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Worlds Best Histories - France Vol 7 by M. Guizot and Madame Guizot De Witt

Part 5 out of 9

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Europe, and absolute master of France, thought that he could not suffer it
to be said that his future historian would perhaps be born under his
reign, and felt himself obliged to take the honor of Nero under his
protection. It was scarcely worth while to be such a great man to have
such fears to show, or such clients to protect."

If the emperor pursued with anger the spirit of opposition in the salons,
which he endeavored ceaselessly to rally around him, and if, above all, he
feared their glorious representatives, Madame de Staël and Chateaubriand,
he watched still more harshly the newspapers and the journalists. His
revolutionary origin, and the early habits of his mind had rendered him
hostile to that liberty of the press which flourished under the
Constituent Assembly, withered away under the Legislative Assembly, and
expired during the Terror in a sea of blood. When Daunou wished to insert
the liberty of the press in the constitution of the year VIII., he
encountered great opposition on the part of former Jacobins. They and
their friends had secured the right of saying always what they chose, and
knew the means of preserving what they had acquired at the price of many
massacres; the liberty their adversaries demanded appeared to them
dangerous and unjust. Such has always been in the main the revolutionary
idea, and the Emperor Napoleon had not forgotten this theory and this
arbitrary practice. However, he also knew what might be the influence of
the periodical press, and he endeavored to submit to the discipline of his
will the small number of newspapers which existed under his reign. "Stir
yourself up a little more to sustain public opinion," he wrote to Fouché,
on the 28th April, 1805. "Print several articles, cleverly written, to
deny the march of the Russians, the interview of the Emperor of Russia
with the Emperor of Austria, and those ridiculous reports, phantoms born
of the English fog and spleen. Say to the editors, that if they continue
in their present tone I will pay them off; tell them that I do not judge
them hardly for the bad things they have said, but for the little good
they have said. When they represent France vacillating on the point of
being attacked, I judge that they are neither Frenchmen nor worthy to
write under my reign. It is all very well to say that they only give their
bulletins; they have been told what these bulletins are; and since they
must give false news, why not give them in favor of the public credit and

The _Journal des Débats_, in the first rank of the periodical press, under
the intelligent direction of the Bertins, had already been favored with a
special inspector, whose duty was to superintend its editing, and to whom
the proprietors of the paper were forced to pay 12,000 francs a year.
Fouché had menaced the other papers with this measure of discipline, by
ordering them to "put into quarantine all news disagreeable or
disadvantageous to France." This patriotic prudence did not long suffice
for the master. "Let Fiévée know that I am very dissatisfied with the
manner in which he edits his paper," he wrote, on the 6th March, 1808. "It
is ridiculous that, contrary to the rules of good sense, he still
continues to believe all that the German papers say to frighten us about
the Russians. It is ridiculous to say that they put 500,000 men in the
field, when, for the coalition itself, Russia only furnished 100,000 men,
while Austria furnished 300,000. It is my intention that he should only
speak of the Russians to humiliate them, to enfeeble their forces, to
prove how their trashy reputation in military matters, and the praises of
their armies, are without foundation." And the same day to Talleyrand: "It
is my intention that the political articles in the _Moniteur_ should be
guided by the foreign relations. And after seeing how they are done for a
month, I shall prohibit the other papers talking politics, otherwise than
by copying the articles of the _Moniteur_."

We have known the dangers and the formidable effects of an unlimited
liberty of the press. Never was it more licentious than when just
recovered from a system arbitrarily oppressive. The fire which appears to
be extinct smoulders under the ashes, to shortly break out with new fury.
The thirty-three years of constitutional régime which France had enjoyed,
powerfully contributed to the moderation of men's acts, and even their
words, at the time of the revolution of 1848. The outburst of invectives
and anger which saluted the fall of the Emperor Napoleon, had been slowly
accumulated during the long silence imposed under his reign.

Arbitrary and despotic will succeeds in creating silence, but not in
breaking it at a given time, and in a specified direction. In vain did
Napoleon institute prizes every ten years; in vain did he demand from the
several classes of the Institute reports on the progress of human thought
since 1789. Literary genius remained deaf to his voice, and the real
talent of several poets of a secondary order, Delille, Esmenard,
Millevoye, Chênédollé, was not sufficient to triumph over the intellectual
apathy which seemed to envelope the people he governed. "When I entered
the world, in 1807," said Guizot, "chaos had reigned for a long time; the
excitement of 1789 had entirely disappeared; and society, being completely
occupied in settling itself, thought no more of the character of its
amusements; the spectacles of force had replaced for it the aspirations
towards liberty. In the midst of the general reaction, the faithful heirs
of the literary salons of the eighteenth century remained the only
strangers in them. The mistakes and disasters of the Revolution had not
made the survivors of that brilliant generation abjure their ideas and
desires; they remained sincerely liberal, but without pressing demands,
and with the reserve of those who have succeeded little and suffered much
in their endeavors after reform and government. They held fast to the
liberty of speech, but did not aspire to power; they detested, and sharply
criticised, despotism, but without doing anything to repress or overturn
it. It was an opposition made by enlightened and independent spectators,
who had no chance and no desire to interfere as actors."

Thus it was that the lassitude of the superior classes, decimated and
ruined by the French revolution and the Terror, inspired by the splendid
and triumphant military despotism, contributed together to keep the public
mind in a weak and supine state, which the sound of the cannon alone
interrupted. I am wrong; the great men, naturalists or mathematicians, who
had sprung up, either young or already ripe, in the era of the French
revolution--Laplace, La Grange, Cuvier--upheld, in the order of their
studies, that scientific superiority of France which has not always kept
pace with literary genius, but which has never ceased to adorn our
country. The personal tastes of the emperor served and encouraged the
learned men, even when their opinions had remained more independent than
suited him. He sometimes reproached Monge, his companion during the
campaign of Egypt, that he had remained in his heart attached to the
Republic. "Well, but!" said the great geometrician, gayly, "your Majesty
turned so short!"

Napoleon had certainly _turned short_, and he expected France to follow
him in the rapid evolution of his thought. Jealous of his right to march
in the van and show the way to all, he indicated to dramatic authors the
draft of their theatrical pieces, and to painters the subject of their
paintings. "Why," he wrote to Fouché, "should you not engage M. Raynouard
to make a tragedy on the transition from the first to the second race?
Instead of being a tyrant, his successor would be the saviour of the
nation. It is in pieces of that kind that the theatre is new, for under
the old régime they would not have been permitted." On the other hand, and
by an unconscious return to that fear of the house of Bourbon which he
always instinctively felt, Napoleon opposed the representation of a
tragedy of Henry IV. "That period is not so remote but that it may awake
the passions. The scene should be more ancient."

The passions sometimes awake easily, at points where no threatening or
danger appeared. Immediately after the consecration and the Concordat,
what could be more natural or simple than a wish to draw up a catechism
for the use of all the schools? The organic articles had declared that
there would be only one liturgy and one catechism for all the churches of
France. At first the court of Rome made no difficulty. The Abbé Emery,
Superior of St. Sulpice, gave an excellent piece of advice to Portalis,
the Minister of Religion. "If I were in the emperor's place," said he, "I
should take purely and simply the catechism of Bossuet, and thus avoid an
immense responsibility." Napoleon had a liking for Bossuet's genius and
doctrine, and the idea pleased him. The new catechism intended to form the
minds and hearts of coming generations was placed under the patronage of
Bossuet, "that celebrated prelate, whose science, talents, and genius have
served the Church and honored the nation," said Portalis in his report.
"The justice which all the bishops of Christendom had rendered to the
memory of this great man, is to us a sufficient guarantee of his accuracy
and authority. The work of the compilers of the new catechism is in
reality but a second copy of Bossuet's work."

The great bishop would certainly have felt some difficulty in recognizing
certain pages of the work so prudently presented under his aegis. Strictly
faithful to the spirit of the Gospel as to the supreme equality of all men
in the presence of God, whatever might occasionally have been his
consideration for the wishes of Louis XIV., Bossuet, when expounding the
fourth commandment, the respect and submission due by children to their
parents, was satisfied with adding,--"What else is commanded to us by the
fourth commandment? To respect all superiors, pastors, kings, magistrates,
and others."

The submission of the subjects of Louis XIV. was known to him, and
therefore that exposition was enough in his time. Portalis was of opinion
that immediately after the French Revolution the principles of respect and
obedience ought to be more exactly defined. "The point is," he wrote to
Napoleon, on the 13th February, 1806, "to attach the conscience of the
people to your Majesty's august person, by whose government and victories
the safety and happiness of France are secured. To recommend subjects
generally to submit to their sovereign would not, in the present
hypothesis, direct that submission towards its proper end. I therefore
thought it necessary to make a clear explanation, and apply the precept in
a precise manner to your Majesty. That will prevent any ambiguity, by
fixing men's hearts and minds upon him who alone can and really ought to
fix their minds and hearts."

Napoleon readily coincided with the pious officiousness of his Minister of
Religion, and undertook to draw up himself the question and answer in the
new catechism. "Is submission to the government of France a dogma of the
Church? Yes; Scripture teaches us that he who resists the powers resists
the order of God; yes, the Church imposes upon us more special duties
towards the government of France, the protector of religion and the
Church; she commands us to love it, cherish it, and he ready for all
sacrifices in its service." The theologians, whom Portalis said he always
distrusted, pointed out that, the Church being universal, her dogmas could
not inculcate respect for a particular government. It was therefore drawn
up afresh, and was so extended that the commentary on the fourth
commandment became longer than the exposition of the principle itself. I
wish to give here the actual text as a curious document of the spirit of
the time.

LESSON VII--_Continuation of the Fourth Commandment_.

_Question._ What are the duties of Christians with reference to the
princes by whom they are governed; and what are our special duties towards
Napoleon I., our emperor?

_Answer._ Christians owe to the princes by whom they are governed, and we
owe specially to Napoleon I., our emperor, love, respect, obedience,
fidelity, military service, the tribute ordered for the preservation and
defence of the empire and his throne; we also owe him fervent prayers for
his health and for the temporal prosperity of the State.

_Q._ Why are we bound to perform all those duties towards our emperor?

_A._ First, because God, who creates empires, and distributes them
according to His will, by loading our emperor with gifts, both in peace
and in war, has established him as our sovereign. Secondly, because our
Lord Jesus Christ, as well by His teaching as His example, has taught us
Himself what we owe to our sovereign: at His birth His parents were
obeying an edict of Caesar Augustus; He paid the prescribed tribute-money;
and just as He has ordered us to render to God the things that are God's,
He has also ordered us to render unto Caesar the things that are

_Q._ Are there no special motives which strengthen our attachment to
Napoleon I., our emperor?

_A._ Yes; for it is he whom God has stirred up, during difficult
circumstances, to restore the public worship and holy religion of our
fathers and be its protector. He has brought back and preserved public
order by his profound and active wisdom; he defends the State by his
powerful arm; he became the Lord's anointed by the consecration which he
has received from the sovereign pontiff, head of the Church universal.

_Q._ What ought we to think of those who fail in their duty towards our

_A._ According to the apostle Paul they resist the order established by
God Himself, and render themselves worthy of eternal damnation.

_Q._ Are those duties which we owe towards our emperor equally binding
upon us with regard to his legitimate successors in the order established
by the constitution of the Empire?

_A._ Yes, certainly: for we read in the Holy Scripture that God, Lord of
heaven and earth, by a disposition of His supreme will, and by His
providence, gives empires not only to one person individually, but also to
his family.

_Q._ What are our obligations towards our magistrates?

_A._ We ought to honor them, respect them, and obey them, because they are
the depositaries of our emperor's authority.

The catechism was revised and corrected by a theological commission, by
Portalis, by the emperor, and by the cardinal legate himself, in spite of
a formal prohibition which he had received from Rome. "It does not belong
to the secular power to choose or prescribe to the bishops the catechism
which it may prefer," wrote Cardinal Consalvi on the 18th August, 1805.
"His Imperial Majesty has surely no intention of arrogating a faculty
which God trusts exclusively to the Church and Vicar of Jesus Christ."

Caprara had kept the Secretary of State's despatch sealed, and when at
last the text of the catechism appeared, in 1806, it had received his
approbation. By an article in the _Journal de l'Empire_ of the 5th May,
1806, the court of Rome learnt that a catechism was soon to be published,
uniform and obligatory for all the dioceses of France, with the official
approbation of the cardinal legate. A despatch of Cardinal Consalvi,
expressing to Caprara the astonishment and displeasure of the sovereign
pontiff, remained secret and without effect. The influence of the court of
Rome upon their envoy failed before the seductive power, mixed with fear,
which Napoleon had exercised upon Cardinal Caprara since his arrival. The
French bishops were not less troubled than the Pope. "Has the emperor the
right to meddle in those matters?" wrote Aviau, Bishop of Bordeaux, to one
of his friends; "who has given him the mission? To him the things of
earth, to us the things of heaven. Soon, if we let him, he will lay hands
on the censer, and perhaps afterwards wish to ascend the altar."

