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experiment of a minister of abili- litary commission. These facts ties, moderation, liberality, and indicated the disposition of the temper. But, unfortunately, the government, and plainly foretold attempted remedy only aggravated what was soon to follow. the disease. Destitute of personal Fruitless attempts were made in connections, or family influence, to France and elsewhere, to obtain a bear him out in a course indepen- loan for the absolute necessities of dent and upright; having no party the government, equally without to support him in such healing money, as without credit. The measures, as the distracted state of ministry were driven to the dethe kingdom required; his mini- sperate resource of compulsory constry was feeble, and terminated be- tributions, to procure supplies for fore the end of the year, leaving the troops, who impoverished the the country in a worse condition country which they were the instruthan before.
ments of enslaving. Nor was this The earliest accounts of the ruinous practice followed by the year, related only to the illness of general government alone. Many the king, who was attacked by the local authorities, forced to take adgout, in January, but; to the mis- vantage of the weakness of the gofortane of his subjects, soon re- vernment, arbitrarily imposed and covered.
exacted duties on various articles The fanatical party were con- of consumption. The treasurerstantly busy throughout the king- general declared, that he was subdom, and exercised acts of autho- jected to continual insults, from rity, in the provinces, according to the impossibility of meeting just their discretion. Military tribu- demands, and could no longer supnals were active and severe, in port a charge superior to his their persecution of all persons strength. suspected, or accused of liberalism. An exposition of the state of For instance, a soldier in a com- the national finances, given by the pany of grenadiers was sentenced treasurer, represented the public to ten years' imprisonment at Ceu- credit as completely gone ; the reta, for having praised the abolish- ceipts hardly sufficient to cover half ed constitution. Arrests were fre- the expenditure, and no means exquent, for the most trivial causes of isting to supply the deficiency. suspicion. In May, the prisons of The revenue of America often Barcelona and Villafranca, contain amounted, formerly, to one huned one hundred and forty-four per- dred and sixty millions of reals, and sons, awaiting their trial by the mi- it was now reduced to a trifling sum, occasionally received from move this idea, he declared his Cuba. Add to this, a defalcation determination to preserve all the of another hundred millions of institutions of absolute government reals, from the general reduction of in full vigor, and without the slightthe customs, and of the duty on the est qualification whatsoever. In sale of tobacco and salt. It will pursuance of this declaration, he readily be perceived, that the greatissued a decree, denouncing seest confusion and discontent must vere penalties against all perbe the necessary consequence of sons who should attack the measuch extreme national penury. sures of the government; insult
Colombian privateers continued either of its agents ; report any to cruise upon the Spanish coast, thing against the sovereign authocutting off the little trade still re- rity; possess, receive, or read pammaining to the country, and de- phlets or letters of a revolutionary monstrating the absurdity of Ferdi- tendency; or hold public or private nand's pretensions to reconquer a meetings to criticise in whatever people who were now strong way, the measures of the admini- , enough to attack him at home. stration. In the spirit of these re
In consequence of all these accu- gulations, was a pastoral letter, cir- , mulated public distresses, disturban- culated by the archbishop of Barces soon began to break out in the celona, for the establishment of an provinces. A serious one occurred apostolic junta in Catalonia, conat Seville, in April, 1825, where the sisting of three priests, of the orsoldiers, destitute of pay, provisions, der of St. Dominic. They were and all needful appointments, and authorised and required to investiirritated by distresses which they as- gate and punish, canonically, all cribed to the influence of the clergy, those transgressions which were forced open the doors of the latter, formerly cognizable by “the Holy and lawlessly pillaged their houses. Tribunal of the inquisition.”
Amid all these crying evidences The minister Zea, finding all his of misrule, Ferdinand issued a designs thwarted by the ultra party, proclamation,whose positive and de- and hopeless of accomplishing any spotic tone, was but poorly in keep- good, at last, early in the month of ing with the actual imbecility of his August, tendered his resignation. government. The elevation of Zea Ferdinand, however, refused to acBermudez, had given rise to ru- cept it; and thereby outraged the mors that more lenient and rational fanatics to such a degree, that they principles of administration, were started the project of deposing about to be produced. To re- him, and elevating the infant, Don
Carlos, in his place. This led to the beginning of which, was the numerous arrests, all over the king- name of Zea Bermudez. He was dom; and especially in the princi- joined by many others; but the pal towns of Andalusia. In three junta of public safety having had days, nearly two hundred persons early intelligence of the insurrecwere incarcerated in Seville, be- tion, despatched the count d’Essides many others, mostly monks pagne, with a force competent to and canons, in Cordoba, Madrid quell it. He overtook the rebels and elsewhere ; and a junta of pu- at Molina de Aragon, and at Zablic safety was created, with the frilla, arrested Bessieres, who was duke del Infantado at its head, shot the next day, with his princifor the purpose of putting a stop pal accomplices. to disaffection, by strong and deci. Other insurrections, of a similar sive measures.
