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of No Importa. Of what importance in fact, could the loss of a battle or fortress be, where the people had sworn to bury themselves under the ruins of their country rather than submit to a foreign yoke? The object of the Spaniards was not glory, but independence; and this was to be more easily attained by constancy than valour. Had they only fought for honor, the war would have terminated with the battle of Tudela. Honour is of such a mysterious and inexplicable nature, that on receiving the least check, it often loses the power of action; this is so true, that the man who looks to the end, instead of glory, has always an advantage over his rival or opponent. It was thus, that both Charles V. without the bravery of Francis I, and Peter the Great, without being so great a general as Charles XII. of Sweden, ended by being victorious. The Spanish army also, imbued with the prejudices so generally entertained with regard to honour, at first conceived that all was lost because it happened to be beaten. Government had great difficulty in destroying this fatal prepossession, and only succeeded in doing so, by creating the Guerillas, who had no other ambition than of discomfiting the enemy, not by a few partial advantages, but at the termination of the war. With these views, if beaten and dispersed, they lost no time in reuniting to renew the contest; when inferior in number they fled ; if advantageously posted they held out, and when strongest, lost no time in attacking."
We shall only offer as an example of his descriptive talent, one interesting sketch of a debate at the Fontana de Oro, that famous arena of words during the fever of the constitutional government; and shall close our brief notice of the volume, by observing that it will repay the cost of an hour's perusal, with many little points of information on the events of 1821 and 1822.
"I passed the whole of yesterday evening at the Fontana de Oro ; do not be alarmed at the sound, amiable lady, nor believe that the above place of resort is a Pandemonium such as that described by your Milton; neither the blood of kings nor ministers are drank at this assemblage. I will endeavour to make you somewhat better acquainted with the said Fontana de Oro, and which so many represent as a monster more horrible than that of the Apocalypse.
“The place known by the name of Fontana de Oro, is nothing more than a large room on the ground floor, capable of containing nearly a thousand persons. In the midst of this saloon are placed two pulpits, whence the tribunes address the sovereign people. The sovereign wears neither diadem nor mantle, he generally appears in a plain coat; instead of a sceptre he carries a stick, no less respectable, upon which he leans for support.
“The orators give their names into the political chief, in the morning of the day in which they are to speak, thus securing their responsibility. The debates began at nine, and in two hours after, a bell
which is heard through the hall, puts an end to the speaking, and dismisses the auditory.
“ Last night's meeting was likely to be very stormy, as Morillo, who was falsely informed that the people intended to assail a military guard, mounted his horse, and followed by an orderly, rushed into the crowd, which he treated with great violence, trampling those who came in his way under foot, and threatening others with his sabre. The sovereign people, who have also the same right to inviolability as other sovereigns, demanded the punishment of this act of less majesty.
." The first orator who mounted the tribune, after having pathetically recapitulated what every one present already knew, decided that Morillo should be punished at once, by the hands of the people whom he had offended. This imprudent Demosthenes, was a very young man, who did not evidently foresee what would be the probable effects of the instrument which he wished to see used, yet several voices were instantly heard calling for the head of Morillo. But another speaker, Nunez, took possession of the rostrum, and exclaimed that crimes ought not to be expiated by crimes; that in such an affair as this, they could not be at the same time, prosecutor, judge, and jury. The sovereign people, which also occasionally falls into the error of not liking the truth, bellowed, and roared with considerable violence, until at length it forced the moderator to quit the tribune, before his speech had been half completed.
