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former dazzle you for an instant, the latter undeceive you. The religion of our Fathers, which they promised you to preserve untouched, is despoiled of its Temples; its Ministers are vilified, reduced to poverty, and deprived of all authority, and of all influence. Every where they have opened the road to demoralization and atheism. The Nation is exposed to anarchy, without the possibility of improving, and without the hope of reaping the fruits of its labour and industry. Your destruction is certain, if you do not arm yourselves, and make use of the Right of which no one can deprive you.
Astounded by the attack made against order, and the customs, and interests of your Country, will you behold with apathy your King torn from His throne: while the Innovators despoil you of your property; occupy the Publick Stations; render justice arbitrary, in its decisions, for the furtherance of their own purposes; fill the dungeons, and crowd the scaffolds with victims for endeavouring to restrain that violence of which, however they may assert to the contrary, they were the primary instigators,—by exciting tumult in the first instance, and then by making tools of those Persons who have been elected by bribery and corruption; -- who style themselves a Cortes, and most notoriously cause the Representation of the Kingdom to be a mere nullity? Your condition is that of Orphans, embroiled in faction, deprived of liberty, and plunged in a chaos.
The contributions demanded of you, although beyond your means, are insufficient to carry on the expences of the State; the Loans which weigh heavily on you have only served to exalt the Projectors and Agents of your ruin; you are not secure in your homes, and peace has been driven from amongst you in order to despoil you of your fortunes. One of the losses which you have already incurred is the want of union between your Territories. America has declared itself independent, and the misfortunes of the Year 1812, in Cadiz, have caused, and will continue to cause, calamities of direful extent. The soil of your Country is threatened to become the theatre of new Wars, although it has not as yet recovered the ravages of those that have past. All these evils are the consequence of your having cast aside the monarchical Government; which promoted the tranquillity of your Forefathers, and to which, as being the best invented by Man, all Countries have returned, when they have awakened from their delusions. The deceptions now held out to you are the same as those which have ever produced the overthrow of States. Your Laws were the fruit of the wisdom and experience of Ages, and you have a right to demand the observance of them : the reforms which time may render necessary, should be very carefully considered, and not adopted until after mature reflection : those Laws provided for your security, they promoted your riches and felicity, and under them you enjoyed all the lappiness possible to society, together with the freedom of expressing your thoughts.
The repeated Conspiracies since the Year 1814, and the conduct of the Advocates for the new order of things, have prevented the execution of the happy Measures which the King bad proposed to himself to adopt;--a ferment, hostile to the ancient Spanish Cortes, has plunged every thing into confusion; and the moment of their convocation was embraced, in order to produce the explosion which took place in the Year 1820, when His Majesty, who had caused them to as emble, was obliged to swear to the Constitution of Cadiz, which established the popular Sovereignty. Aid us, therefore, with your fidelity and energy, so that in Juntas, freely and legally assembled, your wishes may be examined, and the measures calculated to promote your welfare in every particular, fully and wisely discussed, by which you will possess a sure guarantee of your repose, in conformity with your ancient Constitution, rights, and privileges.
Every Spaniard should assist, in order to stem such a torrent of evils-union is indispensable--and it is better to die, with honour, than to succumb to a Martyrdom, wbich will ultimately lead you to the same catastrophe; with this difference, that you will be covered with ignominy. The Nation still possesses faithful Soldiers, who, withoat having forgotten their first Oaths, will assist us, in replacing the King on his Throne, in restoring peace to families, in leading them back to the path pointed out to them by their Ancestors, and abolishing all the innovations which are the chimeras of ambition : in short, a firm resolution will withdraw us from opprobrium : the Church demands it, the State requires it for the King, the national honour dictates it, and the interest of the Country calls on you to defend it. This truth being evident, various Provinces, and the Inhabitants in general of the whole Peninsula, have reiterated to us their entreaties, that, until the Lord Don Ferdinand VIIth shall be at perfect liberty, We should, in His Royal Name, put ourselves at the head of the Defenders of a cause so dear to us, giving to the Government that career of action which the happiness of the Nation renders necessary, in order to put an end to the evils of anarchy in which it is plunged; and We, being convinced of the propriety of those entreaties, and desirous of fulfilling the wishes of all Spaniards, who love the Altar, the Throne, and the Country, have accepted this duty, relying for success upon the aid of Almighty Providence, and resolved to employ all the means within our reach, to save the Nation which solicits our aid, in a crisis, the most momestous perhaps that has ever befallen it, since the first foundation of its Monarchy.
In virtue whereof,-constituting ourselves into a Supreme Government of this Kingdom, in the name of His Majesty, the Lord Don Ferdinand VIIth, (during his captivity) and in that of his August Dynasty in their relative situation) for the sole purpose of preserving their legitimate rights, as well as those of the Spanish Nation; of pro
Ne curing for it that felicity and welfare of which it is now deprived; and
of removing all the pretexts which have been employed to seduce it;-
1. That the installation of the present Government be made known
II. That it be declared that, since the day on which, by force and threats, the Lord Don Ferdinand VIIth was compelled to take the Oath to the Constitution, which, in his absence and without his consent, was proclaimed in Cadiz in the Year 1812, His Majesty has been in a state of rigorous captivity. In consequence whereof, the Orders communicated in his Royal Name shall be accounted of no value or efficacy, and shall not be complied with until His Majesty, restored to perfect liberty, can ratify or issue them anew.