One modification only was granted, on the demands of the bishops supported
by Cardinal Fesch. In contempt of Bossuet and his teaching, the standing
doctrine of Catholicism, "Out of the Church there is no safety," had been
omitted in the new catechism. That phrase being restored, the catechism,
invested with the approbation of the legate, was published in the
beginning of August, 1808. Placed in the alternative of contradicting or
recalling Caprara, the court of Rome prudently remained silent.
Differences of opinion were now accumulating between the Pope and the
emperor--between the spiritual authority, which still preserved some
pretensions to independence, and the arbitrary will of the conqueror,
resolved to govern the world, Rome included. We at last reach the moment
when the excess of arrogance was about to provoke the effect of contrary
wills. We shall now see the Pope captive, the Spanish people in
insurrection, the climate and deserts of Russia leagued together against
the tyrannical master of Europe. England had never accepted the yoke; and
she had everywhere seconded resistance. For the future, it was not alone
by sea, nor by the assistance of subsidies, that she entered the lists;
Sir Arthur Wellesley was now in his turn to join in the struggle.

A last act of the absolute will of the Emperor Napoleon signalized that
period of the interior government of France which preceded the war in
Spain and the campaigns in Germany and Russia. It was the suppression pure
and simple, by a "senatus-consulte," of the "Tribunate" formerly
instituted with so much pomp, and which had gradually fallen into
insignificance, owing to the successive changes it had undergone, and to
the secrecy imposed on its deliberations. The absolute power could support
neither contradiction nor even the appearance of discussion, however
moderate it might be. The lively remembrance, however, of an eloquent and
daring opposition was still associated with the name of the Tribunate.
Some honored names had survived the great silence. "The abolition of the
Tribunate will be less a change than an improvement in our institutions,"
said M. Boulay de la Meurthe in his report, "because, since the
constitution of the empire the Tribunate only appears useless, out of
place, not in harmony with the times." The Legislative Body formed a place
of refuge to the members of the Tribunate who were in exercise: they took
their places as a right among its ranks, where they were no more heard of,
annihilated by the servitude that reigned around them. Their admission
into the Legislative Body had, however, been graced by an appearance of
liberality: the right of discussion was restored to that assembly.

M. de Fontanes took care beforehand to indicate what spirit was to preside
at their discussions. "These precincts, which have wondered at their
silence, and whose silence is now at an end, will not hear the noisy
tempests of popular harangues. May the tribune be without storms, and may
the only applause be at the triumphs of reason. Above all, may truth
appear there with courage, but with wisdom, and may she shine there with
all her light! A great prince must love her brightness. She alone is
worthy of him, why should he be afraid of her? The more he is looked at,
the more he rises; the more he is judged, the more is he admired." By the
mouth of Carrion-Nisas, the Tribunate thanked the emperor for having
discharged it from its functions. "We believe," said they, "that we have
not so much arrived at the end of our career, as attained the object of
all our efforts, and the recompense of our devotion." Being now certain of
the docility of the great bodies of State, and no longer uneasy about that
of the magistracy, all the obnoxious members having been weeded out by his
orders, the Emperor Napoleon could turn his thoughts abroad. The question
was how to place King Joseph on the throne of Spain.



Napoleon did not keep his promise to the Bourbons of Spain. He had not
come to Madrid in order to heal their divisions, and strengthen the
tottering power. One after another, he had drawn all the members of the
royal family to Bayonne, and there, on French soil, had easily consummated
their ruin. It was also on French soil that he made preparations to raise
his brother to the throne. King Joseph was late in arriving, entering
Bayonne only on the 8th June; and already the imperious will and clever
management of the emperor had brought into that town a certain number of
great lords, favorable to the new power from interest or fear. Already
Joseph was proclaimed King of Spain and the Indies; and scarcely had he
had time to put foot to the ground when he was surrounded by Spanish
deputations, which had been carefully prepared by Napoleon's orders. The
king regretted much having to leave Naples. Without foreseeing the
difficulties that awaited him, he loved the gentle, easy life of Italy,
and had not yet forgot the annoyance of taking possession, or the
obstacles to be met by a new regime. The emperor took care to dazzle him
at the outset. The Junta formed at Bayonne prepared a constitution.
Napoleon had collected much information as to the lamentable state of the
administration in Spain. "These papers are necessary to me for the
measures which I have to order," he had written to Murat, who was still in
Madrid, ill and sad; "they are also necessary to me to show some day to
posterity in what state I have found the Spanish monarchy." Useless
precaution of a great mind, who thought to dispose of the future and of
the judgment of posterity, as, till then, he had dazzled or overthrown all
the witnesses of his marvellous career!

Eight days after the arrival of King Joseph at Bayonne, the new
constitution was adopted by the improvised Junta. "It is all that we can
offer you, sire," said imprudently the Duke de l'Infantado, formerly the
most eager accomplice of the Prince of Asturias in his intrigues against
his father; "we are waiting till the nation speaks, and authorizes us to
give freer course to our sentiments." They stopped the duke from saying
any more; the Spanish nation had not been consulted.

The Spanish constitution was prepared generally on the model of the French
constitution. The first article paid homage to the strong religious
feeling of Spain: "The religion of the State is the Catholic religion; no
other is permitted." Several of the ministers chosen by the King Joseph
had been members of the government of Charles IV. After taking the oath to
their new monarch, the Junta first of all went to the Emperor Napoleon at
Marac, to offer their thanks and congratulations.

At the same moment, and whilst summoning to Bayonne the reinforcement of
troops which he intended to accompany and support King Joseph on his entry
into his new kingdom, Napoleon wrote to the Emperor Alexander:--

"My brother, I send your Majesty the constitution which the Spanish Junta
have just decided upon. The disorders of that country had reached such a
degree as can scarcely be conceived. Obliged to take part in its affairs,
I have by the irresistible tendency of events been brought to a system
which, while securing the happiness of Spain, secures the tranquillity of
my states. I have cause to be satisfied with all the persons of rank,
fortune, and education. The monks alone, who occupy half the territory,
anticipating in the new order of things the destruction of abuses, and the
numerous agents of the Inquisition, who now see the end of their
existence, are now agitating the country. I am very sensible that this
event opens a very large field for discussion. People are not likely to
appreciate the circumstance and events, but will maintain that all had
been provoked and premeditated. Nevertheless, if I had only considered the
interest of France, I should have adopted a simpler means, viz., extending
my frontiers on this side, and diminishing Spain. A province like
Catalonia or Navarre, would have affected her power more than the change
which has just taken place, which is really of use only to Spain."

Whilst the Emperor Napoleon thus announced in Europe the interpretation
which it suited him to put upon the events of Spain, and whilst the new
king, leaving Bayonne on the 9th July, was planting his foot upon his new
territory, the whole of Spain, from north to south, from east to west, was
in a blaze.

After the departure of the Bourbon princes for Bayonne, the popular
agitation and uneasiness in Madrid became extreme, and gradually extended
to the more remote provinces, and into the depths of the old Spanish race,
honorable and proud, still preserving in their fields their ancestral
qualities. "Trust neither your honor nor your person to a Spanish Don,"
was said to M. Guizot by a man who learned to form severe judgment upon
them during several revolutions; "trust all that is dearest to you to a
Spanish peasant." In spite of the emperor's assertions, all the great
lords were not favorable to the King Joseph. In the country, the peasants
had risen in a body, and the burgesses did the same in the towns.

Carthagena was the first town to give the example of revolt. On the 22nd
May, at the news of the abdication of the two kings, published in the
journals of Madrid on the 20th, the people shouted in the streets, "Long
live Ferdinand VII.!" and Admiral Salcedo, who was preparing to convey the
Spanish fleet to Toulon, was arrested. The arms shut up in the arsenals
were distributed among the populace. A Junta was immediately formed.
Murcia and Valencia followed the example of Carthagena. The people, roused
by the preaching of a monk, Canon Calvo, killed the Baron Albulat, a "lord
of the province," who was in vain defended by another monk, called Rico.
The French who lived in Valencia had taken refuge in the citadel, but
being persuaded to come out, they were quickly massacred to the last man.
This first ebullition of popular fury was followed by the horror of all
respectable people. In spite of himself, Count Cerbellon was put at the
head of the insurrection. Everybody took arms, and waited for the arrival
and vengeance of the French soldiers.

All the provinces rose in insurrection one after another. The most
apathetic waited for St. Ferdinand's Day; and on the 30th May, at
daybreak, before the saint's flag was displayed in the streets, in
Estremadura, at Granada, and Malaga, the shouts of the populace proclaimed
King Ferdinand VII. Blood was shed everywhere, with an atrocious display
of cruelty. The magistrates, or gentlemen, who attempted to stop a
dangerous rising were massacred. The Asturias had shuddered at the first
report of the abdication; the Junta of Oviedo proclaimed a renewal of
peace with England, and sent delegates to London. The clergy succeeded in
protecting the lives of two Spanish colonels who had opposed the
insurrection of their troops. In Galicia the honorable efforts of Captain-
General Filangieri cost him his life; after accepting, with regret, the
presidency of the Junta, when he attempted to maintain order amongst the
insurgents he was killed in the street. Valladolid obliged the Captain-
General, Don Gregorio de la Cuesta, to take a part in the rising of the
populace. At the first sign of resistance shown by the old soldier, they
erected a gibbet under his windows. Burgos, occupied by Marshal Bessières,
remained quiet, but Barcelona attempted an insurrection. The Catalans were
armed to the teeth, and, on General Duhesme threatening to set fire to the
town, the more violent of them escaped to places which were less
threatened. Saragossa had placed at the head of its heroic population Don
Joseph Palafox de Melzi, an amiable young man, well known in his own
country. He summoned the Cortes of the province, and ordered a general
rising of the population of Aragon. On the confines of Navarre, almost
under the eyes of the French army, Santander and Logrono formed an
insurrection. The Castilles, with their vast open plains, and their
proximity to the French Government, showed only a silent agitation,
without yet attempting an insurrection. Murat was ill--frequently
delirious; but General Savary watched over Madrid: the capital awaited its
new master.

Nowhere was the insurrection more spontaneous or more general than in
Andalusia. Seville had conceived the hope of becoming the centre of the
national movement, and grouping round it the patriotic efforts of the
whole of Spain. The provisional government assumed a pompous name--
"Supreme Junta of Spain and the Indies"--and sent messengers to stir up
the towns of Badajoz, Cordova, and Jaen. At Cadiz they surrounded the
hotel of the Captain-General Solano, Marquis of Socorro. All the troops
throughout the south of Spain were under his orders. With difficulty he
was persuaded to give a forced assent to the disorderly wishes of the
populace, but persisted in opposing the bombardment of the French fleet,
commanded by Admiral Rosily, which had been in the harbor for three
months. He in vain pleaded the danger to the Spanish vessels mixed with
the French. The crowd became mad, dragged the Marquis on to the ramparts,
and massacred him.

Without any preliminary understanding, in a country everywhere intersected
by rivers and mountains, and even under the fire of the French cannon,
Spain thus rose spontaneously against an arrogant usurpation, preceded by
base perfidy. In this first burst of her patriotic anger, she bore the
courage, ardor, and passion which were to make certain her triumph; she at
the same time displayed a savage cruelty and violence, of which our
unhappy soldiers were too often the victims. The emperor was still at
Bayonne, occupied in arranging the affairs of Spain from without Spain: he
was informed slowly and imperfectly of the insurrection convulsing the
whole country. Accustomed to give orders to his lieutenants from a
distance and arbitrarily, he ordered all the movements of his troops from
Bayonne, affecting to attach but small importance to the revolt, sending
to Paris and Valençay false news of the success of his arms, and doing his
best to conceal from King Joseph the extent and importance of the
resistance which was being prepared against him. In many places the
couriers were arrested or killed. The emperor ordered General Savary to
set out again for Madrid.

Nevertheless, all the forces of the French army were on their march to
crush the insurrection. General Verdier and General Frère quickly took
satisfaction for the insurrection of Logrono and Segovia. General Lasalle,
before Valladolid, defeated Don Gregorio de la Cuesta, who had been forced
to leave the town, afraid of having his throat cut there. "You have only
had what you deserve," said the old Spanish general, as he retreated upon
Leon; "we are only a handful of undisciplined peasants, yet you imagine
you can conquer those who have conquered all Europe." General Lefebvre-
Desnouettes met more resistance at Tudela, where the insurgents had broken
down the bridge over the Ebro. On the 15th June he was before Saragossa,
where Don Joseph Palafox had shut himself up; the whole population covered
the roofs of the houses, where there was a constant hail-storm of musket
balls. The French general at once concluded it was a question of regular
siege, and sent to Barcelona for reinforcements and artillery. Marshal
Moncey had not succeeded in taking Valencia. General Duhesme was shut up
in Barcelona by the insurrection, which daily gained ground in Catalonia.
Yet he was compelled to send away General Chabran, that he might join
Marshal Moncey; and the insurgents took advantage of this division of our
forces to throw themselves on General Schwartz's column, which had been
ordered to search the convent of Montserrat. The tocsin was heard
everywhere in the mountain villages; the bridges over the streams were
broken down, and every little town had to be carried with the bayonet. By
a sudden sally, General Duhesme dislodged the enemy from their post on the
River Llobregat, took possession of their cannons, and brought them back
to Barcelona. "Let the whole town of Barcelona be disarmed," wrote the
emperor on 10th June to Marshal Berthier, "so that not a single musket is
left, and let the castle of Montjouy be supplied with provisions taken
from the inhabitants. They must be treated in thorough military fashion.
War justifies anything. On the slightest occasion, you should take
hostages and send them into the fortress."

