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injustice in any outrages of an English army, from contrasting them with the professed objects of that army in entering Spain.— It is to be observed that the answer to the second charge would singly have been some answer to this; and, reciprocally, that the answer to this is a full answer to the second.
Having thus shewn that, in Sir J. Moore's very inaccurate statements of facts, we have some further reasons for a previous distrust of any opinion which is supported by those statements, it is now time to make the reader acquainted with the real terms and extent of that opinion. For it is far less to be feared that, from his just respect for him who gave it, he should allow it an undue weight in his judgment-than that, reposing on the faithfulness of the abstracts and reports of these letters, he should really be still ignorant of its exact tenor.
The whole amount then of what Sir John Moore has alleged against the Spaniards, in any place but one, is comprised in this sentence :- "The enthusiasm, of which we have heard so much, no where appears: whatever good-will there is (and I believe amongst the lower orders there is a great deal) is taken no advantage of." It is true that, in that one place (viz. in his last letter written at Corunna), he charges the Spaniards with "apathy and indifference" but, as this cannot be reconciled with his concession of a great deal of good-will, we are bound to take that as his real and deliberate opinion which he gave under circumstances that allowed him most coolness and freedom of judgment.—The Spaniards then were wanting in enthusiasm. Now what is meant by enthusiasm? Does it mean want of ardour and zeal in battle? This Sir J. Moore no where asserts; and, even without a direct acknowledgment of their good conduct in the field (of which he had indeed no better means of judging than we in England), there is involved in his statement of the relative numbers of the French and Spaniardscombined with our knowledge of the time during which they maintained their struggle-a sufficient testimony to that; even if the events of the first campaign had not made it superfluous. Does it mean then a want of good-will to the cause? So far from this, we have seen that Sir J. M. admits that there was, in that class where it was most wanted, "a great deal" of goodwill. And, in the present condition of Spain, let it be recollected what it is that this implies. We see, in the intercepted letter to Marshal Soult (transmitted by Sir J. M.), that the French keep accurate registers of the behaviour of the different towns; and this was, no doubt, well known throughout Spain.
Therefore to shew any signs of good-will-much more to give a kind welcome to the English (as had been done at Badajoz and Salamanca)—was, they knew, a pledge of certain punishment on any visit from the French. So that good-will, manifested in these circumstances, was nothing less than a testimony of devotion to the cause.
Here then, the reader will say, I find granted-in the courage and the good-will of the Spaniards-all the elements of an enthusiastic resistance; and cannot therefore imagine what more could be sought for except the throwing out and making palpable of their enthusiasm to the careless eye in some signal outward manifestations. In this accordingly we learn what interpretation we are to give to Sir J. M.'s charge :-there were no tumults on his entrance into Spain; no insurrections; they did not, as he says, rally round" the English army. But, to determine how far this disappointment of his expectations tells against the Spaniards, we must first know how far those expectations were reasonable. Let the reader consider, then,
First; what army was this round which the Spaniards were to rally? If it was known by the victory of Vimiera, it was known also to many by the Convention of Cintra; for, though the government had never ventured to communicate that affair officially to the nation, dark and perplexing whispers were however circulated about it throughout Spain. Moreover, it must surely demand some superstition in behalf of regular troops-to see, in an army of 26,000 men, a dignity adequate to the office here claimed for it of awakening a new vigour and enthusiasm in such a nation as Spain; not to mention that an English army, however numerous, had no right to consider itself as other than a tributary force-as itself tending to a centre-and attracted rather than attracting.
Secondly; it appears that Sir J. M. has overlooked one most important circumstance ;-viz. that the harvest, in these provinces, had been already reaped; the English army could be viewed only as gleaners. Thus, as we have already seen, Estramadura had furnished an army which had marched before his arrival; from Salamanca also-the very place in which he makes his complaint-there had gone out a battalion to Biscay which Gen. Blake had held up, for its romantic gallantry, to the admiration of his whole army.
Yet, thirdly, it is not meant by any means to assert that Spain has put forth an energy adequate to the service—or in any tolerable proportion to her own strength. Far from it!
But upon whom does the blame rest? Not surely upon the people-who, as long as they continued to have confidence in their rulers, could not be expected (after the early fervours of their revolution had subsided) much to overstep the measure of exertion prescribed to them-but solely upon the government. Up to the time when Sir J. M. died, the Supreme Junta had adopted no one grand and comprehensive measure for calling out the strength of the nation;-scarcely any of such ordinary vigour as, in some countries, would have been adopted to meet local disturbances among the people. From their jealousy of popular feeling,--they had never taken any steps, by books or civic assemblies, to make the general enthusiasm in the cause available by bringing it within the general consciousness; and thus to create the nation into an organic whole. Sir J. M. was fully aware of this :—“The Spanish Government,” he says, “do not seem ever to have contemplated the possibility of a second attack" and accordingly, whenever he is at leisure to make distinctions, he does the people the justice to say that the failure was with those who should have "taken advantage" of their good-will. With the people therefore will for ever remain the glory of having resisted heroically with means utterly inadequate; and with the government the whole burthen of the disgrace that the means were thus inadequate.
