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us nation was not to be insulted with mpunity.
"After this ill treatment which I met with, which was as unsatisfactory to my own feelings, on account of the real causes of it, as it was painful on account of the Royal Personage whose interests were in question, his Imperial Majesty, with his natural asperity, entered into a conversation upon the points which had, already been discussed.-He was not in sensible of the strength of my reasons, and the solidity of the arguments by which I supported the rights of the King, his dynasty, and the whole na tion; but his Majesty concluded by tel. ling me," I have a system of policy of my own. You ought to adopt more liberal ideas; to be less susceptible on the point of bonour, and not sacrifice the prosperity of Spain to the interest of the Bourbon family."
His Majesty distrusting the apparent complacency with which I received the attention which he was pleased to shew me, as I was taking leave of him, sent to inform the King, that upon the subject under discussion, a more flexible negotiator would be necessary. Whilst his Majesty was considering whom he should appoint to succeed me in this negotiation, one of the many puppets, who played their parts in that intrigue, introduced himself to the Archdeacon D. Juan de Escoiquiz, and per suaded him to pay a visit to the Minis ter Champagny. He accordingly went, under the impulse of a most zealous regard for the interests of his Majesty, and prevailed on the Minister of the Foreign Affairs, to communicate to him the most recent propositions of the Emperor, which the said Seignor Escoiquiz immediately put into writing.
"In this state of things, his Majesty, impressed with the qualities which a dorn the most excellent Seignor, Don Pedro de Labrador, formerly Minister to the Court of Florence, invested him with full powers, ordering him to pre. sent them to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and to demand his full powers in return, and that the proposals of his Imperial Majesty should be communicated in an authentic manner. Both. these demands were rejected by the Mi. nister Champagny, under the frivolous pretext, that they were mere matters of form, being wholly unconnected with the essential object of the negotiation.
"Seignor Labrador insisted on the importance of both the one and the ether requisites, especially in a matter of such great consequence, adding, that without them he could discuss no subject, and that the King his master-re quired him to vary the instructions, if necessary, that had been given him, but always in vain. Notwithstanding this, Seignor Champagny talked of the last propositions of the Emperor, which were somewhat different from those pretended by General Savary, but not less irritating and violent; and he conclu. ded with telling Seignor Labrador, that the prosperity of Spain and his own were at that moment within his power.
"This Minister answered that he would communicate to the King his master these new proposals. He made those reflections upon them which his talents, his zeal for the service of his sovereign, and for the good of his country, naturally suggested; and he stated that the welfare of his Sovereign, and . that of the nation, were inseparably u nited. He added, that to these two objects he had directed all his attention in various situations; and, lastly, he said that he readily admitted that his own prosperity depended on the issue, be...”. cause his fidelity to the King of Spain, and to his native country, as well as the reputation he had acquired by the faithful discharge of his duty, were connec ted with it. Seignor Labrador, before he terminated the conversation, asked M. Champagny if the King was in a state of liberty? To which the French Minister replied, that there could be no doubt of it. On this Labrador rejoined, Then he should be restored to his kingdom. To this the Frenchman replied, that, in respect to his return to Spain, it was necessary that his Majes ty should have a right understanding with his Imperial Majesty, either personally or by letter."
"This answer, added to the other circumstances, left no doubt in the mind of the King that he was actually at Bayonne, in a state of arrest; however, to give more ostensibility to this violence extended towards his Majesty, I sent a note by his royal order, to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, telling him that the King was determined to return to Madrid, to tranquillize the agitation of his beloved subjects, and to provide for the
transaction of the important business of his kingdom; assuring M. Champagny, at the same time, that I would continue to treat with his Imperial Majesty on affairs reciprocally advantageous. No an swer was given to this communication, nor had it any other effect than to increase the caution and vigilance before applied for the detention of his Majes ly."
Next Bonaparte is accused of artfully drawing the King to distrust his son."Ferdinand VII. overawed, a prisoner, and controuled by circumstances, on the 1st of May made a conditional renunciation of his crown in favour of his august father. To this followed the letter of the royal father to his son, and the very discreet answer of the royal son to the father. (P. 460.)
the time that the Prince of Asturias, his brother the Infant Don Carlos, and his uncle the Infant Antoniu, were forced to surrender their rights. The Emperor, now believing himself proprietor of the crown of Spain, placed it on the head of his brother Joseph Napoleon, King of Naples.
