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his Generals converted into a vile banditti, covered unfortunate Spain with blood and desolation, and, with an ar ; rogance peculiar to themselves, treated patriotism as insubordination, national honour as stupidity and barbarism, and attachment to their lawful sovereign as rebellion and perjury.-They pillaged our towns, violated our virgins, profaned our temples and sacred images, treated with disrespect the very God whom they pretend to adore, and whom they impiously cast at their sacrilegious feet, and talked to the Spanish people of happiness and regeneration, at the very time that they were laying waste their fields, robbing their churches, pilJaging their houses, endeavouring to destroy their constitution, their laws, their usages, and intending to make the Spanish youth serve in chains, and to employ the riches of the nation against other pacific and friendly powers. But the national patriotism and valour have confounded the pride of the Usurper, defeated his armies, and with their front erect, and covered with laurels, are pursuing their implacable enemies. All their provinces have armed themselves in defence of so just a cause. Some of them, before the installation of the Supreme Government, formally declared war against France. All of them actu. ally commenced, and are still carrying on hostilities against her with the great est ardour; and there exists not a Spa niard who has not sworn in his heart to conquer or die in defence of his Country, his King, and his Religion!
The Supreme, Central, and Governing Junta of the realms of Spain and the Indies, exercising their sovereign authority in the name of their beloved King and Master, Don Ferdinand VII. and in that capacity recognised by the whole nation-declare, that since the 29th of April of the present year, the day upon which the sovereignty of King Ferdinand VII. his freedom and independence, and the august dignity of the whole nation, were infamously insulted and violated at Bayonne, all the ties which united Spain to the French Government are broken off, and also all treaties of every description, ancient and modern, which existed with France. They consequently declare valid and legitimate, all captures and other measures that have taken place since that Dec. 1808.
period, and all acts authorised by the law of nations in a state of war ; and also all and every description of hostility committed by the provinces collectively or by private individuals, in the struggle which they have had to sustain separately, till the happy moment of national union; and they declare, in the most solemn manner, that the Spanish nation is at war with France, since the above-mentioned epoch of the 29th of April, and that this war, the most just that a nation ever sustained, will be continued by, sea and by land against the Emperor of the French and King of Italy, and against his states and subjects, while the latter, during the oppression they labour under, are aiding and abetting the designs of the universal oppres sor; for Spain, who has been herself compelled to take up arms to defend the august dignity of her beloved King, and her national independence, cannot make the distinction which she would wish to make between the aggressive Government of the Emperor Napoleon and the French nation, until they shall themselves open their eyes, and recover their ancient dignity.
The Supreme Central Junta also declare, that the Powers now groaning beneath the oppressive arm of the Emperor of the French, may preserve with Spain such relations as are not incompatible with her just interests, and are conformable to the principles of natural equity, as long as they do not commit any hostilities direct or indirect against Spain.
They finally declare, that they have taken the oath, in the most solemn manner, not to listen to or admit any proposal for Peace, unless their beloved Sovereign Ferdinand VII. be restored to his throne, and unless the absolute integrity of Spain and her Americas be stipulated as an indispensible condition, without the dismemberment of any the smallest portion of her territory. They consequently ordain, that there shall be communicated to all parts of the dominions of Spain, at home and abroad, the necessary provisions and regulations for conducting their defence, and that of all Spanish subjects, and for carrying on offensive operations against the enemy. This the Council will attend to, and carry into effect, so far as it is concerned.
FLORIDA BLANCA, President. Aranjuez, Nov. 14. 1808.
Along with the preceding Decree, the Junta have issued a royal Proclama tion to the loyal inhabitants of the provinces. The latter contains a statement, drawn up with much force, of the recent situation of Spain, since the pe riod of the French Revolution. It enumerates the chief grievances she has sustained from the tyrannical ascendancy of France; and exposes the conduct of Bonaparte in its true colours. Nor are the vices of their own Government pas sed lightly over. They show that they understand and rightly estimate the principles of a free government, and they declare the wishes of the young King to be the same as their own, and acknowledge that, in restoring the ancient rights of the nation, in establishing fundamental laws on sound bases, in pro viding against their violation or neglect, and in devising checks upon arbitrary authority, they are only completing the task he had chalked out for his Government, and fulfilling the patriotic wishes which he left as a legacy to the nation. The Junta propose that the army shall be augmented to 500,000 infantry, and 50,000 cavalry.
