Memoirs of the War of the French in Spain

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J. Murray, 1815 - Peninsular War, 1807-1814 - 384 pages
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Page 48 - One of the insurgent peasants of Arragon, among others, was seized by our skirmishers ; he was only armed with a gun, and was driving before him an ass, laden with some months' provisions. The officer who commanded the advanced guard took pity on him, and ordered him to be set at liberty, making signs to him to escape. The peasant at once appeared to comprehend ; but, left to himself, he loaded his gun, and came back immediately to our ranks to fire at his deliverer. Happily the ball missed. This...
Page 10 - Madrid, the sentinels placed on guard, to attend to the execution of theordersof their sovereign, yielded the precedence to the meanest burgess. " The revenues of the Spanish crown were very scanty, and consequently could maintain but a very limited number of troops. The regiments of the line, with the exception of some privileged corps, were incomplete, ill paid, and ill disciplined. The priests were the only powerful executive militia whom the kings of Spain could command ; it was by the exhortations...
Page 90 - ... progress of the enemy. He took up a position at Cabezon, a village two leagues in advance of Valladolid, where, yielding to the impatience of the people, he offered battle, much against his own inclination. At that time, indeed, the Spanish generals, like their government, had authority only so long as they acted in unison with the feelings of those whom they commanded. Whether successful or unfortunate, they were equally obliged to submit to the will of their troops, or rather armed peasants....
Page 13 - Having heard at the beginning of every campaign that they were called upon to strike the last blow at the tottering power of the English ; they confounded this power in all its forms with England itself.
Page 274 - They snng patriotic songs, in which they wished destruction to all the French, the Grand Duke of Berg, and to Napoleon. The burden of the song was always the crowing of a cock, which is considered as the emblem of France. At length we arrived at Campillos, and we soon perceived, by the manner in which the inhabitants received us, that the news of our losses at Olbera, and our retreat from Ronda, had reached the place before us.
Page 161 - Frenchman, since be had been acknowledged King of Spain ; and they often contradicted him, and sought to disgust him, that they might be sent back into Germany. They would have been happy, at any price, to have quitted an irregular war, which had become unpopular even in the army. Joseph had neither enough of military talent and authority, nor sufficient confidence in himself, to venture to command such operations as the changes in the general situation of affairs imperiously required. He dared not...
Page 6 - ... but against a people insulated from all the other continental nations, by its manners, its prejudices, and even the nature of its country. The Spaniards were to oppose to us a resistance so much the more obstinate, as they believed it to be the object of the French government to make the peninsula a secondary state, irrevocably subject to the dominion of France. . . With regard to knowledge and the progress of social habits, Spain was at least a century behind the other nations of the continent....
Page 160 - ... were armed and equipped they deserted and returned to their own armies ; so that the French soldiers called King Joseph the administrator in chief of the military depots of the supreme junta. Even French marshals and generals, we are told, were very unwilling to obey a man whom they did not consider a Frenchman, since he had been acknowledged King of Spain ; and they often contradicted him, and sought to disgust him, that they might be sent back into Germany. They would have been happy, at any...
Page 2 - ... character, the only invincible bulwark which nations can oppose to foreign invaders. " When a province of Germany was conquered by the French, and could no longer receive the orders of its sovereign, the inferior classes, unaccustomed to the exercise of their own free will, dared not to act without the commands of their governments or of their liege lords : These governments became, by the very act of conquest, subordinate to the conquerors ; and the...
Page 11 - The high and barren mountains which surround and intersect Spain were peopled by warlike tribes, always armed for the purpose of smuggling, and accustomed to baffle the regular troops of their own country, which were frequently sent in pursuit "\ of them.

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