"It has already been explained, that although the King left his Court for a few days, he thought fit to sanction a Junta, of which the Infant Don Autonio was to be President, with full powers to determine for him, and in his royal name, all subjects that would not admit of delay. Every night I sent a courier to this Junta, communicating what appeared necessary for its information and direction.
"The King was surprised that the Junta had not written; and the following post, when his Majesty had come to a determination in consequence, without losing a moment, I sent a royal or der to the Junta*, that they should execute whatever was expedient for the ser
"On the 5th of the same month of May, at four in the afternoon, the Emperor went to visit the Royal Parents, and continued in conference until five o'clock, when King Ferdinand was call. ed in by his august father to hear, in the presence of the Queen and the Em-vice of the King and the kingdom, and peror, expressions so disgusting and humiliating, that I do not dare to record them. All the party were seated except King Ferdinand, whom the father or dered to make an absolute renunciation of the crown, under pain of being treat. ed, with all his household, as an usurper of the throne, and a conspirator against the life of his parents.
"His Majesty would have preferred death; but desirous not to involve in his misfortunes the number of persons comprised in the threat of Charles IV, he assented to another renunciation, which bears on its front all the indications of constraint and violence, and which, in no respect, answers its purpose, to colour over the intended usurpation of the Emperor. (P. 457-),
"These are the only instances of renunciation in which I have interfered as Minister and Secretary of State. That which is spoken of at Bourdeaux I have not the least knowledge of; but I know the Emperor, in the last conference with King Ferdinand VII, said to his Majes. ty, Prince, il faut opter entre la cession et la mort."-Prince, you have only to chuse between cession and death."
"With respect to the rest, the whole world is apprised that Charles IV. renounced the crown to the Emperor at
that for that purpose they should employ all the powers which his Majesty could possess if he were himself resident in the kingdom.
"The disgraceful means of which the Emperor availed himself to obtain the renunciation of the crown of Spain ia his favour, have already been known; but the violence of Bonaparte to accomplish his purposes did not terminate there. Blinded as he was by the extravagance of his ambition, he could yet discern how easily these acts of renunciation would be disposed of; and therefore he endeavoured to confirm them by the means of a Council, which he called a National Assembly, and which was to be convoked at Bayonne.
"He named about 150 Spaniards, of different classes, conditions, and corporations, to constitute this Assembly, but only about 90 were convened. A part of these representing some cities, tribu nals, or public bodies, brought with them
The Cabinet courier conveying this royal order was intercepted, on which account I sent a duplicate, which was received by the Junta, the memorandum of which I have not been able to preserve.
instructions in the nature of powers given them by those whom they represented, but wholly insufficient to answer the purpose intended. The Ministers of the Council were without any powers or instructions whatever; a precaution adopted by this tribunal in conformity to the opinion of its commissioners, in order to avoid all involuntary compromises. Most of the deputies had no other powers than merely an order to take their departure, and many of them did not belong to any public body, or acknowledged class of the community.
"The Emperor fully expected, from the acquiescence of these individuals, a mask under which to conceal his usurpation. But he was utterly deceived. Instead of finding weak men, convenient to the designs of his mercenary ambition, he was met by ministers incorrup tible, grandees worthy of their rank, and representatives who were faithful defenders of the interest and of the honour of their country. They all, with one accord, informed him that they held powers much restricted, that they were not the legitimate representatives of Spain, and that they could not compromise her rights.
"These and other similar reflections were treated with insolence in the tribunal of the Usurper, who, far from being discomfited, put into activity all the means of oppression, flattering himself, that by victories on the one hand, and corruption on the other, he should so colour over injustice, thatjhe would not be considered by the world as the subverter of general tranquillity.
"In such unfavourable circumstances, a mode presented itself to me of a, voiding a state of indefinite banishment. Such were the repeated entreaties of Joseph Napoleon that I should continue with him in the situation of Minister, that I acceded with repugnance and from constraint, but without prejudice of my right to abandon it at a convenient opportunity.
"This opportunity occurred the moment I set foot in Madrid. From that instant I only thought of availing my self of the most early means of resign ing my new character.