The Supreme Junta of the kingdom, desirous to put the beneficent views of our sovereign into execution, with a view to promote the agriculture of the country, manifested, by the decree of the 2nd of March, by which it was ordained that the royal parks and hunting forests should be converted to more important objects than pleasure, has directed the superintendants to present their report on the quality and fitness of the lands, in order that beneficial branches of agriculture may be introduced.
The following are the details of the Military Operations in Spain, partly taken from the Spanish papers, and partly from dispatches to Government. We are sorry to add, that they are unfavourable to the cause of the Patriots.
Corunna, Nov. 23. "Our army, which immediately after its organization, marched to the defence of the country, and occupied the heights of Reynosa, from whence it advanced under continual fighting into Biscay, and took post three leagues from Durango. The evolutions of our army attracted
the attention of the enemy, who attacked our troops in the above position, and from his yast superiority in numbers comp,lled them to fall back to Vaima seda.
"Since the 31st of last month, when that retrogade movement was performed, we have not received any official accounts. But Mr Broderick, General in the British service, has received an express from the army, and communi cated to us the following intelligence:
"On the 5th Gen. Blake attacked the French, defeated, and pursued them be yond Valmaseda, and Unalia. On the 7th, General Blake attacked the enemy in Guenes, and moved further on, but the centre of his army not having kept pace with the wings, he resumed the po sition of Valmaseda.. On the shis rear was engaged. On the 10th the ene my attacked our army in Espenosa, with double its strength. The action lasted from one o'clock in the afternoon
till night fall, and remained undecided.
"On the 11th, the enemy renewed the attack, and having occupied the road by which our troops were to retreal, part of our army began to disperse. On the 12th, General Blake retreated to Reynosa to rally his army. In this pe sition he was again attacked by the ene my with fresh and superior forces, and our army fell back to a valley in the cinity of St Andero. The officer who communicates this intelligence, speaks in terms of the highest praise of cur troops and their worthy commander; they fought seven successive severe ac tions, and a stronger proof than this cannot possibly be given of their persevering valour."
On the ad of Dec. the Favourite cutter arrived at Portsmouth with dis patches from Lord W. Bentinck and Mr Frere, and from Generals Broderick and Leith. The substance of the dispatches was published by Government in a bulletin, of which the following is that part which relates to Gen. Blake's army" It appears by dispatches received from Corunna, dated on the 23d, and from San Vincente de la Barquera, dated the 19th Nov. that the account of General Blake being defeated, is confirmed. He was engaged in continual actions from the 4th to the 13th. On the 11th the Asturians having been worsted on the left, the French got pos
session of a height which covered the road on which they retreated, and they were thrown into great confusion, and Gen. Blake retired to Reynosa; but a French column appearing upon the road from Burgos, he retreated by Solo to San Vincente de la Barquera, where, upon the 17th, he had collected near 20.000 of his troops, and the Marquis de la Romana had taken the cominand, and they would soon be in a state to advance again. The French had occupied St Andero and Santona-the former on the 16th, and the latter on the 20th. But by the exertions of Gen. Leith, all the provisions, and ammunition, and stores sent by this country, had been removed." The private accounts by this vessel state, that the Marquis Romana's troops (from the Baltic) having advanced too far a head of Blake's army, suffered a severe defeat. One account says they were entirely defeated; another that one regiment was cut in pieces; a third that the cavalry were all safe. It was = also reported that there had been more fighting between Ney and Blake, after the retreat of the latter to Barquera.
