1 FEBRUARY 1840, Page 16


ALEXANDER STANHOPE was the youngest son of the first Earl of CHESTERFIELD, and the father of the first Earl of STANHOPE. He was born in 1639 : in 1689 he was appointed British Minister at

Madrid, where he continued till 1699 : he subsequently went as Minister to the Hague, and remained there till shortly before his death in 1707.

Besides his public despatches, it would appear that Mr. STAN- norE preserved his correspondence with considerable care, and that the whole is in existence at Chevening, with a manuscript work " On the Causes of the Decay of the Spanish Government under the Kings of the Austrian Family." From the letters written during his Embassy in Spain, Lord Manosi has extracted the volume before us, with a view of exhibiting the Court of Spain and the condition of the Monarchy at the close of the sixteenth cen- tury, under the last Prince of the Austrian race.

And a very curious volume it is ; of small pretension, but of sterling value—real, amusing, and informing. -.11Ir. STANHOPE appears to have been a man of strong native sense and shrewdness, With a dash of quiet humour, all hard-polished by much intercourse with the world, in a period when even a good man, to advance him- self in life, must have had his wits about him, a conscience not over queasy, and a modest assurance. The Spanish character and the Spanish condition—which Mr. FBERE and the other employes of the PERCEVAL Ministry could never be made to apprehend, even after repeated examples, and on the evidence of _Moony and WEL LINGTON—was soon thoroughly penetrated by Mr. STANHOPE, al- though nearer by a hundred years to the terror of the Armada and the grandeur of CHARLES the Fifth. Very soon after his arrival he discovered, by a public distribution of wine, that the boasted sobriety of the Spaniards was nothing but a boast, when they could indulge, as he says, "at another's expense ;" and enterprise, cou- rage, common industry, nay even their vaunted loyalty, vanished one by one before the penetration of the well-trained emissary of' Wieniam the Third.

The style of the letters or despatches is very good, and gives a favourable idea of the public correspondence of the day. They are no doubt, deficient in the gusto growth's°, the rotund style, and the formal arrangement, which characterize the official docu- ments of a later period ; but there is more of nature and truth in the older statesman. His observation is keener ; his language plainer, and to the point. The man is not lost in the red-typist; and when there was little to say, he said little—never attempting to substitute rounded phrases for matter.

Very high praise is due to Lord MAnox for the manner in which his task is executed. Almost every passage has an interest, or a value of one kind or other; and it is obvious, from the form of his extracts, that a discreet judgment has been exercised in the selec- tion. The notes are few and brief, and confined to a necessary elucidation of the text, The unskilful, who can only judge front what is palpable, will think the editor has done nothing, because his labour in reading and his judgment in selecting are out of sight. But a trading litteruteur, with the run of Chevening, would, doubt- less, have given us two large volumes of correspondence, and as good as another volume of compilation notes and " illustrative matter." Perhaps, bad Lord lAnoN been a little more liberal in this respect, it would have been all the better. Ile has assumed too great a knowledge in his readers. A brief introductory sketch of the state of Europe so far as related to Spain, and a few short biographical notices of the different persons whose names figure in the letters, would have been useful. The former point we will briefly attempt, before proceeding to the extracts.

CHARLES the Second, the last Sovereign of the Austrian race, was a prince of a weak mind and a bad habit of body : and (lied in the prime of life, so far as life is measured by years, llis diges- tion was very bad, his appetite very enormous ; and both perhaps arose from the same cause, the practice of boltime his victuals, owing to a maleconformation of the lower jaw. As he was child- less, with no immediate collateral heir, the succession to the Spa- nish crown was an object of European importance. The claim-

ants, through female branches, with slight and varying degrees of propinquity, were three—the houses of France, Austria, and Ba- varia the Queen of Spain being of Austrian blood. Hence Ma- drid became a focus of intrigue, in order to obtain the succession under the King's will. The minutia of this question would be tedious, and dry in the space we could allot to it : suffice it to say that England and France endeavoured to make assurance doubly sure, by a treaty of partition, in which the Spanish dominions were to be divided among the claimants, and whichever refused to abide

by this arrangement, was to have his share placed under seques- tration. This plan of disposing of his kingdom, without the com-