Joseph Napoleon could not be grieved at the disappearance of a Mi nister who so frequently opposed his
"In the slight sketch which I have drawn of the perfidious and deceitful arts with which the Emperor has made the progress we have seen, the series of atrocious insults offered to Spain, and to the unfortunate King Ferdinand VII. remains depicted in indelible colours.
"The Emperor alarms Charles IV. in order that he may induce him to take flight for America, with all the Royal Family, and abandon the peninsula to the former: he lights up the flame of discord between the Royal Parents and their child, in order to debilitate Spain, dividing it into parties, after having disgraced the Royal persons: he draws Ferdinand VII. from his Court by false promises; he makes him captive in Bayonne; and when he saw that the virtue of the young King knew how to resist his designs, and that Ferdinand could not be induced to renounce his crown, he occasioned him to be brought to Bay. onne, with all the other personages of the Royal Family, as if to present them bound before the Imperial tribunal, which was both judge and party in the same cause. He endeavours to deprive the parents of the sensibilities of nature, and forces them to become the instru ments of the oppression of their child. From the latter he extorts a renunciation, the most irregular and illicit transaction among the affairs of men ; and by a series of abdications, exacted by the same illegal and violent expedients, he believes that he has become the proprie. tor of the crown of Spain; be transfers it to his brother, without considering the infamy to which he would be exposed in the Cabinets of Europe, by the usurpation of the throne of a Monarch his friend and ally.
"I have shown that Ferdinand VII. was too honourable to suppose that the Emperor could entertain such atrocious designs. The King desired to free Spain from the oppression of the French troops; it was promised him, that this and all other matters should be regulated with the Emperor, and that he should return to his kingdom with the fruit of his exertions for the good of his subjects. During his confinement, nothing afflicted his generous heart so much as the sufferings of his people; and when his liberty began to be doubtful, he adopted the means the most agreeable to his paternal solicitude.
"Valour and patriotism have successfully armed the whole nation in its own defence, and for the protection of their legitimate Sovereign, although the people had no knowledge of the will of their beloved Ferdinand as to their movements. That patriotism, united to wisdom, will now impel them irresistibly to perform with promptitude the most important works of the Central Government or Regency, which may administer the affairs of the kingdom in the name of his Majesty.
"Thus will be completed, for the advantage of all, the last expression of the will of the King, which he condescended to use the moment before he was forced to renounce the crown; thus will the nation be preserved from this dreadful tempest; it will have exhibited before Europe an example of loyalty, honour, and generous energy, which will be the subject of admiration in every age and in every country.
Madrid, Sept. 1. 1808,
ROYAL DECREE, Addressed by the Supreme governing Junta of the Kingdom to all the Councils, Ever since Spain, in the year 1795, laid down the arms which she had ta ken up against the Revolutionary and Regicide party in France, and drew clo ser her relations with that power by the treaty of alliance of 1796, she has been no less religiously observant of the stipulations of that alliance, than patient in the endurance of all the numberless evils which have therefrom resulted. Under all the alterations of the French government, which changed its name
without altering the essence of its ambitious and destructive system, as well under the Directory as during the Consulate and Empire, Spain has respected and recognised the rights of an independent nation; and her alliance contributed to the glory of France, always in the expectation of overcoming, by so generous a proceeding, the boundless ambition of the French cabinet, or of the arrival of the moment so much longed for by humanity at large, when a less turbulent government should be established in that country. None of the posterior events caused any change in the determination of Spain; neither the usurpations of the emperor of the French in Europe, nor the total neglect with which the interests of Spain were treated by France in her conventions with other powers; nor the personal indígnities offered to princes in alliance with, or related to, her royal family; nor, finally, the preponderance and want of just reciprocity which were manifested in return for the incessant condescension of the Spanish government.