General Dupont had been entrusted with the most difficult as well as most
important undertaking. With from 12,000 to 13,000 men under his orders, he
advanced into Andalusia, with the object of reducing that great province
to submission, and protecting the French fleet in Cadiz. The emperor had
ordered General Junot to support Dupont's advance by sending him
Kellermann's division, but Portugal was imitating the example of Spain,
and had all risen in insurrection. On his first entrance into Andalusia,
Dupont recognized the importance of the movement, and immediately asked
for a reinforcement. "I shall then have nothing to do but a military
promenade," he wrote to General Savary.

On the 7th June, after a pretty keen fight, the French troops took the
bridge of Alcolea, on the Guadalquivir, and arrived the same evening
before Cordova. After the gates were burst open with cannon-shot, the
barricades and houses had to be carried with the bayonet; and the
soldiers, losing their temper, cruelly abused the victory they gained. The
hatred against the invaders increased; and in the van of our army, on this
side of the Sierra Morena, on the road from Cordova to Andujar, the men
who had not kept up in marching, the sick and wounded who were obliged to
stay in the villages, were put to death with refinements of barbarity.
General Dupont still waited for the divisions of Vedel and Frère, which he
had sent to Madrid for; and at Cadiz, in the French fleet, they were
counting the days, and soon the hours.

The leader in the insurrection, Thomas de Morla, at first seemed faithful
to the alliance of the Spanish and French navy, recalling the memories of
the battle of Trafalgar, the glorious ruins of which composed the French
squadron in the Cadiz roads. Gradually, however, he took care to separate
the two fleets, persuading Admiral Rosily to take his position within the
roads, and placing the Spanish vessels at the entrance, in order, he said,
to defend Cadiz against the English, who had been trying in vain to land
5,000 men. The admiral soon found himself cantoned in the midst of the
lagoons which form and protect the Cadiz roads; while a contrary wind
prevented the attack which, from desperation, he wished to make upon the
Spanish, their gun-boats and sloops were already gathering round him, and
on the 9th June the firing began, but it was weak and unavailing on the
part of our ships, in spite of the heroic resolution of the crews. The
fighting lasted two days, and on the Junta of Seville demanding a
surrender pure and simple, Admiral Rosily, who knew that General Dupont
had entered Cordova, asked for a delay, hoping to receive help. On the
14th June, after four days had elapsed, the French fleet, being deprived
of every resource, and with certain ruin before them, surrendered at
discretion. The officers were distributed in the fortresses, and the
vessels disarmed. The mob, crowding round the harbor, shouted fiercely and
cheered as the French prisoners passed before them and the English, who
had just succeeded in effecting their landing.

General Dupont had not been reinforced. He did not know whether his
couriers had arrived, many having been already intercepted by the robbers
of the Sierra Morena; he knew of the rising of the St. Roque troops, and
of the treachery of the Swiss regiments recently engaged in the
insurrection; and finding himself threatened on the right by the insurgent
army of Andalusia, and on the left by the army of Granada, he resolved to
fall back upon the Guadalquivir, and on the 18th June took up his position
in the small town of Andujar, to wait for the divisions which he had sent
for. That of Vedel was already on its march.

Marshal Moncey had failed before Valencia, and could not commence the
investment for want of siege guns; he had brought back his division in
good condition, and effected his junction with General Frère at San
Clemente. Marshal Bessières advanced at the same time against Don Gregorio
de la Cuesta, and against General Blake, a descendant of English Catholic
refugees. Their forces were considerable, and composed of old soldiers;
they had, however, asked for time to prepare their troops and had been
forced by the Junta of the Corogne to march to battle. On the evening of
the 13th July, the Spaniards, badly informed as to the march of the
French, were formed in two lines on the plateau of Medino de Rio-Seco, not
far from Valladolid. Attacked one after the other by Marshal Bessières,
the two lines were completely beaten and put to flight, not without some
resistance at certain points. The slaughter was terrible. General Mouton,
at the head of two regiments with fixed bayonets, entered the town of
Medina, which was sacked. Marshal Bessières again took the road towards
Leon, sweeping before him the disbanded remains of the Spanish army. King
Joseph had just entered Madrid.

He took possession of his capital in the midst of the melancholy silence
of the inhabitants, more irritated than cowed by the news of the victory
of Rio-Seco, which reached them a few hours before the entry of their new
monarch. Since his entrance into Spain the eyes of Joseph had been opened.
"Up to this time no one has told the whole truth," he wrote to the Emperor
Napoleon on the 12th July. "The fact is that not a single Spaniard is on
my side, except the small number who were present at the Junta, and travel
with me. The others, on arriving here, hid themselves, terrified by the
unanimous opinion of their countrymen." And some days later: "Fear does
not make me see double; since I have been in Spain I say to myself every
day that my life is of small account, and that I give it up to you. I am
not alarmed at my position, but it is unique in history; I have not a
single partisan here." Every day he repeated the same demand; "I still
want 50,000 men of old troops, and 50,000,000 of money; in a month I must
have a 100,000 men, and a 100,000,000." The French army in Spain numbered
already 110,000 men, young, it is true, and for the most part without
experience, but Europe almost entirely was occupied by our troops;
Napoleon was irritated at the sensible remarks of Savary, still more
gloomy than those of King Joseph. "The emperor finds that you are wrong to
say that nothing has been done for six weeks," wrote Marshal Berthier.
"All sensible men in Spain have changed their opinion, and are very sorry
to see the insurrection. Affairs are in the most prosperous position since
the battle of Rio-Seco." On the 19th July, when making his preparations to
quit Bayonne to visit the towns of the south, Napoleon wrote to King

"My brother, I received your letter of the 18th, at three o'clock in the
morning. I see, with sorrow, that you trouble yourself. It is the only
misfortune I fear. Troops are entering on all sides, and constantly. You
have a great many partisans in Spain, but they are intimidated; they are
all the respectable people. However, I acknowledge none the less that your
task is great and glorious.

"The victory of Marshal Bessières, who has wholly beaten Cuesta and the
army of Galicia, has greatly improved the position of affairs. It is worth
more than a reinforcement of 30,000 men. The divisions of Gobert and Vedel
having joined General Dupont, offensive measures must be vigorously pushed
on that side. It is the only point menaced, and there must soon be a
success there; with 25,000 men, comprising infantry, cavalry, and
artillery, there are more than necessary to obtain a great result. At the
worst, with 21,000 men present on the field of battle, he can boldly take
the offensive; he will not be beaten, and will have more than four-and-
twenty chances in his favor.

"You ought not to find it so extraordinary to conquer your kingdom. Philip
V. and Henry IV. were obliged to conquer theirs. Keep your spirits up, and
never doubt for an instant that everything will finish better and more
quickly than you now imagine.

"Everything goes on very well at Saragossa."

The attack upon Saragossa, on the 1st July, was unsuccessful. General
Verdier, who commanded the siege, had seized the convent of St. Joseph,
without being able to penetrate into the town, all the streets being well
fortified. He had asked for troops and a train of artillery. General
Dupont was threatened, in a badly chosen position, by the insurgents of
Grenada, commanded by General Reding, formerly colonel of one of the Swiss
regiments; General Castaños brought up the troops of Andalusia. The orders
of the emperor were precise; General Dupont was not to repass the Sierra
Morena, he was not to retreat on Andalusia.

In the hitherto restricted sphere of his operations, General Dupont had
shown himself constantly bold and successful under chiefs more skilful and
more experienced than himself; but left to his own resources, he knew not
how to profit by his advantages, nor choose his quarters advantageously.
The food of the troops was bad and insufficient, and the sick were
numerous; isolated in the midst of a country passionately hostile, without
means of information as to the enemy's movements, without news of Madrid
or the government, the French remained stationary, sad and depressed.
General Vedel occupied Baylen, General Gobert La Carolina; thus they
commanded the defiles of the mountain.

On the 14th July, General Castaños appeared before Andujar, while the
corps of Reding threatened Baylen; the imprudent movement of our troops
had uncovered this last position. General Dupont was informed of this.

He resolved to march himself upon Baylen, but he was encumbered with an
immense train of baggage, and by numerous sick, whom he would not abandon
to the cruelties of the enemy; the movement was deferred till the next
day, the 18th July. At the approach of night the army began its march. The
heat was still suffocating. A great number of soldiers, suffering from
dysentery, had been unable to find a place in the wagons, and dragged
themselves behind the train, scarcely able to bear the weight of their
arms. The anxiety of General Dupont was entirely for his rearguard; he
feared that General Castaños, informed of his movements by the hundreds of
voluntary spies who served the Spanish cause, would throw himself on his
rear. The vanguard was feeble, composed of young and undisciplined
soldiers; when it deployed at three in the morning, on the rocky banks of
the Rumblar, the Spanish posts occupied the passage. Before the combat,
the soldiers rushed towards the bed of the torrent. It was dried up. "The
Spaniards have taken away the river!" cried the French, even then disposed
to treat painful thoughts with gayety. The Spanish battalions barred the
route of Baylen, which General Reding had occupied the previous day.

Worn out by the heat, by thirst, by the march, our soldiers charged the
enemy, and drove them back as far as the plain of Baylen. There lay
extended before us the Spanish army, in front of the little town, in an
amphitheatre of hills, covered with olive-trees. The Spanish artillery was
formidable: the field-pieces brought up by the French were soon
dismounted. The centre of the Spanish army remained solid, and even the
charges of cavalry could not break it. When at last the front ranks opened
under the shock of the horses, or the steel of the bayonets, the lines
reformed at the end of the plain, always pitilessly barring the road. The
cannonade did not slacken for a single instant.

The soldiers began to show signs of discouragement, and the officers
proposed to the general to abandon the sick and the baggage, and to form
into a compact mass, in order to open a passage by force in the direction
of La Carolina, occupied by General Vedel. Dupont expected his lieutenant
every moment. He refused to abandon his train, and vainly renewed the
attack on all the length of the Spanish lines. Up to this time the Swiss
regiments in the service of France, mixed with our soldiers, and marching
in our ranks, had remained faithful; the bad fortune of our arms, the view
of their comrades fighting among the Spaniards under a chief of their
race, triumphed at last over their good resolutions--they deserted in a
body. At the same moment the sound of cannon was heard in the distance,
but it was not in the direction of La Carolina, it was at the bridge of
Rumblar: General Castaños arrived to crush us.

This was too much, and the unfortunate General Dupont was to show on this
day that he was not one of those whose courage defies fortune. "Find
General Reding," said he to one of his officers, "and ask from him a
suspension of arms." The battle was already ceasing of its own accord, on
account of the extreme fatigue of the troops. The Spanish general gave the
order to cease firing, but said, however, to the officer who had been
sent, "The truce must be ratified by General Castaños." General de la
Peña, who commanded the vanguard, accepted the same conditions. "The
French army must surrender at discretion," he said haughtily, "for the
present let us rest ourselves." The aide-de-camp of General Dupont went
forward to General Castaños, in order to obtain his assent to the truce. A
melancholy sadness weighed upon both officers and men; the general-in-
chief, formerly brilliant, bold, even emphatically eloquent, hid his
despair inside his tent; scarcely would he listen to the voice of those
who surrounded him. Broken down by his misfortune, he had lost all energy
and all presence of mind.

The same fault of irresolution and despair seems to have taken hold on
General Vedel. He had resolved to return to Baylen, of which he too late
understood the importance. But the troops were worn out, he was forced to
allow them a day of rest. Since three o'clock in the morning of the 19th,
the continual echo of the cannon announced to the least vigilant the
coming engagement. The division began its march at five o'clock, at eleven
it had only advanced half-way; the men left their ranks at every moment to
seek a drop of water in the rocks. The cannon was heard more faintly; at
noon it was heard no more. It was five o'clock when, in the midst of
silence, the corps which had been so impatiently expected debouched above
Baylen. The Spaniards guarded all the passages; an officer appeared
announcing the truce. General Vedel refused to believe it. He sent off an
aide-de-camp to ascertain the truth from General Reding. "If you do not
return in half-an-hour," said he, "I shall commence firing." At the given
moment, having no news from their emissary, the French sounded the charge,
and already a battalion of Spanish infantry had been surrounded, while the
cuirassiers advanced at full gallop; at the same instant the officers of
the enemy, accompanied by an aide-de-camp of General Dupont, came up to
Vedel. The orders of the general-in-chief were precise, they must cease
firing. The negotiations had commenced. General Castaños marched on

The enthusiasm and triumph of the Spaniards did not give him time to
arrive there. The general of engineers, Marescot, had been charged with
the sad duty of treating with the Spaniards. General de la Peña, still
posted at the bridge of Rumblar, threatened to crush the unfortunate army
caught between his corps and that of General Reding. "I must have an
answer in two hours," said he, repeating at the same time his only
condition, "the French army must surrender at discretion."