pliment of asking his leave, naturally offended the Spanish Mo- narch, who ordered Mr. STANIP WE to quit Madrid, and appointed the Prince of Bavaria his successor. The death of this personage defeated the intentions of CHARLES the Second, and caused a new partition treaty ; but the kingdom being eventually left to a younger

grandson of Louis the Fourteenth, he elected to break his engage.. ments, for the sake of his family. From this cause arose the War of Succession, in which the eccentric but chivalrous Lord Puma- BOROUGH * rapidly overran the country; but being succeeded by Lord GALWAY, the successes of the Austrians came to an end, and the Archduke eventually resigned the crown on succeeding to the Empire.

These contests for the succession took place in later times. When Mr. STANHOPE, went to Madrid in 1690, England, Spain, and Holland, were .allied against France ; Spain leaving her con- federates all the work and charges, and doing nothing but make promises without the intention or the means of fulfilling them. She had neither men, officers, ships, nor money : and, mutatis mutandes, what Mr. STANHOPE writes of her then, would he equally true of her during the wars against NAPOLEON and Don CaaLos. We take a few extracts, bearing upon the condition of affairs and the character of the rulers, from 1693 to 1699 : referring those who wish for fuller information to the volume.


I received, in twelve days, the welcome news of the votes of the House of Commons concerning the supplies to his Majesty for the carrying on the war this present year ; and having the same afternoon an hour of audience ap- pointed by the King,, to make him the customary compliment of the day, I thought it not improper to acquaint hint with it ; so turning the sum into Spanish money, I told him the Parliament had given our King six-and-twenty millions of pieces of eight, which 1 believed his Majesty would be well pleased to hear, since it was all designed to be employed against his enemies. To this, after a little pause, he answered me Bien puede six; and to my compliment on the occasion of the day, I had as usual, Asi /o ereo. I find that generally they will not believe it possible, in which they seem to have reason, since they ere able to do so little for their King. The present exigencies of this monarchy are inconceivable, most of the hills they have sent for Flanders lately being sent back protested. Last week the King laid his hand on all the effects of the famous Genoese banker, Grillo, appointing him an interrentor, as they call

him, without whose intervention and consent he is not to pay the 1..f.st sum to any person on whatsoever account The pretence is, great arrears due to the King upon the revenue of the cruzada, of which he was furnace. In this man- lier they have broke and ruined several eminent merchants and bankers: the Marques de Tamarit is the only one remaining, and it is expected that he will ere long have the same fate.


The present design is for a voluntary contribution, in order to which, circular letters have been despatched to all the Grandees and Titalos, to desire their benevolence to relieve the present exigencies of the Monarchy. I do not hear any particular sum is demanded, but every man is left to the largent,,s of his own mind or love to his country. It is expected afterwards that the sonic will be attempted with all degrees and conditions throughout the kingdom, which by the example the grandees will give the rest, is not like to come to any great


His Catholic Majesty, to secure the minds of his good subjects in Aragon, has this day declared to the several Councils, that lie will the next month march in person to Zaragoza, and all concerned ordered to be re tits to attend him ; 500 horse are raising here, and all the saddlers and tailors in town are set at work in all haste. 1,500 foot arc also ordered to be raised, for which, and other charges of that expedition, many more men being to be raised in other parts, the Queen offers to pawn her jewels, the Archbishop of Toledo to rob several Churches in Madrid, where considerable sums have been de- posited as in safe and sacred places, and also to make bold with another trea- sure deposited in Toledo by a saint, a former Archbishop, for sonic extraor- dinary exigency either of church or state. The revenue of the Bens and Subsidia Eseusado, paid by all churchmen, is besides declared to be from this time wholly appropriated to this war, and all anticipations upon them to be postponed sine die, that is, never to be paid. Everybody looks on the King's voyage as a jest, though the pretence will be used to raise several ways great sums of'money. A SPANISH emexcien CHECKMATED.

The King's new Confessor having persuaded him before he left Madrid to publish a decree forbidding the sale of all governments and offices, either in present or reversion, as a duty of conscience, the Conde do Adancro, who is Sala-intendiente do las Brutes Beaks, declares he is not able to find money for his Majesty's subsistence, all branches of the revenue being :int ieipated for many years, amid he is now debarred by this decree from 'amend:ding offices, which was the only resource he had kft ; therefore has desired he may lay down his employment.


