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THE LORD SOON TO COME.
against Austria, had left the half conquered Spain (Jan. 17th), in order to make preparations in his own country for the coming contest. Thus ended the second period of the Spanish war.
Immediately after his entrance into Madrid, Bonaparte had suppressed the council of Castile, and the tribunal of the Inquisition, abolished feudal rights, the constraint of associations of trades, and reduced the number of cloisters one-third (Dec. 4th). But the salutariness of these ordinances was not perceived by the mass, and was disdained, even by the intelligent, as the gift of an enemy. Joseph, however, made, in the meantime, his second .entry into Madrid (Jan. 22d 1809); and his party was increased by a considerable number of characterless and dastardly men, and even by patriots, who, looking more profoundly into relations, found a new order of things necessary to raise up again the Spanish monarchy.
King Joseph now organized the civil and military administration of the kingdom. Irritated by the fanaticism of the monks, and repeated insurrection of the provinces, he had previously suppressed (Aug. 18th, 1809) all the orders of monks and mendicants in the whole extent of Spain. The property of the cloisters was confiscated and applied to State objects. Rigorous decrees were published against fathers whose sons served in the armies of the junta ; heavy pecuniary penalties, imprisonment and confiscation of property, were pronounced against them and their children.” (Rotteck's His. of the World, vol. iv. p. 192-194.)
Meantime, a new war with Austria was on the point of breaking out. That country, though humbled,
was not subdued; the Emperor felt impatient under his past losses, and eager to redeem them, while the warlike pride of his subjects writhed under the consciousness of defeat. By great exertions their armies had been augmented to nearly half a million of men; and in the Spring of 1809, the Tyrolese threw off the Bavarian yoke. The Archduke Charles commanded in Germany, the Archduke John in Italy. The French monarch quickly assembled his forces beyond the Rhine, advanced to Augsburg, and, by one of the most skilful manæuvres, broke the line of his antagonists, gained the successive victories of Eckmuhl and Essling, and once more took possession of Vienna, May 12, 1809. The Archduke now collected his army on the left bank of the Danube; Napoleon crossed over to attack him; and though worsted in the obstinate battle of Aspern, May 21, he speedily reinforced his army, and, on the 6th of July, gained the famous triumph of Wagram. He then dictated a peace, styled the Treaty of Schonbrunn, which was ratified on the 14th of October." (White's Uni. His. p. 500.)
“Long and disastrous was that Peninsular war. Before it could be closed, Napoleon was called to make new exertions. Austria had again declared war, and the forces which she raised were gigantic.
Five hundred and fifty thousand men, in different armies, were put under the command of the Archduke Charles. Napoleon advanced against him, and was again successful, at Abensberg and at Eckmuhl. Again he occupied Vienna ; but its fall did not discourage the Austrians, who, soon after, were marshalled against the French at Wagram, which dreadful battle made Napoleon once more the conquerer of Austria. On the 14th of November, 1809, he returned to Paris, and soon after made the grand mistake of his life." (Lord's Mod. His. p. 515.)
“But notwithstanding the success with which the French arms seemed to be thus everywhere crowned,still the resistance which they had met with in Spain, and perhaps, still more the open injustice of the aggression on so old and faithful an ally, once more awakened the slumbering spirit of the other powers of the continent. The Pope had been long dissatisfied. The commercial interests of the whole of Europe were almost ruined by the effect of those decrees which precluded, or, at least, extremely embarrassed the trade with England; and the Emperor of Austria was impatient under his past losses, and eager to redeem them. In the spring of 1809 the Tyrol revolted. The Westphalians expelled king Jerome from his new dominions, and it was believed that Prussia, notwithstanding the smart of her late misfortunes, would be glad to take advantage of the first reverses of Napoleon to join her forces to those of the Austrians. But the French Emperor, returning instantly from Madrid, crossed the Rhine, and penetrated into the heart of Germany. He gained successive victories at Eckmuhl and Essling: he a second time took possession of Vienna ; and, though worsted in an obstinate battle at Asperne, he a short time afterward conqnered at Wagram. He then dictated a peace, called the Peace of Vienna, which was signed Oct. 14, 1809.
The continent was now again prostrate at the feet of Napoleon. The Tyrol was given up to devastation;
the Pope was dethroned ; Bernadotte, a French General, was elected successor to the Throne of Sweden; and Louis, king of Holland, although brother to the French Emperor, yet being thought to allow of a freer interconrse with England than the jealousy of Napoleon would tolerate, was dispossessed of his kingdom, and the Dutch territories were incorporated with France.” (Markham's His. of France, p. 548–9.)
" From these dissensions in the chamber of deputies, it is satisfactory to turn to a view of the relations of France with the neighboring countries. It had been provided by the treaties of alliance of 1814 and 1815, between Russia, Austria, Prussia, and England, that special congresses, or, as they were called, reunions, should be held from time to time by the sovereigns of these states, or their ministers, to take into consideration the state of Europe, and the measures necessary for its repose and prosperity." (Markham's His. of France, p. 568–9.
“Already, in 1809, whilst in Vienna, he caused the Pope, the venerable father of the Catholic community, to be made prisoner, like a criminal, in his own ancient capital; and now he followed up this act of tyranny by annexing Rome itself to his own vast Empire, and decided that his son, newly born, as well as all eldest sons of future Emperors, should receive the title of King of Rome. Such acts called forth the most bitter hatred against him in the hearts of millions of men in all countries, and his name was pronounced with curses; but upon his iron-hearted nature neither curses nor blessings left any impression." (Kohlrausch's His. of Germany, p. 652.)
“Austria was once more roused, and actuated by the same motives of honor as influenced Prussia in the year 1806, she determined, at any sacrifice, to revenge herself for the insolent arrogance and menaces of her detested enemy; accordingly, she took up arms again, and recommenced war in 1809. Her own immediate territory, it is true, had not undergone the same treatment as that of her neighbor, but it was this very state of suffering and degradation in which she beheld those around her, that induced her to take this step. In addition to this, Napoleon had, in the preceding summer, held a meeting with the Emperor Alexander at Erfurt, and there had renewed more firmly his alliance with that monarch, by which it appeared as if Russia and France had resolved to arrogate to themselves the right of assuming the character of arbitrators of Europe, and thus treat Austria, which for so many centuries, had been the central point of the European powers, as no longer worthy of consideration. This conduct could no longer be tolerated with patience, for, beyond a certain degree, patience itself degenerates into pusillanimity Thence, Austria’s declaration of war was, in all respects, honorable, noble, and generous, for she came forth and entered the field of battle unsupported by any other power, trusting alone to her own resources.
At the same time, however, Austria, well knowing that on the present occasion she must not depend upon her regular army alone for her safety, resolved upon carrying on the war in all its extent, and making it national. She issued proclamations for a general rising of the people, to rally under her banners as volunteers;