character, occurred in almost every Notwithstanding these acts of part of Spain. Although it seemthe government, disorders continu- ed that their object was the same, ed to increase, and evidently look- namely, to raise Don Carlos to the ed to some revolutionary move- throne, yet their movements were ment. A monk had the boldness so ill managed, that they ended in to harangue a multitude assembled nothing. The risings consisted of in a public square, and urge them disconnected efforts of individuals, to place Don Carlos on the throne; who, acting without concert, were denouncing Ferdinand as a free- easily discomfited ; and whose idle mason. At length, the insurrection attempts only served to fill the broke out, on the 16th of August, kingdom with bloodshed, and aug. 1825, headed by Bessieres, a vio- ment its distresses. We shall not lent royalist, and formerly a zealous undertake to enumerate the disorpartizan of the king's, in opposition ders particularly, alike as they were to the cortes. A small body of in their origin, nature, and consetroops, stationed at Getafa, near quences. They chiefly proceeded Madrid, assembled under arms, and from the fanatical royalists, who marched towards Alcala, announc- demanded the re-establishment of ing their design to be, to deliver the the inquisition, and by their insane king, who they said, was imprisoned and bigoted conduct, justly visited by his ministers. Bessieres joined upon Ferdinand, his abandonment them at Torrija, on the 18th, as- of the constitutional party, and sumed the command, and publish- preference for absolute governel a list of proscribed persons; at ment. During these disturbances, the king remained at St. Ildefonso, nothing. Zea had been continuwhere every thing was tranquil, as ally forced into a vacillating policy, well as at Madrid. .
now moderate and now tyrannical, The death of the fanatical Bes- according as the furious factions sieres, we record without regret, around the court prevailed, or rebecause it was justly merited. But laxed their intrigues. In October, other executions took place, which he and his associates were suddenly must fill every honest heart with in- dismissed ; and the ecclesiastical dignation. D. Juan Martin, called faction assumed unlimited control the Empecinado, one of the noblest of the administration. The duke of those patriotic Spaniards who del Infantado was placed at the adhered to the nation in all its re- head of the ministry, as the indiverses, perished bravely on the vidual, whose character and conscaffold, after a long and cruel im- nections with the fanatics, gave him prisonment. He made violent ef- the greatest authority. forts to escape from the guards, Great alarm was occasioned in who conducted him to execution, December, by the numerous capand succeeded in releasing his tures made by Colombian privahands from their fetters, and seiz- teers. They burnt or scuttled ships ing a sword. But he was over- not laden with valuable cargoes,. powered by numbers, and died exe- captured others, and landed their crating the king and the priests. crews on the coast. Their small 6 Whiat," he exclaimed ; " is this boats sometimes entered the ports, my reward for a life devoted to the and carried away vessels, which service of the king ? Am I to be took refuge there ; and thus proved thus recompensed; I who was the destructive to the Spanish mercanfirst to raise the standard in his fa- tile marine. vor, and conduced more than any Near the close of the year, a other, to place the crown on his decree was issued, reorganizing the head ?” The execution of an- council of state, to be composed of other eminent and virtuous citizen, the ministers, and others, for the Pablo Iglesias, excited a general purpose of passing upon all the sentiment of sympathy. He had measures of the government. Sanbeen long known as one of the guine hopes were entertained of most flourishing citizens of the ca- the firmness of the new adminipital. His last words were, “ Li- stration, it being thought that, berty or death!” .
the duke del Infantado, an abA consultative junta was ap- solutist, himself, might be able, pointed at this time, but effected in some degree. to control the ex
cesses of the ultra-royalists. His All the foreign ministers at Mapersonal patriotism was undoubt- drid, except the Russian, it is said, ed; and, it was said, he presented acquiesced in the efforts made by the king with a year's revenue of the American and English embashis immense estates, to aid in re- sadors, to induce Spain to acknowlieving the public necessities, and ledge the independence of the Spaset an example to opulent individu- nish American states. Forcibly as als and corporations.
they showed the folly of protracting But honorably and sincerely as a hopeless contest, and the risk this nobleman may have exerted that Cuba and Puerto Rico would himself, to relieve the distress of be lost by the persevering refusal the country, its causes were too of the government to make peace, deep and extensive to yield to or when it was an act of necessity as dinary remedies. The early ac- well as expediency; still nothing counts from Spain, during the year could prevail over the senseless ob1826, continued to represent that stinacy of the inquisition party. devoted country as on the verge of The failure of Bessieres' insurrecconvulsions. It would seem, that tion had not discouraged the roynothing but the presence of French alist volunteers, who, pushed on by soldiers could prevent the recur- the bigoted priesthood, persisted in rence of dangerous revolutionary desiring the elevation of Ferdimovements, which, on every side, nand's brother, Carlos, to the distracted the provinces. To add throne ; anticipating in him a pliato these misfortunes, the dey of Al- ble instrument of their violence and giers commenced war against Spain, infatuation. in February, 1826, in order to ob- To dwell minutely upon the tain, by captures, the amount of revolting picture of all the disthe Spanish subsidy, which, owing orders, which afflicted this fine to the deplorable state of the country, at the period under confinances, remained unpaid. This sideration, would be merely a reevent, co-operating with the ra- petition of the same lamentable vages of Colombian privateers, scenes, already described. A few and the apprehension of a landing examples will suffice. At one of the constitutionalists, filled the time, a band of constitutionalists maritime districts with terror and effected a landing at Alicant, who confusion.
were, however, taken and execuHated by the liberal party, and ted, and their leader, Bazan, was distrusted by his own, the wretched shot. On the other hand, the faking could depend upon neither. mous eurate, Merino, in another