It would be a task too laborious and prolix, to enumerate all the grievances of which Spain has to complain. In the course of a few years she has seen the King of the Two Sicilies, the brother of her sovereign, dethroned; has seen her own interest abandoned at Amiens, the cabinet of Paris consenting that she should lose the island of Trinidad, tho' it had promised the contrary, in recompence for her faithful co operation in a ruinous war, solely undertaken for the cause of France; she has repeatedly seen the independence of Portugal threatened, in order to furnish an occasion for exacting heavy subsidies, involving in her differences with that power Spain, who, with extreme regret, resolved to pursue a line of conduct contrary to the real sentiments of her sovereign, in order to avert the total ruin of that kingdom. She has seen the French government imperiously exact the recession of the important colony of Louisiana, with the intention, as it has since appeared, of transferring it, for a pecuniary consideration, to a third power, without the knowledge or consent of Spain. She has seen given, as the only recompence for this and other expensive sacrifices, and for the states of Parma, of which an infant of Spain was des poiled,
poiled, the precarious possession of Tuscany to the prince of Parma, with the intention of depriving him also of that in the sequel, under the pretence of asSigning him a new compensation in the north of Portugal, which France neither had the power nor intention to realize. Finally, at a more recent period, when an odious favourite despotically ruled the monarchy, she has seen his mad ambition flattered with illusive and plausible promises, in order to her own dismemberment or subjugation.
On the other hand, the duties imposed on Spanish commerce in the ports of France, have been augmented beyond all bounds, whilst the indemnities due to the crown have been constantly refused, and every remonstrance upon the subject totally neglected. In the mean time, Spain quietly delivered up her squadrons, and placed her troops at the disposal of France, opened her treasures, and consented to the payment of subsidies, to prevent a rupture with England, which, nevertheless, she has since been unable to avert; and not withstanding the ridiculous ostentation with which the French government vaunts, that one of its primary objects is to aggrandize and recompence its allies, Spain, the most powerful and most faithful of all, has been sacrificed, impoverished, and treated worse than a perfidious neutral.
So many and so great outrages and injuries must have long since opened the eyes of the government, had it not unfortunately been in the hands of the infamous author of the treaty of 1796, Don Manual Godoi. The wicked policy, the destructive and insatiable am bition of the emperor Napoleon, beheld with pleasure the depression of Spain, which was the work of his hands, and of the absurd conduct of the despotic favourite. He at length drew aside the veil which thinly covered his designs, and boldly resolved upon the destruc tion of the reigning family, and the desolation of a generous nation, that had sacrificed herself for France. He deter mined, within his own breast, that Spain should not remain independent ; and he set to work, without, however, clearly seeing his way, to the attainment of the end proposed. Here commenced the scene of iniquity, the plots, the atrocious perfidies, which it became necessary
to put in practice, to burst asunder the ties of peace and alliance, and to violate the respect due to sovereigns and states, and the considerations of gratitude so frequently avowed.
The Emperor of the French studiously fanned the flame of dissension, which the treacherous intrigues of the favou rite had succeeded in introducing into the bosom of the royal family. He watched the favourable moment, and caused numerous armies to enter the Peninsula, contrary to the most solemn conventions, under the pretence of their proceeding to the neighbouring coasts of Africa, to execute plans of attack a gainst another enemy. His troops, by the most notorious breach of faith, occupied the frontier fortresses, under the pretext of precautions and measures of policy, purely of a military nature; and whilst a treaty was going on at Paris with a plenipotentiary in the confidence of the favourite, for the dismemberment of Spain, the troops of the usurper advanced towards the capital, in order to intimidate our misled sovereigns, and compel them to follow the example of the house of Braganza. These wicked designs were rendered abortive by the unexpected revolution of Aranjuez, on the 17th and 19th of March, and go sooner did the spontaneous abdication of Don Carlos IV. elevate to the throne of his ancestors his eldest son, the here. ditary Prince, beloved by his people for his virtues and misfortunes, and the ob ject of their sworn allegiance, than the atrocious enemy of Spanish independence changed his course, and resolved to place the nation in a state of the most lamentable orphancy, in order afterwards to seize it as the prey of his ambition. With the assistance of his worthy satel lites, and by means of the basest intrigue, he enticed the young and adored King of Spain to Bayonne, under the pretext of desiring to embrace him as a friend, and to recognize him as a Sovereign. To that city he also drew the Royal Parents, the brothers and relatives of the present King; and involving all in a presumption equally daring and unexampled, forced them to sign an illegal and illusory renunciation, and foolishly thought himself master of a throne, which he profaned with his name and that of his brother JosEPH NAPOLEON.
His troops, composed of assassins