A third orator now came forward, and after ingeniously humouring the anger of the people, in exaggerating Morillo's crime, and represen. ting it in the blackest colours, he suddenly recalled the general's bravery to the mind of his hearers. Let an over impetuous general be by all means stripped of the delicate situation of Captain-General,' said he * but why not retain him as a warrior worthy of again leading our bat. talions to victory? Morillo is a soldier of fortune ; he has ennobled the rank from which he sprung, by his military exploits. Let us be generous towards a man whose elevation is due to his sword, and not to court favour. At these words, the cries of rage were converted into murmurs of approbation; but while the auditors were balancing between the sentiment of vengeance and that of justice, a sonorous voice was suddenly heard to exclaim Dios! at the sound of which she orator and audience immediately fell on their knees. It was the Viaticum, which passed the door in the midst of torches ; it was borne by a priest dressed in superb canonicals, and seated in an elegant landau. Here it may be proper to inform you, that whenever Dios leaves a church, he has a right to enter the first carriage he meets; if it even happened to be that of the king : all occupation, even to an air of Catalani, must cease, in the vicinity of his passage.
“After this interruption, which does not prove that the liberals are atheists, murmurs recommenced ; nevertheless, the orator continued his speech; but a beggar, who had contrived to slip into the crowd, occasioned considerable annoyance by his efforts to express some words which no person could understand ; being repeatedly called to
order, without effect, an officer, who from the broadness of his shoulders, and his attention to the proceedings, might be regarded as the lictor of the tribunes, seized the obstreperous mendicant by the collar, and raising him above the heads of the assembly, thrust him out of the nearest window, with a degree of agility and ease which gave ample scope to the risible faculties of all present.
"When order was restored, the auditory betrayed signs of regret at having interrupted an orator, who had always shown himself so faithful to the interests of the people; Nunez was therefore unanimously called back to the tribune, which he ascended amidst the plaudits of the whole audience. He began by reproaching the assembly, as gently as if he had been speaking to his mistress, with the suspicion of infidelity which it had entertained of him, and then continuing his task, he proved that Morillo could be punished only by the laws. He ended by triumphing over every prejudice, and thus prevented the laws from being violated. The meeting was then adjourned at its usual hour, amidst cries of Long live the Constitution !
"I have thus sketched one of those tempests that sometimes break out at the celebrated Fontana de Oro; but be assured they never occur, except when provoked by an irresistible cause: at all other times, nothing can exceed the decorum and silence that pervade the whole auditory; eight or nine hundred persons of both sexes and all ages attend every night, to hear the constitutional catechism read. This ceremony generally continues two hours, during which the hearers remain standing, and pay the most marked attention to what is passing. The orators are never betrayed into frivolity, nor the audience into levity. Jf, as will sometimes occur, the speaker is embarrassed for a word, it is suggested by several voices in the most good-natured manner, after which the silence is uninterrupted. An orator having lately exclaimed, that he was ready to accuse any functionary whatever, even though 'as high as as high as' but would most probably never reached the point of comparison, if one of the spectators, who appeared to be placed near him, had not drily observed, as Chimborazo.' 'Aye!' repeated the orator, as high as Chimborazo!' and tranquilly continued his harangue. P. 94.
Journal of Military and Political Events in Spain during the last
Twelve Months. By Count Pecchio. With some Introductory
Ecce iterum—we here have Count Pecchio again; and have eaid little of his first work which will not equally apply to its sequel. In political feeling and lively entertainment they are the same ; and they differ only as his Journal, instead of breathing that confidence in the durability of the constitution which
distinguished his Letters, necessarily records the progress of its fall and extinction. His motive for changing the vehicle of his first narrative, which was conveyed in a series of Letters to an English Lady, and the hopes which he still entertains of the eventual triumph of his party, we shall relate in his own terms.
“I should have continued the series of Letters on Spain and Portugal, already before the public, would not that terrible monster with a hundred eyes and a thousand ears, which has replaced the Inquisition in Europe, have opened and read them before they reached their destination. In order therefore to punish the arbitrary curiosity of the above monster, I was forced to deprive myself of a correspondence which formed one of the greatest consolations of my exile.
“ But that the recollection of those events, which were passing under my own eyes during my stay in Spain, might'not be lost, I determined to keep a journal of the most remarkable occurrences, and it is this which I now offer to public notice.
