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poleon would have saved blood and treasure, which might have been employed for similar purposes elsewhere. He chose, however, to push matters at once to an extremity, and by this conduct exposed himself to the chance of a war, the results of which could be, in no event, advantageous to him. If successful, he gained nothing, because he could only have resumed his former position with regard to Spain, that is, he could only have disposed of her at pleasure. Unsuccessful— and we may be permitted to indulge this hope—the monstrous edifice of his power would be shaken to its very foundations, and other nations, groaning under his yoke, be taught the secret of triumphant resistance. If we consider, moreover, that, even success was attended with the risk of losing America, it seems difficult to conceive the motives, which can have induced him to engage in an attempt, odious in the eyes of all the world, and impolitic in the opinion of the least scrupulous of his counsellors.
The Moniteur has fixed the period, of the complete subjugation of Spain, within the present year. In order to be able to judge what degree of confidence is due to this prophecy, somewhat bold methinks, I shall direct the attention of the reader to the means of defence, which Spain can oppose to her aggressors.
The calculations, most to be relied on, make the population of Spain amount from ten to eleven millions. If, therefore, a rising en masse takes place, which can no longer be doubted, it will create an effective force of eleven hundred thousand men, supposing one out of every ten persons to be fit for service. This calculation may be the more readily admitted with regard to Spain, as, in that country, the two sexes may be said to have disputed with emulous zeal, the glory of arming and ontending for the common defence. Witness the instance of i e women of Saragossa, of whom a great number perished in the successive, but uniformly fruitless assaults, which the French made upon that town. Independently of a decided adr vantage in point of numbers, the Spaniards have another of no small importance, that of being better acquainted with the country. Their remarkable sobriety in the consumption of food, the known voracity of their enemies, and finally the difficulties which the latter must experience, to support a numerous army, in Spain, notwithstanding the heavy waggons d la Malborough, with which the credulity of the Parisian cockney is beguiled,—are circumstances which must still further increase their chances of success. If to all this be superadded, the moral effects, which a just resentment, and the persuasion, that no concessions can be of avail with an enemy implacable in his vengeance, must produce on ardent and exasperated minds, then, no doubt, it may be admitted as possible, that the war in Spain, so far from terminating in a few months, as the Moniteur predicts, may keep France engaged for a long time, and give some respite to those States, which have not yet been devoured, but of which the fate has been already decreed. If it took the Romans, more expert perhaps in the business of conquest than the great nation of our daw— according to the testimony of their own historians, more than two hundred years to complete the subjugation of Spain, we are justified in thinking that Napoleon will require at least two years, to accomplish the same object.
Where will Spain obtain arms, it may be asked, for her hosts? I answer, that the stock now in Spain is much greater than is generally believed: That the British will furnish a part: That there is no necessity for arming the whole military population at once. Besides—have they not before their eyes the example of their invaders themselves, who, during the fint years of the revolutionary war, had scarcely any thing more than their numbers to oppose to the arms, and the tactics ot the coalition? .
However this may be, and without presuming to prejudge the issue of the contest, which has commenced between the Spanish nation, and the French government—(I do not say between the two nations)—I shall content myself with observing, that upon this contest depends the fate of Europe. The more protracted and obstinate the resistance of the Spaniards, the more fatal will be the effects of their defeat to the two continental powers, which still remain independent— Russia, and Austria. The last was already marked out as a victim. To Spain alone, she is indebted for the respite she enjoys. No doubt she will be the first attacked, as soon as Napoleon shall have recruited his battalions, with those same Iberians, whom he is now obliged to combat. Russia will perhaps alone escape, from being finally numbered in this long list of states overthrown, mutilated, plundered, and at length reduced to a servitude equally oppressive and ignominious. But, in that case, she will be indebted for her safety, to those extraordinary means, which are now on trial in Spain, for no less a task will then fall to her share, than to resist the strength of a" Europe, directed by a single head.
Mav these fears be only the dreams of a terrified imagmation! But, should they be exaggerated, it is nevertheless impossible for any mind, however cool and unprejudiced, to mistake the existence of the project of universal dominion on the part of Napoleon. This project has been already fearfully developed, and quite recently, has been confessed in the Report of the minister, M. Champagny, relative to the affairs of Spain. It is chimerical, no doubt. It would remain so still, even if all Furope—I speak of the Continent—should have been subjugated, and Russia driven back within her ancient limits, as Napoleon has frequently threatened; but torrents of blood must flow, and Europe exhibit a vast theatre of desolation, before the mistake will be acknowledged.
I shall conclude this Memoir, which is dictated by the purest zeal for the well-being of humanity, with a few historical facts, connected with the recent events in Spain. I can pledge my honour, for their authenticity. They will serve to characterize more fully the awful tragedy, which, at this moment, engages the attention of the world.
1.1 have frequently heard the prince of Asturias accused, of having forced his father to abdicate. Nothing can be more erroneous than this statement, and never was an abdication more voluntary than that of Charles IV. He declared this himself, in the presence of the whole diplomatic corps, which waited upon him on the occasion. His majesty repeated the same declaration at a private audience, which had been asked by the apostolic nuncio Gravina. "Since ten years I have thought of it," said the king; "I abdicate most voluntarily, and I shall heartily enjoy all the good my son may do to my country." The fact is, that the fright occasioned by the occurrences at Aranjuez on the 6th of March, and the natural indolence of the king, were the true and only motives of this abdication.
