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felt that if there were any improvement which was required by these great interests, as well as for the maintenance of our liberties, and which would merely modify some of the regulating forms of the charter, in order the better to ensure its power and its operation, it belonged to me to propose such improvement. The moment is come for strengthening the chamber of deuties, and for withdrawing from it the annual action of parties, by ensuring to it a duration more conformable to the interests of public order and to the external dignity of the state; this will be the completion of my work. More fortunate than other states, it is not from provisional measures, but from the natural development of our institutions that we shall derive our strength. It is from the devoted zeal,—it is from the energy of the two chambers, it is from their close union with my government, that I would ask the means of saving the public liberty from licentiousmess, of establishing the monar
chy, and of giving to all the interests guaranteed by the charter that profound security which we owe them. We shall at the same time undertake the task of making all our laws harmonize with the constitutional monarchy. You have already adopted several which have this tendency; and I have given directions for the preparation of others which will ensure individual liberty, impartiality of trials, and a regular and faithful administration throughout all departments and districts. Providence has imposed on me the duty of closing the abyss of revolutions; of bequeathing to my successors, to my country, institutions that are liberal, firmly established, and durable. You are assembled for this sacred purpose. In order to accomplish it, rely, gentlemen, on my unalterable firmness, as Irely on the cooperation of my faithful and loyal peers of France,—of my faithful and loyal deputies of the departments.
Death of the deposed King of Spain-Design baffled by this Event—
Spread ofofto: in Spain.-Organised Bands of Robbers.—Conspiracy in Valencia.-Severe Measures and Proclamation of General
lio.-Fresh Change of Administration.—Cadiz Expedition.— Causes of its long Delay-Mutiny among the Troops of the Erpedition.—How quelled by Count Abisbal.--Ruin of the Expedition.— Disgrace of Abisbal.—Further Proceedings of General Elio.—Resistance of the Magistrates.—Authority assumed by the Inquisition.—
Ravages of the Yellow Fever.—Decree of the King respecting his Re-marriage.—Reception of the new Queen in Spain.
ON the 20th of January 1819, Charles IV, the abdicated king of Spain, ended his days at Rome in the 71st year of his age, having survived his consort only a fortnight. This circumstance, in itself of small importance, was at the time regarded as a favorable event for king Ferdinand, whose justly discontented subjects it deprived of , a rallying point. Charles IV himself had been much less the object of unpopularity than his queen and her favorite the prince of Peace; and his restoration appears to have been for a moment contemplated by the liberales of Spain. In the meantime, the spirit of disaffection was daily extending itself amongst the higher classes of society, and especially amongst the military; whilst the lower, in several provinces,—in Andalusia, Estramadura, New Castile, and particularly in the district of La
Mancha, – indulged themselves in all the excesses which a feeble and ill-conducted government is unable to restrain. The high roads were infested with numerous bands of robbers, evidently acting under a regularly organized system, who manifested somewhat of a political object in their depredations, by attackin with much greater eagerness persons charged with the receipt of money for government, than individuals travelling on their private affairs. One of these troops is stated to have amounted to 300 men. A conspiracy against the government said to have been formed in the city of Valencia, but of which the proofs are reported not to have been very cogent, gave occasion to numerous arrests and to the infliction of severe punishments. Several persons were condemned to the gallies of Ceuta; colonel Vidal the leader
leader of the enterprise was hanged, and twelve others were shot. General Elio, the military governor of the province, issued on the occasion a truly ferocious proclamation, in which he warned the inhabitants to feel no pity for the “monsters” whose fate they had witnessed. In the month of May, a fresh revolution took place in the administration, which within the last five years had changed as many times. One of the ministers was ordered to quit Madrid in an hour, and another was recommended to repair to some town in the kingdom of Grenada until he should receive an appointment in that quarter. Financial difficulties, which each set of councillors in its turn tried to overcome and found insuperable, were believed to be the true cause of these endless vicissitudes in the cabinet of Ferdinand VII. The sailing of the long intended expedition from Cadiz for the recovery of the revolted provinces of South America, continued to be postponed from time to time, for the equipment of a single squadron was now an effort which exhausted all the resources of this great kingdom,-once by its power and riches the tyrant or the terror of Europe. The Spanish marine, since the fatal alliance formed with France in the year 1796 and the long series of national misfortunes which had resulted from this step, had sunk into the last stage of decay. The navy had been annihilated, the arsenals emptied, and the forests of the kingdom destroyed. In the present emergency, therefore, the government had found it ne
The whole was performed without resistance and without bloodshed, by means of the great ascendancy of the commander over the minds of his troops, but the expedition was ...; disconcerted; the mutinous troops could not be trusted, and the regiments by whom they had been disarmed had only been bribed to render this piece of service by the promise of count Abisbal that the should not be embarked for Sout America: the conduct of this general himself incurred suspicion, and he was dismissed from his command. General Elio continued to pursue his measures for the suppression of conspiracy in the kingdom of Valencia with a
keenness which produced not dis
content alone among the inhabitants, but resistance on the part of the local magistrates; several of whom were #. into prison on their refusal to execute the commands of the military governor. The dungeons of the city became so crowded with political delinquents, that it was found necessary to transfer some of the number to Murviedro. Torture is said to have been applied to one of the prisoners on his refusal to acknowledge the words which he was accused of having uttered by one of the secret agents of the police, who had treacherously drawn him into discourse on public affairs. The Inquisition, which had lent itself without scruple to the political enterprises of the government, was invested with the superintendence and control of all the other magistracies. The scourge of pestilence was soon after added to all the Çther
evils of this distracted country. The yellow fever declared itself at Cadiz in the month of August, and spreading to Seville and other towns in the south, committed horrible ravages, somé particulars of which will be found in our Chronicle articles. The king, who had become a widower at the close of the preceding year, issued on August 12th the following decree, rendered worthy of preservation b the extraordinary style in whic it is expressed. “The supreme tribunals of the capital, the deputies of my kingdom, the different municipalities, several religious communities and many other corporate bodies, have represented to me how advantageous and necessary it would be to the well-being of the nation in general, and to all Christendom, to preserve by means of a new nuptial union the legitimate succession of the throne upon which Divine Providence has placed me. I have listened with favour to the just desires with which all these bodies are animated, and have yielded to their ardent wishes; and considering the high nobility of the Saxon blood, and of the most serene princes who compose that august K. the alliances, ancient as well as recent, that adorn it, the particular attachment that his majesty king"Frederick Augustus has always entertained for the crown of Spain, and above all the rare and sublime qualities which heaven has granted to the most serene princess Maria Josephine Amelia, his niece, daughter of the most high and most puissant prince Maximilian, and of the most serene - princess
princess Caroline Maria Theresa, of glorious memory; I have chosen Don Ferdinand de Aguilar y Contreras, marquis of Cerralbo, that he should go and propose to that monarch my hand and my throne for the said princess. Having then imparted to his majesty and her highness my sovereign intentions, they have testi; with profound veneration how agreeable such an union would be to them, as also to all Saxony. I now inform the council thereof, that it may be apprised of it, and share the satisfaction which this new union creates in me, from which I trust will ensue conse