“ The liberty of Spain no longer exists; and its fall costs me a second exile. In Spain I had found another parent, a second country, and with her I have not only lost a pure sky, a salubrious climate, the engaging smiles of her women, and easy hospitality; but I have also lost the proud satisfaction, to which the friendship of General Ballasteros gave me a right.---After thirty years of a chivalrous life, this officer has fallen from the pinnacle of honor into the infamy of treason. Every body knows that when, on his reaching Granada, Cadiz stretched out her hands to him as her liberator, he submitted to the Madrid regency, thus laying down at the feet of tyranny, the sword he had received to defend freedom._Until now, I had thought the simultaneous assassination of one's country's freedom and that of an illustrious and honored name, impossible. So strong however were the ties of friendship which for two years bound me to this warrior, that while honor obliges me to dissolve it for ever, I feel myself constrained to esteem him still in the memory of his former virtues.
“I have now no other means of showing my gratitude to Spain, except by offering up the most fervent vows for the resurrection of her liberties. I am not fond of prophesying, and yet I have flattering presentiments on this subject. It is besides gratifying to indulge the hope, that Spanish freedom is not dead, but merely suspended. And I am even induced to rest my hopes on Ferdinand himself; not on his clemency nor wisdom, but on his frenzied tyranny. He seems indeed to have been born for the purpose of causing despotism to cease. It was he who provoked the conspiracy of PORLIER and of Lacy, as well as that of Valencia ; and finally he effected the revolution of 1820. Nor can much time elapse before he brings about another revolution in Spain. Such at least is the presumption to be drawn from the atrocious decree of October the 4th. The Holy Alliance has not, in fact, yet discovered that Ferdinand VII. is the greatest Revolutionist of Europe.
There are, we think, many proofs scattered through this Journal, that it is a faithful transcript of the author's observation and opinions, committed to paper at the moment of each occurrence, and while every impression was warm and recent. If he had not considered it a duty to give his Journal to the public, as it was really composed, and had not been more careful to avoid deception than desirous of laying claim to a reputation for sagacity and foresight, there are obviously many passages which he would have expunged : for it is curious how little the prophecies of his first pages, agree with their denouement. The value of his diary consists in the illustration, with which it teems, of the character and measures of the constitutional rulers, and of the general temper of the nation. Never was there a more striking exposure of imbecility and apathy at any crisis of national fortune. An absence of all vigour and activity, while the storm in which they were shipwrecked was gathering over their heads, and an almost universal dereliction of honor and duty in the hour of need, are prominent and disgraceful features in the conduct of the public men who successively administered the constitutional government. While the common danger of their cause should have nnited all parties among the constitutionalists, they thought only of their contemptible squabbles for power.
“ November 30th. The seven ministers are the seven sleepers,' said an ultra-comunero to me this morning ; ' they have neither foresight, activity, nor vigour. Instead of keeping their eyes fixed on the proceedings at Verona, they lose their time in listening to what is said about them in the Landaburian society. They forget the enemies of Spain, and think only of their own : if they sometimes throw off their indolence, and make any use of their strength, it is only for the purpose of persecuting my party. After all, what do the Comuneros want, but to deprive them of power which they do not know how to use ; whereas, if the Holy Alliance enters Spain, it will destroy them. They treat us as the victorious bands of your country treated their vanquished adversaries in the days of the Italian Republics. They strip us of our employments, and exile us from the capital. If, wbile they persecute thus, we saw them preparing a formidable resistance against external invasion, we might then quietly suffer their animosity; but to see them allow the conspirators to remain unpunished, and the state without defence, merely to lay the whole weight of their power on us, this is really insupportable. You ought not therefore to be surprised, if, unable to vindicate ourselves by any other means, we should nightly hold forth from the tribune against such a ministry. We have already put all the ministerial orators to flight; the field of battle is ours at the Landabúrian society. We