2. The protest of king Charles, as published in the French journals, is dated only two days subsequent to the abdication. This, also, is an imposition, which it is proper I should point out. It is of public notoriety at Madrid, that king Charles did not sign this protest till seventeen days after his abdication, and against his will. He was obliged to yield to the intrigues of the grand duke of Berg, and to the importunities of his queen Louisa. He tried in vain to make this woman sensible of the sad consequences, which would attend the step. Consulting her disorderly passions alone, she was alike insensible to the voice of reason, and to the cries of nature. She overcame her husband, and the protest was signed.
3. All the world knows with what athtbility the Emperor Napoleon received at Bayonne, the unfortunate prince of Asturias, who mounted the throne of his ancestors, immediately to descend from it into a prison. But, it is less generally known what means were employed, to entice him out of his own country. It would be tedious to unfold here the long tissue of falsehood, hypocrisy, and even murder, resorted to for this purpose.* It will be sufficient to state, that the principal machinery of this infernal plot, consisted in arming the father against the son, by imputing the blackest designs to the latter I regret to have to add, that Napoleon was zealously aided on this occasion by queen Louisa.
After the prince of Asturias had arrived at Bayonne, a journey undertaken against the advice of his best counsellors, every species of flattery was lavished upon him by Napoleon, to make him easy with regard to his final designs, till all the victims should be collected. Dined with him; supped with him; walked with him; he stated that he was going to acknowledge him as king of Spain; and, as if considering him so already, he, from time to time, gave him the title of "your majesty:" But it would be expedient was it said, first to reconcile him with his father. This mummery was continued till the arrival of king Charles, the queen mother, the queen of Etruria, and the other princes of the royal house of Spain. Then the scene changed, and the Napoleon, the kind and generous mediator, became a severe and inexorable judge. After the first audience with king Charles, on the very day of his arrival at Bayonne, Napoleon insultingly accosted the prince of the Asturias, by telling him, that he would never be able to clear himself of the just reproaches of his father. From that
• The infant Don Carlos, one of the brothers of the prince of Asturias, was sent forward by the latter to meet the Emperor Napoleon, who had announced his intention of visiting Madrid. He encountered him at Bayonne, where he was to halt. After remaining for some days in that city, he discovered that the ruin of all his family was in agitation. Seeing that be was a prisoner himself, he determined to save, if possible, the prince of Asturias, to whom he was tenderly attached. The latter had already set out for Madrid, to meet Napoleon, whom he expected to encounter between that capital and Burgos, and had suffered himself to be persuaded to go u far as Vittoria. The infant wrote him a letter, of which a trusty servant wu to take charge, in which he apprized him of the fate that awaited hiro, if he yielded to the instances which he knew were to be employed, to induce him to proceed to Bayonne. Don Carlos, the moment he had finished this letter, very indiscreetly communicated the contents to a nobleman of his suite, whose name I do not now recollect, but who made them known to Fuentes, another Spanish nobleman. This wretch hastened to lay them before the Emperor Napoleon, who rewarded him with a sum of money. Measures were immediately taken to seize the courier. He was overtaken on the bridge of la Bidassoa; and the pursuers after searching invainjabout his person, fur the letter, murdered him, and threw the bodv into the river.
moment the prince was confined to his house, which he was not permitted to leave, even to take a walk. He was next called upon to restore the crown to his father, which he did without hesitation, protesting that he had never intended to deprive him of it.
The old king was the first to perceive the abyss into which he had plunged, as he was the first of whom the sacrifice of his rights was demanded, in favour of Napoleon. It threw him into a paroxysm of rage, but he was obliged to yield. The sense of his disgrace, and the confusion of mind produced by an upbraiding conscience, deprived him of all power of resistance. He signed his abdication, and exchanged, one of the finest kingdoms on earth, for a castle in France.
After all the princes of the royal house had likewise renounced their titles, with the exception of the prince of the Asturias,—-the infant Don Francisco, the same who has been mentioned above, threw himself at the feet of his brother. He conjured him by the glory of his ancestors, by the manes of Charles V, not to submit to this deed of shame. He represented, that the abdication of the others was of no consequence, but that he, presumptive heir of the crown, and the idol of his subjects, owed to them an example of nrmness, at a moment when they were all arming themselves in defence of his rights: That his renunciation would complete the work of iniquity, would cover him with disgrace, in the eyes of all Europe, and extinguish the love of his people. Ferdinand promised his brother not to yield, but his resolution was insufficient to withstand the threat of Napoleon, that he should be treated like the duke d'Enghien, if he did not resign instantaneously. "I must have your head, or your seal." Such was the language of Bonaparte, for the genuineness of which I can vouch. The prince chose dishonour, and signed.
My task is ended. I have had no other aim, than to promulgate the truth.
Paris, September, 1808
Vol. III. 2 Q