But, further, even though it should still be thought that, in the three Provinces which Sir J. Moore saw, there may have been some failures with the people,—it is to be remembered that these were the very three which had never been the theatre of French outrages; which therefore had neither such a vivid sense of the evils which they had to fear, nor so strong an animation in the recollection of past triumphs: we might accordingly have predicted that, if any provinces should prove slack in their exertions, it would be these three. So that, after all, (a candid inquirer into this matter will say) admitting Sir J. M.'s description to be faithful with respect to what he saw, I can never allow that the conduct of these three Provinces shall be held forth as an exponent of the general temper and condition of Spain. For that therefore I must look to other authorities.
Such an inquirer we might then refer to the testimonies of Gen. Leith and of Capt. Pasley for Biscay and Asturias; of Mr. Vaughan (as cited by Lord Castlereagh) for the whole East and South; of Lord Cochrane (himself a most gallant man, and giving his testimony under a trying comparison of the Spaniards
with English Sailors) for Catalonia in particular; of Lord W. Bentinck for the central provinces; and, for all Spain, we might appeal even to the Spanish military reports—which, by the discrimination of their praises (sometimes giving severe rebukes to particular regiments, etc.) authenticate themselves.
But, finally, we are entitled-after the actions of the Spaniards -to dispense with such appeals. Spain might justly deem it a high injury and affront, to suppose that (after her deeds performed under the condition of her means) she could require any other testimony to justify her before all posterity. What those deeds
have been, it cannot surely now be necessary to inform the reader and therefore the remainder of this note shall be employed in placing before him the present posture of Spainunder two aspects which may possibly have escaped his notice.
First, Let him look to that part of Spain which is now in the possession of the enemy ;-let him bear in mind that the present campaign opened at the latter end of last October; that the French were then masters of the country up to the Ebro; that the contest has since lain between a veteran army (rated, on the lowest estimate, at 113,000 men-with a prodigious superiority in cavalry, artillery, etc.) opposed (as to all regular opposition) by unpractised Spaniards, split into three distinct armies, having no communication with each other, making a total of not more than 80,000 men ;-and then let him inquire what progress, in this time and with these advantages, the French have been able to make (comparing it, at the same time, with that heretofore made in Prussia, and elsewhere): the answer shall be given from the Times newspaper of April 8th-"It appears that, at the date of our last accounts from France as well as Spain, about one half of the Peninsula was still unsubdued by the French arms. The Provinces, which retain their independence, form a sort of irregular or broken crescent; of which one horn consists in parts of Catalonia and Valencia, and the other horn includes Asturias (perhaps we may soon add Gallicia). The broader surface contains the four kingdoms of Andalusia (Seville, Grenada, Cordova, and Murcia), and considerable parts of Estramadura, and La Mancha; besides Portugal."—The writer might have added that even the Provinces, occupied by the French, cannot yet be counted substantially as conquests: since they have a military representation in the south; large proportions of the defeated armies having retreated thither.
Secondly, Let him look to that part of Spain which yet
remains unsubdued. It was thought no slight proof of heroism in the people of Madrid, that they prepared for their defence— not as the foremost champions of Spain (in which character they might have gained an adventitious support from the splendour of their post; and, at any rate, would have been free from the depression of preceding disasters)—but under a full knowledge of recent and successive overthrows; their advanced armies had been defeated; and their last stay, at Somosierra, had been driven in upon them. But the Provinces in the South have many more causes for dejection: they have heard, since these disasters, that this heroic city of Madrid has fallen; that their forts in Catalonia have been wrested from them; that an English army just moved upon the horizon of Spain-to draw upon itself the gaze and expectations of the people, and then to vanish like an apparition; and, finally, they have heard of the desolation of Saragossa. Under all this accumulation of calamity, what has been their conduct? In Valencia redoubled preparations of defence; in Seville a decree for such energetic retaliation on the enemy,- -as places its authors, in the event of his success, beyond the hopes of mercy; in Cadiz on a suspicion that a compromise was concerted with their enemy-tumults and clamours of the people for instant vengeance; every where, in their uttermost distress, the same stern and unfaltering attitude of defiance as at the glorious birth of their resistance.
In this statement, then, of the past efforts of Spain—and of her present preparations for further efforts-will be found a full answer to all the charges alleged, by Sir John Moore in his letters, against the people of Spain, even if we did not find sufficient ground for rejecting them in an examination of these letters themselves.
The Author of the above note-having, in justice to the Spaniards, spoken with great plainness and freedom-feels it necessary to add a few words, that it may not thence be concluded that he is insensible to Sir J. Moore's claims upon his respect. Perhaps if Sir J. M. could himself have given us his commentary upon these letters, and have restricted the extension of such passages as (from want of vigilance in making distinctions or laxity of language) are at variance with concessions made elsewhere-they would have been found not more to differ from the reports of other intelligent and less prejudiced observers, than we might have expected from the circumstances