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reply, delivered a speech in which he stated that the Government had intended to celebrate the opening of the Constituent Cortes by granting an amnesty, but that this course had been delayed in consequence of the conspiracies which had lately been discovered. The Minister of the Interior, however, promised that as soon as the real motive of these conspiracies should be discovered, the Government
uld propose to the Cortes to proclaim an amnesty for all political offences. The proposal of Señor Castelar was subsequently rejected by 135 votes against 94.
At a subsequent sitting of the Cortes, some members of the Republican party asked by what right the Duke of Montpensier was still Captain-General of Spain. A title given for family considerations, and not for military achievements, should cease with the fallen dynasty. The Duke of Montpensier should be neither Marshal nor King.
General Prim answered that the Duke of Montpensier's position was made by the late dynasty, by which he was banished, and the Provisional Government was unauthorized to interfere with it.
Admiral Topete said he would rather have Montpensier than a Republic.
Fresh disturbances broke out at Xeres de la Frontera, between Cadiz and Seville. Barricades were erected, which were attacked by the troops and carried at the point of the bayonet. The ostensible cause of the revolt was the publication of a decree by the Government for the levy of 25,000 soldiers, to be drawn by lot on the 1st of April. This was considered a violation of the principles of the Revolution in last September, when one of the most popular cries was, “Down with the Conscription !” The movement, however, was speedily suppressed.
The Report of the Committee on the New Constitution was read in the Cortes on the 31st of March. It proposed an hereditary monarchy,and a Cortes, consisting of a Senate and a Chamber, to make laws, which were to receive the King's sanction and to be promulgated by him, and the Monarch was to exercise the executive power through his Ministers. The Catholic religion to be maintained by the nation, but Spaniards and foreigners were to be guaranteed free exercise of other forms of belief, subject only to the laws of universal morality and right.
The difficulty, however, was to find a suitable person who would accept the Crown of Spain. It was first offered to Dom Fernando, the ex-king of Portugal, but he positively declined it. Other overtures were made which met with no favourable response; and at a sitting of the Cortes on the 21st of April, Señor Figueras, a member of the Republican party, made a speech in which he argued that as the majority who wished for a monarchy could not find a candidate who would accept the Crown, the only alternative that remained was, to restore the Bourbon dynasty or to proclaim a Republic. Señor Zorilla, Minister of the Interior, in reply, declared that the restoration of the Bourbons was impossible, and that a Republic would be a national calamity. He added, that the majority would succeed in coming to a satisfactory conclusion as to the Sovereign to be chosen.
The Budget of the new Government estimated the receipts at 2,141,000,000 reals, of which 473,000,000 were derived from taxes upon landed property, 120,000,000 from taxes upon articles of commerce, and 45,000,000 from succession duty. It proposed to abolish the duty upon direct inheritances, to maintain the tax of 5 per cent. upon incomes and salaries, and to suppress the salt monopoly in January, 1870, and the tobacco monopoly in July of the same year. The amount of the floating debt was not to exceed 600,000,000 reals.
The debate on the Articles of the New Constitution lasted for several weeks. That which established a monarchy was carried by a majority of 214 against 71 votes. Señor Rios Rosas, the Minister for the Colonies, said, “ The originators of the Revolution would never have undertaken the task had they suspected that the result would be the establishment of a Republic." Señor Castelar acknowledged the virtues of the Duke de Montpensier, but said that, being a Bourbon, it was impossible for him to be King. In reply to this, Admiral Topete, the Minister of Marine, declared the Duke de Montpensier to be the best candidate. He warned the Assembly that a Republic, a Monarchy, and Regency seemed equally impossible. “Beware,” he added, " lest if you make every solution impossible, some insolent, daring man undertake to cut the knot you are unable to solve. . . You will not applaud me now, but you will understand me.”
One of the Articles of the Constitution declared that “the sovereignty resides in the people, from whom all power emanates."
The New Constitution was formally promulgated on the 6th of June in front of the Hall of the Cortes, with great solemnity. On the 13th, the ceremony took place of the oath of obedience, and, ten days afterwards, the Cortes resolved, by a majority of 193 votes against 45, to make Marshal Serrano Regent of the kingdom. He accepted the high office, and was formally installed on the 18th of June.