General Dupont appealed to his lieutenants, general officers, and
colonels; all declared that the soldiers would not fight. The general-in-
chief surveyed the ranks some moments; his courage failed him entirely.
"Our honor is saved," repeated the members of the council of war, "we have
done yesterday all that men could do." One resource remained to them, to
die to the last man in endeavoring to rejoin General Vedel. They had the
misfortune not to try this last and glorious chance. The capitulation was
resolved on. Don Castaños entertained the French officers while hatred
shone in the eyes of all his staff. Polite, and full of attention to the
vanquished, the Spanish general remained wholly inflexible. All the
divisions of the army of Andalusia, engaged or not in the battle of
Baylen, were to be comprised in the capitulation.

The conditions were about to be signed, the French troops were authorized
to retreat on Madrid; the Barbou division alone commanded by General
Dupont, was to be disarmed. At the same instant a letter from General
Savary to General Dupont was brought by the mountaineers, into whose hands
it had fallen. The aide-de-camp of the emperor announced a general
concentration of the troops of the south at Madrid, and General Dupont was
ordered to take the road to La Mancha. The Spaniards could not allow their
victory to serve the designs of the emperor. General Castaños immediately
declared to the French negotiators that the conditions were changed, and
communicated to them the letter of General Savary. Overwhelmed by this new
blow, General Marescot and his companions saw themselves forced to give up
the Barbou division prisoners of war; the two other corps were to be
transported to France under the Spanish flag; the officers retained their
baggage, but the knapsacks of the soldiers were to be submitted to
examination. "All Spaniards believe the sacred vessels of Cordova are in
the bags of your soldiers," said General Castaños.

While the wretched negotiators accepted a capitulation which delivered
them to their enemies, Vedel had proposed to General Dupont to attempt a
new attack; he sent at the same time one of his aides-de-camp to plead the
cause of his division. At one time Dupont authorized Vedel to save, at any
price, his troops, and those of General Dufour's, by taking in forced
marches the road to Madrid. Already Vedel had obeyed, and hastened across
the defiles of the Sierra Morena, but the news of his departure was not
long in coming to the camp of the Spaniards. They accused the French of
breaking the truce, and threatened to immediately massacre the Barbou
division, which found itself at that time completely surrounded. The
Spanish negotiators broke out into fury, overwhelming with insults the
unhappy officers charged to treat with them. Heroism had disappeared from
their souls. They hastened to the tent of the general-in-chief, still
plunged in melancholy dejection. He gave way at last, and to his eternal
dishonor, and that of the men who tore from him this cowardly concession,
he sent to General Vedel the order to retrace his steps, and to submit
with his soldiers to the lot the capitulation reserved for him.

Like General Dupont, Vedel consulted his lieutenants. At first all refused
a submission which would lead to their destruction. A new messenger came,
throwing on them all the responsibility of the inevitable massacre of
their comrades. They gave way, and with despair in their souls they slowly
retraced their steps; as the sole solace to their sufferings they still
retained their arms, while they saw their unhappy comrades defile before
the Spanish army laying down their muskets at the feet of the victors.
During three days the troops had not received any food; the Spaniards had
counted on hunger as well as defeat to lead the French to capitulate. At
last they got some food, and soon the columns began their march. The ports
of embarkation had been fixed upon.

They advanced slowly, for from all the towns, villages, and scattered
houses, flocked multitudes in fury, who insulted the frightful misfortune
of our soldiers. General Castaños, moderate in his triumph, had said to
the French negotiators, "De la Cuesta, Blake, and myself, were not of the
same opinion as the insurgents. We yielded to the national movement; but
this movement is becoming so unanimous that it has a chance of success.
Let Napoleon not insist upon an impossible conquest, let him not force us
to throw ourselves into the arms of the English. Let him give us back our
king, and the two nations will be forever reconciled."

It was in fact the same thought, clothed in offensive language that Thomas
de Morla, the chief of the insurrection at Cadiz, flung at General Dumont
when he complained of the bad treatment undergone by his soldiers. "Your
excellency forces me to express truths which must be bitter to you. What
right have you to insist on the execution of a treaty concluded in favor
of an army which entered Spain under the mask of alliance and friendship,
which has imprisoned our king and his family, sacked his palaces,
assassinated and robbed his subjects, ravaged his country, usurped his
crown? How it would rouse the populace to know that a single one of your
soldiers was the possessor of 2180 livres!"

The pillage of Cordova had been exaggerated by the public imagination, and
served the chiefs of the insurrection to justify their want of faith. The
entire army of Andalusia was detained under various pretexts. The Junta of
Seville refused to ratify the capitulation. The divisions of Dufour and
Vedel saw their army taken away, and 20,000 men of those French troops,
who up to the present time had been accustomed to victory, remained during
long years prisoners of war, subjected to the worst treatment, slowly
decimated by sickness and sorrow. Spain first gave to the world the
spectacle of a successful resistance to the oppression the Emperor
Napoleon had made to weigh upon all nations.

We understand by sad experience the astonishment and anger which seized
upon our armies everywhere when they heard of the capitulation of Baylen.
This name has remained fixed as an indelible stain on the memory of the
men who concluded it in a moment of despair, after numerous faults, of
which the most unpardonable cannot be imputed to them. Perhaps in his
secret thought, Napoleon began to foresee the difficulties of the
enterprise he had undertaken against Spain; perhaps he comprehended his
error, but his indignation was excessive, and broke out in his words as
well as letters. There was also a shade of discouragement when he wrote to
King Joseph, on the 3rd August, "My brother, the knowledge I have that you
are struggling, my friend, with events foreign to your habits as well as
to your natural character, pains me. Dupont has dishonored our flag. What
stupidity! What baseness! Those men will be taken by the English. Events
of such a nature require my presence at Paris. Germany, Poland, Italy, all
join together. My sorrow is really great when I think that I cannot be at
this moment with you, and in the midst of my soldiers. I have given orders
to Ney to go there. He is a man of honor, zeal, and thorough courage. If
you get accustomed to Ney, he might command the army. You will have
100,000 men, and Spain will be conquered in the autumn. A suspension of
arms, made by Savary, might perhaps lead to commanding and directing the
insurgents; we shall hear what they say. I think that, so far as your
personal likings go, you care little for reigning over the Spaniards."

At the moment when Napoleon was writing these lines, King Joseph retreated
before the enemy, and abandoned his capital. Deprived of the succor that
General Dupont was to have brought, the defenders of Madrid did not
consider the concentration of troops sufficiently considerable to protect
the Castiles against the ever-rising flood of the national insurrection.
"The emperor could hold his own here," said Savary, "but what is possible
to him is not so to the others." It was resolved to make a stand on the
line of the Ebro; King Joseph quitted Madrid, abandoned by the intimate
servants of his household, as well as by a certain number of his
ministers. 2000 domestics of the palace had fled for fear of being forced
to follow the royal retreat. Burgos not appearing to be a retreat
sufficiently sure, the monarch and his little court soon established
themselves at Vittoria. After a second assault, as sanguinary and without
result as the first, General Verdier, recalled to the Ebro, found himself
obliged to abandon the siege of Saragossa. Already the position of the
French in Spain became defensive, and the fears of King Joseph increased.
"I can only repeat, once for all, that nearly all the grand army is
marching, and that between this and autumn Spain will be inundated with
troops," wrote the emperor, on the 9th of August. "You must try to
preserve the line of the Douro to maintain a communication with Portugal.
The English are not much, they never have more than a quarter of the
troops they announce. Lord Wellesley has not 4000 men. Besides, they are
intended, I believe, for Portugal."

It was in truth on Portugal that the efforts of England were directed at
this moment, as she discerned clearly that there lay the true road to
Spain. In Galicia, as well as Andalusia, the Spanish insurgents had
refused the active intervention of the English. Sir Arthur Wellesley, who
at first appeared before Corunna, contented himself by furnishing the
suspicious Spaniards with ammunition and money, and on the 1st August he
appeared at the mouth of the Mondego, in Portugal. His fleet carried
10,000 English troops. A reinforcement of 4000 men was shortly expected.

For two months General Junot had been isolated in Portugal, separated from
Spain by the insurrection of the frontier provinces, menaced by a similar
rising of the Portuguese nation, already chafing under the foreign yoke,
and sure of soon seeing England hasten to the succor of her faithful ally.
He understood his danger, and, assembling around him his troops, recalled
General Kellermann from Elvas and General Loison from Almeida. The
insurrection already commenced around them, when Sir Arthur Wellesley set
foot on the Portuguese soil. The French did not hold more than four or
five towns. The entire people was in insurrection. But General Junot still
occupied Lisbon; his forces were unfortunately diminished by the garrisons
left in the forts, and by a corps of observation that had been detached
under the orders of General Delaborde. After a courageous resistance, this
vanguard of the French army had been already beaten when the English
advanced on Vimeiro. Junot marched against them with an army of twelve or
thirteen thousand men. The English numbered about 18,000. The arrival of
Sir John Moore with his brigade was announced.

An unfortunate respect for the rights of seniority had placed Sir Arthur
Wellesley under the orders of Sir Henry Burrard, and the latter under the
command of Sir Hew Dalrymple, who had already left Gibraltar to place
himself at the head of the army. The instructions of Wellesley obliged him
to wait at Vimeiro for the arrival of Sir John Moore. General Junot wished
to anticipate the reinforcements, and attacked the English on the 31st
August, in the morning.

Sir Arthur Wellesley occupied the heights of Vimeiro; behind him were
precipices, and all retreat was impossible. The access to the rocks was
difficult; a strong artillery protected all the positions. When the French
advanced to the assault of this natural fortress, they could not at first
reach the English lines. General Kellermann alone succeeded in scaling the
steep slopes which led to the enemy, and was received by a deadly fire,
which forced him to retire. Our cavalry superior to that of the English,
was useless in this difficult attack; its only duty was constantly to
protect the corps of infantry, repulsed one after another. The English
army had not moved. At noon, General Junot ordered the retreat. Sir Arthur
Wellesley, always on watch on the heights, was already on the move to
follow and crush those who had been unable to make him lose an inch of
ground; but Sir Henry Burrard had arrived, and the command passed into his
hands. He was opposed to all thought of pursuit. Junot took the road to
Torres Vedras. Sir Arthur Wellesley listened with mingled respect and
impatience to the arguments of his chief, and, turning towards his staff,
"After this, gentlemen," said he, "we have only to go and shoot the red

General Junot had comprehended better than his adversary the danger which
threatened him; he felt the impossibility of maintaining himself in a
country suddenly become hostile, in face of an English army already
superior to his own, and soon to be reinforced by excellent troops.
General Kellermann was charged to treat, at first for an armistice, then
for the convention bearing the name of Cintra, which provided honorably
for the evacuation of Portugal by the French generals. The conditions
accorded were so favorable that public opinion in England accused the
negotiators of it as a crime, of which the obloquy weighed some time on
Sir Arthur Wellesley. He had not, however, been too favorable to it. "Ten
days after the battle of the 21st," he wrote to Lord Castlereagh, "we are
less advanced than we might and ought to have been on the evening of the
battle." The Emperor Napoleon had, for his part, manifested some
discontent at the convention, which brought back to France all his troops
free from engagement, and possessing their arms. "I was going to send
Junot before a council of war," said he; "but, happily, the English have
been before me in sending their generals, and have thus spared me the
mortification of punishing an old friend." The confidence of Napoleon
remained, however, shaken with respect to his officer. "Everything which
was not a triumph he looked upon as a defeat," said the Duchess of
Abrantes in her memoirs.

It often happened to Napoleon to judge unjustly of men and things, because
he appreciated them exclusively from a personal and selfish point of view.
Thus, he accused of treason the Marquis de la Romana and his brave
companions. After the battle of Friedland, the Spanish battalions wrung in
1807 from the shameful terror of the Prince de la Paix, were sent by
Napoleon to regions which would appear the most fatal to the temperament
and habits of southern people. They had been confided to the King of
Denmark, and charged to protect from the English his little kingdom,
hitherto so cruelly oppressed by them. The health of the troops was,
however, excellent when the news came to them of the general rising which
had taken place in Spain, and the unforeseen success of the national
resistance. They immediately conceived the thought of returning to their
country, to join their efforts to those of their countrymen. An English
squadron, under the orders of Admiral Keith, appeared suddenly on the
coasts of Jutland, at the entrance to Niborg, in the island of Funen.
Immediately the Marquis de la Romana, with difficulty warned by secret
advices, seized the fishing-boats, which were numerous on the coast; then,
making himself master of the citadel and port of Niborg, and crossing two
arms of the sea, he assembled around him all those of his companions-in-
arms who were within reach. He arrived at the English fleet, and sailed
towards Gothenburg, from which place he put to sea for Spain. Several
regiments far in the interior of the land could not be warned in time, and
remained prisoners of war. One of them, having by chance heard of the
enterprise of their comrades, succeeded in rejoining them at the exact
moment of their embarkation, after a march long even for Spaniards. In the
middle of September, they at last landed in Galicia amidst the joyous
acclamations of the people.

