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Spanish forces assembled to oppose his march, arrived at Madrid in the month of December, where he caused his brother Joseph to be aci knowledged king of Spain---Ferdinand the 7th having previously, by stratagem, been made prisoner and conveyed to Paris. In the execution of these bold and extraordinary measures, Napoleon had been aided by the treachery of a few of the Spanish nobles, which, together with the preponderating military force brought against their country, obliged the loyal Spaniards to submit for the moment to the new order of things; yet the national spirit remained unshaken, and in the legislative assemblies were found men who were firmly resolved to adhere to the ancient and native dynasty: these forming themselves into a court, called the Supreme Junta, retired to Cadiz, and maintained an alliance and communication with England; while, on the other hand, the military, although defeated and dispersed in the field, formed themselves into Guerilla bands under their own chieftains, and retreated into fortresses or to the mountains, from whence they carried on a desultory warfare against the enemy's foraging parties and other detachments, by which they cut off their supplies in every quarter, causing great terror and distress; and although in this they became little better than brigands or freebooters, often regardless whether they plundered friends or foes, yet it served to keep the spark of resistance alive, until the councils and arms of England could be effectually exercised for their relief. In the Spanish Government abuses of the most serious nature had long prevailed, insomuch that the most loyal Spaniards, perceiving that this had paved the way to the enemy's success, thought they should equally serve both their king and their country by introducing a form of government upon the basis of a constitution likely to promote and secure the true interests and liberties of both. The Junta accordingly applied themselves to the task, and having framed such a constitution as the nature of circumstances would allow, they solemnly bound themselves to observe its laws. As the arms of the allies subsequently prevailed, the same was proclaimed in every part of Spain, and received by the people with the utmost demonstrations of loyalty and affection. On the day we entered Madrid in 1812, it was proclaimed there with great pomp, under the immediate auspices of the two Spanish generals Don Miguel d’Alava and Don Carlos de Espana, and was then styled the fruits of the victory of Salamanca *.
No sooner had the policy of Buonaparte against Spain become known in England, than a British force was ordered to march from Lisbon (which had already been liberated from the French yoke), to aid the cause in Spain. Before they could reach the scene of action, however, all efficient resistance on the part of the Spaniards had ceased, so that Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore was under the painful necessity of ordering a retreat upon Corunna, which although conducted with the most judicious skill and courage, in face of a French army very superior in num
* To the susprise of every reasonable man, Ferdinand the 7th, at his restoration in 1814, rejected the whole of the above named articles, abrogated the laws thereby enacted, and punished the parties concerned in framing them.
bers, subjected our troops to the most serious privations and losses, and terminated in a severe engagement on the plains. of Corunna, in which General Moore was killed,
Buonaparte now returned in triumph to France, leaving with his brother a very large portion of the French army, under the Marshals Soult, Mortier, Jordan, Victor and Bessieres, to keep the country in subjection, reduce Cadiz and other fortresses still occupied by the patriotic forces, and, finally, to consolidate and protect this new order of things. The failure of the expedition under Sir John Moore caused a short suspension of operations; but this soon terminated in the commencement of those memorable campaigns, which in their progress so ennobled their hero, and led to results beyond all that the most sanguine hopes could have anticipated.
On the 22d of April 1809, Lord Wellington (then Sir Arthur Wellesley,) landed at Lisbon, in command of a British force destined to defend Portugal against the designs of France, and moving with that dispatch and decision so peculiar to himself, on the 12th of May he surprized Marshal Soult at Oporto, and after a sharp but partial engagement, obliged the French to fly into Spain. This dashing and propitious opening of the campaigns of Sir Arthur Wellesley was immediately followed by his rapid advance into Spain, as far as Taļavera de la Reyna, where he was joined by a Spanish force under Don Cuesta, and on the 27th and 28th of July a very obstinate and bloody engagement was fought against the French army under Joseph Buonaparte and Marshal Jourdan, in which the enemy were repulsed in every direction and obliged to retire ; but the British having borne the brunt of the battle, and lost the services of nearly five thousand of their best troops, were not in a state to follow up the victory; and as other French corps were marching from the south of Spain, with the view of interrupting the communication with Portugal, the British General determined upon a retreat to the frontiers, and established his head quarters at Badajos. The campaign in itself had