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October. I shall be very glad to receive James,1 if he wishes to come to me as an extra aide-de-camp, though I have already too many, and am obliged, or shall be, to take a young Fitzclarence. But I have a sincere regard for James, and, besides, can refuse you nothing, but to follow your advice. He must get the Commander-in-Chief's leave to come to Spain. He may then join me. He will, however, come too late; I shall already be beaten. I am within four marches of the French, with only a third of my force; and as the Spaniards have been dispersed in all quarters, my junction with the other two-thirds is very precarious; and when we all join, we shall be very inferior to the enemy. The Spanish Government is weak and imbecile; their armies have at no time been numerous; and the country is not armed, nor, as far as I can judge, enthusiastic. We have been completely deceived by the contemptible fellows chosen as correspondents to the armies; and now the discovery comes a little too late. Charles is not yet arrived; his was one of the best regiments that left Lisbon, and was not intended to join us, if I in compassion to his melancholy countenance had not found a pretext. We are in a scrape; but I hope we shall have spirit to get out of it. You must, however, be prepared to hear very bad news.
The troops are in as good spirits as if things Avere better; their appearance and good conduct surprise the green Spaniards, who had never before seen any but their own or French soldiers.
1 Her brother, the Hon. James Stanhope.
Farewell, my dear Lady Hester: if I extricate myself and those with me from our present difficulties, and if I can beat the French, I shall return to you with satisfaction; but if not, it will be better that I should never quit Spain.
I remain always
Very faithfully and sincerely yours,
THE SIEGE OF ZARAGOZA.
The account of the first siege of Zaragoza, as given by General Napier in his 'History of the Peninsular War,' very considerably differed from that of Sir Charles Vaughan, as published in 1809; above all, as regards the character which General Napier imputed to the Spanish chiefs. It was alleged, however, and even in print, that Sir Charles had subsequently, and on further investigation, seen cause to recede from his original ground. Feeling, as I did, great interest in all the circumstances connected with that memorable siege, I addressed an inquiry upon the subject to Sir Charles, whose answer was as follows.
Right Hon. Sir Charles R. Vaughan to Lord Mahon.
20, Bolton Street, Dear Lord Mahon, 28th January, 1838.
An absence of six weeks from London, and forgetfulness too, have caused my neglect to send you a copy of my account of the siege of Zaragoza (to adopt the Spanish way of writing it), which I published in 1809. I now beg your Lordship's acceptance of a copy; and I assure you that I never had any reason, as it has been asserted, to distrust the statements which it contains, and which I collected, when at Zaragoza, soon after the place was abandoned by the French, from the Spanish officers and people who had been engaged in its defence. General Lefevre, who first commanded the French, was a prisoner on parole at Cheltenham in 1809; and I went there expressly to see him, when he told me that he had read my pamphlet, and that it was a candid and correct account of what had passed. He was anxious only to convince me that the French had not lost ground in the town after their first entrance, and that they had retreated, and were not driven from it. I learned from him that he advanced against the place at first with 3000 men only, but that when General Verdier joined him the French force amounted to 15,000 men; that they lost during the whole siege 4000 men; and that himself and two other French Generals were wounded.
ENGLAND AND THE TYROL.
The original of this touching and beautiful letter is preserved in the Ferdinandeum of Innspruck, the Curator of which gave a copy to my father in 1847.
Earl Bathurst to the Tyrolese Deputies.
Foreign Office, Gentlemen, November 11, 1809.
I have submitted your Memorial to the King, and I am commanded by His Majesty to assure you of the lively interest which he takes in the fate of a free and loyal people who have, for two centuries together, remained unshaken in their attachment to their Sovereign. He has learned with the deepest regret that they have been again severed by the Peace of Schonbrunn from the protection of the House of Austria, and under circumstances which, it is to be apprehended, will render further resistance vain.
When submission is in effect more hazardous than resistance, or when the dangers attending on each are