At Vittoria the unhappy King of Spain continually received one after
another news which damped his courage and convinced his reason of the
futility of all attempts to support his throne. On the 9th of August he
wrote to the Emperor Napoleon: "I do not think it possible to treat with
the insurgent chiefs; all their heads are turned; no one has sufficient
direction of affairs or influence enough upon the masses to lead them in a
determinate manner. On the supposition that France will gratuitously spend
her blood and treasure to place and maintain me on the throne of Spain, I
cannot hide from your Majesty that I cannot endure the thought of any
other than your Majesty commanding the French armies in Spain. If I become
the conqueror of this country by the horrors of a war in which every
individual Spaniard takes part, I shall be long an object of terror and
execration. I am too old to have time for repairing so many evils, and I
shall have sown too much hatred during the war to be able to gather in my
last years the fruit of the good that I may be able to do during peace.
Your Majesty sees, then, that even by this hypothesis--that of the
conquest and establishment of the monarchy--that I should not desire to
reign in Spain.... This nation is more concentrated in its sentiments than
any other people of Europe; it has something of the character of the
peoples of Africa, which is peculiar to itself. Your Majesty cannot form
an idea, because certainly no one has ever told you, in what degree the
name of your Majesty is execrated. This, then, is what I desire: to keep
the command of the army sufficiently long to beat the enemy, return to
Madrid with the army, because it left with me, and from this capital put
forth a decree to the effect that I renounce reigning over a people I
should be obliged to reduce by force of arms; and I return to Naples with
wishes for the happiness of Spain, and the desire to effect the welfare of
the Two Sicilies. In resigning to your Majesty the rights I hold from you,
you will make of them whatever use your wisdom will indicate. I beg, then,
your Majesty to suspend all operations relative to the kingdom of Naples.
The means will not be wanting to your Majesty for compensating the prince
you wished to place on the throne of Naples; for the rest, exact justice
and affection plead in my favor in your Majesty's heart." And two days
later he wrote: "It would take 200,000 Frenchmen to conquer Spain, and a
hundred thousand scaffolds to maintain the prince who should be condemned
to reign over them. No, sire, you do not know this people; each house will
be a fortress, and every man of the same mind as the majority. I repeat
but one thing, which will suffice as an example; not a Spaniard will be on
my side if we are conquerors; we cannot find a guide or a spy. Four hours
before the battle of Rio-Seco, Marshal Bessières did not know where the
enemy was. Every one who speaks or writes differently either lies or is

On the 15th of July the kingdom of Naples had been solemnly conferred on
"Prince Joachim Murat, Grand Duke of Cleves and Berg." The haughty
obstinacy of Napoleon, his habit of conquering, and the growing want of
the prestige of victory, did not permit him to admit for a single instant
the modest pretensions of King Joseph. He was already preparing to pass
into Spain, counting upon success as soon as his presence should inspire
his generals with foresight and boldness. Other cares had till this time
detained him from this expedition, which became more necessary every day.
Already, for a long time, Napoleon had nourished suspicions of the loyalty
of Austria. On several occasions he had, not without reason, accused her
of making armaments and hostile preparations. The occupation of Rome and
the events of Spain had, on the other side, increased the distrust and
irritation of Vienna. The Archduke Charles, usually favorably inclined
towards France, exclaimed, "Well, if we must, we will die with arms in our
hands; but they shall not dispose of the crown of Austria as easily as
they have disposed of the crown of Spain!"

Napoleon had scarcely arrived at Paris, returning from a long journey in
France, when a great fête had assembled around him all the diplomatic body
(15th August, 1808). His anger broke out against Austria, as it had
previously broken out against England in his celebrated interview with
Lord Whitworth. The frequent menaces of Champagny had not intimidated
Metternich, at that time Austrian ambassador in Paris. The emperor
advanced suddenly towards him: "Austria wishes, then, to make war against
us? She wishes to frighten me?..." And without listening to the pacific
protestations of the prince, "Why, then, these immense preparations? They
are defensive, you say. But who attacks you, to make you think so much of
defence? Is not all peaceful around you? Since the peace of Presburg, has
there been the slightest disagreement between you and me? Have not all our
relations together been extremely amicable? And yet you have suddenly
raised a cry of alarm; you have put in motion all your population; your
princes have overrun your provinces; your proclamations have summoned the
people to the defence of the country; your proclamations and measures are
those which you used when I was at Leoben.

"You are well aware that I ask nothing from you, and make no claim upon
you, and that I even regard the preservation of your power in the present
state of affairs as useful to the European system, and to the interests of
France. I have encamped my troops to keep them fit for marching. They do
not camp in France, because that costs too much; they camp abroad, where
it is less expensive. My camps have been distributed; none of them
threatens you. In the excess of my security I dismantled all the places of
Silesia. I am ready to remove my camps, if that is necessary to your

"In the meantime what will happen? You have raised 400,000 men; I am about
to raise 200,000. Germany, who was beginning to breathe after so many
ruinous wars, is about to see again all her wounds reopened. I shall
reconstruct the places of Silesia, instead of evacuating that province and
the Prussian States, as I wished to do. Europe will be all up in arms.
Soon the very women must become soldiers.

"Those are the evils you have produced, and, as I believe, without
intending it. In such a state of things, when the strain everywhere is so
great, war will soon become desirable, in order to hasten the end. A sharp
pain, if short, is better than prolonged suffering.

"But if you are as disposed for peace as you allege, it is necessary that
you speak out, that you countermand the measures which have excited so
dangerous a fermentation, and that all Europe be convinced that you wish
for peace. It is necessary that all should proclaim your good intentions,
justified by your acts as well as your language."

Definitively, and as a proof of Austria's submission, Napoleon asked for a
recognition of King Joseph. On this special demand--which no doubt was
made less harsh in form by the report of Champagny, which has been
preserved--Austria did not give way, nor did she refuse: she delayed,
still constantly and unobtrusively engaged in warlike preparations, which
were actively pushed forward by the Archduke Charles and Stadion, the
prime minister.

Napoleon wished to intimidate Austria, his bold foresight assuring him of
her hostility. He required several months for his Spanish expedition.
Finding it necessary to send new troops into the Peninsula, he was obliged
to quit the countries which were occupied, and at last put an end to the
long suspense imposed upon Prussia, and aggravated by intolerable war-
contributions. Prince William, appointed by his brother to the painful
mission, had in vain tried to obtain favorable conditions. Napoleon
feeling the necessity of recalling his forces, fixed at 140,000,000 the
sum still left of what had been demanded from Prussia; but before signing
the treaty the conqueror exacted more than one sacrifice. The French
continued to occupy Stettin, Custrin, Glogau on the Oder, and Magdeburg on
the Elbe: a secret article forbade Prussia to raise an army for ten years
of more than 42,000 men. No militia was allowed; and in case war should
break out in Germany, King Frederick William undertook to supply the
Emperor Napoleon with an auxiliary force of 16,000 men.

To those painful conditions Napoleon added another, which was entirely
personal and political. "I have asked for Stein's dismissal from the
cabinet," wrote the emperor to Marshal Soult on the 10th September;
"without that the King of Prussia will not recover his states. I have
sequestrated his property in Westphalia."

Baron Stein resigned, but continued working ardently in reviving and
fostering the national spirit in Germany against the Emperor Napoleon, as
he had been preparing for more than a year. He began an able and prudent
scheme of reform, which was continued by his colleagues after his fall.
The convention of the 8th September, 1808, being signed between France and
Prussia, King Frederick William took possession of his diminished states,
and the Emperor Alexander was freed from the importunities of the
unfortunate sufferers, who blamed him for their lot. Napoleon feeling the
need of drawing closer the alliance with Russia, an interview was agreed
upon between the two emperors, and Erfurt was chosen for the scene of the
illustrious interview.

The Emperor Alexander had looked with secret satisfaction upon the events
in Spain. Constantly influenced by the hopes by which Napoleon had dazzled
him at Tilsit, and haunted by that passion for obtaining Constantinople
which had so long been common to all the Russian sovereigns, he had
accepted without any difficulty the spoliation of the Spanish Bourbons, in
order to justify beforehand the spoliations in which he was interested.
The national rising of the Spanish people served his design: the all-
powerful conqueror had met with a serious resistance, undergone checks,
and had need of the moral support of his allies; their material assistance
might be needed. Alexander reckoned upon gaining at Erfurt the cession of
that 'cat's tongue which was the key of the Bosphorus,' and which he
coveted so eagerly. He set out from St. Petersburg on the 7th of
September, somewhat against the will of his mother and the "Russian
party," and with but few attendants.

The Emperor Napoleon, on the contrary, had assembled at Erfurt all the
resources of French elegance, joined to the brilliance which is
inseparable from a powerful and victorious court. All the small princes of
Germany were present, and the great sovereigns sent their most able
representatives. The celebrated actors of the Théâtre Français, with Talma
at their head, were appointed to amuse the two emperors in the intervals
of business. The representation of _Cinna_ was the first of a series of
master-pieces of the French stage. The emperor forbade comedies, saying
that the Germans did not understand Molière.

A fortnight was thus spent in the midst of the most magnificent fêtes
combined with serious negotiations. Napoleon decided to at once abandon
the Danubian provinces to his ally, though resolved never to grant
Constantinople. After long conferences between Champagny and Romanzoff, as
to the suitable form to give to this division of other people's property
which was to render the Franco-Russian alliance indissoluble, the
convention was signed on the 12th October. Both emperors agreed to address
to England a formal demand for immediate peace, the base of the
negotiations to be the _uti possidetis_, that is to say, the
acknowledgment of conquests and occupations which were already
accomplished. France was only to agree to a peace which should secure
Finland, Wallachia, and Moldavia to Russia; and Russia only to one which
should secure to France all her possessions, including the crown of Spain
for King Joseph.

Supposing the negotiations or acts of the two powers for the execution of
the treaty should bring on war with Austria, France and Russia made
promises of mutual support: their hostilities were to be in common. At the
urgent request of Alexander, the Emperor Napoleon granted a reduction of
20,000,000 on the war-contribution of Prussia. At the same time, and by
the clever mediation of Talleyrand, he threw out a hint to the young Czar
that he wished to be united to him by family alliance. "The emperor had
resolved to have recourse to a divorce," said the prince, "and his
thoughts turned naturally towards the sisters of his ally and his dearest
friend." Alexander blushed, being by no means all-powerful in the bosom of
his family, and the empress-mother having a strong dislike to Napoleon.
Complimentary and friendly attentions, therefore, could not remove reserve
on this delicate point. The two emperors separated on the 14th October,
after hunting together on the plain of Jena, and supping and chatting
familiarly with Goethe and Wieland, at Weimar. Germany showed every
attention to her conqueror, while silently preparing to take revenge.

The Emperor Napoleon on returning to Paris finished his preparations for
the Spanish campaign. He had told King Joseph, when in Erfurt, that he
should march as soon as the Corps Législatif was opened. On the 1st
October he had put in the mouth of Champagny suitable arguments to prepare
the way for a new levy of soldiers. In his report to the emperor, the
Foreign Minister thus publicly denounced the ingratitude of the Spanish

"Your Majesty hoped to prevent the return of the troubles in Spain, by
means of persuasion and by measures of a wise and humane policy.
Intervening as a mediator in the midst of the divided Spanish, your
Majesty indicated to them the safety of a wise and prudent constittution,
suitable for providing every want, and in which liberal ideas are
reconciled with those ancient institutions which Spain wished to preserve.

"Your Majesty's expectation was deceived. Private interests, the intrigues
of the foreigner, and his corrupting gold, have prevailed over the
influence which you had a right to exercise. The Spanish people having
shaken off the yoke of authority, aspired to govern. The intrigues of the
agents of the Inquisition, the influence of the monks, who are so numerous
in Spain, and who dreaded reform, have at this critical moment occasioned
the insurrection of several Spanish provinces, in which the voice of wise
men has been disavowed or smothered, and several of them made the victims
of their courageous opposition to the disorderly populace. We have seen a
frightful anarchy spreading over the greater part of Spain. Will your
Majesty allow England to be able to say that Spain is one of her
provinces, and that her flag, driven from the Baltic, the northern seas,
the Levant, and even the Persian coasts, rules over the gates of France?
Never, sire.

"To avoid so great disgrace and misfortune, there are two millions of
brave men ready, if need be, to cross the Pyrenees; and the English will
be driven out of the Peninsula."

In expectation of the supreme effort thus boldly proclaimed, the Senate
ordered a levy of 160,000 men, anticipating by sixteen months the regular
call. The recruits were intended to replace in Germany the trained
soldiers of the Grande Armée, who had already started to go to Spain, and
were everywhere fêted in the towns they passed through. Skilled in all the
plans by which great success is procured, the emperor, on the 3rd of
September, had written to Cretet, Minister of the Interior: "Give order,
so that the town of Metz may fête the troops as they pass through; and as
the town is not rich enough, I shall give three francs a man, but all must
be done in the name of the town. The municipal body will make a speech to
them, treat them, give the officers dinners, get triumphal arches raised
at the gates through which they pass, and put inscriptions on them. Give
the same order for the town of Nancy, which is the place where the central
column will pass. As for the column of the right, it will be fêted at
Rheims. I wish you to see that the prefects of departments on their route
pay special attention to the troops, and in every way keep up the
enthusiasm which animates them and their love of glory. Speeches, verses,
shows gratis, dinners,--that is what I expect from the citizens for the
soldiers returning victorious." On the 17th, with the list of towns which
had responded to his call as well as those from which he expected the same
display: "Get songs written in Paris, and send them to the different
towns. These songs will tell of the glory gained by the army and that it
is still to gain, of the liberty of the seas which will result from its
victories. These songs will be sung at the dinners which will be given.
Get three kinds of songs made, so that the soldier may not hear the same
sung twice."

