Spain has undergone the paroxysm of a coup d'etat closely
imitated after the French model. The author of the coup ap- pears just at present to be successful : his armies have gained an ascendancy over those that resisted it ; " tranquillity " is said
to be restored in certain provincial towns as well as in Madrid ; a new Ministry has been formed ; the Queen has made presorts of cigars to her soldiers, and for the moment the- reaction pros- pers. We are the less able even to conjecture what may be the sequel, from being still kept in the dark as to the actual causes, nature, and operation of the coup d'etat. We can therefore only enumerate such facts as would necessarily become known. There had been a division in the Cabinet. A partnership be- tween Espartero and O'Donnell had always caused amazement, since the one was confessedly a tried upholder of constitu- tional government, and the other was no more than a soldier of fortune, who had attained success in various ways—most conspicuously in making a fortune by winking at the slave-trade while Governor of Cuba, and on his re- turn by attempting to form a military government in Spain. It has been well known that for a long time, perhaps from the first, Espartero and O'Donnell only tolerated each other. At last Espartero ceased to be useful to the man who was lieu- tenant over him ; there was a Ministerial crisis ; Espartero resign- ed in disgust, in ill health, in helplessness, or in a combination of all three. The news occasioned an insurrection of the National Guard at Madrid ; which was put down, it would seem, as much by treachery and false reports as by fighting. The latest ac- counts-represent the insurrection at Saragossa and in Catalonia as having failed ; and a return of " tranquillity " is proclaimed, together with martial law for the whole kingdom.
How far has Paris shared in this movement ? One of the first phenomena was a rush of Spaniards from Paris—representatives of both sides, such as Narvaez and Olozaga. An extremely pro- bable report asserts that Queen Christina has had a share in the movement—that it is under her patronage, perhaps directly assisted by her. The brother of the Empress Eugenie is said. to be appointed to some high post in Madrid ; and the Empress's husband is rapidly forming a strong " army of observation" to watch the Spanish frontier. These facts are all suggestive.
Professedly there is some fear in Milan and Vienna, that the commotion in Spain may precipitate a movement in Italy. But that will not be the case if the constitutional Liberals of Italy have their way. It is manifest that the endeavour of the Moderate, party throughout Italy is to keep back any move- ment, and to proceed meanwhile, as much as possible, with practical reforms. An outbreak could only be a disservice to the Moderate party in Italy ; a truth so obvious, that from Turin to Naples every effort will be used to restrain the impa- tience of the people.