The Spaniards have put in force their threat of bombarding
Valparaiso. Their Admiral, Mendez Nunez, intended, it would seem, to destroy the city and its 100,000 inhabitants suddenly, but was warned by the British and American admirals that this could not be permitted. He therefore gave notice of a bombardment, to begin on the 31st March, and this also the American Commodore was ready to prevent, if the British Admiral would assist. We give this statement as it appears in his own official report, and as confirmed by all European residents in Valparaiso, but it is denied by Me Layard, who on Tuesday night, with his accustomed in- difference to courtesy, accused the merchants in Chili of untruth. Admiral Denman refused to go further, although the Americans had an iron-clad in the harbour, and according to the Duke of Somerset he had already exceeded his instructions. Mendez Nunez therefore opened fire at a distance of half a mile, and con- tinued it for three hours, destroying the custom house, with its bonded warehouse, the town-house, the railway station, some streets, and about four millions worth of property belonging to neutrals, but only a few lives. The merchants are of course furious, and a formal complaint of the conduct of Admiral Denman has been forwarded to the British Admiralty, by whom, however, he is stoutly defended. It appears that the British merchants were utterly unable to believe that the town would be bombarded, and did not remove their goods.