It was not without secret emotion and an inquietude which showed itself by
numerous heroical declamations, that the Emperor Napoleon himself passed
into Spain with his old troops, which had gained for him the sovereign
rule in Europe. For the first time in his military career, he felt himself
face to face with the spontaneous resistance of a people. "Soldiers," said
he to the regiments which were to march before him on the Spanish soil,
"after triumphing on the banks of the Danube and Vistula, you have crossed
Germany by forced marches; and now I make you cross France without
allowing you a moment's rest. Soldiers, I have need of you. The hateful
presence of the leopard contaminates the continents of Spain and Portugal;
let him fly in terror at the sight of us. Let us carry our eagles in
triumph as far as the columns of Hercules; there also we have outrages to
avenge. Soldiers, you have surpassed the renown of modern armies, but have
you equalled the glories of the armies of Rome, which in one campaign
triumphed on the Rhine and the Euphrates, in Illyria and on the Tagus? A
long peace and lasting prosperity will be the fruit of your labors. A true
Frenchman neither can nor ought to rest till the seas are open and freed.
Soldiers, all that you have done, all that you will yet do for the
happiness of the French people, for my glory, will remain eternally in my

According to the custom of constitutional monarchies, the English cabinet
replied to the personal letter addressed to King George III. by the two
emperors. Without formally rejecting the overtures of peace, Canning urged
that all the allies of England ought to have been admitted to the
negotiation; and he included in the list of allies the Kings of Naples,
Portugal, Sweden, and even the Spanish insurgents, although no formal
treaty had yet been concluded with them. Soon after, to put an end to the
pretence of negotiation, an official declaration of the British Government
announced to the world that England could not treat with two courts, one
of which dethroned legitimate kings and kept them prisoners, while the
other assisted from interested motives. Resolved "to attack by every means
a usurpation to which there was nothing comparable in the history of the
world, Great Britain will never abandon the generous Spanish nation, nor
any of the people who, though at present hesitating, may soon shake off
the yoke which oppresses them." For the future all pretences disappeared,
and the struggle began afresh between the Emperor Napoleon and England.
The latter had long been looking for a ground of attack against the
conqueror; now at last it was supplied by the Spanish soil and people.

It is extremely painful to have to prove the injustice of a course which
is naturally dear to us. That is bitterly felt at every step during the
long years of the war of Spain, in presence of the generous efforts of a
people who, with arms in their hands, vindicated their national liberty
and independence. The first outbursts of the Spanish insurrection showed
this with a brilliancy that soon partially disappeared. The efforts of the
English their courage and feats of arms, were soon to eclipse to some
extent the obstinate animosity of the Spanish. The long series of checks
which began on Napoleon's arrival was sufficient to prove with what a
decisive weight the alliance which they were soon to conclude with Great
Britain weighed in the balance of their destinies.

Setting out from Paris on the 29th October, the emperor, on arriving at
Bayonne, showed great anger at the delay in the preparations, the bad
state of the roads and the shortness of supplies. "You will see how
disgracefully I am served," he wrote to General Dejean, in charge of the
war administration. "I have only 7000 cloaks instead of 50,000; 15,000
pairs of shoes instead of 129,000. I am in want of everything; my army is
naked, and yet we are entering on a campaign. Yet I have spent a great
deal of money, which is so much thrown into the sea."

Napoleon's displeasure was not diminished when he reached Vittoria. He had
beforehand forbidden the attempt upon Madrid which King Joseph proposed to
him, mistrusting his brother's military skill. "The military art is an art
the principles of which must never be violated," he wrote, in some
observations of great sense and force. "To change one's line of operation
is an operation of genius; to lose it, is an operation so serious that it
constitutes a crime in the general who is guilty of it. If, before taking
Madrid, organizing the army there, with military stores for eight or ten
days, and providing sufficient supplies, one had just been defeated, what
would become of that army? where could they rally? where transport their
wounded? whence draw their war supplies, having nothing but provisions for
a short time? We need say no more; those who have the courage to advise
such a measure would be the first to lose their head so soon as the result
proved the madness of their procedure. With an army entirely composed of
men like those of the guard and commanded by the most able general--
Alexander or Caesar, if they could act with such folly--one could answer
for nothing; much more therefore in the circumstances in which the army of
Spain is placed. In war everything depends on opinion--opinion as to the
enemy, opinion as to one's own soldiers. When a battle is lost, the
difference between the conquered and the conqueror is but trifling; yet
opinion makes it immeasurable, because two or three squadrons are then
sufficient to produce a great effect. Nothing has been done to give
confidence to the French; there is not a soldier but sees that timidity
pervades everything, and therefore forms from that his opinion of the
enemy. He has no other data for knowing what is opposed to him except what
is told him, and the bearing which he is expected to assume."

By a chance which prudent minds might have anticipated, but which
astonished and confounded the inexperience of the insurgent leaders, the
national rising, which lately was universal, irresistible, and triumphant,
lost all its power and energy immediately after the victory of Baylen. The
hesitation and inaction of King Joseph, his government, and his army, had
met with an unexpected counterpart in their adversaries.

It is often a difficult undertaking, even when desired and concerted
beforehand, to stir up an entire nation and animate them for war; and when
their rising is spontaneous, brought on by the same patriotic and
revolutionary idea, it is a still more difficult undertaking to organize
their efforts and direct aright their impassioned impulses. After the
first shock, which had agitated Spain from one extremity to the other,
after the formation of provincial or municipal Juntas, after the success
of some of the insurgent generals, the trial of government suddenly
presented itself to the leaders of the national movement. It was necessary
to command all those proud and independent men, intoxicated with a new
liberty and an ancient self-respect; it was necessary at any cost to get
from them obedience, for Napoleon was at hand--he, the master of so many
armies waiting for his bidding, and who at his will had made princes and
kings bend down. The Spanish alone had resisted him successfully; how were
they to keep up and continue the resistance?

With considerable difficulty, a central Junta was formed at Aranjuez,
composed of delegates from the local Juntas, too numerous to be a council
of government, and too restricted to possess, or even claim, the rights of
a representative assembly. The new Junta wished to exercise absolute
authority. The Council of Castile had proposed that the Cortes be
assembled, but most of the generals were opposed to a measure which
necessarily tended to diminish their power. The Cortes were not assembled,
and the Junta called all the Spaniards to arms.

Though the patriotic ardor in Spain was undoubtedly great, and the
patriotic uneasiness profound, the results of the general rising were
insufficient, and came greatly short of the hopes of the insurrectional
government. About 100,000 men were mustered when the military organization
was decided upon by the Junta. Three main armies--that of the left, under
the orders of General Blake; that of the centre, under General Castanos;
that of the right, under Palafox--were to combine their operations in
order to surround the French army. A fourth army, called the reserve, was
to be afterwards formed; and the troops scattered over Catalonia were
ordered to defend that province against General Duhesme. In spite of the
repugnance inspired by foreign assistance to Spanish pride, the Junta had
accepted the assistance of an English army, which had already collected at
Lisbon, under the orders of Sir John Moore. He had marched across
Portugal, and his lieutenant, Sir David Baird, was bringing him
reinforcements from England, which afterwards joined him at Corunna. These
forces and resources were sufficient to harass the French army, and make
an easy occupation of Spain impossible; but not sufficient to keep up a
regular war against the first troops in the world. The Spanish, as well as
the English, soon found the truth of this.

Before Napoleon arrived at Vittoria, several battles had already taken
place, generally favorable to the French army, though it was badly led,
and had its forces scattered, instead of concentrated, as the emperor
wished them to be, for his ready use. He bitterly blamed Marshals Lefebvre
and Victor, and already the presence of the general who had been
everywhere victorious was being promptly felt in the management of the
army and the vigor of the operations. Marshal Soult had been sent to
attack Burgos, then protected by 12,000 men of the Estremadura army; and
on the 10th November, on the charge of Mouton's division alone, the
Spanish wavered and took to flight, delivering up Burgos and its castle to
the French army. The cavalry eagerly pursued the retreating enemy, who
quickly formed again, and were as quickly scattered: many of the prisoners
were killed. Napoleon at once set out for Burgos. "I start at one in the
morning," he wrote to Joseph, "in order to reach Burgos incognito before
daybreak, and shall make my arrangements for the day, because to win is
nothing if no advantage is taken of the success. I think you ought to go
to-morrow to Briviesca. The less ceremony I wish made on my own account,
the more I wish made on yours. As for me, it does not suit well with the
business of war; besides, I have no wish for it. On arriving, I shall give
the necessary orders for disarming, and for burning the standard used for
Ferdinand's proclamation. Use every endeavor that it may be felt to be no
idle form."

Burgos already felt all the weight of the conqueror's anger. The town was
pitilessly sacked. "A sad sight," say the memoirs of Count Miot de Melito,
who accompanied King Joseph as he entered the town; "the houses nearly all
deserted and pillaged; the furniture, smashed in pieces, scattered in the
mud of the streets; one quarter, on the other side of the Arlanzen, on
fire; the soldiers madly forcing in doors and windows, breaking everything
that came in their way, using little and destroying much; the churches
stripped; the streets crowded with the dead and dying--in a word, all the
horrors of an assault, although the town had offered no defence!" The
emperor ordered all the wool to be seized which was found in the town: it
belonged to the great Spanish nobles, and he had resolved to confiscate
their property everywhere. "The Duke of Infantado and Spanish great
lords," he wrote a few days afterwards to Cretet, the Minister of the
Interior (on the 19th November), "are sole proprietors of half the kingdom
of Naples, and in this kingdom they are worth not less than 200,000,000.
They have, besides, possessions in Belgium, Piedmont, and Italy, which I
intend to sequestrate. That is only the first rough draft of my plans". A
decree of proscription had already been published, and a capital
condemnation pronounced (12th November) against ten of the principal
Spanish nobles. At that price, pardon was promised to all who made haste
to make submission.

Marshal Soult, the conqueror of Burgos, had already been despatched by the
emperor in the direction of Reinosa, in order to complete the destruction
of General Blake's army, already partially defeated, on the 11th and 12th
by General Victor, near the small town of Espinosa, at the spot where the
road from the Biscayan mountains crosses the road of the plain. Soult was
late in arriving; but, after a vigorous resistance, the overthrow of
Blake's army was so complete that there was no fear that the army of the
left could soon rally. Napoleon ordered Lannes and Ney to crush the armies
of the right and the centre, commanded by Palafox and Castanos. Ney
failing to keep his appointment at Tudela on the 23rd November, owing to a
mistake on the march, Lannes made the attack alone, taking by surprise the
Spanish generals, who were undecided as to their course of action,
disagreeing as to the place for meeting the enemy, and yet urged on to the
engagement by the popular cries, already accusing them of treason. The
battle was a serious one; and for a short time Lannes, reduced to his own
troops, found himself in a difficult position. He was, moreover, ill from
a fall from his horse, but succeeded in winning the battle, and drove
before him, one after another, all the divisions of the enemy's army. With
the cruel and heedless fickleness of revolutionary governments, the Junta
of Aranjuez hurriedly cashiered Generals Blake and Castanos. The Marquis
of Romana's soldiers having distinguished themselves at Espinosa, he was
appointed general of the united armies. Already, in spite of the
consternation which reigned in the national party in Spain, small bodies
of troops collected in various parts. Napoleon soon understood that the
masterly-strokes of his usual tactics were not sufficient to conquer men
who were as prompt in again taking up arms as in throwing them down on the
roads in order to run away. He hurried in pursuit everywhere, and
multiplied his modes of attack. Junot, scarcely returned to France,
received orders to go into Spain. Napoleon resolved to march upon Madrid.

The resources left at the disposition of the Junta for the defence of the
capital were obviously insufficient. A body of 10,000 to 12,000 men, under
the command of Benito San Juan, occupied the height Somo-Sierra, and on
the 30th November Napoleon in person appeared before the small Spanish
army. The passage being quickly forced by a charge of General Montbrun,
the French cavalry rode to the gates of Madrid, causing indignation and
alarm. The Junta had already left Aranjuez to meet in Badajoz, and the
capital, entrusted to a small detachment of troops of the line under the
Marquis of Castellar, at one time supported, at another hindered by the
populace, corregidor of Madrid, the Marquis of Perales, was massacred by a
handful of madmen, on the charge of having mixed sand with the powder of
their cartridges. Thomas de Morla, the tribune of Cadiz, commanded the
defence. Barricades were raised at every point, and ramparts improvised,
Madrid never having been surrounded with fortifications.

On the morning of the 2nd December the emperor arrived at the gates of the
capital, and at once had a summons sent to those in command of the place.
His messenger had great difficulty in obtaining admission to the town; and
the Spanish general appointed to convey the refusal of surrender was
accompanied and watched by a band of insurgents, who dictated to him his
reply. A second summons producing no result, the firing at the walls and
the town began; and in a few hours the palace Buen Retiro and all the
northern and eastern gates were in the power of the French. At several
points the resistance was most obstinate. The emperor again summoning the
Junta of Defence to spare the capital the horrors of a general assault,
Thomas de Morla soon presented himself before him, in the name of the
insurrectional government.

