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discovered, moreover, on 17th August, that upwards of 200,000 reals had been distributed to corrupt the royal guards; and that, on the night preceding, General Bessieres, who was to head the insurrection, had been secretly in Madrid, where he had seduced three companies of the regiment of Saint Jacques, and taken them away with him; and that he had taken the direction of Alcalha, having, on his route, invited the regular military and volunteers to join him, and assist in rescuing the King from captivity.
An order was instantly issued by the King, placing all the insurgents who should fail to surrender on the first summons, and be taken with arms in their hands, under martial law, but allowing them time to die like Christians; and promising pardon to such privates and subalterns as should deliver up their officers. The new minister of war, the Count d'Espagne, was, at the same time, directed to pursue Bessieres, with the whole disposable forces.
Bessieres, with the three companies which he had seduced, and some cuirassiers, arrived at Torrija, where he denounced death against all the ministers excepting Calomarde, and issued orders in name of the King, as if he had really been in captivity; but the minds of several of his military followers having by this time been disabused, they deserted him, and returned to Madrid. Bessieres then directed his route through a number of towns, in all of which he raised contributions, and arrived, on the 23d, in the village of Zaffrila, in the neighbourhood of Molina d'Arragon, where he, with eight officers, who were all that remained with him, halted, in order to bait their horses. At this place, they were overtaken by an officer named Albuin, who had distinguished himself
in the war of independence, and, at his own request, had been intrusted by the Count d'Espagne with the pursuit of Bessieres, and had under him a detachment of the grenadier dragoons of the guard-royal. Bessieres, and the whole of his party excepting one, were taken, and conveyed to Molina d'Arragon, where they were confined three days, according to Spanish custom, and then shot, after acknowledging their guilt and receiving the consolations of religion.
Consequent upon the suppression of Bessieres's rebellion, a number of the apostolical party were put under arrest, or banished from the capital; but no sensible change took place, notwithstanding, in the system of government. At the very time that a price was put upon the head of the above apostolical tool, two constitutionalists, Paul Iglesias and (to the eternal disgrace of the Spanish name, be it said) the famous Empecinado, Don Juan Martin, both of whom had been apprehended at Tariffa, were publicly executed at Madrid. They met their death like heroes.
To remedy the financial distresses of the country, a consultative junta was appointed, with directions to submit the results of their labours to the Council of Castile. About the same time, the moderate party was thunderstruck by a royal ordinance, dated 24th October, which removed their chief, Bermudez Zea, from his office of Prime Minister, and substituted the Duke del Infantado in the place of him. It is no small proof of Ferdinand's habitual deception, that the very evening previous to Bermudez's dismissal, which was quite unexpected, he had received him most graciously, and conversed with him long in the most affable manner.
Somehow, it has been supposed, that the Danish Ambassador, a personal enemy of Bermudez, was chiefly
instrumental in bringing about his disgrace, though the influence of an ambassador of his rank, we should suppose, must be extremely feeble. However, the ex-minister received from foreign courts, especially that of Russia, assurances of the high consideration in which he was held by them; and even his successor, in name of the King, complimented him upon his great experience, sagacity, and patriotism. A number of other changes in the cabinet ensued upon the dismissal of Bermudez, and such as insured to the lately rebellious apostolical party a complete ascendency..
In Portugal, there was more of superficial tranquillity than in the neighbouring kingdom; but there existed within it precisely the same elements of discord as in the other. The French ambassador, M. Hyde de Neuville had the influence and address to prevail with the King to retain the Count Subserra (who was attached to the French as opposed to the English interest) at the head of the ministry, notwithstanding that the politics of other ministers, the Marquis de Palmella, the Count de Povoa, and C. Oliviera Leite de Barras, were directly the reverse of those of that nobleman. The arrival of Sir William A'Court at Lisbon, as English ambassador, heightened the discord which reigned in the cabinet; and the French ambassador having been recalled, the King at length determined to get rid wholly of a ministry, the composition of which was to him a source of incessant disquietude. By a decree of 15th January, he, very incongruously, -appointed the Marquis de Palmella, who was in the English interest, ambassador to the French court, and Count de Subserra, who was in the opposite interest, to the court of St James;
and, by another decree of the same date, appointed the following individuals:Cornea de Lacerda to be minister of the interior, Souza Barradas to be minister of justice, Count de Barbacena to be minister of war and marine, De Melho to be minister of finance, and Pinheiro Ferreira to be minister of foreign affairs, but only ad interim. By this sweeping change, it was believed that the English interest in the cabinet was materially diminished. By a subsequent royal decree, dated 5th February, the respective appointments of Subserra and Palmella to the courts of England and France, were reversed.
The new ministry devoted itself with great assiduity to the reduction of the national debt, which had been much augmented by three loans made by authority of the Cortes; and pursued the example of the British ministry, by lowering duties, in order to give an impulse and encouragement to national industry.
In the meantime, the conspiracy for dethroning the King, and placing the Queen and the Infant Don Miguel at the head of the government, which had been baffled last year, still existed, and pursued its machinations with unceasing activity. Every manoeuvre was attempted to bring liberal principles under popular hatred; and the conspirators went even the length of procuring the clandestine profanation of some sacred vessels at Lisbon
and Oporto, which they atrociously ascribed to the sect of Freemasons, in the expectation that the odium attached to it would excite the populace to a general massacre of them. The government, instead of opposing the machinations of this inexorable conspiracy with measures of severity, determined, most infatuatedly, to make a display of its clemency, which could have no other effect than to dishearten its own friends, and encou
rage its enemies. On 24th June, appeared a royal amnesty, regarding the whole rebellious events of the last year, from which amnesty only were excluded the Marquis d'Abrantes, and a few obscure individuals, who were exiled from the kingdom. Others were ordered to reside at a distance from the capital. In this document, the King, alluding to melancholy events, "which had pierced his heart-the heart of a husband and a father," and for which the rules of justice required a rigorous punishment, observed, that "the love of the father had prevailed in his breast over the inflexibility of the king, and determined him, in the conflict of his feelings, to embrace the councils of a magnanimous clemency." In fine, he directed that the whole official proceedings connected with the events in question should be burned,
in order that no trace whatever of them might remain to cause uneasiness to any one.