Upon the whole, the accounts from Blake's army cannot but be regarded as disastrous; yet they cannot be read without satisfaction, without a feeling of confirmed hope of the ultimate success of the Spaniards in their glorious strug gle. Blake has been compelled to give up Biscay, and fall back upon Asturias, born down by superior numbers, and a want of provisions; but his retreat was conducted with consummate skill and bravery; all the attempts of the enemy to turn him proved fruitless, and it is believed that their loss considerably exceeds his own. Never were gallantry and resolution, constancy under privations, fortitude under difficulties, more conspicuously displayed. It is thus that their gallant General speaks of them :
Our inimitable soldiers, who continually in the open air since the 23d Nov. during rainy nights, and the most incle ment weather, all without hats, and a great part of them without clothes, or even without shoes or stockings, and, what is more, passing whole day's with out food, underwent with alacrity the greatest fatigues, exhibiting not the smallest symptom of dissatisfaction un der such extraordinary privations, and manifesting no other wish than that of
destroying the enemy by the sacrifice of their own lives." It is, we are assu red, true, that the regiment of Catalonia, 1700 strong, refused quarter in one of the late actions, and after prodigious exertions, preferred death in the field to submission to their perfidious foe. It is enough to say, and it is not too much, that if the whole of the Spanish territory is to be contested with an equal ardour, the country never will be subjugated. The Council of Asturias is making great exertions to repair the losses sustained by Blake. All the troops in the province are ordered to the frontiers, and an army of reserve is to be formed to join the British troops.
Intelligence from General Sir David Baird, dated Astorga, the 29th November, states that the army under General Castanos had sustained a defeat, the particulars of which, however, had not been received. General Sir John Moore had directed Sir David Baird to re-embark, and proceed immediately to the Tagus, for the purpose of assembling the British army in force, and enabling it to act in such a manner as circumstances might point out, for the support of the com
Sir D. Baird has accordingly marched from Astorga, and was at Villa Franca on thd 7th December, where he had been directed to halt by Sir John Moore. The latter was at Salamanca on the 5th, and had been joined by the cavalry under Gen. Hope.
The transports at Corunna had, on the 2d Dec, begun to take on board the heavy baggage belonging to the British army under the orders of General Baird; and it is a satisfaction to know, that the most ampie means had been provided for the secure retreat of the whole of our forces, if necessary.
Previous to this battle, the French had advanced in another direction from Bur
gos to Lerma, Aranda, and across the Duro. It appears by the proclamation from the Supreme Junta, that they had got to the neighbourhood of Samozierra or Samzierca, a small town in the mountains that are due north from Madrid, from which it is about 40 miles distant. Their number is said not to exceed 8000 men. In this state of affairs, the Junta posted a strong force at the important pass of Guadarma N. W. of Madrid about 26 miles. The English, who are
said to have been on the 21st Nov. at the Escurial, were about to march to Guadarama, to reinforce the Spaniards in that quarter.
The French have issued a series of bulletins of the operations of their army in Spain, for which we have no room. These bulletins consist of similar materials to those of which the bulletins of the French army in Germany and Poland were composed in the late war. We trace in them the same levity and cruelty, the same mixture of blasphemy and cant, the same vaunting and prevarication. An appeal is made to religion in one sentence, and in the next its minis ters are made the subjects of scorn and derision. They speak of piety and Chris. tian charity, while they threaten uni versal carnage and destruction. The English are charged with employing the basest means and every Machiavelian art to mislead the Spanish people, while in almost the very next line, with a fiend like joy and triumph, they boast the confiscation and plunder, the despair and horror, the blood and ruin, that everywhere attend the steps of the French army.
By dispatches from Mr Duff, dated at Seville, Sept. 16. it appears that he has succeeded in prevailing on the Government of Spain to allow goods of British manufacture, heretofore prohi bited, to be imported. The cargoes of the ships already in the ports of Spain are to be landed on payment of 15 per cent. duties; 5 per cent. further for internal consumption, and 7 on being exported to any of the Spanish colonies, There seems to be no doubt that this indulgence will be extended to all future arrivals, and it cannot fail to be highly gratifying information to all our manufacturers, particularly that of cotton goods.
The following Letter from an officer of the 29th Regiment, to his brother in Edinburgh, dated camp before Lisbon, 26th September, contains some interesting particulars of the battle of Rolcia.
"I should have written you sooner, but this you will excuse when inform ed, that for these last three weeks we
have not had off our cloaths, and that even this letter is written on the ground. The different papers of the day will however have communicated the result of the campaign in Portugal, but a few particulars may still amuse our friends at home.