III. That those who have conspired against the liberty of His Majesty, and those who continue publickly to detain him in the said captivity, by force, or by means of his co-operative assistance, shall be tried according to the Laws, and suffer the penalties by them attached to so flagrant a crime.
IV. That it be declared that many Members of the Cortes, which promulgated the said Constitution in Cadiz, were not chosen by the People, and that some of them were not at liberty to express and maintain their opinions. That the subsequent Cortes, composed in a great measure of Individuals elected by subornation and threats, whose powers were assigned to them during a state of violence and anarchy, were as little the Representatives of the Nation, and could not in a valid manner enact any measure that should be obligatory on the Inhabitants of this Peninsula, and of America belonging to it.
V. That, persuaded of the fidelity of a great part of the Army, which served under the banners of Religion, of the King, and of the Country, on the said 9th day of March; that they have been compelled to succumb to force, and that some have deemed it needless to manifest their sentiments, whilst others were not aware of the violence which compelled His Majesty to take the Oath aforesaid, or of the want of his authority and consent to the Orders issued in His Royal Name; and convinced that they are desirous of preventing (that which will otherwise be necessary) the arrival of Foreign Troops in the Pe. ninsula, to stem the tide of evils, which must inevitably increase, unless His Majesty be restored to his Throne; we call upon all the Military, who are attached and faithful to the objects above stated, to perform their duty, and to unite under those banners which we shall
carry during the captivity of His Majesty. In virtue whereof, every Soldier who presents himself shall receive pay for 2 Years service, with an additional real per day, and 2 dollars shall be given to every Soldier who comes armed, and an ounce of gold to every Horse Soldier who brings with him a horse. And the Corporals and Serjeants, besides receiving a gratification, shall be promoted to the rank next above them. And, as a great portion of the Officers are desirous of proving their true fidelity, without connecting themselves with Crimi. nals; when their conduct shall have been examined, they shall be placed in the situation adapted to each of them, according to their merit and rank, and shall be immediately put into active employment; and they shall be still more highly favoured, provided they bring some Soldiers with them. But it is to be observed that these favours shall be conceded only to those who present themselves within ? months.
VI. That, in order that the distance which separates some of the Military alluded to in the foregoing Article, from the banners of His Majesty which are in our charge, may be no obstacle to their participation in the favours promulgated in the same, we declare, that to entitle them thereto it will suffice that, in the Capital, or in any other place in which they may be, when this Resolution shall be made known to them, they do openly come forward in defence of the August Person of His Majesty and of his Rights, placing themselves in direct communication with this Supreme Government, or with the Commandants subject to our Orders at the nearest point; it being understood that any particular service whereby they shall distinguish themselves in favour of the Royal Person will be most amply rewarded.
VII. That the rights and privileges which certain Towns pos sessed, at the period of the innovation, which has been confirmed by His Majesty, shall be entirely restored to them, for which purpose the same will be submitted to the first Cortes legally convoked.
VIII. That the Contributions shall be reduced to the least pas sible amount, collected by the least possible number of Persons, and with the greatest prudence and circumspection, all of which will be perfected when the free voice of the Nation shall be heard according to its ancient Constitution.
IX. That, in order to attain that object, and that the expressed wisdom of the Nation may alone guide our steps, Representatives from the Towns and Provinces shall be assembled, according to the ancient customs and usages of the Peninsula, who shall propose to us the means of raising the necessary supplies, and the mode of bringing them into use with fairness, and without the ruin of the In habitants; and who shall state to us the evils which afflict them, and those which they may have suffered during the revolutions which have upfortunately occurred, to the end that, in the name of His Majesty
be in our
and during his captivity, we may afford them redress and consolation, and adopt the measures calculated to ensure their future welfare and tranquillity.
X. That, considering the merit acquired by this Province, in having been the first to offer, with heroic fortitude, to its King, the warmest sentiments of its ancient fidelity, and that a great portion of its resources depends upon its industry and commerce, we will grant to its Inhabitants, in particular, all the favours and privileges which may
power, in order to promote their interests, which shall be extended to others, who shall be found possessing equal energy, excepting solely those Places which shall manifest disobedience to this Government.
XI. That this Supreme Government, being desirous of proving to the whole of Europe that the only sentiments which animate it are, the re-establishment of peace and order, and the destruction of ideas subversive of and contrary to Religion and Thrones, we command all the Authorities subject to our jurisdiction to take especial care that, within the extent thereof, no Person be sheltered, of whatever class or condition he may be, who, either in publick or private, directly or indirectly, may have attempted or shall attempt to overthrow any of the Thrones of Europe, and their legitimate Governments; and that, if any such Criminal be apprehended, he be placed at the disposal of this Supreme Government, for the ulterior measures.
XII. That, it being indubitably notorious that the respectable
THE MARQUIS DE MATAFLORIDA.