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We abstract from Mr. Robinson's book, the following account of his adventurous and ill-starred career.
‘Don Xavier Mina, was born in the month of December, 1789. He was the eldest son of a well-born and respected proprietary, whose domains lay near the town of Monreal, in the kingdom of Navarre.
* His early studies were pursued at Pampeluna and at Saragossa, In 1808, at the commencement of the resistance of the Spanish to the French invasion, he was a student in the university of Saragossa. At that period, between eighteen and nineteen
age, he felt the strong enthusiasm of the times. He abandoned his studies, joined the army of the north of Spain, as a volunteer, and was present at the battles of Alcornes, Maria, and Belchite.
• The Spanish armies, were unable to cope with the numerous and veteran troops with which Napoleon overspread the country, and, being defeated in every regular encounter, they retreated before the French.
'It was in this gloomy situation of affairs, that Xavier Mina formed a determination, which had the most important effects, not only upon his own fortune in life, but upon the whole war in Spain. He resolved to pass through the line of the French position, and, gaining his native province of Navarre, to make its mountains and fastnesses the theatre of his hostile operations; to hang on the rear of the invaders, to intercept their convoys and couriers, and to cut off their straggling detachments.
* In an evening walk he first communicated, to a friend and kinsman, his plans and schemes; and unfolded, with enthusiasm, his hopes, and fears, and visions of glory. His kinsman heard him to the end in silence, and then pointing to a gibbet which stood near, “ If you succeed, it will be great:
if you fail, there is your portion,” was his reply. In answer to his solicitation to be permitted to put his plans in execution, the Spanish general told him it would only be throwing away his life, as he would be cut off from the army;“ I do not,” said Mina, “think I am cut of, so long as I can find a path for my horse.” Finally, he left Tortosa with twelve men, and, passing with skill through the line occupied by the French army, arrived in Navarre. Of those twelve, one is at present a lieutenant; another has retired with nine wounds; and the rest fell in battle.
· The first attempt of Mina was upon a small guard of a dozen French. He attacked them with about twenty men, and captured them without much resistance. The next, was on a party of thirty men. The Spaniards, who had nearly the same number, lay concealed behind a stone wall; upon the approach of the enemy, they rose and fired. In the contest which ensued, a tall grenadier fired at Mina with deliberate aim, and, taking shelter behind a tree, encouraged his party. But the Spaniards, leaping the wall, rushed on, and settled the combat with their sabres. This successful beginning produced the most important results. The spirits of the peasantry were roused; many successful adventures took place; the French foraging parties were cut to pieces; their convoys attacked and plundered; and their couriers intercepted. The Spanish government had scarcely finished their rejoicing for the first successes of Mina, when they were again surprised by his sending them a large body of prisoners, among whom was a lieutenant colonel; and, at another time, seven hundred prisoners, with a quantity of military equipments, stores, and money.
· The French were net passive spectators of these chivalrous exploits. Upwards of thirty individuals, nearly or remotely connected with Mina's family, were suddenly arrested, and sent into France. War, with all the meliorations introduced by modern civilization, is sufficiently terrible to a reflecting mind; but it is in those political struggles, where the relations and kindred of an individual, are made answerable for his opinions and acts, that it comes armed with its severest afflictions. Among the relatives of Mina, thus torn from their country, was an accomplished young lady, the object of his early attachment. Separated from each other, time, and the waves of an adverse fortune, bore them still farther asunder, and the tender affections, the sport of events, sunk, and were lost for ever.
* Repeated expeditions were undertaken to destroy Mina, but the affections of every peasant being with him, and having correct intelligence of every movement, he was enabled, not only to baffile and elude his enemy, but frequently coming on them by surprise, to defeat and destroy his pursuers. When he found their forces too numerous to be openly resisted, he appointed a"place of rendezvous, dispersed his band, and, separating from each other, they eluded pursuit. The armed mountaineers retired to their homes, or to secret recesses, and there waited till their leader gave the signal; when, suddenly re-appearing, they seemed to spring from the earth, like the men of Cadmus, a legion of soldiers. Mina, with a select band, the nucleus of his army, retired to the mountains. A hill, near his father's mansion, was his principal retreat. He was familiar with its fastnesses, and solitary recesses, and the neglected flocks of his own family, furnished him and his brave companions with food. When he determined on striking a blow, he gathered his forces like a tempest on the mountain top, and, descending in terror, swept the province to the very gates of Pampeluna, .
