 2-3 
Mon, Finance Minister, 380, 

Moncey. Marshal, 94, 140, 145 

Monet, War Minister, 288 

Montemar, Duke of, 236 

Montemolin, Count (second Don 

Carlos), 400 ; his abortive 

attempt, 444 
Montes de Oca, Minister of 

War, 357 
Monthion, General, 103, 105 
Montijo, Count of, 96, 98 
Montpensier, Duke of, 387-93, 

461, 457-8, 470, 479, 481, 527 
Moore, Sir John, 146-7, 151-3 
Mora, Jose Joaquin, author, 383 
Moratin, poet, 51, 127 
Morillo, General, 200, 219 
Morla, Don Tomas, 150 
Moriones, General, 508, 516 
Morocco, Spanish war in, 441-4 
Mosteles, the Mayor of, 129 
Munoz, 51 
Munoz (Duke of RianzaresI, 311, 

}^^% 333, 363. 395.411 
Munoz, Turrero, 295 

Muntaner, 128 

Murat in Spain, 95, 98, 102, 106, 
1 10-19, 129-31, 141 


Napier, General, 291 

Naples, King of Fernando, 38- 

39. 78 

Napoleon Bonaparte, 32-3, 38 ; 
first Consul, 40, 52-3, 56 ; 
invades Portugal, 57-60 ; plans 
against Spain, 61-3, 65 ; Em- 
peror, 68-79, 81-5, 93 ; at 
Bayonne, 105-11, 120-2 ; in 
Spain, 149-52 

Napoleon and Godoy, 33-4, 
54-8, 62-3, 66-8, 70-9, 82-5, 

Napoleon and the Spanish royal 
family, 33, 38-9, 55-6, 60 ; 
proposal to marry an Infanta, 
63 ; intrigues with Fernando, 
81-2, 93-4, 105-11, 120-22, 
134, 141. 163, 186 

Narvaez, General, 330, 334, 350, 
371, 374, 377, 379-80, 381, 392, 
395. 398-9. 400-1, 407 ; again 
minister, 434, 454 ; death, 458 

National Assembly in France, 
II, 14 

National Convention in France, 
18, 24-5 

Nelson, at Cadiz, 32 ; at the 
Battle of the Nile, 38 ; at ; 
Naples, 39, 64, 69 ; Trafalgar, d 
70-6 ^ 

Ney, Marshal, 149, 155 

Nile, Battle of, 38 

Nocedal, Candido, 434, 507 


Ocaiia, Battle of, 162 

Ocariz, Spanish ambassador in 

France, 24-5 
O'Daly, General, 231 
O'Donnell, Henry, Count de la 

Bishal, 177, 201", 206, 231, 235 
O'Donnell, Joseph, 204, '263, 289 




O'Donnell, Leopold, General, 
314, 345, 352, 361, 367, 371, 
411, 414, 416-19, 422, 426 ; 
Prime Minister, 431-4 ; the 
Liberal Union, 437 ; war in 
Morocco, 441-4 ; dismissal, 
448, 450, 452 ; dismissal and 
death, 454 

O'Doyle, General, 312 

Ofalia, Count, 260, 263, 299, 349 

O'Farril, General, 107, 117, 129- 


Olozaga, Salustiano de, Minister, 

377-9, 392, 396, 398, 408, 438, 

456, 471 
Oraa, General, 314, 342 
" Oranges," War of the, 57-60 
O'Reilly, Count, 8, 28 
Orensej Bishop of, 169 
Orovio, Marquis of, 454, 458, 477 
Ortega, General, 445 
Osma, Bishop of, 236 
Osma, General, 312 

Pacheco, minister, 398 

Palafox, the hero of Zaragoza, 
136-8, 163 

Palanca, President, 515 

Palmerston (see Spanish mar- 

Pardo, Bazan Emilia, authoress, 

Parma, Duke of, 33-5, 54-64 
Parque, Duke of, 162 
Pastor Diaz, author, 385 
Patriotic societies, 209-10, 229 
Patrocinio, Sister, 401, 451 
Paul y Angulo, 459 
Pavia, General, Marquis of Nova- 

liches, 461 
Pavia, General, 512-13, 5i5, 5i6, 

Pellicer, historian, 127 

Pefta, General, 153 

Pereda, Jose Maria, author, 548 

Perez de Castro, 352, 359 

Perez, Escrich, 487 

Perez Galdos, author, 548 

"Persians, the," 190 

Pezuela, General, 371 
Phihp IL, his system of govern- 
ment, 2 
Philip v., 3 
Philippines, 560-1 
Pifferer, Pablo, author, 384 
Pilnitz, declaration of, 15-16 
Pi y Margall, minister, 456, 511- 

12, 513 
Piiiuela, 107 

Pitt, 61, 68 ; his prophecy, 76-7 
Porlier, General, his revolt, 198 
Portland, Duke of, 132 
Portugal, 39, 57-60, 83, 93, 145, 