After the appearance of this document, the conspirators renewed their infamous attempts with redoubled activity; and the walls of the principal towns were covered with their inflammatory proclamations; but fortunately, all their schemes failed in provoking a rebellion, or even any very serious disturbance.
On 15th November, there was published, at Lisbon, the treaty concluded at Rio de Janeiro, on 29th August, between Portugal and Brazil, by which the absolute independence of the latter was formally acknowledged by the former country. The particulars of this treaty will be detailed when we come to treat of Brazil.
AUSTRIA, ITALY, HUNGARY, PRUSSIA, BAVARIA, THE NETHERLANDS, DENMARK, AND SWEDEN.
AUSTRIA had so completely subjugated the Germanic powers to its iron system of internal policy, that it ceased for a time from its cares with regard to the revolutionary spirit in the North, with which its imagination had been so long haunted, and congratulated itself upon what it considered the consummation of its labours in that quarter.
In April, politicians were called upon to exercise their talents for speculation by a journey which the Emperor undertook to his Italian dominions. By some it was conjectured there was to be a new Congress of the Holy Alliance at Milan, with a view to discuss the questions arising out of the political situation of Spanish America, and also that of Greece; and the continued residence of Prince Metternich at Paris was imagined to be for the purpose of smoothing down any difficulties which the policy of the French Cabinet might oppose to the propositions to be submitted to the Congress by Austria. By others it was alleged, that it was designed to constitute a federation
of the Italian powers, of which Austria was to be declared the Protector. Neither of these conjectures proved to be correct.
In the beginning of May, the Emperor and Empress, accompanied by their household and the whole corps diplomatique, made their entry into Milan, amid the acclamations of the populace. In the course of a few days, there were speedily assembled in that capital, upon the august invitation of the Emperor, the following Italian Sovereigns,-The Archduchess Maria Louisa, Princess of Parma; the Prince and Princess of Lucca and Piombino; the Duke and Duchess of Modena; the GrandDuke of Tuscany; and, last of all, the King (Francis I. who, the previ ous December, had succeeded to the throne on the death of his father) and Queen of Naples. There were two Italian Princes, however, who declined being present.
His Holiness the Pope, and the King of Sardinia, a circumstance which gives some countenance to one of the rumours which were circulated re
garding the imperial visit, the policy of these two princes being naturally opposed to the aggrandizement of Austrian power in Italy. However, the Sardinian Monarch sent an ambassador to the imperial court established for the time at Milan.
It appeared in the sequel, that the only result of this grand convocation of potentates was a treaty concluded on 28th May at Milan, between the Emperor and the King of Naples, for prolonging the military occupation of the dominions of the latter by an Austrian auxiliary army till the end of March 1827; but it was stipulated, that that army was to be reduced in the meantime to 2000, should circumstances admit of the reduction with safety. This treaty dissipated whatever hopes had been entertained that the new King would adopt into his politics some of the liberality which he had so loudly professed at one critical period when heir apparent, by showing that he was determined, either from inclination or the force of foreign influence, to adhere to the system of his deceased father.
On 29th May, their Imperial Majesties, and the assembled Italian Princes, with their suites, and the whole corps diplomatique, took their departure from Milan for Genoa, where the King of Sardinia had been residing for two months. Their reassemblage at Genoa naturally gave strength to the prevailing popular belief that some important political question was under discussion; but nothing was concluded, nor any political conference held among them, which has ever transpired. After devoting a few days to the exchange of courtesies, and to pleasure, the exalted personages left Genoa on 7th July, by various routes.
The Austrian Emperor and Empress repaired to Rome, whence they
made a visit to their dominions in the north of Italy, where they made a display of their affability in visiting a variety of public and private institutions. At Venice, where the spectacle of a population reduced now to 5000-two-thirds of them beggars-might have inspired in his Majesty melancholy regrets, if not remorse, they remained five days. It may be superfluous to add, that this imperial visit to Italy was unaccompanied by any ameliorating change in the political situation of that misgoverned country.
Europe was considerably surprised by a liberal determination, formed by the Emperor, to convoke this year the Diet of Hungary; which, as our readers know, is composed of the magnates or great barons, prelates, and deputies from the noblesse and boroughs-the peasantry not being represented in it. Its functions, which are derived from a remote antiquity, are the granting of money to the Sovereign, and the levying of troops for his service; so that the Diet may be considered an essential element of the government, communicating to it a mixed and free character. The last time the Diet had been convened was in 1812, since which the most violent encroachments had been made by the Austrian Chancery upon its proper authority, and the rights and liberties of the people-all which had been solemnly guaranteed, so lately as 1790-1, by the Emperor Leopold the Second. It is doubtful whether, under the circumstances, the present Emperor would have convened the Diet, but that he was desirous to have his Empress crowned Queen of Hungary, at which ceremony the presence of the Diet was indispensable.
The day fixed for the meeting of the Diet was 11th September, on which day its members had assembled at Presburg. On the evening