Señor Rivero, the President of the Cortes, administered to him the oath, saying, "Do you swear to keep, and to cause to be kept, the Constitution of the Spanish nation of 1869, and the laws of the country, not looking in what you do to any thing but the good and the liberty of the country ?” Serrano replied, “I swear; and if in what I have sworn, or any part of it, I do any thing to the contrary, I ought not to be obeyed, and any thing I do in contravention of it should be null and of no value !” His emotion was so great that he completely broke down before he had finished the formula, and had to refresh his memory by recourse to a written copy. President Rivero replied, -
"If so you do, God and the country will reward you ; but if not, they will demand it of you ;” and then, turning to the audience, remarked, “The Cortes Constituyentes have witnessed and heard the
oath the Regent has just taken to the Constitution of the nation and the laws of the country.”
Marshal Serrano rose from his knees, and taking his seat on the chair at the President's right side, read the following speech :-
Señores Diputados, -With the creation of the constitutional power which you have deigned to confide to me, and which I gratefully accept, a new period of the Revolution of September commences. The epoch of grave dangers has passed away, and another of reorganization commences, in which we have nothing to fear, except it may be from our impatience, our distrust, or our exaggerations. We have first raised the stone which weighed upon Spain, and we have afterwards constituted her under the monarchical form, traditional with our people, but surrounded with Democratic institutions. The moment has now arrived to enrol and consolidate the conquests realized, and to fortify the authority which is the protection of all rights and the shield of all social interests, strengthening, at the same time, our diplomatic relations with the other Powers. The enterprise is difficult for my weak powers, but your high wisdom, the decided adhesion of all the sea and land forces, the vigorous patriotism of the citizen militia, and the sensitive and noble spirit of our regenerated nation, inspire me with confidence in the results. From the post of honour to which you have elevated me I do not see political parties. I see only the essential Code, which is obligatory on all, and on me the first, and which will be obeyed and respected by all. I see our beloved country as anxious for stability and repose as she is eager for progress and liberty. Finally, I see as supreme aspiration in the fulfilment of my honourable trust the end of an interregnum, during which the Constitution of the State will be practised sincerely and loyally ; individual rights will be exercised peacefully and orderly; our credit will be augmented both in and out of Spain, and liberty be extended upon the firm base of moral and material order, so that the Monarch whom the Cortes Constituyentes may hereafter elect may commence his reign prosperously and happily for the country, to which I have consecrated all my anxieties, all my watchfulness, and my whole existence."
President Rivero then spoke as follows :-"The Cortes Constituyentes have heard with lively satisfaction the noble words and exalted propositions of the Regent, who has been elevated to his post by the almost unanimity of your votes. To respond worthily to the high ends which the Cortes have had in view in creating the Regency, to comply severely, liberally, and carefully with the Constitution of the State, to practise every day and every hour the Sovereignty of the Spanish people, to guarantee and protect the free exercise of the individual rights which form the glory of the present generation,such is the grand work the Cortes have charged upon all the public functionaries, and which they have deposited in the hands of the Regent of the Spanish nation. We must agree that to nobody belongs with so much right (if any one can be said to have a right to this great charge) the Regency of the kingdom as to General
Serrano; for the care of the national sovereignty of individual rights and of the glorious conquest of the Revolution of September falls nearer to no one, absolutely no one, than to General Serrano. The day, gentlemen, when this national sovereignty is defamed, the day in which the rights of Spaniards are trampled under foot, or are diminished, the name of General Serrano, now so glorious, and the most glorious record of Alcolea, will be buried in oblivion. General Serrano, therefore, may count, and count well, on all the Spaniards; for the Cortes, the Army, the Militia—all of us, together with the Regent-have from to-day onwards but one single banner —- All for the country, and all for the country!'"