The emperor's features clearly expressed his anger at the sight of the
governor of Andalusia, who had recently retained the troops taken
prisoners, in defiance of the capitulation of Baylen. Napoleon had more
than once violated treaties: he attached always an extreme importance to
military conventions. On this occasion, his natural sense of wrong and
offended vanity alone had the mastery in his soul. Thomas de Morla,
generally arrogant and bold, seemed troubled and confused. "The people,"
said he, "are ungovernable in their patriotic passion; the Junta ask for
one day to bring them back to reason."

"It is in vain for you to use the name of the people," exclaimed Napoleon.
"If you cannot succeed in calming them, it is because you yourselves have
excited them, and have led them astray by your falsehoods. Bring together
the curés, the heads of convents, the principal proprietors, and let the
town surrender between this and six o'clock in the morning, or else it
will have ceased to exist. I have no desire to withdraw my troops, nor
ought I. You massacred the unhappy French prisoners who fell into your
hands. A short time ago you allowed to be dragged in the streets and put
to death two servants of the Russian ambassador because they were
Frenchmen. The want of skill and the cowardice of a general placed in your
hands some troops which had capitulated on the battle-field, and the
capitulation was violated. What kind of letter, M. Morla, did you write to
that general? It became you well to speak of pillaging, you who entered
Roussillon and carried off all the women, to divide them among your
soldiers like booty. What right had you, on other grounds, to use such
language? You were prevented by the capitulation. Consider the conduct of
the English, who certainly do not boast of being rigid observers of the
rights of nations. They have complained of the convention of Portugal, but
they executed it. To violate military treaties is to renounce all
civilization; it is to place one's self on a level with the Bedouins of
the desert. How dare you ask a capitulation, you who violated that of
Baylen? I had a fleet at Cadiz, the ally of Spain, and you turned against
it the mortars of the town under your command. Go back to Madrid. I give
you till six o'clock in the morning. Return then, if you have nothing to
say of the people except that they have submitted: otherwise, you and your
troops will all be put to the sword."

The situation left to the insurgents no alternative but that of
submission. During the night, the Marquis of Castellar went out with his
troops by the gates which the French had not yet seized. At six in the
morning, on the 4th December, Madrid surrendered. All the citizens were
disarmed. Napoleon took possession of a small country-house at Chamartin,
and King Joseph held his court at the Pardo, some distance from Madrid;
the rebel town being thus held unworthy to be honored by the presence of
its masters. Several great lords were arrested: the Marquis of St. Simon
was even condemned to death, as a French emigrant in the Spanish service;
but the sentence was badly received by the soldiers, and left unexecuted.
A series of decrees abolished the feudal rights, the Inquisition, and the
custom duties in passing from one province to another. The number of
convents was reduced by a third. The conquests of liberty and civilization
thus imposed on the Spanish by their oppressors naturally became hateful
to them. Thus one of the results of Napoleon's Spanish campaign was to
prepare a reaction in favor of the Inquisition.

While the emperor took possession of Madrid, and endeavored to reduce the
undisciplined spirit of the capital, General Gouvion St. Cyr had been
appointed to bring Catalonia to submission. A man of skill and prudence,
though obstinately attached to his own opinions, St. Cyr was never a
favorite with Napoleon, though he knew his merit. He had entrusted him
with the duty of reducing an isolated province, where his command ran no
risk of being interfered with by contradictory wishes or orders. The
general delayed some time at the siege of Rosas, which he was anxious not
to leave in his rear, and when he at last advanced towards Barcelona,
General Duhesme and his garrison were short of provisions. On his approach
the blockade was raised, and, on the 15th December, General Vives offered
battle to St. Cyr at Cardeden, before Barcelona. The French having left
their artillery behind, so as to advance more quickly, the order was given
to open a road through the enemy's ranks with the bayonet. The soldiers
obeyed, keeping their heads down as they advanced under the fire of the
Spanish; the latter were unable to resist the impetuosity of such an
attack, and the columns of our troops passed through the enemy's lines,
which were soon broken and scattered. The Spanish artillery fell entirely
into our hands, and next day the French entered Barcelona. On the 21st the
entrenched camp on the Llobregat was taken, and complete dispersion of the
Spanish troops in Catalonia soon followed, only a few places still holding
out, which General Gouvion St. Cyr prepared to besiege.

The English, however, henceforward united to the cause of the Spanish
insurrection by a solemn declaration, published on the 15th December, and
everywhere the objects of Napoleon's most persistent hatred, had not yet
undergone the shock of his arms. Having only imperfect information as to
Sir John Moore's operations, the emperor had reckoned with certainty upon
the retreat which that general began at the moment of the attack upon
Madrid, when he found that it was absolutely impossible to concentrate his
forces in time for resistance. Moore was not hopeful as to the results of
the campaign, and had little satisfaction in his Spanish auxiliaries, who
always distrusted foreigners, even when allies; when urged by the Junta,
however, and after receiving instructions from England, he advanced
towards Valladolid, relinquishing his line of retreat upon Portugal, and
directing his march to Corunna. From some intercepted despatches he
believed he might surprise Marshal Soult in the kingdom of Leon, with
inferior forces to his own; and, at the same time, ask Sir David Baird to
join him with his troops, and sent to ask the Marquis Romana for
reinforcements. On the 21st December, the English army, more than 25,000
men strong, had reached Sahagun, near to Marshal Soult's position.

The emperor was not deceived by the first report, that the English had
changed their line of march. He at once penetrated Sir John Moore's
object, and resolved to at once fall upon his rear, and crush him by a
superiority of forces. In a letter to Paris he says, "The English have at
last showed signs of life. They seem now to have abandoned Portugal, and
taken another line of operations. They are marching upon Valladolid, and
for three days our troops have made operations to manoeuvre them, and
advance on their rear. If the English don't make for the sea, and beat us
in speed, they will find it hard to escape us, and will pay dear for their
daring attempt upon the continent."

On the 22nd, the emperor, uniting the divisions of his army with that
rapidity which all his lieutenants had learned from him, set out himself
on march with 40,000 men, in the hope of intercepting the advance of the
English to the coast. The weather had become wet and cold, and when the
French army reached the foot of Guadarrama the snow was falling in thick
masses. The chasseurs of the guard, dismounting, led their horses by hand,
and opened a road to their comrades through the snow. Napoleon himself was
on foot. The snow-storm being followed by rain, their progress was slow.
On receiving a message from Soult that he was at Carrion, and that he
believed the English were one day's journey distant, Napoleon said, "If
they stay one day longer in that position they are lost, for I shall
presently be on their flank."

Sir John Moore was a prudent and skilful soldier, and on receiving
information sufficient to indicate the emperor's intention, he at once
began his retreat towards Corunna. When Marshal Ney, entering Medina from
Rio-Seco, was preparing to march upon Benaventa, the English had already
reached that post, and, after crossing the Ezla, blew up the bridges. When
the French advance-guard, commanded by General Lefebvre-Desnouettes,
arrived before the town the last wagons of the English army were
disappearing in the distance. The cavalry officer too eagerly made his
squadrons ford the river, and Lord Paget, who protected the retreat,
repulsed the attack of the French, and took their general prisoner. The
first detachments of Napoleon's army entered Astorga a short time after
the English had evacuated the place, the Marquis de la Romana, withdrawing
as well as his allies, having followed by the same way. The roads were
much cut up by the wheels and footsteps, besides being encumbered by the
dead bodies of many horses, which the English had killed when too tired to
go on. There were also traces left everywhere by the English army of a
troublesome want of discipline; soldiers left drunk because they could not
keep up in the rapid march which their leader had ordered, houses
pillaged, and the Spanish peasants, oppressed both by their defenders and
their enemies, became every day more distrustful and gloomy. Sir John
Moore complained that he could obtain neither food nor information from
the frightened and discontented population.

On the 2nd January, the Emperor Napoleon changed his plans. Feeling that
the danger of a war with Austria became daily more imminent, and finding
that the English would reach the sea in spite of any efforts of his to
intercept them, and that the brilliant stroke which he intended was daily
becoming more impossible of execution, he entrusted the pursuit of the
enemy to Marshal Soult, who was then nearer him than Ney, and marched with
the imperial guard towards Valladolid. Before arriving there he wrote from
Benaventa to King Joseph, on the 6th January, 1809,--

"My brother, I thank you for what you say regarding the New Year. I have
no hope of Europe being at peace in 1809. On the contrary, I yesterday
signed a decree for a levy of 100,000 men. The hatred of England, the
events at Constantinople, everything forewarns that the hour of rest and
tranquillity has not yet sounded. As to you, your kingdom appears to me to
be almost at peace. The kingdoms of Leon, the Asturias, and New Castile,
only want rest. I hope Galicia will soon be pacified, and that the English
will leave the country. Saragossa must soon fall; and General St. Cyr,
with 30,000 men, will soon attain his object in Catalonia."

The English were in fact preparing to leave Spain; and though the
determination was quite recent, it was with a sense of depression, which,
in the case of the general, was increased by the sad plight of his array
and its want of discipline. Their disorder was at its worst when at last
they reached the small town of Lugo (6th January, 1809), exhausted by the
bad weather, want of food, and excess of brandy and other strong liquors.

Sir John Moore had resolved to offer battle to the French, and the hope of
fighting had restored courage and obedience to the soldiers. He waited
three days for Marshal Soult, but the French general's forces were
diminished by the rapidity of the pursuit, and he did not accept the offer
of fighting. Moore resumed his march towards Corunna, reckoning to find,
on his arrival at the coast, the transport vessels which were necessary
for his army. When at last, on the 11th January, he came in sight of the
sea, not a single sail appeared over its vast extent. The contest becoming
inevitable, Sir John ordered the bridges over the Mero to be blown up, and
took up his position on the heights which command Corunna.

Marshal Soult had been delayed, by the necessity of repairing the bridges
and rallying a division of his army which had fallen behind; and when at
last, on the morning of the 16th, he attacked the English positions, the
long-expected transports were crowding into the harbor, and a way of
escape was open to the English army. A keenly-contested struggle took
place, however, around the small village, Elvina, occupied by the troops
of Sir David Baird, who was severely wounded. Sir John went to the
assistance of his lieutenant, and when leading his men within range to the
front, had his arm and collarbone shattered by a ball. He was carried back
to the town by his soldiers, in a dying condition. The English still
retaining their positions at nightfall, their embarkment was now certain,
and General Hope, who had taken the command, pushed forward the
preparations for departure.

Sir John Moore had just expired. "You know well," said he to his friend
Colonel Anderson, "that this is how I always wished to die." After a short
pause, he added, "I hope the English people will be satisfied; I hope that
my country will do me justice." Without losing time in procuring a coffin,
his soldiers dug a grave with their swords, and committed to earth the
body of their general, still wrapped in his military cloak. The English
army, which he had saved by his prudence and resolution, then hurriedly
embarked, "and left him alone in his glory," as the poet has finely put
it. Several weeks afterwards, when Marshal Ney took possession of Corunna,
he had a stone placed on the tomb of his heroic enemy.

From Valladolid, where he was still staying, the Emperor Napoleon directed
the movements of his armies; fortifying the defences of Italy, and
commanding the movements of the troops intended for Germany, he at the
same time wrote to all the princes of the Rheinish Confederation,
reminding them peremptorily of their engagements, and referring to the
lengthened war preparations of Austria as equivalent to a declaration of
war. "Russia, as well as myself, is indignant at the extravagant conduct
of Austria," he wrote to the King of Wurtemberg, on the 15th January; "we
cannot conceive what madness has taken possession of the court of Vienna.
When your Majesty reads this letter I shall be in Paris. One part of my
army of Spain is now returning, to form an army of reserve; but,
independently of that, without touching a single man of my army of Spain,
I can send into Germany 150,000 men, and be there myself to advance with
them upon the Inn at the end of February, without counting the troops of
the Confederation. I suppose that your Majesty's troops are ready to march
on the slightest movement; you are sensible of the great importance, if
war is absolutely necessary, of carrying it on in our enemy's territory,
rather than leaving it to settle on that of the Confederation. I beg of
your Majesty to let me know in Paris your opinion on all those points. Can
the waters of the Danube have acquired the property of the river Lethe?"

At the same time, to instruct King Joseph in the government of Spain, at
the moment when that prince was about to visit his capital again, he thus
wrote to him, at Prado:--"General Belliard's movement is excellent; a
score of worthless fellows ought to be hanged. To-morrow I am to have
seven hanged here, known to have had a share in all the excesses, and a
nuisance to the respectable people, who have secretly denounced them, and
who now regain courage on finding themselves rid of them. You must do the
same at Madrid. Five-sixths of the town are good, but honest folks should
be encouraged, and they cannot be so except by keeping in check the riff-
raff. Unless a hundred or so of rioters and ruffians are got rid of,
nothing is done. Of that hundred, get twelve or fourteen shot or hanged,
and send the rest into France to the galleys. I think it necessary,
especially at the first start, that your government should show a little
vigor against the riff-raff. They only like and respect those whom they
fear, and their fear alone may procure you the love and esteem of the rest
of the nation.