Posada Herrera, 437, 451 

Pradilla, artist, 547 

" Pragmatic Sanction," the, 11- 

12, 273, 278, 282-4, 289 
Prim, Juan, General, 371, 408, 

411, 442, 446, 150-52, 456, 460, 

466, 470, 480, 482, 493 ; his 

murder, 495-7 
Primo de Rivera, General, 516, 

517, 518, 524 
Purvis, Admiral, at Cadiz, 134, 


Quesada, General, 299, 330, 524 
yuintana, Manuel, poet, 127, 253, 

295, 366 
Quiroga, General, 204 


Rada, Carlist chief, 408 

Reding, General, 138 

Reform in Spain, difficulties of, 

1-6, 23, 44-8, 126 
Republic in Spain, 511-16 
Revolt of the Guards, 224-7 
Revolution, the (1868), 459 et seq. 
Ribera, artist, 547 
Ricardos, General, 27-8 
Rico, Father (of Valencia), 140 
Riego, Don Rafael, 202-5, 211-13, 
218-19, 221 ; execution, 246 
Rising of Spain against the 

French, 112-19, 129-33, et ^'^1- 



" Rising of Riego," 201-7 
Rivcro, 471 

Riven ), General, 334, 344 
Rodil, General, 30S, 334 
Romana, Marquis de la, 152, 

Romea, actor, 385 
Roncali (Count de Alcoy), 411 
Ros de Olano, General, 417, 442 
Rubi, poet, 385 
Ruiz, Jose Maria, 299 
Rutlege, John, 461 

Saavedra, Angel (Duke of Rivas), 

253, 295, 3S3 
Saavedra, Francisco de, 36-7, 

Sabatini, General, 162 
Saez, Father, 245, 258 
Sagasta, minister, 451, 456, 459, 

471-2, 477, 501-3, 522, 523, 530, 

536-8, 553, 558, 562 
St. Daniel, the night of, 450 
St. Sebastian, the English legion 

at, 326-7, 341-2 
St. Vincent, battle of, 32 
Salamanca, battle of, 180 
Salamanca, financier, 398-9, 411, 

Salaverria, Finance Minister, 524 
Sala/ar, General, 421-2 
Salic law in Spain, 11, 273, 282- 

Salmeron, President, 513 
Salmon, 280-1 

San Carlos, Duke of, 92, 104, 188 
San Gil, Revolt of the sergeants 

at, 452 
San Ildefonso, treaty of, 31, 65 
San Martin, General, 219, 229 
San Miguel, Evaristo, de, 227, 

230, 232, 330, 366, 419 
Santa Cruz, General, 239 
Santa Cruz, Marquis, 299 
Santiago de Cuba, 561 
Santocildes, General, 162 
Santos, San Miguel, General 336 
Sarsfield, General, 201, 267, 341 ; 

murdered, 345 

Sartorius, Count de San Luis, 

Minister, 401, 412-13, 414-19 
Savary, General, 107-8 
Sebastiani, Marshal, i55 
Sempere, economist, 51 
Seoane, General, 371-2 
Serrano, General, 396-9, 414, 
432, 446, 452, 455, 458, 460-1, 
466, 470-2, 476-7, 489, 498, 
501, 508, 513, 515, 518, 522, 
Sickles, General, 494 
Silvela, Prime Minister, 562 
Social condition of Spain, 43-8, 
51-2, 126, 250-1, 295-8, 486, 

Solano, General, 131, 133 
Soler, Cayetano, 37 
Solis, author, 253 
Soult, Marshal, 151-3, 155-6, 

170, 179, 182 
Spanish marriages, 328, 381, 

Spencer, General, 147 
Stage, the Spanish, 251, 297, 

383-4, 547 
Strangford, Lord, in Portugal, 

Suchet, Marshal, 155, 182, 188 

Talavera, battle of, 156 

Tassara, poet, 385 

Tattischef, Russian minister, 200 

Thuriot, 24 

Topete, Admiral, 458-9, 460, 466, 

470-2, 475, 482, 496, 515 
Toreno, Count, 131, 170, 214,218, 

295, 319-20 
Torres Vedras, 171 
Torrijos, General, 275-6, 277-8 
Trafalgar, 70-6 
Tristany, Carlist chief, 342 
Trueba, author, 383 
Truguet, French ambassador in 

Spain, 35, 37 

Ugarte, 196, 296 
Union, Count de la, 28 



Union, Liberal, 437 

United States and Cuba, 559-62 

Urge], the Regency of, 223, 228, 

Urquijo, Luis de, 37, 55, 56, 104 


Vadillo, 275 

Valdes, Cayetano, 238-9, 275 
Valdes, General, 314, 316, 318 
Valencia, resistance against the 

French, 140 
Valencia, the decree of, 191, 194 
Valera, Juan, author, 488 
Van Halen, General, 370 
Vargas-Ponce, 51, 127 
Vedel, General, 138-40 
Velarde, Captain, hero of the 