Tie scarcity of money here is not to believed but by eye-witnesses, not- withstanding the arrival of so many flotas and galleons, supplies not to he ex- pected again in many years, for the last Ilota went out to India empty, and ex ruhi/o riihit fit. Their army in Catalonia, by the largest account, is not 8,000 men, one half of them Germans and 'Walloons, who arc all starving and deserting as fast as they can. When I came first to Spain they had eighteen good men-of-war; these are now reduced to two or three, I know not which. A wise Council might find some remedy fur most of these defects, but they all hate and are jealous one of another; and if any among, them pretends to public * " Iic whose lightning pierced tit' Iberian lines, New forms my Inductor:, and now ranks my tines, Or tames the genius ,•1. the stubborn plain,

Almost as quickly as he conquered Spain."

ilv the by, the classic ground where PETERBOIMUC n ail hayed his versati- lity is about to sull'er desecration. " Pope's Villa at Tiviekcninun " is Aver- tiled for sale ; and if a purchaser cannot be found, the km will lie sold in lots to the dealers in "builders' materials." The mutability of property haunted SWIFT ; amid was disposed of, after Honact, by the philosophical poet-

" Pity to kaki without a son or wife :

Why, you'll enjoy it only all your life.' Well, it the use Inc mine, can it concern one Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon ?

What's property? dear Swift ! you see it alter From you to me, from me to Peter Walb:r; Or in a mortgage pn;ve a lawycesshare,

Or in a jointure vanish from the heir ;

Or in pure equity Oho ea,e not clear)

The Chancery takes your rents fur twenty year

Al best it falls to some ungracious son,

Who cries, ' My father's damo'd, and my own.' Stimulus tlist b, lSneun could rut rum afford,

Become the portion of a booby lord;

And !Lumley, WWI! proud Buckingham's delight, Slides to a scrivener or a City knight.

Let lands or hotews have what lords they will, Let us be lix'd and our own masters still."

sphit to advise any thing for the good of the country, the rest fall upon him, nor is he to hope for any support from his Plaster, who has the greatest facility d say Prince m the world in patting with his best friends and dearest avou

This is a summary account of the present state of Spain; which, f- rites.

bow wretched soever it may seem to others, they are in their own conceit very ppy, believing themselves still the greatest nation in the world, and are now Is proudand haughty as in the days of Charles the Fifth. The ruling men, as was indicated in the last extracts, were not exactly men of affairs. Besides corruption, incapacity, and Spanish slowness, some of the Ministers were superannuated. Mr. STAN- Ron thus bewails his connexion with


1 am very unhappy in the present Secretary of State for the North, Don Crispin Botello, through whose hands all my papers must pass; lie is above fourscore years old, and has quite outlived his memory, insomuch that after I have sometimes expected an answer to a business three months, I have after- wardslearnt that it was forgot to be delivered; and when I have minded him of it again, he did not remember to have beard of it before.

There was another worthy, of whom he writes—" The Marquis of Mancera, my Commissary, is eighty years old, sick, doting, and a passionate friend to Canales "—an enemy of England.


This Court and all the people are very big with expectation of the sudden arrival of a squadron in these seas front the North, of twenty-live English and fifteen Dutch men-of-war, to loin with those at Cadiz, of which they pre- tend certain udviecs from their Ministers in England and Holland. I wish it may cocsist with our designs at home, as much as it would be convenient for the Spanish affairs here ; but hope if such a squadron do come, they will bring along with them all things they may possibly have occasion for, whatsoever happen, both provisions of war, ship-tackle, and victuals, thr if they expect to find any of them here, thew will be much mistaken, whatever their Ministers may say to the contrary, wito in this exigency will not stick to promise largely.


Orders arc given and a fund settled for the setting out to sea the Spanish armada with till possible Spanish expedition ; they say there will be nine ships ; what they are, you must know better than I. The Conde Ferran Nunez is to command them ; whom I fear you will find a punctilious, capricious, trouble- some gentleman. IIe has not scrupled to say b.:fore s one of our merchants here, that when lie came to Cadiz he would make you know hint ; with which I thought necessary to acquaint you, that by this character of the moan you might the better know how to treat with him. For my putt, I look on a Spanish armada to be such a set, that whether at sea or in port is equally indifferent to us.