* In this manner was begun the insurrection in the province of Navarre. From this period, bands of guerillas were organized throughout the country. Thus commenced that sys- . tem, which was the great means of keeping up the spirit of desperate animosity, and which became, eventually, the prin. cipal means of delivering Spain from her invaders. The accounts of Mina's successes ran through the country, and
produced a powerful excitement in the minds of the people. He was thence soon enabled to raise a respectable division of troops, whose numbers were increased by the peasantry, whenever it was contemplated to strike a blow.
The central junta of Seville conferred on him the rank of colonel, and, soon after, the dignity of commandant general of Navarre. The junta of Arragon also appointed him com. manding general of upper Arragon. He won these honours most gallantly by his sword, in a gloomy and desperate hour; they were confirmed to him by his country; and he continued his brilliant career, lighting up an hostility and daring resistance, which has made the French invasion of Spain one of the most remarkable events in the history of modern Europe.
• In the winter of 1810–11, Mina was directed by the Spanish government to destroy, if possible, an iron foundry near Pampeluna, from which the French were supplied with a number of articles for the service of the war. Whether it was from one of those accidents which no prudence can foresee, or that the enemy had obtained information of his movements, this unfortunate enterprise was fatal to Mina. Two strong bodies of French troops, on their march in contrary directions, arrived at the same time at the two entrances of a narrow valley. Mina and his corps, who were then in the defile, were completely enclosed. The fight that ensued was obstinate and bloody. The gallant Mina, defending himself with his sword, fell, pierced with wounds, a prisoner, into the hands of the enemy.
Mina was taken to Paris, after his capture, and shut up in the castle of Vincennes. The afflictions, which press upon the unfortunate state prisoner, were aggravated to him, by the care with which all intelligence of the fate of his relations, or struggling country, was concealed from him. His hair came out, and his person was completely changed. In time, however, the rigours of his imprisonment were softened, and books were given him. He applied himself, with great industry, to the study of the military art, in which he derived great assistance from some of the veteran officers, who were his fellow-prisoners. He remained in Vincennes till the allied armies entered France, nor was he set at liberty until the general peace, which took place upon the abdication of the emperor Napoleon,
Being conspicuous members of the party of Liberales, or Constitutionalists, the two Minas soon experienced the displeasure of the court, and the frowns of the king. Xavier, however, was offered the command of the military forces in Mexico, a situation next to that of the viceroy of New Spain. He declined it; and, being apprehensive of the consequences, retired into Navarre, Espoz y Mina, who still remained at the head of his mountain warriors in Navarre, immediately received an order, depriving him of his command. Matters being thus brought to a crisis, it was determined by the two Minas to raise the standard of the Cortes and the constitution. They had no time to form any extensive plan. It was agreed to strike immediately, before the order depriving Espoz of his command should be publicly known. The details of this bold attempt are interesting, and present some features of romance; but we can only glance slightly at them. While Espoz was to put his troops in motion, that he might arrive, at a concerted hour, under the walls of Pampeluna, Xavier Mina entered the fortress. There, he soon communicated with a few officers, who were known to him, and whose sentiments were favourable to the Cortes. Popular in the whole Spanish army, and his name endeared to those soldiers of freedom, ne selected a few of them to be his guests at a convivial banquet. After supper, as the time drew nigh, Mina rose up suddenly amidst them; addressed them in a nervous and enthusiastic harangue; unfolded the ingratitude and injustice of the court; and, finally, exhorted them to give the blessings of freedom to the country they had saved. The effect was electric and complete. They arose, and crossing their swords, as they stood around the banqueting table,