A Ministry was formed, of which General Prim was the head, and when they took their seats in the Cortes, he said that he and his colleagues asked the indulgence of all, and especially of the Republicans, hoping that they would not make a systematic opposition. The Government had sworn to observe, and to cause to be observed, the Constitution, and would require equal respect to it from all Spaniards. He hoped, with God's help and their own strength, together with the support of the Cortes, disorders would not again arise. The Government were very resolved on this point, and in enforcing it would be hard, inflexible, and even cruel. Respecting finance, he said the Government would study to introduce economies, but they must be reasonable economies, and would seek to obtain money by means which would not involve too great cost.
In the month of September, considerable excitement arose in Madrid, owing to the attitude of the “ Volunteers of Freedom.” Since the outbreak of the Revolution last year, these self-constituted soldiers had kept possession of the large red-brick building in the Puerto del Sol called “ The Principal,” in which were the Telegraph Office and the Ministry of the Home Department. It was thought expedient by the Government to remove them, but the people and the Volunteers objected_to this, and as they refused to quit the building, Señor Rivero, who was Alcaid of Madrid, and also commander of the Volunteers, determined to employ force. He made all his preparations, and then gave the occupants of the building ten minutes' grace, telling them that if they did not leave, he would immediately open fire upon them. We should mention that the men employed to take possession of the building were also Volunteers; and when their comrades inside were assured that it would not be given up to troops of the line, they agreed to abandon it.
At a sitting of the Council of Ministers on the 28th of September, it was resolved to propose to the Cortes the young Duke of Genoa as a candidate for the vacant throne. This Prince was then a boy at Harrow School, in England. He was born in 1854, and is the nephew of Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy. His father, the Duke of Genoa, brother of the King, died in 1855, and his mother, a daughter of John, King of Saxony, contracted, afterwards, a morganatic or left-handed marriage with the Marquis de Rapallo. His sister, the Princess Margaret, married in 1868 her cousin Humbert, Prince Royal and beir-apparent of the Italian Crown. But here, again, the insuperable difficulty occurred that neither the young Prince nor his immediate relatives were willing to accept the proffered dignity. The King of Italy was supposed to be adverse to it, and the Duchess of Genoa strongly opposed it. Besides, there were very grave objections to the choice of a mere boy to fill the throne of a country like Spain, which is still in the throes of revolution. It was generally believed that the strong support which General Prim gave to this plan was owing to a desire to prolong his own reign of power; for, with a minor king, he might reasonably expect that the real authority would remain in his hands. He was not, however, supported by all his colleagues, and one of the most important of them, Admiral Topete, resigned office in consequence, but was afterwards persuaded to resume his portfolio.
The state of Spain in the autumn was very unsatisfactory. At the end of September insurrections broke out in Saragossa, Valencia, Reuss, and other places; and, in fact, the provinces of Catalonia, Granada, and Andalusia were all more or less in a disturbed state. The Ministry brought in a Bill to suspend personal libertyequivalent to what in England would be called a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. This was, of course, violently opposed by the Republican party, but was carried on the 5th of October, and the minority then retired from the Chamber. The Volunteers of Valencia issued a proclamation, dated October 15th, and signed “The Directory,” in which they said, “Viva la Republica Democratica Federal Catalonia, Aragon, Andalusia, Santander, and Spain entire, have responded to the cry of liberty of the heroic Valencia! Let us make one small effort more, one new proof of valour and of constancy in the face of the nation, of Europe, and of the whole world, which contemplates us with wonder. What bravery! What intrepidity! What courage, that of the Valencians! But, above all, what generosity with their enemies ! What worthy treatment of their prisoners ! What respect to property, to families, and to the honour of woman! Valencia commenced a grand poem eight days ago, and is about to conclude it for the glory of the ever loyal and generous Spanish people! Valour, Valencians! Valour and constancy! Constancy and ever constancy! Troops are not coming to resist us! The Government have not enough, and what they have they cannot count on as theirs, for the Ministry, the Regent, and, in short, the reaction are conquered, dead, rotten, and destroyed.
“Soldiers and Chiefs of the Army !- To the first, your licences await you! To the second, the security of being respected in your career! Republican Spain needs valiant officers and brave generals !
“No longer can certain men, of sad memory for us, continue their wicked plans. No longer can they give their word of honour and then break it. Wretches, believe you that the people sleep? No,