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of 3000 infantry from the other side by the street Ancha de Bernardo. Some Spanish officers headed the mob, and fired on the soldiery in the streets of Maravalles: a bloody massacre ensued: many hundreds were made prisoners: the troops swept the streets from end to end, released their comrades, and, to all appearance, tranquillity was restored ere nightfall. During the night, however, the peasantry flocked in armed from the neighbouring country; and, being met at the gates by the irritated soldiery, not a few more were killed, wounded, and made prisoners. Murat ordered all the prisoners to be tried by a military commission, which doomed them to instant death. It is disputed whether the more deliberate guilt of carrying ihe sentence into execution lies with the commander-in-chief himself, or with Grouchy; it is certain that a considerable number of Spaniardsthe English authority most friendly to the French cause admits ninety-five*. were butchered in cold blood on the 3d of May.
This commotion had been preceded by a brief insurrection, easily suppressed and not unlikely to be soon forgotten, on the 23d of April, at Toledo. The events in the capital were of a more decisive character, and the amount of the bloodshed, in itself great, was much exaggerated in the reports which flew, like wildfire, throughout the Peninsulafor the French were as eager to overawe the provincial Spaniards, by conveying an overcharged impression of the consequences of resistance, as their enemies in Madrid were to rouse the general indignation, by heightened details of the ferocity of the invaders, and the sternness of their own devotion. In almost every town of Spain, and almost simultaneously, the flame of patriotic resentment broke out in the terrible form of assassination. The French residents were slaughtered without mercy: the supposed partizans of Napoleon and Godoy (not a few men of worth being causelessly confounded in their fate,) were sacrificed in the first tumult of popular rage. At Cadiz, Seville, Carthagena, above all in Valencia, the streets ran red with blood. The dark and vindictive temper of the Spaniards covered the land with scenes, on the details of which it is shocking to dwell
* Colonel Napier, p. 25,
. The French soldiery, hemmed in, insulted, and wherever they could be found separately, sacrificed—often with every circumstance of savage torture--retorted by equal barbarity whenever they had the means. Popular bodies (juntas) assumed the conduct of affairs in most of the cities and provinces, renounced the yoke of France, reproclaimed Ferdinand king, and at the maritime stations of chief importance entered into communication with the English fleets, from whom they failed not to receive pecuniary supplies, and every encouragement to proceed in their measures. Deputies were sent to England without delay; and welcomed there with the utmost enthusiasm of sympathy and admiration. England could both speak and act openly. Throughout the whole of the enslaved continent the news of the Spanish Insurrection was brooded over with a sullen joy.
Napoleon received the intelligence with alarm; but he had already gone too far to retract without
disturbing the magical influence of his reputation. He, moreover, was willing to flatter himself that the lower population of Spain alone took an active part in these transactions; that the nobility, whose degradation he could hardly over-estimate, would abide by his voice; in a word, that with 80,000 troops in Spain, besides Junot's army in Portugal, he possessed the means of suppressing the tumult after the first effervescence should have escaped. He proceeded, therefore, to act precisely as if no insurrection had occurred. Tranquillity being reestablished in Madrid, the Council of Castile were convoked, and commanded to elect a new sovereign : their choice had of course been settled beforehand : it fell on Joseph Buonaparte, King of Naples; and ere it was announced, that personage was already on his way to Bayonne. Ninety-five Notables of Spain met him in that town; and swore fealty to him and a new Constitution, the manufacture of course of Napoleon. Joseph, on entering Spain, was met by unequivocal symptoms of scorn and hatred: but, the main road being strongly occupied throughout with his brother's troops, he reached Madrid in safety.
Lucien Buonaparte, it is understood, received the first offer of this crown; but he did not envy the condition of his brother's royal vassals, and declined the dangerous honour. Murat had expected it, and much resented his disappointment; but Napoleon did not consider him as possessed of the requisite prudence, and he was forced to accept the succession to the vacant throne of Naples.
Joseph had become not unpopular in Naples, and being a peaceful man, would gladly have remained in that humbler kingdom; but Napoleon no more consulted the private wishes of his subaltern princes on such occasions, than he did those of his generals in the arrangements of a campaign.
On the 24th of July, (says Colonel Napier,) “ Joseph was proclaimed King of Spain and the Indies, with all the solemnities usual upon such occasions ; not hesitating to declare himself the enemy of eleven millions of people, the object of a whole nation's hatred; calling, with a strange accent, from the midst of foreign bands, upon that fierce and haughty race to accept of a constitution which they did not understand, and which few of them had even heard of; his only hope of success resting on the strength of his brother's arms; his claims on the consent of an imbecile monarch and the weakness of a few pusillanimous nobles, in contempt of the rights of millions now arming to oppose him.”
Insurrection of the Spaniurds and Portugueze — Their
alliance with England— Battle of Riosecco-Joseph enters Madrid - First Siege of Zaragossa-Dupont's March into Andalusia-- The Battle of Baylen-Dupont surrenders— Joseph quits Madrid-Situation of Junot -- Arrival of Sir Arthur Wellesley-Battle of Roriça - Battle of Vimiero~Convention of Cintra.
On the 4th of July the King of England addressed his Parliament on the subject which then fixed the universal enthusiasm of his people.
“ I view” (said he) “ with the liveliest interest the loyal and determined spirit manifested in resisting the violence and perfidy with which the dearest rights of the Spanish nation have been assailed. The kingdom thus nobly struggling against the usurpation and tyranny of France, can no longer be considered as the enemy of Great Britain, but is recognized by me as a natural friend and ally.” It has been already mentioned that the British commanders in the neighbourhood of Spain did not wait for orders from home to espouse openly the cause of the insurgent nation.
The Spanish prisoners of war were forthwith released, clothed, and equipped, and sent back to their country. Supplies of arms and money were liberally transmitted thither; and, Portugal catching the flame and bursting into ge