2nd of May, 116 
Venegas, General, 157 
Ventura, de la Vega, author, 

Vergara, treaty of, 35^-5 
Vicalvaro, mutiny of, 416 
Victor, Marshal, 154-5, ^S^. 162 
Victoria, Queen {sec Spanish 

Vigodet, General, 215, 238 
Villalonga, General, 381 
Villamil, Perez, 191 
Villegas, artist, 5^7 
Villeneuve, Admiral, 70-6 
Villiers, Sir Henry, 328 
Vitoria, battle of, 184 


Wars with England, 8, 31-2, 

53) 57) 66 passim. Trafalgar, 

War with France, 26-30, 83, 113- 

119, 128 et seq. to 184 
Wellesley, Sir Arthur (Duke of 

Wellington), 146-7, 155-6, 162, 

171, 174, 179 ; enters Madrid, 

181, 184 
Wellesley, Sir Henry, English 

ambassador in Spain, 190 
Wellesley Pole, Mr., 132 
Weyler, Victoriano, General in 

Cuba, 557 
Whitworth, Lord, 65 
Wilde, Colonel, at Bilbao, 337 

Yandola, 242- 

Zabala, General, 414, 515, 516 
Zaragoza, siege of, 136-8 
Zariategui, Carlist chief, 344 
Zorilla, Jose, poet and statesman, 

383, 385) 471, 501-3, 504-5 
Zumalacarregui, 306-7, 311-12, 

316 ; death of, 317 
Zurbano, General, 352, 379 




Agadir, 573 

Agriculture, 577, 578 

Alas, Leopoldo, writer, 582, 

Alfonso XIII, accession, mar- 
riage, policy, 565 ; beneficial 
action in European war, 575 
Algeciras, Conference of, 592 
Altamira, historian, 584 
Alvarez, Melquiades, politi- 
cian, 568, 574 
America, South, 576, 577 
Andalusia, 575, 582, 583 
Araquistain, writer, 583 
" Azorin," see Martinez Ruiz 


Barcelona, 575, 576 
Baroja, writer, 581., 582 
Basque provinces (Biscaya) 

568. 575 
Benavente, dramatist, 582 
Benlliure, sculptor, 584 
Blasco Ibanez, writer, 582 

Canalejas, minister, 566, 580 
Canovas del Castillo, minister, 

Carlists, 567 
Carlos, Don, 567 
Castillejo, educationalist, 581 
Castro, educationalist, 581 
Catalonia, 568, 569, 575 
Church and State, 579, 580 
" Clarin," see Alas 
Commerce, 578, 579 
Conservatives, 566, 569, 574, 

Costa, writer, 581, 582, 585 


Dado, Ruben, poet, 583 
Dato, minister, 566, 574 

Education, 581, 580 

England, relations with, 565, 

572, 573 
European War, 573, 574, 575 

de^Falla, composer, 584 
Fashoda, 571 
Ferrer, 576 
Fez, 571, 572 

France, relations with, 571, 
57-^. 573 

Gabriel y Galan, poet, 583 
Galdos, novelist, 582 
Ganivet, writer, 581 
Ciarcia Prieto, minister, 574 
" Generation of '98," 581 
Germany, relations with, 572, 

Gibraltar, 574 

Giner de los Rios, 580 

Gomez de Baquero, writer, 

(quoted), 570 
Gomez de la Serna, novelist, 

Granados, composer, 584 

Iglesias, politician, 568 
Industries, 376, 577, 578 
Inurria, sculptor, 584 



Jaime, Don, 567 
Jimenez, poet, 583 
Juntas de Defensa, 570 

Leon, Ricardo, novelist, 582 
Lerroux, Republican leader, 

568, 575 
Liberals, 566, 567, 579, 580 
Lliga Regionalista, 568 


Machado brothers, poets, 583 
Maeztu, writer, 581, 583 
Martinez Ruiz, writer, 582, 583 
Martinez Sierra, dramatist, 582 
Maura, minister, 566, 574 
Melilla, 573 

Menendez y Pelayo, writer, 584 
Menendez Pidal, writer, 581, 

Montero Rios, minister, 566 

Moret, minister, 566 

Morocco, 571, 572, 573, 579 


Navarro Tomas, education- 
alist, 581 


Ortega y Gasset, writer, 583 

Palacio Valdes, novelist, 582 
Perez de Ayala, novelist, 582 
Political parties, grouping of, 


Ouintero brothers, dramatists, 


Regionalism, 568 
Republicans, 567 
Rif tribesmen, 573 
Rodriguez Marin, writer, 584 
Romanones, minister, 567, 574 

Sagasta, minister, 566 
Silvela, minister, 566 
Socialism, 568 
Sorolla, painter, 584 
Spanish language, 577 

Tangier, 572, 573 


Unamuno, writer, 581, 583 

Valle-Inclan, novelist, 582 
Vatican relations, 580 
Vazquez de Mella, Carlist 

leader, 574 
Villaespesa, poet, 583 
Villaverde, minister, 566 


War, European (Spanish neu- 
trality), 573, 574, 575 
War in Morocco, 572, 573 

Zuloaga, painter, 584 


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