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inconsiderable effect; copies of it were fired from the town in shells, and by that means scattered among the besiegers. As soon as it was known that the enemy's heavy guns had arrived at Xerta, Lili issued a

Sept. 7. proclamation to the inhabitants, requesting that all who were not able to take arms and bear an active part in its defence would withdraw, while a way was yet open: the place, he said, had no shelter for them when it should be bombarded, nor could provisions be afforded them. But the invaders, he added, deceived themselves if they supposed that his constancy was to be shaken by the fears and lamentations of old men and children and of a few women, or if they expected to find another Lerida in Catalonia ; for he and his garrison had sworn, and he now repeated the vow, that Tortosa should not be yielded up till it had surpassed, if that were possible, the measure of resistance at Zaragoza and Gerona. He issued an order also that as soon as the first gun should be discharged against the place, the door of every house should be open day and night, and vessels of water kept there in readiness for extinguishing fires, ..

and lights during the night.

Buonaparte's birthday recurred about this time, and the French general sent a letter into the city, Ferdinand's informing the governor that it would be cele- birthday cebrated in due form with a discharge of cannon. Tortosa. Lili corresponded to this courtesy by sending a Oct. 14. similar communication on the eve of Ferdinand's anniversary; at the same time he sent the official notice which had reached him, that the yellow fever had broken out in certain ports of the Mediterranean, and that some ships were infected with it: this information, he said, was given as humanity required, in order that the enemy might take all possible precautions against the contagion in those parts of the country which were

lebrated in



Conduct of

occupied by their troops. The holiday was observed with its usual solemnities and pageants, as if there had been no hostile encampment without the walls : in the morning there was service in the churches; in the afternoon the holy girdle, a relic of which Tortosa boasted, was carried in procession, a masque of giants going before it, accompanied by persons performing a provincial sword-dance, and followed by all the corporate bodies, civil and ecclesiastical, and by the military, with music, and banners displayed. Bull-fights with young animals who were neither tortured with fireworks (as is the manner in the serious exhibitions of that execrable sport) nor slaughtered, were held in the streets, and the day concluded with a ball, a banquet, and an illumination. The next communication of Lili to the French gene

ral was not received so courteously by Harispe, the French who at that time was left in command of the concerning besieging army. The Spaniards sent him coSourche de pies of the decree issued by the Regency in

consequence of Soult’s infamous edict against

the Spanish armies, both edicts being printed on one sheet, in parallel columns; Lili sent them with a flag of truce, saying it was his duty to put the French general and his commander-in-chief in possession of this royal decree. Harispe replied, that he should always receive the Spanish commander's messengers with pleasure, when they were the bearers of decent and useful communications ; but in the present instance he must detain them prisoners of war, inasmuch as they seemed to have no other object than that of scattering satirical writings. If this reply had not been accompanied by an act in violation of the laws of war, it would have been satisfactory to the Spaniards; for the French general could not more plainly have shown the opinion

See vol. i.

which he entertained of Marshal Soult's decree, than by thus affecting to believe that it was spurious. The besieging army, however, had given some examples of that merciless system upon which the intrusive government required its generals to act; . . for the bodies of some peasants were taken out of the river, with many bayonet wounds about them, and their hands tied: they were interred in the city, where the circumstance and the solemnity made a strong impression upon the people. There was a Piemontese, who, having resided more than twenty years in Tortosa, went over to the French, and rendered them all the service which his knowledge of the place and the country enabled him to perform. This treason on the part of a naturalized foreigner excited a strong desire for vengeance; some peasants watched his movements, laid wait for him, surprised him, and carried him prisoner into the city, where he was tried, and condemned to be shot in the back, under the gallows; that mode and place of death being chosen as the most ignominious, there being no hangman there. The besieged were gratified by another act of vengeance. An officer in the French army, before the serious business of the siege began, amused * himself, from a favourable station, with bringing down such individuals as came within reach of his gun. At length a deserter gave information that this unseen marksman's stand was in a house called la Casilla Blanca, upon which the commandant of artillery, D. Francisco Arnau, went with his piece to a good station on the bank of the river, and getting aim at him while he was engaged in his murderous sport, had the satisfaction of seeing him fall.

Though the enemy had established two bridges with a tete-du-pont to each between Mequinenza and Tortosa, they had not been able to render the passage of

* Se preciaba de buen tirudor, y se divertia en esto. Diario de Tortosa.


the river secure.

Their boats were sometimes intercepted and sometimes sunk; and everywhere a system of war was carried on by which the armies of Macdonald and Suchet were so harassed, that the operations of the siege were impeded during five months. Some brilliant achievements were performed in the AmSuccesses of purdan by Baron Eroles, an officer who ren

dered himself so obnoxious to the enemy by the activity and success with which he discharged his duty to his country, that there was an order in the French army to hang him as soon as he should fall into their hands. The German troops in Catalonia had at this time been reduced by deaths, captures, and desertions, to such a state of inefficiency, that the few survivors were permitted to leave Spain, and stationed on the South coast of France; there in the enjoyment of rest and a benign climate, to recruit their broken health, before they returned to their respective countries. Some troops only were left in the garrisons of Lerida and Barcelona, .. the remainder, a few hundreds only of as many thousands, gladly departed from a country in which they had committed and suffered so many evils. Their place in the Ampurdan was supplied by a reinforcement of 5000 French, under General Clement; the new general, to signalize his entrance, entered Olot with 3000 men, and got possession of the stores which were deposited there, with which, and with

the spoils of the town, he departed early on the

second day, having thus far successfully effected his

purpose. Eroles was at Tornadis at this time, where he had collected his troops; and they were receiving their rations when intelligence was brought him that the enemy had left Olot, and were on their way to Castellfullit. A cry arose from the Catalans that they did not want their bread and their brandy then; what they

Dec. 6.

wanted was cartridges, and to kill the French. The men knew their commander, and he knew his people, for what kind of service they were fit, and how surely they might be relied on in that service. The


had had two hours' start, but they were impeded with artillery and plunder, and apprehending no danger, had made no speed: the Catalans had the desire of vengeance to quicken them, and performing in less than an hour and a half what is estimated at a three hours' journey, they came up with the rearguard at Castellfullit, attacked and routed it. The French rallied, took a position on the plain of Polligé, where they were protected by the cavalry and their guns, and thus awaited for Eroles to attack them. His dispositions, however, as soon as he had reconnoitred the ground, were made for turning both their flanks; and when to prevent this they attacked his centre, their cavalry were repulsed, the attempt wholly failed, and they retreated to another position near S. Jayme. From thence they were driven, and fell back upon a battalion which had now formed in the plain of Argalaguer, and were protected by the buildings in that village ; but supposing the few horse which Eroles then brought forward to be part of a greater force, Clement withdrew his men to a near wood, on the other side of a stream. Encouraged by success, the Catalans attacked them there also, drove them successively from thence and from Besalu, and did not give up the pursuit till night closed. In this affair Clement lost more than a thousand men, the Spaniards twenty-five killed and fifty wounded : scarcely any prisoners were taken; the French were persuaded that no quarter would be given, and in that persuasion some had run upon the bayonets of the Spaniards, and some had thrown themselves down a precipice near Castellfullit. The whole detachment would have been

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