"The state of Europe compels me to go to spend three weeks in Paris, and
if nothing prevent I shall return here about the end of February. I
believe I wrote you to make your entry into Madrid on the 14th. Denon
wishes to take some paintings. I should prefer you to take all that are in
the confiscated houses and suppressed convents, and make me a present of
about fifty of its master-pieces, for the Paris museum. At the proper time
and place I shall give you others. Send for Denon, and give him a hint of
this. You understand that they must be really good; and it is said you are
immensely rich in that kind."

King Joseph retook possession of his capital with a great display of
magnificence, the brilliant success of the French arms having rallied
round him the timid, and the discontented keeping silence. Before setting
out for Paris, where he arrived on the 24th, the emperor said, "The attack
upon Valentia must not be thought of until Saragossa is taken, which must
be during the month of February:" and Marshal Lannes, who had charge of
the siege operations for a month, justified the hopes of his master. On
the 21st February, 1809, Saragossa at last surrendered, having been the
object of several French attacks since June, 1808.

After the battle of Tudela the whole of the army in Aragon had fallen back
upon Saragossa. Joseph Palafox had shut himself up in it with his two
brothers, and the country population having followed in great numbers,
100,000 human beings were crowded together behind the ramparts of the
town, in its old convents, within the dull walls of its embattled houses--
almost everywhere without outside windows, and already threatening the
enemy with their gloomy aspect. Throughout the province, at the call of
the defenders of Saragossa the insurgent peasants intercepted the convoys
of provisions intended for the French army, and the besiegers no less than
the besieged suffered from want of food.

Napoleon had undervalued the resistance of the inhabitants of Saragossa.
Always ordering the movements of his troops himself, and from a distance,
he had sent Marshal Moncey with insufficient forces; and soon after, Junot
was entrusted with the attack. The sallies of the Spanish were easily
repulsed, but each assault cost a large number of men. The Aragonian
riflemen, posted on the ramparts or the roofs of the houses, brought down,
without exposing themselves, the bravest of our grenadiers. Everywhere the
women brought the artillery-men food and ammunition; and one of them,
finding a piece abandoned, applied the match to it herself, and continued
firing it for several days. The whole of the population fought on the
walls until they should have to fight in the streets and houses.

From redoubt to redoubt, from convent to convent, General Junot had slowly
advanced, till the middle of January, 1809. When at last Marshal Lannes
appeared before Saragossa, he had called to his assistance large
reinforcements; and the troops posted in the suburbs, and who had not yet
shared in the action, dispersed the hostile crowd there. The attack
commenced with a vigor which quite equalled the energy of the resistance;
and on the 27th January, after a general assault, which was deadly and
long-continued, the entire circuit of the walls was carried by the French
troops. It is a maxim of war that every town deprived of the protection of
its walls capitulates, or surrenders at discretion; but in Saragossa the
real struggle--the struggle of the populace--was only beginning. On the
28th, Lannes wrote to the emperor: "Never, sire, have I seen such keen
determination as in putting our enemies here on their defence. I have seen
women come to be killed at a breach. Every house has to be taken by storm;
and without great precaution we should lose many soldiers, there being in
the town 30,000 or 40,000 men, besides the inhabitants. We now hold Santa-
Engracia as far as the Capucine convent, and have captured fifteen guns.
In spite of all the orders I have given to prevent soldiers from rushing
forward, their ardor getting the better of them has given us 200 wounded
more than we ought to have."

And a few days afterwards: "The siege of Saragossa resembles in nothing
any war we have hitherto had. It is a business requiring great prudence
and great energy. We are obliged to take every house by mining or assault.
These wretches defend themselves with a keen determination which is
inconceivable. In a word, sire, it is a horrible war. At this moment three
or four parts of the town are on fire, and it is crushed with shells, yet
our enemies are not intimidated. We are laboring might and main to get to
the faubourg; and once we are masters of it, I hope the town will not long
hold out."

During the first siege of Saragossa, Marshal Lefebvre, on getting
possession of one of the principal convents, sent to Joseph Palafox the
short despatch: "Head-quarters, Santa-Engracia. Capitulation." And the
defender of the place replied: "Head-quarters, Saragossa. War to the
knife." It was war to the knife, to the musket, to the mine, which was
pursued from house to house, from story to story. To go along the streets,
the French soldiers were obliged to slip past close to the walls, the
enemy being so keen and eager that a shako or coat held up on the point of
a sword to deceive them was instantly riddled with balls. More than one
detachment after taking a building were suddenly blown up, by being
secretly undermined. Our soldiers in their turn replied by some important
underground works, which were ably organized by Lacoste, colonel of the
engineers. From the 29th January to the 18th February the same struggle
was pursued, with the same keen determination. A day was chosen for the
assault of the faubourg, which General Gazan had long invested. The troops
were impatient to make this last effort, being both irritated and
depressed. They both suffered and saw others suffer. The misery in the
town, however, was greater than the besiegers could suspect. A terrible
epidemic was decimating those who were left of the defenders of Saragossa.
Joseph Palafox himself was dying.

After the breach was opened in the ramparts of the faubourg, a frightful
explosion announced the destruction of the immense University buildings,
laying open to our soldiers the Coso, or Holy Street, which passed through
the whole town. The ground was everywhere mined, and the very heart of
Saragossa was at its last extremity, when the Junta of Defence at last
yielded to the necessity which was bearing them down, and a messenger
presented himself before Marshal Lannes in the name of Don Joseph Palafox.
We have seen the painful illusions created by the isolation of a besieged
town: the defenders of Saragossa believed that the Spanish had been
victorious everywhere, and it was only on the word of honor of Marshal
Lannes that they accepted the sad truth. The 12,000 men of the garrison
who had resisted all the horrors of the siege, surrendered as prisoners of
war. Of 100,000 inhabitants who had crowded Saragossa, 54,000 had
perished. There were heaps of dead bodies round the old church, Our Lady
del Pilar, object of the passionate devotion of the whole population. In
their real heart, and at the first moment of victory, the French soldiers
felt for the defenders of Saragossa an admiration mixed with anger and
alarm. Rage alone animated the heart of their most illustrious leader.
Napoleon had sometimes honored the resistance of his enemies, as at
Mantua; now, on his attaining the height of power and glory, he no longer
admitted that the Spanish should defend their independence against a
usurpation stained with perfidy. "My Brother," he wrote to King Joseph on
the 11th March, "I have read an article in the _Madrid Gazette_, giving an
account of the taking of Saragossa, in which they eulogize those who
defended that town--no doubt to encourage those of Valencia and Seville.
That is certainly a strange policy. I am sure there is not a Frenchman who
has not the greatest scorn for those who defended Saragossa. Those who
allow such vagaries are more dangerous for us than the insurgents. In a
proclamation, mention is already made of Saguntum: that, in my opinion, is
most imprudent."

Many things at this juncture chafed the mind of the imperious master of
the world. He had left Spain immediately after a series of successes,
without deceiving himself as to their importance and decisive value with
reference to the permanent establishment of the French monarchy in Madrid.
He foresaw the difficulties and perpetually recurring embarrassments of a
command being divided, when the nominal authority of King Joseph was
unable to govern lieutenants who were powerful, distinguished, and
jealous. To obviate this inconvenience, and maintain that unity of action
which he considered an indispensable element of success, he had kept to
himself the supreme direction of the military operations, and attempted to
govern the war in Spain from a distance, at the moment when he was
organizing and recruiting his armies to support in Germany a determined
struggle against all the forces of the Austrian empire. Italy, Holland,
the Rhenish Confederation, all the states which he had founded or subdued,
claimed his support or vigilance. Russia remained quiet because she was
powerless and disarmed, but a serious check would have speedily thrown her
with ardor on the side of his enemies. Russia, compelled by recent
treaties and pressing interests, concealed under friendly phrases a secret
indifference, and the beginning of her enmity: being, moreover, occupied
by her own conquests, by the uncompleted subjugation of Finland, and a
renewal of her struggle with Turkey. England, irritated and humiliated by
the check undergone by her attempts at intervention in Spain, was
energetically preparing new and more successful efforts. In presence of so
many enemies, concealed or declared--compelled to regulate so many
affairs, the government, oppression, and conquest of so many races--
Napoleon, on returning to Paris after his Spanish campaign, had found
men's dispositions changed, and precursory signs of an open discontent
which he was not accustomed to meet or to suffer.

Even in Spain the rumor of this modification of the national thought had
already reached Napoleon's ears: he had read it in the letters of his most
intimate correspondents, and imagined it even in the eyes of his soldiers.
The rage of the despot burst forth one day in Valladolid: when passing
along the ranks of the troops he was leaving behind, on hearing some of
them muttering he is said to have snatched from the hand of a grenadier a
musket, which seemed awkwardly held, exclaiming, "You wretch! you deserve
to be shot, and I have a good mind to have it done! You are all longing to
go back to Paris, to resume your habits and pleasures:--well, I shall keep
you under arms till you are eighty."

On reaching France, and especially Paris, Napoleon thought the atmosphere
felt charged with resistance and disobedience. There was more freedom of
speech, and men's thoughts were more daring than their words. Those whom
he distrusted now came nearer, and others had taken the liberty to
criticise his intentions and his acts. Even in the Legislative Body, the
arrangements of the code of criminal justice, recently submitted to the
vote, had undergone a rather lively discussion. Fouché had the courage to
raise the question of the succession to the throne, when speaking to the
Empress Josephine herself about the necessity of a divorce. The most
daring had ventured to anticipate the possibility of a fatal accident in
the chances of war, some affirming that Murat aimed at the crown. The
Arch-chancellor Cambacérès, who always showed prudence and ability in his
relations with his former colleague, now his master, attempted in vain to
calm the increasing irritation of his mind. His anger burst forth against
Talleyrand during a sitting of the Ministerial Council. For several months
previously a coldness and distrust had reigned between the emperor and
this confidant of several of the gravest acts of his life--who was always
self-possessed even when he seemed devoted, too clever ever to give
himself up entirely, and invariably impassible in manner and feature.
Napoleon poured forth his displeasure in a long speech, reminding
Talleyrand of advice he had formerly given him, being carried away both by
his passion and the desire to compromise and humiliate a man whose
intrigues he was afraid of. At the conclusion of this noisy scene, still
more humiliating for the emperor than for the minister, Talleyrand quietly
withdrew, limping through the galleries, among the officers and courtiers,
astonished at the noise which had reached even them, and looking at him
with curiosity or spite. It was the starting-point of that secret
animosity to which Talleyrand was afterwards to give cold and biting
expression, when, in 1813, after a similar scene, he said, "You have a
great man there, but badly brought up!" Napoleon's anger did not last
long, although his distrust remained fixed. Talleyrand's pride underwent
numerous eclipses. Commencing, however, from that day, the separation
between them became irreparable; and when the emperor's decadence began,
Talleyrand was already gained over to other hopes, and ready to serve
another cause.

It was during the first moments of a growing discontent, already
unmistakable in Paris and the large towns, that Napoleon found himself
compelled to ask from France new efforts and cruel sacrifices. To make the
old contingents equal to the new, he has already, they said, raised 80,000
men by the past conscriptions; the same expedient if soon applied to more
remote years will bring to his standards grown-up men able to undergo long
fatigue. The contingent of 1810 was at the same time raised to 110,000
men. In order to furnish officers to this enormous mass of conscripts, the
emperor wrote on the 8th March, to General Clarke, minister of war: "I
have formed sixteen cohorts of 10,000 conscripts of my guard. Present to
me sixteen lists of four pupils in the St. Cyr Military College, to be
appointed as sub-lieutenants in those cohorts; that will supply employment
to sixty-four scholars. These youths will be under the orders of the
officers of my guard, and will assist them in forming the conscripts, and
fulfilling the duties of adjutant. They can also be of use in marching
with detachments to the regiments where they will have their definitive
appointment. Thus, with the 104 scholars necessary for the fifth
battalions, the school must supply 168 pupils this year. Present to me 168
young people to replace those at St. Cyr.

"Let me know what can be supplied by La Flèche School, and the lycées. I
have forty lycées; if each of them can furnish ten pupils of eighteen
years old, that makes 400 quartermasters. I shall have to send 200 to the
different regiments, and 200 to the army of the Rhine. Find also whether
the Polytechnic School cannot supply fifty officers; and whether the
Compiègne School cannot supply fifty youths of over seventeen, to be
incorporated with the companies of artillery workmen."

As if to supply the troublesome gaps thus made in the schools by the
unexpected removal of so many boys, Napoleon had written beforehand to
Fouché from Benaventa (31st December, 1809):

"I am informed that some families of the emigrants are removing their
children to avoid conscription, and keeping them in troublesome and
culpable idleness. It is clear that the old and rich families who are not
for our system are against it. I wish you to get a list drawn up of ten of
those principal families in each department, and fifty for Paris, showing
the age, fortune, and quality of each member. My intention is to pass a
decree to send to the Military School of St. Cyr the young men belonging
to those families whose ages are between sixteen and eighteen. If any
objection is made, the only answer to make is, that it is my good
pleasure. The future generation should not suffer from the hatred and
petty spite of the present generation. If you have to ask the prefects for
information, do so in similar terms."

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