Let us turn from Ministers to Royalty.


The King's danger is over for this time, but his constitution is so very. weak, and broken much danger hi,. age, that it is generally feared what may be the success of such another attack. They cut his hair off in this sickness, which the decay of nature had almost done before, all his clown being bald. Ile has ars:venous stomach, and swallows all he eats whole, for Ids nether jaw stands so much out that his two rows of teeth cannot meet ; to compensate which, 110 has a prodigious wide throat, so that a gizzard or liver of a hen passes down whole, and his weak stomach not being able to digest it, be voids in the same manner. This King's life being of such importance in this conjuncture as to nit the affairs of Europe, I thought might excuse these particulars, which other- would seem impertinent.


Our 'Gazettes here tell us every week his Catholic Majesty is in perfect health, and it is the general answer to all who inquire °litho. It is true that he is every day abroad, but lueeet !alert lefhalis annul° : his ankles and knees swell again, his eyes bag, the lids are as red as scarlet, and the rest of his face a greenish yellow, Isis tongue is trarfuhr, as they express it ; that is, he has such a finutilinf, in his speech, those near him hardly understand him, at which be sometimes grows angry, and asks if they be all deaf. * * * His Cathodic Majesty grows every day sensibly worse and worse. It is true that lit Thursday they made him walk in the public solemn procession of Corpus. which was much shortened for his sake. However, he 1111ft:tined it so feebly, that all who saw him said he could not make one straight step, but stag!.:erm•it all the way; nor could it otherwise be expected, after he had had two Os a flay or-two before, walking in his own lodgings, when his legs doubled under him by mere weakness. In one of them he one eye, which ap- peared mei, swelled and black and blue, in the procession ; the other being quite sunk into his head, the nerves, they say, being contracted hy his para- lytic distemper. Yet it was thought lit to have Lim make this sad figure in public, only to haveit put into the Gazette how strong and vigorous he is.


They talk of a flunous exorcist come from Germany, who has dissolved several charms by which the King has been bound ever since a child; yet not all of them, but that there is great hope of the rest ; and then lie will not only have perfect health, but succession. Laugh at this as much as you please; was told it to-day by is reverend Churchman.

The people do not appear to have been a whit behind their descendants ill superstition, passion, cruelty, poverty-, and prone- ness to revolt against a weak goverment. At Majorca, (it is true,) we read of " twenty-seven Jews and heretics" being burnt ; and then "twenty " in a ii w days more; and then on "Tuesday next" . "another Fiesta." In Barcelona, on the Inquisition giving some popular offence, the populace rose, threatening " to burn the In-

quisitors and pull down their houses." A fit:nine occurred at Madrid, and scenes took place very like to what travellers have described of the violence of a modern Spanish rabble; though no doubt with more excuse, fly the distress was dreadful. The whole is too long to quote, but here is an incident as rich as any thing in the Spanish novelists.

"The scarcity of bread is growing on :glace toward a famine, which increases hr vast multitudes of poor that swarm In upon us from the countries round about. I shifted the best I could till this day, but the difficulty of getting anywithout authority has made me recur to the Corregidor, as most 0.f the foreign Ministers hail done hcZlWrex Ile very courteously, after inquiring what my family way, gave me an order for twenty loaves every- day ; but I must send two leagues to Vallejas to fetch it, as I have done this night, and mv ser- vants with long guns to secure it when they have ,it, otherwise it wotild he taken front them ; for several people are killed every day in the streets in scuffles for bread, all hying lawful prize that anybody eau catch. "Two days ago all the prisoners in the Cared de Villa, about sixty in num- ber, being almost starved, watched their opportunity to get into the Alcalde-s armoury, seized the arms, beat off one another's shackles, and forced the Alcalde to open them the door to save his own life. The ringleader, with a crucifix in his hand,marched at the head of them directly to the Palace, crying Senor, Arts p pladOn! The King, apprehending it to be another tumult like the former, st.at out the Conde de Benevente to assure them of his pardon, and they presently dispersed to several of the nearest convents, who charitably re- lieved them with bread."