Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 4.djvu/300

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CHAPTER XIII.

While the people of the United States waited to see the effect of the embargo on Europe, Europe watched with breathless interest the death-throes of Spain.

The Emperor Napoleon, in December, 1807, hurried in triumphal progress from one ancient city to another, through his Italian kingdom, while his armies steadily crossed the Pyrenees, and spread over every road between Bayonne and Lisbon. From Madrid, Godoy saw that the end was near. Until that moment he had counted with certainty on the devotion of the Spanish people to their old King[.] In the last months of 1807 he learned that even Spanish loyalty could not survive the miseries of such a reign. Conspiracy appeared in the Escorial itself. Ferdinand, Prince of the Asturias, only son of Don Carlos IV., was discovered in a plot for dethroning his father by aid of Napoleon. Ferdinand was but twenty-three years old; yet even in the flower of youth he showed no social quality. Dull, obstinate, sullen, just shrewd enough to be suspicious, and with just enough passion to make him vindictive, Ferdinand was destined to become the last and worst of