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A History of Spain by Charles E. Chapman

Velarde hastened to the battery commanded by Daoiz


yet what to do, Napoleon was

on the one hand giving indications of an intention to restore Charles IV, and on the other planning to set up one of his own brothers as king of Spain. Charles IV gave the emperor the opening he desired. In order to obtain some material advantages from his abdication and to save Godoy, who was still in prison, he entered into communication with Murat, and as a result secretly retracted his abdication, placing himself entirely in the hands of Napoleon. Meanwhile, Murat told Ferdinand that the emperor was coming to see him, and suggested that Ferdinand should go to Burgos to meet him. When Ferdinand decided against the journey, lest it produce a bad effect in the minds of the people, Napoleon sent General Savary with orders to bring Ferdinand whether he wanted to come or not. Savary succeeded in persuading the young prince to go to Burgos, and when Napoleon was not found there to Vitoria. Beyond this point Ferdinand was at first not disposed to go, but, urged on both by Savary and Escoiquiz, who still believed in the French emperor, the party proceeded across the boundary line to Bayonne. There indeed they found Napoleon,--and Ferdinand was informed that he must abdicate the throne. A few days later, on April 30, Charles IV, Mar?a Luisa, and Godoy arrived; they had been easily persuaded to go there by Murat. The reunion of the royal family at Bayonne was accompanied by disgraceful quarrels of the parents and the son and by the humiliating weakness of all in the presence of Napoleon.
Charles IV was again induced to abdicate, and was given a rich pension and estates in France to which he and his family, Godoy, and the royal servants might repair. Ferdinand was also granted rents and lands. To Napoleon was given the right to name a king of Spain.

[Sidenote: Uprising of the Dos de Mayo against Napoleon.]

Meanwhile, the French troops in Madrid and elsewhere had been conducting themselves like conquerors, and had aroused considerable hostility in the people, who were not so easily deceived and dominated as their rulers had been. After the departure of Ferdinand from Madrid the French officers did not hesitate to say that Napoleon would not recognize him,--which only increased the popular discontent. The climax came when an order was received from Napoleon for the young Bourbon prince, Francisco de Paula, and for the queen of Etruria with her children to be sent to France. The departure from Madrid was set for the morning of the second of May. A crowd gathered to see the royal party off, and heard rumors which excited it to a feeling of frenzy,--for example, that the young Francisco (then only thirteen) had protested in tears against going. Insults were offered the French soldiery, and the harness of the coaches was cut. These scenes were interrupted by the appearance of a French battalion, which fired without warning into the crowd. The crowd scattered, and spread the news over the city. This was the signal for a general uprising against the French. The Spanish troops were under strict orders from the government to stay in barracks, but a number of them declined to obey. Prominent among those joining the people against the French were Captains Pedro Velarde and Luis Daoiz, the heroes of the day. When the people were driven out of the central square of the city, the Plaza del Sol, by the French artillery, Velarde hastened to the battery commanded by Daoiz. Convincing the latter that the interests of the country were superior to discipline he joined with him and a certain Lieutenant Ruiz in directing the fire against the French troops. Superior in numbers and armament, the French were successful after a battle lasting three hours in which Velarde and Daoiz were killed. The dramatic events of the _Dos de Mayo_, or the second of May, were the prelude to a national uprising against the French. Without a king or a government Spain began the war which was to usher in a new era in Spanish history,--for, just as Americans look back to the Fourth of July in 1776, so the Spaniards consider the _Dos de Mayo_ of 1808 as the beginning of modern Spain.


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