"In the action of the 17th Aug, the 29th regiment commenced the attack, and was bravely led on by Col. Lake. The enemy occupied the village of Columbera, situated on the principal road to Lisbon, and of course necessary for our future operations. After some skit mishing, and under a heavy fire from the surrounding heights, we drove the French from this point; but their principal posi tion was on the heights of Roleia, which overlook and overtop the village. These were our next object, and in comparison, Salisbury Craigs will give you the nearest idea of them, with the exception of a few passages leading thro' the top. Our enterprising antagonists, you may be sure, had not neglected these; and while climbing up thro' briars and brushwood, plied us successively with grape and musquetry. I commanded the right centre company, the fifth from the right; each scrambled up the best way he could; and on gaining the summit, I found se. veral officers, and about 60 privates of the 29th, who were in front of me ; only one of my own company reached the top with me, the rest following fast. Here we lost that distinguished ornament of his profession, my good friend Colonel Lake, and many other gallant officers, long my companions in the regiment. My poor private, the moment he stepped up, was also knocked down by my side: in the agonies of death, he asked leave to shake hands with me; be was a good soldier, and few knew their duty better. Upon advancing, we were immediately attacked by a French platoon of ninety men, whom we repeatedly repulsed; these were however joined by another of the same number, who charged us with the bayonet; with whom we sustained the unequal conflict; but our little band being now consider. ably advanced in front, and reduced to 25. Maj. Way, Capt. Todd, myself, and our brave companions, were under the painful necessity of surrendering. Even this, however, did not satisfy the sanguinary enemy, who seemed bent on bayoneting us all. After many narrow
escapes, General Bernier at last came up, and with difficulty put an end to the Carnage, and to the distressing scene around of the dead and the dying. I have been oftener than once engaged with French troops, and my former opi. nion still remains unchanged; upon any thing like equal terms, they have no chance with the British bayonet; so it would have been the case now. Gen. Bernier, I understand, is now a prisoner in England, where our countrymen ought to treat him with every possible attention; he not only saved us, but the lives of many other parties. We were hurried away towards Lisbon, and put on board the Vasca de Gama in the Tagus, from which, by Gen. Kellerman's convention, we were soon exchanged. Soldiers may mention their hardships, but never complain. I am now quite recovered, thank God. In place of wounded, they were very nearly returning us all killed, considering it inevitable. During the time we were prisoners, and before the Convention was concluded, we dined with the commander in chief of the French army, General Junot. The dinner ser vice was all in silver plate, &c. and the desert was served completely in Gold. In short, it was the most splendid thing of the kind I ever sat down to. There were about twenty French officers high in rank of the party, who were all very attentive; General Junot himself was equally so. I never did enjoy more pleasure, than when Gen. Beresford ordered me to march back at the head of 99 British prisoners to the camp, where we were joyfully received. Indeed, my own brave company drew up, and gave me three times three cheers. The army is still encamped, and have suffered considerably from sickness. While a prisoner, I had a full view of Lisbon, which is large, but very dirty."
We have little from this quarter but a revival of the silly menaces of invasion. A part of the contingent of the Rhenish Confederacy has been marched to the coast of the Channel. Marshal Kel. > lerman has now been appointed to the chief command, and his lead-quarters are to be at Boulogne.
The following information respecting the Royal Family of Spain, now pri soners in France, is the first we have received for some months.—It seems to come from a private hand.
Charles the Fourth (late King of Spain), his Queen, and Godoy (the Prince of Peace), have been removed to the Palace of Chamberd, near Blois, till the seat of Navarre, near Evreux, in Normandy, which belonged to the late Duc de Bouillon, can be prepared for their reception. The Queen of Etruria, and her young son, are placed at a house in the village of St Mendez, near Paris, under proper care. Ferdinand, and his two brothers, the Infant Charles Isidore, who is near 21 years of age, and the Infant Francis, who is about 14, continue closely confined in the castle of Valency. It was Bonaparte's intention, some time ago, to have removed Ferdiand to Paris, and he was taken out of his prison for that purpose; but on the road to the capital counter-orders arrived, and he was remanded in confinement. Napoleon, doubtless, reserves him to be liberated, or not, according to circumstances and events.
FRENCH DIGNITIES.-As the new nomenclature of the French Generals occasions some difficulty to the readers of their bulletins, &c. we insert the following key to the titles which Bonaparte has given to his principal officers. The Prince Arch-"
Chancellor of the
Ney Davoust Bessieres
Duke of Parma
of Cornegliano of Rivoli